Sunday, October 6, 2019

Songs with long shelf life- Pancham unexplored

It's not just philosophy or human behaviour that intrigues me. Music and yes, Bollywood Hindi music only,h been my early year's passion. I was a good singer and Kishore Kumar was my favourite. Later as I grew old, I began liking even Rafi Saab, Jagjit and even Lata and Asha solos. 

When I started out on my quest for good music, people in my generation had to go back a decade or little more as, we were being brought up in one of the most black periods of performing arts especially in mainstream Bollywood. Crappy movies and tasteless music. There was no soul in the songs and as a teenager too, I could not bear them. What started off as Kishore Kumar collection, soon turned out to be Pancham quest. In the following 15 years, I explored all songs of Pancham, studied his life, learnt the nuances and interesting trivia on his experiments. There was no dull moment ever with him. I think listening to his songs so carefully actually made me more focused and patient listener later in life. 

Here's presenting some of Pancham's all time most favorite and long lasting songs. He has been called Boss for his peppy, youthful numbers but he had an equally balanced emotional side, a side I consider spiritual. Following songs are the under appreciated, under the radar of Geetmala charts of their times or simply lost in oblivion because the film bombed at box office. 

I will try to club them era wise, for, the recordings and pairing will be matching. One thing I dislike is when we play an early 70s songs with an 80s number in the playlist. Pancham sound was distinct and clear recordings. He adopted latest recording technology at the first release, he was always with the times, for its virtues. So songs sound quality was affected due to technology and also texture of his singers (kishore, Lata and Asha). So let me club this playlist in following:

Late 60s till 75

Let's dive straight in:

Late 60s-71 - Vintage era

This was an era when Pancham had not quite found himself. His songs were close to Shankar Jaikishan style. And it was Hare Rama kare krishna that gave him his own style. Some of the songs that were lost are as follows:

1. Mar Dalega-  Solo by Asha , movie Pati Patni

This song had the first Bossa Nova Rhythm ever used in Indian cinema. Asha had reported huge issues in settling with its beats as it was not in traditional meter. It's quintessential Sensual song by Asha. They went on to make many more sensual songs as their own romantic jet took off. Enjoy the song.

2. Kya Janoon Sajan- By Lata in Baharon ke Sapne

Aja piya tohe pyar doon and chunri sambhal were more popular songs in this first association with Naseer Hussain. I think he reserved his best songs with Naseer hussain banner. All till the last one in Manzil Manzil were musical hits. Kya Janoon Sajan is a haunting melody with sad notes. This song was the first ever song in the world which had twin soundtrack. Listen to the part in cross, the second line of Mukhda, you hear another voice in the background. Original HMV gave credits to Usha Mangeshkar for that voice over. But it was same Lata singing both parts. Today we have 56 tracks available to record many sounds together even if they were played in separate parts of the world. But back then, it was not the case.

Pancham recorded the song without the voice in the background first, then he called Lata again next day to just croon in set intervals. If you are from the generation that has used Tape recorders then know that it contained a Record button. As kids we had spoiled manu cassettes by putting our own voices in the middle of the song and spoilt the song. Tape recorder has 2 heads, one to erase and one to record. Pancham used a tape recorder and removed the erase head. This way the original recording and new voice over meshed together so beautifully that the entire recording section gave Pancham a standing ovation. Pancham later used it in many songs until Katra Katra in 1987 movie Ijjazat. Yes, the tech had not come in till computers came. Now you will enjoy the song even more.

3. Main na miloongi by Lata - Pyar ka mausam

Tum bin jaun kahan stole the limelight, because it started a comparison between Kishore and Rafi. Clear fan clubs were made after that song. 

This album had another 3 solo songs of Lata, all brilliant. But Main Na miloongi stayed with me for a long time. Its distinct rhythm and Off beat pick up by Lata, made it unique. It needs a presence of mind to sing Pancham songs. There are always many twist , which is why his songs have not remained Monotonous. He hated monotony. He was rhythm champ. Rhythm by definition is same beats played in a loop these days, monotony. But his rhythm often changed from first line to second line of Mukhda and then Antra will be totally different.

