Friday, February 26, 2010

The Pretty Lady

She is from the North-east of India. Her eyes and complexion and hair texture said that. In the last five days, I saw her every other morning, in the same local bus that I took to office. She usually wears very elegant western outfits and is more professional than most of our folks who wear costumes that disrupt elegance in the name of looking 'cool'.

Today, the whole crowd's attention was on this North-eastern beauty. She was dressed in a cream colored designer Saree (the Indian Traditional wear, in case you are a non-Indian reader), hair tied up presentably, accessories that matched the saree's red border and a very simple, yet nice foot wear that went well with the careful choice of her attire.

I was amazed at the way she carried herself in the crowded bus. To wear a saree and get into a crowded bus requires a totally different level of experience. It gets very tough to manage the saree without disturbing the pleats. She walked like she is used to wearing saree every day.

A sharp contrast to some of us here, who know to wear saree, but behave like it is a total new fashion.
  • Few women walk like remote-controlled dolls on the days that they wear saree.
  • Some others say 'No' to saree because they think it takes a long time to drape a saree well.
  • Many girls say 'No' to saree because they think it is a little 'revealing' in comparison with the other casual outfits.
  • A lot of ladies say 'No' to saree because they think it attracts a lot of attention.
  • Most others say 'No' to saree because they think it makes them look older.
While our ladies can think of so many reasons why 'Saree' is not okay, I am impressed with this one pretty young lady for she found one special reason to wear a saree today. She was looking very celestial and I could not stop myself from giving her a quick compliment..

"You look beautiful", I told her... The "Thank you" followed by a lovely smile that came back made the pretty lady look prettier.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

If it's not your mobile number...

then, Don't share it with anyone else without the owner's permission. As simple as that.

I was in a team lunch yesterday.I was expecting a very important call, so had taken my mobile phone along. I get this call from a number that I didn't have in my cell phone's contact list. Picked it up to find that it was from a familiar name with a very professional, very senior, very managerial voice. In my mind, I mapped the options and nailed the name to a person in my professional circle. The next mind mapping was about who could have given my number to her and figured out options for that also.

I was super-thrilled to hear from her and just because she said, that she is not comfortable with the background noises surrounding me, I decided to call back. Of course, when you know you are talking to a senior, you should have the courtesy to call back. So, that decided, I continued with my lunch.

When I got back to work after lunch, I got busy, so sent her an SMS saying that I can call her in the evening. When I called again, she could not pick up. You see, its easy to understand that someone in her position will be busy all the time. Then I wrote another message asking her to call when she can or write what the call was about. In my mind ran a trailer about the possible reasons for the call. My profession and its interesting people and experiences have always thrilled me, and this instance was no exception.

It was about 9:00 P.M when she called back and I was in a parallel call. Cut that call short and dialled her again - this time feeling very bad about the hide 'n' seek game of missing each other's calls. In my mind, I had already fixed the name, designation, position of the person and was sure that this call was important for me.

First ring, she picks up and I start off about not being able to pick up her call and now that we are finally on, can she tell me what the call was about.. I mean I was very polite and am so glad that I was, till the end of the call....

She started with the fact that she was busy and that she was unable to pick up my calls... and that she was sorry... and then I say, 'Its okay' and that we can talk now. Only after this, I come to know it is about maintaining my skin tone, color, and health and all that.... She is a marketing executive of a supposedly renowned, American, cosmetic company that works on plant-based raw materials for its products. My temper-control seemed to fall off my head but luckily my tongue is toned to phone conversational habits better than before, and so that saved some fiery exchanges.

I tried to find out who gave my contact to her which she skillfully masked from me saying she took my number long ago from someone and does not happen to remember that moment. Very convenient answer!!! She wanted my appointment to check my skin tone and prescribe the range of products that will help my skin 'glow'. Obviously, I was not interested in such an unknown caller's unsolicited marketing talk.

On a normal note, I would have probably taken some interest, but because this was definitely not my way of taking others' time and attention, I asked for an email with all details and agreed to get back at a later date. I knew that the caller was doing a smart job, so no point in blaming her. I knew the friend would have suggested my name and number in the best interest of me, so no point in blaming her either. I was expecting a call from someone with the same name, and my hopes kept flying high, so no point in blaming me either.

If you share someones' mobile number, make sure you take prior permission from your friend.

If that was not feasible for some reason, please inform your friend about this exchange.

The marketing executives who call should be able to give the correct reference when talking to a new prospect for their sales.

Let's remember to follow this just so we avoid some hassle to our near and dear ones.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Respect the person within!!!!!!!!

Including children...I recently read this post by Sowmya Gopal and I agree.

I have been hearing a lot of unpleasant things about children's safety these days. It bothers me a lot. Early February, a good friend of mine, SK sent me a nice speech by Dr.Shalini and I went through it.

The content made me reflect into the situation of the day :

You send your child to school and you are worried about safety.
Your child is in a dance class and you cannot be sure about the teacher.
Your child goes to school in a bus, and you cannot be sure about the senior boys in the bus.
You cannot trust your neighbour who is your child's grand dad's age.

