Sunday, 1 April 2018

What Makes Us Really Laugh? My take…

Laughter is the best therapy. Laughter works all your facial muscles. Laughter makes you look beautiful. Oft heard statements by all of us, and from most of us. I don’t disagree at all. I feel laughter is one of the key outputs from the energy of love. As the water drops from a height to a turbine to convert mechanical energy which then gets converted into electrical energy by the generator; the feelings run through the heart which converts it into love energy, and this love energy is then converted into laughter energy by the brain. This is what our first instinctive reaction will make us feel, isn’t it? You feel good, you feel loving and loved, and you laugh. Is that really so? Or is the brain tricking you here too?

Laughter is a product of brain. The brain knows what’s good for the body, and creates those actions, those hormones that work for the benefit of rest of the body, and for the brain itself. Meditation and laughter are the two best nourishers for the brain. One cleans it, and the other flushes it with positivity. First make a blank canvass, and then paint it with vibrant colours. But what makes the brain laugh? That is the question in current consideration. And it’s not the “lovey-dovey positive energy feel” always. I have my 10 likely catalysts for the chemicals in the brain to ignite into the powerful explosion of a laughter. They are:

      1.  Me Better:  This works when a brain realises that the other brain / s is not as smart as it is, and enjoys that feeling when it creates a situation that the other brain is not able to fully comprehend immediately, or the other brain gets confused. Or it talks about a situation where the notional characters in the situation have a slower or a confused brain. This is a great source of temporary joy to the temporarily superior brain.

2      2Me Same: Here, a brain tries to be at same wavelength as the other brains in the room. And so when one brain starts laughing, the other brain quickly responds by laughing back. This strategy is often deployed in absence of another brain, which becomes the subject of laughter. Or is seen frequently in people sharing common memories too, or in strong friendly bonding sessions. Me Same brain catalyst is an infectious catalyst.

       3Me Not in That Situation: How often have you seen people laugh when somebody slips on a banana peel, or has got a very bad haircut, or disgustingly sometimes just at plain fat people. Or sometimes just when the brain realises its escaped from a difficult situation. The brain is relieved at not being in that awkward or difficult situation, and expresses this vicarious sense of happiness through laughter.

4.       4Me Making Me Attractive: This is the classical case of a brain trying to flirt with or seduce another brain, or make it itself more loving and attractive (people in love often are seen laughing sheepishly, remember?). The brain knows laughing will release the much needed chemicals to make them more attractive in those situations.

      5Me Inspired: When somebody comes with a very witty or smart observation, comment, comparison etc, then laughter is a form of flattery, a form of appreciation for the smarter brain. The brain gets inspired, gets ready to improve itself in the fight of survival for the fittest, and in that moment of inspiration it cannot hide that laughter erupting.

6        6Me Talking Stupid or Being Stupid: Not all brains have this ability. But there are many who adopt this catalyst. It helps to disarm the other person, to excite the “Me Better” catalyst in the other person, and when the other person laughs, the originator’s temporarily dumb brain excretes the “Me Same” catalyst and correspondingly starts laughing.

      7Me Complimented: This is a very sophisticated way of accepting compliments. You don’t look boastful or proud or conceited; you simply look like a good bloke having a laugh! But make no mistake, no brain does not feel all gleeful and joyous when hearing compliments, and so this catalyst “kills two birds with one stone”.

       8. Me Showing Closeness / Forgiveness: Often the best of friends play the worst of pranks on each other. And then both laugh it away. The prankster friend’s brain wants to test its closeness with the other brain, and the victimised brain wants to test its scale of forgiveness. And for both the tests, the decibel of laughter is often the best measure. Often deployed in moments of confrontation also to diffuse the situation.

9        9. Me Powerful: This is a dangerous catalyst driven by centuries of human evolution: the desire to be more powerful. So here the brains conspire, and target some innocent, and bully him and make fun of him, and feel powerful and demonstrate that sense of alpha male bonding amply visible in the cavemen perhaps when they went out for hunting. This feeling of power and control and bonding of the strong, creates a sense of security and well-being that eventually translate into laughter.

         10. Me Innocent / Seeing Innocence: This is a very beautiful and probably the purest catalyst deployed by the brain to convert into the laughter energy. When one realises that he has been very innocent, gullible, vulnerable in any situation or when he sees the same traits in another person (including a child), then the brain realises where it originated from, the purest form of energy – the Cosmic Superpower – and it cannot hide its joy remembering that.

