Thursday, October 25, 2007

Profoundness and Fables

A few nights ago, just as we were about to sleep, I lay in bed talking to my wife and I said something, which my wife felt was too profound to have come from me. I would like to thank her for her unwavering faith in my mental capabilities. At the same time, I must also grudgingly confess that she was right because the 'profoundness' that had poured out from my mouth did not originate from me. I was merely quoting something I had read as a child in a collection of Indian fables - the "Pancha-Tantra", which in Sanskrit literally means 'Five Principles/Strategies'. On a side note, for those who do not know, disappointing as it sounds, the word 'Tantra' by itself or its derivatives like 'Tantric', have absolutely no sexual connotations. It is the fault of media/writers who have misled people to make this association.

I did a search on google and I came across this site which has all the stories (I think). Most of the characters in the stories are animals, which I am assuming is to make it more appealing to children and some adults including a member of my household, who I shall desist from naming. All I will say is that my dog does not read and I stopped reading children's literature when I grew out of childhood. But that is not to discourage anyone from reading these stories. They make for an enjoyable read especially since the stories are really short and also, now you get to look at the fables from a grown-up's perspective. So do check out that link during your lunch or whenever you feel like taking a break.

According to wikipedia - our sometimes reliable and sometime unreliable source of wisdom in the age of the internet, "the original Sanskrit text , now long lost, and which some scholars believe was composed in the 3rd century BCE is attributed to Vishnu Sarma. However, based as it is on older oral traditions, its antecedents among storytellers probably hark back to the origins of language and the subcontinent's earliest social groupings of hunting and fishing folk gathered around campfires".

Reading these stories after so many years, one of the interesting things that I recollected now is that many a time, there is a story narrated within a story narrated within a story..sometimes going into multiple levels of nested stories. I found that very unique amongst all the books or stories that I have read.

Anyway, now that you know the source of my profound thoughts (if I ever express them before you), I should stop my useless blabbering and let you check out the link and possibly have a chance to appear wise in front of your friends and family.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


As I was shaving today morning, I had a thought - a question, to be precise. It was not "Is this razor too blunt for my sensitive face?" and neither was it "Is my facial hair flourishing more as I grow older?" It was slightly more philosophical. Does achieving my goal make me happier or having the feeling that I am on the track to achieve my goal ?

When I think about everything that I have desired and achieved, right from the smallest things to the more important ones, I will say that being on the track to success gives me more happiness than success itself. Of course, in a way, I am quantifying happiness here . But then the question begs for it.

My reasoning - when you accomplish a task - no matter how small or large, you can only bask in its success for a limited amount of time. It will soon become old for you and much faster for others. But when you are on your path to accomplish it and are absolutely sure you will reach your goal, you have this whole feeling of happiness drawn-out over the entire period of time that you are trying. So you are happier, albeit on a lower scale for a longer period of time as compared to happiness on a higher scale for a short period of time. I am definitely one of those people who would go for happiness over a longer period of time than for a few moments of euphoria. I think most people are that way. If you don't think you are, ask yourself these 3 questions:
1. When you watch a game -any game, do you enjoy the moment when your team is doing a victory lap with the cup or do you enjoy the moments they were actually playing to go on and win the game?
2. If you climb Mount Everest, will you enjoy having your picture taken at the summit more or will you enjoy the actual climb more?
3. When you have sex, do you enjoy the precise moment of orgasm more or do you enjoy the build-up to it more?

Of course, there are bound to be the usual counter-arguments like - When you go to a dentist to extract your tooth without any local anaesthesia, do you cherish the process of the tooth being wrenched out of your jaws with a pair of steel pliers more or the actual moment when the tooth is extracted and there is no more pain (relatively). All I can say to this is - just think about what the dentist enjoys more.