J is for Joanne Rowling or JK Rowling in atozchallenge.
We all grew up listening to lot of fairy tales – magic world is always intriguing with the witches and wizards when we were kids. And i was convinced that I grew up over years and matured and transitioned from the fairy tales to fiction and finally to non fiction and philosophy. I was reading Paulo Cohelo and extracts of Bhagvat Geetha and bingo…. i was again pulled into the magic world of wizards by the great HARRY POTTER series of JK !!
The intelligence which is built by her into the Harry Potter series is astounding!!! The characters, the little details, the locations, the incidents, the good over evil – she wowed me!! She just made sure an entire generation of kids returned back to their reading habits and probably the so-called grown ups (like me!) went back to their world of fairy tales where the good triumphs over evil and got the hope back in life!!!
Goes without saying that her personal life is also an inspiration – where she faced multiple disappointments before she became the current famous version of herself – JK Rowling!!
JK – my vote for her in bringing back the hope of good over evil in millions of children and the grown-ups!! And then it made me realize that she has subtly included lot of philosophy into her wrriting – some samples below.
Read more about her and her works in these two links
It definitely was an important day for me to remember – it became the MOST important day – the three unexpected questions in the unexpected situation from an unexpected person made it a superlative day! I will continue to wonder on why I became so lucky today to be aware of these questions and answers.
It sounds very cryptic, but what I experienced today was indeed cryptic at that time. It took time for me to appreciate that it was a unique happening and one of those significant times which I need to remember my entire life.
Barring all the details, here are the three questions and the answers – these made me feel connected with the universal soul which is always prevalent and waiting for me to acknowledge its presence.
Question 1: Do you know that everyone who is born in this world has to die one day?
Answer 1: Yes
Question 2: Do you think someone who suffers a lot due to a physical ailment or with a terminal illness will feel free and happy that they are dying?
Answer 2: They might be relieved of the physical pain and may be happy that they are getting free of it. They still would have enjoyed even that time of physical ailment as they could spend those extra time basking in the attention of their loved ones, being aware of the affection they shower on them.
Question 3: Do you think only the physical body goes away and the soul is still looking out for their loved ones?
Answer 3: Yes, the death is only physical – the soul stays and looks out – that is when you connect with the universe
- Author – Paulo Coelho
- Eleven minutes – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paulo_Coelho
- Category – Non Fiction
- My rating – 4 on 5
So, why did i pick this book up ? I want to believe that it is another incident where the soul of the universe always shows the path … when you seek answers, you realize that the answer seeks the seeker!
I have been thinking about what is right & wrong relationship and what works & fails in human relationships – result of few counselling assignment at work – I end up listening to the younger generation’s complex personal relationships when it overlaps with professional environments – complex relationships with the first circle of family, relatives, friends, colleagues, neighbours – how relationships change over time and why relationship is all about how you feel about the other person – why everything is fair in love and war – and why there are no rights or wrongs – and why the most important thing is related to heart and not to anything physical – and why the society needs a framework in which physical relationships had to be given more importance over everything else!
At the outset, from my perspective, it can be a bit of a sticky book to refer in a conservative society (it can be even offensive to some!) – this book uses”not-so-conservative” but realistic characters/ situations to explain relationships. If you appreciate Paulo Coelho’s spiritual perspective, you will find those all over this book – you will believe that there is this universal soul which each one of us are part of and the answer seeks the seeker. The story revolves around the life of a young women who seeks answers – this book will resonate with those who have the ability to appreciate the human nature and the universal fact that both right and wrong co-exists, both evil and good co-exists and the final realization that there is nothing called right or wrong and nothing belongs to us.
Few of the quotes which i want to remember…
- She also noted that she associated love with the person’s absence than with their presence
- Freedom only exists when love is present
- The person who gives him or herself wholly, the person who feels freest, is the person who loves most wholeheartedly
- The great aim of every human being is to understand the meaning of total love. Love is not to be found in someone else, but in ourselves; we simply awaken it. But in order to do that, we need another person
- She knows this love was impossible, and yet expecting nothing, she could nevertheless have everything she hoped for from that particular stage of life
- Does the world want me to take “no” risks, to go back where I came from because I did not have the courage to say YES to life?
