Meaning/Translation: This sloka tries to describe the qualities of a true Guru. A real Guru experiences the supreme Bliss of Brahmaananda (transcedental divine bliss). He enjoys and confers changeless supreme happiness. He is beyond space and time (there is nothing higher than him). He is the embodiment of wisdom which is the basis for all types of knowledge. He transcends the pair of opposites (such as happiness and sorrow, gain and loss). He is more Omnipresent than space itself. He is the very embodiment of the Divine principle, which is the inner meaning of the four great pronouncements Prajnaanam Brahma, Aham Brahmasmi, Thath Thvam Asi and Ayam Aathma Brahma. He is One without a second (ekam). He never changes under any circumstances (nithyam). He is without any type of impurity (vimalam). He is steady and motionless(achalam). He is the witness of everything. He transcends mental comprehension and verbal explanation. He is beyond the three gunas (sathva, rajas and thamas). I offer my humble salutations to such a Guru who possesses all these qualities.
Of all the weird, bad, happy and exciting things that happen in my life, the one I’m going to narrate beats all the uninvited weird events that have ever happened to me. But the point of my post is not the event. Its my contemplation on the attitude of Indian society which caused this incident. On Thursday night, I was coming back from a dinner party with colleagues and it was bit late (10.30 pm). Suddenly this guy (read:weirdo) came along on bike and started driving beside me. He said hello and I sped up totally ignoring him and his blabbering. He drove all the way to my home. By then I had started to lose my temper. I stopped my Scooty, turned to face him and our conversation followed:-
Weirdo : What were u doing back there, standing and talking with a guy in front of my house?
Me with incredulous look : What on earth are you talking about? Do you even know who I am and where I’m coming from?
Weirdo : You were standing with a guy in front of my house. Don’t stand in front of my house ever again. Its not a good thing.
Me with my temper lost completely and shouting : Are you mad? I’m coming from xxx and haven’t stopped anywhere to talk with anyone. I think you are mistaking me for someone else.
Weirdo : No its you. Its not a good thing to stand and talk like that. Is this your home?
Me shouting : Yes it is. So?
Weirdo : I’ll tell your dad what you were doing.
Me hopping mad and shouting : Yeah?? By all means do so. Just get off your bike and tell my dad.
On this last Saturday, me and my colleagues had gone for a picnic at the local zoo to celebrate birthdays of two persons of our group. Usually we go to some restaurant and have dinner and come back. So this time we planned a day out with lunch funded by the two birthday girls. Oh it wasn’t their birthday on that day. We usually have parties belatedly. So after half day college (Saturday!) we all left for the local zoo + garden + entertainment park. Me and AJ reached in the nick of time to take cover under a shed just as heavy rain started. All the rest of us got totally drenched. I was only worried about the food 😀
After finding a dry spot, we had our lunch and then went to visit the zoo. I have always loved visiting zoos but the sight of caged animals saddens too. This place has lost its glory. In my childhood there used to be so many different types of animals and birds here. The lions and tigers were also quite in number. As the township is a one maintained by public sector industry, poor maintenance and few animals have resulted due to cost cutting. Though zoos don’t only mean caging of animals for display, yet one can’t help but feel sad for free spirited birds like eagle caged in a small cage that 2 in one. I’m sure with time they will lose their wings strength. Also I was surprised to see birds like emu and turkey in an Indian zoo. I’m no expert but I seriously doubt whether Indian climatic conditions are suitable for such exotic birds. Check out the snaps. (Hover the mouse on the photo for its caption. The girl in the yellow dress is yours truly)
Restaurants are now a flourishing, profitable and popular business in the country. Even celebrities have opened their restaurants. But I feel little attention is being paid to the recruitment of qualified,experienced and good waiters. By a good waiter I mean one who is smart, has a pleasing personality & good manners. Instead rude, argumentative and greedy waiters are being inflicted upon unsuspecting customers. I would like to share some of my experiences.
Our 1st year batch in hostel consisted of 17 girls and it was our first outing on our own after getting Freshers Welcome party. Just as we were entering a restaurant in Bhopal (thats where I did my B.E. from), a waiter came and started counting us like 1..2..3 !!!!!! As if we were some beggars lining up to eat at some temple to eat free food!!! We should have walked out but we didn’t…God knows why! The service was horribly late and the food wasn’t worth the price. (Shall I reveal the name of the restaurant to save any future customers?)
Few days back, one of my colleagues (from now M) became a father. He wasn’t ready to get married in the arranged manner in the first place. But coming from a orthodox family he got married to a not yet graduate 21 yr old girl, 7 yrs younger to him and got a laptop & cash etc in dowry. We wouldn’t have come to know that his wife was pregnant if one of his friends hadn’t let the cat out of the bag. He wasn’t at all mentally prepared to be a father but that also happened. [This becoming parents within one year of marriage topic..some other day some other post]. Following the traditions, the pregnant wife went to her parent’s home in January and the husband didn’t go to see her once during these last 5-6 months. The baby arrived on 6 June. Again following the traditions the wife will come back in the month of Sawaan (according to Hindu calender). M will go to bring her back then and as he’ll be going then, he isn’t going now to see his newborn son. Instead M’s elder brother and dad are going!! Even when M is having a long vacation right now.
I’m amazed and shocked beyond words!! How can a father not feel the urge, the restlessness to see his newborn especially first born son? How can he not jump onto the next train to visit his wife and baby especially when money and time are no restraints? How can a wife be cool with this type of situation where the father of the child chooses not to come even when circumstances are favourable? How can a tradition allow a wife to become mother without the father and her husband by her side? Even if the wife longs to see her husband or wants him to come she has to suppress her desires because in our society somehow we are discouraged from showing love towards our spouse openly and especially in front of elder people. What type of father will he turn out to be when he doesn’t feel “I should be the first to see the child”? Instead M says “I heard he has taken after me. So what to see now?”
If there were some pressing matters, then I would have understood. But this? I don’t understand at all!! One thing I know I’m not going to compromise to such a situation and keep quiet if my husband is conveniently unavailable at such a crucial time. As if its a burden which only I have to bear!!
I disregard any such traditions and hollow beliefs that don’t let the husband take care of his pregnant wife and thus don’t let the father grow attached to the coming child. And I also don’t think highly of such fathers who just become so for the heck of it and don’t live upto the responsibilties and honour of the relation.