Friday, October 26, 2012

The Supreme One

Aditya marched
Several hundred of them two
Followed their king or was it the beat
Of the golden drums that played
One stroke for every step
The music was the pace.

We all too stride
The flowers, bees and birds
Rest of us and animals too
We beat to His steps
His sounds, show the way
Only His Will shall end this race.

Do not try to look but,
On land and mountain tops
For His presence or divinity
The Sun, the rhythm, the air, the womb
Why don't we just see around?
All of us are his trace.


1st stanza - VikramAditya was one of the most illustrious Kings ever to have ruled India. As per the legend, his army used to march to the beats of the drums; one step for every beat.
2nd stanza - Lord Shiva is the most powerful and revered God in the Hindu pantheon. In mythology, Lord Shiva has said to have played his 'damaru' (tabor - percussion instrument) to create all the sounds that make up our speech (popularly known as the 14 Maheswara Sutras). Our heart 'beats' as per His Will and we all march on, in this cycle of creation and destruction.

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Cobbler

Life in the city is an awful hustle,
We make no time to look around;
Must complete a task to start anew that second,
Even the comforting bed is now a battleground.

This morning was like all the rest,
Who but cares for the cuckoo’s nest;
Heart was just another muscle today,
Didn’t vex nor pain for the grieving breast.

Eager to catch the first train out,
A push and a nudge bereft of a bout;
Time is a treasure never found in abundance,
To steal a moment is ever the key essence.

In some such days I did find success,
Found a few seconds and a task to attend;
In front of me was this diligent craftsman,
He laboured while I spoke to my friend in Phnom Penh.

He rubbed and brushed and polished my shoes,
Put in all his effort, made them shine like new;
While he then got busy and his tools did he rearrange,
I lauded his effort with disgustingly small change.

So much did I like his work,
That i went to him on occasions many;
Amazing was his love for my leather,
In sun or snow or the floody weather.

Now that I think, there was never between us a conversation,
Face to face makes me coy, such is our civilization;
Wonder what changes me when spoke unabated on phone,
Whilst he worked with his tools I played with my own.

Some went to him to shine,
Some went to mend a hole;
Gave everyone the stitch they deserved,
Be it leather, wood or simply a rubber sole.

The sun ceased its role long ago,
But never did it bother me;
My work went into the night,
The setting one was never for me to see.

Today was but a little different, Lo! beholden,
Cam to the station this time untrodden;
Sinking sun still shone the sky a golden,
Disembarked the same platform, That which was boustrophedon.

Saw the repairman sitting all alone,
As if waiting for someone whilst his hair windblown;
Packed and ready to go were his many-a-tool,
Couldn’t figure out what was holding up his schedule.

Stood and watched him pass his time,
So did I as smoke my face atone(d);
He played with the dog or was it the other,
Who derided the shoeman as if a bone.

The next few seconds left me shell-shocked,
In these few seconds my whole life was mocked;
In these few seconds every knit of my veins unravelled,
Left me still, motionless on this platform so often travelled.

Came this youth I  took him for his son,
Sat down in front of the ol’ man with his back complete;
Laboured limbs latched around with joy and fun,
Piggy back he rode, Alas!!! The Cobbler had no feet.

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Beyond the Law of the Jungle

Scorpions bite
Without a hiss;
Some bugs bite
Along with a kiss.

Hiss and bite
The crawling slime;
Wild cats jump
They give no time.

Swooping hawks
Armed with sight;
Bears but attack
Armed with might.

Jaws of a whale
Who does dare;
Trampling elephants
They just don't care.

Jungle's Law
That is Nature's Call;
Aha! the Cupid's arrow
but, Beats them all.

Glossary and Explanation:
Crawling Slime - Snake
Bears are perhaps the only animals which attack unprovoked.

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Monday, May 28, 2012

Destiny's Children - A quatrain

Thetis held Achilles by his heel and dipped him in the Styx,
Gandhari's vision made Duryodhana impervious, but for his Fix;

A Mother may try all to shape His destiny and fate,
Alas! the struggle is as good as lost, when it is against Time and Date.

Mythological Background:

In Homer's Greek Epic 'Illiad', Thetis tried to immortalize her son Achilles by dipping him in the river Styx. For this she held him by his heel and immersed him in the river. Since the portion of the heel could not come in contact with the water, it remained vulnerable. In the Trojan war Achilles was subsequently killed by an arrow which struck him exactly at that portion of his heel.

