A Brilliant Idea.

All of us are exposed to drones. You know the kind that keeps going on and on and will not indulge in conversations. This breed insists on monologues and unless one is willing to be rude, like I am often reputed to be with drones, one is forced to endure such painful episodes.

Not anymore. A devise that is an epitome of simplicity in its concept will simply shut such drones up without much ado. I hope that it is soon made available in a more handy and clandestine use capability version for discriminating people to carry around unobtrusively.

You can read all about it here.

The Bore.

“Bore:  A man who deprives you of solitude without providing you with company.”
~Gian Vincenzo Gravina

Gravina made a mistake. I would have said, a person instead of a man. Not that I suspect Gravina to be a male chauvinist, but because, I recently had to endure over an hour of utter boredom and frustration, condemned by my inability to say “no” to a young lady. I don’t remember when it was that I last had a head ache, but this monologue, with just a few interruptions from me, left me with a splitting one. The young lady is having marital problems and I can understand why. If she goes on and on with her husband the way she did with me, the poor sod will naturally seek the nearest bar and male company. Now, lest I be accused of being sexist, I grant that the other way round is also a possibility, but this post is a direct outcome of my recent experience with a lady. No more, no less. I have had experiences of other bores of the masculine variety too.

Many years ago, as part of a training program, I came across this quotation. “The barnacle is confronted with an existential decision about where it is going to live. Once it decides, it spends the rest of its life with its head cemented to a rock of its choice.”

Bores are usually of this description. They learn enough to get into some activity that will give them an income and stop growing after that, or, often in the case of Indian women, get married, produce children and become nags. They learn nothing new, and if in employment, will get time scale promotions and increments and will retire peacefully and disappear into oblivion, much to the relief of many bored and frustrated objects of their attention, including children.

But, in the meanwhile, they will cause havoc to their environment and will get more bitter about their inability to maintain or grow in relationships, and take out the bitterness on unsuspecting listeners, like me with my latest experience. They become stale and people avoid them like the plague. Unfortunately, I cannot avoid this particular bore as she is the daughter of a very good friend of mine, and I have known her since she was a babe in arms. On the other hand, her parents who are classic cases of the barnacle syndrome live a safe distance away from me and except for the occasional phone call, I do not have to listen to them take off on the trials and tribulations of their only child, now safely married away to an unsuspecting young man, who I am sure must now be regretting ever having set his eyes on her. He perhaps has no sympathetic and indulgent ‘uncle’ to listen to him, and may sooner than later, decide to call the whole thing off. I hope that he reads this to know that if he does that, he will have my full understanding and support.

My barnacle friend followed his daughter and called me a day later to figure out why I gave the advise that I did to his precious. The advise was that since the marriage was not working, and luckily they did not have children, the girl should opt for a divorce and go back to her parents. My friend felt that I should have advised her to change her ways and adjust to her husband. I bluntly told him that his daughter was incapable of change and she too has become a barnacle. Not quite in those words, but in sum and substance. I also suggested that since I am not a psychologist or a psychiatrist, he persuade his daughter to opt for counseling, to which he took great offense. I gave up and apologized and hung up before he too gave me a head ache.

Jean, I hope that you are reading this. Now you know why occasionally I get the whymeitis. Such distractions come looking for me. I am human.


Welcome to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where Ashok, Conrad, gaelikaa, Grannymar and I write on the same topic. Please do visit the linked blogs to get five different flavours of the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by Grannymar. Grannymar is lucky! Of all of us, she would know most about this topic.

“True silence really means going deep within yourself to that place where nothing is happening, where you transcend time and space. You go into a brand new dimension of nothingness. That is where all the power is. That is your real home. That is where you really belong, in deep Silence, where there is no good or bad, no one trying to achieve anything. Just being, pure being. Silence is the ultimate Reality.”
~ Robert Adams.

Way back in 1978, I was on the fast track career-wise and burning the candle at both ends with a great deal of social obligations. My dear friend Sultan advised me to take to Transcendental Meditation (TM) made popular by the Beatles. Sultan had heard a lecture on the benefits of this technique and thought that I may yet be saved if I took to it. I did. After only about a week of regular practice ie. twice a day for twenty minutes each session, there was so much change in me that Urmeela wanted to learn and she did. Both of us regularly meditated and that was the turning point in my life, both in my career and personal life. Nothing else changed. The pressures of the career and social obligations remained, but I changed .

It simply meant that I was contacting that Silence that the opening quote talks about and the contacting was impacting my mind and body in a very positive way.

That exposure led me to study Indian spirituality for the first time and that has remained my first priority reading till today. It also led me to seek others on the same path and my spiritual progress has been enriched by those connections.

Six years later, in 1984 my mentor and boss at work, challenged me to successfully complete a ten day meditation camp to learn and practice Vipassana meditation. The requirements were to agree to ten days of total silence, no intoxicants and abstinence. Not one to let a challenge pass by, I attended a camp – and got hooked. So did Urmeela, once again seeing the beneficial effect it had on me. Both of us switched over to Vipassana. I started attending a minimum of one full 10 day camp and one or two short camps every year till, other compulsions made it impossible for me to go away for such long breaks from normal life. My practice however continues and I can no longer be without that daily dose of meditation. The exposure to such intense silence and meditation changed me completely.

The single most important aspect of meditation is the getting in touch with the Silence. All other benefits sucha s, increasing mindfulness, understanding and internalising impermanence, are byproducts, as beneficial as they may be. In that Silence lies my present and future.

Naturally, I prefer that Silence even during non meditation times and have been able to become a good listener because of that preference. This has had the unintended result of my becoming a mentor for many people who seek me out. I inevitably guide them to start any form of meditation that they will be comfortable with. I do not teach them, but guide them to teachers who can. I have seen some remarkable changes taking place in them with that, the most important being less agitated and stressed.

Silence and solitude go hand in hand. It is ecstasy when I can get it. I can be very creative and mindful in whatever I do, thanks to the regular getting in touch with my Silence in solitude.