Monday, November 09, 2009



I never waited for anything before, as much as I do now for you.
Did not know but I was always waiting, for someone just like you.

Before you came, my heart was empty, my life was a trifle tragic.
After the day I fell in love with you, all days have been like magic.

Every word you wrote or said, with love and joy infused my mind.
Every time you smiled at me, for my feelings words I could not find.

Now that our souls have fused, I am yours and you are mine.
So tell me then for your presence, why should my heart still pine?

Only a fortnight remains my darling, until we finally get to meet.
Just can’t stop thinking about you sweety, you are so very sweet.

Your mellifluous voice lives in my ears, your pretty face in my eyes.
I long for them as time stands still, they soothe me when it flies.

We have lived apart for far too long, now the time to unite is near.
Life is going to get more beautiful and fun, just you wait my dear.

Friday, August 28, 2009


I recently tried my hand at a romantic poem. This is the end product.
The poem is about how one feels before confessing to his love how he feels about her. All the doubts in his mind and ultimately the decision to confess. Hope you all enjoy reading this.


Want to tell you how I feel, but to myself i ask my dear.
How will you react? is that what you really want to hear?

So much i want to say, it is hard to have restraint.
But I wonder why should I, is your heart that faint?

What is there in my heart, even if you already know.
Let me say it still, of my feelings don’t stem the flow.

The candle that just got lit, in just a moment shouldn’t melt.
The flower which bloomed after aeons, must never swelt.

Whenever you are with me, you make my mind numb.
Make me say something stupid, please don’t think i am dumb.

Life it too short they say, and it might get over tomorrow,
If I don’t say what i want to, there will be no end to my sorrow.

I have no choice but to say it, you ignored my every clue.
My words may not be perfect, but I swear that they’re true.

I am no expert in romance, but I do know that we,
Are the closest thing to love as I imagine it to be.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Poetry by Baba Bulle Shah

I have taken a liking to Sufi music. It is just beautiful. The lyrics are so meaningful and the tunes so catchy. This music is a result of pure love for god. And anything that is result of pure love is beautiful. The Sufi music I listened to was by Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Begum Abida Parveen and a few songs composed by India's superstar A R Rehman. Kailash Kher and Rabbi Shergill also sing Sufi songs and are pretty good at it. I found that a lot of these songs were written by Baba Bulle Shah. He was probably the most prolific Sufi poet of the Indian subcontinent. I wish I knew Punjabi and Urdu better so that I could fully understand what he said. There are some websites that contain translations of his works. But they are by no means exhaustive. My favorite song is Tere Ishq Nachaya as sung by Begum Abida Parveen, thankfully this is available on youtube

Two of my favorite couplets from this song are these.

This is the first one.

ishq te aatish nu hi barabar
o vat ishq da tavut khera
aatish saare takht kanera
ate ishq saare dil jera
aatish nu paani bujhave
te dasso ishq da daru kehda
aakhe ghulam farida, aakhe peer farida
othe kuchh nahin bachda
ne jithhe ishq ne la leya dera

I could not find a translation online so I just posted a comment on youtube under my username there, which is retardedgenius. Fortunately, I recieved a reply from user Darvaish47. And this is the accurate translation. Poetry at it's best.

Love and fire are both similar
but love is more hurtful
Fire burns wood and grass
but Love burns Heart and Liver
Water douses fire but
whats the remedy of love
Peer Ghulam Fareed Says
There remains nothing else,
where love decides to stay.

Here is another couplet from this song.

padh path ilm hazaar kitabaan, kade apne aap nu padhiya naieen
ja ja vardi mandar maseeti, kadi man apne vich fadiya naieen
aivain ladada shaitan nal bandeya, kadi nafs apne naal ladeya naieen
aakhen peer bulle shah aasman fadeya, jo man vich basda onhu phadeya nahin

I was able to translate this one pretty accurately myself. But I still got it proof read from Darvaish47. Here is the translation.

