Friday, July 30, 2004

its been tough juggling time between two totally disparate and disconnected activities...on the one hand im neck deep in the 'tension' thats the talk-of-the-season--Autumn Placements and the more mundane pursuits of getting a good project at a good place with a reasonably good stipend:-) and having to read the listless epics on financial theories for the same!! on the other hand, is this new gem i have found in the form of Savitri...something that was with me for eons now, i can almost visualize the yellow bounded book that i had been gifted for coming first in school...and something that i had "read"and had even memorized some pompous lines to flabbergast people around about my superior mastery!! but in the present circumstances, how much of meaning it is adding to my mind is something that just I know...the allegories are mind boggling...im totally in awe of the narration...and came across this rather apt piece of advice given by The Mother Herself...seems like shez written it JUST for me;-)) and so i read on and on and on..almost like a maniac!
"If you are depressed, if you feel miserable, if you do not succeed in what you do or else if what happens is always the contrary of what you expect, however you try — if it has come to such a pass that you lose your temper, life becomes disgusting and you are unhappy, then immediately take Savitri and, after a moment’s concentration, open it at any page and read. You will see that all your misery disappears like smoke. And you will have the strength to overcome the worst sorrows; you will no longer feel that which was tormenting you. Instead you will feel a strange happiness, a reversal of consciousness along with the energy and force to conquer everything, as though there were nothing impossible. And you will feel this inexhaustible joy that purifies all. Read just a few lines and that is enough to establish the contact with your inmost being. Such is the extraordinary power of Savitri.
Or else, after having read some lines, if you concentrate deeply, then too you will find the solution to what was tormenting you. You have only to open Savitri just at random without thinking and you will have the answer to your problems. Do this with faith and simplicity, the result is certain. "

Thursday, July 29, 2004

And at the end of Book X(its 3 AM now!), i flip to the foreword pages...had never seen this small note written by Sri Aurobindo Himself:-)

"The tale of Satyavan and Savitri is recited in the Mahabharata as a story of conjugal love conquering death. But this legend is, as shown by many features of the human tale, one of the many symbolic myths of the Vedic cycle. Satyavan is the soul carrying the divine truth of being within itself but descended into the grip of death and ignorance; Savitri is the Divine Word, daughter of the Sun, goddess of the supreme Truth who comes down and is born to save; Aswapati, the Lord of the Horse, her human father, is the Lord of Tapasya, the concentrated energy of spiritual endeavour that helps us to rise from the mortal to the immortal planes; Dyumatsena, Lord of the Shining Hosts, father of Satyavan, is the Divine Mind here fallen blind, losing its celestial kingdom of vision, and through that loss its kingdom of glory. Still this is not a mere allegory, the characters are not personified qualities, but incarnations or emanations of living and conscious Forces with whom we can enter into concrete touch and they take human bodies in order to help man and show him the way from his mortal state to a divine consciousness and immortal life. 
     ---- Sri Aurobindo
 "

Got a call from Pondicherry today...from nowhere it came...and it came at such an opportune moment...for the past few weeks, HiroDi and me have been having long mail conversations on matters beyond the mundane...on matters relating to life and thereafter...I havent heard of people having seen angels, but if at all they do, then the angels would look no different from HiroDi...a life of selfless service that she has dedicated herself to, she exudes cheerfulness and peace, her music drenches your soul with calmness, her 'haathi hug' as she calls it, takes away your agonies--temporarily. Each visit to Pondicherry has been a delight...the high point, nonetheless is the visit to the Samadhi...the place vibrates with a certain cosmic energy that i find difficult to explain each time i visit it...people do not speak there, they dont feel the need to...they just lay their tired heads on the rectangular marble pedastal which houses the remains of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother and its happened to me--some current of energy through my being...negative forces get out..u see people shedding copious tears...but they all leave the place totally at ease with themselves and the world...but then it depends on the "sadhak" as Sri Aurobindo calls him/her to experience this...my experience need not and wouldnot match yours...someone may get bored there and feel like playing anthakshari..well! its all our levels of consciousness!

