Menu

One day in Utrecht

April 19, 2015

We started around 11 AM from home...

Took metro from Poortwachter to Amsterdam Station Rai - and from there headed toward Utrecht Central Station. From Utrecht CS to Janskerkhof is a 6 minute-bus-journey. One can find plenty of yellow buses just below the exit point of Utrecth CS. It took us almost 1 and a half hour to complete the whole journey, i.e from Uithoorn to Utrecht.

Waiting for train in Amsterdam Rai Inside Train from Amsertdam Rai to Utrecht CS

Got down at Janskerkhof bus stop. Lovely sunny day meant good bright pictures in store... The city has a buzz that can't be ignored. The Amsterdam hype doesn't make this place much talked about among tourist... however a visit here will reveal the uniqueness and beautiful medieval architecture and lovely scenic set-up. 

 The ageless Domtoren stands upright and tall...

The ageless tall dom tower

You can see beautiful narrow canals interspersing this vibrant place with cafe and bars all around. The boat ride is a nice way to explore Utrecht and indeed look very romantic and inviting.

Adjacent buildings near Domtoren... Here there are many eating joints, pubs and bars... we found an Indian Restaurant - Taj Mahal Lounge in one of the pathways here and after a heavy meal strolled along the canals around the tall tower. 

Pandhof van de Dom - Fifteenth Century Church and courtyard. After a long time of walking and exploring we came here to sit and get absorbed in the unlimited experience this space has witnessed over the years... people have come and disappeared but the walls and stones have remained intact...

Related Blog - 

Madurodam
Snapshots from Keukenhof
A stroll around Rijk Museum and unwinding at Vondelpark
A visit to Anne Frank House
Dam Square, Netherlands
A day in Rotterdam
Scheveningen Beach
Zandvoort Beach

Opportunities have been lost, so what - remain blissful in the present moment

April 17, 2015

There are opportunities that come in everyone's life and if one looks backward - it might seem that certain directions of events could have been more favorable to prosperity. 

You would end up cursing softly- if only I did that - if only i had decided... blah blah! Most of the time we don't control this direction... so remaining in that sorry-state would never do any good. Nah..... no use dwelling in regret or guilt!!!!!!!!

Doing something - without our mind wandering in thousand direction is key. Single pointed devotion to a task can only alleviate all form of pain. It's the best form of happiness - even more than money or health can fetch.

Antidote to all suffering is work - and even better - if it can be something that one can remain totally engrossed in.  In this state of total absorption, time freezes. 

A wandering mind is never satisfied and peaceful.

A wandering mind not only spoils the job at hand but also creates a depressive state.

The strange feeling of insecurity

April 11, 2015

Feeling of insecurity comes from unfulfilled life. Think this way - God has been kind to me and has provided me enough to be happy and contented - but God hasn't been so kind to so many others... A fresh breath of gratitude can charge the soul...

One who is in hallucination will always wander away into a bottomless dustbin of misery. Want to come out of that shit - just decide  - just be happy - take some deep breathes - feel contented - sleep well my dear friend - you are good........ there is no reason for you to think you are being robbed of something - if you think that - you actually end up getting robbed. It's all in the mind.

If you remain contented and happy and most importantly, FRIENDLY, then things will just fall in the right places.... 

Often we don't get outside the box... we keep twisting and turning in that baggage of shit and try to think in a limited way.... but if we come out and look at the huge blue sky and faraway horizon - we'll discover the infinite scope to achieve and gain....

But FIRST, we have to let go of the things we are so attached to...

...otherwise we won't develop wings to spread and conquer the sky.

so whatever you have... be it knowledge or any other form of asset - pass it on to others without any fear of insecurity - because that's the only way to gain impetus to learn more and go beyond the comfortable zone... because nature works that way - goes ahead by giving ... stops by accumulating

Netherlands - Day745

April 6, 2015

Waiting patiently for bus#340 at Burgemesteer Kutlan...

Enough work... its time to do something different... thats what i thought when i decided to book the tickets for a Spain-Netherlands friendly football match at Amsterdam Arena. Tickets were only 50 euro. I went for it... 

First time watching a big match in a big stadium... Time for some real screaming... Screaming for Netherlands... 

How it feels to see it real??... totally different from what we see in TV, and so very nice. There is no substitute of the real thing! Very True!

Netherlands beat Spain comfortably - there were 2 goals in the initial few minutes... the rest of the match was goal-less... the atmosphere was superb - too much noise and frequent Mexican Waves... As the stadium was enclosed - the sound stayed and reverberated in the space... creating a real 3-d experience... Nah!!! Spain was simply no match for the Orange Caps.

The match had started at 8.30 pm and by the time i returned home it was almost 12'O Cock... it was a fab experience...

You can see me drinking coffee below - in Hema at Amstelveen on a Saturday afternoon. We generally go out to shop and buy Indian grocery on Saturdays (not all) but may be twice a month... We invariably come to Hema for coffee + Muffin...

 

Well this Saturday (21.mar.2015) We planned something different - we planned a visit to Ikea to get a chair and table for Romir... This was our second visit to IKEA. Its a huge shop where you can find all whatever you need in a home - from carpet to utensils, furniture and so on... You can choose a furniture and then note down the stelling number and vak number - see below... and then you can pick the same furniture from the godown... it's very easy to locate the exact place from where you can pick it up. the furniture will be folded and neatly packed into a small packet - which is very easy to bring home...

