Sunday, November 27, 2016

Demonetization Story

Like many others, I was informed of the the demonetization move by Narendra Modi to tackle the black money problem through one of the Whatsapp Groups. Immediately, I checked my wallet and I was relieved that I didn't have a single five hundred or a thousand rupee note. I wouldn't have to go to the bank and stand in the long queue.

Next morning I was driving to my office. Oh wait, let me tell you about my interesting drive to office. While driving from my home to the office, there is one big traffic signal which comes on the way and everyday or rather most of the days, I meet this young girl who would come begging for money. Most of the times, I gave her some money (usually in the range of one rupee to ten rupees, maximum I gave was hundred rupee on the day of the festival Holi). I am not this usual beggar giving guy but this girl has so much positive energy in her that I could never resist giving her money. On the festival of Holi, she came with this color bowl in her hand and I gave her hundred rupees to which she asked me to step out of the her car, applied color on my face and made me meet her family (her sister, her brother and her mother). Everytime she took the money, she would come and talk to me and in the end uttered her rehearsed line"bhaiyya aapko bhagwaan khush rakhe" (Brother, May God keep you happy). I was not sure how much did God listen to her but somehow she did pass on some of that much needed positive energy to me.

Now, lets get back to the my drive to office on the next day to the demonetization announcement. I stopped at the same traffic signal I told you about. As I stopped my car, I noticed the begging girl excitedly running to me. I asked her to why was she so happy and ecstatic. She took out a five hunder rupee note from her pocket in the torn dress she was wearing. She told me "ek bahut acche sahab ne aaj pehli baar diya" (One very good gentleman gave me this for the first time). I was sure that she was not aware of the announcement that the five hundred rupee notes had been banned and that it was a mere piece of paper. She was so ecstatic at receiving the large currency that she even blessed the man infront of me "bhagwaan unko bahut khush rakhe" (May God keep him very happy).

I realised that I had little time to explain her about demonetization and then it would depress her. Instead I told her that if somebody saw that large currency with her, he will assume that she had stolen it from someone. And thus I took five of the hundred rupee notes from my wallet and asked her to change it for that one five hundred note she had. She was surprised as to why I did that but then I had built an image of a nice guy, so she agreed.

She then asked me as to where was my share of alms to her. I thought to tell her that I had given my share of alms to her by exchanging the notes but I took out my wallet and took out a 5 rupee coin and gave it to her. She looked at me and ran away saying "bhagwaan aapko bhi khush rakhe" (May God also keep you happy).

I  drove to office with my mind smiling at the idea that yes, that man who had given her the larger currency actually needed more blessings than me.

And befittingly the radio in my car played:

Maanaa apni jeb se fakeer hain, phir bhi yaaron dil ke hum ameer hain,
Mitte jo pyaar ke liye woh zindagi, chale bahaar ke liye woh zindagi
Kisi ko ho naa ho hamein to aitbaar hai, jeena isi ka naam hai
Kisi ki muskurahaton pe ho nisaar, kisi ka dard mil sake to le udhaar
Kisi ke waaste ho tere dil mein pyaar, jeena isi kaa naam hai...

Friday, November 11, 2016

Stories of wander

Picture clicked at Angkor Wat

“We wanderers, ever seeking the lonelier way, begin no day where we have ended another day; and no sunrise finds us where sunset left us. Even while the earth sleeps we travel. We are the seeds of the tenacious plant, and it is in our ripeness and our fullness of heart that we are given to the wind and are scattered.” 
                                                                                                            ― Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

I am sure you would not have realised that I have been suffering from this writer's block. While I was able to weave ideas in my head, even narrate stories to my little cousin, but when I tried to write them on paper, it did not make much sense.

