Charavak, Millennials’ way of life

In a quest to seek knowledge, I come across a variety of books from multiple different genres.

In pursuit of the same quest, I know I should be pragmatic, which means I need to keep my mind open for all schools of thought.

Recently, I started studying the Charavak Philosophy, ancient school of Indian materialism. The Charvaka epistemology states that whenever one infers a truth from a set of observations or truths, one must acknowledge doubt; inferred knowledge is conditional.

This school of thought actually appealed to my intellect.It just meant that now my mind and my intellect can be on the same page for once.

I believe, the practicality of all the things will also give way to a simpler lifestyle, though it might also take a toll on the emotional aspect of life. For eg. If you have a 6-year-old, asking how he gets a gift or a cash gift every time he keeps his tooth for the tooth fairy, it is better to lie to him out of love, rather than explain the dynamics of how economy works or how his father/mother replaces the tooth in the middle of the night.  Maybe, that is a practical thing to do, but it is still driven by emotion.

I know of how the practical approach to life fails, but I also know of how it succeeds in life. In Hindu literature, it is brilliantly explained with the notion – Ram Rajya. Named after the famous, godly king of India in 3400 BC, a kingdom, wrought in Chaos and corruption was morphed into a beautiful and law-abiding place almost similar to the concept of Eden. The citizens were very strict in following the laws which were laid down by the great Lord Ram.

Yet, the practical way of life was flawed, as the emotions came second to practicality. Over the centuries, there grew a discontent and that became the downfall of this once great philosophy.

Does it mean that the philosophy itself is wrong ? perhaps not. Each person has his own thought process. Hence the individuality of humanity comes into picture.

Now a days, due to social media, it seems like the next generation would rather “google” the answers and accept the first result (or the most convenient one)  than actually  think on whatever task they had at hand. In such a scenario, wouldn’t it make sense that we have the Charavak Philosophy integrated into the lifestyle ?

The only word which the millenniums seem to have integrated is materialism.  They think a fancy mobile, expensive clothes and fast cars is the ultimate aim of life. Hence, they spend truck loads of money on items, just to post it on social media, and then go into an endless pursuit of checking how many people “like” it. Have we become so needy ? If we are, when will we start liking our inner self ? When will we get in touch with our inner self ?

Does Power beget evil ?

I was having a chat with one of my colleges yesterday. The topic of the discussion was -how it is evil to strive for power. I was the champion of power. I don’t believe power itself is evil.

Let me explain myself.

Power is nothing but the will to be the best. To be so good, that people would follow your advice/ teaching without question. This “advice” could be through the show of force or through show of knowledge. The power which is enforced through a show of force, though powerful in itself can always be nullified or countered with someone who is more adept in the “intelligence” department. Let’s see an example :

You are in a bar, and a few beefy bullies try to show power by pushing you around. Now you, a skinny, powerless but intelligent person can do a lot of things to save themselves. You may call the cops. But they may take some time to arrive at the place. You may simply pay the football team in the bar room, who are causing a lot of ruckus, to beat the bullies up.  If you are short of cash, simply order a drink and serve one of the groupies in the football team, hinting that the drink is from one of the bullies. The high testosterone levels in the football team members will help you to beat the bullies up to save their “honor”.

In any case, you overpowered an enemy who was in superior strength and numbers and hence – more powerful.

Now you, in this case, used your intelligence as power and saved yourself from getting bullied. Does this make you evil ? I don’t think so. It is natural to save ourselves and those we love.

Now, power itself is not evil then. But the person wielding that power, could inherently be evil, which would just mean that even though power itself is not evil, it was used to spread the evil.

Let’s take another example.

Imagine two accomplished neurosurgeons. They have the power to save people by performing very critical and complex surgeries. One of them uses his skill to heal the people and the other uses the skill to sell the body parts on the black-market.

Does this mean the power to perform complex surgeries is evil ?


With naked feet, i wander

Why no impressions in the ground, I wonder

I aked God, O mighty one, in heaven

Am I lucky enough to be Legolas , the loved one ?

To which God replied,

Dude, firstly, you are very bad at poetry

and we are in the twentieth century.

We no longer make use of the Shakespearean English.

Secondly, there are no footprints because you are walking on hard surface.