HiroDi knew what has been troubling my mind since so long...and her simple answer to most of my maladies is what makes me reach out to her each time im not myself...'Read Savitri, Read Savitri, Read Savitri..this is all i can tell you and all others who ask me such things...dont question it, dont try deep to understand the meaning of each word...just read.."

And i read..once again..in total awe and rapt attention...escpecially Book VIII and Book IX--all the cantoes..The Death of Satyavan, the reactions in Savitri, the appearence of the fierce God of Death..their wonderful dialogues that kind of symbolize all our perennial questions abt life and thereafter...Cant but help thinking of some of those beautfiul conversations..among the numerous things that Death tells her, it says-

"And Death made answer to the human soul: "What is thy hope? to what dost thou aspire? This is thy body's sweetest lure of bliss, Assailed by pain, a frail precarious form, To please for a few years thy faltering sense With honey of physical longings and the heart's fire And, a vain oneness seeking, to embrace The brilliant idol of a fugitive hour. And thou, what art thou, soul, thou glorious dream Of brief emotions made and glittering thoughts, A thin dance of fireflies speeding through the night, A sparkling ferment in life's sunlit mire? Wilt thou claim immortality, O heart, Crying against the eternal witnesses That thou and he are endless powers and last? Death only lasts and the inconscient Void. I only am eternal and endure. I am the shapeless formidable Vast, I am the emptiness that men call Space,I am a timeless Nothingness carrying all, I am the Illimitable, the mute Alone. I, Death, am He; there is no other God. All from my depths are born, they live by death; All to my depths return and are no more. I have made a world by my inconscient Force. My Force is Nature that creates and slays The hearts that hope, the limbs that long to live. I have made man her instrument and slave, His body I made my banquet, his life my food. Man has no other help but only Death; He comes to me at his end for rest and peace. I, Death, am the one refuge of thy soul. The Gods to whom man prays can help not man; They are my imaginations and my moods Reflected in him by illusion's power. That which thou seest as thy immortal self Is a shadowy icon of my infinite, Is Death in thee dreaming of eternity. I am the Immobile in which all things move, I am the nude Inane in which they cease: I have no body and no tongue to speak, I commune not with human eye and ear; Only thy thought gave a figure to my void. Because, O aspirant to divinity, Thou calledst me to wrestle with thy soul, I have assumed a face, a form, a voice............"

Totally unmoved Savitri replied..."O Death, who reasonest, I reason not, Reason that scans and breaks, but cannot build Or builds in vain because she doubts her work. I am, I love, I see, I act, I will....When I have loved for ever, I shall know. Love in me knows the truth all changings mask. I know that knowledge is a vast embrace: I know that every being is myself, In every heart is hidden the myriad One. I know the calm Transcendent bears the world, The veiled Inhabitant, the silent Lord: I feel his secret act, his intimate fire; I hear the murmur of the cosmic Voice. I know my coming was a wave from God. For all his suns were conscient in my birth, And one who loves in us came veiled by death. Then was man born among the monstrous stars......."

The numerous cantoes go on...verse after verse soaked in philosophy...making a mockery of our mundane preoccupations and pursuits! You were right, HiroDi, "Read Savitri, Read Savitri, Read Savitri"

