Photo shoot jottings

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She stared into the camera, her every feature flawless accentuated by the golden drops of the evening sun, her smile oozing deadly appeal, petite charm, clueless seduction and camera-centric flirtation, and even a mild form of naivety that she was unaware of … There were many people out there in the park. It was a Sunday after all, there were all kinds of shenanigans prowling about, men with dry and brisk mustaches leered at her as though they had never seen a feminine wonder so perfect and immaculate, there was a certain greed and malice in their eyes, their desires exposed their inner nature . They stared as though she were not a person, as though she were something that was meant to be partaken visually by everyone, as though she did not belong to a body, but rather to an appearance… probably on a billboard creating heartfelt flutters in all the men who stared at her and envy in the women who saw her image, an idol of the modern world, beauty, beauty… imprisoning the careless eye, binding the free heart to turbulent emotional uncertainty and the mind to fantasies and rosy dreamy dalliances without the slightest hint of reality….she meanwhile seemed oblivious and unconcerned with the whole circus of thirsty , indecent men staring at her. She was far away, far far away in a world of glamour and feminine hopes honed by hours of staring into the mirror and finding dreams staring back, and the camera clicked away appreciatively.

The park was wide, the people all seemed ordinary and all too obvious about their lack of inner connection. There did not seem to be a great unrest, or some sort of subtle degree of malice brought out by scowls, by hatred filled stares or indifferent skepticism, but there seemed to be a great sense of loneliness that could only be perceived when the heart wished to not cheat itself, a great sense of separation from the collective thread that all seemed ordinary, limited and predictable. There were some middle aged gentlemen parading as ballers, treating the ball like it was meant to be thrown like a cannon ball into the hoop that was flimsy and touched by human insensitivity, there were kids everywhere like blue and pink ribbons, prancing about, unconcerned about the life outside, about the psychological state of the town, not bothered by the superficial and oppressive social temperature… one felt many things on observing them…. They appeared disobedient, rude, curious in an offensive way- as though no one had taught them about personal boundaries, uncared for and neglected, rebellious, probably treated like they were irrelevant in their homes, probably a product of the maddening, burning townhouse blues, their mother probably was at the mercy of the social norm that made boys grow up to be men real fast, and as each day passed her stern voice of order was disregarded and thrown aside, and she grew smaller and smaller in stature, and the devices of coping and escapism – Bigger.

I felt terribly lonely, and the apathy that I felt penetrate my heart was the cause of my loneliness, I opened my eyes and suddenly wondered if I was God, on whom would I pour out my wrath upon…? The families were harmless, the Muslim women seemed relieved to be out of their dinghy homes probably humid with the summer’s oppressive heat rays, their young ones were excited in their contact with the outer world that they were carefully exposed to, their Fathers appeared aristocratic, self assured, peaceful… But then there were the young men, terribly restless, each wearing different masks, some evil and dominating, some lost yet irritable and envious of other men, there was no natural affection… there was the mood of contempt and a wavering conscience deep in their , the Bible was right when it predicted that in the later days, men would become mockers, scoffers, lovers of self and money, possessing no natural affections… I saw every sign of that in this small place completely not on the world’s radar.

Was God here…? I would pour out my wrath on the young men who harbored malignant grudges that spilled out as something else, I would pour it out on the men eager and earnest to beat up someone for the sake of expressing their own power and stature, I would pour it out on the arrogant young man who thinks too highly of himself and too lowly of the rest, but like fractured mirrors showing incomplete and broken images, I remembered myself going through some of those stages and phases that sometimes we end up getting stuck in… these men were men without god, men to whom the gospel had not reached, men treading dangerous paths bound to the overpowering impulses of the flesh, to the corrupt passions of their souls, their desires, men lost to their own vices, to their angers, to their terrible natures, without hope, without recovery, the Bible warns us that after accepting Christ, the world would become more and more illegible, like the handwriting was unreadable, scribbled and containing some unimportant message, that we strain and strive to become conscious of. The world and its culture is not something that needs to be understood, perhaps tolerated and learnt to live with but never to give into. With Christ, I walk alone, alone into the path open before me, the lonely and silent path leading away from the crowd and more and more with each thorn into the roads that lead to Calvary.

