Speak your mind....

Posted by Tandarin Nike Sunday, May 30, 2010 11:00 PM 4 comments
Have you had a meal and not remember much of the meal till you realize the plate is empty?

Have you forgotten where you parked?

Have you wondered which road you took after driving there yourself ?

Most of us have.

Most of us were also doing at least one more thing when the above afflicted us. Multi-tasking.

Watching TV while the plate was being emptied, not enjoyed; rattling off on the cell phone while driving/parking.

The world around us is complicated. We invent new things to make our lives better but these new creations solve little but add a lot more. A lot more headache. More the headache, more distracted we get. The more distracted we are, the more inefficient and angry we become.

Distraction and frustration churn in a loop and spit out a concoction of anger and discontent. Low self esteem, exhaustion, irritability come in as the by-products.

Does life need to be so frantic and fast paced?

No, it does not. While we do not control our destiny, we do have a lot of control on what we do. What’s stopping us from embracing a slower paced life where we get to admire what surrounds us?

The morning dew on the flower; a cup of coffee with your spouse; the exhilarating walk in the morning/evening; a breakfast.

Why are we to forfeit that for an iPhone, Blackberry, Blog and Twitter?

More importantly, if we do, is it worth it ?

Life does not have to be complex, but slowing down is not easy either. It has to be an innate decision and a firm one at that. It is not hard. Can you walk with me for 5 minutes into a Zen garden? You will be surprised to see who in there can inspire you to simplify..

I promise, in the very least I will sow a few thoughts and put a smile on your face.
  • Stop Multi-tasking : Multi tasking only works for computers. Humans are not computers. If something can be put away, do so. It will unclutter your schedule for important tasks and will ensure you do justice to both the tasks, important now and what was put off, later. Do you need the TV on while having dinner/reading that newspaper? How about losing that iPod while studying? Can your email, facebook replies be done once a day? Is it important that you talk on your cell phone while driving?

  • Do not forget the present : Take time to live in the moment. Enjoy a meal and appreciate the textures and flavors; guess the ingredients; eat slowly; laugh at yourself; immerse yourself in a song; savor the lyrics; help someone in need when you see it; compliment someone; thank someone. Do it now.

  • Disconnect, the world will not end : Being connected is important, but does it have to be at the cost of your personal life and health? Enforce a personal quiet-time when you will leave the gizmos behind and let your mind rest. People lived pre-internet. Check your emails once a day. People know to call you if it is more important? Try not to bring home your office work; take a nap when you can; read a book; watch your children sleep; play and tumble with kids – you build a lot more creativity in them by these inter-action.

  • People over chatter : Many a times we are with people in body, but our mind is elsewhere. A cell phone or a TV shares the time that had to be theirs. That voice-mail can wait; the clip you missed on TV can be watched later, but the smile on your kid’s face is not being recorded and will be lost. Enjoy and appreciate your family; let them know you love them, you may think they may know, but it makes a world of a difference when they hear it from you….

  • Explore the World : The world is a wonderful place. Take time to appreciate it. If you think your computer program is complex, just look at nature. I’m not talking of just the scenic landscapes and the breathtaking mountains. I’m talking of delving a bit deeper, I’m talking of being inquisitive like a kid and appreciating the complex design at play in nature: The human body and it’s functioning with millions of cells; the fact that man has come so far from the stone ages; the systemic way our galaxies work; the symbiosis of sun and earth and how almost everything on Earth depends on it; How Earth is the only planet with life and how many aspects from oxygen, to gravity, to photosynthesis, has to work in tandem to achieve life on earth; the mechanics of man’s many inventions ranging from rockets to ships to telephone.

  • Get off the beaten path : Surprise yourself and take the plunge; a plunge into something new. Get outdoors and stay active; play a game. Take that trip you have been planning. Write the book that’s locked up in your head. Speak your mind, go write/comment on a blog. Say something that no one else dares to say. Do something others are afraid to do, step out into the rain; go camping. Live a little.

  • Be a Nay-sayer : You cannot please everyone. You should not even try. Be fair, but be sure to say no when something/someone is unreasonable. People who matter will understand; if they don’t, they will not matter. If you do not stand up for yourself, no one will.

  • Wear a Smile : Smile increases your face value. It disarms even the most tense of situations. Smile is contagious and leads to happiness. What do you have to lose? Give it a shot..

