On some days, you feel more alive than you felt when you were born. And that's usually as much alive as most people feel. On others, however, you feel like you have just walked into a marsh full of elephant manure. But, second for second, everyday is the same. It is just how we look at it because of the things that happen to us that we consider it different.
Today was one such day. It is 3 pm in the afternoon and nothing spectacular as yet has happened. Neither do I think it will for the rest of the day. Life these days, it's generally a waste of time. I do not recollect a single productive thing that I might have done in my non-professional time as a hostel squatter. Kilograms of fag smoke have been expired while talking over trivial issues.
The last high point in my life, as I remember it, was the trip to ECP, East Coast Park. Well, what do I say? It's some sort of a park, and it's on the eastern coast of Singapore. Now, some may have conjured a nice isolated beach with blue waters, fine sand, sea gulls flying in the distance, palm trees swaying in the sea breeze and visualised our group sitting on spartan white beach chairs, wearing fronds over our bermudas, wearing psychedelic sunglasses and sipping piñacoladas.
How wrong you are.
It's this beach, or if you can call it that, about 10 feet wide, infested with couples who either do not have a place to get cozy, or are obsessive compulsive exhibitionists. So, why did we, a bunch of 6 single, geeky guys go there? Well, the answer is simple. We just wanted to drink beer in a different environment. Seriously, I am a poor Indian immigrant and I still multiply by 26, so frequent trips to bars, though increasing, cannot be regular, and the general consensus was that we had had it with drinking at food courts. They always induced in us a sense of urgency, that we had to finish our drinks and get back to where we came from; that there was a lot of work yet to be done; lot of life yet to be lived. We didn't like that. So ECP it is, when we feel like this.
ECP was marred by two things; firstly, some indomitable speck of dust getting into Abhays eye, and secondly, Cypher arguing with Ankit about how we weren't culpable for leaving him to guard our stuff for 90 minutes while we sauntered around in search of a jetty where losers fish and never catch anything. However, the train ride back to Boon Lay set everyone's mood right, thanks to the "Swaying Medusa" of Redhill and the "Dunce Strongman" of Jurong East. Life, now, is back to its own mundane routine of trying to make it to work in time, as if that counted for anything, and of communally bitching about people whom we dislike for personal reasons; teachers who make excessive hand gestures, debaters who are too rehearsed, girls who think they are laetitia casta and about why all patriotic Indians must hate Australia more than Pakistan.
You are probably wondering as to what any of this has to do with the Chinese celebrating their new year 22 days later than most of us, but that is another story.
kalantri.dwarkanath wrote: Better indeed is knowledge than mechanical practice (of religious ritual). Better than knowledge is meditation. But better still is surrender of attachment to results (of one's actions), because there follows immediate peace.
-Bhagavad Gita 12:12
Could we debate about how meditation is better than knowledge? Meditation is basically intuition. Knowledge is a process of rigour. Meditation, however is a process of laxity. Therefore, realisations as a result of knowledge are more likely to be correct than realisations as a result of meditation. Isn’t surrender of attachment to one's actions something that cannot be done practically? Attachment is the root of all human life. We exercise because we are attached to our body and want to keep it fit and healthy. We attend social events because we are attached to our friend circle and want to mingle around with them. We watch our country play cricket because we are attached to our country and want it to do well in every field. We hope our siblings or children do well in our exams because we are attached to them and we want them to have a bright future. Therefore we are attached to their future, which is not even a reality yet, abstract or otherwise. Verily, it can be said that every action in the universe is a result of something's attachment to something. Even the motion of the planets and the motion of the smallest sub-atomic particles are because of an attachment. Therefore, not having attachment is not being of this universe. Not being of this universe means being non-being. And the only thing in the universe that was created from non-being was nothingness, everything else was created from being. Therefore, essentially, the message of the gita is the quest for nothingness. ah ha, says Onkar, and scratches his head in wonderment. is it possible that the same idea that struck Buddha struck Krishna more than a thousand years before Buddha? Was it just that he was less interested in being so very open about the quest for nothingness? Did Krishna abandon the Brahma of the Upanishads? Did Krishna realise that there is no Brahma to be attained. As long as we keep giving labels to reality, abstract or otherwise, we are going to be slaves of Maya. The only way to escape, or rather, deaden the effect of the web of Maya is to try and achieve the state of non-being. it that were true, the entire basis of Hinduism would shake. The Hare Krishna movement will run out of steam, which is not entirely a bad thing at all. The idea of Bhakti will just be a pipe dream. And Krishna will be chuckling away in some temporal bubble, gloating about how he pulled off the biggest con in the history of mankind.
More about this later. This, of course, stands for 'Why I do not take Krishna and his modern Jesuit brigands seriously' or for the more scholarly, 'Why Sankhya should have never separated from Vedanta in the first place' [No, Sankhya and Vedanta aren't a couple. They would make excellent names for a girl and a boy, respectively, though (make a note of this, you could have kids one day, you know?)]
तुम्ही भारतात कधी क्रिकेट खेळला आहात का? प्रत्येक भारतीय बॅटिंग करण्यासाठी जगतो, आणि बॉलर हा फक्त आकडे भरण्यासाठी संघात असतो, हे ब्रह्मसत्य आहे, भारताच्या बाबतीत तरी.
म्हणजे जर का तुम्ही बाहेर जाऊन बघितलेत की पोरं कशी खेळतात क्रिकेट, तर तुम्हाला आढळून येईल की त्याना क्रिकेट खेळायचे नसते, त्याना बॅटिंग करायची असते. मग हाच भारतीय मनस्थिती चा पैलू भारतीय क्रिकेट संघात येतो.
