Ye mere sapne; yahi to hain apne; mujhse juda na honge, inke ye saaye

Originally posted on 08 Jan 2011 :

In six months time, I will be seventy years old. That is the age specified for human beings in the bible; ‘three scores and ten’ (with a bonus of a decade for those who are strong).

I have a confession to make. I do not yet know what I want or need. Like most mortals, I seek more money, either as pension or as  return on my ‘investments’ and like most other friends, I do not know what I will do with the additional money, if and when I get it!

Now here is what I specifically wish to say in this mail. As a student of economics, I know that the prices of essential commodities have risen to dizzy heights in India. It is now easier to buy a flat in New York than  in Mumbai. And gold, which has been the standard trading commodity has shot through the roof!

But for those who are willing to look at some other figures, I have the following to say:

When I was a child, a gramophone record was the preserve of the richest Indians. Our father was a great music lover, and he could afford no more than ten 78 rpm records. And we played them sparingly, because the discs wore out every time you played a song. On my computer, I now have more than 10,000 songs, and I can view the scene along without paying a penny. But I take that for granted. Cameras were not just expensive; they were not available, because they were smuggled. And therefore very few people had access to them. As late as 1980, a color roll had to be sent to England for processing, and a print was so expensive that only the richest amongst us could afford it. Today, every cell phone has a MOVIE camera, and it can be played ‘online’ and sent to friends all over the globe. I am beginning to come to the conclusion, that we seem to want to have things which others do not have. Actually we want our DREAMS to come true. And when we reach a particular level in our fantasies,we raise the bar. The process is infinite and never ending. Nearly 2,300 years ago, Siddhartha Gautam whom the world knows as the Buddha discovered that ‘desire’ is the bane of human suffering. I followed his teaching and decided to reign in my desires.

Lo and behold! I have just discovered that this itself is a desire which I need to discipline!!!

I am back at square one. And I seek your help.


For the moment, I find that some of the lyricists of Hindi film songs have been able to put across my cravings very appropriately. Given below is a link to a clip which says it all. I like the line

Hai meethi uljhan; bairi apna man

   apna hi hoke sahe darad paraaye!”




    Very appropriate message. In our upanishads and granths, our elders have called it “duniya ka chakar” and “maya jaal”. We all are trapped in it. Only the wise ones, the great gurus and rishis like Gautam Budh managed to escape.

  2. Brigadier PT Gangadharan says:

    1.I do not have enough vocabulary to aptly reply your philosophical mail.We have been really enjoying these,though I do not follow much of Urdu.Some people believe that the Army means “brawn ” and brain is the preserve of civil fraternity.They cannot accept the fact that we too are ordinary human beings with all the senses functional.
    2.The psalmist says, the life is 70 or 80 yrs,but the same Bible also lays down the life span as 120 yrs.Good human beings like you must live long,as you carry our values in every thought and actions of yours.As in psalm 91/16 “,with long life shall I satisfy him and show him my salvation!”;we wish you a long life!.
    3.More than desire “temptation” is the mother of all evils in the society.If a person can resist temptation ,the desire will automatically die down.Jesus Christ while teaching his disciples as to how to pray,said the same.”Lead us not into temptation,but deliver us from the evil ones”.
    4.We came naked and we go back naked,( Geetha & Bible),and therefore let us live the day as it comes,with no compromise on our basic values.If one looks below ,he will automatically find his desires fulfilled.

  3. Billoo Brar says:

    The life is beautiful. With the grace of God we almost have every thing what we require or desired for. There is never any end of desires. The greed has no limit. The Ambani brothers are still fighting amongst themselves even when they are the richest people in India. So our requirement is not only money but the selfcontentment. And this contentment is an individual achievement, a totally self made feeling.
    Once you have a reasonable amout of wealth, one must just relax. This relaxation doesn’t mean that u loose complete interest in day to day happenings of life. you should work here or there, what ever you can or what ever you like to do. These days you still sit on your computer for atleast six hours a day. You donot sit there to earn some money. you sit there mainly because you enjoy it. No? That is good enough. While doing so if u do some planning of some of your investments here and there, it is perfectly alright. If our Manmohan Singh at an age of 76 years can run our country of more than a billion people, what stops us at, say 70, to take a lota and go for sanyas.

    So now the time has come that you just have a relaxed life. Enjoy the life as such, do the things you like the most, help those who wants your help / assistance, be close to your friends or relations. What else one can hope for from life? We all should enjoy what ever we have achieved in our life so for.

    Best of luck. Be happy and cheerful always. We all love u a lot.

    Cheeeeeeeeers………………………….God bless.

  4. Vijay Manchanda says:

    What a beautiful expression on the gist of LIFE ! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Kumar Kohli says:


    Happy Two Eleven!

    From the womb of time,

    Emerges anothermanmade

    New Year

    We want to be happy,

    As towards our ends wenear,

    That’s an irony,

    None can see,

    But as we approach

    The door of eternity,

    We seek solace comfortand dignity,

    That we leave behind alegacy

    Of brotherhood,




    Hoping in future

    There’ll be lessercorruption,

    In the hands of youth,

    Yet to seed aplantation

    Of human beings,

    We did seed,

    As someone had usknown,

    As their progeny,

    We pass on the same

    To a generation,

    Whom we hope in deeperveneration,

    Shall seed better tomorrows?

