Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Mini Mind Theatre: Movie - Just in time

On a casual conversation today, I mentioned to a friend:
"It is like am watching a thriller movie, all scary, and the movie is starring me!!!”

Coming to think of it, it's nice to imagine ourselves sitting alone in a movie theatre, munching popcorn or chips and watching our own situations being screened as a movie.

I think it may be interesting in many ways:
  • There is no prior review of the movie that you can read, as it is your life and running live. You are the only spectator.
  • There is no need to get stressed, as it is just a movie and you are free to emote based on the story, and still be assured it is not happening in the ‘Now’.
  • You can clearly see the responses and reactions of the actors in the story because you are sitting in the audience side and can understand what is working well and what does not.
  • You can be your own critic.
  • The movie will not fetch money, so in essence it is just done as an expressive artwork just for your eyes. The movie does not have to please anyone else except yourself.
  • You do not know the story and hence it is an interesting watch.
  • You hang on to the edge of the seat and want to know how your character is story-boarded in the movie. It is just unbelievable what all you can do in the wake of circumstances. Truly amazing you are!
  • You can read your own facial expressions and see how skewed it can look to the others under various moods.
  • It is interesting to see that so many people like you, hate you, adore you, admire you, love you, trust you, want you and believe you.
  • It is the only movie that is being screened just for you in your mind and so unlike the rest of the real-life cinema.

I think it is a nice step-back trick that we could all use in our every day life to take a quick break from wherever we are in our minds. 

Think about this situation: 

You are stuck in traffic. You are angry because of the unreasonable delay to meet your appointment. You look around dismayed because there is no alternate way to wade through the traffic, except to wait. You feel helpless and hence are upset.

Now, imagine the same scene playing on the movie screen (you are the hero, remember)

Mini Mind Theatre: 
Movie: Just in time, starring YOU. 
Rated A/U/R 
Genre: All categories

You are watching the show all by yourself with the popcorn or chips to munch. You can add a cool drink or coffee per your choice, to make it an interesting watch!
  • Do you see the pointlessness in your hero’s temper?
  • Do you like the facial expression?
  • Did the other drivers react the same way too?
  • Do you see that the traffic is a problem that is worth so much stress?
  • Did you notice the road-block that caused the traffic?
  • Did you see the beautiful flower on the tree lining the road?
  • Did you know that the new toy shop you read about in the news was right there where you are held up?
  • Do you see that the bike needs a quick shine?
  • Did you see that the truck driver behind is trying to hit your hero’s bike and the accident got averted in a quick stroke of luck?

Do you see how much you notice about the same situation by just being an audience to your own storyline??

Goes to say: 

Take a break. It is your life, agreed. Exactly why, watching the play of your own life story matters. 

In the face of extraordinary situations in life, it is best to quickly decor up the mind theatre( including the seating, foot light, screen cover and the Exit/Entry signposts), and start watching the present shot before acting, reacting, or responding to the storyboard, which the situation presents to you.
You are only playing your role in the whole play. Give your best attempt to do it well. To do that, you must take a step back and be a spectator to the situation/scene in your life, every once in a while.

All the world’s a Stage - William Shakespeare. 





Monday, May 21, 2018

Splash on Forgetfulness

There came an unusual blog request today where the sender apparently has forgotten the topic he was about to suggest for my post. 

The mail said: I forgot the topic :)

Here's my quick attempt at what I saw as an interesting topic:

  • What you forget, can usually wait.
  • To forget is a blessing, especially the thoughts of an unpleasant past.
  • Forgetting an ‘Exchange of courtesy' and Forgetting ‘Respect' are not acceptable.
  • When you forget something, it only means something else is taking up a lot of mind space at the moment. You must excavate it out, to remember the new priorities and good old memories.
  • When we completely forget people, places, happenings, feelings, respect, courtesy, and self, it is called dementia. 
  • It is important to forget the past unpleasantness to serve a better present and work for a greater future.
  • Forgetfulness is the greatest plus point without which our mind cannot process life's road ahead.
  • You won’t die of forgetfulness unless you cut an apple and shove the knife into your throat instead of the apple slice.
  • To forget happenstances is to let go. 
  • To forget brooding about unhappy facts is to just let it be and take the next step.
  • To forget misunderstandings and hurt, is to forgive. 
  • To forget love for people is sad.
  • To forget a friend is a stroke of bad luck.
  • Forget the mistakes. Remember not to repeat them.
  • Forget. Sometimes consciously.
  • Forget it. You are not the first one to go through it!!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Sales impact by the lonely man amid women's wear!

