Wading away...

A lot many things happened in the past week of my vacation. Most good, some odd, not sure if they're bad. The latter incidents although small in number are worrying me since days now. My important decisions, as they seemed, have reached standstill, as if wanting to turn around and get reversed! This is what scares me. Such uncertainty is the thumb rule of life. I knew it so, but thought I would remain untouched whichever way things go. Although scared, I still believe that I'll stand tall at things around, God by my side, no matter what. Even if its not a right one-on-one comparison, it does remind me of what a good friend once said. He was trying to find a suitable bride for himself for over a couple of years. Later, he concluded that it doesn't matter if he doesn't get married, but he prayed, nay demanded, that Swami be with him all his life!

I was headstrong in some matters, thinking all's ended with my plans shaping well and that I just need to execute them out at the right time. I wasn't expecting things to fall apart in this manner. Its quite surprising that I've been hit by the right people at the wrong time. I still call it a mind-game and want to try a few tricks to trap the traps. There are various ways to do it but one solution is bound to open up another problem I'm trying to overlook. I know I'll have to pick least of the many evils at hand, till God shows me the way.

I thought I'd walked enough and running had picked up pace. The breeze of life seemed to have a soothing aroma. Now I've been told that the direction is, perhaps, wrong! Or to that effect, atleast. Other milder opinion was for me to go slow. They all tell me confusing things, contradicting at times. Still, I do feel like I want to consider the suggestions. How far will I go on the path, before I change my mind is something that I don't have an answer to; only time will tell. But then again, they also tell me that the time is eternal, or there's nothing like time. Questions such as the following hit the mind cold: can there be a time when time was born?

Planes of existence

I'm told we know the world from what we see, feel, etc, through our senses. But thats not a fact. The senses are supposed to be the five physical elements, while factually, the sensing is done in the mind. Its all a mind-game!

Consider a madman who's talking in thin air, as per you. But the fact remains that he can see a person in front of him and thats the reason he utters those words. There's no telling that you're saner than him! From his viewpoint, you may well be insane. Okay, thats a rude one, but do think about it. Other things that may assist thinking is the fact that a human being can't see what a dog sees, for instance. It keeps on barking at something around, sometimes scared, while offensive at other times. Even so, a human being, at most, hears in a range of 20Hz to 20Khz, while animals can hear beyond these frequencies. Similarly, an owl sees at night, humans not being good at it.

Now, is it not possible that both-- the insane and the sane, as we know-- are equally right or wrong in what they're doing? It sure is. Richard Bach, in one of his books (I vaguely recall as Bridge across for ever), talks of a concept of "parallel universes". He says something to the effect that at any point of time when faced with multiple options, you pick one option and move along to become one *kind* of a person. Similarly, if you assume that you'd picked another option off the lot, you'd have grown up to be some different *kind*. Bach talks of possibilites of the *other you* crossing you sometimes. That is, this other you or other *yous*, as the case maybe, exist in parallel universes! This theory might sound good to someone who's interested in the mathematical probability calculations. Factually, such infinite planes of existence can be thought of, to be existing simultaneously!

Mercy, Oh Guru within!

It has been time enough
That you've had a good laugh

At my stupidity, misery, helplessness
And frustration, of life being in a mess

Have you no mercy
While watching all that there's to see?

Many lives have been spent
In eagerness and quest

Still, do you pay no heed
To my sincere deed?

rotten things I recall
pitfalls that befall

You say are from time unknown
From the seeds I've sown!

The dark nights, Oh! what a scary sight
Won't you please be the guiding light?

I can't just stay in a corner and pray
Unless you save me a day...

I know thats the only way 
I know thats the only way

Jai Hind

Jai Hind
Originally uploaded by bhatpraveen.

Taken in Sriram's room from Sony T610. This gave me the idea of putting up a flag at my place too. Raghav's planning to share this idea too.


Originally uploaded by bhatpraveen.

