Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Where minds meet and wisdom arises....

Why do we write stuff and care to publish it on our blogs? We may say it's an urge from within, to express, to create, but would we have done it if nobody cared to read? How long can anyone go on posting if nobody visited his blog and posted a comment or two? We want to share our ideas with others, let others know what we think about, and know what they think about our ideas. In short, we want to communicate, share and interact.

Many blogs close shop because of lack of attention. And many more (including mine) find fresh air and vigour through the attention, interest and interaction with fellow bloggers. I've posted and commented about things that would never have crossed my mind had it not been for the prodding and provoking of blog friends. It's a sad fact that many promising blogs die a premature death because of the lack of attention and warmth from others in the blogworld.

All these thoughts came to me during the course of interaction with a friend, who was referring to a new blog that was recently launched. When i visited, it turned out to be more than just a blog. The authors(presumably young and full of vigour) had compiled a small collection of articles on various subjects of current interest. All the articles were informative, unbiased, thought provoking, and more than anything, highly readable. What was really exciting was that this blog was also a platform for others to pen down their thoughts, form articles and publish. The driving force behind this endeavour is to promote and nurture new writing by talented people who haven't yet been introduced to the readers. All of us definetly had an itch to see our ideas being read and discussed by others, in seeing our name in 'print', in being refered to as 'writers'. Maybe the itch has been relieved a bit through the blog phenomenon. This blog can be a step further for anyone remotely interested in calling oneself a writer, or anyone born with atleast an ounce of the writing muscle.

This is the place. If you visit it and find it interesting, please leave a few words of encouragement and warmth. More than anything, do write a line or two about it in your posts and provide links. All growth happens only through nurture and care--and it's definetly exciting to become a part of the growth of an interesting phenomenon. Let this site grow and flourish. It's still young and new--but like anything young, it has a kind of freshness and enthusiasm that's infectious. Let's hope to find good stuff here, and if possible, let us contribute to its richness. Let us read good stuff, create great stuff and share it with everyone across and beyond the blogworld.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Who am I ?

Yeah, it's something that's amused me over quite a long time and one which continues to intrigue me. What is my true identity? Who am I? May be everyone of us would've asked this question to ourselves at sometime or the other. Such penetrating questions become more glaring at times of distress, and though most of us get over the itch to find the answer and usually get on with life, the question remains within, ready to pounce back on us at some other difficult bend of our lives.

This blog is a forum wherein we write about our lives--as much as we want, and in the way we want to. Sometimes we distort reality, add and make up facts, hide many things and present a picture of ourselves to the world out there. We are in a way putting up a front, wearing a mask for all to see, beneath which lies our identity. The same holds good for our everyday life though in a much subtle way.

I have various roles to play in my everyday life. I'm a son, a husband, a friend, an employee, a disciple, a common man, a blogger...etc. I cannot be the same person in all these roles. As a son, i'm quite different than what i am as a disciple to my master. I may not listen to my parents and disagree with their views but with my master, I've absolute faith and obedience. As a writer i'm different to the role i play as an employee. The committment and passion i have for writing is yet to show up in my job. Yet underneath all these roles runs a common thread -- the awareness that i'm the one playing these roles in this drama of life.

On a much deeper level, this question takes on very spiritual and mystical undertones. Last week i had a cup of tea at my desk, switched off the monitor and walked downstairs to the cubicle where mouli was working on a router configuration and talked to him for nearly ten minutes. Just two days later, i had to shut down the monitor and rush towards manipal hospital where his body was lying in the mortuary, waiting for his parents' arrival. All of us stood around his body engrossed in our thoughts, feeling a sense of deep loss. Mouli looked as if he was in a deep sleep and would wake up any moment. Rather his body was lying there, devoid of the life force that kept him moving for so many years. Who was mouli? Was he just a body that had stopped vibrating with life now? Or was he something bigger that had taken on this physical frame for a brief sojourn here? In my spiritual journey, I was acquainted with the idea that we are nothing but particles of consciousness, and that this body, emotions and thoughts were our faculties necessary to lead a life here. But the idea became deeper and intriguing in that instance. How was mouli viewing this situation? What could be his perspective? Is it possible to gain that view-point when we are alive in this body? Is that what the mystics call as enlightenment?

As I continue my life as a common man living with the mundane life, working against deadlines in order to earn a living, experiencing happy moments with loved ones, worrying about the uncertainties of life, shivering in the face of the unknown and dangerous, gaining courage through the encouragement of mentors, dreaming of reaching great heights, hoping, breathing, living and loving, one question still remains unanswered, and will continue to do so until i have a direct experience of the answer.

Who am I?

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Life in a day....and a loss!

Ahem....the mood in the office is a bit easy today. It's friday and there's a feeling of relaxedness because of the proximity to the weekend. The employees are in an informal attire, walking around in a leisurely way, all smiles--an exact opposite of the monday morning atmosphere. Work appears more enjoyable and less frantic. Wish it were the same on all days! Or is it because i'm feeling good today, that i feel a relaxedness around me?

