Monday, December 31, 2001

May 1999- Dec 2001 : My Solemn years before the Blog

I would often pass by Prof Abdul Kalam in the evenings of Sri Fort complex. He would take his evening walk and not many people recognized him, One day I also happened to see him at Delhi airport and he was next to me in the Urinal like any ordinary man be. A simple man with simple taste. I enjoyed reading his autobiography. I liked his statement about Americans “Americans meet their problem head on. They attempt to get out of them rather than suffer them “How true and valid!! No artist ever sakes anything that is good or what is close to his heart. He only sale his garbage to the public. Is this quote by Picasso? I am not sure. This was also the year I met Vincent Van Gogh. I had just completed book on Michael Angelo (Agony and Ecstasy by Irving Stone) and was in love with this man. Love and adulation is indeed blind – so much so – that I refuse to even read about Leonardo De Vinci – another prolific personality contemporary to Michael Angelo – lest that my awe for him might diminish. My friend Jaya Sengupta – who I met by chance insisted that I read Lust for Life a book by the same author on Vincent Van Gogh . She was persistent in her efforts – so much so that – she literally pushed her own book on my lap. I started my affair with Vincent Van Gogh and he opened another door to creativity that was hitherto occupied by Music and Sculpture. In my diary, I wrote about my thoughts about Vincent Van Gogh as I finished this book: A brilliant, A gifted and yet he was never recognized in his lifetime. How many such people I have seen in my life. The question comes in my mind – What if he had received medical attention ? What if he had received financial support ? What if people had discussed his talent when he was alive and realize after 30 years of his death ? We are lucky to live in era wherein sitting at home, we can visit art galleries of New York, Auckland. Till age of 27, he didn’t know where he was heading, has no direction (lakshya) or goal . And in next 10 years, he produce 1000 paintings !! I have no background of arts. In fact always looked down upon those students with pity when they enrolled into Arts discipline. For me, they were the types who were either lazy to undergo rigours of hard studies or have had no aptitude for securing good grades and perhaps no ambition to take good career. How wrong was I ? when I visited Paris, Vienna – something in me squirmed and moved me. I would look at those creations and marvel them without understanding anything about them. Michael Angelo and Van Gogh taught me to analyse the mind perspective of creator while looking his creativity. After that, I could enjoy the works of Pablo Picasso when his works were displayed in Mumbai.

“Do not be eager for the other person to get through conversation so that I could talk myself.” I need to master this trait. How often, when I am excited, I am overeager to push my say ahead.

Is it honest to destroy a person because he differs from our opinion. ? This quote took me a to a novel that I had read long ago. Successful business woman wants her son to manage her business but he has passion for Art. She buys best critics and with them destroys her son’s passion when his first exhibition is on display.

Internet Humour A businessman walked into a New York City bank and asked for the loan officer. He said he was going to Europe on business for two weeks and needed to borrow $5,000. The loan officer said the bank would need some security for such a loan. The business man then handed over the keys to a Rolls Royce that was parked on the street in front of the bank. Everything checked out and the loan officer accepted the car as collateral for the loan. An employee then drove the Rolls into the bank's underground garage and parked it there. Two weeks later the businessman returned, repaid the $5,000 and the interest which came to $15.41. The loan officer said, "We do appreciate your business and this transaction has worked out very nicely, but we are a bit puzzled. While you were away we checked and found that you are a multimillionaire. What puzzles us is why you would bother to borrow $5,000?" The business man replied: "Where else in New York City can I park my car for two weeks for fifteen bucks?"

Wise Men win Arguments, Geniuses avoid them.

I completed Bhagvad Geeta – an English translation by Prabhupad swami. I understood the concept of soul, supersoul and universal soul. I shall delve on this may be some time in the future. I would love to illustrate following schematics:

5 Great Elements Earth, water, Fire, Air , Ether

3 Modes of Nature False Ego, Intelligence, Unmanifested State

5 Senses Eyes, Ears, Nose, Tongue, Skin

5 working senses Voice, Lega, hands, Anus, Genitals Mind

5 object of senses Smell, taste, Form, Touch, Sound

Interactions in body Desire, Hatred, Happiness, Distress

Living Symptoms Consciousness , Conviction

Will I be able to do this ?

