The whole world is in conflict, either in the form of war or disputes. In families there are conflicts in relations. If you observe closely, you would discover a conflict within yourself — your ideals and philosophy against the practical wisdom on how to survive the world. Your professional life is nearly always in conflict with your personal life.Continue reading
What is a friend? When do you decide to call a person as your friend? You say ”A friend in need is a friend indeed”. But as far as my memory goes, I have tried my best to help everyone who sought my help — irrespective of whether they were acquaintances or not. On the occasions when I could not help, it was solely because of my limited potential and capabilities. If you tend to help only selected individuals who come in your ‘friend circle’ and shut your doors to everybody else, then I would say that you might be a good friend to your fellows, but not a human being. As for relationships, you need not tie people into bonds in order to love them. Love freely, expand yourself, spread happiness.
I have never been able to understand Friendship Day, or for that matter, any similar day — be it Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or Valentine’s Day. It might be the norm in the countries and cultures where the individual is more important and people tend to live an isolated life. As soon as children grow up, they live separately and only on selected days meet their parents — after seeking an appointment. When such is the norm, I doubt if friendship has any more meaning than a mutually beneficial agreement with unwritten clauses. All this is unthinkable for Indians. Here our ethics tell us to sacrifice the individual for the family, sacrifice the family for the nation, sacrifice the nation for humanity, and to sacrifice everything for the Divine. We believe in relations, and making and keeping bonds. Relations come first and are the foremost consideration in every decision making. I do not see any sense in having a special day to celebrate a particular relation; for me, every day is Mother’s Day, every day is Father’s Day and every day is Friendship Day.
There are a fixed 24 hours in a day. And also your capacity is limited. You have to manage everything within these resources. You cannot spend your time watching cricket and movies, discussing politics, gossiping, fighting with your spouse, and yet aspire to be an artist, writer, scientist. All these occupations demand enormous concentration, perseverance, practice. A lot many sacrifices have to be made. You have to make a choice — either select the good or the pleasant. If you aspire to rise higher than everyone else, you have to choose the good and let go the pleasant. Unfortunately there is no other way.
In one of my earlier posts i mentioned the importance of maintaining a harmony among different planes of our being — physical, mental and spiritual. In another post I explored various reasons behind the over-occupation with the physical while ignoring the mental plane. My hypothesis is that this preoccupation is due to an eagerness to impress others who are more likely to see our physical plane rather than the mental plane.Continue reading
I noted in an earlier post that the personality of any individual is made up of body, mind and soul. I stressed that the development of any individual should be harmonious and include growth on all three planes. As I pondered over that point, I realised that the subject is not so simple as it seems. In this post I mention two such additional aspects of the harmony of the three planes. At the same time, I encourage you to think over it and share your own insights on this subject.Continue reading
“खन्ना का असली नाम खन्ना था। वैसे ही, जैसे तिलक, पटेल, गाँधी, नेहरू आदि हमारे यहाँ जाति के नहीं, बल्कि व्यक्ति के नाम हैं। इस देश में जाति-प्रथा को दूर करने की यही एक सीधी-सी तरकीब है। जाति से उसका नाम छीनकर उसे किसी आदमी का नाम बना देने से जाति के पास और कुछ नहीं रह जाता। वह अपने-आप ख़त्म हो जाती है।” (श्रीलाल शुक्ल, राग दरबारी)
[Translation: “Khanna’s real name was Khanna. Just as in our country Tilak, Patel, Gandhi, Nehru etc are not names of castes, rather of person. This only is the simplest way to get rid of casteism in this country. By taking away the name from any caste and making it the name of any individual, nothing is left with the caste. It disappears on its own.” (Srilal Shukla, Raag Darbari)]Continue reading
Once I sent my drawings to a friend; she liked them and from then on she started asking regularly whether I have made any new art work or not. On the other hand, I am not able to produce artworks on a regular basis, however hard I try. So the next time this girl asked me for any new painting, I didn’t have anything to show. I was also afraid that she would start giving me sermons on the need of a more disciplined life and to be regular in art — all that stuff which I had heard several times from her and others. So in order to escape from rebuke, I searched my hard disk and sent the photograph of a very old painting which I had made long back. She replied, “Wow this is very nice work! I should say your painting skills have improved a lot! Great work!“ This was the first instance of fake appreciation for me. She was trying to tell me that I had made great progress in art but her facts were incorrect. I immediately understood that she was simply passing superficial comments and perfunctory appreciation.Continue reading
Wish you a very happy Makar Sankranti!
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In my previous post I wrote about acquiring a language while living among its native speakers. Another opportunity for learning a language is presented by demands of workplace. This is particularly the case with English. You might recall that earlier German was the language of science communication, as also was French. Slowly English took over due to several ‘natural’ and ‘artificial’ causes. Perhaps you are involved in scientific research, and your work demands reading, writing, collaborating, exchanging emails, giving seminars and presentations, communicating manuscripts and so on. Consequently, during your PhD you get ample opportunity to practise and hone up your English language skills. However, unlike the previous case, here it is not optional, as your bread and butter, and to a certain extent, your academic survival depends on how comfortable are you with this language. You are not supposed to win a Nobel Prize in literature, nor will you be asked to write a masterpiece like Shakespeare or Milton. Writing a paper or giving a talk which your readers or audience may easily understand and enjoy is all that is expected from you.Continue reading