Friday, December 3, 2010

Writings on the wall

Read the writings on the wall

They will save you from every fall

Don’t be an adamant ball

They are fools who pursue every thought like a gall.

You are good at some vocation or profession

Take it up with every drop of passion

But know well that many things are not meant for you

However much you wish them to come true.

The mind has dreams galore

It fears for failure and craves for valour

Train your mind to accept limits set by nature

All can’t be Sachin and even Dravid is an achiever.

Nothing in this universe is a secret

Everything happens in front of our eyes

Bo says we fail to be discreet

Inspite of everything having a voice.

Read the writings on the wall

They will save you from every fall

The writings are loud and clear

They also have a pattern to reappear.

Monday, November 29, 2010

My first creative work

Love in this age is a security against solitude;

It’s an exchange coupon for company;

Commit to me and I will love you in gratitude;

Say you love me and I shall attach myself in symphony.

Love for the sake of love is so selfish;

Love with no expectations is so cruel;

Love without responsibility is of course cowardice;

For such ordinary feelings you deserve a banish.

Affection without reason is not understood;

Care without revert is misunderstood;

Being there without commitment is a fake;

Love with detachment is only for gods’ sake.

Say of what good is such a barter;

When you have no power over the next minute what so ever;

Why plan for the future with such fear my brother;

Why not live for today as beautiful as ever.

Ha! Where do you get your weird concepts from Bo;

Why can’t you follow the norms Bo;

Why do you make your near ones cry for love Bo;

What good will such a moksh be to anyone Bo.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


For nearly two years now a thought has been going on in my mind, what is liberation or mukti or moksh and how to get to that condition? Why do some handful people reach it, many try to walk the path and majority others don’t want to bother about it? Is it a worthwhile pursuit? Does it make sense? I have been struggling with so many doubts and my mind has been tossed about like a toy from one end of the argument to the other as well as deep into its various angles. Finally I am sure of very little. One is that this is real and the second is that if one works for it then it will happen. I do not know anything more than this.

What is the big deal? Everybody in this part of the globe knows this much! Well.

This is a very personal matter, a very personal choice. For starters let me look at the question, why? The simplest answer that comes to my mind is why not? I am interested. I have a strong intent. I believe; the time has come. All the experiences that I have gone through in this life so far, confirms this and points to this. The next question is am I prepared or can I? Answer is that is I have no clue. My mind and body have been consistently throwing spanners in the wheel, trying every trick in the book to divert my attention and get me involved into various desires, fears and temptations. The credit goes to my intellect i.e. my life that I have not been trapped yet. Knowing them, both the mind and body won’t give in easily and will try again. But my life has other plans. The third question is what should I be doing to walk this road? Once again the frank answer is I have no clue. I am not going to become a sadhu. I am going to live in society and continue to work for a living. I understand the various dos and don’ts in this enterprise. I am confident to live my life at those terms which my life alone will decide. I trust my life. I want to make this one count.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


My Mesho (Mausaji in Hindi) retired from Ordinance Factory Jabalpur a few years ago. Today he spends his retirement at Durgapur West Bengal in his own flat along with his family. My Mesho has always been a fidgety and an alarmist of a person as I have known him, but pardon me, I don’t wish to judge him.

I spent a few hours with them this month on an overnight trip to Durgapur. We got talking and he started with his take on the social scenario in the country today. This blog is dedicated purely to his thoughts for the simple reason that I wish to put forth the views of a senior citizen living in a far flung place in an undeveloped parts of this country.

“Bobby, privatization is only making the rich richer and the poor are not getting anywhere. During our days the public sector had a lot of strength, but today the government is liberalizing the private sector and then pitching the public sector to compete against them. This is not fair. The public sector pays good wages to their employees and has work ethics. How can they be competitive against the private sector which has no scruples?”

“Bobby, the public sector hires from all sections of society. The government hires on quota basis in the public sector. Therefore even the poor find jobs even though they may not have good education and training and may not be very skillful. This way society has been benefited. But look at the private sector. The quota system does not apply to them. They only hire the best few and pay them.”

“Bobby, my daughter is working in Axis Bank a private sector bank where she has a time to go to work but there is no reasonable time to leave office. She has to complete all her tasks and only then leave. She has so much work pressure. They won’t hire more persons and make each of their employees to do the work of four persons while paying for two persons. So now she earns more then what I earned at the time of my retirement but she hates to go to her office.”

