Friday, 30 October 2009

My Home My Heart (painted poem)

With money you can buy houses, but money cannot buy for you a home. 

House is where the Home is;
Home is where the Heart is.
Squatters in Mumbai - fallout of Development in India
(Image: Shelter for the bus passengers / Shelter for the Displaced in Mumbai: Contradiction in Mumbai's Urban Design. 
Both togather symbolise India's Development Planning, and exposes its hypocrisy.)

Whenever I walk down-to-earth in Mumbai I notice 55 million people live in the slums and squatters, struggle for their daily bread.
It is their Daily Prayer in Action to Life. They aren't activist like the elite; they are actionist without duplicity, and without words.

It seems their number is daily rising defying the official statistics:
just like the rising national GDP of India;
just like rising Stock Exchange indexes in the money market;
just like rising numbers of skyscrapers rising higher and higher on Mumbai's skyline;
just like rising number of vacant blocks of houses awaiting higher returns of their investments.
It seems all these have lost their heart and home, both, in the money market, though the squaters on the street-side!

The reason to notice them is simple: Once I practiced as architect-planner; once I was a teacher; once I was landless teen age farm labourer; once I too was a displaced person. Only I had opportunity for formal education in time.
All these people have come from many regions of India. They come from the places wherever Mumbai has left its footprint. The rulers of India must not ignore this fact. The capitalist – Indian and foreigners – who have settled in Mumbai are capable enough to buy over all of them, but where they can get educated slaves why should they care?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
© Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

The Son of Soil

There is nothing like
to be in communion 
with soil, Bliss eternal like 
a savage – an aborigine, 
the son of soil. 

Alas! The son of man, 
not by will, astray gone 
belonging to civilization. 
My last wish, action - out and in, 
O, Soil, is to love you forever.

(This post is revised as some errors occurred inadvertently.)

Remigius de Souza
(Mumbai | 28-12-1999)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
© Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Anahad Naad is Primal Sound or Supreme Silence

 (This is a revised article; I have deleted the previous post.)

Anahad Naad” (in Indic languages),as far as I know and understand, means “Primal Sound” or “Supreme Silence” that is contained in “Srishti” – Nature. I suppose, all living beings are capable of hearing / listening the Primal sound. It seems to me that the potted plants on my terrace do hear / feel my compassionate or hostile thoughts.

One, however, particularly in modern urban habitat, may not hear the Primal Sound by the sense organs of ears. Even skins can feel the vibrations of sound. (I have tried to explore some of it “Senses and SenseAbility 5: Hearing” in my series of articles on Senses on this blog.)

I once read information about science that it has discovered ‘music in sand dunes’.
I am also informed that (traditional) Indian farmers say, "Water goes to sleep, and Water wakes up". Just information, such as this, does not help to listen or perceive "word" by land and water without being in tune with nature, though.

Artists, folk and classical artists, particularly musicians – vocalist and instrumentalists – who follow “Naad-Yoga” by riyaz – regular, rigorous practice – may have ability to listen / perceive Supreme Silence. And of course, the aborigine tribal, too, who live in the close proximity with the elements. The aborigine tribes (and animals) of Andaman Islands ran to safer higher grounds before the last tsunami reached the land; it is already a known “story”.

 Hearing by ears 

In today’s context: We, who are accustomed to hear by ears but sometimes fail to listen, become aware of Supreme Silence when volcanoes erupt and the earth tremors, by thunder storms and lightning, hurricanes and tsunami, when mountains rise and land is submerged. 
We become aware only when the weak, meek and silent people’s uprising in revolt causes mighty civilizations and powers vanish. Silence does not mean weakness.
I have heard that the complex letter or word “OM” has power of “Big Bang”, whoever may have had real experience; we don't question.

God may be a concept for some. However, Srisihti - Nature - is not a concept. All that one need to perceive Srishti - Nature is to follow “Srishtiyoga – Way of Nature” or the Communion with Nature.  

The photograph shows a Warli tribal sings while playing his string instrument. All tribal – men and women – dance and sing collectively and individually.


I add following quotes from “KATHA UPANISAD with Commentary of Sankaracarya”, Translated by Swami Gambhiranand (Publishers: Advaita Ashram, Mayavati, Himalayas).

Note 1: The word or letter or symbol - "OM"

“This letter (Om), indeed, is (the inferior) Brahman (Hiranyagarbha). And this … letter is (Om) the supreme Brahman. Anybody, who, (while) meditating on this letter, wants any of the two, to him comes that.” — Sloka: I.ii.16, p. 53. 

Sankaracarya comments “...For, of them both this letter (Om) is the symbol...” (p. 54).

Note 2: Five Elements and the Senses

Translator’s Note 1, which elaborates Five Elements, in reference to Sankaracarya’s Commentary, “...How is the thing to be known very subtle? That is being said: Now, then, this earth is gross, developed as it is by (the principle of) sound, touch, colour, taste, and smell; and it is an object of perception to all the senses. So also is the body...” (Sloka: I.iii.14, P.79-80).
“Earth is possessed of five qualities ? smell, taste, colour, touch, and sound; water consists four qualities beginning from taste; fire of the next three; air of the next two; and space of the last one. It is difficult to translate the word akasa. Vedantasutra defines it as the element that provides space and sound as its quality” (Note 1, p.80).
(I am neither a scholar of Sanskrit, nor an authority on Scriptures of any religion including Christianity, nor on Spirituality. My series on “Senses and Sense-Ability” refers to a living on gross level. However, where does the Element "akash" (usually called space) dwell in the body? How do we attend the sense of hearing, besides other senses? How do we hear the so-called "Inner Voice", if we ever hear?)