Oh... that was the easy part - the difficult part was fixing the parts using a screw-driver and nuts that came in packet of the furniture... I had some real sense of satisfaction after accomplishing my tiny little carpentry-skill and relished the below sight for quite sometime - Romir studying in his new chair and table - 

The book that you see was part of a package sent by his Dadu and Maam (Grand Parents) from India. It was his Maa's desire to make him well versed with Indian books as well - so that if we return India and he has no difficulty adjusting with our syllabus... Well Indian books are of very high standard - because if you compare them with those that are here... you find a lot of content in the indian books.

So that's all I have in reserve for this edition of my experience in Netherlands... We have completed 2 years now here... It is that time of the year - when the duration of day has started to increase. We are gradually moving towards summer.

Some useful Linux Find Commands

April 1, 2015
  1. Many a times there will be an entry by say for example pqrs inside a file with extension say for example .xyz and you have to find all files with .xyz extension which has the entry with line pqrs - so this is what you do:
    find -type f |grep ".xyz" |xargs grep "pqrs"
    find -name "*.xyz" |xargs grep "pqrs"
    but if we want to get rid of these kind of lines from result of grep ....
    grep: blah-blah: No such file or directory
    we can use below command -
    find . -type f |xargs grep -s "pattern_in_file"
  2. For example from the current directory we need to search for some mapthcing patter in files but don't want the search results to contain some path... how that is to be done? for example - there is very big list of find command output like the one shown below and requirement is to filter out this part - *this_path_dont_want* then shown below is the way to do it -
    ....
    ........
    /mno/pqr/afdsfdasfas/blah-blah/...
    /xyz/this_path_dont_want/blah-blah/...
    /abc/this_path_dont_want/blah-blah/...
    /pqr/this_path_dont_want/blah-blah-blah/...
    ................................................
    Answer:
    find . -type f -not -path "*this_path_dont_want*" |xargs grep -i "matching_pattern" 
    Remember -i in above command ensures that the result is case INSENSITIVE
  3. Consider this case: Applicaton is supposed to be run by applicaiton-user, but  someone by mistake has run it from root , so there are files created in repository of cq5 with owner root... that's wrong. how do you find if there is any file in repository with owner root? below command gives all files with owner root  
    find . -type f -user root 
    but if you want everything - files as well as directories - you should use only find
    find . -user root
    below command gives all files whose owner is not root
    find . -type f ! -user root
  4. How to delete files older than a fixed number of days?
    Answer: Example provided below for 10 days
    find /correct/path/of/files -type f -mtime +10 |xargs ls -ltra
    make sure the above output gives all required files in path - /correct/path/of/files and then issue below command -
    find /correct/path/of/files -type f -mtime +10 |xargs rm
  5. How to have only unique values in output of grep????? 1st you want to see what are generating 301 responses in access log from a particular path say /abc/pqr/stu/
    grep "/abc/pqr/stu/" access.log |grep 301
    the output may be such that you will find
    /abc/pqr/stu/this_file_i_need.txt
    in 6th column - and these also are repeated and many many in number.
    requirement is to get only this string and also only unique values - so below command can be used ->
    grep "/abc/pqr/stu/" access.log |grep 301 |cut -d ' ' -f 6 |sort -u
    okay now you want to take this output in a file, so do this:
    grep "/abc/pqr/stu/" access.log |grep 301 |cut -d ' ' -f 6 |sort -u >> file_for_unique_301_response

Floating on the river of hope

March 15, 2015

Now this image was haunting my mind for quite sometime - an abstract face - many aspects of which - that might resemble more than one faces - floating alone in water - and caught between despair and hope... it is hope that enables the boat to keep floating despite heavy weight atop and difficult situation - can be anything, leaving to the imagination of the viewer ... but the main ingredient is HOPE which enables the boat to somehow remain afloat... it goes along the bank of river slowly but steadily towards its destination... 

floating on the river of hope

 

Zandvoort Beach

March 14, 2015

Zandvoort Beach Again! this was our 3rd visit - 

 

A blank canvas can fill an empty life

March 1, 2015

That's what I learnt today.

I bought a blank canvas and it gave me so much joy. My life was empty - it seemed to have got filled with satisfaction - just the blank canvas was enough to fill it with a sense of fulfillment - when the process of painting unfolds into different layers of expression, it's sure to give a lot more pleasure.

In the next few days i am going to channel all my energy onto this cotton surface.

Finally something to look forward to... as i am sitting here still trying to find out the plan that is going to emerge from within - i can't help but feel a tremendous sense of relief - the relief of having the white canvas close by me...  

I have somehow managed to give it a chance again - the chance to ignite the candle of life... creativity and meditation - one more time before it extinguishes into a whiff of subtle white smoke. 

Creating the right impression the right way

February 21, 2015

That's the trickiest part...

Many people falter there. One needs to be intelligent beyond his personal motives and immediate gains. An intelligence that the most seemingly talented people seem to lack - and that is to create an impression: "Hard-work and labor is targeted towards the larger cause and collective benefit of everybody".

Do you know the most poisonous word in the English Dictionary? It is also the shortest one. It is the word 'I'. Just like some of the smallest snakes are the most deadly ones. Its better to avoid this word at any cost - it's detrimental to a healthy mind, body, soul, personal growth and prosperity. It is a great impediment to success. This word should only be used when one needs to accept a fault or acknowledge a mistake. 

