“I am what I am because of who we all are”

The title seems to be the most popular definition/explanation of “Ubuntu“, an African philosophy. This concept is prevalent throughout the continent, denoted by myriad terminology across the region, but with the same guiding principle. The quote is beautiful, and reverberating. The more I think about it, the more plausible it seems, the more real, till I can’t find any other explanation of why we are the way we are, both individually and as a group.

Other than my immediate family, my friends are the “we” in my immediate world. They define me, as I do them and our life courses change, intermingle, cross and alienate inexorably, repeatedly because of little things we say to one another and seemingly small actions we carry out. These actions may be silent, unnoticed, crazy or deafeningly loud, but are always guided by love, along with other usual elements like allegiance, resentment, jealousy, happiness and sorrow, but most importantly by magic. Maybe it’s love that is the magic element in friendship, maybe friendship is some sort of magic itself that exists to keep us sane, from falling through the cracks of our own personal hells, but whichever it maybe, may even just be a fancy notion in my head, the relationships forged via friendship represent magic to me. This is magic that I can touch, see, feel and hurt from. It is as flawed and perfect as they come. Something compels, something gives, some things are taken away from you and make you feel whole and incomplete at the same time.  Ubuntu. I am now resolved to take portrait shots of my friends and create a memory wall. I just wish they would pay attention to Tyra and learn how to smize! 😛 If any of you know how to, please get in touch. 😉

This is the track playing on loop in my head, and I can’t rid myself of it so, you must suffer along side (it’s a nice song, really, if only it let’s me alone long enough to hear those other voices in my head again!) One Day by Asaf Avidan.

On a less sentimental note, this is the book I want to add to my collection. Mainly because it espouses most of my life’s principles 😀

Advice to Little Girls by Mark Twain

This is another book I am awaiting delivery of and hoping this time around Robert Langdon pauses for water at least whilst running around some code/secret laden city in an alarmingly short span of time.

Inferno by Dan Brown

Recently I read a few books, some of them quite depressing. Or maybe I was in a morose frame of mind as I read them. On a whim I picked up Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s short story anthology: Arranged Marriage. Oh, boy, do I regret that. The stories were poignant and beautifully written but…so…sad! 😥 Every last one of them was full of unfulfilled desires, sorrow and most often than naught motif-ed with death. Her Palace of Illusions which I read a few months back was brilliant, although I did take a while to get used to the tone of the narrative. But what was astonishingly brilliant about the book, and which my mother concludes after having read it as well, is that the intrinsic aspects of human nature never really change, and all visible change is only superficial. Every action in the erstwhile saga is relevant and disappointingly human. The same mistakes are being made, the same decisions taken. We don’t really learn, do we? It is horribly subduing to realise these things before one is 30. I object!

Another book I read which I loved, even more so because of the author’s disclaimer stating that he is NO writer (he isn’t, but he is decent story teller and that is important) was How I Braved Anu Aunty and Co-founded a Million Dollar Company by Varun Agarwal. The book was funny, candid and straight from the heart. The author expresses his views on entrepreneurship in India through his own experience as he struggled to set up his company and encourages the youth to believe in their ideas and dreams and push themselves to make them happen. There are no disillusions about the amount of hard work (insane amounts of leg work) and opposition/discouragement/incredulity from family and more importantly, nosy aunties, involved in the process, but it is all written in a bright, humorous, concise account without being preachy which is usually the leitmotif in books like these. I loved that aspect of the book the best, along with Anu Aunty of course, and the references to the Bangalore closest  to my memory of the city. Okay, let’s be honest I was sold at the reference to Hint :D!

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