Wednesday, October 26, 2011

1650 : To give or to give up

Yesterday - a colleague of mine was explaining passionately about parikrma schools ( - a school for the underprivileged that believes even "they" should have access to the best.

For doing this, they do more for less - as in they would have a school just about comparable to a modern iconoclastic school - with less than 30 students per class...get the drift....versus a normal NGO “upliftment” school with 100 students per class and shabby loos, greasy food and the ilk.

The more I understood of parikrma the more I knew of what flavour of philanthropy I enjoy..which is?

For me, philanthropy has always been about “driving change” and not the more commonly understood “supply necessities”. Supplying what they need is still assuming that they are children of a lesser god who need a dole. “Change” on the other hand empowers them to fight against the grain of their circumstances. (Ponder on this philosophically, though this looks like a minor technicality - the devil as always is in the detail :-))

Both spousey and I have worked at NGOs in some informal capacity and based on what I have heard and seen so far - I nurture a deep omnipresent suspicion of everything in that space.

I hardly do any charity though I think I can afford to. I have instead for years consistently invested in rustic (and rural) art, have always bought fair trade products, and have always invested in organic for my own sake.

My view is if you invest in traditional arts, you will not just help grease the economy, you will do your child a favor by leaving a legacy and more importantly by keeping the art alive. (My biggest fear is we are going to create a world where our children only see urban monkeys dabbling with their steel caged toys.)

My view on this so far is - buy fair, encourage art, f@@k the ballsy NGOs....and the world will probably turn out very alright.

* if it is not clear, just to clarify, I like the idea of parikrma immensely. It's philosophical bearings are refreshingly right. Someday I definitely want to work in that space.

1649 : My tiny haiku

Little weight on my chest,
Breathing in a silent harmonic rhythm,
Picture perfect peace.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

1648 : Look ma no hands

In the past 2 months my health has been steadily plagued by one problem after another - each of increasing complexity - almost as if it were a harbinger of something deeper uncle universe was trying to tell me.

When I do look back, I can always rationalise this - saying I can't remember a time in the past 10 odd years when my health was “all alright”, and hence this is just another chapter in that continuing saga...but but but....too many buts there.

In my head this could mean only one (or more) of the following:
1. This is age related entropy.
2. I am just having a bad run.
3. Always happens at bangalore in sep-oct :-)
4. There is a hole in my life that I am not plugging, and life conveniently is choosing to leak from there.

Time to do a Sean Maloney (from intel google it up) or Steve jobs on life :-)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

1647 : Bhakti and the innocent hedonist

(and hell no… Bhakti is not the name of a lady in this post Smile)

I moved apartments a few months and my new neighbours, to put it very mildly are exaggerated in their demonstration of religious symbolism (prayer, idols, chanting, recorded singing… get the drift).

Their door is usually open in the morning, and when I peep in – its like staring into a freshly decorated altar. Their living room is where there are more idols and photos and flowers than a nearby temple…and this is every single day.

(When I speak to spousey, I always refer to this abode as “The Temple”).

No right and wrong in this business Smile. I am sure they look at us with an equally “aghast” expression…..

“No idol….no prayer….no chanting….no flowers…..and loud pop(its dire straits or DMB) music in the morning….aiyo aiyo !! what is this….a chamiya dance bar…)”

The more I see them, I am very sure that of the three possible ways of “realizing” our inner being (dhyana-meditation, karma – actions, and bhakti – devotion) – the last one has the least charm for me.

A world in which symbols constantly mask the reality of being – I find it hard to be allured by such a promise.

And when my mom does ask me “did I go to the temple”, I now-a-days truthfully tell her, in Tamil, “yes mom, peeked into a temple, just this morning” !!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

1646 : The word is mum

Another day, another bout of writer's block. Gets weirder because I actually have so much to say.
Someday when the noise dies down I shall have a voice.

Monday, October 10, 2011

1645 : The coarseness of stupidity

A wsj article speaks of Arundhati roy in the same breath as anna that jarred my sensibilities.....Article here
But you know what....we all get what we deserve, Come September !!

1644 : On the death of an angel

Someone who I did not know too well, but had shared some good times with died recently with cancer - my heart says a prayer ( an atheist's prayer) because I know he was a warm soul.

In recent years have seen so many survivors who eventually succumb to the big C - it does reinforce the Keynes belief that "eventually all of us will be dead :-)"

1643 : Fatigue and a broken back

Have been fighting immense fatigue and a sore and broken back for the best part of 2 weeks now. The more I think of it, the more I am certain - it's not my body that is waning, it's the damned spirit that is leaking away.

Time to plug it with the same grit that the kid from holland used to plug the dyke :-)

1642 : The end of jobs...

(I did not want to capitalize the J in Jobs for a variety of reasons....)

As the world mourns Raavan and I were fibbing yesterday about mr. Jobs and we decided that he wanted to have a blown up copy of this quote in his room....

Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?
A comment he made in persuading John Sculley to become Apple's CEO, as quoted in Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple: A Journey of Adventure, Ideas, and the Future (1987) by John Sculley and John A. Byrne

Sunday, October 02, 2011

1641 : Ode to an year

Raavan just finished an year in india..he has already had his first taste of red red wine and some spicy ginger tea (dumbo comes from Ceylon the land of dilmah but never drank the sweet poison...says mumma told him not to)

He seems to be loving bangalore...he is swalpa swalpa missing Bombay and Ceylon :-) though.

1640 : My blood is ....

Picture this.

I need to pick up a few special medicines from the warehouse of a Swiss pharma giant. Why ? Because these are not available at a shop (with a prescription or otherwise....let's say they are like tic 20 :-) least they smell like that :-) ).

I am in one of oft repeated collar tees (polos for you Americans out there ) and my stoned jeans.

I reach this office, a 15 km distance from my home. As I enter, so do pptwo other men. They visibly look from a lower strata, they look Muslim to me. How ? Living in india you develop a nose for these things...but them being Muslim is just a social demographic commentary for purposes of this post.

There is a swell looking lady and 3 coarse looking gents behind the glass wall. I lean into the peep hole and tell them - "Hi, I am here for the medicines. Can you help?"

The lady looks at me - smiles and then waves me to wait. I take a seat. The two men walk up and stand at the peep hole. They don't know what to they just wait.

The lady rudely asks, "kya chahiye"....shuddering these folks respond tentatively "Dava Lena tha"

She throws them a form from where she is sitting, quite literally. At the same time she calls me politely, "sir" ... Walks unto the counter and hands me the form.

I ask her for a pen, she hands me one. They ask and she leers " bharna aata hain?" before throwing a pen towards them.

Finally when the time comes to hand over the medicine....she hands them two boxes and throws a receipt and says "sign karo "...while they are fumbling a bit, she says "jaldi time Nahin hain" with irritation....

While with me...she hands me the receipt, I sign it wordlessly....take the boxes...thank all four of the staff and walk.

On the way out I chip my finger against the door knob. It bleeds and something green and Vulcan oozes out. That's when I wonder am I mr. Spock ?

1639 : So much to say

Finally I have broadband working via Tata wimax. A hiatus of 2 months and the associated disfranchisement of my online life.
I am back, and no...I don't have children that I don't know of. :-)