Wednesday, December 21, 2005
The world as I see it - Albert Einstein
"How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people -- first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy. A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving...
"I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves -- this critical basis I call the ideal of a pigsty. The ideals that have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. Without the sense of kinship with men of like mind, without the occupation with the objective world, the eternally unattainable in the field of art and scientific endeavors, life would have seemed empty to me. The trite objects of human efforts -- possessions, outward success, luxury -- have always seemed to me contemptible.
"My passionate sense of social justice and social responsibility has always contrasted oddly with my pronounced lack of need for direct contact with other human beings and human communities. I am truly a 'lone traveler' and have never belonged to my country, my home, my friends, or even my immediate family, with my whole heart; in the face of all these ties, I have never lost a sense of distance and a need for solitude..."
"My political ideal is democracy. Let every man be respected as an individual and no man idolized. It is an irony of fate that I myself have been the recipient of excessive admiration and reverence from my fellow-beings, through no fault, and no merit, of my own. The cause of this may well be the desire, unattainable for many, to understand the few ideas to which I have with my feeble powers attained through ceaseless struggle. I am quite aware that for any organization to reach its goals, one man must do the thinking and directing and generally bear the responsibility. But the led must not be coerced, they must be able to choose their leader. In my opinion, an autocratic system of coercion soon degenerates; force attracts men of low morality... The really valuable thing in the pageant of human life seems to me not the political state, but the creative, sentient individual, the personality; it alone creates the noble and the sublime, while the herd as such remains dull in thought and dull in feeling.
"This topic brings me to that worst outcrop of herd life, the military system, which I abhor... This plague-spot of civilization ought to be abolished with all possible speed. Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism -- how passionately I hate them!
"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. It was the experience of mystery -- even if mixed with fear -- that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds: it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity. In this sense, and only this sense, I am a deeply religious man... I am satisfied with the mystery of life's eternity and with a knowledge, a sense, of the marvelous structure of existence -- as well as the humble attempt to understand even a tiny portion of the Reason that manifests itself in nature."
Wonder how much of it is actually true even in my case. I have been reading the similar thoughts in the book "Five people you meet in heaven.." and the question keeps strinking my mind... and the thoughts start to play crazy games in my mind... wonder when I will find an answer to these questions...
Philosophy... spirituality... there has to be a common platform for all.. some say all philiosophy is spirituality and some vice versa... which to go with ?? the mind flickers from one end to the other... in search of the perfect answer...
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Wonder how much of it we follow!!
Ten Rules for Being Human by Cherie Carter-Scott
1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it's yours to keep for the entire period.
2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called, "life."
3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial, error, and experimentation. The "failed" experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiments that ultimately "work."
4. Lessons are repeated until they are learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can go on to the next lesson.
5. Learning lessons does not end. There's no part of life that doesn't contain its lessons. If you're alive, that means there are still lessons to be learned.
6. "There" is no better a place than "here." When your "there" has become a "here", you will simply obtain another "there" that will again look better than "here."
7. Other people are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.
8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.
9. Your answers lie within you. The answers to life's questions lie within you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.
10. You will forget all this.
The following piece is a advice to anyone who is planning to visit Darjeeling.
If u reach Bagdogra by 2 pm you can go and hire a taxi and reach Darjeeling the same day.
It takes around 3 hours by taxi from Bagdogra. Try avoiding traveling on the hills in the evenings and the night especially in the month of February as there is always thick fog and the visibility is not very good. The drivers are real experts though.
If u leave from Bagdogra in the morning u can leave by around 7 am. This way you will get enough time to visit some places in Darjeeling the same day.
Is Darjeeling hotels are easy to find and u can find them in almost all gullies. Hovever for your trip to be more exotic I would suggest this.
Staying in Darjeeling.
Try finding a hotel from whose windows you can get a clear view of the mighty Himalayas. The sunrise over the Kanchenjungha mountains is simply splendid and what can be a better way to start holiday morning with the picturesque view of the mighty mountains. Therefore the very first question you should ask a person when you reach the reception is whether the window gives a view of the mountains? Our dormitory used to have such a view and lemme tell you … right from 4 in the morning to 7 in the morning there is a very unique thing that one gets to witness. Its this .. in the moonlight you can see the mountains in the yellowish color and as the morning makes it way into our lives you will find the color change from yellow to purple to red to orange to golden to white…!!
It leaves you mesmerized and the beauty thrilled. Hotels near “The Mall” are nice and good. So u can try that. There were no five star hotels there till we were there so I don’t know if one has come up recently.
