Wednesday, September 28, 2005

30's blues

It's always the case. You look at something you don't have and wonder what it is, how it might be. You crave for it, work towards getting it if possible, and one day you attain it also. After a period of honeymoon, your mind begins to look for other unknown things. What you attained is now no longer a challenge, a mystery-- it's 'familiar'. Does it happen with every other thing? Mmmm.. yes, to a large extent. May be it's a natural law, i don't know. Maybe there are exceptions.

When i was a kid, the elders looked formidable. I wanted to grow up and be like them, do the things they did, take up responsiblilities, take decisions. When i was in college i wanted to get a job, become independent, build a career. When i was single, the family man looked as if he was perching on a high altar. It never occured to me that maybe they too were looking at a distant horizon and seeking what they didn't have.

Today i turned 30. But i don't feel like i'm 30. How does a 30 year old feel like? What's he supposed to feel like? I feel dumb. Ha ha.

They say, When a man reaches 60 it's like a completion of a cycle. A new life begins after that. If so, i've completed half of the cycle. Maybe i'll be a pa in an year or two. It looks unbelievable!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Two perspectives....

Read an article about gigolos. It turns out that they are different from their female counterparts. They quite enjoy it, it seems,and they do it for fun and fast money. Difficult to stand in their shoes and think how it is like.

A couple attend our meditation classes. The husband walks on artificial legs and we never asked them about this. Last tuesday they spoke about the accident 7 years back that left him crippled. His eyes were a bit moist, so were hers but what amazed me was this.'It could've been worse' she said,' the bus ran over his legs and not on his body. I'm thankful that he's still alive.' He too joked about his disability and said " Now that incident has become a landmark for us. If we remember some other incident we refer to it as, before the accident or after the accident, like B.C and A.D"

Their strength and resilence are inspirational.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Life beautiful

I'm starting a new life altogether. This wasn't expected until now but that's the way life is----it's what happens to you when you're busy with other plans.

In another 2 months--november 28th to be precise, i'll be getting married. Two years back i never had an inkling that i'd be stepping in as a householder. My mentality then never permitted me to think in these terms. I wanted to be a hippie--if not literally, at least metaphorically. No responsibilities, not being answerable to anyone, just free like a bird.

I think this is more of an attitude than a reality. Freedom! You can be in bondage yet be free--Aung san su ki of burma comes to mind. Or Nelson mandela. Or you can be out there roaming the world without a care, yet be a slave to a thousand odd things.

Archana and i met five years ago when i began to explore the spiritual world under the guidance of a great master. We came closer two years ago when i took up some work in my master's organisation. And now we've decided to run the race together.

She's more cool, confident, mature, wise and humble than i am. She's life bound. And she loves me.

Life indeed looks beautiful now.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Finding a root

Yesterday morning i got the confirmation for my job in this company. After 6 months of internship, finally i am a regular employee. There was some speculation that i should start looking for a job elsewhere, but that trouble is saved now.
I had a romantic idea of my working life. It was something like sitting at my balcony and spinning off short stories while simultaneosly working on a future bestseller novel. In between, i'd take short breaks and lose myself in the hillstations of himalayas or the beaches of kerala, find my muse and come back to my desk with renewed vigour and fresh ideas. Meanwhile my stories would get published in important magazines across the world and the cheques would arrive by post No stress, no uncertainty, no major pains.
This idea hasn't died yet, it's in coma. I'm sure it'll spring back to life some day but until then, software testing will pay my bills.

Friday, September 09, 2005


With august, the festival season begins in our country. This is the season of rains, well, the later part of the rainy season. People have a number of excuses to celebrate now. Ganesha festival is in full swing at the moment and with ganesha, there are a lot of things entwined in memory.

Lord ganesha was a favourite in my younger days. I think he's the favourite god of any youngster, with his pot belly, elephant face, his love for sweets and all those stories of his boyish pranks.

We waited for the ganesha festival, why, there wasn't a concrete reason. A week before the festival day, our preparations would begin. I remember standing in the queue in wet, overcast evenings for our 10 litres of kerosene and then sit with mom and sisters upto midnight, watching them prepare sweets and other delicacies over a pan of hot oil, trying hard not to fall asleep, enjoying the energy of that atmosphere.

On the day, mom would give all of us an oil bath and meanwhile Dad would bring the clay idol from the market along with all the items for worship. I would be all excited, preparing the stand on which the lord would be placed on a heap of rice, with two small plantain shoots tied to the legs of the stand, decorated with a variety of flowers and mango leaves, all the dishes and fruits placed before him in big plates. Mom would be still busy in the kitchen while we welcomed the guests-- relatives and friends. Dad would dress up like a priest--bare chested with a white dhoti, hair neatly combed backwards, looking pious. At noon the worship would begin, not an elobarate one but for me then, quite impressive. We would fall at the feet of the lord praying for a variety of things and mom would always tell, 'Ask for sucess in your exams. Ask him for knowledge and wisdom'.

The heavy food in your belly would put you to sleep but on that day, we would set out, a group of 15 children with the mission of having the darshan of 108 ganeshas in different houses, as per the custom. We would go the houses of complete strangers, prostrate before the lord, sit there for a moment, recieve the sacred food offered by those people and then move on. By evening we would be back-- I doubt if we really visited 108 houses.

The lord would be given a farewell in the evening after another round of worship. We would take him in a small but devout procession to the nearby well and an uncle would walk down the steps carefully, immerse the one foot tall idol in the waters thrice and then let go. The lord would return to his source with an assurance of coming back after another year.

I remember going to bed every year with a heavy heart. Ganesha wasn't an idol to be brought from the market every year, worshipped and then immersed in some well. He was a dear friend.

Times have changed so have our perceptions. Now my eight year old nephew gets all excited on these festival days as I used to some 20 years ago. For me this is just another occasion now to take a day off from work, take part in the rituals, have a good food with the family and return to work the next day. That energy, that excitement and belongingness ganesha brought with him--- I don't miss them. There are other things in life now that make me forget these small details. But still I wish i could grasp all those fleeting emotions at least once in an year, feel one with everyone, feel good and involved, feel a lot of things that don't have a name.

Ganesha is a friend. He's more than a friend. I wish I renew my friendship with him.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Elderly advice

A long time ago I met an old man in a far off unknown city. We chatted for a while and I asked him how come he was so peaceful and happy inspite of having nothing much to be happy about. He must've been living on alms, I thought. He smiled through his wrinkles and said- 'Want to be happy? Then don't cry when you win and don't celebrate when you lose'

On Death

Osho once said, 'Death is the most mysterious and interesting thing on earth simply because it's uncertain and certain at the same time. It's certain that one day it will come. But it's uncertain when it comes.'

Death and deprivation are a part of life whether they happen through the hurricane, katrina in America or they attack in the form of stampede in bagdad. A soldier who shoots himself dead in Delhi, unable to bear the stress of work, civilians who jump off burning buildings 280 floors below to their death, policemen who are bumped off by insurgents in the jungles of south India, kids who're blown to shreds by land mines in Africa, or school children taken hostage and killed in Moscow--- whereever death strikes, it takes a human life. It doesn't know politics, it doesn't care for the right and wrong, it knows no religion, race, caste or creed. It's a great leveller. When it takes leave, it allows us to debate the right and wrong, to decide on which side of the fence we are.

For me human life and dignity comes first--patriotism and heroism are somewhere down the line. If my best friend murders someone i won't support him. And if someone i don't agree with does a good act, i will applaud him. And i think we all do it. Or do we?