Tag Archives: Philosophy

Kabir: Words of Wisdom Part-II

As I already said here Kabir is one of the people I have been in awe of, I don’t claim to have understand him fully but I feel that his words of wisdom needs to be retold to the world.

Here are 3 couplets of Kabir depicting the great man’s though on God-

Pathar Puje Hari Mile, To Main Pujun Girirai,
Sabse to Chakki Bhalim Pees Pees ke Khay

Meaning- Kabir says, If god could have been found by worshiping the idols made of stone, then Kabir would worship the greatest mountain. No stone can have god bigger than that. He reiterates that god cannot be found in the stone idols, the simple chakki (traditional Indian wheat grinder having two round stones rotated and the wheat dropped from above gets grinded between two stones) is more divine at least it bears pain to feed the humanity.

Kubudhi ko Sujhe Nahi, Uth Uth Deval Jaaye,
Dil dehra ki khabar nahi, Pathar Kahan Te Pay

Meaning- The idiots are ignorant, when they can’t think of anything they keep visiting the temple in the search of god. Hardly do they know their own self, that they would realize that if they would have searched their own hearts, they would have find one which they didn’t find in those stone idols

Makke Madine mein gaya, wahan bhi hari ka naam,
Main tujhse poochon he sakhi, Kin dekha kis tham.

Meaning- When you visited Mecca, Medina and everywhere you took the name of the great lord. But I ask you my dear friend did you actually saw the great lord at any of the places of pilgrimage.

I so wish the communally charged people in India would relearn the lessons taught by this great soul.

5 People I Would Meet in Heaven – Day 10

I noticed someone on the road today, I don’t remember the face of the person or anything in particular about him. All that remained with me was an interesting message, “Everybody wants to go to Heaven, But Nobody wants to die”. Ironical, Satirical and so true, I mean death is always a factor that has haunted people time and again.

Though I love my life, no matter how much I crib or rant about it, the bottom line is that I love my life too much. But somehow I have always fancied the death, I am not sure but I always felt there would be positives. If nothing else I might get a chance to meet people who have already died.

So here is a list of 5 people I would like to meet in Heaven-

1- Ram Prasad Bismil- I have always been a fan of the Krantikari group, Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad, Ramprasad Bismil, Ashfaq, Rajguru, Sukhdev. But specifically Ram Prasad Bismil because he would be the person to tell me the stories of the great struggle and also his brilliant poetry.

2- Karna- I have never been more fascinated by any other character as compared to Karna. His principles of friendship, generosity and the will power to stand by what he really believed in; is something which appeals to me to the core.

3- Dhirubhai Ambani- I believe there have not been many people in India who were as visionary as Dhirubhai Ambani. I would love to sit beside him and talk about his vision of making one of the largest PetroChemical companies of the world, or bringing down the cost of a phone call comparable to the cost of a postcard.

4- Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel- I believe that he was one of the greatest practitioners of realpolitik in modern India. His legacy and vision is what today we call as the modern India

5- Munshi Premchand- Just for his super brilliant stories which could keep me engaged for lifetimes to come.

So which five people would you meet in heaven?

Rashmirathi – Day2

Rashmirathi

Rashmirathi


Source: Geeta Kavita

I have been a great fan of Mahabharata. This poem is describing a moment where Kunti tells Karna about his real parents and asks him to join the war from the Pandava’s side. At that point Karana’s views on the war and his approach towards it is reflected in poem. The poem is a literary master piece, I have tried my hands on the translation, have not been able to do entire justice with the piece but I hope this appeals to you.


When I see, I see Kurukshetra the land of war,
I see the dance of death on humanity, not so far,
The earth soaked and drenched in sweats and blood stains,
Still unstoppable Parth’s Chariot remains.

Lord Krishna himself is fading the darkness of the evil,
The destiny changing its course at Arjun’s will,
A million wasteful traps when the enemy plays,
But every time victorious does he stays.

I know mother what would happen tomorrow,
This epic war would only end in sorrow,
All the consequences do not scare me in my mind,
Rather double the enthusiasm in myself I find.

The times are scary, and the death is impending,
Invitations of death for list of people is unending,
All men of the world would face the wrath of the war,
The face of the earth would be left with a scar.

Nothing would be left towards the end,
No joys would victory bring with itself to spend,
The path on which Kurus would meet their destiny,
Would it be different from what would be Pandava’s epiphany.

There is only one way no matter you win or lose,
In the end it’s the country of death one has to choose,
The end would not change irrespective of any excuse,
Whether you killed the enemy or suffered the deadly bruise.

So meaningless is this war of the inflated egos,
Equally meaningless are mine and Parth’s vows,
Even then we find ourselves, impossible to stop,
And gradually on the path set by the death we hop.

The rivers of life has its unusual speed,
Beyond the human understanding are its deeds,
The brute force which engulfs everything in its way,
To finally lose itself when it reaches the oceans’ fray.

