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Forgot password

Disclaimer: This is a a work of fiction. If it relates to you or anyone you know or do not know, it is your problem. Not mine.

That moment life stared at me. A blank stare. It has been driven upto this. Who pushed me into it? Myself. None other than me. Frantic, half-meditating, trying to figure that password which never missed my fingertips for over a year. Why would that happen, unless I lost my mind? Why did I forget my password?

Last few days at work has been confusing, frustrating. Outside of work equally vexing. At residence, I have to pick a card with a picture, woes of typical Indian arranged marriage. Personally, I have missed any physical activity leading to escalation of arthritic symptoms and headaches due to inconsistent eating habits.  Where shall I start? Or is it easy to end. My solace in songs from internet now marred by this unexpected loss of password.

I should not hide; there have been times, when I punched in my personal PC passwords at office and vice versa. I thought it was completely random. Without reasoning out why. I could easily type in the correct password at least the second time PC offered me with blank space. My work has evolved. It has evolved significantly from being a newbie an engineer. Being an integral part of decision matrices and opinions heard out. This was new world. This world could be taken away anytime. This is not permanent. Colleagues pouring in their random and sometimes unwarranted comments have been commonplace. Making me work, taking happiness out and showering endless tasks. Is this job-security or mismanagement?  There is nothing permanent about a corporate job. I am always replaceable. I could be fired anytime. With or without reason. The woes of at-will employment. Do I be diplomatic and fake plastic smiles every time? To add to this are some colleagues who ask unwarranted questions, personal and technical. Is it written on any part of me that they cannot pass me without asking these questions? What does a “What’s up?” mean anymore than a way to distract me. What does “How is it going?”  mean if it was only a passing mention. Why are there such robotic conversations? Luckily, most of these stay being nominal and frivolous while some approach and follow it up with more acerbic sequence of words. Unexpected. I have hated social conversations because I could not maintain a conversation without questions. Questions and answers are a definite conversation driver, its justification never requested. In a social context, Q&A should not be a way to take the communication for petty talk or serious. There should be a better option. And I have observed such conversations without Q&A happening when people are already in sync and understanding of each other. Where there are ideas to discuss than questions to be answered, how peaceful, how thoughtful are those moments. Do I just forget password or forget my self. Life-less laughs, soul-less “sorry”-ies and truth-less thanks perpetuated at work. I do not fit well. Not a diplomacy machine. I make mistakes. I am a human.

That I am a human makes me wonder about its possibilities. The immediate possibilities for a man is to get married after having a job. This works through the system of arranged marriage for a typical Indian. The process involves families; the stakeholders have a very large base and includes stack of pictures of potential candidates and equally staggered stack of horoscopes to be checked. With rules and exemptions to rules, astrology itself is an inexact science. The decision matrix involves me in a critical position to decide about my life. To add to my suffering I am unable to find a right person with the potential and willingness to take the game for a lifetime. I tend to be unable, to comprehend those subjective candidates who objectively manage social conversation through light drinks. I cannot concur.  The elusive marriage proposal hangs in the air like a dense cloud, not raining, not going away. Just darkening the surroundings and making me feel uncomfortably warm. The decision for a lifetime has its own hurdles. To cope with it takes immense patience. Limited by the option to not grow younger, age becomes another factor to make this happen within time constraints. I believe there are plenty to explore. It be now or in future. I can wait. I have everything to consider and enjoy this moment.

Between discussions on potential life partner and current work-life. I have forgotten the present. The body of the present. I have limited my physical exercise to lifting a cup of coffee thrice a day and chewing on meal bars and fruits. Since, using computer and mouse cannot be classified as exercise, I leave them out of my list. This sedentary lifestyle has made the body of life stiffen up, reminiscential of arthritic symptoms that were in the past a constant friend distanced by systematic treatment. Headaches started their apparently random occurrences. To figure that it needed to be treated with scheduling and executing healthy habits needed some energy and deliberate thought. I have become careless. Careless about the body of mind. I did not mind, and it did matter.

Any possibility has its potential vicissitudes, positives and negatives. It is easy to get tangled in the possibility of losses and never give a thought to the positives. There is future, there is this present. Then there is the life experience that I truly possess, probably the only unique invaluable thing I possess. There is always something more to attain, achieve, enhance and explore. What really remains is the experience. It is already lost case when there is no end to the thought of loss. I may also be losing my mind over imminent future. Among the losses, losing the body movement is akin to losing everything.  There will not be any more pondering, with physical pain to take care of. It is a general fact that we do not own anything, or possess anything. The thought of possession can definitely possess me, if I let it. I have to come out of this thought. Absent-mindedness kicked in. And maybe this is another added reason to me losing my password. I lied down. Try to lie to my mind. No more tough thoughts, relax. After a few unsuccessful attempts to potential passwords, I quit. I lay quiet. No lights. No sounds. Thoughts will not let me sleep. Roll over. Thoughts keep coming. Silence. I needed some. Minutes passed. I still lay. This time more quiet. As a the stone that was thrown at the surface of lake causes ripples on the surface, ultimately to sink down, as the ripples subside and die down. My thoughts died. And it struck. My fingers remembered the password that it knew for so long, that I do not remember how to tell the password, but fingers remember it as a pattern. That only fingers knew how to remember. I was logged in.

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by on August 2, 2018 in creativity

 

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Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 8 : Don’t watch your fingers

As a beginner violinist, it is obvious that we are curious how the sounds differs just by moving fingers over strings tightened over a piece of wood. This curiosity jumps to next level when we become conscious of where we place fingers. This graduates to being cautious as to why we place fingers a certain way and why it is right or wrong. All of this becomes a habit, a bad one, reparable with practice. The next level of which is to play by the ear and know the relative positioning of the fingers on the string by mind. This spacing and relative positioning of fingers is strongly linked to how we hold the violin and how comfortably we can hold it there for a prolonged duration of play. This emphasizes the importance of practice, practice of holding, habit of practice, that it becomes second nature to the player like any language, or like any extensions to human body like a bicycle, mobile phone or using any clothing. Similarly, the violin becomes an extension to the body of the player. In time. In practice.