Life is a journey. It is a marathon. Pacing yourself will take you farther than if you approach it like it were a 100 meter dash.

Breathe, breathe, breathe. Literally. Sit down and take a few deep breaths. Try simplifying something and let your mind breathe too. Take a break and step out, let the warm sun kiss your skin, the wind blow your hair and the chaos of the city be a symphony.

If you slow down, the world will not fall apart. It will survive. But if you do not, you may fall apart.

Are you are looking for that inspiration I promised? Here it goes...

Remember the times when you smiled from your heart? When you laughed till it hurt? When friendships were uncomplicated? When you played to your heart’s content?

Remember being a kid?

Kids do all of the above and more: do not multi-task; live in the moment; unplug and unwind; take a nap; sincerely love people; explore the world; be inquisitive; try new things; go out and play; say ‘NO’ (oh yeah!); smile, smile and smile…

Let us know how you feel and if you have any suggestions of your own .

Remember, speak your mind!

On the route to greater acheivement...

Posted by Tandarin Nike Thursday, May 27, 2010 3:15 AM 6 comments
Dr. Edward Bach was a British Physician who began to see disease as an end product, a final stage, a physical manifestation of unhappiness, fear and worry. He therefore began to look to nature to find healing flowers. Over a period of years, Dr. Bach found 38 healing flowers and plants that, with the right preparation, became the 38 Bach Flower Essences. These Essences are enough to cover all the negative emotional states that are possible.

While explaining the effects of his flower remedies, he said that “The Flower remedies act as catalysts which help to reestablish contact between the Soul and Personality. The personality caught up in the confusion and restriction that is only human, finds a way out again, back to the soul qualities that gives meaning to our existence on this planet and brings universal harmony.” These flower remedies are used by millions today to heal themselves by effecting behavioral changes.

This leads to healing of physical illnesses too, since a majority of these illnesses are psychosomatic in nature. It was very unfortunate that Dr. Bach died very early after creating The Bach Flower Remedies bringing health, joy and happiness in people’s lives. He was one of the very few who was aware of and totally lived by the directions of his soul. I am sure if he had lived a bit more he could have given us the meaning of life and provided an insight and answers to many questions.

I interpret the soul as some genes/DNA which was put in place by our designers, which direct our lives towards some objective, which I or for that matter nobody yet knows. It could have been a normal hum drum objective of making us slaves to these techno designers, or it could it have been a greater objective of exploring the universe and mapping habitable planets?

What I suggest is based on anthropological and physical evidence, interpreted in a different manner. Plodding further into the unknown, these genes/strands of DNA then could be said “to be immortal” like the soul described in our scriptures, as they are perpetuated from generation to generation.

These genes affect each generation differently as they are passed on, because the environment in which the individual is born and brought up dictates the personality.

Latest research on Spindle cells makes interesting reading at this point. These genes or the inner voice, or the soul’s voice, therefore affect individual people possibly by conflicting with their learned behavior patterns. Dealing in the realms of the unknown, possibly at some stage these particular genes are no longer passed on. Is it the liberation of our souls as the ancients put it? There are many questions with a very few answers.

We do understand at least one objective that is, the continuation of our species, which our human system designers put in place. These system designers were possibly intelligent beings when we observe the unexplained jumps in evolution and the sudden full stops in anthropological history.

These are very pertinent evolutionary facts discarded by scientists as they do not fit into their well established theories, which may be true for every species in the universe. I do not for one moment believe that we are the products of evolution alone.

Speculatively, there must be data about our past locked up somewhere in our genetic structure which may form part of our memory system. There must be some DNA which is passed on uninterrupted to ensure this. Possibly we do not have the key to unlock it yet. Perhaps we may have a built in communication system which will become active only on attainment of universal harmony.

This means we have to grow inwards to such an extent that we learn to recognize and live by the directions emanating from within us. Possibly thereafter we may learn our mission and the meaning of the Universe itself. If for example, we look at and interpret the Mahabharata, the Ramayana with a changed perspective, then one sees from chapter to chapter and verse to verse how much sense it makes even to our limited extent of knowledge and understanding.

If one really keeps an open mind while reading and studying the remains of our distant past, then a glimmer of comprehension that lights up will soon progress to a light of a thousand suns.