The waves, the flow all goes and quietly it sails,
All that remains in history is its tale,
In the end all of it merges into one,
Like a statue to clay with shape left in is none.

Same is the destiny of Kurkshetra that would survive,
Where the statues of this land, with each other would collide,
The end would be the same as the destiny of this land,
The warriors amidst this war will meet their end.

But this worry and concern of the end, I have to let it go,
However it is, let the sun of tomorrow rise and grow,
All around its difficult to see a small ray of light,
The darkest it seems to be is the passing night.

When the sun and the moon blend in darkness,
The lovers of light hope for some rays to be blessed,
Then the brighter comet cometh this way,
And light on the graveyard it does sprays.

Book Review: The Professional by Subroto Bagchi

The Professional By Subroto Bagchi

The Professional By Subroto Bagchi


Author: Subroto Bagchi
Publisher: Penguin Portfolio
Price: 399/-

I generated a lot of respect for Subrto Bagchi, when I read High performance Entrepreneur as a writer in the realm of business and management. My respect for him increased manifolds after reading his story in Go, Kiss The World. Finally when I finished reading The Professional by him, he joined the place up there with the people I idolize, I aspire one day I can be in the same league as them. All this not because of what he has achieved, but the way he has achieved, it is more about the journey and the destination.
I would concentrate on “The Professional” here, the book is the percepts of how to be a perfect working professional. It is what, if I may call a bible for all working professionals people who would like to be professional in their conduct. Subroto Bagchi, has painstakingly illustrated the behavior, conduct and ethics of a professional.
In this world of falling moralities and flimsy loyalties, with likes of Satyam and Lehman rising from the dust and ending there itself, the conduct of a professional can be a grey area. What Bagchi illustrates is the mastering the art of being correct in spirit, not only in legalities. He writes the prescription for a strong and a moral work ethic still providing flexibilities to change organizations and switch loyalty. The examples he has quoted are relevant, inspiring and real life, motivating the professional on how he can follow the ethics and still be successful.
Though I am not sure how mature, the recruitment teams and the HR in the organizations are to value the kind of attitude Bagchi proposes in a professional. More difficult would be judging the professionals who actually live the attitude than mere glib who would try and speak their way to glory without actions. Bagchi, presents a correct and moral world pictures and also claims about the lengths he has gone to make sure these traits are identified and rewarded in his organization, but I have sincere doubts that these kind of model conduct would practically work in Non-Export areas, like government contractors, Builders, and many more agencies which thrive around the corruption in the government.
But still nevertheless, I would say it’s a brilliant book and a must read for all professionals. I would recommend it as a must read especially for the students of professional courses too, to understand the value and relevance of the perfect code of conduct for a professional.
Summary: A great read, very easy and free flowing in the content and message. Relevant, inspiring and still a light read. A must read for everyone.
Rating: 4.5 /5

Book Review: The Sculptor And The Sandman By Sandeep Gautam

The Sculptor & The Sandman

The Sculptor & The Sandman

Author: Sandeep Gautam
Publisher: Lulu
Price: $10.80 for Print, $2.5 for downloads.
Can be directly ordered through Sandeep @ Rs. 300/-

One of my favorite genre of books is philosophical fiction, and the latest in the genre I read “The Sculptor and The Sandman” by Sandeep Gautam.
The book was a different experience all together; it was a mixture of different components that formed the backbone of the book. The strong and relevant philosophy is loosely intertwined with a story set on the Dwarka beach between a coconut vendor, a sculptor and a sandman. The best thing about the book is that it opens up a multiple stream of thought and gives you enough space for imagination to ponder over.
I focused on three philosophical thought lines pursued by the author, first being the contrasting economics with the blind passion of an artist. The age old battle between the creativity and the economics of it with the stark contrast of the two, done beautifully by the author with Sculptor and his economics and market dynamics vis-à-vis sandman struggling hard to find sanity amidst his Roark like talent.
The Second line being the politics & vested interests that the author highlights by creating a closed net amidst the characters with mutual benefits, self interest leaving the passionate Sandman out. The guilt associated with the pursuing the material benefits subduing the greater principles and ethics, has been also accounted and portrayed to root the philosophy with the real world.
The third line subtly touches that how destiny makes it equal and fair in a long run. Though not in the way one would have expected to it, the justice from the destiny is rather highlighted in a way which is more like on your face approach towards writing making the reader realize the irony caste by the destiny and how fate is a key factor determining the results of life’s contests.
Though the strands of philosophy are beautifully mixed, the book leaves the reader incomplete in two areas. The characters in the story fail to connect with the reader, like may be the seagull does. The reader fails to understand the motives which are driving the philosophy.
Secondly the though the author has picked up some areas which touch the chord with the reader philosophically but still the lack of emphasis on outlining the details to the reader and connecting the story to the real world situations. The overall relevance of a real world dynamics omnipresent in the first half of the book, but somehow as the philosophical angle begins to delve deeper, the connect between the eludes the reader.
Summary- A very decent book to read if you enjoy reading the Philosophy & fiction genre. Not a long drawn time consuming marathon read, but a quickie philosophical bite with some good insights. Given this being the first from the author the book has fresh and a different perspective but lacks the finesse of the seasoned writers of the genre. The one drawback of the book or publisher I felt is the book is very steeply priced especially in the light that the bestsellers in the same genre like Bach’s Jonathan Living Stone Seagull are priced way lower.

