Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Too much

Got this in an email forward.

"Fundamentally, you are seeking a relationship because you want to be happy, joyful. Or you are trying to use the other as a source of your happiness."

"If your body goes in search of a relationship, we call this sexuality.
If your mind goes in search of relationships, we call this companionship.
If your emotion goes in search of relationships, we call this love.
If your energies go in search of relationships, we call this yoga. All these efforts are just to become one with something else, because somehow being who you are right now is not enough."

- Jaggi

More of the article here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Fly:soup :: Na. Muthukumar :ATM

Certainly Kavignar Vaali is a doyen of Tamil poetry. I have all due respect to his epic series in Ananda Vikatan.

But consider this:
Rahman' composition for Tamil movies is now only a fraction of the number he used to do five years ago. And of these little few, these are the lyricists whom he worked with in the last six movies.

Anbae Aaruyirae (2005) - Vaali
Jillendru Oru Kadhal (2006) - Vaali
Godfather (2006) - Vairamuthu
Guru (2007) - Vairamuthu
Sivaji (2007) - Vaali, Vairamuthu & others
Azhagiya Tamil Magan ATM (2007) - Vaali

Far cry from the days when Rahman wouldnt go beyond Vairamuthu for any of his compositions. Gone are the days when music lovers could look forward to even so-so movies (disappointing case in point, Anbae Aaruyirae by S. J. Surya) for the musical treat of Vairamuthu-ARR combine. Now we have to listen to the finest music director in Tamil music and his choicest singers and musicians crooning 'Nee Marilyn Monroe scanning/cloning (whatever that was)...' Blasphemy!

If ever there was a rift between Rahman and Vairamuthu, it has lasted long enough. Vairamuthu had said once "I agree wholeheartedly that Rahman is a great composer. But I do wish his music would not totally swamp my lyrics to the extent that nobody can make them out"

But hasn't Rahman himself said, "Lyrics lend immortality to a melody. The eternal, evergreen hit songs are always the ones with profound lyrics; lyrics that remain true and meaningful even after years."

Hasn't Vairamuthu's lyrics themselves paid tribute to music? "Innisai mattum Illaiyendraal naan Endro, endro iranthiruppaen" (But for sweet music, I would be dead)

I am not saying that Vaali doesnt do justice to his lyrics. Some of his songs (Jillendru oru kaadhal) were actually good. But personally I do feel that his idea of 'peppy' music a tad too flippant. Disagree ? What to say when one of the finest compositions of late (ATM) is interspersed with references to mixies and chutneys ? Even good lyrics in the album (Madurai-ku pogaatha..) are just that. Good. There is not even a hint of competition between the lyrics and the music in vying for the listener's attention.

Only hope is that Mani Ratnam or somebody of like stature talks sense into both ARR and Vairamuthu and does a favor to listeners like me. Till then we only have tracks of Alaipayuthe, Kandukondaen2, Jeans, Sangamam and the like to console ourselves with.

Friday, November 09, 2007

A.J.Anto's Mind Space: A Ball Can Change the World

A.J.Anto's Mind Space: A Ball Can Change the World

A spontaneous post on Isha by friend Antoji (I have been part of couple of such occasions in Delhi and Chennai).
Totally Agree.

Monday, October 08, 2007

How to name it?

A: Is laughter your only response to situations; or
am I the funniest man alive ?

B: :)

A: ?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Think aloud post

An introspective think aloud post without the context and background. Could not help it. Caveat reader! :)

How one feels and what one is supposed to do sometimes go against each other. Then the balance between emotions and the intellect is very important especially in such trying times. If either of them affects actions to a large degree, there is chaos. How you feel is truly an essence of what you are and nobody else can realise that emotion as truly and uniquely as you do. At the same time, what one is supposed to do is from social mores and norms and there cannot be a quarrel about that. With two seemingly valid courses of action, one can be really be flummoxed. The longer you remain in this flummoxed state, emotions will get stronger and the imprecations of intellect, shriller.

Thiruvalluvar asks that tasks that increase happiness should be completed even if they result in suffering in the course of their execution. When it comes to taking action, clearly he gives importance to the intellect over emotions.

Swami Vivekananda says one should have a harmonious balance between the emotions (heart), intellect (head) and action (hand). How to reach this elusive balance is left to the seeker.