Places to go.
There are quite a few places that you would want to go to depending on what excites you.
You will not find discotheques or pubs .., but what you will get is your full of Nature…
And it’s the best thing to enjoy there…
You can go to the main points namely the
Botanical Garden ( it has a huge and awesome collection of Orchids and the flora of the Himalayas )
The Zoo (There are some nice species there.. The Himalayan Bear, Pandas, Snow Leopards, Siberian Tigers to name a few)
Make sure you visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. Here u can get the actual view of the paraphernalia that were used by Tenzing Norway in his Everest Expedition. This place also has an indoor rock climbing place where you can try your hands.
If you want to try rock climbing or rock rappling on the real rocks then you can try them at the Tenzing Rock and Gombu Rock.
U can also go to the Rock Garden and a Ganga Maiya park which is quite beautiful as it in the valley between pine trees...very picturesque environment. There are regular taxis that take you there. U go to the base of the hills so it’s a nice drive with tea gardens on the hill slopes.
On the way you might as well go and see inside the tea factory and get urself surrounded by tea leaves in the plantations… with ladies plucking the tea leaves.
Of course when you come back … do get some of the world famous Darjeeling tea… Nathmull’s is a good place to buy the right choice of tea. Very aromatic and sure to please ur senses…
When you go towards Northpoint you will come to the Rope-way to a tea estate below... It’s a wonderful ride as it takes you over the tea gardens… and it’s a beautiful experience…
Of course... just beside the ropeway is my School St Joseph’s College, North Point. If you happen then do get some snaps of my alma mater and send them over to me...
Inside and around Darjeeling there are other attractions like the Batasia Loop, just before the Ghoom Railway Station . If you have hired a taxi from Bagdogra, one can stop over and have a look at the amazing omega shaped railway track that the toy train takes on its way to Darjeeling. You also get a very pleasant view of the mighty mountains from here.
If the toy train is running still you can take a ride on it and imagine yourself like Saif Ali Khan in Parineeta!!!
Thupten Sangag Choling (Dali) and Yiga - Choling(Ghoom) - the Buddhist monasteries of Bhutan Busty and the Japanese Peace Pagoda are also nice places to visit.
Inside Darjeeling the best way to travel is on foot. Checking out the local cuisines and the Local handicrafts. There is a huge Tibetan community there who sell some really nice handicrafts. The momos are a delicacy there and you will find them almost everywhere.
Is you want to do shopping the best place is the Chowrasta and the Mahakal Market. U can even go to the Chowrasta for a evening walk or a horse ride. The Oxford book store and the Amigoz restaurant at the Chowrasta are impressive. There are a lot of foreign goods that are available there on the streets and in the shops…
While going towards the Chowrasta comes an old hotel by the name Glenary’s where you get one of the best Bakery stuff. A hot cup of coffee in the cafeteria there, on a cold February day overlooking the Himalayas pure bliss!!!! If you want to try burgers and hotdogs try some at the Keventer’s.
From the Chowrasta there is a way that goes to the North point (the place of the ropeway and my school ) that is around 2.5 kms and the Zoo, the Mountaineering Institute come in the way. Therefore I suggest to walk this small distance.
The taxi wallahs do charge exorbitant rates especially for tourists.
Darjeeling is not so big a town, and one can cover it by foot.
If you have a spare day after roaming the places in Darjeeling you can go for White Water Rafting in the Teesta river. The drive down to the river is around 2 hours through pine forests and Tea gardens. And the water of the mountain river is chilly but its fun…! I had gone there some 3 years ago and it was an awesome experience…!
Although it has been quite a while since I went to Darjeeling but the memories still is afresh and will be there all life long.
The other option that most tourists do is to hire a guide and they take you to some 5 or 6 points and say that’s it all is there in Darjeeling; which I don’t quite agree.
If you have any doubt ever in your stay in Darjeeling, Contact the DGHC (Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council) offices that is situated at quite a few places there. They will be able to guide you.
If you need anything else .. Just feel free to bug me .. I will answer it if I can!!!
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
...For the past few days I have been down.. really down ..
Have landed myself in a horrendous situation.. a situation where one feels like just running away...far away from the crowd.. far away from everyone...and just be with yourself...
Have been reading "the five people you meet in Heaven" by Mitch Albom.
Some excerpts from it...
"No life is a waste...The only time we waste is the time we spend thinking we are alone..."
"It is because the human spirits knows, deep down that lives intersect. That death does not take someone... it just misses someone else, and in the small distance between being taken and being missed, lives are changed"
The book is a nice small cute book.. with some nice insights into domains that we are unaware of...
