Sunday, August 19, 2012

We lack



If people torture people in the name of religion
Its tolerance that we lack,
 If people deny equal opportunities to people in the name of race, caste and creed
Its respect that we lack,
 
If people neglect people with challenges
Its compassion that we lack,
 
If people wage wars on people for petty motives,
Its brotherhood that we lack,
 
The sun out there is impartial in its warmth
and so is the moon in its grace
 
Yet the fact that we live in a bordered world devoid of peace
is a consequence of the common sense that we lack


-Manan

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Difference

“What’s the menu? Am hungry” asked Raj as he and Rohan settled at the breakfast table. “Coming dear” came the reply from their Mom. She served breakfast to them while simultaneously giving further directions to their new domestic maid for preparing the boys' tiffins. “Need to hurry, or else we will get late”, she said to her .

Both of them worked for Microsoft as Senior Technical Consultants. They were considered to be the best pair of brains working for the organization. Both of them had earned their graduation and masters from the best engineering institutions in the country. They held a formidable clout within the company.

“What work do your sons do?” the maid asked while preparing chapatis. Now, if the exact answer to this question was to be given to any educated and knowledgeable person, the usual reaction would be that of utter disbelief and amazement and awe, given the fact that both Raj and Rohan were at least a decade younger than their counterparts to hold this kind of responsibility for the world’s largest software company. But for the poor and hardly literate maid, the answer their Mom gave was ‘Both of them just play around with computers the whole day’, simple enough her to understand. Humble answers were a routine at the household given that not everyone would understand the honor the boys enjoyed.


“Even my son knows a lot about computers” she said with a smile on her face which disappeared rather abruptly with a ‘But…’. ‘What happened, anything wrong?’ Mom asked. “He was recently removed from his workplace” she said gloomily. ‘Why?’ ‘A jealous colleague of his framed him for doing something illegal because of which he got fired’. ‘Oh, that’s horrible’ Mom exclaimed. ‘Can your sons please help him get some work at their place?’ she asked. ‘What’s his qualification?’ Mom asked. ‘He has passed the 12th grade’ the maid replied.


Both Raj and Rohan had been listening to this conversation. Raj seemed visibly irritated. Though he spoke nothing, the obvious reaction in his mind was ‘How dare that woman ask for our help for her 12th grade loser. How dare she think that her son can even place his feet at our campus, a place which is ruled by experts like me and my brother. How pathetic, she isn’t even capable of having any understanding of who we are and here she is, asking us to help her son’.

Rohan, on the other hand, didn’t have a single wrinkle of disgust on his face. The thought that was running through his mind said, ‘Poor little mother. She is in such desperation to get her son employed again. I can’t even imagine what she must be going through. She is blissfully ignorant of who we are to ask us to get her son employed at our place but then it does not really matter. After all, she is a mother and a mother would do anything for her son. How I wish I could help her but alas there is nothing me or Raj can do for her since her son does not have any qualification at all.’


However, he did explain to her that the modern world was of cut throat competition and that it was absolutely imperative for her to get her son more educated first rather than being employed again. He also told her that there were numerous charitable organizations that she could approach to get funds for her son’s education and that this would be the right thing to do for her son and that education will certainly benefit him in the future.
The maid knew she had earned a few words of wisdom from a very trustworthy and credible person and that this was certainly going to help her son. She left the house with a smile again. Its really up to us to decide how to look at a particular situation and respond. If we choose, we can make this world a better place to live in.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A non-veg story....

'Wow, its such a beautiful day Mom....please lets all go for a walk' little Raju was tugging at his mother. 'Ok dear, as you wish', she smiled back at him, 'Go, call Daddy, we will all go for a walk'. Raju broke into a dance of joy, and jumping around with his tiny feet, went to call out his father.

A few minutes later, the family of three, which Raju considered to be the happiest in the world, was walking down the beautiful field that stretched limitlessly from their home. Raju, with his mom and dad on either side, kept on jumping merrily, while his parents held his hands. The fresh air, the lovely green grass and the bright yellow sun only seemed to increase his happiness with every passing moment as they walked along.

