Let’s talk about the most hated topic. Let’s talk about death. What? You thought I’ll talk about Heavy Metal again. Hundreds of thousands of people die every day and we all know that the only absolute in the world is death yet when someone close to us dies, it becomes unbearable to be at peace with this particular thought. You read it anywhere. Almost every book will tell you there are five stages to grief. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. No one talks about the most difficult one. Guilt. If I had to guess, I’ll say that all of us ends up stuck on the last one without experiencing the remaining five. Guilty because we couldn’t save our friend or soothe their broken soul.

While we are on the topic of death, my silent friend, when someone tells you they are dying, what do you do? What do you say? I’m asking because I’ve always struggled with this one particular confrontation. What’s your instincts for such an event? While we are at it, what is instinct, is it simple chemistry or something intricate and complicated? What are emotions, what is love? Is it a chemistry we can manipulate and if we can, then would it really be complicated? Wouldn’t we have created what we call instinct? There are so many things I wanted to add to this. The speed at which I thought far outweighs the speed at which I can write or type. I’ve already forgotten half the things I wanted to add to this. Human mind is always in a quest to find answers. Why are we here, what is our purpose, what is the meaning of life? These questions become so intricate to our beliefs that our entire individuality develops around them. People believe in anything as long as it gives them hope.


What do you think, this people that live in slums, do they worship another god, and let’s say that they do, then doesn’t every religion says there is only one god, just different interpretations of him or her, then why this partiality to few unfortunate children of our creator? You see, there is just too much wrong for me to turn a blind eye and believe that god will be my saviour. I have embraced this particular fact a long time ago, life is chaotic, it is meaningless, and by no means are these my nihilistic views, it’s just harsh reality.

All of us are lost in pages of some book, some lines on some random page out of million books, telling our story perfectly. I’ve driven so many people away, so many friendships left behind. I’m pretty sure, there is one such book telling exactly what sort of ungrateful, unsympathetic friend I was, um, I am. I’m the living example of the fact that we dig up our own graves. Apparently having the slightest of common sense makes you an asshole. In reality we are all sadists, we enjoy inflicting pain on others. Through others misery is the only way we find our own peace.

A sense of self, that’s all. Not a definition written in a book, but your own true self, broken and withered, because that’s the only way you’ll be. Anyone will be. A sense of self, if it’s in chaos, peace or filth, that’s entirely upto oneself. And if you believe you’re whole, that is perfectly acceptable. It is your sense, why should I ask you to see from my perspective. I won’t look from yours, so why should I accept it from you. Right? Never judge someone just because they have different way of sinning. Inside we are all sinners. And in no way am I trying to be satanic, I’m making a generic statement. Sinning simply doesn’t mean killing or adultery or even stealing. Sinning is a term which is unbelievably malleable according to morals.

We do this basically for ourselves. People appreciate it, which is cool, but I think they appreciate that we’re doing it for ourselves. We’re doing it our way, and how people like it is not up to us. We like it – James Hetfield

There is no alternative to that reality. Let’s face bitter fate again, “Have you ever danced with the Devil?”


via Daily Prompt: Penchant

via Weekly Photo Challenge: Waiting


146 thoughts on “A Sense of Self

  1. Your post made me think of one of my favourite Emily Dickinson poems, here is the first verse:

    ‘Because I could not stop for Death –
    He kindly stopped for me –
    The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
    And Immortality.’

    I saw the recent film ‘A Quiet Passion (by Terence Davies) about her life, and I was very struck by the way in which death seemed to stalk her, throughout her life, whittling away those closest to her, right up to her own demise. It gave me a new appreciation for her work.

    I think sometimes friendships end because we are many people throughout our lives, and not every person we are can be a friend to the people our friends become.

    This is another favourite quote of mine:

    Man has not one and the same life. He has many lives placed end to end, and that is the cause of his misery. — Chateaubriand.

    Thanks for the food for thought!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Well, first of all, I’ve to thank you for such a detailed response to my post. It definitely seems as if it had a lasting effect on you. Now about the process behind this post, it started as a ramble on my way to work, which soon converted to morality to partiality we have towards poor. All as I was involved with other bloggers through commenting, random thoughts and a product of the environment I was travelling in. I’m just surprised it came out this coherent.
      Well, Once again, a brilliant comment by you. I need to give a look to that Emily Dickinson poem.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. One of the posts/writings that make you think so hard it starts hurting.

        I tend to stick to my friends. I can be really clingy at times. But theres just one thing that makes me do it- the fear of guilt.
        Guilt is one thing that my soul wont be able to endure..it will succumb to it within seconds.
        Growing up this was part of my brought up. Never have a stain on your conscience. Ever!! And you will have a peaceful life.

