Thursday, April 23, 2009

My two pints about belief

First things first - I am extremely sorry to my blogger friends for not having visited you all in a long time - scarcely have any time in a day :( But trust me I keep thinking how things might be going at your end - how are Renu's thought provoking blogs shaping up? Hows Abhishek's humor doing? How is Shalom faring with her bebe? Whats cooking at Satish's? How are the tunes of the Piper? Whats up new with niceguy? And Raaji? Hows she been doing? And all the others who adorn my favs list on the right hand side..... I am immensely sorry for not having visited you guys.. I am not sure if you would be missing me as much as I do you all... But trust me.. once I get a breather I will read each and every post that I have missed.

This post is about something else. Recently I made a trip to a temple for the head tonsuring of my 12 month old niece. It is a custom around here to have the head tonsuring once the kid turns a year old at the family deity temple. So out of our busy work schedules both K and I had to beg and threaten (beg superiors and threathen kiddos working with us *evil* ) people at office to get one day's leave. And we went to a place called Vaidheeshwaran Kovil which is a 6 hours drive from Chennai.

Now that place had such a weather, that one could bring hard core criminals for third degree torture there. It was blazing hot, not an ounce of wind and swamped with mosquitoes. But what pained me most was the sight of my niece and her cousin ( her paternal cousin is a day older to her and had also come by for the tonsuring ceremony) The babies were nearly roasting in the heat and under the humid conditions and taking care of the kids both the moms had lost all color. It kind of made me think about the efficacy of holding such ceremonies at the cost of convenience.

I know I know purists will be leaning to strangle me - but then think about it - is nt it better to do away with some rituals as they loose their significance? In earlier times, families and extended families used to stay in and around the temple of the family God. That only made the diety the family God in the first place. So ceremonies were held in the temples of the family God so that all got a chance to get together and an excuse to pray together too. But now as families are moving away from their roots, is it still essential to hold onto these customs? Would nt it have been better if the function was held with fanfare at the place of residence of the parents - in some temple there? Is it that God only resides in a particular temple? I dont think so? I somehow feel it would have been much more endearing if all would have gotten together at the kids place, had a small party, given some daan at a social service institute - that would have been so much more meaningful rather than wasting resources in to and fro travels and stays.

My mil said, you sacrifice your looks to appease God. That's why you need to go the said temple and tonsure the child's head. That made me think what my mom always says - God never wants anything from us - come on why would He want anything? He Himself is omnipotent and He has given us what we have. What will He do with our offerings? The only thing he wants is our devotion. And I somehow have always stood by it. I feel it is ridiculous trying to give flowers, fruits, incense to God. He is much much above all this?

And I hate the practice of promising stuff in lieu of favors from God. I am a devotee of Chilkur Balaji and there its a norm to go around the deity 108 times if a wish gets fulfilled. Once when my first wish (which I put more as a litmus test of the powers of the deity) came true, I thought am I not doing business with God rather than believing in Him? But when I made the 108 pradakshina around the temple and as I was chanting His name, I thought, at least by these 108 rounds around the deity, I am chanting His name for 4 odd hours. This is a simple thing we humans forget to do - thank God when all is right. Maybe this rule was made in the first place to ensure that we thank God. And thank Him not by buying stuff and placing at His feet, but by remembering Him and filling ourselves with his belief.

The quotes of Kabir Das always linger with me "Dukh main sumiran sab karen dukh main kare no koi, Jo sukh main sumiran kare, dukh kahe ko hoi? "
(Means, everyone remembers God when in sorrow, no one remembers him during happy times. But one who prays during good times, would never have sorrow befall him)

So true....

Ps. This post was entirely my personal thought. I welcome any comments on it. And I apologize before hand if I offended any one inadvertently.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Since the beginning of this month I have been keeping busy as hell. I have been getting 6 hours of sleep only. Office work is too damn challenging and managing a team being a new ball game altogether I am always on my toes. So much, I see myself loosing my cool at times. I am not a person to react - in fact I feel I am too lazy to react. But lately I see myself, reacting on a fraction of a second to people. There was a point where I was about to be very caustic in my reply to a person pretty high up - because the facts he demanded were completely meaningless and a waste of time. Then perchance I remembered rule no. 1 of professional etiquette "Respond- do not react to emails." And thank God I excercised restrain else there would have been some good music high up.

With K also keeping an equally busy schedule, we hardly had time for each other for that matter. Again Thank heavens for cell phones that we were able to be updated about at least what was happening in the other person's life.

Thanks to the cooperation of my team members, we were able to pull through something which was more or less resigned to be unachievable. We won accolades for the same and it was all kinda going to get a relatively smoother track. But then last Thursday, as I was thinking about how badly we were slogging our a**es(excuse the term) off, I got a news which completely threw me off balance. The onsite coordinator (let me call him FB )who was such a charm to work with was being replaced. He was being moved out of the project and another person was supposed to take up extra responsibility of his tasks. FB was sheer pleasure to work with. I had even mentioned about him here. His moving away came as a total shocker. Someone who was 44 years of age, had given 25 years of service to the firm that he was with, who had exceptional technical skills, was very adept at process related work and immensely talented at people management - he was being released. I suppose it was the first time, I felt sad to have someone leave whom I had no personal touch with. Over the 9 months, without even meeting, just over emails, phone calls and chats, he had build such a rapport, that it was completely unbelievable to imagine normal work without him. I always consider him as my idol - some one like whom I would like to be when I reach that point - and we always saw him as someone indispensable. But the way he was being unceremoniously removed due to budget constraints just made me wonder - what a bloody dog eat dog world is this.

My parents are from the government sector so I am kind of used to seeing the kind of respect society and their job arena places on them. The private sector does not have time or patience for those peripheral benefits. It has a different aura of its own where "performance" matters - period. I always thought, the kind of person and performer FB was, he would withstand the ravages of any recession - cause his are big shoes to fill in, he is nearly irreplaceable. But when he also bore the brunt - I thought - where do I stand? Some one who is echelons below him in every domain. I still am shocked and disillusioned - but then F's optimism only brought a smile on my face. When I asked him what were his plans going forward, with his characteristic smile he replied - "Not a worry Aamreeta ( thats how he pronounces my name :) ) I will look for avenues outside the firm, if need be. Else when authorisations are back, I will come back and join you guys in this project again"
Attaboy! Hope you get back to this very account FB.