Happy new year and health and happiness to you and your family!
Fall arrives in silence and there were no storms from the North East, to proclaim its bustling arrival, this year. The red berries announced the change in the seasons, by blooming in the green bushes annually. We are tied to our homes, on account of the Pandemic; and spend our time, on social media. The TV has become too political, as if no new babies are being born, or weddings being held. To differentiate themselves, our candidates are instead, distancing us from each other.
Divide and rule, oh how people has suffered, under its yoke; over the centuries, of human history. Race, religion, caste, color, sex can each be used, to divide us, from each other. ‘Oh a woman can’t do that’ is not something a civilized society proclaims for most civic duties, as humanity is equal. In some places of course we have matriarchal families, or in others the Mother is a Goddess. Civilizations have truly prospered in Egypt, Greece, Rome when the people were united. Prosperous and ordered cities and empires lasted for millennia. In India we have centuries of foreign rule, and now again, a free nation rises.
China has been the great success story of the past few decades. They have educated, housed, and fed a billion people successfully, and continue to grow into an urban society. Great strides have been made by the politburo in engineering marvel’s build outs, of infrastructure in high speed rails and highways. Top class new cities have sprung up, and the facilities available, in their national institutions have become world class. China has some of the best Universities, largest banks, and manufacturing capabilities. Under Xi, the dragon is on the rise everywhere, as its belt and road initiative flounders, but is not lost. Great influence comes with major projects for the Chinese companies, who are often the best in their class now.
Coming back to the crack in the cliff face, as I take my evening walk. The red berries caught my eye first, and then I followed them to the deep crack, that ran up the cliff face. Nature is so strange in so many myriad ways. The green is so deep of the evergreens, and the red is so bright of the berries, against the brown cliff face. Autumn creeps in, and the season of our winter, will arrive soon as the leaves change. Then the icy winds will blow, and the pandemic will claim, more victims, as humanity seeks shelter indoors. The virus will spread, like the the crack in the cliff face, and death will be amongst us.
The exercise of free will, is a common human desire,
Without discipline though, it is often only a satire.
Come join the seekers and planters, of the spiritual seeds,
Ensure we are carrying the water, for our daily needs.
The path is tortuous for some, who expect toil and trouble,
Endless days that stretch out, in purgatory’s bubble.
We fear for the worst, and lose sight of what is best,
The only way is to adopt stillness, to allow free thinking,
Dwell inwards, and walk the lonely path, of eternal seeking.
We constantly strive, for external happiness and joy,
Ignoring that happiness is internal, for each girl and boy.
We must go and find, the fuel for our fire,
It is this fuel of our thoughts, which raises our desire.
Still this mind, as with our breath, we must control,
Daily attempt to be here and now, avoid the endless troll,
We do not rise in anger, to defeat desire,
Instead desire dies, when we lower the fire.
Remember in the end, this is just our daily grind,
It is up to us to be happy, to stop and hear the wind.
The path is still there for us to follow,
Change our thoughts and become shallow.
The Oceans will churn, and the storms will rise,
We are the drop, which will become the surprise.
Love rises when the red bird sings.
Like the cry of the magpie, seeking a mate.
The lion roars like ancient kings,
While lionesses are the pride and love their mate.
Death awaits its turn, as it is sure,
All who live will be his when he so chooses.
The living carries on his chore,
Ignoring the end, as that is when he loses.
There is a lovely world to live in,
Where all of us, must seek that jewel,
Of knowledge and the truth, amidst reality’s din.
We often suffer, and those around us are cruel.
I learn to live in this, here and now,
Happy to realize, that my actions are free.
Why do not others, seek the wow,
Of a realized life, and the happiness of glee.
There is a little love of life, in us all,
We may bemoan our fate, and how it will all turn out.
Yet time does not stop, and life does not stall,
Change is the constant, and we must not burn out.
Having lived, a life full of wonder,
I will not dawdle but will go boldly into the night.
Bravely I will steal Zeus’s own thunder,
To be first in line, when death takes a lover tonight.
