So I can do it if I want..

Three months ago, I did a minor(read Major) boasting about the wonder that is “Masala Dosa”, so convincingly that Smruti, my boss, soon wanted me to make it one day at her home for our colleagues.. I gulped, and gave some excuses in my own masterly way and I have been postponing it for around three months. But last two days back when she brought back the topic, I agreed to make it on coming friday(yesterday). I gave her all the proportions for the batter from memory(oh yes.. I have learnt a lot of cooking and cooking tips from my amma and maami logs) and things needed for sambaar and chutney.

Pat, the srilankan of our office, volunteered to bring coconut chutney from home, and my task was reduced to making Dosa, Masala and Sambaar.. Friday came and Smurti was helping me with the preparations. I left office a bit early to Smruti’s home and started off with Sambaar, and soon the sambaar was simmering in the gas.. I was putting my whole heart into cooking and smruti was observing me throughout..

I chopped onions, cut potatoes and soon was preparing masala.. Dot 7.00 and everything was ready to be served.. I couldnt beleive myself.. We both cooked food for around 15 people.. Pat soon came with the chutney and soon the people started coming.. Myself and smruti juggled between two tava’s and soon I could find the satisfaction on everyones face..

Hmm.. I was wondering if everything is fine.. if it tasted anything like masala dosa.. But I found my answer, when I saw pat also, relishing the same.. After dinner, the company gossips took over.. I was proud indeed.. I realised, I can do it, If I want..

ps:I’m told I am in the good books of Smruti since I make masala dosa.. No.. thats incorrect partially… Sambaar has a role too.. ;-)

What would you do?

No one was surpised at office, when I suddenly popped up a question. Maybe they are accustomed to me and my questions by now. But I had to ask, for I didnt want to answer that now, and I was trying to escape.. So I asked Zakir to begin with..

Zakir, say now you know that you have only one more month to live, exactly one month from now you will die.. How would you like to live your life?

Zakir went on about cancer patients who face their death and live.. blah blah and blah.. But he missed the whole point.. What if he knew he is going to die within a month.. what will be he doing, how will he live for one month?

I didnt get answer to my question from anyone, except some blabbering.. Hmm.. maybe death is still an alien subject to humans. I wanted to ask each and everyone I meet, How would you live, if you know you are going to die in exactly one month? Yes.. I was running away from that question myself. But I am not afraid of death, and it has been my favourite topic for a long time now.. I have apparently read books about death more than about life!!

Interestingly while taking a walk during afternoon, I remembered a story from the epic of India, the Mahabharata.. where one yaksha(one category of ghost) asks question to Yudhistir, the eldest of the pandava’s(sons of King Pandu) This episode happens, when the pandava’s who are banished for 12 years of life in jungle is nearing its end. They are staying at a ashram with some sages along with their wife Draupadi. One day the arani(firesticks) is stolen by a deer, with its horns.. the inmate informs this to the Pandava’s and they go in search of the firesticks deep into the jungle..

Needless to say they get lost and soon all the five brothers, Yudhistir, Bheem, Arjun, Nakul and Sahadev get tired and thirsty. Yudhistir instructs his brothers to look for the source of water and one of the brother climbs the tree and see’s a pond at a distance. Sahadev goes to fetch water from the pond, while others take rest. When Sahadev, the youngest of the pandava’s reach the lake and is just about to drink water, a voice suddenly comes out of nowhere, and asks him to halt.

It says the sahadev, that the lake belongs to the bearer of the voice and if he can answer the questions asked by him, Sahadev can get water from there. Sahadev ignores that and drinks water and falls dead. The other brothers after long wait, sends Nakul to see why sahadev is getting late.. Nakul also reaches the same place and the same event happnes.. he too falls dead.

Arjuna(the Great Archer) goes next and find his younger brothers dead, and challenges any one who had done this.. the voice again comes and says the samething to him.. that he should answer the questions and then only the permission to get water can be given.. Arjuna disobeys that and threatens the voice and goes ahead and fetches water only to have the fate of Nakul and Sahadev.

Bhim (the magnificient wrestler) goes next to get water for Yudhishtir, and he too hears the cautionary words. Bhim being more short tempered, and more tempered after seeing his brothers dead, challenges the voice and he goes on uprooting trees.. but soon gets tired and goes to drik water.. the voice cautions again and asks bhim to answer questions asked by the voice or else the same fate will happen to him also.. Bhim too ignores the voice and follows suit..

