Tuesday, February 7, 2012

East, west and a traveler

My thoughts have been racing lately trying to figure out what is the best way to live. Of course, I haven't figured it out or I would be the best of all the saints and sages the world has ever seen but from my observations through 25 years of life and my travel across eastern civilization to the heart of western civilization, I have learnt a thing or two that I wish to share. Wish I could write a long parenthesis on this issue but I intent to make it short and keep myself from wondering.
What I could pull off now is to write about that one thing which in any way should not be a part of your life. My little knowledge and experience may not give me the rights to do so but I often find pleasure in debunking my own limits and reconsider my rights. After reading this blog, some might criticize me for advocating right or wrong, some will stay indifferent and some might appreciate it(shut up jimm..don’t overestimate yourself). I am comfortable with all of it since everyone has their own subjective world and my world is not better or fairer than yours. You’re right but I am not wrong either. That’s the essence of this blog.
Though I cannot say that I have travelled across the length and breadth of India geographically, but my eyes have seen and my heart has journeyed through the depth of wide variety of cultures, religion, tradition and people. From the half naked to the man eating tribes, from the struggling middle class to the pompous upper class, from the men who collects pennies to buy a morsel of rice to the men who does the same to buy a sniff of crack, I think I have seen it all. In other words I have seen two extremities of world blend together or part away further. Few lived myself and few experienced as an observer. During the course of my journey I had many complaints, disappointments, awe-inspiring moments, appreciation and frustrations as well. In many occasions I opposed the things I disliked and patronized the things I appreciated. However, whatever my reactions were then, now when I think about it I consider myself very fortunate to be able to move around places. Thanks to my Military friend, my father. The little I saw and experienced has enriched my thinking and has taught me to be more open to new things and new experiences. And all of it summed together has taught me one thing so vital that I cannot imagine living my life and anyone else living their lives without it. It’s like hammering a nuclear bomb every night under your bed and just waiting for it to explode. I will talk about it later.
That was inside the periphery of my country, the core of eastern civilization and now I am here at united states which is the heart of western civilization. The land of opportunities, country with a city like New York, the Land of Mc Donald’s, pizza hut, the habitat of Hollywood and the country which dropped nuclear bomb and killed thousands at the blink of an eye. This country itself has this uniqueness of its own. This country is as mighty as any country can ever get and also as vicious and dark as one can ever imagine. Once again here I see two extremities of the world blend together and at the same time fight for their survival. When I boarded my flight to come to US my mind was overwhelmed with the pictures, perceptions, thoughts and expectations of what this country and its people would be like. All I knew, saw and read about this country in books, magazines, television and internet appeared as a whirlpool inside. I was very excited and it was obvious for me to have my own feel good perception about this new place. Its more than a year now and I am still exploring this country with the people I meet everyday and friends that I make. I must say ,my prestructured perception about this country faired just 50% and the rest goes to the surprises and exceptions which I see every now and then. This country is not just what I expected it to be, its different; disappointing at occasions and awe-inspiring in many. It has its own blend of people; unique, ignorant, indifferent, aware, responsible etc. I never knew that there will be people who so devoutly follow a sect of Christians so orthodox and conservative like any other similar orthodox religion, currently existing. This state is majorly populated by such people, few very proud of it, few who wants you to convert and some who are totally indifferent. I have had a roommate myself who criticized this religion which his family followed and wanted to run away from it. He was a funny guy who cracked jokes on the stereotypes and drawbacks of his religion. And yet there are people who don’t judge this extreme as right or wrong but don’t want to participate themselves. I have also met people here in this town that are 80 years old and have never gone out of this state and visited other places in his very own country, leave alone stepping outside in some foreign land. They