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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Stupendous Article - Hyderabad: A Tale of Multiple Cities

By Maya Mirchandani on NDTV Blogs,

The search for identity is a universal one, the need to assert one's perceived identity, equally so. So, if there's one thing the Telangana crisis has brought to the front of my mind, it is this, and the following question: Who, or what, am I?

For the record, I'm half Sindhi, half Telugu. My father's family is from the Hyderabad of the north, in Sindh, now in Pakistan. My mother's Telugu family settled in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh in 1967, after living for nearly 3 decades in Shillong when it was still Assam. I was born in Hyderabad (at Niloufer Hospital in Lakdi ka Pul, bed fee Rs 2/-), spent every single summer between the time I was born and the age of 21 in jewel of the Deccan with my maternal grandmother and aunts (between Masab Tank, Lakdi ka Pul, and Gachi Bowli). I have lived, studied and worked in Delhi, Amritsar, Mumbai, London and New York. I'm as delighted eating "sai bhaji" and "khichdi" as I am with "pulusu annam" and "gongura", as comfortable in the bylanes of Charminar as on the streets of Manhattan.

I have it easy, some would say. My identity is a matter of convenience- my civic and ethnic identities go back and forth- depending on who I'm talking to, and where I am. But identity is also a matter of perception, not simply convenience. For all my growing up years being "half and half" was nothing but stressful. My Telugu cousins always saw me as the "North Indian". For my Sindhi family in Mumbai, I was always the "Madrasi". In Hyderabad I would try to steal a treat from the candy jars in my maternal grandmother's puja room with the scent of agarbattis and vibhuti omnipresent; in Delhi, Amritsar and Mumbai I could recite (and still can) verses from the Guru Granth Sahib my Sindhi grandmother taught me when I was just 5 years old. And however confused I was in my growing years, with the wisdom of age now I realize the harder it was to bracket myself into a parochial, religious, ethnic or linguistic identity as a child, the easier it has been for me to feel truly Indian as an adult. (Yes, however clichéd that may sound.)

Why am I wasting precious time saying all this? Because here lies the root of my total confusion over what should happen to Hyderabad, the city of my birth. Like me, Hyderabad too has multiple identities, cultural, religious, linguistic and ethnic. And for much of its 420-year-old history, it's an idea that has been coveted and fought over by each one of its communities. While its more recent, post independence history is chequered with communal riots, and pro-Telangana protests, its early history is inextricably tied to the Qutb Shahi dynasty. Until some years ago, driving to Gachi Bowli from Mehdipatnam on the old Bangalore road, you could still see their tombs rise above the landscape. They are now being restored with funds from Iran- the spiritual and cultural fount for the city's Shia Muslims, many of whom are more or less confined to the old city, divided from the new by the natural boundary of the Musi River. A friend once said to me Hyderabad's communal cartography is evident, the lines between Hindu and Muslim neighbourhoods absolute dividers, sometimes even referred to as "sarhad" or border. The same friend, a Hyderabadi Shia, a Left leaning management professor and itinerant poet, asked me last week what the creation of the state of Telangana would do to his identity.

The Hindus in Hyderabad are an equally motley lot. Conservative, Andhras who dominate the political landscape, and much of the big industry - Film, Pharmaceuticals, Real Estate, for example. And not to forget the Marwaris- who came in to trade in gems and jewels for the Nizams, and like the Sindhis have an entrepreneurial spirit that allows them to call anyplace home. Culturally completely different from each other, and I am not even going to get into the caste and class break ups within the different communities.

Add to this mix now, a third, even newer Hyderabad. HITEC city. Chandrababu Naidu's dream, of making it the Dubai of South India, this part of the city, spreading outwards even beyond Jubilee Hills (once the far end of town), has over the last decade become the city's showcase, with several visiting foreign dignitaries ensuring they make a pit stop at one of the symbols of India's emerging economy.

But this has only complicated Hyderabad's identity further. The massive influx of dollars during the IT, BPO boom has brought in a new transitory white collar population of foreigners, ex-pats, westernized outsiders with their swank cars, boutiques and fancy mansions right beside the old Irani hotels and crumbling bungalows of my grandparents era. They too are now an integral, inextricable part of Hyderabad's social fabric.

As the center's decision to create a new state of Telangana now focuses on the future of Hyderabad, since the city comes bang in the middle of its districts, the debate ranges from identity to economics. Hyderabad is Telangana's cash cow. The creation of a new state will ensure the wealth it generates is distributed among what are today Andhra Pradesh's poorest districts. But Hyderabad is also organically linked with the rest of Andhra Pradesh, as Andhras from Coastal Districts (like my mother's family) and Rayalseema made the inland capital their home generations ago. Are they now being told they don't belong?

