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Creative persons often respond to crises in their lives with a renewed enthusiasm and vigour for their art and craft. Creative juices help them to not only retain a state of mental equipoise but also pour out some strikingly positive thoughts. The shadow of a deep sorrow within eventually decides to part company and move on to some other soul which happens to be more vulnerable. A pale parabola of joy becomes visible on the horizon, leading the tormented soul from an abyss of darkness to a brighter and cheerier environment. Goddess Saraswati provides a healing touch.

Late Shri Harivansh Rai Bachchan lost his first wife at a young age. One of the poems he penned at the time is a great composition which could enthuse anyone who is grappling with the sudden loss of a loved one.

Translation skills of yours truly are indeed debatable. However, the essence of the poem entitled, say, ‘What has happened has happened‘, is pregnant with some relevant lessons from one’s environment. But before we come to that, let us savour the original first.

जो बीत गई सो बात गई

जीवन में एक सितारा था
माना वह बेहद प्यारा था
वह डूब गया तो डूब गया
अम्बर के आनन को देखो
कितने इसके तारे टूटे
कितने इसके प्यारे छूटे
जो छूट गए फिर कहाँ मिले
पर बोलो टूटे तारों पर
कब अम्बर शोक मनाता है
जो बीत गई सो बात गई

जीवन में वह था एक कुसुम
थे उसपर नित्य निछावर तुम
वह सूख गया तो सूख गया
मधुवन की छाती को देखो
सूखी कितनी इसकी कलियाँ
मुर्झाई कितनी वल्लरियाँ
जो मुर्झाई फिर कहाँ खिली
पर बोलो सूखे फूलों पर
कब मधुवन शोर मचाता है
जो बीत गई सो बात गई

जीवन में मधु का प्याला था
तुमने तन मन दे डाला था
वह टूट गया तो टूट गया
मदिरालय का आँगन देखो
कितने प्याले हिल जाते हैं
गिर मिट्टी में मिल जाते हैं
जो गिरते हैं कब उठतें हैं
पर बोलो टूटे प्यालों पर
कब मदिरालय पछताता है
जो बीत गई सो बात गई

मृदु मिटटी के हैं बने हुए
मधु घट फूटा ही करते हैं
लघु जीवन लेकर आए हैं
प्याले टूटा ही करते हैं
फिर भी मदिरालय के अन्दर
मधु के घट हैं मधु प्याले हैं
जो मादकता के मारे हैं
वे मधु लूटा ही करते हैं
वह कच्चा पीने वाला है
जिसकी ममता घट प्यालों पर
जो सच्चे मधु से जला हुआ
कब रोता है चिल्लाता है

जो बीत गई सो बात गई

(Courtesy: http://kavitakosh.org)

If you had a star in your life which was bright and beautiful, the day it fell from the sky, it just fell. The sky does not grieve over it. When fragrant flowers fall, the forest of honey does not wallow in sorrow. The vessels of mud, containing tissue restoratives, fall and break. But those in a merry making mood move on with their celebration of life. There is not much point in mourning over the loved ones who have parted company for ever.

Life goes on. Look forward to tomorrow with some uplifting thoughts and ideas. Do not grieve over a lost opportunity.

A profound message, indeed.

(PS: If you liked this post, and happen to be a fan of P G Wodehouse, you may like to check this out as well: 

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2018/02/14/the-death-of-death-at-the-hands-of-p-g-wodehouse)

 

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ashokbhatia

Ever imagined living in a fairy land where all those you happen to know are smart, living their lives to the hilt? They could be visiting exotic locales, celebrating career achievements and other events in their lives, or simply having a blast. The sun is always shining, the flowers are forever in bloom, the birds are incessantly twittering and the bees are invariably busy collecting nourishment from delicate flowers. In other words, God is always in heaven and all is well with the world.internet image 1

In this land, the sky is never overcast. The harsh arrows and slings of life simply do not exist. No one ever falls sick. A business loss or a career setback never appears on the horizon. There are no villains around. Parents find that kids throw no tantrums. All denizens behave in an exemplary fashion. Everybody likes everybody else. Spirits are all buoyed up, what with…

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Whether it is the realm of politics, home affairs, civic issues or public transport, Sudhir Dar’s cartoons continue to regale us with their tongue-in-cheek humour.