I need to go to the barber and get a hair cut this evening. Somehow, the hair cut never comes to my satisfaction, and for a week or so after a visit to the barber, i don't feel like looking into the mirror. Then the hair grows and fits well around my top-- for two weeks. The fourth week sees an overgrowth, again giving an uncomfortable feel, reminding me about a visit to the barber. Next saturday on christmas eve, we have our wedding reception party. So a week away from an occasion is the best time to go to the barber.

I feel helpless at some deep level. Things are moving fast and are happening on their own, pulling me along the way. There seems to be a loss of control. I'm in the driver's seat of my life's vehicle but the controls aren't with me. The vehicle is moving on its own. I'm a mere spectator. Why?

A Zen quote from a blog pops up from memory: "Don't hope for a life without problems. An easy life results in a judgemental and lazy mind. So an ancient once said,'Accept the anxieties and difficulties of this life'"
I mull over it and feel slightly comforted.

Coffee arrives. The young man smiles. I smile back and say, thank you.
The cublicle is beginning to get cold. Coffee is hot and as it slides down into my throat, i feel cosy. The taste is slightly bitter in my tongue but i like it.

The work load is less today and my mind drifts all around, sucking up bits and pieces of everything. Archana must be preparing food at home. Till yesterday she was a friend. Now she's a wife, and a part of my family. We have the same friendly equation between us but somewhere, the society makes us conscious of our roles as husband and wife in a very subtle way. We cannot be as we like. We need to do things for the sake of elders...She fits well without a hesitation although within, she's free and unshackled by tradition. But I can't! Everytime something comes up that doesn't go well with my beliefs i feel rattled. Why?

A shocking news! A colleague comes up and says,' Your friend, Chandramouli, who works in the network department... He expired today morning in a road accident!'

Half of the office is downstairs near the reception. Nobody can believe it. Mouli was run over by a truck on his leg. He got into an auto and told the driver to go to a hospital, half an hour away and on the way, due to heavy blood loss, he passed away.

Mouli is just 32. He was a softspoken, hardworking gentleman. We remember him as someone who was always ready to help anyone in trouble, and who would quietly exit once everything was settled--without bothering to hog the limelight. When i was desperate for a job and others were just talking, Mouli made arrangements for an interview, talked to the concerned people, ensured that i had more chances of getting an opportunity, and later on behaved as if he wasn't involved at all. It's difficult to believe that he's not there anymore. Death shatters our composure. It brings us down to earth, reminding us of our helplessness before unseen forces.

We are at the mortuary, waiting for the postmortem to get over. My entire spiritual family is here. My master is standing nearby. We are praying in silence. May his family find the strength to cope with this sorrow. May his soul find peace and tranquility. May the masters guide his soul into light.......

Friday, December 16, 2005

Waiting for the sun....

It's winter. The chill isn't much here in bangalore as compared to some places in north india or elsewhere in the world( where people have died due to the cold waves and extreme temperatures), but still you feel like reaching out to a hot cup of coffee, some spicy chilly bondas from the roadside vendor, or a cosy blanket early in the morning. You feel itchy all over your body after the morning bath, before you can grab the bottle of cold cream. You envy the slum-dwellers who're happily hustled around a warm fire, smoking beedis, and roaring with laughter over some obsence joke while you shiver alone on your bike, speeding off to work on a cold morning. The sun goes home early, maybe to a waiting wife, some soaps on tv and hot jilebis while you slog over some damn code in your air cooled cubicle.

You don't just feel bad, afterall. On a sunday morning, when you step out of your house at dawn and take a walk to the nearby park through the mist, you feel a strange comfort. The chilly air soothes you. The mist is very familiar, here now and gone in a few moments when the sun comes up. You feel one with nature. You feel you belong to this atmosphere. Nothing matters-- your job, your people, your dreams, your failures, your stupidity....No! You belong here.

Winter embraces you with warmth like no other season.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

An awesome blog...

I came across his blog in my early blogging days ( 5 months back ). I was struck by the authenticity, wisdom, and immediateness of the posts this young man wrote day after day. I can say he's a scientist, philosopher, mystic and a poet--all rolled into one. What was even more intriguing was the utter disinterest he had in any comments or responses from others. The comment section was always empty, and once when i posted a comment, it got deleted the next day. He never answers any comments, but occassionally addresses the audience who might be reading his posts. And he has compiled an amazing set of interesting blogs in his link list. Every time i read his posts, i learn something significant in a simple, direct and immediate way.

I think every blogger needs to link to this guy and read his posts regularly, irrespective of his disdain for any comments. He's simply fantastic!

Friday, December 09, 2005

The Power of a group

Anyone who's travelled in Mumbai's local trains knows this, physically. The train halts at a station for only 14 seconds, and the passengers, more than 50 at any time, have to get out and get in within that time. How does it happen? Well, do nothing. Just stand with the crowd and the crowd pushes you out of the train or into the train from the platform.

