Thursday, December 07, 2006

Reflections of a Life time

Current Mood - Still, Numb, I don't give a damn, Let me the freak alone, Irritated.................!
Current Colour - Black
Current Companion - I, me & myself
Currently Reading - Russia's War - Richard Overy
Currently Listening to - Brothers in Arms - Dire Straits

Finally, after a long long search, I've found a number that I identify my life with.....the mood, the music, the pace, the pain, the swings, the numbness, the loneliness, the battles, the rage, the fear, the alarm, the differences, the highs, the lows, the hurting, the itself..............

These mist covered mountains
Are a home now for me
But my home is the lowlands
And always will be
Some day you'll return to
Your valleys and your farms
And you'll no longer burn
To be brothers in arms

Through these fields of destruction
Baptism of fire
I've witnessed your suffering
As the battles raged higher
And though they did hurt me so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms

There's so many different worlds
So many different suns
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones

Now the sun's gone to hell
And the moon's riding high
Let me bid you farewell
Every man has to die
But it's written in the starlight
And every line on your palm
We're fools to make war
On our brothers in arms

Vijay, Mr Negi, thanks much for this masterpiece.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Change of Seasons

Its the last month of what was indeed a very faced paced 365 days that many of us have come to know. 2006 is fast becoming history!
The cold winter grip is beginning to envelope Delhi as is the case with many winter facing terrains.
Barely a month to go for the new year to be ushered in, the mood of festivity and change is already beginning to set in fast.
For most of us, rather all of us, this is a time to reflect back upon how the passing year went by, during the course of which we faced challenging moments and postive moments with mixed fervour and unmatched enthusiasm. And yet once again, we stand with open minds to usher in a new beginning, one we hope would better the ones that have gone by and bring about a sense of well being and feel-good which all of us could most certainly use without second thoughts.

2006, the year of the Ockton (Eight, as I call it, due to the sum of the first and the last digits), was indeed one which brought about a huge change to my life as it would have with many others too.
I saw myself consolidating life in a distant city whose cultures and means still remain unknown to me. For starters, I rid myself of the nasty health concerns that had kept me worried for over a decade. I basked at the fortune of having travelled to places such as Manali, Rohtang, Shimla & so on. I thoroughy cursed the seemingly never ending Delhi summers and power failures like never before (yet). I fought many battles, big and small and coasted through the days with the objective of perhaps not just making it there as much as I wanted to survive the tsunami-propotioned tidal waves that rocked my life during the year. For all the changes that have slowly settled as standard part of accessories of my life, I welcomed the change in my role at work with open arms. To date, it remains to be one of the many significant acheievements that a simple living entity such as I can conjure up to add as a supposed accolade that can at one point of time, perhaps in the very distant future, be remembered and reaccounted to posterity if there come any!

Among all, the number of people that I now know in life has multiplied atleast two fold. The good Lord, it seems, has allowed me to venture out to meet fellow human beings in multitudinal proportions all instances which have been wonderful and truly memorable.
With time I have gained a very small essence of the much needed perspective that has helped me shape better thoughts, ideas and concepts that govern daily life. Via the exercise of making friends, good ones always and all ways, I know not who to thank for the wonderful gifts that friends have always been. My greatest asset till date and forever would remain people! for it is people who have helped me shape my attitude, personality, nomenclature, dna structure and a whole slew of other things (not that all of these traits have reflected the best of my packages at all times.)

With time, I now feel the confidence to assume any responsible role and address what is required of that role is expected to deliver. I have learned quality, patience, sensbility and a whole lot of other things that constitute to making a good human being. I have understood that life is best always in contrasts and not in uniformity and predicted suppositions! I have reconciled to the fact that despite however much superiority we think we wield, we yet form only an insignificant portion of creation itself! I have known and understood that not everything happens for a reason, somethings happen because they just happen. One should only focus on doing what one needs to do and stop bludgeoning the mind with expectations that are unreal! I have known that peace is a state of mind that has to be incucated from within rather than believing that it is an element that can be programmed into the system. I have also understood that people are different in their own rights and mannerisms and that rights and wrongs are quite relative indeed.

And, as time gives way to another New Year, I find myself lost.........lost in thought, not in anticipation, no longer seeking hope or comfort from any or all the sources that I have hitherto sought.......................for I know, no matter what, strength comes from within..............and no other source, no matter however strong or 'omnipresent' can give that to you..............

Folks...................Compliments of the Season

Thursday, November 16, 2006

007 and the Name!

Meet the elegantly slick, sauvé, crisp Super Spy whose been on Her Majesty's Secret Service for something like a half a century wiedling his fav Walther supershot sided by some of the best women driving around in some of the best wheels money can buy!

Casino Royale features a chic bond-like soundtrack by Chris's called You know My Name.........................

If you take a life do you know what you’ll give?
Odds are, you won’t like what it is
When the storm arrives, would you be seen with me?
By the merciless eyes of deceit?

I’ve seen angels fall from blinding heights
But you yourself are nothing so divine
Just next in line

Arm yourself because no-one else here will save you
The odds will betray you
And I will replace you
You can’t deny the prize it may never fulfill you
It longs to kill you
Are you willing to die?

The coldest blood runs through my veins
You know my name

If you come inside things will not be the same
When you return to the night
And if you think you’ve won
You never saw me change
The game that we all been playing

I’ve seen diamonds cut through harder men
Than you yourself
But if you must pretend
You may meet your end

Arm yourself because no-one else here will save you
The odds will betray you
And I will replace you
You can’t deny the prize it may never fulfill you
It longs to kill you
Are you willing to die?

The coldest blood runs through my veins

Try to hide your hand
Forget how to feel
Forget how to feel

Life is gone with just a spin of the wheel
Spin of the wheel

Arm yourself because no-one else here will save you
The odds will betray you
And I will replace you
You can’t deny the prize it may never fulfill you
It longs to kill you
Are you willing to die?

The coldest blood runs through my veins
You know my name
You know my name
You know my name
You know my name
You know my name
You know my name
You know my name

Good music combined with rythm & pace.............................A good listen indeed!
And, do I hear some rock in there????????????

Monday, November 13, 2006

As we do not know it!

Welcome to the surreal world of Metaphysics, something that defines matter in its best form and yet does not concur with our definitions of what things really are!
Everything that we have defined in form, substance, matter or words is only as per what we know, as opposed to what it really is or can be!
Our definitions of form or matter are limited to what we know and what we do not and do not at all pertain to qualify in the universal realm.
For instance, the word God was coined by human beings as a thrusting force to rid our fears and also to instill a sense of fear in us. However, how are we to decide the relevance of God on a universal platform? What we call God may not certainly exist or perhaps will not at all be God in the universal parlance of matter of existence.
In truth, everything we have named or made is more or less relevant not more than our our realm of living. Our terminology, lifestyles, beliefs, fears, languages, possessions and so on right down to ourselves cannot be translated to universal parlance.
I must thank Vikas, my brother, for bringing about a sense of understanding in me to comprehend this simplest of truth that I overlooked (read: refused to believe) all my life, until now!
The so called (assumed) Human superiority is more so a fallacy than fact.........taking into consideration the following factual instances -
We have come to exist on this Earth since only a relatively smaller time period versus the many other (million plus) organisms that have dwelled here for ages even before we were ushered in
We believe our might is most superior of all living organisms and that our might can see us through to be one of the most advance creations ever
We believe that our conveniences are paramount irrespective of whether it encroaches upon another organism's free will to live
We re-assure ourselves that without our being, the earth, with all its sub-systems will fail to thrive

& then we refuse to contemplate the fact that all our beliefs are merely fallacies that we have designed as an objective to suit our own conveniences!
Take for instance, cockroaches, who have thrived on this earth for millions of years. They came long before us and will continue to live long after we have gone! I'm not sure who among the two of us therefore are more superior beings! The ability to think and comprehend merely do not acknowledge us to be the most superior of all 'known' creations, and then one cannot also rule out the possibility of the unknown!

Our limited knowledge does not permit us to fathom more than a level that is skin deep, our concepts of understand are limited to ourselves and do not actually have a universal relevance.
Our languages cannot be understood across the universe and our understandings of our own very selves are limited in a very huge proporation which will take millions of years, perhaps, to shape into a more universally acceptable format!

