Time for my random musings for the new year.
Let me begin with Kun Faya Kun. I tuned into the song quite late; however, I've been making amends by listening to it 20 times or more each day. I'm beginning to think that Rahman took every other step in his journey so that he can keep delivering Sufi songs to us. Had he not, at a young age, found new energy in a spiritual guide who followed Sufism, would his music have found its strength? And how much would modern Indian music have lost in the process?
The phrase Kun Faya Kun is straight from the Quran. It means: "Be. And it is." In the holy book, this phrase alludes to the power of God to will the universe into existence merely by imagining it. But perhaps there's another meaning here: that we - by which I mean puny humans like you and I - too can create any result in our lives merely by declaring our resolve to do so. In other words, we're prophets, all of us, and every time we generate a thought and back it up with actions, we will achieve the desired results. Perhaps that's one of the reasons we're supposed to seek the divine amongst our fellow beings. We may never know if we're made in His image, but we've been given the power to lead our dream lives.
Kun Faya Kun.
Half an hour before my plane descended into Bhubhaneswar, we crossed the Eastern ghats. From 36000 feet above MSL, I saw a veil of morning mist lift itself off a hoary series of mountains, each resembling the other to a shocking degree, as if seen from the proper vantage point, the world has a perfect design. No human eye can punch a hole in this tapestry, apparently.
Below me, to my immediate east, I also saw a cloud cover so uniform and vast that it looked like the salt pans of the Rann of Kutch. On this soft feathery bed of altocumulus clouds (I'm guessing), I could see shadows of cirrocumulus clouds that were hovering far above it. God, it seemed, had breakfasted well this Tuesday morning and was in the mood to create beauty and tranquillity.
The same evening, I heard on TV that Cyclone Thane was all set to hit the eastern coast. Landfall was supposed to be on the southern tip of AP. As it turned out, Puducherry and Cuddalore were the worst hit. I couldn't help but think about the tsunami. More specifically, I thought of the forlorn look worn by NH-45A from Puducherry all the way to Thirukkadaiyur. And the devastation that I witnessed in the village of Kuttiandiyur was something else altogether. Brr.
Let's move on to happy thoughts this new year.
Have you ever had chenna poda? If you've even heard of this dish, chances are that you'd have also heard an Oriya passionately claim ownership of that prince amongst sweets - the Rosagulla. If you thought the sweet originated in West Bengal, this article will make you think again:
Kling Canoes At Tamralipta
It's written by a Sengupta. And endorsed by another Sengupta (my friend Pat). And since two knowledgeable Bengalis have accepted that the Oriyas invented the sweet, I now consider the matter closed :P
Why this neither-here-nor-there topic? Because my daughter is half-Oriya and I must get ultra-familiar with elements that constitute the Oriya pride. And believe you me, a typical Oriya would sooner disown the Kalinga empire than lose ownership of the Rosagulla!
Incidentally, I feel distraught that my daughter's best friend will relocate to Mumbai for the next academic year. Must our children experience such a loss at such a young age? Anyway, happy thoughts. I clicked a lot of pics of the two girls together. Perhaps in the advanced digital age, they'd reconnect 20 years later and be more connected than today.
Did you hear about all the hoopla surrounding Sachin's 100th ton? You did? Well, that's because our performance Down Under has been dismal and we don't have much else to talk about. Had we performed superbly, well in that case, things would be different - we'd then hear about all the hoopla surrounding Sachin's 100th ton. What? That's just the same? Huh. How about that?
By the way, anybody wants to bet on another miraculous win at Perth?
Finally, let me describe a hypothetical scenario:
Suppose you're leading a project. A few people are assisting you in its implementation. You're allowed to make use of their skills, but you have been given no power to dominate them. No matter how badly they fare, you cannot blame them, get angry at them, put them down or bribe them. In other words, you can offer them neither carrots nor sticks. All you can do is be there for them, keep working with them and ask them, through your actions, to reconsider their attitudes even as you reconsider yours. End of the day, if you fail to produce results, your boss will ask you why you failed to inspire them.
Does this model sound too harsh? Does it have too many constraints?
Well, if you lead your life the way you're asked to lead this project, it will become extraordinary. It's just an idea. I'm requesting you to chew on it.
Have a fantabulous 2012, everybody. This year is gonna rock.