Wednesday, October 16, 2013

the most eyes on earth

Excerpt from the book Second Suns by David Oliver Relin

It may be possible that the Nepalese have the world's most striking eyes; it is also likely that Nepal contains the most eyes, per-capita, of any country on earthy. There are the third eyes, or tikkas, that peer out from so many Hindu foreheads. There are the eyes framed by the carved wooden windows of Kathmandu, surveilling all that passes below them in the capital's crowded streets. There are the eyes that stare out of the headlamps of transport vehicles, painted there by drivers hoping for the foresight to avoid a collision. There are the all-seeing eyes of Buddha, gazing mindfully from the flat surfaces of stupas, mani stones, and monasteries where they've been painted. And there are commercial versions of these eyes, embroidered on the T-shirts, sweaters, and handbags marketed to tourists, who yearn to preserve a fragment of the visions they've experienced, to capture and carry them home. 

Absolutely. These were the same thoughts that came to me when I visited Nepal. I was walking around in the streets of Thamel in Kathmandu and I could see eyes everywhere; I was hiking around in the hills of everest region and I could see eyes everywhere; every monastery I visited or every temple or a village I visited, I could see eyes and only eyes everywhere. 

It is amazing what these two doctors - Dr. Sanduk Ruit and Dr. Geoff Tabin are doing in Nepal. Restoring sight of many who do not have access to good quality eye care (in some case not even aware of such things existed) free of cost is the greatest of all the deeds I have ever seen. To me personally, what is the point of not having eyes in the most beautiful country in the world? and those deserved souls are getting their vision back because of these doctors and their greater Himalayan Cataract Project

More power to them.


93 and 89

Few weeks ago, I was asked to take half-a-day workshop for the new batch of MBA students in the same college that transformed my life nine years ago. I readily agreed and volunteered to speak about the topic of my interest ~ 'passion'. It was a very nostalgic experience for me to visit the same classroom and interact with the students and share some perspectives with them. While browsing a bit on the web and preparing myself for the class, I came across a video and thought it would give a perfect closure for my talk. I watched the video 5 or 6 times before I played it in the class and every time I watched the video, it gave me a very unusual adrenaline rush. It is about Fred Becky, 89 year young boy climbing the Dolomites. The only reason for him to climb, he says, "because I've never climbed Dolomites".

And today I came across one more video and was absolutely bowled over by the same. It is about Jack English, 93 year young boy, a violin bow maker living in a remote cabin of Big Sur, California. The reason he moved into the wilderness he says, "I love this kind of life".

and there will be many pick ourselves and move on!


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

In Praise of Idleness by Bertrand Russell

Thanks to HN, I get to read some amazing stuff always. I often used to think that world is moving at a faster rate than required and there is no pause in the process anywhere. People are working continuously without breaks, making more money (whether they are happy or not) without giving themselves some time to be idle. Idleness is simply not acceptable in this modern society and we all think that being idle is a bad thing to happen. 

Here is an interesting read that make us learn how important it is to have idle time in our lives. It is a long read but worth every word. Here are some interesting excerpts that makes us think:

…This is the morality of the Slave State, applied in circumstances totally unlike those in which it arose. No wonder the result has been disastrous. Let us take an illustration. Suppose that, at a given moment, a certain number of people are engaged in the manufacture of pins. They make as many pins as the world needs, working (say) eight hours a day. Someone makes an invention by which the same number of men can make twice as many pins: pins are already so cheap that hardly any more will be bought at a lower price. In a sensible world, everybody concerned in the manufacturing of pins would take to working four hours instead of eight, and everything else would go on as before. But in the actual world this would be thought demoralizing. The men still work eight hours, there are too many pins, some employers go bankrupt, and half the men previously concerned in making pins are thrown out of work. There is, in the end, just as much leisure as on the other plan, but half the men are totally idle while half are still overworked. In this way, it is insured that the unavoidable leisure shall cause misery all round instead of being a universal source of happiness. Can anything more insane be imagined?

…Why Idle time is necessary?

In the past, there was a small leisure class and a larger working class. The leisure class enjoyed advantages for which there was no basis in social justice; this necessarily made it oppressive, limited its sympathies, and caused it to invent theories by which to justify its privileges. These facts greatly diminished its excellence, but in spite of this drawback it contributed nearly the whole of what we call civilization. It cultivated the arts and discovered the sciences; it wrote the books, invented the philosophies, and refined social relations. Even the liberation of the oppressed has usually been inaugurated from above. Without the leisure class, mankind would never have emerged from barbarism.


Thursday, October 3, 2013

An appetite for wonder

One of those books I bought just for the impressive book title :)