Monday, November 24, 2008

Finished *Waiting for the Mahatma*...! :-)

Just finished the book "Waiting for the Mahatma" by R.K. Narayan. I feel like chuckling at the thought of what my expectations and ideas about the book were when I picked it up. I expected it to be something highly philosophical and revolving around the Mahatma's ideals and virtues. Not that it isn't somewhat though. I assumed it would be about how the protagonist lets the Mahatma lead him...and turn around his life from something meaningless to something 'deep' and 'intense'. Overall, I was under the impression that it would be a serious story.

But....I must say that it turned out to be a cute book rather than something on the lines of what I expected! :-) Really cute! (I haven't probably called a book 'cute' before this! LoL.) It made me smile and chuckle now and then.
The book transports the reader to the famous town of Malgudi with so much typical RK.N style! There are a few places in the story where the reader is likely to get confused about the author's view of India's struggle for freedom. But I guess the reader shouldn't attempt to read between the is a wonderful read if one just reads the story for what it is - a naive man's life and love, with the Indian Freedom struggle as the backdrop - and suspends all judgment and opinions. But I think the ending was really touching. I got so involved in it that I forgot to close the book for a while and simply sat staring and gurgling at the last page.

Where Do You Belong?

So, where do you

Monday Morning Blues. Time to do something - go green? - about your work.

Weekend "Weakness". Time to do something about your life...outside of work!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Final Sanity Check. Failed.

The wait isn't still over. You must excuse me. Millions of mad monkeys! It's, after all, Friday!! :-) However...if you insist (hmph) on some concrete evidence in favour of being (or continuing to be) my friend, read the following carefully:

1. From The Life of Samuel Johnson - "A man who talks nonsense so well must know that he is talking nonsense" (No, I haven't read the book. God knows what the context of the statement is. But if you noticed, I am discreetly laying a claim to be good at nonsensical talk!)

2.“A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men" - Gene Wilder (Maybe Gene's surname prevented his friends from getting violent in response to his wonderful statement. But I am going to bravely tag along and nod in agreement. Of course, what "now and then" means is an entirely subjective thing! And once again, if you noticed, I am discreetly laying a claim to be wise.)

PS: I have a secret (not anymore, I guess) wish to replace "men" with "women" (and therefore "he" with "she") in every single quote that seems to completely ignore the existence of women. Grr. Makes it so inconvenient for us women to quote people!

Update: If you are a child in the garb of an adult...or at least have a teeny weeny bit of child-like sentiments left in you, I am sure you either have a smile or a grin on your face now. don't have to examine the grin on our little doggy-friend's face (above). Your grin doesn't necessarily have to be that good. Even a mediocre grin will do. But if you don't happen to have any sort of grin on your face...freeze immediately. Don't move a single muscle on your face. No twitching! Get up and go over to the nearest and clearest mirror and check for a raised eyebrow or a slight scowl or perhaps a somewhat dazed/puzzled look. If yes, I must give you the bad news. You may be suffering from Adulter. That's a variation of cancer that grows unabated and destroys the child in you gradually. But you may find various cures, nevertheless. Recommended doctors - children/pets. Do let me know when there's an improvement. :-)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Once upon a time....

No. Apologies. Not as yet. Your wait is not really over. (If you happen to be a regular and persistent - don't tell me! - reader of this blog and have somehow - miraculously - been here long enough to realize that I do manage to write one or two good posts a year....or make that two years) This isn't, I am afraid, going to be one of those rare great posts. As usual, it is another aimless post with no goal(s) in life whatsoever. Flash in the pan brilliance is definitely a bad thing in blogging. You have to keep hoping that your readers are patient enough to wait till it finally comes and hits them out of the blue. Not that I really want to put your life in peril by suggesting that you come back to this blog again and again in the hope that you will see a flash some time or the other. Just a thought, you know. Sigh. Hopefully I may succeed in cheating you by mentioning that it looks like the next 'good' post is being gradually brewed in a remote and minuscule corner (fictional, did you say?) of my otherwise inactive brain. I hope you'll be kind enough to recognize it when it is served. (Of course, I will need help in recognizing such a thing) I dread to think of the day when even that r and m corner (ok, have it your way...fictional) stops working and goes to sleep. Anyway, let me not worry about that right now.