Yudhishtir gets worried, as no one has returned.. so he himself goes in search of water.. He finds all his brothers dead on the banks of the pond and laments.. Suddenly the voice comes again.. Yudhistir get back to senses again and listens to the voice.. The voice says to yudhistir that his brothers died since they didnt pay heed to the voice, and same will be the fate of Yudhishtir if he also do the same.

Yudhistir agrees to answer the questions and Yaksha starts asking questions.. The actual questions and answers are philosophical.. I will put up some questions here..

Yaksha: What is faster than wind?
Yudhishtir: Mind is faster than wind.

Yaksha: Who is the friend of a householder?
Yudhishtir: Wife is the friend of a householder.

Yaksha: Who is man’s divine companion?
Yudhishtir: Wife is man’s divine companion.

Yaksha: After abandoning what does man becomes dear to all?
Yudhishtir: After abandoning arrogance.

Yaksha: Who is the most treachorous enemy of man?
Yudhishtir: Anger is the most dangerous enemy of man.

Yaksha: Which is the animal which keeps eyes open even in sleep?
Yudhishtir: Fish

and our question..

Yaksha: What is the most surprising thing in the world?
Yudhishtir: Every human hears about death of dear ones, and he knows that death is inevitable.. still they go on living as if they will live all the eternity, there is nothing more surprising than this..

The question answer session goes on for a while and then finally the Yaksha becomes happy with the answers, and says to Yudhishtir that he can have water and the yakhsa will make one of his brothers alive, and asks Yudhishtir to choose one.. Yudhishtir chooses Nakul. The Yaksha is surprised., that he didnt choose Bhim – the Greatest Wrestler nor Arjuna, one of the greatest archers. Moreover, yudhishtir may have to fight for his kingdom, and one of these two will be more helpful than Nakul. Yaksha asks Yudhishtir why he chose Nakul and not Bhim or Arjun.

Yudhishtir says, “My father Pandu had two wives, my mother Kunthi and Nakula and Sahadev’s mother Madri. Though Nakul and Sahadev are my half brother as per dharma(righteousness) to my father Pandu and my mothers Kunthi and Maadri, I should ask for Nakula who is eldest of the two. Their survival is more important to me than my kingdom.” The Yaksha becomes happy at this answer and make all the four brothers alive..

Suddenly Yudhishtir asks Yaksha, “You are not an Yaksha, for an yaksha cannot kill any of my brothers, you are some one more divine, please reveal thyself”. Yaksha is pleased with this observations and reveals himself… Yaksha was none but the God of Death, Yamadharma, who is also half father of Yudhishtir. Yamadharma blesses all five of them and gives them the arani(firesticks) which apparently was stolen at his instruction and leaves..

A cycling adventure..

We might be going on a 40 mile country bike ride this coming sunday, for Cholsey to Windsor.. as a preparation, I wanted to try out cycling, and more over, it was told me that after swimming, cycling burns more calories..(oh yes! I have a lot of them accumulated as fat!!)

So it was, I borrowed a moutain bike from my friend Rakesh, and planned to bike to office and back as preparation and see if I can do the 40 mile bike ride this coming Sunday. My office is roughly around 8-9 miles from my house.. I reach office in 20-25 minutes while driving.. hence I estimated that cycling should take about one and half hours.

I left home early in my cycle and soon came to know the calories were getting burned.. how else will you explain the burning feeling in my legs, especially thighs?! I could feel my muscles(read fat) working out for me.. I was cruising along as it was not at all hilly from my house till Uxbridge. But then the hills started testing me.

I was not the one to give up.. I tried all gears(ah yes.. it was equipped 3 gears on the left side of the handle and 6 on the right side..) I am still to figure out, which one for what.. I just kept experimenting with gears, till I felt that I will get more exhausted changing the gears, than riding the bike. Uphill, downhill, huffing-puffing, I finally reached office in one hour and five minutes. Getting fresh, I started working.

Seatal soon found out that I had biked to work and started making fun.. But he got serious when he told that the route which I biked to office has had more biking accidents and that I can see lot of cut-flowers kept along the route, where those killing accidents had happened. Bah! I didnt see any, and I am going to bike that way back only.. Seatal was soon in his usual self promising to run over me, if he sees me in the road biking!!

