The irresistible urge for Being.

Now the fact is that most of you must’ve read either Hermann Hesse’s work, where he makes the normal ‘the guy the next door’ guy into Buddha, or any other body of work which extols the virtues of being other worldly. Hermit is the new cool. Growing a beard is the steam that drives the rotor of happiness (as these guys say).
images opt

But then how many of us do really sit down and follow these tenets down to the last line. There are a lot of laudable take-aways from these books like smiling at random strangers (though the experience has been far from what I would have liked), saying a heartfelt thank you, or simply meaning ‘good’ bye when we say it to someone.

These are priceless little things which can add that extra glimmer of hope, the little proverbial cherry without which the cake remains nameless.

But we are ascriptive human beings aren’t we. We all want to climb up Maslow’s staircase of aspirations and we all want to hit home run before it turns too late. Like the old Greeks said that a ship is safest at the harbor, but that’s not what ships are really meant for.

The idea of humans ‘being’ rather than humans ‘doing’ is therefore an inflated concept.

What if the guys at OPCW decide to follow the adage, what if the arctic council guys do so, what if the NATO, CBD all of them decide to be. But here in lies the catch.

Being is a state of mind. Doing is manifestation. If one isn’t secure within, he can’t seek it without. The duties of the Karmayogi with a thorough grounding in action have an even firmer belief in ‘Ishwar Aparna BUddhi’ in Nir Manava Bhava. These tenets are rooted in the a priori essentiality of an equanimous mind. download meme

Wearing a yellow robe, or finding a haven in the hills isn’t sine qua non to achieving that cosmic thrust of joie de verve . A sweeper is equally Buddha and so is a manual scavenger. The act of manual scavenging although one of the biggest incrimination’s on modern day humanity, does require tremendous amounts of duty ethics and the perseverance of a saint. Who else can be Buddha more.

The soldier is the Buddha, the postman in rural Odisha is so. The mother who prays at her sons epitaph, the software dudes making life easy for the blind, the dog who carries her wounded owner to the grocery store.

What’s your score. How do you picture into the frame. Are we running around in circles? And even if we are, are we watering the plants that grow along the road. Are we growing okra or are we growing hatred?. Are we being or are we doing? Believe me the line is imaginary. Blur it! Crush it! DO. BE. LIVE. GIVE.

Happy New Year


The child within


Dear brother,

I hope things are awesome. It did cross my mind, last summer, that you were under strains of an odd sort. I expect, like many another, you’ll spend your life oscillating between fierce relationships that become tunnel traps, and sudden escapes into wide freedom when the whole world seems to be just there for the taking. Nobody’s solved it. You solve it as you get older, when you reach the point where you’ve tasted so much that you can somehow sacrifice certain things more easily, and you have a more tolerant view of things like possessiveness (your own) and a broader acceptance of the pains and the losses.

I came to new Delhi 3 years back, why didn’t I explore India then? I wanted to. I knew it was there. Ten years later I could have done it, because by then I would have learned, maybe, that one person cannot live within another’s magic circle, as an enchanted prisoner.

So take this new opportunity to look about and fill your lungs with that fantastic land, while it and you are still there.

