In Cricket – Look before you take the leap

Kambli and Sachin childhood buddies

There is a thin line between success and failure. It is owing to the destiny that a person brings with him which makes him successful and unsuccessful. Let us take the case of Sachin and Kambli. Both together made a mammoth batting record during schooling. Sachin reached an iconic status, whereas, Kambli fell apart mid-way. Kambli could not do justice to his talent in life. He had to abandon his career mid-way because of his destiny.Does the formulae apply – as you sow, so shall you reap?

In fact Kambli recently requested BCCI to provide him with a good job so that he could feed his family. With a meagre pension of Rs. 30,000/- p.m. he could not manage his family expenses. BCCI took little notice to his request, whereas, a businessman from Maharashtra came forward to his rescue and offered him a job worth Rs. 1 lac p.m.

As past cricketers run one work or the other. Kapil Dev has a restaurant of how own in Chandigarh. Sachin does lot of advertisements. Ganguly belongs to a very rich family in Calcutta. Ravi Shastri did coaching for Indian Team and commentary as well. Gavaskar too is doing commentary and writes columns. Ramiz Raza’s commentary skills are spot on and is much more successful and in demand. John Right of New Zealand and Gary Kirsten of SA took to coaching Indian team.

The most important feature that everybody should bear in mind is that if you opt for cricket as a career then not being successful, is not an option and you stand nowhere. One has to take the choice very seriously. Actually, decisions taken during adolescence prove to be counter- productive. Money plays a pivotal role in life and provides the right impetus to pull on and sustain the life. Do you agree. Post your views in the comments box below. 

The Universe within the Womb / Gouri Nilakantan

Does the cold womb speak to the warm vagina,  are we meant to be bound  and knit into the body, so much so we do not seem to belong, not to have any identity ever?  The guess is not in the mystification nor in the pontification of the  “female” in the eyes of society. Nor it it amongst the peering eyes of manhood and by keeping them as some elusive or exclusive superior race.  It  lies in the individuality and the recognition of the self amongst all.  For once let us not see ourselves only through the wombs , the vaginas, or paling breasts but only as having separate yet same voices.  This through which we can declare strongly enough to be defined as all belonging to each other.

The time to be in categories of gender has long gone, it needs to be attacked and discarded as worthless.  These binaries and super binaries that do not see women as individuals first but use the safety net of phrases of gender are to be  shot down as  fallacies. We have been honoured enough by given powerful names by our ancestors.  We have been given recognition for sounding phrases strong.  Enough of gendering, enough and more than enough, it’s time to think ahead, as “you and me”, and “we all”, “as all of us” that belong entirely to each other.

This will allow us to love unconditionally, to let go unconditionally and remain forever within the societal definitions of a “ wife” “mother” “ daughter” or “sister”.  It will thus also not negate the man as a “ husband” “ father” “ son” or “ brother” and bondages will only only grow stronger and stronger.  Such singular terms of unity therefore allows one to outgrow force and coercion that often come within societal  relationships.  The urge here I see to all of us  only as me and you and forget the male, female, alpha male, alpha female etc.  The society will then accept unconditionality in loving and wanting to be loved.

For once live only for you and me and forget all expectations from each other, not because god says so, or you have enlightened and seen Buddhahood, or emerged victorious from the caves of inner meditation, but only because you truly and truly believe in the selfhood of each person. Wombs will then create the universe with its totality and spirit of mind.  Enjoy and embark in this unconditionality of living and letting to live.      

Where Time is Non-Existent / Sanjiv Bobby Desai

I remember my first learning after starting to live here in the hills. 2010, I think. Those days we were still city slickers who would travel up by the Ranikhet Express after putting in a full day at work. We would head up on a Thursday night and head back down by the Sunday night train to get into work on Monday morning! Gosh! I’m feeling tired just writing about those crazy trips!

During one of those trips, I remember we decided to use the local public transport of the shared Boleros that ply up and down from Ranikhet and stop anywhere they want to pick up or drop off passengers. We had bought some plastic chairs in Ranikhet and had tied them to the carrier of our chariot for the return journey.

