Wednesday, December 30, 2020

3057 : Tere bin dil nahin lagda dolna

That's the post :-)

A loud overwhelming feeling.

3056 : Longing by NFAK and Michael Brook

Listening to "Longing" from the Night Song album by Ustad Nusrat FAK and Michael Brook. I have heard this for over 23 years. I still have two copies of the CD :-).

Will remain one of my all-time favorites.

Watch the video. You will fall in love with NFAK and Pakistan too. Such a similar culture....its foolish to be thwarting them away. Their music is ours too, their food is ours too.

3055 : A blessed life

 In recent weeks have watched two movies with older actors. "AK vs AK" and "The Midnight Sky", and I loved Anurag Kashyap, Anil Kapoor, and George Clooney.

Also as I saw the movies, I realized how blessed these souls might be. Not at all because of their monies or wealth, but because of their intellectual curiosity, their passion for life....and just having so many folks in life to intellectually spar with.


3054 : Take stands

In recent weeks, one of my fav authors Meena Kandaswamy is being trolled on Twitter, and I know she is on the "correct" side. My heart beats with her.

And in these days, moments I want to take sides. I want to take stands.


I also know that taking sides in a battle of empty gunshots - is nothing more than flag signaling. Means nothing, will never mean anything.


3053 : Shiny happy people

I sometimes hit the gym (I know that sounds like a hippo who says he does 400m slapdash on the Olympic pool....oxymorons exist....esp in 2020 :-))

And I am fascinated to see young individuals and young couples. Everyone wearing "under armor", extremely fit, always focussed with their protein drink in their shaker. Laughing, joking, flirting with each other.

I feel very out of place - as this pudgy potbellied, double-chinned white-haired geek. 

And in those moments I feel very introspective. Have I been chasing the wrong things in life all along?

Is the purpose of this life to achieve something - or to experience something?

Both of these don't have to be always in the crosshairs, but most often they are.

I truly meditate on what life is, on what it could be, and what it should be.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

3052 : Rise by Herb Alpert

 Rise by Herb Alpert is a composition that I truly love. 

I am listening to it, as I write this.

Love the way it uplifts (my) mood.

If I could ever create a legacy like this for the universe, I would be truly proud of myself. 

3052 : 2021 and listening

 Another pseudo resolution will listen to a lot more Jazz, and a whole lot of classical music.


That's the post.

Monday, December 28, 2020

3051 : 2021 and reading

 2020 has been hard on me. A lot of critical relationships are breaking down, my own sense of purpose is sometimes on the edge.....and I realized how little I know of the world around me.

I don't make resolutions or am wise enough to know how symbolic that nonsense can be.

But if there were one, it's about reading.....I want to read more and more.

I want to look inward more and more. Like a tortoise who withdraws into his shell.

3050 : Embers

 I am struggling immensely with personal disruptions. Whenever my rhythm is lost, I lose my glide path, and coming back to it - takes an effort. 

Silence and alcohol helps :-)

3049 : Ask the horse

 Came in via twitter, but loved it enough to post around it.

Roughly translated as

"Dont ask the ironsmith, how it feels to taste (deal with) iron,

Instead ask the horse, who bites the (iron) harness and is controlled by it."

3048 : In the air tonight

 I borrow the title from the Phil Collin's classic :-).

I recently drove about 1300 kms and about 27 hrs in a span of 3 living days. Driving clears my mind. But as it clears the mind, it also brings to the foreground long-suppressed emotions, clarity, and wisdom. And then it becomes a duel between my urban self which is carefully caricatured versus my raw self which is just me.

Travel especially long-haul flights or long drives always upset my tip-toe balance. And it feels like (almost always) that the house that Jack built might come crashing down.

Almost always I tell myself, that maybe next time I should not undertake these long drives, but I know it's a drug that I need to get high on.

It's my urban meditation.

Monday, December 21, 2020

3047 : How to get groovy on any day

 Choose your fav soundstage. Marshall is my poison. (I love Marshall because it is balanced on the tinny trebly side, and I can hear different instruments and voices.....also the spatial geometry is great)

And load up Kavita Sheth's Bombay Dreams (artist listed as KSHMR) and play it loud.

In the first 20 seconds, you shall be foot tapping. Totally addictive meshy music.

And Miss Sheth's voice is silky as ever. 

3046 : Kashmir by Led Zeppelin

Listening to Kashmir by Zeppelin on a good music system can uplift you on the worst of the days. What a magical riff the song has. 

Try and listen to the version from "No Quarter" - which I like more than the original. No quarter was an album by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant (both band members).

Operatic, bass crushing, and soul uplifting. Video below.

This version is totally maniacal.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

3045 : Delicate sound of insecurity(ies)

 I do have more than my ton of things that I don't like to confront (is that a good definition of insecurity?)

One of my biggest ones is to probably outlive my children. I know I will immensely struggle with that.

Cant write more on this, my brain stalls even as I think around this topic. That's how much of a black box this fear is to me.

3044 : Political Indignation

 Slightly un-related to previous posts.

I am wary of political indignation in myself and others too. In my head its a dis-respect of democracy. Let me explain. You elect someone. She mucks up. You are up in arms and indignation. Does not help. Get the drift?

If you let your son make a choice, say to be an architect. He mucks it up. Indignation won't help. What will help is some ways of constructive dialogue, especially if those channels are open. It not, try and put energies into opening them.

Indignation (political) is the kind of interference we all do when we micro-manage our team players. Never helps.

If you want a real change or a real positive spinner, then push for reforms wherein better candidates are elected, wherein democracy has better checks and balances. 

Indignation in most cases is deeply un-democratic. It just does not seem so, because you have already chosen a side.

3043 : Indignation

 Indignation at anything means you agree that someone/something is "the fucked cause" of your "wretchedness". 

That shifts the control of the narrative from "me" to "you".

And that's why I watch out for indignation in myself. Because I don't want to lose my basic happiness. 

Do I ever get indignant? All the time. With everyone.

Awareness is never a salve for habit.

Friday, December 18, 2020

3042 : Our internal narratives

As I said 4 years ago I had a blooper. A big one at that. Almost took me out. 
When I look back I know I goofed up. Totally and singularly. 

And yet...when I sometimes hear others talk about their challenges. (Different from my example above).
I find them changing the narrative, almost rationalizing. Like someone I know thinks he is always stuck with arsehole bosses...someone else thinks that their life sucks because their partner is a difficult person. 

My point is I am sure in all of these transactions there were axe holders.

I tell myself that we control nothing. We are our own prisoners. I know I goofed up totally 4 years ago. Changing the narrative is a slippery slope.

3041 : Exuberance

Today at Hiranandani Powai.... I saw a young couple. Both in their early twenties. Guy plump with a pink shirt and denim and girl with flowery red one-piece small top-skirt. 

Both were eating ice cream off their cones. But they were also playful, fighting, pausing, laughing out aloud....and jump walking....which is start stop start stop.

I was mesmerized by their love and their Joie De Vivre. 
This is what life is meant to be. This is what all our lives can be. This is all that our lives should be.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

3040 : 4 years of looking inward

Four years ago, I had an incident. 

As a result of that setback, I struggled. As a response to the struggle, I started looking inward, to measuring life for what it is, then what a global or a social yardstick would be.

Am I better off? I think yes.

Am I out of the woods? No. Still struggle.

I have come to realize the Buddhist truism, that every setback is a teacher. It hugely helps you evolve.

