Saturday, July 29, 2006
Life is Good
Dear friend, this is a small gift from me:
The snapshot of a painting I did on 25th September, 2005. (i.e. after a break of about 7 years).
Life is all colourful like this painting. We can either see and enjoy the colours or close the eyes and see the darkness; choice is individual, realized it hard way, but yeah, I have.
Finally I've reached "home", I'm where I want to be, both physically and mentally...Peace. I savour the moments.
Nothing and no one is indispensable.
Thanks a lot and all the best.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
An open letter to Ms. Sugandhi
Whoever you are, wherever you are, may God bless you with a job soon. You getting a job is very important for me, in fact it is no exaggeration if I say, more important for me than it is for you. You may wonder why I have become such a desperate wellwisher of yours. Soon you will know.
When I joined my first (and only) job way back in 2002 after finishing Engineering, I got a cell phone. I used to enjoy it very much for obvious reasons (You've started getting so much money every month, you would like to have some luxury right?). It was an Airtel connection and I hardly used to receive calls from unknown people. At the end of year 2004, my handset went bad and I was too lazy to get a new one, I didn't find it so much a necessity and by then, the initial excitement in having it as a luxury had abated.
Comes March 2006 and I am sure of a change in my life and hence my needs. I get a good GATE rank and I am going to join IISc. There is definitely a need to tune my life-style and hence I get a new Nokia handset. I go for a Hutch prepaid connection, since it is the cheapest one which has good network too.
I don't know what made me choose that number. There were many others, but I ended up choosing this one probably because of my affinity towards odd numbers and especially 7. But I never imagined in my wildest dreams that it would bridge a new relation between us.
I don't remember when exactly it all started. Mostly around end April-May. One afternoon I was so tired that I wanted to sleep very badly. I couldn't get sleep because I was too much tired. I put on music and was successful in forcing some sleep. As I was about to enter the world of dreams, my cellphone rang. I cursed myself for not switching off the mobile phone before sleeping and looked at the number, it was not the one I knew. As I answered the call, I heard, "Hello, Is this Ms. Sugandhi?" Needless to say how disappointed I was, to wake up and to answer a wrong number. That was the first time I came to know about your existence.
Next day, I was at office in an important meeting, my phone rings. A different unknown number. Again, "Is this Ms. Sugandhi?" I say, "No." The person does't stop. "Do you know where's Sugandhi Ma'am? We need to contact her urgently".
Dearest Sugandhi, you have become an ineluctable part of my life ever since. You haunt my cellphone all the time. I receive calls from various job-consultants and HRs at rate of 7 per week on an average. Some of them with real interesting offers, some to discuss interview timings etc. You know, I have secretly enjoyed answering them to some extent, when I had no better work to do. But I don't prefer to receive them when I am expecting calls from my friends or when I am busy at my work or while sleeping. I don't think all the HRs enjoy my sarcastic remarks, tho' some might. Even today I received one and said, "Yeah, Sugandhi speaking" at first. But then was in no mood to continue the conversation.Instead, I tried to contact you. I had requested one of the job consultants to e-mail you on this (last week I suppose), since he said he had your ID. I even visited naukri.com(because one chap said he got your-oops! sorry, my-number there) to see whether I can get your contacts. They were of no use, hence this blog, hoping that one day you might read this and feel honoured; I couldn't have written an open letter to anyone better. I hope that day, you will be courteous enough to buzz me and tell why the hell you chose my number to put in naukri.com, or in case you had owned this number once upon a time, why you did not care to update your profile.
Finally, I hope you didn't miss any real opprtunity due to the wrong phone number given.
With best regards,
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
An evening with Shathaavadhani R Ganesh
1.The talk commenced with Varnas description, about that which is commonly mistaken to be caste system. In the older versions of Vedaas, there are only 3 Varnas and no mention of "Shudras". Society was functioning well with these 3, there was no discrimination/disparity based on these. People were free to choose their profession and based on the profession they used to be classified. For example, a Brahmin's son is not forced to be a Brahmin, he could join any of the three. Later, there was a need for supporting system and hence Shudras were created in each Varna. It was not a separate Varna, but there were Shudra Brahmins, Shudra Kshathriyas and Shudra Vaishyas. Meaning of Shudra: "Shuchath Dravathithi Shudraha": The one who takes care of cleaning, households work etc. In old times Shudras were not looked down upon. Brahmins were considered to be teachers because "Brahma Jaanaathithi Braahmanaha". If a brahmin was not educated or he does not follow some codes of conduct, he was not considered to be a Brahmin by the rest of the society. Similarly for the people of other Varnas. In Geetha Sri Krishna says, "Chaaturvarnam Mayaa Srishtam Guna karma Vibhaagashaha". It was literally followed in very old days.