Its a story of a person named Eddie who dies on his 83rd birthday in trying to save a small girl...
So in one way.. the book starts with a person dying and his new birth in heaven. Interesting read...
Set me thinking....
In the mean time... I am seeing my dreams being shattered...of not being able to do what the heart desires... What does one choose...Its a difficult situation this one... and I have absolutely no clue of how to get out of it ...seems like am trapped deep in the dark forest ... waiting for that one ray of light to set things going...
The question that arises is till when.. till when should one wait...
Finished "Chasing the Monsoon" and "The Class"...
Went to the book fair and got a couple of new books .. "The Sound of paper" and "The IITians"
My Camera finally got repaired.. so thats a bit of joy in the bleak life that I am currently experiencing..
Had gone to do some volunteering work as a Photographer for an NGO called "iVolunteer"
The dream of a Digital SLR however still seems distant...
The confusion a Nikon D70S and a Canon 20D is still lingering !
Thursday, December 01, 2005
and it seems have to stick in it..
nothing doing about it..
lekin mess kya hai yeh batoge
having to do something u dont like ..
and not being able to do what u like.
what do u do ..
when u see all your dreams wiped out in a ziffy..
and suddenly you are made to realise that
all that u dreamt/ are dreaming is something illusional
and that there can never be a steady effort to see you trying to attain that goal
..so here I am..
stuck up in a rather good place..
with good people..
but still cribbing..
getting ready to face the harsh realities...
of doing this same thing for all time of life..
and having to part with my dreams for once and for all..
with no more enthusiasm for life..
and no more passion for doing anything..
loosing faith in myself..
the thing that has kept me going ..
the confidence that I had seems to be draining away
with each and every passing moment..
the expectations of the entire society
being thrown down the cliff in order to satisfy one person..
What do you do ?
run away or face it?
start something that you hated doing ...
start indulging yourself in doing things that you once loathed...
Try to forget everything and start afresh...
What is the solution??
Where does principles fit in...??
All for one person??
Is it worth it?
Thursday, November 17, 2005
heritage site .. declared by UNESCO...and a couple of other beaches nearby...Currently on a transfer to East Coast Bhubaneshwar, i was cursing the authorities of putting me up at a "small city"... whose office is located in the middle of no-where...
But little did i know what was in store.. This was the Konark temple and the Beaches at Chandrabagha (3 kms from Konark) and Puri....
We started off well at around 7 am from Bhubaneshwar.. I was though not expecting
too good roads...thinking it too be a area constantly being hit by natural
calamities...But it came as a surprise when our OR-02AD 8057 Indica was hitting
100 kmph!!! Suddenly the driver used to take the break .. at places there are speed breakers
that the greeks would be proud to see.. completely omega shaped speedbreakers with
a lot of concrete.. and come without any warning...that send shivers everytime ur
vehicle crossed it!!The long drive along the country side with lush green fields with patches of
canary with the premises guarded by coconut trees was a welcome sight from the
concrete jungle and the vehicular pollution...
The roads just seemed to cut through the rice fields...it was indeed horrifying to remind oneself of the terrible times when there are floods and cyclones.. it was hard imaging the place with uprooted coconut trees and nature's fury all around...and poverty overtaking major areas. Temples sprout in the middle of nowhere... in the middle if fields...below trees.. alongside roads and at crossings...
Cruising through the villages with the characteristic odour of the morning blues... and the smoke from the chulah .. send me nostalgic reminding me of my childhood spend in village similar to this one
keeps constantly questioning on the question of faith we as Indians do in our gods...
Reached Konark.. and the place left me stunned... the architecture of the temple was unbelievable and although there were places that were patched with renovated and redone sculpture, one could easily make out the difference
8:40 am:We hired a guide named Shankar for our highly interactive walkthrough of the
Konark temple. The fact that the guide was speaking such good english made the
stay more memorable. He seemed to be quite thorough with the various aspects of
the sculptures and the historical facts.The sun temple is beautifully laid, with highly skilled architecture.
