The Purpose of Relationships In Our Lives

 

 

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I think the purpose of all or any relationship in our life is self – revelation, helping us understand ourselves better as we go on about our lives. Even Jiddu Krishnamurthy seems to say the same thing here and he delves into it deeper than anyone else I’ve known or read.

A relationship, whether it is between two people or a human and just an object, or whether it is an old one or a newly formed one, is like the one between you and the mirror. You see a mirror, you see a clean reflection – it means that both you and mirror are okay, but if you see a disturbed reflection you first check if you have spots on your face, not on your mirror. But in a relationship we generally tend to do otherwise, don’t we?

If a relationship doesn’t tell us anything new about ourselves in a way we can’t probably tell ourselves sooner or later that relationship crumbles. That is probably why we fill a relationship with a gifts or dinners or travels or surprises  – so that we see ourselves in a newer and setting, and find newness in ourselves through our responses to these new things. Of course to have a companion who can tell us if we are fooling ourselves with this newness or if there is something left in us to be discovered is a big bonus.

Yet, strangely, it is also probably why a person needs some alone time too, to find newness in himself (or herself), that doesn’t have anything to do with others in the world – just that individual and the universe for some great lone moments! It is in these moments one realizes that while mirrors are great reflections to what one is, life isn’t lived in mirrors or life’s purpose is not only to see ourselves in the mirrors, and this is probably just the beginning of our self revelation.

 

Voting for NOTA – few thoughts

To some extent voting for NOTA I felt how an Afro-American might have felt trying voting for the first time in the USA or (just for a closer example) probably how Anna Hazare and his like minded individuals felt when they were pushing for RTI Act say two decades ago.  I knew I was doing the right thing, and not necessarily in the way it is generally practices, even though what is right is already explained in books (also called constitutions) and yet it not done the way it should be.

I strongly believe that India, despite it’s flawed execution of fairly done ‘on paper’ policies, can sustain with any leader at the helm, before some sort of mayhem arises in our system. There is no proof to this, but I am sure we are more or less saner people, when it comes accepting our foolishness. I base my thinking on the fact that YSR, despite his well documented corrupt practices, was and is called great leader, and our system, at least in the erstwhile AP, is still running, – obviously our system is very concrete.

But in the mean time, we have to find a way to hold our leadership responsible at the place where they are most weaker – the elections. That’s why NOTA, despite it’s many obvious weaknesses. But aren’t there many such weaknesses when we vote for someone unknown?

NOTA’s journey has just started, and like many good things in life (in India at least), it has taken the long route. And it will be very long time before we will be able to see it’s impact. However, no one can deny that this is the least corrupt form of voting, is absolutely legal, and its results are going to help the system by forcing further discussions on it ( who will discuss it – the same leaders whom all else have voted, while any one of us can file a case in the SC for further clarity and betterment of NOTA). These three points cannot be absolutely said about any individual who will win or to whom we vote.

Voting for NOTA is moving ahead one concrete step at a time, and of course there is hope. All else, probably, is just a prayer with a HOPE and is like jumping into the river, without knowing how to swim – may be the water isn’t deep, or may be some one will rescue or may be there is going to be yet another butcher winning after his livestock has voted for him/her!
When years later NOTA will be taken seriously, parties will be forced to field stronger and capable candidates, while media – as it usually does during elections – will have great day trying to bring the candidates down, thus – pushing people to think and use their senses more!  Till then, India, with all it’s visionary leaders and/or crown princes, this party or that party – will be all the same – three steps forward, two and a half steps backwards – if you think we are still moving – well then NOTA will make it two and a quarter steps backwards!

Surprises of the Day – 03.04.2014

 

A man who I knew, to whom I couldn’t reach out to, even though seeing him after ‘some’ time

A woman whose poem about reflection and a mirror reminded me of a character I created

A sparrow’s song in the morning, and a peacock’s squeal in the evening

My mom still feeling shy when I ask her with what name should I store her husband’s name in her new mobile

My reaching out to an old colleague telling him that I can’t find guys like him easily

That I should think about writing this in the midnight

10 Minutes of Meditation with Sadguru

Since I first saw, Jaggi Vasudev’s answers on an English news channel almost a decade ago, I have always liked his answers, his language, his accent and his quotes and quirks. I had tried getting to know Isha yoga, but somehow it just didn’t workout. And then recently when I heard that Jaggi Vasudev was to give an address at a convention center just about a mile away from my home, I decided (as usual in the last moment) to go and check his speech session, which he called ‘Mystic Guide’.

The talk was usual, nothing more and nothing less. However, the few minutes of meditation, guided by the Guru himself, was definitely not something I had anticipated, but made the session worthwhile. I was definitely caught off guard by the combination of Humming (also probably including some Mantra chants) and the music, comprising of an Earthy voiced female singer, two guitars, a flute and am guessing a keyboard. The fact that I could sit for about three hours on floor, despite my lower back hurting badly, is some sort of a success story for me in the sense that I could push myself at least in the physical realm. ( I remember asking my wife’s kid-cousin just few days ago to sit in a chair and not to move for 10 minutes just a day ago, guess I know how it feels for a kid).

For those who wonder if I am an atheist or a non-conformist or a believer, I would say, I am all and nothing and hence their wondering is invalid. However, I think it is extremely important that you find a way to see/witness greatness at least once in a while (may be that’s why we all go on tours, watch cricket matches and what not). I think for those 10minutes of meditation with the guru, it can be included in my list of very few live Great experiences, I’ve had.

Tradition, Logic and Limitations!

