Monday, January 20, 2014

Power of Music


Certain people (like museys), certain songs, certain words, certain places have unknown inexplicable connections. They take you down uncharted territory. They stir up unknown emotions. They bring forth deep  hidden feelings.
And the profound impact it has cannot be explained by words.

I can attribute them to :
gahanā karmaṇo gatiḥ

While spending a rather free sunday, by sheer chance I stumbled upon this gem of a song by Lata Mangeshkar and Hemanta Kumar, composed by Shankar Jaikishen.
The day was spent in falling in love with this song, its melody and the gem of a voice of Hemanta Da.

Aa Neele Gagan Tale Pyar Hum Karen...

It makes you want to fall in love with the assurance of kindness and divine grace that is ruling the world. It makes you want to rise in generosity and service.
Hemanta da is singing in the lower octave and his voice is celebrating serenity, compassion, goodness of the world. It brings faith.

When I like a song, its mostly for its music and all these qualities. I rarely understand the lyrics.
Having grown up on a steady dose of RD Burman, i have been a Kishore Kumar loyalist.

Hemanta da is someone i have been discovering off late. The harmony of Lata and Hemanta takes you to a new height.

This song brought me to Hemanta Da:
Chupa Lo Yun Dil Mein Pyar Mera

Encountered this song while watching the legendary and ethereal beauty Suchitra Sen's movie 'Mamata'. The Raag Yaman-Kalyan is the hero and Hemanta Da with music director Roshan deserve a standing ovation.

Another master piece of Lata-Hemanta duet is the goose-bum raising Vande Mataram from Anand Math ...

Every time you are low or don't know what else to do with life, one doze of this song helps you sit up and 'Volunteer for a better India'. Can you give one hour to the nation? Sign up here: http://www.vfabi.org/

In the glory of my Master - to whom I bow down for having bestowed this gift of Music and its appreciation in my life.....

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The world of Maya


Starting off my new job at this MNC Bank. Dream company. Dream Job. Dream office. 
And then reality: boss loves to work till 10pm everyday! 
Wow ~ I mean, I had forgotten to pray about this aspect! Now what? Break 101 coconuts to reverse this? 
*Maya*
*Mithya*


Came home at 11pm today. 
There was a client interactive event at the Taj Vivanta - a presentation by a fund manager. 
Its one those events in life, where you rip your client off with the most sophisticated intellectual bulllshit. 
*Maya*

Free flow of cocktails. There were 1-2 known people in audience. 
One guy whom i specifically avoided. 
After the event, he pitched a tent right next to the bar counter. 
Muft mein daaru - why waste this opportunity?
*Maya*

Came down to the main lobby. Weekend party in full swing. 
So many youngsters at the hotel pub.
Girls in itsy bitsy clothes (sometimes i wonder - why do they bother at all!)
PDA in full effect (spare me the horror pls)
I wonder - where do these people come from? where does all the money come from?
What exactly do they want in their lives? (I bet they don't have a clue).
Doing all this gives them 'happiness' ? 
This is definitely not my place under the sun! *bhaago*!
*Maya*

Drove back alone through the streets - some lit, some dark. 
A traffic policeman had hit jackpot by photographing vehicles parked on a wrong side (at 11pm! - what a low life!)
A few "girls" were waiting to be "picked up" at one dark corner..
Glitzy malls even after shutting down, were still burning precious man-made electric energy..
*Maya*



Taking in all these impressions but yet not..
Being in the midst of them but not a part of them... 
While praying to God, its just God and me. 
But when I visit God, the people and degree of *Maya* around Him shock me.

And just then, God shares this ROYAL SECRET:

Srimad Bhagawad Geeta, Chapter 9, Verse 32:

anityam asukhaṁ lokam imaṁ prāpya bhajasva mām
Being in this glorious world, do not  see permanence or pleasure in it. It’s neither permanent nor pleasurable. Having attained this knowledge, you now attain Me. Being in the worldattain Me.


In the glory of the one who is not *Maya* - I bow down. 
Jai Gurudev. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Life - A Reality Check


When things go beyond my control, I pray. Earnestly.
And make futile attempts to explain it in words. Here is one such attempt :)

This must be the busiest season of work I have experienced in my short career span. There is unbelievable pressure at work, with march year ending approaching fast. When you have run out of luck in the previous 2 months, this pressure can found in resonance!
Add to it, when Life decides to reveal itself in its complete 'Rudravatar' - you know, you have arrived in this world! :D

As I took a walk late this evening after work, I looked up at the clear sky - in despair and in anticipation of some miracle to happen. There was an instant connection with the infinite. With the one to whom I pray. What an expansion was experienced!


