Wednesday, August 31, 2016

REBOOT

Hello everyone,  longtime no see. Have been on a hiatus from this blog, though have been writing some poetry and taking photographs in the mean time, which I have been posting in my other blog
LIFE. For rebooting this blog, I have posted a guest piece by my brother. The content is different from my usual posts and I do not vouch the perspective put forth, but I think we should always listen to different voices and point of views. We as society tend to say more and listen. So, enjoy and I will back soon with my own stuff. :-)


A God We can Pray To

The purpose of this short passage is to explore the nature of the Divine Entity that rules the cosmos through benevolence. Sincere efforts to prove the existence of God are beyond the purview of this article. The author would request the skeptical reader to honor the veracity of the personal claim that edifying experiences across almost three decades have convinced the writer of the existence of a Conscious Power moving the universe towards an indiscernible destination. To make a case for a Personal God, I will take up three crucial arguments in favour of my assertion.

The first is the way the individual soul struggles to move closer to the Supersoul. The word “struggle” may appear to be a hyperbole, but it actually reminds the layman of the colloquial adage that says “life isn’t easy”. The intelligent mind can effortlessly come to this conclusion by objectively observing the complexity of the universe. Human affairs have their share of complexities. Many schools of thought seek recourse in the illusion that complexities arise from ignorance of the true self. A few schools in Indian philosophy disregard the complexity of the universe by labeling it as “cosmic delusion” or “Maya”. Most of these schools of thought explore the polarities of real and unreal, knowledge and ignorance, and immutability and transience. What they fail to grapple with is the moral structure of human existence. Some of them see the Creation as an illusion, some as an amoral void. They do not see the opposites of good and evil, right and wrong, and noble and wicked. They evade the issue of making ethical choices. Keen observation would obviously compel any thinking human being to take up the topic of morality seriously. The powers of discretion for making choices are innate in human beings. Atheists obviously would consider it fortuitous, but a man of faith wouldn’t fall into that trap. Atheists and objective speculators mostly see collective morality as a necessity for maintaining the harmony of the human race. The facile collectivism of such zealots fails to see individual growth through the prism of morality. Human beings face choices in life. Sometimes the choices are easy, sometimes difficult. But there is a struggle for a better tomorrow. Each ethical victory empowers the individual to make better choices in life; every defeat reveals a chink in the armour. Every success in the realm of morality takes the individual soul closer to the Supersoul. Greed, lust, and anger are not merely illusory impressions of the mind, but they are real obstacles in the path to salvation. Fear and death are realities that need to be faced, and ultimately defeated, just as they were defeated on the Cross. Now, if the universe was created by an Impersonal Force, the struggle for righteousness would be meaningless. Moreover, the innate power of discretion in humans would amount to naught if the universe were not governed by a Conscious Power. The yearning for redemption becomes real when the individual soul consciously struggles to unite with the Supersoul.

The second argument is finding the correct method of uniting the individual soul with God. Some oriental schools of thought talk about raising one’s consciousness to a higher plane to attain the truth. They contend that the truth cannot be grasped through prayer and penance. They claim that meditation is the only way of uniting the soul with the Supersoul. I would like to offer the reader a guarded glimpse of my spiritual struggle to show that prayer is a superior tool for seeking God. As a teenager, I had experimented with different techniques of meditation to calm my restless mind. But it simply wasn’t working. I felt as if I was groveling in darkness in my sincere effort to see the light. Meditation does have positive effects on the mind and body; there’s no doubt regarding that. It also opens the door of the soul, which was previously confined within the dualities of the material world. But the soul does not seem to be establishing a concrete link with the Supersoul, and the devotee fails to discover spiritual gems below the bodily layer. Through the guidance of sincere devotees, I started praying. Prayer itself has many methods and one of the most effective tools is chanting. Many elevated sects in India practice chanting. Same is the case for many Christians. In fact, many Christian monks keep reciting the Jesus prayer for the entire day - some doing so even while they are asleep. The author has observed a few remarkable men who can easily create a spiritual veneer against the distractions of the material world through chanting. If the efficacy of prayer is established through observation and experience, the devotee can easily realize that there is Someone listening to the spiritual plea. If our hearts are illumined by prayers, a Benign Force is surely shining a bright light upon us. If the Cosmic Force ruling the universe were unqualified, the prayers of the devotee would be dispersed in silent eternity. But a man of faith is sure of the fact that his prayers are being heard because the act of praying itself elevates the devotee’s consciousness to a higher level. Thus, true believers are worshipping a Merciful Observer, not an indifferent force pervading the cosmos.

