Category Archives: Random rants

Are Indians less patriotic?

On a recent trip to Saudi Arabia, I had come across people of several nationalities, all living in harmony and brotherhood in the country. I noticed that the people from the larger Indian sub-continent are greatly respected by the locals irrespective of their nationality. By the Indian subcontinent I mean, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and to somewhat an extent, Sri Lanka. Everybody shares a common language, ethnicity, and identity of being an “Indian”. During my stay there, I witnessed National festival celebrations of three countries including Pakistan’s Independence Day, Indian Independence Day, and Saudi National day (Independence Day).

Celebrating Pakistan’s National festival:

I arrived in Saudi on 13th August’22. It was the first day of my presence in a new country, I was all excited to get acquainted with my neighborhood. But, I was suffering from a headache due to lack of sleep. Hence, I just identified a mall, some Indian restaurants, and a few grocery stores nearby for availing emergency items and called it a day.

On the 14th morning, I noticed that a big Pakistani flag was hung in a shop located right in front of the hotel where I was staying. It indicated that the store was owned/run by a Pakistani citizen, and they were celebrating Pakistan’s 75th Independence Day. For me, it came as a surprise that another country’s flag was allowed to be displayed publicly. But what piqued my interest more was meeting a Pakistani national for the first time. It needs no explanation that any form of free communication between the people of India and Pakistan isn’t accepted in both nations when we are residing in our respective countries. I decided to buy a small flag as a souvenir to mark my first meeting with any Pakistani person in my lifetime. Hence, I crossed the road and entered the large textile store.

Ranging from bangles, frocks, cufflinks, brooches, keychains, and flags, there were several Pakistani National day themed knickknacks available for purchase. The shopkeeper asked me what I was looking for. I asked him to give me the smallest available replica of the Pakistani national flag in the thought that I could paste it in my personal journal/ scrapbook. But, there was none in the size that could fit into my book. He showed me some of the other accessories available, and I informed him that none could be used in my country. A little surprised, he asked me where I was from. I told him that I was from India. Learning of my interest in buying a Pakistani flag as a souvenir excited him. He happily handed over a small stack of miniature flag stickers into my hands and asked me to keep them all, for which he refused to accept any money. He wished me in advance for India’s Independence Day and I returned the greetings for his country’s special day before leaving his shop.

Celebrating India’s National festival:

It was 15th August on the following morning, a day that India was celebrating as ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ back home on her 75th Independence Day. That day, there was no sight of any Indian flag hanging anywhere outside on the streets. I decided to seize the opportunity to explore the neighborhood a little more in the name of adding an Indian national flag to my journal in memory of my first Indian national festival celebration, outside of India. I walked into a few Indian textiles stores asking them if they had any Indian flags to which they responded with a negative. I walked into a few Indian restaurants to check if they had anything on display or if they could give me any leads to where I could find one. A few of them asked me the purpose of why I was searching for an Indian flag. When I told them that I wanted to use it as a souvenir, they either smiled or had a smirk on their faces. They must have wondered that I was some crazy woman walking freely on the streets of Saudi in search of my country’s independence.

None of them had any clue where I could find one. In the pursuit of an Indian National flag in Saudi Arabia, I wandered across a few streets walking over 9800 steps as indicated in the activity tracker on my smartphone. After concluding it to be a futile attempt to find an Indian tricolor, I decided to head back to my hotel. During my return, my eyes fell on a stationary shop and I decided to give it a last try. There was an Indian storekeeper who smiled upon hearing my inquiry. He took me to the section where a bundle of small plastic flags was kept. I asked for one flag for which he charged me 2 SAR without a bill. I came out of the shop all happy after a successful hunt at exactly the 10,000th step in the activity tracker, only to realize that I was standing just a few yards away from my hotel and that I had searched all over to find a little flag.

Indian National flag
Indian National flags at the stationary store

Celebrating Saudi Arabia’s National festival:

It was a long weekend due to the Saudi National day celebration on the 23rd of September. I was in Riyadh, the country’s administrative capital where several ceremonies were scheduled for the observance of the National day. The entire city was lit up and decorated with the theme of the Saudi national flag, which I was told was the case throughout the country. The level of public involvement and the fervor with which a national day is celebrated in Saudi was something that I felt missing back in my country on a national festival.

