About


[ Blog-Picture NOTE – The Header-Picture for this blog is a cropped version of a picture clicked by a popular and awesome photographer. I just found it breathtakingly beautiful in it’s capacity to capture the colors and hues of New York’s streets, with the stunning dusk-time sun coloring the skies a beautiful shade of golden yellow. However, credit must be given where it is due. You can check out the original resplendent shot at IMGUR here ]

Hello, this is Rajiv – Voracious Reader, Film Connoisseur, Cuisine Sampler, Discussion Seeker, Another Human. Cryptic, moody, complicated and philosophical. Welcome to my blog!

This is just a little space to articulate some random reflections, witty observations, satirical/farcical sketches, short stories, small poems, assorted musings, and concise critiques of movies, books, albums, etc. – with a dash of the social commentary, and philosophical soliloquy.

Why the name “Arbitrary Impermanence”?

There is arbitrariness. And then there is impermanence. Viewed from a severely reductive lens, these two concepts are almost all there is to the universe.

The arbitrary distribution of fortunes and misfortunes, of life and death. And the impermanence of humans, animal and plant life, indeed the planet itself. We are merely creatures who are inhabiting, for a blip of a second in the cosmic time-scale, a tiny portion of this blue-green marble floating around in a vast cosmic nothingness. And many things about our own lives, are beyond the realm of our own free-will (like our parents, our location of birth, our socio-economic background while growing up) and in some sense governed by some arbitrariness.

And Impermanence – of the body, perhaps most likely of the conscious mind, perhaps even of the soul – of other humans, of plants, of animals, of creatures of varying degrees of sentience, of leaves, of trees, of ants and elephants. Nothing lasts. All good things eventually must come to an end. Without destruction, there cannot be creation. And so on…

These concepts can also be taken in a more metaphorical way, to imply something deeper at the level of the internal self. The Arbitrariness of thoughts (facts, memories, impulses/urges, ideas) that arise in the brain, and the resultant difficulty to quell this cacophony – this discordant self-monologue – into a concordant, harmonious sense of restraint, elegance, discipline and balance. In short, the wrestling match of the conscious mind against the arbitrary & fickle impulses thrown up by the unconscious/sub-conscious mind. And Impermanence – of all desires, of all emotions, of all pleasure, of all pain, of happiness, of sadness, of joy, of grief, of reckless gaiety, of the depths of sorrow, of lust, of vanity, of every conceivable state of mind, of every possible emotion or attachment.  That even when a day is filled with contentment and a sense of peaceful bliss, it rarely stays that way for long. That even when a few weeks are filled with nightmarish stress, anxiety and pessimism, it again rarely stays that way for too long. The main difference is our perception of time in both cases. Time contracts during bliss, Time dilates during hardships. But this is purely our perception. And yes, it’s easier to snap out of contentment into discontentment, but it’s awfully hard to go the other way around. Any which way, both states are impermanent. So is every other state of mind, and every fleeting thought, desire or idea. The Buddha realized this fundamental truth and it formed as the bedrock of the Four Noble Truths.

So how’s this connected to this blog by semantics? Its not. Is it indicative of the heavy, dense, boring philosophical content to be expected in this blog? Nope. I might be writing some philosophical reflections from time to time, but I wouldn’t want to bore prospective readers, and bore myself too while I am at it.

So then, why did I choose this specific name? Because I, like millions others I am sure, have led a rather complicated life, with reasonable success from time to time, moderate disappointment/frustration a lot of the times, and unmitigated disasters a few times. And where a theist can turn to a deity or a God (in some shape/form) in a moment of crisis, an agnostic and a cynic like me has access to no such psychological placebo or a spiritual tranquilizer. And the basic core of the Buddhist Philosophy (that of the Four Noble Truths) strikes an agnostic like me particularly poetic and divine, and has given me some food for thought, and much-needed solace from time to time. And being always of a philosophical bent of mind, I decided to name the blog as such.

Oh and plus, I needed a unique URL-name which was still not taken by the zillions of other blogs out there. And after trying out a couple of dozen words over 15 minutes of beard-scratching, I just gave up and picked these two words!

Anyways, thanks for visiting, and hope you come back. Feel free to give your thoughts or leave feedback! 🙂

7 thoughts on “About

  1. Your banner picture is very beautiful! At first I thought it was just a default picture that you never bothered to change. Then, I thought that maybe you are trying to capture arbitrariness and impermanence through the constantly changing landscape of a city. Maybe I over-thought 😛

    I like how you have taken these random words and weaved meaning around them. Thus, proving how we have a tendency to find meaning everywhere. I also liked how you have unknowingly proved how arbitrary things are when you talk about the way in which you came up with the name for the blog.

    Nice blog!

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    1. Haha yea, I guess you over-thought that one. Or maybe conversely, I under-thought that one! 😛
      And indeed, the word “arbitrary” has also been assigned it’s contextual meaning rather arbitrarily. I am afraid we are both venturing off the deep end into meta meta meta physics here! 😉
      In fact I borrowed the idea of explaining the title/words from Sameen’s “amarllyis”, where her About Me section also contains some contextual explanation for why she chose that name to begin with. I have always been moved by the simplicity but profundity of the core precepts of Buddhism, and as mentioned, considering I am a bit of a philosophy-nut, I named the blog as such! 🙂 … Anyways thanks for stopping by.

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  2. Can I make a request? Can you serve your posts in bite sizes? Or edit a little better? Or declutter?
    I just get overwhelmed with how large everything is on this blog.
    I am sorry, it just demotivates me.

    I don’t want to impose myself on your style of being and presenting yourself. Just make it convenient for me, please.
    (Showering glitter and wishing you rainbows.)

    Like

    1. Haha yea that’s a legitimate request/observation. You are not the first one to suggest this to me, and I am sure you may not be the last. I myself agree I need to learn the art of conciseness/brevity and I am working on it. There are one/two posts occasionally which breaks the pattern and implements brevity quite well, but by and large my posts do tend to be on the verbose end. It’s both a function of my natural comfort zone w.r.t. articulating my thoughts, as well as retaining some unique quality to my posts. There’s already enough people writing briefs and engaging in-a-nutshell type of writing. But having said that I guess I need to achieve a good balance by editing down further to retain a combination of uniqueness, spontaneity of expression while also attracting and retaining readership. I need to refine my approach and writing to achieve a good balance for that.

      With regards to this About Me page, I felt it made sense to not edit it too much, since it’s a one-off post on me the person, and this blog’s title, it’s inspiration and it’s content/artistic summary.

      Thanks nonetheless for the feedback. And I am glad you stopped by, read and left your thoughts! Apologies for the clutter!

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      1. NO! I have nothing against this section. Or any of the posts.

        I just didn’t know where to plead you to pander to this particular idiosyncracy of mine.. I just thought that the ‘About me’ section is a general place to make such a general comment.

        I disapprove of none of your ideas. Yet. I just find it difficult to maneuver in such a large blog. I get distracted and overwhelmed. Bas.

        Don’t apologize. I thought the glitter conveyed my good will. 😛

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        1. Yep I noted it as a general comment/suggestion and it’s a valid request and moving forwards, I will try to modulate my spontaneity to write lengthy thesis-long posts to clutter free edited posts which achieve and retain readers like you. After all, while I am writing this blog for myself, I would be lying if I feigned ignorance of readership stats 😛 😉

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