Saturday, January 22, 2011

Chembai village and its lessons

Its been quite a while since I saw such a neat little village in India. I know that Palghat, a district in Kerala had about 64 villages and each of them had its own temple, pond or lake, and wells. I also remember someone telling me that these villages are kept very neat and clean. The picture that you see here is that of a village called Chembai.

This picture shows the houses on one row. The coconut trees act as the divider line. There is another row of houses on the other side. Just two rows of houses make the entire village. There are two temples in the village and one in an adjacent lane. The village residents make it a point to visit at least one of the temples before 7:00 A.M each day.

The day's routines - cleaning the house and back yard, daily prayers, washing clothes and vessels and breakfast are done in a regular pattern. Every house you see is kept so spic and span. In most of the houses we could see very old people, very happy with their own way of life, totally oblivious to mad rush of the rest of the world. These oldies believe in self-help, which according to an adage is " the best help ". The only dependency that they probably have is the dependency on Money which is understandable. Children, near and dear help them with the minimal money that they need for their living in the village.

People are very friendly with each other and try to help each other in need. They treat strangers with respect and care - could not help comparing with our lives in cities where we rarely are able to trust anyone. We were absolute strangers to the place and we were offered tea and a place to sit down while we waited for a distant relative, we would be meeting for the first time. I was super thrilled. I am not sure if I would have been very comfortable in trying to find an address of a person I have never ever met in a city; without a prior call or email to exchange each others' details.

From our two hour visit, I could see that these people are very good at networking, hospitality, and care so much for their pride and esteem more than money. Their confidence in dealing with life is much more than we all can comprehend.

As I walked back from the village to the road, still wondering about how clean the houses, wells, the street are kept, I could not help appreciating the friendly smiles of most old people on the way. They don't know us, and we probably wont get a chance to see them again, but each one of them smiled with such ease and grace that made me feel blessed. I didn't know what was missing in cities for a long time, until this visit to Chembai.

Now I know that what we are all missing in every day life is a lot - graceful smile, inner peace, acceptance, innocence, value for people, selfless friendship/hospitality, confidence that comes with just the idea of 'being' what we are and not 'having' what we are blessed to have, healthy pride, and the attitude of self-help, and zero dependency.

I am not presently trying to judge how much practical it is to get all these factors into our present day lives, but just thought stating these would help us to think better and be thankful for what we have and appreciate people and life better.

Life is too short to be spent brooding about what happened and worrying about what would happen. We just need to live for today. While we are here, we must be grateful for what we have and see if we can give some one's life a special touch, if we can make some one's day much better, and if we can simply see someone as a friend and if we can begin to accept life and people the way they are.

After thought: Accepting and 'Putting up' are two different things. Get it right. Some saying that I read says: Accept what you cannot change.' Putting up' is temporary, so it will not last long and you will have to say it out some day. You dont have to put up with things that dont work well for you for a long time.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Job hunt - start all over again!!!!!

In a very enlightening moment today ( Not sure, if the word is correct in the context of job hunt, but to me it does seem like a real enlightenment ) I realized that it is time I really worked hard to find a job for myself. The quantum of job hunt experience I have is more than that of the work experience itself. I even went to the extent of starting a job hunt series in my blog, but never chanced or took the effort to write more posts on the same lines.

I am writing this post for myself now and people like me who are looking for job change or new job or a new beginning in career. It is more of a recap of yesteryear when I needed more and more of encouragement to be able to type that next job application email.

Here is what it takes to find a job :

Determination to get it: No matter who you are, where you are from, what you have been doing, as long as you have the determination to find a job, you surely will find one.

And.. the next point that usually comes up is : Is it the right kind of job for me?

Here is what it takes to find that out :

Courage to ask that: Just go ahead and ask that important question about your new found job to the recruiter, a well wisher or someone who can possibly give you an opinion.

And finally this is all it takes to join the job :

Just give it a shot attitude: Some times it is just about giving it a shot. If it works, good, else we must be able to put in our best as long as we are there and then move on if things don't work well for us.

For people who would have by now said, " Its all very easy to say, but practically not possible ", let me tell you, even the most choicest job can give you a hard time and the most unexpected new avenue of job can bring you great success. In both cases what works is the combo of these three characteristics : Determination, Courage and Attitude. I have been there and done that and now needed a recap and hence felt the need to share what I thought.

Over time, I guess, I forgot one of these things, so I have not been able to work my best towards finding a job in an Arab country and it has been a total off-guard surprise for me. I am gaining back my momentum and hope to find something interesting in the second job hunt phase in my life.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Letter to a fresher....on his first job....

Hearty Congratulations...

That means it is indeed a beautiful beginning for you this year. Am sure you will do well at work. Whether u like it or not, whether the job is less or more challenging than you expected, whether the people are nice to you or not, whether u like them or not, whether things work your way or not, whether the pay check seems nice or not so great , all said.... this is your first job and the place where you will learn most of all that you probably would need to know about working in a company. - every other job change after this is incremental learning and may not match the lessons in this place... at least that is what most people and I have to share after some changes of jobs.

One rule : Try to like it, if not, try to appreciate the lessons.

Stay happy and wish you many many successful career leaps, a world of nice network of friends - personal and professional and lot of positive energizers and people with a mind to see you grow - with a smile.

Take care and keep well.. Write when u can and stay healthy in your work life.. the one thing that people will forget to say in a job wish is : Eat healthy, play moderately, pray sincerely, network with people regularly, and work dutifully -- do all these each day!!!!!!! :) God is with you.


Staying in touch!!!!

With people it is possible to stay in touch over phone or email or letter or even an SMS.
With spirituality, through temple visits, prayers, verses and music.
With innocence through children and their non-stop chatter.
With wisdom through talks with old people who can express.
With love through a simple 'I love you'.
With freedom through a quiet lone walk in a familiar locality.
With talent through a hobby of your choice.
With ability through practice.
With health through determination.
With fitness through exercise and perseverance.
With excellence through persistence.
With knowledge through other people's experiences.
With self through what???

All of the above?? I just realized that we all stay in touch with a lot of things that we want in life and strive hard for a lot of things in life and somewhere forget to connect with ourselves. We are here but are so lost in the outside whims and fancies that we lose track of what we are and what we can achieve.

I have started this dialogue in my mind of connecting with self... presently I can think of prayers and silence and children to start with the idea of staying in touch with self.. but I am not too sure. Will let you know what I find.

Happy New Year 2011

Hi Readers,

I know it is a late wish. There are reasons that we can give of why we do what we do and why we couldn't do what we couldn't, but this year, my resolution has been this: Not to give reasons on why I couldn't do something. So I wont reason out why I couldn't wish you all earlier.

Here is wishing you health and wealth, love and luck, joy and cheers, peace and happiness, and countless reasons to smile, this day, year and always.

Happy New Year 2011.

Thank you all for spending your precious time on my blog when you can. Your readership has been very encouraging in 2010. The frequency of my writing in the second half of last year has been lesser than the first. I am aware of the change and I am hoping to share more of my observations this year. I am looking forward to your continued readership and valuable feedback and healthy discussions on my posts.

I wish you, your family and friends lots of happiness this year and always,



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