Saturday, June 21, 2008

Beeline Vs byline

My desk and my system sat there exactly the way i'd left them, my water bottle at the workstation with 'MADHURI' inscribed in it was filled with fresh water. The floor was abuzz with activity, calling me to join in the frenzy to meet the deadline of firing the pages.

A pile of press event invitation lay there, and i instinctively grab them to scan which of them would be exciting to cover. Then i realise, I don't work here any anymore.

It's then that the trauma of quitting your job hits you. The same chair and workstation where i sat for the past one year, where i cried with frustration, jumped with joy, stole afternoon naps, quietly devoured a whole bar of chocolate without sharing, watched youtube in spite of the pending deadline, decorated with stuff toys and feng shui artifacts and even meditated.......

All dissolves. Quitting this job has been enormously painful, especially the ending part where it dragged on for days.

And now its finally over, and it's sapped me dry of all the energy, on top of it, dealing with a lot of uncertainties that were hounding me. I'm sick of answering every other person 'whats next!' as if it makes any difference to them.

I shoot a mail to my team members, saying goodbye and how nice it was to work and blah, feeling numb inside. My emotions are dangerously bordering towards what i've not had for a long time.....depression! And am surprised at myself.

Like wow, its been more than two years since i've been properly depressed. Saying this,

i just laugh at myself. At how stupid the whole thing sounds. And suddenly i also feel enormously blessed, for understanding the tricks for not feeling low.

Its like a life jacket, when you see every thing in this world as transient and somehow finding a sense of certainty in uncertainty.

That's what i realised. The body needs to work, and mind needs to chill out, and most of the time i was doing the opposite, getting my mind worked out and freezing my actions, i guess we're programmed to do this, especially when we feel down.

Another trick i've discovered to get out of feeling down, is to not take it seriously, because every time it feels as if its gonna stay forever. But it doesn't.

Knowledge and meditation and kriya act as an anaesthetic to pain...even though you feel the pain, you can accept it and go through with it, feeling light inside. Without carrying a heavy load in your heart, coz that's what blocks love. And love is like oxygen.....

And i feel light as cotton candy inside. Though i might still burst into tears.

So that's me quitting as a copy editor of Times of India. And this will probably be the last time i type a story in this system. Stories have an ending and beginning, but they never stop. Even if they are not published, even if there is no byline. And i guess those are some of the best stories in the world. Stories that cant be told, but experienced.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Here's a list of my all time favourite books and movies...go grab hold of them if you havent been able to asap!

Eragon and its sequel Eldest are one of the best fantasy series I’ve come across. I loved the part where ancient sounds are used to evoke magic, very similar to Sanskrit. Also the fact that Eragon turns into a vegetarian.
Old path white clouds- About Buddha’s journey, before and after enlightenment and his disciple called Svasthi, a buffalo caretaker and Jataka Tales- Loved all the stories involving bodhisattva in different lifetimes as animals.
Kite runner- Love and compassion overflows in this book, with a beautiful description of Taliban rule as a background setting of this novel. One of the few books that made me weep.
Little women- One book I loved as a kid, and have read a hundred times. I love the family bonding and finally the four girls finding love (its three, coz one of the dies) in its sequel. I could relate a lot to Jo’s character, as a budding writer.
Bhagwatam: Especially the Krishna stories in it. Haven’t completed though. I plan to read and translate the Sanskrit version.

Movies should be made with a sense of purpose to deliver a strong message across. That’s what makes film such a strong medium. And these are a few movies that have left an impact on me.
The sound of music- Again an all time favourite. Am a big fan of its songs especially. It’s one of those perfect movies that would be watched by generations.
What the bleep do u know- A revolutionary concept that explores the depth of quantum physics. The ‘unreality’ of life is portrayed though physics.
Life is beautiful- My favourite movie of the whole list. Set in the backdrop of holocaust, a child is saved of the trauma of the events happening around, believing a story weaved by his father to explain the circumstance of concentration camp where they are imprisoned. Just like how Guruji saves us of all traumas with his incredible knowledge.
In pursuit of happiness- You have the ability to chase your dreams, no matter what circumstances you’re in. That’s the message that the movie sends.
Blood Diamond: I could relate a lot to Maddy’s character.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Utsav in Chennai

Okay, here’s the reason why, I’ve been gayab for a long time. ( hope this misses my employer’s eye, have supplemented them with all kinds of lies)
I was just part of the biggest phenomenon to touch the earth since Magna Carta.