were not poor, not in jail, as free as a bird to go anywhere they wanted but they just chose not to go anywhere else. That broke my heart. When asked, they said why they need to go anywhere else when they have it here everything they want. That shattered my heart further into pieces. But the positive side was that they further lead the discussion into the people around the world and they wished best for all. The disappointment that punctured deep down into my bone were people who justified their point by saying that they are living in the best place in the world and they cared least about people in the rest of the world. I am with no words when I face people of such kind. But all I am cautious about is not to criticize and judge them but, if possible, ask them what made them think so. I chose not to judge them because I never know what I would do if I was exposed to the same circumstances and situations as they were. There is a possibility that I might do the same if I were them. In some way I believe its not their fault in all terms but a part also goes to the environment and the circumstances that shaped them. It’s not that people of such kind only exist in this place but its prevalent everywhere, even in India. I don’t know if my parents have the same opinion about other country at least, though they have travelled pretty much the major part of India. This is the point where the subjective world comes in and people have all the points to justify it right in their own terms.
That was just one example and all I want to say is that even though people, their opinions, and the world in some way looks twisted and all messed up, it’s wiser not to judge them because we are in their shoes when we do so. We get down to the same standard that we are complaining about. We become the stereotypes, the hypocrites who want these people to stop judging the world and adopt a broader outlook but judge them at the same time for their own shrewdness. I know some might argue that in such cases you cannot sit and quietly listen to such stupid arguments and let them go away with proving themselves right. The thing is that,any correction won’t work since such confident arguments yet totally stupid comes from lifetime of one headed thinking and if you are to change them then you have to erase their past and all they have in their minds. The best thing you can do is to ask them to travel or hand them a paid holiday ticket to someplace very different than they have ever seen.
In my opinion the best way to start living a meaningful life is to keep our minds open and perceptive to all kinds of experiences. If possible, then take a chance to live that experience practically and yet keep away from belonging to any of it. Sense of belonging is truly a virus and it’s the birth place of judgmental emotions and biased opinions. Adventure is more in mind and it gives room for big and courageous heart which is not scared to step out of its comfort zone and live life in all circumstances. Its like a traveler who travels across the world and yet calls none its home. The wide blue sky, the air, the land and the people all around the world is where he belongs. Culture, religion, race and color are in the ‘to be strictly avoided’ list. To add to it I would like to share one of the best facebook status I have seen in years which truly exemplifies the essence of my blog. “My hometown is nowhere, my friends are everywhere. I grew up with the knowledge that home is where the heart is and the family….
Mobility is my way of life. Some would wonder about roots, yet they are as deep and strong as the mighty oak. I sink them quickly, absorbing all an area offers and hopefully, giving enrichment in return. Travel has taught me to be open. Shaking hands with the universe, I find brotherhood in all men. Farewells are never easy. Yet, even in sorrow comes strength and ability to face tomorrow with anticipation….
If when we leave one place, I feel that half my world is left behind. I also know that the other half is waiting to be met. Friendships are formed in hours and kept for decades. I will never grow up with someone, but I will mature with many. Be it inevitable that paths part, there is constant hope that they will meet again. Love of people, respect and pride fill my being when Old Glory passes in review. When I stand to honor that flag,the flag of the world, I stand in honor of all people, and most especially, to the free spirited ones, the global citizens and the travelers”. I think it defines me pretty much and that’s where comes ‘that one vital thing’ I was talking about which you can’t live without. You can’t live your life without such openness and free attitude. If you are then you’re killing yourself every minute.
And yet again I am here to see America from the eyes of an American.
Hope I didn’t sing my own eulogy.
‘Travelling is poison to the bigoted, narrowminded and the opinionated’
Mark twain

