Monday, August 25, 2014

My stint with the "Adultery"

So, in a week's time or less than that technically, I finished up my coveted novel "Adultery" which at the time of order I did not know was yet to be released. Time flies, seems like only yesterday I was waiting eagerly for it for about close to 45 days and today I am writing about how I found this much anticipated new work of the reverend and the most loved author Paulo Coelho .

Its quite baldly applied by the name of the book what the raconteur in Paulo wants to convey and around what the plum plot will revolve. Let me try to summarize the story here for you :
"A woman rich, affluent who is a journalist is well-settled with her husband who is a  reticent man, yet loves her a lot and more than that, he respects her for he thinks that his wife is a doughty lady with astronomical amount of patience and mental strength. They have two kids whom mostly they place at their parents' home to look after, since both of them are working.  But, this woman whom everyone envies for the supposed comfort in her life is not happy. She thinks the spark in her life has gone, life has become a series of todays and tomorrows, coupled with the mundane tasks of the regular days. She wants to have some adventure that would rejuvenate her and fill her with vitality leaving the torpor and listlessness that has now become her life. Now since she is a journalist, she interacts with people and sometimes feels amused. The D-Day comes when she is to interview her former boyfriend (The story takes a subtle turn, just as in "Fifty Shades of Grey", but is much less violent and practical), and then turns out he too is non-chalant in is marriage. So, what better can happen? They get hooked momentarily, satiate each other only to understand later that what they are doing is a sin.  Someday, the man becomes reluctant, someday the woman and someday both of them become neurotic to land at a coffee shop again. (No doubt, infatuation is a dangerous accord, always weakens a man's erudition) . So, this woman with her overly woman-feelings starts to analyse the world she is creating. At times she is full of remorse and at the other times, she just wants to forget the entire world and just lie in her trance of a world of "adultery" which for time being is mitigating her pains of a mundane life. But, later on, when she thinks in a more clairvoyant manner, she is good to realize that there is no future and hence the "fling" needs a full stop. All this time the stopgap that she was actually enjoying has become a big NO NO. She plans to tell this to her husband, but decides against it, when through his confabulations she gets to know that his jerk husband would never mind her being knave because he loves her irrespective of anything. She falls that second, and decides to re-energise their relationship of marriage. Then a series of sabbaticals they take and according to her she finds the real meaning of her life and things become fine. Happily Ever After "

Now, in and out of this plot are the most beautiful lines on love, existence, doubts that force a person to think about. If I would have ever read this novel 5 years back, I would have despised it like anything, and who knows, might have termed it as "erotic". But that is the beauty of Paulo Coelho, he does not write, he carves out the human emotions on the piece of paper very artistically. To even think of a story line like this needs a heart that understands inherent human feelings. The behavior and the doubts of the women depicted in this story must be real, such quagmire everyone falls in time or again, because you cannot deny that a human is a natural seeker of love and adventure, man and woman alike. (Woah ! now that forces me to think, why he did not make a male protagonist).

 I think this is the undeniable truth of life - We sometimes land up in fugacious assortment of meetings and associations only to realize later that they are not feasible in the long run, although there is a slight chance before getting hitched to someone, which gradually diminishes afterwards. But you never know, it might work the other way round. In the list of my reads of Paulo, this one has not been able to stir me totally (I loved Eleven Minutes, I think everyone must read it to understand what human heart is like, even of those who are considered to be vermin). The deep philosophy is deeply missing, though at places, he has carved out some beautiful originals, like "Love is not a feeling, its an art". And the cornerstone of the novel ? well there can be many. I would like you to have your own, after you are done with the novel.

Keep Loving !

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Supposedly Trifle Things are Big Teachers

Lying in the cemented place beside my room window is a thing that I use every morning. Its a "sandalwood tilak"  I purchased from ISKCON temple, Bangalore. Its been close to two months that its there. And everyday I use it, it teaches me a beautiful thing without any break. While preparing the paste in my hand, I smile at the fortitude it displays in spite of being kept open in an air which consists of all possible microbes along with dust. The beautiful observation I have had is that of its undying fragrance. The enchanting, peace giving, and cooling scent of "Chandan" as we call it, not only keeps my mind cool but also in an utterly simple way teaches me a great lesson. Although inanimate and may be trifle (for majority, mainly unorthodox) yet by its very nature it mystifies me. Its a marvel of nature, a manifestation of nature as our teacher.

This "tilak" lies exposed to air but has not diminished in its scent, the fragrance is captivating; it has got cracks due to rain water, but the fragrance is still unmatched; it broke down into two pieces due to a fall, yet renders the same piousness as it used to when it was intact. Not an iota of dereliction of duty . Isn't it beautiful? Silently lying in a discrete corner of a big room, here this small thing is spreading the light of its wisdom. Its inanimate nature is emblematic to  patience, fortitude and simplicity. Its long-tested fragrance symbolizes that irrespective of any external pressure, vicissitudes or protean nature of the surroundings , it has maintained its nature of providing scent; this teaches us resilience and unconditional giving. Time and again, it gets wounded, sometimes by rain water, sometimes by an accidental fall but that apart, it is dutifully  doing what its supposed to, its inherent nature has not withered away.