This post was triggered by a favourite song which I was listening to, during my walk..

 

The song epitomizes all that I was back in college - bohemian, rebellious, attitude problem, absolutely devoid of any responsibility & quite sheltered from hard realities of life (though I had seen a lot of difficult times at home since childhood, it hadn't really "hit" me).
I have been extremely fortunate to have led an easy student life - filled with masti + bhakti. Never faced the pressure of either "engineer or doctor". Nor the hard work of a CA. College was in the neighbourhood. Great friends. Loving teachers.... Everything was taken for granted!

The other day, I was at Anand Sweets, koramangala, with my colleagues. We had just finished a castigating review and were limping back to life. There was a group at the adjacent table. I couldn't help but smile : they were eating more than us, non-stop nonsense, casual banter, chic clothes & light headed - yeah they were a bunch of college kids! Like a flashback scene in a movie, I could visualize myself in their place not too long ago.

I miss college days. The care-free life. (Perhaps thats why teenagers find themselves in weird problems sometimes, which look quite stupid a few years later :)
Of course, life can't be like that always. There is so much learning as we take on responsibilities in life and move ahead (sometimes at the cost of losing our childlike innocense).

But at times, I look back at those days wistfully ... "Give me some sunshine... Give me some rain.... Give me another chance to grow up once again...." :)

Brings me to the precious words uttered by a learned saint: "Having a Guru doesn't mean sailing in a boat which will face no storm. It means, sailing in a boat which no storm can sink"...


To my Gurudev, who answered my prayers with: "I will give you the strength".

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Office Scandals


In times of pressure, tension & anxiety, relief comes from most unexpected sources.

After a super month in December '12 (about which I shall post later), its back to the grind.
And off late I have been saying this: when life kicks you, it kicks all the way!

But like all Shakespearean dramas, there is some comic relief here also.

Office Scandals amuse me to no end. Whats funny is : how people have the knack of getting themselves into uncomfortable situations, that too unnecessarily...! ..... If you know what i mean....... !


Working in teams will always throw up misunderstandings, disagreements, opposite views, jealousy, insecurities. But taking it to new levels of controversy is a sign of immaturity.
And word spreads like wild-fire in such cases. A simple issue was blown-up.

While the team members were unhappy with their TL's behaviour, authorities decided to invite both parties in an open war field. Suddenly all cold-wars and back-b****ing was out in open! And people suddenly remembered the best of the politeness, Queen's manners and diplomatic utterances.
What followed was corporate gyan with no tangible results!


Loss of productive hours, increased animosity & awkwardness, distrust.

Just pressure, pep talk and high salaries WILL NOT work for corporate success.
SPIRITUAL QUOTIENT needs to be attended to.

And this link gives beautiful insights:
http://www.artofliving.org/achieving-personal-excellence-%E2%80%93-apex-course 

............. In the glory of my Gurudev, who is my strength, support and anchor in the toughest & simplest of the times .......................


Saturday, June 30, 2012

AANDHI


Have been wanting to write about my all time favourite movie since a long time and its finally happening! :-)


A Gulzar classic, Aandhi stars two great actors : Sanjeev Kumar and Suchitra Sen as protagonists.
Music by RD Burman was a chartbuster with 3 beauties from Kishore Kumar & Lata Mangeshkar - Iss Mod Se Jaate Hain, Tum Aagaye Ho Noor Agaya hai and Tere Bina Zingadi Se Koi..


First some trivia: 
The movie was released in 1975 - Emergency was imposed by Indira Gandhi on June 25 and Aandhi was banned cuz it was allegedly based on her life. It was then re-released in 1977 on Doordarshan and was declared a blockbuster.
The makers of the film drew inspiration from Tarkeshwari Sinha - the freedom fighter, one of the youngest parliamentarians & first lady politician of our country. She was also the first female Deputy Finance Minister in the Union cabinet of Nehru.
And interestingly the movie has just one female character - that of  "Aarti Devi", portrayed by Suchitra Sen !


