Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Village Grandeur

This is not about any conventional or trendy tourist destination.
This is not about holidaying in a 4 or 5 star hotel or resort.
This is not a high flying travel anecdote, nor a thrilling hiking or trekking narrative.

This is about the splendor of the nature of a village, the untouched magnificence of the green paddy fields, fields that start from one end of the horizon, reaches to the other end of the horizon.
This is a portrait of village life of rural India.
This is a sketch of our long forgotten origin.
This is a self discovering journey back towards our derivation.

Paddy Fields as far as you can see
You won’t find any sign of modern amenities here. You won’t find any contemporary civilization footprints here. Just pure nature. Just untainted landscape. Just chaste panorama.

Panoramic view of the fields

It is not the monumental view of the mighty Himalayas. It is not the majestic sight of the boundless oceans. It is not the thrilling sensation of historical memorials. It is not the sumptuous and proud signature of human civilization and achievement.
It is our humble mother nature. It is all about dust, all about soil, all about grass, all about our root.

Blessed with Rain, Water, Serenity...
Rewarded with bloom...

You will see plenty of trees. But this is not forest. This is not dense land of the woods. This is modest piles of saplings. This is soft and lovable touch of grasses and bushes.
You will catch wealth of greenery. No concretes. No buildings. No artificial materials.
The roads between the woods are not adventurous. They are shy. They are easy. Likewise the surroundings, they are facile, painless and uncomplicated.

Road thru the trees
will just invite you to walk, to get lost...

Feast your eyes with the never ending greens.
Feel the splendor, the vastness of the fields.
Connect your souls to the Mother Nature who is nurturing you, who is feeding you, who is bringing you up, who is taking care of you. As if she is talking to you, smiling at you.

Green Banquet, a bird (probably called Intermediate Egret) passionately waiting for a fish to catch
Raining... quite a very regular event

Walk by those muddy roads. Re-invent your bond with the soil, with the grass, with the earth.
Touch the meadow. Feel blessed that you are still living in an age when this is accessible.

Just another village path... a tiny stream will accompany you...
Walk leaving your shoes aside...

The nature is very generous and open handed here. She loves you whole heartedly.

Beauty does not need a name
Want some of this?
Or this?

People are simple.
Life is basic.   
Every day is struggle, but every night is at serene.
Living is tough, but mind is at peace.

A humble house
A pond of a house.
Immersion of an Idol.

They don’t have money in their pocket, but they do have love in their heart.
They don’t have huge comfort in their dwellings, but they do have unity and affection at their home.
They might have to work tirelessly the whole day, but their evenings are stress free, their nights are relaxed.

Happy Inside...
Coming back from school... no A.C. buses for the children...
Infrastructure is tough. Modern technologies and comfort has not yet reached there.
People have to find their own solutions. While these solutions are difficult to us who are used to with modern comforts, these are very easy and effortless for them.

Want to cross by this?
Or may be by this...

But, the nature has another face here as well.
Have you experienced winds? Have you witnessed storm?
Try standing there on the open fields in a cloudy and stormy afternoon. This is not a Tsunami. This is not a Katrina. But sometimes it is very fearsome. Witness the force of the nature.

Trees in strong stormy winds
Dark Cloud formation on top
A little more pouring will flood the entire landscape

Still life is good. Life is happy. You have the nature as your resource. As your ally.

Experience Peace. Experience Life.
Talk to the nature. Hear what your mother is saying to you.

Where you want to go?
Where you want to live?
Where you want to reach?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

What is Success?

Just questions.
No answers. 

How do you measure Success?
How and when you can say that you are Successful in Life?

Is it when you can always do those staff what you really want to do, from your heart?
Is it when you can see your loved ones, your family is happy? Happy to their fullest?
Is it when you are able to fulfill all your responsibilities?
Is it when you are sitting on a huge pile of wealth that your next generations can just sit and enjoy?
Is it when you have actually made your family, your forefathers proud?
Is it when you are famous, people know by your name?
Is it when you have gained "MOKSHA" and you are above all those earthy attractions? 
Is it when you find Inner Peace?
Or, is it a combination of the above?
Or, does it depends person to person?