Modern Love – Fiction

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They had known each other for years, and it had all become stale and dull. It was the guy who had felt something first, a feeling which he treasured as something a romantic would when he first felt the surge of the tender nectar of emotion towards an object of desire. And that feeling convinced him that he had found the one, but there was something about his nature that was very unrealized and dull which played with the way in which the whole thing played out. For years they convinced the world that they were in love with each other, He made sure that her birthdays were special, she made sure that she endorsed the fact that he was her boyfriend. And for years they convinced each other that they were serious about each other, and then he would not talk to her at all for months on end, because of some foul mood or the other, but aren’t we all creatures prone to moods…? But the way in which this was presented was like a case of total neglect, and then she would found out how limited he was as a person, how one person despite the immensity of feeling could not sustain something as serious as a relationship. The people around them watched them grow, she was a popular social butterfly… her strength derived from glorious and fantastic acts performed to the delight of crowds, with her moody tendencies she drew and she cooked, she painted and she stored up every single bit of stories that had happend in her life, he on the other hand was gruff and reserved eager to bite someone’s head off and be perceived as someone intimidating. There was an air of someone of class, of importance, and then there were the fights. The animal part of them which came out when they were hurt by the other, and they fought like savage beasts, intent on harming the other, but then when it fizzled away as soon as it came much like their moods, they would placate themselves with some random sitcom and laugh like petty hypocrites pretending that everything was just grand, that it was some experience that could be talked about casually much to the serious attention of their peers when it finally did come out. Like nothing had happened, like nothing had happened.

And then it began, this process of falling out, it was so subtle yet so ordinary like that time when a man can’t feel anything in the midst of some extreme circumstance, where he searches his conscience for a hint of truth, of fairness and finds only emptiness and a lack of response…. except in their case it was different… The cage was open but they both did not want to leave… some exalted verse or declaration of love blocked the other from leaving… I guess it was fear, you love something for so long.. you end up becoming used to it and do not want to miss out on the security that it provided, they had decided in their minds that they were the other’s back up, if they ever fell out, they would explore their options and if they both had nothing to fall back on they would wander back, they would always end up together… I mean that is what all romance is about right..? Covertly what each had hidden for years slowly came out, she felt bored by his tantrums and his ridiculous behavior that often felt odd and unnecessary… which she was quick to present as something that she was completely okay with when asked about, he felt threatened by her emotional complexity, her moody vastness that often confused and belittled the impression oriented person that he was. Often times she felt like she was courting death since she felt so dissatisfied with him but blamed it on events in her life, her past had been difficult and she threw accusations on what had been buried for years hoping that that would be the cause of her soul’s unrest. And they arose and often filled her mind with pain and self hatred… and then she would be totally vulnerable and go to him and he would be more interested in the fly circling around the sofa and miss the heartfelt implications… After all they were going to end up together weren’t they… Till death do us part…!!, it was better for him to learn now itself about how to not take to heart all that she felt.. He wanted her to acknowledge his dominance… For she would often bury deep deep feelings and not totally express what she truly felt but instead act out the emotions that it stirred… She began to feel more attached to her friends and decided to explore her more suppressed side, for years she had let her dominant side slip for the sake of keeping the chap happy, she did not want to threaten his insecurities by focusing on things that came naturally to her, like being well liked, loud, fun and pseudo dramatic… she decided that it was time for her to move into another part of what she called ‘transformation’, she did not want to believe that she could fall out of love with him.. Wasn’t that silly..? Nobody fell out of love, she thought to herself as she splashed mascara on her eyes… Love was something that you got beaten for.. it was about who was perfect in matters that made sense to her… Love was what she defined… , she had this tendency to become deeply skeptical and uptight about things that were normal, denial was her middle name. She controlled her feelings and everything that came her way was something that she acted very remote and distant with.

