Saturday, June 24, 2006

Monday, June 19, 2006

In good company....

Seek people and you find Life.
Seek yourself and you find the divine.

Meeting interesting people is like breathing fresh air, or allowing new water to flow into a stagnant pool. You learn new things, gain perspective and are never left the same again. Any person can be interesting depending on how you look at them. The most charismatic dude could fall flat on his face--as far as you are concerned. Alternatively you may find an interesting angle in an everyday person.

A few years ago I had a brush with a young man in New delhi railway station. He became a friend in an instant and within five minutes of chatting, he invited me to accompany him to freak around, booze a bit and see a few girls!

Another old beggar I had met when I was at the lowest point in my life-- I've written about him here. He was nothing special, but because of those circumstances, I think I'll never forget him.

Yesterday night, I met a young fellow, maybe in his mid 30s. He's a book-keeper at the place where our meditation classes are held every tuesday evening. We chatted quite a lot about everything under the sun and he came across as a specimen.'I do everything in life according to the wishes of Mother,' he said befor adding, ' I sleep for only 1 hour and work for the remaining 23 hours. I don't know from where I get the energy....'

He's a kind of a wanderer, a seeker--or maybe a drifter--but incredibly polished, well-read and someone with a variety of interests. He was into the sidda-tradition and could talk very comfortably about the mystical side of life. Within half an hour he'd spoken quite a lot about himself, enquired about me and had presented his philosophy of life. Yet he had moved away from his wife and hadn't seen his people in the past 7 seven years!

'I can be with people but if someone gets attached to me, that's the end of the relationship,'he quipped.

Inspite of the contradictions and quirkiness in him, i found him to be an interesting specimen. A man for all seasons, as a friend describes himself.

I leave my blognest unattended and fly off to delhi for 2 days, rushing on flights like a time-starved businessman. The occasion is the engagement of my sister-in-law. Marriage parties are fertile grounds for meeting interesting individuals, show-offs and stupid mean people too.

I get an opportunity to meet archana's cousin, Sunny. Living in a big metro whose second nature is aloofness, rushing through a taxing job, and balancing the demands of everyday life, he's yet completely at ease with himself and with the world. His wry sense of humour, a polished street-smartness and the ability to gel with people from all age groups and walks of life--these amaze me! I wonder how he cultivated them and also wonder how i missed these.

Never losing your sense of humour and any situation... this is the lesson I take back from him.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Will way out.

A statue of a very great saint sits on my table. When I'm reclining on my bed with my back against the wall, reading or just contemplating, my attention goes there, towards his face. It isn't the same face everytime. The expressions change. Sometimes there's an amused look. Or an annoyance at times. Or a benign smile. Sometimes, a feel-sorry-for-you look. Maybe those expressions reflect my moods.

I feel my kid's heartbeat against her belly. It's if he's very busy and restless over there!

There's a guy in my team who's a bit aloof and silent. He's in his seat before anyone of us reach office, works hard, contributes well to the success of a project--but he gets no salary of all of his efforts! He's doing an internship for the past 10 months.

When he joined here, it was made clear to him that internship doesn't guarantee a regular job in the company and that he'd be getting no pay during this tenure. His status was supposed to be evaluated after 6 months. Perhaps he could've been absorbed subsequently but for his bad luck, our company merged with a multinational recently. The new policies prohibit any more additions to our team.

Last month, when he was told of this, with a suggestion that he could discontinue if he wished to, he said, 'What will I do sitting at home? It's better to work, with or without a salary.' If someone resigns from our team, an intern can be absorbed and made a regular employee. Until then...!

I wonder at his state of mind, his motivation, his silence, his life.

I get irritated and shout at Mom. Her face shrinks. Within a minute i apologize--very sincerely. She's still hurt but says,'Okay, leave it.'

It's in the past and I'm trying to stay rooted in the now. But the memory still pricks.

Arrogance! How do you deal with it? In yourself. In others. Simple. Pay no attention. Ignore. Then what!
Life is too short yet so vast to be wasted away, paying unqualified attention to self-obsessed morons.
Let me think something good instead.

Notes to myself.... learnt from hugh prather.

Morning eight to evening eight--I'm at the office. From evening to the next dawn, at home. This pattern repeats 5 days a week, throughout the year, maybe for the rest of my career in IT--if nothing major happens otherwise.

This could be the pattern for many of us. Earning a living and coming home to get relaxed, unwind, get rejuvenated. Plan a bit, dream a lot, go back to the churning mills, come home again. Take a break in between, go on a vacation. Watch movies, read books. Make friends, argue, fight silly, console, patronize. Pursue goals. Get bored. Take risks. Feel inspired, sad, happy, alive......sleepwalk through life.

Wake up early. Go to office. Come home. Sleep. Wake up early next day. Fill in the blanks between with numerous addendums.

Retire one day. Go to the graveyard, somewhere down the lane.

Need to rise above this mundane existence. Need to go beyond the gross. Need to Search, Find, Grasp, Become.....

Will surrender. Will allow this to happen.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Stumbling through the drizzle....

A new day. Cloudy weather's back in our city. This has been a rather short summer.It's the twilight period between the fading summer and the approaching monsoons. The clouds are overcast and drizzle in the evenings---they open up once in a way.

Sometimes this weather can create a depressing mood in you but it can also inspire you if you are occupied with something creative and something that you've always wanted to do.

I was working late in my office one evening when 'Uncle' walked into my cubicle and greeted me. In the hierarchy of bosses above me, Uncle is close to the top. He's a young man--maybe nearing 40-- highly intelligent, articulate, efficient, aggressive....we call him uncle, mainly because he's bossy and partly because his hair has almost greyed.

I was rather surprised to see him speak affectionately that evening. He's known to be a upright, aloof, arrogant, business-minded person--a softer version of a bloodsucking landlord. Everyone under him have a faint fear and respect for him. And I was really taken aback when he spoke of his struggles and humble beginnings.....

The mystery cracks open a week later. The appraisals are announced and I'm not given a hike. The others who've got a raise have recieved a few pennies extra. This is the time when employee resentment is high and they start looking for greener pastures. Bosses soften up and cuddle their team-members, console and counsel them, crack a few bland jokes, smile a bit more---otherwise their higher ups will twist their ears if attritions increase.

India uncut gets me to this article which seems to strengthen my idea of bosses and their plight(?). As I read it, there's news that a colleague of mine has found a good job with a fat paycheck in another company in hyderabad. And 'Uncle' is on a one-one with my friend for the past two days. Funny thing is nothing, not even an assurance of increased pay, can persuade my friend from leaving the company.

My job, which I found dry and repetitive in the beginning is becoming more interesting nowadays. My only wish is that my inspiration and motivation to work doesn't arise out of a monetary greed but from the nature of the work and the work environment itself. I wish i find that inspiration here, in this company which has given me my first job.

As i think of 'Uncle', only one word comes to mind---Pathetic. God forbid, if I rise to his position, I pray I don't end up becoming pathetic like him.

You can't take over someone's pain, atleast at this level. We hear of mystics taking over others' karmas and sufferings upon themselves in order to provide relief to the concerned person. You wish you could do that but you can't. Perhaps you too want to become a mystic, atleast for this, if not for any other reason.