What we want is to see the man who is harmoniously developed . . . great in heart, great in mind, [great in deed] . . . . We want the man whose heart feels intensely the miseries and sorrows of the world. . . . And [we want] the man who not only can feel but can find the meaning of things, who delves deeply into the heart of nature and understanding. [We want] the man who will not even stop there, [but] who wants to work out [the feeling and meaning by actual deeds]. Such a combination of head, heart, and hand is what we want. There are many teachers in this world, but you will find [that most of them] are one-sided. [One] sees the glorious midday sun of intellect [and] sees nothing else. Another hears the beautiful music of love and can hear nothing else. Another is [immersed] in activity, and has neither time to feel nor time to think. Why not [have] the giant who is equally active, equally knowing, and equally loving? Is it impossible? Certainly not.

- "Worshipper and Worshipped", Swami Vivekananda

I go with Thiruvalluvar on this one. Feelings may give overall direction for one to take, but the actions that one performs in reality shall always be directed from the head, not the heart.

thought I was too old for such lessons :(

Thursday, September 20, 2007

How to name it?

When one has views that are very different from the surroundings, the misfit becomes very evident. Take for instance the case of a chap who has quit the firm but has to serve the notice period. Taking a step backwards from work (it could be a weekend break at home or a trip to Amritsar for instance), there is a moment of clarity when one realises where one's life is slowing leading to. As my friend from Kanpur would say "Arre bhai, main kounsi gali mein aa chuka hoon !". Fundamental questions about what motivated one to work in the first place start begging for answers. Definitely not money (that was a sitter, if you knew my payslip). Standing among peer-circle? Need for appreciation? 'kick' from working?

One feels awkward and there are the inevitable unpleasant situations in the initial stage, but later on there is only humor from the workplace. When colleagues try their old routine of well tested work instruments (read mental games, verbal jousts, pathetic pranks and other patented methodologies) on the person who has quit and fail to evoke the usual reaction, they are confounded by the impudence. Suddenly professional values are dusted off the shelf and quoted to bring the lost man to his senses. Meanwhile the person who has quit is in splits at the sight of the devil charging him of disregard to "values" and all copyrighted nice-to-own-up things (which are in a state of suspended animation for the still serving colleagues)

The only downside is that one cannot share the view with others so that they can also partake of the fun. It would be too crude to upset their feelings actually. (Also, it is in the firm's HR policy prohibiting one from encouraging others to quit when leaving.)

Havent mentioned the best part. The feeling of liberation and of living life on one's own terms. The feeling that limitations that held one back are only of the mind. And that everything in this world is for the taking if only because one's spirit wanted it. The belief that every wish other than those tainted with fear of failure shall be granted.

As Bharathi said
"No Fear, No Fear, There is no such thing as fear.
Even when the sky breaks and falls in pieces on your heads
Even when each and every single person on earth opposes you
Even when people look down upon and deride you
No Fear, No Fear, There is no such thing as fear"

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Jedi Gurus

One of my favourite Starwars characters, Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn is a maverick Jedi Knight. His quotes remind one of teachings of Indian philosophy.

Some quotes from The Phantom Menace

Qui-Gon to Obi-Wan: Remember, concentrate on the moment. Feel, don't think. Use your instincts.

Qui-Gon to Obi-Wan: Don't center on your anxiety, Obi-Wan. Keep your concentration here and now, where it belongs.

More here on religious (or spiritual) themes in the Starwars series:

More quotes by Qui-Gon here.

Monday, July 23, 2007


Got this from a friend. He said Bharathi hit him so hard that it pained. Me too.
Donno which collection of songs this poem comes in.

தேடி சோறு தினம் தின்று
பல சின்னஞ்சிறு கதைகள் பேசி
வாடி துன்பம் மிக உழன்று
பிறர் வாட பல செய்கை செய்து
நரை கூடி கிழப்பருவம் எய்தி
கொடும் கூற்றுக்கிறையாகி மாயும்
சில வேடிக்கை மனிதரை போலவே
நானும் வீழ்வேன் என்று நினைத்தாயோ?

- மகாகவி சுப்ரமணிய பாரதி

To seek my morsels to eat daily
To mouth many a small quibble
To lose peace; to feel grief
To act and cause many around to ache
To grey in hair and attain old age
To fall prey to horrible Death and depart
Like many a laughable man on this earth
Did You think I too would fall like that ?

- Subramanya Bharathi

P.S. Excuse the translation.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


When I see people feeling guilty for having had the simple joys of life (e.g. sleeping 6 hrs a night / watching a movie on a weekend), it makes you think. Glorification of this as ownership of the project at the workplace is unfair and stupid. Happiness shall never be mortgaged for responsibility.

Monday, June 04, 2007


My colleague Srinivas commented as we walked out of a building and a wave of Kolkata weather hit us, "Its like a wet furnace". Couldnt agree more.

Musings on Gita

After much reading and listening about the Gita, thought I had got atleast the basic idea of Krishna's epic advice to Arjuna.

