Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Someone I respect a lot shared these thoughts with me yesterday. (A cousin who has come up the hard way and accomplished an awful lot in life). And I'd like to embed it out here so I don't forget it too soon.
- No one but you should drive your life. Don't hold anyone else responsible or blame them for what has happened to you. If required, detach yourself from others so as to enable this till it becomes a natural process.
- Be conscious of every decision you take and remember that you are the one who is responsible for each of those.
- God only facilitates.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Update: And....Zeph has this excellent response to my post above: "I see web 2.o and beyond as liberating consciousness and freeing one's capacity to contribute. No longer is the model hierachical. I think this is when enthusiasm, innovation, and collaboration become key drivers in the evolution of a company and society rather than rules. "
Monday, April 21, 2008
Many people would be ready to bet their last currency that happiness is not a 'result' of money. But....check out this Life Satisfaction Index (projected to be a reflection of happiness) and you'll find it intriguing (especially if you're someone who belongs to the above-mentioned set of people) that the richer countries seem to be happier than the rest....now, you may talk of developed economies and the like, but the development is apparently because of the financial resources at the country's disposal, eh?
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Time for another "pet" story. It's been a loooong time since I indulged in narrating a story about such 'small' but unequalled joys of the world. The VIP at home - my doggy - was enjoying the evening breeze just outside the main door and seemed to be getting into some sort of a trance (though, if asked, he might like to call it divine meditation). The door was open and the fella knew he was not encouraged to enter for he had the tendency to destroy all objects he found interesting and amenable for destruction. I decided to conduct an instant meeting with the chap, on an impulse, and went over to the door, bent down, patted and tickled his head for a while and then babbled everything I could think of, into his ears. He listened with part amusement, part suspicion and part ridicule. After a while, I decided to get back to my "Things to do" list lest my doggy return my favour in cash or kind. So, after emitting a sigh of satisfaction about a job I thought was very well executed (I rarely have problems with tickling and babbling), I started walking back in my room's direction albeit lazily.
The next moment, the world came to an end....or so I thought. I vaguely realized something was whizzing past me at break-neck speed and into my room. If you're somewhat smart you'd have surely realized the nature of the whizzing entity described herein. (Wo)man's best friend. Full marks. To you and to the world's best acrobat who happens to be a part of my family. He went into my room and picked up the door mat and flung it high in the air - directed at the ceiling for the door mat couldn't possibly go through it - and it landed in the middle of my room. Meanwhile I was shaking from head to toe wondering whether I'd be run down beyond recognition. Even as I tried an escape route into the kitchen to avoid going through experiences that roads are subjected to when being tarred, the world's best acrobat rushed back to the main door and then followed it up with two additional runs in the same route and in the same style. The door mat, luckily, was left alone after its first shocking and unexpected engagement with the gravitational forces of earth. If you believed that all I did was just escape into the kitchen, you are way behind in terms of common sense. Of course, I also shrieked my head off which contributed to the quick ending of the wonderful acrobat's performance.
When the acrobatics subsided and came to a stop at the main door after a few seconds, I approached the world's best acrobat with the strangest mix of emotions - confusion, respect, anger and ideas for improvement. Even as I shook like a feather caught amidst a combination of a hurricane and a typhoon, I gently held the main door (more because my grip had weakened than because of love for the door) and told the hero of the story what I exactly thought of him. To his credit though, he seemed to have performed such heroics as a gesture of gratitude in response to my flawless performance in the recently described 'meeting at the main door'. So, he was probably expecting another meeting involving petting, tickling and babbling and was justifiably surprised at the lack of appreciation. So, as I warned him about the consequences of a repeat performance, he raised a confused eyebrow (or should I say eye?) and looked away perplexed. I don't know if I am reading between the lines but his expression seemed to suggest that he did not understand why humans are so mad, stupid and illogical (ok, you can change 'humans' to a reference to just yours truly, if you are a stickler for accuracy). Anyway, before I recovered completely and decided to make up for the lack of appreciation and encourage him to continue his energetic performances but in a more controlled and predictable manner, he made a move and decided to bark at the dogs on the road.....
