Thursday, December 16, 2010

God with no names

‘Views on religion:’ asked my facebook profile update page. Being born into a Hindu family, the answer should obviously be Hindu. But Hinduism is a religion. Not my view on religion.

Man is supposed to be the most intelligent and superior living being on earth. The concept of God and religion, I believe, was made to make man realize the existence of a greater power/entity than him. Does such an entity or power exist?

Initially, elements of nature were worshipped to be divine. Sun, rain, fire and all. Then God was given the human form. Kings, Pharaohs, Saints were called God’s incarnations. Stories about his doings as a human came into place. Holy books were written. God was given a name. Thousands of names. Religions came into existence. Man was divided by these names. But God was still one. It is complicated.

God is supposed to be invisible and omnipresent. Yet we have idols and pictures of him. These are simply physical materials that project the imagination of man about a power, he gains support from, when required. When in need he calls out this power by a name. It is like man created God, he gave Him a name and now he uses it for his convenience. Is this inability to imagine or to understand?

God is a force, a feeling that inspires us. It is superior in the sense that it controls our mind, our thoughts and our actions. Holy books tell stories that should inspire us more than making us worship a picture. When in need, the feeling of hope that makes us overcome the situation is something divine inside us. We write our own destiny. The guiding light that leads us to our destiny is ignited by our own actions. Nobody makes us do it, we do it ourselves. The only relation with the divine is that it is the divine force inside you that pushes you and inspires your actions.

You need not perform rituals to invoke God’s blessings. You need to understand the clues and act accordingly to be in the right path. You must believe in yourself, be inspired and inspire the society and the divinity inside you will help you and make you happy. God is one. He is inside you. And better name him not.


Monday, November 15, 2010

The silence of incomplete sentences

The silence of incomplete sentences

The sentence ended with three dots and not a single one...

Was it meant to end? Yes but no.

In conversations they are the counter parts of the profound silence that occurs when one needs to say a lot but would rather let the other one understand the muteness. The three dots simply signify a meaningful silence. It speaks with no words. It makes you think. What could it probably mean? It is like the silhouette of a woman behind a veil. It speaks of beauty but you never how beautiful it is unless you attempt to move the cover. Or like a man lying on the pavement. You never know whether he is drunk or dead until you go and shake him up.

How well you understand it depends on how well you get the nerve of the other person. A good communicator tells stories without actually telling them. Many novels , in the end, leave the fate of their protagonists to the imagination of the reader mainly for two purposes. One is that the reader feels more connected to the story told when he gets an opportunity to design a part of it for himself. The other is that the author has plans for a sequel.

The incompleteness speaks a lot. But... you know...:)


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mumbai meri Jaan - I

The Train Theory explained

Railways are the lifeline of a city like Mumbai. Here is an attempt to explain the science of a daily commuter's experiences

A High school teacher once explained the three states of matter taking the analogy of the Mumbai local.
Peak hours correspond to the solid state - commuters like atoms are cramped together. Then comes the liquid state - as the crowd goes down and then the gaseous state - during late night times when there are hardly any atoms in the given space.

The railways run on a completely different time zone, the IRT, the INDIAN RAILWAY TIME. It is always a bit behind the IST and so you will not actually miss a train if you fail to turn up on time (according to the IST).

When the time comes, the train comes. Its overflowing with people. There are people hanging on the doors and also sticking to some closed doors. Maybe they may mutate to Spidermen of the future. For an onlooker it is a mystery as to how can so many people occupy so less space. But if the onlooker is to board the train the secret will soon be revealed.

As the train starts to slow down, live human bodies start falling/rolling onto the platform. And before the excess is thrown out of the train, twice of what fell down, try to get in to start a journey of a lifetime. Fortunate are those who enjoy it on a daily basis.

There is no 'Charge!!' or 'Attack!!' or ' Har Har Mahadeo!!'. It is a silent war which proves Mr. Darwin's survival of the fittest. It is an equalizer like death. All men are equal for the moment and the fittest survive and to survive man loses all sense of status or shame. He simply has to survive. He simply has to get in.

And then he gets in. Somehow he squeezes in and tries to get into the interiors where it is comparatively less crowded. But he is not able to do so till the train reaches the next station.

Anyhow the train now starts moving. Some of the passengers are still hanging to the doors with only a feet and a hand holding to some part of the train and the remaining part completely enjoying the flight. These people believe that there is enough space inside and so push inside. You feel the push from your backside and though you donot wish to pass it on, you push the person in front of you. But exactly after 3 seconds, the oscillation is to be completed and the push returns from the opposite side and you again pass it back as you are a part of the system. You can be lucky enough to learn a few new abuses for being a part of the system, once when the oscillation reaches one end and then after it reaches the other end.

Now to the physics of the passenger's condition.Starting from zero gravity. You can actually levitate in the air. Only a select few get to place their feet on the ground. Then the body. You get the feeling of a lemon inside a squeezer. You are forced to get into curvilinear position. And finally the head. One of your neighbor's arm would be at your neck. Just like a bottle opener trying to pop out your head from your body.

And then finally you reach your destination. By then you suffer so much that you fail to understand that you are suffering. You become numb to all that is happening to you. You are in a situation as explained in George Orwell's 1984. You learn, you understand and then you finally accept. Even Nazi concentration camps will not be able to break you down.

And when you get down, its redemption. All your sins are washed away for the past thousand lives and for the coming thousand lives. You walk away with the radio playing in your ears.