Similarly, for the non-Telugu communities of Hyderabad- are they now being told they don't belong either? For all the communal tensions of the last 50 odd years, Hyderabad has been a flourishing example of Indo-Islamic composite culture- where its multiple communities have mingled and created their own language, food, and ethos. For all of them, indeed for all of us- Hyderabad is not just a city, it is an idea. An idea that must survive the politics of division the subcontinent never seems to tire of.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

To all those who idolize the genius named “SACHIN TENDULKAR”!!!

Hashim Amla:

"Nothing bad can happen to us if we're on a plane in India with Sachin Tendulkar on it."
Hashim Amla, the South African batsman, reassures himself as he boards a
flight

Yaseer Hameed:

"Sometimes you get so engrossed in watching batsmen like Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar that you lose focus on your job."

"To Sachin, the man we all want to be" - What Andrew Symonds wrote on an aussie t-shirt he autographed specially
for Sachin

BBC on Sachin:

Beneath the helmet, under that unruly curly hair, inside the cranium, there is something we don't know, something beyond scientific measure. Something that allows him to soar, to roam a territory of sport that, forget us, even those who are gifted enough to play alongside him cannot even fathom. When he goes out to bat, people switch on their TV sets and switch off their lives "

"But the finest compliment must be that bookmakers would not fix the odds -or a game - until Tendulkar was out."

"Tuzhe pata hai tune kiska catch chhoda hai?" Wasim Akram to Abdul Razzaq when the latter dropped Sachin's catch.

Brian Charles Lara: "Sachin is a genius. I'm a mere mortal."

Mark Taylor: "We did not lose to a team called India...we lost to a man called Sachin" -
Mark Taylor, during the test match in Chennai (1997)

M. L. Jaisimha: "The more I see of him the more confused I'm getting to which is his best
knock."

Glenn McGrath:

"The joy he brings to the millions of his countrymen, the grace with which he handles all the adulation and the expectations and his innate humility -all make for a one-in-a-billion individual,"

Anjali:

"I can be hundred per cent sure that Sachin will not play for a minute longer when he is not enjoying himself. He is still so eager to go out there and play. He will play as long as he feels he can play,"

Matt HAYDEN:

"I HAVE SEEN GOD, HE BATS AT NO.4 FOR INDIA"

"Even my father's name is Sachin Tendulkar."

-- Tendulkar's daughter, Sara, tells her class her father's name after the teacher informs them of a restaurant of the same name in Mumbai

KUMBLE:

"I am fortunate that I've to bowl at him only in the nets!"

Shahrukh (quoting Shahrukh from an interview)

"Que: Who do you think as most important celebrity ?

Shahrukh: There was a big party where stars from bollywood and cricket were invited. Suddenly, there was a big noise, all wanted to see approaching Amitabh Bachhan. Then Sachin entered the hall and Amitabh was leading the queue to get a grab of the GENIUS!!"

Navjot Singh Sidhu:

"India me aap PrimeMinister ko ek Baar Katghare me khada kar sakte hain..Par Sachin Tendulkar par Ungli nahi utha Sakte.."

Waqar Younis

"He can play that leg glance with a walking stick also."

A banner once said-' I WILL SEE GOD WHEN I DIE BUT TILL THEN I WILL SEE SACHIN ' that quiet defines Sachin-The greatest.

Allan Donald:

"Sachin Tendulkar has often reminded me of a veteran army colonel who has many medals on his chest to show how he has conquered bowlers all over the world"

And I remember reading in one of Allan Donald's interview. This interview was in Cricket Talk 7-8 yrs ago.

"I was bowling to Sachin and he hit me for two fours in a row. One from point and the other in between point and gully. That was the last two balls of the over and the over after that we (SA) took a wicket and during the group meeting i told Jonty (Rhodes) to be alert and i know a way to pin Sachin. And i delivered the first ball of my next over and it was a fuller length delevery outside offstump. And i shouted catch. To my astonishment the ball was hit to the cover boundary. Such was the brilliance of Sachin. His reflex time is the best I have ever seen. Its like 1/20th of a sec. To get his wicket better not prepare. Atleast u wont regret if he hits you for boundaries."

Peter Rebouck, Aussie journalist

"On a train from Shimla to Delhi, there was a halt in one of the stations. The train stopped by for few minutes as usual. Sachin was nearing century, batting on 98. The passengers, railway officials, everyone on the train waited for Sachin to complete the century. This Genius can stop time in India!!"

