going with the flow

the incessant drone of the people around combined with the rat-tat-dub-bub rhythm, is slowly crawling into the recesses of the mind. the constant milling of the motley crowd of young and old alike, up and down the compartment, slowly fails to draw much attention, after the initial curiosity dies down. is this what they call settling down to the comfort of the environs? it is early evening and the view outside presents the dark horizon, when we are not passing by lands that have already been occupied with human settlements, that is. I wonder why the moon rise isn’t spoken of, as much as the sunrise is, or if it is, and I haven’t come across it as much. the glowing red moon, just above the horizon, is a picture of serenity.

as the train chugs along, I sit here, contemplating, now looking out of the window, now humming a song, before I decide to write. not that there is much to be written. this blogger pal had asked me if nothing significant had happened that I had considered worth writing about. I do not know if my posts are solely driven by incidents. if they were, I’d have written a lot more – considering how every passing moment unravels a new mystery, throws in a new adventure, for us bum kinds. to find something to write about, with all the esoteric eccentricities of the mind, has never been a problem. so what is it that drives the pen to the paper – or the hand to the keyboard as is the case more often, and sadly so – it is hard to say. it is probably the moment, an impulse, so to say. if it passes, the thoughts change course, the words that were remotely beginning to find some form, melt away into the void. the attempt of the mind to crystallize the abstraction into words – however limited – fizzles away. but seize the moment, and here you are, writing, just about anything, or even nothing. after all, it is quite possible that everything came from nothing. if it did, then where did nothing come from, I wonder.

it is a small world, after all, and in a while, a familiar face pops in with a surprised look, to receive an equally surprised response. surprised, and somewhat uncomfortable, I must add, if I were to be perfectly honest. after all, I hadn’t expected to see anybody, least of all an old friend. as I nudge and make room to seat another, I am – with a certain amount of guilt – a little uncomfortable with the idea of making conversation at this point of time.

“just go with the flow”, a bum I had once met on one such journey told me. I’d seen him in the middle of the night, when I was traveling ticket less, and was asked to get off the train, or tip off some people. grease their palms, so to say. the latter wasn’t an option, for I had just enough money to manage a meager diet, and some beedis – the cheaper and somewhat nicer version of cigarettes. so there I was, in this small railway station, in a god forsaken town. I saw him in a corner, to himself, smoking what smelt very familiar to me. it was, in fact the smell that drew me to look around and find this man – tiny gait, minimal clothing and a little bag – sitting in a little semi lit nook. I quietly sat next to him and he offered me the chillum. he wouldn’t talk much, but asked me where I was going, and I woefully narrated my story to him. we would then sit there for a few hours, not talking much, and he would later take me along, on another train headed towards where I had originally intended to go. he had told me that I wouldn’t be troubled, and neither would anybody ask me for the ticket. and as long as I was with him, nobody did. when my station came, I thanked him, gave him a few beedis, and left, when he said that to me.

the thoughts race back to the present, as I had this friend narrating some of the happenings in his own life. then there are the usual questions. how and what the work is like now. and how the family is. and what the plans were – plans in life I mean. it was proving to be hard, even this simple instance, of going with the flow. he was apparently traveling with a group of young men and women – all on a spiritual tour of sorts. after a while, we seem to have run out of things to say, and so sit there twiddling our fingers. he invites me over, to join them – they were apparently going to sing hymns and chant and what not. I politely refuse, and notice the disappointment in his face. he doesn’t say much. if he knew me as well as he did a few years ago, he’d figure. the time alone is precious these days, what with the constant drama of being thrown amidst people during most waking hours of the day.

“from the alone, to the alone, all alone is the way of life”, swami chinmayananda has said.