Vikas elucidated a theory that shook the living daylights off my system. Here is what it is...............
We know that carbon is one of the most important components that helps in sustenanceand creation of life forms. Our body is itself hugely carbon dominated!
In effect, carbon forms an important component for all life forms irrespective of size, shape, species, regional presence and so on....................and for all life forms to exist!
Now coming to the body of the theory: Dinosaurs were about the first known giant life forms that existed and subsequently perished, they decomposed over time to form large quantities of deposited carbon which you and I harvest today to use in our daily life! We, it seems are a mere instrument to harvest carbon to help sustain and prolong life! Why will not one day, the human race itself perish to be decomposed to form carbon to be harvested by another species of life much much more sophisticated and intelligent than ourselves?
We, have spent a very long time on earth and every species, as we well know, has a definite period of life on earth after which erdication is inevitable by way of extinction due to a number of causes.
Some catastrophic happenings that have so far only been portrayed in the movies, have already begun to take shape in truth! To assume that such events will not happen atleast during our lifetime, would be a gross inability to comprehend the truth (A rather limited scope of our thinking)
It is in our very best interests to understand that, we can indeed mitigate the damage that has already begun to affect a large part of the Earth.
We may not be able to finally avert a detined fact, however, we certainly can defer its happening by ensure that we do not do what we have been doing!

In truth, what we do not have is control over external factors! However, the light at the end of the tunnel is that we do have good control over our actions which can indeed contribute to the happening or not happening of certain events that can be detrimental to our very existence.

Defining what we know, for our convenience and understanding is not the real truth.........what is true to us would not actually be true defining and categorizing what we know, in our realm, is not wrong, provided we understand that we are a mere speck in the whole pond, and not the pond itself!
We might be in many ways superior to many creatures around us............but that will remain our assumption in terms of what superiority is and might not always be the true meaning of superiority at all!

As human beings, we have taken shape for a purpose............a purpose that may or may not be understandable to us............let us not take the dangerous step of assuming things with the false sense of security that technological advancements may provide us!

Epilogue -

I wrote a few lines in my previous post suggesting technology could indeed provide us the much needed superiority (that we think we need). I have never been so very very absolutely wrong in assuming that merely technology alone could catapult a tiny creation called human being into a realm that we possibly would never even imagine let alone understand.
I however, accredit this foolish thought of mine to the limited human ability to comprehend beyond its existence and understand that it alone is not what makes life happen!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Reasons & Rhymes!

Forget the age old adage that says "Everything happens for a reason." In truth, many a thing happens for no reason or rhyme at all. Not everything that happens, happens due to a reason, but merely are random incidents that happen in life. However, mostly, some such happenings can actually be grave and very saddening!

I charted most of my life wondering why certain things happen in the very first place and try to discern the reason(s) behind the incidents. To date I fail to subtantiate or rather identify the "reason." And then, life slips into a depression which seems to last forever!

By chance, a good friend of mine, Veer, once explained to me that it is pointless to try to reason out why things happen especially since we do not exercise any control over such happenings, save a few! And those few, we can actually control by our disposition, behaviour, reaction, attitude, frame of mind and so on. Therefore, when things happen, they need not necessarily have an associated reason or cause. Let me give you a few imposing instances;

I once received an email with quotes, one of which read "No matter how much I pray, I only get what I deserve." I loudly disagreed to this almost immediately after reading it, on which a friend responded that the statement was right and that I was wrong in not agreeing.
Now the reason behind by my not concurring to this statement was not as a reult of any notion suggesting disrespect to the almighty creator or attempting to propogate a disbelief in prayer. Neither of these are my intentions!
To my comrade, who disapproved of my dismissing the earlier statement, I subtantiated with the following instances; More than a few billion people die of hunger, disease, violence, terrorism, poverty and so on, another tens of thousands are vitimized due to rape, murder, extortion, crime, brutality, oppression, racism and so on, India alone is home to more than tens of thousands of people who do not own a place we call home! Tens of thouands of children below the age of eighteen are employed in the most harshest of work conditions and are also subjected to sexual, physical and mental abuse! All this is a mere speck of the whole truth which cannot be illustrated in words or numbers due to its immense magnitude and unquantifiable consequences!

My questions are two fold, one to my very good friend Vishal, to whom I ask, What is it that these people did, in order to deserve what they got? To believe that these millions have not prayed in any form or manner is a impossibility which squarely beats even the Law of Averages along with all known quantum mathematical odds!
And then, in general I ask, does any one really know the reason why such things happen in the first place? What I do know for sure, above all else is that the answers to either questions are an emphatic NO!
I am not attempting to elicit answers to questions which do not have any answers in the first place, but am merely illustrating that every incident that occurs does not necessarily have a reason or perhaps has one that is known only to the so-called creator alone!

My attempt via this post is to convey a message which I have learnt of late (in rather a hard manner though). It is that one should not attempt to look for a reason for everything that happens, for if one does so, then there stands every chance to lose one's peace and complicate the manner of thinking that drives a person! We have to understand and reconcile to the fact that we cannot determine reasons to happenings, perhaps not as yet!
Maybe a time is in the offing when we mortals will assume command of creation and defeat the oppressive monopoly who (if exists) has been ruling unchecked for a very long time now!
Patience my friend, at least technology is our making!
Until then, its no reason or rhyme, literally!

Epilogue -
I have written a few lines in this post that appear to convey a very derogatory opinion, however I wish to reiterate that the intention is not so.
I originally intended to delete those lines, however, after much thought deliberation with my own self, I left them to remain and rather explain their raison d'être.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Why bad things happen to good people!

Life has a way unknown to any of us!
Situations unfold in a manner we have never really predicted or expected, both good and bad, largely the bad though!
Well then, why do bad things always seem to happen to good people. Good question isn't it. Unlike many of those 'good question' that usually do not elicit good answers, this one has a very good rationale! Something that I believe will convince you and more so help me come to terms with my own course of life and its more than occassional wayward happenings!

Foremost of all things, one needs to understand that life is a concoction, one that is an uneven mixture of many instances, both good and bad! And for all that happens, there is no pattern, sometimes no comprehensible reason and most certainly no definitive timestamp as to when they happen. While most things happen as a result of our own actions, many incidents happen at random without actually having to be a consequence of what we do. Therefore, we must understand that while we can actually influence the resulting impact of some of our actions, we cannot at all control certain incidents and their occurrences despite however miniscule or prominent they are. In short, some things happen because they just happen and there is nothing that you and I can do about it! What best we can indeed do is control our reactions in dealing with the aftermath of such incidents if they have a negative fallout. For, if we are not able to master the art of controlling our reactions, a bad incident can actually have a worse impact.
And it is extremely important for us to mask our emotions in the face of a bad incident since any public display of fear, anger or disconcertment would very lucidly convey a strong sense of weakness which can at any and all times be misused to manipulate you in the most unpleasant circumstances. So, if you do not know how to actually exercise control over your emotions during such testing times, then faking calm would also help you sail through!
I do not ask you to fake every and any emotion, but merely ask to mask your definitively 'perceivable' overtures which may (will) send signals to others so that 'they' do not construe any ill will or mistake your expression to be result of hatred or covetousness.