At the end of the National day celebrations, I and a few others who had accompanied me for the weekend were at the airport terminal in Riyadh, waiting for our return flight. We noticed that all staff working at the airport and the shops were wearing representative brooches or sashes. By then, I had realized that I had the national flags of two countries as souvenirs with a backstory of how I got them. I didn’t want to miss out on adding one from Saudi to the collection because that’s where I was to celebrate the national days of all three countries in 2022. I asked one of the staff about where I could get one for myself and that’s it. She got a sash not just for me, but one for each person who had accompanied me. Her colleagues and she were extremely excited to give us the sashes and click selfies with us wearing them. And any money offered in exchange was refused to be taken, as they called it a gift for us from them.

Conclusion remarks:

Sitting back on my flight, I was trying to recollect my experience of how a national festival was perceived by three different countries. As a foreigner, I was given a gift (free of cost) by Saudi Arabia and Pakistan with excessive excitement. Whereas, being an Indian, I expected myself to be warmly greeted by a fellow Indian on foreign soil and share the same enthusiasm to wish each other on India’s national festival. Instead, I bought an Indian flag from an Indian (it was a small cost by any reference, that could be waived off). It was not the free item I was seeking, but at least an Indian to be able to guide me to a place where I could get Indian products. The expectation was to meet another Indian who shared the same excitement to celebrate India’s festival as that of a Saudi or a Pakistani.

Are we Indians less patriotic? What are your thoughts?

Lessons Learnt by a Trek Leader

Who is a leader? One who holds the group; One who owns the group; One who carries a group.

‘A team may have members with varied backgrounds, thinking ways, and cultures. But a leader is someone who despite the difference, is expected to maintain cohesiveness and lead the way to the success of the team. The quality of a good leader is being fearless, able to face challenges, and remaining unshaken.’ This is what we would define, and every other personality development trainer would teach.

But are we ever taught to think that like all members of a team, a leader is also human? Are we made to think about why even the best leader can fail? Are we taught to ask the leader if they had a good day?

To answer these questions, I would like to take the reference of my personal experience in this aspect and break the discussion into two parts. First, I would like to list the aspects of leadership I have learnt by taking on a role of a trek leader since 2019. In the second, I would like to discuss the realizations made while reflecting upon the situations that were created that brought me closer to a meltdown in 2022.

Part 1: Being a trek leader

There were times when I had to adjust. Once, while on our way to Kodachadri, our bus broke down. In the middle of the night, I had to stand on a highway and wave at every other bus that came our way which could accommodate the entire group. finally, when we managed to find a bus, there were two seats. I, being a trek leader had to adjust and sit on a crammed floor of a traveler just so that the rest of the team had the comfort of the seats so that they all could sleep well and save energy to complete the hike successfully on the following day.

There were times I had to carry. When a team member fell with an epileptic attack, when someone sprained their ankle or a bunch of new trekkers was all bogged down by the weight of their backpacks right in the middle of a trail, I have had to support them.

There were times when I had to convince others. The worst thing that can go wrong on a trip is to have all four tyres of your vehicle flat. With a group of thirty people, it was no joke to be stranded on a village road at midnight. When all attempts to find alternate transportation was futile, it was a leader who had to convince the team to agree into taking a tractor ride to the destination.

There were times when I had to hold the team together. When a murder took place right in front of the team, the morale of every member was shattered. Nor was I, being a trek lead prepared to face something like that. But I had to hold them all in decent spirits let not the visuals and the fear take over the minds of the remaining members.

I have had to control. Control the schedule, control the people who deviated from the rules, channel conversations and involve everyone to participate in the group.

I have had to assure anxious parents to trust me with their daughters’ safety while traveling with me and I had to assure unsure solo travelers about their apprehensions to backpack with a leader who was unknown to them. All to only come back after the trip and receive positive testimonials about me.

Being unbiased with the age, gender, caste, and economic strata with whom I interact, I have been told that I inspired people (in many ways that I do not know). My no-fuss, no allergy, and ever-willingness to try any food that looks new and the ability to snooze in any space when I am sleepy solves half the problem and makes it easy for people to connect with me, I have been told. I have been confident in my ability to adapt to absolutely any environment and figure out a way to make it a memorable journey. I have always believed that my ability to adapt and connect to people on an individual level has been my strength.

I have always believed that successful people should be able to recognize their strengths and weaknesses. No human is perfect and without shortcomings. But a true leader will work on the weaknesses and not let them bog him/her down. With an awareness of what makes him/her weak, it allows one to be better prepared to oversee a situation that might arise posing the same threats. This self-awareness is vital to being a confident leader.

