Saturday, May 28, 2011

TAKEN FOR GRANTED……….NEVER IN CASE OF LIFE!

The topic I have taken up is very relevant and would be on the back of everyone's mind.

Since the past few centuries many people have tried to find the equation of life….. When I write the term “equation of life” I mean to say; how things occurring in our day to day to life are actually determined or how the circumstances or situations which are going to occur in future can be controlled to get desired results?

How can we control future or in fact know future? All the above questions are very relevant ….. they are actually apprehensions which drive us; to do what we do and also alter the way we think, the effect of such uncertainty is sometimes positive or sometimes it is on the other side of the scale or we can call it negative.

Over the period of time man has tried to devise many ways and techniques of dealing with the above apprehensions which are so important to him. Some of the popular techniques can be listed as below:

· Astrology.

· Feng-shui

· Vaastu-Shastra

· Tarot card reading

· Numerology

· Gemmology

The above listed techniques give only a cursory view of what is now being commercially exploited. However if I choose to enlist the number of techniques available; I can fill up a volume but then that would be deviating from the topic of discussion.

The object of all the above techniques (listed and unlisted) is to give a quick fix solution to a problem which seems beyond control. Sometimes we assume a solution to a problem based on the so called techniques even if it does not actually appeal to the simple human intelligence. The solutions seem so irrational and beyond any proper reasoning. But still we accept them and act accordingly!!! and wait for instant results? Sometimes the results are there to see and sometimes they don’t work out.

Actually there are two weapons available to all of us but we fail to notice and acknowledge them. These weapons or (read) qualities are there in every one by default but however one needs to have the awareness that nature has empowered human beings with these deadly weapons. The moment I spell them out you will feel that you already know it; but I would like to emphasize their importance here.

One of the two weapons I have been talking about is the human resilience which is there in every one by default …… i.e it is the capacity of a person to bounce back in crisis and take things head on; believe me it is a virtue embedded in every one but most of us are unaware of it! And the second aspect I have been talking about is something which all of us do every day and it is the basis on which a complete life can be lived and it is called "hope"!.

With such powerful weapons at our disposal do we really have to depend on the techniques mentioned above? The main drawback of the above mentioned techniques or we can also call them "school of thoughts" is that we tend to take things for granted. Having complied with the requirements of the above techniques one tends to feel that the results are assured.

That’s where things start going wrong because life has got an uncanny knack of proving all the human beings wrong; in other words "man proposes & god disposes" this is so true to the point that all the above mentioned techniques fall short of expectation and their limitations are exposed. The parameters controlling life are not effectively covered by these techniques

So it is better to be aware of the weapons we have at our disposal and use them effectively instead of taking life for granted.

Monday, May 23, 2011

HOMING PIGEON….


As I look down at the fast vanishing city which is represented by small golden lights in random pattern which changes as the plane gains altitude flying above the gulf sea. The occasional white light which is interspersed among the vastly golden lights gives a mystic look to the whole city.

I am observing the lights which slowly begin to vanish as the plane tears through the cloudy sky and now the lights can be seen intermittently through the opaque cloud cover. For a person with an artistic inclination it would have been an unhappy feeling losing sight of the majestic view of the city of Kuwait.

The most interesting part of this kind of view is that it gives us a pseudo feeling that most of the city is very beautiful. It forces a similar kind of opinion from most of us and we forget that every city has got its own grey areas but I am on a totally different plane (state of mind) and not really interested in analysing the good, bad and ugly aspects of the city. All I can think of now is that I will be reaching home in a couple of hours.

As the air crew gets busy with their hospitality routine and the small LCD screen displays various entertainment options. I am forced to choose the graphical representation of the progress of the aircraft enroute to the beautiful destination (my home) which in my present frame of mind is the most entertaining programme

I keep watching the screen every now and then in between the sleep which is trying to take over my mortal body because it has been stretched beyond its limits to fulfil the procedures of modern day travelling……… but the will to see the progress of the aircraft turbo charges my body and I am able to push it beyond its limits.

