Thursday, December 21, 2006
- PRADEEP K.
Among rules, regulations and norms, I certainly respect those formulated by a constitution and enforced by a court of law. They are essential, although some of them do need refinement. I also respect rational organizational rules and priciples, which are also essential because they encourage a healthy and congenial work atmosphere.
However, socio-religious dogmas, doctrines, traditions and customs fall on a totally different plane. I do respect those of such, which make rational sense. Many others, which are enforced without good reason, or for the sole reason that they have been prevelent since ages, do not appeal to me. In general I prefer not to follow anything that I cannot question, or that for which the understanding is not clear.
If society were to dictate what I should or should not eat, or what caste I should marry in, or what type of music I should enjoy, or whether I should have friends from a specified religion, sect, or cult... In all such cases, I would simply have to tell them where to stuff their principles.
Simply because I am part of society does not mean that I am any less of an individual. I cannot respect people who force their idiosyncrasies on others. Furthermore, I cannot respect people who give up their individuality and dreams, and succumb to the socio-religious dogmas and traditions.
In a truly social environment, individuals must not dictate terms, but must respect another's rights.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Nearly a month ago Nature, with all Her glorious kindness, invited me to play a game with Her. A small lump developed on the right side, somewhere around the 11th rib, on my back. Initially it caused me some discomfort like fever in the evenings and mild pain.
Underwent Sonogram and Pathology tests. The Pathology test was extremely painful, and why I did not howl in the lab will forever remain a mystery to the doctors! Anyway, they said there was nothing to be worried about immediately, but they need to perform a biopsy - to surgically drain the lump out from my body and to break it into bits and study it minutely - to be sure of the cause and the further course of action.
I had not been able to think of undergoing that till now, since December 11th was my sister's wedding.
Now, about a month since it showed up, the lump is still as it is. Fortunately the fever symptoms have vanished. There is no pain unless pressure is applied.
Mostly at the beginning of January 2007, I should get back to the surgeons for further discussions about what course of action can best be taken then. I am hoping it will not be anything serious.
But in any case, I am letting Nature know that I am game!
Friday, November 10, 2006
Many Happy Returns Of The Day!
It was this day, last year, that Shatanand's relentless prodding had been successful in making me open my mind out on blogspot. However, today I am not celebrating the fact that this blog is one year old. I am celebrating all of you, my wonderful friends, readers and blogmates who considered it worth your while to visit my space. I have been fortunate enough to have a handful of great friends, online as well as offline. This one goes out to all of you.
All of us have been walking on our own paths. The paths sometimes intersected with or ran parallel to each other, and sometimes diverged from or opposed each other. Some of us have been voracious lone wolfs, while some have been humble sheep. All this is simply natural, based on each individual's convictions. I respect all of you. Therefore, I am celebrating all of you.
On my journey, I have had some very favourable times and some not-so-favourable times; had people joining me and people leaving me; been blessed with encouragement and cursed with discouragement; been nourished by love and impoverished by apathy...
Despite that I am glad that I have not worn masks, and that my convictions have not staggered. I continue today on the same exotic journey, which I started on years ago. And I shall continue on the same path to the finishing line.
Dear friends, it does not matter whether you walk a parallel path or a divergent one; it does not matter whether you stick to a single path or try several. On this occasion I wish all the very best for all of you, and hope that you will all make it to the finishing line as soon as you can.
Please do stop to smell those beautiful flowers on your way... :)
Monday, November 06, 2006
No matter what connotation one decides to take of the word, one cannot escape the fact that we are gradually alienating ourselves from nature.
There were days when we, children as well as adults, used to love and appreciate nature. Today, nature seems to be evaporating fast, making way for mechanical or technological marvels and synthetic substitutes.
As a kid I loved swinging from the supporting roots of the Banyan tree - broad, cool, dark, and shady. The banyan is like a boarding house: it attracts a large number of visitors - birds, squirrels, insects, and flying foxes; many of these interesting creatures actually live in the tree, which is full of dark, private corners suitable for a variety of tenants. One can climb on to its branches without difficulty and without danger of falling off. Reading a book without any disturbances leaning against its broad trunk used to be true joy.
It is a known fact that most plants largely take in Carbon Dioxide and release Oxygen during the day (photosynthesis), and take in Oxygen and release Carbon Dioxide during the night (respiration). But some plants such as the Peepal tree (Ficus Religiosa, called Ashvattha in Sanskrit) can uptake Carbon Dioxide and release Oxygen during the night as well, because of their ability to perform a type of photosynthesis called Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM). The Peepal is used extensively in Ayurveda. Its bark yields the tannin used in treating leather. Its leaves, when heated in ghee, are applied to cure wounds.
A friend of mine dearly misses those Painted Storks, Grey Herons and the occasional Spot-billed Pelicans that used to nest in his village on the Peepal, Babul (Acacia Nilotica), and Imli (Tamarindus Indica) trees from January till the end of the monsoons to feed, breed and prepare the young ones for the long journey across continents.
Today we have taken complete liberties and replaced the wonderful nature of our physical world with our filth. Dense forests and wooded areas have been cropped to make way for our concrete jungles, thus driving away, and conceivably exterminating the natural denizens who had survived the path of evolution. Fresh air has been replaced with our exhaust fumes, and plastic flowers have won over our beautiful natural gardens.
We have begun to experience the worst of our man-made world, be it the synthetic fruits and vegetables; the chemically beefed up meat; the contamination; the incessant din... Exactly what is it that gives us the nerve to imagine ourselves powerful enough to overthrow nature? Will we ever realize that damage to nature actually signifies the beginning of the end for our race? Will we ever be able to return to our roots? Or will we eliminate our own chances of survival?
Do we even care?
Monday, October 30, 2006
First Guy: "You have no idea what I had to do to be able to come out golfing this weekend. I had to promise my wife that I will paint every room in the house next weekend."
Second Guy: "That's nothing, I had to promise my wife that I will build her a new deck for the pool."
Third Guy: "Man, you both have it easy! I had to promise my wife that I will remodel the kitchen for her."
They continue to play the hole when they realized that the fourth guy has not said a word. So they ask him. "You haven't said anything about what you had to do to be able to come golfing this weekend. What's the deal?"
Fourth Guy: "I just set my alarm for 5:30am. When it goes off, I shut off my alarm, give the wife a budge and say, 'Golf Course or Intercourse?' So she says, 'Wear your sweater.'"
Mother Superior was walking in the garden one day when she saw a novice nun working in the vegetable patch. Unfortunately every seed she planted was stolen by the birds, which were sitting, watching her from nearby.
"Fuck off!" she shouted, "Just fuck off!"
Mother Superior was quite disgusted by this and called her over.
"Young lady.......That is NOT how a young nun behaves. Next time the birds steal your seeds, just say shoo.......shoo.... and they'll FUCK OFF by themselves."
A few months after his parents were divorced, Little Johnny passed by his mom's bedroom and saw her rubbing her body and moaning, "I need a man, I need a man!".
Over the next couple of months, he saw her doing this several times.
One day, he came home from school and heard her moaning. When he peeked into her bedroom, he saw a man on top of her.
Little Johnny ran into his room, took off his clothes, threw himself on his bed, started stroking himself, and moaning, "Ohh, I need a bike! I need a bike!"
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Am I writing this monograph because I haven’t written much else in the past several days, and because I feel that blasted need to exercise my bombastic vocabulary? Perhaps, but not really! I am writing this to beat the monotony caused by these wretched circumstances. I am also writing this as an explanation to the online community who might have missed me, or my psychobabble, for quite some time now.
Friday, September 29: Preparations for a long weekend. Spirits high.
Saturday, September 30: Long weekend begins. I dedicate this day to HBO.
Sunday, October 01: Long weekend continues. I dedicate this day to Cartoon Network.
Monday, October 02: Long weekend continues. Today marks the last day of the Dashera festivities for Hindus. Today also marks the birth date of the half-naked, bald-headed Indian sex symbol tactfully called the father of the nation. Seriously, the less I speak about that guy, the better. By the way, I dedicate this day partly to HBO and partly to Cartoon Network. Unbelievable? Whatever!
Tuesday, October 03: Long weekend over. Back to work, unaware of what is coming up!
Wednesday, October 04: All I know is that some group had planned to hold some sort of a demonstration march called Kannada Chaluvali on this date. I sincerely do not know what that means. For some reason, buses are called off on this pretext, and I could not get to office. HBO presented some nice movies today.
