Archive for November, 2012

Why There are Only Two Temples to Lord Brahma?

Why There are  Only Two  Temples to  Lord Brahma?

Prayer as practiced by all organized religions of the world is a sort of begging. The believers worship a certain God, either out of fear or to fulfill their needs (material, emotional or spiritual). Shiva the Destroyer, is very much like the angry Old Testament God. He has to be kept happy, lest he wreck havoc on the world and our lives. Vishnu the Preserver has the power to fulfill our dreams. His various avatars from Krishna to Rama are worshipped by Hindu’s for a better salary, better grads in school, good husband, safe air journey etc.

But Brahma? What is the point of worshipping him? He is the creator and he has done his job. He has no power to either destroy our dreams or fulfill them. So why worship him? That’s why Brahma has been completely ignored by the Hindus.

Merry Christmas from Santa Claus Village, Lapland

Merry Christmas from Santa Claus Village, Lapland

The `Official Santa’ is very much the Santa of my imagination. Long white undulating beard. Rose tinted rotund cheeks. And the all too familiar corpulent frame. He greets us a predictable Namastay when we tell him we are from India. He takes turns greeting us all and asks the girls in our group if they have been good-girls in a manner and tone he would ask any naughty children visiting him. The girls play along with one of them insisting on getting a photograph shot sitting on his lap.

Why Don’t Indians Exercise?

Why Don't Indians Exercise?

The problem is that in India exercise is seen as an unusual activity, a fad or an indulgence of the elite. If you workout people comment,

‘’ Wah! so you are a fitness freak?’’.

We began our life on the planet as hunters and gatherers. We trekked for days in search of food. It was arduous physical labor and it’s all imprinted in our genes. We may have altered the world around us but our bodies haven’t suddenly metamorphosed in the short span we have been on this planet. It needs that primeval physical exertion.

Nainital- India’s Lake District.

Nainital-  India’s Lake District.

Many years ago when I visited Nainital for the first time , it was a relief to see the lake so polluted . If you belong to a hill station like me, you tend to look at another hill-station with a sense of competition. My hometown, Shimla, I happily concluded, is after all the best hill-station in India.

But on a recent visit to Nainital, I was astonished to see the Naini Lake far from the dump it was many years ago. It was all spruced up and crystal clean. There was no longer any debris floating on its surface and the horrid smell had gone. I had to reluctantly admit that Nanital is possibly India’s most beautiful hill station.

A Week in the Arctic

A Week in the Arctic

Whenever I get an invitation to visit a cold place I am generally not too excited. I was born in the foothills of the Himalayas (Himachal Pradesh) therefore snow, mountains, and high altitudes generate feelings of home not wanderlust. But an invitation to visit the Arctic was different. I had never crossed the 66 degree latitude for one and the opportunity to relive your childhood storybook fantasies of reindeers-rides and huskies sledges is too hard to resist.

Ten ‘Photography’ Books All Photographers Should Read.

Ten 'Photography' Books All Photographers Should Read.

I believe in their pursuit to specialize, all professions only become more and more parochial. In our world we respect the specialists but the specialists are often only navel-gazers. Knowledgeable in their field yes but one-dimensional and therefore shallow as a whole. If becoming an ‘expert’ requires narrowing our vision, its worth asking if its worth it after all. I believe we must have a healthy contempt for all specialists.