Stop thinking that you are “special” and get on with your life. There are people in the world who don’t fuss about being called disabled rather than differently-able, there are people around the world who rise above the racial prejudices and prove themselves worthy of attention for all the good reasons. Follow their example.

And for the goodness of mankind, don’t try to compose poetry.

#soldmedia , #politicalcorrectness

Life…and tips

I have been living in Doha for a better part of a month now. One thing I noticed is, there are a lot of Indians here. Especially people from Kerala.

I have been staying in a hotel for  15 days (the bill was enormous, but there was no other way), when I noticed a few things.

First thing I noticed when i entered Doha, was the air was full of perfume smell. It was refreshing but weird. Like everyone wore the same perfume.

Second thing, That I look Egyptian. This was commented by a Taxi Driver and seconded, later , by a lot of other guys.

Thirdly, Whenever I mentioned that I was an Indian, the Indians and Nepalis treated me like a brother. I got an extra bottle, extra soap, extra coffee better service… overall very good service from most of the people.

All they wanted was someone to chat with from “Back home”. No matter if the Person is from a different district. It was India.

I say most, because the Taxi drivers, mostly Indians and Bangladeshis , tried to charge me more that the meter.

But I am used to it.

Moral of the story:

  1. People  tend to give you a better service when spoken to / treated like a human being.
  2. India may be a country which is divided by caste issues, regional conflicts and overall hatred between certain sects; but to se the unified nation, it is ironic,  that you need to leave the country to see it.


This is another article that I wrote for a Mensa meet. Apparently, I am depressed.

What is depression?

Excessive sadness, perhaps?

So let’s remove sadness from life. By-product : no happiness. As it happens, you can’t feel true happiness unless you know what the absence of happiness means and the absence of happiness is sadness. Like darkness is just an absence of light, or chaos is just an absence of order.

But, Just like, a small beam of light can cause a dark room to brighten, a small act of shouting and cutting queue (chaos) when filling up the graduation forms in college can cause a small and exciting riot, conclusion : a small shock of sadness can actually break the depression.

No this is not a typo. I agree, that small bout of joy can also help with depression, but that is just for a particular moment. For long-term effects, you need a small shock of sadness. This will look at life from a different perspective. It gives the feeling that God just gave a smack on your bum and asked you to “man up” to life. He says life isn’t cruel, just mischievously sadistic.

How do you spot a depressed person ?
He is definitely not the one shouting “I am so depressed, that I can no longer work.” This is simply a lazy guy who wants others to do his work for him.

He is definitely not the person sitting quietly in the corner… staring blankly at a wall. He might just be admiring the colour or texture of the wall. Or perhaps he might be absent minded. Or perhaps he might think himself to be John Forbes Nash and thinks staring at walls may just win him a Nobel prize and he might get a beautiful mind.

He is definitely not the one who refuses to take baths, has long and dirty fingernails. He might be a gardener or he might have just buried someone,preferably not alive.
( I should stop watching police procedural dramas )

No these are not the depressed beings.

Notice the guy who keeps smiling, no matter what the situation ? Yes, the guy who is laughing all the time, cheerful, pleasant, cool to hang out with. Look at him closely. There might just be a hint of sadness hiding in those eyes.
The eyes, always trying to find something. Something they don’t know how to explain, something that’s missing. A spark in their life, maybe… ? or a purpose to live , perhaps …?

Have you tried to talk to him ? He might just speak for hours and you might gain a lot of general knowledge and absolutely no personal insight into this person. He has shut himself off, emotionally. He might put on weight, or loose some within a short span. He might claim to get plenty of sleep, almost 12 hours, and claim he needs it.

These are just some symptoms of depression. There might be more.
So next time you spot such a person, try to look into him, rather than at him. You might just learn a lot about him

When do we loose a friend ?

A schoolmate commented on an old photograph on my facebook page. The photo was of my school days, taken at the time we completed our high school. The entire batch along with the teachers, captured into an immortal moment.

Most of the faces were familiar, some familiar but difficult to recognise .

But some faces seem foreign.

This got me thinking. Why do I not remember them ? Have I lost these friends ?

When do we loose a friend ?

Is it when the friend dies ?

Nah. Can’t be. I lost my best friend when we were 15 years old adolescents. But I still consider him as a friend. Amongst us, we still discuss and cherish our memories involving him. Only the state of his existence has changed. So I can’t say that he is no longer a friend.

