Saturday, June 16, 2012


Me: I have never been to Hyderabad.
Me: Rathi and co are there, chalna hai?
Me: When you visit Bangalore next.
G: Chalo.
Me: Done.

And that's how the trip was planned. We boarded the Friday, 8th June Rajdhani. The run up to get its ticket was interesting but not that important to be written as part of this story. With a 30 min buffer, we reached the station with 30 mins to spare, so we decided to check out the Dakshin restaurant at the station. A small average crowded south Indian restaurant, its highlight is that dishes are not prepared in Karnataka style. Seeing the spicy sambhar converted me to have a masala dosa as dinner and skip the Rajdhani meal.

Our stay was arranged by Rathi inside the ISB campus. From Secunderabad, a local train followed by a nice Auto ride through the wide, traffic-less streets of Hi-Tec city brought us to the ISB gates to be stopped by about half a dozen security guards who demanded purpose, proof of our visit. Once that was settled, first thing that you notice once you enter ISB is the tall academia building at its centre and its green open campus. Away from city, away from noise, this academic campus is very well designed making it accessible by foot from anywhere.  The wind tunnel inside the main building brought back the nostalgic memory of my NSIT campus and a self note(If i ever study again in an institute, the mandatory thing to check for is a wind tunnel). And of-course CCD was also present inside the campus.

With no planning, we were faced with deluge of choices in, places to visit, to begin with but eventually decided to check out the Salar Jung museum. After about an hr or so, we were quite tired of looking at the shaan-ho-thaat of the kings. There was a small nook where we found several people gathered together waiting for something to happen, so we joined the crowd, only to find that they were all waiting for a mechanical clock to strike 2. One thing that was interesting was the sheer crowd number that had shown up to visit the museum. A proof that even though people may see it as a recreational place, it is still high in demand and affordable too. If maintained more properly, it can inspire many.

Museum was followed by a leisure walk to Charminaar. On the way i had a lemon soda made from the soda machine by a local redhi-wala, followed by those awesome small triangle samosas and a falooda; All under the brightly shining Hyderabad sun. At Charminar, we no longer could resist to our temptation to have those awesome Badamfalli mangoes. We had our late lunch at the restaurant Paradise which claims to be very authentic Biriyani place. Dinner that night was done at Chutneys after an hr long wait. Both the places were decent but nothing extra-ordinary as their fame.

Next day morning was spent leisurely at the wind tunnel reading (Rather re-reading) the Storm of Swords by GRRM. We decided to chuck all tourist related activities to avoid the Sun and spent the noon in an air-conditioned theater watching the latest Dibakar Banerjee film - Shanghai.

Main Hyderabad city is like any other Indian city  - crowded, noisy, bad drivers and dirty. But the outskirts, the Hi-Tec city, the ISB area etc  appears to be well planned. One can see the big rocks that have been blasted to make way for those glass covered buildings, one can imagine how desolate this land may have been two decades ago,  the vast expanse area may have been considered once inhabitable is now the bed of new IT solutions. 

At ISB, we checked out couple of presentations given by students as part of their bid to win the president elections for General Management. Before one girl's presentation, she is cheered with the same ferocity as you see in a UP elections, only the participants are ISB students and the scale is much smaller. Frankly after what we saw, we were appalled by the crowd and unimpressed by the presentations that we witnessed. Talking to students, it felt that people were not happy by their peers. Faculty was great, campus is good, lectures are enjoyable but peers was a common complaint. People exaggerating in their resumes appeared a common phenomenon. If this is India's answer to a global management institution, it was quite disappointing.


Kahat Kabir Suno bhai Sadho - Main vaari jaoon re

तू तू करता तुझ गया
मुझ में रही ना हूँ
वारा फेरी बलि गयी
जित देखूं तित तू

Saying You! You! I became yours, 
no 'I' was left in me
I quit spinning in circles, 
wherever i look, I see You

मैं लगा उस एक से, एक भया सब मांही
सब मेरा मैं सबन का, तहां दूसरा नाहीं

I merged into the One, the One permeated all
All are in me, I am in all, no Other is there

मैं वारी जाऊं रे I have given up myself
मैं वारी जाऊं रे , बलिहारी जाऊं रे
मेरा सतगुरु आंगन आया, मैं वारी जाऊं रे

सतगुरु आंगन आया, गंगा गोमती नहाया

मेरी निर्मल हो गयी काया, मैं वारी जाऊं रे...

सब सखी मिलकर हालो, केसर तिलक लगावो

घणे हेत सूं लेवो बधाई, मैं वारी जाऊं रे

सतगुरु दर्शन दीन्हा, भाग उदय ही कीन्हा

मेरा धरम भरम सब छीना, मैं वारी जाऊं रे

सत्संगी बन गयी भारी, मंगला गाऊं चारी

मेरी खुली ह्रदय की ताली, मैं वारी जाऊं रे

दास नारायण जस गायो, चरणों में सीस निमायो

मेरा सतगुरु पार उतारे, मैं वारी जाऊं रे 
I am in surrender, I lose my self
My true Guru enters my courtyard, I have given up myself

Wisdom enters my body, like a holy dip in Ganga Gomti
My body feels purified, I have given up myself

Friends, Lets get together ! Anoint the Guru with saffron
Lovingly celebrate her arrival, I have given up myself

My true Guru appeared, My good fortune dawned
False religion and delusions have fled, I have given up myself

I've become a committed songster, Singing these songs of wisdom
The locks in my heart have sprung open, I have given up myself

Narayan Das sings your praise, Lays his head at your feet
My true Guru gets me across, I have given up myself    

Kahat Kabir Suno Bhai sadho - Bahar kyon bhatke?

