It is time.

7 12 2014

The thought that lead to ‘Mindful Ventures’. – Note from my diary.

From the earliest memories of my life, I dreamt of outer space, and wanted to be an astronomer. As I grew up listening to religious fables, the seed of idealism found its way in me. Further, as an adolescent, I loved reading stories, and dreamt of writing my own one day. Just like any enchanted teenager, I thought I would make a film one day. Also, I wrote plots in my diary.

In the undergraduate years, I read philosophy, and fancied myself a philosopher, giving sermons to society.  After my post-graduation, I thought a teacher dwelt within me. At one point, I thought I could be a singer. Well, I could not help daydreaming! Over time, my love for literature, arts and music kept growing.

As an entrepreneur, I understood the need for responsibility, so I aspired for responsibility as an entrepreneur. I truly aspired to become an agent of change. As I started graying, I found I could package my thoughts as a speech, and I thought I should be a speaker. My saga continues.

Until this time, I pursued none of these dreams, nor have I made efforts to achieve those aspirations. I hesitated.  I have always waited for the right time.

As a citizen, as a unit of the society I inhabit, I see a lot of pressing issues that are preventing the society to be just. Individually and collectively we all have gotten in us ingrained, the art of procrastination. ‘It’s ok to delay; the time shall come’ – has become the societal norm.

It took one third of my life to realize every moment is the right time and hesitation equals death. Now, I realize it is time to kill the hesitation. It is time to live all the dreams; it is time to be all I never tried to be. It is time.

It is time.

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Guru’s position – a disciple’s perspective.

5 09 2014

Prologue : A teacher is one who wants to teach you, a ‘Guru’ is one who makes you learn. A students idea is ‘to be’, whereas a disciple (shishya) is the one who wants ‘to become’. In other words a student is looking for change while a disciple is aspiring to transform.

Whatever I say is with this context in mind.

___________________________________________________________________________________

Many years back, must be my secondary school days, if i remember it well, around my wonder years,  back in time when I was studying in 8th or 9th grade, I happened to read a story. This story has had a lasting impact on my thought process. I do not clearly remember that story and its context, but it is this one scene from the story which has stayed with me and shaped my understanding. It goes like this.

A young disciple, completely devoted to his guru, was someone who was committed to follow on the path shown by his guru. He had this habit of always going to his guru whenever in some critical decision making situation. And the Guru would readily guide him out during each such instance; in the process the guru would enlighten the disciple. One fine day, in a similar situation as the disciple reaches out to his Guru, the Guru doesn’t offer him any guidance. The disciple is astonished and couldn’t believe this fact. The Guru sends him back by saying “Son, I have given you enough, I leave you now to imbibe all of that, find your own path, and make your own experiences. Its time you take your decisions without me.”

Now this incident from the story found its way deep within myself. Over different periods of my existence this story has provided me different lessons. It started with me believing that a ‘guru’ can only take one this far. One cannot have a guide to eternity. At some later stages i realized the importance of ‘swadhyay’ or ‘learning by self’. Further ahead I understood that it will all be fruitless if one does not learn to take his/her own decisions.

Over many summers of my existence I was fortunate to come across many learned people and many loving teachers. It was quite later in my young life that i discovered a ‘Guru’. It was destined for me to get my greatest lessons from this one person. However the above story was always a part of me, and hence in spite of total surrender I never actually became dependent. That infinite love and reverence can thrive and still one remains boundless was a unique experience and a learning for me. Secondly I knew that the physical proximity and one-to-one transfer of knowledge with the ‘Guru’ can only happen till a limited period of time. This understanding fueled my urge to learn and make the most of those transactions. Many individuals close to me, around that period, sensed a transformation in me, they sensed an urgency in me; I could not explain it to them, than, but deep down i knew that i need to build myself to a level from where I can be on my own. Also I never wanted to come to a point, like the boy in that story had to, where my Guru feels that his disciple has not learned to be on his own.

Many Guru – Disciple relations end in agony and bitterness or in sheer blinded dependence. The crux of this eventuality is the non-realization of the fact that – a guru can only take you this far. With this dawned another important learning from that story and a whole new dimension of learning opened up for me. A disciple is the one who is aspiring to move to a higher destination, in every which way. A ‘guru’ is the form who takes the disciple to that destination. However if one remains focused on the destination and not the form, than ‘guru’ dissolves his form and becomes a part of your being. Somewhere within you the ‘guru’ is installed, and without any one-to-one interaction the transaction continues. Whenever in doubts or in crisis  I am able to talk with my ‘guru’ without even talking with him. In certain extraordinary situations i would have resorted to the one-to-one interactions, but largely I have come this far with the help of the ‘guru’ within. Many times while I ponder on all that I have received from my ‘guru’, I end up tearful. The enormity of the receipt is so huge that all the ego inside me is pushed out by way of tears.

And so I learn that the ‘guru’ in the story while denying his disciple the guidance, has actually given him the greatest lesson anyone can learn. That ‘without’ can be turned into ‘within’.

