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Consulting.Philosophy.Travel

  • There are three types of people in the world, those who don't know what's happening, those who wonder what's happening and those on the streets that make things happen.

Posts Tagged ‘literature’

MIA, Haridwar, a great book and a thought…

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on November 25, 2012

If there is one word that describes November for me, it is WORK. I haven’t been able to develop a work life balance but am determined to do so in the coming days. I so miss reading your wonderful posts and yearn for the intellectual fodder I derive from your thoughts and views.

Having accepted a new consulting assignment, I have moved to Haridwar, one of the holiest cities in India. It is here that the river Ganga says goodbye to the Himalayas and begins its journey down the great plains of Northern India. The place is steeped in religious fervor and spirituality. People say that coming to Haridwar is a calling, and I agree. I do feel that this calling could not have come at a more apt point in my life, a transitional phase that is churning materialistic and spiritual thoughts in my mind and molding a new me. This process could not have culminated in a better place than by the banks of the holy river Ganga. There is indeed a reason behind everything.

And while I’ve been spending a lot of time at work, I have also been reading a wonderful book. “Almost Perfect” by John Childress is one of the best books I have read. John’s writing is a beautiful combination of fiction, factual history and profound philosophy. It is a page turner and I highly recommend it.

And in conclusion, I’d like to leave you with this thought. The truth about Life is simple. Really. And the best way to recognize something simple is to adopt simplicity.

As always, comments welcomed.

Posted in Philosophy, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 14 Comments »

A Beautiful Short Story: The Appointment in Samarra

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on September 23, 2012

This story appeared as an epigraph for the novel, “Appointment in Samarra” by John O’Hara. It is W. Somerset Maugham’s retelling of an old story. First, here’s an interesting historical fact about the meaning of Samarra. Medieval Islamic writers believed that the name “Samarra” is derived from the Arabic phrase “Sarra man ra’a”, which translates to “A joy for all who see”. Later when the city declined the name changed to “Sa’a man ra’a”, which translates to “A sadness for all who see”. Eventually the two names merged to its current form Samarra. (credit : Wikipedia)

The Appointment in Samarra

“A merchant in Baghdad sends his servant to the marketplace for provisions. Shortly, the servant comes home white and trembling and tells him that in the marketplace he was jostled by a woman, whom he recognized as Death, and she made a threatening gesture. Borrowing the merchant’s horse, he flees at top speed to Samarra, a distance of about 75 miles, where he believes Death will not find him. The merchant then goes to the marketplace and finds Death, and asks why she made the threatening gesture. She replies, “That was not a threatening gesture, it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Baghdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.”

A beautiful tale from a magical and mystical land. Alas, what have we done to Mesopotamia!

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Free Download Coupon Code for my new Ebook

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on September 2, 2012

I must admit. This ebook comes totally out of schedule and was not planned until yesterday. A friend of mine who teaches at a local village school asked me if I could put together seven of my posts that she had selected in the form of an ebook. She wanted the essays in a compiled manner to facilitate discussing them in a Debate club that she conducts at the school. So I spent a whole day putting together an ebook for her and her students, yes it took me a whole day because I edited a lot of the posts with thoughts that had come up since they were published.

And since I put in a day’s work into producing this, I decided to share it with you all as well. The ebook is published on Smashwords and as always, for readers of this blog it is free 🙂 (for a week at least).

Just follow the following steps to grab your free copy.

1) Go to the books page here

2) Enter the Code EZ47H prior to checkout to get your free copy.

I have edited the essays to incorporate thoughts that have developed from subsequent discussions with readers of the posts. Some of the posts are from a while back and you may enjoy reading them. I look forward to your harsh critique 🙂 Please bear with the editing if you find any glitches. I continuously work on correcting any oversights.

Posted in News | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

The Key To Happiness…The Most Inspiring Poem Ever!

Posted by Raunak Mahajan on July 27, 2012

English: Rudyard Kipling

English: Rudyard Kipling (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This great work has always lifted my spirits whenever I’ve been down. My blog would be incomplete without a post dedicated to this beautiful poem. In one short work Rudyard Kipling summarizes the answers to questions that have dogged our philosophical and spiritual pursuits for centuries. And all this in plain simple language that we all can relate to. Read every line of this epiphany multiple times and realize the joy that it instils in you. “IF” by Rudyard Kipling:

 

 

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

 

Posted in Philosophy | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

 
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