NKP Salve, former Union Minister (This was when he was accused of ball tempering)

"Sachin cannot cheat. He is to cricket what (Mahatma) Gandhiji was to politics. It's clear discrimination. "

Andy Flower:

"There are 2 kind of batsmen in the world. One Sachin Tendulkar. Two all the others."

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Alwida New Jersey...But Friends Forever!!!

Hmmm.... Finally I am writing something on my blog after such a long break. I was tied up with lots of moving, waning, work, I was lost in a whole different new world. Everything has changed in my life since Sep 1st - new office, new responsibilities, new challenges and new goals. Life was fun at AT&T (my previous work place) and I am missing all my friends from there at NJ, my colleagues, my dear friends and my family from NJ.

It was great fun to be at Middletown, NJ. I will always be thankful to NJ for all the care, love and support. There is whole lot to say about my stay and experience in NJ but am falling short with words. Hmmm...its getting pretty emotional here...a side of me I have never cared to bother...Thanks is a small word for all that stay in NJ, I am deeply attached to the place and will miss it until I get back there one day.

This one for NJ...lolz

“Because you were always there for me...encouraging me, telling me that you care. Because of the movies, masti, food and fun you brought into my life...because my family, whom I miss so much, is gutted with your strong boundaries....by knowing you I got to do right things. Because knowing you has made me a better person. Because of these reasons, and many more, I love you, and always will”

Mere Khwab Bhi "Kaminey" - I Love It!!!

I am a huge fan of Vishal Bhardwaj songs. His creations are a masterly genius. And the other reason why I like his songs are the awesome lyrics which Gulzar saheb writes for his movies. Kaminey songs captured some of these beautiful lines and lines that define the inner soul of every human being, from a saint to a sinner...everybody, I believe so. Kaminey has some amazing songs. My hot favorite is the title track Kaminey sung by Vishal himself.

Here are the lyrics & the video...

Kya kare zindagi isko hum jo mile,
Iski jaan kha gaye, raat din ke gile- 2 times
Raat din gile…
Meri aarzoo kamini,
Mere khwab bhi kaminey,
Ek dil se dosti thi, yeh huzoor bhi kaminey,
Kya kare zindagi isko hum jo mile,
Iski jaan kha gaye, raat din ke gile…

[Kabhi zindagi se maanga, pinjre mein chaand la do,
Kabhi laanten deke, kaha aasmaa pe taango] – 2 times
Jeene ke sab kareene the hamesha se kaminey,
Kaminey kaminey kaminey kaminey,
Meri daastaan kamini, mere raasten kaminey,
Ek dil se dosti thi, yeh huzoor bhi kaminey…

Jiska bhi chehra cheela, andar se aur nikla,
Masoom sa kabootar naacha to more nikla,
Kabhi hum kaminey nikle, kabhi doosre kaminey,
Kaminey kaminey kaminey kaminey,
Meri dosti kamini, mere yaar bhi kaminey,
Ek dil se dosti thi, yeh huzoor bhi kaminey…

Njoy PEACE!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Its a fucked up life...

Things remain the fucking same however hard you try changing them..its a fuck shit life...and one has to know how to deal with it...I think I know it much better than anyone else...hence I am where I am today...I am fucking proud of myself!!!...wondering why should I put this here...wow...think hard...maybe...jus maybe u might find the answer within u...CHEERS!!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Guns, Germs and Steel...Book Reviewed!!!

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies” is one of the most interesting books and the only book I have ever read. Inspired from an interview with JP Narayan on TV, I collected this book from the public library during my stay at Middletown, NJ. I was not really specific about reading it initially, but then took it home, read the first page and din look back. Its a very interesting and broader view on the whole idea of humans, societies, their birth and the mystery of their existence.

The premise of this Pulitzer Prize winning book is that certain people have conquered the world and “taken control” of the important and strategic resources, etc., not because these certain groups of people are inherently superior (the prevailing “racist” argument, as the author notes) but because these now-leading groups had natural advantages of climate, resources, domesticable plants and domesticable animals. Long story short, these “things,” this “stuff,” enabled these groups to develop “guns, germs, and steel” and control the planet.

The racist argument held sway for many years, of course. Even now, the argument can seem, on its face, somewhat compelling. When Europeans arrived in North America, the natives were still living in animal skins and tents, did not farm (for the most part) and had no writing system. Meanwhile, Europeans (the author actually lumps Europeans and Asians in to one category, “Eurasians”) had already been through their “Renaissance,” had built the Roman Coliseum, and, contemporaneously with the conquest of the New World, had painted the Sistine Chapel. Native Americans were living in buffalo-skin tents nearly 1500 years after the Romans had built the mighty Roman Coliseum. Native Americans had not learned to write (outside of some rare examples) at a time when Europeans had painted the Sistine Chapel and Martin Luther is nailing “95 theses” to the door of the church.

