Sunday, December 28, 2008

Lovelock Spot


I stand by the same spot.

By the same spot I wait:

Waiting long; Waiting strong.

 

The morning dew & evening laze unfazed.

The Evening laze unfazed, I stand

As a rock; a rusted lock

 

Your love untrue or true,

Untrue or true doeth not break me

And stands my heart unbroken; unshaken.

 

The mob it flows in questions & awe

In questions & awe, unsure & unhope

Of my love’s daylight break; my ceaseless wait.

 

A distant tune of hope strums

Hope strums from a street child’s handmade strings

And stand I inspired; and I wait for you.

 

Sometimes a mirage deludes

A mirage deludes me of your coming sight

A sight I wait – for, unfazed in your love.

 

I plead to my lord – the Supreme

My lord: ‘To you I give myself,

But allow me one final sight of my love.’

 

‘Oh lord! Allow me the pleasure of her company,

Her accompany on this blessed land

The playground of Lucifer & thyself.’

 

In my words heartfelt & slightly distraught;

Slightly distraught but still lovestrong,

I stand by the same spot.


I stand by the same spot.

By the same spot I wait:

Waiting long; Waiting strong.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Last Guy in Office

He sat lost with five reports to go.
In urgent & important their priorities scale.
Ten it struck, he had been in from day break.
Work now piled unending & bleak.

His friends cried for him – ‘Get a life’;
But his ambition’s drive took no ear of it.
Says a friend of his, ‘You will wake up one day,
All down and dreary, and pray back for this day!’

Trading private desires for public needs
He toiled only for satisfying incessant greed -
Unending, of those beyond his questioning authority lay.
A twinkle sparkles from his tears that lay.

Wishes & pleasures evaded him.
While a tear itself with no purpose rolled,
Down his sunken eyes in an unending leak.
Work now piled unending & bleak.

Who shall answer for his pleasures lost?
Who shall answer for the time that he lost?
Only he! Himself, will wake up one day,
All down and dreary, and pray back for this day!

A silence spread in the office space,
As though in mourning was this dreaded space.
Ten it struck, he had been in from day break.
Work now piled unending & bleak.

- Arun Raj

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Singing Silence

There she stood in a Goddess stance
With twinkling eyes – sharp and black, 
That pierced my heart – fragile. 
 
Tulip petals mixed in a dance of yellow & red -
As though a spring summer blessed in bloom,
 Fluttered along me in a consummate trance.

Her fragrance spread in the lazy breeze
Far-flung like the reach of a bright sun’s rays,
Onto me; now lost only to be found by her.

As she traced a path - so pearly white,
 Towards me, I could not but fall 
Weak in my knees; now powerless and entranced.

As though in still grace, she appeared 
To flow; unlike a human stride,
While songbirds fluttered in symphony – Music!! 

‘Where am I?’ A question in such distraught 
Arose in me - on the path of His love. 
To win is to lose now and to lose is to win.

“Oh Supreme Soul, beloved to you 
Shall I presume now my humbled myself!  
This love of You unto me, My Lord, perplexes me!” 

What have I, but done to deserve 
In my human sight, a blessed spectacle 
Of one of your beloved Angel’s”

In reply was Silence, as always His answer.


- Arun Raj | 20th Nov 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Love is Giving - Unconditionally

Have you observed in your love for your mother, father, brother, friend, lover or best friend that un-questioned and un-ending flow of giving? There, lies the best form of true love. Here, there is no confusion or conflict and love becomes the most pleasurable experience. It gives meaning to life. It makes us feel complete. It makes us happy.

Love gives meaning to life. It makes us feel complete. It makes us happy.



But what makes this love difficult to maintain and sustain?!! Observe again! Why? As these relationships develop, there is a build up expectations around these relationships. In a friend and/or lover we expect loyalty and a return of the love given, when you need it. Parents expect respect back for the love they have given and we expect them to understand us and stand by us for our interests and desires. We get absorbed to the love to the extent where detachment or inexistence of this love would leave us meaningless and empty.

As relationships develop, there is a build up expectations around these relationships.