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Why didn't Einstein explain impression

May be this blog of mine will be considered redundant just like the other ones. Ha ha....that's the perception of my own blogs after I write them and read them over and over again. Strange isn't? Signature move of a weirdo!
How would someone define an impression of a person? An overly simple question that psychologist’s are not interested to answer and laymen’s don’t care. Einstein’s theory of relativity could not accommodate the idea of human impression which is so arbitrary by its nature from individual to individual. His theory failed big time (Note: I am not playing Einstein here….I am just playing with the balls of his relativity theory. After all, I don’t make sense at all. Why do you care? ).
There are lots of yardsticks, personal and general, that a person employs to judge another person. I should rather say impression and judgment is synonymous to each other, at least in this sense if you're getting me (wait! am I lost?...oh no! I am still doing fine). Your impression of a person is the person’s performance in you judgmental head. Apparently, we all have our experiences with weirdoes, mavericks, nice people and the folks of the fourth kind out there which refines our criteria of judging a person. And these experiences are most often the tools we use to judge another person. But what if you meet someone who is not at all in the equation you laid out to explain the riddle of someone's impression on you? (Eh! good question Jimmy...but no one is interested)
Sometimes we meet people exactly of that kind- 'The Square pegs in the round holes'. The outlaws of the accepted notion. Such people have defied my own beliefs then and again and have forced me to rethink my own prejudices. I like this challenge of proving myself wrong.
I met this person (names withheld due to sensitivity of the issue) a month or two ago and since then I am constantly reshaping my mind in the process of understanding him/her. Let me make the subject feminine to make things easy. So, slowly she is turning out to be one of the most interestingly intellectual, brutally thought defying yet warm and a sensitive person I came across. Being quoted as 'brutally thought defying' is credited to the sabotage of my perceptions one after another by her. When I observe her and ponder on the kind of human species she belongs to, I come to realize that she's not one of the kind’s that are often found. When I look at her she looks like the happy go lucky person but the very next moment or little later her actions and thoughts proves me dead wrong. What emerges is a person that is careful and thoughtful of what she does and even though she screws up things, she knows she is screwing it up for sure. To me that is acute awareness ;-)....One moment I'll start believing she is not intelligent but then again a fork will stuck on the road and she will make me realize 'what intelligence is not', labeling me a fool. Talking to her gives an impression that she is just another sheep in the herd of everyone else but when I count my sheep I find that she is some extraterrestrial breed in disguise of an earthly sheep, with better awareness than the rest. However she gets all the fun being in the crowd and makes it hard for any casual onlookers to spot.

I being an extreme extrovert and a recluse sometimes can offend and confuse people quite often. Some have complained me of being irate. However she is the life of a party and can bring smile on anyone's face, even the most pissed off one with bipolar disorder (oops!). She is one of the persons I know who has never ending interest in life and looks at it as it unfolds, with all the curiosity. People can't stand to lose her company and she can't escape the attention either. Indeed she enjoys the attention. I don’t know my neighbors but she does, exemplifying her friendliness and amazing ability to interact seamlessly with people. Sometimes it makes me wonder how she pulls it off so cool, certainly a matter of envy for me.
One thing that I can never escape to look into people is the flexibility of their minds and thoughts. My idea of intelligent and intellectual elite starts with the foundation of a beautiful mind which is accommodative to all kind of different ideas and is not hardwired to become strongly biased towards one or the other. Majority of the people in this world is enslaved by the biased values of the society and it’s always an excitement to see someone break the gates and choose to live by herself. This trait is her signature stroke and that’s where I was bitten by her. Though this may be little premature to say since I have not seen her putting this trait of her into action but the magnitude and dimensions of conversations we had makes me believe that she is a free thinker and is aware of her thoughts. And if she is not I would suggest her to be one. She can’t lose this. That will piss me off…;-)
She is a curious wondering soul who wants to know things and if she is interested she can be all over it. She is one of those in a class who would stop a hysteric bunch of students laughing on a stupid looking idea and say ‘Hey, look! This guy may not make sense at all but let’s just try to see why he thinks so?’ It’s not just her beautiful mind that made the cut on my list of very impressive people but also the beautiful, compassionate and innocent person she is. I don’t know how far should I go to describe her impression on me but I think I better stop here and wait for her actions to do the talking. The time ahead will further refine her impression on me. Some of the things I have said might sound little exaggerative and premature but those are just the projections of my understanding of her. And even I am wrong I hope this exaggerated eulogy will at least make her live up to its expectation. However, the choice is all hers.