This has been my experience since a decade now, whereby the ‘Guru’ has found a position ‘within’. In his distinct  style he had shared something, which for me is the articulation of the above learning. He said to a few of us, “I do not want you to be learned, I want you to be learners’.

In whatever limited capacity, with pride, I can tell myself, that I have not stopped learning and I know, the ‘Guru’ within would not let me decay ever.





‘hgang in dharamshala’ the film – now on Youtube!

5 08 2014

Director’s note.

Can you trek your way to Nirvana?

The above question is the result of an experience that we, as a lot, had during our trip to Dharamshala. Twelve friends, twelve entrepreneurs who set out for a petite get-together in this hilly town, returned as if they were reborn. And I am not exaggerating. It’s been almost 6 months since, and each one is showing a sustained attitudinal shift in their lives. What made this possible?

It all started with a letter we sent to His Holiness Dalai Lama’s office requesting a private audience with him. We shared the dilemmas bothering us and wished he sheds some light on it. Unfortunately(or fortunately!!) the meeting did not happen as HHDL was traveling during that period. But the fact of the matter is, we did get those answers without seeing HHDL; the events of the trip made us realize the answers to those dilemmas!!

The entire lot, each one of us, while returning, felt as if we were called to this place. We all believed,until this point, that the trip is our plan, but in the end we realized that we are all a part of a bigger plan.

This was felt in particular, at the trek of Triund. The trek that we took up just for kicks, made us sweat and battle like never before. With scarce resources as we ventured into the un-chartered, it took us to some mind-altering discoveries. Lasting for 9 hours, the trek tested our individual capacities and brought us face-to-face with values of togetherness and kinship along with courage and conviction. From being entrepreneurs fixated to the word ‘achievement’, we came back discovering a powerful agent called ‘letting go’.

As I came back home, I felt in me an uncontrollable desire to attempt to articulate this experience of ours in a visual medium. What I had with me were some thousand images and couple of hours of random video footage. I tried to put them all together in a manner that it makes some sense to the one who engages. I used voice over technique to narrate our mind state and have relied extensively on the songs to convey what we had felt. There is not much footage of the Triund trek which is of greater significance, but than that’s fine.

It may not make any sense to an unknown viewer, maybe. But anyone who knows this lot or any one from this lot, will definitely see some value in this effort. The discerning viewer will enjoy some breathtaking panoramic shots of the magnificent Dhauladhar range, taken right from the top of Triund.

Having said this I put forth the following disclaimer :
‘hgang in dharamshala’ is not a narrative film, nor it claims to be a document of a certain trip. It is a visual memoir of what we friends felt, experienced and realized during this 4 day period. To put it humbly it is just a home video, albeit with a difference.

The film is already shared with family and friends, but we have received lot of requests from many other friends, relatives and well-wishers who wished to engage themselves with this effort.

For them and for any one who ends up here, the film is made available on youtube. FYI the film is uploaded in two parts. Find below the links.

And yeah, watch it till the end the credits roll, it ends with an original poem recital by …

Yours truly,
Mihir Gajrwala





કોની શોધ ? / search for whom?

26 11 2013

We all are searching for something/someone. We are constantly in look out for something/someone. The search is so passionate that while we remain elusive the feeling of ‘missing out’ engrosses us perpetually. We regret not being able to find that which we are looking for. But do we know what we are looking for? What is this mad search for? The irony is we have no clue of what we are searching for. Ignorant of a goal, we make this search, the anchor of our lives. Isn’t this a fatal waste?
How weird it is to feel eluded of that which we do not even know. And how this pointlessness has become a celebration of life remains to be comprehended. Also this craving that we harbour – is it giving us ‘love’ or making us ‘hateful’. Happiness seems to be equated with the preference to be ignorant.

Below verses are a poetic depiction of the above observations.
 
ઘણા સમય થી તને યાદ કરું છું 
વૈશાખ ની લુ માં ગોતતા ગોતતા 
શિશિર ના વાયરા થકી આવી પહોચ્યો છું.
 
મને ના મળવાની તારી જીદ અપરંપાર છે 
ધસમસતા વંટોળ માં શોધતા શોધતા 
તને પામી લેવાની મારી હઠ બેમિસાલ છે.
 
તું શું છે તું કોણ છે તું ક્યાં છે 
વિચાર કરું ગુલાબ ની પાંખડી તોડતા તોડતા 
તારી ના મળવાની પીડા કેમ પારાવાર છે.

તું છે પ્રેમ કે પછી તિરસ્કાર છે 
જીવન ની કેડી પર ખોવાતા ખોવાતા 
તને ના જાણવાની મજા બેશુમાર છે.

 

 

  





Random Act of Kindness

16 06 2009

Have earlier shared an AV on Tiranga Cup 2009. Tiranga Cup was not only about cricket.  Tiranga cup is a manifestation of RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS.  How a small thought of doing something that one wishes to do, for no great purpose other than just doing it, results into wonderful after effects. This thought is expressed in this AV. Find below the script of the voice over.

mihir

Is there a way of seeing that does not need eyes? Is there a way of touching things that does not need hands? Is there a way of loving that is beyond words and time spent, beyond prescribed greetings and reciprocity?

