Saturday, September 29, 2012 of illusions.....

Once, the great Sage, Narada, went to Lord Vishnu & asked, "My Lord, what is Maya?.....everyone in the universe seems to get entangled in the games of Maya ?? Please explain the secrets & nature of Maya".... Vishnu smiled at his favourite disciple & said, "The world is my cant be has to be I create it deliberately, so everyone understands through experience....moves beyond entanglement & realizes me". Narada looked mystified, the explanation not adequate enough, he implored.
Vishnu smiled, understanding his devotee's desire for more....he said, "Lets go for a walk"....both set out on foot & kept walking for long, enjoying nature, till they came to a desert. Curiosity getting better of him, Narada asked, " Where are we going my can I experience Maya in a desert ?".....Vishnu kept smiling as they walked. After walking a little longer, Lord Vishnu sat down under the shade of a tree & said, "I am tired & thirsty, my throat is parched.....can you get me some water to drink please ?"......" I shall rush & fetch some water right away my Lord....please wait & rest here", saying this Narada left in search.

After running around for a while in despair & concern, suddenly, he saw a small hut at a distance, & with hope, rushed towards the settlement. By the time he reached the hut & knocked at the door, he was himself out of breath, tired & exhausted. An exquisite looking, yet simple village belle opened the door, taking Narada completely by surprise. He somehow stammered, 'Can you give me some water to drink please...I am very thirsty...." In ancient Hindu tradition, a guest(Atithi) at the door is treated as God.... "Atithi Devo Bhava". The word Atithi means, someone who has come without any appointment......he could be God in he should be welcomed home & treated well.
The girl, true to the traditions, invited him inside & made him sit. She then, offered him drinking water along with some home made sweets. Narada, was overwhelmed. He was also mesmerized by her beauty & soft voice. Hungry as he was, he accepted the offerings gratefully & quenched his thirst & hunger. Tired & exhausted, Narada, then lied down to rest & fell asleep.....suddenly, he was nice it would be to settle down into matrimony with this beautiful girl....she is so well mannered, so cultured,.....I could settle down here itself, & raise a family.....what else can one ask for ???
Meanwhile, the girl's father returned home & saw a handsome young man resting in peace.....the daughter explained the chain of events. As a father, he naturally wanted his daughter married to an able person.....He looked at the young man resting in peace. Narada was a handsome looking, learned sage & therefore a very sought after groom. So when Narada woke up, the father of the girl, after exchanging pleasantries spoke about a possible alliance. He of course put a condition, that Narada, will have to stay with them here itself & raise his family. Narada, too was keen....he had been he consented immediately. All the three souls, the daughter, her father & Narada, were overjoyed. The very next day, Narada got married to the girl in proper rituals......he was over the moon with had suddenly become so wonderful.....from a wandering nomad to a blissfully settled family. He started building his world.....a home, a field to grow crops, riches, et all.
Life moved on, & in time Narada & his wife were blessed with two lovely sons. Both grew up to be very cultured & obedient, as Narada started becoming worldly successful....he had everything that he had desired, as years rolled by.
Suddenly, one evening, disaster struck in the shape of a cyclonic was raining very heavily & there was floods...water level started rising, as people around ran for shelter. Narada along with his wife & children, gathered whatever they could in a couple of bundles & stepped out of the home, which was already devastated......they got onto a boat, & Narada started to row furiously.....his mind focused of saving his family.....suddenly a huge wave came & swept away his younger son....all efforts to save were in vain, as the deluge of water took away the helpless the boat capsized, as the swirling waters was beyond control.....the bundle of riches washed away.....Narada, his wife & their elder son started swimming wildly, staying as close as possible.....but the son could not manage to hold any longer, as another huge wave devoured him....& finally his beloved wife too succumbed to the flooding waters....
Narada, was left alone, as he managed to swim to a safe land.....he was beyond grief.....he had lost his sons, his wife.......everything that he had built was gone....he started to weep, inconsolably....."how can I live without my loved ones?", he sobbed....