After some time, they decided to take a break. Raju's parents sat down. His dad held his mom in a hug. She rested her head on his shoulder. They both lovingly watched their son play around. He was their little angel. They loved him so much. Just watching his cute little face bubbling with joy brought moisture to their eyes. Theirs truly was the happiest family in this world. Unaware of what lay a few moments ahead, they were sitting there watching their cute baby play around.

Not far from where they sat, a dark shadow was slowly closing in on them. It made no noise, else they would be alerted. It just kept inching slowly and silently in their direction. It stopped when it was sufficiently close. It carefully studied its victims. It saw the couple sitting in a hug and talking in loving whispers into each other's ears. It saw the little child playing a short distance away. It felt no mercy towards them. It had no remorse for what it was going to do in a few moments. It just waited patiently for the right time in cold blood.

And then, when it felt that the moment was right, it struck! Like a sudden gust of wind, the assailant sprang from his hiding. He grabbed Raju's neck with one hand, lifted him by his feet with another, and started running. What Raju's parents just saw unfold, made their face go pale with horror. Reflexively, they started running behind the kidnapper screaming 'Raju Raju' and 'Help Help'.

Raju was crying and screaming 'Mummy Daddy' helplessly. He could see his parents run after him. His teary eyes called out to them 'Mummy, Daddy, please come and save me'. He tried to wriggle out of the assailant's hold. But the efforts of his delicate little body were no match for the lethal grip of his kidnapper.

The assailant was fast gaining distance over Raju's parents. He knew he was too fast for them to catch up. Just for a moment, he turned around to look at Raju's parents. They were sufficiently behind. Tears pleading for mercy were flowing down their cheeks as they kept running for their son. Their plight brought a smile to his face. He turned back and started running again.

The kidnapper dashed into his house. He went inside one of the rooms, let go off Raju's legs while still grabbing his neck mercilessly, and picked up a huge knife with his free hand. The terror of what the kidnapper planned to do with him struck Raju. He could see the reflection of his horrified face in the blade of this knife. Not knowing what wrong he had done for which he should be killed or why this demon wanted to kill him, Raju started begging for his life, 'I am sorry....Please let me go....Please don't kill me...Please let me go' . His pleas fell on deaf ears.

The assailant was cruel enough to wait for Raju's parents to enter his house. He wanted to accomplish his task in front of their eyes. When Raju's parents did come running into his house, he greeted them with a vicious smile. In an instant, they realized what he planned to do when they saw the knife.

Anger and courage took over fear, and they flung themselves at the assailant. They tried to fight him with all they had .Unfortunately, he was way too strong for them. He kicked them hard in the stomach, sending both of them rolling on the floor. Raju screamed, 'No.....Please don't hurt them'. He could see his beloved parents lying on the floor, writhing in pain. They could see him crying. What a terrible moment this was for the family! But they had not yet given up. With excruciating difficulty, they struggled to get up. The assailant was waiting for them to.

Making sure that they could now see Raju properly, he raised his knife high in the air. Horror paralyzed the bodies of Raju's parents. Before they could scream or move, the knife came down with a thunderous force..... The last time Raju saw his parents, he had seen helplessness in their eyes. Their eyes were asking for his forgiveness. After that, everything went black.....

Just moments ago, they had seen their little angel joyfully playing around in the field. Just moments ago, their world had been a paradise. Just moments ago, they had considered themselves the happiest family in the world. And now, suddenly, everything had changed. A single strike had torn their world apart. A single strike had shattered all their dreams. A single strike had taken away their little angel from them.

The assailant savored all this with great delight. He now turned towards them, the knife still in his hands, droplets of Raju's blood trickling off its edge. Though it was clear that they were going to meet the same fate as Raju, it didn't matter to them any longer. There was now nothing left to live for. In fact, they didn't even bother looking at the assailant coming towards them. They just stood there, looking dazed at the streams of blood oozing out from the headless body of their son. They never noticed the assailant come close and raise the knife in the air for a second time. Another strike! A once happy family now lay in a pool of blood.....