First of all the goal should never be 'SUCCESS'. The goal should be to see happy faces around. The goal should be to create a positive environment in the surrounding and make people feel comfortable. The world is already a huge baggage of shit. There is already a lot of pain, sorrow, anger, frustration and jealousy.

Creating the right impression doesn't mean that you need to show off with your talent, facile communication skill, charismatic persona and even good attitude. It simply means that you are able to show others that you believe in giving credit to others and not interested in blowing your own trumpet.

In a silent corner when you do something good silently - it's not that it doesn't get noticed. It does get noticed - and it's only when people notice this contribution of yours without you advertising them - the impact is a thousand times stronger. And when you advertise and then people note - there is a dilution - people might applaud from the surface but within their heart they will not have a sweet impression. 

 

Freedom from whatsapp group

February 17, 2015

In this age of social networking, it has become extremely difficult to remain aloof and independent. Through linkedin, fb, hangout, whatsapp and so on, there is some way or the other to locate you.

You are an open secret and your privacy is in public domain. You are public property  - a mat on the road - which people can use to rub their muddy feet and then kick it anywhere they like! Its a dangerously bad situation to be in... do you realize! The virtual jaws have somehow trapped you and chewing your life and happiness without you being aware of it! Because you are just another member of the vast herd which has lost it's mind! Members of herd just follow other members... 

The facebook updates seem to be there to flaunt and show off... Exotic places and mouth-watering dishes are uploaded to make others realize - look - I am having a good time - what the hell are you doing, you moron! Look , look....look at me! Facebook updates scream for attention - crave for notice!

When I was added in a whatsapp group, I had no idea what I was entering... until i saw myself habitually checking updates from the members of the group - all sick, frustrated and hopeless souls trying to find out meaning of life in an empty virtual world of ghosts. I was also sucked into it - till i shook myself up from the hypnosis - HEEYYYYYY!!!! WHAT'S HAPPENING TO ME.... To hell with the mobile number - it's jeopardized my life of privacy and peace. 

Every morning there is some plastic good morning message with a shitty scenery in the background, or a coffee mug with a  stupid smiley or a heart-shaped white cream, then there are wishes on valentine's day, crazy santa banta jokes, father's day, mother's day, teacher's day, all kinds of day - till the whole day gets poisoned... how much sick i became of this group... I can't express in words. Even my vomit is better that that feeling of sickness. I swear. I got so sick that i destroyed my mobile SIM - reduced it to ashes of memory. It once used to be my number. No more it is. It's a past that i no more want to revive!!!! Let the new owner of the number message his heart out into his new virtual world - One day may be God will bestow him with healthy neurons capable of  real thinking... and then the number will be passed on to yet another victim... 

After having changed my number - i am so peaceful. I feel free....... I can't express in words... no one can catch hold of me now - the rest of the group will be surely continuing those meaningless interactions - non stop nonsense! Do whatever you like my dear friends... it's not that i have any personal animosity with you - as I love each one of you from the core of my heart - You see my hatred is for this very concept of virtual world that has come up in recent times... this nightmarish virtual world is like the GIANT ominous octopus with countless sticky legs that knowingly or unknowingly has stepped into an internal domain of my being - which is the essence of who I am and what I am. These countless legs have smeared all over me with a sticky glue, from top to bottom that can't be washed off.... stains of which just don't go away. 

So I have decided to get rid of my mobile number. I don't care - if people including banks and other organizations which I deal with very frequently knew that number and will struggle to find me now - who knows, may be i'll miss important messages, including a potential head-hunter trying to offer me a job and landing onto frustrating automated messages and thereby pledging a thousand and one times of never ever contacting me despite my attractive work profile..... despite all these.... despite, despite, despite.... with absolute confidence, firmness and without any qualms, let me declare you DEAR Number dead from now on.

So I start my life with a new number... and no one knows that. 

Netherlands - Day679

January 31, 2015

Finally it snowed and it snowed rather heavily. Right now as I write this - i have just come home from work and it has been a long walk on snow covered road from the bus stop. I am leaving you with these beautiful pictures of today - 30.Jan.2015 - the first proper snowfall of this winter season... Considering last winter betrayed us of any snow - this was quite relishing...

Pic taken just outside home, as I was leaving for work in morning - 

Pic taken just outside home, as I was leaving for work in morning 

On the way to work...

On the way to work 

Selfie on the way to work near bus stop - Dorppstraat...

 

Adobe cq5, dispatcher, apache - Fundamental Questions and Answers - 3

January 13, 2015

Let me start with the DisclaimerAll these tiny nuggets of AEM information are my own endeavor to search in the internet, or asking knowledgeable people and some from my own experience and I DON'T TAKE any responsibility if any of these is followed and something goes wrong. Please refer Adobe Documentation for verifying all information.

This is the third part of FAQ on AEM.  Click here for the first part; and here for the second.