The third point to be made is the reality of love. We can kneel in prayer only if our hearts are brimming with love. The individual soul can be attracted to the Supersoul through love. Nobody actually teaches us to love our parents, siblings, and friends. It comes from within. Although most human beings prefer to waste the vitality of love through blind attachments and lust, God loves us nevertheless. The narrow mind can never fathom the Infinite Mercy of the True Lover. Once the individual soul perceives the Infinite Mercy shining upon the world, love is expressed in a proper way. You cannot love the Creation without loving the Creator. The Creation is not an illusion to be shunned, it is a reality to be embraced…with love. And we should love the Creator to truly love the Creation. Otherwise, the purity of love is solely directed towards sense-gratification. The struggle of the individual soul to unite with the Supersoul is supported by love. Sensory temptations can be fought with the armour of spiritual love, which brings the soul closer to the kingdom of God. Now, we can only love a Loving God, not an indifferent force in charge of the cosmos. True love manifests in devotional supplications to God, not in psychological exercises. Spiritual struggles devoid of devotion are mere moonshine. Our souls are illumined by love, so it is our duty to love God unconditionally.

Overcoming temptations to love God unconditionally? It is easier said than done. But the struggle is worthwhile…
What are you waiting for?

   

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Last Game


The Last Game of the night is Limited by the Limitless will of the opponents. So, lets never have a Last Game ....   


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dark Knight Rises (DKR) Review


Being the biggest movie ever made by Christopher Nolan, it has some thrilling set pieces. But it also, leaves you feeling that Christopher Nolan's (CN henceforth) idea about how the film should be was bigger than he could implement. Hype around the film warranted a 00:00 hour premiere viewing accompanied by waiting in the line for almost 3 hours,  but the film certainly did not live up to the expectation. Maybe it is due to the superlative standard set by "Dark Knight", but to my own surprise, despite being a wonderful film, DKR leaves one wanting something more. Before I delve further into dissecting this bombastic film, I warn the readers of SPOILERS. So, if you haven't yet seen the film and plan to watch it, and do not want to know anything about it, absolutely anything !! Then stop reading any further. One humble advice, if you really want to enjoy the film, go in with low expectation and if possible revise the first film of the trilogy, "Batman Begins". 


For those who have continued to read, lets get into the meat of the topic. This is CN's costliest project yet, a whopping 250 million $$ and it is worth every dime, but not a single penny more, because it somewhere lacks the heart. It is highly stylized and CN has tried to use least amount of computer graphics possible. Some of the scenes in the film are epic, right from the starting gambit of aeroplane jacking to  the climax of thousands of policemen and thugs clashing on the streets of Gotham. The film starts with the high-octane kidnapping of a Russian nuclear scientist by Bane, shot brilliantly in Scotland. The opening scene captivates your attention, which it maintains throughout. Cut to Gotham, it has been 8 years since Harvey Dent died and the fall guy has been the Dark Knight. Since then, the city of Gotham has been cleaned, largely due the work of Commissioner Gordon and and a lie about the death of Harvey Dent. To facilitate the lie, the Cape Crusader has also taken a sabbatical and so has Bruce Wayne from public life. The film goes through a languid pace for a wee bit, but it is like the calm before the storm and that is aptly put by Selina Kyle (played electrically by Anne Hathaway), 

"There's a storm coming, Mr. Wayne. ... When it hits, you're all going to wonder how you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us ".  

This one line sums up the heart of the film and makes it very contemporary and relevant. CN being an exceptional and intelligent screen play writer, like Dark Knight he has layers and uses allusions to put forward some of his ideas. Like Dark Knight, this film is also a commentary on the age we live in but somehow it fails to hit the raw nerve the way the last installment of Batman did. Let me not get too ahead of myself, the character of Selina Kyle adds a spark to the film and is certainly a great foil to the dark and brooding Batman.   In the mean time Bane starts to rear up his ugly head in Gotham and, Batman despite being seriously out of touch is forced to comeback. He eventually gets decimated by the super villain, and with this Batman reaches his absolute nadir, where he looses almost everything he has, his money, Alfred  and confidence. At this point, breaking of Batman's back by Bane is more metaphorical than physical.    The film then goes into Bane taking over Gotham through an initially underground (literally) movement, which pitches the cities haves against the have nots. Here we have one of the best set pieces in the film, the destruction of the Heinz Filed (stadium of the Pittsburg Steelers). Even this absolutely phenomenal scene is done without computer graphics, and goes to show CN's team's technical prowess. After this, anarchy sets in Gotham along with a ticking nuclear device. 

