Wednesday, April 30, 2008

War & Peace - A Perspective

War against you, Peace for me!

We all agree that War is bullshit. It is something that can only cause more harm, more pain, and more destruction. We have spent aeons writing about peace. Yet, the world as it stands today is on the verge of many battles, many conflicts. The road to peace has been littered with the wastage of wars.
So, what can one do to put a final full stop to this phenomenon?
By writing such blogs and reading / appreciating poems of peace, are we even denting the prospects of another battle?
Is a Mother Teresa or Gandhi or Martin Luther an answer to all wars?
How many of those noble souls do we expect to walk by, to sacrifice all they’ve got to stop us from living the life of misery? After all, isn’t it my life, our life? Isn’t this too important to grant control to some ‘greater’ soul, however great he/she may be? What do I lack to become someone so noble, so peaceful?
Why can’t the world consist of more Gandhi’s than terrorists?
Do I write one more article here, vent out my frustration and thoughts on an electronic piece of paper, and then switch tabs to address the latest production issue? Is that all it consists of – this meek effort, this literal drop of an argument for peace in the ocean of tension and conflict all around us?
With such questions and many more lurking in the corner of my mind, I was reading a book. Buddha.
They say, when you have a query – open the page of a good book, any random page, and start reading. You shall find your answer there.
Maybe it’s the theory of being positive, the theory that what you are looking out for will be brought forth to you – if you strive with earnestness.
Chapter 19, the last chapter gave me a lot of answers. At least, openings to those answers, which I sought to decipher above.
The first and foremost – and probably the most powerful thought is – We all are ‘Buddha’. The Enlightened One.
But before I go there, let me elucidate why I think we need to believe in the above, and how ‘war’ and ‘Buddha’ are connected.
Consider this – Is War the only malady prevailing upon us? No – if one looks deeply, every war has a supposed ‘cause’. Someone stole my land – I shall wage a war over him. Someone insulted me – I shall wage a war over him. And so on and so forth. Anger results in war. And this anger is again an after-effect of something bigger.
Analyze any statement for which humans have waged a war – and one will find that something precious has been stolen from someone. The old saying cites wine, women and wealth symbolically. So, war is actually an after-effect. It is a symptom of a bigger disease, which in turn has a deep-rooted cause.
Buddha calls this disease ‘Suffering’, and he cites the root cause as ‘Attachment’.
Our ‘attachment’ to things/to people causes misery or dukka when that thing/person is no longer with us. However, if we analyze closely, and understand the roots of our philosophy – it clearly states that we are living in a state of illusion. Various cultures have given this illusion a different name, but probably the Hindu texts came the closest when they defined ‘Maya’.
Do we blindly believe in this philosophy? No! Test it out for yourself.
Ask questions. Seek answers.
Some really tough ones I’ve come across are – Are our parents not someone who we should be attached to? Do I not mourn the departure of a close friend? Shouldn’t one supposed to cry if he/she has lost his/her love?
The answer to all of the above – going by the philosophy of ‘Maya’ is No. The world is an illusion. All these supposed ‘attachments’ are the root cause of our misery. We lose one thing – and we grieve. So, the key is not to be attached to ‘anything’ – including ‘ourselves’. This includes our body, our materialistic identity. And one can do this, only if one starts identifying oneself apart from his/her ‘thoughts’. The mind, they say is a brilliant slave, but a cruel master. For a moment, your thoughts do not desert you. And this relationship is so close, that we become alter egos – we start identifying ourselves with our thoughts. And in the due course of time, we lose ourselves, and start believing our thoughts define us! I know this can be strange to read or comprehend at first, but a closer examination will reveal the purity of the argument.
So, in essence, to end all wars – the first step is to wage a war against your own thoughts – to question what you’ve been ‘taught’, to look beyond and find the truth; which in reality is just within you!
You are Buddha. The moment you shed your inhibitions, attain a clear vision – of peace, of joy; you shall be enlightened.
And a day shall dawn, when a thousand Buddha’s shall walk the face of earth, sowing the seeds of a spiritual revolution. That day, my friends – We shall write about peace, not war.


