Saturday, January 28, 2012


Everyone write of their feat,
None express their moments of struggle,
No one wants to listen to defeat,
One craves for the winner of title.

Struggles and failures are inevitable,
To go without them is inimitable,
They define the road times spent on,
They describe the sign that journey is on.

They teach you your boundary and flaw,
They tell you who you are not,
They frustrate and humiliate you raw,
They appear so to make you stout.

Just when I thought I am confirming to the row,
Just when I thought I am seized of the matter,
Just when I thought I am beginning to look up now,
Just then life rocks the boat and I slip into the gutter.

Once again I implore my mind to be keen,
Once again I plead my life for the mercies,
Once again I do see the rascal with its twisted grin,
But why, am I missing some key prophecies?

‘Bo’ is simply soothing his miserable thoughts,
To retain motivation on the chosen goal,
So that after years of severe drought,
Pray, doubt should not act a wicked role.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Developmental Chaos

It is generally understood that confusion and bungling is an essential part of the development process, it applies likewise to the adolescent humans as well as to a growing country. In fact it is the indication that growth is actually happening and I am pretty sure that every developed country has gone through many years of chaos. So it is justifiably explained that India which is a young country is therefore going through a phase of bedlam which cannot be avoided. This theory goes down well with most enthusiasts but I stand with those antique thinkers who differ by proclaiming the many thousand years age of this land. America can be called young because it is of a fairly recent origin but Bharatwarsh existed since much before.

People of this land knew how to live together, they knew how to do business with the world, they knew about spirituality, science and mathematics, they knew how to sing and dance, sculpture and paint, they were rich beyond imagination, they were the icons of the world. The civilization along the Indus and then the Ganga rivers were the toast of the world, they lead the world along with the Chinese people in thoughts, words and deeds. There were times of small kingdoms and  big kingdoms, there definitely must have been opulence and poverty and surely there must have been chaotic development everytime a new king arose.  Therefore though I don’t buy the argument that India is a young country but it is an undeniable fact that India is trying to stand on its feet.

We have forgotten that we were once a superpower. We have forgotten that people from other parts of the globe once walked many miles on the silk route to trade with us, to learn science and mathematics from us. Somehow over the years our best minds were lost, our education system was destroyed, not by the foreigners is we fool ourselves to believe but by us. We as a people had become vulnerable, impressionable and morally weak. We stopped believing in ourselves as a cultural entity. Another explanation could be that maybe we were too bored with our simple lives and wanting a change. The desire then became a trap and we got ensnared by the west. Either ways we forgot who we were.

Today we continue to exist in this state of forgetfulness and have ferociously adopted the western model of development which is lop-sided in the way that it measures growth on materialistic terms alone. We have adopted the western concept of individualism as our own and compete against each other for exhaustible natural resources as if it was the correct thing to do. Celebrityhood has now become a milestone everybody aspires for to such an extent that we have reduced ourselves to respect inflated egos,  to cherish the rich and powerful and crush the weak and poor as if it were the right thing to do. As a people we have mutilated our own morals that we firmly believe corruption is inevitable. In every walk of life we face, accept and adapt to corruption without realizing how it is destroying the basic fabric of us as a nation. We fool everybody by calling our country democratic because we hardly know and prize freedom. If another East India Company were to come along, some of us would willingly sell our grandmother for a few more dollars and sterling pounds. I wish to be corrected in case I am wrong in my opinion. I wish I am wrong.

In the process of trying to stand on our own legs we are creating chaos in every sphere. Our parliamentary leaders do not have the strength of character to make and pass  a strong Lokpal bill. They all know that such a Lokpal will make their lives miserable and none of them want that to happen. One of them said that the Lokpal will become more powerful that the Prime Minister. I understand that to be an honest admission of the fact that most of the parliamentarians are undeserving and up to no good, so if not the Prime Minister then the Lokpal would have to discipline them. Another path breaking legislation required in this country is the women reservation bill. Whatever is the population ratio between male and female, the same should be the share of seats in parliament at the center and state. I firmly believe that better laws will be made and better will be the governance. That is exactly what the people want and our politicians do not want. With such spineless people managing the country what can we expect other than chaos. It is said that we get the government that we deserve. That’s right. I think that if we abandoned the western model of development and learn to share what we have, if we value inner development of the person and respect character more than appearance, if we can trust our own lives to give us all that we need and not crave for all that we greed, if we understand and remember who we were, there would be less chaos and more development.  

