Is this Spirituality? If not, then what is?

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To start with, spirituality has NOTHING to do with the idea of God or religion. Spirituality and religion should be treated as separate subjects. The reason is anybody who is not religious can be spiritual. On the other hand, we are all spiritual beings.

Let me try and elaborate.

We are born with a body which moves, talks, speaks and works. When we die, the body is rendered meaningless. It still is there, but it doesn’t move, talk, speak or works anymore. It has to be incinerated or buried, depending on the custom and religious rites of the land.

What gives when we die?

The spirit gives away. The spirit, which is present in our body when we are born and which leaves us when we die. Since there is a life spirit in all of us while we are alive, we are all spiritual beings.

Now, what the fuck is spirituality?

Spirituality is being able to connect with that spirit. Spirituality is the knowledge that we are alive and one day, the spirit inside us will leave, leaving the body, which will be destroyed and then, there won’t be any trace of our existence anymore, besides the memories that we will leave.

Spirituality is awareness and connection with our inner self. Spirituality is self awareness. Spirituality has nothing to do with God or religion because they are both man made illusionary creations.

There is no God. Religion is the God industry which keeps the idea of God alive. The only useful purpose religion serves is create human communities which support each other. Historically, religion has divided more than it has united.

Spirituality is a beautiful construct. We are all spiritual beings; the difference is some of us are more connected with our spirits than others. We don’t need religion or God to be spiritual. I find it amusing that people from different parts of the world come to India to find themselves.

It’s quite bizarre that they would come to India to find themselves when they can very well find themselves where they are. To understand ourselves and connect with our selves is a worthy objective and we all should aspire to it. It doesn’t take a country of a billion Gods to find you.

Spirituality is your connection with your own spirit. Spirituality is self awareness.

Immerse.

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Piku Review

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Piku is a peculiar Bollywood movie. There are no big scenes, no larger than life characters, and no big plots in the movie. It is a tale of a routine life told through peculiar characters. I wonder if this is already turning out to be a peculiar review.

The key protagonist, Piku Banerjee played by Deepika Padukone is a beautiful Bengali girl, like usual Bengali girls. She is an irritable, fussy girl who works lives with her highly irritable and irritating father. The irony is, in spite of both of them being irritable and irritating, both of these characters come across as adorable and so freaking human. The movie is replete with minor squabbles between the key characters and you almost enjoy each and every squabble while watching the movie.

Rana Chaudhary, played by the brilliant Irrfan Khan is as effortless as an actor that I have no words to describe his brilliance. Amitabh Bachchan is faultless and Deepika is immaculate.

I think it’s the excellence in acting which makes Piku what it is. The plot is simple. Piku lives with her father Bhaskor. Bhaskor is obsessed with his constipation and they talk about it the whole day. It’s hilarious and discomfiting at the same time. Rana is the owner of the taxi company which Piku uses to commute to office is a calm fellow, unless he is dealing with his drivers who refuse to serve Piku-for she drives them mad, leading to accidents.

The second half of the movie is spent on a car ride to Kolkata, with the car being driven by Rana. All the characters are a part of the journey and it’s hilarious at times and poignant at other times.

Alright, enough said, I won’t let the cat out of the bag. I reviewed the movie for I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Cheers.

The power of stories

There isn’t much happening in the world which is new. Technology gets better; people get smarter because of the avalanche of information being thrown at them. Thanks to the proliferation of sexual content on the internet, kids are hitting puberty faster and making an early transition to adulthood. People grow up, work, create families, deal with the vicissitudes of life and die. The flow moves to the next generation.

The supply chain of human existence doesn’t change much. However, it’s the human stories which stir us, the stories of perpetual longing after happiness, amidst the various situations and challenges of life.

I haven’t written much fiction yet-just one book of short stories, which is an e-book, garnished with poetry and prose. However, it’s only after I finished writing all the non-fiction that I figure that the lessons may be the same but they can be represented through various life experiences, circumstances, stories.

Human life is an incomplete, for most people. Most of us struggle with the happiness conundrum for our entire lives. Only a few, perhaps 1% of the entire population, is able to reach true happiness, which is deep, intense and sustainable.

Stories resonate with us. Stories resonate because they present a slice of life, a slice we can relate to. We may not be able to share our experience with other people but we feel it inside.

Powerful stories move something inside us.

