Monday, July 05, 2004

So come the storms of winter and then the birds in spring again

You know the part that sucks the most about being the one person I know that doesn't have a life? More than one day goes by without any email and I feel like I fell off the fucking planet. Granted, everyone's on trips or going to see the splodeyworks or enjoying the three-day weekend or just caught up in their own lives, I'm not begrudging anyone. My point is really about the perceptual nature of time, the way it passes (or obstinately chooses not to) at variable speeds.

I don't remember how I got to here from where I was 18 months ago... that stuff feels like it could have been last week. But I know where I was 18 hours ago, and it seems like *ages* have passed since then. So my head contains a nonlinear representation of time in which the last day started before the last year. Maybe it's all of that acid I did in the 60s. (Ummm, that's a joke, if you don't know me well... I was *2* in the 60's).

Yesterday I was 15... today I am 35. Tomorrow I will be 55, and by next weekened, I will be dust. But there are so many hours and minutes packed into each day, way the hell more than they taught me in preschool, that the thought of 'tomorrow' seems like an idle threat... there's no way it will ever get here if time keeps going this slow. Sometimes it's hard for me to believe this is really happening... I wake up, look around, think 'bullshit... this has *got* to be a dream', and lay my head back down to sleep, but somehow I never wake up to anything more promising.

And you lot (who are just part of my dream anyway, you non-emailing wankers) are always wondering why I'm so cranky :/


Blogger krishna said...

Hi! Foobario! Cheer up, please! You depress me more with your philosophical musings than with the factual accounts of your health. The title of your post reminded me of the famous line from Shelley’s poem-If winter comes, can spring be far behind, though your interpretation was rather poignant. I agree with you that Time is exasperating: Going slow when you want it to fly and melting like a snow flake, when you want it to linger. I sense your frustration and empathize with your feelings. My biggest fear is that one fine day, I would look back to find that years have gone by and yet, I “have miles to go before I sleep”. It is like the hare and tortoise story: Time, steady and plodding along, always overtakes you in the end.
But, knowing you (In a limited way, though), I feel that it’s just a matter of time before your life takes a turn for the better. Perhaps, you should find a job! Sometimes, the stress of not working and idling away (You do read a lot and make a proper use of your time but that is different from the regulated functioning at a work place), with time weighing heavily on your hands, is equal or far greater than the stress at the work place. This is especially so for people used to active life. Do not get mad at me for making this suggestion! The thought that I made you angry and spoilt your day would bother me!

Blogger Foobario said...

Wow... the storms of winter, Shelley's winter thought, melting snowflakes, and then a line from 'Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening' by Robert FROST of all people... I got cold just reading your comment :)

Aye, I am looking for something to do with my time, probably not a job per se, but some volunteer work... I just need to find the right place, and be well enough to handle more than a few hours on my feet. After my last job, I'd rather be poor and doing something worthwhile than rich and making evil men richer. Money would be nice, but I learned (the hard way) that no salary pays enough for the loss of your soul... or your health... sometimes not even enough for your time. (The title of the post, by the way, is from the song "Who knows where the time goes" by Sandy Denny.)

The thing about my life, and about this webpage that is part of my life, is that I usually don't express just how good the good parts get (there are rare exceptions)... but I also never express just how bad the bad parts get (also with rare exceptions.. It's one of the reasons this isn't just a diary... often if I go a few days just posting interesting links instead of personal information, it's because I don't know how to describe my situation without it just being one big whinefest.

Blogger krishna said...

