The pale blue dot..

Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

~ Carl Sagan (on the image of earth sent by Voyager from 6 billion km)

ज्ञानी (The Wise Man)

– यार तुम हमें महान न समझो मगर हम तो तुम्हें तुच्छ समझ ही सकते हैं।

– क्यों?

– क्योंकि तुम अज्ञानी हो और हम ब्रम्ह ज्ञानी हैं । और क्यों ?

Sketch

याद है एक दिन

मेरी मेज़ पर बैठे बैठे

सिगरेट की डिबिया पर तुमनें

एक स्केच बनाया था

आकर देखो

उस पौधे पर फूल आया है..

~ गुलज़ार

Last year I was travelling and had instructed my kids to put water in plants. As usual they forgot and this little plant almost died with no hope for its revival. But then we changed the mud in the pot, put some water and prayed to mother nature. It took more than six months of love and care and today it has bloomed as it used to. We must keep planting wishes, nurture kind loving thoughts and keep the faith no matter how hard things get. Who knows what the universe has in store ?

सातों दिन भगवान के..

– बड़ा अच्छा मौसम है यार। शराब पीने चलें? ऊपर बैठेंगे रूफटॉप पर,एक कबाब platter मंगा लेंगे।

– नहीं भाई आज नहीं । नवरात्र चल रहे हैं ना।

– अमां तुम तो ऐसे कह रहे हो जैसे…खैर छोड़ो

– तुम समझते नहीं हो । जैसे ईसाईयों में लेंट होता है, मोहमडन लोगों रमज़ान वैसे हमारे यहां पित्र पक्ष और नवरात्रि

– कोई कॉम्पेटिसन चल रहा है क्या उनके यहां है तो हमारे यहां भी होना चाहिए

– मजाक ना करो सीरियस बात है। कुछ दिन ईश्वर नें पुन्य का काम करने के लिए बनाये हैं।

– और बाकी दिन क्या पाप करने के लिए बनाये हैं?

– तुम ऐसी सब बात करते हो तुमको पाप पड़ेगा

– अच्छा बताओ ऊंच नीच खेलोगे?

– मतलब?

– कुछ नहीं पूछ रहे थे कब खुलेगा कर्फ्यू…

– बस तीन चार दिन और फिर पियेंगे कुत्तों की तरह एकदम भसड़ के!!

– निहायत कमीने आदमी हो यार। मतलब भगवान को भी मूर्ख बना रहे हो । जियो रजा !

Wi-fi

They cooked food together, drank french wine, sang old songs and laughed out loud.

They decided they would do this more often. Just as they were going to kiss, the bell rang. It was the cable guy.

He said- “Sir, your Wi-Fi is working now”

End of story.

#terriblytinytales

Think

I had booked the tickets for the movie Newton for 5 PM show yesterday. Then I remembered that I had to attend a session on the cinematic craft of maverick bangla director Ritwik Ghatak by a good friend so I gave away the tickets. At the end of the session my friend put up a slide on what Ritwik Babu used to tell his students – Think, think. You must practice to think. While it looks like an ordinary statement it’s quite revolutionary in an era where the next event at the same venue was Open Mic Stand Up comedy. Some of the faces of comedians of the Bangalore circuit were common and I could recognize them from another show where they were trying just too hard to get those likes on their You Tube videos. One idiot had even gone to the extent of describing the sex between his parents to justify why such a pathetic piece of crap came into this world. He couldn’t make me laugh and I vowed to avoid any more encounters with these internet jokers.

Tapan Dada’s session was a success as out of 43 interested just 8 turned up including myself. We discussed how interested has become a like for events even though I remembered the times when I had clicked the interested button to remind myself and then kept feeling guilty when I could not attend. A reason for low turnout could be the subject itself. Now you can always tom tom your intellectual superiority by telling the world about your interest in Muktibodh and Ghatak but to sit silently for 2 hours without your mobile phone is just so non utilitarian.

Anyways, the last words were still lingering in my head when I went to sleep and I must have thought a lot in my dreams as I woke up at an untimely hour. And may be it was a pre cursor as I had booked the next show of Newton for 10 AM today.

To sum up my thoughts on this Oscar nomination from India I will quote a dialogue from the movie.

क्या आप भी इन्हीं की तरह निराशावादी हैं ?

नहीं सर…हम तो आदिवासी हैं ।

मुझे लगता है यही एक डायलाग पूरी पिक्चर का दिल है उसका सार है। जहां एक ओर आशा से भरे विज्ञापन हैं नए फैशन के, मोबाइल फ़ोन के, कारों के और तमाम उन सुविधा साधनों के जिन्हें हम बिना सोचे समझे अपने जीवन का मकसद मान लेते हैं वहीं दूसरी ओर एक तरह का acceptance है nature के साथ मिल जुल कर रहने का। In the movie silence of the lambs Anthony Hopkins quotes Marcus Aurelius and says – We covet what we see. It’s a profound statement coming from the greatest stoic the world has ever known. If you don’t see that ad of a Television with a beautiful model to add to the charms of the machine it’s quite possible that you would never desire to have it. In fact half of our troubles are because of the advertising and marketing which give a false hope and enthusiasm of Life being beautiful once you buy more stuff. To live and to really be happy one does not need more stuff but a deeper understanding of the source of joy and happiness. The sages of ancient India who wrote the Upanishads were perhaps not only more content and happy they were actually more evolved as human beings. But then didn’t I go and watch the movie about a political system taking over laws of nature in a movie theatre located in the temple of modernity – the mall. The one place where corporate zombies take their wives and their families for a “walk” as if they were some kind of dogs that need to be relieved of their weekly pressure.

I had chosen to walk instead of driving down and on my way back I was thinking about the dichotomy of my own existence. Wasn’t I a product of the same ‘sales force’ culture that I so abhor when I feel one with the existence – जल, जंगल,ज़मीन।

As the harsh rays of the scorching sun sapped my energy I thought of the air conditioned comfort of my car and recalled another dialogue from Newton – कुछ बदलने से ही कुछ बदलेगा पर बदलाव भी एक दिन में नहीं आता।

समय लगता हैं जंगल को जंगल बनने मे…