I am reminded of this statement as I turn my gaze back to the moon, a little less red and somewhat smaller than it looked a while ago. a full moon, nice and round – not really, but as round as it can get. perfect imperfection, I wonder how it has worked out that way, the moon I mean. it is even more special today, as it is guru poornima. it is believed to be the birthday of the sage Vyasa, one who is supposed to have authored one of the greatest epics known.

there is nothing in this world that isn’t in it, they say.

what is less known is that the man is also credited with having strived to preserve the Vedas, which is in fact what gave him the prefix to his name. at an era when they were vanishing, he is supposed to have sent disciples all over, to learn and document a wealth of information – from medicine to art to astronomy to astrology to spirituality. and he is then supposed to have collated all this, into what now is accepted to be the 4 vedas.

and today, seekers renew their energies on the path, to continue seeking that divine grace that keeps the clock ticking. may we all walk our paths, and seek that very grace, and never cease till we find what we look for.

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41 thoughts on “going with the flow

  1. “it is probably the moment, an impulse, so to say. if it passes, the thoughts change course, the words that were remotely beginning to find some form, melt away into the void. the attempt of the mind to crystallize the abstraction into words – however limited – fizzles away. but seize the moment, and here you are, writing, just about anything, or even nothing.”Ah, I’ve always wanted to see someone put to words the reason one writes. It’s all about seizing the moment, so true.

  2. Moonrise? Yes, it is not spoken about. Just like Moonbeam 🙂 Everybody talks about sunbeams eh? This hasn’t happened to me in a longish time now, but yes, crashing into known faces and the conversations that follow ARE laborious 🙂 Too much for simpleton bums! Hence “Ved” Vyasa eh? Interesting that! I remember visiting this place a little beyond Mana village, close to Saraswati Ugam and also near to Vasundhara Falls and Bharat ki chaai ki akhiri Dukaan where in a cave like structure it is touted Vyasa compiled / created the Mahabharata! Umm with some skepticism I nevertheless looked around awed.:)NamasteSerene…this post is. A friend of mine would say there is a “lazy elegance” in its form. Much Peace!

  3. Ah, am I overwhelmed now! That you link me to your list of blog reads is a wonderful feeling! Thank you! And before I overtly react, I must say I loved this post of yours as much as your second last post (of the “face”). I loved the end of your first para or should I say the beginning of your thoughts, especially “after all, it is quite possible that everything came from nothing. if it did, then where did nothing come from, I wonder.”You remind me of myself sometimes, where there is one chain of fleeting thoughts from the present leading to the past events of the same kind(a.k.a travelling in a train in your case) and then relating to the present back, pointing out to some occasion – in this case Guru Poornima! It has been a pleasure reading your post, as always!

  4. yes.. if you don’t seize the moment, words fizzle. couldn’t have been better put. thoughts and sentences dance in my mind all the time, but very less of that I can actually manage to articulate on paper. ve started keeping a very small diary now and tht really helps.. (Neon– another writer has put down reasons for writing pretty well– read the essay Why I Write by Orwell sometime if you can)u need to correct the link on the words ‘greatest epics’. Wasn’t there this wonderful temple and trust of Chinmayananda mission bang opposite ISRO on Satellite road, Ahmedabad?? if u be there, do visit. they have the most artistic Radha-Krishna image I have seen till date. Was tht Poornima a ‘Guru Poornima’ 😦 I normally call my old sir tht day… But there’s no way of knowing which date is what with aaji back home miles away!!

  5. “after all, it is quite possible that everything came from nothing.” You’ve actually written a post about so much from nothing at all.

  6. All alone is the way of life…so the abstractions that bring colour are the ones that compel us to write…. To chronicle those moments that were dotted with company or adventure and made it stand our in our significant loneliness….Then again, the vagaries of life make it worth living and detesting all in equal measure.Some unknown fears, worries, unfulfilled wishes all find their way on to the page via the keyboard. A search for penance or fulfillment of sorts by stating what we refuse to admit in normal course. The anonymity of the reader ensures the secret remains so. Write on my man….for in this lonely world it’s good to come across kindred souls who might understand our eccentricities.