It was a rainy evening and I needed a quick stop because I was not carrying an umbrella. I spotted a women’s garments store. It looked a quiet little outlet ( Really smart store ) that sold almost everything that a woman would need. I did have a few things to pick up too. So thought, while I wait for the rain to stop, might as well check out the shop's shelves.

There was a young chap working at his counter with a calculator and a laptop. All around him were stuff that a lady would need. I was surprised a bit by the comfortable look he had on his face amidst what would be an alien set up to me if I were a man. 

I quickly looked around for a lady sales clerk. I did not find anyone. I asked him if they had a lady to assist me with my queries on the things that I wanted to buy. He quickly said they did not have a lady on staff.

I chose to walk out of the store. Albeit, conservative South Indian woman’s mentality that may have made me do that, I still wonder how stores employ men to do some woman-centric sales jobs. Before I left, I did tell him, please get a lady on board and you’ll have more women visiting your store because the stuff you sell is good but we need a lady to ask the questions which surely, she can answer more accurately and comfortably than you would ever be able to.

This is not the first time. This is the fourth walk-out I did over a period of time and in the next few months of my visit, I have noticed that a lady had been appointed at each of these stores. I thought "Some benefit for a business because of a feedback from me or people like me!!!”

Sales are affected by many parameters and the most important one being the sales personnel you employ in your store. 

Here’s my reel of thoughts:
  • The customer should be able to feel at ease talking to your sales clerk.
  • The customer should believe that your clerk knows what she is talking. Leave sale of men’s gear to men and women’s wear to women because you won’t be able to speak for the stuff you never had a chance to use.
  • The shop should have stocks that are rolling quickly, for which you need customers. Keep a store to attract customers and not chase them away.
  • How boring would it be to be a lonely man selling women's garments in a shop all day!!!

These were my quick thoughts as I walked out of the store.

I am also tempted to think that it is just me and my conservative mind at play.

Maybe.. the shopkeeper believes that every woman on the road is going to shop comfortably for her very personal needs based on the data points and clarifications he gives! And maybe a lot of others find it easy to talk to men about women's wear.




Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Clear Mind for a Better You! - Psychologists know to help!!


On a technical document today, I read this acronym, TOA. I checked with my colleague if it meant 'Terms of Agreement' as it seemed to fit the context. Hours later, I got to know TOA expands as 'Token of Apology'. How different it was from my interpretation of the same!!!

Misunderstanding the terms 'Token of Apology' and 'Terms of Agreement', is not acceptable in the context of the text I was reading today.

My wonder-filled and wandering mind at once worked:

Given that I can understand one acronym incorrectly, wonder how many more such things, people, situations, concepts can exist today amidst us? 

For a situation, in the temperament of a set of people each with her own background/stress/personality traits/strengths/Weakness, people can interpret a concept very different from its intended meaning. In such a complex scenario of many limits at play, each person can differently understand a point because the meaning, the intended meaning, the interpretation of the meaning, the interpretation of the intended meaning, and the assumptions in the mind may be different and may contradict the original intention.

Considering the complexity, it helps to note that the multiple situations which each person faces every day and the diverse challenges that each one of them poses to the individual’s psychology, make it tough to reach a consensus. 

The hidden ‘egoist’ in every one of us, contributes to pushing the disagreements up to the hilt, which makes people feel angry, rejected, disinterested, upset, depressed, and stressed in the mind, beyond comprehension.

