The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

A SEPTUAGENARIAN AT HARISHCHANDRA GHAT

COLORES INFINITUM

A septuagenarian man had come to Harishchandra Ghat for the last rites of his wife.

As he approached the ghat, he seemed like a broken man who had just lost his best friend of life. He was certainly beyond any consoling.

While sitting there, performing the rituals, slowly he graduated to a calm that could have been easily said uncharacteristic of being in a committed relation – but for the place which effect it was.

His calm was reflecting in his composure and he looked more thoughtful that restive with increasing intensity of the flames.

It was after some time, that he made a statement.



His observation –

"While we are sitting at the doorstep of God here, we come to realize so naturally that every material object is just an illusion, everyone in life will go, and everything will be lost. It is better if we realize it as soon as possible so that we can seek God in as many manifest ways as possible. Once we turn our back, we forget all this realization, this illumination about illusion and existence, to get engaged again in our relations, our existence.”

- was not some unique thought - and yet it is the only truth that every conscious soul is looking for - the outline of this truth is known - finding and assimilating its finer details is the real quest of life. 

Every person sitting there, on that ghat, sitting by Ganga and sitting with soul, was a natural follower of the thoughts on this line - for the time he stayed there - where life became one with death. 

My friends and I had realized it so many times while stopping by Harishchandra Ghat or Manikarnika Ghat during many of our exploratory trips to the Banaras ghats. 

I do believe that there are innumerable others who have felt this feeling while sitting at or stopping by these two Banaras ghats.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com 

SOME SERIOUS SOUL-SEARCHING ON GANGA GHATS


Banaras has countless places for one to get engaged in some serious soul-searching. And the Ganga ghats are the best place among all.

And when talking of ghats for soul-searching, two ghats stand out, for embodying the essence of human existence – Harishchandra Ghat and Manikarnika Ghat.

These two cremation ghats are considered the eternal embodiment of life’s grand illusions and the only grand reality – that, one has to die – that, no one can say ‘when’ – and, that, many blurred lines between illusions and realties of a life are dependent on this ‘when’.

Whether seriously intended, or just a random stop during a walk through the Ganga ghats in Varanasi, the atmosphere of these two ghats engages people sitting on the ghat-steps in thinking about the basic question of life – that we keep on asking regularly – and we ask when we depart finally – the purpose of life – what did we do and why did we do ‘what did we do’?

Attachments and detachment are subjected to the questions that we ask while sitting on these ghat-steps – and detachment gets us the sublime feeling of being free of all that is material – free of all that binds us – that nothing can change the destiny of our final moments when our physical presence is finally reduced to nothing – but our deeds of being the good human-beings - to us, to others, and to the existentialism of life.

The existential beauty of life – or some can say the existential irony – is the attachments get back to being the central to our existence once we move on to the next ghat from this realm of soul-searching.


©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey - http://severallyalone.blogspot.com

Saturday, 26 July 2014

ARVIND KEJRIWAL VS BARACK OBAMA??

Did you say a wild comparison?

After all, one is a 49-day chief minister of Delhi, India’s National Capital Territory, who had to apologize for his ‘act of absconding’. Though he doesn’t accept it morally, the electoral and political compulsions after his ‘political martyrdom’ efforts  tanked down in the Lok Sabha polls forced him to own the disaster his decision to vacate the Delhi CM’s office in order to look for greener pastures had become. He was forced to accept the ‘deserter’ tag in his own toned-down version.

And the other is the successful (though debatable on who sees what) President of the United States of America, the world’s only superpower (still). The world’s most powerful political person is in the second term of his Presidential office.

Professionally, Arvind Kejriwal began as engineer and graduated to become a finance professional working for the Government of India. Barack Obama is a Harvard educated lawyer.

So, where is the ground for comparison?

It is there, thanks to the Norwegian Nobel Committee and thanks to the Delhi electorate!

Friday, 25 July 2014

THE NIGHT HAS COME AFTER A LONG TIME

The night has come after a long time
To sit again, by the side of my head

Looks like the talk will be mutual
Something, the years have not seen

There is much to say and hear
Wish the hour now lasts longer

Such a night has come after ages
That didn't betray its commitment

Like the other nights, even today,
Yes, there is no pillow of sleep

रात आयी है फिर से सिरहाने बैठने

रात मुद्दत बाद आयी है
फिर से सिरहाने बैठने

लगता है कुछ बातें होंगी
अर्सा हुआ जो हो ना पायीं

कहने, सुनने को है बहुत
पहर ये जल्दी ना बीते

ये रात मुद्दत बाद आयी है
जो दूर से ही चली ना गयी

Thursday, 24 July 2014

AAP: UNEXPECTED HIGH TO UNEXPECTED LOW

First, it was an unexpected high. Then it was an unexpected low.

