Wednesday, December 22, 2004
A few more little people.
I called them dudes. There were several of them in my mind. The most
significant of them were
The discovery of each individual dude was an Aha! Moment.
I didn’t regret them. Instead I looked them the way Snow White would
look at the dwarfs.
I realized that each one of the little dudes had responsible roles. They were just
performing their duty. Like life, thought fights for dominance too. Thought
tries to proliferate too. The dominant and winning thought defines our mood,
decision, personality, happiness or sorrow at any given moment.
In my case I realized that around 60-80% of my back ground buzz in my mind
on a day to day basis is due to these three little dudes.
ToDoDude: He is the one who listed all the To Dos which LookAheadDude
runs through every now and then. (The more complex your ToDo is the more
worried is LookAheadDude and more often he run through them.)
LookAheadDude: Dude, Dude, by 11:00 we have to finish this and have
lunch. Yeah, lets cut down on rice this afternoon and hit on rotis. That makes
us less sleepy in the afternoon session. Btw, have you seen that
TooDeterminedDude ? He had eight rotis yesterday. Man! Then take a nap.
Oh by the way, we have to check the laundry on our way. Get back to
meditation from 1:00 and 2:30. Oh yeah, I have to pick medicine for cold at
the counter at five. Yeah take a bath at 5:15. Let us better be there by that
time. Otherwise we wont get hot water. Hmm, back to meditation by 6:00.
I wonder what discourse do we have this evening. After the discourse,
go to bed. Lets make sure we sleep before the snoring dudes start their
WorstCaseScenarioDude: At one time I was fantasizing a cruise from
Australia to somewhere. At midnight after making love to all the two dozen
Australian chicks on board I went to deck and started peeing in the sea. I
was mesmerized with the reflections of the moon in the sea while peeing into
it. Then WorstCaseScenarioDude created this great white shark which leaped
out of the water and snacked my dick. At another time, I was fantasizing sex
with a stranger in the New York subway and WorstCaseScenarioDude
mentioned AIDS and neither of us were carrying condoms.
At another time, I dreamed of merging my current startup with an
established firm and taking it to public, then Manmohan Singh died and stock
market crashed. When I swam, he increased the depth. When I took a flight,
he failed an engine. When I met my dream girl, he created a cage. When I
worked harder for greater success, he created ill health and failure. When I
trusted someone he made them backstab me. When I took my girlfriend to a
lonely ranch, he created a serial killer. I was amazed at how unaware of this
dude all the while.
(Later, it is this WorstCaseScenatioDude who helped me find my
‘Origin of Fear’.)
I should say, I was very successful in merely observing all these emotions
instead of identifying with them. I should also say that it kind of made me
Ok, you have little people in your mind. What else?
Can we skip like, to Day 10? Thanks in advance.
Hmm..once again, there is no blue font! Is it going to come back?
I heard of stuff like Adistana, Craving and Aversion before. What about that?
The Art Of Women
Monday, December 20, 2004
Yesterday I attended a party (a friend's brithday) thrown
at Ram Gopal Varma's guest house. Its located in an almost
jungle like location not far from Hyderabad.
He made a Telugu movie long back (Deyyam) which was entirely
picturized at that guest house. Spooky dude he is. I got
totally spooked out while reaching there. I was alone and
it was pitch dark. The road barely existed. I didnt know the
directions and my cell was Out Of Coverage Area. :-)
Adding to it, in the middle of the night, power went off.
:-). Hmm..what did I have? Two pegs of Red Label, prawn
biryani, mutton curry, chicken fry, crab fry and fish fry.
Like I mentioned at Fairy's blog before, we shouldnt be discussing
the moral aspects of two teenagers having sex at school. But law
and press should devote their energies in punishing the poeple who
are circulating this MMS. I did what I could by refusing to watch
I am glad to know that finally the 'circulators' are being noticed.
(One IITian and CEO of Bazee.com). Even the teenager is being
presented at the juvenile court today.
Sunday, December 19, 2004
Tom Wolfe won this year's the British prize for
bad sex in fiction.
This is the stuff that won the award for him
"Slither slither slither slither went the tongue," one of his winning sentences
begins. "But the hand that was what she tried to concentrate on, the hand,
since it has the entire terrain of her torso to explore and not just the
otorhinolaryngological caverns -- oh God, it was not just at the border where
the flesh of the breast joins the pectoral sheath of the chest -- no, the hand
was cupping her entire right -- Now!"
Friday, December 17, 2004
One of the tech's all time favourite stories is back again.
I should say, this time it got better. (For all those who
read Pepsi to Apple and thought they knew everything about
Mac -- No we dint get most of it from Scully).
Oreilly did a book on that and its available in the market now.