I personally feel that at least some if not all of us, should start the search for our inner self. We must discard every learned behavior, social or religious bindings or domestication, we must discard restrictions of any sort on our personality and we should start living only by the dictates of the inner self.

There may be various ways of doing this, but as I understand from my experience, the start is to disregard outside inputs, sit quietly and do nothing. This doing nothing can be 20 minutes at a time, multiple times in a day. Slowly the inner self will start taking over our being as the restriction of our thoughts is removed. Let the thoughts come and go and at some stage they will cease. Once they stop our true self will take over from within us. For our thoughts are the products of our domestication, our taught and learned behaviors.

From my personal experience the inner self taking over for a few minutes every day, has created a profound change within me.

Sharing just one example: Things, people, circumstances which were once very important to me, I would say were the meaning of my existence, have receded into nothingness from my thinking mind. Yet the joy of still having them with me remains. It is like having a thing but not possessing it, so there is never a sadness of loss but always joy of letting go.

This has resulted in a new awakening of awareness and self realization though at a very elementary level. I am sure at some stage the inner directive from our genes will take over and the concerned individual will know from that point on, exactly what is required to be done.

It will take time to remove our internal blocks but it will happen one day. Further the act of letting our senses and our domesticated being free from our real time control for some time every day, will in itself, be an act of rejuvenation and joy, possibly the finding of our true self. Those who do so, I think will grow beyond the limits of imagination.

Grow to be really free of all bindings, intellectual, emotional or physical, yet with a seeping in of the joy of life and the discovery of their true selves and there mission.

The earth cannot sustain this civilization in perpetuity. One of our internal programs is the continuation of our species, it does not mean by reproduction alone.

It also means a search for places to survive beyond our solar system, beyond the milky-way and to go where no man has gone before. To that end we have to seek answers from within us. To seek the data our genes may have stored for us, to unlock it and to find the meaning of our existence and possibly individual objectives, and also possibly the collective objectives for which our species was designed for.

One thing I am very sure about, our mission statement and the data of our origins resides within us. Once that is clear we will not need to grope about the vast universe but will know precisely and with clarity as to where and how we have to go and what we have to achieve. It is very sad to see that with the present state of this earth’s civilization, we are not even near the start line of this awareness.

Soon this human species is likely to extinguish itself in its own ignorance and the blatant misuse of its five sense organs which probably were designed for some greater achievements.

We got to be traditional yet modern I guess......

Posted by Tandarin Nike Wednesday, May 19, 2010 9:17 AM 2 comments
I think 80% of the people who advertise in the matrimonial section of newspapers and magazines sound funny and I don't think they even realize it. I am thinking that’s because the ones who give an ad there are not the ones who are actually in the market but some well-wisher does that job for them. So they don't sound honest most of the times and they end up sounding funny. (Remember I said 80%?)

If a guy says "Wanted - a girl who looks like Aishwarya Rai and can do some good cooking in the house for a fat guy", that sounds honest. Fair enough. Hey, no one has the right to find fault with this as its up to the individual to say what they expect of a life-partner and one needn't be politically correct though this guy would probably get married when pigs start flying.

Instead, what you see is something like this. "Wanted, a slim homely girl, for a slightly plump good-looking guy". If you look at the actual meaning of homely, the dictionary would say "plain or unattractive in appearance" but in matrimonial lingo, it means a girl who puts the home first or a girl who does good house-keeping or a girl who has a neatly oiled, combed and plaited hair with no lipstick or a girl who doesn't have a boy-cut/short-hair/bob-cut or one who doesn't wear a sleeveless top and a tight jean.

It could mean any of the above and slightly plump most probably means fat. And if someone can't be categorized as "fair", he/she is automatically "wheatish".

And you also find - "Wanted - a girl who is traditional yet modern for a teetotaler earning Rs....” I don't get what traditional yet modern means. Very subjective indeed.

Coming back to "wheatish", the equation "fair skin = beauty" is so ingrained in our Indian minds that it would take at least 2 centuries for people to think otherwise. Why blame the person who advertises thus, can anyone realistically think they'd get married if they specify they are dark?

That’s sad but true. In fact, guys at least have a reprieve sometimes, (If you get a fat pay check or have inherited some property) but girls have to be fair-skinned. Wonder how this fair-skin obsession started!!