Whatever might be the reason, the motive, the catalyst - if we can all laugh a bit more, the world will surely be a much happier place! So keep laughing, and let the brains do what it does best!

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Oh God, I Do Get Confused….!

I recently read a book about the laws that work in the court of God. The author clearly had some deep “medium” into the ways of the divine. An interesting point was that those who give charity to get a few “brownie” points from God will be cursed and confined to the lowly “realms” when they reach the spirit world. Ever since I read that, I get into a conundrum every time I decide to make any charitable donation or even just give a piece of fruit to the small unclothed boy at the traffic junction. My mind starts to taunt me: “Are you doing it for your own satisfaction? Or to please God? Or you really feel for that unfortunate person you are giving to?” The reality is that it is always a mix of all of them. However, now my fear is that my act of generosity might be construed in the higher divine courts as an act of corruption, and I might be condemned for it. My bureaucrat friend feels the same way. Whenever he takes any decision or passes a file quickly and fairly, his conscience pricks him: “Are you doing it for your own satisfaction? Or to please the minister? Or you really feel for this unfortunate country whom you are doing a service?” Lo and behold, for him too, the reality is always a mix of all of them! And his fear too is that his act of promptness might be construed in the earthly courts as an act of corruption, and he might be convicted for it! Oh God, I do get confused….!

There are many self-help books, and self-help crooks (the so called “gurus”) who proclaim that ego is the root of all our troubles. We should get rid of the ego inside us, empty our minds and souls for the God to inject his energy, his blessings. I tried to empty myself a few times, but rather than any energy from God, I was filled with taunts and sarcasm from others who felt I had no self-respect, no drive and ambition, no fire in the belly to fight back. And then someone suggested I need to have a little bit of ego as a protection. Protection from others who might perceive my lack of ego as a weakness and try and dominate me. So I replenished some of my stores of ego. Gradually I used the same stores of ego to act as a motivator for me. I pushed the ego inside of me to push towards my goals. To create something. The branding of my ego had gone from “destroyer” to “protector” to “creator” – the triumvirate of Shiva (destroyer), Vishnu (protector), Brahma (creator). The cycle will continue from the creation to protection to destruction again. Is this what my guru said about God residing in all of us? Not just one, but three Gods!Oh God, I do get confused….!

Krishna said do your duty and do not worry about the fruits. Fair enough. But he did not comment on doing your duty by giving fruits to others! Part of almost every working executive’s role (in most businesses) is to “offer fruits” to those who can grant some quick-fixes. This is a duty that all of us have to perform. We can avoid that, as some do, but then we are risking the livelihoods of several thousands or millions of others. Is that our duty? We remind ourselves then that we are doing our duty, and not even enjoying those sumptuous fruits ourselves – but if we do our duty and others enjoy the fruits, is that defying God’s decree?Oh God, I do get confused….!
 Many Christians believe in the seven sins – or rather more aptly, they believe not to indulge in those seven sins. Till they, and many other Hindus or Muslims, come into the classroom of the biggest teacher in life – survival! Soon they all master the art of semantics, and Pride becomes Self-Respect; Lust becomes Passion; Anger becomes Fire in the Belly; Envy becomes Competitiveness; Covetousness becomes Ambition; Gluttony becomes Well Fed; and Sloth becomes Well Rested. These are no longer seven sins, these are the seven virtues? Oh God, I do get confused….!

As a normal executive, one has to seek appointment from the manager who can change schedule as per his or her wish. The manager gets treated the same way by his CEO, and the CEO by his promoter, and the promoter by a politician! And then when the politician comes to ask for votes during elections from the normal executive, the executive can change his decision to vote for him or not as per his or her wish. Karmic cycle repeats every 5 years. I like such definitive time cycles. Just like the end of the year bonus and increments – you get what you deserve, and then you look forward to the next year. However, God’s karmic cycle has no definite time line. It might happen in this lifetime or next or maybe in some distant future few thousand years later. Imagine the plight of tax authorities if they have to keep records of all taxes due for a thousand years! And does it not contradict justice delayed is justice denied concept? Why would God delay justice for so long? Yes, the cases in our courts get delayed because of lack of enough judges, but can we doubt the supreme efficiency of the Supreme Judge of the Universe? Oh God, I do get confused….!

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Love With or Without Strings….

