An update

I feel as if I’m back in my territory. That familiar old territory. I am talking about this exercise of writing on things like what’s happening with me in the field or my personal journey or just in general on what’s going on in my head.

I’ll try to be very brief. Just for my sake as I’m typing in my phone. My previous organization Aajeevika Bureau, yeah you heard right, my previous organization! So my previous organization Aajeevika Bureau saw that not much value was being added by me. So they wanted to terminate relationship saying, ‘we are not the right match for each other’ so that I would not get disheartened.

So now. I had a month to go for my mid-point training. This training is one of the three trainings which the fellows go through over the course of the year and is arranged by the India Fellow program team. My coordinator/co founder of the India Fellow hinted me to take a break till the mid point training and then start working with a new organization. So now, one month. What to do?

Thanks to India Fellow, I have a wonderful and adorable girl friend. No, they didn’t set me up with her :p

So i was in udaipur when Aajeevika Bureau said we were not the right match. My luggage was in a village in some other district of Rajasthan. I had hardly anything with me except her (I’ll keep referring to her as just ‘her’) and my back pack. I guess I borrowed clothes from her and set off to mumbai to meet my mentor. Here in India Fellow each fellow is assigned a mentor who would aid or be a guide in our personal and professional journey. Speaking of which I’m not using this opportunity efficiently for now. Anyways, I met my mentor and was off to Amdavad where she met me.

We started travelling. First was Somnath which was a pretty ordinary experience except for a Tamil tiffin vendor whom she liked. Then we went on a bus safari in the Gir forest. First of a kind for me, so not bad. Then comes diu (of daman and diu) which was just fantastic and refreshing. We took a little room there in a church converted museum and yes there I had one of the best times ever with her. Highlight were the non commercialised beaches. But unlike me she was not fired :p So she had to leave for her organization after spending a week or so with me.

Now I was on my own. I started off with Jaisalmer. I have to say I was not cool roaming around while at the same time not knowing what lies next. However the golden glow and its sheer architectural brilliance carved on stone were adorable enough for me to stay and explore for three days even in that bad mood. Next stop, Jaipur. Stayed for only a short duration that I could just only get awed by it before anything else. Chugged all the way to Kolkata then. Another city, another three days of excitement. Great visuals and experiences I can cherish, especially Friday mass at Mother Teresa’s tomb. The smiling and glowing nuns. So cheap road side food, internet and railway platforms were my food, guide and accommodation. Then again back to Udaipur, this time not in the city but somewhere in the Aravalli ranges in a campus called Swaraj university. I have to write a whole new thing to tell about the campus though. All I can say is it was peacefully crazy!

Come mid point training. Great sessions. Not so great interactions with fellows as I wanted (telling about myself alone). On top of that, cold and gloomy climate of Delhi!

After training, went home after 6/7 months. Parents were glad to know that I haven’t forgotten them 😉 Went to visit her home too for the first time 😀 Glad to know I was welcome there too :p

So finally here I’m writing this from Vigyan Ashram which is in a village called pabal, some two to three hours from Pune.

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I realize diamonds

Sweetheart,
I make a mistake

But sweetheart, you know right?
You have costs to bear
For the mistakes you dare

Sweetheart,
I make a mistake
Not realizing and that of all things, you
When in fact i LOVE, YOU

Sweetheart,
I make this mistake
For which too
There are costs you take

My cute little sweetheart, you know right?
I don’t spend much and that of all things, my brain
And the cost you ask
I can only pass
Sweetheart, with the cute little diamonds which now are mine.

Skipping clouds

Holes like abyss

Surface like patchwork

our patches like your playground of holi

colors colors everywhere

purple, green, blue, yellow

our patches like your juicy ice golas

flavors flavors everywhere

kala katta, orange, pudina, nimbu

days are warm, clear and pleasant

i can only stand and watch the beauty around

nights are cool with countless twinkling stars

not letting me out of my meditating trance

breeze dictating the arrangement of patches

easily swayed like people swayed by rumor mongers

we are straws and we live on clouds

clouds of pineapple, grape and nimbu

sipping and sipping

greedily sipping

dripping and sliding down our sensual bodies

aha! joy no abound

risks come in this journey of life, can not escape

and my risk is when skipping patch-like clouds

alas! take a false step

and i fall right into your mouth

ahh, man!

Absolute truth, an absolute way of talking?