This may be the reason for so many mistaken situations, misunderstood relationships, misleading concepts, misfired tempers, and missed pieces in the puzzle of each one’s life. We need to have all these misfits placed in our minds to keep our mind sane!

Psychologists worldwide have been the advocates of 'Mind Health', one of the surest way to Physical health. 

It is fascinating that a whole discipline called 'Psychology' in education devotes its effort to the physically unseen - Mind!!! 
It is fascinating that actual people with the ability to 'mind' their Mind called 'Psychologists', try to find the logic behind the illogical behavior of the intangible mind.

When we are in a situation and cannot sneak out on own or with the help of people we can confide in, what we need to do is just talk to a psychologist.  They understand the gymnastics of the human mind and help us remove the knots in our mind. Once our mind is clear of the misunderstanding or gets the affirmation, we can clearly see things, people, situations, our own responses, and actions.
  • Clear mind: clear vision
  • Clear vision: clear comprehension
  • Clear comprehension: clear intention
  • Clear intention: clear response
  • Clear response: clear solution 
  • Clear solution: clear action
  • Clear action: definite success
If we accept that we are in trouble and need help, we have successfully climbed the first flight of stairs to better mental health.

"Rule yourself better with a clear mind! - Keep yourself collected at all times!!. 

Seek help, if you must. 
Be happy, because you deserve to be!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Footprint


Whenever I hear this word, my mind recalls the image of the seashore and a single file of footprints. The famous poem of Footprints is about how the child learns that the single set of prints are those of God who carried the child in times of trouble.

It was a rainy evening in Bangalore, yesterday. I was listening to Rahman’s high-energy music and was literally dancing in my mind to the tune, with my feet racing and pacing to the notes in the song. I got drenched in the rain and happily so, after a long time. I was just enjoying myself thoroughly when I saw a footprint on the concrete pavement. 

Just one file of footprints to me seemed to tell a history note -  of someone who had walked on the pavement, as soon as they had finished making the cement layer on the concrete pavement. How careless!! was the first impression. The concrete dried, pavement became operational, but the footprint stayed. I smiled.

This morning, on my way to work, I got off the bus on to another pavement. It was a different song this time by Ilayaraja, another maestro in Indian music whose music is tangentially different from Rahman. I recalled the footprint of yesterday evening, the rain, Rahman's music and the footprint poem.  It was a natural instinct that made me look at the pavement today. 

I saw a leaf fallen off the tree just then, among many other litters. The leaf looked so out of place - clean, fresh, green, and new. It was fluttering in the breeze that was threatening to sweep it off to the busy road. The green leaf might just die underneath one of those car tires or become brown with the little brown puddles on the road from last evening’s rain. The fallen leaf will not have a history note if it happens. I smiled, this time with a tinge of sadness. That such a leaf - new, beautiful, fresh, clean and green - existed will not be recorded anywhere. It will be gone without a trace!

"Someone took the first step to betterment, the world followed and gradually it became a path”. This someone actually has left a trace for the rest of the world to believe, follow, use, enjoy, or be.

Do we want to leave a footprint?? On the freshly concreted pavement, No, but in life, Yes.

Some thoughts that flashed:

“ Every idea is a footprint of someone’s intelligence or wishful thinking or well-intended purpose”

“ Every step that we take in life leaves a footprint in someone’s life”

“ Make a mark - a good one at that!! Leave a trace that will live longer than your mortal being. Leave a footprint!!"

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Food For Health

Rather an unusual post on my history of blogging.

I always stay away from talking and writing about health, nutrition, fitness, and food as I think I am not yet ready to preach. I am still trying to get a grip on these aspects and practice.

I know, I should have by now, but for some reason, I still cannot resist few things in front of me -

Vanilla Icecream: Please keep the nuts and the chocolate sauce out of the off/half white delicious, creamy and simply plain vanilla essence of it. I like it that way!! That's a hint for all those who are wondering how to make me smile, if at all!! :-)

Potato Chips: I mean crispy, spicy/salted, pale yellow/reddish yellow (it does exist only in the right make) potato chips are hard to resist.

