I had almost forgotten this blog….

One ‘another day on our planet’, i just lost track of time …Got sucked into a vortex of emotions…

Media was also not helping me recover…It is like the ‘big fella’ in the movie Green Mile…

The cannibalization of human beings is at its peak and Children of the planet bore the brunt…

DEATH, AGONY, TRAUMA ….written all over the human canvas

I had lost the strength to put words on this digital paper…They seem so hollow and meaningless..

So, another human milestone welcomed and gone…soaked in blo….Bombay was visible through camera lenses…Then, there were countless other corpses which could not get the coverage…Right here in Bombay….In Delhi…and In Kashmir and Guwahati…

2009 has been welcomed with the same fervor

??????


Life’s Ledger..

June 1, 2008

!!One day , some decades back my lungs tasted the first winds on earth …Days and then years have gone by …I am now a part of a story – like millions of others.!!

!!For some time i floated on the wings of life and it made perfect sense for me to embrace everything – the wind, the hurricane, the dust & the pollen , rose aroma along with the thorns & petals, monsoon nights to scorching summer days – all were so close to my heart, and why not? For Life was my best mate!!

And then basics of accounting were slowly introduced – The syllabus might look familiar -

Look for Good Friends..Well, how can a child know in such a short span? …Then Look for signs…

Get Good Grades..That’s the Life Saver

Be Punctual…

Always do your homework…

Go for the Eng. \ Doc degree …

Got a job in a MNC…Upscale apartment….Japanese make car will do for now

Huge pile of bills….To be paid on time..Then there are other things too – to be done on time else…

Nothing can be left for tomorrow since each day will accrue interests….

Yes, now we are on the treadmill….

The race gets faster & life seems such a distant thing…

The slow things are left behind –Including the hands that rocked the cradle

Got kids now…That’s good though

But, they have to be pushed to school…fast..or else how will they compete

THERE IS HARDLY ANY TIME TO JUST DROP EVERYTHING & SOAK IN EVERYTHING.

Now the twilight years are knocking…

Need to make plans for it…retirement plans

I am tired…I feel like slowing down…BUT, CAN I?

In the end, all of us are getting the same castle – Dust to Dust , Ashes to Ashes.

!! So there goes the years, faster than the hummingbird !!

!!Life is not a race…Its a Walk!!

I am going to recount a true story…about a true saint and a great statesman, a rare combination indeed.

This story goes back half a century when India had just secured its tricolor. This is about the first president of the Independent republic, Rajendra Prasad.

Rajendra Babu (as he was affectionately called) was known for his simple lifestyle and modest demeanor. He eschewed the perks of the highest public official as much as he could. Very often he would sneak out to taste the freedom of the common man.

On one of his presidential escapades, he went to meet Pundit Nehru (the first Prime Minister) at his ancestral home in Allahabad. He reached there in the dead of the night when all the members had already resigned to sleep.

The caretaker could not recognize the president & told him that Pundit Nehru is fast asleep. Rajendra Babu asked him for a corner to lie and instructed him not to disturb Nehru.

The drama unfolded in the morning & the whole household was livid at the caretaker…but Rajendra Babu, the statesman he was, managed to save the poor guy’s job.

Everything ended on a good note with the promise from Nehru that story would not leak into the press…So that Rajendra Babu could continue his journey as he liked it……As a Common man & a humble servant of the republic of India!

Don’t we miss Presidents & Prime Ministers like Rajendra Babu!

Do we really listen?

May 24, 2008

We often hear – ‘Listening is an Art’ – Its not, otherwise everyone passing by you would have made an instant connection – As Art can be imbibed and Science can be learned.

Listening is – making a connection with the speaker – attuning oneself with the the frequency of the speaker – removing all screens so that the words are reaching our mind undiluted & unadulterated – BUT IN 99% OF THE CONVERSATION, WE THROW OUT ALMOST 85 % OF THE MEANINGFUL DECIBEL. The rest 15 % is digested and interpreted as the mind guides us to. No wonder PICTURES have a greater impact on our grey cells than scholarly essays.

How can we expect to live in harmony if we keep talking to stone walls?

Listening is hard stuff, much harder than preaching – Most of the Pastors, Pundits & Mullahs don’t listen – They just do the easy part of speaking – Gandhi was a good listener, because he practiced what he preached – So, a good listener is a good practitioner too.

Why don’t we listen to each other? – Parents to Children, Husband & Wife, Colleagues, Employer & Employees.

BECAUSE WE LIKE TO USE SCREENS TO PROJECT OUR UNTRUE SELF.

We need to demolish many types of screens – Of our culture & ethics, Society & region, Language & Nation, Social & Economic Status, Of our fears & apprehensions, of our physical & emotional security….The list is long.

But, we can do it – one step at a time. Even if we start listening to 50% of the conversation – 90% of the conflicts will take care of themselves.

This is a world of Monologues..for the moment.

