:::all things bright and beautiful:::

Homeward Bound

||Yoga of Imperishable Brahman|| Said Arjuna: "O Purushottama, what is that Brahman, What is Adhyatma (inner Self) and what is karma ? What is said to be Adhibhuta (the primeval being ) and what is referred to as Adhidaiva (the Supreme Deity)?"

Said Lord Supreme: "Indestructible and beyond all is Brahman. Ones own self is called Adhyatma. The cause behind the creation of all the beings is called karma. Adhibhuta is by nature destructible. The Purusha (the Manifested Supreme Self) is Adhidaiva. And certainly I am Adhiyagna in the body, O best of the embodied.

Always thinking of the Creator, the Ancient, the Ordainer, One who is smaller than the atom, the upholder of all, the unthinkable (beyond thought).....

....At the time of death, with unwavering mind, engaged in devotion, by the strength of Yoga, establishing the prana (breath) completely between the two eye brows, he attains the Divine and transcendental Personality of Brahman.


How did the meaning of all this part from my soul? That I need words today to search for the meaning of something so deep within me and within all.

Gulzar - Lyricist

Ek Akela Is Shahar Mein Raat Mein Aur Dopahar Mein
Aabodaana Dhoondta Hai Aashiyana Dhoondta Hai

In Umar Se Lambi Sadkon Ko Manzil Pe Pohonchte Dekha Nahin
Bas Daudti Phirti Rahti Hain Humne To Theherte Dekha Nahin
Is Ajnabi Se Shahar Mein Jaana Pehechana Dhoondta Hai
Ek Akela Is Shahar Mein…

:::: very difficult to translate::::: :(

One lonely man in this town, in the night and afternoon

Searches for water and food (a livelihood) and a home

Never see these roads that are longer than age

Ever reach a destination

Just running and winding everywhere but I've never seen them stop anywhere

In this town of strangers searches for a familiar

One lonely man in this town...

:::::::: found a lovely post when writing this one::::::

Sahir Ludhianvi - Lyricist

Main Zindagii Kaa Saath Nibhaataa Chalaa Gayaa

Har Fikr Ko Dhuen Mein Udaataa Chalaa Gayaa

Barabaadiyon Kaa Sog Manaanaa Fizuul Thaa
Barabaadiyon Kaa Jashn Manaataa Chalaa Gayaa
Main Zindagii...

Gam Aur Khushii Mein Fark Na Mahasuus Ho Jahaan
Main Dil Ko Us Muqaam Pe Laataa Chalaa Gayaa
Main Zindagii...

i went on partnering with life

i have gone on blowing up my worries in smoke

it was futile to mourn failures/destruction

i have gone on celebrating them

where i can't feel the difference between happiness and sadness

I have gone on taking my heart to that destination

:::::: more to come soon:::::

The Desiderata of Happiness

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

~ Max Ehrmann

Moses Manoranjan Kumarswamy

The Morning Star whispers to Dawn,
"Tell me that you are only for me."
"Yes," she answers,
"And also only for that nameless flower."
~ Rabindranath Tagore (fireflies)

Mentor. Father-figure. Partner in mischief. Stereotypical wise old man. Boss.

He meant all these things for me and more. Above all, he meant hope, for me and countless others from all walks of life.

A typical interaction with him would be like the lines above. You can demand anything from him.. and he responds.. with acceptance, respect, and a zinger following the "yes", which expands the perspective and humbles you.

Now I'm finding him in me and in all things around me. I think I now understand life and death, and their relation to each other to some extent.

My ideas for better governance

My work with rural women has taught me:

  1. That meeting with all the people in the village, once a month, is an integral part of village councils (simple enough.. but does not happen as fairly or often as it is supposed to)
  2. Networking with your representatives in the governance and administration bodies is very useful
  3. You don’t need to hold a post in governance to have power to change things (They shared that their main aim of standing for elections were to affect social change and develop their village’s infrastructure. Now, many of them are no longer holding a formal post in the council but no way in hell does that stop them from continuing to affect social change. They shared the power of networking and representing the wish of the people as a social representative.)

Also, I think somewhere, the government is also looking for friendly, conscious citizen to partner with to make its work easier. (yeah I still have my rose tinted glasses on) J

So, I don’t see why the same model can’t be (or atleast tried) on scale. Let us suppose you are a, corporator, representing your Ward in a metro like Bangalore.