I was totally blown away by the movie - the acting, direction, story, characterization and the music of course. The one favourite adjective i like to use for almost everything in life - Subtlety - is what i loved most about Aandhi :-)


We have all heard the songs - the epic poignant 'Tere Bina Zindagi Se Koi Shikhwa...' being one of the most popular numbers of RD Burman. When a song becomes a story in itself, you know you have a winner. The song where they question their living (or mere existence in the years spent apart).. Conveying regret of losing one's love and questioning if the sacrifice was worthy enough... 
On the hindsight, many of us would want to change the journey, but how many of us would want to change the destination also? 
"Kaash aisa ho.. Tere kadmon se chunke manzil chalen.. Aur kahin.. door kahin.."
What do you think?


Coming back to the movie. The characters are strong. When Aarti Devi, the leader of the country - has a chance encounter with her estranged husband - she is torn between love and duty. Without being dramatic, the film provokes sentiments which can be extreme. While some rejoiced in the triumph of duty to the nation over personal travails others banished it for portraying sacrifice of love as heroic. 


Most of us have hangovers of our professional role spilling onto our personal lives. Especially if you straddle the cosmos of power & wealth. In the movie, the husband expects the wife to behave like a "normal wife" even though she is the leader of the nation. The question that came to my mind: can the same be expected out of the husband too - had he been the leader of the masses? 


The script was written with Suchitra Sen (the legendary bengali actor) in mind and its one of her best works to date. Her style, aura & enigmatic personality in real life perfectly suited the reel character of "Aarti Devi" and Gulzar sure knows to bring out the best in everyone! She is the epitomy of grace, elegance and sophistication in that.
What i loved was - the ease with which she slips in and out of her two personalities - the super-smart, enigma-like political visionary AND the girl-next-door who has similar emotions like her subjects & who loves her family. I wish Gulzar had shown more elaborately the turmoil that she undergoes but then again, remember - the movie is subtle! One almost misses the insecurity she suffers when she is with her husband - what a stark contrast to the commanding leader that she is, in the next scene. This humane real depiction of characters is the USP of Aandhi. 


I believe the first step towards conquering the small mind, its cravings and aversions - is to ACCEPT it first. Observe it.


When the opposition leaders try to tarnish Aarti Devi's image, she withdraws - her suffering is personal and her trauma silent. 
The climax - when she storms into the opposition leader's rally and pours her heart out to the 'junta janardhan', is one of the most powerful & sentimental sequences of hindi cinema. Suchitra Sen is simply brilliant in showing the pain & longing of a woman who is deprived of privacy of her feelings and yet for whom the duty of service to the nation is paramount. It is an example of her sailing with the journey of the small mind and accepting it. 


Sanjeev Kumar won the filmfare award for Best Actor, for his role as JK - a hotel manager and Aarti Devi's estranged husband. Undoubtedly one of his best performances, he brings life and power to the screen. He also undergoes myriad emotions. While a part of his role is cliched & stereotyped, he is more lovable cuz he is depicted as the one who suffers! 
The scene where JK bashes up the opposition leader who talks perversely about Aarti and ends up shouting at her - conveys so much more than what meets the eye. Two people who experienced unexpected happiness and love in their lives have to suppress it for the societal demands. It takes enormous courage to not give in to the questions being raised about your integrity, when you know you have done no wrong. I truly believe that no explanations and justifications need to be given when you know you are on the side of truth - probably another reason why i could relate to Aarti's character so much. 


And finally. The mesmerizing beauty, the legend in her life-time, Suchitra Sen arrived as the latest entrant in my elite 'Musey Hall of Fame' after this movie :-) 
She was in her 40s when she shot for Aandhi and yet looked a million bucks with more oomph than her granddaughters Raima and Riya Sen manage now. 
She was just a few years short of going into a complete seclusion, when she bid the outer world a complete good-bye without saying one, in 1979. From reigning as a super-star for 3 decades to a completely withdrawn reclusive life dedicated to RamaKrishna Mission - what a journey from one end of spectrum to another! Imagine the gymnastics of the small mind, its struggles and the ultimate triumph - what an EXHILARATING life led!


In the glory of my Gurudev, who is the strength in my journey from small mind to the triumph of the big mind. 



Sunday, May 20, 2012

Life of a Twitterati



Being active on twitter off late has given a tremendous exposure to political thinking, analysis & strengthened my *right*-winged ideology. I was always a proud Sanathan Dharmic but twitter is a whole new universe in itself. And a powerful one at that. There is so much to learn and share.

