Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sunday, January 22, 2012

One small step for Mom

Mom barely knows her way online.

Imagine my surprise then, when yesterday out of nowhere I receive an e-mail with the subject line "now I am learning email in computer"

Here is the mail body:

Shekhar have you had your lunch? Take care of your health. Always go to the gym.

Gotta love her enthusiasm to learn new things. First SMS, now e-mail. What next, Mom? Facebook?!! ~shudders~

Friday, January 20, 2012

Treat each day...

...as if it were your, not last, but first.

If you think it is going to be your last, there's a chance you might feel demotivated and sad or worse, morose. What would be most terrible is if you laid to waste whatever good had been achieved thus far.

On the other hand, if this were your first day at something, there's always a sense of excitement and wish to achieve something you've never achieved before. What would be most amazing is if you were able to lay the foundations of something that either you or your peers can take ahead to greater heights so that it is of benefit to a larger group of people and to society at large.

Joy in the afternoon

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Random thoughts on love that I stumbled across in the last few days.


I came across this in the latest Anoushka Shankar CD that I blogged about earlier.

ISHQ - by Jami (15th century Farsi poet)

Yeh ishq kya hua hua hai
Khud ishq ho gaya hoon
Khud mein hee ram gaya hoon
Khud mein hee kho gaya hoon

Tan saaz ho gaya hoon
Mann raag ho gaya hoon
Kabhu kar ke koi dekhe
Jo ishq ho gaya hoon

I am in love,
I have become love,
I am engrossed in my self,
Oh, I am lost in love.

My body is an instrument,
my heart is a melody.
Those who tread this path
can cherish the touch of purity.


I went to the Iskcon temple the other day. Have you ever been there? It is fascinating!! While I stood there among the crowd of devotees, I couldn't help but smile. And why? Just because I was surrounded by people who were happy. I had nothing to be happy or sad about. But simply looking at the exuberance and the happiness that flowed around me, I repeat, I couldn't help but smile. The positive energy was contagious.

But I just didn't get it. Why were these people, aided by those singing the kirtan on the mike (in the tradition of that great devotee Chaitanya), so joyous for no apparent reason? All they were doing were throwing their hands up in the air, swaying from side to side and loudly chanting 'Hare Ram Hare Krishna'. It was like a rock concert for religious folks!! And to imagine that this happens almost every weekend, not to mention the smaller gatherings everyday.

In the one hour that I spent there, these folks just didn't stop. They continuously danced, jumped and sang to the Lord. Agreed, their tempo changed from time to time but they were having such a great time that most people were not leaving the crowd. Imagine, when a guy like me who was there more because he was interested rather than any particular devotional reason could spend an hour, what the others could do?

Perhaps they had dipped into the so called "ocean of happiness, of peace and serenity" that surrounds us; that same energy that gurus and yogis have told us is waiting for us to smile and experience it. Perhaps....

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Anoushka Shankar in concert

Day before yesterday, I was at St. Andrews auditorium in Bandra to attend a concert by Anoushka Shankar.

The evening began well. Rahul reached Bandra earlier than expected and since it would take HS some time to reach, we decided we needed refreshments. Rahul was more thirsty and I was plain hungry. Since 5 Spice hadn't opened their doors for the evening yet and I didn't want to go in to Toto's so early, we just bought a couple of KF Draught cans and waited outside the Bengali eatery 'Bong Bong' while our egg rolls were prepared.

Since HS also announced that she was hungry, we decided to get her some sandwiches from Cafe Andora (a must visit place if you're in Bandra; loved the seating outside). Psst.... I couldn't resist a chocolate doughnut while we waited for her to arrive.

About the performance, well, what can one say. It was an amazing concert. The theme wasn't purely Indian classical but a fusion of Indian classical and flamenco music. I was surprised to find out that flamenco has its origins in India. All the artists on stage were brilliant. Anoushka Shankar was obviously the centre of attraction but the artist who played the south Indian percussion instruments was no less brilliant. His mastery over the mridangam and the other two instruments he played was breathtaking. Also, there was a flamenco percussionist and a lady vocalist whose clapping to the beats from time to time added to the magic (completely different discussion that HS said she hadn't noticed her since she, HS, wasn't gay ~sighs~).

After the concert got over, both Rahul and I purchased the Anoushka Shankar album where she has collaborated with the said flamenco artists. And as luck would have it, the name of the album was 'Traveller'.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Shiva has two extreme aspects attributed to him.