Would I wish my setback on someone? Never. Though I think it helped me, my answer is Never.

Would I wish this on myself? My rational self says YES, and my selfish self says NO.

There everyone knows how weak I am.

3039 : The fantastic brain

My friend and I are walking in the parking of a mall. She is down and not feeling great. She is telling me about a decision related to her job - and how she wants to startup. We pass by a BMW and she changes gear, and asks mischievously "when is your beemer coming in?".

My mind is still stuck on the startup comment, and I vacuously give a blank answer. Just a nod. Whether for the startup comment or for the beemer she will never know. Meanwhile, I remember thinking, "she just needs to take the plunge. here she goes again, endlessly regurgitating her present options."

At that point - someone kicks me hard (my son) and I wake up with a start. I am dreaming. But the dream was as lifelike as real. Including the way, I had rationalized her comment in my head. Her dressing style, her speaking style, her "ragging" me over the car........perfectly re-created by the brain.

How many times have all of us been truly mesmerized by this blowout feature of our brains?

3038 : Beamed out

 I have decided that unless I have to, I am not going to buy an expensive car. Something which had originally featured as a life goal about 10 years ago. The Beemer 3 series was on my wish list. I could not afford it then.

And now I have decided I don't want it. 

And now (repetition), yesterday, my neighbour (not the same "dog" one, but the more "vain" one), bought a new X5.

The new 2020 X5 is a total stunner. The car is parked next to mine, and every single day I spend a good 10 seconds looking at it. 

I still don't want a new car, but I am beginning to appreciate what true beauty and art might look like.

Lifetimes 5 :-) beamed out.

3037 : The fortune of being "me"

 Our neighbor adopted a dog off the street. About 3 months ago. She used to feed strays in the complex, and she still does. One of the strays began tailing her more and more and eventually, she ended up adopting him.

A few existential questions waft in my head 

- do the other dogs envy this dog, or pity him?

- will some other strays who also want to be adopted begin to go tail this lady too?

- will this lady become like a "mother Teressa type" savior angel in our complex's dog community?

That's the post.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

3036 : Heavy by Tom Clark

 Bumped into this via twitter. Totally loved it.


When the gods die

the myths 

are lifted off our backs.

Peace be with them.

They were heavy.

3035 : Run Around by Blues Traveller (what fab writing at its best)

 Oh, once upon a midnight eerie

I woke with something in my head
I couldn't escape the memory
Of a phone call and of what you said
Like a game show contestant with a parting gift
I could not believe my eyes
When I saw through the thoughts of a trusted friend
Who needs to humor me and tell me lies, yeah humor me and tell me lies
And I'll lie too and say I don't mind
And as we seek so shall we find
And when you're feeling open I'll still be here
But not without a certain degree of fear
Well, what will be with you and me
I still can see things hopefully
But you
Why you wanna give me a run-around?
Is it a sure-fire way to speed things up?
When all it does is slow me down
Shake me and my confidence
About a great many things
But I've been there I can see it cower
Like a nervous magician waiting in the wings
Of a bad play where the heroes are right
And nobody thinks or expects too much
And Hollywood's calling for the movie rights
Singing "Hey babe, let's keep in touch", hey baby, let's keep in touch
But I want more than a touch I want you to reach me
And show me all the things no one else can see
So what you feel becomes mine as well
And soon if we're lucky we'd be unable to tell
What's yours and mine, the fishing's fine
And it doesn't have to rhyme, so don't you feed me a line
But you
Why you wanna give me a run-around?
Is it a sure-fire way to speed things up?
When all it does is slow me down
Tra la la la la bombardier, this is the pilot speaking
I've got some news for you
It seems my ship still stands no matter what you drop
And there ain't a whole lot that you can do
Oh sure the banner may be torn and the wind's gotten colder
Perhaps I've grown a little cynical
But I know no matter what the waitress brings
I shall drink it and always be full, yeah I will drink it and always be full
Oh I like coffee and I like tea
I'd like to be able to enter a final plea
I still got this dream that you just can't shake
I love you to the point you can no longer take
Well all right okay, so be that way
I hope and pray that there's something left to say
But you
Why you wanna give me a run-around?
Is it a sure-fire way to speed things up
When all it does is slow me down?
Oh you
Why you wanna give me a run-around?
Is it a sure-fire way to speed things up
When all it does is slow me down?

3034 : Kisi Nazar Ko Tera Intezaar aaj bhi hain from Aitbaar

I have loved this song for over 30 years if not more. My brother introduced me to this song. He had (has) great taste in music.

Sung by Bhupinder, lyrics by Hassan Kamal and music by Bappi Da :-) & Dimple looks stunning.

What memories.

3033 : Raees Khan playing Hansdhuni

 I have been working for the past 2 hrs and I must have played Hansdhuni at least 10 times in that time.

This is my third post on this song.

What would I give to have been in the studio that day. 

Just listening to this on a good system gives goose pimples.

Also, what does this say about my taste in music :-)? 

Narrow band it is.

3032 : Cant help falling in love with you by UB40

 Blame it on my love of reggae.....but I have been humming this song for the best part of 2 weeks.

Wise men say
Only fools rush in
But I can't help falling in love with you
Shall I stay?
Would it be a sin
If I can't help falling in love with you?
Like a river flows
Surely to the sea
Darling, so it goes
Some things are meant to be
Take my hand
Take my whole life too
For I can't help falling in love with you

And today I played it at full blast. What joy !!

3031 : Aik Elif

jo na jane haq ki taqat

rab na deve usko himmat
jo na jane haq ki taqat
rab na deve usko himmat
hum man ke dariya me dube
hum man ke dariya me dube
kaisi naiya kya majhdhar

What lyrics for a day like today !!
You have to listen to believe that music can completely alter a mood.

Lines appear at 4:40

Saturday, December 12, 2020

3030 : Gulzar vs Ghalib

 I was talking to her, and told her that I love Gulzar more than Ghalib. And she said, 

"Hum ko tho malum hain janaat ki haqeeqat kya hain, magar dil ke rakhne ko, ghalib yeh khayal bhi achha hain.", and she twirled and posed a question with her nose? Almost asking me "can you beat that?"

I honestly told her, that unlike her, I was not well versed in hindustani and struggled with Ghalib, but Gulzar came more naturally to me. 

She said, "Toh seekh lo. I learnt reading urdu, just to read Ghalib in its pristine form."

I did not say anything, there was nothing to disagree. She was right. I had stopped learning urdu at 17, after almost learning it more than half way through.....and now I was a mess. Too old to learn. Too wasted to learn to love again.

I must have silent for a few seconds, when she barked, "Will you say something? Say something. Just speak innane stuff as you always do."

I said, "I agree" more to shut the conversation than anything. She realized that I had become introspective and she asked "Are you sure you are not lying, to just shut the chat?".

And I remembered a Gulzar poem  - "Kaun kehta hain hum jhooth nahin bolte. Ek Baar Khairiyat toh puch ke dikhiye."

3029: Raees Khan playing Hansdhuni (Hamsadhwani)

Nowadays every time I am low, which is often :-) :-) :-), I find myself reaching out to Hansdhuni by Raees Khan. 

Always gets my goose.

I close my eyes and listen to it. There is a story around that gesture. Here goes.

I used to own the soundtrack (background) for the movie Satya - directed by Ram Gopal Varma and music by Sandeep Chowta. The music, the titles for each of those pieces and the whole CD heard in order is ethereal.