Watching our fingers during the play can be equated to micromanaging our play. This unwanted puts stress on us watching the fingers rather than the output of it, which is the sound generated. Instead of the action, if we become result oriented, then we start playing by the ear, listening to what kind of sounds we create, and what kind of fingering can improve, and match the requirements of the composition. This voids the need to mechanically adjust the relative placement of fingers and improve focus on the expected frequency output.  Hence it is imperative that we practice without watching the fingers and adopt a more result oriented approach.

Player’s focus improves with avoiding watching the fingers. Watching the fingers, rather than listening to the sounds, distracts the processing of the output. Staying on Focus helps because, the player gets a bigger picture than a mere positioning of finger on the string. In life as well as in playing the violin, if we can get to see the forest and not get lost in the trees, then we get our heading straight and would not let the minutiae obstruct the flow of thought/music.

Of course, this thought is for avoiding over-observant players who check each and every fingering position on the ebony. When moving to a different base position playing in the 2nd or higher, without a firm grasp of the basics and building the foundation.

The player learns Management by Objectives. The objective of the play is to play beautiful music, not just create some random sounds a.k.a noise. The objectivity defines our action. This lets our focus stay on the music emerging out of the wood and strings rather than micromanaging to the negative effect. Not watching fingers let us manage our play by objectives. The objective of making better music.

Up

Fig. Basic Control Systems Play-Feedback loop for music practice.

Borrowing from Control Systems concept. Generally, music practice sequence looks like that shown above. Playing by the ear yields a difference between the expected and observed results giving valuable feedback, that helps in perfecting and bettering the play. This also applies to general activities in life with an expected result. Oftentimes, people miss learning from the observed result and matching and finding the difference. This differential knowledge if captured appropriately leads us to derive lessons learned simply by using observational skills and then performing corrective action. Any solid expected activity should also be defined with as much detail as possible, so that we can maximize the lessons learned and act upon it to provide consistent  results that improve with each dedicated practice and delivering consistently good music as close to the expectation.

 

Read more from this series here :-

  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 1 : Do not think ! - After learning some basic notes on the staves I was told to know it by heart. I had to memorize it, and then tell when I see a note. I used to count, say memorizing only the first not in space , the “F” on Treble clef. From there on I would count and then […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 2 : Don’t work hard - The power of doing work is a single most important criteria that distinguishes a human as a social animal compared to others. The collective and individual efforts towards a work makes one understand the minute and the big picture at the same time. All work is not easy. It is also possible that some workaholics […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 3 : Emphasize on Quality of Practice - I read “ Debunking the 10,000 hours rule “  after my previous lesson learned. My previous lesson learned said about not working hard. The working hard part is broken into small steps taken one at a time to overcome the hardness of the work. This works for people who are ready to be steady and […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 4 : Don’t tap your foot out loud. Focus on what you play. - In violin class I have been taught to keep the rhythm of the song by tapping with the foot. The human metronome works parallel to the song being played. Often we  have to shift attention from the song and listen to see if the rhythm and beat is correct per bar. This shift in attention […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 5 : Practice till perfection - Practice, practice, practice. Quantity and Quality all matters. Playing any musical instrument is all about practice. It is all the more true for the violin. As a student I have to practice. I know I can. I know I will. But how much ? Till my hands ache ? Till I feel it is enough […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 6: Health conscious practicing - If there is one thing in life,that is more dearer than the life itself, it is health. Life without good health is a misery. And life is maintained through good health. Longevity of life, if one wishes it, is not very pleasant without an accompanying good health. A good marriage between health and life makes […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 7: Start slowly grasp quickly - The v.v. age old saying goes an umpteenth time to say ” Slow and Steady wins the race” . This is because it is true. But the beauty of the truth lies in experiencing it in action. As with violin or any musical instrument, the beginning is really very slow. It is expected to be […]
  • Life Lessons from violin class : Lesson 8 : Don’t watch your fingers - As a beginner violinist, it is obvious that we are curious how the sounds differs just by moving fingers over strings tightened over a piece of wood. This curiosity jumps to next level when we become conscious of where we place fingers. This graduates to being cautious as to why we place fingers a certain […]
 
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Posted by on July 24, 2018 in Lesson, Series

 

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Shiva: The destroyer of Brahma

Disclaimer: Whatever is written here is imaginary and to be taken lightly.

Immortals are imaginary. That imagination lasts forever. One of the classic legendary character from Indian Mythology is Jambavan. Jambavan originated from the tension of Brahma. Brahma, the swayambhu (self-originated) knows the whole from the beginning. He is the creator , then how is that he had tension ? It seems almost impossible. This tension also includes the story of origin of Shiva and destruction of Brahma as the one true ultimate.

 

The Shanti Mantra  (hymn for peace) states

Om

Poornam-adah poornam-idam

Poornaath poorna-mudachyate

Poornasya poorna-maadaaya

Poorna-mevaa vashishyate

Meaning:

Everything (infinite) came from the infinite (complete/all encompassing/all inclusive). From infinite came infinite. Take the infinite from infinite and infinite remains.

Initially there was one infinite. Brahma. From that Infinite Brahma created infinite, so that infinite remains. This is as much story of Brahma, as is the universal inclusion and pantheistic (including agnostics and atheists) on the land of the legends, known as India in the modern world.