“Bobby, look at the public sector banks, the bank employees do not work efficiently and they come to office just to chit chat and read their newspapers. Nobody in the management is bothered about service to customers. I had to run from pillar to post initially to get my pension through from the central government.”

“Bobby, look at the corruption in the private sector. The more there is liberalization the more these private sector companies think that they can get away with anything. Such things don’t happen in the public sector. Look at Ramalinga Raju, look at Lalit Modi. See how they have twisted the system.”

My poor Mesho! He spoke from his heart. He may be one sided in his views but sadly the other side has never been placed before him. The media does not report in a balanced manner. The government policies are never explained. Public debates never take place in this country. Is this a good sign for the future?


Of late during the past year, I have observed a remarkable awakening in society. The bar has been lifted. Topics concerning social behavior norms which always used to get shoved under the carpet since long in this country have all of a sudden been transformed into ‘ah-that’s-not-a-big-deal’ kind of subject. I am referring to a) gay sex and marriage, b) same gotra marriage, c) live-in relationship and d) pre-marital sex. The agency showing the way and providing protection is the Supreme Court of this country. The Supreme Court has single handedly allowed fair discussion and arguments to come into the open and stood like a rock for personal freedom of the citizen as long as he or she is not harming another. Wow!

For starters, such behavior is taken for granted in the west. It has absolute acceptance over there since centuries. The west thrives on individualism and they recognise individual rights as paramount in all business of social living. Therefore they are fiercely competitive as individuals. The thought process is unique to the individual and therefore they shine as personalities like the richest, the most beautiful, the fastest, the funniest, etc. So you have the Guinness Book of World Records originating from the west.

In India we have always had the family to support us, the family to fall back upon. In India we have always had the panchayat raj where the elders decide on any argument and their view was accept as final. The family and the elders have now given way to the courts of law. Call it the aping of the west, or promulgation of wrong policies by government, or the pressures of modern living; we are seeing in India that society has been fragmented to such an extent, that the old value system is no more in place.

Industralisation and economic reforms have brought in the wealth which is now shared by the poor and the middle class also. Now everybody thinks that they have an equal opportunity to compete and shine. We are seeing the poor having television at home, talking on mobile phones. We are seeing the middle class going to Dubai, Malaysia and Singapore for holidays. We are seeing more houses being built, more two wheelers and four wheelers being purchased. We are seeing students applying to foreign universities for studies. When there is so much of aggressive competition and resultant change in every sphere of social life, why should the private life of individuals be left behind in the stone age?

Fragmentation of society has also occurred due to movement of people from one state to another for jobs and better prospects. In the past mass movement of people was always preceded by environmental upheaval like earthquake and flood. Even in that joint families and groups moved together. Sadly in the current days, a nuclear family moves out and has to fend for itself. It is all alone in its struggle for survival.

So now nobody cares for past traditions and beliefs. The Supreme Court in its wisdom, probably sees this change and is of the opinion that for the citizens to be happy in this present day tough life, they need as much freedom as they can get within the four walls of law. As long as they do not harm anybody else, the people should be permitted by law to do whatever they want.


So have I heard; Life has four aspects or in the common mans idea of creation, life has the following four objectives. Kaama, Artha, Dharma and Moksha. Kaama stands for desires of the mind and body. Such desires could be of various unending kinds depending on the physical and emotional needs of the person. It could range from property, physical comforts, sex, spouse, family, children, recognition, fame, respect, designation, etc. Feelings like craving for such desires and the fear of losing out on enjoying them, drives every individual in the daily rat race. Artha stands for money and wealth. Accumulation of wealth is also a major driver in life. The more one has the more one wants. However the less one has also the more one wants. There is no limitation to this wanting. Money has three outflow avenues, self consumption, donation and falling into the hands of others. While there is a limit to what one can consume, the other two roads are without limits. Most fall prey to the third road. After their death, their accumulated wealth gets transferred either through stealing or bequeathing. Dharma stands for behavior and character. Life has its own laws very natural to it. As you sow, you shall reap. You are what you think. Your thoughts, words and actions come back to you in the same form. Therefore you alone are responsible for your state of life. To overcome the uncertainties involved in this philosophy, man created religion, rituals, worships and mantra to ensure happiness rather than suffering. Moksha stands for self realization. It is the liberation from the cycle of birth and death. You fall into this vicious cycle because of your accumulated and unresolved karma or the consequence of your thoughts, words and actions.