Evening Newsflash: Reports a hit-and run incident involving a truck and a pedestrian woman. A striking aspect of the case was that the truck was being used to transport cows; cows are one of the major causes for religious disharmony among our people. The truck was reportedly chased by the more conscientious among those who witnessed the incident, until its nervous driver lost control and crashed into yet another vehicle at some distance. Some Hindu group appeals that the next day be observed as a bandh (for those who don’t know, a bandh is a kind of protest that people are expected to observe by not bothering to get out of their houses for the said period).
My Personal Doubts: What was the real issue - was it hit-and-run, or was it that the truck was transporting cows? What problem will a bandh solve in this case? Exactly what is this group trying to prove, and to whom? What should I watch tomorrow – HBO, Cartoon Network, or both?
Thursday, October 05: Bandh in progress. No public transportation; no office; no nothing. I dedicate this day partly to HBO and partly to Cartoon Network. Why does my brain feel like a cabbage? Perhaps because that long weekend has turned out longer than expected; because I haven’t been able to attended to serious official work since Friday, and because I shall not be able to attend office tomorrow as well (tomorrow is my sister’s engagement).
Rumour During The Day: There have been some unpleasant confrontations in the city, the nature of which promise instant communal clashes between two groups of humans. Who has forgotten the communal riots of 1998? Hope they do something to contain the situation in good time.
Side Effect: My sister’s engagement is postponed. All invitees are informed. The wedding has been scheduled for December 11. I am not sure if there will be an engagement; I think they will directly get married on the scheduled date.
Friday, October 06: Yesterday’s rumour is certified. News reports several clashes and a related murder in the city during the bandh. Situation seems very delicate. The bandh continues. No public transportation; no office; no nothing. The cabbage is growing. HBO suddenly looks quite unoriginal. Cartoon Network seems like a punishment.
Evening Newsflash: Communal violence was observed at certain parts in our city as well as at some other vulnerable locations in the district. The police had been given a free hand to control the same, but they could not do a perfect job because they fell short of human resources. Curfew is imposed in the district for three days.
Saturday, October 07: Another weekend already! Curfew is in progress. Really, what difference does it make? For the past week, every day has been a Sunday, except that we have been under house arrest. Curfew only gives it a more formal structure and a pretty name. I am making conscious efforts not to forget the date by looking at the calendar once in a few hours. I hate HBO! I hate Cartoon Network! Star World has a couple of great comedy shows, but nothing else of much significance. Discovery Channel gets boring after a few hours. I badly miss work; I badly miss my friends; I badly miss my blogmates. The cabbage has grown quite heavy.
Sunday, October 08: They relaxed the curfew for a period of two hours from 9 am to 11 am. Stepping out on the streets was a great relief, even for two hours. People should have utilized this welcome break to replenish their household supplies. But then, not much of anything was available, and the market forces quickly doubled the rates of a few essentials. After the two hours, the city was a morgue again. The streets had become the shared property of the local police, the CRPF, and the RAF. Anyone else found on the streets (except the press of course) would be brutally assaulted by one or more of the three forces. The press captured a few such instances for our perusal. I don’t know what channels and programmes I watched on TV today. I know I watched something, though.
Evening Newsflash: Curfew extended to tomorrow evening!
Personal Reaction: Blasted @#!$@^#&!!
Monday, October 09: They relaxed the curfew for a period of four hours from 9 am to 1 pm. At last, independence! Fresh air! Sniffffff!!! Today people did utilize this break to replenish some of their household supplies. I suddenly realized today that it was still raining in our city. It is odd that it should rain in October, but what the heck! Sniffffffff!!! I had a wonderful haircut and a nice shave. After the four hours, the city was a morgue again. The streets had become the shared property of the local police, the CRPF, and the RAF...
Evening Newsflash: Curfew relaxed for 12 hours from 7 am to 7 pm tomorrow! Buses may still not ply, but hope to get to office on private vehicles.
Tuesday, October 10: My colleague just called. We planned to leave for office on his two-wheeler, while two more colleagues would be joining us on another bike. If I post this today, it would mean we reached office.
PS: Soon, I might compose another part of this article, which might possibly talk about my personal opinions and views on communal and religious unrests.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
When the lady boarded the bus I couldn't help noticing she was pregnant. She first sat under an advertisement, which read, 'Coming Soon: The Gold Dust Twins'.
I was even more amused when she changed her seat and went to sit under a shaving advertisement, which read, 'William's Stick Did The Trick'.
Then I could not control myself any longer when on the third move she sat under an advertisement, which read: 'Dunlop Rubber would have prevented this accident.'
The case was dismissed.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
I voted for the first (and the last) time when I was 18, because it was a new, thrilling experience to be able to exercise a right to elect your representative in the government. Then, opening my eyes to the political scenario of my beloved country, I learnt some very disturbing lessons, which not only dissuaded me from voting ever again, but also made me turn my face against politics and politicians, and against all things associated with them.
I present for your perusal below only a few of the several reasons:
In our great nation, elected representatives of the people -- no matter which political party they belong to -- have always kept themselves busy in numerous scams like Coffin Scam, Telecom Scam, Stamp Scam, Fodder Scam, and Bofors Scam to name only a few. I am not sure if you have heard of those; if not, try to read up on the various scams associated with Indian politics. I do not know of a better form of entertainment.
Moreover, they -- the politicians as well as government employees -- are also busy swallowing bribes. They have different rates for different purposes at various levels. If you have money to burn and if you are willing to share some of it with them, you are welcome. If not, you can take a walk.
No Indian citizen should need evidence to the fact that it is none but our politicians who have been inspiring communal disharmony and general unrest in the country. Such unrest and disharmony enable them to play the blame-game; those are the legs that secure their political chairs. If people die in the bargain, well, that's collateral damage. That's not their fault. Really.
Not only have they engaged in criminal activities, but also they have twisted the law of the land -- if there ever was a law in the land -- to their own convenience. Law, like any other commodity or service, can be bought. Yes, money can indeed buy much more than you imagined!
Has there ever been a case of cross-border terrorist attack that was not politically inspired? We may blame our neighbours for training or deploying terrorists, but I seriously believe that most of the major attacks could never have come about without inside political help. I may not have the evidence to support these claims, but I am as certain of this point as one could ever be. I am sure that even if nobody else understands what I am talking about, at least the brave soldiers posted at our borders will.
Dear friends, politics in India rhymes with corruption, and is tangled with terrorism. Politicians would do anything -- and I mean abso-damn-lutely anything -- to stay in power and to get richer by the day. They would misuse the power given to them by the people. They would forget that they are mere servants of the nation. They would forget that they are but representatives of the people of a great nation...
Friends, I could go on and on with this disgraceful monograph, but I am sure you get the point. I ask you now, if you would like these people to represent you or your nation. Would you like the rest of the world to identify you or your country by such shameful values? I would certainly not!
When my elected representative indulges in selfish or illegal activities, or perpetrates heinous crimes, then I would automatically become an accessory to such atrocities. I do not want such representatives. I am quite capable of representing myself. That is why I do not vote.
PS: To be able to better appreciate what I have written here, one must have lived in these conditions in a middle-class family, must have made such subtle observations as are not always explicitly evident, and must have suffered, or at least seen others suffer, abuse at government offices, police stations, government hospitals...
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Nonetheless, I am quite unsure about what final shape this monograph will take. Would it, once finished, qualify to be called a treatise on my suffering? Or would it simply turn out to be an insipid essay, which will demonstrate the depth of my helplessness? I am, as yet, unsure.
I do greatly value the time and intelligence of my readers. I am morally obligated not to waste the former, nor to tax the latter beyond reasonable limits. And yet, at times such as now - fallen prey to a disease that numbs the mind - I fear that I have committed the crime and driven my readers away. It is precisely this strange feeling, which usually consumes me enough to keep me from picking up a pen or pecking at the keyboard.
A peculiar sensation – as if everything worth writing about has already been written about, and as if writing any more would make no sense – creeps in from somewhere and overwhelms the mind. It usually attacks without forewarning, and there is no telling as to how long it rules.
It invades such powers of the mind as perception, thought, scrutiny, and reasoning. All of a sudden, nothing seems to matter. Creativity seems to have gone out the back door. Ideas do not appeal; analysis evaporates into thin air. A cruel void, an eerie silence - very different from the pregnant silence that results from meditation - remains.
Sometimes I come to hope that a short walk in the midst of nature would help. But then I recall that some of us have made every effort to corrupt nature with the concrete jungle, the exhaust fumes, the plastic roses, the contamination, and the incessant din. We have replaced the beauty of nature with all our filth. A short walk amidst those could only make matters worse; it might even be fatal!
If I ever bring myself to publish this article on my blog, it would be to record this disgusting affliction, for which I have not yet found an effective therapy, short of endurance. It would also be to record evidence to the fact that I did not go down without a fight.