As the pilot finally announces the arrival of Mumbai in a matter of 15 minutes…… I peer through the window of the Boeing-737-800 aircraft and see the most wonderful site. The lighting across the sleepy city is a little blurred as the morning sunlight overshadows them and in my biased mind I find even the slums landscaping the suburban hills……. a very beautiful site.

I am totally oblivious to the behaviour of my drunk co-passenger who is babbling stupid nothings to the worn out air hostess who is trying to be cordial even to him.

As the plane touches down with a thud, I would have in other circumstances frowned at skills of the pilot but I choose to ignore it and the plane comes to a taxing speed after shuddering and vibrating to overcome the air resistance which surprises me every time the plane lands.

As I walk out of the aircraft I take in the fragrance of the humid sea air and silently feel relieved for the safe journey back home…..

Saturday, May 14, 2011

FROM YOUR POINT OF VIEW.......

The adjoining picture could be interpreted as a picture depicting a beautiful sunset or it could be picture of beautiful sunrise.

You cannot distinguish it actually but it is your point of view which will decide whether it is a sunset or a sunrise........

So in life many situations may arise where there can be more than one solution to a problem and the way to deal with it may be different.

But to understand a given situation to its depth and deal with it rationally it is very necessary to understand others point of view because what you conceive as "sunrise" maybe "sunset" for some one else.

After all it is your point of view!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Who Is The Fairest....... Among All!

No! I am not narrating the Cinderella story or any other old classic tale as the name of this topic may suggest but what I am going to bring to the fore is very close to my heart and needs to be expressed.

We all work in different spheres of life playing different roles some times as an employee, employer, professional, businessman or any other profession choosen by us, the aim of all our efforts converge to a common point i.e. finally to generate money while discharging our responsibilities.

But it is important to understand that how much importance has to be given to the two aspects on hand I.e money or responsibility. While it is pertinent to understand that since the goal of our activities is to make money.......... some of us dilute or compromise responsibility in order to make more moolah; this becomes the only criteria throwing everything else to wind even responsibility for which we actually get paid.

The byproducts of such half hearted efforts in discharging our responsibilities crystallizes into poor quality product while fetching more money.

There is a wide spread misconception that the only way to generate more money is to be unfair to the people you are responsible to. For me this is a deal which has gone horribly wrong; this deal can give a person only money but on introspection you will find a void within yourself......a self which has been deprived of happiness, esteem and work satisfaction ...... all this for money? ....... thinking it will buy you happiness. It is a vicious circle isn't it!

On the other hand if a duty is performed with responsibility in all fairness; this will give you money in addition to freebies like happiness, self esteem and work satisfaction.

So the fairest among all gets an offer "buy one get three free"! Howzat!!

Sent from my BlackBerryĂ‚® smartphone from Zain Kuwait

Friday, May 6, 2011

GROWING UP - II………….Watch Out !

I watch the real world outside the car window which is so near and only the glass separates me from it. I don’t really have to sweat to reach it……. just a click of the button is enough to bring the glass down and engulf me in reality.

But the prospect of seeing my childhood a little further down memory lane encourages me to ignore reality and I divert my attention to the imaginary digital screen with a smile.

As I do this I can feel the driver giving me strange looks thinking that I have lost it because I am laughing to myself apparently for no reason (that is what the driver feels). I decide that the driver needs no justification and allow the past to take over me with a silly smile on my face…….

My thoughts are still projecting the images and are in continuity (from where I left last week) as my journey continues to the long distance destination, so do my thoughts……….

I can see Raju’s mother reflecting on what his sister had just reported and she was relieved that it was not half as bad as what he and his friends had done the day before in the building. Deep in her heart she knew that she was consoling herself, actually she was deeply worried and shuddered at the thought of Raju’s future. She had tried to discipline this brat a number of times before but had been unsuccessful and all these attempts had ended in Raju getting a spanking of his life; however all her efforts had no effect on Raju or the way he behaved.