Elsewhere she felt her world changing, She found herself falling for this one person deeply, they were colleagues and they had met by accident, but it had strangely clicked and they had a rather unique bond that often became her refuge from the storms of her own life.. strangely with him she found her carefully guarded fairy tales coming to life, she felt herself being more natural and comfortable with him, she did not have to pretend like she had it all together.. she could just be herself … He fit the person that she really should be with.. against the kind of guy that she always ended up being with…she thought about talking to him all the time.. He listened so well.. he rarely judged and was always eager to understand and accept the other person, there was something about that guy that deeply attracted her to him… He seemed so patient and warm, not like the other guys who were more interested in asserting their dominance like some silly babboon smashing his arms against his chest… and there was something about the way in which he gave himself to others that made him more and more attractive, she could not stop thinking about him. But then the other half of her life like the glowing half moon came about, and she was reminded of her responsibilities, when she was with her boyfriend..she acted out her role and convinced herself that this was right, they planned their wedding, they talked like they had a lot in common and sent each other emotional messages that seemed more and more like reminders that they should be with each other, they went out with the other’s parents, they talked about whom to invite for their wedding, about the kind of school that they would send their children to, about some shallow relative who always talked smack about them behind their backs.., about what both of them meant to each other. And then it would fade as quick as time, and she would start feeling more intense things for the new guy. And she would start repeating to herself that she was in love with the guy who was in her life at the moment, and she would somehow try to rationalize it and bury all of her most intense feelings and assume that her mind was slipping. She felt herself tested, for years she had allowed herself to feel happy about the love that her boyfriend had showered her with. He had tested her limits, he had taken her for granted, he had simply been a character in her life, and been too dominant and pushy and had often times physically abused her just based on his anger, and she had taken all of that just to prove that she was worthy of his love, was she really in love …? Or was it some aspect of love that one could share but not live with..? Did she have the right to want more… ? Or was this only because the other guy was a better human being…? Did she have to abandon what she felt in her heart and go along and give her all to the one that she already had in her life or did she have to follow her heart…?

She made up her mind and decided to not give in to the raw and intense feelings that she felt for the new guy, she was already covered, she talked to herself like she had it all thought out… She had someone already.. Someone who would go to any extreme to be with her… and that was love. But despite the high she realized that she had not really felt much for him apart from affection and tenderness in recognition of his flawed yet deep love for her. She decided that she was going to change all that, she was going to rewrite her own destiny, but her experienced heart felt anguish like every mortal that has to say goodbye to something that they dearly wanted but had to pay for it insteadwith self sacrifice.. Why did life have to be so hard…? Couldn’t there be another way…? She mourned with her hurt and pain, a hurt that she dare not share with any soul because of the shame that it made her feel. For years her friends had known her as someone who had a perfect life, as someone who rarely made any mistakes, and was always there for someone if they needed her. She had solid principles in place, and she never wavered, but right now she felt like she was at a crossroads. Choices, choices, choices, aren’t they all that we face in life, she thought to herself. Reality began to haunt her, she felt exposed because of the extent to which she had felt for the new guy, for years she had gone to extremes to convince her friends that she kept her word, often these were exercises to prove herself to them. And now in a mere second her carefully constructed world seemed to heave into a complex mess and disarray, the truth appeared to be out, she could no longer pretend like she had it all together. Nor could she pretend like there was nothing but unconditional love for her future husband. What was she going to do..? How was she going to get herself out of this mess this time and keep pretending the things that she did..??

Let your light shine

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Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
– Matthew 5:16

Its not about whose lights shines the brightest in the worldly sense, or who is the most talented and able, because if that were so God would have created only a few people, and that would mean that God is not fair in the way He creates people, but beauty and talent in God’s eyes are gifts that we should use to glorify Him and not ourselves… The world makes us feel that beauty, talent and skills are comparitive, in other words there is a certain rigid hierarchy in place which cannot be budged and only those who have ‘it’ are qualified to get the world’s praise and admiration, the rest of us are just ordinary people who have to fashion a life steeped in the mundane and the dull. A life of that nature will make you question the very meaning of life itself. I know many many people who have gone all their lives believing that they are not as good as they think they are merely because no one has ever acknowledged them publicly and personally, believe me your ability in something is not a one day thing, it takes a lifetime to truly become great and good at something, to become a specialist in a field… and often work fulfills a need.

I have this friend, and he’s this young guy that I met at the court and I look at him like a little brother, and I enjoy his youthful spirit, there is so much enthusiasm and hunger that I observe in Him that I can see parts of me in him, when I was growing up I was so devoured by the thought of proving myself to others who seldom chose to acknowledge me that I had no time to spend on anything else… I day dreamt and fantasized about revenge in the right form, I worked very hard to prove that I belonged, to prove that I too was worth something… work that was almost always never acknowledged, I realized then that people’s hearts and minds are not in our control… but over time it became more of a personal challenge than proving to them per se and I was able to live that way, but right now I can find a reflection of that same hunger in him which alarms me… since I know how long it took to resolve that part of my nature in my own life, and I also know personally the deep anger that I carried around in my heart during that time. He shares my passion for this game that I love with my whole heart and which I am dangerously passionate about and which often times makes me forget my responsibilities as a Christian and as a disciple of Christ.

