It's been half a year since the last blog was posted. Far too long. Nevertheless, the winds of inspiration are blowing strong once again. I've never shared a book review publicly before, but such an enlightening read by renown feminist bell hooks called “The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity and Love” is worthy of being the first.
Three day journey from Chandigar, Punjab (A) to Kochin, Kerala (B)
Busy Indian stations can be quite a culture shock for first timers on an India trip. The sheer volume of people at a station can be overwhelming in itself. It’s distressing to see vulnerable kids miraculously surviving and looking after each other at the train stations across India. As you pass by a beggar the urge is to dig into your pocket for change, but will this only temporarily alleviate their hunger or habit? Are they part of an organized ring and the money will line a ‘beggar-masters’ pocket and so keep them on the street? Many dilemmas, sights and sounds will surprise you as you travel the trains in India.
The Search for Happiness
What is the goal of human life? Each individual seems to have an apparently different goal. One wants to become a doctor, another an actor, and yet another an Olympic gold medalist. And almost all of us want to become rich. If asked, “Why do you want to become a doctor or an actor? Why do you want money or fame?”. The final answer is, “To become happy”. So, in and through all our pursuits we desire happiness alone. This is the common pursuit of all living beings. We think happiness is in 'this' or 'that' object so we make it our goal.
Is it not strange that all human beings have been searching from beginning-less time, from morning to night, from birth to death, life after life for happiness and yet do not seem to have found it? Could we not give up this desire and remain in sorrow? That too, is not possible. We cannot be happy being unhappy!
What do you do when you’re in a car and suddenly four lorries are heading towards you? We were driving from Nakodar in Punjab, towards Mcleod Ganj in the foothills of the Himalayas. In the distance a very slow, overladen lorry was being overtaken gradually by another lorry on our side of the road. We were on a normal highway with one lane in each direction but at the sides of the road there was packed earth. As the two lorries got nearer to us, a third lorry getting impatient with the other two started to overtake on the earth at the other side of the road. Then a fourth lorry appeared, and started to overtake on the hard earth on our side of the road. So we were in a situation where all four lorries were heading towards us, and we had nowhere to go. Our driver pulled to the side and somehow, all four lorries passed us! I had been dozing in and out, but this incident kept me alert during the rest of the drive.
Stopping for air, and to enjoy the beautiful sights along the drive. In the background you can see vehicles driving along the narrow road carved into the cliffside.
Discord and Disorder
After visiting the sites in Amritsar and learning about their bloody history, my mind was racing incessantly with thoughts about violence caused by segregation, not only as a result of national borders but in regards to all divisions we create.
It looks pretty funny on paper, doesn't it?
We now live in a time where we uphold an extremely mechanistic view of the world and in which most individuals are aware of themselves as isolated egos existing 'inside' their bodies. A perfect example of the general populous' perception of the self is Descartes' famous sentence “Cogito ergo sum” — “I think, therefore I exist”.