        Now the problem is i strictly followed. But what did not follow was the peace they were talking about.

        The crippling fear of staying away from everything that may cause you guilt itself gives birth to new species of the same.

        To make the matters worse we see examples of this happening everywhere. People blame everything on karma. Karma itself starts playing unfair at times.

        Nobody has got any right to correct anybody. We need to be mature enough to understand and practice this.

        Sin..faith..good deeds…
        Who are we to judge…i have seen saintly people commited the most inhumane and gruesome of sins and then using their religion to camouflage it…( this is not about any particular religion, its a general observation)

        People use values/culture/religion to conceal thier own unjustifiable sins.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well, first of all, you do not need to worry about hurting my sentiments about religion or culture or faith. A pessimistic atheist, don’t forget that.
        Now second, I wrote it one of my post, I guess, we all have this basic need to influence the life of others, and that is why we have this hero complex, you know, like we are meant to be at the centre of everything. That is why we feel this guilt, this guilt because we believe that we weren’t able to influence enough.


      3. Its not about hurting sentiments. Those who are holding banners and unfortunately are representing..most of them are on the same page.

        In my case its not hero complex. Examples will take too much time effort and cause too much pain.

        Lets just say. There’s a constant fear ‘did i hurt them??’ And starts eating me. After every anger/anxiety attack the harsh wave of guilt follows. After my autoimmune triggered i literally hunted down people and apologized..at times i didnt even owe any. But the guilt wouldn’t let me rest.

        For each and every person i have ever been at good terms with, i feel i am obliged to be there for them. And if i am not…even unintentionally..it causes this overbearing guilt!

        People say its a good thing. But its not for the person who goes through this.


      4. Well, I won’t explain that to you, like I said, I will never ask you to look from my perspective, but my friend, that particular statement, that’s hero complex, god complex or whatever you want to call it.
        I do not feel as of everyone’s happiness if my responsibility but I do feel as if their well-being is. I don’t know, maybe it’s human nature, I couldn’t possibly know for sure, I’m merely a human, but that is how I got my peace, understanding that I am human. I finally did let go, though I feel as the biggest hypocrite I’ve ever known. But a sense of self, even if it’s in filth, is something that will always be at a cost.


      5. Where’s your post about hero complex. Can you give me the link??

        Every now and then somebody close jas to explain me or yell me that i need to change this. But it never helps. I know they are right but i still dont learn.

        Whats the difference between caring for happiness and caring for well-being??

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Hmm, so I haven’t written a post about hero complex, but I guess, I’ll do now. Now about caring for well-being simply means I want them to happy, I do not influence that, I do not try for their happiness. While forcing myself for their happiness will never make me happy and like I said, a sense of self, even if it’s in filth, is more important for me. I want my peace of mind too. I do not want it at other’s cost but understanding the fact that everything isn’t in my control was a difficult thing to do. And as a side note, it took me roughly eight years to understand that, so it takes time. Painfully long process.


      7. I do not know. Time, maybe. Or if I really try to pinpoint at one thing, and you might not like it, I started listening to metal. It honestly saved my life. Which is why I feel beyond pissed when someone says anything against metal.
        I’m a hard time recalling but I guess the first metal song I ever listened to was “wherever i may roam” by Metallica and the lyrics just connected with me. It’s strange how things happen in life. Metal saved my life, shit, who would have thought.


      8. Ahh, finally, I’m not alone. 🙂
        Jokes aside, I’m the biggest advocate for music. Well music, not poop. So find good music, just do not go with motions, if you want it to influence your life, you have to give it respect, you have to give effort in finding good music. A sound that will perfectly resonate with the agony within you.
        For me, it’s Slipknot, peace withing chaos. But it took me six years of listening metal to get to Slipknot. Ahh, my friend, do not start me know music, I can write a book. Like literally a book. 🙂


      9. Aahah
        I have tried so many things corrected myself in so many ways. And i resort to music to. For me there are only 2 genres good music and crapy music. I listen to everything. It does help.

        But this hero complex thing is hopeless. I saw a dead pigeon on my terrace (actually 2, thats that building maintainance people said). My friends had to actually yell at me ‘U DIDNT KILL IT. IT JUST DIED. GET OVER IT’.

        Mostly its not about the happiness. The fear is about guilt…what if something happens to people and i am not around?? Is that hero complex too?

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Honestly?
        By being a hypocrite. By going against every fibre of the thing that gives you your sense of worth. And before it becomes too convoluted, it simply means understanding your limitations and working around them. Like I said, it takes time.
        Or devil’s music. 🙂
        Your choice.


