Shri B. K. Mehra (19xx-2013) lives on in our heart & mind forever.
A sportsperson himself, he was also a great ambassador for sports.
This post is a tribute to his sportsman spirit.
He had created a sports club in Jawahar Nagar, by the name of Janupyogi Kendra. While he was the president, he allowed no parties there, I mean no marriage functions there, even though it is a huge source of income. He always used to say, I have not made it for people to get married here, but for kids like you & the kids who play on the street, they should come here & play in the lawn. He made badminton courts, tennis courts, established table tennis tables. Later he started vocational training for underprivileged girls & basic computer training for underprivileged kids, a small library too, free of cost to whoever wants to read. You could always donate if you want to.
Till date we are playing there, only because Mehra Uncle had once said, jab tab tum log (ya koi na koi) yahan khelte rahoge, it will be a place of sports. The day people stop playing here, it will become a marriage lawn.
Our every day game of badminton is, in a way, tribute to that great man, Mehra Uncle.
Sometimes the mind is a place of great turmoil & havoc.
When it seems you cannot control your own thoughts & every thought seems to have a mind of its own, to say.
There seems to be a way of controlling the turmoil, that works for meat least.
Remove the self from your thoughts & look at the thoughts from a third-person-perspective, so that suddenly it is as if you are in another person's mind. It acts like a feedback loop. The more distant you become from your thoughts, from your self, the calmer it gets. & then only the important thoughts remain. But removing yourself from the frame is important.
But that is the answer I know, not the answer that feels satisfactory. Today morning, I woke up & it suddenly struck me, I have lived out 23 years of my life, just like that, doing nothing, accomplishing nothing at all. Oh, I have been busy, not idle, but what have I achieved after these 23 years?
Nothing that comes to mind.
Assuming (for the sake of calculations) if I live to be 100 (& rounding off my age to 25), I have spent 25% of my life & achieved nothing! Age 75-100 have very high wastage => effectively usable life = 75 years => I have already gone through 33% of my usable life & achievements = 0! Nothing that would make a difference to mankind or Earth, forget about the Universe!
Of those (presumed) 100 years of life, the first 50 are prime => half the prime time if life is already gone!
Siddharth (book by Hermann Hesse ISBN : 978-81-7234-368-2) is not a story of fiction, it is a story, compiled in parts, of different truths in different parts.
It is not about Gautam Buddha, as the name initially gave an indication to me, but about a different path to the same state. As a learner in the realm of science, I can appreciate this story in a very different manner. Which reminds me of Prof. Suchitra Mathur's class on 'Criticism & Appreciation of Literature' where I think I imbibed a very important lesson, no review is ever right or wrong, for every review is unique & thus in itself complete. The review reflects the understanding of the text by the critic, not the book itself. I have only begun to understand Siddhartha & hence my review may not reflect the book, but it is not supposed to, either.
What I have said above would make more sense if you have ever gone through interactive literature. Where, you can input a name & the character takes up that name, & you can make the choices for the character & the story changes as the different 'names' make different choices. This book is about one such character name, called Siddhartha. This is not a usual story of spirituality, not your regular, go into the woods or to the Himalayas, meditate, recite holy chants, bathe in the Ganga, 'wash' your sins & achieve Nirvana, it is quite the contrary. (personal note : I do not think it makes a wee bit of difference to achieving Nirvana, but I will keep to myself for another post or a discussion in person)
This is a book of lust, passion, friendship, worldly belongings & most importantly, the flight from them. It does not begin as such, but is such, nonetheless. It begins as most stories begin, in an isolated village, among the Brahmans, the well of knowledge (& arrogance), the search for spirituality, the distractions & finally the self-revelation.
To some parts of the story, I feel so empathic that I had almost replaced reading Siddhartha with Sambhav, so diverse is the text.
Surprisingly, I just realised, this story is not at all about religion, but talks about atheism, rather neo-atheism aka atheism 2.0 that I had talked about in a earlier post, (will update the link when I find it) which is spiritual atheism. Siddhartha as a character emphasises the need to not follow a pre-defined path so that you can find a new path. A new path to the same final state, Nirvana. Oh, but the story's 'plot' has its roots in Hinduism/Buddhism & is easier to understand if you have a glimpse into either religion.
Siddhartha, as a character emphasises that it's not just the end that is important, but also the means of how have you reached it, though he does not preach a path or say one is better than the another, but quite the contrary, everyone must find his or her own path. You can be guided in the direction, but achieve long-lasting peace, Nirvan, you must follow your own path. It is the very experience of the path that makes the peace long-lasting, perhaps.
There is still much that I have not covered in the review. I may come back & edit the review as understanding dawns.
This post is courtesy Kruti Munot (www.krutimunot.com) (yes, the Quora celeb.)
It is worth reading, understanding & imbibing in life. The following was her answer to a question on Quora, & she's just a high-school student!
Two things my father always says:
• The best gift you can give somebody to show you love them, is freedom.
This explains why my parents put very few restrictions on me. They knew I wouldn't misuse the freedom. Being responsible and respecting the space others give me- definitely changed me(positively)!
• There is nothing universally right or wrong.
Rightness is a relative concept. If you think something another person is doing is wrong, it might be perfectly right for them. Before knowing the purpose of why they did it, you shouldn't point at their action.
Warning : this is a depressing post. Not worth reading, unless you think you can help.
