HoLiiiiii hAiiiiiii...................................

Posted by Tandarin Nike Thursday, February 25, 2010 11:52 PM 6 comments
I can still remember my childhood days, when it was almost impossible to get a good night sleep on the eve of holi, for, the anticipation of next morning wouldn't let the sleep settle on you.

We used to get up early in the mornings, around six and wait for the sun to shine in its full glory because that is when all the parents would allow the kids to come out on the streets, to smother each other in the vibrant colors of gulal.

The best part of playing holi was to be able to hurl water filled baloons on strangers without fearing adverse repercussions. We would hide on the terraces, our young bodies restless with volatile energy to aim the next passer by on the street with the precision of a sniper, because the kid with the highest hits would be treated as superior sharp-shooter by the rest.

And the best part of celebrating Holi were the sweets. Gujia and Ghevar were my favorite sweets brought for us by our neighbours who were from Jaipur and it would be safe to assume that almost every other kid loved Gujia as much as I did, for, that was the only sweet that would completely disappear within the moments of being brought to the fore.

As we grew older the attraction of holi also grew new dimensions for us. Early teens can be quite a yielding age for an average imaginative mind.

The idea of smearing one's face with all the dirty dark colors and turning up at a friend's home and making him try to identify you hidden under the layers of unyielding colors can be quite an enjoyable experience if you are thirteen and believe that all the ideas that occur to you are ingenious and unique in the entire history of mankind.

One of the other things that is included on one's agenda is to grab hold of an unsuspecting nerdy friend and drown him (not literally) in a tank filled with colored broth and treat him to the nasty and unfriendly-to-the-skin colors so that it takes him ten days to get the colors off his skin and a month to get them off his clothes.

The next stage of life is the late teens, when you are more interested in playing holi with a different section of your society; the opposite sex!

Almost any and every person, from opposite gender, around you, can give you an adrenalin rush with a mere thought of your hands running over their skin (or vice-versa), under the guise of playing holi. If you are lucky, these could be some of the most tantalizing moments of your life that will play an essential part in the process of your growing up.

Next stage of holi in one's life is that of utter disgust! The early years of youth, for that is the time when you despise every single act of insignificance as a hurdle in your way to personal glory.

You are more focused on serious things in life, like becoming independent, having a lifestyle, establishing yourself as a brand, earning laurels for your efforts and pocketing appreciation from your superiors and contemporaries alike and some good career deals to push you to a far more socially respectable stature.

Living a few years completely engrossed in achieving your goals in life, you tend to realize that you are missing out on fun. This is the time when you feel the need of having some close friends or one closer-than-the-rest friend in your life to share some memorable moments and/or do some romantic things with.

This is when Holi meets us in an altogether different stage of life. The idea of playing holi sounds romantic and refreshing. Rubbing gulal on your partners face with the same zeal as used to be there in your childhood days, but only with a gentler movement of your hands, feeling your partner at the same time letting them feel you through the colors of holi, colors of love and colors of life.

Holi is a festival that can refresh your spirit, whether or not you believe in its religious significance or spiritual importance. Holi is a festival that rejuvenates life, which might otherwise be a batch of mundane chores that we have to do whether or not we like them.

And as we all know Holi marks the advent of Spring too, in the cycle of four seasons, so in a way Holi is a symbolic game of colors, designed by our ancestors, to remind us, the transitional nature of life and how important it is to enjoy every moment of it.

Dil agar tadpa nahi pyar me pade kaha,

Gale jo meele nahi to yari nibhi kaha,

Nasha jo chadhe nahi wo nasha kaha,

Hawa me ude nahi to bhaang ka rang kaha,

Rango me bheege nahi to holi kaha,

Rang agar chadha nahi to wo rang hi kaha ..

HoLiii hAiiiiiiii,,,,,,,,

Here's wishing 'Happy Holi' to all.

No matter what age you are, get some inspiration from this post and make it a memorable Holi this year.....

lets loosen our grip.......

Posted by Tandarin Nike Monday, February 22, 2010 8:43 AM 2 comments
In the realm of conscious creation, there’s a backlash against ideas like surrender, powerlessness, and letting go. It’s almost as if, in our discovery that we can create our life with our thoughts, we got an excuse to ignore the greater presence that underscores life.

