Wednesday, August 27, 2008
2. I did not have enough of peacock gazing that somebody created a momentary disturbance by driving his automobile ( with his sweet heart in toe) somewhat recklessly at a very close range. The peacock, on the contrary, being unmindful of what was going on, commenced his dance in an extremely attractive and rhythmic manner, so much so, that another car passed by, followed by a man on a bicycle but four of his female companions appeared stuck and totally glued to the dance performance. I wish I had a camera or a handy cam to shoot, record and preserve this unusual happening for posterity. After a while, a few females depart and others join the ‘event’. Nonetheless, the solo performer appears firm and fearless. He keeps on spreading his gorgeous tail in an area of at least six to seven feet, thus drawing also the attention of some lovely, colourful, rarely seen birds. A time comes when he is all alone but does not mind. Nor he seems in a hurry to wind up his charming activity. In no time, another she peacock comes from the side of Arawali Guest House and begins admiring the rare spectrum. A cyclist with his innocent looking wife seated in front passes by. He does not bother to even turn his head. Perhaps for them it may be a daily affair. It is not so for me. After all, I was privileged to witness it after a gap of good twenty six years.
3. Precisely after ten minutes or so, I get an indication as if everything is over. But the indomitable and determined male peacock does it again to enthrall not only me but also a fellow motorcyclist, a young curious couple and an elderly man walking towards the Parthasarthy Rocks. His blue, light blue, green, grey, peach, and black colours simply mesmerize all of us. This was something to be felt, that too, rather deeply and sincerely. A few routine words cannot possibly describe the soothing feelings some of us came across at this point of time.
4. A handicapped man passes by. A truck full of construction material comes and goes. An old couple comes, stares and departs but the peacock continues with his ‘show’. Upon seeing a few eye catching birds from a different species, the peacock drops his fan-like tail all of a sudden, to resume his dance again & again. By now, he looks quite professional. I watch the whole thing by presumably ignoring many key and crucial appointments for the day ahead. Latter, could, perhaps be postponed or cancelled but not this rare view, so to say.
5. The number of people and vehicles, however, register a rise with the rising Sun but the conglomeration of peacocks simply relishes indulging in and enjoying its favorite activity, normally witnessed during the thick of Monsoon. They simply appear unfamiliar with the expressions, such as, pause, intermission or abatement. Anything accomplished with profound devotion and noble intentions is always welcome, I utter to myself.
6. The Male peacock dances once again in full glory, possibly for the fifth time, thus providing me a free, unforgettable and fabulous bout of entertainment. I was not only on the seventh heaven. I was simply carried away. Perhaps, I felt privileged having received entry into a different world. While an attractive teen aged girl passes by, the male peacock speaks very fondly without realizing that he is being observed and watched without any break for more than half an hour. They say “all good things come to an end”. I suppose, this extraordinary happening was no exception.
7. While my watch shows 9 am, the sweat appears on my forehead. Ultimately, it intrudes into my eye lids. The male peacock, in the meanwhile, performs its ‘disappearance’ act. When it was in the process of following his ‘girlfriends’ deep into the lush green forest surrounding the imposing JNU Central Library, probably to get more eternal bliss, I am left with no option but to ignite the engine of my car to rejoin my life partner to struggle past another day. I do not forget to wipe my specs to ensure a clearer vision. While I gradually accelerate and begin to zoom off on the empty campus road near the Kaveri Hostel, I am greeted with the familiar sound of another male peacock possibly attempting to attract a separate bunch of his opposite sex. But I succeed in resisting the temptation to look back. I wish and desire them to relax and indulge into merry making by drifting away from the maddening crowd of the selfish human beings. Don’t the latter regularly succeed in encroaching upon the age-old and undisputed habitat of the former? I ask myself while gaining entry into my residence, located in the midst of a non-descript concrete jungle.
LIFE IS NOT A BED OF ROSES.THAT DOES NOT MEAN
THAT IT IS ONLY OR COMPLETELY FULL OF THORNS.
