Thursday, April 26, 2007

The future is here....

You pick up a book, shuffle the pages--end to end, close it and bingo! you can remember everything that you've read, understand it and grasp
the essence of the knowledge. How's that! You think that's possible?

Okay, how'bout this? You've a flood of new ideas. Wonderful ideas about everything--right from how to capture and utilize Sun's energy--the way plants do, how to reorganize your work-schedule so that you save 2 hours everyday, how to rearrange the parking space outside your shop so that you can accomodate six more cars comfortably. Or how to use the right manure that can revitalize a barren piece of land. And you have an amazing gift of explaining this to anyone in simple terms and inspire them. These ideas keep popping into your mind continuosly, so fast that you can hardly contain your excitement--you're once again a small child who has just discovered how to make a small cave out of sand on the beach, and keep the roof from collapsing. What would you give to get to that state of being?

You read a book on learning portuguese, and in twenty minutes flat, you can speak the language fluently, as if you've been in portugal all your life. You have an insatiable thirst for knowledge, in diverse fields of science, technology, arts--and you can grasp the concepts very fast. You look at problems from various angles and find instant solutions. You can move objects with your mind, by connecting to the energy field of those objects. How would that be?

Sounds crazy and damn scary! Looks good on a movie. Yeah it's a movie, but at the same time it hints at future possibilities that await us. 'Phenomenon' is a fantastic movie which appears farfetched or possible--depending on how open your mind is. John travolta plays an everyday small town man who discovers his amazing potential one night, when a mysterious light from the sky knocks him unconsious. He gets up and walks back to the bar where his friends are still partying and asks 'Did anyone see that light?' Nobody has. The town's doctor, who's an expert chess player has a board spread out in front of him. Travolta, who's as good in chess as a kindergarten kid is in nuclear physics, walks around explaining to his friends how the light hit him in the face and in between, makes two moves on the chess board. It's a check mate! In no time, his brain has grasped and excelled in Chess!

Later in the movie, we have scientists explaining the medical reasons for this--but here too, they say that his brain is getting stimulated like no other man's and new cells are opening up. How travolta grapples with his new found powers and how he lives intensly, albeit for a short period forms the rest of this beautiful movie.

For me, this represents the future. We are advancing into a new age wherein science and technology are making amazing strides like never before. But what's hidden and yet to be acknowledged is the advancement of the spiritual sciences. You speak openly and it becomes mumbo-jumbo new age babble--stress relief, deep breath, auras etc. Yet we had Osho who could finish two-three books a day and had grasped nearly 75000 books on various subjects over a period of two years. Swami Vivekananda had similar capabilities and we have recorded accounts of Psychokinesis by Uri gellar. These look like exceptional cases but maybe in days to come, this could become the norm.

What's required, I feel, is a thirst for this possibility, a quest in that direction. How do we as normal humans strive for this possibility--apart from looking at the night sky, expecting to be knocked down by mysterious lights?

Any ideas? Or is it time to wake up and shut the alarm?

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Thought....

A delightful short story by Kurt vonnegut. I'd read this years ago in an anthology and thanks to India uncut, I get to relish it, amidst a searing headache, boredom and in between finding never ending bugs in a software application.

A cursory visit to Nick's place leads me to 'Dilbert's blog' with plenty of good posts. And this one's the first post I read(the comments are more entertaining).

Gyan on a rainy Evening. Amidst continuos channel-hopping, the remote stops for a few moments at a particular programme -- a nursery rhyme in which a mother sparrow advises its young one not to play with a young crow. The baby-sparrow asks why and the mother says that if goes out to play with the crows, he too will become black and ugly like them.

The young sparrow replies--"In that case, I must go out with him because there's a fair chance that by playing with me, he'll become white and soft, just like me."

I'm not the baby sparrow yet. I can't make anyone white but I should try not to get eclipsed by the darkness of others. It takes a master to accomodate others and allow his own influence to remove their negativities. I'm not a master, not even in my dreams.

The book I'm browsing through says that a wise man knows how to keep away people who cause nothing but mental irritation. And everything I've learnt until now tells me that your true mettle is tested in how you accomodate unfavourable people, how well you accept the shortcomings of others and allow them to grow instead of keeping them away. What's the meeting point of these two diverse approaches?

I think these two aren't opposites, but different stages in your journey. From an ordinary person who's affected by others, you grow into a wise man who knows how to keep these others away. Then you become a master who can accomodate everyone--saint or sinner-- and like an alchemist, transform them by awakening the true spirit lying dormant within.

Mastery is far away. My next destination should be wisdom--avoiding mental irritation. And the irritation these days is sometimes more from within than from without.

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

People I don't know

Uday is the guy behind the food counter of the small restaurant where I'm gobbling up a Masala dosa. It's late evening and not the time to eat anything serious, if you want to have a good dinner. But I'm unusually hungry today. The dosa is delicious.

'I'm getting married this month', Uday says. He's gushing. 'The girl is from my native. From my community. Marriage's on this month end, on 28th. I'll get you a card if you come here tomorrow by this time'.

I congratulate him. He's an acquaintance from 5 years, and we used to play cricket on some sundays. He's kept aside half a cup of coffee for me--of course, for free. I deny it but he insists. We chat for a while. I wish him again before leaving.

