Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Sing a song everyday!!!

After a very long time, as long as seven years time frame, I chanced to attend a technical communicator's conference in Bangalore last week. Now, practice is important, even to sit in a lecture hall. I chose lectures that required only my mind to listen and chose to leave out all the hands-on sessions in the conference. I was left with one session in the afternoon that didn't want me to type anything on a computer. That's the only reason why I sat through this session on "Reaching Deeper into Markets". I believe that if something doesn't help me, it may help someone else and I went ahead into the room.

The doors to heaven do not have locks, but must be as ornately done as this one and heavier than "heavy" can mean to push!!! is what I felt when I opened the door to the hall where the chosen session was supposed to be conducted. But hard work pays they say!! The talk was engaging and nice in probing into the economics of almost everything I can think of.

I figured that our thinking currently has a pre-set pattern. When people say, 'Think out of the box" I never really understood how you can force your mind to think different unless the thought really gets into your mind. But, this meeting gave a flash on thinking out of the box. Although the subject was content and writing, I thought it did give me a wider picture about most aspects of reaching, reaching deep, reaching out, and reaching big in every sphere.

The speaker was talking about how he went hop, skip, and jump into a little village where he started off his marketing career and it was nice how he conducted the lecture through and arrived at the point : If you have to reach deep into Indian markets, there is no short cut. You have to be really present there to learn what your customer needs.

That's the marketing thought that one can take away!.

On the deeper sense of things, I let my mind wander a bit!!. Oh we all do that all the time, especially in lectures or after lectures..

While my mind was on a brief outing, my footwear caused a slight itch beneath my toe. Now, I have been taught not to disrespect the speaker by doing things that disturbs my neighbor attendee or the lecturer. The itching was so compellingly uncontrollable that I had to choose between bending to soothe my itchy toe and using my other toe to help the fellow toe, which may result in a dance step in a sitting position.  Then I reached down and helped my toe with my hand. That's reaching deep!!! I thought. If its a pain, tackle it as it should be!!! Applies to everything in life! Marketing is just one thing.

If you have to be there, just make sure you do!! If you have to make an impact in anything and if you opt for a short-cut you are not going anywhere. As they say, there is no short cut to success. There are smart cuts though, which we can figure out if we can sense the audience, the customer, the friend, - the beneficiary to say the least. To sense something we must be empathetic.

"Its a long road to freedom, a winding steep and high... 
when you walk in along with the wind on your face and cover the earth with the songs you sing, 
the miles fly by " 

is a school song I learnt many years ago

You must have a free mind to think through, reach deep, empathize easily, and plot your market differently. Its like a graph. You have the points plotted right, then your graph will speak wonders. Figures are important to state facts and facts are important to bring returns on investments.

The lecture was still going on with many things to relate to in a common scenario but I already got what I wanted!! To make it big, you must start small, start slow, cross hurdles, look at challenges in the eye, and go by the humming of the song that keeps playing inside each of us!!!. What song we choose to play defines our success!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

How are you placed today?

A very common question I got asked over the last one month's time by many of my friends.

The answer has to be simple: I have a, b, c things to do or 1, 2, 3 places to go to or i, ii, iii work to complete... and the like.. This is on the basic level and probably this question doesn't need too much thought or attention beyond this.. But, I did find this question quite disturbing.

One evening, on my way back from a temple, I realized the answer to this question:

Where ever we are at any given point in time, we are placed at the right position to serve the right purpose at the right time!!. Just that we do not realize it.

There is no reason to fret about things ( I admit that I have not yet reached that level of maturity as I write this post but I definitely realize ) when they are not in your hands. Exam results for instance. You can only put your best until the paper leaves your hands. Now, if the evaluation will happen properly is something you have no control over. Similarly, for everything in life, small or big, we just have to be assured that we can do our best considering the limitations that any situation may pose to us. Rest is best put to "Rest". It's the right thing to happen, whatever it be!!

If you have tried everything to resolve something, just let it be.  I like to keep my mind as a room where everything has a designated space and order. So, for this "I have done all I can" type of challenges, its best place is the Let-it-be-Desk!!! Sometimes that is the best place where the issue belongs - "The Let it be" desk in your mind!!!

Something will change in favor of the challenge to resolve and it will get fixed automatically and you will feel miracle has happened or luck has favored. Call it what you want, the base point is when you were busy attending to other things in life, something that blocked the progress of the solution to the challenge just lifted gently and suddenly the challenge got easier for you to solve. That's when you realize that it doesn't have to be always your "doing" that caused things to work. It could be someone or something else too that could be your saving grace.

Ever tried catching a flower bloom? Even if you were placed beside a blooming flower at the right time ( NOW), it is not very easy to get the total glimpse of it, unless you have a camera set to video graph the beautiful miracle!!Our challenges are like that. The more we closely place ourselves to the issue, the tougher it seems and the farther the solutions too. Let's be assured that we are placed right always. It's up to us to place our challenges at the right desk to be able to feel free each day!!