FOR ATTAINING SELF ACTUALISATION,NOT ONLY OUR
DESIRES NEED TO BE CONTROLLED,BUT WE ALSO HAVE
TO LEARN THROUGH YOGA TO BE A CONTENTED BEING,
IF NOT A SANYASI. HARD,SINCERE WORK GUIDED BY
HONESTY, SHOULD BE PARAMOUNT, NEVERTHELESS.
We get only one life. We should, therefore, endeavour and lead a life free from all the worries, stress and tensions. Tensions, per se, are part & parcel of the life system. How we manage, contain, control and regulate them is the issue we should be flagging in the very beginning.
2.Generally it is seen, felt and observed beyond an iota of doubt that we tend to succumb to the pressures of day to day life, rather easily. We not only believe but often surmise that the individual sitting on the other side of the fence does not only look cheerful but has all the profound energy and possibly, umpteen joys of life.
3. Right at the outset, we must drive home the point that the APPEARANCES CAN BE DECEPTIVE. Every person has some worry, some stress or the other at some point of time. An extrovert may perhaps make it obvious, or for that matter, public. An introvert, on the other hand, tends to hide, suppress or even ignore his difficulties in front of others while facing the imminent and inevitable realities of life.
4. Life is a REMARKABLE AND precious gift of nature. Its each and every minute aspect may have to be learnt, understood and analysed carefully before feeling, experiencing and enjoying them.
5. Life is never a bed of roses. That does not mean that it is only or completely full of thorns. Difficulties have to be faced boldly, disputes should be resolved amicably and hurdles, if any, need to be lessened or removed without hurting anybody. Perhaps, all anger is foolish. Same has to be controlled. There cannot be a way out. Does it not impel us to think- EASIER SAID THAN DONE?. Let us make an attempt. We may fail initially. But are’ nt the failures stepping stones to success? Shall we not make honest confessions every now and then without a trace of hypocricy? I suppose we should, if we have to feel fresh and energetic.
6. HOW DO WE DO IT? There is no substitute, probably for sincerity and honesty while putting in hard, careful work with adequate application of mind.
Let us not forget that majority of the dishonest persons are fairly competent. In general, the crooks, the shrewd and the “fast” operators not only have the last laugh but in the ultimate analysis, they appear kicking, surviving as also thriving. An insignificant minority of careful, obedient and diligent individuals do not appear triumphant in the short run. One should not feel dejected or disheartened. There is something called RAY OF HOPE. If we have adequate patience, perseverance and tolerance (PPT), we are bound to see light at the end of what may otherwise appear, dark, difficult and dingy tunnel.
7. HOW DO WE BUST OUR STRESS? It is a time tested belief and not a myth that physical exercise not only activates our different organs of body but it also has a smoothening effect over the ruffled feathers. While ensuring target-oriented action, therefore, sufficient exercise, rest and relaxation should be necessary. The oft-repeated advice- “Take a break, go to the hills or seaside”, after all is given based on some happening, some experience. Why not visit the SMALL AND BEAUTIFUL state of Sikkim, nestled exotically in the lap of the Eastern Himalayas or neat, clean and quiet seacoasts of the unassuming land of Orissa?
8. While caring for oneself, a more than considerate attitude towards the fellow beings is also called for. A variety of thought processes, “guidelines” and “quick fix” solutions to regulate the life are available on a platter, or for that matter by clicking or pressing the pet animal of the Lord Ganesh. It is observed that one takes up physical exercises more out of compulsion than out of choice or design. At this juncture, the saying “BETTER LATE THAN NEVER” may, perhaps, sound appropriate. While selecting or adopting an exercise regime, a stressed or distressed person should not get trapped by certain self appointed or proclaimed, yet, greedy masters and teachers. Even though some lessons can be accessed through the flyers, leaflets, books, audio or video tapes, the idiot box (often giving intelligent advice) or the internet, individuals are lured beyond comprehension to join some “Face to face sessions”, which may lead to a good deal of expenditure. Don’t we falsely believe “Money, money, money ,Brighter than sunshine and sweeter than honey?” That leads us to think that in the name of social service, fair amount of dis-service is taking place.
