Anaadi - Without a beginning

In a cyclical concept of time every starting point will have to be an ending point. If time is postulated as being linear and unidirectional there will have to be an absolute starting point for time. This cyclical nature of time as believed in Indian mythology refers to time as 'anaadi' or that without a beginning. So will be my BLOG.....

The Mind rules the Heart

This topic came to my mind or heart should i say about a week back. I was attending a meeting - Meet the Author with my mom. It was a meeting where Writer Sivashankari was talking. Aunty and mom are close friends for more than 40 yrs. I had gone with my parents to attend the function.

I was as usual drifting and thinking when people were talking. Suddenly Aunty brought out a point, we are behaving more like a professional than being a human.
That sparked me to write this. Actually I should thank Aunty for giving me the idea, the urge to think on this.

What are we doing of late? The work we do has taken over us so much that we always think, act, behave as we behave in office. The professional in us dominates. Professional here being the mind rules over the heart. I see people around me behaving the same way i behave. Let me talk about myself, since i have the right to talk anything...see here again, i am thinking if i write about my own friends, will they mistake me....
Adai, c'mon grow up...this is the comment i would get from all my friends....we are all mature we think differently.

Mature mature nu sollitu....we have started to go into our own cocoons, we have withdrawn ourselves and have started to behave very indifferently.

I did not realise this until very recently. In Tamil we have a word " Ethirparpu" The English translation being "Expectation" .i prefer to keep it in Tamil. I used to talk, move, behave with all my friends without the ethirparpu..that i thought was pure friendship, my heart came first, my mind was not there at all. I did not think before i acted or behaved. But now of late, i don't do that. I have started to see a reason, or rather should i say i have started to think, these guys have not called me, why should i call them??
If we need something then, we call more than once and talk to all the people at home, from the friend, to his wife, to his parents, to his dog to his watchman. Why because i need to get this thing done. I would go all the way even to his house if i need to get my work done, but otherwise i would not even call them. Why have we become so materialistic?? What is happening to people?? Why this selfishness??
I wonder, is education making us bad or is that too much of professionalism making us heartless??

There was a time, when we did not have mobile phones with us, not use Internet so much, but just pick up Ur bike go to Ur friend's place and pick him up to go where? no where, just for the heck of it and my friends use to come without any hesitation. Now, i myself think, should i go? will he come?? What will he think?
C'mon man, he is the same friend who was with me from my college...why this hesitation?? Leave alone going out, you don't even call him/her...u think, why should i call him ? there is nothing to talk, what will i talk? My god....the mind is taking over...what is happening to us?? we don't go by our heart.....

We always say, we have a family...the responsibilities change. I still see few of them, who still are the Mom is the best example...her friendship with Sivashankari aunty is unconditional. They care a damn...they don't think what each one is doing, even if they are busy, they take up their work and call them back and chat. They talk to each other almost daily. She does not even think once, if aunty called up or do i have a reason to call her. That is friendship.
I have to learn from them. There is no expectation from either of them. The Heart is the king....Mind goes by what the heart says.

C'mon guys let us be Mature, this is maturity..let us throw the selfishness that is crawling into our body like a Virus. I don't know if all of you have seen Spider man II, where spider man is taken over my his mind and is corrupted, his spider dress is also black showing how much it has corrupted, and how when that is out of his mind, he becomes the original Spidey we all loved....that is what we all should do, remove all the corrupt, materialistic, selfish thoughts and become the same guys when we were in college or school without expectations. This is very important and now. With technology taking over us more and more, we will not be able to inculcate this to the next generation, This is very important to all of us and the next generation.

I am changing myself, i will not expect anything from anybody, my friendship will be unconditional. I will start today, right away. I will be changed person. Change starts from you and i am starting today, i hope people reading this will do the same....

Guys, i am Privileged to have you as friends, Thanks to all, who have stood by me all these years and will continue to do so, irrespective of how i am. Thanks.

