Saturday, November 27, 2010

Louder, please

How instinctive it is for one to raise their voice the minute one suspects one's own folly! Haven't you observed that? I mean in yourself not in others. I write this because the past few weeks had me gleefully expose this base instinct in many people (ex-employers, friends, colleagues, et al) and I immediately turned the spotlight on myself to see how different am I. Beyond the consciousness I bring to most of my actions so that I can continuously understand myself, I cannot deny that I am occasionally a criminal myself. So this is no longer about you or me. It is verily about the common human fabric that forms nearly most of us.

I start a discussion and the minute I notice the veneer of my self-attested brilliance peeling, I get annoyed, I get exasperated, I try mocking at the other person who clearly possesses sound logic and clarity, I simply disagree with him and aver that "I don't think you are right" and side-step the vital responsibility in the wake of that statement, that of explaining why I think so. 

It burns my skin to be caught wrong in public, as if I have been walking around naked only to realise that in the quadrangle of a forum and all that gaiety and confidence about my threads and demeanour are laid bare, literally and figuratively, not in the seclusion of my bedroom where none shall know other than the tales I carry out of the door, but in an agora where people rarely wait for me to explain for what is seen and heard is all that sells in the marketplace of human interaction. And then I raise my voice and rail about the atrocities of world in which we live, how morals have fallen, how the king is cruel and, the minute I find a few heads nodding, continue to dig into that one topic which seems to distract people from my nakedness.

Jiddu Krishnamurti (no less a victim of this phenomenon) calls this a relationship between images. We have an image of the other person and we have an image of ourselves. We wish to prove repeatedly establish our image to be worthy of the other image's consideration. Ponder over that. What if I strip myself of any image and personas everyday as soon as I rise and before I even recognise the world around me?

This is not a mental exercise (as isn't most of deep realisation). To shed our image, our preferred persona, is not something we can get up in the morning and say "Ok, today I have decided to not consider myself brilliant". It is not that simple. It requires going into our mind and understanding why we are wounded when someone critiques us. Why are we hurt when we don't win a game of table tennis? Why are we uncomfortable when another brings a more intelligent idea? A more beautiful illustration? A more creative plan? A more wise approach to a problem? A vital insight into a matter being discussed? Without that understanding (which isn't mental or intellectual), without the clarity into why we feel what we feel and respond the way we do, there is no hope in our attempt at shedding this image. If we refuse to see what is, all attempts at transformation are abortive at best and ridiculous as a norm.

Interfering With The Natural

I was appalled when I read about the Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510). Coming from a country which considers itself rational and prides itself in its "freedom" and "liberty" to do just about anything, the articles I read (here and here) only reminded me of 1984 and Atlas Shrugged. An excerpt:

Practices such as saving seeds for use the next year would be prohibited and
doing so could result in a federal offense, punishable by fines and prison
time. Some speculate that the practice of saving seeds is being banned in
order to give seed companies, such as Monsanto, a monopoly over the seed

Similar stuff seems to be happening in India too. Read this

Friday, November 26, 2010


While I have been busy in so many things, I have also been called to organise a quiz. Master stroke of irony! I who have no clue about what is happening in the world am asked to organise a quiz! I was laughing for a day and a half till I realised that the folks were serious. So here is the first flier created for this. Feel free to let me know your answer! :-) Please click on the image below.

Quiz 1

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mixed Worlds

Alas! I must be what others can see

From many-hued dreams,
A dew drop wakes the lily
To be a flower.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Eighteen Verses - Prequel

Some readers might be aware of a bygone effort of mine in capturing my thoughts and meditations into 18 verses. On my recent trip I felt the need to understand when philosophical enquiry and spiritual pursuits seem appealing or even relevant to an individual. I also wished to understand what are the characteristics of a realised soul and what is available to him which infinite intellectual efforts (medha) cannot rein in. It is this very subject in its foggy constitution that leaves several amateur seekers (like myself) confused with the words of the wise and irritated by the chanting populace which resembles the mass incarnation of parrots. 


This post is an offering to the Divine Goddess Saraswati who effortlessly milks Truth from the bovine world in which we live. Were it not for Her, my life would be sadly meaningless, as it happily is now. In Her there is a union of mind and mindlessness. In Her there is a union of beauty and the banal. In Her there is peace. Om Shanti, shanti, shanti-hi.

This prequel discusses 3 matters vital to the reader before s/he even feels inclined to read the 18 verses. These verses (also numbering 18) are not questions but statements. They have been composed as verses adhering to the 5-7-5 count of a haiku though resembling the haiku in no other manner. Some might but most wouldn't as the subject is heavy and I am presently incompetent to douse such raging fires in a light linen handkerchief. 

The first few verses cover the characteristics of individuals who would be inclined to philosophical enquiry. The next few verses detail the characteristics and circumstances which discourage one from spiritual development. The last few verses detail the traits a seeker must develop in order to effectively be able to meditate on the 18 verses. The post closes with 2 verses which apply to all philosophical schools of thought.

I will not elaborate on each of them as they are as delicate as the 36 questions raised in the original post. Poetry, unlike prose and laws, allow the fecundity of the mind to dictate the import.


All jump to pluck the

Blossoms from the laden tree -

The roots go deeper.


The monk wonders as

The fish gasp in the basket -

Which sutra they chant?


The merchant's nine locks

And three guards at his vault - Still

A charm hangs on his neck.


As he falls asleep

The buzzing bee near his ear

Begins or ends his sleep?


A little orchid

Eddies past the praying monk

He smiles, bows once more.


The tree in a seed

In a soft fruit's belly -

He slowly nods his head.


The Yang-tze flood razes -

He floats on a bamboo mat

Eating from debris.


He sows seeds; it rains

Hundred sacks of golden wheat

He dusts his bed and sleeps.


When the nightingale

Departs, the li'l pup climbs the

Branch and barks. Confused.


Ten fingers count sheep

Till one jumps over the other

Count all over again.


The Spring breeze through

The orchards of apple blooms

Smells of apples.


As I step into

The cold Ganges, I admire

My halcyon shadow.


Come cruel Autumn

All tree obey and shed - Even

One which bore just a leaf.


The mighty river

Too follows the plough's command

To water a rice field.


Oh! Puissant hunter

Myriad arrows that left your bow

Rust on the wet grass.


The lion mauls the deer;

Cruel? So necessary?

Manjushri's sabre.


Sweet waters flow swift

Brine stands still gathering all - 

One becoming another.


A vagabond strolls

Through forest, marsh and towns - Paths

Beckoning his feet.

Yadakshara padh brashtam maathra heenantu yad bhaveth
Tat sarvam kshamyathaam deva, Narayana namostute
Visarga bindu maathraanee, padh paadhaaksharaanee cha
Nyoonaani cha atirikthaanee, kshamsva Purushottama.

Green leaves against the white sun

A Tour Through The Himalayas

Well, I was away traveling through the mountains. It was beautiful. More on that later. Here are some pictures shot during the trip. Hope you like them.

In case you do not like the display format above, then feel free to click on the link below (you can control speed of refresh depending on your connection):