Friday, November 8, 2013

Are you bigger than the goal?


Do we give the completion of a task a higher priority than the urge to do it by ourselves?

Good work happens when people come together and take individual ownerships. So, at the start, work happens when we take ownership. And later, more work happens when the ownership is given away. To test ourselves, we can ask ourselves a question- For the sake of our goals, are we willing to collaborate and work with a person with whom we experience ego issues? Guruji says that if you have differences, then keep the differences and still maintain harmony.

I recollect a few cases where goals went temporarily haywire - Differences between Lokmanya Tilak and Gopal Krishna Gokhale led to the temporary division of the Congress in the early 1900s. The opposition to Narendra Modi by L. K. Advani was hurting BJP’s goals. Criticism of Arvind Kejriwal by Anna Hazare hampered the IACs anti-corruption movement.

The world is filled with innumerable service projects. If one is complete, the other is ready for you. But the contentment is when we bring more and more people to accomplish the goal.. isn’t it?

Time


Sometimes the clock moves so slow.
With every tick, pain flow.

Why does the creation move so gradual?
Years it takes for change to be observable.

The needle has its distinct traits.
The more you observe it, the more it waits.

Oh, what a wonder, what a mystery!
Each eye perceives the speed so differently.

Time and again, we try to free.
But when will we just let it be?

And as we look behind, we expose a trick.
The present is slow, but the past moved pretty quick.

Not so long back, the events created fury.
But now all that exists is a fading memory.

Monday, August 12, 2013

A roller coaster ride till the end..


Till its end, life is full of twists and turns. Filled with unknown successes and setbacks, this roller coaster ride always has something in store for you..

Recently, I was reading the memoirs of Natwar Singh, the External Affairs Minister of India in the UPA1 government. By the way, he is a very good writer
and I enjoy reading the experiences of his diplomat days. Natwar Singh joined the IFS in 1952. In his memoirs, he recollects how he received a telegram from the UPSC while he was studying at Cambridge for just over two months, to report in Delhi within a week for an interview. He recollects being nervous for those 45 minutes of his interview as that would decide his life. He finally made it to the IFS. In his notes, Natwar Singh mentions about the joy that his family experienced when they unexpectedly got to know about his clearing the most competitive exam while listening to a programme on the All India Radio. The programme was suddenly interrupted to announce the names of the 15 selected candidates, his name being one of them! Life gives events for achievements and celebrations. After a successful career as a diplomat spanning about three decades, he joined the Congress party and rose to become the External Affairs minister in 2004. But then, came the shocker- he was "found to be a beneficiary" in the Iraq’s oil-for-food scam and was later kicked out of the Congress.

All should wonder whether only one person from India can be held responsible for a scam of such huge magnitude. In fact, Congress party's name too had cropped up, but the issue was buried soon. Unlike the recent times when the spirits of the awakened India are such that every scam like Commonwealth, 2G or Coalgate is torn apart and exposed by the media, this scam of the UPA1 govt escaped the public's eyes pretty quickly. The question is- Did Natwar Singh have a choice to say ‘no’ to this scam and still continue as the External Affairs minister of the country? Was he a victim of the flood of corruption that has drowned this country? I feel like pointing out how life, after giving you the best of the best in your earlier years, can throw you in a jeopardy later, where you have no choice but to either take sides of the truth and fight back the tsunami of corruption or to support the corrupt and try to hold your position, which, as we can see now, eventually leads to a massive downfall. But then, the integrity of a person is only tested in such situations. Are you willing to risk your convenience, pleasures, position, comfort and friends to fight against the tides of evil around you?

Manmohan Singh’s story is no different. Scaling through success during his earlier years- from being the RBI Governor to the man who saved India from the severe financial crisis in the early 1990s, he landed up in a net of corrupt Congress politicians in the UPA2 govt. But was he willing enough to hold on to his ethics and fight back?

