Sunday, June 30, 2013

Not exactly up to the mark!!!!

The first time I heard this was in my Chemistry Lab where I was learning to use a pipette for the Titration. I still remember wondering "why in the wide world should pipette be such a complicated equipment and will I ever get this teacher to say, " It up to the mark" when I measure the liquid?"

Many times from then on, the phrase " Not exactly up to the mark" kept popping up. Over the years I understand that Nothing really is up to the mark, its just that we define what the mark is...

Whether it is the way you do things or the way you feel about things, it is up to us to fix the mark. The more out of reach we keep the mark ( read as goals) the more we will have to listen ( or feel ) that phrase: Not exactly up to the mark!!!

So lower your goals first, achieve them.. Reset the goals to the next higher point, achieve them.. and at the end of every achievement never forget to say : Yes it is up to the mark!!! Your inner sense of confidence will feel lifted and automatically you will be able to do well every single time..

And the word Exact -  Just ignore it!!! Its the best way to feel good.. except for issues related to cash that you shell out of your pocket to a vendor where Tendering EXACT change is important!!! In all other cases, the word stands just to cause stress which is not worth your while. Well, I really hope you are not a cardiac surgeon reading this.. :-) This does not apply to surgeons and people dealing with ladies tailoring too...

This is just a musing this afternoon, when I had a minute for myself. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Heights of Procrastination

I'll live tomorrow..

Which is what most of the world seems to be saying each day and this according to me is the Height of Procrastination.

  • On the roads there are politicians conducting speeches about what must be done and what has not been done.
  • In homes there are people arguing about what is not correct and what should be done.
  • In schools the children are made to worry about what they might want to become in future, calling it nurturing their dreams and making them achieve it.
  • In temples devotees pray for what they want, what they do not want and often are worried souls.
  • In Ashrams and other spiritual healing centers the Gurus talk endlessly about : There is NOTHING in this worldly life and the confused common man endlessly tries to understand this seemingly small but actually a big truth.
  • In Work places the employees always crib about their jobs and pay checks and achievements and how the job market is low for a shift.
  • In business houses, there is always the argument about the loss and the want to achieve more and more profit in case they have had a profit.

Like this where ever we go and whatever we do there is a sense of not living at all.. Life seems to be spent worrying about what should be and shouldn't be, could be and couldn't be and what more and what less but never on What is..

What IS is the only truth on hands today.. Half or all of our problems are because we think of, worry about, fight for, living a great life TOMORROW.. A universal procrastination issue!!! that we all must fight out of our lives.

This is NOT to say, Don't save, Don't plan, Don't practice, Don't think.. It is just to say, While you LIVE today, worry less about things that are beyond your scope of understanding or control. Just do your bit and stay healthy and happy!!! In short Don't Procrastinate LIFE...This thought came up on my way back from the Dhanwanthri temple today.

God of Healing and Medicine - Sri Dhanwanthri

I just got back from a temple visit.It is an awesome get-away from the concrete world of today. Located in Ramanathapuram, Coimbatore, this temple is called Sri Dhanwanthri Temple, managed by the Ayruveda Research foundation and Hospital team. The hospital or the Chikitsalaya is housed in the same campus as the temple.

The website gives all the details about the temple. It is a typical Kerala temple and all the poojas and procedures are strictly followed.

What caught my attention was the greenery all over the place. There are benches in the garden, where you can sit back and relax, meditate, do nothing and just recover. There seem to be houses or guest houses where people are seen to be taking rest after medication. To look at lush green garden from your window sill or balcony is a gift that people are rarely blessed with these days. It seems this simple exercise of looking at greenery each morning has got a healing touch to the human body and mind.

As you enter the temple you get to see the statues of chosen few great people, very carefully chosen according to me : Swami Vivekananda, Shri Shirdi Sai Baba, Swami Narayanan, Narayana Bhattatri, Thiruvalluvar, Meera, Swami Raghavendra, and two others whose names I don't happen to recall now. Too bad, but my memory is not exactly photographic these days.

There is a short Who's Who on each of these great minds followed by a quote from each of them. Truly practical and sensible ones at that for those who want to practice. When you get out of the temple, you may take few minutes to sit on the benches, a usual practice among devotees in most temples. While you are seated you have these sculptures, the greenery, your prayerful or peaceful thoughts to keep you company.

On your way out you see the hospital, a pharmacy and a small eatery with minimal choices but good ones.

I think I saw only one sector of the campus. For those who can take more time, chances are you might have more to take back from this place.

The next time you are in Coimbatore make it a point to visit this place. From the bus stop ask for buses to Ramanathapuram, Olympus bus stop. About a few steps from there you see a guarded route with a direction sign - Sri Dhanwanthri Temple. Five minutes walk down the private road leads to the temple and the hospital. For the taxi or car people, just drive over to Ramanathapuram, about twenty minutes drive from the central bus station, Gandhipuram.

