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Showing posts from August, 2011

The New Name

FYI People - I have changed my blogs’ URL. I had a boring name “itsablueblog” over all three blog platforms - blogger, wordpress and tumblr. I have changed it to “brownindian”. These are my blog URLs now.

Go visit them if you are bored. I promise that you’ll be more bored than before.

Are we honest?

These are protesting times. A large number of people have taken to the streets - I don't know the real numbers but I am being assured that there are thousands of people on the streets, taking long marches, holding candle-light vigils etc - protesting corruption.

I have covered the movement and the ripples it is creating in my other blog. So, I am not going into those details again here. I have a few basic questions though (as usual).

What is it that the people are protesting against, essentially? Yes, we know it is corruption, but corruption does not sustain itself. It is perpetrated by individuals. That raises the next question - who are the individuals that perpetrate corruption. Or to simply state - who are the corrupt individuals?

Are only those who take bribes and get involved in scams corrupt and dishonest? What about those who pay to get driving licenses without attending the exams? What about those who encroach upon a few square feet next to their own properties and bribe …

Vande Mataram

When Bankim Chandra wrote this song sometime in 1876, he was just giving vent to his emotions. He did not envisage it would become the National Song of India or it would be a locus of controversy. But, the song stirred an upheaval - of emotion, of patriotism and became the war cry for the freedom struggle. The phrase "Vande Mātaram" has come to be ingrained in the psyche of all people who proudly proclaim themselves as "Indian".

Written in a pure form of Bangla that draws its strength from its Sanskrit roots, it was a spontaneous expression of Bankim's devotion to his motherland. He worships our motherland as the supreme deity, as the epitome of courage, valor, knowledge, prosperity - all attributes as an aspect of feminine divinity. As we read the poem, our conscience instinctively begins to sing it; along with Bankim we prostrate before the Mother - who is not just the bestower of Knowledge, but Vidyā herself; not just the nourisher of the life-force, but Pr…

The Shiva Trilogy - The Secret of the Nagas

I just finished reading it this morning and... WHOA! What a book! I cannot stop thinking about all the stuff that the story has in it - I'm drowning in a deluge of my own thoughts!

No, Shiva is not the hero of the entire story. He is still the protagonist, but someone almost displaced him as the hero of this particular book in the series - by his valor, ability and courage, as much as the stoicism he displays (for which he is even chided!) No wonder he's the namesake of the most popular God of the Hindu pantheon, who has awesomed his way into the faith systems of other lands and peoples too!

Someone else almost became the villain, but like his dunderhead, "goat headed" fool of a namesake in the Hindu Puranas, he's simply too dumb and incapable to be one and has to be remain the puppet of the actual mastermind. And who that master puppeteer, is still a mystery, in spite of the smug presumption that makes us think that we can hazard a guess.

I know I am just runnin…

A Proud Possession

If I should start properly writing (including reviews) about books, which book should I start with? I thought it would be a tough hill to climb. That is until I saw the Bhagavad Gita. Or rather the few different commentaries of the Gita that I possess and I was no more bothered about finding a "first book" to write about.

I have not read the Gita in full yet. Hope to do it some day. Gita is for a lifetime study. It cannot be read and imbibed completely in one stretch. Many of the ideas illustrated in the Gita can be understood only if you have the relevant experiences, maturity, as well as the ability to process those thoughts.

The exact version of the Gita that I want to mark my beginning - auspiciously - is the Universal Message of the Bhagavad Gita - An Exposition of the Gita in the Light of Modern Thoughts and Modern Needs. It was transcribed and compiled from Swami Ranganathananda's "series of Sunday discourses, from 1988 to 1990, at the 1200-capacity Vivekanan…

At last!

Deciding on what to write has been really, really tough. Coupled along with "writer's block" (when I've not even begun to write!) it has almost strangled my blogging and regular writing. Finally though, I am a lot more confident of writing consistently, unlike the first two years of blogging, which saw just about the number of words that can fit in to a mobile phone text message or two.

The confidence arises from my deciding on what I'll write, while wishing ardently that this will help me overcome my writer's block. Yeah, I want to write about everything under the sun. But this small problem of lack of knowledge and too much attention to detail and unwanted perfectionism stops me from doing just that. So, I will stick to two main categories that I know a wee little bit: books and music.

Books, reading, writing, authors, characters, plots - I'll try to present everything that catches my eye. I read both English and Tamil, so both will find a place here.…

Influence, Ideals and Idols - Part 1

We are influenced by some people at some periods of our lives. It is particularly evident when we reflect on our childhood and adolescence - the formative periods. Individuals and individuals of a specific kind, hold tremendous control of our lives when we are young. Parents, relatives, friends and along with them, another important group of individuals who have great influence are our teachers.

A teacher can be anybody from the people mentioned before - parents, relatives and friends. Quite often, a stranger can also be our teacher; like the writer and the poet, who speaks through his characters and ideas; like the artist, who speaks through the images he creates; like the so many actors on this stage called life, who teach us how to be and not to be by their actions, utterances, reactions and replies, innocent of the knowledge that they are actually teaching the onlookers i.e. us.

Nature is one of the greatest teachers. So are events influenced by nature or enacted by individuals, …