Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Just like that

Archana has a different glow in her these days. She's the same girl I knew but still she's different, somehow.

You are disturbed when your mighty hero falls, isn't it? In movies, as in life, we're eternally hopeful. We'd like our hero to ride into sunset with the lady after destroying the villains and setting right all wrongs. When a hero falls, something in you falls too--a hope, a dream collapses. The hero represents your truimphs, he can do all that you only wished you could do, reach where you only hoped you'd reach. His downfall tramples a tiny flower somewhere in the garden of your heart.

Feel sad everytime Sachin tendulkar fails. His downcast face, slow march towards the pavillion somehow symbolises your own failure in life. Sachin should triumph but he's human too. When his stumps are shattered and he looks back bewildered, we are there-- in his bewilderment. In his victory, he makes our hearts flutter with pride. In his failure he comes close to us. He too is one amongst us, afterall.

Until recently, Dad had two old tape-recorders on which he played his favourite songs of yesteryears. Or sometimes, he'd just flip on the radio and listen to the non-stop songs played on radiocity. By any means, the music system played more noise than music, and after you put in a casette, it would start groaning after a minute or two. And the only person who never seemed to bother about it was dad--he'd continue to listen whatever came out of the stereo .

Last sunday, as we drove back home from the 'village', we purchased a modest new stereo, got a few of dad's favourite casettes(Manna de and gulzar),and presented it to him. After some hesitation, he accepted the gift, gathered the old systems, packed them and put them away in the attic and plugged in the new stereo.

Now the music that streams out of dad's room is without any jarring notes.

You can feel it but can't define it for sure. Time. And when it hurries past you in a tremendous hurry, at times you wonder about your own life, your goals, your values----all in relation to time. You know that life is all about change, one day is not like the previous one, you'll grow up, move ahead, have new experiences, acquire things, make friendships, lose people, lose peace, gain wisdom, worry, smile, hurry.....but is it all there is to life? Is what you see on the surface the only thing available to us? Is there a depth, a different dimension to life? And if there is, what stops you from discovering it and diving deep?

What will be the routine of a 67 year old person, who has lived a full life? Looking at my dad, i'd say--Just relax and chill out. Take good care of your health, read leisurely, listen to good music, watch loads of tv, go to libraries, laze off, visit relatives, play with grandchildren at home..... Why would anyone think about realising new dreams at that age? Who would think about having a vision and inspiring youngsters to dream similarly? And who would work tirelessly to achieve impossible dreams at an age when your faculties are slowly dimming and you need to slow down and spend the rest of your days peacefully?

When i look at one such person, my zest for life soars up and i feel, one hundred years is too short a time for one life. A few minutes spent with him and the most ardent cynic will come back with renewed love and affinity for life. It's a pity that i can't spend much time with him and have to return to my day to day life, confined to the smallness of my comfort zone. When the whole world prods you to add more to your life in terms of quantity, and you are pushed into the competition and mad rush of the materialistic world, there are a few individuals who inspire you to look within and find light. When life in general looks bleak and downcast there are only a few people who can raise your awareness to unknown heights and bring out the eternal youth hidden inside you.

I wish i could be with my master for much longer durations and learn to look at life with new eyes. I wish i could get in touch with the unknown, stretch myself and spread my wings towards new destinations.

Yeah, i will do that someday, but how I wish that day was today!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Sketches ........!

Ravi is a person of many talents and facets. The most endearing quality he has is that he can wholeheartedly laugh at himself, just as he makes fun of the absurdity of life at times. Like all artists he's more into himself than the outer world, and perhaps, out of that ocean of creativity hidden within, he etches out his beautiful sculptures and drawings. And like a true artist, he's more concerned with making his concepts clear to the layman than hanker after recognition and applause.

This week he has an exhibition of his drawings at 'Time and Space Gallery', on Lavelle road.(connecting M.G.Road and Vittal malya road). Art enthusiasts in bangalore and all of us who wish to open our minds to new horizons should visit the exhibition between 15 and 21st of this month and also listen to ravi as he talks about his art, ideas and inspiration.

Religion of hatred and destruction? Why---Islam of course! Wit has an interesting perspective on this issue.

