LOL Belief!

No one needs to tell the modern tech savvy folks as to what LOL means, a light word representing a reaction on something you find really funny.

Surely, belief is a much more serious word, indicating that all of us have a tendency to accept the existence of some aspect of our life, which doesn’t seem to come into our experience or we are not able to comprehend and we end up believing the same.

The most talked about since times immemorial is the creator or God himself/herself or any other name that you want to refer to as, either way whether you accept or don’t accept his/her existence, you end up believing the same.

On one hand, where not being able to provide an observable and repeatable proof of some kind through randomized control trial experiments (guess that’s what modern science is all about) leads people to believing that something doesn’t exist, not realizing the possibility of such a thing to be discovered in the near future.

On the other hand, those who strongly believe in something gives them a tool to say anything and everything on the basis of the same, which can lead to exploitation or all the senseless activities that might be nothing but a consequence of exploitation of such a belief.

After all, the very fundamentals of the society were built on some kind of an imagined reality, very different from let’s say the physical reality.

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If you are wondering, what I might be referring to, take for example, a corporation (derived from the word corpus=body and referred to as a limited liability company in US), it’s very ironical that though not a physical entity, yet has an identity of it’s own, with ever lasting existence till it’s brought to a close by another concept of sorts, socio-economic-legal-political system that seems to exist since homo sapiens started dwelling together.

What is scary though, is that belief has led to wars and all kinds of destructive activities that our breed has taken all the credit for.

Being the so called educated and conditioned folks that we all claim to be and have become respectively, don’t you think, it’s after all not a bad idea to delve into skepticism, just a touch bit, to allow yourself that chance of being able to get out of the vicious circle of believing and not believing, rather seeing for yourself whether such a think exists or not, which seems to be the correct scientific approach.

The question though is, whether one can become flexible enough to different point of views and stop believing for the sake of life itself!

Source of the Image: http://www.canstockphoto.com/images-photos/belief.html

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The Artificial (AI) Temple!

If it was not for the machine learning (ML) and deep learning and any such concept which relates to Artificial Intelligence (AI), I wouldn’t have got married”, was what I heard when I attended one of the weddings recently.

The groom had no doubt that for him, Algorithm=God, for he hasn’t seen God but had certainly found the love of his life, courtesy one of the algorithms being implemented on the Facebook which helps one connect to someone whom you might know.

AI is no more a science fiction. Be it the suggestions of what you might buy, which you tend to see on the likes of Amazon, or be it the ML being used by the likes of IBM Watson, to help doctors diagnose better, AI seems to be affecting each and every aspect of our lives.

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Few might be skeptical of its use, suggesting the loss of jobs as a result of humans being replaced by machines and the resulting automation, few go on to suggest the efficient use of the same, focusing on the need for humans to develop new skills and keep evolving with time.

Few fantasize about machines taking on the humans on the lines of Matrix Triology, few go on to suggest the need for developing the machines with altruism as the basis of the same, where in machines learn from worthwhile models, which in turn enables the humans to act more responsibly and correctly, though the entire gamut of values and correctness might have their own proponents.

Whatever it might be, the day is not so far, when with or without the willingness of some, AI would start influencing all our decisions, and instead of people going to the pundits or the temples for consulting for marriage or otherwise, might actually start to approach the AI Temples build for the purpose.

Source for the Image: http://skumar813.blogspot.in/2011/04/day-in-nemmara-kerala-temple-festival_19.html

Finally Married! :D

It is not often that you get a chance to live it again, and when it happens to be India, there is a high probability that you will end up getting to experience the same just once. Well, I am talking about none other than the big fat Indian wedding.

And in this case, the wedding happened to be mine. Somehow, the feeling is yet to sink in that I, of all people, am finally married. I always knew that it would happen some day but never ever had I imagined that it would occur so soon.

Friends tell me that my life is about to take a U-turn, for the best, of course, but no one dares to share their turns and slides that they have experienced since the time they themselves got married 😉 and for those who are yet to get married, are all too excited that they will be going through the same emotions and feelings very soon.

The day before the ceremony took place, all the curious minds, which included the likes of Saty and Baba, who have been such an integral part of my writings, seemed to have shared the same question, “how are you feeling?

There can be various ways of looking at the curiosity. One could be, “Boss! you are doomed.” Second could be a more sarcastic humor, “Wow! New Start! New Wife! New Life!” And another could be, “What to say? It is happening right here, right now. The eventuality has struck”
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For those, who don’t seem to concur with all the above three, and by the way, I am a part of the same, could well say that it is one of the most amazing of moments that one can experience during one’s life time. It is the beginning of a new journey accompanied by someone whom you have loved all this while, whom you have admired all through your courtship, whom you have wanted to spend more time with, whose image is so deeply engrossed inside your heart that the moment you close your eyes and begin to imagine about something beautiful that has happened to you, her face is the first thing in the world that seems to strike a chord with your thinking.

