Thursday, May 31, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
What is this thing called "Unconditional Love" that everybody seems to be after? Is any love unconditional? Ok, let's leave the gold digger/giggolo kind of love apart, still do you find unconditional love anywhere? Even a partner who loves you truly, dearly, from the bottom of their heart does expect you to love them back, don't they? Even a mother expects you to love her back even though she starts loving you from an age when you don't even know what love means.
I think the police have a name for such a person - Stalker!
Think about it, the profile fits perfectly. You don't want anything to do with him/her, he/she wants everything to do with you. Next time you ask God to give you unconditional love, you might do well to keep this in mind. According to a Chinese proverb:
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Comedy of Justice, by Robert A. Heinlein - it occurred to me that I seem
to be always buying the same books over and over again. Currently I am
re-reading 'Stranger in a Strange Land', Heinlein's Hugo award winner
novel. Before that I just finished re-reading Matt Helm's adventure 'The
Interlopers'. Trying to think 'when did I read a new book?' got me the
comforting answer that it was not too long ago that I read Heinlein's
masterpiece "Time Enough for Love". And I am actually looking forward to
receiving "Mathuselah's Children" which has the same hero - Lazarus
To believe Shakespeare, "Nothing is as tedious as a twice told tale.",
but I know for a fact that I am not the only one prone to the lure of
already-read books. There are many of us who want to pick up a book we
have already read and read it again. The question is why?
Why spend time, and often money, on a book you have already read, on a
story you already know , sometimes by heart?
To go into my own motivation I love those characters! My all time
favorite book by Heinlein is "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress". I have
recently re-read it and I still want to read it again but just
abstaining because I remember everything in too much detail right now.
I'd love to read it again after I have forgotten it a bit. The reason is
the characters, the people who live in that fantastic work of fiction,
are simply fabulous. The one-arm computer mechanic Manuel Garcia
O'Kelly, the lovable self-aware computer Mike (formal name: Mycroft
Holmes), lovely and active Gosphaza Wyoming, worldly-wise Professor, I
have come to love and admire these people. I will not go into details of
the merits of Heilein's writings in this post but the main attraction of
any story is the characters, not events. IMHO, events just bring out the
qualities of those characters. To take a non-Heinlein example, P. G.
Wodehouse's Galahead is a similarly lovable and admirable character.
Well, that's my reason, what's yours?
Monday, May 28, 2007
To borrow from chacha Ghalib I'd like to say,
"Achchha hai dil ke paas rahe paas-baan-e-aql,
lekin kabhi kabhi usse tanha bhi chhod de."
Sensible is good, it's safe and sound, free of risk. But is that all
that we are? Thinking in the long run ultimately we all have to die.
So what is the use of preserving our life so carefully only to die in
I am reminded of a simple incident on the Indira Gandhi International
Airport where an American tourist couple, who were going back to US
offered me some money. They were strangers to me and I to them, but
the money was in Indian currency and they would have no use for it
once they boarded the plane. Unfortunately, I was a passenger on the
same plane, going back to US for work, and I was basically in the same
situation as them. I told them so and they gave the money to someone
In this life we have a finite moments of life. We can use those
moments anyway we want. You cannot carry them over to the other side.
You cannot put them in a vault to wait for your next trip. You have to
spend them here and now, in this one life.
How do you spend them? What are you getting in return for them?
You spend 7 12-hour days in office and get commendation from the boss.
Was it worth it?
You spend an hour listening to your wife and her various troubles at
work and get a warm hug in return. Was it worth it?
You leave work half an hour early to pick up your girlfriend from her
office, unexpectedly, and get her sweet smile in return. Was it worth
You get home in time just so you can pick up your 2 months old
daughter and look at her smile. Was it worth it?
What exactly are we supposed to buy with this currency? What is a good
expenditure? I bet it's not all those "sensible" things.
It is said as an example of sense that you should have sense enough
to come in out of the rain. It is sensible.
What if it's the last rain you'll ever see? What if you'll never feel
the cold caress of rain drops on your face?
When was the last time you wasted the well-earned rest of Sunday
playing cricket with some neighbor kids you hardly know?
When did you ignore the sensible advice of going to bed early and
stayed up playing Antakshri with kids well past midnight?
Life is made up of moments. I think we spend moments and earn moments.
Moments that we remember all our life. Moments that make us feel
alive. Moments that define us. Moments that earn us our place in
Read Nadine Stair's poem sometime when you get a minute. She and I
think along the same lines:
I think we all need some non-sense in our lives! Don't you?
Friday, May 25, 2007
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
Friday, May 18, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
I did not wish my mother on Mother's day. Other than having weak
communication ties to the village in India where my parents are living
right now, I will first have to explain to her what is Mother's day and
what is the need for it.
Come to think of it, what is the need for it?
Reminds me of a little story.
Bhagwan Mahavir, when he was crowned the king, spent a whole day in
bestowing gifts, grants, awards, trade concessions and the like all day.
By the evening he was tired, but happy, and proud that he had made
everyone in his kingdom happy.