Part 2: When a leader is shaken

What does it look like when the confidence of a leader is broken, when the leader is made to feel that he/she has always been wrong about himself/herself? How does it feel when the leader is made to feel that he/she was never correct?

A recent personal experience of a series of events dragged me to the edge of having an emotional breakdown. When I sat back and reflected upon the decisions, I had made in the past year which had finally gotten me to where I was at the time of this meltdown, there was a lot of self-realization I made. None of which pointed towards any evident wrong decision-making ability of mine but to the situations that were created for me to act.

Cut to August 2022, I was on an overseas business trip to a country which is considered to be on the conservative side compared to the rest of the world. I had been accompanied by a team of seven men and one girl. Despite being with such a large group, I was hit by a feeling of abandonment. It was a feeling of being unavailable for and by the people of my tribe when I needed it and of being restricted from physically going out to do things that made me happy.

It had shaken me so much that I used to have emotional meltdowns at the drop of the hat. I had begun to reanalyze and doubt all my decisions made in the last year, the on-goings, and the future ahead created by my own decisions. The situation brought with it, my inability to trust human beings in the same way that I did until stepping into the new land. I had failed as a person and all my leadership skills learnt over the last few years felt void, if it needs to be put in that perspective. All I needed was an anchor to bank myself in a land unknown across the ocean.

To me in this case, it was my boss at work who put on the hat of a leader. After spending a few weeks by then in the new country, it was the first ever interaction I was having with my boss. It was the first face-to-face interaction between us and the most basic question for any conversation to begin, I was asked about how I was doing in the new country. The most basic and simplest of questions had me shaken and the accumulated dam of emotions was broken. A word of assurance that there was someone to look up to was all I needed to get back on track, and this was one such. It was an interaction post which, I was alright and back in form to continue with my regular duties.

Lessons learnt from a leader: The first two may be generic, it is to have a good personal relationship at work or off work. The third lesson is specific to the workplace.

• A leader should be available for his team always. Whether or not related to work, it is essential to build a relationship of trust with the teammates.
• Keep clear and timely communications within the team. Whether there is a work update or not, communicate to stay connected.
• Assign clear work roles, and expectations, and follow up on progress.

Takeaways on a personal level:

• Any leader can be shaken. They too are human.
• In the end, nobody but only you will remain to care for yourself.
• Whether you see a person happy or strong, a greeting and a smile at a stranger cost you nothing but it can heal a person.

Are you rich?

You know what rich people do?

They make their money earn for them. A series of wise and sensible investments in form of real estate, development of existing real estate, deposits, shareholdings in companies, etc. People who were born with money or born rich enough are made known that it takes an effort to stay rich. Rich people have a strong enough financial backup if things go awry. It’s okay to lose a little money in the name of learning because they can afford not to repeat it.

What do people who become rich in a short duration do?

Spend their money on things and experiences they might not have had previously. They spend it like water without a thought for saving up for contingency, because they are blinded by the glitz and glamour the short fortune is showing them. They become used to the artificial sense of being rich and try to fit among the actually rich people, regardless of their personal financial background. So one fine day, when the income stops or rather their luxuries surpass their income, hell breaks loose, because they weren’t prepared for the struggle of remaining rich without a strong financial backing.

Salaried people without any strong financial background are more prone to the above scenario, when they start earning more than they what they expected in a short period of time. Not necessarily salaried people, there are lots of other people who can be like this. They fall into fake reality of being rich wherein, they are living their life on a month to month basis, solely dependent on their salary.

If you ask me which one I belong to, I honestly don’t know. I am a citizen of Bangalore born to working parents (pure middleclass upbringing). I never have money, yet I’ll have a little.

Fun experiences at home during the lockdown

Over the recent years, I have travelled more in seek of new experiences and less to see new places. When the nationwide lockdown happened, I was confined to my house for nearly 3 months. Those familiar with me asked how I coped with not being able to travel. Honestly, if not for the need to be able to stretch my limbs for some physical activities, there wasn’t a day when I felt the need to travel. There were ample things through which I could gain new experiences. Here are some fun experiences during my lockdown.

The first three were motivational experiences that the government of India had assigned as tasks to thank the Corona frontline warriors. All to be performed within the confines of the doorstep of every Indian household. Keeping all the memes and politics aside, participating in them was something I personally enjoyed.

