Achievement Of The Year

It was lunch time today and I was just finished with my lunch. Generally, that leaves half an hour of time at least until I get back to my work. I use that time to continue reading my book on my Tablet. I think that is the best use of my time. But sometimes, I don’t feel like reading my book. Today was one such day and I thought of scrolling through my Twitter timeline which surprisingly is throwing less crap on my face everyday.

While scrolling through the timeline I found one tweet which was just casual. It didn’t have much responses at the time of viewing. But it struck me. Some tweep had asked a simple question. “What have you achieved in this year 2017 ? Have you made any difference?” The words may have been different but the subject is the same. I stopped scrolling and the tweet froze on my screen.

I did a rewind of this year. Starting from the month of October. No results found.
Then September. No results found.
Then August. No results found.
This continued till January. Not a single result to display. A feeling of disappointment took over. I did nothing substantial this year. I haven’t made a difference.

The feeling of disappointment has turned into the feeling of failure. What could I have possibly done so as to avoid this feeling? The bogey of thoughts started circumventing this feeling until a call for site inspection derailed it. I don’t know whether that call saved my day or not. I don’t know. I don’t know.

Is it necessary to achieve something every year? Do I have to make a difference every year? I have to find answers. I HAVE TO.

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How I became a Hindu

Since last couple of years, I am trying to know my religion. I have been ignorant. But the things happening around me, in my country have made me curious about my religion. Reading books, articles, trying to understand the festivals and rituals has added much to my knowledge. I am always searching for books written on Hindu Dharma. This quest has lead me to a book named “How I became a Hindu” By David Frawley.
Reading a book on Hindu Dharma written by a Hindu may contain biased views. So I thought of reading this book which has been authored by a person who was a Christian. An American Christian whose uncle worked for a Christian missionary. David Frawley studied Hindu Dharma for almost 20 years before accepting Hindu Dharma in 1991 with a new name, Vamadeva Shashtri. This book is his journey to India, across India and across globe learning and spreading Hindu Dharma.
The present situation is such that, Hindu Dharma is being attacked from all sides. The major role is being played by Christian missionaries and Muslim Madarsa. David Frawley explains how these missionaries and Madarsas are being funded by foreign sources to convert innocent and ignorant Hindus. The same money is also used to spread lies and hatred about the Hindu festivals and rituals. Often Hinduism is criticized for it’s caste system. You’ll understand that the differences that exist in our caste system are also present in Christianity and Islam.
He narrates about his spiritual experience in his conquest to self realization. His discovery of Yoga and meditation techniques which helped him reach a higher consciousness. During his travel across India he met Swamis, mystical sadhus and siddhas. The numerous temple visits across the country which strengthened his belief in Hindu Dharma. After accepting Hindu Dharma in 1991, He has dedicated his life towards writing books, articles and giving speeches in support of Hindu Dharma. He has been honored with Padma Bhushan for his contribution towards India and Hinduism.
If you are a Hindu and if you haven’t read this book, then you must. If you are not a Hindu and want to know about Hinduism, then this book is the best possible start for you. This book has given me a new purpose to know about my Dharma. The references used by the author will keep me busy reading for months. I have no doubt that this book will give you a fresh perspective on Hindu Dharma. Add this to your “must read” list.

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The Human Robot

A couple of weeks back, I was watching Ancient Aliens on History 18. The topic of discussion was that the aliens may have sent robots from time to time across various regions of the planet to gather information and send it back to their home planet. What type of information they might have sent wasn’t discussed. While watching that episode a weird thought crossed my mind. What if we are the robots these aliens planted on this planet? Does that make sense?

When the show was over, I started thinking about the idea. If we look at ourselves as a machine, what I said makes sense to a great extent. Although we have unlocked much of the secrets of our body, The biggest secrets are yet to be revealed. The biggest puzzle of the human body is the brain. A lump of flesh floating in a liquid that controls each and every muscle of the body. It’s quite fascinating.

Now… When I look at my body as a machine, I find that many of the parts are replaceable. Eyes, Heart, Liver, Kidney etc. Tremendous amount of resources have been allocated towards the research of human body. Just like the organs, even external parts like, limbs can be replaced. Though they don’t function a hundred percent like the original, they make your life almost normal. I have no doubt that we would be able to see robotic limbs which function like a the flesh counterpart in near future. The android era, just like the the mobile OS, is closer than we think.

