Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Know - Don't Know !!!!

It was sheer luck that i came to know about the Kabir Film Festival that was held at the National Film Archives of India on 14th and 15th of November. i had missed the first day of the festival when i came to know about it, so i decided to go for the second day's events. There were two documentaries to be screened namely " Kabira Khada Bazaar Mei" and "Hadd - Anhadd". The director Shabnam Virmani aimed at finding the relevance of the ideology of Kabir in today's contemporary society. Well i don’t know whether the objective was successful or not but i was completely awestruck by whatever unfold before my eyes. It was my first opportunity to watch a documentary and in the process I was completely occupied by the cinematic pleasure and the knowledge it imparted. The documentaries were followed by a Q & A session where the director and the veterans present had a very interesting discussion. With a such a fabulous creation loaded with a sensitive subject, people were bound to discuss it in depth. As the discussion progressed, I was gripped with a sudden feeling of insignificance, because after a particular point, nothing made sense and all was going above my head. I badly wanted to be a part of the discussion and accurately understand the technicalities and the intricacies of film making and the simultaneous thought process that went into it. But I realised, I am too amateur to be in the same league as others. I return back crestfallen. I called my dad. Baba, being an ardent theatre artist since 25 years; I knew he would have answers.
After patiently listening to my puzzlement, he told me that my feelings had more to do with me as a person than me as an artist. There are three areas of human knowledge.
• Area 1 - Things we know, that we know.
• Area 2 - Things we know, that we don’t know.
• Area 3 - Things we don’t know that we don’t know.

Among these, the things we know that we know forms even less than 1 percent of our entire circle of knowledge while things we know that we don’t know constitutes around 2 percent. The rest of the 98% are things we don’t even know that we don’t know. In the process of mental growth and intellectual upbringing, we should always try to increase the things under area one and reduce the things under third one. What I had experienced in the festival was that I had realized that I don’t know a certain thing. Actually i had brought one thing from area 3 to area 2 , which in turn is a promising realization for me as an individual as well as an artist.I realized i am on the right path of growth and development. It was really such an inspiring feeling to think of my lack of knowledge as a step towards growth.

I have started reading more and more about Kabir after that incident and I feel encouraged. But with it now I have realized one more thing – the more u gain knowledge, the more insignificant u feel. i.e. the more you know – the more u realize that u don’t know anything.

So back to level zero again.

The Lost Symbol, The Lost Wisdom . .The Lost Mind

I am just done with Dan Brown’s new book The Lost Symbol. Set in the American capital Washington D.C., this book is an exciting quest to find the Ancient Mysteries believed to be lost to the history. With the anticipated twists and turns, this book proves to be an exceptional mystery. I have zealously read the earlier books by the author and I just love the way he gels the ancient mysteries, architecture and literature with the present. Its nearly impossible to express the feel you get when you actually imagine that the U. S. Capitol building is linked with an ancient mythological secret. And more over, the secret is still being guarded by a group of people all around the world unknown to others. Wow. This is like realizing that the Ferguson College is linked with some ancient mystery and the mystery is still guarded by some of the elite and oldest families of Pune. Human mind is always attracted towards the secrets, towards the unknown. And this books feeds on that.

While reading the book I realized that, the Christian, the Pagan, the Roman and the Egyptian mythology discussed in Brown’s books are equally old as our very own mythologies. There are a couple of references in the book from the Vedas the Bhagwad Gita as well. We, since long have only accepted the Vedas and the scriptures as a part of the legends without questioning. Never have we tried to explore the scientific possibilities in them – which is what exactly Brown’s book do. If he can dig out such powerful plots and stories from a single folklore, imagine the number of interesting novels we can write from our own part of the ancient knowledge and wisdom. More than the novels, it can generate an attitude of curiosity towards our history which is often considered as ridiculous religious beliefs by educated youths. Take for Ex. The Mahabharata which has numerous incidences which seem as “Miracles” of those times but which if rationally thought today can be simple scientific processes. I hope some historian does think that way, as my own knowledge of these things is far less.

One more thing that I loved about this book is the way it describes our human mind to be. I am giving an excerpt from the book to have a exact idea what I am talking about.

For years the ancients’ claims of man’s awesome mental power have been studied, and now science is showing us that accessing that power is an actual physical process. Our brains, if used correctly, can call forth powers that are quite literally superhuman. The Bible, like many ancient texts, is a detailed exposition of the most sophisticated machine ever created . . . the human mind. Incredibly, science has yet to scratch the surface of the mind’s full promise

The ancients already knew many of the scientific truths we’re now rediscovering. Within a matter of years, modern man will be forced to accept what is now unthinkable: our minds can generate energy capable of transforming physical matter. Particles react to our thoughts . . . which means our thoughts have the power to change the world.

All around the world, we are gazing skyward, waiting for God . . . never realizing that God is waiting for us. We are creators, and yet we naively play the role
of ‘the created.’ We see ourselves as helpless sheep buffeted around by the God who made us. We kneel like frightened children, begging for help, for forgiveness, for good luck. But once we realize that we are truly created in the Creator’s image, we will start to understand that we, too, must be Creators. When we understand this fact, the doors will burst wide open for human potential.

It might be the case that many of you may have thought about the mind like this. But still I wanted to put this for people who have forgotten or don’t think like that.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Worth It !!!

I had been working as software professional since two long years and I had been bored up to my nerves since the first day I started my work. That’s the reason, I was immensely happy to start my part time journalism course in Ranade Institute, Pune. I started enjoying the classes greatly where the veterans would talk on various subjects and enlighten us students. Even though I was not at all a star performer in the office, I had made sure that I delivered my objects and programs on time, so I would often find time to surf and search for my subjects in the office. That’s why; I was a bit surprised when I was assigned in a new project from the United States with a high priority. Others in the software field would have jumped at the opportunity. The project promised a chance of going to the US and some of my colleagues had already started teasing me about my future ‘Onsite’ trip. But I was fairly disappointed by this sudden change. US project meant more responsibility, late night calls, work pressure extending till long but my most critical fear was that I wouldn’t be able to give proper time to my classes and studies. I decided that I would come early in the morning and complete my work before class. The project started and as expected it started draining out my reserves of energy. I would go to the office at 8 in the morning, work till 5.45 then rush to class and again come back at 8.30 in the evening for client call, which extended till 10.30pm sometimes. I was left with no energy at all to study and it had started taking a toll on my health as well as my performance in class. Even so I kept my work fairly satisfactory. At one such tired moment I confessed to my Team leader that this hectic schedule is getting very tough for me. At this he rudely told me to forget my class and pay attention to the project as its very important. I was so hurt, I told him straight that I would not miss the class even if I had to quit my job. What I expected was a certain level of understanding from a person so senior and experienced than me. But I forgot that I was expecting it from an IT professional who can’t think beyond codes, deadlines and money. We were supposed to come to office for the weekend too, but I was so upset that I took an unplanned leave for three days. As expected, I got a call from my Project Manager (Boss ka big boss) and he immediately started shouting about how irresponsibly and immaturely I had behaved by taking leaves. This was pretty much expected.
But I was shocked when he asked me how did I go to the classes when I had so much of work left to do. I had never told my PM about my classes neither I had delayed any work object due to the time I spent in classes. More than the work, my studies had been badly affected, so I was in no mood to take it from PM that I had neglected my work due to classes. But he was not to be convinced. He bluntly told me to immediately stop the classes. “ How can you go to the class if the client expects you in the office” was his point. I told him that I would complete all my work on time, and I would come early but I can’t stop my class. But he had just one thing in mind – Client and Project as if the entire world depended on the silly project. I tried explaining him that I had come early in the last 15 days, completed my work and then again I had even come to attend the client calls till 10.30. Even after doing so much, if I am not able to claim two and half hours from my own day and own time then what’s the use?? Is this all worth it?? No no no – My mind and my heart were screaming to their limits and I was feeling like going to the office and just throwing my resignation at his face. But I decided to keep my cool and act with a thought. The next day I went to the office and drafted a mail to relieve me from the project. As expected, my request was granted and now I am happy to be on one month’s leave away from that crazy schedules of project. I am free and i am studying - giving full justice to my studies which had taken a backseat in recent days. This is really worth it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Some - ANTAR