After spending around two and half hours exploring the temple we set off for our
This was the Chandrabagha beach; some three kilometers from the Konark temple. It is said that when the temple was built the sea extended till the temple. The first rays of the rising sun was said to fall at the main altar of the temple where the main deity was kept.The beach lay there in its pristine glory... unperturbed from civilazation.. the thunderous sounds of the waves splashing against the golden sand...Pure bliss..!!managed to do some photography there.. would definitely suggest someone with photographic ardour to try the beaches that are still unexplored...The natural beauty of the beach mesmerised me and kept keeping me from going.. but due to the day progressing .. and having to return back to bhubaneshwar and a lot of miles to cover we decided to go
on the roads again.. this was a picturesque drive.. with forests on one side and
the blue bay on the other...if the first drive was heaven.. this definitely had to
reached Puri and had lunch in a not so good restaurant...
headed to go to the Jagannath temple..what a sight...!!took the entrance and what a surprise inside.. there were alteast more than 30
thousand people in the temple complex... as one passed the fellow pilgrims singing paeans in honour of the Lord Jagannath...Deep engrossed in my thought as to why they call Lord Jagannath and not Bhagwaan Jagannath.. we entered the main temple to get a "darshan" of the lord. hands up ... pockets with wallets all buttoned up...and shouting hare krishna and ho-ho-ho-ho we made our way further inside...an experience...never felt before... in fear of a stampede we put out feet forward
consciously.There were people of all age groups.. with all kinds of relatives...The question of Faith that we Indians have in our gods are indeed commendable...some must be praying for good career.. some for good health .. some for prosperity...the key there is to just let urself get immersed in the holy atmosphere and go with the crowd...for if you try doing something else you find a "danda" of the policewalaah striking you.. and they hurt badly...
Finished the Darshan by around 3:30 and headed towards the beach... A new discovery awaits us... the horn of our vehicle malfunctioned...and driving back to bhubaneshwar in the night may be a problem...but the driver takes us in his confidence...saying he will not have any such problems..
reached the beach.. the puri beach is very unlike the juhu or the marine beach..the waves are a bit more fierce and the height of the waves also large...strolled along the beach .. lots of faces .. lots of people.. playing with the waters rejuvinates the soul...the ambience is excellent...
suddenly a weird thought comes in... the sun does not seem to be going into the sea for the sunset...!! how could that be.. I remember seeing pics of the Puri sunset...Just then another thought takes over... Shankar had told us.. the beaches at Kanyakumari and Puri are the only two places in India where u can see the sun rise as well as the sunset in the sea.. waited for the sun to come down.. so that i could witness what turned out to be a sight that I had never seen before...
The sun seemed to set just at the line where the sea met the land...as a result of which the sand turned golden .. and the water and the waves lit exotically in the flames of the sun...the water was on fire...a fire that not even the waters could or would want to put out... a sight never witnessed before .. breathtaking to its core..add to it the people's silhouttes that one could compose ... awesome...! feelings inexplicable...the hungry photographer in me just had its full...with
many children on the beach it was indeed a photographer's delight.... It seemed the sun god resides in this very place...The sea seemed to be calling each and everyone present into it...the call of the
set to return...without the horns of the Indica though
stopped over in Pipli to check out the applique work done by the local people..beautiful lamp-shades and very interesting artworks done using only clothes...tok
some for a souvenir...
reached bhubaneshwar...and back to the guest house..
Missed a few people at times... but then as I said...onc can always come back with
near and dear ones...
This is one beach that I would defiitely love to come back...
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Never before have i felt so good..!!
Never before have i spent so much BUYING my own books...!!
Never before have i visited a seven star hotel so frequently... ( the Leela Palace in this case .. thanks to the Oxford book store there)
Finished quite a few books in this mean time.
Angels and Demons... by Dan Brown!!
This guy is a genius ... I simply love his writing style..!! Have become an ardent fan of his... and become another entry in his millions fan club.. His novels are so captivating that you will never feel like putting it down...
Being Indian... by Pavan Verma
Amazing book.. especially the chapters on Technology and the Rise of Democracy .... great one
I must say a must read for anybody preparing to get theier vocabulary tested..!! I seriously asked myself... was this an Indian writer writing such English... But by the end of it .. I feel proud to be Indian ... nice insights into many things that we so often are aware but fail to realise.. Also it has real statistical data to support the facts... so there is nothing else you can do but BELIEVE it!!!
To Sir with love... by E M Braithwaite
This one classifies as a sweet book...!! very beautifully written...Its the story of a Negro teacher who has served in the army .. but he fails to get a decent job after leaving the army ..untill one day he lands up at a school in East London... the school of al things has this peculiar rule.. NOT TO PUNISH any of the students for whatever wrong they do...The love of the teacher for the students and vice versa... the beautiful moments that make u cry... Got this book as a bday gift from my girl friend.. Defnitely a must read...!!