  1. What is Xms and Xmx in the start script parameter? Answer:  -Xms is used for assigning initial heap size and -Xmx is used for assigning maximum heap size that the JVM can expand to. So Xmx is always greater than equal to Xms. -XX:MaxPermSize=512m stores 512 of permanent memory for java objects etc needed by JVM.
  2. Provide some exclude, include examples that can be used for rules in cq5 packages -
    1. root path: /content/www-website-com/xyz 
      rule: exclude=> .*/dip.*    
      meaning: the package will be built and installed in destination application for all paths under the root path excluding any content under root path that starts with dip. It's easy to test this - suppose i create a page dipesh.html under the root path and when i dump the content after building the package, i should not be able to see dipesh.html.
    2. root path: /content/www-website-com/xyz  
      rule: exclude: .+\.pdf     meaning ->
      means ecludes all pdf files under root path
    3. root path: /content/www-somewebsite-com/xyz  
      rule: include: /content/www-somewebsite-com/xyz/dip.*  
      meaning - this means only include the contents that start with dip under the root path.  
    4. root path: /content/www-somewebsite-com/xyz  
      rule: include/exclude: /content/www-somewebsite-com/xyz/[a-z].*    
      meaning - only include/exclude files that start from a to z under root path
  3. While building/installing packages the output starts with A, U etc - what are meaning of these: Answer ->
    1. A is Added Node,
    2. U is updated Node,
    3. D is deleted Node and
    4. E means there was some error which needs to be checked.
  4. While configuring agents, there is something called retry delay - what's this and what's the default value
    Answer: The retry delay is the time after which one more time replication takes place after failing for some reason. Default value is 60,000ms or 1 minute
  5. What are different type of replication agent log levels?
    1. Error - only errors are logged
    2. Info - Error, information and warnings are logged
    3. Debug - Maximum information is logged in debug mode
  6. How is authentication handled by cq5 Dispatcher cache?
    Answer: Requests that have authentication in header are not cached. However this default behaviour can be changed by setting /allowauthorized .  Sometimes there may be a case where you will see in the logs that the request is not getting rendered from cache but percolating down to publisher from the dispatcher - so you might be thinking what could be the cause - but in the logs you can see that there is no caching because of authentication in header.
  7. Gernerally cq5 dispatcher doesn't cache in which cases?
    answer: In these cases
    1. when http method is not GET then caching is bypassed. Sometimes http method can be POST or HEAD. (Post for form data and head for header.)
    2. when request uri contains a cache burster ( or a Question mark)
    3. authenticaton is set in header. (How it is set is a different question and will be addressed in another blog post).
    4. absence of .html or .jpg (or any file extension) from request uri end part
  8. How to make a particular page not get cached by dispatcher - 
    Answer: In order to disable caching in dispatcher, add the header "Dispatcher: no-cache" in JSP - 
    <%
      response.setHeader("Dispatcher", "no-cache");
    %>
  9. From where can the admin password be changed. Or for that matter, from where the password of any user can be changed?
    Answer: From this location http://author_OR_publihser:Port/libs/granite/security/content/useradmin.html
  10. How to check if network connections are getting established from a particular ip - say for example you are browsing a website at your computer - and you want to verifiy if requests from this browsing of yours are generating some network connections?
    Answer: this is the way to check from command line:
    netstat -atnp |grep your_computer_ip
    it also tells you whether it is the putty session or some other process in the output. it gives information about port as well.
  11. how to simulate post method request using curl?
    curl -v -X POST http://www.xyz.com/pqr.stu.vwx
  12. How to count number of occurenrences of a particular word or string in a file  in linux?
    Answer: grep -c "word-or-string" file_name

Bye bye 2014... Welcoming 2015... New Year, New Resolutions

December 31, 2014

Just like previous year... I am writing a review for this year as well. Previous year's review can be found HERE. The review of 2014 is also being accompanied with goals for 2015 which I would like to share with all. I have decided to quantify these goals - and don't know how i will achieve them, but I am just giving this a try. It's just an experiment. If it works well, I would bring in some more goals for 2016 - but that's a bit far in the time line. 

  1. AT WORK - 2014 has been pretty satisfying as per as my work was concerned. I am satisfied personally from the feedback that I have received. However I feel there is some space for further improvements. What special can i bring to the table at work? With each passing year, the drive to read technical books and honing computer language skills is taking a  downward curve. I can only think of devoting one hour each working day on some kind of innovation or learning something new. I have only worked on AEM Administration last year and most of my time was consumed in getting the immediate work at hand completed, in other words - in attending the urgent assignments. As a result not much time could be devoted to innovation.
  2. PAINTING - Now an update on my paintings. Not very encouraging... as i have struggled to find motivation and drive. However I have managed to complete a satisfying series of Romir playing with his toy vehicles. The series is here -  https://flic.kr/s/aHsk5kgZVp. Apart from this series I did 4 additions to the ongoing series of head paintings. These 4 head paintings can be found here: (a) Head13; (b)Head14; (c)Head18 (d) Head17. I would definitely like to start oil painting next year and complete a few good paintings. I would like to have atleast 6 oil paintings for next year. In addition to this - 60 sketches and drawings.
  3. BLOGGING - 84 Blogs this year including this one. This comes to almost 7 blogs a month. Or every 4 day i have blogged on an average in 2014. Quite satisfying. I have already revealed last year that I don't intend to blog aggressively like one blog for each day. So considering that my blogging has been quite in accordance with my goal. Next year I would like to stretch a bit more and have 100 blogs.
  4. EXERCISE - I don't have much to write here. This has been a poor year for me as far as exercise, sports and running is concerned. Though last couple of months i had got into the habit of completing 3 set of push-ups daily in the evening. However I fell sick soon after and had to break the routine. It's important to not break the chain of habit. For the coming year - I have a very tiny goal - complete 3 set of push-ups daily in evening. Let's see if i can achieve this goal!
  5. BRUSH TEETH BEFORE BED - This might sound something rather silly!!!! Brushing twice is useful - once in morning and once in the night. I have always brushed once in my life. But this year I am going to brush before hitting the bed as well.
  6. GETTING UP EARLY IN THE MORNING - I haven't quite achieved this good habit as of now though last year while writing the year end review i had mentioned about taking this up in 2014. I have failed miserably and so carrying it forward to 2015. Not only will I be able to reach work early but also come back home early, if i form this habit. I would need all your good wishes as I cringe to even think of putting up one more year with same result.
  7. TRAVEL - Seeing new places and exploring new people, behavior, ideas, landscapes etc should continue. Exploring and experiencing should go on in life just like work and recreation. This year we traveled a lot and were lucky enough to visit a few new countries  - Germany, Switzerland and France. Of course this is heavily dependent on the course my work takes me - whether that would give me an opportunity to travel, but, hey... that's irrelevant to the concept of GOALS I am setting for myself. One of the ideas behind goals is simply repeating your goals with affirmation and surrendering the how's and why's to the higher intelligence within and outside. So may I keep the number of coutries to be visited for next year at 5.

