Wednesday, November 30, 2011



I walk inside my daughter’s apartment here. Outside it is getting colder and moreover outside it is only apartments and not the right place for a long walk. Broad and clean roads, too many cars and too little people. May be a walk in the Forest Park would have been invigorating. But it is not near. My daughter had taken me there earlier and it was beautiful with Fall colours. It is true that a walk outdoors is a great relaxation. I used to walk along the Tiruvanmiyur beach in Chennai in the morning, though there was a crowd of people walking there ( some very early birds ), it was a great experience just observing each one lost in their own thoughts, or overhearing a bunch of older people walking in front of you discussing and analysing the latest happenings in the city and the country. On the other side, the sea set its own rhythm with the sound of the waves. If you are early enough you could catch the sun rising as it changed from a mellow red to orange to gold in all its splendour. I have watched some very old couples sitting and watching the sea and the sun, a certain serenity on their faces which comes from having a lived a life together and having seen the various travails of life, now at peace with themselves. Many times I have felt like getting my camera and capturing these various moods. I may do it one day when I am back in Chennai. A walk outdoors is a meditation, where you are an observer of all the things around you, maybe as time goes on you may achieve a state of merging with the Absolute. However that would depend on the state of your awareness within.

But like I said, I started walking indoors not out of choice but due to constraints that I have outlined earlier. After my surgery I was forced to walk inside my house for at least two weeks, as I was advised against going outdoors for fear of catching infection. The walking space in my living room was adequate. I used to walk for about forty five minutes mentally measuring the distance I would have covered during that time, which was adequate for post surgery activity. Later when I was better I ventured out and later did all my walking inside the Marundeeswarar temple which was next door literally. Inside the Temple the path around the sanctum sanctorum was paved and quite long enough for a good walk. This was another experience as I was doing the rounds around the sanctorum absorbed in my thoughts and chanting the prayers I knew ( very few of course ). I always used to do this and continue doing even in my walks indoors. Each cycle would last about six minutes and I would have covered about half a kilometre. I used to do this even in Ahmedabad when I was in a better physical shape and used to jog covering about seven kilometres in an hour. My walk inside the temple brought in a more religious and spiritual element.

Now here in Saint Louis my walks have become more internalised. The apartment being large enough, I am able to walk at my normal speed without any disturbance as people here wake up late, of course the only exception being my wife who is up before me and in the kitchen. I would like to do it earlier before the sounds and smells of cooking from the kitchen distract me and my silence. Yes, here within the quietness of the apartment where no external sounds permeate, I take a walk within myself also. It was during one such walk that I awoke to the fact that this was meditation. Physically I cover a good three kilometres in forty five minutes, which I guess is good enough for my repaired heart. But it is this internalisation that has spurred me in my reflections.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In Pursuit of Happiness


True happiness cannot be pursued. It just happens and is entirely subjective. So why look for definitions and other people’s views on it. It is that moment when all other thoughts come to a standstill and you are immersed totally in that moment of joy. It happens to different persons at different moments and these moments pass by. It is only when one has attained total internalisation and is at peace with himself does perpetual happiness occur. This is for each individual to experience and pass from one state to another to everlasting happiness ( as you may call it ), Ananda is the final stage of SatChitAnanda. This is what you will in find in Indian Philosopy. You can only pursue internalisation in a quest to understand your Self . Perpetual Happiness is the end..

For me, these moments of happiness ( please note ‘moments’ ) occur when I-

Gaze into the eyes of a child

experience the pure innocence reflected there

Feel the smoothness of its cheeks,

and see the smile on its lips.

Watch the sun rising

while taking a walk on the beach,

With the sound

and the rhythm of the waves.

Experience the colours

of the Fall in all its glory,

And see the paintings

of Monet in the nearby gallery.

Marvel at the beauty

of Rebecca in the Salarjung Museum,

And speak

to the roses in the garden.

These are certain moments and they pass me by,

They remain etched in my memory, as I try

To understand what is my quest,

To perpetuate these moments ,try my best.

For these are goals that move away,

Before I can rest and have my say,

And hope everyone finds happiness

On his way.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011



My daughter took me on a ride through the University area and the Forest Park where I had my first glimpse of the Fall colours. It was beautiful looking at the various shades of green, red, yellow and brown. I was lucky to catch the Fall before the leaves fell. As an added incentive there was an exhibition of Monet’s paintings in the art museum in the park. We did not have time to go in and my daughter promised to take me there before the exhibition closed.

‘The Fall’ by Albert Camus has always had a great impact on me since I read it more than three decades ago. Stripping oneself bare, exposing ones own hypocrisy and then rejuvenation. As I watched the leaves falling of from the tree near the balcony, once green then golden yellow, brown and now on the ground. The tree now barren stripped waiting for winter to be covered with white, with snow, rejuvenation in spring and glory in summer, to once again The Fall. And the circle continues. Is’nt it very similar to the processes we undergo during our lives. Then would winter signify the hibernation we undergo after death to be rejuvenated and born again during spring? An interesting introspection as I sit enclosed within the apartment.

Thursday, November 3, 2011



From the hustle and bustle of Tiruvanmiyur to the quietness of my daughters apartment in Saint Louis was a transformation physically, the silence interspersed by the cries of a child, my grandson. As I gazed into Moksh’s eyes, the pure innocence reflected there and the peacefulness on his face when he went to sleep spurred the transformation within. I have never sat down near a new born baby after my second daughter’s birth. Then it was pure joy gazing in to the eyes of your own daughter, now looking at Moksh it was one of pride, my daughter’s son. But now may be I was finding what I was searching all along – pure innocence and peace, a feeling I got when I first looked at the portrait of Ramana Maharishi and the feeling of oneness when I sketched his portrait. Maybe Moksh is my salvation