Tuesday, 13 December 2011

A Letter to My son on his Completing a Score

You have completed a score today and will be entering your 21st year of existence from tomorrow. As I reminisce that moment 20 years back in the MKCG Hospital in Brahmapur I simply find myself the luckiest person on this earth. A star (brighter than the evening star) was born in my house. As the entire environment celebrated your arrival I was more worried than happy as your mother reeled in pain after the CS. At that point of time she was the only individual whom I loved more than anything in the world (I still do love her as much I did then, but the only difference is I no longer exhibit it). I never enjoyed your arrival till she was discharged from the hospital. The happiness all around our extended family was clearly visible. You are the harbinger of the new generation in our family. A bright fair "male" baby weighing 3.63 kgs at birth born to wheatish parents- something not very usual.

Many people predicted so many things for your future. He will be an engineer, He will be a doctor, He will rise to Himalayan heights, He will achieve a lot in life,  so on and so forth. I had no idea what your future really held for you at that point of time. I was just happy that I had become a father though that meant adding one more head to the ever increasing population. I was not physically present with you as you grew up slowly like the moon in the bright fortnight. Thanks to my job transfer! By the time you came to stay with me you were 10 months old. And I vividly remember those days in Talcher when I used to play with you most of the time. Perhaps you are the only baby who was physically so close to me.(I do not know why I keep myself away from small babies). Even Pinky was not that close to me compared to you.

Do you remember the days when it was a real task to send you to Issac Santra Nursery in Christian Para Sambalpur? The teachers there had seen something special in you. You were the most adored child there as long as you were there. I met Ms Panda just a few days back accidentally and she still remembers you. You were a hit in DAV as well and all your teachers are looking forward to see you in the winters this year.( By the way, why don't you prepare a presentation about media studies, its scope and job opportunities etc.for the class X &XI students of your school and deliver it?) You were a teachers' pet in DPS as well and even in the college you are living upto your reputation. That is what "brightness" is. Probably people knew about this special quality in you which I never visualised. And I still curse myself for failing to be with you (and Pinky as well) during your formative years. I never helped you in your studies but still you shined. You are definitely a "gifted" child as one of your professors confided in me a few days back. I am really proud of being your father. God has been kind enough to make me the medium to bring you to this earth.

Each of God's creation, however insignificant it may be, is created with a purpose. As I can visualise today you have come to this world to do something special. You are the messenger of the Almighty to uplift the down trodden and open up new vistas for the mankind. Your contribution to the society will be preserved in the annals of history. I was delighted when you asked me to have the Steve Jobs biography. This will definitely convince you how God creates people for His purpose. To quote from H.W. Longfellow's "Psalm of life":
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.
(this I had read in my high school days and still remember the lines)

Shape your life as you feel like. Live not only for yourself but for the Society at large. The mankind expects a lot from you for its upliftment. Never be serious about anything. Opportunities in life do come. Just have the right attitude to recognise them and grab them in both hands. Have faith in God and His will. Never fear anybody or anything. Be Sincere and Assertive. That is enough to sail through life's journey smoothly. But Life sometimes springs surprises. Don't be afraid of them. Every surprise comes as a challenge to make you wiser and stronger. Just enjoy each and every moment of this life. This is what I learnt from Pinky after she was diagnosed with leukemia.
Can there be a luckier father than me who has such bright kids with such special qualities.

Bored you a lot. HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Going Back 28 Years

It was 25th June 1983. I was 21 years old doing my Mining Engg degree in the then Regional Engg College (Now National Institute of Technology), Rourkela. I was in Mosabani Copper Mine of Hindustan Copper Limited(HCL)doing my mandatory summer internship. People in those days hardly owned TV sets particularly in a remote rural mining township like Mosabani. Although Color television had come to India just a year before in 1982 in the wake of  the ASIAD 82 very few people could afford it.
The third Prudential World Cup was in progress in England. As India was performing beyond their perceived capability people were taking some interest in keeping World Cup news mainly through All India Radio(AIR). All the league matches of India, the Semifinals and Finals were being telecast  live by Door Darshan(DD), the only channel people knew at that time. But the reception of DD in Mosabani was very poor. On a B&W 20 inch TV amidst numerous twinkling dots with the images hardly visible I was watching the Finals standing near a grocery shop along with several other onlookers. I was hardly able to see anything but the commentary was clearly audible. In fact we were all listening the TV when India, the underdogs,  surprised not only the two times defending champion West Indies but the entire cricketing world. They had crushed the giants of the game to emerge as the surprise winners of 1983 World Cup. The whole country celebrated and people who never knew what cricket was became genuinely interested in Kapil Dev and his devils.From that day onwards cricket became the buzz word in this country.
Much water has flown in the river Mahanadi since 1983. 28 long years. India hosted the 1987 World Cup along with neighbours and arc rivals Pakistan. but Australia stole the show. India hosted again in 1996 but this time it was Sri Lanka's turn to steal lime light. India desperately needed a second world cup victory which eluded them even in 2003 when they lost to Australia, who won the title for a third time. Indians would prefer to forget the 2007 episode when India, regarded as favourites, failed to clear the group league stage.
And on 2nd April 2011, before the clock struck 00 hours. Dhoni's Monkeys literally snatched the cup from the clutches of the Lankan Tigers. What a moment that was. The whole nation collapsed into an ocean of celebration.
India were the world champions after 28 years of impatient waiting.
And this time I was watching the finals from the comfort of my drawing room on my color TV amidst violent protests from my sweet daughter who completed 17 years of her existence when the clock struck 12 at midnight. The euphoria of the victory made me so nostalgic that I forgot to wish her for which I hope she will forgive me sometimes. Adults of my age are not expected to be so much crazy for anything but then everybody lives for himself at times. And it really gives pleasure when you get lost in something which you like to do.
Congratulations Dhoni.
And congratulations every true Indian.
Let's strive to make this country soar to the top of the world in every sphere of activity.

