Friday, October 31, 2008


Lately i have been having conversations on similar lines with a lot of friends. A number of common if onlys had been discussed. Here are a few of them which i can post in public. :) Some of them are my own, while others are common.

  • If only our passion got us enough money…
  • If only we cud dare risk the reality n monetary requirements…
  • If only we were so stinking rich that it wouldn’t matter if we didn’t earn...
  • If only we could work where we wanted to, in the field that we were passionate about without worrying about our career or future…
  • If only we were wealthy enough to learn something just for the heck of it and just for fun…
  • If only there were people around us who could identify our talents easily and guide us in the right channel…
  • If only our loved ones recognize our true passion and are proud of what we are, and understand, respect and appreciate our individuality and our beliefs...
  • If only we were a part of something big, something special, something that would make us feel really important, something that would give us a sense of accomplishment…
  • If only everybody around us could understand whatever we say in just one go!
  • If only we get what makes us really happy or we are simply an expert in being happy with what we get…
  • If only some people who are running behind us could keep up pace with us or just not expect us to wait behind for them…
  • If only we were fast enough even overtake impertinent snobs who look back and sneer at us…
  • If only we could come in terms with our conscience, which almost always tends to blame us for every mistake...
  • If only we were in the right place at the right times to grab the right opportunities…
  • If only we were innocent and ignorant of some issues… (would save a lot of pain u c..)
  • If only the Earth spinns faster and we hav lesser than 24 hrs for a day...
  • If only we lived in the Hollywood world where pain is always followed by a remedy, where loss is always followed by gain, where darkness is always followed by dawn and where coincidences almost always turn out lucky!
  • If only there was a Batman n a Spiderman n a Superman in real life…
    If only I was a part of some great adventure and my blood was full of adrenaline all the time…
  • If only I were not just a human, may be something a little more interesting, like say a Vampire- looking beautiful, smelling good, never needing to eat or sleep, with musical voice and graceful walk and really quick reflexes…
  • If only we had magical powers like witches n wizards and we could apparate n disapparate or jus use Portus or floo network. How much time and energy and fuel would be saved!
  • If only I had an alethiometer, a subtle knife to go to other worlds n a wand to use magic… (I could use Accio, Cheering Charm, Disillusionment Charm (Helps appear invisible), Evanesco (Vanishing Spell), Lumos/Nox, Silencio (Silencing Charm), Obliviate (Memory-Modifying Charm), Reparo n all on a daily basis…) Life would be so much easier, so much better n so much livelier!!

This post is subjected to modifications... i might add in more of them, as n when i think of them.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Forgotten Arts

Many a time, we would have discussed hobbies; the options present, the use of each activity that we could think of or someone might have suggested, the presence or our absence of our interest in some of them, or even the validity or worth of each. Some might consider themselves to know all the arts or might think of having specialized in most of them. Some unfortunate ones might feel that the popular arts are too expensive to learn, and hence they couldn’t afford. Some might feel disinterested in some of the arts, but might not know about the others present at all! In the ancient Hindu mythology, there is said to have been 64 different types of arts, which were taught in the schools back then and which were practiced by the commoners on a daily basis.In Srimad Bhagavatam, it is said that Lord Krishna and his brother, Balarama learn all the 64 arts listed in the ancient Hindu mythology. The following are the 64 arts, which have been translated to English from Sanskrit, and further simplified (to make sense in the present picture). I am not sure if the order is right (if at all there is one). If there are any mistakes in the translation or the simplification, please feel free to comment, and I’ll amend the list.

1) Singing
2) Playing on musical instruments
3) Ringing water-pots/creating music with water
4) Splashing with water;
5) Dancing
6) Drama
7) Preparing auspicious designs on the floor with rice grains and flowers (kolams)
8) Flower decorations at home and temple
9 Making flower garlands & preparing wreaths
10) Knowledge of how to build carts & carriages with flowers
11) Skills of cooking, eating and drinking
12) Beverage and dessert preparation
13) Embroidery, needlework and weaving
14) Spinning with a spindle & sewing (making and mending garments)
15) Making puppets dance by manipulating thin threads
16) Painting
17) Mixing colors & mosaic tiling
18) Bedroom arrangements
19) Erotic devices and knowledge of sexual arts
20) Carpentry
21) Architecture
22) Gardening and horticulture
23) Making simple mechanical devices
24) Mineralogy & mining
25) Metallurgy & metal-working
26) Jewelry making
27) Testing silver and jewels and precious stones
28) Hairdressing
29) Head adornments
30) Decorating the earlobe and forehead
31) Applying aromatics/perfumery
32) Costume decorations
33) Artful dressing
34) Art of applying colored unguents and cosmetics on the face and body
35) The art of disguise/impersonation
36) Magic and illusions
37) Manual dexterity/sleight of hand
38) Personal grooming
39) Physical culture
40) Herbal medicine
41) Healing a person with ointments
42) Designing a literary work or a medical remedy
43) Prosody and rhetoric
44) Lexicography
45) Making and solving riddles & enigmatic verses
46) Tongue twisters and difficult recitation
47) Poetry games
48) Literary recitation/reciting books
49) Composing verses mentally
50) Enacting short plays and writing and reciting anecdotes
51) Knowledge of foreign languages and provincial dialects
52) Fabricating barbarous or foreign sophistry
53) Art of conversation
54) Coding & decoding messages
55) Art of guessing
56) Memory training
57) Art of listening (and game of reciting verses from hearing)
58) Training parrots and mynas to speak
59) Personal etiquette and animal training
60) The art of training and engaging rams, cocks and quails in fighting in games of wager
61) Knowledge of various forms of gambling, aakarsha-kreedaa - playing dice
62) Knowledge of dharmic warfare, martial arts and victory
63) The use of spells, charms and omens and amulets
64) Enforcing discipline by mystic power

