Writer's Blog

Transient Thoughts

Sunday, November 28, 2004

The Writer's Blog is Dead; Long Live the Writer's Blog or something like that.

So I am back to blogging.
Laugh a bit if you want. Smile. Smirk. Grin. Chuckle. Snigger.
Decisions of far greater moment than the future of a blog have been taken and retracted without apparent loss of face. I take cover behind precedence.

I have reconciled with my conscience w.r.t. the unabashed pampering of my ego in public, which it (my conscience) accused me of indulging in, and my next post will bear testimony to this reconciliation.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

This blog is now closed.

I would have left it at that but there was a danger of it being conceived as pompous understatement. I am quitting blogging becuase I have, all on a sudden, lost enthu for writing on the net. Don't quite know all the reasons why but have a vague idea.

Here's my profile which I have been wanting to put in the fourth quadrant of the blog-screen for over six months now:

Anant S Kamath
25 years old Aanlog Design Engineer
Likes: Writing, Reading, Music and Poetry, Football and Swimming and Yoga and such like, Languages and Good Food (might have missed out a few ;-)
Wishes he could: sing and paint and dance (might get there yet)
Is going to miss slightly : Being Clever on the net.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Who said time travel was not possible

Some time ago I had said that as soon as they invented the time machine, among other things, I would peep in at one of Ghalib's mehfils. I don't think they (the time machine wallas) have succeeded yet, but I have, now, some sort of a preview of how my journey along the negative time axis will be.

Mirza Ghalib, the teleserial, is now available in a 6 CD pack. It comes in a nice pack with small booklets containing the Ghazals in English and Urdu. The packaging is itself 'Customer Delight' and the serial? Even if you overexpect from Gulzar he will exceed your expectations.

The serial is for me time travel in two ways. Its being in a world of thick, embroidered, texturous clothes, of shoes that make churp-churp sounds, of houses with a quadrangle in the middle, of quaint lamps, of horses ...I was pleasantly surprised to find songs by Mir (Patta Patta) and Kabir sung by Fakirs/Sadhus on the streets - surprised because these don't figure in the audio casettes. And Momin and Zauq are also active (vocal) participants in the story. It is nice to recognize the Ghazals they present here and there. Ghalib was apparently more 'dildar' than I could guess from his er grouchy looking portraints on the net. The story also seems to also put some of the Ghazals from the audio cassette into context - though it must be difficult to say if they were the same contexts in which the Ghazals got written. Ghalib is full of witticisms. 'Miya Mitthu' he says to his parrot, 'Tumhare ghar na joru, na bacche, tum kyon muh latkaye ho?'. And on being asked 'Badsah ne to taaj hi utha ke rakh diya hoga (aapke) sar par' says, 'Haan woh to rakh hi dete, humne apni topi nahi utaarne di bas'. Try and imagine Naseeruddin Shah's voice when you read the lines.

The second way of time travel is because I used to watch, on and off, the serial with my mom when it was aired on Doordarshan. I didnt understand much then or pay attention, but I now know why my mom liked it so much.

Neena Gupta was a surprise too - I didn't know she was in the serial.

The serial is too good. One thing is to be said about Indians. They might not be professional and hard working and disciplined and may like to take things easy, but if they take a liking to their work they sure can produce masterpieces.


The way Ghalib is shown to have composed the sher 'Unke dekhe se jo aa-jati hai muh par raunak, woh samajhte hain ke beemar ka haal accha hai' is very charming.

Unsolicited Advice is Seldom Welcome

This musical moral of the story, one of course 'by-hearted' it musically, is all I can remember from a second standard lesson possibly involving monkeys. Too bad I forget the moral once in a while. I am not sure they would put 'unsolicited' in a second standard textbook, but if they did, well, a little bit of ambition is not that bad.

I must admit that the post before last was meant as much as advice (unsolicited) to some of my friends as a means for my own introspection. Perhaps mecahnically eliminating sorrow is not all that easy or desirable. Sorrow is required to make joy, when it comes, even more enjoyable. But let me not start again.

Monday, November 01, 2004

The dark idol of Ganesha was dressed so simply - in just a fine off-white dhoti - that my devotion multiplied several times. The sligthly popping eyes gave the impression fo mock reproach, of avuncular, reluctant strictness. I folded my palms, bent my head and made the usual request. Siddhi and Buddhi. Accomplishment and Wisdom. A tough to achieve combo but very rewarding. Om Sri Ganeshaya Namah.

I have specific things to ask of every God, which is probably how it was meant to be, and it gives me something to do in temples. And something to say to myself when I have folded my palms, bent my head and closed my eyes. From Goddess Saraswati I ask for a thirst for knowledge and learning that is continuously quenched but continuously unquenched, from Lakshmi that I may have slightly more than I want, and considerably more than I need, from Siva strength with forbearance, greatness with simplicity, from Krishna worldly wisdom, joy and the affections of many women (at times some particular woman). I ask for Generosity from all Gods and I don't know which God to ask to humility for I figure I must need that too. And there are Gods who I don't know what to ask from.

I don't do anything particular to propitiate any God but I assure them all, all support from my side should they decide to help me.

Kasya Sukham na karoti Viragaha
(How will you not get happiness from detachment)

A couple of weeks back a college-mate died in a road accident. I was not very close to him, but I felt really sad that day. I was especially sad for his parents and how they must feel. I began to think again of life and its purpose and so on and so forth. But this time atleast I seem to have found some sort of an answer or at least I seem have made some progress. Atleast I have an impression of certainity, however temporary.

All sorrow comes out of attachment. This is no new discovery. Wise men have said this several times. And it is very true. People are attached to money, position, way of life, to themselves, their own capabilities and successes, and of course, to other people. In some people this attachment is scary, so scary one wonders how these people will be able to cope if for some reason they were to lose the object of their love.

But it is not easy to rid oneself of attachement. Most of us are not made - by God or Evolution, as you please - that way. We need some means of humouring ourselves through life. From there springs attachment.

Perhaps the viable solution lies not in renunciation. Be attached if it makes you happy, for you are meant to be happy but always keep it in mind that the source of your happiness might disappear suddenly and you might have to find new sources of happiness. The faster you find new sources the lesser you will waste your time, your energy and your self, the happier you will be. So happiness perhaps lies in always being prepared to lose anything - anything. It also helps you to put all your energy very quickly into finding another, similar source of happiness. So you can continue your life as if almost nothing changed. Maybe a journey in this direction would lead to the implausible state of detachment in action.

Not wasting your time grieving is a probably a doulbe saving, because it helps prevent future regret that you wasted your time grieving and the further wastage of time involved.

There is a Anton Chekhov story called 'The Boor'. Its about a lady who has been mourning for months over her dead husband and what happens when her husbands creditor, a boorish but rich farmer, comes to her house to collect his dues.

There is a kind of duplicity to this, some kind of self conning. But this is a ok price to pay it seems.

Perhaps a tool towards a joint preparedess towards losing 'anything' is Insurance - health insurace, life insurance, general insurance. Money cannot replace everything but you cannot deny that it empowers. And it can definitely help distract you into happiness. Take the money, spend it, use it to travel, to learn something you always wanted to, to take a break from work. Insurance companies are as valuable to human kind as doctors perhaps. Make sure that the objects of your attachment are insured.

And another tool is to put your eggs in many baskets - spread your attachment energy among several objects. The one child norm, for example, might not be for everyone.

This semi-detachment is not for society or for betterment of mankind etc. its for our own future happiness. Its perhaps like investment, forgoing some happiness now so that we will continue to be happy in the future. I am not talking propriety here; just good sense.