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Not too sure how many times the needles of the clock on the wall met each other and parted ways since I began staring into roof of my bedroom… actually into infinity … I want to reason but logic defy me … I want to make sense of it all, but can a mind so fickle, so feeble comprehend the truth??? This is ‘Maya’ … what Krishna refers to in his sermon to Arjuna … its gotten more complicated, than it was during their times though …we have developed … humanity has … developed into a large complicated swamp… quicksand… a web so intricately woven around me that I am not too sure if I can ever be free….


I am a function of my desires… the most primal one being, the desire to reach the next level, the level that will give me satisfaction… that will help reduce my pains, my sorrows and make me happier and contended about myself … it is just that one level away and it has been so, from the time I remember … as a kid, I always wondered when I will get out of the misery called school … the fellows in college seemed to have a fascinating time …. At college it was the desire to start working … start earning … being a master of my own life … not having to justify to anyone else in the world how and why I spent my pocket money…. When I started to work it was the earnings … a little more than what I earn today is what I need for a comfortable life …


How I yearned for an upgrade from my second hand Hercules cycle (passed on by my dad to me) to a bike …. Fantasized about riding something more ‘manly’ than the four stroke 100 cc bike… lost interest in my two stroke Kawasaki Bajaj no sooner than a year of riding it … starting to realize that… Owning a four wheeler was the best thing that could happen to a man…. But small car is never as comfortable as a sedan… the sedan I drive is trifle below the demands of my current job portfolio… if you can understand what I am saying here …. Isn’t what you arrive in, almost as important as what you arrive for, if not more??? I need a vehicle that I don’t mind being seeing in … that carries a badge that does not have its origins from the South East of Asia … Japan would do, Europe would be preferred!!!


And then suddenly, here I am looking at my past rather remorsefully … trying to come terms with the fact that maybe I had past that was far more contended than the present that I live in or maybe even the future that I will be in… the lyrics of Jagjit Singh’s soulful rendering of the Ghazal that starts with “Yeh Daulat Bhi Le Lo, Yeh Shohrat Bhi Le Lo” rings loud in the mind… it was the childhood that I wanted clearly wanted to escape … it was the adolescence that I strongly abhorred… that I now desperately yearn for “…Magar Mujhko Lauta Do Bachchpan Ka Saawan… Woh Kagaz Ki Kasthi, Woh Baarish Ka Paani…”


I grew up watching TV at a house in our neighborhood, which can be best described as within walking distance from my home …. Since there was only one channel there was no fight for the remote, even though, there were more than 40 of us gathered in front of the TV set that looked like a decent sized bookshelf, complete with shutters and locks … oh yes … there was no remote either!!! I eagerly watched 'Krishi Darshan' that was telecast from the Delhi Studio of Doordarshan, not that I was the least bit interested in growing cash crops for the coming Kharif season, no not even the Rabi season, but then there was nothing else to watch, there was optimism…. the excitement of anticipation though … once this gets done with and the two news bulletins (English followed by Hindi or was it the other way round, that literally carried the same news and for most part was dedicated to what the Prime Minister did during the day) were over, there would be the top 20 countdown of film songs in 'Superhit Muqabala' …


Sometimes I did not want the program to start… ask me why? Because once started it would come to an end in an hour’s time and then one had to wait for it until the next week … ( let me digress a little here, I still get a similar feeling on Saturday afternoons … I am wary of Sunday mornings .. for it invariably leads to Sunday afternoons, then Sunday evenings, nights and then to Monday mornings… not too sure if anyone else feels that way) … How I wished there were more film music programs on TV … How I wish there were more quiz shows, more cartoons/ comedy shows, more movies, more serials…


Today, I have access to two television sets at my home, each with 100 plus channels … several with programming dedicated to the above mentioned genre, airing them 24/7, 365 days a year … but why am I not happy as I used to be with the sloppy DD and the “Rukhawat Ke Liye Khed Hai” / “Sorry for the Interruption” slides… the cardboard backdrops of Hum Log and Buniyad have been replaced by towering mansions of “K” serials … but why is it that they don’t hold my attention? The advancements in technology and digital mastering have created new avenues for musicians but why is it that I can’t fall in love with songs of today like I did with those of yesteryear..?


I grew up without internet or mobile phones… but I was more connected with people then, than I am today … the journeys took a longer time, but I was never rushed … My monthly earnings today, is twice as much as my annual earnings when I started out to work… yet there are much more commitments to honor… the month ends are ever so similar… the apartment complex in which my home is, has a 24 hour generator back up, so when there is a power failure, unlike during my childhood days, I can still have light around me … but what about the darkness within me???