When you go to watch an Amol Palekar's movie, you expect it to be good or excellant. But Samantar is unfortunately neither. This is a story of Mr. Keshav Vaze, who after a suuceesful stint as a progressive businessman suddenly wants to end up his life at the age of 60. Reason - He feels life is not worth living anymore and so should be ended with dignity and respect. In a desperate attempt to bring back his interest in life, Keshav's daughter takes him to Kolkata for a psychiatric treatment. There Keshav comes face to face with Shama - his long lost love. A past tragedy had made it impossible for Keshav and Shama to stay in touch and that has turned Shama into reclusive and silent woman who hardly speaks even to her son. Keshav, who is confronted with such an unexpected turn of event is confused how to handle it and is scared to face Shama. So he is in dilemma including his quest for ending is life and his relationship with Shama.
Just like the name, Samantar, the movie runs with two stories parallel to each other.
One - About Keshav's quest for choice death or "Iccha Maran" and
Two - His relationship with Shama and its present possibilities.
Due to this, i found the movie a bit scattered all throughtout with a very weak thread connecting the events that take place. The content was interesting enough but if more efforts were taken on screenplay and editing, this would have been a really a good watch. Dialogues are good enough but the thing is, when the screenplay is sloppy, even good dialogues fail to have that "punch" effect.
This film, it should be said, belongs wholely to Mr. Amol Palekar. As expected, he has given a splendid performance. His brooding, intelligent persona has best suited for this role. But sadly, the veteran Sharmila Tagore is wasted in the role as she doesnt have even a single good dialogue to utter and the scenes dont have much to emote. Other actors are not even worth mentioning except Sameer Dharmadhikari , who has done a good job with the limited scope.
But i did find the cinematography to be up to the mark. There were some amazing shots from Kolkata captured which makes you take notice.
Conclusion : Go for the movie just to watch Mr. Palekar. If you want something serious to think - no chance.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The "I" Day

When we say Independence Day, what pops up in our mind? May be a holiday. A day for rest. If the day is a Friday or a Monday then an extended weekend. Let us plan a small tour to a nearest holiday destination. Right? So this is the only significance of the Independence Day left in our lives ??
The other day I was discussing this subject with my friends. I asked them whether they felt bad that Independence Day has been reduced to just another holiday in there lives and thought process. At this, all of them gave me a look of
?has it ever been anything else since we were born?. How true !!! I must admit that I was surprised by this sudden realization of a fact. Even without speaking it aloud, mention of the subject had led us to this strange understanding about how we take our national festivals and anything related to national interest.
One of my friends surprisingly shrugged it off. ?Why and what should I feel bad?? was her quick reply. So what exactly did she think about this day? ?Well, I just remember that lots of great leaders made lots of sacrifices for the independence we are enjoying today? .That?s it? Just the leaders? What about the countless common men who sacrificed their lives for it? What about the countless people that are still not enjoying the fruits of it in the real sense ? I again got a shrug for an answer. One of them told me about her hostel days. She liked to go to the flag hoisting ceremony which was held on the terrace of the hostel. ?I would wake up early, take a bathe and then go up the terrace for saluting our national flag?, she said with pride. Wow! That was quite unusual thing to do for a hostelite and that too on a holiday. I tried to probe their concern a little further. Don?t you feel that we should do something for our country?. I asked hoping to stir some part of their conscience. I was mistaken.
?What should we do yaar? Just drop this ok. Its enough that we stay here and are not running away to become just another NRI. Doesn?t that count??, was her curt reply. Hmmm. So that?s it. . Isn?t it? She had a point.
Fair enough.
This is what I got from some young girls my age but I m sure its not much of a difference if we try and ask people in other age groups, unless they are very old freedom fighters. The fact is we take our freedom too much for granted. It doesn?t make any difference to us if we are celebrating 62 years of our independence and still we have not realized the significance it holds in every individual?s life. Imagine if we were denied to enjoy the simple pleasures of life like traveling, investing, purchasing homes, talking, expressing ? Yes I know we can?t imagine it. And there are two reasons why we can?t imagine it.
One: we can realize that that?s really an awful situation to be in so we fear to even think about it.
Two: we are too na?ve to think that it could ever happen.
It?s the second reason that most of us would be thinking. Right ??
And this alone constitutes that we should value our independence more than anything in our lives. For valuing our independence we don?t require a reason or a day, just if all of us could spare some time and give it a thought it would be sufficient. Some simple duties like keeping our surroundings clean, following traffic rules, objecting to corruption, helping the poor can bring about a considerable change for our country so that we uphold our independence and eventually make us feel happy and proud that we live in a free, independent country.
Come on guys, Ours is really a very beautiful country. . . we all know that. But it is high time now that we start feeling it that way for each and every aspect of this country.
I find Independence Day quite similar to one?s birthday. We think of what we have done for ourselves in the last one year on our birthday. We do plan for the next year. Similarly, on the Independence Day we can introspect about all that we have done for our country and fellow country men. And I m sure the day wont be far away when Independence Day would cease to be just a holiday for all of us.
Have a thoughtful and enriching Independence Day.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Some things we never think are worth thinking !!!

This makes an interesting reading .

1) When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
Wow !! i look gorgeous in wet hair :)

2) How much cash do you have in your wallet right now?
Rs : 750

3) What's a word that rhymes with DOOR?
MORE !!! I want to learn more and more and more . . .

4) Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?
My mom. . generally its her habbit to call at weird times. And i usually miss it !!!

5) What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?
Swades Theme music - absolutely pleasant and sufficiently alerting !!!

6) What are you wearing right now?
Jeans and T - shirt, how come i am always wearing what looks best on me.

7) Do you label yourself?
Never because i dont know what is a label

8) Name the brand of the shoes you currently own
No shoes for me

9) Bright or Dark Room?
Dark room when am sleeping, otherwise a bright room.

10) What do you think about the person who took this survey before you?
A very interesting and funny person. Must be an intellectual.

11) What does your watch look like?
Sleek, decent and simplistic. Like me

12) What were you doing at midnight last night?
Dreaming . . in my deep sleep

13) What did your last text message you received on your cell say?
I love you -

14) What's a word that you say a lot?

15) Who told you he/she loved you last?
My sweetheart - The love of my life.

16) Last furry thing you touched?
My dog - - Snowy !!!!

17) Favourite age you have been so far?
Every age and everyday has been my favorite

18) What was the last thing you said to someone?
They have blocked the blooging from office, damn it !! These heartless creatures.

19) The last song you listened to?
Sathi ya ye tune kya kiyaa !!!!

20) Where did you live in 1987?

21) Are you jealous of anyone?

22) Is anyone jealous of you?
Might be in dozens :)))

23) Name three things that you have on you at all times?
Finger ring - gifted by my dad . . thats the only thing.

24) What's your favourite town/city?
Akola - my home town

25) When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
April 16th 2009 - For my dad - for his bithday - on april 17th

26) Can you change the oil on a car?

27) Your first love/big crush: What is the last thing you heard about him/her?
He is my best friend. Going great buddies !!!!

28) Does anything hurt on your body right now?

29) What is your current desktop picture?
L n T infotech - boring offwhite empty space

30) Have you been burnt by love?
Yessss !!! still burning :)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Come rains !!!

I had to go out of the office today in the afternoon to have lunch with Mom and Rahul. It was after around one month that i was out on the roads of the city at such afternoon hours. The incessant rains since the last 20-25 days had made the weather absolutely miserable with the constant wetness and moisture. Along with it the obligations of work had me locked in the air conditioned interiors of a posh corporate house. So either inside and outside, i was stuck in constant feeling of cold and boredom with no brightness and sunlight to enjoy.
Let me tell you, i enjoy the rains immensely. There was a time when i used to crave for rains to come and make everything wet and cool. Somehow rains used to make the dullest of the things come to life and make it beautiful. Even the footpaths along the tar roads would look beautiful with all the fresh grass growing alongside. But that was when i was in Akola and everything around had a different aspect to it. Basically being a hot place, rains were always welcomed by all in Akola. Rains used to be minimal and for a short while and the sorroundings would remain considerably dry with rare cases of dirt and mud ponds. It would be enjoyed immensely for the short time it stayed and in that short while it would turn everything into green and splendour.
But when it comes to Pune, rains are a constant hazard making everything dirty wet. Roads, societies, gardens, bus stands, stations, public places are all converted into huge dirt grounds and the constant wetness makes it almost impossible to go out without nauseating about the surrounding. There is stench everywhere, there is shit everywhere. And due to lack of sunlight, there is constant feeling of boredom, decay and depression. So much so that at some point i had started to hate the rains which i loved so much. I had even got to point of getting a phobia whenever it rained heavily.
In such a situation, it was plasant experience for me when a warm, bright sunlight fell on my face when i was outside the office premises. The rains had stopped in the morning itself and sun was shining proudly since long, soaring the temperature by 8-7 degrees. The mood in the environment immediately reflected in my heart and i started enjoying every moment of my driving. The traffic was usual high but even all the drivers seemed to be enjoying this sudden change in weather. The wetness on the roads was considerably lessened and the trees and leaves were all shining and giving off a divine radiance.I remembered Akola. I deliberately slowed down my pace and took much more time to reach the destination. We decided to eat outside in the open to enjoy the weather. While having lunch, i was thinking about this sudden change. I wondered about the natural phenomenon called rains. Strange how it has different meaning, aspects and different repercussion depending on the place and environment.
Never in my life had i thought that i would somehow start hating rains. But after today's experience, i realised that rains are after all just that - rains, when water pours down from the heavens. Whether i feel wet or fresh all depends upon where i am and what i think. I am off to enjoy the weather for now, and i am sure that next time when it rains real bad and everything changes to wet, i will have at least a different perspective about it rather than complaint.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ek chehra !!!

I am glued. I am completely and absolutely glued. I just listened to that marvolously romantic song from a long forgotten film " Takshak " .

Khamosh raat . .
Sehmi hava . .
Tanha Tanha dil apna. .
Aur dooor kahi roshan hua
Ek chehra . . .
Ye sach hai ya sapna . . !!!

What an absolutely delightful experience.!!!
It feels so refreshing that sometimes some of the most neglected or forgotten songs are rediscovered by chance.
This is one song i had heard long ago and thought as a boring run-of-mill creation from the mystero A.R.Rehman himself.
But luckily, i found this song in one of my common songs folder and just out of habbit of random selection i played it. And to my utter delight, that was something which woke out all my tired senses. Now i am playing the song continuously for the 35th time i guess.
My God !! the guitar, the violins, the strings and finally that remarkably honest voice. .
Mr Roopkumar Rathod has woven magic with that honest, rasp and deep voice . . not to mention the feelings he induces in it.

When you hear "Ek chehraaa " you feel like going Ga Ga over the mood.
The mood and the feel of the lyrics is so convincingly captured out of the voice and the rhythm. There is one moment when in the background an entire symphony of guitars is being played complementary to the voice. . and its like soaring to some unknown heights and then again falling in a cool water with a splash.
Thats amazing.
I then thought about other such long forgotten songs which instantly makes us believe in the magic of music.
Take for Ex. Jane do naa - from chini Kam
Kismat se tum - from Pukaar
Aey kash ke hum - from Kabhi haa kabhi naa

All these are some of the most sensitive and sensuous songs created from Bollywood which i think havnt got their due popularity.
But whenever you listen to them, they do blend in with your emotions so convincingly, that it becomes mandatory to accept their beauty and splendour.
I am off to find out more such songs now.
In the mean time - Ek chehraaaa . . . !!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Kausani - In the midst of Himalayas

Kausani / Kasauni
Once Gandhiji was residing here in Anashakti Ashram for some time .
And he loved the place so much that he called it mini Switzerland of India .
True to this metaphor, Kausani has maintained its tranquill environment and uncomparable beauty up to the core.