And those who've meditated in a group or sung in a group know this group effect at a deeper level. The whole is always greater than the sum of its parts. A strange energy gets built up in a mass gathering that propels everyone in the group towards something unimaginable--either good or bad. People kill one another in riots, they can't do it alone, only a mob can do it. And the same people marched towards claiming back independence from a powerful coloniser more than 60 years ago in this country--again, in a group, not individually.

I always thought that writing is essentially a solitary activity, that you never could collaborate and produce any piece of writing. But blogger guys proved me wrong, at least partially. We all have heard about a group of people continuing on a piece of fiction, taking turns and contributing a part to the growth of a story. But can a group of people sit together and write their own individual short stories and novels, inspiring each other, commenting on each one's work and contributing to the overall creative process? Well, it seems Yes!

Every year in the month of november, thousands of writers gather on the net and resolve to write a 50000 word novel within one month. Each writer writes his novel and submits-- the only criterion should be that he has completed 50000 words. What he writes and submits is entirely his, and he can take it to any publisher and get it into print. Many people drop out but thousands reach the target as well. Whether what they write in that mad rush remains readable or not is questionable but What's interesting is that, this collective energy can push the writer towards a goal which he'd have found daunting were he to be alone.

I stumbled upon this last month but couldn't register because the due date was over and also because i had no idea what to write about. Now i have almost 11 months to get ready before November 2006 stares me in the face. And then for one month, i'll keep aside some time everyday to give shape to a long forgotten dream. Where can this take us? Anywhere! Where was R.K. Narayan before Swami got published? And Arundhati roy, or salman rushdie or any writer worth his salt? where were we before we opened our individual accounts on blogspot and posted our first words? Now we share our thoughts and have a handful of audience which,i believe has definetly contributed to the richness of our writing.

Forget glory, money and fame. What's thrilling is the fact that you are giving birth to something unique, something that never existed before. Once created, this can have a life of its own and touch someone, somewhere around the world, maybe in some future, if not now. A Novel!! A portrait of someone's life! You are the creator, the provider and the destroyer of this new world. You get to play God.

Anyone interested? Check This!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Who doesn't want to be left alone at times? And who can stay alone for quite a long time without any friends or acquaintances? We need both-- interaction with others and also some quiet time with ourselves. Neither should become a priority over the other.

I'm basically a reserved person who'd love to be left alone most of the times. Yet at times, i feel the need to interact with people, share my thoughts and ideas with them and listen to their lives. This need to interact and belong to the outside world has increased in the recent years. When i was travelling to jammu last fortnight with my family, i felt this belongingness more than ever. When i'm weary with the work in the office or bugged up with the rush of everyday life, i search out for my friends and spend time chatting or listening to their ramblings.

Yet nobody can spend all their time in the outside world. Even when we're alone, we're with our thoughts, ideas and worries--totally occupied, and in a way involved with the world(through our thoughts). So solitude necessarily doesn't mean staying away from people, in a remote place, or locked up in a room. I think we need to touch silence within ourselves to experience that solitude.

When all our thoughts cease totally, then we can truly be with our'selves'. This solitude is very much required simply because it opens doors we never thought existed. Even at a superficial level it helps us understand ourselves better and think deeply about issues in our lives in a powerfully focussed way. And at a higher level it takes us beyond what we know, and introduces us to the unknowable.

I think the time has come for every human being to get acquainted with the solitude hidden within him. We need to turn towards the spiritual aspect of our personality if we want to make sense of this increasingly complex modern world, and the confusion it's capable of creating in us.

The time for Meditations has come.

Monday, December 05, 2005

A Kiss of life

My hearfelt thanks to all blog friends who came here and left their sincere wishes. And also to those who left their foot prints without any verbal gestures.

When i opened my mail box this morning, this message from a friend was the first one to greet me. Hope these words inspire you to look at life with fresh eyes and live every moment with great love and happiness.

In this journey of life, I've learned.....

that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

that it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

that you can keep going long after you can't--- that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

that either you control your attitude or it controls you.

that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.

that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.

that money is a lousy way of keeping score.

that my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.

that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down will be the ones to help you get back up.

that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.

that just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.

that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

that your family won't always be there for you. It may seem funny, but people you aren't related to can take care of you and love you and teach you to trust people again. Families aren't biological.

that no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

that it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others, Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.

that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

that just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do.

that we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

that you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret, It could change your life forever.

that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

that your life can be changed in a matter of minutes, by people who don't even know you.

that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help.

that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

that the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

Live life one day at a time.For it seems that when we are young, it is all an uphill climb. But when we get to the top,we are gravely disappointed. Because it is the little things in life that matter---before we know it, our time is up. It could be any day, any hour, any minute.

Live today, this moment as if this is the last.
Inhale as if this is your last breath.

When you step into this moment, you step into eternity. And all eternity is yours.