Coming back to my friend, since He has not had much success in it he tends to be too hard on himself, in his mind others are always better, and this further breaks his heart. To make matters worse, there are not much people who have encouraged him in his life, the people who are at home from what I can discern often take out their anger on him, and dump all sorts of toxic and poisonous things that have over time made him lose faith in his parents and has also become his internal voice. When I was in college the basketball court was my refuge away from the shallow world that I lived around, on the court I could be a hundred percent true to who I was in my heart, I did not have to force or pretend to be someone that I was not… The game was my only friend for many years. Looking back I don’t know if I did all the right things, I just did enough to survive. I lived two completely opposite lives and this totally irritated me since I place too much value on being honest and sincere.

He has grown so accustomed to negativity that its a huge struggle to find hope and to even focus on things that he loves, because he keeps hearing their voices all the time.. deeply disturbing and discouraging him. Since he is young very often he is not accepted immediately into the main games owing to his size and age. What my friend often forgets out there on the court is that everyone is just like him in certain ways, that they too are playing for titles, for status, for importance and wins, they have something to prove as well. He is too young to be aware of things like personality, about how the people there can often be dismissive since they wish to dominate or be known a certain way even if the whole experience lasts only for a couple of hours. Our lives in our hearts are so radically different, the outer part of us conforms to the ideals of personality, of social well-being, whereas deep in our hearts our deepest pains are often caused by simple things such as a lack of acceptance, a failure to extend grace or being too egoistic. And there are so many people like this in plain sight that we often meet or come across, we have become so desensitized that is feels worthless to even make an effort, because we feel that our efforts would be fruitless.

God on the other hand sees things differently, God has this ability of taking complete failures, losers and people whom nobody cared for into wonderful people whose light shines from within… Beauty fades with age, talent for all its splendor runs away as quick as time, opportunities come and seem to vanish in the twinkling of an eye, status often times turns fickle and finds somebody else to become interested in, Friends come and go, and often times your deepest hurts can come from people that you trusted and cared for with a very sincere love… success is not a given all the time, and if you are successful you have to constantly deal with jealousy, envy and chase some unrealistic end… In all certainty you will lose whatever you once held very deeply to. That’s life, I am not trying to sound negative, this is something that normally happens to everyone.

God gave us all talents, and it is written in the Bible that we are all responsible for what we were given.. Let your own light shine, don’t feel down that there are a million other people who seem more talented and better than you, doing that is not going to help you in anyway… That’s the devil telling you that you are no good and that your life is of no worth… The entire world echoes that sentiment… on the contrary there cannot be a bigger lie than that, you were created for another world… This life is just a passage…God thought that you were so precious and valuable that He gave His own son to die on the cross for your sins and mine… So that we could all become one big family, yes when you accept God into your life, you end up becoming a part of His family. Can you even imagine that…? His Family…!! The God who sculpted the intricate details of all the known world, the master artist, the voice who can calm the massive waves of the deep oceans, the being who can love you like you have never been loved… A being who can love you so outrageously that the love of a parent or a girlfriend or boyfriend pales in comparison.

There is so much to life that you have never opened your eyes to.. and its predictable.. We are so often caught up in our own world, our own feelings that we fail to realize that all the glamorous things are mere illusions, that chasing them is very unhealthy… don’t they all fade away with the oppression of everyday ordinariness…? The dullness of reality, the great sting to all dreamers and fantasizers worldwide…, there is so much more to life that can never be found by you, and that’s why it is highly important to know someone who does, and that person is God… I have read many psychological books and almost all of them try to provide the ultimate answers to life’s most devastating absolutes, the questions that no relative truths can ever fully answer… I have read that attachment is an emotional hijacker, I have read that excess often saturates, I have read that peace comes from within.. while all of these answers make rational sense and it is important to be wise and discerning , they are not God’s answers, God wants you to be attached to Him, God wants you all to Himself, God is totally the opposite of what the world warns about. God wants you to lean on Him and at the same time He wants to make you grow, He will reward your faith with supernatural blessings( His peace), with spiritual wealth( knowledge, fruits and gifts of the spirit, rootedness), a depth to your personality and a new identity.

The world would want to make you into a good human being, who loved and lived within boundaries to all the people who agreed with your belief systems. But God on the contrary wants you to be like Him, He wants you to be like Christ for all who come into your path, He wants you to see how desperate souls are for the Master’s touch, How poor we are that we turn away the only cure that can heal and save…?