One is the quiet meditating sage.

This post is not about that.

This post is about when Shiva dances the Tandava. Rage or fury is one of the purest forms of emotion. It courses through your body with unimaginable force; a force which unleashed can scorch anything which dares stand in its path. The full blast of energy that Shiva's third eye can generate cannot be put into words. Simply put, nobody survives it... not the innocent, nor the guilty; neither the angel nor the the devil.

Na punyam na paapam
Na sukhyam na dukhyam
Na mantro na tirtham
Na vedam na yagya
Aham bhojanam naivya bhogyam na bhokta
Chidananda roopa Shiv-o-ham Shiv-o-ham

Beyond the concepts of 'paap' and 'punya',
Beyond the concepts of 'sukh' and 'dukh',
Neither to be found in 'mantras' or 'tirthas'
Nor to be attained by 'vedas' or 'yagyas'
I am THAT Shiva.

Originally meant in a very different sense, the above couplet ironically also applies to Shiva when he is angry. Sometimes, it is just necessary for the world to burn. Forests of pleasure which no longer promise fruits of happiness must be burnt down. Deep, very deep love signifies unquestioning passion. And the more energy and love that was invested in building the forest, the more anger and fury required to burn it down.

But it is a necessary evil. Without it, one just cannot go on. Not because one looks to a brighter, better future (that will inevitably follow) and certainly not because one wants to get rid of the rage, but just because there is rage right now which one must live. Right now is the time to clench one's fist and smash through every stone, every obstacle which either stands in your way or has been foolishly hurled in your direction.

Yes. Shiva is also about peace and prosperity.

Someday, I hope I shall be able to write about that too. Amen.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Have you ever

Have you ever woken up in the dead of the night and made yourself a cup of honey, lemon green tea and sipped it and soaked in the silence and the peace of the world?

Have you ever danced with abandon in your empty house?

Have you ever bought a flight ticket on a mere whim?

Have you ever gotten a tattoo done?

Have you ever climbed a mountain?

Have you ever jumped into a rushing ice-cold river for a swim?

Have you ever just picked up your car keys and driven off not knowing where you want to go but just because you want to travel?

Have you ever "created" something; a piece of pottery, a painting, a small handicraft item, a blog post?

In other words, have you ever done something for no other reason but because your soul would feel more complete if you did?

For, what fun is the world if you're not crazy enough to live it?

-- inspired by a midnight chat with SP. Thank you, girl, for reminding me of the importance of craziness in our lives. :)

Monday, January 02, 2012

Quantum of Solace

You're not married, but I think it's the same with all relationships between a man and a woman. They can survive anything so long as some kind of basic humanity exists between the two people. When all kindness has gone, when one person obviously and sincerely doesn't care if the other is alive or dead, then it's just no good... I've thought about this and I've invented a rather high-sounding title.. the Law of the Quantum of Solace.
- Ian Fleming in the Quantum of Solace
The two friends sat down for the meal at the edge of the forest. It had been a long, arduous journey. Both had made their way through difficult terrain. Equally gifted, both had begun the adventure trusting Her. She had been kind to them, showing Her gracious, generous nature even though they encountered cuts and bruises. But in one critical aspect, she had favoured one over the other.
This alone saved him from descending into the darkness which all but enveloped his friend. He continued to have a cheerful, hopeful look in his eyes as he playfully unpacked the meal while his friend just stared. All the silence in the world couldn't drown out the sweet sounding cruel promises which rang like little bells in his ears.

He just continued to stare. Dark skinned and with a body as taut as an athlete's, he was the exact opposite of his more fortunate friend. "You know the difference between you and me?" he asked, suddenly breaking the silence. The jolly one shook his head. "Deep down below you're a nice guy," and after a pause he added, "and I'm not."

"You sure you want to do this?" asked his friend.

The dark one nodded. "I must do what She wants me to become." He looked towards the sky which had suddenly become dark with the shadow of the giant eagle which came towards them flapping its wings. "The Quantum of Solace has been lost. I must push myself over the edge to survive."

The fair one hesitated. "There will always be good within you, you know."

The dark one just gave him a look. Not even a nod nor the batting of an eyelid as an acknowledgement. With a short run and a swift jump, he got on to the back of the beast.

Just as they were about to soar away far, but into the depths of the doomed yet colourful valley, the fair friend asked him, "Will I see you again?"

With his face partially turned towards his friend, he said, "You know my name."

And with that, he was off...