ROOTS

I sat on the twinkled roots, old enough

In awe, clutched and twisted in thoughts,

Memoirs rising above the ground, from grave

My roots not so decayed and decomposed.

 

Reminded me of the journey etched in my diary,

Regret, no that’s not in dictionary, rooted in darkness,

Unable to wind up and decipher words in the woods

Uncertain where roots belong, that binds me to ground.

 

Tried to uproot, so as to forget, and forgive you, but

The cradle of thoughts, brought deeper into heart’s tissues

That bled, in resilience fruits of love that is time tested

The tree provided shades, covering love stories buried alive.

 

You planted a “forget-me-not” seed that went deep

Yes, ripping the ground of reality into a dream come true

You cannot re-discover the pain of penetration in heart

I only can feel the pain of retaining the roots of love.

 

Like the roots that clutch the earth, carrying life for the tree

Life being short, not to worry, but move on the way to witness

I wondered and listened to the whispers of leaves above roots as

I pass through the passage between memories eyes closed.

 

Like roots carry nectar to heart of tree, your

Love comforts, consoles, soothe my nerves

Making me a treasure house of pleasures in thoughts

Making me pause and feel about our relationship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imperfection is perfection to a beautiful perspective.

Cleaning fish?

Yes, I was cleaning fish when my mind worked on fish in the sweet waters and sea. That was after a small trip I had to Ernakulam. On the way back we drove via the sea cost, passing through two rivers on the bridge. On the bridge were people fishing with hooks. The time was about 10 p.m. on that cloudy summer and bit sultry.

I generally sit on the balcony as I peel prawns (konju or Chemmeen). I saw ants carrying the shell. Ants are impressive, says Carlos Castro, a professor at Ohio State. “We made a conservative estimate that they might withstand 1,000 times their weight, and it actually is much more. While an ant carrying a huge leaf on top of its tiny frame provides sound analytical evidence that insects can carry weight far in excess of their own.  This is in comparison to nearly about 270 Kgms a human can lift.

 

WoW! I then tried to complete my cleaning work on fish.

 

Fishing for some is a hobby and for others a business. Those whom I saw fishing from those bridges sell their catch at nearby places like Feroke. Then my co-passenger pointed to the well lit fish market near Feroke as we alighted to see that delight.

 

Most of the fish on display for sale had the hook and thread in their mouths. As the fish seller cut the fish I saw him taking out a particular part and hooking it at a place. I asked what that was. He said that fishermen tie that part on the hook – a cycle of process that weaves the chain like the ants carrying the shell of the prawn. Nature and its wonders where human learn and apply.

Capabilities of individuals are learnt as skills. This coupled with natural talents add to human capacities. The limits and tolerances for each creature in nature are also different. Some complement as synergies.

Learning develops and when applied improves our performance.

My daughter Divya love to probe the past and apply it on future like younger daughter Megna. Both in one way or the other are teachers. Divya when she went for such a training session for her client base in London chose to break apart early morning with a cold surrounding the ambience to explore the fish market Billingsgate with her class mate who now run a restaurant there.

That’s amazing, fish in a verity, in colour and texture and shapes and sizes. The taste of-course as you know is also complex and superior. My friend’s son a chef now in Australia explores and prepares recipes at high end restaurants. He says value addition in his hands turns it expensive for customers.

The second process that I wondered was about the way the price tag goes up as the crabs gets to the restaurant tables in hotel chains. I buy the crabs from under the Elathur River bridge en-route to Kannur. It is good there and the price tag for a medium one could be anything around Rs. 45 to 50/- on not a pricy day. But as served in a high end restaurant in Australia that may cost many USDs.

Look at the way things change in our perspectives. The choices we make and the alternatives nature and man provide.

You can be right or wrong in someone else’s perspective. I wondered when I saw the ant carry the shell much higher than its own weight and the tiny part of fish going back to the fisherman to catch another fish on hooks. Never knew such things.

