Saturday, March 07, 2015

Shaad piyala*

Someone on Twitter just now asked for ways to be happy. No, not seeking the real thing, she was putting together an article - for the many pages that will need filling up for Women's Day, I presume.

I was tempted to respond and did, with a couple of 'commonsensical' suggestions that would be acceptable to our periodicals. But as I thought about that question and answer - both so pat - near-hysterical laughter welled up within me. How does one answer that question in polite circles? How does one attempt the question and still sound measured? The real answer, by all accounts, is obscure, arcane, beyond description... but some have tried.

O Nanak, the entire world is in sorrow;
He alone is happy who has been blessed
with initiation by a Perfect Master.

Or, as the colossal Shankara puts it:

yogaratova bhogaratova
sangaratova sangaviheenah
yasya brahmani ramate chittam
nandati nandati nandatyeva

Through yoga or through pleasure
In company or alone
He, who trains his mind to revel in Brahman,
Enjoys bliss, enjoys bliss, he alone enjoys bliss.

* From Sultan Bahu:
Sar devan akhan naahi shaad piyaala peeta hu... They’d give up their heads than give up His Secret, they who have drunk from the Cup of Gladness.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Something's got to give

Sheetal Vyas has had it up to here with people being so clever on social networks.
And I sound like half a million other people right now thinking the very same thing, never mind how clever they were themselves being half an hour ago.

The way our social media mutates... the way it is juggernauting its way through the way we are, the way we communicate, the way we perceive the world and connect with it... by when do you think it'll start hacking away at our egos instead of building it?

Monday, March 02, 2015

Explaining myself

There is no doubt that I'm a lot more online when I have deadlines than when I don't.

Close friends know at once by the number of posts, likes and comments I have up on various social platforms that work is looming. It's not that I avoid work - it's just that after closely reading and editing a few dense paras of text, I need to look away. Normally I'd shut the computer and go away but with tight deadlines, I can't afford the time off. So breaks necessarily must come from other online diversions.

But alas, today, I wish I hadn't - a series of depressing articles came up for inspection and I'm now anguished as well as stressed for time. I think I'll watch a few cat videos before I go back to how tough pigeonpea has it in Rajasthan.