Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Manipal to Mumbai...My first visit

I remember an incident of my college days; 1st semester in the college (MIT, Manipal) was over. We were heading back to our home. It was in Jan, 2003. I arrived in Kurla through Konkan railway. The connecting train (Mumbai-Patna super fast) was on next day from Kurla. Therefore, I planned to stay overnight in my aunt's place in west Santa Cruz. I took an auto...

No sooner did the auto join the traffic flow on one of the roads than I realized that I have reached hell. Vehicles honking from all sides, suffocating smoke coming out of exhausts of vehicles, stinging smell emanating from heaps of garbage.

Now this experience was not new to me. But the first five months of life in Manipal made me forget the harsh "reality" of almost all big cities in India.

Manipal is a small "university" town in coastal Karnataka, about 60 kms south of Mangalore. It is situated on rocky hinterland of a village known by the name Madhav Nagar (but everyone calls it Manipal). Beauty of Manipal cannot be described in words.

To feel it one must be there!

The most I can say here is that my first journey from dreamland to reality was nothing less than a revelation!

Friday, March 19, 2010


It's all about me, me, me.

No regulation and no decree

Flying high, free, free, free...

No bounds, to bound the spree

Come what may be

Open your eyes to see, see, see...

A drop of water

A drop of water on the petals of a newly blossomed flower... is an expression of freshness.

A drop of water in the eyes of beloved... is an expression of love.

A drop of water in the remote interiors of a desert... is an expression of life.

A drop of water in a white cloud... is an expression of hope.

A drop of water in the mouth of a dead... is an expression of liberation.

A drop of water and a drop of water and another drop of water... makes a ocean.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hope Eluding...

Some time back I wrote A Life Yet To Lead. I felt then that it was nothing more than jugglery of words. But when I sit down to assimilate the essence I strongly feel it is outpour of an overwhelmed heart. Superficially I may appear ascetic outwardly but deep down inside there are cravings and worst of all frustration from my inaction. Day in and day out I see, read and feel stories about capable people going down the pages of history in anonymity. Lost for ever.

I feel like Frodo Baggins who volunteers to take the Ring to Mount Doom in The Lord of The Rings. Hope eluding him at every step yet he kept moving.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Girls Of Delhi

I completed my 10th in 1997, fortunately, securing good marks in the board exams. But my father was sure not to send me to Delhi for further studies. The one and the only reason being," Dilli ja ke tum sirf dilli ki ladkiyon ko dekhega. Padhai nahi karega." (If you go to Delhi you'll only do bird-watching and no studying).

That was his assured assessment of the elder son!

With all due considerations and thinking done Ranchi was considered the safest bet. Added benefit (as was cited to me later) was the climate of the place (once upon a time, Ranchi was called the Summer Capital of Bihar...I do not know when...)

But I had altogether a different view. "So girls of Ranchi are not as beautiful as that of Delhi!" This was the melancholic conclusion of a teenage boy. Alas! my faculties were deprived of natural evolutionary mechanism that would have empowered me to appreciate natural beauty in full glory and precision!

After all it is the natural law of evolution of thoughts and emotions and feelings; firstly love to appreciate then appreciate to love...


I'll never forgive my parents for this irretrievable loss. Alas! with mall-nourished and under-developed faculties I moved on!

After spending three of my precious (curtailed evolutionary) years in the dry lands of Ranchi's heartland I came back to Deoghar, my native place.

While in Ranchi, my old friends who too came from Deoghar, enlightened me about The Theory of Hidden Beauty Treasure in Deoghar. The theory, by these friends of mine who were more adventurous and less God fearing (the latter is my assumption to simplify the narration) than I was, stated that there are hidden beauty treasures in houses adjoining the narrow lanes of the Panda-Gali in Deoghar. These Goddess of Beauty gave darshan to their bhaktas only on auspicious occasions of Chatt-Puja, Rakhsha Bandhan, Durga Puja and sometimes even during Saraswati Puja.

My friends, and I can call them enthusiastic scientists in their own capacity, patiently waited for these momentous episodes of time to successfully prove and reprove, with never failing zest and zeal, the above mentioned theory by satisfactorily applying the well established scientific procedure of Experimentation, Observation and Inference.

Unfortunately, I was always deprived of these well deserved and hard earned darshans (by my own Self) because these were the occasions when I begged the Almighty for redemption and forgiveness from all sins committed (in action and/or thinking), one of being harboring the desire for these darshans. My friends would boast and cherish those darshans with heartfelt joy. Here I was every time in guilt for the self and curse for them. They were evolving and I was stagnating.

Therefore, I could never undertake those experiments. Hence, their theory (which eventually became a Law for them after being verified, time and again, on generation after generation) remained just a myth for me; even then and so now!

In the mid of year 2002 my fate took a different turn. I got admission in MIT, Manipal (known to be mini America in my part of country). To me it was opening up of new vistas of opportunity and above all freedom from shackles of ....You understand... It was my liberation. Like the Jonathan Livingstone Seagull now I could "feel" the skies above me as my destination I had dreamt of so often. Now I could feel the exuberance in my spirit in anticipation of more sophisticated, free and visually-enlightening darshans of damsel-goddesses down the tinsel town.

