Woken

4 am, not enough sleep, woken up by a dream, a vision. It’s disarmingly quiet and serene. Things go hazy for a second and then it’s all clear. Finally. So many questions answered, issues resolved. Only to bring up more questions. But they dont steal sleep anymore. Finally realize my place in the ladder of questions. This surprise break came to me too early in the night but I know I will lose sleep no more. G night.

New Life, Old Things

Its 3:37 am and it suddenly hits you that you had it all wrong. You were looking in the wrong place. What you had to look for was right in front of you all along. But you never noticed it cause it was right under your nose all this while, the things you own are never noticed are they? You goto bed thinking I need to change that and find something that actually hits home, that works, that is worth my time and you try doing that for as long as you can. You do with all your might.
It just doesn’t work. It never does. Things fall back to the same pattern, they always do and you find yourself in a rut. But the fun part about this is that now you know what’s really out there, what the real deal is. Then you look down and you see it; find gold under all the dust that is your life. You know it as soon as you see it. It’s what you need and it has been there all along. Glad I found it. Karsh is still the King.

My barriers of communication

This is something that we all know, we all feel ever since we began to speak or try to speak. It’s something so common now that we hardly even think about it. But it’s still there, always will be. The barriers of communication are both obvisous and subtle, yet persistently everpresent.
For a while now I have been becoming more aware of my communication protocols and the standards out there. I have become aware of the fact that no one actually ever can understand anybody else EXACTLY as the speaker would like them to. It’s humanly impossible. By definition we can only comprehend what our perception allows us to and since no one has the exact same perception as any other, we can never ever be 100% on the same page so to speak.
Where does this leave us? Are we ever to look beyond ourselves and into others? Are we ever to look beyond the ego that is ME and look beyond the known. According to people like J.Krishnamurthi, if we hunt something that we know that we don’t know, we can never find it. Get it? Since we know for a fact that we dont know what it feels like to do something then how can we ever try to achieve that consciously. The sub-conscious however progressese endlessly and can achieve things unimaginable by the conscious.
It is this sub-conscious growth, I think, that leads to us processing many of the snippets of data that we gather in the conscious world and realize knowledge and hopefully some wisdom. I am yet to learn if there is a way to master the sub-conscious or not. If so, imagine the potential of each human being. It is so believed in various schools of hinduism and taoism that the unconscious mind has all the knowledge available to the whole of humanity. If that is true, then all we ever have to do is look inside for the answer. All those stories of meditation for peace make sense now. Not cause it cools you down or helps you destress (alone) as marketed by the foreign media. But because it’s the only way, I think, to achieve ‘mukti’, salvation from the cycle of births and deaths on this plane. Meet the brahman finally.
More I think of this, more organized religions’ nuances like rituals and rites make no sense to me. I do them out of habit, to cajole my own memories but without an end in sight. What purpose does it serve to light up a diya and do puja as has been dictated to us by the brahmins in power? I mean no disrespect, but I do fail to see how it benefits us in our path towards mukti. Some say that they find peace in the practices. Peace it maybe, but it is temporary. There is no riddance of the ego, of the aham. WIth that present, one can never look beyond oneself.
How to look beyond one’s ego still evades me. There are a number of ways I would think – kill it, embrace it to the point that it hurts to be with it anymore or something else. But whatever the process is, the end has to be egoless. Only once that has been achieved can one truly feel somebody else’s pain and joy, revel in their happiness and cry in their pain. I would ask somebody to help me do this, but I know that one’s path is truly individual, hence this search must go on and continue it shall.

I Wish

I wish I could turn back the hands of time
Not to undo what I did
But to remedy all the things left unsaid
Maybe you would glimpse into my world
Learn of these visions of mine
I know life will go on as will you and me
Cause we are but swimmers in this sea of beauty
But hopefully you will learn that
you are one that I will not forget,
At least in this moment.

