Philosophy Of Life.

I was pleasantly surprised to listen to this song from a WhatsApp forward yesterday.

This was sent to me by a very dear friend who thought that I would appreciate the philosophy that the lyrics convey. Little did he know that this promptly took me back to the 60s of the last century when this movie was released. I was enjoying the life of a bachelor with a full time public sector company job and was smoking Charminar cigarettes. I had also got a Ronson lighter as a gift from an uncle who had quit smoking. In this song, in the movie, when the hero lights up with the lighter, the signature tune plays and I went on a wild goose chase to get a lighter with that application. Finding it extremely difficult to get gas to refill the lighter I finally had to discard it till I finally gave it away to an antique collector who was fascinated by it.

I loved the song for its lyrics and I wish to share it with my readers.

Main Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhata Chala Gaya
Har Fikar Ko Dhuen Mein Udata Chala Gaya

I flowed with life as it developed
I blew away all problems like rings of cigarette smoke

Barbadiyon Ka Shok Manana Fizul Tha
Barbadiyon Ka Jashan Manata Chala Gaya
Har Fikar Ko Dhuen Mein Udaata Chala Gaya
{adinserter 1}

Mourning failures was a waste of time
So I moved on, celebrating my failures
I blew away all problems like rings of cigarette smoke

Jo Mil Gaya Usi Ko Muqaddar Samajh Liya
Jo Kho Gaya Maein Usko Bhulata Chala Gaya
Har Fikar Ko Dhuen Mein Udaata Chala Gaya

Whatever life offered, I believed was my destiny
What I lost, I kept trying to forget it
I blew away all problems like rings of cigarette smoke

Gham Aur Khushi Mein Farq Na Mehsoos Ho Jahan
Maein Dil Ko Us Muqaam Pe Laata Chala Gaya
Har Fikar Ko Dhuen Mein Udaata Chala Gaya

Where there is no difference between Happiness and Sorrow
I moved on, trying to bring my heart into that state
I blew away all problems like rings of cigarette smoke

Lyrics: Sahir Ludhianvi
Album: Hum Dono
Music: Jaidev
Vocals: Mohammed Rafi.

I smoked for fifty five years and am paying the price for it now but, while I smoked, I enjoyed every puff and tried to live my life like the lyrics of this song suggests.  I think that I mostly succeeded too!

Singing.

A friend sent this clip to me with much enthusiasm hoping that this advice will keep me amongst his gang for some more time,

I responded to him with “The problem is that I can’t sing anymore. I croak like a frog.”

In his inevitable style he came back with “24/7 News Channel Reports Breaking News. There are many formats of singing like Qawwwalis, Classical, Jazz, Pop etc. Mr. RR has now introduced Croak Singing which is getting to be very popular in Western India.”

A Song For The New Year.

Like I did, many of my readers too went through some difficult times during the last year and also came out of those thanks to grit or more often than not due to angels that got them to keep going like you will find in this song that I dedicate to my readers for the new year 2020.

Before you listen to the song however, I request you to read this story behind the song. Very inspirational indeed.

Well you know those times when you feel like
There’s a sign there on your back
That says I don’t mind if you kick me
Seems like everybody has
Things go from bad to worse
You think it can’t get worse than that
And then they do

You step off the straight and narrow
And you don’t know where you are
Used the needle of your compass
To sew up your broken heart
Ask directions from a genie in a bottle of jim beam
And she lies to you
That’s when you learn the truth

[Chorus]

If you’re goin’ through hell keep on going
Don’t slow down if you’re scared don’t show it
You might get out before the devil even knows you’re there

I’ve been deep down in that darkness
I’ve been down to my last match
Felt a hundred different demons breathin’ fire down my back
And I knew that if I stumbled I’d fall right into the trap
That they were layin’

But the good news is there’s angels everywhere
Out on the street
Holdin’ out a hand to pull you back up on your feet
The one’s that you’ve been draggin’ for so long
You’re on your knees might as well be prayin’
Guess what I’m sayin’

[Chorus]

If you’re goin’ through hell keep on going
Don’t slow down if you’re scared don’t show it
You might get out before the devil even knows you’re there
When you’re goin’ through hell keep on movin’
Face that fire walk right through it
You might get out before the devil even knows you’re there

If you’re goin’ through hell keep on going
Don’t slow down if you’re scared don’t show it
You might get out before the devil even knows you’re there
When you’re goin’ through hell keep on movin’
Face that fire walk right through it
You might get out before the devil even knows you’re there
You might get out before the devil even knows you’re there

Traditions.

The inspiration for this topic came from a character in the novel A Peoples’ History Of Heaven by Mathangi Subramanian. The character is a professional rangoli artist. In my childhood, I distinctly remember rangoli being drawn every morning outside our homes and the logic for it. The images were always drawn with rice flour and the belief and also the fact was that ants would come to eat the flour. Why feed the ants? So that they did not come inside the homes to look for food and also the traditional belief that we are obliged to feed all creatures big and small in whatever way that we can. That tradition of rangoli disappeared from our lives over the years due to urbanisation and moving into flats / apartments but, feeding creatures continues to be practiced quite widely. In my own home, we had the tradition of feeding crows, doves, sparrows and squirrels till urbanisation took its toll but, my children feed stray dogs and cats in our neighbourhood every day and also during the day time when at least one particular tabby cat comes meowing for food a few times.