Currently reading Chasing the Monsoon... another beautiful book ... its a travel account of a Englishman who plans to chase the monsoon from its onset in Kerela standing at the house from where he sees the three water bodies meet .. to Cherrapunji .. the place which he had seen once in a painting in his childhood...The description of the monsoon is marvellous... simply magical... and makes youi realise the beauty of rain...
Put these activities with the Work load (I leave home by 7 in the morning and am back by 9 in the night)... and the regular visit to the book shop in Leela ...and the photography trips in the weekend..... u get an idea of what a Life I am leading in Bangalore!!!!
I dont know whats going to happen later .... but All that I know is that I'm Loving each and every moment of my stay at Bangalore!!!!
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
I wonder how many of we the bemused sould actually follow or agree with it...
Well as for me I quite agree to most of the things of not all...
The ones highlighted in RED are the ones that I completely agree to...
1. Love Is The Law Of Life: All love is expansion, all selfishness is contraction. Love is therefore the only law of life. He who loves lives, he who is selfish is dying. Therefore, love for love's sake, because it is law of life, just as you breathe to live.
2. It's Your Outlook That Matters: It is our own mental attitude, which makes the world what it is for us. Our thoughts make things beautiful, our thoughts make things ugly. The whole world is in our own minds. Learn to see things in the proper light.
3. Life is Beautiful: First, believe in this world - that there is meaning behind everything. Everything in the world is good, is holy and beautiful. If you see something evil, think that you do not understand it in the right light. Throw the burden on yourselves!
4. It's The Way You Feel: Feel like Christ and you will be a Christ; feel like Buddha and you will be a Buddha. It is feeling that is the life, the strength, the vitality, without which no amount of intellectual activity can reach God.
5. Set Yourself Free: The moment I have realised God sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him - that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes, and I am free.
6. Don't Play The Blame Game: Condemn none: if you can stretch out a helping hand, do so. If you cannot, fold your hands, bless your brothers, and let them go their own way.
7. Help Others: If money helps a man to do good to others, it is of some value; but if not, it is simply a mass of evil, and the sooner it is got rid of, the better.
8. Uphold Your Ideals: Our duty is to encourage every one in his struggle to live up to his own highest idea, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the Truth.
9. Listen To Your Soul: You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.
10. Be Yourself: The greatest religion is to be true to your own nature. Have faith in yourselves!
11. Nothing Is Impossible: Never think there is anything impossible for the soul. It is the greatest heresy to think so. If there is sin, this is the only sin - to say that you are weak, or others are weak.
12. You Have The Power: All the powers in the universe are already ours. It is we who have put our hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark.
13. Learn Everyday: The goal of mankind is knowledge... now this knowledge is inherent in man. No knowledge comes from outside: it is all inside. What we say a man 'knows', should, in strict psychological language, be what he 'discovers' or 'unveils'; what man 'learns' is really what he discovers by taking the cover off his own soul, which is a mine of infinite knowledge.
14. Be Truthful: Everything can be sacrificed for truth, but truth cannot be sacrificed for anything.
15. Think Different: All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything.
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Came across this article in the Times of India...It made an interesting reading .. it was written by Vivek Paul ... and its not my compilation..(the pic on LHS is mine though!!)
Philosophers have long held that happiness is the ultimate goal of existence. Aristotle called it the "summum bonum" — the "chief good" — in that while we desire other goods such as money or power because we believe that they will make us happy, we want happiness for its own sake. So do material goods really lead you to happiness?
According to brain scientists, there is actually a specific area in the brain that sets expectations of material gain, and as material goals are achieved, it resets expectation levels. This means that you could be unhappy despite being wealthy, if your expectations were higher, and happy in penury if you exceeded expectations. MRI brain scans coupled with behavioural game theory experiments show that the human brain has a "fairness" switch. Even if you get a lot, if you think it was an inequitable split, you are unhappy, and as long as the split is fair, you can be quite happy even with little. One part of the physical brain recognises gain, and another, loss, so these two emotions are processed differently. This means a small series of gains can make you happier than a pattern of alternating gains and losses, even if the net gain was the same. It is a separate part of the brain that processes short-term gain versus long-term value and again, there is asymmetry: Long-term value is an acquired taste; for many, it is not a strong happiness signal. Abraham Maslow, a psychologist, enumerated a need hierarchy with material needs at the bottom and self-actualisation at the top.
