Sunday, 28 July 2013

Warmth

“Shall we go to meet Sumit?” asked Rajani.
“But, for what?” I asked her.
“Simply, I am missing him.”

 Rajani and Sumit both were my classmates at my Junior college. As Rajani and me went to the same senior college, we somehow remained in touch. Sumit went for a different course, hence a different college. Though we lived in the same town, we hardly met and lost touch. We completed our graduation and buried ourselves into our busy work commitments. Yes he was my friend on facebook and we liked each other’s pictures. But we had never met in the last eight years.

 For a very long time, I had not met any of my friends just for the sake of meeting. We mostly met at some social gatherings like marriages or birthday parties. Even Diwali was spent alone gorging on the mithai boxes which I got from my clients. I sent sms and 3D e-cards to all my friends. I called up my business associates and wished them a very happy Diwali. But I never thought of calling my friends just to share homemade sweets and chitchat. Neither did they. Advertisements and special features on the news channels ensured that I spent more. Diwali comes only once in year and you should spend a fortune for shopping, they proclaimed. I had simply forgotten that I could simply drop in my friend’s house to chit chat over a cup of tea. Formalities should not creep into friendships.

I thanked Rajani for reminding that I could meet friends, simply for the sake of meeting. Both of us went to Sumit’s place. Even he was surprised to receive us. The same night both of us went for a dinner on our bikes to a far away dhaba, as we did in our college days. We returned late. There was chill in the air, but warmth in our hearts. 

Midday meals

Though in the mist of controversy, we must admit that, the midday meal programmes ensure that many poor children do not remain hungry. India is still a poor country. There are many poor countrymen who are unable to feed their children. They send their children to school so that at least one meal of the day will be assured. There are many famous food chains like Pizza hut, Mc Donald etc. working all over the world. If these MNCs can run chains without any complaints, can’t our government try something on these lines so that the midday meal programme can be implemented more effectively? In today’s era, we can definitely put cooked rice and dal on a pupil’s plate, which has been untouched by human hands, thereby ensuring hygiene. Scrapping the programme cannot be an answer. You must have heard about some children from the poorer strata, which refuse to eat these meals. But at the same time it should be pondered over as to why they do so. The past experiences have molded their beliefs. The constant media coverage about the adulterated food served at schools has made them skeptic. At the same time, it must be remembered that these children are in the minority. For many, eating these meals is the only mode of quenching their hunger and ensuring non-starvation. Instead of getting into the controversy of what kind of development have we achieved in sixty independent years, where millions of poor still sleep without any food, we must accept that they do exist. Acknowledging it will put us in the proactive mode, where we can think of improving the system, rather than just criticizing it. But criticism is all that the majority of the population does, that too while sipping their morning tea and munching cookies in their well furbished drawing rooms.

Meditation

I sit in a lotus pose, on my meditation seat, with my legs folded. My meditation seat is a folded woolen blanket, where I have meditated for many hours. Masters say you should meditate in the same place. I pray to my Guru for spiritual progress. I concentrate my attention on the point between my eyebrows, which is the seat of the soul, your awareness. I observe my breath. Air comes in. Air goes out. There is a pause when air comes in, before it is exhaled. Again there is a pause before inhalation. The latter pause is longer in time. I like it the most. It gives me immense peace. Within few minutes I am calm. I go for reverse counting and enter into a deeper state of meditation. I am alert, my spine is straight, but I am very relaxed as in sleep. The state is so blissful that I do not wish to move my body even by an inch. I feel I am frozen. I continue to concentrate on my breath. My breath count drops. Surprisingly, even when I am not meditating and doing daily chores I observe that my breath count has dropped drastically. There is a sense of peace, serenity all the while.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Illusion

I have hundreds of friends in my facebook window
But I do not know who lives next door
I daily upgrade my profile pics and receive many likes
But I do not know what I really like
I use the latest operating system
But I share every online superstition
Many people I follow
But inside I am so lonely and hollow
I receive many birthday wishes on my wall 
But there are no claps in my hall
I am dead long back
But I am virtually alive 24 X 7
Likes, comments and shares
Turn me into a pseudo achiever
Alas! In my grave
I become a celebrity
Albeit only in my illusive eyes

Enriched

Tired in the evening
I am on my way to home from office
I trudge along a familiar path
The path that I trod from school to home
and my office bag dangles like a water bottle
Serendipitously I discover a treasure
A peacock feather, an empty matchbox
and a chocolate wrapper golden in colour
all covered in the dust of time
I see a spotted mongrel with her pups
I take home one in my cups
I return home enriched
with a value addition to my portfolio

Dawn




In the stark darkness of night
your body radiates light

I touch your silky skin
causing ripples on its sheen

I run my fingers through your lustrous hair
It appears a fragrant fanfare

After feeling your halves which are curvaceous
I am embarrassed of my slender habitus

By the dawn
darkness mixes into light
and day mixes into night

You and me become one
and beautiful like you
I have become

Beauty and the beast - Media

The media constantly bombards us with dapper men and women with chiseled features, toned bodies, problem free hair and skin and radiant smiles. This creates a constant pressure on the viewers especially the young. One doesn't realize that unlike the commercials and movies there is no perfect script, lighting and make up in real life. Real glow in real life comes from within and not outside. Eat properly, meditate earnestly, be free, be weightless in your spirit and you are a free happy soul spreading happiness and attracting millions wherever you go.

I am alive

Competitive spirit! I have lost it long back. I started my career serendipitously twelve years ago. I was in the number game, but never rated the number one. I must admit that it gave me sleepless nights. I have been working nonstop, trying my hands at different things, that too quite successfully. Number ones have faded away in the reel of time. But I am still going. So it hardly bothers me who is doing which project. I am happy doing the things that come my way. I am happy simply sitting, doing nothing but staring a tree from my window. I am alive and that matters the most. I know satori is just around.

