Confession: This Is What I Like The Most

remember-me

I am not interested small talk. I want to talk about atoms, death, aliens, sex, magic, intellect, pain, the meaning of life, happiness, why are we here, where are we going, faraway galaxies, technology, the lies you have told, your deep secrets, my failures, love affairs, childhood, stories, your hopes and dreams, insecurities, fear, the devil inside you, how can we make this world a better place etc.

I like people with depth; people who speak with emotions from a twisted and weirdly intoxicated mind.

I don’t want to know what’s up!

 

HBD Buddha! But When Were You Really Born?

buddha.jpg

Why are you playing such loud music?

We’re celebrating our festival?

Nice. Please tell me about it.

It’s our God’s birthday.

Who is your God?

Buddha.

But Buddha doesn’t believe or preach in a personal God, as per my little knowledge?

What? What do you mean by that?

Forget it. But what are you celebrating?

We’re celebrating Buddha’s birthday—it’s May 22 and he was born today.

Which year is this?

No idea.

But on May 22, Prince Siddhartha Gautama was born. He became a Buddha many years later.

What? What do you mean by that?

Do you know what is a Buddha?

No idea. Please let me celebrate our festival.

22nd May warrants a grand celebration in our country. Every year, the followers of Buddhism—specially the slums around my home—celebrate this day; violently as per my observation. They play on sleazy loud music, block the roads and burst heavy quantities of fire-crackers.

Some of them are under the spell of alcohol and most of them are under the spell of rage, ego and illusion.

Although, neither so I or most of these followers have infinite knowledge about the historical facts but I have read several books on the subject. I have understood a little about the man, the phenomena and the belief system.

This blog post is my perspective on finding the birthday of the Buddha based on whatever little I know; although one may choose to disagree.

Buddha means the one who is enlightened. I am a zero, nothing.

I feel that that what these followers are celebrating is the birthday of the prince who was a body and quit his luxurious life to find answers to certain questions that were running mercilessly in his mind—the question of birth, death, poverty, peace and happiness.

The story of this great teacher and divine soul need not be told in this blog post; everyone knows that but we really need to find the truth behind his birthday.

People are lost. They have no clue.

I have asked this question or let me put it up that I have discussed this with hundreds of followers but all in vain. No one has any perspective about this one; they just plainly follow what others do or what their family or friends or political leaders say. Only a handful few—who I feel are deeply rooted in the true teachings of Buddhism—could share a radical perspective.

My 4-year long sabbatical has really helped to find some facts and put certain things in perspective.

I feel that the prince started to become the enlightened one when he saw a sick person, an aged person, a corpse, and a holy man. Maybe, those are the moments that triggered the birth of the enlightened one in him.

Later, he spent 6-7 years traveling across India to discover the truth of birth, death, peace of mind and happiness; true and everlasting happiness. Maybe, those are the moments that triggered the birth of the enlightened one in him.

As per popular culture, he attained enlightenment under a certain tree in India. But is he was already one, then how can he attain enlightenment? He must have been already enlightened.

There’s some serious problem with the expression of facts and ideas.

Prince Siddhartha spent a lot of time to find answers to questions that have been haunting humanity since time immemorial. It was more of a self-study pilgrimage and in the pilgrimage, he learnt—and mastered—the art and craft of kindness, compassion, forgiveness and gratitude. Maybe, those are the moments that triggered the birth of the enlightened one in him.

What I want to put forth is that no one can ever know the birth-date the enlightened one or when the prince became one.

Maybe, the onslaught of questions in his mind made him one, maybe the journey to find answers made him one or maybe he suddenly realized himself and all his questions came to an end, and that made him one. Maybe, the making of the enlightened one was a long transition or a nano-second reaction.

Who knows?

I don’t think we are fortunate or smart enough to calculate the real birth-date of Buddha; not by the parameter of nonsensical or political materialism. We may come close to understand the process of the birth through the lens of spiritualism but believe me, he must be really surprised and unhappy to see the way people celebrate his birthday—without a fraction of teachings of Buddhism—specially in the slums near my home in Mumbai.

This is gone too far and has become lengthy.

Let’s conclude it and let the followers be happy with a sham birth-date of the enlightened one and let me dig more until I become one myself.

 

 

कब रोका था

remember-me

बारिशों ने, तूफानों ने, कब रोका था |
मैंने आपको मुझे बुलाने से कब रोका था |

कारवां मोहब्बत का राह में छूट गया,
मुझे कोई मेरा अपना ही लूट गया |

आहों ने, बाहों ने, कब रोका था |
मैंने आपको मुझे बुलाने से कब रोका था |

एक बेगुनाह मुजरिम की तरह करता रहा,
मैं अपनी कारवाही,
पर ओ बेवफा, मुझे तेरी उल्फत राज़ ना आई |

आँसुंओं ने, न निगाहों, ने कब रोका था |
मैंने आपको मुझे बुलाने से कब रोका था |

कल रात पैमाने में तेरी तस्वीर को डुबो दिया,
मैंने ख़ुद ही तेरी आशिकी को डुबो दिया |

शराबों ने, पैमानों ने, कब रोका था |
मैंने आपको मुझे बुलाने से कब रोका था |

 

काश

book-of-love

काश मैं जूती होती,
तो आपके पैरों में होती |

काश मैं धड़कन होती,
तो आपके सीने में होती |

काश मैं लिपस्टिक होती,
तो आपके होठों पे सजता |

काश मैं घुंघरू होता,
तो आपके पैरों में बजता |

काश मैं साड़ी होता,
तो आपसे लिपट जाता |

काश मैं तकिया होता,
तो आपके सिमट जाता |

काश मैं काजल होता,
तो आपकी आँखों में रहता |

काश मैं दिल होता,
तो आपके हर ग़म सहता |

काश मैं याद होता,
तो बार-बार तस्सवूर में आता |

काश मैं होता आपका,
तो कभी छोड़कर ना जाता |

Believe Me, Problems Are Opportunities!

both-hands

Yesterday, while cooking dinner, I suddenly realized that I am somewhat ambidextrous i.e. I can work with two hands on two tasks simultaneously.

