"I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be 'happy'. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all, to matter and to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all."

- Leo C. Rosten

Saturday, April 30, 2011

16th January, 2006

I heard something on this day that made it a day to remember.

It was my graduation days. One day in hostel there was a much talked about exciting issue among us. And the subject was a beautiful fancy case – looking exactly likely a red rose – that was seen on the table of our superintendent. It was a big issue for students as we were in a missionary institution and a rose-like fancy gift on a monk’s desk was the least we ever expected. The case was, no doubt, a gift. And most certainly, it was not from a girl, because, he was a monk. In an hour, the news had spread like hot cake. Some boys started having fun with him about the gift; asking him again and again of the name of the girl who had given it to him. And he kept smiling at our childishness. But there are always some people who take things beyond limits. When he was not in his room, someone had gone in, played fool with the rose, and broke it. We came to know this when he said this in the prayer hall. But what he said after that is something which I would never forget.

After the prayer was over, in his usual low voice he advised us not to go in his room in his absence and touch anything we liked. “There are certain things that you boys must learn,” he said. “One should never go in someone’s room in his absence. I have to tell you something which I had never wanted to tell. But I think I have to, in order to stop you from committing the same blunder again.

“Have all of you read the short story ‘kabuliwallah’ written by Tagore? There is a small girl in the story. Her name is Mini. Isn’t it?

“My brother has a daughter, whose name too is Mini. The day I left home to become a Monk, it was her birthday. I remember her to be a very small girl then. I can still remember her so clearly. She was such a cute, little girl. But I had to go that day. I was determined to be a monk. Many years have passed, about nine years. But I still remember that beautiful day. I do not know how she looks now, how tall she has grown up to, and how well she is. She is surely a big girl by now. It had been a long time. But every year, I make it a point to send her a letter on her birthday. It had been years since I saw her. But I still send her a letter every year, wishing her a happy birthday. And sometimes, she too sends me a letter. This time my brother came to meet me. And he gave me a gift sent by her. She had sent me that rose case. And someone among you had broken it.”

These words had rendered the entire prayer hall silent, and had sent a powerful current of pain running down our hearts.

He seemed to be hardly moved to emotion, though he was surely, as most humans are, deeply moved in his heart. And then he said, “The rose is immaterial. What I wanted to say was that you should not touch anything in my room without my permission. Now you may all disperse. Go and study.”

I do not know whether he had a tear drop or two falling from his eyes or not when he had found the rose-like case to be broken. Had I been in his place, I would probably had pain spikes in my heart. We learnt an important lesson that day. We realized the value of privacy.

Friday, April 22, 2011


It has been quite some time that I was confused and was quite persistent in staying confused regarding what it is that I would like to do in my life. It is has been surprising for me to see myself in such a state because till four years ago I was quite sure that I need to do what I love to do. The only thing is that I had to find out what is it that I love to do. But after I finished my graduation, I started creating confusion in my own self. While some relationships started getting ruined, some were built up. I was not sure whether I want to earn or study further. Family crisis added gasoline to the fire. And from a student of literature I ended up in insurance selling; which again followed by unemployment for some time as I started my photography seriously, and then a detour to management education as I became money minded. And I also ruined my relationship with a very good teacher in the process. I would never be even 1/10th of the quality that is there in him. And to make matters worse, by the end of management education not only did I start loosing my mind as I knew not what to do and what is it that I want, I also lost my beloved (rather I should say that she forsook me, the actual reason for which she has not yet been clear to me). I took up job in a snazzy corporate office as a part of the corporate HR team of one of the largest multi-billion US Dollar business conglomerates. I felt WOW - cozy chair, comforting air conditioner, greasy burgers, modern corporate architecture, and new upcoming business divisions. Having been there for some time, I became the best bore ever. Forgot books, forgot music, forgot photography, forgot those dreams of doing something significant, forgot social sensitivities, and forgot the real sense and meaning of 'management'. So I resigned last week.

Today I sit here typing this post, with no job, but planning to start all over again, set my priorities, and find out something that I would like to do - photography, mentoring, coaching, research, whatever it may be, but something that would be fulfilling.

Today I am reviving this old blog of mine, by giving it a new look, new feel and new dimension. This blog will no more be solely on photography, but on various issues of this world and our lives that we can reflect deeply upon. With this, I invite all of you on a new journey. Welcome aboard.