Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Shutter-bug At Work

I am an amateur photographer who is addicted to photography. This passion in me came to fore when I got a digital camera (it is a SONY Cybershot DSCV1 5 mega pixels).

Yesterday I saw some beautiful hibiscus flowers in the garden and couldn't resist shooting. I thoroughly enjoyed the shoot.

Here's another. I love the blue of the heavens. Hibiscus, known as Japa-kusuma in Samskrutha, is called Daasavaala in Kannada. These, especially blood red flowers, are offered to the female deities like Durga, Chamunda and Kali.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

A Very Hairy Matter

It is mid 19th century, 1857 to be precise, a sepoy in the army of East India Company rebelled against his employer and invoked the first cry of independence. Fast forward to 2004, Mysore, a graphic designer in his late twenties. Can you believe the former affecting latter's identity nearly a century and half later?

Believe me, it can. I am that graphic designer who was affected by the life of Mangal Pandey. Well, I have to confide that the influence was only skin deep. Last year, if you could remember, there was a series of ads of Titan wrist watches featuring Aamir Khan with a flowing mane. He had grown that hair to portray the character of Mangal Pandey in his recently released movie 'Mangal Pandey - The Rising.' Before that I was toying with the idea of growing hair, but every time my hair grew more than four inches I would run to my barber and hang my head in supplication before his hair-hungry scissors.

Aamir came to my rescue as a hairy messiah and preached me the golden rule to grow long hair - have patience. In an interview he had said that his patience helped him to grow long hair. I took it as a challenge and a test of my patience and in March 2004 I decided, come what may, I will have long, beautiful hair (as a kid I always wanted to marry a girl with knee-long hair).

My hair grew and grew, first few months it was very irritating to look myself in the mirror. They were going haywire; everytime I washed my hair, I had to literally douse my head in a vat of hair-oil otherwise I looked like I had been freshly electrocuted. So on and so forth, slowly but steadily my hair grew longer and longer and everyone started ooh-aahing on my hair. I smiled to myself whenever my hair bounced. Few of my friends were unabashedly envious of my growing (literally) popularity. Proportionately grew my woes of taking care of my mane which I suffered in silence.

Daily shampooing, dryness of hair, sticky and smelly hair oil, it took nearly 30 minutes of extra time to get ready every morning. I am a late riser and extra time for my hair care meant my productive day started at 12.00 noon.

Sometime back when I was in Bangalore, I went to a trendy hair salon to get a hip hair style. The experience was more of a shock than anything else. I was advised to go in for a thorough conditioning and straightening of my hair after only which, I was told, styling the hair had to be attempted. I was all excited, but suspicion crept into my paranoid mind and I blurted out asking the cost involved for the entire process. My jaw dropped to the ground when I was told that it will cost a whopping Rs. 2500. Goodness, gracious! I can get haircuts for my entire lifetime (don't mind a little exaggeration) with that much amount, back home. I scooted out from there, not before shelling out Rs. 250 for the paltry hair-trim (it's day-light robbery, I know).

Finally, it was the day of reckoning - 17 August 2005. The satanic blades descended from their cold, dark, steely dwelling straight onto my crest. The satisfactory laughter of my jealous friends filled my ear as each and every strand of my goldy-locks were felled to the ground. Within two-three minutes it was over. My head which was like a dense rainforest now resembled the parched Sahara. The labour of nearly eighteen months lay lifeless strewn all across me; I had a final farewell glance at them and left the place feeling light headed.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Think Twice, Potter

It is quite clear now, the world stands divided in two. No, the divisions are not that of wizards and muggles but one which loves Harry Potter and the other which doesn't care less about the bespectacled orphan who is pitched against his deadliest enemy, all alone (gasp). Well, I confess... I fall into the first category; my Potter mania is such that it has earned me the epithet 'Harry-Potter-dasa' which I am rather proud of (I hear some sneers here). It was the first time in my life that I ordered for any book, that too two months before its release, this May.

I suppose that gives you a fair idea of my obsession with the boy wizard. Now, something on a serious note, I came across a few sentences in the latest Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, that makes you think twice. And here they are,

'People find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right.'
- Excess of Phlegm. pg. 95

'Greatness inspires envy, envy engenders spite, spite spawns lies.'
- Lord Voldemort's Request. pg. 415

'Have you any idea how much tyrants fear people they oppress? All of them realise that, one day, amongst their many victims, there is sure to be one who rises against them and strikes back!'
- Horcruxes. pg. 477

'It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.'
- The Cave. pg. 529

Monday, August 01, 2005

Goal - Is it dispensable?

When someone is seeking, it happens quite easily that he sees the thing that he is seeking;
that he is unable to find anything, unable to absorb anything, because he is only thinking of the thing
he is seeking, because he has a goal, because he is obsessed with his goal.
Seeking means: to have a goal;
but finding means: to be free, to be receptive, to have no goal.
- 'Siddhartha' by Hermann Hesse

I came across above mentioned sayings in the book 'Siddhartha' which I read recently. This message was so strong that I couldn't resist the temptation to quote it here. The quote is very thought provoking and can be applied in our everyday life.

Sometimes we question the very purpose and objective of things we are pursuing; and many a times it remains just a question and we fear to go further. We are scared of the answer because the passion with which we are seeking, we are afraid, will look ridiculous once we get the answer.

Since childhood we are constantly fed with the idea that one should have a certain goal in life to succeed. But what if a person does not have any goal or ambition? Does it mean that, that person will have an unsuccessful life?

Why can't a person lead his life doing things without expecting anything? Isn't a goal, a passionate expectation?

I have no concrete goals. Previously when someone asked me what I wanted to do with my life, I was getting totally confused. I used to mumble something stupid and change the subject. I was a little embarassed with myself about not being ambitious; but then it struck me one day - I don't have any goals. I am not seeking anything passionately. I am just living every moment of my life as it comes. I work, design, write a bit, read a bit, watch TV, listen to music, etc. Even what I eat, I enjoy each and every morsel and not hurry through.

Whatever I do I try to enjoy the process. This has a very positive effect. The work, when it yields a good result it is exciting for me. I find success which I had not sought after and that is very exciting. In case of a failure I don't lose heart but consider it as an experience because the work itself would have been a learning process.

I am free from longing, I am happy. I have no goals, I am happy. Success comes as a surprise, I am happy.