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Lead role in a cage

Niall sent me a link which his friend wrote. It was an incident which happened in London, which he experienced first hand.(click on the underlined to read about it)

I have always felt that we, as a society, are very self absorbed. We, as individuals, even more so. Sometimes, so much, that to us, a headache that we have from a hangover, seems more important, than a death of an acquaintance, which has taken place a few doors away.

Very often, I have heard people saying “Who cares? I really don’t want to hear others problems. I have enough of my own.” The thoughts about our problems, go round and round inside our heads—round and round. We are so self absorbed, that we fail to hear what others are saying. We listen to others, without really hearing. We continue to see what our negative, self absorbed false beliefs, compel us to—and not what is really happening. We continue to hear what others are saying and interpret it, based on our pasts .We continue to fail to hear what people are actually saying to you, right now.

Very often we are so self absorbed and we brood so much over the lost opportunities that we fail to see there are solutions. If only we open our eyes!

My painting here, shows the protagonist lamenting over something lost. He (or she) fails to see the three doors and the ladder to escape. There is beauty outside. Yes, there are also snakes in the grass.(They represent people who are untrustworthy, the toxic beings) But there are also butterflies (the happy positive people, the
radiators). And very often, we fail to make use of the tortoises (your parents who have a wealth of wisdom) and relegate them to the sides.

We all continue to play our lead roles-- in a cage.


  1. Wonderful symbolic painting, I got it immediately before reading your post.

    I couldn't agree more. Listening is a skill adn so is putting yourself in someone elses shoes. I am glad to say I have always been able to do this. I think it's embodied in the word empathy adn you can only be empathic if you open yourself up and climb out of the cage. I suspect you left your cage a long time ago :-)

  2. I love it that your painting is full of symbols! And it's also lovely.
    We can't help being self-absorbed by our own little worlds, we see the world in our own lenses (be they pink of dark) always...Some people are more sensitive to the outside and to others, while others are more self-absorbed, but we'll never be able to avoid that. WE are subjects, with all the subjectivity that the word involves. We can't get out of our cages for too long.

  3. Bob-Kat :Thank you!You and I are alike n many ways.I'm sure you too left the cage a long time back.But every once in a way, i manage to crawl back.Then i remember the doors and crawl right out!

    Faisal:Thank you for caring enough to leave a comment.

  4. Hmmmmm. Thinking of someone elses problems is something that very few people do. In fact we tend to get irritated more often with our own small inconveniences that bother about someone else's. Even the doors are something which we miss in day to day life. Most people wish for more and more things and never see the butterflies in the garden. Health is the biggest blessing one can ask for. Ask anyone who is terminally ill and you would never see them asking for a promotion or money or something like that. I guess humans as a race should be more tollerant and also more caring of others that what they are today.

  5. Wow! That painting speaks a thousand words.

  6. Devil Mood:Thanks!But we can if we consciously try.Of course, it involves mediataion and higher-thinking-living and all that stuff which the new age gurus preach (and make mega bucks--whoever said spirituality has to be divorced from material pursuits?!)

    Misti:Thank you!!

    Satish: Yes--I agree. "I was lamenting that i had no new shoes, till I saw a person with no feet"--I guess that captures the essence of what you are saying, right?

  7. love the picture, so symblolic.

    Eye to mind...

    From what we see
    from eye to mind
    this process
    this transaction
    where detail is lost
    or often ingored
    our egos
    our own thought
    cloud the truth
    of things see
    of things heard.
    So our perseption
    is stilted
    laced with untruths.
    We should open out minds
    to see the detail
    to hear the detail
    to be aware of the truths before us
    even if those truths
    show to us
    our faults
    our short commings.
    Bring on the truth
    the truth will set you free.

  8. Tim:Thank you.Your poem expressed it beautifully.

  9. good painting and nice post very well written and u have good blog

  10. Hi. Thanks for the comment on my blog :-) What I like about the Monty Python Clip on my post is that it combones knowledge of philosophy with humour.

  11. Yes, I thought about that kind of meditation and higher consciousness, becoming the world, becoming nature and everything around you. But I'm sure that's very hard!

  12. funny what people can interpret from paintings...
    while I fail to find out what is so wrong with being concerned about your own problems more than others, everyone finds a way to relate to someone..that is by recalling your own past experience.
    after all..interpreting events based on your past..that is the correct way to live...else people would keep burning themselves by touching the candle everyday.

    about your painting.
    its pretty good after we read what you are trying to depict...
    otherwise its just a weird looking box hanging by a chain, on top of a garden full of snakes and tortoises ...

    I wonder what am I a snake or a butterfly? neither I a dragon.
    tortoises..there is a reason why we don't consult with them...tortoises are wise because they got to experience everything..make mistakes... if you keep consulting them you won't be able to experience it for yourself...however, be smart and before falling in really deep poop..its best to consult a tortoise...ask their help at the last minute when you know you can't do it by yourself.

    ack..I have no idea what I said..
    basically try stuff yourself, but be smart enough to rationalize when you will need the help of your parents...don't be pigheaded and say "I can do it on my own"...sometimes you can gain experience from other's mistakes too...

  13. for a 21 year old...I am sooo cool.

  14. nice painting.
    one thing that haunts me is whether those butterflies will ever come back.

  15. Thank you for touching our hearts and minds again with your ( once again!) touching challenge to step out of the 'safe zone' and see the world through the eyes of those not so fortunate as ourselves!..

  16. Oh my dear, dear Ps. The Radiators. How could I forget so soon? And those snakes with their tongues...those snakes that look just like the grass blades and their tongues that look just like the flowers (unless you really, really pay attention and look)----AWESOME. The blend of the appearance of the Radiators and the Drains. Nice.

  17. everyone has problems and it is very natural to be more concerned about ourselves. the greatest problem with changing is the world will have to change with you which is virtually impossible.

    a snake will be a snake if you try to act butterfly,it will swallow you and move on with its life. this basic insecurity and uncertainty is what makes people so locked up in what they consider is the relatively harmless zone.

  18. That was a really amazing and fascinating take on society. I agree we've become self absorbed. I know I certainly am too much so at times. I love the philosophy behind your fabulous painting.

  19. Fantastic! Definitely a lesson to be learnt and practised!

  20. It is so beautiful in a world of blogs ripped from thoughts thrown together to find a mind as wonderful as yours. Thanks again Ps

  21. hey that painting is surewly very meaningful.. gr8


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