I'd drawn this stuff (above) using an online drawing-board software. My message to you, the reader, is very clear. Remove all doubts and stop speculating (just because you stopped doing that in the stock market, it doesn't mean you must try it in on my blog, of all the places) for here it is. Just wanted to say it is quite funny how I seem to choose to draw more or less the same pic every time I sit down to draw and don't have any cartoons for inspiration. Almost as if I have been secretly programmed. Makes me think this must be a real place that I probably grew up in, in one of my previous lives. Or maybe it's the larger part of my - non-functional - brain at work. I never seem to get bored of drawing the same old nameless tree with some nondescript grass around it, a stream flowing from south to north (yes, that's the way I imagine it), the beautiful and bright sun shining down on the tree and the stream, a clueless bird (bird-like creature?) hovering around (however, the bird sometimes finds company and is a part of a flock of clueless birds), some pebbles of varied sizes and shapes in the stream, and finally yours truly sitting under the tree with books, music and a cup of yummy cold coffee with ice cream. Does this happen to you? I mean, do you end up drawing the same thing again and again? I am beginning to think that this may even be the consequence of a painful drawing imposition during my childhood days. Maybe the teacher made me draw it so many times (in the hope of getting me to draw something that looked like a place on earth) that I can't think of anything else to draw. Or maybe this is the consequence of a deeply embedded thought that is trying to tell me that I need to go off to such a place and save mankind (from me). Or, well, mmmaybe the thought actually conveys that such places can only be seen on paper in future?

Thanks for sitting through this ordeal. You deserve to enjoy a break in a similar looking place if you have access to it. Toodle-oo for now!

PS: Doesn't the bird-like creature look more like it is crawling than flying? I knew it all along but the bird refused to listen to me. And you don't have to tell me...I know you've now given up in case you happened to be looking to find at least some traces of sanity in me. I can't, unfortunately, blame it on alcohol because I am a teetotaler. Hmn.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Word Therapy

This is just a simple idea that came to me all of a sudden. I like it. But what I've done with it is not so great. I think one can get more creative with it...perhaps make use of better tools to realize its full impact. But, well, ideas evolve....sometimes on their 'own' and, of course, when more people adopt it. So, consider adopting it and feel free to suggest/make improvements.

I love words! Some words (and phrases) are so powerful that they evoke intense feelings, thoughts and even spur us into action. They can make us dream, visualize things and march on to make them a reality. Words can excite. Words can inspire. Words can lend energy. Words when combined creatively can, I believe, cause permanent change. Advertisers are likely to swear by that. That's why I am in awe of people who go around sporting a cool bag of lively words and display immense talent (and, sometimes, a sense of humor) in pulling out the word(s) exactly when it is (they are) needed. (But words can also be misused...making them double-edged swords. Ask the media.)

Righto! I don't particularly think I've got very creative with words in my write-up so far, but here's my idea! And I am calling it Word Therapy. Simple stuff. A 'Do it yourself' exercise that can massage your mind and soul. Think of some key words that excite, inspire, motivate, energize you. Think of the words that explain you. Think of the words that make you. And put them all together in the form of a colourful collage. Group the words if you feel like. Then, simply stare at the collage. Let your eyes wander over the words. Pause every now and then. See the connections...known and unknown. Absorb the words. Let them lend you their energy. Even let them hypnotize you. Maybe you'll feel the difference - the words could wake you up, put some action into you, inspire you, make you believe in yourself.....and what not. At the risk of exaggerating, I am inclined to say that it could even contribute to the making of your character depending on the intensity with which you do it. And, well, you anyway get to decide what you want from the collage.

I just tried it. I can't say the collage looks as nice as I would have wanted it to. But I can, nevertheless, feel the impact. Take a look. (It might look better with some nice symbols and small images at appropriate places.)