I remember once there was a most curious and interesting remark you made about feeling, occasionally, very childish, in certain situations. don’t you know about people,this first and most crucial fact: every single one is, and is painfully every moment aware of it, still a child. To get beyond the age of about eight is not permitted to this primate—except in a very special way, which I’ll try to explain. When I came to New Delhi, it was quite obvious to me that in some of the most important ways you are much more mature than I am. And your self-reliance, your Independence, your general boldness in exposing yourself to new and to-most-people-very-alarming situations, (I know it probably doesn’t feel like that to you, but that’s how it looks to the rest of us) is the sort of real maturity that not one in a thousand ever come near. As you know. But in many other ways obviously you are still childish—how could you not be, you alone among mankind? It’s something people don’t discuss, because it’s something most people are aware of only as a general crisis of sense of inadequacy, or helpless dependence, or pointless loneliness, or a sense of not having a strong enough ego to meet and master inner storms that come from an unexpected angle. But not many people realise that it is, in fact, the suffering of the child inside them. Everybody tries to protect this vulnerable two three four five six seven eight year old inside, and to acquire skills and aptitudes for dealing with the situations that threaten to overwhelm it. So everybody develops a whole armour of secondary self, the artificially constructed being that deals with the outer world, and the crush of circumstances. And when we meet people this is what we usually meet. And if this is the only part of them we meet we’re likely to get a rough time, and to end up making ‘no contact’. But when you develop a strong divining sense for the child behind that armour, and you make your dealings and negotiations only with that child, you find that everybody becomes, in a way, like your own child. It’s an intangible thing. But they too sense when that is what you are appealing to, and they respond with an impulse of real life, you get a little flash of the essential person, which is the child. Usually, that child is a wretchedly isolated undeveloped little being. It’s been protected by the efficient armour, it’s never participated in life, it’s never been exposed to living and to managing the person’s affairs, it’s never been given responsibility for taking the brunt. And it’s never properly lived. That’s how it is in almost everybody. And that little creature is sitting there, behind the armour, peering through the slits. And in its own self, it is still unprotected, incapable, inexperienced. Every single person is vulnerable to unexpected defeat in this inmost emotional self. At every moment, behind the most efficient seeming adult exterior, the whole world of the person’s childhood is being carefully held like a glass of water bulging above the brim. And in fact, that child is the only real thing in them. It’s their humanity, their real individuality, the one that can’t understand why it was born and that knows it will have to die, in no matter how crowded a place, quite on its own. That’s the carrier of all the living qualities. It’s the centre of all the possible magic and revelation. What doesn’t come out of that creature isn’t worth having, or it’s worth having only as a tool—for that creature to use and turn to account and make meaningful. So there it is. And the sense of itself, in that little being, at its core, is what it always was. But since that artificial secondary self took over the control of life around the age of eight, and relegated the real, vulnerable, supersensitive, suffering self back into its nursery, it has lacked training, this inner prisoner. And so, wherever life takes it by surprise, and suddenly the artificial self of adaptations proves inadequate, and fails to ward off the invasion of raw experience, that inner self is thrown into the front line—unprepared, with all its childhood terrors round its ears. And yet that’s the moment it wants. That’s where it comes alive—even if only to be overwhelmed and bewildered and hurt. And that’s where it calls up its own resources—not artificial aids, picked up outside, but real inner resources, real biological ability to cope, and to turn to account, and to enjoy. That’s the paradox: THE ONLY TIME MOST PEOPLE FEEL ALIVE IS WHEN THEY ARE SUFFERING, when something overwhelms their ordinary, careful armour, and the naked child is flung out onto the world. That’s why the things that are worst to undergo are the best to remember. But when that child gets buried away under their adaptive and protective shells—he becomes one of the walking dead, a monster. So when you realise you’ve gone a few weeks and haven’t felt that awful struggle of your childish self—struggling to lift itself out of its inadequacy and incompetence—you’ll know you’ve gone some weeks without meeting new challenge, and without growing, and that you’ve gone some weeks towards losing touch with yourself.

Brother,the only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or being caught or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn’t love enough. I tell you this with personal remorse. Nothing else really counts at all. It was a saying about noble figures in old Irish poems—he would give his hawk to any man that asked for it, yet he loved his hawk better than men nowadays love their bride of tomorrow. He would mourn a dog with more grief than men nowadays mourn their fathers.

And that’s how we measure out our real respect for people—by the degree of feeling they can register, the voltage of life they can carry and tolerate—and enjoy. Live like a mighty river Bhai, And live as though all your ancestors were living again through you.

