Anish 18th.


Many Many Happy Returns of the day Anish.

Feel very weird to see that I will not be able to hug you and wish this year. I’ve gotten used to some drama and cheese on Jan 29th. How you painstakingly endure the hugs and open your gifts..I wish today that I will see you soon.  Here’s to a great day and year ahead, full of fun, laughter, learning, health and friends…..lots and lots of friends.  Celine To, River and Olga……you can perhaps walk the fountain perimeter on campus again today….

So let me list here about 18 things that are totally Anish…a bit disarrayed…

  1. Super nerdy, does not like not knowing anything….high FOMO index.
  2. Anytime ready for a game, an adventure – at the drop of a hat. I recall how you assembled a bunch of friends for an SLV launch at Sriharikota and made the road trip.
  3. Loves everyone, practically everyone. Projects a complete contrary image. There are haters mom, but there are no bad people, only people who do bad things...an oft repeated line.
  4. Can’t sleep. Period. Chats everyone on about 6 chat windows into the wee hours of the night…but hates it if anyone of us stops by for a chat….he runs an abnormally fiendish normal full night, as if it was just another day.
  5. Loves to be connected to all his friends. I’ve witnessed days when he’d go rushing unplanned to a party just to watch and ensure his friends are playing safe.
  6. Huge conversations tire him out….he will listen patiently to you, and be cognitively alert in his responses; but he’s secretly bored if it lasts more than 15 mins…he’s filled up his day you see….to many things to do and too many people on his list
  7. very intuitive…can sense a room like a cat very rapidly; and weave the atmosphere back to all-good..
  8. lucid and objective clarity of thought, to date I sit with him for major decisions and plan steps to take
  9. alacrity of action in crisis, I’ve seen him calmly jump into action whenever I need an ER visit
  10. loves himself and hates himself in turns, maniacally…[ Ah mom, I’m awesome, .. …mom am I fat?]
  11. loves to learn…his love for Terence Tao took him to UCLA. And I see the relish with which he learns Math, and all related science.
  12. cares a lot about stories, chats up cabbies, security guards, professors, friends, acquaintances; almost everyone about their stories, what’s important to them, their aspirations etc…stores it away somewhere
  13. loves to cook….i remember how he makes the most creative sandwiches / noodles/snacks…he knows where one can get the best food of any cuisine…but if he is hungry he will not ask; he will stare at the fridge in silence and open/close the door…; he also will not ask for seconds…unless it is red hot pepper pickles…
  14. pretty remote on most days, will not divulge most of himself…his story you will discover in tiny infinitesimal layers, with each adventure of his
  15. cannot stand subterfuge…any sort of deceit really gets to him in a bad way and upsets him for days on end
  16. loves to begin his day with laughs…EIC is a great place he lands first hour in the morning and barrels down the stairs laptop in hand to share some laughs
  17. buys fancy shirts by the tons and always goes for the favorite old ones in black or dull brown everywhere, it drives me nuts
  18. loyal, caring and aloof at the same time, sudden bursts of affection and bent-over hugs from him are rare but special….

to 2017…


it is perhaps apt to write a small list to manifest 2017, in cognition.

3 weeks into the new year and i’ve barely had time to look back, leave alone look forwards into this year..

i had a few wishes in 2016, if you recall. it is with great humility that i thank myself for meeting those goals…

i wrote the Veturi book.

i began giving in huge earnest…i adopted schools, i joined giving drives, i adopted wards. period.

i devised programs for education which i’m really proud of. i never imagined that this would take shape so well and come to fruition from an idea to form so solidly…but it has. thankful.

i began a work of fiction in my head, a screenplay is waiting for time to take shape..[ and i began reading fiction after a gap of 5 years, which is tremendously important for me…]

i reinvented myself. entirely. i reached my hands in; yanked out what needed to be created, and pulled out parts of me that were nested in fear, in comfort, in delusion and in pain…i threw out much of these parts; and i recreated like a maniac, as if therein lie my survival..

i changed careers, i changed city, i changed myself, and i filled it all with work.

plain, unvarnished, back-breaking, stress-ridden work that made me exhausted for most of the year, that made me travel, that made me sick for 45 days nonstop since November, and that taught me a lot of my own strength and fortitude…work days had me deciding, deciding non-stop; for hours and hours of 365 days; data/decide/data/decide in a cyclic rigmarole…

admittedly, a few bad days had me running for cover….a few days were really dark, with me struggling for health, just basic breathing, basic normalcy; i was so ill….and pain is a very solitary experience. practically no one gets it. ….

i look back with silence, a lot of the journey filled with amazement. the wins that Grace blessed me with are all that much more special.

this year, my wishes are too important to fail…more re-invention, more austerity and more personal growth. Amen to that.

My Next Book!!


A few years ago, I guess mid-2013; I began this book. Now why did I do it? I just happened to keep hearing Veturi in my meditations, repeatedly for many days. Upon initial research, I got to know that he was a seer who lived in the years 1888-1950. When I shared this to a few, I got to know that his daughter was residing in Hyderabad.

On one really rainy day I made my way to her house. She shared his story to me. I was so captivated that I promised her an English biography. She smiled and stated, ‘Maybe he wants you to be part of his Yogam, not a book.Think about it.’

Little did I know that sages speak rarely, and know much ahead into the future. She was so right.

I then talked to Veturi garu’s son, Sri Anand Murthy Veturi; a very wise sage and realized soul in the golden era of his lifetime. His wisdom into me is precious. Many meetings later, this family got woven into mine effortlessly, as they are wont to do. They are such special people.