Let us say you break down your ward area further into areas and further into zones, each with a manageable number of population (what is a manageable number is determined by your resources).

Ward > Area > Zone

Would 6 months be enough (of a 5 year term) for you to get a basic profile (name, occupation, contact details) of each person in each zone in your ward?

How nice would it be then to hold Ward council meetings zone-wise to truly represent those who have voted for you?

HOLD IT! Reality check. What are the constraints?

1.     Time people would be willing to invest in coming to your “meeting”

2.     Money / logistical problems to come to the meeting

3.     Managing to actually give all present a fair hearing

Thankfully as I’m not communicating this in a formal proposal, I can afford to overlook logical loopholes (I’m sure there will be others who have a skill to spot them) and allow flight of fancy to take me a little further into hypothetical solutions to these.

1.     Time willingly spent to work WITH your government is not something that will happen over night but maybe, just maybe, getting an email from your ward representative (who knew we even had one!) might rouse the curiosity of a few. For those who are not email-accessible, a phone call or sms inviting them to meet with their representative might just work. Having food at the meetings will certainly help (food always help :p )

2.     Have you seen the free open top double decker buses that ferry across people who want to see Bangalore? Well that was a swell idea and I’m pretty sure that with the power of networking between corporates and corporators facilitating free travel to the meeting and back shouldn’t pose as much a problem (that is not counting if maybe there actually might be budget that can be set up for it)

3.     A written comment form and scribes for those who cant write to ensure it is recorded for review. Addressing the most commonly occurring and (in the eyes of the corporator and his advisory committee) important suggestions/issues/feedback can be shared and review of the action items of the previous meeting can be done too (hopefully there will be something positive to share on this front!)

These were some of the thoughts that formed in my head today when I thought of being part of this administration/governance system that I so easily blame (atleast once a day). Then I got in touch with the fact that I needn’t BE in power to do this. I can, as a good citizen, offer my ideas and services to make this into a reality.

I don’t know how much this sounds like an illogical, bordering on sci-fi, plan but it gave me happiness to think that this is possible. 

programmed to receive

I woke today morning feeling loved. I have never felt that before. Ever. I could feel all the love that people close to me have for me.. in all its warm glory. It was a lovely feeling. Me thinks me has finally learned to receive.. with grace.

All our lives we are taught to be givers. So much so.. that sometimes.. even if all the people lay their best selves at our doorstep we become too "lazy" to open the door to see them.. to acknowledge them..

Too accustomed to 'giving' and feeling good about ourselves.. too busy playing 'victim' ('i only give and give.. nobody seems to care when it is my turn to get!')

.. sometimes some people can actually make us acknowledge that we are definitely recieving something from them .. but somehow it doesn't satisfy us.. we didn't get it when we really needed it from whom we needed it.. so why accept it now? Isn't is easier to go on playing 'victim' and rage against the world.. against ourselves that we are not getting what we 'deserve', that we are oh so alone?

It is worth looking at how similar being unable to receive is to being unable to give. selfish people versus 'selfless' people.. two sides of the same coin?

where is the balance the harmony? ..to be able to trust and say.. yes i have received this from you with gratitude.. thank you. and not feel obligated. just feel happy. loved.

Next time I find myself tripping all over myself trying to prove to myself I'm not selfish, I'm a sensitive soul who needs to ensure the other person is not put through any trouble because of me... i'll be sure to give my ear a hard yank.. and remind myself to smile.. and say thank you, i accept it.

chew! chew! chew!

i realize i have to start somewhere if i'm ever gonna start this again. and maybe the best way is to not think at all but to just go ahead with it. to not pressurize it into being but just allow it to come forth in whatever form and be ready to accept it.

i am swollen with learnings. i wrote about minilives and life seems to have taken it upon itself to satisfy my desire to know, learn, and live till i cry out "enough". i never thought i would say enough, but i realize now that i have to. For any of them to be of any worth i can't stuff it in my mouth like a stubborn child who jousts with food in an everyday battle. i have to allow each learning to be born. chew till it is digestible. digest till it is a part of my bloodstream. else it is all but a pile of shit.

it is not easy to chew. i remind myself and diligently chew on my learnings but i'm afflicted by the same condition as the child with its mouth, full of food, hanging open in wonder at a passing bird or a mooing cow.

i want to be a computer and not a hard disk. so i twist and turn my head refusing more learnings till i have swallowed (and hopefully not choked on) what i've already bitten off.

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