We all wish to be loved and we fall in love with others. Why are we so full of ourselves not being able to show the other cheek while being hit? Why can we not give without expecting in return? Why can we not trust in the decisions of the ones we love? We can we not let go? We attach our happiness so much unto loved ones that we forget logic and rationality. With this many times, we end up hurting the ones we love.

Let us all just try to let go and trust in God - The Ultimate Giver.



Give love without bounds and let it shall naturally rebound to you, while not trying to capture it or get lost in it - blinded. And thus, have faith in this inherent nature of any form of love - the attitude of unconditional giving.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The All Nonsense Approach to life & happiness

Let’s start with a small exercise - Stick your tongue out and try to touch the tip of your nose. Put an effort at it, I know you can do it. OK! If you find it difficult then Wikihow.com takes you through the steps of getting it done - http://www.wikihow.com/Touch-Your-Nose-With-Your-Tongue

What is you first temptation – To try and touch it or Is it disgust? Now, when some of you might have even attempted this, I know for sure you might have at least been tempted to click the link. The forbidden fruit or a relatively unusual activity like this is tempting at best, but that voice inside your head that cries “… Nonsense! Nonsense!! …” steals the cake from you.

Why is it so? Why did Adam & Eve have to pluck the fruit forbidden by GOD or why do a lot of top notch leaders and ambitious people have difficult phases in their past to talk about or why does the Fox give up on the grapes that were a little high for him to catch hold off, why does he not try before concluding – ‘they are sour’? It is all in the mind.

Breaking away from the usual nature of habits and general cultural bindings is as difficult as touching the tip of your nose with your tongue. We either give up trying or we succeed at the effort. But none of us are weary of its lure. Be it the need to diet and get that flat tummy or be it hitting on that really hot neighbor or be it that car which is the wallpaper on your desktop!

Since, the moment we are born we are asked not to do this or that, don’t climb that tree, don’t go near the cliff, don’t mingle with strangers, don’t roam around late night, stay away from alcohol, do not bunk classes and what not. Do we abide by any of that? And when we do not, what happens? … A Guilt Trip … very synonymous to a road trip –impromptu & uncalled for.

The All non-sense approach does not claim that it has an answer to Guilt trips and the desirability of the forbidden fruit. It just says that:

“When life becomes nonsensically complicated and you have no answers, you are lost and trying to catch up with that slippery dream or desire … You need to get a life Dudes & Gals!! Break away and eat that forbidden fruit … Now! Not tomorrow! Not a year later … Right now! … And also may be sit and contemplate at the edge of a steep cliff if you really want what you desire & want so badly”.

What is first thing that races through your mind? What is the craziest thing you ever wanted to do? List it down and read it out. Don’t leave a single thing you wished or desired to do out of the list. Your deeply embedded rationale on feasibility would now bite you. But, learn to ignore it or defy it, at least when you write it down.

If you even consider this nonsense that I am suggesting to you, then initially it is going to be tough ride. Your principles, ideologies, culture, traditions, precognitive misdirection and confusions will drive you to ignore many an impulse action. Compete with it! Yes, Compete! See who is stronger. Fight the very fabric of your existence - your beliefs, faith, assumptions, and presumptions. Ask why things are the way they are are. Question everything & Live as if nothing is stopping you (whilst being responsible with as minimum disruption to others as possible ;) )

Trust me, if your assumptions or belief is right (I do not wish to get into defining right here. It’s a matter of your own interpretation.), then be proud of what you know. But, if they are wrong then do not worry, the realization of what you believed was wrong is difficult; like you getting to know your girlfriend/boyfriend or wife/husband was cheating on you. Be aware that it can disturb you and put you into doubt and trouble you. But, don’t you think living with the truth is better than being an ignorant fool lifelong or having done something to your hearts desire and content, is something worth effort.

What do you think? Tell me about it … Try that nonsensical thing and tell me how you feel !!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Which Diet are you on?

No thank you!! I would like to have my regular meals with enough of butter and chicken and as spicy as possible. And so, would I have responded to an intense conversation that was bubbling first thing in office today morning. But then I preferred to stay mum in response.