Many other traditions have disappeared from families due to the pressures of modern life and one that I miss most is the original use for our festivals for the families to come together for a few days of feasting and fellowship. On the other hand, some traditions like respect for elders and taking their blessings continues to exist though even that seems to be disappearing with replacement with modern Hellos and other forms of greetings.

Most families and other groups have traditions that they follow without having any idea as to how they started or the logic for them and I share below two stories to illustrate such traditions.

1. We visited our newly married daughter, who was preparing her first Thanksgiving dinner. I noticed the turkey thawing in the kitchen sink with a dish drainer inverted over the bird. I asked why a drainer covered the turkey.

Our daughter turned to my wife and said, “Mom, you always did it that way.”

“Yes,” my wife replied, “but you don’t have a cat!”

2. When the spiritual teacher and his disciples began their evening meditation, the cat who lived in the monastery made such noise that it distracted them. So the teacher ordered that the cat be tied up during the evening practice. Years later, when the teacher died, the cat continued to be tied up during the meditation session. And when the cat eventually died, another cat was brought to the monastery and tied up. Centuries later, learned descendants of the spiritual teacher wrote scholarly treatises about the religious significance of tying up a cat for meditation practice.

I came up with the idea for this week’s 2 on 1 Friday blog posts where Shackman and I write on the same subject. Please do go over to his blog to see what he has to say about the topic but, before you do, please enjoy this song,

Older And Wiser.

The inspiration for this Friday 2 on 1 post came as I was listening to the old classic “Those Were The Days” by Mary Hopkins. The last verse of the song goes:

“Through the door there came familiar laughter
I saw your face and heard you call my name
Oh, my friend, we’re older but no wiser
For in our hearts, the dreams are still the same.”

Wisdom is defined as “the ability to use your knowledge and experience to make good decisions and judgements”. This of course implies that one has gained knowledge over the years and has also had enough experiences during that process. In my personal case I find that while I have gained a great deal of book knowledge, my experiences do not somehow enable me to take sensible decisions and / or make good judgments. But, believe me the dreams are still the same as they were when I was younger.  Only, now I am wise enough to know that there simply isn’t enough time to make them come true.

I am often surprised by the amount of practical knowledge that people much younger have over the current state of affairs which despite my seniority seems to have eluded me. This, despite my devouring newspapers and periodicals more than the younger lot do who are more dependent on the social media and television plus friends and actual live exposures to the daily grind.

Experience and wisdom, leave alone age is best explained by this Sufi tale.

An old man caught a bird. The bird said to him, “Release me, and I will give you three valuable pieces of advice. I will give you the first when you let me go, the second when I fly up to that branch, and the third when I fly up to the top of the tree.”

The man agreed, and let the bird go.

Now free, the bird said, “Do not torture, torment and burden yourself with excessive regret for past mistakes.”

The bird then flew up to a branch and said,
“Do not believe anything that goes against common sense, unless you have firsthand proof.”

Then the bird flew up to the top of the big tree and said, “You fool. I have two huge jewels inside of me. If you had killed me instead of letting me go, you would have been rich.”

“Darn it!” the man exclaimed. “How could I have been so stupid? I am never going to get over this. Bird, can you at least give me the third piece of advice as a consolation?”

The bird replied, “I was merely testing you. You are asking for further advice, yet you already disregarded the first two pieces of advice I gave you. First, I told you not to torment yourself with excessive regret for past mistakes, and second I told you not to believe things that go against common sense unless there is firsthand proof.

And yet, you just tormented yourself with regret for letting me go, and you also believed that somehow there are two huge jewels inside a tiny bird like me!

So here now is your third piece of advice: “If you are not applying what you already know, why are you so intent on gaining what you do not know?”

Please do go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say about the subject. Thank you.

Time For Some Fun.

My fellow Friday 2 on 1 blogger Shackman has suggested this week’s topic as “Time For Some Fun” and gives three topics. Please go over to his blog to see what he has to say about this topic.

Favourite song lyrics.
Most overrated book/series.
Fave movie in the last year.

The first one is very simple for me. It is this poignant song that has been a ear worm for me for decades.

Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the flowers gone?
Girls have picked them every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the young girls gone?
Taken husbands every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
Where have all the young men gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the young men gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the young men gone?
Gone for soldiers every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time ago.

The next one – Most overrated book/series.

For me, it is a no brainer. It is How To Make Friends And Influence People. . In my not so humble opinion, it is the most superficial way to establish relationships and not for long term ties. The less said the better about this book that made many people snake oil salesmen.

The last one – Fave movie in the last year. For me it was Baahubali 2: The Conclusion.