I still own the soundtrack and still often play it.

And the reason I referenced it - in the sleeve RGV says - when he would evaluate music (background score) for his movies, he would listen to the whole movie with the score - with his eyes closed. His point was - his hearing experience was heightened. 

That tale had a huge impact on my 19-year-old self. I still often find myself listening to my favorite songs with my eyes closed.

3028: Patience by Guns N Roses

 I am whistling (and I am terrible at it) just like Axl Rose whistles in the song. (or attempting to be just like).

My daughter likes :-)

Thursday, December 10, 2020

3027 : Dance Dance (on Astad Deboo)

 Via Twitter, unknown authorship. Google search did not help.

Monday, December 07, 2020

3026 Have been struggling to read

Too much mindspace lost on the pursuit of being useless.
That's the post.

3025: Money Vs wealth Vs happiness

I was reading a bit of Naval Ravikant and he has his whole theory why money in itself can also be a good objective...since it buys you freedom. 
I agree... but I disagree.

I am beginning to see the futility of money when confronted with my own mortality.

It's a little lonely along this trajectory.....both along the fork of mortality or along the path where money stops mattering....

Is it my privelege? Now that I don't have to fight for my daily basics. 
Am I posturing?
Or as Naval puts it am I status signalling ?

One for the road. 

3024 : Take five by Dave Brubeck Quartet

 A whole host of us like Take Five - by Dave Brubeck Quartet. The song predates me and will long live after me.

Its a classic.

And then you listen to the same by the Sachal Ensemble Orchestra and its goose pimples :-) by the dozen :-).

Watch the second video :-) and smile the goofy smile we all smiled as kids.

3023 : Huff and Puff

 A few days ago I sat down and shared a smoke with an estranged friend. As the smoke wafted across the room, I could smell her in the smoke.

Ah....and that smelt like teen spirit :-)

Friday, November 27, 2020

3022 : Struggling to write

 I am struggling to write in the past few days, also to read.

Mental fatigue is kicking in big time. This constant strain of having to "reach" somewhere with work/with admin/with personal goals.

And in these times - the things that mean the most to you - the writing, the reading the music -  take a complete toss.


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

3021 : Ocean vs the brook

 “Learn this from water: loud splashes the brook, but the ocean's depth are calm.” ~ Buddha

3020 : The too much...the too little...Jewishness" by Paul Celan

 There was talk of your God, I spoke

against him, I

let the heart I had
his highest, his death-rattled, his
contending word—

Saturday, November 21, 2020

3019 : Purpose

Is the purpose of individuals/businesses to also take stands ?
I think the answer is YES. A loud one at that. But it is incredibly hard. 

I ponder this in the context of Noam Chomsky being called off the Tata Lit Festival. 

Tatas seemingly prioritized what's better for their business, over what might appear to be a stand. 

And don't tell me cancelling someone (in this case Chomsky) is a stand. It's not. It's what I call as the "inert" response. Neither positive nor negative. Either positive or negative would be a stand. 

3018 : Reading list 2020: #23: Azadi by Miss Arundhati Roy

 I like Miss Arundhati Roy.  She writes well, takes stands and speaks damn eloquently. 

I liked this book immensely. It teaches/coaxes a different way of looking at the world. It teaches us to question and look inward.

It a series of essays, some of them very repetitive. On a scale of 10 I would rate this book 10 on writing and 7 on content.

Loved it all the same.

Images from Penguin.

Brings my 2020 reading total to 7143 pages

3017 : Yeh Nayan Dare Dare by Hemant Kumar

I have heard three versions of this song - from Hemant Da, Lata Didi, and Jagjit Singh.....and that's the order I like them too. 

It's an extremely haunting song. You shall keep humming it all through the day and all through the week.

The reason I got reminded of this song when a dear friend of mine played this on the flute.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

3016: Why do we read what we read?

Most people assume that we read what we like or what sounds like what we shall like.

Martin Amis believes we read possibly because there is something we don't understand but would like to understand. 

Example I read a lot about violence, a lot about the depths of human behaviour. I also read about power and it's trip. And finally tons of zen and Buddhism.

All three topics span the spectrum. I read all of them because I don't understand much about any of them, but I really would want to.

I cannot agree more with Mr. Amis.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

3015: Art is...

A peacock created by hand that took over 35 mins. Not by me. But I was mesmerized by the process. Fascinating.

Friday, November 13, 2020

3014: First impression

You will never get a second chance at creating a good first impression.

Advice from Martin Amis and Chris Hitchens

3013: There is no place like home to wind down

My solitude, my books and my music.....notice the "my".....the ego is dead, long live the ego. 

3012: The death of the poem

I was reading Martin Amis (and Phoebe Philips ha ha ha ha 😊) and he veers into a direction why real poetry will die. 
And I loved the insight. His premise is that in this modern world (accelerated world) he thinks we shall have less and less time for pregnant pauses....for shared epiphanies on which we meditate.....and that precisely sums up what poetry is.
I found it immensely insightful. 

3011: Fleets

She had unbelievably good hand writing.

That's the post. 😊

3010: Neither a hermit nor an urban fit

I met some normal urban folks. Happy, tight knit, totally involved in the goals of the everyday, and good specimen of the urban genre.

I don't fit in with them. No sense of fashion 😂, no naked ambition, no harmony with spouse 😂 and that makes me a misfit. 

And I also met a modern hermit. I cannot but admire immensely. He is indeed a role model.

And I realised. I am neither here nor there. A wannabe in both spheres. Posturing. 

3009: Sin #4

Someone who can was once my peer became very senior somewhere today. And a large part of me is suffering from envy and jealousy. 

The thought in my opinion envy is - this could have been me...and also, now it shall never be me. 

What have I become ? Is this even normal ? Buddhism and reductionsm be damned. 

A part of the edifice has crumbler and crumpled. Need to rebuild and also - iron out.

3008: Rut

Every now and then I get into a rut - no reading, no writing and no blogging. 
Almost like a mindfcuk. Almost.

3007: Spirit world Vs real world

In a chat it was implied that the current world has become too political. 
And so has the discourse. 
And I was wondering for whom ?
Me ?
Us ?

The politicking of the world fatigues me,and I do want to avoid it. For my own sense of being unable to change it.

Also because I want to try and focus my what is beautiful, what is ephemeral and what moves our spirits. 

Focus is hard. Jostling is involving and fills up time. It's a battle between the spirit and the real world. 

3006: I am using a mobile blogging service

For the first time and it seems to work well in a very low bandwidth circumstance. 
Except for labels.

3005: What matters and what does not

To be happy all you need is a good meal, a good company and lots of laughs and/or silence. 
At least in the moment. 

3004 : In a farm

You actually realise how little your needs can be. A shade or a place to rest and good wholesome food. I don't know if I can sustain this all my life....but for a few days this seems like Godsend introspection. 

Thursday, November 12, 2020

3003 : I cant help falling in love by Elvis Presley

 The poetry in this song just rocks. It's an unbelievable piece of writing, set to some great harmony.

Wise men say
Only fools rush in
But I can't help falling in love with you
Shall I stay?
Would it be a sin
If I can't help falling in love with you?
Like a river flows
Surely to the sea
Darling, so it goes
Some things are meant to be
Take my hand
Take my whole life too
For I can't help falling in love with you

3002 : Tu Chal by Amitabh Bachchan

 I can't help but fall in complete awe of a 75+-year-old man who recites poem(s) as if that is what he was born to do. Like Gulzar, exactly :-).

