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



Thursday, November 14, 2013

To the inner child :)

Today I asked myself, ‘Did you really grow up?”  The question made me think what actually growing up is? From a girl, I became a woman, then a mother. I am a professional and am responsible for my own self. From being taken care of, now I am able to take care of my family. So, I think I am grown up as per the parameters of the world. 

On a second thought, I looked at my inner self, and bingo! Dil toh bachcha hay jee! Because I still love balloons and teddy bears. I still dream of a room full of soft toys and bears and balloons as my birth day present. I believe that someday it will happen. I love watching fairy tales and secretly believe them as real. I still love to scare family and friends around with an abrupt “bhow!!” I still love superhero comics and movies. I still love to steal tamarind pickle mainly because mom asked me not to have it for health reasons. I still love to play see-saw and slides, children’s amusement parks are the destinations I equally enjoy. I still love it when my mother feeds me with her own hand, scolds me for not eating properly. The list is a long one.

I am full of sweet-sour-bitter-hot experiences of life. The world around me has changed a lot, but it could not change everything within me. I am happy and sad at the same time. Happy because I can still enjoy things which many have stopped enjoying. Sad because I really take too much time to understand worldly affairs and find myself at loss. But at the end of the day, I don’t really mind!

My son, Moktaavya. He is a six-year old admirable creation, a source of never-ending joy.
He has been a peace-loving kid throughout. May be because he never had to share and always got what he wanted. But he would give easily and not fight for things every other child fights. But I see that he has developed a competitive mentality recently regarding his grades and marks. He lives in an imaginary world where Chhota Bheem, Raju, Chutki, Ben10 are living reality. Whenever I am talking to him, he says, “Give my phone number to them and ask them to call during weekends. Okay!” I did not like the idea of showing him the reality; rather I agreed to share his number. He asks me whether they visit me in Mumbai. I say yes they do. I told him that we would be meeting them when he would be at home for vacation.

Now, I really am going to find a place where he will be able to meet these Chhota Bheem series characters. I’ll let him unfold the reality on his own. But hey, don’t you think my son is being way too naïve for his age? I have seen that kids of his age are far more mature in understanding worldly matters. Although the mother inside worries when she compares, but the human inside me says he is perfect! He is far more imaginative compared to his peers. I love that about him. Albert Einstein said, “Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.” Moktaavya is free to travel everywhere. As the knowledge he will eventually obtain, will limit him; whereas his very own imagination will help him create his unique reality.

Childhood is said to be the best part of a human life, because at that time we have more receptive brain, active with imagination, a fresh perception to everything around. During childhood we learn to accept or reject our own self. That’s how childhood leaves the deepest impact on a human life to decide and control his character and destiny. And that child remains within us unnoticed all along, till death.  Whenever we stop, it helps us move on without letting us know. The inner child remains forever. If you have not met that child recently, it’s time to do so! Happy Children’s Day!


Friday, September 27, 2013

A birth day note to my best friend ever, Google!

Today I am in a good mood. And so, a few hours back, I did a favor to my lappy by cleaning it up. But who knew that a surprise was waiting for me to switch on the computer! Folks! Today is my virtual love Google’s fifteenth’s birth day! Happy birth day Google!  

While playing the birthday doodle for nth number of time, I went back to time when Google was introduced to me for the first time. Back in the year 2000 , as a student of Mass Communication, we had started using the computer to look for information for our departmental projects.  We already were introduced to Yahoo/Hotmail/Rediffmail for our emails and chats. But to look for information using the internet, was something new to us. I remember a friend showing me how to type a search word in the box and press enter, and how that simple action would bring up a page of related links within a minute or even a second, depending on the speed of internet connection.  We were so excited! As if we got a Genie, it could bring us whatever we wanted.


