Friday, October 09, 2020

I am 20

Recently saw this documentary on Youtube, in which someone interviewed people in the year 1967, (across the country) who were born around the day of independence Aug 15, 1947. And that's why the name of the documentary is : I am 20. It's nice documentary to look (without judging) what these people thought of India and its future and also their personal ambitions. If you observe you will still find many people in India (or in any other country) still having similar thoughts. So, inspite of being shot ~ 50 years ago, it still feels relevant.

It's hard not to get impressed with one person who is very optimistic about the future of India and energized to be part of the Indian experiment. He appears to be very matured for his age and also so eloquent in conveying his thoughts.

Going through the comments led me to this article Midnight's Grown-ups. Someone did watch the video and was so impressed by it that they went on a search to track the people in that video. It's an interesting read. Apparently that likable/energetic chap settled out of India, and although the author was able to track him, he couldn't talk to him.

Coincidently, I came to know about Shailesh Gandhi while volunteering with AID

The conversation of Shailesh with her daughter, that he recalls was quite interesting to me:-

I quoted one of the young girls in “I Am 20”. “What do you want me to do for the country? I think I do enough by being an honest citizen, by doing my job to the best of my ability, by working eight hours a day.” Shouldn’t that be enough?

Gandhi mulled over this. “You know, my daughter talks the same language.” She left for America a decade ago, and on the eve of her departure, Gandhi told her, “Your life is yours, of course, but I hope that, after a few years, you’ll come back.”

“I want to live an honest, decent life,” she said, “and I think it’s difficult to do that here.”

“Many things are wrong in India,” he replied. “They need to change. But we need to change them.”

“But you’ve wanted to do that, and I don’t think you’ve been very successful,” his daughter said. “I don’t want to do that.”

Gandhi recounted this conversation to me. “She’s settled there now, with a husband and a child. But my feeling still is that it’s up to us citizens. Look, I love my wife and child not because they’re the best people in the world, but simply because they’re my wife and my child. If you feel that bond, then you say you’re responsible.” His voice cracked and shook. “Why should I believe in India? Because it’s mine.”

Monday, September 14, 2020

I'm free

 A couple of days back, on my morning walk I found a poem written on someone's memorial card lying outside. I liked it very much. Later when I searched for it online I found that, that poem is used for many memorials. Don't know who the author is though. 

Here it goes:

Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free. 

I'm following the path God has laid you see.

I took His hand when I heard Him call.

I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day,

To laugh, to love, to work or play.

Tasks left undone must stay that way.

I found that peace at the close of the day.

If my parting has left a void,

Then fill it with remembered joys.

A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,

Oh yes, these things I too will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow.

I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.

My life's been full, I savored much,

Good friends, good times, a loved one's touch.

Perhaps my time seemed all too brief.

Don't lengthen it now with undue grief.

Lift up your hearts and peace to thee.

God wanted me now; He set me free!

I like these lines very much:

I turned my back and left it all.

Tasks left undone must stay that way.

Don't lengthen it now with undue grief. 

I interpret this as someone who has lived a content life. They don't have any qualms of the unfinished work, and ready to bid adieu at a moment's notice. At the same time happy for the happy moments that life has offered them. And advising the others living not to dwell on their death, as it's natural and part of life.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

I am fine as I am

 For long there has been a discontent in me that I am not following my "perceived passion". I call it perceived because in order to know that it is indeed my passion I should have tried doing it... but I never did. But I know my heart yearns for it. That discontent only grew as I continued on my current path and I grew older. But as I read and thought more I realized that the passion is itself an attachment when you give it so much importance to it. 

If not following it creates so much discontent it sure is going to be a part of your identity when you pursue it and you will pursue it with so much vigor and passion, that everything else becomes secondary. But is there a problem with following your passion... I don't know. As Gita talks about "Nishkama Karma" i.e work that you do dispassionately but sincerely. There is no desire of some personal gain from that work. Then you know you are an instrument and not the subject and you will not attach much significance to you or your identity and it will not lead to the growth of your 'self'. Also, when you are in a pursuit you are always seeking something which is in the future and giving up your present.