I believe, the best way to talk is to speak absolute truth. When everyone speaks only truth nothing else, then world will be such a better place even to an extent that eventually the difference with our much hyped and ideal heaven blurs.

Now say there are two ways of how we talk or rather what we talk. One is we following this absolute truth. Other is talking with confidence even when one is not sure of the eventuality.

The power of a confident speech is simply magical, showing the tilt in my opinion lately. When someone talks of walking on moon much before the invention of the aircraft even, she would simply be reasoned out of its impossibility. You have a friend say who was working really hard on his task. He is a dear friend of yours, you hang out with him for most part of the day, you know him for a long time and so do understand him well enough. But, but, how much ever you know him, you both are after all different people. You would not know each and every detail associated with the task (external and internal) and also do not know each and every thing he thinks or has in mind. So when this good friend of yours asks you whether he would be able to successfully finish his task. You maintaining your absolute truthfulness would say ‘I do not know dear friend’ or a little better ‘I hope you succeed.’ Now for the same question posed to you, you express confidence in his capacity and assure him that he shall certainly emerge out with flying colors. That would make a world of difference to him.

Going by this absolute truth, I shall say it’s in a way limiting to the extent of knowledge we have, and then unfortunately we have little knowledge of everything in this universe. On the other hand, this other way of speaking is indeed confidence building as it is referred, and shows hope of progress.

So long Grandma

Hey!

Haha, wondering what this new voice is?

Listen again, Hey!

Feels funny feeling you search the way we search

when something drops on the ground

Ok, one more time, Hey!

Now, now

Sounds distantly familiar, right?

It’s me, ammamma

Haha, ok ok, now don’t cry

Woho, you know too many swear words!

I’m so sorry

I deserved each one of that and countless more

No that’s not some dew drop on a leaf

that’s tear in my eye looking up for you

I ain’t floating towards you

only because my heart is too heavy with thoughts of you

How much I miss you!

You might be hearing about me from your regular sources

It’s better to hear my side of my story too

I’m sure you will find my version a lot different

I can only guess how much u tried to contact me

But what to do

Your call comes from a dimension we mortals know little of

Don’t blame me, I was busy learning earthly stuff

As you yourself wanted, remember?

It teaches us only time, space dimension

Ok, I got to go take bath now

Yes, yes I remember

How I miss those baths!

Loads of love ammamma

Till next time

Hey!

Nothing, bye :p

 

vayu, the chariot of varuna

Breezy  chariot of varuna, beloved vayu

Comes in advance to announce the coming

Of the great varuna

Just the breath of vayu

Wakes the august trees and birds in merriment

Sons and daughters of trees, leaves and branches

They dance intoxicated cute with their innocence

The portly parent overwhelmed by this joy

showers its blessings with flowers

birds fly faster and faster

to listen the words of vayu more closely

they share the joy with others

 chirping and tweeting

shining and sparkling varuna arrives

even vayu stays still in reverence

feeling librated by the touch of varuna

birds and trees shed their tears

sparkling and rolling down their bodies

in gratitude

Meet Tom and Jerry

Someone was asked, ‘why are we living?’ Here comes the reply, ’because we are not dying.’

Meet A and B. Or let’s name them tom, and jerry.

Both sustain themselves and unlike most of us they don’t stay with families for long. They are not used to playing professional sports or having hobbies again like most of us. Some of us try to find the eternal truth, or reason behind our existence, and all that stuff. They just know they need to live in present. For our entertainment we have film industry, television, malls or internet. If you think for all the living in this world it is the same, you are wrong. Some from our species are not unknown to manufacture/fake emotions, or deliberately try act nice, or conforming with high ideals of others’ without actually understanding/meaning them. They just act without any pretensions even when what they believe is not in conformation with what is right. Because unlike we fellow people there is no one who tells them what is right or wrong. They are found for more than half-a-day outside their resting places so as to sustain themselves. You don’t notice any change in their facial features or expressions when you talk to them about marriage. They migrate to places where they could fill their stomachs. They learn skills at their homeland and go out into the wild for the kill. They take care of their dependants and try to ensure that food reaches their mouth. They go in droves to the promised-land after a quiet observation of their fellow species who have returned with stories of the hunt available there. The sleep in groups and don’t have ambitions like most of us.

