Thursday, July 24, 2008

Small new beginnings

There are frequent powercuts these days. We three sit in front of the Tv late at night, expecting the latest installement of 'Mata ki chowki', and plunk goes the power. We peer at one another for sometime, a bit bewildered, too lazy to get up and
light a candle until tejas begins to get uneasy and starts questioning. The fan's stopped and it's getting warmer. Light the candle, sing a lullaby and pat tejas to sleep. Pull out a book and try to read in the waning candle light. Close it and walk out. Every other area surrounding ours is bright with glittering lights; our colony is an oasis of darkness. Stand under the million sparkles up there. Shut all mental noise and look at the silence. Be still.

I leave home early, thinking I'll avoid the traffic jams but no, there are at least three clogs before I reach office. And with 300 two wheelers being added to the roads of bangalore everyday, one wonders where this will lead to? The pollution, dust, hustle are overwhelming at times and I'm sure this must be the case across many more cities elsewhere. Suddenly you have a sinking feeling that you're driving fast down doom's lane, that an inevitable crash is staring in your face. Yet we continue our daily lives as if this technoutopia will continue ad infinitum. My next ambition is to possess an iphone, a laptop and a royal enfield motorbike. This amidst my noble desire to cut down on my wants, to simplify, to learn new skills of sustainability and,community building. The conflict is obvious; between the old world and the coming new age, a world of material wants and isolation and a new world of inner growth and community. Of hoarding excessive baggage and living lightly.

A new house is getting constructed in our layout and the watchman has built a small room next to the park and moved in with his family. The husband and wife work hard all day long, eat their food early in the evening and are deep asleep while the rest of the layout is busy watching teleserials. There are four small kids, who play all day in the sun, sand and rains. Once this house gets constructed, this small family will shift elsewhere and take roots--for sometime. And then move again. Their possessions are light, their worries & joys are immediate and it appears as though they're living day to day, moment to moment.

I guess, detachment and a kind of lightness are a part of their lives. They do not have to struggle to develop these, like I have to. If I want to change my house, I'll have to think hundred times. This house has been a part of me, my life, for the past 22 years. Much of my life is entwined here, so to shift from here is to uproot oneself and get rid of a part of ones identity.

I love to be that detached and light, however difficult and alien it is to me. And this could become a necessity also.

Reading Flow. Placed an order for a collection of short stories by Nathan englander(Had read a review of one of his shortstories here, long back). And also another book which I've been lusting for for quite sometime--'The last american man'.

I have a direct experience of how Light works. We saunter into the meeting room, expecting another round of verbal bashing and admonishes from the Manager. I channel light, spread it everywhere with a request of fearlessness and peace. Throughout the meeting, I stay aware of the light spreading out from my heart, all around.

Surprisingly, the manager seems to have forgotten that he's one hell of an asshole, for his behaviour is completly out of the norm. For the first time, he praises the team for the good efforts and resists from probing and prodding the individual efforts. Even the team members are relaxed and upfront in their reporting. There's an ambience of ease and humour, no fear or
dejection-- and the meeting ends on a high note with the manager hinting at the announcement of our overdue salary raises by the weekend.

How could this happen? 'It's an one off thing,'says Nazeer.'He'll bash us in the next meeting, just see.' The skeptic in me thinks the same. But I believe it isn't so. The Light makes a difference, in how people think, emote and act. It changes everything, elevates the quality of our lives and reminds even the hardened nut that beneath layers upon layers of accumulated dirt, she's a pristine spark of the divine. It first changes you, changes how you view the world. No matter you believe or not, it works, beyond the rat hole of all your learnt logic and rationality.

This simple event inspires me to practise Light awareness all the time, in every situation, under any circumstances, without any expectation of goodies or favourable ambience. Because I understand that the time period that's closing in on us in the near future has tremendous challenges, far far greater than dealing with the warped ego of a retarded manager. When the system comes crashing down on you, When everything you know about dealing with the world goes for a toss and you're confronted with a new world order, there's only one thing that saves, guards and guides you. It's the light that you carry, the light you manifest, the light you're aligned to.

You are that light. Not an alienated human pygmy tossed onto this earth, in a remote corner of an uncaring universe. You...are...Light. Know it and start living it....Now

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Where's your sense of humour...!

Heavy tension pervades our workplace nowadays. A project has started with the tightest deadline ever and it seems to be taking its toll on all of us. Suddenly we're transported back in time, to that suffocating school days when the terrorist PT Master stood over us, ruler in hand, thrashing not the knuckles or bones but at a part where it hurts most--ones self-esteem. That horror has revisted and everyone seems to be enjoying it.

Every evening is a torture where the project manager marches all the team members into a stuffy room and conducts a status meeting. Even the best effort is ridiculed, every minutes accountability is asked and there are long lectures on time-management, dedication, quality, work-ethics and company policy. The juice in the work is gone and what remains is a dry terror. We listen in awe as the manager barks on and on, making each one feel and realise ones own worthlessness.

When I stand listening to the never ending harangue, wondering what karmas did I do to deserve this, who comes to my rescue but my dear friend R.K.Narayan! I lift a scene out of 'The Bachelor of Arts'--and imagine the manager, a short, stout fellow standing in the middle of the room, only in his underpants. That ugly scar on his pot belly, how his teats bounce every 5 seconds, how he scratches himself like a sick dog, that super squeaky voice--what's there to be scared of this asshole? 'I'm going to hold this against each one of you, once this ends'--bark, bark--he's threatening with termination if we don't do as he wants us to. Now I imagine him in his full glory, in his birthday suit. Awww Yuck! Why does he attack and thrash his juniors? His wife's a bomb and he's so pathetic; that's the source of his self-hatred and inferiority complex! 'I was a school leader and I'm used to kicking people out'...Yeah, I just heard you fart, you jackass!

What's strikingly astonishing is the fear he evokes in everyone around here? What's everyone scared of? Loss of job? Loss of face? Fear of embarrassment? The primeval fear of annihilation is staring at every face here and it's to be seen to be believed. And secondly, the way he sways and influences everyone towards his ideals. There are only robots here, programmed to act, not aware human beings with self-respect. All nod to his tunes, the way the Nazis might've listened to the Fuhrer...where does he derive this destructive power? Does someone else whack him and so he takes it out on others? There, he farts again!

This is the worst period of my worklife. Maybe my best. These crushing forces have now shown me what's the prioritiy and what's fluffy! What's lacking, what's to be done, how to do it, where's the motivation--these are becoming clear. Whether I act on them and grow or pass through the ordeal and remain unchanged remains to be seen. But boy does it hurt, this change.
The proverb is totally true...'My ass is getting torn and becoming as wide as that door...!'

Saturday, July 05, 2008