No matter, how much you pretend to be a cool dude and act as if you were the last person in the world to have wanted to go down the marriage lane, your heart knows that you were indeed craving to get into this legal live-in relationship. 

No matter, how much you tell your friends that all your freedom will soon be lost, and you would in some ways become a wife’s man, you always wanted to grab that status with both your hands, just because of the love, admiration and respect that you have for your wife.

No matter, how much you crib about your own personal space being taken away by a second person in your life, you always wished and prayed that you may find a partner, your soul mate, who could fill up that personal space with her persona and beauty and love which you have always craved and wished for.

No matter, how much you would want to meet up your friends on a day-to-day basis, you always knew who stood first in your priority list and who would be the first person to deserve your attention when it came to sharing the spare little time that you had.

Trust me guys, it is a wonderful feeling to fall in love and to be loved, especially when the culmination of the same gets explicitly manifested in the form of a ceremony, which we all refer to as the shaadi ka laddoo, in India. 

This one is surely and truly dedicated to my wife with all my heart:

ऐ यार तेरी आशिक़ी ने हमें इतना बदल दिया, 

कि जो कभी बंदिशों का घेरा लगता था, 

वो आज एक हसीन इत्तेफ़ाक़ लगने लगा,

कहने को तो लोग इसे मोहब्बत ही कहते हैं,

पर हमें ये एक खुदा का तोहफा लगने लगा.

Source for Image: http://steadyflowblog.com/on-marriage/

Religious Indulgence!

I happened to get up real early this morning. Since, it is not often that we get to see the rising sun these days, courtesy the kind of lifestyle we all tend to lead, I decided to take a walk in order to find some solace amidst the hooplah that we generally associate with a buzzing city, which also happens to be the capital of the state where I happen to reside.

But little did I realize that today is a Tuesday. If you are wondering why I am telling you such a trivial thing like this, this Tuesday is supposedly not an ordinary Tuesday. It is what we call bada mangal in India. On this day, people flock to the temples starting very early in the morning and one can witness large cues of people standing outside the temple to get a glimpse of their most sought for God and to make sure that they offer Him all kinds of valuables in order to please Him to the extent of Him showering His blessings and love on them.JhakhuTemple_4834

Coming back to my morning exploration agenda, it turned out to be a noisy affair with people chit-chatting on the streets and pandals offering food and drinks to those who got up so early just to indulge in what I would want to refer to as the religious indulgence.

Without going into the religious beliefs that people have, as it is very much an individualistic thing, I sometimes wonder why these very people who end up going to the temples and end up praying in front of their respective Gods, end up doing acts in real life which, am sure, would make their God feel very disgruntled.

It is quite bewildering why these very people don’t realize that it is more important to be practicing good values and inculcating good habits in life rather than going to the temples on such special days and asking for forgiveness. Why in the first place should you end up in a situation where you are required to ask for forgiveness?

Isn’t it an irony that these very same people who come to the temples with all the expensive valuables, the moment they step out of the sacred place, commit acts which can, at times, make the entire humanity feel ashamed of themselves. What’s the use of doing such penance when it doesn’t seem to strike a chord in their minds as to what is right and what is wrong? Isn’t it a mockery of the religion which they practice and which supposedly preaches them the contrary of what they end up doing in their real lives?

I cannot help but think, whether the evolution of this very concept of God occured just because we humans couldn’t handle the guilt associated with the shameful acts that we all commit. And so we created temples and in turn placed a figure in the form of a statue and started referring to Him as God, who supposedly is in all ways became the karta dharta of this very World in which we all happen to be living in.

God, who was supposed to give people the strength and vision to do things in a virtuous manner, ended up being a proxy, used by the powerful and the rich and even the common man to get rid of their guilt.God

As far as I am concerned, I believe that instead of going to the temples, it is more important to practice good things in life. I am sure your God will be more happy if you end up doing just that rather than going to the temples and creating chaos and incidents like stampedes.

Source for Image: http://saysaga.com/universe-is-not-god-dont-be-pagans/, http://www.indianetzone.com/10/hanuman_temples_india.htm

 

The Words of Wisdom!

Yesterday, I had the fortune of meeting a person whom I have admired throughout my life and has been a source of inspiration whenever I found myself down and out. It was probably the last time that I was meeting him.

The man is in his late nineties and is on a ventilator. It is an irony that a man who has been instrumental in breathing life in so many, is now himself struggling to get that one gasp of air and is surviving, courtesy the ventilator that has come to his rescue.

On entering his room in the hospital, the sight of him lying on a bed with the ventilator on, brought tears in my eyes and I could barely speak. As had always been the case, and true to his nature, he took the initiative of breaking the silence that had ensued there in the room.wisdom

Kush, how have you been, son?” Even in the state that he happens to find himself in, the sight of seeing someone he knows, springs him back into the positivity that I have always found associated with him.