Does it do something to you, if at all? What would your word therapy collage look like? Would you like to create one and share it? And, hey, feel free to spread the 'word'! :-)

Human Angels

From DailyOM. Reading this made me feel good, positive, peaceful and one with the universe...even if only for a fleeting but precious moment. Inspiring enough to share it here. Haven't we all come across people who make us feel better during the worst of situations? And sometimes they don't even know how much of a difference they've made to the person in distress. I'd love to have such a quality...the quality of filling someone's heart with hope, faith, love, courage, confidence and inspiration. It overwhelms me to even imagine a world full of such people. Paradise...!


Beings of Light

Human Angels

During each of our journeys, there are those inevitable moments when someone comes into our life at precisely the right time and says or does precisely the right thing. Their words or actions may help us perceive ourselves more clearly, remind us that everything will turn out for the best, help us cope, or see us through difficult situations. These people are human angels – individuals designated by the universe to be of service to those in need at specific points in time. Some human angels make a commitment before their births to make a positive contribution to the world at a particular moment. Others were chosen by the universe. All human angels, however, come into our lives when we least expect them and when we can most benefit from their presence.

A few of the human angels we may encounter are in professions where helping others is an everyday occurrence. But most of them are regular people, going about their daily lives until called upon to be in the right place at the right time to bring peace, joy, help, or heal someone when they most need it. You may have met a human angel in the form of a teacher who gave you a piece of advice that touched your soul and influenced your path. The person that momentarily stopped you to say hello on the street, delaying you long enough to avoid an oncoming car or a collision, is also a human angel. They may offer nothing more than a kind word or a smile, but they will offer it when you can draw the most strength and support from their simple action.

You may be a human angel yet not know it. Your fate or intuition may guide you toward other people’s challenging or distressing situations, leading you to infer that you simply have bad luck. But recognizing yourself as a human angel can help you deal with the pain you see and understand that you are there to help and comfort others during their times of need. Human angels give of their inner light to all who need it, coming into our lives and often changing us forever. Their task has its challenges, but it is they that have the power to teach, bring us joy, and comfort us in times of despair.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

7 Rules of KM

Dave's updated list of 7 rules of KM has been doing its rounds in blogosphere and twitterworld for almost a month now. It just occurred to me that the second rule could possibly have an addendum (not a rule for knowledge sharing per se but one relevant to KM nevertheless) - *We are sure of what we know and are capable of improving it only when we act on it.*

Monday, November 10, 2008

Music is My Mother Tongue

Yay! Yippee! Yay! Finally! No, I did not get to go to the moon...but, hey, I had an out-of-the-world experience nevertheless. I got to attend a 2-hour music concert by S.P.B in Namma Bengaluru. Perhaps the best thing about attending the concert was that it was not planned in advance and came as an unexpected surprise. We went over to the venue almost 45 minutes before the concert began (don’t ask me why) but I managed to kill time with premium popcorn (popcorn that costs more because it is accompanied by music) and amused myself by watching people stream in, screen the ground, eye random chairs, avoid the dirty ones and the ones next to people who seemed like recluses, move from one section to another every few minutes and finally make up their minds and settle down somewhere once for all.

S.P.B was punctual and made his entry bang on time. I smiled at the stage and the speakers and took a few deep breaths as if to inhale the music in the air. I knew that the concert was multi-lingual and was looking forward to some of my favourite Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Hindi songs. S.P.B was supported by 4-5 other local singers and a popular Kannada singer-TV anchor. I thought S.P.B was, not surprisingly, cautious about the crowd -He felt it necessary to mention that all languages were the same in his view and for him, personally, there was actually just one language – Music. That statement of his, btw, triggered off a spark in me actually. I’ve decided that one of the best ways to express my undying obsession for music is to say “Music is my Mother Tongue”. Thank you. Thank you.

When SPB sang the first Tamil song, he chose one that referred to a deity in Kerala and even said “We are now going from Karnataka to Kerala!” ;-) As if people would imagine it was a Malayalam song. Fortunately, he got a little less conscious when he sang the other Tamil songs. Sigh. I wish we did not have to be so scared in our own country!

