Category Archives: Thoughts
All about what I think – SELF
It had been a long-standing challenge - practising the knowledge. It is an established documented fact (come on, I documented in this blog here….) that the outcome of any event depends on the response to that event. I am yet to put that knowledge to use 100%.
I had two such events in the last 24 hours….making me introspect on how long it is going to take to get ourselves practice what we know….
The first incident made me realize the need to strongly emphasize in my communications on how much I value my ideals. While I have my ideals, I also believe that it is an individual’s prerogative of having their own ideals (rights and wrongs) which will vary with every individual. Oxymoron belief!
In this context, it becomes very important to react to someone’s thoughts in the right way – communicating the intent is extremely critical - needs excellent clarity of thoughts and the choice of right words. “my ideals are different. while what you say/do are different from mine, I appreciate it is your prerogative to do/what you think as long as it is beyond my boundary”.
The second incident made me realize that in the fit of the moment, you lose your knowledge and just react to a situation in a wrong way – your anxiety kills your knowledge and just after that few minutes you kick yourself for reacting to a situation without applying your knowledge …… phew!
In both the incidents, a particular value or reaction of an individual is not in alignment with my thoughts/values. While I can still look at the big picture and appreciate how much value each individual carry, I am still a long way in ensuring my confident reaction to the specific incidents.
This challenge is really dodging me…..knowledge and practice!!
Couple of days back, I happened to listen to my relative who said that they plan to settle down in Bangalore (that is a ten year plan from now!). As always, I was rambling and listing down the good things about Bangalore - ofcourse, the recent post I did was on top my mind - http://ireach.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/bangalore-the-best/
When I finished my ramblings, I saw my cousin giving me a condescending funny look….I felt it meant ” so, what happened to the morning ramblings about the place you spent your childhood ……..you seem to be liking all places….”….
That made me think…..looks like MY PLACE – whichever corner of the world it is in - IS ALWAYS THE BEST! - It definitely is a wise saying “East or West, Home is Best!”
Here is a list of what all I relished about my place where I spent my initial years of life (If you have lived or visited interior TamilNadu in India, you will nod in agreement!)
1. Early morning aroma of filter coffee with the background of MS Subbulakshmi’s ”Suprapatham” - (Narsus coffee, it was always!!)
2. When you come out , the blasting sounds of Madurai Somu /LR Eshwari’s devotional songs from a neighbourhood temple’s conical speaker - if it is the month of Margazhi, you will hear the audio of movies like “Thiruvilayadal“ - especially Nagesh‘s Dharumi/Nakeeran dialogues
3. “The Hindu” newspaper - If it is Friday, then you wait for “Ananda Vikatan“
4. Saroj narayanaswamy’s news in All India radio (” aal indhiya radio, dhilli vanoli nilayam, cheithigal vasipathu, saroj narayana swamy”)
5. Rajnikanth’s movie posters (“Udal mannuku, Uyir Thalaivanukku”)
6. Milkman milking the cow at the doorstep
7. The ringing bell from the temple (“koil mani osai”)
8. Idly and chutney breakfast
9. Mom’s continuous tracking about being on time (“Time aachu - kilambu, kilambu”)
10. Bicycle’s bell and the loud screaming of classmate calling your name from the road
11. Mom’s consistent advice to be careful on the road and to come back home straight (‘Jaggrathaiya patthu po, school vitta neera inga vaa’ )
12. Had your breakfast?(“Saapaddu aacha?” ) enquiries from neighbours
13. Smells of jasmine and mixed flowers (Malligai, kadambathin manam)
14. Lovely girls with turmeric glitter on their face and the traditional half saree (“Manjal poosiya thavani mugangal”)
15. Climbing the mango tree in neighbours house and eating fresh raw mangoes sitting on the tree (got to keep a watch for elders!!)
16. Cattle on the roads (need to balance the bicycle between them!)
17. Taking the neighbour’s kid in the bicycle doubles (“Supera irrundhu indha cycle roundu’ )
18. Friendly postman who makes a conversation while delivering the post and knows who has sent the letter - ” this letter is from grandmom? how is she?” (letter enna pattiammava? Nalla irukangagala?’)
19. temple diety’s procession on the road and the nice “maakolam” on everyone’s house
20. temple elephant
and many more………………… How does your list look??
Probably, identifying a definition to find GOD happened with little effort - but, here I struggle a lot to define ME for MYSELF - who am I?. While I think I am figuring it out, i never realized it will take 40 long years to even understand that I am yet to find out ME!