Material gains offer happiness up to the point that ensures survival and provides some social status. After that comes security, an ability to feel sure that you can defend what is yours. After that comes a desire to love and be loved, to belong to a community or group that is greater than oneself. Many stop here and lead happy lives. Others keep climbing to the next level of self-esteem, and finally self-actualisation. What is this elusive self-actualisation? It comes from recognising that you are exercising 100% of your mental and physical facilities in your own unique way, towards a goal that is greater than the needs of your own self. Psychotherapist Viktor Frankl said if you could find an individual's purpose, you can find his happiness. We are all born with a unique bundle of aptitudes. Purpose has two elements — a uniqueness that relates to why an individual uniquely is suited to do something and integration, or the way that uniqueness either harmonises or helps others or a greater group. Research has indicated that most people move from an emphasis on integration (for example, in childhood) to uniqueness (in adolescence) about 10 times in their lifetime. The need for a purpose arose around the same time as the emergence of self-reflective consciousness, which is believed to have followed the evolution of the bicameral (two-lobed) brain. This consciousness is the ability to examine the mind as if from the outside, as an objective reality.
This purpose also came to be tied to the soul; the soul manifests connection to a greater entity and the home of those energies that go beyond those needed for our own personal comfort and well-being. In fact, the word magnanimous comes from the Latin ‘magnus' or great and ‘animus' or soul — the exact equivalent of mahatma. Yet another road to happiness was found by the Hungarian psychologist, Csikszentmihalyi, through what he calls 'flow'. Flow is happiness through action that creates the exhilarating sensation of being alive. Mountaineers experience it when climbing, fishermen after a fighting catch, cricketers during a long turn at the crease and mothers when tending to a child. His research indicated that flow comes with clear goals: Hit a century, climb that mountain, when feedback is immediate. Flow occurs when difficulty and ability are both high and roughly equal. Concentration deepens. Action and awareness merge into a seamless wave of energy. There is detachment. The term ecstasy in Greek means literally 'to stand to the side'. In flow, the present alone matters. You are in absolute control. Sense of time is altered. Minutes can feel like hours or seconds. In flow, there is a loss of ego, as if awareness of one's personhood is temporarily suspended. When a climber reaches the top, there is a unity between the mountain and the self, not the sense of a competition won. So here then is the road to happiness: Working hard at something you enjoy that challenges your abilities, can give you happiness everyday as you experience flow, the material results of which can satisfy the fundamental layers of your needs. If that task can also have a greater purpose, you are on the path of self-actualisation, opening the doors to lasting happiness.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Happiness to what one would say??The happiness of the soul that every one is constantly seeking for.There cannot be a greater happiness than the happiness of the soul. And in such conditions no matter how much pain the body or the mind is in ...it goes unnoticed by the pleased soul. Such is the power of the happiness of the soul that all sorrows are forgotten. Smiles galore the individual. This is exactly what happened in the past couple of days.
Having got a holiday on Wednesday on account of Ganesh Chaturthi.. it was our turn to say Ganapati Bappa Mourya!!! and have a good time..! So we did just that on Tuesday .. Played cricket... (not a very good thing to mention in public circles though... with the current performance of our star-studded Indian Cricket team...)
Scenario 1:The batsman was me.. last ball .. runs required six. Pace bowler to send the ball hurling towards me... I try to strike...swinged the bat..a swing that IF connected properly would have indeed send the tennis ball flying high ... But I missed...My team Lost.
Cut to Scenario 2:Fielders on the boundaries... The batsman requires four runs of the last ball to win the match ...I stood there gasping for breath after the ball chase of the previous shot...had saved the boundary on that ocassion... Seemed the batsman understood my situation ... Picked me to play his shot... a well lofted shot over the covers... could i take the catch ...? i ran to my left ... with pain in my knees from the previous dive... as the ball approached me .. I could make out that I could reach it if i gave a dive... The gamble however was whether I go for the catch or let the batsman be content for a single... I decided that was going to be the former...I dived without looking at the condition of the ground beneath...Missed it...!! ball races across the boundary...Damn it...! Hurt myself...Another match lost!!
What pleased my soul was playing cricket after such a long time. The great time that I had was just an evidence of the happiness that the soul was experiencing. I was simply so happy that evening ...that the constant smile on my face could send people thinking ... Whats up with this guy??? Was roaming the streets singings songs loud enough that you could hear it in the peak traffic conditions of Airport road as well!!
What followed after that was the pain...with almost each muscle in my rather slightly overweight body crying to me for attention...But here I was.. it somehow felt like Sweet pain ... and i kinda enjoyed it...
Spend the entire holiday the next day celebrating Ganesh Puja in the bed...with a lot of ahhs and ooohs.. and ouchsss...and reading Dan Brown's Angels and Demons..