It started with one lovely lady in my team that messed up on her GM diet plan because she was too tempted by real food. As she shared the same with another team-mate, also on the same diet plan, a bunch of ladies in nearby cubicles caught up to the conversation. Interesting new diet plans were given the light of day. Diet plans, alternative diets, likes & dis-likes being expressed as if it were some serious political debate.


To my surprise, there were some men who were on diets. As interesting as it sounds, to add to this, it was a guy in the team that actually presented a diet plan which a few have already started with. At this point, some guys & gals delved into the conversation just because they were rather perplexed on the need for any form of starving yourself; much like me. As I heard this, I let out a sigh of relief for the reason that there were still people on real food.


So are you on a diet?


Some Useless Diet links -

Okinawa Program

GM Diet

Atkins Diet


Or Try some basic things ...

10 Basic Things to stay fit & healthy


Keep Fit ... Don't stay hungry :)



Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Queen !

In the light of the dusking sun;
I call out to my lovely Queen:
The Queen of my heart!

Oh, My Queen! So Divine & Sweet!
There be no ray that doeth not wish,
To blush your Face.

There be no Breeze not sunk – in your exquisite Fragrance.
If there be a Glimmer to Light my Life:
It is the Glow, of your Eyes in love.

If there be a moment I wish to live
Of last; it would be,
Every moment I am with you. “

And so, with the Sun now set,
I wish and hope unto God; may every Dawn
Till Eternity, I be with My Queen: My Oh So Lovely Queen !

In the Light of the Dusking Sun;
I call out to My Lovely Queen:
The Queen of my heart!

... Eternally in Love ...

By Arun Raj
March 2005

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Social Stigma & its Repercussions on You


I appreciate the efforts taken today’s 'Dus Ka Dum' show – Salman Khan’s new Prime time game show on Sony Set Max. Today they brought in a Eunuch as one of the competitors. I appreciate the effort made by the team simply because an endorsement of a man of the stature of Salman Khan for a social issue adds a lot of value to the cause. This act I believe would surely open the eyes of at least the next generation of Indians to accept Eunuch’s as an equally valid social being and very much deserving of a respectable position in the system.


A friend of mine who was along with me questioned my position and raised a valid point in return – ‘You just saw one side of the story! In the Indian mythological setup these people are given a position of respect and their blessings and curses are equally valued. But if they are not respected in monetary and/or some beneficiary mode, they create mayhem to the extent that they go nude in front of the public audiences in a marriage or mouth out disgraceful words. This is also visible in trains where they come along and do a similar act or at traffic lights. There is also a clear commercial agenda here on having them present at the show clearly drives up TRPs.’ I was now convinced that he too was part of a system that looked at the issue in a partially blinded perspective. The blinding was to the point that his stereotypical opinion was the fact of existence of social stigma against the Eunuch’s. The obvious repercussions are in the form the suppressed community’s seemingly disgraceful actions.


I am sure many of you would align with the position taken by my short-sighted friend here. I am also sure many of you would not even have tried to trace the root of the existence of the thought process. My counter starts with a position I have on Eunuchs, I feel the Eunuchs have been given a position of respect in Indian Mythology due to obvious reasons of physical disadvantage. This accurately identified disadvantage renders them close to incapable of surviving in the social structure of marriages and families. It effects directly their survival in a mutually dependent social structure where their disadvantage is almost grave to the extent of dilution of the value of their existence. Just as we have all observed in a child, the attitude to fight out of its way to receive what it wants, so it’s obvious that these human beings request for an equal right at chances of survival. Thus the setup gives them the respect and promotes their cause in the society as a form of respect to an anomaly of nature.


Purist philosophies are again another identity of the wild nature we humans also have adopted in an ignorant and insensitive way. The naive proponents of the philosophy have a tendency to elect and push forward the strongest amongst the lot as the most eligible one to lead and guide them to surviving and sustaining a breed. This if observed in our daily movements is evident from the nature of our own groups. The leader is then the one we all strive to align with and be like. From this grows the nature of purist philosophies where any anomaly would become a weak link in sustaining the breed.