Brahma is the creator,who created the creator. It, the creator. The creator, being beyond Shiva (also spelt Shiva in certain Indian (English) and Vishnu, is the first fellow to give boons to Asura. In early lifestyles that existed, there were humans ( Manushya) , the divine beings (Deva) and the superhumans (Asuras). Brahma created them as it’s own creations it had responsibilities and authorities over each of the creations. Like small children fight for resources within a household. These children of it started discomforting each other. Humans, were greedy, to whom Brahma advised “Da”. Devas were living their uber pompous lives of luxury, to whom Brahma advised “Da”. Asuras were uncouth and almost unmindful in their activities, narcissistic and ruthless to get everything for them even at the expense of others, to whom Brahma advised “Da”. The First “Da” to humans implied “Damam” control, or self-control and control their greed. To Devas is was their luxury that was drving them out of control to balance it Brahma advised them to perform “Daanam”, charity and donation. The third superhumans would never listen to anything other than their own wants and needs, to whom Brahma advised the third “Da” which stood for “Daya”, Kindness, to be kind when they go about attacking and abusing with their superhuman strengths and imposing themselves on others.

All these creations where too much to manage on its own. Brahma decided that there must be  Maintenance Manager, not less or greater in power than it. Hence, Vishnu was created. It is also a natural evolution in the process of delegating tasks as in modern companies or in general human nature. And Vishnu did a good job in maintaining the stuff created. In this process he got a certain status of God. Making himself the second but not less than the one.

Brahma’s cohort of Devas where not well trained in their regulatory affairs and generally indulged themselves in their big life of entertainment, unending supply of food and drinks. Though a good hire. Yamaraja, the time keeper was over burdened with regulating death with his assistant Chithragupta, who did rigorous accounting of death and dispatch to next realms of life after death or conjoining the infinite. There were bigger troubles who manifested in terms of uberhumans, better and brighter than the average Asuras. Though they were classified as Asuras, the Devas lived in constant fear of being driven out of their land of rich rule because of these powerful beings. This needed someone, who was skillful handy and ruthless in dealing with these beings and be the epitome of peace and calm otherwise. The search ended in the creation of the title of “Rudra“. Rudra evolved from one the outliers in the Deva clan who was not much into the ostentatious lifestyle. Rudra was created and chosen to be the one. Unlike the average Deva, Rudra received the powers to the physical elements, so elementary that modern “Brownian motion” tied to Rudra’s cosmic dance. Master of balance and like a systematic clock maintains time for the purpose of eventual eternity. Yamaraj , King (Raja) of Time (Yama), was relived. Now there was someone dedicated to hunt down the critical time evading uberhuman beings. A master of time, anger, dance and handy, Rudra evolved from age to age, like any average Deva, he went through cycles of life. Juggling through each skills in each power cycles, Rudra graduated to Shiva. The change was so subtle that Brahma could not notice it. Meanwhile Brahma’s creations, primarily Asuras sacrificed through rituals and rigorous customs to plead to their creator for various boons and benefits, which were granted in considerable persistence. It was harder to reach Vishnu and Shiva. nevertheless, some Asuras and even humans were patient enough in their invocate meditations that they reached their favorite deities and requested desired wishes and boons to be granted. Brahma was always the first and the fastest. Like a mother all children’s calls were attended to first by the creator.

Maintenance (Vishnu) and annihilation (Shiva) came later. Hence later strengths of these two. They made weapons to defend against later creations. They acquired higher forms and started sidelining the creator. The creator was the first form to which Deva, Asura and Humans would go and ask for help. Thence redirected.  Devas started knocking at Vishnu’s door for help.  It is a point to be noted that in that ancient world there were seven seas and seven lands. The number seven had a sense of specialty to it. Seven encompassed everything . Rudra through his power life cycles attained The Damaru ( Drum). Chandra, the Moon God who controlled the mind of souls paid tribute to Rudra and resided on Rudra’s head. Holy River Ganga, drops of which can purify any soul joined powers of Rudra and formed partnership with the Moon and stayed on Rudra’s head. With power of the time in hand, Rudra could conjure up the pasts (Bhoot) also known for lesser beings as ghosts. The past which haunts is indeed a ghost for the lesser mortals, for good or bad. The pasts symbolised itself in the form of Kapala (Skull) Initially , collaborative, Vishnu attained certain rapport with Shiva. Then came the great churning of the universe. It was time for Vishnu to prove his powers and incarnated as a Turtle which helped in churning the ocean of universe. From there among many other things came Kalakuta poison. To save the earth from this time puzzle (which is easily related to black hole in modern astrophysics), Rudra drank it. However, his wife did not permit the poison to go down beyond his neck by holding his neck. The poison turned Rudra’s neck into blue color and with power of his wife, the poison was suspended to stay there forever using a snake which was tied around his neck, the King of serpents, Vasuki, now would be part of Rudra’s decoration. Rudra acquired the name of Neelakanta or the Blue-necked, a great event that launched the two successors to Brahma in a single event. Brahma was happy to find his new creations to be performing upto expectations. Rudra was a frequent meditator, Yoga practitioner hence called Adiyogi. Seeker of perfect meditation Rudra was fascinated and involved in different forms of meditation, one of which manifested as cosmic dance, giving him the name “Nataraja” (King of Dances). To aid his meditation Rudra used prayer beads of Rudraksha, literally tear drops of Rudra.  Shiva and Vishnu after their universal debut became friends for good. Among friendly exchanges Shiva gave Vishnu, his great weapon the Sudarshana. It was time to establish the higher powers of the three and Rudra made the trident(Trishula) to commemorate the celebrations for himself. The seventh accessory that made him the Shiva (Seven) . A traditional puzzle asks the listener “ആറും പിന്നെ ഒരു ആറും ചേർന്നാൽ ?” (six and a river becomes ?) (both have the same word in Malayalam)  . The answer is Shiva, the Seven. The timelessness of Shiva spread worldwide. Even the Jewish mourning is called Shiva (=Seven)  what can escape the almighty time master. At this point Shiva is truly elevated as one among the holy trinity. The Trishul being symbol of that. The name Shiva, indicating the spread over seven seas and seven mountains, Shiva had truly arrived. The name of Shiva or importance of seven is prominent in languages and cultures to the west of India. A clear indication of were the spread went. The customs of the modern Islam is tied to the moon and clearly indicative of the power of Shiva. Shaivite customes and Islamic traditions are similar. Yogic postures in meditative prayers, 3-5 times prayers daily and so on.

