As we move ahead …

Things change; things will change. Things should change for better. Most of us believe in this. Whether we like it or not!

Sitting once on the shore close to the decaying pillars of the pier (now mostly non-existing) near Kozhikode beach, I who was born in pre-independent India, after world war II, looked at the rate of change witnessed by me and my kind of generation, through now kind of generation.

Most of the thoughts were linked to the way we think and live today and how that will change in a few years. I wish to publish a book on these digital space aspects in relationships soon. Linked to the digital space where most of us belong, I went back to my training days in a British MNC way back in 1970. As part of my induction training I was led into a large room nearly a section of the floor occupying about three thousand square feet at Taratolla Road in the then Calcutta. And I was given to understand that those machines were called computers and main frames. Wow. People around had been working on the cards where they punched holes that were in use with those mammoth systems, called computer. Things changed. We are now with drones, robots and tiny cell phones in our hands which we use and live in this world. Different for me of course, when I have those memory cells in my brain getting excited at the rate of change my kind of generation witnessed. I believe we need to and there is no other way other than coping up, by learning.

Nicolas Negroponte wrote about the transition from atoms to bits and bytes. Years later what he wrote is now real. The reality is we adapt ourselves.
Many years ago when my father-in-law who held his Standard Chartered bank account number “9” was given a 10 digit number and was told that he can have most of his currency transactions from ATM, he was upset and met the manager and told him he will miss the smiles and little conversations between his office staff. He missed the humane touch.

The question is will real become virtual in our relationships as we go more digital?

World is in transit and has been over millions and billions of years. As the industrial revolution came people objected to that. Thomas L. Friedman who won the Pulitzer Prize wrote a book – The world is flat. He dealt with globalization. This book deals with the scope of its ambition on the subject of globalization and technology.

If I look at the way my hair dresser late Raman came to my house and shaped my hair and beard to what we do today, it reveal the change that happened in that small intrinsic area of our lives. Most of us probably have no time to appreciate and find the rate of change we underwent. That includes the non-existent pier that was once used for trade in Pathemaris (large wind driven vessels in sea coast) across continents. World is a bit more flat these days with internet of things.

Change brings in issues and challenges. Seeing those as opportunities makes us appreciate and adapt as our learning experiences gets enriched and enhanced to deal easily with those challenges.

That probably is the way the new social order gets embedded. The way the society becomes truly global. Un-biased; without distinct borders of cultures; integrating diversity into unity. Unity of purpose of changing our mind sets, without changing human values. We need to leverage this opportunity of our times to give the next-Gen a platform from where the next changes will shape up to progress humanity.

Soon we handle driver-less cars and transit on earth at speeds that once we thought impossible. We sit and work from our homes and get paid in full. It’s in darkness where the stars become a delight. We probe and learn and answer some questions some of us even may not know to ask as of now. Our ability to learn will remain the heart and pulse of the creation of that new social order where living patterns will emerge that appears impossible now.

That is possible by improving our ability to improve.

Keeping our ethos alive we improve making choices and taking decisions. In handling technology of tomorrow we keep human values as fundamental. The
challenge is being. Our being; being as humans first and last.

I remembered those days when holding my parents hands they took me to the beach side where those piers handled goods in transit from across the world, at Kozhikode. Online deliveries replaced conventional buying behavior. So it does in various aspects in our daily chores and routines. We need to think. Think different, to make it possible in using technology by learning, replacing old and giving ways for new.

History books record many events that shaped the world we live today. We by creating a destiny that is different from what is planned by back benchers in thought process, need to allow the next Gen historians to write digitally to circumvent the world, that we learnt and adapted to new technologies without eliminating human values.

And we, as a breed remain human, in our approach and relationships, irrespective of living in different cultural bases. The world we live in will become transparent and more flat then. If by chance Raman my barber were to revisit, he will still accept a genuine smile in return to that of his.

There is no limitation to being just a humane. We need to find our inner voices.

MIRAGE

Tensed under pressure a fissure was forming in my vessel of mind, it cracked open when I found a treasure. Like a miracle because they are often witnessed by only those who can see through all of life’s illusion – Like a mirage? Is love and thirst for love found only in a mirage? Some hearts are as a desert, you can die wandering in.