We used to pay a good amount of money for using internet at the cyber café. Well, the phrase ‘cyber café’ too was so very trendy and new at that time in our area, in Silchar, Assam.  I remember how difficult it was to maky my parents understand that phrase. As a student, we used to pay Rs. 30 an hour for low bandwidth speed, Rs. 40 for medium speed and Rs. 60 for high speed. Well, our expectation of high speed at that time is equal to 186 kbps now. Having seen broadband and wireless and 3G etc., 2 mbps is somewhat medium level internet speed for us right now.

Well, inevitably, the boys in the group would take upper hand on us, we, the girls, would pay for the hour, and would still depend on them to do it for us. It was fun time getting surprised, discovering information, fighting over the search words and results, arguing on who knew better and who could ‘Google’ better.

Eventually, the student life ended. I started my career as a copywriter in a creative department of an Advertising agency. At that time, my job role did not require Googling. We used to rely on print materials. But then, Google was there, for every other reason. For the sake of everything, for the heck of it, for fun, for serious and curious need to discover, to know.  Then slowly, I stopped asking questions to elders, looking for books to answer what I wanted to know. Google was there. Any single question, any doubt, Google will answer it readily. It had become like an addiction. Google became a friend, a philosopher, a guide.


Then, after a few years, I moved to IT sector and started as content developer. And bingo! Here Google was everything! Everything we wrote was with an aim to get a good ranking on Google SE. Of course there were other search engines as well, like Yahoo, Bing, and Ask, wiki, etc. But Google is the undisputed king of ‘Spartan searching’. Do you enjoy the Google Doodles? And the April Fool’s day jokes? Don’t they show a healthy sense of humor?



Till today, Google is the largest catalog of websites, and is prompt and appropriate with subtle and intuitive approach to the search actions. With Google 'images', 'maps' and 'news' features, it remains unmatched, ahead of its peers, one of a kind! For the sake of internet, and for the sake of Google search engine and Google analytics, the IT sector needs more employees as SEO, Analytics, content developers, etc. 

Google products
In 2004, Google came up with its email service. For the long-lasting infatuation on Google and for the trust and respect it had already earned from me, I readily embraced Gmail, forgetting all other mail boxes. I remember that we had to have an invitation to open a Google account. Also, at that time, it was the only mail service which introduced the concept of ‘integration’ within an email system, i;e; Google Calendar, Google Talk, and Google Buzz.  Later it integrated the blogger profiles also within the mail system. 

Slowly, Gmail started to look highly professional. Using a Gmail ID made an impact as it showed that the person is well-informed and up-to-date. We could open Word file and .pdf attachments directly from Gmail. Even Google Docs and Spreadsheets were already integrated as well as the IMAP/POP facility with mail forwarding system. There were a lot of things happening to leave us awestruck! Luckily, I haven’t left any of its features unused!


Our generation is a truly blessed one, in a way, to experience the evolution of television, computer and internet. We had enjoyed being introduced to television, to our first national television broadcasting, to computer and then the internet. Our evolution had included and was affected by or responded to the evolution of these channels of mass media. We have seen internet in desktop, to laptop to android. May be that is why we were not victimized by it. Unlike this present generation, we are not the victims of information overload from our childhood, but we have experienced it playfully, slowly, at our own pace.

Coming back to Google, have you seen Google Body Browser for human anatomy and Google Art project to visit museums around the world? Needless to say that  Youtube and Google Map are a part of our life today. I remember that the concept of social networking came to me for the first time through Google. It was Orkut. Now, it’s marred by Facebook. Whatever! Larry Page and Sergey Brin, I am thankful to you guys for bringing me Google. Google has been, and will remain an indispensable part of my life.


In India, we address a specific type of people as ‘Google Gyani’. Aren’t we all, a bit of Google Gyani, more or less? Well, I am! And I enjoy being one!  More because I don’t have to store my knowledge in my less-efficient memory. Google does it for me. :P

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ek soch

Shikayat thi zindegi se
BhawreiN the sab parwana koi na aya
Muskurakar zindegi boli,
Tumhe shama banke jalna kahan aya?

