You Need To Believe.

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I don’t believe in the sense that I think Pravin has suggested for this topic. I must confess however, that I started off believing but, now I know.

In the Vedic system, there are four methods to attain liberation. They are; Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Raja Yoga. You will get an idea of what each method means here.

I was led into Jnana Yoga by a series of what I then thought as coincidences, and have stayed in that system by chosing a qualified teacher in our Guru Shishya Parampara.

This system emphasises on Knowing. Therefore, I know. QED.

Pravin has suggested this week’s topic. You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  Maria, Pravin, Ashok and Shackman.

Martians.

I did not join this mad rush. Frankly, I did not even know that something like this was afoot. I would still have not joined up for this lark anyway.

I am already a Martian.

In my immediate neighbourhood, there are four Cooperative Housing Societies named after planets. Venus, Pluto, Mars and Neptune. The builder who had developed this area must have had some sense of humour!

I live in the Mars Cooperative Housing Society and therefore I am already a Martian. QED.

Secret Superstar.

Another woman centric movie from Bollywood. I am beginning to think that there is a wave or something for such a stream of woman centric movies coming out of Bollywood used for so long to mushy romances or violent action movies with male leads stealing the show.

My advice before I expand, go see the movie if you can.

Take a teenaged girl keen to show off her singing talent and to become a professional singer from an orthodox Muslim family, her mother who encourages her, teenage school romance, domestic violence, patriarchy, misogyny, feticide, eccentric music director, etc, and mix it all together in a story that is very believable and you get Secret Superstar.

Excellent acting by all the cast, super direction, photography and tight editing gives a great viewing experience and keeps playing with the viewers’ emotions all the time. I had a couple of viewers sitting in the row just before me who were constantly weeping and wiping their eyes or saying ooh and aah at various stages of the screening. A novel experience for me. I too was affected but not to that demonstrative extent.

What I liked most about the experience is the very believable yet small role played by the superstar Aamir Khan who has allowed all the rest of the cast to show case their talent while keeping his own role small but effective.

I reiterate, go and see it if you have not already seen it.

Mentally Challenged.

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This very thing happened to me yesterday.

The same friend who was bored, and I were chatting on WhatsApp about earth shaking matters like The New Gilded Age when suddenly he asked me if I played online quiz games.

A little background – my friend who is also a cousin twice removed, and I lost touch with each other following my leaving Chennai in 1958 and have reestablished contact only since the last few years during one of my visits to Chennai. We are yet to catch up with many things that happened to us during all those years and we are in the process.

After that question the discussion went something like this:

I: No. I don’t have the time and in any case I am mentally challenged.
F: Have you always been mentally challenged?
I: Yes, at least from 1968 when I got married. My late mother in law told me that I was mentally challenged when I asked for her daughter’s hand.
F: I thought that the best thing that you ever did was to get married to U!
I: Yes, but her mother did not think so. She was convinced that I was making a mistake.
F: Was your Mother In Law, mentally challenged?
I; No, she retired as a very senior bureaucrat and was just so clear in her mind that I was nuts for wanting to marry her daughter, just like my late mother was when she told my late wife that she was nuts for marrying me. (Incidentally, my late mother and my friend’s late mother were first cousins.)

The topic then wandered off to his own marriage and forwarding of photographs etc. He diplomatically did not agree or try to persuade me to try to play the game though he sent me an exchange he had with another player against whom he had won a game.

He must have felt that otherwise, such intellectually stimulating chats will come to an end! I suspect that he realised which side of the bread was buttered and dropped the subject.

And that brings me to this lovely story.

Two sages of Chelm got involved in a deep philosophical argument.

“Since you’re so wise,” said one, sarcastically, “try to answer this question: Why is it that when a slice of buttered bread falls to the ground, it’s bound to fall on the buttered side?”

But as the other sage was a bit of a scientist he decided to disprove this theory by a practical experiment. He went and buttered a slice of bread. Then he dropped it.
“There you are!” he cried triumphantly. “The bread, as you see, hasn’t fallen on its buttered side at all. So where is your theory now?”

“Ho-ho!” laughed the other, derisively. “You think you’re smart! You buttered the bread on the wrong side!”

Area 51.

I have never heard of Area 51.

Since Shackman who suggested this title for this post is off grid sans a computer, I wouldn’t be any wiser till I read his post, if he ever writes at all.

From what I have gathered in the Wikipedia entry for it, I am glad that I am ignorant about this subject.

I am sorry that I am unable to contribute anything more on the subject.

Shackman has suggested this week’s topic. You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  Maria, Pravin, Ashok and Shackman.

Boredom.

I received two phone calls today from people very dear to me. Both retired senior citizens comfortably off and in reasonably good health.

The first phone call took about thirty minutes of catching up with each other on family matters, movies and books as well as some recent political developments. Very intellectual and very satisfying.

The second one started off with exchange of WhatsApp messages where my friend was asking me to blog about a subject on which I have limited knowledge and no interest. He decided to tease me for my humility in confessing my inability and we bantered for a while on the WhatsApp chat when he decided that it would be better to talk on the phone. The conversation was not as long as the earlier one but, started off by his using a common phrase here which loosely translates to “I am being hit with boredom”. My normal response would have been “Hit it back!” but, I refrained as it had been so long since I heard that phrase.

I can understand why my friend was bored. He is recovering from a surgical procedure and is not allowed to indulge in some of his favourite pastimes.  This post however is not about him but, about me.

I am  never bored. I have enough to keep me occupied and consider myself blessed when I am left to my own devices. Like, as I write this, I am all alone at home with just our dog for company and am thoroughly enjoying the solitude. I will finish this blog post, attend to some email and catch up with some Facebook posts.  I will then get on with reading a fascinating book which I hope to finish reading by this evening. Edward Luce’s The Retreat Of Western Liberalism. I have read his earlier book on India, In Spite Of The Gods: The Strange Rise of Modern India and this new one is as fascinating as the earlier one was.

I get five newspapers every day and solve five crossword puzzles in them well before lunch time every day. On the days that I don’t get the newspapers due to public holidays, I am somewhat lost, but never bored. I simply use the time to read. I also subsribe to a number of weekly and monthly magazines and those plus the books that I buy mostly on kindle or from Amazon as hard copies are more than enough to keep me occupied.

I get a number of messages on WhatsApp as well as get some phone calls from friends and family.  I regularly go to the movies and visit friends or, have them come over and so am quite occupied.

I also blog and visit a number of blogs and leave comments on them and so, don’t find any reason to complain of being bored.

A man said to the universe: “Sir I exist!” “However,” replied the universe, “The fact has not created in me a sense of obligation.”
~ Stephen Crane