Monday, 21 March 2011

What is the Purpose of Life?

A very tricky question to answer.
At least that is what I think.
In this world of extreme materialism and cut throat competitive race how many have the time to stop and think about it?
What is life by the way? Grow up. Amass a lot of money. Get married. Have children. Make them grow up. Get Old and Die!
 This exactly what 99% of humans are doing today. To think about the purpose of life! O God! Why to waste time in this spiritualistic debate? What for the recluses are there? Let them think about it.

When I put forward this question before my colleagues I heard comments like
-You seem to be too much spiritualistic.
-You must be having too much free time to bother about such non sense stuff.
-Why do you worry? Enjoy till you are alive.
-Khao Pio Mauj Karo, Yehi to hai Zindagi.
These were the comments of learned individuals who regard themselves as intellectuals.I just wonder to what extent the level of intellect has gone down.

When I asked my children and their friends "what is the purpose of your life?"
 I invariable got the reply "To be an Engineer, Doctor, Corporate Executive, Entrepreneur, CA, Consultant and so on and so forth."
When I asked a few of them "Beta, Don't you think you should be a good human being first?" They laughed and said very assertively, "Uncle, Nobody will feed us if we become good persons. This is a competitive world. Survival of the fittest. We must excel in our chosen field of activity to enjoy life. You are becoming old so you are thinking of these godly sort of things."
I am amazed by the seer logic the present generation of youths put forward. But they are not to be blamed as we Indians have failed miserably in our duty to pass on our traditional cultural values to our posterity. In our consistent effort to imbibe the West in every walk of life we have completely destroyed our value system.
And the result is reflected in our day to day life.

Insensitiveness reigns supreme. We do not feel the slightest pain seeing a man dying in a pool of blood in an road accident. People dying in thousands in earth quakes , tempests, Tsunamis, floods etc do not create any ripples in our hearts. Corruption at the grass root level is taken as granted. And our extreme self-centredness prevents us from raising our voice against injustice.
We prefer to keep quiet even when injustice is meted out to our own selves.

What are we really? Eunuchs? No. Even this term has got some dignity. We do not deserve it.

Still, what is really the purpose of human life?
To answer in a single phrase, I think, it is "to be a sensitive human being"
Now I leave it to you to decide what a sensitive human being is.
But for God's sake live this life like a human  and not like an ANIMAL.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Why Bad Things Happen to Good People?

This question was posed to me by a spiritual website. I don't know what prompted the site to raise such a hypothetical question. But certainly  it instigated something in me to create this blog. But the question is: do really bad things happen to good people? I am not very sure. To me good and bad are very relative terms. The thing which is good for me may be bad for somebody else and vice versa. Things do happen. But whether the happening is good or bad it all depends on the perception of the individual concerned. If a thing happens as per my wish or expectation then I consider it as good. But if it is the other way round I consider it as bad. And as far as I am concerned I never consider myself  to be in the category of BAD people. So whenever something happens which is against my (a good man's) wish/expectation I say a bad thing has happened to me.
In similar terms our Society brands people as good or bad depending on whether the person concerned is within the moral boundary imposed by it, whether the person adheres to the unwritten norms created by it from time to time. For example nowhere it is written that drinking alcohol will make somebody bad. But a person who drinks regularly is not considered as a good man by the society at large and is literally ostracized. Now if this man meets with an accident the society does not sympathize with him and in a sense enjoys his misfortune. But if a good person (read who does not drink) meets with a similar accident the society feels sorry for him.
Now the same happening(Accident) is  having different implications.
I am really confused whether a good thing happened to a bad person or a bad thing happened to a good person ?
To conclude since good and bad are absolutely relative terms there is no point in brooding over why bad things happen to good people. Let's live life happily without putting too much seriousness into it. Things are destined to happen and we hardly have any control over them. Let's accept things as they come and be happy.
To quote  a few line from a famous book of Dale Carnegie:
                      " O God ! Give me the serenity
                        To Accept Things as they come
                        To Change the things that I can
                        And the Wisdom to know the difference."
Any difference of opinion?  Please speak out.