String Theory of Physics assumes that the multiverse works in 11 dimensions. Normally our brains are used to the 3 spatial dimensions and the 4th dimension of time. What happens in the other 7 dimensions? Will our brains ever be able to perceive those other dimensions? Or do they only work in other universes? Are these the dimensions where the spirits, angels, and Gods reside, and watch us from? Maybe in a few hundred years or more likely a few thousand years from now, our scientists might have some of these answers. For the present though, I can explain the 11 dimensions in only one rational way I could. The Love Strings Theory. Love is the strongest of all forms of energy. Some might disagree and say gravity is the strongest. If it were so, then we would say “falling in gravity” more often than “falling in love”! On a serious note, the energy of love indeed has tremendous power, and it is my hypothesis therefore that love has managed to extend itself, leap from the boundaries of the 4 dimensional physical world, and creep into the other 7 dimensions already. After all, who can resist the force of love.

Whether the String Theory works or not, we know that the 11 “dimensions” of love on this mortal Earth works quite well. Let me help you now dissect each of these 11 “dimensions” of love (and love that we associate between lovers), with strings or no strings attached.

1.       1. Soul Mate Love: This is the dream dimension of love for every couple. As mentioned in one of my earlier blogs too, there is a strong possibility that souls move in groups from lifetime to another. There must be unimaginable love between the souls in each group to be able to tolerate each other for countless lifetimes. For sure not all of the souls in the group will be “lovers” in the traditional sense in every lifetime. They might be around, though, as siblings or parents or friends, waiting for the next lifetime perhaps to come back as true lovers again. And like a Russian Roulette, there suddenly will come a lifetime where two souls, longing to be lovers for many lifetimes, get to unite as true lovers. And when this miracle happens, there is so much palpable love around the couple. It is almost like their souls are jumping out of their physical bodies, and dancing with mad abandon around their “physical body packaging” – the glow, the aura of such couples in love. The souls entangled in inseparable “strings”.

2.       2. Teeny Crush Love: We have all been through that phase. Just into our teens, or nowadays a bit earlier than that, we experience the surge of hormones in our body and brain that makes the world look in two different parts. One part is the grey and black part where we resent the controls, rebel against parents, hate the constant nagging of our teachers; and the other part is the rainbow coloured world where the girl next door, or in the school bus, or in the row behind in the classroom, looks like a fairy or at least a younger version of the latest Bollywood heartthrob. It is often the phase where we create our memories of “first love”. This is indeed nearest to a “no strings” love. You just feel it deep inside you. You like the presence of the loved one. You climb to the top of the terrace and wait for hours to watch a glimpse of her passing by. The tingle in the heart is enough reward – no other expectations!

3.    3.  Rebound Love: This is dangerous love. You have just come out of a relationship, your heart is broken, you are seeking for a warm hug and some loving words, and somewhere deep down in the well of ego, there is a whisper, “Find another one quickly, and show it to…”. There are definite “strings” attached here – of the past. And these strings will definitely complicate the future. Comparisons are inevitable. Holding your new loved one as a “trophy” is often tempting, especially when there is a breeze from the past. Exploitation of the vulnerable partner is likely. Guilt and remorse are the emotions that occupy the heart in place of the true joyous vibrations of love. This form of love does not last long too. And then breaks another heart. And the vicious cycle of rebound love can continue dangerously. Having said all this, I also agree that if this love helps you cope with the break-up, serves as a temporary balm and medicine for your soul, then maybe it is not that bad. Just make sure the end blow is served graciously to the gullible partner.

4.      4.  Office Love: When we spend more than 50 hours of our life every week with someone at office, then a bond and attraction is natural. The energy of love formula has a strong correlation with the variable of physical proximity. And laws of physics cannot be denied, or resisted. There might be HR policies, and CCTVs, and the prying eyes of co-workers, but love can hoodwink them all. A casual walk to the pantry area, standing next to each other, and some soft whispers, are enough to keep the love ignited. The slight touch of skin while handing over the documents, the whiff of her silken hair as you explain the spreadsheet bending slightly over her shoulders, the quick wink of the eyes in the meeting room when the boss is making a presentation – how can they all not be powerful ingredients to fuel the easily satiable energy of love! There is an added thrill of trying to keep the affair under a wrap, and an added comfort that the partner is a working person should they take the relationship forward, and last but not the least, an added motivation to come every Monday morning and face the humdrum work at office. This is good love, in the busy times we live in, as long as it is not infidelity! A few delicate “strings” to be handled here but if it is true love, then all the strings align beautifully to create a beautiful long term relationship.