Similarly, In Ved Vyas's Indian Epic 'Mahabharata', Gandhari, the mother of Duryodhana had accumulated power through penance (remaining blindfolded for years together) such that when she would remove the blindfold the person whom she would see first would be indestructible. She asked her son to appear in front of her completely naked and she would open her eyes. Being embarrassed to go completely naked in front of his mother, he covered his groin with a piece of cloth (or leaves). His enemy Bhima killed him in war by striking a mace at this very place.

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Teardrops from Heaven

In adversity and for pity
I can see her drops appear;

But why use them for deceit
to draw me away from a peer.

When do I or do I not grieve?
When do I or do I not fear?

If they are those of sudden joy,
I would love to share them with a cheer.

The crying of a girl is her blessing;
One that she never forgets to keep near.

O Lord, I ask thee why this unfair bias?
Not all, but with a tragedy at least gift the man a tear.

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Stars Of Fortune

The day I was born was not just another night, 
The stars were all aligned, neither bull nor scorpion put up a fight; 
What better beginning than to let the moon govern your tide, 
It is not good enough to just have one’s mother by his side.

There is a right time for everything, from waking up to bathing
To start a new task, but not for its finishing; 
The times they’re a changing, this much you told me Bob, 
But why should I care for that, when I have a stone for every job.

I did not fall in love, my heart did never allow, 
A perfect girl was arranged, so that together we could plough; 
The stars were all matched and we rode on the carriage, 
Rituals and vows are just not enough for a happy marriage.

Signs and symbols at every corner they lay, 
When in doubt and distress they cleared my way; 
Every lucky charm did help me, I shall not lie, 
Why not will someone tell me then, whence will be a good time to die.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Newton's Karma

Introduction :

Sakyong Mipham metaphorically and very aptly explained what many religious leaders and philosophers have been debating about for more than the past two millenia.

“Like gravity, Karma is so basic we often don't even notice it.”

Karma is a Sanskrit word which means ‘Action’ or ‘Deed’. This simple word has been dissected and explained by hundreds of philosophers over millions of pages and billions of words. The most popular proponent of Karma was Lord Krishna. His teaching is more popularly known as :

“Karma karo, phal ki icchaa chod do.”
“Act. Do not be attached to the fruit of your action.”

The text of Lord Krishna, more popularly know as Bhagawad Gita, forms a part of the largest Epic in the world, The Mahabharata. For the curious, this Epic is several times the size of Homer’s Illiad and Odyssey combined. The depth in meaning has been said to be so profound and cryptic that no single interpretation can be agreed upon by scholars even today.

In fact Newton’s laws of motion are also saying exactly the same thing. The commonality with Newton is not the fruit, apple, which led him to discover gravity. What Newton proposed, or rather discovered, was that :

“Every action has a … reaction.”

Although he used many more words in his three laws which were supported by even more formulae (which to a certain extent have needed to be changed), what has been summarised in the five words above is all we need in the present essay.

More recently, Amartya Sen has continued this very discussion in his paper “Consequential Evaluation and Practical Reason.”

In this essay, I would like to discuss that portion of Lord Krishna’s, Newton’s and Sen’s thoughts which I feel would be and is relevant to us - the people living an inhuman and barbarious life in the 21st Century.

War and Defeat :

What better way to discuss about Karma, then to speak about the very place where it all started - the battlefield. For the ones not familiar with the Indian Epic, Lord Krishna, believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, spoke words of guidance to the army general and price Arjuna at the beginning of the epic war. These words of philosophy are now recorded separately as the Bhagawad Gita.

The wisdom in the words of the Bhagawad Gita cannot be doubted but in the context of this essay I prefer to agree more with Sun Tzu who says :

“To fight and conquer in all our battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”

This is very similar to what the Japanese General said on being commended on his brilliant insight, strategy and implementation after the successful Pear Harbour attack :

“A truly brilliant man would have thought on how NOT to wage a war.”

Unfortunately ‘non-war-waging’ brilliant men are soon forgotten as they do not make history and more importantly they do not add up to any numbers. As Stalin said :

“A Single Death is a Tragedy; a Million Deaths is a Statistic.”

So the ‘apparently’ brilliant men bring to us Wars and we are sometimes even thankful to them for this. We shall specifically discuss over here the US - Japan equation in WWII. More specifically we shall discuss the bombing of the twin nuclear bombs Little Boy and Fat Man on Hiroshima and Nagasaki which on impact and in subsequent years killed about 200,000 people.