Do we loose a friend when you call him, but he disconnects the call, and sends a sms – ” I am busy, call me later” and  never calls back ?

In our day to day life, the lifestyle is getting more hectic. It is very probable for some one to forget a call back. So, this can’t be the answer.

Do we loose a friend when he gets married and can no longer “hang-out” at your usual spots ?

Definitely not. Everyone needs his own personal space, but most often, there is a change to make a new friend. But it does take time for the spouse to know you better to be considered as a friend.

Do we loose a friend when a familiar voice says “wrong number” ?

Hmm. Maybe .

Do we loose a friend when you look back at your life and can no longer find anyone to share a bench with ?

This, would be a difficult question to answer.

Hindu Mythology

I watched movies like “The Mummy” over the weekend, and it got me thinking.

Why is Hindu mythology, not shared with anyone outside India ?

So this got me thinking, and I will be adding a new section in the blog.

Do check it out

What does charity mean ?

The recent earthquakes in Nepal and the sudden rise in want-to-be philanthropists made me write a short story from the Hindu scripture ” Bhagvad Geeta.”

A little background on the characters and situation.

Karna : He was a loyal friend of the Kauravas. He was known as the most charitable person alive. Extremely honourable, but highly looked down upon because of his lineage.

Arjuna : One of the Pandavas. Highly skilled archer,

Krishna : King of Dwarka. Very intelligent, practical and diplomatic person. He is the one who rist recited the geeta to Arjuna.

Here is the story :

One day, Arjuna says to Krishna ” Oh great ,lord, why is it that Karna is deemed as The hero among donors ? Even I do a lot of charity work. Why is it, that I am not given the same honour ? ”

Krishna though on this and decided to give him a practice session.

He took Arjuna to a village, created a mountain of gold and asked him to distribute the mountain of gold among the villagers. Arjuna started calling all the villagers, asked them to form up a queue and started giving out potions of the wealth. Eventually, he got tired and frustrated, as the villagers kept asking for more.

Krishna saw the frustration on Arjun’s face and told to stop what ever he was doing.

Then he sent word to Karna and told him to do exactly the same thing.

Karna called the villagers to the mountain, asked them to take the gold and then without another word, went about his own business. He never even glanced at the pile, or how the villagers were using the gold.

Now Krishna says to Arjuna ; ” Did you understand your mistake now ? O brave archer ? You, in your pride, decided to hand out the gold on your own. You thought it was your prerogative how to distribute the wealth. Al this gesture did was  caress your ego. You also endeavoured to distribute the wealth equally.  But Karna has no such thoughts. He know he had to give away the wealth. He simply asked the villagers to take the gold. To achieve that objective, he knew there was no need for him to do anything more than simply ask the people to take the gold for themselves. He never thought that it was “He” who is giving away the wealth.”


Similarly, if you really want to help someone, you should not think that it is “you” who is helping him. A selfless help , a selfless act is richest forms of charity. There is no point in asking questions like :

  • Will this money reach the needy ?
  • How much should I give so that I can show it in my Tax returns ?
  • How much would be enough, to brag to my friends about ?

If you want to give away, have no regrets . Do it selflessly.

We Dont need no, education

I was going home from work yesterday. TGIF in my mind, going over the infinite possible things not to do on the weekend while trying not to bump into any other vehicle.
Now, I try to follow the traffic rules, which I  know, is unorthodox for a person living in Pune. (the city is full of notoriously traffic signal flouting maniacs). So during one such stop, a person came up behind me and kept blaring at his horn (no not the pointy one, the electronic one). I dashes him an annoyed look. “Beep, Beep, Beepbeep, beep”. Another annoyed look.

He: “Dude, come on, go. Are you an idiot. Give me way.”

Me: ” No, I am not an idiot, I am learned and educated.”

He: “Me too, I am an Engineer. But what has that got to do with anything ? Get out of my way”

Me : ” Well being an engineer just means that you were able to memorise a few pages for four years and satisfy the questions of a person looking for specefic answers. It is just a degree. That is not education and learning.”

He:”Dude, I work in IT. I make more mony than you”.

Me:” Still doesn’t prove you are educated. In fact proves the lack of education and learning.”

He:”You are an idiot.”

