#Uber-carpoolstories

Carpool stories

Carpool stories

Having moved to private mode of travel in the city, I had lost touch with the capacity of meeting some strange new people while commuting. This was earlier so common in buses or in trains. Yes, there is a metro but everyone is PLUGGED into their devices… who wants to even talk to you. No one!

But a car… Hmmm… thats different. It is an intimate space. Once one gets in, you cant avoid the person sitting with you. There is a basic hello atleast and then it’s where you want tot ask the conversation. I had some interesting experiences and everytime I have carpool and had a companion, I have chatted and come out feeling good about meeting complete strangers in a city where we surround ourselves with familiarity.

#myfirstcarpool: There were two guys in the car. My driver was completely shocked that I did a carpool. Ask me if I knew I would be sharing the cab at least 3 times.

#munirka: Picked an middle aged gentleman. He was going to CP. We chatted about how we were happy about carpooling and hope no incidents happen else it would be a hard clamp down on a good initiative.

#Shahpurjat: Met a woman working for the music event company. They organzie ‘magnetic field’ festival. It was an interesting conversation

#thebestone: Met an entrepreneur in the education space. After sideline conversations, realised he was partner in the same education set up as friend of mine. We surprised him with landing up at their office. We met in Uber!

#andmore… I can write about more stories but then this will be too long. So some to follow …later! Right now, I need to book my carpool ride back from Gurgaon.

Karmic cycle

what-goes-around-comes-around-e1346388759561-300x214

Our entire way of being and philosphy is based on the karmic cycle. What goes around comes around. When life beats us down and we don’t have an explanation, the only explanation/justification we give ourselves to keep going is we are clearing our karmic debt. THe only way the entire race attempts at being good is every action has a consequence or an equal and opposite reaction as stated by newton for the logically minded.

We have been told stories on the concept of rebirth and one soul and multiple bodies and the law of karma. From elders, in mythology, in all the stories we have read since we were small. And reinforced as we grow bif by books, people, spiritual leaders, philosphers, posters, internet.

But I don’t have an experience of it? I don’t remember my past lives and who I was and how that defines me today. So how do I believe it being true. It could very well a good strong well crafted story for giving a structure to the otherwise selfish, dark side of humans beings.

What if there was no such story or reality? Now that is a deadly combination to go on a rampage of our own. Isn’t it? How do we control the humans? Make them responsible for their actions? Make them look and do at the good as the bad is very tempting? Would there be any hope? How we would explain and interpret what happens to us – the good and the bad? How would we stay humble with the good and keep hope and life in the bad?

So we build a story. A story of Karmic circle and life. There is one soul and millions of lives and whatever you do there are consequences to it – if not in this life then the next one or the next. But they would be there and they would catch up with you. What a powerful mechanism.

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It gives us hope and helps us live this world when we find it has been unfair to us for no reason. We can just put it on the fact that must be the result of some karmic debt. Imagine if we knew that the world is unfair and the ones who hurt us will never get punished. That would destroy us, would it not? So, we build this logic which helps us deal with it.

It also keeps us good and try not do bad or hurt someone or try and keep of all the things we consider wrong.

Ideally, I should know what I have done and caused earlier to know what I am paying for in this life. But I don’t. I assume I am paying for something that may have happened in the past and live with that as everyone else does. Would the karmic cycle be more effective if I know my past lives. Then I would rememeber it better and not do and it be more effective.

But I don’t. I have been told these stories and I follow blindly without an experience of it but some awe and fear of it.

- Q

U are form-less.

You are a bundle of energy. You take whatever form the environment provides for you. The environment is defined right from the time the egg and the sperm meets. Their quality (what we call the genes) and then the experiences of the mother – what she does ,eats, feels and more while you are in the womb. Then escalated by the very moment you pop out in the world.

You are like the water as mentioned by Hetain Patel in his video. Or more like what he said while imitating Bruce Lee. U will take the form defined by the environment like a cup or plate or river or rain. Otherwise you are formless.

 

Hetain Patel

 

That’s what we are. We are formless. We have a form depending on the country, race, house, caste, school, parents, college, work, gender we belong to. Otherwise, we are all the same – formless and purposeless.

So, then why do we fight and have such a trip over everything in life. Because once we get into a form, we need to play that role. But the form can keep changing with changing the environment and context. Why do we still stay rigid on it then. Question is: Is there a choice in how one needs to play that role or is it pre defined?

