Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Word Exercise

Something the love of my life made me write down :

Passion - to do something with my life
Deep - my love for my girls
Lust - for you, all the time
Dark - thoughts when I am doing nothing
Light - How I want to feel
Exhilarating - having my girls walk and jump all over me
Lonely - when you are not at home with me
Strange - times that we are in
Boredom - Nowadays a lot of it
Crazy - our lives now
Sad - Orphans
Cold - Chicago
Routine - hate it
Paranoid - never am
Restless - after 2 years in any job

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

By the skin of my teeth

Niyathi and I driving merrily along. At a traffic intersection, I get a green and start moving. A humungus bus jumps the red light to my right and drives right through the intersection. I brake hard.

Reflexively, I blurt out "What the f**k!!". As I finish my expletive, I whip around in fear to my little girl. She gives me a sweet smile and say "Daddy. why did you say WONDERFUL to that bus?"

What a close shave!!

Now, both the girls chortle in chorus every time we see a bus "WONDERFUL!!"

Oh well, it could have been worse..a lot lot worse!!

Saturday, March 03, 2007


krodhad bhavati sammohah
sammohat smrti-vibhramah
smrti-bhramsad buddhi-naso
buddhi-nasat pranasyati

From the Bhagavad Gita, this translates into something like this:

From anger arises delusion, from delusion arises loss of reason, from loss of reason arises destruction of the mind and the destruction of the mind leads to the self-destruction of the individual.

I was trying to find a way to connect this profound philosophy with something from Aristotle's writings on anger in his Nicomachean Ethics:

Anyone can become angry - that is easy. But to be angry at the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way - this is not easy

Whew!! Whew!! Whew!! One for the Gita, one for Aristotle and one for the fact that these are timeless thoughts that illustrate the greatness of ancient philosophies.

For me, the verse from the Gita gives the process of how anger leads to ruin! Aristotle's ethics talks to the control or channeling anger for maximum personal gain.
Aristotle is probably looking at it from a material gain perspective whereas the Gita is looking at spiritual gain. The Greek philosopher doesn't seem to say that you should not get angry, rather do so, but do it in a way that can provide benefit to oneself. So, does that mean that the right anger controlled the right way does not lead to ruin? Is controlling anger this way eventually lead to completing overcoming anger? What is the definition of anger? Why does it arise? My take is that suppressed desire leads to anger. Think of the various things that make you angry? Can you trace each of these things down to some desire of yours that was prevented? I think so.

The teachings of the Gita as well as Aristotle's words have given me much fodder for thought. I am starting to believe that if you start analyzing anger (each time you get angry) in the fashion of the words from the 'Nicomachean Ethics', you will in due course of time arrive to a state where it doesn't make sense to get angry at all! However, as Aristotle rightly says, that is not easy and to completely get rid of anger, near impossible.
But, then an interesting question. Is a rationalized well-thought out expression of anger, anger at all, or something completely different? Is planned anger an oxymoron?

Am I way off? Please feel free to tear apart my thoughts. I'm just thinking out loud and would love to hear your opinions and ideas. I've not even touched the tip of the iceberg here but hope to some day understand at some minuscule level, the root of anger, and as a lofty goal, how we can make the world a less angry place for us and our future generations to live in.

A wedding in Chennai

It's been a while since we had a massive wedding on the wife's side of the family. This one was especially important as it was the...