Friday, December 28, 2007

all set!!!

medical bills - submitted
electricity bill - paid
telephone bill - paid
water bill - paid
credit card bill - paid
plants - watered
kitchen - cleaned
overhead tank- filled up
garbage - dumped
laptop - given to a friend for safe keeping
car - parked at the office
out of office assistant - set
neighbors - informed
all doors and windows - shut

yeah ... just about set to take off for the new year celebrations ... mumbai ... here I come ...
that is just a sample of the huge checklist that I had to go through over the last few days to make it happen ... but finally, it is all done and in a couple of hours, I'll be at the airport, praying that the flight is on time ...

come what may, I intend to have a good time. have prepared even in the case the flight is delayed. have a couple of paperbacks handy ... packed within easy reach!

well, so this will almost definitely be my last post this year.

So here we are, on planet earth as it whizzes through space, celebrating the fact that it is about to complete another revolution around the sun. But things change ... just as time flows and we can never go back to where we were the last time the earth was here, earth really isn't where it was the last time. For the galaxy spins as well ... and the Sun revolves around the galactic centre ... and the galaxy moves too ... as a part of the apparent expansion of the universe ... not to mention the wobble of the earth on its axis and a zillion other things that I don't even know about.

but then ... who cares?
you don't really need a reason to celebrate. there is no reason why everyday shouldn't be a new year .... so, lets get down to it :)

Wish you all a Happy New Year!!!
Stay Safe. Party Hard.
I shall see you on the other side ...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

rainy day

one of those days ... again.

last night, I dozed off listening to the sound of the rain ... I missed the sound that it makes when it beats down on a tin roof ... almost a constant background score for my childhood years. Here, I can't really hear it as it hits the concrete roof ... but I can hear it as it falls off the eaves into the little pools below ... plop ... plop ... ... plop.

There was a slight wind blowing as well. It wasn't too loud. You wouldn't have heard it unless you were alone perhaps ... no TV and no conversation to drown out the sound. It wasn't very cold ... but that sound really made me feel glad to be tucked in under the heavy cotton quilt.

Woke up early. Well rested. I sleep better when it is cold. With all the rain, there was one thing less to do this morning - I didn't have to water the plants. Opened the door to the terrace and stepped out to check what the day looked like. Overcast. The clouds looked too low and too heavy for comfort. Closed the door and tiptoed downstairs. It feels sacrilegious to break the silence in the mornings.

Brushed. Hunted for something clean to heat the water for the tea. Ground in some fresh pepper as the water boiled ... poured in a spoon of honey into the cup and the tea leaves into the sieve ... watched the water boil ... heard the bubbles as they rose to the surface and popped ... waited for the pepper to color the water ... just a little ... poured it over the tea leaves .... and smelt heaven.

A few minutes later, I found myself seated on my favourite side of the dining table ... looking out the window ... tea ... cigarette and a couple of salted biscuits. Contemplating the rain. Contemplating the mud.

15 minutes of peace ... 15 minutes of quiet ... 15 minutes of God.
In a Godless world.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

has anyone ever transported a pet in india?

I want to get our dog and cats from my home town to Bangalore. Amazing at it seems, I can't seem to find a single way of doing it. It seems to be a gray area for most airlines and though the railways apparently allow it, I have not been able to confirm it officially so far.

It is quite disheartening really. Hopefully I shall find a way. The last thing we want is to leave them behind. And leaving them with other people isn't that easy either when they are such an integral part of the family.

Could the politicians that hog the airwaves preaching about cruelty towards animals and vegetarianism please do something to ensure that at least the government run transport systems have some clear guidelines regarding the transportation of pets?

I am sure this would help to some extent in reducing the number of stray dogs in our cities as well - so many of them wear collars. Perhaps their owners were unable to take them along when they changed location and left them to fend for themselves.

Suggestions welcome ...

Perhaps I can take a month off and spend it driving through the country from the North East to the South West with a dog and a couple of cats :)

Friday, December 14, 2007

П (pi)

Here I am. So full of the everyday, so full of the mundane, so full of the uneventful, so full of ....
That I have forgotten to look at the stars.