It is very easy, and seemingly logical, to simply conclude that the Native Americans (and Africans, etc.) just were not as smart, or were not as innovative, or were not of the disposition to invent and create beyond providing for their simple means. The author argues this is a simplistic, racially-baised and wrong conclusion.

But the fact remains that Eurasians (from the Roman Empire to the Fertile Crescent) did/do dominate the world in nearly all respects. But why? For example, why did Spaniards, Portuguese and other Europeans sail across the Atlantic and kill or completely marginalize all of the Native American peoples - the Aztecs, Incas, Mayans, and other “great” indigenous people? Why didn’t the Mayans sail across the Atlantic and conquer the Europeans? The simple answer that the “Europeans had the technology and the Mayans did not” is too simplistic. While true, it begs the further question: Why did the Europeans have the technology and the Native Americans did not? 10, 20, or 30 thousand years ago, groups of people were living equally in different parts of the world. People in Africa, the poorest and most technologically-behind of the habitable continents, had a multi-million-year head start with respect to developing technology. We all descend from the same person or people, so why did those that migrated to Europe and Asia surpass those that migrated to the New World (the “natives,” not the come-lately Europeans that now inhabit it) or Africa? Why aren’t the world’s most powerful in 2009 remnants of great African civilizations, where it all began? Instead, the world’s most powerful come from Europe or are the descendants of those that came from Europe.

The book is well-written and exhaustively researched. As noted before, the author shows that certain things are required for a civilization to advance to the state in which current 1st World countries find themselves: certain plants, certain animals, certain resources, certain geographical advantages, etc. (but none of these things, alone, is enough). I would highly recommend the book.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Vikram's Mallanna Reviewed...A Must Watch...Lolz

Wow...Mallanna a must watch...A gigantic movie with a phenomenal script...its a path breaker for sure...we ought to respect the ideology behind Kolly movies...for more reasons now I admire Tamil industry much more...and for the record Srinu (Vaitla) ...must learn from Susi (Ganesan) on how to portray Brahmi's character much better...its the funniest ever since the good old days in the 90's...genuinely mesmerized!!!

This is my facebook status message for the day...now until people watch the movie and get back to me with their comments, please be in this illusion of Mallanna being the biggest movie ever. Because once I post you those, you will hate Tamil Industry for the rest of your life.

Its shambolic movie making...the script was terrible and the way it was handled was even worse...I am amazed at how Brahmanandam was cursed throughout the movie by the audience, every time he appears on the screen people wanted him to get off it...this never happened in nearly a decade now, at least I have not seen it happen. Never imagined that a movie could be made this worse, from the start to the end it was a pain in the rear end. And thanks to our movie exhibitors other factors contributed to our demise on hope for a smooth watch.

Its 2:30 AM here in New Jersey, a place where most of all south movies premier, and a place which excites movie watchers like me and my friends. But for once I am perplexed in the way this movie dragged us to the theatre only to be ridiculed by the makers. I am not sure why I am writing this so late in the night, and for once, after all these days of absence I had to make a come back with such a topic. Movie making and being critical about movies is not my cup of tea, but boy this piece deserves every bit of time I spend. I agree movie making is not an easy job, but this one today is a disaster in every count. Vikram, Shreya, the character artists, the screenplay, editing, music, background score, dance, and what not; think about all the elements that make a movie, and all those to be 'the worst done jobs ever'. And on the top is our dear director, Susi Ganesan who thinks his audience to be puppets in the world of movie goers, he from the rest above is the worst element, and surprise, he also makes a guest appearance in the movie.

Am I over reacting, why did I even think of writing this now?, I donno, maybe my expectations were caught napping, maybe I am in a trance , maybe I am a Kolly hater, maybe this shit fuck movie made me go mad, or just maybe
I am in the mood to write. When movies that are meant to strike a chord with its audience fail, it hurts, so maybe I am just hurt.

I do not want to make this long, so for all of you out there, who want to go watch an epic movie, which will eventually be bench lined along with "RGV ki Aag" for the worst movies made in Indian cinema, this is the one. And if you do go and watch this, please be sure to drop in a line with the exhibitor or the distributor to contribute a little of their cheap owned money to this blog, after all you are all my readers and if for any reason you want to thrash anybody after the movie, it would be ME. So yeah, GO WATCH IT for a chance to Slap ME!!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Bring on the Botox... India at 62

This appeared in the Sunday times today...

How good are we looking at 62…??