Reading of books thousands book, never read your own self.
Always running to mosques and temples, but never ventured in your own heart.
You fight always with the Devil O Man, but never fought with your own self.
Bulleh Shah says, man catches what goes in the sky, but never catches the ONE who is in the heart.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Life happens to us unexpectedly, and a mystery it remains right till the end.
Abound in paradoxes and vicissitudes, where unpredictability is the only trend.

In a party to your friends did not say a word, alone in your room you soliloquized.
A hit comedy could elicit not one smile, that old joke every time has you humorized.

Your lover's perfume intoxicates deeply, a gallon of liquor keeps you arid sober.
A melancholy minute can last for a year, a blissful decade in a second gets over.

The ones you take for granted are those who love you, who you deify take you for a fool.
Can keep calm after a thousand insults, one word is enough to make you lose your cool.

A maestro's melodies are lost on you, a little child's laughter immensely does inspire.
Tell a hundred lies and don't even blink, speaking just one truth makes you perspire.

Insomniacal on the best mattress, on the soil in the park you snore and sleep.
Laugh at your own darkest woes, your best friend's troubles always make you weep.

Stare wide eyed at the high noon sun, can't look in your own eyes when you did wrong.
Kill a hundred foes and still feel weak, take a beating for your cause to feel strong.

Months of hard labor to become a genius, a moment of error and you are the worst retard.
Succeeding with just a mote of effort, you fail miserably when you work the most hard.

Everything is possible and anything can happen, clairvoyancy is just a waste of time.
Never ever give up what you love, with you as a victim there is no greater crime.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Adventure, Risk and Optimism

I was in the office till 11.30 pm today. James Bond is probably the only person who can say this and still invoke thoughts about adventure in the listener's mind . Alas, I am not a secret agent, but just a software developer. I know you want to leave already after knowing this, but stick around I don't write that bad.
The word adventure conjures some typical images in our mind. Usually those of adventure sports like rock climbing,skiing,sky diving or car racing. But what exactly is the essence of adventure? It is risk. Anything that involves a risk is an adventure. Why do we like to do adventurous things? To quote the cliche, it makes us feel alive. What does that even mean? Being alive is something we do 24X7. That is biologically true, but we are not really alive all the time. Being alive means being aware of everything around you. Experiencing something, means same as observing each and every detail around you in everything you do. When placed in a high risk environment our brain is always alert and therefore totally aware of what is going on. In such an environment our survival instincts kick in and we feel motivated and absorbed in whatever we are doing. Concentration is at peak. This leads to some hormonal activity causing an adrenalin rush. At the end of the experience if things go as we wanted we feel proud about having survived the situation. So adventure increases our self esteem.
The essence of any adventure is uncertainty or risk. At the start of an adventure we feel overwhelmed by the circumstances. Then we just give this thing all we have, and once we come out on top we feel good about ourselves. Adventure might be the reason why children are so happy. For them everything is new, they are learning all the time. Therefore each small victory gives them immense joy.
Now that we understand adventure we can realize that it does not necessarily have to be outdoors. For a PhD student, his research is an adventure since he devotes all his energy and many years (usually 4 to 7) into it hoping that he will get results leading to a thesis leading to a degree. He puts many years of his life into something hoping for a positive outcome. Similarly an entrepreneur is an adventurer too. He devotes a lot of money and energy into a business that he believes in. He is not sure of success but he tries real hard. Success does not come easy and quick but when it comes you feel that it was worth it. For someone driving in a big city like Delhi for the first time is also an adventure since that is literally a fatal risk. After a while we all get used to it. Let me tell you from my own experience, I have done skydiving twice. And when I did it for the second time I was only doing it for the view and not for the thrill. It is not as dangerous as it looks. This is because you don't do it alone as a beginner, your instructor is strapped to your back and opens the parachute when the time comes. So when I completed my first skydive I did not feel a sense of accomplishment or relief. But once when I made a round trip on my scooter from my house in NOIDA to college in Bawana which are more than 40km apart, it was an adventure. There were moments during the journey where I thought I would die. This is because I was not accustomed to driving the scooter that much but still made that long journey. After that time I never drove such long distance on a scooter again! The point to take home here is that adventure is there in all situations of life and not just in things that are stereotypically labelled as adventurous. Life is an adventure, skydiving and roller coster rides are just entertainment.
One more critical thing about adventure is that it requires a positive attitude. People who take risks have a naturally optimistic view of things. During any phase of adventure deep down in our minds we do harbor a positive attitude despite the possibilities of failure we see around us. Positive attitude is a very important quality in life. It is the same as faith. The reason people believe in the concept of God as an all controlling entity is because that convinces them that everything will be all right in the end and gives them strength to get on with life. You should have a positive attitude in life not because you believe there is a god but because you need to believe in yourself to succeed. If you don't believe that you will succeed in what you are doing then you will not try hard enough and eventually fail. Things worth having in life do not come easy. Failure should be a learning experience, it has to be taken as an opportunity to become aware of the flaws you committed. It should also be a time to study why the person who succeeded was able to make it. The way you can maintain a positive attitude in the face of failure is by telling yourself the things you learnt from it and realizing that you have become a better person since you will not repeat those mistakes again and can work on the areas that need improvement. If you don't want to do something then just dont do it, rather than doing it half heartedly since you will gain nothing out of the experience. But if you really want to do something then give it all you have, you will have a rich experience irrespective of the outcome of your venture. Even the Bhagwat Gita says the same thing about detachment from the outcome. Life is long enough to absorb failures doing things that you love to do but too short to waste it on things that do not inspire you. The worst 4 letter word in the world does have 'u' as the second letter. And that word is 'Quit', never quit. This poem by an anonymous author explains just why that is true.

