Tag Archives: Life

Skin Deep

To feel the pain of a pin prick, or feel the pain of sorrow. To feel the pressure on your body in an over crowded bus, or feel pressured down by stress. To feel cold-rain drops trickle down your face, or feel cold, yet human with envy. To let yourself feel someone’s touch, or be touched by simple happiness.  To feel the warmth of the blazing sun, or the warmth of gratitude…

Did it ever cross your mind, that our emotions are so closely related to the exact sensory modalities felt on our skin. To feel skin deep with a phantom limb or accept the paralysed one.

©Aanjeli


The Familiar Stench

Today as I began stripping myself naked under the subnormal temperature in my bathroom, I was forced to halt as a staggeringly putrid smell exploded within my nostrils. The exaggerated amount of knowledge I posses regarding the olfactory pathway is tempting me to elaborate how exactly these rotten particles initiated its smell, but that would cause a far bigger deviation from what exactly I want to write about.

This smell, I recognized it immediately. It was not the usual reeks of clogged up drainage pipes that I have to deal with. This one was different. I stood there half-naked taking in the smell, trying to compare it to something. The only conclusion that I came up with, was a hot boiling soup of old socks, rotten eggs, vomit and some secret ingredient that gave it a distinct odour. Yes, it was disgusting. Revolting. Surprisingly not nauseating. Because nausea is a conditioned response to smells that the brain has registered as unpleasant. Why was I not associating this smell as unpleasant?

The smell, I knew was drifting from the bucket on the floor that contained a few small garments soaked in water and soap powder. Water and soap powder that was now five days old. I pride myself in being relatively clean and organized. I do my laundry by means of the washing machine for heavier voluminous clothes and hand wash the ones that could get damaged. The ones I hand wash are soaked in shampoo instead of soap powder if they are delicate. On days that I can’t be bothered using the shampoo, the soap powder steps in as the humble substitute. The bucket on the floor was reflecting the worst outcome of one of those days.

It’s funny how I’ve learned to organize something as routine as laundry into such meticulous detail. It could probably be due to the fact that I’m a laundry newb. I have listened intently on conversations about how others got by with their laundry, because initially I was battling some basic laundry problems like getting accustomed to a wardrobe full of red stained fabric that would be stretched long enough to fit the arms of a gorilla or shrunk to fit a garden gnome. So yes, I was extra cautious and eager to learn helpful tips when it came to laundry.

Getting back to the familiar stench that didn’t make me nauseous, I realised why immediately, as soon as my brain recollected its association with the past. Home. The washing room to be precise. The years that went by with the broken washing machine in the corner and three or four large buckets with five tasteful sarees of an english teacher, five occasionally ice cream stained school uniforms of a student, and numerous other pieces of clothing worn outside and inside the house, soaked-in-water-and-soap-powder-for-days-at-a-stretch. The teacher was my mother, I was the student. The doctor, my father was not there to contribute to the pile of clothing.

The buckets were an aching representation of the home of a single working parent, who had only herself to look out for. I was the oblivious daughter, cuddled in a bubble with all my necessities delivered on demand. Although my mother made sure I grew up to think like a realist, she also spoilt me rotten when it came to dealing with common daily activities. I didn’t sweep the floor, make her tea, and I hadn’t washed a single piece of cloth until I was 18 years old alone in medical school, forced to deal with such realism.

I remember dismissing the repulsive smell as if it didn’t exist. I now wonder why I didn’t question myself back then as to why, why that smell had manifested itself within the washing room. Instead I waited until the laundry somehow got itself done, and shockingly ended up smelling sweet and fresh like rose. My mother’s favourite fabric conditioner.

So today as I stood rooted in my bathroom, reality struck me harder than the waves of an angry sea. It kept sinking in and resurfacing while tear drops mixed with the stinking contents that I had created not because I was drowning in chores and responsibilities like she had, but because I was lazy. I felt as loathsome as the repellent bucket for I knew I could have appreciated her a lot more than I have ever given her credit for. Today I was overwhelmed by a sense of gratitude that I had never experienced before. The familiar stench had served its purpose.

©Aanjeli


Example 10101010

In the digital world, muttering 10101010 would have immediately led to conducting a precisely formatted command, and I’d be pleased to find out what it maybe, purely to satisfy my curiosity. But what intrigues me most, is how we have evolved to use everything around us as a tool kit to obtain the things that we want.

Want, is a verb we heedlessly use everyday and think about almost all the time. Every thought created by you, conscious and subconscious, ultimately points towards what you want. “Want” being the state of wishing for something that is absent or unavailable. Whether it is wanting one pair of converse shoes for your daily use or five different pairs for the same purpose or simply having the need for cereal and milk to alleviate the hunger pangs that distract you in the morning after a good night’s sleep, we function to meet these demands.

But why have we rationed out two different meanings, want and need, to the same action? Is it because need is a subset of want, or retrospectively speaking is want an exaggerated expression of need? The semantic relation between the two words are so intimate that we associate them as synonyms. Is there really is a fine line that differentiates them into two separate actions?

Will the binary code be the answer?

want = 01110111011000010110111001110100

need = 01101110011001010110010101100100

©Aanjeli


Manushya – The Human

“Manushya” in Sanskrit refers to Human. “Manas” – which means Mind, “Iisha” – meaning master. A master of the mind. All living beings have four basic survival needs: Hunger, Rest, Protection, and Reproduction. Both man and animal share this in common. Additionally the human race has evolved to express “civility” – Kindness. Compassion. Consideration. Respect. Politeness. He can also express the opposite. All of which corresponds to the “worldly” aspect of survival.

What distinguishes Manushya or human from the rest of the animal kingdom? His ability to cultivate the Mind. One who spends his entire life responding to his survival needs, is animal. Where do you stand?

©Aanjeli


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