Friday, September 28, 2007

There's Heaven everywhere...

Yes! There IS Heaven Everywhere!!

It is just that I got to realize it a few days ago - in India's most polluted capital city, Ahmedabad. I always thought that for peace and serenity, one has to reach to the heights of the Himalayas or the depths of untamed forests or the beauty of untouched islands.... but then, I met the heaven - just in the middle of a hell of pollution and crowd and noise. It was in the form of a calm and beautiful Vaishno Devi temple, in the form of Adalaj Vav (a 60+ feet steeped well, with wonderful carving in stone), and in the form of Akshardham temple.

And I am sure that Ahmedabad is not the exception, because Heaven is everywhere. In hindsight, I recall that even Delhi has plenty of places, where you can steal some moments from time and let the world go at its own pace while enjoying natural beauty and serenity amidst miles of pollution, noise, and crowds. It is just about exploring, for albeit meek shall inherit the earth, heaven is definitely for the daring.
Now my plans include exploring my good old city, Lucknow, the same way as I did with Diu, Ahmedabad, and Delhi. And I am damn confident that Lucknow has the same, or may be even richer, heaven lying around. Although I had seen the tip of that iceberg (Imambaras, Clock Tower, Residency, Martyr's Memorial etc.) but there must still be a lot to explore.

And I believe, I'll find a heaven there too, for I am carrying it within me.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Nomadic Dreams

It was my dream to roam around a lot like nomads - just pack a knapsack and go where the road leads you... And now, when I have had my first such trip, the craving for one more and another and another is getting insatiable.
After a brief two days trip to Diu - a small union territory between Gujarat and Arabian Sea, I am planning for many more such trips - to mountains, to deserts, to monuments, to pilgrimages, to forests, to beaches, to cities, to villages... I am in love with traveling.
I have never had the chances of so many trips. Before the one to Diu, had been to Mumbai for some 10 days for playing National Judo Championship but I was too young then. Then, Varanasi was not meant to be a tour and just saw the tip of the iceberg called 'Kashi'. Even Goa was not so much fun from travel point of view as I spent most of my 3 days indoors. The only real traveling venture was to Dudhwa National Park with two friends immediately after graduation but even that was marred by the chilling weather and three novices. Besides these, all were business trips - to Ahmedabad, to Delhi, to Kolkata, to Vadodara, to Pune...
But the one to Diu was fabulous - weather was a bit hot but not enough to stop us, place was scenically wonderful, and we had bike, camera, and food. What else could one ask for!
Now, I am planing to clear the backlog of traveling the same way I did with movies, music, and books - do it insanely and do it instantly. Now, I am planning to take a trip at least once every quarter. And my hot spots include Goa, Somnath - Dwarka, Agra, Andmans, Ujjain, Rajasthan, Puri, Kerala, Mahabaleshwar, Kanha, North-East, Kashmir, Simla, Haridwar, and anywhere else too. And this is not the end of the list, for once I begin earning enough, I'll hit the road for the rest of the world - may be, beginning with Mauritius, Paris, and Australia.
I just pray that like all my other hyper-ambitious plans, this one doesn't sink midway. Just wish me luck, for I have miles to go before I sleep...

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Bon Appétit

I have opted to sit through the sessions of 'Philosophical Foundations of Management' (PFM), taken by Prof. Sebastian Morris (the God) and Prof. Ajay Pandey (another God). Yesterday evening, sitting in the library, I started reading the case mat of PFM and my appetite for philosophy is on new heights. It's really amazing stuff - the style of argument, the troika of grammar, rhetoric, and logic, the questions they explore, the questions about questions, and most interestingly, the paradoxes embedded. I think I should always have studied philosophy - as my main subject for masters and for thesis also.

But that happens with me all the time - when I study Economics, I am more than fascinated with the objectives, arguments, methodologies, and conclusions. It was the same when I was deeply into history - I wanted to read and interpret ancient Hindu scriptures and explore Indian history, European history, Maya, Inca, Greek, Roman, and Sumerian civilizations. Then, after reading a lot of it, I grew interested in religion and in a fit of reading more and more about religion, I read a lot about Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Judaism. I even read Quran at that time.
From there, I moved to geopolitics of religion. I studied about crusades, Constantinople, expansion of Islam, the Islamic rule in India, and also about Israel. Then, I wanted to visit Israel and want to make that nation the main topic of my future studies. Everything about Israel - from their history to their present, from their agriculture to their valor, and from their religion to their rituals.
But as I went back n forth in time with Israel, I started reading about World Wars, especially WW II, Nazi Germany, cold war, communism and capitalism, dictators, and world politics. The despair of those times, the fatigue of a war-torn world, the social and cultural revival and retaliation against constant wars, and finally the hippie - movement, Beatles, Marijuana, oil crisis, and times of peace.
Around the same time, I also read a lot about pre and post independence India, the politics of Indian independence, the politics of India, leaders of India, and the wars of India. That is the time when I decided to go in politics. Somehow, like all my ambitious and foolproof plans, this one also fell to the ultimate fool of 'em all.
In the meanwhile, I kept reading a lot of classical and contemporary literature - of Hindi, English, and also translations of Urdu, Punjabi, and Bengali literature. I wanted to understand better the human nature and behavior, so I tried face reading, voice reading, body language, neuro-linguistic programming, psychology, and even palmistry, numerology, and a bit of horoscope reading also. Now, I want to learn at least two more languages and German and Bengali are on top of my priority list.
But after reading this much and this diverse range of things, I feel, my appetite for reading and understanding has only increased. So I wish myself years of untiring reading, knowing, and exploring - Bon Appétit to my only friend and to my only foe.


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