The Fellowship

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

efiL etacileD A s'tI

With fresh morning dew drops, bathe it,
fetch the colors of the rainbow, paint it,
with wild flowers and petals, dress it,
with dreams, hope and aspiration, build it,
with memories accrued, sweeten it,

from harsh vicissitudes, shield it,
from jealous eyes, guard it,
about a sweet-smiled coax, warn it,
from the pain of loss, defend it,
from affects of burning desire, soothe it,

on a scorching hot day, chill with it,
on a freezing winter night, cuddle with it,
on a meandering course, accompany it,
during the dark times, befriend it,
it's a fragile life, protect it...
C'est une vie délicate

With fresh morning dew drops - bathe it,
fetch vivid colors from the rainbow - paint it,
with wild daisies and blossoms - dress it,
with dreams, hope and aspiration - build it,
with memories accrued - sweeten it,
with an occasional treat - coddle it,
with wishes galore - bolster it.

From harsh vicissitudes - shield it,
from begrudging eyes - guard it,
about a sweet-smiled coax - alert it,
from the pain of loss - defend it,
from affects of burning desire - hedge it.

On a scorching hot day - pamper it,
on a freezing winter night - embrace it,
on a meandering course - accompany it,
during dark times - befriend it,
it's a fragile life - nourish it,
it's a delicate life - protect it.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

HINDsight - 4

Ashoka, grandson of Chandragupta Maurya, was born in Hotel Maurya, Patna. He wasn't a hotelier though... He killed about 100 brothers and others who could challenge his accession, and then in a sudden twist of events, became a Buddhist. He was India's biggest exporter at that time. He exported Buddhists.

Oh ! btw, Gautama was born in 487 BC. He too was a prince and thus worth the mention. He discovered that undergoing acute austerities was the path to enlightment. He was what i call "buddhu" but people preferred to call him Buddha.

Vardhaman was about 20 years older than Buddha. Gautama : Buddha = Vardhaman : Mahavira. The transformation from Vardhaman to Mahavira inspired Jainism. Jainism in turn inspired and preached a lot of practices. Digambara, one of the Jain sects, advocates nudity. Apparently clothes give rise to pride of possession and the fear of being deprived of them. Modern day nudists needed no more excuses.

Friday, August 19, 2005

HINDsight - 3

Alexander (supposedly) the great, prince of Macedonia (Greece), pupil of Aristortle(~Plato~Socrates), was the first European tourist to visit India. He fought and defeated Poru to prove his might. Poru exchanged his daughter in return for his own life. Feminists cried foul and have continued since...

Later, Chandragupta Maurya defeated Seleucus, the greek governor of Punjab and married his daughter... This Indo-Greek crossbreeding is the secret behind Punjabi stock. Oh ! btw, the feminists were happy with the "tit for tat" move.

Fahein was the first chinese traveller and Huen-Tsang followed a lilttle later. The British did not like non-European competition and so McMohan drew a line and Chinese were forbidden from crossing it. Mao-ze-Dong didn't like that. Subsequently, there was a war at the Indo-Chinese border where the Indian army was pelted with crockery and checkers. Peace was restored much later.

Aha ! this comes from Mr. Nehru's journals. The creator after profound meditation, took the rotundity of the moon, the curves of the creepers, the clinging of tendrils, the trembling of grass, the slenderness of the reed, the bloom of the flowers, the lightness of leaves, the tapering of the elephant's trunk, the glances of deer, the clustering of rows of bees, the joyous gaiety of sunbeams, the weeping of clouds, the fickleness of the winds, the timidity of the hare, the vanity of the peacock, the softness of the parrot's bosom, the hardness of adamant, the sweetness of honey, the cruelty of the tiger, the warm glow of fire, the coldness of snow, the chattering of jays, the cooing of kokila, the hypocrisy of the crane, and the fidelity of the chakravaka. Compounding all these together, he made woman.

Mr. Nehru was kidding and yeah he liked kids... and oh!, if it happens to be true, no wonder i find woman hard to understand...


I don't know if there is any truth to this forwarded email... but then... .what the heck !

Madhu Trehan writes regularly for Outlook magazine. One of her readers responded to her mail and she is replying to that letter. Both the letters are shown below. excellent reply , I would say . . .

Hi Madhu,

I have read your articles ever since I was a kid and you were at India Today. You have often come across as a balanced person not prone to Gandhi nonsense, until now. I live in a White Nation (the US) and have never felt like a second class citizen. Only a blind and a deaf person can compare thepride of a US citizen with the indignity of being an India. A US citizen trusts his government, knows his/her death will never go unpunished, while an Indian solider is there to die. Elite is a bad word in India because 95% of our country lives in abject poverty. Next time ask the waiter in Taj who served you the Rs 400 drink, how much he takes in a month. The Durban who opens the door for you, ask him how much he makes? I bet his monthly salary will be around your dinner bill.

Shame on you and journalists like you who have failed India in the past with colored reporting and are doing so now. They should feel ashamed. Rather than calling bush names, maybe we should hang our heads in shame on PM'slike Vajpayee who is too old to walk, too much of a coward to protect his people.

Maybe, just maybe, the day people like us (the English educated hence smarter) start feeling ashamed enough we will start making changes in India rather than just exploiting our servants and labour class. It anguishes me to read this national character articles. A nation that cannot feed its people (a la Orrisa) has no character, a nation whose children move around *** (Mumbai) has no reason to feel proud, a nation whose elected reps call religious riots "opposite reaction" has no future. Once again, shame on you and all of India. I am ashamed to be an Indian and shame on you for suggesting anything else.

Chet (Chaitanya)


Her response was:

Hello Chet,

I will answer your letter point by point.