Religion - Faith and Follies

was chatting with my junior today on the net, and suddenly the topic of religion came up. We were talking about faith and the general practices that are followed and its significance.Most of us for a matter of fact, do not question the age old practices that is followed( Deiva kuttham aaidum). I have long and meaningful discussions with my dad on the religous practices that are followed and their significance.

I also have questioned on why it should be done in a certain way. This is the same topic that i had with my junior, actually thanks to her, that gave me the spark to write about this.

We generally follow any custom or practices, because it has been done so by our forefathers and hence follow. We dont know why it has to be done and also done in a certain way. We, the Generation X, dont follow our customs or rather dont bother to find out the significance of why we follow certain customs. The reasons being, one that we always blame time, no time, or we say it is a waste of time, or say i dont believe it. The underlying reason is i dont know why i am doing this so why should do this?
The age old customs and beliefs that are handed over generation after generation was always with a meaning. It was not just handed over without a meaning. All common customs and beliefs had a very profound meaning, which we dont know or dont bother to know.I sit my father, a religous man, when compared to me, and ask him questions, probing questions of why certain things have to be done and why?? Believe me, once you know the deep routed meaning of why we follow a custom, you will start following it, and follow it all your life sincerely.

Aacharam as it is called....loosely translated into rituals and routines. We are so used to this word, Aacharam - basically a way to lead life. These are followed blindly, but i would recommend, that we follow the rituals and customs based on thier merits available, and that too with self experience. It is our right and duty to understand scientifically, rationally and logically the meaning of each and every customs before we follow the same in our life.

Let us give you some of the common things that we follow, but without knowing the significance......

Lot of us do namaskaarams( prostrate) to elders and parents. Why do we do it?

We fall at the feet of parents, elders by touching their feet. The elders in turn bless us by placing their hand on or over our heads. We do namaskaarams when we meet elders and particularly on important occasions like the beginning of a new task, birthdays, festivals etc. In traditional brahmin circles, Namaskaaram is accompanied by abhivaadana, which serves to introduce one-self, announce one’s family and social stature.

when we do namaskaarm, it is a sign of respect for the age, maturity, nobility and divinity that our elders personify. It symbolizes our recognition of their selfless love for us and the sacrifices they have done for our welfare. It is a way of humbly acknowledging the greatness of another.
The good wishes and blessings of elders are highly valued in India. Good thoughts create positive vibrations. Good wishes springing from a heart full of love have a tremendous strength. It generates a lot of Positive vibration, which is transferred to us. The blessings of elders, which flow in the form of positive energy envelops us.

Let us look at another example,

Why do we ring the bell at temples or at home when we do pooja?

Is it to mark attendance to god that i prayed today?? no it is not,

if u hear carefully, the sounding of the bell, produces a sound, resembling OM, which is very auspicious. When we are in a temple, we are pure at heart, or try to be pure without any negative thoughts. Ringing this sound, reverberates inside every human, and reminds you think only of god and nothing else. This brings your mind to oneness with god.
Also we have heard in some places, when the AARATI is done, we hear the Conch and musical instruments being blown. This is to let people remind there is a supreme being above us.
It is also to drown any other sound that might disturb or distract the worship.
Another reason being, People who cannot not make it to a temple, are atleast reminded to stop whatever they were doing, at least for a few seconds, and mentally bow to the Lord.
This again gives us a lot of positive thoughts, and specially when we start the day, we visit the temples or or important occasions or important festivals, it helps to have a positive thoughts all day.

These two are just simple examples of some of the comon routines that we follow but dont know why we do this? Atleast in my case, it was not known and this helped to understand my religion better and the customs that made my life more meaningful.

Hope it helps others as well,

ओम शांति, शांति, शांति ओम।

USA - "land of abundant opportunities"

After a long time, let me change the topic, to something more contemprary...for a change....