  • Clapping & Clinging of utensils: Calling a day long voluntary Janata curfew on 22-Mar-20 was a preamble to the lockdown. In the evening, Indians were asked to clap their hands, cling plates with spoons or make any sound that would reach the Covid warriors. The outcome had various perspectives from people with varied background. However, our family did our bit by actively participating in it. While I clapped, my mother went a step ahead and blew the conch from our balcony. If not anything, hearing so many types of sounds from the ENTIRE city/ state/ country in unison was a once in a lifetime experience.
  • Flash a light: It was like revoking the real meanings of festivals like Diwali, Christmas or Shab-e-barat by celebrating a day of lights on 05-Apr-20. I personally have a thing for lighting clay diyas and I could not miss this opportunity either. We hung LED lights and mobile flashlights on the outside walls and lit candles and clay diyas on the balcony. And seeing the entire city go off at once and watch the horizon blinking with flashlights was another experience that gave me a high.
  • The flower shower: On 03-May-20, the Indian defense forces took to the skies to salute the Corona warriors. The IAF choppers showered flower petals on various Covid designated hospitals across the country. Also, there was fly-past of various airplanes / jets/ choppers through the length & breadth of the nation. Having an inborn corner in my heart for airplanes, I couldn’t help but run out on the terrace and catch a glimpse of the two C-130 Super Hercules that flew from up north in Srinagar to down south in Thiruvananthapuram.

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The candles in my balcony

The nature bestowed upon me some unique experiences as well.

  • Watch squirrels grow from babies to adults: From a pair of squirrels nesting in our bathroom windows to their four new borns taking over our entire house as grown adults, our family has witnessed it by staying at home during the lockdown. Even as the babies were learning to walk, they had us a hard time. They would try to sneak into the house through the bathroom ventilator and often fall inside the bucket or they would simply forget their way out of the house and wander aimlessly. Lucky that a couple of times, they fell into the buckets with only an ounce of water, got their tails soaked and would just not be able to balance themselves. All we had to do was keep an eye on them by checking the bathroom or ensure they found their way out of the house without touching them, every time they came.

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The squirrels of my house

  • Watch a goat deliver a pre-mature calf: With a farmer who came to my backyard to graze his herd of goats, it was one of those days when one of them sat amid a bush and started to cry. The she- goat was 2 months due to her labor, but the pain had started early and the entire herd had surrounded her. The farmer telephoned a Vet who arrived in a while and helped the expecting mother to have a safe labor. The baby was removed out of her body whom we initially thought was still born. However, the little one wriggled in the hands of the Vet with a wailing cry giving a sense of relief to the vet, the mother goat, the farmer and to our family who watched all this unfold in front of us.

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The farmer with his goat and her new-born calf

  • Watching a million butterflies: With permission from the authorities, it was loss of a family member that drove us to a riverbank to let her mortal remains flow in the holy river Cauvery. But as if it was a soothing balm to our family that was going out for the first time during the lockdown, we were surrounded by a million butterflies around us. Under the canopy of red gulmohars flanking the empty roads, the mighty Terminalia trees (need to fact check the correct name) holding up the banks of the river flowing full, with ABSOLUTELY no one to disturb them in an otherwise overcrowded weekend destination, these butterflies were flying FREELY, literally. It was as if we lived a scene out of a fairy tale.
  • Star gazing: While at the terrace, we even witnessed a meteor shower and a comet. The Lyrid meteor shower is an annual phenomenon that can be usually observed around April. Apart from that, the comet SWAN was a treat for early risers, visible from May 13th through for a week.
  • Watching the sunset: As I worked from home, I was bummed indoors from morning to evening. So, winding up my day by watching the sunset from my balcony with a cup of tea was my excuse to get my daily dose of vitamin-D. Probably, the beautiful evening views from my home was something I had long forgotten as I returned home after dark on a regular work day and went chasing sunsets at fancy travel destinations on holidays.

And yet, there were several experiences that our family created for ourselves. Apart from sharing long conversations and discussions over shared meals, there were several things that we did in collaboration and had our share of fun at home.

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My experience of taking mango delivery through India Post

  • Setting up our own home-gym: With pleasant breeze in the terrace, good night view, ambient music and peppy music under the starry sky (considering that the sky was its clearest during the nationwide lockdown), we set our own gym on our terrace with DIY dumbbells and stands.