म्हणून तेंडुलकर, द्रविड इत्यादी लोक चकाकतात, आणि श्री. कुंबळे नुसते मागच्या पडद्यावर, १२ विकेट का घेईना. आणि हे होतच रहाणार, जो पर्यंत भारतात मुले असे नाही म्हणत की मला गोलंदाजी करायची आहे. मग या लहान मुलांचे मोठे विश्वचषक विजेते बॉलर कसे होणार?
काही जण असे म्हणतात की भारतात एक चांगला गोलंदाज आला की सर्व बदलेल, पण मला नाही वाटत. हा भारतीय मनस्थितीच दोश आहे. रणजीमध्ये देखिल फलंदाजांची चंगळ आहे. असो, पण ते आपल्या घरी आले, आणि आपण त्याना धूळ चाखवली, मात्र त्यांच्या घरी जाऊन आपण त्यांच्या तोंडाचे पाणी चोरले, म्हणे, निकाल ३-० लागेल. हे महंत रिचर्ड हॅडलींचे शब्द. बोला आता, काय म्हणता?
आता मार्च महिन्यात पाकिस्तानात जाऊन भारतीय संघाने त्यांच्या घरात त्यांना बेदम ठोकले, की मिळवले. म्हणजे ऑस्ट्रेलिया ला त्यांच्या घरी जाऊन झापले, तर या फकीरांची काय औकाद? तरी बरे जहीर नव्हता, नाहीतर ऑस्ट्रेलिया ला अगदीच बेअब्रू व्हावे लागले असते.
श्री. वॉ यांना निवांतपणे निवृत्ती मिळाली यात त्यानी समाधान मानून घ्यायला हवे, माझ्या मते. वॉ ला रडताना बघयची खूप इच्छा होती मात्र एकदा.
कक्षगडी वॉरक्राफ्ट खेळत आहे, त्याची काहीतरी बडबड चालू आहे...
india is made up of numerous villages. truth be told, the real india is not the glitz of mumbai nor the grandoise of kolkata or delhi nor the laidback sophistication of chennai; it's the hard rustic life that three out of four indians lead.
raghu woke up before it was dawn, he guessed it was about half an hour to dawn. he sat up in his bed and clutched his blanket close to his hard, weather-beaten chest. it wasn't a blanket really, just a sheet made out of old discareded nine yard sadees that every generation added made for the next. he buried his face in the fabric, enjoying its softness on his unshaven face. this was the hardest part of the day, accepting the sudden realisation that he was just a farmer. all the snazzy fast cars and leather clad blonde girls he had seen on the tv seemed distant.
he shook his head, and held his hands in front of him, like a book. he couldn't see his hands, only an outline. he started mumbling something as he looked at his hands. it was then that he realised that shevanti wasn't next to him.
today was a good day. it wasn't good in the sense that i was productive. those days are hardly good. the goodness of a day, for me, depends on the fatigue i feel as compared to the hours of shut eye i had allowed myself the night before, the early hours of the day, rather.
yesterday night i decided to go back to bollywood and check the scene out, if the blokes were improving, and what independent films who was making. i was sorely disappointed. the infestation of indian cinema, as the grossness of anything beautiful is referred to in marathi, was at a terminal stage. well-established theatre artistes were playing roles their counterparts a couple of decades ago wouldn't have spat at, and i am sure that there are some producers that derive a wynandesque pleasure from this knowledge.
i had asked abhay to wake me up at 8, and when he did, i asked him again to wake me up at nine. maybe he did, or possibly his irritation with my laziness translated into 30 minutes. at 930, i heard a voice, 'wake up! its nine thirty!' and i jumped. thats an exaggeration, actually. i opened my bloodshot eyes and the stark reality that i had to go to work hit me. with bheemesque effort, i slid out of bed and reached out for my bath bucket as if by clockwork. as i made my way to the bath, wearing abhay's white slippers, i realised i was quite on the fat side of healthy. reiterating my vow to start regular exercise from the age of 24, i started making obtuse mental comments on abhay's white slippers. though quite comfortable, they were too white and looked too rubbery. my mind wandered to a certain tamil politician whom i had made fun of because he wore white chappals all the time.
people in hall 6 either don't bathe, or bathe elsewhere. never have i seen any of the residents using the baths near abhay's room. i have no reason to complain, but things like these stand out. a quick brush, shower and shave later, i was back in the room, where i downloaded some pirated software from ni's ftp server, and smoked while the cd was being burnt. there is some hollow joy in smoking in the morning in singapore. there is this virgin purity in the air, crisp to the nose. it makes you feel like a bull in a china shop, to pollute this air. smoking in mumbai is like beating a guy that you don't know just because a crowd is beating him up. not that there isn't a certain joy and feeling of accomplishment in that as well, but this makes you feel maliciously powerful. the megalomania faded when i saw one of abhay's blockmates with his menthol looking at the bedewed green grass. clad in only jogging shorts, he was quite the fit punk types that epitomise the singaporean male youth. we used to be intimidated by them, rohan and i, when we used to go jogging during the third year of our university life. we used to make ourselves feel better by questioning the kind of relationships these chaps have with their mothers and sisters. it's a potent indian way of character assassination; it always works.
now, i just felt sorry for him. you have to be really stupid to smoke like a chimney and then run 5 kilometres a day. so what if i have a brahminic tyre around my stomach, i thought. at least i have my sanity.
All right. I've heard of these folks before. There are some other Polynesian islands who are in the danger on going underwater. There are no people living on them, but they house a lot of flora and fauna that are unique to those islands.
What I don't get is this. Why don't these people negotiate with countries like Australia and New Zealand and just move over? How long can they sell tourist souvenirs?
It is the same feeling I have for Amerindians and the tribes of India as well. If they want isolation, so be it, but development will not follow.
If they want to live in the jungles but want electricity and water, I'm just going to show 'em the middle finger. I hate Arundhati Roy.