There was a time when the parents did not have to worry about the physical abuses to their precious daughter till she turns into a pretty young lady. Now, the case seems to be very different. Right from one year old baby, there is a reason to worry. This has always bothered me : Why cant people treat each other with some basic respect?

Today, at lunch, I heard an account of a shattering news from a friend of mine. She seems to have heard this from the media. It is about a pathetic situation expressed by an unfortunately ( Yes, beautiful people need to be a little extra careful, else it can turn unfortunate in this unpredictable world...) beautiful young lady in love with this insincere, idiotic, handsome, and rich young man. Pardon the usage of adjectives here... [I surely respect men who respect women and women who respect men.]The girl fell a prey to this man and also his friends. She tells the world of young love birds to be very careful and has lost respect for men. I am masking certain details here to keep to my personal policy.

This incident made me write this post. I am also hearing a lot of such threats to children and young women from their own family members.

Where is our world headed?
What are we doing about this?
Is it because we trust people too far?
Is it because we do not know to draw the lines?
Is it because we are confused about the facets of the word modernity -modernity and ultra-modernity and senseless modernity and careless modernity?
Is it because we do not teach our boys to respect the girls in their life?
Is it because of media?
Is it because of the prevailing 'So what?' attitude that is increasing by the second?
Is it because of our stupidity?
Is it because of peer pressure and physcological tensions?
Is it because we know more and more about the negatives only?
Is it because we are away from tradition?

In the name of love, in the name of care, in the name of trust, in the name of faith, in the name of concern, in the name of beauty, in the name of natural instinct, in the name of any relationship, why does the human physcology change when it comes to treating another person with respect?

I am reminded of this quote : Respect for self, Respect for others, and Respsonsibility for all actions... Do we reiterate this kind of culture in our country anywhere, anymore?

Let's take some responsibility to take care about the way we treat our immediate circle of friends and family and all children we know. When I am saying children, it is not just under-ten, as per today's standards, even kids under 21 behave as irresponsible and childish. Thanks to the lifestyle today. People like Dr.Shalini are working hard to communicate to the parents and teachers about the whole idea of taking care of the kids today. Let's participate or spread the word and do whatever little we can to contribute to the cause.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Cheeni Kam

Yes, you are right.. It is the name of an early 2007 movie and this is a late review.. I loved Illayaraja's music for the theme song "Cheeni Kam.. Cheeni Kam".. but never chanced to watch it till January 2010. I applaud the makers for the dialogues, the choice of artists, the screen play, and the music.

A quick recap for those who've seen the movie and a quick account of the story for those who have not seen the movie:

In a foreign land, this 64 year old unmarried Indian man meets this smart 34 year old Indian woman. Their numerous meetings and conversations slowly bring about a romantic inclination and they decide to get married. To portray the characterization of the old man, a very smart and cute little neighbour and a very cool old mom have been introduced. I loved the little girl and the old lady a lot. They are both a sure plus to the movie. The director has weaved all the roles and characterized them well enough to fit into the movie script, quite well.

The story line is something I am unable to agree with, though I will be one of the very few odd people out who cannot accept that romance between 64 and 34 ends in marriage. I am surprised at how the makers could convince a lot of people that this is possible and practical. Well, with love, you never know.. is what I get to hear often.. and I do not want to debate it... so let's leave it at that.

What really was a problem for me in the movie was the little girl's character. I agree that this movie was released on a 'Restricted' certificate and so chances of children watching the movie are rare. Still, I think, the story could have been conducted well without all the grown-up talk for a child's role. I still do not understand why this was required. And I don't understand how not many people had issues with the dialogues. Agreed, I enjoyed the little girl's role, but I think she and her role would have done just fine without some 'grown-up' talks too.

Will the movie makers think about it?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Its all about parameters

When I wrote about Standing Tall, I wrote that a lot in life is parametrized. I thought I will post a little more detail on these parameters, as I see it.

The first time I heard the word parameter was in my Computer science class in eleventh grade. My teacher was teaching about the classic C language. The simplest sense for a non-computer science reader for a parameter is this : You have a program that gives different results based on the inputs you give. The code is the same to add two numbers. The numbers that you give determine what result you get.

Back then, that is all I cared. I did not know that the next to next levels in my academics was all about parameters. It was taught in Chemistry Lab, Physics Problem, Maths Equations and Computer Programs. Parameters were everywhere.

When I did give it a serious thought, I learnt that health is parametrized... If your body temperature went above 98.4F, then your problem is called Fever. I don't know much of medicine, but this is the basic idea. Any health diagnosis is also based on various parameters.

Similarly, wealth is also parametrized... how wealthy you are depends on a lot of things : What wealth means to you, What you do to make it, What you do to keep it, What hinders you, and how you deal with it.. All these are different for each of us, though all of these parameters are the key factors that determine how wealthy we are... We all give different answers to each of these and hence the wealth levels are different for each of us..