5.   5. Matured Age Love: This is one dimension of love that has not touched the lives of a general person in India. There are too many “strings” of the society attached I guess. But if an old unmarried man or woman, or someone who has been divorced or lost a partner tragically, want to share love and time together in old age, then why should the society object? Our society is anyways deteriorating the old age value system of taking care of the old aged. So why can we not let some of our elderly couples take care of each other. Physically and emotionally. Or do we want to banish the elders into a forced life of solitude and penance, and with emotions reserved only for the grandchildren. Those grandchildren who are anyways too busy with their own gadgets! What can be more lovely than seeing an old couple, walking hand in hand in the park, or sharing spiced sweet potatoes while sitting in a bench in the park. Morning shows in the theatres are meant for the elderly couples who usually wake up much earlier than the rest of us lazy ones, and would love to spend a few hours in the movie hall with a vicarious feeling of their past youth while they see the actors dancing around the trees. Why deny any of them the opportunity to sit next to a loved one, married or not, and share a basket of popcorn together. Love transcends all boundaries, and age is one of the easiest.

6.   6.  Lustful Love: The chicken and egg problem is very similar to the lust and love problem. Which comes first. Lust or Love. Can you have love without the feeling of lust for your partner? Probably not. As much as the purists might disagree. But the reverse is possible, on a sub-conscious level, at least. You might feel you are in love with someone, but in reality, it might just be a lustful attraction. The body deceives the heart into thinking it is love in order to fulfil its own needs. The lustful love energy will usually explore the outer packaging but never reach the gift inside the package. The gift of the soul. But before we scorn such a love, let us not forget the “strings” attached to our DNA from the past. We were meant to procreate, and not necessarily love, while we lived in the dangerous caves of prehistoric times. That feeling still remains somewhere within us. We seek what is attractive, and then we want to spread our genes. We are dictated by the orders written in our DNA. If the mind and soul are not strong enough to defy the orders from the ruthless DNA master, then lust will prevail over love.

7.   7. Flirty Love: Flirting is a widely misunderstood word in my view. It is one of the purest forms of love. Temporary love with no “strings” attached. Just the pleasure of making the other person happy, being wanted. I am sure even Gods flirt with each other. It is the ultimate combination of body, mind, and heart all working together in a harmless game where no one emerges a winner or loser. Both sides are aware that there are no manipulations or end goals. The focus is on the present. Living life and enjoying it at the present moment. What our wise old men and sages, and modern day gurus all insist upon. It is also a healthy panacea for married people wanting some fun, some temporary sparks in their lives. The same spark that helps them go back to their own homes, and reignite the long term love with their respective partners. Yes, when flirting is misunderstood or is done with a nefarious intent, then it can be dangerous. But that is true for any activity – if it is not done properly or understood properly, then it can obviously be harmful!

8.    8.Platonic Love: In this age of “Friends with Benefits”, it is hard to comprehend the concept of an emotional and spiritual relationship with no sexual “strings” attached. This hard to grasp concept is often known as Platonic Love. Sometimes I feel that when you know there is no possibility of a sexual rendezvous in the relationship for various reasons, then the mind by default conditions and comforts the heart into acceptance of a platonic relationship! However, it is also true, that there are many people of the opposite sex that you want to spend time with, just talk to, laugh with, have fun with and still not have a strong sexual urge for the person. You might look into the eyes of the other person for several minutes, and maybe peep into each other’s souls also, but with no urgency of hitting the sack together. Maybe the souls do not need a sexual relationship (hard to imagine anyways how they would copulate), and some people are just content in having this “soulful, spiritual” relationship. It is also a good cover often for many others forms of love covered in this article (like Teeny Crush Love or Flirty Love or Taboo Love covered later below), and society has a far greater acceptance of any relationship under the umbrella of “Platonic Love”. It somehow echoes the love between angels and deities, and people prefer to not mess with such godly feelings!

