Terrorism and Loveism!!


In the age and time that I have lived – Terrorism is an important world issue.

I was born in 1979, so I missed most of the Cold War action. That was good, because it ultimately turned out to be nothing. A damp squib. I vaguely remember seeing the Berlin Wall fall and the break up of Soviet Union.

But as I grew up, what most definitely changed the world forever happened just a few years back. 9/11 – the digits chillingly the same that Americans dial to get help from Police when in distress.

Since then, Terrorism became an important issue. Probably, the important issue. Whether I will live to see the day a girl would decide to go out with me depends entirely upon whether my country is sending some troops to Iraq. It seems, in the cold war you could blame everything – from a rude neighbor to the weather – on Russia (or U.S depending upon where you were). After Russia decidedly stopped being a threat – there was a godforsaken peaceful vacuum in which the world existed.

Now, things are better. We have Al-Queda. We have an enemy, we have somebody to fight with. And that is great!

If we don’t know who we are against, if we do not know who is our enemy – we don’t know who we are!! Not having an enemy might lead to such wasteful things as introspection and worrying about unimportant issues like environment or poverty or even…. Shudder shudder… hunger-deaths.

We don’t have to worry about those things anymore. We have terrorism. Yippee!! We have to worry about smoking them out of their holes and shooting them down and waging war and counting dead bodies and preparing for bomb-blasts and hostage negotiations.

The world is normal again!

Thank you Osama uncle.

Terrorism – Terror-ism. Philosophy of Fear.

Interesting.

I wonder if there was another way to fight terrorists.

Is there something called Loveism. Well, the red underline under the word on my word-processor says there isn’t.

But imagine if there was.

Loveism – Love-ism. Philosophy of Love.

Love is the opposite of Fear. Isn’t it natural that we should fight fear with love? Fighting fear with fear could result in overall – well…… more fear!
Oh, you are a terrorist?
Know what, I am a Loveist!!

Here are some imaginary headlines from newspapers not yet published.

Loveists strike in the heart of New York! Police reach in time to be kissed.

Unknown Loveists sprinkle flowers and rosewater over Iraq.

Loveist head – Cupid Bin Bush warns: All those who believe in fear are our next target.

Loveism is a threat to the Weapons Industry – stocks plummet.

Here is a small news item:

Loveists attack London, Afghanistan, Iraq

By our international Reporter,
September 11, 2xxx

In a worldwide attack of chilling accuracy, Loveists today struck three corners of the world – London, Kabul and Baghdad at 8 A.M GMT.

London
Londoners were in for a shock as the Loveists forcibly stopped an underground train and distributed, again, forcibly – footstep counters (small digital devices which count the number of footsteps you take everyday!) and conducted small training programs on how to stay healthy. They segregated the smokers and shot water pistols at them. The stunned smokers were then presented with toy-lungs and asked to care for them. The hunt is on for the Loveists, but as always – they have left no traces. Later on a statement was posted at an unofficial site on internet which said a new group ‘Random acts of Extreme Kindnesses” has taken responsibility for the act.

Baghdad
A group of rebel U.S marines sent a chill down the spine of the entire world by revealing their real identities as agents of “Love Group for Middle East”. They shocked the Iraqis by reciting verses from the Koran over loudspeakers in the city. They had been practicing for months, reports say. They proceeded to the now-famous Abu Gharib prison and made a public apology on behalf of mankind to those who had suffered there. The matter has shaken the U.S army to the core and head in command was sacked the same evening. The U.S marines have been arrested for the heinous act and will be face a court martial.

Afghanistan
At about the same time – a group of about 100 loveists appeared out of nowhere – and in a precisely executed operation erected a plywood school building with a well stocked library and built a huge water tank for a small town near Kabul, all within eight hours. Eyewitnesses say, the authorities were kept at bay by a parade of strippers, who in eight hours of a sleazy dance show – managed to take their veils off and also exposed their elbows. The Mayor of the town was then kidnapped and tickled till he approved of both the constructions as legal.

