What ‘Being Human’ means this year

So this is what ‘being human’ means as 2015 comes to its slow, painful end. So this is what it means to breathe the 21st century brand of oxygen.

Waking up to war. It doesn’t matter where you live. It doesn’t matter what your beliefs are or what side you’re on. It’s something all of us have in common. We have always kept it alive. It lies dormant for some, while for others it never goes away. No one is truly safe. A heinous act of a handful of people promises to hold the rest of humanity responsible. So hey, please do not complain when someone harasses you at the supermarket because of your skin color. Or if you secretly wish to change your name because you share it with the recent terrorist shown on television. Their war is our war, whether we admit it or not. We are all in it for the long haul.

Being inhuman. We care, but never enough. We see children dying all around like crushed dried leaves.  We hear about a child witnessing the mass murder of forty of his relatives. We hear about ruthless killings in schools. Nothing but some stingy bytes on the social media and a few tears are attributed to them. We read about hostage situations, bomb blasts with riveting interest and then go back to writing banal grocery lists. Because hey nothing’s wrong with that, life goes on. Right? What does it matter if it happens every day to someone exactly like you,  but thankfully not you?! What does it matter if plastering bloody and gory images of war on social media feeds our self-righteousness, our need to feel better about ourselves? Oh we feel. But never enough, never the right way.

Being Hypocrites. Where some lives are more important than others, based on where you live and what you look like. Where not having access to a 500 dollar handbag is as much a cause for tears as not having money for food. Where money used on new monuments and buildings can sustain over a thousand refugee families for the year. Where celebrities  wear the most expensive brands and undergo surgical procedures, and then talk about ‘being yourself’ and finding your ‘inner beauty’. Where the more people talk about women’s rights and feminism, the more the world objectifies women as nothing but sexual beings.

Being Paranoid. We see to believe, and then we poke our eyes out when we don’t see what we want to see. We play tag with our schizophrenic selves. This new world of ours runs on conspiracies.  It’s not even our fault because anything and everything is possible. God is a convenient entity we dig up when needed. Otherwise our ego plays the omnipotent role splendidly. Religion is and always has been the easiest scapegoat. But every act carried out in its name is based on deceit. Ghosts don’t scare us anymore. It’s those rotting corpses hanging in our closets that drive us insane.

Being fearful. The world’s economy thrives on our fear. Fear for – life, home, family, job, success. Fear of – failure, death, loss, loneliness and everything else in between. So they invented insurance. Assurance that we gulp down like pills to make us sleep at night. Car insurance, home insurance, life insurance, accidental insurance. Too bad there’s no insurance for forgetting how to be humans. But then, why would that scare us?

Being Sick. Diseased, rotten minds, bodies and souls. Almost everyone is suffering from the plague of a complicated life. Measurements, standards and parameters define our existence. And not love, laughter or sorrow. Finding contentment is harder than finding life on another planet. We wait for life to happen the way we want it to. And then one fine day, we wake up to realize all the waiting and stress wasn’t worth the trouble. We have stopped breathing. And it’s going to take a lot more than an electric shock to wake us up.

So this is what it means to celebrate a new year, every year.

Being Hopeful. Nothing else dresses up our wounds. Delusional, magical, unreal spasms of hope that come and go on their own accord. Every year, misery and death join forces to draw out every last drop of life from us. But hope always comes to the rescue. So we pray for a new and happy year. We wish for a new and changed beginning.

Holding on to hope can’t be easy in these horrific times. But if given the choice between gut-wrenching hopelessness and a faint pulse that promises better days, we always choose the latter.

We hope, because nothing else makes sense.

We hope, because nothing else makes us feel human anymore.




Wednesday Wiseness: What would YOU do?

What would the dolphins do?

If the eagles invaded their waters

And flew in with fire-powered wings

Would the dolphin tails transform into swords,

Pierce the winged invaders and rejoice over a sip of blood?

Or would they submit to deadly waters frightful of the slightest ripple?

Or swim to safer shores leaving a red ocean behind?

What would the rabbits do?

If the scorpions marched from their parched abodes

Into the rabbits’ humble holes

Clawing at their hearts, clambering to conquer

Would the rabbits use poison infested insects to disarm the enemy?

Or would they lick away the agony, making way for more?

Or hop to greener pastures?

What would the chimpanzees do?

If the crocodiles shredded the trees with their spiked tails

Would the chimpanzees maul the reptiles with thorn-clad fists?

Or would they die a million deaths before leaving their home?