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Dont know why but then have been missing KT for a long time now...was telling Kakimaa the same when she had come here with kaku for that whirlwind tour coupled with a few other "exercises"..it felt great then to be with them in the royal suite of Grand Maratha..but there was this lurking feeling of emptiness...the reason ascribable among other things was definitely KT...Kakimaa admonished me, she told me life is not and can not be always hostage to the availability of people...it HAS to move on...u can not expect ppl to be calling u or u keep getting a diurnal account of their lives...well, may be shez right in a way..but then it isnt too much of an effort also to remain connected right? I tend to keep ruffling old contacts right from the times i was a toddler...then why cant ppl? she had a simple answer-u r a fool, they arent:-) hmmm...not too convincing! Realising that her nephew was totally at unease on hearing her "advice", she mildly asked me to 'outgrow' the need for having some people arnd all/most of the time..but kakima, its not that i want them around, in front of my eyes 24*7 and 365 days a year(add 1 for a leap year if u desire!)..just that little pinging from somehwere, a small offline, a missed call (as some ppl give me most often!), a few lines on yahoomail...that surely isnt unachievable...i had/have already lost someone whom i had hitherto considered very precious..didnt want a sordid repeat telecast of sorts and tat too to soemthing as mundane and worthless as an mba!
Just last nite i was clearing my sent box to accomodate more incoming mails and found this one written 10 months back! the thoughts remained exactly the same even now! the sadistic clone of the ex-chief warden that i am(!), i fwded the same to KT...pat came the reply! well, KT might be saline-eyed reading this fwded mail..as much as i was saline-eyed reading the reply sent to me!! have seldom seen ppl move me by sheer usage of right words that convey the right meaning and emotions....
"walking down the beach silently, Nagarji's redi was thanked...plagiarism per se was thanked !! but for it, deepak wudnt have got pissed right? i was amused---just 4 months back, while i was leaving the loved desert and later found myself in that flat in chennai convalescing from an experimented throat, had made a resolve NEVER to see a particular individual...and look at me now--counting days!! seemed like the seabreeze of chennai, the tears shed in 162 ashok, the vodka bottle, the bitscan, the empty badam milkbottles strewn in sky from which a hungry squirrel is trying its best to gulp a sip and the vast expanse of the arabian ocean in front of me, in all its roaringfury is having a mighty laugh at my somersault.
contradictions and life seem to just go nuptial in my case but this was one contradiction i didnt seem to want to rationalise or felt a need to pamper a hurt ego.cos this was what was natural--it isnt out of mere chance that i have ended up telling what my problems are with an individual i knew for well..just over 10days while sitting cosy in the hostel , inthe thick of the pristine winter of the place trying to edit a so called piece of journalistic endeavour which was no more than boot licking the powers-that-be in pilani's corridors of authority--the south blocks of BITS. at the same time it isnt too often that i have someone who has totally no link whatsoever with the idea, spending hours and hours and nites after nites sitting and editing stuff for a club which even lokis had the temerity to ridicule as a 'naachne gaanewale' club!! no one after all found out for me that black tulsi is a harbinger of good health, no one shed tears in the kind of spontaneity that i witnessed that day..of course no one cursed me in as many words either--but then all things cant happen to our design, can they..u reach a point of trade off, of minimum returns..,and realise that while it was such a natural thing by and large, some bitter gourds sprinkled here and there only made the dish more relishiable-that whataver else was, was an aberration--a dangerous and scary aberration nonetheless...so all these sneering ridiculing faces cud go on a long walk to timbucktoo with me caring any less abt it...i do what i want todo, what are historical baggages gotta do with determining our future actions...history is supposed to be read, understood, taken as a preventive for similar mistakes and then thrown into where it rightly belongs--the trash can.life needs to move on and traintickets need to be booked..."
Haah! Kakimaa, u r right! Life moves on................

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Somehow this is getting to be one history site...where like Janus, i tend to look back all the time:-) When i am at it, why not do it once again? especially considering the fact that July 23rd is bang here? I wouldnt want to even distinctly remember July 23rd five years back. It all happened so fast that we were left grappling...July 9th or so was the time we had been to Chennai for a supposed 'fun-tour' coupled with a 'routine' check up for Ma...well, we had made plans in fact that once the 'boring check ups' get over and Dad left for his AGM and board meetings, we'd sneak away to Marina, the ashta lakshmi or some such place...well, classic case of man proposes and God disposes? the thud that came from nowhere --just about nowhere--to hear the dreaded 'C' word is something that makes me have a raw chill running down my spine even now...things like these never seemed to happen to any of 'us'..if at all they did, they did to people in some distant planet or in bollywood movies where such characters would be hero worshipped or made super-martyrs of..but to one of us???

