P+P+P = P

Between me and Tennis hardly anything exists. As a school student at Kozhikode, Malabar Christian College School, I used to cross the boundaries set for the tennis games that used to be played in those evenings. My close friend and classmate Dado Pavamani, son of Principal Dr. Pavamani used to play tennis and I used to look around as my games were something different in hockey and basket ball – Though my name came from Lala Amarnath. Later my father who used to be one good at cricket and football took me to the Cosmo Club at Kozhikode when Ramanathan Krishnan played. No wonder when I first went to England and went past Wimbledon I felt that I should get into the stadium.
Every failure is a lesson to be learnt. So is every success. Roger Federer who set up the 19th record breaking Grand Slams in July 2017, appeared to me as a success in his pursuit of achievement. I went on to understand and appreciate his story and found an equation:
P+P+P = P

The following is based on this – P for passion; P for Power; P for Perfection = P for Performance. And a hidden P is for being Positive and that P comes on both sides of the equation.
René Stauffer who wrote about Roger Federer after meeting him when Federer was 15 years old tells the story of the boy who made history. Every story becomes a history only when accomplishments become either in creation or destruction.

“He appeared to have mastered every stroke, which was quite unusual for juniors in his age group. He dominated with his serve and his forehand, but his powerful one-handed backhand and the occasional volley also looked like something taken from tennis textbook. Federer was a diamond in the rough, no doubt.”

Like a diamond that turns from carbon black, it takes years of pressure to glitter- Sweating it out. Federer’s athletic maturity stood in stark contrast to his behavior. He was a hot-head! Being hot is a phenomenon that is evidenced in many successful giants in history – they chase and every failure makes them grind – grind their teeth. “Hunger for results” – my MD of British Oxygen Company late Mr. Prasad used to advise.

In that interview when Federer was just 15 years of age, with René Stauffer, Federer said “I probably am among the 30 or 40 best in his age class in the world and I want to become a top professional but still had to improve his game. That is his attitude”. That arises out of the first P – Passion.
“I hardly forgive myself on any mistakes although they’re normal. One should just be able to play a perfect game.”

That takes the dominant and the third P – Perfection, in that equation.
It is written about Federer: “He seemed to sense his great potential that he was capable of doing great things—but he was not yet able to transform his talents into reality. His unusual attitude towards perfection had a positive side effect in that he did not consider his opponents as rivals who wanted to rob the butter from his bread. His opponents were more companions on a common path. This attitude made him a popular and well-liked person in the locker room. For Federer, tennis was not an individual sport with opponents who needed to be intimidated, but a common leisure activity with like-minded colleagues who, as part of a big team, were pursuing the same goal”. My friends like Indrajit Mukherjee and Anil Batra who are veterans in the game of golf used to tell me that that game is a fight between you and you.

Successes eludes even for bright youngsters, because some lack in their persuasive and persistent behavior and lack of commitment including health issues. Federer was once quoted as an underachiever. For years he was dogged by the label “best player without a Grand Slam title.”
“To the contrary, Federer developed quietly and not be subjected to the pressures of expectations, from his parents and from the public.” This is what we call as focus. He grew. Like the game of golf, he played to improve himself.
“He was very vibrant, a bundle of energy, and was sometimes very difficult” said Lynette his mother. This energy of Federer is in the equation the second P – indicating power and the fuel is that energy that he built both physical and mental.

Being positive is on both sides of the equation. Federer had his streaks of being negative. Negative emotions also often took control of him on the court. “When things weren’t going the way he wanted, he would curse and toss his racquet” Kacosvky once said “It was so bad”. But Federer himself understood and probably corrected in his journey to win the 19 Grand Slam and set a record. That silent P – being positive made his reach the current position. In his own words – “I was constantly cursing and tossing my racquet around. It was bad. My parents were embarrassed and they told me to stop it or they wouldn’t come along with me to my tournaments anymore. I had to calm down but that was an extremely long process. I believe that I was looking for perfection too early.”

“When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure”- Peter Marshall.

Horizontal and vertical – It’s all about space

It was early June that I spent a good lot of time with my sister’s husband who happens to be my cousin. We had a sumptuous feast of communications interesting from the fact that most were about the bygone era.

I mentioned about my engineering college days in Akathethara, Palakkad. And he said that none of the current generation can believe this. Yes it is true. My parents used to send a money order every month for my living expenses and I used to wait. The amount was Rs.70/- that comprised of around Rs.55/- towards the food and room rent that we shared between two. The balance went for a movie and some travel expenses and a biriyani and tea from Hotel Kashmir, Olavakkot.

I told him the cost per sardine small size that I bought a couple of days back was nearly Rs.5/- a piece. And on return way back from the fish market I recollected how when I was a school student in Calicut sardines crop during a season was so much (there was no cold storages then) that the fishermen had to dispose their catch. My father bought sardines in bamboo baskets at a price of 10 “naya” – paise per basket and put as manure for the coconut trees at home.