In the evening went and spent some time with Ganesh and Shiv ji in the Kemp Fort temple...Pure bliss...
What a nice way to experience Joy!!!Happiness to the sould indeed...!
Monday, September 05, 2005
There has been excitement... there has been introspection.. there has been sorrow...and there has been joy...
I have been reading a lot ... Fiction and Non Fiction ... Spirituality ...books on India...
Almost finished with the "Conversations with God" part two...got a copy of "Being Indian" and also "Jesus Lived in India"...and to follow that is "Celebrating Silence "
In the mean time the constant fight in the mind continues...The fight between the design mind and the non design mind.. one trying to outpower the other at all times... and am trying to look for answers from somewhere else...
As said the human is composed of the three main things : The body; the mond and the soul...The mind is an amazing thing with answers to almost all things that the world desires...and questions...But what do you do when the mind is in a turmoil.. in a whirlpool of emotions...constantly figuring out what is right for the soul...??
In such conditions.. you listen to what the soul says... The soul is the base and it is the ultimate thing... it is "THE THING" ...
Doing what the mind says and the body likes is happiness...Doing what the soul likes is happiness with satisfaction...
Having read a few articles by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in the papers (Indian Express: Sunday edition), Times of India; in books Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch, God loves Fun by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and also some teachings of Swami Vivekanand... I somehow feel that they all are trying to convey the same TRUTH. It somehow all boils down to the same thing...
I have felt this thing ... and also find exactly the same words appearing in front of me...(in fact in two different books i was zapped at the paragraphs also being same...!!); just that the sources are different... and the frame in which they speak are ofcourse different...
I believe that the need is there to look beyond... and see the things that are unseen...
There has been questions that has been popping up in my head..questions on Love, Power, Desire, Sex, Passion, Joy, Sorrow...
The mind is always travelling.. and travelling fast.. and one cannot stop it from doing that ...
the questions will come... and surely the answers will arrive sooner or later ... That I am sure that I will ultimately land up finding the Truth...
Have recently started reading Dan Brown's Angels and Demons... going on fine... again another novel about the church and Christianity...! Just taking a break from spirituality and religious books.. not very likely though...
Thursday, August 25, 2005
I received this email from a friend of mine in lisbon and forwarding the same to the group... whats your say on this?____________
It’s Thursday, early evening, and I am sitting on adock in cottage country with my laptop while othersare just getting home from work. I have been asked towrite about what it’s like to be a freelance creative.I spoke to the staff at the magazine and I asked, whatpart of it do you want me to cover? They replied…themoney, the difference between working in an agency andon your own, how you get clients, etc. It was decidedthat I would write several articles because there isno way to cover everything in one unless you thereader, have an hour or so to kill.So here I am, with the screen open in front of me, andI think the only logical way to begin is to explainwhy I became a freelancer in the first place. It wasreally quite simple. Security and freedom.Security. You are most likely asking yourself howsomeone without a full-time job can consider theirlife secure? After working for nearly a decade as anart director and copywriter in several advertisingagencies, I can honestly tell you that I never feltlike my job was secure. How many of you in thisindustry actually do? Look around your agency…how many40 year old creatives are you working with?It was only when I bumped into a senior mentor from mypast that my potential future hit me like a load ofbricks. You see, he had won awards during his longcareer employed in different agencies, and here hewas, working in a big box superstore, complete with a“Hello my name is” nametag pinned to his shirt,directing me to aisle 36. I came home and had asleepless night wondering if I was doomed to the samefate.Where do all the creatives go when they reach middleage? We all know of somebody that suddenly disappearedfrom the industry one day never to be heard fromagain. The question remained in my head…what am Igoing to do to ensure that this doesn’t happen to me?Do I want to be a middle-aged creative peddling myportfolio around town, competing with 20 years oldsfresh out of school that will work for beer money?I decided that morning to go off on my own and startbuilding my clientele. My thought was that with myexperience, maybe in 5-10 years I’d be establishedenough to have several large clients giving meconsistent work so that I’d have a career doing what Ilove to do, and make the money I had always dreamedof. I started hustling. It took me one year.Freedom. One only has to read my first sentence tounderstand what I am referring to. It is a great timeto be in this business; the internet has changedeverything. You can work from anywhere and everywhere.I can leave the city whenever I want. Gone are bigboardrooms and presentations. Everything can happentoday with three letters. Let me explain. The clientchecks out my WWW. The brief comes via FAX. My specsare sent to them as JPGs. The final files get uploadedto an FTP site and finally, the invoice is sent as aprintable PDF. All this and I never had to meet withthe client. It’s a beautiful thing.My schedule is mine. I work when I want during the dayor the evening. Have you ever been in a supermarket at10:30 in the morning on a Thursday? How about playinggolf at 9:00 on a Tuesday morning? Everything is emptybecause everyone’s at work.Here are a few more questions I asked myself: Did Iactually want to become a creative director for anagency? What were my chances of getting there? Did Iwant the hectic schedule that goes along with theposition? If I didn’t become a CD then what?I recently spoke with Heidi Ehlers of “Black Bag”, anexecutive recruitment company in Toronto, and I askedher what happened to a few senior creatives I used toknow that dropped out of sight. She replied “they’regone…they didn’t have a plan. I don’t care whatindustry you are in or what you do, you must have aplan”. Extremely wise words indeed. Words I will neverforget.So thank you Heidi and here’s my plan. I plan to getmore clients. I plan to do great work for them. I planto still be around when others are gone. I plan towatch my daughter grow up, to enjoy life, to playenough golf this year that I break 80, to stop andsmell the roses, and finally, at the end of thissentence, I plan to take one more slow paddle aroundthe lake and listen to the loons before the sun goesdown.
