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Ash. Spiritual. Happy in my own way. Writes Random Stuff. Ice Cream. Night owl. Ice Cream, again.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Not just a Utopian Dream!

Last weekend I finally caught up with Zootopia. The movie was wonderful. I'm a great fan of these animation movies (I've lost count of the number of times I've watched Kung Fu Panda, Ratatouille and Inside Out). The beauty of these movies lies in how wonderfully they convey a strong message in a very simple and subtle manner. Most of these movie plots, work on some theme which people of all ages can easily relate to. I've realized that I'm drawn to movies which focus on hard work and the ones that emphasize on how you don’t need to be special to be able to do anything. 

That is perhaps why Zootopia struck a chord with me because I could relate to all what the movie was trying to say,
  • Anyone can be anything
  • It’s unfair to be prejudiced against an entire community because of a few
  • There will always be people trying to put you down- you just have to ignore them.

Anyone can be anything

If you randomly picked 10 people and asked them if they were happy with what they were doing, it would be safe to assume that just 50% would probably say yes and the rest might not say so. All of us have dreams when we're young, but along the way some of us lose sight of what we want to do and resort to doing something else, more as a necessity. One has to be more practical than emotional when it comes to choosing one's life but if we aren't happy with the way we have shaped up our life, what is the whole point? Aren't we supposed to be the architects of our lives?

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Silent Spectator

I walked into the room and noticed he was in a completely different world. He devoted his attention to what was in front of him. He seemed to be completely immersed in what he was seeing, that he did not even realized I’d stepped inside the room. I wanted to say a hi and check how he was doing, but my mind told me not to bother him. I don’t remember the last time I sat with so much focus on just one subject, so I knew how difficult it was to concentrate. Plus, I did not need him to answer my question. I knew the answer by seeing the expression on his face.

He was worried and upset. He was angry and dejected. All at the same time.

Being the only observer in the room, I was trying to decipher what was causing the many mood-swings in such little time. It was interesting to note how despite no other humans around, it was possible to react to a small set of events in a multitude of ways. One minute he was smiling, and he was also on the verge of standing up and clapping. And the very next minute he would slightly shout to express his irritation. And then, I could see fear in his eyes and his mannerisms. I sat watching him for about half an hour, and as time went by, I was able to predict what his next reaction was going to be.

The game just got interesting.

Image Courtesy : FreeDigitalPhotos

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

When Murphy Knocks the Door!

Disappointments come in many ways. Losing your backup is one of them. 

Blame it on my OCD for discarding old stuff that I no longer use, I apply the same rule for my phone. I delete apps that I don’t use, delete old files that I've backed up, clear caches and temp folders to ensure better performance. A month back, I noticed that some app was eating up my memory. With hardly a few hundred MB left, I decided it was time for some clean-up. After having tried every possible method to clear up memory, I realized I was going nowhere. So, I took a backup of my phone in iTunes, deleted all data and restored it as a new phone. 

My problem was solved, or so I thought.

Image Courtesy : FreeDigitalPhotos

Just as I was jumping with joy on having tackled the issue, I realized that there was a problem with my WhatsApp backup. I couldn't restore my messages. I was surprised to see myself feeling so worried about losing those messages. My mind did not give it too much of a thought, but the heart was terribly upset. I don’t normally save messages, but when I do (like the ones from my mom, sis and our immediate family group), I cherish them. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Playing by the Rules of Life!

I have a question for you – Do you know the rules of Life?

If you ask me to answer, I’d say there are none. You just play your game and make up your own rules. That brings me to the next question - How do you deal people who keep telling that you're wrong and that you will have to change your path and rules? I’ve made up 2 rules for those folks:

Rule #1: Ignore other's rules if it doesn’t make sense to you.

Rule #2: Meticulously follow Rule #1

Of course, there will be a few others who might be genuinely concerned for you and may try to put their points across in a subtle manner. It all comes down to going by our instincts on distinguishing the well-meaning and the not-so-well-meaning ones. 

Image Courtesy : Google
So, what’s the problem?

The main problem here is, some people around us hate our guts and are completely against us having our own game and rules. First they try to convince you, and then they ridicule you and then they try imposing their rules on you. The bad news here is, they sometimes never give up. But the good news is, you don’t really have to bother.

Monday, February 29, 2016

On a Quest for Inspiration!

I used to be a part-time faculty at work a few months ago. I used to handle sessions on soft skills and communication skills, with emphasis on business communication skills. When there was a new forum at work, my colleague and I came up with a brilliant idea of writing posts every week on specific/important aspects of communication. The idea was good and got approved. 

We decided to publish posts every Friday. So it was decided that we would brainstorm and finalize an idea by Monday, come up with a draft on Wednesday. We even allocated time for fine-tuning the drafts on Thursdays after which our post would be ready to go live on Friday. We were proud of our plans and the way we thought we would implement them.

Except that, this was the too-good-to-be-true scenario.

When it came to the actual implementation, we realized we had more in store than what we had signed up for. Though we religiously followed the schedule for a few days, we realized that it was quite not possible to stick to it week after week. We used to start talking about ideas on Mondays and struggle to come up with something concrete and push it off for the next day. I remember spending many Thursday nights staring at Notepad and Word praying for inspiration. Somehow, we managed to pull it off and for the 3 months that we were in-charge of the posts, we never missed a single week. 

That's when I realized something. Our imagination works at its peak, at times, when we're scared. 

