27 April, 2011

Don't miss Baba, he'll be back!

After being unable to resist the temptation of writing about the great incarnate of the God : Sathya Sai Baba, I stand here guilty spilling out my deep, heart felt thoughts and softened emotions to you.

Who said the Baba is no more!
This incarnation of God, who had proclaimed he had created the world has taken a sabattical from his created world, temporarily.
Maybe, he's out there paying visit to his peers in the other parallel universe. When the mortals of the Earth say, 'He is no more',it implies, he is no more available to us. Like a network outage, but in the cosmos. Signal will be back soon and with better reception.
In the end, as all his devotees would ardently believe, he's out there somewhere, serving the poor and the rich of another world 'impartially' as he did on this, now God-forsaken planet of ours.

Baba was beyond the realms of materialism...
When followers offered him grand donations, Baba was only unloading them off the materialistic burden and bearing it himself on behalf of all his devotees. In his earthly absence now, this burden is going to create havoc in his own institutions, and this shows how great a cushion he was. He for all these years, silently was bearing all that humungous burden, which amounts to about 1.4 lakh crores of rupees in assets and some extra few tons of gold.
Can any mortal of this world even think of bearing such a burden? No.
And hence proved: He's the God incarnate.

Baba was no materialist!
He was never a materialist: His simple saffron attire, gleaming smile and the radiant dark eternal hair, were all manifestation of his abundant spirituality.
Further, his idea of materialistic detachment was contemporary, and not ancient. Not ancient for, some of the previous great seers (like the one I'm named after) seen by India,had attained their Samadhi voluntarily to relieve their bodies of the worldly burdens. Baba wanted to show how close to the humans he was, and how advanced his methods of operation were. So, he like just another man laid unwell in his own world's, his very own hospital under ventilators. This distinction makes our Baba stand out, but closer to us, the mortals.

Baba's prophecies weren't wrong!
There have been numerous reports ever since the Baba started flourishing as the self proclaimed God he became, about his wrong predictions. It is the dim-witted mortals such as these rumor-mongers who fail to notice and croak that his predictions aren't coming true.
It is like the elusive Space-time relationship. When Einstein theorized that time was not absolute, but relative, the world was turned upside down. In the same manner, when Baba predicted his own death at the age of 96, it was not in the Arabic numeric system and our mortal counting practice. It was in the divine numeric system of the great cosmos, which we mortals wouldn't be able to fathom.
When he predicted great catastrophes, he didn't mean only to us humans. There are great catastrophes unleashing,every minute, with thousands of lives being lost in the form of anthills getting washed away in the rain, and insects being eaten away as preys. And, that my friends is the catastrophe, which we the selfish creatures wouldn't be able to comprehend.
Every prediction by him has come true, and his reincarnation will happen like he had prophesied.
Have faith my friends, have faith. Faith is the key, and lock to everything.

Baba will strike back!
Posthumous criticism from all the so called rationalists has been flooding and mind you rationals, your nemesis in the form of Baba's reincarnate is under way. Remember what happened to your dear old friends - Kansraj (courtesy Krishna), Hiranyakashapu (courtesy Narasimha), Bali (courtesy Vamana), Raavana (courtesy Rama) and many others.
Mind it! Baba will strike back!

I am no Sachin Tendulkar to grab media attention when I cry, but i think tears are rolling down my cheek. I do not know if it is at the thought of demise of this version of Baba, or the expectation of his upgraded version, or imagining the state of his abandoned children. Nevertheless, the secretion from my lacrymal glands would remain the same.

Let there be light!

PS: This eulogy of mine has been written earnestly. If the reader is satiric about it, and finds anything sarcastic, as the composer of this post I take full responsibility.

22 April, 2011

Whether Weather rescued me?

Okay, no high hopes about this post. It ain't a log of an action filled rescue operation, or anything stereotype that has been coming out of me off late :P

For a couple of days, for some reasons inexplicable even to myself I have been feeling all down and drowning ( that's actually an exaggeration, now in retrospection). I hadn't been able to comprehend what occurrence had instigated that deep dip in me.

I was trying to read, but wasn't able to. Tried jotting down on my notepad, but wasn't able to make any sense. Sat down watching a movie or a documentary, wasn't able to complete it. Eating has been a little on the lines of disinterest as well. Even attempts to think and set right were failing, for I wasn't able to concentrate.

