Friday, May 13, 2016

The Discovery

Everything is known and understood, comprehended and visualized. This is the 21st century and all activities and emotions are provided in dosages and compartments that are suitable to a lifestyle.

So where is the discovery?

There is none as the word ‘to discover’ would define. The discovery is what has just been written. That it has been discovered. So where is the challenge? Outer space, inner space, in between space. All these spaces are charted out and it’s a matter of time when we get there. Which means that the discovery agenda has been programmed to be delivered as per schedule, in keeping with predictable advances in technology and culture.

So where is the discovery?

Would it mean in terms of better lifestyle, or monetary benefits or political wisdom. But then, all such programs have been known to move with a given speed and direction and can be predictably expected to appear and disappear, within a said timeframe. Maybe it means to lookout for distant lands and habitats. There aren’t any left that we don’t know about. Maybe it means to create a habitat. This has been done and deserts have been converted into European gardens. Surely, discovery is discovering what isn’t discovered yet. Correct. That’s what I am trying to understand. What hasn’t been discovered? Where is it? What is that domain that isn’t known? Is discovery knowledge? That which is known? Then that’s discovered too. So what came before discovery and what comes after it? Can we rediscover? Yes we can, but it won’t be the same thing as time moves on and therefore the genus of a discovery can also be charted.

So where is the discovery?

A mother gives birth to a child in known circumstances and raises the child in another. Both these circumstances are within her scope to accept or reject. Scope is knowledge and therefore is known, so is there nothing new that the mother will tell the child? A killer knows that he may be tried for criminality for his activity and may accept or reject the outcome, by being repentant or not. In both cases it’s a willful act and devoid of discovery. Are people in search of discovery and therefore speeding along a super highway of desires that lead someplace that they do not know? When Ferdinand Magellan, decided to circumnavigate the globe in a ship, he truly didn’t know what lay beyond his vision. Such voyages were leaps of faith, for some reason or the other. What would be the equivalent of this voyage? To the moon and back, maybe. But then its result are well known. So is a trip to Jupiter. Yes, a trip to Planet Zargo112, (tell me where that is?) that’s a billion light years away cannot be completely predetermined, besides saying that if the nearer planets are such and such, and the galaxy is such and such, therefore the entire flimflamflom must be that and that and when we need that and that, we will evolve to getting to Zargo112.

So where is the discovery?

When we go the supermarket, or to the local grocery shop, or purchase off the sidewalk, we engage an existing structural activity that was not too different from the hunter-gatherer period and therefore must presume that many more years forward, it may evolve to smoother systems, yet the same structure of in and out. So, there must have been a checkout system earlier and will remain so later. Unless, we stop eating to live, let’s say and just exist like amoebas, without an agenda. Amoebas eat Amoebas, by the way.

So where is the discovery?

A clock runs forward, I mean its hands; so what would have happened if it had run backwards? Would time change? Would knowledge change? The clock presents a system that’s discovered and we live within that system. Its presence itself means that we have discovered all, since time alone cannot be stopped or frozen, but can be made to reveal, which it does very well. I seem to be getting close to something. I have just discovered time cannot be stopped or frozen, it just goes on. So, if time could be stopped, or reversed, would that be a discovery? A mammoth discovery. Surely yes. Imagine the benefits. All mistakes erased from recorded presence. History would cease to be a word. Would that be a discovery? Maybe not, since if it was reversed or changed, it would still operate with the same predictables that it marches forward with now.

So where is the discovery?

Indian scriptures speak of a modern societal existence much before the advent of modern civilization. Maybe it’s true, maybe not. But surely, the facts have stayed constant enough and been with us before we discovered them. Example, an Indian discovered the Zero, thousands of years ago; but we had to wait for time to find a need to use the Zero and then rediscover what was discovered and recorded already through verse and culture.

So where is the discovery?

No one knows who God is. No one knows who the Creator is. We have theories that propound the Creation of the Universe. Anyway, now we know who God is as well. It’s so simple; that just may have been the last bastion of discovery and we have done that as well. So who is God? All that is not here! If this was God, we wouldn’t be searching for him. That’s great, we know him and can assign him a number.

So where is the discovery?

The Creation of time, is something else. Philosophy and scientists talk of the time before time.   A-priori. So there has to be an A-priori, before A-priori? Or, there has to be a time before time and before that as well. As Messala, on his deathbed, tells Ben Hur: ‘the race goes on.’ So it does. But for what? Discovery? That’s already been discovered, so what’s the race for? Just a minute, is the race towards something, or is it away from something?  Is it away from the knowledge that the past provides. That known actions will produce known results. So are we in denial? Is that a discovery? If we weren’t in denial, there may not be wars, strife, imbalances, etc. Denial blocks an opinion. An opinion that could save a situation. Maybe that’s the discovery to watch out for. But then everyone knows what denial is about and still practice it.

So where is the discovery?

