Friday, 2 May 2008

In search of Peace...

What brings me to write this blog-post is really the time – the present that I’m living. Amidst a blur of super-fast actions and goings-on and a mind-boggling lull of loudness and noise, I stop a moment and look around me. In the stillness, I once again delve into the depths of my soul and engage in a conversation with my friend – my good old conscience…

The first thing that disturbs me is a brilliant wave of disturbance in itself and that’s impatience. Why are we so much restless?? Why so much of impatience?? We seem to have lost all our peace to some form of hallucination. In speech and action, we seem to jump into thoughtless conclusions, often violating all sources of history, humanity and logic. Most people either confuse sensibility and calm in speech with boredom and cowardice, or they regard the classic and the silence with something imitative and out-dated. Over and all, biased by what-not, we talk aggressively; contradicting, arguing and debating to prove our own individual points correct, yet all of the debaters lack an absolute quality of tolerance. We want our points to be seen and yet deny to bear patience to atleast hear what others are saying. Listening, a very important virtue, is on the verge of total extermination in today’s man, both young and old.

Impatience in love and relationships, impatience in work, impatience in mission and goals, impatience in music and art, impatience in system and government, impatience in post, power and glamour – impatience in total life and existence. Cause of impatience: discontentment and an utterly self-centered life. And, in the way, the terms ‘success’ and ‘happiness’ have been shortened in their definition to money, car, house, and spouse. And, then? More and more and more of everything. And all the affluence in the least possible time and scope, that is “as soon as possible”! Hence, my friend sits for about eight to nine joint entrance examinations, so that he can get a B.E. degree “as soon as possible”; get a job, a car and a flat “as soon as possible”; and get a girlfriend (or many girlfriends) too “as soon as possible”. That’s about my friends. And, my father’s friends? Their worlds seem to have zoomed into promotions, share markets, new car-models and as many housing apartments in as many cities as possible. Too much greed and too much hunger… Amidst all these, we are trying to find the heaven of serenity, are we??

“…Kaatlo bela haater dine
Loker kothar bojha kine.
Kothar shey bhaar nama re mon,
Neerob hoye shon dekhi shon,
Parer haaway gaan baaje kon,
Binar taare…”

About ninety years ago, Tagore had experienced the same agony of noise: too much speech and too many words. Heaven knows, if Tagore, Wordsworth, Neruda or Keats would have been able to maintain their sanity for long if they were born in this age. (Or perhaps the good and the evil have always been in the same balance through the ages… may be, simply my living in this age is making me long for the past…) Switch on the T.V. and you’ll find 82 channels (that’s on our T.V., it could be more on yours) barking at you all at once. So many news channels, so many soap-operas, so many commercials, so many KBCs and Indian Idols – everything too much and too many. So many chatrooms, so many Orkuts, so many Big Bazaars, so many Inoxes – all, all, all in excess. A blind following of a herd-driven culture and taste, all marked with a total absence of art – a false and fake mixed American culture heading nowhere but promoting some ape-like ways and styles.

Hang on, hang on! Silence and stop! And listen! Listen - there still is a world out there – a wordless world, a serene world of calm. That’s the nature talking to us… We need to come out of our narrowed selves for once and need to be quiet for once… Reflect, look and feel the ecstasy and the joy. Life isn’t as complex as we’ve made it, and to my respectable elders, the world (that is to say, the world at large) isn’t as crooked and hooked-up as it seems. Actually, it’s more beautiful if we ignore the artificiality that we ourselves have created, and all the more beautiful still if we ignore our human counterparts, and still more beautiful if we fall in love with these same counterparts. Peace and happiness don’t lie in some superficial crystal ball lying far ahead. The ball is broken into bits so that we pick them up while travelling the path of life. There’s limitless peace in the greenery, the vast blue infinite, the cool blissful breeze and most importantly in love. There’ll be no need of any speech or background music to experience these wonderful emotions and believe me, there’s no stupidity in this romanticism, friends. If not anything else, it simply helps us understand Science better.

