I Started this before Covid, progressed during my Covid and polished it after Covid. Took 2.5 months.

I don’t know if this is poetry or prose; I don’t know if poems have stanza headings which this one has– but I hope you enjoy it – never mind the name.

PS:

God, why did you wait so late in my life to teach me this lesson, I asked.

God replied: ‘Elixir comes after the churn; the results of games follow the play, morals after the story,

Morals follow the story, healing comes after the wound: So Realization after the tumult of life’

‘If you put chapter headings before, not after the narrative, its your problem not Mine’, said God. 

In deference to the above the para names appear at the end of para and the title at the end of it all

It was a tiring previous day and we must have crisscrossed the City of Lakes till late last night,

Off I went to deep sleep, hoping to recoup energy to resume toasting the city of tranquil next day,

We were awakened by a medley of noisy loudspeakers, well short of our target sleep,

I shook my slumber and soon it dawned that it was a score or more of morning prayers to God.

Suddenly awakened

First, I thought that it was from different followers of the same God each outdoing the other,

Soon I realized it was different Gods with their respective creations trying to outdo each other,

It sounded a cacophony instead of a symphony, with each note raising or fading out of sync,

The soothing breeze from the lakes or beauty of hills around could not bring about any synchrony.

Many Gods; Different prayers

In the name of God and peace, so many divisions! I sulked in despair – both hope and sleep crushed,

Out of  bed as well as wits, I opened my door, to see how various Gods answer their believers’ prayers

Change of tide, a rush of refreshing air washed my face and one of the Gods planted a smile on my lips.

Washing away the sense of despair and I felt Hope seeping thru my skin to every dejected nerve. 

From Despair to Hope

Now shed your anguish and gloom and listen to My answers, commanded God.

There were countless birds and rodents in the dark raising a fusion of chirps and sounds,

The rustling of leaves and grating sound of tree trunks swaying added accompaniments of note,

The fountains in the garden added their dash of music with their swirls and waves, fall and flow,

Their subtle subdued symphony of feelings and emotions drowned out the noisier prayers for attention.

From questions to answers

In this confluence of cheer and hope, I felt God ask me ‘How is the answer to My believers’ prayers?

Where are you? I asked, darkness clouding sight for I did not know which of the Gods answered me.

‘In My Kingdom the alphabet of language is love and brotherhood, you don’t need light or eyes to see.

Unbounded Joy and happiness are My ways of answers to the million prayers of my devotees’: God.   

From answers to realization

I persisted with my childlike curiosity; God please tell me whose God are you that answered.

‘Can you segregate the voice of each bird, the rustle of each leaf, the groan of every branch’, He queried.   

I went silent. Helpless. In the deafening silence that followed, the answer seemed to dawn on me.

Various notes of the same symphony, same God with many names; the coherence of the same single One.

It is the same God with different names

 I closed my door, parted my curtains on window and found the same full moon looking twice as full,

The lustrous morning moon in the West so full of love and embrace with its calming influence,

Last evening, eastern Moon was bright and invigorating, now the setting moon dimmer but soothing,

It is the same Moon, same Moon but Mankind sees in different shades of darkness and light.

 It is not many Moons but One.

Awakened thus, I went back to the comfort of my bed to sleep till I would be awake again,

Secured by the warm embrace of the moon’s ray’s, to the morning symphony of a thousand birds,

Flowers beginning to blossom to welcome the Sun amidst so many blaring competing prayers,

With the new light in me that it is the same God with different names,

To each his own prayer, and to each His own answer by the same God to his devotes in different robes.    

Oh! It is not many Gods but One

Corona spirituality – a poem

By V Kumaraswamy

It was a call from my daughter, voice sweet as honey as ever, enquiring after my welfare,

I said I was fine and countered her on the inscrutable disease and its surrounding despair,

Precautions we insist on – last time we stopped visitors at our door, and sanitization a must

This time it is upgraded: We don’t let outsiders in or insiders out of our society’s gate.

