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Vague Memories

Posted by Mrityunjay on November 14, 2013

Some of those memories seem so far away. .as if they had happened to another person in another life. . Not you. . Not in this life. . So that’s that? Is this really another life and me another person?  Or is it just hallucination pulling curtains over your cognitive dissonance? Is this a case of reality blinded by imagination or my thoughts seduced by aphrodisiacal fallacies?

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Lessons I’ve learned About Life

Posted by Mrityunjay on January 12, 2012

The year 2012 has begun on a peaceful note. It is that time of the year when you are experiencing chilled winter weather, all cuddled up inside the blanket, munching on whatever fatty items you could lay your hands on. Winter is said to instigate mood blues but in my case it is more of reflections of times gone by, that has kept me staring into emptiness. I have been on this earth for nearly three decades and that’s a long long period. When you are in a city like Delhi, where there are buildings that measure their age by the millennia, it helps to put that brief blink of the eye into perspective. I have been around for long enough yet the pattern of my past signals me as if I have barely begun.

Talking about reflections, I guess I have managed to imbibe certain lessons. No, I am not bright enough to grab these lessons when they first appeared but it’s more like repeated demonstrations of a given law by life when you are finally forced to make it a part of your bloodstream. Call it lessons or discoveries about life, world and people; I am going to list some of them. You might have read them before or heard from some motivational speaker but well..I am talking about my own experiences.

  • Nobody, I repeat nobody has it all figured out. Don’t even bother to solve all the riddles life throws at you.

  • People come and go including some close ones. But old friends stay there. Trust me, there is no better balm than spending a good evening with an old friend over a cup of coffee or better, a bottle of beer.

  • There are always subtle signals left on the trail. The idea is to identify them.

  • Too easy to say. Said often. Yet I repeat, let go of expectations. Whether it’s from people, books, job, family, beloved, just let go or reduce it to minimum. There is no point putting your expectations in a predetermined box that has little to do with reality. Imagine, you setting up an idealized version of the thing (or person) and then try to fit the reality into this ideal? Tell me how is it going to work?

  • Some of the best things in life are free. Totally. Think of a good book, an old friend, a walk around the neighborhood park, a good hug, talking to any random kid, rain during the winter or even when you are all cuddled up under the quilt. All are free.

  • The worst sin one can do is to compare himself/herself to others. I am unique. You are unique. Nothing else matters.

  • When you are fed up of your life, pick a book.

  • We Indians are generally terrible at accepting compliments as compliments.

  • Make sure your mind remains broad and waist narrow. Not vice-versa.

  • Having no friends is a sure recipe of a disastrous life.

  • Pharma companies want to cure us and not prevent us from diseases. No wonder, ever welfare-oriented governments still allow junks foods to be sold at schools and hospitals.

  • “Gut feeling” is a reality, not just a euphemism.

  • Comfort is the most common addiction in the world. Not for nothing, Seth Godin and Edward De Bono keep talking about moving out of your comfort zone.

  • Stay clear of cribbers. S.T.A.Y C.L.E.A.R!

  • Unhappiness is the most contagious disease. You know what you have to do!

  • It’s futile changing other people. You can’t. I have accepted it with heavy heart and so have others when it comes to changing me.

  • World is a grand stage and I am the greatest story ever told, accompanied by several extras, Each one of them overflowing with a strong character.  

  • Someone else will always have more. Whether it’s money, friends, perks, sex appeal or blog visitors. Forget that.

  • The world does not owe me a loving. Period.

  • Beware of free advice. It’s worth what it costs.

  • Possessions are best example of human stupidity. Cost you everything and add no real value to your life, except for instant gratification and earning some brownie points among your colleagues and neighbors.

  • Develop strong hobbies. They are cathartic and purge you of all your pent-up suffocations.

  • Not all of us have goals. And yet, we can live perfectly happy without them.

  • When greed takes over, we stop being grateful for whatever we have. Going by all the available social parameters of basic necessities, education, human capital etc, I think I am in the top 20% of the world population. I couldn’t have asked for more.

  • Don’t worry about what people think. They hardly do it anyways!

  • Career and life are two different terms. Don’t confuse them with each other.