When I shared this with one of my friends, she looked at the whole thing from the other's perspective (obviously, I am not so important) and exclaimed that humans do not have the energy and enthusiasm to match that of animals. So true!!! Sad for them, eh? Sigh.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Speaking of which, this (the third photo) is one of those photographs that people would find hard to believe I clicked - one I am therefore quite proud of. I happened to come across this chap when I'd been to a nearby forest and I promptly (and politely) requested him to pose for a snap and he obliged with an ambiguous roar. The way he settled down into a perfect posture, you'd be surprised why he isn't a common sight in movies that involve wild-life. Thinking thus, I clicked away, shook his dirty paw with gratitude and also contemplated asking for a pally-pally snap together but finally decided against it as I have no right to create a dent in his reputation. (Those of you who can't stand such nonsense, very quickly, before you get violent....this chap can be found in the Mysore Zoo...don't tell him I told you....he doesn't like too many visitors)
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Yes. I understand I am on a blogging spree today. So what? Huh? Knowledge doesn't come one (piece) at a time....all the time. It may come all at the same time and overwhelm us or it may act like it doesn't exist at all and make us brood endlessly or sometimes it may decide to regulate and discipline its entry and make us think everything is beautifully controlled. But knowledge is welcome whenever it comes....in whatever form it comes.....and however frequently it comes....as long as it keeps coming! :-)
One of the best ways to share knowledge many many years ago would have been through letters - hand-written letter, that is. At a time when the Internet and Web 2.0 certainly did not exist....neither were there telephones....and even travelling to meet someone would have been very difficult because of lack of infrastructure and resources. Yes. That's the era I am talking about. It would have taken many many days for the knowledge provider to reach out to the seeker or vice versa through letters. But that was probably the only means to share thoughts and ideas when the two parties were not co-located. So, there would have been a lot of value attached to writing....the written word would be the carrier of knowledge. Body language and the like would have had a minimal role to play in knowledge sharing and transfer. Jumping into today's world, pure text blogging is probably just like that (leaving out the pics, audios and videos)....except that you have to wait no more than a few seconds to read the "letter" and respond to it and continue the conversation endlessly if you wanted to.....
Speaking of which, there's a small related tidbit that's been hogging my mind since this morning....I noticed a huge billboard advertising a new movie (Hindi) and its tag line reads "Sometimes the greatest journey is the distance between two people".....ummm....I like it.... yes....! :-) I think that's a nice and thoughtful tag line!
Apart from the emotional and relationship-based flavour that the movie-makers obviously aim to communicate, I see a knowledge sharing/collaboration flavour to it.....! :-) For knowledge sharing to work, people will have to have the motivation, dedication and commitment to travel this distance.....! The processes will provide some effective ways of getting there and the technology some ways to get it done efficiently (and in a painless or even a lazy way).....but it's the people who have to eventually take the steps and cover the entire distance!
Whew! Read this. Link courtesy - Scott Adams on the Dilbert Blog.
So, is it not free will that has made me post a link to this article? Is it some other mysterious power in this universe that makes me share this link with you? Are we all like programmed computers that run on a pre-determined concept/flow that cannot be changed if the variable parameters, as indicated by the program, do not? Nah. I beg to differ. I think not. Will tell you my interpretation of this later. But first, do tell me what you think! And mind you, if there's no free will, there's no you! ;-)
This topic is so very intriguing....my free will wants me to explore this further. ;-) If you happen to have an interest in this topic and can share some views and news.....puhleeaassseeeeee do so. God bless.
Without wanting to sound like I am a pure intellectual or something, I have to say that I rarely read interviews with movie stars. Admittedly, there were days when I used to find them exciting.....but that was long ago. Slowly realized there was very little worth reading....except maybe interviews with a few rare actors who are sincere and passionate about their profession, have admirable values, are 'surprisingly' intelligent & wise and also possess the uncanny knack of dealing with tricky questions that they are likely to be subjected to - which, of course, makes for interesting reading. So, when this one came to me and stared me in the face.....and an excerpt attached to the link made it look quite appealing as well....I decided to get the mouse to work on the link. And I don't regret reading it....not a waste of time, this one. I simply loved the last Q&A. Loved it. In case you're not bothered about the whole interview, here it is....
Interviewer: What’s your take on your status as one of the rare Indian actors to be considered a textbook in acting?
Kamal: Textbooks are boring, so I hope I am not that. Anybody or anything that indulges in pontification is boring and stagnant. I would rather be a novel that’s unputdownable. I have no rules and the best possible way I could become a textbook is when others learn from my mistakes.
Wow, I mean......! Impressive & intelligent answer....
Umm? I normally bump into quotes I either find to be inspiring or thought-provoking in a positive way or, let's say, amusing or sometimes, perhaps, just bland and not so interesting or exciting. But this one makes me go "What? Nah, Sam....you maybe right in a way....but I am convinced you're looking at it from the wrong end...!"
Reminds me of doing things right but not doing the right thing...! A lie can never ever get through till the end however smart and cunning the liar maybe (sounds idealistic and naive? I don't mind ;-)). Even if the world fails to see the lie, the person who lies knows it all along...deep within his/her heart! I don't know if SB simply meant that lying is an art that few can master and is sometimes good.....and was not actually thinking too much about the nice and honest souls that would rather speak the truth than lie to create a temporary illusion of a better world. Concocting a lie may require cunning and intelligence of a kind......but speaking the truth requires courage. Speaking the truth requires the ability to face reality. Speaking the truth may seem to take one down the darkest of alleys....but it is more than worth it....for the good that it does to the conscience and oneself.
