The Oars  

Paddling through the sea of thoughts


For the wise, imagination is a tool of self-preparation for the future. For the cowards, it is a refuge to run away from the present, the reality.

  posted by 3rd Person @ 11:21 PM                   

Monday, June 14, 2004  

Authoring and Translating

Writing is the phenomenon of providing bodies to the thoughts. The thoughts / ideas are the souls. They require bodies to become tangible or comprehensible to others. Language is the medium or material with which the sheath that the idea receives is made of. Authoring is writing down one’s own ideas and thoughts. Since it is his own thoughts that the author is penning down, he has the luxury of choosing the words to convey what he wants to. He also has the liberty for re-thought before actually writing them down. Translation on the other hand is the rewriting of an already expressed idea in a different medium. No doubt, one has to be mature in thought and clear in expression for writing effectively, but translation is much more difficult. Difficult because, the translator has the onus of carrying the author’s ideas to another language without adulterating them with his own. Difficult because, the translator has no liberty to put his own views or add his own color to the picture that the author has already painted. While authoring is like painting a new picture on a white canvas, translating is like duplicating the same picture on a different type of canvas using a different brand of colors. It is like providing a glass of different color through which the viewers can view the same picture. At the end of the exercise, the end product should have no residue of the process of translation. When the fundamental ideas expressed and the purpose behind the original work is still alive in the end product, the translation can be said to be fruitful.

  posted by 3rd Person @ 9:23 PM                   

Thursday, January 01, 2004  

Authoring and Translating

Writing is the phenomenon of providing bodies to the thoughts. The thoughts / ideas are the souls. They require bodies to become tangible or comprehensible to others. Language is the medium or material with which the sheath that the idea receives is made of. Authoring is writing down one’s own ideas and thoughts. Since it is his own thoughts that the author is penning down, he has the luxury of choosing the words to convey what he wants to. He also has the liberty for re-thought before actually writing them down. Translation on the other hand is the rewriting of an already expressed idea in a different medium. No doubt, one has to be mature in thought and clear in expression for writing effectively, but translation is much more difficult. Difficult because, the translator has the onus of carrying the author’s ideas to another language without adulterating them with his own. Difficult because, the translator has no liberty to put his own views or add his own color to the picture that the author has already painted. While authoring is like painting a new picture on a white canvas, translating is like duplicating the same picture on a different type of canvas using a different brand of colors. It is like providing a glass of different color through which the viewers can view the same picture. At the end of the exercise, the end product should have no residue of the process of translation. When the fundamental ideas expressed and the purpose behind the original work is still alive in the end product, the translation can be said to be fruitful.

  posted by 3rd Person @ 9:23 PM                   

Art of writing
Talking of writing, no doubt, it is so much fun. Putting the thoughts on paper (excuse me for being old fashioned) involves choosing the right words and the right tone. Good writing is closer to conversation. While the reader reads, it should feel like the author is actually talking to the reader. A good writing will paint the picture of the context in the minds of the readers. It draws the involvement from the reader until he becomes a part of the writing. Though the art of writing and the art of reading are generally discussed as separate, what both of them culminate in is the same.

  posted by 3rd Person @ 9:18 PM                   

Tuesday, December 30, 2003  

No Name
It indeed seems a long time after he blogged. No wonder he had to grope in his mind for the password to get into this and blog. Why to blog at all is certainly a question, whose answer isn't quite clear to him. Sometimes he feels, he wants a board where he can pin up his thoughts so he can go back to it and check it once a while for, say, introspection or retrospection. But then why should it be a public board? Does he want to show people his way of thinking? Or worse, does he want people to appreciate his way of thinking?
Whatever the answer is, one sure thing is that he likes to write, rather scribble. He sure doesn't seem to be too much bothered at this point of time about the visitors to this site. So, may be he is not quite intending to show off. But there is one certain visitor and reader to this blog. It is he, himself and according to him, that matters the most.

  posted by 3rd Person @ 9:04 PM                   

Write how and for whom?

The urge to write has to originate in the heart, take a form in the mind and present itself on paper thru pen or on computer screen thru keyboard. If you want to write just for the heck of it or because you haven’t made any additions to the blog recently, however pompous the vocabulary you use, it is not going to make any mark. Again, you write not for others, but for your own self. So, making mark doesn’t necessarily mean on others, but when you yourself read it a few minutes after you have composed, you should feel good about it. Or else, it is not a worth anything at all.

  posted by 3rd Person @ 3:33 AM                   

Tuesday, October 14, 2003  

The meanest thing any human being can do is not to respect the other person's feelings. The greatest thing one can do is to sincerely empathize with the other person. There is no religion greater than that, it is the highest commandment is what even Jesus said.

  posted by 3rd Person @ 7:21 PM                   

Tuesday, September 23, 2003  

Oh Man, the travel!!

