The God who looked like a man

I was unsure of what to feel while watching him walk down in heavy steps with a stump in his hand, for the last time. Never thought it would happen to me but now that I am reminiscing and playing the videotape in my mind of last 16 or so years that I have watched cricket, my throat is having this seldom pain of choking, eyes are just a little bit more moist than usual and a feeling of hollowness is creeping in my mind. I know it's temporary, but what is not.

It's officially over; my childhood, my younger years, the days of standing by the big glass windows of TV shops in school uniform while on the way back home in order not to miss watching him play, the days of continuing the interrupted work after he was out, the days of sadness after he failed to deliver our unrealistic expectations, the days of euphoria after his glorious drives and centuries. Aaah, those precious days. How can one man, whom I have never ever met and probably will never meet, fill my heart with nostalgia and sadness?

The game must go on, in fact it will, maybe with more grace than ever in the footprints of the legend. Coming generations will look at his numbers and might acknowledge his mastery. Maybe these numbers will be surpassed, maybe the records will be broken, maybe new legends will walk the crease but that divine aura, that sheer joy of watching a little humble man wearing those fat pads, that helmet with the flag of a country which I so deeply love and carrying that heavy wooden thing, will be blatantly missing. I will still watch the game, I will sometimes still have those foolish and baseless superstitious rounds of holding my pee, blinking my eyes five times in one second, keeping my fingers tangled in particular constellations and alike, until we win a tense match or while someone special is in the 90s; but certainly that someone special will never be there, he retired today. Sachin is retired. The feeling will take months to sink in, maybe more than that and when it has, I will look back and realize with a sense of unexplainable feeling "I lived in the times of Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar".

Thank you very much Tendlya, for being so greedy to play all these years and for giving us a truly memorable childhood and moments. Those memories will be cherished. Thank you so very much from the deepest of my heart.


(Photo taken somewhere from the internet.)

The Good Brahmin by Voltaire

"I wish I had never been born!" the Brahmin remarked.
"Why so?" said I.
"Because," he replied, "I have been studying these forty years, and I find that it has been so much time lost...I believe that I am composed of matter, but I have never been able to satisfy myself what it is that produces thought. I am even ignorant whether my understanding is a simple faculty like that of walking or digesting, or if I think with my head in the same manner as I take hold of a thing with my hands...I talk a great deal, and when I have done speaking I remain confounded and ashamed of what I have said."
The same day I had a conversation with an old woman, his neighbor. I asked her if she had ever been unhappy for not understanding how her soul was made? She did not even comprehend my question. She had not, for the briefest moment in her life, had a thought about these subjects with which the good Brahmin had so tormented himself. She believed in the bottom of her heart in the metamorphoses of Vishnu, and provided she could get some of the sacred water of the Ganges in which to make her ablutions, she thought herself the happiest of women. Struck with the happiness of this poor creature, I returned to my philosopher, whom I thus addressed:
"Are you not ashamed to be thus miserable when, not fifty yards from you, there is an old automaton who thinks of nothing and lives contented?"
"You are right," he replied. "I have said to myself a thousand times that I should be happy if I were but as ignorant as my old neighbor; and yet it is a happiness which I do not desire."
This reply of the Brahmin made a greater impression on me than anything that had passed.


Excerpt taken from a book which, I am more than delighted for that, have opened the heavy doors of dark fathomless well of philosophy for me. The book is a fun ride explaining with exceptional clarity and a skilled writer's prose gems like Spinoza, Kant, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Greek dudes (and other significant ones) playing their genius minds with ever confusing metaphysics, unsolvable ontology, delusional epistemology, society, morality, truth, reason, belief, beauty, instincts and the "lovely elusive God". The greatest success of the book is that amidst this chaos of thoughts and ideologies, it fathers sheer fondness for philosophical spaghetti and unleashes the hunger within for true wisdom. The book is called as The Story of Philosophy by Will Durant.

Listography List 

Freewill Part I

All that we are left to play with is nothing but virtual freewill. It is free since we can choose and it is virtual since we think we can. But do we really have a choice here other than to choose? Are we not forced to choose; for if we do not, we cease to exist. Are we not forced to think every single second of our lives except during sleep and coma? Perhaps we might be deluded to think that we have the power to choose by something we are utterly unaware of.