4. Lehra ke aaya hai- Rafi and lata in Waris

First middle eastern rhythm you heard in Indian stage. This song has not been remixed as yet but I bet, it will be a great selection if reproduced. Of course , Kalyan ji Anand ji liked it too. So you can hear ' Arre deewano mujhe pehchano' in it.

5.Chaiyyan re Saiyyan- Asha solo - The Train

I know you must be wondering why so many female songs. Well, if you have to explore Pancham, you have to hear his Non-Kishore songs and movies with low budget and unknown producers. He experimented to the hilt there. 

Anyways, this is very Folkish song with lot of Rhythm and percussion. It will need many hearings to appreciate. You can hear it's reproduction by European band, Kronos in their album with Asha -You've stolen my heart. 

72-79 era

6. Haye re na maro - Asha solo in Garam Masala

It is like a scene being played in a song with dialogues. A rap version if you will. Although, Pancham made first even Rap song in the world with Kati Patang (Mera nam hai Shabnam). This is a Jazz treatment. This album had another pure Jazz number ever in Indian stage, Tum Jaison ko to Payal mein baandh loon. But due to its high and lows and pure creative madness, I chose Haye na Maro. You can feel a molestation and torture scene in the song. But go ahead and download India's first pure Jazz number. Though, I am not listing it here. Do check his other Jazz songs on Asha like Andhera Andhera in Rani mera Naam. Main ladki tu ladka in Dil Diwana, Lo mera Pyar le lo in Nafrat (only you tube)

7. Aao aao jane jahan- kishore lata in Gomti ke Kinare

This duet has that quality of staying with you. It's fast rhythm but slow and lilting notes sit well. It has a distinct sound but here is RD for you experimenting on a lesser known Producer.

8. Aap ke kamre mein - Kishore, Asha , RD, Yaadon ki baraat

Stage songs were a pattern with Naseer Hussain. This one starts off with Robindra sangeet influence and takes off into Dum Maro Dum. It's Antras can be hummed whenever you are alone. 

9. Bahut door mujhe chale- Kishore lata in Heera Panna

This song has been played by many Radio channels now but it wasn't the case back then. This is all time no-shelf life duet romantic numbers. Again Bossa Nova. Now you can appreciate Bossa Nova and it's use even in a slow number. Used only for the Mukhda. 

10. Tune Chheen liya- Lata solo- Bandhe Haath

Again I can hum it's Antra many times over. Even Mukhda is soft and romantic. You will probably skip this song and go to Kishore number but go back to this. Pancham has put his madness in many of his good numbers with his penchant for unique sounds and experimentation but in some pure melodies, he just let them be. Simple as simple can be. 

You must also hear a boat song being used in a cabaret set up with sad message. O Majhi O Majhi by Asha is another song that deserves a mention here. It used to be my favorite over Lata number but in the long run, lata song stole my heart. 

11. Kya Nazare Solo by Kishore - Jheel ke us Paar

Song has an abrupt ending to the mukhda. So it's not a song that you would select while singing an Antakshri, unless you continue and sing it's Antra. Open voice of Kishore in the Antra makes you go wow. Try to sing if you can, even your eyes will be looking up in the sky coz that's that the words also cued. Such understanding of words and modifying the notes to suit the word and it's meaning. And the mood. This is one of the reason, his songs lasted longer despite being simple melodies. They were complete.

Trivia:  According to Pancham's team, his Antra were always his strengths. While assisting his father SD Burman, often, SD made the mukhda and then left the balance song to Pancham. This is the reason, you hear Pancham like sound in Guide, Jewel thief, Aradhna. Even later, when Pancham had to dish out 1 song a day due to work pressure, he took his inspiration from Hollywood numbers. All he wanted was a start and then he would make rest of the song in his own way. So his Mukhda may look like copy but Antras were purely his.

