Dustbin in brains!

Yes, it happens.

Yes it happens to you and me.

Yes – it can happen at any moment in our journey of lives.

No wonder why Clayton Christensen said “I believe that we can, in a deliberate way, articulate the kind of people we want to become. For the rest of life one can initiate what happens, utilize to help you become the kind of person you want to be”.

What we need to do is to observe and learn from some simple things around us – Very intricate designs that weave around us.
Look at the recent researched subject of ORDINARY pumkin flowers. Yellow ants on pumpkin flowers!

Let your mind rest and watch. “Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to your life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens” – Khalil Jibran.

You watch the yellow crazy ants that disrupt pollination in pumpkin plants as written in the journal of “Biological Invasions”. Kasragod area in Kerala grows pumpkin plants that are pollinated by bees. When the pumpkin crop was dwindling scientists studied. Pumpkin plants produce male and female flowers. They found honey bees that pollinate for bearing fruits fly to female flowers more as female flowers produce a better quality of nectar. Bees needed both pollen and nectar and they flew between male and female flowers, thus facilitating pollination. In order to identify failure of fruits they covered female flowers with nylon bags. That was a deterrent for the yellow ants that affected bees pollinating. When flowers bloomed next day they removed the nylon covers to allow bees to visit ant-less bloomed flowers for pollination. Then put back nylon covers to prevent ants getting across. With bees doing their job pollination was made possible eliminating the yellow ants and more fruits were cultivated. About 47000 hectars of land in India currently cultivate pumpkins and produce large quantum that we consume.
To me it was lessons learnt.

Avoid being at a place where you have no role to play. Allow natural habitants to perform and achieve what is natural. But often with egoistic attitude we encroach in areas of other’s influences or make caustic criticisms. Isn’t that a waste of energy? Any way, if un-checked like yellow ants we too fall a pray.

In a normal day we work on with a flood of thoughts amounting to more than 50,000 per day. Most of us gets caught with almost everything. There are areas of concerns for some. Very limited areas of influence where we may be able to make a change. Out of those many thoughts, that flood our minds, imagine how many exist where we have a chance to influence?
Work on those and avoid the rest. Let us study how many are those items to check out to influence and make a change. If we use our fingers of right hand it may be less than the count of fingers.

The rest corrupts our minds like those yellow ants that prevent pollination. Food for thought gets affected by invasion into areas that are “everything”.
Witness and watch, observe and forget by letting thoughts pass by. Use the compartment in brain like the DUSTBINS; discard unwanted thoughts.
You allow the flow.

I will try in any case, a lesson learnt by the researchers on Pumpkin pollination.

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Live LIFE, one chance to LIVE

There are three triggers for me to capture this photo and post.

One – I chose to replace my cell phone with a new one and my son-in-law ordered through net for one going on discount. Two – a pigeon intruded into my space in the drawing room on the seventh floor through a small slit on the open window. Third weather forecast predicted seasonal rains are almost over, I chose to clean cobwebs and glass frames. Yeah and a fourth one – a forwarded video clip of cine star Simi interviewing Dev Anand and asking him “what do you do when you become old”?

The first incident made me aware that everything has a shelf life and all things in this universe are temporary. Second one reminded me that anyone can occupy your space if you do not live your life. And the third of course was harsh in statement that memoirs are rich if life is lived well? Simi’s question had sprung another question in me – what if I become old? I am just around 73, though!

Now the photo, as I do not really see that photo often though hung on the wall, the cob web cleaner in me took it out wiped the glasses on the frame and was about to hang it all over again. I could hardly believe and was in disguise, and so cleaned the spectacle glasses with lens cleaner and had a re-look at it. Wow – that is me and my sweet heart up in Himalayas (not for our first honey moon, we do that often anyway) in Gulmarg.

A little later I called her up in Mumbai and asked her – Do you still remember our trip to Himalayas in 1980? She said yes, “how can I forget”?

With struggles we encountered like a death in sight case with her in a tubectomy case, a near death case of mine with TM (transverse myelitis) and problems with inadequate funds that stopped but we managed to take our children on yearly picnics etc.; I lived my life with those gaps of need and greed – Gaps that remain as challenges and learning curves.

The sum and substance of this short story is that – Live life; only one chance to live.

Let the weather be unpredictable, we venture out. Let cob webs spring in but clean up our thoughts and recharge. Like those pigeons someone else may live for us if we remain comparing others. So adapt to new things like the cell phone in order to be touch with old friends and people who helped us laugh and had fun with.

