Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Celebrating the 100th Post.. Thanks to you

My Blogging Journey

I think I created my first blog in 2006. I thought it was a good way to make money. I think I was inspired from oniondosa.blogspot.com which was a blog about telugu movies. I created a blog (I dont remember the name) and wrote the review of movie Pokiri which I saw then and published. That was the only post in that blog. After that I couldn't continue it. Then I read many tech blogs which I still read today (Techcrunch, Gigaom, AVC) etc and then I was really hooked. I became so excited that my first post when I started this blog, my first post was My most visited websites in 2006. In January 2007, when I started this blog, I wrote about 18 posts on various topics.. Tech posts, recommendations, hot news, movie reviews etc.. but then the steam went out soon. In February there were no posts at all. And in 2007 I wrote just three more posts two in May and one in June. I restarted blogging again in October 2008 with emphasis on sharing what was going on in my mind and to share good links with everyone. I have gone pretty much strong from then with many posts on various topics. The topics which interested me was life, how to lead a good life, what is the aim of life and explored about relationships like love and friendship, social obligations like marriage and monogamy, my reactions on current topics like Mumbai attack, death of YSR, satyam fiasco and general elections and lyrics for a various songs I liked and enjoyed and reviews of books I have read and movies I have seen. Apart from these, I have written reactions to blog posts by various other authors like Seth Godin, Arundhati Roy etc.

The most popular post in this blog is a post of lyrics of the song Seheri in Oy movie. There are 22 comments in that, ofcourse half of them mine, but I was really happy about the way people have curated the lyrics and we ended up creating the complete lyrics. It was the first result in google for it then and it drove the traffic to the blog.

This blog is mostly a collection of thoughts which I think, of music, books, poems and lyrics and movies which I like and thoughts of other people which I am inspired to share.

Thank You All

I want to thank you all for visiting the blog and commenting. Your comments are the boost for my blog posts. I want to thank Ketan, Vyshu, Srinivas, Raj, Saandeep, Sukumar, Vidya for regularly visiting and commenting on my blog. I would like to thank Susheel and Sharath for trying to understand the fast lyrics of Seheri and posting here. Keep visiting the blog and leave your valuable comments for discussion.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Simplest Way To Live Life - And the Happiest

As you know, life as in 'how to live the best life' is my favorite topic to write on this blog.

And after writing these many posts about that, I feel that I have been getting more clarity on most important things...
To summarize,
What is life?
Life is essentially meaningless and it is we (I, and the society around me) try to assign meaning to it. Nothing is permanent and hence everything will be lost one day or the other. (Still some probing going on my mind here. - Like what about the legacy people leave after they go. Remember: If we are able to see further, it is because of standing on the shoulders of giants)

The Easiest Way to Live
So now the latest question is what is the easiest way to live - The easiest way to live is to do the things that naturally come to us. It might not hit you like a profound idea for the first time but think about it. What are the things from your childhood till now which made you happy. There are many assortment of things but you felt happy when you did things which you were drawn to. And doing things which we are interested already is very easy isn't it?

But the problem arises when we allow the society to assign meaning to our life and then trying to reach it in a way which is unnatural to you. It is then that life becomes difficult. So it is our responsibility to make sure we are not programmed by the society to do things which we are not natural to us.

Though it is not always possible to only do things which we love to do, we should make sure that one typical day contains activities which do excite us.

Sometimes to do things we like to do we may have to confront people, break existing rules and take some financial risks, but it is all worth it... Life is beautiful when things happen in the way we want to.

Overcoming Disappointments
People are very lucky if they had their way always in life and never had to feel disappointed, but generally we all might have faced some disappointment or the other. The best way to get over our disappointment is acceptance. Accepting the situation as it is is the best way to overcome disappointment. Acceptance doesn't mean we will cry for the rest of the time. No, what it means is to understand and accept what is the current situation. Then question ourselves what can we do about that now. If there is any action that we could take now which can change our situation - Just take it then and there. Else - just accept the situation. Accepting the current situation would help us make the best of the remaining life. Though, acceptance doesn't come easy, I have seen that letting the past be, is the best we can do in the present to make the best for our future.

Easiest way to live is the natural way, doing whatever comes to us naturally without having to struggle to do it.

But if you ever have to do something against it, then make it your decision and do it smiling...

Here I remember a quote by A.R Rahman in his Oscar acceptance speech... "In my life many times I had to make a choice between love and hate. I chose love and I am here"
And finally
forgive others easily and more easily forgive yourself.... for a happier life...

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Why I prefer to be an atheist?

What does following a religion give us?