It is easy to comment or criticize about a lot of things... I agree that the movie reviews I write are also easier than actually making the movie and releasing it to the wide audience for comments and criticism. When the values of all parameters are inclined to success, the movie becomes a hit, else it is a flop show.

Now, anything and everything you can name and think of, comes with a lot of parameters which we name circumstances. If this had not happened, if this had worked out, if this was that way, and if that was this way, I would have achieved this... That is what we hear people say often. All these are the parameters that determined the result and if at all anything has to be changed, then it has to be the way we perceive achievement and success of a particular goal.

I think for everything we do in life, we need to work our best to anticipate all possible parameters and keep it inclined towards success as much as we can. That is to say... If we need to score good credits in an examination, we need to keep our lesson notes latest, keep our concentration levels good, keep our health fit, keep our sleep patterns disciplined, keep our study time moderate, and keep our home atmosphere serene and happy. These are the positive values we give to the parameters - Notes, Focus, Health,Rest, Time,Environment - that are key to the success or failure of a student in an examination. In spite of all the positively inclined values, if the results do not come out as expected, we should not worry too much about it. It might be due to another parameter we had not thought of. What we could, we did, and so there is no need and no point in worrying about it.

Recently I heard about a college graduate who scored well in her academics, but did not get a placement. She has ended her life because she did not get a job. Obviously, a lot of parameters that caused her to take the decision... If the values had been positive for these parameters, just may be she would have lived to see herself landing in a good job.

I think, the parents, teachers and students and the society in which we live in, should learn to accept that Life is a lot about parameters; there is no point in comparison with anyone else, because the parameters that each of us deal with are the same but with different values, sometimes, as complicated as it can get.

We are better off approaching anything and everything in life this way : Just keep all the values of the contributing parameters inclined positively towards the success of your goal. Let's not criticize the matter after we have done that, because we are convinced that we have done what we could and there is no point in even talking about it further, except for learning reasons and improving on the parameters.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Stand It All and Stand Tall

A new comer moved in with me to my hostel room, just the previous night. After the quick introductions, the first thing she did, when she started to setup her space in the room, was to pull out a hand-written paper that said this :

Remember to Stand Tall.....

The verse that followed was long and poetic, but this is the only line that I remember to date. When you need a quick dose of confidence, you just have to say this line once. And it does help.

"Remember to Stand Tall" got engraved in my mind. The first week of January 2010 began with the next set of dreams and hopes and expectations for the world. It was a nice Sunday morning and my friend comes in with this troubled look to say that someone committed the highest order of crime - Ending her life herself - in our neighbourhood. This girl was working with a reputed shop and is reported to have joined work quite recently. The shop was shut for a day and the next day's news paper gave a short paragraph note in 'nano-small' sized font about the incident. The same evening I chanced to cross the shop and life is back to normal in the shop. May be the colleagues of the dear girl - who put a full stop to her own life, felt sorry for her.. and may be are still feeling sorry for her and missing her.... but nothing stops just because she died... Although a school of thought says that her destined life time came to a close and she passed away, another school of thought says that there is a very important lesson for the rest of the world to learn : If you can stand it all, you will be able to stand tall - in spite of all the emotional eruptions that devastate your confidence and ultimately your dear life...

I am not willing to comment anything on what could have caused the girl to take this decision, as no one in this world can really understand the depth of what the next person you meet on the road is going through. It is very easy to say that she should not have done this to herself from where we stand. Life is parametrized a lot. Which parameter caused this is buried in the depth of the lost life's history. And not many lives get into history books, so there is no way to know what could have been done differently by anyone to help her out.

I was putting off ( for no particular reason) this post for a long time now. I recently heard another case of this kind, in a different city. Someone known to my friend's circle. This prompted me to write this post today.

What we can surely do is to :

- Inculcate confidence in ourselves.
- Inculcate trust in friends and family.
- Stay in touch with spirituality in a way that works for us.
- Be at peace with self and take help when we cannot manage it ourselves.
- Know that we have a duty to live, no matter what adversity faces us.
- Remember that we can Stand It All and It is definitely doable.

If we do this, help in adverse situations will land in some form or the other. And you will be able to deal with it.

Homes, Schools and Colleges should try to teach a little more of 'Confidence' and a little more of 'taking life light'. I think we take life too serious than it is meant to be. We are giving too much importance to privacy ( while it is going for a full toss on the internet ) and tend to keep quiet even to close folks, about what we think and dont think about a lot of our so-called 'personal' life. That should change a little.

The girl's family lost their precious dear one, and they HAVE TO LIVE with it anyway. Life just goes on.. and in time people will have learnt to deal with the loss.

The same applies to all troubles... They can be solved, dealt with, managed, healed, or just forgotten with a new breeze of happiness. So why hurry up and call it quits??

