“There is a fundamental reason why we look at the sky with wonder and longing—for the same reason that we stand, hour after hour, gazing at the distant swell of the open ocean. There is something like an ancient wisdom, encoded and tucked away in our DNA, that knows its point of origin as surely as a salmon knows its creek. Intellectually, we may not want to return there, but the genes know, and long for their origins—their home in the salty depths. But if the seas are our immediate source, the penultimate source is certainly the heavens… 

The spectacular truth is—and this is something that your DNA has known all along—the very atoms of your body—the iron, calcium, phosphorus, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and on and on—were initially forged in long-dead stars. This is why, when you stand outside under a moonless, country sky, you feel some ineffable tugging at your innards. We are star stuff. Keep looking up.”

~ Neil de Grasse Tyson

Be a tree 

“Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a giant tree in the midst of them all.”


डोर को सुलझा रहा है सिरा मिलता नहीं

फलसफी के अंदर खुदा मिलता नहीं …

We cannot solve the problems from the same mind with which we created them.

तुम एक गोरखधंधा हो with English meanings. This is just divine the voice of Nusrat Sahab, the poetry, the depth of what’s being said. All of us at some point question the ways of God, who he is actually and why does he not reveal himself to us. Each line of this qawwali touches the soul and creates wonder upon wonder.


Why we need a Guru ?

Once someone asked Ramkrishna Paramhans if a Guru was necessary on the path of Sadhna, on the journey of liberation ? Just then a steamer ship was passing by on the Ganga with a boat tied to it. Ramkrishna told his disciple that the guru is like that steamer which is pulling the boat along. The boat which you can imagine as the disciple is also moving at almost the same speed even though there is little effort on its own part. One may ask that is the boat not capable of crossing the river by itself? The answer is Yes it is, of course. But the time it will take to cross will be very long. Not to forget the tremendous effort the boatman will have to put to accomplish the goal.

The very first shloka of Guru Paduka Strotam by Adi Shankracharya also says that the Guru is like a boat which helps us to cross the river of Anant Samsara.

अनंत संसार समुद्र तार नौकायिताभ्यां गुरुभक्तिदाभ्यां।

Sultana Daku, his horse and the Clock Tower 

It is said that when cornered by the british forces Sultana Daku jumped from the 67 meter high clock tower into a pond below and escaped.My grandpa told me that these were stories concocted by the servants of the Noblemen to put the kids to sleep. The truth is that he jumped straight away on his horseback from the top of the tower and fled the scene. This is legendary stuff that Lucknow is made of and this is why the love of story telling flows through my veins. 
Here is some more dope on this. Hope you will insist to visit the clock tower when you are in Lucknow next time.

The Hussainabad Clock Tower, the tallest Clock Tower in India, is one of the finest examples of British Architecture in India. The 221-foot tall structure was erected by Nawab Nasir-ud-din Haider to mark the arrival of Sir George Couper, 1st Lieutenant Governor of United Province of Avadh in the year 1887 at a cost of Rs. 1.75 lakhs. The contract for constructing the clock tower was given to James William Benson, the royal clock maker in England who made clocks for the queen of England.

The Clock tower also has the biggest fitted clock . Roskell Payne designed this lofty structure of 67 meter high and it reflects Victorian-Gothic style structural designs. Gunmetal is used for building the clock parts. It’s gigantic pendulum has a length of 14 feet and the dial of the clock is designed in the shape of a 12-petalled flower and bells around it. The tower has been restored to its original glory and last time I passed by it was even showing the correct time !!

If you care to get down and go near, You will notice the Swan Bird at the very top which was probably a weathervane and gave the direction of the wind. Recently the head fell off and it is said to have weighed 13 Kgs !! Now it’s been put back up I guess.

And one last trivia – On a clear day one can see the city of Cawnpore (Kanpur)from top of this tower. I tried to test it out but they did not let me in. They said that I looked too depressed to be allowed a safe passage lest I jump from above. After all I am not Sultana Daku 😊

Pic Credit – We are Lucknowites 

Mind Games..

I have been practicing to observe my mind for a few years now. At first it was so very difficult to think of me as someone different from my mind but now I can sift a little, typically when I (or my mind) am not agitated. 

Let me give you an example from today. I woke up at 9 AM today ignoring the 6 AM alarm thrice and was instantly filled with a sense of loss and lethargy. Now instead of speeding up to make up for the lost hours I started loitering around the house, irritating Anant (who was still dozing) and generally gazing into the oblivion. At around 1130 AM I realized that I have some important work at the bank and I have also promised to meet some friends from writers community at the Café. As an old habit, I immediately started cursing myself. Then suddenly something inside me said – wait a minute. The same mind which instigated me to waste my time since morning is now reprimanding me for being careless and lagging. I decided to take my revenge and picked up the phone. I was ready to waste another hour just to show my mind who is in control. But what the hell, the bank guy called and asked “Are you coming?” 

I looked at the watch, kept the phone down and rushed to take bath and get ready.

As I write this post I am reminded that the way to control the mind is through discipline. It’s almost like a child who knows that he is not going to get the candy for creating ruckus everytime, stops crying by itself. Neuro scientists also believe that if we do something regularly for 6 weeks it creates a pathway in the brain and it becomes a habit. It is already 15 minutes past 10 PM, the time I had decided that I will sleep today. There is no way I am going to skip the walk at Cubbon Park and Jalebi at Tewari’s. 

Guten Abend folks. So long till the next post..