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The night view from my terrace

  • Growing our own kitchen garden: Brinjals, green groceries, beans, tomatoes, drumsticks etc. were just a few things from my parents’ own backyard kitchen garden that helped us to reduce the number of visits to the stores.
  • Enjoying homegrown fruits: Watermelons, muskmelons, night shade berries, mulberries, avocados and Papayas are those that our fruit relishing taste buds were able to devour from our own backyard. Not that we have a big space in our backyard, these were all grown in pots with the wet waste from the kitchen that went into composting.

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Homegrown Fruits and vegetables

  • Celebrating birthdays of friends & family members: Baking birthday cakes, making streamers for decorations, sending video wishes and experimenting in the kitchen, these celebrations were fun and different from the usual. In the middle of all this, someone sends a watsapp forward of reminding the pre-Covid situation of how strangely we all ate a cake into which someone had blown air from their mouth to put-off the candle 😀

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DIY birthday decor in the making

  • Mask making at home: I took my mom’s help to learn sewing and that is a new skill I picked up during the lockdown. Apart from making face masks with upcycled fabric, we made new caps, T-shirts and backpacks at home for our personal use.

Oh, I had shared a list of activities that I had planned to do during the lockdown. Have you read it yet? Here’s the link: (Click here to continue reading)

How have your been spending your time during the lockdown? Did you learn any new skill? Did you volunteer for any social cause? Do let me know and share the positivity with all friends and families 🙂

I hate to grow up..!!

Recently, I had been to my hometown on a weekend.. The few hours I spent with my little cousin made me all nostalgic about the good old childhood days I spent there.. He took me to the front yard of the house and placed his pets in a line.. “On your mark.. get set… Peeeee” went his whistle.. It was a race organised by him for 3 tortoises & a cane turtle that he found in the paddy field.. Just as the race began, the turtle turned backwards and began to run(or walk rather).. I saw my little brother panic.. It was very funny and I found it very cute at the same time..

The Tortoise & the turtle race
The Tortoise & the turtle race

There are some small things about life that you miss a lot when you grow up.. The little innocence of being a child, those priceless toys- sand castles, straw tents, slushy puddles, paper boats, pull carts of dried coconut tree branches.. We ran naked around the house and the estates- We NEVER knew what SHY meant..

Children enjoying their shower in a small stream amid the greens of our estate
Children enjoying their shower in a small stream amid the greens of our estate

And then, when we grew up a little more, we did it for competitions- To see whose paper kites flew higher and stayed longer in the sky.. Whose wooden top spun longer, Which catapult shot the farthest, Who had the most number of marbles.. Who caught most number of dragonflies in the empty horlicks bottle.. Who lit the room brightest with their collection of glow-worms.. And further, I remember- stealing an empty glass jar and a cotton towel every weekend with my older cousin- All just for the sheer sake of fishing in the stream nearby.. And, we’d be the proud fishermen of the collection in my grani’s lotus pond..

Internet photo- Fishing in a stream
Internet photo- Fishing in a stream

And then.. Our capital increased… Our toys also got more sophisticated.. We started boasting of our collection of tazos, TV-video games, hot-wheels cars..

My little cousin's collection of cars
My little cousin’s collection of cars

We would wait for guests, uncles, aunties to come home.. Cuz they would buy Cadbury gems for us.. Parle poppins, Blue n yellow wrappered Aasay toffees.. We did not expect any expensive chocolate bars..

Ofcourse I witnessed the era of Beyblades & Pokemons too.. But, I considered myself a little more grown up by that time..

Soon I started to earn enough to suffice the crunch for that ONE most expensive toy that would COMPLETE my collection of toys.. But, it is too late now for I have over grown the age of collecting toy cars.. Now people respect me only if I have the REAL ones.. and that too the MOST expensive ones.. Chocolates should be imported and a little bit of rum/vodka in it would spike it up.. Tents mean only those paid camping in expensive holiday resorts.. Now, I frequently fly in aeroplanes.. Spin at the casino.. Even to get into a slush pool.. I’d pay a fat deal at an exotic spa…

SHIT MAN..!!! How I wish… that innocence was not gone.. How I wish.. I had NEVER grown up…

Fear of Travel? It is in your Mindset

Agoraphobia is considered the most incapacitating of anxiety disorders. To be more precise- The fear of travelling ALONE.. It is all in your mindset.. What do you think will happen to you if you go out alone? You will die of a road accident or a plane crash..? A bunch of trouble makers will harm you..? A group of bad men will molest you..?

