Monday, June 03, 2013

Nervous association of ideas

Many-a-times when someone proposes something or does something, I am immediately uncomfortable with it. Neither am I able to express it in words nor to myself why I think there is something wrong with the idea/ happening. I just understand it tacitly... It is quite irritating for oneself to not understand why you are opposed to something.Of course still, people may want to rationally argue out your resentment.

It takes some time of thinking and getting at it from various angles that suddenly there is an illumination. What was known tacitly gets expressed in a rational 'human' vocabulary of rules and principles. And strange, as soon as it gets thus expressed, it all fits in well. Occasionally, I not only find why I was opposed to the idea, but also find a snag to the reasoning.That leads to a corrective.


Interestingly, my understanding is that a lot of these evaluation of things based on the principles I rationally believe in, are pushed into lower levels of the brain (like trained circuits), which I am not conscious about. Even before the conscious part of the brain takes charge to evaluate the idea, the trained non-conscious part passes on its judgment. Of course the judgment can be incorrect, hopelessly in small number of cases, but it is a quick effortless judgment which gives guidance to the conscious part to re-evalutate. On the other hand, if you find a snag, there is a signal to re-train the circuits... I find it very useful, even though irritating.

Vivekananda called this 'nervous association of ideas'! I guess there are other terms/expressions for it.

Have you experienced it?

-Varun
03-June-2013

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Afloat

To remain afloat over the trivialities of life is quite an art. And one art, which is quite useful. The afloat lotus not only gets a lot of sunshine, but is a delightful spectacle for those near and spreads a subtle fragrance far and wide.


Being lotus...



-Varun
June 02, 2012

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Chalta hai!

My biggest fear is to get accustomed to injustice and mediocrity....

And think it is pragmatism!

15 September 2011

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Most Beautiful Movie

I happened to see parts of Subhash Ghai's 'Black and White' again on Friday. I like to call it the most 'beautiful' movie Ghai ever made. The the subtlety of humanity depicted, the strength of each character, the charm of Old Delhi and restraint of the director leaves one spell-bound ... and the key message that violence breeds violence is weaved effortlessly in the movie.

I often like to call 'Black and White' the movie, where Anil Kapoor plays Gandhi and his daughter (in the movie) plays Anne Frank. Whereas with Gandhi, the director weaves grace, with Anne Frank, he delivers magic. You need to see it to know it.

I recommend the movie to one and all. It is education. No doubt, it failed to deliver any money to the director/producer!

PS: Watch Dharma of Pankaj Dheer for another masterpiece.

Varun
20 June, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lincoln and Ram

I recently completed a version of Lincoln's biography. I could not but keep being reminded of Maryada Purushottam Ram. Like Ram, Lincoln was honest, truthful and would not do 'evil' to his opponent. Not doing evil does not mean non-violence! It means fairness, right intent and not let personal grudge color morality. It is devotion and 'belief' in truth and only truth.

Two things I would like to quote from the book, one which Lincoln said and one which a friend of his said about him:

- Lincoln said, "Here are twenty three ministers of different denominations and all of them are against me but three, and here are a great many prominent members of the churches, a very large majority of whom are against me. Mr Bateman, I am not a christian - God know I would be one - but I have clearly read the Bible and I do not so understand this book." He drew from his pocket his new testament. 'These men well know I am for freedom of the territories, freedom everywhere as far as the Constitution and laws will permit, and that my opponents are for slavery. They know this, and yet, with this book in their hands, in the light of which human bondage cannot live a moment, they are going to vote against me. I do not understand it at all."

After a long pause, he added with tears, "I know there is a God and that he hates injustice and slavery. I see the storm coming and I know his hand is in it. He has a place and work for me - and I think he had -I believe I am ready. I am nothing, but truth is everything. I know I am right because I know that liberty is right, for Christ teaches it and Christ is God. I have told them that a house divided against itself cannot stand and Christ and reason say the same; and they will find it so. Douglas does not care if slavery is voted up or down, but God cares and humanity cares and I care and with God's help I shall not fail. I may not see the end; but it will come and I shall be vindicated; and these men will find that they have not read their bibles aright."