That was a digression from the main point of this blog. 

I recently came across UG Krishnamurti and I found him interesting. Although I don't seem to understand much of what he says and hence can't follow, but there are a few things that are true. Following is text from JSRL Narayana Moorty's Introduction to U.G and his Teaching.

There is no problem with our present life. For thought there seems to be one because it extracts certain knowledge out of past pleasures and pains, compares the present with it passes judgments, avoids the present by concocting a future and pursuing it. But for the comparisons that thought makes there is no problem with our life as it is; and there is no other life. It is precisely our thought of a better state that prevents us from coming to terms with our life as it is.

And towards the end of the article he writes: 

In this muddle of U. G., ourselves, and his conversations or talks with us, we get all mixed up, get separated and get mixed up again, and we haven't the faintest idea of where this is all leading. Where does it, U.G.? 

It does not have to lead anywhere. U. G. constantly reminds us that it is the urge to know and to create a state of permanence that makes us ask all these questions, and when we quit them, everything will be all right, as it should be. You take what comes, and no questions asked. No one is there to keep a tally. No accounts kept. And what's wrong with that? Where is a problem there? What happens, then as U. G. says, would be none of our concern. 

 After reading this and some of what U. G. says, I have realized that I don't have to do anything great or achieve something to say that I have lived a fulfilled life. I am fine as I am. 

Granted, the society gives a great importance to people who have achieved something and they continue to live beyond their death because of what they have done, but it's the individual's thoughts/desires/aspirations or some other reasons that made them do what they did. Not achieving something does not trifle your life. It should not cause me discontent and inner turmoil. Just being is good enough. After all from nature's point of view, just being is good enough like a tree or a creature. You have fulfilled your role by just being there/just living. Rest all is the creation of human thought and societal conditioning.

This does not mean that I will voluntarily stop doing the thing I am passionate about. It means that I will not call it passion, but instead do it because I feel like.. not because it will give me a purpose to my life... not because it's a noble thing to do ... not because it will make me feel important in the eyes of the society.

Saturday, May 02, 2020

Freedom of Inconsequentiality

The freedom that comes when you are aware of your inconsequentiality is limitless

Saturday, March 07, 2020

An excerpt from Toni Morrison's Sarah Lawrence Commencement Address

It is possible to live without defending property or surrendering it, but we will never live that way unless our thinking is shot through with dreams. And it is necessary now because if you don't educate the unschooled with the very best you have, don't give them the help, the courtesy, the respect you had in becoming educated, then they will educate themselves, and the things they will teach and the things they will learn will destabilize all that you know. And by education I do not mean hobbling the mind, but liberating it; by education I do not mean passing on monologues, but engaging in dialogues. Listening, assuming sometimes that I have a history, a language, a view, an idea, a specificity. Assuming that what I know may be useful, may enhance what you know, may extend or complete it. My memory is as necessary to yours a you memory is to mine. Before we look fro a "usable past" we ought to know all of the past. Before we start "reclaiming a legacy" we ought to know exactly what that Legacy is--- all of it and where it came from. In the business of education there are no minorities, only minor thinking. For if education requires tuition but no meaning, if it is to be about nothing other than careers, if it is to be about nothing other than definiig and husbanding beauty or isolating goods and making sure enrichment is the privilege of the few, then it can be stopped in the sixth grade, or the sixth century, when it had been mastered. The rest is reinforcement. The function of tewentieth-century education must be to produce humane human beings. To refuse to continue to produce generation after generation of people trained to make expedient decisions rather than humane ones.

Thursday, January 02, 2020

Betrayal of Love

What is the punishment for "Betrayal of Love". None !!! I am guilty of that.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Akshara Finishes her First 5K run

July 23, 2017 will be a memorable day for all of us as Akshara finished her first 5K run. She ran strong for 1.5 km, jogged for a km and walked for a km to the finish line of The San Francisco Half Marathon