The unexpected high was for everyone, including the direct beneficiary. In fact, it came as a pleasant surprise for those who wished to see it happen but had not expected it to happen this way given the circumstances then.

The unexpected low was expected by everyone, (but) except the direct beneficiary, who could not read it or did not want to read it then and had a self-made spectacular fall - from grace, from the position of standing – that came to him because of the growing public frustration and disenchantment with the mainstream political lot.

That is the story of the newest political debutant on the mainstream political scene of India – the Aam Aadmi Party – and of Arvind Kejriwal – and of those who began their political journey with it - and of those who joined it later on, especially after the unexpected high of December 2013 – and those who left it or felt disenchanted enough to walk out of the half-baked activism and politics concoction – after the ‘expected’ unexpected low of May 2014.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

THE RANGARAJAN POVERTY LINES, TOO, FAIL INDIANS

I had written on Indian achievement on reducing poverty on July 24, 2013

In a huge, huge achievement, in a trademark Montek Singh Ahluwalia style, packaged and presented in the Manmohan Singh style, yesterday, all of a sudden, we the Indians were told by the economy wizard of the nation that his government had lifted almost 15 per cent of the Indians above the poverty line since 2004-05.

So, the school of Montekonomics, the Planning Commission of India has announced: “The percentage of persons below the Poverty Line in 2011-12 has been estimated as 25.7% in rural areas, 13.7% in urban areas and 21.9% for the country as a whole. The respective ratios for the rural and urban areas were 41.8% and 25.7% and 37.2% for the country as a whole in 2004-05. It was 50.1% in rural areas, 31.8% in urban areas and 45.3% for the country as a whole in 1993-94. In 2011-12, India had 270 million persons below the Tendulkar Poverty Line as compared to 407 million in 2004-05, that is a reduction of 137 million persons over the seven year period.”

And it is one year to July 24, 2013 – Manmohan Singh and Montek Singh Ahluwalia are not there to steer the Indian policy to decide on the poverty politics and poverty economics.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

BEING POOR IN INDIA: THE NUMBERS

Related post: BEING POOR IN INDIA: IT IS STATISTICAL AS WELL
http://severallyalone.blogspot.in/2014/07/being-poor-in-india.html 

The extreme levels of poverty indicators by the United Nations say there are 1.2 billion extreme poor in the world.

The UN study (UN Millennium Development Goals Report 2014) estimated 400 million or 40 crore of it in India.

That is 1/3rd of the Indian population of around 120 crore.

So, the UN says around 40 crore of the Indians are extremely poor – they survive on less than US$ 1.25 a day, i.e., almost Rs. 75 a day (@Rupee to US$ exchange rate of 60).

Now let’s talk on some more numbers – on how India counts its poor and reduces the poverty ‘found’ among its citizens.

Monday, 21 July 2014

STATISTICAL COMMODITIZATION OF HUMAN LIVES

Statistical commoditization of human lives - from the Indian poverty Lines to the innocent human lives killed and mutilated in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Somalia, Congo (DPR), Sudan, Nigeria and many other African and Asian countries and elsewhere - to the recently spiraled moments of crisis in Gaza, in Ukraine and the Flight MH17 crash after taking a sophisticated missile hit at 30,000 feet in – loss of human lives - always manipulated and used to further self-serving agendas – of dictators, of global superpowers.

Manipulative wisdom of statistics to alter the scale and aftermath of human lives killed or taken away - lives reduced to numbers - my count, your count, their count and the loss of haves and have-nots - the deepening culture of 'let go' in the global geopolitics - don't be surprised if it gives us the next Peace Nobel Laureate – recognizing the culture of non-interventionism in the name of global order even if it means hundreds of thousands killed every year in civil wars, in terror strikes and in religious/sectarian divides.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

BEING POOR IN INDIA: IT IS STATISTICAL AS WELL

40 crores of Indians are extremely poor – if we go by the estimates and the extreme poverty line of the United Nations.

The only catch is – if we go by the Indian estimates – many of them are not poor and most of them are not ‘as extremely poor as the UN finds’ – as propounded by the by the Indian Government standards – an exercise that began with a Planning Commission working group in 1962, continuing with four other exercises, to come again to the ‘unacceptable’ Poverty Lines (Urban/Rural) of the Rangarajan Committee which submitted its report last month, a report that got public this month – but has failed to come with logical and sociologically viable Poverty Line(s) for a society that has the maximum number of world’s poor (including the ‘extreme’ poor).

If we take the Tendulkar Committee’s Poverty Lines, being used by the Government of India and the Planning Commission so far, before Mr. Rangarajan’s figures were reached at – as expected, at Rs. 75 a day (with US$ to Re. exchange rate of 60), this extreme UN Poverty Line is almost double to the new urban Poverty Line of Rs. 47 as decided by the noted economist C. Rangarajan after almost 2 years of work.