Last night I narrated a story about one of the serendipitous experiences of a well traveled woman. The story starts with the woman discovering a breathtakingly beautiful mosque while strolling around in Yousmarg, Kashmir. The mosque was so beautiful that it triggered a strong urge in her to witness the mosque from inside. But then, she noticed a board in Urdu which mentioned that women were not allowed in the mosque. She was remorsing over the idea of women not allowed in mosques and about other basic discrimination against women, that she saw a man (traveler looking) stepping out of the mosque. She reached out to him as to how mosque looked from inside. He also affirmed that the mosque was one of the most beautiful one he had seen, truly a hidden gem, ten times more beautiful than the ones in Istanbul or Iran. He showed her pictures (in his phone) of the murals and the engravings in the mosque's walls and ceiling. She realised that the mosque was really beautiful but the man was a bad photographer and he had not done justice to the beautiful mosque. Her craving to witness the mosque and click pictures increased multi-folds. The man, seeing her sad face, advised her that she could really sneak in; as there was no one inside the mosque.
The woman finally overcame her fear of being spotted by someone and sneaked in the mosque after he also agreed to come along her. She was overwhelmed with the beauty of the mosque and the artists who had created it. While she took out her DSLR camera to click pictures, one of the imams of the mosque came in. The imam calmly asked as to what was she doing inside as women were not allowed. The accompanying man (gave an expression of oh-is-it-women-are-not-allowed) told the maulvi that they did not notice any board outside to which the girl (also giving an expression of oh-is-it-women-are-not-allowed) nodded her head. The imam smiled at the girl and said that "I think females should be allowed in the mosques but lying shouldn't"....
And by then my cousin had slept on my lap and looking at her fairy like sleeping face, I thought of putting  the story on paper... .

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Story: Biography of a monk

A very revered monk once called his favourite disciple and informed him that his soul was going to leave his body (he was going to die) in a couple of days. He briefly gave the instructions of his last rites to the disciple which the young and the humble student sadly listened to and agreed to follow.

After the monk died, lot of people from various walks of life visited the funeral. It was a very modest funeral and there was a sense of calm throughout the last rites. It was during these rites, the disciple of the monk noticed that it was a woman who appeared to be saddest. Almost all people were sad (that their favorite monk had died) but then the woman's extreme sadness was quite conspicuous to the disciple.

Few months after the funeral, a famous biographer from Germany arrived at the monastery and sought cooperation from the disciple for he wanted to write a book on the monk. The disciple agreed to help the biographer with all facts about his favourite teacher. He also informed him about a woman who had arrived at the funeral and that she might be having something really special for the biography. Finally both the disciple and biographer searched for the woman and finally got to know that she lived in the mountains with her adopted family. The two people finally went on to meet her at her beautifully decorated house. But sadly, the two could not get anything from her as she blatantly told them that she was like yet another disciple and she used to follow his sermons on TV. The biographer and the disciple sadly left the mountain house with nothing from the graceful woman.

After few months, the book about the monk released and it became a best seller across continents. It also went on to become the second highest book to be sold across the world after the holy Bible.

Few months after the book's release, the disciple gathered himself and pondered over the teachings of the monk. His favorite teacher (monk) had taught him to follow the path of truth , sensitivity and curiosity. Thus, true to his teacher, the disciple left in search of truth to the woman who once had appeared to be the saddest to him. When he reached her house, she was angry to see him again. But he persisted and politely asked her to make him her disciple. She initially asked to go away as she was no teacher but then the disciple was persistent and adamant. He just asked her that he would stay with her and observe her. That would be the greatest learning as his monk had taught him that to observe a great soul is the biggest lesson one could undergo in life. The woman gave up to the persistence and agreed to keep him in the house. As the days passed ,the woman started developing sentimental ties with the kid for he reminded her of the monk.

Finally she told the monk's story to him:

Long back, in a very conservative town, the woman and the monk loved each other madly. Frustrated with the society, the monk constructed the idea of eloping with the woman to a distant land, which the woman reluctantly agreed. The monk charted the entire strategy of eloping and just gave one simple instruction to the woman to reach the railway station at a certain time. And like you guessed it, the woman didn't arrive and the monk had to leave the town alone.

The monk got dejected and assumed that the woman had chosen her family over him. He rushed to the mountains and took a vow of monkhood.  The monk also started undergoing the rigorous course of a monk. But after few months, the woman arrived looking for him and told him that she had missed the train. The monk got angry and asked her as to how can one miss the train of the lifetime. She politely reminded him of how casual she was with time and asked him to forgive her and leave monkhood for a happy marriage. The monk refused and said that he cannot take back his vow for monkhood.