(Patrix, now you know your weekend read)
For all of us Non American Residents, most of the book is avaialble
in the form of stories for free at http://folklore.org
One of my favourite stories is Reality Distortion
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Your mind wanders. Smile.
Dont feel bad for not being able to concentrate on your breath.
Your mind wanders.
Accept the fact that your mind wandered.
With a smile, bring its attention back to your breath.
Observing your breath is as simple a task can get. Thats what any one would
think. But the thing is, your mind doesnt really like doing the task on hand.
It always wanders.
The more it wanders the more frustrating it gets.
The same instructions were repeated several times.
Soon by the afternoon, I saw a pattern. By that evening, in one of those aha! moments, the pattern became a map. The moment it became a map, it became much more clear.
It was an elating moment.
My mind revealed itself. It suddenly gave me an perspective that was very
objective. Every emotion, every thought, suddently fell into a precharted territory.
Soon I realized that the vast thought process I thought I possessed is actually
an implementation of very few interfaces. (Pardon the language). In other
words, every thought had a pattern. It neatly fell into a zone.
The zones were surprisingly few.
Each zone is an escape channel to avoid NOW.
So what happened to the blue font?
Ok, you got a map. So what?
Hmm...who are these little people?
Come on hurry up dude.
A few important little people
Thursday, December 09, 2004
Observe it; accept it, as it is.
Observe your breath. Dont regulate it. Just observe your normal, natural breath.
If it is warm, then it is warm.
If it is cold, then it is cold.
If it is shallow, then it is shallow.
If it is deep, then it is deep.
If it is hard, then it is hard.
If it is soft, then it is soft.
If it is fast, then it is fast.
If it is slow, then it is slow.
Observe it, as it is. Accept whatever is real, as it is.
04:30 to 06:30 AM
08:00 to 11:00 AM
01:00 to 05:00 PM
06:00 to 07:00 PM
08:30 to 09:00 PM.
The duality of my mind fascinated me when I was in the final year of my college. I asked this question several of my friends.
Lets take for example, preparing for the exams. Our mind perfectly understands the benefits of preparing for the exams, passing the exams, getting good percentages and the benefits we reap on them. Our mind actually visualizes us sitting through the exams, acing the exams and being praised by parents, friends and relatives. Our mind motivates us to set higher goals, prepare plans and gather material to start preparation. Yet the same mind discourages you from going through this. It tells you to take a break, to go to a movie, to sleep early, to not to get up early etc and looks for instant gratification every moment.
This applies to every duality one usually faces like, smoking, drinking, eating, spending, working etc. Your mind perfectly understands the benefits of doing or not doing a task, yet the same mind totally discourages you from doint it or not doing it.
That question haunted me. Well after eighteen months, I found the answer, when I was least expecting it, in the book shelf of a friends uncle. The name of the book was
I'm Ok you're Ok.
The answer I was looking for lied in something called Transactional Analysis.
For the first time, that book made me think about my mind, its behavior patterns and its working patterns. For the first time, I realized how my past effects my future and how every decision I made in the past also has a heavy influence on the decisions I am making today.
That book gave me a huge intellectual satisfaction. No book ever satisfied me that much until then.
I found myself already in I’m OK and you’re OK zone. I felt glad about it.
So, what do we get out of this observation?
Is this what you did for TEN days?
What does this blue font prose have to do with your Vipassana stuff?
Your mind wanders. Smile.
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
Emotion has no reason, needs no reason and knows no reason
Twelve days of my absence would cause havoc to all our ongoing tasks, priorities and targets. There were so many last minute things. There was a certain amount of tangible loss too. I was prepared. Gave instructions to the staff, made more than hundred decisions in a span of six hours and finally said good bye to everyone. My staff treated me with a Paradise Special Mutton Biryani. I ate little and left. Two of my good friends offered to drop me at the center. On our way, we picked my cousin Vinny, who also enrolled to this course.
We entered into the campus and were instructed to fill several forms. Almost every form and instruction pointed to one single thing.
I agree, I will not leave this campus until the end of the ten day course, no matter what.
Without even a trace of doubt, I agreed and signed. They asked us to surrender the mobiles, valuables, pens, notebooks and cameras. Then we were registered and assigned rooms. One of the clerks realized that Vinny and I are cousins and allocated us rooms that are separated by a good 50 feet.
My good friends told us, Dudes, screw this thing. Keep at least one cell phone with you guys. If you ever feel like coming out, you can just give us an SMS. We know how to break a lock. I strongly disagreed and surrendered the phones. I asked them to leave and said good bye.
I suddenly felt lonely, the moment they left. As it got darker, my uneasiness and loneliness grew. Vinny had a slight fever and a thick cold. We were served Upma as our dinner at 5:30 PM.