Wow! Compared to ancient men n women, we are pretty incompetent, aren’t we? It is our life and we do what we choose to do, n mostly, very few of the list above. We work our asses off- for what? Money! Aah. Now there is the answer! These ancient people did not weigh everything they did with money. They didn’t calculate the worth of studies according to the money it would bring in future, or the power n position it would lead to in life. They just studied what was taught by their gurus (which was everything of the above list, or at least most of them); what was essential for a healthy life. No. Money doesn’t count!
Well, can’t really blame anyone for the importance and quality of these arts were lost long back. The teachers n elders may have been at fault for not passing it on to the future generations, or the then children may have been responsible for not having learnt their lessons dutifully. Whichever it is, the very names of some of these arts are lost in the present world where the one who earns the most is considered the most talented n best disciplined!

Well, I have heard my mom mention about this vaguely a really long time back, and I thought of researching on this a little more. So here you go! Now, you have so many options, so many things that you could learn and be proud of knowing just for the sake of knowledge and interest n not for money!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Complicated Life

The real problem with the world, with her world was that most of the people around her always tended to be good by heart. All of them loved her beyond any measure, loved her company, her presence, her smell, her talk, her actions, loved her in all different ways, physically, mentally, sexually… they all needed her to be by their side, wished her to love them all the same way they did, each one of them wanted to be the one to give her everything that she ever needed n wanted, and to get their needs fulfilled by her n her alone, craved to be given a higher priority over the other, wished that she would be theirs- each one of them did. But what was she supposed to do?

The whole problem was that they were all really good, they all loved her sincerely; n ironically, she loved each one of them as much too. But is it a sin to love more than one person at a time? Oh yes, it could have been if she were cheating them by not being open about the others! But none of them seemed to back out. They were all waiting for the others to leave her. Is it a crime to stick to each one of them simply to avoid causing them pain, much though she loved them back? But why were never satisfied? How could she select among the ones she loved equally? What would happen to the others who were not selected? Will they be able to take the rejection? Rejection? Isn’t that a hard word? A rejection would be a rejection only when she stopped being there for them, when she ceased loving them. But if it caused them so much pain, why even attempt to move away? But that wouldn’t be fair on her part, fair for any of them.

Every part of her was being torn apart with the guilt of having leaded their love to a state where now, their lives would be affected massively when she moved out of it. It caused her infinite amount of pain to know that though she had been totally unaware how and when it all happened, she wasn’t able to blame anyone for her misery, after all, they were suffering too, probably way more than her, and it was all her fault. She was the reason they were being offended this way, being hurt beyond reason. She wanted them to punish her, to curse her to swear on her and to leave her n cause her the same pain that she was causing them. But alas! They just wouldn’t do it; because they were all just too caring at heart. They all wanted her to themselves. Boy! Selfish, aren’t they? They all want her because they need her. They need her to stay, to fulfill their requirements, their needs, their dreams. They needed her to make them complete, to remain alive, a tangible part of each one of them as she had become.

But none could tell the agony her heart was in. Oh wait. But some were well aware of it, but still preferred to remain impassive since they wanted her, and knew that their lives would be in jeopardy without her in it. Now is that selfishness? Trying to live, I mean. The pain was killing them all, burning their insides, poking their hearts with a thousand knives and choking them to death. But they had to get used to the pain, because it was not going to go away, ever. They had to learn to live their lives without her. They had to move on, how much ever effort it took them to do it. But did that make her feel better? NO! She felt even more miserable for having to make them adjust, for having caused all the trouble, for having killed a part of them. But she had tried to withstand. She had tried to endure the pressure of being there for everyone, resisting her own interests to such an extent that she no more even knew what she wanted. Dil ke avaz ko ithna dabaya hai ki vo kab ka khamosh ho gaya. She had pressed her heart to be there for everyone, not to betray anyone she loved at any cost, pushed herself so hard to satisfy them all, to make everyone around happy, that now, her heart had given it up, stopped speaking out, to tell her what she truly wanted, who she was more passionate about, where she wanted to be, what she wanted to do n with whom; it had stopped beating for herself.

