Monday, September 24, 2012

Virtually There- V8

I was amazed to learn that the planet Venus follows a pentacle path. It takes 8 years for it to do so. Pentacle is nothing but collection of 5 lines that intersect. Isn’t it wonderful? But wait, most amazing wonderful part is yet to be told, i.e., this fact was discovered by our ancestors at least 4000 years before the Christ!

Welcome to Virtually There (VT) – V8, version eight, I am here with a story of a night!

Being nocturnal is the youth trend. This version may go wrong with the some of you, but I am going with a disclaimer now itself. Yes, I am going to talk about night outs. Hence here is this disclaimer- Dear reader, if I give you a stone- you can either put it down or break it or you can use it to build the next beautiful structure. Control was with you, waste it or shape it!

If man can discover the path of Venus by just observations, we need to salute the human intelligence. 8 years is really long, and to tell it precisely is very challenging. If those nights can lead to these wonderful discoveries, than why are we least bothered about our nature, ignorant about the changes around us, and portray night out as one that was meant to booze and smoke up!

Night outs are best if you are in a mood of introspection. Surrounding is calm. Zero noise. Climate cooling down. And no college/office to go the next day. You are bound to feel happy. Problem with the modern age is that we have all the time for world and not for ourselves! Our worries keep multiplying and instead of addressing it, we keep building on it, we switch on to our “Adjust Kar lo yaar” attitude!

Numerous night outs that I have had have given me different perspective every time. The ones in the beach are still fresh in my mind. Those waves under the moon light have inspired my poems. Twinkling of the stars has light up my writings. Midnight Chai’s have added flavors to my taste buds. Early morning snacks have redefined hunger for me. That watchful drive in the streets of crazy dogs has tossed my heart out frequently. Yes, every night out was an experience, is an experience and hopefully, will be an experience!

One point I have missed to mention, yeah, I learnt to observe, I started seeing the transformation, from dark to light, from void to knowledge!

In V8, I really didn’t have a story to tell, but I had a message to give. Learning and exploring oneself is the hardest thing to do, and a night out makes it easy for you. This is not the only means, but for surely, one of the many. Happy exploring!

[This article was originally posted here in ManipalBlog.]

Monday, September 17, 2012

Virtually There- V7

Experiments can either be a massive hit or if it fails, will be a lesson that can stay with you for a life time. Those who try and succeed leave a lasting legacy for generations to come. Some say, it’s in their blood. Some say, they are gifted. Some say, they worked hard. As I mentioned in VT-V5, I can just be thankful for the appreciation I get each time I experiment, here is the excerpt of my new beginning!

Welcome to Virtually There (VT) – V7, version seven, time to explore the legacy, time to meet a rising star!

I feel it’s not easy to be a star. Plus, to live/continue the legacy that’s been influencing art since four generations is a herculean task. You almost think it is difficult to find an individual who can do all this, but then you meet a lady who is down to earth, willing to improve, already performing wonders, recognized for who she is and not for whom she's following, counting awards, eager to give back to her much loved art, still young and with lots of dreams!

Presenting an interview with “Nalanda Nritya Nipuna” Prateeksha Kashi, danseuse par excellence and woman who defines Virtually there - V7.

Me: Well, before I start, I will say what I know, that you hail from an artistic family of the legendary Dr Gubbi Veeranna and were initiated to dance at a tender age of five. Both your parents are well known actors/artists; mother in particular, has achieved cult status in Kuchipudi- a classical dance form.

Prateeksha: I just feel blessed for the atmosphere at my home. Truly God’s grace. In fact, my mother Vyjayanthi Kashi is my role model, guru, and friend. Being an ace choreographer herself, she never forced me to take up dance; she treats me equal to any other students when we are in the Shambhavi school of Dance, this is the best thing I like about her, when it comes to dance, I am always a student!

Me: I see a hunger to learn in your eyes, that’s good, but, I need to clarify something, we both are sitting at this coffee table of our office, a Tech firm, I wonder, why you are here!

She smiles!

Prateeksha: A lot of people ask me the same question. I have kept doing two things simultaneously. I believe that they'll complement each other, mutually add value, yielding better results in both fields. I was interested in science, so I am a techie today, no matter what, I sneak in time for my evergreen love, Kuchipudi, as long as I can manage both, I am happy doing them together.

Me: Fair enough, as you are already doing things in style, keep rocking! Do you train hard?