Kausani is a distinct hill station in the Bageshwar district of Uttrakhand and takes long to reach definitely. The nearest railway station is Kathgodam around 142 KM from Kausani. There is a daily train from Delhi to Kathgodam.Once you reach Kathgodam the road from here to Kausani is itself a bliss to travel. A two lane highway between lush green chinar, deodar and chritmas tree, bright hills and zig-zag routes takes you to Kausani in 4-4.5 hours. The weather is cold throughout and max. temperature is around 23 degrees. Kausani itself is situated in the midst of Kumaon Himalayas. The greatest attraction here is the view of snow clad peaks of Himalayas 180 degrees straight. Its an absolutely beautiful part of nature where you can feel the vastness, hugeness and the divinity of the great mountains. The peaks are black rocks and white snow sometimes sneaking above the clouds too. The 180 degrees view is the reason why Gandhiji called Kausani mini Switzerland. There are no tourist spots here, but most of the tourist come here to enjoy the peaceful life and wonderful weather. You can also visit the Anashakti Ashram where Gandhiji stayed.

Another place worth visiting here is the Baijnath Temple. These temples are a gruop of around 14-15 old stone structures which were build in 2nd century. Baijnath or Vaidyanath - the Shiva temples come under the archeological survey of india and are maintained in the finest conditions. Its around 15 km from Kausani.

Nainital, Almora, Ranikhet and Bhimtal are nearby hill stations in this part which are famous.
So if you are looking for a long holiday, you can plan a week long span for Nainital and Kausani. I am sure it will be a memorable trip.

Imp. Points : There is no market in Kausani, therefore no chance of shopping. Spare that for Nainital or Almora.
Most of the hotels here are cottages and resorts emphasizing on stay with nature and tranquility.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Home Sweet home !!!

This is too much !!! Home as a jail ????? Thats an absolutely ridiculous statement to make.
I was nearly going to fall down from my chair when i heard one of my friends talking about her home.
She has been living away from her family since she completed her HSC.But recently, due to a prolonged illness she had to take a leave for 1-1.5 months and go back to live at home. But since the first day itself, she started complaining about her stay. Its too hot here, there is load shedding, i cant watch TV, i get bored, etc etc etc. I realised the significant change the life style in the city has brought into her perspective. She even went on saying that she feels like being in jail and wants to run away to come back to her hip and happening life in the city.
Hey hey hey . . . hold on. I can imagine the emotional and physical aloofness she might feel at home due to a prolonged stay away. But to call home a jail is preposterous and extremely unthoughtful of her. This even when she doesnt have any life long obligation to stay at home.
I thought about the small trips I get to have to my home since i joined my company. How i crave to get some more time to spend there everytime. I get excited at the prospect and start planning for it quite early. Two-three days before the journey, i start day dreaming about the things i would do at home. My plans change according to the seasons and the changes they bring in the activities at home. This may sound stupid, but this is completely true and the intensity has not decreased even slightly in the last two years and approxiametely 25-26 trips ( thats 1 per month i guess ) i had to home.
True, summer is hot, but with summer come mangoes and a variety of fresh "kairi" and "amba" dishes to eat. There is no TV due to load shedding, but it brings mom, dad, brothers, sisters, cousins, dada-dadi together for a fun game of cards or carrom. Nights are spent sleeping on the terrace. There are pillow fights, ghost stories and star watching. Water tastes sweeter and cooler in summers. .
And about other seasons. . well mine is a place where i get to experience extremes of all the seasons. If summer is 47 deg then winters are 7 deg straight. But no one can imagine the feeling i get when early morning sunrays touch my skin during one of those colder days.. Its exilerating. I can sit hours under the thick shadow of gooseberry tree in the afternoon watching the swirling leaves and small fruits falling when they make a "Tup Tup" sound. What a beautiful sight it makes.
I thought of the numerous afternoons i had spent there, studying.
I remembered the times when my mom and my Aaji would sit in the courtyard after lunch to enjoy the warm weather. If somebody asks me the most memorable memory i have of child hood i would tell this - Aai and Baba reading newspaper, aaji chewing beatle leaf and making a typical sound with her "Adkitta" and me and my brother making a clay fort for the coming Diwali. Thats something which makes me instantly nostalgic. Again there are nights to enjoy hot coffee and sleep under warm "dulai" .

Everything looks green and beautiful when it rains. But at home, i feel the difference when the droplets fall on the big leaves of papaya tree - 4 feet tall. Thats a beauty i am sure no one can imagine. I feel like the entire greenery has accumulated on this one big leaf and its glowing in radiance to show the world its freshness and purity. There is no electric supply at night due to heavy rains sometimes. But i enjoy it tremendously in the candle light when i am inside a cozy blanket and all i can see are the wet drops through the stainglass window. The sounds outside add to the ambience.
These are all insignificant things if someone thinks practically, but somehow i have memories attached to these simple things scattered all through my childhood and teens, and thats what makes my stay at home most memorable everytime i go there. These things have somehow shaped my emotional and physical well being and they cant be erased now. I have not even mentioned the things that make me feel emotionally liberated from all the baggages when i am at home. My home is my paradise. And i think everyone should feel the same about their homes too. Atleast people who are close to my heart. If not, then they dont realise the treasure they are missing in there lives. How can one expect people to be caring and faithful for others if they dont feel any attachment to their homes - which have the most significant physical part in their upbringing.
My friends call me crazy, but if a get a chance, i will settle down at my home - some 30-35 years from now.
But right now i have a lecture to give to my irritated friend - hope she gets at least 10 % out of it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bithday - A truely beastly blessing - Shashi Tharur

This is an article written by Mr. Shashi Tharur in The Times of India on his own birthday. Surely he makes an interesting point here

Why do we celebrate birthdays? This is a perfectly serious question, prompted by the fact that today happens to be mine. I will receive cards, phone calls and messages of congratulation from family and friends, all for having accomplished — what exactly? Nothing more than merely emerging 52 years ago. Whereas the person who did all the hard work that day, the one whose effort and sacrifice and pain resulted in the fortuitous event — my mother — will be ignored by all and sundry.

She will go to the temple, as usual, and feed the poor, as she has done on each of her children’s birthdays for decades. But no one will congratulate her for what she accomplished on that March Shivratri day more than five decades ago. Instead, the tributes will come to the least deserving beneficiary: the person whose only real challenge on that occasion was to be able to manage to breathe.

Yes, life is unfair, especially for mothers. And yet, it’s true that each passing birthday marks a milestone on the road of life, something by which to measure the way you have lived. Not that most of us use birthdays for that purpose: usually it is the occasion for a party, and for the more spiritually-minded, for prayer; some spend it with close family, others with raucous friends; but few use it to take stock of what they have done and where they are going.

Indeed, it takes landmark birthdays to prompt that sort of self-assessment. In my case, 30 did it: it was, after all, the age when my cricketing heroes began to think of retirement, and up till that point i had thought of age entirely in relation to the careers of cricketers, most of whom, in those days, were over the hill by 30.

