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The Sound of Mukundhan

thesoundofmukundhan

IN some ways we are all the same. We all have the same human nature. We share a common humanity.We all have human bodies and human minds, we all have human thoughts and human feelings. Yet in other ways we are all completely different and unique. No two people are truly alike. No two people can ever have the same experience of life, the same perspective, the same mind.Personality is about our different ways of being human, How we are all variations on the same themes. How the human nature we all share manifests in different styles of thinking, feeling and acting. 

Welcome to “The Sound” , the place where you can hear the inner sounds of different personalities.Today on the sound we are going to interact with  my brilliant friend Mukundhan Kidambi.

About Mukundhan Kidambi

Mukundhan is a Ph.D. candidate in Strategic Management  in Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode. He is an Electrical Engineer by qualification and has work experience in the field of Competitive Intelligence, Patenting and Intellectual Property Asset Management. His interests are eclectic and range the vast expanse of philosophy, religion, linguistics, political economy, cricket, classical music and Indian cultural history. A polyglot, Mukundhan is spiritual, religious and a regular contributor to articles on Srivaishnavism through his blogs. He is on the perennial lookout for a career that is intellectually-stimulating and this criterion has been the guiding principle behind most of the professional choices he had made thus far in his life. He is honest, opinionated, judgemental and while not particularly creative, the soundness of his observations on works of creation is usually appreciated by his friends for its objectivity. He is self-driven, sets lofty goals for himself and is determined to leave a mark in his chosen professional space.

Lets start hearing the sound of his personality

What will be the answer when you look into the mirror and ask yourselves “Who am i?” 

There are two aspects to this question – one the obvious and the other, philosophical. Based on this, I can visualize myself as possessing two personalities– one experiential and the other existential, with the experiential personality dominating my self-concept and self-perception most of the time. My experiential personality is that of an ordinary middle-class Indian citizen, the nondescript who people come across on a daily basis but are too busy to care about. As much as I appreciate and aspire for people’s attention, I am more of a person who likes to slip into a recluse lifestyle and give a lot of time for myself. Unwilling to run the race everyone is busy running, I prefer to take a step back in life to stand and stare and to inquire into the way things are. I am what the present generation would term as ‘nerdy’, ‘organized’, ‘reticent’, ‘unsocial’ and as someone incapable of having (their definition of) fun. My existential or philosophical personality extends beyond what I visualize as me. I possess a body, but I am not the body, which is the seat of misery and is essentially a product of my previous deeds. I possess an appellation, but it just serves a marker to differentiate me from similar-looking others. I am not a representative of the religion, caste, or the social group I was born into– for these are illusions that try to pin me down to something I am not. I see myself as subtle and atomic, manifesting as knowledge, as without a beginning and an end, as indestructible, as non-mutable, as being pervasive within certain bounds, as being illuminated, as being the seat of happiness, as limited and powerless, but as a maker of my own destiny

What is your antidote when Motivation and Focus Dwindle?

I have been through a few situations where I have felt an absolute lack of motivation to pursue anything. I hate being in that state, and whenever I have lapsed into such a state, which is a rarity these days, I have resolved to work my way out of it as soon as possible. Before undertaking an activity, I try to evaluate, based on my own current and past experiences, and with the best knowledge of my interests, to invest my time and dedication only to those tasks that I will love doing. However, I may not be always blessed with the freedom to make such choices in life. So, in those cases where I don’t have a choice, I try to motivate myself on a dynamic basis by breaking the task into a set of achievable milestones and set realistic targets/timelines to achieve them. This reductionist approach helps me to generate further motivation by achieving individual milestones. There can also be tasks I cannot relate to at all; the tasks where, despite my best efforts to push myself, I will not able to dedicate my heart and soul (and subsequently my efforts) to performing them. In such cases, I turn inward; trying to rationalize with my Self, tending to look at my own existence philosophically, and trying to decipher the significance of the task with the purpose of my existence. In the process, I try to work out an explanation that becomes acceptable to me as to why the task has to be performed and then push myself to do it.

How do you respond to someone who has hurt you?

I have this tendency to take things personally which is independent of who hurts me. If it were my parents, close relatives/friends or the people whose relationships I value, I will let them know right away that I was hurt. That helps my quick return to normalcy. On certain occasions, I might wait for an opportune moment to let them know that their actions/words did not go down well with me. If the person is a total stranger, I would be surprised but will most likely brush the experience aside and move on. If it was an acquaintance that hurt me, I would probably lament about this to a close friend or a relative, discuss the happenings that led to this outcome, and try and console myself and get over the feeling.

According to you, what is true happiness ?

I strongly believe in the Vedantic statement that any kind of happiness experienced in this world is going to be temporal. Accordingly, my definition of happiness would be that which is experienced by permanently arresting the cycle of births and deaths and booking a permanent place in the otherworld. However, this requires spiritual maturity and a great deal of dispassion to all things temporal and worldly, which I am nowhere close to achieving. So happiness, according to me, lies in achieving bouts of this idealized state– as in expressing my humanity in assisting a fellow being, in envisioning the Divinity that remains inside me and acts as a Witness to my Self, understanding my true nature and living my life in a manner that reflects/reinforces this nature. In short, I see true happiness by indulging myself in activities that will make my Creator happy.

What are your biggest fears in life?

With no ability to fend for myself, I am greatly in anticipation of the Lord’s grace in the journey of my Self-Realization. Considering the kind of sins I keep committing in word, deed and thought on a regular basis, I am not building a strong case for myself to be a recipient of the Lord’s grace. So my biggest fears are centred around my inability to be disciplined in contemplation of the Supreme, which is solely due to the conditioning of material existence that my soul has achieved across several of its previous births.

What is real beauty according to you?

