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Simply Zen!

I am in general lost when everyone keeps discussing about new year resolutions  –  Being brought up at a small town in a traditional orthodox  family,  new year for us was another day in which we woke up early as it falls on the Margazhi month of Tamil calender, make sure the Kolam (rangoli) on the outside of the house is grander than usual, visit the temple and wait for that traditional sweet dish of payasam(Kheer) or Sakkarai pongal to be served for breakfast or lunch at home.  Then we just continue with our life..we do what we have been doing the previous day!

So, when I hear “new year resolutions”, “reflections of the year that passed by”,”partying on the new year eve”,etc –  I just end up in a catch up mode…thinking hard on how I am supposed to handle these as a matured individual who lives in one of the happening metropolitan city now!.  And then another year passes by with me wondering ….

Just when i was completely convinced about my views (lack of) on new year resolutions and past year reflections, I got bumped into a webpage listing the four zen quotes…and bingo, I know that I am  SIMPLY ZEN when it comes to handling my new year!!!

  1. Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water

  2. Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and grass grows by itself

  3. If you walk, just walk. If you sit, just sit; but whatever you do, don’t wobble

  4. When hungry, eat your rice; when tired close your eyes

And incidentally, i am now completely caught up with the rest of the world and can talk about  the new year resolutions and past year reflections in a simple zen way!!   🙂 🙂

  1. Before new year, live your life.  After new year, live your life

  2. Sitting quietly, doing nothing, new year comes and you experience life by living and being yourself

  3. If you do something, just do it.  Don’t wobble and question too much

  4. When learning, learn it all;   When living, give it all 

On a serious note, i am in complete agreement of the original zen quotes and believe it is a simple strong message for everyone to carry through every day of every year they live –  including the new year day!.   For those who are interested to read in details –  here is the link  –  Four confusing zen quotes.


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Knowledge and Practice

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!!

The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho


Honestly, this is the second time i am reading the book. I read it five to six years back and just remember that it was a DIFFERENT book. I remember that i did not completely get deeply into the book, but read it and felt it had something which i was not able to relate.

Again, when i picked up this book this time, it really made me read some pages again and again – the depth of the concept was amazing. I am not telling that my grey matter has become much heavier in the last 6 years :). I think i have become more open to see others views – more patient to see the world as it stands and that makes me understand this book much better than what i did the first time. I somehow also get a feeling that in another five years i may get to understand these books much differently than what i do now.

Today, this book evokes in me a unexplainable peace, a confidence on self, a confidence on life -reinforcement that things will go as we want it to go (sounds like James Allen‘s “As a man thinketh“). It reinforces that every small thing / person in this world is part of a bigger scheme. As individuals, we need to listen to our heart and when we honestly make a try to reach towards our destiny, all the things fall in place and make us reach our destiny.

The book can be a looked at as a guide in management training, self-development, and what not?

It reiterates the importance of Love in everyone’s life – loving the world is more important for oneself . Betterment in Love  is a great concept. “When we love, we always strive to become better than what we are. When we strive to become better than what we are, everything around us becomes better, too”

The book is a short story – this is how i looked at it 6 years back. The book is still narrating a story, after all. But the pearls of wisdom in the story are for the reader to pick and cherish.

It goes with my belief when Coelho talks about the “Beginner’s luck” and Principle of Favourability. He says “When people are young, they know what their destinies are. People are capable at any time in their lives of doing what they dream of.” He also says “Every search begins with the beginner’s luck. And every search ends with the victors being severely tested”.

Many similar thoughts when it came to the analysis of fear..

  • There is only one thing which makes a dreamimpossible to achieve – the fear of failure.
  • The fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.
  • Courage is the quality most essential to understanding the language of the world
  • People need not fear the unknown if they are capable of achieving what they need and want.

He reiterates the fact that we are all part of a bigger scheme of things – “All things are the manifestation of one thing only. Intuition is really a sudden immersion of the soul into the universal current of life, where the histories of all people are connected and we are able to know everything because it’s all written there”

The importance of living in present (FISH is a good book to read on this) is covered well ……..

If you concentrate always on the present, you will be a happy man. Life will be a party for you, a great festival because life is the moment we are living right now.

The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to present, you can improve upon it. And if you improve on the present what comes later will also be better. When we strive to become better than what we are, everything around us becomes better too. When we love, we always strive to become better than we are.”

I am leaving this review open as I strongly believe that I have more to learn in this short book with the years to come.

Reading – made a joy!   God bless! 🙂

Capacity Leakage?? – Youth in India!

Being in a profession where people are the investments, I am lucky that I love to interact with people  –  I always feel that the people I meet are the ones who have shaped me to a better human being than what I was in the past……

It was one such meeting yesterday  –  he is in his early thirties and has been in IT industry for twelve years now and is moving out to purse his management education in IIM C  –   relocating with his wife and two little kids to a new city, leaving the plum IT job he had!!   Knowing his background,  I was so happy for him….Happy that he is making the right decision and moving towards his goal in life!!

He shared that his greatest concern about people are about the CAPACITY LEAKAGE they are going through and not even aware of that  –  CAPACITY LEAKAGE is a new word!!  When I was looking puzzled….he explained – everyone in this world gets only 24 hours a day, but then….how we are using it makes the difference.  He said in the IT industry, there are millions of youngsters who are spending loads of time on things which are not a priority –  they have so much capacity to do so many things, but because of their mindset, they merely exist !!  The enormous amount of capacity which gets leaked from each individual is un imaginable and if used well can help this society! I can not disagree with him…how many times we have heard the young IT crowd talking about being stressed, not having enough time, etc…  How many times do we think that we can improve every day on our time management skills, while most of the time we end up giving excuses like  “am so busy…i hardly have time!”

