Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I'm woman, hear me roar

I am woman, hear me roar, a song by Helen Reddy released in 1972. Till now each word of the song remains true and relevant. Women across the world need to be reminded that they are strong.

Oh yes, I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can face anything...

Listen to it:






I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an' pretend
'Cause I've heard it all before
And I've been down there on the floor
No one's ever gonna keep me down again
Oh yes, I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong
(Strong)
I am invincible
(Invincible)
I am woman
You can bend but never break me
'Cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
'Cause you've deepened the conviction in my soul
Oh yes, I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong
(Strong)
I am invincible
(Invincible)
I am woman
I am woman watch me grow
See me standing toe to toe
As I spread my lovin' arms across the land
But I'm still an embryo
With a long, long way to go
Until I make my brother understand
Oh yes, I am wise
But it's wisdom born of pain
Yes, I've paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can face anything
I am strong
(Strong)
I am invincible
(Invincible)
I am woman
I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong
I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong
I am woman

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Soul mates unite to be separated....

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.
soul mates, learning from life, soul, Eat pray love, Elizabeth Gilbert, metamorphosis, transform, inner growth, pain, change
Thank you

A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.

A soul mate's purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master...”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

Yes, that actually answers so many questions of a life. 

Soul mate's purpose is to show us our actual reality and break our ego as well as all obstacles to reach to the goal of this life, our inner growth. That is why the stay is always short, eventful....yet immensely impactful. After this roller coaster ride we do not remain the same....we change through that process, a metamorphosis happen.

I remember first two lines from a recent hit bollywood song: Tujh sang bair lagaya aisa/Raha na main phir apne jaisa

You may hear yourself  saying,"You're the creator of the Frankenstein I'm today." You will be not be wrong entirely. When everything is over, he/she is gone, you'd know you've changed forever.

Once someone told me, "A love that does not corrupt, is not a love enough strong !"

When you fall in love with your soul mate, inner system get corrupted and mutilated permanently. Because this is how it is supposed to be. And this process is two-way. This is how (why) love changes us when the connection is real and with a soul mate. Let us not be afraid of that change. Because it actually is a time, your chance for redemption, without which there is no end to suffering.

May be that's why after all those painful encounters, when we settle down with Time, and with inner self, we forgive self for things that we let ourselves in, and let happen to us.  As if it was a journey towards the core, towards the end, towards 'me'. Without such encounters, we will never complete our journey.

No matter how painful  it is, finally we learn to move on. Know now, what made you, me and all move on...because the core attracts.

I had read this book and have watched the movie so many times now...never realized until today....should I thank Time for another reassurance, what my soul knew was right? That I was on right track all the time? My soul shines with joy today! And it will, forever!

If you can follow the soul, it becomes the strongest inner compass to accompany you through the journey of life. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Facebook: Why we love that virtual reality

Once my mother said wryly, “How many times are you going to self-advertise yourself?”  

Self-advertisement. That’s the phrase she uses when I upload ‘selfie’ on Facebook and get likes and
comments.

I feel bad for sometime then shrug that off my mind, as most of us do to our mothers’ comments.  Later when I contemplate on her statement, I realize that she had a valid point  (as all mothers always have).
We’ve plunged into the social networking sites like Orkut and Facebook without even giving second thought to how they were going to impact our lives. Well, this is common human tendency. We like new experiments more when there is no apparent harm involved in experimenting.

If I consider myself as a sample of facebook addict, I’ll give following reasons behind my addictions:

  1. Facebook/Orkut gave my old school/college buddies back. I was so excited to find them online! This is how it started. (Find friends!)
  2. I understood that I can say it, then and there and people will listen to what I say, even though they may not bother or intentionally doing so. (Status updates. It always wants to know what’s on my mind.)
  3. I can ‘show-it-off’! Happy glimpses of my life, better portraits of me. (Share photos/videos)
    I do not blame myself for doing this. Even our elder generation used to do that without online social networking. Remember Durga Puja, marriages, annaprashan and all other important social and family gatherings where they used to share happy stories of their lives, flaunt sarees and jewelries, men would talk about their promotions and overseas travels and properties and grades and percentages acquired by their offspring!  Not to mention the difference between their societal masks and individual truths.
  4. The eternal curiosity to know about how life is treating others in my circle. And where do I stand in the society.