 

So I plunge into the new year - 2015 ahead with all my visitors' good wishes and these tiny goals that i aim to achieve - 

  • Each day 1 hour of innovation at work
  • 6 oil paintings, 60 sketches and drawings
  • 100 blogs
  • 3 sets of push-ups daily
  • brush teeth every night
  • Get up before 8 AM everyday.
  • Travel 5 countries

These are the goals that i thought i could afford to share with all. However there are financial goals and few personal goals that I would rather write in my personal diary. 

I wish all a very happy and pleasant year. May God hear your prayers and may you achieve peace, happiness and fulfillment. 

 

My opinion about God, Spirit and Life after death.

December 28, 2014

I don't know any of these things.

It puzzles me to see all around people believing so confidently that there is some kind of spirit that survives the physical death and then again acquires a new body depending upon certain conditions. These conditions decide whether the new body will be a man or a cow or a dog or a mosquito. People broadcast these ideas and I haven't found any proof of this as of now. No one has ever demonstrated a solid proof or logical explanation behind the existence of spirit. Even then if you say - you don't believe in God - people will raise eye brows and think you are trying to act smart! On the contrary your statement should be considered the most logical and rational given the lack of any proof about God in the whole world so far.

I keep searching for videos of lectures and interviews about this subject in youtube. One day I stumbled upon one of the monks explaining - "the seer and the seen are different things ... so you can see your body - so you must be different from the body. Now you can see your mind too - so you should be different from the mind. And you are actually a drop of divinity which will go back to divinity... Just like the sunshine which only manifests if there is an object that can reflect - similarly your body (mind included) is able to manifest that divinity which is omnipresent. " With all my respect to the monk, I liked the idea of this beautiful logic of the seer and the seen to be different. But i also feel that the mind can play trick on a person by exhibiting a deception that SELF is something other than the mind. It can be just the chemical composition of mind which is displaying characteristics of the self and awareness and inducing one to believe the self is different from mind. 

There was another devotee of God who once told me this: "OUT of your BIG BANG - the flower can't be born. When there is such beautiful creation then there must be some intelligent creator behind this." My counter argument would be simply this - the universe is huge - so huge that our mind even can't fathom... so is it not possible that accident or BIG BANG caused chaos everywhere - in countless other planets - however in only this planet Earth, it was a special kind of accident that caused flower. that's why there is no life in so many other countless planets. OK, now think about something else in the same line of thought - there is life and there is beautiful flower - and they exist just like that - and there is no cause. It could also be true that Darwin found the truth many years before and he was right in believing that everything comes from a simple source of cellular life form. The complex forms have just gone through a process of painful evolution through an infinitely long period of time.

The religious books do talk about holy names and chanting of which gives peace and happiness. Just because I get happiness doesn't mean that there is God. A lot of bliss and happiness due to a certain process of following a spiritual path doesn't prove the existence of God. 

Now there is another line of thought - I once heard a saint say something like this: "Oh why are you worried if God is there or not - you just take care of yourself. Your condition is just like a man drowning in a boat in the middle of ocean of suffering. He is getting a rope from above - he just has to catch it and avoid drowning in the ocean. Man is in similar situation - surrounded by the ocean of suffering in his fragile boat (read life). So what's the choice here? Chant the holy name that will save you from eternal cycle of birth and death or simply get involved in unworthy and futile materialistic action" Chances are very high that people get influenced by such line of thought - particularly when it is coming from a very serious learned scholar - who looks intelligent, talks intelligent and seems to be having that invisible aura around him. But whoever the preacher may be, the million dollar question still remains - What's the proof that chanting would render one free - and before that what's the proof that there is a so called cycle of life and death?

There are many saints who will further say this: "You can't see bacteria in naked eye - doesn't mean that the small organism isn't present. Similary you want to know God, you need the tool. Simply sitting there and engaging mind in imagination and useless thoughts won't help. So the tool is the microscope for bacteria. For God, it is our spiritual process that you have go through - chanting of holy beads and intense respect and devotion." All this is fine, but my question again is who will tell me that this path is indeed the true path to know God. Obviously when i will start chanting one same vibration for hours together sitting in that same place - my brain will definitely go through some different waves of calmness and may be even happiness and that might trigger me to believe that God is providing me this solace. 

