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.

One Night STAND; a future shock!

word Press - ONS

Actually I stood up from my bed at about 12.30 a.m. like when the word Eureka was coined in history.

It’s about IDEAS that change the world we live. Long ago I wrote a blog when I read in news about the government banning the good old bullock carts plying on the modern roads. That was about the past and now I am dwelled in thought on the future – unseen, but imagined.

I lived when bullock carts and horse driven carriages were on the streets of Calicut, Kerala. So I thought I may not be able to imagine what is in store for us. My second daughter sent me a text on my Whats App that night and all that triggered made me stand up that night.

I went to the wash room and seeing the soap in a tube remembered the good old “Hama am” and “Lux” soaps and some of the old brands like Scissors in cigarettes. When I passed SSLC, I spent two hours daily at a type writing institute, but where is that item? Only the location of the alphabets has not changed in the cell phone. I worked for a company whose organizational Logo and Name changed many times in acquisitions. Old is sold!

Look at Kodak, in 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all photo paper worldwide. In a few years, their business model disappeared and they got bankrupt. Like KODAK many companies would close down in the next few years. Did we think in 1998 that 3 years later we would never take pictures on paper film again? We are in the era of the 4th Industrial Revolution and the Exponential Age.

Computers become exponentially better in understanding the way we want to be doing things in future. Facebook now have a “Pattern recognition software” that can recognize faces better than humans. Already computers are more intelligent than humans. These only help us chose and not help us decide.
Software will rotate 360 degrees in design and can see future into a virtual reality.

Uber is just a software tool, and are the biggest taxi company in the world. Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don’t own any properties.

In 2018 the first self driving cars is expected in market place. Automobiles will change the way we see now. . You may not own a car anymore. You will make a call on your cell and a car will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and will be driver-less. Our kids need not go and test drive for a driving license. Pollution will come down when we reduce use of cars now in cities. We transform parking space into parks. Imagine about 1.2 million people die each year in traffic accidents worldwide. Driver-less cars along with Uber like companies can save a million lives each year.
Tesla- Apple- Google shall revolutionise changes and build a computer on wheels. Insurance companies will have massive trouble because without accidents, the insurance will become 100 times cheaper. Their Car insurance business model will …?

“Work from home” scenario is already spreading fast. Location is not an issue. And so Real estate prices will crumble. If your home is workplace then people will move further away to live in a more beautiful neighborhood. You do not shop in stores, stores deliver at home.

Solar production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years, but you can only now see the impact. Last year, more solar energy was installed worldwide than fossil. The price for solar will drop so much that all coal companies will be out of business by 2025.Saudi Arabia’s new economic ideas have already shifted from fossil fuel based economy. Price per barrel of crude oil is to be seen. When solar power comes cheap and desalination cost will be down scarcity of water in most places will not be there. One can have as much clean water as he wants.

Agricultural robots will run our paddy fields and no more bullock wielding farmers. Right now, 30% of all agricultural surfaces are ploughed by cows. There are several startups that will bring insect protein to the market shortly. It contains more protein than meat. It will be labeled as “alternative protein source”. I have heard that china imports chicken wastes and other animal wastes to produce alternate proteins.

There is an app called “moodies” which can already tell in which mood you are. Soon there will be apps that can tell by your facial expressions if you are lying, and that will trigger relationship issues like love affairs and one night stands! The mood will be “CLEARER” with those Apps.

Life span has improved over a period of time. From now on with medical diagnosis with tests from your breath and not from your blood will reduce cost of diagnosis. Medication costs will also come down as changed life styles without stress begin to appear. Thus life span increases by 3 months per year. Life span around 70-75 years increase itself and by 2036, there will be an increase of one year per year. Then nostalgia will talk about historical memories of more than 90 years, when people speak. Stories will overwhelmingly rotate and change.
Because wrongs can be seen as right, and tomorrow’s concepts will change the way we look at things, the scenario will definitely be unthinkable as of now.

Change is everything, they say – and when I stood up that night, I really understood the way things are going to change. ROBOT s without feelings and emotions, will be “next-Gen” children?

As in that era there will not be any patent registrations, with the speed of changes, when I said “eureka” – as I stood up, I was crystal clear, that I was not dreaming.

Hide & Seek

 

As I un-wrapped a packet of “Hide & Seek” biscuit this morning after a walk at Sarovaram Park, I got myself engrossed to wrap up in thoughts.