And at this point, words do fail me. But I tried.
Monday, July 24, 2006
They are often construed as the origin of such distinctions as likes and dislikes, good and bad, love and hatred. Misconstrued, that is. Polar concepts appeal to the uneducated rationale. The sword of logic terminally severs the Truth.
Humble salutations to the laboratory of the human mind, where the simplest of facts are proudly broken into most complex equations. Complexity seems to be more easily palatable, and more acceptable, than simplicity!
The need of the hour is a simple realization that the observer, the observation and the observed are but a cohesive and indivisible unit, that relative fluctuations and distinctions are mere illusions, and that discrimination - bipolar or otherwise - is a ludicrous folly, an absurdity!
That would be demystification, indeed. After that, nothing would matter. Until such time however, my earnest attempts will be scoffed at. Not that I am left with any choice in that regard.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
One day, Bobby went to Susie's dad and announced (as seriously as he could), "I'm in love with Susie, and we're getting married".
Amused, Susie's dad started asking questions (in the hopes to discourage the idea).
Susie's dad: "Where will you live?"
Bobby: "Well, Susie has a playhouse in the back yard, so we're gonna live there."
Susie's dad: "How are you going to make money to support her?"
Bobby: "Well, Susie gets 75 cents a week, and I get $1.25 a week."
Seeing that Bobby was still serious, Susie's dad asked, "Well, what about children?"
Bobby perked up and quickly answered, "Oh, we have that figured out already. Whenever Susie lays an egg, I'm gonna stomp on it!"
The little boy greeted his grandmother with a hug and said, "I'm so happy to see you grandma. Now maybe daddy will do the trick he has been promising us."
The grandmother was curious. "What trick is that my dear," she asked.
The little boy replied, "I heard daddy tell mommy that he would climb the fucking walls if you came to visit us again."
An eight-year-old boy was charged with the rape of a grown woman, and though the crime seemed highly improbable, the state's evidence was overwhelming. As a last, desperate move, the defense counsel came over to the witness stand, pulled down the client's pants, and grabbed the boy's tiny penis for all to see.
"Ladies and gentlemen," the lawyer cried, turning toward the jury box, "surely you cannot believe that such a small, still undeveloped organ is sexually mature?"
Growing more agitated he went on, "How could this miniature member be capable even of erection, let alone the rape of a fully grown woman-"
"Watch it, mister," whispered the kid, "One more shake and you'll lose the case."
Tommy, Johnny and Harry were standing around bullshitting about how tough their fathers were.
"My dad went 12 rounds with Mike Tyson. Lick that!" said young Harry.
"Well, my dad did two tours of Vietnam and killed 19 men... so lick that!" Tommy said.
"That's nothing!" declared little Johnny. "My dad hasn't wiped his ass in 10 years... so lick that!"
Friday, July 07, 2006
A married man was having an affair with his secretary. One day they went to her place and made love all afternoon. Exhausted, they fell asleepand woke up at 8 PM. The man hurriedly dressed and told his lover to take his shoes outside and rub them in the grass and dirt. He put on his shoes and drove home.
"Where have you been?" his wife demanded.
"I can't lie to you," he replied, "I'm having an affair with my secretary. We had sex all afternoon."
She looked down at his shoes and said, "You lying bastard! You've been playing golf!"
The 2nd Affair
A middle-aged couple had two beautiful daughters but always talked about having a son. They decided to try one last time for the son they always wanted. The wife got pregnant and delivered a healthy baby boy. The joyful father rushed to the nursery to see his new son. He was horrified at the ugliest child he had ever seen.
He told his wife, "There's no way I can be the father of this baby. Look at the two beautiful daughters I fathered! Have you been fooling around behind my back?"
The wife smiled sweetly and replied, "Not this time!"
The 3rd Affair
A woman was in bed with her lover when she heard her husband opening the front door.
"Hurry," she said, "stand in the corner." She rubbed baby oil all over him, then dusted him with talcum powder. "Don't move until I tell you," she said, " pretend you're a statue."
"What's this?" the husband inquired as he entered the room.
"Oh it's a statue," she replied, "the Smiths bought one and I liked it so I got one for us, too."
No more was said, not even when they went to bed. Around 2 AM the husband got up, went to the kitchen and returned with a sandwich and a beer. "Here," he said to the statue, have this. I stood like that for two days at the Smiths and nobody offered me a damned thing."
The 4th Affair
A man walked into a cafe, went to the bar and ordered a beer.
"Certainly, Sir , that'll be one cent."
"One Cent?" the man exclaimed. He glanced at the menu and asked, "How much for a nice juicy steak and a bottle of wine?"
"A nickel," the barman replied.
"A nickel?" exclaimed the man, "Where's the guy who owns this place?"
The bartender replied, "Upstairs, with my wife."
The man asked, "What's he doing upstairs with your wife?"
The bartender replied, "The same thing I'm doing to his business down here."
The 5th Affair
Jake was dying. His wife sat at the bedside. He looked up and said weakly, "I have something I must confess."
"There's no need to," his wife replied.
"No," he insisted, "I want to die in peace. I slept with your sister, your best friend, her best friend, and your mother!"
"I know," she replied, "now just rest and let the poison work."
Friday, June 16, 2006
Her recent post is about Ripples, and a comparison to life. Read her here
I must admit here that I love reading her. Commenting on her posts has almost become my favourite hobby.
My take on her recent article:
Rising/Fading ripples are only different names and form of the one reality - water. It is in the "Time duration between two ripples" (aptly the title of her post) that you can see this truth.
Same is the case with our breath - it is between the inhalation and exhalation that we can see the truth. And same is the case with all other polar concepts in life.
It is when the ripples (or the poles) are calmed down, that we can see the ultimate truth: All is one.
Those who are interested may also read my poem related to the same concept: Tao
Monday, June 05, 2006
Recently I read the book "The Time Illusion" by Dennis Wright, which clearly supports not only my claims that time is indeed an illusion, but also my other claims related to Karma, Destiny, and Life itself. This author has offered a more practical discussion with ample scientific and experimental examples. I hereby quote some interesting paragraphs from the first chapter of the book.
We experience the passage of time physically, and observe it in our environment yet are unable to understand how time flows or we advance through it. It is relatively easy to understand some aspects of space-time as they are observable, particularly the space aspect. When we see a mountain it is simple enough to accept that it has occupied a particular space for some thousands or even millions of years (in relation to other matter in the same vicinity) and will continue to occupy that space for some time into the future.
It is not possible however to identify that place it occupies in time, as the only time period we know exists is this very second we are now experiencing. The past is gone; the past item has disappeared replaced by the now which will in turn be replaced by the future, and what of the future? Does it pop into existence as the moment arrives, or is it there already, and what of the past has it disappeared or does it still exist?
Our existence or consciousness is actually a point or intersect of space and time. We understand our place in space as it is easily observable and as we move from one area of space to another, we can easily see where we are going. We cannot see our progress through time and must rely on memory to know where we have been, and on faith that the past will extend into a future.
Time is the result of the motion of matter and energy. It is apparent that different objects must exist differently in time. Motion is not necessarily a movement through space. An object at rest is obviously moving through time for if it ceased to do that it would disappear in relation to an observer who is moving forward in time. It is therefore apparent that any item observed is traveling through time at the same rate as the observer.
In order to examine the effects of different rates of movement through time let us examine a hypothetical star. Imagine, for the purpose of this exercise, that this star is orange and only emits energy at one wavelength that of one metre. An observer sitting in a spaceship and looking at our star, while at rest relative to each other, he sees an orange star.
Once he starts accelerating away, the colour of the star begins to change as his motion lengthens the distance between the wavelengths of light reaching him. Assuming he could reach the speed of light the star would appear to vanish because he would be traveling with the light waves, if he had the ability to see energy he would notice a wave of energy stationary every one metre.
Imagine that our observer has the ability to accelerate to twice the speed of light, he will again see the star exactly as before, but instead of seeing it behind and moving away, it now appears to be in front and it appears that he is approaching the star.
Adopted from "The Time Illusion"
By Dennis Wright
Yes, all time occurs in a single instant, it is only our awareness, which traverses the moment, which constitutes the time continuum. This comfortably also supports my other claims that cause-effect is an illusion as well, because it heavily depends on the so-called sequential passage of time. Our imperfect mind takes two events which seem to occur one after another to assume that one is the cause of the next. This might be a disappointment to those who believe in the laws of Karma, because this means effectively that Karma is an illusion.
All is one.