The woman angrily left him with words of "Go to hell". Later they exchanged a lot of letters between them where the woman kept cajoling him as to leave monkhood and join her for a life rich of marital joys. She wrote to him that he was not meant for this boring monkhood but exciting bike trips, treks, hikes, building their own house, family and gardens.

Later, the persistent monk started becoming famous (in the world of monks) for he was a smooth talker and could heal souls with his long soulful speeches. His sermons were being attended by global thought leaders and lot of thesis on his teachings started being written by philosophers and spiritual leaders.

The old woman keenly followed the monk's speeches and teachings. She wrote him a letter as to how she found his teachings to be bullshit and mere crap. He replied her that he also agreed that they were bullshit and crap but lies and crap are what heal. He even wrote that all other religious teaching were equally crappy.

After the disciple heard the story, he asked her to show the letter where he stated that whatever he preached were bullshit. She agreed to show the letter to him.

Later the disciple left and wrote a book on the monk as the story of the bullshitter. This book went on to become the best seller, even beating the bible as the most sold book of all times.

But beyond everything, this book also marked the beginning of the revolution against all the religions and religious practices and thus an end to all the religions from the face of this world. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A story: Madness of healing

Once upon a time, on a beautiful journey, I was passing through a dense forest, when I heard a sad sobbing sound of a crying woman. I followed that sad sound and finally saw a middle aged woman sitting and crying under a tree. She appeared to me as one of the saddest persons in this world but also her sad  tearful face was the most beautiful face I had ever seen in this world. Her face was angelic and truly heavenly and I was deeply mesmerised by her face which glew due to the sadness on it. The sadness in her heart made that ordinary woman glow like a Goddess. I could not resist but sit there and continuously look at her. The woman kept on crying and crying exhaustively. She even fainted crying. I ran to the nearby stream and brought water to sprinkle on her face and also offered her some to drink which she reluctantly obeyed.

She came back into senses and I could notice her beautiful and tired eyes. I tried to calm her but then out of anger, she shouted and asked me to just run away from her face. I  obeyed her and sat under the next tree and looking at the beautiful tree, a thought came to my mind. The trees are so selfless and giving in their nature. They continue to give shade and oxygen to human beings irrespective of who they are (even to the man who cuts their branches). Sitting under the tree, I started memorizing the tree: its leaves, its barks, the trunk, everything. It had a calming effect on me.

The sad woman sitting by the next tree fainted again. I obeyed my heart, ran to her and sprinkled some water at her face. After she woke up, I offered her some fruits which I had plucked on my way. She picked them from my hand and threw them away out of anger and asked me to just run away. I told her that I could not because I chased beauty and she (due to her extreme sorrow) was the most beautiful person I had ever met. She shouted at me that I was mad and that her husband and son had died in an accident and thus she was angry at God and crying. I told her that to me: she was my God and that her face was a God's face. She shouted again at me and even hit me and asked me to run away and not show my ugly face again. I humbly obeyed and left her and sat by the tree I had memorized so deeply.

The sad woman didn't stop crying and due to lack of energy, she fainted again. I got up, sprinkled water on her face and offered her water to drink. This time, my persistence worked and she drank some water. Her face was glowing with grief and anger and I was feeling blank by her beauty. She asked me as to why I was so kind to her to which I replied that I was not kind, I was just being spiritual and serving my God (that was her).  She shouted that I had lost my mind and I was mad. I laughed and offered her some fruits to eat. She took one and threw it far. I knew she (my God) was angry at her God.

As the time passed, she gave in to my spiritual persistence which she thought was very mad. She ate the fruits offered and drank water I had brought from the stream. She started gaining her energy back. Later, she gathered the energy to stand and walk up to the stream. After months of serving her, I left her affirming that life was back in her.

I continued on to my mad journey of chasing beauty....

Thursday, January 14, 2016

That joy..

That joy of writing
Your thoughts on paper
Thoughts taking shapes
Some circular, some linear
Some unfinished, some drunken
All perfectly moulded, elegantly jotted
Without that care of being misunderstood
Neglecting the imperfect vocabulary
Well, that joy of writing..

That joy of travelling
To the far distant land
Across smiles, across hidden forests
To everywhere and nowhere
That wind kissing your face
That sea wave caressing your feet
Starlit skies, rolling wheels
Well, that joy of traveling..