9.    9. Married Love: Most of the couples in our past generations, and many in the present generation also, get married on the basis of horoscopes, the zeal and vested interests of mutual family networks and overenthusiastic aunties, and the commercially “charitable” efforts of online or offline brokers. Love is a derivative of such marriages, generally much lower down in the order. The day to day needs of making the marriage work, the family work are enough to throttle the pipe carrying the fuel of love. But not always. The solemn vows of marriage, the mutual interdependence, the common ownership of future offspring can lay a strong foundation upon which the pillars of love can be built. Love potion which has the mutual feelings of care, respect and protection as the added ingredients. The small everyday things - a peck on the cheek in the morning when you wake up, sipping the morning tea or lemon water together, helping each other in yoga, the relay race of the maid putting the lunch in the tiffin box and handing over to one partner who then rushes to hand over to the other partner standing near the elevator, the gentle touch of putting the toilet seats properly and the towels neatly folded in the racks and not sprawled on the beds, getting the partner’s favourite ice cream from the market on a rainy day or preparing home-made favourite pudding of spouse on a chilly winter day – all of these add the multifarious “strings” of friendship, affection, care which together build the strong rope of married love.

10.Taboo Love:Love can be dangerous fun, if it falls in the realms of taboo love. A genuine love crush on a cousin or a young uncle or auntie, or love with a same sex partner, or love with a much younger or older person (otherwise fit to be a grandchild or a grandparent!), or love with a best friend’s or neighbour’s spouse – all of these would classify under so called taboo love. Taboo sometimes by society, sometimes by law, sometimes by family, and sometimes by self-conscience. But the adrenaline rush of doing something that is prohibited together with the emotions of love can provide a very slippery lubricant on the stretched “strings” of dangerous attraction. When God created love, she did not make rules of who can love or not love each other. If love happens, it was meant to happen. If it is natural it can happen, and if it is not natural, then nature will not allow it to happen. Society, families, and law should not interfere with nature’s call. There are far many other taboos and ills of society that one can focus upon than to cast an evil disapproving eye on love between two human beings. Yes, sometimes it can hurt and even destroy other people and families affected, and that is despicable. However, nature has its own rules, and if the positive force of love is stronger than the negative force of impact on affected others, then nature will conspire to find its own solution.

   11.  One Sided Love: Love need not always be reciprocated. True love is, after all, with no “strings” attached. There is no condition that the other person has to reciprocate the love. However, there should be some attempt to convey the feeling of love to the other, once or maybe more than once. Not doing even once is not fair to love itself, and will also result in a repressed feeling for rest of the life, which is not fair to the other “loves” in future life. At same time, conveying one-sided love too many times, is bordering on stalking and harassment. But after sharing of one’s feelings, one has every right to love the non-physical part of the person he or she is in love with – with an image in the heart, with an imagination in the mind. The energy of love is supposed to make us happy, and if the harbouring of such one-sided love makes us happy, then the laws of love are well met. Body and mind have their own unique ways of carrying emotional vibrations across long distances in the forms of “waves or strings”, and the recipient of such waves always benefits from the additional energy received. And that is indeed true love, isn’t it, with no “strings” attached, and wishing better for the loved one even it means sacrificing one’s own interests?

So go ahead, and enjoy all the dimensions of love, in this lifetime and the many future lifetimes!

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Get One bye Two - second book by Author Dhiraj Singh


Three strangers on board an ill-fated aircraft miraculously survive a violent crash. The dynamics of God’s physics will catch up with them in a year, warns a sage in the forest.

A year later, fate strikes them once again. But can the three man defy death yet again ? Are the universal laws of nature inescapable ? What happens to the known and unknown people linked to their destiny ? Can goodwill and powerful chemistry between people defeat God’s big scheme ? Only time will tell….

Get ready for a spine-chilling ride as you follow the uncanny lives of the three men in the passage of one year. It is bound to set both your heart and mind racing!

"A Spiritual Cocktail of Science & Bollywood"

“A book that can definitely be turned into a movie.” - Jackie Shroff
“Truly 100% intelligent bollywood masala.” - Gulshan Grover
“A whole new dimension to fate as we know it. Brilliant! Hope someone makes it into a movie soon….” - Randeep Hooda
“I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book & would surely explore the possibility of making this into a Bollywood potboiler".- Rahul Mittra | Award winning filmmaker & CEO Wave Cinemas

Source -

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Déjà vu

How many times have we all had the uncanny déjà vu feeling? Quite often, I would presume, for most of us. How many times have we suddenly met someone and instantly had a ‘connection’ with the person? Again several times I guess. How often have we suddenly felt that we have known a particular place, person, or a subject of discussion? Rare, but does happen. And how many of us have experienced a sudden burst of some hidden talent from deep within that takes us by surprise also? Quite rare, I would feel, but does happen.