While adding value a transformation process takes place. It changes in context and in appreciation. Views from angles are varying for own eyes. We understand and misunderstand. Not knowing him /her also has an opinion to express and may be that is a different perspective. It is for us to keep an open eye a not so analytical and judgmental eye as we listen to appreciate another view point.

It is at those times I think of the kaleidoscope. Tilting to accept patterns that change that are varied and different. To think whether the next tilt will let you observe a better picture.

Megna likes mackerels and Divya Sardines. At home we buy both. Usha stopped eating crabs.

Imperfection is perfection to a beautiful perspective.

These days wives like Channel number 687 and husbands love Channel 9. A conflict begins on that. Look at the colours and styles of fish that live together. Some like it in a tartar sauce gravy and some bar-b-queue with a squeeze of lemon. I love fresh salad to accompany my fish with a bit of red wine vinegar and Darsh my grandson likes it with yogurt. The beauty is that Usha my wife prepares it to individual tastes at times.

Certainly it’s tolerances and acceptance that makes the music in our lives.

It probably is an open mind that matters. Those with that attitude do not impose their beliefs on others.  They accept all of life’s perspectives and realities and do their own thing to make peace of mind. Because tastes differ, interests differ.

Chose to have own paths. Those who see a path in front as a clear one probably are witnessing someone else’s path, not theirs.

Once again as I went to swab the portico I noticed a fly sitting on top of a left over prawn shell. That is different and that make up for the meal for the fly’s day. Everyone looks at things n different ways.

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective not a truth” – Marcus Aurelius.

MUSIC in our lives …

It was an evening where an audience without age barriers christened at the Calicut Town Hall. Lovely is the minimum that many expressed who watched the program from an overcrowded hall. Sure that was. Nostalgic melodies of Latha Mankeshkar and the rich voice of Mohammed Rafi were reverberating, sung by the two stalwarts in music – Rahamath and Firoz. The song presenter recollected the music of late 1950’s to the audiences. Years gone by; but shelf life of those songs has not perished.

I was watching that Sunday noon show on Television where latest movie on Dhoni was shown on StarPlus. Compare the epics of yesteryears in cinema and that of the recent ones. The movie is produced to cross the magic numbers of 100 and 200 crores and soon thereafter we forget about the movie.

What gets registered is stored as memoirs. We are flooded with a huge amount of alternatives and choices. Cell phone that costs a lot is replaced once a new brand comes up. Apps and Appo’s provide a variety beyond practical needs but we dispose off and life of the costly apparatus becomes redundant. Shelves in the show rooms get a refill, with more modern equipments.

That probably is due to a fact that our mind’s IN BOX is crowded with thoughts that clutter. We have in store more than what we can chew. This was not the case some years back. Number of e-mails, Whats App messages and Likes on Face Book are accountable for the crowded transaction of thoughts that obstruct a leaner positive chain of thoughts. That of course reduces the shelf life of our thoughts and thus our positive action. We then have an issue of time created by our mindset. That time we lose does not nourish quality time. We lose relationships. We cannot even relax.

We need to think what we do? Why we do? And when we do? – Otherwise we miss and end up in losing some good friends.

It is said that our body is the servant of our mind. Undesirable thoughts that invade constantly in our minds put our body into sicknesses created by mental and physical tension. And we succumb to deceases and wild pressures including monitory issues. The delicate body tissues surrender to the penchant bad thoughts and become ill. We see street urchins playful, and rich ones with tough exteriors.

Bring peace within yourself by avoiding jealousy, ill-will, judgment, comparison, evaluation, criticism, doubt and cynicism, suspicion and envy. It’s we who create peace within us.

When we are happy and positioned with love and forgiveness we tend to be happier and smiling at issues that once we felt were un-surmountable.  Forget and forgive and use the dust bin in your mind and brain, to re-invent spaces where slowly good things tend to flourish. “Understand the flaws to appreciate the perfection of the Universe” – Ka Chinery.

