Monday, December 23, 2019

An experiment

Let's try an experiment. Take an object, any object, in your house. Touch it with love everyday. While going out of the house, touch it gently and say Bye. When you enter, touch it again and say, "I'm home".

Within 2 months, you will find that the object radiates love. You will feel happier when u stand near that object. And so will the people who come to your house. Without any reason, that will become the favourite "spot" of everyone in the house.

What is happening here, is simply this - Love, as an energy, is unbeatable. Like a sponge, the object absorbs love. And then, it starts to radiate love back. It doesn't matter whether the object is animate or inanimate. It doesn't matter if its a pet or an idol. Or even a rock pet. This WILL happen. The target object is completely immaterial.

Now, imagine if you were doing this to people sharing the house with you. Or a child. Or a colleague. A friend.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

What is the new Citizenship Act of India?

All you need to know to understand the Citizenship Amendment Act:

The basic Citizenship Act:

The Text of the Amendment:

Articles 5 to 11 of the Indian Constitution:

And to the geniuses spouting Article 14: You are like the dog lovers who start their letters by stating: Removing strays is a violation of Article 51 of the Indian Constitution. Matlab, कुछ भी!! 
Have you ever read Article 14? The entire Haj Subsidy, Minority Benefits, Subsidised land for religious institutions, Minority educational institutions - THOSE are in violation of Article 14.

And if you want the shortcut, here is a Supreme Court lawyer who explains the legality of the Act:

Monday, December 16, 2019

Complex Change Management

Over the years, quite a few people have asked how I manage to get straight to the core issue every single time. 

Here is that secret: 
When trying to understand any situation that seems too complex and multi-faceted and confusing, the key questions to ask are: 
A. Who benefits from this? 
B. Who has the opportunity? 
C. Who has the motive? (Cliched as it sounds, it is a very useful answer) 
D. Who is paying? 
(Peace is our default state. Unrest costs money. A lot of money. Someone is paying it. Find out who, and you have your answer).


Sunday, December 15, 2019


एक  optical illusion हुआ करता है - जिस में सीढ़ियां ऊपर जाती हैं, पर असल में वो नीचे ले जा रही होती हैं. 
मेरे साथ भी कुछ ऐसा ही हुआ. 

अज़ीज़ हुआ करता था. 
अब अज़ीम हूँ. 

Pyaaraa/ Piece

तुम तक पहुँचने के
इस सफर पे जब निकला था 
बहुत मरहले आये. 

हर मरहले को मैंने 
एक मील का पत्थर मान लिया। 

उन चालों को चलते चलते 
मैं बन गया 
जीवन की शतरंज का
एक बहुत सफल प्यादा। 

बहुत सालों के बाद समझा हूँ 
कि 'पंज' हों, 
या 'वह एक' 
प्यारा नहीं बन सकता। 

* पंज प्यारे सिखों के दशम गुरु, गुरु गोबिंद सिंह जी के द्वारा अमृत छकाए गए, पहले खालसे थे. गृ गोबिंद सिंह जी ने भीड़ को ललकारा था - मरने के लिए कौन तैयार है? तब ये ५ जांबाज़ लोग मरने के लिए आगे आये थे. इस प्रकार खालसा पंथ की स्थापना हुई. पंज प्यारे सिखों में प्रेरणा और अडिग वीरता के चिन्ह हैं. 
"वह एक" यहां पर चुने हुए साथी के लिए प्रयुक्त है. 

When I started
this odyssey
to reach you -
At first
there were
many, many obstacles.

I treated each one
as a milestone
and did whatever it took
to overcome.

And that is how
I became
a really adept piece
on the board of life's chess.

It was only much later
that I realised
that a piece on the chess board
cannot be
a piece of
someone's heart.

On Child abuse

I am not a particularly sensitive person. Child grooming and abuse is a topic that I know about, and have worked with. Over the years, I have heard, and read, both personal and journalist stories that break the heart and make one wonder.

You've probably heard the story of Sweetie, the AI generated Philipino child who was instrumental in identifying thousands of pedophiles.

But THIS, breaks even my heart. THis is INSANE. And apparently, the insanity is only getting worse.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Just in case you were starting to forget what Congress India feels like

Today, the Indian National Congress held a rally in Delhi. Now, buses are typically not allowed on the expressway, but since Rajasthan is a Congress ruled state, the entire expressway was full of luxury buses - all the way from Gurgaon to Janpath there was a stream of luxury buses carrying people to this rally.

One of them hit our vehicle and raced on without a backward glance.

This trip to Delhi taught me 2 things:
1. The Swiss Bank money has not gone anywhere. There is enough and more to win the next elections.

2. Just in case we were beginning to forget what Congress rule looks like - this cavalcade of buses travelling illegally and fearlessly on the expressway, with no one in the media or private citizenry taking a picture or tweeting about it, this shameless bending of the rules without anyone saying a word, as if this was all in a day's job, was quite the reminder.
NOT the India I want to go back to.

Thank you, for reminding me, dynasty, that India is, in your view, still your personal fiefdom.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Sanskrit Sukti on the importance of a balanced diet

आतुर: सर्वभक्षी च नर: शीघ्र विनश्यति 
Meaning: He who is eager, and he who eats everything, such a person destroys his/her health very soon. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Sanskrit Sukti on donating food

अन्नस्य क्षुधितं पात्रं 
अन्नस्य - Of (receiving) food - अन्न का 
क्षुधितं - A hungry person - भूखा व्यक्ति 

पात्रं - is deserving - पात्र है.