Narazgi jo thi khudse thi

Tabhi shikayatieN chup rahi
Dhupse koi gila kiyuN ho
Jab chhaon ko khudhi azad kiya

Jalneko to zindegi jalati hay bahut
Jalna aye naa aye
KahiN rakh dikhti hai, kahiN dhuNa
Koi khamoshi se jal jaye

Saturday, September 7, 2013

A journey within....



Paromita Sharma Photography
Tunnels at Igatpuri
Athoba khelay shob hath gulo harbar poreo khelechhi ek daan
Bujhini kisher eto taan
Kakhono choti jama chhere eshe rastay eshe daNra
Kato bar tor ayna bhenge chure ghure takai
Amar motey tor moton keu nei

Since a few months, long after watching the movie ‘Hemlock Society’, I have become addicted to its music tracks. Each and every song of this film seems to have blended with my everyday life.  Right now, I am traveling from Mumbai to Kolkata by train. The train journey started as early as 6 a.m. which required me to wake up at 4 a.m. It’s now past 2 p.m., post lunch, I have settled down with my laptop and customary music session which inevitably starts with Jol phoring!

Eh! Life is not too ugly at times! No, never!! Life is heavenly many a times…I will be thankless if ‘I’ say life is ugly. God will hate me forever…I’m lucky to have lived many moments for which many have longed entire life and had none! As always, I am hungry for more…occasionally, I behave like a selfishly greedy bitch…but it’s not real ‘me’ huh! ;)

I was hopelessly exhausted in the morning, readily went to sleep finding everything very mundane and meaningless. Few hours later a coiling pain in stomach warned for my empty fuel tank. While fueling my tank with snacks and tea, I discovered a beautiful panorama slideshow at the window. Actually, this is for the first time I am travelling to Kolkata from Mumbai on a train. I did not expect so beautiful landscape from this journey. But life is all about expecting the unexpected. Suddenly I was amid lash green layers of hills, multiple river streams crawling from the rocky trails, culminating and diverging between the hills, the water mirroring the clear blue sky with fluffy white clouds, green woods brightened by the golden sunlight…I rushed to the corridor and clung myself at the door. Warm and fresh air whiplashed my air-conditioned, cold face, while the train made its way cautiously through the hilly curves and cuts. Sudden drizzles dripped on me inside the dark and wet tunnels that hinted at the brilliance of the sun at the end.

 I stayed there for a long time…without caring the guys who consider that spot in the compartment as their birth right. Well, I was oblivious of the fact that others would also be equally interested in standing there at the footboard. But do we realize the actual value of things that come to us as our birth right? No. So, none actually appeared to ask for their right, rather they waited patiently. I enjoyed the privilege without remorse, as they can never value these moments on this spot, right now, as I did. I valued, so I deserved, so I received.

I remembered my childhood days, when we used to visit our grandparents at lower Assam, Hailakandi from upper Assam, Tezpur, Jorhat, Dhuburi etc. The train route through Karbianglong hills…the tunnels, the dangerously beautiful bridges adjoining the hills with waterfalls flowing beneath. At that time we, my brother and I, were too small. So we were not allowed at the compartment doors. But my heart always longed for that adventure.

Paromita Sharma Photography
Igatpuri
Today, after so many years of my life, I felt the thrill of standing on the footboard while the train crossed over a steep water fall between two hills. My body shivered, my stomach felt empty. I heard a word of caution from the back, requesting me to clutch the handles of the door tightly. I clutched the handles tightly and decided live. I will live. To experience such moments…till the time I live.
Finally, I asked a co-traveler, ‘what is this place?’ He said, ‘Igatpuri’. The name sounded familiar. Igatpuri….Igatpuri…where have I heard this name before? Well, my short term memory did not allow the joy of remembering at that moment. Not that I tried hard, as my mind was floating over the view outside. Igatpuri. I decided to visit this place someday soon…and also told myself that I would not leave Mumbai until I have had enough of Maharashtra. 