9. Need of the hour, therefore, is to correctly understand the essence of our Shashtras and Puranas. The time tested Yogasana techniques ,one of the six systems of the Vedic philosophy, propounded by the famous Maharishi Patanjali should be followed in letter and the spirit. The meditative postures, such as, Padmasana and Vajrasana, the relaxing postures, namely, Shavasana, Makrasana, Balasana, Pavan Muktasana, Naukasana, Halasana, Bhujangasana, Shalabhasana, Dhanurasana, Vakrasana, Ardha-matsyendrasana, Gomukhasana, Ushtrasana, Paschimottanasana, Yogmudra, Tadasana, Katichakrasana, Trikonasana, Pranayama and the ultimate, the Surya Namaskara (altogether 22 postures) will not only lead to gradual reduction of intake of allopathic medicines but also an individual should be in a position to display a PLEASING FACE, COOL TEMPERAMENT, STRONG DETERMINATION, PATIENCE AND PERSEVERANCE. Apart from doing Yoga daily, the intake of balanced, preferably, boiled, vegetarian food at a fixed time has to be the ORDER OF THE DAY. Needless to say, oily, rich, spicy and fried food items should be immediately out of our daily menu. With adequate control and timely intake, a person may be capable of reaching a “TAKE OFF STAGE” but for attaining or achieving “SELF ACTUALISATION”, not only wishes and desires have to be contained and curtailed but I and you have to learn to become a sort of contended human being, if not a Sanyasi. Once we are convinced that we were born alone without any accompaniment and that while departing from the universe, no material possession including the beloved cell phone or the charming car will give us company, I suppose, disenchantment with the temporary pleasure situations, goods and “services” can begin. All said and done, in place of earning more, acquiring more, craving for NANO even while possessing a MARUTI and INDICA and speaking ill of others, we should attempt to believe in our own INNER SELF, OUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES AND THEIR POSSIBLE OR PROBABLE RAMIFICATIONS.
10. Let us attempt TO FORGET THE PAST AND HAVE AN OPTIMISTIC BUT ACHIEVABLE VISION FOR THE FUTURE. Let us reclaim and relish the joy of waking up early every morning like the innocent and harmless birds and animals and perform the prescribed yogic exercises. The Yoga done with care, devotion and caution must end with a bout of meditation including the breathing exercises. THEN ONLY OUR LIFE WILL BE ACTUALLY BEAUTIFUL AND FULL OF ENERGY AND EXHILERATION. BY DOING SO, LET US HELP EACH OTHER IN OVERCOMING, IF NOT ERADICATING THE SORROWS OF LIFE.
11. To sum up, with your kind permission, could I turn autobiographical? I had ninety percent blockage in one portion of my heart nearly an year ago. I was prescribed open heart surgery (OHS) by the “owner” of a by-pass “factory” of the country’s capital. I took some time off. Resorted to consulting relatives and friends including a handful of reliable cardiologists. Consequently, I sensed something, listened to my inner voice and attempted to say poetically-
“Sikkim is small but beautiful,
xxxxxxx is tall but dreadful
One comes here struggling
With a lot of expectations.
Gradually they take the
Shape of frustrations
Somewhat healthy patients
Are compelled to think
As if they are condemned prisoners
‘Gallows’ are prepared
With care and caution
Soon ‘liberation’ is ensured
Not from the disease
BUT definitely from the world”
12.Having said so, I resumed morning and evening walks with a renewed vigour.I padded the same with the Coronary Yoga classes at the RML hospital .Followed it up with regulated diet ,medicine and work based on the prescription of a senior Cardiologist of the AIIMS.I experienced a deficiency of one of the vital Vitamins in between .For a while, lost my appetite considerably. Also went through the symptoms of disturbed sleep. But neither did I surrender ,nor I gave up. Regular practice of Yoga coupled with a determined resolve to change the lifestyle helped me in the ultimate analysis……………………when the chips were supposedly down. I not only resumed kicking, thinking ,interacting and writing but now I also attempt to disseminate my frugal knowledge of Yoga to the understanding and optimistic lots in my own ways .I have also learnt to gradually forget my disease.
