The Two Hours of Bliss!

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Ji

I am sure most of you are aware of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Ji. In case you aren’t, visit http://srisriravishankar.org/. I was one of those lucky ones who got the opportunity to experience two blissful hours with him today in Hindu College, DU. This was the first time I heard him speak and since I heard him speak, his words have been reverberating in my ears. The experience was so enchanting, so enthralling, that I could not help sharing it with you all. What follows is a brief synopsis of his message to the youth and a few questions, out of many, that I could remember and their answers, as best as I could retrieve. If you are someone aged between 15 to 30, I would insist you to go through it. I assure, you’ll love it!  And who knows, this might be a turning point in your life.

A synopsis of his message to the youth:

Have two goals in life. Have one personal goal for yourself and have one goal for your country and this world. If each one of us is able to influence at least five individuals, think of where the world would be! Have a goal of spreading smiles across miles. We see cats and dogs dusting all the filth that they collect on their odyssey and then move on. We should learn that quality from them. We should leave all that is filthy and negative and move on in life.

Q: How  can I draw 48 hours from 24 hours?

A: Through meditation. Even twenty to thirty minutes of meditation will energize you. A labor as well as the prime-minister have 7 days in a week. And both complain that they do not have time. It is all about how efficiently you can work in less time. Meditation will surely help

Q: How can I forget my ex-boyfriend?

A: Well, I have no experience about it but let me try to give an answer. There are 7 billion people here on earth. Out of those people, about half are men. That leaves us with 3.5 billion men. Now let us assume that 1 billion of those 3.5 men are old. So we will leave them aside. Now you are left with 2.5 billion men to choose from. Why do you still want to go for that 1 rotten apple. Pick one from the 2.5 fresh ones.

Q: Why are we born? What is the real purpose behind my existence?

A: That is an excellent question. And you should not share this with anyone. Ask this question to yourself again and again and again and again and again and again… A person who knows its answer will not give you an answer and a person who answers this question for you does not know the answer!

Q: How can we decide which political party to vote?

A: I think we should keep changing them. Vote different parties in every five years. Power makes even the best of us corrupt. Politicians are like horses. You should make a good use of them for five years and then tell them to rest. This will make them all keep a check on every other party. Just keep the reins of those horses in your hands.

Q: Is politics dirty?

A: It is the people who make politics dirty. If people with the right attitude enter into politics, it can be better.

Q: What is the need of a Guruji in today’s world?

A: What is the need of such a question? Now that the question has come up, someone has to answer it. This is the need of a Guruji.

Q: How can I choose a career that my parents do not approve of?

A: Why do you even want to choose a career that your parents do not like? Your question should be, “How can I drop a career that my parents don’t like?” Choose a career that could fetch you a decent livelihood. Your parents may be worried because you want to take up your hobby as a career. It is good to have a hobby. But you should not make it your career. Career comes out of your brain and your hobby comes out of your heart.

Q: How can I cope with the tensions at my home?

A: Take a deep breath and say to yourself, “this will pass…”

Q: What o be my role in curbing terrorism?

A: Through education. There is no direct way because terrorists are cowards. They do not attack on your face. Through education and spiritual upthrust.

Q: God is not supposed to be biased. Why is it  that some are poor and some are rich?

A: God has a complex brain. It would be better if you give up thinking about its mechanism. There can be many such questions you know, like, why do we have two eyes on one side and why not one eye at the front side of our face and the other one at the back side. Or why do we have 2 holes in 1 nose and why not one big hole instead.

Q: When can Nuclear power come to an end?

A: When we have a spiritualized politics, socialized business and secularised religion.

Q: How can I drive away the negative thoughts while I study and focus more?

A: Meditate.

Q: What do you say about the world ending in 2012?

A: Only in American movies…

Q: How can I score good marks in exams in less time?

A: Meditate.

Q: How can I avoid watching porn which is so easily available these days?