  • Your body never lies to you. Give it a patient hearing.

  • Get some perspective. If not, develop it. Things always appear different when you think of a certain situation by imagining yourself as a third person.

  • Never trust the elegantly suited stock market analysts on CNBC. Read their faces and you will know, these experts are no different than well-trained parrots programmed to repeat certain things during certain periods.

  • Question everything. All that our parents, education system, media, critics want us to conform to. There are always alternatives. All our information sources are influenced by some ulterior motives or others.

  • Don’t judge people. Each one of us has certain characteristics that will appeal to others and certain other traits that will make them abhor us. Pick the parts that you like and work around it. Ignore the rest.  

  • Stop wasting your life watching 100-crore Bollywood grosser, Big Boss, SplitVilla, Roadies and soap operas served on prime time. Instead, find your way around NGC & Animal Planet. World will be a better place with this smallest of sacrifices.

  • Do less. Trying to do more all the time sucks the juice out of your own life energy.

  • Women are complex characters are they are also from earth. Deal with it.

  • One lesson that is hard to accept but that’s the truth- Sometimes you have to remove certain people from your life, even if they’re family.

  • Nothing is ever a certainty. Things keep changing their characters.

  • Finally, Nothing is ever in black & white. Everything is grey.

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Child Suicide

Posted by Mrityunjay on November 15, 2011

Early morning. 7 AM to be precise. My phone rings loudly. I, instead of soaking the morning sunshine, wake up irritated. But few minutes on the phone and that intense irritation paved way to puzzled and a frightened state of mind. The caller was not known to me. He was a teenager calling from Jamshedpur, Jharkhand. He sounded helpless and extremely anxious. He told me about his intention of attempting suicide if his conditions do not improve in coming few days. The kid also talked about distressed family environment which is partly because of domestic violence committed on his mother by her in-laws and mainly because of the exam stress and poor academic scores registered by the guy.

Distress calls from friends and acquaintances are not a new phenomenon for me but yeah, it was definitely shocking considering it was coming from a stranger who actually thought and believed that I could help him in such matters. The story goes like this. A year or two back, I had posted a press release on “Growing trend in Child and Student Suicides in India” with the purpose of promoting a particular website. I did it for a client while I was still working as a freelance writer. The article was simple, I posted and forgot it. The post also had my email id and phone number. That was that.

Few days later, I got an email from a kid. I will paste that message here:-

“Sir,
I know that we should not suicide but we are getting lots of pressure from our parents. Take an example of me, recently we had class 12th board paper and the result has also been declared. Usually i used to get marks between 40-50 in mathematics but today my luck is not with me i was failed in this subject. I have scored 17 out of 100. It was an unbelievable for me. I cried a lot and then i talk with my father and he didn’t scold me but my mother is not knowing about my result and i am very afraid that she will scold me. During that time i thought its better for me to suicide than showing my face to my mother. My father told me that he will console my mother but i know her very much. She will not let me come to my home. She will kill me if she came to know me that i am compartment. I failed in mathematics. I don’t know what to do. I just want to leave this world. I want to suicide. My mother has never understood me and i know that she will never forgive me and I don’t want that to happen. So I thought that its better for me to suicide. I am so sorry to my parents that I can’t contact them because I know that if they came to know that I am going to suicide. Sorry sir, but I can’t control myself. Good Byeeee sir.”

I was stunned. I immediately wrote a reply and tried to explain and convince him with the best of my abilities. There was no phone number given so I couldn’t reach out to him through any other way. He did not reply. I mailed 2-3 times after that. There was no reply. This happened almost a year back but this mail still haunts me. I still think about that guy and wonder what happened to him. This mail was followed by few other mails but those were mostly about data pertaining to children suicide in India or for some research reports or from NGOs.

And now this call. I am unable to get over his shivering voice screaming helplessness. I kick myself for not doing much because his parting note never felt assured or consoled. He was on the verge of crying. Though, he mentioned about calling me again but he hasn’t. I tried calling back on that landline number but the person picking phone says, it’s from a STD booth. From STD booth at 7’o clock in the morning??