12. Dil mein jo baatein- kishore lata- Joshila

I think Pancham's sound system went for an upgrade with this only Yash chopra album. Clarity in recording is audible now. Somehow, all the recording produced by HMV Saregama were of very poor quality as opposed to Music India, later became Sony music. I remember Red color cassettes were my favorite for its sound production.

The use of Madal in this duet will take you to the tea plantation of Darjeeling instantly. Madal, a Nepalese tabla type, produces this Kancha sound. Pancham had first spotted it in Hare Rama Hare Krishna shooting in Nepal. Kanchi re Kanchi re. Post that he used Madal in almost 99 percent of his songs as his signature. In this song though, it is the Hero instrument. This whole album of Joshila is a must hear. From all time hits of Kiska rasta dekhe, sona rupa layo re, Kaanp rahi main, Kuchh bhi karlo. All gems.

13.Na koi Dil mein Samaya- Kishore -Aa Gale lag ja

It's a quintessential Blues. If you get a Saxophone player play it's notes , you will know what I mean. The crooning, yoodling effect in the Antra is the embellishment that has given the song it's shelf life. The eccentricity of doing something like this to a sad song is just did not go down well with that generation. But he cared a damn.

14. Ab ke saawan mein - Kishore Lata- Jaise ko Taisa

This amazing melody has notes that are almost haunting, such notes are usually taken to picturize a background of tension. Pancham used it to depict a dark and rainy sequence. Even the pace of rhythm is uniquely fitted into the scheme of things. Another number from this movie, Saajan kahan Jaungi main is a brilliant melody. It was later used in Basera, where Gulzar's lyrics and ageing voice of Lata did it's justice. We will list that song too later in this post.

15. Mere di se yeh Nain- Zehreela Insaan

This track got lost in O Hansini's shadow. Plus the movie was a flop too. Another soulful number, which will grow on you. Don't miss the Sitar. I wish Shailendra had not done too much nasal effect in this song. But still one of his best.

16. Chal saathi chal- by Kishore Ishq Ishq Ishq

This movie lasted only 3 shows even those days when they did not have many entertainment options. I find the entire soundtrack very innocent. It's a picnic movie it seems with school children always around in all songs. Of course, I have not seen the movie. But you can hum this song next time you are driving to the hills.

17. Rasta dekhe tera- Kishore in Hum shakl

Simply soulful. No more words. A must have in your kishore playlist, in case you have not heard it before.

18. Chori Chori Solah- Asha solo in Manoranjan

I actually quite loved the movie with a Police constable stuck with sex workers and all the fun. If you did not know the plot, this song will pass off as another Aaja piya tohe pyar doon, with modern touch. Glamour and sex appeal of Zeenat Aman with sheepish innocence by Asha. You can tell that Asha is feeling exactly like the heroine. Such blend.

19. Zindagi ke safar mein- kishore- Aap ki kasam

I had thought that I will out only lesser heard songs in this playlist but purely from shelf life perspective, pls do include this all time kishore sentimental song. Aadmi theek se dekh pata nahi, aur parde se manzar badal jata hai. Anand Bakshi wrote brilliantly here, comparing life to a theatre on stage. Which it is when you flashback. I wait for the Santoor play in the song interludes.

20. Kisi se dosti karlo- Kishore Asha- Dil Diwana

Coming after Jawani Diwani, Ramesh Behl and RD remained best of friends till the end. RD always gave music for Ramash Behl. It was always youthful coz most of Ramesh Behl music was targeted on college going youth. This Nok-Jhok song and teasing between young boy and his classmate is a must have in your list. Come on, feel young again.

21. Aa raat jati hai- Rafi Asha- Benaam

This party song seems like it was recorded atleast 3 years before 1974. Amitabh and Helen dancing on waltz and turning on heat. But the song does not come across as vulgar. Rafi career was not doing well around 1974 but he was still on top of his game. I love humming the song long after it has  always ended playing. Hope u like it too.