In earlier times wars were fought by codes. The wars in Indian princely states, including the Mahabharata mentioned above were only fought during day time. Once the sun had set, everyone went off to sleep and attend to the wounded. Wars in most Islamic states were avoided in the holy month of Ramzan. Even school fights have rules like, for instance, no kicking in the nuts. More importantly, wars never targeted civilians. Wars were fought on the battlefield. Technology changed all that. (I always remember to thank God for making me technologically challenged). Now civilians are part of the ‘statistic’.

There was another important change in WWII. This was the use of WMDs - Weapons of Mass destruction. Not like the ones which were not found in Iraq. These were the real things. Nuclear. The ones which first suck the life out of the body and then suck out the body from this world. Fortunately, in most cases it happens together in an instance, before we can realise the pain. For that we need to thank its makers.

The success of these WMDs was so huge that every Government with the means to have them have them. And so many of them. And more powerful than the Little Boy and Fat Man. And since a couple of them may not be enough to end the next war, may be the military ‘thought’ (and I thought they were trained only to fight and not to think) that they needed to have a couple of hundred of these ‘mean things’.

What shall we say is the outcome of WWII? Some would say the Allies won. Some would say the Holocaust ended. Some would say the right people won. Unfortunately, WWII gave to the ‘mean people’ a practical demonstration of a weapon that could wipe out our entire civilization. Reminds me of the old Swahili saying :

When two elephants struggle, it is the grass that suffers.

The outcome of this WW if you ask me is fortunately yet to be seen by us. Or should I say that the outcome is yet to be ‘felt’ by us.

Maybe Newton was correct when he said that “Every action has an … opposite reaction.”

Consequential Evaluation : (Please skip this part if you do not want to stress your mind)

Can we really blame the war strategists? Are we any different? How many times are we really ready to bear the the near term difficulties and act for a longer-term solution and a longer-term good?

Amartya Sen explains very correctly that a ‘good starting point for (any) analysis, is the need to take responsibility for the consequences of one’s choice.’ My philosophy teacher would have called it ‘consequence-based-deontology’. Deontology is that branch of philosophy by which one can avoid the painful root-canals. That is what I too thought at first. But deontology is actually that branch of philosophy that is concerned with ethics, duty, moral obligation and the right action. This is that part of the meeting where most strategists (war or otherwise) tend to doze off.

We are not war strategists (unless we consider marriage to be some kind of war) but most of us are parents. And this is where there is a demand for evaluation. Consider the selection of the baby’s food. Is it harmful for our child? Is a trade-off between what is commonly followed by our peers and what is beneficial to our child such a huge dilemma? And we may really feel that there is no difference between the two, but when we really start to ‘look’ around we can see our ignorance and the consequence it is going to have on our child.

Sen remarks that such theoretical arguments may take us even to the argument of maximization. Whether we have considered every possible alternative before arriving at any decision (since the child cannot remain hungry till we decide on the best possible alternative). But he clarifies here that ‘maximization’ would be better described as ‘optimization’.

Lord Krishna’s Karma Yoga :

In the Bhagawad Gita, Lord Krishna says :

“Your right is to work only and never to the fruit thereof.......nor let your attachment be to inaction.”  /2.48/

Several western indologists have translated the Sanskrit text verbatim and hence lost out on either the intended meaning or the context of reference or in some cases both. The message of  the Bhagawad Gita is that firstly, any Work (Karma) should not be carried out to achieve any selfish motive. And secondly, it goes on to say there should be no attachment whatsoever with the fruit thereof.

Nowhere does he say or mean that the action should be independent of the consequence. There should be every responsibility attached to one’s action. A ‘selfless act having no expectation of its fruit’ which is the true meaning of Karma Yoga should not be equated to a ‘consequence-independent act’.

Right to do Wrong :

The question we always ‘wrongly’ ask ourselves before taking any action (Karma) is about our Rights. Think about this for a moment. Consciously or not, this is what we have been doing for the past several years.

‘This is my Right.’
‘Ofcourse, I have a Right to do this.’
‘I have the Freedom to do as I please.’

Why are the words ‘responsibility’ and ‘obligation’ never part of the question?

Why does the equation Responsibility > Rights sound so incorrect to us?
Is the equation Obligation > Freedom incorrect?