Every morning before I start my day, my friend, "sandalwood tilak" is asking me to be like it in some measure if not in entirety-"To be a beacon  inspite of every vestige of negativity around".  I love this object, small in larger scheme of world, yet  huge! 

There are a lot other objects like "chandan tilak" which can teach us beautiful things. One more  I have frequently observed is a "diya". When its burning, it provides light and when it gets extinguished, it leaves an enchanting fragrance behind(I can feel the smell as I write this. Its so heavenly !! ). Its so metaphorical !! In its lifetime it spread light in darkness and when it died it left a beautiful smell behind , teaching us to make our lives full of  magnanimity and benediction such that  when we leave for heavenly abode, the world is a little better and a little more happy. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Gandhi Exhumed


This blog is about how an Indian feels when he reads stuff like this http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/the-interviews-blog/gandhi-was-obsessed-with-sex-while-preaching-celibacy-to-others-kusoom-vadgama/about someone who is considered hallowed in the nation.
Flipping through the pages of digital newspaper, this article catches me eyes. The headline is enough to launch me into a state of mental agitation and at the same time indignation towards the supposedly doughty lady who bylines the article. I read the article twice just to make sure what I am interpreting is correct, and sadly the content is in consonance with the headline. The reading of this text makes me feel insulted, as would to most of the Indians. The obloquy which the lady has cast on the Mahatma of 125 crore people is totally unjustified and an act of defiance towards the sentiments of his countrymen.
Such kind of incidences keep to-ing and fro-ing in the lives of elite people, some trying to tarnish the image while some vying for a significant position in the world scene for an insignificant amount of time. I do not know whether the contents of this article are authentic and frankly speaking it does not matter, reasons of which I will give later in this text. But, a newspaper is a medium that gets circulated across all the 195 countries of the world, and news of this kind about the man of such a towering stature, spreads like a fire in a dry forest. As an Indian, I would never be able to swallow the fact that any foreigner or any occidental person judges the Mahatma, who led Indian Struggle for Freedom in an austere manner and completely sacrificed his luxuries, based on this piece of utter humiliation and debasement.
Mahatma Gandhi is a symbol of India and its ideology, and is respected all over the world. Indians revere him by calling "Bapu" and at every important government location exists his portrait as an emblem of his teachings and homilies. Who could have thought that an amateur barrister after being thrown off from the first class compartment of the train despite having ticket, will become such a big furore not only for the India but for the people of South Africa, a nation with which he had absolutely nothing to do. He could have been silent, he could have been mute, as thousands of Indians have become today, but instead he chose the road less taken, that not only made a difference but a transformation whose plangency is still resonating in the boundaries of India and in the world. A lanky fellow draped in dhoti toured the country to listen to people, to hear their agonies and apathies , challenged the authority, went to jail, came out, launched scathing non-violent attacks and redeemed a nation along with his able contemporaries, all this gets sullied in this piece of text.What a slander !!
The texts addresses her also as a "former Mahatma follower". A person never asks anyone to follow him /her. Its out of choice and reverence that myrmidons gets formed. Her walking out might be her own decision, totally respected as an idiosyncrasy. I am sure she must have read "My Experiments With Truth", I have also, and that book inspired me. Gandhi has presented himself just as any vulnerable young man in his youthful days, with his own set of remorse and times of vacillations, and the restitution that dawns upon him during the death of his father. No one is born a celibate, but its a practice which becomes stronger over the period of time, because after a time an ultimate realisation comes that the carnal pleasures are ephemeral. He has not flinched from mentioning this incidence, how many of have guts to accede to similar incidences in our lives ?  Very few.
A normal denizen of a country, becomes a soul of the nation, and this kind of flay towards him is totally unacceptable to me. I know hordes of people do not like Mahatma, who accuse him of treachery and bad decisions at few times. Everyone has their own opinions, I have my own. I have grown up listening to his stories of benevolence and instances which prove his benediction, and not only him but many more. I think there is no use of posthumous excoriations of people considered as apostles of humanity and hallmarks of compassion , they only shadow the good that such people did and sow unnecessary doubts in the minds of the people.
As for the content that this article mentions, we do not and should not have any right to judge a person by what he did, or does in his personal life. He practiced sex, and promoted celibacy. He fought hard to defeat the natural desires, he overcame them too, time and again he experimented, he started sleeping separate, because he knew that such kind of debauchery was only causing him agony both mental and spiritual. And he promoted celibacy, because he knew the ultimate peace lied in being abstinent, else the man just becomes miserable. Such context is a trivial issue to judge a mahatma or (anyone for that matter) to spread bad word about him. But even trivial issues become big issues when big people are involved, such is the harsh truth. 
The article has failed to move me or challenge my convictions, because I believe to castigate to someone we must achieve what he/she could achieve in his/her lifetime. But at the same time the lampooning has inflicted emotional agony, especially at the time when the celebrations of the Independence Day have not snuffed out.
Haven't people got any other more productive stuff to indulge in rather than exhuming the mortals and doing post-mortem of their lives. And I am not  an ardent of follower of Gandhi , but I revere him and his ideals and I believe that he has left a better world for all of us. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Lessons from the era of "Tryst with Destiny"

Happy Independence Day Friends !

