Thursday, August 1, 2013

Already, always listening

This was something I should have written a long time back, but just a few minutes back, a friend was trying to have a restrained conversation with me assuming certain reactions from me, which may or may not be true. We all have that, don't we. I also did have that.

It is called already, always listening. I learned this word from Landmark forum in 2008, where I got THE breakthrough of my life, leading me to become a much lesser mauldin.

In my life, already, always listening happened this way. From childhood, having brought up in a tougher circumstance, living with two control freaking men in my life (bro and dad) crunched in a 400 square feet apartment in Mumbai, and I wondered, what a life! And then there was this thought about them I carried all along to a teenager and later. I was always in the mode of 'already always listening'. For most part of it, when I shifted the control button to myself, I was already thinking, no use telling them anything, they will always be like this and I am wasting my time trying to convince my passion or dreams.

For every time, before even I could approach them, I had a preset mind, this is how they will respond. So my mind is mentally deciding the answer, so where is the room for openness for allowing my mind without pre-conditioning it?

I realised this in forum. I decided to change the way I look at people and how they would react or behave. Rather, I just stopped anticipating responses in the way I think I usually would have.

Most of us live like that, and most contradictions, fights happen because we are already, always listening. Most of us refuse to look behind the layers of an individual, in a different perspective and only look at things we want to capture and then we tag them like, he is like this or she is like this. How much of a space or room, do we really give to people to let them be someone else and not what you think they are.
Most of the communication problems arise from this, from already always listening.

We create these rackets, borrowing my word from Forum. We refuse to create choice in a harmonic way and judge people in a pattern. When we allow ourselves to openly embrace someone without inhibitions, there are lesser frictions, lesser issues and the relation becomes strong and binding.
I remember after the forum, how my mind towards my brother and father changed, how we rebonded with a new way of looking at each other, as not how we used to in the past. It changed the world for me.

Already, always listening is a barrier. Break it.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Behind the glass window

The half painted white bungalow stood quiet with wooden poles on its surface wall. Overlooking the closed glass window was a small hut with roofs made of dried coconut leaves. A toddler with a rotund face and honey brown eyes joyfully played around. How did it matter,if he lived in a bungalow or a hut. how could he even differentiate? His father's hand reached to his face, gently caressing his soft cheeks. A smile touched the child's face. His little sister stood at the half constructed gate, showing something that she had. She waved out her hand, giggling, in her old brown skirt and scattered, unkempt hair. He just dragged his little knees, not caring about the mud that scratched his skin or what people would think if he did that. He was an innocent child, who lived in his small world of joys where pride, ego, wealth failed to matter even slightly. Rather it was unknown or even non existent.
As I witnessed this, I learned something. I smiled at the little kid and walked away from the window, my heart full of happiness!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Idleness is good

It is yet another lazy sunday, after a long time. Last week I spent long hours working on my pet project, organising work with a zest to achieve things on time. Last evening, I entered saturation for the umpteenth time. Though I love work and I am passionate about it, I need different things to make me happy. Its just how I am. And sometimes this break day helps to fill some gaps and ensure I was getting back on track. It does motivate me.

Sometimes, it makes me awfully guilty that I'm idle for a day, but I brush aside those thoughts. I did all what a perfect sunday demanded from me. A great lunch, a long siesta, randomly shuttling between reading short story and life story of swami vivekananda. In the midst, the noon chirp of birds, a slight breeze that merged with the air from fan blades, the call of the flurry white cat, whimpering like a child. The honey bees cocooned in their hexagon boxes, fanning themselves with their wings, cooling under the drumstick tree, the silence of the streets, and the summery heaviness in my head.
While I was idle, I was thinking, as these words sprouted out from my soul. This idleness always leads to a creative spark in me. It does not happen when I'm working on plans and schedules, what next or when my mind is churning about when I will finish my work, my deadlines etc. Idleness is good. Not for long. But for a time when you unleash your mind with boring random thoughts. Best of all, idleness, atleast for me, helps me to slow down on life and relish things around me. It helps me craft words and prepares me for the next big thing. It keeps me going!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Hindi words in Tamil

This is a little funny, but then it has been there on my mind for a long time. Having a Bombay upbringing and living in Chennai for quite a while during my career, I have got to see both the sides and how north perceives south and viceversa. That is something I am not going to talk about here.

