Wednesday, October 30, 2013

2093 : Should we follow team orders

Every morning as I am coming to lap myself during my jog, I often bump into this old man (say around 85) with his wife who are walking along the same trail.

There is a catch though, the old man is infirm, walks with a walker and is really slow. He can hardly stand straight. He probably takes 10 steps every minute or so.

I don't know why, but everyday I feel very poignant as I lap him. I have often considered slowing down or taking a detour to somehow make him win. I really really want him to take the flag.

He is in my team, and (un)like formula 1, team orders are still in fashion. Someday all I want, is for him to be recognised for what he already is...a true world champion !!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

2092 : There is no monopoly of common deprivation

I was talking to someone I recently met and respect. It turns out (and this came across in very different conversations) – 1) he comes from a really poor background 2) he has 4 houses in Bombay and many more across the world 3) he is busy planning for his retirement corpus and children’s education.

Now these 3 came across in unrelated parts of the conversations. Tie them together and you have a pattern….

I am just chronically surprised (if there is such a word) how polarised we are as a generation. Either there is one of us who lives like there is no tomorrow, and the other (like the one above) is who is constantly preparing for “2012 Kingdom Come” – the end of the Mayans of whatever that is…..

I do like the person I spoke to, but I cant help wonder……how much he is trying to make his life predictable and free of uncertainty.

And life like cricket (oh my God!!!, No, not that phooking analogy!!) is a game of glorious uncertainties (ha ha ha!! I have fallen from my chair).

Seriously, I have seen my life gone awry twice already (and really I think I have had it very easy!!). I dont rule out another massive upheaval in my life in the future….one that is more disruptive.

If you are need for a rainy day fund runs into 5 million dollars, you relly have a situation on your hand. My rainy day fund is zero. If ever I do come onto a situation wherein I have nothing – I shall either turn into a cook, or a driver or an editor – the only 3 real life skills I have.

Till then I twiddle and count my blessings. Also learning carpentry for that same rainy day.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

2091 : Some call it soup, some call it nuts

I was talking to this friend of mine V, yesterday, and somehow the topic veered about “office affairs”, more so, since we were gossiping about someone we know who we believe has an office affair.

V thought that he would never have one because he would it difficult to face his spouse and kids with the “guilt” sewed in.

As I spoke to him it occurred to me that in my head I never rule something like this out. Because rage, love and death are all crimes of passion - and they happen in that weak instant when the mind is out of buzz. And in that sense I am just as weak as others, if not more.....esp given my rage issue.

The only reason I would never have an extra marital liaison is because of the phooking logistics involved in pulling that off. I can't seem to manage my one life properly at all (in the sense there is no way even this one life gives me enough time for myself), and now if I had to pull multiple identities, it would leave nothing at all of me - and not having the life for me - the thought just kills me.

Guilt bah !! You can never really give me a guilt trip easily.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

2090 : The art of reductionism

Maybe its just me, but I am definitely very bothered by some reductionist views of the world around me.

Case in point, is this Bhagvad Gita lecture which is being organized for kids in my complex. This is twice a week, almost like a school.

Some senior scholar on Gita comes in and pontificates.

Don’t get me wrong – I respect and like the Gita. Its a fantastic book of work to hurl you into severe introspection, its also a great guidebook if you understand it in its context and era.

Now how do you reduce this to be palatable to young kids. Its one thing to tell them the Ramayana or Mahabharata (and through them teach them morals and ethics) and get them all thinking, its another to give them the guidebook.

I have spent years debating “dharma” within my head and really like my other debates (e.g. should we eat meat?), the jury is still out there. Tomes are written on this topic, most notable being Gurucharan Das’ The Difficulty Of Being Good (The subtle art of Dharma).

How do you distil all of this into the brain of a 10 year old – and more so, how do you teach a kid to meditate on Dharma?

On a related note, do ponder, as social human beings, how much of what we do every day, is reductionist and hence banal?

Till then I will work out if I can start a lecture series on the shortcut to Nirvana. That should be doable as well Smile, Nirvana in 21 sessions Smilein the recess of your comforter,  hows that for a start?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

2089 : Parenting as a blood soaked ideology

Maybe it just me, and maybe its just the terrible circles I inhabit – but do you ever notice that modern day parents have become like maggot infested warriors.

Each parent wants to make sure that the other one bows down to “her/his” methods as being the most evolved. Do I do that? Yes, if you consider this blog as a thrust it down. I do share a lot of my thoughts on parenting here. Will I have an ideological conversation with you, if I ever meet you?

Rarely if ever. I don’t want to talk what you don’t want to talk.

And yet – I get someone accosting me at my workplace and violently telling me why my thoughts on schools is so very wrong. I admit, it could very well be. It could equally very well be that there is indeed God sitting up there who is a retributive and “suck it upto me” kind of self-indulgent being.

I do have opinions, and I do share them on this blog. I hope to convert no one. I write it as a memoir of my journey, a passage through the war strife….I dont write it as a Seth Godin sales pitch.

Irrespective of my blog – my choice of a school or a parenting style is not a sales pitch, its a carefully thought out choice, which I hope and believe will work for my kid. She is at the center of the experiment… Not me, and NEVER you.

The God up there, really does not exist for me – and hence I don’t want to be drawn into a debate on my style, unless you really want to have it. Debates are great you learn a lot from them, but then we cannot “commit” to a stand before we enter the pulpit, that defeats the whole idea of  a conversation Smile

I sometimes wish, that folks just took a deep breath and sighed Smile

2088 : When the miles add up

When two close friends/lovers/siblings/pals starting moving away – the cracks are there for all to see. It bothers me that our lives are so very transparent. What hurts more is the going away.