People… Get a life.!!  You need to just come out of your frame of mind.. Harm can be caused to you anytime. What will you do if the ground beneath your house sunk in.? What would you do if a bunch of people barged into your home with clubs and hoses ? Your trusted neighbor of several years might knock at your door for all wrong reasons one day.. Or what if your best friend / family member is battling for life in a distant place.. Will you still step back to remain in the safe confines of your home?

You ain’t doing anything worthwhile with your life if you hesitate to travel. Just step out and explore.. It is just a state of mind you want to leave unchanged.. Rather, think of adventures.. Such incidents may happen; but how you fight it out, what experience you gain out of it is more important. You can have so many stories to tell to your grandchildren when they grow up.. You should at least travel just to know how a car runs on gasoline, how a pull cart is fueled by the mechanical energy of a living being, how a train moves without tyres.. How will you measure the expanse of the sea.. How will you feel the snow on your hand..? You will never know the simple things of everyday life until and unless you travel.. And not always you will find a partner to travel.. At times you will find inner peace only by travelling alone.. It will help you to know yourself better, you will understand what your likes and dislikes are.. You will feel free without having to adjust to somebody else’s way of doing things.. So just get ready, pull up your socks, jump in and have a NICE trip ahead.. 🙂

Use these simple tips when you travel (alone or in a group):

  1. Use public transport as much as possible: This is lighter on your pockets and there is a floating population which is much safer than hiring a private taxi.
  2. Interact with the locals: It helps you to build your social network, learn about the culture, history etc.
  3. Carry a pepper spray in your bag: It will come in handy at some point of time.
  4. Always carry a candy/chocolate in your bag: It will help you to regain your strength when your blood sugar level drops and you get semi-conscious. Low-sugar can happen to any normal person at any time.
  5. Learn 1 or 2 kicks and punches for self defense: It will come along a great way..!!

And this last paragraph goes to all those IDIOTS who poke their stinky dirty leaky noses in my travel affairs.. Ask me of what is the pleasure of traveling ? I first traveled alone when I was ten years old. A distance of 240 kms in a KSRTC bus. But of course, for several reasons, day travel it was.. My parents and friends are confident about me finding my way out of anywhere in this whole wide world.. What’s the problem with the rest of you to let me go..??  YOU are hesitant, YOU are scared, YOU get petrified, YOU are a loser, NOT ME..!! Let me go..!!

Communication gap? Fill it!

I’ve been a keen observer of people for most of my life, speak up only when forced to, silent when my presence is not a mandate.. Here are some matured talks I’d like to do after analysing the different people I have met and various situations I have gone through over these years..

You find someone good looking ? Walk up: Go tell him / her about what you think. Initially you might get back some dirty stares(a tight wack across your face in rare events), but that person for sure will blush from within and start feeling good about himself. Don’t you feel good when you make someone feel good about themselves..??

Someone’s wearing a nice dress / shoes ? Compliment them. A smile on their face is assured 🙂

You feel cheated in a relationship – Sort it out. It’s better than spending your life with a lie that never was true.

Feeling left out in the crowd? Open up. Just say ‘Hi’ with a handshake with a stranger and just see- you have a friend to accompany for the rest of your day..

You have an inclination for a civil partnership ? Talk it..with your parents. They know what’s good for you better than you know about yourself.. And you  have the right to do what you like to.. Don’t deceive yourself and mess up another innocent(your-to-be-fiance)’s dreams too..!!

Feeling low about your importance at work ? Speak up to your boss. Beyond a point, an employee’s primary need has less to do with money, and more to do with how he’s treated and how valued he feels (quoted by: David W. Richard). Give it a try before thinking of putting your papers- You might end up missing out on a chance.

You don’t like something about your best friend ? Tell it..!! You have every damn right to let him/her know.. You’ll be the betrayer if not..

Someone’s troubling you ? Discuss it with your partner/friend/parent. Share it with someone at least.. Together you will be able to find a solution. No matter how old you are, you are not strong enough to stand alone by your stride..!!

Getting bullied ? Glare it right back at them.. Don’t let anyone force you into silence.. Everything has a limit..!!