  7. a couple of items there that are contrary to what I have learnt/heard before…1. According to what I have heard, Guru Purnima is the celebrated as the day, when Brihaspati was granted the position of Guru by Lord Shiva…2. Vyasa didn’t preserve Vedas… infact there were no Vedas before Vyasa… there were independent hymns/chants that were used by different people differently… Vyasa undertook the painstaking job with his 4 disciples to collate and compile all the hymns and segregate them into 4 massive volumes – Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda…I will make further enquiries and let you know what is right…

  8. SUJITH,absolutely, thats the greatness of the Masters.NEON,glad u could identify. i am still searching for reasons though…J,hehe, laborious yes ;)yes, it is near mana, vyaas gufa and ganesh gufa – thats the steno, in case you haven’t asked aai about the story. interestingly, the caves are different, so i wonder how they really communicated. mysterious!namaste and much peace to you too :)SHINI,well, i read, i read regularly, i link and you’re most welcome :)yes, it was a train that led to nowhere and made me wonder!thanks for being ever so kind!GAURI,a diary is a great idea! used to do it, but somehow lost the verve over a period of time.corrected the link – thanks!will remember that when i visit ahmedabad. theres something about those radha krishna images, nay?never too late to call now i say!!D,hehe, coming to think of it, yes, thats what it seems like.DB,living and detesting in equal measure – to me, the detesting comes in small measures and in bouts, thankfully, while the enjoying happens most other times.:) – i am glad u could recognize the eccentricities and attempt to understand them in your own way. thank you!CM,haven’t heard that bit about guru poornima before – will check!also, about vyasa – well, its all a matter of the way you look at it. there isn’t really a defined limit to what we know as the ‘vedas’ today. veda is coined from the root word, ‘vid’ which means knowledge, to know, which encompassed a whole lot of utterances from the rishis of the ancient days.yes, it was vyasa who compiled them and hence preseved them. you’re right, and i don’t think what i’ve written is really contrary to what you’ve learnt.thanks CM!ASH,thanks!BALU,thank you!PRIYANKA,yes, the attempt is always on. thanks for visiting, do keep coming by, friend! 🙂

  9. GAZAL,well, thats a very interesting question. considering the limiting nature of words, it is quite an impossible task. yet, to think that all writing stems from experience makes me wonder…

  10. is it my perception or is your writing really become more and more complicated?flow of thoughts nicely put but could you write in a more straight forward way for us simpletons to understand?:)wink

  11. FREESELF,it is interesting to note you comment here about the clarity, vis a vis the one below from unpretentious – thats the whole beauty of perception i guess!@ guru poornima – well, i am glad, for what could be more worth sharing than some goodness?keep dropping by!AKKA,*GRIN*well, not the most interesting of assignment, but i read your comment in your own tavern, and now that the challenge has been thrown, us bums don’t cow down and run, do we?in time, hopefully. and thanks!UNPRETENTIOUS,i am sorry if you perceive it as complicated. i do not know if it was meant to be…it could probably be a reflection of the state of the mind itself, i do not know. then again, when i think of the purpose of writing, i begin to wonder…:)thanks for the comment – has certainly made me go back to my post, re read it, and ponder…!MISS IYER,welcome back – again :)shall look foward to your posts.

  12. Hi dharma, Had read your post earlier.. and should have left a comment then.. Tried re reading it.. but am feeling too lazy now. .Now.. could comment on lot of things on your post.. but let me comment on one .. “I wonder why the moon rise isn’t spoken of, as much as the sunrise is”Have you watched the moon set.. especially on a sea.. its a picture of serenity , tranquility .. and purity. .as much as I did not want to show.. check. .http://veenamithare.multiply.com/photos/album/1/Pictures_Perfect_#12The post is very well written.. !

