Sunday, December 7, 2014

My Margazhi Story- 2014 - Stage I

Thanks to T.M.Krishna for triggering my thoughts on 'AS I SEE IT' column in Sunday Magazine dated December 7 , 2014. So here you go.. 'AS I SEE IT ' - from Anita's supposedly Wide Angle Lens.. I have decided to write in stages , so here comes my first experience Stage I at the beginning of the season.

My Acquaintance with Carnatic Music is purely because of Smt.Bombay Jayashri and she also knows it .The idea of attending carnatic concerts happened because of my conditioning from childhood on Bhakti Marga, both my parents worshipped GODS and Goddess and we had a pooja room where one can sit and pray comfortably and we were tuned to worship Vishnu, Lord Balaji since we were telugu speaking . So am used to listening to Jayashri's CD's and  attend only Jayashri's Concerts from the year 2007 and I also liked Aruna Sairam's(Aruna Maami - as I Affectionately call her within my friends circle).

It was only after an unique experience with ISHA Yoga, I stopped visiting temples, even stopped worshipping GODs and Goddess. Something in me just turned on and I felt more connected to me and those around me, it was only Yogic practices the Sadhana and Devotion towards Gods and Goddess.

The affinity for music strengthened over the period of time over repetitive listening and blossomed into Bhakti and it started to bear flowers and fruits since last december after a wonderful spiritual experience in Jayashri's Kutcheri.

 For a rasika like me who does not know and understand the ABC of Carnatic, and just as an Seasoned Artist comes for a concert prepared , I come for a carnatic concert preparing myself for a spiritual experience.

Prerequisities for a Concert : All Rules are my Rules
1. I come in Half empty stomach if its 4pm or fully empty stomach if its 6pm concert, with no Adrenalin shots of Coffee or Tea , trying to look fresh, wrapping my office work for a few hours to match the Concert timings .
2. I manage to get a Dias ticket  by the time I reach the counter in long standing queue and I happily accept it because I can get to see the Artist closely and feel more connected .
3. I sit in cross legged posture with my eyes closed , sometimes prefer to sit in a corner where no human intervention is there.
4. I shut my mobile phones and shun from people gossiping.
5. I get lost in the jugalbandi between Ganjira and Mirudangam artist and try to relate myself with the Nadai's which I learnt very recently and which required frequent revision in most of my music classes.
5. I resist my temptation to go grab food immediately after the concert since am soaked in the experience from the journey with the musician but do enjoy some soulful food from the best caterers because of my precondition of half empty / sometimes fully empty stomach.
6. Very Occasionally, when I just cannot resist myself I go to the artist and handshake with them telling them It was a great experience and don't even ask for a picture and simply stand awestruck by the crowd and charisma of the musicians.
7. I come back home, do a lot of research on the Artist who gives me such nice experience in music in live concerts and track their email ID and write to them religiously after each kutcheri is over with a spiritual dimension and  nowhere I mention of Raaga's,Talams because I don't know.

Recently I had been to Abhishek Raghuram's kutcheri and am not a Critic, neither wish to be. With concern for older people than respect , I leave my seat from the chair and proceed to sit on the floor packed between people. Somehow Im not a Rasika who can enjoy Carnatic Grammar concerts and dislike sitting too packed with people  and feel the breath of the one next to you.

 The energy was too much , people were shaking their heads with Wah! , it looked like a Shayari concert for me. And women, young and middle aged who constantly nag their mobile phones and type their questions in whats app and show it to their neighbour asking ' Who is the girl sitting next to Dileep'? By the way, I came to know that Dileep is a Violinist after attending a few kutcheri's of Jayashri. Im forced to watch all these on a live concert because of space constraint and my inability to connect to the Artist.

 In between they admire the artist Abhishek with a Wah! Are they faking? I wanted to blast them but then who Am I? Do these people respect music first of all, leave alone respecting musicians?  I leave the concert after a long awaiting grammar recital was complete because I get 4 missed calls from my workplace at 8.30pm and looks like they are energetic than me who is a participant in a live concert.