by Ronnie Lebow
"Technical Skill is the mastery of complexity, while Creativity is the mastery of simplicity....."
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
NO WORKING ON A SOFTWARE JOB.
The saying was tough indeed and the going tougher. Atleast I can say so after joining the industry where India has had a major role to play and on which thrives the current Indian Economy. However the picture was clear. NO SOFTWARE JOBS.
Programming some how is not my cup of tea either hot or cold.
Having bagged two software jobs at the campus placements at IIT; also at times did put a doubt in my mind as to whether that was what was going to happen and me taking up one of those. When I look back today; I find that there were moments of anxiety, anguish, high adrenaline, low confidence,frustation, inspiration and above all HOPE.
Where I was heading to was unclear to me as well.
Sometimes I wanted to take up photography, the one thing in the world that I LOVE the most.
Sometimes my mind would want me to make movies on the lines of the short films made in due course of my stay at IIT.
Sometimes the mind would want me doing Graphic Design and Corporate Identity stuff.
Sometimes this, sometimes that....Not being clear of my goal was one major reason why I was indeed having so many difficulties.
But still the saying was clear.. NO SOFTWARE JOBS!!!!
But then one has to look for other opportunities... if not software then what??
What are the career options that are open??
Usability??? UI Design??? Multimedia??? HCI Related work??? Video??? etc etc...
But wait,, what did u say u were expert at???
STOP!! Who are u trying to fool? Not the world for sure. There is just one person who is effected by the consequences of this and that is just YOU.
Yes.... It was me who was being actually effected due to the uncertainty in my mind and it was literally killing me from within. Not being able to enjoy anything ...even the company of near and dear ones was unwelcomed...
I had to decide onto something .. and that decision had to come fast.. before it was late.
Well it was only untill then that something else started creeping in.. DESIRE.. the desire to earn.. call it the lust for money .. not greed definitely ....
There was this another factor that was actually bothering me...
STRUGGLE is the synonym of life many say...and struggle indeed it was.. a more of a mental struggle... of me sitting idle at home doing nothing...of my friends at school and college doing something and leading their lives in a happy and peaceful manner as their choices.... OR IS IT WHAT THEY WANTED??
The chances that YOU will always get something that you WANT and DESIRE is indeed less.. and thats where compromise comes in. One has to compromise on situations. One Cannot go on rebel saying WHY COMPROMISE .. its the wise after all who do compromise...
So here I am ...
There could be anywhere my first job could have been, but look where I have landed. Currently posted as a User Interface Designer at Infosys Technologies Limited, Bangalore; a SOFTWARE company.
Although I did not land up in a "design" company but I did land up at a DESI-gn company! As the words go around here I work for a DESI company...! But still the desire to do things that I LOVE is there.. the fire keeps burning within... just that the length of the flames are a bit small this time...
and the saying is still clear.. NO WORKING ON A SOFTWARE JOB!!!!
Monday, August 22, 2005
There are not many instances in life when something catches your attention so often. One such instance happened just yesterday.
I was in this bookshop Landmark in Forum at Bangalore, and was just going through the religious writings section where this one caught my attention.
Not too long was the time gap and there comes this book. Another SHOCK to me!!!
Haven't started reading the book yet as I am yet to finish off having the Conversations with God that I am having through Neale Donald Walsch.