Shadows of my balcony's parapet on walls of the hall. Taken from Sony T610.

St. Mark's Road

St. Mark's Road
Originally uploaded by bhatpraveen.

A routine view from our office's 6th level cafeteria! Taken from Sony T610.

Museum Road

Museum Rd
Originally uploaded by bhatpraveen.

An old styled board that caught my eye, and helped me be at peace amidst the noisy traffic. Taken from Sony T610.

Another day to work

Another day to work
Originally uploaded by bhatpraveen.

Another day to work via KH Road traffic. Taken from Sony T610.


Originally uploaded by bhatpraveen.

Taken from my house from Sony T610

Phir wohi shaam

Phir wohi shaam
Originally uploaded by bhatpraveen.

A view from my balcony.... taken from Sony T610.

An evening

An evening
Originally uploaded by bhatpraveen.

A view from my terrace... taken from Sony T610.

Cruising to Honnavara - precursor

My much awaited vacation is in the offing. I'll be driving to Honnavara with my parents this Saturday to be back only the next Sat! This is the first time I'll be driving this far in my Wagon-R, though I've taken a trip earlier on my bike on this sector.

Yesterday, Sriram gave finishing touches to the drive planned via Shimoga. He's been over these roads more no. of times than he can recall. So he didn't really need a map while chalking up route plans for me. We're scheduled to start around 0630-0700 from Bangalore, towards Tumkur. Tumkur is expected to pass by in a couple of hours, depending on our break at Kamats', past Nelamangala, for b'fast and lunch packaging. Once this is done, I plan to drive till Shimoga before we have our luncheon and continue again till we break at the Sharavati viewpoint. This will be our final stopover before we arrive at our destination: Honnavara, factually Karki.

More, on return.


Yes, this refers to chess. I was a chess freak a lot many years back and retain the insanity a little, still. I'm not saying that I am good at it, but I love to play the game. Most often people watching my game get frustrated due to the slow pace of it. I hate the game of blitz not because I always lose, but it is an insult to chess when it is played rapidly. It can be likened to harsh, unthought, biased, angered decisions! Chess is a classic game that needs to be respected for its unimaginable possibilites in each and every step. The only way the purity and sanctity (literally) of the game can be maintained is by playing it slow, unless you really think fast, treating it as the very essence of your life. Think of each step as an important decision of your life, knowing quite well how a wrong move can change the entire scenario!

I don't follow any standard opening schemes or anything like that, nor do I know any standard defences, but I do get inspired by opponents moves at times and try to carry these into my game too, with less success though! Enough talk about me, back to the game...

Stalemate, as every chess player knows, is a situation where the game can't move further, because (the current player doesn't have her King under check and) any of the player's available moves would put the King under check. This results in a kind of a draw thats mostly frustrating for the opponent if she's leading! This topic stuck me from a puzzle: Knight's tour. The situation that one gets in while solving the said puzzle is similar to the title. I found it very difficult to finish it off once, that too with a pattern-help from someone else. (As a trivia, this colleague's resume was filtered by me and he got a slight advantage over others since he'd put *chess* under hobbies on his resume :)

Some gurus are different

I've read books and articles by, or about, quite a few spiritual leaders. Most gurus have directed that the one single goal of life is moksha. All this is inline with advaita philosophy advocated by Adi Shankaracharya. Apart from this, even dvaita followers are of the same opinion, although they have a different definition for moksha.

Recently, I've been hearing Swami Ramdevji's discourses over his pranayama/ yoga classes (on Aastha TV channel). It all depends on the audience and the topic thats ongoing, but I was really surprised when he said that moksha is something that shouldn't be the goal. In fact, he went on with something like "Moksha paakar kya faayda jab aap na haat hilaa paaoge na pair, na kuch kar paaoge? (what use is liberation if you're unable to move your hands or feet or do anything of the sort)". This kind of talk gels pretty well with the modern audience, I guess. What moksha has to offer is something that will always be strange, it will always be of the sort that one can't imagine, explain or perhaps, even feel. We're bound to describe things in known/ understood words that fall short by immeasurable amounts to express what moksha would be! Generations -- nay, yuga-s -- have passed with many a leaders spending their lifetimes to express what moksha is for the benefit of us mortals; still we understand hardly anything about it! But then again, when you're doing pranayama, the body is the most useful tool!