Little would have the Wright brothers known, that for the remarkable achievement of their first flight, there would be a smart guy cursing them standing infront of the LCD panel monitor using the free internet access provided by Singapore Changi airport. Many more hours to wait for the next flight here. And this free stuff isn't for eternity. All good things must come to an end, they say. And no free stuff is unlimited except if provided by God. Singapore Changi Airport is excellent, no doubt, but it is no God. And the free internet is only for 15 mins. The count down is going on in the background, increasing his heart beat rate. Would he be able to finish this blog before it is too late??? Just cut it, he is trying to make it dramatic. If the session ends, he can always click on the link again and gain another 15 mins. Only that there should be none with growling looks at your back waiting to use this. Anyways, he is standing here for almost half an hour now and standing is no fun. So, here he goes and clicks on the publish button before it times out!!!

  posted by 3rd Person @ 10:41 PM                   

Friday, August 29, 2003  

The Urge to .....

It was really tough. Trust me, it was really tough for him when he took to driving after a week after landing in the US of A. It was not the driving that was difficult. it was not even the right and left confusion that left him bewildered. The pitiful state of California freeways, on the contrary, gave him a more familier feeling. The bumps on the roads, and the rental car correspondingly making noises, the hot weather did all that was necessary to keep him reminded of his origins. The email and the telephone, the most utilized tools by any s/w guy did come handy many a time again to be in regular touch with the mother land. Why is it that his thoughts are running again and again to the motherland,? It is not so much because he is a super-patriot than that the subject of this is closely linked to our beloved India. The urge...... The urge to.....

Trust me, when I say he really had a difficult time here in the US. With a few thousand miles behind him on the US interstates and freeways, driving in US is no new to him. But driving back in India has put in to him this inevitable habit. He has no doubts what so ever, that there are many drivers back there who think it is an unquestionable right that is automatically bestowed on them when they sit in the drivers seat. And being so accustomed to exercising that right back in India, how can you expect him not to do it here in the US?

When he approaches a signal light which is already green, he does it, almost involuntarily. There are crossroads with four way stop signs, he stops there and before taking the turn he does it again, as though programmed to do so. Another car is in the next lane well in the speed limits and driving in a near perfect straight line. But still, he can't resist doing it. Remotely somewhere in his mind, he is insecure about the whole thing. Who knows, the guy in the next lane might suddenly jump in to his lane without any kind of indication!! So, the uncontrollable urge streams forth and manifests itself. Aren't we all habituated to this, aren't we all ever alert while driving in India. Who knows when an autowallah stops or suddenly takes a turn!! With all these in the subconsious mind, how can anyone expect him to overcome the urge. The insurmountable urge to honk!

  posted by 3rd Person @ 12:06 AM                   

Thursday, August 21, 2003  

After a loooooooong g a p.

After a long gap, he is back again. He is stuck in the US of A. :( and by the start of next month, he should be back in the motherland. Travelling is fun. Meeting people and going palces is good learning. But why doesn't he feel so this time? Does he feel so American that he no longer finds USA alien? Or has he lost interest in these things suddenly? Rather, he is not getting time this time to enjoy himself. Nor does he have the same kind of company that he had in his earlier trip to the US. Not that he had pre-known aquaintences with him, but he had made friends here. Friends pretty "interesting". Friends, that he never thought would persist to be so. But as days pass, he finds that he had not found just people with whom he can pass time but friends who can potentially remain so for a lifetime. Or at least, for the time being, let him hope so....

  posted by 3rd Person @ 10:03 PM                   

Wednesday, August 20, 2003  


Ah, at last, after a long time, he got some time to jot down his mind. But then, what to write? The mind has gone blank due to continuous battering at office. We all have this bad habit. The bad habit of over using or even, abusing what we are given. How many of us understand the power of our faculties and how many of us put them to proper user? Special mention of mouth is a must here. The most abused power we have. What all nonsense do we talk? Most of us don’t even realize that what we are doing is abuse. But then, how will anyone know whether the faculties are being properly used or not, why in the first place are they with us? What is the purpose behind their being given to us? We can judge our use of them only if we know the right usage of it. If an excellent pen is given to a person and he uses it to scratch his back and throw away rather than write, who can help him? He just is ignorant that the pen is used for writing. Same is the case with most of us. How we use the faculties we have is really deplorable. Then, who will tell us how to use them? That is something learned men say is for each of us to discover ourselves. Just wondering when he will discover on his part….

  posted by 3rd Person @ 6:33 AM                   

Tuesday, July 15, 2003  


Which is better, existing or living?
Why are we called human "being"s?

  posted by 3rd Person @ 3:42 AM                   

Tuesday, July 01, 2003  

Is atrocity justified?