22. Sapna mera toot gaya- RD Asha- Khel Khel mein

You have heard all songs of this mega hit. A cult perhaps. Sapna mera toot gaya is a cabaret number on Aruna Irani remembering Rakesh Roshan. Again using cabaret setting for a sad number. A unique distinct composition with orchestra and Asha's emotions are timeless gems here. But when Pancham enters in the Antra with Aaja meri bahon mein aa, pyar bhari rahon mein aa, just steals my heart everytime.

23. Maine tujhe manga- Lata Kishore- Deewar

Forget about kehdon tumhe, this duet will not leave you. It will be playing in your head if you sleep listening to it and will be still on in the morning when you wake up.

24. Do naino mein aansoo- Lata- Khushboo

Khushboo album is a classic. However, this sas number by Lata is soulful. Listen to the part, when RD pays tribute to his father. There is a part when 3 words come- Din Dhal jaye. RD so masterfully blends his father's famous notes from Guide and bring it back to his own composition with ease. Beautiful.

25. Jab tum chale jaoge- Lata in Bullet

Dev anand had started to give flops now. His own mid life crisis. But he had not lost his sense of selecting songs. Something like Tune Chheen liya listed above, I like this Lata.

26. Dil Machal raha hai- Kishore Asha- Khalifa

Consider these Nahin Nahi abhi nahi, Jane do na fro. saagar and Dil Machal raha hai. I used to put these 3 numbers always together, as the mood was same, erotic numbers. Most of you would not have heard this number. It's at par with the others. Except that male goes very bold in this song. :)

27. Paas aao na- Asha- Chala Murari hero banne

Yes, Asrani wanted to play lead role, so he produced his own movie. Asha and Simi Grewal have sounded so sensuous here. It's from the top draw.

28. Aati rahengi Baharen- kishire, Amit Kumar Kasme vaade

This song was made by modifying the notes of the most famous song in the world. HAPPY BDAY to you. It has simplest of the notes, RD worked on these notes to make this melody. Try it once, it will also become Anthem.

29. Aaj kal paon- Lata- Ghar

See I have not listed some of the most classic works of RD here such as this album with Gulzar. All the songs are a must hear. But this song lost out under Tere bina jiya and aap ki aankhon. I have a RD version of this song too, a studio version, perhaps you can find it on YouTube as well. He gave this song a new life again in Dil ne kaha chupke se in 1942 a love story. 

30. Jhuk Gayi Aankhen- Kishore Lata- Bhola Bhala

Another one of those songs where Antra scored more points than mukhda. You will remember each word of this melody. This and Roz Roz aankhon tale, are same league duets in my view or to my ears. Simply beautiful.

31. Kisi pe wade pe- Asha- The Burning Train

It's set in a indian semi classical structure, some of the rare ghazals by Pancham.

80-87 era

32. Wo jinki nayee hai duniya: Kishore Asha- Dhan Daulat

Around this time RD lost most of his compositions in flop movies. Most of Kishore Asha Duets came in this era. This duet again like Roz Roz aankhon tale, is brilliant for its simplicity. Bossa Nova is back again. 

33. Yeh saaye hain- Asha- Sitara

This is one of the weaker works of Gulzar as a movie. This Asha number will last you many years. You ca. Hear this song in repeat mode from home to Office anyday.

34. Hai re pardesi- Kishore Lata- Barsaat ki ek raat

Madal is back as the Hero coz Darjeeling is back as well. This is a superb pahadi song, Lata's voice is very crisp in this. You can hear Apne Pyar ke, a romantic duet of Kishore and Lata, which was more popular. 

35. Kabhi Palkon ke aanso hain- Kishore- Harjayee

Entire album had gems. Another great work of Ramesh Behl and RD. Entire song was on guitar, hardly any persussion. It is one of the most soulful songs of 80s by Kishore solo.

36. Jahan pe basera and Tumhein chhod ke- Lata, Kishore Asha- Basera

I could not pick a winner among these two. Lata song as said earlier is a reproduction from Saajan kahan jaoongi main. Expert singing by Lata and heavenly notes.

