बात


बात सिर्फ इतनी है, कि बात कुछ भी नहीं।

बस यही बात है, जो मुसीबत की जड़ है।

इसी बात में, गौण हो रहे जज़्बात।

मालूम नहीं कैसे, बिगड़ जाते हालात।

बात सिर्फ इतनी है, कि बात कुछ भी नहीं।

हमारी सब सुने, पर हम किसी की नहीं।

अहंकार में लिप्त हुई, इंसान की सोच।

अपनापन हमदर्दी छोड़, हो रहे सब मदहोश।

बात सिर्फ इतनी है, कि बात कुछ भी नहीं।

कहते हैं जिसे इंसान, पर वो इंसान नहीं।

मानव निर्मित हथियार और मिसाइल ने,

सिर्फ मानव को ही मारा।

कितने घर किए बर्बाद, और कितनों को उजाड़ा।

इस कदर बार बार, मानवता को ही मारा।

हमने मिसाइल तो बनाया, पर “मिसाल” कब बनेंगे?

इस अंधे दौड़ से, बाहर कब निकलेंगे?

बात सिर्फ इतनी है, कि बात कुछ भी नहीं।

मैं ही सिर्फ सत्य हूं, और बाकी कुछ नहीं।

असल सत्य जो है वो “मैं” नहीं,

और “मैं” जो है वो सत्य नहीं।

यही बात है जो समझनी है।

बात सिर्फ इतनी है, कि बात कुछ भी नहीं।

बात सिर्फ इतनी है, कि बात कुछ भी नहीं।

Ashish Kumar

Earn and earned…


Reluctant to accept fault.

One is not perfect by default.

Ignoring the truth aside.

Seems one has achieved pride.

Fake sense of sensing proud.

Surrounded by…

Opening mouth, always loud.

Reject everything of relevance.

Taking unnecessary vengeance.

Disrespect all and want respect in return.

One can get awe but no “respect” in return.

As…

Respect and blessings are earned with humble attitude.

Curse is earned with insolent attitude.

Curse is earned with insolent attitude.

Stop and think…

What should I earn?

what have I earned?

Is it awe and curse?

Or…

Is it respect and blessings?

Ashish Kumar

Book Review – Man’s Search for Meaning – Dr Viktor E. Frankl


Life is a wonderful journey of ups and downs, happy and sad moments, good and bad experience etc. The meaning of life is found when one identifies his purpose which is of course, subjective. How to find that meaning? The classic book written by Dr Viktor E. Frankl gives the answer. This book provides a different way to life and has the power to change the perspective towards life. Before going to the review, it is important to understand the background of this book.

The Background: This book revolves around the three years’ experience of Viktor Frankl during World War II. During World War II, he had to spent three years in various concentration camps like Auschwitz, Dachau and other concentration camps. As the book says, it is the classic tribute to “hope” from the Holocaust. Holocaust was the genocide of Jews by Nazi Germany during World War II. Around six million Jews were murdered or killed by the Nazi Germany in the German occupied Europe during those years. Auschwitz camp was the dominant symbol of holocaust. As a holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl wrote memoirs of his experiences in this book. Surviving from the holocaust and developing the “logotherapy” technique, Viktor Frankl journey is commendable. The book contains a dedicated chapter on logotherapy.

In order to understand why the book is a tribute to “hope”, one can understand the experience of a man who spent three years in various concentration camps wherein death was common punishment for prisoners. There are several incidents mentioned in the book how people were carried to gas chambers and killed. Prisoners in concentration camps were having no hope whether they will see the outside world or not. This book is about survival and a man can survive when he had some reasons to survive. If there is no reason to survive, there is no reason for existence which creates what is known as “apathy”. Every prisoner suffered a lot, and these sufferings were the motives for many to commit suicides apart from normal killings. Suicides happened due to lack of hope.

It is important to note that this book was written in 9 successive days, as mentioned in the Preface.  

About the Author

Dr Viktor E. Frankl (1905-1997), born in Vienna (Austria) was the founder of logotherapy. He was the author, psychiatrist, neurologist and a holocaust survivor.  He was Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the University of Vienna Medical School. He was the founder of what has come to be called the Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy.

Viktor Frankl, PC: Google

He had written 32 books that have been translated into 26 languages. Man’s Search for Meaning is a classic book with millions of copies sold.

About the Book

He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how”. This quote from Nietzsche is mentioned several times in this book. The meaning is clear, one should know the “why” to live. That why comes when one knows the meaning and purpose of his life.

The great task for any person is to find meaning in his or her life, as stressed by the author in this book. The author describes poignantly the prisoners who gave up on life, who had lost all hope for a future and were inevitably the first to die. They died less from lack of food or medicine than from lack of hope, lack of something to live for. Author kept his hope alive, and that hope kept him alive.  

This book is an inside story of a concentration camp said by one of its survivors. The prisoners in concentration camp went through several atrocities and “one five-ounce piece of bread was their only food in four days”. The thought of suicide was entertained by nearly everyone, if only for a brief time. The readers might be surprised to know how prisoners committed suicides. They committed suicides through “run into the wire”. This was a phrase used in camp to describe the most popular method of suicide – touching the electrically barbed-wire fence. Ever wondered there can be most popular method of suicide? There was a time when prisoners did not fear death. Even gas chambers lost their horrors. The author had described these experiences of concentration camp.

The author had described the experiences in concentration camp in three phases, based on the inmate’s mental reactions to camp life. These three phases are: the period following admission, the period when he is well entrenched in camp routine, and the period following his release and liberation.  The last phase was only a dream till it happened. Hope was the force behind survival including the author. In one of the incidents, a prisoner was firm and hopeful that he will be free on 31st March and he did become free but through death. The author had described this incident how and what kept him alive till 31st March.

