Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Attention: Swalpa Adjust Maadi - Just adjust a little..

I had attended a workshop in early December on Technical Writing. In response to a particular question around writing, the speaker said, "There is always a simple rule to handle some situations; They say,"Swalpa Adjust Maadi" in Kannada. This translates to "Just adjust a little" in English."

This one fragment got rooted in my mind. For the last one month, I have said this phrase many times to myself to ease simple, common, unnecessary stress that we all face each day. I just thought this whole idea is worth a post.

More often than not, it is the trivial commonplace events that cause more stress [ small unnecessary stress usually cascade through the day and lead to bigger problems] to us than the relatively serious ones.

Here's one to help you visualize better: You are driving to work. You had set out well in advance from your house and you have had a great start of the day and your feel-good factor is good enough. Your favorite melody is on and the traffic signal is not a problem today for you, because you had started off early and you are quite confident to reach your office well in time for the day's first meeting.

You get caught in traffic. After some time of cool wait, you still find no progress. Honks around you send waves of tension, so you start honking too, but nothing works.

It is as simple and plain as : You are tangled in the traffic web. Not your fault and the tension that you take at this point is totally pointless.

Now, if you are going to take the tension, turn red in face, pick up that phone and yell at the next caller, and blame a bicycle rider who has the advantage of threading his way through the traffic, and cursing your luck or time or whatever, just because you could not make it to the "All-important" meeting, is not at all helping your heart or the situation. This hypertensive reaction will percolate to the security guard at your office when you get in, to the receptionist, to the computer's plug point, to the phone, to the email box and in effect to the people you write to, to the meeting attendees, to the decisions, to the discussions, to the phone calls during the day... and may be into your home atmosphere later the same day... All these things/people are totally unaware of your paramount problem of traffic jam early in the morning. They don't deserve to take a hit. Your attitude will be seen as strange and may affect you in serious ways that you would have not even thought of. You'll forget the traffic jam and the way you reacted towards things and people, while everyone else will remember the way you made them feel on that, supposedly long-forgotten, day.

Here is where you must say to yourself: "Swalpa Adjust Maadi".. Trust me, it will bring a smile immediately. Stress is relieved and you can think. Even the worst situations always have an alternative or workaround. Use your time to see how to reschedule things at work and ensure you communicate your inability to make it to the meeting. Save your energy for constructive work.

A major situation that the speaker highlighted:

In marriage, go by this rule: Swalpa Adjust Maadi with people and attitudes, you think you are not used to.

Other trivial situations I can quickly think of, where Swalpa Adjust Maadi helps:

If you just found out that a favorite movie show got cancelled, Swalpa Adjust Maadi.
If your favorite eatery is closed today and your lunch plans changed, Swalpa Adjust Maadi.
If you got a lower score than what you expected, Swalpa Adjust Maadi.
If you chose the most strategic seat to watch your favorite theatre play with your best friend and a tall man occupies the seat in front of you, Swalpa Adjust Maadi.
If you are wearing your favorite dress at a party and something spills on your dress, Swalpa Adjust Maadi.
If you decided to buy a designer piece and later find out that it is not for sale, Swalpa Adjust Maadi.
If you ordered for Paneer Butter Masala and the server gets you Peas Paneer Masala, Swalpa Adjust Maadi.
If you wanted a window seat for travel and did not get it, Swalpa Adjust Maadi.
If you ask for Gulab Jamoon and get Chocolate Cake, Swalpa Adjust Maadi.
If a dish that is supposed to be tangy suddenly tastes sweet, Swalpa Adjust Maadi.
If you are planning a quiet evening and a group of people turn up at home, Swalpa Adjust Maadi.
If you have a party and your hostel warden does not permit, Swalpa Adjust Maadi.
If you get what you must and not what you want, Swalpa Adjust Maadi.

These are some trivial situations that I have seen and faced and seen other people dealing with, in a way that its spoils the day. At the end of the day, the trivial problem gets recorded as a thought rather than the other fond thoughts that could have taken the same space in the mind. All these trivial problems/situations have solutions/workarounds/alternatives.

"Swalpa Adjust Maadi - Just adjust a little" does not mean "Put up with it"... it only means try and think of a better way to deal with it and be a little flexible.

If things don't work your way, see if you can say to yourself : Swalpa Adjust Maadi. When you have to tell the same to others, don't fail to. :-)

Life is all about 'Swalpa Adjust Maadi' and 'Enjoy Maadi' :) He who uses the formula, "Swalpa Adjust Maadi" enjoys life better and is happier than most others.

You also have to know when NOT to follow Swalpa Adjust Maadi :) If the adjustment affects your principle that you know works for you or hurts your self-esteem, then do not go by the formula of Swalpa Adjust Maadi.


SK said...

maadiduvOm :-)

Narayana Swamy K said...

very true... "een madudu?" Swalpa adjust maadu beku! There is one other famous line that one gets to hear in Bangalore.. " Onde rodu". Asking for directions in Bangalore can be a bit tricky.. just go straight, left, right and " onde rodu" .. damn hilarious!

Arjun B S said...

you should talk to Kumar for his perspective on 'adjusting' for the window seat everytime he travelles home!

Anonymous said...

Nice blog. You just are asking people to be relaxed in what ever they do. Thumba Chennagide.
By the way, there is a small spell check to be made in your blog. he word Swalpa is wrong in "If you just found out that a favorite movie show got cancelled, SWAAPA Adjust Maadi"

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