Sunday, February 24, 2013

God sees the truth but waits

Yesterday I read a short story by Leo Tolstoy named "God sees the truth but waits" .I am sure many have either read it or have seen adaptation of it on either small or big screen. For those who haven't  ,this is the gist. It is about a man Ivan ,a merchant , who  travels to another town on a business errand.On the way he meets a merchant  ( a rich one with lots of money on him) .They both stay in a lodge in the same room. Ivan leaves by early morning to finish of his reminded of his journey.   He reaches the town and finds that police are waiting for him . They inform him that  the merchant with he shared a room has been murdered brutally with a knife and they suspect him of the murder. They search his bag and find a blood stained knife.They arrest him despite Ivan's denials.He is wrongly implicated and gets a life sentence for his deed. Even his wife wont believe that he did not commit the murder. Ivan is heartbroken and resigns to fate . He leads a amicable life in the prison. He sort of becomes a messiah for everyone.Then one day  a new prisoner comes. Soon Ivan learns that this was the man who killed the merchant and placed the knife in Ivan's bag. Ivan is angry.He feels a feeling of vengeance rising in him . One day  Ivan finds the man digging a hole  to escape from the prison . The man asks Ivan to not let the word out and in turn promises Ivan that he will let him escape as well. The man is caught and police ask Ivan if he had seen the man digging the hole. Now it is turn of Ivan to get his revenge .To implicate the man to quench his anger. But he doesn't. He tells the police that he cannot say anything. The police let the man go. The man  is remorseful now. He begs Ivan for forgiveness  and weeps. Ivan  forgives him   and then he feels very light. The burden of vengeance,anger,misery vanishes from him. He is no longer suffering.  His heart gets cleansed. The man goes to the police and tells the truth about killing the merchant  and the police are ready to release Ivan .But on the day of the release Ivan dies.

It is very difficult to not get moved by such a story. Ivan's pain,helplessness,misery ,loneliness pushes across to the reader. We feel his sadness.But the story is not about hopelessness but it is about keeping the hope alive in our hearts. God watches everything. And when Ivan's moment of truth came  Ivan's heart is not the same anymore. He is a wise man . A man who realizes the smallness of everything before forgiveness. The moment Ivan's heart forgives the man  ,he becomes free. God has released him from the burden. Resigning to the fate helps Ivan. But I differ in this. Ivan's release came too late. He deserved much better life   but God waited. The story makes you feel for Ivan. But I couldn't say the same about God. Why did he wait? When he saw the truth ,why did he wait? What was his purpose? I wish God could answer this to me.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Why ?

I ask GOD these questions and I imagine him answering me thus.

Why is the sky blue?
Let your  life be as serene and calm  as the beautiful blue colour always .If you forget it just look up .

What is the sea showing me?
Appearances can be deceptive.You will know the multitude of life which is under me.

What are the birds telling me?
You are on your own once you get your  wings.

Why does the sun set?
After a sunny day comes the night .Both are part of life.

Why did you make trees?
To make you understand what unconditional love means.

Why did you give us earthquakes?
To tell you that burden is not a good things.It bursts out if the pressure is more.

Why does flute make such  a sound.
Music is around us  .We  are yet to notice it.

Why did you give me illness?
You are a machine which needs oiling  time to time .

Why did you give me anger.
To fight injustice.

Why did you make of this colour.
To make this world even more colourful

Why did you make religion.
I did not make it.

What is the difference between right and wrong?
Right has a conscience and wrong doesn't know what it means.

Why can't I see you?
You can't see the air and yet you are alive because of it. I am the invisible faith which  makes you alive with hope.

Why you take away my loved ones?
Birth and Death is part of cycle.Everybody must go through their turn.

What gift is the best gift you gave me.
The ability to forget and fogive.

How to be always happy?
Just live and let live.

What will happen in my future?
What you do now lays foundation for your future.

Thank you God.

Monday, February 11, 2013

TV then and now!

I belong to the late seventies generation  ,so when we were growing up  Doordarshan was the only channel and our curiosity for animation was satisfied by mickey mouse cartoons every Sunday.That's it. Later on when we grew up  , we loved Buniyaad /hum log/Kachi dhoop/hum chaar/karamchand .of course Vikram Betal was eagerly awaited as well :).Ok I am becoming too nostalgic.But I have heard  many tell me this , that those TV days were the real days.It was all quality .There were just thirteen episodes and yet what an impression they have left on us.  The characters are still in our hearts.  Karamchand and his carrot,Betal's silver hair ,  Ramayan, Mahabharath   ,can anybody forget them?  Does anybody remember afternoon transmission?  and of course our own dose of bollywood through "Chitrahaar SadaaBahaar"  and Sunday morning's "Rangoli". The list goes on and on...

Why are they still in our hearts? Its probably due to the little/measured doses of variety every week  which only made us ask for more. It was so precious for us.  But that is only one end. The TV shows in itself were of such high quality in terms of creativity,casting etc (I am not referring to the transmission quality(remember "rukavat ke liye khed hai?")) . The script was so strong and bound that it stood above everything else. Be it Buniyaad,Premchand's stories or Ek Kahaani(based on stories from all over the world like O.Henry etc) .  The respect for the programme grew automatically just by the script of the show. Also the best of Indian talent had only this channel to showcase their talent which kind of made sure that the cream of India was showcased to the spectators.  One more important factor was the monitory value for the show.Because the competition was almost nil ,there was no fear of losing out any money. 