You may enjoy these as well:

01 Strike and Lift

02 Car pools

03 Bus drivers

04 Old vehicles

05 Thieves

06 Men

07 Board meetingsDenizens of Delhi would surely relate to these works of art better. But the underlying messages happen to be global in nature.

The likes of Sudhir Dar, R K Laxman, Mario Miranda and Shankar have always managed to keep us amused with their timely and witty cartoons. But for them, and but for authors like P G Wodehouse, our lives would be so very dull and dreary.

(Source: The Best of Sudhir Dar, Penguin Books)

(Related Posts:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/this-is-it-part-1

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/the-inimitable-r-k-laxman

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/the-inimitable-r-k-laxman-2-0)

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(Lord Rama, hero of the iconic Indian epic ‘Ramayana’, is an epitome of virtue. His reign, referred to as ‘Ram Rajya’, is held to be an ideal in governance, wherein the citizens are contented and happy. They experience unparalleled prosperity and peace. Justice prevails. Here is a reality check in the current context.)

Shri Ram Chandra ji, were He to visit India one of these days, would be simply annoyed at finding His name being used for reasons of political expediency and for polarization of society, rather than for promoting high values, communal harmony, peace and an equitable treatment to all citizens of the country.

In case He decides to visit Thailand instead, He might be received with due honours by King Vajiralongkorn, who carries the title King Rama X. While being escorted through the ruins of Ayutthaya, He would be told of its 2,00,000 people and 4,000 Buddhist temples which were looted and destroyed by an invading Burmese army more than 200 years back. Also, about the Chakkri dynasty which restored the city and built the resplendent Buddhist temple which happens to be a major tourist attraction today.

If He were to visit one of the Western countries, He might be pleased to find a relatively better adherence to the standards of governance set by His ‘Ram Rajya’ in the days of yore. With lower crime rates, speedier justice delivery, better security, more efficient delivery of public services, higher respect for women and innovative welfare measures, the developed countries score much higher. Above all, the citizen’s respect for due process of law and a tendency to not only demand rights but also to acknowledge attendant responsibilities would likely meet His approval.

Yet another feature He would appreciate would be the attempt by some of His true followers to hold aloft the high ideals He stood for and to continue to spread the same through publication of scholarly works, holding of meaningful seminars and conferences, and by spreading the message of His unique life amongst the youth of today.

The relevance of Ramayana in the present context

It goes without saying that the story of Lord Ram transcends the vagaries of time and space. The lessons one can learn from any version of Ramayana remain as relevant today as they were eons ago. Respect for elders is one such lesson. Assisting the needy and the underprivileged is another. Showing due reverence to the environment and to members of different species is yet another. Vanquishing the evil amongst us, according top priority to one’s duty in life, sticking to one’s commitments, respecting women, keeping an open mind towards acquiring new knowledge, being proficient in statecraft, addressing concerns of common folks – these are some others which readily spring to one’s mind.

The impeccable manner in which He conducted himself sets the bar for today’s governments and rulers very high. Not for Him the kind of barriers – political, economic, social, attitudinal or otherwise – that we see rising most of the times. Not for Him the kind of back-stabbing, lip service and rampant corruption we notice in high places these days. Neither would He have approved of the absence of an inclusive and equitable society, leading to a meteoric rise of hit-and-run terrorism and communal clashes. Nor would He be happy looking at the kind of treatment meted out to the women folk.

Would ‘Ram Rajya’ remain a Utopia?

The questions that are topmost on the minds of some of us are simply these: Will ‘Ram Rajya’ forever remain a Utopian concept? Will a day ever dawn when the average person on the street would be able to savour the fruits of good governance?

The advent of Industrial Revolution 4.0, backed by rapid advances in technology, provides a faint glimmer of hope, though not without riders. We have witnessed not only an Arab Spring but also the power of social media to sway public opinion. If governments start adopting Blockchain technologies, Truth would stand a better chance to prevail.