सब वन तो तुलसी भये और परबत शालिग्राम
सब नदियाँ गंगा भयीं, जब जाना आतम राम 

All forests become holy basil, All mountains sacred stones
All rivers become holy Ganges, When i discovered Ram within

कबीर बहुत भटकिया, मन ले विषय विराम

ढूँढत  ढूँढत  जग मुआ, तिल के ओटे राम

Kabir, you've wandered a lot. Oh mind, take a rest from craving
You searched and searched, an age went by, Ram was under a  sesame seed

माला जपूं ना कर जपूं, मुख से कहूं ना राम
राम हमारा हमें जपे, हम पायो विसराम

I don't turn rosary beads, My lips don't chant "Ram"
My Ram is chanting me, I have found my ease.

बाहर क्यों भटके? Why go wandering?
थारो राम ह्रदय में, बाहर क्यों भटके?

ऐसा ऐसा हीरला घट मां कहीये

जौहरी बिना हीरा कौन परखे ?
थारो राम ह्रदय में, बाहर क्यों भटके?

ऐसा ऐसा घृत दूध मां कहीये

बिना झुगिये माखन कैसे निकले ?
थारो राम ह्रदय में, बाहर क्यों भटके?

ऐसा ऐसा आग लकड़ी मां कहीये

बिना घिसिये आग कैसे निकले ?
थारो राम ह्रदय में, बाहर क्यों भटके?

ऐसा ऐसा किवाड़ हिवडे पर जड़िया

गुरु बिना ताला कौन खोले ?
थारो राम ह्रदय में, बाहर क्यों भटके?

कहें कबीर साह सुनो भाई साधो

राम मिले थाणे कौन हटके ?
थारो राम ह्रदय में, बाहर क्यों भटके?
Ram's in your heart, Why go wandering?

Such rare jewels in your body
Without jeweller, who will know their worth?
Ram's in your heart, Why go wandering?

Such pure Ghee in the milk
Without churning, How will the butter emerge?
Ram's in your heart, Why go wandering?

Such fire in the heart of the twig,
Without being struck, how will it ignite?
Ram's in your heart, Why go wandering?

Such big doors shut over your heart
Without the guru, who will open the locks?
Ram's in your heart, Why go wandering?

 Says Kabir, Listen seekers
When you've got Ram, Who can stop you?
Ram's in your heart, Why go wandering?    

Kahat kabir Suno Mere sadho - Evi Evi sen

ऐवी ऐवी सेण Such amazing signs
ऐवी ऐवी सेण बताई म्हारे  सतगुरु
मुख पर कहयो नहीं जाये, रे साधो

हमारे देस में मांई नहीं धरा नहीं गगना

नहीं कोई पवन नहीं पानी

हमारे देस में मांई नहीं चंदा नहीं सूरज

नहीं कोई नव लख तारा

हमारे देस में मांई नहीं ब्रह्मा नहीं विष्णु

नहीं कोई शंकर देवा

हमारे देस में मांई नहीं वेद नहीं गीता

नहीं कोई शबद नहीं साखिया

हमारे देस में मांई नहीं उगे नहीं आथमे

नहीं कोई जन्मे नहीं मरे

मंजले मंजले एक संत जई पहुंच्या

कबीर संत चढ़यो निरवान  
Such amazing signs, My true guru gave me
Such that can not be told! Dear friend

In my land, there is no earth, no sky
Neither wind nor water

In my land, there is no sun no moon
Nor the nine lakh stars

In my land, There is no Brahma, no Vishnu
Nor the god Shankar

In my country, there is no Ved, no Gita
No verse or couplets either

In my land, there is no rising, no setting
There is no birth or death

Step by step, A saint made it there
Kabir climbed to freedom

Kahat kabir suno bhai sadho - Yugan Yugan hum Yogi

युगन युगन हम योगी For ages and ages, I've been a yogi
युगन युगन हम योगी
अवधूता, युगन युगन हम योगी
आवे ना जाये मिटे ना कबहुं
शब्द अनाहत भोगी
अवधूता, युगन युगन हम योगी 

सब ठौर जमात हमारी
सब ठौर पर मेला
हम सब मांय, सब हैं हम मांय
हम है बहूरी अकेला
अवधूता, युगन युगन हम योगी

हम ही सिद्धि समाधी हम ही
हम मौनी हम बोले
रूप सरूप अरूप दिखा के
हम ही हम में हम तो  खेले
अवधूता, युगन युगन हम योगी