But alas! the advent of cable TV changed all that. Zee TV,Start Plus entered the market.They started making their own shows.The talent got divided. The marketing strategies became more business like . More the TRP ,more the profit. Let creativity go to hell. Audience loves romance? Then just give them romance every minute even if the scene doesn't require it.  That was the state. And of course ,the entrance of Ekta Kapoor changed the whole scene all over again.The trend she started in late nineties is still continuing till date. Mediocrity has creep-ed into all the shows with no room for any novelty. And who can forget reality shows. I have no idea why we all love people shouting at each other openly on TV.They are crying,rolling in mud,abusing each other ,stealing girlfriends, tearing each other apart.And audience is loving it.

God please give me the eighties television. I wish somebody sets up a channel which will have only re-runs of the oldies and I am sure many like will watch it. What say guys?

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Epiphany yet to come

Have you every come across a stage when you have thought ,"God what am I doing?" or "What should I do ?"  .I am sure many have. I am at that stage right now. When I was young ,I knew that I need to study hard if I have to do something in life.Yes that was the primary goal. And with the education I automatically acquired other  basic skills (respecting another human being,being polite to others etc) .But primary aim was still to become some entity in life (to get a job ,earn money).I was able to reach the goal to a maximum extent. And then something happened. My child was born.Life took a 180 degree turn.My mind and heart told me only one thing ."Be there for your child" ,"Make sure you are with him while he learns to crawl,walk ,run,giggle " .And I listened to my heart.I became a stay-at-home ,no sorry..I became a MOM in total(home or no home don't matter I guess). And the journey has been nothing less than fruitful. The initial hurdles were tough(mentally   and physically owing to surge hormones !!) but  once your child grows into a boy who is asking questions ,answering questions,talking sense, being naughty in a cute way ,giving you back the love which was one way few months back ,you know that what you did for him is actually worth it.

Now your child has graduated to school.He has expanded his horizon.He has more people to interact with .He has realized that world is not just you. It has friends,teachers ,security uncles,driver uncles ,vegetable vendors, ayahs :). Then comes the free time! You think ok I have to something now.But the question is what. In the  4 years of my home time I have realized one thing that I do not want to go back to my old job.I have realized that I am more attracted towards literature and writing.But what field do I choose to fulfill it?  Sometimes my heart tells me to turn into a philanthropist  because the world is not as cozy as it looks.There are people who are still struggling to make ends meet. Sometimes my heart tells me to become a teacher ,a noble profession indeed.Sometimes to write stories . Sometimes to  make jewelry which I have taken up as a hobby. I am still confused.I know I need to do something  ,but what? Something which satisfies me and yet doesn't make me feel tied. I am still waiting for that revelation to come to me. My epiphany is yet to come. Till then I will wait. :)

Wish me luck.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Why I love Jane Austen

Jane Austen is loved by many today. She is my personal favorite as well.She got her share of fame a bit late but imagine people loving her even today ! She is still able to sell copies of her books without the help of anybody :) even today. There must be something about her way of writing which attracts people. The reason why I love her are  many .
Firstly ,she understands different set of people. She has characters who are vain ,who are proud,who are kind , who are conservative  and many more. Her research in characters is pretty detailed. And she never actually points our the real character of the person .But she unfolds it via the character's speech. Just by the  vulgar enthusiasm of Mrs Bennett we know how eager she is to get her daughter's married off to RICH men. She is the trapping kind and will even make her daughter fall sick so that she is in company of Mr.Bingley! How cruel!  Mr.Collins,Mary everybody have a different character which can only amuse the reader even more! But what we must appreciate is the way she gather these characters into one single enclosure and creates an array which keep interacting with each other to make the final picutue.I am sure everybody will agree with me here.  Even smaller characters like Mr Hurst  and Lady Catherine's daughter Anne  add to this picture and complete it.
She was the original Mills and Boon writer! Everything has changed in today's world but human nature has remained the same. Girls still want romance and of course men are still unexpressive except in actions :). How Jane Austen has captured that ! When  Captain Wentworth (Persuasion) silently broods but yet his every glance watch Anne  ,we are almost drooling :). The feelings of jealousy , love ,indifference  add upto the masala  of romance  and readers wont complain. But what class ! A glance here  ,a look there ,a dance are enough to set the hearts to race.Say hello to our first harlequin writer!

That was about romance but her effective use of language is where she scores a point above the rest. The language flows and a sentence running into two -three lines will feel like one(unlike others). When I was very young ,I found it hard to assimilate some of the words. When she wrote "ablution" and learnt it meant washing up ,I was like "wow". But now when I read them I realise that she made a perfect choice of words .The words sort of complete her thoughts so well and send it across to the reader in a effective way.

And her way describing places  and things is definitely eye-catching. When she described Pemberly (Pride and...) ,you imagined it to be a beuatiful scenic palace and thats what it turned out to be in the movie as well. The way she describes Derbyshire moors or the moors at the cottage in Sense and Sensibilty  makes you feel you have visited England ! And of course her favourite place ,Bath. Bath has featured many times in her books and it shows that it has influenced her in a strong way.

There are many more but I would say pick up the book yourself and experience Austen !