Son, I was wondering whether I will be able to meet you before I bid adieu to this world.” He carried on as I sat next to his bed on a chair.

You know, Kush, I have had a great life and have no regrets what so ever. But sometimes, I feel bemused by the kind of importance we tend to give to certain things at certain point of time in our lives. How insignificant they are, we only realize when, say, we are on our death bed. May be, that is because our priorities and the maturity level associated with the same are bound to change with time and I guess it is a natural progression for one to be moving through all the ashrams that are so well described in our Hindu religious texts.

It is only now, that I realize what a great man my father was. What great thinking he possessed. With the kind of simplicity that he led his life, he was sure to derive immense pleasure and satisfaction. He always used to tell me about the virtues associated with simple living and high thinking. But how naive I was at that time, to have not taken him seriously. I guess that’s because of the generation gap that we had amongst us and no matter how hard he tried explaining the same to me, I wouldn’t listen believing that what I thought was right.

Now, when I tell my children the same things, they don’t take me seriously. I am sure they will only realize when their time would come. This makes me wonder about how well this cycle of life is inscribed on our slate of destiny. At the end of the day, all the materialistic pleasures and things like ego, self-esteem don’t really matter. What you leave behind is your deeds and emotions and reactions associated with those deeds. It is your choice, after all as to how you would want to be remembered once you are gone.

As he spoke, the doctor walked in, “Mr. Sharma, how are you feeling you? You are not supposed to talk this much. So take some rest.”

Doctor, these are possibly going to be my last words. And here you are telling me to withhold even these.” He smiled back at the doctor, who signalled at me, that it was time for the check up and that I needed to leave.

I got up from the chair and took his blessings. As I walked out of the room, I wondered whether I will be able to see him again and the words of wisdom that he had spoken resonated inside me: “What you leave behind is your deeds and emotions and reactions associated with those deeds. It is your choice, after all as to how you would want to be remembered once you are gone.

On second thoughts, does it really matter how one remembers us? Does it have any kind of bearing on what we are going to do when we are gone from here? And for that matter, should we really care about the manner in which this world might want to look at us?Doing-Good_web

Well, to be frank, the answer to all the above lies in, “it won’t really matter once we are gone.” But somehow, whether we like it or not, we do leave a legacy behind us in the form of our children and grandchildren. So, even if we are being really selfish and are concerned about ourselves and even if doing good in this kalyug might not be the aim of our lives, we cannot just ignore our near and dear ones, as they are the ones who might have to bear the brunt of all what we did in our lives.

In that case, the best option is to chose a path where one is able to do good for others and to others. I agree that it might not be the easiest of paths to tread, but one thing that I can assure you is that it is indeed one of the most satisfying of paths that you will ever tread in your life.

Source for Image: http://www.placeofblissacademy.com/Wisdom-Sanctuary.html, http://www.unitedmethodistreporter.com/2012/07/qa-doing-good-being-holy/

 

The Ubiquitous Concept!

It is extremely fascinating to witness how our mind transforms at a pace which is incomprehensible and truly admirable. Mind, which consists of unlimited memories, seems to drive us crazy by keeping us hooked on to something in an era in one instant and then, in the next, take us to a totally different era, where we might find ourselves reminiscing and reliving the very same moments which once upon a time, seemed so significant to us and might not seem to have much significance now, considering that we have evolved and have managed to move on.

It is not that everytime, we tend to remember good things. There are times, when the bad ones do come to haunt us and we feel wanting seeing us not being able to cope up with the same. Even if we manage to come out of it, more often than not, we are left with bad taste and are left with no option but to indulge in activities which help us come out of the impact that such remembrance might have had on our psyche.OpenYourMind1

It is also not that everytime, we tend to remember our own experiences. It might be a story that had been told to us by someone, holding much significance in our lives or it might be a movie scene that tend to have a lasting imprint on our minds, which no matter how much we want, we are unable to get rid of the same, in case it is a bad one. The good ones, are ofcourse, savoured and well kept in our memories.

This brings us to the question: Is it in our hands to enable a good or a bad memory to surface in what I call the reality horizon? Can we prevent the bad ones and allow only the good ones to enter our consciousness? Can we indeed develop a mechanism and hence a device which will enable us to do just the above?

The answers to the above can be well discovered and found in many of the sci-fi movies being made mostly in Hollywood. I haven’t come across anything like that in reality which can control our minds more than what we can. May be sometime in the future, with the pace of evolution of artificial intelligence, we might end up seeing such a feat being achieved during my life time.

Some would answer the same saying that it depends on whether we have a positive or a negative mindset. In case of the latter, the bad memories have a higher probability of finding their way out into our consciousness. Does it mean that we should try to avoid thinking negatively and try to maintain a positive frame of mind at all times? And if it does, then how, on earth, are we supposed to ignore all the bad things that might be happening to us.

