Sachi R

Obiter dicta on music, men and matters

Archive for April, 2010

Hello world!

Posted by rsachi on April 21, 2010

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

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The incomparable Scott Adams and Dilbert

Posted by rsachi on April 16, 2010

If you don’t yet get your daily dose of Dilbert by mail, you’re missing the best humour around for guys like us!
Subscribe here. And enjoy this strip!

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Varadadasa- M.D. Ramanathan, the composer

Posted by rsachi on April 11, 2010

There is a very informative website about this unique musician and composer.
There is a lovely concert of his posted here

There is a wonderful composition of MDR sung by KVN, in lovely Kedaram, with lilting words and a scintillating chitteswara.      Enjoy it here!

Posted in MDR KVN THyagaraja gurum ashraye Kedaram chitteswara | Leave a Comment »

2020 Nobel Peace Prize

Posted by rsachi on April 10, 2010

Nero- Modi’s inspiration

Today, 1 April 2020, is a momentous day in the 10,000 year history of India. Bharat Ratna Modi has been conferred the Nobel Peace Prize. What!? Are you surprised? That means you have been sleeping for ten long years, my friend.

Just after completing 12 auspicious years of IPL cricket, Modi was conferred the Gold Pass Bharat Ratna early this year. This is a new category created since his accomplishments go far beyond what anyone else in India has ever achieved. I will, in the interest of time and space, list just three.

  1. Single-handedly, Modi has abolished all class, caste, language, age, religion, state, slum-condo, male-female, educated-illiterate, urban-rural differences, India is one large happy nation of 1.5 billion people, and all are rich.
  2. How rich? There are twenty IPL teams, and they play four seasons called Pongal, Baishakhi, Bhai Duj and Diwali, each lasting 90 days, with one day gap in-between. Each Indian, coded with Nilakeni’s UID, has a choice of any number 1-20, and he will be a stake holder in one of the 20 teams. The annual income of IPL has swelled to 3 trillion rupees and if you do the math, you will find that per capita income is 2000 rupees which when converted at the current exchange rate of 1 Rupee= 100 US Dollars, equals 200,000 dollars.
  3. The entire world has adopted India as an economic miracle model and IPL has replaced almost all medieaval activities like IT and Bio Tech as the top career and economic occupation. Poor countries like USA are used to outsource all such activities. All food and clothing is imported from China.

The two major universities, Indobash University of Australia, and Chung Hua University of PRC, each run 1000 higher institutes of learning in India. People no longer aspire to go to ITI, IIT, NIIT, IIM, AIIMS, ISB etc. The in-thing is an IPL course in one of these 2000 universities.

India has also ushered in free, universal education. All education is cleverly delivered through tele-text, multiplexed through the year-long broadcast lasting 9 hours every day. All can study while they watch the Cameron Immersive 4D Experience broadcast of IPL. They just need to flick the tele-text button and rich educational media content is piped in, in little chewy nuggets calle Chyawanprash Gold IPL modules.

The greatest accomplishment of Modi is that he has brought together all the temples and Swami Sri  Anand Babas of the country into one maelstrom of religious tolerance and cooperation. For example, the Tirupati temple has sponsored the diamond Srivatsa toss coin. The coin itself is tossed by one Swami Sri Anand Baba.

The science and technology missions have also advanced. The Space and Nuclear Mission teams under an able statesman-scientist have developed the Mareech IPL ball and the Vajra IPL bat. The ball uses fusion propulsion and AI sensors along with 4D HD cameras. It can be navigated by thought chips implanted in the bowler’s brain. And it faces the might of the nanotechnology Vajra bat which has microtransducers that can hit the ball to near-escape velocity.

IPL matches are not cheap to attend. Tickets are sold out 4 years in advance and cost over 10,000 Rupees each. So people prefer the 4D Immersive Imax mini television shaped like a planetarium dome and installed in each drawing room. It is truly realistic.

The players have shooting star careers, but they last only a few matches. The self-worth damage, bruises and bleeds in a match are enough to send even a Tendulkar retired hurt. No problem. The FRM Academy conducts fantastic rehab medicine clinics all over the country for the stars to recover. There they are entertained by classical musicians and dancers as that type of art has been proved to be soporific and healing.