A: Meditation and Pranayam will help you keep a control over your mind. It will elevate you to a different level altogether.

Q: How can I cope with a dear one’s death?

A: Time will heal it. Meditation will also help.

Q: Do chanting of mantras help?

A: What is your reaction when someone verbally abuses you? You get angry don’t you? When an abusive word can create such a negative energy in and around your body, then how can such sweet chants not have any effect on our body?

Q: I am a gay. Is there something wrong about it?

A: It is a biological phenomenon and nothing else. Why do you need to be ashamed about it? Moreover, you do not need to label yourself. Such feelings change overtime. There are some men who realize that they are gay even after forty years of their straight marriage.

Q: I committed a mistake. How can I get rid of the guilt?

A: Let it go. Right now. At this very moment. Give it all to me.

Q: Should I choose a beautiful girl or a smart girl?

A: The choice is entirely yours. Choose any. But do not tell the girl why you chose her. That would not make you smart.

Q: How do we know what is wrong and what is right?

A: Some thing that gives you short-term happiness and long-term misery is wrong and the thing that gives you long-term happiness and short-term sorrow is right.

Q: How can I reduce my ego?

A: The secret is to blow it up. Blow your ego to such an extent that it begins to cover ‘WE’ instead of just ‘I’.

Q: What is success?

A: I define success as, “a smile that never dies off. A confidence that never withers away.”

Q: I am afraid of commitment. What should I do about it?

A: Think of it as, someone promising you for a movie but not showing up or a friend promising you to give you some notes but he forgets. Keep yourself at the receiver’s end.

PS In case you were present there too and you remember some other question/answer/both then do share. Make a difference J

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A Letter to Nelly Furtado

 

Dear Nelly,

 

When despair envelops my mind, my spirits crash and the color of my face turns blue (from red), I take refuge under your song “All Good Things Come to an End”. Without a slightest doubt, your song is beautiful. But unfortunately, since June 2006, it has been misinterpreted my millions. Until this time, I belonged to that set too. All this while, my gloomy thoughts and your libretto were in complete harmony. Akin you, I monotonously wondered, “Why do all good things come to an end?” By no means did I endeavor to hunt for an answer and thus, I kept on sinking deeper and deeper inside a bottomless pit. A short time ago, however, I accidentally stumbled on a way out to your speculations. And now I finally have an answer to your million dollar question (that literally paid you well, a million dollars!) Here it goes…

 

To cut a long story short, all the good things in the world come to an end simply to make room for the better ones, my dear. As simple as that! You see, I recently read a book by Dr. Spencer Johnson called “Who Moved My Cheese?” In case you haven’t read this already, I’d suggest you to glance at it. The book highlights the importance of adapting oneself to ceaseless changes; the sooner the better. For when a chunk of your favorite “cheese” turns mossy or has been “removed”, you can always look out for a “new cheese” that outshines the former “cheese”. Using cheese as a metaphor for one’s desires, job, relationship, etc, Dr. Johnson delivers a simple yet profound message. Going by the same logic, when a good thing comes to an end, sooner or later, a better one always comes into sight. And the best part is, the best ones never end!

 

 

Here’s an instance to support my argument- I know of a friend who loved this guy madly that dumped her after 2 years of relationship. She lost all her hopes and kept wondering for about a year and a half “why did this happen to her?” Few years later, she met another guy who could finally teach her to love again and now she feels thankful that she underwent such a terrible heartbreak then only to meet a guy who truly respects her feelings. So, a good thing came to an end and a better one became apparent. I am also aware of a kind of love which is “the best of all” and so will never end. It’s the love that I am blessed to receive from my parents. Come what may, it will never end. I can bet your entire million dollars on it!

 

 

Nelly, I do not intend to criticize the lyrics of your song. It conveys optimism but indirectly and thus, people with brains often fail to notice the latent and the obvious. I merely aim at sharing this little message with you and any one who reads this letter. I hope that people like you and I, instead of retreating from a dark tunnel, will try to perceive the luminosity that lies at the end of it and move ahead.