So.. Everyone has their own “tweet-stories” – either of why/how they got onto twitter or some successful “work” done there.  I too have a few fav ones. Sharing 1-2 here:

Though I had a twitter account since long, I got active only around aug’11.. It was that time of the year when Anna Hazare had started his 2nd round of fast – to demand for implementation of anti-corruption law “JanLokpal”.

National fervour was at its height & there was this “Inquilab Zindabad” charged atmosphere in the length & breath of the country. I got a chance to witness (modern & mellowed down version) of the azadi fight which my grandparents were part. Gurudev had long foreseen the power of social media. 

Shortly after the fast & its anti-climax ending, I was addicted to my twitter TL (timeline). 
The real scoop was in Nov: when the anchor “S”(wife of the editor-in-chief & a “journo” at that English news channel) did a fake interview with HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji during His UP tour. That unleashed a never-before seen potential in me: to *intellectually* corner a “celebrity”, to motivate the “neutralists” to see thro the facade & finally, to fearlessly take on the powers(we all know who is behind such hit-jobs done by main-stream media). And man! Did I love it!

We coined the term “#C**I**Lies” and trended it the whole day. It had a massive impact on the channel & they immediately issued apologies. And “S” even flew down to meet Gurudev & apologize! Now, Gurudev being the supremely compassionate & the lovable Master, forgave her. And she went back happily & blocked all of us (on twitter)! Ha ha ha. But who cares! It was a promotion for me!

This incident had further implications in my world, which won’t be discussed here :D

So nowadays am busy getting people on to twitter. Am appalled at how the aam admi & his values are being systematically destroyed by the rulers. There are some exceptionally talented & intellectually advanced tweeple who bring out the truth with facts & figures. I see hope for our nation.

Off late a story has been cooking in the mind, screenplay included. Don’t think I’ll ever make a movie but if I find someone who can understand the sensitivity & poignancy of the subject and my story, I’d love to share it. But then its kind of ahead of times. Are we a “modern” enough society ? 


In the glory of my divine JagadGuru, who's love moves the world. 

Charioting the Master :)


Was going thro some archives and found this.. I wrote it in November '06.. and felt like sharing it...:)

Nov 1st - whoa! what a day!

The LORD of the Universe showering me with abundance of his presence! HE arrived from ananthpur in a helicopter at the Jakkur Airfield. Just at the mention of "jakkur", i become nostalgic abt our Silver Jubilee Celebrations and going there after 9 months, the memories of those 3 "wow!" days, came flooding... HE got off the heli and walked towards us in all majesty...smiling and nodding at me, HE took my breath-away ! [thank god i had done the kriya in the morning! ;) ]



HE got into maam's car [maam is Raji maam, ] and whoa! it was the drive of my life - driving the LORD for 25 mins! [though i had driven him before - 9 months back - it was for a shorter duration] HE kept hitting me and i kept laughing all the way.. Esp when HE asked me(in kannada) "namma silver jubilee hit ittu alva?" ... and i actually replied "ofcourse howdu howdu" !! 

HE was surprised when Maam told him that it takes 2-3 hrs from vidyaranyapura to the ashram (now, like he doesnt know all this!) .. HE asked where i stay and how much time it takes from my area to ashram! i was grinning ear to ear! (the next day when i met HIM in ashram, HE asked me,"oh u have come from THERE? how did u come? how much time u took?? - i was laughing as HE only arranged everything for me and HE was asking me now so innocently!)

Anyways, back to the drive, HE started hitting me at a signal cuz i wasn't wearing the seat belt and i just blurted out "Guruji, why do i need seat belt when you are sitting next to me!" Bhanu didi, who was also in the car, at the back, burst into laughter! 


The whole time, I was praying[to Gurudeva ofcourse], that we get red light at both the signals on the way [he he hee] and HE granted my wish! I was stealing glances at HIM and His phone :).. At maam's house, it was an awesome sight to see him sit with eyes closed and a smile on his face, as she did paadapooja... wow! Later, served HIM fruits and was in bliss! :-) :-) :-) :-)

As HE told maam before leaving, "Your sankalpa was there and i have come"...... In HIS gratitude, to my MASTER .. Tasmaye Sri Guravee Namaha - To the Gloriously Radiant Master, i bow down! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Diwali Observations :)

Happy Diwali :)
Was reading something and thought i must share this piece ....