Fearlessness, Freedom from Envy, Purification of my existence , Fortitude, Cultivation of Spiritual Knowledge, Passion for Honor, Charity, Forgiveness ,Self Control, Performance for Sacrifice , Study of Vedas , Austerity Simplicity , Non Violence , Truthfulness, Freedom from Anger, Renunciation Tranquility , Aversion to fault finding , Comparison to all living entities Freedom from covetousness , Gentleness, Modesty , Steady Determination and Vigor

This information about India is brutal, honest and true.

This is True India as of today . The more we realize it, espouse it, convince about it, more likely we shall change it for better :

90% of rural households do not have sanitation No city or village has uninterrupted supply of electricity Only 8% of labour workforce is covered by labour laws. Only 1/3rd of electricity generated is paid for. Several hundred thousand people are languishing in jail without trial. Each court case takes 20 years to settle.

I also met a gentleman on flight from New Delhi to Calcutta. I don’t remember if he was Christian missionary but he sure was devout Christian. Interaction with me, made me go through Bible – albeit in cursory form. I liked this quote : “ And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself that I am , you may be also” I am determined to act on following : I know its difficult but would remind myself every time I Falter. I want to write this on my new year diary on first page.

Invariably Jan 1st is holiday and rarely this page is ever have any contents : • Talk slowly • Do not pass comments unless asked for • Let the other person finish till you start • So not criticize or make personal criticism • Plan you hour No One can make you inferior without consent . How True. There are bunch of two and half individuals who are hell bent on making me look inferior. How foolish their efforts are and how shallow is their outlook to look at the life ?

I met nephrologist at hospital managed by Mohan Meakins Beer factory. He was one of the rare breed of doctors in Delhi I have come across who is suave, decent and not obsessed by making money at the expense of suffering patients. I have decided to help him get best offer, best service for all his machines. I am glad I have succeeded. Every time I do training on Cardiology. I start drawing almond shaped heart wherein ventricles converge as single point. I wonder why this so? I my school days, I was always fond of drawing aero planes – with long wing span, slender body. Whenever I see Boeing 777. I think of my drawing book.

I like communicating with son of our landowner in Chittaranjan Park. He is soft, courteous and lacks any sort of pompousness and his name has " Jit . That word like ‘jit’ makes me to another warrior king Ajatshatru – a name I loved in my childhood days. Shally joined us as a secretary, she personified a Indian woman who is at cross roads between past and future, emotions and reality. Everyone talks about the Good Old days but how many would go back to them ? . Met colleague from previous company after many years, a fabulous soft spoken person who has no arrogance of his education and family wealth.

What you imagine is what will transpire . What you believe is what you will achieve. Single most step in successful sales is Proactive Follow up.

Rabindranath Tagore in one of his short story says “ There can always be poison in the words, no words are wholly without effect ”. I remember this sentence every time my bettnoir – open her mouth often with slandering remarks or insulting innuendoes whenever I go to meet my children at family court.

I read Lee Kwan Yew’s autobiography – Singapore – journey from Third World to First Word. Impressive and admirable. But again, to do this for Singapore is no big deal. Can anyone do such wonder for India? I doubt it. You Can be Leader if You Have a passion for cause Articulate your ideas to others Be consistent – with your stance Be honest to yourself and others Maintain a high standards all your life.

I interacted with a fine lady from Ludhiana now settled in USA. Her daughter – immediately after marriage was facing the difficulties. The last I heard was that she was married and her mom was relieved .

It is always easy to love , what is difficult is being loved in return.

I don’t doubt your intentions that’s why I try not to be angry at your words. But this conversation is very disagreeable to me.

Best way to win is to not need to win.

The best performances are accomplished when you are relaxed and free of danger.

Human conduct is a like a drawing.

The whole perspective changes with the shifted position of the eye and depends bit on the subject But on the man who is looking.

Box with B’day presents were meticulously prepared with nice colored printout of ‘’happy b’day my love’ . Few years later, I learnt that none of the boxes were ever opened. Anyway, now it doesn’t surprise me. It takes time to know the true Human Kindness of a person .

When your spirits are high, Huger in the belly doesn’t matter.

Morality is like a religion a soporific to close the eyes of people to the tawdriness of their life. We offer merely analyze life instead of dealing with it.

People dissect their failures for causes and effects But seldom deal with them and gain experience to master them and thereby avoid recurrence.

Every creative person needs a ruthless eye of a stranger who is not yet blinded by the creative pride of the parent.