Prateeksha: I’ll elaborate. I have a lot of interaction with giants in my field of art, and I have kept improving. I believe in the Guru-Shishya parampara. Knowledge has no money, it only has value. Giving is everything and it’ll make your life more vibrant. You know, all of us are equally talented. Just that, we need to identify the field that drives us. Like I did for dance and you did for literature. Then with passion, one can scale the zenith.

Me: I am honored! I am shooting the last question, what does it take to be on the stage and how does it feel, say at an international level (she has given stage shows worldwide), performing live?

Prateeksha: It takes lot of determination, grit, practice and confidence. Kuchipudi is an amalgam of both drama and dance. Expectations or responsibilities, both just help me come out better. For me performance is like a prayer. When I perform, I thank the art for making me what I am today, I feel at peace with my soul, I give my best, I want my organizers and more importantly, the audience to take home something, worth remembering, true taste of art and lot of joy!

The Conversation continued.

I knew what to give back. I wanted to tell you that even you are equally talented. I knew how people worship art. I wanted you to join the prayer. I knew how to remain grounded and shoot at stars. I wanted you to take the aim and achieve the dream.

Thank you Prateeksha, zenith is not far, may you achieve all your dreams. I can just be thankful!

[This article was originally posted here in ManipalBlog.]

Monday, September 10, 2012

Virtually There- V6

This article was originally posted here in ManipalBlog.

I set off on a quest of finding the purpose of life. My writing speed slowed down. I started thinking of every word that I was using. I knew I was running into bad waters, I am not an Aristotle or Buddha, but yes, I had the courage to sail it over!

Welcome to Virtually There (VT) – V6, version six, let’s ponder why we live!

Writing about love in VT- V5 was far easy than writing about life today. Is it because I think that I am in love? Is it because I have found a lot of love? Is it because I don’t enjoy life? Is it because even I wonder of my existence like many of you?

Scholars said- have a dream. Work towards it. Rest not till you achieve it. We read- “A goal without a plan is just a wish”. Make plan, work it out. Work is worship, etc., etc. Did we miss something? Why didn’t anyone say to enjoy the life however it comes!

Mission of life is not to ponder over it. Mission of life is not to define it. Mission of life is not to be a frog in the well. Mission of life is not to cheat people. Mission of life is not to kill humanity. Mission of life is not to complain. Mission of life is to live!

To live the life, I correct, to live the life of your wish, I correct, to live the life that your heart guides, I correct, to live the life that God gives, I correct, to live the life with no regrets, I correct, to live the life in the present!

I was unable to finish the previous line; I started with the bang, and kept correcting. So is the LIFE!

The moment I find logical end to this version, I am bound to be enlightened. Hence, instead of defining V6, version six, I was trying to find the logical end this time. Like life, I can’t get perfectly right. I thought of coming up with my own poetry, but Robert Frost’s six lines seemed to be perfectly written for this version. It had love, it had promises, it had snow, it had a flow, it had a goal, and it had LIFE!

He will not see me stopping here 
To watch his woods fill up with snow. 
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, 
But I have promises to keep, 
And miles to go before I sleep, 
And miles to go before I sleep.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Virtually There- V5

This article was originally posted here in ManipalBlog.

Clouds had set. Cool breeze. Sun was sneaking out to tell me-“dude, it’s still the evening!” In no time, there was a big rainbow. Right in front of me. I wanted to pull it down, scribble your name in it, put it back in the sky, and let the world see it!

Welcome to Virtually There (VT) – V5, version five, time to fall in love!

In this sophisticated era, where the masks play wider role than the one’s face, I took no time to see your eyes. Dark brown eyes. It had the magic. Your childishness never allowed you to don the masks and enter the cruel world. You had hid it in your curious eyes. I saw the vision. Time had come to prove that the love is not blind!

You came in front, left before I could even blink. You were not like a lightning, but like mesmerizing music, hearing to it, I always wanted to get lost in this world. Hearing to it, I could be in bliss. Hearing to it, I could sing all my life. Hearing to it, I can fly off from where I am. Hearing to it, I can render colors to rainbow. Hearing to it, I can script a special place for you!

Like earlier versions, I thought of defining v5. Are you kidding me? Love has no definition, so does v5!

Those moments which you made me feel special is not the definition. Those sweet talks or petty fights also won’t define it. It’s much more than that. It’s like trying to find the origin of a river. I can never define, nor can anyone. Only versions can be provided and so goes this one!

I follow your footsteps.. 

It’s not elusive today.. 

Love is not blind anymore.. 

A rose at a distance is bright.. 