Hey, I know I probably sound like Gandhi's disciple....and maybe I am just wasting my energy for SB might have, in all probability, had a very relevant context that made him say so! (Hazarding a guess, maybe he was talking of falsely convincing a dying patient that there is hope and maybe that very hope was what made the patient live a little longer than he would have lived otherwise....ah, well....I can't think of any other examples though. Maybe those who are adept at politics can come up with a few dozens of situations wherein they believe lying is the only way to survive...but that is something I am not going to talk about in this post). Anyway, the quote compelled me to present my view of the importance of truth vis a vis falsehood in the general sense. This is what happens if you are itching to write something and can't help but grab hold of the first thing that comes your way and makes you think a bit.... :-)
Monday, April 14, 2008
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.”
A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
In a gentle way, you can shake the world.
People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.
The trick is to put a positive spin on things. And humor is always a good tactic.
If you gravitate to successful, positive people, in time you will find yourself a successful, positive person.
Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results.”
For myself I am an optimist - it does not seem to be much use being anything else”
Friday, April 11, 2008
Approximately three years ago, one of my close friends impulsively gifted me a book that she noticed I was intrigued by when we both visited a nice and cute little book shop in Bangalore. As was our regular practice ,we were smiling and grinning at the books around us and rejoicing in the inimitable environment of a book shop, when I walked up to the 'Spirituality and Self-Help' shelf and casually picked up the book I am referring to. As I flipped through the pages, it quite gripped me and I found myself getting excited and inspired by what I was reading. That was when my friend observed my expressions and interest and decided to be an angel - even before I got out of the reading mode and began to think about buying the book, she declared that she'd be gifting it to me!! :-)
The story then moves on to what happened after I read the book. Here are three posts that I wrote about the book/as a consequence of reading the book - one, two, three. I consider the first post to be the closest one, so far, to enlightenment for an ordinary mortal like me. It was definitely inspired by the book apart from a few other things that I was going through at the time of writing the post. A few weeks after I'd written these posts, the author, Zeph discovered them and got in touch with me and we had a few conversations via Email. I was obviously excited about the whole thing and was quite surprised and impressed to see how down-to-earth Zeph was! We continued the online friendship with occasional exchange of mails and sometimes a flurry of mails wherein I posed some of the questions to which I needed some enlightened answers! :-) Needless to say, Zeph may be quite young but he is full of wisdom and is inspired by Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi among others. He has a strong connection with India and its values.....
I recently heard from him again and 'am delighted by what I heard. I am writing this post to tell those of you who would like to discover his wisdom and learn from it that he is now blogging! :-) Check it out here! For starters, don't miss this post...which I found to be very appealing! Zeph has a website as well, in case you want to know more about his wonderful work! Three cheers to blogs, for blogging is most certainly proving to be a wonderful platform and tool to even share such rare wisdom!! :-)
Thursday, April 10, 2008
How true!! :-) I seriously believe people who laugh a lot (not at others though) are nice folks....
And in here, everyone has her own song!
To write, compose, hum and sing....
Energy and enthusiasm one should bring!
To make it a hit and inspire one and all...
The song has its intro music, pauses, chorus, voices et al!
You can go on the repeat or the shuffle mode...
Depending on whether you're lazy or bored!
The music player is who else but you....
With creative skins for every possible attitude...!
If music be the food of love, then play on
For a life without love is surely a bygone!
Sunday, April 06, 2008
Long pending post. My key takeaway from Eckhart Tolle's New Earth are listed here for your consumption/consideration. Happiness and peace of mind comes with the adoption of three principles/attitudes in life.....and maybe more so when one comes across situations completely outside of one's control. (Examples have been suggested by me....and are not from the book)
- Non Attachment (Reaction to any situation translates to "This too will pass!" e.g: Death? )
- Non Resistance (Reaction to any event translates to "Is that so?" e.g: Stock Market crashes?)
- Non Judgement (Reaction to any judgemental comments translates to "Maybe!" e.g: Gossip?)
Afterthought: It's obviously useful to be emotionally detached and yet contribute in whatever way one can.....it's highly sensible to not get judgemental about people or things and lead life in a simple and joyous manner......and, finally, it's quite reasonable to not resist global movements outside of one's control but important to take action to resolve challenges at the micro level! Eh?