    And let joys surpass

    All yesterdays andtoday’s sorrows,

    As we live on borrowedtime,

    Some come early andpass away,

    Tomorrow we shan’talso stay.

    So till then let meonce again,

    Wish my brethren

    A Happier Two Eleven.

    Colls glory is as everbefore,

    Be not mistaken,

    Love of humanity now,

    Than then, is muchmore

    As ever, ever before


  6. J.S. Oberoi says:

    Nice to be in touch with you again. You seem to be in a reflective mood – as I sometimes remember you in 509 ABW.

    I am reminded of a line in Shelley’s “Ode to a Skylark”

    “We look before and after and pine for what is not”

    The rest of the poetry is of course not relevant to the present context.

    More soon and I hope we can be in touch.

    Gita & I like to play 9 holes of golf in the mornings – sometimes at Chandimandir and other times at Panchkula Golf Course.

    We have taken possession of a cute little apartment here while the Delhi house has been put on rental – God knows what the future has in store for us – till then it is “one day at a time, sweet Jesus, – that is all I am asking from you”.

    Happy New Year and may the warmth of friends be with you forever.

  7. Gen. B.K. Bhatia says:

    Somebody had said:

    “Desire is the root of evil,
    It smothers hard the soul.
    Its only when desire is dead
    That you can reach your goal.”

    And the Goal is to ‘Elevate the spirit to a higher level of consciousness’.

    God bless you with many more years of life & contribution to the society. Happy New Year.

  8. Maj Gen P Vig says:

    Beautifully put across

    what a lovely thought

    very close to my heart

    my desires I have ever fought;

    Life has been a bliss

    what I didn’t get I didn’t miss

    I enjoyed every day as my last

    in my thoughts, am ever engrossed;

    Thanks for your beautiful thought

    it has tickled in me yet another plot

    for a poem in my next book, not in prose

    from an innocuous mail, a them just arose

    (Composed on line while replying to your beautiful thought)

  9. Col(Retd) M B Jauhari says:

    Nice to know that you are happy, healthy, rich and about to hit 70. I do
    not know your finances but I call you rich as you have and earn more than
    what you need and presumably you will continue to earn more than
    your(your) needs irrespective of the length of your life.

    I am much younger, pushing 58, but due to some grand design of Lord in my
    life, I am in similar shoes as you and hence easily identify with most of
    mails on this subject.I have also been married to the same lady for over
    32 years. Very often I am tempted to share my views but wonder that they
    shouldnt be taken amiss and I lose a well wisher.

    My both sons (No offence ment to wife)are well educated and well
    settled.Both are suitably married.They both stay away from us.Elder in
    Mumbai and younger in Hyderabad.Elder one is working for nearly 8 years
    and younger nearly 5 years. I superannuated from the Army and got a well
    paying job which I still retain.Children dont ask me money probably
    because the earn more than me, though I am not sure as it may also be due
    to their knowledge about their parents life in the past.

    I do not know what I want because the Lord definitely gave me more than
    what I deserve and almost more than what I desire.

    Now slowly I am trying to compile a list of what I want (without really
    noticing it till now). These are Health for self wife and the four
    children.Some good friends to share my thoughts & good and bad times and a
    comfortable house to live in. A good car to move in. Income to sustain
    present luxurious life. When I pass away I should be fondly remembered.
    Now everything I already have and the last one I would never know.

    Coming to essence, I want continued happiness for the rest of my life. My
    present activity does nothing in this direction. I do not know why I am
    working so I resigned last month but the Company thought I want more
    money(I never mentioned money) so they raised my salary by 35% and gave me
    an asst. My happiness is so fragile that It can go away even if a boy hits
    a dog with a pebble or some comment about me which I find unfavourable or
    if some hoodlums rape a call centre employee.

    So presently I think the best course is to thank the Lord for everything
    and prey to him to give me the strength to accept things and events which
    unfold in future (No matter what they would be) with a calm mind.

    Please correct me if my thinking is going heywire .Sir, Being my senior it
    is your duty too.

    Wish you and Mrs Surjit a very happy and healty New Year.

    Thanks and regards

    Col(Retd) M B Jauhari

  10. Nirmal Mahajan says:

    very well written
    enjoyed reading it.

  11. Sriram Jayasimha says:

    like your conundrum of desire for the lack of desire, thus negating the purpose. There are similar paradoxes, for example “this statement is not true”. Modern mathematics tells us that no system is entirely complete – there will be hypotheses that cannot be established one way or the other (through grammar or logic). Presumably, our ancient forefathers knew this – youngsters revelled in learning logic, or Samkhya, while some more mature men knew that “real” knowledge was beyond logic.

    How than do we live? Perhaps the Bhagvatha Gita tells to do our duty with commitment, yet remain dispassionate about outcomes. Surely, this is a statement outside logic, but yet we “logically” (or perhaps ethically or aesthetically) believe in its greatness. So too is verse that puts this more pithily.

  12. Maurice Abel says:

    My personal take on this matter, is that desire is not the problem, but what we desire is the problem.

    Even the US concept of the ‘pursuit of happiness’ is really a false goal. I have concluded that ‘ the pursuit of righteousness and truth’ leads to true happiness and fulfilment.

    What constitutes ‘righteousness’ is probably clear to us; what ‘constitutes ‘truth’ may be uncertain, but perhaps we may learn about truth on the path to righteousness.

    I wish you a Happy New year


    Maurice Abel

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