Friday, August 29, 2008

india shud rule

Tradition is something we put forward whenever we don’t try or don’t intend to try our best. Sometimes in life, the protecting shield moreover becomes a burden and not only a burden but also a hindrance in our ventures. And this is what Tradition is doing to us.

We knowingly or unknowingly, intentionally or unintentionally use it as armour against our own prosperity.

Most of us can end up firing a panegyric instead of an argument against our so called tradition.
One can avoid anything but CHANGE.But we Indians have been doing this ever since.
Moghuls reigned, English ruled and who ever came to devour us was welcomed.
That golden bird was butchered many times and was praised as an easy prey by the predators.
And guess what—at the bottom of our hearts we took it as an encomium.
We admired being praised. As we are not Germans. Ok, I would leave that for a later thought.
The English admired Indians being arduous and not archaic.
Our most noble people sang songs in praise of our new self made rulers. (Jan Gan Man by Tagore- a classic example).
Neither I nor anyone on this planet can demean the Queen’s people because it is the human tendency to conquer, to expand their territory.
But it should also be a human tendency to defend your territory. You don’t attack its ok but you don’t defend yourself, your people; you don’t erect a bulwark to safeguard your traditions; you are defying the first and foremost rule of the planet. You are serving yourself in the plates of the predators and when they have devoured the delicacy, you go out lamenting and shouting that the British robbed us. No they did not. Instead we robbed ourselves. We robbed ourselves of our values, of our courage, of our basic human insignia.
We did not spare a single thought about the outcome of all this and now here we are.

Now let me come back to where I started that is CHANGE.
We don’t accept changes. We have become as stagnant as a pond. And that pond is covered too, so no sunlight no fresh air but only smell of our own sweat. So however hard we toil our soil, we still would require fresh air, sunlight and if I may say so global exposure to flourish our lands.

And what is wrong in that. This is the era of globalization. Even the stiff and stern Chinese are changing as according to the need of the hour. They are learning from the States like no one else has ever before yet they don't let anyone interfere in their political matters. It is upto you to erect boundaries or limits.
Leaving tradition apart, consider India as a teen who has just acquired enough maturity to understand tactics of this cruel and harsh world. Now at this time it has to learn as much as possible from the giants around. It has to embellish itself with the smartness of the smart.
This is like garnishing our own pizza with toppings from around the world.
And guess what, we can select the kind of

Sophistication of the French,
Killer instinct/Engineering of the Germans,
Innovativeness of the Japanese,
Market-understanding of the Chinese,
Arduousness of the Koreans,
Diplomacy of the British,
Farsightedness of the Americas,

And whatnot…

So, who would not like this customized pizza? The pizza with our staple and toppings peculiarly selected from around the world as never done before in the history of mankind.
There may be an argument here - why should we learn from them. I say why we should not.
History is full of precedents where pupils have outsmarted their cicerone.
All we need to have is a victory over our narrow-mindedness. As known our bigotry smartly acts as bottleneck for any of our future endeavors.

So, I come to being a rebel. Show rebelliousness against our straw-like mindset.
Osho has very rightly quoted:
विद्रोह नही तो जवानी कैसी!!

Speak out against injustice, malpractice, black-marketing, and chauvinism.
Say your word. Discuss nation instead of discussing mundane sitcom or silly page-3. Our nation needs us more than a cancer patient needs chemo.
And the time is right; if we still delay this cancer would be incurable. So, act before it is too late. Act, don’t think don’t talk.
We Indians have a basic tendency of analyzing things instead of acting upon them. And hence in the process, many times we put our human instinct on bay. And after a thorough analysis which way do we opt—Ahh the safer one, the less tedious one.
We don’t invest in R & D- because America is doing it.
We don’t look after our education system properly, because politics is more important here.
Our politicians are ruined because we’re more ruined and stale.
Think about this, how many times you went for a safer side instead of listening to what your instinct told you to.
In the words of Jonathan Spencer- We never ask ourselves a simple question before foregoing our initial instinct-
"What would you do if you were not afraid?"

We never think that way- We rationalize things like no one else on this planet.
We never risk things, never risk luxury, never risk comfort and as an outcome have to RISK LIVES.
I once read these beautiful words (sorry I don’t remember where?)