      11. No, no. Do not check it simply because I’m saying so, discover it on your own. That’s half the fun.
        Now about insomnia, you aren’t alone. For last one month, I’ve barely slept four hours in any night. 🙂


      12. So 23 songs telling a story, so do not skip any one and listen to them in the exact order. Stone sour “The house of gold and bones part 1 & 2”
        Adjust the volume according to your ears, for example,I listen at full. One simply doesn’t listen to metal at low volume. 🙂


      13. Ahahah. 8 minutes less wouldnt change anything.

        Remember edward Norton’s situation in fight club??? You are never really asleep yu are never really awake…thats me right now.

        I m readings comments and posts and laughing…even though theres nothing funny 😆

        Liked by 1 person

      14. Ok ‘paar channa de’ and ‘nerey aah’ and ‘ishq aap bhe awalla’ from coke studio pk.

        ‘Peera ho by khalid anum’ (its sufi kalam i love its music literally grew up listening to it)

        Its different music.. listen to them and let me know which one you liked the best

        Liked by 1 person

      15. Oh… i dont know..i cant sleep and its happening after months. So i dont know.
        I have xanax but i dont take it. It just sits at the bedside to tell ‘i am here’ but i dont use it. But you have experiments and since you may end up with some ground breaking discovery in immunology i dont want to disturb u..i am being selfish here..

        So. I really dont know.

        Liked by 1 person

      16. I read that in the comments. By far i have successfully landed on gravesend.. i went back to red city somehwere in the mid. Now in a break watching ‘fight club’ ..will squeeze thorny in thw review and then resume stone sour party.

        Oh did i mention i slept listening to it?? Somewhere in the mid i dont know twice thrice maybe. This is the kind of music that relaxes me which sound wierd to alot of people.
        The harder the calmer..

        Liked by 1 person

      17. And i dont want to know what u r making in lab i hate bio. I studied everything except bio. In o levels i had all the engineering subjects and business subjects both!! I was a special snowflake! Just to avoid bio as all the girls of my khandan were supposed to be doctors..

        What was i talking about??

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah,I looked. I can’t remember. But I’ll make something up. Hate this phone keyboard. “Lots of my friends died over something from the science lab while listening to metal. But I don’t think they danced with the devil as best I know, the devil don’t dance.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. god mean( Any supernatural being worshipped as controlling some part of the world or some aspect of life or who is the personification of a force)

        God mean( The supernatural being conceived as the perfect and omnipotent and omniscient originator and ruler of the universe; the object of worship in monotheistic religions)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmm, interesting comments received here. I struggle with my concepts of God or god whichever you prefer. I’ve recently looked into Omnism and think it’s closest to my feelings. Guilt is that ever present hateful part of my brain that pops up when I don’t want it to. Right now I feel guilt over my health affecting my children’s health, although I couldn’t have prevented it, the guilt is still there. A good post as usual, Nitesh, making us all think.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You said it well, that the mind is the part of us that wants answers or guarantees, the part that goes through the stages of grieving.

    Bravo! I like the idea of a sense of self. I also like the idea of a sense of an ending.

    “At last (the little girls are clapping, shouting) someone has pulled
    the drawstring of your gym bag closed enough and tight. At last
    someone has knotted the lace of your shoe so it won’t ever
    come undone”
    Death, the Last Visit — Marie Howe

    But then I think of the ending not so much as an ending but a return to silence.

    “and I think of each life as a flower, as common
    as a field daisy, and as singular,
    and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
    tending, as all music does, toward silence”
    When Death Comes — Mary Oliver

    Each of us is a musical phrase, maybe a variation, in life’s symphony. When we try to force others into our mental structures, we are confining and distorting their music, which they are already doing themselves when they try to be something they are not.

    Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You ask a lot of different questions. For the first one, I just try to ask how are they doing TODAY. For the second, faith is always a choice–still it does little to change the suffering of the world. Still, Buddha professed that suffering becomes more bearable when we enter into it instead of running from it. Finally, we all dance w forces outside our control whether we want to or not. Well, this is just one person’s humble opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I do struggle. I don’t know, I do have an unquenchable curiosity. Maybe that does fuels my need for all the questions and all the doubts.
      I do not have anything against faith. I just don’t understand the boundaries that we lay in name of God.
      Similar to you, these are just humble opinion or questions of a self-taught idiot. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, Thank you so much.
        But I’m still an idiot who is learning the profound lessons in mundane events of life. See, I believe we all are idiots, malleable clay that can be made into anything it is influenced by. I’m a self-taught idiot who is trying to learn good stuff. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Whoa, no kidding! The comments section IS very interesting here. But I had to read your post twice since last night to be able to finally add my two pence to it.