If one buys the theory “62 is the new 42” ( I do! I do!), then India is definitely looking “hot’’ for her age. Of course, there are countless giveaways like crow’s feet , an untoned butt and cellulite all over,but compared to others dealing with age issues of a different kind, even our worst critic would give the country a glowing certificate. As our two beauty pageant contestants, Pooja and Ekta, vie for the international crowns , the words of a former winner, Priyanka Chopra, make sentimental sense. Advised Piggy Chops sagely, “We are blessed to be born Indian…believe you are the chosen one.” Some of our parliamentarians could benefit equally from similar advice. Though, most believe they are indeed the Chosen Ones – which they are! We chose them!!

It is fascinating to track the sea change that takes place in the lives of beauty pageant contestants. The grueling grooming sessions they endure often transform gawky, gauche youngsters into soignée swans. By the time they are done with the multiple make- overs ( hair, skin, teeth, weight and personality development), they are different creatures altogether – sleek, poised and ready to take on the world. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could do the same with India and its politicians?? Treat the country as a contestant and go for the crown?? It’s not that hard to achieve if we get enough experts on board. What we are suffering from at present is a serious image problem – we are looking kinda dumb in the eyes of the world. Particularly, S.M.Krishna and his team of naïve advisors.But theek hai… an efficient Mr. Fix-it ( but who?? How soon?) can be quickly inducted to sort out that mess.. Now , with the appointment of the erudite Dr. Shivshanker as our ambassador to Beijing, perhaps the border talks with China will proceed more constructively, minus bogus p.r. pronouncements that fool nobody. Till then , it is important to look good!

Unlike popular perception, it takes one hell of a lot to become an international beauty pageant winner – discipline, for one.Attitude, for another. I’ve watched those girls slog with single-minded determination. They have a single point programme and just one agenda – to win. Imagine an India where even ten members of the cabinet had the same level of commitment .One has to be present during the tough elimination rounds at these beauty contests to know just how exacting the selection process is.At that early stage itself, it’s easy to predict who’ll make the short list. Why not a similar format while allocating key ministries? India has fantastic people at all levels. These fantastic people stay miles away from politics. Why? For the same reason that thousands of seriously good -looking, highly accomplished young women avoid entering pageants – they believe the whole thing is fixed!
International contests have reformatted pageants to remain more in tune with changing times. The winners no longer talk exclusively about becoming Mother Teresa and saving the world. New social realities demand fresher responses, bolder stands. Same story with our ministerlog who need to move beyond boring platitudes from a bygone era and discuss contemporary deliverables.

Every country messes up . India has made it almost mandatory to do so! This is tragic given that at this very second, we are a whole lot better off than most of the world – at least on the economic front. As one never tires of repeating, our fundamentals are strong, our banking systems conservative and our domestic economy robust enough to ride the meltdown. This is much more than can be said about our nearest rivals. Despite these obvious advantages, we choose to focus on the downside. Suggestion number one : let’s roll in the experts. India at 62 needs a face-lift! Bring on the botox. Get those silicon enhancements in place.Liposuction? Why not…. we can do with trimming ministerial flab. Going under the knife? That too – starting with drastically cutting neta privileges, and reducing the size of the bulging cabinet. Laser eye surgery is also recommended for all those short- sighted leaders incapable of seeing beyond their noses. Plus, a strict diet plan for the fat cats in public life who gorge on the nation’s precious resources. Let’s not forget a punishing work out regime for pot- bellied elected representatives abusing the system. How about cosmetic dental treatment to polish up those fake smiles?And rigourous skin care routines for the thick -skinned rhino-politicos who don’t let anything get to them ? Once we get all this in place, we can confidently compete against the best and come back with the dazzling crown. Meanwhile, good luck Pooja Chopra and Ekta Chowdhry – jhanda ooncha rahey hamara.

Friday, August 7, 2009

My writing defines me...

From My Friend and well wisher...Priyanka Kadiyala

Sometimes beautifully, sometimes plain.

About love and pain, about tears and smiles.

An artist’s soul on paper - black or white, beautiful or sad.