The closest example of such (spiritual) advise is what Ramakrishna paramhamsa gave: we/everyone wants to taste the (sugar) syrup... who wants to be the syrup? Thats how I prefer to understand Sw. Ramdevji's words.

om tat sat


I've always wanted to blog this one; in fact I wanted it to be my first blog entry. However, I missed it over passing time and aging memory. Metablog is (expected to be) a blog about blogs in the same way that metadata is data about data. If we just leave that as another of my stupid definitions, can we move on?

Well, blogs were meant to be, and still do mean, weblogs. How long they'll just remain restricted so is a question not many have answers to. Google (and others) seem to have big plans with various blogs being quite a contributing element. Imagine the (research?) ideas of various people onto your server. Also think of it as parallel journalism in most cases. Or unbiased first-hand opinion or mostly information from known sources. It could even mean democracy or free-speech online. Top all this with cross-references among blogs. Does anyone remember the concept of six-degrees? Google, with their amazing search engine can definitely get the best of blog content to seekers. Not only so, they'll have huge revenues coming from context-based advertising.

Okay, I've been rambling all over the place without a well-defined thread of thought. Try listening to http://www.broom.org/epic/ols-master.html.

The middle finger!

caveat: Some may find the blog offending... goes with the topic, please!

Over this weekend, I was screening Seinfeld, when I hit upon an episode that starts with Jerry making pun on showing-the-middle-finger in his stand up comedy. Therein, he's wondering how the gesture of pointing your middle finger at someone is expected to cause embarassment to the other. He goes on to say that it could well have been the middle toe or something like that and concludes as to how foolish the act seems!

Just to come to think of it, how common has this gesture become in recent times. Last Friday, I was driving back home from office a little late in the evening and was upset with people driving fast in my lane, from the opposite side, at the best speed they could gas up! Then when I calmed myself, I reached the junction where the side road elevates, meets another road, where I have to take a left. There was a Zen in front of me that was not giving me the way. To my surprise, this fella stopped in the middle of the road... at the junction... on the slope! I flashed, he didn't move! I honked, he didn't move! Further, he pulled his hand out and... yes, showed the middle-finger! I guess the guys were drunk... perhaps, returning from some junk party. Some two guys got off. This idiot didn't have any signal on. He just moved ahead after some time, making a right turn.

All this while, I was sitting there mum, thinking: there's no use, why get upset! I made a left and just for the sake of it, pulled out my hand to make the gesture to him, knowing well enough that he couldn't see it. I know I can't do such things, nor am I the fighting types, but I wonder if I'd traded my Wagon-R and got myself a Tata Safari, would I've rammed into the Zen?

Watching this Seinfeld episode, I just burst out laughing. Perhaps, the Zen driver felt better, thinking how big a thing he did. Idiots, just watch out if I get a Safari ;)

My Kannada classes

My mother tongue, Kannada has had a dialect that is called as Havyaka. This is the language I was born in and this is what I've spoken since then, at home or with relatives. However, this is not what people speak outside in general and most Kannadigas will raise their eyebrows when they hear this dialect. So I've made efforts to talk some sort of mixed Kannada for Bangaloreans to make sense out of all the nonsense that I utter! Okay, thats how far my Kannada skills go, that is, to spoken language. My reading and writing Kannada is limited to split alphabets and joining them at the pace of a tortoise's walk, even slower sometimes.