  13. “may we all walk our paths, and seek that very grace, and never cease till we find what we look for.”Amen to that!Very nice post machi. a treat to read as usual :)shek

  14. Walk is always alone! Who is not an introvert? Am I one? In the leadership training they found me as one. My profile is ISTJ. Now, there’s an interesting observation made by the instructor: An introvert is not the one who can’t or won’t socialise. But one who draws energy from within oneself. Extroverts, on the other hand draws energy from outside. Agreed, I get tired socialising, however skillfully I do so. Leaders, spiritual or business or military, are by and large introverts – by the same MBTI profiling. they walk alone. How true!

  15. My friend, I think i am reading this post of yours for the third time, I like the way you weave words.In most cases reality disturbs, or negative thoughts suppress and you miss mixing with the moment. But, I observe that you are completely in the present with the moment. I like that.It was only a few years before that I realised, I need to search, and I am still searching. Sometimes, I think, I was happier when I ignorantly thought, I had it all figured out. 🙂

  16. [Sorry, Off Topic] Gaizabonts, my blog of five years and all my other blogs were hacked into on 6th Aug. Unless you hear from me otherwise, I have no control now, over the content in these blogs. I have moved to:selaphor.wordpress.comAtul Sabnis

  17. That’s it. An impulse. No shortage of material. If there be a shortage of anything it’s of impulses strong enough to provoke action. Technically, I can’t use my old favorite, the shortage of time, or my new dilemma of work demands, for a strong enough impulse will get me writing. Like now, just to say hi, I miss you, and all that. And obviously to find myself benignly escorted along a dreamy path of words punctuated with mind-spurring thoughts, comfortable surprises they were—the question of settling so quickly into the environs, the moonrise, the origin of nothing—as I went with the flow to the ticking beat of never ceasing seeking wishes 🙂

  18. Dear DBLike i hv said before, i come here alot but seldom leave any comments as i fear my comments arent intellectual enough. Anyways, i leave a comment today to ask, when are you gonna write your next entry, cos as a fan i am thirsty for more, its more than a month now since your last entry ; ) Hope you are well. Hugs, Mush

  19. many of ur posts seem to have been written when u were travelling. atleast u post it the day after u return from some trip. for a fact i know u have travelled a little in the last month so how come no post?:)write soon

  20. VEENA,thanks, for the comment, AND more importantly, for sharing the pic – it is simply surreal.SHEK,thanks machi :)DURGASANKAR,welcome to this space.it is an interesting way of looking at introverts, insightful too. i am also a bit surprised, for on the surface, i would have thought that good leaders are extroverts. very interesting thougt to chew upon.thanks for the comment – do keep coming by :)LAKSHMI,well, the answers are there, i guess we just find them when the time is right. thank you :)ENDE,too much influence of the not so good kinda spirits, i guess :PIWOBM,there are not too many moments, when i am able to be there, so when it happens, i seize it and soak in it :)your comment is very profound. ignorance does seem like bliss at times, but then the seeking isn’t something that we did – i mean, to me, it is something that ‘happened’, and so i accept it, and seek on :)SELAPHOR,thanks for the info – i see you’ve weaved a story around that, and beautifully so!YOGA GAL,i am extremely happy to hear that, thanks, and hope you heal soon enough.CM,another one? i’m 3 tags due already…well well!!GAURI,thanks for the reminder – am off there right now!MONSOON,thank you so much!D,thanks! i feel a wee bit embarrassed, but thanks!MISSALISTER,now its not just your posts, but your comments too – they’re poetic. never ceasing seeking wishes – i LIKE that!thanks, missA.YOGA GAL,thanks again!ANON,not busy, just not writing i guess :PGAURI,all well, thanks for dropping by so often, and u know, checking and all…MUSH,intellectual? u make me sound like a snob now! us bums don’t think too hard u know, so u can write anything here, anytime u feel upto it!thanks mush, you’re a darling.UNPRETENTIOUS,trying. to write i mean!MONSOON,written – thanks for dropping by!GAURI,my pleasure!

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