I believe that any tradition is a practice, the originating logic of which has been forgotten, but is repeated foolishly in the belief that this belief will replace the wisdom of logic. Funny thing is there is no reason why the belief shouldn’t work. So is following a tradition a good thing or a bad? Depends, on how happy you feel doing it.

I have seen a so called ‘well-educated’ Indian woman, who was glad to rush home in the evenings, to light an evening lamp near the Tulasi (Holy Basil) tree at her home. I have often wondered, if she ever cared for the reason why Tualsi was supposed to be prayed to- her belief (then) was that Tulasi would bless her husband with long life, and happiness at home.

I wonder how this practice must have come out. I think women rushing home from work(if ever they worked at all), more so during the torrid Indian summers, is to reach home (before sunset), prepare well for the night (before the ‘bulb’ was invented) and of course water all the plants that needed care. I’m no expert at this – but I often wonder if my friend did any of these. While there is no point questioning her intention of praying for a happy and long life for her husband, I wonder how many times she had cared to pluck Tulasi leaves and use them in tea she made for her husband on a daily basis – Tulasi would have definitely given longish life to her husband (which apparently has been proven empirically and scientifically).

So what was the question again?
Tradition or Logic? – My say – any practice without inherently understanding the logic behind it is useless. But we can’t hold the same logic with life and living – can we – after all, it will take more than few life times to understand the logic of life ( if it ever can be understood) and then trying to ‘live’ would be foolish.

What I basically mean is that logic has ‘applicability issues’ in practice, but that doesn’t and shouldn’t mean that ‘only practice without logic’ is better. Oh my my… this agnosticism is damn cunning and never seems to leave me…!!!

Ship of Theseus and some coincidences (or whatever!)

SoT

Ok!

Who would have thought.

The first time I heard about Ship of Theseus was when I saw a news item that mentioned Kiran Rao (Khan) presenting a film. I had watched her Dhobi Ghat with keen interest, and wasn’t necessarily disappointed. So ‘who was this Anand Gandhi, the maker of Ship of Theseus‘, I wondered and ‘googled’ him! Then started a series of coincidences.

Coincidence 1

May be around 2005 or even earlier, a friend had been to Ahmedabad and used to hang around NID. He saw a film there, liked it, and when he came back to Hyderabad he narrated to me its story. The story was about a young man who shouts at his mom for some reason and appreciates his brother’s painting.. while his mom carries forward the negative feelings caused by this scenario to people whom she meets, the brother carries all the positivity around…and this carrying forward forms a circle. That story stuck to my head, and even though I had wanted to see that film, my friend had forgotten it’s title and i forgot pestering him about it. Turns out Anand Gandhi is the maker of that film!

My waiting for Ship of Theseus had just begun!

My interest on this film had made me read any and every news about it and knowing me the looker for signs and the sucker for news online, I would follow the film news on Facebook. Then I read the story line of the film.

Coincidence 2

I had participated in the 48 hour film festival Hyderabad chapter, and the genre I picked was Silent, meaning I had to make a silent film in less than 48 hours. After a sleepless night, trying to work on a story in that genre, after about 20 hours had faded, an idea struck my mind. A color blind novelist, helped by his friend, writes great fiction. When he finds a color blindness cure (creative liberty), he kicks the friend out and realizes he cant write the novels the way he used to! I was so disappointed by my own filmmaking capabilities that I decided not to submit my entry, and of course I was late by few hours!

Turns out, a similar story is a major part of Ship of Theseus.

***

Whenever someone mentions, Ramgopal Varma, they mention it either with strong liking or even stronger disliking. I tend to differ with them in the sense that I entertain both like and dislike towards him and his films. In a sense I would explain my feelings towards him as that of Howard Roark’s feelings towards Gail Wynand. (Am no Howard Roark, but always thought Gail Wynand’s characterization suits RGV better!) I had always wondered, if RGV would ever make a film like Man from the Earth, where philosophical discussion takes the center seat, yet keeps the audiences hooked, almost making them question their own limitation of thoughts. And so on and so forth…

Coincidence 3

I work in Telugu filmmaker Puri Jagannath’s office. Am not sure if he is aware of my existence in his office at all, but I like the fact that Ramgopal Varma is a frequent visitor to this office. Just as I left my office (on a Sunday), to watch Ship of Theseus (finally), I heard that RGV and my boss, the Telugu filmmaker were in the lobby. Now whenever important people are in the lobby, we are not allowed to enter it, even if we have to just cross past it! I was, as usual, getting late for the film, and finally some gentleman who saw my attempts to walk past the lobby, kindly told me…”you can just walk past sir!”

RGV was discussing some murder scene with someone, probably a cinematographer. I didn’t see him, and of course am sure he wouldn’t be aware of my existence. But I had crossed RGV to watch Ship of Theseus. (This coincidence is purely metaphorical for those who can understand… it was as if I had to walk past my feelings of respect and disrespect to the usual filmmaker that RGV is to watch this film)

And about Ship of Theseus may be another blog post… may be…but towards the end of this film I had to hold my tears back…else my wife, sitting beside me would end up gladly watching me, rather than the film it self…which I would recommend to anyone sane. It’s a brilliant film, something that engages you physically, mentally, emotionally and then yes…a rarity in Indian cinema – spiritually!

(P.S. that this film has words like ‘intellectual masturbation’, a wording which I thought I created to tweet to RGV was just another coincidence… and what did i Tweet to RGV went something like this I guess… “all entertainment cinema = socially accepted emotional masturbation…” sigh!)