The most meaningless justification anybody can give, according to him is referring to a similar incident that happened elsewhere or at some other point of time in defense of a terrible incident. Today there was news about an Indian doing pizza delivery in MA, USA, beaten up by four American citizens mistaking him for an Iraqi. (At least, that’s the version of the news he got). Whatever is the reason, beating up a fellow being is very heinous. Now that this unfortunate event has occurred, how would one react? Various versions he encountered are: first, are any US citizens beaten up in India? Second and worse, why this hue and cry about a stray incident, didn’t we ourselves killed dozens of Sikhs after Indira Gandhi’s Assassination? In the recent Gujarat riots, weren’t scores of people murdered?

Just that all these have taken place in the past, can this incident be simply ignored? Why in the first place should any two such things be compared? Each of the incidents is as gory as itself. And each of them requires a thorough condemnation. One gruesome incident is no justification for the occurrence of another. And one heinous act is no basis to judge the atrocity behind another. Any such act should be condemned unhesitatingly.

  posted by 3rd Person @ 3:55 AM                   

Friday, June 27, 2003  


Many of us are just too eager to convince others. What we think is correct! And we want all others to acknowledge it. Always!
All the frustration has its origin in the weakness of people not being able to accept the fact that people disagree. Anger comes out of the desperation to somehow rub one’s mind on others’. In the first place, why should anyone be convinced about what you think is correct? More than that, why should you be desperate to prove it correct? If what you say is not correct, then the other person obviously need not agree to it. And if it is, it will remain the same whether the other guy accepts it or not. Just that he is not ready enough at this point of time and will learn it one day in his own way. Isn’t anger just a hard shell over weakness?

  posted by 3rd Person @ 6:41 AM                   

Thursday, June 26, 2003  

Silence, this time. No muting

Muting is imposed while silence is voluntary. Silence can be active or passive. Passive silence is lethargy or tamas in ancient Indian lingo. Active silence is poise or sattva. The difference is mostly internal. If you are constantly at work, yet composed, you are deep into work yet unattached to it and equanimity is the word that can describe your state, then you are in poise. You are active, indulged in work and attached to result, you are rajasic. You are disinterested in working, you are in tamas. Is it not laziness to be contended without fulfilling one’s responsibilities? According to Dr. Scott Peck M.D., laziness is the Original Sin of the Old Testament. Silence without activity and active silence are many lives apart.

  posted by 3rd Person @ 12:39 AM                   

Wednesday, June 25, 2003  


It is funny to watch the TV muted. All the emotions of the characters on the screen are limited to the lip movement. The hero and heroine are busy dancing with their steps in sync with silence. How is it to watch the world muted? No, he is not hinting at being deaf, or “turning a deaf ear”.

After his office is shifted to the new far away building, there is one thing he certainly likes: larger than life glass panes substituting solid walls.
Every time he goes to fetch a cup of tea, he stands at the glass wall staring into the vast expanses on the other side. Again being in the third floor, one is closer to sky than most others, to whatever little extent.

Around 10:30 in the morning, far there, he watches children of the nearby school playing around, surprisingly silently. A little further, the highway is full of traffic, all the heavy trucks, overloaded buses, trendy cars all of them zapping fast, again silently. Birds flying past, airplane cutting across the clear blue sky, trees down under swaying in the breeze, every one seems to be busy, but with out noise. But this silence is not absolute. It is punctuated by the noise of key strokes.

Evening and the office is almost empty, to this side of the glass. On the other side, Kids and elders playing cricket together, lots of traffic on the highway as people are getting back to their homes like those birds flying towards the trees. The sky getting redder from one side as Sun takes to his next shift. Everything looks like a perfect painting, but streaming with life, this time, a complete silence, with the keys resting.

As he watches every time, lot of thoughts cross his mind, each one with its own justification of its origin. Imagination at its peak, mind is busy weaving the thoughts. But when the world is fully mute, there is certainly more it offers for learning than otherwise.

  posted by 3rd Person @ 7:26 AM                   

Thursday, June 12, 2003  

What's life for?