For now, let me get tucked up for getting my tickets by positioning myself in the queue from tomorrow and lets see where this journey takes me this season 2014. More writing and sharing on Stage II..

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Varanasi and Bodhgaya 2014




The journey to Varanasi and Bodhgaya has been overwhelming for me and my mother.  Travelling by train with Bhramachari's , time flew by bhajans and chants. I sang for two full hours in the train with Brahamachari's and a few volunteers. It was so relieving. The presence of Brahmachari's and Sanyasis was too much for Anita to fill me up with the grace of the place and people. It was such a wonderful experience travelling with people who have a common goal and many like me who want a path by themselves.

Mother India Temple

Our buses stopped at the Saranath and we went to enrich ourselves with the Stupas that were destroyed and rebuilt over a period of time. From the bus I witnessed a temple 'BHARAT MATA MANDIR'. There were no people in the temple and it attracted me greatly. How much of a struggle and how many lives must have gone for independence and here we flaunt for the smallest struggles and earn for appreciation for smallest acts . Life has to be known and experience through TIME.

Mangal Aarti at Kashi Vishwanath temple and the boat ride for witnessing the Ganga Aarti was beautiful. The point where the boat stopped at Manikarnika Ghat and as we chanted 'Bhramananda Swaroopa' is still close to my soul. I would like to share some touching moments in this journey, the day which has given to us to explore , self  and my mother got an opportunity to do the ritual for my father ,  when the priest said that one can do pinda Dhaan for a close friend who passed away, tears rolled out of my eyes . I was touched by the sensitivity of the human emotions and the ritual which can understand and respect human relationships way beyond flesh and blood.

After we finished it I walked along the banks of ganga playing the song 'Tunga Tarange Gange' by Bombay Jayashri watching Ganges  and the people as I took a boat ride to reach Manikarnika and there I stood for sometime watching the dead bodies being burnt , I was silenced by the reality of death and I found myself cornered along the streets of this ghat when people were bringing in dead bodies chanting 'Raam Naam Sathya Hai'. The meditation at the Kalabhairav temple was also an experience that I cant describe, something in me was silenced by the space and energy. I feel that even now, the silence which is known only to the dead a kind of peace and quietness .

Still and Alive on the Banks of River Ganga
Fire and the Wood celebrates the union with the body 
Purity and Chastity being burnt along with one
The Remains of the Ashes from the Dirt of Life
Every Breath that reminds me of my mortality
Silence captures my heart and stills my mind
The peace of being drifted away from the suffering
Im filled in the silence of the Soul within
Only the sensitive can notice my Silence 
For its the awareness of dying every time I breathe
The dead and the dying I witness with my own eyes
Ah!  The Silence of the suffering culminates here..

-- Offering by GuruDasi

I was touched by the ritual at Bodhgaya when we offered Pinda Dhaan for our ancestors in Vishnu Pad temple. My mother said she truly realized the blessing of having me as my child because without you I wouldnt have come to this place and managed to offer this, she bursted into tears. One can offer Pind to Animals which one killed unintentionally, intentionally and one can also offer Pind  to our close friends. Sometimes rituals connect us more to people than reality I thought.

BodhGaya's Vishnu Pad temple was very calm, the energy was very calm and there was a certain sense of let go in that very air. I saw a lot of young children and women begging on the streets of Varanasi and Bodhgaya. I couldn't sleep well because I remembered Sadhguru's words the feeling that one has more than the other will itself bother you very much. This was happening to me since I was eating well and dressed well and it was so very disturbing. 

My mother said she was very disturbed in Varanasi seeing the Manikarnika Ghat and she felt very peaceful in Bodhgaya and thats why she decided to sit on the temple entrance for a very long time. She said something in her felt a certain quietness which she cannot describe, compassion was overflowing because I saw my mother in a very different state that day she spoke gently and softly and looked peaceful and never obstructed me for anything unlike in Varanasi .