Recently, after reading the book "Encounter the Enlightened", a collation of speeches by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, felt the discourse of Krishna taking a new meaning.

The passage in question:

Question: Yes, I have a doubt. In the battle of Kurukshetra, why did Lord Krishna compel Arjuna, who had laid down his arms? He did not want to fight his own kith and kin, why did he compel him to fight?

...Even on the battlefield, he was willing to slaughter almost everyone.
It was only five or six people - his grandfather, his Guru, his brother, his friend - except for them, he was willing to slaughter everyone else.
In truth, Arjuna had not given up violence. He only wanted to save these few people; He was willing to kill the rest. So that's why His teaching is like that.
I want you to understand what importance Krishna gives to one man's realization.
If you realize and in the process, ten thousand people die, it is okay; it is of so much value to the world.
It is that value that he is establishing.

Source: Encounter the enlightened-Conversations with the Master

Agreed the speech makes little sense without the context of what Jaggi's Isha Foundation is doing. More at But have to think aloud lest this sinks into oblivion to the bottom of the muddy pond that my mind now is.

The trite phrase that invariable pops up in many a spiritual text / discourse is "to free oneself from action". Nice to hear. But that makes no sense since one's existence (including actions of self and others) is invariably experienced only through the mind driven by the five senses of the body.

Jaggi Vasudev's intent is to make a person explore the inner self and reach a natural state where the person does not identify oneself with actions/situations/one's mind. Confessedly an experiential feeling, little is forthcoming on this natural state from either Jaggi / Isha volunteers about what this is. I am willing to buy that stand since I have neither the inclination or the time to read about the quality of experiences (natural or otherwise) in another chappie's life communicated to me through the questionable medium of my mind and a more questionable medium of the English language.

Now as I understand that Jaggi imputes, Krishna was egging Arjuna to take the route to this natural state at the cost of a bloody war. The value given to one man's realisation is of note here, considering that those that did have changed the course of history (E.g. Christ, Buddha, Shankaracharya... etc.)

Recommended reading: Encounter the Enlightened - Conversations with the Master (Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev)
This book and Jaggi Vasudev make more sense to me than any of the other literature of this nature I have ever read.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Beautiful language

Telugu is a language of very cute sounding verbs !

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A director's perspective

ஏதாவது ஒரு வகையில் நாம் எல்லோருமே மன நலம் பாதிக்கப்பட்டவர்கள் தான்
- இயக்குநர் பாலா.

'One way or the other, all of us are mental patients.'
- Bala, Film Director

Excuse the translation.

Friday, April 06, 2007


The biggest examples of illogicality in this world lie in reasons that men give themselves when they make life's choices.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Firm

Saturdays and Sundays are when the real work gets done.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Beautiful prose

Loved this prose from an acquaintance's blog:

"Gradually the threads dissolve, the strings come undone. We become footnotes in someone else's life, remembered fondly in the middle of drying dishes on a warm Wednesday night. In the end, this is all we're reduced to, this is what we're left with."


PC and his Quotes

Mr. Speaker, Sir,

182. One of India's proudest sons, Dr Amartya Sen, argues in his book "Development as Freedom" that development is a process of expanding the real freedoms that people enjoy. He says, "Growth of GNP or of individual incomes can, of course, be very important as means to expanding the freedoms enjoyed by the members of the society. But freedoms depend also on other determinants, such as social and economic arrangements (for example, facilities for education and health care) as well as political and civil rights." The UPA Government accepts this ethical dimension to the discussion of economic issues, and in this Budget I have attempted to reflect that dimension. More or less the same idea was articulated two thousand years ago by Saint Tiruvalluvar who said:

"Pini Inmai Selvam Vilaivu Inbam Emam

Ani Enba Nattirkku Iv Iyndhu"

(Health, wealth, produce, the happiness that is the result, and security

These five, the learned say, are the ornaments of a polity)

I am aware of the severe difficulties faced by farmers in the last two years. Ours is a compassionate Government. I also have severe fiscal constraints. When faced with a dilemma, I usually turn to my favourite poet-philosopher, Saint Tiruvalluvar. Writing over 2,000 years ago, he said:

"Karumam Sidhaiyamal Kannoda Vallarku

Urimai Udaithu Iv Ulagu"

(The world is his who does his job

With compassion)

Mr. Speaker, Sir, I have devoted the last 15 minutes or so to agriculture. There is no dearth of schemes; there is no dearth of funds. What needs to be done is to deliver the intended outcomes. Saint Tiruvalluvar watches over us and warns:-

"Uzhavinar Kai Madangin Illai Vizhaivathoom

Vittame Enbarkum Nilai"

[ If ploughmen keep their hands folded

Even sages claiming renunciation cannot find salvation]