Please do write if anyone knows or feels otherwise about “Anahad Naad”.
© Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.

Friday, 16 October 2009

The Planet in balance

Isn’t it better while speaking on personal, collective and institutional matters to keep it on objective level instead of getting sentimental? Institutions occupy major part of our personal and collective life in space and time. It is often noticed people bring in personalities in the matters of institutions rather than looking at the issues in the larger context of ground realities of people, land and waters.

This is not healthy either for an individual or the collective for holistic growth; growth on all the planes – "Work, Leisure, Heath, Education and Propagation";  growth in quality not in quantity as is in industrial mass production, whereby to have firm roots in self-sustenance and self-reliance. Institution is a faceless entity, an instrument which needs overhauling, servicing and even replacement.

Look at the family! It is an ancient institution, which is not a faceless entity alike the institutions established by civilised societies. Family, therefore, also community, appears in other species as well as among humans. Family is breaking up in modern times: orphans, the destitute women – widows – the aged, the singles, and the single parents. It is inevitable fallout of industrial society. What is the point in shedding tears on the dead and the dead matter?

If industrial society needs babies science and technology can help. It could go for cloning, while annihilating, through several means and for several reasons, millions of humans and other species. One of the reasons is endless consumption (and waste) for profit and power. Until recent times there have been intellectual clones (or zombies? Or morons?), earning their daily bread by discourses.

Now, physical clones are started, beginning with plants and animals. Clones have neither pedigree nor posterity. If any sense(s) – sensuality – that is characteristic of ‘natural’ beings is still left in them, then any clone could mate with another clone at fancy, like picking up ready-to-eat-food packets at departmental store or supermarket. No side effects, no after-effects! As and when felt the clones will produce more clones also at labs.

They (the clones) also will die faster than ‘natural’ humans like the broilers born in incubator, if not by killing each other, either for ‘fun’ or ‘revenge’;
Come rising temperature, green house effect, depleting ozone, melting glaciers... either by industrial society, or by Acts of gods; 
And even if the intellectual hominid continue to profess the Future, to make their dough for the day; 
Or even if human species vanish like other species in the Past:
The Planet, without remorse, remains in Balance.

Remigius de Souza    
 © Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Cow Dung for Sustenance in India


 Cow Dung for Sustenance in India

The cow dung (organic manure) helped  us to help grow food in farms and kitchen garden, to cook our food (energy), and helped us to protect our mud houses; thus helped us to sustain (ecology). We used cow dung wash on the floors and walls. Even the ashes from “Chulha” – cooking hearth made out of mud and finished with cow dung wash – were used in the farms to rejuvenate the soil.

And finally the used cow dung in all its forms as a waste went back to the earth.
All the actions predominantly used human energy, besides animal energy, which is abundant in the Third World India. The governments, though, may not acknowledge while craving for fossil fuel and atomic energy sources. Indeed it explains how cow has been sacred to Indic People for millennia.

There is much interest in “cow dung” worldwide, which is welcome sign in view of “carbon tax”. However, the western attitude to recycling cow dung is to use mega industry, mass scale production, centralization... that are basically harmful to very concept of sustainability. (Deceases due to nuclear-electromagnetic radiation,  mad cow disease, Bird flu, Swine-flu etc. HIV-Aids, apart: Some of them travel by airplane.) On the contrary, the “processing” cow dung in India is decentralized at a household level. This, of course, is a matter of lifestyle! How helpless!!

Inevitably the industrial society goes for mass production, be it cattle, pork, meat or poultry for food, or education, or leisure... that leads to centralisation of power. To save environment – energy – ecology the invent machinery that destroys the very purpose of such intention.

Could modern science and technology replicate this cyclic process, by learning from the people, rather than exploiting the Nature, even after so much of their so-called advancement? Could, at least, any economist verify the cost, price, value and benefit of cow dung in terms of Energy-Ecology-Environment at micro-meso-macro levels?   At least I am not aware of any, neither at home or abroad.

Read more on cow dung and its relevance to Life and living:       
1. Clay–Cow dung Grain Silos of Saurashtra, Gujarat
2. Cow dung, Rice and Amartya Sen (a critique): Challenges of 21st Century
3. Collecting cow dung for Energy 3
4. Collecting cow dung for energy 2
5. Collecting cow dung for energy

Remigius d Souza
(18 June 2007)
© Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Mission Impossible!!

Remigius de Souza writes:

Things don’t happen by their own accord.
However we often tend to make this statement: “It happened.”
By our apathy or empathy, we too are the part to make the things, which we presume “they happen”.
But logic – rationale is a double edged weapon. Hence we don’t use it till it reaches its inevitable end. We leave it on its way once we reach a conclusion which seems convenient for us: “Things happen”, we say.
Because, by and by, the other edge of the weapon starts hurting us too; we give up logic.

I watch a Hollywood / Bollywood movie that shows cheap love in plenty and violence – mass destruction in plenty, either by design or default. It is produced at a heavy monetary cost ? a mass destruction of the Earth’s resources, which are actually the privilege of all the living beings of the Earth. The movies are destroying the resources by burning the currencies available (or borrowed) at hand. There are produced in hundreds for mass consumption to provide cheap and passive entertainment, hardly for any creative ends, except to make profit (losses). I resent it, yet continue to watch them.

I don’t look at my logic squarely, because it is about to show my cheap desire to buy most uneconomical but most degraded form of entertainment, even at personal cost of my physical, mental and economic resources. It’s only because I have currency (hard-earned or borrowed) at my hand. I don’t want to look for other creative options of healthy leisure! Mission Impossible!!
- - - - -

Remigius de Souza

© Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.