Whatever she did to come out of her thoughts she failed and instead was further pushed into the whirlpool of worry at the simple thought of what her son had done the day before. It had been the talk of the building ever since! But surprisingly none of the residents of the building seemed to detest this imp with an insatiable hunger for mischief. It was both surprising and irritating that these people talked about the misdeeds of Raju as if it were something very funny, how she wished that these people should have been at the taking end of Raju’s pranks. But Raju was very clever not to rub such people at the wrong end specially those who supported him.

Before I explain Raju’s misdeeds which were causing sleepless nights to his mother and also to some other members of the society, I would like to explain the brief background of the society in which Raju lived.

As I explained in “Part I” Raju lived in an old building in the heart of the city of Bombay (which has now been renamed as “Mumbai”). The building was cosmopolitan and home to twenty four families all hailing from different parts of India. Because of the regional differences some of the members did not agree with the point of view of the other members and this resulted in friction for small things such as parking or children playing in front of their houses.

Some members who were opposed to the other members of the society would pick up fight for silly things and it was quite obvious that the real intention behind such objections were for different reasons (reasons other than the actual problem on hand). Raju had a group of friends (both boys and girls) who were both junior and dedicated to him. They treated him like a leader. Raju’s words were treated like sacred words and his proposals more often than not would end up in real action true to the last word and spirit.

The action based on the so called “sacred words” of Raju left an indelible effect in the minds of the people at the taking end of his pranks. Raju was least bothered about the reason for the objections or intentions of the people. The only consideration for him to plan an assault (or prank which was no less than an assault) was that there had to be an reason to pull one off, irrespective of how flimsy or unconvincing the reasons may have been.

I am sure I have made it clear to my readers that it was lethal combination with one set of kids who took satanic pleasure in troubling and the other set of members who were always creating problems for the silliest reasons. In other words they were asking for it and because of this kind of setup it was a happy hunting ground for Raju and his team of dedicated pranksters.

Now having explained the dynamics of forces acting in the society where Raju lived I would like to proceed further to explain what actually transpired on that day. Now thinking back retrospectively such things were waiting to happen!

I hope everybody remembers that apart from being an accomplished trouble maker Raju also had hidden aspirations of being a cricketer. He worshipped Gundappa Vishwanath (the cricketer of yesteryears)for the way he executed his square cut and was his all time favorite batsman. Raju and his dedicated gang played cricket in the building compound inspite of objections of the residents on the ground floor.
Whatever precautions they took; they could not avoid breaking the glass window panes of the ground floor residents. In due course of time they were banned from playing cricket in the compound.

The only opportunity for them to play in the building compound was when the ground floor occupants were away from home or they were out of station. This time it was the former. As soon as one of the kids saw the ground floor aunty go out with her family, the news was immediately communicated to the whole group. For their age they were very well organized and had a wonderful communication channel by virtue of which they assembled in no time on the ground floor to play cricket. It was not often that they got such chance and for Raju he was itching to try his new passion “the square cut” Gundappa Vishwanath style.

As soon as the kids started playing their game thinking that it would be unhindered. Raju started the process of briefing his gang about precautions to avoid breaking any glass panes and also explained what their damage control plan would be in case they broke one; …..he suddenly heard a familiar voice in a typical accent from the first floor balcony and he noticed it was Mr Radhakrishnan! Calling his name Raju!...Raaju. But Raju knew that Mr Radhakrishnan was a trouble maker himself and knew that some hindrance was on its way. He thought the best way to deal with this unexpected irritant is not to pay attention and continue with his lecture on damage control exercise. He also advised his gang not to look up at the first floor balcony and they all knew what Raju meant…….and agreed in unison.

The game started….. ignoring the persistent periodic shouts which were coming from the first floor balcony of Radhakrishnan increasing in intensity with every passing ball……Raju!....Raaj..u……..RAA…..AJJJ…UUU!!!!