Second duet of Kishore and Asha, is actually a Ghazal sung in western style. Crazy as it may sound. This song remained fresh 40 years late as well. Extremely modern.

37. Moti ho to Baandh- Daulat

Before Vinod Khanna went to join Osho movement, he gave us this gem of a song. Soulful kishore.

38. Raah pe rehte hain- Kishore- Namkeen

A reminder of Musafir hoon yaaro. Gulzar and RD came together again and created magic once again. Khush raho ahele watan , hum to safar karte hain. If you notice carefully, song goes thru change of Raga in third antra, since it is dusk time in the song from mid day shooting. It is picturized in a Truck as Sanjeev kumar was driving it. 

39. Maine tujhe kabhi kuchh- Yeh wada raha

What do I do here? Entire album once again Ramesh Behl and RD, and once again a flop. Songs lost in oblivion. This duet is like Dravid among Sehwag , Ganguly and Sachin. It is rock solid. Simple soulful. 

I would also rate Asha solo of Mil Gayee aaj do lehren, as another hidden gem. This song has a beautiful waltz beginning before becoming a theatrical song.

40. Yeh Zameen ga Rahi hai- Amit kumar- Teri Kasam

Arguably one of the top songs of Amit Kumar. Soulful. Magical. 

41. Tujhse Naraaz nahi zindagi- Anup Ghoshal-  Masoom

You could never go wrong on Masoom album on a Sunday. The 12 string guitar piece at the beginning by legendary Bhupendra ji, is like a solitaire piece of the ring. Anup Ghoshal may be the only one song wonder, but he went down as the best debut ever , if it was indeed his first song.amd just because 'Ek ansoo chhhupa ke Rakha tha' was left out of tune in this version as opposed to Lata version. This song has never gone bad, timeless.

42. Kahin na ja- Kishore lata- Bade Dil wala

This is again a Roz Roz Ankhon category song. Wait we have not yet gotten to 1984, so cant talk about Jeeva as yet. Kahin na ja, set in a party backdrop is just dipped in soul souce. It's not an instant blend, will grow on you. 

43. Yeh zindagi kuchh bhi- RD burman- Romance

This could have been Amit Kumar's sad number, Kumar Gaurav was the obvious choice. But it won't be on my all time Longevity list if RD had not rendered his voice. He always possesed a great voice, imagine all the other duets and sad numbers were actually sung in his voice first. Enjoy this number for the rest of your lives.

44. Jane kya baat hai- Lata- Sunny

Pancham had a real bad run in 82-84, consecutively, he had 23 films flopping and burying his most precious work under dust. Sunny was the fist sunny spot in 1984, and this song left a special mark in everyone's heart. 

45. Gali Gali Dhoondha Tujhe- Amit Kumar Lata- Jawani

Now this is a surprise selection, the pole position went to Tu Rutha to main ro dungi song. It was an instant hit. It's however, this unique rhythm pattern on this duet with a mesh up of Tabla and Drums, is something to marvel. If you like it, you will fall in love with it. Well, if you are a Happy person, you will love it.

46. Roz Roz aankhon Tale- Amit Kumar Asha, Jeeva

What a waste of great melody in this movie. 35 years later this song is loved by most romantic people. It's the finest silk money can buy. These songs are made in dreams and written first thing in the morning. They are a gift from universe. 

47. Aisa Samaan na hota- Lata- Zameen Aasman

Pancham was having all kind of health issues around this time and he was getting blow after blow due to bad movie making. He still put in his heart into making his songs sound like out of ordinary. There was all sort of Disco crap flying around. If there was anything, Pancham did not want to make Disco music. He just did not see the virtue in it. Why do you need it if you can create songs like these. Arguably, best Lata song in 80s. There is so much clarity in this song. Each and every note of this song can be heard clear. There is so much freshness in this sing even today.

48. Mausam pyar ka- Kishore Asha- Sitamgar

You won't go wrong if you download the entire album. Every song is made with love. Kishore is ageing now. But this duet with Asha, is a timeless classic. Nowadays, I hear it on radio FM, but mostly it is a hidden gem. See, Pancham playing with scales in this sing midway, just lifts the entire mood of the song. Kishore is made to sing softly initially and from second antra, there is a scale change. You get lost in the melody everytime.