In other words, we have found a way to control our destinies. We cling to it and won’t leave an opening for the flow of life.

Conscious creation is not about control and rigidity though. No sire, it is about being aware of what we are creating so that we don’t look around at our lives and think that something made it the way that it is. Conscious creation says that we can choose what we want our lives to look like.

At some point, we may hit a barrier with the sole belief of conscious creation. We may need to start employing it with a few other beliefs that may seem contradictory to it, like powerlessness and surrender. We must surrender our intentions and affirmations, loosen our grips on exactly the way we want the world to look and allow the spirit to unfold and manifest in our lives.

You possess tremendous power. You can shape your life through the activity of your mind and your thoughts. As you continue to explore the belief of conscious creation, you will notice the effort that you must put forth to create your world.

At this point, ask yourself what would life be like if you opened to the experience of god in your life?

It doesn’t mean giving up your ability to create your world.

In reality, it means enhancing it....

“Aal Izz Well.”... thats for sure

Posted by Tandarin Nike Monday, February 15, 2010 11:59 AM 4 comments
One of my measurable goals this year was to walk 500 kms. That means 2 kms a day, 5 days a week.

The true objective is to become active. Physical capacity will give me the energy, vitality, and clarity to serve more and to live more fully. With my exercise goal, I am certain that I will also shed some pounds. It will all work together to enrich my life hopefully.

Increasing my emotional capacity will also get the most attention this year. The other facets I feel are on auto-pilot, but the emotional aspect of my life will require focus.

By emotional capacity, I mean that I want to open my heart. I’m a decided thinker according to my zodiac sign and I love that aspect of myself and my ability to analyze. However, I would like to be a more compassionate person, with myself and others.

I do have the remarkable ability to see clearly through any situation to the highest solution. In the process, I often ignore the process that the person is going through to get there. I know that I’ve done that with myself and at least one other person in the past.

This year, I would like to be present in moments of pain and joy. They are both states. No more trying to escape it by looking forward to the end result. I’m not sure how I’m going to accomplish this, but I’m sure that I’ll know when I have.

To be completely honest, there is a part of me that is very afraid I’ll become a sap and I won’t be able to think logically, but I know deep within that this will only enhance my capacity to be a change agent in this porous and unpredictable world.

Now coming to my spiritual capacity, what can I say? Enhancing and building spiritual capacity it seems gives you access to all the resources in the Universe. There is only so much that I consciously know or was taught.

A little bit more that is hanging out in my subconscious that I may have consciously forgotten, but might be able to tap into if pressed. I have the mental ability to do research and find the things I know I need, but what about the things I don’t know I need?

Often in life, you don’t know the right questions to ask in order to get the information you need, or in short, you don’t know what you don’t know.

The collection of all knowledge is held in the Universe. When I tap into that source, I will be surely nudged in directions I would not ordinarily head. Or I might be where I was going, but I might observe something that helps an idea click.

To my knowledge, Spirit is the underlying energy of everything and everyone. It is coursing through us, a resource seldom tapped. It is crying out to express through you and me to create the world we want.

We are trained to look to our intellect, colleagues, friends and family for information and wisdom. We need to train ourselves to tap into the divinity within us. That still, small voice that nudges you to the left or right.

Its the feeling that you have when you know you need to call your friend and it turns out, they needed more of your shoulder to cry on.

Spirit is not above being the whack on your head that’s telling you to get out of the wrong job or start sharing your truth. Increasing your spiritual capacity means that you set yourself in the flow of life and become wide open for all the good in the universe to come through you.

You will begin to see your world change and take on a vibrancy that you could behold. Increased spiritual capacity means a knowing that all is working together for good set so deeply within you that even in the most dire circumstances you can say, “Aal Izz Well.”

Building financial, physical, emotional, and spiritual capacity will enable us all to live in alignment with a purpose. It will help live life with meaning. This too is very much on my agenda for the next 10 months.

Please don’t interpret this as me saying that if you don’t have money or vitality or if you have emotional problems, you cannot live your purpose. I am living proof that you can live your purpose right where you are in your life.

Giving your life purpose has to do with living in alignment with your values. It means doing the things you love, being yourself in all situations, and having the resources to do it.