Was it time to retire or throw in the towel for Brahma? I do not think so. The two new heros of the show had something up their sleeves. In fact , Vishnu was beginning to be called Ranganatha (the lord ( natha) of the stage of the world = (ranga)) and was ready to take the challenge of who is the mightest straight on. While Shiva was gaining his foothold on the western landscape Vishnu had a look east policy. Contemporary evidence suggests that the lands to the east of India such as Cambodia has heavy influence of Vaishnavites that Buddhist sculptures are derived from incarnations of Vishnu. Skillfulness of Vishnu was so great that yet another immortal, the forever Vishnu devotee, Narada goes in with a challenge posed at Shiva. Narada asks Shiva who is the greatest Brahma or Vishnu. Knowing that this was his chance to be the greatest Shiva comes up with task for the contenders Vishnu and  Brahma to prove who is the one. Shiva asks them both to find the end of Shivalinga. Eager to prove and maintain their status quo both of them embark upon different directions to find the end. On its way Brahma finds a Ketaki flower. Knowing the infinite length of the Shivalinga Brahma is willing to return and report a bluff that he found the end and made a deal with Ketaki flower to vet for him and give testimonial.  On their return, Vishnu was waiting for them and in desperation exclaimed his inability to find the end. Nonchalant Brahma made his claim and Ketaki flower testified. Knowing that his task was endless Shiva says that Brahma is not worth their respect anymore and there would not be any worship center for Brahma anymore. By extension, Ketaki flower would be banned from any worship related activities. This elevated the tensions in the growing old creator from whom Jambavan, the tension of Brahma originated. And Brahma manifested into Him , instead of it. Brahma had an identity and grew to have emotions and tension just like his creations. Lost, ashamed Brahma returned to his enormous floating lotus in space to find a way out of this.

Ultimately the powers on later days thwarted Brahma so much so that there no more than a few temples for him. The creator thus sidelined the battle being Vaishnava and Shaiva started to be more fearsome. Kingdoms and priests fought over intellectually and physically on the philosophical interpretations of what they deemed to be correct.

Little did they know the God of Gods, Brahma had better plans. The creator found no choice than to bring diversity to avoid massive destruction of creations. Thus came languages cultures and other religion. To help maintain and contain the expansions of the Two, Asuras were granted powers, boons. There was chaos.
Incarnations of Vishnu’s sidekicks were assigned to combat their own lord. This shook the basis for fight. Collapsed the decorum and ultimately led to weaker and lesser incarnations for both Shiva and Vishnu. The duo went on continuous meditation. While Shiva took on the bed of mountains to regain, strategize and retain his title, Vishnu took to the oceans lying on the infinite snake, Anantha (=Infinite), plotting strategies to win the title of ultimate God. However, Brahma was effectively out of the race for a long time to come. To what extent we yet do not know, but Shiva did his job of destroying, destroying the past, destroying the past Brahma, leaving a new Brahma to brace himself to give birth to new theology.

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2018 in creativity

 

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The Glue said: “Put your life together”

Another day, another mission. The spirit of adventure never cease. The excitement and wonderment, wanderlust catching dust. In time, finding time, to time, for time.

I sat glued to the chair to solder a disobedient wire onto the printed circuit board, that it was phobic about. It reminds me of the legend of Kodungalloor Bhagavathy temple.  Where, the legend has it that the deity needs verbal abuses to be pleased.  The reasons pointed out are varying in geopolitical climates and religious sentiments, riding on libertarian actions to uproot the caste barrier. However, finding a convincing analogy to my situation , for my wire did not yield any clue. Therefore, giving the abuse a pass, I took to the next available step. I had to put this thing together. And there it was, in red and white, bringing the memories of Croatian football team. American’s have to change their fighting game name to something else. And football is really football, soccer does not mean anything. So, going back to the story. With great ambitions, I picked the savior of the day, the superglue. One tiny squeeze and the wire was trapped in its place. Only, I know the importance of having stuck the wire intact. And plenty of story that tiny bit of wire can tell me about the board. An accidental extra squeeze, and I spread the glue all over my fingers. Figuratively, I had put my life together in one shot, and literally in the next. And the superglue did both in such an enviable fashion. May be there is a super glue ad which says “Put your life together”.

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2018 in creativity

 

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The publicity question on creativity

In the question of passion, many have lost and gained jobs. Employment being the least resistant path to earn money comes and goes. Once we have gone into the cycle of joining and quitting, the next relevant question is monetary benefit. It is normal to jump jobs, earn experience, take corrective action to reach our target goals, benefits and financial matters. Is there a limit to this ?

We seek creative avenues that give provide freedom of thought and action. And when it merges within the cradle of an employment, with a cushion that provides along with responsibilities. It is very hard for some to imagine this, and they keep up their employment and stash their dreams of passion.

I feel this is more common in developing economies where the business cash flow is inwards and labor workflow is outward. In this mode of easy money through employment, the developing economies may find it difficult to attract enough talent for creative approach to solving problems which could be read as startups and new business ventures. Creativity is at its peak in some economies especially India in the form of stories, plays, poems, movies, digital art and so on. It is no wonder that most Hollywood movies go to India as one of the famous destination for artists with this calibre.

It is obvious from the customer viewpoint that we cannot assume any developing economies throwing the risks into the wind and jumping in the pursuit of creativity. It takes a leap of faith to create publicly perceivable, sustainable, value for creativity. Why is this hesitation misunderstood ?