It might sound all filmy, and you are free to imagine any causes for these symptoms. You are free for, I myself didn't know what was going on. All that I could feel was uneasiness, coupled with a sense of hollowness.

And, I wake up today in the morning; Get on to my morning stroll to the dairy, and as if a huge dose of serenity was injected to me, with light drizzle, wet roads, damp air, cool breath, flowery embroidered pavements and the chirp of birds I was propelled to almost my normal state of existence.  Then, I felt better, a lot better, not best though.
The grandeur of nature, not for a moment ceases to impress me, her little one
To make me feel the best came the slow joy ride to work, with the thinnest spray of rain kissing my face. This, coupled with the vista through the empty roads (today's Good Friday) added to the impact. And the climactic consolation came in the form of some good old music; Thanks to my friend at work. Started off with Careless Whisper by George Michael, Eagles' Hotel California, With or Without you by U2 and great other tracks, to pump me back into reality. To finish off things, my colleague's wedding lunch (pure veg:) was satiating and finished this wavy episode of my routine.

17 April, 2011

Bouncing off the opinion!

Have you ever been in a situation when things that are logically apparent to you is perceived by your counterparts in an almost alien manner?
I find myself in that state almost on a daily basis :D
They seem to be fixed on a different plane of thought, which is not accessible to you because you are based on your reasonable plane of thought. You can't reach their plane, for it requires you to take a huge leap of faith.
On the contrary, you can't get them onto your plane of thought,as it involves matters of 'faith' and 'belief', while your own processes operate on logic and reasoning.

These interactions span an entire spectrum: Amusing,ridiculous,disappointing,appalling, and some times frustrating and also infuriating.

While I have been trying to equip myself to handle such situations ably than I already am, it requires me to put myself into their mindsets and firstly perceive like them. Even this simulation is unbelievably silly to me. When I try to emulate myself in their mindsets, starting from the first moment there's a grand voice in my head calling out "That's so obvious, why wouldn't you want to look at it?", "Trivial.", "You can't see it because you don't want to!".

With this method failing, I am still not ready to counter them convincingly.
Then I come to realize, in my live encounters, my arguments are actually bouncing off obstinate opinions from the other end and not from sensible counter arguments.
Then I reach a state, yelling within myself.
"This is unfair!"
You can't debate against prejudiced and obstinate opinions; Synergistic and ground breaking debates happen over dynamic and vibrant ideas.

I also have come to understand, this will be the case with majority of people. There seems to be a denominating cloud of reluctance and obstinacy amongst people, which makes them stick rigidly to their opinions.

I can gauge that there is sentimental value to one's opinions.
And having an opinion is a personal accomplishment of sorts, but when the prejudice faces the reality, every sensible mind should let go their precious possession and endorse the truth.

13 April, 2011

Back, looking at myself.

After quite a while, I'm trying a stint of introspective post on my blog.

The circumstances I am conditioning myself to, out of conscious choice are of different kind in nature. It is a drift from surrealism to realism. It is like trying to look beyond the Matrix as said by Morpheus to Neo. This perspective really makes me wonder: Yes, this was always there, but darn, I, like the majority of the others hadn't observed it all!

There have been a lot of changes, hopefully all for good, but there is an apparent under utilization of the skills and resources under my own disposal.

While the responsibility and dedication towards the tasks I have taken up has certainly increased, there is a subtle sensation of lethargy which is creeping up in an almost parallel manner. Allocating and utilizing time effectively was one trait in me which I hadn't worked consciously upon, but had evolved to the best. These days, I am having to put in extra effort to see that I utilize the time with my resources in the best possible manner. There is a disconnect developing, and to keep myself aware of it, and to better this syndrome is why this open contemplation is happening.

Increasing distractions would certainly top the list of factors that have put me into this circumstance. Some are necessary, few are involuntary and while the other are parasitic in nature. These are generic to anyone I understand, but when I categorize my own, I am kind of startled. This does require a little bit of sorting to be done.
I do not believe in curbing an instinct which is developed, but only to grow it out. While suppression is bad, transcendence positions itself as the apt solution.

My role models have all been exemplary examples of absolute dedication. After incorporating lot of their ideas into me, I am now attempting to emulate this essential aspect of theirs.