Hi! Thanks for the reference to Sandy Denny. I read a few lyrics of her including that of the song” Who knows where the time goes”. They were wonderful.
I read the exceptions that you mentioned earlier. I was touched when I read the one on Death and Dying. The post left me with feelings of overwhelming sadness and tenderness. Dear Mushika, I always wondered why your poems had many allusions to death and now, I understand why! (I believe (Could I be wrong?) that you are the Mushika who used to post poems on I do not think I could talk about Death in such mature manner. The idea of dying and disappearing into nowhere frightens me. I am scared of losing loved ones and the thought that few years down the line, my parents may not be alive makes me feel miserable. I am not Sthitha Pragna (One with calmness of mind and self-control) though I aspire to be one.
I too feel like quitting my job. I work in Government where the main goal is to make lives comfortable and not make anybody richer. But, sometimes, I feel that like Atlas, I am carrying the burden of monumental inefficiency and corruption that the government systems are notorious for. I am a good civil servant. My peers/my bosses and the people in general have always appreciated my work, commitment and passion to get things done.
I have received a fair share of recognition and love. At the same time, I had tremendous problems with politicians. My colleagues feel that I lack P.R skills and I should know how to manage the politicians better. I remember reading a post of yours where you said that if one has a problem with most people (In my case, politicians of all hues) then, one should introspect about what is wrong with one rather than blaming others. I did my share of introspection but I always came to the conclusion that there is no way I could have better relations with a group of corrupt, self-serving people. The result was that I moved from job to job and place to place. Somebody would find me inconvenient and would get me out. The feeling of frustration crept in only in the last couple of years. I was in a textile company enjoying my work. We were working with a bunch of creative people who with their skill and effort created fine pieces of silk/cotton. One fine day, the Government decided that my services should be utilized in a new company and I was transferred to a place 600 K.M s away and was asked to manage a newly formed Electricity distribution company. I am not an engineer but to be effective at my job, I needed to know the ropes of my new job. I learnt about Electricity distribution. Transformers, transmission and distribution losses etc became a part of my lexicon that till then constituted of warp, weft etc. Fifteen months down the line, my minister decided that he preferred some body else in my shoes. I was so miffed that I took two months leave and went home. Due to financial reasons (My father being ill and needing expensive medical treatment), I cannot dream of resigning from my job, at present. I also do not know what I would do as and when I resign. If I were idle, I would be grumpy and would get on everybody’s nerves. My dream and ambition is to retire to a peaceful and calm place where I could indulge in creative pursuits and use my time for a worthwhile task. (I am not quite sure what it is). A few of my friends concur: One is a successful businessman. He says that making money has ceased to interest him and he wants to retire to his ancestral home in his village in Rajasthan. The other is in army and he talks of going to his small piece of land on the border of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir and setting up a small school. I wish that I discovered my Shangri-la. As of now, it is elusive, hidden from my view. And here I am, sailing on some rough seas, not knowing what my destination is.
Is this a whine fest? You are welcome to invite me to yours.
Have a nice day!

Blogger Foobario said...

I am not the Mushika you speak of... my whole experiment in expressing myself online consists of this blog and random comments left on Slashdot.

I have hoped that the stuff I write here, whether anyone else reads it or not, will at least help me find answers that are sometimes tucked away in places that are hard to reach, so Mushika the mouse seemed like an auspicious name. When I first started writing, I'd sign my posts with a crude little picture of him:


But since I'm the only one who posts here (and since I got emails asking me what it was) I took that out of the template.

In my travels I've found that the only thing that frustrated me more than American ignorance (my own included) was Indian bureaucracy, so I understand (mentally anyway) what you say about your job.

>I am a good civil servant

That is a noble (and rare) thing to be. I think that many people in most governments forget that they are 'civil servants', and they become uncivil masters. (I need look no further than my own country's government to see how bad that can get, but it is a matter of degrees... the disease is rampant everywhere.)

>I remember reading a post of yours where you said that if one has a problem with most people... one should introspect about what is wrong with one rather than blaming others.

Aye, up to a point. But if upon introspection you discover that you have behaved honorably and the other party has not, by all means feel free to let the weight fall off of your shoulders. I just feel that (for me personally) if I don't examine my own actions and motivations first, then if it turns out that the fault was mine to begin with I'd have *two* problems... the original problem, and the transference of blame onto the other person. Dishonor breeds dishonor.

There's this grim joke about how in every group of people there is one (idiot|bastard|wanker|whatever), and if you look around and can't figure out who it is, it's probably you. My personal rules about up-front introspection are a way of checking to make sure that it isn't me, or if it is me to at least alert me to that fact so I can fix the problem. If I find that it *isn't* me, or that the problem is not the fault of one person, that's useful information too.

(For instance: the boss whose greed, lack of intelligence, and laziness contributed to my breakdown and resignation was clearly at fault on all counts, and had I the opportunity to do it all over again the only action of mine that I would change is that I would have quit sooner, before my health got so bad. But on the other hand I have an old friend who doesn't speak to me because of an unthinkingly stupid thing I said once. In the case of my boss, the introspection helped me let go of the problem; in the case of my friend, it helped me become more aware of how the things I say affect other people, which hopefully changes me enough that such things don't happen again.)

BTW I love talking to people who speak English, rather than my language which is American. That usage of 'one' as a non-specific pronoun is *so* British to my ears, and hardly ever used in American, so when I read it, I do so in a British accent :)

>My dream and ambition is to retire to a peaceful and calm place where I could indulge in creative pursuits and use my time for a worthwhile task. (I am not quite sure what it is).

I am right there with you, on both counts. Here's wishing us both luck in finding that peace.
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