2087 : The blue umbrella

I cant help but marvel at people, who at 530 in the morning, decide to walk/jog with an umbrella in one hand, because they need to be prepared against incumbent weather Smile

The average city dweller seems scared of the rain as if it were really an acid downpour. Here is my advice, next time you are on jog, let the weather play with you a bit  - and if it does rain, that even better – soak it up…..its good to feel like a kid again.

For now, I am encouraging my daughter that when it rains, lets count our blessings and get really drenched.

2086 : Method of modern love - Hall and Oates

I have been listening to "Method Of Modern Love", since 1985 (or around)....and the song still feels inspired and contemporary to me. I love the lyrics and play of words in

Times too tight to fight
And were never face to face
Style is timeless and fashions only now
Weve got the ways no one needs to show us how

Simple yet, never too simple  I guess. This song continues to be on my IPOD's jogging agenda. For me this song is indeed timeless.

Monday, October 14, 2013

2085 : Walking on ice

You know your life is a little fragile, when you walk onto a sharp piece of broken glass, and shoo your mind away from the pain with nothing more than a blood trail.

2084 : The Chrome Box

If there is one gadget I have completely fallen in love with in recent months… has to be the Samsung $238 (that was my buy price) Chromebook.

I just loved its keyboard, software, speed and portability. Far better than a tablet and definitely one for the road.

Only gripe – does not support USB modems, and CITRIX plug ins (for office work), else it was just a mean machine.

I finally had to give it to someone who probably needed it more, but I know this is one gadget that I shall terribly miss.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

2083 : The Dog Ma of our world

Picture this.

I was in the complex when I heard this kid scream "Shut up" and a very sopho Mom from behind, telling him in the peaceful language of Sri Sri (you know the drone right!!), "Shut up is never a way out, you need to find another way of resolving this".

The son still argued, but the Sri^2 continued to give him the same reassuring advice.

It did make me wonder - and this is not the first time its occured to me - how easy it is to be these gyan serving Sri^2 (not just at home, but as a manager at work, or as a teacher at school, or a cry shoulder at the coffee shop) - when in  reality when we are just as broken, if not more than our children or the people who work with us.

Do we believe this Sri^2 mom was really an embodiment of Buddha, who managed to find peace in this intrinsically violence ridden world? I will not be surprised if she screams "shut up" or its equivalent at least 4 times a day to her maid, her co-workers and her husband, and maybe her son too :-), but she still gives him this utopian bullshit.

I cuss and scream, and am teaching my daughter to cuss with deftness; I lie to survive, and am teaching her to lie; I do want to do the right dharma, but often choose the easy schmooze out, and I tell her thats perfectly fine ; and at times I am really violent (lets say on the rare days I eat fish), and I teach her that violence is part of our lives.

Is my child going to be curled up and crumpled in my own imperfections. Maybe yes, but I definitely know and accept that the Buddha nature is nothing but an ideal for me in this damned birth. I want her to know that her father was a very broken who never identified with the likes of Sri^2, and though he admired Buddha, he knew that no matter how long you give a monkey access to your typewriter, he can never ever churn out Othello.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

2082 : The mirror in the windscreen

As I drive, a city like Bombay offers me a lot of time to meditate and focus on the other cars. Its fascinating to watch cars which have two people in the front seat, either a couple or sometimes a kid and his parent.....

In Bombay, you shall be hard pressed to see either the couple or the family, laughing and talking. More often than not, its two glum faced individuals staring glumly into the white space. Their faces have an expression of dryness and a paucity of happiness.

Its very rare, and a welcome relief, when you see the couple smiling, laughing, canoodling....

Like yesterday, I saw this mother and her teen son (I presume) laughing and cracking up heartily, through a 30 minute jam stretch. Now thats something I would want my life to eventually turn out to be :-)

Look out for this, and you might just confirm what I have come to believe - this city is most definitely, slowly wilting and dying :-(

2081 : Just Fake it (Whoosh!!)

Someone wrote me this long comment, which I am yet to publish (as it severely critical and my tiny ego hurts) which summarily accuses me of being a show-off and a fake. Its humbling as always to hear censure, though I am yet to figure out what in this blog made the person thing I am SRK equivalent. If at all, the blog I thought only portrays me as a fallible (which I very much am) and a weak human being (which I again think is a large part of me).

Was this comment meant for the other Amitabh's blog? :-)

(Whatever it is, as I said, it always humbling to know what is the impression people carry of you, especially if it has negative connotations. Thanks for that!!)

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

2080 : Catnaps and cohorts

Picture this.

You are the security guard of an apartment. On a night shift, you snooze up, and your manager catches you napping, and he gives you a good dressing down.

On another day, your boss and you are sitting across the room, again on a night shift and you mention to him, that you you are very tired and can you catch a few winks of a catnap. He happily agrees and decides to man the door.

In both cases, you are you, the catnap is in a redeye zone, and your manager is still the same human being - and yet in one story its a disaster, and in another its a song.

2079 : 10 percent of everything

I have gained 10% of my weight in the last 2 months. How charming. Is that bad? Not necessarily always, but if you are in the bulge bracket like I am, then this is a little awry.

I want to be back to the pre-10% gain days by March. I hope to make that happen.

Here is to my health and running against the wind.

2078 : We passed upon the stairs

Recently I caught her whom I dearly dearly love, walking across the street towards me. I did the strangest thing that a man could ever do. I just let that person pass me by. I knew they did not have the pattern skills that I have, so they would never catch me in the crowd, but I did and I could have easily hollered out - paused a bit, hugged a bit and carried along.

But I did not do any of that, I just walked past, straight into a blind dark alley, where a misplaced hug is just another love song howling in the wind.