Mother and child bonding have been depicted in stories, sculpture, art, and this special bond is studied and even glorified. While the father remains an elusive figure, as protector and provider, it is the mother who signifies, eternal love and compassion. Human children are dependent on their mother for survival, for far longer, than other species. This bond is eternal as without it, we would not survive, in this universe. Please treasure your mother above all else, as she is the one who made you, in more ways than you can imagine. History speaks of great male leaders and their magnificent achievements. Our ambitions and conquests are nothing, when compared to the sacrifices of our mothers, who helped us survive all the bloodshed and ruin. Our hearts should be ever grateful and not try to understand, the reason for our mother’s love. It’s depth is unknowable, and it is the single most powerful reason, that we are alive today.
Old memories from FB:
The heart has its reasons that reason knows nothing of. -Blaise Pascal, philosopher and mathematician (1623-1662) Each mother and daughter has a relationship that reason does not define, only the heart knows; when skin touches skin that a special bond exists. The eyes communicate fathoms of depth and just an inflection in the voice strikes a cord, that no one else can play. Madonna and the child are age old ties, that define our very existence and defy the age of reason… Form Aug 2 2012 posting.
When I was young, I remember my mother playing,
A game of fun and companionship, for my entertaining.
If we learnt all the rules, and played by the book,
We would have thrills and delights and may even find a crook.
On such occasions I would rejoice, and join her,
With her delight would arise my own, and we would be together.
Then one day an old bearded man came, and we all went to hear him,
She listened and something changed, as she abandoned our plaything.
Mother said that the man spoke about, opening the cave in our hearts,
Me I also tried at a tender age, to find this cave inside me and all its parts.
The times passed and I moved on with my life, and grew distant, from my mother,
My wife and children took up my time, and I worked for my living, for another.
Life had its sweet moments and its sorrows, and we would visit on celebrations,
My father passed away and my mother was aging, and we talked of separations.
One day she reminded me of the old man, and how she had filled the cave in her heart,
She felt she had done all her life needed, and the time was coming soon for us to part.
Now when I walk in the woods, and come upon a cave,
Oftentimes I feel my mother’s heart beating there, bidding me to be brave.
Rajiv July 2020
When humanoids first walked the earth, they must have looked up at spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Our universe will go in all its glory, long after; all of us humanoids, are gone. As we looked up into the heavens through the millennia, what did our minds seek? We must have wondered at the stars and the Milky Way and the celestial sightings. At the same time, we must have sought the understanding of our life, on Mother Earth. Our ancestors must have sought to grasp the meaning of this existence and what it means for our future. There is no single purpose, that a God bestows on our foreheads, when we are born. We are left to our own devices; we have free choice, withing our limited circumstances. It remains up to us to choose wisely, now that we have accumulated the knowledge, of a million years of evolution. Knowledge is just the sum of our past experiences, stored in our Human brain. Here we must dwell, now we must create, to make our life meaningful. I look up at my heavens and see this celestial sight, created just for me at this moment. My purpose is to remain fully conscious of this moment, and stay focused on this event. My mind stops its chatter, and I live as the part of the universe all around me. Life and I walk hand in hand, with no conflict, at peace with each other, till death Our universe will go on, so what is there to fear?
Came upon this old memory in my FB page from many years ago:
Its chilling breath sent shudders down to my bones, and its dark shadow seemed to cover all the horizons and stifle my very soul. Yet he is an old companion and I no longer fear him, or am swayed by his power. He has made many attempts before to tempt me to accept his embrace; from my piddling birth, to a great fall as a child, horrific auto accidents, burning towers, and now the descent into a darkness, that only he can induce.
I turn around and laugh in his harrowing face; and bid him to be gone, and pick on some other purposeless soul. I wave him away with a dismissal thought; as I have no time for his histrionics, and a life of wonder to live. My purpose is greater than his; and he gazes long into my eyes trying to drag me into his darkness. Then he sees my smile, for as old friends we can read each other’s minds. “Death be gone,” I order for I have things to do, and deeds yet to accomplish. My happiness; dissipates his darkness, and light reemerges. I still have the power of the life force, that needs to bring the message of enlightenment to those around me. We are not thrown here or leave by chance; and each one of us has a greater purpose, which we must strive to achieve. Let my life sing and show the path to the glory of this creation, and bring joy to all around me. I have to walk bravely into the night; bearing this beacon of hope, and not be cowed down into submission by fear or despair. Live true to our vision of compassion for all beings; and that alone will be our eternal achievement. I truly believe that even my old friend death, will welcome me with open arms, when I am done with this idealistic life.