When the parents of yet-to-be-married-but-in-the-market people meet, they discuss how difficult it is to get their kids married these days. After all, they say, this generation expects a lot.

How many of them would agree to a love marriage without fights or tears? We, I mean my generation, are the ones that are sandwiched between arranged-marriage-only and love-marriage-only generations.

We got to be traditional yet modern I guess.

Oh!!! People....!

Posted by Tandarin Nike Wednesday, May 12, 2010 1:21 AM 4 comments
Ohhhhhh!!!! People!

Different kind of them around me; each one unique, still we call a few of them “normal”. Knowing me, I am for sure not going to talk about the normal sort; and no, not even the weird ones, for I like my monopoly there.

There are few step-brothers of weird kind, and I will be talking about them.

Always Confused – When you talk to such people, you feel you are the dumbest person alive on this planet earth! They always have confused look on their face, even when you talk about your gender to them which is very clearly visible due to obvious reasons; but you still cross check whether you are still a male or a female!

That’s not all; these people make simple situations complicated. They interpret simple things in such complex manner that confusion will get confused too! No personal examples, but how many of you have faced this problem in the form of comments on your simplest possible post? Leave a smiley, and I will understand your point :)

Perpetual Question mark – They are very close to always confused, but they at least express their concern, and don’t make you look dumb from the very beginning. But eventually after their 15th question on your particular statement, ummm, you will doubt your intelligence/dumbness – you are at liberty to interpret this for yourself!

God save you if the Perpetual Question mark happens to be your boss!

The Classical Dancer – My personal favourite category. These people cannot talk without moving their hands. Yes, they cannot talk! I once held hands of such an artist; she couldn’t utter a single word. I had to let go, as it is very difficult to survive without a non-stop entertainment.

My ex-boss in India was a Classical Dancer too. While explaining directions to our office to a client, the dancer boss simply gestured with his hand and said “take this turn after the signal”. Poor client would keep asking which turn, and my boss would keep repeating this turn without realizing that the client couldn’t see him and his hand! (Hope you guys understood what I am trying to say, as sadly I do not have the video clipping of the same.)

Exceptionally Intelligent sorts – These people have more brain than required; so they keep distributing their spare intelligence all around us in the form of gyaan, comments on blogs, proving non-existing theories etc. etc. I am really scared of such sorts. They talk non-stop in alien language, using the most complicated and unheard words which even our MS word fails to display in its synonym list! I wonder, am I so dumb that I fail to understand them or their intelligence has driven them to insanity. But they still leave me looking like a dumb weirdo.

Exceptionally Dumb – This category is mentioned specially for few of my very dear blog buddies including myself; for we come across such species very often. I guess most of you have had such experiences too, if you don't belong to this category, right? For the rest of you, who are still fortunate enough not to have come across them yet; well these are the most dangerous people specially sent by god in the blogsphere.

They too specialize in making you look not only dumb, but you think 10 times before posting anything! They have the ability to make you doubt about yourself and your writing ability. Gosh, if you write "she was dumb and deaf", they will ask in the comment section, "was she actually dumb and deaf or she simply could not hear or speak. Sorry I didn't understand this!"

Phew, what will you reply to such people?

I have blabbered enough. Venting out my frustration I guess, or expecting your comments that say I am not dumb, but they are.

Hope you all are intelligent enough to understand what I am expecting as comments now!

Think about it... !!!!!

Posted by Tandarin Nike Tuesday, May 11, 2010 2:42 AM 3 comments
Have you ever sat down before someone and gave endless explanations for a decision you made....or a step you took or explain something that you have done?

I guess we all have. We go on and on explaining our situation, our circumstances and our reasons to somebody and if you stop for a while and reflect who that somebody is, it definitely has to be someone close to you. May be your partner, your best friend, your sibling, your family or someone whose judgment matters to you a lot.

We don't worry about what strangers and unimportant people say or think of us. Our world is centered around our own people whose judgments' and opinions are a matter of our concern and to an extent it is very much right.

We are all answerable to our people for whatever we do. So giving explanations shouldn't be a problem. But there are also times when in this process of clarifying things and making others understand that we end up being hurt and shattered.

Now when does this happen?????

This happens when we don't get the support, the understanding and confidence we are seeking from the other person. That is when sharing becomes a pain. When communication creates a gap. When a circumstance becomes an excuse and a reason becomes a fake justification.

