Life’s Questions.

Who? Who Am I? is the biggest question that a Vedantin asks himself. Till he finds the answer to that question, he keeps searching through various studies, meditation and reflection.  The first stage in this quest is to understand that the subject I is different from the objects mind, body and intellect and finding out the reality of the subject and the impermanent nature of the objects.

What? What life has to offer will always be a mystery and to treat the future with a positive attitude without being afraid.

Where? Where life takes you to go cheerfully and with excitement will make you a wonderful person, ie, a person full of wonder.

Why? Why things happen should always be allowed to be a mysterious and accepted as the reason for our being here.

When? When life deals you with eggs, making omelettes will make you strong enough to handle all the other Ws in this list.

I have suggested this week’s topic. You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  Maria, Pravin, Ashok and Shackman.

Posted in Blogging, Philosophy | Tagged | 1 Comment

Qarib Qarib Single.

I saw this film two days ago but could not publish this review as I needed to get some information which I finally got today.

I wanted to see it primarily for Irrfan Khan being in it but, when I saw Parvathy‘s acting, I was doubly happy that I went to see it. The latter is from Kerala and to the best of my knowledge she appears in a Hindi film for the first time. Her slipping into Malayalam on a few instances was fantastic and her overall handling of a difficult role is remarkable.

Irrfan is outstanding too but full marks to Tanuja Chandra for excellent direction which has brought out both talents into full play for a very satisfying experience of film watching.

Camera work in some of the most scenic places in India is outstanding and many memories of the places like Rishikesh, Sikkim and Delhi were kindled for me.

The plot is unusual and the disparate nature of the two lead characters makes it for some very intriguing situations which leads into some humourous yet perfectly keeping within the storyline situations that are very unusual. I doubt very much that some of our more popular stars could have delivered the performance that Irrfan and Parvathy deliver.

Yet another film where the female part is central to the story and the director being female has enhanced the delivery by Parvathy. I hope that these two will come together again for more movies.

All in all, a movie worth going to watch.

Posted in Movies | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

CRD.

I was unable to see the movie when it was originally released in the theaters close to my home primarily because the timings were very inconvenient for me. I was however quite keen to see it having read good reviews in various newspapers and also from some people who had seen it.

I saw this ad on a few occasions in my favourite newspaper and kept wondering whether to go and see it in the two theatres advertised despite both being quite far from my residence and also the timings being rather inconvenient for me.

Having given up hopes of ever seeing CRD in a theatre, I tried to buy a DVD version without any success. I located the name of the producer/director online and sent hime an email requesting that he arrange to sell me a copy on DVD a couple of days ago and was awaiting his response when a new programme near where the film was showing, Aundh, led me to plan a trip to see the 3.00 pm show of this film and go for the other programmed from there afterwards.

The other problem was to locate the theatre as nobody knew where it was and I am no good at locating anything on the google map. I however got some friends in that part of the town to find out where the theatre was and eventually went there earlier this afternoon.

The home theatre is in the residence of the producer / director and I was fortunate enough to meet his and his very hospitable mother besides being escorted to the show itself in style. I was also able to find out what CRD stood for, the name of the hero of the film, Chetan R Deshmukh!  I was also able to inform the producer/director that he should ignore my email!

I believe that the film is worth all the trouble that I had to take to see which included climbing almost three staircases. The experience was everything that the reviews had talked about and I enjoyed it. A very unusual story but very well brought out for the screen.

If you can possibly get to see it, please do so.

Posted in Movies | Tagged | 4 Comments

¥ouNeed To Believe 2.

Pravin despite being very far away from his normal beat, has taken pains to write a blog post for the LBC.

it is worth reading. You can read it here.

Posted in Blogging | 4 Comments

Mars Again.

Information about Mars does not stop chasing me!

I got this forward from a friend but instead of going to the website, you can read it here as I have been able to copy paste it here.

SCIENTIST CLAIMS THAT MARS WILL NEED A NEW RELIGION

To live on Mars you need oxygen, food, water. But one scientist is arguing that survival needs one other critical factor, religion. Dr. Konrad Szocik, a cognitive scientist, and professor of philosophy claims that a new religion will be essential for a Mars colony.

With Elon Musk claiming that a Mars colony could be underway by 2030. The drastic changes that humans would need to go through because of the untold psychological, mental and physical struggle of living on an off-world colony would require drastic changes to humans and human society. Some scientists have even suggested that humans may need to use genetic engineering to make us better adapted to the environment. But what about the cultural and societal aspect?

There has been new evidence that the basis for the sustainability of early human civilization was the creation of religion. Religion provided an organizational structure that was cemented through rituals. This enabled humans to be able to work and settle down, moving from hunter-gather societies to agriculture and settlements.

Dr. Szocik has not prescribed a specific religion, but the creation of religion generally. In fact, he has suggested that the first wave of settlers may need to create a brand new religion that integrates spaceships and the settlement itself into an origin story.

Not everyone agrees with Dr. Szocik’s theory. Dr. Henrich from Harvard has stated that the creation of rituals for group identity would be needed, but not necessarily religion. He worries that the potential of proselytizing others and it could create conflict that would disrupt the harmony of the settlers.

