Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Oath of Vayuputras and Others...

I completed Oath of Vayuputras. And I don't know if you will call a book a success if you expected it to disappoint you and it succeeds in doing so?
There are few reasons why it disappointed
1. It came quite a while after the second installment of the trilogy, so you tend to have a vague remembrance of the characters and incidents. And it takes a while for the flow to restart.
2. There was a lot of scope to play and demonstrate the passion and compassion especially the part where Shiva destroys the city (spoiler alert). There was so much opportunity to show the Rodra roop of Lord Shiv, his Tandav ( Dance of Destruction) , his anger , probably his Trinetra etc. The only passionate part I felt was the depiction of Kartik as the warior lord. The way he deployed his War tactics and the intensity with which his battles were depicted were commendable.
Rest like his previous book was mediocre. Surprisingly I came to find that he is an IIMK alumnus.
Ok I may sound hypocritical of him as I dislike his writing so much but at the same time I ardently read through his novels unlike those of Chetan Bhagat which I just labour through. I agree with his content and masala rendering he appeals to masses but I personally feel he could be more articulate. But having said that I will recommend people to read the triology and also awaiting to read his next series which he hinted to be on Mahabharata.
The next bunch of books ( I like to read couple of books at I time) I have picked are quite popular, kind of modern classics, that everyone who is into reading must have already read.
The Alchemist and The Fountainhead.
I was kind of avoiding these for the reasons that one they are popular , second I am a non fiction lover and last the font size of the copies I have seen have been too small to be comfortable.
Luckily this time I got a copy of Alchemist which is decent and I have already read most of it and should complete it by today. To be honest I find it quite simple but of course appealing. With its plot of chasing your dreams and proverbial lines ,I can see why it is so popular.
Having read few pages of Eleven minutes and then failing to proceed I had my apprehensions about Paulo Coehlo but now I am glad that I picked Alchemist and now again want to pursue Eleven minutes.
Coming to Fountainhead ,I have purchased a second hand copy long time back but never had the courage to read it, so it was lying packed as it is in my cupboard. But recently with having nothing else to read I took the plunge. With its minuscule writing I could manage few pages, I liked it and have made up mind to read at least 10 pages daily.
Having started so late to read novels is something that I regret about my life and is one thing I would like to change if given an opprotunity to start life again :)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

iSnore ...

Yes I know men are not comfortable to accept this fact but I must admit that I snore while I sleep. There has been numerous occasions where my friends have made videos of me snoring while sleeping and honestly I have no qualms in accepting it that yes I do.

I know scientifically its due to my excessive weigth that makes me to snore but now I feel psychologically too I want to snore.

Yes I understand its a cause of nuisance to people who sleep next or nearby me but still I feel that my sleep is not relaxing if I am not snoring. So as I was saying , snore does provide a mental satisfaction to me that Yes I have slept.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Saaf Safai Seekho O Padne Likhne Walo

I was a firm believer of Educated people are more civilized. Yes , was not am. I mean yes I still believe education can be a solution for a lot of problems but definitely not in the present form.
With spurt of crimes and uncivilised behavior still so rampant in India especially with educated people involved, seriously makes me think that there is wholesale overhauling required with our education system.
Cleanliness is something that is very closer to my heart. Something that really disturbs me when I am in public places. The level of garbage and dirt I see carelessly sprinkled everywhere makes me sad.
Once when I visited a slum with a friend of mine , I was surprised to see that despite of their mean surrounding each of them had clean huts with TVs but each of them had dirty muddy water either stagnated or flowing haphazardly outside their homes. I was  shocked to see that how could these people who could afford some more basic necessities than their other unfortunate lower class people can be so ignorant of the need for a clean surrounding. I mean I who knew that I won't have to be there for more than half an hour was not able to bear the stench then how can those people stay in that stench and filth without doing something about it?
Everyday on my way to office , I see two government schools on Mathura road. And everyday in the morning you could see people defecating outside them. Baring the area outside the gates, which should be hardly few meters, rest all is full of human faeces. And I can see children entering the gates or praying just on the other side of the walls. I simply don't understand that how can anyone let this happen ?
Yes we all can take the path of blaming the authorities of not doing anything when all is required is to have a will to take things in your hand. And in both cases somehow I blame the children and thus our education system for the situations . Our education system does not instill the courage and initiative taking capabilities in our children that they educate their parents and even school authorities to take these things seriously.
Yes we have the problem of public or toilets at home in India with our 70% people still defecating in open but that does not mean that people can continue to live with its side effects. Having a clean and hygienic environment is one of the most basic need for a healthy life.
Like in this news story , it was the determination and courage of a 13yr old child which brought such a drastic change. So its high time our education is revamped to put more stress on civil and moral issues. 
Keeping our homes clean is something we have valued, with our women folk who stay at home, working all day to ensure that everything is spotless. But when it comes to places outside our houses we just become careless. People still don't think before littering around in public places, spitting wherever the urge comes irrespective of whether they are walking in crowd or standing with people next to you. And what hurts more is that this is being done by people who do have a brush with education either directly themselves or indirectly from their kids at home but still we are not able to change their habits.
And at the same time revamp requires a careful and meticulous effort and just not some blind following like in the initiative taken by CBSE to introduce open book exams when ironically US which has open book system is contemplating introducing the stricter exam system that India has. Of course open book has some pros but at the same time the cons should not be neglected especially with India having the advantage that its not the first to implement it.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Athati Devo Bhavo ???