For the garlic lovers

The ceiling

A great ‘Garliced’ food place. Love the decor and the food. Only only if you are a garlic lover… every single dish is made with lots and lots of garlic.

Hope you are not going on a ‘make out’ date there or have one post it. :p

 

For the garlic lovers

For the garlic lovers

The ceiling

The ceiling

Red walls and great photographs.

Red walls and great photographs.

Wine corks , Garlics, Lovely Home Decor

Wine corks , Garlics, Lovely Home Decor

Culture Shock

culture_shock_by_yarry-300x294

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 My niece T, who is studying anthropology, said  ”We are all culturally  biased. However liberal we may think we are , there are things about other cultures which will shock us and disgust us.” Got me thinking. I considered myself fairly liberal but she is right. I don’t think I can understand cannibalization, one with consent. Consent cannibalization would not raise moral dilemmas and chaos about human rights in me but just the thought one human eating another human makes me squirm. To communities and tries where this is practiced , it would be perfectly fine.

This started a series of thoughts in me. What is culturally acceptable and what is shocking.

- Is it what the majority of the population across the globe believe for that time period which is acceptable and is the norm.

- Is the what some of the ‘leadership countries believe which is the norm.

- Behavior and activities which do not harm individuals and are not forced such as gentile mutilations, is that culturally acceptable. But then how does we culturally justify war, chemical warfare, corruption and more.

There is no answer… no right wrongs…Just differences and only differences. And I guess the differences are meant to be .. to stay, probe us, make us think and react – positively or negatively.  That’s the only piece we have control over.

- Quay.

We should be in the zoo.

Post snake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We as human beings are a greedy and unbelievable race. I sometimes get surprised and sad at us all at the same time.

We intrude, we encroach and then we kill.
Like other species and wild life… We intrude their space… we decide to set ourselves up in their natural surroundings and then we kill them because we are scared of them.
There was no need for us to kill the 2 snakes in andamas. They could have been captured and dropped somewhere else. They were a set…. living together …. we decided to set up a hut here….and have them come in. Even after knowing they are harm less…. we killed them.
We killed one completely and half killed the other. What was the point. Are we such insane crazy people. Come from the cities and don’t know how to deal and live with the natural life around.  We are not even worth it. We should be the ones in a cage instead of the creatures we see to the zoo.
We should be in a zoo with boards…And the animals should be watching us.
Here is the big fat slob…. he eats all day , watches tv and farts on the couch.
Here is the scary witch…. she yells and abuses anyone coming her way… here here…. show us how you do that…. have some nuts… come on… give us an abuse.
And next my friends… is the ‘all money’ pockets…. show him the green bills… and he would chop everything in his sight to put a fancy sky scraper up for u. He will even without losing a heartbeat kill all those come in his way… trees, creatures… all of them…sometimes .. actually … most times even humans 2.
- Quay

Black or white and the GREY in between!

asura-tale-of-the-vanquished

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was reading Asura , a semi fictional or completely fictional book talking about ramayana and the sequence of events from the perspective of Ravana. As part of  the process, I realized I was also questioning the stories we have grown up on. The larger than life image, the righteous Rama was getting questioned in my head as I read. The clear line distinguishing the Devas as the good and the Asura’s being the evil was getting blurred.

I saw myself moving in the direction of them being two different races and each living by their moral code of conduct. And the fact there was good and bad and ugly in both. They say it is the victorious who writes history and it is distorted to benefit them. Is that what happened? And it got glorified and the grey of the Devas got dissolved.

The book did two things for me:

It made me realize that literature is so powerful. What you read can change the way you think so suddenly.. It helps you form who you are. I guess that’s why we emphasis that we should read and travel. It opens your mind. At the same time, a dark thought came to me. That if one book is making me question… what would some of the hate books on various religions would be doing to the minds of people. A lot of people would be only exposed limited information and books and my god! I am scared to think how that mind functions and how bitter can be. No wonder there is so much chaos and mess in the world. Word is the most powerful weapon.

The second thing which kept going on in my head why the hell can’t we expect the grey in someone who we put on a pedestal. All of us have the good, the bad and the ugly. All are gods do. They have used unethical means to establish their rule in so many stories. Mahabharata talks about it. Why when we make people our mentors and look at public figures, not accept the grey in them and appreciate them for the good and skill they have. Why do we beat them down for the grey. Are we so hungry to get rid of the grey. Do we want to build a righteous image of someone for our own faith in mankind. Is that what happened to Rama. Why are we so harsh on the grey.