Rating: 2.25/5 (Pick if you like the Genre)

Ps. Sandeep Gautam, the author for this book is also an avid blogger on cognitive and developmental psychology. You can read his insights here.

Haal Chaal Theek Thaak Hai

I wrote a post on Gulzaar Sahab some time back here. Undoubtedly Gulzaar Sahab has been a master of poetry & lyrics of our time. You know I can proudly said I lived in the times of the great poet Gulzaar.
I am sure a lot of people would be familiar with the serious and in-depth writings of Gulzaar Sahab on human nature, love, emotions etc.

Somehow you don’t find the sarcastic sides in the poets too often and then finding a sarcastic side to such a deep poet is something beyond imagination. Now here I got a song which captures his hold on sarcasm current issues and problems of the society and how beautifully he has imbibed in a poetry and then the lyrics of the song. Kishore Kumar has done a fabulous job with Mukesh singing it in such a mood that is so relevant to the depth of the song.

The movie is a 1971 movie when the country was struggling with problems like Corruption, Unemployment, Quota Raj or License Regime, spiraling high prices. And Gulzaar captures them so well making it funny yet deep. Sarcastic and absolutely true.
For those who haven’t heard this song before or got the lyrics completely I have compiled both of them below. Enjoy another beauty by Gulzaar Sahab.


Haal Chaal Theek Thaak hai
Sab Kuch Theek Thaak hai
Kaam nahi hai warna yahaan
aapki dua se sab theek thaak hai

Aab-o-hawa
Aab-o-hawa desh ki bahot saaf hai
kaayda hai, kanoon hai, insaaf hai,
Allah Jaane Koi Jiye Ya Mare
aadmi ko khoon voon sab maaf hai

Aur Kya Kahoon, Choti Moti Chori
Rishwat Khori Deti Hai Apna Guzara yahaan
aapki dua se baaki theek thaak hai

Gol Mol Roti ka Pahiya Chala-2
Peeche Peeche Chaandi ka rupaiya Chala
Roti Ko Bechaari Ko cheel le gayi
Chandi Leke munh kala Kauwa Chala

Aur Kya Kahoon, Maut Ka Tamaasha
chalaa Hai Betahaasha,
Jeene Ki Fursat Nahi Hai Yahaan
Aap Ki Dua Se Baaki Theek Thaak Hai.

Kaminey

I have always respected Gulzaar as one of the best poets ever happened to Hindi language. His poems are so simple with so easy to use language and oceans of emotions and wisdom underlying those words. You listen the song once again you understand the depth of the words a level under.

This song written by Gulzaar sahab is a gem, so common place words and together they form so amazing depth. A commonly use semi-abusive hindi word and simply used to explore the realities of the word. This song from the movie Kaminey is continously playing around me over and over and simultaneously in my head too. I just wish to meet Gulzaar sahab once and ask him how he can create such beauty and deep down I know, as a matter of fact I can see him in my imagination, simply smiling.

Sometimes I feel lucky to be alive and living in the times of a great poet like him.

(Kya kare zindagi isko hum jo mile,
Iski jaan kha gaye raat din ke gile) – (2)

Raat din gile, meri aarzoo kamini, mere khwab bhi kaminey,
Ek dil se dosti thi, yeh huzur bhi kaminey
kya kare zindagi isko hum jo mile
Iski jaan kha gaye raat din ke gile

(Kabhi zindagi se maanga pinjare mein chaand la do,
Kabhi laalten deke kaha aasmaan pe taango) – (2)

Jine ke sab kariney the hamesha se kaminey
Kaminey, kaminey, kaminey, kaminey
Meri daastaan kamini, mere raaste kaminey
Ek dil se dosti thi yeh hujur bhi kaminey

Jisaka bhi chehara chhila andar se aur nikala,
Maasoom sa kabutar nachaa toh more niakala.
Kabhi hum kaminey nikale kabhi dusare kaminey,
Kaminey, kaminey, kaminey, kaminey
Meri dosti kamini, mere yaar bhi kaminey.
Ek dil se dosti thi ki hujur bhi kaminey

If you haven’t heard this song yet, you can hear it here on youtube.

