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Archive for the ‘Journey’ Category

Bring out the best

 

We seek the O Lord in out daily life, we see thy presence in our midst

Where or where can we seek thee but in our selves

Seldom do we find you in ourselves, others we hold as mirrors, to find you

Seek but the way a friend or a foe makes your presence felt

 

We are but here for each other, in trials and tribulation, our duty to bring out the best

Best or worst a choice we make, along this journey in life

The purpose in life is to be thy the pen that thy hand holdeth,

Writing the history of time, one person at a time

 

A photographer captures in the best their smile can be, they mirror the eyes of truth

Their depths revealed to those who know not their truer selves

The teacher teacheth pupil, and soweth the seed of wonder

Showeth in brighter futures its true and hidden colours

 

We are but stones, on rustic mountain sides, people as seasons chisel away, a constant

The harsher we place our selves, the greater the pain of losing our older selves

Createth in us, the angels we set out to become, though create demons of us others

Trust in the people like the farmer trusteth the rain, broken trust a heart break or createth stronger

At the end of day we stand , galiant and radiant to our creator

Careful oh wanderer, where thou goweth, there lie angels and demons alike on path untroden

 

We can be there for those, who ask our help, Can there be be a bridge where no waters lie

Let not ourselves seek those to whom we ask,trust is but a virtue some cherish and others use

Let stones remain on those mountain sides, choice govern our existance

The choice is not ours, but the inner stone to choose to change

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The world around me

Dear PP,

Its been a long time since I have written and made a comment about how life around me intrigues me.

There were a few things that I came across which hurt and cause pain the most. A child that has just come out of the mothers womb with tubes running down its nose. It makes me sad yet hopeful that we can see the world as it is and an unknown person seeing this will turn around and pray for that child. I guess that what connects life and people at large. If it had not been for a person that took my by the hand and made known things to me I would not be the same. I am an advocate of being independent and doing things independently, but having said that I have come to advocate against it, more so since it does not draw parallels with my being.

As an academic it enthuses me and make me weary at the same time about the various behaviors of people, leaders across boundaries. Things are done differently here as they are back home, and the standard of safety much better here than there. Just to cite an example, I dropped my Indian Nokia handset here a couple of times and ended up cracking its plastic exoskeleton. Although some may argue that surfaces here are harder than in India, I would much rather say that the quality of the exoskeleton here is much higher than back home. The sequel to my phone story proves the point. I ended up purchasing a new handset and it has fallen a couple of times without cracking, and is safe with a few scratches.

As I had mentioned in a post long ago, we go by the “chalta hai ” attitude, by which anything goes. Little do we preserve and want to take care of what we do have. And this goes across lines of change everywhere. Its is the basis of the fabric that binds cultures together. Not that one is better than the other. I much rather prefer ours, where the Indian attitude of sitting alone for a meal is just not done, we have to sit together as a family to break bread and share. And where we are most concerned about the neighbors well being (although maybe just to get information rather than just as concern). The culture that nurtures respect for elders.

Love E

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In thine arms

 

There are those who fear the world, there are those who fear life in itself

We have come to a place of no return, of a place where care has a  price

There is a need to find that will, that chance to be ourselves again, a value for life

I remember an earthquake, a pile of rubble and a dead mother wrapped around a sleeping child

 

Are we a world where war mongers make us fight amongst ourselves

Are we a world where power mongers make us slaves of our own weaknesses

Gone are the days when we need be satisfied with what we have and what we need

Snatched away by hedonistic tendencies of some from poor mortals

 

Can we find solace in facts, garnished to mollify chieftains

Are not the wise blinded by sterotype and a need to sustain

Facts defaced and wise blinded, can we not find ourselves on foundations written down for all in writing

Are not we entrusted to look for strongholds, that transcend time, a legacy for those to come

 

In thine arms I lay my spirit, in thine arms I have recourse

I lay in your lap as a autumn leaf that falls gently and makes its way to the ground

As the shadows follow, i need to feel safe in this hour of need

Wrapped in the cloak of truth, as the tides of fear sweep life

 

 

 

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He talked to us about the importance of being decent Indians and a good people to work with. There was a certain authority in his voice which calmed us and made us believe that we were talented  and were the torch bearers for  the ones to come after us. As I was thinking about all of these things when we were getting back from Melbourne CBD, the after taste of the conversation we shared and the meeting we had with Mr Narayan Murthy, now Dr Narayan Murthy, was palpable . He was offered the Doctorate Honorius causa by Monash university for his various contributions later the next day.

