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Showing posts from September, 2017

Name Game

Names matter much.  How can, for example, the road which houses the Prime Minister of Bharatvarsha be called Race Course Road?  Since the welfare of the masses is the PM’s primary concern, the road of his residence was rechristened as Lok Kalyan Marg.  Many roads in Delhi underwent such baptisms after Mr Modi became the Prime Minister of Lok Kalyan. Aurangzeb Road became APJ Abdul Kalam Road.  Dalhousie Road became Dara Shikoh Road.  Akbar is all set to lose out to Maharana Pratap.  While we can understand BJP’s hatred of the British and the Mughals, it may not be easy to understand why the Teen Murti Marg had to be given an Israeli name: Haifa Marg.   Recently Shashi Tharoor claimed that 23 of the welfare schemes implemented by the BJP were merely Congress schemes rechristened .  Examples: National Girl Child Day programmes → Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan → Swachh Bharat Abhiyan Rajiv Awaas Yojana → Sardar Patel National Urban Housing Mis


Once upon a time there was this godman who called himself Paramanandaswamikal.  He appeared from nowhere on a day that stood drenched in a cloudburst.  A few trees had collapsed in the storm that accompanied the cloudburst.  This man with shabby clothes and criminal looks was sitting on one of the fallen trees when the rainstorm abated.  The villagers were as suspicious initially as they were of any stranger.  “I am the poem of the almighty,” he said very solemnly when the village elder asked him who he was. The villagers thought that he was a lunatic.  Then the stranger said, “Your children are not your children.”  The villagers were amused.  They nudged each other.  Marital fidelity was not considered a particularly great virtue in that village since many men were working in faraway places and came home to embrace their wives only once in a blue moon.  “Your children are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself,” the stranger went on after a solemn pause.  “Life

Children and Suicide

Every suicide is an admission of a failure (except the euthanasia one chooses as the ultimate, inevitable option).  It becomes the failure of many persons when the death is chosen by young people.  Recently a national English newspaper reported that “ Every hour, one student commits suicide in India .”  8934 students opted for suicide in the country in 2015.  The reports says that “These deaths result from poor relationships with parents, excessive expectations, the feeling of being unwanted, poor understanding of their peer/romantic relationships. These result in an impulsive decision or a long thought-out deliberate suicide.” Life is never easy.  It has never been.  Even those who were born with a golden spoon thrust between their jaws have had to struggle much to keep the spoon from being snatched away.  “Life is one contingency after another, with no guarantees beyond the certainty of death,” as Gerald Corey puts it in a book for students of psychological counselling.  Life i

Happiness is a choice

In Richard Bach’s novel, Illusions, there is a question: If God appears to you and commands you to be happy, what will you do?  The novel doesn’t give any explicit answers except that happiness is your choice. The novel is about a man who is an incarnation of God.  Donald Shimoda was sent by God to be the messiah of the modern world.  But he quits the job.  He doesn’t want to drink that bitter cup.  Anyway, saving the world is just another illusion.  People don’t want salvation.  If they did, the world would have been a paradise long ago.  Isn’t every religion worth the name teaching its believers salvation?  Yet why have the believers not saved themselves?  Because they don’t want salvation.  They want miracles.  People come to Donald for miracles.  He becomes a prestidigitator and that’s not his job.  So he quits.  “It’s not my will, but yours, that matters,” God tells him.  Donald chooses to be happy.  He is happy with simple things.  “If you really want to remove a cloud

Vice President’s Vices and Myths

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu is incapable of distinguishing between mythology and history.   Speaking at a leadership summit at the Indian School of Business the other day, Mr Naidu said that goddesses Lakshmi and Saraswati were India’s finance and education ministers respectively. Source: OneIndia Gods and goddesses belong to myths.  Myths are important but not for teaching history.  Myths have been used by every culture to teach certain religious and moral lessons to the children.  They have also served well to help man deal with the demons in his subconscious and unconscious minds.  Joseph Campbell, arguably the best scholar on myths, said that myths provide a cultural framework for a society to educate their young.  Even as we grow older myths may help us to deal with certain problems of life.  The function of myths remain, however, at the religious level.  It is dangerous to mix myths with historical facts and events.  India is already going through a crisis ca

The Fun of Blogging

It’s been a pretty long liaison with blogging now.  I started it way back in 2001 when I bought my first desktop.  It was with Times of India ’s blogging space that I began.  Soon I switched to Sulekha which offered many incentives.  Apart from the gift vouchers that came from Sulekha , there were quite a few committed bloggers there whom I really liked.  I got a fairly good share of readers too there.  But the love affair with Sulekha ended when a team of Right wing bloggers dominated the whole platform and started posting unsavoury comments with malicious intent. Wordpress hosted my blogs after that for a few years.  Then something went wrong.  Apparently someone hacked or tried to hack my site.  It stopped working properly.  Then I migrated to Blogspot where I have remained for all these years.  But many of my fellow bloggers whom I read without fail stopped blogging for various reasons.  Some are in the family way, some immersed themselves totally in their careers, and som

God’s Loneliness

I feel so lonely though I have quite a few billion fans on the earth, let alone the other planets in other galaxies. After creating all the creatures who would obey my laws without questions I created these silly things with a brain that can think as well as feel affection because I wanted affection, affection rooted in understanding. But they created religions in my name political parties in my name terrorist organisations in my name retreat centres in my name schools and colleges hospitals and asylums brothels too for selling affection All in my name But without me anywhere around I wanted affection So I created these chosen animals But they created their own gods and left me out in the cold.

Déjà vu

How many times will you keep repeating the same old story? You keep meeting the same kind of people wherever you go whatever you do because you are what you are And you are your worst enemy. That is Déjà vu. PS. Written for Indispire Edition 187: #DejaVu

Gods on the rampage

Lying on this cold tomb stone I cannot even rage Against the memories That rage within me. Memories that have driven me From home to the relief camp, And thence to this cemetery. I saw the madness of gods Dancing in frenzied orgy Over the corpses of my offspring Lying in pools of hate and lust and greed. The gods are now ravaging The benumbed relief camps Looking for bombs in gruel pots. Lying on this cold tomb stone I await with dread in my bones The arrival of armed gods To enlist me in their creed. PS.  I wrote this poem many years ago.  I don't remember how many years ago and what the occasion was.  But it is so relevant even today. 

Economics Simplified

Ram wants to start a business.   He needs ₹1 million.   Desh Bank is a new bank where Shyam has deposited ₹1 million on completion of a recent contract of his. The bank is ready to give Ram a loan and transfers ₹1 million to his account.   Ram gives the contract for his new building for his proposed business to Shyam who demands ₹1 million for the job.   Ram gives Shyam a cheque for ₹1 million.   Shyam deposits the cheque in the bank.   How much money does Shyam have in his account now?   Answer: ₹2 million.   How much money is there actually in the bank?   Answer: ₹1 million. Som similarly gets a loan of ₹1 million from Desh Bank.   He too employs Shyam as his contractor and gives a cheque for ₹1 million to Shyam who deposits it in the bank.   There’s now ₹3 million in Shyam’s account although the actual amount in the bank remains the same original ₹1 million. Now Shyam wants to take out his ₹3 million to start a business of his own.   What happens? Desh Bank see

Dance in the eyes

The dance in your eyes never ceased to fascinate me: a tender chiaroscuro that veiled volcanic flames whose intense fervour did not scorch the quaint cadence of the heard music. What is it that you seek: an oasis in the desert? the alchemy for transmuting pain? the touch that releases the music lying captive in tortured veins? Whatever that be, I love the God you created or discovered in the little space between you and me.