Life is about so much more than being good at something, Life is about finding your own path and growing in it, about finding God and having this wonderful and beautiful relationship with Him, about learning how to pray and developing the discipline necessary for it, about having an everyday walk with the Master, about making Him your friend and asking Him to teach you how to live and asking Him to teach you how to love your parents, your peers and your enemies, about extending kindness even when we don’t feel compelled to, about having integrity even when there’s no one watching, having values, about extending acceptance and friendship to those that the world seldom acknowledges, about bestowing compassion on all fellow beings, about respecting people who are very different from you, Sharing God’s love and message to as many souls as you can find and being who God created you to be… God did not make copies of you did He…? That’s right, you are special and extremely valuable in God’s sight, it will only take God opening your eyes for you to know that in your heart… God had something in mind when He made you, and you have to walk closely with Him in order for you find out. The Bible tells you that you don’t have to figure it all out, God knows what you are capable of being, don’t rely on some interesting psychological technique that promises to take you past all the hurdles of your present life, Rely on God and He will take you much further than any other system or belief.

A meditation on memory

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Perhaps we carry memories around tucked away like invisible postcards, filled with lines and the most impressible details loosely written over a page, haphazardly arranged depending upon the person and his type or intricate and structured, brimming with the nature of a more attentive type, and these memories like never ending circles wish to never end or stop, like waves dipping inward into the ocean …. the waves symbolically depicting the mind’s matter, the funnels that rotate and wander around in concentric circles within the oceans, those magnificent water bodies that extend over stretches beyond what the eye or the mind can perceive, whirlpools or tornadoes entering the mind’s structure, drilling and mixing the conscious grounds into a stage unconscious… For memory dwells in the unconscious, that shadowy realm that speaks to us through mystical dreamy symbols and subliminal imagery, transporting the dull contents of our reality so polluted with the resources of consciousness into legends and myths played out when the mind sleeps …The ordinary man with his need for what is denied to him in reality, day dreams of heroic acts, about paradoxes, about life’s great inequalities, and tries to be what he feels is his destiny. And when it is denied, sets out to be what his life around him dictates for him to turn into. 

Memories, they remind us of who we are, my memories remind me that way before the piercing stares that the crowds threw at me I was a little boy who felt free, my memories they speak to me and guide me and let me know that despite the immensity of feeling that there is very little to be felt in such a corrupt and predictable world that the sights of the stars opened windows into my very soul, my memories and dreams helped me realize that I was not alone in the universe, that all around me people were not machines and confusing mirrors, but beings just as complex as me. The memories that we replay like dramatic acts or theatrical performances, build something very real within our hearts and minds, a staircase that leads us away from the din and the demonic confusion all around our being, Like something with perpetual motion fueled by the very essence of human energy, Memories comfort us when the heart feels sorrow for the things that it has lost, for the things that it failed to do, for the sum of all its great mistakes that like stains refuse to be washed away, persisting within the fabric of the mind, our memories resuscitate and renew our being when its spirit is crushed and the soul feels weary. 

Perhaps I myself am a memory, a memory more potent, not something reduced to the thoughts and feelings of other beings, but playing a far more important role in time, in history, in lives, in God’s design, in His purposes… perhaps I am far more powerful than I realize but I look instead at the world around me and construct a being out of the fractured sense that I observe around me. 