I know I have stories which have made me happy and made me cry. Sometimes I watch advertisements which are so beautifully written and executed that they make me highly emotive.

Advertising should move us. It should shake something inside. That is perhaps the difference between great advertising and average advertising.

Great advertising use the power of human stories to inspire, to entertain, to excite or to make us poignant.
This is not a paid post. But since I am writing about advertising, I must write about the recent TVC of Havells electrical appliances. There is a girl, perhaps waiting for her husband/boyfriend. She has got done with work and it is getting dark and she is getting scared.

She calls her husband and says, ‘kahan ho, andhera ho raha hai’ (where are you, it’s getting dark?) An old man, who is most likely the owner of the outlet where she works, hears this conversation and switches the lights back on.

Voila! She realized that suddenly it’s not dark anymore and looks towards the old man, who smiles at her and makes a typical gesture to not worry.

I loved the advertisement-a beautiful slice of life.

Thanks for reading.

Short Story: Sharing the load

Picture this scene in an urban Indian household.

The husband and wife are working professionals and both have to rush for an early morning meeting. The wife is currently working in the kitchen trying to prepare lunch for both for them, as is her regular routine. However, this is not a regular morning. On regular days, her husband drops her to the office at 9 en route to his office, which begins at 9:30 am.

However, today, both of them have to leave at 8:30 am. The husband Ravi has a meeting at 9 with an international visiting client and the wife, Reet has to be in time for a roster scheduling.

“Can you please hurry up,” screams Ravi, looking towards the kitchen.

“I am just about closing the lunchbox Ravi,” shouts Reet from the kitchen.

“But it is 7:30! We will both get late. You will miss your scheduling and I will miss the international client. He will fume at me. You have no idea how important the meeting is. If I get this business, my chances of promotion will increase this year by a big margin.”

“I understand Ravi. Just give me 5 minutes more. My scheduling is important too.”

“You don’t have a clue, baby. It is a very important meeting.”

“Baby, I am almost done with lunch. I am starting breakfast now.”

“What?! You mean lunch is still left?”

“Shut up Ravi, what do you mean still left. You are not the only one in this house who has a job. I have one too and on the top of it I have to do these chores too.”

On hearing this, Ravi calms down and thinks to himself that Reet is right. She also has to go to work and is the one who has to rush for both of their meals. He rushes to the kitchen and helps Reet in preparing the breakfast. Both of them get ready by 08:30, thanks to his help in the kitchen.

The story of Reet and Ravi is not an isolated story but represents most urban households in India, where men think it is the responsibility of the lady to take care of the household chores. In our story, Ravi turns out to be an understanding husband. However, this is not always the case.

Although, women across the board would wish it were so.

Make peace with yourself and your God

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We are all full of doubts. All of us put across a strong face in front of the world. Why do we do this? It is because the world will not care about the feelings, doubts, fears that we have hidden beneath the confident face of ours.

To seek clarity about the matters which bother us, some of us seek solace in God and some of us don’t. The objective of this piece is to look at both sides of the coin.

People who believe in God do so because they feel connected to a power which they believe controls their life-at least in bad times. In good times, people feel that they are the ones who have created the good times. In bad times, most people would attribute their pain and ill fortune to destiny. They feel that the good times are in their control and the bad times are not. The bad times are because of destiny. They believe that God will play as the negotiator between them and their destiny. The underlying assumption is that since God is the creator of their individual destinies, he must somehow have the power to alter it, if they prayed enough to him and are able to influence him through the ‘prayer’.

People do not believe in the existence of God, the so called atheists, do not believe either that they can control the events of their life completely. They rationalize that there is no God and the universe is an evolutionary mechanism where some things happen by themselves and some things happen because of their actions. However, they can never quite pinpoint which actions are inside and which ones are outside their ‘control’. Therefore, they are always trying to balance this equation in their minds during the course of their lives.

You may belong to either to these two schools of thought you may have found your idea of God- eventually you must find your personal way to make peace with yourself. We do not know why we come into this planet. However, our lives would be much more peaceful and happier if we are able to reconcile the events of our life into one system of thinking.

If you believe in God and it brings you peace, please continue to believe in God. You have nothing to prove to the atheists. If you do not believe in God and have figured a scientific, reason driven approach to life-which brings you peace, you have nothing to prove to the believers.

Be at peace.