Don't Quit

Author Unknown


When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and its turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When they might have won, had they stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit,
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit


Also remember that the night is darkest before dawn. Which means that the toughest battle happens when you are closest to victory. So if things are getting harder then you are on the right track!

I think I am getting too serious, so let us relax listening to this really nice song. It is available on youtube. It is by Bobby McFerrin.

Here's a little song I wrote
You might want to sing it note for note
Don't worry, be happy.
In every life we have some trouble
But when you worry you make it double
Don't worry, be happy.
Don't worry, be happy now.

Don't worry, be happy. Don't worry, be happy.
Don't worry, be happy. Don't worry, be happy.

Ain't got no place to lay your head
Somebody came and took your bed
Don't worry, be happy.
The landlord say your rent is late
He may have to litigate
Don't worry, be happy.

Look at me -- I'm happy. Don't worry, be happy.
Here I give you my phone number. When you worry, call me,
I make you happy. Don't worry, be happy.

Ain't got no cash, ain't got no style
Ain't got no gal to make you smile
Don't worry, be happy.
'Cause when you worry your face will frown
And that will bring everybody down
Don't worry, be happy.

Don't worry, don't worry, don't do it.
Be happy. Put a smile on your face.
Don't bring everybody down.
Don't worry. It will soon pass, whatever it is.
Don't worry, be happy.
I'm not worried, I'm happy...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I have often struggled to define my religious beliefs. I am a Hindu but Hinduism is not really a well defined religion. I have wondered if God does really exist. If he does then why is there suffering in the world. Why does God not destroy all evil? No religious person in this world will have a satisfactory answer to that irrespective of religious affiliation.
The truth is that religion is a man made institution. The major religions of this world were created by men who claimed to be special. And history is proof that they actually were. This does not mean religion is bad. Religion can help people lead a moral and happy life. Something that is being lost on our generation that believes only in one religion - Materialism. Semitic religions like Islam,Christianity and Judaism tell you about heaven and hell. Heaven being a utopia which you can attain by leading a moral mortal life. Hell being a terrible place reserved for those who have lived an immoral life. The veracity of the existence of heaven and hell cannot be verified since nobody is supposed to come back from these places. If anybody ever claimed to have been there and come back to earth, then his statement would negate the premise of the existence of these microcosms since they are supposed to be final destinations without any escape routes.
Indian religions like Hinduism and Buddhism however believe in reincarnation, where you are reborn again and again until you live a perfectly moral life and then you attain Nirvana, and I am not talking about Kurt Cobain's band. Nirvana is freedom from rebirth. Or in other words a ticket to a permanent seat in heaven. People of these faith believe that if you sin in your life then you will be reborn as an animal or under more unfortunate circumstances. But if you lead a moral life you will be born into a good family and have a happier life ahead. Therefore religion uses fear and greed to make people follow it's tenets. Of course there is no evidence of this philosophy too. Some people claim to remember their past lives but there is no solid evidence to support such claims.
Most people think of God as an all powerful being that is sitting in heaven and watching over them. That probably the only thing that the major religions of the world agree on. On all other issues they violently disagree. It is this very definition of God that becomes the foundation of atheism. The atheists argue that if there is such an all powerful god somewhere then why is there suffering in this world. Why can't God create a world in which everybody is happy? Why is there poverty,crime,corruption and terrorism in this world? Why does God not put an end to all this? People ask themselves all these questions and obviously there are no satisfactory answers to these questions, prompting more and more people to call themselves atheists or rationalists(a more elitist term).