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
There are thousands of people who take great pride in investing millions, in using hi-tech equipment, simply to cut open matter and looks inside it. There are thousands who are involved in meticulously classifying all the stuff we observe around us. Arthropoda, crustasea, arachnida, insecta... Vertabrates, invertabrates... Consonants, vowels... Lip sounds, nasal sounds, palette sounds... Neucleus, protons, electrons, mesons... Mathematics, physics, chemistry, astronomy... Wow, wow, wow... Stop, stop, stop!
Yes, we have done it. We have taken a beautiful world and broken it down into little bits. Now we look at the world as a systematic collection and organization of these little pieces, and attempt to learn and master creation by dividing it thus. Anything that falls outside the purview of our classification is considered either miraculous or damnatory. In doing so we have lost track of holistic living, and have certainly succeeded in complicating our life tremendously.
Wonder what we will do next!
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
The nervous sergeant said, "Well sir, as you know, there are 250 men here on the post, and no women. And sir, sometimes the men have 'urges'. That's why we have the camel."
The Captain says, "I can't say that I condone this, but I understand about urges, so the camel can stay."
About a month later, the Captain starts having his own urges. Crazy with passion, he asks the Sergeant to bring the camel to his tent. Putting a ladder behind the camel, the Captain stands on the ladder, pulls his pants down and has wild, insane sex with the camel.
When he's done, he asks the Sergeant, "Is that how the men do it?".
"No not really, sir...They usually just ride the camel into town where the girls are."
The boss of a big company needed to call one of his employees about an urgent problem with one of the main computers, he dialed the employee's home phone number and was greeted with a child's whisper..!!
"Is your daddy home?" he asked.
"Yes," whispered the small voice.
"May I talk with him?"
The child whispered, "No."
Surprised, and wanting to talk with an adult, the boss asked, "Is your Mommy there?"
"Yes." the child whispered.
"May I talk with her?"
Again the small voice whispered, "No."
Hoping there was somebody with whom he could leave a message, the boss asked, "Is anybody else there?"
"Yes," whispered the child, "a policeman."
Wondering what a cop would be doing at his employee's home, the boss asked, "May I speak with the policeman?"
"No, he's busy", whispered the child.
"Busy doing what?"
"Talking to Daddy and Mommy and the Fireman", came the whispered answer.
Growing concerned and even worried as he heard what sounded like a helicopter through the earpiece on the phone the boss asked, "What is that noise?"
"A hello-copper" answered the whispering voice.
"What is going on there?" asked the boss, now alarmed.
In an awed whispering voice the child answered, "The search team just landed the hello-copper."
Alarmed, concerned, and even more than just a little frustrated the boss asked, "What are they searching for?"
Still whispering, the young voice replied along with a muffled giggle:
I am back! :)
Somebody please hug me and say you missed me. HAHAHAHAHA!
Thank you, my dear friends, for the comments, support and encouragement when I was feeling low.
Very special thanks to my best friend, Nery. Not only for your comments here, but also for understanding me and caring for me as much as you do. You are wonderful. Thank you for being you. And all the very best in meeting your business deadlines. :)
Please fasten your seat-belts, and get ready to fly again.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
A handful of men respect him; they praise his intellect, admire his courage, and they tell him how proud they are of him. An equal number of men, or perhaps a few more, despise him; they criticize his attempts, doubt his faith, and express their overall disapproval about him. Some are indifferent to him. Others do not know about him.
On the emotional level, he thanks the men that praise him. On the intellectual level, he studies the criticisms leveled against him. But, on the spiritual level, none of the above means anything to him. Neither is he attached to the former, nor removed from the latter. All that he thinks about is his ultimate goal, the unveiling of Reality.
He continues on his set path, doing all that is necessary, all that is to be done, regardless of what the society thinks or says. Support or opposition, he does not stop to count heads. He cannot care less about social judgments sentenced against him, or about the number of followers he has. He wants to achieve the goal for himself and for those who are dependent on him, so that he may then retire to unwind in the silence of the Chasm.
It is not that he disrespects society, but he simply has no time to care. He knows what is to be done, and he knows how it has to be done. He also knows that he may not be able to do it alone, but is left with no other choice. He knows that he may not depend on them, that he may not expect anything of them. He knows that they have programmed themselves to believe baseless arguments, which they would not give up without a fight. To achieve a desirable change in them, he would have to alter their fundamental programming, which they would defend at the cost of their life. Or his!
He is not afraid of the risk, but he simply has not the time or the tools to convince them. He was given a job to execute, some time within which to do it, and some tools to assist him. He needs to use the time and the tools wisely, and for the purpose they were meant, rather than to re-educate them at the risk of losing all that is needed to accomplish his goal.
He has nothing for or against them. He has neither respect, nor disrespect for them. He neither loves, nor hates them. All he wants is to walk his set path, and to achieve his set goal. He has to try, with or without them, against all odds, and even at the cost of his dearest possessions. He has to forgo most of his desires and most of his rights, because he sees something that they cannot; because he knows something that they do not. He has to walk alone, because he was gifted with the vision, because he was the chosen one.
When he succeeds, they would all partake of the feast. They would congregate in his dining hall, whether he invites them or not. They would drink his wine and eat his food, whether they know him or not. They would claim to be his cousins, aunts, or friends. Some unknown face would even claim to be the mother of his children. She would educate her borrowed kids to point a finger toward him if asked about their father...
When he succeeds, the world would claim to be his family, and society would claim a share in his success. They would congratulate and praise him, although they might not understand a word he says. They would crown him and offer him a high pedestal, although they might not even know what he has achieved. And yet, there would be a handful of them who would criticize him, although they might not even know what they are up against. For, those are the symptoms of the system.
He goes on, oblivious to the system. A system that is the world, a system that is affectionately called society.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
One might simply laugh at my questions, and suggest that I should read an authoritative digest on human physiology, and if I am still not satisfied, that I should meet up with an expert physician who could undoubtedly answer my questions to my satisfaction. Undoubtedly. But indeed, I am quite aware of the physiological answers to those questions, although I am not satisfied with them; they are only partial answers.
What makes us breathe? What is it in us, which kicks off with our first cry as soon as we are born, and thrusts our lungs into constant bipolar motion that constitutes inhalation and exhalation? What is it that sustains this motion for as long as it should? Every action needs a source of power. What is the source that empowers our breath? Why does it do so?
Teacher says, “Remove consciousness, and the body is as good as dead.” Without any doubt, our consciousness, our awareness, is the major symptom of our being alive. It is also our consciousness that enlivens our senses and enables us to perceive our universe. It is our breath that feeds our consciousness.
We speak of a great many things like mind, heart, intellect and emotions. We speak of people who are highly intelligent, creative, deceptive, conceited, good, evil, beautiful, ugly, honorable, notorious, sensitive, smart, stupid, skilled, learned, heartless, greedy, and so forth. The classification is almost endless. And yet, the life principle – the breath - is the same in all of us.
Cogito ergo sum: I think, therefore I am. Undoubtedly, the universe is as, and because, we perceive it. It is our awareness that makes it real. It is our intellect that enables us to identify and recognize various names and forms. What we perceive around us is filtered through our consciousness, our awareness. It is then questioned by our reason, dissected by our logic, classified and organized by our intelligence. This involves an intricate network of electro-chemical reactions in a few million neurons that float on a bed of proteins. What powers this process? Breath. What powers the breath?
Sitting quietly on the sand, looking at the immense expanse of the ocean as it breathes in and out, I am further fascinated by the relationship of breath to several other polar models. Positive and negative, good and evil, birth and death, love and apathy, acceptance and rejection, up and down, high and low, crest and trough, rise and fall... male and female... and to keep it brief, shall I say inhalation and exhalation!
Therefore, beneath all this, with or without our explicit knowledge, is the very same life principle: breath. Stop the breath, and there shall be no consciousness, no awareness, no intelligence, no perception, and no emotions. Poles are a creation of the intellect. Merge the poles - inhalation and exhalation - and there shall be no other poles. Stop the breath, and there shall be no universe. Stop the breath, and there shall be nothing.
Think if you will: How, and why do we breathe?
Monday, April 10, 2006
It was no accident that you commanded her to enliven my heart with your breath. It was no accident that you asked her to sow potent seeds of your image into my very being, to grow and mature with me. It was no accident that you commanded her to be with me, to support me, and to help me convey.
You set me a goal: to share your vision. You also bestowed on me some tools to help me convey: clarity of sight, and articulation. In doing so, you set the path that I must take. After that, you directed her to show me the signs toward the path, and to help me walk in that direction. She has been guiding me like an elder sister should guide her brother. It has been my honor and pleasure to obey.
But now, I stand before you to report my failure. The failure is all mine, and not hers. I report honestly, with fair hopes that you will not condemn her, because she has done what she is best known for. And she has helped me as much as she could, within the constraints you laid out for her.