It’s not something unusual as such but that reminded me a good lesson I have learned—problems are opportunities.

In 2006-7, I broke my right hand elbow and my hand was in plaster for around 6 months. I was terrified as it was my right hand and I thought life is over. But life had something else for me in the plan.

While doing nothing in bed, started creating stories and used my left hand to type them.

I was getting quite bored at home and I decide to get back to work. I started using my left hand to my work that involved a lot of computer graphics job. It was difficult but could be done with a will and trust in self. And the magic of the universe. Soon, I realized that I could do same (or sometime more) job with my left hand.

This is how I came ambidextrous.

A good lesson to learn from this is that it’s upon us how we train our mind and turn problems into opportunities.

Today, I can work with both hands simultaneously and I have my blog that is read by people from 90 countries.

That accident was a great teacher and friend.

Nothing, as such, is impossible if you are determined. If your mind can dream it, it can achieve it.

It’s all in the mind. It’s all about you see life.

झूठा ख़ुदा

universe

झूठा ख़ुदा बने रहने में बुरा क्या है ?
ख़ुदा से जुदा बने रहने में बुरा क्या है ?

सारी दुनिया सजदे कर रही झूठी-मूठी,
थोड़ा बेहुदा बने रहने में बुरा क्या है ?

मिल रहे है हर एक को रोज़-रोज़ जलवे अजब,
थोड़ा गुमशुदा बने रहने में बुरा क्या है ?

वैसे भी लोग ढूंढ ही रहे है नालों में अमृत
प्रेमसुधा बने रहने में बुरा क्या है ?

The Boss Who Never Was

Hey, don’t call me sir, my name is Arish. You can call me that.

These are the first words I heard from this man on my first day of job in the animation studio I worked for 10 years.

Man, those were the days. Past glory but it was for real.

I was damn excited because it was a Hollywood based studio and I always wanted to work on international projects, and I got an opportunity to get into one; after a 5-day test period.

In the studio, I found my first professional mentor—Arish Fyzee. Although, I had some years of experience before joining but I never had any mentor as such. For the first time I was interacting with someone having decades of international experience and finesse.

Arish-and-team.jpg

I think Arish has been working in the creative industry before I was born and he has done some fantastic work with people across the globe.

Many know him on this planet but I was fortunate to work with him day and night while the stdio was being set-up. I used to stay in the studio itself and he was our boss.

After working with Arish, I came to know about visual story-telling in ways that I never could have imagined. He’s the only creative man whom I have never seen in anger; anytime in 10 years.

Never.

On the outside he was our boss but on the inside, he still is a good friend. And he still call me that when we meet.

dragon.jpg

And you know what?

He’s the man behind the team who made the dragon for GOT. Around 800 visual artists made this possible—in Mumbai—under his wings.

I remember many beautiful little moments of joy; like drinking beer with him in the studio.

You must be wondering what’s so great in that?

But it was at that time.

I had never seen anyone drinking beer with the founder of the studio in those days. And Arish was a big-man from Hollywood and I never thought that he would be such a simple and humble man to drink a beer with his employees.

I was really scared but he made it so comfortable. Now this is a quality of noble men. They make life so easy for people around them.

But there’s more.

He’s a neighbor to Ratan Tata. For my foreign reader who don’t know who Ratan is, he’s the mega-industrialist and philanthropist of India. And Arish has been closely associated with the Tata family since childhood.

Once my toy was broken and I was feeling bad. JRD Tata called me to his workshop and fixed my toy personally.

Sometime he tells me about some moments from past glory when we meet at some party. I really want to explore more of his personal experiences but he’s an extremely busy man.

I don’t think anyone gets his appointment now-a-days. Luckily, I have taken his autograph.

arish-autograph.jpg

In another incident, I was partying with the team in Mumbai’s popular revolving restaurant. We requested Arish to come at the venue for a while.

ambassador-hotel.jpg

I was in touch with his driver and I went down at the reception to receive him. One staff was watching me and asked me if I needed any assistance. I just told him that I am waiting for our boss. He asked me his name.

As soon as I said the name, he panicked and told that he’s a regular member of the hotel and ran to make some arrangements. He came for a while, and together we had one of his favorite whiskey—Teacher’s.

This is his fame and grace.

He was always interested in visual story-telling and went to Canada to study further. Although, coming from an elite family background, he did odd jobs to fund his education. and after graduation,  he spent a whole year sailing—he and two school-mates built a 30-foot sailboat and sailed around the world.

Such is the story of a man who comes once in an era—the creative master and a magnanimously humble man.

I call him the युगपुरुष.

We’re not in touch now-a-days but I send him birthday wished every year through electronic mail.

Elvis and Arish share the same birth-date.

My friend—Thank you so much for your thoughts and wishes. I am not sure I have the power to bring happiness to others, but if I can push people to discover their own happiness within them, I have done my part.

This is one response I got on my birthday message in 2008.