But unlike Natwar Singh and Manmohan Singh, where you get trapped in a net, some people simply fall prey to their inner greed. Take for example, Rajat Gupta, one of the most famous global CEOs from India. He too has a story to tell. He belonged to
the Indian middle-class- the son of a freedom fighter who went to jail during India’s freedom struggle. Rajat lost his father at the age of 16 and his mother two years later. Being orphaned in his teens, he faught back and ranked 15th in the competitive IIT JEE examination. He graduated in Mechanical engineering from IIT Delhi. From campus, he bagged the elite ITC job offer, only to reject it later in order to pursue an MBA from the prestigious Harvard Business School. He mentions that the first time he saw an aircraft was when he visited the ITC office to inform them that he would not be joining them! His rise to success is very inspiring. But then, what made him lose his path and do something stupid that ruined all the respect that he had earned?? Life can be a very tough learning experience till the very end of it!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Yeh Jawani Hai Diwani!!


Every good movie has a particular scene or dialogue that touches us. I watched Yeh Jawani Hai Diwani recently. Barring a few mis-placed parts, the movie was simply awesome! And the best scene of the movie for me-

The character Bunny (played by Ranbir Kapoor) wants to go around places and see, experience the world. But in that one scene in the movie, where Naina (played by Deepika Padukone) makes him realize that she need not go anywhere else to ‘get it’, she has it all here. For California ki dhoop, she has Mumbai ki baarish; for berry cheese cake, she has gajar ka halwa; for Norway mein opera, she has Maratha Mandir mein DDLJ. Life has everything every where, but fulfillment is now here.. and not where you are not. And if Bunny is craving to go somewhere else to ‘get’ something else, he would miss the beautiful sunset that’s there in front of him at that moment in that scene.

Life throws so much uncomfortable situations to Bunny to make him realize this.. while he’s away from home and into his adventures, he loses his father and gets to know about it only a week later.

Purpose of Pain


I often wondered why God has made experience of physical pain a part of this universe. So many times, people fall ill or meet with accidents and go through so much physical pain. But in the last few days, I realized somethings-

Recently, I had very bad pain in my wisdom tooth. The dentist told me that it needs to be removed. I promptly agreed for the extraction and accepted the pain that the procedure would inflict on me. Now, having learnt and practiced to live in the present moment at least in a few situations, I kept my self away from anxiety of future pain, till, eventually when I settled down in the dentist’s operating chair. At that time, all the thoughts of my daily chores disappeared and fear gripped me! Right from when he applied local anesthesia and injected pain-killers in my mouth through syringes, I had dropped all my other intentions, worries and tasks aside and only kept praying, surrendering and asking Guruji- why am I supposed to go through all this? By the grace, the procedure was completely smooth and painless! But, I realized that possibly, I have an answer for the purpose of pain in life- at least for those moments of anticipated pain, I forgot everything else and brought myself in the present moment and in prayers. The intention of pain, whether physical or emotional should be to bring a person to surrender and prayers at least for some time.

A Beautiful Poem!



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Are we in a conflict?


When is it that we fail to handle a situation and react? It looks like when our mind is in anger and ego, or in longings and desires.

Especially during conflicts, our mind has a tendency to hit back. And every time when we fail to respond, we increase the amount of work that we need to do in order to get free.

As we know, when situations outside and inside are hot, only more ugly things happen. So, this is the time to hold on and accept the present situation, whether a set back or an adjustment and let time pass by.

So, we should have a short term goal and a long term goal-

The short term goal is to move on from a conflict.

The long term goal is to keep moving on from such events that will keep on coming wherever we are.. as these events are not at all our final destination..

Pyre


My hair made a sparkling sound..
As it dissolved into the ground

My eyes closed and my body still
I enjoyed the bliss and my free will

There was no need to present or pretend
There was now- no foe, no friend

I feel so much peace and contentment
That now there’s nothing to repent or resent

With life’s riddles, I didn’t agree
But as the fire engulfed me, I was set free

The air escaped; the water, vapours
Now there were no laughters, no tears

The space was free, the earth into ashes
The fire released me, finally into infinity..

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Should I be firm? Or should I let go?


There’s one common trait that we always observe in leaders- inner conviction. They take risks and walk the uncertain path, while others wither away.

Actually, to a certain extent, every person exhibits leadership. That’s why he able to take his decisions. The degree of leadership depends on the degree of firmness- how much pressure can one swallow?