The so called land of promises- USA - "land of abundant opportunities"
I chanced to visit USA - Dallas to be precise about 1.5 months back. I was invited for a business meeting as part of my job responsibilities. Apparently i had a valid visa from 2006. I could travel only 2009. I am not a great admirer of USA. I always preferred Europe to US. My first abroad travel was to the Belgium and may be that is also a reason to it.
The first impression as soon as i landed at DFW(Dallas Forth Worth) airport was very disappointing. I had a very differnt picture of US in my mind( Partly influenced by the english movies i have watched - Padam parthu ketu pone pala pasangal le naanum oruthan). The Airport was very small, nothing great worth mentioning. Luckily i had travelled with 2 of my colleagues, so i had company, we took a cab to the hotel.
Once we stepped onto the Freeway(Highways for all the illiterates like me), i was wondering am i in the US?? no big buildings, no Malls etc. I should not have expected all these not in Dallas - a dry desert....The day i land at the airport, we are taken thru the immigration check, the officer at the counter looks at me up and down and asks me are u here on work? I have been tutored enough by my travel desk, boss, earlier visited friends and my colleagues, come what may never utter the word, Work, i as taught open my mouth and the only words that come out are " here for knowledge transfer". The man at the counter laughs scronfully ( உங்களக்கு வேற எதுமே சொல்லி அனுபமாடங்களா, எவளோ நாள் இதே சொல்லிடு இருபீங்க) and gives me a 90 day stay. 1st dissappointment - US Sucks

Day one at office.

The most important day, i am to visit my team for which i have been working for 3 years and my boss, a large hearted one, who had given a atlast a green signal for my travel is all set to receive me. I go into the office and i am disappointed by the ambience, it looks like a
run down mechanic garage...believe me i am not exaggerating. There are old desktops strewn all over the place, papers and files thrown carelessly in the cubicles, i am wondering am i at Dallas or the kothavalchavadi market( a vegetable market in chennai)?? My colleagues
welcome me with open arms and are very happy to see me. I keep talking to my friends and my boss arrives, a middle eastern man, well built, welcomes me and asks me tu be comfortable. Inge தான் ukaranama?? ஐயோ, இந்த galeez edathuliyaa, இது தான் the first thought that crosses my mind!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. I remember my plush cabin in Chennai, neatly arranged chairs, 24hrs AC, my room, water bottles, athu yenge ithu
yenge???? 2nd Dissappointment - US Sucks....

Life Goes on.............

My days in the US goes on as i count my days of my return. The only song that comes to my mind is "Sorgame endralum, athu nama ooru pole
varumaa". When i meet my fellow colleagues who have come there, they share the same thoughts. Their term of onshore is " KAALA PANI". These
were the same guys, who at some point of time had come to me and asked for their long impending onshore travel. Now the same guys ask me if they can leave early. Our typical day starts at about 6.30 AM with status update from my team. (Ithu bit mathiri, nama pasanga kite office pogarthuku munaadi yenna nadathathu nu ketukarthu, oru vilambaram than). We reach office and join the "STATUS CALL" ( onshore offshore sync up) where both the teams dont listen to each other, but u have to have this call daily athum twice. Yenna Kodumai sar ithu.. My job responsibilites were to attend the numerous conference calls with other teams and represent the team i work in a conference room called the "WAR ROOM". The definiton of a WAR ROOM in sofware field is a room where all teams meet up and solve the teething problems when different teams are invloved in a complex project, a very strategic one.. My co manager at oshore requests me to represent the team in the war room. Pogum pothe he tells me, Chandra your role is very important, we need somebody senior representing our team and you are the best man, the management's eye is on this project so play your role very politically.
I wonder what is here to play politically??? Aparam than purinjathu, yentha team yenna ketaalum udane solla kudaathu, you have to verify who is the person who is asking you the information, Avan jaadagam yenna, avan poorveegam yenna, avan namaku potiya...will he be a threat to our growth?? we check all these before even giving him any information. i wonder where am i? All of us work for the same company and these people dont share information across teams. I have never experienced these at offshore. We go sit across the other teams, mostly our friends and share the information. This was very wierd. I tried arguing this, but i was asked not to share as this is political. Ade che, yenna kodumai....3rd Dissappointment - US Sucks.