Listening to Amitabh Bachchan recite "Tu Chal" from the movie Pink has to be one of the most inspiring things in the world (almost like the Al Pacino, Whole Nine Yards, speech)

Listen and be enthralled.

3001 : This too shall pass

 As I look at the world around me, something in me feels slightly bleak. I was a bit of a pessimist (over the last 12 months) have pivoted to something of an optimist. (What a year right to choose this mod :-).

And I have also become more silent around external items that used to bother me. "Inert" is a more appropriate word.

And yet, in recent weeks, something feels bleak. And my sane roots tell me, that the world will continue inspite of my views.

Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind :-)

Saturday, October 31, 2020

3000 : The inner journey of a free radical

 It's very hard for the world around you to accept you (or see you) as a free radical. And I mean free as in literally unmoored. 

Like I am 44 and I cuss like a teenager. Most folks cannot adjust to it. I am married, but I am not really an ideal family man (I cook, I clean, I teach my son....but I am also essentially a loner).

None of these make sense to my friends or my family. They are perpetually shocked by how spontaneously combustible I can potentially be.

Am I wired this way?

Is this even a choice?

Do free radicals have a choice not to form a molecule? 

Free will vs a free radical !!

2999 : Raag Bihag Lat Uljhe Suljha Ja Balam by Dr. Soma Ghosh

Lat Uljhe (Uljhi) Suljha ja Balam by Dr. Soma Ghosh in Raag Bihag is one of my all-time favorite songs. I also like this composition by Pandit Jasraj, but Dr. Soma Ghosh is my choice for this.

Its a perfect contemplative love song (almost Thumri like).

Of course there is also the Bade Ghulam Ali version and Noor Jehan version of this song.

2998 : Is this blog me?

 Is this blog me? Is my Twitter account me?

It is indeed a representation. But it also a projection (maybe natural), which means this is how I come across.

And yet to conflate this blog with me is being hugely reductionist.

That's the post :-)

2997 : We know (it all)

I have recently been active on Twitter.

I learn a lot (or so I tell myself).


I can't help but marvel at people who don't comment, follow, or engage with you at all. And yet they are constantly posting some garble or the other.

One of the following is true.

1) Twitter is shit (then you should not be here).

2) Twitter is a distraction (again, you should not be here).

3) Too much noise (to which you are only adding more).

4) I cant learn much from twitter (and hence you cannot learn from others, period.).

5) I am only here to garble (and gargle).

2996 : A cup of tea

 I like my mornings (or nights). These are the few simple minutes/hours bereft of the everyday controversies - the yin and the yang of conversations/machinations where you know you simply don't belong.

I value my solitude immensely. With a cup of tea or wine - I can spend hours looking into myself.

Today I am having a cup of tea without milk (ran out!!).

As I sip my poison, I realize that soon the familiar avalanche will drench me again. 

I am waiting.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

2995 : Rajan Sajan Mishra

 A day long slow burning of their playlist.......

They along with Tai Kishori Amonkar & Tai Ashwini Bhide, remain some of my most favorite artists in Indian Classical Music. 

Definitely on my all time favorite list. I can listen to their playlist on repeat forever.

Images from

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

2994 : Laws of attraction

 She asked, "Do you remember Paula Abdul".

"Of course, I do. I am in my 40s and I am proud of it.", he laughed and then added, "I do know of FYC (Fine Young Cannibals) too and Pet Shop Boys.".

" off....I liked her one song....called Opposites Attract".

"Fantastic number. And Paula looked (and sounds) like she is having fun through the song.".

"Do you agree?"

"Agree to what? That she was fun?"

"Aiyoo no...thoo!!, but that opposites attract".

"Yes and no."

"Pray explain."

"When you are younger, you seek difference, you seek to stand tend to celebrate diversity. As you grow older, you realize that was just your hormones playing tricks on you. Its great for reproduction and genetics."


"In your fifties (very late I agree), you realize that similarity and congruity drive harmony. The best marriages or partnerships are those between aligned souls. Diversity leads to divergence....till, at some point, there is a neat single shard of a crack."

"So. We are different or similar? I mean we are cracking or coalescing :-)?"

"Hard to say. I think the impact of the Big Bang is still around. We are all specks on a balloon. Constantly expanding away. Till one point when the speck stretches so much, that what is left is just space and memory."

"Why so serious?"

"Nothing. It's a time war out there :-)".

Monday, October 26, 2020

2993 : Raga Durga by Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan

 On the day of the Divine Shakti (and her avatars), I urge you to listen to Raga Durga by Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan. It's simple, its pious, and it's serene.

It also reminds us of a more benign and meaningful time when Muslim Geniuses sang paeans to the Hindu pantheon because they recognized that music is the best manifestation of the Divine :-). I hear that Muslim Ustads also fasted before they sang a Hindu Devotional song.

Difficult to imagine such a simple world today.

2992 : The break in our circle

 "Let's run away from home", she said.

"Runaway? You are not 20 anymore. You are on the wild side of 40."

"But I feel like I am 16."

"Totally shows...."

"Po ya, you are making fun of my dingy small-town roots."

"Pondicherry is not a small town."

"Agreed. It's a lovely town. Let's run. Get the car and drive over."

"Our children will report as having eloped."

"Good na, we shall be their role models."

"You cannot drink and drive, so I shall have to drive right till Pondy."

"Even better."

"What if we drive to Pondy and discover it to be just like Pune. The world is a circle, you know that right?"

Chewing on the toast, she said, "Our world does not appear to be a complete circle. Else we both would have met earlier on the perimeter, ages ago."

"Some circles are best left open, that way we can always walk out."

Sunday, October 25, 2020

2991 : Paul and John (Peated Whiskey Single Malt)

I am not a whisky fan, but I am beginning to like peated whisky :-). 

A lot.

That's the post.

2990 : The fraud


"To write fiction you have to engage in organized fraud, the laundering of experience into the offshore haven of words."

— Samantha Harvey (The Shapeless Unease: A Year of Not Sleeping)

2989 : What exists between?

 “A note exists between two notes of music, between two facts exists a fact, between two grains of sand no matter how close together there exists an interval of space, a sense that exists between senses — in the interstices of primordial matter is the line of mystery and fire that is the breathing of the world, and the continual breathing of the world is what we hear and call silence.”

― Clarice Lispector, The Passion According to G.H.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

2988 : On days like today....

 I wonder if I would have been happier as a musician. This thought crosses my mind at least a few times every now and then.

Thats the post.

2987 : Ustad Raees Khan playing Hans Dhuni (Hamsdhwani) on Coke Studio

Ustad Raees Khan playing Hans Dhuni (Hamsdhwani) on Coke Studio is the trippiest addiction I have in recent weeks. 

On repeat - an addiction like love :-)

This is what my version of God looks like (I mean the Ustad). This is my ideal rock concert.

Watch the video (highly recommended). Watch a real Ustad jam with youngsters and have goose pimples.

This is what music was meant to :-).

2986 : Learning to Fly (Live) by Pink Floyd

Turn on your surround system. If you don't have one, get one :-) Turn all 7 or 9 speakers. Turn on the tweeters and woofers.

Close your eyes, and then press Play. Enjoy the sound as it travels through the room.

You will be flying on a wing and a prayer :-)

There is no sensation to compare to this :-)

Go experience.


