21 May, 2007

Tagged: Reasons why I blog (edited)

Even I got tagged. Because I was the first person to visit a buddy's blog. Or atleast, because I was the first honest person to. hehe!
Well, Now that I think about it (and it suddenly seems necessary to think hard before answering the question) it could be the following:

1. Because I have to write. Because I need to think in words, and not just images. Because I love it when I write something beautiful (yupp, call it what you want, even naivety, but I do like reading most of the stuff Iv written in the past) Because I love arranging words in my own order. And because Im better off writing considering that these days, just opening my mouth to speak spells as disaster, with all the ways I manage to miscommunicate my poor innocent thoughts. Now, if you ask me whether this is the order I love arranging words into, well, lets think of it as an exception, though it does make sense to me.

2. Because words, when written are not arrows which cannot be taken back. You can edit it, beautify it, then publish, and even better, withdraw it, if you feel you were out of your mind when you wrote it.

3. Because on my blog, I can write what I want to write, rather than what someone else wants to read. Of course, I do end up writing sane stuff, and sometimes saner stuff, but the knowledge that you can!

4. Because blogs, to me represents one of the last remnants of an ideal world. Where everybody has their own free space, and in abundance. Where life is not a zero sum game. Where I dont have to trample my brothers aspirations to reach my destination. Where to be recognised, nobody else has to be ignored

5. And finally, because my best friends mails either start with or end with "Where IS blog post?" or "I want blog post!" Say what...

Now for reading this far, one, thanks, and two, you get tagged! The Tag :- Why wouldnt you paint your face black? (answer here)

11 May, 2007

Nailed to the idea

How we love our brainchild's! Sometimes, when our methods fail, we go on a spree of reason-finding. But we cleverly weed out any suggestion that would coax us to abandon our ideas! I particularly loved this story i came across a few days ago.

This is the story of Hyman Leobowitz, a man who came from across the Iron curtain to make a living in the land of opportunity, by carrying on his family trade, making nails. He struggles for decades, finally carving his own niche in the industry -all the while growing old and weak- till his wife suggests that maybe, it was time to hand over his business to his son.

Reluctantly, the man puts his son in charge, arranges for weekly reports to be sent to him, and retires somewhere down south.

Barely a few months into his retirement, filled with weeks of negative reports, he decides he has to go back to see where his son was wrong. So he boards a flight to New Jersey. On the way to his sons factory, he notices this huge billboard with the picture of Jesus crucified, and a thundering legend - "They used Leobowitz nails"!

He storms into his sons office and shouts "Do you know what you are doing? I built this business over fifty years with sweat". But his son assures him that he would take care of this. So he retires back to Florida.

Still the weekly reports are depressing as ever. Finally he decides he has to make the trip once again. Just as he gets off his plane, he sees another signboard. This time, there was an empty cross, and low and behold, Jesus is crumbled beneath, and the caption "They didn't use Leobowitz nails"!

08 May, 2007

Thank you, dear Utan!

"If a smart person goes into a room with an orangutan and explains whatever his or her idea is, the ape just sits there and eats his banana - but at the end of the explanation, the person with the idea comes out smarter".

That's the 'Orangutan Theory' for you. I mean, the one by Charlie Munger, investment manager at Berkshire Hathaway, or even more famously, partner of the legendary Warren Buffet,
(You'll be sorry if you did a google search to read more about the theory, because all it will tell you is the disgusting truth that your earliest ancestors were, well, apes!)

Going by experience, I feel nothing can be closer to the truth. I spend loads of effort trying to convince someone of my theories, and at the end of it, I find that it was only then that I had understood the entire logic of my argument.

In fact, everytime I write something, I start off bent on educating the ignorant 'rest of the world', but often I find out that I was the one who was being taught by myself!

So this, is a big Thank You, to all my blog buddies, who've bothered to check in here, and kept me putting something in this space regularly......

By the way, tell me how it feels to be an orangutan!

03 May, 2007

More than a song

Yesterday I spent some time in a catholic chapel nearby for some time. Not for religious reasons. No, I didn’t even go there to pray. I just happened to be lured there by some music that was an absolute treat to the senses.

