Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The world as I see it

Following is an essay that I came across while surfing the net... made an interesting read...
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

Ten Rules for Being Human

Just stumbled across this article...!
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.

Darjeeling memories...

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

living on the edge....

...For the past few days I have been down.. really down ..
regret ...
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

in a mess...

I have made this mess myself...
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 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?