And Dev Sab was right: we do not become old, we mature.

Nostalgia and Dementia

About 35 years ago ….. This morning I barged into a cell of memoirs of that day.

A college mate of mine Venuraj told me on phone that his ankles are paining. I then looked at my ankle. Found that my toe nails need a trimming and went to collect the nail cutter. That was it.

That nail cutter was gifted thirty five years ago in Jeddah by a friend’s friend who shared our apartment for a few nights before he boarded flight to Jordan. He worked for Panasonic National. He said “You keep it”. None ever gifted me a nail cutter, may be with crystals. This nail cutter is unique and precious in many ways.

Nostalgia; a friend of mine told me is like dementia. I found it to be an interesting comparison. Dementia is unsoundness of mind resulting from organic or functional disorders leading to loss of coherent thoughts. Nostalgia is about poignant fixation or longing for something that happened long ago.

It appears both are demerits. I wonder though! When it sounds and steps on memories, nostalgia turns purple. It connotes love and that kind of?

I lived longer than someone and came to this world before India was independent. Nostalgia plays music in my old heart to tickle and fondle my memoirs.

Today the Gen Next will not bother to know because they have a valid reason. It does not tickle them anymore. What tickles them probably are smart things like cells, robots, AI (artificial intelligence), drones, remotes that run automobiles and speed. The flow of nostalgia is in any way trickle by trickle. Very slow like pain in the ankle of Venuraj.

No wonder when a close school friend of mine called up to ask “why not we four meet?” made me vibrant and speedy in action to meet sooner. And we did speak that night in calm and laughter only about nostalgic stories that bind us still. Football we used to play, jokes that made us laugh; cutting chai that we used to share; the kalumakai (mussels) fried in original pepper from that corner shop that does not exist, and about the shop near Malabar Christian College, Kozhikode that has gone into oblivion as a road widening took place and traffic signals have been planted. We spoke of times when there were no city buses only bullock carts and a few horse ridden vehicles, and by no way no traffic signals.
Change is forever and un-stoppable. We understand and appreciate that factor, as none can stop dementia or nostalgia. It flows and carry on with it good and bad things.

Unfortunately in dementia we forget and in nostalgia memoirs filter only goodness and leave the spoilt occurrences to waste. That is why the most often repeated concept of forgiveness comes into picture. The four of us had fought and split but we are congruent in one as much as we trace history and look at what is happening. And hold our fort of thoughts into future with a back drop of how illuminant was the days we passed by. As we grew we never thought we were making memories. We just enjoyed the fun of living.

Some moments we passed through have become treasures. They fit into our bags of assets. More valuable than some of the gifts (unlike the nail cutter) and materials we made in due course. School holidays when we used to go to uncle’s houses to recreate times shared with cousins and their neighbor hood, lakes and valleys, mountains and rivers, playing kites and running and falling.

It appears the second trip down the memory lane is a treat like the grandma’s coconut chutney. Even the eight year old grandson of mine Darsh listens as he is unfolded with an old photograph of his and asks in excitement questions that his nerves wonder. In us are those fond memories, aside us are our friends and intimate relationships and in front of us are challenges that makes future.

I miss being the child.

That brings an opportunity in all of us. Not to forget to awaken the child in us. Being lonely is a possibility and is the worst poverty of this time, as you age. Remember fear was not a part as we grew up, fear is taught en-route. A child does not fear – he just tries.
Like we four old friends met without a reason but celebrated the occasion.

“Be happy for no reason, like a child. If you are happy for a reason, you are in trouble, because that reason can be taken away from you” – Deepak Chopra.

Fly away, anyway

Early morning sometime in August, almost a wet day, drizzling, I chose to walk in my dhothi that I rarely do. Sun had not risen and nearly cloudy. I heard a flutter all of a sudden and looked around. Wow, pigeons from nowhere were flying up in the air and before I could take up my cell to click a few were far away in their flight to freedom.

A few weeks into my journey at Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai as I lay on the thirteenth floor undergoing treatment for Transverse Myelitis, a disease that parallelized me, I was looking through the window sill and a pigeon sat and after a while flew away. Seeing the flight of pigeon I requested my doctor on a possibility of getting back home, away from hospital. Actually I was seeking freedom from looking at the false ceiling of hospital.

Freedom is the RIGHT to be LEFT alone.

