Oct 20, 2010

Fishing, birding, bathing and beering!

A trip to Marchula and Bhikyasen in the Corbett area.

We started from Noida at about 11.30 am, after several false starts. A critical component of the trip was going to be the incredible photography equipment that my friend KP from Bangalore had got along. Incredible by my standards, as the best I ever had was a Nikon digital camera that had 10X optical zoom.

He had a Canon D40 digital SLR with a plethora of lenses, including a 100-400 Canon, 70-300 Sigma, wide angle, 60 mm Canon besides several other lenses and accompaniments like filters, extenders and what not. The second most critical component of the trip was of course going to be the two fishing rods that he had also got along.

As we began to do the final loading of the bags in the car, which was a very complex task indeed, KP suddenly realized that he couldn’t find the battery of the camera. This was serious as not finding the battery, would render all the above mentioned equipment useless and our trip would be a disaster even before we set out. As for the camera’s battery, it was playing truant the second time. That very morning I had picked him up from another friend’s place, and there too at the time of leaving he had left the battery of the camera behind, and we had to turn the car back, search for it and bring it reluctantly along. The whole house including maids and helps went into a frenzy looking for the tiny grey black camera battery. After a few minutes the consensus was that it had got absent mindedly packed into one of the bags. We quickly got all the bags back into the house, and one by one started to unpack them. After ten minutes it was found inside a slot in the big camera suitcase. There was general joy and we got everything back into the car, and set out.

The journey was comfortable for a while, but then the roads began to crumble. The entire route had been a relatively smooth one until a few months back, but the recent rains had made large stretches of the road into stretches of potholes with occasional islands of intact road. Nevertheless, our spirits were high and we chugged along. There were frequent sightings of this bird and that, but we didn’t stop, our destination was many miles away and we didn’t want to do too much of night driving.

As we drove, KP mentioned that most of the towns that we passed looked like belched out industrial slag, and I agreed whole heartedly. We could see an inhuman desperation on the faces of the people who lined the roads as we passed through town after town. At places where it was particularly bad, we even imagined what it would be like to live there, and came to the conclusion that to be happy in life, each of us should spend 3 compulsory months running a hardware shop and living in such a town, so that we can better appreciate our so called terrible lives in Delhi and Bangalore respectively.

We stopped for a sad bit of lunch and a Thums Up bottle at a road side dhaba. Their toilet was well marked as ‘to let’. We ate very insipid yet chilly hot food, and then set off again.

Waiting for food at the lunch stop!

The toilet that was to let :)

Oct 8, 2010

The coal basket and the Bhagavat Gita!

This is a story I got by email, I thought I should share it with all of you!

An old farmer lived on a farm in the mountains with his young grandson.

Each morning grandpa was up early sitting at the kitchen table reading his Bhagavat Gita. His grandson wanted to be just like him and tried to imitate him in every way he could.

One day the grandson asked, "Grandpa! I try to read the Bhagavat Gita just like you but I don't understand it, and what I do understand I forget as soon as I close the book. What good does reading the Bhagavat Gita do?"

The grandfather quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and replied, "Take this coal basket down to the river and bring me back a basket of water."

The boy did as he was told, but all the water leaked out before he got back to the house. The grandfather laughed and said, "You'll have to move a little faster next time", and sent him back to the river with the basket to try again.

This time the boy ran faster, but again the basket was empty before he returned home. Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was impossible to carry water in a basket, and he went to get a bucket instead. The old man said, "I don't want a bucket of water; I want a basket of water. You're just not trying hard enough," and he went out the door to watch the boy try again.

At this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the water would leak out before he got back to the house.

The boy again dipped the basket into river and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather the basket was again empty. Out of breath, he said, "See grandpa, it's useless!"

"So you think it is useless?" The old man said, "Look at the basket."

The boy looked at the basket and for the first time realized that the basket was different. It had been transformed from a dirty old coal basket and was now clean, inside and out.

"Son, that's what happens when you read the Bhagavat Gita. You might not understand or remember everything, but when you read it, you will be changed, inside and out. That is the work of Lord Krishna in our lives."

Oct 7, 2010

How to keep your peace with you!

This is going to be a short post, because it is very simple to keep your peace with you, even in the most difficult and trying circumstances. 

Forgive. And as quickly as possible, forget. But don't you dare forget the lesson. The lesson being to completely and totally avoid those people and those situations/circumstances. 

You either have to forgive someone or you have to forgive some situation/circumstance, and you can keep your peace with yourself. If someone makes you angry, in the quickest time possible, forgive that person. You are stuck in a bad situation or your circumstances are such that you are greatly troubled. As soon as the situation or circumstance ends, forgive the whole thing.

And you will be a peaceful person most of the time. There are also times when you have to forgive yourself. Just forgive. And let peace reign supreme.

Bombastic self important buffoons!

Everyone's met them, everyone's had to deal with them.

They have the loudest voice, they are completely and insanely focussed on themselves, and they are devoid of human emotions. And in their narrow minded quest to fulfill their bloated demented egos, they can do anything. Willingly destroy their own children's happiness, scare little toddlers so that they can feel important and powerful, attack the weakest to feel strong themselves. And if you manage to place yourself within their circle of influence, they will hound you till you decide to leave the premise, the neighbourhood, the town, the state, the country and even the planet if that were possible. They are God's way of teaching us patience and tolerance.

So, long live the bombastic self important buffoons.

Oct 6, 2010

Is life such a big deal?

You are born, you grow up, you die. Ahem... the end? Nope, I don't think so. It can't be. All this struggle with inner and outer demons lasting your whole life so that you can turn into food for earthworms. Doesn't quite add up. There has to be more to life than living. We are not organisms destined to breed and spread. We can't be. So you became very successful, you made a lot of money, you wielded a lot of power. So what do you do with all of that in the end, feel worthy. Worthy for whom? Yourself? You mean to say you did all of this so that you could prove something to yourself. Oh my God, that's a humoungous waste. Just be happy with the way you are, you'll save yourself a lot of unnecessary pain and frustration. 

So what's the point? Why are we here, and what are we here for?

And here I will tell you a story.

Once upon a time there was a housefly who wanted to become the most awesome housefly ever. And he practised being an awesome housefly and being a perfect housefly. And he did become the best housefly there ever was. And then the housefly died. One man who had noticed that this housefly had become the greatest ever housefly, decided to write a book about it. He did, and the book became a bestseller, and the man became famous and rich. Then the man died. But he was remembered for years afterwards as the man who wrote the book about the greatest ever housefly. But this whole episode in the housefly's and the man's life wasn't a big deal really. But the housefly was happy while it lived and the man was happy while he lived, and that was a big deal for both of them.

So, if you live the best way you can, you'll be happy in your life. But it's no big deal really. Try to live happy, and let live happy. Happiness is better than unhappiness. If you have a mind that can unravel mysterious thoughts then you will find deep meaning in these words. Else you can just chill and be happy. And don't blame me if you feel you've read something that didn't quite add up, nothing in real life does anyway. 

Oct 3, 2010

Anjaana, Anjaani and me!

Watched the movie, wouldn't say its average, so would put it at slightly above average. Ranbir and Priyanka look good, and the plot is considerably different from the usual fare. The shots of the US are quite nice and some scenes were quite funny. I would say, its just about worth a watch! It was 15 minutes too long, but managed to tackle 3 hours pretty okay.

So, if you've got nothing fantastic to do, you could go and watch it. Priyanka is nice eye candy. And now to get back to my existential dilemma...