Anything that stays true to its nature, keeps its originality intact, has its unique identity, is aesthetic and exudes a positive vibration can be said to possess real beauty.

What is your favourite quote and why?

MK-Quote This quote makes it clear that God controls even the seemingly trivial activity of a sparrow’s death.  Things happen as per his ordainment. What is important for us is to be aware of his hand behind every such activity in this world (including that of ours) and be prepared to live by his instructions.

Is there a god? How do you respond to someone who says opposite to your view?

I am a firm believer in God, and I see Him as the material, instrumental and efficient cause of this universe. The universe, in all its magnificence, could not have just resulted from a group of indivisible atoms combining with each other in certain predefined proportions. Behind every successful creation of Man, we see that there is a need, a will and a desire to create. Thus, creating a world presupposes volition and a desire to put those atoms together to achieve an effect. Such volition and desire is incapable of being present in the insentient atoms themselves. So it has to be that of a Creator.I generally avoid arguing with atheists. I reserve my generous empathy for such people who are sure to be doomed. The true atheists lived generations ago in India, who, relying solely on the strength of their logical arguments, tried to bring the foundations of the theistic religions down. However, the pioneers of Vedantic Hinduism have rubbished the atheistic positions as untenable on purely logical terms and have paved the way for the proliferation of religious thoughts in our country. The modern day atheists are uninformed, ignorant and ceremonious adopters of atheism who are nowhere close to being in the same league of the ancient logicians. Such hollow people are simply not worth my time. However, since the question wants my potential response to such people, I will go ahead and answer it.In principle, the existence of God cannot be denied by logic, something that an atheist/Science banks heavily upon. To prove the non-existence of something, you have to admit the entity in the first place so that its existence can be disproved. That is, to disprove the existence of God, one has to, at least in principle, agree that there is an entity called God to whom the characteristic of “non-existence” can be attached. This would ultimately make His existence real as an entity, and the non-existence would only indicate his unmanifest state. So to try and prove the non-existence of God is a futile exercise which is going to take one nowhere.

Do you think  we are controlled by fate?

I don’t believe in fate. I think we create our own destiny through the assumed independence of our actions. I opine that classifying a happening/experience as resulting from fate is an issue of perception. To acknowledge the existence of fate is to discredit the existence of a God. Once we understand our true nature, the nature of God and His intentions, we’ll have a better idea of our own experiences and learn to put things in the right perspective.

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Enough of serious questions, Lets explore your lighter side  🙂

What are your 3 most favorite TV series?

I have given up on all TV in the last two years. Back then, it used to be Natural World (BBC), Lollu Sabha (Vijay TV) and the Big Bang Theory (CBS).

What are your 3 most favorite movies of all time?

Ha! These are tough ones to pick. I’ll go with Indian (1996), The Shawshank Redemption (1994) and Guru (2007).

What is your favorite all time dialogue and from which movie?

Enna Kodumai Saravanan Idhu!” from Chandramukhi.

mk-quote1

What is your favourite song and lyric?

I can make an endless list of songs from the times of Kannadasan to Na. Muthukumar. One of my all time favourite songs is Aagaya Vennilave (Arangetra Velai). A recent favourite lyric would be Na. Muthukumar’s Paravaiyae Engu Irukkirai (Thamizh M.A.).

 

What is your favourite mass punch dialogue from Indian movies?

Mannippu, thamizh la enakku pidikkaadha orey vaarthai” by the “Leader of Revolutionaries”, the “Future American President”, Dr. Captain. Vijayakanth in the film Ramana. vijayakanth-punch

What is your favourite book and why you like reading it?

It has to be The Bhagavad Gita, without a second thought. I judge a book’s utility by how it shapes the character of a person, i.e. how it builds the Man in you. The Bhagavad Gita is a panacea; it has all the answers one is seeking in life. It is a compendium of the highest thoughts people have thought in this country. It represents the legacy of India as the epicentre of spiritual knowledge in the ancient world. Personally, when my concentration wavers, when I feel restless, when I feel down or when I feel absolutely helpless and destitute, I read this masterpiece. It provides my mind a sense of calm and helps me retain my inner peace.

What is your favourite mythological character and why?

It has to be Krishna. The Sovereign Supreme, the Master of the Worlds, the Omnipresent and the Omniscient, the one who the Vedas try to reveal but fail in their efforts and the one who is beyond the reach of the austere sages, came down to this very world of ours, lived amidst us, stole butter, allowed Himself to be punished for his various childhood pranks and above all, preached to us the Science of Salvation. Has there been a more accessible God?

Have you ever played a prank on some one or some one has to you. Describe it?

I have played many pranks on my friends. One incident that comes to mind was when I encouraged a friend of mine to go forward and propose to his crush by deliberately misinterpreting the friendly gaffes they exchanged with each other. My friend ended up doing it and came back heartbroken in rejection.

What is the one thing which you will do when you hear the whole world is going to get destroyed in 10 min minutes and we are all going to die?

I will quickly go and grab a bar of Temptations chocolate (Rum & Raisin) and a Cornetto Icecream.

And finally, your thoughts on “The Sound”?

The sound of silence is never mellifluous to the ears. I don’t think a thoughtless mind can take one closer to God. ‘Emptiness’ is a concept furthered by the Buddhists who don’t believe in the existence of God. A mind emptied of worldly thoughts becomes a fertile ground for the cultivation of God-Consciousness. It has to be filled with knowledge about God and the knowledge about our relationship with Him. Only such a mind can envision and experience God, not an empty one.

Now be a good boy and take a selfie and send it to us?

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Thanks Mukundhan Kidambi for your patience and your friendship :). Ladies and Gentlemen we have reached the end of the this interview of THE SOUND.

Until next time, Take care and Let your goodness show you your light 🙂

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