Comments to our posts! Who doesn't want them? Many times these comments sprak fresh ideas in our otherwise nascent brains or we enter into healthy(?) discussions over some issues. Well, here's an arguement over why you should disable the comments section.

A friend's dad who's suffering from kidney failure is in a critical condition---he's in the ICU for the past 4 days. When I met my friend yesterday, he spoke about the severe pain his dad has to bear with, and about the doctors having given up hope, etc. 'We're all prepared for the worst,' he said,'but it's difficult to see my dad suffering.'

I said,'What is everyone waiting for?' He explained something but I realised the insensitivity in my words only a bit later.

The elderly man had lived life to the fullest and now death was at his doorstep. But it would be an agonising death, not an easy one.Those who were around him, who loved him, couldn't make sure that his departure would be a smooth one, without much pain and suffering. The doctors had said earlier that this was the rarest of the rarest case, and they couldn't diagnose what was wrong with the patient. 'It's like a case study for us', they'd said. Wonderful!! And the relatives from far and near were trickling in, to have a last glimpse of the dying man. Good!! The sons must've been torn between their eagerness to keep their dad alive as long as possible, hoping for some miraculous recovery and on the other hand, the agony of seeing him suffer, praying that he pass away as quickly and painlessly as possible.

What's the best course of action in such a situation, when it's clear that nothing can be done? Do you endorse euthanasia and remove the life-support system? Or do you go for the best medical treatment and keep him alive as long as possible?

Two questions still linger in my mind. One, if the dying person was not an oldman in his 70s but a small child, would we still oscillate between euthanasia and prolonged treatment?

Two-- isn't it funny how our perceptions change once a person is on the deathbed--how we view him differently when he was healthy and how we wish for 'certain' things because he's sick and beyond recovery?

What are the thoughts of that elderly person? What would be my state of thinking and living if I end up there?

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Yeah, i know i'm late on this....

Most of us have heard about Gaurav sabnis. For those who came in late----He was an IBM employee in Mumbai, a regular blogger, and someone who lost his job last year because of a blog post. We've heard about people losing their jobs because of the contents on their blogs. This is similar but more interesting than the rest.

This drama started when a little known magazine, Jam, published an article slamming the claims made by a management institute, IIPM. This institute had given ads to the effect of 'dare to dream beyond the IIMs', and had made dubious claims about its faculty, placements, the credentials of its head, etc. All that gaurav did was to link up to this article by Jam magazine in his blog and write a post on it. The result : he recieved a legal notice from IIPM claiming damages to the effect of Rs.125 crores! IIPM also threatened to hold a demonstration outside IBM's office and burn 1000 thinkpads supplied by IBM to IIPM, if gaurav didn't remove the offensive article from his blog. Gaurav writes about that episode and why he decided to resign from IBM. What's interesting is that, soon there were scores of other bloggers who supported Gaurav sabnis and wrote posts deriding the autocratic behaviour of IIPM. In the coming months, the latter surreptiously changed its ads thus proving gaurav and jam magazine right.

Whether this caused a dent in IIPM's reputation, or did it stop it from carrying on it's tall tales is debatable. It definetly caused a stir. And what matters is that this guy had the guts to take a stand and stick to it. He made a difference, however small, and gave a reputation and respectability to a sometimes trivialised phenomenon---blogging.

What we do here in our posts is a simple thing---give form to our thoughts and send it out into the world. It surely touches someone, inspires a few, provokes some thoughts, informs and entertains, warns about bigger issues---like journalism, but without the formalities and complications. A blog is a mini-journal and a blogger, a journalist. What he says matters. A Blog is a weapon which, when properly sharpened and used, has the potential to cut through many a weed.

Let's remember Gaurav the next time we're tempted to quit blogging.

Saturday, March 04, 2006


Yesterday she came to our house.

Now she's married, has a kid and has put on a slight bit of happy weight. Fifteen years ago she was a neighbour in my native village and i was reeling under a terrible crush on her. Probably she was the most beautiful girl i'd set eyes on until then. She was a friend of my sisters and hence came to our house very often. What drove me mad was that she seemed to be more interested in me than i was in her. When i could contain myself no longer, i fought over my habitual shyness, wrote about my affection for her on a piece of paper, and with a pounding heart, passed it on to her.