Life in the US of the A.

In Dallas, i wonder if i am really in the US? Everywhere i see, i can see only Indians, be it the malls, Restaurants, roads, Indian markets, but the surprising part is nobody talks to each other. They just do their work and go on. Over the weekends we go out to explore Dallas, i
should admit, they have such wonderful cars and roads..fantastic, we had rented a car and we jus drove, drove and drove. Beautiful roads, excellent road discipline. Our own guys who used to cut signals here, adhere to all rules and drive. adadada ithu yeppo nama Indiaku varum,
this is the first thought that comes to your mind. We went to a mall on a sunday eve, it was about 6.00 pm, they Mall was closing, they close at 6.00 in the evening. Dai yenna da ithu, naanga ooru suthara nerathule, ippadi mooditu poreenga, Atagasathuku alave illiya. Generally all Malls in Dallas close by 6.00 on sundays. We come back dissappointed. I casually ask my fellow Indian friends what do they do over the weekends as i dont see much options for them.
They ask me have you ever visited "Gandhi Park" ?? I am astonished!!! aahaaa, Gandhi park nu oru peru, apadiye pullu arikuthu. US le Gandhi park, I have been here for 3 weeks and i never visited this place, must me something historic, wow, Gandhiji and Dallas what is the
connection? and it is on our way to the office nu additional information. Bloody hell, i cross the place atleast 4 times a day and how did i miss this? I tell my offshore Indian friends, "Machan, inge yetho Gandhi park nu irukaama, naama kattayam pogarom, matha sight seeing yellam aparam. This is historic nu oru feeling, get your cameras and we should not miss this place. Ivalo build up kuduthu, i ask my onshore friends to take me there. They say, definitely. We, well armed with our Digital cameras and camcorders take our car over the weekend and call up my friend for directions.
He says it is right opposite to our office. I say wow that is close and getting the directions from him land up at the place. Ange pona. nama Nageshwar rao park( for people in Chennai, it is near T.NAGAR) mari oru edam. An open park, with seats and a walking path, a creek passing right thru the middle. I see lot of Indians spending their time, moms taking their kids for a walk, old people(Baby sitters from India, athavathu Appa, Amma)with a very blank look on their face as if waiting for the time to go back to India,
neengalum yengala maathiri thana nu oru feeling. My friends tell me this is Jefferson park a small park. I say, dai naama thapa vanthu irupom, let us find out, and we ask few people, they deny any knowledge of such place. I call up my friend and he says, yeah it is the same
Jefferson park that we call Gandhi park, and we spend our time here. Ada che, ulaga maga kodumai. Yenna kevalamana vaazhkai, ithu thana unga time pass. Yenna oru polithanamana vaazhkai..i come people can stay in this place....4th Dissappointment - US Sucks.


While i was in the US, a ex colleague of mine pings me after a really long time. He used to work with me before he took a H1B and relocated in the US for greener pastures. AVane maariye naraya peru, i tell them that i am in their land and all of them call me. This guy who pinged me,asks me if there is any openings in the company that i work for? I ask him what happend and he says, he is going back to India as he has lost his job, and is doing a distress sale of his belongings before going back. His wife is already gone back. He says most of this
colleagus have the same situation, the same place which had offered them abundant opportunities was turning thier back now. They are given a time before they can look for thier job or will be given the pink slip. I ask him to immediatley send his resume to me as we had some openings in my concern. I take to my Boss and the co manager, luckily for him the co manager also knows him as he had worked with him when he was in India, we use a bit of influence and get him on board as a contractor. This guy profusely thanks me and says he does not know what he would have done if he did not have this job.