A lovely spring evening, and today’s work is done. It is the end of the week in fact, and I get up from my desk and stretch. I venture out hopefully, to take a walk, and refresh myself, from being tied to a computer, all day. Not many people are about, as I start to get into my stride. I adjust the volume on my headphones, to the music playing from my iPhone. It is the Beatles, playing ‘Elanor Rigby,’ and I pick up pace, while reminiscing about my school days. The printed paper, the Jesuit Father passed to me, with the words of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, for us to study for Moral Science Class. It was one of the 3 songs we studied, over 3 weeks. I knew the words well and the music brought pleasant memories, of old friends, and companions. What an education it was, and what great bonds we formed.
The walkways lead me past some of the other people, who are up and about, taking their evening walk. I pass some couples with their dogs. We all kept a safe social distance from each other. I would often step on to the road, to let a couple pass on the walkway, as there is little traffic these days. Silently etiquette is maintained between us as we pass, avoiding coughing or coming close. By now the Rolling Stones are playing ‘Brown Sugar,’ and I am bent down, slowly climbing the slight incline. The nearby wooded path beckoned me, and I crossed the road from the walkway, to head into the trees.
Within a few steps on the by now familiar path, it went into a steep incline. I knew the path well, and stepped on familiar flat rocks, avoiding the slippery slope. It was a zig zag pattern I followed of my own choosing, and anyone watching; would have been baffled, at my approach. It was to make the climb easier, and gave me better views of my surroundings, instead of just gazing down and concentrating, on the soil and the roots. This wood and I had become old friends, and we knew each other well. Now in the spring evening except for the occasional blossoms, most of the lofty Oaks and Maples, were still bare. The wind did not whisper, as it did in the summer, through the thick leaf cover. Now it was more the sighing sound, of the open sky, as the wind swept freely about.
There along the way were fallen trees, whicht I had to cross, as I followed the path higher. Then it started to level off and I saw, the Arch of the Spring Blossoms, strung across the path. It was like a gate, made specially for me to enter, as if I imagined it to be a gateway, to a different land. I stopped to take a photograph of the path which beckoned, my very soul. What was so special, that it drew me back again and again, to walk only this path, and no other? I have the whole universe to explore, and still I stand here and admire the blossoms, and love this sight.
As I walked on and passed under the Arch of the Spring Blossoms, I passed into a different realm. The old laws did not hold, for now. I found myself in a strange land, of quite and beauty. Life was reduced to its elemental form, of man and nature, as one. There was no me walking on the path anymore. In fact, it was not a path distinct and different, or an extension, outside me. We are one, and so is the forest around us. The birds that fly across the branches above, and the deer who stand below and stare up at me, with their white tails raised, ready for flight. We are all one in this moment, and time becomes a wave, and space is flowing. I look up to see and an eagle flies high above, in the clear blue sky, with white puffy clouds, floating in space.
The setting sun sends its rays, at angles, through the bare branches, to my foot steps. I walk on and the light and shadows, play with my eyes, in delight. What is inside, is outside, and what is outside, is inside; in a strange feeling, as the boundaries of my body blur. The unity of everything into one moment, can only be experienced, or so this path, led me to believe. I am no longer a walker, who walks his solitary path. Now there is only one universe, and the path itself is gone. There is no longer a goal for the future, or a fear of the past. There is only this one forgotten raindrop, sheltered on a fallen leaf, glistening in the rays of the dying sun, as if alive with joy. I meditate on the light, and here is no goal to strive for; as desire falls on the path, left behind.
The weight of existence is lifted; from my shoulders, and I walk erect. Each step is now an effortless move; as nothing binds it down, anymore. The Earth Mother, on this Earth Day; binds me to her bosom, and I am content. The vines hang down from the tall Oaks and I can almost feel; the budding leaves, about to sprout. Nature is no longer a mystery, as I have become nature. A Robin calls and a sparrow answers, and now I listen only to the music, of my fellow creatures. A feeling arises, from the soil; beneath my feet, that now I have become the path. Who was the walker, and who watched him in the woods?