But the assailant had not committed any crime. No, none at all. He was just a 'human' who had just massacred a family of three 'chickens' to make lunch for his own family, for his beloved wife, and for his little angel 'Raju'!

Ask yourself this question, "What if you had been Raju, the chicken and what if an Animal more powerful and intelligent and superior than 'humans', placed above us in the food chain, would have massacred your family just for having a delicious feast?What pain, trauma and grief you and your parents would have gone through?"

Are we really so deaf that we cannot hear the squeals of this innocent animals? Are we really so stone-hearted that we cannot feel their plight? Are we really 'humans'?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

For the record...

For the record, the mention of 'Noetic Science' in Dan Brown's 'The Lost Symbol' is nothing but the 'Man: Parvagnya Gyan', the fourth level of knowledge (of the 5 levels) in the Jain Scriptures which were written countless ages ago. What is said in the book is true, human thoughts are indeed measurable, have mass and can affect physical reality. This knowledge was possessed by all the 24 Tirthankaras (they had acquired the 5th level as well) who walked the Earth, the last of whom was Lord Mahavir (2600 years ago). This knowledge could enable them to distinctly 'hear' the thoughts of the people around them and answer their queries even before the people asked.

The claims made in the book by 'scientist Katherine Solomn' such as 'the ice crystals in her lab changing shape according to her mood, people changing cancerous cells into healthy cells by merely thinking about them, faith healers healing people by transferring massive streams of energy through their fingertips into the patient's body, etc' are all true and very possible. Like the book says, the human mind indeed has godlike powers; it really is the golden capstone sitting atop the temple (the human body). It is just that we do not possess the knowledge of harnessing those powers, or in other words that knowledge got lost somewhere in the passage of time.


Time and again, it has been proved that the modern science is only too primitive. It has yet to catch up with the wisdom of the ancient forefathers. We are actually blinded by the 'materialistic fiber optic' vision of ours. We do not possess the eyes of wisdom and spirituality with the help of which our forefathers could see the impossible.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Beyond boundaries...

Disclaimer: This post is a blend of real events and fiction

There occur some moments in life when we are awestruck by the spirit and courage of the people around us. I am sharing one of those moments of mine.

What is the first reaction that we have when we see any person with physical challenges? Most often it is a feeling of sympathy and pity towards that person. However, it is not until you talk to them or see them doing something awesome that it dawns on you, that these guys actually have a character of steel within them, incomparably stronger than our own. It is then that, that feeling of pity evaporates and is replaced by awe and respect. It is then that you realize that this person is an icon of grit, determination, courage and passion to look up to...

Quite some time ago, when I was in college, there was this friend of mine. We had first met in a pretty unusual way. After college, I was waiting for an auto to go home. Today, it was taking pretty long to find an empty one. My hands were tiring from waving incessantly. Another auto came by. I could see it was occupied and so did not wave to it. Quite to my surprise, it screeched to a halt just past me. A boy's face popped out and he asked me to get in.

At my first glance towards him, my brain responded "I am not sure but I think I have seen this guy, he is probably from my college". So I thanked him and got into the auto. He asked me where was I headed for. Incidentally, the place I wanted to go was en-route his destination.

The auto started on its way ahead. We exchanged introductory greetings. And I was right, he was from my college but in another department. So, now we had lots in common to talk about while moving towards our destinations. Out of the talk, somehow came up the topic of helping people.

He was saying that, "People should always help each other in whatever capacities possible. For example, I often see that when college ends and students hurry to catch an auto, they do not bother to call out their fellow mates who are also waiting for an auto, and ask them where do they want to go? Who says that you should call out only to your best friends and not someone who belongs to your college and whom you know by face at least."

What he was telling was simple and obvious, yet very relevant. His way of talking reminded me of school days, when during the moral science periods we were taught some very basic and simple acts of benevolence, but we never bothered to inculcate them in our practical lives till date. I actually felt guilty for having acted in the same manner myself quite a few times.