Just occurred to me. If the Sun as in the day is a metaphor for brightness, happiness, joy and the good times and Moon as in the night is a metaphor for the not so good times, the sorrows and the challenges.....why can't we take the analogy forward and learn from the fact that the Moon may not be luminous....it may not generate its own light....but it does a pretty decent job of reflecting the light from the Sun!! So, during the bad times, one should look up to the Moon and do what it does. Reflect on the good times and use it to 'see' things from a better perspective! Use the light as inspiration for working harder and keeping the spirit intact....! :-) And what's more....it's not the day but the night that sports those other twinkling stars that have the capacity to enchant us endlessly. The Sun is too bright to let us see the other stars that are further away and transmit less light all the way to the Earth. These are the smaller joys/miracles of life. Life is meant to be celebrated....irrespective of whether it is day or night! What? :-)
Friday, April 04, 2008
Innovation can happen either when two people/teams from two different areas work together (because they have the same purpose or they simply love to look at meeting points - or should I say melting pots? - and create something new) or when one opportunistic person sees both sides of things and wants to bring them together to meet the needs of those in between the two ends of the spectrum.
PS: At first, when I read the name of the product before reading the full story, I was wondering if I'd read it right.......and then even as I started reading about how it all happened, I literally put one (word) and one (another) together and realized what this new product was all about. ;-)
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Optimism, idealism*, determination, and a burning desire or passion.....these are perhaps the attitudes and qualities that keep one going despite many a fall and many a failure. In other words, these are qualities that keep one going despite reality! Sometimes I wonder whether it is the people who are very 'pragmatic' and accommodating of the weaknesses and the inconsistencies of the world that are really happy.....because they would rarely be disappointed by what they encounter. They are 'OK' with things......OK with anything. But is it really worth it to live such a life? Perhaps this is what 'existing' means as opposed to 'living'! Like G.B Shaw said, isn't it the people who are 'unreasonable' (I am interpreting this to be behaviour that does not accept the norm.....that is, the so-called pragmatic perspective) who are finally capable of achieving something significant? Isn't that what happiness is ultimately about?
What kind of life would you prefer leading? One where you don't let the day-to-day problems get to you and you move on either ignoring them or accepting them and settling only for what *seems* possible? Or one where you would rather not 'accept' these nagging and seemingly trivial problems but resolve them (even if it sapped a lot of your energy) while at the same time moving towards a larger goal that aims to change the world? In movies, our favourite heroes, of course, adopt the latter attitude. Luckily, they are conveniently endowed (by the director and the story-writer) with superhuman powers (physical and mental) to fight the villains, the society and sometimes the entire world. We know we aren't similarly equipped. Sometimes though, we do hear of real life heroes and heroines who have miraculously managed to stand out of the crowd and change something. They'd have more often than not achieved it through one or more or perhaps all of the following:
- relentless efforts - involving knowledge and action,
- heart-wrenching compromises or sacrifices,
- extremely smart and unconventional approaches that others somehow did not think of,
- luck/destiny that places them in perfectly convenient situations,
- natural or acquired charm and passion that influences people to join forces (inclusive of general people skills)
Sounds like an uphill journey, I admit.......but, in my perception, a very satisfying and fulfilling one that eventually takes you to 'paradise' - the close-to-ideal world that one was inspired by to begin with. And well, the journey itself would anyway be one to celebrate, despite its demands, for someone obsessed with its purpose . The most fundamental of requirements would of course be the desire to make life better not just for oneself but for society at large.
Have you looked at something beyond the world you live in today? If so, is it a paradise or just a little picture on the wall? Does it justify your emotions, capabilities, aspirations and dreams? If it's a paradise you're thinking of, what does it look like in your imagination? Do you plan to embark on the journey to your paradise sometime? Have you decided what you need to pack your 'suitcase' with for the trip? How much will you suffer were you to not embark on this trip to paradise and justify your purpose here on earth?
Idealism* - The seemingly unreasonable expectations from the world and from oneself that some of us can't stop having. It may be about values, competency, relationships, character, and so many other specific aspects related to smaller chunks of life....! The deadly kick of idealism can throw one into the deepest and darkest of pits just as much as the intoxicating heights to which its divine inspiration can take one ;-)
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Nothing there only empty space
No sunlight not even a tiny crack
To let in the Sun's rays
Should I move around without fear
Sure that there's nothing that will hurt me
Or is there something lurking here
That I just don't happen to see
Do I walk around in the dark happy
Because ignorance is after all bliss
Or do I wish for light.....get all snappy
And then see some snakes on the floor hiss
Creative thinking changes the scene altogether
Or wait.....maybe it simply changes my vision (or lack of it?)
So, here I come floating like a beautiful feather
Blindfolded.....bright or dark......there's no differentiation!
PS: I don't particularly like to indulge myself in such 'dark' and 'sober' thinking.... but there's no escaping it at times. I know this poem borders on negativity and sarcasm.....but it is equally true that I can't help but see the silver lining around every grey cloud....hope you too find it in the poem. If not, please excuse me this time. :-)