From the Shiva Sutras:

Svapadam Shaktihi

When you bring your whole attention to the location of your inner energy meaning,
when you bring your whole attention to the inner self, then you become that energy.


Whatever anyone does in life, they do it for gaining energy. They earn for the sake of gaining
energy. But in this processing of earning they exhaust all their energy. Why do they earn money?
It is for being strong. In the process of gaining strength there is earning of money too. Isn’t it?
Why is fame and glory required? It is because there is some power in it! The moment someone
claims to know that “they are so and so” it means there is some power in them. Look at children
in some homes, they are very silent. When some guests come home and when you are talking to
them, the children come forth and disturb you, showing a picture and says, “Father, look I have
done this, or brother has done this, or mother has done this!” They strew around all their toys. Why
do children do this? It is to gain your attention. What do they gain with your attention? They gain
some energy and strength. Where there is no strength, nothing is possible in life.
---

Its so fascinating to observe that Energy within.. About the games it plays with us, our mind, our emotions.

Bursting crackers after many many yrs was great fun... I could feel some pent up emotions exploding along with the 'lakshmi pataki' ;) Was observing what was happening within....have you done that ? Just quietly observed something happening inside:
When you meet someone you love? When your boss drops a dreaded bombshell? When you are anticipating some million-dollar news?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I Like This :-)

As a member of the Jury at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, Indian Actress Sharmila Tagore arrives for the opening ceremony of the 62nd Cannes Film Festival on May 13, 2009.


( i like the date too :-)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tears: some unknown and some grateful

For someone who hardly watches movies, the few that i do, leaves quite an impression on my mind. But there was a movie which i'd been searching for, for quite sometime now. But never found it on the net. Thankfully a friend from pune found the VCD there and mailed it to me by 'speed post' .. As i waited for its arrival, was rather curious and eager... cuz it was one of the latest musey movies after all!
It obvi didn't matter to me that it was in an unknown language and that it hadn't done well, with the critics panning it. All that mattered little in front of musey love !

When the CD did arrive finally, I got time only by 11 in the night to watch it. And thats where I did the mistake! With all the anticipation, I opened the cover, got the case out, put it in my Laptop, opened the file on Media Player and took a deep breath in .......... and when i did breathe out, it was a sigh.... a rather heavy one! Cuz the movie was in Marathi(of which i understood not a word) and had no english sub-titles !! wow ! But even this didn't deter me from going ahead with it! he heheee

The movie is 'Samaantar' ("Parallel Folds"), directed by Amol Palekar and features himself and Sharmila Tagore in the lead roles.

I became a 'mute spectator', if you'd like to call it that ... but there wasn't a thing i could understand in that, expect for a hindi word here and there ! But something very surprising happened: I started crying! It had touched me so much: the story, Sharmila Tagore's brilliant potrayal of a wounded deer, the agony of Palekar - everything was so touching, though not perfect !
And i was crying !! The music also played a major role in forcing the tears out of my eye like jog falls (it gushes during monsoons and is dry rest of the year... hence the metaphor!.. ).. It was soulful and tugged at my heart.... Many can relate to the poignant moments of the movie (though it could have been handled better).
Watch the trailer here:

The mistake of watching it late at nite caused a major hangover(of the movie) through the nite and showed its after-effects in the morning... and i kept thinking about people who have been emotionally wounded in life and how it would have affected them... Of course, reaching out to them and bringing in their life, HIS divine grace is what i am here for !

Somehow, the lost love and finding it in the evening of your life was moving. I hadn't expected myself to react so emotionally to it : that too when i didn;t understand the conversations and when the climax was so dumb!

And then it dawned:
Hey life is not just that ! Wake up and realize what are you here for ?! What is this chuttu-muttu life in billions of years that has been and will be.... ? What is this small body in this ocean of Universe ??
Makes me so grateful for the anchor of my Life, who is my goal, my strength and my 'astitva'. For the fact that, there is someone who loves me unconditionally every moment, is guiding me at my every step, is taking care of me in my every breath, gives me hope and keeps my faith alive at every emotional disturbance and makes me aware of the Divine Light that is making this Creation (Universe) move from one perfection to another....

To my gloriously radiant Master, I bow down.