Commonality of our Specialities

Another one of my recent realizations or something that I had realized a while ago but am coming to terms with only now.
We all grow up thinking that we are special, that what we do and who we are makes a difference, that theres a reason for everything we do and a reason for all that we think is to be done. Most of us even go through life with the same belief without ever questioning it, as shocking as that maybe (only to myself, perhaps).
But in this huge world of ours, everybody is doing something special, everbody is busy, everybody is on the verge of the next big thing (in their relative worlds), everybody is upto something. Why are we all busy? Some people I know are so obsessed with looking busy that even when they have been chillin for two to three hours all they can talk about is how busy they are and how much work they are dying under. Gay as it may seem its a common habit. And surprisingly so.
We spend more time organizing ourselves and readying ourselves for work than actually working towards our goals and dreams. We spend more time writing stuff like what I am writing and bitching about wasting time than actually taking the next step in life.
It is in times like these that I recall some of the teachings of hindu philosophy. One of the primary objectives of studying hindu scriptures and teachings is to realize that the spirit within is supreme and unsurpassable. Hindu as it maybe, this principle is applicable universally and I am sure other religions maintain this thought in some other perverted form. Have we all lost sight of this truth? Why is it that most of the people who speak of stuff like the stuff I am speaking of commit the atrocities that I commit?
I want to achieve balance within myself. I want to read Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha about this guy who is discouraged about being unable to find the path to nirvana caught up in the world of superficiality. Maybe I will learn something. I want to stop running, I want to stop chasing, I want to stop trying to be and Just BE.

Another Chapter Another Day

Life is so weird. When you know you want something, and want it bad too and then you get it. You revel in that joy for a while. It’s all new and fun. Things are perfect. Your desire has been fulfilled and your heart satiated. Now you begin to notice the other toys in the store that you could have had or should have had. Your toy is new no more. Yet you love it and dont want to part with it. But you know the rules. To get another you must lose this. Lose you do. Once again you have something new in your hands.
Is it worth it?

A Long Time Coming

A satisfying article has been in the works for a very long time; whether this will be one or not is debatable, but I need to get something down else I will never sleep. So much has been going on in the last 3 months, its friggin unbelievable. From discovering Delhi with a japanese guest to ogling at the mind numbing japanese technology these guys bring over to the ‘cutting edge’ american continent to celebrating diwali in pure calcuttan style to enjoying yet another fresh flavor of the city that is new york.
It has been one long journey from india to my 5th semester at this university. Wish I could use words like amazing, wicked, sick but they would all fall short of describing the emotions that this uni generates within me. I think I am finally coming into my own as a full fledged university student, finally out of the ‘away from home to study’ shell. Like it. Love it.
One of the primary reasons that I havent been able to write out articles on my blog for the past month or so is cause the ones that I wanted to talk about were just so personal that I was scared that somebody who shouldn’t know what I was thinking about something in particular would log on and read my mind. But, I dont think I can hide myself or my thoughts forever. So they read and regret, their fault!
I have been able to do a good number of things that I really really enjoy this semester like play squash, spend more time with my old and new friends, make more acquaintances, learn progressively what it is to NOT be a teenager anymore, learn to listen (think you know?, think again), cook, find more of the massive asian fusion talent out there and oh yeah study (duhh). Did I mention photography? I hate calling it that, somehow I think it makes me look pretentious, almost as if I am masquerading as an artist or somebody deep. I haven’t found that part of me yet, maybe I am, maybe I am not, but whatever I am, I am sure somebody out there has been before or is right now!
That’s quite the pickle eh? To be somebody that this world has never seen. Genetically speaking thats the easiest cause technically you are one of a kind, but beyond DNA you are like the rest of the billions out there or worse, want to be like the billions out there. Damn!! I would hate to realize that about myself – that my whole life has been an attempt at being somebody who I have seen or heard of or been with. How sad is that? Talk about potential stunting. This year (academic and otherwise) has been an eye opener like that as well. Basic obvious things that I was taking for granted have been coming to my attention and I have been ‘what the’…How did I not see that? People’s real characters have been realized and there are some I respect even more and some I call myself stupid for even bothering to know.
I say realize cause thats what its been. Just one long period of realization. Of myself, of my limts and potential of the fact that I have been wasting at least (AT LEAST) 60% of my potential for the past 3 years or more. I dont think one’s potential to grow, to be ever dies but it does become harder and harder to realize it. And at this stage as foolishly and calmly I might want to think that its as easy as ever to be the smartest student or the best on the court, I know it isnt. Its one of the hardest hurdles in my life, the next 3 years or so. And the sad part is that I JUST realized that now!