2985 : Hell is my maximum

 Hell is the mouth that bites and eats the living flesh with its blood, and the one being eaten howls with delight in his eye: hell is pain as delight of the matter, and with the laughter of delight, the tears run in pain. And the tear comes from the laughter of pain is the opposite of redemption. I was seeing the inexorability of the roach with its ritual mask.

Hell is my maximum.

From Passion according to GH by Clarice Lispector

Friday, October 23, 2020

2984 : If you want to hotstep

 Listen to Arianne Grande, Pharell Williams, and the inimitable maestro Arturo Sandoval eponymous song.

Turn up the volume. Let the woofer hit you. I promise you, you will be humming this till you sleep. Addictive hook.

2983 : Linger by Cranberries

 I will never get over my love for Cranberries :-) (both the group and the sour ones!!)

What lyrics for a day like today.....

So why were you holding her hand?
Is that the way we stand?
Were you lying all the time?
Was it just a game to you?
But I'm in so deep
You know I'm such a fool for you
You've got me wrapped around your finger
Do you have to let it linger?
Do you have to, do you have to, do have to let it linger?

Let this song linger around your cranium. Very hard to stop humming this.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

2982 : Einstein's wisdom

Albert Einstein said, "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." 

2981 : Mata Kalika by Jasraj (Pandit Jasraj) and Tripti Mukerjee

 Listening to this song as close to divinity, an atheist like me can experience.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

2980 : On a day like today, its gets very lonely....and.... question every foundation that you built you life upon.

I just dispersed the ashes of my blood into the river.

And the cruelty of the whole business ( no one to blame, it's just how underprepared my mind is/was) hits you very hard.

2979: Fictions

 We often indulge each other in fiction. Like I might tell you that you have some degree of control in my life. In reality, you might not.

For example, my mom thinks she still controls a large part of my world. I allow her this fiction, because its good for both of us.

I get her wisdom, she gets her peace.

Except once, 10 years ago, in a bout of anger I destroyed her facade. The challenge with these type of charades, is once you see through it, you cannot unsee it.

Till today, my mom and I share a slightly strained relationship.

Thats the post.

2978 : Jorge Luis Borges

 Reading some of his interviews.....and one of the things that strike me is how self-effacing he is in the face of the possibility that he cannot read (he had lost his sight by then). He honestly admits that all "he now reads" is heard and all that he writes is "dictated", and then goes onto add that he would rather "read than be read to....because as you read, you can omit, re-read, dwell.....

All so true.

The pleasures we take for granted.

2977 : Reading list 2020 : #22 : Paradise in PlainSight by Karen Miller

 If I had to choose the one book that has helped me in modern  times, it will be Paradise in PlainSight. A book on Zen and living.

This is my 7th read of the book in about 4 years. I adore the book and I adore the author. Treat her like my guru.

I would love to meet her one day if I could.

At 224 pages brings my 2020 reading to 6887 pages.

Images from

Saturday, October 10, 2020

2975 : What is the moral problem?

 “Would it be simplistic to think the moral problem with regards to others consists in behaving as one ought to, and the moral problem with regards to oneself is managing to feel what one ought to?”

― Clarice Lispector, The Passion According to G.H.

2974 : Anxiety

 I was at a funeral today morning. And on the faces of each of us (including me) was writ with anxiety and fear. Very few of us other than the son and immediate family had "grief".

Of course, we had varying degrees of anxiety. But the question for all of us, including me, should death or aspects of death cause us anxiety?

But is this another modern pandemic?

Anxiety will kill us before cancer can.

Thats the post.

2973 : Reading List 2020: #21 : The psychology of Money by Morgan Housel

 (Images from

Hands down one of the best books I have read in my life. I wish, and I so wish I had read it in my 20s.

But I read it in my 40s and I am going to make it count.

I will work my way up on this book.

Its a book about money, happiness, needs, planning and just life.

This goes into my gifting list. Many copies coming your way.

Read it. An absolute 18 on 10 (my quirky rating for a fab book).

At 256 pages brings my 2020 reading list to 6363 pages.

2973 : Reading List 2020 : #20: Absolutely Music by Haruki Murakami (and Seiji Ozawa)

 This book is such a surprising gem. Especially if you like Western Classical. I know very little about it but listen to lots of it.

Read this book and it might just show you an inner peek into the mind of musicians, conductors, and the author.

Definitely a read. On a scale of 10 around 8.

At 352 pages brings my 2020 total to 6107 pages.

2972 : If I were only to recommend 5 authors to my child those would be (for fiction I mean)

 The 5 authors in order would be

1. Clarice Lispector

2. Jorge Luis Borges

3. Milan Kundera

4. Samantha Harvey

5. Ellena Ferrante

and if I could cheat and add a 6th, it would be

6. Ted Chiang

How my world has completely changed. This list has no mention of Rushdie. He would not even make my top 10.

Because at

7. Sara Baume

8. Franz Kafka

9.. Arundhati Roy

10. Meena Kandaswamy.

2971 : My meditation

 For the past 6-10 months, a lot around me is wilting away. Call it the COVID effect. COVID has given has time and space to examine our own lives.

Here is where I have reached on the examination of my life with my close ones.

"With you, I want to focus on the things we enjoy together. I will continue to judge you as I always do, and I shall justify it saying -'I am so invested in you'. In actuality, I am just a weak person. Accept me, because, when I am not with you, I feel lonely, lost, and sometimes hollow too.

I want to be a better person. I want to be a more accretive person. From where I am, that journey of improvement could take my entire remaining life, but I will make the effort.

As for you and me, I want us to focus on what it means for us to be happy. What it means to be doing 'our thing'. I might be a terribly flawed person, but as an example, I could be a very good cook. Care for it?

You mean a lot to me. I truly internalize you. If I could as Sahadev, eat a piece of you and instantly imbibe your wisdom into me, I would do that.

You are wise. Stay. You are beautiful/handsome. Stay. You lend me meaning. Stay. You help me see my faltering ego. Stay. You are my dearest friend. Stay. You are me. Stay."

2970 : We are all mortal

 We are all mortal.

And the petty battles, the corporate shenanigans, the mindless power trips, the senseless ego journey.....and the continuous accumulation of bad karma (think of it as adding more entropy than needed).

If you are reading this, chances are in the next 50 years or so, you shall be gone too.

If that does not humble you, then remember that in 5 billion years space will be cold (sun will be gone) and all of life as we understand will cease to exist. All of life.

Now let that sink in.

2969 : Judgement

We live in a weird world. Everything including death is under the constant cynosure of judgment. We (thankfully) don't blatantly judge the dead (which might be ok too....if you have strong views), but we "petty" judge the living. 

"See how unusual, their habits are......with habits like these, are you surprised that their dad died?".

Get the drift?

Its petty, its nonsensical, and we must all remember - we all live in glass houses too!!

2966 : On the way

 Someone close to me died (and I prefer that cold yet perceptible word to the ambiguity of "passing on/passing away"). Any death always is an opportunity (God Sent???? maybe....I am a pukka atheist!!) to meditate on my own mortality and the collective sense (or lack of it at times) called life.

Death (especially one I have to face) makes me very deeply meditative. I see my life as a deck stacked against the person (not for worldly achievements, but more so as a report card of how life is to be lived), and her/his own card.

And I often find the answer in greys.....not in black and white.

Friday, October 09, 2020

2965 : React

 It's hard not to react to the world around me.

I feel like I want to contribute. That's what keeps me going.

