Saturday, February 10, 2018

My experiences in Dubai...the city of gold.....and concrete :)

I was leading a happy, rather very happy life in Bangalore. Bangalore - as most of you who know the place will agree, is a geographically blessed city. The weather there is nothing like anywhere in the country, and specially for a guy who had hitherto spent all his life in Kolkata and Orissa, Bangalore was "straight out of a dream" stuff. It is overnight from Kerala, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai, Coorgh, Kodaikanal, Ooty, Goa. Name a place where you would wish to spend a weekend, and it will all be within the reach of a road trip from B'lore.

What added to the charm of the city was the cosmopolitan population, most of which is probably in the 25-35 age bracket. Mumbai is the city of dreams, but somehow in reality, people in Bangalore looked happier. The usual din and bustle of city life is inevitable anywhere, but what matters more is how you feel within and without that "noise" around. How many of us truly love the city we live in - probably very few. But Bangalore was an exception. And I fell in love with the city too.

But human nature is fickle. Like the moon, our mind wanes and waxes. Despite a busy, decent-paying job, in a blue-chip Software MNC, I had a desire that I want to work abroad -  not very far from India, but somewhere where I get the feel of an exotic location without being worried about the time it would take to travel back to India if I have to. I shortlisted Dubai and Singapore. The 'Powers to be' did a lucky draw, and poof-----up came the name ----- Dubai :)

To say that the offer letter from a renowned company from Dubai really got me excited, would probably not be entirely incorrect. I was excited about going abroad no doubt, but doubts about the company, the pay package, the city, and long heard rumours about 'D' company did unsettle my mind a bit.

But after a lot of rumination, and convincing by my friends, I decided to give Dubai a shot. My mother's confidence in my decision made things easier. Also, the excitement others expressed on hearing about my new job and place made me feel that I am now obligated to move out of India. I could not dampen their expectations and excitement.

So I finally landed in this city - DUBAI on a hot afternoon of July 2012.

The airport itself gave me a sound indication of what lay ahead. Flashing pillars, spic and span floors, high ceilings, numerous elevators and travelators, and people pouring in from all sides - Dubai had announced itself grandly. It was too perfect for an Indian to digest. For someone who was used to unruly crowds, people breaking queues from everywhere, rude officials and airports that look like war zones, Dubai looked like a Utopian land. And it's not that this perfect order was only there at the airport. It extended into the city as well. From the highways to the malls to the most busy markets - Dubai was an example in orderliness.

Its been about 6 years for me in this City now, and it never ceases to amaze me. A new bridge, a new tower, a new tourist attraction pops out of nowhere every 3rd day here. Life moves like clockwork from weekend to weekend. And amid all the hullabaloo of a typical city life, Dubai still manages to maintain its orderliness.  I often wonder - more than 40% of Dubai's population is Indian, then how come we maintain such perfect discipline here? The funnier part is that the moment we reach India, our behaviour changes totally. It's very evident from the scene you witness on the flight the moment it touches the India soil. Everyone is in a rush to leave the aircraft first. Jostling and elbowing starts from the time the plane lands at the Indian airport and even before the pilot can make the customary announcements about the local time and weather. Its a funny scene to witness. These same people had entered the aircraft in Dubai in a perfect column. But a different person emerges out of them in India. As if there is a reset button in us which restores the Indian DNA in us the moment we are in our country.  I am not judging whether it is good or bad. I am no one to comment. But it's interesting to observe nonetheless. And I am not aloof from the crowd. I share the same DNA. Its probably a reflex action - 'survival of the fittest' instinct  😃

Dubai needs Indians and Indians need Dubai. Being in Dubai is a matter of pride, and I have experienced this pride in the way my parents feel and in the way a lot of my relatives and friends treat me now. Despite so many Indians being here, it's a good thing that we have retained the good part of India here, and kept out the not so good part. We have not turned Dubai into another India. But the bigger question is, when will we turn our India into Dubai - or even better? I hope soon 😊

Friday, February 2, 2018

Whether Happy or Sad, I am!

"If you are happy, it's a blessing. If you are sad, it's your karma which you have to go through and finish."

- Beautiful knowledge from Master to lift my spirits :)

I am not the doer!

About a week ago, just after I had finished conducting a Sudarshan Kriya and Meditation follow up, a lady came up to me and bowed down to touch my feet. I was taken aback by her sudden gesture, and moved my feet back slightly. It was an awkward moment for me since she was quite senior in age, but at the same time, I felt my ego feel very proud and happy that someone had come to touch my feet. But before this feeling of pride could seep in deeper, a voice from deep within me arose and said - "You fool, she is not touching YOUR feet..through you she is touching the feet of the Master, whose knowledge has helped her experience this deep sense of relief. Her gratitude is meant for Him, you are just the instrument through whom the Master has reached out to her". I immediately realised my folly. This honour and respect she was offering to me was actually meant for our Master. I was just a messenger, a postman who was meant to deliver this to Him. Just as this moment of realisation happened, I closed my eyes and blessed her. As I was blessing her (using the Blessing technique we learn in the Art of Living), I passed on all her offering of gratitude to Gurudev, and prayed to Him to take care of her. That moment, I felt a deep sense of freedom from within. When I opened my eyes, my eyes met hers, and both of us smiled. Her parcel had been delivered safely. :)

It's all your fault

Whenever something goes wrong with me or my work, my first instinct is to look for someone on whom I can put the blame, instead of probing deeper into why it happened and what was my role in it. It takes a great deal of training for the mind to accept that I, and only I, am responsible for all my experiences! That's what 'walking the path' is all about, I guess!

Just do it

I know what I SHOULD do. The only problem is ACTUALLY DOING it. If I start doing what I should be doing that moment, without postponing it for future, I wonder how much more fulfilling this life will be!

It's a Wonder

I was wondering a few days back - If one compiles all the Knowledge that Gurudev has given in the last so many years - audio cds, videos, books, satsang talks, courses - it will take a lifetime to just go through that Knowledge, forget about grasping it and internalising it. And I am not even counting the innumerable unrecorded talks that He has given. I wondered - from where has all this Knowledge come to Him? It can't be from memory since it is impossible for a human mind to memorise so much knowledge. It's not that He prepares Himself beforehand, because there is no time in between His sessions, and He is surrounded by people all the time. Further, much of His knowledge is in the form of question answers, which can't be prepared beforehand. So where does all this Knowledge come to Him from? Which is this invisible source that He taps into and comes out with these pearls of wisdom? Where did Buddha, Adi Shankaracharya, Jesus, and all the Masters of the past get their knowledge from? It may be hidden, but I have experienced this unseen source in my own little way as well. When I am taking an Art of Living course, or conducting a chanting or meditation session, I sometimes end up saying things that I can never come up with normally. In that energy, such simple examples and profound wisdom come up so spontaneously. Later, when I think about it, I wonder how it happened, and how could I, of all the people, give such knowledge. This Universe is a wonder, this life is a wonder, and how I came on to this path is a wonder. Will I ever get to know how and why? I wonder! :)

Saturday, October 10, 2015

A Ghazal for my Master..

Don't know how, but it just flowed through me today..

Bahut kareeb se ho kar ke laut aaya hun..
Main keh ke alvida duniya ko laut aaya hun..

Wo aaye the mujhe sacchai batane teri,
Main unhe aaina dikha kar ke laut aaya hun..

Bhatak raha tha khwahishon me na jane kab se,
Tere rehmat ki karam pake laut aaya hun..

Ab apne god ke saaye me basa le mujhko,
Tera banda hun, tere pas laut aaya hun...