I have woken up to the fact that the vision you ask me to propagate is not transmittable. I have tried and failed, because the audience does not seem ready for it. The audience wants tales, but not Truth; they want myth, but not facts; they want comfort, but not reality. They want her, not you!
The use of vain symbolism and mythical mumbo-jumbo does not achieve the expected transmission; it simply captivates and mystifies the audience. Undiplomatic expression has also repeatedly failed in helping to realize the desired objectives. I see no other way of doing so. They seem to love diplomacy, but I can give it not. They seem to enjoy lies, but your message is not a lie. All I can do is present hard facts, which they are not ready to digest.
I have looked up to you several times for help in this regard, but you have always appeared indifferent. It appears that my success or failure does not really matter to you. Time and time again, you appeared too unconcerned. It seemed that you were either too far away, or too busy, to listen to my cries of agony.
But every time I came face-face with the greatest leveler, you suddenly empowered her to bail me out. Nobody else could have ever carried out rescue operations on that scale. She casually walked in, grabbed my little finger, and led me away from the fatal fall, right under the nose of my undertaker. And when I thanked her, she only said that it was your wish.
No, it was no accident that you did not let me die. There was a powerful purpose behind it. You want me to succeed, because you do not let me rest. Every time I resign, you appear, and you overwhelm me with a new wave of inspiration. You compel me to go out and share. Once again, with a new hope that I might succeed, I am only too happy to obey. But there is something amiss.
I report that it does not hurt when they mock at me, or misunderstand me, or criticize me. It does not hurt even when they call me crazy.
But it does hurt when they misunderstand you. It hurts, because I love you.
I am confused. You set me a goal, an impossible one. Then you sent her (who has a conflicting goal) to help me.
And suddenly, almost everybody is in love with her. They are enticed by her, and try to court her. They want to marry her. She tells me funny anecdotes about them every day. We laugh about them.
It seems that she has succeeded in achieving her goal. I have certainly failed. And yet, you continue to inspire me through her. She comforts me on your behalf. She says that I must continue.
I need to ask you: What do you really want of me?
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Two people are relentlessly after my blood. One of them is an ardent devotee of Bollywood movies, while the other is a diehard fan of cricket. Although I generally don’t waste my energy on hatred, there are a few things that do irritate me, and unfortunately for me, cricket and Bollywood happen to be two among them. All hell seems to have broken loose.
Xy: What do you mean cricket irritates you?
Me: Uhmm, I mean...
Pq: You don’t like to watch Bollywood movies?
Me: Uhmm, not much.
Pq: Why not?
Me: Well, most of them don’t appeal to me.
Pq: What the @#$%^! How can you say such a thing?
Me: Uhmm, well...
Xy: You don’t watch cricket matches?
Pq: What do you mean they don’t appeal to you?
I am sure that the worst of criminals get a much better treatment in a court of law. And the above transcript was just a sample. They start every time they see me, and they go on and on...
I believe that if this were not a secular republic, these two fanatics would have ripped me apart, sucked all my blood, taken one each of my kidneys, broken my ribs, thrown my heart to the dogs, and left my remains hanging at the crossroads as an example for others.
But hey, this is my opinion. To hell with Bollywood and cricket! Do what you can, sweethearts. I shall not live by your standards. Nor do I owe you any explanation.
I am tagging all my friends - Tell us the most humoros experience you have had.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
It’s only been a while now
that I was run over by a train.
Give me a little more time
to collect my bits up again.
It’s only been a while now,
and I’m still fighting the pain.
Give me a little more time
to gather my soul up again.
It’s only been a while now,
and I’m sure that I’ll sing again.
Just let me find my voice, and
the rhythm will return in time.
It’s only been a while now;
I’ve forgotten how to smile now.
So give me a little more time,
and maybe a little more time.
It’s only been a while now (It’s only been a while)
that I was run over by a train (I’m still fighting the pain)
I’ve forgotten how to smile now (Forgotten how to smile)
But I’m sure that I’ll sing again (The rhythm will return)
So give me a little more time (Just a little more time)
And maybe a little more time (Yeah, a little more time)
I had written the above lines a few months ago, and had immediately started wondering why I had written them. When I read it back today, it made more sense.
Cheers everyone! :)
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Wonder how anyone can sympathize with people who commercialize or glorify miracles!
Ask yourself a few simple questions: How do you explain your breath? Is it not a miracle that you breathe in and out continuously, even though you are hardly ever aware of the process that so keeps you alive? Is it not a miracle that a few million neural cells floating on a bed of proteins interact into an intricate electro-chemical network, which we call a brain, and that these reactions make you an intelligent person? Is it anything short of a miracle that all this happens even without your conscious command? Look minutely at yourself, and you shall see a million miracles!
Everybody, my dear, is a body of miracles! I shall not prostrate before myths, metaphors, magic and miracles. I do not see a greater miracle than a normal, healthy life.
Pq: Did you see that? He just produced a golden Lingam from his stomach!
Me: Yes, I saw it. Poor man.
Pq: Poor man? He is God!
Me: He is terribly ill!
Pq: He is God! Prostrate and pray.
Me: Stop glorifying him! The guy needs medical attention!
Pq: You are sinning. You will reap as you sow.
Me: The poor man is suffering! They should call a doctor.
Seriously, he who vomits golden ingots (or performs other seemingly impossible feats) in public is only a shrewd businessman, a skilled magician. I have nothing against him, but he is not the Truth.
PS: Those who wish to curse me for this post may freely do so in the comments.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
John walked into the back room and said, "There's a bloody idiot out there who wants to buy only half a kilogram of butter." As he finished saying this, he turned around to find the customer standing right behind him. John immediately added, "And this gentleman wants to buy the other half."
The manager finished the deal and later said to John, "You almost got yourself in a lot of trouble earlier, but I must say I was impressed with the way you got yourself out of it. You think on your feet, and I like it a lot. Which place are you from?"
John replied, "I'm from Mexico, Sir."
"Oh, really? Why did you leave Mexico?" asked the manager.
John replied, "Everyone there is either a prostitute or a soccer player."
"My wife is from Mexico," the manager said.
John immediately replied, "Which team did she play for?"
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
“Huh?” he was at a loss for words.
He was not used to judging people. He was certainly not used to judging people by their looks. Never before had he been subject to such a dilemma.
“How do I look?” she repeated eagerly.
“Different,” he tried to be diplomatic.
In fact, she looked unfamiliar. It had taken him nearly three whole minutes to recognize her.
“What do you mean ‘different’?” she pouted her lips.
“Different... What happened to your hair?”
“I had it done!” she beamed with pride.
“Done?” he was confused.
“Yeah, at the parlor! Hasn’t she done a great job?”
“She has destroyed your hair!”
He never understood why she did that. She woke up in the morning looking naturally gorgeous. She blinked at her angelic reflection in her favorite oval mirror. Then she went over to that frightful place and got herself ‘done’, although he never understood what that word meant in women’s parlance. She returned, poorer by about 300 bucks, looking strikingly similar to the stupid hag who had ‘done’ her. And she asked him how she looked.
“You looked a million times more beautiful when I saw you this morning,” he said, believing every word of it.
“You are such a heartless jerk!” she snapped back at him.
They wonder why he is lonely. He is lonely because she went and married the first gentleman who lied to her.
Disclaimer: All characters and circumstances portrayed in the above composition are factual. The similarity to any person or persons, living or dead, is intentional. The intensity is all mine.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Strength is acknowledging tears.
Courage is not being without fear.
Courage is being despite fear.
Sometimes words fail, and tears
speak very loud, and very clear.
Emotions are natural.
The shower of tears,
the thunder of laughter,
all simply natural.
Crying is okay; it is not at all wrong.
Don't think that those who never cry are strong.
And don't consider yourself a weakling if you cry.
Hold no fears; shed those tears; you will not die.
Sunday, March 05, 2006
Chris sat up with a sudden jolt. A shriek faintly resonated in his ears. But even before he could acknowledge it, the echo died out. Although his eyes were wide open, he could hardly see a thing. He sat swallowed up by sheer and complete darkness, trying hard to focus his hazy mind. (Where am I?)
His heart pulsated feverishly against his ribcage. It felt as if he had just run a marathon against his worst rival, and lost. The prickly parchedness in his throat made him more uncomfortable than the beads of perspiration on his forehead. He tried to swallow his saliva, but his mouth was equally dry. (Water!) He needed water.