As technologies become super-efficient, these could eventually bring about a humbling equality among all human beings, propelling us into an era where the principles of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity get really followed. But since a technology is as good as the intention behind its use, much depends on the intentions of our leaders who wield the resources to use it.

One might sound a little pessimist, but the answer to the question remains in the negative, at least in the foreseeable future. But we have hope. Hindu scriptures speak of the endless cycles of four different kinds. The end of Kala Yuga is likely to herald the advent of a Sata Yuga, followed by another Treta Yuga, which would then see the emergence of yet another ‘Ram Rajya’.

However, for Homo sapiens, this cannot be a cause for celebration and complacency. As long as Lord Ram is around, Ravana would not be far behind. The fight between the good and the evil would continue unabated. This fight exists not only in the external world but also in our internal thought processes. By purifying our thoughts and acting on the same, we can initiate a change which could eventually transform the society.

Ramayana sets an example of perfection which we all need to aspire for. It exhorts us to keep fighting the demons within and without us. It touches the innate divinity and goodness we carry within ourselves. Herein lies the secret of its enduring appeal.

Notes:

  1. This is an article accepted for publication by RamQuest, a scholarly
    journal which explores various facets of Ramayana. It is one of the
    publications brought out by Prof Omprakash K Gupta, Professor in
    Management at the University of Houston-Downtown, USA.
  2. Here is a link to an International Conference on Ramayana which is taking place at Jaipur in India shortly: http://www.ramcharit.org/irc2.

(Related Posts:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/management-lessons-from-ramayana

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2017/09/29/what-ceos-can-learn-from-ravana)

 

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All of us have our role models in life – people who not only leave behind a deep impression on our psyche, but also make us who we are.

Here is a touching tribute to one such role model from a professional doctor and an upcoming writer Dr Shivani Salil, who has an ample supply of creative juices coursing through her veins. She has already won many accolades in her budding career.

Shivani Salil

She was lovingly named ‘Raj Kumari’ (princess) by her parents. Their first born, she was born with the proverbial silver spoon, and was pampered silly by all. Growing up in the pre partition era, she must have known what abundance meant. But when random lines were drawn, her entire family, immediate and extended was advised to make the move. Comply, they did, but in return had to give up everything they had…to find themselves cooped up in refugee camps in what we call India now.

For a nine year old girl, life as she had known, vanished into thin air. What they must have taken for granted back home, was now a luxury. Making ends meet was an uphill task but the family managed. They were relocated to a small town where her studies couldn’t be continued so she was packed off to a relative’s place where it was possible.

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Mahabharat Krishna ArjunaHad Lord Krishna been around, this is how he might have advised a clueless and gloomy blogger Arjuna:

What you have already blogged, you have blogged well,

What you are blogging, you are doing fine, you can tell,

What you will blog, will also get blogged well,

Live in the present, your heart-felt ideas would eventually sell.

Never beseech someone for a ‘like’, a ‘reblog’ or for a ‘comment’,

Let your soul never be in torment,

For writing what you are passionate about alone you are meant,

Read more, get inspired, get cracking, never get bent.

At times, you may get upset for not having been ‘Freshly Pressed’,

Well, it is not the end of the world, do not feel unduly stressed,

Escaping a deluge of ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ instead leaves you feeling blessed,

You are not in a short sprint but in a marathon, you have already guessed.

Be…

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ashokbhatia

When it comes to writing, we are not too bad. Words help us to keep ourselves connected with the Blogging illustrationworld around us. Our inner joys, sorrows, trials, triumphs take the shape of blogs which we keep posting at regular intervals. We can’t help ourselves but write. In other words, we are a bunch of declared Blogaholics. We have no intentions of getting rid of this addiction. And we do not wish to remain anonymous!

Writing is like an internal cleaning process for us. Some of us use it to unburden the soul; some others for spreading cheer. Some of us are here to promote our books, whether present, upcoming or still in the realm of our pious intentions. Some of us are here to make money. Quite a few of us are here simply to educate, entertain and amuse.

We have good days and we have bad days. Often, we…

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