Some brand of luggage (VIP baggage) has rightly said while advertising : 'You survive Mumbai, you survive the world'.
But in the end when you walk out with the radio playing, its weird when it plays

'Hai dil, hai mushkil, hai jeena yahan,
Jaara hatke, jaara baachke,
Yeh hai Bombai meri jaan'
(from the old movie CID)


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Democracy, Dictatorship and Superman

A heated discussion was going on between the three sitting next to our table. They looked like the top executives of some company enjoying a small break. My friends were busy watching the TV that was playing some movie that I was not interested in. So I decided to take pleasure in overhearing the conversation taking place next to me.

"What we need is a dictator!",claimed the first speaker. "Not one like Hitler but a benevolent dictator. The History of India speaks of Golden Ages when the land was ruled by a King. The sole power who will rule the land. Not a mess like the one we are in now with the so called democratic government. The minority is suppressed, a lot of people have too much power and they do not know how to use it and its all a khichdi. A khichdi that is causing some severe indigestion", the speaker seemed to be too excited.

"You are looking it at the wrong way", countered the second person."If a dictator can be benevolent, why cannot the present system be made better. Citizens of the nation can have their say and there is a sense of equality around. History speaks of a number of dictators that the word itself has become synonymous to autocracy, oppression and tyranny. I believe that apathy can be a root cause for the failure of the system. People curse the system not realizing that they themselves are the system. No one single person is responsible for any kind of mess. That would be a situation in case of a dictator."

The third person, who looked the senior most amongst them, then said,"Maybe we should think of a system that has the merits of having a dictator and a democratic government. A balance between the two." A perfect answer, as expected from a man of his position. Neither there nor here.

But it set me thinking. A balance between the two. I stared at the TV screen with my mind trying to find a way out. And at the same time the answer came in front of me.

The lady in the movie (guess she was some reporter) was writing an article titled 'Why the world needs Superman'.

A balance between the two. A highly unrealistic situation. But with a highly realistic solution.

Superheroes like Superman can exist in any kind of government and bash up the bad and help the poor. There is always Batman to save Gotham city. In some terms, they are the dictators of the land. The government is for the people but it is run by Superman. He cannot be controlled by anyone but he controls the system. There is always the fear of the ---man around. But in the end people love them because they are good and right.

I laughed at this thought. The debate is to continue for a long time. And the answers provided by Marvel Comics are not possible. Back to square one.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Half Full or Half empty?

The interview was monotonous as usual. The same questions were being asked and the same answers were being given. The job was a challenging one and choosing a suitable person was even more challenging.

'Nothing different in this Candidate. No clear winners so far.'thought the Interviewer. He was almost done with his questions. The only one remaining was the question that his Partner used to ask. His Partner,who was absent today, insisted on asking the question every time for some crazy reason and so he had decided not to break the routine.

'You see the glass of water on the table. Describe it to me.'he asked and waited for the answer that could be found in a third standard textbook.

'It is half empty.'came the reply to the surprise of the Interviewer. He raised an eyebrow and looked carefully at the Candidate. This person looked promising than the others in some aspects but this reply of his clearly threw him out of the race. For the first time in his life as an Interviewer, this stupid question had worked. No point in continuing with the Candidate . The Interviewer crossed away the name of the Candidate from the list.

'Before ending our interaction, would you like to ask anything?' he asked.

'Yes,sir. I would like to know why the last question was asked?'

Dumbo. He has not even read the stories. Half full, you are an optimist. Half empty, you are a pessimist - you are thrown out.

Patiently, The Interviewer explained the reason to the Candidate.The Candidate listened and then replied.

'Sir, this is what I thought when I gave the answer. When I say half empty, I am looking into the empty space above , the space that could be filled up. There is always room for improvement. There is always an upper level to be reached. I believe that a person who says it is half full is happy with what he has though he can have more. He has no aims and would like to exist with half a glass of water than a full one.'

The Candidate got the job. For the Interviewer, the question was no longer stupid. For the Candidate, presence of mind had worked and ignorance had turned out to be bliss. Else he would have replied that the glass was half full.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Uneasy lies...

The kingdom was under threat. The enemy was mighty and huge...
The King was a sensible man.

The most sensible thing to do was to surrender. To accept the enemy. To avoid bloodshed. To protect his people from the pains of the war. The enemy was known to be righteous. They would respect his people and not enslave them. It was ambition that drove them. It was the hunger for power that drove them. He could be cursed for his cowardice. Or would he be praised for his care?

The most sensible thing to do was to fight. He had faith in his men. He had a legacy to live up to. The Royal Family was known to be the Protector of the Land from times unknown. He could not give away the power. He could not give away the respect the Family name had earned over the years. He could be cursed for the war. Or would he be praised for his bravery?

He could live a slave or die a master.

He was a leader.
A leader makes no sensible decisions. He makes the right decisions....

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Window

There's nothing between me and the peak of the mountain. The snow covered pure white tops that seem to be embracing divinity. To get there would be a great feeling...

There's something between me and the world outside. Something stops me from going out and walking to the top. I know that it is cold outside. Its snowing. And the walk is not an easy task. Once up there I can simply close my eyes, tilt my head heavenwards and feel the cold wind against me trying to blow me away.

It cannot blow me away. The way up was rough and it has made me tough enough that I stand there as if on a rocky pedestal.

I would like to enjoy that feeling. But something stops me. Crystal clear water droplets are visible hanging in air as if from an invisible thread. They seem to be trickling down. But the scene in front of me is so clear that these droplets make me aware of something i am uncertain of. Something in between that I must unlock. Something I must open.

The feeling out there would be great. But how do i get it........

Based on the background image of my blog spot


Sunday, August 1, 2010


They make you wander with no one to stop you ...
like the free wind

They give you reason to wander....
to blow to the top of the mountain....
towards the endless sky.......

Close your eyes...
you ll feel the blowing wind
Close your eyes...
you ll see beautiful dreams.

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