For me, the facebook addiction started with these major four reasons. It went beyond real life to really impactful virtual life. I could share my views to much bigger audience. I would share my blog posts and my budding interest in photography would need Facebook likes to motivate me further.

Then  Mark Zuckerberg kept giving us reasons, which were good and bad at the same time, appealing more to the darker side of the self.   Anyone can reach out to anyone, open and close groups, pages, chats! It became an actual platform to befriend the less-known or completely unknown.  You just needed to have similar kind of interests and intentions, to be precise.

Like television, social networking sites have negative impacts too.  We all are well-aware of that.  Like the joy of watching a cinema, in our virtual life, we tend to look for things that we may not have in real life.
Yes, we fake it on Facebook.  More than we can fake it in our real social circles, we have the facility of faking more on Facebook, depending on how talented and creative we are.  If we are not faking, we are victimized by fakers who fake identities, personalities, emotions, realities and a lot of things… possibilities are infinite.  

This virtual emotional or intellectual play is far more interesting than real life. When we start interacting with the unknown people, without any real life contact, we open up without fear. Without the fear of being recognized, or questioned, judged or even caught. Then again, we can say, the possibilities between two people become infinite in such given conditions. Anything can happen over a Facbook chat! Well, who can say no to this?

It’s like living a dream. What we cannot achieve in real life, we reach out to that in our virtual life. And so the intensity is stronger, like an addiction. Even when you know, you cannot control. And even when you control, it relapses, like any other addiction. This addiction gives you happiness. Happiness is what everyone is looking for.

Mark Zukerberg has an amazing understanding of human psychology.  He got the nerve of  us and banking on it. His account can never run dry.  We think we are using Facebook, but rather Facebook is using us as data bank, selling our very personal information to businesses.

We know it all, but cannot do without the virtual reality which is way too interesting than our personal life.  The possibilities on Facebook are infinite…so!


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

5 Things I want a scientist to invent for me

Pretty weird! Since days of my girlhood, I wanted some things to be invented. As I grew, my lists went longer.

  1. When I was in school, ball pens were not allowed, mainly for examinations. We used to write with fountain pens with Chelpark ink. I liked ink bottles, and used to collect empty ones.  As a little girl, I always wanted a dropper to collect colors from the rainbow in those bottles. A dropper to collect colors from the rainbow, yes that was my wish number one.
  2. During afternoons, I always wanted to catch hold of sun light coming through the window or ventilator or from any other route into the room. I am sure most of the kids do so, even my son used to try catching the sun light. I loved it when the sun rays made light and shade designs on the wall. I always thought of catching the sun beam in my fist and making beautiful patterns of light when the lights were gone.
  3. And then I wanted something to help me make patterns of my choice with the white clouds in the blue sky…that even now I wish I could! Bangalore sky makes that wish even stronger! I love the crystal blue of Bangalore sky!
  4. Then again, I always wanted to have wings grown on my back. I wanted to fly to far away places, unexplored jungles, deserts, mountains, civilizations without needing passport, visa and money. May be that’s why Superman remained my favorite super hero and I dreamed of flying with him, side by side… :P I dream of flying even now… this is the most common wish in every human being.
  5. Then when I grew up, I hated text books but loved all kind of books out of the syllabus. I wanted to read; read and read whatever comes on my way….I had (have) omnivorous appetite for books. But then I was allowed to read only after completing my school/college studies, which took away so much time (not because I read all day, but because I could not concentrate, so routine studies remained incomplete). Then I started wishing for some kind of technicalities which would help me read while sleeping, like eyes closed, and the book’s alphabets appear as dreams in my head, and I read peacefully. I secretly nurture this wish even now.