This has to move on..whatever be the situation.. and we just have to Remember to Stand It All and Stand Tall.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Quick scribbles - That's all it takes sometimes

Its been a crazy schedule at work.. I was headed to work a little earlier than my usual relaxed hour, only to find that the entire crowd in Bangalore was at the bus stop with me. The whole point of me leaving early was to beat the traffic and the crowd, and it is not easy to take that long wait at the bus stop, the lap top getting heavier on my shoulders and the work loads getting bulkier on my mind...

I was just thinking, This is not my kind of approach and I was sure that it was not bad at all and that I am going to be able to do it.. and I was working hard on my positive energy levels for the day, but somehow it just did not seem to work well...

When I was looking around for particularly nothing ( when you know you have to reach somewhere and cannot do anything much, but wait for the transport at a crowded bus stop, the best thing to do is 'Nothing'), I saw this college student wearing an attractive T-shirt with about seven colored boxes painted on it and this line written on it :
"You know, my life just got more colorful!!!!"

That brought a smile effect on me and suddenly everything seemed doable..manageable... and at the end of my work day, I had finished more than what I thought I would have been able to.

Sometimes, it is just some quick notes scribbled across somewhere - a white board, a t-shirt, a notebook, a cartoon clipping on TV - just anywhere, would click so well to your advantage. That's all it takes sometimes, to change someone's mind and energy levels. Quite interesting!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Celebrating Love....

I got this lovely Valentine's day wish on 13th February night, when I was on a call with friends. It was their four year old daughter who spoke .. Hello Auntie!!! Happy Valentine's day!!!!!!! :) :) So pure and clear, So near and dear.. :) That's all it takes to make some one's day. A sincere wish that sounds straight out of your heart..

Yesterday, when the long day finally dawned and slow moon waned for a lot of love birds on the planet, I was musing about the whole idea of Valentine's day and its present day impacts.

My mobile service provider sent me this message two days ago:
IMPORTANT - Please note, Normal SMS charges would be applicable on Sunday, 14th Feb 2010. Free/Discounted SMS rates will NOT be applicable on that day.

Goes to say that there are a lot of messages expected to fly around in the network and its time to make the Valentine moments special for the organization that supports the service. A similar rule on New Year day has generated about 1 crore revenue for the major service providers in the country is what a News report had to say few days into year 2010. We'll know the stats for the Valentine's day soon, I guess.

I logged in to say Thanks for a recent cake order, and hit on a few florists by chance. A bouquet of 12 roses cost somewhere between Rs.3500 to Rs.4700. This is if your Valentine lives abroad. I was trying to reason out that there must be something better. Found out that a teddy bear along with the roses cost another thousand and a cake to compliment it costs another Rs1500. Total works out to about Rs6000 if you want to make it a perfect Valentine gift package from this florist website. Business to the cake shops, Florists and the Gift shops... :)

I didn't bother to find out the local rates because, the place was packed anyway. Whether they were selling high-priced flowers or not, from the number of heads I saw yesterday at the shop than usual, I can tell that they've done a great business than usual.

One of my friends wanted to send a card abroad.. She didn't think a simple card ( trust me, it was really simple and did not weigh as much as the usual cards these days) would cost her Rs.1950 to be sent on International courier. Wonder how many others actually sent such cards and parcels on International courier to be delivered on Feb 14th? and how much business the couriers made out of this.

Apart from this, all movie theatres were packed to full-house in the city yesterday. More business to the movie theatres.

Coffee shops didn't have a vacant seat. More business there.

All the shops in the big shopping Malls had some offer or the other going on. I am sure that would have added some extra business.

I saw this advertisement on TV yesterday. She is upset and is just unable to smile in life. He is giving her a surprise with a lovely diamond necklace. She smiles instantly. So, was that all? Can expensive gifts win over people's love permanently?? Question that I have for the Advertisement makers...Wonder how much business this jewel shop had made... If not diamonds jewellery, gold is also a good enough buy these days for the shop's business to lift.

Its nice to note all this and it does bring a smile. Wonder how nice it would be if everyday, everyone were to celebrate love the way they do on Valentine's day.... Would we do that?? Wonder what would the logic of spending so much on gifts and presents and flowers be then?

Although I am a gifts and cards and flowers person and I understand that some little nice gifts (that fits our purses) to our loved ones are a sure way to let people know we love them, I still do not understand exorbitantly priced gifts to celebrate love.

With due respect to the love you have for your Valentine, I sign off saying : Celebrate Love, and Celebrate every moment, in your own special way, even if it means to just dial a wish for your special one.. Ensure that expense for gifts does not become a subject of discussion anytime in your life. Save for it every year and spend within that amount. Every time you get an increment, allot an increment to that gift amount as well. This way, Love doesn't eat your purse. Applies to all special day gifts, especially Valentines' day.

Best wishes,

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Let them know!!!!!

I chanced to give a hand in a cake order recently on behalf of my friend. She is this interesting cousin of this lucky chap who got married to this lovely girl.

My friend wanted to send a special wish from 'Across the miles' and you know our online orders at times.. I remember how one such order reached the venue at 10:00 P.M for a 9:00A.M wedding. So, I thanked her common sense to have an offline order placed for this cake. Now, when you are paying a fat sum and you are extremely creative and expressive, it is natural to expect a cake that exactly matches your specification. At least, when I took the order like I would do for myself, I wanted to be sure.