Why have things come to such a pass? Something must be terribly wrong with our society when young kids decide to end their lives? Thinking of it, how many of these victims would actually be able to spell suicide correctly? According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), students’ suicides have witnessed exponential increase in last few years. The data for the year 2010 places the figure at 7379. It also means, on an average 20 students left this world every day. Who should we blame? Parents or our social system? How many parents actually try to read the distress signals that their children keep sending? The signals could be anxiety disorders, avoiding social gatherings, lack of confidence etc etc. Is it ok to expect our children to be the smartest kids in the neighborhood? Not to forget, we would also like them to be most intelligent, possessing highest IQs, excellent in extra-curricular activities along with studies of course! We keep changing the rules and establishing higher benchmarks and all of a sudden something snaps. Love, care remains there but understanding goes for a toss.

I know, blogging about children suicide in India is not going to make much difference. But not writing about it is also not going to make any difference either. Even I felt the pangs only when I was at the other end of a seemingly small incident. A writer once said that more than one soul dies in a suicide. Children are fragile and break easily. When will we learn this simple, plain truth?  I wonder, what sort of social order are we creating in one of the fastest growing economies of the world?

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Living the Lie

Posted by Mrityunjay on August 27, 2011

How do you know where the alphabets are? Perhaps you are aware of the story unfolding through your life but will it be relevant or worthwhile if you are still not sure about the words, sentences, language and most importantly, alphabets? A story of your life is more like a continuation of indelible fingerprints of your past. The past, that I thought I had left behind, buried in the earth, in my conscience but past always has this nasty habit of surprising you every now and then.

Clearly, I am ranting. Not even making sense. But do we really need to make sense all the time? Logic by interpretation can be as flawed or as perfect as you want to make of it. The problem with our lives is that, we tend to rely on another’s meanings of our individual lives. Call it fantasy or a figment of reality created by our own fantasies which just about manages to make our lives more livable by the sheer virtue of it being meaningless.

We are at crossroads. In an era of mix-n-match where reality and virtual, original and duplicate, truth and lies etc tend to overlap each other. Every new discovery highlighted in the science section of the newspaper is contradicted with a contrasting revelation next day in the same space. Then, are we really what we assume us to be or is it merely an extension of what we have portrayed ourselves to everyone around us? Think hard. Keep pondering. Let me know if you find an answer or did you just switch the mental channel? It’s hard to find answer when we know, we see what we want to see or what we are conditioned to see.

In the ongoing chaos, life that is, it is not really uncommon to run out of things to say to everyone. In the same vein, it does not take long to miss your inner voice and kindness that you usually used to offer all and sundry. When did the transformation take place? Was it intentional or nature’s way to cure us of our own imperfections and vile? Withering of virtues like love, integrity, trust, empathy etc in this season of discontent was natural progression of increasing restlessness. These virtues become mere words which you are no longer able to connect to. It is a futile attempt to disengage with the detachment that has slowly engulfed your existence. One can still feel the feelings or mull over emotions as he/she used to do few winters earlier but connection is lost now. If this is what has started to define you then what is actually you & what is me?

The crux of the problem is internal. No matter what you do on external, it can’t be fixed. Hatter does not offer any tricks here. Neither fighting your way to catharsis ala Tyler Durden will cure the restlessness and this constant buzzing of lump at your core. It’s painful when people, family no longer trust you but it’s simply unbearable when you don’t trust yourself any more. What more, you tend to dive deep in the abyss of withdrawal hastened by emotional disconnect. The cacophony of the world gives way to complete silence. Eerily quiet. You tend to feel even more scared. Even the Neo Andersons of the world cannot solve life’s rubric cube all the time. Yes, it’s mundane stuff but does knowing its mundane attribute stop us from having a two-sided conversation where there is only one person involved?

You know, we all feel guilty. Rather, we all are addicted to guilt for everything and anything. So what you want to do about it? There is no answer as far as I know even if you remove the whys and wherefores from the discussion. It’s almost like an onion where you peel one layer after another, you keep shedding tears and yet the unraveling of innermost layer will not be much different from the outermost one. Perhaps, we should apply different perspective by measuring relative worth and value of the layers. Oh!

