Children of a playful god

Have been on the road for a while and did not get much time to post anything.Between airport lounges,boardroom meetings and Taxi rides it struck me that most of the people I met with,looked at or came across were trying to prove a point ,to themselves if not to anyone else.

I am a business Manager                             DSC02424

I am a Vice President

I am a go getter

I am an achiever

What no one seemed to exhibit was a simple statement which perhaps drives whatever we do in Life.All this while I felt a very strong urge to stand up and shout :

I am Happy,I am at peace with myself,I am joyous about the world around me.I am…..just I am.

I guess saying that would mean stepping down from my current status of a harassed,overworked,struggling,upwardly mobile executive.I am none of that and I do not wish to be any of that.I just wish to be me not judged by anyone,not playing to live up to my image,not answering anyone or asking any questions to others.Just existing and being alive,aware.

I have always found happiness to be a very rational and logical choice.There is a lot to be gained if I keep myself amused as the world passes by  and there is everything to be lost if I chose to crib and sulk.I am not saying that I do not indulge in those activities but I am always aware that I am doing it for the sake of it.Deep down I am unmoved,unchallenged.

Its Janamashtmi today and sadly enough I will be arriving home well after Lord Krishna is ‘born’. Through his life Krishna gave a message be playful,be joyous,to have nothing to loose or to gain.We have many lives.There IS no hurry.Be patient,enjoy the journey.

I had a debate with a friend who was reading Bertrand Russel’s treatise on religion.He asked me the question : why did God create the world ?And I told him what Tulsidas said when he was asked why did he write Ramcharitmanas : Swantah Sukhaya which simply translates : for his sheer satisfaction/pleasure.There cannot be any other reason.This is why we do most of the things we do and perhaps it applies to our creator too.If you consider it God does not have to go through an appraisal process so he ‘HAD’ to create the world else he will be given a lower rating.There is no one who can force him to do anything.He does not owe anyone of us a favor so what else ?He could not believe it and said it is a silly assumption.Well I believe in it as it is the only thing that gives meaning to my life and all that happens around me.I cannot otherwise explain the death,disease and the misery.Just like in a video game you keep playing for pleasure and do not mind if you loose a life ,being alive or dead cease to have  a context when you know that it is just a game in which each player has as many lives as there could be till he gets the perfect score,Nirvana,Moksha or whatever else you may call it !

So what have I done about it ??Nothing just been playful doing things for my own pleasure.

I hanged the showpiece in my company guest house in a funny posture and asked the caretaker to make sure it doesn’t change till my next trip.He thought I had lost it and I loved the expression on his face.

I realigned the basketballs at Reebok Office in a certain manner which I thought was funny while waiting for the meeting to start.Those who worked in that office thought something was weird but could not figure out what.I was amused yet again.

I made faces at a 5 year old riding back from school dressed in Krishna attire…………she teased me back.

I smiled .Both of us were children of a playful God.

** I wrote this post on the free internet connection provided at the Airport Lounge at Delhi and saved Rs.30 worth of internet time 🙂

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We don’t need no education

One of my favorite couplet from Nida Fazli goes like this :

धूप में निकलो बारिश मे नहा कर देखो

ज़िन्दगी क्या है किताबों को हटा कर देखो

It roughly translates to :

Go out in the sun,get drenched in the rain

To know what life is,first keep the books aside

When I was doing my graduation I wrote an extempore essay on the topic ‘turbulence creates art’.As I picked up my pen to write ,these words from Jim Morrison got imprinted on the paper as if taking a life of their own :

You know the day destroys the night,night divides the day

try to run,try to hide..break on through the other side.

We chased our pleasures here dug our treasures there

But can you still recall the time we cried..break on through to the other side.

I went on to give details of Jim’s turbulent life and his art which made him a cult figure in American history.I also gave example of Vincent Van Gogh who cut his ear and gave it to a prostitute or stood in one position for days together so the frame did’nt move while he painted.People in the town called him the ‘redheaded madman’ and sighned a petition to chase him away.

I was surprised to have managed a 2nd Prize as I was sure I went too off the topic.What was rather interesting was the fact that a Judge in the panel taught English to the guy who won he first prize.How could I,a student of Physics win a prize for creative writing after all.

Sometime small incidents like these leave a deep impression on your mind and you continuously keep looking for answers.In my case the question was if creativity lies within and creativity is what takes the human form forward why do we teach students in schools ,colleges and Universities.What really needs to be done is to give the right environment to nurture talent and it will take care of itself.The one who made the earth,moon and the stars could surely make roads and bridges if he wanted so these cannot have a special place or priority over everything else.Each field of study and knowledge is as important as the other.Don’t we buy $500 tickets for Opera from the money we made in investment banking ?Is it not true that CEO’s secretly crave to be film stars – a career that they sub conciously ditched in their youth by choosing to study 18 hours a day ?