World Reaction
The love attacks have brought the world community together in expressing their condemnation and disgust. President Gregor Bush of U.S.A in a white house release today said “The Loveists pose a threat to the world as we know it. They stand against the concepts of profit, power and believe only in spreading harmony and love in the hearts of our voters. We will not tolerate this. We will smoke them out of their holes and kill them. For without fear, there is no power”. He was supported by the British PM, Mr. Tony Blare. Indian PM, Mr. Manmohan Sing said that the Loveists were looking for a resolution of the Indo-Pak hostilities without any extended negotiations over hundreds of years. This, he said, went against the very idea of two countries making peace. The Loveists, he said – would never succeed in their loving schemes.
Stop Press
The French however, have extended their full support to the Loveism movement and has been declared a Loveist country.

Ha ha…
Ha ha ha …
Ha ha ha ha….

Very funny, you say?

Romantic but not realistic, you say.

Exaggerated? Yes.
Romantic? Very much.
Realistic? Totally.

How do we know? When was the last time we responded to terror with love? When was the last time we felt fear and said “I forgive”. As a race, when was the last time we did it?

And if we have never done it, how do we know what consequences will it bring?

If U.S, instead of vying for the oil of Iraq, provided water and food to Iraq and Afghanistan and marketed its contributions well enough – are there any chances that some of the hardcore militants would soften? If I am giving you water, will you kill me? Well, maybe after you read my book, no matter what I do, you will kill me – but I mean seriously. If we made a genuine, from the heart effort to help those who hate us – would hatred give way to shock… to guilt…. To tolerance… to understanding…. To appreciation… to love.

Maybe not.

But then,

Maybe.

Is it worth a shot?

Holy Cow!!


Reading this book called “Holy Cow” by Karan Chopra – it’s such a delight. It’s written for first time tourists to India. Our country is so colorful. And we hardly notice. Reading about the Mughals, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sadhus – it is somebody telling me everything I know……. for the very first time. And you know what? That changes everything!

For example, when Mumtaz Mahal was dying, a tear drop fell from her eyes and rested on her cheek. ShahJahan picked it up on his finger and said ‘I will build a monument that looks exactly like this tear drop, descended from heaven and eternally frozen on earth….” That is how Taj Mahal was built. While Taj Mahal was being built, a small city called Mumtazabad sprang around it. Imagine this…. Taj Mahal being built… 500 elephants bringing marbles, silver and gold to Yamuna… Craftsmen, engineers, workers….. The whole place hustling bustling for over 20 years with one goal… To create an eternally frozen tear drop on earth….

Or Aurangzeb… The super-villain amongst Mughals was the least indulgent of them all. He wore white clothes, no jewels and sew caps for a living. He was a fundamentalist and he razed numerous temples and gurudwaras to ground. He did not take opium (every other Mughal emperor was big on dope) or alcohol and did not have any monument built for his death. He lies buried in an inconspicuous grave near Aurangabad (which Anisha, my neighbor has visited :-D)

Or did you know that Ganesha, the elephant God has only one tusk. He broke one off while writing Mahabharata (which was dictated in one sitting by Vyas) to use as a pen.

Or that Jain religion favors extreme form of ascetism. They wear those white masks because they do not want to kill an organism while inhaling or exhaling.

Or that Sikhism is the only religion in the world where the book defining the religion was composed while the figurehead of the religion was still alive. Sikhs do not worship statues, they worship the book – “Guru Granth Saheb”

Or that 85 temples dedicated to love and passion were built, out of which only 22 remain and Khajuraho is the most well preserved.

I am really enjoying this book. Really. It’s about rediscovering what I have known all my life and there is nothing more interesting than looking at something you know and you think you understand very well in a new perspective.

PS: Do not confuse this with another book called Holy Cow by Sarah MacDonald.