49. Jeene de yeh duniya- Manmohan Asha- Lava

This movie did well reasonably. This song grew on me. There is this lilting notes which is the uniqueness of this song. Try to sing it yourself, you will know what I mean. There is this lilting neck , which is dancing with notes. Manmohan was the crew member of Lava production , Pancham spotted him humming and decided that we could use his vocals. For one and last time. I think he did an exceptional job. I will always keep it on my repeat mode when this song comes.

50. Pyar ke mod pe- Suresh Wadekar Asha- Parinda

I have skipped all the songs of Ijazzat from this list, they are well discovered. I will bring your focus on this Ghazal, yes it is a Ghazal. Give it to Khayyam and he will treat it differently. Pancham always brought western influence on his Indian roots, and this song is another example. We discussed Tumhein Chhod ke from Basera, this one too is from top draw. Suresh Wadekar sounded so great in this. Another one, that grows on you.

I would like to end this playlist here and leave you to it. You hear, rehear, discover , explore these songs. Your own mood, frame of mind and what time of the day you hear one composition, makes a huge impact on your consciousness. 90s saw Pancham bouncing back with Gardish, he dished out great score in that movie but he wasn't even invited for the launch party. I think it was original 70s RD. Badal jo Barse, Yeh Mera Dil to pagal hai, Hum na samjhe the, Rang Rangeeli raat were Gems. And then he closed out his career and life with his Swansong in 1942 a love story. He invoked his father SD Burman and Rabindranath music to compose a period music, and single handedly revived melody again in 90s. I think the legacy was then carried forward by Jatin Lalit for another 8-9 years. 

I hope you enjoy these songs, they are a part of my Life. And now I make you a part of my life too.

Signing off,

Love and Peace

Nitin Om

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Did I make a right decision?

Continuing with my earlier posts on decision making and how to gain inner strength by bringing harmony in our reasoning, emotional and intuitive abilities, I wish to put forth my ideas on an important aspect of ‘doubt’ post our decision.

My first peak into my phone this morning was a whatsapp text, from an investor of mine, who was asking my opinion on our investment decisions. I am consulting him on his existing investments. First I felt that he did not have the temperament to invest in Share market but introducing that idea in the first meeting would have been counterproductive. For him, it would have been an unkind personal remark, and for me, it would mean the end of consulting assignment. Nonetheless, I have been working on his psychology to make him realize that he did not need to take so many risks. He has enough and there is no need to run a race with anyone. Long story short, he has already made many flip flops and again asking me if the last decision was the ‘right one’.

I will tell you later, what I told him. But it got me into my contemplation mood. I sit in my balcony looking out into a sea of green around me. Light drizzle is on. Beautiful harmony of seasonal birds is in play, sitting on the outstretched branches of trees, within arm’s length of my balcony. How amazing to find that fresh rain water brings so much joy to plants and trees. They return the favour with more leaves and more fruits. What an irony that the same tree abandons the leaves when it cannot support it. Like an expert Yogi, in perfect detachment and equipoise. There is no struggle, they are at ease.

This amazing sight sets forth a fountain of ideas in my head. Why do we question ourselves after making a choice or a decision? And what is right or wrong? Who decides it by the way? Many psychologists or human behavior analysts have termed this phenomenon as ‘cognitive dissonance’. (All intellectuals love to term their observation with fancy words and claim copyright on these concepts.) Be that as it may, we all spend some time thinking about our choices, some do it more than others. Firstly, making a choice itself is a tough work for many and now our world is rocked by the anxiety over the correctness of our decision.

