The conscience cleanser of India – Ganga.

Disclaimer: This post might hurt the sentiments of a lot of people, but then, it’s meant to!

Background: I come from a strongly religious north indian hindu brahmin family and my father (papa) and my grandmother (amma) have been very religious people. They do fast, they pray a lot of gods and do a lot other things. As a kid, we used to visit haridwar many times and I used to like the vacation a lot. Last weekend was one of those many times when we drove to rishikesh and haridwar for a brief trip. It was majorly because we wanted to skip holi madness back at home.

The post: There is a lot of information, tradition, rules, gyan, money and everything else that flows down from one generation to the other. Most of the ‘hardware’ that flows from the upper generations to the lower ones is generally accepted with a lot of ease and comfort and is used as logically as possible, this could be money, property or whatever. However, the ‘software’ that percolates to the lower generations is accepted blindly most times and is seen as sacred and unquestionable. Our society does not support much questioning. And those who question are considered cynic. Nevertheless blasphemy in our country is profane, its rather fatal.

A simple example! I was at har ki paudi (the religious bank of Ganga at haridwar which is considered very sacred by hindus – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Har_ki_Pauri). it is said that once you bath in ganga your ‘paap’ will be cleared off and you can go to heaven after that – convenient, isn’t. So the scenes at that sacred bank on a holi morning are such – people are playing holi with ganga by emptying packets of gulaal in the river, they are emptying remains of ashes from god-knows-where places in the same area, they are buying food items and shooing off kids and beggers and throwing it in Ganga maiyya! And when you ask them to rather give it to someone or eat it yourself, you hear ‘chup, humnein to tujhe padha ke hi galti ki’ (shut up, we did a mistake by sending you to school!!!). Then you try to debate by asking ok, what is the reason why you pray a river and why this one specifically and why here at this specific bank. You are asked to shut up again. Now you don’t know whether to laugh or to be angry.

I think most of the traditions that our ancestors used to do are very meaningful; there is a lot of sense and logic behind their actions. Praying our rivers is the signal of respect that they used to give to rivers because of a million reasons. Our rivers, our forests, our environment they are all of utmost importance and our ancestors knew it. But the problem is, once again, we understand how this software is run, but most of us dont even try to understand the ‘why’ of it. And in this process the whole essence of this action is lost. So, while we must thank the river for all it gives, we pressurize it further by doing all sort of random experiments on it. Yes, the river has self-cleaning attributes but that doesn’t let us exploit it to our convenient.

And then there is the conscience part! I strongly dislike the Hindu overdependence on their gods for everything, from getting a baby-boy to salvation to an Indian victory to a 6-pointer to a job to a BJP/Congress win to a fair skin and the list is endless. I see it as convenience mentality. Most of us are too immersed in our ever increasing desires which lead to two things. One, it makes us do a lot of stuff which our conscience disagrees to and two; it makes us go back to gods with our open palms.

I like water! I enjoy being in clean and cold ganga in Rishikesh on a sunny afternoon myself. And most importantly, I am no saint myself. Nowhere in the bhagwad-gita is it said that one must blindly follow rules of the previous generations and it’s basically written in the query mode, in a question answer form and that’s how it should be. I have a lot of questions, mostly unanswered, but the quest for it is amazing.

Black and White Semi Colons

Player a: Salesman, restless, worried, draped in sweat, hopeful and uncertain. Terminate.

Player b: Beggar, hardly dressed. Inactive limbs. Focus on next meal, vigilant of human behaviour. Helpless but creative. Denied of essentials but gifted of persistence. Indifferent of global warming, worried of the cold night. Terminate.

Player c: Prostitute, Undesired object of desire. Social stigma of undying social needs. An element of strength. Alone, un-pleasured, afraid, faces red, bodies black, hearts transparent. Terminate.

Player d: Middle aged woman, a mother, a wife, a daughter-in-law, a friend and a lot more. A life full of roles. A lost self, still has full meaning for herself. A dependent being, for survival, for recognition for existence. Terminate.

Player e: A girl in love girl, sparkle, spring, smile, ecstasy, wait, sweet pain, fiddling with time. Terminate.

