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.




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.







In a flight in search … (Happiness …)

Recently I changed my Facebook cover photo from that of my grandson’s picture to a bird and captioned it with “In a flight in search …” and found a thread in that very line to write this.

Some links connect to my grandson and toys he has in plenty. When we returned from his home to Calicut, my wife carried a few toys in her baggage and presented those to Sumitha who has two sons who come with her to our building to play around.

That moment when the toys were handed over to them the youngster said – “there are cars in this bundle that can run faster than those on roads!” – The joy on their faces was too much to believe as we felt nothing beyond parting away with something that was in surplus. Watching the joy made my mind at work to seek what I am trying to probe – happiness is?

Sumitha told me that her kids kept those toys near their pillows as they slept that night.

I saw one of them playing with the car the next day. And after a while it fell from the steps and broke. The elder one came in and was upset. “What will you tell our neighbors and friends when they see your car is damaged?” – Elder one quelled.

“I will tell them that another aunty will give me a surprise gift and a more colorful faster moving toy car, and will fix this broken piece with rice glue”. The best glue that he saw so far is rice paste. Both went on to have their own games that evening.

I often found the concept of SHARE as a meaningful purpose in my early life, probably instilled as a value for values by my mother who never went beyond secondary school in her education. The meaning of some stories she told us still revisit in mind. At times the thoughts help an imaginary flight in search to find true meaning of concepts and how and to apply those in lives.

We used to exchange old clothes in return for vessels through vendors who arrive at our door steps. Then we switched to handing old clothes over to child homes. Of late we thought to give it off to the needy and not greedy. It meant we witness the joy of receiving from moments of SHARE.

Along with those old clothes passed on to a needy family who took those with gratitude was a shirt embossed with name of one of the US Companies I worked. A nice white full sleeved one. Having forgotten the name “Wittemaan” I got fused to the logo as I sat at a function and noticed an elderly person wearing the same shirt was sitting in front of me.

I was overwhelmed on the fact of recycling more closely as me and another member of CMA, went to Bengaluru to study the process of recycling waste into electricity as researched by the Indian Institute of Science. Possibilities exist.  My nephew who studied automobile engineering in Germany informed me of the various possibilities of re-conversion of wasteful spent of the car like heat, sound etc. in to useful energy by conversion.

The joy of receiving the toy, keeping those near their pillows kept me thinking of the concept of SHARE.

Only the other day I asked him what he did with the broken car. He said the rice glue did not help to make up the break. But he said his brother who was upset seeing his broken car was temporarily happy and slowly forgot of the sad feeling.

It’s written that “falling is not the most important thing, it’s how fast you get up and walk” that is important.

Rati from Worli, Mumbai who is crippled for her life and a best friend of mine, recently sent me a What Sapp message reading as under:-

{Walking is the best exercise – “walk away” from arguments that lead you to nowhere but anger, “walk away” from people who deliberately put you down, “walk away” from thoughts reduces your worth, “walk away” from failures and fears that block your dreams, the more you “walk away” from things that poison your soul, the happier your life would be – walk towards happiness!}

In search of happiness is what the flight of the bird indicated. Thank you Rati, even though I know you cannot walk forward, your “forward” to me was of great input and a SHARED thought for me to appreciate what happiness is?

I met the same youngster the other day and enquired whether the other aunty gave him the surprise gift?

“It’s yet to come, delayed, but for sure!”

He was actually dreaming that the best is yet to arrive in his life. He probably wanted all his friends also believe that damage or failures make no difference to dream realization. He in that process set up an array of positive thoughts including neighbors that “lost is lost” and many things are there that can be created or achieved including realizing dreams.

We chase happiness by buying costly things and apparels to create an image to project the not so of ourselves, and to wear masks.

Look at the boy and the elder person who put up an image of not on borrowed bargains but of self-worth knowing well “who I am”. Contented are they.

Difficulties or fear dampen path to happiness, but with an attitude to win over the hearts of self and those of others, they tend to live in the moment – where truth exists.