Such as Steve Wozniak says here https://www.indiatoday.in/technology/news/story/indians-study-hard-and-get-mba-may-be-buy-mercedes-but-lack-creativity-apple-co-founder-steve-woz-1177668-2018-02-26. 

I can see this as a misunderstanding of the cultural, developmental and sociological situation prevailing in India. The understanding of which takes more than being a tech company experience.The article also lacks in being specific with a title of generalizing all “Indians”. Even Indians do not do that. This is again evident from the Shashi Tharoor speech which says that the whole landmass was called India from outside of India. And the natives of India had not given such a name to themselves as Hindu, Hindustan or India.

One thing that USA does extremely well is publicity and marketing. By acquiring all “national” brands “.gov” domains, most American companies listed on the Internet can have assured exposure to the larger market beyond its borders. For example National Geographic is not limited to the nation of the USA, similar is the case with the National Public Radio. While the same national public radio of India, if you will, is named ” All India Radio”. While rest of the world’s Government establishments have to add their country domain to “.gov” domain, such as “gov.in”. USA got the “.gov”. It is not “.gov.us” for whatever reason it is. Value of the USA as a brand , otherwise called “brandequity” is thus proven to be very high.  There is no brand bigger than a nation. No business better than running a country.

In the USA the venues for publicity is high. Even at a personal level, the interaction is mostly positive and spreading a good vibe in the USA. So, it can be assumed without prejudice that USA has mastered the marketing skills and it also has population with largest consumer pocket. Thanks to history and Richard Nixon that American consumerism is still on high and products , new products and technically advanced products can be sold at a premium. This is in contrast to developing economies where the price should be maintained as modest and the product has to prove, rather than sell, to be worth the price. This paradigm shift in the marketing thought process makes the advertisement industry in India highly creative and competitive.

It is also noted that the trend in developed economies is to sustain the cycle of buying and selling, keep the money rolling, as maintenance fees, even for living – also called as taxes and insurance, while in many developing economies these are optional and one may choose to live without these. This goes in lines of a great author, whose name escapes me, who said “An Indian’s frugality is often mistaken for poverty”. So in such economies, lesser marketing, lower impact on economy, lower cost to live all thrive well. This should naturally be extended to decluttered life and higher quality of living. Aren’t these the fads of developed economies too ? And in here, especially for low carbon footprint projects, zero waste and total waste recycling projects we see such technologies that enable people to live simpler, happier, without shameless self promotion.

 

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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Vanishing point

An average timeline of  a human can be drawn starting from birth to school, progressing to university and job and marriage and help repeat all the same for the kids. This canned solutions in life is a proven time tested sequence. The authority of which is questioned only by a few. So far, the biggest joke has been, people who do PhDs become researchers and award winners, Masters degree holders assist the higher level tasks and assume a better position in relation to a Bachelors holders who can offset the difference in relation by experience. And Lo comes a business graduate with some idea, and good communication skills but unable to create anything depend on professional Masters , Engineers and Accountants to help surround him so the idea can be fruitful and s/he will manage, who in turn is controlled by Government regulations and to top it off politicians who have virtually no clue on what to do except get votes and keep their chair ( Indian context). And there have been people , Ministers who have hardly been to proper schooling but control whole education department of state. Nothing bad about them not being canned, or dressed like the preparation of a law student to be a judge. Nothing offensive. People are people and we accept them in that way. Who are you and me to change people and attitude. We can help build solutions, bring it to people, enabling them with technologies, but not force people to change their attitude. Attitude is developed from within. In relation to the learning, if someone does not have that attitude to learn. Why force it ? They may be more than happy in the position they are in. Hey, that is why they are in that situation , right ? Then why worry. No news is good news. If there is no news of worry on their part that is good. And as time progress , we have accomplished various things among a truckload of failures. We keep failing, falling, rising up, one step, success, among hundred falls, sometimes hurting, sometimes breaking bones, we never stopped. We keep moving. The act of brownian motion ( Shiva tandavam) or universal vibration. I am happy to have introduced to this relation between physics, spiritual idea and practicality by a Chemistry professor. That was mind-blowing. And that is exactly why I remember it even now after 10+ years of hearing it first, and only once. This sounded great.

 

Zooming back to reality, some 8 years back I was talking to my friend in one of the huge classrooms that we had. He was apparently struggling with his courses, while I crossed the bar every time by luck. There was struggle, but it did not hurt much. I took it easy.  The last bench was unoccupied. Rare. Compared to the mayhem that is generally associated with backbenchers who create ruckus even when the class is in progress. They had gone to in pursuit of whatever fantasizes them. We were left in the dust. Yes, though we have good amount of greenery and excellent climate the classrooms were dusty. I believe it was more of the dust in the mind. There was no clarity. What are people going to do. It was global recession, American trend is that whatever they do is global and international. There are massive impacts because of nations in general and USA is a heavy weight champion in this regard. And we were in dust, because someone lied. And a group of people lied. That lie was taken to be truth, democracy is crazy. And here we were sitting in this classroom, not sure were things were headed. About job search and direction of life. These are times that I feel timelessness. The time simply stops. And the clock grinds to halt so I can easily take pictures of these moments without worrying about the shutter speed. Our classrooms were very well ventilated and had natural sunlight to work with. The day was bright but future was not. Time simply stopped. My classmate asked me about the examinations in general. I wanted to help him. I let him ask. How can I force myself to help him. I waited. He asked me something that no one ever asked me, no classmates ever discussed, no professor mentioned this in class or in personal interaction. That was one question that still haunts sometimes. The implications was beyond classes. He asked me to give him a relation on learning. How the courses in our syllabus were connected  ? How does one course in first semester connect with a course on third semester. Just like the canned life , I mentioned before our syllabus in University of Calicut was also canned. There is a syllabus to follow. Common for all applied electronics and instrumentation engineers from first semester to sixth semester and few electives offered for 7th and the 8th semester. In total it was 3 electives for the whole 8 semesters which amounted to 4 years of engineering study. And therefore, it must be pretty easy to link the canned courses. I sat with him, listed the courses on paper. Tried to link related courses in group. And yeah! it made sense. It was someone sensible who made the course. We missed the forest for the tree. We were taking one course at once without a thought about how they all were the building blocks of electrical and instrumentation systems. That was a moment of revelation. Here was something I could learn, thanks to him, because he asked such a thoughtful question. And then the pieces came together. We divide to conquer and unite them for strength. We needed to hold both the bigger picture and individual segments in relation to the larger perspective. And there a peripheral course called Engineering Graphics made sense, though the professor had mentioned in the first year that this course has no direct application in our program, he did not connect or link it to applications of electrical engineering for us. It was for us to discover, to connect , to learn, to paint the bigger picture one section at a time. Now, that was learning at a different level.

