THINK ANEW !!!!!!!!

Thoughts and Actions, that's what drives me.
Let me share some of 'em with you. Feel free to join in, argue, blatantly disagree.
Lets open, our hearts and minds and THINK ANEW!!!

A Request..

Friends ... If you don't want to reveal yourself, you have the option of commenting anonymously. So, don't restrain yourself...
Let your thoughts burst out...

The Essence of Onam

Another Prosperous Onam has arrived at our door steps at Kerala.
A celebration of prosperity and life.
Of the harvest and the bounty of nature.
Of the vibrant colours of the spring and the mouth watering treats.
Of the refreshing fragrance of the blossoms and the sweet chirps of the birds.

But today, regretfully,even this celebration of life too has been commercialised!

Pookalam (Floral Carpets) ,one of the most integral parts of Onam , is inarguably one of the most enjoyable activites of Onam. Traditionally children (mostly) went around collecting flowers, wild and grown, planned, designed and set the pookalam. Since a couple of years, flowers can be bought taking out ,in my opinion, the most enjoyable facet of making a pookalam, ie. collecting flowers with friends and family. And now its possible to go walk upto a flower shop, pick a design, hand over the money and they'll come and setup the whole pookalam! Where's the fun in that?

One might argue that this is aimed at all the companies and such who put up pookalam. Yes its true that most ventures setup a pookalam in their offices often incorporating their own symbols. But, if you can't invest a couple of hours for this then why bother even putting up a pookalam?

On to the next issue. There aren't any flowers! My sis and I spent a lot of time searching for flowers along the roadsides and were hard pressed to find enough flowers for a decent pookalam. That said, it turned out pretty well at the end.

This year I was feeling a bit adventurous and went ahead a step further and made this.....

Yes, an "Electronic Carpet" if you may.....

Hope the years to come will preserve or even revive the age old traditions of Onam........

Notes to the Future Me - The Little Girl

If you are wondering about the title, I'm leaving this post to the future me so that one day when I read my old posts, I would remember these occasions and moments and they might come in handy at the time.

Well, here goes....

For my college admission process, I had to go to Trivandrum. We went by train and near our seat was a small family, father, mother and a girl of 4-5 years. Her (the girl's) name is Shangari. They were from Mangalore.

I usually don't play around with small kids. I think its more a result of my circumstances than a choice but that's a whole another story..... On with the story, the girl was very much interested in playing with me and we did so for the next 4 hours, almost the whole length of our journey. She was an astonishingly smart and bright girl.

At the end of the journey, she was woken up (she was made to sleep for sometime) and she bid me farewell by wishing me "Study Well". To think that a 4 year old wished me so was so very surprising to me. She was told earlier that I was going to college but I would never ever even have dreamt about such a wish. Thank You dear.

Afterwards, I was just wondering how weird and wonderful it would be to meet her again after many years. I hope so.....

A Breath of Fresh Air

Its been a long time since my last post. I've been trying to find the reason for this but still not so sure about it. But what prompted me to write this is a very timely poem sent by my English Teacher Vijayalakshmi, affectionately called Viji miss....


Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul. 

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann c.1920

I'm on the very brink of another phase of my life, college. I've been busy with a couple of huge projects the keystone of which is Coders On Cloud. But I must admit that a couple of thoughts have been in and around my head and raking it pretty well. One of the latest just happens to be about my image in the eyes of my fellow beings. I know this goes against all that I've ever written on this blog or elsewhere but I guess every once in a while a rock has to give way to bring a fresh breath of life to a sleeping cavern of treasures. This poem did just that and for that I'm speechlessly grateful to her.  

To be precise, these are the words that mean the most to me

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

And I can truly and wholeheartedly vouch for the fact that those words are indeed true to the fullest. And now I'm as happy as ever to be me.

On a side note, I think it is high time for my "Most Influential" article and that will be up next.

Guru - The Forgotten Truths

Today, on my way home, thinking about some stuff, I struck upon an analogy that is so profound and meaningful and yet so unrealized.

Right: Reghuraman. Left: The King.
If I remember correctly, this scene comes towards the end.
Guru, meaning "teacher" in the deepest and truest sense, is the name of a movie in Malayalam . Until today, the film (which is a favorite of mine) was nothing more than an interesting story to me. But today, I realized how potent an idea it poses and frankly, I was absolutely amazed upon realizing it.

Here's a brief of the story ....

A couple of chats

A few days back I had a chat with one of my good friends. He is a great guy but he was very sad about how he performed for his exams. But, the matter of fact is, we both performed almost the same in almost all the exams. However, that chat session was a real gem and I would like to share it with you.