Time went by as we talked and his destination arrived. He got down from the auto, and the next visual that my brain interpreted left me temporarily dazed. His one leg was crippled. He had to use his hand to hold the crippled leg by knee and then bend to move the leg forward with his hand. I could hardly recollect my senses back to realize that he was waving me good bye. I somehow managed to wave him back with a smile.

We had hardly talked for some 10-15 minutes but he had left a permanent impression on me by the time we parted ways. He had talked of helping people, He had. Until now, through my narrow brain, I used to think that these guys can 'Only Be Helped'. But 'Him' talking about helping others and my recollection of thoughts as a so-called 'Normal' guy who had acted in the opposite direction in the earlier times made me realize the shallowness of my character and the depth of his. Thanks to this anonymous friend of mine, he changed some of my perceptions forever.

Days passed by. Now whenever we used to meet in college, we used to greet each other, sometimes even have a talk if we had time, though I never mentioned to him what he had gifted me with on our first encounter. A few days later, we had the annual technical festival of our college. Given the pride and prestige of my college and the scale of the festival, it was considered to be the best in the country. So obviously, it was a huge crowd puller. It was to take place over 3 days during which there would be many competitions and exhibitions. I spent the first day watching some competitions and decided to check out the exhibitions on the second. The exhibitions were scattered over the campus but the main attraction among them was the central exhibition at the college grounds. It had the best scientific projects from across the country on display. It had gained such fame that the minimum time it took for a person to enter the exhibition after being through serpentine queues was about 2 hours. In order to discipline the thronging crowds into proper queues, quite a few volunteers had been deployed at the spot.

After having had my share of the 2-hour ordeal in the afternoon sun, I was finally getting close to the entrance. I could hear the volunteer guarding the entrance shouting instructions to the people on how to move through the large exhibition inside. Upon drawing closer, I saw the volunteer. He was none other than the new friend of mine, confidently guarding the door not allowing more than 10 people inside at a time. He dazed me much more this time than he had last time. Like magma erupting from a volcano, thoughts erupted in my mind.

I wanted to go upto him and bow to him. In my mind, I already had. I wanted to ask him, "What are you made of?" The confidence that was radiating from him was disarming. I started wondering how can a person like him have this level of confidence. Did he actually ever think that he had a physical challenge? Was he even aware of it? Probably not. Nor I think were the event managers who had given him this responsibility. A job which would have even a full fledged 'normal' person in sweats, because it demanded facing people and showing command, was being performed by Him.

I became so lost in my thoughts that I actually had to be nudged by the person standing behind me to wake me up and move ahead in the line. I was completely overwhelmed and at a loss of words to say anything to this great human whom I had befriended just a few days ago, so that when I actually came up to him, all I could manage was a smile and a wave of hand.

Till that day, I had almost always attributed spirit and courage to the physical realm of a man with a well built physique who could stand tall with a broad chest to face the world in the eye. But here I was, standing dumbstruck, looking in awe at the personification of spirit and courage well Beyond Boundaries...

Dedicated to this anonymous friend of mine!

Monday, July 21, 2008

The transition......


Feels just like yesterday when i stepped into my junior college (Swami Vivekanand Polytechnic). It was for the first time that i did not have to wear a uniform and rather wear what i wished to. I think, it was by the end of 1st year that i got gifted with the friendship of some of the most beautiful people in this world. It was the most beautiful thing that ever happened to me, something that was to last for a lifetime.

We were a bunch of around 15 guys (ankit, rohan, jinesh, pratik, vaibhav, vipul, vakdu, sam, jatin, kevat, shrenik, bhide, me and a few others). We were called as the 'papdi' group by some of our classmates as most of us were gujratis. It wasn't until recently when we were being separated from each other by 'big bad world outside' that i realized what a blissful time we had spent together. Someone has truly said that 'You don't realize the value of what you have or rather take it for granted till it parts from you'.

