What A Memory Trigger!

I had a hair cut this morning and the saloon’s FM Radio played a song from my youth that took me back to many memorable moments for two reasons. The first one for the song itself for its remarkable music score and lyrics which brought back memories of our monsoon nights and the Kumar trio of actor singers.

The second reason for the nostalgia trip was due to this song always triggering my memory of another great song which was my favourite for many years. A song that I had to sing in many parties to admiring friends who were all in the same boat – times when we did not have hire purchase schemes, or obliging banks with easy to obtain personal loans. Enlightened employers had employee loan schemes that advanced loans but made sure that the loans were repaid by deducting a pre-determined amount from the monthly pay cheques. So inevitably, all of us young people in employment and without the backing of well do do parents, were in debt to our employers. You will understand why this particular song was popular with that background. No, none of us however were employed in coal mines!

Review Badhai Ho!

Badhai Ho in Hindi means Congratulations.

You can read the story line in this Wikipedia link

I could recognise only Neena Gupta, an actress form my early movie going days and Ayushmaan Khurana who acted in my last review Andha Dhun. These two literally carry the entire movie on their histrionics but, in all fairness, all the others extend excellent support.

The story line, dialogues and direction are simply brilliant. The portrayal of an ordinary middle class family caught in an embarrassing situation is portrayed with elan and all the nuances of their daily lives very lucidly brought out.

The story is unusual but, highly probable and for that precise reason so moving.  I think that it deserves to be called a tragicomedy!

From all accounts, it is a box office hit without the help of songs, dance and/or fight scenes. A clean family movie which I recommend highly.


While writing about History, I had not added that while my focus is on reading History, to break the monotony, I often read fiction too. Sometimes, I end up reading three things at a time, like one book on history, one fiction and say one of the many periodicals that I subscribe to.

While reading everything else is no problem, when I read fiction of the action or thriller genre, I find myself not being able to read continuously as the tension builds up. I stop reading when that tension builds up and, resume reading after a few minutes and continue till the next tension build up takes place.

It was not like this a few years ago but I have gone back to reading action / thrillers only recently and I now find this rather peculiar inability.

I doubt that it is an inability to handle tension or,  that there is too much adrenalin pumping but, it is an inability that I am unable to manage.

Symptom of aging? What do you think WWW? I ask you as you are close to my age and also a voracious reader. I hope that you will come up with an explanation.

A Reason For Being.

Please click on the image for a larger resolution.

The Japanese have a word for this – Ikigai.

Try as I might, I cannot find this particular type of Reason For Being at my present age of three score and fifteen. What possible reason can motivate me to get up in the morning to face another day? I often write about the impact that Viktor Frakl’s book Man’s Search For Meaning had on me some decades ago, and now struggle to find some meaning to his conclusion of the Western kind. He concludes “it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life—daily and hourly. Our question must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.”

Truth be told, what gets me up in the morning is simply that I cannot sleep after 5.00 am no matter how late I go to sleep because of habit ingrained from boyhood when a martinet of a father insisted that we got up when the crows cawed which was inevitably well before sunrise and day break.

Subsequently, I got into the habit of meditating and yogabhyas in the mornings which continue to occupy my time in the mornings but, those two activities are not the reason for my being.

I look forward to reading the morning newspapers and solving the crossword puzzles in them. Is that the reason for my being? Once I finish those very likeable activities at around 12.00 noon, what will keep me going? The prospect of lunch, the siesta that inevitably follows, the session at the computer to catch up with mail, facebook posts etc?

I wonder what the Japanese will suggest as a word for someone like me!

Which wondering brings me to the Indian philosophical approach to the same situation. It is called Purushartha or The Object Of Human Pursuit. Please do spend some time on the Wikipedia exposition on this concept so that, you can follow my take on life’s purpose in my current stage of development.

The four components, Dharma, Artha, Kaama, Moksha can be compared to a bracelet of three beads with Dharma being the holding string that holds the three otehr beads together. In other words, a morally lived life of acquiring means to enjoy the pleasures of life which hopefully will take one to a stage of satiety and the last stage of seeking freedom from the very essence of life, wanting! Moksha is the ultimate goal for Indians which can be obtained by learning and understanding the highest philosophical ideas. This process is called Shravanam, mananam, nidhidhyasanam, or, learining, understanding and reflecting on the knowledge gained. Quite a bit of my time is taken on this activity and so my Ikigai may well be Moksha!