Now that she wanted to be happy for herself, to live her life, to run as fast as she wanted, to climb to heights she had dreamt of, suddenly she is the bitch? But somehow, she couldn’t figure out which was worse, people she loved fighting for her n hurting one another, or she hurting them by taking sides, or worse, they empathizing and giving her up for one another, trying their best to feign a brave face, yet crush inside but trying to hide it from her. She didn’t know which stung more. She wasn’t even sure of what her mistake was, n yet she was there unable to stop herself from blaming herself for it all.

She wished she were dead. Sometimes, the prospect of death seemed like a gift. May be she deserved this suffering, this despair, this life. May be enduring it was her punishment. But aah! Death! What relief it could be. She wanted to hug the fate so tight, as even the very idea gave her a sense of exhilaration. It seemed like the silver lightening in the dark clouded sky. But that was not in her hands anyways. Nevertheless it might have been the best n most painless way of taking off, painless for her as well as everyone else, for it seemed like she was such a burden to a lot of people, who in a funny way, never thought of her in that aspect. But she knew. And she was willing to accept the pain, excruciating though it was in blaming herself n no one else, because she loved them too much to blame them. But some of them wouldn’t let her take it. “You were not responsible darling; you have nothing to blame yourself for. If there is anything you have given me, it’s your heart, your love. Always more than I ever deserved”. Some others said,” No sweetheart, please don’t leave me. I need you. I adore you. I love you. You are my life. You are my only hope. Please choose me. Please don’t go!” Some others even blackmailed her emotionally. “I love you so much that you have become an integral part of my life. Life without you is unthinkable. I had rather kiss death than live as a corpse.”

Now, it was way over her head. She had to make a decision. She had to prioritize as this ‘love-all’ concept was taking her nowhere. Yes. She had to make up her mind, and find out the one with whom she was the happiest, the one without whom her life was unfathomable. Yes. She was going to end up losing a lot of other people. But if they didn’t understand her need to do this, if they couldn’t value her feelings, if they weren’t able to realize her state before and after the choice, then they weren’t worth it at all. But yes. It was painful and relieving too at the same time. She felt different, for not doing the usual of ripping her heart into a number of pieces to give one to each, but patching up the broken heart of hers to a single piece and give it to a person whom she loved, and whom she felt deserved. She hoped and prayed to God, to help her heal fast, to give strength to the others who were being torn inevitably due to her decision, and to give her long happiness n peace, a without so many complications.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Aasaikku thaan oru alave illa (Desires have no boundaries)

There is this New York Life Insurance ad. It shows a whole bunch of people belonging to the same world, full of desires for things they don’t have; though they have lots of other things which others envy them for, to which they are oblivious. There is this super-cool long-haired hunk, walking down the road looking at a bike with jealousy. That bike rider looks at another passerby’s girlfriend, wishing he had one. That girl in turn yearns for a nice family with kids, looking at a young lady walking a child in a pram. This lady-with-the-kid craves for a diamond necklace displayed in a jewel store which she sees a millionaire buy. This millionaire from his side looks at the long-haired-hunk longingly for his hair, bald though he is!

Wow! I simply loved the simple portrayal of real life scenario where people always have some or the other desire deep in their heart, irrespective of what they are or what they have. There is always something that they don’t have or rather they can’t have. Not wanting anything more is probably never possible for a normal man. Even Gandhi ‘wanted’ Indian independence and then he ‘wanted’ Pakistan separation and all. So we can’t really call him ‘free from desires’. I believe that even sages ‘wanted’ peace or silence or simplicity in their life n that’s why they chose their nonchalant form of life. They do penances to get their desires fulfilled. But coming back to the present life, there are actually some people whom I see around, who say wholeheartedly that they are contented with what they have in life and they actually want their life to freeze right there n remain that way. I could actually envy them. Now don’t get me all wrong. I am definitely not jealous of them. There is always a difference between envy n jealousy. Envy is when I say “Wow! I wish I had that too… or I wish I was there too” whereas jealousy is when I say “Damn! I wish I was the One to have that… or I was the One to be there”.

Everyday I think of the things that are there with me, yet I can’t help wanting something else, something different, and something that I probably had wanted all along, but hadn’t achieved it. What if I had reached a different place? It’s a nice one too. But well! There are loads of things that I still want there too! I am definitely not selfish or greedy. But I guess these contented people are either the ones who have reached their goal n achieved exactly what they had worked for, or they have simply learnt to live with what they have without wishing further. But yet another part of me feels that desires inspire a person more than the people around, more than words or sayings, more than even their previous achievements. Desires n dreams motivate a person to visualize a target, provides them an ambition, gives a sense of purpose to their walk through the life n the strength to reach the ultimate point and encourages them to reach further and want more and finally grants them the satisfaction of having accomplished it. There are a lot of such motivational movies like Ice Princess, October Sky n many others. Though I had said before that I could envy the contented people, the truth his that I really do envy those who have identified their passion, who have worked out their goals, who have started pursuing it with full confidence and willpower, and who have even started dreaming about their success. The contented people say “I am there. I have enough. I am happy.” The pessimists say “The journey is too difficult, the destination is too far and the aim is too vague to pursue n realize.” But the optimists say “I will be there soon. I shall have it in a short while. I will touch it one day.”