[Read Buddha (Deepak Chopra) and A New Earth (Eckhart Tolle) for deeper insights]

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I Am Not Against War. I Am For......

“When you want something in life very genuinely, the whole universe conspires to help you achieve it.”
That was Paulo Coelho in Alchemist.

One of the modern theories gaining popularity of late is the law of attraction. (I do not know if it really is modern. For all you know, it could be one of those reinventions of the wheel.)

The following is the law of attraction in a nutshell.

Our thoughts decide what we are. We are today, whatever we are because of the thoughts we had yesterday. Our thoughts of today determine what we will be tomorrow.

Everyone in this universe can get what they want. All they have to do is want it earnestly. And it will eventually come to them.
That said, one should always think positive.
Think about what you want and be sure that you will get it. And it will come to you.
Think about the situation you want to be in; not as if it were future state but think about it as if it were happening at present. Close your eyes. Savour it. Do this exercise for a few minutes every few days and live all your dreams. They will eventually turn to reality.

If you want to become the CEO of a company, conduct yourself in all situations the way a CEO would conduct himself. If you want to go to Switzerland, put up pictures of Switzerland and the Alps on the walls of your room, look at them and imagine you are already there, enjoying the beauty of the place.

“So what’s the catch?” asked Nagaraj, one of my friends. “If it were as simple as that then everyone in this world should have what they want. Why are there so many unhappy, dissatisfied people in this world?”

There are several reasons. Most of the people do not know what they really want. Try asking 10 people (chosen randomly) what they want from life at that present and you will know.
They will either give you generic answers like “I want happiness, peace of mind” or complain about their problems and miseries. They will not be able to tell you what exactly they want because they don’t know what they want.

Most of them will actually tell you what they don’t want.

A few months ago during my stay in California, I was disturbed because of the cold, distant and political behaviour of some unsavoury characters that had come with me from India. A friend who noticed my unhappy state asked me, “Why are you unhappy? What do you want from this assignment and from your stay in the US in general?

I said, “I don’t want these people to behave the way they do”.
“I don’t want this roomie to bang the door each time she walks in and out of the house.”
“I don’t want these managers to do micromanagement and policing”
“I want these non vegetarians to stop being so insensitive about the sentiments of vegetarians”.

He said” These are things you DO NOT want. WHAT DO YOU WANT??”

After much contemplation I said,
”I want to acquire some domain knowledge from this project”
“I want to travel extensively”
“I want to make friends”

He said, “You will get it”.

That I believe is the key. The moment you know specifically what you want, you will get it (supposedly).

Another catch is this. Most of the people who know what they want are not happy when they get it. How many of us are grateful today for getting what we wanted from life yesterday? How many of us even remember what we wanted yesterday?

Today, I am a software professional. I have enough money. I have the best of food, clothes and accessories. I am independent. I have a mobile phone. I have a 30 GB iPod and a lovely collection of music among other things.
But how often do I think that these are the very stuff my dreams used to be made of once upon a time? How often do I jump in the air and shout “Yeah, my dreams have come true! My wishes have been granted!”? Not very often. Most of us take for granted what we have today.

To say more about the law, I am told it works. How? Vibrations attract like vibrations. Happiness attracts more happiness just as sorrow attracts more sorrow. If you are cheerful and believe that what you want is coming to you very soon, then it will come to you.

If you doubt, it will take a long time to come.
If you hope, then it will come to you, but slowly.
And if you know it will come, then, it will come in no time.

If you crib and complain all the time about your miseries, you will only bring more misery into your life.

While practicing this however, one must concentrate only on the final result, not on the strategy. Think about what you want, not about how it should materialize. The universe will take care of the how.