And then on a day like today....I remind myself that the world happens despite of me. And will continue to do so forever (almost) after I am gone.

I just need to shut up.

Thursday, October 08, 2020

2964 : My work

 My work is the biggest chink (or chunk) in my identity.

Often I get into a (needless) rut on that could have been better.

And then I tell myself....what matters is the today. Pick up the pieces....and rebuild.

The next successful "me" is only 2 years away. Always.

2963: I am coming home

Hey you, would you help me to carry the stone?

Open your heart, I'm coming home

From Hey You by Pink Floyd

2962: Reading Poetry and why it makes no sense

 I was talking to someone and it emerged during the chat, that I read copious amounts of poetry. To me, poetry is prose/poetry where emotion is conveyed via a veil/abstraction. Like one of my fav books remains Sharmistha Mohanty's Book One. It started my love affair with poetry and it never ended since then.

Its a  prose book, but singes, cuts, and hurts. Its a book of passages with no context, no have to do the hard work and fill in the gaps.

Back to the emerged that I read a lot of poetry. And the obvious debate was "why?". I said for the same reason, she watches Christopher Nolan movies. It does something for "my brain's" pathways. Poetry is a meditation into my own solitude.

It also makes me more creative than usual. My verbal and written communication is slight notch above normal due to this habit of mine.

But as we chatted (she and I), the talk veered towards the uselessness of poetry, and the fact that it won't be around as a content medium in the next 2 decades.....(which I may possibly agree....and lament).

In my limited life, the ephemeral vestiges that have paid the most dividends are around romancing the abstract. My poetry, my Buddhism, my zen, my sense of isolation from every day have made me a very sharpshooter at work and in everyday chats.

They also made me respect and adore the universe a little more.

Now do you still want poetry to die in the next 2 decades?

2961 : Zen is a weapon of harakiri

 The more I seek, the more I know.

The more I know, the more I am crumpled.

The more I am crumpled, the more I see.

The more I see, the less I can unsee.

Get my drift? What I am seeing in myself is like entering a haunted house full of chambers. I am truly getting nightmares (on some nights) on what I have become.

Satori - I dont know.....but I do feel like my vision has expanded to 360 degrees. I can see whats in my past, for that it really is.

One day I hope to win my battles. And I promise I shall write about those, both here as well as in a book. 

On the positive side, is this making me a better person both intellectually (at work) and with friends (emotionally).....yes....I think so. So thats one positive spin out of this.

I would not wish this inner journey on someone (not yet), not unless I have seen how this ends :-)

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

2960 : Knowing each other too well

 I know I am a terrible listener. This post is not about that though. Its how all of us (including me) often don't hear at all. This especially happens between dear friends.

So I shall say "I find no meaning and purpose in this new activity" and by the third sentence, the person I am talking to - ends up with the prognosis, "Oh you are depressed." 


another example is I shall say "look I want to get my equation with you better". and by the second sentence, the person says "are you saying I am broken, we are broken?".

Too much familiarity can kill any conversation. Especially a chat where one is trying to heal oneself.

Friday, October 02, 2020

2959 : "Do you really know me?"

 I was talking to a dear friend of mine. We have known each other for about 2+ years and we both (possibly) like and respect each other immensely.

In the middle of a conversation, I was telling him, "I would not do this with Arjun" (another common friend, and the "this" referred to investing together), "BUT....if it was you, then I would do it more easily."

And my friend rightfully asked, "Why more easily with me, Amit?". And I without too much of a deep thought said, "I trust you" (which I indeed do) and "I know you much better".

To which my friend did not even allow me to finish my sentence, almost at the very instant my last word trailed off, he spoke up like a dam....

In a polite, very calm, and reassuring voice he asked me, "Do you really know me?"

It was classic Zen rhetoric. One (like any other rhetoric) that, once you have seen, you cannot unsee. I muttered something to him, but I was slightly flustered. In the future, I will be more mindful before I say something like this to the other person (not just this friend).

I am in my 40s and still every single day, someone/something teaches me something very basic with a very basic zen stick.

Thursday, October 01, 2020

2958 : Playing Evenflow (Eddie Vedder's genius) Pearl Jam classic

 Playing EvenFlow at a reasonable volume at night is the perfect salve for a day like today.

And as I finish this post Green Day comes with their maniacal "When I come around".....

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

2957 : Heart vs mind

 From Pico Iyer's Twitter...apt for a day like today.

“We are afraid,” Joseph Joubert pointed out, “of having and showing a small mind and we are not afraid of having and sharing a small heart.” Has the world got everything upside-down?

2956 Maine Rona Chor Diya from Coke Studio

 Am I the only one who loves this song....

Zeb, Haniya and Javed Bashir singing this song is a pure bliss of harmony. Its easily one of the best harmonies I have heard in recent years. Almost feels edited, especially the chords.

2955: I am becoming an image of someone I really know is anti-role model

 Now that calls for a wake up call.

2954 : I am struggling

I am working 60 hr weeks. Doing well at work.

But the sound around me is deafening. On a day like today, the news just shatters my peace. I am so conflicted. 

On another day, my domestic situation with my daughter or wife assails me (not always, but some rare days).

I cannot but put my best into my work. That defines me, is my pride, and keeps me sane.

But on a loud day like today, it's incredibly hard.

Its almost as if they demolished me, and then proceeded to cremate me. It's me they are after!!

2953 : Artists who move me

Artists like Jave Akhtar, Meena Kandaswamy, Arundhati Roy, TM Krishna move me immensely. I may often not agree with their views completely, but they give me goose pimples with their courage, conviction and the desire to leave a better place than they found it.

On the other hand - Pablo Neruda (who committed crimes himself) or the silent majority in art - make me think.....what is this world if we cannot stand up? What is art without a stand? What is art without pushing your boundaries?

My own limited blog and art....I try and push where it matters. Of course, I am such a tiny voice, I don't even make a small dent.

 Art is (should be) that which moves us (and the world around us).

2952 : What does fire remember?

 I love Meena Kandaswamy, and I love this poem even more


2951 : Mourn Raagam

A silent part of me mourns. Rape, dis-respect and rage. What have we become as a society?

Sunday, September 27, 2020

2950 : Massively multiplayer game(s)

 I was talking to someone who thinks she is great at MMOG (massively multiplayer online games).....And that I of course massively suck at this genre.

As I took a step back, I realized that we are all in an MMOG as participants. Risk, timing, and our own effort guide so much of our outcomes. Lets call this MMOG "The Game of Life".

I have had more than my fair share of luck (fortuitous timing) and an even keen of atrocious mistakes and timing.

I have lost a great deal in this small life of mine.....and yet....I look back and recall (now with some wisdom), that there is very little I control other than my own effort. The rest depends on what the remaining 8 billion participants are doing in the MMOG.

And (reminding again) I massively suck at MMOG.

2949 : Garaj Baras

Listening to Ali Azmat and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan singing Garaj Baras on Coke Studio is so much maniacal, than the original.

Its such an addictive riffy song.

2948 : The vainglorious moon

 Imagine you are a werewolf. You have a strong relationship with the moon.

And yet, you find that on certain parts of a path, the moon constantly waxes, and at other parts of a journey, the moon constantly wanes.

The moon will wax and wane forever (not really, but from the werewolf's time perspective.....pretty much forever!!).

The werewolf loves the moon but despite that .....struggles with the wane journey. Wax everyone seems to like. How long before the animal brain wires itself to the pattern?