Me: ” Maybe. But definatly educated”.

The lights turned green. some more “beep beep, beepbeep” and HE whisked away.

So, is having a degree, called education and learning? or having traffic sense, comman sense, humility, wisdom, kindness and politness called education and learning ?

Shiv Khera’s experience in Singapore:

6 years ago in Singapore I gave a taxi driver a
business card to take me to a particular address.
At the last point he circled round the building.
His meter read 11$ but he took only 10. I said Henry, your meter reads 11$ how come you are taking only 10. He said Sir, I am a taxi driver, I am supposed to be bringing you straight to the destination. Since I did not know the last spot, I had to circle around the building. Had I brought you straight here, the meter would have read 10$. Why should you be paying for my ignorance ?
He said Sir, legally, I can claim 11$ but ethically I am entitled to only 10. He further added that Singapore is a tourist destination and many people come here for three or four days. After clearing the immigrations and customs, the first
experience is always with the taxi driver and if that is not good, the balance three to four days are not pleasant either. He said Sir I am not a taxi driver, I am the Ambassador of Singapore without a diplomatic passport. In my opinion he probably did not go to school beyond the 8th grade, but to me he was a professional. To me his behavior reflected pride in performance and character. That day I learnt that one needs more than professional qualification to be a

A Dog’s Life ?

I have a bad habit of taking a walk late in the evening , usually with a close friend of mine.

Yesterday, was one such time.

We were walking in the the shadows accompanied by our usual tomfoolery , when I noticed a dog by the side of the road.

The dog was skinny, as if it was no fed for days now and twitching violently. First thing we did, check if it had a belt which would signify that it had an owner.  Apparently, the dog did have an owner. Now the question arose. “How to contact the owner ?” This was quickly replaced by “How to help the Dog get well ?”

Now I have absolutely no conscience to speak of, but my friend has one. A very big one. Looking a the pain the dog was going through, we decided to call an animal shelter. But this idea fell through as neither of us new of any such shelter.

Meanwhile, a curious passer-by stopped and enquired as to what we were up to.( or maybe he just wanted to know if we were about to steal anything) . According to his expert opinion , the dog was bit by a snake and should be dead in 10 mins. He added, that in his village this was a common occurrence and even a man is unable to live through the snake bite so the dog would definitely. After sharing this valuable information, he left. 

Finally , we called a vet, and narrated the symptoms. The vet, being a religious person, asked us to say our final prayers and try to ease the dong’s pain. The dog was definitely about to die. We took this advice, said our prayers, and left him, twitching, concious of his pain, and very alone…

Maybe this is life ? after-all, in your last moments , you are alone, conscious of your suffering / pain and maybe twitching .

If yes, what is the difference between a Dog’s and a human’s death ?

Artist on the street.

This incident was a while back. Back, when the nation was still ruled by the Gandhi family, Sachin was still playing cricket, not many people knew who Mr. Arvind Kejriwal was and when I still had some cash in my pocket.

As I mentioned, I had cash in my pocket.

No I was not planing on visiting any temple, nor a lady of negotiable affection.

I was planing on buying some shoes. So I roamed the usual streets of Pune, browsing  the merchandise,  when I came across a boot-polisher.

He did not have any customers, so he was scribbling on a piece of paper. I mean, he was using a Red coloured pen and a Blue coloured pen to draw an abstract picture.

Needless to say, I took a picture. ( If I hadn’t then it would have been a huge penalty for entire mankind. or at-least the one which clicks pics of random crows,sparrows, funny looking tiles, shapes made using multiple hands and feet, and posts them to Facebook.)


Now, while clicking this , I was looking at his face, and then I noticed, there were some tears in his eyes. Maybe, his art was being noticed . It was being appreciated. It was being clicked by someone he did not know, without him telling the person to do so.


Being a bad photographer, I was not able to capture the tears in his eyes, but trust me, they were tears of joy.

It was not Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh or Ravi Verma. But he sure felt like one. Because as is the way of human nature, when some one is clicking something, people around get curious and look at what is actually being clicked. In no time, there were around 15 people admiring the sketch.

The expression of the new born artist was priceless.

If anyone really wishes to see this person, please visit J.M. road in Pune. He may still be there, with his red pen, blue pen and a  piece of paper, scribbling away…