How I Wish This To Be True…

8 07 2008

[W]hen the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies. And now when every new baby is born its first laugh becomes a fairy. So there ought to be one fairy for every boy or girl. ~James Matthew Barrie, Peter Pan

For all I need to make this true is only to believe it to be true.. Guess I am caught in the beauty of this thought. 🙂





In Pursuit of Happiness..

11 03 2008

There is a moment in that movie where Will Smith says, “It was right then that I started thinking about Thomas Jefferson on the Declaration of Independence and the part about our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And I remember thinking how did he know to put the pursuit part in there? That maybe happiness is something that we can only pursue and maybe we can actually never have it. No matter what. How did he know that?”. That did made me ponder about the futility thats inherent in the pursuit of happiness. Yet, I shut my inner voice to indulge in that movie, as I loved the father and son chemistry very much there.

I get quizzical when people come and tell me that they are in pursuit of these. Happiness. Joy. Laughter. Peace. Through out life, they keep these very things that they long for at bay running after materialistic pursuits , trying to ensure that they would be eternally happy ensconced in luxury in the end. Finally, most of them end up rudely surprised by the bout of misery and dissatisfaction that surmount them even after reaching the pinnacle of achievement. What went wrong? How could these tremendously intelligent people miss the bus of holistic Life?

This nagging thought is consuming me in all intensity. Though I can debate endlessly about the origin and location of happiness and proclaim holy statements that look with in one self, what makes me wonder is the continuity of effort that happiness demands. My moods, and state of mind are in constant flux, and there are always things that can make me rattled or cheesed off on a daily basis. It really requires detachment, determination and a great deal of focus to keep up my cool in times of crisis and uncertainty.

Two days back, I was very unhappy about a certain situation. My mind and emotions were really disturbed and then, in an attempt to tease myself out of thought and in pursuit of peace, I went to Ragi Gudda Temple. Even, the God couldn’t numb my worry and a little reflection told me that I desperately needed an attitude change more than the location or work. Probably seeking pleasure or happiness would inherently invite misery along. For, I believe that any activity inbuilt with a sense of purpose is a blend of pain and gain. We struggle, and we learn. We cry and we earn. We can only try to attempt a state of mind which can rival the lotus leaf that can stay untouched by the water even in the middle of a pond. We can be happy only if we choose to be happy. And that requires a constant effort indeed. For now, let me try to digest Karma Yoga (The Yoga of Action) of Swami Vivekananda which advocates about the pursuit of knowledge instead of pleasure. Hoping to garner some reflection there.





Summing Up The First Quarter..

8 03 2008

Recently I turned 25. Its kind of tough to think through the passing moments, really. Especially when you consider the first quarter of life as a milestone that passed by, acceding to no will of yours. Much of the complexities of being a twenty something is already addressed by some blessed soul over here. I identify with most of it. Yet, life is more than just a summation of miseries, woes, troubles and confusion and I don’t choose to cast a negative cloud on what has been an enriching journey. There is a lot of sunshine, some perfect moments, a few relationships of lifetime, reflections, solitude, lessons earned, studies unlearned, and some cherished people who filled my life with fond memories. Through the walk of life, I discovered joy in music, books, writing, woods, friends, family, mentors and myself which filled my life with love, laughter and a sense of celebration.

My experiments with life have evolved with the different phases that I whizzed by trading my innocence with apathy. Now, am wondering as to how to name those stages? Should I call them Childhood, Adolescence, and My Struggle to Grow Up or should I adhere to the society standards and treat them as Education, and Settlement? 🙂 When I got all I wanted or asked for, there was a sheer joy of achievement and when I didn’t, there was a huge lesson hidden in the reflection of that experience. It wasn’t all roses, yet while looking back, I realize that those little setbacks and failures taught me more than those larger than life kind of victories (they seemed that way when I was there 🙂 ).