Moving from the first to the fourth is a gradual evolution of the person. Everyone tries to make an attempt because everyone primarily wants an end to their sufferings. However one cannot move from one level to a higher level just by wishing so. One has to work hard, allow ones’ own karma to play out, not get affected or be reactive, neither like or dislike it, thus ensuring that no new karmas are created and the existing ones get eradicated. This is an uphill task, which most do not want to undertake. Never the less, one can continue to exist in the first two categories and still lead a fulfilling life provided the three broad faculties of life namely mind, body and intellect are properly balanced. While intellect is the higher faculty for most persons it becomes the least important. One has to listen to all the three, restrain from excesses and learn to be satisfied with whatever life provides.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Today I read two wonderful stories in the newspaper. One was sad and the other was happy. Strangely both of them were connected to revolution and violence. Life regularly places people in unusual circumstances and ones ordinary choices can throw up extra-ordinary impact.

Let me write about the sad one first. Kanu Sanyal dies by hanging himself. The great man that he was did not deserve such a weak death. The tragedy is that when he was so fearless all through his life, he had to show such weakness in choosing such an ignoble end. For those uninitiated, Kanu Sanyal is said to be the founders of Naxalism in this country. Naxalism is not about killing and violence, though we may see it like that from media reports. Naxalism initially was about revolution against the injustice suffered by the weaker section of society mainly in rural areas. The upper casts consisting of zamindars, businessmen and priests wielded tremendous power over the poor and the lower casts. Man can endure sufferings and atrocities up to a limit and blame it on karma. When that limit is crossed, then the ambers of revolution flare up. Kanu Sanyal stroked such wild fires during his hay days. Known to be a great leader and orator, he led front the front and had a vast following. Slowly the naxal movement lost stream after the communists came to power in West Bengal and they changed the land holding scenario in rural areas across the state. Slowly the naxal movement shifted to Andhra, Orissa and Chhattisgarh. But the brave man that he was, why did he choose suicide? Was he dejected because nobody wanted to listen to him anymore? Or was he unable to bear the physical pain of old age and assumed that hanging was a brave act? Obviously many people would attend his funeral and cry for him. Sadly the truth is that all his work did not bring him much love. It was an unhappy death.

The other story was about an army-man who was shot at and wounded by militants in Manipur during its period of insurgency in the 1994. Lt. Col. D. P. K. Pillay who was leading his men had received a couple of bullets on his body and could have been evacuated by helicopter. However he chose to stay put and instead evacuated some children from the fighting zone. He waited for the helicopter to return after two hours during which time he continued to fight against the militants. He could have died but he survived. After a period of 16 years he again went back to the same place and met those militants who are now working as farmers as well as those children whom he evacuated. The children are now grown up and have become parents themselves. The militants joked with him about their poor aim and he showed them his scars. They all had a good time, laughed and cried together. Lt. Col. D. P. K. Pillay must have gone through some major emotional crises during his recuperation. The best thing about him is that he carried no malice against those who shot at him to kill him. The people loved and respected him for his selfless deed to save their children. There is so much of love that the imagining the scene of reunion itself brings tears to my eyes. Lt. Col. D. P. K. Pillay tells that he chose to send out the children first because it was not their fault that they were caught in a cross fire. Bless his soul!


What do America and China have in common? Most would say financial clout. But wait a second, there is another factor which both these countries display in gay abandon and in full view of the whole world. I call it shameful but all my friends say that it is apt and the normal. They tell me that it is the way human beings react to circumstance.

America is afraid of persons who are non countrymen who belong to the Muslim religion. China is afraid of its own countrymen. America is constantly mining the Muslim countries for information against American property and American interests at home and abroad. China is also mining for information from within the country which is against its policy and seeks to gag what it calls dangerous propaganda. Both governments are afraid of people and both countries say that they are powerful. Does the fear factor increase with increase in wealth? Does the fear factor increase with increase in power? If yes, then what use is such wealth and power?

America has done a lot of damage to its reputation in the Muslim world. It has always acted in its own selfish interest without caring about the consequence on others. Blind support to Israel without taking other neighbors into confidence has been its policy since a very long time. Now it looks like boomerang time because Israel no more listens to its main patron. Political manipulation of the Gulf countries was a major agenda for America to safeguard its supply of oil. America never cared what other countries thought. Now when Iran is developing its nuclear technology and the whole world is looking the other way, America is at a loss for words. America has been behaving as the policeman for the world on its own for a very long time. Now when it needs help and support the world prefers to wait and watch. Watch what? If you want to believe me, they all are waiting for America to fall. The Muslims of the world cannot forgive America. Why should they? What benefit has America passed on to them in lieu of all the interference, destruction and robbery? Muslims have suffered the most for America’s foolish leadership and greedy policies towards self-aggrandizement. Iraq is living the price for no fault of theirs.

