Let us presuppose that there is a magic spell or a secret formula which offers a sure-fire way of getting whatever one wants. Keep it in the darkest cave in the remotest corner of the world, away from prying eyes and evil clutches of the black-faced villains who emerge from time to time in history and are hell-bent on subjugating all of humanity in the name of some religion, ideology, or the other. Yet, more blood would be spilt in man’s attempt to spirit away the closely-guarded secret than in all the wars which have been fought in history. Nor would any price be considered too big to own the formula. Show me a man (or woman) who would not be interested in learning the secret and I shall show you a singularly enticing gorgon whom every eligible bachelor in the world would be enamored of to the extent of wanting to share his life with and be proud of taking home to his mother. Such is the lure of the forbidden fruit! There is, therefore, not much merit in keeping the formula a complete, foolproof secret. Just keep it in the open in the glare of full public view where everyone would see it and yet nobody would recognize it for what it is. Just trust man for being too myopic to recognize the simple truth!

    Wants and Wanting

    Wants are primarily the basic requirements of every man, like food, clothes, and shelter. And, then, there are additional wants such as education, career, position and name in the society, family, friends etc. The list of man’s wants cannot really be too long to warrant a cursory dismissal as the work of a greedy person, as self-restraint, tempered by modesty, would be the guiding principle in the preparation of such a list.

    Wanting, Limitless

    On the contrary, there is practically no limit to human greed and avarice which constitute the motivating factor for someone, anyone, for wanting more and more.  More and more of more and more things. For instance, but for greed and avarice, why would one want a fleet of limousines in the place of one car which would serve one’s purpose nicely? The skyline of every city in the world is dotted with posh up market restaurants, frequented by the super rich and glitterati who spend like there is no tomorrow. The money spent on wining and dining in such places in one go would be much more than the collective annual budgets of scores of poverty-stricken families in many parts of the world. And what is this obsession with owning islands, yachts and properties all over the world? Wait, there is really something more to it than greed and avarice.

    One Upmanship

    With his basic wants assured, man becomes increasingly conscious of having arrived in the society; and the need to keep up with the Jones becomes overwhelming. If a good lady celebrity who is the toast of the town were to attend two successive social events in the same costume or accessories, no matter how out-of-the-world, she would be hounded out by the paparazzi and written off by the fashion police! So, a wardrobeful of clothes, to be periodically replenished, is not only a need or necessity for a star or celebrity but also considered as something cool and a done thing! The idea is to keep ahead of the pack. Simply put, one upmanship is the name of the game!

    Rat race

    Man is in race with himself, not knowing where he is headed and before he realizes the futility of it all, the game is over. All the tricks of the trade, cheating, deceit and back-stabbings, meticulously put to good use for making vast sums of money and creating evil empires, go up in a smoke in a puff! When tragedy strikes the individual, the rest of the world continues to gorge itself on generous helpings of creature comforts and dollops of luxurious life with the same ferocious gluttonous appetite as before and does not pause to reflect or hold hands with the one who has reached the end of the road. “Tut! Tut! How sad!” is all that is spared by the society for its once-privileged member that has fallen by the wayside. After all, the show must go on and it is hardly any more than a show which one puts up, in normal circumstances, for winning worthless words of praise and meaningless accolades.

    The long and short of it is that, while one could win battles in life, there is no winning the war.

    So, what does one do? Make peace with life. What else?

    What Happens when You Get

    If one gets whatever he wants, what would be the consequences like? Disastrous, to say the least. For with such a source of unbridled power, one would set in motion a series of karmic deeds, each of which could separately spell trouble, and collectively doom, for the one who unleashes the genie, and for the entire world and humanity. It is, therefore, imperative that a person is suitably anointed for inheriting such a powerful gift as the secret. So, make the secret, conditional to ensure that only the deserving ones could use it

    Getting What One Wants

    We had thus far proceeded with the presumption that there is a magic spell or secret formula in existence for getting whatever one wants. It is indeed as true obvious as mother’s love that getting what one wants is possible, all the time, every time. Only, there is no magic or secret shrouding the ‘how’. It is all out there in the open, if only you could see and recognize it!

    Dynamics of Wanting

    When someone wants something, the wanting is caused by a desire to have it. Desires are neither deep-rooted nor grounded in reality. Desires are but fleeting impulses of a very transient and ephemeral nature, the birth place of which is the mind. Thoughts give birth to desires. You look at a thing, hear or read about it, which, in turn, makes you think about it. When the thing you think about appeals to your imagination and sensory perceptions, you want the thing, and then the thought takes hold of your mind, giving rise to a desire. The thought and desire take phantom shapes that give you sleepless nights. The more you think about the thing you want, the stronger the growth of the desire. The stronger the desire, the more the temptation. The easiest option available while dealing with a temptation is to give in. Who hasn’t ever said, “I can say no to anything but temptation,” making it sound like a joke but meaning every word!