 

 

Kind Regards,

 

A Newly Enlightened Soul.

 

 

So, I’ll see you soon then…


Anaita was about to finish her lunch when she heard a long screech.

 

“Excuse me…”

 

Somebody was trying to make his way through the crowd. After a couple of seconds, the speaker stopped right beside her. She looked up to see two guys, one of whom, clad in a purple t-shirt, sat right beside her and almost completely over her mobile and headphone. His friend sat right opposite to him. She wondered whether the screech she heard before was let out by one of the two. She cleaned up the mess and took out a book by Robin Sharma. She began reading amidst the chatter and subsequent laughter of the two young men. She tried to concentrate, pretending that she wasn’t listening to them. Robin Sharma, who has inspired several readers, could not actually inspire her to prolong reading and she had to stop right at the introduction and switch over to Justin Timberlake.

After some time, both of them got up and were about to go somewhere. The guy in the purple t-shirt wanted to take his bag from the upper berth and stood right in front of her. His shirt slid up, during the process and she could see his belly. She turned her gaze down. After few minutes, as they walked away, the compartment turned pretty silent.

 

The guy in the purple t-shirt came back after some time and sat towards her right. Later, he moved to his original seat to her left. He had a lower berth and she was allotted the middle one. She wanted to read her book again but the other co-passengers wanted to take a nap and so the lights were put out. Sensing her misery, he offered her to occupy the window seat and himself moved towards her right.

 

“You like reading Robin Sharma?” he asked.

 

“Well, I haven’t really gone through his works adequately. I have read about thirty-three pages of ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’ and I liked it. So, I thought of buying this one.” She started reading again before perceiving his reaction. She was travelling alone and had no intention of inviting any kind of trouble.

 

He was watching a movie in his laptop and broke into regular fits of laughter. She found it weird in the beginning but sooner than later, she was accustomed to it.

 

“You’re a south-Indian?” she asked.

 

“Sorry?” He had his ear-piece on.

 

“That’s a South-Indian movie, ‘Bomarillu’, right?”

 

“Oh! Yeah”

 

“You’re a south-Indian?”

 

“Yes”

 

“Well that’s a nice movie. I have watched it”

 

“You belong to South-India too?”

 

“Oh! No. I have watched it with sub-titles.”

 

“Oh! Okay.”

 

Their brief conversation ended quickly. He continued to watch his movie and she continued with that book until it became unbearable for her. She wanted to take a nap and asked him to change places again. He got up, trying to manage a couple of wires that that lay there, tangled, and asked “So, are you through with the book?”

 

She smiled and said, “Well this book is quite boring”.

 

“Yeah your age and Robin Sharma are no good combination.”

 

She smiled feebly wondering whether he knew her age and if yes, then how? She was feeling drowsy and decided to ignore the matter. Minutes transformed into hours and her boredom was at its peak. At around 6pm, he spoke again “Aren’t you feeling bugged?”

 

“Yeah, a lot”

 

“You’re going to Allahabad?”

 

“Yeah”

 

“Is that your home town or something?”

 

“Yeah”

 

There was a little pause. Both of them were hesitating to speak.

 

“So you are Miss…?”

 

“Anaita. Anaita Chauhan. And you are Mr. Venkatesh, right?” She had heard him speaking his name over phone to his friend.

 

“Yeah, Venkatesh. You visit this place frequently?”

 

“Umm… Yes. This is the first time that I am travelling alone actually.” A part of her regretted at this statement. She could not trust a stranger. But the other part assured her that she was safe. There was certainly something about him that convinced her that she could trust him. She could not believe that a girl like her could actually talk to a complete stranger, blurting out almost all her necessary details.

 

“So are there any good places to visit in Allahabad?” he asked after a long interval.