We have social rights and economic rights and cultural rights and political rights and even the right to go left. But, we find the burden of Responsibilities so huge for our shoulders that our Rights help us shrug it off.

We first fought for Gay Rights. That is not a bad thing. But now people want to fight for a Right to be a Bi-sexual. What is that supposed to mean? Why can’t we select a gender of preference? Isn’t asking the Right to be bi-sexual equivalent to a Straight man asking the right to be polygamous. Which person straight or not (in their right mind) wants to fight for a Right to have two partners? If you ask me I would rather be on the side of Mark Twain who said, “Bigamy means having one wife too many. Monogamy means the same thing”.

I have seen people fight for their Right not to wear a helmet while driving a motor-cycle. It is your life that the Government is trying to protect. Citizens want a Right to Reject all election candidates to show their disapproval for the political nut-bags. Why cannot they get together instead and put forth someone who is good enough?

How can couples who are parents fight for a divorce? Too bad that they cannot get along. Why did they not think about this before screwing (literally and figuratively) up the child’s life?  The child is now their responsibility. Before the Right to divorce should comes the Right of the child to see both his/her parents together. Before the Right to divorce comes the Obligation for the parents to raize their child together and compromise on whatever ‘happiness’ and ‘peace’ and ‘space’ they need. The ‘space’ can wait, at least, till the child grows up to be eighteen. To hold off the fight and the unpleasantness and the ‘irreconciliable differences’ till such time should be the real law. Courts of Law should stop granting divorces. Maybe the ‘divorcer’ should be made to do some time behind bars for spoiling a young child’s life. I am nor arguing on behalf of the drunk and the violent parents for whom there are laws anyway; to get them behind bars. I am arguing against those parents (men and women alike) who seem to get motivated with ‘Sex and the City’ and ‘Desperate Housewives’. (I see these on television for entirely different reasons). The argument is against those parents who wish to live a ‘fulfilled life’ after the divorce. It is Our Action (Karma) for which our child may have to bear the consequences. The situation here is no longer random or chaotic. While both parents may seek to protect their individual rights and freedom, their greater responsibility towards the child which would have a much longer term impact is highly compromised.

Marshall Poe in his book has commented on the so called ‘Right to privacy’. He has mentioned what he refers to as the most disquieting example. ‘In a 2002 decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled that virtual child pornography (viewing on the Internet) was protected by the First Amendment.’

Citizens in most developed nations have so many Rights that even the lawyers are sometimes unaware of all of them.

Discussion :

The problem with academic philosophers is that all these questions are interspersed with words such as libertarianism, utilitarianism, welfarism, inclusiveness, prohibitionism and that is why the strategists and us doze off. Any word having more than three syllables and our mind just switches off. The truth is that the problem is in our-own-selves, but what the heck, let us blame philosophers for our ignorance and attention-disorders. Do we even have the awareness to think about the longer-term?

The whole point of this essay, which has swung like a multi-dimensional pendulum from wars to children is to highlight the responsibility for one’s choice and their consequences. As Sen put it that responsibilities ‘provide the motivation behind discipline.’ Let us not look into the limitations of the choices that we have and treat that as an excuse. The words of Bonhoeffer beautifully summarises this :

Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.

Otto von Bismarck once declared that, “People never lie as much as after a hunt, during a war, or before an election.” Maybe the war-strategists feel justified to lie to us. One of the reason is also the amputation of our own thoughts which refuse to see beyond the obvious. We are a failure when it comes to thinking about the longer term consequences.

In the game of chess we are ready to lose a pawn to trap the queen. We are more than ready to kill the few in war in order to win that disputed commodity. But we need to be aware of the real commodity that we are fighting for, the real consequence of our action. American Presidents (who are brilliant at both speeches and waging wars) have correctly identified the problem, but unfortunately have not been able to implement the solution.

“Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.”  - John F Kennedy

“More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginning of all end to this brutal, inhuman and thoroughly impractical method of settling differences between governments.”  - Franklin Roosevelt

Prelude to the Conclusion :

The antagonist from the movie Agneepath who commits the gravest of sins under the pretext of the teachings of the Bhagawad Gita said :

“Hum kya le kar aaye the, Hum kya le kar jaayenge”
“We have come empty handed and we shall go the same way, so let us not have any attachments and responsibilities”

Whereas, the protagonist from the movie Sarkar rightly said :

“Naazdeeki phayada dekhne se pehle duur ka nuksaan dekhana zaroori hai.”
“Before looking at the near-term benefits we need to look at the harm we are committing for later life”

The former is That (mis)interpretation of Lord Krishna’s words which deal with our Rights and the latter is what will help us deal with our Responsibilities. Pearl Buck again brilliantly summarizes for us :

“We need to restore the full meaning of that word, duty. It is the other side of rights.”