India’s social stigma has reached a point where even women are a targeted victim of purist cleansing. The women really do not bring bread to the table and it did to not make any sense of their survival. Similarly, the case of Eunuch’s who being less visible due to their relative size of population are being targeted at being cleansed from the system. And as the larger the purist’s system becomes, the chances of their survival further diminished. With the respect and understanding of the reasons why mythology was designed the way it is diminishing, it becomes difficult to prevent acts of a purist nature to be discouraged and degraded.


If such perspectives exist inside individuals in our society – in me or you or the people around us, which are imbibed and embedded from a young age then, such cleansing is inevitable. This is the stigma – The Social Stigma, applicable in dishonor unto minorities, mentally or physically challenged, etc. If given an equal opportunity to work, operate businesses and live as though would either of us without the mass social stigma working against them, then they would also no more have reasons to annoy you, defame you or malign you in anyway.


A final point I would like to make on this is about the working model of the Indian Mythological setup. I respect and admire this setup to the extent of feeling proud that I am myself part of this model. I see it as one of the most scientifically modulated*, politically correct* and sustainable model* of civilization that humans could have ever come across. It clearly is not a religion but a simple way of living. It talks about a simple working philosophy of Mother Nature – The Karma Cycle. It states that – ‘what you sow so shall you reap.’ How many people who have performed a bad karma (bad karma defined as: an act of directly inflicting damage on another fellow living being) have had a great end to their life? While you consider these people also consider the after effects of their actions on their families. The conclusion is clear right? The family would have suffered some sort of irreparable loss – as a loss of a dear family member or uncontrollable disorder in the family setup or mental disorders or simply loss of earnings, etc. This is the simple concept of karma.


The design of the mythological models is such that there are traditions, cultures & beliefs along with ages of learning’s and knowledge. These need to be respected and followed with an open mind populated with love and kindness for another being as at utmost priority. We are ready interpretations and new perspectives as long as another being is not being directly or indirectly inflicted in the process. Any stigma that you carry which discriminates another person can surely consume you one day and then you may not have an answer to the reasons. Gandhi fought against the stigmatized perspectives of Indians against the Dalits and those of the Whites against Indians. It was an effort without parallels in action and inexplicable in words for appreciation. A similar effort was extended by the team of 'Dus Ka Dum' take an action at attempting to remove the stigma against the transgender community. I give a hoot to the fact that there was a commercial agenda implied in the act. The effort is what counts.


Take a small step and make an effort today. The world will change by itself.


Hopefully

Arun Raj :D


Saturday, June 7, 2008

As you fall in love …

Had there been an easier way to experience bliss, then falling in love gave you a brief whiff of it. I am not sure how many of you have been able to bask in this enchanting emotion. I am not sure if my experience would be a definitive narrative of the experiences, relative to the others who have experienced this state. But, I am putting my best foot forward to walk you through my expression of faith in the most humane of feelings.

It was buzzing, fresh with sounds of requests for copies of the assignments to be submitted that day and the lectures lined up for the day or what are the chances of India winning in the match today evening. Some of them even were busy into discussing the latest local kid’s comic – Jungle Book and Shikari Shambu. I was seated comfortably at my throne at the rear end of the class – a no man zone for most. And she strode in … For a moment, I could not hear the morning rush in our classroom.

I drifted into a state of involuntary submission as everything else around me blurred into oblivion. The focus was on her and she sure basked in it. She started appearing as she pushed open the half open door and walked in. There was a rebel in her that presented outwards as a distanced soul, ready to strike when provoked. The distancing was usually presented as an expression of ignorance – simply looking down, until a relevant event caught her attention.

A few steps in, as she raised her eyes to search for me in the distance, I could just sense that my heart skipped a beat and then flutter with excitement. Just as she found me, a smile began to grow on her gracefully blushing face. A lingering fragrance of a bout of flowers and spices drifted along with her as she moved around. Her lingering aura of fragrance drifted towards me, as I drowsed into further oblivion. She breaks the eye contact with me, which added much to the grievance of my intellect’s displeasure in being disregarded by my heart, who was also very much in awe of the presentation of an almost angelic presence.