I write, and my writing defines me.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Goodbye, My Love...By Shekar Kapur

as she left her womb,
thrust out by a violent birth
i knew that she and I
were destined for the most
intimate of all relationships

time stood still
as I watched her
inexorably sail towards me
so she and I would join
in one final embrace
to complete an event
born in eternity

for since the first explosions
that formed the universe
and the first metals had been created
she and I had been preparing for this one event

how may forms must she have taken
how many hands must have shaped her
and how many eons must have formed her
and how many men must have used her
before she left for this final journey
between me and her

as I looked around and saw
the head of my friend's daughter
explode, the blood sailing outwards
and the drops, finding their own individuality
falling on the table cloth, astonishingly
in the most even geometric pattern

and yet as I looked up
she was still travelling towards me
I said my silent goodbyes
to loved ones that could never be part
of the intimacy with which
the bullet and I would meet
in one final embrace

I looked at the eyes
of the young man
that held the rifle
that had exploded her out
to her final journey

do you know me, young man?
as you avert your eyes
so casually looking for your next target
did you think of me ?
of who I might be
of my loved ones
or yours ?
do you not think
that in the sheer carelessness
of this one event
that you and I now know each other ?
that we will be tethered together
forever too ?

your life as altered
as has mine
as has
all those I love
and who love me

I want you to remember me young man
I would hate to be someone random
that you had no interest in
but the need to squeeze the trigger
occupied as you were
with thoughts of greater glory
of martyrdom
in your own inevitable death

yet you were the mere instrument
one small cog
almost insignificant
in the bullet's journey towards me
as we finally meet
the anticipation of pain
never coming
as the embrace of death
flowed through my body

goodbye my love
if only I had known
this would be the last time
I would see you
I would have touched your cheeks
looked into your eyes
softy caressed your hand
looked back and smiled
and tried to make time stay still
just for a little while

but little did I know
that the bullet and I
were destined to finally meet tonight
after waiting for an eon

August 7, 2009 - Fact (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9)


At 12hr 34 minutes and 56 seconds on the 7th of August this year, the time and date will be


12:34:56 07/08/09


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9


This will never happen in your life again ? ? ! ! ! !

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Life...A Learning Journey!!!

I made this list just to eduacte myself and to see how far I have come in life through a journey of learning. This is a simple, honest list and I thought I would share it with my readers. It is very pithy and straight forward and is not overly altruistic. I have learned a number of things but few left to grasp in the future.

  • Helping other people helps & fills me.
  • Having guts always works out for me.
  • Thinking life will be better in the future is stupid. I have to live now.
  • Being not truthful works against me.
  • Everything I do always comes back to me.
  • Assuming is stifling.
  • [Addictive] alchohol feels great in the beginning and becomes a drag later on.
  • Over time, I get used to everything and start taking things for granted.
  • Money does not make me happy.
  • Traveling alone is helpful for a new perspective on life.
  • Keeping my blog running supports personal development.
  • Trying to look good limits my life.
  • Material luxuries are best enjoyed in small doses.
  • Worrying solves nothing.
  • Actually doing the things I set out to do, increases my overall satisfaction.
  • Everybody thinks they are right.
  • Low expectations are a good strategy.
  • Whatever I want to explore professionally, its best to try it out for myself first.
  • Nothing in this world is permanent, everything has to leave one day or the other.
  • Everybody who is honest is interesting.
Thanks for reading.

Monday, July 13, 2009

More About KARMA...Emotions over Time!!!

The more I read about Karma, the more I realize. It is true, Good or Bad...whatever it is...Everything we do matters. I’ve given this a lot of thought lately. It may seem like a strong statement, but it is not meant in a rigid kind of way. Nevertheless, the more I contemplate it, the more it rings true to me. Every single thing we do in our life, every moment, it all matters. Now obviously killing someone is different than throwing garbage on the street. But even the simple stuff like going for a walk or cooking dinner, or reading the news matters. What do I mean by matters? I mean that it all adds up, all of our actions have an effect on our state of mind now and in the future.

When the ‘09 Lok Sabha & General Assembly elections were happening, I read a lot of news; I became sort of political for a while, wanting to read anything about the inspiring man JP Narayan and his plans. A month after the election is over, I’m in retreat, not thinking about JP or politics at all and a few times I’ve woken up in the morning having dreamed about him and petty political scenarios. Something is going on here, obviously all the news reading had some sort of lasting effect on my mind, otherwise I wouldn’t be processing it in my sleep.

Powerful movies and football also seem to have this hang-over affect on my mind. Sometimes after watching a movie, I’ll go to bed and the whole dream world will be filled with the theme of that movie. The same occurs when I work many hours on the computer just before going to bed. My dreams are often a strange version of the computer world. I get illusions such as meeting my football heroes Ronaldinho, Zidane, etc., after a good hour to two spent watching football replays.

All of these examples are to illustrate that all of our actions in fact have an effect down the road. These are strong examples, but it can also be quite subtle as well. Even everything we think matters. When I first heard this, I’m not sure I believed it, but I was shocked at the idea of it. Now, years latter, after having pondered it, I believe it to be true.