Following a religion gives us hope, faith and confidence about problems which we cannot solve ourselves...and a sense of humility which is very necessary in this random world.
It also is used to give some sort of stability, checks and balances in the society so that it will not degrade..

But with extreme religion people get carried away to think that things can happen without their working, and making each and every thing in scriptures as absolute law even if it is not at all logical are the ill effects of religion. I know that there are some things which might seem illogical at this level of consciousness, but may make sense if we know more things.. Especially in the hindu culture, most of the rituals have some inner meaning which we may not decipher for some things but they do have some significance...

If we can understand that it not all necessary to follow everything which is said and follow only those that make sense to us and remember the first line..(courage, faith, hope and humility) we can have them ourselves without attributing them to a superpower.. and in that way we can even avoid the ill effects of religion.

So why atheism?

If you think closely, you can understand that what the world runs on is the survival of the fittest. You can see lot of people committing lot of sins to earn money and power. People often tell that 'God sees the truth but waits.' But nothing happens. You know lot of people who have committed sins and still go scot free in the world. And people who haven't committed any sins but are powerless suffering. I am not advocating that we do illegal and immoral things and get away with it, I say exactly otherwise. It is up to you to determine what is really illegal and what is really immoral and not depend on a religion on a text to tell you what is it. This way you will be more in control of outcomes in your life and there will be no false hope for miracles.

I know I am treading a dangerous path here, because life is a self-fulfilling prophecy. And by saying I don't believe in miracles, I am setting myself in a path where I will never see miracles. Okay so how many of you readers have seen something extraordinary, something unnatural or something miraculous, not which was told to you.. something which you have personally experienced? I haven't experienced any such thing from my childhood till now. So I have decided that there is nothing like that until proved otherwise. If it has to come with belief, then I choose not to believe because things that I have to do something to be happy in afterlife doesn't make sense to me. The fact that we have to repent for our sins committed in previous life doesn't make sense to me. The fact that I am reborn also doesn't make sense to me.. what the heck.. if I am meant to improve and reach God, why should I forget what I learnt in the last life... why cant I remember it so that I can make better progress?

I feel it is up to us to live and let live. I don't need to do that with a fear of some power overlooking me.

Let us not talk about the caste system. If such a system is proclaimed by God who chooses to distinguish between people based on birth, I don't believe him. Ok let us leave hinduism... If there is a religion which proclaims there God is true blue God and others are not, then how can you accept such God? All these things make me feel these things were only created for manipulation and power-grabbing. Hence I reject them.

Other Religions and Philosophies :

I have written previously on aim of life here,

If the sole aim of a human is to reach God or salvation or mukti whatever we call it and there is nothing else for humans to do here except worshipping God, then why should he create people at all? If God is the one who created us and wants us to reach him, then why should he create us at all? Here people talk about karma siddhanta that we are born because of the papa/punya phalas of our previous birth. Then I ask how did it accumulate its papa and punya, Initally it should have been a blank slate right? Why is he created then? Is it just that Gods wanted to see a game? Doesnt it look strange to be born freely, do what ever we want but being awarded points for being good or bad respectively, and again being born, not freely but with the points we accumulated in the previous game, and this happens cyclically till our good overwhelms the bad and we reach God. Doesnt it seem like a game and we are just coins in His hands? This is the limiting point of the theory. People argue this way too - why do you argue about where you came from, as you know the end point try to reach the end point of salvation. But when I am not convinced of the starting point, how can I be convinced of the end point?
Thus I rejected this philosophy.. 

Christian philosophy is a lot better in that sense... It doesn't bind you saying, you have to bide your time for previous sins. It just says - 'acknowledge your sins, and leave them to God and you are free.' If you are a believer, this is a lot better because you are free. What I argue is what you are technically doing is letting go of your sins, that you can do without imagining that you are giving it to a God. And it has its own misgivings.. 

If you think about what you get from religion, you will easily understand that all the good in religion can be incorporated in our life without the need for a super human being and if we reject the religion, all the unnecessary parts can also be left out.

Finally, now I don't believe in a super human being and automatically which disqualifies me from all the famous religions. Now my view of the world is something very rational (Darwinian view) to a different kind (subjective view) as explained by Buddha. Darwinian theory is a proved and very rational theory and it is true by default and I need not prove this. But I also want to explore the subjective view more to see if it is true or not.

What is my world-view?