After waiting for about 20 minutes for passengers to be rounded up, we set off at around 2 pm. As the vehicle was pretty crowded, Tripti sat in the middle seat and I squeezed into the extremely intimate back benches where five people and a baby were forced to rub knees and ignore touching thighs and hips! After about five minutes when we had just exited Ranikhet, the baby who was in her mother’s arms sitting next to me decided to entertain the bored passengers by evacuating her lunch onto my jeans and shoes. The mother turned a deep shade of red in embarrassment as she profusely started apologising and at the same time asking the driver to pull over.

I sat struck dumb, looking at the child’s lunch, trying hard not to react rudely or at all actually, while the driver pulled over on the verge and the rest of the passengers got off and hung around chatting idly. Gently reprimanding the mother for travelling with the little one so soon after her lunch, he pulled out a jerry can of water and came to the back and started cleaning the floor, the seat, my jeans and shoe. I thanked him and got off as well as he diligently finished the clean up operation. The whole operation from barf to boarding took around 15 minutes.

As I waited with Tripti, I looked around at all the rest of the passengers waiting with us. Some were squatting and smoking, some chattering, some busy on their phones, some cooing and chatting with the baby and her mother. 15 minutes of this. Once the driver announced the all clear, we all got back into the jeep and set off again.

And that’s when it struck me.
In all the time we had been waiting outside, not one passenger complained about getting late, expressed annoyance at the driver or the mother or in fact, expressed any kind of reaction of any kind whatsoever! This was totally amazing to me, coming as I did from a life where delays like this might mean the collapse of democracy as we know it or the heavens deciding to fall! 15 minutes? And not a peep? What was going on here? And that’s when it finally dawned on me. Time was a fictional concept invented by man to make life intolerable! What the local people knew instinctvely was that neither democracy, nor the heavens, nor in fact anything at all of import would ever happen in their life by waiting for a young mother to clean up her baby and make it more comfortable. Patience. Yes,that was my learning that day and I was humbled by it. Truly humbled. And just for that, I am forever indebted to these hills and to it’s truly human populace.

Tete-a-tete with the Sighting Shadows / Gouri Nilakantan

Firm structures are delusional, they are nothing but myths that we are constantly chasing in our closed mind doors and heavily curtained windows. We have grown to believe that we must adorn structures much like the daily practice of wearing our clothes, taking a shower or having our food. Do we even once care to stop and chase the sighting shadows of the passerby? By not giving authority to these shrouded imprints, we fail to notice the wondrous
sights that life has to offer to us, the miraculous forms and figures of the “much needed to define shadows”.

Shadows of course are hazy, difficult to pin as someone true, and further becomes even more not worth a glance, if it belongs to mere passerby. However, for once it is important to
gaze deeply and give the shadow its much needed worth and respect. The bystander needs to be witnessed thus to give it a valuable definition. It is foremost hence for once to believe
in the onlookers’ misty rooted figures and give it a much needed honorable name. Only then will we witness the miracles of life where these clouded shapes have the power to change…
to change your life.

Once we stop to talk, to think along, cry along the sorrow or laugh along the joys of the onlooker and embark on his journey, we are constructing the paths to universal living and
true harmony with all. One only has to believe that the paths to his story are golden and are the flights of the rainbow to the diamond crusted view of the universe. Each figure has the
potential to hold our attention to such an extent, that we come to realise and recognise the prodigy in each person. Our lives are only enriched by these sighting shadows that have voices and conversations we must not only hear, but hear to recollect to enrich our own ways.

We must therefore join in their sightings and believe in the sightings of clouded beings and discard our own fears to join in their tete-a- tete. Nothing then can be thrown clumsily out as worthless and the value of all is in the faithful spirit of all.

Memories of the Recitative Past

Mind over Misery

All of us are born with memories that we wish to forget and discard like faded photographs having hazy blurry images or the thrown pennings of blue inland letters and creamy pages fading with endearing attachments. We would rather regurgitate the past than carry it within us. Are we in the real sense of failing to remember or do we wish not to hear the words of the recitative past and not get the truthful recollection of the echoing sights? To be called only as a witness is easier than to bear and pour out the visions we wish not to see. The ability to see things as they are, are so difficult to break, that to escape into the light hearted day seems much easier and much more uncomplicated.