Big question. He doesn't know the answer yet. But he sure knows what life isn't for. It isn't for gluing oneself to the PC monitor for as long as one can tolerate.

  posted by 3rd Person @ 8:50 PM                   

Monday, June 09, 2003  


He had decided when he started the good morning mails that there would be absolutely no expectation from them. No expectation of replies, no anticipation of acknowledgements. But so strong is the human mind that it is pretty tough to have it under control. How it expects something in return for everything it does! The self dictates and the mind ignores. The self guides and the mind neglects. If it were not so, would Krishna himself have told Arjuna that beyond any doubt the mind is a tough thing to be reined. But he gave a solution too. He added, “Only by practice can this be achieved”. So, if he has to continue with his good morning mails without hurting himself, he has to practice to consciously ignore every thorn that the mind pricks the heart with, every expectation the mind builds, every “return of favor” that mind desires day after day. After all, don’t we have all the desires and contentment, all the sorrow and joy, all the pain and comfort in our own selves? It is for us to choose what we are going to experience.

  posted by 3rd Person @ 2:05 AM                   

Wednesday, June 04, 2003  


He writes too much. This is not same as writing many articles or writing on varied subjects. This just means he is an alien to the land of laconia. Economy of words is indeed a tough thing. Usage of fewer words, to convey the same meaning is an art and he doesn’t know when he can master it.
A story, he remembers when it comes to being concise yet clear, terse yet conclusive, is this. He doesn’t vouch for authenticity though.
Winston Churchill (or was it someone else?) was known for his witty and short replies. And a journalist had a bet in a party to make him speak at least three words at one shot. She approached him and explained about the bet and asked him to cooperate with her. He simply responded, “You lose”.
To describe chatterboxes there are enough words, but for those who write too big and long, what’s the right word? Or should one be coined?

  posted by 3rd Person @ 4:43 AM                   

Thursday, May 29, 2003  

Trip to home
When he was looking in to his sent - items, he tumbled upon this. This was keyed in after a trip he undertook with his friends. He couldn't find a reason why this shouldn't be here and hence here it is...

Thirsty throats, scorching Sun, empty stomachs. Hot rocks, fried sand, no food. I am not talking about any laborers working their way out to earn their daily bread. That was the state of four guys on a trip. Add to this the fear of fuel tank going dry before they can drive to a fuel station.

A trip that was pretty rare to come by did come true at last. And as it concluded, it gave a good deal of lessons which for sure, these four guys would have imbibed. Whatever is the outcome of any act, good or bad, providence is as benevolent as it is strict. If the outcome is good, you are happy. If it isn’t then you have got your lessons.
What was expected from the trip was a beak. A break from the routine. Something different had to happen or rather, had to be done. And this trip, beyond any doubt, did it.

All these guys would certainly have come to know how cozy the lives of urban population are. These guys would have come to know what is it that all those thousands would be undergoing daily, who toil in the Sun digging, carrying weights, walking bare foot on the hot earth. For some of them, it was a revelation of how we take a lot of things for granted. And aptly two of them remembered the movie “castaway”, how Tom Hanks watches the lighter after being back from the island where he struggled to make some fire. What this trip has done for sure is to give the much required break in the routine and to help avoid the boredom of spending all those time just idling at home. It also provided a forum for discussions and arguments, agreements and disagreements. Those who couldn’t join the trip were greatly missed and no one can be sure if it can be said that those who missed were lucky too. It is too tricky to think about. Nevertheless, those four guys would have been certainly happier at the end of the day, to have homes where they can go back to. After all, home – sweet home.

Disclaimer: All the views expressed are solely author’s. Any resemblance to any incident / occasion that may or may not have happened or any group or individual is purely coincidental.

  posted by 3rd Person @ 7:25 AM                   

Thursday, May 15, 2003  

Logic - Part II

When the guru returned the next day, his wife related to him all that had happened the previous day. She added that the science of logic was no good and it is not useful at all. The guru smiled to himself and wanted to prove it to her that logic is indeed powerful and useful if used with commonsense. What had happened was that the student went by plain logic without application of discrimination. It was not the short coming of the tarka shastra, but it was the immaturity of the student that was exhibited the previous day. And the guru wanted his wife to understand that.

When they were having dinner that day, the guru suddenly shrieked. He caught his neck as if he was choking and fell on his back. He screamed, “By mistake, along with the food, I have eaten a bug that fell in my plate. It was black and round of about half-inch in diameter. I know it is a poisonous bug and I am not going to live for long.” Saying this, he fell unconscious.