As me and my wife listened to the music that eve, the song had a silent sequence of a few milliseconds. That was a dip in the rhythm, a split second of solitude in isolation. I thought then we need to listen and be silent more than we speak. Pythagorus wrote: “Learn to be silent. Let your quieter mind listen and absorb”.

Silence settles our mind. That allows us to think what we are thinking. But most of us do multi-tasking, loosing focus and attention. We drive and we speak on phone at the same time. We risk our lives and we reduce the shelf life of others in accidents.

As the cell phones need re-charge our minds do need a re-charge of re-vitalizing doses of happiness. We have given away the power to control our mind. It was one of my friends who said – I will chose to pick the phone and the caller cannot enter and interrupt my flow of transactions and thoughts. Surely I will respond to the call.

Innumerable SMS, BBM, WhatsApp, IMO call tunes, and the times we enjoy in LIKEs on Face Book columns distract and enter our solitude and privacy. We allow the world – professional, social and digital space influence the way we live and interact.

I think we need to reflect and live. Live the way we want to live. Not the way others want our lives to be defined.

It’s then when music to the ears becomes soothing. It’s then when we tend to listen to the tunes, the flimsy voices of birds and start thinking that our lives with limited shelf life need to be enjoyed.

 

 

 

Fear of the unknown

2016, we are almost close to changing the calendar. In front of us lie 365 days of uncertainty. I looked into the fear of unknown that hangs in some of our minds, on how the year is or going to be. After all this moment is a dot in the straight line of what unfolded and the next split second is an extension on the same straight line.

Steve job at the age of 20 started a company with two people at his parent’s garage and became a two billion dollar company in ten years. S he was fired he started new ventures NEXT and PIXAR. Steve was back. Rest is history. Heaviness of success he said replaced the lightness of the beginner in him.

In his last words before he succumbed he said: “Aside from work, I have little joy. In the end, wealth is only a fact of life. At this moment, lying on the sick bed and recalling my whole life, I realize that all the recognition and wealth that I took so much pride in, have paled and become meaningless in the face of impending death.

Now I know, when we have accumulated sufficient wealth to last our lifetime, we should pursue other matters that are unrelated to wealth: Perhaps relationships, art, and a dream from younger days. Non-stop pursuing of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me. God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart, not the illusions brought about by wealth. The wealth I have I cannot take. What I can is only memories precipitated by love. That’s the true riches which will follow you, accompany you, giving you strength and light to go on.”

Does it ring a bell in your mind?

Fear is within the human existence. It’s part of us. But in this context of the variety of fears what we confront is the risk of failure. We are afraid to try because we expect failure. However, if we reduce the cost of attempt, by experimenting, we reduce the cost of failure. Remember, every experiment has a perspective. The value of the opportunity if we succeed – the value of the people or situations we meet in the experiment and the exit value, value of the knowledge one gain in the process that may be applied elsewhere. Failures make us learn and add value to our asset – Knowledge.

“We do NOT fear the unknown, we fear what we think we know of the unknown” – Teal Swan.  We give meanings for the unknown. It is better to fall in love with uncertainty and be with it. Resist the fear of uncertainty and we lose all what we have. When we are born we are endorsed with what we call love. But as we progress we learn and mature with fear. Unlearning fear and relearning love in abundance is the transformation Steve spoke about.

Concern and curiosity provide us with answers that charge our minds with courage. Handle fear of unknown. Worrying actually reduces our capability to take decisions provided by uncertainty. It impairs judgments. As we are closer to the new 2017, let us open up our minds without fear and with courage based on decisive actions to deal with those unknown to us.

Isn’t our expectation and desires that takes us forward. Gaps between those and real are stressed situations. Handling uncertain moments is easy if our expectations are positive, that propel inner magnetic vibrations reflect energy. Ambition should be based on ability to do the best every moment.