Now, the central theme of this premise is Why bad things happen to good people.
Why in the wildest world would life throw some of the worst surprises to you despite being a candidate of good gesture and will?
To answer my friend, I shall quote an old adage "Some of the worst things are intended to make you better not bitter." And such proverbial truths are not limited, I could quote another dozen for you in the very same breath. What else do you think is the answer?
While life is best described in the most practical terms as time spent on Earth (as in the case of us human beings), on a broader scale it is a mission, a purpose, a journey with constant learning and endless opportunity to be enriched by experiences of multitudinal proportions, forms and types.
Start thinking in retrospect, when you were a helpless child less than a few months of age, you did not know how to walk, you knew not how to read, write, speak, illustrate, comprehend, feel, express, think and most certainly knew not much more than what many toddlers already knew!
And then time assisted you to take steps, one by one, with the help of guides who were relevant to situations in the form of parents, teachers, friends, associates, colleagues, people, society........
You began walking yet clumsily, many a times falling, to hurt hard physically and mentally.
Such experiences are nothing but conditioning elements that help shape ones personality to ensue a more refined human being, one that is truly balanced from within and outside.
And as a rule, good experiences are not really meant to be good in the real sense of learning potential that they present. They are in truth supposed to be atleast moderately harsh largely depending upon the circusmstances and as a cause of why they happened in the very first place.
How else would one learn from them? Their very purpose being that of a wonderful teacher that is unmatched.
An experience is primarily an incident which is usually after the primary incident has come to pass. It is more so often a fall out of the primary incident itself through which one learns what to do and what not to do in the event of a similar primary incident repeating itself.
Quite often, a single resultant incident cannot be very helpful unless otherwise the person on the receiving end is sensitive enough to learn from the same, conversely an experience cannot also be a very good teacher unless it is slightly profound. I am not advocating that an experience needs to be always harsh in order to serve the purpose of being a good teacher, however, I am also not stating that experiences need to be always mild. My thought is that incidental-fallouts (in the literal sense) need to be appropriate to the situation that has come to pass. But then, we mortals cannot make make conform experiences in a manner or style of our choice. Therefore, the magnitude of fallouts can better best be left for time to decide.
I agree that in many a circumstance, an experience can indeed be painfully bitter and totally unjustified. What one can best do is to, (after having exhausted all options to contest if one can), come to believe that there is a purpose associated to what happened and try to sink it into the system without putting up a fight with one's own thought and circumstances in general.
This helps one balance onself and also come to terms with the incident at a faster pace in a more characteristically mature manner.
In the event of not having any further options to ponder upon (while having come to know that nothing can indeed be done), one must display a sense of grace and calm which can condition a level of maturity and magnanimity. This is the good sense of prevailing over time. One needs to treat both victory and defeat alike as if they mattered no more than each other. By all means, allow time to teach you what it needs to, for then you may not regret that you had little or no opportunity to learn what should have before it is too late in the day to do so.
All this 'straight-out-of-the-book-scripted-theory' may well sound impossible. (I must confess, that although I speak with a an air of authority, I fail to do any of the said. But then, I do try atleast.) However much impossible it may sound, one's own determination to acclimatize would ease the task by mammoth proportions.

And most imperative is to believe that the bad and the good go hand in hand. It is not always one or the other. While there are tough times in life, there are also impending times of good. A very meaningfully well defined circle of events is what time presents.
If you expect that a certain instance should happen and that does not, it probably means that you never were deserving for that in the very place. Contrarily, what you deserve may be much much more than what you actually expect (often without even knowing what you deserve)

Forgetting for a moment, logic and life and shifting focus to a more tangible approach of scientific nature; One has always witnessed progress after recession, growth after decline, birth after death. This universal truth holds good not merely in the theoritical and logical sense but also historically, scientifically and futuristically.

So, when things do not go the way they are expected to, when unfortunate incidents rule the roost and when days are clouded with untoward happenings, standby, take a deep breath and then reaffirm belief in yourself and understand that it is only life's way of preparing you for some of the best things that are yet to come.

As a footnote, today has been one among the many of those that has brought about failure and strangely success together! Contradictory as it may sound, I cannot myself comprehend the dichotomoy. What I did do is thank my creator for the twin significant milestones that I have come to pass although they have been extremely opposite to each other.
I have lived another day!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Endurance, Fidelity and Intelligence

Three words that describe history's best husky ever - Balto. And the story goes thus;

Born in 1923 in the small town of Nome, in Alaska, Balto spent the first two years of his existence to carry food for the minors. He was considered as a dog rather slow and very little suited for this work.
At the beginning of 1925, diphtheria, a fatal disease which attacks largely children, developed in the village edging Nome. A large quantity of Serum was required in urgency in all the hospitals in the neighbourhood. By telegram, the authorities learned that there was some remaining in the town of Anchorage, at more than 1000 miles from Nome.

But they were faced with a problem of transporting the cargo until Nome, the affected area.

The blizzard which blew in violent gusts prevented the use of any mode of air transport.

It was then decided that a train be used to transport the serum to Nenana which was the nearest known inhabitation.

However, Nenana being more than a thousand kilometers from Nome devoid of any means of transport link, it made only one solution look viable to the inhabitants: to make the way in sledge thanks to an attachment drawn by dogs.
Thus crews take the departure and face the excruciating cold, wind and snow.
Many gave up on route: not easy indeed to find roads in the middle of white, treacherous landscapes!

The group which arrived at Nenana was led by Gunnar Kassen, whose team of huskys was directed by... Balto.

However, on the way back, the man, paralysed by the extremely low temperatures and severe windchill, was unable to continue to guide the crew.
Whereas Gunnar Kassen lost any hope to save the children of Nome, Balto, who remembered the way, started to lead the sledge, and brought back at full speed its team, as well as the invaluable loading, to come safe into port.

Dazzled by such a miracle, the press seizes the story and makes Balto the new hero of the nation. The story appeared on the covers of newspapers all around the world, and at the end of the year, a statue, carved by F.G. Roth, was set up in Central Park, with these words:
"Endurance - Fidelity - Intelligence"
The route crossed by the husky gives place to an annual race of sledge which continued until 1973. A newer version of the race was started during the next season and continues to this day commemorating the spirit of the Husky and his magnificiently unparalleled contribution in helping save human lives.
The race is known as the Ideterod and is aimed to test the limits of human and husky endurance.
And today the name of Balto, and its incredible history, remain still quite present, in the memory of young and old..........
Director Simon Wells made the animated movie Balto which came to being in the year 1995.
A wonderful work of animation that it is, it boasts an amazing voice cast that includes those of Kevin Bacon (Balto), Bridget Fonda (Jenna), Phil Collins (Muk & Luk) among others.
Brendan Fraser was initially hired to provide the voice of Steele (the bad dog). Although he did his part his voice-over was subsequently discarded paving way for Jim Cummings to speak for Steele.
The 74 min flick has some amazing work of animated art combined with excellent scores straight from the stables of John Williams and an impressive tagline which reads "His story became a legend. His adventure is one you'll never forget"

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Ahoy! I see Oktober

For all the officio-business related superflous terminology so to describe, we have come to begin the last quarter of this year which comes to a close less that 90 days from now.
In many ways, this is a very promising and very welcomed time of the year for it heralds a great deal of festive spirit and most of all brings about a much needed change in the weather in many parts of the world which until now have been bearing the excruciating brunt of the hot shining Sun.
In astrology, this month begins with the sun in the sign of Libra and ends in the sign of scorpio. Meaning eight (octo) in Latin, October was originally the eighth month in the Roman calendar.

This month of the year has a very special significance across cultures and borders. While the Czech call it říjen meaning belling of deer owing to the fact that deer in that part of the world begin to emit a deep cry during this time, the Irish call it Deireadh Fómhair, meaning end of harvest time. The Truks call it Ekim signifying the time wheat is sown and the Welsh call it Hydref meaning autumn.

By far, for folks like me (who hail from the colder part of the nation), October is the good Lord's blessing to New Delhi. Temperatures drop to nearly three-forths to that of the summer months and the atmospheric composition itself changes preparing the region for winter.
It is also the beginning of many festivities showcasing the strong Indian custom associated with ancient culture and tradition.
Most importantly, this month in particular has brought about a shift, rather a paradigm shift in my way of life. The much anticipated sense of well being seems to have come into place along with peace and joy which I cannot atttribue to any particular reason. But, isn't peace and happiness much better when they cannot be reasoned out to any particular cause!
It seems that I am stepping into the beginning of such times that will now yield nothing but good, if not always the best!
I can tell you with experience that 27 years is a long time to wait....... a very long time to wait indeed. More so often people crash under pressure while being subjected to constant instances of melancholy and testing. If one looks at the positive aspect of such actions to be directly responsible to result a toughened mind, one also needs to understand that unvarying pain can also numb the body and mind, the latter most, and command thought to no longer anticipate the goodness that might lie somewhere ahead.
Anyhow, with good times come a sense of unflinching courage and more importantly a state of mind that allows one to make and execute decisons with confidence and courage.
With such good times in the offing, one finds the time and will to appreciate good things in life.
Almost suddenly, I am overwhelmed with the amount of positive energy I can exude and I now begin to notice those things that I ignored as a matter of routine until only a few days or weeks ago!