I left office around six in the evening, and biked back the usual route, the uphill started again.. and I could feel the muscles(ok ok..fat) straining.. One uphill was too steep and I halted by the side of the road, to catch some breath., but my breath stopped when I turned left, I saw a white cross buried by the roadside and few bunches of flowers on the cross! Oh god.. after all Seatal was right.. Breath or no breath, I reached home in record 50 minutes!!

Maybe this will be the last of my cycling adventure for now..

The story of a cycle..

Life offeres you so many variety, that you never stop wondering, what more its got behind the curtain of time.

Mandar was reminiscing some of his childhood memories., and he told us the story of cycle.. A cycle is really a valuable possession that you can have while you are in school, in India. I remember the day in my childhood when I was on “fast-unto-death-satyagrah” to get a cycle, and when I really was hungry, went back to my mom, who served me food with a smile.. yes I didnt get any cycle.

Mandar during his school days used to dream about a cycle, so that he can roam around in it. After a long and exausting persuasion, his father agreed to buy him a cycle, if only he will become a topper in the approaching exams. Mandar started putting full efforts behind the studies, after all the cylce was the target. Vivid dreams of cycle would lead him back to his school books, and soon the exams approached.

He was tense giving the exams, but he didnt leave any leaf unturned.. and the exams were over.. after a brief period the results were to be announced.. He waited with bated breath for the results.. Finally they came and on that day he was happy returning from school, after finding out that he had topped in the exams. As soon as he approached his building society, he found a gloomy silence..

He reached home, his father has not come from office yet, but he came to know the news.. one of his building friends had been killed in an accident, and he was riding a bicycle when the lorry ran over him.. Mandar’s face fell, he knew that instant, that he wont get the much awaited bi-cycle any more..

ps: Many other stories were told, during our short dinner at pizzahut tonight!! oh.. yeah.. all interesting..

A dream..

What does patriotism mean?
What does Nationalism mean?

I was reading through the developments happening in Indo – pak relationship. After reading I just let my mind play with alternatives.. and it came up with several different alternatives… The one I liked follows..

Shariff and Vajpayee attend the summit and decide that their problem is not Kashmir or border disupte, but to give the people of country quality life. The other disputes can wait.. They decide to move away from fundamentalism and shadow diplomacy., and address a joint press summit where they declare several things.

They join together hands, and plan for combined military exercises.. this time near Afghan and Chinese border!! (hee hee). Pakistan and India decides to become economic partners and venture into a new experiment.. They get together and formulate an economic co-operation in the area, including a common currency..

They are going to give quality life to the citizens and passport free travel to either countries. Soon the borders wean away and soon they realise that they are under one shelter of humanity!!

Snap!! Time to wake from the dream..

Reality.. Humans are by default passionate and emotional creatures.. War is necessity for peace.. eg..Now the last thing they want in europe is a war!! reason? They have suffered a lot in last two world wars.. War is the catalyst, which speedens up the process of peace.. War makes people realise the futility of war.. But Indo-pak people would love a war.. But they dont realise the gravity of it.. but to feel it they must go through it.

Hmm.. maybe my thoughts are running amok.. Maybe things are the best as they are now.

I still am looking for defenition of patriotism and nationalism..(or are they just humbug?!)

watching the world go by and earth go past…

Its has been a long while since I have gone on a “long” walk. I used to walk a lot and I really used to enjoy those, more so, when the walk is silent, no chit-chat, discussions, just being with oneself., even if you are walking with someone.

I thought that I have missed the magic of walking after buying a car, since all my mobility suddenly depended on millions year old fossil fuels. Though I did not realise it, it also had its share in my ballooning waistline! I had that wonderful walk today, I started walking from home to rashmi’s house, and after reaching there, I walked back, but I didnt head for my home, I went through many circuitious roads before reaching home at around half past ten, as a satisfied man.

I wonder if anyone has tried walking as a hobby? We used to go for walks everyday during lunch time, as our office is by side of a canal, and we used to walk by the canal side, but those used to be really short. Surprisingly, there are countless walking trails set up in UK, along with London Walking trips, but I havent done even one of them. Since summer is here, I think I should go for walk more often., and try out some of the trails.