Value system is a skewed thing. You were taught about it. Preached about its importance and yet you cannot find/develop a perfect value system. Instead, your values oriented conscience coerces you to make up for the flaws and unfairness of a million things in the world. Same loop of errors. We can always look at what is yours and what is that of others we were dealing with, but ‘what is mine’ will always draw a blank stare. A disaster awaits at every nook and corner when you are too much focused on value system.

With increasing age, it gets real tiresome to be in constant conflict with surroundings of the world. Imagine the trouble of moving along barbed wires on all sides while scraping your soul in search of peace and contentment! It’s no longer fun to ride this rage-enjoyment-obnoxious cycle. Most of our problems stem from the gap between ‘is’ and ‘could have been’. It is also the cornerstone of who and what we are. Not all of us want to be something or someone by reducing this gap between ‘is’ and ‘could have been’. And that’s especially true for creative people who usually tend to face the worst and feel the worst amidst the standard hegemony of mediocre souls.

I guess, ranting does liberate you a bit. Noting more than that. Ranting, raving and screaming for a greater cause, for an ideal goal, for a wonderful vision is actually a mirage. There is no goal. And world will not be affected even one bit whether you find your mission or not. It’s a sign of delusion to impose self-supremacy on your being. A far more feasible idea would be to try being a normal, ordinary and decent human being. The emotional cycle will keep running in the same fashion and yet life will remain unaffected. Let’s go back to circles. Let’s live the lie.

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Connecting the Dots

Posted by Mrityunjay on August 11, 2011

Words are easy and comfortable. If they were not, Boyzone would not have found such stupendous acceptance with “words are all I have to take your heart away”. But in the quagmire of modern communication, words also regress to the lowest common denominator. Usage of words differs from person to person. If I talk specifically about myself, words serve as a tool to indicate my external needs. At one point in my life, I used to indulge in rambling ragas but now a day, I don’t feel like saying much and whenever I do, words never seem adequate.

Life seems much more comfortable when you are cocooned in your own bubble. This is no ordinary bubble. It’s a magical one hiding customized thoughts about things I have done, things that I want to do and things that have gone right and things that have gone wrong. Past eight months have witnessed a little bit of everything but mostly as afterthoughts. In the process, you do come up with plenty of revelations. But like everything, revelations cost you. It could be despair, darkness and brutality of factual and perceived reality. Talking about reality is one thing and accepting it is a completely different ballgame altogether. Like Alice swirling into a vortex, you too, also find it hard to see any light. You hope for the gravitational pull to work against the overwhelming despair you keep encountering but life does not offer you answers for each and every thing.

Life is a motion in perpetuity but not all of us have the will to attempt any sort of motion, all the time. Finding a path is probably easier in a Norman Vincent Peale’s book but what do you do when you are lost in a maze, unable to find the path- the existence of which you are aware of but you simply can’t find it?  Things get trickier when you recollect from your memories that a path was used to be there somewhere but is not visible to your eyes.

Most of us seek alignment in life. We like things to be in order. In place. Just a few days back, you have cleaned the top shelf of your drawer and this morning, you find a fine layer of grey dust on it. What now? Go through the same rigmarole? See, alignment was disturbed all over again. You start losing your urge. Inner mooring goes for a toss. You go through the process of rinse-repeat so many times that you are no longer aware of your own feelings about the entire process. What, how and why of the feelings get back to that swirling in the vortex stage.

You call yourself a weirdo or a reincarnation of your own dormant desires.  But it wouldn’t help either. Then comes the question, ‘What do you want to do with your life’. I am no Zig Zigler.  So I wouldn’t be able to answer that. Also because, such answers are conditional to your own expectations and the expectations of others, which doesn’t help either. I would have tried forcing a philosophical angle to that but for the fact that, it is an absurd ritual to find your own importance and place in life. You keep experiencing a new layer of your hidden persona, your buried perspectives and skewed value system every day until you become a permanent slave to the flaws and unfairness of a zillion things in the world. Perhaps, I am still learning about the mysterious ways of life however, learning seems much better in retrospect than in real time. Intent and outcomes need not work in sync. Connecting the dots of our life is more of a fantasy and that is what existence is all about.