I ate that stuff, picked blankets, mosquito nets and made my bed. At six, (my office boy packed my bag) I opened my kit and found that two essential things, toothpaste and toilet soap were missing. By six fifteen, at least a dozen mosquitoes bit me. At six thirty, a bell was struck. The noble silence begins from now. You are not supposed to speak, signal or look into any one else' eyes. You should work in this ashram for the next days, as if you are completely alone. I was instructed. Cake walk. I thought.
At seven thirty, they asked us to assemble in the main hall. By then I wasnt just uneasy but beginning to get nervous about the whole thing. I am slightly claustrophobic. I dont like closed environments. Also, I need noise and people around me all the time. I dont like eerie silences and empty halls. They scare me to death.
We entered into a dark, spacious and closed hall. I was shown a small white cushion. I was asked to write my name and room number on its tag. You are supposed meditate only on this cushion for the next ten days. The Dhamma worker said.
I was very nervous by then. Just the type of nervousness that strikes you before an interview or a public speech. I sat on the cushion in a padmasana and closed my eyes. I was not comfortable with my nervousness. I realized it was a kind of fear. I hated myself for fearing something as simple as meditation. A million things flooded my mind the moment I closed my eyes. The tasks that I left unfinished, all the things that can go wrong in my absence and all the worst case scenarios that I can get into.
For a second, I developed this intense urge to shout
Fuck this. I don’t need this. I am fine. I am leaving. Bye.
Lights got further dimmer and suddenly two speakers came to life. Then a strange raga filled the room. It wasnt a chant. It wasnt a song. It wasnt a mantra. It wasnt like anything I heard before. An East Asian Buddhist raga, I thought.
Without warning and without a reason a wave of panic numbed my mind. I thought I was fainting. It was a very strange experience. I panicked and opened my eyes. I cursed myself for going through this for something as simple as meditation. The next thirty minutes were a huge struggle between my panic state of mind and my reason. I wondered about the stuff I would go through in the next ten long days. I made a concrete decision that, if I get overwhelmed with fear or anxiety in the next session I would leave the center.
At nine, I walked back to my room fighting mosquitoes. I had two roommates. Within fifteen minutes they both entered into deep sleep snoring loudly. If there is one thing that I cant stand in this whole world, its snoring. The hard pillow wasnt comfortable. The blanket wasnt full length. That strange nervousness was still there. I stared into the ceiling for a long time.
I never showed faith to any God or any religion at any point of time in my life.
As a matter of fact, until very recently, I used to be an active atheist and
Through out my childhood, early teens and teenage I strongly stood on my atheist grounds. I read lot of books, debated and gave a lot of thought about concepts like origin of life, evolution, universe, rituals, religion, social structures and belief systems. I accepted things that stood reason. Rest, I declined. I never had any problem saying that the rest of the world could be wrong.
I never believed in reincarnation, traditional definitions of sin, karma, evil, heaven or hell. At the age twenty, after having a series of long debates with two of my good friends I concluded the following
1) There is no greater purpose to this life
2) Zillions and zillions of living cells were born and died. You and your short little life is just another blink.
3) The universe that you know is a grain in an endless sand beach. Zillions of earth like planets evolved and morphed and this solar system itself is just another blink.
4) The root of misery lies in attachment
5) When there is no greater purpose to the life, when no religion or social system is absolute, then the only thing that ever matters in your life is just being happy. In this short little life, every thing we ever do is towards just one state, to be happy.
6) Detach. Enjoy. Be happy.
At twenty one, out of curiosity, I joined a French class. I learned a little bit (too little) of French and bought a book titled ‘Learn French’ published by Orient Longman. Some where in that book I found a beautiful expression that caught my imagination. The more I thought about it, the more it fascinated me.
I used to do lot of painting in those days. I wrote stuff like Metallica, Hells angels, Aromatic Fart, Pak Stinks, Bon Jovi, symbols of fire, cross, swastikas, skulls, guitars, on jeans pants using Fevicryl fabric paints. On the next day I painted this French phrase on my cap and my T-Shirt.
Some of my freinds asked me what it is. I told them, it meant joy of life. They asked me back, So what about this joy of life? I told them that, that is the answer I was looking for all these days.
Thats the most beautiful expression I ever heard. I realized that joy of life is not
in finding solutions, finding happiness, conquering sorrows, possessing valuable things, attaining nirvana, finding love or anything thats a part or bye product of life.
The joy of life is in living itself.
The next year, this new cool technology called internet became a public phenomena and this new cool thing called ‘hotmail’ became almost a social status. I promptly got a mail id. In the signature option I put this phrase.
Joie De Vivre.
Observe it; accept it, as it is.