So people, we A and B are Aarif bhai and Shakib bhai referred to as ‘sutharas’. We work at the least 12 hours each day and mostly extending for more time. We come from Sharanpur, in UP and many from there similar to us have learned this skill and came here for work. Price rise in not something we read in newspapers under the term ‘inflation’. We know what it feels like. We do mainly three things – work, eat, and sleep. We don’t have a specific ambition, can we even think of having one? Let’s go as the life takes us J

 Here we are – http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=ndlkc4&s=8#.U_beC8WSyHQ 😀

Yeh Dilli hain meri yaar (part 1)….

Quite surprisingly it was a pleasant journey given the fact I came in a general bogey. Me thinking myself as a fun traveler with the way I planned at the last minute and the luggage I got along with myself. Slept through the night sharing seat with an interesting seasoned traveler. Journey also involved me distributing bourbon biscuits, but was quite surprised and disheartened to see everyone rejecting. I thought free food was tasty and everyone loved it! I then started giving in the name of celebrating Independence Day. People then started taking and I also shared some between less fortunate people. Felt like packet was well spent. However felt that blindly sharing with a good intention might not work at times. Anyways, touchdown Delhi.

I thought of buying a kurta as I just brought along with me a couple of underwear, a diary, a book by Dr Kalam, three small stupid gifts to friends, some miscellaneous which were left inside my backpack and nothing more. I started walking along the way people directed me, to find a market. Even though it was 11 a.m. the climate was pleasant and I was enjoying walking alone. A group was rolling marijuana joints on the pavement with such nonchalance. I was impressed. I was mostly enquiring from these people who were squatting on the pavements as I wanted to buy some cheap clothes. On following their directions, I came across Gurudwara. A beautiful structure and the original thought of staying there for the night seemed very exciting to me. I was so thirsty that it didn’t look I drank, but flushed water inside my mouth. Thanked sardarji for the five glasses of water he offered me with smile. Boy, love the way Sikh community does this service selflessly. The lane was adorned with Indian flags and there was pretty little crowd too, and overall I just liked the look of it and so started walking along the road with the newly gained freshness from Gurudwara’s water. As I was walking I was just stunned with what I was seeing. I was confused for a second, and thought it might be something else and not the thing I saw numerous times on television. I was seeing freaking RED FORT on the Independence Day! All excited I walked towards it and on the same road saw a Baptist church and Gowri-shankar Mandir. I loved the way these different religious structures culminated into the Red Fort. I walked along the side of the fort and where there was place to stand near the boundary rails, stood there gazing.

After the sight sank in and the visual satiated my excitement, I went in search of my kurta. I went through long line of roadside stalls, and reached meena bazaar on someone’s suggestion. The bazaar seemed closed but I could see some stalls at a few metres away. As I had some time to pass before I could meet my friends, I just went to try my luck. Just as I came to those open stalls, I came to a stop. Not because I found my kurta, but to my right rose magnificent Jama Masjid and I just stood gazing for a few seconds. So after a few seconds I went to get a kurta from one of those shops and finally found one. I changed into it there itself in the open and went inside Jama Masjid. As I went up, it was majestic. Initially what I saw was just the entrance. There was a charm to it and I felt captivated for the initial few seconds I remember. So I was walking and people cleaning their feet and hands for the prayer at the water body in the centre. I too got a bit freshened up there and saw the prayer sitting at the back. While the prayer was going on I sat there and saw the splendor of this place. And eventually as the time passed my mind totally drifted towards the idea of meeting my friends. I started getting extremely extremely excited and sat waiting.

To be continued…

 bas ishq mohabbat pyar (part 2)

Travel by a general compartment

Money buys time. Yeah if you want to reach Chennai from Delhi shell out more money to save time by taking a flight rather than a train. If you want to get the delivery from Flipkart within a day of ordering, you need to pay a premium. Probably Indian railways took this as a doctrine.

Travelling in general (or unreserved) compartments is a lot cheaper compared to traveling in a reserved class. If you are the one who gets comfort from free space, then you would feel that the difference in comfort levels is multiple of the difference in costs. I tell this from my own experience of travelling for almost 17 hours at a stretch in unreserved class.