A hungry person is a deserving recipient of food. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2019


Remember this: India is not secular because of its constitution.  It is secular because of its population.  Every one who lives on this soil inherits co-existence.
In your bid to earn quick bucks and grants,  please don't deny that core feature of our existence.  Even ISIS doesn't do it.  Even ISIS admits that recruits from India are weak and "incapable of inflicting torture".
Surely, you can't be worse than ISIS? But then again,  whyever not? 

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Questions to Ponder over..

So, while watching Panipat(the movie) today, I had a doubt. Of the holy Trinity of Hinduism, Vishnu has taken the forms to fight most often - Ram is a warrior prince, Parashurama, Varaha, Narsimha, etc. Yet, the battle cry is "Har Har Mahadeva" - invoking the power of Shiva in everyone.
To the best of my knowledge, Shiva fights very well, but is, at heart, a Yogi.
So, why do the war cries not invoke Vishnu or any avatar of Vishnu? and more importantly, why do they invoke the power of Mahadev?
Anyone who knows and would like to enlighten please? I will be hajaar grateful.
Question number 2:

Mahabharata, the greatest battle in our mythology, happened in Kurukshetra.

3 successive battles were held in Panipat, barely 60 kms away.

As probability goes, the odds of 4 historic battles happening so close to each other are pretty.. abysmal.
What is it about Panipat?
Question no 3:

What is the origin of the name Panipat?

Jao Lao piya nadi se son machhri

Doesn't get better than this... EVER. 

Next time someone asks you about the importance of Paryayavachi, have them listen to this version above. It has the following lines: 

जो है कंचन का भरमाया 
उस ने किसका नेह निभाया 

In a later version, he replaces just a single word in the poem: 

जो है कंचन का भरमाया 
उस ने किसका प्रेम निभाया

And the difference that half a syllable makes! 

You have to hear it to believe it: 

With Neh:


Tuesday, December 03, 2019

This is what coaches and therapy Don't get - and spiritual guides and religions DO

My friend and I live halfway across the world from each other. Every night, i send her a Good Morning, and we chat almost everyday. 

Yesterday, she and I got talking about her coach. We realised that coaches expect us to come up with answers at a time in life when we DON'T have answers. I told her that the same thing happened with my therapy. The therapist insisted that i ask myself deep questions at a time when i was completely incapable of normal functioning! And then, it was my fault! I tried, really did, for about 2 months, before accepting that I am never going to be able to answer the questions to her satisfaction. Because after the first attempt, she said, "These answers are the reason why you need to go back and think more." Which gave me the sense that she has the answers in her mind, and she wants me to arrive at the same answers. The fact that this is the worst possible time to subject me to difficult questions and mandatory decision making, completely escaped her!  

After what my friend said last night, I REALLY got thinking. Yes, coaching and counselling both need answers to come from the person, but they don't get it that at the point at which coaching/ counselling are happening, the person is in no position to give those answers. Just guided questioning is not going to cut it! Even the person knows the questions. It is the answers that are missing. 

And then I thought, where do we go when we are really down and out? The answer is: We either turn to a spiritual guide, or to our religion. 

So, what is it that spiritual guides and religions do so well, and coaches and counselling don't? Why is counselling almost universally ineffective? 

And here, I think, is the answer: 
Spiritual guides and religion provide ANSWERS. 

At that moment, when you are asking existential questions like, "Why this? Why me? What next?" They don't take you to the torture chamber of interrogation and ask, "How do you feel? What do you want to do next?" I have no frigging idea how I feel, and i have no clue what i want to do next. Hell, i don't even know what next means?! 

At first, they ACCEPT. Pain and suffering are part of human existence. You are down and out. And that is OK. 

A Coach says, "Oh! You are going through a rough time. Let's talk about it." 
A counsellor says, "You have gone through abuse. This is hard. Do you want to talk about it?" 
A spiritual guide says, " Nanak Dukhiya sab sansaar." or "Sorrow is a guest that visits every household." or some such. 

Then, they DO NOT interrogate. They do not put you in a question chamber. They do not expect anything from you - not even a sane mind. They accept you as you are - vulnerable, and unable to function. 

And here is the important thing - they PROVIDE ANSWERS. 
Answers which make sense to them, and to some of us. 
Answers that we need at that time. There is plenty of time to pull up our socks and get cracking on work. But at THAT time, we don't want to make decisions. We don't want to answer questions. We want our questions answered. 

They provide SUPPORT. Every religion, every spiritual guide, tells the person coming to them - I AM HERE FOR YOU. Do you know how important that is? To say, I am here for  you? It is the lever that pulls a person out of loneliness and alienation. It is the thing that makes a person feel like a human being again. Therapy isolates. 

And for some people, they provide A COMMUNITY WITH SHARED BELIEFS. 
Usually, there is an ashram, or other followers of the religion who congregate at one place. I am a Sikh, and to me, the experience of the kirtan in the gurudwara makes me feel like such an integral part of the universe. At that moment, surrounded largely by strangers, all of whom smile at each other, I get the sense that I BELONG. More than with friends. More than with family. Here, with these people. 

And this, imho, is what mental health is doing so, so wrong.