On our way home from office, my friend asked, “What do you want now?”
I said, “I want people to stop driving one man cars in Bangalore”.
“Why? What do you want to achieve by that?”
“Because of so many vehicles, roads and flyovers are being constructed. To make room for construction, more and more trees are being cut down. I don’t want trees to be cut down”
“So what you WANT is a GREEN BANGALORE!”
The point is, focus on the end result not on intermediate strategy.

And remember, two negatives don’t make a positive.
I stumbled upon this cartoon in which one guy says “I am anti-war, anti-drugs, anti-pollution, anti-commercialism, anti-deforestation”. The other guy says “Hmmm… Quite positive!”

When Mother Teresa was asked to join the anti war rally, she responded by saying “I will not join the anti war rally. But if there is a peace rally, I will surely join it”!

Don’t strive against what you don’t want.
Strive for what you want.
There is a difference. Your mind should not dwell even for a moment on the negative. It should be filled with positive thoughts only.

Whether or not you believe in the law of attraction, it acts upon you all the time. It is like gravity. Even if you don’t believe in gravity, it will still act upon you.

Skepticism raises it’s hood every now and then. But for now, I will try to believe in this law.
And then, all it takes to practice it is incorrigible optimism which is a good thing indeed!
By now you know what I want to say. Don’t you?
According to the law of attraction, we bring upon ourselves, all the thoughts that our minds dwell upon. By writing about war, thinking about war, talking about war and fighting against war we will only succeed in having more war; simply because, in all these actions it is war that we are preoccupied with and not peace.
That’s why, I am not against war. I am for peace.

And why do we always think about war between nations?
There is more war in the lives of us civilians than the soldiers across the borders. Everyday is a struggle. We fight our parents, fight with a manager and fight the busy traffic - mouthing profanities at careful and careless drivers alike.
Instead of trying to find peace in a solution, we become better fighters day by day. We devise newer strategies to defeat the purpose of a perceived enemy. Competition is the buzzword of today, not cooperation.

Anxiety, unrest, frustration, vehemence, intolerance are more venomous than explosives. They corrode an entire generation, rendering the minds infertile.

The struggle that you see outside is a struggle inside. The war that you see outside is a war within. Try not to see war, try to find peace.
Think about peace, live peacefully and be at peace with yourself.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Where does it hurt?

He : I have to go again.
She: You were away a whole year.
He : Will be gone for a year again.
She: You know I tried. You do, right?
He : Yes. If that makes you happy.
She: It doesn't.I may never forgive myself.
He : I would rather take a 100 bullets than hurt like this.
She: Don't ever say that again. I am not worth it!
He : Don't insult me by saying that.
She: I am sorry.
He : The Army's all I got. We are a selfless lot they say.Somethings not right
though.Maybe because I killed Fathers, sons, husbands, lovers.... We sin for our
fellowmen , hope they keep aside a part of their prayers for us.
He : hah...I hate it when I wallow in self pity.Just that I don't want to fool
myself anymore .Every time I convince myself that the war, the
army,my country all of it... its bigger than all of us.Now,I have 5 more days to
do that.What the heck...who wants to be convinced ...I will just go.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Brothers In Arms

[Based on the recent controversial tiff between Harbhajan and Sreesanth, which, has been blown out of proportion. Few lines on it, enjoy:]

Sree got a smack
For his antics, from Harbhajan
Who likes inviting trouble , he is in the knack
But no sweat
Everything is sorted out
Brothers in arms
They hug and kiss in dressing room
On the field, venom is what they spout
They made the TRPs soar
Now everyone is gushing, wanting more
Cricket has drama & tears
Move over daily soaps
You now have something to fear
IPL is finally here.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Bottom Line

It is universally known and accepted that you can't just kill a human. It is sin to.
But you can defend yourself. Self above other.
So we put ourselves in uniforms and simultaneously point guns at each other - self defense! Humans just love loopholes.

We claim to fight for justice and truth. But who are we kidding? My dears, in war, truth is the first casualty. There can be no winning a war.

Sure, anger and violence are inherent to human nature.
But what good is it to be human if you cannot even curb your impulses for the betterment of yourself and the world?