 

She suggested him a few places that she has been to. Their talks began to gear up. They talked about each other’s family members, professions, home-towns etc. She learnt that he is an army officer. Anaita had a very strong admiration and attraction towards Army men. She started thanking her lucky stars. “Wow! You do look like one” was her instant reply. Army men have always fascinated her. And there she was, sitting right beside one. He narrated a number of experiences that he underwent as a Captain. She asked him how old he was. He was 26. Most importantly, he already knew that she was 17!

 

They reached a station at around 8.30pm. He went out saying that he needed some fresh air. After a couple of minutes, he came back and said,”The train is going to stop here for about 15 minutes. You can get down if you want.”

 

“Hey just get me a….” She began to speak. “Alright, leave it. I’ll come with you.” she said, changing her mind.

She followed him and got down at the station. She looked out for a stall and started heading towards one. She expected him to accompany her but he stood there, watching. She turned towards him a number of times sending out a hint that she wanted him to come along with her. But he failed to understand and she finally decided to help herself. After purchasing a water bottle, she turned back triumphantly but he was no where to be seen. She was searching for him. For a second she felt she was all alone. She went inside, kept the bottle at her seat and came out, again, looking out for him.

 

She finally saw him coming towards the bogie and blurted out,”Where were you? I was looking for you.” She spoke such imposing words as if she knew him since ages and had a right over him; as if he was accountable to him. She wanted to take back her words but they did the harm already.

 

“I was looking for coffee actually. You want one?” he replied.

 

“No. Thank you.”

 

“Just a second, I will look out for a coffee there” he said and started moving in the opposite direction. He informed her about his intentions this time. He was probably moved by her comment. She preferred to go inside. A few minutes later, he returned with two cups of coffee in his hand.

 

“This one is for you” he said, smiling.

 

“Well I have got something to eat.” She said and bent down to take out a packet containing two patties and offered him one.

 

“I am on a diet actually. I don’t eat stuff like this”

 

“Hey, you can eat it occasionally.” I insisted.

 

He took it from me saying, “I should not take food from strangers”

 

“Then I should be the first one to return this coffee”.

 

They laughed.

 

After the refreshments they talked about each others hobbies. He turned out to be a sporty guy, as expected, and a devotee of Lord Krishna. It was now Anaita’s turn to throw some light up on her hobbies.

 

“I write” she said.

 

He seemed impressed with her reply. Delighted, she showed him her compositions and he loved them. She was glad she had something that could actually impress a guy in the Indian Army. The Army-effect was still all over her mind.

 

The other co-passengers had settled on their berths and were about to sleep. They switched off the lights and there she was, sitting beside a stranger.

 

“What is your date of birth?” She asked.

 

“19th December. And yours?”

 

“23rd March”

 

He offered her to watch a movie in his laptop and she agreed spontaneously. She did not need a second thought. By now, he was a little more than just a co-passenger to her. They settled down to watch a movie and shared the ear-piece. They sat pretty close, closer than what was right and permissible. Out of hesitation, he shifted a little away from her. With time, they became more comfortable. They changed the movie twice and finally ended up watching children’s movie, ‘Bed-time Stories’.

 

The movie ended and they sat beside each other in silence. She realized that they remained silent more than they conversed. But that silence was a comfortable one. Their shoulders were still in contact but this time, none of them moved.

 

“What do u like and hate the most?” She asked, breaking the silence.

 

“Umm… I love children. I hate discrimination against women. I hate child labor. What do u like?”

 

She wondered whether the reply was meant to impress her or was genuine. She didn’t want to assume anything.

 

“I like honesty. I like straight-forwardness. I like the rain. I like watching the moon. I love the night. I like children who behave like children.”

 

He smiled at her last statement. “And what do u hate?”

 

“I hate smokers. No. I hate smoking. I hate corruption. I hate hypocrisy, back-stabbers. That’s all, I guess”.

 

There was silence again.