Monday, December 06, 2004
The day before the day before
A huge party was scheduled for that night. A private party at a private pool at Leo Meridian. I had dark rum and a chicken kabab. I helped myself with extra doses thinking about the dry and vegetarian days I am going to spend at the Vipassana centre for the next ten days. I was sure that I would love doing it and was in a way eagerly looking forward to it.
That night tossing on my comfortable soft bed at Park Inn, watching TV, I thought about the upcoming ten days.
Around two and half years back, I drew up a Master Plan of my life. I had identified six major areas of my life and prepared goals in those areas of self, love, career, finances, family and society. It was an ambitious, bold, strategic plan filled with lot of vision stuff.
I took several major decisions about my life based on my master plan and totally altered my life in a single week. The plan was my guiding force, a kind of compass that always lingered in the background.
I reviewed the plan occasionally. It told me where I was doing good and the areas I was doing badly. A year later, when I was reviewing the plan I realized that I failed miserably in many areas.
When I looked back and reviewed my life in that year, I realized that it was an eventful journey. Extreme fun, bold and dynamic energy, unlimited spending, utter failures, learning new things, adopting to new environments, realizing the dreams, failing the dreams, unlimited sorrows, unending pains, fear, the ugly side of humanity, love, women, the beauty of humanity, loyalty, friendship, relationships etc. So much happened in one single year.
But one thing that was constant was the stress. Anxiety, worry or stress, whatever you call it. Blame it on the number hours I was spending at work, or the number hours I was spending drinking and partying late nights or my lack of managerial skills or lack of ability to handle conflicts or lack of communication. Whatever it was, as much as I was happy, during the entire time, I was that much worried too.
After being clinically diagnosed with stress and given anti stress pills and sedative medicines, I realized that it was time for me to concentrate more on my ‘state of happiness’ or the ‘mental balance’.
In that process I stumbled upon a book called ‘How to stop worrying and start winning’. The author of the book is also the author of one of the all time self help best seller ‘How to win friends and influence people’. Even though the title sounded cheesy I bought that book because of the name of the author. I read it. Usually I make notes while reading a book like that. On a neat white paper, after I read the last page of the book, I wrote just two words.
For the sake of clarity, I added italics later,
After I came out to the normal world I got back to my routine with out a hitch.
But on that weekend, on sunday morning I started typing and didnt stop till
LL asked me @ HBM, So are you posting on Vipassana?
I said, I am. A long one.
So, is this one of your 'never finished' theories like Unified Blog Theory?
Lot of people so far asked me, What is this Vipassana? Why did you do
I am not sure if I can pin point to one single reason or if I can pin point to
'reason' at all for Why I Took Vipassana. I am not sure if I can tell anyone
what I got out of Vipassana or what is Vipassana.
Vipassana is not just theory, but your own experience added to what you can
call is a 'frame work'.
I typed whatever that came to my mind that afternoon, in no particular order
I didnt try to make it funny or more readable. I didnt correct my spellings
or grammer. But I feel obliged to share my thoughtSnapShots and experiences.
Your feedback is appreciated.
Smiley's MindStuff Dept.
In Association with
Smiley's StoryTeller Dept.
The Vipassana Chronicles
Friday, December 03, 2004
Around five months back, couple of dudes and an ace team joined
me and we closed in on an interesting script. We thought of scheduling the
shooting in the third week of Jan. Things changed a lot in between.
Our definition of Media was initially confined to movie making.
We changed the scope so as to increase the scope. (Ha!)
Several interesting projects are on my table at this moment.
An 'Animal Planet' kind of children's TV show to a crossover film.
We are currently interested in interesting ideas (Another Ha!).
Overseas, local, crossover, offbeat, onbeat...whatever.
If you or any of your friends are interested in any of the creative
departments (story, screenplay, music etc), do let me know.
Thursday, December 02, 2004
Come one, come all
come short, come tall
come slim, come fat
come dog, come cat
OK, that dint make sense, but that was the only damn thing that rhymed,
man !!! ;-) The point of the matter is to spread the word ... its time for the
Second Hyderabad Bloggers Meet,
So come and see the biggest freak show on earth (no snide comments on this
line plese, this is just us being modest)Venue : Barista, Ground Floor, Banjara
Hills Main Road (If you can scream loud enough, mebbe we can get Neil to
change the venue to a place where we can get some booze ... Hic!!)
Date : 04-Dec-2004, SaturdayTime : 5 PM
(the last one to arrive foots the bill, and trust me, we eat a lot ... so get there
on time) Special prize for ladies (pssst, dont tell anyone, its justa ruse to get
the ladies to come ;-)) So I hope to to see you ppl there
"BE THERE, OR BE SQUARE"
P.S: This is the original invitation. A cut and paste of this post can be found
at Adi's blog.
(Copy right? My ass! I am a H-Blogger. Copy is right. )