Gratitude


Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful. Buddha

Gratitude speaks volumes of the favors received,
some asked for, some granted,

some coming unexpectedly,
called miracles that are so Godly.

I thank thee for thy blessings,
granted through my mutterings,
for things that I need,
and for things I do not need.

Ye has given me what I need,
some through my plead,
some without any,
for your graces are many,
and your love abundant.

Oh! Lord, I pour out to you,
with words of gratitude….

Above are a few lines I scribbled. The first time I ever attempted writing a poem.
Gratitude well the name says it all, I am not boring you with any lengthy discourses. Just I hope you study the picture and get the meaning.
Cheers!

The Wall

Ever since I came across the article that said that the American administration in Iraq is building a wall to separate the various factions in the Anbar province, the various ‘walls’ that have sprung up in the world before came into my notice..Well before this banter gets off…Wikipedia tells that a wall is a

‘………is a usually solid structure that defines and sometimes protects an area. Most commonly, a wall delineates a building and supports its superstructure, separates space in buildings into rooms, or protects or delineates a space in the open air. There are three principal types of structural walls: building walls, exterior boundary walls, and retaining walls….’

World over we have seen different walls springing up in different parts of the world..some for protection purposes, some purely divisive and some general purpose…Nothing has fascinated me like the Great Wall of China too….but the walls that divide people are the ones that intrigue me and the basis for this article.!
The Berlin wall was conceived by the East German administration of Walter and approved by Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev it was built during the post-World war 2 period of divided Germany, in an effort to stop the drain of labour and economic output associated with the daily migration of huge numbers of professionals and skilled workers from East to West Berlin, and the attendant defections, which hurt the Communist bloc economically and politically. Well effectively it did was divide the people of Germany for one full generation till its fall in 1989. Germany has grown stupendously ever since.

Does walls work? The walls built by Israel separating the Palestinians from the Israelites long time back..Oops! it wasn’t a wall, fence..whatever….Well the purpose the fence was built was to make sure that the attacks on the Jewish settlers reduce…did it ? it hasn’t…! Americans building another wall in Anbar province…to protect whom ?

So far I have discussed about the physical walls that separate people..For a moment let’s go to the basics. Human beings anatomically are the same with each species both male and female with identical features neverthless to say…and human beings are born for inter-dependance. Has it been the case in today’s world? The mental walls between the people are too great..We live in a world of stereotypes…Either you are black/white, christian/muslim, sunni/shia, roman catholic/protestant, indian/arab/english….whatever..at what cost…Look at Africa…We have been too busy stereotyping ourselves that, a continent of lost people inflicted with diseases and poverty…who is responsible ? A choking mother nature, broken families….humor seems to have lost its worth! We see people everywhere struggling to make a mark in life…Work and work..all the money we earn is just not enough to satisfy our needs…spiritually we are drained..going from one god to another..what’s the use…still we are inside newer walls?

It took East Germans a generation to understand their folly…Today the progress of Germany is astounding…Bring down the walls that bind us..We need a society of people minus stereotypes…Where man thinks alike, where each man learns to respect each other for what we are and not what we can become..

The Israelites went around the wall of Jericho for seven days, shouting praises to God…the seventh day, the wall fell…When will we go around our walls of despair ?

Image courtesy: Israeli-Palestinian wall.  http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3d/Israel-Palestinian_Wall_Ich_Bin_Eine_Berliner.jpg

The Will to Live!

It was months back in a desolate oil production facility that I first came across Jigsaw and his antics in the acclaimed movie franchise Saw. I saw the second version of the franchise then and this week took the third version too. Well the second version was cunningly brilliant, the third part was logically excellent!! Hey whats that…both sound well similar..No folks this is not another movie review and I am not going to play a game as Mr. Jigsaw does…..but I may be lying…Read on!
The will to live…the value of life has haunted people since time immemorial. Ever seen animals ? We see how foxes outfoxes lambs and gobbles them as food..lion, tigers after prey..vultures after the dead. Well the last one is an aberration, think about the other two. Preys to a cunning terminator higher than the animal in the food cycle. Well the food cycle has to go. Herbivorous, Carnivorous….Omnivorous!! the familiar terms from the Science classes. Still the prey never exhibits the slightest emotion. Slowly, steadily the food cycle continues!
Now human beings the last but one link in the food cycle..No one above him to devours him alive except under strange circumstances, still we know after man comes the vultures ( I forgot that term..yes I remember scavengers). Yet they too feed on the dead. Again too slowly and steadily!
Why does man value his life so much ? Think about this. We have a man on top of the Eiffel Tower ready to jump to his gory glorified end. Looks up and ready to jump. Let’s call him…Ben. I go there..
“Hello Ben…How are you?”
“I am not fine..Go..Don’t disturb me”
“Hey Ben I am not gonna disturb you. I know exactly what you are going to do”
“Oh yea! great…Now get the f**k outta here. Stop pissing around”
“Ben..Come on man…I will help you die. Why dont we play a game ?”
“What game ? I ain’t coming for any game..Just leave me alone”
“No Ben I am not gonna leave you’ I catch him by the arm, twist it and chains him, ties the key to his neck..pushes him to the rail with head out, tie the legs on to the railings, hanging him by the leg! with head viewing the awaiting glory beneath. “So Ben you want to die…Why don’t you experience it and die ?” Attaching a timed explosive to his waist..”Untie yourself before a minute and try getting out, else be doomed..” Does Ben come out in time ? Lets see…
Ben was the epitome of a failed life. For him life was a complete failure. Life dint mean anything to him. With his lover leaving for greener pastures, rising debts and joblessness, life was never ever better for Ben. So ending it was the easier way out..He never bothered with the hard way! Well does he make it now with the hard way to escape….or does he cherish the hard way to die himself ? The game continues….

