Archive | March, 2016
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Take This Longing – Leonard Cohen

30 Mar

I met him now and couldn’t recognise. He told me to have one more look and then recognised. He asked about me. I spoke the usual.  We said Good bye and he stopped after going some distance and looked  back  and said ” God Bless you”. I waved at him happily..

It reminded me of a girl all of twenty two in my earlier Job, who after leaving my room, came back and stood at the door and said ” We may not meet again but my best wishes are always with you.” I had waved at her happily..

I have a few such treasures which make life liveable..

For my friend, here is a song, Take this longing..

Take This Longing – Leonard Cohen

Many men have loved the bells
you fastened to the rein,
and everyone who wanted you
they found what they will always want again.
Your beauty lost to you yourself
just as it was lost to them.

Oh take this longing from my tongue,
whatever useless things these hands have done.
Let me see your beauty broken down
like you would do for one you love.

Your body like a searchlight
my poverty revealed,
I would like to try your charity
until you cry, “Now you must try my greed.”
And everything depends upon
how near you sleep to me

Just take this longing from my tongue
all the lonely things my hands have done.
Let me see your beauty broken down
like you would do for one you love.

Hungry as an archway
through which the troops have passed,
I stand in ruins behind you,
with your winter clothes, your broken sandal straps.
I love to see you naked over there
especially from the back.

Oh take this longing from my tongue,
all the useless things my hands have done,
untie for me your hired blue gown,
like you would do for one that you love.

You’re faithful to the better man,
I’m afraid that he left.
So let me judge your love affair
in this very room where I have sentenced
mine to death.
I’ll even wear these old laurel leaves
that he’s shaken from his head.

Just take this longing from my tongue,
all the useless things my hands have done,
let me see your beauty broken down,
like you would do for one you love.

Like you would do for one you love

Source : http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com/album5.html

Goodnight dear friends! So take this longing from my tongue….

I will live for little treasures..

Love, Suresh

Quote 29 Mar

religion

This is my religion.

Have a good day dear friends!

Love, Suresh

Lahore

28 Mar

I give up. Every day we hear of barbaric attacks and killings. This time Christians were targeted. Innocent women and children. The world is just not right. I do not understand anymore. I think we should give up all ideology. We should simply be good human beings. It sounds idealistic. For the moment give up. My prayers to departed and family members of victims. Saddened.

Sad, Suresh

Happy Easter!

27 Mar

Happy Easter dear friends! May the grace of one above be with you and your loved ones dear friends! May you be happy, healthy and peaceful. May you always be loved and cared for. May you be well. Happy Easter every one!

Love, Suresh

Good Reads – perspectives – 27/3/2016

27 Mar

” Being Mohammed in Brussels “- Pallavi Aiyar

I read a incisive piece ” Being Mohammed in Brussels “by Journalist and author Pallvi Aiyar in Times of India. It’s almost  prophetic given Brussels attacks and attempts the complex multicultural mileu and possible alienation and lack of integration of immigrants in modern day Europe. I am not really a fan of this argument and tend to believe ideological underpinnings move across social classses. Though the poor and youth are most vulnerable. It’s still a very persusasive argument.

To quote from the article ”  The creation of the modern nation state, predicated as it was on the idea of a ‘nation’ comprising one ethnicity, one religion and one language, had bleached the diversity out of many European countries long ago. The retreat of overt religiosity to the private sphere, coupled with the spread of homogenized, mass-produced goods for consumption, only added to the relative uniformity that Europeans associated with themselves.

To be Belgian meant being white, culturally Catholic, eating speculoos biscuits with afternoon coffee and going to the seaside in the summer, come drizzle or high water. To be Spanish meant being white (defined generously), worshipping the pig by eating it in every possible form, and smoking Fortuna cigarettes under no smoking signs with insouciance.

Neither being Belgian nor Spanish was easily equated with wearing headscarves, moulding your actions to the Koran’s diktats, or being called Mohammed. Yet, since 2008, Mohammed has in fact become the most popular name for baby boys born in Brussels. ”

Radicalized supporters of global jihad might be a small minority amongst European Muslims, but they are overwhelmingly young men who have been born and brought up in Europe.

The parents of these youngsters had seen themselves as temporary visitors to Europe. Michael Privot (a 38-year-old Belgian convert to Islam and director of the European Network against Racism) recalled how his wife’s parents kept a suitcase packed in readiness for departure back to Dagestan, for close to thirty years. As a result, they had little anxiety about maintaining their homeland identity.

But their children faced a very different set of identity-related dilemmas. Unable to share fully in either their parents’ or host nation’s cultural milieu, many of these youth formed subcultures of their own, based on defiance and victimhood. Their interest in defining their identity increased with the experience of racism and exclusion that they suffered in school.”

Source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/sunday-times/Being-Mohammed-in-Brussels/articleshow/51565533.cms

Please read this article. I found it a important perspective,

” Top Indian Journalist Barkha Dutt is unapologetic about her ambition – and you should be too ” – Gayatri Rangachari Shah

I have followed Barkha Dutt’s work since 1996.  I have always liked her work and diligent reporting. I think more people should follow her work. It’s important work.