So is it just a probability of random occurrences, and coincidences? Most scientists and rationalists would say so. Some would go a bit further and explain that maybe we had passed that person, place or subject somewhere and our sub-conscious mind had registered it. Or we could have imagined and dreamed about something that we then can relate it to the chance encounter of déjà vu. Quiet possible, all of these.

Doppelgangers have always been an area of deep interest for the romanticists, and the paranormal researchers equally. For the unawares, doppelgangers are a couple of people having similar looks or behavioural qualities. Some of my mathematically inclined friends claim that it is equivalent to a probability of throwing a coin 6.4 million times, and the coin falling on the same side every time! Unless this is a coin from our film “Sholay”, I don’t see this as possible. But this calculation and analogy assumes the two persons have to look and behave exactly similar. With slight variations in looks, and slight variations in personalities, I think the permutation and combination starts becoming much more reasonable. After all, how many variations does one have in the “first impressions of physical appearances” – the hair, the skin tone, the eyes, the body structure, the nose, the lips, and the cheek bones? And basic personality types? Maybe even fewer. Some say 4, some 6, some 9, but most believe it is not more than 16 variations. The mathematical outputs start fitting in a normal calculator now.

The supporters of doppelgangers claim that there are 7 others exactly similar people in the world as you! Could it be because 8 people are born at about the same time, and longitude and latitudes? Could the positions of the stars and the planets at that moment make this group of 8 very similar? Maybe in behaviours and personalities, but I cannot explain the looks part! Maybe the ancient wise people hence appropriately called the doppelgangers as “alter egos” or “double spirits”.

There are also many theories now, with empirical evidence also, of reincarnations, and of a group of souls travelling together through the multiple lives in physical forms. Science says to believe in what you see or what you can consistently predict in a simulation model. On that yardstick, the soul theory might fall a bit weak. But what you experience is sometimes even more powerful than what you see – whether science can explain it or not. Science still does not have answers for many questions. And I am sure most of us have “experienced” those feelings, those instances, those encounters where our minds could not answer but some part within our body knew the answer. Could this be the soul? The soul that recognises another soul it has met in the past lives, the souls that have been through a lot together, and share a lot in common. Could very well be, if we believe a lot of people who have undergone intense past life hypnosis sessions.

Or could the explanation lie in quantum theory? The theory states that a matter can exhibit both wave wave-like and particle particle-like properties, and upon observation it can exist in parallel in two dimensions or two universes. Like layers of bread. A lot similar, but still different. So there might may be several of similar people living different lives, in different universes, or maybe on this same Earth!Should we call them “splits” – something that may be acceptable to both the scientifically and the spiritually inclined?

But the splits phenomenon of humans can probably happen when a person is at a very low point in his or her life, and then has to take one of two decisions to get his or her life back into shape. One decision shapes that individual’s life, and the other decision creates the life of a split. But the universe realigns itself to give continuity of time to the life of this split. After that, who is a split and who is the original - nobody can say! The universal supreme power or energy makes the observation in that singular moment, that low moment of an individual I mentioned earlier. And then the quantum theory applies, making the matter, the individual in this case, split into different worlds!

Whatever be the explanation, we can take a dual comfort in the realisation that we are unique in our own ways but also have someone sharing the secrets, knowledge, talents, history, and future of our souls!

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Dreams – A Movie Theatre + Brainstorming Retreat + Disney’s Astrologer

When God invented us, there was no movie industry or single screen halls or multiplexes where one could go to and forget the reality for a few hours. Get to see things that are sometimes very real, sometimes very weird, sometimes very imaginative, and sometimes very meaningful. God knew it would take a few hundred thousand years for Homo Sapiens to start enjoying Bollywood and Hollywood, so she invented the next best alternative – dreams!I look forward to going to bed every night, all dressed up in my kurta pyjama, nicely tucked in my blankets, and ready to watch several back to back movies for the next several hours. No one to disturb me, no one to gossip on the seat behind me, and no one to noisily munch on tacos, in the next seat. And then there is the surprise element also. I don’t know what will be the genre of the movies for that night. Might be a romantic comedy or an action movie or a horror flick. Or a combination. And the best part is that I am often the hero also in most of these movies, and invariably always come out alive from the movies (notice how in your own dreams, whenever death is imminent, then some miracle will save you or you will get up!). And all this for free! God could not have given us a better mode of life long free entertainment. Dreams are much more than entertainment though, my friends from IIT often say. Many of them are doing advanced level research on the pattern of dreams, tracking the brain signals to portray the source and development of our dreams. They do agree though that having dreams relaxes the body. Just like watching movies do. So the one part of dreams that is unambiguously accepted by all is that it is a cost free mode of relaxation. I call dreams, therefore, a movie theatre.