The guru’s wife collapsed sobbing. The medical student ran to get his books and see if there is a remedy for this. The astrology student ran to fetch the almanac etc to see if the end was indeed nearing his guru. The logician just looked shocked for moment, thoughtful in the next and he continued having his dinner. This, the guru’s wife couldn’t tolerate. She shouted at him “You don’t have any concern for your guru’s well being. He is dying here and you are eating as if nothing happened. Don’t you even try to save him?”

The logician replied, “Please don’t worry madam. I know nothing has happened to guruji. He seems to be conducting some test. I am sure he hasn’t eaten any bug. He described the bug he ate with all the attributes. It means that he knew what he was eating before he actually ate it. And knowingly, who would eat a poisonous bug? Thus I deduced that no harm has befallen guruji and that he should be conducting some kind of test”

Hearing this, the wife was confused, but the guru got up smiling. He said to his wife, “Do you now understand the power or logic? Applying logical deductions appropriately is most of the times, wisest thing that anyone can do. In the last case, the student didn’t apply common sense and discrimination. This time he did. Tarka shastra is not at fault in either case, but the ability in applying it is questionable in the former case.”

The guru’s wife then understood why this incident was enacted by her husband. She developed a great regard for Tarka Shastra, the science of logic and deductions.

  posted by 3rd Person @ 2:10 AM                   

Wednesday, May 14, 2003  

Logic - Part I

Though logic is powerful, it should be coupled with commonsense to be useful. Logical deductions without commonsense can be sometimes harmful too. This reminds him of a story that he had read in his childhood from his all-time favorite magazine, Chandamama. Before he gets in to it, let him confess that he is weak in the art of concise writing (proven by the previous postings) and hence he has split this in to parts.

A guru trained a batch of students of various subjects. In this batch, there were students of medicine, astrology and logic (Tarka shastra as it is called in Sanskrit). It was those days when the students used to be resident at the Guru’s home, serve him and learn. One day, it happened that the guru had to go out to the near by town and would return only the next day. He assigned specific tasks to his students and left for the town. The same day, the guru’s son was suddenly taken ill. His body temperature was soaring high.

The guru’s wife was worried and informed about the state of her son to the students. The three students examined the boy for a minute. The medical student then ran off to prepare some medicine to give it to the boy. The astrology student opened the almanac and the boy’s natal chart to find out why the illness had occurred and to find out when it would be cured. The logician, however ran to the near by well to draw a bucket full of water.

Soon they returned, the medical student administered the medicine to the boy and comforted him. The astrology student consoled the mother saying that this illness would not stay for long and hence no need to worry. The logician came forward to pour the bucket full of water on the boy, but was stopped by the guru’s wife and his two friends. But he justified his trying to do it by plain and simple logic. If something is hot and has to be cooled down, easy way is to drench it in water.

The next day the guru came back from the town. (to be continued…..)

  posted by 3rd Person @ 3:08 AM                   

Tuesday, May 13, 2003  

Preconceived Notions

Mr. Darcy is an eligible bachelor. During a ball in his friend’s new house, he is offered to dance with Miss Elizabeth. She is a pretty girl, though not the most beautiful. Whatever magnetism she has lies in her deep and attractive eyes. Darcy, the self disciplined man rejects saying she is just “tolerable”. Elizabeth forms an impression within herself about Mr. Darcy: arrogant and proud man, both arising out of money. The impression formed took a whole book to be erased and to know the truth.

While the impression Eliza formed was not totally baseless, it could have been analyzed by her. Why in the first place should she? There is no need at all since she had never known Darcy before and she didn’t expect to see more of him too. So she just didn’t care. But most of the times we form impressions based on the momentary meetings or worse, by somebody’s words about those whom we have to deal with every day. It may be our bosses, colleagues, friends’ friends and tend to carry it too long that it becomes a liability soon. Being vigilant about our newly forming impressions is important because we are limited by our inability to comprehend beyond the situation. We are all emotional beings and the behavior patterns are not uniform. At a certain point of time we may be cheerful and if his day at office was not good, all the evening he will be frowning. If you are introduced to him in that evening, you will form a notion that he is serious kind of a person with no liking for any light talk which might not actually be true. You hear from a colleague whose boss is now going to be your boss. (S)he says umpteen good and bad things about your new boss and even before you meet him(her) you have mental image of that person which is highly likely to be a false one.