- Sometimes you no second chance and that it is best to accept the gifts the world offers you
- Anyone who has lost something they thought was theirs forever finally comes to realise that nothing really belongs to them – And if nothing belongs to me there is no point wasting my time looking after things that are not mine; it is best to live as if today were the first (or last) day of my life
- Dreaming is very pleasant as long as you are not forced your dreams into practice.That way, we avoid all risks, frustations and difficulties and when we are old we can always blame other people – preferably our parents, spouses, children – for our failure to realize our dreams
- The true experience of freedom – having the most important thing in the world without owning it
- Time exists in two dimensions – it can be so quick or so slow – depending on one’s state of mind
- I will at last have gained one happy day in my life, considering the way world is, one happy day is almost a miracle
- The universe only makes sense when we have someone to share our feelings with
- Passion makes a person stop eating, sleeping, working, feeling at peace. No one wants their life to be thrown into chaos. That is why a lot of people keep that threat of passion under control (Keeping passion at bay or surrendering blindly to it – which of the two attitudes is least destructive?)
- Desire is not what you see, but what you imagine
- Could I buy back a few hours of my life? We keep putting up with horrible people,waiting for that right moment to arrive, postponing the realization of dreams
- When I had nothing to lose, I had everything. When I stopped being whom I am, I found myself. When I experienced. humiliation and submission, I am free
- What thrilled her about the bird was his freedom, the energy of his wings in motion, not his physical body
About men and women
- All girls are looking for one of the three things – adventure, money or husband
- I was unfaithful and.so were they, just like any other normal couple
- Resonates with any woman – there are three inside any women – innocent girl, femme fatale and understanding mother
- Men always take fright when a woman says “I need you” (i think it works the other way when it comes to patriarchical society – men want women to be dependent??)
A very inspiring piece of information which was shared by one of the senior citizens in our condominium!
An anthropologist proposed a game to children of an African tribe.
The game goes like this – He puts a basket of apple near a tree and told the children that who ever reaches the finish line first in the running race will get the entire basket of apples. When he told them to start running, they all took each others hands and ran together and then sat enjoying the apples together.
Obviously, the curious anthropologist asked “why did you do this? if one of you had ran first, that person could have enjoyed all the apples by himself”. The children answered as a matter of fact ” Ubuntu, How can one of us be happy when all the others are sad?”.
Ubuntu – is the philosophy of African tribes which can be summed up as I AM BECAUSE WE ARE!!
A very awe inspiring simple philosophy – triggers a very interesting debate about BEING HAPPY Vs BEING COMPETITIVE!!!
It always intrigues me to know that how philosophical the African tribes are and how great their sentiments are!
When you are parenting a teenager and also when you are handling a critical team at work with senior people and also when you are handling your aged parents and also when you are running your household..……………you know you are old… …..hey, wait!!! I am beyond establishing that I am growing old…..I am trying to establish that we also pass through many experiences in life over these growing years!!!
Every day, when I go through the daily chores at work and at home – I learn …..And it struck me that it may be a good idea to consolidate and put them together. While it will help to save my grey cells (when you get old, your grey cells lose capacity?), I also felt it may be a good thing to share with others so that they can pick one or two which suits them.
Motivated by the lack of simple and easy to follow guidelines, I am creating this series for all those who are starting to look for some simple directions in life. I will share information about my experience. We all know that life has its complexities and this is my bit to make it easy……….
It all started since last two years (probably coincides with my blogging effort?!!) – I introspect a lot ….
The first simple question is – WHAT DO I WANT IN LIFE?
While the question is too simple, take few minutes and think and write down the answer…..it may even seem simple initially to answer this question (unless you are like me, who gets different answers with each new day!) …… slowly, check if
HOW MUCH OF MY DAILY TIME GOES IN THE EFFORT TO GET WHAT I WANT IN LIFE
This will make us go back to the first question again and you may feel tempted to change the answer to the first question (see, I have reasons on why I change my answer to question #1).
It is actually good to go through multiple iterations of this, as long as the multiple iterations take you much closer to the real answer to the question of WHAT DO I WANT IN LIFE.