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Karma is a B*tch!

Posted by Mrityunjay on June 22, 2011

Last two months were eventful. Very eventful. In fact, past 6-7 months, it has been a totally new experience for me, simple because of the ‘unpredictability’ factor that life keeps throwing at you. Not long ago, I used to wonder, what’s the entire hullabaloo about job hunt and employment scenario? Well, as things turned out, I got to experience it firsthand. Job hunt for me had become more of an alien concept but then karma is a b*itch! Travesty of life! What goes around comes around.

During my Mumbai sojourn, I had a chance to meet plenty of colorful characters in TV/film industry. Many of them were supposed to be influential, powerful, knowledgeable and of course, helpful. Well, wasn’t I wrong? You bet, I was! I actually don’t come from the corporate world. I was more of a member of a peaceful, bountiful and world of enlightenment called academics, i.e., reading & writing. I have always admired well read people who possess plenty of knowledge and IQ but the sort of people I met, were far from any definitions of above mentioned attributes. Media field is full of insecure, arrogant people and a majority of those that have made any sort of headway could do it only because they had the “contacts”!
Well, let me get to the point, this is not about getting to the roots of understanding of prevailing condition in the media field but it’s how people take advantage of you and then act like you are a piece of sh*t.

One of the regular feedback I got was ‘you are over-qualified for television programming or production”. I was actually surprised to witness that people would be insecure about others knowledge. Check what Business head of a top TV channel has to say, “if you think you are creative then media is not the field for you. We serve crap in name of entertainment and that’s what you will be doing. It’s a rotten place to be!” Pretty honest but ugly, aint it? The whole experience was far from the pleasant sensations, I felt when I tend to churn out a well-written article or read/grasp a new thing. Interestingly, at one of the leading media house, my non-selection was attributed to me being overly creative for the channel’s taste! Well….!

You will actually struggle to find really talented souls in this field. Your success is in direct proportion to whom you know and how much sh*t can you take.  Though, during this entire experience, I was not really sure whether I really wanted what I was looking for. Desperation and pressure does strange thing to you. Most of the media professionals I met gave the impression of them operating in a deadening environment in which they spend twelve-fourteen hours a day completely devoid of any innovation. No wonder, their spark, zeal and enthusiasm has been sucked out of by some kind of screwed up osmosis. Almost an anti-climax where you have to carry on doing what is a complete failure to uphold all the values you believed in as a young, idealistic kid. Someone said, “getting a job is like enrolling in a human domestication program.  You learn how to be a good pet”.

It’s actually quite frustrating to find yourself unable to translate your potential into something really concrete/grand, especially when you have never really doubted the stuff carefully nurtured within for years. But perhaps, there are far better ways to make a living than selling yourself into indentured servitude. To sum up, everything happens for a reason and in my case, perhaps my fiercely independent personality managed to escape impending slavery! At least, for the time being!

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Pleasure Talking to You

Posted by Mrityunjay on September 25, 2010

Another weekend. Okay, so no new interesting updates on Facebook. The likes of Mashable, TechCrunch and even Huffington Post etc are damn lazy with their feeds. What to do now?  Time to follow the usual rituals developed in your youth and professional life. Why not start with a call to one of your family member or erstwhile best friend who had rang you few days back but you didn’t pick up “assuming” that you are way too busy for wasting your precious time on personal chit-chat!

Tring tring! Hello Bhaiya, how are you doing? And so the conversation started. Soon enough, you find your beloved brother talking about how his wife is messing with his life, and how his parents are not being fair to him. Errr…he forgot to add about his new born son who is suffering from diarrhea and because of which he hasn’t been able to sleep properly for last few days. Sad indeed, you mumble and hang up the phone. But yeah, wasn’t it touching listening to your brother’s story? Oh yes, it was and you feel great about the whole experience.

Okay, next up is “close” friend X who is trying to get in touch with you for long through his forwarded emails, received by 50-100 other guys visible in CC and BCC option of gmail. I know, he is my best friend and misses me a lot. Phone kept ringing and when you were about to cut it, X says a meek Hi!