But the logic of the religious texts are not so weak - they have a mechanism built inside their philosophy that would ostracize people who keep asking questions by labeling them to be not fit for spiritual journey. They only see everything with a doubtful eye and they lack faith. 

Again, I don't know anything - if something exists or not - and my earnest request to others is also to acknowledge if they really don't know. Simply beating the bush with one's own imaginative way of looking at things wont help.

I have read many books and met many people and listened to so many lectures but still I haven't found any concrete evidence of life after death. Nor have I found any concrete evidence of God. Even I haven't found any evidence of Ghost.

So I don't believe in anything - I don't believe in spirit, God, life after death and so on. What i mean by I don't believe is that I completely accept that there could be a probability of existence as well non-existence or even a combination of both - but I don't know. 

That is a very honest and transparent statement.

Everybody is prepared to believe something out of fear or rejection. Everybody declares something as they have to take a stance. 

The so-called Spiritual Gurus (may be someone genuine is hiding somewhere and I don't know Him yet) themselves haven't seen anything - just they keep advertising God and Heaven. They even don't admit that they never saw God because that would dilute their spiritual strength and people wouldn't believe them.

 

When the Greats have their backs to the wall - what do they do?

December 6, 2014

They find a way to fight back! As simple as that. 

And that's exactly what Roney did in the  UK Snooker Championship 2014 Semi Final. Bingham was playing flawless shots one after another and it was almost game over for him.

We saw a similar story in the best of 16 match a couple of days before. The fabulous start that Dott had created  never ever allowed Robertson to make a comeback. Sullivan was going the same way - many thought... but then as the match unfolded - the script seemed different. Sullivan played some magnificent shots to claw his way back into the match.

All greats manage to find a way to FIGHT back - isn't it?

When the good players are put to pressure they manage to bring out the best from within.

One of the match commentators rightly said - "As soon as someone like Roney is pushed in a do-or-die situation - he  become oblivious of the surrounding and gets absorbed in the game. On the contrary the average players tend to become conscious of everything - the camera, audience and so on and somehow tend to lose focus. And hence the mistakes. Bingham looked heavy and dominating physically - but it's not a physical game - it's played in the mind.

It needs strength of character. 

After the game when Roney was asked about his feelings about the win he was humble enough to admit being LUCKY as Bingham missed a few easy chances. A witty Roney even added - "Had it been boxing, the referee would have stopped the match half way and announced Bingham as the winner." 

 

Netherlands - Day623

December 6, 2014

Winter has finally arrived and temperatures for the first time this year dipped below 0 degree C. Yesterday it was -1 degree. I fell victim to this cold and recovered only last week from severe  throat infection. A combination of antibiotic and paracetamol helped me recover finally. I was quick to switch to bus from bicycle - basically the cold air that passes through nostril/mouth and takes a heavy toll on the vulnerable throat. Otherwise jacket, mufflers and gloves are sufficient to keep the cruel cold at bay - but I can't find a way to prevent inhaling the cold air.

Romir's schools are going on as usual - 3 days a week: Mon, Tue and Thursday - and his mother is doing a fabulous job in taking care of all his needs - starting from getting him ready for the school, bringing him back from school, gather feedbacks from teachers - and then finally reporting me about his progress. There are a number of activities Romir has started participating in and she loves to take him to various places - the gym, park, library and so on. She doesn't get tired or bored of these activities and I am such a relieved man. It helps concentrate on my work and come home with peace of mind.

I remember my father once said - "Isn't it a beautiful feeling to have done all your office work and then come back home after a hard day's work. Rightly so - and sweet it is also because you are returning back to your family from work - and it's such a comfortable cocoon to belong to - and so I seldom go to parties and team lunches/dinners. You can't have all of it at the same time. To get something you have to sacrifice something else. Time is precious and spending time with family is more rewarding. 

I love truth and love to speak straight and gel particularly well with noble souls. In one of the discussions today at lunch we were discussing about how its difficult to interact with some who are so argumentative and have no respect or harbor false ego and bad attitude. The best thing is to avoid such people but it's not possible to do that in a team, wherein each member works like a nut or a bolt of a big unit and the purpose is to achieve the goal together within a team. Ofcourse, the bigger picture should take precedence over individual ego - and the bigger picture is enabling the entire team to function properly and attain positive results.

I am now short of words... What will I write and what are the new thoughts? Sometimes the mind says there is nothing to write. But believe me, if you think there is nothing to write you can't start ever. So just sitting with the laptop and making an attempt to write is the best possible way to break the habit of not writing often. I was chatting with one of my friends who urged me to again start oil painting. The years are just passing by and paper currency is just going to be meaningless as we age... If I could only manufacture a few unique paintings that could beat the barrier of time and enter the realm of eternity - just like the paintings of great painters have... it would be so much sweet and relishing. I have always had this feeling of leaving the world with something eternal, timeless and valuable - but I am not sure actually if that would be possible. 

There is no harm in trying though. "The king was once a crying baby" - so it's not important where you are - but it's important where you are aiming to reach. I used to paste small  quotations everywhere on walls in the room I lived in childhood... quotations that were powerful and positive - like "whatever the mind of a man can conceive and believe it can achieve through positive attitude"... and so on.

