TODAY, MY SKY REAFFIRMS..

My sky is what I walk for
My sky is there I know it
My sky has colours I look for
My sky has depth I seek now
Its black is plain, its white is pure
And its grey has fixed shades
Having hues of different lives
To make for the one
That is my alter ego now
Sometimes, it rains wisdom
At times, it’s all about a joyous walk
Sometimes, it stops speaking
Though still covering me
Expecting me to look for meanings
In its colours, and their symbolisms
Thankfully, I say to life now, that,
Colours are again my soul elements
I knew they were called names
I know they made for varied thoughts
But for me, they always meant life
Black for personifying completeness
White for an uncompromised purity
And grey for definitive touch of them
My sky has colours with meanings
Speaking for my needs
They come to sit with me
When today refuses
Its transformation into tomorrow
Giving elements to my thoughts
Giving me the reasons
To hold up for the sky
That has been there for me
Yes, they complete me
And celebrate me
In my part of the sky
Disappeared into brilliance of black
But visible in subtlety of white
And identifiable by firmness of its grey
They sky is there, and I am there
And it’s not the day
When it chooses to remain silent
Its colours are in harmony
And the day is echoing the fusion
Ready for its journey into tomorrow
Though I didn’t call it today,
It has come to sit and think with me
Making it a special day for both of us
We are there, together,
Reading into one another’s minds
With meanings
So intrinsic to our existences
Today, like yesterday,
Looks like a new dawn
But with shared values of mutual silence
To live with the lives
And to go beyond them
Today, my sky’s silence reaffirms
That it is there with me, with my colours
In my several lives
In my living them severally alone
Yes, my sky was always there
But had stopped coexisting for some time
Draining colours of their depth
Yes, the loss was mutual, and,
Today, the silent communion felt that again

September 14, 2015: 35 years into the journey of ‘life beyond this life’..

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TODAY, MY SKY REAFFIRMS..

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

WHEN YOU STOP EXPECTING..

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Once upon a time, there was a man. He lived his life with a mixed bag of experiences. He could finally find the elements that would work for his conscience. Others, simultaneously, could see the elements, interpreting his life in their own terms. Life had its own parameters to judge his life in its own, routine way.

The mixed bag that he had was driven by a sense of contentment that he could finally reconcile with or absorb what was coming his way – but not at the cost of his self-respect. He had seen more of them making him feel low, but with passing time, he had stopped expecting, and it prepared him to take on every challenge in life.

When you stop expecting, even from you own ‘self’ – from your self-declared goals – you start learning and mastering the art of handing life, along with all its negative shades – you start learning the craft of keeping you away from ‘you’ of the moment – to make you one with your ‘you’ that you have thought of – when the time comes.

When you stop expecting from people around you, in your personal circles, and in your social circles, you start on a process where the only thing that remains accountable to you – is – how do you feel at the end of the day – that you came back to ‘you’ at the end of it. There are good people around you but there are no detractors, if they do/go otherwise.

When you stop expecting from life, your ‘yesterday’ and ‘tomorrow’ become self-aware and conscious of your ‘today’ – willingly or unwillingly concentrating your life in the moment that you are living on the day – because, you have taken elements that were in your past, assimilating them – and you are not going to ‘let yourself down’ if your tomorrow has something else, also, to offer.

When you stop expecting – you start accommodating – your ‘self’ of the day when it is the time to say ‘good bye’ – and – life and the events in life that were otherwise not acceptable. You start seeing people and their ways from their circumstances and perspectives too. You stop categorizing people in different mental blocks. They are there or there are not there.

Once upon a time, there was a man. At some point during his life, after having a run of negatives, after feeling long days of swollen thoughts, he was back to the ways that he had curated for himself – sans elements of expectations from anything, from anyone, including his own ‘self’. The spirit of ‘liberation’ that he felt every time he did so became leitmotif for him finally.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

MAGGI: NESTLE’S RESPONSE SHOULD BE DRIVEN BY THAT..

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It is a product that was there since I started understanding the worldly place around me – my parents, my kin and my family. It was always there on kitchen shelves as a staple food item along with the regular stock.

It was one of the favourites among all eatables and we loved to have it the way advertisements suggested – the taste that would last longer after eating this stuff that took two minutes to cook and 10 minutes to eat.

Maggi has been there in every stage of life. It was so inherent and essential that we never felt we needed to ask especially for it.

