The Quote -

"Nope, I don't really have anything new to say. but then, I always have something amazing to tell about things that you already know!!"


Friday, August 22, 2008

The temple teachings:

“Will you do something for me? Don’t say no. I won’t ask you if I had any choice”

These were the exact words my mom said to me and since she never really goes for this approach, I can simply guess that she wants me to do something that I really hate. I was wondering what she might want me to do. That was when she said that she wanted me to go to a temple to attend a specific pooja* and bring back the prasadham*.

Now I hate going to temples. It’s not like I don’t believe in God. I am a theist. I believe in God. But I see him as someone who is not just bound to the temple, as someone who is in the essence of everything living and non living. I hate the customs that people do at temples and people paying to see the deities of the divine. With my mother it’s just the opposite, she is totally into it. She is regular in her prayers. Never misses her poojas*. Is a devoted hindu* to put it in simple terms. What makes peace between us in this aspect is that she never asks me to go to the temple and I never dissuade her from going.

And when she broke her deal when I was least expecting it, (of course she breaks the deal once in a year, on my birthday) I was not going to give in without a fight. And when she said that she will not be able to go temple because she had to be at another temple, it simply left me completely bewildered. But her approach gave me no space to refuse or fight back (Damn…. These women really know how to get things done by a guy). I simply asked the specifications of what I have to do at the temple and left for the same.

On reaching the temple, I gave the priest the specifications of the pooja* and waited for my prasadham*. A lot of women and a few men were there gossiping about as they were also waiting for the aarathi*. I was really feeing like the odd man out. It was so completely dull and boring that I was watching the ants that were laboriously doing whatever they were doing near my feet.

After a while the aarthi* was shown and people crowded up to see the view of the decorated deity. Then the prasadham* was distributed. It was then that I noticed the old man sitting by the side of the temple. He must have been about 65 – 70 years old. It could be easily seen from his torn clothes that he was too poor to even feed himself. But his clothes were washed and neat. After eating half of the prasadham*, he slowly looked around and after satisfying himself that no one was looking, kept the other half in his pocket. He must be saving it for later or may be for some one, I presumed.

I felt really bad for him. But his face showed no such emotion of pain or regret. In fact he started to play with a small kid nearby. I got up and went near him. When he saw me coming to him, he simply smiled and said “Isn’t the child a beauty” and smiled at me. I smiled back assuring myself that I am not going to defeat this man by showing sympathy or charity. He needed neither. He may not be the richest guy around but he was so happy that the happiness seamed to flow out him when he was playing with the child.

After a while, I bade him good bye and reached home. Thinking about it now - What I saw in him, completely over whelms me.

You need not be the richest or the cleverest or whatever superlative terminology you are going to add, to be immensely happy. You simply need to loss your self to something beautiful. It never matters what it is. It may be the playfulness of a small child to the calmness of the early morning dew. Also it never matters in what state you are. You will be happy and find peace within yourself.

Hindu - A religion that is predominant in India.
Pooja - A custom in which the deity is washed in milk and other auspicious things, then garlanded and decorated along with the chanting of the hymns. Each and every single deity has its own special day for pooja and each pooja has its own requirements.
Prasadham - The eatables and other things that are offered to the deity and then are consumed by the devotees as a token of the blessing received from the divine.
Aarathi - It’s the climax of the pooja, where along with ringing of the bells, a burning flame is shown to the deity(the flame is usually on a plate and burns from camphor or from oil lamp).

Let’s get drenched:

The snap-

The Tale-

Yesterday it drizzled. The smell of the wet earth, the sudden lush greenness that jumps out of its hiding, the rhythm of the rain drops, the umbrella flowers and raincoats, the dirty puddles of mud – rain has always been the very essence of life to me. I always wondered why can’t people just for a while get lost in the chaos and get drenched. May be, they are too much forgotten in their own life that they easily miss to see the bliss of beauty around them.

Once one of my friends asked “what’s so special about getting drenched in the rain?”

I was simply not able to find the right words to describe the feeling to her.

What happens to a kid when he is given such a lot of beautiful wrapped gifts that he is not able to decide what to open first? He would be bouncing with all the joy in the world. What happens to a congenitally blind guy (blind from birth) if he is given his sight? He simply wouldn’t have enough eyes to see all the loveliness in the world for the first time.

The same happens to me in the rain.

There cannot be any more poetism than the world in a shower. There cannot be any more a symbol of purity and virginity than the world after the dance of rain. The wet road gleaming inviting to the foot of the dreamer, the fallen flowers and leaves on them, a Picasso or Renault I would say and the blooming flowers in trees still dripping wet, the drenched walls with the water arts of rain on them, the willowy sun slowly blooming out, its rays so slant that it seems like its bowing to the rain’s performance, the air hugging you as it passes so pure in its earnestness like a kid saying to her parents her first learnt rhyme and finally like a girl so spontaneous in love that she blushes on seeing her guy, comes out the rainbow raining again on the spectators a plethora of colors.