Now, as you know our life is mostly meaningless. Don't misunderstand me.What I am trying to tell is it doesn't matter in the long run. And we always try to assign meaning to whatever we are doing as if it really matters. Yes, that is the only way we can live life, otherwise there is nothing to look forward to. But the fact that life is essentially meaningless, and it is in fact ourselves that assign meaning to it should never be forgotten. Anyway you all know that you cannot take the wealth you create or any of your possessions when you die. So what is the best way to live.. I feel that to recognize the fact that we should understand the futility of trying to living up certain standards but do what makes us happy but in the end, it doesn't matter what you did. I don't feel right cheating others to get what I want, so my philosophy is to live and let live. I don't need a religion to tell me that.

This topic has received a lot of interest in this blog. All the posts in this series

I know this is a topic which can be quite divisive, for it is concerned with beliefs and it takes a lot of questioning to reject a strongly held belief. So what do you think about this?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Reflections on YSR

YSR is the first AP chief minister to have died on duty. On a wet wednesday morning, in his wish to know the problems of people he set out, only to never return.

I never had a good opinion about the congress party. When I was first analysed the politics of the state, TDP was in power and considered Congress as a bad opposition. I expected the TDP to win in the 2004 elections but Mr YSR with strong leadership had captured the hearts of the masses to win handsomely in the elections. I was a strong supported of NCB at that time and hoped he will win with all the development he had done in AP. I strongly believe that we should work to get our food and hoped that should be the same with everyone. When YSR introduced schemes like free power I wondered whether he was doing the right thing. He started many more populist schemes which took him even closer to the masses and I kept wondering if this what people wanted. Though he had started many populist schemes, the fact kept hitting me that 1. he is using tax payer money which could have been put to a better use than giving handouts. 2. He is not solving the long term problem.

So as always i thought, he is just pandering to the people to win in the elections. But one thing changed my opinion. His scheme Arogyasri, helped lot of people to live when the outcome could have been otherwise. Though there were lot of wastage in the scheme like doctors billing more for insurance etc, it has helped save people's lives. Now should he have considered long term and developed govt hospitals and infrastructure or he has done better by saving lives. By not developing hospitals and other infrastructure, is he not responsible for creating a life threatening condition which he only solves by giving insurance for getting it cured. Though it can be argued both ways, he has done what others even didnt think of doing. The same situation was there in NCB's time also with nothing much done, YSR has atleast done something to solve the problem.
It is always a question of allocation of scarce resources... And though I prefer a methodical and thoughtful way of LokSatta in solving such problems, we have to consider the fact that though he might not have made a big difference, he had made a difference to each beneficiary of arogyasri as in the story of the person who tries to throw the star fishes in the sea. When a person remarks it doesn't matter because there are too many star fish to save, he remarks 'It makes a difference to this one.' A certified coach Hanna Cooper says it best about the conflict here
It's partially a question of where we want to put our time and resources, as individuals working to make a difference, and as a society. We want to save individual starfish, but in times of scarce resources, where can we get the most impact from what we do? While it's certainly important to help individuals in crisis, what could be done to prevent them from getting into difficulty? How could we move up stream?

YSR chose to give the resources right to the people, which made him popular with the masses.
This type of help is best done by an individual but what we want from leaders is to solve the system problems and make sure it doesnt repeat. But in Indian democracy, the visibility is to those who have the impression of having given which makes people like YSR succeed. I am not sure how our people will get to elect people who will actually think about avoiding fires rather than always just putting out the fires. Though I was very enthusiastic around last time about LokSatta who rather see it systematically, but I understand to have that public mindshare, credibility and support from the masses, the systemic approach might not be suitable.

Ysr had his share of failings too. Though I am not sure how much of it is true, there have been stories around forced conversions to christianity. If this is true, then it is a big blemish on otherwise good Chief Ministership. It is also said that he has put a christian as an EO in TTD which could have been very easily avoided and that he has encouraged alcohol in Tirumala. I being an atheist dont have problems with these things but he could have easily left them to a wiser judgement of respecting people's sensibilities.

I would not doubt the fact that YSR really cared about helping poor people whatever his methods were. The irrigation projects which he started are really one good thing. I really hope all those projects are completed and his dream of irrigating a crore hectares of land comes true.

It is not possible to satisfy everyone and YSR is not an exception to this. What he has done might not be the best that could have done with the resources he had, but it was good enough to please so many people to put him back in power. YSR will surely go down in history as the 'Man of the Masses.'

Whats a good life?

Is it a life spent in service of others?
Is it a life spent in achieving something against all odds?
Is it a life spent dutifully taking care of your family?
Is it a life spent sacrificing for the greater good?
Is it a life spent spent orderly?

Ohhh..no its not...
Isnt there something missing?
Good life is a life spent being happy,
Lucky is he who can do the above things
without losing his happiness....