Bollywood is long gone. Willow-wood Academy of Apsara Arts trains female dancers and male commentators to present entertainment and theatre during every match. Admission is strictly on recommendation and influence.

I can hear you ask, “what about the Peace Prize?” I almost forgot to mention that Prof. Lal unearthed an unpublished manuscript of Mahatma Gandhi written in London in 1886. There Gandhi proves that Mahabharata war was simply an allegory for cricket. There were teams, captains, field placements, and inspired clashes. There was a commentator, and also a teleaudience. TRP ratings were quite good and the whole world participated. Given this robust boost of faith to IPL, all wars have ended. Iraq’s differences with the rest of the world, Pakstan-India skirmishes, America’s engagements in Afghanistan, all have ended peacefully. Today wars are over. People engage in IPL so all passions are dissipated on the cricket field. Hence Obama himself was instrumental in Modi’s getting the Nobel.

Footnote: Today’s Hindu carried a letter to the editor. One disgruntled old man writes that Modi is like Nero, who laughed when gladiators died in the arena, just as Modi laughs all the way to the bank after modern-day players are killed in IPL. The man also complains that India’s religion of cricket is a waste of time and we should go back to medieaval times when people played on play-grounds and read books. I think this country will never get rid of these ancient prejudices.

Posted in IPL 2020 T20 Modi Nero Gandhi Obama Nobel Bharat Ratna Bollywood Tendulkar cricket Bollywood Willow Iraq America Dollar IT Biotech nanotechnology fusion propulsion | Leave a Comment »

Devotion to Rama

Posted by rsachi on April 4, 2010

Those fortunate to listen to KVN’s concert  in the wonderful Parvathi blog would hear a lovely shloka sung by KVN with some great violin accompaniment of T.N. Krishnan (Ragas Shahana, Varali, Natakurinji, Ahiri, Sindhubhairavi). This shloka, I must confess, is new to me. After I heard the music, I searched and discovered that this is the staple of many singers today. I delved into its meaning, and this is my take on it.

jAnAti rAma tava nAma-ruchiM maheshaH
jAnAti gautamasatI tvat-charaNa-prabhAvam        |
jAnAti dorbala-parAkramaM Isha-cApaH
jAnAtyamOGa-paTu-bANa-gatiM payOdhiH            ||

“Oh Rama, Shiva knows the sweetness of your name. Ahalya, the wife of sage Gautama, knows the resurrective power of your feet’s touch. The divine bow (it could well be Shiva’s bow or also Vishnu’s bow- Parashurama gave it to Rama) knows the valour of your powerful arms. And the ocean well knows the infallible power of your sharp and forceful arrow”.

It is an interesting prayer. Shiva chants Rama’s name, and extols it as equal to the entire Vishnusahasranama according to tradition. Although Valmiki Ramayana mentions no special relationship between Rama and Shiva, ever since Tulsidasa dedicated his magnum opus to Shiva’s inspiration, Hindus believe in the mutual worshipful attitude between Rama and Shiva- as deified in Rameshwaram.

But what’s in a name?

Bhagavadgita says that the ultimate yagna is Japa or chanting. There is a story about Kabir. Once Kabir was away on travel, and a devotee approached his son Kamal. He asked Kamal, in the absence of Kabir himself, for some spiritual instruction. Kamal told him, “all it takes is for you to chant Ram! Ram!”.  
On his return, Kabir asked Kamal if there had been any visitors. Kamal told of this devotee and his advice to chant Ram Ram. Kabir was incensed. He said, “Kamal, I am disappointed in you. You asked him to chant Ram! Ram!? Why twice? Does it mean you don’t believe in its power if it is chanted once? Isn’t once enough?”

A tremendous story. And then we have this song of Purandaradasa, reproaching Rama in a nindaastuti.. “Oh lord, why bother supplicating to you and dealing with your teasing and taunt? The power of taking your name alone is enough!”

What is this chant power?

To my yet unwise mind, it means an act of surrendering your wants, thoughts and this continuous bargaining with God. Just chant and be happy! Shiva, the sage and intellect, knows ultimately the power of chanting in surrender.