Now let me confess this, I had a fabulous set of memories of growing up. My first 25 years that rolled by left me no regrets! Life is indeed beautiful. Call me Ulpasantoshi or easy to please, yet that is the big truth of my life. Words fall flat if I have to express my gratitude to my loving family which shaped me and been a pillar of strength, fabulous mentors who watched over when I faltered, friends offering companionship and acceptance in need and deed, and a lot of strangers and acquaintances who knowingly or unknowingly etched their footprints through innocent interactions. It is indeed people and nature, and the relationships I created with them which made me what I am.

Every day that I wake up in presents me with new challenges or opportunities,of which I passed up some, while exploring some. There is some realization and an immense depth of learning along the way, which I plan to record here for my sake so that when I look back after another 25 years, I can muse on what changed and what stayed on. I know it sounds rather ambitious, but I plan to stay around savoring life for another 3 quarters at the least. 😉

I have learned to appreciate elders, value experience, cherish people, share a smile, care with empathy, love without expecting reciprocation, cheer for the fellow men, endorse goodness whenever I can, enjoy my company in those moments of solitude, face uncertainty, live in the moment and to accept myself for what I am. And am practicing with myself to incorporate them in every pace of life. There are some things that I am trying hard to give up. Like wondering about cosmic questions like the purpose of life, playing the Nostradamus, Ignoring the present in an attempt to design future, postponing happiness, procrastination, transactional relationships, materialistic pursuits and being a rat in the race. That’s a constant battle that I wage on a daily basis with the inner demons, to get that right equation for holistic life.

This first quarter is all about developing roots, as I can feel that a lot of my convictions have only become stronger with age. Glad to trade my innocence for those wonderful moments, memories and experiences that altered me in minute ways, I see a long road ahead to work with myself in translating values to action, moments to memories, and dreams to reality.

To sum it up, let me borrow from Robert Frost.

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”




Its Yesterday Once Again..

2 03 2008

I had a really rocking weekend. Yes, the emphasis has to be there, as its been ages since I sampled those happy moments of yesterday again. Thanks to that quirky mind of mine, which made a spur of moment decision to treat itself out of cold with loads of love medicine of Grand Parents. This little last minute trip to my granny’s place has really made me alive and probably this forced intimacy is what I needed to shake me out of the cloistered work environment. I really can’t tell you how much of a shift I experience, especially coming from the corporate metro world where every minute can be accounted for to my Granny’s place, where clock holds no meaning and day light pretty much dictates how the day passes by.

Waking by to the chirping of birds, climbing walls to collect those hiding jasmines, out running little kiddos during lazy evenings, collecting veggies from the kitchen garden for lunch, helping granny in little chores, collecting firewood for the heating water, fashioning myriad flowers for God’s garlands, the poking fun on those legendary TV serials which occupy those dusk hours, wrestling with little sis over the primitive fire place, sharing the starlit blue sky for the blanket at the night.. Life suddenly feels as if its yesterday once again and life is not so much complicated after all. Every corner that I walked to, I would find a rose, jasmine, lemon, goose berry or mango and I can feel a mild fragrance enveloping my senses. That’s when I succumb to those feelings of contentment and joy.





Love Is In Air…

14 02 2008

Valentines Day.. Reminds me of All Things Beautiful…Red Roses, Deep Passions, Soothing Music, Candlelit Dinner, Long Walks With Loved Ones, Solitude, Bliss and Contentment.. Umm

I see couples planning days in advance.. Most of my lady friends are knocking heads to discover a real unique gift for their boy friends, when guys are grinning like cheshire cats armed with predictable delights (Chocolates, Flowers, Cards, Teddies, and Jewellery) and the singles are feeling deeply miserable missing their fantasy partners. Truly it feels as if love is in the air.

