Monday, November 24, 2008

No Rollbacks In Life

“A statement issued in different tones sends out different meanings. In order to get out the correct ideas ensure you have the right tone – tune your tone.”
-KC

KC is a philosopher. It does not matter that he is not an eminent philosopher. He will be soon. And those are the people who do not have the sole ownership over their knowledge. It is meant for dissemination. So I have taken the liberty to quote him…also because I think Tune Your Tone is a catchy slogan to live one’s life by.

KC’s Good Morning Message today made me ponder on some recent incidents and their ramifications. It reiterated the fact that there is no such thing as being too careful before you speak or act…like the proverbial bow from the arrow, the word or the act cannot be undone.

And I was left wishing, life would have so much simpler had it been like a Database. Pardon me if my work is percolating into my writing but my head is quite dazed right now…

If life were a Database, if you said or did something wrong, you could always issue a ROLLBACK statement that very moment before there was a COMMIT to memory and it would all be gone.

Or you could always devise a datafix to replace what had been committed to the memory of the listener or observer. And then you could just UPDATE it all. The person would never know or remember it happened.

Everyone could have periodic PURGE programs that would purge unnecessary things like old emotional baggage, grudges, regrets of the past and unpleasant memories. We would all have Beautiful Minds without having to bring them back from the dead like John Nash’s.

But as Ben, the protagonist, says in the movie Cashback – You can speed it up, you can slow it down, you can even freeze a moment; but you can’t rewind time; you can’t undo what is done…Sharon had seen the wrong second of a two-second story. But she wasn’t listening.

In life, you can never go back to that one moment that became your Butterfly and caused that Chaotic tornado…wrecked it all…a good friendship, your perfect relationship, a lovely conversation, a moment, a lifetime…anything, everything.

You can regret it, you can relive it…you cannot reverse it.

What is committed to one’s memory once is irreversible. You have got to live with corrupted data for life. The human brain has no purges. It has an amazing amount of extendible memory. It will retain that corrupt data and reconciliation will become close to impossible…

Because there are no ROLLBACKs in life…

Maybe there are archives…and they are the only hope.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Best Things In Life Are Free...Like Love

It’s A Wonderful Life…

This is a 1946 classic starring James Stewart and Donna Reed in the roles of George Bailey and his wife Mary, around the both of whom the story revolves. It is one of the most endearing films I have seen to date…it warms you up to the core.

What I want to talk about today is what the character of Mary in the film embodies.

Mary likes the protagonist George since childhood and once whispers in his defective left ear “George Bailey, I will love you to the day I die”…a promise she keeps upon growing up to be a beautiful young lady. She loves George despite his part handicap. She stands by him in the darkest of times and maintains the most cheerful demeanour. She makes a home out of a run-down house and raises a family lovingly there. Mary is the epitome of the now-forgotten idea called Unconditional Love.

Most people do not believe in this idea now. Today there is a motive and agenda behind every action. Things done without reason and gain are considered a waste of precious time.

So when someone loves you unconditionally, wants to see you happy and smiling, wants to see you comfortable, prays that you find joy in life, watches out for you on sleepless nights, you question it with a “Why?” You do not see a reason. Sometimes there are no reasons. Sometimes the reason is as simple as love. At the cost of inconveniencing oneself, sometimes the reason is just love.

Unconditional love is never understood. It is not appreciated. A mother’s love…most people undervalue and underestimate it. It is only when it is gone that it is missed. We need to lose something to value it better.

Love needs to be expensive…

Love needs to come with a price tag. It needs to be the trophy acquired after winning a contest, upon working hard to earn it, upon living up to the standards set for it. Somewhere I think such a conceptualization of love helps you maintain your sense of self-worth and self-esteem. As if you were worth something just because you had love that was so difficult to achieve.

If you don’t love yourself it becomes even more difficult to receive love…more so unconditional love. Standing examples are the characters of Dev or Maya from the movie Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna. Their entire problem in life was that they were unhappy with their own selves. And they kept finding faults with the ones who loved them the most and excuses to believe that no one loved them.

Unconditional love makes it more difficult because such people tend to look at it as a favour and not as a gift. They can almost become angry that someone loves them so much for no reason. They are convinced that they do not deserve it.

Love is not a trophy…

Love is a gift from above. It is blessing. It goes to the special and chosen ones. It is to be received with closed eyes and open arms.

But when you receive unconditional love you shun it…you find reasons to drive unconditional love away…it was too easy…it was too available…it was free…

Like most other things that are free, you think it must not be the best in quality. You think it must have just been lying around and needed to be discarded. You refuse to accept it because it does nothing to your status and ego. So you throw away the rarest gift life can bring your way.

Everyone wants a Mary but Mary’s George today will drive her away even if she said “I’ll love you to the day I die” in his right ear out loud. Unconditional love has no value.

And the ones who stand like tall Sunflowers offering this glimmer have no option but to wilt slowly as the ones they love block the sunshine with their bare hands.

If it is free, it is probably there for all to have and receive and there is nothing special about it.

Sadly it does not work that way for love…the best love is not expensive...the best love is free.