In relationships I heard stories where not allowing enough freedom gets entangled into rough patches. Freedom means much more than probably what the dictionary meaning convey, applies in cases involving facets of feelings.
Most keep tensed relationships under tight controls thus pressurizing to accumulate feelings. To let go is actually not to deny, but to accept a fact that if we cannot influence a situation better let go. Probably freedom helps in enhancing the status of our mind, composes our hearts. It allows us to fly with our wings of thoughts.

“You are born with wings, why crawl through life” – Rumi. Let our fears be free. Through our seventh floor windows we can listen to chirping sounds of birds. That musical sounds provide us ideas of freedom. Especially of parrots that sit on bushes around. Allow us to sing, and dance in our hearts. Free from the perils of what may be going on around. Of the many thoughts that creep in our mind every day only a couple or more need our attention. That itself is a great responsibility if we can fulfill and achieve results.

Between freedom of speech and freedom of action lies a lot. Having worked in cryogenic industry where oxygen is one of the most important gases that I dealt with, I recollect what Moshe Dayan once said – Freedom is the oxygen of the soul. Isn’t that right? That’s our right, to be left alone to wander, exploring new ways and means? That right helps us with chances to improve. To seek opportunities by being free to do what we can.

Freedom is becoming YOU without a need of permission from others. To be labeled as intentionally imperfect. We need to fly out from conventional corridors to unknown frontiers, risk being a rough estimate. After all death is imminent, you like it or not. Rewards that you receive thus are secrets, miracles.

I read a book that stated luck is not that reaches you un-expected. It comes to you when you strike in time, being ready to receive fortunes. If not ready, with homework done, we miss out royalties and rewards. Because freedom is not gifted, we need to work for it. You need to win freedom.

Let go the face masks that we wear often. Be the YOU – YOU like to be. Seek freedom from what others expect you to be; and remove the obstacle like face mask.

That scene on a Thursday evening in Jeddah where my Palestinian colleague Al Khammis witnessed his house being burnt will never ever be forgotten. Being a week end in Middle East we were on sea side when a call came stating that there was fire. Fire had almost finished all that was. Seeing him unperturbed I enquired: “Very sad, very bad”. He had enlarged silence with a smile to answer my exclamatory note of sigh. In less than one year he made up most and added more to his new apartment. I knew then that making success out of a situation is revenge. If everything is lost we are endowed with freedom to do anything. Japanese after World War did that. Recovery flights in a path of freedom. Like the way birds return back in flocks to their abode in the evening to fly out again next morning. Beyond borders, with unlimited freedom to live and move on.

“I could not imagine that the future I was walking toward could compare in any way to the past that I was leaving behind.” – Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Image and imagination are two different things; interdependent and a process of reaching beyond using wings of freedom.

Ups and downs

This month June 2017, we were in Visakhapatnam for a few days to be with friends. Standing on the frontage of the flat we stayed, I could see two high rise buildings. Later as we went round that place where in 1971, I worked as a management trainee of a MNC, I was informed that the two buildings are of 35 floors high and have nearly 800 flats. I took some pictures and sent to friends.

I took some other picture a week after that at the Gandhi Road, Christian College Junction on Kannur Road, in Kozhikode. That place now has no signs of the house where I lived as an infant till a few years ago – made to ground zero for the widening of the road.

Up and down?

Seethammathara, a remote village in Visakhapatnam then was approachable only by one bus and few cycle rickshaws. I worked there in night shifts manufacturing medical and industrial gases. Months later I got shifted to Madras. That landscape has changed and has given a rise to the two towers. Gandhi road widening demolished my home where I still keep memoirs.

Ups and downs!

Profoundly in a state of thought, I received a whatsapp message from my daughter showing a photo of her son riding his newly bought bi-cycle – a cute picture of my grandson.

 I linked my thoughts of “ups and downs” to that of the cycle.

Quote – “There’s rises and falls and ups and downs in all music”. Tim McGraw. The music must go on in spite of ups or downs, like the cycle.

During his annual school holidays as a custom we take our grandson for a giant wheel drive at one of those exhibitions. He is only eight years of age and he need to appreciate the ups and downs and the thrill of returning from the downs to ups again. No wonder – Sarah Todd Hammer said – Everyone has adventures in their lives – Some good ones, some bad ones”.

When I sent the picture of the newly laid road demolishing my home, my brothers and sisters engaged in conversations of the “Lost” feelings. I think materials provide us with instant and immediate pleasures that when lost or deleted like in a relationship make us worried, with concerns of what next?

I have changed from those training days in night shifts at Seethammathara. So are the landscapes in terms of growth. We need to be part of that change by adapting without conditions.