What could be a better time to thank all those people who filled life with love and beauty? Here I lay in snug solitude, wrapped in soothing music of Phil Collins, David Gates, and Richard Marx, trying to do a long pending quarter life review in reflections. Often I wonder, whats life if not for those special people who filled life with love, joy or lesson. What’s solitude, if its not connected with nature, music, books or soul?

Thanks for my sweet little family for always being around enveloping me in unconditional acceptance and love. Thanks for those mentors who changed my life in minute ways with their guidance, affection, criticism and direction. Thanks for those pals (real and virtual) who made there presence in those moments of quiet need.

The mood of this moment is contentment and it wouldn’t have been possible without music, books and you all.

Happy Valentine’s Day!





A Little Sunbeam In A Winter’s Day…

9 12 2007

A little rule, a little sway,
A sunbeam in a winter’s day..

Thats what I long for in namma Bengaluru. Days are cold and the air is chilled, and all that heart longs for is a little sunshine. All the beauty of life comes alive for me when I feel the joyful warmth of sun soaking into my skin, and the mild dancing sunbeams stealing a kiss on my forehead over a warm caress on a chilled misty morning. Bathing over the gentle sun rays, and taking a long saunter while sipping steaming coffee in a peaceful way..

Umm.. My moments of bliss in this garden city.





Moment By Moment..

2 12 2007

Thats the way to take life I guess.. I never can claim that I lead a perfect life, yet yes, I acknowledge the existence of some perfect moments as and when they happen.

This Saturday was really like some pot luck where one discovers all his favorite dishes at one go. Ever experienced this wicked glee on your face when someone sings aloud those melodies that are lingering in your thought? Ever cribbed to God about something, and saw your choicest desire taking shape in an instant? Ever longed for some soulful company and saw your best pal calling you that very moment.. All this and many more brightened my joy to the hilt..

Am just counting my blessings, moment by moment. 🙂





Happy Ganesha Chaturdhi..

17 09 2007

This is a very special festival in both family and cultural aspects as never a year rolled by when I haven’t prayed Ganesha in this occasion. Ganesha is one of my favorite Gods, as he is so much malleable to creativity. He get the first prayers as he is the one who guides opportunities by eradicating the obstacles. (So as the mythology goes).

This is an old forward, yet it was so current in my memory that I hunted it down to share it with you all.
ganesha.gif
I celebrated this year with my family friends and as I was enjoying the puja it struck me how much these rituals create the bonding of being together with the family. Whenever this festival arrives and wraps me in a humdrum of activity, I cant help but take a trip down the memory lane.. Reliving all those days of hectic shopping for the idol and flowers, Troubling Mamma for new books, Drawing Om on the book covers, Setting up the Mandapa, Dressing up in new clothes, The humdrum in the kitchen, Chanting of the sloka, Ardent avoiding of the moon and so on.. All those moments flash live they are still alive and are happening now.

Sometimes somethings sound plain stupid to the naked eye, yet they have a lot of depth behind it. The entire personification of God and treating him with flowers, dressing him up, and offering food in a particular process may sound tiring and ridiculous, yet I love the effect of peace it creates in the mind, the feeling of unity in entire family helping each other in getting things done, and the visits of the relatives and friends and the community bonding.. Sometimes I feel as if there is a meaning behind everything and everything has a meaning.. It may be hazy to figure it out in an instance yet, it doesn’t stop me from believing.

These rituals are just not about religious beliefs, they are about uniting everyone under simple purpose and activity, and sharing common memories through procedures and protocols. How much I love them!





12 o’ Clock Musings..

20 07 2007

Checking our for the clock to turn twelve, curiously awaiting for the first shower of wishes, counting calls in the midnight, cream cakes, face paintings and hard bumps on the agenda, packed surprises to unveil, hanging out with friends, partying hard, playing the prince or the princess of the day..

Sounds Familiar? I got a taste of this for the first time when I was in engineering hostel. Its easy to criticize the reason for celebration.. (After all, we did nothing great by being born into this world, so they say..), yet I would say what’s wrong with having a moment to cherish, pals to appreciate and reason to celebrate? So all the B’day babies, go ahead, enjoy, freak out and have a blast! After all, old wine is more precious!