Raju who was now batting started putting on a show as if Radhakrishnan was cheering him for his square cuts which he was now trying to execute of every ball bowled at him… even on the leg stump. As the over proceeded Raju’s confidence increased and he even started looking up at the first floor balcony and waved to Radhakrishnan but was instead surprised and shocked at the blood shot killer look in his eyes and from Radhakrishnan’s side he too shared the same sentiment; “surprise and shock” at this boy’s cheekiness which had made him flushed red with anger and was now shouting something….which was incomprehensible because of the high decibel levels he was trying to reach!

But Raju ignored his shouting; he was instead concentrating on Radhakrishnan’s lip movement trying to understand what this man was desperately trying to say. He could not understand anything as there was no lip movement but only jaw movement……Radhakrishnan had opened his mouth so wide open it looked as if he was trying to snap Raju’s head off right from the first floor balcony…..for a moment Raju got a little scared but regained his composure after his friends started cheering him for waving to Radhakrishnan…..encouraged he pointed his fingers to Radhakrishnan’s open mouth and told his friends now he knew why his mother insisted on brushing teeth twice a day……otherwise we will have some teeth missing like this uncle ……. And they all started laughing……without paying heed to why this man who was on the verge of jumping down from the first floor balcony to catch hold of this bunch of brats….. who were not even ready to listen…..and understand that the following day his son had an unit test and would be disturbed because of the noise these kids were making.

Actually the situation had reached such a state that not only was Radhakrishnan’s son disturbed but the whole neighbourhood had come alive. Even people standing on the bus stop outside the building compound were giving curious looks at the man who looked madly possessed and on the other hand he had contrastingly become an alternative source of enjoyment for Raju and gang. They wanted more of this but suddenly the intensity of shouting started to wane for a brief moment and Raju thought that Radhakrishnan had given up…….he lifted his head to check the first floor balcony but to his dismay Radhakrishnan was not there…….then how was it that he was now hearing the shouting much louder and clearer than before. He turned around with interrogative look in his eyes only to find his loyal friends had vanished. Instead he saw Radhakrishnan brandishing the ball in his hand wearing a white lungi and was coming in his direction; he was shouting …….in a manner which Raju could now understand even through the regional accent that his son would get disturbed if they played there.

Raju could not understand that why this uncle was creating such a fuss……..he told him in a loud and clear voice that “I too have my exams tomorrow but I am going to study at night” and also advised a shocked Radhakrishnan to ask his son to do the same……Raju’s argument was that as they do not get to play cricket in compound everyday so Radhakrishnan should understand that this was more important than anything else….. even the exams.

Radhakrishnan lost his temper again and started shouting incomprehensibly while folding his lungi and converting it into a mini skirt, he darted towards little Raju; who was now scared! and did not realize that while Radhakrishnan had folded his lungi and darted he had also snatched Raju’s beloved bat in a flash; Raju in the meanwhile kept wondering why he had to expose his legs if he had to snatch his bat! He failed to understand the logic. Radhakrishnan was already walking triumphantly back with the bat resting on his right shoulder looking like the character Bhima from Mahabharat to his first floor flat which some time back was a good entertainment gallery for these kids.

Raju was very upset and summoned his army of friends to teach this Radhakrishnan uncle a lesson of his life. He wanted his beloved bat back with which he could execute those lovely exquisite square cuts.

After brief meeting they all came up with a plan……..the gang moved in with a precision of trained guerrilla commandos and converged outside the first floor flat of Radhakrishnan. They went about their task as was advised by little Raju and after safely accomplishing what they had to do they rang the bell of Radhakrishnan’s flat who was expecting these little idiots to come and beg for their bat and ball. He looked through the peep hole and triumphantly told them not to come for the bat and ball because he would not open the door for them. All the kids shouted in unison “Uncle don’t open the door ” saying this they pressed the bell and put a medical plaster adhesive tape on it so that it rang continuously. They all waited in anticipation…… a safe distance away from the door.

There was silence for a brief moment but the sound of the bell ringing continuously got on the nerves of Radhakrishnan and he was forced to open the door. He wanted to simply open the door, catch that little idiot Raju by the neck and shake him up a little bit so that if he had some sense somewhere in his being it could go in the right place and better sense would prevail.