On a completely different note, me and my friends were discussing the exact meaning/translation of the word ‘Kaminey’. Cunning was the closest we got but again Cunning is not derogatory which Kaminey is. Any suggestions???

Shakti Aur Kshama (Power & Forgiveness)

This is one of the best poems and a very relevant lesson in diplomacy. Written by Ramdhari Singh Dinkar. One of the most cherished poets in Hindi language.

I read the above poem when I was a school kids and the thoughts of it lingered with me for a long long time. It has stayed with me for over years and I wanted to produce something as my tribute and gratitude towards the great poet and his impeccable philosophy. This is my effort to portray the above poem in the English language.

Morals mercy kindness resolve and sacrifice
Everything possible on earth you tried,
Of the mighty Suyodhan we know
No signs of truce and acceptance he showed.

The merciful thou were to enemies old & new
Carrying the humility by your own virtue,
The evil Kaurava’s laughing & indulging in their vice
Mistook your humility as Cowardice.

For all the years of atrocities and bearing the pain
The result always is no gain,
The might of the male or the powers divine,
Have lost their glory for being soft & kind.

The mercy & forgiveness can be bestowed by everyone
But the glory resides only for the snake with the venom,
What value is the mercy of the soft & kind,
Like the snake who lost his poison, and its teeth been grind.

Remember the old legend of lord Rama my friend
Who with all humility asked the sea to make amends,
Three days only the words of love and kindness he said,
Urging with the limitless sea for a path to be laid.

When the sea sat unheard out of his own arrogance,
Lord Rama also enraged his temper and stance,
With all the masculinity on his bow and the fire on the tip of arrow,
The sea realized what he should have already known.

Came down to his feet, begging forgiveness of Ram,
Agreed to give the way getting his life in alms,
In reality the glory of the mercy and humility
Reside in the one’s power and ability.

The whole word is willing to worship the merciful, humble and the kind
Only if the prowess over the world is enlightened behind,
The essence of the humility as a virtue
Lies in you ability to destruct, not in stew.

Kabir: Words of Wisdom- Part- I


I have been reading a lot on Kabir lately. Kabir is one of my favorite thinkers and philosophers, he is one of the most underrated philosophers globally and I fail to understand why. The amazing part about Kabir is, that he managed to communicate all his wisdom through couplets (I mean if he would be alive these days he would be the best twitter, communicating amazing philosophy in lesser characters) I would illustrate some of the couplets for Kabir and my understanding of those, and people who read this blog, would like to know their understanding of the couplets-
Kabir on Temptation-

Kabir Man Martak bhaya, Indri apne haath.
Tou kabun na kijiyen, Kanak Kamini ke saath.

Meaning- Kabir says, even for those who have attained a complete control of their senses and have killed the desires in the mind or brain (I don’t know what would be the exact word for Man). Even them, they should be very careful when getting exposure to wealth and woman. Because these two are the greatest temptations for man and they lead him to his downfall.

Kabir on Death-


Pav palak ki khabar nahi, karein kaal ko saaj,

Kal achanak jahdpega, jyon teetar ko Baaz.

Meaning- The fallacy of humans, they are not even aware of what happens to them in next 100th of a second, but still they keep planning for tomorrow. Kabir says that they would not even know that tomorrow the Eagle, the metaphorical death, is going to grab the bird, the metaphorical human life. So Kabir makes a point that one should not waste too much of time and efforts on planning for tomorrow and ignoring present.

Chakki Firti Dekh ke, Diya kabira roye,

Do kunth ke beech aaye ke, sabut gaya na koye.

Meaning- When Kabir sees the traditional Indian flour mill which has two stones revolving over each other and crushing everything in between. Same is the fate of human life, irrespective of rich, poor, achievers, failures, weak strong eventually will get grounded by the grinding stones of death and would eventually meet the same fate.

Kabir on Words-

Shabd Sarikha Dhan nahi, Jo koi jaane bol,

Heera to dame mile, par shab na aavein mol.

Meaning- There is no wealth greater than words, only few can understand its value. You can get a diamond for a price, but words of wisdom, love, care and understanding are simply pricess.

So people I leave you here with this food for thought. May be will come back and do an extension of this again.

The Sands of Time

Since the beginning towards the end
The sands of time never remain in hand
With the fists so tight and the hands of glue
But sands of time slip out of blue
The wonders all around are so amazing
But the sand of time which we are all chasing
The air so dense, the horizons so wide
With disappearing sands we all survive
The water so black the people so dull
Within then sands it’s our lives we pull
The history speaks aloud about those dead corpse
But trapped in thee viscous circle circle are times forces
The life and death, the death and lives
Among the sands only spirits thrive
The world full of knots and tangles
Within the sands watching us, are angels
With our hands outstretched
Eyes burnt to color so red
The mouth torn for water and bread
all over earth are those sands which are spread