PC: Google

The book had a very important incidents when prisoners started to have “apathy” feeling, the blunting of the emotions and the feelings that one could not care any more.  This made them insensitive to daily and hourly beatings. The author calls this “apathy” feeling a very necessary protective shell for survival as it became the necessary mechanism of self-defense.

The author had brilliantly explained the meaning and the role of sufferings in life. Life is incomplete without sufferings. According to author, suffering is similar to behaviour of gas, which can be understood by the below extract from the book

It is possible to practice art of living in a concentration camp, although suffering is omnipresent.To draw an analogy: a man’s suffering is similar to the behaviour of gas. If a certain quantity of gas is pumped into an empty chamber, it will fill the chamber completely and evenly, no matter how big the chamber. Thus suffering completely fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little. Therefore the “size” of human suffering is absolutely relative.

Suffering is omnipresent and absolutely relative. It fills the human soul completely. If analysed and thought peacefully, it is true. The author had beautifully explained what is known as “provisional existence” which prisoners in concentration camp was having. Their existence was provisional as the sufferings had no end. A man who could not see the end of his “provisional existence” was not able to aim at an ultimate goal in life. This is the reason why a day in camp lasted longer than a week. The author sees such suffering in other way as such sufferings sometimes opens the gateway of opportunity to grow spiritually. This is the test of inner strength.

The author sees life in different perspective. What we expect from life does not matter, it matters what life expects from us. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfil the tasks which it constantly sets for us. This is really inspirational way to look towards life as life is not “vague”. Human life, under any circumstances, never ceases to have a meaning, and that this infinite meaning of life includes sufferings and dying, privation and death.

The book has such kind of eye-opening extracts which has the power to change the mind the perspective towards life. There is a dedicated chapter on logotherapy as well wherein the author who itself had developed this technique, had explained this concept in simple and understandable manner. Logotherapy focusses on meaning of human existence. This meaning is unique and specific and must be fulfilled by him alone. Man needs “something” for the sake to live or else it will be a “provisional existence”.

This book is an inspirational read. The journey of survivor from holocaust and finding the meaning of life is well described in the book. There are many who have always complains towards life because of the sufferings and obstacles they face. This book is a must read for them.

Lastly, I would like to conclude the review post by sharing a sentence from the book itself which is self explanatory.

Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death, human life cannot be complete.

After reading the review post, share your views and what you think is the “meaning” of life, in general.

Ashish Kumar

Raita…


Let us be chill and laugh. This post is a try to make you smile and laugh by using the famous phrases, Raitan failana and Raita sametna.

Raita is an Indian dish made of curd together with raw or cooked vegetables. The other form of Raita is boondi raita. It is also served with Biryani and sometimes consumed after lunch or dinner. Hold on, this post is not about preparation of raita but about when we use raita in our conversation. The popular Hindi saying, “Rait failana (Spreading raita)” and “Raita sametna (wind up raita)” are often used in the conversation. Those who aren’t aware of these phrases, let me give a small description.

Boondi Raita , PC: Google

Raita Failana: Raita failana is used when there is a mess created. This phrase is used to crate a mess in situations where things were going well.

Raita Sametna: This phrase is used to get back to the normal after raita is spread. This means when someone had created a mess (raita failana), the same is used to clean up the mess.

Let us look at the below incidents…

Raita Failana

Mr X was invited by his friend, Mr Y, for dinner. Mr X and was welcomed by his friend. He had dinner and Mr Y asked him to taste Raita as well. Mr X was shocked, and he asked, you want me to eat Raita? Mr Y responded, Yes. Mr X reiterated his question and Mr Y gave the same answer. The moment was becoming little but serious as Mr X tone was not normal. After some time, Mr X said, Maine to suna hai ki Raita failaya jata hai aur tum mujhe Raita khane ko bol rahe ho (I have heard that Raita is spread, and you are asking me to eat). Everyone present was laughing after Mr X responded. Mr Y gave a look to his friend and said, Maine to tumhe Raita khane ko bola tha aur tumen Raita faila diya (I offered you to eat Raita and you ended up spreading the same). Everyone was laughing with their conversation of Raita… 😊 😛

Raita Sametna

Mr X and Mr Y were colleagues and good friends. Both were working in the same company and in the same project. Mr Y was given a task which he didn’t liked as it was not the kind of work, he considered he should be doing. Hence, he was not serious about it. He was working but not with his interest and potential. The deadline was near, and his manager called for a review meeting to discuss the status. Mr Y was unable to give justification of the work which he had done so far, and his manager understood that he had created a mess. The manager called Mr X and asked him to take over that work from Mr Y and complete the same in stipulated timeframe. Mr X agreed and started working on it and he understood that a mess has been created and he must be very cautious. It will be a time-consuming task, but he was confident to do the same. He was working late in the office and used to come early. One evening, Mr Y asked him, how is the work going on. Mr X said, he had to do a lot as the work Mr Y did was a mess. Mr Y was smiling and asked him this is the reason he is working late. Mr X said, han tumne Raita failaya hai main ab use samet raha hun (Yes, you spread the Riata and now I am winding up the same). 😊 Mr Y laughed and so do Mr X and other colleagues sit nearby.

This is Raita which is consumed as a dish and used in several conversations. Often parents also use this raita failana when their child creates a mess in house. The above incidents are relatable, and one may have experienced or observed the same.

After reading the post, try to laugh or smile and recall those incidents wherein you spread the raita or you have to wind up the raita spread by others… 😊 Stay safe, stay healthy and stay happy.

Ashish Kumar