So at 30 I took a long hard look at my life and concluded that there was a great deal more I needed to do to justify my presence on the planet. Thirty was far more significant a threshold than 40, which passed by scarcely noticed. When I was a child that would have surprised me, for 40 had used to seem forbiddingly middle-aged, the point at which all potential had been exhausted, the beginning of an inexorable descent into decrepitude.

But by the time I got there, 40 seemed to me to be an insignificant age, populated by striplings and rising stars and the leaders of tomorrow, rather than a turning point. Perhaps, it is a reflection of the enhanced longevity of our times that the mid-point has been raised: 40 is still young today, and 50 is the new 40.

But what does that mean? No one I know who has reached 50 seems ready to be put to pasture. The days when office-goers contemplated retirement at 55 are gone almost everywhere, even in the hidebound confines of Indian government service, which now expects its bureaucrats to toil until 60 (and rumour has it that may soon rise to 62).

During my years as a manager at the UN, I used to find it deeply frustrating to lose some of my best staff at 60, an age when many of them seemed to be in the prime of their professional lives and had never been more assured or more productive. (Some, particularly from developing countries, would attempt to claim that their original birth certificates were wrongly filled in or subsequently doctored, a claim whose plausibility was undermined by the fact that they chose to reveal this only when they turned 59.)

Then came 50: an alarming age which seemed to suggest the imminence of irrelevance. At 50, no one can plausibly be described any more as "young" (an adjective that had dogged me all my life), or as "up-and-coming" or as an exciting new talent. By 50, you should have pretty much made your mark; for 99.99% of the human population, you know that in the race of life you are closer to the finish line than the starting gate.

And so 50 tends to be a landmark you notice. Intrepid gerontologists may come up with long lists of people whose major accomplishments occurred after they turned 50, but in most cases, 50 represents the narrowing of possibilities, the closing of avenues, both personal and professional. Choices you haven’t made till 50 are no longer available for you to make.

Of course, there are professions where this isn’t true: Indian or Japanese politics, for instance, where you have to be at least 50 to be taken seriously at all. But even your body reminds you daily of the things you can no longer do without feeling the consequences. Comedians tell you that if you wake up after 50 and don’t feel a nagging pain anywhere, you’re probably dead.

But I'm still here, unless I’m struck by the proverbial bus between sending this column to my editor and waking up on Sunday morning. Fifty-two isn’t a landmark of any sort; it is an age of no particular distinction. It’s the sort of age which, if it were a cricketing score, would carry an asterisk, meaning "not out": innings still going on, much more to do, plenty of batting still to come. The new ball has been weathered, some of the uneven bounce in the wicket mastered (or at least understood), an intelligent estimate of the field taken, and the bowling sized up.

Of course, the bat is now a bit worn, smudged both from the fours that went off the meat of the bat and the nicks and edges that accompanied your scoring, but you’re still there and the great cosmic umpire doesn’t seem to be readying to raise his finger. Fifty-two not out! You squint into the sun. Would somebody please move that sightscreen?

God in a Gucci - Shobhaa De'

This is an article written by Mrs. Shobhaa De in sunday Times life for the column "God in a Gucci". I really couldnt find any other better argument on this subject. .

IT is important to de-link spiritualism from religion. I believe that a religious person can be deeply spiritual and not be seeking anything. Not even God. A spiritual approach to life is far more important to one's sense of well-being than blindly following religious texts and rituals. The idea of GOD is a reflection of man's own insecurity. The most pathetic aspect of this is the way in which we foolishly fight over 'our' gods. Claiming superiority of one over the other, as if these various gods are competing in some absurd religious Olympics, featuring winners and losers. Belief is personal and frequently irrational. Nobody has the right to question it. Or declare a race to the finish line. Why do we hanker after 'answers'? Who has them? Has anybody met God? Since I am not really looking for God, I don't feel the need to search for Him. Or Her. Or 'It'.

As for whether one can be wearing an expensive Gucci or Cavalli and still be deeply religious, and whether we can be sexy and religious, materialistic as well as spiritual, and whether one precludes the other, I would say, it is not a valid debate at all.

What a person thinks, feels, is the key to understanding the bigger picture. To equate wealth with evil is to confuse issues. Not every rich person in designer gear is morally decrepit, just as not every poor person in rags is a saint. Nobody has been able to 'explain' inequalities. These value judgements are childish and irrelevant. Besides, even the most evolved ascetic can slip up and make terrible mistakes. That is the challenge of being humane and human. To think of God as an allseeing, stern headmaster, punishing the wicked, and rewarding the meek, makes the Almighty sound pretty dreadful! These are small consolations we dream up for ourselves, that's all.

There are thousands of people who put everyday life on hold to go off in pursuit of happiness or spiritualism, outside the realm of daily concerns. It's a matter of personal choice. Who can challenge that? It is an individual option. Only someone who has taken this route can comment on its validity, that too, in a strictly personal context. What compels an individual to go down this path? Who knows?? I am sceptical at the best of times since I have yet to meet a 'genuine' fakir. Renunciation is for those who can't cope with domesticity and life's petty struggles or simply refuse to.

I abhor rules and regulations that dictate to me what I should do if I want to reach God. These man-made pre-conditions were created in a specific historical scenario to offer guidelines that would discipline those the state could not effectively subdue. They have little relevance in an age where individual freedom precedes virtually everything else. Religion offers a matrix for those incapable of thinking for themselves. Organised religion is politics by another name — a way to control people through fear and punishment. It is easy to manipulate the uneducated, ignorant masses by talking of God's 'wrath'. This gives God a bad name!!

Seeking God does not necessarily have to be about listening to the silence within. I am not attracted to silence. I like chaos and noise. I can generally reach the spot I need to within myself, by concentrating on it briefly. This can happen even in the midst of cacophony. I love visiting temples, churches and mosques. I feel energised by the atmosphere. Other people's faith touches me deeply.

People, the world over, get possessive about 'their' God and spend time looking for imagined insults, and reacting to them. A confident believer is not as easily rattled. If Cavalli decides to put some image on inner wear, does that make God any less important? Or does it reflect Cavalli's ignorance? True spiritualism frees you from such bondage. It liberates while it celebrates differences. When our very existence is so ephemeral, why look for 'concrete' proof? God can wear Gucci, a dhoti or nothing at all. It's all about loving an illusion.


