May 12, 2003

Of death and debates …

I don’t think I understand people and what drives them at all. I try to put myself in their places and understand their actions but I guess I just am not your typical person because I can never understand why they do most things because I never would do it that way. I can only stand there and mutter "fascinating" like Mr. Spock or debate with myself as to who is abnormal – them or me. To me, I seem normal enough (within bounds of course) but that is because I am the only person whose mind that *I* know well – most of the rest of the people seem to do weird, irrational things that have no sound basis at all but maybe I just am not seeing it from their frame of reference … This inability to understand the motivations of other people drives me insane at times because I keep on wondering about how, what, why etc. like a dog chasing its tail and keep on going round and round and round in circles till I drive myself to a frenzy. Of course, this doesn’t happen all the time since I my usual rule is to live and let live. But of course, there are exceptions to each rule and sometimes I end up wondering about a particular action by some person and that’s when things start getting really crazy. Of course, after a while, I come to the realization that it doesn’t matter what somebody else does, that it should be my own actions and my perceptions that I should allow to influence my course in life and then things calm down again but unfortunately, in this particular scenario, I never seem to learn by experience and I repeat the same pattern again and again and again … Sometimes I wonder if all they say about experience is true :p

My grandfather has passed away … My parents left in the afternoon since they heard that his condition was serious. I was supposed to follow tomorrow. I got home and was just praying that his last moments be peaceful and that he pass away without too much pain when I received a call saying that he’d just passed away (and no, I’m not suggesting that my prayers had anything to do one way or another with his passing away but that’s how the events occurred). Calls have been coming in since then – here everybody wants to tell you when a death has occurred. So far I’ve received three calls since the original call – my parents and two of my cousins – Muslims are buried within 24 hours and so the funeral will probably be tomorrow and I intend to leave early tomorrow morning. It’s such a strange thing life – one moment we are here and the next we are not … but where do we go then? That is what I’d like to know …

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Posted by Fahim at 6:44 pm  |  3 Comments

More movies

I watched "The Recruit" yesterday starring Al Pacino and Colin Farrel. Al Pacino is great as always but Colin Farrel seemed to keep right up with him. The story was about a guy who is recruited by a CIA trainer (Pacino) and is put through a rigorous training where he is always told that "everything is a test" and that you shouldn’t trust anything. He meets a girl during training whom he seems to be attracted to and a series of incidents seem to bring them even closer together culminating in him washing out of the academy because he breaks down under torture when his torturers hint that the girl had been tortured too. The movie goes on with the story but what interested me was the whole trust and love issue.

As you probably know, I’m a sucker for a love story. This wasn’t exactly a love story but I was intrigued by how the relationship developed under the conditions of mistrust that they go through. Neither of them can trust the other because they’ve been conditioned not to (and later on in the story, they each bug the other one – each with valid motives of their own of course …) and the problem is that distrust seems to have a sort of a feedback cycle where a tiny doubt can feed upon itself and grow into bigger and bigger suspicions till you are totally sure that the other person is who you *think* they are or that they are doing what you *think* they are. This probably is (to me) one of the toughest tests for love – if you could survive that and come out feeling confident about the person you love, then you are probably sure in your love. Of course, you may say that it would be even better not to distrust at all since trust is the basis for a relationship but unfortunately, we are dealing with humanity here and I am not sure that anybody totally trusts anybody else.

Of course, that starts off an interesting train of thought. Is that true? I said that *I* think that nobody totally trusts anybody else and I realized that that was my opinion. Is that the case with everybody? In my case, I implicitly trust everybody I meet *but* with a reservation – I keep on the lookout to see if they lie to me and if they do, then I don’t trust them from then onwards. Does that negate my earlier statement? I don’t think so because if I trusted the people I meet totally, then I wouldn’t have to be on the lookout for lies – ergo, I don’t trust people completely. But then again, the problem has been that I’ve never met anybody till now that I could trust totally in certain situations. Everybody that I thought that I could trust turned out to be not so trustworthy in the long run. Yes, there is still hope though – I still have hope that there will be people in my life to whom I can totally open up to because that is as important to me as love but only time will tell if this can be so … Rome wasn’t built in a day and trust certainly takes more than a day :p