Sunday, 23 March 2014

Of Ostriches and Wildebeests...

"Look... look, a wildebeest!!" 

A very excited me pointed to this black speck in the distance! 

"No, that's a Maasai Ostrich." 

A calm Yakub corrected me, our guide on the Maasai  Mara game drive.

I disagreed with him and said that it definitely looked like a wildebeest. I had seen so many just a while ago, driving up to Maasai Mara! In fact, wildebeests and zebras were the first set of wild animals I had spotted along the bumpy highway, enroute to Masaai Mara.

He again stated that that indistinguishable black speck was a Maasai Ostrich, a male. 

By now, we were driving up closer to this controversial creature and I could not wait to see what this black speck would morph into. At about 10 feet away, the creature morphed into this big, feathery ostrich. Yakub was right.

Driving through the vast savannahs such episodes happened many times. Till, after 2 days of driving around these massive grasslands and sighting beautiful and magnificent beasts and birds, I caught up with (not exactly!!) Yakub's eight years of game drive experience and expertise and my predictions on sightings became more on the mark (not entirely!!!!) :).

Anyway, what I realised was an old lesson, yet again, what we believe is what we see. At the time I mistook the ostrich to be a wildebeest, I had only just seen these brownish black animals, with humped backs and had no idea of what an ostrich in the wild looked like. So on seeing the black spot, my mind just made the assumption. 

Our brains love patterns. Anytime we are faced with vague or incomplete information, it quickly sorts it into familiar patterns to help us make sense of the world. We see this in action when looking at optical illusions, spilled coffee beans on the floor, clouds floating in a deep blue sky. The faces, the definite shapes that we see are all the brain looking for familiar patterns to help us make sense of the world around us. Clearly an evolutionary requirement. 

Yesterday, I read this in, "Your Everyday Superpower" by Janette Dalgliesh: "In other words, what we experience might be the brain's best guess about the world around us."

Best GUESS???? BEST guess, you say???? I'm forming my "reality" and then living in it basis a GUESS, albeit the BEST??!!! Yikes!!

So evidently, we're looking at people, situations, circumstances based on what might be our brain's best guess, at that point in time. Wow. 

Makes me wonder what am I NOT guessing, what am I assuming and how could that additional information change my view of "reality", and my thoughts and then feelings and hence actions and decisions... How many more poor, unsuspecting ostriches am I labeling as wildebeests?!? 

Interesting, eh? Not so much for the ostrich, I'd say. ;)

(Here's some photographic evidence of that sighting.)

Thursday, 20 March 2014

My all time favourite poem - 1



Saturday, 15 March 2014

What matters?

Seriousness is made out to be more than it is and facetiousness not enough. 

Friday, 14 March 2014


Qualia is an unfamiliar term for something that’s actually very familiar to all of us
Qualia is the way things seem to us
The experience of happiness
The redness of an apple
The taste of wine
The touch of a loved one
Qualia is a word for how we experience everything around us..
When I got there after hours of wondering
I just ran my hands through my hair and said to myself, It’s beautiful up here!
When you see something like what I saw
It’s like watching a giant ensemble do its thing
Only they don’t know they’re being watched
It wasn’t contrived like a performer going on stage at a certain time
It wasn’t like the creation of a masterpiece from a blueprint
It wasn’t like anything anyone can do with their eyes open
It was just there… and it was beautiful
And I finally sat there by myself holding my head in my hands
I’ve been trying to believe for so long
It was all the proof that I needed,
there is serious meaning in nothing,
and unlimited joy in everything…
Asking upside-down questions
getting inside out answers
writing trails with them on and on
and leaving my own instead.
So I made like a sponge, and absorbed away
taking photographs with my eyes
writing stories in my mind
and not forgetting to be there at the same time
because you know that memories are like picture post cards
and experience is actually being there
So when you look back tomorrow
and wish it was today,
you can wish wish wish away,
stare into space wonder how i felt back then
and smile because you remember…! :)
~ Dualist Inquiry

Thursday, 13 March 2014

The colour of love...

Till we learn to love ourselves, love remains an unknown colour. We could be surrounded by it and still not see it or recognise it.

(I wrote this sometime back..)

From, “Dance to the Piper and Promenade Home”

“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action,
and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. 
And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. 
The world will not have it. 
It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable it is, nor how it compares with other expressions. 
It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. 
You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. 
You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate YOU. 
Keep the channel open.”
As quoted in “Dance to the Piper and Promenade Home” (1982) by Agnes de Mille