Somehow I feel, this wishes have more to do with magic. I love fairy tales, secretly believe that somewhere there is a magic land where fairies rule and ride unicorns. Where rock castles float in the air, fountains flow down to earth from those, and rivers automatically make way for the passer by. Where glittering jungle has a queen protector and tree wizard help her save the land from outsiders. Where music fairies sing in joy and birds join in to turn it into a concert. And I know a secret way …I am the Alice of that wonderland...

 I think, in everyone, there is part which believes in magic and a magic land. At least a wish, if only there was one, a magic land where everything was fair and true and good. This wish or belief, whatever you name it, means that there is still hope, that flickers when challenged by wind of life’s hardship, but never is blew out. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A song of the Summer and the Monsoon

Indian Summer



The highway blazed like a furnace for days
In an Indian summer,

No hint of cloud, no shade, no breeze,
As if it’ll never  be better


Then I remembered that last year
When we thought it would never rain
Heavy downpour had drenched the land
Children giggled and danced in the lane

Life is like that
But then we forget
Everything reaches in time,
We must learn to wait.

Have you ever seen a cloud?
Suddenly covering a blue sky?
In the middle of a sunny day,
The blazing sun hides
As the Monsoon comes
Chasing on the highway?

Life is like that
You’ll get what you seek
But everyone will reach
When it’s time to meet…

Then we don’t see the sun
For days and a whole month,
The gloomy wetness looks for light
The soil and hearts crave for warmth.

Again I remember
The sun shines right
After the rains
It dazzles and is bright.

So, let’s rejoice
When it rains,
The showers will not last forever
So let’s have fun
When we've the shining sun
These sunny days are a favour.

Life is like that
You gotta know and accept
You’ll get when it’s time
But you’ll get it, you bet!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Soliloquy: Living the culture of convenience

 The culture of convenience.

Gone are the days when countries and continents used to fight bloody wars among themselves to conquer lands and resources. Today, the fight is of ideologies and international politics to conquer or influence powerful economies and cultures.

Having said that, somewhere I feel that at the grass root level of common men’s rationale, the main driving factors remain ‘convenience’ and ‘need for acceptance’. That is the reason when telecommunication and internet took the world by storm and changed the way people communicated, the concept of ‘global village’ emerged…giving way to cultural invasion. It happened over a period of time, as if; it was the most natural process.

Why?

Powerful economies gave us internet and telecommunication, in return invaded our way of life. We became a part of the global village which is fueled by the culture of convenience.  Because we love convenience. At any point of time, in our life, most of us prefer to choose things which are more convenient than challenging. We tend to adjust our values accordingly, keeping ‘convenience’ at the first row of our preference.  

This is how we become ‘branded’.

We are losing individuality: individuality as a nation, as a culture, as a clan and as a human being. We are the brand ambassadors of the powerful economies of the world. We’re Johnson and Johnson , Mc Donald, Pizza Hut, Subway, Levis, Apple, Google, HP, Microsoft, Gucci, Facebook, Twitter, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, City Bank, BMW, EBay, NATGEO, Mtv, CNBC, BBC etc. etc.

Right from the birth, till death, we’re leading life with and around some brands. We embraced loan, EMI and credit card culture to secure our ‘created’ wants, without which we feel lost and meaningless.

The global village has a set parameter for accepting every men and women: Their size, shape, hair, clothing
and overall style and lifestyle must follow that parameter. We are no different from each other…no national or cultural legacy to carry forward…we are all type cast. We all are built in same format, as a program.

Remember the movie “The Matrix”?

We’re dying to be a part of that culture of convenience, in look and feel, in purpose and preference. We are nearly accepted in the global village. As a nation, we’re almost there!