She stepped closer towards me, as her seat used to be just across mine. Her seat was by a set of French windows that had a scenic view spread out into the lush green hills, banana & rubber plantations and was a haven for passing birds and butterflies. She stood at an arms length across me for a second in front of me and looked up to request in a silent interrogation, to know if my jaws would consider shutting up. And as she completed the expression, as though a jolt hit me to wake me up from enchantment, the bell rang and popped a bubble of bounded happiness inside me … ‘LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL …!!!‘

Falling in love is as close as to experiencing peace and tranquility, even though for the moments as it lasts. I have experienced it and cherished the moments till today and there are no regrets if it did not work out. I believe that the nature of love is close to the nature of giving and sharing. As long as you can give love, be assured you will get it back.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Freedom

I spread my hands and feel the breeze.
To fly, I wish to every GOD I know;
‘With this passing gale take me along, and tease
Me with streams of air as chilled as snow.
Where humming birds and hunting hawks
Stray ever so free into the limitless enclose.
The sky I wish to talk to it so, closely and near
That, a fall to the floor becomes an insignified fear.’

I spread my hands and feel the breeze.

I sit and wish to a passer by – a lady.
Beautiful and starkly angelic at first sight
Could look at me and shine a gaily
Smile; that would flight me off to the pearly gates.
Where blessed souls and winged spirits
Flow with graceful movements - an elegant sight.
With her to sail on the sparkly waters of virgin seas
Devoid of destinations and directing pleas.

I sit and wish to a passer by – a lady.

I hold my lover’s hands – in rousing bliss.
First drops of rain on her blushing cheek
Roll with a flaunted cheer in its splashing and drips
Off her chin into my palm. As if a thousand kisses
Bequeath on her; Mother Nature in all her love.
Chirps & tweets of crickets and birds, sound out concerns;
As though the sky had fallen off - from above.
My love she sights the innocent calls & smiles off the naive concerns.

I hold her hands with a heart as light as a feather's grace.

My friend you see, freedom is in the now and not to be seeked.

 

Sunday, May 4, 2008

7 Days away from Her …

The Story:
Far far away, in a forest land, where flowers, trees and animals inhabited in a related together in love and care – Blooming Dale. For each other, they cared and spread both hands. Two lovers – Miraya of the tulips clan and Mannath of the tall oaks stable, of this virtuous city had to bid adieu for seven days. Their love was spoken of for its different shades of kindness and boldness. Today the call of duty, took Mannath away for guarding the walls of the forest.

Day 1:
As the grand army of blooming dale, strode along to protect all its roots, Mannath looks at the distant shine of the city lights and writes his journal for the day.

Although in your absence,
I still felt an air of your care,
In my proxim air.
Awing my thoughts of you,
So fresh, as the freshest flowers,
And the most memorable day dreams.

Day 2:
They splashed through the valleys and rivers en route. Mannath could only reminisce of how the morning dew shined on Miraya’s petals.

I know that you are now
Miles away even for
My wildest adventures of explore.
The rays of lights & sprinkles
Of water talk; of time as only
A reminiscent delay of life.

Day 3:
Bound by duty he started to take control of his strong flowing emotions. He now walks along as though her hands were in his.

Now I walk distances,
Somehow now I am living
Every moment as with you,
For you and by you; only now,
Noticing the worth
Of being with you – Every Moment.

Day 4:
Time is nearing but still far away. His war now wages with fire and lightning, dry and deplete. But he manages to lays off devils discrete discourse in his ears to retreat and run.

Seconds now play a slow game
And test me at a strange game:
The eternal game of love and hate.
Then I passed, with you
At heart, that laid a latent hue
Of the devil off my heart.

Day 5:
They won a tough battle with the help of rain gods and the distrusting swamps. He feels proud of having achieved his duty and dreams of the pride in Miraya’s eyes.

With an objective accomplished
Now I am basking in a satisfaction
Of heavenly proportions. Then I am told,
Of the sacrifices I do for seeing you happy,
Which I live with,
In Proud of every day

Day 6:
He managed to collect on the path back to blooming dale, a sort of mirror stone for Miraya – his love. But it so happened to slip his branches and break up to bits.