Well, deluded at having had two days of holidays on the trot and completely wasted it (yeah sleeping on a holiday is tantamount to wastage, in my opinion) and roaming the balcony in the hope that the evening breeze would carry the ‘stupid’ feeling away when I heard this same song that I woke up to every Tuesday and Saturday morning. Only, then Id be too lazy to dress and go and sit there for half an hour before leaving for office.

But yesterday, I had this sudden urge to go and meet this organist and tell him how soothing his playing was. I did. Predictably, he was overjoyed (for not often do people congratulate pianists) And then, he told me his story. He used to play in that church since the time anyone could remember (he was now 70). Then he met with with an accident. Being reduced to one hearing ear and one seeing eye, and lost the senses in his right thumb and two other fingers of his left hand, he still continues to play.

For some people, handicaps only serve to bring out the sweetest fragrance that is in them. They are the ones who take life as a challenge, rather than crib about the unfairness of it all.

Well, I wouldn’t be telling you this if it were not for this tiny thought I had during the service. They were singing a song that went, “I just keep trusting my Lord, as I walk along.” when I thought, 'what does my spiritually mean to me today?' Maybe it was another way of asking a question that I was grappling with for a few weeks now. True, there was prayer. There was bible reading. There wasn’t as much of bathroom singing, but anyway I was doing enough of other singing. There was church, which I really enjoyed (because of the improved choir). There was talking about God, telling the world about the amazing things He did for me over the last few months. There was philosophising, as to how God wanted me to live, as an example to everyone around. There was cheering, putting up a smile always, being a godchild of choice, yeah, Really!

But there still was a big void that was making me uncomfortable. And I simply couldn’t get the voice out to sing along with that song. A feeling of unworthiness. Anyways, the service got over, and after talking to the organist, I went back to my room, and wanting to simply pray, I felt the need to sing a song. And I felt like singing a lovely song, “Heart of worship” by a person by the name Matt Redman.

This song was written as the result of an outcome of a challenge posed by a pastor in an English church. In spite of having all the components that make modern worship what it is, the congregation kept feeling that something was ‘up’ with the worship. At first, it seemed difficult to point a finger at what was wrong. On the surface, everything was as usual. The musicians were tuning their instruments; the worship leader was doing just fine. Each service contained a block of songs that were directed towards the cross and gave the chance for people to get down to business with God. Yet they couldn’t help feeling they had lost the spark.
Slowly they started noticing. Even in the worship, all the importance was for the act of worship -The singing, the singers, the preachers- rather than the Worshipped. They were going through the motions, but their hearts were far from Him!

That was when the pastor of the church made the brave decision to dispose of with the sound system, and all the instruments used in the worship. They were challenged to ask themselves individually, 'When I come through the door of the church, what am I bringing as my contribution to worship?'

They ‘fired’ their song leader. They decided that if ‘noone brought a sacrifice of praise, they would meet in silence’. Soon people started singing songs acapella, and the rest would join in and follow it with another song. The service began to have more involvement and went back to being a blessing.

That was when the lead singer, Matt Redman wrote this song from his experience at the church.

When the music fades and all is stripped away
and I simply come.
Longing just to be something that’s of worth
that will bless Your heart.
I'll bring You more than a song, for a song in itself
is not what You have required.
You search much deeper within, through the way things appear,
Your looking into my heart.
I'm coming back to the heart of worship
and its all about You, its all about You, Jesus.
I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made it
when its all about You, its all about You, Jesus

Well, singing this song yesterday, I recognised what was wrong. Not just for me, but for most of the organised Christian groups, that are forever complaining that they are not getting anything out of the worship. Somewhere along the way, our worship became the the preaching, the charm of the preacher, the singing, the choir, and a horde of other things. It was fine in the beginning, but gradually, we lost sight of the One we went to worship.

We still went on, attending worship and prayers without getting anything out of it, till one day we found ourselves in need of spiritual guidance, but the church had no more life to give it to us.

Its not just the church. All of us, in all our religions, what have we made of God? Just another topic to philosophise on? Just another being to pray to, to support our insufficiencies? Just another person in whose name we seek to gratify our ego’s?

God, if he indeed is maker, if He indeed is Omni-whatever, deserves much more than what we give give Him. Or rather, I feel He’d rather have just the simple stuff. Just a nod upwards and a wave “Hey there, thanks for being around. I love you”, rather than all the philosophies. Rather than all the things we do in His name, for Him. More than just a song. A heart of personal relationship with Him