It’s a condensed version of YES!+ in four day, with none other than Bawa and Dinesh da Here’s a report of all the four days

Day 1

6:00 PM
More than 900 participants, and utter chaos, especially regarding the nametags. After the Initial hitches, everything went on to proceed magicallywith Bawa delivering the 'bad news' (no tea, no coffee, no no-veg, no sutta,no alcohol...) and within minutes the thousand odd participants had themselves hanging on to every word that

Bawa said
" Do this course as if your life depends on it, because how you do thiscourse from now on, is how you're going to live your life. Its success andfailure depends on it."
" This is a blessing from me and Dinesh, all the problems in life that youhad, will stop, and all that you wanted in you life from now on, you'llstart getting it."

The course started in usual YES!+ style, with the merchant game etc, Suryanamaskar etc.and ended most perfectly with the long kriya, (Bawa ordered all volunteersto join in) So the participants experienced the Sudarshan Kriya right on the first day,and had brilliant experiences to share.
"I felt that my nostrils are going to bleed, is that normal?
Bawa: "perfectly normal"

9:30 PM, a crowd of youngsters emerged out of the ground, spaced out withthe experience of long Kriya, and excited about the prospects of Day 2

Day 2 & 3

More Intense, more bliss and more Bawa......But the participants couldn't wait for more. Day two and day three were clearly Bawa's, everyone was in love with him especially after the Q & A round!

Q: I am a christian, how can I say om?
A: exactly the way the Hindus say it! You are an Indian, but do u become a 'gora' if you wear jeans? then most of the people in Chennai will start wearing it, and Ram will be the first one Rashmin will be the second.

Bawa also spoke about farmers in India and said the reason why they were committing suicide were because American and Canadian MNC's were selling them hybrid seeds that produce bumper crops, but were sterile (didn't produce more seeds) so they were becoming dependent on MNC's who are hiking up the seed prices every year as the original seeds are becoming scarce.Only one person has worked for this cause and has managed to save 450 varieties of natural seeds, and he meditates everyday, the MNC's offered him 10 crores to buy those seeds but he refused!Session was sprinkled with Bhajans and Chennai rocked to it! As Rashmin said, all events start with bliss and end with chaos, while AOL events start with chaos and end with Bliss.

Day 4

Sorry for the delay on the final installment of update.....
This was due to the fact that i was supposed to return to Hyd, but popped into Bangalore ashram to say a quick hi to guruji.

Anyway, reminiscing Utsav's last day, is an experience in itself

The surya namaskar's transformed into blissful rain dance, as the rain gods decided to bless us with cool droplets that washed our sweat away, and then the sadhana under the ocean breeze. From the stage the view of 900+ participants doing sadhana was like music for angels to dance

The sadhana then transformed into action packed Q and A session with Bau and Dinesh da.

Q what is spirituality?
A It is what religion wants to be when it grows up! Its any thing that uplifts you, your spirit, and puts a smile on your face.

Dinesh bhaiya made a very interesting observation on prana
"Some people have only a bucket full of prana while others have an ocean full, now what happens when you plonk a stone into bucket of water, almost all the water spills out. But to an ocean, it hardly makes a difference. thats the difference for a person who does pranayam and sadhana.

There are 5 sources of Prana

cold water baths (secret source of prana )

On Satsang:

Usually it takes very heavy, hard core rock to shake one up, but for one who has become very light through sadhana, very soft music can stir your from within. And thats what we call satsang.

So there was dance, music, gyan and oodles of grace that swept the shores of Chennai. And Bau and Dinesh left with a promise to be back on the last week of august with another wave of Utsav.

The next day was a treat for math lovers with Bau's Mathemagic workshop and later Indiana Jones movie at satyam, which i missed coz I had to catch my Hyderabad train.
But half an hour sitting in my plush AC compartment I realised I was sitting in the wrong train (coolie's fault).
So rather than spending an extra day at Chennai, i booked a ticked for the same evening in Bau and Dinesh da's train (confirmed)

On the way to ashram (home) we met Guruji who was calling out to Indrani 6 am in the morning.
I still have no clue why am here. But it feels great! As if Utsav never got over.

And I guess Utsav is a perpetual phenomenon for anyone who has a guru in his life. And organising an Utsav just reemphasises this beautiful phenomenon.
Worries drop away, belongingness dawns, and you start being this person who is, full of bliss and light. Just like your guru. It’s a phenomenon that can only be experienced. For Shalini, Harini and I ( Rashmin jokingly said our names sounded out of one of bhanu didi's songs)
seeing this revolution sweeping Chennai's sleepy shores was a blessing. And we know we can take it one step ahead in Hyderabad