No one wants to resound pain, express trauma or grieve for a loss. The identity of the self to happily live only within the confines of the day, going from hour to hour and knocking down the doors of the minutes that dissolves then into seconds, is true serenity and peace. However, many times we need to challenge the tranquillity we have falsely created and listen to the polyphonous sounds of the dead and buried. The graves of the bygone as much as you bury, as much as you decide the deepest depth the coffin should lay, needs the embalming, only and only to cleanse your soul.

To gain the convincing reincarnation of this lost spirit, is only possible if we allow ourselves to cry, lament and mourn for the forgotten memories. Just by dismissing the bygone and not evoking the emotions of sorrow, by not shedding the salty reservoir, we are creating only adulterated personifications of what we term as today. Its reason is enough to moisten the sodden earth of the buried past, so that the watering down can reach the submerged coffins. One has to sometimes open to see the enclosed skeletons and beat one’s breast to lament for the faded photographs or tethered inland letters or torn creamy papers that are screaming to be heard.

So, hear the cries within, grieve for the past, sob along with the beats of your heart and let your tears become the pulse. It will only allow the recitative past to become beautiful, melodious verses of songs of your life you will want to hear again and again.

The Exodus Needs a Companion / Gouri Nilakantan

A home is without any doubt a safe space, an extant that has the infinite capacities to being ourselves; where our clothes need not be washed or ironed and made to be presentable all the time; our unkempt unshaven looks draws no contempt from the gazing mirrors; cutlery can be limited to eating straight out of the pizza box  with greasy tissues thrown carelessly all over the floor; and leisure is our pass time and idyllic conversations the only competing games. The debate arises then, if  we choose to keep this space out of bounds for others, however familial or close.  It is the truth that only when we get this free entitlement to closing these doors of our room, shutting  out those as being totally  non transgerressable, barring these latitudes out of anyone’s reach, do we get a veracious sense of belonging.  The arguments arise loud and the cacophony grows louder  only when we keep these augmented heavens exclusive  for our winged flights, leaving others alone and far behind in what they see as their black earth.

Adoring such realities, one, is discerned to be “ unconventional” or can I say “ odd” to the normal public eye.  However, if we all sieve through the thoughts running in our minds, we  come to this realization, that all of us wish for an exclusive home, that only belongs to us and only to us.  This hearth does not see the privilege only of the “single status” fancy holding few, but to all, men, women or children.  All, I see as wanting to  create an expanse of an unparalleled area that echoes our only headrooms.  We  then come to conclude that we are faithfully heard.  Our tete-a tete might be  limited to the capacity of recording random intramural thoughts, however, inner, however wordless, or however out of tune for others,  it forever plays as a  beautiful melody for our ears.

We, unfortunately, are created as social byproducts and often have to assume suggestive capacity giving roles, inundated with responsibility and risk.  The risk that we can carve out then, for our own employment seems much easier and much more responsible. If created exclusively  for us,  they are results of accurate victories as  being free of failure in the eyes of others. As the endeavours seeked  are for our own purview; and we are un-mockingly forgiving towards ourselves, we sense a literal liberty.  Thus  being unrestrained from scorn, and disdain, we seek everlasting joy in solitude, and  despite being born into a home,  I see the human mind seeking and wandering eternally in the search of this unerring habitat. If our birth homes can define and allow such unconfined liberties, uncontested un-contemptuous ways,  will only then, this never ending sojourns of seeking of ours to belong, cease and stop to identify the true borders of a hinterland.  Let’s become companions to the exodus of the few and return thus to our realistic homes.

The Prosaic Names the Profound

The real hero is always a hero by mistake; he dreams of being an honest coward like everybody else. Umberto Eco

 While we envision ourselves as heroes, we wish not to be called cowards.  We are living constantly in fantasies where we can rescue our own fears, our steps on our trepidations to us are totally daring.  While we wish, therefore, to be proudly displayed as shiny, victorious, golden, medals, however, they are nothing but self-created fallacies.  Are we really glories of validations or are we just self “constructed monomyths”?  We are only “heroes by mistake”.  While we have carefully constructed these high titled “notions” of being brave hearted warriors, these, unfortunately, are lying on the grounds of fiction; many times, they are only much “larger visions” of our invented individualistic personas. 