Imagination is innovative. Visualize the best to happen. Let the mind and heart get thrilled with the elixir of imagination. Then we can resolve jigsaw puzzles of uncertainty and create a map for progress as we pass through 2017. Falling is easy getting up tougher. Wake up, bless and love and share what we can, as nothing belongs to us. Trust instincts; faith brings miracles.

It is unpredictability that provides options. Difficult times produce better results as we innovate and think better. It is a happy year ahead.

Be aware. Be blessed. Enjoy the new year – 2017.

the UNDO key

Most of us know that our moods swing! Did you read the President elect of US became that due to a swing of votes? These swings affect the way we react and respond to stimuli. I have been lucky to work for many organizations and have been a victim of mood swings. It affected my career, family and life.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Women use their right brains more and men left brains and the affect of feelings influence the mood we get set to in a given situation. This idea was a result of study using functional magnetic resonance imaging processes. Age, ovulation and even diet may influence mood swings. Swings may last split seconds to days. So I took a trip on my mood swings to find reasons why I cannot balance myself in relationships. It may result in euphoria or depression. Then I conceptualized a 50:50 theory of balance, between happiness and being sad.

Causes of imbalance

In a recent discussion on the subject with a neuro-physician I was informed of the way hormones affect mood swings. If a person has an abnormal level of one or several of certain neurotransmitters in their brain, it may result in having mood swings. Hormones play a vital role. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is involved with sleep, moods, and emotional states. A slight imbalance of this NT could result in depression. Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter that is involved with learning, memory, and physical arousal. Like serotonin, an imbalance of norepinephrine may also result in depression. Aside from estrogen’s many roles in our sexual health, it is also known to be a neuro-stimulant. Estrogen levels have a domino effect on brain chemistry and moods. That’s going deep into the biochemistry. Moods and mood disorders are quite complex and can vary significantly from one person to the other and from one day to the next.

Stress

Most of us in a normal day pass through 50 to 60000 thoughts, but amongst those many only less than five need your concern. Only those thoughts can have an influence in you or you can influence those thoughts. Then why worry? Our moods can significantly influence how we live our lives.

Emotions and Feelings

Did you ever feel helplessness in the face of mood swings as the burden of the past and fear of future affect your thought chains? To me YES, a capital embossed yes. As I looked at me, I found one of the many reasons I became a victim was that I was not very assertive in the beginning. It was then I met Sabitha who narrated her story to me.

Sabitha a home maker was finding it difficult to cope with her head ache that haunted her. She had to take care of her two children as her husband was mostly concerned about himself and his interests. Feeling responsible she did almost everything at home, looked after her kids and attended to the tantrums of her husband, to please all. She worked at a mall where her timings were stringent. She then decided to introspect. She advised her kids to share the responsibilities by assigning work at home as they studied. Ironing and washing vessels were a job assigned to her husband apart from doing purchase of house hold items on his way back. Sabitha found extra time at hand and she invested in herself by going to a nearby gym and improved on her body health. Soon a balance was emerging both psychologically and physically that transformed and took the headaches away.  She took up responsibilities by being more assertive.

Emotional health is parallel to physical being to live in a better way. Parameters that influence us are that we indulge in all kinds of those 50 to 60000 thoughts that surface in each one of us. Evaluate and find where you can influence the thoughts, if not let go and allow them to pass through your brain as passengers. You need not build a dam on the flow of such thought chains, just let it flow.

Many have a mixed feeling on assertiveness by confusing this with aggressiveness. Actually assertiveness is a positive approach with a win-win situation for the concerned. It’s like driving into a highway from a side road. If you are passively waiting for each of vehicle to pass on highway, drivers in cars behind you will get upset and a traffic jam is created. If you are over aggressive and cut into the highway, that’s hazardous. It’s a judgment of being assertive in your life’s journey.

