Saturday, April 26, 2008

Dog's Day

I am not particularly fond of owning dogs and for that matter any pet purely from a laziness perspective. It is quite a dog's work (no offence meant for the dogs) to take care of them, keep them clean and to keep the house clean.

But if you think of all the famous characters in cartoons, books or movies you are fond of, most likely some of them will own dogs. Some of my favorite dogs are below.

Hotdog - Jughead

Hutch Dog - Hutch Ads (The Network follows where you go)

Ruff - Dennis The Menace

Pluto - Disney Cartoons

Snowy - Tintin

Timothy (George's dog) - Famous Five (Enid Blyton)

My dream house definitely has a cosy kennel under a tree with the name board of my dog "Einstein" (not as an offence, but more out of great respect for the great guy).

Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Sthitha-Prajna - Part 3

The Story so far:



Part 3

Vipra emerged from the cold water wrapped in his saffron dhoti. The world around him was slowly stirring. The early morning fishermen were spreading their nets from the banks of the Bhagirathi. The flow of the river in this season was too rapid for their battered boats.

Vipra could see sevaks (disciples) were already heading towards the assembly hall. Guruji would soon emerge from his hut and take his seat on the elevated platform of the hall. Vipra rushed to his quarters, quickly changed into dry clothes and spread some holy ash on his bare torso and forehead. He flattened his hair with his hands and tidied his beard by combing them with fingers. He was surprised at the length of his beard which came down upto his collar bones now. He remembered his old barber's jocular remarks and laughed at himself.

The Hare might have been slow
But the Hair are here to grow
And we are at your service to do the mow!

Vipra eventually made his way to the assembly hall and found a place on the floor by the window. He was never a classroom person, and his attention span was quite poor. By choosing to sit near the window he could at least stare at the Red flowers on the Gulmohar tree.

There she was again, dancing in his memories again. Sarojini had indeed turned up in the College canteen the day after Republic day. She had had the courage to come all the way till the entrance of the canteen. When he walked in on her from behind, she had still been contemplating whether to enter the canteen or not. It was quite funny and complex about women he thought. When she had had no doubts about coming to the canteen all the way from her hostel, why would she think twice about going inside. A little bit of cajoling was required and soon they were sipping hot tea (chai) and munching hot sams (samosas) and chatting away.

One meeting led to another and soon they used to meet everyday in the evenings under the Gulmohar tree in the back side of the college canteen. They were like two enthusiastic children, exploring their likes and dislikes, passion, fashion and everything under the sun that picked their interests. Eventually in the eyes of the college they were officially in love though nothing was explicitly expressed between them in words or writing.

Time passed by. The equations were gradually changing. Many say that men love the hunt and the chase more than anything else afterwards. Maybe the same was true with Vipra. He was beginning to take Sarojini for granted. He did not wait for hours behind the canteen, nor outside the Girl's hostel with his cycle as he used to before.

Sarojini was a very simple girl with minimum expectations. She did not expect any sweet-nothings from him in the form of e-mails, gifts or regular SMSes. She was an epitome of patience and continued to care for him even if his attention and concentration were on other things.

A Loud "OM" chanting brought back Vipra to his senses. Guruji was seated in a "Padmasana" pose on the platform. Guruji spoke: " Today we will be looking at Jagadguru Adi Sankara's Bhaja Govindam".

Nari-Sthana Bhara nabhi desham
Drishtva Maga Moha Vesham
Ethan Mamsa va saadhi vikaaram
Manasi vichinthaya varam varam

Seeing the full bosom of young maidens and their navel, do not fall prey to the maddening delusion. This is but a modification of flesh and fat. Think well thus in your mind again and again.

Nalini'dalagatajalam ati-taralam
tadvaj-jèevitam atis'ayacapalam,
viddhi vyádhy-abhimána-grastam
lokam s'okahatam ca samastam
The water drop playing on a lotus petal has an extremely uncertain existence. So also is life ever unstable. Understand that this world is consumed by disease and conceitand is riddled with pangs and grief.

Vipra listened in rapt attention and recited the verses with the others. The hall was resonating with the holy chanting creating a unique metaphysical experience for the audience. Vipra had found some peace after all.

To be continued...


Adi Sankara - (Teacher, Philosopher) The founder of Advaita Hindu Philosophy and author of many hymns and scriptures including Bhaja Govindam.

Guruji - Teacher
Gulmohar Tree: Peacock Flower or Flame of the Forest Tree commonly found in India.

Padmasana - A yoga pose in a legs folded squatting position on the floor.