Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What we are looking for

the looking itself is a trace
of what we are looking for.

But we have been more like the man
who sits on his donkey
and asks the donkey where to go.
(Rumi, ‘A Bowl Fallen From The Roof’)

That’s exactly what I was searching for, but wasn’t able to put in words…Rumi helped me. I have been questioned hundreds of times, mainly from the near & dear ones, what am I looking for? No answer or some feeble answers which ends with photography, film-making, writing articles and scripts or reading poetry. I think life has started the journey on the very day I was born, but the destination is not known so far. With every passing day, it seems like the fog will disappear and I’ll be able to read the board where destiny has scribbled my destination. But alas, with every passing day, the mist becomes little clearer, but someone says in my ears that I need to walk few more miles to see the board. And that’s making the journey more interesting.

How many of us really question ourselves what we are looking for? Most of us are actually fooling ourselves by keeping busy either with the day job, loving undeserving lovers, or raising children. Once you make this question to life, certainly life starts showing the indications. Probably those are the omens of life that we need to follow. Paulo Coelho wrote in ‘The Alchemist’ that those omens are audible only in childhood. But as we grow up by disobeying them, their sound becomes feeble for us to listen and finally they disappear as we too disappear in ‘keeping ourselves busy’. But I guess they are always there, we just need to spend more and more time with ourselves and those omens will be audible again.

But it’s never late; even if you are at the crossroads of life & death. The mist will be clear today or tomorrow or the day after. The journey continues, but this time without asking the donkey.

The pride of 26 January

After long years I had a chance to see the parade of Indian Armed Forces on the occasion of the Republic Day, 26th January, well on television. The straight backs, flawless uniforms, the march-past, and the patriotic tunes from their different bands again made me feel proud to be an Indian. And hats-off to those Nayaks, Subedars, Captains, Brigadiers and all of them who spends day-in and day-out so that we can party around and have a peaceful sleep after getting drunk!

The glory of the Rajputana Regiment, history of Sikh Regiment, the Gorkhas, the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy – every segment of the Armed Forces were showing off their pride on this parade. There were lots of kids had come to enjoy this parade in this chilling morning of Delhi; and I was thinking if today’s parade can inspire at least one hundred of them to join the Armed Forces, Indian will never have empty positions at the top level of any segment of the forces.

I’m not sure why, but my specs just got little foggy like this misty morning of Delhi after seeing this.

Long live India!!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Alone @ the eastern coast

This is the first post of this year, and starting with a small travelogue. I was looking for a break to spend some time with myself, my unfed soul for some time, and the time came when a meeting was scheduled in Chennai last week. Just at that moment I decided to spend couple of days in Pondicherry and be talkative to myself.

My journey started around 7 PM in a state transport bus from Chennai bus depot. Thanks to the driver, I got a lone seat just at the front of the bus – I guess not being able to communicate in Tamil helped here. The East Coast Road was an awesome drive, and I’m sure it would feel hundred times better in day-time. Perhaps I’ll try it next time.

I had booked a place to stay which is absolutely a backpacker’s accommodation with basic amenities, but I’ve no complaints. Manoj Dixit – owner of the house is an artist and what can be better staying in mid of hundred paintings?! Next day morning I started my walk by the sea of Pondy and then a visit to the famous Aurobindo Ashram. To my surprise, I found a violin & guitar concert will be performed at the ‘Hall of Heritage’ there. I didn’t want to miss that – hardly have I got a chance to listen to a concert on a Sunday morning in my city life, and it was fascinating!

After that I started my tour on a rented bike – the best vehicle one can have in Pondicherry. I drove down to Auroville, but it was more of an over-hyped place I found. But the Auro beach is beautiful with its golden sand and loads of fishing boats and nets. I inquired with the fishermen there and came to know they usually go to the sea by around 3 in the morning and come back by 8 with the day’s catch. Right there I decided to come back to this beach next morning and I was sure it would give me some good shots on the life of fishermen and I wasn’t wrong.

Pondicherry is a place of some authentic continental food. Le Terrace, Le Club are the 2 restaurants I tried and both of them served some fantastic beef steak & barbecued chicken – though priced on the little higher side. Also, if you Chinese food lover, don’t miss ‘Chinatown’ on the canal road, located above ‘Hot-Breads’. They had made an awesome black-peeper chicken.

Thanks to the 24x7 bus service to & from Chennai, I was able to catch my early morning flight to Mumbai from Chennai even after leaving Pondicherry at 11:30 on the previous night. These couple of days is really well-spent and helped me to come to terms in many ways which actually went haywire for some time. Certainly few hundred trips more to Pondy will never be boring; am in love!