This is not about the biscuits but about the varied thoughts that enter our mind when we are awake and per dreams in our sub-conscious minds when we are asleep. I am told that on an average more than 50,000 thoughts come across as we pass the day.

I walked through the park with Sujit my friend’s son who works in US and we spoke about the thoughts that matter. In that circle of 50,000 thoughts, a few handfuls of them may be called as areas of influence and the rest are areas of concern where we have nothing to do. But that’s the area where we spend our energies most, is that right? A bird sang songs as we were in the discussions. The sun was rising up for the day. On the sides of the narrow path where we walked, fallen leaves like those who completed their terms of life’s journey reminded me of the short period that we are here on the surface of earth.

Asked myself – why do we get mood swings? Let’s come CLOSER to undersatnd. We undergo change in our moods as feelings affect us through thoughts both positive and negative. Unfortunate it is that there appears no filter is in our minds, to get positive thoughts always. We need to understand this and witness the more than 50,000 thoughts that flow past our minds. Someone said – thoughts come as visitors, let them come and go.

Long back my colleague Shaik Iqbal in Saudi Arabia spoke about Lean concept. Later I learnt Six Sigma Lean concept. These are approaches that make things simple, less complicated, more productive and value added. “Minimalism” probably connotes the same where we tend to be minimalistic in our materialistic desires.

Probably the silence as we walked around made me think with a back drop of natural surroundings on a chill atmosphere of January morning.

I also looked at the variances between desire that leads to pleasure and need that leads to action. It transgresses in our minds and lay out a channel that needs probing. I also tried to pick up threads on values that relate to others and karma that relates specifically to our-self.

In a multiplex world with changing social behaviors our minds pass through multiplex levels of thoughts to understand and judge good and bad or right and wrong. We tend to sit in judgment with the balance hanging in front, on each of those 50,000 thoughts and corrupt our valuable time to wasteful paths. After all who are we to judge and conclude the righteousness of each and individual episode? We did not create most of it and so be it.

Let us get across to areas of influence where our effort may find a solution to us and others involved. Are those areas of influences anything more than two or three in a day? May be may not be. But a mathematical evaluation can prove that we spend most of our time where we do not satisfy ourselves. We lose to see the current, the NOW part of our journey called life. With less than 65 years of a standard life estimated we hardly have just about 23,000 days. If we consider the best part that we can utilize we have about 15,000 days. If we give ourselves a rough cut we hardly have productive days as 10,000. On a LEAN concept, if our minimalism ideas were to work out during these 10,000 days multiplied by 50,000 thoughts we need to still handle nearly 50 Crore thoughts of wasteful energy. Look at that number that we may have to handle if we consider 10,000 days and a maximum of 3 thoughts of influence it still amounts to 30,000 thoughts! Imagine if we do not re-set our desires to need based action we clog our minds with thoughts that spoil our days. I would never have heard the singing of birds or located the fallen leaves and had a second look at the rising sun and its HIDE & SEEK that makes up our good and bad days.

Most of the things we desire are expensive, but most of what makes us happy are available free – like love and share, giving and forgiving, or for that matter the song of the birds or a breeze in the air. We need to keep calm, as nothing including these thoughts last forever. We need to be aware of our mood swings and ensure we do not mix our words with moods as we communicate. Moods change but words cannot be erased. We need to live and enjoy and be happy with our lives and not just EXIST. With a purpose driven life, direction is also important otherwise we wander without reaching our goals.

In the name of pretext we HIDE many things and SEEK many even if we really are not in need. We mostly tend to pass through black and white and not see the rainbows of colors that exist at the reach of our minds.

Let’s come closer to the facts that drive us. Let’s find the direction we are leading to achieve our goals. Let’s re-visit priorities that set us to enjoy the limited days in our lives to be happy and make others happier.

For this let us peep into the past by the click of reverse button and find – did we attempt to do what makes us happy? As William Faulkner said – “Past is never dead, it is not even PAST”.

Each of us may find a new clue and a new key that opens up corridors of happiness in our hearts and around us with a surge to open windows of yet another chance to be happy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just a Moment . . . please.

I was cooking yesterday with spices and herbs and the dish reminded me of Opor Ayam that we enjoyed in Bali.  With a simmering heat, I was passing through feelings garnished with aroma and colour changes. Then I turned to make a dessert and as I passed through the mood and ambience, remembered my old friend Sameer Al-Khadravi, with whom I enjoyed Basboosa a curd soaked, coconut sprinkled, syrup drenched, semolina based dessert. When the work was done I realized the flavor of that moment.

