Saturday, March 12, 2011

Monday, November 3, 2008

I endorse....

So, in the seemingly charged political arena that is soon to come to an end, we have had many prominent politicians and public figures endorsing their favorite candidates. So,while folks are offering their political endorsements, I figured that in the enduring debate as to who offers a better operating system (Macs vs Windows), I would like to my endorsement at this time. I endorse Ubuntu

Seriously, I was always interested but intimidated by the Linux system thinking that you have to be computer literate (with regards to programming, not checking email and surfing), however, a couple of months ago, my computer was crashing and my friend turned me on to Ubuntu - a completely free operating system. In of itself, that is no big deal (except if you are using a bootlegged windows or have to pay $400 for a new version), but it is the excitement of being part of this whole new world that is charming. Not only, is the ubuntu operating system worked on (mostly voluntary, I presume) using contributions from all over the place, there is a whole slew of software that is also made available for free that you can just download of the internet.
Well, there is actually a lot more I can say about this, but I will desist.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Nose picking music

I'd like to clarify that I do like blue grass music. I love the rhythm of it, the folksiness of it; and I love the banjo. Interestingly, I found out that the banjo has it's roots in Africa and the African American diaspora. My first intro to bluegrass was at the Telluride bluegrass festival, CO in the early ninetees. It was a pretty magical experience. I am not sure if it is just nostalgia for a time gone past, including the fact that I was single and free, not a care in the world; the intoxication of youth. Anyways, it felt like a magical time then, it still feels so now. One of the performers I saw there was Bela Fleck (and the flecktones) a wonderful Banjo player who I hear may be recording with Karnam.
I enjoy bluegrass and so did Gopi.
Anyways, one day a couple of months ago, Gopal, Vrinda and I were driving in Burlington, MA listening to the radio and some bluegrass music was on. Gopala, I think it was, asked if it was bluegrass music playing, i said yes. He said , "Oh! Then pick your nose". So, naturally, while Vrinda and he proceeded to pick their nose to the rhythm of the song, I asked him who had told him so and he replied "Maia"(his and Vrinda's way of adressing their mother). Needless to say I was touched by the experience - hearing him share what his mother had told him (and his sister) and them sharing it with me so soon after her passing away. After Gopi's passing away, I was interested in being able to relate to her loss in a natural way - accept the reality of it and cherish the wonderful times. This incident revealed to me that it could be done.  So, everythime since, when we hear some bluegrass music we smile at each other and pick our noses to the rhythm. Yes, the key is to pick to the rhythm. (For those interested in this sacred tradition: You can use the same finger for both hands or do a simultaneous double picking. i recommend using the pinky. Yeah, Sri Krishna can lift Govardhan hill with his pinky with the ease with which i pick my nose to bluegrass with my pinky.)

Monday, September 1, 2008


So, Gopala, Vrinda and I are continuing our sojourn in this world. Towards the end of June, we came to California to visit my sister's. I have a couple of sisters who live in the Bay area, south of San Francisco. They both have sons about Gopala's age. We have been staying with my sister Meena and her family. It has been really good for the kids and I to be here.
While we have been here we went to the Ratha Yatras in San Francisco and LA and met with many of the local devotees including expat NV devotees, Bhim and Jen, Indra and KD.
While things have been going on, life has been progressing in a sort of vacuum from my (our) loss. My internal state is like a minefield - from afar things look fine, but at any moment I can step on something that triggers intense feelings of separation and pain.
There is a really nice congregation of devotees here in San Jose; a wonderful community of very sincere vaishnavas headed by Vaisesika das, a senior Prabhupada disciple who is quite an inspiration. Gauranga Kishore (another NV expat) lives at the temple in San Jose and it has been really wonderful to have his association. Also, Ananta Govinda (another NVite) lives in the area with his wife.
The only thing that I can think of in relation to my loss is that we need to treasure our time with each other in this ephemeral world - learn to live and care for each other and try to make some significant progress in our internal journey home.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

the pain lingers

It has been such a short while since my dear wife left this world. Ever since her passing, I have kept myself busy. Even though there was pain and sadness from not having her around, we had the funeral/cremation, a wonderful visit to New Vrindavan and Gita Nagari, a short visit to Vraj (in PA) and then we returned "home", a place where we have been since october last. However, coming back here has had its intense moments. After all, it is Gopilila's parent's home, a house where she spent some of her formative years (her folks have lived here for 30 years), a home where "we" spent about 7 months as a family, and a home where she left her body. Yes, there are memories floating around.
I want to thank everyone who has stayed up with the blog - silent or not. Really, it is your well wishes and prayers for my departed wife and "remaining" family that I crave. However, words of support and encouragement are like icing on the cake. My request is that if anyone has some memories of her - fond or not - that they share them. I would like to collect them so that if the kids want to know something about her, in the future, they can read some remembrances of her. You can either write them here, or if you want you can email them to me.
So, the house here is filled with memories. Also, there are a lot of her crafts around too. Gopilila went to the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) for about three years and then did a semester in France, too. There are a few of her ceramics - vases and bowls - and paintings around the house. Also, she was a knitter. She made a few teddy bears in the last months - she gave one to her mother and each of her children. Seeing some of her work around the house are a combination of sweetness and pain.
Yes, I am hankering from the separation of a mortal body in a mortal world. It makes me reflect on the hankering of the goswamis from separation with Sri Krishna. I feel my pain and sadness deep in my heart; I sometines feel that it must be like a minute particle of goswamis separation from the Lord.
I am hoping that the passing days, time, will help heal my sadness. I am hopeful that I will slowly see her departure with joy - that she is free from the encumbrances of this body that was causing her so much pain, that she is in a better place, better situated to serve the Lord and His associates, and that she has progressed further on her path back home.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Gopilila's time in this body has ended...

Dear devotees and friends,
As you may know Gopilila left this world Tuesday, may 6, 2008 at about8.15 pm. By Sri Krishna's arrangement there were several devotees chanting for her and we built it to a crescendo with a nice kirtan. We chanted for her till about midnight, when the funeral home came and picked her up Before they took her body away, a few of the devotees bathed her and dressed her in a nice sari, decorated her body with tilak and we had a kirtan till the body was taken away.
Her cremation is on Friday, May 9th at 10 am. Please try and remember her at this hour wherever you are...
thank you for all the prayers and support.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

the final stretch...?

so, we got the results of Gopi's scan a few days ago. The word is that the pill (Tarceva) that she was on for the last couple of months has not worked. Contrary, to what was understood based on the xrays, the more comprehensice CT scan revealed that the cancer has continued to grow in her left lung, has moved into her right lung, lymps and adrenals.So, the doctors have stopped her treatment. They think that she has about a month.