~ from Hugh Prather’s, Notes to myself.

Any act that generates joy and happiness for the involved; is what we understand as an ACT OF KINDNESS. However, random it may be, we believe, it has beautiful after effects, which shall ever remain.

Normally, while initiating any act or event; one thinks of the resources in hand; however we learned that for an act of kindness all that is needed is an intent, an intent which is selfless in nature, rest everything follows.

A kind heart,a clear objective, a strong sense of purpose and a bunch of values is the only capital that was required. Add to it a few liters of sweat and all the necessary resources would come along.

This is what happened at TIRANGA CUP 2009

TIRANGA CUP is cricket tournament organised for the wonderful kids living amidst insufficiency of resources and lifestyle. The idea was to create an event where in the kids can enjoy a competitive sport and have a funfilled experience preparing for it. The funds, the ground the required equipments it all came from a range of silent donors. The event was heartfully managed by independent volunteers; who in turn got lessons on innocence, love, teamwork and friendship.

At the end of it all the realizations were magical. One could see the joy and the happiness even with shut eyes. All involved – the kids, the volunteers – managed to touch each other in some form. The impact was unmatched and it still lives.

The act of kindness cannot be measured in magnitude. Its not big or small. Because its impact can never truly be measured. For the world it may or may not have any logical output. Like ripples in silent water travel unknown distances, we believe that such acts of kindness creates its ripples in the society.

Its impact  on the individual can never be communicated,  It has to be lived, it has to be experienced!

CAN YOU BRING A SMILE ON SOME ONE??

CAN YOU SPREAD THE FEELING OF JOY AMONG OTHERS?

CAN YOU???

JUST GO OUT AND TRY IT NOW.

Your heart is calling you with every beat, waiting for you to take the call!!!





Friday, 1st March,2002

1 05 2009

Now that politics, democracy, humanity etc. is on the mind, I wish to share this piece I wrote almost exactly 7 years back. It is a reaction to the most dreaded incident in the history of Gujarat and Ahmedabad, the Godhra riots.

No, the attempt is not to dig out the dead, nor to discuss riots etc. It is a follow up to the VOTING discussion which is currently ON. A perspective on – how we as individuals of a ‘democratic’ society behave, it reminds us of our hyocrisy, and tells us in our face that we are plain ‘selfish’.

We discuss democracy, we discuss ‘HOPE’, we discuss growth, we discuss changing the country with a VOTE..We just discuss.We enjoy talking. We are in the age of media and communication and blogging.

All that I am trying to say is that – “I should discuss with myself and try and change myself. I need to liberate myself from animosity, hypocrisy and short sightedness. That in my opinion would make me ‘free’; that in my opinion would result in DEMOCRACY”

Here it is, the exact representation, whatever I had expressed on that dreadful FRIDAY.

Mihir

AHMEDA(BAR)BAD

10:30 am

Friday, 1st March,2002

ahmedabad.

Aghast, Shocked, Amazed, Aggrieved; more than anything I feel helpless. Never have I experienced despair to the limits as I am experiencing now. For the first time ever I am feeling sorry, sorry for myself. I am full of remorse for being a part of a caste, for being a part of a community, for being a part of a population, for being a part of a generation and for being a part of a city, which rejects sanity.

It took just a day to kill my city. My city is raped and molested by its own people. There is not a building left without the marks of this mass barbarism. It was a day when hooligans and vandals were the dictators and ‘Police’ were spectators. Instigated by the fuel of communalism this vandals took over the city and gifted the city its worst day in history. The places where I used to shop, the places where I used to eat, the people with whom I used to deal are no more. The places were very much a part of the city’s lifestyle, which now remain destroyed, that too by the same people who till yesterday happily used those places. More than the slogan shouting ‘god loving’ people I was more shocked by the behavior of the so-called ‘urban’ and ‘educated’ citizens of the city who took the incident as a ‘shopping ! festival’. As I was moving around a few areas yesterday evening I could see people, both men and women looting shops and gay fully picking up things of their choice. The surprising sight was that at no place did I spot a policeman or a fire brigade(only one on cg road).

Today morning on my way to the office I felt the pain of the city. The buildings which remained full with activity were dead silent, the roads where I daily see youngsters hustling and bustling were not heard. Tears started rolling down my cheek. The reason for these tears is the painful realization that occurred to me after 22 years; the realization of the fact that I am an inhabitant of a jungle. Whom I considered civilians are all animals, whom I considered as care takers are all hunters and whom I considered as man (myself) turned out to be a rabbit burrowed in the hole.

I don’t know the people involved, I don’t know the reason for such an act nor am I interested to know; but what concerns me is the fate of my city. What was the mistake of my city? I am confused as to whom should this question be directed, to the chief minister, to the VHP or to the people. I don’t want any answers but I want some entity to respond.

Ahmedabad will be now in the history as a city that had the most glorious funeral. Given a choice I would have opted for another earthquake as the destroyer.

The process of our evolution to be human still remains unfinished. May we become human someday.

Ek Amdavadi.