Have we forgotten to smile ...?

There are times when I come back from work , (may it be sulekha or erstwhile Infy )... I tend to come home and pick a book to read or watch some tv while having my dinner.A few minutes after dinner my mind ..full of fatigie glaring at the 15' monitor is soon lulled into sleep and after my eyes fights a losing battle with the mind , I hit the sack..and wake up next morning ..with a tired groan..of having to get ready and go to office when i feel like lazily lying in bed for some more time. When this happens over a period of time , I realize that life sometimes ...is not being lived the way I want it to ...in terms of experiencing emotions.How long is it that I actually called up an old buddy and spoke of the good'ol times when we were in college /school ...for more than 10 minutes ... pretty rare .More often than not , the friend on the other end is busy trying to get interested in coding an applicatiuon for a client whom he has not seen ...and for which the client pays mind boggling sum ...and in this fast moving world ..not suprisingly we dont have the time for even speaking to our friends .

This is how a typical conversation would go amongst my friends and me these days (sans a few who wouldnt mind a half hour vetti chat ...thanks to an infy corporate mobile connection )

Me : Hi da

He : Hi ...

Me : Enna da ...no calls from u ...naye ...could have atleast sent some sms

him : amaam...could have sent ...

Me : But why ?

He: never struck me i have to call


He : Work is quite tight da .... so i didnt call

Me : what about the weekend da ?

Him : I was in office learning ...some new programming language da..

Me : cmon da..i know ur working hard...but keep some time for personal life da

HE: ille da ... i cant do that da , PM wont like da

me : (thinking ...how times have changed ..PM is more important than ur life ..sheeesh).

ME : How about a holiday on the weekend da ?

him : No da...that would mean I would come in late on monday ... so PM may not like it and it may affect my apraissal in the long run.So let my apraisal get over and tythen we will think about holiday.Now only work.... nothing else

Me : Dont u feel bored sitting in the office for hours together ?

Him: No da ...wat to do..? only till appraissal da

6 months later....and an appraissal later ..

Me : Hi, Ready for a holiday ..

Him : Holiday ... hmm... why do u want to meet ? We keep in touch via email no ..why waste money going to someother place ....

Me : Gosh .... I must have gone mad..sorry to contact you ... ?My mistake ...

thinking : how is he going to even satisfy his wife and raise children ..in due course when he has no outlet for enjoyment and is so drowned in his work ?

Then I just happened to read this piece on the net ... and it has conveyed what exactly i wanted to say


I am just quoting from a person's blog

Can we smile for a while? Leaving aside all our worries, tensions, desires and all such preoccupations, let’s just smile for a while and see. This universe as it is a vast and all encompassing. We remain but mere specks of dust in this vast universe. Whether we receive all the glory and success that anyone can dream of or whether we are condemned to live a wretched life, we shall all pass away. Nothing remains. Everything around is constantly dying and we are spending our time here fighting to gain kingdoms! When we ourselves shall pass away, how important are the kingdoms we gain here? Nothing remains! Some one thinks good about me, someone else sees me as a crook and when I myself am to leave the world very soon, how does it matter who thinks what? Should I fight to establish myself as a great man now or should I rather live this moment conflict-less-ly as anyway it’s going to pass away?
Praise or blame, both shall pass away. Success or failure, I shall soon vanish and no one knows where. Lets stop fighting for petty and temporary successes and failures and lets smile for a while, coz this smile we cannot smile tomorrow. Coz tomorrow this moment won’t be there, for us to revert back and smile instead of fight. Let it not be that tomorrow on our death bed, we recognize that we have lost the whole life fighting for things that do not accompany us at that moment. We have come crying into this world, let’s not leave crying. Let us learn to smile.

There is an interesting story about a zen master who was dying. When his disciples ask him to give them his last message and he says “Usssh! Listen to the squeaking of those squirrels”

J so simple it is. Are we here, this moment? We cannot live this moment tomorrow. Lets therefore live it now, it shall pass away J.

Kabir Says,
“Maya Mari na maan Mara, Mar mar gaye sharer
Asha Trishna na mari, keh gaye kabir”
[Niether illusion nor mind died, only bodies kept dying
Hope and yearning did not die, so says Kabir]

Its so beautiful. “Maan” is mind. it drives us away from the present. Asha is hope and Trishna is yearning. Constantly yearning to gain kingdoms and glory, we miss the present moment. At the end if we ask ourselves we recognize that we have not lived through our 50 years of life, we were running after a golden fleece and the 50 years just passed away.
“We see people dying every and yet everyone things he wont die. This is maya”, says swami Vivekananda. Its not that we literally say that we won’t die, we act in such a way. When we travel by a train, we know that everyone in the train is merely our sojourner. They will all leave very soon and we cannot hold them from leaving. But when we function in this world, our whole outlook is as if we are going to stay here permanently. This is Maya. As long as our mind drives us, we miss the present moment. And mind is able to drive us coz we are in the grips of maya … the illusory idea of finding permanence in the impermanent objects of this world. Asha and Trishna are the two wheels of Maya that drive us. The moment we drop Asha and Trishna and accept this moment we are free.