Creating in Emptiness

Revisiting this blog, after almost a year. So much has happenned. I really should write more often. Make that – I really will write more often.

A friend left for a month – leaving me with suddenly empty evenings. All current personal projects, brainstorming sessions and pleasant outings came to a sudden stop. When I was done watching the latest movies I had bought – the questions has started settling in… what do I do? Such bouts of ‘not-knowing’ have a history of turning into some of the most creative periods of my life, and I am looking forward to it.

Something similar happenned when I was at home for almost two months after TAPMI (the college where I did my post grad) convocation. I was alone at home in the city where I grew up. The streets seemed unfamilliar with no familiar faces in sight. A whole generation had left the city and a strangeness blanketed the familar ‘black field’, the ‘football ground’ and the ‘community center’. Even the tennis court had looked intimidating then. My only responsibility then had been to make myself available at dinner and lunch. And I spent a lot of time walking to the browsing center and sending ‘Miss You’ mails to modellites – that’s what our college gang called (calls?) itself. After a while of dealing with this sudden silence, something inside me began to stir. A need to create, a need to express. It appeared with doodling on blank pieces of paper, capturing an idea on the blank sides of the newspaper while solving a crossword and slowly… slowly… took form. This ‘stirring’ led to me writing a rought sketch of a screenplay based on TAPMI days. And I started writing a book called ‘What the F is the meaning of life’. Still incomplete, the book is a potential best-seller 🙂 , it’s just that I have not had much ‘quiet time’ since then…… till now!

I need these stirrings, or these ‘quiet times’ to create and express ‘felt’ things. Otherwise I just get too involved in living life. But the stirring is there. I can feel it. That is wonderful. Therefore, the return to the blog!

So, the next month or so – should ideally be extremely creative and soul-satisfying for me. Make that – will be extremely creative and soul satisfying for me.

Also, working on my new web site (which I recently registered) www.abhishekkumar.com .

Will come back.

I should have…

The saddest words in English Language are – “I should have….”

The novel ‘War and Peace’ by Leo Tolstoy has a character called Ian. Ian is old and he is dying. On his deathbed this is what Ian says to himself

“What if my whole life has been wrong? What if all I did was live by the rules – others wanted me to live by? What if those rare flashes of inspiration – which lasted only a few seconds and which I let pass as something abnormal – were the real thing? What if I never did what was really important to me? What if all the happiness I felt was only incidental – not created? What if the happiness I felt could have been deeper, richer and more intense? What if I never really asked myself what was important and never figured it out? What if… what if my whole life has been wrong?”

In the twilight of life, it is not what you did that bothers you – it is what you didn’t do, what you could have done – that gnaws at your soul.

In old age, with so little left in the future and so much there in the past, you will come back and live your life all over again. A life that is being created now, as you read this message. Try and make it a life, you can look back on and tell your grandchildren about, and laugh silently at the looks of admiration in their eyes.

Because the alternative is grow into a cynical, bitter old person where you will choose to make your existence mundane, routine and uneventful while the wait for inevitable death continues.

Remember, we do grow old and die, you know.

Wake up call

A person who is sleeping can be woken up.

A person who is pretending to sleep cannot be woken up.

The worst and the most significant lies are those which we tell ourseleves.

The worst actions are the ones that we take, all the while knowing that our soul does not want it.

The worst thougths are those which tell us that we deserve something less than the best that life has to offer.

The worst words are those which we speak knowing that they will offend someone who truly cares.

And even if you do all of these things, you still remain a worthy, good human being – yet become worthless in your own eyes. You become like a street drug peddler, who looks shiftily in every direction, aware of the dangers, on the lookout for an opportunity to make a sale, all the while knowing that what he is doing is wrong, yet doing it because he does not know any better. The street drug peddler, if he could forget himself for a moment, is a wonderful, magnanimous, great human being. So are we. If only we could forget ourselves.