We are somewhat conscious about our own existence, instincts, desires and feelings; however, a wise man may advice that we should not allow ourselves to be needlessly haughty by being convinced of our wisdom about all that there can be. Plethora of unknown metaphysical and physiological elements in our minds as one might choose to call them. Isn't it possible that we might be completely unconscious about one of those elements which is controlling us from within? An element which is letting us think that we do have freewill? An element which have been deceiving the mind of men for ages? We are able to, sometimes if not always, control our primordial instincts since we know of their existence. But how can we control the unknown if we know not its form? And if we can not control it, how can we say we have freewill? I suppose, the greater our ignorance, the feebler is our freewill. And our ignorance, I am convinced, is mighty great!

When a lion kills a cub of a lioness in order to necessitate her to mate with him, does he even have faintest of a choice other than killing the cub? Is he even aware of his instincts to mate? Where and how does our freewill, regardless of its mirage like attributes, merge with the border of our ever compelling but somehow subdued instincts? Where do we exactly start being human beings?
 
These questions, disregarding their logical validity and sanity, where do they come from? Is it that underlying unknown entity at play? I am not sure, all this might just be plain bullshit and after all we may just be a bunch of chemicals. This acceptance of sheer ignorance of everything and the consequent submission to incomprehensible fate are intensely suffocating and emotionally strangling. In silence of the night, an uneasy feeling creeps into my mind from the darkness. I feel like a fly stuck in a spiderweb which tries to untangle the unknown sticky stuff out of its wings for that ultimate freedom. But it ends up getting more and more entangled. And eventually dies; hopelessly, helplessly. Without the answers.

I must admit these days I'm heavily influenced by Spinoza and my thesis topic of Hardware Assisted Embedded Virtualization. Spinoza igniting the match and my topic pouring technical oil into the fire. The connection between Spinoza's ideas and this post is understandable but how my technical thesis is helping these thoughts is quite undecipherable to me. Nevertheless I sense some similarities between hardware abstraction in virtualization and abstraction of thoughts from raw feelings, desires and instincts in human mind. How a hypervisor fools the virtual machines into believing that they are the only ones controlling the hardware is fascinating and so the possibility of that unknown layer in our psyche came into being. I am sure after a month, I'm gonna come back to this post and look at this outright absurdity and hope that the fly gets free. 

What choice do I have anyway other than to hope. 
And there is only one thing which can free us. I can bet my life on it.
It's death, my friend!

The Lord



Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul,
Ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.


Far away from the hustling life of the big cities, I was in a bus, on my way to some small remote village in Konkan. I was sitting by an open window in the last row of that nearly vacant bus, watching trees pass by in speed. The blurred view of the young green leaves going past in a split second was pleasant. It had just started getting dimmer outside. Sweet warm light rays of the orange setting sun were intermittently piercing through the trees, ballooning the pupils in my brown irises for a moment. Outside there was a slight scent of wet soil in the wind. It was rushing in through the window to me, bringing stories of the past, as if it was excited to meet a long lost friend after so much of patient waiting. Felt like it had just showered.

and then I thought of him.

I remember. His funeral. I was there. Sitting on a rock at a distance, looking down blankly at the earth between my feet. I could feel the bleak warmth of the fire hitting in waves on me. It was fierce, ruthlessly taking the last remains of his body buried beneath the burning pyre to nowhere. The air was solemn, and was filled with a dark void of dejection.

He was around twenty years older than me. A man with a kind heart. The ways in which he used to make the people around him burst in laughter, the ways in which he used to magically spark his surroundings, it is just unexplainable. He carried that little world full of enchanting happiness with him and being a part of that world was a pure joy in itself. I thought of him as the last guy I knew who could get hit by the misery of life. But lately I hadn't seen much of him, I was getting past my teenage years with all the thoughts and questions. Now I can imagine the inner crisis he must had been through that he silently succumbed to it. Don't know who is to blame. Is it the society or was it him? One evening, I heard he was in coma with no turning back. That had to happen. I visited the hospital in hesitation before they decided to cut off those tubes. He was lying on that white bed in white clothes; motionless. I stood there for a minute in confusion and in silence, looking through the glass window, knowing that it was the last time. What else could I have done to wave the final goodbye?