Thankfully OSHO came to my rescue with his brilliant talk on Intelligence when he said “It’s very difficult to escape the university,to go there and come out intelligent.But it is not impossible” .I took the challenge and not only escaped the university but ran so far that it could never catch up with me again.I did management after graduation but I could never sit for 2 hours in the class where people took notes with commas and full stops as professors spoke in macabre tones.In one of the term papers I got just 2 marks out of 20 and the Prof explained in front of the whole class that I had come up with my own theories on International Marketing which had nothing in common to what was ever taught in the class.I took the whole class for a free snack on my great achievement.

While it sounded like youthful audacity to challenge the establishment,after practicing active business for close to 15 years now I have realized that I was right.Not that what I said was better than Kotler but there is no solution that’s final and to be a great marketeer and an innovative business person you have to be a little more creative than your competitors.While Kotler will not come to your rescue each time there is a situation ,your own creativity and innovation will.So does’nt it make sense to nurture these true friends in need.If you have spare time ,learn what not to do from other Gurus.

I am not against education but I somehow cannot figure out how someone who can see a trend in data points more intelligent than someone who can sketch a perfect portrait.How someone who can calculate faster or speak better English more ingenuous than someone who can sing a song with the right melody,lyrics and meter.It’s just that they are intelligent in a different way but we are not able to appreciate it.

It is rather dumb to think that way if you take a closer look.While the college,teachers and parents will build a kind of mass hysteria that the world will be lost if you do not get through the engineering the fact is that most of my friends who did get through the exam are not even at the same professional level as some of the others who got a 2nd class.People stop tracking each other after school or college else they would figure out for themselves what big dimwits they have been slogging it out through rain and shine.The society is composed not only of engineers and managers it has politicians,lawyers,doctors,writers,journalists,singers actors,businessmen and even carpenters,electricians,mechanics.And believe me if your sewer line gets choked you will suddenly realize what a great guy your plumber is,how clever he is in get things as they were almost effortlessly.Ingmar Kamprag of IKEA is a carpenter and Amar Gopal Bose of BOSE corp. is a sound Mechanic if you really think of it.Only difference is that they are the best ones at their job and they are godd business men too.

We are talking simple law of supply and demand here.If you can figure out what you are really good at ,keep working on it as if driven by a mad passion and do not worry about the outcome.If there is water there is thirst,if there is wine there is intoxication,if there libido there is sex.The creator has taken care of that.Why do you think people are ready to pay 200 million dollars for a few strokes of paint scattered over a piece of canvas.You have to just find your niche,demand will follow.

Somehow the education system through out the world has missed the point big time.The entire objective is to create mediocre clones who are OK at a lot of things but Good at nothing.Loads and Loads of mechanical robots falling over each other like Zombies,drifting aimlessly in a strainght line Que that leads to extinction and death.I am sure you pictured it by now.

We don’t need no education…….REALLY !

I may have a vested interest to explain my strange ways and under achievement so listen to Sir Ken Robinson talk on TED.com

नन्ही मुन्नी सी पुजारन

इक नन्ही मुन्नी सी पुजारन, पतली बाहें, पतली गर्दन।  ananya

भोर भये मन्दिर आयी है, आई नहीं है माँ लायी है।

वक्त से पहले जाग उठी है, नींद अभी आँखों में भरी है।

ठोडी तक लट आयी हुई है, यूँही सी लहराई हुई है।

आँखों में तारों की चमक है, मुखडे पे चाँदी की झलक है।

कैसी सुन्दर है क्या कहिए, नन्ही सी एक सीता कहिए।

धूप चढे तारा चमका है, पत्थर पर एक फूल खिला है।

चाँद का टुकडा, फूल की डाली, कमसिन सीधी भोली-भाली।

कान में चाँदी की बाली है, हाथ में पीतल की थाली है।

दिल में लेकिन ध्यान नहीं है, पूजा का कुछ ज्ञान नहीं है।

कैसी भोली और सीधी है, मन्दिर की छत देख रही है।

माँ बढकर चुटकी लेती है, चुपके -चुपके हँस देती है।

हँसना रोना उसका मजहब, उसको पूजा से क्या मतलब।

खुद तो आई है मन्दिर में, मन  उसका है गुडिया घर में।

Am I lovable ?

Why do we love someone else?What makes us do that?

While we constantly crib about the fact that no one loves me ,how much thought we give about why would someone do it.What is so special or what have I done to make me worthy of affection.

Let’s take a look at examples close by.                         dsc01558

All of us love and adore children,Why ?

1.They are made by nature that way.Cute little faces,tiny hands and feet,speech that makes you smile and a smile that just melts your heart

2.They never lie.Say things as they are.You can trust them.

3.You feel strong and they look vulnerable – physically and emotionally.One feels like its their duty and God’s will to protect them

4.If they like you they like you from their heart.If they don’t they will make it obvious with reasons.If you can improve and change you can be their friend.