Right or wrong, win or lose are mere social constructs and in my view, very near term oriented concepts. It is not always about the rewards, greed and fear, our attachment with the outcome of our choices but also about ‘Need for control’. Control desire directly feeds into our self esteem. We all are so suppressed, contained or subjected to circumstances beyond our control that we wish to take charge of some things directly. Perhaps, how and where my money will be invested, what I do with my money, is also once such vent. As we mature in the field we operate in, this need for control reduces. With time, with experience and with wisdom.

Every Choice has a long shelf life..

We can only determine if a particular decision was right or wrong, if the outcome was time specific. It is a very tactical concept. We can draw some examples from some sports or a race. For instance, a lot of cricket enthusiasts have been talking about right and wrong in recently concluded ICC world cup. New Zealand had to accept a second place due to rules that no one (at least, Fans) had cared to read about before. New Zealand did not lose but English team had to be adjudged as winner. New Zealand team captain, Kane Williamson, accepted the verdict with grace and humility. He congratulated the English team for a very successful world cup campaign. They were more consistent and prolific than New Zealand. English in my opinion, deserved to be the winners. World can judge what decision of Kane Williamson was right or wrong, because it resulted in an outcome of a championship. But who knows if New Zealand emerges a stronger team in future due to this. Or say, all NZ players remain humble, content and as a result happier, for the rest of their lives.

Any decision or a choice has a very long shelf life. It is imprudent to look at it from a very short term point of view. What appears wrong in short term may turn out be right in another time frame. Every decision or a choice needs to be seen in the context of a time continuum. It is a ‘flow’ concept and people confuse it to be a ‘Stock’ concept.

Reasonable, not Right..

To my investor, I told him that we can only make ‘Reasonable’ decisions. Not the right one. Right one gives us immediate satisfaction and calms our impatient energy. It is invariably always a wrong  decision to give ourselves what we wish instantly. No wonder, most of our prayers are not answered immediately. Nature or God understands what we wish for is not always what is in our best interest.   

What we must know that we took a reasonable decision with an eye on near future and distant one as well. A reasonable decision always allows for some errors and assumptions. A reasonable decision is not horribly wrong or magnificently bold one, in the immediate future. It can be seen as a closer to middle path, not exactly middle, since our own bias and prejudice, will ensure that it is little left or right of the middle. That in my eyes is a best path, unless we are absolutely certain . It is a direct outcome of a calm and patient head and borne out of first-hand experience.

Our own long term commitment with a decision is the basic requirement to observe the life of a decision. A reasonable decision will live longer, it will have its ups and downs, but it will be more gratifying and fulfilling. Once you pay attention to a successful marriage in your social circle, you will know what I am trying to say.

Much like a marriage, just because investing allows you to disengage easily, does not mean that we should exercise that option. Work on your priorities, your goals, delay gratifications, live simple lives. That will ensure stability in your decisions and its consequences.

Life is a joy ride if we witness it rather than sit on the chair of a judge.

Hare Krishna,

Nitin Om Patnia

Disclaimer: The author works as a financial advisor in India. The views expressed here are completely his own and are a collective wisdom of numerous humans that co-exist or existed before the author. The author claims no right of originality of ideas but would like to assert the right to his style of writing. There is no intent to hurt anyone's sentiments with his opinions. It is just an honest expression by the author to help anyone who may be benefited from his writings. And a medium to express his gratitude to all who contributed to bless the author with wisdom. Most of all to his spiritual master, Om Swami, in bestowing wisdom and grace.            

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Our bond with Death

Death is one of the most difficult topics to contemplate upon as you never know what death looks like, until you are going through it. Many people die after aging gracefully, many suffer due to sickness before they depart, many pass away suddenly and few die silently, while sleeping.

If you ask any person, how they would like to die, they will choose the last option. Even, I wish to die in my sleep, while still in a healthy body, as most of us would not like to suffer a long time. But this is a view of the person who still has a healthy body. Secretly, nobody ever wants to die. When faced with death, we will spend every bit of our savings to hang on to life. A dying man may still choose to suffer for a long time over death. I don't know why and I don't want to contemplate on it. Why, you ask? Well, because It does not help me to move forward. There are some questions that begin with “Why”, and they tend to impede the smooth flow of life. Only those questions that help me move forward, help the humanity and nature move ahead are worth pondering over.

