The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, September 24, 2000

Living in virtual unreality

THIS refers to the article "Virtual unreality" by Aradhika Sekhon, (September 3,) in which the writer has enumerated the pitfalls that we encounter while surfing the net and feeling free to assume the false identities. Indeed it denies us the chance to know exactly whom we are dealing with and consequently a haze of uncertainty hangs between the people endeavouring to reach out to one another

Internet, because of all the conveniences it confers upon as, is indeed a wonderful thing, but the need of the hour is to remember that too much of every thing is bad and that moderation is the golden rule. Children must be encouraged to concentrate upon making use of its beneficial facets for getting quick and enormous amount of information instead of wasting too much time in chatting.

Internet is fast becoming a way of life for more and more people, but we must use it in a constructive manner instead of wasting its great potentiality in playing futile games of hide and seek.



In search of happiness

Apropos of I.M. Soniís "Itís the journey, not the end" (September 10) Erich Formmn, the well-known psychologist aptly says: "Happiness is a child running through a field of flowers". There are three types of people around us: virtuous, vicious and those who are neither, just vacillating minds.

A man of virtue will never be unhappy even under humiliating, tortuous physical suffering so long as he remains wedded to his virtues. The vicious manís happiness is tenuous because it depends on his power, wealth and fame which he can lose any time. If we probe deep into the vicious manís life we shall find a core of discontent, fear and uneasiness. Vacillating minds should seek the company of the virtuous, read good literature and watch good serials and movies.



Bertrand Russell, the English philosopher, mathematician and essayist, who got a Nobel Prize in 1950, has said "The secret of happiness is this: let your interests be as wide as possible and let your reactions to the things and persons that interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile".

We are unhappy, not because someone is making us miserable, but because our heart has become so narrow that we want our own happiness, ignoring others. We cannot be happy, unless we learn to promote each otherís happiness, and to rejoice in the happiness of others. Some one has beautifully said "The magnet that brings success and happiness must be charged with a positive, optimistic and enthusiastic force".


Mughal Ramayana

Apropos of B.N. Goswamyís "Yet another Mughal Ramayana" (September 10), Akbar had inherited scholarly tastes and a love of books from his father. He kept a part of his library inside his harem, so that it might be accessible to him at all times. He did a great service by getting some of the prominent works of Sanskrit translated into Persain and thus tried to narrow the cultural gap between the two divergent creeds. The works were entrusted to scholars like Abul Fazl, Faizi, Badauni and Hazi Sarhindi. Abul Fazl is considered the greatest historian of the entire Mughal age. Akbar instituted a bureau of translation and engaged hard working men of letters to translate works from different languages.

Mahabharat, was translated under the supervision of Mir Ghiyas Uddin Ali. This translation was called Razm Namah. Bhagavadgita was entrusted to Faizi, the brother of Abul Fazl, who by his knowledge of Sanskrit, was most worthy of the job.

Atharveda was attempted by the learned Brahmin Shaikh Bhavan, who had embraced Islam. Later on it was transferred to Faizi and from him to Hazi Sirhindi, but the work remained incomplete due to various reasons.

Lilavati, a treatise on mathematics and astronomy interspersed with calculations of an astronomical nature appeared in a Persian version through the labours of Faizi.

Ayar-i-Danish, i.e. the world famous Panchtantra was translated afresh by Abul Fazl, a noted historian. Singhhashan Battisi was entrusted to Badauni. Badauni named this book Nama-i-Khirad Afza.

Nal-Daman was a commonplace tale of love told by rustic bards, but the genius of a poet like Faizi embellished it into remarkable piece of Indo-Persian literature. Kishan Dass prepared a Persian-Sanskrit Dictionary at the instance of Akbar. Akbar was indeed remarkable personality and rendered a useful service to the cause of Sanskrit.


A good omen

Apropos of "Snakes and the subconscious" by Vinaya Katoch Manhas (August 20), it is believed that if one is bitten by a hooded cobra in a dream, it implies that oneís wife has conceived! This dream is also considered a harbinger of good luck.


Building walls

I have read with great interest the article "Building walls, not bridges" by Taru Bahl (September 3). The talented personality of the retired civil servant profiled in the column, has been shown in an extremely poor light and has been held responsible for all the ills afflicting him. The selfishness of his wife, children, friends and colleagues and the shabby treatment meted out to him by them led him to the present sate of isolation.

As a matter of fact a good man has to assert and if he doesnít, he is taken for granted and is exploited. He suffered because of his failure to assert. In the present world, unscrupulousness has become a way of life and good persons, especially principled ones, are treated badly by the society at large and family, friends, colleagues and servants in particular.

The retired civil servant, could not bear to become a mute spectator to the follies of the less intelligent persons and thus invited their wrath.


Puppets everywhere

This refers to Hitesh Kaushalís write-up, "Puppets everywhere" (September 10). When we start out in life, we are almost totally supported by other people. But as time passes these supports have to be withdrawn and if we are unable to stand on our own, we will be as helpless as we were the day we were born. This is the process of learning to motivate ourselves.

Napoleon Hillís famous law of success states that, "What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve". So, we have it within ourselves to use the mind as a motivating force in dealing with our selves and those with whom we come into contact. All problems must be viewed as challenges. You will be successful if you use problems as opportunities to motivate yourself to find simple, productive solutions.


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