2.Woman was revered by everyone. She was considered to be the one who enlightens, enthralls and embellishes the city. The house wife was treated as queen of the house and not like house-maid/source of money(through dowry).
3.Definition of Sabhya(Gentleman): "Bha ya sahitha ithi sabhyaha" Bha means wisdom. The one who has wisdom. Sabha is the place where important matters are discussed, and Sabhya is the one who is worthy to be enrolled into the Sabha. Vedaas say that youth should participate more and more in Sabhas, because youth is very important to the country.
4.Our Vedaanthas never support non-violence where violence is much needed. Yeah, it is true we've heard, "Ahimsaa Paramo dharmaha". But it is only half true. The latter part of the line is hidden from us and hence unknown commonly. The entire line runs thus: "Ahimsaa Paramo Dharmaha, Dharma himsaa thathaiva cha". Non - violence as well as violence for protecting one's Dharma (Here please don't equate Dharma to the religion) or as per the rules of one's Dharma is supreme. For example, it is the Dharma of soldiers(Kshathriyas) to protect their motherland. It was the Dharma of Arjuna to destroy evil powers and hence Krishna preaches him to fight in the war. Our Vedaanthas never approved endangering one's own lives for the welfare of others. Vedic spirit is, "If peace can be achieved through violence, why not violence?"
5.In Vedaas, none is superior to the rest. It had identified multiple cultures and languages and wanted people to live in Harmony. The Dharma is defined as "Dhaarayathithi Dharmaha". Dharma is a way of life. If people are in harmony, wealth will be showered is what Vedaas say. It describes the significance of every professional, the farmer, the goldsmith, the cobbler, the priest, the king etc and says all are equally important to the society, none is better than the others. Our Dharma is about tolerance, reverence etc and not about dogmatism or fanatism. But, Vedaas don't approve blind generosity. It is all about "Give and Take". "If you give me something, I'll try to give back no less".
6.Everything and everyone is to be respected. Agni, the fire is a symbol of energy. Even the crawling of frog in rainy season is appreciated for its vigor. One of the Vedic sloka says, "Brahmins chant Manthra like frogs crawl". Though this is being laughed at and misinterpreted these days, the original intention behind the comparison was not to degrade anyone, but to appreciate everything, like how a child does.
7.Vedaas describe the significance of Pooja and Yajna. They stress the importance of sharing food. Not sharing food is a grave sin. Veda gives the descriptions of "Samith" - the sticks used to prepare fire in Yajnas and flowers used in Poojas.
- The samith has to be thinner than the thumb and thicker than the last finger, and the length should not be less than the last finger. It has to be corrosion-less, dry, leaf-less and naturally fallen out of the trees. Note that cutting trees for Yajnas is nowhere approved.
- The flowers should be fresh and complete.
Utthama (of the excellent class) if they are grown by the self,
Madhyama (of the middle class) if they are picked from a public property,
Adhama (of the bad class) if they are purchased, and
Adhamadhama (of the worst class) if they are stolen.
8.The concept of "No Sath and No Asath" is briefly touched upon. Firstly, it should not be confused with "Shunyavada" or "Nihilism". It doesn't mean nothingness, but it means completeness or perfection - "Poornavada"*. No Sath and No Asath means there is no space and time reference. It can't be created and destroyed. It can't be described, for it is beyond words, it can only be experienced or felt. Vedaas believe in immortality - not immortality of the body, but that of the soul, the spirit.
Finally Sri Ganesh says that we will find lot of repititions in Vedaas and Upanishads which might become boring to someone who reads it to get information, because the repitions seem to convey nothing new. But to the mind who wants to enjoy the reading these repitions provide joy. A musician sings the same 7 notes (or even the Sadja - the basic note, alone) time and again without ever getting bored, because he becomes one with it, he enjoys the process. He is in the state of absolute bliss and never focused on the end result, but on the process; he becomes one with the process. Many a times an information seeking mind looks at the end result (the facts and thoughts it would accumulate) and not at the process. Enjoyment means total absence of thought and just relishing the moment.
Everyone has the right to read these and enjoy, no one is actually banned from reading Vedaantha, such things are all created by perverted or ignorant people. The talker urges people to read them, enjoy and get enlightened. He also makes one important point at the end, that knowing Vedaas by-heart and having Vedic spirit are entirely different, one should be more focussed on the latter.
*Here I was reminded of an Upanishad Shanthi Paatha,
One meaning (given in the books) is that (Parabrahma) is complete, this (this world) is complete. This (world) is from that (Parabrahma). If completeness(of the world) is removed from completeness (Parabrahma), completeness (Parabrahma) remains.
I understand the sloka in this way. Knowledge is complete in itself and it can't be created or destroyed. If the knowledge is imparted to others (from the one who has it), it still remains (with the one who has had it originally). This sloka is used by even mathematicians to describe the property of zero. That's why it is very easy to confuse the perfection with nothingness probably!!!
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