India is blessed with some of the most extraordinarily talented and creative writers. But most of their work is scattered somewhere in the pages of newpapers or magzines. While some part of novels or stories can also be worth pondering over.
In this section i have tried to collect all that I find interesting and something really worth thinking.
Enjoy Reading.
Hope you all like it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Angels and Demons

This book is a prelude to Dan Brown's the Da Vinci Code.
If you have liked the DA Vinci code then you are sure to love this book because it is one of the most amazing piece of fiction you could ever find somewhere on earth.
This is a story of Mr. Robert Langdon, A professor of religious iconology and symbology at Harvard University. He is awakened at his home by a phone call from Mr. Max Kohler, the director of CERN, the world's largest science research facility in Geneva, Switzerland. When Langdon reaches CERN, he is told that a senior physicist, Mr. Leonardo Vetra has been killed and he is branded with a strange symbol on his chest "Illuminati" . The symbol considered by many as a brand of an ancient secret scientific society is also an ambigram of a sort. When the daughter of Leonardo, Ms. Victoria arrives, they realise that a new scientific invention "antimatter " which was stored in a canister is stolen from CERN. Antimatter is an highly infalmmable substance which will explode after tha back up battery of canister is discharged in 24 hours and with it, it will destroy everything in half a mile diameter. So from here starts the race against time,which takes victoria and Langdon to the vatican city - the sacred place which hold the highest religious significance in the entire Christiandom and where the conclave is being undertaken to select a new Pope.
In a search for the canister, Langdon realise that the ancient anti-religion group of scientific brotherhood are plannimg to murder the four main cardinals of the conclave on the four altars of sciences namely Air, Fire, Earth and Water. So in order to stop the killings they will have to find all the altars of scinece in the Vatican city and the adjoining country of Rome. With twist and tura and one secret revealing after another finally Langdon and Victoria are successfull to find all the altars of science and save the vatican city but not without finding out some harsh truths about the ancient secret Illuminati and the Vatican City itself.
The book itself is really very intriguing and Dan Brown has created the characters the situations so exactly that your are bound to be virtually glued to the pages. one after another so many secrets are revealed that the reader is in a roaler coaster ride in the world of secret societies, religion, science, ancient artefacts and architectural places, etc. The story is compact and complicated but in the end it also tries to answer one moral question arising everywhere in the world.
The best part of the book is its pace, no where the book seems to be dull and lenghthy but there is a feeling of intrigue and curiousity in each scene and sequence. Dan Brown has created a master piece.
A must read for all the lovers of an entirely different genre of fiction.

Nature call - Amboli

If you think of one of the least explored hill stations in Maharashtra, it has to be Amboli.
Situated about 390 km from pune on the western ghats, Amboli is nearest one can think of going to nature.
I went there in the midst of monsoon, so all that i could see there was green and white !!
But the weather is equally pleasant all the year round. One of the best place to watch out here are the Nagatta falls situated around 3 km from here.
The falls are 700m high and are full of water and greenery even in the summer. You can enjoy a nice bath under the steady and cool stream flowing here. The hills surrounding Amboli are so lush green that you truely feel like a thick green velvet blanket has covered the entire surrounding. To add to your delight, there is not much of a crowd so most of the places are clean and peaceful. The other places to visit here which are equally apealling are
1) Hiranyakeshi - which is an old temple and
2) Sunset point - from where you can experience one of the best sights of the Sun.
The hotels here are decent and cheap. There is no scope for shopping here as this is a really small town.
So just pack a small bag and go out there to Amboli to enjoy a tranquill and peacefull weekend. You will get the best out of Amboli in 2 days.
Route -->Pune - Satara - Karad - Kolhapur - Amboli.
Tip : You can get a quick Mahalaxmi Darshan on the way at Kolhapur.

A conversation through mail. . . .

Hi A,
Hope you are enjoying at home . . rather i am sure of it.

U know i get used to certain things quite fast.
Last week we were communicating every day . . and now this week i am already feeling something amiss. !!!
But thats how i am . . nevermind.

This week has been really really hectic for me. the projects cutover activity has started and we are working almost 12 hours a day since last saturday.
It is getting even worse as we are approaching the deadline. This is first time that i am feeling so much worn out, i no more feel like working with interest.

U know sometimes, u get a feeling that u are the biggest dumb on the earth. That u dont know or cant do even the simplest thing required out of ur job. And however hard you try, you dont get any head start. U feel tired, bored, defeated and over all . . lonely. !!
ALl the knowledge and your experience seem to have evaporated from your mind never to come back and you are in the middle of commotion where seniors, PMs, TLs and colleagues are all preparing to cut your head off. What you have is a constant buzzing in your head which never stops. . not even in your sleep.

I dont know what to do now as the simplest of the solutions dont seem to work. But this is how life is supposed to work i guess.
You know i am awake since 4 in the morning and came in the office at 7. I never thought i would be coming to the office in the early hours of a cold winter morning. . . .
And i dont know why did i feel like writing all this to you and that too when i know u wont be replying soon. But some where some times you need an outlet to let it all flush out of your mind. And may be somewhere you would have also gone through this.

May be when you read this, i would be much stable or in better control of my confusions. But right now at least i am relieved to have let out of my feelings once.
I am really a mad to write this. . please dont be angry.
I dont even know whether this level of personal mail is even allowed or is acceptable on or
But anyways i am happy that i could collect my thoughts in this mail.

Eager to get back in touch with you.


Hi J,

Nice and well drafted mail, I must say.
I like the way you wrote… it was completely filled with negative approach initially and then slowly turning positive… that’s the best part of it…

Sometime you feel you are dumb then you are learning new things… and that is the time work with your peers,sub-ordinates, gurus as if you are the disciple and taking whatever they offer… and it is matter of time.. always,
Sometime if it is turning worse… don’t put some more mess… keep your calm and kool and after few minutes, hours, days it should be in your favor again and back to normal…

Don’t expect any help from others.. believe in yourself and success is yours…

Sometime when smart working doesn’t go well then you need to work harder… and so coming at 7 is good… and while coming early I know you will feel bored but take the positive side of it and while driving your bike let the cold breeze touch your face… feel that… that will give you the soothing and charming touch that you needed… and you will forget all the sorrows…
tough this seems to be hypothetical but still sometime it works J

Lastly it is always good to vent out the despair and don’t worry while doing so… if you are feeling very low spend time with some of your frnds and it should be fine…

And most important thing is “work is part of life and life is not part of work, so learn to live and it will automate work”

Be good. Be happy.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The visitor of the dark !!!