Monday, December 20, 2010

LSD-Love,sex and deception

LSD----LOVE SEX ‘AUR’ DECEPTION……………………………….
LSD, oh yeah, I have heard about it and may be will have one for myself. I am once bitten but not twice shy. It keeps coming. The trip is so transcendental that you start having out of body experience and when you are back into reality, the hangover never lets you sleep. Oh common now, I am not talking about the drug counterpart LSD but the Acronym of life -LSD-love,sex and deception. The drug LSD gets you divinely creative at least for minutes or hours, even Steve jobs have had his own share of LSD in Goa after which he went on to create his own different apple, but the LSD of life is rather destructive than creative.
You will never find a concoction as fatal as LOVE, SEX AND DECEPTION. May be more than a quarter of people in this world drank this concoction and lost their lives. Ha ha ha ha what an incredible tragedy. But I wonder how did Shakespeare survived and went on to create and preserve the LSD events for the ages to come.
Well let’s try to look at this riddle by using mathematics. In the following lines to come we will design a ‘parabolic graph’ of LSD. Surprisingly it is very typical to the conventional parabolic motion graph of a stone thrown in the air, with the only difference that the LSD parabola resembles more like the motion of a stone thrown 90 degree up in the air destined for a straight and steep fall. Contrasting to the conventional wisdom of mathematics, in ‘mad-o-matics’ all the three variables; love/sex/deception are positioned at y-axis. Time is at Y-axis. Follow the graph below for thorough understanding. However, now I have decided to name this graph as a ‘Pencil nip graph’ because of its appearance similar to a sharp pencil nip.
please refer to the graph you see....

So you can see in the graph that the log phase i.e. the extra exponential rise of love and sex in a relationship, is represented by line OA and the 'uber decline phase' in deception by line AB. One year is taken as the standard time for one period of LSD. The graph can continue further or cease depending on the nature of the persons involved and how often they fall in a relationship. Hence LSD is directly proportional to the fidelity record of two persons involved in a relationship.
Out of all the three variables; Love, Sex and deception, love and sex are complimentary to each other while deception is an attribute or a factor which shows up with time. Deception may be sensual or by chance but this does not make any difference to the formation of LSD.........Whatever it is, DECEPTION IS THE KEY and it is there to rock your bed of life.......

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


More than half of the world may say that giving religion to the world was the wisest thing done by the men from history. Sometimes I couldn’t refrain from the temptation of this loaded statement and have said yes with the crowd. The idea I had about it was in a denominations of fractions mathematically. I didn’t know religion but I knew which god to pray. I knew to go in a temple to pray but not in a mosque or a monastery. And I didn’t know what religion had to do with so many people but I knew that when majorities of hands are raised for something it’s safer to lift my hands too. I was taught that way and I followed it sincerely.

I grew up and grew older with time. I grew wiser and foolish at the same time. I confronted two different persons inside me but failed to differentiate the wise and the fool. The World was my frame of observation. All my trials of judgement turned futile as I repeatedly failed to figure out the wise and the fool. I bought time for long and finally opened my eyes to a new found truth.

I found that I am not bicameral like U.S senate or like the equation of government-opposition system of Indian parliament. I am one and two different individual cannot exist inside me; the wise and the fool at the same time. This illusion rests in the simple fact that I viewed myself and all the other things from the prism of this world which consists of me, you, them, and all the miseries and prejudices. Now I walk faster ahead of myself to see who I am and it gives me pleasure to know that the wrinkles on my forehead tells my story of chasing wisdom. I am a wiser and better man than before. The boy I was has escaped the ablution of this predator world to become a good man!...doubtful??