(Where the hell am I?) He looked around for clues, but the darkness offered none. Groping about with both his hands, he caught hold of some soft fabric and gave it a tug. His mind was about to examine the fabric, when it was abruptly wrenched out of his hands. He jumped with a short, loud cry, which drove a splitting pain through his thirsty throat, almost making him cough. Then he sensed the languid, quiet movement, close by.
"Uhmm... Chris," she mumbled, "what are you doing?" Her voice was extremely drowsy.
(Lisa!) In a flash, it all came back to him. He was in bed. He was in her house, in her bed, with her. No wonder it was so dark and stuffy! Lisa would never allow otherwise. She could not sleep if there was even a hint of light in the room; she needed complete darkness.
The imported curtains in her bedroom were perhaps the most expensive of all her material possessions. Her friends teased that even the twinkling light from the faintest star could keep her up all night, tossing and turning in bed. Before retiring to bed, Lisa ensured that the windows were shut, and that the impenetrable curtains were down.
He whispered hesitantly, "I think I heard a little girl scream." But he was still skeptical about it. His reputation allowed that nobody could wake him up even by blowing a saxophone hard in his ear. No one could scream that loud.
"You must have been dreaming." Lisa whispered melodiously. "I didn’t hear a thing."
"Yeah," he knew that she was right. Wiping the perspiration on his forehead with his palm, he felt his heartbeat begin to calm down. He tentatively stretched his hands out in the direction of the bedside light. Finding it, he switched it on, and the room was flushed with yellow light.
"Go back to sleep." Lisa winced at the sudden brightness. "You know tomorrow will be hectic."
The day would indeed be hectic. The consulting firm that Chris worked for had finally given him an opportunity to deliver a sales presentation to one of their potential clients. An effective delivery would secure long-term business relationships with the client, and would generate transactions of high value for their firm. Everybody in the firm had invested great hopes on Chris. He had worked hard on the presentation for over a month.
"Water..." was all he could say as he got out of bed and walked shakily toward the bottle on the table.
Lisa rolled over and pulled up the blanket over her head, hiding from the glow of the light.
Working together for almost a year, Chris and Lisa had become very good friends. When she had first learnt that he had been chosen for the presentation, she had been very excited. She had eagerly rushed into his cabin and heartily congratulated him, and had vigorously shaken his hand.
She had lent him an enthusiastic helping hand while collecting the necessary and relevant information. She had invited Chris over to her house when he had trouble classifying and organizing data, or when he needed to clarify any figures. Lisa had even assisted him while writing and rewriting drafts, drawing charts, preparing slides, and rehearsing the discourse.
Chris reached for the bottle. He saw his presentation papers sprawled across the table. He was confident that he would execute it well. Everything was ready, and he was well prepared. There was still one more day to go, which he would utilize for his final rehearsals. Chris had already scheduled a mock presentation, which he would deliver to a few of his colleagues. Their questions and feedback would help him with the final coat of gloss.
As he guzzled mouthfuls of water, he mentally encouraged himself. He would surpass the expectations of all his colleagues. He might probably even earn that highly anticipated promotion. His boss would be proud of him! Lisa would be proud of him! His wife... would... The thought died away.
One of those days - when Chris had been working late into the evening at Lisa’s house – Cupid had attacked them with potent arrows. And they had fallen together on her bed. After the first time, while under a spell of guilt, they had solemnly sworn to each other that they would never repeat the mistake, and that they would keep their relationship strictly official. But the naked, winged, Roman boy archer had been very persuasive, and they had gone to bed together on four different occasions since then.
Would his wife, Carla be proud of him? He looked at Lisa. Carla had never met her. She only knew that Lisa was his colleague and friend. Carla had always wished him only the best. She had given him enough space. But what had he done? He had gone and betrayed her trust. Carla did not know that in the last one month, Chris had regularly been to Lisa’s house, and that he had slept with her. Carla, if she only knew, would never be proud of him.
(But she will not know! Who will tell her?) He pushed the worry away. Now was not the time to bother about morals or relationships. Only one more day remained before his big professional break. One more day of hard work, and then he would shine.
He put the bottle back in its place. Of course, his wife would be proud of him! He took a deep breath and looked at the wall clock. 2:30 AM. (One more day... Concentrate... Focus...)
Suddenly, he heard it again: the spine-chilling shriek! The cry of a little girl in excruciating pain! It felt as though someone had poked a dagger through his heart, before passing an icy hand over the back of his neck.
"Lisa!" he shouted, his voice as powerful as ever, water having revived his strength. "Listen..."
Obviously shocked, Lisa flung the blanket back and rolled over to face him. "What?" She winced, blinded again by the brightness.
He held up his right palm as a signal for her to be quiet, and pointed his left index finger toward the window, although he could not be certain that the scream had come from that direction. They waited. Five seconds. Nothing.
"Didn’t you hear that?" he finally asked, extremely agitated.
"The scream." Yet again, he was doubtful. "A little girl..."
Partially awake, Lisa was still tired. "You are so cute," she observed with a tender smile.
"This couldn’t have been a dream," Chris did not smile back. "I was awake when I heard it," he protested, "I wasn’t asleep."
"Chris, you’ve been working too hard," Lisa offered, "Your mind is playing tricks on you. Come back to bed," she yawned, "and get some rest."
"Yeah, that must be it." Considering the circumstances, it was apparently the most logical explanation.
"Please switch the light off."
Chris looked at the papers on the table one last time before walking back to bed. After two minutes, he was fast asleep.
6:03 AM. Chris was running about the house in his pajamas, from the kitchen to the dining hall, to the sitting room, to the bedroom, frantically looking for something.
Lisa looked stunning in her nightgown as she sat up on bed, yawning, with her hair all messed up. Like most women, she looked naturally beautiful in the morning. And like most women, she would quickly be overcome by the temptation to ruin her natural beauty with comb and cosmetics. Chris never understood why women did that.
"Exactly what are you looking for?" Lisa asked finally, rubbing her eyes.
"My cell phone," Chris said, rushing into the bathroom and looking in the cabinet. He came out with knotted eyebrows, "Where the hell did it go?"
"Nowhere!" Lisa smiled at him. "It is still where you left it yesterday... On your table at office."
"Damn!" Chris remembered, and looked worried, "Carla would have called last night!"
Carla would call him whenever he had to work late into the night. Imagining that he was at office, she would pep him up with a few encouraging words, and would remind him not to neglect his health. She would firmly ask him to eat dinner on time, and to drink plenty of water. She would also implore him to take regular breaks and get enough rest.
Lisa looked at her reflection in the big oval mirror on the dressing table. She did not look very happy with her hair. Picking up a comb from the drawer, she started brushing her hair.
"Later tonight," Chris continued in a troubled voice, "she will surely ask why I hadn’t received her call."
"Ouch!" Lisa fought with her comb to straighten out a few knotted strands.
"What am I going to say?" Chris was thinking aloud.
"Tell her the truth." Lisa looked at his distraught reflection as he stood behind her.
"Are you crazy?"
"Hey, hey," she saw the utter shock on his face, "I was just kidding! I am sure you will think of something." Temporarily satisfied with her hair, she smiled at her lovely reflection.
"Right now," Lisa threw the comb back into the drawer and closed it, "you need to relax and get ready." She walked towards the door as she reminded him, "Mock presentation at 11:30 AM. We have to leave by 10:00 AM."
Chris looked at the wall clock and shook his worries away. "Yeah," he said as she stood by the door, "You are right." (Focus, Chris... Focus!)
"Yes, please..." Chris walked to the window. He had pulled the imported curtains aside and opened the window as soon as he had woken up. "...Strong." He smiled, inhaling a lungful of fresh air. (I can do it. I will do it!)
6:45 AM. Chris was at the table, reviewing the slide transparencies. He was mentally preparing himself to talk about each slide. The steaming cup of coffee rested across the table. The first five slides would need about ten minutes. The eleventh slide was a chart. He picked up the notes page relating to the slide in one hand, and the coffee cup in the other, and walked over to the window. He stood there, leaning his shoulder against the wall, sipping his coffee and glancing through the notes.
An abrupt movement on the other side of the road outside the window distracted him. It was as if a very familiar object had simply materialized out of thin air. Looking in the direction of the movement, he realized why it was familiar. The little girl, about eleven years of age, wore a white, half-sleeve shirt. Her red-and-black-checkered skirt was held up with shoulder straps of the same color. It was the customary school uniform.
She simply stood there, with her schoolbag hanging down her right shoulder, her back turned toward the street. She was waiting for someone, perhaps for the school bus. But it was too early to start for school, which normally opened at 9:00 AM. Chris shrugged the thought off, and turned back to his notes. But, for some unknown reason, he could not concentrate.