Player f: Young kid. Naivity, clarity, faith, love and deep sleep. Nothing else, unadulterated smile and unfaltering belief in all. All questions, no answers. Terminate

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Player g: Hypnotized youth, energetic, powerful, blinded by misread faith, misinterpreting the rules of religion, ignoring the teaching, hatred, guns, bombs, blindness, pain. Terminator.

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Mumbai: Ajmal Amir Kasab, the Pakistani terrorist who killed scores of people during the attacks on Mumbai in November 2008, was on Thursday sentenced to death. “To be hanged by the neck till death,” said Tahaliyani after reading out each count.

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Game Over. Really?

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(Picture: Bangalore, Sameer Morey’s Flat)

The train to nowhere, almost!

Not much was left in the leopold’s café after that attack; A had just escaped the attack and had no idea what he had just missed. Though he was still uncertain about everything that was going around him and he continued his discussion on a train journey from churchgate to andheri. It seemed that life has become dimensionless, with time and space erased totally as a concept.

A: You were telling me something about the human soul!

B: It was you intrigue son, not my monologue.

A: Ok, I am really not sure if your point about leaving the soul dry is right. We are what the circumstances are, irrespective of the self-centricity; our mind does things on some instinct. Like, ahh, oh yea, like a conversation. Now when I am saying something, I am exactly not sure about the ‘exact’ words and thoughts that will end this statement of mine, but I always end up saying something that has a meaning. And thus a conversation goes on and on. It amuses me that how it does happen and how do it happen all the time.

B: You hit it. That is the strength of your mind and my mistake! It is insanely strong for you, or me, to control and it’s this phenomenal mind of yours, that is driving the world and driving the world crazy. But the problem with ‘you’ specifically is that you can’t seem to see beyond language. Your talks and conversation are nothing more than an exchange of words; however, you can’t realize that you are not doing that with me at least. We are just connected through an ether channel and the thoughts are flowing themselves.

A: And the soul, you were just too random about your explanation about the soul. As per your definitions it looks like the respiratory manager of our body, or in more familiar terms, a breathing software for human body.

B: Haha, it’s not all that fancy kid! It’s rather plain. The simplest I can make it for you is by calling it a ‘mental fabric’; however it is created with a small part of it dedicated to balance which decides your balancing abilities on everything from your ability to use your brain or mind on a particular occasion, to your balancing abilities on the temptations and resistance scales and everything else.

A: And how do you decide on that factor?

B: You really want to know?

A: Do you think I am qualified or brave enough to joke with god? You might just turn me into a lizard, who knows!

B: Haha, oh don’t worry kid; I am not able to do that. But yea, that factor, I generate it randomly!

A: Random, you got to be kidding me, how can you be random with our souls.

B: Not the souls. The Balancing ability factor, you can call it balabtor for your reference. But it helps the world to keep moving. Otherwise everyone would be more or less same, not a world where you would like to live. Would you!

A: It looks like a dreamed of world for me!

B: Oh yea, your dreams! Your poor denied maligned dreams!

A: poor-denied-maligned, what do you mean?

B: You are supposed to see only what you want to see, nightmares were never meant to be!

A: So, where do they come from?

B: The same old story again and again, malefic souls lead to unrealistic desires followed by undesirable dreams!

A: Want to eat a vada-pao, oh do you eat!

B: Yes I do eat; I eat the leftover thoughts of human beings.

And they got down on Andheri railway station towards the new destination. Nowhere.

(Picture: Light House Local Station, Chennai. 3.2 MP Phone Camera)

Hello, Yes A Speaking!

26th Nov 2008, Mumbai.

A waits for B for an undercover meeting. A has no idea what will happen after this, he is anxious and uncertain. Not knowing what to expect he sits and sips his cappuccino. A middle-aged person in a light blue half sleeve shirt comes towards him. He is of average height, mildly dark complexion, more black than white. He resembles A’s social sciences teacher for school.