Right from attending lectures (and sometimes bunking) to copying assignments to preparing for exams to watching movies, to playing cricket, to playing counter strike, to sitting for hours on end at chowpatty to going on outdoor trips to gobbling up food like 'bhookads' to night outs, what is it that we did not do together. It was like we were habituated to each other being present around us all the time.

Time passed like sand through the hollow of the hourglass, keeping us in oblivion about the transition which we were going through. Three years passed by swiftly and then came the time when were to upgrade from diploma to degree. At first i was a bit apprehensive when we were segregated into different groups (me, rohan, vipul, sainath and sam in vjti, ankit, jin and bhide in vivekanand, pratik and vai in dj, kevat and jatin in somaiya(sion), shrenik in KJ somaiya, and vakdu in father agnels).
But hey, that apprehension was baseless. Our friendship was always built to stand the test of time and it deed!!!

It was back to the same dhamaal and masti as usual. We had another beautiful three years waiting in front of us to be stolen and enjoyed to the fullest! And boy, we did enjoy to the fullest! This time there were some new additions to my 'papdi' group. In ankit zatakia, I found one of the best persons i had ever met. Then there was Haren and Hariya who were with pratik and vai at their hostel. My group was bigger, better and stronger. Life was a beautiful dream that i had dreamed about...

But that 'TIME', it seems it was getting jealous of our happiness. Thats why it decided to fast forward this three years also. The sand had escaped into the other side of the hour glass. The transition was complete. We were now supposed to turn into professionals and look out for jobs. We were supposed to transform from guys who did not care what day or time it was for having some fun into 'sincere' and 'punctual' employees. It commanded us to shed our T-shirts & jeans and put on formal shirts and trousers. I guess 'TIME' was really jealous for it had demanded us to part once again, this time more cruelly so. It wanted to deprive us of our fun time and our proximity to each other.....

But there's only one thing that I would like to say to it. 'The more cruel that you get to us, the stronger will be our reply. THIS FRIENDSHIP HAS STOOD THE TEST OF TIME BEFORE AND SO WILL IT AGAIN'. After all, the more a steel passes through the flame, the purer it gets...........




Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Reflection!

When was the last time you succeeded in finding something positive and enjoying it, in an otherwise grim situation? (Pls try to recollect sincerely before reading ahead) If you remember the occasion, then please bring it to the fore of your mind, recollect it properly and just try to go through (and feel) the entire episode again. You will almost surely feel happy about yourself and the way you reacted to the situation. You may even feel a bit surprised at yourself as to how were you even able to think in that manner at that time in that situation in the way you did! It brings a smile to your face, doesn't it?

Well, you just recollected the art of thinking positively, didn't you? It is said that Experience is the greatest teacher. And what you just did was learn (or rather, remember) a lesson from that teacher! You just said it (or rather, proved it) to yourself that the world as you perceive around yourself is nothing but a Reflection of your own state of mind! The thoughts that cross your mind and the emotions that you go through under any circumstances are all a resultant of the amount of positivity inside you!

Consider yourself and your thoughts as magnets! Let the positively charged thoughts be the north pole of the thought magnet and the negatively charged thoughts be the south pole of the thought magnet. So, what kind of a magnet will you choose to be, what kind of polarity will you be having? Will you be the north pole that attracts the positively charged thoughts towards itself or will you be the south pole that attracts negatively charged thoughts towards itself. The kind of polarity that you choose will not only be impacting your own self and your reactions but also the people around you and your environment.

If you radiate positive thinking and optimism into your surroundings, you will get a similar response from the people around you and then eventually, even the most seemingly complex problems, the most horrible situations will get solved gracefully! Whenever a person is in deep trouble, he always yearns to hear something that may sound even trivially positive so that he can muster up some courage, garner some confidence to face the situation. And if you are the one to provide that moral support, just imagine the kind of liking and respect that you will be commanding from the people around you!


A few words of courage bear the same effect as that of the light from a match stick in a dark room, they fill the heart with bright happiness!!! After all, even the best of the sailors need guidance from the light of the pole star in the darkest of situations! So, be that star for the people around you and experience the change in The Reflection.....