When he went back to the palace to eat, he realized that his mother was
the only one he had not given anything to. So he asked what it would
take to make her happy. She insisted that she was already happy but he
wanted to pay her back for all she had done for him. Finally, she agreed
to ask for something and asked something strange. She asked for Mahavir
to sleep in her room and on her bed that night. He was puzzled but he
could not make her ask for anything more. So, he agreed.
That night, when Bhagwan Mahavir lay down to sleep beside his mother, he
got up immediately with a jump.
"Mother, this bed is wet!", he exclaimed.
"Yes, I know.", his mother replied calmly.
He was even more perplexed when his mother told him that she had ordered
the servants to sprinkle water on her bed.
In an astonished state of mind, he asked for her reason and got this,
"Son, when you were a little child, you used to sleep with me. And quite
a few times you wetted the bed (no nappies then), and when that happened
I used to switch with you and put you down on the dry side and sleep on
the wet side of the bed myself. I have spent countless nights like that
sleeping on the wet bed, but if you spen this one night with me on this
wet bed, I'll call it even."
Bhagwan Mahavir fell at his mother feet. He realized then that no matter
how rich or how powerful he is, noone can pay back a mother's debt.
Anytime I am getting too big for my shoes, this little story puts things
in perspective for me.
I think it was Saint Aurbindo who said, "God could not be everywhere so
he created mothers!". I agree with him but I believe more in my mother
than in any God.
But I don't need a made-up holiday to remind me of my mother. The made
up holidays Valentine's day, Mother's day, Father's day are for people
who are too busy to respect these relations. While every one of these
days is a chance to celebrate that relationship, I believe that if you
are not cherishing that relationship every moment, then buying a dozen
roses on a particular day will do nothing for you.
Happy Mother's Day! :-)
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
Friday, May 11, 2007
times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the
hundred-and-first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the
last blow that did it, but all that had gone before.
- Jacob A. Riis
Thursday, May 10, 2007
I was thinking, if I got 3 wishes, what would I wish for?
Come to think of it, I wouldn't wish for anything. Honestly.
No, it doesn't mean that my life is perfect. But whatever is missing I
want to work for it. The struggle is as much fun as the achievement that
follows. Sometimes the struggle is more fun.
I do not believe in winning the lottery. For one thing, I have had this
conviction for a long time now, that I am not the lottery winning kind
of lucky guy. I am lucky, very lucky, but not that type of lucky.
Secondly, I have not heard of anyone making a real big splash in the
business world based on the money they won in a lottery. Lottery winners
lose the money just as easily as they win. Easy come, easy go. That's
why there is a certain value associated with "hard-earned money".
Lottery give you the money but not the sense and sensibility to handle
money that comes from working for it over time.
Where's the fun in everything just happening as you wish for it. Heaven,
to my mind, will be a very boring place! Something to strive for,
something to look forward to...that's part of our build up.
After working hard on a project, when your boss says, "Good job, Joe.
The client is very happy!" Will it have the same value if he said that
every morning you walked in no matter how hard you worked, or didn't
work at all?
I am glad I have no relatives who could leave me huge amounts of money.
(Not that I would refuse it, if I got it :) )
I still remember making my first 30Rs. Yes, that was my first income
that I earned by tutoring kids. There was a sense of pride and
achievement everytime that went up to 50, 60 or 70Rs. Small amount of
money. Chicken feed. But the feeling - priceless!
Making your first 1000, your first 10,000, your first million, your
first billion! All achievements beyond compare. All of them!
Getting your first million? Inheriting your first Billion? I don't think
I read a story about a larva that's trying to get out of its shell. A
man helps him by breaking away the shell. The larva was supposed to
slowly struggle with that shell and break it slowly, gradually, earning
his strength in that struggle, by means of that struggle. Because of the
help, it never had to struggle, never got the strength in its wings and
it never flew....never became a butterfly!
There's no magic lamp to give you that gratifying feeling of achievement
that is the reward of every struggle!
in reference to Ecclesiastes 9:11, "I returned, and saw under the sun,
that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither
yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet
favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all."
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world
are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and,
if they can't find them, make them.
-G.B. Shaw, Mrs. Warren's Profession, 1893
Friday, May 04, 2007
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
and that's what I am facing these days. I love my blog, I love to share
my thoughts and there is no shortage of topics. But I have several
writing projects open and I am determined not to give up on any of them.
That's why I am spending time writing but not on the blog. It's always
in my mind though to write something and post. But then nobody's waiting
for it so I let it simmer on the backburner, it's my radio station but
there are no set schedules for the programs...:-)
across this one. It's so heartening, so inspiring, to me it feels like
good news. I thought it really appropriate for the 2nd day of the month.
I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
That's nonsense. Make up your mind, you'll never use crutches or a
stick, then have a go at everything. Go to school, join in all the games
you can. Go anywhere you want to.
But never, never let them persuade you that things are too difficult or
- Gwladys Douglas Bader quotes (British World War II pilot)