We give our power away to someone outside without knowing what our needs and rights are. We have to know who we are and do not beg or borrow power from outside. It’s within all of us. Illusion is that relationships may take away your pain of being small; reality on the other hand is relationships magnify the pain that pain that keeps you small. Remember your source of strength is at the end of your palm, within you. At times such a pain comes from hurt; someone hurts you. Forgive and forget. Your forgiveness is a gift to yourself and not to the person who hurt you. In pursuing punishment to the other person you are over burdened. Forgive.

Looking at past, we try and define ourselves as per our accomplishments and achievements. We search to find ourselves, outside ourselves – in the society we live, the relationships we have and the positions of power we have in professional fields. Undo that search outside to please others. Be happy on what you are; content yourself with what you have. In search for self outside of us, we are preparing ourselves to pretend. Be happy. You are in fact the epitome of happiness within. Enjoy life.

Reality is not what it seems. Truth neither is appropriately understood by all. Perfection is a mirage. I am perfectly imperfect – a simple belief that I nourish daily along with my daily dose of medication – vitamin “PI”.

Recall and rejoice

Hotel Kenilworth situated on Shakespeare Sarani, close to Park Street is a place I recall as a fine dining place and comfortable stay. Around Calcutta a place I first had been in the year 1970, this old monument still represents a British tint and texture. I was then told that Satyajit Ray used to stay and write from there.

Way back while working for a British Company, I was there with a group being trained on TEAM building. The trainer took us through an episode where a mind boggling feeling of trust was instilled. After the day sessions we were blind folded by someone with a black band of cloth. Till then I did not know who my partner was. I was nearly blind thereafter. I was advised that a partner will take me round eyes closed, through the streets of Shakespeare Sarani and surroundings, hand held. I was also advised that I needed to check out all sounds, murmurs, car horns and voices of people including that come from the loud speakers and whispers of boys and girls who throng the roads at that point of time. The message was to trust the instincts and the five faculties other than sight, as we walked. The journey began and ended in less than 15 minutes. Unfolded I saw my partner who was Saranya Ghoshal (Name changed). The rest of the people assembled and we were asked to address the group with the feelings we underwent during that short 15 minutes. The partners who handheld were told to address with their perspectives of appreciation of the blindfolded companion as they walked almost like blind people.

That trust building exercise completed with the appreciation of how less we trust our own feelings. The sense organs were the first casualty. We tend to ignore the instincts sent to our brains and recognize facets in relationships. We ignore body language as part of psyche. It was a lesson also to appreciate the distinct value of sight, a gift of God.

Rejoice for me came probably after four decades as I read an article in news paper on a hartal (bandh) day. The heading for the article was “a tunnel to realize the value of vision”. I read and recapitulated how I was influenced during the Kenilworth experience nearly four decades back.

Shahine and Ravi, visually impaired teachers guided some people with perfect eye sight through a tunnel comprising a village, beach, forest and Himalayas. That was to showcase the world those teachers live in and how they manage the world of darkness. The guides may never get back to light and sight, but the group with vision would. The people with vision were asked if they would like to have a second trip through the same tunnel for which they responded in negative. Blindness is not a welcome drink. This we need to note.

Innumerable advertisements and campaigns are on for the eye donation. Reuse of a defunct sense organ. Reclamation of a person less blessed to rejoice the world you lived, enjoyed and passed through. Free of cost for the donor and millions of dreams realized for the receiver.

My rejoice was more than the recall for me.

It was the students of Malabar College of Health Education, Eranjipalam, Kozhikode on World Sight Day that organized to spell SIGHT through experiencing DARKNESS.

I admit that my link that of Kenilworth and that I felt reading this in news papers gave me dimensions of truth that little belie the fact that our senses are to be trusted and the second one to rejoice and say that be a donor of eye.

I congratulate the organizers as well Kozhikode Mayor Thottatthil Ravindran who inaugurated the tunnel, that leads us to the idea to donate and help those with impaired vision.

 

Observe nature, reshape questions and change your nature

The last Thursday of September, 2016 I had four different experiences that provoked me to leave everything and think?