Shatters of glass,
Shatter my heart to bits.
But scenes of break have been
Its bread & butter.
You should have seen the smile,
On my face that died – a silent demise.

Day 7:
It ends moments from now. And he waits now for sunshine break, at which they shall reach the gates of blooming dale, where waits Miraya - his love. And then shall end his hardest seven days.


Time now is midnight high; the wait now ends.
Its only moments from now
Will I get to see your sunlight smile.
This now is a delay that seems
Only a blink away
At the dusk of my hardest seven days.

( ... Still being edited ... )

Saturday, May 3, 2008

She paints our lives …

Tell life to take second rung,
As unto you lies a world unsung.
Take sips of the lazy, swift flow breeze,
Strumming leaves on branches to discrete notes.

Gleaming droplets of early fog at sunshine break,
From a windowsill; for you always in drape.
The lazy drop that splits a thousand pieces on fall,
Puts space and time in a suspended stall.

Long tread have many in search of peace,
The Kings, the Peasants and Princes of Greece.
Some though not, but others did find,
Pleasures in songs or spiritual bliss.

Few here absorb right my subject – so beautiful,
Understated, unsung she cares for a us – a ton.
In Morning dew, chirping birds, the wildest lions,
Tall tree oaks and oceans wides, she lives – Mother Nature.

GO GREEN, FOR US & OUR FUTURE GENERATIONS :D

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Monday, March 24, 2008

Territories of Comfort & Competition

Recently, a friend of mine wished to be critical about a team that he was part of at work. The team being made out of a need basis, had little to gel together for. He being the odd one out was being eyed on for removal from the team. He feels discriminated against and blogs his disgust. I reasoned like this ...

The central nature of any form of existence - a car, a mountain, a human, an animal, etc, is to compete for survival. They are all made of electrons & photons. When there is instability and emptiness, there is a need for fulfillment.

In this competition procreation becomes a tool, a very need based tool, to breed and further your kind. The kind may be a caste, tribe, a pack of lions, a herd of sheep, a clout of locusts, etc. We being relatively the most advanced beings in nature are only different in one way - We are capable of reasoning. At some point in human history of evolution, we had to have a survival feature and that was reasoning.

Now having grown out of the need to survive in wild environments and compete with other wild elements for survival, we need to fight among territories of comfort - Man's self made imaginary spaces around himself. Comfort here is a skill area, which he wishes to use to effect a regular source of daily-bread & shelter. In layman terms, we call it a JOB.

To understand TOC's better lets consider an analogy - If you have observed dogs or lions, they have a process of marking a territory and guarding it with full caution. The territory will have their source of food, their female species and children. The stronger the lion or dog, or the larger the pack, the larger will be the area and hence the decision maker. If you extrapolate the same to humans - The stronger the person , physically, the better chances of him getting the perfect girl. We have houses which define status of a person. We have land which again gives decision making capability. Also, we have intellect which defines how much you earn and are known.

TOC is an area around you - a shell, which you define to protect your existence. The harder the competitive environment, the thicker the shell. TOC's protect you for a while, but then, it can also go out of control, as ... by nature we are all competitive... and Selfish!

You really cannot complain, if you are good enough to be competitive ... Be Happy, you are good at what you do. Also, strive to be better. Better yourself against yourself, while you are at it. The world will only fight to better you and you will just be getting better and better ... Now is that not a better way to look at things ... Simple !

The friend was Selva G, and you can read his blog on - http://selvasword.blogspot.com/2008/03/other-side-of-coin-is-rusting.html. Request all of you to read through this well written blog, its worth your time.

" Competition is inevitable. "

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Mohit


There are some changes you find hard to accept (.. which are most ..) and some (.. which are rare ..) which you luv to accept . A better GurlFriend, A better Life, A better Car ... A better Best Friend ; that is rarer than rare . This how i would define you .