All formally dressed we left for the venue of the meeting, not knowing what to expect.  I did not know about the others but I had a lump in my throat just thinking about the way things would go. We arrived at the Monash office at Melbourne CBD, where we were to spend 50 min of his time speaking about our role as Phd students. We felt the heavy presence in the room as we entered. Mr Murthy was in conversation with someone on his phone just before we met. As he got off the call, we were seated around him to begin the discussion. Brief introductions later we were in conversation with Mr Murthy.

He thanked us for being there to spend time from our busy schedules to meet him. I have often  heard of time being valued. But the person sitting in front of us chief mentor and founder of a 2 billion dollar business thanking us, made it utterly clear how valuable our time was for him.

He started first with the flaw most of us have i.e. to speak quickly. Having come to a foreign country the importance of speaking to an audience which does not understand the accent, became utterly clear when I had to present in front of the research group. “Prayer session” turned out to be “procession” if spoken quickly, which I realized in my own conversations. His most valuable words were that even if the work is path breaking, if it is not explained in a tangible and intelligible manner, is worth little.

He took the lead in the discussion and impressed upon us the fact that we were in fact ambassadors in the Indo-Australian relationship, and that we were meant to do more than just our doctoral work here.  He called for us to be model guest, a joy to the host.   We spoke about the apprehensions about our work, and asked for advice on how to go about it. He spoke of a time when he was faced with dealing with big problems. It made him break the problem down bit by bit into manageable pieces and put it back together.  This was in answer to a question he answered about solving problems.

There was a question of lack of motivation at times during the course of a Phd.  His answer to this was simple. He said that whenever he was faced with a dilemma of motivation, he would just think of the millions of less privileged people that were unable to achieve what he had been able to do, making the going much easier.  He spoke of lakhs of students who were not privileged enough to get into higher education let alone getting into prestigious institutions like the opportunity that was presented to us.

We walked out of that room that day with an after taste of hard work and perseverance.  Two of the virtues a must have for all who strive to be the best in their areas of work. All I remember is “Success is the ability to bring a smile on the face of people when you enter the room”.

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Coping

The mind is a strange being and has been fascinating in the way it treats and deals with situations.  I was amazed by the fact that someone who was physically and mentally abused for years only realized at the age of 26. What was intriguing was not that she realized that she was in a bad state but that her mind had forced her to shut out these experiences in order to protect her. I wanted to judge but there was no logic in judging since we in science have been just begun scratching the surface of the mountains of information that the mind holds.

There are some who deal with it by “not allowing anyone to make that impact”. It becomes a way of life as I see it, and the mind begins to work out whats the best way given the original  “not allowing anyone to make that impact” attitude. This in turn leads to the person seeking ways of physically or mentally strengthening themselves by different means, this being done to show their superiority towards lesser mortals as it would seem.  Little do they realize that humans are social beings needing support and each is adept in what they do, making all equally capable.

Humor is another way of the mind coping with situations, a way in which the person tries to forget their situation faced by trying to find or create humor in their daily lives. They either bring humor and joy to others lives thereby nullifying the hurt and despair they feel.

Some throw themselves into causes in order to help themselves by helping others. They find solace in the fact that their life of despair has brought about the good of another. It is but a selfish goal in which their flight from their own situation takes them to their home away from home.

Each way of coping is a physical and outward expression of whats felt deep within. Some listen to loud music, some delve into literature, others meet people, others get intoxicated. Increasingly a way away, but rather a way deeper into the maze than a way out it. Is there a solution?