He opened the latch from inside with a wicked look on his face and aggressively tried opening the door but it would not budge he tried again with no success. It dawned upon him that his wish of shaking up some sense in Raju will have to wait a while but notwithstanding anything the bell was still ringing relentlessly in the background totally oblivious to its master’s predicament.

The little idiots had latched the door from outside and were adding to the commotion by calling him nick names and a bat thief …..who stole from kids in the local Hindi language. In addition to the bell Radhakrishnan and his two daughters also started shouting at the top of their voices calling the watchman to come and open the door immediately. On hearing them helplessly calling the watchman Raju and his friends started clapping their hands in glee and again started calling him nick names which were beyond imagination but of-course not vulgar.

It appeared as if there was a shouting match going on in the old buildings corridor and the decibel levels were unbelievable! And to add some music in the background was the door bell which was doing its job with unmatched efficiency and seemed totally oblivious to what was going on. Raju and his friends even went to the extent of preventing the watchman from unlocking the door from outside, the old watchman knew it was better not to rub these rogues at the wrong end but he had a duty to do and that is why he was there.

Finally Raju and his friends relented after the secretary and elders in the building called Raju’s mother who intervened in a rather classic manner with a rolling pin (used for making chapatti) in her hand. On seeing his mother properly equipped Raju knew nobody could stop his mother and her weapon so he and all his friends vanished…………on checking up with Radhakrishnan what the matter was? He had dramatically again lifted his lungi converted it into a mini skirt and with vivid gestures he had given his facial muscles a good exercise, pushed back his opaque glasses on his nose bridge and explained that he had objected to Raju and his friends playing cricket in the building compound because of the ongoing exams of his son.

Radhakrishnan had explained the whole episode to Raju’s mother who apologized to him and also assured that such things will not happen in future. But many in the building who were opposed to Radhakrishnan derived pleasure because of this incident.

Later his mother had forced Raju to apologize to Radhakrishnan but he had bargained in presence of Radhakrishnan that his bat should be given back to him first only then he would apologize…..Raju’s mother had not accepted this proposal but Radhakrishnan wanted peace at any cost ……he agreed and Raju got back his bat against an apology……

I can see Raju’s mother feeling helpless but she is happy because this morning Raju had countered her worries today by buying her a cheap loud perfume as a present for her birthday but she realized that this is what he could have brought with his small pocket money. But she knows that he loved her just as she loved him unconditionally……for the way he was.

As I lift my head to see outside the car window it is already dawn and the destination has almost been reached. I come back to the present with a smile and gratitude even towards Radhakrishnan for making the memories of Raju’s (who is Raju???) childhood so colorful.

I just wish I get another chance to travel long distance so that I can explore many more incidents in Raju’s life, which ofcourse will be very soon!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Happiness.......keeps knocking!

Life is not only about problems and the daily grind. We are so absorbed in the routine mundane things that we fail to see things beyond them.

On a typical day how many of us look beyond the things we need to do and the problems on hand.

We must discern from the fact that even after we have achieved the so called targets and accomplished the tasks we set for ourselves; does it mean it has given us happiness or a sense of satisfaction? In most cases the answer would definitely be a "No".....Why is it like that?

If you think beyond all the reasoning and intelligence....... we must understand that basically everybody has a human element in them and by default nature has made human beings with a blueprint to do good.
When things don't turnout that way unhappiness creeps in.

So the crux of the point I was making about not getting happiness after achieving things and completing tasks on day to day basis ........ is that most of these tasks and targets are for personal needs or gains.

It is important to have spectrum of vision beyond these mundane tasks ......... which of course have to be done! But it is more important to listen to happiness knocking on our doors while we go about the daily grind.

It could be the beauty of the untouched morning sunrise, it could simply be doing small things for others when they don't expect it, or the innocence we see in a child's smile.......there are number of things happening around us which can give satisfaction and happiness of greater magnitude if we choose to see beyond ourselves.

So let the theme for the day be "Look Beyond..............Happiness Is Just Round The Corner".

Sent from my BlackBerryĂ‚® smartphone from Zain Kuwait