Say, u reach a new place, far from home, and regularly keep lookin back for ssolace in an old life and feel bad about it or miss it ... and then a ray of sunshine breaks through that darkness ..and u start to luk forward to this new life ..

This is how i define you .My Farishta list just got incremented .. new F=Farishta(F++);

Also, this guy is the reason my Hindi improved. :D

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

मस्ती का एक पूरा दिन !! :D

It was a great scene at the Prayas class inside the community on 15th March 2008. The early morning rush in the narrow pathway of the community apart, there were some bright faced parents who were eager to send their children along. A special mention was the look on Afsana's mother -Naimudin Shah, who had a glow on her face as if she was climbing a NASA Space Shuttle.

A total of 32 children came along with us for the picnic. The kids were all dressed up and ready to go on a day of learning and fun. Gudia in a bright lovely yellow frock with red frills and a matching top, glowed with that beautiful smile of her. She surely was one of my favorites. But, every one of our children was raring to enjoy this day and every one of them, a special little star in our eyes.

We had with us that day the ususal suspects / volunteers - Anand Bhai, Neha, Nikhil, Ruchi, Darshan, Vikas, Kanan, Sonia & me and also some volunteers from HCL - Sharukesh, Sanjay, Nikhil, and Pawan, courtesy Sonia's effort. Anand Bhai's sister Pooja & Darshan's friend Jagdish had also joined us and were a great help. We did miss two people thou - Anuradha & Raj, without whom there was surely a difference.

Our kids have this habit of greeting all new and old volunteers with the same energy and interest that, make you feel you are special to them from the very moment you reach there. This feeling I believe, drives many of us to be present with them no matter what the circumstances are. I feel, the new volunteers also felt a similar emotion after spending time with the children of Prayas.

It now started rising upon me as if we were taking on a journey like the Roadies. Every moment was a task, at which the success was, a bright smile on lovely faces our children. From the moment we entered the bus, we started singing songs and dancing with the children. If either of the children felt left out it would have been a loss, but our Dhira-Shoor-Volunteers would not loose hope that fast. Kanan & Selva started with Nikhil a.k.a Dhoni Sir, backing them up with songs and 'folk' music.

Ruchi & Neha meanwhile worked on forming groups of children as teams of 5-6. Each team had a color to identify them - Blue, Green, Yellow, Red, Gold & Silver. The blue team with 'Dhoni Sir' were the most loud and proud of them all. They somehow stuck to their own groups beyond our expectations, hand in hand throughout the picnic. Our attempt at team-building did succeed to an extent. Good Going Ruchi & Neha!

Our first stop was the Natural History Museum. At the gate stood, a T-rex - the most infamous & ferocious of all dinosaurs. The look on some of the children's face said it all. Zulekha had this i-have-seen-a-ghost look about her as she ran towards me, when Subi convinced her it was not real. Inside the museum, the children hung on with their group leaders and enjoyed the exhibits.

After a few photo sessions, the gliteratti (;P) moved on, to venture into more open grounds. We reached India Gate @ the Children's Park. Selva, Kanan, Ruchi, Neha & others played some games with the children, while I was having an adventurous time finding and then negotiating with the Food Delivery Guys.

Finally, after all the play and hard work we all sat to have a well-deserved meal. And Voila !! Dal Makhani & Shahi Paneer … After all, the Darshan's Dal-Makhani Democracy failed today, while suffering a distressing fate at it. We discussed and voted on mails and phone to finally decide, Dal Makhani was the choice of common taste with some Aloo Gobbi. And yes, I personally along with Kanan, indicated to the people of Breakpoint Hotel that we will not be taking any Shahi Paneer. But lo & behold … Both Shahi Paneer & Dal Makhani ! वह कहते है न – "जले पे नमख चिदखना", वैसे लगा मुझे कुछ टाइम के लिए.