Some tend to take the help of a concept that we all are so familiar with and which is the concept of destiny and rebirth. All the things that do not tend to find resonance with good things in life, they attribute it to their destiny which seems to be playing games with them, at all times, irrespecitve of our liking or disliking for the same.

What is more ironical are the claims put forth by this concept of destiny. It tells us that everything had been fixed the very moment we all took birth on this planet, based on what we might have done in our previous births. The things that are supposed to happen and have been preplanned will happen. The only thing that one can do is to decrease the severity of a bad thing and increase the joy that a good thing might bring to us by behaving in a manner, as suggested by the proponents of this science, which they all call Astrology.destiny

For me, it is very difficult to accept that everything had been written for me, and I am just living a life like a robot over which I don’t have any control what so ever. So, I choose not to accept the concept as it is. But that doesn’t mean that I reject the concept totally as well.

This concept of destiny helps me to overcome my setbacks, if and when I face in my life. After having done all the hard work, if still I don’t get what I desired, in order to overcome the disappointment I tend to use this concept to my advantage. After all, it is extremely convenient to get rid of our failure and the disappointment arising out of the same by saying: it was God who didn’t want this for us, for He had conceptualised a life very different from what we might have been contemplating and after all whatever happens is for good.

Why I tend to fall back on such an irrational concept is because there are so many things which tend to be irrational in this World, and for which we are not able to find any logical and rational explanation, and we are left with no other option but to leave things as it is with our hands folded in front of the Almighty.

Until the truth is discovered, we cannot tell for sure, as to what it is. In the current scenario with the amount of information at our disposal, we are left with little option but to fall back once again on our beliefs, which we all tend to label as our Destiny.

Moreover, if it is helping one to get out of depression mode, then what can be better than taking refuge in the same. As long as it is not making you a lethargic person, it has beneficial effects. The moment one starts to use it as an excuse for all our failures and lack of hard work, it loses its essence.

For all those who believe in the same, you must not use it as an excuse for not being able to achieve something in life. It should only help you get over your disappointments and rejuvenate you to work harder. For those who don’t believe in the concept, instead of feeling low and lost, it might not be such a bad option to fall back on this ubiquitous concept of DESTINY.

Source for Image: http://worldpulse.com/node/60540, http://www.indiedb.com/groups/unity-devs/features/6-steps-to-play-with-players-mind

Meri Ma!

This very morning, I came across an article on fb as I was browsing through, which really brought out the emotions in me, the emotions which form such an essential part of the human persona.

The article was about this lady, who hid her child beneath her body, when the earthquake demolished her house and in the process succumbed to her injuries. When the child was taken out of the debris, the child was sound asleep and had a mobile placed next to her and it said: If you are alive, then always remember that I love you.

As I am writing these words, it has brought back the picture that I saw while reading the article in the morning. This kind of love, for me, goes beyond the very concept of love and care that a mother can have towards her child. If this is not divine then what is it and this form of love is extremely pure.

How many of us take our mothers for granted. While she keeps pouring all the love on us and the little we can do on our part is to keep her happy, not just because she does so much for us but also in order to respect the very selfless and devoted love that she happens to pour on us over and over again without really getting tired.mother-and-child

This form of love is really inexplicable and a very rare and a precious thing. I was once told by my grandmother that only a woman and especially a mom can understand what goes inside a woman when she thinks about her son or daughter and this feeling cannot be emulated by any other person but the mother herself.

I can keep writing about how wonderful a relationship a mother has with her child. But don’t you think that some things are beyond any sort of explanation or writing and it would be truly bemeaning to write more about this wonderful relationship.

There is only one advice that I would like to give and one line that I would like to add, though: all the kids out there, cherish and savour this wonder relationship that you have with your mom, for there will be no other person in the world who will love you for what you are.

Source for Image: http://ashishdadgaa.blogspot.in/2012/08/mothermy-first-love.html

 

OMG!

After a long time, I have had the pleasure of watching one of the most meaningful of movies I have ever seen. With such a versatile actor as Paresh Rawal to adorn the star cast, the movie is in all senses a must watch.

What amazes me the most is the manner in which  a mystical concept such as God is presented and catered to in such a rational and logical manner. It is indeed a blow to the many gurus and sadhus who claim to be representatives of the Almighty on Planet Earth.

The sheer grit and simplicity of the protagonist is depicted in a very non-partisan and in an unusual way at the same time upholding the integrity of middle class values and essence of life.

All in all, I would recommend all of you, if you haven’t watched the movie till date, to go and watch it, for there is something for each and every one of us to learn and admire from the movie.

Source for Image: http://searchandhra.com/hindi-movies/omg-oh-my-god-hindi-movie