Image Courtesy : Google

Monday, February 15, 2016

From Setbacks to Stepping Stones!

All ok? 

It's interesting how the eyes see something and convince the brain that things are fine, and how the brain directs the eyes to take a closer look to find out if things are really the way they seem. For a third person, it might seem like all is well. But apparently, it might not be. 

For quite some time now I have been witnessing many people around me open up about the problems they've been going through. Though it’s good to know that people are opening up, I was surprised how I had failed to notice that they weren't doing well emotionally. For someone who boasts of being able to find if someone was happy or sad, I felt bad. I had failed to notice. 

I asked Google a lot of questions regarding this and it promptly (and patiently) answered all of my queries. I remembered all those pep-talks and inspiring conversations and articles that I had read and I thought I should probably put them down here. Who knows who else might end up benefiting from this.

Image Courtesy : FreeDigitalPhotos

Move on.

As much as we'd like to hold on to certain people and incidents, things are best dealt with when we learn to move on. We might not be able to forget everything, but we do have the luxury of putting all of them in a box and storing them away as memories. This way we don’t lose track of the present while dealing with the past. 

Will it mater in a few years?

This might probably sound clich├ęd, but it is definitely a good way of helping one analyse whether all the drama and action is really worth it. This serves like a litmus test to decide whether it really matters. If it is not going to matter in a few years, should you really care?

My problem/ Your problem

I read about this technique some time back and I can personally vouch that this is a wonderful way to decide whether to worry about something. Whatever comes my way, I categorize them as 'My Problem' or 'Others' Problem' and it has helped me prioritize and deal with people . I can only worry about things that are under my control. If there is nothing I can do about something which is someone else's problem, I can empathize and help them to an extent, as long as it doesn’t start affecting me in any way. 

For instance, What I say - My problem. How others interpret it - Not my problem

Thursday, February 4, 2016

From Cards to Words & Beyond!

My mom has this annual cleaning activity, and she insists that I participate every single year. Honestly, I love cleaning my bookshelves and wardrobes, provided it’s done occasionally. I’m no Monica when it comes to cleanliness but I like how the activity involves running through stuff which might probably be decades old, and reliving the memories associated with every simple little thing. It helps me go back to the person I was earlier and realize how fast time has flown by.

Image Courtesy : FreeDigitalPhotos

Of all my treasured possessions I’ve carefully maintained these many years, I pride over my collection of Greeting cards. I’m not sure if the current generation would understand why a thick sheet of paper with some roses and words in random fonts, with some personalized messages, is such a big deal. I’m grateful to my parents for very many things and I’m particularly thankful that they instilled in me the habit of gifting greeting cards and collecting them. As far as I can remember, all the cards which were exchanged in the family were primarily from Landmark. It’s not as simple as just walking over to the store, choosing the occasion and picking a random card. I’d spend hours reading every card that had a nice design and then read the words to see if I could connect to it or if the receiver would be able to relate to it. It was a very elaborate affair, yet no one complained.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Does everything happen for a reason?

You are on a mission. You want to get a nice silk saree. You are guided to a particular section of the store based on your preferences. You randomly tell your colour and design preferences and then you are shown numerous sarees that match your description. Beyond this people proceed in a different way. Some narrow down options by elimination, while some others do it by careful selection. A lot of thinking goes behind the scenes.

Consider another scenario. Your mom asks you to get a packet of Gulab Jamun mix. She specifies that she wants only the MTR packet. So you go to the store and head to the appropriate section and look out specifically for what you have in mind. And then you get to the section where there are hundreds of other packets, with the same name. You just pick one at random not worrying about which of the 100 packets you need to pick because they're all the same. 

So, some things happen for a reason and for some other things - they just happen. 

Monday, January 11, 2016

2015 - The Year that Was!

Keeping up with the tradition of posting the yearly round-up, I decided to analyse and write about how 2015 had an impact on me. Before I could delve any deeper on the events, I was sure of one thing though. I had no idea on Jan 1st, 2015 that this is how my life would shape up. On Jan 1st 2016, when I was thinking of how the previous year went by, the first thing that got my attention was how different my original plans were, and despite going-with-the-flow and taking very many diversions, how grateful I am to be here.

If I had to describe 2015 as briefly as possible, I would have to say that it was the Year of Risks. Some of them paid off, thankfully; while some of them didn’t (giving me more topics to blog about, talk about silver lining ;-)).

Image Courtesy : FreeDigitalPhotos

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Of Fixed Mindsets & Prejudices!

I never understood why people in escalators start climbing the steps that are already moving upwards. 

I never understood why people would go through the torture of getting their ears pierced again, just to wear a small stone.

I never understood how people appreciate Sambar Vadai even when its USP - It's crispiness - being completely lost.

All of us have our own unique ways of doing things. While some of us are open to experimenting with different methods every time, some of us stick to what we know the best even at the cost of not even attempting another easier or better method. While some people believe that there are many ways to perform something in the right way, some people believe that there is just one right way to do anything and it's their way. Though we might not belong to either of these extremes our mind constantly juggles between any one of the two states.

One such day, my mind was somewhere along how could people do this, to do people actually think doing this is better than doing it the way I do it. I kept wondering why certain people would do the aforementioned things. When I mentioned about this to my mother, who is an ardent fan of Sambar Vadai, she asked me how I could come to a conclusion without trying any of them. Having realized that the problem was with my understanding, I tried to attempt the said activities.
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