Wednesday, April 30, 2014

No-Nonsense Chayaisms-Reading..Religion


Books gave me the idea there was life beyond my poor Mississippi home – Oprah. And we all know where she has reached! Even our homes, through the famed Oprah Winfrey show. Reading is the best habit one can cultivate as you are never lonely when you have a book in your hand. Books were my best companions when I grew up with my grandparents in Mysore. My school library had the best collection of ‘Noddy’ series which I devoured everyday and later graduated to the classics. My love for reading motivated me to do my Post graduation in English Literature and later, became a Lecturer, to teach what I enjoyed reading. The best gift I got was a Dictionary when I was ten years old and I would always carry it with me so I could look up words I did not understand. I remember a scene in Cleopatra when she vents her anger on Julius Caesar after she is told that the Library in Alexandria has been burned down by his troops. Her angry tirade against the act is the most moving tribute to books. It is important to choose the right kind of reading materials to get maximum benefit of the time spent on it. A good book is one that entertains, informs and educates. If it does all three, it is a great work. My advice to every man, woman and child-read. Make books a DEAR habit (Drop Everything And Read).

You may give tangible wealth untold; Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be – I had a mother who read to me.

Every time you fill  a form, you are expected to fill the column, ‘religion’ and I am tempted to write ‘human’. The biggest human divide in today’s technology driven world, is religion. What was supposed to bring people together is tearing them apart and the sad part is that no one really understands the meaning of religion. I will go for this definition-any strongly held system of beliefs. This makes it a personal philosophy rather than a collective group ideology. I like what the Chinese believe-that religion is the relationship between Man and Nature and one person and another. If that is so, love, camaraderie and brotherhood should be everybody’s religion. Who or what one worships is not important as every human being has the right to his religion or belief. That means he has to respect the others right to the same. The tragedy of the world is that religion in its bigoted definition has crept into politics, education and even sports. It is the ‘opiate of the masses’ and also the power hungry.