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Simone always bought fruit from the fruit vendor a block away from her apartment. While there was a fruit mart just outside her swanky condo, she still preferred to go to Mr. Swell, even though it was a good fifteen minute walk. What amused her was that she enjoyed thinking something on the way to Mr. Swell and something else, maybe something totally different on the way back. Her meeting with Mr. Swell always helped to evolve her opinion. That was the effect of Mr. Swell. There was never a dull moment with him. He was a short and stocky man and wore his trousers really high, with a good leather belt that went around his stomach and peeped from the other side. He always wore a hat and she knew he wasn’t bald. He always said that to wear a hat is good for the skin. She had been buying fruit for just a few months now, from Mr. Swell, but in this extremely short period, she had opened herself to a complete stranger, who was older than her father and much more talkative. She felt that he could see through her completely and therefore that eliminated the need to be diplomatic and formal. Even when she wasn’t feeling well, she walked the fruit way so that she could chat with him, even for a few minutes. 

His mobile shop was a typical small framed New York push-cart, with a three legged wooden stool nearby, where he sat while she took fruit. Being a small business, he had not too many customers. This made her be regular in her purchases as she often felt that, maybe he didn’t earn anything at all for the day. Mr Swell knew that she would visit him at least two times a week. He asked her all kind of questions and without any thought to it. Once he asked her, why did she think it was a Wednesday? This got her and she went into time structuring and its effect on society, etc. After a long winded answer, she asked him what he thought was the answer. He simply replied, 'cause I know for sure it’s not a Thursday!'

She always picked two apples and three bananas that Mr. Swell packed in a brown paper bag. She reused these bags for her work lunch. They were good bags. They didn’t tear easily and the brown color was of course a throw from her childhood.  This was her regular diet and on a good day maybe she took a sweet melon. He would give her a 10% discount, saying that he gave it to all those who were good talkers. She never met any other purchaser at the cart, although, lots of people walked past all the time. Few saw him, maybe and from those few, most didn’t have the time anymore to jabber. This always saddened Mr. Swell, as he remembered that in his time, all people did was to meet people and talk their hearts out. Maybe television replaced that. Mr. Swell always said that she was a good talker and comfortable in her own skin.

As she approached the electronics store, from where she could turn right at the corner, she stopped to look at the store window and look at her reflection. She was young and pretty, though not the usual way. Maybe traditionally pretty; whatever that meant. She never knew that there was a term called traditional beauty. It was coined by Mr. Swell. He had called her that and after that day, she called herself a traditional beauty. Well, at least she had a tag now, even though it was given by a fruit-seller! Her father would have called her a traditional beauty too, since that is what he called her mother; ‘a homespun girl, with a fanciful curl.’ But then, they had both died in an air crash and that was that. All she had left was her reflection in a store window and then Benny walked into her life. Benny worked in the electronic store and as she waited for him to see her window shopping she thought if he could be the marrying kind. Benny was Mexican and a great cook. Not too tall and just above her lips, he was tailor made for her personality. His parents lived in Mexico and like all immigrants, Benny stayed here and there. He was handsome and witty. His store liked him and he was on the rise. But then, was she ready to marry? 

She often wondered what Mr. Swell thought of marriage and all the domestic subjects that they really never discussed. It was amazing, they never discussed anything but what was happening. Like maybe the rain, that just fell on the sidewalk as she walked, or that there was a lot of traffic. It just struck her that he never talked of what had past and what was to come. It somehow never existed. Mr. Swell never grumbled and never sighed in the anticipation of a better lifestyle. Her reflection shivered with this thought that she didn’t know anything more about Mr. Swell, although her fruit-halts were for at least fifteen talkative minutes. That in New York is big time. She walked away, when she realized that Benny wasn’t available and continued her fruit-walk. There were a few people in front of her and through the crowd she tried to spot the fruit-cart at the end of the sidewalk. It wasn’t there. This was not possible. It was never not there. It was always there. She may fall sick and get an extra banana from Mr. Swell when she recovered, but he was always there. She knew that. A tremble overtook her and she quickened her pace. As she approached the space where the cart stood and looked around, she saw a brown paper bag gummed to the electric pole, fluttering in the wind. She tore it away opened it searching for a message, some inclination of where was Mr. Swell. At the back of the bag, on the other side, was written in a crawly child’s handwriting. ‘A Wednesday is because it’s meant to be. Bye’

Having traveled all over the world, in many years of journey and finally getting a resting place in India is simply wonderful. While there are many more modern countries to go to, I felt that I needed the speed that this country provides, as soon as you immigrate. Mostly the speed is manually controlled and therefore still more exciting and challenging. There was no need to queue up as the Internet had already done away with everything that’s socially controlled, right from banking to home deliveries. 

So where was the hurry anyway?

My destination was a quaint village of some 15,000 people in the South of Goa, just a 12 hour road trip away from Mumbai, India's economic capital. But in those twelve hours, as the terrain changes, so do the people and their lifestyle and values. Benaulim, was as similar to any Latin American country as you could imagine. One small road ran right through it. On a good day you could have a nice walk from one end of the village to the other and still have time to stop for some Feni. Its boundaries led to the beach, providing two access points. The village lay parallel to the main highway that connected the north and south of India. Shaded by coconut trees and forest, it was a traveler’s delight. Most house were single storied structures, made of the native Laterite stone and all had a small garden patch, which housed a few coconut trees, three pigs and one dog.