A few years back when I was living in Chennai, I was asking my friend if he wanted to join me for a movie?
He:Which movie?
Me: Hindi movie, Saawariya
He: What saawariya? And he started laughing! Are you going to watch a movie with such a title? And he would not stop laughing. Saawriya in Tamil means, "are you dying?"
We both ended up laughing. Finally, he never ended up coming for the movie.

Most of my friends in Chennai perpetually, in their effort to speak Tamil, made me laugh! There are many things I cannot script here!

Recently, there was a movie I saw, called Kai Po Che. In Gujarat and Mumbai, they use the word during Uttaran, the kite festival, when you defeat someone in the kite game.
In Tamil, kai po che means hand is gone. Kai means hand, poche means gone. Imagining how my Tamil friends would want to watch Kaipoche. :D

Small thrills of life, courtesy, the diverse languages we have in out country!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

When work is luxury?

This morning I went down to meet a friend of mine, excited that I would be going for a bird watching trip in the evening to see a Great Horned Owlet. She said, 'You have the luxury to do it, I don't".
There are many people who think that work from home, or choosing your priorities in life is easy. It is not. I have been talking to another friend of mine J, who quit her corporate job to pursue Buddhism as a study. We always feel people are envious when we say we travel or we do something. So, here is the thing. You always have choices in life. The path we have taken is not an easy one. Everything has its own pros and cons and leaving away everything to follow our passion seems rosy to the outside world, but we have our own battles to fight.
To establish to this level, was a huge task, to be where we are, to be able to make these choices, we struggled our way through, it wasn't easy and it is not something people even think about, they only look at, yeah you travel, you go birdwatching. If you want to make that choice, no one is stopping you, but yourself. And then people talk about hundred commitments they have. Fine, I also have commitments, but I made my way through, so if you want to, do it, else stop envying, and live your own life! It is as simple as that!

When I am working from home and of course being single and no one to help me, my responsibilities increase manifold. When I am typing away, the cooker will whistle, the milk will be boiling, someone will knock at the door and yes I am a one man army. I also have to financially support myself to pay my bills. So, people who think that passionate people, lead a luxurious life, go get a life yourself!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lessons of life

I know I dont update my blog often, but there has to be something I need to say.
Last fifteen days were chaotic like crazy. I cancelled and booked tickets, travelled, lot of meetings and finally, today a few things dawned on me yet another time after three years.

I got an opportunity recently for editing for a big corporate company. From initially, I tried to resist it and my inner voice was telling me, no! I refused to listen to it and underwent some serious learning.

So, here are a few things I learnt:
When your instinct says no, never do it. You might like doing something, but then end up wasting a lot of energy and time before you realise, its not for you! When I was discussing with my best buddies about my decision, they stood by me and said, do only things that you like and most importantly the people whom you work for should deserve you. I realised that wasn't really the case. Also, earlier, one of my colleagues had told me this. When you are not learning in a job and doing it as a chore, there is no added development and that is dangerous, so move out of your comfort zone. It did strike me today. I did NOT want it. Also, here I was carving a path for myself in environmental journalism, and where did financial editing even come in? I did not think about it then, now I do. What difference is it going to make or where is it going to take me, nowhere higher. That itself was one part of elimination process. Also, after a ten year span in the media, your ego does get hurt when someone is trying to show who he or she is, controlling you in the name of work. I did not need it now. Someone was taking my time for granted, that is something that just does not work.
I don't wait for people. I also do not make people wait and anyone who knows me can vouch for that, learnt that trait from my father who imposed punctuality as a rule more than a value.

Two, I realised, how matter how much nice people could be at the onset, it is important to give it time before you become close to anyone. I realised it in episode 2 yesterday. Learning to draw lines with people, especially with people whom you would be professionally involved in. What happens is, the person might mess your work, or intrude and make things difficult for you in such a way that you would think a hundred times before expressing something as you might offend them. So, I would keep at bay and talk only if intervention was needed.

Three, listen to your friends who know what is good for you. Anita, my pillar has been asking me to apply for a fellowship since two years and today, I have decided to go ahead. I know friends talk in the best of interest and its great to see them happy. Especially for the things they choose for you and your future.

I think I am honestly blessed to have friends who have been shock absorber in my life, who have heard me out, at different stage in life, been with me, offered me their hugs and solace. Salutes!

I somehow sense a huge freedom right now, away from the corporate cacophony, living my ideal life!!