I do not wish here to destroy the embarking of the soul, in the tireless pursuit of life, or undermine human effort, but by creating ourselves as champions we are only becoming Don Quixote, wishing to somehow windmill away the troubled clouds soaring above us.  It sounds cynically true, but many times, we run behind the falsities of the moments but save our energy in doing mundane tasks and giving validity to the common.  I see the monotony having power, the vitality and momentum, that we fail to recognise, lies many times in the never ending, repetitive tasks of life.  This gives us only the much-needed vivacity to be a champion, a true victorious one.

Vibrancy comes not from creating something new and novel all the time, but in the unchanging ways we have adapted ourselves into.   The ordinary is the one that creates the true promise of the monomyth. We can find that much needed mentor in our everyday practices, who will help us thus discover the elixir of life and make us reach victory.  The observation of these humdrums will deliver the individual from the “cowardice of performing the ordinary” into the awakening of the hero. The paladin should be recognised in repetitive ticking; the recognition of the monomyth accordingly awakens the apostle, because of performing these monotonous instances.  

The honesty in recognising ourselves as cowards, to release the conventional within us to flow freely, creates an instant of true heroism to emerge.  This approach to “the innermost cave” as Christopher Vogler rightly determines, helps us to cross over to the thresholds of the uneventful one to being the victorious one.   While we all seek victory upon our daily returns and celebrate, much like the monomythical heroes that we have heard in the tales of our toothless and wrinkled grandmother; we are, therefore, trained not to give the due respect needed rightfully to the insignificant.  The honour we bestow on sometimes the dry, dull, and commonplace will turn the tables around and noteworthy ones will emerge. So, permit the unvarying and unvaried to herald the significant, entitle the dull to be bright, and… the prosaic will name the profound.                      

The Dance of the Hyperbole

Students showcase the penultimate piece, “Hyperbole,” in the Washington University Dance Theatre​*​

Living for the last two years masked behind a sanitized cloth; with a social distancing even from our loved ones, yet in the same home; sleeping alone in our rooms with our soft pillows as our only bedside companions; not being able to share our tea with our gossiping greying cacophonous neighbour; or even not being able to lend our inner stories to our restless dreams; we are constantly today, creating an artificial world.  In this excessive superficiality will we forget we are alive? Do we have voices? Do we have real living pain and words that can be penned?  My answer is NO.  We as humans are never created with a loss of memory and total negligence to ourselves.  We are created instead of choosing to forget, choosing to see our lives as three eased dots…

I see these moments of the easing gentle pauses, the “life moments of truth”.  For we as artists, as creators, those little dots are seconds of life, where we can shape and spawn, grow words into lines, lines into paragraphs – of stories, love songs, and poetry of yearnings and being alive in protests. 

These small breaths, to many, are simply just hyperboles of grammar, however, to the artist, these are intensely alive, strong, emphatic forceful portions of feelings, of coming to belong to what he only knows is the only truth…his art form.

Let us not even once, then, discount these as mere undecorated flecks, but as gigantic astronomical atoms, that pinpoint to the immense creativity and churning in the human mind.  If just one of these little mites gets charged, we create a gigantic reaction in our minds.  That chemical reaction is sure to explode, not to destroy but to give birth to a new vision. Despite, us being confined sometimes only to our bed, our Dunlop spring jail does not cause us fatigue or despondency, but becomes a renewed vigour to explore maybe a new set of chord structures; a grand opening line of a play; a brilliant myriad vision of the landscape; or the shy yellow golden sun waiting to be captured in your mobile phone. 

So, the point here is to urge one to carefully mark these seconds of the speckles in your life, and turn it around to something beyond our sight, even more, farfetched than we can imagine.  I see this applying to all, not only to the artsy right-sided brainers but also to the privileged, analytical, left-sided companions.  For we all, need those little moments where we can break into a song, rush and jump to paint, stroking colours green hues or act out each intense dialogue we only wish to hear again and again.  Come let’s join in the dainty dance of the hyperbolic few!     