Fight the tendency to quit while you are left behind.
When we trail in a race-we sit back and start enjoying the race. We have been very good admirers which is certainly admired but wont you prefer to be a participant. A watcher does enjoy a game but do you have any idea of the gratification, the gusto of the player actually involved.
So, why not be that player। Make India that player that virtuoso who not only enjoys his game but also keeps in mind that future would come apace than imagined.

Don't compare our state, our problems with the likes of US or any other nation. We have to forget the trembling past and plan for a swift and smooth future. We have to be forgetful of our own people and our own mistakes..
With these beautiful words(again don't remember where i read) i would like to finish my work for a while::::
क्षमा शोभती उस भुजंग को, जिसके पास गरल हो
उसका क्या जो विषरहित, विनीत और सरल हो


So, i am finished with Sidhhartha. Though using a word like finish is derogatory for this jewel. It invokes you to start an altogether new beginning. A beginning you were always looking for, just like Siddhartha in myriads of trifle thoughts and words stuffing our books and literature.

I can love a stone, Govinda, and also a tree or a piece of bark. This are things,
and things can be loved. But I cannot love words. Therefore, teachings are no good for me,
they have no hardness, no softness, no colours, no edges, no smell, no taste,
they have nothing but words. Perhaps it are these which keep you from finding peace, perhaps it are the many words. Because salvation and virtue as well, Sansara and Nirvana as well, are mere words, Govinda. There is no thing which would be Nirvana; there is just the word Nirvana.

A very sound thought that wisdom can not be taught. It has to be acquired and for that very sake, Siddhartha did not even stayed at the grove of Buddha. He wanted to experience life and hence gain wisdom. Hesse is a master at conveying thoughts simplistically. You almost feel for yourself the sense of veneration towards Sidhhartha. About meditation and prevailing techniques of self healing:

And Siddhartha said quietly, as if he was talking to himself: "What is meditation? What is leaving one's body? What is fasting? What is holding one's breath? It is fleeing from the self, it is a short escape of the agony of being a self, it is a short numbing of the senses against the pain and the pointlessness of life. The same escape, the same short numbing is what the driver of an ox-cart finds in the inn, drinking a few bowls of rice-wine or fermented coconut-milk. Then he won't feel his self any more, then he won't feel the pains of life any more, then he finds a short numbing of the senses. When he falls asleep over his bowl of rice-wine, he'll find the same what Siddhartha and Govinda find when they escape their bodies through long exercises, staying in the non-self. This is how it is, oh Govinda."

Till my next read bye....

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Fountainhead

Ayn Rand-the mother of Objectivism, the lady who redefined the whole definition of egoism, selfishness and above all the real human values.
Her foray into the real BEST SELLING work came with 'The Fountainhead'-Story revolving around an architect named Howard Roark. This architect is not only a fictional character depiction of a building architect but instead a society architect. A person, in whose hands we can actually give our society to mould our values, our ideologies and our thoughts.
Seldom in the history of mankind, we find a man who fight for his values, who puts on stake all the luxuries of life to pursue the core belief he has in his values.
Howard Roark is one such guy. You can't make a guy like this do wrong.
Above all the style of Ayn Rand is so gripping that you would complete this large novel in very less time than expected. The scenes she has imagined, the plot, the correlations and corollaries- they are all very fantastic.

Man cannot survive except through his mind. He comes on earth unarmed. His brain is his only weapon. Animals obtain food by force. Man has no claws, no fangs, no horns, no great strength of muscle. He must plant his food or hunt it. To plant, he needs a process of thought. To hunt, he needs weapons, and to make weapons--a process of thought. From this simplest necessity to the highest religious abstraction, from the wheel to the skyscraper, everything
we are and everything we have comes from a single attribute
of man--the function of his reasoning mind
She feels there are no comprosmises with thoughts. Hence,

But the mind is an attribute of the individual. There is no such thing as a
collective brain. There is no such thing as a collective thought. An agreement
reached by a group of men is only a compromise or an average drawn
upon many individual thoughts. It is a secondary consequence. The primary
act--the process of reason--must be performed by each man alone. We can
divide a meal among many men. We cannot digest it in a collective stomach.
No man can use his lungs to breathe for another man. No man can use his brain to think for another. All the functions of body and spirit are private. They cannot be shared or transferred.