I finally did finish, a good 3 years into the beginning, a book about the great legendary historian. But as his daughter stated, it evolved into a chronicle of his journey into Yogam, or spirituality. This in a nutshell is my next book, on Sri Veturi Prabhakara Sastry garu. It was strange that she suddenly called me a few weeks ago; and asked me where I was with the book, and that Sri Veturi garu’s 100th anniversary into his initiation into Yogam was fast approaching. I was packing for a flight into US. I tentatively gave her a half-commitment of what I could do in a few weeks. And then even more strangely, I wrote this over two weeks, in US; severely jet lagged and with hours of the night alone in a hotel room and a long weekend to add to my time with this dreamy journey. So it is indeed magical how it happened.

Grace really has very mystical ways of touching you.

Here is an excerpt of the book –

Identity is connectedness to Source.

The only identity that one possesses is of connectedness to the Source. This is the awareness that flows through a person as prana or life force and keeps a person’s Soul connected to the One at all times. The entire lifetime of a Soul is from the moment he/she takes on a physical form as a part of the Source, with a seed force from the Source; and then lives an entire lifetime of learning and connectedness.

The Earth is a school. One takes on a physical, separate living birth in order to learn and enrich one’s evolutionary path. Each day is a new lesson. Each experience within each day connects one a little more to the Source. An experience is defined by the enrichment it offers, the learning that it imparts.

All other understanding of identity are false. Ego is the most oft misrepresented form of Identity.  There is a very strong identification with our bodies, with our physical aspects, our beauty, our garb, our behavior, our education, our achievement; which creates the emphasis on the Self; the Me, the Ego.

The ephemeral nature of all things material in this world is not so easily perceived. This leads one to believe in just the material aspect of life as real; that which one can see and hear and touch and feel is all that really exists in the world. This cements identification even more in the physical realm.

This leads to one living life through the process of acquisition. Acquisition of power, wealth, status, an affluent lifestyle and so on.

Nothing is further from the truth.  Achievement means a specific connotation in the world; related to wealth rather than to wisdom, more often than not. While comfort can be a finite list of making life easy and worth enjoying; too much of a materialistic life is a journey that veers one away from the Source more and more. It steeps a person in trying to make life more and more comfortable; and enjoyable; while taking him away from his purpose in life. This is a materialistic life being led as if without volition, without cognition.

The connectedness to source is lost gradually, the lessons that the human life was taken for are lost gradually. There is much happiness in this route. There is ephemeral enjoyment being fed as a cyclical process through life.

Source exists in knowing your Self completely. Source exists in awareness at all times. Source guides a Soul to fulfill the life purpose if one stays connected to it enough to listen to the counsel, if one is attentive to absorbing and acting on the inner messages.

There is simplicity in connectedness. One has to ensure that their actions, words and thought are all aligned perfectly. They have to say what they mean and act on what they say. Their thought, word and deed cannot be different. If largely this credo is adhered to, then the identity of a person is almost pure and clear enough for the Soul to thrive.

Simplicity, tri-alignment ensures that the life steer is in flow with the Source.

When Breath Becomes Air – Why did you go Paul?


Paul, you will always live in my heart as my courage.

After a long time, at least a few years since I’ve read a posthumous biography, I completely lived this book for four days non-stop. This is a life that changes you profoundly, it teaches you how to live, in fact remaining yourself as you were before you read him is simply not an option.

Paul’s writing is stunning. It sucks you into his personality so powerfully that you are him as you read the book.
Allow me to share that for the longest part of my childhood I wanted to be a surgeon…I think since 4 until 18 years….and when I read him I felt that dream, that miscarriage of an aspiration back in full force. At least I still live. To see that such a superior mind battled tirelessly with death, in hope, in anger, in fatigue and in desperation chills you to the core. It makes you want to work for cancer cures…it reminds you that this disease has taken great minds before, and it will insidiously and stealthily take them again…with its characteristic disgusting speed and silence..

read this passage that I am posting…

“Neurosurgery requires a commitment to one’s own excellence and a commitment to another’s identity…The decision to operate at all involves an appraisal of one’s own abilities, as well as a deep sense of who the patient is and what she holds dear.”
A person who can think this way of his work, his life purpose, in such intimate terms for his patients…Why did he go so early?
Is there a parallel universe out there that needs him more?
Is it that he was so brilliant that his acme as a Soul was reached and someone got bored enough to snuff his life out?
Is it that a disease just crept in to destroy in jealousy such a talent?
Is it that this Soul is so special that he will touch the lives of people like me, and others likewise; in such an intense bond of words?
if there is ever a respect and a deep regret for someone you haven’t even met, this is truly it…
This is a person that will scorch you, touch you in ways you haven’t seen at all with his courage, and that will live inside your darkest moments; egging you on to get up until the very last breath….

just last year, this mind was struggling in the last throes of life…and we all lived normally in ignorance of such a great soul….

Why did you go Paul?

The neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi Iearned he had lung cancer when he was 35 and died two years later, in March 2015. “When Breath Becomes Air” is his meditation on the reversal of roles when a doctor becomes a patient. It has an aura of the best kind of earnest conversation that kept you up all night in your early adulthood — but it transcends that potential callowness with its Keatsian sense of impending mortality. Kalanithi died too soon to recant the insights that come with the gradual discovery of one’s own consciousness, and his book is suffused with a proleptic nostalgia for a youth still in its efflorescence. That truncated youth is touched with youth’s particular wisdom.

http://paulkalanithi.com/before-i-go/

 

Let Go.


Life is a balance of holding on and Letting go.
Knowledge of what to hold onto and what to release is instinctual.
You know intuitively what matters to you, and what needs to end.
You then release – sometimes painfully and with a lot of struggle.
Family, friends, dreams – these are things to hold onto.
Anger, grudges, worry, hopeless relationships; impossible situations; these need to be gracefully Let Go.
With as much gentleness as you can manage, and always with forgiveness.

This is the hardest lesson I relearn every single day.

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