Your name. You can be Chet or Jet, stay away from the sun, fake an American accent, but you will never be able to run away from Chaitanya. He will always be there even though you hate him today.
Gandhi, whom you hold in such contempt, despite all his controversial behavior, is largely responsible for the fact that there is no white boot on a part of your anatomy today.

You live in a white nation but you are not white and never will be. You can fool yourself to believe that you are not treated as a second class citizen.

You choose to forget the Dot Busters, the Sikh who was killed because he looked foreign and rampant racism. How many times a week do you have to explain where you are from and spend your time EXPLAINING India to Americans? I cringe to think what you say to them about India. We do not need spokesman such as you. You will never be able to share a good desi joke with any of your new friends. If you can't laugh together; you cannot understand each other. You will always be an alien.

Yes, we are economically poor compared to US but we do not have to suffer the highest rate of teenage pregnancies, kids coming into schools and killing students and teachers, the highest rate of suicide among college students, alienated parents and children, lonely old people dumped into old age homes, drugs being offered to eight year olds (as my daughter was when she was in the UN school in New York), serial marriages and divorces.

The US had a president who was senile and deaf (Reagan), one who turned out to be a serial *** offender (Clinton), and now you have one who didn't know the heads of state of major countries and ignored warnings of a terrorist attack months before it took place. The US is responsible for massacres in Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq, Chile and the list goes on. The rest of the world does not view America with the rose-coloured glasses you have been brainwashed by the US media to see thorough.

And, how much does a waiter in Jean Georges restaurant in Trump International Hotel in New York make compared to the price of the drink he is serving? The labour class in exploited all over the world.

You seem to very upset that I am pointing out we have a national character to be ashamed of and we should do something about it. Your insistence that we stay ashamed and do nothing about it is perhaps to make it easier for you to live in a country where the only religion is to hang out at malls and accumulate consumer items you don't really need but have been dictated by advertising to buy that, to keep the US economy going. It is not by accident that Americans are flocking to yoga and meditation classes to buy happiness.

You have done well to leave a country you are ashamed of. Call yourself an American but sooner or later your disguise and American Halloween costume will frighten you enough to get rid of it. I love America's energy and have good friends there. New York is a centre for an enormous outpouring of creativity and imaginative thinking. Every country has its own problems.

It is for the people who belong there to take responsibility for change. If you are so far removed from India, ask yourself why you are so anguished with my article. Chaitanya is raising his head,Chet is in trouble.

Madhu Trehan

Thursday, August 18, 2005

HINDsight - 2

The story of Taj Mahal tells us that Mumtaz Mahal died while giving birth to her fourteenth child when she was not yet forty. Had the Mughals encouraged contraceptive measures, India would have been atleast half a billion people lighter.

BC = backward counting. The period when someone could be born in the year 440 and die in the year 395. So, to turn things around, AD = Accurate dating, was introduced.

The oldest veda is 'Rig Veda'. This is where most well read politicians learn to rig elections.

England was a backward nation. Its long and prosperous association with India gave it a face lift. Its now only five-and-a-half hours behind India.

The Mahabharata, or particularly the Draupadi vastraharan episode taught Indian women the concept of insurance. Even today, Indian women wear 6 metres of saree when all they need is about 2 m. Thats about 200 % of insurance.

Ramayana teaches us that Rama was a good son, a good brother, a good husband and a good ruler. Resultantly everyone took advantage of him and so it's not always good to be good. Ravana had ten heads and each one thought independently. He was therefore a confused person. Thats why, its always "good " to listen to just one head, your head.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

HINDsight -1

If there is one good thing that came out of watching 'Mangal Pandey - The rising', it is, my desire to re-read Indian history. I discovered, not to my surprise, that different historians have different takes and different arguments. No wonder, Schelegel said, " The historian is a prophet looking backwards". waise... what fun is reading without sharing... I intend writing a series of synopsis quoting all that i like and my own point of view ofcourse... so here are the lessons for the day...

Stone Age : around the time when people threw stones at each other. There weren't any glass houses or windows for that matter and so there was no damage done to property...

Copper Age: The period when people use/used copper... so this age isn't over yet...

Iron Age : Begins when Tata Iron and Steel was established... Sardar Patel is their best product yet.

Dark Ages : spread from sunset to dawn every day... it was once a periodical event... electricity and Edison though disturbed the dark ages...

The old age : The time period just before the day of judgement, apocalypse, or Armageddon. So, thats right about now...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Bordering reality

Thoughts linger... senses go numb... dreams drift... all in a fleeting hypnotic moment... what follows the trance is utopian clarity, where all is conscientious, every move is righteous and life is factually surreal...

It could happen to you, it could do that to you, beware of it, for it can make a paper tiger out of you... in a submissive moment, you are subject to your own masochistic impulse and fall prey to your own brain trap... questions of morality arise... for strength without morality is barbarous; but morality without strength is impotent...

What is "it" ?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Living in denial

If i recollect right, I was once told that the seven deadly sins are pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed, and sloth. I also recollect having heard of specific punishments meted out to people in hell for having committed one or more of the afore mentioned sins. The punishments ofcourse sounded like a joke to me, for whom the concept of hell by itself is absurd, and in my opinion it only accounts to being a fearfactor for a big percentage of souls.

Living in denial, which isn't considered to be one of the seven deadly sins might as well be the one sin people ought to fear the most. It opens up the scope for a f*** up of sorts and is hardly ever followed up with a mea culpa kinda confession.

I have been living in denial for a couple of days now. I refuse to accept a few facts, disacknowledge favors, decline approachability, forbid other options and rule out even the remotest possibility of not deserving the one thing that i've craved for all my life. Mea cupla. Open the doors to hell. When life is a punishment, hell couldn't be much worse.