Lost

Its wicked to be lost
In this world’s beauty
seeing more than was meant to
wanting more than i should
needing more than am given
still hungry for more
I see reality from time to time
and the plight of the fools in that realm
if given a choice by Him someday
I think I rather live life my way
than be fed some other’s dream.

Mera Desh

Lately i have been thinking more about why some countries forge ahead economically and socially while others are left behind. Obviously there is the factor of time and the starting point, so to speak. You cant really compare America and India can you? Or India and Bangladesh for that matter. In the post-colonial world, each newly freed country was left with a separate set of resources, usable and not.
Some countries’ local industries were developed while under the British rule and thus were already years ahead of the ones which had suffered from complete industrial rape. I think India is one of the lesser fortunate ones. We have come a long way since ’47 and our industries have gained enough momentum to work towards international competence (some of them at least). We may have one of the biggest telephone networks in the world now thanks to the Ambanis and our I.T. industry and the service industries may be benefitting from the second highest english speaking population in the world, the basic sectors of this country are yet to be of international standards. Education, electricity and infrastructure ( I dont know if this is the right term for what i am talking about – roads etc) are the sectors which are still suffering and need a proper rehaul. Energy Information Administration (USA) – This site claims that India’s production will not be able to catch up to the consumption levels India has. I know I am jumping the gun here, but this is not even what I want to talk about.
That was kind of a primer – what we started out with and all of us know where we are today. What I want to say is that how come majority of the Indians who belong to the middle class and up dont realise the value of giving back to the country ? How is it that people are still buying three cars for a family of two ? Why is it that littering on the road is still accepted ? How come teens rather own clothes for every occassion imaginable and not give back to the community in any form ?
Are the words ‘Hum Hindustani’ and ‘Proud to be an Indian’ just a fad which we echo everytime a bollywood star is paid insane amounts of money to dance to on national television ? I can have conversations with my friends about corruption in the Bush administration and the Middle East, which would last for hours. But what about doing something it ? I am not claiming to be a social activist of any order, what I wonder is have we lost the nationalist feeling that our grandparents used to be proud of ?
Over the past 2 years or so I have come to know a number of families based in Canada and America who left India in the 60s and 70s. They do way more to better India’s future and improve the situation here than most of the resident Indian families I know. How did this come about? Do all of us take everything we see here for granted? Think about it, the current generation (mine) will never see Kashmir and its kalis nor can we hope to breathe fresh air in Bombay downtown in the near future. What the hell man? I dont really know how to solve any of these problems, I am only 20 and still thinking, so give me a break. But what I do know is that it wont happen overnight and it will not be cause the Lords wished so.
We have to make it happen. We have to give back and we have to see it grow. Almost all of you indians who are reading this are fortunate enough to spare the time and money to be online to actually read a blog. When was the last time you did anything, absolutely anything to better this country’s fate ? I cant remember anything besides what was forced upon us in school, that too for 1 hour a week. We all have cell phones and some of us change them like we change underwear (ok not so frequently, but you get what i mean), why is there no general feeling to spend 1/10 of your vacation time in the village helping even 1 kid read A,B,C or do some social work. Maybe i am stuck in some parallel dimension of worthlessness and the rest of you are doing your bit. That would suck, cause I want out!
I wish we had been taught in school more about our country’s plight than our glorious past. I dont mean to demean the value of history or anything like that, but we still need to be shown the clear picture. We should have had assignments in school which made us individually seek something socially responsible to do and show results over a period of one school year. Parents should be made to feel responsible as well, its them who instill the values in the children. Let’s not hold anybody responsible wholly, cause that’s finger pointing and we aren’t the government are we?
I would love to spend my summer here and implementing cheap wified computer groups in villages and districts. Shit, I can even think of a small solution in my head right now – buy those hindi voice activated pdas developed by IIT, contract Banyan Networks to build cheap scalable wifi routers, start a small charity where you come and throw in your old ‘unusable’ b/w computers from years ago, revamp these systems with whatever money is possible and setup a linux computing grid for districts with strategic information being broadcasted 24/7 to the pdas for the people to benefit from for a number of purposes. They could keep track of the weather pattern for more efficient farming, avail of the latest prices to not be made a fool of by the local ‘seth’, the kids could be part of a local VPN and get into group learning sessions, lesser educated kids could take time learning A,b, c and k, kh , gh with more interesting lessons (e-learning implemented locally) and a little bit of entertainment wouldnt hurt. Medical services could be bettered as well, in case theres only 1 doctor for 2 towns, while he is on his way to an emergency for one town, any educated person in that town could look up what to do or be told what to do by the doctor till he arrives.
Wow, got excited there. I think that’s so doable. There are people out there who are striving to get such projects off the ground and genuinely care for this country. Some get caught up in the red-tapism of this country’s government while some just die sad and poor deaths. I think its high time that the youth of this country start taking matters in their own hands. Donate money, work up projects, spend time in the villages and the towns to see the real problems. I think I was fortunate cause I did get to do something like that on our visits to my hometown, but otherwise even my exposure to rural India is limited.
I am pretty proud of this – I can name at least 5 people who went abroad with me for university education who want to come back and do something of their own in their motherland. That’s what we need. Minimize brain drain. Look at Singapore. Scholarships by the Singapore government and some singaporean companies require you to sign a 2-4 year contract with them stating that you will work in their country after your graduation. Can the Indian government not spend a few hundred crores less on the minister’s secretary’s secretary’s assistant’s nephew’s cars and increase such scholarships? Promote education and ensure that it benefits the country directly as well. We all need to get involved, get in there, think hard and fast. Cause time is running out, today we are ahead of a few and behind many. Let’s lead by example and let’s do something for our country, apna bharat.
That’s a dream and this is all talk. and cheap.

