10 October 2007

The Twins - Love and Lust

Love and Lust are like twins; you can't tell one from the other so easily. They are similar in looks but entirely different in character and nature. Lust is the joy of the hour and somehow not so wholesome whereas Love is a wonderful joy and is so wholesome due to the emotional union of two hearts as well. It is a joy for hours or days or years so long as you don't mistake one for the other. The joy of love perhaps cannot be expressed in words.

Lust is beautiful and attractive but the beauty of Love is rather subtle. Lust can be insincere but Love is always honest. Once you go the Lust way Love would move away from you. Lust is a biological need just like sleep and food while Love is an emotional need just like family, children and friends. Lust cares only for your body while Love cares both for your body and soul. Lust is just a physical union whereas Love is both physical and emotional union. So one has to do a little soul-searching, "What am I after, Love or Lust?" But there is always that possibility of Love replacing Lust or Lust replacing Love somewhere midway. It all depends on how sincere and genuine you are.

Often times the Love of married couples degenerates into Lust. This may be in part due to communication malfunction, problems of ego or a simple lack of understanding and the spirit of accommodation and the mutual respect beginning to breakdown. The solution to this may simply be a perfect communication, communication without delay, without any sort of inihibition and without condemnation. Condemnation serves no purpose and on top of it, spoils the ambience.

The very purpose of communication is understanding one another. The hardest thing in the world, it seems to me, is for one person to understand another person. We are rather quick to misunderstand than understand. Why should something that appears right to one
person should appear wrong to another person? It is just the difference in the facts and figures each has to one's credit in one's 'database'. In all good faith let's try to sort them out, rather patiently. You may or may not succeed entirely in this effort but that doesn't matter for you both would be moving much closer to understanding anyway. And, the need of a sense of fair play need not be stressed for you must "do unto others what you want others to do unto you". To make things simpler, you can just say, "Okay, let's forget the past and be truthful to each other from now on".

The spirit should always be 'how much I can give' and not 'how much I can gain'. While giving, your hand is on top but while taking, your hand is under. Therefore giving is noble but taking is not ignoble. Accept whatever is given to you gladly and gracefully. Asking for something is not wrong but to get hurt when you don't get it, is wrong. If you are as ready to help or as ready to co-operate or as ready to understand and accommodate as when you first fell in love, problems seldom arise. Never take your Love and your partner in Love for granted. Remember, your spouse is the closest person to you in the world with the closest relationship. You must trust your spouse and you must be trustworthy yourself.

Suppose you bought a new dream-car. It would look sleek and beautifully cute. If you want, you can make it look the same way even after twenty-five years with just a little care and prompt maintenance at the slightest sign of something wrong. I think our Love too needs a little care and maintenance. Love is precious and so wonderful too! Let's try not to lose it, rather carelessly.

The Truth Behind Lies

People tell one another so many lies, parents tell their children lies and sometimes even ask them to tell a lie to their neighbours on their behalf and inadvertently teach their children how to lie and thus even the grown up children lie to their parents without any feeling of guilt. Friends tell each other lies, boss lies to his staff and the staff lie to their boss, business people lie to each other, the politicians lie to the people, the governments lie to their people and even rspectable people in responsible positions lie to people---the list is almost endless and what is worse even people lie, upon oath on holy books, in courts of law. What kind of relationships are ours?

A man and his wife is the closest possible human relationship where lies are out of place, as far as I can perceive. But even there the lies raise their ugly head. People tell lies so easily, I mean without any compunction. It is like a game. You always try to score a point but try not to give a point to your opponent. What kind of a game is this? Even movies seem to popularize lying and glamourize bluffing. Bluff, if you must. But use your discretion. Bluffing to outwit a thief or an unscrupulous person is one thing and to bluff an ignorant or naive and trusting person is quite another. When all the world changes you won't need even bluffing. "Oh, changing the world! A tall order", you might say. Many great things have been achieved with just a small idea and one small step. Try, you must. If we could do away with these lies wouldn't this world be a better place to live in? My aim here is to show you that it is perfectly possible to do away with lies and impress upon you the need for it.