Flow Of Life in Train..

10 07 2007

I observe life rolling by in faster pace.. Train Journeys have always been a fascinating experience. Splash of greenery everywhere, tall coconut trees, huge plantations, flocks of birds, meadows and shallow lagoons, huge lakes with lovely water plants, bustling little towns, kids playing by the train tracks, different variants of food.. Its spectacular to watch the huge expanse of nature taking myriad forms of beauty.. A little drizzle here and a little sunshine there.. Beauty and wind whizzes by giving rise to a wanton desire to take a dip in that lake or to play with the wind..

As a little kid, I have always loved train journeys.. Especially the long ones with family.. Preparation for Train Journeys used to run like a celebration.. The whole family fussing over the packing, Mom is busy loading food (especially Pulihora, Chapati, Curd Rice, fruits, Namkeens) to last for the double the actual journey.. What would you do if you got twelve or twenty hours to spend in the most idyllic fashion? Some sleep, some chat, some play. Scouting for water on the platforms, and the wait for the relatives to Hello By if they live along that route, Indulging in the local delicacies that come your way.. You meet interesting people out there in trains during idle, innocent chitchats. Some forge lasting friendships, some for the instant.. I have had some interesting experiences, and pals..

And then the waiting for the train.. Its typical to wait for hours together to board as Indian trains are a punctuality nightmare. BTW, I am delightfully surprised during my last trip to Vijayawada. The railway station got a cybercafé, 24 X 7 restaurants, and a Book Store. During my four hours of waiting to catch the 12 AM Tamilnadu express which arrived at 4AM, I browsed for an hour, had a strawberry icecream (that’s the only one flavor in offer), Wished a friend on his birthday, took a little survey of the platform and went to the waiting hall to surrender myself in one of those chairs to fall asleep.. Thanks to that good Samaritan who shook me up when the train finally arrived, otherwise I would have passed the chance to catch Tamilnadu for the grudging comfort of the yogic sleep I had!

And then the Ticket Collectors (TC).. They pass by in their dark coats and you can always count on them for arranging seats in emergency, albeit with some service charge. On one particular trip, I did a mistaken booking for a train starting at 12:30 AM.. Usually when we book tickets, we consider the date of travel in conversational terms.. 12:30 AM is colloquially Sunday Night, which would make it Monday Morning in Railway Lingo.. So I ended up in Train on a Sunday with a ticket that’s officially booked for Saturday Night. Everything ended up well though.. TC has offered me a vacant berth after I paid up the penalty..

Life never stops and journey in train is a filling activity. People are in contentment with rush, busy getting dressed up for the office or catching breakfast, indulging in music, book or drowning themselves in the cooling comfort of the window.. When the destination arrives, it’s a soothing comfort and life is back to the predictable rhythm.. Yet, the child in me still expectantly looks forward to that lazy, leisurely solace of the train journey again!





Rain is Beautiful…

21 06 2007

My day started off with this lovely forward SMS that I have received today..

“Its Monsoon and I’m sure u must be very happy. U must feel like going out, drench urself, singing songs, splash water and find sum1 spl. right?

Every Frog feels d same!” 🙂

It surely set the tone of the day and complemented the weather nicely!!

Its raining in Chennai! When I wake up from the plush comfort of my bed, the weather warms up my spirit as cool breeze envelops me in crisp silence and the little drizzle forms tiny droplets on my forehead.. Rain makes everything beautiful.. Roads, flowers, trees, and me.. I was feeling like Maggie while riding her bicycle towards the end in ‘City Of Angels’.. I donned my sweater and umbrella and blissfully shut the noises of the world with soothing music flowing from my N70.. I sang with Bangles, and Belinda, acted like a original composer and must have looked a Sight on the roads of chennai.. Yet, who cares!!!

