Sunday, September 25

City Saint...

Ethical gaps often exist between who we are and who we think we should be.  I have often been through this dilemma. I know that it is a moral hypocrisy that happens when my behavioral standards stoop below my own beliefs.  When I evaluate others, I do it at a substantially different elevated plateau while, my own self-evaluation of me is done at a different lower, fluid environment. Why?

It is true that a self-examination of my thoughts and deeds will throw an interesting picture to me : I am sympathetic to my failures, while I cannot contain others failures. In any public discussion on corruption, I have often thought how bad those who take money and do favors for others are. But I have eliminated me as a person who sometimes ‘tips’ others to have a job done ‘in speed’.  The other day when I drove to put in air in my car tires, there was a clear signage which told: ‘No Tips Please’.  Still, I gave the staff a small tip and he accepted it with all smiles. The ‘tip’ culture doesn’t start at the local garage or ends there. It goes on, especially in the everyday service sectors I utilize.
Sometimes, I have to re-frame a decision as a ‘general decision’, ‘group decision’ or as a ‘multiple head decision’ to increase the likelihood of disposing it unethically. There is always a simple thought that argumentatively support my conscience, when I take a questionable unethical stand: I may tell others, and myself “I did it for the world…. I did it for the organization… I did it for the committee.”  Yet, I ask, “Did I incorporate all the questions and answers when I took that decision? Or, did I brush aside and suppress some of the controversial aspects of the discussion away from the discussion table? ”

Someone said that there is a behavioral internal conflict between the ‘want self’ and the ‘should self’ in everybody’s life. At the time of a decision-making, it is the ‘want self’ that dominate while the ‘should self’ is discounted. Moreover, if the matters go well, 'want self'  is reinforced in my heart, forcing me to take a similar stand when the next similar occasion arises.

Sages took to prayer and penance for containing double standards.  How about me? I believe that only a self-examination and a conscious correction of this silent behavior will enhance my conscience from the double standards that I foster here and there.  

Friday, September 16

a name upon a page., writ in water in place of ink?

Is it that the nights pass by us
And destiny treads us underfoot?
Is it thus the ages engulf us and remember us not
    save as a name upon a page writ in water in
    place of ink?
Is this life to be extinguished
And this love to vanish
And these hopes to fade?

Shall death destroy that  which we build
And the winds scatter our words,
And darkness hide our deeds?


No, in truth, for the verity of life is life;
Life whose birth in not in the womb
Nor its end in death.

What are these years if not an instant in eternity? 


Quoted from the poem 
                            'Letters of Fire' (from Kahlil Gibran’s ‘A tear and A Smile’)

Remembering my Aunt who passed away on this night of 2008.


Saturday, September 10

Solo rider ...

Today I wanted to journal this after my cycling....

A banal evening …
Sun has set… lights are ON everywhere.
Yet, I cycle through the unlighted road with a lighted joy.

It is a long road to ride and the rainy days aren’t over yet .
I am awakened to this evening of dampness... 
 and the profound calmness of incomplete rain.  

I see in the dark some fireflies here and there.
Like small sparks of joy, these fireflies live a life
          only to disappear  in the dawn.

As I am peddling up,
          the peloton of troubles and cares seems to have been overtaken...
              a joy of fresh breeze
          and the loneliness of an empty ride has taken over.  

Yet, every turn and every corner offer a quick wonder…
           God brakes into with a surprise!

Someone said that God could not offer His presence all the time.
Is He an ‘Only now and then’ God?
God wants me to live by faith… not by sight.

A bicycle rider too lives by faith… 
   faith in too many things and faith in too small things.

So, solo rider… go and learn to blaze…
  because God breaks-in and dwells, in all surprise!

Photo credit to Ben Ingham

Thursday, September 8

You are in my thoughts ....

To All My Dear Friends from Kerala,

You are in my thoughts as I enjoy 
my favorite 
Palada Paysam!!

Have a great Onam!!

... Abraham

Monday, September 5

Developing a different attitude to maturity…

As I mature, there is always a chance that I move with the daily crowd. Will I be ‘adjusted’ to the culture that is taking me for a ride? There is always a danger that society-living will pull me into its own value systems. Then,  suddenly I will find it difficult to run away from things I do not like to be a part of. Will this lead me to think that I am superior to all others? That too is a real danger in developing a different attitude to society. Yet, I have to see what I can take and what I can keep off…
In every society, there are people and peoples’ groups that choose to keep themselves aloof from the daily crowd around them. Japan has it, US has it, UK has it, Egypt has it, Turkey has it, and India has it. Often, media has stories of these peoples’ group for all wrong reasons.  So, where does an individual got to stand and find his rightful place in his society? 
One reading that often gets me into the root of this anxiety is to be found in the Book of Romans, in the Holy Bible. There St. Paul writes, 
I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” (Letter to Romans 12: 1 and 2)
This is a terrific message! I want to quote the same message from another translation of the Holy Bible made by Eugene Peterson that reads the same passage thus:   

So here’s what I want to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life –your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around-life and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. ( from ‘The Message’) 


Saturday, September 3

Sunday Rumblings …

 " I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me and you will never leave me to face my perils alone."

... Thomas Merton (from his Thoughts in Solitude)

Photos : From my Hampta Trek, Himalayas.