कहें कबीरा सुनो भाई साधो
नाहीं न कोई इच्छा
अपनी मढ़ी में आप मैं डोलूँ
खेलूँ सहज स्वइच्छा
अवधूता, युगन युगन हम योगी
For ages and ages, I've been a Yogi
Oh wanderer, for ages and ages, I've been a Yogi
I don't come or go, I never disappear
I enjoy the endless sound
Oh wanderer, for ages and ages, I've been a Yogi

Everywhere I see my community
Everywhere i meet with them
I'm in all, all are in mine
I am alone and together
Oh wanderer, for ages and ages, I've been a Yogi

I'm the realized one, I'm realization itself
I'm silent, I speak
I show outer form, inner form, no form
I play within myself
Oh wanderer, for ages and ages, I've been a Yogi

Kabir says, listen friend
I have no desire
I sway myself in my hut
I play simply to please myself
Oh wanderer, for ages and ages, I've been a Yogi

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Life in Apr 9 - June 3

May came and went just like that, i still cant believe that May is over. Here are the highlights of this installment -

* Attended Bangalore 220 flea market and Soul Sante in May. 220 was great as i got to buy my plates and bowls for a very cheap price. Soul sante was amazing - i bought a solar powered phone charger. I am hoping to carry it on the Kashmir trip to charge my phone/camera. 

* Aarti visited on her birthday. Together with Mamji, on that weekend went for a Folk it India concert at Allaice Francaise. The play Robinson Crusoe at Ranga shankara, ISKCON temple and FAVA.

* Bought a futon and slept on it instead of my bedroom for a week just for fun.

* Movies: (a) The cabin in the woods: Very good. A mirror to the horror genre. Very creative. (b) MIB3 - Horrible. (c) The avengers in 3D: Average but the 3D made it awful. All the colors are gone when i wear those glasses. (d) Hugo. Super super awesome!!!!

* Ran the TCS 10K run. Finished it in 84 mins. It was quite dehydrating after the run. There were lots of people on a 2 lane road, lots of pushing etc  happened in the first 3K. But overall glad to have done the run. Need to be more disciplined in my training, next stop is half marathon.

*Books: The God delusion by Richard Dawkins. Reviewed one post before. Read Stardust by Neil Gaiman. Decent fantasy,  good story telling with nice images (its a graphic novel)

* Lots of board games at office and the meetup. Also downloaded the Catan app on iPad and finished the entire campaign yesterday. Man, gaming on ipad is addictive. Played poker and won 110 Rs.

* Team outing from office. Went to play Paintball followed by three games of cricket. Cricket was more fun than paintball (and cheaper too!)

* Attended concerts by Laal (band) from pakistan. A socialist band. :)

* TV: Absolutely loved the Sherlock season 2. The season 2 of Game of thrones is also awesome. Blackwater episode was epic. Finale is tomorrow. Also started Doctor Who to follow Steven Moffat :)

* Saw yet another live IPL match with STS and Paneendra. RCB vs DC which RCB won.  Bored of cricket now. 

The God Delusion

Book: The God delusion
Author Richard Dawkins

The God Delusion was the May book of the Bangalore politically inspired book club.  Written by a famed atheist, the book questions the existence of God and asks questions such as - Why we believe? Why should we pray, origins of God, Is creationism scientific? While doing so, it adds a lot of "masala", lot of anecdotes, funny quotes and an admitted bias in language during its criticism.

The starting point of this book is what gets one going; Why a discussion on God such a taboo in public? We can talk about politics, cricket, astronomy, but when somebody starts a discussion on creationism, or God, suddenly you are in some "sacred" (pun intended) territory and all discussion stops. This book is one such attempt to bring out a discussion.

For me, the first half was just masala, repeated mocking of religion. But in later chapters, as it talks about evolution,  thats when it gets interesting.  Dawkins, first, applies evolutionism to counter creationism but then he also applies it to origin of Gods, the roots of morality.  The line of argument gets quite fascinating here. Dawkins picks up an arguments, follows it up and then sometimes discards if it does not fit the evolutionary process. Morality stems from religion, this is a complete non-sense and Dawkins does a nice job discrediting this point.

Perhaps, the most meaningful chapter comes in the end when Dawkins talks about childhood and religion.    Should children be taught religion? Childhood being a stage when things are internalized very quickly, especially a thing which requires blind belief and no questioning. Dawkins makes a strong case that religion should not be taught to children. From a marketing standpoint, this is the best time to keep your customers loyal. While  science at one end end is taught in a step-wise manner, while every lesson of science is preceded by question everything, religion is just the anti-thesis of it.

Overall, this book is a good one if somebody needs points to articulate against religion. It shines in bits and pieces but there is a lot of bias that has gone in writing into it. It is interesting to read reviews of this book. People who like it (like me) feel somewhat satisfied and believers who hate it  often claim that this book has no substance but they themselves offer no critique on the things that are talked about in it. Negative reviews soon result in mindless bashing like Dawkins will go to hell etc.

This meetup was better than the others, 4 people showed up including me but three of four had read this book. So, the discussion that followed was more meaningful. But since most of us are converted atheists, it was little bit one sided.