Update: You could also read a lovely translation of the lines sent in by Kaushik at the 'comments' section of this post.


Vishal Kumar said...

Hmmm.. You've posed a very good question.

Every individual is so much engrossed in getting every materialistic thing that they have lost the sense of peacefulness.

That thing you have quoted in Bengali..Can u give its rough translation??

You talked about self-centered life..well for that..i don't see any harm in living a self-centered life. Yea...definition of Happiness has been shortened. People have limited their vision. But who should be culpable for that?? a society.

anyways...very Good Article.I Would've loved it if you would've extended last paragraph.

Keep Writing.

Subhra Das said...

Nice post there, atleast someone who feels the same way I do. Silence I say has become a luxury these days, too little of it and it is also dreadfully expensive. But who listens these days? All are busy making their own noises, beating their own drums of promotions, new gadgets, etc. It is silence and stillness what the heart craves for, but sadly that is hard to come by. This reminds me of Nehru's quote on science wherein he called it a man-made monster and thereby said, "the monster that man created has run amok".
I hope you find your silence cause that is the only thing which will keep us sane in this madly insane world which is losing out to itself in its own race.

Kaushik said...

A very course and unsure effort , nonetheless, may be a semblance of the flavour that Vishal can hope to savour from the original lines, with apologies to Shyayanatani.

‘The day wears out, transacting the business as usual,
Suffused in the din and bustle of the folks around,
Its time, the mind lightens itself of the words welling up,
And attunes itself, silently,
To the notes wafting across the distant shores,
in a stringed symphony' …………

Sudipto Basu said...

Criticism is welcome, mate. But then, you could have elaborated a bit more on why you think Sayantani's post is "coarse and unsure". That would be nice and much more meaningful too.

P.S.-- Her name is Sayantani, not "Shyayantani". And the word is coarse, not "course".

Kaushik said...

I'm sorry and apalled that you got it all wrong!It was my effort that I meant. I only noticed her work after I entered mine, if you believe me! Hers is so spontaneous and comes from the depth of her feelings! See, my 'power' of communication! Thank you so much for correcting the idiotic mistake that I committed! You can please delete my entry as I find it redundant already! Regards

Anonymous said...

Dear Kaushik,

Rereading my translation and yours too, I come to the conclusion that after all both of us are trying to convey the same thought (with the exception of your use of a better language, which I do appreciate). But, you missed out that “purchasing” thing (other than the “haat” of daily life). Do you know exactly why Tagore mentioned the particular word “kine” in that line?? Because, all the hubbub and the racket was in lieu of each moment of his life ticking by and each beat of his heart missing by; and to sum up, at the end of the day, all the noise seemed in lieu of everything. Hence, my use of the crude phrase “huge cost”.

Well, adieu for now!


Sudipto Basu said...

It's okay. No need to delete anything. Glad that you cleared up the confusion. :)

And darn me, I did not moderate your second comment before Sayantani typed in her replies. Anyway, since all of the posts make sense now: CHEERS!

Anonymous said...

Dear Kaushik,

It's okay, friend.
My apologies too... I suppose I somehow sounded a bit skeptical in my comments addressed to you. Well, I hope everything is cleared up for good after all.:)


Suvro Chatterjee said...

For the moment, Sayantani, I shall simply request you to meditate a little every night while listening to Tagore's song chokher aloy dekhechhilem chokher bahire/ ontore aaj dekhbo jokhon aalok nahi re. You will see how it works wonders to still and soothe your mind. On ponchishey boishakh, I thought this would be rather apposite. It is no wonder that Tagore has been called chiropother shongi!

That's the best we can do for ourselves. Little use fretting over the way the world is going!

Kaushik said...