Remember the story of the underdog who fights hard to make a footing and all the world does is give a damn? Well, the good part is that the underdog never certainly continues to be so and evolves with time and experience. The clouds make way for the Sun and the rain stops taking away the painfully heavy haze. Time, folks, it seems is a very powerful 'commodity' which can and will affect us more positively despite its hard strokes of unhelpfulness!

Welcome to the beginning..................the very very beginning!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Quiet, Inside!

This is from the flick, The Jacket, Starring Adrien Brody, Keira Knightley, Kris Kristofferson and others. (2005). A military veteran goes on a journey into the future, where he can foresee his death and is left with questions that could save his life and those he loves.

Now, it's not only the movie that's interesting, but also one of it's soundtracks called Quiet Inside by Andy Tubman of Jane Doe's. Co-written by Keith Gattis, this is perhaps one of the most powerful tracks (in terms of personal description) that I've chanced in a number of years.

(Although a number of folks believe that the words suggest a tone of repressed anger........Dr.T .................... I wonder if this is the same kinda 'repressed anger' you attributed to ............ just kidding! I've come to respect your judgement Doc!)

Check out the lyrics and decide..............................................

I couldn't make colors match today
I don't know what else to say
except I tried and they can't say I didn't
I don't like the stuff they are feeding me
they don't like the things I say
but I don't think I need to be forgiven

But I am quiet inside
though they drag me by a wire
through the storm that cracks the sky
I am quiet inside

I used to be so hart to find
rage and tears filled my eyes
but now i believe I see much clearer
my clarity did not come easily
my sell was knocked into me
but now at least I know who's in the mirror

I am quiet inside
though they drag me by a wire
through the storms cracks the sky
I am quiet inside

I am quiet inside
though they drag me by a wire
through the storms cracks the sky
I am quiet inside

ye I'm quiet inside
I am quiet

I couldn't make colors match today
I don't know what else to say

Vows being Unbroken!

Here's another masterpiece by Kenny Rogers, it's called Vows Unbroken.
Wonderful lyrics touched with very good music.

A good feast for the ears and much more!

From the moment I met you,
you made my life complete.
This wave of pure devotion,
has swept me off my feet.

And tonight when we kissed,
you still took my breath away.
It goes without saying,
but I'll say it anyway...

The vows go un-broken - and you still know I do.
Love, keep and honor - always true to you.

Though I have been tempted,
oh I have never strayed.
I'd die before I'd damage,
this union we have made.

The vows go unbroken - and you still know I do.
Love, keep and honor - always true to you.

I knew from the first - that for better or worse,
I'd stand by you all my life.

And the vows go unbroken - and you still know I do.
Love, keep and honor - always true to you.
Love, keep and honor - always true to you.

Jamir, many thanks once again. You are an excellent storehouse of some of the best work of art!

Time after time after time!

This is one of my all time favourites.

Reminds me of my hay days, those mid summer afternoons, as a kid, those aimless meanderings without knowing what I needed (or wanted), the warm sunshine, muddy roads, chill mountain winter winds, the lush green, the once in a while fastidious ball game, those peach trees which were always on the 'other side of the fence' ..................................

Folks, check out Time after time by Cindy Lauper

Lying in my bed I hear the clock tick,
And think of you
Caught up in circles confusion -
Is nothing new
Flashback - warm nights -
Almost left behind
Suitcases of memories,
Time after -

Sometimes you picture me -
I'm walking too far ahead
You're calling to me, I can't hear
What you've said -
Then you say - go slow -
I fall behind -The second hand unwinds

If you're lost you can look - and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you - I'll be waiting
Time after time

After my picture fades and darkness has
Turned to gray
Watching through windows - you're wondering
If I'm OK
Secrets stolen from deep inside
The drum beats out of time -

If you're lost you can look - and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you - I'll be waiting
Time after time

You said go slow -
I fall behind
The second hand unwinds -

If you're lost you can look - and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you - I'll be waiting
Time after time

Time after time
Time after time
Time after time
Time after time
Time after time
Time after time

Friday, September 15, 2006

Yellow & Lime

Continuing my chain of exce-super-llent tracks and their lyrics, here is another mega-treat from the yesteryears, something that we have most certainly heard not very long ago..............

Check out the Yellow Lemon Tree by Fool's Garden

I'm sitting here in the boring room
It's just another rainy Sunday afternoon
I'm wasting my time
I got nothing to do
I'm hanging around
I'm waiting for you
But nothing ever happens and I wonder

I'm driving around in my car
I'm driving too fast
I'm driving too far
I'd like to change my point of view
I feel so lonely
I'm waiting for you
But nothing ever happens and I wonder

I wonder how
I wonder why
Yesterday you told me 'bout the blue blue sky
And all that I can see is just a yellow lemon-tree
I'm turning my head up and down
I'm turning turning turning turning turning around
And all that I can see is just another lemon-tree

I'm sitting hereI miss the power
I'd like to go out taking a shower
But there's a heavy cloud inside my head
I feel so tired
Put myself into bed
Well, nothing ever happens and I wonder

Isolation is not good for me
Isolation I don't want to sit on the lemon-tree

I'm steppin' around in the desert of joy
Baby anyhow I'll get another toy
And everything will happen and you wonder

I wonder how
I wonder why
Yesterday you told me 'bout the blue blue sky
And all that I can see is just another lemon-tree
I'm turning my head up and down
I'm turning turning turning turning turning around
And all that I can see is just a yellow lemon-tree
And I wonder, wonder

I wonder howI wonder why
Yesterday you told me 'bout the blue blue sky
And all that I can see, and all that I can see, and all that I can see
Is just a yellow lemon-tree

Diamonds are forever!

Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun,
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Now there's a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky.
Shine on you crazy diamond.You were caught on the crossfire of childhood and stardom,
blown on the steel breeze.
Come on you target for faraway laughter, come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!
You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Threatened by shadows at night, and exposed in the light.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Well you wore out your welcome with random precision,
rode on the steel breeze.
Come on you raver, you seer of visions,
come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!

Another of my favz.........this track is simply awe-fantastic, because of it's lyrics, music and most characteristically it's being so successfull in telling you of a person (then & now)!

Brij, thanks, once again, for introducing me to this magnum opus
Folks, that's Shine on you crazy diamond for you!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The World, with You and Me!

Here is another sample of a track which I came to love instantly on hearing it!
Wonderful music, fantabulous lyrics..............straight from the docks of Nirvana.

It's called The Man who sold the world.

Read on and tell me if this ever tells you what you are or what you can be!
Sounds chaotic / confusing? Read on......... & do listen to the track when you get the chance;

We passed upon the stairs,
We spoke of was and when
Although I wasn't there
He said I was his friend
Which came as a surprise
I spoke into his eyes -- I thought you died alone
A long long time ago

Oh no, not me,
We never lost control,
You're face to face,
With the man who sold the world

I laughed and shook his hand,
I made my way back home,
I searched for form and land,
Years and years I roamed,
I gazed a gazely stare,
We walked a million hills -- I must have died alone,
A long long time ago.

Who knows, not me,
I never lost control,
You're face, to face,
With the man who sold the world.

My friend Jamir -
Many thanks for this superb work of art!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Reactivation confirmed! 27 years later!

September 8, 1979 - Saturday - 08:50 am IST

About 10 minutes to 09:00hrs that morning, another human life was added to the near billion strong Indian population.
Prime Minister Morarji Desai's government had crumbled and Charan Singh became the next occupant of the Prime Minister's Office.
Somewhere in Kannur, a town which is part of the Northern expanse of the south Indian state of Kerala, a family witnessed the coming of its newest entrant.
63 days later that little being was shipped off to Ooty, a hill-station amidst the pristine mountains of the Nilgiri Biosphere where he continued to live for nearly the next two and a half decades.

Since then to now, life has been source a multitude of experiences for me that have helped shape my actions, values, ideologue, short my entire person.
My parents decided to call me Rakesh which symbolized light that eradicated darkness and brought about peace and tranquility. Apt choice I must say, something which I have always been very proud of all along. (Except that there probably are more than 1 million Rakeshs across the globe today!)
As a child, I took immense pleasure in being addressed by my first name and responded with a firm and very definite manner pronouncing my name for those who queried.