Today we have our government doing more charity than development. Give a man a fish and he will be hungry again but teach him how to fish and he won’t remain hungry ever. However with 100 days assured employment and heavily subsidized food grain being made available to the poor, we are slowly killing their willingness to work more and try to improve the future of their children. Agricultural  subsidies are being given to manufacturers who inflate costs and pocket the benefits. People have become dependent on electricity for all major and minor needs, so the government encourages the setting up of thermal power plants on one hand and prohibits mining so as to save the forests on the other hand. Government permits the acquisition of agricultural land to set up housing townships and factories but prohibits the cutting of forests to replenish agricultural land. Petrol prices are delinked from government control so that people pay heavily for what they consume but car manufacturers are not discouraged. Food grains rot in government godowns due to lack of hygiene and proper infrastructure but government cannot permit private participation fearing hoarding and price speculation. We need iron ore to be retained inside the country for our internal consumption but government permits exports for trade parity and foreign exchange. The roads of every small town and village has witnessed an explosion of cars and two wheelers but the size and quality of the road remains unchanged, public transport is conspicuous by its scarcity and parking space has struck like a foreign comet. The list of chaos is unending.

However all is not lost. We are bending over backwards to acquire and replicate the western glitter but fortunately we have not been successful. We have miserably failed to eradicate poverty and neither have we tremendously improved the living conditions. For this we blame our ever growing population but the truth is that we have not been steadfastly honest and determinably sincere in the pursuit of western ideals. Somehow on the path we have not been able to extinguish our unique identity, our conscience has not permitted us to run roughshod over the need to address every individual’s needs albeit it is a kind of shadow of the real thing. We still want to value the mind over matter, we still seek to take every opinion along, and we still retain traces of collectivism in our blood. It is time that we accepted the truth about ourselves that we cannot think and behave like the westerners. I don’t imply that the western governments do not take their people along in their policies, rather everybody in that part of the world has a common inclination towards material wealth. We however are a different people, we are not apes and we need to be ourselves. We have to turn towards the value systems enshrined in our history. Let us bring forth the lessons from the Bhagwat Gita back into our lives.

Monday, January 2, 2012

In conversation with a wise man

I have introduced Mr. SS to this blog earlier and coupled with the reason that he does not want his name to be disclosed, so I shall refrain from talking specifics about him. I like the company of Mr. SS very much because he always manages to stimulate me and reaffirm my belief in the spiritual evolvement of human being. His honesty, simplicity and frankness in the midst of high achievement both is business and in meditation always leaves me feeling like a speck of dirt at the feet of a great man. We have shared many a wonderful conversation and this note is a summarized form of another interesting conversation I had with him when we were together at Mumbai recently.

One. Maintaining a pleasant state of mind is everything. If one can maintain a pleasant frame of mind at all times, nothing can go wrong. Nothing is impossible to the person who can maintain pleasantness of mind irrespective of whatever happens around them. In fact such a person can bring around every bad situation to their favour with such a frame of mind. First it requires some strength of mind to not get disturbed and secondly a strong power of visualization to the minute details. Together the combination works wonders. Pleasant frame of mind is to remain positive, happy, accepting and anticipating every situation, and firmly contended. In the practical world the ability to visualize in details works better when the mind is free of thoughts. This delivers desired results. This is the practical usage of meditation because while meditating we make the mind free of thoughts and concentrate on the self, the prana, the life energy. However this seeking a pleasant frame of mind and visualization of desires would take one towards the opposite path of spirituality.

Two. The human body and the mind are both part of nature and therefore whatever action we do through our body and whatever thoughts we think through our mind are also limited by nature. We cannot do anything beyond what nature permits us. Some people have a better ability to think through a problem or to visualize a solution. They become great inventors and great philosophers. But we can never think beyond the four corners of nature. We humans are restricted by our environment and there are many issues which puzzle us and for which we don’t have the answers. We call it the hand of God; all that we don’t know.

Three. Our reality is to a large extent is based on our perception. The way in which we perceive things, influences our thinking and feelings. Different people can perceive differently, different life forms would also perceive differently while looking at the same thing. Viewing a tree, one man could praise the beauty of nature, another man could think of new firewood for his kitchen, a bird would think of building a nest for her eggs and a squirrel would look at it like its home itself. While the base fact is the same for all, the feelings are different, the outlook is different. We are therefore bound by our perceptions, our needs, and our insecurities which may not be the entire truth.

Four. I go by the line that there are no mistakes in life and whatever happens, it happens for the good. Mr. SS adds a corollary to that. Every person has a ‘viveka’ or innate wisdom, and their ‘viveka’ guides them every moment in life towards what is good and essential. When somebody defies that ‘viveka’ then it is definitely a mistake.
Amazing insights from a very wise man.