Mom's explaining about the different savings and fixed deposits available at the local bank. The power's gone and the semi-dark atmosphere is endearing. Mom had an accident two months back. Her elbow cracked a bit and the doctors had to perform a minor surgery before setting it right. She's recovered now but has difficulty in freely using her injured arm.

'How's it now?'

' Fine, although I feel a bit of discomfort occasionally. By the way, when are you leaving for Jammu?'

' First week of May.'

We discuss about investments and other money matters. A few of my friends have enrolled their kids to nursery and pre-nursery schools, and all talk I hear nowadays is about the exhorbitant donations and hefty fees these schools demand.

'Save money, if not for anything, atleast for your son's schooling.'


'Do you talk to Archana daily?'

'Yes, mom.'

'How's your son? Does he smile a lot? Does he laugh?'

'Mmm. She says he's quite active....'

India's early exit from the worldcup has meant that Mom gets to sleep soon--or else, she'd stay awake late into midnight until the last ball is bowled, even if it's a losing match for india. Frequent powercuts means she can't watch her favourite soaps on tv.

"Are you planning to shift?' she sounds apprehensive. 'I hear, that friend of yours has rented a house near your spiritual center. Do you have similar plans."

'No. We have no such plans. I'm fine here.'

'Don't shift,' She says. 'Such a big house, this one. Why do you want to go anywhere else?'

I'm speaking to that friend. He's a regular reader of my blog, and sometimes I've to tell him that a particular post was Not written about him.

'Did you read Coelho's 'Like a flowing river'?'

No, I haven't.

'It's similar to your blog. He's written the events of his day to day life and made a book. When I read it, I feel you too can make a book out of your blog.'


'I read your post 'Old boy'. It's good.'


'Any contacts with old boy?'

'No. No news about him'.

'Are you people treating me the way you treat oldboy? I mean... I don't see the same behaviour in others nowadays. They behave as if I've done a terrible mistake.'

I explain. " You are not like oldboy. His case is different. As far as you're concerned, maybe it's your feeling that people ignore you or disrespect you. I don't think anyone has the time or inclination to deliberately disrespect others. We all are busy with our own lives, our own problems and situations....."

'Still, I see others ignoring me. I would like to know my mistakes so that I can correct myself.'

I know my mistakes and shortcomings. Maybe I don't need others to tell me where I've gone wrong or what mistake I've been committing.

The sky's getting overcast. We may have good rains tonight--the first rains of this summer.

"'Go home soon, before the rain catches you," I say as he starts his bike.

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Another day

'Why are you doing this?'

'Because I want to. I love to do it. This is my passion, my life...'



I think about the conversation for long. It's there on my mind on the long drive back home.

Evening home. Dad looks sullen. 'Poornachandra tejasvi is no more,'he says.'He passed away today at noon'.

Tejasvi is one of the greatest writers of modern kannada literature. He's 68. Although he'd penned down just a handful of novels and shortstories, they were powerfully concentrated and rich in content. A brilliant thinker and a rebel, he'd lived for the most part, in a remote hamlet, cultivating coffee, fishing in the streams, walking the untamed forests with a camera and his beloved dog, soaking up the richness of nature and the people who were very much a part of that nature, and then creating soulful prose out of the essence of this experience.

'Do you have any of his novels?' Dad asks. Yeah, I do have. More than that I want to tell dad that I'll be sharing a bit of the household expenses. But maybe this isn't the occasion. I'll tell him tomorrow.

My room. It's hot and humid. Fan's on. A quick shower. Sounds of the sea emanating from Moksha on Worldspace. Darkness. Soothing. I'm tired. Fall on the bed. Open your eyes after a while. It's already early morning.

Saturday. Day of rest. A strange kind of laziness. Of inertia. I watch time rush by-- in a moment it's late evening. A few errands get done. A bit of bloghopping. Watch TV. Sit and think about future plans. About fixing a few things. About cleaning the room--dusting every nook and corner.

There's a missed call. An unknown number. Although I don't get inquisitive I call up. Twice. No reply. Then a message from the same number. 'Sorry, I was trying to call up a friend.' I write back,' It's fine. I thought it was a friend'. I delete the messages. Then the same person messages back--'I was playing a game. Happy easter.' Then another message. 'Can I forward messages to you? I'm a student and I was just feeling bored.' And one more. I ring up, ready to blast. No reply. Half an hour later the phone rings. A girlish voice, or maybe a girl. 'Sorry for disturbing. Happy easter.'

Call up archana.

'How's the kid?'

'He's staring at me as I speak to you. Laughs a lot. Tries to turn and roll over......Do you miss him?'


'Just a few weeks more.'

Late night. A million stars up there. Power's gone. Darkness everywhere stretching upto the horizons. Cool breeze. As I gaze up, there's a sudden feeling of loneliness. A sort of helplessness, depression, lack of direction, of purpose. Something which I'd feel often, years ago when I'd loiter on the terrace at night. But why now? When everything seems to be settled and on track? I probe it hard. Nope.

'Why are you bored?'

'Don't know. Maybe because I have a lot of time on hand and nothing much to do. ......Tell me, don't you feel bored at all?'

'It's a luxury I can't afford. I'm on the opposite side. Lots to do. Not much time.'



'You look confused. Is everything ok?'

'Yeah. Everything's ok. Nothing to worry.'
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