Mind is a continuous flow of thoughts. Maya is our identification with the continuous flow of thoughts. The “I” thought is confused for the true I. This is Maya. As a result of this, the “I” thought drives us mad. We start yearning for a better future, dissatisfied with what IS. We start hoping for a better future, dissatisfied with what IS. In a spiritual quest the first step is to accept the present as it is. The present is what is, - we as we are with all our good and bad qualities are unique creations of God. This recognition and acceptance of the present as it is, is the crux of the whole religious system. The dissatisfaction with the present, is due to ego. In the vastness of this universe, we are too puny. It is as if our existence if not at all significant in the complete picture. And yet, its amazing how we see ourselves as so “Big”. All our thoughts run around this “I”. Its amazing how much of our time is spent worrying about our image as it is projected in this world. Everyone should think good about me, this is Asha, hope. Why should everyone thing good about me? Who am I to dictate what others should think about me? There is no rule that everyone should thing good about me, and yet, due to ego we see ourselves as much bigger than what we are and want people to think good about us.
Let people think what they think – this is acceptance.
I did what I thought was right, and I am now what I am – this is acceptance.
When we are sad, we need not fight the sadness. Let us allow it to flow and say:
“I am sad, this is coz I gave so much importance to such and such a thing and as a result I am suffering”, this is acceptance.
If Asha, hope can be given up we are free here and now. Hope for a definite future is born out of a tendency to find security in a specific type of future. This “fixing” of the future is really dangerous, coz because of it arises all our suffering. We seek security in the future, coz we see no security in the present. We see no security in the present coz we depend upon something which changes with time and seek permanence in it. Obviously the security we are seeking is in the wrong object. We cant find security this way. This is for sure. For time does not give us any guarantee that it will not destroy the objects we depend upon. Within the realms of time, we cannot find security. Time and Maya are just two words for the same thing. Our bodies are dying constantly and we are here worried about a pimple on our face or a scar on it! The body is dying and we are worried if someone thinks it is beautiful or not! Two puppets on the canvas of time and space argue about their respective greatness, time passes away and soon both vanish into nothingness J

Asha, Trishna na mara … keh gaya kabir … when kabir said this he was, now he is past. Just like kabir who said this is gone, we to shall pass away and with that all our dreams and hopes. J

Let us smile now and be alive in the present.


revatechnic said...

true enough.
I also feel the same way.
Alot of mornings, I wake up and think.. why am I doing this..
Is it because i like it? For the money? Then most of the times I don't find an answer.
Work instead of being something to feed ourselves has become a burden.
I think many would agree if i say that we skip meals, sleep, lose friends and family, or just a little smile to keep working.

It's a shame.

A holiday alone is not enough, we need to get out of the system.
In that aspect, I think in Singapore, we live in a concrete jungle, and walk around like robots.

Kartik Kannan said...

Thanks REVA ...

Reg beating the system , I must say I have solved that problem partly in quitting my former job.The current one is a lot lot interesting ..but as u say ...one just has to have his own personal life ...and I am trying to get myself as organized at work ..to get things faster ...but somehow one doesnt realize ... 12 hours in a day ..seems so normal...

T\Actually out of the 12 hours , I may be working only fo about 10 hours ...with the other 2 hours spent in breakfast,lunch and socilaizing ..and chilling with colleagues without which life in office would seem very robotic

So ...though the intention to find a solution to this maze is there..the faster one gets out of this labyrinth and finds order in life , the better it is ...

I am on my way towards ...that ..as every day I ponder ..for abt an hour ,what is it that I actually want in life ....and I am still seraching for an answer :-)

Madras to Ambai said...


Madras to Ambai said...

very similar views here.every day we get bombarded by information from all quarters.at office n when we come back from wrk lot more information from tv/internet n what not. how many minutes in a day do we care to sit idle n think bout life in general. it's a problem of our own making. our priorities are skewed n more importantly we don't know what we want.

Ram said...

Gud post da,because of this strenous industry i had to skip my meals ending up with a severe stomach ache, i cannot sleep more than 7 hours max, i ve lost my sleep and browsing blogs at 5 AM in the morning. Money isnt everything, but what to do i hav to hold on to this till i find an alternative.

smiley said...

Relax! relax and relax

Anonymous said...

Well said..Evry one (Clapping smiley)...Sentences like these are good just to listen and to post somewhere like here..If any one here are interested in following whatever said in the post..get back to me for my Acc number and transfer all the money u have :-P..Evry one knows ppl who exibited their outrage on "Work" are actually stretching themselves fr their "appraisals" or what ever...DONT JUST ACT..I appreciate Kannan's "following his heart" stuff and quittin Infy...


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