We have often heard the saying “a lull before a storm”. And in corporate circles, we have heard a lot about “brain-storming”. Just like the mind goes into a “lull”, before a storm of thoughts, ideas, imaginations inundate the brain. Personally, for my mind, it goes into B-Rain, or Bollywood Rain! Girls dancing, elephants chasing, cars crashing, wife fighting – the whole screen of the mind is set on fire immediately as I start dreaming. But when the elephants chase me in the forests, I notice how the forest looks like in the dark, when the girls dance, I realise that one aerobic exercise I had been wanting to tone my buttocks, and when the cars crash I observe how the flame spreads inside the car. And when my wife shouts, I observe how beautiful her crooked teeth looks. The small insights, the hitherto ignored nuances, the meaningful breakthroughs, the unsolved riddle, the last part of the puzzle – they often get clearer during those entertaining dreams. Corporate brainstorming in a jungle retreat, amidst nature, freeing open all the pores of the skull – dreams are better than that. I hence call dreams as a brainstorming retreat!

The last and my favourite, is the role of dreams as an astrologer in a virtual reality amusement park. The amusement park, with all its water rides and virtual reality games and simulations, is always a fun place to visit. And sometimes in one corner stall, there is an astrologer sitting quietly, with a strange fragrance around him, looking furtively at the passerby, almost knowing who will be entering his stall. In my dreams too like in the amusement parks – tired from all the simulated rides of the night, I often wake up in the morning with a consequential impact like a slight pain in the knee or the wrist, or sometimes even a drop of water on the bed. And behind all the rides in the dreams, I remember a predictive astrologer sitting silently behind the screen of the dreams, just like the one in the amusement park. Sometimes, he comes out and gives an indication, directly or through a collection of hints, of what is to come in the real life in future. We call it premonitions also. Scientifically not proven still, but accepted by many, especially those like me, who have experienced it on a personal level. I love my Disney’s Astrologer, and don’t care for the scientific explanations. Mickey Mouse is real at Disney to the millions of kids visiting every year, and my Disney’s Astrologer is real in the millions of dreams visiting my brain every year!

Gita says if you have to dream, then dream BIG. I think Krishna probably meant BIG = Bollywood + Insight + Groupthink. All together in your dreams. What a beautiful thing – for Krishna to say, and for God to create dreams! Dream on!

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Top 7 Reasons Why Bollywood Should be Given Nobel Peace Prize

As an upfront disclaimer, I have no relatives or friends in Bollywood. Though I do hope to make friends there soon. And hoping that someone in the big ocean of Bollywood will spot the small fish that is trying to jump into the salty waters of the sea. Spot the bright colours of the fish that are different from the myriad of other fishes in the sea…. Sorry!Just got carried away by my publishers – wanting me to promote myself everywhere! 

But today I will promote Bollywood only, and nothing but the Bollywood. Main sach aur sach ke sivay kuch nahin bolunga. There itself is reason #1 for the rationale for winning the Nobel Prize for Peace. Which other medium, institute, or a person has drilled this idea so much into our brains – that one should speak the truth, and nothing but the truth. I am disappointed that the new crop of movies do not have this line of truth in their court scenes, maybe thinking it is too much of a cliché. But they forget that the moral depravity index in our country might be rising due to this also. Sachi…muchi. Nothing but sachi…muchi! 

From Amar Akbar Anthony to Bajirao Mastani (liked the poetic twang?), our Bollywood has always demonstrated the benefits of living in harmony. A Hindu and Muslim as the best of friends willing to give or take life for each other, or brothers lost in the Kumbhmela and then raised by different communities, or a Hindu king lost in love with a Muslim damsel. No religious organisation has ever objected or raised slogans or declared bans against those movies that promulgate such communal harmony. With the growing “intolerance” in the country, I am happy our Bollywood is taking another step forward in this direction, and rather than show a Hindu and Muslim separately, they have now merged them together in the bloods of Mastani. And we all loved Mastani, whether as a Hindu or as a Muslim. Is this not a definite reason #2? 