The air suddenly felt unnaturally chilly, as though he were standing in a very large and efficient cold storage unit. And yet, he felt beads of perspiration form on his forehead.
In a flash, he sensed another abrupt movement from the corner of his eye. When he looked back in the direction, he jumped in utter shock. The girl had crossed the street at what must have been the speed of lightning! No one could move so fast; it should have been sheer magic! She stood right outside the window, staring up at him.
In the next instant, he saw her face. His heart leaped with fear. Her face was ashen, completely bleached! Her pale eyeballs painfully strained out from their sockets and stared directly at him. Her mouth was open, as if frozen in a shriek. She could barely be described as human. She was the epitome of horror! A chill ran up his spine.
The notes page slipped out from between his trembling fingers. He dropped the cup, and it crashed on the floor. Then he screamed. It was an involuntary, hysterical reaction.
In a split second, another wave of familiarity shot through his senses. (Naomi!) His second scream could perhaps be heard across the whole block.
He closed his eyes. He felt terror accompanied by nervousness and confusion. (What is she doing here? How did she get here? What on earth happened to her? No! It cannot be her. I am seeing things. I am dreaming again.) But he was not sure. Was she really there? Was he only dreaming? Was he going crazy?
"What is wrong with you?" Lisa was at the door.
Chris did not answer. He stood there, back turned to the window, eyes closed tight. He was limp and trembling, and his face reflected mortal fear.
"Chris!" Lisa tried to shake him out. "What happened? What is the matter with you?"
"Na-" Chris could hardly talk; his voice betrayed him. Without opening his eyes, he pointed his thumb in a direction behind him, towards the window.
"Look," Chris forced out a whisper, "look!"
Lisa brushed past him and peeped out the window. "Look at what? What is it?"
He still did not dare open his eyes, and his voice never rose above a whisper, "Naomi!"
"Naomi? Your daughter?" she stared at him in sheer surprise. "But... Chris, there is nobody here."
"Chris, there is nobody here. See for yourself."
Chris turned slowly, still trembling with nervousness and terror. He looked out at the empty street. The streetlights were gradually dimming out.
"She was there... right there!" Regaining his voice, he pointed at the location where she had stood.
"But... That’s impossible, Chris. How would Naomi get here?" Lisa was right. Chris had not told his wife or daughter that he was going over to Lisa’s house. They did not even know her address. There was absolutely no way that either of them could be there looking for him.
But Chris was still nervous. "I don’t know," he said, "but she was there. She was... She was standing on the other side of the road. Then suddenly, she..." Hearing his own words, Chris began to realize that they seemed ridiculous, "...appeared... there."
Lisa looked at him incredulously for a few moments. Then she asked, "Okay then, where is she now?"
"She could be..." His rationale did not agree with his words, "anywhere around the house."
"Fine. Come along." Lisa took his hand and marched out with a purpose. "Let us find out."
Reluctantly, he followed her around the house, looking nervously, yet cautiously around.
"See?" Lisa said, at the end of the inspection, "Nobody here."
His relief was only partial. He remembered the screams that he had heard during the night. He recalled the look of horror on the pale face that he had seen. Something was terribly wrong. The girl had seemed to be in great pain.
"I need to call home," he said at last, rushing back into Lisa’s house, "to find out if all is fine."
"Use my phone."
Naomi loved to answer the telephone. Whenever it rang, she would drop everything else and rush to answer it before her parents could do so. There were times when this had annoyed Chris, but not today. Today, even as he dialed his residence number, Chris prayed that Naomi should answer the call.
He waited nervously, the receiver trembling in his hand, as he heard the ring. Second ring. (Where is she?) Third ring. (What is she doing?) Fourth ring. (Why isn’t she answering yet?) Fifth... He heard the click as the receiver was lifted off the hook on the other side. And then he heard sobs.
"Uhmm... Carla?" he asked suspiciously.
"Chris! Oh God, Chris!" It was his wife. She was sobbing uncontrollably. She sounded thankful at hearing his voice.
"Carla! What is wrong, dear?"
"Where were you?" Carla continued amidst her sobs and sniffs, "I’ve been trying to contact you all night. Your cell..."
"My cell broke down..." he thought fast, "...yesterday afternoon. The batteries..." Chris was a hopeless liar.
He looked up at Lisa, hoping to get some ideas from her. But she simply stared back at his face. "I have left it at the service technicians for repairs," he continued, "It has been there since noon, yesterday."
"I called your office," Carla sorrowfully asked, "Why didn’t you answer?"
Carla’s voice was laden with grief. Chris realized that she was not just upset about him not answering her calls. There was something else. He could sense real bad news in her voice, in her sobs.
"I must have been away from my cabin. But why are you crying, dear? Tell me what is wrong."
"Naomi..." Carla could say nothing beyond that. She burst out crying uncontrollably, almost deafening him.
"What about Naomi? ...Tell me! ...What happened? ...Carla? ...Carla!"
Then he heard a male voice through the receiver. It was his brother-in-law. "Chris, Dexter here. I have bad news..."
Chris listened silently, the receiver glued to his ear. When he heard the news he felt another sharp blast of chill run up his spine. Then the receiver slipped from his hand.
Suddenly he felt as though the room was rotating around its axis. His knees felt weak. Chris held on tightly to the table with both hands for support. He felt a void in his stomach; he felt it rise, he felt it grow; he felt it sweep over his entire being. Tears rained from his eyes. For two minutes he stood there, shocked and weakened. Then he turned slowly.
Still leaning on the table, he looked at Lisa with traumatized, tearful eyes. "Naomi..."
"Is she all right?" Lisa asked tenderly, walking towards him.
"She... she... suffered a major heart attack last night..."
"Oh my God, that is terrible!" Lisa was shocked by the news, "What, is she all right now? Where is she?"
"They tried, but... they couldn’t do anything for her," Chris bit his lips and looked up toward the ceiling.
He swallowed hard before he continued. "I heard her last scream at 2:30 AM."
Disclaimer: All characters and circumstances portrayed in the above composition are fictional. Any similarity to any person or persons, living or dead, is only coincidental. The intensity is all mine.
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
01. "Individuals who make their abodes in vitreous edifices would be advised to refrain from catapulting perilous projectiles."
The above sentence simply means, "People who live in glass houses should not throw stones."
Now, can you spot the familiar phrases from these:
02. Where there are visible vapours having their provenance in ignited carbonaceous materials, there is conflagration.
03. Exclusive dedication to necessitous chores without interludes of hedonistic diversion renders Jack a hebetudinous fellow.
04. The person presenting the ultimate cachinnation possesses thereby the optimal cachinnation.
05. Surveillance should precede saltation.
06. It is fruitless to attempt to indoctrinate a superannuated canine with innovative maneuvers.
07. It is fruitless to become lachrymose of precipitately departed lactile fluid.
08. Freedom from incrustations of grime is contiguous to rectitude.
09. Members of an avian species of identical plumage tend to congregate.
10. Male cadavers are incapable of rendering any testimony.
11. Neophyte's serendipity.
12. A revolving lithic conglomerate accumulates no congeries of small, green, biophytic plant.
13. All articles that coruscate with resplendence are not truly auriferous.
14. Sorting on the part of mendicants must be interdicted.
I shall provide answers after all of you have attempted. :)
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Thank you for your response to "Kill For a Myth".
Your questions were very valid, but it was a surprise to see that some of you found it difficult to identify myths. Let me try to help. Please think about the following:
Consider Karna. Conceived out of Kunti's ear! I'd sure like to see a baby fall out of a woman's ear. Fact or myth? You decide.
What about the Kauravas? I can understand twins, triplets, or even quadruplets. But a hundred chunks aborted out of a single womb, and incubated in pots into healthy babies! And that happened in what century? Fact or myth? You decide.
Hanuman! I'd sure like to see the wind impregnate a woman, so she could give birth to a talking monkey! And this monkey could grow or shrink to any size it desired! Zoology has no idea about what allowed for those feats. Fact or myth? You decide.
And Dragons! Evolution proves that the more intelligent dinosaurs were relatively smaller creatures. The larger dinosaurs had relatively smaller brains. Rationally, the larger and heavier a creature, the less capable it is of flight. But dragons? Huge, highly intelligent mutants, able to breathe fire, and to fly at great speeds! Fact? And some of them are even supposed to live in the oceans. If they are so huge and have such fabulous characteristics, I should think that they must be quite easy to spot. Well, nobody has ever found any. Even deap sea explorations by our scientific community have not discovered any. So, where are they? I would sure like to see their bones in some meuseum. Fact or Myth? You decide.
I could go on and on, but the effect would be hardly worth the effort. Sit back and think for yourself.