I tell him i did not do anythng, jus that you are lucky. He says Chandra, you will not understand my situation. Nijamave i will not understand his situation and i will never want to be in that situation. Nimathiyana vaazhkai in India vitu pone palarukum ithu than nilamai. The so called land of Infinite possibilites, was no more there. people on a daily basis worry if they will be on the rolls the next day. All my friends call me and ask me if i can get them a job in India for even a less salary?
I feel sorry for them. Irukarthai vitutu parakarthuku aasai panteengale....ippo yenna acchu? At the same time, fellow indians who have planned never to return to India, thier thought process is completely screwed up. I hear two of my colleagues speaking to each other, " Bring up your son like an American Indian and not like a Indian American". I wonder what it is? evelo
naaliki intha aatam yellam...naanum paakren, aadi adangum vaazhkai ada, aaru adi nilame sontham ada, is the song that plays in my symbolic. I am happy that i am not one of the lot that lives a life so pathetic.....Nth Dissappointment - US Sucks....

I can go on and on and on....

To sum up, i dont say that US is an absolutely lousy place, it definitely has its own + and _ . India is more or less equal now, you get all that u want. Give the country soemthing back that gave you such a solid foothold to grow and learn and it is only people like us who should
support our country to grow into a super power. As i always say patience is a virtue. LEt us all take India to the next level. JAI HIND......

P.S. This is my personal opinion......

Yajñopavītam - the "Sacred Thread"

Upanayana also called "sacred thread ceremony", is commonly known for being a Hindu ritual, where the concept of " Brahman" is introduced to a young boy.
In Hinduism, this ceremony is performed on only boys of at least 5 years of age from the Brahmin Caste. The youngster is taught during the ceremony the secret of life through a main concept called "Brahmopadesam" (This gives the individual the nature of Brahman - the Ultimate Reality). This is also alternatively called the "GAYATHRI MANTRA". Once this cermony is completed, the child becomes Brahmacharya as prescribed in Manusmriti (is the stage when the young child leads a student life (ideally in the Gurukul - in the household of the Guru). Brahmacharya is the first of the four phases of human life, namely, Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha, and finally Sanyasa.)

The hallmark of having gone through the Upanayana ceremony is the wearing of the Yajñopavītam (Sacred Thread) on the body. The thread is circular, being tied end-to-end (only one knot is permissible); it is normally supported on the left shoulder and wrapped around the body, falling underneath the right arm. The length of the thread is generally 96 times the breadth of four fingers of a man, which is believed to be equal to his height. Each of the four fingers represents one of the four states that the soul of a man experiences: waking, dreaming, dreamless sleep and knowledge of the absolute.
Yajñopavītam has three threads (actually only one thread, folded three times and tied together) each consisting of three strands. These threads represent
Goddess Gayathri(Goddess of mind),
Goddess Saraswathi (Goddess of word) and
Goddess Savithri (Goddess of deed).
It denotes that one who wear the sacred thread should be pure in his thought, word and deed. The sacred thread reminds a Brahmachari to lead a regulated life with purity in his thought, word and deed. These threads also represent the debt that is owed to the guru, parents and society.
The knot in the middle represent the formless "Brahman" the pure form of energy which pervades all. The sacred thread illustrates the fact that everything in the universe emerge from and then merge with Brahman.

The sacred thread is supposed to be worn for the rest of one's life after the ceremony has been performed. A new thread is worn and the old thread discarded every year; the change-over ceremony is held on a specific date calculated as per the Hindu calendar.

The sacred thread has close and essential connection with the concept of Pravaras related to Brhamin Gotra system ( Refer my earlier blog on the Gotra - the lineage) which reflects the number of most excellent 7 Vedic Rishis belonging to that particular lineage to which the wearer of sacred thread belongs.

I am a Brahmachrya practising the Brahmopadesam daily and will continue to do so all my life.