Forming impressions may have become too natural for us and it will be too tough to overcome it. But one way of minimizing its effects would be to be conscious about the impressions you form. You say to yourself, “I feel this person is like so and so, let me make sure after I start interacting with him/her”. This, he has found to make a difference. Even otherwise, it is worth trying. Being a third person and looking at your own mind is pretty interesting and as you go on, it is funny too.

  posted by 3rd Person @ 1:43 AM                   

Thursday, May 08, 2003  

How embarrassing can it get?
Interesting discussion on a group mail and everyone in the group is active. He tries to act smart. He puts in all the adjectives (of negative type) he knows to describe himself so he can rationalize the expectations of the group. Want to know what they are? lousy, short tempered, ever-cribbing, rigid, apparently orthodox but more close-minded, ignorant yet adamant, confused self-contradicting and totally uninteresting. Though the group itself is not new to him, there is a recent and pleasant addition to the group. Thanks to some effective marketing, the expectations from him are too high to be true. This called for a rationalization of expectations (this term stolen from his company's vocabulary used while reducing # of leaves :-( )

What is embarrassing about this? The story isn't over yet. This mail is sent to the group and now it rests in the 'sent folder'. While in office, how much ever one tries, there will certainly be some official work that can't be avoided. One such is the meeting that he attended and the minutes that had to be sent. After the mail was sent to managers, it has to be forwarded to team members. As luck would have it, this sent mail was lying just next to the 'rationalization mail' in the 'sent folder'. What happens next, instead of the minutes that have to be forwarded to the team, the 'rationalization mail' is chosen, the 'FYI' tag is promptly added, the team¡'s mail id is typed in to the 'TO' box and click, goes the mail..

What happened next is something he would want to avoid most. What the team members would have thought about it will remain a mystery. What impression they would have formed about their team lead, self-qualified by the long list of 'interesting' adjectives, is suspense. Can you guess when he realized?? He meets them to discuss and finds out if they could go thru the minutes of the meeting. They put up blank faces and ask "What MOM?" This smart guy goes to his 'sent folder' to prove to them that he has forwarded the MOM, pulls out the mail he forwarded, full screen and realizes his folly in front of the team!! The team is quick to respond. "This? oh yes we got it!!"

  posted by 3rd Person @ 4:00 AM                   

Tuesday, May 06, 2003  

Blinding Proximity
This is woven around the saying of Sri Satya Sai Baba “People in the proximity can’t appreciate the greatness of a great man, but people far way come all the way searching for the truth and His grace. This is an interjection due to some localite of Tirupati’s comments on the place calling it sarcastically, ‘so called holy’.

It was summer. And all the animals were waiting for rain. No indications of it however were present as the vast sky stayed blue all the time letting in all that Sun had to bestow on earth and He, as generous as He always is, was obeying the nature’s command of shining in full glory this summer too. Among the numerous things that were receiving his grace and heat, was also a pond in the middle of a forest. As if attempting to cool the mighty hot Sun, the pond was throwing away its water in form of vapor and soon, there was only so much water in the pond to keep the earth muddy.

The pond was home to many frogs and each of them thought it was the whole world. They thought the world is all muddy and there isn’t much beauty. Some of the frogs were enjoying their world too. They thought mud is the most beautiful thing created. Some leaped and splashed the mud around over their friends. Some waded in sheer fun. Some flirted as they waited for the rains to come. For any other being, the pond would have been a pit of slush totally avoidable and abhorring. But the frogs were happy and that’s what mattered to them.

Amidst all this hopes and wait for rain and glee of playing in the mud little did they notice that there are other things in the pond too. And one of their neighbors thriving on the pond’s life giving cooperation was a lotus creeper. It was busy with pleasing the Sun daily. A lotus would bloom welcoming the SUN as He rose in the horizon. The beauty of the lotus was open to the world.

The frogs playing in the shade of the leaves and the flower never noticed the beauty that had bloomed so close to them but kept on thinking that the mud is the most beautiful thing ever created. One of the days, a bee from a long distance happened to come in search of nectar and found the lotus rejoicing the glory of the Sun. The bee was excited at the grandeur of the creation and the nectar the flower offered to her. She could appreciate what beauty is and how important the lotus is for her. She took all the good things that the lotus had to offer, thanked the God and left swearing to herself how she would come there day after day to enjoy the beauty and get benefited from its grace.

The frogs however stayed as ignorant as ever in the shade of the blooming beauties enjoying the mud thinking it is the essence of life. And they would never be able to appreciate it unless they come out of the mud.

  posted by 3rd Person @ 6:37 AM                   

Friday, May 02, 2003  

Can you write on rock?

He wants to write about a lot of things. A real lot of them. Not that he is the master of all that he wants to write about. But just that he wants to do it. Why so many? He wants to write down all his thoughts. What a ridiculous thought! The human mind is constantly in activity it is the most used (or abused). It generates thousands of thoughts every day and at any given moment there are scores of them running across. If this is so for a normal person what about a confused soul? How foolish is his intention, how futile will be his attempt!