But why do I feel that we’re lost and absolutely meaningless?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

शिवोहम् शिवॊहम्

 मनो बुद्ध्यहंकारचित्तानि नाहम् न च श्रोत्र जिह्वे न च घ्राण नेत्रे
न च व्योम भूमिर् न तेजॊ न वायु: चिदानन्द रूप: शिवोऽहम् शिवॊऽहम् ॥

न च प्राण संज्ञो न वै पञ्चवायु: न वा सप्तधातुर् न वा पञ्चकोश:
न वाक्पाणिपादौ न चोपस्थपायू चिदानन्द रूप: शिवोऽहम् शिवॊऽहम् ॥


न मे द्वेष रागौ न मे लोभ मोहौ मदो नैव मे नैव मात्सर्य भाव:
न धर्मो न चार्थो न कामो ना मोक्ष: चिदानन्द रूप: शिवोऽहम् शिवॊऽहम् ॥


न पुण्यं न पापं न सौख्यं न दु:खम् न मन्त्रो न तीर्थं न वेदा: न यज्ञा:
अहं भोजनं नैव भोज्यं न भोक्ता चिदानन्द रूप: शिवोऽहम् शिवॊऽहम् ॥


न मृत्युर् न शंका न मे जातिभेद: पिता नैव मे नैव माता न जन्म
न बन्धुर् न मित्रं गुरुर्नैव शिष्य: चिदानन्द रूप: शिवोऽहम् शिवॊऽहम् ॥


अहं निर्विकल्पॊ निराकार रूपॊ विभुत्वाच्च सर्वत्र सर्वेन्द्रियाणाम्
न चासंगतं नैव मुक्तिर् न मेय: चिदानन्द रूप: शिवोऽहम् शिवॊऽहम् ॥



Meaning :
I am not mind nor the intellect. Nor am I the thought nor the cognising ego. Neither am I the ear,
the tongue, the nose; the sky is not I, nor the earth; neither fire nor wind am I; for I am Bliss-
Consciousness--Siva am I, and I am Siva.

I am not the breath, nor the five-fold vital-airs, nor the five organs; speech is not me, nor hands,
nor feet am I. For I am Bliss-Consciousness--Siva am I, and I am Siva.

I know no aversion, nor any attachment (I know), I covet not, nor does illusion shroud my eyes; I
have no pride, nor the touch of envy; neither duty nor selfish purpose; neither desire, nor freedom,
for I am Bliss-Consciousness--Siva am I, and I am Siva.

Transcended have I both virtue and sin, as also pleasure and pain; even chants or sacred places,
Vedas or sacrifices. I am neither the enjoyer (subject), nor the enjoyed (object), nor the enjoyment
(action); for I am Bliss-Consciousness--Siva am I, and I am Siva.
n]
Death cannot claim me nor fear ever shake my calm; division of caste I know not; I have no
father, no mother even, no brother, no friend, no teacher, no pupil; nor have I another life; for I
am Bliss-Consciousness--Siva am I, and I am Siva.

I am the Lord of all my senses. All attachment have I shed, even freedom lures me not. Changeless
am I, Formless and Omnipotent. For I am Bliss-Consciousness--Siva am I, and I am Siva.

Shubh Maha Shivratri

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Everyday I love you...


Yesterday, I was reading a love-related article on WebMD where it was comparing love to cocaine. A new love is scientifically found to spark same euphoric feeling as cocaine. Well, I never tasted cocaine, but I have been in love. If cocaine gives the same kick as love, I really can’t blame the drug addicts. At least cocaine will guarantee the euphoria, may be with higher dosage every time. Whereas, the love chemicals will settle down slowly, turning the obsession into devotion in the long run.

The same article also said that chemicals like Dopamine, Adrenaline, Norepinephrine flood in our blood to make us do crazy things in love during the initial days. Remember the throbbing heart and shaking knees when you were near your lover? Adrenaline did that to us. And the joyous feeling that made us walk on cloud nine is Dopamine, and Norepinephrine raised the rate of contractions in the heart, made us go dhak-dhak!