I don't believe in the afterlife and the other improbable things. I wish I did. If somehow it does exist, I would love to see him there. I would love to ask him how he has been doing all these years. I would love to hear his heartfelt laughter, I almost hear it now in my mind. Wont ask him if it was a deliberately planned inaction which led to his death, they say it was a slow suicide. Wont even ask him why. Will just make him do those antics he used to do to make us laugh when we were kids. Just once.

and the bus started to loose its speed gradually as the village was getting closer. After smoothly taking turns after turns in the low light of the fallen dusk, the engine went silent, vibrations ceased and the bus stopped; but I couldn't.

पारवा

भिंत खचली कलथून खांब गेला
जुनी पडकी उद्ध्वस्त धर्मशाला
तिच्या कौलारी बसुनि पारवा तो
खिन्न नीरस एकांतगीत गातो

सूर्य मध्यान्ही उभा राहे
घार मंडळ त्याभवती घालताहे
पक्षी पानांच्या शांत सावल्यांत
सुखे साखरझोपेत पेंगतात.

तुला नाही परि हौस उडायाची
गोड हिरव्या झुबक्यात दडायाची
उष्ण झळ्या बाहेर तापतात
गीतनिद्रा तव आंत अखंडित

चित्त किंवा तव कोवळ्या विखारे
दुखतेखुपते का सांग सांग बा रे
तुला काही जगतात नको मान
गोड गावे मग भान हे कुठून

झोप सौख्यानंदात मानवाची
पुरी क्षणही कोठून टिकायाची
दुःखनिद्रे निद्रिस्त बुध्दराज
करूणगीते घुमवीत जगी आज.

दुःखनिद्रा ती आज तुला लागे
तुझे जगही निद्रिस्त तुझ्या संगे
फिरे माझ्या जगतात उष्ण वारे
तुला त्याचे भानही नसे बा रे.

- बालकवी


I don't exactly remember when and in which class this poem was part of a syllabus for Marathi but surprisingly despite of its eclipsed mood, it brings out the most cherished memories of those years. During that age I am sure I wasn't capable to understand this dark, scorching piece of poetry, perhaps I never had time to understand it when our heads were buried in trying to 'impress' the newcomer girl in the class, experimenting with the wonders of our newly discovered physical features and talking about it the next day in school during lunchbreak, planning and playing cricket after the school, figuring out new methodologies on how to surreptitiously sneak out of those samosa, lassi and chinese stalls without having to pay. Now it seems, it wasn't that much about the money, indeed it was something about the high! that sweet high of successful sneak-out! The most amazing young kids you had around yourself during those times, they might not remain the same now in their grown up physical bodies just like that innocent little boy in yourself is lost somewhere in the process of growing up and sometimes unknowingly you might not feel that much of a connection with them now, alas. 

Anyway, coming back to the poem. It's a strange time of my life that I came across this poem once again after all the years[I love saying this phrase like an old man covered with white beard, sitting by the bay, talking about his younger days!]. Here is an unpolished and loose translation of this beautiful composition. How badly I want you to know what it means, how badly my friend.

the wall is damaged and the pillar, collapsed
the old ruined shattered monastery
on the roof of which that bird is sitting
and singing a mournful lonely song


the sun is shining fiercely in the noon
up in the air, a black kite is flying in circles around it
and in the calm shadows of leaves
other birds are enjoying a peaceful siesta

but you don't fancy flying high
neither these cozy green shrubs
a torrid wind is blowing outside
and deep inside, this ceaseless trance of aria

please, please, please, tell me, where the hurt is
you don't want any recognition in the world
so where does such a sweet song comes from?

blissful sleep of the human
how will it last even for a split second?
melancholic morose sleeping Buddha
echoing songs of dejection round and round

that dejection, that gloom, hits you today
your world, drowned in sorrows with you
an arid, scorching wind is storming my life
and how oblivious
my friend, you are about it.