People of any religion consider themselves to be superior to people belonging to another religion. Atheists consider themselves superior to people belonging to any religion. This is a basic human tendency to feel good about yourselves. People find satisfaction in comparing themselves to others they consider less accomplished that themselves. Happiness is basically feeling good about yourself. This feeling occurs when one feels that he has accomplished something. That accomplishment may be something meaningful like achieving a major professional goal like completing a project. Or may be a personal goal like wooing the partner of your dreams. Or sometimes it can be something as crass as the satisfaction that I am going to heaven. I am more moral than others and people not subscribing to my faith are inferior to me. Also, one of the most satisfying feelings is to help someone. Religious fanatics think that they are helping people by proselytizing them. And therefore obtain great satisfaction that makes them even more inclined towards being religious. Karl Marx hit the bull's eye when he said that religion is the opium of the masses. That is exactly what it is. Religion is an intoxicant like opium when followed without questioning. They both make you feel good. Plus religion comes free unlike opium. Therefore there are much more religion addicts in this world compared to drug addicts. Incidentally, all religions either prohibit or discourage intoxication by chemicals like alcohol or tobacco. While on this subject let us look at the followers of 2 major religions in India. Muslims are prohibited to drink alcohol but allowed to smoke all they want, Sikhs are prohibited from smoking but can drink without guilt. This is an example of what being religious has got us, it gives us a choice in which way to die, lung cancer of liver failure. Don't get me wrong, I love my Sikh and Muslim friends. All I am trying to say is that both these religions would have discouraged against intoxication of any kind, but man just interpreted them so that he could have some kind of intoxication while renouncing another kind for the sake of piety.
Religion is the personal relationship between man and God. Before going any further let us define what is God? Is he the master of the universe controlling everything that goes on in this world? No, most certainly not. Atheists always ask that if there is a God then why is the world not perfect. In a perfect world everyone would be happy. Everyone would be equal. This means that everyone would be as happy as everyone else. Therefore everyone would lead the same life. Everyone would react the same way as others. Thus, the ideal world for an atheist would be full of robotic, emotionless clones that maintain equanimity in all situations. This would be like if everybody was a robot. So if you are an atheist, is a world full of robot clones what you want? I think most atheists would disagree with that. Actually the Bhagwad Gita which is a sacred book for the Hindus does urge people to become equanimous and consistent in all situations. But then why does God not make us that way in the first place? If such a situation were to happen, we would all cease to be 'human' as we are right now. This just shows how human oriented the concept of religion is.
Religion is a man made institution. All religious texts are a reflection of the thinking of the men and women(if any) who wrote them. I honestly believe that the people who came up with these religions had good intentions to begin with, but somehow every religion got corrupted. Religion is a man's personal relation with God. We must first define what is God. God is the collection of your core beliefs about everything that you consider to be ideal. In other words, God is your conscience. This is a subset of the stereotypical definition of God as an all powerful being. This definition is accurate for the most part, except that God is just as powerful as you want to be. The power of god is just your own will power and hard work. If you follow your heart, your conscience, your values, then you will attain a blissful state which is heaven. But if you get influenced by greed and sensual pleasure then your life would be dedicated to having temporary bouts of sensual pleasure but would be miserable for the most part, and that is hell. Heaven and Hell are just subsets of your own life. So just lead a moral life and be happy.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mouse Potato

