Sunday, March 28, 2010

Morality and immorality...

Sometimes back I had an interesting conversation regarding some reality TV show called "Emotional Atyachar". In case you are from mars..this is a programme based on partners cheating on each other...! The discussion turned tangential to actual programme and someone made a comment "thats so immoral"...! Somehow post that discussion the pharse kept banging on my head "thats so immoral"...hmmm...interesting...!

So lets discuss immorality..

What is immoral? By what we set "moral" standards? Where is the reference for morals? Who defines what is immoral? Society, Religion or is there an absolute set of morals that we just "know". Do we just "know" that murder is immoral or we consider murder immoral because society as a majority sets the standards..?
For example what would be the morality of cannibalism in a cannibalistic society? Will eating a fellow human being be considered "immoral" in such a society? Will a cannibal "know" that a human kebab is "immoral"?
By that example wouldnt every society have its own "morals"..? Wouldnt that make morals a relative term rather than an absolute standard?
And if morals are so shifty that they change on geographical uprooting..what makes them sacred ? Why are we so after such a thing that is so so relative?
Why do we base our life on such morals?
Would it not be better to base our judgement on say something like "power"..?
Wouldnt it be nice if we just hand over our rule book to the guy with the biggest gun? Because then the "morality" would be backed by "power" and not arbritary standards? If the guy says its is..otherwise face the gun?

Wait a minit..isnt that what its all about?

What we call "society" is a set of people who have a hierarchial structure and the biggest guy sets the morals , isnt it? Call it the King, Parliament or Pope. Isnt it all about the "guy with the biggest gun"?
And whats the point of having morals without punishment? So who decides the punishment ? Again the guy who "can"..voila ..the "guy with the biggest gun"...
So at the end of the day its not about an absolute standard but a "jiski laathi uski bhains"...manual for morals.
Funny isnt it ? how we base our lives on the diktats of the guy with the "laathi"...
Hillarious to be feeling so sacred about it....!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde ;)


Trying hard to be a good ..trying hard to be bad
trying hard to be happy..trying hard to be sad..
..trying hard to laugh..trying hard to cry.
trying hard to welcome..trying hard to say "bye"...
trying hard to learn...trying hard to unlearn..
trying hard to be soft ..trying hard to be stern..
trying hard to remember ..trying hard to forget...
trying hard to imbibe...trying hard to beget..
trying hard to listen..trying hard to be deaf..
trying hard to be flexible..trying hard to be stiff..
trying hard to be blind..trying hard to see..
trying hard to live ,,and trying hard to die.....

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

a day ..that day

There will be a day when I will wake up..
shake the day and say to it..get up..
There will be a day when I will speak slowly..
and no one will tell me to raise my voice..
There will be a day that I will try to hold the dew drops on leaves..
and they will not break..
There will be a day when the sun sets on my palms..
and will make my hands red with its color..
There will be a day when I will be able
to pull the blue curtains of the sky to my windows...
I will wait for that day..for maybe when it comes..
I will be ready..
And then that will be the day I will sleep ..
and never ever will any one wake me up...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

River Rafting -Chamoli to Rishikesh

1. Day 1-(10 Mar 10) The expedition team left Dehli at 0600 by bus towards Rishikesh. A light breakfast at Muzafurpur on the way was oragised at Chital Restaurant where members freshened up . The campsite (base) at Sivpuri was reached at 1415 hrs . A nutritious lunch at 1430 hrs was followed by a briefing by the guides and a swim across the river . Training in basic raft handling and gears were also imparted . The session folded up at 1700 hrs followed by light snacks and tea. In the evening a campfire was lit where we were joined by some other civilians who were a part of the camp at Shivpuri. Rounds of songs and discussions around the campfire were followed by some serious tips by the organisers ,Neeraj Dahiya and Sanjeev , on safety and camp rules.Dinner was served at 2115 hrs and we retired for the night.

2. Day 2-(11Mar 10) The day started with a volleyball match at 0630 hrs and breakfast at 0830 hrs . The team started for the site of launch of rafting (a few kms ahead of a famous stretch called “marine Drive”) .Two teams were created which manned one raft each. The rafts were inflated and prepared by the team themselves and put into water at 0930. The rafting teams in this stretch negotiated some rapids of grade 2-4 like “wall”, “three blind mice’ and “investment”. The most memorable of the rapids was the “Wall” which threw all of the members (from both rafts) into the swirling rapids.

The base camp (shivpuri)was reached at 1330 hrs . A well deserved lunch followed by rest till 1700 hrs put the team in a rejuvenated mode for volleyball matches in the evening. Campfire discussions were filled with animated discussions on the “wall” and what happened to each member after the “flipping “ of the rafts. An “antakhari” between the members of two rafts saw a melodious closing in for the night.

3. Day 3- This day was the drive from Rishikesh to Chamoli. The drive took around 8 hrs to reach a place called “Gauchar” which was supposed to be our base camp . We pitched in our tents and after a short lecture on camp etiquettes we had our dinner and retired for the night.

4. Day 4(13 Mar 10) Start of Expedition.

0810- We move from Gauchar towards chamoli by bus.

0930-Reach Chamoli

0930-1030- Preparation of gears and rafts . Warming up and stretching exercises by OiC and Guides.

1030- Breif Puja followed by flag Off of the two rafts carrying 12 members plus the two guides (in all)

Rapids encountered- Apart from many small rapids we encountered two major ones “KrishnaPrayag-1” and “KrishnaPrayag-2”.