The entire world is a pattern, if you can abstract yourself at the correct levels, you can see the whole universe as an automata.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

2947 : The Great Silence by Ted Chiang

Read a 15 page short work called the "The Great Silence" by Ted Chiang. I bought it out (my contribution to the universe), but you can read it free here.

Easily the one story that I liked the most. A bit like Rama from Arthur C Clarke.

But this one made me pause and think. Every word of it is correct. We need the "I love you" totally.

2946 : Reading List 2020 : #19: Ted Chiang's Stories of your life and others

I am just about to finish Ted Chiang's Stories of your life and others and this book is my find of the year. I just totally lapped into it. A bit like the Arthur C Clarke's book. This is genre wise sci-fi too.

The science is humbling. You always learn something - especially something that demonstrates to you that the human race is smaller than we think it is, and while it (the race) is currently significant, we shall possibly drive ourselves into obscurity.

The great filter, anyone?

The stories in this book don't specifically deal with some of the above themes, but they allude to them. There is no post-apocalyptic world here......there is the world here, now, in the future - but already apocalyptic in the future.

And each page makes you think. Think more about yourself and your relationship with the world around you, and that exploration in itself is worth the price of your time spent reading this.

Overall a 18/10 (as I always rate superlative books). Go for it.

At 333 pages brings my 2020 total to 5755. Images from electricliterature

Thursday, September 24, 2020

2945 : As an investor I am so horribly wrong

 My cognitive biases are more amplified than probably normal.

I was always (and still am) bearish on uber. I always like Tesla, Swiggy. I was bearish Avenue Supermarkets (D-Mart), I was bearish White Hat Jr as an idea. 

I have missed so many easy to observe patterns and tricks. Older, wiser I can now see more.

But I have lost over 20 years of compounding time.

I feel very let down by my own lack of awareness (around my biases).

2944 : I am a net buyer of books (vs being a reader)

 I read about 25 books a year, vs I buy around 125 books (seriously) a year.

And this has been going on for over 20 years.

An yet, its possibly the best investment I ever made. Nothing calms me than opening the kindle and reading what suits my mood on that day.

2943 : Western vs Japanese Cars

 "Jaguar car names sound like rockets", notes Paul Beatty in The Sellout. "XJ-S, XJ8, E-Type. Honda cars sound like pacifists and humanitarian diplomats. The Accord, Civic, Insight."

From Pico Iyer's The Beginner's Guide to Japan

2942 : Reading list 2020: #18 Think like a Monk by Jay Shetty

 This is an easy read. I finished this book in about 3 days. You can race through it.

While it's easy and simple its a good ready reckoner for the "inward journey".

Definitely read it, if you don't read many such books in a year.

Overall 7/10.

At 352 pages brings my total reading for 2020 to 5423 pages.

Images from and

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

2941 : Random trips

As I speak to the world around me, there is a part of me that never fails to notice, how much effort we expend on totally wasted and useless chats and pursuits. 

And I marvel at how much of the world - is just on a random walk into nothingness.

Monday, September 21, 2020

2940 : Everyone is meditating too (similar to hustling)

I met someone yesterday who is going to meditate 45 mins per day (sit down meditation using Nichiren Buddhism...chanting and focus). She thinks it will get her to a better place. I am sure it will help her. Its better than doing nothing.

It will definitely slow her down, which is great. It will give her a better perspective.


Overall, what we meditate the key. I come from the J Krishnamurti school of life, which believes that formal meditation might mean nothing more than a few more minutes of slowing down....real mediation is increased awareness, is increased mindfulness, and absolutely knowing that some of what we do is hugely sub-optimal.

What have we become? We have converted our utmost personal inner journey into a public menace of palm slap :-)

2939 : Hustling (part 2)

Everyone is busy selling. Especially on linkedin. That includes me. Like I am an HBS Grad. Should that define me? Wondering.

Like everyone is a TEDX speaker, everyone is an angel investor, everyone is making social impact happen, everyone is talking about how to "become personally great"......

Get my drift?

What have we become? Palm Slap.

2938: Nytimes Vs other sources of news

 I was talking to a friend of mine...who said that "NYTimes is very old school" and blasse in the world of twitter and Instagram.

Somehow, to me, NYT represents the best in writing. Both in terms of style and editing. Content, of course, it always seems to trump (now that's a cool punch!!).

I would cry a lot on the day NYT dies, but not even notice if IG disappeared. On twitter, yeah, I would feel the pain.

2937 : Metoo and YouToo

 Someone I know and is dear to me was hit upon (in a sleazy way). Consensual flirting is ok, imposing oneself on others is not. Coming on too quick is not.

This is not the first time, someone close to me has been hit upon.

This is not the first time that MeToo sucks.  

Like one of my friends says, candlelight vigils, twitters trends mean only fk in this world. Till each of us does not make this world a safer better world for our own wives, daughters, mothers, and everyone (females are at higher risk), we won't make a dent.

Till each of us stops the WA message to a gym room buddy saying "look at 2 o clock....what boobs I say" - till we don't stop objectifying the other  - we won't make any dent at all. Nada. Zilch.

Should we credit the intelligent creator with creating this mess too? He is one helluva terrible programmer (and it has to be a he).

Sunday, September 20, 2020

2936 : Desire vs happiness

 A friend of mine (Sachin) reminds in every single chat...that we (both) have....that reining in wants and desires is the only true path to salvation and peace. I could not agree more with him.

He is also one of the few people, who has truly achieved urban satori. The rest of us, just flit (and flirt) with desire.

I admire Sachin both as a friend and as a human, we need more of him, and less of "sliders" (previous post).

2935 : The sliding game

Convenience and desire is an absolutely sure way to keep moving (away from) the "values" in your life. Let me give an example - for most parts of my recent life - I like to be a vegetarian, but I eat eggs - and I justify it saying "eggs are sterile". I drink tea with milk, I eat cheese.....See the dissonance?

I eat fish oil Omega 3 regularly....and every single day....I tell myself I need it for my "weak" heart.

Get the drift?

Every time we dilute our values, we move the slider. The slider moves "me" away from an authentic value-driven life - leads to roots of unhappiness....and yet it moves me closer to power, wealth, and earthly goodness.

Very difficult choice....but I see the slider move every single day. And move away from my authentic values. 

We all choose whats "in it" for us. And that road is a valve. It does not allow backtrack :-).

Saturday, September 19, 2020

2934 : What are we upto?

 I sit amongst so many hustle chats, and most chat I pretty much have with my friends seems to be "someone" or "they themselves" making it big.

This script has many potentially falterings. One it usually makes most of us (makes me definitely on certain weak days) feel very inadequate. 

Second, it also makes money the bellwether indicator of almost everything in life.

Third, and most importantly it makes all of us travelers, on the road to somewhere far, but most of us are walking the path between earth and the moon. Hard, difficult, and tiring....and to what point?

I had another hustle chat today. And I felt lonely, alone, and totally zoned out. I don't belong here.

I love my job, and I find immense meaning in what I do. I do love (and have immense gratitude) for the monies I have. Do I need more? A little more....but that's about it. I could conversely do with a little less too.

The hustle continues nevertheless.

2933 : I love my younger self

 15 years ago, I wrote with such brevity and economy. Today, I yearn for that internal silence.

Post from 15 years

My political leanings are apparent to see. 

2932 : What is the night?

 For the first time, he knew night for what it was; the shadow of the earth itself, cast against the sky.

