September 14, 2013 | By: Vidyanath Aarvi

Chennai Express

   This is not about the SRK's movie but about my recent journey in Chennai Express.
    As I had an unplanned travel to Hyderabad, I was in RAC list. So I had to share a berth with someone. As I was wise enough to know the person's name from the passengers list available outside the compartment with whom I was going to travel. Her name was Preeti.

Likely as in Indian Cinema, a pretty young lady was in search of her berth.

I inquired (Ladka hu na) her, "Are you Ms.Preeti?"

She responded
Doubtfully (Ladki hai na), "How come you kn..."

I interrupted "I saw your name in the passengers list".
Preeti: "Oh! I see. Is yours RAC 47?"

Me: "Yes!"
I was busy listening to My favorite songs by Kishore Kumar. She was busy speaking over phone. We both went silent for some time. Later, She broke the ice between us and asked

Preeti: "Your Good name?"

Me: "I am Vidyanath."

Preeti: "Till Secunderabad?"

Me: "Yes! and you?"

Preeti: "Yeah! Me too.."

For a moment I thought "Meri Band bajne waali hai, sitting and travelling for 12-13 hours. Teek hai chalta, aisi pyari ladki hai toh time aaraam se guzar jaayega.. ;)"

Me: "Are you going to Hyderabad for the first time?"

Preeti: (Smiling and Surprisingly) "Yes, but .. How do you know?"

Me: "You are from Karnataka Right?"

Preeti: (Again Shocked) "Hey! are you an Astrologer or what?"

Me: (Smiling) "No, I heard you asking Hyderabad address over phone in Kannada. that was a blind guess. Need not be an astrologer."

Preeti: "Oh! so u know kannada?"

Me: "Not really. Svalpa guthaithu. because of diversity in the work environment, I understand few words..:P"

Preeti: "Tum bahut chamatkaar banthe ho aur banathe ho."

Me: "Did you just now praise me?"

We went on our discussions on career, personals, and lot more.
    Later after an hour or so, the other co-passengers were into a real group discussion about Separation of Andhra Pradesh, then politics, society's development, education system, ETC (End of Thinking Capacity).

     At first I thought "Yeh log kya ukhaadne waale hai?", then I thought "Atleast I could gain some knowledge. Information is wealth right?" so, we too joined them.

     As the discussion went on, I got to know that the person is a journalist. He is a knowledge bank. He held some statistical data on illiteracy, and some political stuff which were shocking and surprising.

    As the part of discussion he raised a simple question "How many states are there in East India?"
Everybody is born intelligent na.. so all started saying "Assam, Sikkim, Nagaland, etc, etc."

    The journalist replied (sarcastically) "Very good, the answers which you gave are north Eastern states. Eastern states are Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. This was the homework given to my child studying 1st standard. I was shocked when I saw the standard of questions they ask to children who doesn't know the spelling of India properly. This is how our education system is."

    He gave few more examples. which led me to respect journalism. Discussion went on till 1 O'clock in the midnight. When people from other blocks repeatedly asked us to stop talking and to sleep, we bid good night. others slept and we sat and watched the movie Chennai Express in Chennai Express :)

September 09, 2013 | By: Vidyanath Aarvi

The Lost Lesson

          In a fierce battle with Ram, Ravan the demon collapsed down and he was about to let off his last breath. Just then Lakshman, brother of Ram spoke with emotions filled in great angst,

"Oh brother! I see this moment as a profound proof of the persistence and victory of Dharma over the evil. I proclaim that this gets manifested for the generations to come as a great source to carve in a right path of living, I’m glad to see the demon pay for his deeds."

Ram the divine incarnation then responded with all his compassion -

"I suggest that you seek the advice of Ravan and ask him for any valuable information that he could perhaps pass on to you as a teaching at this moment."

and then he continued uninterrupted by the gestures of Lakshman,

"while it is true that Ravan incurred this ill fate as a consequence of his wrong deeds, it is equally true that he is a great musician, a great disciple of lord Shiva unparalleled for his devotion and a great warrior for if it weren’t for the eventual hint from his own brother Vibhishan, I wonder if he would have had an upper hand in this battle and now if you are wise immerse yourself in a quest for knowledge and never ever let down any instance that could otherwise enlighten you."

Taking upon the words of Ram, Lakshman relented to approach Ravan. He went upon and whispered in the ears of Ravan –

"I have come to you upon the advice of my brother, Do you have any valuable information to pass on to me as a teaching at this moment may be a mantra, may be a war-skill or so. I have come to offer myself as a disciple and I request your patronage as a Guru."

"You are unfit to be a good disciple and so I cannot teach you. This doesn’t mean that I’m intentionally reluctant towards you but I’m indeed appalled by the approach you took up to seek my teaching. You say so that you have come to me upon the advice of your brother which implies that you are adamantly disinterested in hearing anything from me and secondly you are supposed to request a Guru by bowing to his feet with respect and adoration you lack such minimal instinct and then it is ridiculous that you call yourself a Kshatriya", said Ravan and turned away.

With his heart filled by a sense of repentance Lakshman looked into the eyes of Ram. A consoling tone of Ram spoke –

"I wanted you to experience this and emerge emotionally strong. Ravan perished as he totally deviated from the path of morals and ethics but then he had an appreciable knowledge of certain aspects as I afore mentioned. He refused to offer you any teaching because he sensed it all from your approach that you do not really bear any enthusiasm to learn from him. Ethically, it is expected that you project and present yourself as an enthusiast while in a quest for knowledge. But it was your emotional outbreak that obscured such vision. You should have thought optimistic and acted diplomatic in tapping the potential of Ravan’s last breath. Likewise, in general you just need to look at what is pragmatic to the context to be successful."

Lakshman thus enlightened embraced Ram in endearment.