“Where were you? Was looking for you all over. Do you get my forwarded mails? Come on, you know how much I miss you. BTW listen, am sitting in a bar with my colleagues. Will call you in some time. And hey, loved talking to you buddy. Keep in touch.”

Did I tell you, I loved talking to him too!

I am feeling so good getting back to all the important persons in my life. Gosh, they miss me so much and share everything! Okay, let’s talk to one of my long forgotten female colleague. We used to get along like fire. Partners-in-crime. How is she? Fine, other than the fact, she is working non-stop for last 2 months. Her personal life is messed up. Her parents keep shouting on her for coming so late in night. After all, it’s not a safe city. Her house needs renovation and she is struggling for finance. You listen, empathize, promise to help her any which way you can and hang up. But wasn’t it delightful talking to her? I bet, it was!

Okay, last call of the evening. You two are great buddies on Facebook, share a lot of links and blast Kalmadi with equal disdain. But you are damn surprised; you two have never talked on phone. So here goes the call.

Hey. Hi. Errr.. dude, politics sucks. Yeah. Ummm..

That “Like” button is Cool. Yeah. Hmm..umm..

Hey, will update new pictures on FB soon. Cool. See Ya then.

Truly a pleasure talking to you.

You guessed it right. Weekend is over. Just like that.

Time to share my touching experiences on FB and inform the world about my “happening” weekend on Twitter.

Image Courtesy:- Beingll.com

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The Dilemma of a Freelancer

Posted by Mrityunjay on May 20, 2010

The term Freelancer is very intriguing. Dictionary defines Freelancer as-

1. A person who sells services to employers without a long-term commitment to any of them.

2. An uncommitted independent, as in politics or social life.

Delving further, the origin of the term ‘freelancer’ goes back to medieval era. It referred to a mercenary, a ‘free lance’ who could be a knight with no affiliation or loyalty to any particular lord. He could be hired by any lord for a given task in exchange of a favour or gold coins or any other thing.

Now, why am I blabbering about Freelance and freelancers? Well, I am a freelance writer by profession and it has been almost three years since I am living with this tag of a ‘Freelance Writer’. A few people find this tag glamorous whereas for several others, the gist of this profession is restricted to just half of the letters, i.e., ‘free’. I have my objections against this term. Does ‘free’ in ‘freelancer’ signify anything? Perhaps for professionals, it denotes nothing but for N number of acquaintances, it creates the perception that a freelancer has all the free time in the world.

I have been through situations where I was asked, ‘so, what do you do for a living?’ I reply, I am a freelance writer. Pat comes the reply, ‘that I got but what is your actual job’! After that, I don’t know who feels more bewildered, me or the questioner! I seriously think it’s a misnomer. I live in a society where it’s actually hard for people to believe that someone who is young, qualified and has completed his MBA, is working from home. I get weird glances when I respond to the questions like ‘which company you are working for/with’? How could someone work without being a part of an organization? Without having a designation? Without having a salary slip? And so on and so forth!

The cycle starts with your family, extends to your relatives and friends. To tell you the truth, there is nothing free in freelancing. A freelancer spends equal number of hours on his work that of his friend in a full-time regular job. The only difference is my breed is not bound to any 9-6 schedule. Yes, freelancers are privileged to not being subjected to any peer pressure, office politics, gender discrimination etc etc. However, the same things can work to your disadvantage. For instance, as you are not working under someone, it’s hard to discipline yourself. In the absence of peers and colleagues, it is not always possible to compare and analyse your quality of work. You are also not eligible for any year-end bonuses, incentives and perhaps, free local and global tours. You don’t have a steady income. One month, you are all rich and wondering where to spend your hard-earned moolah and next month, you might be pondering over where am I going to get my next meal (last part might border on exaggeration but whatever, you get the drift).

Worst part of this profession is people always assume that you are free. Anyone can call you at any point of time expecting that just because you stay at home, you will have all the free time in the world. Additionally, people will opine, ‘dude, you are so damn lucky. Not many people have such rich fortune like you!’ Honestly, during my first year as a freelancer, it all felt nice and wonderful. But now, it sucks! I feel like replying, ‘nobody has stopped you from joining me or you can be as fortunate as I am!’ But the moment, you utter these words, just prepare yourself for tales of countless excuses, sighs, problems, regrets and what not!