I am in Love

With this song from a not-so-old Indian movie – Refugee.
Mere Humsafar
Its one of the 1400 hindi songs on my playlist, most of which I havent even heard ever and randomly it came up and then it struck. The music, the lyrics, the voice. Man it’s amazing how an ever-fleeting emotion like love can be captured in poetry and make actors (wannabe) like Abhishek Bachchan and Kareena Kapoor tolerable.
I dint think I would do this, but I am actually going to post the lyrics for this song in Hinglish and maybe someday will translate it into English for you as well. For the time being, this will suffice (for me to sing over and over again):

{Mere humsafar, mere humsafar
mere paas aa, mere paas aa
Mere humsafara, mere humsafar
mere paas aa, mere paas aa

Hame saath chalna hai umra bhar
mere paas aa, mere paas aa
Hame saath chalna hai umra bhar
mere paas aa, mere paas aa
mere paas aa} chorus 1

Hai safar hamara naya naya
Kisi pal andhera jo hogaya

Haisafara hamara naya naya
Kisi pal andhera jo hogaya

Kahin kho na jaye yeh rehguzar
mere paas aa, mere paas aa

chorus 1
Zara thehar ja mere humnawaba
yeha agli mor pe hoga kya
zara thehar ja mere humnawaba
yeha agli mor pe hoga kya

Kise hai pata, kise hai khabar
mere paas aa, mere paas aa

chorus 1
Jo Gharo ko chhor ke hai chale
Jo Gharo ko chhor ke hai chale
Unhe kya darayenge phaasle
Jo Gharo ko chhor ke hai chale
Unhe kya darayenge phaasle

hume jaana hai dil ke nagar
mere paas aa, mere paas aa

chorus 1

Long, I know. That’s how hindi songs are, kya kare ? Download it on Kazaa if you can, Refugee – Mere Humsafar.