Gulab Jamoon: Wonder who first made it!!! I have been thinking to check on Google. I savor every bite of the sweet. Finally, when the tongue cannot take any more of the sweet is when I can stop.

Chocolate Cake: This must be the best thing that happened to the Baking industry followed by ardent lovers of the cake like me!. Together life is good for you if you are a baker who knows to bake a chocolate cake and knows me!!!

Traditional appalams, vadaams, and other Fried stuff: that totally take your South Indian food to the next level and you to the 'Paradise' in terms of satisfaction. I am a big fan of you already, if you think the same way as me, in this regard! If you can't follow what I am saying, please come home or walk into the nearest Indian/South Indian restaurant and eat a meal. I hope to God that they serve good food there!!I certainly do.

I am proud of India's rich and varied cuisine. The world's best fast food is the Bhel Puri. Or is it Pav Bhaji... wait... could it be Pani Puri?? Or wait... Should I just say North Indian Chat?? Yes. That's mostly what I would sum it up to. 

Okay, so that's a little about my taste for food... I cannot resist these things. PERIOD. Then, suddenly the flooding Whatsapp messages brought this awareness in me that I can no longer eat as if nothing matters to me, as my body is aging slowly and steadily. I must start respecting it. Also, with so many advertisements on how food habits are the cause of all the diseases on earth, I just decided to take it a little serious earlier this year.

I still eat all of these items but I can limit them, can restrain my temptations. simply put, I can share my chocolate cake with you.  It is hard, but definitely not impossible.

With all these in my head, I walk into this programme I had registered for in March " Food for Health" in Bangalore by Saee Bapat and Parul, two unique advocates of healthy living.

Five minutes into their session, I crossed off one item after the other on my list of favorites... It felt so unfair to my tongue's punished taste buds I felt, but yes, the sense of responsibility that we should have towards our being, which Saee spoke about in her session changed my mind, almost in a few seconds.

Here are some myths that most of us live with:

1. Milk and Milk products are important for our children.
2. I cannot think of life without Milk.
3. One pizza won't harm me and that one happens every week.
4. The permitted food colors really mean that right? So why worry about artificial colors? There are folks who certify it, so I guess we should continue eating cakes.
5. My child eats more chips than veggies.
6. Food is about eating a full three-course meal.
7. We must eat four times a day.
8. We should give up lots of food and eat in small portions often each day.
9. Fruits are good all time of the day.
10. Unnecessarily why worry about calories? Kids are too small and they need all the energy. They burn it all well anyway.

If you have one or all of these pointers etched in your head, you must meet Saee and Parul. You will be happy you did.

Saee is a Yoga Practitioner and a Plant Nutrition advocate.

Parul who shares Saee's principles is a health-conscious baker who bakes healthy stuff.

Your kids can still continue to enjoy all the great taste, but in a healthy way with Parul and Saee's plant-based nutrition and health conscious bakes and treats. They even have some really grand recipes which are 1. Simple 2. Tasty 3. Healthy 4. Attractive 5. Vegetarian

I am glad I went for their session conducted in Unnati Library, Prestige Shanthi Niketan, Whitefield, Bangalore, in the last week of March 2018. Some blessings are definitely disguised. If you are lucky, you may stand a chance to identify them coming your way. Just click those links and you might just find yourself lucky, you did!!

Monday, May 07, 2018

Movie Review - Sila Samayangalil

A 2018 Tamil movie. Director: Priyadarshan.

Facts on the movie:
  • No songs to derail you from the movie’s storyline.
  • Slow and realistic pitch.
  • Very less dialogues.
  • Bouquet of lessons.
  • Informative.
  • Concept-oriented and not Hero-centric.


Applause:
  • Prakash Raj and Sriya Reddy.
  • Well-crafted screenplay.
  • Indoor shooting except for two scenes.
  • No obscenity.
  • All characters fit easily in their roles and knew to act their emotions on the face so well.