We decided on a Baker and started off with the careful and long and process-oriented ordering process [ There is much more to process adherence in a bakery than we have in IT industry..].
I generally cannot settle for " Its okay... this would do.." when I stand in for someone else to do something. So, I bothered the bakery and my friend and another cousin in her family who received the cake on my behalf ( Murphy's law here, I was tied up at work after a long holiday, so could not move out to receive the cake..) as much as I thought I should and finally closed formalities and went on holiday.

When I got back and checked with the baker, Mr. Receiver had picked up the cake. When All was not really well at work, this good news of "All is well" with the cake was a welcome note to me. My friend sent me a picture of the cake the next day. I tell you, I would not have had the mind to cut it. It was so well made and so cute and exactly as expected. Infact, this was much more perfect that I had expected.

See for yourself!!!!

See, its easy to pick up a photo from the catalogue and have the cake baked, but we wanted an online order specification to be made available for offline order. And that was supposed to go through a specific process including an approval and design sign-off.

After I saw this picture, I thought it is only fair to let the baker know that their shop has done a fantastic job. For me, its important that you let people know any single appreciation that you might have for them. So, I called up the shop. When the baker finally picked up, I introduced myself and he knew me very well.. whether he remembers me or not, he would surely recall the cake.. I told him "A Big thank you from all of us for the lovely cake you had made for the wedding. I'll be happy to recommend your bakery to people from now on." That is all I said.

The baker was thrilled and happy about the compliment as if I had complimented his own piece of work. I knew this cake got done at a different place since it was a customized order and was delivered from this outlet. Still, the voice showed that Appreciations do matter and do make people's day.... I recall that I had once done a bouquet order like this for a friend and called the florist to say that the flowers were done so well ; they remained fresh for about two days and that I can confidently recommend them to my people. He was very happy to hear that..

At the end of the day, no matter how much you get paid for what you do or don't do at work, no matter what you get for what you do or don't do at home, what really makes you feel grand is plain acknowledgement of the fact that your job is noticed.. Appreciation comes next, as a bonus.

Let's think about appreciating people for what they are, for what they do and for what they know, as and when we spot their self, act, and knowledge. It goes a long way to help them know themselves better. Often, we don't know our strengths until someone appreciates our work.

Friday, February 12, 2010

India today : artificially scenic

Bollywood.It is a Karan Johar movie. A Sharukh-Kajol Starrer. My Name Is Khan movie release is happening as I write this post.

Just click on any news link or flip through any magazine ( language is no barrier) in the next few days or switch on any news channel in the television today.. All you see and hear is about the problems and havoc created by a set of people for and against this movie release.

Makes me wonder.. When will people ever learn to love a movie just as a movie and not take it too serious to fight about?

Cricket Ground. Country A vs. Country B. Of course the match has to be conducted somewhere on the Earth because they cannot play on space.

Just attempt googling for any news link on Cricket in India today, and you will see a lot of stories about cricket, venue of the game, and a lot of other controversies which boils down to nothing when you think of the game in itself. Wonder why?

People just forget to appreciate the game for what it is and involve themselves too much in the politics that surround it. Too many things might happen at the board level, but our media and people bring all of it and sometimes much more than what is happening to limelight, making a lot of people lose focus from the game as such. When will people ever learn to love a game for what it is and not be behind the extraneous political stunts around it.

The next big scene in India, I expect is Valentine's day. Watch out for the news cast about Valentine's day this Sunday. I wont be surprised if police patrol is employed to keep Valentine's day event-free.

I think, naturally scenic India is going by this rule these days : If there is no event ( read as scene), create one. After all, creativity exists in everybody!!!!! If there was a theoretical classification of creativity, I will say that this kind of creativity is called destructive creativity.

Here is an example of constructive creativity: One of my friends told me that he would step into a particular country only if the Queen of the country gives him a red carpet welcome.. When I was thinking almost aloud about how much of baseless creativity this statement is based on, he said, ... "wait I have not finished.. To honor my recent research on a subject that interests her nation and world at large!!!!!, the Queen might just invite me over for an award function.... You never know!!!!!"..

Although it was said, in a light note, I must say, if you have to be really creative, it is good to spend it in thoughts like this.. A dream of red carpet welcome somehow sounds better than the achievement of causing havoc scene in the country for anything and everything. What is even more amazing is - not a single news channel is worried about the upcoming trend of "doing anything and everything to make it to the NEWS!!!!!." The next time you watch news, you judge for yourself the percentage of news that makes sense to you and this country.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Frog or conch?

It was 8:00P.M when I finally reached my house after getting caught in heavy traffic ( the usual 1.25 hours of commute took me 2 whole hours yesterday) and after messing up something at work ( when you are a writer, it comes with the product release time package) and after a totally dull day in general.

