Wednesday, June 15, 2011


It was hot and humid even at four in the evening. The scattered clouds here and there were not able to hide the midday sun's rays. The bus stopped and an elderly lady with a two bags full of biscuits to sell got on the bus. There is no seat free and she kept her bags next to a pole and stood holding the seat's arm-rest. When the conductor came, she gave three rupees and asked for a ticket to the next stop, which was two kilometers away. It was a tiring day so far but time to go home. The conductor gave a cynical look and said, "don't you know maaji the ticket price has increased from today, to seven rupees". The woman suddenly gasped for breath but managed to ask the conductor if she could get the ticket just for this day for the usual three rupees. The bus was crowded and the conductor irritated. "i don't own this bus maaji; please give the change, i have to tender more tickets, or you get down the bus". The lady could not process much but helplessly asked him to stop the bus. "Why do you come to eat our brains, i fail to understand", screamed the conductor and tapped the cealing of the bus with his ticket-holder indicating to the driver to stop the bus, and rushed the lady to get down quickly.

She got down the bus and stood there for a few seconds not knowing what to do and then decided she will take a walk. The walk was slow and preoccupied. She was calculating all the additional four rupees on tickets across the month and the provisions she can buy to sustain household, occasionally wiping the unstopping sweat off her forehead and cheeks with her saree. After a walk for about 20 minutes, she needed rest and sat on the pavement. A 20-storey five-star hotel stood tall and gave shade to the place where she was sitting. From a distance, the building looked very attractive with so many small box-like-windows for each room. Three storyes above where she was sitting, a businessman was rushing to a meeting. The waiter knocked the door and got the coffee the businessman ordered just a few minutes ago. He placed the tray containing coffee decotion, milk, and sugar on the side table and left the room. The businessman made the coffee in a hurry, buckled his belt, and sipped it. A frown on his face. What a waste, I don't know who taught this fellow how to make coffee. He poured down the 90-rupee special coffee down the drain and left the room as the door got locked behind him.

Down below, the lady got up and started walking again.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pens, pencils, paper & junk

i went to see this pond
where i have been told
the water is very clear
i longed to see my self
in the reflection with such clarity
i ran in hurry to reach there
bent forward to look into the water
pens, pencils, paper and junk
from my shirt pocket fell in
created ripples in the water
and the reflection was not clear
i could not perceive anything
i wanted to wait till the ripples are gone
but the sunlight has already withdawn
and i had to go and come back again
this time with empty pockets
with nothing to create ripples

Monday, June 6, 2011

Learning to unlearn and let go

For a long time, I have been treading a path which is not only unclear but also very uncertain. I have been seeking wisdom; wisdom about things that are clearly visible to us, and things which are mystic. It is amazing to realize that the most common, day-to-day things are as, or more, complex than some of the mystic things. Well, in my journey to seek wisdom, I have tried to find the source of right wisdom. I was seeking something which will show up as a thundering bolt or a dazzling stream of light and enlighten me with some esoteric knowledge about the dharma of cosmos and the secrets of karma calculation formula.

I have been praying and meditating to get that wisdom. And then one day, a thought occurred that turned my journey upside down, which I have to definitely owe to our ancient and mystic language: Sanskrit.

Let me elaborate it here: I have been seeking “Gyan” like a person in darkness seeks light. What is he actually seeking? He is seeking the lack of darkness. Similarly when I am seeking Gyan, I am seeking the lack of “Agyana”. However, for me, and perhaps for many people “Agyana” implied “ignorance”. But what if the word “Agyana” is interpreted like “Ashudha”, where “Ashudha” means that which is not pure? What if acquiring “Gyan” is not an act of acquiring right wisdom but is an act of getting rid of impure wisdom that is already present, that we have acquired through millions of years that have been spent under the watchful shadows of Maya?

This insight did not ring bells of joy or ecstasy, but made me little sad. The reason for that is, before this thought occurred to me, my journey was at least focused. I knew I was seeking something. But now, it requires letting go off all the unnecessary things that I acquired so far, intellectual, mental, and physical things. Unlearning is much complex than learning something new; there are so many sources of information to know new things, but far less to take you through the path of unlearning.

Nevertheless, I have to start treading this path now. I am now attached to the path of letting go until I let to off everything else…

The one step to liberation

Like professor Landgon says in Angels and Demons, "Faith is a Gift". My education lured me with proof of concept and snatched faith away from me long ago. Since then I have been fighting to find meaning through logical reasoning and intellectualization. I was offered the choice of red pill or blue pill during my "aksharabyasam" and force fed the red pill. I am just narrating the facts; no complaints.

All my questions came and ended in mystical reservoirs like all rivers go and meet the ocean. But the well-trained, red-pilled, logical mind is still struggling to understand the symbols of mystical nature. One question the skeptical mind kept on asking again and again was "Are these mystical experiences, so vividly narrated by the mystics, really true?"

If they are true, why are they not more common. Why are they limited to only such short number of people? If transcending the consciousness and diving into the super-consciousness is just a matter of elevated awareness, why is it not commonplace and why are the methods to do it not rather simple? If letting go of the ego is the only step required to perceive higher levels of existence, why is it so difficult for us to do it? It is so difficult that masters advice their desciples the fatal dangers of trying such feats without proper initiation and guidance. Why is it not common and why don't we see it more often?

Those questions lingered in my head for a long time until now, before writing this piece. Once again, ironically, a metaphor came to my rescue in answering these questions, and the answer is simple like my sir sings "Thats why, thats why, because it's the human nature".

Why do people smoke even when they know its harmful; why do we eat junk food even when we know it will spoil our digestive systems; why do we keep on complaining about problems but don't take up actions to solve them? Why do we show different kinds of caring and compassion to "outsiders" and "insiders"? The answer for all these questions is simple: short-sightedness. Believing that this moment is just this moment and is not connected or influential to our futures is perhaps the crux of the problem. This is the same reason for holding on to our egos so firmly, because of believing that this life is all there is, believing that our physical boundaries are the self and not knowing that the self is actually a projection from outside to inside and does not cease to exist when the boundaries of current self are broken. The self is not just in here, but "here" which does not have space-time boundaries.

Alas! I guess just knowledge does not help, because we still eat junk food. Well, I decided not to, from now on...