Barkha Dutt talks about her book ( The Unquiet Land :Stories from India’s faultlines ) ” In this book I sought to chronicle India’s post-liberalization story (India opened up its economy in the 1990s) through my own two decades in TV journalism — because in most ways these two decades coincided. The book is not about me in the sense that it is not a memoir or an autobiography, but I do use the challenges to my own erstwhile certitudes to explore issues on which there is no singular consensus — feminism, secularism, nationalism — we are still furiously debating all of it.

The worry is the death of nuance; I agree with you, television (and social media) has shrunk the space for nuance, for thoughtfulness, for complexity. In many ways our TV news has become Americanized. Centrism is considered boring. Viewers want to foist labels on you and put you in political corners as they do with Fox News and MSNBC in the U.S. As a free thinker, I find this infuriating and frustrating. I think, to borrow from Noam Chomsky but to reverse what he said, TV news has become about “Manufactured Dissent.” It functions on the dialectics of artificial confrontations, reducing journalism to theater. This worries me immensely.”

More ” The one lesson that I have learnt that weaves together these varied strands is that there is no singular truth. Like Akira Kurosawa showed us in Rashomon there are are many shades of reality and many conflicts spring from the contestation of differing truths. Leadership is about managing the contradictions and learning from them.”

I agree there is no nuance in political discourse and there is no single narrative. Barkha says something very important ” Leadership is about managing contradictions and learning from them.”

Please see : http://nytlive.nytimes.com/womenintheworld/2016/03/22/top-indian-journalist-barkha-dutt-is-unapologetic-about-her-ambition-and-you-should-be-too/

I wonder though why  just stick to women and feminism. Her work should appeal to all. Men and women.

Please read this important perspective . I have not read the book but will get it soon and read.

” The West is under threat, and its end will impact India as well” : Anne Applebaum

I liked this interview of Washington Post Columnist on Foreign affairs and Pulitzer Prize winning author Anne Applebaum by Malini Nair in Times of India.

Anne Applebaum says in response to a question on   why the idea of West coming to an end is  bad news ” When I say West, I mean the ideas that underpin it — European borders, for instance. For 60 years, since the end of the last World War, Europe has stuck to its agreement to not wage wars or change borders by force. Then the NATO military alliance is important for international stability, for your part of the world as well. The international trade agreement in 1930 ensures there is no protectionism. These lowered barriers to trade are very important for all including India. If they go up again both India and China will be affected.

I mostly write about Europe, but the same arguments apply to Asia. If the US withdraws and becomes more isolationist, then there will be no block on Chinese domination of southeast Asia. ”

On a possible Trump triumph ” It is possible that the US Republican Party leadership started promoting ideas that voters aren’t really excited about. Tax cuts for the rich, for instance. Or the Republican stance on Obamacare. Also, the party rallied around Jeb Bush too early and the idea that it was promoting oligarchy and ‘family’ offended the people. No one took Trump seriously enough — he was vulgar, violent, a fool. It is hard to see what he stands for because he doesn’t stand for anything. He stands for protest against everything; a lot of it is angry rhetoric that just amounts to insults. Some of his ideas are of course near impossible — a wall to mark the boundary between the US and Mexico for instance. But maybe a part of the country is not interested in policies, just protests. Also remember he didn’t win a majority in the primaries. He just won 30% of Republican Party votes.”

More on right wing politics across large parts of Europe and in India ” There could be different reasons for this. One factor is the nature of media, especially social media. It is now easier for people with extreme points of views to dominate communication. It is also a delayed reaction to globalization. People get the sense that factories in China are affecting their jobs in Bengaluru. Or that they are losing ‘control’ over their lives. For instance, you are seeing anti-migration views and movements even in countries that are not facing mass immigration and the problems related to it, like Slovakia and Poland. I don’t claim to be an expert on India, but I do know that there has been a decline in leftwing ideals and the larger movement it was a part of, and of mainstream left-leaning parties like the Congress. In their absence, people look for other parties that promote other kinds of big, different economic ideas.”

Please see: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/sunday-times/all-that-matters/The-West-is-under-threat-and-its-end-will-impact-India-as-well-Anne-Applebaum/articleshow/51566104.cms

I liked this interview and perspective. Please read this article.

” A Hard – Driving Executive’s Year of Learning to Let go”  – Karan Bajaj

My last one year of learning at work was deep acceptance. My tools were mindfulness meditation,yoga and walking. I like the simple life. I like the subtext of the article and am comfortable with the domain. I am always trying to let go. Karan Bajaj writes about his sabbatical from work to explore a world of meditation, Yoga and writing. I like all three.

Karan Bajaj writes “My wife and I had also been contemplating taking time off from our jobs to write novels. We’d been balancing writing with corporate jobs for a decade and felt we were falling short of excellence in both. As a result, starting in late 2012 we decided to take a full year off from our jobs and go on a spiritual and creative sabbatical.