It was shock, disbelief, distress, helplessness and a plethora of unexplainable, unsurmountable emotions...we didnt speak after that...all through the way till we reached Bangalore...Ma was looking out of the shatabdi window dazed...no response whatsoever...the next few days were those of intense trauma and confusion..million people, million opinions...frantic trips to so many hospitals and getting so little in return. Srilu aunty and Mukund uncle stood by us like always...what to say of Mamatha aunty--she was strength personified, though i knew she'd break down if i just prodded her a bit..

we finally zeroed in on the Bangalore hospital and Dr subba rao and July 23rd for the 'major' surgery...Dr rao was as candid as he could-'anything could happen, you are intelligent and educated people. so be ready to accept what comes your way...hope she survives the surgery"...that was as cold as it could get...and Dad and me looked at each other and didnt know what to say...For all his apparent tough exterior, Dad simply cannot handle pressures--especially emotional ones...and so, as always, somehow the onus of keeping them all in good humour--Dad, Ma and Ajji who was getting as frantic as one could imagine--fell on me...dunno how and where i got the strength to steer myself and others on this one...this morning, i was dumbfound when Dad actually recollected those days and said 'But for you around, i would ave completely broken down'. i was just wondering this morning after he spoke to me--i didnt cry a SINGLE time in front of any of them...and wonder how i cud pull that off?!! I was appeared so stoic to the extent of being unconcerned and dispassionate!

Fighting cancer is by no means easy...especially if its malignant and is located right in your lungs behind your heart...it wages a dual war on both the patient and his family...it requires quite some skill to beat this enemy...Ma had a VIP suite kinda room in the Bangalore hospital! But none of us needed any of it...July 22nd night was terrible..none of us spoke anything...none of us slept...i had learnt the mahamrityunjay jaap from Ajji ;that i kept repeating quietly without anyone knowing abt it..that was JUST all that i could do..or anyone of us could...

The nurses and ward attendants came at around 6 am..asked Ma to get ready..she took a nice bath and actually joked saying Ha! who knows this could be my last one! and even took potshots on herself in that crazy hospital gown of herz! she was so cool then that it gave us more strength...but that was till the stretcher came along...it gave a bad feeling..and the bloody nurse who tagged along had the audacity to tell me and Dad who were looking without batting an eyelid-" see her nicely..it could be the last time"...at that point, both of them broke down and i kept my gaze straight to not let the tears trickle..i just whispered the mrityunjay jaap in her ears and said..listen, u have to see me pass out of BITS pilani...whoz going to baby sit the 10-11 kids that ive always planned to have?? she smiled, gave me a tight hug, continued crying, before she was whisked away in the lift on that very stretcher...

the 3 hour long surgery was hell for us--as much as it might have been for her...thanks to a kind aayah we actually managed to tiptoe slyly into the ICU where she was shifted immediately after the surgery...it was a HORRID sight...with all the tubes and instruments attached and she being unable to fix her gaze at anything and breathing very heavily...the junior doc shooed us off ..and we went to Dr Rao's chamber..he was coolly checking his yahoomail after the surgery...part of daily business!! said-congrats, she has survuved a major operation..we had to open the rib cage, cut off half the left lung...here it is----" and a pink piece of flesh that looked terribly scary.." the white stuff you see there--thats the cancer..im sorry Mr Sampath, but its malignant tumour..no secondaries as yet..but bad enough..may be she'll have to go through chemo and stuff"....

