Wednesday, December 21, 2011

... stillness!

Long back, I was standing at a railway platform to catch a very early morning train. As the train was pulling in, a little pup wandered over – right on to the track. Few of us tried to direct it away, without any success. Within seconds this innocent one was crushed under the wheels. Looking back, with a grain of salt, I can accept my ... stillness!

It’s a pleasure talking to ones nears & dears, in person or over phone. Few days back, sitting in the train, I was talking to a fine associate, over phone. The fact that the train was moving and going through a tunnel disturbed the flow! To be totally a part of the conversation, you need a certain degree of ...stillness.

I was invited to a festive get together recently by a business associate. While I had known just a few people over the years, I managed to have a decent dialogue with fair few people during the session. At the core of each interaction, you can see that part of you is just a witness in ... stillness!

There is lot of action around us & within us. The fine sun rise, gentle breeze and soothing waves are all part of Nature, as are the social inequalities, political unrest and interpersonal conflict. To get a steady picture, we need be part of action and ... stillness!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

... What’s always there!

Many years back, I got my first tri-cycle. The context, the conversations and the contentment that day, sit within vividly. In case I was to get a tri-cycle today, it is of little use. Many such experiences help me reflect on... What’s always there!

There are several events, pointers and signals that shape our thought & action. I distinctly remember an aunt visiting our place long back to talk about her father’s accident. Over the years, I have seen several layers of the saga. While we learn at every step, am keen to relate to... What’s always there!

At any cross section, we can be thrilled, delighted, disturbed, irritated by some action or reaction. It takes quite some effort to relate to and be with... What’s always there!

Friday, November 11, 2011

... Reflective definitions !

It’s said that when a child is born, a parent is born. We live with and gradually internalise these ... Reflective definitions.

It has been a pleasure explaining fine concepts to peers, students and others. In case I have a student, I can be labelled as a teacher. This delicate balance and gentle energy flow is part of .. Reflective definitions

It has been my sincere effort to look after the two pets. Their tender look, gentle stretch and friendly contact, add to the. .. Reflective definitions

As you watch a good program, sip a decent coffee, achieve a milestone or enjoy a comic strip, at times, there is an urge to share the experience with others...The thought that someone is keen to hear from me, about me is a fine motivator. Gradually one learns to grow beyond these .. Reflective definitions

Having gone through fair few experiences, good & not-so-good, brilliant and challenging, threatening & uplifting, comforting & confronting, it’s increasingly clear that these are all part of ... Reflective definitions.

Friday, October 14, 2011

. . . blissful ignorance !

We have all seen a baby cry for feed, comfort, company .... Once the needs are reasonably met, the little one is relaxed & often to sleep. The sensory signals are at ease & it is enjoying ... blissful ignorance.

After a reasonable amount of work, at the end of everyday chores, one can easily slip into deep sleep, devoid of any concerns, dreams.. just in a state of ... blissful ignorance.

Having enjoyed several comedy shows and hearty laughs to the point of exhaustion, one can certainly reflect on the whole experience to conclude that one has been in a state of ... blissful ignorance.

Ironically, am finding that our moments of extreme fear, concern, humiliation and anxiety gradually pass and help us dig within for ... blissful ignorance.

Friday, September 23, 2011

… the natural duality !.

Had bought a pair of shoes recently. As it happens sometimes, the shoe was hurting at few points. Checked with the shop & was suggested a foam to “stretch” the shoe at the points needed. Luckily it worked out fine and it’s not a concern any more. It does interest me how closely our experience of ease, rest with experience of (un)ease. … the natural duality.

It’s fulfilling to enjoy a bite of good food, in a decent setting, especially in good company. While all ingredients can add to the completeness of the experience, the fundamental one is how hungry we are . … the natural duality.

There is certain comfort one can have in company of friends, relations, colleagues and associates. At the basic level, we gradually become accepting of our solitude . … the natural duality.

One can certainly appreciate the words of Kahlil Gibran
"When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight."

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

…. Poetic justice.

It’s human nature to search for the infinite in most dimensions. Be it our will, skill or effort, a certain notional ideal can be the driving force. This infinite reservoir can inspire us, make us perspire, while taking its own course for … Poetic justice.