Yes, it was rationed like other food items – but rationing was done to inculcate discipline. Childhood days needed more of it as we were easily won by regular communication materials appearing in print and on television. After all, the childhood urge is almost universal in some cases, on some issues.

The response to have it was more disciplined during teen years. And when I say ‘it’, it means Maggi’s ‘instant noodles’. That also meant eating it became less frequent though it remained an essential part of the shelves. Milk was never my favourite and I tried to have it somehow whenever I was given a glass of it. Now it is natural that ‘whenever’ had to be a regular affair, like it happens.

In our school days, the emphasis was on giving us nutritious food for our growing years and as we were absorbed more by school, teachers and books, we had a sort of seriousness and growing indifference to what was being given to us to eat. As we grew up, there were many other food items that entered our food habit outside our home that we liked to have them regularly. Even Maggi looked and tasted different at eating joints with its different experimental preparations. But, then it was occasional only – eating it outside home – as it was available at home – and tasted perfect with its ‘2 minute recipe’.

In college days, though it continued to remain a household product, it got even reduced preference in my daily routine. Parents and elders had told us from the beginning that we should be disciplined with any food material made from fine flour and the sense had an enhance recall value when we were around 20 – some years before and some years after. Though, they had a soft approach for Maggi as it was from a credible multi-national company and was seen as okay replacement.

Later on, Maggi became for me what it is for many in grown-up, independent, professional years – yes, it became one of the regular replacement food items when time was less or when people didn’t feel like cooking anything else. There were many food items vying for it, but Maggi was the first preference in almost cases. The occasional eating-out experiences, like in my college days, though to lesser extent now due to availability of time, continued.

Maggi is under scanner now. It all began from Uttar Pradesh when an official collected Maggi samples in March 2014. A complaint was lodged after Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), a food enhancer but with negative health effects, was found. Nestle claims and prints on Maggi packets that MSG is not added. A lab in Kolkata later found much higher level of lead than permitted in the same sample. Soon there were reports, sample collections and tests from all over the nation.

Delhi has banned it for 15 days. It biggest single purchaser, Indian Army, has banned it from its canteens. Negative test reports are coming from many states. Many retail chains have taken it off the shelves. Its consumption has plummeted. Even the street food vendors are not stocking it for the time-being. I didn’t find at any shop in my office area.

Maggi is a strong brand. In our lives, it has had a presence in varied ways. And it is not just limited to India. It is a strong brand globally, one of the most profitable for Nestle.

And yes, Maggi is a profitable brand that is associated with nostalgic moments and memories in many lives.

The next course of Nestle’s crisis response should be driven by that.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

AND I DO REASON NOW..

I did not know, then
It would go this far
But I was always up
For what was coming
After I felt the need
To go beyond in life

That was the moment
When for a period
I had stopped reasoning
Allowing my soul to feel
What I had felt once
Flowing along the flow

I started a journey
I had decided for me
Though I had forgotten
The path so known
That it looked so distant
That it looked amiss

I have come this far
Flowing unrestricted
And I do reason now
Listening to my soul
Taking life as it comes
Shaping life as I need

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

DECISION

Still living that day
Like yesterday
When I had decided
To sit, to think
To go deeper inside
To make a life
As I had thought
To see the way ahead

It is my decision
To remain unsettled
And to live the feeling
Of the day
As it was just yesterday
The day when I felt
I was crying for an edifice
That never cared for me

I needed to look back
Into the time and its reasons
To try again to find
Why it was all so ambiguous
I would ask for answers
But why there were none
Yes, I still don’t have answers
But I accepted it on that day

What I did in my past
Was about my decisions
And I needed to go along
To find the reasons
For my decisions ahead
To set my soul free
To come out of ghettos
That had cropped up

The day when I realized
My life was still mine
Even if some decisions
Were not in time
When I felt
Even if I was wronged
I could reconcile
With what was dark

The decision
That gave me life back
The way I was
It asked to look back at
The days in past
Even if the darker ones
With reasons never given
To find the light ahead

I still live that day
Everyday
To own my decisions
Taking what all I say
To reason further
To settle
On an unsettling path
To see the way ahead

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

TODAY, I WAS NOT IN TWO MINDS..

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There are ways to fight the ways of life.

Every life has problems. No life is without its own set.

Yes, nature, degree and frequency of problems affecting lives vary from life to life.

The majority of humanity has more of them but even the privileged ones are not without issues in their lives.

Yes, the way to approach the problems, if differs for from life to life, is also dependent on the class and is affected by the concerned equations of ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’.