the next few days were as bad as bad could get...i had my bits registration date nearing...Ma refused to allow me to drop the sem...she said come every month if u please, but no dropping the sem...i'll manage! SHe said a resolute NO to chemo saying quality of life was more important than quantity and i respect her decision...it pained to see her not being able to even move without wrenching her face and fists with great pain and agony...the loooong tube that pierced her spine till the front end and sucked out the liquid into a bottle was no less than the mythological allegories to hell....

we've put this all behind her...the heroic person that she is with a tremendous will power, she actually forced herself back to her feet within 2 months...cant think of anyone whoz got so much courage, so much strength, so much will power....today--touchwood--she looks and appears as fine as anyone of us, and im sure she actually is..deep down there is this lurking fear of kal ho na ho even inside her...but she never shows it off..and anyway i do hope and pray that the fear is totally unjustified..

well, Ma, you wont read this, nor will i be telling you this cos im terribly bad at expressing myself --but then im proud to have u as my mom and its awe, admiration, respect and tonne loads of love that i have for you...I'm sure you wont disappoint me with the baby-sitting thingy...see, i just dont see myself having that much moolah to hire a baby sitter:-))

Monday, July 19, 2004

Something happened in the past week...an event of significance, but one that got drowned in the mire of myriad other happenings...today when i am 'relatively' free, the thought suddenly hit me from nowhere--especially after i got this call from Pilani. The past week saw me absolving myself--body, mind and spirit--from a movement that was part of me, something that i identified myself with, something for which i wouldnt mind taking up the cudgels with my own family members at times:-) I always wondered how certain religious sects could disown a person they loved with a mere utterance of three words...today im left wondering how i managed to do that with even less:)
 
But then therez no looking back, therez no re-think. The wish to leave it all has haunted all the time. I have threatened to do that so many times in the past too--many a times to absolve myslef of some wrong-doing in the movement, many a time to ensure people work the way i want them to! but this time around it was a deep sense of hurt..no no it wasnt as if my ego was hurt...but the realization that i was too too small and inconsequential a cog in the wheel...so much so that i was asked to prove my commitment and my decisions and their intentions n credibility brought under question...i had done this quitting business before; in Pilani too, when motives were ascribed to a certain concert i had organized and yet again when i was told politely told to lay off...but then, last saturday, crossed all limits. by the end of the day, i felt as helpless as a novice--literally running from pillar to post to salvage a non-existent reputation!
 
Nivedita doesnt approve of this...but then, there are so many issues on which Nivi and me would love to agree to disagree...she is the perennial fighter, a crusader who just doesnt call it quits till she wins or atleast has put in her best defence. I dont think i have it in me...nor the inclination and the time...convenient escape route eh!? She's called me a million times after that, asking me just this-'are u OK'? ..cos she could make out my voice getting choked regularly and me trying hard to battle tears..gosh! didnt know this was so much a part of me that letting go of it would be so tough!
 
Im sure things would change..UN tells me that by doing what im doing, im playing to the machinizations of those who want to hurt me..she told me that the world doesnt care for your hurt...in fact the minute you show them your weak spot, they;d love to use it time and again to hurt you more in the pursuit of some hedonistic pleasure...so, by keeping this hurt within yourself you are just letting the canker grow inside...how true! No, but i still have this small crusade to rid the movement of some people here...iam doing it in my own quiet,subtle way..without making as much a noise as perhaps nivi would:-) Plan to leave after that...not sure if the magnetism of the whole movement will let me go...its addictive..it draws you without your knowledge..that is if you are sensitive enough,...if you have always used it as a mere tool of gratification---a photo opp with celebrities, a chance to rub shoulders with the high and mighty, the passport to good food at the guest-house (as it is to some!)--then sure we dont belong to the same league. I wouldnt want to sound drab with what all i have got from it --just this would suffice--i have begun the process of self discovery and inner voyage; (this is no doubt an endless voyage) --thanks to the movement...but the scene now doesnt seem conducive for such inner silos--politicisation, one-upmanship, crassness, Biharisation(if i may use the term much to Anshuman bhai's dislike!) dont go hand-in-hand with something like this!!
 
well...Ma wouldnt believe...she told me 'ive been hearing this since god knows when and im sure you'll forget your resolve and jump at the first opportunity..."...well, Ma, you know me best...so perhaps you are right in a way;-)) !