Ooty has been a wonderful place to live, in the midst of high rise mountains studded with pine and eucalyptus plantations dotted with miles and miles of tea estates often touched by an ever lasting curtain of mist complemented with warm sunlight and chilling breeze which would make any person call it Heaven on Earth.
Kerala too played a huge role in shaping the person that I now am for it is there that I learnt the true essence and meaning of being part of a family that traced its roots back to 700 years.
The vast acres of plain land filled with coconut groves and mango trees are part of my earliest memories that I very vividly remember even to this very date.

And then all of that changed barely two years into being! I contracted a severe form of dysentry that endangered my very existence a great deal. Folks took me lengths and breadths seeking appropriate treatment to rid me of my affliction.
When all doors stood closed and it was apparent that nothing could be done, except let the 'little one' succumb to the malady, a good soul suggested the name of Fr. Muller's Hospital, Mangalore where I was promptly taken for what turned out to be a near four month long treatment following which I emerged cleansed and ready for a new beginning. It was the first of many many times that I would come close to being pulled back from the edge!

Raising me was an agonizing process as my folks recall for I was more or less the exacted yesteryear version of Calvin (Calvin & Hobbes). As a child, I was hyper-active which led me to do many a thing which was not considered normal, such as chucking live chicken into the well, metting out some attrocious treatment to cats, dogs and other known four legged creatures. My subjects of experiments were not limited to animals alone. Human beings of all sizes and shapes came as easy samples considering my schemingly cunning naughty experimental nature.
My folks were traumatized raising me during my early years and the amount of pain and embarrassment were a constant source of worry to all those near and dear. Extra measures of precaution had to be taken and enforced considering my volatile nature which meant keeping most potentially dangerous substances way beyond the area designated out of reach. It is with a great amount of regret and remorse that I sincerely apologize to all those who have been victimized my my acts of outrage. I am sorry to all you folks who have had buckets of water falling on them from the sky, those of you whose eyes were covered with turmeric powder while asleep, some of you who have lost half their moustaches while asleep, many of you who have been electrocuted in one way or the other...........................I'm extremely sorry!
I know the list goes on and on. And to the souls of the many tens and tens of animals that have been a mute testimony of my inhuman acts of savage brutality, God, please do not consign me to the vast expanses of hell. I was merely a kid who had no track of what he was doing and therefore lacked the understanding of comprehending the seriousness of the act that was being committed.

My folks were extremely concerned about one particular habit of mine which involved my piling of papers and burning them down for no apparent reason. Doubts were cast about the possibility of me turning into an Arsonist upon growing up. Thankfully with time, I shed all my unusual traits which can at best be described as the actions of a bored kid!

Schooling was a lot of fun although I was never a good student. My record of sleeping in classes dated upto days of college! Lazy as I always have been, folks at home invested a great deal of time, money and energy in stabilizing my career which failed to match the wishes of my folks for all reasons that were a cause of my actions. Later years in college past with lightning speed and no subtantial achivement. To date, I regard them as some of the darkest moments of my life. I have learnt that life is more of a circle which contains both good and bad. Actions that have shaped at one point of time do certainly have a long drawn set of consequences that extended to a deep future which in turn shapes the manner in which life develops.
"Take care of your thoughts and actions, for what you think and do, you become."
This has prehaps never been so true in any case other than mine. I say so with unflinching conviction because I have witnessed over the time how one's thoughts influences one's actions and therefore results in related consequences. It is therefore very important to think with a very positive frame of mind desiring positive results. However, due to being a critical Virgo whose elements have been related more to practicality and less of anticipation, I have forever been a little more pessimistic in my approach towards anything in life. Negative thoughts lead to negative actions, negative people, negative approach and finally negative consequences. Negativity is in itself a huge well whose depths are unfathomable and largely unknown and if trudged into one over a period of time, it becomes a latent impossibility to get out of the same.

Having lived some very dark years in Mangalore, Kannur and Ooty during the period 1996 - 2005, I set foot into Delhi and Gurgaon where life has taken a turn for the better.
I have learnt a great deal from the rich experience that I have had being part of the wonderful organization that I work at. People and inncidents have helped shape a better perspective of life and a certain focus that helps understand oneself better before embarking upon a journey of sorts.

Reactivation Confirmed! 27 years later, is my attempt to forget the past and look into a better future while more importantly, living in the present. Your greatest competition is your own view of the future and the future will be here sooner than later, so why bother?
As I step into another personal realm, having crossed a major milestone in life, I feel a sense of relief and joy for I have for the first time made an attempt to know my own person with a very genuine effort. I am extremely thankful to all those who have helped me and stood by me during my times of tribulation and testing. I have been fortunate in enjoying the company of good friends and folks who have helped me get better by the day staving off a great deal of negativity that was once a large part of my psyche.

Almighty God, thou art the creator of all matter - living and lifeless, far and beyond, small and big. I realize that you have created me with a definite purpose as you have created every other being. I realize that if I have had bad times, I will enjoy the good ones too and that life is in itself a journey of experience that comes with time and effort. I shall continue to strive to be better in what I do and will henceforth abandon my irrationality of pessimism.

As I close this post, I would like to highlight a small comment that my dear friend Adi left on my post a few days ago.

It reads "The best is yet to come.....just watch! Have gratitute towards the creator, live the moment to perfection. Have patience & perseverance. Never give up & never ever lose hope!!!"

Adi, as always, you have been a source of encouragement, goodwill, courage and vision like no one else. Today, you have redifined your role by being someone who has induced a change for the better of something that would ordinarily not matter in life. Words fail me a great deal as I thank you for your continued efforts and unflinching resolve.

Today is a new beginning, something very very new, I promise.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Quarantine Matters! A Steve Irwin, like none other, ever, forever!

These Hitlers use the camouflage of science to make money out of animals. So whenever they murder our animals and call it sustainable use, I'll fight it. Since when has killing a wild animal, eating it or wearing it, ever saved a species?
There are people who butt out their cigarettes in gorilla-paw ashtrays, with wastepaper baskets that were once elephant feet, who have ivory ornaments, who wear cheetah fur. Don't buy these things! Then there'll be no market and the animals won't be killed.
We have domesticated livestock raised for consumption and perfectly good fake leather and fur, so why must we kill wild animals to satisfy the macabre taste of some rich person?

Quarantine Matters!

- Stephen (Steve) Robert Irwin - 22 Feb 1962 - 04 Sep 2006

Strange are the ways that death visits some of us, equally shocking and appalling too!
The world famous Australian Naturalist, wildlife expert and television icon known across the globe for as the Crocodile Hunter is no more.
Swimming close to a stingray, he was stung in the chest by its barb (dagger shaped tail) which reportedly left a hole in his heart.
When I saw the news on Google at 6:43pm IST today, the news was already well past a day and a half old.
Like millions of fans across the globe, I was shocked beyond comprehension at this freak accident and took a few moments to regain myself! It seemed unbelievable and when I did realize how true this actually was, I frantically searched and read more and more news off the internet!
A wasted death, that has significantly weakened the championing of a genuine cause.

At a time when this legend was the face of television via the Discovery Channel & Animal Planet, his death seemed an incident that could not be imagined.
Australian Prime Minister John Howard in his condolence message exacted that "Australia has lost a wonderful and colourful son" while Prime Minister Peter Beattie of Queensland extended the offer of a state funeral.

The man as we know him (and will continue to) shot into fame in the year 1991 when he took over 'The Park', a family business which he renamed 'Australian Zoo' in 1992. During the same year he met Terri Raines whom he later married.
Crocodile Hunter first hit TV screens in 1996 in Australia before it gained publicity world over, and when it did, it was soon and electric. By the year 1999, Steve had gained immense popularity in the United States and made an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Around the same time, the already famed series was being beamed in more than a 125 countries. His pronounced Austrlian accent combined with a wonderfully articulated presentation style and trademark khakis came to be recognized as iconic.

Perhaps to best describe Steve, behind his vibrant nature that attracted millions, there existed an iron-will to fight poaching, smuggling and endangering of any and all widlife, irrespective of species, geographical location and so-called importance.