Now when I ponder over the thoughts of this world appreciating, applauding and endorsing the achievements of religion in humanity I can’t refrain from doubting its very own foundation. I travel back to my past to pull my hands down which was once raised to promote religion. I am afraid to see that the damage it has done is way more profound and widespread than its celebrated achievements. To see its destructive forces it is not necessary to take refuge in the facts, figures and statistics of religious catastrophes but to simply observe ourselves, our thought process, our prejudices, other people like our family, friends, colleagues, enemies, their lives, their thinking, their likes and dislikes, their choices, their opinion and their feelings on religion. It gave me a sinking feeling when I found their beguiled realities veiled in their soul which is extremely disparaging.

Our mind and feelings speak all of it loud. We are not at all free from religious prejudices how much ever we deny. It is like a parasite which doesn’t leave. It is present in our shortest of sayings, smallest of actions and deepest of feelings. It has ingrained in our everyday life without much hassle and has become a staple food for thought. I see the thought of religious difference in my neighbour’s 7 year old boy, I see it in his eyes, I see it in the priest taking his rounds in a temple or a fakir, a monk doing his service in a mosque or a monastery, I see it in my best friend, my mentor, my locality, my city and in my family. Everyone is infected where I shall run. I can’t look for solace in solitude as I am also infected and carry the parasite too.

These ill feelings, prejudices, religious differences do not always culminate in a communal clash, fight or religious tension. It also does not mean necessarily that all the people with such sentiments are bad human beings and a danger to the society. It’s just that we have become accustomed to such living and we don’t consider it wrong. This is the trajectory of our manner of reconciliation with religious intolerance and we call it secularism. This is not healthy and beneath it lays the most unseen danger of humanity. A quite danger which resides in silence of our sophisticated but ignorant lives. This danger may not manifest itself as ugly faces of war between two nations of different religious principles, communal riots or disharmony in the near future but as a disturbance to individual inner peace, enlightenment, relationship, love, respect, friendship, self harmony, conditioning of mind, attaining wisdom, and self realization. These effects are immediate and it multiplies billion folds by captivating human minds all across the world. That makes it the most fatal of all the possible dangers of any kind. And sooner or later all the resentments and disharmony of these infinite people will certainly culminate into the most catastrophic times of humankind. Moreover an old adage says that ‘peace in the world much depends on an individual’s peace with himself’.

To illustrate the point I would like to share an incident that happened with me. I was on a college trip to Goa with my college friends. It was the beginning of the year and all were in elated moods. Much to the demand of the crew we decided not to leave any of the known places and beaches unexplored. The legendary St. Francis Xavier of Assisi church in Goa and some age old temples were our final stop by’s after an exhausting weeklong visit across the wilderness of beaches. Everyone in the crew were bonded together like glue to each other, giggling and celebrating every moment until the time when few decided not to go to the temple. The reason, the same old thing; it’s not a good place for me and I am not supposed to go there. I don’t belong to this religion. Happy faces turned pale, suspicious, and cynical. Groups were formed and resentment made its way swiftly across our sentiments. Though nothing much happened after but the trip did not end in a good spirit.

I did not question the act as I have no authority but it left a deep impact in my thinking. People from my known circle acted in a silly way I had never imagined. They are educated and from established cross section of the society supposed to guide the ignored and the underprivileged but when such thoughtless action were delivered from their kitty, situation looked bleaker than ever. When smallest of such actions can send repercussions to the vulnerable sentiments of human hearts for a long time to come, how we can imagine of any peace at the first place. One such act dissolves all the goodness, harmony and camaraderie between people known to each other from years. It divides heart and brings distances. Years of togetherness ends and forgotten by one whimsical act. This is the misery of religion and to me it is unacceptable that religion is the best gift to humanity.