To tell you the truth, it demands guts and a huge risk appetite to pursue career as a freelancer leaving a secure job. If you could make it in few years, all glory is yours. You will be hailed and well, envied as well but in case, you are still struggling to make a mark for yourself, get ready for ‘told you so…’ prophecies. Yeah, it always pays to be realistic. A freelancer should periodically examine his progress and devise further strategies. At the same time, people in his life should understand that a freelance writer has his own working hours and he requires space and peace to produce his optimum. Guess, it’s time to set my own rules and stick by them.

: Image courtesy graphicdesignblog.org

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That’s How My Yoga Sojourn Panned out

Posted by Mrityunjay on December 30, 2009

I recently made to a trip to Yoga-Land. Thanks to my friend Rajeev, who did the same course in Hyderabad and his strong recommendations, I was inclined to join this Yoga-program. Well, there were other reasons as well, like my own desire to do something different and Yoga is definitely a ‘different stuff’. The willingness to try out things that I have never done before was already there and add to all these factors my own struggle with spinal issues and lethargy factor.

When I first heard the whereabouts of program, I wasn’t really excited or deeply interested. Rajeev told me about the site, Ishafoundation.org and about the Sadguru. I did my customary googling and felt liking giving it a try. I tried my bit in finding about the Sadguru and his credentials before finally going for the course. He himself wasn’t taking the course but his trained disciples were assigned to do this work in different cities of India.

So finally I walked in at the camp held in a dharamshala in nearby Model Town. I tried analysing presence of co-participants and found most of them were middle aged or old aged persons. For certain time, I was the youngest until I saw this school kid coming. The course was of seven days with 6 days having 3 hours each and Sunday being the full day. By the time, introductory class ended, I was pretty sure I am going to give it a try.

The next few days were about learning Asanas and listening to Sadguru’s videos. I am not sure but there was something very powerful about his speech. He covered a wide range of subjects but the focal point was just one, to raise our consciousness and to find bliss within through responsibility and awareness. He had some divine hypnotic power and that’s why I kept finding myself staring and listening to his each and every word with maximum attention. It wasn’t just a mere ‘Moh-Maya’ gyaan but it was about some really relevant issues of our life. Based on science and the teachings of ancient times, it made every bit of sense and my susceptible mind finally surrendered to his infinite wisdom. It’s hard to exactly write down what he said but I could feel every evening I was walking back to my place in a cheerful state and a strong realisation that he has touched something deep within me. His lectures are there to be experienced and not to be heard from someone like me.

The days consisted of learning new Asanas and finally the day arrived when we were initiated to ‘Sambhavi Maha Mudra’. There was a magical moment when we finally performed this kriya. The entire process is of 21 minutes but that day it took longer than that. The Guru himself initiated us into it and I can never forget the sound of mantra and chanting. It was an exhilarating feeling. He chanted something and trust me, that was the best music that I have ever heard in my life. It sent me in a trance and I was spinning in a different orbit. I keep longing for same music and believe me or not, it was a heavenly feeling.

I don’t know what exactly is done in the initiation process but there are series of Asanas, Yoga, Kriyas and what not. I could feel myself looking at my thoughts separated from my body. The entire practice is quite simple and you may even find it silly but one definitely feels the change after doing it. Personally, I feel more relaxed and energetic. It’s more like a strong current of positive vibrations flowing within you and you just want to hang onto it.

We, the participants also performed Guru Pujja where you throw party to the Guru with flowers, sweets, foods (that contain positive pronic energy) incense and chanting. I am trying my best to continue the Kriya on a regular basis and have plans of doing few more programs from the Isha foundation. The next stage is of ‘Bhaav Spandana’ that is basically a residential program.

All in all, I entered into this program as a doubting Thomas but I came out being a believer. The course has nothing to do with religious beliefs and it is as simple as introducing yourself to the power of Yoga, Meditation and Inner Engineering. But then, after all you are hearing it from the mouth of the flowing bird and you got to be there and experience it. Then perhaps, you will figure out what I am talking about!