What is it?
When is it?

Friday, August 16, 2013

What do you do...

Sometimes you are fascinated by the World, by the places. You want to travel the Earth. You want to explore the Horizon.

Sometimes you read many interesting staff, you want to remember all of those, you want to read more and more.

Sometimes you want to deeper and deeper into your fascination, into your interest. You want to research on those. You want to write. You want to publish your write ups, your books. You want to let people know what you think.

Sometimes you are pleased with your professional capabilities, You are excited by your achievements. You want to do more. Much more. You want to establish your name. Your family's name.

Sometimes you think a lot about your enthrallment. You read a lot. You dream about those people whose books you are reading. You think how you can also be like them.

Sometimes you are speechless seeing at the beauty of the nature. You just wish you can see all those your favorite places and enjoy the magnificence.

Sometimes you are attracted to a lot of diverse things. Religion. Custom. Mythology. Pre-History. Archaeology. Auxiliary Sciences of History. Mystery. Astronomy. You want to study more. Know more. Generate more.

Sometimes you want to research on many theories, many traditional concepts and understanding. Your mind revolts. Says there are a lot of things that you don't know. A lot of things are incorrect, around. You want to bring those into light.

Sometimes your past, your origin haunts you. You like your native more than anything. You wonder how it will be if you can live there forever.

Sometimes you want to go back to your root. You have seen some parts of the world. You have seen how people live. You have seen how people enjoy life. You have also seen your people at the grass level. You can feel the difference. You can feel their pain. You can see what they are missing. You can see what they are totally ignorant off. You want to do something for them. You want to do many things for them.

Always you feel for your family and your loved ones. You feel your responsibility. You feel your unconditional and unbound love and affection for them. You feel how alone you will be without them. You sense how hollow you are without them, without your loved ones.

You want to give everything to your family. All the luxury, all the peace, all the happy things of the World, all that you didn't have with you, all that they deserve.

What do you do, when you have so much to do?

What do you do, when you don't have any chance to do any of these?

What do you do, when you don't have the resource to do any of these?

What do you do, when you don't know what to do?

Friday, August 9, 2013

Protect the Religion? - Part I

Violence is on the rise.
People are killing people, We punish those people by killing them who kill people. They then mushroom from here and there, and kill more people to take revenge. We again kill them to punish them. They again then appear from some other place, in some other name, in some other form.
And this goes on endlessly.
Both the killers and punishers are the same.
Violence is on the rise.

But, this violence is not for money, not for any earthly resources, not for any materialistic objects.
This is purely for hypothetical reason.
This is for protecting Your Religion, Your Culture, Your People.

This surprises me a lot. Why do we need to protect our Religion? Why do we need communities and groups to protect the Religion?
Is a Religion so fragile that it has to be protected? Is a Religion so brittle that it a group of people has to shield it from harm? Is a Religion so weak and frail that we need to guard it by AK-47s, bullets and tanks?

On the contrary, those who feel so, are actually making their Religion a mockery. They are disdaining their Religion by themselves. No certain bunch of people with guns and pistols can sentinel any Religion, unless you don't want to weaken your Religion, your tribe.

A Religion is way too big than these acts. No people can destroy any Religion, nor no people can safeguard any Religion by sadism.

Those people who are presenting themselves as the so called defender and guardian of their Religion, are actually weakening their Religion by their acts, by the hollow deeds.

Actually, Religion, by itself, is not it was supposed to be.
In today's days the definition of Religion has been changed.
Religion has become a mode or purpose of categorizing of people.
Religion has become an easy way of doing business and earning money.

Religion has become a simple excuse of doing any mischievous act.

Religion is not associated with Respect, it is associated by with mockery.
Some people are religious because they want to Rule, some people are religious because they fear their sins.

Even if we seem to be respectful to our Religion, it is actually not so. We are simply disrespectful to the others.
And we feel the others also disrespect us. Thus we need those so called custodians to protect us, to protect our Religion.