An easy definition of SELF can be ‘you are what you do when you know no one is watching you!’…………While this can be the easiest definition, i explored further to understand it better…
When i look at life, i have been under the constant influence of people who had typical values about the responsibilities of an individual - during my growing years, i have consistently been made to appreciate the importance of dispensing one’s duties of life - The Hindu mythology and the preaching of Gurus/Saints - all of them consistently reinforces these basic life values. Life as defined by theses sounds very simple……even one of the recent books which i read ( ‘FIVE PEOPLE WHO YOU MEET IN HEAVEN’) reflects similar ideas - when i tried to consolidate those ideas and add my experiences/understanding to those ideas, this is what i got….
“Do your duties - KARMA YOGA - do your duties with utmost care, respect – start every day as new day - dispel your duties in the roles you play in this world – as a child, spouse, sibling, parent, employee, employer and so on………….this slowly turns in as a self – discipline, synergized by family, family values and the influence of people around…..this in turns defines who you ARE and also lets you understand the purpose of your life”
So, i am busy and doing my daily duties in all my roles – then, i should be able to define ME and understand the purpose of my life!
But then, there are these crazy sides - the urge which develops when I watch a Romania travel documentary- urge to go and sit in the pub with all those foreigners - who are laughing, losing themselves in the country music, and getting drunk, living life as though it is their only day to live, showing so much affection to fellow human beings - I feel like that probably is what i want to do….
when you share these thoughts, you are not sure about what you are – are you the individual who puts duty in front of you OR you are the crazy person wanting to live your life?
it goes without saying that we have one life and it needs to be lived well - but at what cost………..we as a society are all taught to be living to others expectations and in turn performing our duties as children/spouse/parent/friend - so, we put others before us.
struggling to do the right things, struggling to be always right - putting all the efforts towards this - are we missing to experience our life ? are we missing the experiential learning?
conflict is LIVING FOR SELF Vs LIVING FOR OTHERS…….
But on deeper thought, looks like LIVING FOR SELF is the best policy……….because it always ends up in LIVING FOR OTHERS!!
Gibberish, but makes sense little bit……..a reconfirmation that i have a long way to go before i understand who I am!
Discovered the definition of GOD ……….it is the 7 point definition
- You are available to me all time - You do not need any formal invitation
- You do not get your bad mood come on my way
- You listen and give me the confidence that i can share everything with you - the craziest of any thoughts
- You do not judge me and accept me as I am
- You understand
- You do not force your ideas on me
- You guide
Now, think of the 7 point definition and check if there is any one person whom we know and fits that defintion - it is extremely very likely we are already interacting with that person on a day to day basis - it is just that we need to identify them……..
So, GOD is around in the form which you can identify - all the time……..it is just that we got to identify who HE is!
I know it is the IPL time of the year and it is absolutely normal that it is cricket rain all over………………..But, for a non cricket person like me……. it has been an unbelievably CRICKETY week ………
The first one is the chance viewing of the movie DIL BOLE HADIAPPA……..It was a sunday night……i just was toying with the TV remote before hitting the bed…….jumping from one channel to another…….not really interested in anything………and then, i see the cute RANI MUKHERJEE…..and i end up in front of the TV till 1 am……..
the movie was a mix of right masala ingredients……..the ubersexual hero from UK……. the lovely, innocent, colorful ’punjabi gudi’ of the soil…….passion of cricket…………..combined with the peaceful sunday night (weekly chores are all accomplished and kids are already asleep)………..the quiet ambience at home……..!!
Cricket made the movie more lively for me……!!!
The next day…….i have an easy monday evening..i am early from the dentist appointment, than what i had planned…..i almost had an hour before anyone at home is going to miss me………..
I decide to check on my little one, who was playing cricket in the badminton court (!) ……i spot him …….very busy playing cricket….only difference was it was not his usual group of friends, but senior boys……10 to 11 years old….i was bit concerned that he was not with his usual group and decide to sit through their match………..
Believe me, i spent the next one hour engrossed in their game……..not that i followed their runs or wickets………i was absolutely awed by the team spirit the kids exhibited……….or, whether they just impersonate the real world cricket players on the field?……….i will never know…..but, it was an unique experience to watch them …….play seriously…….each one doing their role perfectly……..clapping the hands when a bowler ended a maiden over, giving hifi after a sixer, patting on the back……
when my little one took two wickets in a row, the eldest boy came running to him and pats him on his back and quips ” Awesome, baby!! you are on a hat trick!!”…………….i just could not stop smiling…….if i think of it, i could feel that more than the skill on cricket, the young ones are definitely picking up much more cues on leadership skills and team bonding…………
again, i never thought i am going to be absorbed into cricket like this!!
probably time to check with my kids on the IPL schedule!!