PS: The problem is not that we don't know some things in life. The problem is that some of us wish to keep it that way.
Monday, February 20, 2006
Mythical tales are undoubtedly great bedtime stories for kids. However, I also know adults who believe that such tales are real history, and they would go to any extent to uphold their faith. I repeat: any extent! Recently, when i told someone that the stories of Hercules are fantasies, not much unlike the stories of Mickey Mouse, I was just lucky enough to escape a fatal kick!
Are there not enough real problems to worry about, to study, and to find solutions for? And yet, it is amazing to see the strength with which an artificial history captivates the human mind, and enslaves cultures into believing something that never was.
What is funny is that the very traditions and religions that uphold truth and condemn lies, also propagate lies in the form of mythical fantasies. And many people around the globe seem to be mystified by such lies, and are ready to commit murders to uphold their faith.
There was a time when people around the world used to believe that a bunch of dinosaur bones belonged to some mythical dragon. At this rate, I would not be surprised if I soon saw people praying to Sherlock Holmes, believing him to be the God of logic and reasoning.
Such a pity!
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
A gnawing sensaton, in my heart, rings.
Inexplicable, strange, making little sense.
Want of affection seems to be a penal offense!
Under the guise of praise, a verbal sarcasm.
Punished by Shadow, flung into the Chasm.
The depth that I love and, as my own, cherish.
Now estranged, I have fallen in to perish.
I bow to thee, O silent assassin.
Give me but one gamble to win.
I bow to thee, O Chasm, deep.
At least a hug before I sleep.
Thursday, February 02, 2006
All of them have a worm inside them - a willingness to challenge all established beliefs, to transcend preconceived notions, and to meditate on the subject in hand - a relentless, voracious worm. They are all soldiers, who will not stop until they are dead.
Why am I writing this? To inspire myself! To awaken and stimulate that dormant worm inside me. Wake up, worm! And promise me that you will not let me sleep until my purpose is served. Disturb me! Ruffle me up! Provoke me, now!
By the way, I am okay.
An exercise of the above nature is very refreshing. It really invigorates the worm in you.
Do try it at home, and let me know when you reap the wonderful rewards.
Don't try this exercise while driving. ;)
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
A few days ago, Amy unveiled a very conscientious entry in her blog, about disintegration of marriages. After posting my comments on that article, I gladly retired to the more dependable precincts of my bachelorhood. However, the rabid neural network in my skull continued pondering, as it always does when confronted by such grave issues, over the questions that she had raised. There was, in her composition, something that ought not to be ignored by anybody, in general. Yet again, there was just a hint of something that stimulated me to compose a supplement herein.
NOTE: At the very outset, I must remind the readers that the complexity and gravity of this subject do not permit one to exhaustively deal with it in a few paragraphs. Even as I write these lines, a plethora of unstructured thoughts and concepts overwhelm my mind. But, owing to several limitations, and also hoping to maintain reasonable clarity of thought, I am bound to present my case succinctly. The views expressed below are my own, and I remain open to any criticism from my readers.
Are marriages made in Heaven? Are they, without exceptions, disposed by an omnipotent entity? If so, why do so many of them fail?
Consider any two people who, apparently destined to do so, come together and bind each other into a relationship, each uttering the key words, “I do”. The colorful hallmark on the partnership deed boldly declares: “Predestined Pair; Made in Heaven”. The only trouble is that the fine print, as it always happens, is overlooked. Partnerships thus formed, are often inclined to be a burden on both partners. The reasons should become quite obvious as you read on.
A relationship is naturally only as strong as the similarity in temperament of the partners. But, no two people can be perfectly alike in their disposition; there are bound to be differences. In order to maintain harmony in the relationship when challenged by the differences, charming concepts such as love, understanding, caring and sharing are packed with it.
In several cases, these concepts are held on to just as long as the couple has to move around in their little social circles. Outside the public perimeters, the colorful masks are peeled off, and the true, disparate faces come to light. When reality starts biting, issues such as compatibility, negotiation and compromise raise their demanding hood.
Whoever believes that marriages are predestined, advocates the absence of free will, and therefore, may not suggest compromises. Asking one or both partners to compromise on any of their personal philosophy, inherent attitude, or instinctive behavior - human attempts at making them compatible with each other – would be a clear indication that the relationship was not preordained, unless one confidently believes that God, as well, is not perfect.
Whoever believes, moreover, that marriages are predestined, should have no reservations in believing that its consequences – whether happy or sad, including any subsequent breakups in the relationship - are also fated. Therefore, it would seem that the outcome of a marriage made in Heaven is not predictable, with any certainty, by humans. But this apparent uncertainty would last only until one cares to read the fine print that was initially ignored.
If you are still wondering what the fine print is, here it is:
“Relationship subject to mutual acceptance.”
I have grown to believe, personally, that compromises afflict relationships, that they create an artificial sense of compatibility, which lasts just as long as the partners honor their compromises, and that the relationship itself becomes weaker with each bargain between the partners.
My personal line of reasoning is, therefore, that the key to an unbreakable relationship is “mutual acceptance”. It is neither about expecting the other half to change to suit ones needs, nor about finding middle ground suitable for both. It is, with all certainty and without any qualifications, about accepting the partner for who she/he is. A marriage would survive the test of time only as long as the partners accept each other thus. Acceptance also happens to be the key feature of true friendship. No doubt, wonderful partners are also the best of friends.
It is not as easy as it sounds, of course. It requires a great attitude to accept people for who they are, with all their strengths and weaknesses, with all their little idiosyncrasies and values. It takes more than love. Repeat: it takes more than love! It takes respect; it takes devotion. While we can only fall in love, we can certainly rise in devotion.
When the to-be partners say, “I do”, they essentially mean, “I accept”. In doing so, they bind themselves not only by the bold declaration of the colorful hallmark, but also, whether they like it or not, by the message in the fine print. Those who ignore it at the time of uttering the two decisive words are truly unfortunate.
But those who realize the value of the message are indeed blessed by Heaven, and an omnipotent force secures their bond with the wedlock; and nothing, not even death, can do them apart!
P.S.: The views expressed above are my own, and I remain open to any criticism from my readers.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Surprised? Don't be. If "communication" is the activity of clearly conveying information, and if "language" is the accepted medium, then we cannot afford to miss the language without words. And we certainly cannot afford not to understand it. For, nothing can ever be "communicated" better with words than without.
Languages have evolved over time. Words have been borrowed and lent; idioms and pharases have been "coined"; lexicons continue to be revised. Have languages really improved? Or have they only become more and more complex with time?
For instance, look at these sentences:
"The chicken is ready for lunch" and "The children are ready for lunch"
"A jail is a prison" but "A jailer is not a prisoner"
Now, let us consider a word at random: Is "Crib" a verb or a noun?
In "crib a construction hole", crib is a verb, which means "line with beams or planks".
To crib is also to cheat, to copy or to steal.
As a noun, crib could be a baby bed with high sides made of slats, it could be a bin or granary for storing grains, or it could mean the cards discarded by players at cribbage.
In cryptanalysis, a crib is a sample of known plaintext.
In addition to the above, we also have to be concerned with issues such as differences in accents, cultural influences that alter the definition of words or even sentences, idiosyncrasies of spellings, "twists" of grammar, infiltration of "slangs", to name only a few.
What, then, is the result of evolution? Firstly, we are unsure of communicating what we are trying to. Secondly, our "medium" with words is not "pure".
"Lingua Pura" is the one that has no words, it depends on no words to convey information. Therefore, it can convey clearly, it can convey exactly. It is the one true "universal" language.
Monday, January 16, 2006
“All in all, you are just another brick in the wall.”
- Pink Floyd
· So you went and constructed walls all around yourself.
· You’ve built them high and strong, upon a rock-hard foundation.
· What purpose do they serve?
· Do they defend you against the beasts of the world, or do they defend the world against you?
· Perhaps they do both.
· Perhaps they are required.
But if, for whatever reasons, you decide to spend the rest of your life within those confines, then maybe you should reconsider.
** Walls don’t talk back at you; they don’t criticize you.
** They don’t offer unwanted advice.
** They don’t spill the beans.
** Walls cannot rape you, and they don’t let others do so.
But then, think again...
- Walls don’t talk to you; they don’t teach you, they don’t provide guidance.
- They have ears.
- They do hold you back.
- They stare coldly at you when you are sad.
- Your happiness means nothing to them.
Is your fear really so intense that you would be willing to spend your entire life in a self-constructed prison? And yet, can you be proud that your jail stands on firm, established foundations?
- Are you really defending yourself at these expenses?
- Is this the best you can do?
- Is this your philosophy?
- Is this your faith?