Last year, during the trip to New Delhi, I was looking for a title at a bookstore. Literally, out of the blue, happened to see a little book – Letters to Sam by Daniel Gottlier – unrelated to what I was looking for. It’s a pleasure to see the way things shape up. Probably pointing to … Poetic justice.

Few moths back, a friend called up to say that he had a spare ticket to a concert for a famous classical singer. Having enjoyed his songs for many years, it was an opportunity not to miss. I was probably ready for this grand finale.. for .. Poetic justice.

This is to pay my respects to a professor who has been a significant figure in my life. While I was never his student, I have had the opportunity to interact with him at several stations and in varied contexts. He has been a guide, a friend, a fellow traveller at times. He has been gentle, frustrating and demanding on occasions. As I look back, he has a fine place within, pointing to …. Poetic justice.

Monday, August 15, 2011

.... what’s in front !

A toddler is sitting a few rows in front of me in the train. This cute little kid is pretty relaxed in company of his Dad. I can see rays of Divine reflection in.... what’s in front.

Few weeks back, I was at a social get-together. A few kids were singing a song in front of the gathering. Somehow, I was not with it. With the best of intent, you may not be able to relate to .... what’s in front.

There are several occasions when you can see that a common event is having a different impact on different people. Be it a movie, a cricket match, an election campaign or a burst water main. What’s at the back of your mind, does influence how you relate to .... what’s in front.

The story goes that a renowned professor visited a Zen master to learn about few finer points. The Master welcomed the guest & served him tea. He continued to pour tea, even when the cup was full. Dazzled, the prof remarked, how can you pour tea into cup that’s already full ! The Master added – perhaps you are like that cup – that’s already full!

To a degree, we need the empty cup... to capture, relish, absorb and be part of.... what’s in front.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

... the Design !

The story goes that a young princess Pootna was simply smitten by a good looking young monk vising the palace. She earnestly wished to "mother" him. Some time later, following some unpleasant exchange, she was determined to "poison" him! Given the intensity of her desire, it's said, The Lord granted both, eventually taking her in His care. The story helps me decipher ... the Design !

It's fascinating to see countless translations of this saga in everyday life. How easily our desires multiply, change form and drive us to achieve, sustain, posses and preserve. Long back, I do remember, getting concerned about academic grades on a few occasions. On most occasions, I was able to bounce back right away ! In the midst of it all, you try to figure out ... the Design !

Most economic models try to establish and validate any proposal in terms of Net Present Value. Any step we take is certainly influenced by the perceived value of returns. The beauty of human life lies in the ever changing, evolving, organic and subjective nature of ... the Design !

Several suggestions have been offered to help as along. A friendly dialogue, sharing notes, silent reflection and meditation, determined outlook, guidance from learned ones and a generous dose of humour helps me comprehend. It seems that our passage, is also part of ... the Design !

Monday, July 4, 2011

...even Field.

As you take a little child for a walk ... in the right frame, you can enjoy every move, a little bite, a bit of sunshine and rain, a smile here & there. Many a time you realise, that you are fully absorbed in it.. there is no concern about the future or past, no age gap or expectation. It's an ...even Field.

Having walked with many in different settings, social and professional, one can see the variation in will & skill, effort & achievement, status & values... While the visible features vary significantly, deep down at one's core, it's an ...even Field.

At times, I am amazed by the precision of certain events that leave a fine print within : receiving a particular response, meeting a specific person at a certain point, taking a certain course of action... can appear as fine coincidences. At a root level it's an ...even Field.

Am reminded of elders I have grown up with. Over the years, some have passed away, some have deteriorated. Somewhere within, at times It reveals Itself that all is intact, it's an ...even Field.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


We can draw cash from an Automatic teller machine (ATM). With practice, we can figure out, where our attention is - at the moment (ATM)

As we prepare for an event, discussion, presentation, it just helps us manage what happens... ATM

Long back, I had a wart in my foot for few weeks. The doctor checked it, asked a question & gave the medicine. The relief was evident within minutes. This is just a vivid picture within...ATM

There are several events, immensely beautiful & fulfilling, inspiring & uplifting, frustrating & threatening, that we face during our journey. Am gradually realising, there are no ripples within.. ATM

As I write this note, sitting in the train, the guy sitting next to me is dozing off & leaning on me slightly. I can see that there is no impact within ... ATM

Am given to understand that most of what we need to learn, can be summed up as BE HERE NOW. In other words, just BE ...ATM

Monday, June 6, 2011

...price of Freedom!