At the end, all those Religions will vanish into the history whose future is handed over to some mere aggressive and illiterate bunch of people.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Book - Shiva Trilogy by Amish

In recent times, one of the most popular and bestselling domestic book is the Shiva Trilogy books authored by Amish Tripathy.

Have a look at http://www.authoramish.com/

This comprises of three books -
  • The Immortals of MELUHA
  • The Secret of the NAGAS
  • The Oath of the VAYUPUTRAS
Must say, a good adoption of Indian Mythology. Such experiments do not frequently happen in Indian Literature. Like it happens in the western world. This is probably the main reason of the book(s) being so popular.

People in modern India have actually relished the new look and profile of the Gods they worship. We like our Gods to be Humane. We like our Gods to be in the Earth, not in the Heaven.

However, the most important credit of Amish is probably that he is successful in escaping the usual gripes of the so called protectors of Hindu Religion. I was amazed to see that there was practically no remonstrations and disputes over anything on these books. Otherwise, you have so many guardians of our religion and belief, that you do not have any freedom to express your views and thoughts. Leave alone any new experimentations.

Amish has quite intelligently engaged all the Great Gods of Hindu religion in very pertinent positions in the book. Everybody worships Lord Ram in Meluha. Everybody follows his rules and orders blindly. Thus, the author got the full buy-in of the North India.
The Vasudev tribe in the book are the protector of the legacy of Lord Vishnu. They are very capable in whatever they do. They are the armaments of Good things in the world. Thus, another front is won.
You have the Vayuputras as the tribe Lord Rudra has left. They are the destroyers. Destroyers of all Evil things and sins in this world. Everybody respects them. Everybody fears them. Thus, all the Shiva deities has now nothing to complain about.

But I believe, it is not only about winning the battle with so called Hindu guardians over here. But due the similar portrait of mythology, people could very quickly hook up to the book, promptly understanding it, respecting it - thus loving it.

Another imperative achievement of Amish is that he could actually create fictional characters in the novel with very similar traits and qualities as we have in our mythology. And more importantly, the storyline is structured in line of these characters, the incidences happening are very much in accordance with the stories we are aware of. When we read the character of Sati, we can quickly relate to the avatar of her we have in our mind. When we understand Ganesh in the book, he is very akin with our Lord Ganesh. When we comprehend the spirit of Kali in the novel, it instantly feels alike with our Goddess.
Take any character, you can see this mostly in this way.
For example, Bhahaspati - we imagined him as a grand old man with lots of knowledge and thoroughly respected and valued. Amish made him the chief of scientists.
Daksha - we know him as the offender of the death of Sati, and being illogical. He is the weak and hopelessly distrustful emperor in the book.
Karthik - at our imagination he is the most handsome man around and also most formidable warrior. In the book he is enjoying the similar character.
Nandi - he is the blind follower of Lord Shiva. His image in the book is exactly the same.
And the list goes on.

Having said that, the final book is not very much impactful as the storyline initially promised. The EVIL, whatever it is, is projected as a very big thing in first two books, specially in The Secrets of the NAGAS. But while concluding everything happened in a rush. Leaving a lot of things unanswered. The massive plot that has been created and ballooned in first two episodes crashed in the third installment - The Oath of the VAYUPUTRAS. Most of the characters seem to be clueless of what they should do when the events in the climax were taking place. It is like a film which creates a lot of fuss, but could not conclude well as per the expectation, most of the plot, characters and actors are wasted. It is a little difficult to fathom that only the Somras and the few protectors of that are that so big an Evil.
I genuinely feel Amish could not carry the burden of the substantial connive that has been crafted by himself in first two books.

Shiva, the character, has been very beautifully architected throughout. Very strong, reasonable, follower of rules and honor, very much focused on the enormous duty on his shoulder, very much aware of the legacy he is part of, and he should leave behind.
But finally using the Pashupatashra and destroying Devagiri entirely, made him a comparatively weaker character. Which is not as He should be as The Neelkanth. Probably, that incident was included in line with the Tandav and Annihilation done by Lord Mahadev in our mythology. He was not also able to leave a very colossal bequest behind him. Neither in terms of a genuine tribe with a long term considerable responsibility, nor in terms of any introduction of big rules and idealism.

