8 December 2017

Another great Sufi poetry for the evening.

This comes per Sumona’s request. The particular rendition I was listening to was by the Sabri Brothers – Ghulam Farid and Maqbool Ahmed.

“Mujhko bharpur abhi tak na koi jaam mila
Saqiya aur pila, aur pila, aur pila”

While Sufi songs have many interpretations, they have almost always revolved around celebrating wine or love. “Saqiya” – literally meaning the “cup bearer” refers to the lady who serves you a drink at the “maikada” (tavern) and sometimes also joins you for a drink.

“A full glass of wine, I have never been served before,
O cup-bearer, pour some more, some more, some more”!!

1 December 2017

What will be, will be…

“ye na thi hamari kismat 
ki visal-e-yaar hota
agar aur jeete rahte 
yehi intizar hota”

Roughly translated…

“That my love will ever be fulfilled
Fate had never designed so
Even if I had lived any longer,
I would have kept waiting more so”

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17 November 2017

A few lines from Fana Buland Shehri…

“nasha sheeshe mein angraaii lene laga,
bazm-e-rindaan mein saaghar khanakne lage
maikade pe barasne lagiin mastiyaan,
jab ghata ghir ke chaaii …

…maza aa gaya”

Roughly translated (improvements welcome)

“Intoxication – hitherto asleep – woke up and spread within the bottle
The goblets started clinking in the company of the inebriated

Unbridled fun started pouring in the tavern
When the storm clouds surrounded the sky…

… I was in cloud nine in ecstasy.”

13 November 2017

This is why I love living in the rural, hilly parts of Georgia

This morning, you could sense the stillness of the moment as the hills and forests struggled to wake up thru the blanket of fog to another day. Occasionally, the serene tranquility would get interrupted by a startled darting deer here and a falling water drop from the leaves there. The dirt roads lay still by the horse farm picket fences unmolested as of yet by the tires of cars scampering the equally sleepy kids to their schools.

It was like time had stood still.

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13 October 2017

A classic from Ghulam Ali

“Itni muddat baad miley ho
Kin sochon mein ghum rehtey ho?
Tez hawa ne mujhse poocha
“Ret pe kya likhte rehtey ho?”

Kaun si baat hai tum mein aisi?
Itni achche kyon lagte ho?
Humse na poochho hijr ke kisse
Apni kaho, ab tum kaise ho?”

Roughly translated…

“We meet today after such a long time
What thoughts are you so lost in?
The strong wind keeps asking me (sarcastically)
What am I trying to write in the sand?

What is so special about you?
Why do you look so beautiful (to me)?
Don’t ask me about our separation, please
You tell me – How are you doing these days?”

20 September 2017

Do you want to be a Collector of Experiences along with me?

For a person who gets easily excited by a few Likes and a few Comments on my blog posts, I am certainly overwhelmed by the thousands and thousands of visits, and hundreds of likes and wishes left on Facebook and LinkedIn on my post about stepping down from my current job.

The number one question posted is “What is the next big thing”?

Well, the answer might underwhelm you. Or not surprise you if you have known me for some time. Following a time tested pattern, I am going to take another year off before I look for a job. The purpose, as always, is to recognize that time is the only truly finite resource we have and therefore, I need to optimize how I spend that time the best I can.

And like every previous time, the focus will be on
(*) Do something for myself – like learning new skills, developing new habits etc
(*) Do something for and with my family (both my immediate family and my family in India)
(*) Do something for the friends, people I know and society at large

I keep a long list of items in my bucket list. Following are the ones that I am getting started on immediately or want to get started soon. Would you be interested in joining me?

(*) For myself: I have enrolled in motorbiking classes (and a lot of safety classes). I am going to get myself a motorbike and go for pleasure riding up the mountains, by the lakes, by the ocean line … It is not about the speed but feeling the wind and getting to know nature in a whole different way. I have been inspired by and mentored by some of my really good friends – Magesh, Avi and Danny to name a few.

(*) For my family: Nikita and I are getting into some serious volleyball playing. Sharmila and I have drawn up some initial plans on a few great places we want to see as a family. We are looking into Galapagos, Bali, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Banf, Kenya, Tanzania, New Zealand, Australia …. Hope to knock off at least a few of them… I also want to spend more time with dad and mom in the next one year. Did I mention, my great friend Roger and I once picked a country at random – Mongolia – and decided that we need to visit that country and find out more about their people? Well, this may be the year!

(*) For others: I have already enrolled and started working as a volunteer in a hospice in Atlanta. I now have 6 patients that I spend time with – most are about six months from what is euphemistically called “transition”. They have come to the end of the runway of that only finite resource we have – time. I want to share some of mine with them.

I am also looking at helping out academia and smaller companies if my prior experience can be helpful (not for financial returns though).

So, that is my initial list. As the list progresses, you will see them in my blogs and posts.

Of course, the old ones – mixing drinks, running long runs (maybe one in Antarctica?), meeting strangers, digging up old people from my past, terrible jokes, playing the tabla, writing more (with fountain pens and digitally)…. I hope to continue with them.

So, here are my questions –
A: Do you have any passion that coincides with mine? I would love to partner up with somebody in a few more steps in my life.
B: Do you want to pick up a new passion? Were you waiting for somebody to just give you the push? Let me know. I might get excited about it. I will be there to push you then.
C: Can you think of how you can help me achieve my goals? Know some professor who might be helped by me? Know some company that can use my experience? Know some old person or dying person who can do with me listening to them or talking to them?

I am up for it…

In the past, the year offs were – according to both my family and myself – the best times we have had. Would be great to keep up the trend… As my friend Avi keeps reminding me – Twenty years from now I will be more disappointed by the things that I didn’t do than by the ones you did do.

So that is my plan.

And yes, at some point of time – around this time next year, I will be looking for a job to pay for stuff. I will reach back at you again then….

In the meanwhile, would you like to be a Collector of Experiences with me? (Suzanne had first told me about this phrase). I will leave you with a thought today…

Watching my patient friends at the hospice who know there are a few more days to live, I bet you they wake up every morning with one thought “One less day left”. And yet, that “One less day” is a truthful statement for all of us – every morning. How many of us recognize that and therefore focus on truly what is important to us individually in life – versus let today flow thru like yesterday was and let our priorities and calendar be driven by other people and things?