Or tread to other forests where the leaves don’t bleed and the trees don’t cry?

What would you do?

If they flew in from the skies, swam through the seas, crawled through the grounds

And took your land, attacked your homes, slit your throats, and pierced your souls?

Would you skin them alive or burn them at the vengeful altar?

Or would you play tag with the oppressors and play hide ‘n seek with death?

Or numb your pain with feelings of escape, dreams of newer lands?

What would you do?

What would you do?

What would you do?


* dedicated to people all over the world who are fighting for their land*



It’s that ‘bloody’ time again….

So it’s that time again. When religious factions spew hate speeches – long and venomous. It’s that time again when pale dead bodies, disheveled mothers and blood-soaked faces flood our Facebook and Twitter pages. It’s that time again when accusations are raised and fingers are pointed.  It’s that time again when questions like ‘Who started what?’,  ‘Who killed who?’ spur to mind. It’s that time again when people take sides – the proverbial East vs. West tussle takes center stage. It’s that time again when conspiracy theories hatch from their foreboding shells. It’s that time again when a horrible nightmare comes back to haunt.

War. It’s time for war. But that’s the thing. War never really goes away. It only steps back because of superficial peace treaties, or super powers manipulating both sides to surrender. Either way, war is like cancer. It keeps coming back. Palestine and Israel. An all too familiar conflict that now tiptoes on the thin rope of indifference and hopelessness.

Whether we take sides or not. Whether we stand up against all that is wrong or we stand on the outskirts with casual apathy. Whether we hit ‘like’ on heart wrenching posters on Facebook asking us to pray for victims of war or we ‘hide’ all notifications. Whether we know the intricate details of the form of weapons deployed or have more pressing matters to worry about. Whether we turn to religion to justify everything, or we hold super powers and lobbies responsible.  It does not change that civilians are dying on both sides. Sure one is always the proverbial oppressor and the other, the helplessly persecuted. Yet the misery, the fear and battle to survive is a common thread that binds both sides. Innocent. People. Die. Period. The death toll is higher on one side and lower on the other. But does that make a child’s pain less important, if he belongs to a side you are not supporting? Will you get extra points for crying over a mother’s loss if the political inclinations suit your objective? Or will you lose respect if you show sympathy for the opposing side? It’s a game of numbers where death remains grounded, with its head held high. This does not need any deep psychological incision into the mind. It doesn’t get any simpler. Or bloodier. It’s war.

As I scour the internet, I see a deluge of articles and posts all chewing over the same problem like an old man trying to eat without teeth. International news websites, famous analysts, politicians, leaders, religious bodies, human rights organizations – all trying to give their two cents in the situation. They are all pretty good at it too. Considering a track record of decades and decades. An over repetition of facts that does not help the situation. It only spreads venom further and deeper into our hearts. And isn’t hate the flicker of fire that turns entire countries to ashes? Feelings of rage for another being. It starts that small. Then it simmers and it boils and finally, it reaches a point where the entire country is spitting fire. Over territory. Over money. Over power. Juggle which ever side of the die, this is all you get. Religion is usually the easiest scapegoat in all of this. It’s never about the religion. The intent is always much shallower. More callous. The undying desire for power. Man’s infatuation with pride. The most deadliest of the sins.

Indifference is not the solution. But nor is an emotional outbreak. We all know what’s right or wrong. We aren’t two-year olds who have to be taught the difference. But someone needs to go beyond that. Someone has to see things through from a reasonable point of view. Someone has to end this misery. I don’t have the solution. And I also have my opinions. People I blame. People who in my opinion, need to pay for humanity’s blood. I also feel angry and emotional when I see or read about brutal deaths. I will sympathize with the fallen and pray for them. I will not condone death of civilians, which ever side it may be. But I will not spread venom.  People have done it for years. And I know that propagating hate is not the answer. I don’t expect victimized families of war to feel anything but vengeance. And its their right. They have gone through hell more times than humanly perceivable. But the rest of the world can at least see past this fog. Until the respective parties decide to come to a common ground that is free from hate everything is doomed. They don’t have to like each other, but they can at least tolerate one another. Tolerance and patience are one of the highest of virtues for a reason. Coming to a permanent peaceful setting is in the interest of both countries involved. Though the oppressors are always under an illusion that war benefits. Inside,  it only wreaks havoc like infinite cancerous cells lying dormant, waiting to strike when it’s time.

Like Plato said, ““Only the dead have seen the end of war.”  Unfortunately, it seems that the countries waging such wars think so too.