Perhaps, if we all knew what lies ahead of us after death, that we would be at peace. We would make much better choices in our life. All religions have given us a concept of death. And it is imperative for all of us, to place some belief on meaning of death, in order to put a meaning of life. Whether you believe in karma and rebirth, or you believe in day of reckoning and hell-heaven post death, you are free to choose your faith. For, what we do between birth and death is far more important than the death itself.

Our first encounter...

Most people have fleeting thoughts of death, when we visit a funeral ceremony of a deceased person in our social circle. But our first encounter with this profundity happens when we lose a loved one of our own. It is the most painful period for most. Loved one’s, do not mean just a relative or a friend, but someone with whom we were emotionally deeply connected with. Those loved ones were the source of our strength and inspiration throughout life. These loved ones were the beacon in our lives, always guiding us to be a better version of ourselves.

Such events can permanently alter the way we approach life. It is an extremely important lesson that this journey of life can impart unto us. Nature usually prepares most of us, by giving warnings ahead of the inevitable. But are we truly prepared to accept it. Perhaps, only a handful of us. Unless we are internally fulfilled and have collected enough spiritual wealth, death of loved ones can wreck most of us.

Death serves a message...

The loud and clear message of nature, that death is an individual journey, is not lost on us at that moment. A feeling of detachment surrounds all of us. We realise the temporary nature of everything around us. If you ask me, detachment is that final touch on our character. When harnessed well, this detachment can get us to state of equipoise. But it is very easy to lose this equipoise once we go back to the samsara. Such is the dazzle of maya or illusion of our creation.

The bereavement or grief period is a very critical period and foundation for one's spiritual journey to begin or advance. Either a new and strong character will emerge or you will succumb by staying in denial.

All contemplation and reflection done in this period, give great insights into our lives. We have a chance to understand our futile ego, our stubbornness, people we hurt in past with our actions and words. Wrong doings in any relationships will be clear in your mind.

Be strong but not hard

How long does a grief period last is dependent upon how deep one's connection was with the departed soul. It is perfectly fine to give time to the grieving. One will have to empty one's vessel. Always remember, time is the greatest healer.

There will invariably be one person in the family, who will be expected to "Be Strong" by people offering counsel and encouragement. I wish to share few thoughts on those who are acting strong because they are expected to be it. Being strong is tough work. It does not mean being hard. Hard humans will break. Hard will mean - controlling and curbing emotions.

On the contrary, being strong does not only mean you respect emotions of yours and other grieving members, but also being compassionate and empathetic to their needs.

Only strong people look beyond their pain. Your pain reduces when you try and reduce it for others, to be there for them - emotionally, physically and if I might say, spiritually, in the rest of their journey. The choice of words like - 'I will stand with you and for you, every step of the way’, will make sure you stepped up and this in turn will ensure you feel taller from within.

The void left when someone close to you dies, is huge. It is natural that many small instances, memories, habits and frequent flashbacks will remind you of the memories of deceased person. It is natural to smile and cry at the recollection of those memories. Never bottle your emotions. It's perfectly fine to cry, even in front of your colleagues in a work place. Don’t worry about people around you. It may make you look vulnerable, but it’s okay. Letting out emotions helps you have a fine balanced view of life along with contemplating your own issues at hand.

Use grief to know the real meaning of life and relationships. The insights will propel you further. Being strong and not hard is the essence of life.

Love and Peace,

Nitin Om Patnia

Disclaimer: The author works as a financial advisor in India. The views expressed here are completely his own and are a collective wisdom of numerous humans that co-exist or existed before the author. The author claims no right of originality of ideas but would like to assert the right to his style of writing. There is no intent to hurt anyone's sentiments with his opinions. It is just an honest expression by the author to help anyone who may be benefited from his writings. And a medium to express his gratitude to all who contributed to bless the author with wisdom. Most of all to his spiritual master, Om Swami, in bestowing wisdom and grace.