What is a lie? A lie is something said that is not true. Why should anybody tell or say something that is not true? Isn't it just to gain some undue advantage? Then is it fair? Okay, when somebody tells you a lie and you discover that it is a lie, you feel bad. Then must you do the same thing to somebody else? You always hope for the better. Often you feel sure that the other person would never know the truth. But often the other person may never accost you with your lie. But your image in the other person's eyes would suffer and you may never know it. Isn't it rather pitiable?

Okay, then you might ask how can anyone get along without ever telling a single lie? Is it really practicable? Is there anyone like Ms or Mr Honest? Yes, there once was such a person. That was M.K.Gandhi, the hero of India's Independence Movement. He stood for truth and non-violence. And that in nothing less than politics! How do you like that? By the way you may find his autobiography "My Experiments With Truth" of absorbing interest. Oh, no it is not a treatise on speaking the truth. It just happens to be the history of the Independence Movement of India, a non-violent movement. All through his life Gandhi always spoke the truth much to his advantage and probably that is why he calls his autobiography his experiments with truth.

Now let's get back to our original business, i.e., discussing lies. Please don't think it is a tiresome topic. As a Hindi saying goes, 'listen to everybody but do only what appeals to you'. By listening and reading you are widening the horizons of your knowledge. The wider your knowledge of things the better would be your decisions. A good knowledge helps you in taking good decisions, whatever may be the field of activity. A good knowledge even helps you in arriving at a decision faster.

Now, always speaking the truth or never telling a lie is not really as hard as you think. Don't we find quite often people around us whom we consider honest? What is so honest about them? Probably they tell much, much fewer lies and always try to keep their promises. If you want even you can be like that. From there it is just one more step to absolute truthfulness.

Okay, absolute truth is really hard and so I don't ask you to go for it rightaway. But would you mind or should you mind trying fewer lies. Even one less a day is fine to start with. Before you tell a lie just think for a while whether it is absolutely necessary to tell the lie and if you can't do wthout it. You may even take it as a challenge!

Most of our lies are petty and for flimsy reasons. You may think that you would be able to avoid hurting the feelings of others by telling a small or simple lie. But no, not necessarily. You would hurt their feelings only temporarily. But the fact that you spoke the truth gets recorded too in their mind. In the long run your credibility goes up. Once the fact that you always speak the truth, having changed your outlook, is established you would no longer have any problem. Don't you wish that everybody always spoke the truth to you? Then why not start it with yourself? Don't you think we shall all be a happier lot that way?
Remember, every time you avoid a lie you would be doing a lot of good to your conscience. Further, it is like scoring a point in your 'game' with God. Every time you tell a lie you are losing a point to God! But all this need not worry you too much.Be sportive. I think God has the best sportsman's spirit ever. You just keep trying! But sincerely. And one day you might find yourself absolutely truthful!

15 December 2006


Ten little squirrels,
Up in a tree;
Said the first little squirrel,
"What do we see,
What do we see?"
Said the second little squirrel,
"A man with a gun,
A man with a gun."
Said the third little squirrel,
"Let's run, let's run."
Said the fourth little squirrel,
"Let's hide, let's hide!"
Said the fifth little squirrel,
"Ho, who is afraid,
Hohho, who is afraid!"
But bang went the gun,
And how did they run!



25 September 2006

The Patriotism of a Soldier

A soldier risks his life for his country. Many soldiers die for their country. Some are crippled for life. Therefore a soldier's profession can be considered as one of the noblest. But when he is caught as a prisoner of war he has a hell of a time. The torture he often undergoes in the enemy camp to elicit information completely demoralizes him. To my imagination his thinking at that time goes something like this: "Why did I join army? If I didn't, I would have been happily at home like many other of my countrymen. If I died in action I would have become a martyre and my family would have got adequate compensation. But what is this? Why do I have to suffer this agony of excruciating pain? I am neither here nor there. Even my army unit doesn't know whether I am dead or alive. Nor do I know for how many years I have to languish in a prison in an alien country among alien people and in a horrible solitary confinement. Is this the reward I get for risking my life for my country?"

A POW, the soldier of an enemy country, must be treated with respect just as you do a soldier of your own country. Just as a mother is a mother whether your own or your enemy's, a soldier is a soldier. The enemy country may be in the wrong. But a soldier has nothing to do with it. He is rigorously trained to "do and die and not to question why".

