Phibare Rama Rasam

Now that I am all nostalgic about my life (I think which happens every August) – all the heart wrenching kirtans/songs/bhajans just keep coming to mind. It’s like I am donning a memory based eye glasses. One song which plucks the strings of my memory is – “Phibare Rama Rasam”. It’s from a Telugu movie – Padamati Sandhya Ragam (An Evening of the West) – which explored the cultural differences between India and US. It show cases how we are run by tasks, money, career etc on a day to day basis and how Indians who move here struggle to adapt their lives. It’s a story of a Indian girl falling in love with a White guy (yes, the guy from Hung) and their plight.

I loved the movie but more than that this song which was written by 18th century composer – Sadasiva Brahmendra stuck with me. Here is the video of it – it’s kinda cheesy when you see any Bollywood/Tollywood movie but it’s the essence of it is what moves me.

Here are the lyrics:

pibare rAmarasaM,  rasane pibare rAma rasam

O Mind, drink the nectar of divine name Rama.

janana maraNa bhaya shoka vidUraM
sakala shAstra nigamAgama sAram

It dispels fear and grief from the cycle of birth and death.
It is the quintessence of all the Vedas and other Scriptures.

shuddha paramahaMsAshrita gItaM
shuka shaunaka kaushika mukha pItam

It is the sacred song sung in the hermitages of the holy and enlightened Yogis.
Great Sages Suka, Saunaka and Kousika enjoyed that nectar.

It basically astounds the qualities/attributes of Lord Rama from Hindu religion.

August 15th – The day I got my freedom

Every Indian is aware that August 15th is our Independence day – back in 1947 India became an Independent country as well as was divided up based on religion thus causing the bloody partition. It signifies freedom after 400 years of colonial rule. We may not be doing great things yet, but I am sure we enjoy the freedom that we have. Just visit India once to see how its been used and mis-used.

I will always remember August 15th not only for what it means to be an Indian but for what it means to me personally. Long time back (oh God, one sign I feel really old is that – this feels like a long time memory). After I finished my college/MBA in 1998 – I was like any other Indian student. Full of dreams and no sense of reality. I was sure that I would be able to find a job of my dreams and just find that ladder to climb up in the corporate world. So naive I was, but then who isn’t when they are 23.

You should know that India is a very populous country. I mean very. To get a sense of it – ask any guy who is trying to get a job. I used to go to an interview (publicly open to anyone qualified) and then find myself standing in a line with like 200 students in front and back of me. Forget getting to actually have an interview – after 4-5 hours of waiting they would ask us to go away. This was the situation (and sadly it still is for many) for me. I tried my best to find a job for about 6 months and nothing happened. But good thing I was hungry (think I still am). When reality dawned on me I realized that I will have to work it through the lower rungs to get to a place which I like.

And so it happened through my friend I got a very small job (paying about $65/month). The job was in an Internet Cafe. For those of you who enjoy un-interrupted Internet access now – an Internet cafe is a place where you pay hourly to browse internet. Since there was no way I can have my own internet access at home, as it was expensive – I jumped on the opportunity to work there. By work I mean, just making sure all computers are turned on and working fine – make entries about people coming in and sitting at the cash register now and then. I was ok with it. I was looking forward to what it means for me – an opportunity to learn so many new things.

The place sucked like hell. The job was hard – manual labor. I showed up at 9 am and left for home only after 9pm. Sometimes I slept over at work – because there were people who would come in to browse (mostly porn) after 12am. The cafe was open all 24 hours. More than that it was filled with politics. My boss was abusive and constantly putting me down to get more and more work from me. He was kind weird too. More than anything else I hated was the politics. Every employee there was kinda brain washed to manipulate someone for something. They took advantage of my naiveté and made me work like a donkey.

I was completely helpless. Here I was trying to make a career in software but stuck in a place where I have no control on anything and I couldn’t even get close to any programming environment. I spent all day (and sometimes all night) helping people to browse and learn what Internet is. How to use Altavista, Yahoo chat (messenger) and ICQ.

My only way out was to learn something on my own in my own time (I think this trait stuck with me till this date). So, I joined a course to learn Java every evening. My friends were making fun of me about how I am spending more money learning Java than making it on a monthly basis. I was un-deterred. I knew this would show me a way out. So for 3 months everyday I would leave work at 6 and go to a class and try to learn frigging Java (I despise it for various reasons which came up later).

This gave me some confidence that I can escape this crazy job and also make it on my own. So finally after about 10 months of abusive job on August 15th 1999 I woke up (It was supposed to be a holiday for everyone except for people who work there) and decided that I won’t be going to this pain in the butt job any more. I went right back to sleep. My dad was worried as to why I am not up – but I think he was relieved at some level that I am ending this painful experience. I got like 10 calls from my boss threatening me but I didn’t feel anything. I was so happy inside and just didn’t give a shit.

So on this day about 12 years back I became mentally free – which led to the transformation of my life. So powerful was change in my life – that in the following month – me and my friend took a gamble and went to Singapore for work and succeeded in establishing a career. It took me 40 days to do what I really wanted, but my mind was shackled for almost a year in a painful job.

Every year I feel more happy about the choice I made on this day and thank my stupid courage that pulled it off. I will never forget this day.

Jai Hind. 🙂

Hankering after the unknowable

No one explains it like J.Krishnamurti does.

You want me to tell you what reality is. Can the indescribable be put into words? Can you measure something immeasurable? Can you catch the wind in your fist? If you do, is that the wind? If you measure that which is immeasurable, is that the real? If you formulate it, is it the real? Surely not, for the moment you describe something which is indescribable, it ceases to be the real. The moment you translate the unknowable into the known, it ceases to be the unknowable. Yet that is what we are hankering after. All the time we want to know, because then we shall be able to continue, then we shall be able, we think, to capture ultimate happiness, permanency. We want to know because we are not happy, because we are striving miserably, because we are worn out, degraded. Yet instead of realizing the simple fact -that we are degraded, that we are dull, weary, in turmoil-we want to move away from what is the known into the unknown, which again becomes the known and therefore we can never find the real.J. Krishnamurti, The Book of Life

More here.

Mind, Matter – Various Perceptions

What came first? Mind or Matter?

Science: Matter came first and then Mind followed

Math: Mind and Matter are 2 dependent variants of the system. Wtf?

Spirituality: Mind came first and created matter.

Philosophy: Mind, no wait it’s matter. Oh shoot – can be both.

Religion: My mind came first and your matter belongs to me!