Melt in love

Heart is a candle. Love is its flame. Flame is the breath of the candle. And heart beats only to the tune of love. No matter how much light a candle produces, whether it illuminates the whole room or just a quiet corner, it is candle’s nature to produce light. No matter how others respond, it is the religion of heart to love. If your love is responded, you have got cupped hands to protect the flickering flame of love. If not, you have lived a life that was meant for you. No matter if you melted in love, for if you were never burnt, you were never alive. So melt in love.
MAHESH SOWANI

I am happy

Feeling like I have drenched in all the bright colours. I am a butterfly that is flying in joy. A butterfly that has come out of the coon, to emerge as a magnificent youth again, ready to take all the happiness under its wings. I am happy. 

Friday, 19 July 2013

The thief

We reached Howrah Railways Station at about 4 p.m. Although the train was departing at 6 p.m. we reached two hours in advance to secure a seat in the general compartment. We had booked our tickets in advance. But thanks to Durga Puja celebrations in Bengal, we were on the waiting list and our tickets were not confirmed up to the last moment.  We had been to Kolkota to participate in the Inter University Moot Court Competitions.  I was accompanied by my teammate Rajni and Prof. Mrs. Sinha, our team manager.
We entered the general compartment. Although all the seats were occupied (read both by passengers and their luggage), after some persuasion (better word for brawl), we managed to accommodate ourselves on the upper berth near the entrance. Rajni and I had three bags each.  Our paraphernalia included coat, gown, bands in one bag and the other two had our books and papers. Surprisingly Mrs. Sinha had only one handbag during our journey to Kolkota. However, on the return journey she had four bags all bulging with Calcutta cotton and silk sarees. We dumped our entire luggage in the space beneath the seats.
The train left at sharp 6 p.m.  When the train was about to leave, a beggar entered the compartment and sat into the passage between two seats. She had a young baby in her lap.  She appeared to have lost in her own world. The young child on her lap was merrily smiling.  “Now we have to be extra careful!” said Mrs. Sinha rolling her eyes towards the beggar.  The very thought of her sarees getting robbed caused lot of emotional turbulence to Mrs. Sinha. It has been a mystery for me why ladies of all ages are so emotionally attached to their apparel especially sarees.  I bet, if a woman is on her death bed, the panacea to save her, is to tell her about the saree sale that has just arrived in the market. She will run to the market on her own legs.
As we were travelling for a long distance, my father had put a chain and a lock in my bag, so that I could lock my bag in the night. “Please let your chain pass through the handle of my bag as well” requested a worried Mrs. Sinha, as I was locking my bag into the metallic chain. I pushed the metal hook into the socket of my suit case, gently took it out of Mrs. Sinha’s bag’s handle and locked it. The young beggar was perusing my whole exercise. Mrs. Sinha was now much relieved. Her face started glowing in the same way, as it glowed when she relished delicious fish in Kolkota. The beggar appeared to be disappointed. She must have been unhappy as she had lost a big catch, I thought. Indeed one person’s elixir is another’s poison.

I was about take my seat pondering over what would have been the reaction of Mrs. Sinha in case her sarees would have been stolen. “Oh Sahib!” My reverie was broken by the voice of the beggar. I nodded my head looking at her. “You haven’t locked the chain properly. The lock is open” she said pointing the lock by one hand and gently patting the child in her lap. Mrs. Sinha gave me an ugly look for not locking the chain properly.  I locked the chain again, although I felt there was no need of doing so!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

The Theory of Karma

      One of the most famous theories of Eastern philosophies is the karma theory. In simple words it means as you sow so you reap. Unfortunately karma happens to be the most misunderstood term. Even the author of spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi says that Karma theory should not be given much importance. In my opinion God or existence, whichever way you term it, (I prefer the latter nomenclature) is not any guaranteed return investment plan. So if you give Rs.100/- to a charity, do not expect for the law of karma to work and bring multifold currency notes in your wallet.  Dr. Brian Weiss has documented past life regressions of many persons. His case studies do not support Karma philosophy, as understood in the conventional sense. Darwin traces evolution of man from unicellular organisms. His theory says that every single cell progressed gradually to finally evolve into the most intelligent species called humans. Similarly, according to me, the existence gives us many opportunities to evolve spiritually. So in many lives we have been rich and in many we have been poor. We have been men, women, beautiful, ugly, virile, childless, white, coloured, educated and uneducated. The sole purpose of this entire exercise is to understand life, to understand that we are part of this existence and the existence throbs into every pore of our bodies, irrespective of colour, caste, creed, status and bank balance.
          I am not saying that you should not be virtuous or not perform good deeds. All that I am saying is that good deed by itself does not guarantee enlightment or satori. While mediation keeps you aware and alert, zen asks you to be in every moment to the fullest. You cannot be fully in a moment unless you are alert and aware. Both philosophies suggest the same. The most interesting part is that as you become aware in meditation, you become more virtuous, kind, loving, generous and less tempered, less greedy and evil.
          So the question is why Karma theory has been formulated. When you are in class one, you cannot be taught syllabus of class ten.  It takes numerous years to progress to class ten from one. Similarly it takes numerous years to walk on the path of enlightment or even the quest. So for these beginners Karma theory is just an induction programme. If you cannot be a seeker atleast become a virtuous person.  Greed and fear make the stock market surge up and go down, because these are two predominant human emotions. Karma theory proposes to use these compelling forces to bring humans on the virtuous track. The purpose of this write up is not to defame Karma theory but to promote the good doers to the next stage of spiritual development. Let peace be to all.