Students… You know the answer for the question that the teacher just asked ? Tell it out- If it’s right, you’ll be the hero. If it’s wrong, you will learn something new. You are not losing anything either ways.. you see 🙂

After a lecture, you have a doubt ? Ask it out.. No matter how silly it might sound to the others.. 1. They too would probably have the same doubt but be hesitant to ask.  2. You are clear about that 1 hour long boring session and are taking back something useful.

The doom’s day is here..? this time- you SHUT UP–  It’s very important not to let your emotions take over entirely. Remember that this is just a passing phase / conversation, and people will think better of you if you speak calmly and slowly. Acting calm makes you seem collected and in control, especially if other people are freaking out around you.

Worst case— You are that extremely shy one just out of your cocoon for a flash of a time..?? Write it up. Write it to the authority asking them to explain, write it to a dear one to express what you feel. But, that’s all. All the other feelings- save them in your shelves. Might help you to author a book someday..

But, remember… you have to fill the communication gap at the end of the day.. DO NOT LEAVE anything unsaid, untold.. For only you will know what is in your mind..

SpeakYourMind

PS: The above rules do not apply if the affiliated institutions are governed by Indian politics.. Do not dare the above lest you shall be counting the bars there..!!

The baby steps to Isha foundation

< 02-July-2012>

On one of usual walks at Sankey Tank.. there was this guy at the gate giving away handouts.. the groundnut(kadale-kai) hanging down the handout caught my attention and I stretched my hand out to get one…

Sri Sri Sadhguru Baba (Sorry.. I hadn’t heard of this name before.. my bad..!!) had his program on “Inner Engineering” sometime it read.. All this spirituality stuff is too much to take into my peanut sized brain.. But this fancy handout is the only reason that has inspired me to post this 😛

“Spirituality is belief in an ultimate or an alleged immaterial reality; an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her being; or the “deepest values and meanings by which people live. Spiritual practices are intended to develop an individual’s inner life. Spiritual experiences include being connected to a larger reality, yielding a more comprehensive self; joining with other individuals or the human community; with nature or the cosmos; or with the divine realm. Spirituality is often experienced as a source of inspiration or orientation in life. It can encompass belief in immaterial realities or experiences of the immanent or transcendent nature of the world.”

Whoa….. that’s an extract from Wikipedia..

“If you do not get out of your shell, you’re just a nut”- This definitely makes sense…

#Update as on 15-may-2020

Someone who started small with this peanut marketing, is now one of the most influential persons in India and the world: Sri Jaggi Vasudev or fondly called as ‘Sadhguru’, the founder of the ‘Isha foundation’. Big milestones are achieved with small baby steps, indeed!

An iconic statue of Adiyogi Shiva’s bust (it holds the guiness record for being the largest bust sculpture) near Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu is a ‘must go’ place on the list of those seeking spiritual cleansing.

For the adventure seekers, you can trek up the Velliangiri hills in the neighborhood while your spiritual accompanice can get enlightened at the Shiva temple atop, considered to be one of the holiest places in South India.

The Western Ghats- To Save or Not ?

There is much ado about the Western Ghats getting tagged as a World heritage site by the UNESCO.

So, like everyone around me here, I too am excited about sharing my views on it.

Firstly the stronger points for consideration:

  1. The western Ghats is home to very rare species of flora & fauna- many snakes, frogs, birds etc. are critically endangered and also unique only to these Ghats.
  2. These ghats stop the wind from the east and bring rainfall to the south.
  3. The major rivers of the South are rain fed and originate here.
  4. I being an ardent nature lover would definitely support to save the ever lush green ghats.

Now, the points not to consider:

  1. There are a no. of tribes living in these Ghats like the Soligas, Kurubas, Maleya-kudiyas etc who will all be forced to vacate the forests and will be disturbed from their natural habitat though the government may promise them of providing alternate homes.
  2. The Coorgs (Kodavas)- by themselves are a very small community fighting hard against the “Jamma Bane” issue and now have yet another blow. Many localites holding lands in the identified areas will be forced to vacate and this will inturn force them out of Coorg.
  3. Myself being a hardcore Kodavathi, I would never be able to take this by my stride.

And now, the strongest of them all:

  1. The Ghats are a rich source for mining, timber and a major hub for tourism leading to severe deforestation in the name of building resorts, nature sports and the likes.
  2. It is important to consider that our beloved elected representatives are frequently in the limelight for the mining scams. The major share of resorts in this region are owned by big names and are tucked away deep in the core area of the jungles which compete for providing the best tiger spotting, elephant spotting, wild hunting, etc. etc, activities for their guests. So there is a valid point for these scamsters to fight against the prestigious tag.
  3. The heritage tag limits the human entry to most regions. Let alone restrictions on activities like trekking, hiking etc. just walking around this place without knowledge would lead to high penalty.