I currently work in a highly technical and skilled job with the local government. Every day I go to work as open to expressing spirit as I can for the day. I ask to be an instrument of spirit. When I hold meetings with my various groups, I’m not only there to gather requirements, but to hold the space for the best possible outcome. This is all great and I enjoy it thoroughly.

However, I’d like to teach others how to hold that space in their lives as they fulfill their purpose. I do it a little within this blog of mine. I talk to co-workers. I volunteer in organizations to be that person.

I would like to do it for a living. Having the financial resources, being emotionally and physically healthy, and becoming a bigger container of spirit is enabling me to move in that direction.

New years always bring great promise. By increasing our capacity in all the major areas of our lives, we can all feel fulfilled. Hope and pray our lives thus become more robust, full, and balanced.

At the end of this year I plan to measure my goals acheived and present it to all of you....

Wish me luck.....

Lets appreciate what we have....

Posted by Tandarin Nike Sunday, February 14, 2010 9:04 AM 0 comments
"Thoda hai…thode ki zaroorat hai…"

That’s a famous song from an old bollywood movie, which in english means “Have little…need a little more”.

How true, isn’t it?

Well, it’s human to have the drive to achieve more in life, and there is nothing wrong in it. To the point of wanting for more; in the pursuit to achieve new things, we quite often forget to appreciate the value of things we already have. Things whose real worth could be overwhelmingly gauged by people who don’t have it.

One such thing, which we have with us and invariably take it for granted, is our ability to see this beautiful world with our very own eyes.

This reminds me of my visit to the "Worli School for the Blind", Mumbai, about fifteen years back.

There were close to hundred visually challenged people of different ages there. I had never visited such a school in my life before. The short time spent there definitely left a deeply etched mark within my heart ever since.

It’s very well said that when God takes away something from a person, he blesses that person in abundance with something else to overcome the shortcomings. These people too seemed to be blessed by God with extra ordinary abilities to compensate for their disability.

It was amazing to see the way they came into the dining hall, on their own, without any help. They knew exactly how many steps and turns to take to reach the hall from their rooms located on the various floors.

During the initial few minutes as I watched them, I couldn’t help but wonder as to how they would perceive this world of ours.

Did they know how they looked like?

Did they know how this world looked like?

Did they know the difference between day and night?

Did they realize that there is a world beyond darkness?

Did they know what seeing really meant?

Usually, when people like us see fellow human beings with some disabilities, a feeling of sympathy grows within our heart for them. The same was the case with me initially.

Within a short span of time, I realized that they were happy in their own world, sharing extremely good rapport with each other, helping each other, cracking jokes, tapping their feet whenever some music was played. They didn’t seem to have any complaints with their lives. They seemed to be very happy and content.

The time that I spent there, changed my initial feeling of sympathy towards them into respect and admiration.

It was inspiring to see them smile and play with each other.

It was inspiring to see them run down the stairs at a pace faster than ours.

It was inspiring to see them enjoying their life even with their limitations.

The most inspiring thing was to see one of them dancing to a famous bollywood song. That really got me into deep thoughts and a lot of my own musings.

I just wondered whether the kid knew how ‘did it look’ when his hands and legs moved in sync with the music. I wondered whether he knew how he looked when he danced. That sight was really very touching, something which I can’t express in words.

Those wonderful kids taught me one of the biggest lessons of life in their own unique way, that, we should always appreciate and realize the value of everything that God has blessed us with. We always long for things that we don’t have, but forget to look at what we have. We really are blessed. Each one of us.

It’s quite obvious that in the pursuit to survive in this very competitive world, we may stumble, meet defeats, failures and life might seem to be harsh and unfair to us. This is all but natural.

In case you find yourself in a dire situation or you are disappointed about life in general. Try to visualize the kid who swung his arms and legs in sync with the music without even knowing how he looked like while dancing his heart out. It will definitely bring you to some realisation that your situation is not that bad. Face the world with all that you have rather then what you don't.

This for me was so inspiring since then, that the last decade, has brought me to live in terms with all my so called short comings.

The reality my friends, is that there are really no short comings; it’s our perceptions of what others expect us to be. We are, what we are abundantly blessed with and our very existance in this overwhelming universe is to do well with what we have and ask for just a little more....