Coming back to the doctrine I was telling. People travelling in reserved and unreserved classes reach in the same time. So our lovely Indian railways have their own mechanism to bring in justice and fair play. You can see it for yourself right from the process of booking tickets to the number of compartments available to unreserved class. The booking counter for the general class has at least 50 people standing in the queue, I say from the direct experience I had both at Delhi and Amdavad. And there are just 3 such counters each serving 50 people like forever. The rest of the counters are unmanned or present for other less urgent purposes. But yeah cool thing is that general ticket travelers get to experience the feel of travelling by flight. They need to reach at least an hour earlier just like reaching an hour earlier for boarding the flight. So that’s the amount of time it takes you to book your tickets standing in that long energy sapping queue. It’s amusing to look back and see how the length of queue is always the same while you slowly crawl your way to the counter.

One other interesting thing I could see was ‘crowd regulation’ (inspired from the terms crowd funding and self regulation). It is probably easier for India to win an extra medal in the Olympics than bribe someone standing in that ticket line. Just as someone tries to approach there’s a general reproach from everyone who were behind the person being approached. Every minute there’s someone or the other trying his luck in this manner without success. Wonderful to see the way this crowd regulation work with such effectiveness.

I was wearing loose jeans and it felt so comfortable. Ok, that was some non-sense. I was wearing loose jeans, and so due to lack of normal forces acting on my wallet inside, it dropped with me having little sense of it. Someone returned may be afraid of crowd censuring or of his own good nature. This nice gesture has led me to talking terms with other people. On socializing, I felt there was a wealth of information which is not being passed or shared across properly, this is why-

The one sitting beside me, along with his friend, were on a weeklong travel trip starting from their home town Sholapur, Maharashtra. It had already been 3 days into their trip and they roamed around Mumbai, visited Amdavad, and now were on their way to Ajmer. It could be seen there is not much planning as they were asking fellow passengers where to head after Ajmer. They finally decided on either Pushkar or Jaipur at that time. They travel at night going by train with general ticket and visit places in the day. Their planning evolved as per the suggestions of people and their own interests. There was no clear planning; no stress thinking of hotels or accommodation; no intermediary travel agents; no constraints due to prior bookings; no nothing. They do not use blogs to share any of this exciting experience. I wonder how many people would love to know their stories on how they manage such travel which is economical and also so exciting. I also wonder the number of people who do such exciting things, and we don’t really have much knowledge of it. Yeah, it could also be a case that meeting them was just a coincidence and there might not be many other people doing such stuff.

Through all of this I felt there were interesting things which you don’t get to see in an AC (or reserved) class. Colorful and distinct clothing styles, people ranging from the likes of a bearded guy sitting on the floor looking like a vagabond to the youth with 5’inch Samsung watching some Hollywood flick with subtitles, strangers getting acquainted in no time with no specific purpose.

Wow, as always wrote nothing what I actually intended to write. So shall end this continuing with this theme itself rather telling about things I initially wanted to. I saw for the first time or felt for the first time how powerful the ‘sleep’ is. Inconvenience when you feel sleepy can drive you total crazy. I just feel whatever I say about it now won’t be an exaggeration. Travel fatigue and the stress of general compartment with cool breeze blowing through the pleasant night and soothing your tired body, and then there was this lack of space to rest comfortably. Upper body of a passenger was inclined at an angle on the seat and his thighs and calves were forming a rhombus like structure horizontal to the ground. The reason you are reading this description is because I was inside that rhombus. People sleeping under the seats, yes under; people sleeping in the little space available between the seats; people sleeping in all kinds of alignments. How precious the sleep is. Holy mother of my mummy, it was insane!

Why we get fooled by babas

We scoff at people who get duped by these so called Godmen. We wonder how people could foolish to such an extent. Here is partly why-

On visiting Swaminarayan temple Akshardham, I could sense what was happening. Swaminarayan’s is an inspiring story and he lived in flesh and blood. People could see him talk, walk and live among them. We have quite a long and famed spiritual history to add more weightage. So Swamynarayan’s epic was only one among the many such epics which we also refer to as legends to look sane. Actually, even now there are a number of yogis in Himalayas or I don’t know where. We could see them appearing in documentaries taken during Kumbh Mela by NGC or Fox History. These yogis strive for enlightenment and observe strict discipline for themselves same as the others like Swaminarayan did before them. We generally have common agreement that enlightenment comes from detachment. So these yogis (/sadus) all of whom look detached from the worldly pleasures get reverence from people. Then there come a few who try to take advantage of this reverence and dupe them.