Suddenly someone nudged him lovingly......."Hey Narada, wake up....what happened ??.....where is my water....I am so thirsty?".....Narada opened his eyes & saw Lord Vishnu, smiling at him......"My Lord, I lost wife, my children, my could life be so cruel to me??? please get them back for me.....I cant live without them"...
Lord Vishnu smiled & said, " Wake up was all an illusion....a Maya !!!....there was were dreaming for a while. You were to go fetch water for me & then you fell asleep. Whatever you experienced, was all Maya !!!"
Realisation dawned on Narada......he touched the feet of Lord Vishnu in reverence......Narayan, Narayan !!!

We all are caught up in the entanglement of Maya in this world....all illusions.....we think we have created, we have accumulated, we have powers to control, when we cannot even control our thoughts.....the more we resist, the more it persists.....entangled in Maya brings misery......understanding it, helps redemption.....

T20 World Cup 2012 - a flash review

The Super Eights matches for the T20 World Cup 2012 have started off in whirlwind fashion, with each team having played out one match each.
While in Group A, hosts, Sri Lanka just about managed to pip over a fiesty New Zealand, via a Super Over in the opening game, the maverick Windies went past the English challenge in the next game. In Group B, Pakistan came out of the dumps to snatch a win from mighty South Africans, while India was demolished by a resurgent Australia.

Pakistan's win over Proteas was probably the only unexpected result in a rather predictable trend as of now.
Pakistan have always been a serious contender in cricket, especially in this format of the game. In this tournament, they boast of the arguably the best bowling attack in the grimy subcontinent conditions, but their batting seems to lack depth, at least on paper & current form. However, surprisingly, its their batting which has got them over the line this time around. From a precarious 76 for 7, chasing a modest 134 for victory, they bludgeoned a strong South African pace attack to win with just 2 balls to spare. In a tight group, like Group B, this win should prove extremely vital for their chances to make the semis grade. The unexpected batting blitzkrieg came from Umar Gul, who is better known as a bowler, & in company of Umar Akmal, at a time, when they were staring at  a certain defeat. The South Africans, probably eased a little too early & paid the price by losing the game & pushing themselves into a precarious position now.
India losing to Australia was something I had expected. Their batting looks very brittle with only Kohli in form, & against any disciplined attack they would struggle. Batting first, India grafted to a modest total of 140 & then succumbed to the Aussie opening duo of Warner & Watson, who beat the living daylights out of the Indian attack, adding 133 runs in a little over 13 overs.

In Group A, The Kiwis started rather well against the Lankan attack & managed a healthy par score of 174 for 7. Opener Nicol put up a brilliant 58 & Guptil chipped in with a useful 38 at the top of the order. In chase the Lankans looked well set for victory, with Dilshan batting superbly, but a stutter at the end, left them stranded, with scores level. Enter Super Over - & Lasith Malinga bowled to his potential, probably for the first time in the tournament to ease a Lankan victory. The Kiwis can take heart from their performance & with some luck & pluck might have caused an upset.
In the other match the Windies tore the English attack, with a century partnership at the top. Gayle got 58 while, Johnson Charles exploded to 84 after a slow start, as the mavericks put up 179 runs for 5 wickets. In reply, the English lost two wickets in the very first over & were clearly struggling. With imminent defeat staring, Eoin Morgan joined Alex Hales in the middle for the fourth wicket & put up 107 runs off just 58 balls, raising hopes of a improbable victory. But in the end, it was too uphill even for Morgan, who remained unbeaten at 71 off 36 deliveries. England, the current T20 World Cup holders, lack the depth in bowling or batting, to make any significant impact & I dont see them going to the semis.

For me its Sri Lanka & West Indies from Group A, who look good to reach the semifinals. In the other Group, its going to be a much closer contest, with each team having the potential & firepower to go through, though I dont see India doing too well.
However, its game cricket & that too T20, full of uncertainties, full of remarkable comebacks from death, full  of entertainment, full of blitz & glitz....
Look forward to some Gayle storm, De Villiers switch shot, Pollard onslaught, Bravo bravado, Warner / Watson wallop, Dilshan scoop, pristine Jayawardane, McCullum madness, Kohli aggression, Sehwag whiplash(if at all), in batting over the next few days. Also looking forward to some magical spin from Ajmal of Pakistan, Naraine of West Indies, Mendis of Sri Lanka, Ashwin & Bhajji from India, not to forget Steyn, Morkel, Cummins, Starc, Malinga in pace.

Its cricket mania......bring in on.....