We only believe in Rights. But no responsibilities. The Code Books written by our earlier religious leaders were exactly meant for this purpose. The purpose was to outline our responsibilities. That the religious books may not remain relevant to some extent, and that we refuse to change them in the name of religion and God is another story, again not the subject of this essay (which I need to end before you go off to sleep).

The Courts and Laws of today outline our rights. But who is to teach us our responsibilities. We want the freedom, but we are unable to handle it.

If we are taught to forget the consequence, we are indirectly taught to remain motionless. We are approaching Inertia. And that was the latter part of the message of Lord Krishna written above, “..nor let your attachment be to inaction.”

Conclusion :

Newton’s first law told us that “a body will remain in a constant state unless it is acted upon by an external force”. This constant state is ‘our state of inaction’ and the external force is that of ‘Responsibility’.

Thus, we can now successfully state Newton’s Law of Karma :

“Our body will remain in a state of inaction unless it is acted upon by a sense of Responsibility.”

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Saturday, January 7, 2012


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Why did I fall in love this time of the year?

It is January now and I hate the dryness,
Her dove-like eyes entice me with their shyness;
I hope and pray this month to be dear,
O! Why did I fall in love this time of the year?

February it is and I have grown a year older,
Buxom breasts caress me as she rests on my shoulder;
I hope and pray this month to be dear,
O! Why did I fall in love this time of the year?

The work in March leaves me with no time,
As my eyes undressed her I told myself ‘tis not such a big crime;
I hope and pray this month to be dear,
O! Why did I fall in love this time of the year?

Colours of the April Holi remind me of the destruction that wars bring,
The scent of her breath put to shame even the growing buds of Spring;
I hope and pray this month to be dear,
O! Why did I fall in love this time of the year?

The heat of May makes me want to run away,
Would I be able to, her supple body besides me lay;
I hope and pray this month to be dear,
O! Why did I fall in love this time of the year?

With first drops of rain the snails and worms disgust me with their slow trips,
What would I do if it wasn’t for the moistness of your soft lips;
I hope and pray this month to be dear,
O! Why did I fall in love this time of the year?

The pouring of July along with the winds make those ensnaring whirls,
How did I get the patience to see your wet hair as you untangled those twined curls;
I hope and pray this month to be dear,
O! Why did I fall in love this time of the year?

The sun and clouds seem in an endless battle this August,
While the sight of your round hips makes me weak with this uncontrollable lust;
I hope and pray this month to be dear,
O! Why did I fall in love this time of the year?

The sickness of September is something I would not like to remember,
Wrap me around with your legs, they are chains so slender and tender;
I hope and pray this month to be dear,
O! Why did I fall in love this time of the year?

Leaves keep dropping this Fall, how can nature be so ruthless and cruel,
Curves of your neck, lustrous and sparkling though not lined with any jewel;
I hope and pray this month to be dear,
O! Why did I fall in love this time of the year?

November is so confused, not this not that, neither here nor there,
As you uncovered your sublime thighs, you left me with no option to go anywhere;
I hope and pray this month to be dear,
O! Why did I fall in love this time of the year?

The chill in December makes my bones stiff, they could soon crack,
I seem to forget all the pain when my hands begin to run down your blissful back;
I hope and pray this month to be dear,
O! Why did I fall in love this time of the year?

Twelve damsels, all so different, sculpted as if in clay,
Twelve damsels, all so different, I love them each in their own way;
The Lord be praised for sending these angels down here,
Without this master could I have loved twelve times this year.

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Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Fluvial Mind

If the path before you is clear,
It may be your eyes but definitely another's mind;
If you know what you are looking for,
Then that is all you will ever find.

Like a river has no choice but to flow,
Meet a lake, fight a mountain even though;
Disappear will it one day with a desert bend,
Or merge with the ocean in the end.

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Thursday, October 6, 2011


With the sun shinning I could see no stars, no bodies, not even my beloved moon,
Have they been eaten by this vulture, beast, is this the day of doom;

No! not at all, they're all right there, albeit this distraction between them and me,
Is there ever a thing such as darkness, or is it only a failure to see.