So, we can now conclude that love is nothing but a ‘chemical locha’ in our brain. Well, not until I find out why the brain decides to release these chemicals in my brain for only one guy in a million. No matter how much I try to ‘fall in love’, the chemicals will not flow as quickly as my eyes and attention move from one face to another. Numerous scientific studies could not find out the exact chemical or logical reactions that lead two completely unrelated entities to bind for lifelong devotion.

I really doubt science’s ability to explain it in chemical chain of reactions. Love is an inexplicable form of energy that has the power to create, hold, endure and reborn. This energy is the reason why we are not falling apart, in spite of all that acts of hatred we face and we do.

The world history has thousand examples as we have in our own lives; love defies the most dreadful hatred. We can love without a single reason, but we cannot hate without one. How? Why? Simply because love is an integral part of human nature, while hatred is an alien to our system. Hatred is an emotion which originates as a ‘reaction’ to an unpleasant outside action.

Today, on St. Valentine’s Day, I really have nothing to celebrate. I truly respect St. Valentine’s courage to fight for the right of marriage of the soldiers. But I refuse to buy when the capitalists’ uses our personal emotions as their most successful consumerism tact. Be it mother’s/father’s/sister’s/brother’s/or lover’s day, I just do not buy it. It occurs really stupid to me when a day is designated to express love, when love is the essence of this very existence.

Love is as trifle as looking for him to convey, “Hey! It’s raining!” Love is also secretly altering the most personal priority list for him when I don’t have a clue about his. Love is about taking risks and winning over fears...to take a leap of faith.

Love is the simplest acts of sharing and caring, and being responsible for the people in my life on a daily basis. All of the simple acts, one day, will sum up to create a meaning, an understanding to reach the hearts of the people I love, without having to use a word.

Love is also recognizing ‘me’ as no less valuable and significant. Love is finding happiness and peace with
Love
‘me’. Love is coming to terms with all the weaknesses and strength, good and bad within ‘me’. Love is forgiving me. Love is letting go of what is not mine and being content with what remains at the dead-end.

Love is as simple as living the mystery of the universe, with each passing moment. 

I wish you love, this very moment, and in all the moments to come. Be in love, as much as you can… because, to love is to live.



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Kolkata, this is for you :)



Joe-Harry window. I remember the psychological theory learned during my MA in communication and media. It said that a human had four parts of his personality. 

1.       Known to one and all 
2.       Known to all. Not known to one 
3.       Known to one. Not known to all 
4.       Known to none

Today, I stepped into the metro rail station in Kolkata after months…might be a year or two. The smell that lurked onto that vicinity, the cold stone floor and walls, the Bengali letters etched on the walls, the rail track, the rail engine emerging from the dark tunnel with a luminous Kabi Subhash written on its head…all of it, suddenly did something to me…my eyes felt moist, I felt a certain kind of emptiness.
 
As I went aboard, started looking around…there I found a certain kind of affinity, as if I knew them all, the urgency painted on the faces, the school-going kids accompanied by their mothers, the teen girl who took her hair-do too seriously, the happy-go-lucky youngsters chitchatting. The winter chill touched my face to welcome me on the streets as I came out of the station. 

The shops were yet to open. Only the shops for sweetmeats and those preparing typical Bengali breakfast were open. The fresh veggies typically used for Bengali cuisine, the freshly caught fishes in fish market, the typical sweetmeats prepared only during winter, Kochuri-alur dum, the tranquil golden sunbeams making the streets shine, the nonchalant faces wrapped up in mufflers and monkey caps… the sudden coming across of literate and poor rickshaw-pooler philosophers…oh the winter of Kolkata. I am so much in love with it! Well, I am in love with Kolkata. If only I could get good jobs there! (Sigh!)