Savoring the moment, soaking the fresh rain, dancing in vain and living it up…

This is Life!!!





A Perfect Weekend..

18 06 2007

Hey! I had a perfect weekend and I truly madly deeply wanted to etch that beautiful day in my frame.. Guess am waiting for a perfect moment to write about it.. I had a lovely south indian lunch from Abhiruchi, catched up with Jhoom Barabar Jhoom and went for a long drive on ECR Road.. Weather is on our side and we soared like a wind as the road is so clear and free.. We stopped by ‘Food Village’ on ECR for my favorite Mulagatavani Soup and headed to KFC in Ascendas to seal the day with a nice Dinner..

The day had a perfect ending with this special good news from my closest buddy on earth.. She got placed in the company that she longed for and she is in a rocking celebratory zig.. Her happiness filled my night as I was counting stars waiting for the verdict until her call came through.. A great weekend it was.. I am glad that it happened!





Revisiting Childhood!

14 05 2007

My entire weekend can be termed under one phrase: “Sheer Bliss”! I spent the best part of my weekend at Kuppa Metta Kandriga, which is located at the Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu border, almost 14 kilometers away from a small village called Nagari. This trip is a impromptu one, and I went in as a willing companion to my mother who wanted to visit her childhood friends and relatives located over there.

We caught a bus (#201) at CMBT in Chennai to go to Nagari which is some 2 hours journey and then boarded an auto arranged by my uncle to go to his Farm House. Thankfully, there is a decent cement road laid to connect those remote areas.. My childhood impressions prepared me for horse carts and I am delighted to trade it for an Auto rickshaw. I still remember those insensitive days when the cart driver used pepper powder on the eyes of the horse to make it carry heavy load in 1990s. 😦 Already, there is nostalgia setting in my mind and I longed for an escape into the simplistic life of the villages!

Well, how to you feel if you land up in an isolated place where you see greenery everywhere and there isn’t a single man made concrete building around for miles? I got more than I bargained for. I got joy, contentment, elation, solitude and peace! This farmhouse is set in sugarcane plantations and is filled with sunlight, fresh air and space. Their house is surrounded by lavish opulence of dangling beauties like jasmines, cosmos, frangipanis, periwinkles and firecrackers (kanakambaram) basking in glorious sunshine only to be competed by those Mango, Coconut, Guava and Pomegranate trees offering ripe temptations.. I had innocent elation at discovering the livestock. There were cattle, and pet dogs. I had a dewy-eyed pleasure in feeding cattle, taking calves for walk, and playing with dogs.

The beauty of the place is enhanced by the sounds of silence: rustling of the trees, buzzing of the leaves, soft cooing of the birds and the faint tinging of the bells. I wandered like a spoilt child, discovering delight everywhere, uncared for the hot sun.. I just loved those ornate cement floors, archaic concrete bath tubs, that gushing pump set by the old well, and that black and white television at their home.. I loved the night even more. Ensconced in natural air conditioning, admiring the star-lit skies and the shimmering glow worms, all I could think of is ‘Contentment’. It kind of transported me back into childhood and I was fourteen again!





Chennai Rains!!!

27 10 2005

Today is really horrible in Chennai. There is a lot of water clogging and all you could see are the mud puddles and water on the roads. Nothing is particularly visible and with wind blowing harshly, its really difficult to keep your umbrella on your head! Umm, that’s is a near description of what I am facing in Chennai today.

Hope this rains end soon. I somehow managed to wade through the water to reach the office sharp at nine. Only to ruefully grin at myself that the office is completely lonely save a single man who is working at his desk. Some of my project mates reached office at noon after a tiring 3 hours of journey. Remarkable commitment, isn’t it? I went down for lunch to the Canteen downstairs. I wished I could take a snap of the people sitting at the Food Court of Tidel Park in Chennai. I never knew that there are so many obedient souls who care to come to office literally drowning themselves! Most of the offices declared leave today. As I find leisure in my office now, being one of those stranded souls who are waiting for Cabs which would start only after 5, I am catching up on my long due posts. Guess it been ages since I last saw this kind of rains with knee deep water clogging on the roads! Umm… I am longing for those sunny days again!!! Wishful thinking?! Hope it comes true!!