Yesterday, I had another chat with another of my friend. This one was a short one but I wasn't quite expecting such replies from such a brilliant (perhaps a bit wacky but brilliant) girl. That one doesn't have much but just a single point that I would like to highlight. But a very important one nevertheless.

The original conversations were in "chat-language", so I had to edit them. I'm publishing only the relevant (but continous) parts and have added some clarifications in [ ] but apart from that, these are 100%  honest and real conversations.

Him:I did way below my expectations for the exams
and I'm totally disappointed
Me:which exam?
Him:That may be pulling me back.
The exams that we wrote a month ago. Have you already forgotten?


I just couldn't stop myself from expressing this, but what happened to all that talk about natural beauty and self acceptance? Of late I've been seeing more and more ads about beauty products in the course of my short cartoon, science shows and movies and the newer ones really have started to bother me. The latest one is a new "Underarm fairness cream/deodorant" or something of that sort!!

Why this obsession with extreme fairness? One of the latest ads featured two girls, one of them as pale skinned as the 'white people' (please don't take this as a racist phrase) and this one asking the other how she got an even paler skin!! Frankly

I, Me & Myself

Ever felt bad when you've had a great day followed by a bland one?
It made me think, "Hey, if all days were bland, then I wouldn't have felt bad."  It isn't the most ideal solution. In fact, it isn't a solution at all nor do I claim it to be one. It's just a thought that popped into my head. I wonder why I felt bad about it.

A smile..

When I leave a post half way through for more than a month at a stretch I know that I'm getting obsessed with my "hobbies".

Back to the more important stuff, the other day , one of my old classmate put up a picture of hers on Facebook and I was astonished. Back then, all of us knew that we couldn't stop her from smiling but now, after two years, when I asked her about the serious looking photo she had put up, all she said was, "I've changed. Can't I be serious?".

Of course people can change, but the question is, for the better or for worse?

Of all the people that I've met, very few have the uncanny ability to keep smiling even in the face of adversity. I've always admired their ability to fill any group with life and energy and to keep people active. It is a trait that I keep trying to acquire and I can confidently say "I haven't" . Maybe this admiration is due to the fact that I'm unable to keep any conversation going on with most people barring a handful or because   I once forgot how to smile or because ... no, I don't know why, but I do admire them and it is such a shame that they do not realise the immense power of a simple sweet smile can have on the world and its beings. I hope she does.

Looking Back...

I'm just about to step into another 'phase' of my life, from schools to colleges  (hopefully) and I just read through most of my older posts. Now I feel that starting this blog was a great idea. It brings back old and forgotten times back to life, long forgotten ideas back to the lime light and makes sweet memories and (sometimes sour) feelings astonishingly real.

The main chord that I felt is "Enjoy Life". Hopefully, I wouldn't forget so often again.  Excuses is yet another field I feel I need to improve in. No, not make them better but rather not make them at all.

Here's an easy way to get an easy view of all the posts 

On to my offline activities, I read one of the poems that I had to learn 2 years back. It's a great Malayalam poem. One of the few Malayalam stuff that I read willingly. I felt it was as apt time for me to read it.

Ears and a Brain

The other day, I was discussing some things with a friend of mine when I suddenly came up with a metaphor ( I'm sure its not a metaphor but have no idea what else to call it! )

How come we have two ears and bang in the middle sits our brain? Its because we are supposed to take everything through one ear and let everything through the other. The brain sits there to filter and process. We should not take the things we hear as such but should think about it, rationalize it with your own arguments and then and only then accept it.

If in case you are wondering why I said that we must let everything through the other ear, I guess I was "drawing power" from an old and famous Buddhist saying, "Only an empty cup can be filled".

In case someone wondered, I'm still alive and breathing. Sorry for the long gap, had lots of exams and looking forward to a couple more.

This "exam season" was a real eye opener for me. All the exams that I wrote in the past two months are supposed to be "important" and "life-changing" exams. But for some reason, I felt not a bit of anxiety or fear. My friends were almost cursing me for my carefree attitude.

Fear is a monster lurking in the shadows to catch the unwary. It is like a "logic suppressant". I say this for good reason for I have experienced it.

One day, a couple of months  back I was completely overcome by an irrational fear ... I don't know why! But it completely froze me out and I was almost paranoid that day and to this day I still don't know what I was afraid of that day. I tried my best to reason myself out of it but it was no good. That incident made me realized how dangerous a phenomenon fear is. Of course, in certain cases, fear helps with adrenaline as when your are about to face a black bear but then in today's world, adrenaline seems too slow especially with all the speeding cars on todays roads!