But, what if this has an impact on a Coorg’s lifestyle: the tag has come as a much needed  respite for a nature lover like me. We are Coorgs at the end of the day. We have lived our way through thick jungles, heavy downpours, deep dark nights, wild animals in our porticos. And that’s the way we enjoy our life at it’s best. So we can definitely live strong with thick jungles. We want our Green cover to be saved…!!

I am frustrated of being helpless and just a mute spectator watching the depletion of green cover in the name of development. I can hardly see any development in my area other than the fact that big names (let me say powerful people) are buying properties by offering good money and settling down in Coorg, becoming stake-holders in resorts etc and turning all their black money white.

I used to eagerly wait for the rainy season to start so that I would get my monsoon holidays while I was in school. And now, I am even more anxious that this rainy season may pass by without even seeing a “rainfall”. Yes, only conservation of these ghats can bring us the rains that we need.

I am frustrated with the fact that the place where is grew up catching little fishes and crabs with my cousins as a little girl beneath big boulders is now nothing but a fully concrete platform for the tourists to rest on.

What I once knew as a beautiful waterfall and a place where my grandpa gave me my swimming lessons is now nothing but a pool of sewage flowing from the town littered by ruthless tourists. The stench of this mess gets tears streaming down my eyes everytime I stand on the very same concrete platform and try to recollect the good old greener and cleaner grandpa days…

The Bramhagiri hills
The Bramhagiri hills

And here I sum up (with lines from a famous song of a Bollywood movie):

Give me some sunshine, give me some rain
Give me another chance, I want to grow up once again…

– 3 Idiots

India on the go

India.. one of the fastest growing economies of the world.

We boast of being the land of ultra-mod skyscrapers, world’s top billionaires, multi-storeyed residences, luxurious amenities, so on and so forth.

What we have been ignoring, are the little things that are just within our vicinity. We think it is something usual and there is nothing to break our heads about. We spend more time following our celebrity idols- where they go, what they do etc. An actors’ progeny is bound to be a talented actor and so with a politician.

One evening, while I was walking back home from college, I came across a man pushing his cycle which was loaded with goods. He was walking in the direction towards me. From the front view, his cycle had a 4-5 ruck sacks tied on either sides of the handles, filled with goods. Two plastic pots were tied onto either sides of the carrier at the rear. My eyes fell on something that looked like a random bundle of clothes placed at the rear end of the cycle. As I walked closer, I noticed something unusual. What I thought was a bundle of rags was infact a baby…!!

Roughly 4-5 months old, sleeping peacefully on a tin trunk box covered with just a piece of rugged bedspread. I walked closer and made sure what my eyes just saw and what my mind just thought it to be, was right. The Little baby boy was having a peaceful nap without ever knowing the reality of this cruel world. He had no idea about the kind of hardship his fragile parents were going through just to bring him up.

Theatre on wheels
Theatre on wheels

This cycle was his home. This cycle was his office. This cycle was his mode of transport. Oh.. Did I say “His”? He does not live alone in this makeshift home. He lives with his wife and 3 kids. He also carries his makeshift “Drama Company” on these wheels. He stops where he thinks it is right, performs a few acts and earns a few pennies, enough to feed his family with a one time meal per day.

I was confused how to react on hearing this story. I did not understand whether I had to feel bad because he was poor or whether to feel happy that he was content with his life (or at least for what he seemed like). But all I can do is, speak about it in a little more elaborate context but can never think of getting into that man’s shoes and exploring his world.

Theatre on wheels
towards facing the drama of life

When asked for, he gladly posed for a picture with a warm smile. The only gesture I could show was to offer him the fifty rupee note that I had in my wallet which he received with a bigger smile.

This “Small and Happy home” kept my thoughts disturbed at least for a week. Maybe I can try to get him a job in some theater, movie or make a documentary which could earn him enough money to support his family’s needs.. A lot of ideas came popping in my mind. But I felt like a helpless little creature in this evil wide world where the scope for growth is meant only for the rich. The rich is getting richer and there is no scope for improvement for the lesser privileged. The others who fall in between these two categories are just mute spectators.

I can see India growing… Yes, India is really on a go.!!