With time the picture gets bigger, revealing only little sense overall. Nevertheless, I keep working at a corner here or somewhere dis-contiguous elsewhere. My site of work appears random. Clock keeps ticking. My picture has more color and more figures in it now. How are they related ? Though, I am not cent percent sure I keep working at it. And the sense of time vanishes. Recalling my Engineering Graphics lessons reminds me of the concept of vanishing point, will that vanishing point be my point of convergence ?

 

 

-Sense of Time series-

  • Sense of Time - I would wake up everyday. Just like any other day. This was yet another day. Exciting as usual. A running clock adds to the excitement of awaiting adventure. And I start upon a new one. This time it is about time. And it is time. Time changes and now it was forcibly changed. The circadian […]
  • Vanishing point - An average timeline of  a human can be drawn starting from birth to school, progressing to university and job and marriage and help repeat all the same for the kids. This canned solutions in life is a proven time tested sequence. The authority of which is questioned only by a few. So far, the biggest […]
  • Wake Up - Work life habits are like rock. I would wake up at 5.30 am. Listen to the soothing sound from my phone. The wake up call with a Native American touch to it, resembling the flute of Carlos Nakai. In the background the birds chirp and the wake up call for a hunter, ready to pick […]
  • Blizzard - Nature is by far the best cure for passing time. Problem in passing time is a common boredom oriented disease. I have met extrovert complain about boredom. Even Issac Asimov said this. I do not have to believe it. It is belief that add weight to visions. It is this belief that converts the unreal […]
 
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Posted by on December 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Reading Napolean Hill’s – Keys to Success

Napoleon Hill's Keys to Success: The 17 Principles of Personal AchievementNapoleon Hill’s Keys to Success: The 17 Principles of Personal Achievement by Napoleon Hill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

View all my reviews

 

Having read Think and Grow Rich and quiet impressed by it, this was a natural choice to pick up from my wishlist. Napolean Hill does an amazing job in formulating the idea that we all have heard or seen practiced. However, we never got a chance study and condense them into these 17 principles that Napolean discusses. To mention them , they are:

  1. Have definite goals
  2. Form a team that actively improve by symbiosis
  3. Improve personality
  4. Have Faith with practice
  5. Do the extra work
  6. Be Initiative
  7. Have positive attitude
  8. Control enthusiasm
  9. Be disciplined
  10. Think based on facts
  11. Focus
  12. Inspire – Teamwork
  13. Learn from failures
  14. Be creative
  15. Be healthy
  16. Manage Time and Money
  17. Discipline the habits

This formulation works with any goal. I have personally experienced this by  revisiting some of my personal experiences where I set a goal and achieved it.  Though I had neither read this book at that time nor tried any self-analysis. But after reading the book it turns out true that I have actually followed most if not all the steps mentioned.

It is common sense that we are normally limited by resources at a specific time. Mostly these resources are monetary savings, emotional savings, personal health and accomplishments (read failures), facts available and the level of belief and confidence.

Like we notice with anything else, if we are really good at a particular thing we tend to perform better than the expected normal on other subject. Say , if you are a student in school. If you are really good in English you will definitely notice a great improvement in your social science or history test results because of your English and the confidence that it creates within you.

Habits are nice to have in which we auto pilot most of the stuff that we need done, so it becomes muscle memory than a strenuous mental computation process. This helps us put all the routine task to auto pilot so we focus on goals that need creativity and focus.

 

There are multiple other books that took some of these principles and expanded upon it.

Habits are nicely covered by Stephen R. Covey

Focus is touched upon by Cal Newport in Deep Work

Norman Vincent Peale had expanded upon power of positive thinking

Everyone has faced faith either by force or by habit, to realize it by applied faith and practice is upon the self. Whenever Napolean says about faith I pass through the paragraphs since I believe in something, that some people call religion. Every person has her/his own opinion and faith. If that works for them then look no further. This is de-facto covered by default.

I could easily relate to having used these principles in some of my job searched. The last search was highly effective. We had an awesome team of job seekers, all from my research group. All planning on graduating and we used to discuss our research and job search alike. Though we had different target graduation dates and goal deadline, we all achieved it. Did our graduation, defended thesis/defense, published it, got a job. The magic of working in groups and discussing is rare. To get such a group at the right time and to nourish and learn from the group was a great learning experience.

 

Throughout the 17 points listed , one theme is evident. That is control. A person in charge, in control of their destiny plans ahead, plans for failures, assimilates resources, focuses at the goal to be attained and devotes time, effort and resources in relentless pursuit with completely controlled enthusiasm. This is driven by positive attitude supported by discipline in actions and thoughts. This is exactly what the book articulates.

Overall this is a nice read, if you know something just skip that section and the book will yield what you picked it up for.