Every superhero film is as good as its super villain and that is where DKR fails. Bane despite his hulking figure does not evoke emotions Heath Ledger's Joker evoked. Dark Knight (DK) was as much Joker's film as it was Batman's. In DK the most memorable lines were that of the Joker and he attained cult status as an evil genius, on the contrary Bane comes across as a hulking meatloaf. Though Bane masterminds Batman's and Gotham's fall, he never comes across as menacing as Joker, who carried with himself an air of chaos and randomness. Comparing Joker and Bane is like comparing a scalpel with a sledge hammer. And Bane's standing as a super villain is further eroded by an unexpected twist at the end. I think, Bane's character could have done better without all the dialogues. It would have added an air of mystery to the character. Throughout the film, through flashbacks, the story of Bane's origin is explored and it is there Batman goes to redeem himself. Those sequences are said to be in Turkey (in the film) but are splendidly shot in Jaipur, India. As expected Batman returns to Gotham and thus starts the final epic struggle to end the anarchy. The road to the end has a few twists, and like always, throughout the film CN provides hints about the final twist but you only recognize them once CN has played all his hands.  In the due course to the climax, CN also ties some of the loose ends left in "Batman Begins". 

To sum it up, in the acting department all the actors did their part competently, without being exceptional. Tom Hardy as Bane was underutilized. The film has the usual high production and technical quality one attributes to CN. The film has some of the best sequences in the recent past, which were shot in epic proportions without the aid of computer graphics; but not many dialogues that will stay with you after the film. Personally, the film could have done with a tighter screen play and an ending which did not pander to the masses. Fitting but not an exceptional end to the Batman trilogy. I will give it 3.5 stars. By itself, it is an exceptional and very ambitious film but compared to Dark Knight  (the best super hero film ever made) it does not fullfil its promise.       


    
  

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Girl




First time I met her was when I was very young. I still distinctly remember the day she walked into the class, demure yet confident and those rosy cheeks. For the next three years we were in the same class, we were friends but not buddies. I don’t know why, maybe because I was too young to understand her depth or just the fact that I was more interested in playing cricket than wooing pretty girls. But even in those days what came across was her warmth for everybody, I still reminisce the recesses in school when I used to feast on her lunch of roti and fried bhindi (lady’s fingers). Another thing that stood out even then was, you could love her or hate her but you just couldn’t ignore her. After that due to various reasons we were not in touch. It seemed to me that we were on different paths and at that time I didn’t foresee that we would meet again and that too at the crossroads. Years passed and one fine day I found her on a social networking site. All this time she was out of my mind but I hadn’t forgotten her, her childish exuberance, her innocence and her beauty. We got talking after a long hiatus but it seemed that we had never stopped. We opened up to each other and we just couldn’t stop talking, we had so much to catch up; she had still retained her childish exuberance. We were in different cities, separated by thousands of kilometers but before too long, I got a chance to meet her. She was waiting at a cafĂ©, she stood up to greet me when I walked in and I was awestruck. She had transformed from the bubbly, pretty, rosy-cheeked girl to an auburn femme fatale.

But beneath the entire glamor, her eyes showed an open scar, which was still bleeding. Beneath that luminous smile, if you scratched you could find dried up tears, shed without a sob, shed in silence, shed at the dark of the night. But she still had that disarming charm and confidence. I was plagued by a question, how can a person be both, confident yet vulnerable, so beautiful but yet so broken. She had changed in the last few years and I had too. I was no longer the brash kid but a more sensitive one. Life had taught me a few lessons and was about to teach me a few more.  I was at the crossroads of my life so was she and the path we were going to choose eventually was different but somehow fate put both of us at the same intersection for the next one-year. After that I met her only few more times and our communication was mainly electronic but we never felt the distance, at least I never did. During this time we shared our aspirations, self-doubts, fantasies and fears. More I talked to her more I became infatuated with her but I should have understood that she was never a bird that can be caged and then she was anyway beyond my league. It was not that I didn’t try to woo her, people in love can be foolish but what I had failed to realize that even if it had worked, it wouldn’t have lasted because she is like a deer in the jungle, which you should only watch and never try to catch. Few lines of Tagore come to mind,

Mayabono biharini horini
Gohono shopono shoncharini
Keno tare dhoribarey kori pon ?
Okaron ?
……..
……..

Illusive forest wanderer is a deer
One who roams in deep dreams
Why do you pledge to imprison it,
For no reason or rhyme?

May it hide in my own mind from a distance.
I am the melody of the flute, in omnipresence.
That touches the heart and soul alike
For no reason that may strike.