Lets start listening!!

We are in a strange era of evolution – of human consciousness & conscientiousness. The world has never witnessed such an organized movement to liberate the human race of pain, trauma, and soul malfunction.

Yet, there has been never been a greater need for the nirvana of the soul – The goodness all around us is being challenged by the caucuses of evil. Our politicians & religious leaders don’t look beyond their myopic & selfish visions.

Common man is shredded within the turmoil of daily existence, terrorism, racial violence, and other social & cultural maladies. Trauma & Pain have crossed the limits of imagination – and each of these traumatic episodes challenge the sanctity of ethics, honesty, spirituality – AND EVEN GOD.

How does the common man deal with this epidemic of violence, trauma, and misery?

The survival of the fittest no longer describes the challenges of survival. But, the most traumatic aspect is that we have brought it upon ourselves – Wars are waged not for justice but for doing justice to the egos – Religions are transformed not for unifying the human race but to drive a wedge between them – Linguistic & regional differentiation is the patent mode of vote garnering by the politicians.

And as if these external spikes were not enough – We keep running faster in order to find the oasis of peace, but all we do is distort the already convoluted life.

Now, to the question of coping with this pile of stress …

Most of us who have gone through such difficult times know that the human mind & heart loses its elasticity beyond a particular point.

How does a mother deal with the loss of a son in Iraq? How does a family cope with a terrorist attack? Racial violence in Africa? Ethnic cleansing in Zimbabwe? Old couple thrown out on the street by their only son?

No balm or words of solace come to rescue…Human mind finds it incomprehensible to grasp it…

That’s when we think of SURRENDER….TO THE ALMIGHTY.

That’s when the logical mind whispers to us …LET HIM TAKE OVER FROM HERE, I AM NO GOOD!

But, many times, we fail to surrender in time & the soul continues to suffer…

When the Ship’s compass is defunct, It is the winds which will take us to the right shore. If we interfere with it, the ship is bound to drown.

God Bless You!

Stop…Take a breather..You have been running for so long!

Who? Me? No time to relax – I am on to something – something really big. I am almost there…

This is the story of most of us. The goals of life are reset the moment it doesn’t meet the standards set by others.

We are always in hot chase – Chasing shadows of reality … Shadows of perception – We hardly perceive

Shadows of Happiness & Bliss…

By the time we have exhausted ourselves of the fuels of life – the reference point has moved somewhere else – We are living in fourth dimension all the time ….The future makes sense while the present is squandered in glory.

Why can’t we change our reference point from outside to inside – so that our heart & soul is in sync …..

Because that’s painful …That needs real courage….Lots & Lots of it…And most important of all-

It necessitates the removal of centuries of Baggage & Bias – Of our culture …Of rituals & religion…Of our family & Society…Of our fears & apprehensions…Of our hegemony & superiority….Of our race & nation…Of our language & literature….THAT’S A LOT OF BAGGAGE.

But, then the choice is ours – To keep running without a destination or

To start the process of self-purging

For me, the happiness is cocooned in -

Watching the babies sleep!

Watching the dog wag its tail at the sight of you!

Gazing at Birds flying away to their nests at twilight with food for their little one!

Seeing the first bloom of Tulips in Spring!

Rain drops making ripples in an isolated lake…

The list goes on…..And you know what…All this is right in front of us…Every moment…Right now – If we care to open our eyes & ears..

School Bus – 8.30 am

Lunch – 11.30 am (away from home)

Back on Bus…Street Corner – 4.30 pm

Math lessons – 5.30 pm

Science tuitions – Just after Math lessons

Music & painting classes – Every alternate days

Back home – 7.00 pm

Bath – Next 15 minutes

Quick re-union & some advises

Homework time – 7.30

Dinner – 8.30

Back to bed – Best time of the day ….

Just got up…..The school bus is waiting at the street corner…

Sounds familiar. That’s CHILDHOOD for you.

Marbles, Kites, Fish catching, stealing mangoes, roof-top music concerts, Half-day school, Day off with grand parents, Weekend getaway to zoos & of course Ice creams in summer…

Seems not too long away…

So, here’s what our children have for the golden years of their lives. We are inculcating market driven thoughts into our children even before the alphabets seem to be coming right. Education system thrives on fear, peer pressure, and a false sense of security for the parents…

Grades are the God. Go get it any cost … even if it means losing your life …That’s what our children fill their their hearts with – The hearts don’t beat to the tunes of Tagore’s songs any more.

So, is it so surprising that we have so many suicides just around the exam time …So many shootouts in some of the best schools in US.

Well, Parents, wake up and stop this assembly production of future Rat racers.

Let the childhood bloom & explore the secrets of life & nature. Rest will come in proper shape & time. Nature shaped the greatest minds in the history – Einstein, Edison, Henry Ford, Rabindra Nath Tagore, Shakespeare … Not The Coaching Institutes.

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