He left me with a thought  –  if it is possible for him….why not for all?  –   what is that I can do to influence my circle to ensure that they are aware of their capacity?   Lot to think and implement!!  …….

Lies & Believes

It was confrontation time!

SJ & YA are confronting MR that his two inputs were contradicting…As always, i am listening and when i felt the situation is becoming sticky…i try this ” hey comeon, he would have made the changes to his plan at the last minute and would have forgotten when u both asked him about it”….

YA gives her typical HR stare at me and says ”  you keep quiet…you just believe …..let your belief save you!!”

SJ with his usual aggressiveness continues the confrontation and MR agrees that he lied…..i felt funny….when there is no reason to lie…what makes him lie?

YA turns to me and gives her condescending look and says “see, you just believe…..MJ is too ‘chalu’…he will not share anything with us and we keep sharing everything….LET YOUR BELIEF SAVE YOU!”

I tell her  “we all can give what we have only…i am full of beliefs and so i believe !!”……………Without realizing that i am intending that MR is full of lies…these words popped out of my mouth!!..

I felt uncomfortable  in making the situation more murky!   Though SJ diverted the topic and stuck on to this theory of “you give what you have”….i think i messed up today!

No complaints!!

It is a Saturday morning monsoon fury  – the rain gods are all out!.  I am standing near the block steps and  wondering whether i should go back to  get the umbrella before i walk out.  It is a short task –  to get the fresh green spinach from the vegetable vendor, who brings them on the push cart.  He parks right outside the compound gate.

Though I like to get wet in the rain, I decide to go back and get the umbrella  (ofcourse, the thought of  drying the clothes on a monsoon day influences my decision).  There are no other buyers and the vegetable vendor has covered his head with a polythene cover…he smiles  “What shall I give you?”.  The spinach is all wet and muddy.  I make my conversation with him  “Rains in the morning are always tough!  it will be tough for you today to stand in the rains. Few  customers may not  come out.  It will be better if it rains in the afternoons”.

He smiles and in a matter of fact tone says ” Let it rain. Only if it rains, we will continue to get such green vegetables.  So, let it rain. Getting wet is good. We can not control nature and command when to rain.  Nature knows what is best for us.  Let it rain.”.

It hits me that he has mastered what i am struggling to do.

With all my education, intelligence and acquired knowledge,  I took years to realize that COMPLAINING is not an option. After realizing, i am still working to practice it!!….

And here is the vegetable seller, probably younger to me by age, not even stepped into a college……….who very easily practices it!!

What life teaches you is never taught in any books!!

Best Wishes!!

It was the 6th birthday of the newly joined classmate “Sannath” in first grade!

The gifts (activity books) were already wrapped in glittering giftwrap! Time to fill up the “best wishes” card….and the 6 year old says “i am wishing “Sannath” to be a good boy in class, so that he does not jump on the bench and make the teacher angry. You know, he is very naughty in class and gets scolding from teacher! can you write this wish in the card?”…… took some time to convince that the card is too small to hold all these wishes and it is enough if we wish him in the mind!

What a beautiful, simple wish!!…I was bowled over by this wishing ‘thought process’…….I started thinking…..I keep wishing many people on various occasions…….how many times I really think about what I am wishing when I say “best wishes!! “……… has become more of a formality?

What makes the 6 year old think so clearly and stay focused and genuine? Did I also had it when I was 6 year old and lost it somewhere on the way of growing up into an adult?

Friendship & Expectation

Is there any relationship without an expectation?

As a child,sibling,spouse,parent,friend…… we all have lot of responsibilities – these responsibilities, in turn are indeed the expectations on us?

‘Mother-child’ relationship is supposed to be the best of the all the relationships known (defined) by the mankind – it is selfless with no expectations. Think for a moment – is that how it is in reality? Any average mother expects her child to be well educated, healthy, have a good career and settle down in life. Though all these can be stated as ‘selfless’ expectation………..these are STILL expectations. Even the expectation that the child needs to keep the parent updated about the critical happenings in his/her life is indeed a stressful expectation at times!

Is it feasible at all to get into a relationship without any expectations and also sustain that relationship for long?

Agreed that it is next to impossible when it comes to relatives…where there are always expectations depending on the roles we play. But may be, is it feasible in FRIENDSHIP – a relationship which can probably sustain without expectations ?.

Possible,if we have two individuals on the same page on thoughts, similar economic critera, similar access to the communication channels of the world…and last but not the least – complete belief in each other – and finally surrender to that fact that indeed the other person is what you believe them to be.

How many such relationships have existed in the past? Can it be a reality? to wait and watch…

Bloggers anonymous! :)

To be or not to be? That is the question!!

Does it make sense to continue as an anonymous blogger ? what are the pros and cons?

Reveal yourself – says one side of the argument (obviously, if it is a question, then there are always two answers, right?). #1 Very few people blog for the interest of writing and hence if you are going to share your identity, it is only going to reach a few people, who really are interested in your writings. #2, what is wrong in sharing your identity, you are what you are…go ahead and share #3 knowing the writer brings in more credibility to the writing.

Look at it this way, when you blog, the focus of the readers need to be on the content of what you have written and not on the author. When you reveal your identify, there indeed is going to be a bias based on the age, gender, nationality, language, state, marital status, education, profession and what not. The bias can be positive or negative. But again the questions comes to

To be or not to be?? Do we want the reader to be biased based on the author’s identity?

At the moment, the choice is NOT to have biased readers and continue as an anonymous blogger

– from the anonymous blogger (i really do not know if there is indeed a need for “bloggers anonymous”, but it gives a catchy title!!)

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