The hardest part in life is living it…No doubt..The easiest part is leaving it also!! That’s how things work out. Jigsaw’s tests wanted to change their opinions with life and as we see his protege Amanda who survives his test in the first part….turns into a cold blooded murderer and ultimately failing the test of the master in the final part. Life still have to be experienced. My grandfather used to say ‘Its easier to swim in calm water than in rough waters!!’. Life is like that. We go ahead doing the hard things..Easier things bring us down no doubt..Well Ben did try the easy way out of life…But hey when given the hard option the man is yelling and crying for his life….! Why is that so ? Well that’s when the will to live begins to form…Ben dint survive the game…Are you ready to play the game ?
Jigsaw din’t like people who murder for the sake of it…He just tests the will of the people to live….So where is the wil to live ?

Mr.Bean: Life,Humour & Me

Mr. Bean..the man of infinite laughter and humour. I heard somewhere it only takes a genius to play a fool and Mr.Bean is one hell of an example for that. The tough situations he faces in life and how easily he finds a solution to them are commendable. As I write I am thinking of the church scene in one of the tele-series episodes where he croons…Hallelujiah…drew me to laughter. It is a best example of how we complicate minor things as church going. We are all dressed up and damn serious….crooning worship songs with high degree of complicity…when there is nothing but the same thingy over and over again every week and we end up not enjoying the whole purpose of the situation. Recently I was going through a fellow blogger’s blog in the blogosphere and it astounded me with one of the generalisations he made which is that we pretend to be busy, pretend to be serious. Mr.Bean (a personal inspiration to me ) is a slap on the face of those people.Well this is a funny blog with no intention of getting serious..I dint want to make Mr. Bean cry……! Remember those scenes from the TV series..especially the one in which he was with this damn sick kid and was making all sort of gimmicks to make him smile and laugh…without knowing that the kid was sick. So kid pukes into the sick bag and Mr.Bean unknowingly converts the bag to a balloon and bursts it to make the kid laugh…! We did laugh!. the scene with the queen….all of them are so memorable, so innocent. What do you call a person like Bean? Fool? I will slay the person who calls him a fool…As I said in the beginning, it takes a genius to play a fool!. I am not writing this article as a prelude to watching the latest Bean movie or promoting it…but the gimmicks he does are actually serious in the damn silly, silly world that you and yours truly are part of!!

Somebody has once said…It is very difficult to make someone laugh easier to make him cry..Its true. Humour can be of many forms. It should be short lived and to the point-direct and provoking. We cant be like Mr.Bean, being the fool at all the time.but think of how can we make life so simpler with happiness all the time.
Ok ok this is not turning out to be damn speech n humourless. Think about Mr.Bean as he went around the town playing the golf ball thingy.The visit to the dentist, come on all these are thought provoking. This man is damn selfish, insensitive….he lives in his damn silly crazy world with no idea and bother on how other people feel or think about him! We can’t live in today’s world too like that…We will end up sooner in a mental asylum without a question.
Think about the scene with the butlers….The man did how he ordered for steak and how he ended up eating it…Or the movie where though accidentally the kid is resuscitated from death….the examples of these man are horrendous..They loiter between the narrow alley of fantasy and reality…Seldom life is luckier like that.
am I overdoing all I said in the beginning…Never..We have is a unique creation of a man with amazing contrasts and since we have so many examples of buffoonery around us its hardly surprising!
Lemme finish this banter with the scene from the movie…he goes around America after getting (finally) into the good books of his (pissed off!!) hosts. Saluting a rash driver on the road with the Englishman’s ‘hi’ only to be replied with a the everyman middle finger fantasy!!
Life ain’t getting better!! H-a-l-l-e-l-u-j-i-a-h

Spartans! Ready your breakfast and eat hearty… For tonight, we dine in hell!