- Balkavi (Tryambak Bapuji Thombre)

Well, the fourth stanza has only three lines translated. Couldn't translate the context in which the first is penned down. but anyway, I hope I didn't damage the sheer beauty of it while trying to translate. This is a precious feeling, rediscovering what went missing years ago.
-     What do you really want in your life? till u die? any dreams?
*    There are. but I've given up pursuing them. if one day they come true, they will loose the beauty, the meaning, the urge. ill start dreaming other dreams and chase and so on. The ends of the circle will never meet. just like that french philosopher said.
-     But why do you want the ends of the circle to meet?
*    Won't that be another kind of Nirvana if those ends meet before you die? I think that kind of satisfaction is something those who give up everything are chasing behind.
-    So that's another dream you've got there! to make those ends meet! but you will never reach there, since you've given up chasing your dreams! such a classical piece of deadlock but only till the day you die and then everything ends with your brain!
*   but sometimes I still doubt Buddha. was he genuinely at peace the day he died? didn't he have any regrets, guilt or demons in his head? any amends to make?
-   You are lost in your head man. too many unrelated thoughts like spaghetti. why are you so confused always?
*    yeaa maybe. do you remember that drunk guy asking us! what's the difference between animals and us humans? I think the answer as they say is free will. we can think but the saddest part is we don't know how to. or is there an old world monkey who can drown himself in sorrow, feel the deepest wave of depression and still laugh to make things bearable?  as Nietzsche said "Perhaps I know best why it is man alone who laughs; he alone suffers so deeply that he had to invent laughter."
-     and?
*    and what?
-    what is the point you are tying to make?
*    I'm just saying stop fucking my brain and go to sleep.

The Raven That Refused to Sing



Being in a small wooden hall for that tiny part of your insignificant existence, with the loudest sound you can imagine drilling your ears and the guy in front of you, whose songs have been tormenting and soothing that 1.4 kg something world inside your skull, is something you should do at least once before bidding farewell to your earthly body. It literally was a pilgrimage.

Sound of the newest album is as gloomy and dark just like it's title, as it fucking should be.
why the fuck we dont have ctrl+z and shift+del in life!

fucked up cliche which keeps knocking hard on the door. The keys of which I have thrown long ago into the dark waters of the flowing river, with a cold heart, secretly.

तो


तॊ नेहेमीच जायचा दिशांची चौकट ओलांडून
द्यायचा तिथल्यांना अज्ञात काहीतरी, आणि ते हिरवळून जायचे.

तो बुडवून टाकायचा सुर्याची क्षितीजावरली किरणं
आणि मग शब्दांना घेवून फिरायचा, गुंफायचा ओळींचा गजरा संधीकालात.

तो बांधायचा मृगजळाचे घर, सजवायचा संध्याकाळच्या कवितांनी
आणि मग बसायचा तिथेच, पण आपल्यासाठी तो तिथे नसायचाच.

त्या घरा समोरील सूर्यबिंब आता विझतच नाही.
दिशापल्याडची माणसं करपलीयेत-तरसलीयेत त्याच्यासाठी.
त्याच्या शब्दांचा संधीकाली गजरा आता विखरून पडलाय.

कुणास ठाऊक कुठल्या अज्ञाताच्या प्रवासात ज्ञात शोधत फिरतोय तो ह्या सगळ्यांना मागे सोडून.
तो तेव्हाही आपला नव्हताच... आणि आता तो फक्त त्याचाच, त्याच्यासाठी...

-
कवि ग्रेस 

प्रत्येक भाषेत काही कविता, कथा अशा असतात कि फक्त आणि फक्त त्यांच्यासाठीच ती भाषा एखाद्याने शिकावी. त्या काही ठराविक साहित्यापैकी असलेली हि एक कविता.

गेल्या काही वर्षांत मराठीकडे साहित्यिक दृष्टीकोनातून बघायला विसरूनच गेलो होतो, पण कधी कधी  अचानकपणे एखाद्या मराठी वेबसाईट वर Mozilla घुटमळतो आणि मग नकळत उमगत कि आपल्या प्रत्येक विचारामध्ये, श्वासा-श्वासामध्ये पहिली-दुसरीत शिकलेली बाराखडीच आहे.