China and its communist leaders running the country knew that all its policies were wrong. They took a quite turn in the 1970’s towards capitalism but refused to hand down real freedom to its own people. Even today they prefer to gag the internet and throw out Google. They are not sure about their own countrymen need for information. The Chinese government believes in information censorship and thinks that they can continue to feed their countrymen with dressed down information. What a pity! China is riding a wild tiger. It is giving its people financial strength, modern education, freedom to think, desire to become a super power and control the world. But it won’t give them the right of self governance. The youngsters in China will soon rise against such foolish strategies because demand for freedom of choice will immediately follow once education and power is achieved. China sounds so scared of an old man and behaves like a child on his every movement, the man being Dalai Lama. In fact China cannot give the Tibetans the only two things that they seek religious and governance freedom within the framework of a united China. That would open up a Pandora box of similar demands from across the country.

Monday, March 1, 2010


“So what is it that you want Bo? It seems that you enjoy being in the confused state permanently, and more than that maybe you enjoy giving pain to others”, Mr. S was exasperated. He had heard Bo out and was angry at his foolishness. He was sure that Bo was timid and scared about what people would think about him.

“So you THINK that you are a sadhu. What kind of madness is this? You would make a fraud sadhu.” Mr. S continued. “Tell me, do you think about sex, do you think about making love to a women?”

“Yes, I do.” Bo’s replied without looking into the eyes of Mr. S.

“Then what the hell! I have heard of such sadhu’s who thinks of having sex with each and every women they come into contact with. And you know what kind of people they are, don’t you? If you continue to suppress your normal urge like this, then you will surely end up becoming one such sadhu.”

“Sadhu, my foot!” Mr. S wanted to avoid being harsh because he was certain that Bo was being honest about everything. Bo was uncertain about his own feelings and needed a support, a guiding hand which would place him on the right road. But he was also sure that in such circumstances, others can do very little. There is saying in this land, Aikave Janache, Karave Manache, ‘Listen to the world but do what your heart tells’. Bo would ultimately do whatever his heart dictates. However, at this moment it seemed that Bo was not sure of anything.

Mr. S was sitting in his office with Bo since over an hour, listening to his confusion. He visualized the circumstance in the life of Bo who is a small time businessman in his mid forties. Bo was unmarried and nursing a broken heart. Bo saw himself as a looser because, one the girl he loved had thrown him out of her life and second because inspite of all his hard work over the last two decades he hardly had saved any money. In the worldly sense for a man, the word success was spelt as ‘wife, children, property and bank balance’. Bo had none of these. Mr. S strongly felt that Bo was depressed and lacked self confidence. Bo was overwhelmed in self pity and could not accept and see a window of opportunity leading to happiness. Bo was a fool. Mr. S was convinced. But how could he help Bo to come out of his shell and move on in life. A wonderful event had unfolded in Bo’s life, a new girl had walked in, and here he was trying to run away from it. Foolish Bo! Stupid Bo! Mr. S screamed in his mind.

“Ok Bo, listen, tell me, have you met her?”

“Yes, just once.”

“And you talk to her every day!”


“Did you know her before? Did you come to know her through some relatives or friends?”

“No. She just contacted me out of the blue, through the internet”

“Ideally you should not have allowed such contacts to develop. How can you know someone over the internet?”

“Yes, I know that. But I have been talking to her for the past three months. She is a good person”

“So you do love her, don’t you?”


“Does she also love you?”

“Yes she does. She wants to marry me. She is about my age. She will be very happy if I am positive. But my heart is not permitting me. My mind is positive but somehow the green signal is not there.”

“Then Bo, listen to me, you marry her. You should get married. When you live in civil society, you have to follow the rules of society. Now-a-days people have live-in relationship where they live together without any marriage. Do it that way if you want to. Don’t worry about what other people will say. A partner in life is very important when you become old. Children are of no use. They go away one day. But if you have a life partner in the form of a spouse, your old age becomes less difficult. Believe me becoming a sadhu is not easy. Taking off your modern clothes and going to the jungle may sound easy, but what about food. Who will feed you? If you have the money only then you can buy food. For that you have to earn. If you want to be a sadhu, then why are you staying in society, working and earning money? I don’t think you have the courage to become a sadhu.”