Let us stop worrying and just believe that we are placed well and correctly each moment!!. Who asked if we like it or not. The Universe only does the best!!! And did you make the mistake of thinking that you know what is best for you?? If yes, it would help to re-think. We think we are right!!! Universe mostly rules us!!!

Friday, December 09, 2016

Dal Powder || Paruppu Podi

"Paruppu Podi" or "Dal Powder" is a South Indian Instant Rice Mix powder.

Here's how you make it:

  • Toor Dal : Moong Dal = 3:1 ratio.
  • Spices are Pepper, Red Chillies, and Asafoetida (Change Spice Intensity to your taste)
  • Salt to taste.

Dry roast all the items one after the other in a pan. After the roasted ingredients are cooled down to room temperature, use your mixer and grind them into powder form. Some people like it coarse and some like to keep it fine. The Moderately fine consistency is my choice.

Now, you must be wondering whatever is this powder used for and how it could be used and why you need it at all!!

A popular staple in Andhra based cuisine, this powder is not alien to most South Indian Dining tables.

Here is how you use it :

  1. Spread steaming hot rice on a plate and add a little ghee or oil ( Gingelly oil is best) to it.
  2. After a while, while the rice is still warm, add one or two spoons of Paruppu Podi to the plate of rice.
  3. Mix with a spoon to ensure even spread and non-sticky consistency of the mixed rice.

Ready to eat with just about any side dish, Raitha or plain curd being my favorite.

Why Dal Powder??
Toor Dal, Moong Dal is a good protein source.
Spice is adjustable according to your taste.
Zero Fat content if you don't add the ghee or oil to the rice mix.

Best on a rainy or cold night for dinner or every day just before any main course at lunch. This rice item will ensure that you eat light and is a great companion for the kitchen queens on a busy day, especially if you have a travel to do soon after lunch, or you got back from work late or you are unwell and cannot cook much that day!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Navarathri - A very different Idea of Dolls exhibit

Can you believe that people have the patience and the artistic sense in them to actually dedicate a whole room and the portico for Dusherra Dolls exhibit??

I had a chance to attend one such Golu invite in Coimbatore this year. This post is going to be a phot post of the exhibit.

As you enter the house, an old timer independent house if you can imagine with a portico ( Has a neat little dolls set up telling you, you are in for a grand Golu exhibit inside!!!)  leading to a closed lobby also called as Rezhi in Tamil. You see M.S Subhulakshmi first. There is a note that says they are celebrating her, which also explains the love for music in the family.

The Rezhi leads to the living room which was full of dolls..  All the dolls cannot be covered in one single frame!!!

Dolls of all sizes - tiny to huge; Dolls of all times -  Age old scupltures in clay to today's plaster of paris and fibre dolls.  They have theme based, varnam based, usual golu, story based exhibits, all arranged in the same room.

And there was a group of ladies singing bhajan as I entered the place. I quickly took permission from the music teacher in whose house this golu is being exhibited and clicked all the pictures I could manage to and sat watching the dolls for the next thirty minutes or so.

I could not help wonder the patience, the love for art, and the hard work that the whole show takes to make it look as lovely as it is!!!

The usual Golu in most houses looks like this:

Apart from all these, the walls had a number of paintings and floors had rangoli done with pearls and stones and sequins.. Excellent job. I do have the pictures but those may make the blog post bulky. So, I only posted a few of the forty pictures I clicked!!!

Applause to the family who worked together to get this done!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Are you there??

Are you in?

If the answer to these questions is "Yes" from the other side, then the next question will be:

Can I come over?

If it is a "Yes" again,  then the next question will be:

What time would be convenient for you?

If you are beginning to wonder if this is an official meeting precedence, then stop right there. This is what happens on casual visits to friends' /relatives places too.

Implies... that we are beginning to formalize everything and every relationship too. We are beginning to see the other person as an intrusion in our lives because that's why the doubt comes up if it would be the right time to visit someone." What if I go in when they are busy getting ready to step out? What if they are not at home when I travel all the way to their place? What if they are unwell and are not in a position to answer the door-bell at all?? What if I disturb them or their plans??"

Agreed, these formalities are important and essential for today's kind of busy lifestyle but we also need to remember that we have come up to the point in life where we cannot take NO for an answer, cannot see a Closed Door, and cannot accept a plan going for a toss!!!

More than the Can, the CanNOTs rule us and define our lives!!!

So what if you go all the way to see a friend and it turns out that the family has stepped out for dinner. You could leave a Hello note and plan something else for yourself that evening. Why don't we take it that way?? When phones were not there, people did visit each other without prior information. Bonds seemed more real and straight out of heart back then.

 Just an observation and warning for self!!!! It is not that tomorrow morning I am going to try changing the formality myself, but it is definitely worth taking a step back to check if we are really bonding with people or faking it!!!