A very Happy birthday

Ayush katheria
New Delhi

Avatar singh Pash~ Ghaas

Main ghaas huun
Main aapke har kiye-dhare pe ugg aauungaa
Bam fek do chahe vishwa vidyalaya par
Banaa do hostle ko malbe kaa Dher
Suhaagaa firaa do bhale hii hamaari jhopriyon par
Muje kyaa karoge
Main to ghaas hun har chiiz par ugg aauungaa
Bange ko Dher kar do
Sangrur mita dalo!!
Dhool mein milaa do ludhiyana jila
Meri hariyali apna kaam karegi
Do saal….das saal baad
Sawariya fir kisi kandctar se poochegi
Yeh kaun sii jagah hai
Muje barnala utaar denaa
Jahan hare ghaas ka jangal hai
Main ghas huun, main apna kaam karunga
Main apke har kiye dhare par ugg aauungaa…

A very hot Delhi evening.


It so happened on a Thursday
Sultry and sordid
Like a damp fish awakens

Beholding, the last bit of sweat
As a sacrament of promise,

We ruffle our feathers and
Fidget and all
Do the hill peoples chose to listen?
When it drizzles
And snows on a mountain mall.

I happen to be on a plateau(plato?) of mine.

A mountain that rises on surreal realms.
Us talking
To strangers,
Thriving on fountain pens.


Urban Candles and notions thereof

Urban candles and notions thereof


What appalls me is not the fact that we are secure and fat and educated. It is just the opposite. Overtures appall me, knee jerks appall me, facebook appalls me, the youth appalls me, girls appall me, boys appall me. The delhite as I call myself, ready to post a picture or two. I am the person who voted a neoliberal dispensation to power, I am the person who is a master at compromise now. Compromise comes as a natural to me. I am the person who’s always complaining about state subsidies to the poor, haranguing with my ‘colleagues’ about the all so known pilferages that plague the subsidy system. I am the one, one among the many with a ‘Face’ today who want a better phone, a better road, a better network. I am centric. That’s not a bad thing to be. I guess?. I am a city dweller, I pay my taxes, I stand up in obeisance to the national anthem, I’m considerate enough. I think I’m a good  human being.


My  roots are traceable to the rural hinterlands of Uttar Pradesh. When December 16th happened, I was up in arms. I arranged for people to show up at munirka. I was in the thick of things, my blood boiled down to a simmer, I thought I was making a difference, even if a small one. I was content though. Things started to clear up after a little while. I am no longer the person I ever was. I am thoroughly conscious of my presence. Conscious, that I do not intrude into some ones domain even if unknowingly. I am scared that I am a boy today. I am a plague. I am sickness manifested. I am an Indian male.

What had the Badaun sisters done?  Did they steal out of someone’s shelf. Were they “unscrupulous elements” according to this “old and glorious and immutable” culture of ours. Were they eating Chow mien or talking on phones? Did they even dare to watch television ever. I bet not. I bet not. They were just  teenage girls, living the big Indian dream. Im sure they were aware about the neoliberal euphoria that has swept this “ great nation of ours”. Im sure they had shouted ‘Ab ki Baar’ at least once. At least once I’m sure.


Being born in a Dalit family, therein lies the catch. Why didn’t anyone point it out before? They were taught to be lesser mortals, since time immemorial. Their mother must’ve been taught the same. The father would never have dared to ride a cycle in front of an upper caste  house, the bidis must’ve been a secret affair. The food must’ve been onion, salt and roti. The water must’ve been from the well outside the village. Life must’ve been live-able. Communions work that way. Proponents would say that boundaries were laid down by the manusmriti.

And they lived happily ever after. Yes in the meanwhile, the Girls were found hanging, reports suggested that they were also raped by the lords. They had every right to do so. Even the chief minister was nonchalant in saying that the English speaking reporter was safe, so why was she so curious.

The girls had gone to relieve themselves at night. Days are for men. They always were. The girls were always theirs. They always were.

And they lived happily ever after.

Back in Delhi.  I am watching the IPL. There’s a new flavor which a popular pizza delivery joint has come up with.  Its on the cards. I just hope that the guy is late today.

The heat brings with it power cuts. Yesterday night it was. I lit up a candle. And I lit up a candle. And I lit up a candle. Punjab qualified for the finals.

And they lived happily ever after.