Mental

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Every story that I have ever read, I have always felt like it was me who was a living character going through whatever I had read, I can’t live without new stories, without new ways of looking at this same dull and flat reality that I get so fed up of, but lately I find that I have been inhabiting two different worlds. And I find myself often somewhere in between, The world of feelings that so engulf me and often present simple yet difficult to make decisions, and the world of the spirit that seems more and more further away from the world that is so immediate and pervasive. I am a person, a soul with a deep reservoir of feelings, some that I can never comprehend or learn of ,and often I find new places within my soul that I wish to explore, but lately my heart has begun to give away to its former memories like a tree with aging bark. The nights seem to take on newer meanings like rolling waves, hypnotic in their tantalizing music, I wander the corridors of my person..impersonally and critical, treating my life like a book that is to be read and meditated upon. I find hints of selfishness in certain areas, selflessness in others, fear in some and fearlessness in others, we are such complex yet so simple beings. Charting my direction in life with an introspection of my tendencies seems as far fetched as plotting out one’s fate with a knowledge of the stars. I wonder if they are both connected, if they both lend to each other a certain faint connection, my sleeplessness seems to increase each day, the summer’s unbearable heat, my Father’s relentless cycle of testing the authenticity of my faith, my Mother’s meaningful yet critical questioning of my values, I seem un-tethered from my Shepherd,  old ghosts have awakened and play their miserable dramas in the form of certain hard to bear memories. Men seem to gravitate more and more towards me with the broken pieces of their soul, with fractured hearts, with unhealed scars, I drive longer on my return from my refuge in the city- the basketball court. I wander alone in the empty streets, free of their frantic and perpetual journeys. I wonder if I will ever make it…? I wonder if I will become someone worth loving..? I wonder if I can ever fully trust someone..? I wonder if I will make it to heaven…? Will I ever learn to play the saxophone..? Will I ever learn to act…? Will I have a career that I crafted or am I going to end up behind a desk, taken advantage of…? Why did God have to create Hell…? I sometimes wish that there was no heaven or Hell.., I wish everybody felt good about themselves, was I ever going to be victorious in my personal Christian life…?  Questions , questions, questions… Troubles stream through the cool air of the night and enter the lonely arenas of my mind like over reaching strangers, they spell catastrophe and test the depths of my being, clawing at my vulnerability, invading my privacy,  I wander like a scholar of life alone in the street driving past lanes glittering with pale yellow light, eager to learn the pathos of everyday life.  

Be strong

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Love is the only thing that will keep you safe,
Don’t let evil corrupt your soul, 
Don’t let rudeness break your courage,
Sing the songs that kept you warm,
Laugh like life’s a joke, a joke in some places,
Live as though you’ll live forever,
You’re not a mistake, nor do your mistakes take away your hope,
Even though it seems hard to get through the long unforgiving hours,
Sometimes when you feel like you’ve lost your only chance, your only love, your only hope,
Take courage.. There is always hope for all who believe, life offers second chances aplenty,
And the third, the fifth, the thousandth and the beyond,
Take all the blows life offers and give back love in return,
The crushed flower gives away its fragrance even as it is stamped and destroyed,
The road is long, and often it may feel like you’re alone,
You’re not.. A man waits, hanging on the cross offers eternal love and hope if you are only willing
Take chances, move on and live strong.  

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The school appeared quite familiar in a lost world sense, one felt strangely nervous and beset by strange questions that arose like unfulfilled spectres haunting pathetic lone houses.. I sat on a stone platform beside chattering and deeply unquenchable souls commenting dismally in terrible yet normal tones about the people who were all coming in, they despite their life felt like dead men constantly grumbling about lack of chances, the evening prolonged its brief whispers all around as the light slowly disappeared into the darkening ruby skies.. Different sounds softly wandered in like the arrival of a rumbling autorickshaw, or the brisk step on muddy ground by a preoccupied man , in the glowing pink skies there were precious twinkling dots offering hope like cherubims to humanity.

I felt many things as I waited, the school felt like it represented some symbol whose meaning one needed to confront, since one had walked past many lands since his own experience with such a place. Despite its imposing structures, despite the dry playground squeezed in inbetween paternal architecture, the symbol felt like it did not mean much… I felt like someone who was caught between being a man, with all the nuances of control and confidence and between a dreamy boy enjoying the companionship of his deep still soul eager and hungering. The night was like a place of land over whose surface a gigantic structure had been erected, it was terrible for someone whose soul was as sensitive as mine to be subjected to the leaking viciousness of white from gleaming tubes, the roads had a maddening spray of glowing yellow and white… The cloak of night struggled with these guardians of modern civilization, reminding me more of purposeless vastness, and perplexing existence.

My friends arrived after an hour, I greeted them witha mix of nervousness and gruffness.. Between a mix of warmth and indifference, public meetings especially marriages were excruciating for me to go through, traditions and appearances exhausted me.. The whole shallow circus felt more like a rollercoaster to me… I lacked social intelligence in its desired format… I was somewhere between a silence obsessed introvert and a people loving extrovert…between a philosopher and a socializer, my world revolved around ideas, themes, revelations, searches within clumps of my former memories, excavations of my assumptions and researches of a spiritual and serious nature… I remember a former crew that I belonged to, where my individuality had to be sacrificed for a group and collective mediocrity… I remember how it made me feel like a sell out… As someone who was fake and hypocritical… I longed more for genuine connections and dialogues and questions than meaningless shows of celebrations for things I felt had no value , but my walk with the Lord seemed to be opening up my normally rebellious nature to things that I normally shied away from. It was an intense struggle for me personally,

Hhhhnnn