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    Photo by Jerry Naunheim Jr./WUSTL

Myth of Social Media / Gouri Nilakantan

The world is nothing but staged, we are living each day rehearsed in our make believe world of happiness and tears and enjoying the facades of living the “real- unreal”. I see this anomaly of the world depicted every minute in the social construct of a demonic, hedonistic, ‘practiced everyday journal keeping’ of facebook and twitter.

This self indulging practice that we are consumed with, becomes thus our daily practice show, our daily practice rehearsal, and our daily practice “for viewership and arduous, colossal, consumerism”.

We are therefore living in our own moments of suspended disbelief, where we see ourselves as the ‘heroes of change’, ranging writing words of protests; enjoying the moments of glory in well taken pictures of the rising sun; or the intense moments of rising passion through well documented pictures of the white marbled Taj in pale white moonlight.

Yet, despite all these “high moments”, why do we feel alone?Why do we cry ourselves to sleep? Why do we constantly check the messages of that unknown stranger on facebook through the night? My answer might seem simplistic, the answer is nothing but the “untruth of reality”.

When we realize that we are creating our own make believe script, that is false, and that strangers on facebook might cease to be the “ideal” guy or girl we so desperately need; our myths are broken. When we see that these myths are broken we are only foolish to create more; we reuse our old photos for more such destroying social interactions.

Let us for one moment only, see this as stages of representations – as we are only actors doing functionary parts of the unwritten and anonymous text of facebook and twitter. We might cease not to laugh along with that ‘unknown stranger’ who we take to bed with us, without the feelings of being in an adulterous relationship, or even without a sense of a single minute of pride of feeling an intimate part of being a part of a stranger’s life. We are not strangers to others but to ourselves.

This terrible system of social media that we have created is only for our own downfall and decay. It’s time now to become real, to remove masks, to meet and greet the living and mourn for the living dead. Let us not get wasted by looking at the keyboard, and creating our downfall and realize the folly before we become strangers to ourselves. One never knows, one day we might not even see our own eyes and not even know for whom we are laughing or for whom we should cry. Let us, my dear friend, ourselves, only cry for ourselves today.

Power of Saturn by Vishwanath Hiremath (Astro Vish)

Shani Jayanti ie. Saturns birthday was on 10th June 2021 and Solar Eclipse also happened on 10th of June this year. The two Astral Events coincided on the same day so the effects of eclipse could not be strong due to father and son relationship. And a supposedly Malefic event became Benign. To explain this feature I would like to relate an ancient Allegorical folk tale.

Planet sun is married to Sandhya and has two children Yamraj and Yamuna, Sandhya couldn’t take the heat being near to Sun  so she leaves her shadow (chaya) and goes away to her father vishwakarma  warning chaya not to let planet sun know that Sandhya is not here (Lord Saturn) Shani planet God is born to planet Sun & Chaya (shadow)  whilst Chaya was pregnant she was too confused handling the secret that she was the shadow of Sandhya and not the actual wife, Sandhya, of planet Sun. Sandhya ran away due to that burning heat of planet Sun and she being a shadow Lord Saturn was born very dark, So planet Sun doubted about Chaya that it can’t be his child due to dark complexion and didn’t accept him as his son, Saturn quickly gazed at his father and turned him to be dark skinned. Readers would wonder how a bright face like that of Sun can be described as dark. One must not forget that sun has dark spots called Solar spots and they or on Sun’s surface (skin) only. You see Saturn is blessed by Lord Shiva big time due to his mother’s devotion to Lord Shiva. Saturn goes to Lord Shiva for injustice done by his father by not accepting him as his son, Lord Shiva gives him a boon saying Lord Saturn you will be the Supreme Judge for all the three WORLD’S from now on. This is the reason we all face sadesati 7 and a half years of Saturn.
Saturn didn’t even spare Lord Shiva during his sadesati who went on to cut Ganesha’s head and replace to a elephant trunk, without Saturns help Lord Rama could not have killed Raavana.
Happy tears of Lord Shiva which fell on this planet and rudraksh sprang is also reason by Saturn.
Believe me wherever there is injustice Saturns role comes in.
Keep doing good Karmas and be grateful 
As narrated by Vishwanath Hiremath (Astro Vish) to
Radheka Shrinagesh Hiremath Writer