Let him just peek into that one corner where he remembers the subhashitam (good words) of Bharthrihari (hope the spelling is correct, or else O great man, please excuse) which says, that good people write down the bad that others do to them on water while they carve the good done to them on a stone. Good people seem to try to immediately forget the bad done to them, while they remember for ever the good. This has two important points in it. One is the forgiveness and the other is gratitude. Most often in our lives, we may have to apply both of them to the same person or set of people at different occasions. The people around us or shall we say “friends” do a lot of favor to us. But there are instances when they hurt us too. What is it that we want to carry forward? Are we broad enough that when some good was done to us, we carve on the rock and when we are hurt we consciously try to forget it and move forward? This world is very generous. Generous in the sense that it always has offers of buy one get one free. It is a world of dualities. You get a dependable friend you also have to bear with his/her idiosyncrasies. You get an understanding spouse you also have to attend to his/her psychological and emotional needs. What matters finally is we should be able to answer the question to our own selves, am I magnanimous enough to include, accept, forget the unpleasent and remember the good always? After all, who would want to hurt you intentionally?

  posted by 3rd Person @ 6:47 AM                   

Wednesday, April 30, 2003  

For the past few days, there has been a continuous and irritatingly prolonged argument in his company’s electronic bulletin board about Bangalore. Many say Bangalore is a halli (meaning village in Kannada). Others say it is an accusation and try to reason out why they feel Banglore is a cosmopolitan city. First thing he doesn’t understand is why calling something a village is offending at all. Why should people feel that calling something rural or country side is derogatory? He can remember his friends mocking him because his house was located a little too far from the city (in the country side, they say) and how he was asked questions like, do you dial STD code to call Bangalore? Or do you get the latest newspaper or the previous day’s? All kidding apart, today, the discussion is about whether Bangalore itself is a big village. It doesn’t end there. There are smart guys who complain about the traffic. Some about the deteriorating climatic condition, some about not enough amusement in Bangalore and some others about no places to “hang around”. One even said there were no “fast food” joints where he can “lie back” and enjoy. Sounds oxymoronic, huh? Another said the main problem is that there’s no “McDonalds” in Bangalore and the whole country can be divided in to two parts: those who have visited “McDonalds” and those who haven’t. By now it is evident that all those who had complaints were those who came in from other parts of the country, from other metros etc, to work in Bangalore. But at large, the topic is relevant to every citizen.

While many of the points were either silly or childish those which caught his attention were those about the unruly traffic, pollution, auto rickshaws and their drivers, traffic police, Kannada sign boards and lack of English or Hindi on them, etc etc. While reading these, one story struck his mind.
Once, a woman was judged to have committed adultery and the punishment was that she had to be stoned to death. All the people around were very enthused about doing this, when Jesus walks in and says, “Let the first stone be pelted by the one here who hasn’t sinned so far and then others may follow suit”. There wasn’t anyone who could come forward and throw the first stone. More important point than throwing stones itself in the story is that all those guys had conscience. Other wise, who would care to respect the words by who so ever, be it Jesus or any other (wo)man.

The relevance of this story in this context is about how easily we can complain, accuse and deride. It is simple but at the same time extremely difficult to think in the lines of “if something is not good, what is my role in it”. (S)he alone is justified to accuse, who hails from such a city/town in India where there is no unruly traffic. No corrupt traffic police. No pollution, or at least a stringent pollution control and more than these, (s)he who has actively contributed towards that. If Bangalore is smoky, dusty, hotter, unruly, whatever it is today, what is the harm that each one of us have done to it till now and what is the good that each of us are trying to do to it, now that all of us living in it?

While there are a lot of things that the administration authorities could have done, there is a lot more that each citizen has to do. The problem with Bangalore, he feels is not that it has become worse, but that it has not improved / geared up. There is a difference, if you observe closely. When this city was growing, when many majors were setting up shops here, the administration was sleeping. As far as his knowledge goes, there was a CM who was more interested in having the Miss World pageant conducted in Bangalore than having the infrastructure improved for the days to come. He feels that was the critical period for Bangalore, when the investment was increasing and more and more population was migrating in to Bangalore and it was precisely then that bad governance was prevailing.

