Art and Invention (15th May 2012)

I think it's been established in my mind a long while ago that life seems to be about legacy.

Like, if you've had those sort of thoughts--thoughts concerning meaning and all things worthwhile--you would be forced to agree: we are inherently interested in mattering.

The nature and extent of that legacy is obviously very subjective and often beyond our control; but legacy itself is indeed our life's true calling. Whether it's to our parents, or peers, or community, or country, or constellation; we really want to matter. If anything, at least to one single other person. I'm talking solely about humans here, but I could probably imagine that this extends to other life-forms.

It's an interesting concept: what matters to us is whether (and how much) we matter.

And that sort of spills into the conversation of what really matters to us, and in what way we'd like to matter. I think both of those are usually similar. I guess it's only natural to want to matter to what matters to you. But it's also natural to want to matter to a wider variety of things (and people), than the things (and people) that matter to you. That's where your need, or urge, for mattering comes out on top.
Over work, relationships, everything.

What I find interesting seems to be within the construct of things that matter, ironically enough. I don't know how I found myself here, but I'm consumed, and always have been, with how importance and relevance is distributed in the behaviour of an individual, group, or society.


And then yesterday I was out with the driver of the company I work with. And we were running some work-related errands and laughing about some silly stuff along the way, when I came across a curious thought.

To him, this is it. And he's okay with it. Most of the time. He wishes for more, yeah, but he's content with his lot, and more importantly, how it came to be this way. And that is something I took a while to wrap my head around. Let me try and explain:

For all of us, when we're born into our families, we don't have a say for a lot of things (genes mostly). And that's obvious. But from the minute we emerge out of that womb, we're thrown smack into the this world; this world we had absolutely nothing to do with. And immediately, as though it's a default setting, we're supposed to be okay with it. And I started to think about the numerous systems within which we reside, and how we're practically oblivious to most of them, yet somehow we participate and continue to participate as though it's the only we way we know how.

I began to think about my driver friend and how he, had he been born in any other time and/or place, may have had different values (custom and manners) and beliefs (religion or vegetarianism), and it's almost preposterous to consider how most of those decisions are not his own. Or that in some spaces, these aren't even called decisions.

For me and maybe you, these are decisions. But only on the surface. We are still cursed/blessed with systems that are already in place, long before we're born, that we're meant to just carry on with. Traditions borrowed from generations before; things that we sometimes don't or can't properly even classify as traditions, because it's nearly impossible to conjure any other way of going about...I don't know...running a government or raising a family; or greeting someone (shaking hands); or showing appreciation (clapping); or dancing--

It's like there are all of these concepts and constructs that we just kind of buy into, in order to co-exist and fit in; yet we haven't even had a chance or the time to decide if we're honestly okay with them.

Like we're late to the party and everyone's already on their third drink.

For my driver friend, all he's concerned with is the next day and whether he can survive and look after the people he supports. And in a sense, so is everyone. But all of us have a simultaneous thought process running alongside that helps us discern and decide what we're okay with and what we think we can improve upon or change. Whether it's how we communicate with other people, or how we harness electricity.

And there is a distinct and rather large disparity in the rate at which we come to see the things around us, and the rate at which we do that other thing: decide whether we're okay with it.

And I think age comes with a double-edged sword here, because the older we get, the more we come to terms with how things are. We get accustomed and complacent. But we're also simultaneously smarter and wiser and more able to innovate and create sustainable solutions to problems nobody even thought we had.
And that is freakin' awesome.


So let me try and tie this back to how I began: Legacy.

It seems to me that if we're interested in mattering, we ought to be interested in spending our time doing things that matter (to us). And if we can manage to spend most of our time devoted to that, we're probably going to achieve some sort of legacy-making milestone: something I think will have to do with Art and Invention.

...And in the worst case, we'll have a lot of fun trying.

Drive (25th October 2011)

This was meant to be a How-To Guide for Road Trips in India, marking four years with my trusty 800. From the use of chewing gum to what sort of music keeps you going, it's all coming on at some point. Hopefully.

The Life & Times of Varun (26th September 2011)

In recent news, tragedy struck once again for young Varun Mukerji from Pune, in the early hours of Sunday, the 25th of September.

Varun, 23, had just been robbed of his phone and wallet and sunglasses earlier this month. An optimistic individual, he has done well to rebuild his faith in humanity since. On Saturday night, after his debut performance as a stand-up comic (for which he did fairly alright and is happier for the experience), he chose to leave his car at the parking lot, so as to accompany a ladyfriend as they drove to an after-party.

This just in: chivalry is not dead.

The next day, he found himself a victim of a depraved and valueless society for the second time in one month. His car had been broken into, window smashed and the perpetrators (probably neighbourhood child-vandals), made off with his backpack, the contents of which included a brand new laptop, along with some other personal possessions.

This left Varun in a daze, disappointed yet again by the immoral acts of an unjust society. He spent the rest of his Sunday reconciling with his loss, but looking ahead at mending his ill-fate. Always a brighter-side viewer, Varun was quoted as saying, "Well, at least the fuckers didn't steal my music deck, or scratch or dent anything. God damn motherfuckers."

The following week will be spent in recovering his possessions and giving his beloved car a new window. Our thoughts are with Varun and his family during this difficult time. Please forward your condolences and/or money to

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