Do you know what the title of this post means? If you are thinking that it is the name of an exotic dish then I must say you are quite an adventurous foodie. Interestingly, I recently read an article about consumption of rat meat in India -
I became a vegetarian more than a year back but even when I used to eat meat I never ate mouse.The Mouse Potato I am discussing is a phrase similar in meaning to Couch Potato. If you don't know the meaning of either of these terms then congratulations, I believe u r leading a really good life. Or it could also be that u r just ignorant.
Couch potato is a person who spends a lot of time in front of the TV. Someone who can channel surf or watch shows and movies on TV for many hours. Believe me you don't want to be like that. Now a Mouse Potato is similar but he sits in front of the computer for hours.This term was inevitably coined when computers and internet became so pervasive. There are plenty of addictive things on the computer like video games,chatting and internet surfing in general.
Although I can proudly say that I was never really a couch potato or lets say not a big one, but I will definitely consider myself a mouse potato.
I sit in front of my computer for hours. Checking my email, Orkut, Facebook etc. Also watching movies,shows and news. Even chatting at times. Hell, this is much worse than TV. I do have basic cable with 22 channels and hardly watch it. But the first thing I do after waking up in the morning and silencing my alarm is turning on my laptop. Then I switch if off when I leave for work. But in my office I sit in front of the computer for 8 hours again. Then when I come back home I turn my laptop on again and switch it off before sleeping. So the computer has become an extension of my being. I hate the fact that I spend so much of my spare time in front of the computer and solemnly intend to change that.
While the internet saves us a lot of time since we can pay almost all our bills online, get directions to get to places and also shop online, it also has the potential to hog all our time so be careful.
These are some of the thing I hope to do with my time away from a computer on a weekday.
1. Exercise
2. Meditation
3. Reading paper books
4. Talking on the phone

Fun or Important?

