Wednesday, 15 January 2014

The Pedestal

In her eyes, he was the complete embodiment of perfection. He could never make mistakes. She saw him in this glowing light from the very first time they had met. The thought of him was enough to make her smile and being around him always filled her heart with a nice, warm, fuzzy feeling. These days, however, things weren’t quite the same. She felt lonely and hurt. She just could not understand his actions. She knew something was wrong with her because everything was right with him. Why was she so flawed? What could she do to be as perfect as him? Her inadequacies and faults frustrated her.

He could see the hurt in her eyes. He wished he could ease her pain. But he felt completely helpless. He remembered the first time they had met – she used to always have a merry twinkle in her eyes and her chirpy voice always lightened everyone’s moods. He wished he could restore her old self but he did not have the skills. Repairing people and bringing out the best in them was her gift.  Even if he desired, there was nothing he could do to fix things. He wondered what had gone wrong. Why was she not able to be the paramount version of herself?

She had put him on a high pedestal. Thus, she had given up her power and started believing that she was just not good enough. Whenever she thought of him, only his good qualities dominated the foreground of her perception. He just did not seem to possess any negative qualities. Trouble had started brewing for her the moment external circumstances tried showing her that this state of grace was just a temporary phase. She was not ready to let go off her beliefs.

He was also not in a good place. As long as she continued to believe in her own projection, she could never see him as a person who also had flaws and issues. Initially, he had enjoyed seeing himself as perfect through her eyes but he kept wishing that she had not believed in that illusion. By entertaining the illusion that he was perfect, she had deprived him of the space to be human. He always had to think a million times before acting. Yet there were quite a few times that he had slipped. Each time he made an error in judgment or acted in contradiction to her idea of perfection, he could see her closing up and distancing herself from him. She did not want to become disillusioned. The very thought made her so angry!

She knew he was not to blame for the fact that she idealized him. She wished she could just accept that no one is perfect – we are all a combination of human and divine qualities and each day, we struggle to maintain a balance. The more she filled her head with this idea, the easier it became for her to love him with this new-found awareness. She saw that by embracing this idea, she was actually allowing herself for a greater intimacy than when she had held him aloft an airy throne. The moment she could see through her idealized projection was the moment she began to see him as he truly was.

He looked at her and was amazed to see the transformation. After a long time, he felt truly connected to her. They walked on equal grounds together holding hands. Finally they had realized that in life, there are no pedestals. They owned their own divinity as well as their humanity. They had finally discovered the key to balance and wholeness within themselves and their relationship. They were finally at peace.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Too Much Candy! Too Much Crush!

Every night, as I lie in bed, I think of the day I have spent. It’s not something that I do consciously – the memories just come flashing back like a train hurtling through the darkness. Last night as I reflected on the activities of the day, there was a sudden intrusion of an unrelated thought: “It has been more than half an hour since I’ve been lying in bed without falling asleep. I must be having at least 3 lives now in Candy Crush! Let me play for some time and then try going back to sleep!”
I am a very lazy person. At the end of the day, especially, I am so lethargic that nothing can really drag me out of bed once I am on it. Yet I got up last night, took the effort of switching on my laptop and I played the game. To my joy, I had 4 and not 3 lives and I played Candy Crush for at least an hour before all my lives were exhausted. Then, I finally retired to bed and as I closed my eyes to fall asleep, I could still see the colourful shapes like a virtual Candy Crush in my head.

Dreaming about Candy Crush wasn’t a new occurrence for me. These dreams are recurring when I am stuck on a very difficult level for days! While I have played games like Bejeweled, Farmville, Mafia Wars, Angry Birds and Tetris in the past, never was I so hooked to these games the way I am in the case of Candy Crush. I mean this is the first time I am dreaming about a game in my sleep!

I know what you must be thinking, “Gosh! She is so addicted!” Perhaps, I am. Last night wasn’t my first clue. There have been times when I have told my friends that I’ll call them later because I was busy playing Candy Crush. Thankfully I do not switch on my laptop in the morning; otherwise, I am sure I would be late for work! I have always had a large circle of friends. However, I make it a point to clean my Facebook profile at least once in two months and delete those people from my list who I haven’t been in touch with for quite a long time – these days there are many people on my list for the sole reason that they, like me, play Candy Crush and deleting them would exhaust my supply of extra lives or moves! Candy Crush has even seeped into my daily conversations. Some days ago, a colleague of mine offered me a Kit Kat and harmlessly asked, “You like chocolate, right?” I replied, “Of course I love chocolate! Except when I am playing Candy Crush! That time, I keep wishing that chocolate never existed!” I looked at her puzzled face and asked her, “You don’t play Candy Crush?” She meekly shook her head to indicate a ‘no’ and was startled at my look of disbelief. I immediately downloaded Candy Crush on her Android phone and taught her to play. I take pride in declaring that on that particular date, I seduced another poor soul into getting addicted to the game! She actually had a Facebook status the next afternoon requesting all those people on her list who play Candy Crush to send her lives! I had a hearty laugh as I read her status!

Sometimes I thank my stars that I still have a Windows Phone; hence I cannot play that game on my mobile phone. I know people who keep their laptop, phone, iPad all next to them so that they can get fresh lives. My friend says that his mother plays Candy Crush on her phone and when she has exhausted her lives, she actually borrows his phone or his father’s phone to have another go at that game! That is the charm of Candy Crush – people of all ages and both, men and women, are addicted to that game. It does not matter if you are 16 or 60; everyone has become a Candy Crusher! I have managed to strike casual conversations with women on local trains while helping them cross a level on Candy Crush! Even now, when I am not playing the game, I am writing about it!

So, what makes Candy Crush so addictive? Is it the fact that you only have 5 consecutive attempts to advance and failing to do so blocks you from playing for at least 30 minutes? The game is fun and simple but I think the reason why it has become an addiction is its ability to make you long for it. Other games which offer you unlimited lives or simpler levels do not really catch your interest beyond a point of time. Each level of Candy Crush has something new to offer and each level gives you access to a new world of fun. Also, it incorporates the principles of classical conditioning and operant conditioning at amazingly ingenious levels!

I have been a Candy Crusher for almost a year now. I actually remember mentioning that Candy Crush was the most awesome discovery I made in 2013! How addicted, if at all, are you to Candy Crush?