Saturday, November 19, 2005

A Very short break.

It's a devilish custom in this part of the world; those who get fed up with the world and family life run away to the Himalayan mountain ranges in search of salvation. It's rare that anyone goes in that direction to get entangled into a family life. Well, i'm one such crazy guy.

On Nov.28th, I'll be getting married, somewhere close to the Himalayan snowcaps. So if you visit my home in this corner of blogosphere, know that i'm away and just stay around for a while. If you like something or dislike something here, please leave a note. I'll pick it up once i'm back in a fortnight.

Have a good day.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Snow flakes on your shoulder....

I'm walking on a lonely road. It's early in the morning and the mist around me makes it difficult to see anything beyond 10 feet. It has snowed the previous night and the roadside pine trees look like santaclauses lined up to welcome all visitors to this village. The air is chilly-- although i'm wrapped up in two sweaters and a blanket, i'm shivering a bit. There's snow everywhere--the ground, the shrubs, the trees, the occassional houses at a distance--all are covered with cottony white soft snow.

There's an old man sitting by the roadside. He has a turban around his head and a torn dirty blanket around him. His shoes are worn out. I stop near him and gaze at his face as he gets up slowly. His face is very familiar but i'm unable to recognise him. He smiles an affectionate toothles smile.

We are walking together in silence-- I and the old man. The mist begins to clear slowly and along with that there's a slight clarity within also. I begin to remember that I've abandoned everything and come to this strange place in search of something. But I've forgotten the reason why I'm here. As I try to make sense of things the old man coughs once and asks, 'Would you like to have a cup of tea?'

I observe that he has a black scar on his nose as i reply, 'No, thank you.'

Now the mist has cleared further. At a distance a river flows smoothly down the rocks. I should cross this village and turn northwards to reach my destination. But where exactly am I going? What am I searching for? Why did I abandon everything and come in search of something I don't even remember now? I have no answer to any of these questions and as I ponder over these, a voice crackles up from beside me, ' Want a cup of tea?'

There are snowflakes on his shoulder. He has a slight smile but he's not joking. I smile back and just say, 'No'. He must be atleast 70, but is healthy and agile.

The snow on the ground is soft and fluffy. We are walking briskly and I can see the sun rays lighting some tree tops at a distant bend. Somehow I feel that the destination is nearer than anticipated. I look at the old man walking beside me. He has a song on his lips and a spring in his steps. Suddenly I remember that we haven't introduced ourselves to one another. Where else have I seen him before? And why is he walking with me now?

'Do you want a cup of tea?'--- his voice is warm as ever. I stare at him. The mist has cleared now and we are at the bend in the road. Early morning rays pierce through the pine leaves and dance on his turban. Before I conclude that I'm walking with a mad man, he points to my shoulder and says;-'Snowflakes'.

* * *

I remember this dream so vividly because I've seen this many times over the past 7 years. And also because this is not just a dream--at least not fully.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

In search of permanence

There's a desire for permanence that's inherent in all of us. The reality is that Nothing is permanent. Everything changes--some suddenly, some slowly, some very slowly but change, they do.
We hate to contemplate about change--we always want the status quo to remain. Change leads us to the unknown--and the unknown is terrifying. It may bring us something good, but who knows if it leads us down into misery and suffering!

Is it true for everyone? May be yes. If we can embrace change, step into the unknown willingly and face the uncertain, i think we'll forget the word 'boredom'. Life will be a wonderful journey every moment.

I understand that we are here on this earth to experience this life. And this life is not confined to what we just know and are familiar with. There's a world waiting outside my door, things i have not yet seen, heard, felt, experienced. If i deny them and stick to what just i'm comfortable with, i'll be failing the purpose of my birth-- that is to experience the diversity of this wonderful place.