We should be like a clock we need not keep watching the clock. But do what it does. Keep moving, unconditionally. Be with the flow. Witness the lives and nature around. After all in those more than 50000 thoughts that come to our minds every day how many deserve our concerns? How many of those thoughts can we influence? Leave and let go.

Let’s keep our looks at the rise of the Sun, the one that wakes us UP. Let our shadows remain behind with the setting Sun as it sets DOWN.

We move on – lets pedal the cycle of life.

 

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.

 

 

 

Motion & Emotions

I stopped watching motion pictures about 4-5 years back, without any single honest reason. And on May 20th went back to Crown Theatre at Calicut where I used to accompany my mother as a school child and her prime time was to watch a Hindi movie (@ Five Anna per seat then). Times have changed in technology of projection of movie in digitalized format and in sound engineering and ambience.

I took a picture of the old projector from where the light beams flew over to the silver screen those days and felt sort of attached to the past.

It was our daughters who suggested that we watch “PIKU”, a movie they said that I may enjoy. I tried to cope with the stigma of breaking the let known decision that I stopped watching movies, but was worth it, and this article sums up the points.

Times these days are in conflict with age, culture, times – past and present, society, sexual and behavioral instincts, gender issues. Current is also about children and elderly, pressures that put stress on people, binding with the roots that pull backward ideas of growth and changing  life styles. No wonder the audience of that show of PIKU consisted & complemented well with all these issues. I saw grey haired people, some holding sticks in their walk up on to their seats. Some were clad in jeans and what not. The crowd included Parses’, Gujus, some Bengalis, and South Indians.

I saw Amitabh as “BABU MOSHAI” in the film Anand way back in Calcutta early 1970 and was lucky to see him enact with élan as Bhaskor Banerjee of “Champa Kunj” from the banks of Ganga. The thread is what’s of significance – the theme that is deep rooted in a period – struggling with the changing times.

We all experience this in our daily lives – conflicts of interests, conflicts of ideas, conflicts with our identities –futile attempts to put up a show that leaves us who do not want to show case the originals of each one of us. We tend to cover up and are not willing to unlearn and adapt.

PIKU – the original or the root of the story is Kolkata and the current is Delhi. The link to the two extremes is by a taxi driver, who a civil engineer adapt himself after taking up a job as a project engineer in the Middle East, struggles gets sacked and goes back to run taxi service in Delhi. The current generation girl of below 30 is fighting her time and energy is emotive and gets moved and involved as she cannot adapt. She says “sex is a need” and “I am not a virgin”, and why her dad speaks about it to others? Her aunty in Moushumi Chatterjee says she would not mind getting married for a fourth time. These are todays problems subdued and are lucid and challenging the times and relationships. The driver / owner of car who show cased the mixture of Thulsi and Mint leaves to effectively improve motion and draw the Indian vis-à-vis British ways of passing motions. This gives constipation OR otherwise choked relationships. We need to change / adapt. The scenarios reflect the conditions and bring in similarities that stands offs between people, whether they differ in age, cast, creed, language and or gender.

Let Go is the essence (including motion) that we need to do as we pass through the journey of life. Bhaskor Banerjee takes a trip from Delhi to his ancestral home in Kolkota. There he indulges with nostalgia, changes his mind and goes cycling along the routes that once he enjoyed. He buys kachoris and jalebis, bring home, enjoys the day and that night peacefully passes away breathing well with a satisfied mind that he adapted rather than fought situations. He made a choice.

As I watched PIKU I observed majority have constipated mind channels that blocks food processing silos by acid formation with negative thoughts and stress.  If only mind-sets change to ease out pressures (both in motion and emotion) we are able to ease our muscles to thaw our relationship issues. We all are involved in thoughts that break up systems and processes in relationships. We need to de-clutter.  Fact is emotions play hide and seek in sustaining relationships. The single thread is love -> a++itude – Let Go.

I enjoyed the movie – as I made a change in my FIRM decision not to watch movies! Thank you children, thank you Usha. The lessons learnt of modifying my choice are with respect to relationships:-

  • We need to communicate and spend quality time together
  • We need to emotionally support each other by managing disagreements
  • Material and Money matters that dictate need to be handled better
  • Look beyond flaws – Look beyond perfection – Accept differences
  • Cope with Changing Expectations – over a period of time – Its’ changing every moment
  • Think (NOT) – “Where we are” and think “Where we want to be”
  • Be patient – think we have had some moments that are not so good, but not a bad LIFE as such.
  • Have fun, follow your passions