Yeah! After such needless confusions and squabbles (almost a classically dark irony of sorts, to appear here when the blog writer so eloquently extols on the sounds of silence and solitude! ), taking a cue from Sayantani, (ok, na ?), let me end with this Tagore’s couplet ( a happy homage to our bard on his birthday) :

‘‘jara kotha diye tomar kotha bole,
tara kothar bera ganthe kebol doler pore dole,
aker kotha are,
bujhte nahi pare
bojhay joto kothar bojha totoi bede chole
jara kotha chhere bajay shudhu sur
tader sobar sure sobai mele nikot hote dur…..”

Hence, someone said “ Kotha jekhane muk, sur sekhane mukhor” . Hence, amidst the cacophony, enjoy the blissful, ethereal silence (it can be deafening too at times but that’s a different story we can reserve for your next post, may be!) that plays to perfection in the deepest recesses of your soul and hum the tune/strum the guitar that takes you away from the madding crowd to the distant beyond! Thanks, friends, I’m feeling much relaxed now! Regards, Kaus.

Anonymous said...

@ Suvro Sir and Kaushik

"...Aamaar e dhup naa poraale,
gondho kichhui naahi dhaale,
aamaar e deep naa jaalaale,
dey naa kichhui aalo..."

Sayan said...

Since there has been some discussion on Tagore, I couldn't resist writing in a short comment.
Tagore is many times greater than the nobel tag our countrymen recognize him for. But this is not unusual; we shouldn't expect half beasts to understand, realize and feel the songs which have moved the gods. They understand only labels and tags; let them; who cares!
Tagore's songs are eternal. As long as there are thinking and feeling men and women (this class of people is always the minority, by the way), Tagore will live and continue to shed light on a gradually darkening world.
Sayan Datta

Sayan said...

There isn't a feeling or a realization that one can have, an echo of which cannot be found in some poem of his.
Sayan Datta

Kaushik said...

How is it, why is it that your original translation of Tagore's lines stands removed from the blogpost! I just noted it today and was stumped! This is not done and you've done a grave injustice to yourself and also made me suffer a great deal! Please, for heaven's sake, restore it. Or else, remove the other one, as I've requested you earlier!

Anonymous said...

Dear Kaushik-da (I just happened to read Shilpi-di's blog and knew that you're elder to me),

I removed my translation only because it was simply being an injustice to Tagore to put such a crude version of the lovely lines here (I’d be forcibly reminded of Tagore’s own words while reading that, “My poems and songs are complete in themselves… Nobody should run a steam-roller through them…”). My opinion is complete in whatever I originally wrote for the post. And, I loved your translation actually: the fervour of the song is brought out so beautifully that rightly justifies the sentiments of any lover of Rabindrasangeet.

Lastly, something which has got nothing to do whatsoever with the removal of that translation of mine: for a long time my conscience was pricking me almost painfully to have misunderstood you so badly in your first comment… But, you must understand that until then, the power of moderation of comments wasn’t enabled for me: I and Sudipto realised it only recently. So, I never read your second comment before typing in my reply for your first one. I was so much full of regret at my own poverty that I couldn't even bring myself to give you a proper reply for your third comment for a long time. My apologies once again if I’ve hurt your sentiments through my words…

Undoubtedly, there are a lot of flaws in my self…

“...Aamaare na jeno kori prokaash aamaro aapono kaaje,
Tomaari ichhaa koro he purno,
Aamaro Jibono maajhe....
Aamaar maathaa noto kore dao he tomar chorono dhular tole,
Shokolo ohonkar he aamar dubao chokher jole...”


Kaushik said...

I'm moved beyond words, my eyes are moistened, Sayantani! Only if we could have a few more souls like you, the world would have been such an infinitely lovelier place! While I more than respect your sentiments but why inflict this self-torture? I'm more than humbled and a great cathartic experience for me too! How, in a rush of emotions, I blabbered out something indiscreetly (not to speak of the glaring typos)and made it a quite messy affair !

Smile, smile heartily and take care. Regards
Kaushik Da