No, don’t get me wrong, I am not blaming the mobile phones or internet here, nor am I suggesting that the coal gobbling, smoke spewing black engines of trains should not have been replaced with electrically operated ones…. I know they are not the basis for my discontent… my emotion has only to do with me …. Somewhere deep within me... not too sure where exactly … when technology develops further will there be a Google application to search yourself… will I be able to type “soul” and find the relevant link that will lead me to it?? Or will I have to shun technology and go back to the good old days of Krishna and Arjuna to find my soul???


Am I romanticizing? Do I think it is fashionable to be in love with the good old days?? Isn’t the right approach to think that the past is past and future is uncertain, so live in the present??? Easier said than done… will I ever be able to disconnect from my past or for that matter not think of the future … what am I without my past or future…. Will I be me if not for what I was…? Will I be me if I do not have aspirations about what I want to be…? I do not envy those who say that they live for the moment; I do not envy hollow proclamations or is it a classic case of grapes gone sour…?


Not sure how many times the needles of the clock on the wall met each other and parted ways since I began staring into roof of my bedroom… actually into infinity…

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good reading. However to find your soul all you have to do is introspect. You will find the little boy who walked a few blocks to see krishy darshan sitting right next to the power hungry academic man who is wistfully hoping to get off an european car. You will also find a kind man who is wondering where his place is in this Kalyug of Krishna's.

I Witness said...

Hi Anonymous ...

The irony is the more I introspect the more the little kid you mentioned comes to remind me of my past... the "power hungry academic" is not able to deal with the simplistic approach of the kid ... he does not know which way to turn ... joys of the yesteryear or the challenges of the future ... and in this turmoil whatever happens to the present ??

A technical correction though ... Krishna is associated with Dwapara Yug ... not really the Kalyug as such... but hey I have seen several Krishna's masquerading in this Yug also...

Thanks for stopping by ...

Iwitness

Salil said...

Sri,

Exactly my thoughts; could not agree with you more. I don't know why I feel a great connect with you on a lot of matters. Do we need to check our DNA??!! :-)

I have realised (NOW!) that a materialistic life is a vicious cycle that will never end unless we decide to end it NOW! Ten years back when I was taking buses and sleeper class train, I wished I could travel in autos and upper class train. Then five years back when I could do that, I wished I could travel in my own car and flights. Now when I can do that, I wish I could have a bigger car and travel in business class. I know that my boss who has a bigger car and can travel in business class, wish he could have a super luxury car and travel to more places. Another senior executive tells me that he is thinking about doing vacation in private jets and having a house beside a golf course, which our Chairman has. So the cycle is an unending loop! And at the end are you satisfied - NO! Because you still have unachieved dreams and there are people like Gates, Buffet, Ambani, Premji, Mallya, etc who have more material things than you. So theoretically, a material quest can only end if you end up as the richEST person in the world and have done/got what ALL others have.

Does this thought by any chance mean we are getting old? Or is it a convenient logic of the under-acievers? Keeps me also awake during nights and dreaming during day :-)

Cheers,

shri ramesh sadasivam said...

Nice article, Iwitness. I think I am not into this eternal pursual. When I was in college in went a fast forward of life and realised this rat race would never end and turned towards spiritualism. I do have material ambitions, but I give more importance to my spiritual life. I think you can strike a balance if you could understand The Gita. I too have a blog specially for The Gita.

http://theholygita.blogspot.com

I Witness said...

Hi Salil..

Thanks a lot for the comment ... Well I guess most of us go through these emotions from time to time ... and agree with you once sucked in... the fall is endless... I have been having these thoughts for long time now ... not too sure if age has anything to do with it (Ha ha another convenient way to deny age

Iwitness

I Witness said...

Dear Ramesh..

Thanks for sharing your views ... its indeed a pleasure to interact with someone who has to a certain extent at least come to terms with life as it is ... have read your views on Gita ... Inspirational to say the least ... hope to see you back on these pages and would love read what you think of my blog

Iwitness

Priya Prem said...

Am sure everyone identifies with your predicament. I do. I started watching TV in my neighbour's place, coz my Dad wouldn't buy us one, will affect our studies we were told. Sat in that house from morning to afternoon to watch the UFO series to the Indian Epics...can't remember the names now, the UFO series stuck and am still sacred of them, then Siddharth Basu's quiz show and that lovely SITCOM from the US, in the evening. Can't remember the name again. Then Wimbledon, my Dad used to join us for the finals, my Mom had to finally put her foot down, coz it completely defeated the purpose :-)
The cycle again from regular brakes to the wired brakes and all of a sudden walking became an in thing.
The house and car have become bigger and better but we bore of them sooner than we realise.
For some reason I have never wanted a better mobile phone, I just use the sms and call functions and I can hang on to Mobile phone till it dies.
Very unusual topic, so relevant tho'. Good one!!!

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