Religion has already been integrated into space programs. From prayers read in space by astronauts, to priests giving blessings to astronauts on trips, to religious messages being sent out into space for possible connection to extraterrestrial life forms.

The development of a Mars program is still in nascent stages, so we don’t know yet how religion will be integrated. But it would be strange for religion to not exist on a planet named for an ancient god.

Posted in Religion | Tagged , | 17 Comments

You Need To Believe.

Please click on the image below to get a larger resolution.

I don’t believe in the sense that I think Pravin has suggested for this topic. I must confess however, that I started off believing but, now I know.

In the Vedic system, there are four methods to attain liberation. They are; Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Raja Yoga. You will get an idea of what each method means here.

I was led into Jnana Yoga by a series of what I then thought as coincidences, and have stayed in that system by chosing a qualified teacher in our Guru Shishya Parampara.

This system emphasises on Knowing. Therefore, I know. QED.

Pravin has suggested this week’s topic. You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  Maria, Pravin, Ashok and Shackman.

Posted in Blogging, Buddhism, India, Philosophy, Religion | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

Martians.

I did not join this mad rush. Frankly, I did not even know that something like this was afoot. I would still have not joined up for this lark anyway.

I am already a Martian.

In my immediate neighbourhood, there are four Cooperative Housing Societies named after planets. Venus, Pluto, Mars and Neptune. The builder who had developed this area must have had some sense of humour!

I live in the Mars Cooperative Housing Society and therefore I am already a Martian. QED.

Posted in Humor, India, People | Tagged , | 13 Comments

Secret Superstar.

Another woman centric movie from Bollywood. I am beginning to think that there is a wave or something for such a stream of woman centric movies coming out of Bollywood used for so long to mushy romances or violent action movies with male leads stealing the show.

My advice before I expand, go see the movie if you can.

Take a teenaged girl keen to show off her singing talent and to become a professional singer from an orthodox Muslim family, her mother who encourages her, teenage school romance, domestic violence, patriarchy, misogyny, feticide, eccentric music director, etc, and mix it all together in a story that is very believable and you get Secret Superstar.

Excellent acting by all the cast, super direction, photography and tight editing gives a great viewing experience and keeps playing with the viewers’ emotions all the time. I had a couple of viewers sitting in the row just before me who were constantly weeping and wiping their eyes or saying ooh and aah at various stages of the screening. A novel experience for me. I too was affected but not to that demonstrative extent.

What I liked most about the experience is the very believable yet small role played by the superstar Aamir Khan who has allowed all the rest of the cast to show case their talent while keeping his own role small but effective.

I reiterate, go and see it if you have not already seen it.

Posted in Movies | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Mentally Challenged.

Please click on the image to get a larger resolution.

This very thing happened to me yesterday.

The same friend who was bored, and I were chatting on WhatsApp about earth shaking matters like The New Gilded Age when suddenly he asked me if I played online quiz games.

A little background – my friend who is also a cousin twice removed, and I lost touch with each other following my leaving Chennai in 1958 and have reestablished contact only since the last few years during one of my visits to Chennai. We are yet to catch up with many things that happened to us during all those years and we are in the process.

After that question the discussion went something like this:

I: No. I don’t have the time and in any case I am mentally challenged.
F: Have you always been mentally challenged?
I: Yes, at least from 1968 when I got married. My late mother in law told me that I was mentally challenged when I asked for her daughter’s hand.
F: I thought that the best thing that you ever did was to get married to U!
I: Yes, but her mother did not think so. She was convinced that I was making a mistake.
F: Was your Mother In Law, mentally challenged?
I; No, she retired as a very senior bureaucrat and was just so clear in her mind that I was nuts for wanting to marry her daughter, just like my late mother was when she told my late wife that she was nuts for marrying me. (Incidentally, my late mother and my friend’s late mother were first cousins.)

The topic then wandered off to his own marriage and forwarding of photographs etc. He diplomatically did not agree or try to persuade me to try to play the game though he sent me an exchange he had with another player against whom he had won a game.

He must have felt that otherwise, such intellectually stimulating chats will come to an end! I suspect that he realised which side of the bread was buttered and dropped the subject.

And that brings me to this lovely story.

Two sages of Chelm got involved in a deep philosophical argument.

“Since you’re so wise,” said one, sarcastically, “try to answer this question: Why is it that when a slice of buttered bread falls to the ground, it’s bound to fall on the buttered side?”

But as the other sage was a bit of a scientist he decided to disprove this theory by a practical experiment. He went and buttered a slice of bread. Then he dropped it.
“There you are!” he cried triumphantly. “The bread, as you see, hasn’t fallen on its buttered side at all. So where is your theory now?”

“Ho-ho!” laughed the other, derisively. “You think you’re smart! You buttered the bread on the wrong side!”

Posted in Family, Friendship, Humor, Language, Relationships | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Area 51.

I have never heard of Area 51.

Since Shackman who suggested this title for this post is off grid sans a computer, I wouldn’t be any wiser till I read his post, if he ever writes at all.

From what I have gathered in the Wikipedia entry for it, I am glad that I am ignorant about this subject.

I am sorry that I am unable to contribute anything more on the subject.

Shackman has suggested this week’s topic. You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  Maria, Pravin, Ashok and Shackman.

Posted in Blogging | Tagged , | 14 Comments