Friday, July 16, 2004

July 16 today....a date that always left a lump in the throat for a long time...real strange to know how time flies..its been 15 years today since Pushpa mashi left us. I was too small to perhaps comprehend the meaning of someone 'leaving' you for good. the very thought was killing. Its always difficult to accept the fact that you'll never be able to see someone you love so dearly, and that too forever. Add to that the circumstances of departure and the suddenness and the strangeness of the whole thing--seems bizarre! Couldnt help but feel bad for Ma through the day today for all that she has had to endure...i salute her strength at times. how she single handedly steered the family through this crisis that day--even as i watched in awe and disbelief. A chill still runs down my spine when i think of July 16, 1989.  When people compliment me on my supposed maturity(mental that is!) and ask me to list reasons--well, i couldnt possibly tell them these numerous instances, could i? If at class 5, i got down to read something like the 'Savitri' of Sri Aurobindo to understand why exactly did mashi leave, the repurcussions were bound to be there for life, right?  Death is a great leveller, it is also a great teacher. Sometimes i wonder why people get scared of death...it is certain..we are all born with one thing for sure and that is our deaths. So why the anxiety for the certain? are we anxious of whether the sun would rise or set? NO...cos we know it is BOUND to happen. What we fear and feel anxious abt is perhaps the vagaries that are unexplained--is it going to rain today and spoil my picnic plans?? so its life that is uncertain--each day, each moment--and hence it is life that needs to be feared..not death which no one can escape! hmmmm...
 
the flip side is that the day is also the birthday of a very close friend and Ash you are wished the best today, as always!! thanks to you, July 16 atleast assumed a better dimension..else how i'd wish the day to end fast!  I hope you are reading this somewhere...the reticent laconic me has never managed to tell you this, but then the fact remains that you are valued and cherished! what better day to tell you this than on your very special one:-))?

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

The last post i must say is dedicated to SH--my sweetheart:)) But for her perennial inspiration and love, i wouldnt have written what i wrote!! Thanks for ALWAYS being there SH:-))

Gandhi ji had once said that india would be considered truly independent if in the middle of the night a woman could walk alone in the streets without fear of being hunted down...now 60 years after MKG original told this, me, MKG-the-second, adds a caveat--ditto for a man:-) well, im NOT high on alcohol--yesterday's effect couldnt have lingered on, could it??!

but why i say what i say is because of this rather bizarre incident that occured tonight. Innocent me went to the concert of AAT this evening--thinking all the while i sat through there about our long, stressful relationship--one that was never meant to be, but which consumed a lot of our energies at some point of time. Luckily we'd gotten over it now--or had we? Atleast it didnt appear so..atleast not with me. She looked as beautiful as ever and...aah! well..

Bid her a farewell with tonnes of promises to keep in touch and meet again bla bla bla and walked down to bandra station...was 11.30 in the night...the platform looked deserted..just one or two hapless souls around. The message board announcing which train would arrive and in how many minutes also had stopped working(strange..never happens)..so wasnt too sure if i was on the right platform..looked around and saw a well built man sauntering around and this is how our brief "conversation" went on-