God! You came in various Avatars – Fish, Wild Boar, Turtle; you came as half lion and half man,

But due to come was the winged one that soars and shows us the way to Heaven,

Bat it is this time: and if your winged creation prefers darkness over light,

You have taken over our lives through a virus which remains out of sight

First you shut the national borders and made us stay within our shores.

Next you locked us within our states and we learnt to live by new mores, 

Then it was national lock down and you made us all stay within our doors

Then you shut our workplace and made office part of household chores

Then you came into my life uninvited, sent shivers down every near one’s spine,

My office knew it and said to stay away from work was fine,

Courtesy and rules made me inform my society, who said the lift is closed for us,

Stay indoors they warned and made us prisoners within our own doors.

Then it was my wife, who shut the door of my room within the house’s larger door,

Sanity she called; I could not figure if it was society’s hygiene or my mental one to preserve,

Not satisfied with your sanctions, You made me voiceless with a mask around my face,

And made every sneeze, cough, and breath of mine an enemy of Mankind.

May be as a prelude to taking my last breath, You took my smell and taste away,

The sight of flowers outside my window became my only cherished company,

You made me discover different aspects of mine and explore the beauty within,

The Blue skies and fresh winds free of Man’s corruption for once felt so genuine.

Oh! Almighty Corona, you shrunk my energy and diminished my zest and zeal for life,

Can You also take away my ego, invisible like you but the scourge of our happiness,   

Can You shut the doors on greed and avarice and fear of future, my biggest demon within?

So I shed the several layers of false cloths I wear and see the true Me and its virtuous origin,

To Deliver this Realization, Oh Corona! hope taking our breath away is not Your only way!     

A case for science that is inclusive

Science that is inclusive

There is a kind of frostiness between science and the unscientific, that takes the shape of snootiness, dismissiveness to superiority or patronisation, with the so-called unscientific being at the receiving end most times. Scientists have the tendency to dismiss everything ‘unscientific’ as preposterous and illogical and hence undependable and unfit for use.

Instead of splitting into two classes – scientific and unscientific – it would be more worthwhile if we saw it as ‘adequately explained’ and ‘not yet adequately explained’. Science is ever evolving as Einstein (is claimed to have. Only Einstein can come back and confirm his having made it since there are so many quotes which are attributed to him without proof or evidence) stated, ‘science is but the existing state of knowledge of nature’ and will sure bring within its fold more and more currently unexplained aspects of nature which may have alternative explanatory routes than what science follows as of now.  

Things like intuition, premonition, astrological predictions, prejudices, tradition, sixth sense, occult sciences, lunacy and planetary influences and even many branches of medicine and traditional cure are currently deemed or dismissed as ‘unscientific’. For all we know they may be in the same state as earth being spherical but dismissed as superstition before Aristotle, Eratosthenes, or Pythagoras (take your pick) reasoned it out. And many such things which are today considered scientific have come after much agony and punishment to the discoverers from the church, orthodoxy and existing beliefs and their champions or those who stood to lose their status.

With a dismissive attitude and binary outlook unwittingly science and scientists may themselves become the new tormentors (like religion, royalty and vested interest were in the past) for faster discovery and assimilation of currently unexplained events or phenomena into the ‘scientific’ fold. A cross fertilisation of ideas between science and current un-science may lead to many beneficial outcomes which may otherwise be lost or postponed. If the church was dismissive of science before, it is increasingly the other way around now. 

Noted mathematician Ramanujan purportedly left behind 147 theorems for which he could not provide proofs or had no time to write before his demise.  If deductive reasoning is a primary weapon of mathematics, it is unbelievable that someone had the time to reason it out and write out the theorems but no time to write out the proofs. If one reads Hardy’s account of his association with Ramanujan clearly, Ramanujan wrote them down as it occurred but skipped many steps in between which he wasn’t himself aware of or in a position to explain. Do we dismiss his theorems as preposterous (until each one is proved) particularly when some 47 of them have been proved in the last 100 years? What status does the unproven set enjoy? – unscientific or scientific? How and who are we to conclude that the unscientific (like intuition, forewarning, sixth senses) will not one day be proven like Ramanujan’s theorems, causality explained, and embraced within the fold of ‘science’.  Or science itself will get redefined and one of its main pillars -cause-effect- loses its primacy.   