"Freedom is my birthright" said a noted statesman decades back. Several scholars & scriptures point to the same concept from different angles. One suggestion is for us to be ever vigilant. We all have our share of thrills & drills, rights & duties, dreams & fears. In the midst of it all, at a basic level, we are free as well.

Many years back, I was running high fever & had to stay back from the primary school for three weeks. I clearly remember the whole period, the medication, the restriction on food & movement etc. Gradually am understanding that there is something within that's eternally free. There is no...price of Freedom!

Have enjoyed a song for many years. It beautifully captures the pangs of leaving your native place. Am fully familiar with the immense emotions this song generated for a long period. Now it gently points to the ...price of Freedom!

Having faced fine compliments and serious challenges over the years, one can say that Happiness is a state of mind. Same holds for Peace & Freedom. A certain degree of vigilance is all that's needed as the ...price of Freedom!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 Call!

It's a delight to see a seasoned artist perform. You can enjoy every move, absorb the rhythm & relate to the character. While I deeply value such artists, their genius, dedication and commitment, I know that this line is not Call!

One is certainly impressed by the drive and determination of so many people in such diverse fields as medicine, science, welfare, sports... With all the respect for these endeavours, am clear, it's not Call!

In many close interactions, you can see that part of you is in sync with itself. At those points, you are not desirous of anything, nor are you afraid. You are effortlessly at peace and content with Existence. Like a tiny paper boat, you are fine with the waves. Such delicate moments point to Call!

In the gentle footsteps of a child, in innocent gesture of a close one, in fine notes of a song, in tender move of a twig, in sweet stretch of a pet, in few challenging situations and sometimes in silence, I have heard Call!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

... whatever surfaces!

Few years back, an astrologer was discussing her readings about my horoscope with me. It was a lively and intense experience. She did suggest that the Almighty does not subject us to a test, for which we are not prepared! Am sure this suggestion will gradually settle within and help me handle ... whatever surfaces!

Am sometimes reminded of a fine high school teacher. Even close to retirement, he used to say "Am becoming better & better, come what may, it does not matter". Am sure we have seen the picture of a frog, about to be swallowed, still trying to strangle its predator. The slogan reads "Never Ever Give Up".

Having come across hundreds of inspiring tales, narrations, events, one can see these waves reaching the shore, leaving some moisture behind and taking some sand away. In several relationships, dealings & associations, you gradually reach a steady state of mutual acceptance and empathy. Once this steady state is reached, you can handle...... whatever surfaces!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

...dimensions of learning !

Sometimes the sight and plight of a close relation, friend, associate, even a pet and of course our own-self, can inspire us, grind us and uplift us. These are all ......dimensions of learning !

What catches my attention and inspires me, is actually not in my full control. An expression from Roosevelt "the only thing to fear is Fear" can influence the thought process at many levels. A fine narration of a character from centuries back, can find a seat within and gently guide many steps.

It's a pleasure to see the way several creative and gifted people, scholars ... in fact many many people have internalised and outgrown their limitations.

Few years back, I had gone to pick up our son from a friend's place. It was raining and wet allover. As I tried to rush towards the front of their door, I tripped on the way down. It was not a pleasant sight, but a good learning experience. As we know, there are many ...dimensions of learning !

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

... need to escape!

There are several packages to help us plan our holiday, retreats, outings, DJ sessions.. Given the routines of daily life, there can be a... need to escape!

It's a pleasure to see a tiny toddler have peaceful nap, totally oblivious of the surroundings. So long as it's basic needs are met, it is at peace with itself, with no ... need to escape!

Few years back, I was sitting next to a window, waiting for the flight to take off. Two good size ladies came & sat in the next two seats. Suddenly I felt suffocated and wanted to rush out.Lukily it worked out fine. Given my own need for open space & claustrophobic feel in closed spaces, am almost scared for miners, working underground in risky conditions, just in case there is ... need to escape!

With practice, we get to a stage, where we are comfortable in our skin. Am given to understand that at times, even adverse conditions can prompt us to dig for strength & creative energy within, while trying to manage the ... need to escape!

Monday, April 4, 2011

...perfectly imperfect!

...perfectly imperfect is an expression borrowed from a learned one.