Well, why I referred to the Joe-Harry Window theory at the beginning. Somehow, I did not know that a place, without any human being associated with it in particular, only the place in itself could attach me so much! So much that it brought tears in my eyes; I never knew this part of me. 

I missed Kolkata! May be that unrevealed feeling made me cross the Howrah bridge on foot last evening.


If Kolkata was to be represented by a human personality, well, I would make him a man in his 50s, ripe with life’s experience, bearing proudly the scars of life-long intellectual battles and rich historical accounts, classy, mysterious eyes asking one to explore the complex yet beautiful lanes of its culture and tradition, thoughts and beliefs, gives the glimpses of his profound wisdom and deep philosophies as he speaks, philosophies, at times colliding strongly with one-another. He has aged but never stops from accommodating to people all strata, changes and revolutions of all kinds. Mostly grim and sarcastic, also super-funny and extremely witty when he chooses to be….a man so attractive and intriguing that he can make the brightest young chaps in the block feel insecure! 

I have always said that Kolkata had a properly sketched character. This is the first time I am trying to draw one. Like a clumsy first kiss to the lover…my first time, so forgive the glitches. Eventually, I will do justice to the man I adore. Well, they say, Tilottama Kolkata. Refer to it as a beautiful divine courtesan. But I am straight. No matter how divine and beautiful, courtesans of any gender will not attract me… ;)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Thank you and good bye 2013, welcome 2014 :)


Moktaavya :)
The mental factsheet 2013 craves for attention as the year comes to an end. Perhaps it happens with everyone who considers life as time-bound. Well, at times I really don’t like it that way, but this is how I’m.
Apart from many positive changes that took place in my life,   this year, Mumbai happened to me. Mumbai has something to offer to everyone. Mumbai had for me…what I needed.  Thanks Mumbai for you instill life with full force in my veins.
The boarding school happened to my son, Moktaavya.  While a part of me was suffering for the pain of leaving him among unknown people, another part kept praying and believing that it would be good for him. By the end of this year, when my son has come back after the final exam, I thanked the Almighty quietly. The stay has been fruitful.  Although he will not continue there, but the stay has brought desired changes in him.  He has become focused, competitive, and has developed other survival skills, which I thought, my over-protective nature did not allow. He is a smart and charming six-year old boy!
Meanwhile, I survived without him. Once again life discovered the eternal optimist in me.
Our society perceives the mother as the carrier of life, but the child remains the progeny of the father. But the natural instinct of the mother never separates her existence from that of her child. That’s why the child always knows that he is loved as he is, to his mother. He doesn’t have to prove anything to her. Whereas the child keeps trying to prove himself to his father, seeks acceptance for his being and his abilities.  
I’ve seen that maximum fathers (including mine) reflexively accuse the mothers for the child’s wrong actions. They may think otherwise later when they reason with a cool mind, but their first reaction is always that of: “It’s all because of you, see what ‘your’ child has done!” The mother accepts the accusation as naturally as the wrong-doing was done by her only. She reacts exactly the same way she would react if she had committed the felony.
When I was a child, I used to think that my mother hated me, for the punishments felt severer than my trivial offenses.  Later I understood that it was her way of being defensive about me, because she finds herself responsible for whatever I do, because for her, I am none but her.  Till date, I cannot remember a single instance when she did not feel intuitively that I was unwell or suffering for some reason. When I exclaim in surprise, how she comes to know, even staying thousands of miles away from me, she answers, “I’m your mother!”
Each year gives me something to look back, in terms of relationships, life experiences, career and learning. This year enriched me with beautiful moments, learned lessons from my erroneous deeds, and fulfilled many dreams and more.  As a color palette with all shades of life…2013 made me “live” more than my entire life accumulated together.   Thanks 2013, good bye! Welcome 2014! I'm ready to embrace you with all my loved ones. :)

Wish all of you a very happy new year 2014! May prosperity follow you wherever you go. :D