1230- Stand easy break on the river with fruits and chocolates (from the dry bag)

1300- Start for Gauchar

1410- Reach Gauchar Camp site.

Lunch and rest followed by Evening games and Campfire.

5. Day 5(14 Mar 10)

0930- Packing up of Camp and preparation of rafts followed by rafting towards Rudraprayag.

1230- Stand easy on river bank

1330- Reach the Sumerpur Camp(off Rudraprayag Town by 5 kms) and hoist the raft to the camp. This was done so that we could skip a rapid called “Kakad fall” which was a dangerous one and is not attempted by a raft of this size because of the low width of the rapid. The raft was supposed to be taken by vehicle a few kms ahead of the fall from which rafting again could start.

1330-1430 Lunch followed by rest.

1600- The team visited the town of Rudraprayag (famous as the meeting point of Mandakini and Alaknanda). Highlights of the visit included a walk across a market called “Achanak Market”.

6. Day 6(15 Mar 10) The day started with a “shramdaan” at 0700 hrs in which the team carried out cleanship of the place by picking up plastic waste which was left over by tourists around our campsite.

0900- Leave Sumerpur by Vehicle towards Rudraprayag and reach in half an hour

0930 – Start rafting from Rudraprayag

1130- Reach the temple of Dhari Mata by raft and hoist raft out so as to skip the stretch in which a dam was being built.

1230- Travel by Road to Srinagar

1430 –Start by Raft from Srinagar towards Bagban

1615- Reach Bagban

Breif break followed by an interesting game (with paddles)by our guide Chotak, kept the teams engaged till campfire and dinner

7. Day 7(16 Mar10)-

1000- Start from Bagban

1230- Reach Dev Prayag(confluence of Bhagirathi and Alaknanda). Visit the temple of Gangamata.

1330- Lunch

1400- Start for Kodiali by raft.

Enroute the still waters provided us with an opportunity for testing our strength as guides and also for some kayaking tips .

1730 – Reach Kodiali and have tea at the stall there. Hoist the rafts to the banks . While guides camp at Kodialli we move to the base camp at shivpuri.

8. Day 8(16 Mar10)-

1000- Start from Bagban

1230- Reach Dev Prayag(confluence of Bhagirathi and Alaknanda). Visit the temple of Gangamata.

1330- Lunch

1400- Start for Kodiali by raft.

Enroute the still waters provided us with an opportunity for testing our strength as guides and also for some kayaking tips .

1730 – Reach Kodiali and have tea at the stall there. Hoist the rafts to the banks . While guides camp at Kodialli we move to the base camp at shivpuri.

9.Day 9 (17 Mar 10)

0815- Start from Shivpuri camp towards Kodialli

0930- Start from Kodiali on rafts

Enroute towards Shivpuri we encountered rapids such as “roller Coaster” , “Initiation” and of course our greatest nemesis “Wall”.

Our determination and grit came to the fore during the “wall” rapid when none of the rafts “flipped” despite the force of the water.

1330- Reach Shivpuri camp and have lunch

1415- Start for Rishikesh

En Route we do a jump from cliff before Risshikesh

1700- Reach tapovan and Culminate the expedition to the cries of “Jai Ganga Maata ki”

10. Day 10(18 Mar 10)- Visit to Haridwar

11. Day 11(19 Mar 10)- Return trip to Delhi

Ever been thre?

humne dekhi hai
un aankhon ki mehakti khushboo
haath se chhoo ke
ise rishton ka ilzaam na do....

sirf ehsaas hai ye
rooh se mehsoos karo
pyaar ko pyaar hi rehne do
koi naam na do......

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Parthasarathy Vs Kapaleswar

I had the oppurtunity to visit two sacred shrines at Chennai , the Vashnavite Temple of Partha Sarthy and the shaivaite Temple of Kapaleswar. Ravi accompanied me and took pains to explain the differing philosophies of both sects that revere the temples respectively..
Parthasarthy- This is the epitome of Vaishnavite culture and I could identify with it. Mostly because my family comes from a line of Vishnu worshippers . The temple was as usual spic and span and most rituals were similar to ones we did at our village . It was kind of home coming for me and as I sat in the courtyard I could not but marvel at the whole ambience of shlokas and worship..but somehow I felt that this was not something that I really identified with. I mean the vaishnava way of things. It sounded very polished and smooth. Fussy if you ask me...I waited for the next temple ..Kapaleshwar.

Kapaleswar- This is an opposing philosophy and that stood out immediately. And somehow immediately I felt that this was something which is closer to who I am. Shiva is a pretty cool god ..if you ask me and this "coolness" exudes in the temple. There is no unnecessary ceremony..and it struck me that this culture was a more "heart" culture than the refinement of Vishnu. To tell u the truth ,u cant help but fall in love with Shiva at the first sight. I dont really know why but as an aethiest i shud be denouncing Shaivaite culture ...but its difficult not to love him.Nice chap fuss...everyone dance(He is the lord of the arts) and there is an aura of casual acceptance. It was as if somehow He will accept you as you are..dirty,messy, uncouth..whatever.
Added to it are his sons Ganesh(i have yet to meet anyone who doesnt ike him) and Karthikeyan(I dont personally like him..chikna smartie). Awesome if u ask me..

maybe if I was given a choice I would choose shiva over Vishnu anyday...