I rented space in a shack on the beach that belonged to a restaurant. When the owner found out that I was a blogger, he requested me to write about his shack whenever I could and stated a rent that was hard to resist. So my residence was on the beach, in a shack, just fifteen feet from the first wave. My bedroom, which consisted of a simple bedroll and two pillows, was near Table # 9 and was converted into a bedroom when the last customer left. This could be not before 1 am. So I devised an agenda, where I had enough things to do, so that I would return to my bedroom rather than a shack. Since the shack opened at breakfast, I had to be out of bed at 7 am. This meant that officially I had a bed for just a few hours. The meagre belongings I possessed were kept in the kitchen pantry. My feet faced the ocean and my head pointed at the village that lay behind me. I had planned to spend six months here to recharge my soul in a carefree way and then head back to destiny. My clothes were washed by the waiters in turns, who also stayed at the shack and they were happy with the money I paid for the wash.

I have been a writer by profession now turning into a full-time blogger and I needed a hideout to write from. Just recovering from some business bad deals and their attendant issues, I needed a place to rest my weary bones and the accompanying tissue. This looked quite adequate. My daily breakfast consisted of a sandwich with fresh juice of the day. I ate lunch and dinner on the street, as I walked all over the village, day after day. I met the barber and the shopkeepers, the money exchange people and the policemen. Everyone expected me to greet them and when I did, they replied most graciously. I had lunch at the Church too. When the Pastor heard my story, he invited me to his table. He told me the history of the village, which surprisingly, was very Hindu-ish. About how an Indian God shot an arrow in the Ocean and this village was where the arrow fell. Of course, he fast forwarded to the Portuguese and then to modern India. I knew all that anyway, but it was nice to hear it in his sing song routine, interspersed with blessings.

I once had tea at the Post Office that was near the Panchayat building. The Panchayat system is the administrative body of the village and has its roots in ancient India. The Post Master was on his way home and I was trying to shove an envelope in the box, when he offered to help. Hearing about me, he offered some tea at the local tea shop and we chatted some more about the village mail, which gave me a lovely picture of the way things happened here. People liked to go the Post Office and many neighbors met each other there. It was a small talk cafe, where everyone knew everyone. The people came here for three reasons. One was to conduct their mail business. The second was to send some money out of the village, like a bank transfer. The third was to get their small savings booklet updated after depositing some money. Not too far was a building called Maria Hall. It was their banquet place and the most visible and old landmark that brought you to Benaulim from the highway. I never saw any banquet there. It was mostly used for meetings and I think, it must have lost its glory and use, with the coming in of better locations and scenarios. 

I would wake up at 7 am and loiter around the shack till 9 am and stay on the beach till noon. During the day, I researched the village, quarter by quarter. Ahead of it to the South lay Varca and Colva to the North. Most tourists that do get to go to Goa, flock to the popular beaches in the Northern parts. Calangute, Baga and Aguada are its most well-known beach properties and there it’s a festival zone that doesn’t die with the season. Few get to come to the Southern part of Goa, that I believe has been handcrafted by the laziest stroke of the Master's brush. A gentle paint of sub tropics in a clear blue sea, along silver powdery sand. The only noise that you hear in Benaulim, is what you make. There is none. I had planned to spend my six months’ worth of human time to cover up the spiritual space of a few lifetimes. But I forgot to get back to destiny.

I still live here. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Bike On A Hike

List Price: $8.00 

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About the author:
Aditya is a footloose cracker that retired before his time. Spending all his life defying social norm, he set about to defy the peace within his marriage.

He is still alive! 

Bike On A Hike

Authored by Aditya Raj Kapoor
We are in our 50's. Married, healthy and monosyllabic. We kept wondering what the conversation would sound like when we are in our 70's. The kids have their own thing going on and we have asked them to NOT connect with us, rather, get on with their own lives. Additionally, we have retired before life retires us. Which means that we can enjoy this phase physically. We no longer live in a cubicle.

So what do we do? She is a housewife and a painter. I am an ex-business man turned part time actor and budding charcoal artist. It's not that we have nothing to do. It's just that we have no time to realize that we have all the time. We are so busy.

So what do we do?

We plan an action decibel that is cacophonic in principle. We raise the bar.

We decided to shake ourselves up, physically, mentally and spiritually, to challenge the very breath of our existence. I bought a Royal Enfield 500CC motorcycle and named her BabyBlue.

We took a motorcycle ride. 2UP on a solo bike, the both of us went from Mumbai to Lahaul Spiti and back. A 5022km round trip over 25 days. Riding through history, culture, geography, religion and spirituality, we saw a good slice of India and ourselves.

This book is an account of this wake-up call. Simply told-as it happens, with pretty pictures to validate the effort, this book is a call to people of all ages and streams of consciousness: Get up and get going!


Read it.

Publication Date:
Jul 14 2015
1515154785 / 9781515154785
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Travel / General

Wednesday, October 31, 2007