There are few incidences from our childhood, which have a lasting effect on us throughout our lives. Unbearable may have been such incidences when we were kids, but they do make us smile with satisfaction when we remember them as adults.
“The visitor of the dark” -one such incidence for me.
Imagine the cold, silent winter nights when you used to sleep next to your mom, under the warmth of a thick, soft blanket. You are fast asleep and there is no sound except the familiar “krr krr” of the ceiling fan. Suddenly you hear a shrill and loud whistle shaking each and every nerve in your body. It makes you wake up with a start and hold your mom even more tightly. You are soaked in a cold sweat due to fear and shock. After a few tense moments you realize that the “gurkha”, the night guard of your locality, blew the unnerving whistle.
This was a regular incident that spoiled numerous nights in my childhood and even in my teens. After I woke up to the call of Gurkha I always felt as the luckiest person on earth to be sleeping under mom’s protective arm. But often I remember to have got cold feet before going to sleep only out of the fear to wake up in the middle of the night all alone.
Gurkha- one who protects us from the thieves at night. Really!!!
Well I could have afforded a thief better than this crazy creature called “Gurkha”. Why does the Gurkha have to be such a dreadful and scary animal when he is there to protect us? I would always ask my mom. And to that my mom would give an equally convincing answer, “ Beta, what’s the use if you don’t fear the Gurkha? After all he is meant to scare and expel off all the thieves with his strength.
Well! That sounded great; but I was unable to imagine the appearance and behavior this mighty unseen warrior who would single handedly scare off all the thieves and antisocial creatures. Often I would keep guessing about how did he look, what did he wear, did he have a sword or a pistol to fight the thieves or could he just chant some magic spell to turn them into mice or pigeons. Phew! Dark, secret, mysterious and dangerous. I would often leave my thoughts at these four words after giving lots of strain to my tiny mind.
And know what…… one day all of my doubts about this mysterious fighter got cleared in an instant. It was some day after Diwali. When after hearing a knock I opened a door, I saw a middle aged man with a wheatish complexion standing casually in the doorway. He was wearing a khaki half shirt and a pair of clean, black trousers. He had a pleasing smile and was humming some famous Hindi film song. When I asked him who he was, he replied with the same pleasing smile and humble voice “ I am the Gurkha of your society. Please tell your papa that I have come for the Diwali bakshish.”
Gurkha!! At my home! I couldn’t believe my ears. My legs were completely stuck to the ground. I kept staring transfixed at this visitor confused whether to believe he is really the one who has haunted so many of my childhood nights. Just then my father came; and looking at the surprise on my face, tapped my shoulder and said with a smile “he is our Visitor of the Dark- the Gurkha” and both of them started laughing.
God! What an emotional shock!! But I was not dreaming after all. Jolly and expressive, the Gurkha started talking in his broken Hindi. He told us everything about his work, how did he land in such a place, how his family (wow! He had a family too) had migrated to Maharashtra from Sikkim 20 years ago and how the job came as an inheritance to him.
He explained us that even if in the beginning he scared the job, he never gave up. After some initial doubts and fear he started enjoying his job and the nighttime strolls through the silent streets. He even had a couple of successful attempts at catching the thieves, which led him to get a prize collectively from the residents of the colony.
I wanted to know what did he feel at night alone, totally cut out from the world. He accepted that sometimes it did get too much on his mind. But his job required courage, responsibility and patience. Just knowing the fact that all the homes and their residents relied on him made him feel proud of his job.
I asked him what did he feel about people’s attitude about him. Did he feel isolated? “ Not at all”. He replied with a smile. “Initially I did feel hurt but somewhere u have to accept that with your job comes certain other things that you can’t change.” He recounted some of his experiences with children like me, who; after knowing his identity would ran away out of fear. He told that times have changed a lot since last few years and now they had a better standard of living than his father’s times.
So this was him. One of us but yet so different in his own world. I was overjoyed to know and understand that this visitor of the dark, whom I feared so much, was very much human after all. But what made me happier is that discharging his duties for this unusual job, he was never complaining. He was happy and content.
After he went away, I kept thinking about this man for days to come. Now I no longer feared him. Instead I felt a newfound respect and praise for him. I longed to meet him once again but never got a chance though.
And the most important thing I realized after this incident was that it was the ignorance about him as a person that made me fear him. But once I faced him all the fear was gone. This is one funda I still follow, if you fear something, face it and the good will follow.
I still wake up with a shock at night occasionally when I hear that shrill whistle. But then I smile to myself and go back to sleep thinking “ The visitor of the dark on his visit…!”

Thank you MSEB

“Where the hell were you? Don’t you remember we have to complete the cleaning before 8’o clock”.
This was how Vivek’s wife Sadhna greeted him when he returned home. It was a cool January evening and it had just started getting dark. There was a typical cool and silent winter feel in the surrounding. Wednesday meant that the load shedding was due from 8 to 11.15. Sadhna had planned to clean the complete house for the upcoming Makar Sankranti and hence had asked Vivek to return home early so that they could finish up before the power supply went off.
Vivek had one hell of a day in the office. It was MSEB’s new load shedding timetable that was causing havoc in the office. Six hours of no electricity meant pending work, large backlogs, restless colleagues and ever-furious boss. After experiencing such a stressful day, Vivek was really frustrated to bear the same at home too. But there was no way out.
He changed quickly and got into the act of cleaning like a man possessed. Sadhna had also made Shashank and Rahul, their two sons to clean their rooms. It was nearly 6 p.m. and they had just two hours until when they would be left with nothing to do. With lots of nagging, shouts and suggestions from Sadhna they finally completed the cleaning before time. Vivek was right inside the bathroom when lights went off and everything went black. Vivek cursed MSEB for the timing. He somehow managed in the darkness and got out fast without feeling really fresh.
Sadhna and the kids were lucky enough to be fresh before him. The three of them were sitting on the verandah when Vivek came out. It was really cold outside. There was no moon and the streetlights too were off, leaving the surrounding completely dark. The only light sources were the flickering candles and the oil lamps from the neighboring windowpanes.
With a tired body and nothing left to do, the four of them just started chatting. Shashank started it off with the funny incidences that often happened in his college due to the load shedding. He explained how friends often found out excuses for the practicals saying “There was no power mam, my PC was off!” and how teachers postponed their tests because they had to consult the load shedding time table for each and every work, from setting the paper to printing it. Vivek found it fascinating that how Shashank, a hard core TV addict had coped up so easily with the load shedding. When Vivek asked him, he just shrugged it off saying “I have found out lots of new things to do like reading, gardening, playing cards and many more”.
Sadhna had her own point of view over this matter. Although she hated it when she had to cook in heat and dark, she immensely enjoyed it when in the noon; all the housewives from the neighborhood would come together to have a chat. She enjoyed the change very much rather than the boring saas-bahu serials. She also admitted that to avoid the heat of the kitchen, she completed her chores early and thus could spare a lot of time for herself.
Vivek wondered how strange sometimes women could be. But in fact he admired his wife for her thoughtfulness. Sometimes he himself felt surprised to realize the time he had spent on himself and his pleasures since the load shedding had started. He tremendously enjoyed it to stroll through the dark and silent lanes of his colony after dinner, thinking about people and life. It had been at those times, when some of the best thoughts had come to his mind and later he had penned them down. He also loved to play with Rahul and hear his innocent views about stars, moon and the world when, at night, all of them sat on the terrace. He loved it when they enjoyed the hot coffee up there when icy winds would flow and unseen leaves would make pleasant rustling sounds.
Vivek’s train of thoughts was broken by Rahul’s tap at his shoulder. It was nearly 10 o’clock. Vivek felt the mercury must have fallen well below 10 degree Celsius. Shashank suggested that they burn a little campfire on the cement flooring. It seemed a fairly good idea since there was still one hour to go for the power to come back. So, he brought the sticks and other stuff and burned the fire on the flooring. Rahul was so excited that he held a long stick in his hand, put some leaves in his hair and enacted an “adivasi” dancing around the fire. All of them had a hearty laugh over that. Vivek’s neighbor Mr. Joshi and his family also walked down and joined in the fun. Then there were some songs, poems some jokes followed by and lot of laughter. It felt just like a dream…the happiest dream! Everything was so pure, wonderful and lovely. Vivek loved it.
At last it was 11.15. In just a few seconds the surrounding was washed with white light from the streets and the neighbor’s houses. As the power came back, Vivek felt a sickening sensation in his stomach, just like he was cruelly being awakened from the happiest dream of his life.
Vivek bid Mr. Joshi and his family, a good night and returned inside the home. Children were already asleep. As Vivek prepared to sleep, he went over the entire series of events of the day. He thought about the frustration from the office, about the cleaning, about his tiredness and then about the time he had so much fun, about how now he felt happy and content that he had spent some quality time with his family. This day would definitely remain in his memory for years to come. Only three hours ago he was cursing MSEB for its ruthlessness and now he somehow couldn’t help but bless it, for if not anything else, it has helped people to think a bit about there lives and made them come closer.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Music !!!