“Yes, I don’t have the drive to become a sadhu as yet. But listen Mr. S, it is not about becoming a sadhu. I want to take up a spiritual quest. I want to lead a spiritual life.”

“Listen Bo, the choice is between two courses of action. One is where you abstain from physical pleasure and worldly ambitions. The other is where you become a part of it. You are unfortunately situated in the latter and thinking of the former. Your situation is not normal. You have to make a choice between the two.

“Yes Mr.S, I understand what you are saying. But I am unable to control my feelings. From my past experience I have learnt that I am cannot hold a relationship together. I am not meant for a committed relationship. I have also learnt that there is no real and permanent happiness in a committed relationship. Marriage creates responsibilities and expectations. Holding such an image to be a part of personal character or trying to live up to that image becomes an act filled with desperation and fear. Further I don’t want to take up any action out of fear, like fear of loneliness. I want my actions to be based on love for the universe, absolute freedom, openness of spirit and sacrifice of self. I do love her but marriage with her will hurt her in the long run when I won’t be able to live up to the image of a normal husband. I cannot love only one person when I love the universe. My spouse will only become a part of my universe and nothing special. It will be difficult for her to digest this. If I like to lead a life of austerity and sacrifice how can I expect her to do the same. Won’t that be cruel? However I am very confused about one thing. Why did she appear in my life all of a sudden? Nothing happens without a reason. I am unable to understand the reason.”

Mr. S was exhausted. He had wasted more than an hour with Bo and it was like banging his head on the wall. “If you keep meeting her and talking to her, then one day you will definitely end up marrying her” was all that he could add submissively.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


When I was young I was in a hurry to grow up. Today I ask that man with the same young heart, tell me what have you grown up to? My heart replied, “I don’t know. I was lost”. “I have lost much time also. I have not lived for all these years”. I asked the heart, “In that case why didn’t you raise an alarm in time? How could you lose yourself?” My heart said, “At that time you the mind, did not listen to me. You were only interested in becoming rich, famous and successful. You thought I was only a child and was only getting in your way. So you conveniently locked me up in your childhood memories and forgot me.” That set me thinking on a few questions and their answers.

When did I lock the child? It was during those days when I had cleared my CA intermediate and thought that nothing was impossible. Everything was within reach and I only had to wish, visualize and work hard. I didn’t factor in fear. I didn’t factor in my interests, my passion. I didn’t factor in my limitations. I slogged forgetting time. I didn’t value human relationship in the real sense of the word. I targeted others for my failures. I lost touch with my heart, the child inside.

Why did I lock the child? The heart was satisfied with very small things. It was happy to simply sit and observe. It was happy to have fun on small talks with friends, on ball badminton and table tennis, on Phantom and Tarzan comics, on Enid Blyton and Hardy boys, on Perry Mason and Alistair Macklin. It had no ambitions and was not interested in achieving anything. It was not interested in moving out of the lower middle class environment and a harsh father. In short it was like a plague in this materialistic world. Such childish behavior is not welcome and accepted from teenagers. It made me feel abnormal and out of place. Family, friends and other people sometimes tend to take advantage and I am left crying and hurt. So I just said to myself that I should grow up and the child has to go.

Was it wrong to lock up the child? When one is involved in any activity which creates an atmosphere of works and is without joy or passion, the work looses charm and fails to satisfy. Something always remains incomplete and the whole thing comes undone. The harder one tries to cover or avoid errors, the more the stress that gets build up in the body. When symptoms of the stress begin to appear on the outside, most of the damage to our life has already been done. So it is very important that the heart has to be involved.

What could have the child done? On hindsight I am sure that the child could have done magic. If I had listen to my heart; it would have shown me where my interests lay, it would have highlighted my strengths and taken control of my fears, it would have opened doors of opportunity had I pursued my passion, it would have brought similar minded people to my contact, it would have made me happy. Had I trusted my heart and my life, I would have got all my mind desires fulfilled because any work done from the heart has the strength to move mountains. That is precisely why the world admires great men and women who have followed their heart and created great songs, paintings, books, movies, structures, physical feats, ideas, inventions, discoveries, etc.

Being a child at heart for always has many advantages like being unassuming, pleasant, honest and peaceful. However as every coin has its dark side, being a child at heart attracts swindlers and those that are emotionally weak in search of profits and solace respectively. These characters become unavoidable and their influence can be kept at bay only by recognizing their intentions on their face and not fearing them. One should not become disheartened and distracted by them.