"Bhai sahab,Borivili ke liye train yahin se jaathi hai na?"
"haan lagtha tho aisa hi hai..kahan jana hai aapko..?"
"hmmm..andheri...aapko?
"hmmm...malad..mera dost yahan aane wala tha, nahin aaya, tho main..etc etc(didnt listen cos i felt it didnt concern me who he came to meet and why...but the general polite me, doesnt cut any conversation and nodded along with the characteristic dumb smile to give company!)...waise aap karthe kya hain?"
"main? main...well..main kaam kartha hoon..citibank mein"(made this up cos i didnt want to reveal my identity)
"accha, wowow! tho aap andheri mein akele rehthe hain"?
"nahin we share the room"
"koi bahar wala aake aapke saath rahe tho aapko dikkat hogi"?
"(what a question? wherez this guy getting to? whyz the fuckin train not coming as yet)...huh?? obviously hogi bhai sahab...mujhe nahin tho mere sathiyon ko...kyun pooch rahe hain aap"?
"nahin nahin aise hi...hee hee"
"ok"
"bombay mast jagah hai na? yahan log bahot enjoy kar sakthe hain..aap karthe hain"
"haan..thoda bahot..time nahin miltha..jab miltha hai tabhi..."
"kya karthe hai"
"well, multiplex, beach walks, churchgate...bla bla"
"enjoy nahin karthe"?
"arrey yahi tho enjoyment hai"
"ohh ok..aap maharashtrian hain?"
"(what the hell...!)..nahin main assamese hoon..(forgot the capital of assam was guwahati)..siliguri se hoon...(his geography was anyway worse than mine! he didnt protest or contradict me!)
"main punjab se hoon...punjabi nahin hoon...marwadi hoon..mere dada par dada..."(dude..gimme a break!)
"bandra mein log bahot enjoy karthe hain...aap nahin karthe"?
"(i was irritated now)..arrey bola tho pehle hi"
"nahin yahan ladke log bahot enjoy karthe hain"
"mathlab kya enjoy ka"?
"wahi homosex wagairah..aap aise shauk nahin rakhthe?"
"(BOSS!! HELLO?? AAT whom i just met n came would die of a cardiac arrest if she heard this..wat'd happen to her, SN, NB, MN, AR....the long list!!?) NAHIN...sorry"
"arrey ek baar try karne mein kya harj hai?"
"hello mister..i told u im NOT the kinds..sorry!"
"gussa math hona boss..i saw u standing there..and i must admit..u r EXTREMEEEEEELY handsome (wish someone else had told this!) and my heart skipped a beat...just give me one night..please..u have nothing to lose.."
"(now i was gettin real scared and also angry--the guy was physically stronger in any case) thanks for the compliments BHAI SAHAB, but im straight and also committed ..so, sorry!"

By then the bloody fuckin train made its way...i ensured that i didnt end up in the same compartment...didnt know what to do as i was reminiscing the conversation as the train meandered from khar road to santa cruz to vile parle to ..my Andheri. got out in the usual thud that the Mumbai locals make u to...just casually turned back and at a distance whom do i see??? the same wierdo!!!! hey, didnt he say Malad..tats beyond Borivili...wat was he doing here in Andheri? he smiled..waved at me..implored me to wait..i ran like it was no one's business..turned back...saw him hastening too...knew smthing was amiss..caught the rick ( no no plz dont pun this with any rhyming word now!!!) and told him "Bhawans...jaldi...chahe tho 200 rs bhi doonga..jaldi chalo"
as the rick took off..i waved a big flying kiss to our pal who had come out of the station almost panting...hey didnt know i had this much of sex-appeal:-) ( though for the wrong reasons here, that i wudnt want ever again!)

MKG-senior? listening? wud u care to alter ur definition of free-india? Me, a 25 year old supposed adult male, with a 2 degrees to my credit--a postgrad at that, doing an MBA in one of India's top 10 B skools...had to run for my life to save my "chastity"(if it existed)and "virginity"(no comments on this one too!)from a MAN! aah!! wat the %$#@.?
hey, ive never been a homophobe...im not the old fashioned sorts who look down and ridicule upon ppl who r just different for no fault of theirs--just hormonal interplay...all through life, have had some good friends who thought "differently", but hello! even i was aghast today! come on!! this is no way of wooing, if at all it was one! when the person has made it CLEAR to you that his orientation is straight and fine, why hound him? live n let live boss??