He spoke about his early days with the Japanese trainers in deep sea fishing that was first introduced in India by Norwegians and followed with the Japanese. He spoke a few words he remembered in Japanese and stories of Ayumu, his captain, who survived with four holes on his back near his waist line during world war. He was lying on his chest during a carpet bombing. Aged but strong they all worked nearly 18 to 19 hours in a day in deep sea. Eating was not in sitting position as waves and weather played a lot against.

He then suddenly remembered how he picked the seahorse Ayumu had captured from the fishing net along with fish. Ayumu asked him to return to him and he actually took a second one from Ayumu. Japanese believed that if you keep the shell of the seahorse it takes away evil spirits and wards off bad times!

We both continued to discuss and appreciate the old nostalgic pills coated with sugar and spice. After that I took a picture of those two seahorses and at home probed to know more of the creature God created to ward off evil spirits.

The seahorse name species is called Hippocampus. “Hippocampus” comes from the Ancient Greek word hippos meaning “horse” and campus meaning “sea monster”. Seahorses range in size from 1.5 to 35.5 cm and live in shallow waters. Seahorses swim upright, a characteristic not shared by their close pipe- fish relatives, which swim horizontally. That makes a difference and I noted that aspect and compared to the times I spent in work in Saudi Arabia where the Arabic language is written from left to right.

The concept of horizontal and vertical is a geometrical proposition and when applied to thought processes it gave me a corollary of the 9-hat game of parallel thinking by Edward de Bono.

The photo I captured on my cell phone was the toy in my hand that put me to a pedestal into future. A total deviation from the nostalgia filled discussions we had at my brother-in-laws home.

From where to where is the space that once seen as carrier for clouds, the full moon that came up in most of romantic poetry, aero planes and radio waves have shifted for communications of all kinds, scientific explorations and defense techniques etc. That space defines the way we live now.

The NET or internet depends on that horizontal and vertical space and decide how we operate our day’s schedules and time-passes like “whats-apping” and “face-booking”!

Most of our procedures and processes including health care and life is about that pattern. And we depend on the horizontal-vertical space around us.

Relationships that make and break also connect to the digital space we depend upon these days. The time-pass whether in waiting for the train or in a hypermarket mall is with the two fingers swiping on that tiny glass space, to rub and penetrate deeper into affairs and matters.

I was showing and telling about the radio that I used to wait for Radio Ceylon on Wednesdays at 8 pm to my grandson. He now has the remote control that switch to different channels and my grandson was astonished to know those old times of his Ammacha and how it was possible for those time’s people to live at such a slow speed!

I think as the parallel thinking methodology work out opportunities when we are stuck with choices and decisions the next generation people will explore things that recede the current trends into dust bins? Will it or the current times become obsolete with or without values?

The seahorse somehow helped me to think forward and positive – if it can swim vertical and Arabic can be read from left to right everything is a possibility as long as we indulge not in stuck spaces and idle moments, but move forward with a thought process that find ways for handling issues of relationships or more newer methodologies that make the next generation live their lives better.

 

 

 

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.

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.

Butterflies …

B Flies - 4 BlogTexas Annual Exhibition is where my daughter Divya had a second look at the little wonder – butterflies. She gifted us with a frame of butterflies. I wondered about this lovely creature God gifted to nature.

Lifespan of a butterfly depends on many things from two weeks to 30 days! Butterflies have inhabited our planet for 130 million years. Before a butterfly can flap its wings, it starts out as something completely different and transforms itself through four stages. Caterpillar after hatching from an egg has its first meal – the egg shell itself. Caterpillars molt several times and outgrow their exoskeleton. They lay hundreds of eggs but only a few survive. When a butterfly emerges from a chrysalis its wings are crumpled. It hangs with its wings down and pumps the wings with fluids to straighten them out – wait several hours for wings to harden and dry before flying away. How beautiful are they?

They see ultraviolet colors, invisible to our eyes and can see flowers. They cannot hear, but feel vibration and have a sense of smell. They communicate with each other by color, chemicals and sound. Color patterns signal along with a chemical pheromone to attract opposite sex. Clicking sounds attract ants that in turn protect them. They use support systems and methods for survival. The 12,000 different species of butterflies play a silent part in pollinating the earth’s plant population as part of food chain.

Divya bought our gift from a Peruvian Store. Peru hosts 20% of world population of butterflies. These are farm raised with an idea of conservation and helps local people to earn a living. Butterflies are allowed to live their natural life cycle and allowed to die. These are dissected, preserved for years to please our eyes as well to learn in retrospect.

Lessons learnt:

  • Survival is an instinct that we need to practice on a continuous basis.
  • With a short life span butterflies does pollination. Will Smith quote – “Life isn’t how many breaths you take, but it’s the moments that take your breath away” – Do what is IMPOSSIBLE.
  • Growth is NOT easy. Work for it.
  • Help each other – Like butterflies and ants.
  • Use the resources God gifted us – to be different.
  • Learn till you live – no shelf life for knowledge. As human beings we need to appreciate our sensory capabilities and intellect. We can be butterflies.