­सबसे भले वे मूढ़ जिन्हें न व्यापे जगत गति..

George Michael passed away last week. It’s said he had been fighting depression for a long time. But so was Leonard Cohen and Robbie Williams and so many others before them.Have you ever wondered why most artists, writers, painters, philosopher’s even scientists suffer from mental illness ? 

Is intelligence then a curse or a gift?  A rare gift that challenges one to go find the true nature of reality, to dive deep down in the waters of human excellence and discover the treasure that lies in the darkness of the ocean floor. 

And are the ones who receive this gift the chosen ones ? Are they the ones who carry the burden of moving the human thought, the human civilization forward but just like the wick of the lamp burn in the process of giving light to others. 

But what if there is no truth to be known? What if the nature is hiding no great secrets from us ? What if Charvak and the existentialists are right. Eat, drink and be merry. Enjoy the party till it lasts.

The problem is not that intelligent people or let me say supremely intelligent people don’t want to be happy. The problem is that beyond a point they can’t enjoy the “normal”stuff. They can’t find any fun in the same activities as others around them. They have no option but to look else where. And for sometime they do find happiness reveling within themselves – thinking, writing, painting, singing until they reach a dead end. What to do now their mind asks them?And there are no answers.

हैरान हूँ इस बात पे, तुम कौन हो , क्या हो?

हाथ आओ तो बुत, हाथ ना आओ तो खुदा हो

अक़्ल में जो घिर गया, ला-इंतिहा क्यूँ कर हुआ?

जो समझ में आ गया फिर वो खुदा क्यूँ कर हुआ?

फलसफ़ी को बहस क अंदर खुदा मिलता नही,

डोर को सुलझा रहा है और सिरा मिलता नही

हो भी नहीं और हर जा हो,

तुम एक गोरखधंधा हो

[बुत = idol; अक़्ल = mind/Thought; ला-इंतिहा = boundless; फलसफ़ी = philosopher; बहस=debate]

The mind has a limited capacity and it kind of exhausts itself. There is still so much to know but the barrier is just too high. The intellect pushes itself but it can’t cross the threshold. It doesn’t give up and pushes some more. This is the point where sadness seeps in – a deep sense of melancholy, of loss, of being chained to the limits of existence. Like a bad acid trip the mind starts playing tricks. It does not want to accept defeat, to come down from a high pedestal and accept that it is ordinary like everyone else. It has come too far and there is no way to go back…there is no way at all.

Trust me.

If today be sweet..

Ah, fill the cup; – what boots it to repeat                               khayamportraitsm3

How time is slipping underneath our feet:

Unborn tomorrow and dead yesterday

Why fret about them if today be sweet !

March end brings some relief as one can take the unused leaves accumulated during the year.To my delight after the 15 leaves that could be spilled over as encashments I had still got 3 more left.I promptly applied yesterday and the powers that be obliged.

With the managerial instinct that has now become a second nature I ‘planned’ to do nothing and indulge myself.

The first thing I decided was that this tired old body of mine needs some pampering.So I landed at Secunderabad club allowing Solomon Joseph the master  masseur to work his magic.A feeling of calm enveloped me as the Worldspace radio played

दिल ढूंढता है फिर वही फुर्सत के रात दिन

बैठे रहें तस्सवुर ए जाना किए हुए …..

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I am not sure when the tassavur e Jaana ended , the REM sleep started and I dosed off.The only thing that bothered me was showing my bums to a stranger but then I let it be …..

अछ्छा है दिल के पास रहे पासबान ए अक्ल

लेकिन कभी कभी इसे तन्हा भी छोड दे

Before your imagination yields to fantasy I want to tell you that my massage session lasted as it should have.In true Impireal style the orderly brought a towel along with a soap and shampoo so I can get rid of the oil factory that was me.

A luxurious hot shower bath of 30 minutes infested in me the spirit of a Gora Saheb (quite literally now) and I walked out of the parlor after tipping the staff handsomely.

A good thing about Secunderabad club is that it has a very good library but more than that you can get a cup of English Tea in the Lounge next to it.After borrowing a copy of  Dante’s the Divine Comedy I ordered for a cup of finest blend they have.Come on now….stop being Jealous.image059

Dante is a bit pretentious.Isn’t it ? I did look at other titles but whether vanity gave in to reason or reason gave in to vanity I am not sure.I had always picked up this one at the bookstore and kept it back thinking what if I do not understand a word of it – I will be short of cash for the wisdom I could not acquire.So this was my chance.

I guess 40 minutes were enough for me in the fabled land of Gods and angels so I decided to make my move into the real world.But as they say in Hindi “मुल्ला की दौड मस्जिद तक” so I found myself parking the car in front of Odyssey – the Books and Music store.They had a flat 50 % off sale so I ended image067up buying twice the stuff at half the price.Nice Tag line – will try to remember it when I open my own retail store.Twice the stuff at half the price,twice the stuff at half the price…..shut up !Apart from others I picked up one very interesting book about why genius and hash,heroine and alcohal are inseperable.The book maps the life histories of a number of Poets,thinkers,scholars,Musicians to drive home the point.

I think it will serve as an apt explanation for my psychedelic leanings.The genius in me has the right to be nourished albeit with foods (aka drink) considered unfit by lesser mortals.Have parked it for the late night reading.

Body is done,mind is taken care of and now we must have something for the senses.Again your ugly serpent is raising its head.I am a married father of two with limited means and imagination so nothing sensual for me.I decided to watch a movie all by myself – LCD screen,Full sound,Pop corn,Leather sofa,air conditioner……and me.I chose The Bucket List – a story of two old guys who meet up in a cancer ward.Edward ( Jack nicholson) owns the hospital and Carter(Morgan Freeman) is a car mechanic but they come close thanks to Ed’s policy of bucket-listhaving two patients in every room.He is not running a spa..he says.As they get to know each other they decide to explore the world and do what they have always yearned but never had the chance.On their bucket list are things such as kissing the most beautiful girl in the world and Diving from the sky.I would say a good watch smiles,tears,compassion but what was uncanny for me was that in one scene Ed asks his board members in a meeting” Have you read Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy?’ No big deal but considering the fact that I wrote half the post before watching the movie, it was weird.

The problem is that it keeps happening with me all the time.Just a few days back I was reading India in slow motion.There was a chapter on Sufism which I really liked.When I came out of my room I was  puzzled to see my wife was watching a program on National Geographic that was about Sufis and showing the same places I was just reading about. Strange.

ना जाने नक्शत्रों से कौन

निमंत्रण देता मुझको मौन

Curiously, the most searched and viewed post on my blog is the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra.I never thought it would get any views but I posted it as I wanted to remember the meaning and listen to it  whenever,where ever I wanted.Now every time I check the blog stats it appears in the most searched and clicked classification.

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I am hearing his call.Is he hearing mine too ?