I would like to share a post written by one of the bloggers I follow on wordpress.
He has been living permanently in India since last 5 years and has been associated with India for over 17 years.
I have been quite impressed with his writings which mainly revolves around his observations and experiences in India. Not only they are honest and true but at the same time written in a non-critical and non-sympathetic way.
In the post that I am sharing , he shares a bitter and disgusting experience he recently had on a visit to a famous pilgrimage in South India.

Saying that I am ashamed of being an Hindu after reading it will be gross understatement as this is what we have been doing all our life i.e. some insult others and some feel sorry but no one does anything.

Will share my thoughts in some subsequent post but at present just wanted to share his post.

Racism in the name of Religion!

I write this saddened and disgusted. The experience I have had today has left me with a bad taste in my mouth and disillusioned with those we are supposed to look up to as guardians of our faiths and beliefs.
Today I was refused entry to the Mahabaleshwar Temple in Gokarna because I was born in a different land. Not only refused entry, but pushed and shoved by Temple Priests, my Indian wife ridiculed and reduced to anguished tears because she stood up for me and my 6 year old niece left mentally scarred by the sight of her uncle who she considered the same as everyone else, being discriminated against, shouted at and forcibly prevented from entering a place of worship.
I have been living off and on in
India for the last 17 years and permanently for the last 5. I was married in a Hindu Temple and have visited religious sites (Churches, Dargahs, Gurudwaras and Temples) of all the great religions in this wonderfully diverse country of India. I have always been welcomed and this is the first time in 17 years that I have been barred from entering a place of worship.
The reason given by the Head
Brahmin? “Foreigners do not know how to behave and are disrespectful and therefore they have been banned from entering. “
I was carrying an offering of flowers, had removed my shirt as is the custom in this Temple and was in the company of my wife and six year old Niece. Is this a sign of disrespect?
Foreigners give up their comfortable lives in the West and travel half way around the world to live in a different culture, a different climate, with no close family support, and take the trouble to learn another language and customs, in their search of the great spiritual traditions that India is famous for. They come and study Yoga, learn Sanskrit and practice meditation.
To ban all of them from visiting a House of God because they are not Indian is disgusting and discriminatory. Is the God in this Temple only for Indians? Did God, when he created the world, make a mistake when he created the other countries and races?
Hinduism is a beautiful, open, and tolerant religion, teaching non-violence, acceptance of all beliefs and love for all. What kind of Hinduism are these priests practicing? To behave violently both verbally and physically, to have no compassion for a fellow human being, to make fun of someone, all while standing in the sanctified place that foreigners are accused of disrespecting?
The great Saint
Sri Ramakrishna once said “Lovers of God do not belong to any caste . . . . A brahmin without this love is no longer a brahmin. And a pariah with the love of God is no longer a pariah. Through bhakti (devotion to God) an untouchable becomes pure and elevated. “
A foreigner who comes to India to visit a temple has much more bhakti than the Priests I witnessed today.
What do I say to my niece who loves me unconditionally; who has always accepted me as an integral part of the family and has never paid attention to the fact that I look different to the rest of the family? How do I explain why a priest is pushing and shoving me and preventing me from praying to the God that she loves?
Eventually I will forget this and move on. But it is the devout masses of India who visit this temple in their thousands, that I feel sorry for. They will spend their life savings on a pilgrimage to this Holy Place to seek blessings for their lives and loved ones, only to be herded like cattle, shouted at and pushed, given 10 seconds for Darshan (sight) of the God they love and respect, and then fleeced of their remaining money by Priests who promise them all will be well if they perform a Puja.
If this is how the keepers of religion behave then I am no longer a follower. I believe in God but no longer in religion. My religion is one of compassion for my fellow man and tolerance and acceptance of all, no matter their colour, race, or beliefs.
All I can hope for is that, if the Hindu concept of reincarnation is true, these Priests are re-born in a foreign land.
“However men approach Me, even so do I welcome them, for the path men take from every side is Mine” – Bhagavad Gita iv -11