One opportunity (right under my nose) was lost. It was a lesson worth remembering for this life and beyond.

With all hopes and aspirations and ambitions and dreams and fantasies I landed on the moon of Manipal.

Wished reality could have been as flamboyant as our spirit!

From day-1 much sought after darshans started. The engineering campus was as deserted as the Sahara or the peak of Mt. Everest. The increasingly enervating journey (semester after semester) of engineering abyss would have been fatal had the damsel-goddesses of medical and hotel management colleges not intervened and rescued me (and others too). I owe my life to them!

I was very much satisfied by the near and far darshans at free-will in Manipal. It was more than I could ask for.

The frog of well was now learning to swim in sea (taking into consideration the fact that the specific gravity of sea water is more than that of well water).

Life moved on. The next stop was Bangalore, the fashion city of India. But I landed up there as a software engineer, the most pathetic, unruly and pardonable creature God as ever made and will ever make. The not-so-glorious 3 years in B'lore came to an end without my inkling.

By now I had reached my late twenties. The vigor and valor of late teen and early twenties was missing. The tipping point was reached when I started receiving emails and calls from my friends; some happily informing about their marriage and others about becoming father!

The darshans no longer looked glamorous. Building castle in air is not at all deplorable but things start getting blown out of proportion when the castle becomes too high to be stable in mid air. These darshans had overcasting effect on me which I started realizing slowly. I was drowning into schizophrenic world. I had to come out of it and that too soon. (An another story some other time!!!).

Finally, after crossing the age of 28 I got the much cherished dream, of my teenage, come true.

On Fool's day (1st April, 2009,) a fool was coming to the city of wise, the center of power and the symbol of justice-DELHI.

Before or as soon as I reached Delhi I came across a news about Delhi's female population that has gone up to 1004 every 1000 male. It was a good signal or a welcome gift, I thought.

More darshans in store!!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Woman Empowerment-A Small Step Taken

Someone has said long back that if you want to examine the health of a society observe the status enjoyed by women of that society.

A slight detour into our history. If we believe the scholars women enjoyed an equal status during Early Vedic Period; participated in administration, chose their husband, were educated. But slowly over a period of time their status in the society deteriorated. Things started changing after independence but the story is still far from being satisfactory.

Nevertheless, there is every reason to be optimistic about the long overdue change, adding one feather in the cap after passing of Women's Reservation Bill in the Upper House of the Parliament.

Hopefully, the Bill would get through the Lower House and half of the State Assembles too without much hitch.


Monday, March 8, 2010

Faith Or Something Else or Something More?

I have always wondered what is destiny. Well no one can foresee the future therefore, this question can be answered at the fag end of life. Whether I was destined or I carried my destiny!

Yesterday I met a lady of my mother's age. We both happen to follow the same system of meditation (called Sahaj Marg). On Sundays we have group meditation (in ashram). While returning back she gave me lift in her car. We started talking about the various aspects of a typical marriage in our society, the repercussions of not have the right parter and like stuff. As it has happened with me earlier, we instantly opened up as if we knew each other for ages! The discussion went on in general and almost suddenly, she started narrating the story of her marriage.

Her husband had left her and 3 children (2 daughters and 1 son) 15 years ago to settle with someone else. The problem in her married life started just after marriage (about 30 years ago). He was a habitual drunkard, always misbehaved with her in whatever possible ways one can think of. For the sake of children she could not leave him too. Things went on like this for 15 years. Then the day came she feared the most; he left her.

But something gave her the courage this time to take life head on. Whatever may happen she decided not to go to him. She moved on in life with conviction and above all faith. She had a job of a clerk in a public-sector bank. She was able to give good education to all her three children (I did not have the courage to ask her how she managed). Both her daughters are married and well settled and her son is a telecom engineer in Bangalore. She herself is now the Deputy Manager of the bank where she started as a clerk. She has purchased a flat, maintains a car (learnt driving recently) and a good lifestyle; all done alone!!!

The above is history today.

What she is doing now is something.... (I have no words to express it).

Some 10 days back her husband got hospitalized. When she came to know about it she went to the hospital and fulfilled her duty more as a human being than as a wife.

I am speechless!

Anyone who meets her today will be fairly impressed by her confidence, energy and enthusiasm. Alas! it has not come for free.

All these stories make me think, time and again, that Nature has a purpose to fulfill through us. When a storm passes, the surrounding never remains the same. The rigid is uprooted and the flexible continues to move on, more convincingly.

Sufferings are like storm; they come to uproot the rigidity of fear and instills the flexibility of confidence within us! But not without faith.

Faith in Almighty who is within us. Faith guides us through the torment sea like a magnetic needle. We have no control over the nature of sea but we can fairly control our nature of response. When the ship reaches the harbor safely the sailor never remains the same; he has become more wise. He now asks himself,"Was he destined to reach or had he made his destiny?"

I feel it is both plus supported with faith.