No doubt every one of us who have heard the song “Thoda hai…thode ki zaroorat hai…” appreciate it so very much.

NOTE: You can mute the embedded music on this blog, by scrolling right to the end of this page and disabling the player.

Those were the days....

Posted by Tandarin Nike Wednesday, February 10, 2010 9:17 AM 2 comments
This is something that I wanted to write about long back, but then thought of waiting for the right time to come. Well, it’s time.

It’s about an incident that happened when I was in college, way back in mid 70’s, which probably I can share with you now. I have been digging my own grave since some time through my personal blog-posts; I just hope that a few inches of digging might not make much of a difference now.

It was during one of those exam seasons in college that I first noticed this girl. I still remember that day. I was taking Xerox copies at the college library.

I used to buy all the books relevant for each semester, but it were the Xerox copies that used to come handy during the exams. Xerox copies of notes taken by, who else? Those studious and intelligent girls of our class.

Their notebooks used to be neat with proper headings and underlinings, our notebooks used to be more artistic, with paintings and scribbling, all an earnest outcome of attempts at staying awake during those boring and complex lecture sessions.

Nevertheless, the notes of our girls used to be a bible to us during the exam seasons.

Well, coming back to the incident...

While I was waiting near the Xerox machine, I somehow felt as if somebody was looking at me. I turned my head towards that ‘somebody’. It was a girl from our batch. I had seen her before, but never ‘noticed’ her in the crowd.

The moment I looked at her, she took off her eyes from me. She seemed to be waiting for one of her friends.

A few seconds later, I again felt as if ‘somebody’ was looking at me. I turned my head again in the same direction. She took off her eyes from me.

I finally laid my hands on my Xerox copies. While stacking them into my folder, I just turned towards her. She was still at the same place, waiting for her friend, looking at me. I sort of ignored it and left the library.

The very next day, as I was standing outside our examination hall, mugging up the notes, I again had this feeling that ‘somebody’ was looking at me.

I turned my head. It was her. She immediately took her eyes down to her notebook.

After the exam, I was on my way to the library to return a book. As luck would have it, I saw her again, this time talking to one of her friends. Her friend saw me and said something to her. She instantly turned back and looked at me.

Man, something was wrong with her.

Did she really have something special for me? What was it? Was it infatuation, crush or something else...?

I didn’t know.

There was one more thing that I didn’t know as yet, that was her name.

I don’t exactly remember how, but I managed to get her name, from one of my classmates who knew her.

Her name - well, I can’t reveal for obvious reasons. Let’s call her ‘Mangala’.

Mangala seemed to be a very calm and quite girl. She would hardly smile. She always used to have this serious look on her face.

I don’t know from when, but I also started ‘noticing’ her in the crowd. It was quite strange, but my eyes always used to zero-in on her, in the crowd.

Encounters with Mangala used to be quite funny. I would see her coming with her friend. She would look at me from a distance. I would look at her. We both would then sway our eyes in different directions, quite unpretentiously. Then, as both of us neared each other from opposite ends, we again would have an instant glance at each other, at the same time.

Thought it was never close to anything like love, it was just a pleasant feeling, which many of us might have experienced in our lives.

Ironically, I never tried to know more about her, forget about taking the first step towards approaching her.

Months passed by with those pleasant encounters happening on and off.

One fine day, I got to know that she belonged to a different religion. Knowing my parents, I knew that bringing a girl from a different religion would-be a problem at my home. They would never accept her whole heartedly for sure. Further, having seen many problems associated with inter religious marriages I was a little averse at the whole idea.

Thankfully, I wasn’t too serious about Mangala. Hence, it was now easier for me, if ever Mangala came to me and said ‘I have something special for you’.

I started ignoring Mangala. During our few encounters I made it a point that I would not look at her, no matter what happened. I expected her to realize over a period of time that I didn’t have anything for her.

Unfortunately, I felt she was not getting the message across. She was still ‘noticing’ me. A sort of guilty feeling started setting into me. Probably through the glances during our earlier encounters, I was making her feel that I had something for her. I shouldn’t have done that. I shouldn’t have given her any hope.

Finally, I decided to talk to her and clear off things. I didn’t have to wait for long.