A solution to this was found when I visited Ramakrishna ashram a week or so back. On my enquiring whether they had printed bhajans that are sung in the ashram daily for others to read and sing along, I was asked: "which language do you want them in?" I thought "wow, thats interesting" and said "say, Sanskrit or Hindi". After much trouble at their end, they dug up a couple of English books that had transliterations of some bhajans that was of no use for the purpose. So I decided not to buy them. Instead, one of the guys suggested: learn Kannada! I thought again: "ah! what an opportunity and what a blessed way to learn". So I decided to buy the entire set of bhajan books in Kannada and since then, on all my visits, I've begun my Kannada classes... yes, at the ashram, learning from bhajans and that too, from great teachers: Meera, Kabir, Shankaracharya, Swamis of Ramakrishna Math, Tulsidas, etc.. the list being perhaps, endless!!!

Goodbye Bangalore: Driving the trees away!

Its saddening to see so many (some 375-400!) trees being felled in Bangalore and innumerous others being pruned. There were lots of people from NGOs protesting in vain against this act of stupidity last month. I'm surprised as to how the authorities, who take such decisions, got to such an authoritative position with their empty heads in the first place! The reason given for all these foolish acts was to ease traffic woes.

Imagine this: most of these trees are age old huge trees that have spread their branches half way across the road giving shade & solace to everyone who walk/ride/drive by. These trees are *not* in the middle of the roads but mostly at the side. If some of these trees are on the road, they still are not obstructing traffic. This particular tree on Residency Road, that was felled recently, had left enough space at the bus stop for a bus to easily drive on its left and park. But what has been happening and will, undoubtedly, continue to happen is the irresponsible, rude & unorganised BMTC bus drivers will park the bus bang in the middle of the road, while another one will park next to it! Tree or no tree, bus drivers' mentality will remain the same. Next, the poor bus commuters will continue to bring their bus stops to the centre of the road! The other frustrated riders/drivers will continue to rip by the standing passengers in whatever space is left on any side! I do not want to even mention the horrible auto rickshaws. The adjacent school's children & their parents/guardians will remain in misery taking deep breaths while they run across the road maneuvering themselves to dodge vehicles that almost bump into them! These days, its hard to say where one's safer: in the vehicle or outside it. Ah, Bangalore.

People are buying vehicles like crazy, not knowing how to drive or caring to learn how to. A bunch of them know the direction, at most, where they're headed. Rest all is left to acceleration. Rules do not exist for people to know. No one bothers, no one even knows what a white line or a yellow line means; lane discipline is not even dreamt of. Driving licenses are being handed with tests hardly taken. As they say, when money talks, morals walk! Such is the case even at the motoring schools and licensing authorities. While "bad roads" is just an excuse, people make no effort to follow the rules themselves. Honking, to them, seems like some sort of music or a melodious song! The regular traffic policeman is just another crook, who is more interested in the moolah than enforcing discipline. Of course, there is some good policing too that keeps the city breathing while it ticks away to slow death.

The trees that gave shelter are now shouldered away and auctioned off. The repercussions are perhaps unknown to many. The nature is bound to react, sooner than later. We see this not only as global warming from scientific discoveries, but it is felt as mercury rising day in day out. A little less than a decade back (I've lived here since only five years), Bangalore was true to its identity as a garden city. Its no longer so. Just having a Lalbagh botanical garden in the centre does not make up for loss of greenary all around the city. Bangalore was famous also for its timely rain, as soon as the temperatures hit 33 degrees, be it any month of the year. Weather has reduced to not even worth a mention as the city's plus point. All that remains now is a whole lot of over- and under-qualified software engineers, fresh graduates from all walks drawing call centre salaries, pubs that run through the midnight that bathe customers in beer whilst taps await droplets of ground water, Brigade road culture even at work & school, vehicles parked on the roads and running on footpaths, candle-light cooking at home, day-light loots in the open & of course, sleepy government!!!

I'm counting my days left here; then it will thankfully be "Goodbye, namma Bangaluru".