Bergen County now stands at 15,830 positive test results for coronavirus
Hudson County now stands at 15,148 positive test results for coronavirus
Essex County now stands at 13,994 positive test results for coronavirus
Passaic County now stands at 12,814 positive test results for coronavirus
May Day 2020, NJ – ‘ Ah, look at all the lonely people ‘
In this time, some of us are reevaluating our values, and our pursuits, in our life. It has taken a Pandemic to cloister people into their homes, to isolate, and hopefully become human again. As we examine our actions and our lifestyle, I wonder what have our possessions given us, in our time of need? As time passes, those of us who are wise, simplify our needs and aspirations. We realize how little we need to survive, on a day to day basis. We start to question the continued accumulation of more material objects. We realize a lot of humanity, has none of our comforts, or our security, of home and food. We also realize that a virus attacks anyone, and no religion, or class, is immune from its effects. We are all in this together, as simple, plain, human beings. A universal income is within our reach; as no person should starve, in our modern world. Instead we will see million’s livelihood ruined and will see them struggling for food and survival, if this pandemic spreads further.
A more equitable society with law and order, is a must, for human development. Hopefully we will all come out of our introspection, stronger, and more willing to make the sacrifices needed; for all of us, to prosper together. Great economic and social change is coming, and may it be for the better for everyone, after this health crisis has passed. We should not allow this to develop into a mass killing of innocents, due to lack of food and other essential commodities. We must learn from past famines and other natural disasters in human history. For the strongest to survive, we must also provide for the weakest; as in a chain the weakest link, causes the whole chain to break. We must do better and learn to take care of ourselves, and not get distracted, by fake news, or poor political and social actions. Humanity is about loving and caring for all creatures, in the worst of times. May we all rise to this challenge together to raise our thinking, and do the right actions within reason!
Arvind Panagariya blames the socialist educated elites, from leading Indian Institutions of higher learning, sprung up during the previous regime, for India’s current shrunken GDP. He cites “the government attempts to privatise a large number of public sector enterprises, which have remained stalled despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push, to get cabinet approval for the list of companies drawn up by the NITI Aayog”. He goes on to further state that,
“Remarkably, in India even business leaders have played an insignificant role in pushing for market-friendly reforms. In most countries, businesses try to use an economic crisis as an opportunity to seek removal of regulations that impede their progress. But in India, they use a crisis as the opportunity to seek subsidies and protection from imports,” he says.
Why do we have so many different Ministries in a nation of good governance. The list is alarmingly long, so I won’t print its entirety, but suffice to say that a huge 80% reduction, would not hurt as you could still effectively lead as in Germany. There should be fewer ministries, but effective ministries. The Indian Government needs to Dis-invest on a large scale, from current Investments in such sub Ministries which prevent them from being privatized. The clear answer is to reduce the Government, and to let private industry develop, to fill the gap. It is time to finally step away from the ‘Nationalist” era of Indira Gandhi, which followed Nehru’s Socialist and Non-Aligned Era.
Huge land and other resources from these closed enterprises, can then be re purposed to build the new cities, airports, transportation hubs, Universities, Hospitals of tomorrow. The money from the spin off, of majors like LIC, IOC, SBI, or the top 50, would make a sensible approach, to build India’s tomorrow. Banks, Insurance, Healthcare, Education should be largely dis-invested to form large Private service industries. The focus should be to provide the most jobs, on a massive scale, to let the Indian entrepreneurship, and native intelligence, combine with modern markets, and interfaces, to develop. The people will find their own way of life, as this is India after all that we are talking about, once they are provided the tools. We can enjoy all the bonus, of India’s young and growing population, for the coming decades, Will have to take the right steps now and change direction, to a more direct approach.
Our Government has no business being in Business.,and should free itself from this burden with the right precautions. For too long has the Indian Bureaucracy caused a pause, in India’s growth story. They hold on to it’s colonial and socialist past, while the nation needs to move ahead; into modern markets and modern industrial\service areas. The left often gets in the way of the right’s implementation, causing good recommendations, to flounder in red tape. It is time to cut this red tape once and for all. Mr Modi should allow the Indian people, to decide their own economic future, and not ministers, enclosed near him on Raisaina Hill.
It is time indeed for a new Era, for the young and newly educated Indian youth; to become the service providers, to the modern world of the future. We need to fund them with all the States resources at its command, to make the future digital India. This only means massive dis-investment from the old businesses of yesteryear’s. Now we have to make the most important investment for our future, into the youth of this nation. All our public enterprises, rightfully belong to them, and should be used for their greatest good. Get rid of Syssypuse’s burden of running large economic enterprises, and rise to build the superhighway of the future, with energy and hope. I hope, with a slight change in direction; our path ahead, becomes clearer, and brighter!