He founded the Steve Irwin Conservation Foundation, which was later renamed Wildlife Warriors Worldwide, and became an independent charity. He also helped to found a number of other projects, such as the International Crocodile Rescue, as well as the Lyn Irwin Memorial Fund, in memory of his mother, with proceeds going to the Iron Bark Station Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

With fame came a great deal of criticism and flak. Steve was accused of venturing too close to animals and disturbing their peace and was also rapped for a so called unsophisticated view of conservation in Australia which seemed more linked to tourism than the problems Australia faces as a continent.
In 2002, the Sydney Morning Herald reported lines from Steve's public statement which read "Here is my greatest gift to the world," he cries. "We need to stand proud of what is Australia … the greatest grazing nation on the face of the Earth! The whole joint is grazing land … and by crikey we're good at it! We should be … [eating] beef and lamb, not kangaroos and crocodiles.They're why tourists come to Australia. They are tourism icons!"

Most of us recall his brush with the media when on 02 January 2004, he was filmed feeding chicken to crocodiles while holding his then one-month old son Bob. Stark comparisons were made in the press to Michael Jackson, who dangled his son out of a hotel window in Germany many years ago. Several child welfare and animal rights groups attacked Steve for what was supposedly (labelled) as child abuse and an unprofessional act that could have been a big disaster. However, despite mounting pressure from far and wide, Steve refused to categorize his actions as uncharacteristic and refused also to apologize calling the media's outcry as uncalled for while saying that there was no danger to his son other than perceived danger!
While the entire episode quickly died down, it prompted the Queensland Government to change its crocodile handling laws, banning children and untrained adults from entering crocodile enclosures.

In November 2003, Steve was filming a documentary on Sea Lions off the coast of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula when he heard via his boat's radio that two scuba divers were reported missing in the area. Steve and his entire crew suspended operations to aid in the search. His team's divers searched with the rescue divers, and Irwin used his vessel to patrol the waters around the island where the incident occurred, as well as using his satellite communications system to call in a rescue plane. On the second day of the search, kayakers found one of the divers, Scott Jones, perched on a narrow ledge of rocks over waters with dangerous currents. Steve and a crewmember escorted him to Steve's boat. Jones reported not recognising his celebrity rescuer as he had never seen Steve on television.
The other lost diver, Katie Vrooman, was found dead the following day by a search plane not far from Jones's location.

In 2001 Steve was awarded the Centenary Medal for his "service to global conservation and to Australian tourism".
In 2004 he was recognised as Tourism Export of the Year. He was also nominated in 2004 for The Australian of the Year; an honour which was won by Steve Waugh. However, following the little Bob incident, his nomination did not materialize.

During the course of his life, he funded and presided many conservation efforts that have helped save many endangered species of reptiles, birds and other animals. It is very unfortunate that a person of such stature should have succumbed so tragically and most of all at a time when the world needed him the most.

Steve, whatever you have done to make the world a better place for all its creations has always been a magnificient effort, something that has been a result fueled due to superhuman effort and unparalleled commitment.
You have remarkably described how powerful the power of one is!
Your legacy will continue for ages to come.................................................

Australia, worry not, for the death of your beloved Son shall not once diminish his dream of a just and free planet where human beings understand and recognize their existence as co-creations and not the superior species!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Windmills of time.

Some stories are legends and there are times when I live the life of a drifter.
Renewing commintment with newer words, actions and increased gusto,
I wait for another new day in the hope that life will change for the better,
and time slowly yet steadily moves forward, taking age along with it.
And memories echo in the distance of what wonderful times I lived in,
while hoping above all else for the best that is yet to come.
Life is indeed a stage where every act somehow matters in some way or form.
Travelling through the dust storms of fate, enjoying an unexpected oasis in the middle of the vast desert, bracing the bitterly cold rainy lonely nights and sometimes the excruciating heat of the Sun.
In an endless wait coupled with hope, I expect that someone and something to be a part of my life, blinded by all emotion and feeling that rule me.

Life always goes on, it's the living that stops!

Folks...............check out the following words that are the lyrics of the monumental "Soldier of Fortune" from the stables of Deep Purple.

Does it somewhere say that "Fortune favours the brave?"

I have often told you stories
About the way
I lived the life of a drifter
Waiting for the day
When I'd take your hand
And sing you songs
Then maybe you would say
Come lay with me love me
And I would surely stay

But I feel I'm growing older
And the songs that I have sung
Echo in the distance
Like the sound
Of a windmill goin round
I guess I'll always be
A soldier of fortune

Many times I've been a traveller
I looked for something new
In days of old
When nights were cold
I wandered without you
But those days I thought my eyes
Had seen you standing near
Though blindness is confusing
It shows that you're not here

Now I feel I'm growing older
And the songs that I have sung
Echo in the distance
Like the sound
Of a windmill goin round
I guess I'll always be
A soldier of fortune
Yes, I can hear the sound
Of a windmill goin round
I guess I'll always be
A soldier of fortune

Do listen to the track sometime...............It is a wonderful source of relaxation and a superb treat.

Brij, my friend, thanks a million for this masterpiece.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Redefining Oblivion

There are three stages to a man's life,
The first is gaining vision - something that I have long passed.
Then there is opposition - something that I'm facing now!
And finally there comes recognition - I will gain it with time.

- Anonymous.

Nothingness has always been a very unsettling state for the body, mind and the spirit.
A state of nothingness is always a state of confusion despite the magnitude. And Oblivion has been part of time since time itself!
Usually we fail to comprehend the impact of a state of confusion until it has long gone, which is the very reason why we fail to deal with such a state in a very proactive or a prudent manner.
There is not steadfast solution to deal a confusing situation much as there is no by-the-book approach to solve a confusing problem. All problems create some amount of confusion which consumes valuable time and effort. A great deal of time is spent to ease confusion and strangely, despite all sound qualifications of superior judgement, only a limited few are able to handle such situations with professional ease.
An inability to handle or resolve confusing situations is not an indication that we are bad situation handlers, it simply is a sign that we have not devoted enough time to understand the essence of the situation by applying proper thought and thereafter action.

Why are confusing situations confusing in the first place? Because they are confusing!
Now, this is itself a confusing answer but then nobody said confusing situations are easy to handle, since such instances are expected largely to impede the speed of thought and thereby action. The one thing that needs to be understood the most is that confusing situations can only be resolved if the resolver is free from confusion. Therefore, the best action during turbulent times is to understand the importance of presence of mind and remain calm despite whatever the situation might throw up. Panic and disturbance add to the confusion that is already prevailing and in no manner do they help solve a situation.
Depending upon the reception of the mind, any and every situation can be confusing thereafter leading to faltering actions due to which arise a multitude of mistakes often referred to as Faux Pas or a blunder of sorts. A blunder does not usually happen all of a sudden, but is a result of a series of faltered actions. Time too plays a huge role in the manner of which a situation presents itself in reality leading to a full blown state of confusion. And then of course, there are the variable elements such as people, places, actions, connections and action-related inputs and outputs.
However, the simplest reason for a menacingly confusing situation is the result of an action having been done with the wrong intention, by the wrong person, at the wrong time, with a wrong frame of mind leading to wrong results.
While dealing with confusing situations can be a daunting task, the outcome and the manner in which the situation is dealt with is a huge indicator of the trait a person has.
After the incident even the fool is wise. But, the trick lies in neutralizing a sticky situation before it manifests beyond control, and for such an outcome to be expected, the handler of the situation needs to be absolutely calm and wary of pace depending upon what the outcome itself should be.
More often than not, all of us display a sense of urgency combined with uncalled for panic during testing times. This is largely due the fact that our conditioning guides us to display so.
While it is easy to blame a person for having displayed an action that was totally unnecessary during a confusing situation, it would not be wise to do so, for every single one of us reacts differently given handling problems at hand.
While disaster strikes, it is always wise to sit back and give it a few moments before pondering over a course of action at lightning speed. No action is always better than a hasty and even more confusing action that could in one way or the other compound the level of problems.
Every wise decision which assumes the form of action is a direct result of good thought, and good thought can only be manufactured at a time when the mind is free from pressure and devoid of the burden of urgency. Some of the best decisions are those that are taken and implemented with poise. Sometimes an action may be a direct solution to a problem, but one also needs to consider and understand the fact that despite having thought about and ready to implement what is a good action, that action could in the long term have certain repercussions related to people or problems. Therefore, such actions would be wrong to implement despite their immediate ability to calm nerves and liquidate a situation.