As the tradition said one must leave something in Kashi so I took a vow within myself to leave a part of myself.
My Sincere Thanks to Brahmachari's,Sanyasis, ISHA Volunteers and Sadhguru for making this happen for me and my mother. This trip gave me many answers to questions that I have been searching for all along.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Poetry on Love in Hindi - Zindagi ki Manzil

Najane Zingadi Kahan Shuru Huyee
Ek Hawa Jaise Saason Mein Bas Kayee
Saasen Rukthi Tho Bhi Yei Zindagi Ki Armaan Nehin Rukthi
Armaawon Ki Sangeet Nehin Rukthi
Rukhi Hein Tho  Mere Yei Zindagi Aapki Awaaz Pe
Rukthey Rukthey Yeh Mere Manzil Tho Nehin Ban Kayee
Hazri Bankar Tho Kahin Na Reh Jayoge Tum
Mere Zindagi Mein Hamasha Ke Liye
Aapke Hazri Tak Judi Hein Mere Manzil
Manzilen Yei Kaise Judthi Armanon Ke Bina...

--  Offering by GuruDasi 

Friday, October 24, 2014



 Ghulam Ali was right, any atheist would agree to his email, I declare myself as a GOD, am a Self-made person, and GOD as such does not exist. And a theist would say, GOD is within me and hence that email is right from his context also. But from a corporate mind, an individual is recognized only with an ID, names do play a Role but primarily it's the ID.

 "Does GOD have an ID?" To call a GOD, a sound(mantra) is associated with it and that's his ID, a form(Yantra) is given and when the Sound and the Form are united, a Tantra is born and yes, it's an ID. Alive and vibrant when called from within, the ID responds to the caller. So many GOD ID's and why do we need so many? Just like the Nature has so many species so are the GOD's in accordance to a particular energy that is associated with the entity of Nature.

Is there a justification to the existence of GOD, can science and faith coincide? The ID responds only to the Caller, a Caller who earnestly calls. Why so many ID's? When science says all is born out of same matter and it exists physically based on certain measures. Who distinguishes this? Is this our killed innocence which is destroyed by the educational system or our society and the environment in which we were born in and which knows us by an ID called Name. Can we not have one ID? Why do we have Voter's ID,Driving license,Passport ID?

The US thought about it long back and invented SSN number and started identifying people with the ID. When man has an ID, can a GOD not? Who denies? who Agrees? What are the verses then? Verses from so many religions which people have been reciting  for ages and verses on the lips of an Atheist , who denies the existence of an ID . Little do we know that the ID resides inside each one of us and we keep looking for ID's outside and how do we recognize our ID, when our Personal ID's match the Global ID that is the Nature, Music,Space,Time,the energy. So the ID continues to live on and no one else is given the same ID again. Am I trying to build a concept to decipher the birth of SSN number in the US.
A college graduate joined my team and I was asked to get his credentials for mapping him onto my project. I wrote to him asking for his Global Employee ID (GID) and I get a reply back saying my GOD is GA 579960 in brackets he writes (Ghulam Ali). This email where that young boy misspelled the alphabet 'O' instead of I, changed the entire context of the email and gave birth to blog ID. Interestingly, the alphabets I and O are adjacent to each other in the key board.

My Research mind makes me look in and here are my results..

id: Noun

psychology : a part of a person's unconscious mind that relates to basic needs and desires

Full Definition of ID

: the one of the three divisions of the psyche in psychoanalytic theory that is completely unconscious and is the source of psychic energy derived from instinctual needs and drives — compare ego, superego

I cannot overlook this email from my team mate just as I do my software programming, overlooking the warnings. So is it an warning for the people who don't match their personal ID's with the Global ID's? May be not? Or May be yes. As long as an ID can call something other than us , ID's are fine.. Do you know your ID? Will you respond to my call? Can I have your ID please?