Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Can I be small again?

I notice there are two word documents in my folder for BP School Assignments. One called Tuli and the other called Tuli(1).
Aah! I say to myself. This is a copy. I select it and click on the delete button.
Zuuup. The file is gone.
Hey! I cry. kind of groping into the air above the keyboard. That is not fair. You are supposed to ask me 'are you sure you want to delete 1 file?'
I am to click on 'yes'
AND then it is to go zuuup. Not before that.....!
Oooph I grumble. This new laptop and its settings!!!

And then I google for a solution. I want to put back the 'Are you sure you want to delete 1 file?' button.

Then they tell me. 'You click on delete. Surely you mean delete? Why would I doubt your intentions'....asks windows. Windows is treating me like an adult.
So I decide to grow up.
Ok. fine. accepted. I click on delete...and you go zuuup.

We are not ready to grow up until someone tells us that we got to. We remain kids
we sulk
we crave praise
we put off planning
we pretend we are busy
we search for excuses
and we complain

There comes a time when you just grow up.....Or do you?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Power of Passion

Hampi is the capital of the Vijayanagar empire. It is located in the Bellary district of Karnataka. The original name of Hampe as it is pronounced in Kannada has been anglicized to HAMPI and that is how the world knows this dynamic city of ruins.

No harm in trying. Come let us push this stone wheel!!

The stone carvings, some mighty monoliths and many fascinating musical pillars abound in this World Heritage Site.

Musical pillars made in stone

The carvings date from 1343 to 1565, a period of more than 200 years. The empire was founded by Harihar1 called Hakka and continued by Bukka the other illustrious emperor of the Sangama Dynasty.
 Just look at the driving power of passion. One man's passion has so inspired his people that stone carvings and beautiful architecture has become the identity of this township.

Impressive entrance to fort

Vijayanagara empire was ruled and adorned by four different dynasties. And now almost 540 years later people travel miles across the world to visit the place.... braving the rough terrain, the hot weather and the lack of eating places.

hot dry weather, rough stony terrain, large flat places

Passion has that force. Last week I was at a teacher training camp in Jammu. A teacher, let's call her Shaalu, was in role play. Shaalu was demonstrating a method of teaching by example. Shaalu is a PT teacher. She decides to teach us the correct posture for softball. When she begins we are least interested. Softball??? Paallease  we said. (yawn)
But as she begins to demonstrate the moves, her passion for the game gets us so involved that we sit up and listen. And even ask questions. Passion is a driving force.

Passion inspires. I may not become dramatically interested in your field of passion. But I will be motivated to put in more towards my own Sphere of Interest. For teachers, team builders, and moms, passion comes as a very powerful tool.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Strange Kind of Paradise

The breeze moved gently through the leaves of the peepul tree. And the leaves sighed in the comfort. The sound of temple bells are heard in the distance. And a faint dust arises and the cows huddle to pastures.

A village man leans against the hard bark. In a slow paced soft voice he narrates history. The words wrap round us. And all of us who sat on the stone platform around the peepul tree feel comforted by the stories he weaves.

Some of them are true and some more dreamy. One never knew where fact ended and fiction began.
He tells us about a man with four names.

  • Chen Hui was born in China in about 600 AD he says. And I conjure in my mind ... a sallow face, long tight plait, thin legs and lean body... basically a nondescript young man.
  • Actually you must have read about him in your school books. There he is listed as Hiuen Tsang he explains. And my eyes brighten. I have pictured Hiuen Tsang during my impressionable school days as a neat man with a long retinue of soldiers and helpers. A traveller who came, saw and documented. Though I was never sure why he did so.
  • He travelled to India where he is more popular as Tripitaka he says. The man who came to study the three caskets of manuscripts on Buddha. And I conjure in my mind a monk, wise and graceful. Also a little fiery and determined.
  • Now the official spelling of his name is changed to Xuanzang, he tells us. And there is a pop in my head. The name means nothing to me. It conjures no image. I am shattered.

Stories change without warning. Now he is talking about the British Raj. And my wanders and when I return we learn about St. Thomas and his no-sex even for married couples tenet.
He shows us interesting pictures and what I thought was his fiction comes alive as fact.

This is how I feel while I read a book by Sam Miller. A Strange Kind of Paradise. I still have a long way to go to finish it. But I think this is a book I will come back to again and again. A book that I will talk to!!


Monday, January 27, 2014

Day Begins

The fabulous aroma of breakfast cooking fills the kitchen. What is it? Coffee-toast or aalu paranthas and chatni or hot idlis with sambar
It is food that your family loves to eat.... or gets to eat. It is food that prepares you for the day.
Take a deep breath. This is your home. This is your kingdom. This is your haven.
What conversation flows in around at this time? I assume it is light banter and crisp instructions, interspersed with desperate hollering and choice name calling?

  • Hi Darling you know what I want to eat for breakfast today?...you! aaaukch
  • Huh? oh! ok. Run the washing machine I have sorted the garments into it.
  • Puttooo getttt uuuup

Anything is better than eerie silence. For when you hear the voice of loved ones in the morning your heart goes...Oh man!! And the heart plays a teen taal. thakdinadin And it prepares you for the day ahead. But what are you thinking of while you go about the practiced chores of getting ready and breaking fast? It suddenly hits you.
Today is the day you will...
face the client
fire the maid
talk to you teenager
meet the bankers
go for audition
enter the gym
FEAR has a way of catching up. And you suddenly find him sitting next to you. Sipping a cuppa while your throat is parched.
This is STAGE FRIGHT. You don't need to be a singer or have to make a speech to feel stage fright. There are things we put on our to-do list that we know we would rather avoid. But they are there for we know we are supposed to do them. And that's when we face stage fright. Sharpness of breath, tightness in the chest, queasy tummy, throat is dry and legs shake.

the spotlight is on you

Hasn't the bard told us? All world's a stage and men mere players...
We face stage fright everyday. And we do overcome it. We have to. Or the world would move on and we would be dashing after it. We have our own methods
we pretend to be brave
we are pushed by need
we rush into it
we do it through email

Watch this hilarious talk on overcoming stage fright.

and another day begins. Have a good one.  :)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

High Fives for Today

An year ends and another begins

Chennai Bengaluru highway

A high five for the new year

A high five ... for work.
More things to crib about, more gossip, more fancy targets? Leading to more self-worth and more income. Aaah bliss

A high five ... for friends and family 
They know you for what you are and love you for it. They know it all, and if at a family gathering they decide to make you the bakra of the day...you've had it. Still, aaah bliss.

A high five ... for beauty and serenity at home
That faded diwan cover, that much used sofa, that steel tumbler that has lost its sheen? It's so good to be home. Aaah bliss.

A high five ... for abundance of water, of greenery, of travel and time with nature 
You may need to travel really far to get to Nature minus man's plastic discards. The setting sun, the singing mosquitoes, the wind on your neck, the dripping nose, the soft sand beneath your feet and in your pockets and eyebrows. Aaah bliss.

A high five ... for noise and silence. 
We need them both. Sometimes we crave for one while we have the other. All this anger, this craving, this sudden receiving, this random disappointment. Aaah bliss.

All the troubles that we call pleasure and the pleasures that we call troubles. May they come to us in bagfuls.
                                                Wish You All a HAPPY NEW YEAR