I have read countless of positive attitude (self-help) books. Somewhere in the manner the events have unfolded in life i do believe that all these positive messages that I soaked in during my school and college days - particularly when the going was hard and the emotions of youthful fantasies and infatuations torn me apart - I managed to find a comfortable shelter under the warmth of  self-assuring, encouraging and innumerable motivational messages by Napoleon Hill and other self-help authors. 

But then they have a limit. You can't keep reading and getting motivated from them. There is a phase in one's life when he has to break that shell and lunge forward into newer layers of meaning... go from old thoughts and find new thoughts and philosophies. Reading books is so important for that reason because books offer you the opportunity to delve in to the author's psysche. Without the book you simply have your own perspective. 

Not only books, sometimes real and powerful personalities influence you through their speeches as well. One such powerful person who influenced me to follow the path of Bhakti Yoga, ie. Krishna Consicousess is an IIT Delhi Professor. At that time I was preparing for GATE in Jia Sarai (that was in year 2004). The compound of IIT Delhi was adjacent to Jia Sarai and we could sneak into IIT Delhi campus every now and then. I remember during the cricket matches we would shamelessly enter one of the IIT hostels and sit with other IITians infront of the big television. One of the Jiasarai residents had given me some cassettes recorded with The IIT Lecturer's Krishna Consciousess discourses. I heard them one after another and I was so much moved by his lecutres that I started to following Krishna Consicousness. The start was 4 rounds of chanting on the Tulsi Beads. I would go to the rooftop in the night in pitch darkness and chant alone. Ofcourse I din't want anyone to find me doing this. I hated being talked about this or being mocked at by others. 

One day one of the Krishna Devotees - more ardent and passionate, ofcourse, took interest in me and started encouraging me more and more to take this path seriously. Having discovered my crazy cravings for watching cricket he urged to quit cricket as this was not very helpful in the path of Bhakti. I was in a complete state of war in my own mind and couldn't find a way to promise him that I would quit watching cricket. And I didn't quit. Rather I couldn't quit. Once I would know about the start time of a match, I  would find myself sitting shamelessly infront of a restaurant TV or the IIT hostel TV. I remember now and can't help but laugh only about how the restaurant owner would sometimes switch off the TV to urge his customers to leave so that new customers could come in. Now all this I have been narrating for such great length of time to make one point which will sound pretty interesting -  I AM NO MORE ADDICTED TO CRICKET RIGHT NOW. Can you believe it?

The point to be noted here is a change of circumstances has led to this. Here in Netherlands there is absolutely no discussion of cricket. And luckily the Television in my room doesn't have a channel that broadcasts cricket. So I have taken to new interests - snooker. Right now as I write this - I have the UK Snooker Championships second semi final match coming up. The blog about the first semifinal match is here.

There have been other changes ofcourse. I haven't played TT for almost 2 years now. I haven't driven a car or a bike... sometimes I feel it's hightime I go to India for a vacation. And then sometimes I hold back looking at the ticket price. But not everything can be weighed with money. The other day I was having a chat with my friend in Pune and he said that he wanted an onsite opportunity for a few months -so he could make some money. It is then he told me that he couldn't afford to stay long term due to family obligations. I told him that you are with your parents and you are able to take care of them and live with them - through the happy and sad moments - don't underestimate it's value - because HE who is not with his parents knows the real pain. It becomes more pronouced especially at a time when your father is ill and you cannot make yourself available to offer him assurances of well-being and comfort. 

But there are other aspects in life that somehow starts taking precedence. It might sound cruel but that is reality as well. I have seen those who have broken the boundaries of their original place and gone far in search of work and fortune have actually progressed. While others who have continued to stay in that same place have failed to make much progress. You might ask - what do you mean by progress? Is it money? I would say - it's not only money - it's about experience as well. It's about interacting with new people, embracing new challenges and seeing new places. The cocoon of home is good for a certain stage in life but not for eternity. And this cycle goes on - children grow up and spread their wings and fly high and far. With the passage of time it has become more and more difficult to live with the whole family and the extended family together. The small bubbles of nuclear families have mushroomed in the cities globally. This is the reason why it's so important to take vacations and spend atleast sometime with parents in homeland. 

I think I can go on and on - but I should stop somewhere. So let me stop here. Shown below are some nice pictures of places around my home here. Until next blog post on my experience in Netherlands - it's a warm BYE on a cold night to all my readers.

 

 

World no. 100 knocks off World no. 3

December 3, 2014

Just witnessed a prodigy in the ongoing UK championships 3rd round... what can you call this incredible performance... madness of youth... fearless shots and a childlike and fresh aggressive approach - this was the best mix of raw dexterity and unorthodox approach that only a young player could bring to the table...

James Cahill is his name! I am sure many would not even know him in the world of snooker. Now this guy is not also 19! And he knocks over the world no. 3. What would you call that? Biggest upset or the first indications of a rising star! I would rather choose the latter.

Now that's too early, somebody would murmur with a sarcastic smile and many would also point to a few rising stars that had come and gone into thin air after showing the initial flamboyance... For example - Andy Roddic in Tennis, Vinod Kambli in Cricket, Michael Owen in Football... to name a few.