A very quiet and scenic place, a must see!!!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Learning to Eat!!!

About an hour ago, we were having tea. My daughter (1 year old ) usually joins us if she is awake. She takes a bite from the biscuit in my hand.

Today, I wanted her to eat by herself. It is only when I tried thinking of ways to tell her, it struck me that it is important to actually learn to eat!!! I have always thought that eating is a natural process and does not have to be taught.. Children learn on their own... 

I kept a biscuit in her hand and she took it as usual to analyze it. Then, I guided the biscuit to her mouth and she immediately took a bite, like she usually does. Then she gave me this look which meant to say " Did I just do something out of the world? Why are you giving me that smile? ".. Then I repeated the same guidance just once more.. She was thrilled this time I guess. She was all smiles may be because she just understood something... Then, I took a bite of the biscuit in my hand and she started eating her own biscuit. And with every bite both of us were super impressed with the learning..

Now, my daughter is a proud achiever of this big degree of learning to eat a biscuit all by herself.

All this while I have been thinking that she is too small to know how much to bite or chew.. She did bite a piece bigger than she can chew but then casually dropped the big piece with her tongue and took the next bite, a smaller one this time.. All this learning was inherent, just needed some push.

I cant stop wondering how much more there is in this world for her to learn and grasp.I am stumbling thinking of the role I have to play in helping her grasp the larger picture of life!!!!Will I be able to bring out the inherent learning in her?? Slightly under-confident  May be too early now, but startling it is anyways!!! 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Picture positive

I came across this picture of a Sprout from a plant in my friend's photo page.

The first look brought in many thoughts : For one, the light green color on the dark greenish base is itself beautiful. The next thing that caught my eye was the ' Reaching out ' curve of the Sprout. Very Positive Picture in my view.

To me, it seems like Nature's way of saying : Reach out as much as you can for what you desire; though not easy or perfect match to your want list, you surely will be able to achieve what you need..

That's nature's grant to one and all.. You will get what you need if you aspire for something within your  reach and really reach out !!!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Recipe - Maangai Perukku

Maangai Perukku is a Kerala delicacy, easy and simple to make.

Here is how you make Maangai Perukku:

You need : Raw Mango - 1, Grated coconut - One table spoonful or a little more, but never less for Kerala dishes, and One or two green chilly, Curry leaves ( optional but good to add ) Salt to taste.

1. Grate the raw mango.
2. In a mixer, grind grated coconut, salt, and chillies.
3. Add the paste to the grated mango. 
4. In a pan, heat coconut oil, add the mustard seeds, curry leaves. Once the seeds splutter, put off the flame.
5. Mix the contents with the rest of the preparation.

This is usually a side-dish for any of the bland curries made in Kerala. Maangai Perukku tastes good with Dosa, Rice, Molagootal, Curd Rice, Bread, and Roti. These are my choices usually. 

The Quantity of Maangai perukku is based on the size of the mango. If you use a medium sized mango, this way of preparing the maangai perukku will serve four people. If you are planning to invite me for lunch with Maangai perukku on the menu, then use double the quantity of the ingredients mentioned because I can eat this without the main dish.

The taste of the Maangai Perukku is based on the sourness of the mango you use. If too sour, then add more salt to even the taste.. If less sour, then reduce the quantity of coconut and salt. Usually practice makes a man perfect!!!

You might be the next!!!

The technical writer in me was compelled to read this on my way to the laboratory in a hospital recently!!!. 

YOU might be the NEXT!!!

The capitalized letters were marked in Red Bold. This sentence was followed by a diagram that seemed out of a medical text book -Which means no one other than the author of the source text or a doctor is going to be able to follow it.

The text below this sentence spoke about cervical cancer, a dreaded disease in the recent times. And I simply could not digest the fact that the reader is forced to believe that she is the next person in line to be affected. 

I always believe in being positive, more so in a hospital where people are fighting many disorders.. For a person walking into a medical laboratory, this board educating the importance of cervical cancer in a very negative note is super annoying..

The advertisement was supposed to be a warning to all women of all ages to have their systems checked for the Big C disease.. 

Some questions to whoever designed the piece...

What was your intention? To educate about the disease or to scare the common brain? Why couldn't you have written the same thing differently? Something like : You MIGHT be the next!!! Its easy to ignore the capital MIGHT as the word Might does not mean CERTAIN. Or the line could have been something like : Do you know? Did you know? Did you check? You need to know... Some such line that still gets people's attention but on a very nice note...

Will the medical professionals object to such pessimism?? 


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