Storyline:

In a busy medical diagnostic center in the heart of Chennai city, the day starts early. People are given their token numbers and the medical tests are being done. The results are due in the evening. 

The counter clerk is in some cash emergency and is doing all she could to keep herself collected in her head, but unfortunately is not able to. All the sources of money were blocked and she is desperately trying to find a way to get the extra cash.

Seven patients whose home or office is far off from this center choose to wait in the waiting room for the results until the counter opens at 5:00 P.M. They were all super tensed about the results of the test because they had a reason to believe that they may have caught an HIV infection. 

The movie has a lot of information about this disease injected into the dialogue flow without making it sound like a documentary, yet powerfully drilling into the viewer's mind.

During the conversations and the progress of the day, we come to know about each one’s unfortunate events of the past that lead them to believe they may have been affected by AIDS, the disease caused by an HIV infection. With each one’s story getting unfolded it would seem sure that they may have gotten the infection and would make the viewer feel sorry for the incident and for the person. Naturally, all of them including the viewers would want to know their results earlier than 5:00 P.M. 

So the seven patients decide to contact the counter clerk. She takes this as the last option to resolve her money debt. She demands a bribe of Rs.5000 from them to flick the results from the lab in-charge before the slated hour. 

The chief of the diagnostic center gets in the way of this clerk’s obligation to give out the results for those patients. The clerk returns to her desk and says only one of them is affected but does not mention the name.

The last few minutes of the movie are about the expressions, emotions, and thoughts of each of the seven patients in the waiting area hoping against hopes that he is not the infected one! 

Counter opens and each one collects his result. Six of them are ‘Negative’. We are sure they are happy and are convinced that they will never repeat the mistakes that lead them to see through this day at the lab’s waiting hall. 

The seventh man is so shocked to go up to the counter to receive his reports. He feels doomed that he is going to see the fatefully slaying ‘positive’ word in his report. 

Whether he got his report, was he infected, who was with him when he knew the result, what happened behind the scenes? are questions for you to watch and find out.

Lessons:
  • A little lie is okay to keep someone happy but never okay to save ourselves a trouble at the stake of the some one's peace of mind.
  • Reckless living leads to unsolicited fears and demonic health hazards.
  • Drinking can lead to disastrous untold miseries.
  • A lone woman traveler needs to take care in deserted places. Stop being too feminist in arguing that women should be treated like queens and human beings! Sadly it is not true!!!! It is okay to be cautious than sorry.
  • It is possible to like someone as a friend in a short time and equally possible to lose the person without a trace. Keep making friends and touching lives of others.
  • How much is too much in the name of romantic love should be clearly chalked out in the minds of youngsters today.
  • Students should remember that they are students and they have a whole life of being responsible, loving, and caring person to all those connected with them - near and dear, whether here or far away.
  • Everything does not always let us see a clear reason. All we know is we are in a soup and it takes a lot to see through the inevitable.
  • Cross the bridge when it comes.
  • People who matter do not mind... And people who mind do not matter.
  • Whether you want to take it or leave it, Life definitely reels forward with you on the road and never backward!! 
  • Our life is more precious than we care to believe. Let us not think that other people make or break our life. 
  • No matter what, there is always a way out!!! 
  • There is only a new beginning to every interim end that we seem to face.  


Overall, a good movie with a bunch of reverberating messages said ever so subtly that make you wish for a different climax. 

Had it been different, it would not have made the impact. Or maybe it would have still made the impact!. I do not know because sometimes ( sila samayangalil), some things ( sila vishayangal) do not have to be reasonable enough for us to comprehend. 

We do not have to understand everything in life, every time. Some times, LIFE simply is what it IS.  Live on! with lots of hope because ‘Hope' is better and easier to keep than ‘Despair’, as we really have ‘Life’ till we breathe our last.

Mini Mind Theatre: Movie - Just in time

On a casual conversation today, I mentioned to a friend: "It is like am watching a thriller movie, all scary, and the movie is st...