Now again I to ask “Are you going to miss all this sitting in the monochromity of your home?”

May be you can enjoy the same rain from the safety of your home.

But hello….wait Am I hearing you right? Are you refusing first row stadium tickets to see your favorite star’s foot ball match to see the same on television? Dude you must be seriously nuts. Come on I am waiting……

“Let’s get drenched”

Are we safe?

The Snap-

The Tale-

It was almost one am of our independence day when this happened. I was returning after 3 days of yoga sessions at the Isha yoga center at Velliangiri hills in Coimbatore. The Udumalpet* bus stop was completely deserted but as I am not new to night travelling (in fact I love to travel in the night), I started to walk towards my home which is at a walk able distance from where the Coimbatore bus dropped me. I saw 3 police men standing opposite to the nearby petrol bunk, checking the crossing motor cyclists for any drunks. As I was passing them, I realized they must be on special Independence Day duty to be on the patrol at this hour.

The night was so serene and peaceful. I searched for the moon and was a bit disappointed to see a cloudy sky. The climate was pleasantly cold. A kind of coldness that brings your hands together to rub, but does not get to your bone. It was like the whole world was deep in a dreamless sleep after a day of rigorous work except the stray dogs that roamed about. I myself was totally exhausted by the past three days of heavy physical exercise at the yoga center and would have loved to go flat on my bed with a warm pillow.

Just then I was disturbed from my thoughts. A passing 2 wheeler was stopping beside me. It had two people on it and the one in the back asked me where was I going and was offering me a lift. Now that these guys were offering a lift unasked at this ungodly hour was another thing totally, but the fact that there were already two on the motor cycle made me uncomfortable. Suddenly I realized that I was all alone. I simply said to them “thanks but no thanks boss, I am almost there. Look my place is near the next right turn” and quickened my pace of walking.

They crossed me and went into the turn that I was about to take. That did it. I was getting a bit nervous. I bent down and took a stone (sounds corny but that’s what I did), like it was going to help me if I was to be ambushed. Well anyways it gave me the confidence that I desperately needed. I simply know for a fact that if these guys are going to jump on me, I am done for. But I really didn’t want to go down before giving those guys a really tough struggle. At least I wanted to break one of their noses if they were going to rob me.

And at the turn, my suspicions were confirmed. One of those guys was taking a leak and the other was sitting on the bike ready to fire up. Then I realized these crooks must be planning to go for my bag which was hanging on my shoulders. I saw them at the corner of my eyes as I crossed them and felt my heart lurch when they did the same. What happened next was really slow and I remember every single second of it. I crossed the road, and kept walking keeping to the right of the road. I brought my bag in front of my stomach and held to it as tightly as I could, hoping to make things as difficult as possible for them.

The motor cycle behind me fired up and It sounded as if they were gaining on me. I was not going to turn back. It would, may be I thought will give away that I know about their intentions. Then it happened. Out of the blue a lorry coming from the opposite direction crossed me and as the dust raised by the lorry slowly died down, I realized that those guys were gone.

I reached home in one piece.

Two days later when I was talking with my aunt, who resides in Tirupur*, She told me how she almost got her chain cut when she was riding her TVS by a guy who was on a motor cycle. And when I said about what happened to me, I was told a lot of more serious stories that made my own experience comparatively really a easy one.

Now thinking about this problem in preventive terms, what can we, the public in respond to such thievery?

The cops cannot be all over the town protecting people at all the right times. Come on they are not are super man or in the least Steven Seagull- “always there to protect and save the innocent” (much like heroes of our own tamil cinema- where they always say that its just their duty to save the damsel in distress who invariably ends up as the heroine). Life isn’t that perfect to always have a savior near you.

We must be more careful I thought. After all you cannot have text book rules to behave in such situations and not all of us are black belts in karate. Yourself living would be much worthier than any valuables you may be having. But I still don’t think that I have answered the question that I raised at the beginning. Are we safe?

Wait may be I have got the question wrong. Yes, that’s it. The question we have to ask ourselves is not “Are we safe?” but

Am I safe? Are the people who are close to me safe?

Only when thinking about the same in the singular perspective we may be able to see the true status of our own safety. This doesn’t mean to ignore the needy at times of distress when they may need your help. I have always been inspired by people who put their own life on line to rescue others. I look up to them. I want to be always one of them. All I want to do is to merely suggest a way to know where you stand. Always remember that you will have to be in safe grounds to rescue others. After all your own life is what you make out of it.

Isn’t it so?

Am I shy??

It has been just a few months since I completed my college but I was missing my junior friends at my college’s hostel. So when I was at the hostel for attending the alumni day, I was having real fun chatting with them. I was just starting to check my mail when my junior Rahul arrived with his friendly hello. And we started to chat about the usual stuff – the college, movies, our friends and of course girls.