Nonetheless, every opportunity to witness a prodigy does fill one with joy. It's because we want new faces. However we subject these young players with high hopes and expectations. From the players' perspective, good maturity is indispensable to remain firmly rooted to the ground. And that's why it was so heartening to find James Cahill looking just the part - completely professional and  not at all carried away by that customary rush of emotions. 

The last frame was the decider in a best of 11 frames and it was an awkward situation for the young lad to pull things back from a position where his opponent  was in driver's seat. However at crucial moments he managed to pull off a couple of breathtaking shots and  find a way to the fourth round of the UK Championships. A helpless and dejected Ding could do nothing but remain in awe of this magnificent performance.

Well played Cahill and keep up the good work! 

Use a cushion, avoid the scars

November 17, 2014

An odd member in a whatsapp group suddenly started typing weird sentences... loathful, sarcastic, funny and abusive and then what not...

I called this guy and said, "you abuse me and throw whatever you desire towards me - i am like Sunny - who would play the slow spins in net with utmost dexterity and the next moment would face the Caribbean pace without the helmet."

So this guy responded with an excitement that was hard to contain. SORRY was what he said first and then we 2 old friends started gossiping and talking about the beautiful old days... when i suddenly changed topic -

I opened up a bit more and expressed about the problem we had at hand - i said these words - "When there are 40 different people in a group - we have to take care of each one's sentiments and feelings - isn't it? There are certain words which might be acceptable to some but hurt someone else. There might be some statement that would infuriate another member in a group... so it's important to choose words wisely and avoid any kind of unpleasantness..."

That night before we finally bid each other good bye, I could feel an assurance that he would never repeat the same type of statements again.

Now let me narrate one more incident. This is a little unrelated of course to the previous one of course... while i was cleaning the speaker grill of my music system, i noticed some scars on the beautiful black grills. Reflection from the big glass windows helped me spot the conspicuous scars... i got a little dejected nonetheless as i am very attached to these tiny materialistic belongings.

Generally while cleaning I place my fingers between the speakers and the vacuum rod- but on one of the previous occasions i had missed. Well... that was my mistake - those fingers acted as a cushion protecting the speaker grills and their absence meant that the aluminium rod was too harsh on the speakers. 

Scars on an object - that is still okay... BUT what about scars we sometimes leave on relationships... just because we never care to place that cushion between our tongues and the recipients' ears? However true and honest our statements might be, we should try to present them in a way that we not only get ourselves heard and make our points clear but also don't end up hurting someone.

I haven't been good at it, you see, and I have made my more than fair share of mistakes. However I am still learning and I am getting better - though sometimes improvement can be so gradual that it's difficult to be aware of the progress... 

I saw a TV program the other day on climate change and someone was trying to make this point about SLOW CHANGE of climate and this guy said something that I really liked: Well you don't go to bed middle aged and then get up being old. These changes are so gradual that you don't notice them.

Coming back to scars on object versus scars on relationships, I just remembered a facebook-shared clip of Satyameva Jayate the other day: Two tearful parents were seated in the show and Amir Khan was hosting it. As the parents narrated their sad story this is what I could make out... Their son had gone out somewhere on a two-wheeler and he happened to collide with some new motorcycle. This created a few scars on the new motorcycle and the owner got pissed off to such an extent that he started beating up this poor little guy violently.

Sometimes anger and violence really take bad and unexpected turns and which can result in utmost disasters. And this incident, unfortunately had ended in such an unfortunate disaster...

Sometimes scars that cannot be seen are more painful because they can't be erased.

 

In this virtual world, TIME that we kill is real

November 11, 2014

Today we see everyone digging into their smartphones, laugingh, smiling and reacting to posts... busy typing and waiting for response.

The world that you and I are in today has become virtual. The real world has ceased to be important. 

But the time that you and me are going through continuously is the same real time and there is no concept of virtual reality here.

Time that we lose is real. Even the richest person in the world won't be able to buy years from a poor  young villager. Everyone's quota is preordained by a superior intelligence. 

Question is - why then we keep wasting precious time?

I think the reason is that we don't value time the way we value paper currency.

Time is actually more precious than money... A nonrenewable resource, which once consumed will never come back. Money can be earned once more.

In fact time is  so powerful that it will consume man one day! Sending him into a coffin deep down mud and gravel...  that will lie still in the eternal realm of silence. Or... that will reduce him to ash and smoke. 

It's important to respect time because the clock just keeps ticking.

Re-route

November 6, 2014

I was coming home after meeting one of my cousin brothers. 

So long as I didn't know the way - i was listening to the gps and it was guiding me like a charm. In my right hand i was holding it tight while I kept pedaling. Suddenly  at one point i realized that i knew the way to home from there . And so i ignored the gps as i started taking my own path now. 

Each time my path deviated from the gps's path the gps would do a re-route and then again announce the same in the same humble tone. 

It is then i realized - that even in life we should follow this same principle of re-routing.

When in the work place a junior doesn't listen to your instructions, simply re-route. In other words, without getting flustered, just provide him with a new set of instructions and options in a humble tone. I don't claim to be practicing the same and have my own limitations. But I have somehow started believing that this approach is the best that you can think of when someone doesn't listen to you.

At home, how many times your own kid has refused to listen to what you say? And your wife would not listen at all, isn't it !!! Again, the best thing that you possibly can do is re-route!

 

View older posts »