 

They now talked about their personal lives. She asked him if he had been in a relationship before. He seemed honest with her. She was asked the same question. She was amazed at how comfortable he made her feel. He gave her the space to speak her heart out. She told him everything she desired and everything she felt. He was a great listener. She had no clue about the way in which she should address him. She tried to figure out a relationship between them. She had never befriended somebody who’s so older than her. She finally concluded, ‘Some relationships do not need a name and this was one of them’.

 

At 6.30am Shakira’s voice woke her up. She heard the other passengers saying that the destination was still an hour away.  She peeped down to see if he was still asleep but he was nowhere to be seen. She was too drowsy to go on a hunt again and went back to sleep.

 

After sometime, she felt a friendly pat on her hand, “Time to wake up”, he said in a cheerful voice. She smiled at him.

 

Her friends say she looks the sweetest when she wakes up in the morning. She wondered if he felt the same.

She freshened up and sat by his side.  She was thinking about the previous night. They were about to depart in a few minutes and she didn’t know if she will ever be able to see him again. She did not know what he was thinking, how he felt. All she knew was, this cannot be the end. There has to be a reason for their meeting here, in this way.

 

They were almost there.

 

“So, it was nice traveling with you, Anaita” he said, standing up and smiling at her.

 

“Have you watched Dear John?” she asked, paying no attention to his statement.

 

“Umm… Dear John…Yes. Partly, I guess”

 

By this time the train had already entered the station and was slowly coming to a halt. They stood there, facing each other.

 

“There is a one-liner in the movie that the actress always said to the actor, in a different context though. He was an army officer too.”

 

I looked into his eyes, smiled weakly and said, “So, I’ll see you soon then…”

 

 

A Short Tale.

I was walking quietly on my lonely way

But suddenly in the crowd I went astray.

I looked around for any familiar face

But not a single soul could give me solace.

I felt a jerk, stumbled and fell apart

People came and stepped over my heart

I tried to protect it but it was too late.

I picked up the broken pieces and cursed my fate.

I stood up and started walking again

Battling with the bitter world just to sustain.

I went by a rivulet and sat over a heap

Placed my head over my hands and began to weep

“Why is this world so harsh, so bitter?

I am no more a loser, I have become a quitter.

Isn’t there a soul who can bring my misery to an end

Oh gimme an angel whom I can proudly call my friend.”

I burst into tears, feeling sombre.

Suddenly I felt a hand on my shoulder.

The touch was not familiar,the sensation was new

I turned around and there was you.

You took my hand and sat beside

And all the worries moved aside.

You wiped my tears and made me smile

My milieu turned to pleasant from vile

You listened to every word I spoke

And laughed even on my stupidest joke

You turned my world upside down.

To make me smile, you even became a clown

We sat together in silence for long

The moment was perfect nothing was wrong

But suddenly I saw you walking away

I closed my eyes and began to pray

“Whoever she was, she has entered my heart.

O god! I beg you, please don’t keep us apart.

Bring her back and I’ll never let her go

Don’t break my heart; please don’t say no.”

Tears started rolling down my cheek

My misery was at its peak

There was not a single creature around

After a long silence, I finally heard a sound.

“She is the angel that you asked for, your friend

Who shall be with you till eternity’s end.

She broke all the barriers and entered your heart

And now even I can’t keep you two apart.

Even if she is not around, she is not away.

Unseen and unheard, she’ll walk beside you everyday.

For in your heart you have erected those walls again

You may not, but in your heart she’ll always remain.”

He was gone and there was silence again

The words he uttered, didn’t ease my pain.

I turned around and started to walk away

Pondering over his words, closed my eyes in the middle of the way.

I wondered if what he spoke was really true

But when I opened my eyes and looked beside,

I found you!

The Naughty Intrusion

 

In the quietness of a  frosty night,

A puny thought opened his eyes.

He looked towards his left and then to his right

Slid the covers and revealed his disguise.

One foot down and a gesture of caution

Another foot down in the same old fashion

Slyly he sneaked out of his house

Into the night, leaving behind his spouse.