Extreme examples always popup, so lets address one. If the thought of killing someone arises, does that matter? Should I be afraid of my thoughts? No, not really. I think the main point is that thinking in certain ways for prolonged periods of time can actually change our way of being. The more emotionally charged the thoughts, and the longer periods of time, the stronger the effect.

The more we do or think something, the more we are creating the momentum for that to happen again in the future. It is subtle, but over time it is surely true. I think we can all accept this as true, the more I am an angry person, in time, I just become more and more like that. This is true for all states of mind. The momentum does not stop on its own; it is a never ending cycle that fuels itself. When things get too hot, or a catastrophe occurs, only then do we change our ways.

So do we always have to experience the results of our actions? Our teachings say that if we remain ignorant, then yes, but through practice, these past seeds can be purified. So everything we do matters, whether moment to moment, day to day, after many years or even over lifetimes. This is the basic teaching of karma, and I encourage everyone to look and see if it is true.

Practice 'LOVE' (an emotion) and you shall see the difference, it only charges your zeal to live Happy (effect) more and more. Again a cause & effect attachment.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Just as I am doing the nuisance…

Toilets were introduced on Indian trains only after a passenger , Okhit Chandrasen, wrote a letter to the Divisional Traffic Superintendent, Sahabgunj Divisional Office in 1909, complaining about how he missed the train, when he got down to attend the call of nature. One can actually get to see this letter plated at the entrance of toilet rooms in any railway station in India. This was brought to my attention by my Uncle who happened to take a photo of the letter plate at Bangalore railway station.

The Times of India reproduced the unedited letter:

Beloved Sir,

I am arrive by passenger train at Ahmedpore station and my belly is too much swelling with jackfruit. I am therefore, sent to privy. Just as I am doing nuisance that guard making whistle blow for train to go off and I am running with lota in one hand, dhoti in the next when I fall over and expose all my shockings to many female women on the platform. I got leaved on Ahmedpore station.

This is too much bad in passengers go to make dung that dam guard not wait train for five minutes for him. I am therefore pray otherwise I am making big report to papers. Pray your honour to make big fine on that dam guard for public sake otherwise I am making big report to papers.

Yours faithfully

(Sd/- Okhit Chandrasen)

Knowing that this thing actually made a difference and brought about a reform is heartful to note. So, people please realize, it is in us and how ever we put it out, it shall work if there is a cause & effect attached to it. So, yeah bring it out. Thanks.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Does the event create the cause ?

By Shekar Kapur...

Does an event create a disharmony, a ripple that provokes us into action so that we become part of it ? Mistakingly assuming we created the event ? Are we slaves to the event while we think of ourselves as creators of the 'it' ?

Nor are we separate from the event. The event and us, inseparable part of the same play being imagined by the Universe in all eternity. The event itself part of a ripple caused by another. And so on, but circling right back, the ripples being the eternal cause and effect of each other. Enclosed in nothing but timelessness.

Part of discussions that came up as I opened my installation at the Swarovski museum in Austria

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I believe in Love & its Karma...Personality Check - Part 3


I am kind of stressed and derailed today, for reasons beyond my understanding and nature. People close to me call me 'moody', but as moody as I am, there is NO fundamental reason attached to it. Its just that mother nature sometimes throws me out there and lets me ask myself "why are things that are, as they are?"...confused???...just like me. There are too many thoughts in my mind today, and I am wondering if I am doing the right things in life, and I realize that, one always has a choice and it’s those choices that make or break your path to freedom. I was reading my friend Ramesh's blog post this morning (Read it) and his perceptions on Love and its existence. So, I told myself after reading the post, that I would put forward my emotions and candor on Love and its Karma. Though his post reads more into Love as in a relationship, I will dwell a little parabolically and will try addressing it from a more generic view. I have always wanted to do this, and people who have read "About Me" section on this site, have asked me few many times to elaborate the jist of it. So, here you go.

I always had this thought in mind, "I see evolution and the works of Mother Nature as a mainly violent process (i.e. the food chain), and even though there seems to be individual “acts of love” in nature, it appears to me that Love is rather an “anomaly”, and what prevails is violence, and among humans, murderous conduct.” But then, I told myself – Love is the basis of our existence and how can this Love be conciliated with the violent nature of evolutionary process? (Bear with me as I am trying hard not to deviate from this specific subject).