09 April, 2011

Corruption: The Opium of today's masses

It has been overwhelming for the past four days here in India, with the Anti Corruption anguish of the people taking shape in the form of a nation wide Gandhian style hunger strike, protests,extensive discussions and substantial involvement of 'the common man' in India.

The Jan Lokpal bill which has been endorsed by the entire country ( well, at least the majority of them) as the solution against corruption, that has gotten deep rooted into the system was the driving cause for this national agitation . The Government now obliging to frame this bill which would include 50% of the committee ombudsmen from the civil society, while the other 50% as appointed by the Government, this team will be looking into the the nation's scams-convict the guilty and reclaim all the losses to the country in terms of revenue. Although the draft is in circulation, the final version will be drafted in some time, which will be looked into by the Union Law Minister, and the other ombudsmen: Most important of them being Anna Hazare, the social activist who was the nodal point and instigator of this ad-hoc (soft) revolution.

"Cynicism has now turned into optimism", said one news reporter.
True. 'A don't care attitude' to, 'We care' is a great improvement.

Lot of arguments have been flying between my friends and myself about the impact of this entire hysteria, which I am so tempted to call a 'Soft Revolution', (by the way, that's not the Free Soft Revolution I'm talking about); Soft as in fluffy.  Well, I was and am in full support of this campaign against corruption, but when I observe people bluntly believing that this bill could eradicate corruption is I must say : absurd.

Corruption is a consequence, not the cause.
We are talking about corruption, which is the culmination of all the loopholes in the Democratic System in Independent India for 63 years. It is a ramification of multi-layered flaws in the governance of the country, and corruption is only the most visible manifestation of it. Trying to tackle only the most visible symptom is analogous to treating blood cancer by bleaching just the skin!

Old habits die hard
A bill like the Jan Lokpal, unless implemented and its pragmatism is not tested out, the hype around it is only an exaggeration. Unless the system is not restructured to avoid the voids which gestate corruption, bills such as this one might have impact, but not all the necessary impact.
Something is better than nothing, doesn't quite set well in this context.

Mass hysteria
The post caption reads "Corruption:The Opium of today's masses", and the statement is not a speculation, but articulation of the already witnessed manifestation. I have been part of a mass movement that raises its voice for multiple causes, and if there's one 'cause' which rings bells and pulls out people from their lousy lives to the streets is Corruption. Why only Corruption is a pretty much straight forward analysis, and hence it is the Opium.

My big concern through out this Anna Hazare week has been that people will settle after the Government agrees to draft the bill. People will go into hibernation, if not, will already feel that their national duty for their generation has been done and their quota of patriotism has been shown. My skepticism about this bill has been interpreted as cynicism, which  I actually don't bother to distinguish about. What does matter is sustaining this urge to better the nation, not only by fighting for a bill, but to stand adamant and change the nation's will.

This is not the end people; Let this nationalism be a consistent one, and let it perpetuate; There's little that has been done, and there's lot more to do!

03 April, 2011

Eulogy to the resurgence of cricket

When there's so much happening around for the last one day in India, and all of it being about cricket, the portion of a cricketer and a Cricket fan embedded in most Indians does seek some means of expression. For some the means of expression is an exaggerated display of admiration, and as I am intending to keep this post positive will save the abuse to that plethora of fanatics for a post in future.
I intend to express it by reminiscing about cricket in all my years until now.

Like all the kids who grow up in India, one childhood passion that clung on to me as well was to obsessively watch and play Cricket. The great tensions of watching a match and the intense ball by ball discussions in school over the next days went on until the 2003 World Cup.
At this point a personal anecdote about this particular match is worth to be put on record.
In 2003, I was studying in Class X and we had the board exams scheduled within a day after the final match between India and Australia. Until that match I had almost never missed a ball during any of the Indian cricket matches telecast on TV. But, as the world saw it, we lost in the most pathetic manner. An ardent cricket fan was disturbed: I decided not to watch any more cricket, 'wasting' 8-10 hours. And since then, I have never seen a cricket match in its entirety. Hadn't seen Cricket for more than a couple of hours continuously until this world cup, where I would watch the last 15-20 overs.
Off late, with all the fixes and patches, a sense of cynicism has reduced the extent of entertainment watching cricket used to give.