It was one of those mails which claimed to say about your personality based on the month of your birth, started the following. After reading about what his personality was as given in the mail a tad bit loudly, it was natural as anything that he did the same to me. But I never expected the prediction to say that I am shy towards the opposite sex and when he asked whether it was true, I was really clueless as to what to say to him.

Instant direct denial in a way I think is an indirect acceptance. So I simply quipped “may be – a bit”. After some thought I added.. “Rahul I have this thing about girls. Let’s say you are walking in a full suit on a crowded platform, if you see a 25 paisa* coin on the aisle – Will you bend for it. Of course not. Okay lets say, you saw a 1000 rupee* note – What will you do? You will go for it. I think it’s the same with girls. When it comes to girls, you will have to bend down. No exceptions. She will make you go on your knees on day or another. (In a way, a guy loves to do that for a girl, but still…)But take care on one single thing – Is she worth that much for you?

Well of course how each of us value girls will change. What’s exquisite to me might not appeal to you. But anyway that difference is what that makes everything interesting. ”

Rahul in a way was satisfied. But I wasn’t. After all the best judge of one is he himself. Isn’t it so? I pondered over the subject for some time– Am I shy? The fact that I did not much talk to the other girls gathered at the function hall added to my distress.

Well, I have not hesitated to talk when in need. I have flirted like anything with a few girls (okay the few here refers to the number 4- it was just four girls but it s always memorable). I have had my ups and downs with girls. And I am from a family where I am always surrounded by girls, be it my aunts or my cousins. So why wasn’t I chatting with the girls there.

Then it hit me. Why should I talk with them? Girls’ standing simply doesn’t provide you with enough reason to talk with them. And how silly of me, I simply forgot about the band of guys around me enjoying my company and yeah, I was also basking in their company.

As much as there is the need to establish your self worth to the opposite sex by chatting with them, it is important to feel self secure that you don’t go talking to every single girl you see, trying to prove her that you are in fact the coolest guy of the universe.

Well what do you say? Don’t you agree with me?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The art of acceptance:

The Snap-

The Event-

It was one of those really bad hair day for me. Things were just not going well. It was not just that. It was like the day was just simply designed to let me know that after all I cannot always have things easy for me. It all started when I was too sleepy to wake up and go for my driving classes in the early morning. My mom tried her best to pry me out of the bed and got on my nerves as a result. You know sometimes you don’t want to do things just because you don’t want to do them. No specific reasons. May be I was too lazy to get my ass up in the morning. May be I am too stubborn to admit that I am too lazy. But whatever It was, it kick started my day in the best possible manner satirically speaking.

By the end of the day I was near my wits end. Even the novel that I was reading started to suck. The television was not working. Must have been some problem at the cable station. I was not able to get my friends on the phone. Even after a lot of attempts I was not able to complete level 17 in the game devil may cry 3 in the very hard mode. Come on for a guy who has just completed his graduation and waiting for my joining date into the corporate life, it couldn’t have gotten worse. I was so – don’t know what to do with time, even my mom felt sorry for me. And that made me feel even more pathetic.

It was in the evening that things really got a bit out of hand. My mom started to go on a charade of how I was wasting my time doing nothing and so on. And she said that how I have been just sitting around doing nothing for the past month. How I could have made myself useful by doing that and this and she went on and on, that I started fighting with her about how she never accepts me for what I am and always wants me to be the guy she wishes me to be.

She has opinions of everything I do and she makes it a point to let me know what she thinks of every thing I do. Like I hate to dress formally all the time. Love my dirty jeans. Hate to wash it. She always wants to get formal clothes for me. Says I look good in it. Oh she doesn’t even seem to acknowledge what I rarely care for. And when I resist she goes on like “being your mom cant I even advice you on how to put on decent clothes”.

Today evening I decided to confront her. My parents were sitting in the hall chatting. I went to them and simply started to take out my frustration by complaining. I said to them they never wanted to accept me as I am. They always wanted what they wanted out of me. They never gave me enough space. Never thought that may be I looked cool in blue jeans. It’s not just the jeans each and every simple thing from what I want to do with my future to my friends.

I went on for may be a while. My mom was very angry and disturbed. She simply said that she did all those because she loved me and went into the kitchen. I was waiting for a large piece of advice from my father. He usually delivers them like those college professors deliver lectures nonchalantly, never to the point. I readied myself for him.

He looked into my eyes and simply said “yeah you do have a point. I can see that you want others to accept you as you are but ……..…..are you accepting others as they are. Your mom for instance”

I looked at him. I was not able to say anything. Simply got up and got out. The evening was slowly changing into a dreamy night. The wind was cool and reassuring.

After a bit of thought I went inside and said sorry to my father. I really couldn’t think of any other thing that would be fit to say.