Sajjad brought some finger-licking good गोबी-की-सब्जी and roti from home for us. Me and Ruchi dug into it to savor in the flavor of the food. Sonia took the lead with the food to distribute the thali's to the volunteers. प्यारी मोटी !! मौका देखकर बैट गई ;) …

Neha was now trying her luck at photography, while snapping at a few gypsy ladies around with Anand Bhai's Nikon. She tried hard and tried to get what she called, the right composition. But all she got was a few gypsy ladies who were on her tail to get mehndi written on her hand, in exchange for pictures taken. Until, our hero – Anand Bhai, like Dharam Paaji, at the top of his voice took charge to shoo the ladies away. Neha now, literally gasping for precious breath is not going to do much of photography for her own sake.

By around 2.30 we wrapped up from there and set sails for the Rail Museum at Chanakyapuri. Darshan had joined us by now and set the feeblish spirits on fire, with some evergreen Dev-Anand class energy. He sings and sings and sings and then dances also, the children now can only clap, because this guy had more energy than the 32 Kids & 14 other volunteers combined. We now reached our destination - the Rail Museum.

The Rail Museum was an exciting place with all the model trains and well described history of the Rail Network in India. Sharukesh and his group were the most interested of listening to the stories of trains and the history associated with it. Looking at him I felt this guy had some skill in handling kids. Anand Bhai also tried his luck at trying to get some of the children to listen to him, but I saw most of them running away with a बचाओ-भूत-आया look about them.

The children after the Joy Train ride found the experience exciting and wanted a repeat ride. If it was not for the कम्बक्त time, we could have but then we had to leave. We got ice-creams for all of them as the final treat for the picnic. This boosted energy levels of the volunteers and children to a new level. Everybody was now involved in singing and dancing as if there was no office or school tomorrow.

It came to an end now, after we parked out in front of the community and the children & volunteers emptied out. With a heavy heart I breathe a heavy sigh of relief and felt a joy that overcame the pain and tiring, inflicted throughout the day. A great day for Prayas came to an end and with great efforts from all the people involved to make this an invaluable day in the history of our prayas at Prayas. We have a wonderful team today with some great efforts being put in worth oodles of compliment and praise.

I am proud to be part of Prayas।

Jai Hind

Monday, March 3, 2008

The poor man's Worry !

It is not who 'I am' that I am worried about, its who 'I want to be' that is worrying me !

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Grass is always greener on the other side ! ... Really !!

As every morning, while I was trying hard releiving some bottled up pressure, it struck me like a jolt. The grass on the other side really does not grow green by itself . . . It requires to be nurtured to that persistent sheen that it develops. But then again, there are the seasons when this green grass does turn dark. Reminded me also of a statement from Rang De Basanti । . . " कोई भी देश perfect नही हैं उसे perfect बनाना होता है " . . .

The grass I am talking about is happiness. We generally look outside ourselves for happiness. In the happiness of a 2nd person or a group of people or our parents or siblings or for pets or in achieveing a material possesion. Happiness here now is dependent on this external component that is not in our control. The definition of happiness here I see is more like this - "A state of satisfaction-of-achievement in harmony with the surrounding or with the laws of the environment of existence". The self is always 2nd priority to this happiness given.

I would not recommend you be selfish and work towards your happiness only, while not achieving this harmony. As long as your act of balance, with your current ecosystem, does not adversely affect other elements, in a manner that brings pain & loss to many others around you ... & As long as your act of balance does not create a dissent or concern inside you, that leads to an unbalance of your internal self ... then, any act of balancing that you do becomes a question of just which act is - " More right among two rights " or " Less wrong among two wrongs ".

Simply said, while maintaining this external balance with your current environment, if you do not create a similar balance in yourself ... then, you cannot be truly happy! So to conclude, I would say this that - The grass can be greener on your side and your neighbors side at the same time, its just a matter of how much effort you put into making it green and the quality of what you feed it.

So, stay healthy, treat yourselves to good friends and peers, and treat yourselves to a well-deserved break once in a while :D And remember while taking care of others, (if you do), please do take care of yourselves also. I clearly am not available to solve your problems or help you !

... foof ... Now as the pressure is relieved I feel more in harmony with my surroundings ... The toilet is a really conducive environment for great thoughts !! :D

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Love & the Expression of it !

Love is in Silence & Action, not in insipid expression & materialistic satisfaction :)

- Arun Raj / 9th Feb 2008