Its time science and rationality shed their snootiness, we shed our dismissiveness and arrogance to whatever we consider ‘unscientific’ and replace it with curiosity and respect facilitative of smoother and faster integration.  There is a need for a healthier dialogue between the conflicting bodies to understanding what is and how it occurs and how to use them for our collective benefit.  

Respect need not imply blind acceptance. It can lead to search for solutions by both factions by making use of tools and techniques known to both. It might involve adopting alternative routes to proof and acceptance that somethings may be beyond proof or at least as per existing methods. A worm’s eye view, a bird world view and snakes perceptual aids need not be same as mankind and a shift in definitional scales may break many existing notions and ‘prove’ unaccepted ones. Attempts to prove might also result in proving the opposite and setting at rest false notions. Responsibility for proof and disproof could be equally shared. The faster science and rationality expands, the domain of ‘unscientific’ would only shrink faster. Even if it is vast, the accretion to the bank of unscientific is slow and unlikely to gain momentum. 

Such an approach and attitude towards the currently not adequately explained occurrences or phenomena might hasten the process of unravelling the secret, mystery, enigma or plain ignorance behind them and bring them into usable body of knowledge with or without safeguards and caveats.

Church ‘and’ science can achieve a lot more together than church ‘versus’ science. There is no need for science to become the new church.  

Weird Adventures; Uncommon Lessons – a recapture of motivations behind the book

This is an interview with Gopi Keertinagar which probes into the motivations behind my perilous pursuits and passion for meeting people and sharing the positive side of stories. Enjoy.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/EnJ7auduzfPSCYGK8

Enjoy

Weird adventures; uncommon Lessons

This is my latest book. Based on my travel to over 4 dozen countries and the wit, wisdom and vignettes gathered in various meetings, conversations and experiences with various people from presidents, pushcart vendors, policemen to pole dancers. all written in a positive spirit. It is in #4 rank now… you can make it #1.

Weird Adventures; Unusual Lessons

Dear Friends:
I am happy to announce my new book: ‘Weird Adventures, Unusual Lessons’  is available as Kindle edition now (print will be available soon).  Briefly, 
I write for business dailies on economic and business matters. I also write on novel experiences during my various sorties to several parts of the world. 
my work and own interest in travel has exposed me to over 4 Dozen countries, their culture, their people, social mores, practices, peculiarities, local governance systems, etc. 
It has put me in touch with paupers and fishermen, guards and guides, monks, priests and boatmen, high and low ranking government officials from presidents, ambassadors,  ministers, and others to chiefs of some of the largest companies, tribal dwellers, politicians to pole dancers, lions and cheetahs, researchers to rogues  – poor and rich, cultured or otherwise, etc.  
It has put me in touch with people who still use flint stones, whose savings or investments for tomorrow do not go beyond a solitary piece of cloth on their loins; cultures where cow is still a currency, blind at birth, yet patriotic to their country which they have never seen. These experiences include  a trip to Egypt days before Tahrir Square revolution,  travel  in one of the most heavily land-mined areas in the world – Cambodia; pleasant experiences during innumerable trips to Myanmar; experiences and insights from the animal kingdom in South Africa. taste of Dutch humour, etc. 
This book is about the various unusual and novel (sometimes embarrassing, awkward, sometimes humbling and at other times moving) experiences, conversations with ordinary people yielding extra-ordinary insights on various facets of life, anecdotes, lessons and local humour, information and personal encounters which dispel known and established notions and beliefs and, shall I say, sometimes falsehoods spread by motivated sections about nations, people and systems mostly radiating positive energy. It is not a travelogue of various touristy places and historical monuments or beaches.
I have sent the contents and sample vignettes.
 I would like to have your comments once you have read the book either to me or in comments section in Amazon and Flipkart. 
Many thanks and best regards

Kumaraswamy
The world is too full of beautiful people and positive energy for  Mankind to mess up. You have only to experience it.

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