Eliciting information through torture, to my reckoning, is unethical and immoral. It is like robbing at gun point. Or rather even worse. I appeal to the well-educated and the intellectuals to ponder over the issue. This needs to be taken up as 'public interest litigation' in the Supreme Courts.


25 June 2006

Definition of Success . . .

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived, is the definition of success.

---- According to Ralph Waldo Emerson

19 June 2006

Animals the Great ...

I think I could turn and live with animals --- they are so placid and self-contained,
I stand and look at them long and long,
They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins.
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God.
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things,
Not one kneels to another nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,
Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.

---- Walt Whitman
[Quoted by Bertrand Russell ]

08 June 2006

Some Noble Souls --- Their selfless service to mankind is remarkable. Their writings in simle plain language are wonderfully enlightening. Their lives are inspiring. Unless you read their writings you will never know how much you have been missing.

1. M.K.Gandhi (1869-1948): The hero of the Independence Movement of India during 1915 - 1947; advocate of truth and non-violence. Can you get along in politics without ever lying? But Gandhi did. Einstein said of him, "Future generations may find it hard to believe that a man like Gandhi walked upon this earth in flesh and blood".

His autobiography, "My Experiments with Truth" is of absorbing interest and very enlightening. A perfect example of perfect human character. Don't trust me; find out for your self by reading his writings, especially his autobiography. His biography was also written by an American journalist Lous Fishcher. It makes a wonderful reading. Very few people know of him today and even fewer are in a position to understand his philosophy of non-violence. They might do well to read Aldous Huxley's "Ends and Means'.

"God is not a person... God is an eternal principle. That is why I say that Truth is God. ... Even atheists do not doubt the necessity of truth." ---M.K.Gandhi.

2. Swamy Vivekananda (1863-1902): The hero of the Parliament of Religions held in Chicago, America in 1893. He spoke about Hinduism and made the world know there is religion to recon with. Not only religion, his advice to youth on character and conduct is so inspiring and so earnest. Read his writings you will find them so inspiring.

3. Albert Schweitzer: Lived in early last century. A German and was a doctor by profession. In addition to medicine he had doctorate degrees in Philosophy, Theology, Music etc. Having read in some journal about the pitiable state of health of people in Africa he studied medicine at a late age just to serve the people of Africa. He then travelled to Africa, put up with the extremely hot climate and miserable living conditions lacking even in basic amenities and served the people just for the sake of serving with the help of aid from charitable institutions of the outside world. How considerate of him and what a service! I recommend you read a little book "My Youth and Childhood", written by him to get to know more about him and his philosophy. It is so enlightning.

(There are many more. They will be added here a few at a time.)

03 June 2006

Quotable Quotes

1.The best principle of economy is not to think twice whether you can afford it but to think well whether you really need it.

2. Neither you nor the world knows what you can do until you have tried.

3. Talent is nurtured in solitude and character amid the tempests of the world.

4. Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.

5. The consciousness of duty performed well gives us music at night.

6. Love and duty go hand in hand but love makes duty a joy.

7. To give love is true freedom; to demand love is pure slavery.

8. Begin with duties and rights will follow as spring follows winter.

9. He labours in vain who tries to please all.

10. All things are difficult before they become easy.

11. Anyone who conducts an arguement by appealling to authority is not using his intelligence; he is just using
his memory. --- Leonardo Da Vinci

12. Be reserved but not sour; grave but not formal; bold but not rash; humble but not servile; patient but not
insensilble; constant but not obstinate; cheerful, not light; rather sweet than familiar; familiar than intimate
and intimate with very few and upon very good grounds. Return the civilities thou receivest and be grateful
for the favours. --- William Penn.

13. The satisfaction of our senses is low, short and transient. But the mind gives a more raised and extended
pleasure and is capable of a happiness founded upon reason; not bounded and limited by circumstances
that bodies are confined to. ---- William Penn

14. Oh, how sordid man has grown ! Man the noblest creature in the world as a god on earth and the image
of Him that made it; thus to mistake earth for heaven and worship GOLD for GOD. ---William Penn

15. There is no future in any job; the future lies in the person who holds the job.