  1. That morning flooded with clouds in sky I was scanning paper and found a news item typically recalling my memory banks. A row of bullock carts on Karnataka roads carrying families. Reason was draught, lines underneath said, and they moved away in migration. They were migrating to Goa and elsewhere. I took that picture and posted on status on my FB. Saying not only birds, human beings too – but for reasons? Set my mind thinking how for livelihood we keep migrating. Bullocks do not know where they are destined to go, but the men who wield the canes knew. Human endeavor finds new pastures and arenas as birds in migration from extreme cold weathers do.
  2. I was to speak at an engineering college later during the day and was travelling through villages crossing city limits. I noticed a fish vendor on the outer ring road. He was on his scooter with a plastic container behind. He closed the cell phone, as car approached. A cat on his side was looking for fish. Having noticed, the fish vendor picked up a fish and gave to the cat. Share is a concept that nature teaches us. What is shared is not the point. Giving away what you can is the essence. Fruits and flowers are gifts after honey bees and butterflies do their act of cross pollination, shared by nature.
  3. Probably it was 1986 or 87 that we went with our daughters to a hill side house of our relative. The two had seen the touch me not plant earlier. They never played with it to see the natural phenomena of protection from environment. The engineering institution where I went to give a lecture had shrubs that reminded me of the 1987 episode. I played it myself in an attempt to learn further. I recalled what Nelson Mandela said “it’s not how many times you fall; but how many times you rise”. It was 12.24 p.m. when I touched the leaves of touch me not. And I noted the duration of time when those leaves that got folded to return to its original condition. Any Guess? Less than one and a half minute. We all fall, make mistakes and think we are lost. I saw even “touch me not” takes less time than my expectations.
  4. As I was immersed in the process of finding time taken to rise, I saw a security guard coming up to me. Involved in a chat I asked about him and what he did before. He worked for 26 long years as a soldier in the Indian artillery. He continues to work not to idle. When asked about his siblings, he mentioned that his daughter after her MBA was a teacher at the same institution. I requested whether I can meet her. Jyotsana came out and I engaged my attention between father and daughter working at the same institution. Pride of work, probably I thought, for both. But daughter who described her father as a proud soldier mentioned he is also a transformer. From the frontiers of attack survived the bullets she says he transformed the whole family with knowledge.

I think I made my day on that Thursday, thank God.

Lesson learnt – Learn Lessons, as there is no expiry date for learning. The more we know, the better are our perspectives. Knowledge is the path of enquiry and understanding. Nature and our observations make us appreciate the laws of nature and order. We think who we are and what we are. Often we desire more of things we want to possess. We tend not to share our kitty. These instincts based on pleasure and pains are not the causes of desires. They give us pleasures because we desire. We are the cause. The first two observations lead me to think of a way to be content with our desires to an extent we can.

Anger is a reason that tends to make us fail. When we miss gaps between ideal and real anger persists. The third and fourth observations on that Thursday highlight this aspect. Anger conquers our relationships. Anger kills happiness and pleasures that we derive through desires. We tend to judge even a positive criticism. We accumulate stress like a rubber band. Over-stretched, it breaks hearts. We need to be like the touch me not plant. Forgive and forget, and rise once again. Friedrich Nietzsche says when we are sentimentally in illusion and tends to relish stings of doubt and denial it’s time to take a TONIC.  As an infant takes breast feed. We breathe in fresh air of consciousness.  Need to inhale afresh as otherwise chances are that illusion kills us. Transformation and NOT conformation is the idea. Deviation and not re-scheduling of old embedded ideas.

“Each moment is not only something new but something unforeseeable. Change is far more radical than we presume” – Bergson. “For a conscious being to exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to create a new self identity.”

“As you observe people in their settings, you should not only look for the nuances of human behavior but also strive for motivation and emotion” – Tom Kelly

The insignificant touch me not plant gave me a lead to explore and see what probably was not understood by me.