Now, this is definitely not the ideal mind state to solve a mystery. As I opened the front gate to my house, I casually looked around to see a 'frog' on the top of a car parked in front of my house. I stopped on my track and took one step towards the car to see the frog in the bright yellowish orange street light. That according to me, is a total venture..Me and frogs are not friends really.

That bold step and my creative eye-sight made it look like a conch shell on top of the car. I thought that the lighting gave it a perfect touch and was wondering why would anyone keep such a beautiful conch shell on top of the car. Before I could assert that people and their thinking can be crazy(!!!!) I wanted to confirm this conch shell discovery. So took another few steps towards the car. I am sure, any police officer around would have questioned me as a suspect for a prospective incident in the locality, had there been a police patrol van. I was constantly staring at the conch shell. For an unknown reason, I just decided to let this be and walk back into my house. You see, I have had a very tough day, so I take that you can surely understand when I make such crazy moves.

As I closed the front gate after me, curiosity took the better of me and I took one last look back at the conch shell and it looked like a dry leaf from the tree's branch. And leaf it finally was!!!!! It looked so beautiful. I don't walk around with a camera, but I think some of these captures are totally worth it.

When I sat back later last night, I realized that my mind can be so creative ( imaginative?? crazy?? can be alternatives and reasons, but creative is what it finally pins down to) and I did not believe so much when people say, Creativity exists in everyone's minds..

From Frog to Conch Shell to a Dry leaf, this little episode unveiled the truth about creativity to me. We just don't believe that creativity is everyone's self. We all are creative and to know how much, we just need to observe such minor happenings in our day to day lives to assert ourselves of our creativity within. Creativity can be practised. I have not identified a concrete know-how, when I do, will write it for you. As step one, we can start off by just believing that We are blessed with creativity by birth.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hair oil discipline!!!!

The early morning dawned grand and beautiful and festive for all of us. We were at a village off Palghat for my cousin's wedding in a few hours from then. We were to get ready, go to the temple ( only in Kerala you see a lot of people starting their day with temple visit as early as 5:00 A.M), and then reach the venue at 6:30 A.M.

Scene 1 :

It was me cribbing about my frizzy hair. No matter what trick I tried, it just would not set the way I wanted it to. I tried my best to avoid oiling my hair that morning. I didn't want the shine of the oil in the photographs. People suggested that either I try applying some oil and get the work done or just stay there for the rest of the day setting my hair style right, while they all march off to the temple first and then to the hall.

Reluctantly,,,,,,,,, very reluctantly I looked around for coconut oil. I was walking around the house to find the home-made coconut oil that the bride's party brought for us the previous night.

Scene 2:
My father's old aunt had also come for the wedding. She is 93 years old. She was all set to go for the wedding when I crossed the chair where she was seated. I loved her blue Saree and stopped to compliment her. I told her, " Paati, lovely Saree.. Give us few more minutes and we'll all go together". I recalled that this aunt once used to have long hair that used to be very thick and jet black. Now, for convenience and maintainability, she has asked for a cropped hair. To me, she looked all perfect.

She was waiting for the rest of the clan to get ready, so someone can accompany her to the venue. At least this is what I thought. I am not yet my presentable self for a wedding. I still have a complete hair-do to finish. She called me to ask what I am looking for. I said, "Hair oil". She immediately said, " I've also asked for it. Wait here. You see, my hair is a little frizzy and dry. This is not the way I should go for a wedding. I want to apply some oil and comb it neat enough to be presentable."

I didn't have anything to say after that. I quietly applied oil on my supposedly long and dry and frizzy hair, I tamed it to my usual hair-style and set out for the wedding function.

A 93-year-old thinks that oil is the best thing for a disciplined hair style. A lot of us youngsters think that the same oil is out-of-trend for hair styles. Beauticians say the same thing about applying oil to your hair to maintain its beauty.

As the wedding was based in a small village, we saw a lot of disciplined hair styles. I am wondering what this grand old Paati will say if she gets to go for a city wedding where people come with their hair let loose, hair falling all over the face and sweeping the hair off the eyes every time they nod, which they do all the time :)..

Time changes.. Opinions change.. Life changes... It is not about what is correct or incorrect, it is about how different we think from the grand old people's days. How do we expect them to understand everything that is happening in our lives today, and everything that we do today? I think, we cannot explain our actions to them ( our basis of thoughts is very different and baseless at times) and cannot understand their rationale behind why they are saying what they are ( Mostly they know why they are doing what they are doing and can reason out most of their actions) .