A: How can you have a body like us, shouldn’t you be different?
B: Why does it bother you at all? I am here now, tell me why you wanted me.
A: No, but I’m still shocked. How is this possible at all?
B: Forget all that and ask.
A: Hmm, I just don’t understand it. Anything.
B: What don’t you understand?
A: Now don’t joke me, you know it all.
B: Seriously, I don’t know. Please enlighten me on your troubles.
A: Come on, how can you not know. You are ‘god’ himself; please don’t play with me for lord’s sake. Oh, lord’s sake I said.
B: You have some really wrong images my son. I am no mind reader; I hardly know anything that goes on here. You guys have absolute control over things.
A: What, what do you mean you have no control. Wasn’t this unreal enough for you to say a statement like that. And I am sorry ahh sir, ahh ‘god’ for talking to you like this. I am just not in the right frame of mind.
B: That’s fine kid, but yea true, I hardly know anything about all that goes in your mind. I have very little control. I am just part of this whole universal system.
A: Then what do you do?
B: I am the soul creator and destroyer. Every time when the speed of world changes, I see the status of all the previous souls that I had created and then depending on whatever that has been deteriorated I create new ones and send them across.
A: You mean the souls are not nuclear! They break down; they deteriorate like the buildings or the bodies.
B: Certainly, that’s the truth.
A: But we believed that the souls never die. They just, they just ahh, fly away may be to another body.
B: I wish I knew how to correct that thought in your minds, alas, I have no control. I regret leaving control of your body and your mind to you people. I only kept control of your soul while designing you. And now, neither the body nor the mind is in sync with the soul.
A: Sorry to disagree, but I don’t so. The world has progressed into a stronger and better place than ever before. It’s a happier place. Don’t you think so.
B: What’s your age?
A: 23 years.
B: And how much history you know about?
A: Two . . . hundred years may be.
B: And you really think we are in right proportion of knowledge to discuss the happiness quotient of this world? Ever heard of information asymmetry?
A: That’s a little mean and earthish statement for someone of your stature.
B: I apologize, but I am tired of seeing all my souls dry up. Whatever I do, you earthians condition yourself for your individualism and leave the soul dry. And once the soul begins to dry up it’s impossible for me to fuel it again.
A: But we have no control over the soul, we do what our mind says. And I am not actually sure how the mind does what it does. Neural system, spinal cord, left brain, right brain something like that. Some signals, impulses but I am not a bio graduate to know all that.
B: How deep can you earthians think? If you are all so sure about it, then where does your spirituality emerge from? All this noise makes me smile and cry at the same time. At least I respect the creativity of your mind. Irrespective of all the narcissism and destructive bent of thought I totally respect your mind. And it has won over my biggest creation ever, the human soul.
A: Thank you, Ah, I mean Sorry!

(And they moved out of the leopold’s café and started to walk towards the sea)

To Be Continued…

Right to Live, Left to Die!

The soul had left last Monday; the body left glued to a bed, felt closer to the far end of the heaven stair than the elevator of the hospital. No pain, no sarcastic smile, no fighting the hope and hoping the fight.  Their tears were confused and I silently slipped off their hands yesterday night. An unholy medicine which cut the story short and triggered a run towards the hypocrite certainty. I tweeted my last 140 characters on my way up:

“My heartiest thanks to the lawmakers for legalizing euthanasia. Untied wings will always be better than a decorated cage. Welcome me, lord”


Anti Gravity Needle

My first attempt at fiction thanks to Gadre’s motivational gyan🙂. Here it goes:

Saturday evening, A half inch eraser kisses my skin. And it begins the task, now there is no past, no future, no loans, no broken relationships, no regret, no remorse, no sleep, no surprises, no gifts, no pain, no love, no friends, no race, no desires and no failure. A 360 degree gyration and a bean bag. Round two begins, zzziiiiipppp and sky upside down, that incomplete night erased, that curbed kiss erased, that epic fall erased and all the faces erased. My eraser, I love you and you love me.

Mumbai, 22 March 2010: Body of a twenty seven year old bank employee found in his apartment in uncertain circumstances. The case was reported to police when the maid did not get any response after trying for a long time. The reason of demise is assumed to be overdose of he…

Amphetamine

Looking at the pillars on the horizon,

the horse gasped and thought again,

Should I run, should I break,

Or should I return.

The nomad sat on the cliff and smiled,

indifferent of the time he smell and breathed.

the horse posed his dilemma

but the nomad denied an answer

the horse pestered and cried and fought for it

but couldn’t shake the stiff nomad.

Realizing the agony of the mortal,

the nomad opened his eyes and told the horse

You can run your earth from the sun to the sea,

and you might tire your legs, your might chase glory for months,

but when you stop and think

where you want to reach

its this bed of grass, that will set you free.