Talking about playing cricket, the spectrum of balls used for the games through years ranged from plastic ones to rubber, tennis balls, hand made cork balls and now to the proper cork/leather ones! For a small stint in school I was the Vice-Captain of my House cricket team, and we did win that year.
Apart from watching and playing, collecting trump cards ( had the cards of almost all players and knew most of their statistics by heart!), stickers stuck everywhere. My cousin was a big fan of Saeed Anwar and I am still a fan of Shahid Afridi. And between us, we used to have the tedious contests about these cricketers.
I still treasure the first bat I owned and played with ( it is about 12 years old) and today I enjoy playing cricket all the more, with my bettering bowling and tending towards betterment batting performance during my Company cricket practice sessions.

This World cup win by  the Indian cricketers has had some influence on me (I am writing about it!). Not that I'd again endorse cricket as I used to ( I can't afford the time and ignorance).
Even after this performance by India, I might still not watch cricket, but have certainly found another individual to look up to in this process: MS Dhoni. Whether it is his genuine nature to stay calm and composed , or if he has inculcated it, in either case, I would certainly want to emulate him on those lines. Not because he's a superstar cricketer, but he has been consistently exhibiting it over a long period of his tenure as the leader.

Most of my eventful childhood memories has immense influence of cricket in it, like the many of you. The best time with my cousins, friends have all had the cricket moments to it. So, when people say cricket is more than a sport, I agree to the extent that it certainly is a nodal point in many of our lives, through which some intimate and exquisite moments pass through.

As a final thought, Cricket as a sport and not a corporate business is what I want it to be!
Congratulations to the Indian cricketers on their accomplishment.

02 April, 2011

Science: A religion for Life

"When I call myself an atheist, it is not that I do not have a God to believe in, or a religion to piously follow:
Nature is my God,
Science is my religion...."

While clarifying my stand on religion and God to a certain sect of 'believers', who were unhappy to see me wear the tag of an Atheist, I happened to articulate the above statement.
It does encapsulate my 'faith system' clearly. Nevertheless, an elaboration of this statement was over due for sometime now. And in this post, I simply speak of my religion.

Why do people endorse and live by religions?
They need a system to provide comfort and solace; To seek and understand answers to the big questions of the Universe; A rulebook of sorts to help them lead their lives.
That is what religions are/were supposed to be doing. I shall not delve into analyzing how religions of believers has either succeeded or failed in this objective. I shall contain it to only the arguments for my religion:Science.

We humans are the niche results to have culminated until now in the race to evolution. We have accomplished something that none of the other species hitherto had even tried to, i.e, to curb the grand and ultimate arbitrator: Nature.
We are undoubtedly the first species to have successfully honed the forces of nature to favor our comfortable existence, although to a small, but substantial extent . This advantage humans exercised over nature,has been purely based on Science.
Now, the concept of hope and faith got imbibed into us and became aspects of our lives when we were less equipped to blend with the environments, mainly due to the lack of scientific advancements. To cling on to something because it is antique is, as ironic as it might seem, is also very absurd. Our forefathers weren't equipped with all the reasoning which comes to us as almost intuition.
All that was ignorance, is transpiring to become cognizance with the help of Science, and today we are privileged to inherit this cognizance as intuition.
When such is the case, Science has to be the most rational way of life.
Without hope, faith, illusions, delusions, Gods and Demons, our lives would be less intriguing and would certainly put us into positions of self responsibility. Science hands over the control of our lives back to us. On the other hand, popular faith based religions try to shift this responsibility to irrationality. If irrationality and irresponsibility is what someone seeks, faith based religions are what they'd endorse. Science presents us with the simple truth and sensible rationality, coupled with common sense and quintessential responsibility, with an extra topping of Math! Math, not being mandatory for the followers of this religion, the rest of it is what we need to inculcate 'to live simply and happily'.

Imagine the bliss one could regularly experience, when looking at the world with a paradigm endorsing 'verifiable reasons and convincing explanations' to all the small nuances and all the humongous wonders of nature. Isn't that the bliss which every religion entices its followers with? It would be the blessing unreachable by any other fictitious Deity or Godmen.
Further, the fruit of worshiping Science is Technology which helps us lead a life of ease, comfort and satisfaction.

Rationality is what each one of us should perpetually try to endorse and live by. To do this Science is the best religion.
The Priesthood of Science


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