The next time someone from the grand old clan says anything that we cannot agree, its best to appreciate their wisdom and take what works for us and NOT complain about them. We just have to move on with a smile, a humble smile will work better, I must say.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

The Earth Dates the Sky

I had this first-ever invites to a painting exhibition. I love drawing, have done some coloring as a child, but almost always I have flopped the dusk and dawn paintings. Over the years, I glued myself to black and white art. Many of my friends have suggested that I do color pictures, but never really took it serious enough. The photo frame sized canvas base I saw in one of the stationers, thrilled me to an infinite extent. What's in a plain canvas, you ask? I can tell you that the best motivator for art is its drawing base. I totally loved the idea of painting something nice on that piece of canvas base. I had no idea what kind of colors to ask for, so called my artist friend and got some hints. She told me this : Just get started.. You never know how much you know till you start off with paintings. I believed it completely, but when I finally picked up all I needed, I somehow thought I must approach an art school and learn this through, to start off canvas art. That was all and the episode was safely docked in my mind.. or should I say, put away?? Whatever .. I did not even think of canvas art till I saw this invitation - The Earth Dates the Sky by Anuradha Nalapat.

It was held in Lavelle Road, Bangalore in December 2009. I am glad that I chose this exhibition to a dinner event and a movie plan. Somehow, that evening, I thought art ruled. I walked in to see the walls decked with canvas paintings. The lighting and the colors made it look like the best place to be on a Sunday evening - totally serene and every face in the room had either a smile, a thought, a reflection, or a question. Never really understood modern art in my life till I had a chance to be an active participant in the artist's interaction session. The artist Anuradha was among the group discussing and answering and clarifying a lot about the artistic touches. To me, it initially seemed a babble, then slowly the idea of modern art struck me.. And then immediately all the pictures seemed to make some sense and I did not feel out of place anymore. It is a blessing to know to appreciate art.. I missed this till that grand evening.

I never understood how modern art pieces were so heavily priced.. I never understood how someone can exclaim a " Wonderful!!!!" when all I could see was a splash of colors without any symmetry. I never understood what pattern the artists follow to splash colors in a way they only know... In all, I did not think modern art was worth it at all.....until that grand evening.

Here is what I took from The Earth Dates the Sky evening:: Modern art is about a stir of unexplainable waves and emotions that get transformed into a piece of art work that can mean different things to different people... It is about dwelling in a state of mind and translating it into a canvas, expressing with colors - bright and pale. With varied shades and tints, the modern art pieces convey serenity, fantasy, enthusiasm, intelligence, humor, reflections, and beauty.

How do you get started?? Although a good tutor is a number one suggestion, I think what matters is the idea of expressing thoughts.. If you can express in words, you either become a writer or an orator. If you can express in silence, you can become an artist. If you allow yourself to be less rigid in what you think, you can express your thoughts very well.

It is often a splash of colors that make your day... :) Symmetric and methodical, structural and pattern art is what we see each day around us - Nature and day-to-day things that we use are all based on some premise that we can relate to; They relate and mean just the same to everyone around; so we seem to love it better than the modern art which means different things to different people based on their state of mind and the level of acceptance to the very idea of trying to relate colors, strokes,mind, and space. :)

The Earth Dates the Sky - figures as an option in my idea of a perfect evening. We like things only when we understand them.. Wonder why I am tempted to write that the same goes with people.. that aside, I would say that everyone should try to look at a modern art painting and see what kind of thoughts flow in.. You dont think that the world would be ready to pay fat cheques for a totally incomprehensible splash of unrelated colors. Do you?? :) So its definitely worth a thought...

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Nice catch!!!!

I had a very interesting conversation with a ten year old today.. According to him, he is nine and a half years old and will turn ten next month. We were talking about his school and classes and games.

The conversation slowly drifted towards bed time and he told me he had stayed awake very late at times, doing some drawing. I told him, its best to sleep early and wake up early enough to concentrate on drawings and exam preparations.

He was not sure if I was talking sense, so asked me questions about how I handled my exams and tests when I was in school. The conversation was interesting, because no one has drilled me with so many questions on my bed time during exams, in a long time. Examinations are almost forgotten in my corporate world.

The kid said that he spent 1.5 hours for one of his exams; "that too I did not work too hard", he added, and "I got 25 marks on 25" [ Which is cent percent]. Without thinking, I asked, "why did you not study with complete focus in that 1.5 hours?"[ My brain must have gone on a holiday, else I would not have asked this question].. Out came the response, the next minute, " Even if I had worked harder, I would still have got only that 25 on 25 marks. So why bother?"...

Perfect Sense... And I don't have a convincing answer to this bright student's brilliant question.. If 1.5 hours of casual study is good enough for a 25/25 score, then why would anyone want to put in more effort??


Unsure why I thought of this old school prayer hymn yesterday evening, but it is nice to recall and jot down the prayer here for us to read and reflect. I think it is one of the well-thought out thanks prayer that I have come across so far. This being the 250th post of mine, I thought this thanks will fit in very well here.

Thank you God for :
All you have given
Friendship and Love
Faith and Freedom
Thank you God for All.

Thank you God for :
Wonders of Nature,
Learning and Sport,
Music and Singing,
Thank you God for All.

Thank you God for :
Staying so near me,
Caring for me,
Making me Healthy,
Thank you God for All.

Thank you God for :
Days that are happy,
Days that are sad,
Hard things and easy,
Thank you God for All.

Its nice to say Thank you and sometimes, never really enough.... Thank you all for your readership and viewpoints on my posts.