That's when we feel alone. We get frustrated. We come up with statements like "nobody understands us".

We keep holding on to that and stay in misery. Why don't we give up...?? Why don't we understand that if after repeated efforts we cant get across to someone or instead of understanding all we attract is fake sympathy.

Then why do we keep trying and expecting....?

Why can't we accept the fact that not everybody thinks like us? Or why is it so important to convince others that we were right in the first place?

If we know we are right and if we can answer our conscience and face ourselves then why are we so entangled in making others believe in us?

If they know us well, we don't need to tell them the when and why of everything. They are capable of reading our silence and if they don't know us well then we can just go on and on to no effect and end up feeling all the more alone!

I'm not saying that don't clarify when it's needed or don't communicate assuming that if others know you well you don't need to put your feelings into words, rather what I mean is, clarify to a person who is worthy of your explanations. Who understands.

They might not identify with what you did but at least will try to step into your shoes and view things from your angle and most important give explanations up to a certain limit. Beyond that, if u keep explaining or proving yourself, you are just inviting disappointment!

Last but not the least if you expect, then learn to accept too. You have to accept the fact that we are not all the same. We all think differently. We respond differently. It's easier to sympathize than to empathize. That's why we often say that "only a person going through it...knows how it feels".

So then why jump to conclusions? Why not listen? Why not understand?

Why adopt short cuts and label people in a second. If we want that others understand us, feel our pain, then why not try to do that ourselves.

Another very common belief that we all hold is that if someone is over explaining things...he/she must be wrong or guilty. Why...cant we interpret his/her effort as a means to sort out things?

We as humans are lazy. We use the lens formed by others to view the world and see everybody through it. We never walk that extra mile to actually broaden our perspective.

Once we learn to do that, I guarantee that there will be less sufferings and misunderstandings....n sharing will actually strengthen bonds...!

Think about it!

The smaller and the bigger actions....

Posted by Tandarin Nike Monday, May 3, 2010 11:07 PM 3 comments
I was inspired to write this post quite a while ago. Something totally unrelated I read gave me a tiny spark of inspiration, building up inside me for weeks, being pushed off by my conscious mind in favor of more urgent matters, until the sheer pressure forced me to let loose an avalanche of ideas I was barely aware of.

Strange quirks of my creativity, I guess. I get the feeling sometimes that I have a team of gnomes working on all the ideas inside my head… I can’t explain where else these fully formed thoughts come from, just popping up in my head from one moment to the next.

Anyway, back to today’s topic, Magnitude.

Magnitude is the scale at which something resides. In the context of today’s post, that something can be an idea, an act, a thing, a thought, or anything else that interacts with other people.

I think it’s important to realise that order of magnitude is irrelevant. There are no small actions or large actions, there are just actions. Nothing is insignificant – there is no such thing. Whenever people affect each other, chain reactions will start happening, expanding continuously into the infinite.

The pebble you’re putting out into the world today might just be the one that changes the course of an avalanche. This is the basis of what I’m saying here – the proverbial butterfly flapping its wings.

We don’t see this plainly in our day to day activities because the world, this oozy and ill-defined mass of matter, energy, awareness, is not a thread but a multidimensional fabric.

There are a lot of factors at work simultaneously, which lead us to the chaotic mess that we see every day. You, me, all of us have an impact around us, a field of magnetic influence if you will, and its effects will spread far and wide until they blend right into the mix, being bent in strange directions and formed into bizarre shapes in the process.

The variables in play are innumerable, and so entangled that we could not possibly understand them fully (it’s a bit like that weather thing). Even the simplest things can cause lasting effects that stick around inexplicably:

-A childhood memory popping up, for no reason at all.

-A smile, given away for free, finding it’s way back to you – or not.

-The sweet scent of a flower, a butterfly trampled on (or a sound of thunder, perhaps)

-A blog post of mine, or one of yours, being read years, decades, centuries, millennia from now.

So, what does this mean for us?

It means that we are causing a lot of things to happen, all the time, whether we want it or not. This is what gives us our infinite potential of creation, what makes us able to shape the world around us in part – as one of many factors that define existence.

It means that the responsibility is ours to reflect what we want from the world, first and foremost within ourselves, and let that influence spread out through all of our actions, big or small.