If all of us look at our own pasts and can recall every moment when we had ever praised a religion to be superior, ever advocated for it, ever denied a friendship for religious difference, ever belittled someone for it, ever refrain from helping, ever felt our feet stopped by a religious meanness or even for once harboured the feeling of religious bigotry in our thoughts, remember, each of those times we have documented a crime in our own little means. Each of those times we have resurrected a wall on our way to self illumination. And knowingly or unknowingly we have contributed to a bad cause. The feeling of belonging to any religion is also an act of crime, from it projects all the prejudices, attachments and destruction.
This is not religion. It never taught to divide and isolate. It would be too shallow to live with a misinterpreted meaning of religion. While the misread notion of religion is stopping a father from accepting or considering the love of his son or daughter, making a lover to give up on love, stopping two neighbours from communicating, indulging nations in wars, making someone bereft from his basic needs, creating hierarchy, creating divisions, dividing friends, and creating chasm in mankind, the eternal meaning and purpose of religion looks antediluvian. Sometimes I wonder thinking about the overwhelming responses that will make me numb when these fundamentalists, religious proponents and hypocrites would be asked to define religion. What they say will not change religion but it will certainly change and misguide minds.

As far as I have understood religion I think it is simple to comprehend and can be described in a simplest way. Please remember, I am not giving a new definition to religion but I am debunking what religion is told to be.” Religion is not something that gives you comfort, security and happiness by crying the eulogy of someone. If you dedicate all your mind, understanding and native intelligence to some name, some God or whatever then what is left for you. It is no less than slavery. Then why do you live at the first place. You become a puppet of mid day hypnosis. Be a light to yourself and guide your own path. Don’t go by your instincts, your memory or your experiences as they are all projections of your thoughts which are the product of your past. Simply observe your mind and its nature without any influences of past, thought, prejudices or anything of any kind. The decision it makes then is your religion and that is right.” It is not so easy though. It needs great penetration, complete concentration and observation. It may sound utterly stupid but much descent and thoughtful than the publicly accepted, so called stupendous religion. This is how I would like to understand religion in simplest words.

Just like a shepherd would never misguide his sheep, a sound, fresh and active mind can never misguide itself to a wrong action. But Religion does it. I show my love to Krishna or Jesus, Allah, Buddha or whatever, and then it sends resentments to another person who differs in his choice of God. Then the same old story follows. What a silly thing it is. How great is religion...damned religion! It is biased and racist....

We do good things and pray God hoping that we will get something good from him as reward or he won’t let us burn in the ‘Lake of fire (hell)’. We do all the sins in life and finally take his refuge for the fear that we will be punished and we can’t reach heaven after death. It’s all insecurity, desire and fear in the end. That defines our existence haaan?.....What a miserable circle of thoughts and principle we are surrounded with. Men from history did their greatest mistake in making religion and all its Gods. God himself must be ashamed of what has been made out of him.
I openly debunk all of it. I don’t belong to any of them. I don’t know their principles, don’t follow their guidelines and don’t listen to their lies. I just belong to me and I wish to live and die without any titles on me.

I wish I could shoot religion and all its Gods should I had the most powerful gun in the universe. All the problems of the world would come to an end...... No fights, no afghan, no Iran, no terrorism, no minority, no majority and no discrimination. World in its most beautiful form with all the beautiful people. One united world with one thinking and one goal. The world looks extremely beautiful and peaceful this way. Isn’t? Don’t you think this could be the one solution to everything????........................................................................................................................................No, no, no! Not at all. Religion is the product of our mind and destroying it don’t bring any difference. Religion is an abstract well presented by mind. Mind is the source and the cause. Religion is not the target, mind is. Fault is in our consciousness, reasoning and in our very own minds. Fault is in our acceptance, desires and ignorance. We wish to live in an imaginary security from an imaginary fear. Can we drop all what we have learnt and been taught? Can we free ourselves from all the burdens of religious dogmas, propagandas, beliefs, political agendas and so on? Can we use what we have and recover what we have lost? Can we rely on our native intelligence and find together the real meaning of Love, compassion and God? Can we pledge to become a free thinker???????..........................If no, then mind is the cult. So shall we shoot the billions of minds? Or you will shoot your own mind?