I saw her near one of the staff rooms. I had gone there to collect one of my answer sheets. Not many were there. I saw her looking at me.

This was the right opportunity. I didn’t think twice and went straight to her.

Me: Hi

Mangala: Hi

Me: Do you have anything to say?

Mangala: No. Why?

The reply from her was so cold, it felt like a tight slap on my face. Now, this wasn’t expected from a girl who laid her eyes on me all the while. This was not part of the script. I mean...how could she react this way?

Me: Nothing

I looked around. No one apart from me and her had heard anything. I bade her good bye and took a hasty retreat back to my class.

I tried to get back to my senses after that jolt. It was now time for disaster recovery and brainstorming.

There was no doubt that she had been ‘noticing’ me since last several months. But why the hell did she react that way?

After lot of thinking/analysis, there were just two possibilities;

1. She indeed had some feeling for me, but was shy to admit it.

2. She didn’t have any feeling for me; instead she thought that I was the one to start the ‘noticing’ game.

The first reason seemed to be fine. But then if it was the second reason, I had made a fool of myself.

Anyways, I continued ignoring her. I had thought of finding out the real reason from her on our farewell day, a day when usually such things come out.

Months passed by. Our farewell came, but by then I had dropped the idea of talking to Mangala and finding out the real reason.

The funny part was that none of my college mates had an idea that something of this sort had happened in my life. I hadn’t shared this with anyone in my college which actually saved me from a lot of humiliation.

Coming back to my infatuation story, I have conveniently settled with the idea that she did have some feelings for me but was definitely shy to admit it.

This thought just gets me into the right mood even today. Though by now, lot of water has passed under the bridge.

I have just no idea where Mangala is today, but if she ever reads this post, please for god's sake dont get me wrong and dont spoil my mood.

It all makes sense...

Posted by Tandarin Nike Saturday, February 6, 2010 9:48 AM 0 comments
The Udupi restaurant near the railway station was surprisingly quite empty. I had with me my first prescription eye glasses. But before I could have a ‘first day-first show’ look at it, the waiter waived a menu card at me. ‘Idli Sambaar’ was a big bore and quickies like ‘Upma’ and ‘Shira’ were out of stock. Before I could think of anything else, an old lady occupied the seat in front of me, wiping her sweat on her forehead.

Why the hell she had to sit opposite me on my table, when there were seats all around? Maybe she was tired and wanted to sit below a fan. But what the hell…there was no fan above my table. Why then sit in front of me that too when I was just about to check the focus of my eyes with my new glasses? I was being intruded.

The old lady seemed to have read my mind. She asked me, ‘Is anybody sitting here?’ I shook my head, turned to the waiter and ordered the first thing that came into my mind. It happened to be ‘Onion Rava Masala Dosa’. But the old lady, who by now had recovered from her fatigue, was very clear. ‘A plate of ‘Idli’ fully immersed in hot ‘Sambar’ was what she wanted.

As I was hesitant to open the case and flirt with my glasses in front of the old lady, I decided to erase old messages on my mobile. The lady seemed to be immersed in her own thoughts.

Soon, the waiter served her the ‘Idli’ that was fully immersed in hot ‘Sambar’ and wasting no time, she triumphantly started gulping it. It bugged me that I had occupied the table a few minutes before the old lady, but she was the one who was eating first. I had to intervene. I smiled and uttered, ‘Your ‘Idli’ has already come…’ It was now her turn to get intruded and I was damn glad about it. But the old lady gathered herself within a second, smiled looking straight into my face and blurted, ‘You have ordered an ‘Onion Rava Masala Dosa’. Here, in this hotel they take a lot of time to serve you ‘Onion Rava Masala Dosa’.

She eats. I fiddle with my mobile as usual, sending short messages to some random friends. Suddenly, she stops, looks at me again and explains, ‘I know this place well, as I come to the nearby bank. Except ‘Idli’ and ‘Sada Dosa’, everything here takes time’. I act as if I had just heard a great piece of wisdom, ‘Oh, is it?’ She gives me an all-knowing smile. I call the water and irritatingly ask him if my ‘Onion Rava Masala Dosa’ is ready. He says, ‘five minutes’. The old lady smiles, as she almost finishes her stuff and orders for a cup of tea.