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Sunday, September 11, 2011


The one thing that makes me proud
Is my Ignorance, That I don’t need to fake;
The more I read, the more I learn
makes me certain, That no one can take.

I tried to know all and then some more,
My doubts increased from one to four;
Could not get as much Confidence
from Knowledge, as I could from Ignorance.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

School Friends

Why can't we make friends like in school,
Is it us or them who have changed the rule;
Wouldn't count for rich or poor or not so smart,
Just clean in the mind and pure by heart!

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Friday, August 5, 2011

The Story of the Hare and the Tortoise v3.0

The Story of the Hare and the Tortoise is one of Aesop’s fables. Like in all fables (apologues) there has to be a moral at the end. There has to be something we need to learn from. Likewise, we will now try to learn from The Story of the Hare and the Tortoise (SHT) v3.0.

I could straight away tell you the story and then discuss the lesson we can learn from it. But It would be like seeing the third part of The Matrix trilogy without seeing the first two. I can only imagine the reactions of those viewers who went to the third part of the movie without seeing the first two. As a matter of fact, in spite of seeing the first two parts my reaction to the third part was no different.

SHT v1.0 – Aesop’s fable :
Briefly; there was a race between a hare and a tortoise. When the race began the hare raced ahead as expected. Being complacent and seeing himself well in the lead he decided to take rest under a tree. With the cool breeze blowing and the shade of the tree for comfort the hare dozed off (pretty much like the back-benchers in my school). On hearing the other beasts cheering the tortoise, the hare got up and realised that the tortoise had not only overtaken him but almost reached the finishing line. He ran as fast as he could but could not beat the tortoise. The unexpected happened. The tortoise won the race. The moral is that ‘Slow and Steady Wins the Race’.

SHT v2.0 – The Story as written by Lord Dunsany (not the same as my sindhi friend’s father Mr. Dunsani) :
Lord Dunsany himself never referred to his version as v2.0. He thought of this as the original. The beginning is more or less the same. The race starts. The hare dashed off and after running for a hundred yards stopped to look back and see where his rival was. Then he sat down and scratched himself (something like what Aamir used to do in Ghajini). “It is rather absurd,” he said “to race with a tortoise”.
Meanwhile the tortoise overtook him amongst the cheering of all his beast friends (those days there were no designated cheerleaders). After a while as the tortoise drew near to him he thought to himself “There comes the damned tortoise”. He once again got up and ran as hard as he could so that he should not let the tortoise beat him (something like how Aamir stopped beating Ghajini and then suddenly started to beat him again).
The hare ran again for nearly three hundred yards, nearly in fact as far as the winning post, when it suddenly struck him what a fool he looked running races with a tortoise who was nowhere in sight, and he sat down again and scratched (something like Kulbhushan Kharbanda in Shaan). “Whatever is the use of it?” thought the hare, and this time he stopped for good.
There was desparate excitement for an hour or two amongst the other beasts and then the tortoise won. “Hard shell and hard living; that is what has done it.” said everyone. “It is a glorious victory for the forces of swiftness.”
In SHT v2.0 Lord Dunsany brings out the view that the hare realises the stupidity of the challenge and refuses to proceed any further. The obstinate tortoise continues to the finishing line and is proclaimed the swiftest by his backers.

SHT v3.0 :
Long long ago, there was doubt with acrimony amongst the beasts as to whether the Hare or the Tortoise could run the swifter. Some said that the Hare was swifter  of the two (something like Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious) while others said the Tortoise was swifter because he had a hard shell (something like Vin Diesel in xXx).
Just then the cunning jackal (something like Mike Myers as Dr. Evil in Austin Powers) came in and suggested Vin and Vin to have a Sisyphean race.
Can you imagine the look on the Vinses faces? They never knew what Myers meant. Vin (one of the two) held a gun on Myers’s head and agitatedly said “Sisyphus to you, you Mother%*($@#. Don’t you dare threaten me”.
Sanity prevailed and Myers explained thus:

A Sisyphean race is  a race where the finishing line is the beginning of another race. So basically the race never ends, except by death. And that is exactly what Myers wanted. That the Vinses should die and he could eat a good meal. Ofcourse it was not very difficult to convince the Vinses. Myers just spelt out the rules and left out the fine-print (like the Risk Factors in Offer Documents). It is just amazing what a little bit of “keeping-up-with-the-Joneses” speech can do. After all they were animals and “herd mentality” was not uncommon to them.