This firmness seems powered by ego. So you also see some leaders dead, but not bent- like Muammar Gaddafi, Prabhakaran, Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussain.

So how many leaders exhibit the ability to judge when to be firm and when to let go? And does letting go mean not being a strong leader?

Life of Pi


There's one thing that clearly stuck me in this movie-

When Pi is completely helpless and gives up, he ends up at a strange island which saves his life. And when he is done with the island and he realizes that his life would be stagnant there, he moves on to find the real land.

Now, if God had wanted, instead of landing him on that strange island, God could have landed Pi up at the real land itself. But that did not happen in the movie. And so also in life. We have to continue to sail, and never give up. We have no option to stop. We can rest, take a break, relax for some time and then, again get back to sailing..


But then, I have another question- What is it exactly that I am supposed to achieve?

I feel, when I realize that there is actually nothing to achieve, no target to greatly chase, but to only live each day and do the things that come my way.. maybe peace would dawn and I would come back to the present moment.

But still, there has to be a goal.. and also an awareness that except for the sporadic time bound frustrations, the real contentment is in effort, not in actually achieving the goal.

Sensitivity


Mind is a very complex thing. If your mind is sensitive to a particular thing, it does not mean that it is sensitive to other things in life as well. And life keeps bombarding you with situations where you have to put efforts on things you are temporarily insensitive about or else face pain. For eg. I was not sensitive about fixing the leaking taps properly in my previous flat which was wasting a lot of water daily. So my new flat too had leaking taps.

Its simple, till sensitivity does not arise and you do not put efforts on resolving certain things that come in your life, they will never leave you and keep pinching you, demanding attention. Mind gets occupied with so many things and busy schedules. But amidst such schedules, when you experience pinch and sensitivity to a neglected thing and put efforts to resolve it, you are released, your peace comes back again.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Lust


Sometimes when on the streets, we happen to cross by a beautiful girl, a wave of attraction and lust arises in us and we feel like looking at that girl more. There is an urge to seek pleasure and the eyes want to see more. And we try to peep at the girl in bits and pieces at every possible instant till she is in sight. Of course you do not stare at her frankly and openly by turning your neck too much as it would be considered uncivilized and you are supposed to be mannerly and civilized! So you crave to look at her in whatever intervals you can.. and finally when she is out of sight, there is a mild feeling of unfulfilled cravings and disturbance and may be a bit of guilt if you had got to stare too much of her and had considered her an object for a few moments.. the mind is certainly not at peace!

But have you ever noticed that this experience by itself is quite unpleasant, unsettling and unwanted from within? It makes our mind crave for a pleasure and that craving stays unfulfilled at that moment. Is it enjoyable? However, even if a craving does get fulfilled anytime, that peace of fulfillment normally vanishes quite soon and we left with experiencing only more cravings. This is a never ending story of our mind getting caught up in vasanas and we continuing to destroy our present moments, until a saturation point is reached and we finally want to be out of it. May be chant om namah shivay and get free.

So then, next time if you happen to spot a nice looking girl around you and you experience cravings, how do you deal with it? Just recollect that it is actually an unpleasant, unwanted experience that’s come to you only to destroy your inner peace. And the desire to look at that person will only increase the unpleasantness.. and she’s not the only one.. the world is super-filled with such objects of cravings, but you need not continue to look at anybody and get more trapped.. its better be with the self and be peaceful. And despite knowing this, if your passive actions are not willing to listen to your past experiences and knowledge, then just leave it and chill!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

RELEASE!


Every morning the day begins,
with an ambition to work and a dream to win

Each day has its own story;
time reveals the setback and the glory

But do we always do our best?
And let the nature do the rest?

Busy we should be till we live.
Coz there’s so much to achieve!

But why are we always so keen?
Is there always a need for discipline?

Mind plays its own games;
sometimes it drives and sometimes it pains!

Events come and hit our bum.
Sometimes we cry and sometimes have fun!

Through all events, we emerge pure.
As we accomplish something for sure.

Learning from past, we march ahead.
And continue we all to climb the grade.

But our slate is never clean.
Into the thoughts our minds always lean.

Each day our senses, we please.
But from these patterns, when will I release?

Everyday I observe the skies.
But still don’t know where the mystery lies.