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November 3rd, 2005

I was at Marine Drive yesterday. But this is not a post on Marine Drive .


There are times when I cannot write because writing has always meant a flow to me. I have to put in no effort to write because this is what comes most naturally to me to when I have to express myself. For that matter, I could have been a photographer researcher instead of a verbose researcher …


Last evening, sitting amidst avid bloggers (if I may call them so), I felt that writing is something which I do to please myself – it is a pleasure for me to write. I cannot have site meters on my blog because if I am writing for an audience, am I pleasing them? I cannot care …


These days, I find I have no stories and no people to talk to in the city, but then that is also because I am not making efforts to be out there and talk to people. I wonder what is becoming of this research? I am being paid a salary for being a researcher and I am not even sure how much I deserve to be paid to do this. For that matter, I have been paid manifold in the last one year – I now have some wonderful friends through blogging; the words which have flowed may have touched someone’s life and would have facilitated him/her to see things differently; and I don’t know what other unintended consequences may have come from here.


Each blog is special because we each bring to our blogs something which someone else could not have. Speaking to someone, I mentioned how I think what we do makes the activity/action special because there is something we bring to the activity/action which makes it special. Therefore, what I do these days, I put myself completely into it and that is what makes it wonderful!


Coming back to research, I find research has taken on new turns for me. The recent Urban Buffet walks have revealed that there are ways and forms of understanding locality and involving with it. Research is now becoming laced with different forms of engagement and actions. I have no answers to questions and I shall not pretend to have any. I don’t know. I am not obliged to provide answers. All I have are questions and more questions. And at each point, it is these questions which get me to investigate further.


People felt enriched through the Urban Buffet Walks and I felt enriched through their experiences of enrichment. This is exactly what this blog is about – experiences! And that is what I think makes it special. There is no academia here. Just stories, observations and experiences.


Last evening, I was listening to notions of good and evil. For me, these are personal definitions. Universal standards are not for me. These days, I find myself capable of loving people universally. I am more accepting of people now than I was ever before. And maybe this is happening to me because I have been able to shed layers of myself and look outside of myself, reach out beyond myself. From being involved with myself, I have come to the stage of becoming involved with the world out there. I feel young and vibrant these days because I suddenly realize there is so much beauty out there in the world, that despite bad things happening, I am not disheartened or discouraged. In fact, each day brings hope to me – that I am alive and kicking and that beauty and happiness are actually reflections of one another. If I have to think, there can be so much evil, so much ugliness and contradictions in the world that it can disable me. But with disability, how can I move on? I am becoming more focused on engagement with locality. Small things actually make a difference in a big way – emergence is all around.


So I can safely say that this one year of blogging has been a year of growth. It has been a year where I have been able to shed layers of myself and become a lighter individual (and of course Candida helped me to shed pounds of myself and actually become lighter!). Sometimes I feel afraid and I wonder whether there is anything beyond this. And that is when I have to remind myself that growth is never complete and that thinking of the future removes me from the present.


There are many dreams and aspirations which I have now – more walks across the city, understanding relationships between people, between people and locality, between citizenship and authority, between the legal and the illegal and I can promise that there is no stopping now. The other day, I was telling someone that I don’t care if I am no longer going to be paid to do research because for me, this is now lifelong engagement and I will be provided and supported by Life because in the last one year, I have experienced the magic of abundance – it is when you give and you give completely that you get back much more than what you will even imagine. That there is still love in this world, that the laws of nature operate if you let them and you submit … (I can’t say submit to what or whom because I still don’t know about god and company …)


Finally, something which I realized last night amidst coffee and conversations. We each face violence in our life. Sometimes it is the unintended violence which our parents and our loved ones do to us. We each have bad experiences … bitter experiences if I may say so. But through each experience that we have in life, we have two choices – we either let the experience disable us and we become victims or, through that experience, we transform ourselves and go beyond, to become a new individual … Perhaps that is what enhances our ability to love and to be loved …


With lots of love,

The Citybytes!


Dedicated to all my friends – Altaf, Rahul, Samanvay, Amit, Tripta, Patrice, Chandrahas, Yazad, Sheece, Gitika, Manish, and all of you out there!

 And especially to my wonderful parents, my mentors Shuddhabratha and Ravi and to my best friend Irfan who touched my life in a very special way and who taught me to love in all its messiness and clumsiness, in also its turbulence, violence, beauty and eternity …



  1. November 4th, 2005 at 15:05 | #1

    sheece fell into that list by fluke :))
    i always knew that u were passionate about ur research and finally now u also throw away the garb of money associated thru it. u might now achieve nirvana thru ur work.

  2. November 6th, 2005 at 03:17 | #2

    thanks zainab, and happy eid.

    well i think sometimes more than moments choosing us , we choose for it 2 dissable us, but sooner or later , people end up confronting it……

    take care zainab


  3. November 7th, 2005 at 00:14 | #3

    Good piece of writing….true that words come naturally to you….. i haven’t seen anybody on the xanga who writes so much (number of words) consistently…

    This time you have written like a psychologist and a self-being and not only like a researcher..like you have written till now… is your research close to end?