Our little pet has fair few habits that can drive you nuts at times. She commands attention as her birth right. Her looks can best be described as cute. The affection she showers can melt a stone. In short, she is ...perfectly imperfect!

Some 30 years back, happened to visit family relations, as I was passing through Bombay for some work. Had known & extensively dealt with the family earlier. It was pretty interesting to see the elderly Aunt share her family issues at length. Happened to visit the family an year later, as I was studying & staying in Bombay now. It was pretty disturbing to be treated so indifferently this time around. Took sometime to decipher this disparity. Gradually, it dawned on me as ...perfectly imperfect!

When I reflect within, I do find features that 'am very comfortable with, features that one has nurtured with care. Of course there are limitations and concerns too. All in all, the bundle is probably ...perfectly imperfect!

Monday, March 28, 2011

...focal length !

Physics explains the need to keep objects at a certain distance, for clarity of vision. Some of us wear specs to adjust the ...focal length !

A little baby can sit and sleep in your lap for hours. Gradually it will start moving, playing, hiding, seeking ... For clarity of vision, there will be an adjustment of the...focal length !

Sitting in lap of Nature, we can admire a blade of grass, covered in dew, as also the greenery many miles away, as we have the right ...focal length !

I have been keen to connect with others in social and professional settings. Few years back, a friend invited me to a professional networking event. The evening was fine, as was all the arrangement. Having been to several such events, I could see a slight shift in the ...focal length !

It's fascinating to see how we feel connected to others in different settings, at times with little contact. A note from an associate, sitting in another part of the world, a little smile from a toddler or a pet wagging its tail, can all gently tilt our ...focal length !

PS : "Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness".

Monday, March 21, 2011

...the Story !

Having lived away from home for long periods, it has been necessary for me to communicate through letters. Gradually, the whole process of exchanging notes, becomes an integral part of ...the Story !

Once you put pen to paper, a certain creative energy manifests itself, sometimes.While it is not in your control, its flow does influence ...the Story !

When I look at my notes from years back, I can see that they are certainly telling some part of ...the Story !

"Be the change that you want to see" These words from Gandhi Ji have inspired many. Having learnt a bit about his journey, his interactions and his experiments, am getting a little bit about ...the Story !

Some four decades back, while walking by a construction site, I saw 5 little mice, frantically trying to dig a hole each in ground, right under the nose of a cat ! Few minutes later, one just gave up and was picked up by the cat. After seeing several events, narrations : deeply inspiring, sometimes scary and sad, or just sweet and gentle, I can see all of them trickling slowly somewhere into ...the Story !

Monday, March 14, 2011

... the Driver!

I have often enjoyed long drives, with music adding to the beauty of the passage. Was driving back from Newcastle to Sydney, few days back. Having driven many a time, over the years, by myself and also with family & friends, one is familiar with the passage. It's interesting to note that while many things change with time, perhaps, the one that does not change is the... the Driver!

Many learned ones have suggested to give up the idea of "doer-ship". It has been my effort to look after the safe passage of nears & dears. Am almost certain that am not ... the Driver!

There are moments, most deeply reflective and sensitive in nature, when I can say, I was with ... the Driver!

Long back, while driving along with our daughter, I would be eager to get to the work appointment. This fine teenage girl was relaxing with the music in slow traffic. This has been witnessed by ... the Driver!

Am pretty keen to handover everything totally to ... the Driver!

Monday, March 7, 2011

...Nothing !!

This is partly to share the impression left within by quite a few acquaintances that have left the planet. Would like to mention our neighbour Bernie, a senior colleague Brian.... many a relation.... At this cross section, there is feeling of fine closure and acceptance. You wish them Peace, remember them warmly and carry .... Nothing.

As a child grows, learns to walk, it gradually lets go of your hand. The pleasure you derive from seeing your near ones grow is phenomenal. You pray for their well-being & expect ...Nothing.

For a very long time, I have enjoyed the preparation of an eatery in Delhi. Having left the place long back, you cherish the memory, value their expertise, but wait for ... Nothing.

Gradually, in most associations, you are trying to reach an even platform, where you value the contact & time, but expect ....Nothing !!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

...Unknown !!

Once you wake up after a sound sleep, you feel relaxed & refreshed. In deep sleep, however, what goes on and your whereabouts are essentially ...Unknown !!

With the best of intent, one can take careful steps for well-being of all concerned. I can do my best to provide some humour, comfort & company. The exact course of events remains largely... Unknown !!