Friends!!!

13 09 2005

Friends give a reason to smile! They are like a mild refreshing breeze over the boredom of life. What else can I say about them? They spice up life!

Life in Chennai would be a big BORE if not for a few good friends that I have. Life has become so comfortable as I have people around me who would lend an ear whenever I need someone to talk to. My job has become pretty routine and since I am still in training, I get good amount of leisure time which I chat my way through. If not for my friends, I would have gone half insane with the mechanical interaction that I have with my desktop in the office. How many times do I wish that this dumb computer can talk and write. Let me tell you guys, even if you have unlimited internet access and a computer dedicated to you, its quite boring to spend your time looking at the screen. I feel drained out in the end of the day, even if I did exactly nothing! I just can’t wait to get into the real work.

I am happy as I have a few good friends around. Some are working in the same company, so they can understand the situation in a much better manner. But then, the conversations during official hours is much much different than what you can have during evenings. Well, thanks to the so called corporate professionalism! I just shudder to this world devoid of friends.. Hope that day never comes in life! Long live friendship!!





A trip to Kanya Kumari..

20 06 2005

Thanks to TCS training programme in Trivandrum, I got to see the Kanya Kumari. We boarded the bus at 3 AM to catch the sunrise but as the weather is so gloomy, we missed it. The journey was quite eventful and the experience is beyond description. We went to see the Vivekananda Rock for which one has to board the steamer boat. There is Vivekananda Rock and just beneath it was a Dhyan Mandir where people can meditate if they wish. I sat inside the Dhyan Mandir and could feel the positive vibrations. Its was the best time which I ever had with myself. The mix of the light chanting, natural ventilation and the sea weather made me feel quite heady. There is also a Thiruvalluvar statue, a great Tamil poet, where a short summary of each of his 133 chapters were inscribed. I was quite delighted to read each of them, one of the best poetic expressions I have ever read. To top off the day, we relaxed at the Thipparappu Waterfalls. The scenic beauty was fabulous. It was one of the most beautiful days of my life.





What is Peace?

18 03 2005

I really don’t know if peace for many means absence of conflict or bliss of pure joy and love. I can’t really say if peace for somebody means absence of something or eternal happiness. For, I can’t really know the value of peace without conflict, and for me peace is a state of mind and an attitude to don even in conflict.

If one has to have a simple cottage or to need a hilly region for a peaceful life, I really doubt whether he can ever achieve it as he believe that peace exists as an external entity and its location goes on shifting as we go closer searching it.. All I can say is that a little bit of introspection and a little of awareness may give a different perspective in understanding what’s PEACE for an individual.. An answer to be found within oneself.. A pursuit to be done alone into oneself…





In Companionship with Nature!

31 01 2005

Today is one of the most beautiful days of life. Though I say that happiness is a state of mind, the day went in quite well.. I have no words to express the exquisite joy I felt in experiencing the day. Morning I had a lovely walk in the Kamala Nehru Park and had a nice tea with my daily Daily. The day was picture perfect and quite pleasant. I experimented with Rajma and was just about to doze off when a friend of mine rang me up. We went to the Osho Theerth Park, which is otherwise known as the Naala Park. Wow! I have no words to describe the eternal bliss I felt being at the park. The songs of birds, the mild rumbling of trees and the flowing water…Never knew that a park could be so beautiful. It looked so natural and perfect. I just wondered how would the world look like if I find such scenic beauty everywhere instead of concrete jungles. How to describe the surreal experience of joy and love? Words fail me!