The other day I came across this short Sanskrit verse
Achaaryaath paadam aadatthe
Paadam sishya swamedhayaa
Paadam sa brahmacharibhya
Sesham kaala kramena cha
It means a person can get only one quarter of knowledge from Achaarya - the teacher, another quarter by analyzing self, one quarter by discussing with others and the last quarter during the process of living by method addition, deletion, correction, and modification of already known aachaaraas.
How true it is…Knowledge is always only one fourth of learning….but looking internal, discussing with similar minded persons and practicing makes the learning complete.
Reiterates that Hinduism is not a religion but a way of life!!
I was literally not sure of how i felt - it was mixed feeling - 10 years is a long time, considering that these 10 years had brought in much more changes in me than the rest of the years in my life!
The feeling of ‘LOST’ is still there…the imagination of “how will it be now if she had been still around ?” is occupying my mind..at the same time, the feeling of visiting home town, especially the nostalgia is overwhelming…
i am sharing stories with the kids, making them see how it was when we were young….but, still in the back of my mind the confusion persists and nags - how i am going to take these two days at my home town after these 10 years?!!
Then came the right input at the right time ……….
“use the simple technique to overcome the feelings of ‘Lost’. Just think of all things you are grateful for (half-full vs half-empty)”
This cleared my mind and by the time i reached, there were no doubts on my mind…I went around the town making the best of what i have…lived in the present and let go of the past ……… thanked that i have what i have….and ofcourse the feeling of being blessed continued!!
Work is a blessing when it helps us to think about what we’re doing, but it becomes a curse when its sole use is to stop us thinking about the meaning of our life’ - – Paulo Coelho
When i shared this quote with RK, as always he comes back and asks “what do you think of your current work? While answering this, I have another question- how do you define ‘Truth’?”
………….now, i am thinking!!!!
I respond to RK – ”Today, many of us still have the freedom of choice on many of our life decisions . My challenge seems to be within myself – do I focus, analyze, make the right choices and take responsibility for my choices?. this holds good for my current work also. I have all the freedom to make sure that my work is a blessing and the challenge seems to be whether i am doing anything on making it so!”
Then i think about truth and the couplet verse 292 from “Thirukural” pops up in my mind and then i translate it to RK and write down – “Truth – anything which brings in good for a larger cause is truth. There is a couplet in Tamil which goes like “lies are also truth, if it ends up in good!”. It makes sense now(only!!)
For a change, RK seems to be satisfied with the responses….and ofcourse, who has a choice against Thiruvalluvar!!!
Busy days….repainting the house is almost like shifting house…you got to move things out, paint, and put them back in place……….i was wondering why we need so many material possessions (hey, don’t imagine all those valuable stuffs……i am just referring to the curry powders and spices and the many other small stuff around the kitchen!)….
in this contemplating mood, i step out to finish a small errand and meet Ms AM on the way………….she stops and enquires about the progress on painting and i share my soliloquy with her…..”when God made men, he could have done something about our design…..something such that we can just survive without cooking…….this way, we do not have to so many things at home – spice and curry powders and vessels and vessels”………..she laughs and says “when my mom use to say - all i need is only a hut and two pots ………i use to think what is wrong with her…….but when i have to maintain the house, i realize how easy if i just have a hut and two pots!!”
oops…….so, it applies to all……..”LESS IS MORE”………suddenly, the clarity sets in and being as logical as i am, i start applying the well established rule to kitchen - “anything which is not used in the last six months goes OUT!!!!” - i feel more decisive on what to keep and what to give out!
It never ceases, the feeling of incompleteness - never it is 100% inspite of all the years!!
Though we could feel her soul, the dream of meeting her one of these days never ceases!….It makes sense to keep reading the following statement(written 10 years ago!) again and again to tell the subconscious mind that she is not physically around, ………but the wild dream of talking to her on a phone or meeting her in person still continues!
We think of all the good things about you ma, all the great achievements you made and just feel proud of you. You will be always with us, there to support us when we need your strength. You are only absent physically at the gross level.
You showed us the Power of Love, Strength of Simplicity and Virtue of Patience!