Her definition of Altruism- made her the nail of the eyes of the dogmatic people:
Altruism is the doctrine which demands that man live for
others and place others above self.
The first right on earth is the right of the ego. Man’s first duty is to
himself. His moral law is never to place his prime goal within the persons of
others. His moral obligation is to do what he wishes, provided his wish does not
depend primarily upon other men. This includes the whole sphere of his creative
faculty, his thinking, his work. But it does not include the sphere of the
gangster, the altruist and the dictator.
Go and read this masterpiece by Rand and i assure you one thing- It would atleast make you think about various aspects of life with an altogether new approach.
You will be Randalized...

The Godfather

Godfather-first and best work of Mario Puzo.Inspiration to umpteen number of other novels, movies, serials and whatnot. The character depiction is so fantastic that you can make a clear picture of the kind of person you are reading about. The Godfather's image, his intelligence, composure, style could not have been better depicted by any other novelist ever. And how can one forget the theatrical brilliance of the movie-Marlon Brando showed all his cards and that too in one movie. Such good dialogue delivery, such classic aura, such grace, that you almost feel Ahh!! how come such perfection....That is Coppola for u but Puzo has left very less scope for modifications or enhancements...

Some of the quotes i would certainly like to share--
A lawyer with a suitcase is stronger than a thousand soldiers with their guns....
Revenge is a dish that tastes best when it is cold.

I can state a whole collection of dialogues or scenes but would like to share a couple here--

Michael had one time asked, “How come you used a guy like Luca Brasi? An animal like that?”The Don had proceeded to instruct him. “There are men in this world,” he said, “who go about demanding to be killed. You must have noticed them. They quarrel in gambling games, they jump out of their automobiles in a rage if someone so much as scratches their fender, they humiliate and bully people whose capabilities they do not know. I have seen a man, a fool, deliberately infuriate a group of dangerous men, and he himself without any resources. These are people who wander through the world shouting, ‘Kill me. Kill me.’ And there is always somebody ready to oblige them.

and here is one more

Hagen knew he was being mollified. “Maybe I can help,” he said.
Michael shook his head decisively. “You’re out, Tom.”
Tom finished his drink and before he left he gave Michael a mild reproof. “You’re nearly as good as your father,” he told Michael. “But there’s one thing you still have to learn.” “What’s that?” Michael said politely.
“How to say no,” Hagen answered.
Michael nodded gravely. “You’re right,” he said. “I’ll remember that.”
When Hagen had left, Michael said jokingly to his father, “So you’ve taught me everything else. Tell me how to say no to people in a way they’ll like.”
The Don moved to sit behind the big desk. “You cannot say ‘no’ to the people you love, not often. That’s the secret. And then when you do, it has to sound like a ‘yes.’ Or you have to make them say ‘no.’ You have to take time and trouble. But I’m old-fashioned, you’re the new modern generation, don’t listen to me.”

So, at the end i wud suggest-A must watch and a must read --The Godfather (Read it before watching--it wud b fun...)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Journey to the east

A beautifully crafted jewel, by Herman Hesse- A german philosopher, poet, novelist, and painter. Germans are very good philosophers, for instance Marx, Nietzsche, Kant and many more not only devised new ideologies but also sparked fire amongst people. Here i won't give a point favoring any of such stuff because that would be a heavy digression from our cynosure- Herman Hesse. He is so much into Indianism that on reading him it feels as if you are reading a learned NRI guru or some high profile spiritual leader.

Journey to the east is a beautiful course of his description of a league that wanted to go to the East for spiritual enlightenment. This journey could not take place because of some reasons, and all the consequences and relations are mentioned beautifully in this work.

Enjoy this captivating excerpt from Journey to the east:

I asked the servant Leo why it was that artists sometimes appeared to be only half-alive, while their creations seemed so irrefutably alive. Leo looked at me, surprised at my question. Then he released the poodle he was holding in his arms and said: "It is just the same with mothers. When they have borne their children and given them their milk and beauty and strength, they themselves become invisible, and no one asks about them any more."
"But that is sad," I said, without really thinking very much about it.
"I do not think it is sadder than all other things," said Leo. "Perhaps it is sad and yet also beautiful. The law ordains that it shall be so."
"The law?" I asked curiously. "What law is that, Leo?"
"The law of service. He who wishes to live long must serve, but he who wishes to rule does not live long."

and how can i miss this beautiful poem-

"He who travels far will often see things
Far removed from what he believed was Truth.
When he talks about it in the fields at home,
He is often accused of lying,
For the obdurate people will not believe
What they do not see and distinctly feel.
Inexperience, I believe,
Will give little credence to my song."