I was getting the typical Monday blues when i reached office first thing in the morning. The office was sparsely filled though i was 10 mins late. The few employees who had come were looking like it was already 6 pm . . all bored and droopy. I reached my desk without a shred of enthusiasm. After starting my routine i realised that this is gonna be just one of those long and extended Mondays which i dreaded so much. No fun, no excitement and nothing interesting to look forward to except mundane work. I put on my headphones and started my favorite songs in full volume.In such a condition, music was the only link to peace for me. It was after around half n hour that i received a mail and my breath was nearly caught into my chest.

"It has been observed a large amount of organization infrastructure in the form of disk space is being used for storing multimedia files and features by employees. This is to inform that henceforth listening to music in office is strictly banned and any amount of multimedia storage will be considered as a breeach to the Organizatinal rules. Employees are expected to immediately delete all the personal media contents. An IT check will be conducted anytime starting from tommorow. " . . the mail stated

I had a feeling of falling from a high cliff with each word that i read. Music banned ??? What the hell !!! How can this company be so ridiculously cruel ???
What bad has the music done to the company ?? Cant they grant such a small favour in return to the work they extract from us ??? This was mad, this was stupid this was absolutely outrageous. . .

When my initial prangs of anger and frustration subsided i realised the intensity of a grave situation i was going to be in. No music !!! It was just next to no hands or no ears or no heart. Since i joined office as a professional, the only sound that was left in my life was the constant buzzing of the AC and the ringing of phones. And there were new challenges to be faced, new destinations to be conquered. In such a situation what kept me grounded and away from frustration was simply and solely my music.

I often have had really stressfull days full of meetings, phone calls and code jams. . but in the evenings i had listened to Suresh Wadkar singing "Surmaai Shyaam is tarah aaye " and i had felt all the streched veins relaxing in my mind and small drops of "AMRIT" dripping down my ears. I have had early morning tensions because of object delieveries and presentations scheduled for the day ahead but i had listened to the "yu hi challa chal rahi" from Swades and my heart had been filled with enthusiasm and energy.I had frequently used the headphones as a way of blocking all the noise from the surrounding and the loud sound for concentrating on work. And if i didnt have work then i had used music as a way of avoiding interruptions from colleagues. It had effectively worked most of the times.
Yes !! My life feeds on music. Rather than wasting disk space i felt music cleaned unwanted trash from ones mind leaving it free for creativity, imagination and ideas. I was now badly cursing my company because i felt people up there should understand the peaceful working conditions some of their employees expected and music was not even a small harm to their bigg organizational structure as well as infrastructure. It eventually helps the company itself in getting more quality work from the employees. What does it matter guys, if handfull of your employees couldnt work without music. !!!

But i knew all of my tantrums were of no use now. the mail was official and that meant it was the last word. I had to part with my treasure of two years . . which i had collected from so many different sources. I was thinking of the ways i could smuggle the music files from my system out of the office safe to my pc at home. . but USB was blocked. I was now sweating a bit due to excessive thinking. I started counting the last few days left for me to enjoy my peace and realising it was too short i immediately put on my headphones and clicked the play button. The soft and sensuous voice of Lata didi played in my ears. .

Dil dhundta hai phir vahi
Fursat ke raat din. .
Baithe rahe tasavvure
Jana kiye hue. . . . !!!!!

I felt i was drifting away from the tension and humming happily in sink with the song. Miraculously the music had once again worked its magic on me. Yes this was after all the peace i craved for at that moment . And no matter how many times they ban any physical existence. . music will surely remain to be everywhere working its peace and magic.


It is surprising to realize sometimes what a small dream can do to your conscience and the ultimate change it brings in to your perspective. It happened to me when I was calmly asleep one cold winter morning that I dreamt about my dad . .. my Baba. I dreamt him suffer a severe heart attack and I was completely helpless, I couldn’t get him the doctor or the medicine. When I woke up I was drenched in a cold sweat and it was impossible for me to go back to sleep then. I spent a couple of hours in absolute restlessness and around 8 am I called my mom. I wanted to speak to her first because somehow I couldn’t muster enough courage to talk to Baba directly. But surprisingly it was Baba who picked up the phone and greeted me with his usual jolly and enthusiastic words. What a gush of relief it was !
I had a routine talk with him for some time and later told him about my nightmare. I don’t know what happened then but tears came rolling down my eyes and my voice choked. I cried. And I cried like a baby. I had been living away from Baba and Aai since one and a half years. And it had pained me always that I could not be with them when they needed me the most. I couldn’t share the small moments of their lives which are so valuable for them. Often I used to have guilt prangs for not caring, being selfish and leaving the two of them to manage everything for themselves in the midst of their old age. All those emotions, thoughts and feelings came crashing to my heart and I felt I am letting them out through those tiny drops of water. Baba understood it. Completely. And to my tremendous relief, he said something that I will remember till i remember my name. He said “Don’t worry that you can’t be with us, we always feel your care even from the distance. More than anything, it’s your achievements away from home that make us happy and proud of you. We both love you and we will be happy only if you are happy there”. How lucky I felt to have a man like Baba as my father. I felt happy, I felt relieved and most important I felt all the guilt melt out of my conscience. Aai-Baba were genuinely happy and this simple realization would bring a smile on my face for days to come. It’s not that I don’t get worried for Aai-Baba now but somewhere I know that they are content there taking care of each other and thinking about me.