From Ted Chiang's Stories of your life and others    

2931 : The more you open your eyes, the more you shall see

 Metaphorically, yes (I mean the title).

On a more serious note, the more you can open your mind to see through what "does not make sense", the more you shall see.

Like for example, I see no reason to support a ritualistic temple. No, it's not the liberal in me speaking. It's political too. We are not longer a political landscape (similar to 3000 years ago), which depends on pagan gods and rituals that help concentrate power. Today I live in an Instagram and meditation app age.

Why cant marriage rituals are visualized as an app that helps me follow through, instead of a class inducing process that recognizes a priest for what he is not....he is only human....probably more fallible than each of us.

The challenge though of opening your eyes (and assimilating) is - once you see, you cannot unsee. And that's the curse of these mild forms of satori. 


2930 : The science of being monkeys

 Just like crabs, monkeys are naturally inclined not to allow others to escape a cage, especially if trained so. Training usually happens by an example stopping a supply of bananas for a whole two days (if even one monkey escapes).

We (monkeys) will pull at each other. Its a great ship as long as everyone drowns. The monkey who says that "lets form a chain and climb to the top, we can all get out", is ridiculed.

Where is the science in this? (Refer to the title of the post). you go, here is a bunch of bananas, keep up the great work!!

2929 : Erik Satie always makes me meditative (Goldberg variations too)

 Very meditative. So does Goldberg variations. Should we allow for that?

To be meditative (in my book) is to be lost to the world around you. And our modern world, including friends and family dont appreciate it as much.


Friday, September 18, 2020

2928 : Barbs

 When two sides talk - and either side assumes any of that chat to be personal.....then peer trust was possibly lost quite some moons ago.

Let me give an example. When our kid tells us "you sucked at making paneer", we don't take it personally.....Most of us don't.

Then whyTF is a friend telling me "Amit you sucked at this call", a personal attack. But sometimes it does appear so. And I make it to be a much bigger issue than it ever was or will be. Its possibly my small-mindedness that makes a simple chat like this "personal" (Or I am HP :-), making chats personal again!!)

Even with our spouse. Like yesterday I was telling her something and she thinks I am making her feel like a zero.

Now unless I am a well-formed narcissist, and I mean to demean my partner, why would I do this? More importantly, how would I do this.

Of course....goes without say. I am a harsh friend, mentor, and father. My kid thinks I grew up in a Nazi school. I push him hard and make him feel like shit often. Just like a Zen master would. But the very next moment, I cook him his favorite paneer (not the one that sucked :-))....just like a zen master would.

I am a difficult person. Don't need to know that. And that reminds me more and more often. I need to go completely inwards. Completely silent. I have no business being a harsh father or partner, as my spouse often reminds me.

That's the post :-)

2927 : Politics

 Was talking to an old (in the sense we don't so frequently connect, but we still like talking and connecting with each other) friend of mine.

We both ended up talking around "state of politics" and I came up with a strange rabbit hole problem.....we both came to the conclusion that "nationalism" and how it is considered "anti-liberals".

We are both possible liberals (and both possible minorities), and we both came to realize that politics has become the politics of the pigeon hole.

We need to shift up (the discourse) else we are all losing the plot. Soon.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

2926 : Its hard on your soul

 To find meaning in a broken relationship. 

It saps you out.

Good relationships focus on outcomes, and broken ones are the ones who felt dissonance with the outcomes. Once you have seen the dissonance, its very hard to unsee it.

Recovering or solving a relationship - never does work in the immediate term, and never without space.

The ones who recover from an estrangement (amongst blood), or in extreme cases remarrying (or living in again) are usually the ones who had the accidental foresight to completely walk away, then naturally, transform with years, and then come back to discover their own broken fitment/contribution to the "original" relationship. 

As an example, I estranged from my mom for some years, but some space and time allow both of us to heal - and today we value each other immensely. We have more unconditional love and care for the other.

Of course, time and space don't always heal. In some cases, we sometimes can never heal. And that is incredibly hard too.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

2925 : Negative vote

 I have often wondered, why we are not allowed a negative vote (as an alternative to a negative vote).

So I can either vote for Modi (positive) or Uddhav (positive)....and the long list.

Or I can vote for one of them (from the list of candidates) negative.

And every negative vote - negates the other positive.

Should this note be a basic feature of democracy?

Sunday, September 13, 2020

2924 : As an observer of human beings (and as a Buddhist)....I see two distinct types of humans

The first type will externalize every problem. Their fort never had windows. Ever. They will vandalize, scream, tear your skin apart. Recognize these types as politicians, successful capitalists, over-achievers. These are alpha human beings.

The second type will internalize every problem. They will look within and search for answers. They will assume the world is ever as inefficient as before, they will improve their own fold and the world around them. Recognize these as spiritual atheists, writers, poets....and sometimes benevolent leaders.

Neither of them is better, Both of them affect change in this world. Though the first one does it on a large scale.

Remember what is at stake between the two - the currency in this transaction is awareness, more importantly, self-awareness. Also whats at stake is what you want to be when you are dying. A brooding angst-ridden man, or a man who assimilated life around him. If you can remind these aspects to yourself, you will always choose the correct side, in your everyday

2923 : Come as you are

Accepting another person as they are is another incredibly hard thing to do.

I hate conflict and I hate confrontation. Solves nothing ever. And my bigger fear if I unleash my inner demon, which today I keep completely tamed, I shall eat the neighbor and the entire forest too.

Deep breath. Lets the best of the world kiss me. 

Thats the rambling post.

2922 : Its hard

Its hard to cut lose any which ways.

Its harder when its messier. Like when two friends exchange barbs. 

And I have had my share for 2020 :-)

And its incredibly hard.

2921 : The fall of an empire

I have been accused of many failures in my life span. Like as a child I was accused of stealing (and I had stolen). I have seen enough shit (as any adult should) - so I have been accused of a host of culpabilities, including infidelity (what?? we have a normal marriage sometimes breaks down).

And then..... today....a dear friend of mine accused me of being disingenuous. That hurt quite a bit. Its like hockey stick punches into your ribs (I know what that feels like). 

I recoiled....both aghast and hurt. But...... I am a Buddhist. I staunchly maintain that if someone feels that "I cheated" or "I am disingenuous" or "I am incompetent", then it really must be so. Reality lies in the eyes of the beholder.

Its a strange day. The hurt singes. And the river flows. And tomorrow the sun shall rise. 

Shine on your crazy diamond :-)

Friday, September 11, 2020

2920 : Never agreed with Milton Friedman on this....(shareholder wins vs stakeholder loses debate)

Read this here

This drive for shareholder value is where capitalism lost its plot.

2919 : Listening to Us and Them by Pink Floyd

And never has it has been so peaceful in the entire week. 

There is such a magic in Pink Floyd.

Wine, Ciggies (or any smoke that gets your goose) and Floyd....and I can spend an entire week with my favorite friends.

What could life be, and unfortunately what I have made it to be.

The next up the spotify queue us "Run Like Hell" and you know.....that will shake the walls down.

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

2918 : Conundrum

 "Do the end of desires make us vulnerable?" she wondered. "Ambitions keep our body and mind agile, but weigh heavily on the soul."

From Boons and Curses by Yugal Joshi

I like this quote. Something I have meditated on infinitely. Over years I have seen my desires wane.....and I can see that waning at the cost of vulnerability. While you are in this game called "life", is vulnerability of lack of ambition (not yet in me, but....) could these be the death knell.