I do enjoy the company of friends & relations. It's a pleasure to share a fine thought, piece of music, a good meal, a joke with your nears & dears. Having said that, one needs one's solitude, little space as ... Unknown !!

Over 20 years back, I was deeply concerned to see a little boy struggling helplessly, as he watched his gardener father trapped by a faulty electrical cable. Luckily it got sorted. While I understand part of my sympathy for the boy, it remains largely ....Unknown !!

The two tiny pets at home, add to the quality of life. The younger one is 11 years of age & scared of clouds. In unsettled weather, she will walk right behind you. Who is adding to whose sense of security & well being remains largely ... Unknown !!

Over the years, I have thoroughly enjoyed fair few movies. They make you laugh, cry, reflect & even decipher basic life patterns. Knowing fully well that you are just watching a drama, part of you resonates & merges with the character for reasons ...Unknown !!

Am sure after a point, I will be a lot more comfortable, once am better friends with & more accepting of the ...Unknown !!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

... (extra) ordinary !

Several years back, I was having a bad toothache for a few days. On the way through a shopping arcade, I walked into a dental practice to seek advice. The dentist was nice enough to manage a few minutes to discuss and was able to offer helpful tips. Surprisingly, we later discovered that we have many interest and acquittance in common. The way this link came about was ... (extra) ordinary !

I have been going to this dentist for many years for regular check up. Just regular dealing .... ordinary !

Few years back, was thinking of a close classmate from decades back. Had no contact details. Out of the blue, I received an email from him, asking me if I still recognised him! Seems ... (extra) ordinary !

Gradually am trying to move past this distinction between ... ordinary and ... (extra) ordinary !

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

... muddy Lotus

We are often advised to stay and operate efficiently wherever we are, in whatever we are doing. Typical example is that of the lotus - "floating" gracefully even in muddy waters. It's said that a drop of water "wants" to return to muddy conditions, after floating in the clouds for a while. We are told Buddhas return as everyday beings!

To enjoy the beauty of a live lotus, we need to "accept" the mud it stands in. To admire the bravery of the soldier, we have to "see" the war being fought. As they say - a ship is safe in the harbour, but it is not designed for that.

Having read about a few creative artists & poets, it's becoming clear that they are mostly "talking" about their own experiences.

Few months back, I had gone for a haircut. Without much wait, the hairdresser K came over, introduced himself & directed me to the chair. During next few minutes of haircut, he shared several significant events of his life, leaving a fine print within.

At any cross section, am trying to understand & appreciate the ... muddy Lotus!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

.... my C.G.

Objects around us have a centre of gravity, the C.G. For the circle, it's the centre itself, as it is for the square.

Each one of us has our own C.G. where our attention goes, almost involuntarily many a time. This C.G. is influenced by our desires, aspirations, concerns, longings...

It has been my practice to donate blood for many years. Many a time, as the needle is put through my vein, am reminded of the pain, our little son would have faced when he had to be placed on a drip some 23 years back. It is part of .... my C.G.

Having felt the need for it, I have invested a lot of time & energy to nurture & sustain a range of associations. Am grateful for the friendly feel. It's pretty close to .... my C.G.

Given that we often get to appreciate bright stars on a dark night, it's my effort to weigh and balance my own strengths & weaknesses, assets & liabilities, essentially to stay focussed and remain connected to .... my C.G.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

... art of enjoyment!

For some 3 decades, I do enjoy a cup of coffee. It's an acquired taste from uni days. Over the years, you figure out, what's a good coffee for you. I do try to reflect, where is enjoyment - is it in anticipation, or in the slow sip, or in the after-taste ! Hopefully it will help me decipher the ... art of enjoyment!

Music has found a seat within for decades. So many songs help you relate to your own roots, understand human relations, reflect on finer points and appreciate the creative artists
Had the fortune of attending the performance of a Gazaal master recently, having enjoyed his music for over 25 years.
It's pretty simple to understand that we all have our own liking for a particular type of music. It varies from person to person and with time
As Gulzar Sahib says - music fills our life. It helps me understand the ... art of enjoyment!

It seems Aristotle was asked how long should the legs be! As we understand, his reply was "long enough to reach the ground!" A certain degree of "grounded" feeling or self acceptance is part of the ... art of enjoyment!