well...i'm snug and safe in my bed...alone that is(!)...for once, just once, i cud empathize with the kinds of insecurities that the feminine of the species have to face everyday...the diurnal struggle they face...phew! it cud be really terrifying, real real terrifying! aaaaaaaahhhh...no more...AAT , im meeting u trrow ..just in case ive gotten "confused" myself in the bargain:-)))))


Sunday, July 04, 2004

Generally took time off to visit the Hare krishna Mandir today...had visited the place many a times on Saturdays with the singular hope of having the pleasure of listening to the woman who had mesmerized us with her voice exactly a year ago when Ma, Malati and me were there. Boy! that was an evening i'd never forget...with all the 'listener's' experience behind me, i could well claim that she was the BEST singer i'd ever encountered..all our classical divas with their machinizations of the notes and rigid jargonry coupled with the theoritical moorings would fall absolutely flat before this lady whose voice seemed to be totally unbounded by limits...there was an element of bhakti -devotion--in all that she sang...her face reflected it as did her voice...she 'felt' what she sang, rather than making it a rhythmic or arithmetical rendition of jugglery...at the end of it last year, i seriously had tears in my eyes...and i turn around and see and Ma too was definitely moved. we didnt feel like speaking after that...the calmness made its way deep down the system. THAT is the power of Indian music; but alas that is one aspect most artists forget to inculcate! they reduce music to mere showdom. technically it might be sound--the tala may match the mridangam's beats or the Taans may sound fine--but without the element of bhaav--it all ends up like a beautiful corpse--beautiful no doubt, yet lifeless...! no food for the soul.

Well, yesterday, there wasnt much activity in the temple due to some construction work...quite uncharacteristic of a weekend there! But somehow didnt feel like moving away--i thought it was just inertia of rest...but may be it wasnt just that...as i looked around lazily and visibly bored--i spotted a familiar face all draped in a white saree, with that characteristic rosary bag hanging down the neck, with a grin as wide as it could get that was being showered at all and sundry with total generosity, helping some unknown lady in the queue to get her new born infant blessed at the diety's feet ! Bingo! it was she! the wait was worth it after all! Just cudnt wait to hear her sing again...of course there was this funny mother-daughter pair waiting in the queue to render bhajans...the bengali duo did all the shoving around and the mother tried her best to promote her cute-looking daughter:-) She was good no doubt, but it fell flat after a while..till madam took over! And man, magic unfolded again...each note was nectar, and this is no exaggeration...i seriously have all but admiration for this anonymous artist of great calibre...one doesnt need to be a kishori amonkar to touch people's hearts--with no disrespect to kishori ji ofcourse(!)...what comes from the heart, touches the heart. and its easier if the heart at the receiving end is a sensitive one. After the session i couldnt but resist this urge to talk to her..i touched her feet and said -Didi, ive been wanting to hear u once again since a year..i have no words to describe the way you sing and the way it affects me...im stupified! she was totally caught unwares and seemed very amused...and said arrey why are you touching my feet, this is the lord's place..worship him, not me! I told her that i too was a worthless student of music myself and hence anyone who sings so well is a natural guru for me! She laughed and told me-i'm so happy to know that such people still exist in the world...sing, sing, sing all your woes away..dedicate yoursel--mind, body, spirit to Him through your song...sing with your eyes closed till the time you manage to see HIM in between your eyebrows..mind you, you will certainly feel His presence then...nothing moves HIM more than music..the fact that you were so moved shows His element is in a surfeit more in your case..dont let that go waste...and with that characteristic simplicity put her hand on my head and evanesced in the crowds before i could say anything more. i was totally stumped...have never met someone like this before.

the calmness had percolated deep within and it felt so wonderfully nice to be at absolute peace and equanimity with yourself for a long time............