WE ARE ALL GREY! DIFFERENT SHADES !

- Quay

 

Political conflict

I as a citizen of this country am confused. On one end, when I complain about the state of affairs, I am asked do you vote? And I say – No. Then I am asked, then you have no right to complain. I agree.

But my system asks who do I vote for? I have to spend hours following or reading or researching for a better man/woman or choose lesser of the evils from all the candidates there are. Or even better vote for the candidate who will work in my interest. I don’t know. I am not interested in politics. I sit on my elite cushion and bitch about the world and our government where as I do no shit about it except my drawing conversation. Does that mean I don’t care? Or let’s say , care enough? Does that mean I have no right to complain. Some will say yes. Maybe till something profound comes and hits on my face… I will not know or answer. Only there are some many like me the educated, empowered class who complains about a corrupt government but sits on their ass. Some level, we are the one who have created this government.

Another big confusion I have is this  Modi game – people revering a man who has caused state sponspored killings and massacres. The justification we get for the same is:

- Congress has done it. The sikh riots . They need to be brought to account. Agreed. But there needs to be  a beginning from somewhere. Right?

- He is doing so much good to the state… what is past is past. Atleast , there is development and no corruption. Is that a solace for a mas murderer.

- Some say, the circumstances were such. It was needed. Hindu’s were getting harassed. There were colonies where one could not enter… not even the cops. Isn’t that a law and order failure in a state.

The problem is in such cases.. its the innocent and the women and children who get killed. The ones at fault on both ends go free any which way. What was it – to say you did it and I am now showing you I can do it too… That’s an action of a goon and not a chief minister of a state.

 

All I say is we are constantly justifying murder and killings for some reason or the other. That’s what the terrorists also do. Our judgement is based on the fact which side are we on. Are we getting hurt in the process or it is benefitting us. Is it taking care of our fears and causing fear in us. It is all a cause an effect game and we will all face the consequences for the damage we are causing in the process.

 

Most say – for get what happened, look at the good. But if we forget the past, it will re occur in the future. Some may want it to re occur. My question is – SHOULD WE FORGET OR FORGIVE WHEN THERE IS NO ACKNOWLEGEMENT OR APOLOGY OF WHATS DONE?

 

- Quay.

 

 

‘Surprise’ Chauffer

Woman Taxi Driver

Woman Taxi Driver

Me and P reach bombay airport at 9:00 pm in the night. As we walk out to get a cab to respective destinations, we find ourselves stuck in front of a super slow = ‘snail-pace’ moving queue in front of  Merucabs. Here we are wondering what the hell… It would take us a forever to get a cab.

P came up with the bright idea of using some phone booths to book a cab the last time she was visiting. I went hunting for them in full suspect. I am not the most comfortable taking unknown cab companies in the night…. But then we are in bombay and bombay is safe at most times.

Here I find myself standing in front of 3 phones… each with a name and number. I pick the one called ‘Priyadarshini’. It connects automatically and in 3 quick seconds there is a female voice on the other end asking me about my whereabouts and where I wanted to go. She takes my number… and the minute I hang up , I get a call confirming – a cab waiting outside the airport for us.

Great ! Me and P jump…. take our stuff and go out… We follow the indicators for Priyadarshini cab service and others. As we stand amongst the sea of frustrated travellers waiting for their MERU /EASY Cabs… we get another call…A lady asked us where we are…based on our location she asks us to turn around… and lo! behold. Right there is the cab…  and there is a WOMAN chauffer waiting for us. She collects our bags… puts them in the car and got in the seat to drive. It took my 10 secs to get the hang of it… a WOMAN Taxi driver.. That is my FIRST.

More shocked than us were the people around. They watch us get into a woman driven taxi and take off while they waited for their MERU’s to come.

I could not get over it. Nor could P. We are completely smitten. I digged in to find out she has been driving for the past 4 years. It is a taxi service for women and disabled people run by an NGO. Our driver liked driving… was not worried about driving in the night ( But then u are not in Delhi). 4 years and I had no idea of  this service. …. super WOW.

I could not get over it through the journey… I kept on ranting about it till H’s house and she eventually told me to shut up. H living in bombay had no clue of this. They need to be talked about and marketed and what not.