Battle of Thermopylae, King Leonidas, Spartans and Xerxes are the flavor of the season. Yours truly went last week to catch the movie on theatres and after less than 2 hours does have a few things about the movie and hence the banter. No, no this ain’t the countless reviews you have come across of the movie but of different variety. the movie though was full of cosmetic visual imagery, it was nothing short of a mammoth epic of the scale of Gladiator. Still the Gerald Butler starer has its share of positives. What stuck me apart from eloquent dialogues and stunning visual imagery was the scale of imagination of the team involved and the guts to base a movie on the exploits of 300 Spartan soldiers at the battle of Thermopylae. Well a novel attempt all the way round.

Few days later I came upon a cartoon in Gulf News and it showed Tony Blair as Leonidas and Ahamedinajad as Xerxes and it was so designed to echo the sailor crisis of Britain with Iran. It was thought provoking nevertheless to say except the roles had to be reversed!
The courage and valor of Spartans against Persians was so beautifully depicted. It reminded me of an earlier Hollywood attempt with regards to portray Alexander and the battle sequence with the Persians. There I think the person was Darius III. It also showed the ruthlessness of the Persian army. It made me wondering. so numbers don’t win battles after all!!! Possible.. strategies do!! possible. But why doesn’t the land that make these movies understand this. America has a sizable percentage of its forces spread all over Asia and still cant get the equation right in Iraq and Afghanistan. No, no not another rounding in America analysis but to cut a long story short, the movie 300 showed us how the insurgents work in Iraq and Afghanistan. What do you have is armed groups with catch phrase as in the top out to defeat the armies of the Xerxes’s of the world. Can anything stop it? It dint stop the Spartas and Leonidas at the battle of Thermopylae against the Persians….will it so for the insurgents?

Sachin Tendulkar: Stubborn Sunset

Sachin: The name invokes passion, anger, madness, charm..name any emotion and it is there. Sachin is there exhibiting. There was a time when the very mention of the name used to inspire an Indian with the willow!! Tendulkar had the nation with him. He took us through an odyssey, unforgettable one..Whenever India wins he got the credit, lost still he was not there in the picture. Even 2007 World Cup wont be any different. How much Chappel tries, the master blaster gets away unhurt!! That’s the way our country is..We have the Mumbai lobby who can scuttle anything and everything. So what if Gavaskar bats days and days for 60 runs!! Are you bothered ? Tendulkar performs well against minnows and against when it matters he can get away with all the time. This man should have receded long time back and now as a cancer is still there!! What to do ? Cancer sometimes never goes…It takes you with it.
I am not a cricket analyst nor a commentator of the gentleman’s game. But, I certainly do know one thing. Its that the miserable state of affairs in our eam can be singularly attributed to many factors and one of the main ones in Tendulkar/ the inertia caused by his actions in the team. An year back when Ganguly was kicked around in the team nobody noticed the master political game that was being played in the background by Tendulkar. I have always believed that Tendulkar was never an unifying force in the team. He was uninspiring in his two stints as the captain. He was also weak in many ways…As he was plagued by injuries is greed for money was paramount. One incident that lost my opinion about him was the Ferrari incident. For him the customs duty was a small amount and was easil payable. When he asked for a rebate, the NDA government did not want to antagonise an cricket crazy India during election year, yielded.
In the present scenario this man will escape unscathed. We have lambs in the form of Chappel and Dravid!!

Real beauty

Real beauty campaign of Dove is attracting people to think differently. Now with this campaign its like more or less a level playing field. I have always wondered whenever we buy a cosmetic or any fashion apparel we see models who are picture perfect.. I have never ever felt like one after using a soap or a fairness cream or a shampoo…never till date. It was always like that and I never gave much respect or importance to this things. Because they are so unattainable. I always believed that beauty is natural and it should have no colour caste or creed. Advertisements most of the time show these bias. Ever noticed how the fairness cream adverts have only fair people in them. Looks like blackies don’t have a chance. Similarly soaps you have picture perfect, waxed models jumping here and there or with showpiece boyfriends in bed…Life is never like that!! But things are changing and the admission by Dove is commendable nevertheless to say….inspiring. The cosmetic market is one built on make belief. It required 5 Miss Worlds and 2 Miss Universe titles to make the world’s second largest democracy beauty conscious!! Still its all in the mind!!