‘Shantaram’ has been read, and the guilt of having reached its end has crept in, and is lingering around in the mind. I would envy the people who are yet to read it. The book is a journey in itself. One of the most significant lessons it taught me is the ‘it-could-have-been-worse’ approach to life.
I am not sure if 'Shantaram' if one of those 'life-changing' books. But I can assure you that the book will keep you gripped to the characters even when it is not in your hands.
To expunge the 'Shantaram' effect, Aravind Adiga's 'Last Man in Tower' is being read. I hope that it fulfills the expectations.
By the grace of India TV (which apparently is the only news channel I watch), there is a junk food promoting Nirmal Baba who claims that eating Papdi Chaat will solve all the problems in life. Perhaps, Anna Hazare should stop fasting, and hog up some Samosas, Chhole-Bhature, Ragda-Patties, Dhokla et al to get his version of Lokpal Bill passed. Whatever may be the outcome, but I am very much sure that this approach would lead to a happier India. The media will get enough to talk about a belching social activist - high on Indian junk food. Haldiram, Bikaji and the likes can sieze this opportunity to sponsor these events. People like us will follow the fad and hog more junk food. Sales of Eno and Gelusil will soar up. Everyone will be at benefit.
Actually, Nirmal Baba does talk sense. When a spoonful of spicy Bhel Puri tantalizes your tongue, what would you ask from your life at that moment -
Wealth, Power and Fame?
Another generous spoonful of that spicy Bhel Puri?
Life at work is funny. I asked a colleague, do you like being here? He replied - yes, its a Paradise. I took it otherwise. I asked if he was being sarcastic. He replied there is no place for sarcasm in The Paradise.
It seems that his Paradise is not my Paradise, since I find sarcasm everywhere. Perhaps, my Paradise is yet to be discovered. A 'Paradise-Alignment' Workshop should help.
Few days back I attended a meeting at work. A gentleman connected his laptop with the projector. His desktop grandly projected the following files and folders:
· Matrimonial Proposals
· Citibank Loan documents
· Kerala train schedule.docx
· Tamil Calendar_2012.xls
· Kodai info.docx
It is highly evident from the list that this gentleman has seemed to find his Paradise. At work, he looks for marriage alliances and completes his home loan formalities. He frequently plans travel to Kerala to find his would-be bride. He keeps a handy calendar to fix a tentative date for the wedding. In the long term, he is planning to visit Kodaikanal for his honeymoon. He has balanced his work and life.
He needs no Nirmal Baba, or does he?