Then comes the fallen woman Ahalya. She cringes in stone until her resurrection. No sinner needs to lose hope. God always comes sooner or later. That again calls for patient surrender.

To me the divine bow is an allegory of our ego and sense of power. All that is broken in God’s hands. So better bend in prayer than be broken! Again surrender.

Rama’s arrow is infallible. It can vanquish even the ocean of troubles we face… all in our sense of I and mine. That is the ocean of world’ly troubles.

The story is all about surrender. Take God’s name, and surrender. Or surrender to existence, and don’t push the river.

Posted in Rama Shiva surrender chant prayer Ramayana Valmiki KVN Parvathi blog concert shloka Purandaradasa Tulsidas Kabir Kamal Ram | Leave a Comment »

The invention of lying

Posted by rsachi on April 1, 2010

I saw this movie on the plane recently. I think it is telling. It is written and directed by Richard Gervais, the English comedy actor. The Invention of Lying ( paraphrasing Wikipedia) is set in an alternate reality in which no one has ever lied and where people speak their minds, blurting out very blunt remarks and opinions that people in the real world would normally keep to themselves. The concepts of fiction, imagination, and speculation do not exist which results in the movie industry being limited to documentary-style historical readings, with television commercials being straightforward, and an absence of religion. In a hilarious parody, the movie features an ad for Coke. Coca-Cola’s advertising slogan is “Please continue buying Coke–it’s very famous” ! and then there is one for Pepsi too..”Pepsi–when they don’t have Coke.”

The protagonist Mark  is a proverbial loser, with neither looks, charm, nor talent as a movie script writer, and cannot impress his reluctant date. Here is the Youtube video from the movie:

 He begins to lie when his bank teller (remember there”s no lying there) says the computer is down and how much balance does he have.. and Mark makes up $800 when he has about $300 in the account. Thus begins a wild ride for him as he starts turning his life around by simply lying… and finally he makes up, to cheer up his dying mother,  a lie about  “The Man in the Sky” who can give you boons and alter your future… Soon he is hailed as a messiah by the town.. an oracle who can interpret for you the man in the sky!

I have been thinking about how our concept of an all loving, all giving personal God is constantly challenged by our real life experiences, and how we find, except our own childhood beliefs of religion, all concepts of God according to “other” religions pure poppycock.

So what can I believe in? I quote Osho, from his talks, “The Discipline of Transcendence” :
It will be easy if you understand Lao Tzu’s concept of tao, or if you understand the vedic concept of rita. There must be something like a law which holds everything together. The changing seasons, the moving stars… the whole universe goes on so smoothly; it must have a certain law.

The difference has to be understood. Jews, Christians, Mohammedans, Hindus, call that law ‘god’; they personify it. Buddha is not ready to do it. He says to personify god is to destroy the whole beauty of it, because that is anthropomorphic, anthropocentric attitude. Man thinks as if god is just like man — magnified, quantitatively millions of times bigger,but still, like man.

God is not a person. You cannot annoy him and you cannot buttress him, you cannot flatter him. You cannot persuade him to your own way. Whether you believe in him or not, that doesn’t matter. A law exists beyond your belief. If you follow it, you are happy. If you don’t follow it, you become unhappy. Look at the austere beauty of the concept of law. Then the whole question is of a discipline, not of prayer. Understand the law and be in harmony with it, don’t be in a conflict with it, that’s all. No need for a temple, no need for a mosque, no need to pray.

If you obey, you live in heaven. If you disobey, you live in hell. Hell is a state of your own mind when you are antagonistic to the law, and heaven is also a state of your own mind when you are in harmony.

Coming back to lying, Osho again says elsewhere something VERY significant. “Satyameva Jayate”. This expression is on Indian currency notes and is India’s official motto. But in the real world falsehood seems to be winning! How do you reconcile this? Osho says, in the real world, people are cunning. They wait to see who wins, and  interpret “Satya” only after seeing who wins…in other words, the winner is always right! That is the misery of our world. No wonder we invented lying!!!!!!

Posted in Satyameva jayate osho Buddha invention of lying Richard gervais the law harmony God prayer | 1 Comment »