The fact that it almost always seems to decrease performance  is all the more reason  to avoid it at all cost!

Moving on, even with all these exams on hand I have managed to keep my 'work' schedule intact. It was something I had promised myself that I would do this season as most of the time in the past I used to completely change my timetables and it would wreck everything. Now, some days I program from 8 am to 9pm with maybe an hour of lunch and a couple of naps towards the evening. That around 10 hours a day! Thanks to workrave I'm still almost fit. Sometimes I think that I'm going crazy and then realize that I'm safe from such a situation as I already am crazy!!

Well, ces't la vie ...

Education, Supernaturalism and Madness!!

Today, we had our formal farewell function at school but just before that we had 3 to 4 hours of pooja ( its a Hindu ritual like an invocation).

I think I can safely say that my position on such things are clear for most people who know me (otherwise it will be as you read along) but what disturbed me the most is not the fact that most of the students didn't even care what was going on but the fact that even when the teachers are "trying" their best to help the students (through the pooja) the students still remained unruly and kept played pranks on each other. What's the point of prayers if you cant behave well to our friends and elders?

Well, I couldn't bear all this, so I said so to my class teacher and moved out of the room. A nearby classroom was empty, so I just went inside and found a note book lying around. Inquisitive as I am, I started reading the book and guess what?
I found even the answers of an 8th standard student revealing!!

It was the English (as in English subject) notebook. The first page was an essay on positive attitude. (Too bad I don't remember the contents of the book exactly. They were much better. But I'll try my best to convey the meaning). It said , in the first line,
 "Positive attitude may not make much of a change but the fact that I annoys people enough makes it worth the effort." 
The teacher had circled 'annoys' but I am of the opinion that she (the child) was very much right. Notice the word 'enough'. That conveys that it (annoying) actually performs some function other than just for the sake of annoying. Sometimes people just wont listen to reason but something annoying certainly catches any ones attention!

I continued flipping through the pages and I came across another revealing essay.
It  was about "Supernatural vs Realism". The first paragraph was about supernatural. It said (approximately)
"These days we see a lot of rituals and functions to move away negative energies, so I believe that supernatural exists".

The second paragraph was about realism which said (again approximately)
"Realism is the tendency to view or represent things as they really are. ...( some other stuff that said something like realism is to how things really are etc. ) .... I believe in the supernatural than realism!! 

That last comment made me think, what are we teaching our children. Whose ideals are the real and true ideals. Who is right about anything when it comes to such controversial topics. Most will believe what they hear without giving it a second thought. But what I find unacceptable is the fact that if we feed small children with certain thoughts or opinions, especially by people whom they trust completely (like their teachers) then it will stick to them. They will never even think about question it. They will never have the power or will to break out of that web which weaves around their mind! That box which closes itself pretty tightly! Well, most don't. Some however do, and when they talk, the others say "he's mad"

Remember Horton Hears A Who the elephant who heard little people on a clover? In it the mayor tells the city council that their centennial celebrations have to be postponed because of the anomalies caused by their moving home. And the council is too engrossed in celebrating that they forgo the safety of the citizens and says that the Mayor is a "boob". Horton (the elephant) who is the only person who can hear the people on the clover (by virtue of his large ears) too faces a similar dilemma. Nobody believes him and says (in effect) that he is mad.

For some reason, I seem to be able acknowledge such comments about me. Over the years I have heard it many a times from many of my close friends and my reply is yes. After all madness is relative. One man's madness might be another's genius!

Getting on with the events of the day, we had the formal function where some school authorities and the principal and teachers were present apart from us 99 students and a couple of juniors. We heard a couple of speeches and all the while the phrase "Good Education" kept turning up. And then one of the teachers said, 
'You should listen to and obey your teachers always. They might be wrong sometimes but you have to listen and obey no matter.' 
These two phrases totally cranked my head up.

What is a good education? For the most part of it, there is a good consensus but as in the case above, what is right is a question that can always rise up once in a while. But then people go with the majority opinion. But is the majority always right? Certainly not! Just because a hundred people solves an equation wrongly doesn't make the wrong way the 'right way'. It just makes it an attractive (and deadly) hideout.

