Tuesday, November 03, 2009


The wind was furious and the rain gods were pelting down mercilessly. The flora and fauna we all know for its tranquility, was livid. The harmless leaf, struggled to cling on to the branch. The petite leaf had the courage to fight the threatening feats of nature. Hanging in there, facing the brunt, determined to fight all odds. The gust of wind was harsh and tore the leaf away from the branch, and it landed in the water.

Now the leaf has given up and is married to the motion of the water. It goes where the water flows. Lifeless, listless it just flows with the silent and calm water. The serenity is indicative of the eerie silence before a storm.

Somewhere nature and mankind converge. Nature has its own nuances which indicate a freakish similarity in the way we all live today. There is a hardened corporate world where we struggle everyday to maintain our sanity and stand by what we believe. We struggle everyday to reason out the rationale of our activities only to realize that sometimes you cannot overpower the system you operate in. The system has been built over the years by thoroughbred professionals and cannot be overthrown overnight.

This holds true for all walks of life. When we are young, energetic and raw, we enter the so called hardened corporate world with Utopian views and an opinionated personality. We come without any baggage and are daring enough to stand up for what we believe is right irrespective of business dynamics and strategic repercussions. As we get entrenched in the system, we become like the leaf struggling to hold on to the branch i.e. our beliefs. In this quest to prove ourselves and our grit at times we get overthrown by the sheer might of the system we operate in.

This is when we join the mainstream, the tranquil waters. We become so mechanized that we lose sight of what we really want and what we believe in. We become like thousand leaves flowing in the water, aimlessly.

Getting engulfed by the system is only natural. It is a reality no one can fight. But unlike the helpless nature, mankind has been gifted with the power of comprehension. This is where the difference emerges. While the leaf has no choice but to flow in the water, we have been gifted with the intellect to break away from the clutter.

We might not be able to change the system, but always have the choice to stay out of it and carve our niche. We allow the mainstream to paint us all in one color and equate us all. We get so stuck in the rut that we forget that each one of us has a special talent and is uniquely gifted. Lucky are the ones who can identify this gift in them.

Man vis a vis nature has the power to choose and tread his own path and do what he truly believes in. And that is when the universe begins to conspire to convert dreams into reality.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

When religion is called faith

It’s a hot September afternoon. Razia is sweeping the floor in the house. I look at her and wonder to myself, a woman who works so diligently to earn two square meals and raise her family does not compromise on her faith and values and observes fasts for thirty days every year.

Munni is in the kitchen washing utensils, refuses the cookies my mom offers her. “I cannot eat this, am only having fruits for nine days”, Values and belief again is predominant.

I am sitting in the drawing room; I look at Razia, Munni and the news channel. Three parallel realities in our country depicting simplicity, faith and how the modern day literate and reasonable Indian is robbing the country of its innocence, purity and faith.

One fasts before Eid and the other one before Dussera. Both follow their own faith the culmination of which is in celebration, happiness and offerings to the almighty who is the ultimate entity controlling our lives. I speak to both and they tell me how they plan to celebrate the occasion with everyone in the colony – with friends & families. Friends – people who are not chosen on the basis of religion and clan. People who we connect with and include in our circle of happiness.

Razia & Munni – living in a slum in Lucknow, have not had the luxury of being literate. They did not read history books that talk about different religions and clans. They are simple, honest people who have a belief, a faith which the news channel calls religion.

Not once did they say “All Muslims celebrate Eid and greet each other” or “Dussera is a Hindu festival”. If the simple and the innocent have not drawn lines in their mind then why have the seasoned and mature Indians complicated ethnicity?

We all have beliefs in life and know that there is some power that is omnipresent and ruling lives & destinies. To give a name to this faith and make it into a human form is a choice that we make. Christ, Ram, Mohammad, Guru Nanak – are the choices we have made to give our faith a name & a human form.

And in the race of making these choices we forget the core. The choices we make become more important and powerful than the faith that binds us all. In the name of religion we still, after 62 years of so called independence, divide & rule.

Thursday, July 02, 2009


She looked like a harmless feather quilt but was rebel in the garb of innocence. Her frame was petite yet had some cosmic strength. She would never express through words yet would give it all away through her eyes.

Her mind could not be controlled by the stipulations of sensibility & rationale. She was the dreamer who only knew how to dream. A rebel who stood for what she believed was true. A doer who looked for no reason or logic for actions. She had a sensitive heart which would go by instincts.

Scene 2: Same body but a different soul. Crisp white impeccable shirt, clean slim trousers, high arrogant heals; she walks with poise, measures her words and makes all possible logical sense. She makes power point presentation to explain the rationale. She markets her proposal with utmost confidence and calculations intact. Organized &
methodical she weighs every word she says. Is out there to be respected & not loved.

Life is full of dichotomies and paradoxes.

It’s one body with two souls. She lives two lives everyday. The careless dreamer at times gets over shadowed by the practicality of reality. When she stumbles against the harsh truths of life that revolve around the humdrum of a regular sane life, the bird inside feels caged.

But there are times when the dreamer feels emancipated and breaks free from the shackles of convention and flies high. Above all mediocrity she elevates her soul to fly high trying to touch the horizon.

The truth is that all of us have two faces. We are born dreamers and emancipated souls. Our core is pristine and innocent; reckless and carefree. As life goes by, our experiences, situations and circumstances unknowingly start molding us. A conventional mindset calls this the process of growing up / gaining maturity.

Materialistic necessities start defining our lives. These necessities sustain our life and hence we give in. We succumb to being the regular, the one who markets herself & her capabilities. The one who states action items and defines timelines. The one who on the 1st of every month realizes that this is what I have to do to sustain myself.

And the dreamer goes into oblivion, hides somewhere in the dark; silent, scared and wounded by the harsh realities and non acceptance.

Will the oblivion be for a lifetime or will there be resurgence? Only time will tell.

Monday, February 02, 2009


We live in a world which is bursting at its seems with means of communication. We are constantly communicating with people across the globe. From strangers to kith & kin we are in touch with all. We truly belong to a connected world.

But in this era of convergence & communication there is a paradoxical dichotomy that is emerging. We might be communicating with one and all but we are connecting with them in the virtual world. We are connecting through a device could be a PC, handheld, Skype. We are creating a world wherein every connection we make is ‘make believe.’ We can only feel the presence of the other person while he / she is not present in person – in flesh & blood.

With technology engulfing our lives, are we responsible for creating a world full of loners? People who are connected through devices and gadgets are actually syncing up with people who are not physically present. The virtual world that is being created is giving way to erstwhile concept of meeting with people.

This dichotomy started with the evolution of the landline phone. As technology advanced it is steadily started creeping down our lives in the form of personal computers, mobile phones and the most recent video conferencing.

We are somewhere trivializing the relationships we build and the value we attach to them. With teenagers getting hooked to second life, gaming and online dating they are jeopardizing their self esteem and building an aura around them which is imaginary. It is these young impressionable minds that will never be able to come to terms with the truth about relationships and the experience of having one in the real world.

I am in no way against the use of technology, but somewhere I think it is adding to the loneliness of people. We are getting consumed by the virtual world that we create.
We are feeding on it and as a consequence moving away from reality.

As it is true for every virtue and sin committed in the world, every milestone in this world comes with its pros and cons associated with it. While extreme of anything is said to be bad, we need to strike a balance and derive an equitable co relation between connecting in the real and in the virtual world.

To simply put it, the use of technology where it is important, fruitful and helps us connect most effectively is progressive. At the same time one must not lose the gravity associated with the significance of relationships in the real world where meeting people face to face and in flesh and blood truly made man a social animal.