Shall we not,THEREFORE, RECITE OPTIMISTICALLY ?
sarvey Bhavantu Sukhinah
Sarvey Shantu Niramaya
Sarvey Bhadrani Pasyantu
Maa Kaschit Dukh Bhaga Bhavet
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti,………
2. It may not be out of place to state that the consumption pattern or the utilization practices of the human beings should be such that enough resources are left to take care of the needs of the future generations. Every now and then the incidents of the Elephants, Leopards, or the Tigers straying into the human habitations hit the headlines. Hectic and at times, merciless action takes place on the part of ‘trained’ Forest officials as also untrained villagers either to have an exciting glimpse of the animal or to capture the helpless creature altogether. Though the aim of such operations is to rescue an animal and to take it to a safe dwelling place or a Zoo, the fact remains that avoidable casualties do take place.
3. Whether it is a case of the Royal Bengal Tiger intruding into the villages of the Sunderbans or the Elephants entering and damaging the houses and the crops in the villages of Assam or the hills of North Bengal or the frequent spotting of the Leopards in the green areas of Mumbai, it is not a question of attack or the intrusion by the animals. But these could be termed as the valiant acts of assertion of the rights by the three species of animals vis-à-vis the acts of real intrusion into their established habitat by the greedy human beings. A number of reports have indicated that the animals in the mentioned locations have been averse to the human settlements The human beings ,on the other hand, by the sheer virtue of their muscle and mechanical power ,mostly, are in a position to suppress and subjugate the animals. When the animal instinct among the human beings crosses all limits, the actual and bonafide sons and daughters of the soil are left with no alternative but to react and react vehemently and justifiably.(other instances of the animals gradually losing their habitat could be the Monkeys, Peacocks and the Deer in the Delhi situation, the Rhinos at Kaziranga ,Asiatic Lions in the Gir forest of Gujarat etc.)
4. It is not only the tussle for a living or a habitat between the animals and the human beings but it is a question of showing love and care for the natural endowments indiscriminately gifted by the Almighty. At this juncture, one should not be biased towards the basic Hindu philosophy of showing reverence to the plants and animals. It goes without saying that for generations altogether, plants, such as, Peepal, Banyan, Tulsi, Banana, Mango etc. and the animals like Cow, Bull, Lion, Tiger, Elephant, Monkey, Rats, Cobra Snakes etc. are being flawlessly worshipped. Also the early morning ritual of offering water to the Sun God and the Tulsi plant not only gives us the requisite faith and strength but such a practice also teaches us the lesson to do everything possible so as to preserve the plants and trees, so vital for our very survival.
5. To further substantiate, I wish to narrate an actual episode experienced very recently at the Mahavir Vanasthali in Chanakyapuri. While taking a brisk walk in the morning, a man none other than the standing of a priest in his usual attire, cautioned me to guard against the possible attack by a Cobra snake. A number of loiterers, way-farers and the lovers thronged the place in no time. As a result, the poor snake had to quickly hide and take shelter behind the bushes in one secluded corner of the garden. Though a number of human beings began crowding the place by giving up their normal duties relating to the maintenance of the garden, the birds and insects of various varieties kept on chirping, playing and flying, thus giving an impression as if nothing extra ordinary had happened. Probably, they were convinced that they as also the Cobra had every right to venture into the garden situated next to a ridge. Where else are they supposed to go?
I must confess that I am not a super human being. The news about spotting of a cobra initially did scare me. Later, while moving towards my usual exercising canopy, I felt concerned and careful. However, in no time, began my daily routine of Yogasana. When I reached the climax by resorting to the Bhujangasana posture, I was reminded of the Cobra instinct among the human beings who are not only determined to wage a war against the idea of peaceful co-existence with the plants and animals but also spare no efforts in asserting their supremacy. Is it justifiable, sensible and sustainable? On the World Environment Day, let us prick our mind and attempt to find an answer.