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As I watched the Franchesca PNJ 210 pass us by from the ferry which was taking us from Diwar to the main land, I began to watch the glistening water of the Mandovi river and remember my escapades of the past 2 days. The train was about to leave from Karmali station near Old Goa for  Mumbai within the hour and we were scrambling to get to the station, especially since I had to get into the train and find a seat with a ticket which was waitlisted. As I realized later there were many like me who were getting back to Mumbai in the general compartment after a weekend in Goa.

It was a cold February morning and I was waiting for sleep to come by as I contemplated traveling all the way to Goa via home for the carnival.  It would be a 700km journey by bus initially as I ran through it in my head and I would have to get back by train had I to be back fit enough to work.  The effort did not seem worth the while given the journey and the lonely nature of the travel. Earlier that evening I asked a few friends and it seemed their weekends were planned leaving me in the lurch with no choice. As I left that day for home I was sure the journey was going to be painful and long and that I would question myself all the way of whether I had made the right choice. Life has a way of sometimes making you question motives, all the more if motives have to be justified en route. So here I was sitting in the bus waiting to cover the initial part of the journey to Pune by the state transport bus.  Though it took me one whole day  to reach Goa via a short stay at home, i was refreshed at the site of familiar scents and faces.

It seems like yesterday even today when I see those ancient structure in Goa. The Portuguese who lived and ruled in Goa make their presence felt everywhere. The carnival there was begun in the 18th century and has been there ever since. A King of Chaos, King Momo  is elected who announces the start of festivities . It is said that the carnival was started by the Portuguese in Goa and was revived after the liberation of Goa to boost tourism. Traditionally the carnival(Portuguese meaning:-to take away meat) is meant for merry making before the austere season of lent. It entertains revelers from all parts of the world with floats, live music and loads of characters giving it a fairy tale appearance. Many companies get to advertise their merchandise as well, of course the people with a cause are not far behind in making their presence felt.

The time given was around 4:15, as we made our way by the ferry, then by NH 17 towards Panjim, all I had in mind was the floats I had never witnessed at close quarters. The only floats I was accustomed to were those that made their way along Rajpath on the republic day. To see live floats was a unique thrill in itself. Later though I was certain the journey was well worth the effort and the pain. As we made our way by lorries two wheeler,  and i cursed her for having a scoterette than a bike, I was thankful all the same. Two wheelers are a must to experience the tiny allyways of Goa and to make the Goa experience fun. As we made our way through the packed reveling traffic on the streets of Pangim, I looked for place while Lorrie made sure I was not distracted by the floats and have an accident. We finally found parking place in the Pangim market alongside a number of other bikes. We walked passed towards the street marked as the route of the floats to find lorries friends. I for once was least bothered about friends or anything else for that matter. The floats that made their way slowly along that street was all I was interested in. As time passed by I remembered Lorrie’s mom telling us not to get too close to the revelers lest we were smeared with colours and the like, eggs and other novelties at this were not uncommon as aunty told us. It is said that the erstwhile rulers during carnival as part of the rowdy celebration aimed  flour, eggs, oranges, lemons, mud, sand-filled gloves along with dirty water, various liquids and glue  at passersby. Used pots, pans, and other kitchen utensils were also thrown out of windows. Perhaps this was done to discard the old and the dirty before the Lenten fast. The first to catch my eye was the float of the churches of old Goa.

These were tall frames on which were draped banners of the churches to give it a 3D look. After which came the float of the association of spastic people. The gap between floats was large enough for us to catch a bite and move along to a suitable spot to view the happenings.

There were huge forms of the peacock, a king kong form  and a hunter hunting what seemed like a leopard, each with its own message. The anti-drug abuse junta made their way in between proclaiming their bit too. After a while the effects of the journey began to set in and we made our way to a cafeteria nearby for a bite. Little did I know that the floats were at their end and would be over within some time. As I walked back along Pangim streets with some live music playing in the background, all I could think about was coming next year for a repeat of this experience.

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