 

The streets were quiet, the night was dark.

Crickets kept insisting but winsome didn’t bark.

This put off the fireflies and they didn’t shine

The town was asleep when the clock struck nine.

 

In a chocolaty house of the silent town

Resided a hefty little plumber.

He sang a song and became a clown

Until his child began to slumber.

The red-haired wretch then began his mission

And knocked fiercely on the door of Mr. Kishan

Terrified, the baby began to wail.

Winsome began to bark, wagging his tail.

 

Into the street, stormed the fuming plumber

And many came out of their peaceful slumber

The crickets were stupefied and ceased to creak

The town was brimming with a mischievous reek.

 

One by one, the lights were lit

Noises began to grow, bit by bit.

Fireflies were happy and gleamed again

Each left his abode in utter disdain.

 

The cheeky imp, content, made for his house

Slyly he entered & lay next to his spouse

He let out a wicked laugh and slowly dossed down

Whilst each lay wide awake in his night gown.

 

 

 

P.S. The red-haired imp is a disturbing thought that keeps you awake all night and lets you do nothing but think about it all the time.

I had never thought…

I had never thought

we’ll meet each other.

But after we did,

I realized that we were made for each other.

 

I had never thought

I’d talk to you.

But after we talked,

I didn’t want us to fall silent.

 

I had never thought

I could trust you.

But after I did,

I wanted to share my deepest of secrets with you.

 

I had never thought

you would care.

And when you did,

I found myself closer to you.

 

I had never thought

you would understand.

But when you did,

I found that you knew me the best.

 

I had never thought

we’d be friends.

And now that we are,

I promise to remain your friend forever.

 

I had never thought

your smile would make my day.

And once you smiled

nothing seemed impossible.

 

I had never thought

you’d be so special.

And now that you are,

you hold a very special place in my heart.

 

I had never thought

I’d love you

and now that I do,

I shall continue to do so till my last breath.

 

I had never thought

I could see my face in your eyes.

And when I saw,

I found a way to heaven.

 

I had never thought

we’d be so close

and now that we are,

the very thought of separation hurts.

 

I had never thought

you would leave me.

And now that you’re gone

every single piece of my broken heart yearns for you.

 

I had never thought

I’d ever miss you.

But now that you are away,

I miss you each and every day.

 

I had never thought

life would be so difficult without you

and now that it is,

I hope it ends soon.

 

My Quest.

 

For people are known by their deeds

I’ve promised myself

to remain responsible for every step I undertake

every time I succeed and every time I fail.

 

For nothing happens for no reason

I’ve promised myself

to discover the truth that remains hidden behind

not to seek but find.

 

For I was born with an instinct to rebel

I’ve promised myself

to fight always for what is right

safeguarding my rights, reach to a height.

 

For life’s not a bed of roses

I’ve promised myself

to beautify a few lives with my presence

and spread in their lives, the hues of love and fragrance.

 

For I cannot keep the entire world happy

I’ve promised myself

to bring a smile on the few faces around me

and remain happy for the dear ones who surround me.

 

For I cannot change the world

I’ve promised myself

to make my world a better place to live in

and get atleast something out of nothing.

 

for I cannot know everyone

I’ve decided

to know myself in the best possible way

what I really want and what keeps me gay.

 

For I just cant remain committed to others

I’ve promised myself

to fulfill every promise I’ve made to myself

and work towards my goal, with a control over my inner self.

 

But even I am a human

even i hurt others, break their heart.

I’m not perfect; I’ve got no art

even I back off from what I say

I’m no special; for all my sins I’ll pay one day.

 

I am not always right,even I commit mistakes

I am not so strong, even my heart breaks.

I am not an angel, I am not God

I cannot pretend to be someone that I am not.

 

But I am happy, I’m contended

not for what I have achieved but for what I have

and I do love myself

not for what I have done but for who I am.