However, on top of everything, the series is a good addition in Indian literature. Not because these books are so astonishingly written, but because it should start a new type of texts in India. And hopefully will encourage new adventurous writers to produce new experiments, and new thinking is brought into the light.

The generation, today, is capable to accept these challenges.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Family Culture in India, Is my thinking correct?

The other day I visited a nearby Hindu Mandir (Temple).

One very interesting thing I observed. Most, if not all, God and Goddesses in Hindu Religion are properly married. And more interestingly, they are mostly worshiped together.

Has this been structurally and intentionally done to promote the family culture and bonding in India, in Hindus? If you notice, we Hindus always worship Husbands of a Goddesses, or Wives of Gods, or Children of Them, or even the Love Sentiments of Them. We even worship the husbands or wives of old sages.

Thus we have always been taught to love and adapt the family culture. We love our father, our mother, our husbands, our wives, our children. We do not wish to make part of them, anyone of them, ever.

Thus our parents live with us, always. The tradition of our old parents living separately is very non-existent in India, in Hindus.
Thus our children live with us, as far as possible. We do not leave our children on their own as soon as they are adult; irrespective of whether they can handle themselves alone or not.
We love our family, we love being together.

On the other hand.

Jesus Christ always has been alone, living alone, worshiped alone

Similar is in case of Prophet Mohammed
Buddha and Mahavir are also seen alone, worshiped alone

Is it all coincidence?
In the West, we can see boys and girls get separated as soon as they are 18. The old parents live on their own, even if they are not able to, even if they are not very well by health and wealth. We can see marriages break very soon, as if there is no respect to the marriage institution itself.

Almost similar to the other religions as well. Many of them are not married at all.

Is it because the other Religions, the Gods do not promote the family value? the marriage culture?
Is the stark difference between the societies and practices is a mere happenstance?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Hindu Religion

Just the other day, I visited a standard Hindu Mandir (temple).
As a Hindu, the most amazing thing is to have so many Gods and Goddesses around. It is like you have a Minister in every department of the Governing Body.

However, this is not a very terrible thing to have. But sometimes the dilemma is, you get confused to whom you should pray generally, whom you should worship by and large. Though you have one God and Goddess in case you are looking for any specifics.

For example, if you do need money, pray to Goddess Lakshmi. If you want to pass in a certain exam and studies, pray to Goddess Saraswati. If your country is in drought, urge for rain to God Indra. If you are starting a new venture, call upon Lord Ganesh.  And the list goes on. That is quite handy.

But, in general, you do not have The One GOD, The One FIGURE. Though you have a Supreme Power, The PARAMATMA. However, nobody is actually worshiping that Supreme Power, because that would be a pure, unpolluted and uncontaminated homage. That would be an exercise which is not being done for a specific acquisitive object. Naturally, not very much appealing to people in today's world.

Thus you have got big ceremonies, huge rituals to various Gods and Goddesses. Nothing wrong in that.

But, we should also extol to that Supreme Paramatma, Who can bring tranquility to our lives, to this world, to mankind.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wishlist - Places #4 : Wonders of the Nature

The Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA

Zhangye Danxia Landform, China

 Bamboo Forest, Japan

Mount Roraima, South America

Hang Son Doong, Vietnam

Naica Mine, Mexico

Tianzi Mountain, China

Antelope Canyon, USA

Amazon Rain Forest

Salt Flats, Bolivia

Great Reef Barrier, Australia

 Halong Bay, Vietnam

Mount Bromo, Indonesia

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Marble Caves, Chile

Milford Sound, New Zealand

Northern Lights

Pangong Tso Lake, India, China

Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina

Pulpit Rock, Norway

Reed Flute Cave, China

Shilin Stone Forest, China

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, Philippines

Yellowstone National Park, US