On to the second point, how could any one justify obeying an advice that you know is wrong? Making mistakes is not a fault but (in my honest opinion) saying that one has to blindly listen to anyone ( a teacher or parent or any other for that matter) seems absurd to me. If in doubt, ask them for their justification. It may just be that they might have taken an accidental wrong turn in their thought process. Work it out. Reason and justify as far as possible. As the heroine of a Bollywood movie said (in the movie Jab We Met

"It is better to live life according to your own opinion. That  way, if something doesn't turn out right, you wouldn't have to blame others for your failure !"
Before I wrap up, I would like to narrate one more incident of the day. We all were expecting to receive our hall tickets today, but later came to know that we would have to go get it on another day. So, when I got some time, just before the beginning of the function, I went and talked to my English teacher who was about. I asked her if she knew why we were not given the hall tickets that day and she replied she didn't know and said that the "person who gives the orders" (the Principal) said so and so, it is so. Then I asked her if she could ask the Principal to give us the Hall tickets today and what she said next really annoyed me. She said "When you grow up and live your life, you come to realise that there is something called self respect and that it is sometimes better to keep quiet." That may be true to some extent but it sounded like a lame excuse for not doing things that you know are true but you are too 'shaken' or 'afraid of retribution' to speak up about. Then I just told her that
"That is what always happens. We know what is right and we 'talk about talking about it' (its not an accidental repetition but exactly what I meant) but never do so. Actions are what we need, not words."
That just about wraps up a most revealing day!! What do you think?

P.S. Reading this article, please don't conclude that I don't respect my teachers or mentors. I do respect all my teachers from the bottom of my heart for their commitment and dedication and make my best efforts to not sound disrespectful.

Forget... A Fool's Ramblings?

In this busy life,
Amidst the rush and rife,
Often do we forget our kith and kin
Our friends but not enemies
Love but not hatred
Reason  and often logic.

In the quest for the big
and the thirst for power
Often do we forget the beauty of the small.
The flutter of the wings
The sound of the raindrops
The smell of the first rain
The twinkling of the stars.

In the wake of a new age
And a new found life
Often do we forget what we ought realise.
The balance of nature
Our eternal bonds with it
The insignificance of our beings
And the echoes of the past.

Where are we sprinting off to?
In search of a golden treasure
            at the end of the rainbow?
In pursuit of some greater content?
To make the world a better place?
[But for whom?]
Or is it just some great big misunderstanding
Or just a fool's ramblings?

What's in a name?

Often, when people who don't know me for long hear me addressing my sister (she's 7 years elder) , they are surprised or even questioning.

Well, I just address her as if she's someone of my own age or sometimes even someone younger. It's not a pronoun that means exactly  'younger sister' or anything even close ( I just don't know any equivalent or similar expression in English! ). It's just like an informal address. But, let me make clear that it isn't because I don't respect her or love her, it's just that we are really good 'friends' too.

It's weird that we consider something more respectful than the other. Consider this. One may call ones sister , 'sister', dee dee (दीदी) (Remember Dexter's sister, well, its actually a Hindi word meaning the same! ), sis or any other local word.

There's this story that might get things into a better perspective.

Once upon a time there was a fool and he wanted to become wise. So, he went to a wise but arrogant sage and asked for advice but as it happened, the sage was very angry at that moment and told him to "mind his own business",so to speak. (the exact translation is something more like "idiotic ash-gourd"(വിഡ്ഢി കൂശ്മാണ്ടം) but it sounds right only in Malayalam.) Well, the poor fool believing that it was some kind of spell kept on chanting the phrase over and over again for many years.

Years later,  (if my memory serves right) the sage somehow encounters a very wise man and the man thanks him (the sage) and upon enquiry it was found that it was the same fool (who became wise). When asked how it came to be so, the man reminded the sage the story of the phrase. (The rest, I don't remember! Sorry!).

But the important point is that even though it was just a scolding, by just believing the that it was something powerful or helpful helped (more like a placebo effect!) the man achieve his goal. So, its not in the words or sounds that we use but what they mean to us that matters. After all, words and sounds are 'defined' by us. So, its effects change with the definitions.

Its what you think and how you respect or consider someone or something that matters in the end. So take care... and Think...

Kudos ..

Kudos to James Cameron for Titanic the movie. I know its 14 years late but just yesterday I saw the whole movie after a long time.

The last time I saw it , I was pretty young. But yesterday, I realised that I was such a hugely powerful movie. Never before have I been so awestruck by a movie that I was stuck for half an hour after that. The emotions, the pain, the power of true love, the true human nature, all beautifully brought out.

Simply Amazing...


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Think, Think, Think and when you feel you can no more, talk and make others think.

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