Not knowing what to do, I call up my friend and talk to him about the weather and sundry. Through the corner of my eyes, I see the old lady dip the tip of her index finger into her glass of water. She then takes a paper napkin and wipes the wet finger - this process repeats twice. ‘Why?’ I wonder. She then takes a fresh napkin and, all of a sudden, offers it to me with an ‘as-a-matter-of-fact’ face. After a hesitant second, I unconsciously accept it. I thank her and start wiping the imaginary sweat on my face.

When the old lady’s cup of tea arrives, she wipes the saucer with another paper napkin. I look at the waiter. He gestures to me that my order is not yet ready. The old lady grins as she pours her tea into the saucer and starts sipping from it. Visibly upset, I shift uneasily on my seat and contemplate if I should cancel my ‘Onion Rava Masala Dosa’ and order ‘Idli immersed with hot Sambar’, instead.

‘You can relax for quite some time now. Your ‘Onion Rava Masala Dosa’ is not going to arrive soon’ the lady cracked a joke. I wanted to smash her head but instead, I smiled. What else could I do?.

When her bill arrives, I act as if I am seriously reading some messages on my mobile. The old lady pays the waiter the exact amount in her bill. She had kept the change ready, before hand. She picks her purse and before leaving she looks at me, gives her now familiar naughty smile and … ‘Enjoy your wait and have a good day.’ The wise old lady then rapidly vanishes.

There was no point in checking and flirting with my new glasses with such an irritating mood. As my wait for the ‘Onion Rava Masala Dosa’ continued, for the next 20 minutes.

I just realized, albeit pretty late, as to why I have not made much progress in my field since the last twenty-five years. What a life...

The unpredictable luck that excites all of us...

Posted by Tandarin Nike Thursday, February 4, 2010 1:08 PM 0 comments
I hate people who say “things happen for a reason”

They say this to make you feel better after something bad happens. But, really, things happen for a non-reason; if you have to call it something, then call it “luck.”

Still, just because luck has a name, do not think it is something you can define or control.

Things happen when an uncountable number of random forces converge in one particular time and place. You can look back and try to simplify and explain it afterwards. You can even use “bad luck” as an excuse for something bad happening, if it makes you feel better.

But luck always hides behind the elusive, intangible sway of events, like a ghost horse that cannot be harnessed.

An outcome is based on luck, skill and effort, with the last two factors more or less connected with experience. The luck aspect is what makes any outcome unpredictable in spite of skill and effort. And that unpredictability is what makes life, games, sports, and movies very exciting.

Who would want to play a game or watch a sport or movie in which the outcome is already known?

That is why games involving the right balance of luck and skill are so addictive and popular. A game or sport that is all skill and no luck would be boring and discouraging to beginners and players alike.

A game that is all luck and no skill would provide no motivation for players to become skilled and try to win. Of course, when money is involved, the stakes are higher, and wins and losses become all the more important.

Even when playing a free, pointless video game on a home computer, getting your highest score ever by a combination of a lucky screen, good timing, and practice, is a definite way to get a surge of excitement.
At the most important life-changing moments in our lives, luck closes the deal. So, if you want to carry a rabbit’s foot around, go ahead if it makes you feel more optimistic and less worried. But get a synthetic, bright blue, faux rabbit’s foot instead please.

Defenseless rabbits themselves don’t seem to have lives charmed by good luck, in spite of their allegedly fortunate feet; they’re relentlessly chased and eaten by foxes, coyotes, weasels, owls, hawks, snakes, and now humans.

You can carry any kind of amulet, but respect the fact that the element of luck, good or bad, has nothing to do with you. Things happen for non-reasons, which are random, infinitely complicated, and impersonal.

You are just an ordinary person without a crystal ball, connected to and affected by the outside world, who cannot possibly be aware of all the factors that will lead to the outcome you so desperately want.

Luck propels you across that juncture, the longest seconds of your life, when you wait; hand on the phone, for an answer, yes or no. You got the job. Your biopsy was negative. The micro-seconds when the cricket ball rolls off the fielder’s hand. The pauses before you pick up your cards.

Meanwhile the hypothetical rabbit dives into its burrow, seconds ahead of the fox; safe for today.

What a relief it is, though this could eventually be short lived.