Look at the words in French – “Le coup de foudre” meaning love at first sight! Does this phenomenon exist? When, there is a “LIE” in belief; “US” in trust; “OVER” in a lover; “END” in a friend; “EX’ in a next and “IF” in life?

Dilemma in these thoughts on mirage and love at first sight took me some time to picture and get my own views on what  Robert Brault  wrote “Some say that true love is a mirage; seek it anyway, for all else is surely desert.

I am entering into an area that belongs to the gen next who owns up all their treasures from the God’s and Goddesses of love. Let me. Let me try to know about mirage first before I coin words on love.

A mirage is not only seen by thirsty desert wanderers. While I drove in Saudi Arabia on plenty of occasions I witnessed mirage. The ‘wet’ looking spot on the road up ahead could actually be a mirage that stays in the distance, as impossible to reach as a rainbow.

Normally, water in the distance is seen by its ability to reflect light off of its surface. In the case of a mirage, it is refraction, not reflection, creating a similar effect. The hot surface warms the air immediately above it to a higher temperature than the air higher up. A light ray grazing the surface under those circumstances is bent, or refracted, upward. That’s because light travels faster in warmer, less dense, air than in denser cold air. The faster motion of the lower part of a light ray speeds ahead of the upper part, causing it to bend (refract) upward. When the refracted light ray meets our eyes, it appears to be coming from the road surface instead of the distant sky.

That’s about driving in Saudi Arabia. But I never witnessed love at first sight.

Mirages tempt the desert wanderer to keep up hope to quench his thirst. Like most of us realize in finding true love or for that matter something dearer to us. What we missed so far is an illusion and a miracle is on way. That’s the secret; secret of secrets.

In the book SECRET it simply states that our thoughts control the universe. Through this “law of attraction” we “manifest” our desires. We must know what we want and the moment you ask you will attract it.

Interesting? I thought to try it out on Love at first sight! Let me pray. Prayers are answered from within; external circumstances are a result of internal convictions. If we change our thoughts we see brighter scenarios around us, possibilities, even in a mirage.

There were times for some of us when simple things did matter. Four of us after writing our school final public examinations used to sit on the beach side and view our own futures. A person used to come with a bundle of books to sell. On his cycle frame where he loaded books had a name – Touring Book Stall”, TBS. Recently I heard him speak in Calicut Management Association on the subject of “My Life ..”, His speech was about the search for the unknown journeying to mirage.

It’s a possibility. There is no secret for the secret. Our minds provide us with thoughts that are powerful and magnetic with a heavy charge. Pursuit of happiness is a pursuit on mirage; you only realize it’s a delusion at the end of the road through a tunnel and see light,

Love in our own expressions and behavior is attracted. Goodness and sharing of love without conditions is an explicit endeavor. It manifests, it opens up vistas and opportunities that we can find as possibilities to convert as miracles.

I am in my car, closer to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia (that was way back) and since travelled many distances looking for water in mirage. Still to find. But I found something exciting – happiness. In abundant forms. That’s what made me scribble these lines. To tell you to be happy.

“Le coup de foudre” literally means: “A sudden unexpected event of overwhelming passion, particularly an instance of love at first sight; like a stroke of lightning”. Love YOUR life.

 

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.

 

ROOTS

I sat on the twinkled roots, old enough

In awe, clutched and twisted in thoughts,

Memoirs rising above the ground, from grave

My roots not so decayed and decomposed.

 

Reminded me of the journey etched in my diary,

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

Unable to wind up and decipher words in the woods

Uncertain where roots belong, that binds me to ground.

 

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

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

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

The tree provided shades, covering love stories buried alive.

 

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

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

You cannot re-discover the pain of penetration in heart

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

 

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

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

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

I pass through the passage between memories eyes closed.

 

Like roots carry nectar to heart of tree, your

Love comforts, consoles, soothe my nerves

Making me a treasure house of pleasures in thoughts

Making me pause and feel about our relationship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the UNDO key

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

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

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

Causes of imbalance

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

Stress

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

Emotions and Feelings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recall and rejoice

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

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

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

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

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

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

My rejoice was more than the recall for me.

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

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

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

 

Observe nature, reshape questions and change your nature

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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