 

  • “Sharing” work in the Internet - This post is a book review for “Show your work” by Austin Kleon This is the TVC that comes first to mind about “sharing” Like the boy in ad, whatever our age, we do “sharing” for personal need/satisfaction/benefits , knowingly or not. Austin talks about the value in sharing work online, establishment of personal brand, […]
  • Blinked - Blink: The Power Of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell My rating: 3 of 5 stars View all my reviews I picked this up a second time. Thanks to Buffalo-Erie Public Library System for providing this free facility. Blink takes the reader through some case studies and associated case studies on snap-judgements and its base […]
  • Reading Napolean Hill’s – Keys to Success - Napoleon Hill’s Keys to Success: The 17 Principles of Personal Achievement by Napoleon Hill My rating: 4 of 5 stars View all my reviews   Having read Think and Grow Rich and quiet impressed by it, this was a natural choice to pick up from my wishlist. Napolean Hill does an amazing job in formulating […]
  • Book review: The Score Takes Care of Itself - This book on leadership based on American Football (ഇടികളി) coach Bill Walsh is best read as a leadership case study. The book was gifted to me as an employee by my company.  The style of writing is slow paced and boring. The connection between the real life experience of Bill Walsh as a coach and […]
  • Book Review: Destiny Disrupted - I heard about this book from a Palo Alto entrepreneur. I read the book Destiny Disrupted by Tamim Ansary. The style of writing is unbiased for most portion and biased whenever it is expected. This book gives a good idea on the endless wars that the west Asia has seen the history and some facts. […]
  • Book Review : Algorithms to live by - This book came up in the circles of job search and discussions of things that don’t matter. It would have been a fallacy if the title said stood by what it said. Algorithms are thought processes and having behavioral philosophies of itself, that mathematicians may appreciate better. However, math being a yesteryear wonder-keyword and a […]
  • “So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love”: Book Review - Background My previous reads were “Biography of Steve Jobs: Walter Issacson“, ” Notes on Startups: Peter Thiel“, “Siddhartha : Herman Hesse”  and I can only wonder how this book connects with those. I came across the author Cal Newport due to the Happy Schools Blog. This book arrives in style, for  a job hunter in […]
  • Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups - Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel My rating: 4 of 5 stars View all my reviews I came across this book accidentally. My lab mate had this book on his table for a long time. I see it sometimes on this desk , even now. I […]
  • Great reference for life and sales - How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger My rating: 5 of 5 stars https://ajeya.wordpress.com/2016/07/1… View all my reviews I did not expect to give such a title for reviewing a book that had the ” How to ..” in its title. But the book “How I Raised Myself from […]
  • Narrative of the Blunder termed war - Brig.  J.P Dalvi gives a clear account of want exactly happened at the India- China war (1962), which was less than a war in his book, “The Himalayan Blunder”. The motivation to read this was reading about VK Krishna Menon , the then Defence Minister of India. The title given is great because it happened […]
 
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Posted by on November 20, 2017 in Book Review, Review, Uncategorized

 

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Sense of Time

I would wake up everyday. Just like any other day. This was yet another day. Exciting as usual. A running clock adds to the excitement of awaiting adventure. And I start upon a new one. This time it is about time. And it is time. Time changes and now it was forcibly changed. The circadian rhythm of the human mammal with all its intestinal fortitude could not hold the time. The norm of life in this part of the world. Fall back and change back from daylight savings to normal time. For whom, I asked ? I received replies of various tones, repeating the old farmer’s story who wanted to save time in the form of daylight savings, invariably the justification reassure that farmer’s depend directly on the daylight and sunrise, not the artificial clock. A farmer’s life is not a “9 to 5” joke with coffee breaks meant for gossip and lunch time focused on chitchat and not on satisfying the imminent hunger. A sense of time does not exist for such frivolous activities. Any real work accomplished in this way is really an achievement. Focus on the work than the focus on making work look like it is not work, can turn cumbersome. Why not get the work out the way, within the realms of time allotted? Free the rest of time and really enjoy the daylight and save time with a sense of time. Now, I am lucky to have a work where the sense of time is based upon the priority of work and work-at-hand rather than the hours-requirement. In this way focus brings in a sense of time and vice versa. Quality-time put in work releases dependency of work on time. In turn removing the sense of time. Focus, plan and a target goal within a time framework helps save time. And when next time someone says about daylight saving time and how it affects their daily routine and public in general, it will make no sense. Because, no one really saved any time by turning the clock hands. As an environmentally conscious human one may try to save the tube light time in office. Use the daylight time, keep the blinds open and let the natural light help us light up our workspace. Yes. A Tube-light Saving Time (TST) instead of Daylight Saving Time (DST) . In this way, time attains another dimension. A dimension of sense, or should I call time as another sense in addition to basic senses of humans?

-Sense of Time series-

  • Sense of Time - I would wake up everyday. Just like any other day. This was yet another day. Exciting as usual. A running clock adds to the excitement of awaiting adventure. And I start upon a new one. This time it is about time. And it is time. Time changes and now it was forcibly changed. The circadian […]
  • Vanishing point - An average timeline of  a human can be drawn starting from birth to school, progressing to university and job and marriage and help repeat all the same for the kids. This canned solutions in life is a proven time tested sequence. The authority of which is questioned only by a few. So far, the biggest […]
  • Wake Up - Work life habits are like rock. I would wake up at 5.30 am. Listen to the soothing sound from my phone. The wake up call with a Native American touch to it, resembling the flute of Carlos Nakai. In the background the birds chirp and the wake up call for a hunter, ready to pick […]
  • Blizzard - Nature is by far the best cure for passing time. Problem in passing time is a common boredom oriented disease. I have met extrovert complain about boredom. Even Issac Asimov said this. I do not have to believe it. It is belief that add weight to visions. It is this belief that converts the unreal […]
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A good lesson to learn during Bachelors program

10/10/2006 : The day our classes officially started for Bachelor of Technology at CU ( Calicut University). Information pours in slowly but definitely, in that time, when mobile internet was slowly penetrating the serenity of Malabar.