One can face the problems of life by accepting their presence, reconciling with the situations of life while trying to find ways out or ways up.

Or one can refuse to reconcile the way life has become while trying to rebuild the life.

I met this rickshaw-puller again today. And while he was not in queue, with his rickshaw parked away, I preferred to go to him.

It was a similar ride to what I had on the other day – but on a positive, confident note. While walking to his rickshaw today, I was not in two minds, unlike the other day.

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©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

EVEN IF I WAS IN TWO MINDS..

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Like it happens every day with them, they were calling to pull attention as I got down the Delhi Metro station. It was the hottest day of May so far, over 45 degree Celsius.

It was routine, calling passengers like this, but the rickshaw-puller on that day pulled my attention. He was a lanky fellow, lean and thin, extremely skinny. His bones were visible on his long and thin body. And he was underage too, certainly below 18.

His rickshaw was nearest to me so it was natural I would go him but after seeing him, I was in two minds.

It was more due to his physical structure than his age. I was in two minds that how would he pull the rickshaw and how would he climb up the patch of the track with a passenger ?

I am anti to underage labour but not the way it is in rulebooks. In fact, underage workers are prevalent and it is a burning truth about India and many societies in other. And it is not wrong. The first preference always goes to the survival instinct. And the primal survival instinct is to survive each passing day by first having food and a place to sleep.

And it is true for societies across the world. We may debate the age of underage workers. In India, education of children up to the age of 14 years is state responsibility. Children up to 14 years of age cannot be employed, except in ‘family enterprise’ and ‘entertainment trade’. Children above 14 years can work based on socioeconomic profile and survival needs.

This rickshaw-puller was around 16-17. Yes, like it happens he was not sure of his exact age. And like everyone, he had all the rights to make ends meet of his life. The family support for education goes up to at least 20-22 years of age but it is empty sociological theory for many. Education is still a distant dream, an ignored entity in the list of priorities of millions.

They know only one thing – somehow to survive the day – while thinking for the next. And it is true in societies across the world.

The rickshaw-pullers, originally from the hinterland India but toiling in big and metro cities, are a prime example of this social order, an order that is complex and multi-layered.

And like everyone in the society, this rickshaw-puller, too, had every right to survive the life, to meet the basic needs of the day and to think of the day coming next. There are many including me who feel heat pangs even if the window is of 10 minutes while the people like this rickshaw-puller earn their livelihood under the open sky, be it in the scorching heat of May or June or in the rainy days of Monsoon.

I was in two minds that how would this extremely lanky fellow would pull his rickshaw along with me. I was also thinking that I had no right to deny him his livelihood because if it was not me, he would carry someone else to earn his living.

The two minutes of dilemma gave way to saying yes to the rickshaw-puller. I was thinking he would not be able to pull the rickshaw easily and I would get down wherever required, i.e., on the upslope of the track. Also, as is the case with me, I was thinking simultaneously about my write-ups while taking the rickshaw-ride to my workplace. Public transport is my favourite for the reason that it provides me with time and ideas to think further about my written work.

While lost in my thoughts and looking all around, I asked the rickshaw-puller if he could pull me and if he went to the school.

He confidently said yes but what he said on my second question I could not understand. His language was not totally comprehensible but I could grasp from his words that he was around 16-17 years old and driving rickshaw at this age was his compulsion.

Soon he proved his words – about pulling the rickshaw. His speed was even faster than many well able-bodied ones. He was pulling rickshaw efficiently and easily. And he carried me to my destination in less than usual time.

I felt relieved – on the fact that he pulled rickshaw like any other rickshaw-puller, like any other able-bodied person. He did not show the problems I was thinking about. I was thinking to offer him some extra money but why I didn’t offer him I could not say.

But after leaving his rickshaw, I was feeling good that, somehow, even if I was in two minds, I took the right decision and didn’t deny a person the chance to add to his share of daily earning.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

THESE BOOKS ARE ALWAYS A ‘DECISION-MAKING’ PROPOSITION FOR ME..

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I am a regular reader – and of what not.

And I love good books.

Someone once asked me how I selected my books.

Now, various facets may be to this – that how I select my books. But the direct one is – I go through some of the pages, scan it, read a few and make my decision on whether to pick one.

Most of my books of the lot, my personal library, have entered my life like this. And I have a healthy library.

Then there are books that I know about – like about the author and the quality of the work – and the subject matter.