Existence is lonely. Humans may be social animals but at the end of the day (or the life) we are all alone. You may feel close to people, your parents, your spouse, your kids, but there comes a time when they leave (death or otherwise) & suddenly you are so lonely. I think that loneliness you feel is your ground state, the affection (or attachment) had actually excited you to a new energy level & mood. When you die, you die, everything else is disturbed only for a little while, like ripple in a pond, which soon settles back into its normal steady state. Similar to this, life returns to normal after a while even without you.
Hence your loneliness, that only you can deal with.
I just restarted writing my personal diary 4 days back. It was while talking to my younger sister, Kruti, (yes, the Quora celeb) that I suddenly realised I should start writing my diary again. I don't know what prompted it, more of a self-realisation, I guess. Or maybe wisdom from the company I keep (rather, had at the moment)?
This is more like a note to self, than for the readers.
Now, like a obedient class 7 kid, I will write the answer.
I should write my personal diary because :
1. It gives me a chance to reflect on the day's happenings & my reaction to them. It should help me, should I choose, improve my Sambhav & help me become a better human being with control on my emotions & my actions & reactions.
2. I write about the positive things mostly which helps me keep a positive view towards life.
3. Writing my diary gives me a chance to read it which gives me a third person's perspective on my life & me, which helps me evaluate myself & correct my faults . At the least, it can help me to not repeat my mistakes.
4. At t=t, it will become a memory should I choose to recollect & read it.
A 24 year old boy seeing out from the train’s window shouted… “Dad, look the trees are going behind!” Dad smiled and a young couple sitting nearby, looked at the 24 year old’s childish behavior with pity, suddenly he again exclaimed… “Dad, look the clouds are running with us!” The couple couldn’t resist and said to the old man… “Why don’t you take your son to a good doctor?” The old man smiled and said… “I did and we are just coming from the hospital, my son was blind from birth, he just got his eyes today.
Every single person on the planet has a story. Don’t judge people before you truly know them. The truth might surprise you.
Blogger (blogspot.com) is finally available as an app for the iPhone. After a very long wait. I remember once I recommended Wordpress to a new blogger-on-the-go simply because it had an iPhone app, while blogger did not. But finally the blogger app is here.
Ok, so this book was recommended to me by my Uncle.
I just read Jonathan Livingston Gull yesterday & I am in awe of this amazing book. There are many books on philosophy, believe-in-yourself, set-yourself apart. But this one was different for me. This book (at least the Part 1) just strikes a chord. & the metaphors are so apt.
I still feel like flying. The story is about a discoverer, later an outcast, further a student, then a teacher & finally the story of renaissance. Not among the humans, but among the seagulls.
The story gave me a third person (& first-hand) perspective of an outlier. Not someone who has achieved the ultimate peak of the society but someone who has broken away from the society & gone on to achieve the peak of himself.
The story is about this red dot
& it resonates with me.
Even if you are not the outlier in your society, this book is a must-read for a fresh perspective, for the open-minded approach.
Oh, & here is the interesting part, the book is written in parts. It's a small book, yet is written as parts, very important, each one of them.
When I had gone through the first part, I thought the story was complete, although it felt tragic, for the loss of the other gulls, but that is the most beautiful thing about this book, the story does not end at your first peak, it goes on. There is so much more that I want to write but alas it will spoil the fun for the first-time reader.
Ok, so this has been happening with me since childhood. & I am reminded of it right after my cousin's wedding, again.
Here in India, particular in a traditional community like the Jains of Jaipur (or Rajasthan in general), titles carry a lot of weight, & apparently respect. Titles not like lords & ladies but like bhaia & Bhabhi & Didi etc. You must call a relative, even if just a day or a week older, bhaia or Didi & an elder brother's wife, even if she's your own age, Bhabhi & so on & so forth. I think there is also a book of rules & guidelines to the titles used in India.
I have been rather not so particular with the use of the said words, or so people think.
The latest in the series is, my cousin's wedding.
My Cousin, born a couple of years before me, recently got married. His wife, almost my age, technically should be respectfully called Bhabhi, or as some would say, Bhabhi sa.
But being the rebel that I am, I would rather call her Amrita, by her first name. Which, seems to have created a row. With so many (3) people having told me, you should call her Bhabhi. Every time I am like, why? She's almost my age, but even that is not the point.
My point is, respect 'given' by words is false or rather incomplete. Respect must be 'given' by heart & must be felt by the other person, otherwise it is not respect. & simply calling her Bhabhi will not mean I respect her more than I already do & not calling Bhabhi does not mean I disrespect her.
Yet, it just so happens, it is not an concept to grasp?
Or is it, that the display of respect is more (or at least as) important as the respect itself?
Still pondering over it, what are your thoughts or experiences, if any?
P. S. : this particular case has been mentioned because it is the most recent case. I have faced similar situations even in childhood. People asking me to call Dada, Dadasa because apparently it makes them feel I respect Dada more, whereas I already respect him a lot. Calling him Dadasa would simply make it so formal to me. Another time there was the case of Handshake with Dad's friends rather than dhok lagaing. & the list goes on.
So am I wrong somewhere, or is it just the difference from the society's Norms that is the problem? Oh, & there was also the case of calling my erstwhile girlfriend's elder sister by her first name. That hot me into trouble, big time. Probably the biggest of them all.