We had plenty of time to expend on a rather long vacation after +2 (higher secondary school). That was the best months of vacation, waiting on something unknown, uncertain, and having nothing else to do. The months before the tests/exams of +2 was had a  sense of war-time emergency at personal level for my batch. Hence, the vacation was a special invitation for some, who particularly put up with the stress of studies and prepared rigorously.

October approached, and we were in for some initial foothold in the next steps of study. Everyone wanted to get into engineering. This was understood for the return of investments and the scope of an engineering degree rather than the personal interests as such. This could not be elaborated further because what were some of the career explorations students at that time did? I had no clue. Newspapers, family, and their extensions were the go to source of information. Internet was available, but information? I do not know. With limitations in sources of information, it was a blessing in disguise, helping to eliminate unwanted distractions and stick to guaranteed investments of 3-4 years in college. It is easy to choose when we have the complete picture of valid available sources.  The long wait was closing in and we were in the process of enrolling in the colleges for whatever we have picked. This waiting period taught one valuable lesson to wait to get. Unlike the current times (year 2017) of clicking and getting whatever you want. Waiting to get something was a lesson. And later, as time progressed, for our batch, Calicut University wanted to give us a definite time for first year examinations (2007). Moreover, some students went to CU. Some striking, some to see what a strike is like for the first time, some to see what CU looks like. It was first time outside home and hostel for a solid mission. To be there. Later, as situation was handled excellently by CU administration, it was learned that there were no physical strike, not a single person had the madness to through a stone at the windows of the windows, for fun or seriously, this would have caused chaos. Their combined dignified demeanour saved the day. Period of uncertainty cast a shadow on the academics. What will be the actual dates of examinations? On what basis are the studies to be planned with an uncertain date? What possible distractions could be avoided? There were truckloads of uncertainties and unknowns! When it came to passing backlogs for some that was another avatar of uncertainty. In addition, at the dusk of the program recession hit, thanks to Lehman Bros. The Indian system of campus placements to get job re-assured that it was not worthwhile for companies to visit campuses for placement. In sum, the cumulative uncertainties prepared everyone in our batch to mentally prepare ourselves to face the yet incoming uncertainties of the bigger world, called ‘Life’. That 4 years of preparation toward life was the most valuable course in the program never advertised or assumed in those years.

 

PS:

My batchmates may or may not agree to all these. These are my personal opinion.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2017 in Lesson, Uncategorized

 

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To , or not to ?

To think over the mind and matters that matter the mind is not very mindful matter. However, the matter of mind is such that mind still minds about mind and matters. Mind thinks without the thought to provoke it intentionally. It keeps at the task of pondering over the wonders and gossips of the world. And once this question came up.

How do I see a person.

As a person who minds, I do not have to think too much on how I behave when I am with people I am accustomed to . Like small kids who are free to cry or be happy or be wild in the presence of their best human contact, mostly mother and father bear the brunt. They seem to act more polished and  controlled in the presence of strangers. This, I see as  a sense to be naturally defensive. Keeping the own nature to the near and dear ones, while be secretive or hide the total character from others, who may or may not be well-wishers. Is it for the same reason that the human mind gets stuck at the thought of a public presentation or to speak up at interviews and public forums. May be Yes. There is a time when the mind is experienced enough to pull in socially acceptable standards of putting thoughts into words. This may backfire in case of people who are honest and frank about telling the inconvenient truth.  Do I perceive them differently ?

If it is a public personality, a politician or a popular person. There is a reason to keep a distance at the thoughts promoted by that individual. The influence of this individual may be limited by the sense of overall character perceived by the viewers, followers or fans in case of sports and movie starts. If an actor says about social responsibility rather than films and movie related matters, I do not feel that the person is authentic because of lack of experience shown by that person in social responsibility initiatives.

Say, I heard something about a close friend. How does the mind analyse it. Initially, it is the thought as to should I share what I learned about the person just now ? Is she/he open to hearing the same. Does it benefit either of us in sharing this information/gossip. Is it true ? Should I check if it is true ? Does it matter ? This process very closely uses the Aristotle’s filter of truth.

If the mind decides through the filter that it may be true, but not beneficial in material terms, except that the growing empathetic concern to see my friend in a better light would be  personally satisfying. This holds no material benefits and can be truly classified into the category of gossip.  Because this really does not bring in the positive enthusiasm, nor is it could in bringing about a sense of calm. It is just like some of the Indian roads. You see the cattle shit, sometime you do not. You step on it. Some people may feel it funny, some feel it may be funnier when you step, slip and fall. Nevertheless, for the self, it is the back-pain and the resulting dirty footwear that matter. And like Mark Twain said about age.

“Age is a matter of mind. If you do not mind, it doesn’t matter”

Can be applied to anything and feel free to fill the blank.

“_____ is a matter of mind. If you do not mind, it doesn’t matter”

To judge whatever comes to me, to analyze and to categorize as good bad, beneficial , not beneficial, instigating action or not, is for the mind to decide. That is where it really matters.Because at the end of the story, if there is no lessons learned, there is no point.  And it goes to resemble the Socrates’ question and let me ask the self  when something comes to me. Is it for me to take action, scrutinize, propagate, promulgate or pejorate. The next step “to, or not to____?” remains with me.

And Buddha’s story helps here. A person came to Buddha and shouted huge profanity at him. Buddha remained silent. After some time the person left the place. And one of the disciples asked Buddha. ” That person, was outrageous and too heated up. Why did you remain silent all this time ?”

And then Buddha replied ” If someone comes to you with a gift and you do not take. What happens to the gift ?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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