 We are becoming a country of ruthless people, with no emotions, almost like animals. This is dangerous for the peace of our country. Just like the fat cells in our body that become rigid with time, the emotions have also become rigid, tighter, and hidden deep under the layers of our fat cells maybe. So just like we use the treadmill to shake our fat cells, we need to tread on our Bollywood mill to shake our emotional cells. Imagine the climax scene of Barfi, when Ranbir Kapoor is about to go without meeting Priyanka, and then Illeana lets the love birds unite – how could one not cry in that scene? I needed two handkerchiefs to wipe my tears. My emotional cells were mercilessly juggled, shaken, and stirred, and squeezed so strong that it let out all the liquids from its bonds into my poor wife’s handkerchiefs. So the point is that Bollywood can make us cry (come on the nasty minds – I am not talking about the real bad movies where you do WANT to cry!) – and purge our repressed feelings. Bringing the balance back in our minds, our bodies. Making us calmer and more peaceful. How can this not qualify for a reason #3 for the Nobel Peace Prize?! 

Nuclear weapons. Likely to destroy the current modern civilisation, at some point in future. And where does that risk most lie? Ask South Korea, and they will say North Korea but ask any other country, and they will say it’s India-Pakistan. Both having very intelligent people, capable of making these nuclear weapons. And both having very emotional people also, capable of triggering that dreadful red button. So what keeps both the countries in check? The innocence of the little girl in Bajrangi Bhaijaan who is being as much loved by the Indians as the Pakistanis. The smile on that innocent face makes people across both sides of the borderline wonder why a war is necessary; why can’t we have smiling children like her everywhere, happily escorted and helped by people of any religion or community. Let’s live like one big nuclear happy family, and not nuclear war families. Who can touch the hearts of people with such a message? Yes, you guessed it right – Bollywood. And reason #4 why it deserves the Nobel Prize. 

Love your parents, and you love your country. Someone said this once. And if you don’t believe me, go and watch Piku. If Deepika doesn’t love her father so dearly, I don’t know who else does. She was willing to put up with any s..t that her father, the great Bachchan, produced. She loved her father, and loved her country also for allowing her father to carry the commode all the way to Kolkata! A big endorsement of our Swachh Bharat campaign. Love your father, and love your country. Parents bring peace at home – do we not feel ashamed to spar with our partners in front of them? Parents bring sanity at home, they bring the heat down at home – how many times have we resisted our urge to take a hasty or violent decision after being counselled by our parents. And who teaches us to love our parents, respect them..? Bollywood! For a peaceful, and clean India, Bollywood is critical. My reason # 5. 

If there is despair, no hope, there is violence, retaliation. Who controls that? Bollywood. Whether it is for a young boy or a girl hoping to make moolah even more than their father’s CEO in the company, or earn a fame beyond that of the Prime Minister, Bollywood is the natural choice. Hope keeps us from going berserk, the hope of making it as one of them, one of Bollywood. And for the more snooty ones, who do not want to join Bollywood, there is always the sneaky Sunday movie, hiding from their friends and colleagues. And for them too, the Bollywood gives hope - the hope to change the system, hope to become the boss of their boss, the hope to find true love – in marriage or outside of it, the hope to win against all odds. Dhanush lived that hope and dream in Shamitabh, and we live our hopes and dreams every day in Bollywood. Keeping our minds occupied with positivity, and keeping negativity and non-peaceful behaviour at far distance. I hope you will agree this is a good enough reason #6. 

And now to the last and most important reason for Bollywood being the most suitable choice for the Nobel Peace Prize. The one message that has been consistent in our movies from the time I have been watching them till today, is the message about revenge and karma. Often hunting together, the implied Jai and Veeru of our celluloid screen – karma and revenge. Earlier I would not qualify this aspect as one of my top reasons for the Nobel Prize, not when The Bachchan was an angry young man, bashing up all those who caused him, or his family, or his friend, or his dog, or his country, or anybody or anything any pain. Wrongdoing was avenged violently. But now the Jai Veeru bond has been broken, and karma hunts alone most of the times. In a family movie like Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo or a violent movie like Badlapur, the revenge has become more karmic now. Why hurt yourself, and spill blood all over, and waste bullets, when you can sit back peacefully and enjoy karma do it all for you? That is the new message of Bollywood, and will bring world-wide peace. Leave it all to karma, don’t fight amongst yourselves. If karma does not get the bad guy, destiny will. If destiny doesn’t, then fate will. And even if fate doesn’t then we can always rely on our Bachchan! But only as the last resort. I unhesitatingly, and with no bias for my books around the similar themes (yeah right!), nominate the last reason #7 as the most important reason for Bollywood laying its claim for the Nobel Peace Prize!