That joy of dreaming
Through time, through space
Through metaphors and ironies
All craziness and haziness
Dancing through the mess
Ignored corners and melting flakes
All magical and divine around
Well, that joy of dreaming..

That joy of loving
Unconditionally, without possibilities
Sparkling in that completeness
Moments of togetherness and timelessness
Transgressing all other joys
Well, that joy of loving..

That joy of living
Slowly, lightly
Humorously, purely
Well, that joy of living..

Friday, December 18, 2015

I wish to write a love story..

                                                                                                                               Photograph Location: Orchha, India

Part 1.

I wish to write a love story about a guy and a girl who travel alone. The guy travels alone because he can't wait for anyone and the girl travels alone because no one waits for her...

Part 2.

I wish to write a love story about a guy and a girl who travel alone. The guy never follows the dimension of space and the girl never follows the dimension of time. The guy never realizes where he reaches whereas the girl never realizes when she reaches...

Part 3.

I wish to write a love story about a guy and a girl who travel alone. The guy uses his brains for all his decisions whereas the girl uses her heart for all her decisions. The guy thinks all his journeys whereas the girl feels all her journeys..

Yes, I wish to write a crazy love story.......

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


ख्वाइशें शायद हकीकत से ज्यादा ख़ूबसूरत होती है
ख्वाइशें वह सफर है और हकीकत एक कयाम
और हम तो बस एक मुसाफिर हैं
चले जा रहे हैं , अपनी क्वहाइशों को लिए...

तुम अक्सर पूछती हो मुझसे
क्यों नहीं चले जाते वापिस अपने गांव
क्या मज़ा है इस शहर की कशमश की ज़िन्दगी में
क्या मज़ा है इस शोर में, इस गम में...

मुझे ख्याल आता है कि क्या पता ऐ दोस्त
इस शहर में है मेरी ख्वाइशें
और उन ख्वाइशों में है एक ख्वाइश,
मेरे गाँव लौट जाने की ख्वाइश
और शायद ख्वाइशें हकीकत से ज्यादा खूबसूरत होती हैं..

याद करो जब मैंने बताया था तुम्हे की
जब तीस साल का हो जाऊँगा
चला जाऊँगा हिमालय के दामन में
तुमने हंस कर बोला हो तो चुके हो तीस के
मैंने भी हंस दिया और बोला चला तो जाऊँगा हिमालय
लेकिन अब चालीस की उम्र में
जाऊं या ना जाऊं मेरे दोस्त
लेकिन मेरी तीस साल की रूह में
एक ख्वाइश है हिमालय जाने की
और शायद ख्वाइशें हकीकत से ज्यादा खूबसूरत होती हैं..

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Dream raised to the power of infinity

Dear students,

Welcome to the new class. The topic today is a unique one and an advanced one as well. So I expect you to concentrate harder.

Last year, if you remember we had done a lecture on "how to be a dreamer". The lecture was followed by some reading material from Fernando Pessoa and we also screened some movies to assist that lecture.

Today's lecture is a bit of continuation of that concept of dreaming where we discuss more and try to relate it to some more concepts. So lets start the lecture on "Dream raised to the power of infinity".

Well, the term raised-to-the-power-of is quite a mathematical term. Like three raised to the power of two is nine, four raised to the power of three is sixty four, let us first understand what is dream raised to the power of two.

By dream raised to the power of two, we mean that you are dreaming inside a dream. Like for example, you are sitting in your mundane corporate office and dreaming of sitting by the side of a lake in the Himalayas. This is just dream raised to the power of one.
Now again,  you are sitting in your mundane corporate office and dreaming of sitting by the side of lake in the Himalayas, and while sitting by the side of the lake, you dream of the blue sea in Maldives. This is dream raised to the power of two. You can go on and on, dream inside dream and keep increasing count. And when that count becomes infinite, you reach that stage of dream raised to the power of infinity.

Now let us understand this a bit more. How is dream raised to the power of five greater than say dream raised to the power of one?

Now, go back to your mundane corporate office, and look around. You are in 3-dimensions of space and one dimension of time. Now, when you dream of the lake, you achieve a stage of being in six dimensions of space: three of your office and three around the lake. So on, if you dream raised to the power of five, you are in fifteen dimensions (five multiplied by three). So isn't it cool, living in more dimensions than that awarded guy sitting next to your cubicle and working on a boring presentation.