I'm yet to visit another country, or get acquainted with a culture different from my own. i'm yet to see movies made by such masters like kurosawa and kshelovsky, yet to read the wonderful literature produced by some of the brilliant minds, yet to do a bungee jump or watch a lion in it's natural habitat or taste continental food, or set my foot on the vast icy expanse of the antartica. This life is such a small gap between birth and death--we don't even know at what moment our heart will stop beating--- and most of the time we waste ourselves in silly quarrels and unnecessary tensions. We don't care about the beauty of a sunrise, or the depth of the silence that's hidden within us. There's a thrill in accomplishing something that we thought was impossible for us, or in overcoming one of our weaknesses. We miss such things in the hurry of the day to day activities. And there's the vast expanse of the spiritual world which most of us never bother to even acknowledge!

What stops us from taking a flight into the unknown? What makes us stick to what we know and waste this wonderful opportunity God has placed before us? I think it is Fear. The Fear of failure. The Fear of losing all that we are familiar with.

Unless we conquer Fear, we go nowhere. Unless we become Fearless nothing is achieved. If there is any worthwhile achievement in anyone's life it is to become fearless. Everything follows later.

Friday, November 04, 2005

On a sunny friday morning...

I yawn out of bed at 7.45, fully aware that i've to be at my office at 9, wading through a 30 minute traffic. Im growing lazy day by day but it's okay, i can afford laziness at times. The weekend is nearby and my body is used to this routine. Need time to make it alert.

I have a quick shower all along trying to be alert and awake. Read a concept and trying a bit to implement it. Watchfullness! Be a witness! Hmmm! I stand before the mirror and gaze at the rough face that desperately needs a shave. This face is not me. It belongs to me. Like the blue shirt i'm wearing. This face and the body belong to me--they aren't me. Rubbish. Nope, not exactly. Rubbish, only at the superficial level. Profound if really experienced. How to experience? How tough!

I'm ready and munching my way through two chappatis and brinjal sabji that mom has put together. She's on the nearby sofa, leisurely reading today's paper. Dad watches yesterday's match highlights on TV. My mind wanders between the food i'm gulping, the sixers dhoni is belting, the ticking wallclock and the warm sun outside signalling the end of a fortnight's rain. I'm apprehensive for no reason-- like an errant schoolboy who hates school. I've some document reviews to finish today. Don't feel like going to office. Feel like meditating for a couple of hours, read the collection of bret harte's stories and sleep for half a day. Remember Archu's going to her native today. Should be at the station before 6 in the evening. Should ask for permission to leave early in the evening. What if there's work load? What if the team leader refuses to let me go early? Tea's getting cold. Another sixer--the winning one by Dhoni. Dad looks pleased although he's watched this match yesterday. Success brings a smile-- even if it isn't your success.

Bangalore's cold and warm--it looks confused. There's less traffic today. Ymmm it's ramzan but we don't have an off. Many of my muslim colleagues were on fast last month, and they will be absent today. Dust everywhere. My bike needs a service. Traffic signal. A biker speeds off and the police man notes down his number. What next? Will he send a notice to that guy's address? 80 seconds more. Impatience everywhere. Hurrying to go somewhere, reach somewhere. Time! So important. Save time by rushing. Then what? What to do with the saved time? Nobody seems to know. It looks like a stupid question to ask? What do you do with all the damned saved time? What? Watch a stupid teleserial? Or lie down for another hour in bed worrying about... 10 seconds...

The office building looks sleepy. Maybe it woke up just now and the sleep is still in it's eyes. No, it's me who's still sleepy and sloppy. Less people today. The security guards stand outside, smiling and alert. They are a mystery to me. They do nothing but stand and watch people, stay alert, get bored(?), do minor errands-- do they ever think of job satisfaction, job security, skill upgradation, making a difference? What's their salary? One of them greets me and i wave back. He knows me. He'd helped me park my car last month when it rained heavily all day long and i'd no option but to take out the car.

I say hello to my team members and sit at my desk. The coffee is already on my table. I click start the system and as it springs to life slowly, i contemplate a bit. Then i write all of this.