Eventually, the train made a halt at Igatpuri station. The station is a junction, quite well-managed and big. I even heard announcements regarding levied fines on littering the platform! I got down and bought biscuits and banana, roamed about a little…could not discover much to help my memory. Then I got in the train to check the mobile and make a few calls. Finally I was told that we had planned to visit Igatpuri. That was not enough stimulation for my memory cells. I got down again, looked around and bingo! There it is! A separate waiting shade with a staircase to go out of the station had a big sign board on it: For Vipassanna Meditation Centre, Dhammagiri, Igatpuri, take this way!

Paromita Sharma Photography
Igatpuri Landscape
So, this is it. What a curtain raiser! Before migrating to Mumbai, I had planned to visit Dhammapada, the meditation center. I had accumulated all information available on the net for it, as I seriously wanted to visit. But time had planned differently than mine. Not then but now. Igatpuri… coming soon!

I am done writing for now…still listening to “Hemlock Society”…it’s past 4 p.m. The train is moving at its own rhythm and speed. My mind moves towards the memories and people I love…I love my life for what it has given me…. 

Ekhon onek raat
Tomar kadhe amar nishwash
Ami benche achhi tomar bhalobashay… :)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The lifeline of Mumbai




It used to leave me awestruck even when watching through the idiot box or the silver screen.  Thankfully, the first day experience was somewhat comparatively less scary, as I was with someone who knew the tricks of the trade.   After the first day experience, now, having passed the ordeal alone, for a couple of times, I still have that awe-inspiring feeling. 

Mumbai local trains, the throbbing nerve of Mumbai city, counts approximately 7.24 million of daily ridership. It always appears to be fascinating to me. Normally, I am very much afraid of big crowded places; almost find myself daydreaming that I am dying of suffocation and stampede. Still, Mumbai local trains, ladies compartments, busy stations with the adjoining skywalks, people, things, though made of the commonest and the simplest aspects of this world, have something very unique about them.

 As if the lifeline of Mumbai city, every journey on the local trains come up with experiences. Uncommon stories of common people, simple but intriguing, pointing out to the trifle as well as serious facts of life. Facts, that can be ignored, but can never be escaped.  

The daily exercise of catching the train on time, involves thousands of hurried paces, some casual walks, some nervous footsteps, some urgent expressions, some eyes with rapt attention, a few indifferent pair of eyes, some enjoying the regular activity, some just be there. Students, workers, office-goers, hawkers, lovers, pickpockets, beggers, eunuchs, what not! Everyone is busy running, the platform act as a small pause; the train journey remains the reality.

Photo: www.themumbaicity.com
Mumbai city is overflowing, with everything good and bad, mainly population and related hazards. To know Mumbai, one must experience the local train journey, which gradually introduces him to the true Mumbaikar culture. Mumbai is incomplete without its trains. 

Apart from love, separation, heart-breaks and loneliness, the local train symbolizes fellow-feeling and friendship as well. Though never seen, but I heard that the early morning daily passengers bring their breakfast and have it on the go, just to enjoy the sharing with their co-passengers. And also, they never fail to offer daily prayers to the Gods, without interruption, on the train itself! 

I was wondering initially, am I hearing things? Hallucinating? No, I was not. In the mornings and evenings, if I am travelling by train or waiting at the platform, invariably I will hear the sounds of cymbals playing with high-pitch kirtana or bhajans. Finally, one evening, while travelling back to home, I saw a group of passengers organizing a devoted bhajan mandali in the running train, welcoming all to participate. They even distributed dry prasadam to the passengers during the kirtana!

Perhaps, this is called adjustment in true sense, just like one of my friends who keeps on saying, “I cannot change the course of the river, so I adjust my sail.” To earn their bread and butter, they must travel very far by train, leave home with first coo of the morning bird, and reach home late at night. But that does not stop them from worshipping God. They found a way, on the go! Hence, again proved, ‘necessity is the mother of invention’. Again proved, ‘where there is a will, there is a way.’ And this is how the local trains spread their roots in the lives of the Mumbaikars, and in Mumbai itself. 

Soon, it will be a part of my life also…or may be already is. 

I'll come back with new observations or realizations...till then,

Keep the faith.