Looking at it from the physical perspective I can see that in the beginning of our universe, out of matter came life, and as we became more complex creatures, we developed complex emotions that helped us survive. The complex emotions that helped our ancestors survive in the Savanna and jungle are those of fear, desire and Love. The monkey that sat on the ground enjoying the beautiful sunrise without worries, got eaten by the tiger, and also the monkey that was scared for his life, filled with sexual desire and loved his children desperately, this is our great great great … grand parent. So why do we Love, because it helps keep ourselves alive. That is why there exists fear, desire, jealousy, even hatred - they served a purpose in the unfolding of our physical beings. Our powerful brains overrun with thoughts also evolved for the same reason - to help us survive better. But these emotions which were once gifts of survival are now the cause of our greatest suffering.
That is the view of physical evolution, what about consciousness? From the perspective of mind and awareness, matter itself arose out of the ground of consciousness. But until there was a complex enough form for the consciousness to know itself, it remained somewhat dormant. So our consciousness deems Love, and love for humans & their existence.

So, I believe that Love is simply an emotion that we experience, part of our array of emotions, and this experience of love is the closest thing that we can come to describe or relate with the great oneness that is everything. Fear & anger are competitive emotions and Love & compassion are cooperative. But all of them helped us survive so we got them in us.

Another way I like to look at Love is that it is simply Karma. As I attempt to learn more about what Karma is, the more my definition of it grows and grows. In our East the general understanding of karma is: if I do something bad, it will come back to me. The most basic definition of karma is cause and effect. It is my growing understanding that karma is in fact everything, and that everything to me is Love for humans and Love for myself. So Love is Karma and vice versa. What is evolution but a very long chain of cause and effect? Everything we see, including us, is a result of myriad causes and effects, nothing more. And while we cannot change the karma of our human bodies, and our basic emotions, we can decide how we can work with our minds. We can work with that Karma of Love.
I could probably go on and on about this, but I think I’ll stop here for now.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

You ain't capable of nothing?...Personality Check - Part 2

Hmm…this is something I have always wanted to stick up the faces of those who think I am capable of nothing. I am not listing out my capabilities or skills that would run my CV into doldrums but trying to convey to those few and in the process learn to discover myself. I want to get on top of my voice and yell and cry. People, friends, relatives over the years have always seen me as a prick capable of nothing but blabbering. It was my manager Keith in Tulsa, who first made me realize how confident and a capable person I am. I take pride in saying that I worked in a kitchen that was managed by Keith and in a way opened my gates to real world of people trying to overpower their knowledge and experience on me. Though this aspect could be attributed to my undoing, it is very critical to hold me solely responsible.

The theory was that, capable men are by definition those who truly believe they can influence what happens to them, to their friends, to their future. Non-capable people by contrast are those who, whether students in school or staff at work come to believe “Its Luck if I make it or Fate if I don’t, but either way I had little or nothing to do with what happened.” I agree to a certain extent that luck has played a major part in my life and for me to be where I am it’s just been a dream coming true. But that said, I have 24yrs under my rear and I am shit capable to know something and capable of doing something and that too effectively, and people better realize that.

When I said my undoing, it is not because I know nothing but because I tend to be calm and cool in situations which usually demand a vocal contribution. The whole point is that, I do not want to get into an argument. Because, invariably a discussion on a topic or anything leads to an argument and I do not like it. Very recently in Vegas, we had an incident where out rental car was not starting and nobody was in a position to buy my argument that it was a “starter” problem more than anything else. Was it the adrenaline that made everybody put a cotton wrap in their ears or shut their eyes to see what I was trying to do? It was indeed a starter problem and we ended up leaving the car there and driving my friend’s car. And there too, I was not allowed to drive the car as they feared I was a careless and irresponsible driver. The result was that two of our friends had to spend the night at the Phoenix, AZ airport. I mean, am I that naïve to not understand the situations on hand, after all I have had the same exposure and experience, if not more.

What I call the below list are the significant points, I have made a list of perceptions of people around me and my skills that are the underpinnings of my capacity. What do I need to know, and what do I need to be able to do, to be a capable person.

The Perceptions of people around me are:

  • I am not capable. I cannot face problems and challenges and gain strength and wisdom through experience.
  • I am not significant. My life has no meaning and purposes – and what I have to offer is of value NO in the scheme of things.
  • I have no influence. My actions and choices do not influence what happens.

The Skills are:

  • How to respond to these feelings effectively – self-assessment, self-control, and self-discipline.
  • How to communicate, cooperate, negotiate, empathize, resolve conflicts, and listen effectively when dealing with people.
  • How to be responsible, adaptable, and flexible.
  • How to set goals, make judgments and decisions based on ethical principles, wisdom and experience.

I feel these perceptions and skills should be nurtured, supported, and developed within me and for me, it makes the effing difference between a environment that excels, and one that simply exists. I have been practicing these and shall adhere to them for the term of my life. Thanks for reading.