No matter what your age, sex or circumstances, you are mostly made up of unused potential.
Life does not become great or beautiful by philosophizing about it. Life does not become great by listening to preachers or reading manuscripts of wisdom. Life does not become great by making yourself feel good about how great you are. Life becomes what it is because of a simple word. HABIT.

Your present moment of NOW is the only time in which you are alive. In which you will ever be alive. Your present moment of NOW is dictated by habit. Your life is nothing but a cumulative sum of your present moments.

Finally, a quote sums up what I have to say…

Life is measured not by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away.

I am online…

It has been a long wait. Finally, I have an internet connection at home. It was in 1999 that the 19 year old me put up the first www.abhishekkumar.cjb.net on internet. I had no computer then. Working on a friend’s machine, taking the files in a floppy to a browsing center (which was 1 and a half hours away by local bus) and uploading it – seems almost surreal now. The computer did arrive in 2001, but living on the net took almost five years. Using the college internet connection while doing my MBA and then again browsing centers accounted for the site that you see now. Finally, a few days back – the Sify guys came in and installed the connection. And I can now update this web site, more often, as often as I want, from the privacy of my own home. Feels great. 🙂 I am sure I will be able to add a lot more value, make the site even more interesting and fun now. Look out for several new free gifts coming your way and the new Abhishek’s store. Hope you keep coming back. The action is just about to begin.

Abhishek’s List

One of the most revealing experiences I had was in Bombay during my summer project with Bates Advertising. There was no work in the beginning and I was spending a lot of quality time in my Xavier’s hostel room. As usual, I was reading up and doing some writing too. It is then that it struck me to make a list of all the things I have been successful at in my life. I went as far back in memory as possible and wrote down all – ALL – the things I had succeeded at. Right from my childhood till then. It was a very intense experience and I almost relived all my previous successes in the process of writing them down. It also helps to have the list ready and look at it in case you want some feel-good moments
in life.

It was a wonderful thing to do. We need to take note of good things we do and not merely feel guilty of bad about things we do not do. We should also celebrate successes in as much as we note down our failures. While it is important to note down what we have not down, noting down our accomplishments makes us feel very satisfied and confident about ourselves. Self-image, self worth and self-respect are very important ingredients for motivating us to achieve further successes in life.

There is one more aspect to this. Noticing your own accomplishments will put you on the right path to surpass your own achievements and make you to draw your strategies on your successes and not on your failures.

Today you do a simple exercise: List down all the things you have done successfully and note down your feelings as you read your list. Remember, it doesn’t have to be success as per somebody else’s definition (like topping school or something!) it just has to be something you consider a personal success. It helps to have such a list handy.

Crows Share

When crows get food, they do not eat it all by themselves. They go and call everyone else too. So that everyone gets to eat – the logic being that when some other crow finds food, he will do the same thing. If every crow shares – ALL crows get to eat and nobody dies of hunger. Its called an Abundance mindset. (Of course, we human beings do seem to have good reasons why thousands should die of hunger every day. World hunger exists because we think there are less resources. Its a scaracity mindset.)

I updated and quite changed the look and feel of the web site around two weeks back. Hope everyone likes the new web site. I wish everyone a belated happy new year! I pray that this new year brings you greater opportunities to grow, learn and express more of your potential.

With the Abundance Mindset, I have shared information which I think should be useful to you. Do go through the web site. ‘Notes from Abhishek’ is an attempt to share the insights, learnings, aha’s that I have.

I hope the synchronicity of you visiting the web site leads you to answers you are looking for. All the best.

Salesman

I had read a wonderful book called ‘The Greatest Salesman in the world’ a couple of weeks’ back. This time in B’lore, I was visiting this book Shop called Oxford and I saw ‘The greatest secret of the world’ which is like a sequel and application-manual for the earlier book. Bought it. Also bought “The richest man in Babylon” which was recommended by Tony Robbins. Started working on “The greatest secret of the world” – hope to continue with the program. Will take 45 weeks in total. Gotta do this one!!