    If it is foolish to succumb to a temptation, it is futile to blindly fight or resist it. Such a course of action which envisages suppression of temptation which is a double-edged sword is counter-productive and could cause severe trauma or mental anguish. There is no resisting or overcoming temptation by an untrained mind. The best thing to do for a layperson without an untrained mind in these circumstances is to avoid situations which give rise to temptations, altogether, like by not chartering into unexplored or treacherous waters.

    Stop Thoughts

    If you could think straight and right and become capable of seeing things for their real worth, you would hardly be dismayed or despair over the vicissitudes of life. Now, how do you think straight and right? As a thumb rule, thoughts do not travel in a straight line or by the shortest route as the crow flies, from one issue to another, which demand your attention. They meander through the endless labyrinths of mind, in several totally uncalled for and irresponsible jaunts in the shortest of short spells which only human mind could conceive, having scant regard for the seriousness of the situation at hand, before latching onto the next subject matter. Even, after doing so, thoughts do not remain focused on one issue and keep at their wayward and erratic behavior of wandering about. A single thought is thus collectively hijacked by a million totally unrelated others. It is the flippant and fickle nature of the mind which is responsible for such a reckless behavior of thoughts. Thoughts come and go in their millions at undeterminable, dizzying speeds while mind stoically stays put in its place.

    Mind over Matter

    “The mind is everything. What you think, you become,” said Buddha. If you succeed in training your mind to host clean and pure thoughts, you could avoid negative, gloomy and wicked thoughts, and become the repository of all that is good and pristine as God intended. For God had made you in His image.

    Purity in Thought

    When you become worthy of pure thoughts, you become purity personified and are no more contaminated by the evils of the worldly ways. All that you want in such a sublime condition become yours. For the world is at your feet. A short story to illustrate the point. Prince Siddharth was living in a blissful marital state, in the lap of luxury before becoming Buddha. He renounced all the worldly comforts, like a duck would shrug water off its back, in pursuit of the truth of life. When he succeeded in his endeavor, he attained ‘Nirvana’ or enlightenment and became Buddha. During one of his sojourns to different places in what was once his Kingdom, he visited the capital city. His wife, who had been feeling neglected and pining for her husband, wanted to wean him back to lead once again a life together as in the good old days. Dressed in royal silks and finery and bedecked with dazzling jewellery, she went to Buddha and asked him what he saw. Evidently, she meant to win him over by the splendor of her beauty.

    Buddha, being his transformed self, cast one look at her and said: “Well, I see a bag made of skin, containing blood, bones, gore and human waste.” The good lady got the message, and went back without her husband, but with a totally different outlook on life. If one could see everything, like Buddha, for their real worth sans outward trappings and triflings, one may hope to become enlightened some day when nothing of this world matters anymore. Till the arrival of that day, fill your mind with pure thoughts and get your wants and wishes granted. For you would no more be a potentially demented, trigger happy person craving for power or the trappings of power, ready to nuke the world into oblivion! The irony is, when you get the absolute power which you had hankered after all your life, you don’t want to use it! Need one say more about minor wants and wishes?



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    Exhorted by well meaning officers to write copious despatches and sumptuous (euphemism for voluminous) reports, Kalpatraman seldom had time to read what he wrote during his 37 years of sojourn to exotic locales like Kyrgyzstan, Syria and Ukraine, idyllic and picture perfect places in Switzerland, culturally rich Bangladesh and the wild-yet-enriching UK, (besides a very rewarding time in Delhi), all in the service of the nation as a member of Indian Foreign Service. Nor did he expect his works of art to make it to the top of the charts of best sellers. That was all for later. And now is the later! Writing is a passion which he allows himself to indulge in, usually while taking a break from reading. What does he write about? Nothing or nobody is too big or too small nor any happening too sacrosanct or too insignificant to write about. Indian and international politics, philosophy and Spiritual matters, Poetry, and any topic which tickles the funny bone of or is likely to arouse the curiosity of the reader is what he considers grist for his writing. Sarcasm, lampooning and humour are his forte. Why don't you discover more of him yourself? Just read his works. That's all it takes. A word of caution, though. Be very prepared to be surprised!