Apart from brain, my fascination is towards the disease which infect the human body. These viruses and bacteria which cause those diseases are micro organisms. One requires microscope to see them. So tiny organisms which keep on evolving and infecting this human machine. This doesn’t stop here. Human body has it’s own anti-virus software which is called immune system. Even this keeps evolving. Most of the times, this anti-virus software wins and keeps the machine clean from the viruses, bacteria and malware. But when it cannot, the machine fails to function properly. External updates in form of medicines can help the body recover. When, even these updates cannot stop the infection, it leads to the death of the machine. What happens after the death is a mystery which hasn’t been solved yet. Maybe all the data from brain is transferred to some centralized unit for processing and helping to make a better machine.

The free will given to the brain makes it possible to think new ideas and their implementation. These ideas lead to the progress of this machines. Where these ideas come from? Are they already programmed into us? Is there some event that riggers these ideas at specific times? These are some more mysteries which will remain unsolved till the death.

Enjoy this machine form as long as you can. Stay fit. Do good to you and those around you.

And Think Nonsense…

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Paradise Lost and Regained – Book Review

Once in a while there comes a book which alters the way you think. It gives you insights and hope and a fresh perspective towards life. Towards everything. A few years back, The Alchemist did this to me. And then The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. And now this one. I got this book as a giveaway some two years back and I never thought of reading it. It was my foolishness or maybe it wasn’t the right time for me to read this book.

The story is quite simple. It is about a deer who lives in forest in the beginning before it is captured and taken to the zoo. From there, the deer escapes and gets back to the forest only to find a new way to look towards the forest, towards the life that’s ahead. It’s perspective towards life in forest before the zoo and after the zoo will take you by surprise. As you read the book, chapter by chapter, the story engulfs you and soon you replace yourself with that deer.

Every chapter in this book is a take on different stages of our life. The beginning, the childhood, the teenage, the maturity, the old age. Life lessons which have a potential to change someones life, are rendered smoothly. The language used complements the subject very well and makes it easy to take the insights. My favorite chapters were those where the author has commented on the negative emotions that persists and the adverse effect of those emotions. Though many a times these emotions tend to give a dark shade to the book. But you’ll have to ignore it to understand what the author i really trying to convey.

Buy. Beg. Borrow. Steal. But read this book. You will not regret.

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Warjuna – Book Review

What can I say about this book? This book totally surprised me. I judged the book by its title and thought it would be just another retelling of Mahabharat or The life of Arjuna. I was wrong. This is entirely different story. Author has borrowed a few characters and their characteristics from the Mahabharat epic. The rest is a story which you can imagine to take place 1000-1500 years back.

The central character of the story is Arjuna, Prince of a kingdom Wagharr somewhere in the North West of Bharat. It is a small kingdom that belongs to Kingdom of Avanti. But they are not obliged to pay taxes to Avanti as Wagharr supplies mercenaries and soldiers to Avanti. Wagharr is supposed to be protected by the Shield of Hanuman. On a tragic day, Kingdom of Wagharr is attacked by a mysterious enemy name Hayacree. While fighting against Hayacree, Arjuna was given the task to move women and children’s to a safe place. This journey outside his kingdom changes his destiny. Or maybe, walks him towards his destiny.

The Pros:
The story, writing, characterization is captivating and keeps you glued to the book. Arjuna goes through a transformation from first chapter to the last chapter. He is almost a different character at the end of the book. The descriptions of different states, their capitals, their palaces makes it easy to visualize. The are not many fight sequences in this book in spite of it being a warrior story. But there is a lot of strategy and politics. which I feel hold key to the kingdoms.The fantasy elements are very well blended and not overdone.

The Cons:
Names. I don’t understand why they have to be so difficult. The author wanted to differentiate the story from the epic but he went too far with the names. You can hardly remember characters going from one chapter to another. I had turn pages back to lookup for the role of characters to understand. Second is some characters are introduced very abruptly. They jump in front of you out of nowhere and they are supposed to be major players in the story. Kamsa and Draupadi for example. Lastly, There is a history of kingdoms which has been provided at the end. This should have been the first chapter to make it easy to understand the story. If you want to read this book, Go through this history first.

All in all, This is well written book and totally worth your time. The last chapter has enough suspense to make you wait for the next book in this series.

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