Now when you reach a stage where you dream raised to the power of infinity, you actually are living in infinite dimensions, which means you become omnipresent. That's God, omnipresent for you!!!

I hope now you understand that all Buddha did while sitting under that tree in Bodh Gaya was nothing but dreaming raised to the power of infinity...

Thank you students for this patient hearing, I know there would be lots of questions in your mind. One like, how do we actually dream raised to the power of infinity. I understand that just going and sitting under a tree won't help. We will discuss this in the next class.

Till then, try dreaming about the next class...


Monday, August 24, 2015

Learning to fly (A story)

Like any other day, he went and sat in that park with a book in his hand. He liked noticing around: the trees, people jogging, children playing, flowers blossoming, freshly painted benches. He was relishing the freshly blossomed flowers beside the bench he sat on, until he noticed a colourful butterfly attempting to fly. It seemed that the butterfly was very young; just developed from a caterpillar. He enjoyed noticing her although with a sense of sympathy that she was unable to fly. In order to see the flying attempt closely, he lowered his eyes and came very close to her. She got scared but unable to fly, she just sat on the leaf from which she was attempting to fly.

He just uttered to himself 'Oh don't feel scared. I will not hit you' and in response she moved her head. It seemed to him that the butterfly was listening to him. And after several trials he was convinced that the butterfly could actually listen to her. He started asking questions to the butterfly and surprisingly found that she could answer in 'yes' or 'no'. If she meant 'yes', the butterfly would flap her wings twice and if 'no' she did nothing. He rejoiced at the discovery. He tested the butterfly : "are you a butterfly?" and the butterfly flapped the wing twice and and when she was asked "are you a man?" she did not flap her wings. He asked her many yes or no questions and got reply to all the questions with either two flaps or nil. Finally it was evening and he said bye to the butterfly and asked her whether she wanted to wish him too. The butterfly flapped her wings twice.

Later in the evening, he did a lot of research on net whether the butterfly could listen and understand human language and found that they could not. There was no literature on internet to explain such a phenomenon. It seemed weird to him, but then he was very sure that his butterfly was real. Later, he researched on net, various theories and principles on how butterflies fly.

Next day, he went to the butterfly who was again attempting to fly. He narrated her whatever he learnt on youtube as to how butterflies fly. The butterfly applied the theory (told to her by the new friend) and she could actually fly.

Everyday he went and sat on the same bench and in the evening would talk to the butterfly who would flap her wings in affirmation. He was so happy in the digital replies of his new friend. He would tell her about everything predominantly the office and his ex-girlfriend. The butterfly would just listen quietly and at times just show  her different stunts in the sky. Everyday, he felt light as the butterfly became his colorful diary he would confess into.

One day, he was promoted in the office and was asked to change his location to Mumbai. He gladly accepted the offer as it was a good sign in his career (although he was sad that he would miss his new friend). So in the evening he told the butterfly about the offer and asked the butterfly whether she was sad. The butterfly did not flap the wings. When he asked her whether she was happy, she flapped. He told her that he was initially skeptical about Mumbai but now that she is happy, he will have no regrets. He told that his new office was close to Marine drive and that every evening post work he will sit there as he really enjoyed the sea and the lights.

Post a final goodbye, he moved to Mumbai and sat at Marine drive often. He missed his butterfly friend a lot because the absorbing sea was not able to supplant the diary she had become. One fine evening while he was sitting at Marine drive, he was surprisingly delighted to find his colorful friend hovering joyously. He rejoiced at the idea that his friend had traveled all the way to meet him. That evening he told her everything about Mumbai, everything from the day he left Delhi till that very day. He felt so happy about it.

When it was the time to leave, the butterfly fluttered her wings a lot as if to say something. But he was so happy at the sight of the butterfly that he did not notice it much.

Next day, he came to marine drive and sat for hours but the butterfly did not come. It happened for days but he could not see the butterfly until he rewinded his last meeting with the butterfly in his mind. He realised that she wanted to say something to him but was handicapped between a 'yes' and a 'no'. He sat there and smiled at the nostalgia of onesidedness of his talks with the butterfly....