 

As days come and nights fall, we still request “Just a moment, please.” – That moment I realized after cooking made me think of time. We lose time and its value as we engage in innumerable activities at work or otherwise. As someone said – time appears like a river in flow, we cannot hold or touch the same molecule of water again, and so enjoy every moment in life. We also come across moments that make us happy and at times sad. Life we need to understand is a song, played in background with a piano, in rhythm. A piano has white and black keys, white representing happy and black sad moments – but the music is enhanced by playing both the keys in a measure of composition.

 

“We do not remember days; we remember moments” CeSare Pavese said. Sometimes we do not know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory. Time has elapsed by then.

 

Either we spend our time in search of what has gone by or what is in store for us. We tend to evaluate and procrastinate we tend to plan and plan more with an “analysis paralysis syndrome”. We tend to reach our own destinations fast, ignoring the journey. In that process we forget to seek direction for arriving at the destination. We indulge in internal dialogues and loose silence within to introspect and learn. We lose the True North as we move ahead in lives. True North and Magnet North are different. True North emanates from own bottom line – the “Lakshman Rekha” a line of compromises, a balance between moments that makes up time.  That defines the moment of truth. Like that I got while in the Kitchen. Good moments reconnect to the wonderful moments of the past like that of Opor ayam and basboosa.

 

Lessons learnt are simple– we need to change and amend as we pass by time. When we come across road blocks on our journey of life we find alternatives. The moments that pass by need to be taken care of. Not to worry about what has gone by or what is yet to be disclosed by nature. Moments are interludes on the thread of time. It’s difficult with a wandering mind to accept and practice, the mere idea of enjoying the miniscule of time that can provide comfort.

 

Just a MOMENT, please.

Just a MOMENT, please.

 

Albert Einstein said “Time is an illusion.” – That applies well to a mind that gets confused in dealing with TIME. A corollary to that is what Alan Wilson said – “Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone.”  I practice using two imaginary compartments of my brain – a DUST BIN and a FREEZER: what I cannot influence by my effort on time scale, I use DUST BIN and that I need to re-visit, use FREEZER.

 

Being a professional I came across many sessions that dealt with TIME MANAGEMENT. Those sessions tell us how to manage time as a resource. But I tend to believe what Mahatma Gandhi said:  “There is more to life than simply increasing its speed.”

 

My wife at times remind me of not being on time is as well good. Right – Wrong? God has perfect timing, never early never late. It takes a little patience and a little faith – but it’s worth the wait. It may not be visible as a perfect time.

 

Moments are precious, it is infinitely creative – and the place we are connected is bountiful; we need to work on the moments and make it sustainable. If the mind wander and leave moments to history we lose our lives. Our own mind acts as our main enemy and we underperform. Nothing comes from outside, everything is generated and achieved from within – it’s our own thought, to feel the moments that pass by and recognize and align hopes that try and match with reality as moments pass into history. Inhabit in those lovely moments, feel them and do not leave it for someone else to occupy – its precious; it’s yours. Our emotions affect every part of our cell, mind and body, mental and physical – let go when you cannot control it.

 

Nothing is really good or bad, but thinking shapes the outcome. As time clicks let’s move on that much travelled grey path, where many have traversed without seeking the perfect white or black that do not exist. Un-certainty is best dealt by being at this moment – the only moment of truth.

 

In our lives, when we lose direction that leads to success, we may find we are NOT really doing anything right. My friend’s wife is immobile and depends upon an object to walk. This is for the last twenty years, and he supports her in all aspects of running the house and managing their full time social and spiritual activities, a sublime act that forgets about past and future. Another family friend Rati, who owns “Rat’s Brushworks”, is on her own though she is unable to mend herself for most of her own daily routines. She finds time with children and colours and teaches them the art of painting that she marvels in. Both create an ambience of happiness enjoying the precious moments that makes their lives.

In the end what matters is taking ownership of the moments that makes up our lives. Living abundantly because we have abundant capabilities and potential, that is the core of the theme of “Just a Moment, please”.  Werner Heisenberg, Nobel Prize winning physicist summed it up: – Atoms or elementary particles are not real; they form a world of potentialities or possibilities”.

 

We need to appreciate the value and potential of the moments that pass by, once passed we cannot touch them like the flow of water in the river, believe in the possibilities and enjoy the moment with passion and life into it.