I feel I have done multiple iterations and I feel I have figured out something on the answer to WHAT DO I WANT IN LIFE. At a gross level, I find my life completely revolves around 5 key factors
- SELF – Focus on my self – inclusive of my physical, mental and spiritual well being
- FAMILY, Friends and Life – A lot of my life goes around family and friends and that becomes the second key factor in my life
- CAREER – Yes, there had been a time where I only thought of career…I even used career as an escape to face real life – and now, life has taught me the criticality of balancing the critical factors in life – I still view career as a critical part of my life
- PERSONAL INTERESTS – May sound out of sync – you may wonder on how personal interests (read it as leisure activities, hobbies) become key factor of life…crazy!!! I strongly believe that the time I spent on my personal interests makes me complete – It was a refreshing surprise to me on how much a trek or a music class or blogging helps me ……and indeed, it is a critical factor
- SOCIETY@LARGE – these have been more of thoughts and less of action, but I know for sure this is a critical factor in my life – I am slowly starting on few contributions in this space and I will make it.
When I looked at all my FABULOUS FIVE factors of my life, I knew that there is something more which needs to be put in to take care of the fabulous five and that ofcourse is the FINANCIAL WALL – the wall around the five key factors will help me keep my five critical factors intact.
Given that I am more of a visual person, here is my life model
Please note that this is a current version and there are very high possibilities that this may go through iterations in the coming days.
Going forward, I will share my life’s learning against each of these five critical factors and link it back here….Happy reading and learning!
Category – Romantic drama ; Rating – 4.5 ; Comment – Excellent Script!
It was a week day and the heaviest day at work….Thursday evenings are packed with weekly calls! Normally the calls start at 3 pm and then go on till 9.30 pm with few breaks in-between! And the breaks are filled in with last minute discussions before a call or analyzing the inputs which came on the call. Family understands that I am indeed occupied on Thursday evenings! By and large, they have their own activities on Thursday evenings!
But this week, thought it is a working day in India, it is almost shutdown in USA! Suddenly I saw my calendar was empty – all calls were cancelled due to Thanksgiving holiday! After 6 pm, i really did not have much to close and by 7 pm, I did not know what to do!! Very strange feeling – while there were lot of things to handle at personal front, for whatever reason, I only felt that I did not have much to do – I hardly handle any personal stuff during weekdays and store them for weekends and probably that is why!……
So, there I was… back at home, in the living room and it is only 7 pm – family is not going to be in for dinner till 9 pm (that is our regular Thursday schedule). so, default, i start surfing the TV channels – up once, down once……..nothing seem to be interesting and then i suddenly see this scene – a man and a woman walking through a cemetery – something made me stop and watch it …probably the girls face (devoid of any heavy makeup) or the casual air around the guy – i still do not know why i stopped there and started watching –
The first piece of dialogue i heard was “ I always liked the idea of all those unknown people lost in the world. When I was a little girl, I thought that if none of your family or friends knew you were dead, then it‘s like not really being dead. People can invent the best and the worst for you” The way it was rendered…the perspective it threw about being dead – something different.
I got interested and I find it is a movie called “Before Sunrise” – I continued to watch and was completely engrossed till the end!. Yes, ofcourse! it is a romantic movie at the outset (no, no, i never planned to watch it……though i like romantic comedies a lot, i did not know this one will turn up to be a romantic movie) – You can classify it as romantic drama, but the script and some quotes were unbelievably refreshing – especially the discussion about men and women…the thought that feminism was invented by men to have more fun!! haha!!!!…………99 men & 1 woman Vs 1 man & 99 women…intelligent sparks of wisdom!……….
I am so impressed with the entire script and may end up writing the whole script in this post………..but then, allow me to quote the following – which is so nicely put! …………
“You know, I believe if there’s any kind of God, it wouldn’t be in any of us. Not you, or me…but just this little space in between. If there’s any kind of magic in this world, it must be in the attempt of understanding someone, sharing something. (Sigh.) I know, it‘s almost impossible to succeed, but…who cares, really? The answer must be in the attempt”
Ideally, i recommend watching the movie and also the reading the entire script – it is available here…………
And later, i found this movie is rated as one of the best movies in many reviews!! Worth it!!
The other day I came across this short Sanskrit verse
Achaaryaath paadam aadatthe
Paadam sishya swamedhayaa
Paadam sa brahmacharibhya
Sesham kaala kramena cha
It means a person can get only one quarter of knowledge from Achaarya – the teacher, another quarter by analyzing self, one quarter by discussing with others and the last quarter during the process of living by method addition, deletion, correction, and modification of already known aachaaraas.
How true it is…Knowledge is always only one fourth of learning….but looking internal, discussing with similar minded persons and practicing makes the learning complete.
Reiterates that Hinduism is not a religion but a way of life!!