Right now i m reading another masterpiece of Hesse- Siddhartha..
So, expect more from me on Hesse soon....

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

As a man thinketh

Mind is the Master power that moulds and makes,
And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes
The tool of Thought, and, shaping what he wills,
Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills
He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass
Environment is but his looking-glass

Such an instigating start to the masterpiece that you can't help yourself but reading it again and again. 'As a man thinketh in his heart so is he' is the foundation on which the beautiful book rests its thought. With beautiful yet simple analogies James Allen has tried to throw light on one of the biggest secrets known to human race ever since (Recent bestseller 'The Secret' talks about this very same secret).

"Just as a gardener cultivates his plot, keeping it free from weeds, and
growing the flowers and fruits which he requires, so may a man tend
the garden of his mind, weeding out all the wrong, useless, and
impure thoughts, and cultivating toward perfection the flowers and
fruits of right, useful, and pure thoughts.
By pursuing this process,
a man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his
soul, the director of his life."

Buddha, Mahavir and all the others have always tried to preach the very same idea. Never think bad of others. Never create a universe of ill-will or evil even in thought. Because this thought materializes apace. About criminals:

"A man does not come to the almshouse or the jail by the tyranny of
fate or circumstance, but by the pathway of groveling thoughts and
base desires. Nor does a pure-minded man fall suddenly into crime by
stress of any mere external force; the criminal thought had long been
secretly fostered in the heart, and the hour of opportunity revealed its
gathered power. Circumstance does not make the man; it reveals him
to himself"

We are actually creating a world around us with our own will but probably unknowingly. So, all what we are required to do is-Do it knowingly, as desired and not merely 'as destined' because we write our own destiny. U conceive a thought in your mind about something like-
I can't reduce weight or how can i get into such a big college or i can never be a successful manager or i have to live this terrible life the way i am living it. In all these cases You are right. Because you have opted for these situations (though unknowingly but yes you have done it...), so what is the solution. As simple as that- Think positive. Think confidently. Think jovially.
And then have a look at the world around. You would be amazed how soon things have changed for you....

"So You will be what you will to be;
Let failure find its false content
In that poor word, 'environment,'
But spirit scorns it, and is free.
"It masters time, it conquers space;
It cowes that boastful trickster, Chance,
And bids the tyrant Circumstance
Uncrown, and fill a servant's place.
"The human Will, that force unseen,
The offspring of a deathless Soul,
Can hew a way to any goal,
Though walls of granite intervene.
"Be not impatient in delays
But wait as one who understands;
When spirit rises and commands
The gods are ready to obey."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Winston Churchill

Came across a biography of Winston Churchill-Prime Minister of UK during 2nd world war. A man of multifarious personality- nobel prize winner author, artist, historian , soldier, journalist and whatnot. He is considered by a few as the best orator ever. Whenever he was to speak on the radio, the announcement would be-"The lion would roar on the radio tonight".
Some of his handsome quotes:
"Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival."
"I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. "
"In those days he was wiser than he is now; he used to frequently take my advice. "
"Kites rise highest against the wind - not with it. "
"Meeting Franklin Roosevelt was like opening your first bottle of champagne; knowing him was like drinking it. "
He was initially a conservative and later on became a liberal.
He is the kind of man for whom one can say-"He lived his life to the fullest".
He opposed Indian leaders at the time of Indian independence heavily, about Gandhi, his thoughts:
"It is alarming and also nauseating to see Mr Gandhi, a seditious Middle-Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well-known in the East, striding half-naked up the steps of the Vice-regal parley on equal terms with the representative of the King-Emperor."
and about Indian Congress leaders:
"Brahmins who mouth and patter principles of Western Liberalism."
In one way or the other he hated both Indians and Nazis. But not India and Germany. That is why he was always against the Dominion Status and all the stuff about giving powers in hands of the Indians.
But even big people make mistakes...