Her dad had taken his life some years ago after he was humiliated by his superiors. Fifteen years later, just last year, her mom follows the same route--she jumps into a well. Nobody knows why.

No, she doesn't look sad. She's still the same mischievous girl i knew so long ago.

Here's a Good article on Blogging!

An unlikely place where you learn an important lesson of life:- a cricket coach's interview!

Greg chappel had this to say about dhoni--'That guy has no nerves. He's fearless. When you don't fear failure, there's no limit to what you can achieve.'

Wow!!! That's cool.

Recently a friend was wailing about how, a typical party animal like him was now confined to solitude and loneliness ( he became a dad last year and his child, now a little over a year doesn't leave him even for a moment). I know him as a typical chatterbox, an 'outdoor' guy who loves to mix with people, get interested in their lives ( much to their irritation, at times)--in other words, someone who'd go mad without company.

Such behaviour is quite amusing for me, since i don't do it and i've always wondered at the motivation and drive of an extrovert. Do they feel restless if they don't get to be in a group, mix with people, listen (do they?), chatter about everything under the sun? Can an extrovert live peacefully with himself? Are we conveniently divided into self-obsessed morons and people oriented bums? Is there a middle ground--something like a middlevert? (Jen used this term last year to describe herself) ?

According to a psychiatrist, introverts have greater brain stimulation and hence they love to keep things calmed down around them, tend to be alone, and quiet. Extroverts have a lesser stimulation and hence seek that stimulation in the outside world.

This is new(maybe not). An extrovert can become an introvert and vice-versa. One can be an extrovert at times and introverted at others. And there's no such thing as who's better, or what state is better. Both are different states and you can't do a shit about this difference, nor can you judge who's better. Extroverts, being typical chatterboxes, tend to sympathise with the aloof guy,and the silent person may think that all those chatterboxes are restless morons. But it's good if you have the best of both worlds-- the communication skills and social skills of an extrovert and the deep introspection and peace of an introvert. Both halves make a whole, make you a complete person, maybe.

All these thoughts arose after watching this silent girl today morning. She's no longer aloof now. She moves around in a group, smiles, chatters a bit---she's out of the shell.

This is a fantastic article on introversion published in Atlantic online.

Watched 'The passion of Christ' on starmovies, two days back. Maybe the film focussed too much on the human aspect of christ, his suffering being detailed out inch by inch. The resurrection part was just touched upon. There's a debate about Mary magdalene and her relationship to christ, and also whether christ actually died on the cross.

I remember Osho mention in one of his lectures that Christ suddenly disappeared around the age of 13 and came back at 30 to teach his gospel. Where was he during those 17 years? It's said that he'd come to India to study and learn in the great universities of those times. Maybe he attained enlightenment during those years.

Also there's a tomb of Jesus christ in Kashmir, and Kashmiris claim that Christ lived in India and passed away here. The speculation is that Jesus never died on the cross; after crucification and resurrection he came to India, lived here and left his body at around the age of 67.

Christ and every other master probably came down to remind us about our own inherent divinity, and to show us the way out of our own self-created miseries and the way to our source. It's a pity that we, who call ourselves the followers of these divine souls, distort their teachings to suit our fancy and give vent to our hidden darkness in the name of our loyalty to the masters.

As hariharan and lewis sang in 'Colonial Cousins' --" Come back as Jesus....come back as Rama...come back as Allah..come back as anyone."

When do we as humanity, shun the narrow interpretations of the followers of Jesus, Rama and Mohammed and look at the light these masters brought with them? How long will it take?

Something extraordinary ( from whiskey river )to end this week....

Wisdom tells me i'm nothing
Love tells me i'm everything
In between the two, my life flows.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Dumb struck.........

Somehow the flow of thoughts has stopped. I'm searching for words but nothing seems to come up. Feel like standing alone under the sky with this friend....

Or just walk silently in this solitude

Maybe, become one with the whole....lose one's identity....merge back....

Or drive into nothingness, into an unknown void....

I'll write again only when i feel desperate to express.

Otherwise, this silence is soothing.......