Nothing is impossible. Tendencies are malleable. War is evitable. It just takes a lot of love. Love is tolerance. And tolerance can replace war.

Fogive me if I sound too idealistic, but ultimately it is true:
All we need is love.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Let The War Begin

The war continues. And we are all fighting in it. But against whom are we fighting? We are fighting against Medusa. Her face changes every time. Hunger, poverty, corruption, debauched politics, casteism, misbelieves. She grows another head as soon as we curb one of her ugly heads. But she is not undefeatable! And its time for a change. We need to fight her together. Cause often we forget that united we stand divided we fall. So let’s not awaken patriotism within us on the national holiday. Lets be a patriot on each and every day. Cause we are the soldiers of our country. The fate of our country lies in our hands. Those millions of unsung heroes of this land. So, let’s make a difference. Let’s fight for a cause. Let's fight for India.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Sacrifice

The sky bore a purple haze.The dust forming a silt,a clot of blood and anonymity.The silence of the evening slowly descending with an apprehension ,it was not so silent that afternoon.
He looked at the sky,his back resting on the ground crawling with the dead and the half dead.
The evening sun gazed at the world beneath that looked even more red than its countenance,there was more fire on the battlefield than there was in its chest.
With shaking hands,he took the wallet out from his pocket;opened the flap.But closed his eyes;for the first time his unbroken courage surrendered .He couldn't look into those eyes that spoke to him every time he looked into them.

"God,I never wanted to, but you made me...I have no prayers.Give her the strength.She is all yours now..."

"Sorry for the promise,that I couldn't keep,
sorry for the nights,I know I won't let you sleep,
just don't look back,I will be there always,
but you will find some scars,biting my face,

I don't want to go,but He wants me to,
don't blame me dear,He has sinned too,
He tore the pages of my innocent prayers,
But don't you lose hope,He always cares,

This life was short and I lost it all,
I never gave up but it was the fate's call,
the truth has spoken,nothing there to confide,
but promise before I leave...we will meet on the other side."

A soldier never craves for sacrifice or a medal.We feel proud when we say that he sacrificed his life.But do we really know what really sacrificed?Is he the only one who sacrificed?Is he the only one?

Only A Soldier

He goes at the dawn
he comes back at the last hint of dusk
He fights to save you
he fights to save me
Brave at heart,raring to go

He is the son of motherland
Who puts his nation first
And himself second

He knows what is to be done
He thrives under dangers

He is the man of many hearts
Who faces his faith without a frown

At last
He didn't come in the dawn
he did not come at dusk
He fought , he fought
He fought for us
Made us winners
Lost his life
died with a smile
He was only a soldier

~This poem is dedicated to all the soldiers who lay their lives protecting us~

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Green, land
Buried, ridden
People, common people.
En masse
Fighting against Them
And They are colored, with Red
Guns, shells and cartridges.
Protests, false fragile forgotten protests
While we sleep with our
Window curtains raised

Crimson robes everywhere,
Bleeding in their color
Turning Red
The whole place
Roads blocked
Big achievements
And we still sleep with our
Window curtain raised.

History repeats itself,
They are colored!

The Last Battle

The grey sky wears a pallid haze
A faint eastern glow soaked in rain
I walk ahead, forlorn and so lost
A broken soul, an empty mind trenched in pain

'Twas the night, that hour of din
Blinded by hatred, fighting with blind compassion
Vanquishing my foes, spewing bullets in daze
I remember, those dying eyes and lolling heads so ashen

Death hangs in the air now, it moans and sings
Ravens and kites pecking at human entrails,
The echo of gunfires has subsided, the war's now won
Yet lost, a scared battlefield, as somewhere a mother wails

For the nation's glory, I butchered many a soul
Now, engulfed in ignominy, the soldier in me wanes
I mourn the death of a brother, I mourn the death of a son,
In the folds of silence, I now pray for peace, for love that remains.