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Witchcraft- Reality or Illusion?

Posted by Mrityunjay on October 2, 2009

WitchcraftOne of the ages old debate centers around intellect levels of men and women. Who is more intellectual? Or should I put it this way; who uses intellect more frequently? One theory says, men are more prone to be intellectual because intellect occurs in the same direction as that of argument or aggression whereas, women are known to be more intuitive and they live by hunches. The theory further explains, it is always hard to argue with a female precisely because women tend to arrive at conclusions on the drop of the hat. So even if you try arguing with a woman there is no point to it because she has already decided, her final riposte is already clear and therefore, argument is not needed at all! Even the man comes up with amazing logics and arguments, woman has already made her mind, she knows what is going to be the end result and all she is waiting is to declare the conclusion!

To further the point, it is said that intuition is always conclusive and perhaps that’s why telepathy more is more associated with woman. And why just telepathy? Take for instance, clairvoyance; hypnosis, clairaudience etc come under the domain of women expertise. Now, you may be wondering how I am going to establish this theory in the realm of title of the post? Well, because witchcraft was always intuitional and again it was a craft of women; Witchcraft!

Many of you must have heard of church’s crusade against the witches during the Middle Ages. And what was the reason? Priests belonged to the world of intellectuals and witches adhered to intuition and it was hard for priests to really understand how intuition can work. Take into note one more fact, all the witches were women and all the priests were men and what happens next? Priests tried to burn the witches thinking that witches were dangerous and ungodly. Priests did succeed in wiping out all the witches from the planet. It was one of the most barbaric and heinous act done in the name of God. But this atrocity took away something real precious.

 The mass murder movement of Middle Ages snatched away superior possibilities, higher knowledge and beautiful receptive abilities. Though few witches managed to survived, they could not regain their receptive capacity again because of the fear. One interesting observation was witches were consulted by predominantly men population. In other words, intellect seeking the help of intuition.

In hindsight, I feel the crusade was less against witchcraft and more against women. Imagine, intuition taking precedence over intellect and that too in a male dominated society! ‘Reason’ was used to wipe something powerful but irrational. The priests were self-appointed messenger of God and they could not take any competition. The aftereffect was tragic because women kept shrinking into a shell. She was no longer confident to show her power and if she showed any glimpse of any special talent she was immediately branded as a witch and you can imagine what could happen to her after that!

I feel perplexed at the hypocrisy of men and specifically the so called religious representatives of our society. Think about it. If woman shows any special talent, she was burned, tortured and killed but if a man shows same sort of talent he was celebrated as a ‘Miracle man’. He becomes a saint, a so called representative of God whereas a woman because witch and a darling of Devil for the exhibition of same quality! And Now, History is repeating itself all over again but with a slight twist.

New age Psychoanalysts (including the Freudians and Adlerians) are vehemently opposing witchcraft and why am I not surprised to find all these analysts are men? Everything remains the same except that psychoanalysts have replaced priests. Tell me who are the patients of these analysts? Yes, your ‘intellect’ is not deluding you. It is women predominantly. Complete twist of fate and total reverse of what used to happen during Middle Ages. Now, intuition has to seek help of intellect and that tells us something about crippling of intuition.

I don’t think, the term `witch’ is a bad word. Rather, it is a beautiful word signifying a wise woman. The conspirators even derived the conclusion that witches were in a sexual relationship with the devil and can you really believe that? I mean, priests always preached devil do not exist then how could witches have sexual relationship with him? And why sexual relationship was scoffed at?

Two of the enlightened ones, Jesus and Buddha had a life changing experiences with prostitutes. Buddha was taught Art of living by a prostitute named Kamala whereas Magdalene was always closely associated with Jesus. And would you mind believing both these Messiahs actually went against the society and stayed with the prostitutes! These two female characters have not got their due in history books but they will get that eventually and so will Witches!

Image Courtesy – media.photobucket.com


P.S- Came across few articles based on themes like Witchcraft, Church, Magdalene and related subjects. So credit goes to those articles. I am just writing it in a slightly different way.  

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