The purview of the human mind is in many ways limited despite its ability to focus and work upon a multitude of aspects all at the same time. Intelligent decisions are those that consider facts and how they can address problems at hand and still maintain an amicable and conducive environment with the passage of time. Every short term solution can and will at some point of time throw a number of surprises in the long term not because such solutions were worked upon with an ulterior objective but because they have been implemented in a poor and unrealistic dimension.

Most of us are often in no position to judge relevance until long after the fact. This should not be taken as a problem or a limitation for most of us cannot and will not be able to fathom a situation until it has long passed. What we can at best do in such circumstances is to learn. Experience can be a great teacher and can rescue many (most) of us from making the same mistake twice. And more often, situations despite their complexities have some kind of similar bearings one way or the other. The cue is in relating to experiences and how one had solved similar situations in the past. A certain degree of logic, prudence, patience and sincere effort should see any human being through a stumbling block.

For me, like anyone else, a confusing situation is a major source of pain, however I try to limit the pain to a certain time and by a certain extent after which life jumps back to normalcy.
I have in no means been a champion in handling situations and perfecting their outcomes, however, I do certainly have handled quite a number of such experiences which have taught me a good number of valuable lessons.
Personalities are formed with experiences which are a result of tough situations. What we are and what we become depend on the kind of experiences each of us are subjected to,
experiences both good and bad. Every single experience conditions our personality in a positive manner depending upon the manner in which we perceive it and express our receptiveness.

Although oft repeated, we do not always realize that life is not a bed of roses and that we all go through some tough situations from time to time. What we really need to do is understand the gravity of such situations, learn from our actions or those of others rather than actually subject ourselves to cold mistrust of life. Life probably is a manner in which time rules our lives and time is a measure that cannot actually be quantified. Time can be a witness to a good number of progressive stages and at the same time can also ensue the happening of a number of unwarranted situations that we do not desire to experience. But experience them, we must for we have in most cases not choice. What we can perhaps do is to allow time to aid us to become better people. Something like making the best of a bad bargain.

I have to close this post with the following lines which came via an email sometime today.
"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved."

Enough said!

Monday, August 21, 2006

547 days later.......................

It's 21st August 2006, a year and a half have passed since I joined GE.

A huge milestone packed with various experiences all of which have in some form or the other greatly contributed to reform my person!

Over the last year and a half, I have set my foot on many different places, many of which I had longed to go for years now. I've seen how it is to work for a conglomerate multinational in its most grassroots levels. I've been on the table and under the knife thrice.
I've matured with each passing day, striving constantly to become something better than the usual!

F-316 JVT which was my abode for more than about a year now stands 'former' home and in my quest for merging with nature and becoming one with the self, I now stay at a place called Mayfield Gardens which many regard as the back of beyond. The welcome sight of peacocks straying in a brushed yard not too far from where I stay continues to thrill me as ever.

Kappu has moved to Pune assuming the role of a Manager with a very prominent BPO and Bodhi has left for Calcutta for an indefinite period of time.
Vishal Samuel has become part of the LSA team replacing Alka Shukla who has moved within Healthcare.
Rohit Goel a.k.a Randy Gold who is my former boss will soon become my next boss replacing Amrita a.k.a Amy.
Folks back home continue to do better and Deepu looks forward to re-starting his career.
Adi & VJ continue to do well and keep talking to me off and on much to my re-assurance explaining to me all the time that life will dish out some of the best opportunities provided one has the patience to wait for them!
Brij continues to be a source of some of the most amazing collections of music and films that I've ever heard or watched!
Catching up with friends have been the piece de resistance; Rahul Maroli & Rohit D'Cruz both of whom went to college with me at St.Aloysius, Mangalore (1996 - 1999) landed up at my doorstep 7 long years after I last met them!
The feeling was overwhelmingly good.
Most of all, one of the best things that happened in the very recent past was a chance telephonic conversation with my best buddy Alex ARJUN Abraham, also a friend from college!
I had for a number of stupid reasons chosen not to stay in touch with this superbly mature intellectual and avoided all his genuine efforts to connect when finally I simply lost him and could not trace him excepting a few small ocassional inputs of his whereabouts and doingwhats which in itself were very sketchy, when finally on August 20th, I got his contact number from another college buddy Jacob Vishal Abraham!
The world is a very small place, despite it's long and vast expanses that may seem excruciatingly huge and far.
It was a feeling like never before to call on someone whom I had not spoken to in 7 years, let alone meeting up. Much as usual and to my expectation, it hardly took a few seconds for Alex to recognize me and our 36 odd minute chat was very similar to how we would talk when in college.
It seems that the more things change, the more they remain the same.

Ani (Ramakrishnan) & Vinu have gotten married. Many more seem to be waiting to get themselves into the knotting game.

My own self seems largely 'sobered' due to extensive amounts of self-introspection and (uncalled for) analysis at all times. I spend most of my days at work and during the weekends remain glued to books, televison and music which interest me more than many things that I used to do. I do not mean to convey that I have come of age, but merely wish to illustrate a phase in life which many of us experience at one point of time or the other.
Change is a very important part of life and only change remains the one thing that is permanent. Whatever so one may be, or aspires to become, change is the one aspect that will continue to be an inevitably permanent part of life.
Change is good provided it yields positive vibes and outlook. Change is important so that life stays in sync with with the passage of time. And time is nature's way of not letting everything happen all at once.

A large part of the year is over and while most of the country and the world are preparing to welcome the winters, Delhi continues to reel under the extreme heat combined with disgusting humidity and hot winds.

In short, a huge number of things have changed.
But, I am still expectant of a lot of good things to happen. Life has for sometime been very numb, devoid of activity and goodies! I sometimes wonder as to how many more long years do I need to wait for some basic things in life to happen. I'm tired of constant efforts being matched with no results. My levels of motivation have slurred down phenomenally and I now seem to lack the vision to go forward.
For the first time in years, I now feel, I do not possess the zeal to fight my way forward.
I'm extremely disturbed at the fact of being a nobody.
Obscurity and nothingness which have been the pillars of my 'thoughtcentral' suddenly seem to be relating to my everyday life in a very imposing manner.
It's much like being in a dark wet alley without knowing where to head.
Life has become dark and dingy and I painfully fake a smile trying to appear calm and unperturbed.
Everyday living has been rendered a very painful and depressing chore.
My inner self is contantly in pain and I see no immediate solution.
I know not what to believe or trust for every path that I walk through is one form of deception or the other.
27 years have been a while too long and dreary now.
Some of my friends & folks reassure me (with great effort) that changes are imperative and that some of the best things are yet to happen.
But then, have I not been hearing them for years now?

My questions to the man above.................

Where are you now? Where have you been? Are you there at all?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Reality Unknown - is the reality that we know real?

"When some are lost, can't find their way,
a number of them stray, to where you have come today."

The universe and its contents - both known and unknown have long fascinated the human mind and have been a subject of constant exploration and research at a scale never imagined or sometime publically acknowledged.
Knowledge and ignorance thereafter have always maintained a long and unbridged gap, something that will never be balanced for want of critical imbalance in an attempt to gain a defining edge over the other entity.
The question of whether we are alone in the universe has remained unanswered for a very long time now. Although mountains of evidence establishing 'the unidentifiable third kind' has surfaced from time to time, government acknowledgements confirming the same have never been made and authorities across the globe have commonly and collectively denied such reports and often rubbished as wishful thinking.
Amidst the wildly staunch opposition between either camps, a certain supposedly true (read possibly true) concept has gained emergence and strong belief with the passage of time.
Strange as ever as it may sound, this concept came to be known as The Theory of Alternate Reality. Synonymously known as The other dimension, Alternate Realm, Parallel Universe and so on, the concept theorized (with good supposition) the existence of (many) alternate worlds.
All these supposeldy exist in a condition and environment with no relationship whatsoever to the world that we have come to know and be a part of.