If you havent tried walking yet. I will advise you to try it. Start in the evening, and make it a pretty long one.. go alone, or with some one who understands your silence.. and watch the world go by and earth go past!!

and life is not interesting?!!!

This interesting event happened recently. My Grandmom is severly ill. She had been in and out of hospital due to health problems. Doctors had given her around a week to live some few months ago, but she has strongly carried on, with the support of my appa, her youngest son, and my amma, her favourite daughter in law. Last time I saw her, she was bed-ridden, but still sound, and actively engaging in chat with me. She had asked me to pray for her death! (Oh yes! Me praying for your death.. keep that in your mind!!). But poor soul, she dosent want to trouble anyone during the old age and wants to die soon, and she asks all of us to pray for her death.

Since my engagement was at Bombay, my parents had to come, along with my eldest uncle, who is the head of our family to Bombay. Since my grandma required continued attention, Kumar anna’s wife agreed to look after her.

My Periyappa(Eldest uncle) was doing preparations to come to bombay, as he came across our astrologer, coming to him with some news and advice. After chatting with my periyappa for a while, he became a bit serious. He finally broke the news to my periyappa.

“The planets conjuction is not that favourable for your mom” he said., “You dont have to worry about her any more” he continued, “She will leave her body before you come back from bombay”.

My periyappa was unruffled., he knew what has to come has to come, and it will be good if Grandma dies peacefully, than getting torutured by the ills of the body. My dad was the next one to get the news from our astrologer.. he gave the deadline of my appa’s return from bombay for my grandma’s death. Appa, being more attached to my grandmom was a bit concerned. But he had to go to Bombay also.

Periyappa and my parents came to Bombay for my engagement, and indeed a news was waiting, when they reached back home! They didnt even reach home before they got the news!! The astrologer was no more!!!

Bang!!

Bang!!

Oops.. isnt this how you come back with a bang!! Oki..no pj’s.. I have been really out of touch with recording my thoughts here.. Well, I had many, but didnt have time to put those in place here. Now I think I will start again.. I have so many stories to tell, but I am good at telling them and not writing them.

So What were you doing all these days?! Well(scratching my head).. umm… was busy.. didnt have time (An excuse which will serve you till eternity)

Busy with what? Things.. career, learning new things.. ah yes.. I learned CSS in less than a day(but anyway its soo simple), then I was rubbing my nose into XML for sometime, got bored when I reached DTD’s.. So left it there, rubbed a nose with a bit of java, a bit of Lotus notes development etc etc

What!! Do you know anything properly at all? Hmm.. good question.. infact a philosophical one.. I will have to think.. but it take time to think.. and oops.. I forgot!! I dont have time.. next question please.

You wont change, will you? Well, regarding change, I beleive that only thing that wont change is change. Well, I have changed a lot..the correct answer will be, yes my mask has changed a lot! And yes, I have to write a lot about change, how life changes, how humans change, society, civilisation and how all these fit into the cosmological order of things..

So now you will be regular in live journal? Hmm.. yes.. planning to.. (praveen and pradeep may kill me If I wont!!).. I am actually waiting for praveen to write his thoughts.. and pradeep to comeout and write his own thoughts as it appears..

do you..: (interrupting).. Enough questions for today yaar.. I am planning to be regular from now onwards.. I had written some entries at home, but then after Writing them, I read through them and they seems to have been more philosophical.. I better go and delete them soon.. I must have written over a page in word.. and I dozed off to sleep leaving my computer running, just to get up after some time, and reading it (and almost scatching my head ;-)

but… Aaj ke liye bus yaar.. will be in tomorrow…

ps: Honestly I have a lot to write, about life, death, thoughts hanging in between, impressions, patterns, UFO’s, God, Heaven, India, Musharraf, physics, truth, buddha, birds, dolphins, shaving, red indians, racism, hovercraft, buttons, paganism, three world theory, masks, reality, cooking, vedic theory, Aryan invasion theroy, Theory of Genetic purity, cloud watching, earth, meditation, new religion, satan, jesus, so called father in heaven, blindess, mobiles, mentally retarded kids, Karma theory, mythology interpretation, lying, flying, botany, chemistry, dream theory, Ashtavakra geeta, osho, friends oops..why am I putting all these here.. the list goes on and on.. I will be back..