Like the vibrant sun of future.. 

My reflection in the stagnant waters.. 

Is the flavor of your flowing footsteps.. 

Feeling happy is the purpose of love. Feeling content is the purpose of love. Feeling blessed is the purpose of love. Exploring one’s soul is purpose of love. Living the life is purpose of love. I can only discuss the purpose, I can never show it to you in this version, like I always and can only feel your continuous support and love for my different experiments!

I can just be thankful. I can just look at you. I can just be in love!

Virtually There- V4

This article was originally posted here in ManipalBlog.

Four. I’ll miss those classy fours that came out from VVS Laxman’s bat. This was the first thing that came to my mind when I was thinking for ideas on V4. Ideating is always a problem, isn’t it, Mr. Baby Bachchan?

Welcome to Virtually There (VT) – V4, version four, time to start a startup!

I promise this won’t be a technical version. My technical background will merely boost the quality of this article and will help me connect with the “common man” better. Yes, Indian National Congress had a great idea under their sleeves last elections; it overshadowed the “India Shining”, way to go, “aam aadmi”!

Who hasn’t played the game- Angry Birds, very simple, intuitive and entertaining? Interesting part is to know what led for its making; back in 2009 the "swine flu" epidemic was in the news, so the designers made the pigs as enemies for birds, developers had sensed the pulse of mass. Making market analysis or money flow or preparing charts was not their priority then!

Be it politics, science, technology, medicine, art, poetry or anything which requires craftsmanship of a human being to come into existence, what is most needed is not the ideas; every second guy has an idea, a business plan and pack of dreams. Shopping for cradle before the baby is born is not the right thing to do!

Some of us are willing or have started up new ventures just to avoid our ever pissing off managers. Or some of us like to live our everyday like a king rather than as a slave. Or we have seen our friends earn extra buck after pulling their weekends to put up a website. Or some of us just hate being part of big brands and rather like to build our own. Or we are just inspired by a dream of getting listed in Wallstreet!

Here comes the need of v4- we four- our neighborhood. If you are inspired by life and not by anything I listed above, congratulations, you are our ‘best future’ entrepreneur!

Go out to the streets, explore roadside food joints, and travel in most rigorous mode of journey. When we do this, let’s empathize with whatever we encounter. I am sure “aam aadmi” will completely conquer our acumen and take us out from the darkness of our presumption. Ideas will grab us. Gold that is mined has to go through the darkness before it actually starts to glitter!

Time to mine, time to explore, time to go, time to start!

Virtually There- V3

This article was originally posted here in ManipalBlog.

This version is highly inspired by the huge debate that took place during our evening snacks. I thankfully work in a place where food is also given equal priority with the work. Occasional eating breaks have become part of our lives. We sit together and chit-chat for long hours. If some topic, like the one which I’ll discuss shortly, comes up, breaks just get longer!

Welcome to Virtually There (VT) - V3, version three, did I say charity begins at home!

Like VT-V2, I and you are still part of the story, along with it, now, I add the society!

We see a lot of Government Offices (GOs)/Non-government Offices (NGOs) striving hard for making our society better. Lot of fund is raised. We see eminent persons launching the initiatives. We see politicians showcasing these undertaken projects in their propaganda speeches. We see celebrity run marathons. We see religious heads doing best of their efforts. We see media trying to provide “breaking news” in this cause as well!
Did the beggar whom we saw day before was in the same road yesterday? Did we hear about yet another scam? Did we see the worst dreams of riots in our neighboring state? Did the kid carrying the stone in a construction site go to school? Did we read about ban of cigarettes in public? Why do these kinds of questions never end? What have we given back to society?

This is how the debate went. One of us argued that “trusts” that claim to bring about changes should work with government. Another was quick in replying that as the government is failing to deliver, these organizations have emerged and some use it for their own benefit. Corruption involved in selection of bureaucrats was one of the allegations. Debate only got dirty. My friend stood to leave the venue. We made him sit!

It was dusk, sky was red, cool breeze, and I guess, the time was right to light the lamp.

From today, let’s think V3- we three. We both will join hands in restructuring the third, the society. Let’s not forget that, we have come up here and probably we will settle in the same dust. Let’s not disown it. We will clean it, repair it, and importantly, be for it as it has always been for us. We will make it as our home. Let’s all of us make a little silent impact. We need not hold mikes and march the roads to bring the change. Because, it’s truly said, barking dog seldom bites!

Adlai E. Stevenson once said “A free society is one where it is safe to be unpopular”!