Are we really alone?

Illustrated by myth and historical legends of being a hiding place for the dark forces, the concept of alternate reality is not one of recent times. It seems, atleast, such a belief existed since the wake of intelligent civilization itself, intelligent because our relatively small intelligence could only fathom an unknown realm and remain extremely limited to understanding its nomenclature perhaps forcefully influenced by an unknown external mechanism.
Therefore, could the possibility of being 'one of the many' be as old or perchance older than our own existence. Much much much older?

The concept of alternate reality has spawned many an interesting additional theory, one of the most popular of them being Time Travel.
Originally written and conceptualized by yesteryear Sci-Fi author H. G. Wells in the book "The Time Machine", humanity was introduced to the four-dimension model of classical physics and interpretation of time as a spatial dimension in which human beings could travel given the right equipment.
And then we heard of something called Hyperspace. The concept of hyperspace illustrates the existence of a parallel universe that could be a medium of travel faster than light. Hyperspace is known to contain entry and exit points that could transport matter from one dimension to the other. Quite interestingly, it is believed that the time taken to travel from one point to the other within hyperspace is shorter than it would be in normal (known) circumstances.
Hyperspace, it seems, can exist within the Earth too. Higher spatial dimensions on water and in the air are believed to facilitate ships and aircrafts to travel faster and easier while also covering vast distances within a short period of time!

However, the most common usage and illustration of the concept of alternate reality happens in science fiction. Countless numbers of movies, documentaries, books and of late, games have been made with Alternate Reality as the central theme.

As scientists and authors began to explore the underworld, another popular concept emerged.
The concept of Multiverse. A multiverse or meta-universe is the hypothetical set of multiple possible universes including our own that in a group form part of all physical reality.
Multiverses have found substantial illustration in physics, fiction and philosophy.
The term 'multiverse' was coined and popularized by the science fiction author Michael Moorcock.

In the year 2003, the Scientific American Article - Parallel Universes, May issue presented an observation that stunned me as I read it:

Level 1: (Open Multiverse), A generic prediction of cosmic inflation is an infinite ergodic universe, which, being infinite must contain Hubble volumes realizing all initial cconditions - including and indentical copy of You about 10^10^29 meters away!

The question of whether we are alone in the universe stands outdated which brings us to possibly one the strangest suppositions ever;

Is the reality that we know and dwell in, real? Or is it another realm that connects with a realm of alternate reality?

The Indian Tricolour - Fluttering higher than ever

It will be necessary for us Indians, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Parsis & all others to whom India is their home to recognise a common flag to live and die for.

Mahatma Gandhi

The flag was first flown and recognized as the Indian National Flag in Hamburg in 1942.
On 15 August 1947 the dominions of India and Pakistan were established. India adopted the familiar horizontal tricolor of orange, white, and green with a blue Ashoka Chakra at the center. The tricolor had been used, unofficially, since the early 1920s as the flag of the Indian National Congress, with the colors representing Hinduism (orange), Islam (green), and a hoped-for unity and peace (white).
More unofficially, the flag was patterned on the other example of struggle against British imperialism.
Most often, a blue spinning wheel was shown in the center, derived from Gandhi's call for economic self-sufficiency through hand-spinning.

The spoked Ashoka Chakra (the "wheel of the law" of the 3rd-century BC Mauryan Emperor Ashoka) replaced the Gandhian spinning wheel to add historical "depth" and separate the national flag from the INC party flag.

Meaning of the Flag

The Indian flag is a horizontal tricolor in equal proportion of deep saffron on the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom. The ratio of the width to the length of the flag is two is to three. In the centre of the white band, there is a wheel in navy blue to indicate the Dharma Chakra, the wheel of law in the Sarnath Lion Capital. This center symbol or the 'CHAKRA' is a symbol dating back to 2nd century BC. Its diameter approximates the width of the white band and it has 24 spokes, which intends to show that there is life in movement and death in stagnation. The saffron stands for courage and sacrifice; the white, for purity and truth; the green for growth and auspiciousness.

The Constituent Assembly which drew up the Constitution of India, adopted, on 22 July 1947, the tricolor as Independent India's National Flag. After a debate, the Dharma Chakra (of Emperor Ashoka) was included in the central white stripe of the flag, instead of the Charka (used symbolically by Gandhiji and also included in the flag used by the Indian National Congress). The same Chakra adorns the State Emblem adapted from the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka in addition to the motto from the Mundaka Upanishad, Satyameva Jayate which means: Truth alone triumphs. The Chakra or the wheel symbolizes the Power of the State governed by Dharma, which is the primordial Indian system of justice which is the bed-rock, not only of governance but of the socio-politico-economic edifice itself.

The following is an extract from the preamble to the flag code of India as posted on the official Home Ministry website of the Indian government.
The significance of the colours and the chakra in the National Flag was amply described by Dr. S. Radhakrishnan in the Constituent Assembly whichunanimously adopted the National Flag. Dr. S. Radhakrishnan explained -"Bhagwa or the saffron colour denotes renunciation of disinterestedness. Our leaders must be indifferent to material gains and dedicate themselves to their work. The white in the centre is light, the path of truth to guide our conduct. The green shows our relation to soil, our relation to the plant life here on which all other life depends. The Ashoka Wheel in the centre of the white is the wheel of the law of dharma. Truth or satya, dharma or virtue ought to be the controlling principles of those who work under this flag. Again, the wheel denotes motion. There is death in stagnation. There is life in movement. India should no more resist change, it must move and go forward. The wheel represents the dynamism of a peaceful change."

Reproduced below is an extract from Jawaharlal Nehru's address to the Constituent Assembly for the date on which the national flag was adopted (Tuesday, 22 July 1947)
"I present this Flag to you. This Resolution defines the Flag which I trust you will adopt. In a sense this Flag was adopted, not by a formal resolution, but by popular acclaim and usage, adopted much more by the sacrifice that surrounded it in the past few decades. We are in a sense only ratifying that popular adoption. It is a Flag which has been variously described. Some people, having misunderstood its significance, have thought of it in communal terms and believe that some part of it represents this community or that. But I may say that when this Flag was devised there was no communal significance attached to it."

At the same meeting of the Constituent Assembly, Govind Das added:
"There is no touch of communalism in the three colours of the flag. Panditji (i.e., Jawaharlal Nehru) has already told you this in the course of his speech. It is true that at a time when the colours were red, white and green there was a trace of communalism in the flag. But when we changed these colours to saffron, white and green, we declared it in clear words that the three colours had no communal significance."

One of the spurious meanings of the Indian flag states the color of saffron/kesaria stands for patriotism (balidaan), white is for simplicity and peace, green is for agriculture (kheti) farming (kisan) and greenery (hariyali), the navy blue wheel in the center is the "Ashoka chakra", the wheel of progress.

The Flag Code

On 26th January 2002, the flag code was changed. After 52 years, the citizens of India are free to fly the Indian flag over their homes, offices and factories on any day. Except some basic rules to follow while flying the flags, all other restrictions have been removed. Now Indians can proudly display the national flag any where and any time.

There are some rules and regulations upon how to fly the flag, based on the 26 January 2002 legislation. These include the following:

The Do's;

The National Flag may be hoisted in educational institutions (schools, colleges, sports camps, scout camps, etc.) to inspire respect for the Flag. An oath of allegiance has been included in the flag hoisting in schools.

A member of public, a private organization or an educational institution may hoist/display the National Flag on all days and occasions, ceremonial or otherwise consistent with the dignity and honour of the National Flag.

Section 2 of the new code accepts the right of all private citizens to fly the flag on their premises.

The Dont's;

The flag cannot be used for communal gains, drapery, or clothes. As far as possible, it should be flown from sunrise to sunset, irrespective of the weather.

The flag cannot be intentionally allowed to touch the ground or the floor or trail in water. It cannot be draped over the hood, top, and sides or back of vehicles, trains, boats or aircraft.

No other flag or bunting can be placed higher than the flag. Also, no object, including flowers or garlands or emblems can be placed on or above the flag. The tricolour cannot be used as a festoon, rosette or bunting.

Material presented in this post has been adapted from the following source;