- Noah Brooks in Harper's Monthly Junly 1865:
"Though the intellecutal man had greatly grown meantime, few persons would recognize the heart, blithesome, genial and wiry Abraham Lincoln of earlier days in the sixteenth President of the United States, with his stooping figure, dull eyes, careworn face and languid frame. The old clear laugh never came back; the even temper was some times disturbed; and charity for all was often turned into unwonted suspicion of the motives of men, whose selfishness caused him much wear of mind."

Noah Brooks said in Scribner's monthly for Feb 1878:
" There was [in 1862] over his face an expression of sadness and a faraway look in the eyes, which were utterly unlike Lincoln of other days... I confess that I was so pained that I could almost shed a tear... By and by, I knew him better, his face was often full of mirth and enjoyment, and even when he was pensive or gloomy, his features were lighted up very much as a clouded alabaster vase might be softly illuminated by a light within."

I some times feel like Lincoln, at a burden of responsibility, much lesser...

Thanks
Varun
25 March 2010

Friday, February 05, 2010

Why Rahul is not a Gandhi

Rahul is not a Gandhi. Not that I am questioning his right to the name of Gandhi, but I do not think his current activities of connecting with the masses are Gandhian!

At the outset, I must clarify that I have always nurtured respect for the symbolism of Rahul's campaign of visiting villages, spending time with the common man and sending a message that he 'cares'. Even, if it is a political drama, at the least it is pretension of the right things, rather than 'pretending' to be a muslim or a hindu basher/supporter to gain votes or be a regional or a caste champion. These are bad pretensions, bad stands and building the wrong rhetoric. Rahul's is a better pretension to get votes, he is atleast asking for votes on the plank of development! So I like him for that.

On the other hand, he might be Gandhian in the popular discourse or the symbolism, but not in the actual. And that is why it is a pretension. Since I never tried to study it in detail, I have very anecdotal evidence for the same. Thus it is fair if you are dismissive of it. A few minutes back I was watching the video of Rahul traveling in the local train in Mumbai leaving aside the helicopter stationed for him. The reporter said 'to the delight of his co-passengers', Rahul traveled in the local train to experience it and be able to listen to the problems of the common man. Quite ironically, the same footage showed the security guards sorrounding 'Gandhi' pushing people like animals to make space for Rahul to walk. Rahul watched on as his security maltreated the common man to make 'space' for him to talk to the common man. This was understandable if the common man had come to 'see' (darsanam?) Gandhi and were creating ruckus. May be then it was legitimate for pushing them around to control the crowd. But here, on the contrary, the space belonged to the common man, who was on their day's work and it was Rahul who was intruding and his men creating ruckus. Of course, this is not Gandhism. Gandhi wouldn't have watched on while such treatment was met out, on pretext of his visit!

So I am all for Rahul's pretension of the right, but then it is a pretension, a symbolism.

See the video here: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/videoshow/5538954.cms

PS: I am always apolitical in my writings and stands... but this one was instinctive.

-Varun
5 Feb 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

Guru

My guru died more than 100 years back. Whereas an Eklavya made a moorti of his guru and felt his presence, my guru talks to me through his various talks, books and exemplary life. Whereas Ekalvya's guru asked him for his thumb, my guru has asked me for nothing, he does not believe in guru-dakshana, he did not believe in shopkeeping. Whereas Eklavya made no good when he met his guru in actual, I will be blessed and enthralled the day I meet my GURU in person. No doubt my guru asks me for nothing, but i feel like serving him with my heart's blood and serving him means just serving the living God....

At times, I feel his need all the more, when surrounded with question, puzzles, dilemmas and when looking for support.

Gurudev, where are you?

Varun
Jan 18, 2009