And then, I was awarded a book coupon. This lead to more contemplation of the mundane: Should I use this coupon to buy some of the books that I swear by but are unfortunately missing in my bookshelf? Or do I buy something new?

New won the day. It has been too long I felt. Too long since I have thought of new things. Time to move on. To explore new thoughts. New paths. And so, I got myself 4 books. A couple of them written by authors that I have read previously and a couple that are completely new.

That is how I ended up spending a couple of sleepless nights - reading "Contact" by Carl Sagan.

Any path is just a path ... or something to that effect said Don Juan ... or at least that is what Carlos Castaneda made of what he had been taught... And here I am, trudging along on a well beaten path, when I pick up a book and realize just how far I am from where I had begun - that I have forgotten to look at the stars.

The stars, perhaps, missing an admirer, conspired to send this book my way. That is how I discovered or should I say re-discovered П.

If that weren't conspiracy enough, it is just over a month since I got engaged ... and finally started wearing a ring ... a circle ... and here I am ... back full circle as it were ... and inexorably connected to one of the universal truths by a small circle of my very own. A part of the cosmos contemplating itself.

If this sounds incomplete, so let it be.
It is not for me to find your П for you ... and sharing mine may not help much with that either.
I do hope you find it though.
And I do hope I don't lose mine yet again.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


the world is maya ... everything in this world is a maya ...

for my lone south american reader i'll need to clarify here that i am not talking of the mayan civilization ... maya is a term that means illusion ... in my mother tongue it also means attachment and fondness ... in addition to illusion

as a hindu, initially by birth and later by choice, despite not being devout in the fundamental sense ... neither liberal in the "sitting on the fence" sense, the concept of the world and everything in it being an illusion is something that i concur with. one of the reasons perhaps, why i love richard bach's writing so much and cannot go beyond some 10 posts or so without talking about matrix.

so why talk of maya?

not to convince anyone else into looking at the world i do. but more to remind myself.

it hits you at weird times ... like the other day for instance, while i was watching the news regarding the stock markets ... the sub prime mess in the US and how it was impacting the markets world wide ... and how the various agents were playing out ....

isn't it amazing ... we began with a barter system ... i grow potatoes you grow meat ... i give you some potatoes ... you give me some meat and we both have a bit of both ... but what if you want wool and i want meat? no deal? but then the guy who has wool already has meat so he doesn't want meat ... duh?

so we settle on a thing that is valuable for everyone ... gold ... so i buy meat in exchange for gold ... you take that gold and use it to buy wool .. fur ... whatever ...

and then gold becomes a little cumbersome to lug around ... and it isn't all that safe to carry ... so then comes the replacement ... right from the time of Templar ... who were the first perhaps to start giving paper notes in lieu of money ... not really sure about the history but something along those lines ...

and then we have paper money ... and like that isn't enough, we now have credit cards and electronic money transfers and what not ... all make believe ... a system that we have created ...
and how often do we really look at it for what it is? an illusion that we can choose to change the way we want to? a concept born of our imagination and limited only by it...

and imagine how it has changed our world .. our definition of what constitutes "useful" work ... probably at least 80% of the work in the world ... if not more is absolutely unrelated to the things that we basically need ... food ... clothes ... shelter ... and yet we don't really need to worry about any of these things ...

farmer: so what do you do for a living?
writer: i write.
farmer: oh! but i have potatoes ... can i exchange it for something with you?
writer: sure i'll give you 3 poems for 10 potatoes ...
farmer: but i can't read ... and i don't like poetry ... sorry ... i'll go to someone who has meat ... or perhaps if you could water my fields ...
writer: no i'd rather stay hungry than water the fields ... i do a white collar job you know :)

the point of this post is not about hungry writers or money or even maya by itself.

as autumn turns to winter and the air gets colder, you feel the air as you breathe it in ... making you more aware of the fact that you are breathing ... more aware of the fact that you are alive ... and it helps you realize things that you don't always realize in warmer climes ...

like the fact that of all the illusions, one of the biggest perhaps is the one of not being alone. it does not matter how many friends you have ... how much family ... how much love ... how many enemies ... how much hate ... they are all just illusions ...

you are never ever anything but alone.