These books are always a ‘decision-making’ proposition for me.

And the book by Rakesh Kayasth ji (or Rakesh Sir – that is how I know him), ‘Kos Kos Shabdhosh’ comes in this category.

The days with Rakesh Sir at Videocon Tower, Delhi, were really good days of sitting around, talking on some issue, and discussing a thing or two, whenever we got time, or whenever we got mood. And with him came some good friends.

Rakesh Sir had been given a seat with us and our conversation began like that only – a senior who was willing to listen to his junior – who believed his junior could talk sense. And we would discuss things – from Manoj Kumar’s Clerk to the anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare. The visit to the Ramlila Ground after the office hours during the agitation led by Anna Hazare was one such product of our sitting hours. Sometimes, he would drop me to my place at IP Extension, Patparganj while en-route to his home in Ghaziabad.

Our discussions would not have a definite purpose mostly and that was for good. He was famous as the writer of our network. He was famous as crispy script writer who was called to deal in with complex subject matters. He would always look in a thoughtful mood, like thinking about his subject(s) or character(s) at hand.

He is a sensitive human being and a writer in that garb.

My time spent in that office led me to wait for the day he would write his book. Though he left the city some three years ago for better options in Mumbai, and we could not spoken with after that, our Facebook pages kept me in touch with him, even if irregularly because I am not a regular Facebook user.

And through his Facebook posts and columns, I came to know about his book ‘Kos Kos Shabdkosh’. And it was the one book I was waiting to read because I knew the author personally.

And Flipkart delivered it in lightning fast time, within 24 hours of placing the order.

Yes, I could not read it then, due to my long engagement with the AIIMS and winding hours of visit.

But now it is here. And I am writing about it.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

DON’T GO TOO DEEP INTO A TOMORROW THAT YOU CANNOT READ!

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Don’t go too deep into a future that cannot be assessed. Don’t try to read too much into the calculations of a then that is not now.

True, keeping thoughts of future away is difficult. Not looking beyond tomorrow is a psychological perseverance that needs practicing.

But, slowly, it dawns on you that it is not worth – staking your today for some distant tomorrows.

Try to focus on three days – yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Hinge yourself literally by your today. Every possibility of your existence lies in the moment you breathe your life for the next immediate one, trying to stay a healthy course.

Yesterday is a reflection that aligns with your thought process or you find a way to deal with.

With your today and yesterday, you deal with the real time.

A tomorrow that is within your perceivable thinking based on your today and yesterday is needed to make better out of your today.

But beyond this perceivable tomorrow lies a realm of calculations, assessments, aspirations and thoughts that are not hinged even on your immediate future that you can easily see based on your today.

While the routine of thoughts continue with its routine of going beyond even death, we are what we feel about us today and what we want to feel us about our perceivable tomorrow – based on what we felt about us yesterday.

You may have a goal for your life. You may set different sub-goals to reach to that supreme goal of your life, that you try to preserve at any cost. But the goalposts keep on changing. You keep on your moving goalposts based on your today.

An interference in this process of a tomorrow that you cannot perceive devoids you of this liberty of moving your goalposts – a must to remain on the path to your supreme goal.

Don’t go too deep into a tomorrow that you cannot read.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

LIFE IS ALWAYS SLOGGED WITH ALTER-EGOS

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Life is always slogged with alter-egos – the personality and its other aspects – and the underlying philosophy that is assorted, assimilated and reflected as we move on with time.

This experiential philosophy is a way to look at things with a leverage to look at in your own way, giving you, in turn, the leverage to scale the scope.

That is a vital way to look at life as it keeps you in company – the way that has been famously philosophical about philosophy – its inherent roots in you and its subsequent emergence and sustenance based on how efficiently you understand, communicate with and befriend your alter-egos.

And the existentialism of this philosophy is – it also allows you to develop your own paradigm (and paradoxes as well) including your own ways and definitions to look at life events, attachments and detachments, pain and peace, and what may be behind our feelings to feel so or what may follow our feelings.

Life is always sum total of events that are never sum total in entirety – shaping, fragmenting, reshaping and inventing on its way – from a day to the next – from an aspect of life to the other.

The life experiences are varied. Life lives them in vivid ways. Within a life, you are your one aspect today – you are your other aspect tomorrow.

A life lived is about an efficient and naturalized circumnavigation of the varied aspects of your life – the alter-egos that take you to the extremes of life events – the experiences that let you philosophize about the lives you internalize to become one with your question to become you.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/