Books Vs E-Readers.

I thank Nick for the above image which hits the nail right on its head for him and me.

For me, it is not Books Vs E-readers but, Books AND E-readers. This post is to explain why.

My Kindle E-Reader was registered with Amazon India on July 18, 2013. Currently, I have 33 books loaded and waiting to be read on it and, I have archived 306 books that I have read on it.

This is a book shelf in my bedroom which contains all the books that I keep referring to on and off. Most of them are on Philosophy and religion with a few on history.
This is the library on the upstairs landing where all the books that I have read but which may need revisiting are kept. A few years ago, I had got rid of a couple of hundred books by donating to a good cause which enabled the fund raisers to get some badly needed cash for their NGO work. Despite that reduction and most purchases now being done for my Kindle, the shelf is already groaning.

Neither of these shelves contains any fiction. All the fiction is on my Kindle.

I also get six newspapers every day and six periodicals to read spread over each month.

I read a lot.

My first preference is the Kindle as I can adjust the font to be comfortable. I find that most hard copies of books nowadays use small print to minimise the total number of pages and that is very irritating. I buy hard copies only when the price is very much cheaper than the kindle version is the latter is available.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 4 On 1 blog posts where Conrad, Sanjana, Shackman and I write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been suggested by Shackman. Please do go over to the other two blogs to see what they have to say on the same topic. Thank you.

Philosophy And What It Means To Me.

“Philosophy is the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.”

Despite having written before about my tryst with philosophy  in my blog, it is still nice to be able to revisit my story from a different perch as it were.

I approach the topic with a historic perspective highly personal in nature as, I am deeply involved in the study of philosophy.  I was not always so and hence this approach.

I was burning both ends of the candle in the late seventies of the last century when a dear friend, concerned about my well being put me in touch with Transcendental Meditation. I learnt it and started practicing it in earnest with amazing results. While practicing, I also studied the first six chapters of the Bhagwat Gita translated and commented on by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

This continued till 1983 when on a dare, I attended a ten day Vipassana camp and got hooked to that form of meditation which I continue to practice till today.  That little adventure also led me to study Buddhist philosophy.

Two  more synchronistic developments that led to further incidents that got me thoroughly involved in Indian philosophy.

While on a business visit to Chennai, another dear friend insisted that I accompany him to a lecture on Vedanta by Swami Paramarthananda. That got me further interested and when the same friend on a visit to Pune requested me to take him to a colleague and fellow Sanyasi of the Chennai Swamiji, I did and met Swami Satswarupananda of Pune.

I not only met him, but became his student and studied Vedanta under him in our Guru Shishya Parampara for fifteen years.

He finally retired to full time sanyasa to Rishikesh after instructing his students in Pune that Shravanam. (Learning) and Mananam (Internalising the learning) were over and the time had come for them to focus on Nidhidyasanam. And that is what I have been doing since the last many years.

In the meanwhile, I also had the privilege of meeting Swami Dayananda Saraswati, the Guru to both the Swamijis mentioned earlier, both at Anaikatti, his head quarters and in Pune during two of his visits.

Having bored my readers with that background, let me now explain what Vedanta, means to me.

In the Vedantic system, one goes through various stages of life with four goals called the Purushartha.. Having crossed the first three fairly successfully, I am at the last stage of my progress to achieve Moksha.

End of my story.

To understand the contents of my post, please do use the links given for various words without which, it will be difficult to.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 4 On 1 blog posts where Conrad, Sanjana, Shackman and I write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been suggested by Sanjana. Please do go over to the other two blogs to see what they have to say on the same topic. Thank you.

Doing The Wrong Things At The Right Time.

I am not a great fan of Tony Blair but, this quote from him resonates with me in our current pandemic situation.

India is in the midst of a rampant second wave of the pandemic and unfortunately this has coincided with state elections in some of our states as well as the Kumbh Mela.

Our politicians have been holding rallies in the states that went to the polls and attendance was simply mind-boggling. Likewise, the Kumbh Mela saw huge crowds of people taking the holy dip and this too was scary.

As I was writing this post, I also came to know that the Government of Kerala has regretted their inability to cancel this year’s Thrissur Pooram.

From these huge gatherings, people could become carriers of the pandemic and contribute to further aggravating the already severe conditions in our country. Hospital beds and oxygen are in short supply as well as shortage of vaccines.

I for one am appalled at the lack of civic sense shown by our leaders as well as common people who have allowed tradition to overrule common sense.

“Against stupidity the very gods themselves contend in vain.”

~ Friedrich Schiller.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 4 On 1 blog posts where Conrad, Shackman and I write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been suggested by me. Please do go over to the other two blogs to see what they have to say on the same topic. Thank you.

How is today’s world compared to the 21st century you imagined as a child?

This is a very difficult post for me to write on as I simply did not dream of a 21st Century as a child.

My dreaming of any kind of future as a child was to dream about some toy or game that I was promised by one of my parents or a very dear uncle.

As a school going teenager, I dreamt of finishing school and getting out of the discipline that it entailed. Since I was in the Naval Wing of our National Cadet Corps, I thought that a way out of further studying was to join the Indian Navy and that is what I tried to do immediately after I wrote the last examination for the School Finals. My dream was shattered when I failed the Medical Test due to my myopia.

Then I simply stopped dreaming about the future and got busy surviving on a day to day basis. I have written about somethings that just happened to me that propelled me into a corporate career which landed me up finally in Pune where I have been living for the past more than thirty years very comfortably and without dreaming about any kind of future.

The last couple of things that I had dreamed of were to go on an all India motoring trip with my late wife and living in a farm house, both of which fell through due to her illness and prolonged need for home nursing.

These existential realities brought me into the 21st Century with a determination not to dream at all about the future and accept what comes with gratitude and joy and that attitude has given me a comfortable and peaceful life till now.

I hope that my readers will now understand why I started off this post with “This is a very difficult post for me to write on…”

The fact remains that the 21st Century that I see now is vastly different from the time when I was a child all of seventy plus years ago.  In retrospect, I still go all nostalgic for those days.  Typical of ancient specimens like me and perhaps even my two cohorts who will also be writing on the same topic today.

This is my take on this week’s Friday 3 On 1 blog posts where Conrad, Shackman and I write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been suggested by Conrad. Please do go over to the other two blogs to see what they have to say on the same topic. Thank you.