Last week three major religions of the world had three major festivals -

Hindus celebrated Dashera - Festival of Dashera concludes the festival of Navaratri, and the holy day also commemorates the triumph of good over evil

Jews celebrated Yom Kippur - also known as the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year for religious Jews. Its central themes are atonement and repentance

Muslims celebrated Id-ul -Fitr - it signifies the end of Ramadan - the islamic holy month of fasting -Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity", while Fiáš­r means "to break fast"; and so the holiday symbolizes the breaking of the fasting period.

Now to me this is very ironic and raises a lot of questions -
1) How come all religions have overlapping "holy" days?
2) Why is this month a month of fasting and repentance?
3) All the religions are basically trying to achieve HIM by their different actions of religions indulgences - why then this great divide between You and Me - Your Faith and Mine - Your God vs Mine

Some questions always remain as questions and it is upon US to choose to celebrate and enjoy these differences or bicker about them.

I for myself enjoy all the festivals and have been lucky to have friends in many different faiths and religions - I believe in celebrating LIFE AS A WHOLE and savor all its varieties.

The title of the post and the thoughts that made me write the above note -

ONE is a song that is playing in the background performed by U2 - the biggest rock group in the world currently - and Bono its lead singer has been a proponent of various non profit awareness programs and a strong voice against many injustices around the world.

The band is actively involved in improving human rights around the world with organizations such as Make Poverty History, Live 8 and Bono’s DATA campaign

Last week I was able to see them perform at U2 360 Concert at Giants Stadium - New Jersey. It was a spectacular event - with a crowd of 82000 plus - singing, chanting and simply being ONE with music the most powerful weapon in the world. (no wonder Apple and its I tunes sold more than a billion song some time back).

I am unable to portray my experience in words - I have been listening to them since my high school days and finally was thrilled to see them live.

Here are some pictures and also a link to You Tube - some videos that I posted.

Here is the link to the videos - You Tube Ceedyreflections

Don't forget we all are ONE in spite of our differences.



Some experiments with the camera to capture the shades light and life.

Tanhai - Loneliness

Antar aatma - Subconcious
(this is a pic of the shower - liked the interplay of light and shadow - its there but not there)

Jeevan Ke Pehlu - Moments of Life

Boondein - Droplets


Driving Mr. Gandhi

No this is not a plagiarist post on a Morgan Freeman's 1989 movie Driving Miss Daisy - although Bollywood's influence does make me Copy and Paste something but I will resist.

This happened last week when I was driving through New York City - driving there is akin to driving in any big city - it is a reality show of survival of the fittest having patience and endurance. New York has tons of bad drivers and they have no choice but to drive badly because if you are nice and let someone pass or too careful you will never reach anywhere.

The so called "bad" drivers are the cab drivers and sadly enough more than 75% of New York cab drivers are Desis. They have been portrayed in Movies like Aa aab Laut Chale and also portrayed in American serials like Ranjit in How I Met Your Mother.

The word Desi encompasses all the people from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and it is a secular word and does not discriminate against sex, orientation, religion or color. Thus

Hindu Muslim Sikh Isaahi
Sabko Milkar Kahe
Mere Desi Bhai

(Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christian originating from these countries fall under this category).

Now coming back to the main point of this post - these drivers drive as if - colloquially speaking - "unke baap ka raasta hai" (the road belongs to their fathers). So they swerve, cut, overtake, tailgate, come close to your car and still smile the Desi Smile as if "sab chaanga hai - tussi fikar na karo yaara" (everything is fine - dont worry)

So as I told you before - as I was driving an idea struck me - well the mind is free when you eally enjoy something but more about that later.

What if this Desi Taxi Cabbie was to Drive Mr. Mahatma Gandhi across New York City. What advice would Mr. Gandhi teach/share to make the cabbie proud.
(did I not tell you bollywood is a big influence in my life - If Munnabhai got influenced by this Khadi Clad Demi God - "main kis khet ki mooli hoon" (I am not someone special not to get influenced)

So assuming what Mahatma Gandhi would have preached read ahead -

He has his Three Monkeys - See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Speak No Evil - based on that he probably will tell the cabbie - just keep driving - see no cars around, hear no honks and don't utter a word about it.

Or like his other quote - An eye for an eye will make the world go blind - sadda desi will take it literally - an brake for another cabbie braking will make NY go crowded - so simply keep driving.

Also our Desi cabbies are from Democratic countries so they surely will take this one literally too
"If we want to cultivate a true spirit of democracy we cannot afford to be intolerant. Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause."
Thus all the cabbies are tolerant towards each other and beleive in not betraying their sole cause - Drive Bad - Make People Mad - And Feel Glad.

This reminded me of another great Freedom Fighter - Bal Gangadhar Tilak who proclaimed- Swaraj is my birthright and I shall Have It - this again my Desi Cabbies have taken it literally - they will argue with you -If you have a freedom to complain and moan - then I should have my Freedom to drive like a maniac - its the democratic principle - or like the American Constitution's First Amendment that infringes on anyone right to do what he/she deems right.

I could go on and on so just a last thought to end this post as I said before my mind is free as I do enjoy driving in the city. It feels like home sweet home - just like in Aamchi Mumbai.

Thanks Mr. Gandhi for your invaluable lessons - it has helped me enjoy Driving Badly with my fellow Desis as put aptly in his own words - "Suffering cheerfully endured, ceases to be suffering and is transmuted into an ineffable joy."

Here are Gandhijis Three Monkeys - courtesy Google Image Search