I had read a book called 'The Monk who sold his Ferrari' by Robin S Sharma in January 2006. It had a deep impact on me. I am really inspired by that book. It tells u how to live a fulfilling life. Let me share with u what I learnt from it. The first step is introspection. U need to really know urself well, so that u know what u really want in life. I directly quote from the book 'The purpose of life is a life of purpose'. We need to realize what we really want to do in life. We need to identify our priorities and aspirations and then go all out to achieve them. We need to do everything with passion and enthusiasm. This is not really a short term strategy but a habit that we must inculcate. I know that we need to do a lot of things in life that we do not enjoy. So the question is how to keep oneself constantly motivated?
I have not pondered over this question so intently for the past 2.5 years. There was always something more important or interesting going on in life. But for the past month my life has been very dull. I really need a way to better spend my free time. Today I suddenly remembered that I used to have a blog and have been on it for the past 100 minutes. Its great to feel excited about something again.
There are 2 kinds of things that we do in life, first the things that we love to do like listening to our favorite music and second the things that we consider important like studying for exams. Another word we use for the latter activities is 'responsibilities'. Even though it might appear so, these 2 categories are by no means mutually exclusive. You can probably think of a few things that would be the intersection of fun and important. One such example is playing your favorite sport or exercising. This is important as it is good for your body and health is one of the most important things in life. And of course it is also fun since you enjoy it. There are some of us who hate to exercise. It is probably because of a human tendency to classify everything that is beneficial as something that feels bad. The truth is that exercising releases chemicals in your body that make you feel good/happy. Just exercise for half an hour every day and you will start feeling happier I can guarantee. It is just a question of getting rid of your preconceived notions. Coming back to the main point, at first glance it does seem that fun stuff and important stuff are 2 diametrically opposite categories since there are only a handful of things that we consider both fun and important. The key to happiness is to unify the 2 categories so that you feel deeply motivated towards everything you do.
There are 2 main forces behind any kind of motivation. Love, the positive motivation and fear, the negative motivation. I must say both of these are extremely effective. Love is the motivation when you want to make something happen and fear is the motivation when you want to prevent something from happening. Now love is your motivation for the things that you enjoy doing like your love for nature,music,entertainment etc. Fear is the motivation behind most of the things that we consider important like fear of failing an exam, fear of losing your job. Fear is an extremely potent motivator, people driven by it can achieve a lot in life in terms of money and fame. But happiness cannot be linked with fear, it can only be linked with love. It is important to have a positive attitude in life. You need to play to win and not play to 'not fail'. When you are motivated by love and play to win you tend to give it all you have. That is an excellent thing. When you play to prevent a defeat you tend to put only as much effort that you estimate is enough to prevent a failure. This is the reason that positive attitude is more successful. You may say that sometimes fear can elicit a mammoth effort too. This is true, but only in the case when you think you have a very small chance of winning. That means your confidence is really low, and if it goes any lower then you will abandon all hope and not even try to win. In that case you will not put in sufficient effort and have an even higher chance of losing. Therefore it is a really bad idea to rely on fear as a motivator.
The good news is that every negative motivation can be transformed into a positive motivation. Love can replace fear from all your motivations. All you need to do is ask why. Let's go through this with an example. Imagine it is a Monday morning and you reach your office. Your motivation is not the highest at this point. Your boss comes to you and tells you to make a report for him/her by the end of the day. You look at the papers and you know that this will be a lot of writing,thinking,calculating and researching. Your lunch break just got shorter by 50%. You curse your boss and think why the hell do I need to do this???? And the answer you tell yourself is 'because this is important. If I don't do this I will get fired'. That is a very powerful motivator. So with a heavy heart you work really hard and get the report ready. You think 'my job sucks', there is too much work to do and what not. You might have done a great job on that report and your boss might have complimented you but that makes no difference to the fact that you feel you spent all your time at work in misery. Now let us backtrack a little to illustrate the power of positive thinking. To answer why this task is important you had told yourself that your job depends on this task and doing it well will prevent you from getting fired. Instead of all this you could have asked yourself 'Why do I need this job?', 'Because it pays well','If I save enough money I can go on a vacation to California or buy a better car or move to a better house'. So then the motivation for doing the task would be your love for these things and not a fear of losing your job. It is important to think of something that you really want to motivate you effectively. So this way your love for a better life motivates you rather than your fear of poverty. So you successfully transformed your negative attitude into a positive attitude. Similarly the better way to motivate yourself to exercise is not telling yourself that you will get fat and and ugly if you don't exercise but that you will become thin and attractive if you do.
I guess I have made my point clear about transforming -ve to +ve. Please dont change your attitude the other way from +ve to -ve because that is also as easy.
Positive attitude will make you achieve more and keeps you happier so make a conscious effort to maintain it.
One more thing to remember is that if you find yourself doing something that is neither fun nor important then please don't waste your time doing it because time is your most precious resource. We sometimes think something is fun or important because we see somebody else do it. You have just one life and that too is short, so live it your own way and not the way someone else would want to live it.
Now do this little activity
1. Make a list of all the major activities that you do on a daily basis.
2. Classify these activities into Fun and Important categories.
3. If an activity is not sufficiently fun or important to YOU then do yourself a favor and stop doing it. Devote that time to something more fun or important.
4. Now look at the activities you consider important. Think why they are important. Are they important for the well being of your loved ones? If so then the motivation behind such activities is your love for those people. If an activity is important for money then think of what you can do with that money and make that your motivation. Is the activity important for your health? If so then imagine all the things you will be able to do when you are healthier. Your love for those fun activities is your motivation behind this important activity.