In friendship, difference between giving and taking is purely temporal.

God can do tremendous things through the person who don’t care about who gets the credit.

It is better to be the first with ugly woman than hundredth with a beauty.

Some years ago, I had read an essay written by Richard Nixon about “ Extraordinary things by Ordinary people” After reading that essay, my perception about Nixton was changed from that of ‘ watregate crook’ to ‘great thinker’. I always wondered what would be life’s little but precious pleasures ?

Here are some extempore :

A child standing in the field waving at passengers in running train while you are glued at the window.

A content on the face of daily laborer when he knows that he has earned enough to feed hungry stomach of his children tomorrow.

Once I saw one laborer buying loose cooking oil in medicine bottle, it pained me when he asked to fill only half the size of that tiny bottle . Coming across a poor man with loads of honesty and innocence.

Another great book that I started ‘The Good Earth’. I was so touched by turmoil of this farmer family and had to stop this book when I could no longer take it. When told to my friend, he commented “ you must be highly emotional guy, read it now., things are no longer that bad. And sure, the story turned towards happy route. I admire this quote from The Good Earth “ A realization when mother is gone that how she provided confort for all family members and nobody had known it ” Wang says ‘ It is the end of the family when they begin to sell the land- Out of the land we came and into it we must go and if you will hold your land you can live – no one can rob your land ‘ Its tough to be without children when you have spent most of your time with them, be it playing, story telling, cooking or reading story books But then you get solace in the fact the only person who snatched them from you was the rightful owner of them.

The following thoughts of Khalil Gibran gave me great strength during those difficult days.

Your Children Are not your children They are sons and daughters Of life’s longings for itself They come through you But not from you You may give them your Love but not your thoughts For they have their own thoughts…..

In India, we are either idolaters or iconoclasts; we never mastered the art of critical appreciation. How true. I remember once Rajeev Gandhi commented, in his first term as prime minister, media projected him as person ‘who could do nothing wrong’ in second term the same media pronounced him as a person who did everything wrong.

I started reading short stories of Rabindranath Tagore – an amazing and prolific writer. Most of his novels are set amidst rural Bengal background and involves predominately a central woman character. His narration of interaction between people has an undercurrent of philosophical bearing. Like this one “If we live in this world, our wisdom and follies cause is – whether we like it or not – various kinds of pleasure and pain But if we keep a firm faith within, we can have peace even amidst troubles. Otherwise, we spend our life in anger and rivalry and conflict.

“ This Hindi song captivates me “Din Jo Pakehru Hote, Pinjare mein rakh leta, Palata hoon unko jatan se, moti ke daane deta “ Here is English version with similar themes but takes different path altogether We want to capture All things we love Cage them And kill them softely Imprisonment kills the very Qualities you like in the person In the very first place.

Here is another amazing quote by Tagore in his short story ‘postmaster’’ In life, there are many separations , many deaths. Is there any point in going back ? Who belongs to whom in this world” Honesty intrigues me, as much as death is. But honesty has different shades and different ramifications. Death is universal. “ Ask me no questions and I will tell you no lies” so much is packed in this statement . What makes a person rich and famous – in all respects – forever and ever..

I have understood Bhagvadgeeta – sums it up nicely about this. Seven Opulances make it happen. Fame Fortune Fine Speech Memory Intelligence Steadfastness Patience I often wondered hidden meaning of these attributes Patience : For me this Stith pradnya – mental equilibrium – when one is able to keep his balance both in sorrow and in the ecstasy of joy. Intelligence : Ability not just only to read books but to understand them and apply when necessary. Memory : If after studying, if one remembers subject matter. Geeta further says “ All living entities undergo six changes Born, Grow, Remain for Some time, Reproduce, Dwindle and Vanish .

“ Pant Gele Rao Aale – a small Marathi story that talked about one incident that causes celebration in one family and sorrow in another family. One person dies and other gets promoted. One’s family is happy, other one’s sad. Our life is made by the death of others. Talking about honesty, can one be at peace? I doubt. One has to cultivate a certain amount of hypocrisy to be a peace loving human being.

Tagore says, “Be calm and you will always be happy. Only in happy heart, spirituality unfolds itself.

To be happy is to be successful “. Another quote by Tagore” Many times we feel there is no pleasure in living but no consolation in dying either”


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