Anyway, it is typical to us Indians to accuse the government for everything and anything. Let him not prove his Indian-ness now. All done is done, what can happen now? Let him not get in to the act of advising governments or municipal corporations or BDA. It is about what each of us can do.
How many or us care to have our vehicles serviced regularly so we don’t go around choking the city? How many of us care to stick to the traffic rules so we don’t give the traffic police a chance to ask for a bribe? And in the case of breaking a rule and getting caught by a cop, how many of us dare to pay the right penalty and demand for a challan instead of giving 50% as bribe and getting away? How many of us stop the auto rickshaw driver we are traveling in and take another because he has jumped a red light? Most of us don’t have time to think about all this. We are too busy for all these. But ironically, we have all the time on earth to complain whenever we can. Isn't this funny? He would rather say, we are too lazy for all this. If you have to be right to yourself, it requires guts. You have to be daring. And we are all cowards not to go out and do what is right, but sit back in cozy offices, and homes and crib, complain, accuse and disparage.

When he writes this, he doesn’t have any solution for all this with him. But what he certainly has is the hope. The hope that prompted the great poet, Ravindranath tagore to pen down the following.

Where the mind is without fear and the head held high

Where knowledge is free

Where the world has not been broken up into fragments

By narrow domestic walls

Where words come out from the depth of truth

Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection

Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way

Into the dreary desert of sand and dead habit

Where the mind is led forward by thee

Into ever-widening thought and action

Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

-Rabindranath Tagore

  posted by 3rd Person @ 12:50 AM                   

Tuesday, April 29, 2003  

Life is an experiment and the world is the laboratory. For some, it is a research lab and for some it is a college lab. This because, some try to discover while others just try to prove what has been postulated by elders. In the college, when the experiment results in an expected outcome, the student is satisfied. But in the numerous experiments that he performs as a part of his life, most of the times, he overlooks the outcome. Simply put, most of the times many of us are too busy to notice what’s happening around, either due to us, or to us. In the other few occasions when he can take out time to realize, he can obtain the same feeling of satisfaction, in a bigger magnitude. After all, in the experiment of life, there is no lab-instructor or any body else watching you. It is your own self that is watching. And what ever experiment you do and what ever outcome you realize, it is just because of yourself and in most cases nothing but your own self (though there can be cases when we can use circumstances as excuse). When you do all by yourself, for yourself, voluntarily, what you get out of it is very fulfilling.

Every thought is propelled by its predecessor. What is that which prompted this thought in him? He suddenly realized today the importance of what many have been stressing for ages. The fact that everything is with in you and it is your mood that makes the perceptions change. He was reading this line in a book yesterday. This world is like a big room with many mirrors. You look at them and smile you get a thousand smiles back. You scorn at them, you will get the same in return. And today, as he thought while riding his bike to office, he could experience how things change when one opens up one’s mind. He could see how silly and heavy certain perceptions are and just by rationalizing how good and light one can feel. Today, he proved to himself the age old truth “correct yourself first and all else will be corrected”.

  posted by 3rd Person @ 1:28 AM                   

Monday, April 28, 2003  

“Friends” There isn’t much in the world to substitute them. It is a strange feeling if one has to think in these lines. But why in the world would anyone want to? Well, it’s a simple guess. Everyone has to keep moving in life and his friends have found their counterparts to move with. It is precisely the reason why he is there with his other friends having a spring morning stroll on the beach road, Kakinada. A port town in AP. One of his friends is getting married next day. What’s more, one married two days ago and another one is due to in the next few months.

Spring is no better than summer in coastal AP, yet the distance had to be walked. The unfortunate fish caught in the nets and laid to dry nearby isn’t giving out any pleasant smell. Yet it had to be borne. Sun was growing hotter every moment, yet He had to be ignored. It was getting late for the other trips they had planned, yet the time had to be spent. For each of them, it was a much relished break. The outcome? Oh now, all of us have become so "seasoned to deliver” that we look for an outcome for everything we do, even for pleasant things like morning stroll. The humankind beyond doubt has forgotten doing things just for the sake of them and enjoying all the way through. They are eager for some outcome for everything and tense while working for it. Don’t we all know people who plan vacations to “achieve” something and end up being exhausted at the end of the trip? Don’t we know of people who go on a vacation and so tire themselves out that they long for coming back home? Haven’t all of us forgotten the art of sitting back and enjoying our existence? This group was no different and there was an outcome of that stroll. It was decided that he has to blog. And that it can be called ‘the oars’. The oars that can help him paddle through the sea of thoughts. The oars have to be cut out of the log, chiseled, planed and polished before use. But here he is ok with the crudest of oars. He feels using them first is more important. Just that he wishes the oars to be planed by the vigor of the sea and polished by the friction of usage. This has to go on at least until he reaches the other side of the sea. Anyone out there ready to accompany him??

  posted by 3rd Person @ 2:38 AM                   

Friday, April 25, 2003  
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