As I sat through the lovely songs, drinking in the music, I did allow myself to be distracted. There was this active little kid next to me who contributed to the entertainment. He first interrogated his dad about where the latter had parked the car and why he could not park it in the VIP lot and whether the car was safe outside. The kid then went on to brainwash, bully and emotionally blackmail his dad into buying most of the available snacks at an alarming frequency. When I thought that was all the kid would be interested in and there would be no more entertainment from him, he demonstrated his versatility. He insisted that his dad demand S.P.B for a particular song that he (the kid) was apparently fond of. His dad gave in and got up and lifted the little boy and presented him to S.P.B (who was too far away and engrossed in his song to notice) a la the famous Lion King scene, while screaming for the song. I giggled as softly as I could and turned back to focus on the stage. A while later, a tiny hand made its presence felt in the periphery of my vision. It was drawing imaginary sine waves. As you may have guessed, it was our little friend again. I marveled at the talent and thought to myself that kids are now even learning to conduct music and turned back to the stage a little dazed. Soon enough, I realized that the character under question was, ahem, simply imitating our legendary singer. So much for a budding prodigy.

Coming back to the music, I let out a whoop of joy when S.P.B sang two of my most favourite Kannada songs - Naguva nayana and Jotheyalli.

The supporting singers attempted to cater to the universal request for Anisitude yaako indu and Ninnindale. But I must say that I was not particularly thrilled…it was nowhere near the original. Sonu Nigam is inimitable. Period. (Forget the videos, folks…just soak in the music. At least, that’s the way I like it. Watching a video sometimes kills the beauty of the music! :-()

Coming to the Tamil fare, though I was left craving for a lot more, I was lucky to listen to two of my favourites - Sundari kannal oru and Guruvayurappa. S.P.B also sang Engeyum eppodum, which turned out to be something that made most of the audience go quite crazy.

So, that’s that. Sigh. I wish there were live music concerts in office. That would inspire me tons. Anyone listening? Hmn?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Human Mind...

I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened - Mark Twain.

Aaah! :-) What a way to teach people not to worry unnecessarily, eh?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Umm. Er. Well. Huh...

Umm. If you've been wondering.....yes, I am alive. But ain't really kicking. Rarely have I been away from blogging for such a long time (2 weeks is a long time given my erstwhile blogging frequency) while still leading a routine life.....Makes me wonder how I survived without imagining that I must be dead, before blogspot happened to me. Patience. Let me explain what I mean by that baffling statement. Because Blogspot tends to bluntly 'tell' me whether I am thinking or not. And to not think - about something profound, creative, worthwhile - for too long a time is suffocating. Don't get me wrong. Silencing the mind is a great thing. But if I am not thinking about something 'important' for, say, more than a week...I almost feel like a log of wood (aka dead). To think but not be able to express the thoughts is a different feeling. To stop blogging is almost equivalent to have stopped thinking, at times!

Been busy with some official procedures, but that shouldn't be stopping me from thinking/writing, however stupid an exercise form-filling happens to be. Sample this...I had to make a card for a friend who celebrated her birthday recently and something tells me what I came up with is the stupidest card ever designed by any human on earth. If you're thinking that the financial crisis may have something to do with it, you're not right. I don't work with any of the financial majors. I guess I just have to wait for this phase to go away...or even better....see it as something that will save my blog-readers from the agony of reading my posts. The thing that makes me somewhat happy though is that I recently managed to get my brain active enough to write a strong letter on behalf of a friend's friend who is waiting to get back some money that she was cheated of. Apparently, the letter made a difference and the organization that cheated her has woken up and is talking to her to understand what exactly can be done to recover from the situation...though there is no guarantee that she will get the money back as yet.

What all this means, anyway, is that I am hungry. Extremely. Looking for some food....for thought. Almost starving, actually. And, please, I am not looking for "fast" food. Note to self: You should probably try and take some time off and finish the book that you started reading a couple of weeks back - Presence. Will surely make your brain feel better.

I did catch up with my blog-feeds after a week's look for something that would bring some life back into me. I found three posts that changed my mood. Here they are, in the order in which I found them.

- This one made me guffaw
- This one made me stop, think and wonder about life
- This one made me introspect on my own tendencies (on prescriptive thinking)