5.They never hold anything for a long time .One moment they will fight and the next moment they will be ready to play and laugh and run with you.

6.They know nothing about jealousy,greed,hatred,contempt.We call it innocence but isn’t it natural for us to feel that way.If you really look at it these are absolutely unnecessary appendages to our mind.

7.They are always ready to take help as they are always ready to offer it.

As we grow up we loose many of these simple yet powerful reasons so people can adore and like us.The worst part is that instead of consciously working on making ourselves child like we do just the opposite.In the name of growing up and being worldly wise we do everything that we do not want others to.And then we complain.

If you carefully observe a large part of the responsibility even power to make people love us lies with us.

1.We hate everyone around us and then wonder why it’s coming back.

2.Look at others with deceit and contempt.Lie at the drop of a hat.

3.Do not want to take help.Do not want to give it either

4.In marriage we treat our partner with disrespect.Hurt to the extent of being revengeful.Take each other for granted.

5.Hold our feelings as if it is the most important thing to die with a negative emotion or may be it helps you to live longer.Absolutely Wrong.

6.Ridicule,gossip and make fun to alleviate our own insecurity.

7.Blame others to hide our guilt.

8.Almost never use our heart.The tiny calculator keeps working non stop even if it is the closest of relationship.

I have two children and I have been observing their behavior with us,with their friends,with each other.What I have found is that whatever they do they do it with spontaneity,with a natural flow.They are so happy with themselves that you want to enter their world to forget what you have been doing to others or what others have been doing to you.

I have come to realize that it is a mechanism that nature has adopted to ensure growth of species since we can observe a similar behavior in almost all other life forms.If it was not so we would have competed with our own off springs.

Just as you need to be employable to be employed,you need to be lovable to be loved.

So next time you feel that you are getting a raw deal or why no one really loves you ask yourself a question – Am I lovable ?

I am working on it and it’s not that difficult.Trust me.

Aashirwaad

aashirwad2Very Emotional lines from Dushyant Kumar !What I like is the sensible and earthy approach of these lines.Where as a typical Aashirwaad will read like Tum jiyo Hazaaron Saal,Saal ke di hon Pachaas Hazzar,this one acknowledges that life is not at all a bed of roses but still it can be quite an exciting and challenging journey.

If I had not burnt my fingers, I would never have known the thrill of chasing the rainbow.I wish that both my children follow their dreams and not live a  life sans the adventure as many others do.

That is a true Aaashirwaad.

New year resolution

The fishes came to our home.Three orange ones and one white.And the whole house was an abode of excitement.It was as if a new born baby has come home from the hospital and no one knows exactly what to do but everyone wants to do something  good.Ananya and Anant became the new parents of these little creatures.They were confronted with the same Questions as we were when we got our little ones.Will they sleep the whole night?What if they wake up and find no one is around?Should we keep a light on so they know we are there?What about food – should we give them what the aquarium fellow gave us but for how long.We have to start Home food some day.

The parralels were just too many for me to not get amused.The kids got into a rapture everytime the fishes ‘came up’ to eat their food.Look how she is eating,She has opened her eyes now,Why is he staring at me – may be she wants me to leave.And Ananya could even see one of them whom she named “tinny” smiling at her.What an angel my cute little girl is.She is always smiling herself and now even the fishes are smiling at her.The world most definitely is a mirror image of ourselves.

The best part was when we teased them about making a fish tikka of them and eating them one by one.We will say “Wow the orange one has got fat and all” she will taste so good with my drink “yummy” and you should see the horror on their faces.

“No Papa No Papa pls don’t do that.If you do that I will never speak to you again.” came the unanimous echo from the tiny saviours of Tinny.They would not even realize that I am a total vegetarian and I can never do what I was threatening to.Not to say that to make a Fish Tikka out of a 2 inch fish would not fill my giant belly anways.But their love for the fishes would not let them see reason and the slightest hint of danger makes them nervous.Its ditto with me.

But the fishes will die.I don’t know how they will react.From what I have gathered till now the kids can move on and deal with situatons much better than us.I am sure they will sulk for a day or two till they get their Happy meal at the Mc Donalds and then it will be a new day,something new to explore,somewhere else to go and play with life with the same wonder as if this is the best that ever happened to them.

Kipling said”Child is the father of Man” and he was damn right.What I have learnt from my children is that “life is transient in its very nature and by holding on to something for too long we loose the opportunity to be with something else which may bring more wonder and happiness than we ever imagined.It is about a continous voyage of discovery of all things bright and beautiful and all creatures great and small”.That is the way it is meant to be and so that is the way it will be for me.

This new year I promise myself that I will read more books,will listen to more music,will visit more places,will go for longer drives into the oblivion,will gaze at more stars,will flow with more rivers,will make freinds with more strangers,will write more stories,will talk to more plants and certainly will play with more children.

Thank you for showing me the way,my sweet Little Fishes.