    First, the music, before I forget. You are into Metal, from what I could make out from your conversation with one particular blogger, and boy are you into it! Now I can make out the influences in the writing too. Even though I’m not a Metal person, I understand why its poetry could influence the writing. Metal, and most of Rock, from what I’ve experienced, is not about your average running around the trees kinda love. They sing about some very disturbing things and some of it could give ‘normal’ people nightmares. But I’ve always found truth in their songs and that’s why I like Rock, especially Grunge and Post-Grunge, because I like music that discusses darker and more intellectual issues, than just scream about a stupid party in the USA!

    Now about your post (which, BTW, I have since then read a third time). You touched upon several topics here, starting from death, to the guilt that the survivors of a deceased have, to religion, and finally a sense of self. While I agree with you that we all are lost in our own books and trying to forge our own paths, I don’t quite agree that we’re all sadists and like to inflict pain on others to find our own peace. Of course, that’s one way of doing it, but the other is through finding that someone who understands you and does not push you away in your moments of darkness.But I do admit that we’re all sinners. We’ve all wronged and we’ll keep doing it because our rights may not be right for someone else. It’s a matter of perspective like you said. But being wrong and having sinned, does not mean that we are evil. It just means we’re human, and we’re still trying to find ourselves.

    A very thought provoking piece this was, but that comes as no surprise to me.
    Coming from someone like you, it had to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alright, firs of all, would you mind if I make it a conversation now? Because if you write such a detailed comment, one for which I’m quite grateful, you cannot possibly expect me to answer r discuss everything with one reply.
      Now the point about sadism, who says that the pain has to be physical? We, as humans, have this tendency to feel a sense of belonging or desires if you must label them. Now I love my wife, let’s keep that aside for this particular part, but if you expect someone to understand your pain, aren’t you expecting that they share a part of it? This sense of belonging doesn’t come without its price. When I say we are all sadist, I do not mean we all enjoy using leather belts, that only looks good in fifty shades of grey (I hate that book), what I mean is that we all like inflicting psychological pain. If you are expecting someone to share your thoughts, you are expecting something out of them, something which isn’t inherent to them. Well, on the same principle, I guess we are all psychological masochists, we feel our worth when people tell us their pain, their secrets, their desires. I guess, we feel our worth with that pain.


  6. The part of your post where you explain that you think much faster than your fingers can type…so true! I tried the Dragon speech software that types as you speak…it doesn’t understand my accent and I get more frustrated by repeating myself over and over that I no longer care to finish the damn thing!! Ugh…anyway, just wanted to share that… I hope for both of us that our finger typing speed and accuracy greatly increases!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. See, I had a conversation similar to this yesterday. I fucked myself royally with a novel I started nearly six years ago. I was really making headway with it until, UNTIL I went back over it and started editing. I lost my drive with it. I write by the seat of my pants. I don’t plan it out. I’ve never been able to write that way. I have a general idea but when it comes down to actual words on paper…I’m usually as surprised as the reader is with how a story goes. That novel was my baby. It’s remained dormant for…five years. Until today, I saw a trailer for a new movie based on a novel by Jo Nesbo. The novel and movie is Snowman. Very similar storyline to mine. The movie comes out next month. Definitely want to see that!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Alright, so what I did a month back was this. I generally struggle with dialogue driven scenes, so I wrote just for practice a scene based on a daily prompt and I got good responses on that. People asked me to extend that and before I knew it, writing one chapter each day, simply based on daily prompt, I ended up with a 50,000 word novel,which for all intent and purposes is few editing hours away from being a finished one.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Dialogue usually isn’t the problem for me…I’m to a point where specific procedural knowledge of local law enforcement investigations is crucial…and my relationship with them is…strained?! So, realistically I’m facing a rewrite and changing protagonist’s career field to another similar type but much more freedom of movement but, I’m weary to change it.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Research, research, research…I’m very familiar. I live in a rural area where serious crimes are rare occurrences. I’m to the point where actual local procedures on homicide investigations is vital. I could also change the venue to a fictional town…I don’t know what the best option is. I strive for quality…that is not the speediest of traits to have.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I agree with you there completely. But sometimes writing total crap ends up igniting your motors to write something amazing. 🙂
        Once, I edited a ten thousand words write up to just fifteen hundred, so that’s there too.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Some of the best stuff I’ve ever written came after completely blowing it up. Write from male/female point of views; male attacker/male victim; female attacker/female victim; inanimate object’s (weapon) point of view… make it a play; a short short story; expand it; rewrite, re-edit…really expands the possibility of your story…you come to know it inside and out like never before

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Oh yeah. Completely. I guess I’ve just been dreading what to do so much it’s kept me from doing anything…much to think about. I appreciate your thoughts and advice…especially on the decaf coffee!! 😉 I’ve got to get some sleep! Good night my friend!

        Liked by 1 person

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