6. Coming to the theme, “Kick the carbon habit”, I am firmly and humbly of the view that the theme should be specific to a situation and it should not be decided by an organization or a body otherwise dominated by a power herself responsible for perpetuating an unsustainable habit leading to more and more of global warming. It goes without saying that the developing countries are always blamed for not only polluting the atmosphere but also contributing substantially to increasing the carbon content. It is a known fact that due to historical reasons coupled with demographic constraints, the developing countries are compelled to use not only outdated technologies but they also become happy dumping grounds for the pollutants and the effluents which cannot be dumped in the serene surroundings of the powers that matter. Also the developing countries are persuaded and cajoled beyond limits to become signatory to a Convention or Protocol relating to reduction of carbon content even when the shrewd members of the dictating and not the developed world shy away from same for the reasons best known to them.
7. The latest thinking being put forward is that the populous yet remarkably vibrant and happening economies are not only responsible for the so-called food crisis the world over but they also create enough vegetative and non-vegetative garbage at home which increases the percentage of C02 in the atmosphere by the natural bacterial decomposition. Yet at the same time the same developing economies become essential guinea pigs for the latest, outdated as well as unwanted automobile inventions and innovations. Whether such a design increases or decreases the overall global warming is anybody’s guess.
8. In addition to the climatic changes, the evil designs of the multinationals also lead to a drastic change in the consumption pattern of the people of the economies which, apart from having the requisite potential for sustainable growth also have a healthy saving instinct. Needless to say, when the deceptive automobile beauties emerge on the scene in the distinguished company of the heavily made up faces from a collectivity called the fair sex, the novae rich cannot possibly resist their temptation. Thus the propensity and capacity to save gets confined to the pavilion, if one is permitted to borrow some literary insights from the just concluded and much fancied IPL cricket series.
9. Coming to the bare statistics, according to a study quoted by one of the English language TV channels, one kilogram of CO2 is emitted when a car undertakes a journey of 6 kms. Similar level of emission is caused by the railways while covering a distance of 12 kms. As regards the decay and degrading period, the cotton takes one to five months, paper needs 2 to 5 months, the plastic bags (probably meaning polythene bags) will require 10 to 20 years, the photo film 20 to 30 years, while the tins would require much more time. Let us leave aside many non-biodegradable substances, such as, glass materials, batteries, outdated computers and electronic items, radio-active wastes, hospital wastes etc made popular very religiously by each one of us.
10. When we move our attention to the mitigation aspect, enough awareness has been created all over the world in the last two decades and more so, in our own country, having fantastic resources and practically all the spots and all the climatic zones, an avid visitor or a tourist looks for. But despite the initiatives triggered by the government, non-government organizations and the noteworthy and timely interventions by the apex court, there is still a wide gap or manifest cleavage between what we need and what we actually go on to acquire. The environment education should not therefore be limited to the young and emerging generation. Rather it must become a Gita, Quran, Bible and the Gurugranth Sahib for all the forward looking Indians who not only hope but believe that the Mother India has all the potential to be an economic superpower after having excelled in many other challenging domains.
11. The politics of usage of carbon based fuels or the fossil fuels (firewood, coal, oil, natural gas etc.) also needs to be looked into. There are a handful of countries having abundance of such resources, yet they sustain and prolong the practice of import of such items possibly with the intent to finish the resources of other countries. When the D-Day comes closer, these handful countries will emphasize their evil designs to dictate their own terms. Thus the present day suppliers would be compelled to become future users ONLY but they will have to pay an indomitable and unimaginable price.
12. The alternative and renewable sources of energy should logically draw our attention next. If the consumption of coal and POL is reduced, the alternative sources such as gas, hydel, wind or nuclear power should automatically act as substitute. But in real life that doesn’t happen. Hence, apart from thinking, innovating and exploring the possibilities, it is our bounden duty also to sincerely and meticulously work for reducing the usage of the plants, machineries and automobiles needing conventional, yet, expensive fuel.
Why can’t we walk to study, work or office once a week or use public transport whenever it is a relatively light day? Also why not to replicate the system of no-vehicle zones being practiced in some countries in an earmarked area, once a week? In lighter vein, why should we expect a pollution causing machine or automobile in dowry? Instead, the people of fair sex should take a pledge not to marry a person needing the comfort of a vehicle requiring conventional fuel.