At the time, I was leading the Capri Sun and Kool-Aid brands as a director for Kraft Foods in New York, and my manager responded to my initial request for an unpaid sabbatical with a bewildered silence. Eventually, I convinced her — I think because I had the same specificity in my sabbatical goals as I had in my work goals. Rather than a general pitch of needing one year to “find myself,” I explained that I wanted to do a structured yoga teacher’s training for six weeks, spend one month in silent meditation, write for three months and so forth, all of which were emotionally urgent for me and would help me return more centered and effective.

Paradoxically, though, we began our sabbatical by consciously letting go of our goals. Trained as an engineer, I’ve always liked numbers, and over the years I’ve used left-brained, analytical models to make most decisions at work. Even in writing fiction, I tend to be heavily outline-driven, planning out character and story trajectories in microscopic detail over months before I write the first word. I wanted to experience a glimpse of transcendence in my writing by becoming more intuitive.”

More ” Much to Kraft’s surprise, I did return to my job one year after I left. I thought I’d be calmer after spending much of the year practicing yoga and meditation, but I constantly fell short of my expectations in dealing with the usual stressful work situations.

Still, since my return, I’ve become much less rigid than before. Perhaps as a result of losing control for much of the year, I find myself more comfortable with trying out ideas on bursts of inspiration and spontaneity, mine or others’, versus linear, return-on-investment-driven models. “

This is familiar territory. Many of us aspire to seek that elusive balance between performance and peace. May be the answer might be not being rigid and trying out new ideas and behaviour..

Please see : http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/27/business/a-hard-driving-executives-year-of-learning-to-let-go.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=1

Please read this article.

I wished to share these articles and perspectives for you dear friends. The themes of multiculturalism, freedom of ideas, various perspectives to natonalism and perennial quest for letting go ….

This for today. Have a happy sunday dear friends!

Love, Suresh

My friend..

26 Mar

“Nobody likes being alone that much. I don’t go out of my way to make friends, that’s all. It just leads to disappointment. ”

―  Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood 

I had written few days earlier want to go back to relationships. The universe seemed to reciprocate almost instantaneously and he called. I was happy to hear from a friend whom last met few years ago. Anil my friend works with government and we were friends twenty three years ago. He was was my first friend in University. A reader with fine sense of logic and knowledge. He was meant for more. I went to meet my friend in a government guest house. Although we had met few years ago in a function , this is the first real conversation had since 1995. I asked about family and children. We got into a conversation about his daughters interest in robotics and was pleasantly surprised about the child’s depth of interest. She already had made a working prototype of drone and won few international competitions. Amazon listening? I listened and watched as my friend showed me videos of the child and drone on the phone. I was deeply fascinated. I Congratulated my friend on the child’s achievements and wonderful upbringing my friend has given his children. He asked about me? Me have no family of own mumbled sheepishly..

020

My friend is a officer and a gentlemen. True to his nature he was reading ” Blood Oil” by Leif Wenar. He picked it from airport he told me. I could only smile and remembered my past. We spoke about his experiences in the government. I was very happy to speak to my friend. I realised how much life has changed and how different the path has been, for me too once upon a time like my friend was on a journey..

021

I had gone to office on Good friday , when my friend called and we had a very pleasant fascinating conversation about children, robotics, oil economy and music. Sometimes the sweetest songs come from metal groups,  so love for children can come from single people like me 🙂

I visit hospital on weekends. I wonder when I get old or sick who will come with me or look after me…

I think children and family are a blessing. Will I get there, let us hope so..

This for my friend Anil!  The Universe does listen then  and thoughts create destiny….

Love, Suresh

Johan Cruyff

25 Mar

“Every disadvantage has its advantage. ”

― Johan Cruyff

I want to share a early memory. I grew up in a government estate in the eighties. There was no television. I was  twelve years old. There was a amphitheatre. My father’s friend was a football refree. He would enthusiastically organize and screen documentaries and short films on sports and olympics. It was one such screening discovered the magic of football on a large screen. I saw them all in a sixty or ninety minutes film. I saw Pele, George Best,  Franz  Beckenbauer and Johan Cruyff. I was mesmerised.

I thought Johan Cruyff was the very best for his run, turn and elegant scoring of goals. It looked intelligent. It looked  beautiful and easy. He made it look easy.  When grew up only then realised the full greatness of man – Player, Coach, Manager. A great man. The man who made a sport beautiful. This is my humble tribute to one of the greatest soccer personalities. Johan Cruyff.

Johan_Cruyff_1974c

The great star in his youth.

Johan Cruyff

The full measure of Johan Cruyff.

Source:https://www.facebook.com/JohanCruyff14/photos/a.10150599867300796.380510.169147885795/10153413644060796/?type=3&theater

For tributes and write ups:

Please see : http://www.fcbarcelona.com/club/detail/article/johan-cruyff-passes-away-aged-68

Please see : http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/12-brilliant-johan-cruyff-quotes-7621706

Please see : http://www.bbc.com/sport/football/35892775

“In a way, I’m probably immortal.” He said. He is. Like every great person who walked this earth he enriched the world with his craft, magic and contribution. His stage was Football.I will remember the child like awe the brilliant man with orange jersey and that fantastic run…

Johan Cruyff gave me and millions happiness. A great man. A big loss to Football.

My little tribute to the very great Johan Cruyff. I will remember Forever.

This for today dear friends.

Love, Suresh