An indication of our enthu —– P promptly booked us with them on our way back to the airport too!!!!!.

And I wish more people use their service.

- Quay !

The ‘ugly’ city.

U can wear anything, this city sucks for women.

U can wear anything, this city sucks for women.

I step out from office  around 7:30 pm in the evening. Unfortunately I did not have my car that day and I decided to walk across the road and take an auto. Dusk had just set in and there was no lights on the streets. I waited for a Delhi auto man, who would be kind enough to take me my destination. In Delhi, the auto wala’s don’t need you, u need the auto wala’s . If they are in a nice mood or like you the possibility is that they might haggle less than usual and actually take you to your destination in the shortest time possible.

Anyway, back to my point….( ranting about the Delhi auto guys would be another story completely) , I waited for an auto. I was also the only one on the road with cars, buses zipping by. Fnally I had the pleasure of a car and an auto stopping simultaneously. ( when god gives, he pours… But with a sadistic sense of humor of course). My choice was either the auto and the price he was asking or the 3 ugly looking men in a car.. who had rolled down there windows and were waiting patiently to see if I take the auto ot not. I had not felt more threatened in my life  for a while. A single girl, an empty stretch… 3 boys in a dinchak music blaring car …blatantly watching and waiting right next to the auto. I for the first time in my life did not haggle with the damn auto guy, went along with his obnoxious pricing.. Just so that I could get away as fast as I could from the white car. The minute we left, they moved ahead… I had a sick feeling in my stomach. Every bit if me felt threatened. I kept checking for half a distance if I was being followed or not. All of this in the prime south Delhi location and in the evening.

I faced it after a long time as I usually have my car or someone drops me etc. But what about the women who travel everyday… Just doing office and home and using public transport. Why are we treated as such free propertied that anyone can touch, feel or attempt anything at their will. Like women are they toys given to mankind as a gift to play with. No wonder when women travel to this city from a bombay or other countries , they cringe.

I remember how crazy it was when I was in college and had to take the local transport to college everyday. After a point , we had to become numb to the looks, leers and the brushes of the men traveling along with us. U ignore them and carry on. There was no other way to survive the city and venture out.

On top of this , instead of making the city safe, the officials that is the police and people around say – don’t go out after 11 in the night. I want to say- Mr. Policeman, make it safe for the day time office going woman to begin with … Then we will talk about the late evenings. Instead of telling the women to venture out, why don’t you do something to safeguard the city for the women. They constitute a little less than half of the population.

- quay

Anyway, back to my point….( ranting about the Delhi auto guys would be another story completely) , I waited for an auto. I was also the only one on the road withi cars, buses zipping by. Fnally I had the pleasure of a car and an auto stopping simultaneously. ( when god gives, he pours… But with a sadistic sense of humor of course). My choice was either the auto and the priced he was asking or the 3 ugly looking men in a car.. Who had rolled down there windows and were waiting to see if I take the auto ot not. I had not felt more threatened in my life  for a while. A single girl, an empty stretch… 3 boys in a dinchak music blaring car …blatantly watching and waiting right next to the auto. I for the first time in my life did not haggle with the damn auto guy. Went along with his obnoxious pricing.. Just so that I got get away as fast as I could from the White car. The minute we left, they moved ahead… I had a sick feeling in my stomach. Every bit if me felt threatened. I kept checking for half a distance if I was being followed or not. All of this in the prime south Delhi location and in the evening.
I faced it after a long time as I usually have my car or someone drops me etc. But what about the women who travel everyday… Just doing office and home and using public transport. Why are we treated as such free propertied that anyone can touch, feel or attempt anything at their will. Like women are they toys given to mankind as a gift to play with. No wonder when women travel to this city from a bombay or other countries , they cringe.
I remember how crazy it was when I was in college and had to take the local transport to
College everyday. After a point , we had to become numb to the looks, leers and the brushes of the men traveling along with us. U ignore them and carry on. There was no other way to survive the city and venture out.
On top of this , instead of making the city safe, the officials that is the police and people around say – don’t go out after 11 in the night. I want to say- Mr. Policeman, make It safe for the day time office going woman to begin with … Then we will talk about the late evenings. Instead of telling the women to venture out, why don’t you do something to safeguard the city for the women. They constitute a little less than half of the population.