13. To sum up, I presume, a large number of saplings will be planted by the serious as also hypocritical environment conscious individuals during the course of the World Environment Day or the week or the fortnight following it. How many of these saplings will be actually maintained and looked after, that should be our immediate area of attention. MERE TALKING ABOUT REDUCING THE CARBON CONTENT WILL NOT DO, A SINCERE AND SUSTAINABLE EFFORT BY INVOLVING THE PEOPLE AT THE GRASSROOTS IS VERY MUCH CALLED FOR.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Health is wealth. Reverse is not true. A healthy body may always have a healthy mind. There is a need to inculcate that. Whether mind is pure or has certain impurities, constrains or deviations, mostly, we are misled to think that “I am not only correct but also possess qualities or virtues to find solutions to all the maladies”. While posing so, perhaps we refrain from presenting ourselves correctly in everyday life. Most of us do not practice or follow what we otherwise expect fellow beings to do. As a result, a certain degree of mistrust develops. It leads to a cleavage between the expectation and the performance. A state of anxiety crops up, paving the way for disturbance of mind even in a healthy looking body. I do not mean to say that the individuals having a certain say, influence or stature in the society are devoid of the anxiety syndrome. Perhaps , what separates them from the others is the ability to take things without a preconceived notion ,assess and analyse a situation, event or challenge in an impartial manner and offer a solution or find a solution with a value free mind. Those who take a cue from such an approach lead a fairly peaceful and contented life rather than being susceptible to the tempting offers for leading a so-called good life and in the process, falling prey to the clever, yet latent cobwebs, woven meticulously and religiously by the shrewd minds.
2. At the very outset, it needs to be correctly comprehended that the life, if not a bed of roses, is also not a plethora of problems , challenges and impediments. While approaching a face to face situation, we falsely and foolishly tend to take the support of ‘friends’ and well-wishers for granted .We often forget that both mind and body belong to me and that only I and I have to look after it and be prepared to face the vicissitudes of the mystical life cycle. The occasional succour or support from the parents, off-springs, life partner, boyfriend, girlfriend or the so-called sympathisers should be and has to be considered a temporary phenomenon with no permanent intent. It may help in taking a break or in sustaining the same in the short run but expecting it to outdo or outshine a ‘break fail’ eventuality will be a piece of disastrous thinking with monstrous ramifications.
3. While thinking or deliberating about peace for collectivity, the state of peace at the individual level should be incumbent. Same is probable or possible if an individual is in a position to perform his daily chores in an honest and positive way with least or no desire or expectation from his act. We should keep on performing assigned or assumed tasks without bothering for results or rewards. It is only when we are ready to give that somebody will be forthcoming to offer. Our forefathers, after all, have been emphasising –‘The more you sacrifice, the more you get.’
4. A selfless life with preponderance of the divinely feelings is not only expected to be free from expectations but same may also be relatively free from any anxiety or stress. A state of contentment will ensure a peace of mind. Such a state on the part of the majority may lead to or will lead to peace among groups associations, federations, confederations, districts, provinces, countries and so on and so forth. In other words, the organic unity triggered by a clear and positive vision by ensuring a balance of various individual ‘functions’ will be a prerequisite for the peace and stability of the ‘structure’ of the society as a whole. We should keep trying and performing without being adversely affected by the latent and manifest onslaughts of the deviant, misguided and at times, the lunatic elements, who slowly, gradually and definitely harm the feeling and foundation of the collectivity and ultimately, the edifice of peace and prosperity like the invisible, yet, deadly termites.
5. Each individual effort is important. It has the necessary potential and power to forge unity in a situation of apparent demoralization and division. Memories of the past and the ill feelings of jealousy and hatred have to be replaced or substituted by taking recourse to adequate rest, relaxation, a sabbatical(if affordable)and a positive dose of thinking. It is only when we control our wishes and aspirations that the control over the wavering mind will be possible. Needless to say, such a situation or probability has the potential to be a prerequisite or the precondition for an all pervading world peace. The gap between the pretence and possibility needs actual human bridge, not a non-descript piece of unfounded hypocritical thinking. Simple living and high thinking adequately charged and fuelled by the yogic postures, exercises and a bout of serious meditation is certain to alleviate and ensure a wholesome peace as opposed to the peace attained in a piecemeal manner.