The Ganga and the Old Peepul Tree…

 In the beginning the river Ganges is so swift and fast that nothing much remains same on her way over a period. It carves its way out of the mountains and forests and reaches the sea to submerge. That is the way we begin our life too. In our childhood, we are full of energy and as we reach the end, we become sluggish and powerless.

The all powerful flowing river, Holy Ganges reached the edge of its journey, ready to merge with the eternal sea, and as the silt rises from all sides to block its path, an indestructible Peepul tree reaches out to hold her hands with a promise of a renewed life…

THE SONG
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The roots above sway
Leaves and branches flowing down
Life whispers soft hymns
A rustling inner
Silence flows; eternity
Stillness falls; being.

Beginning less end
An Endless beginning,
Seeds Nature, self of tree
O! Ganga, flow and
You are. Karmic barriers
Not being is fall
Wait! The endless drops
Your flowing
Nature, uplift
Friend, friend of being
And when you arrive
Eternity of silence,
Withdraw like tortoise
Close all the senses
Hold your mind on untouched breath
Calm eternity
The waves upon waves
Illusion flickering dreams
Desire, Anger storm
Destruction begins
Difference lies in the end
Flowing red bloodstreams
A deep sigh; calm mind
Strip desires to its dry bones
And the rotting flesh
Burning your passions,
Fire and ashes merge into
An Eternal peace
O! Ganga, Ocean
Will merge in your being
Om! Om! Echoes of peace
____
(From Songs of the Mist – Page 10)



THE STORY:
“The sluggish river, as it brings all the mud of its karma over the life lived, which inhibits its merging with the eternal sea. The silence is attained in the end, before another journey begins; the stillness of being at the precipice of another fall or rise, an endless beginning, where our nature itself is the seed for another tree or another river to burst forth. 
But the Holy Ganges is in doubts, to which it says, that flowing is your being, so flow over the karmic barriers that hinders your emergence into a different space, because if you don’t, then you don’t exist. 


So you see, son, it’s our duty to do what we are destined to do in life, and do it despite obstacles and doubts. It is our nature to be and do and it is our inner self that lifts us up after a fall as a friend does. Now when you cross the barriers, you must withdraw your ego, senses, and desires; to continue what you have been doing, surrender to the sea, withdrawing all that was there around you, within you as the tortoise does. Just be in the silence of being, and merge in the eternity that is around you. And the eternal sea will, wave upon wave, change your individual self into universal consciousness. 


Death is not the destruction of your body or the flowing stream, but the merging of your dreams, desires, sorrow, and anger into an eternal calm—a deep sigh that echoes an eternal calm of eternity. O Ganga! That is OM.” 

– The Monk in “Songs of the Mist” (Page 35)

HACKING YOUR WAY TO HAPPINESS

As we take tentative steps of living day to day, we forget to realise that without a sense of belongingness, kindness towards all that we have been blessed with and inner flowering of love, it just brings us closer to an end….

We carry the ego, the pride and the pleasures every day as we have not realised the freedom of unburdened living. In our thoughts, we are tied to the ground of small pleasures and achievements in cocoon of our minds, without realising that we have hidden  wings under the shell, ready to break free like a butterfly…. and see the beauty of life that is all around in our being…

But then we forget that flying alone is not the freedom, the colors of being but the essence of our soul lies in belonging… in flowers of love.

Because in the end, the reality lies in the nature of love rather than the logic of mind…

How to Become a Best Seller : Workshop

My Talk on Story Mirror Creativity Workshop III – Apparao Galleries, Chennai

The agenda of my talk was to get the aspiring author to understand what goes on behind making a best seller and how a budding writer can work on the ideas to get to the top. The agenda of my workshop was…

BASICS:


First things first , to make your book a best seller, the content is the king. Write a great story with beautiful language, flesh your characters with interesting matter and thoughts, you have a winner at your hands.
Second, as I keep repeating in my talks the powerful words of Milan Kundera, “Any work of art has to have a purpose of its Existence”. Your book has to have a purpose to suastain interest in the long term.
And finally the 3rd basic thing is to “Write the Damn Book” as Naresh Fernandes advised me some years back when I was looking for the way to publish my first book, “Songs of the Mist”. This is what the enthusiastic budding authors forget to do and waste precious amount of time in contemplating, thinking and finding the right / any publisher to publish the book.
MARKETING:

Find your champions: The best and the most powerful advise that I can give, in terms of marketing your book, is to find your champions, usually they consist of your friends, relatives and colleagues.
Create your champions: And equally powerful advise you should thing about , in the process of becoming a best seller, is to help others become a best seller. This way you will create your own champions.

APPROACH:


Keep the buzz going
Find New angles, Promote in new ways, Launch in new places
Workshops, Book Clubs, Training
Create a platform to share your thoughts, ideas and reach out to your readers
Write something that other’s can find use for e.g my post on Hindu Lit For Life is used as archive for the official Hindu Festival Page. Click here and click on the “Archive Blog” tab. Below is the case for IndiBlogger’s BNLF Curtain Raiser, which was used in their portal for their mega blogging event last year, Oct-Nov.
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In the end, here are some key points that you need not only to keep in mind but also actively pursue. Sharing also some of the pictures from the Story Mirror Creativity Workshop III. If you would like to attend the upcoming 4th Creativity Workshop, please register here

TAKE-AWAYS:

1. Advertisements on FB, Twitter and most of the social media’s do give ROI. Personal Emails do, personal interaction do. SO create an email List
2. Keep the interaction going on, help before asking for help
3. Celebrity Endorsements, High Value Influencers, High Profile Publisher’s don’t work in terms of ROI
4. Book Readers, Review Bloggers, Book reading communities work. Get on to them
5. The best turn around is your own website, blog or group is. So create each one of them and invest your time and effort on it.
6. Write the next book, get your book translated, publish Kindle versions of supplementary books
7. Create workshops, help in learning curve of your readers, provide value of your interaction
8. Solve a problem, provide support without any need of reciprocation, become an expert in your niche area
9. Focus on your area of expertise

Famous Hindu Cartoonist Keshav, Director Lingusamy and Director Brindha Sarathy from Tamil Film Industry
10. Get one blurb that counts, Get an introduction by some one of authority or expert in your area, ask for their help in spreading the word.
11. Utilise Amazon’s marketing tools

12. Finally, get your champions together, which will come from your family, friends and network.

TO ATTEND THE NEXT WORKSHOP ON 17TH DEC @ APPARAO GALLERIES – CHENNAI, PLEASE CLICK HERE AND CHECK THE ‘GOING‘ TAB

From ‘Songs of the Mist – Part II’

LOST IN EMPTINESS
_______________

Lost in Emptiness
Lost in Emptiness

Entangled, wet and submerged
In crashing waves, the ocean scent
The sea waves
Think, play, sifting sun and sand
Like the fingers of my hand
Pressed against the darkness
That was long time ago – a sunset
I sieve the destiny off my inner self
Trying to find, where I am going
In which fabric of cosmic design,
I color the threads
And reality dawns;

The whole life is nothing
Just a preparation of death.

Extricating my self
Off the foams that froth the listless beach
I got up and walked, leaving footprints
To fend for themselves.
I walked, and walked
All along the sea
Looking for the promised emptiness of light
Wondering all the way,
If it was also looking for me…?
Life in living is more of driftwood
Than a flowering plant
Knowing no roots
Belonging no one
Nowhere

Just
Lost in the emptiness

As memories lose their meaning
In becoming words, turning
My pain into poetic shell
A darkness to hide within
Where windows do crack open sometimes
To another darkness
Of knowing nothing else than questions
Don’t ask
Have nothing to say
Know nothing
Said nothing

Where you come from?
Where you are going?

Stay – Live – and be the Dead

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shashi@2013