Friday, February 05, 2010


You know you are in Kerala, India when :

You see rubber trees and coconut trees.
You see as many toddy shops as there are roads.
You see houses built on slopes.
You travel in buses that throw you off balance as a standee.
You see beautiful women.
You see men in dhothies most of the time.
You see "Chandana kuri" on people's foreheads all time of the day.
You hear "Chendai Melam" that is an interesting and loud rhythmic music note.
You see clean and tidy roads in most places.
You see lush green forest touch called "Parambu"around the houses.
You see a strong inclination to art wherever you go.
You see carefully careless make-up.
You take a breath of fresh air.
You taste the best of Tea and worst of Coffee.
You taste food cooked in coconut oil.
You see a number of water bodies.
You see a lot of fish.
You see a lot of wooden stuff.
You experience the beauty of nature first hand.
You can hear the sound of silence - sometimes blissful and sometimes eerie.

That's a snap of God's own country.

- A quick recall from my recent visit to Kerala.

Comment moderation changes on Dew

Hello Readers,

Thank you for your readership. Hope All is well with you and your folks. :-)

Of late, I have been noticing a lot of spam comments ( some automated and some intended) that disturb the very idea of being 'Dew' which is pure and clear. I am unable to let this disturbing factor seep in any further into my blog.

I don't quite like the idea that people have to sign-in to post comments on my blog or have to do a word verification to post a comment. Till three minutes ago, I had kept my blog open for anonymous comments as well. To continue being and living the Dew way, I had to impose verification rules on my blog, starting this post.

I trust you will understand this and wont mind doing a word verification or google sign-in when you are asked to. Please stand with me on this and help me keep Dewdrop going steady as always.

I value your comments and would like to continue knowing your views on my write-ups. Thought I must keep you posted on the way comments work on my blog from today. :)

Thanks a tonne,


Thursday, February 04, 2010


சித்திரமும் கைப்பழக்கம்,
செந்தமிழும் நாப்பழக்கம்,
வைத்ததொரு கல்வியும் மனப்பழக்கம்,
நித்தம் நடையும் நடைப்பழக்கம்,
நட்பும், தயையும், கொடையும் பிறவி குணம்.

பழக்கத்தின் சக்தியை உணர்த்தும் ஒரு கவிதை. இணையத்தில் தேடினால் முழு கவிதையும், இதன் எழுத்தாளர் விவரமும் கிடைக்கலாம். ஆனால் என் மனதில் பதிந்த இந்த வரிகளை மட்டும் எழுத தோன்றியது இன்று. எனது அருமை பாட்டியின் சொல்படி என் மனம் கவர்ந்த வரிகள் இவை மட்டுமே.

A good look at the nature

"Every now and again take a good look at something not made with hands: a mountain, a star, the turn of a stream. There will come to you wisdom and patience and solace and, above all, the assurance that you are not alone in the world."

-Sidney Lovett(-); minister

This quote was on the Good morning email that I received this morning. I had just got back to work after a fantastic ( understated of course) vacation to Kerala for a wedding function. The wedding was held at a very small village off Palghat, Kerala. I was in and I think, still am in a trance state thinking about the last four days of varied experiences that I chanced to be in. That said, you can imagine my state in the morning at my work desk... so much to do and absolutely no mood to touch the key pad... Still as is the normal routine, I did eventually open my mail box to check emails.. Nothing better to see after a nice long vacation like a friend's email and I had three of them - A Hello email, A Thinking of you email and this Good morning email... I read the quote and it reflected my mind state exactly, which is why this post :)

In the midst of the wedding hustles and bustles, the people, the trains , the welcomes, the dresses, the festivities, the food, the group talks, the corner cell phones, the children, the wailing and beautiful babies, the oldies, the friends, the noise, I stepped outside to take a phone call.

It was a beautiful night - stars, the full moon that brightly lighted up the pond just in front of where I stood, the cool breeze, freshness of the air(was unbelievable), the total silence ( practically no noise outside the hall; all chatters were inside the hall ), a silhouette frame of someone walking in the moon light, and the tall coconut trees.... Seemed like a dream to me as I write this post...

I didn't have doubts before about Nature and its power, but just in case I might have had, Nature showed me that night about some quiet achievements that man can never make, own, and claim in life. Also, this serene, clear, cool, beautiful night-sky-watch and the environment brought an inner-sense of bliss that equals all meditation, prayer, peace and quiet that is being taught in a closed room in cities...

Made me smile and still makes me wonder about the life that would have been before and the life that is today.. May be the Creator is also wondering the same....

This is my version of the quote I read this morning:

"Every now and again take a good look at something not made with hands: a mountain, a star, the turn of a stream. There will come to you wisdom and patience and solace and, above all, the fact that the gift of life is more than you think it is. Live it, Love it,Enjoy it, and know your limits of freedom, money, achievements, and power!!!"


With new opportunities also comes to fear and self-doubt. How can we navigate these very strong forces in order to reach our fulfillment...