This day fills me with confidence and pride when I reflect back at the year and the day that would have been on the fateful midnight of 14th August 1947. I am sure the feeling among the hearts of those Indians who were a part of this legacy was heavenly and profound, their hearts beaming with inexplicable happiness and positive energy. It took a long time for us to get redeemed from the foreign yoke and emerge with an identity of self in this vast universe. India's quest for freedom teaches us a lot of things. Here is looking at what I feel it has to teach to us today, and we must always bear these in our mind. 

  1. 1. No nation is so rich in its cultural heritage, sacred in its values and tradition as India, its a fortune to belong to this nation of hermits and sages. (We can argue the values have been pillaged but I still believe humanity is alive because I am). If we follow the values that our country has bestowed upon us, we all will herald a new era in which everyone will be a Swami Vivekananda.
  2. Our ancestors, fought real hard, due to their incessant struggles and initiatives, we can breathe in a free India today. We are indebted to them, we are. 
  3. The more time it takes to persevere, the more palatable is the taste of the result. Anything, worth having is difficult, and hence patience and strategy matters. 
  4. A mass movement, needs a leader that takes everyone together in a cause. If there is no leader the team fritters away and gains nothing. Be a leader and take initiatives, they do not have to be as big as to become the headlines of the vernacular newspapers, but big enough to make a small difference in lives around. 
  5. Respect women. Period. 
  6.  A simple man with an indomitable spirit and a dream in mind is a  very dangerous man, he will outwit everyone. A simple ignition within changes us, positive or negative, the choice is ours, always. Have a dream.
  7. Sometimes to tame an animal, there is a need to behave like one.
  8. Evil can only be uprooted only if we are together without any fear of authority and fear of death. What India lacks today is this feeling of togetherness because all of us  are busy earning money to get a car better than our neighbour. Lets, pause for a while and do a kind act today, it gives peace class apart from that felt from buying a car.
  9. Education is the only thing that can empower the proletariats and make them feel equal.
  10. Independence has been bequeathed upon us, and we do not value it. Freedom is a beautiful thing. Every morning I do not have to think that someone will be standing on the road watching my action and caning me if I do something against the prevailing norm. 
  11. Everyone who sacrificed their lives and continue to do so even today, have a family of theirs too, but when the decree comes they have to leave it and tread forwards in fulfillment of the obligation. Love for the country is the greatest and involves the biggest of sacrifices. 
  12. Every supposedly weak men can be made strong if supported and counselled and most importantly heard. 
Lets co-operate with each other, support each other in dreams and ambitions, thats the only way to move forward and live a peaceful life. Gain knowledge and then using that knowledge, lets just GIVE BACK to everyone around, wherever we are.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Live today while you have it....

All this time I was missing on one of the things, staying up late night, in a dark room, beside the big window in my room with my laptop in my hands. So, today I decided to follow it. I think its a beautiful feeling , sitting beside the window late at night, looking out occasionally and admiring the sodium lights in the dark silences of the night. Its a beautiful feeling, cool type, fills me with so much of energy. 

People can be themselves in the solitude of night, they talk to themselves, reflect on their lives, smile at few things. In the labyrinth of the world, its should be imperative that we pause for a while, halt and admire the beauty around us, the smallest of things that have their own role to play in this world and we ought to reflect towards them a sense of belongingness. Work goes on, for those who don't like it, it becomes drudgery, and for those who enjoy it, becomes a vocation. Work will go on, the process of completing responsibilities and meeting deadliness will be incessant, but we can't just let our every precious day pass without feeling the ineffable beauty around that makes life all the more idyllic.

 Life, for  me never has been what I got on my birthday, what clothes I have to wear, who favors me, and after sometime the grades also stopped mattering that much, all that truly meaningful I ever found out was how to use the education that I so fortunately obtained for  redeeming people around me, on a daily basis. I believe no act of kindness is quotidian, banal or something that does not create an energy in the universe. Everytime we give our seat in the bus to someone elder, we create a positive environment in the bus, everytime we give our sweet dish served in the mess to someone who wants two, we make him happy and create a notion that kindness and understanding exists, everytime we decide to listen to someone even when we have some work, we create a solicitous trust around, everytime we sacrifice something that belongs to us to create happiness around, we serve our purpose as a human in a tangible way. 

We are the most miraculous creatures in the history of Earth. 
-Fortunate to be born a Homo sapien (being human is a work in progress)

Sincere friendships make life richer

The tale of two little boys who decide to be enemies, only to realize how much richer life is when they’re friends — a charming reminde...