The real story goes like this (flashback in a flashback). King Sisyphus. a King in Greek mythology,  ruled over his kingdom and wasn't a very good king. As punishment the Gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a huge rock to the top of a mountain, from where the rock would fall back of its own weight. The Gods had thought that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labor. Every time poor Sisyphus managed to get it to the top, the rock rolled down and he had to repeat the task. Anyway, when you refer to a task as being "Sisyphean", what you are implying is that you are involved in endless and meaningless labour, that which can be brought to a stop only by death.

Myers basically wanted to eat the Vinses (or atleast one of them) as well as have fun while they kill themselves.

The race starts. Everytime they thought one of them had won the race, the next one began. Everytime they saw the finishing line with some sense of achievement, the next race began. Everytime they felt as if happiness was round the corner, the next race began.

While Vin and Vin are in between their 21st race, let us discuss the moral. SHT v3.0 puts up an apparent paradox but it is also an apologue. It has a moral like the previous two versions. Infact the moral of v3.0 develops on that of v2.0.

Rising in the morning, taking the train (or the BMW), ten hours in the office (or fourteen hours on the smart phone), sleep. Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday and Sunday according to the same rhythm. This is our life. This is our Sisyphean race.

One day the “why” arises. We scratch our heads like all the bald heroes (it does not matter whether we are bald or balding). But unfortunately, after a little bit of scratching we get back to our Sisyphean race again, until it is time to scratch our heads again.

We live on the future; “tomorrow,” “later on,” “after we have made it”. Do we think of ourselves as immortal? Procrastinating for the future is irrelevant for our today. Such irrelevancies may feel wonderful, but the thing to remember is that, after all, it’s a matter of dying. Whether the absurdity of Our Sisyphean race dies before Us - that is the question.

We are busy in trying not to miss a deadline, but what if we are dead before time. We have our “needs”, “impulses”, “reflexes”, “urges”, “hungers”, “wants” and “desires”. Whether in trying to gain all this, we are losing the one thing that we truly own, our life - that is the question.

From Pandora’s box, where all the ills of humanity swarmed, the last one to be drawn out was “Hope”; after all the other ills. This was the most dreadful of all. As Albert Camus tells us, “Hope equals to resignation. And to live is not to resign oneself.”

One is running a race with the other. Absurd marriages, jobs, challenges, wars and achievements. For each one of these absurdities springs from a comparison. And the comparison arises from the consent which has not been engineered by us, unfortunately. We have inherited the “herd mentality”. Whether we are still animals - that  is the question.

While we have asked so many questions, the Vinses are now in between their 34th race.

The answer may not be in going to Morocco and throwing your livelihood (like Hrithik did with Katerina in Zindegi Na Milegi Dobara; although, going with Katerina for three months is not exactly a bad idea). The answer may be in the question, what is worth the trouble of living on this earth? There is always a spot where one’s heart will feel at peace. Virtue, art, music, reason or simply the Mind. Something with which melancholy rises in our heart.

To know our “passion” should be our interest.

Whether or not we can live “without passion” is all that should concern us.

Can we adapt ourselves to the life given to us without compromising on our “passion” is our only race.

As Camus asks “Whether one can live with one’s passion, whether or not one can accept their law, which is to burn the heart they simultaneously exalt” - that is the question. And to find the answer we need to THINK our way to the Truth, as Plato (or the ancient wise men) taught and not to FEEL our way, as Hugh Heffner is teaching us today. In the words of Nietzsche (who always has the right words for everything), we need to put the “cult of place of the cult of feeling.”

So coming back to our story. Vin and Vin(the other one) are in between their 55th race. Vin looked at Vin (the other one) and said “It seems Myers has played a joke on you.” To which Vin (the other one) replied, “Maybe the joke is on you, Vin.” And the Vinses argued thus.

Is the joke being played on you? Is our life similar to the people in the Matrix whose real existence was inside their pods?

There are those who are made for dying and there are those who are meant for living. Like the Hare in v2.0 it is best that we realise and understand as to what is the extent of the futility of our race. As Dumbledore (the other one) said “It does not matter if you lie to me, but what troubles me is that you are lying to yourself.” Or else, in our Sisyphean race it will be the rock’s victory.

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