By the end of that year the above realization dawned upon me. At the end of that year I flew away and she also started her grand voyage, some may even call it the “flight of the Icarus”. Today I see her and get to know about her well being from social networking websites. I have not kept the promises to keep in touch, neither has she; the promises made before we started our respective voyages. Now she has transformed even more, she is slowly but surely working towards her goal. In her photographs, she looks even more lovely than she used to, more gorgeous and even more confident but still somewhere beneath that steely gaze you may find fleeting vulnerability. It seems the scars haven’t completely healed yet. As a friend I should have kept the promise but I let things go, as it was hurting me. Yes I have been selfish but whenever my flower girl gives me a call, I will be there. Till then I will savor that fateful year, those few meetings and that smile.

Kindeled by the heavy monsoon breeze
Trickles down the heavenly euphony
The heart becomes restless
For no reason that is harmony

From afar shall I be enticing
Shall tie a bond in secrecy
The bond that is unseen for no reason but pristine


PS: I am glad to be updating my Blog after such a long time. I have been planning to start blogging again but somehow couldn't get down to do it. Hope this is not just a flash in the pan. 
Also, as usual a disclaimer:  the above is a not a  work of fiction and resemblance to anyone is purely intentional. :P  

Thursday, December 31, 2009

It is a new year .. a new decade ... Last one shaped us and this one will make us.




AS HAPPENS WITH MANY PROJECTS IN INDIA AND MY LIFE, IT ETERNALLY REMAINS UNDER CONSTRUCTION :P ... AND THEN IS FORGOTTEN, THIS POST MET WITH THE SAME FATE ....

BUT THEN THEY SAY IT IS NEVER LATE TO RESURRECT ANYTHING, A PROJECT, YOUR ATTITUDE ..EVEN LIFE ... Yes ... so I will finish the post but with a twist, I will summarize it with one picture and a Line ..  PEACE ...


DEVILISH ANARCHY OF THOUGHTS AMONGST THE CHAOS OF IDEAS AND TORNADO OF LIBIDO AND EMOTIONS   \m/ \m/ 


A Happy New Year and Decade. May Insanity prevail ....

ps: The summary of the Decade for me in Poetry ... check on my other Blog LIFE ...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

This is Fun .. or is it ?!!

Hey Folks ... I had kind of taken a sabbatical from my Blogs and so much happened in between that I don't know what not to write about. I had a great reunion with my friends from college and we did every thing from white water rafting (Alas the camera fell in the Ganges with me; but that story later ...) to trekking and all. If thats not all, I tried my hand in roller skates ( I will curse you if you ask how it went !!) , fell in love with the hills and the girls in the hills and a monkey even tried to attack me. Back to the planes the heat almost vaporized me, I dropped my mobile phone in the Taxi (I have lost quite a few things but it was my first mobile phone !!) and to top it all somebody pinched the motherboard from my CPU (my PC's CPU .. not mine !!) etc etc. I am going berserk and I don't want to overload you all with too much data in a short span of time in these times of recession !! So let me get back to the Article ...

I have grown up (I think so !! and please don't think about any thing else, I am talking about growing in totality not some specific part of me !!) but whenever I see a Trampoline the monkey inside me starts to jump. Well I guess I am getting ahead of myself, I with a group of friends went to Dhanoulti. It is beautiful place 25 km from Mussoorie. We were whiling away and enjoying the sights (yeah you guessed it right :P) and (making) sounds. Suddenly we find this thing, this wonderful thing that is trampoline. But I am still sulking that it should have been bigger. The adventurous few amongst our friends decided to have a somersault tourney and meek decided to make a video. The results would be obvious from the videos but I want to ask you all something, is it a wrong way for adults to behave ?!! My friend's GF said so and I asked him to dump her because If feel she is too old for him !!!

Any how my performance is documented in the first video .... I am the guy in the Black T shirt (this info is for those who are not so great in recognizing faces, me included I couldn't recognize myself !!)

video

Please don't think that I am handicapped or athletically challenged, it is just that The trampoline was too small :( and I had 5 plates of MoMos for break fast that too on the top of a revolving restaurant (Hotel Howard) !! So I hope my down to earth (too fast) performance be excused. But the winner was my Friend Anupam ....


video


p.s: I am sorry again for taking so long to post and I promise to keep posting regularly now. (As if it matters to people !!). By the way, for the people who love to be bored by armature poetry, you can visit my other blog ... LIFE ...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

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BUT is IT A PLACEBO or A PANACEA ?!!


p.s: Sorry folks, I have been traveling around and am still, and whatever internet accessibility I have is very slow ... so haven't been updating my blogs or reading other blogs. Had to ork really hard on ,my patience to post this post :P ... #ill be
back to the blogsphere very soon to be my usual self ... by the #ay had updated my other Blog before leaving for my vacations .. check it out too ..