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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 […]
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Posted by on December 2, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Blinked

Blink: The Power Of Thinking Without ThinkingBlink: 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 on expertise, prejudice and autonomous nervous system.

It was interesting to wonder if some Kathakali artists could collaborate for the facial action coding system. For the uninformed Kathakali is an old art form mixing drama and dance, action and emotions. Kathakali artists spend a lot of effort in efficiently enacting the required dramatic sequences based on Indian (Hindu) mythology. It takes equal amount of effort from the audience to understand the performance. This art form is considered to be the height of acting. It is also an old saying in Kerala that face is the mirror of mind (മുഖം മനസ്സിന്റെ കണ്ണാടി). And blink re-affirms that mind reading (read face-reading) is for real.

Malcolm also says about well educated people doing blink judgements and actions which may be right or may not be right based on the habits built by exercise. While the policemen killed Diallo because of their bad exercise, and Paul Ekman could judge facial expressions to predict the nature and behavior of persona by good practice. Musical experts picked up good music performed behind the screen and also got dissatisfied by seeing a woman performing trombone , when the screen was removed later, due to prejudice of expecting only males perform high quality trombone.

In the afterword, Malcolm wishes to urge the US American jury system to adopt the “screen” to avoid prejudice in official judgement that may creep in due to the jury system of USA. This brings in a question about the jury system itself. The world class movie “Rustom” vividly portrays and adaptation of real story that used the last jury system based judgement that happened in India. I was wondering why the system was restricted to judgement by judge alone in India. If USA uses jury system that must be good. Ain’t it ? Blink reassures me that definitely, well educated individuals in jury hardly know legality and constitution. They are influenced by their prejudices and what the they feed themselves a.k.a media and opinions as demonstrated in the actual court case which inspired the movie “Rustom”.

In this same way, as a reader, I would have to read people by face, I can know their mind. Let rationality take over instead of pre-judgement in case of confrontation and confusion. Let me be guided in the right direction as the Gayatri Mantra states.

 

  • 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 […]
  • Lessons from Violin: how to choose one - This is from the Book by W.C Honeyman. A very old book (1893)  borrowed through the inter-library loan had to be handled carefully. It is a small but dense book. Things to learn are written by the expert W.C Honeyman. In addition, the way in which the book is written is also very interesting , […]
 
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Posted by on November 26, 2017 in Book Review, Review

 

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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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Incomplete, me!

Once, I went to an office to sign up for my paperwork due for an employment. Being in USA, I like the way they present the tax forms upfront, so we know that we are part of something bigger and tax is being paid directly, there is nothing illegal about the job offer, etc.  This happiness is short-lived by the amount of confusion innate in any Government forms. And after multiple questions, filling up portion of the forms and going back and forth, I made a friend out of the front desk clerk. Then comes the part which asks for my status in the country. I say without any expression, but surety to know the answer “I am an alien”. That lady held my hand in a semi-sympathizing manner. I was startled, for a moment, because I never expected such a reaction. The movie “Independence Day” (US American English movie) came to mind. I did not dwell myself too much into the implications of the movie, in this context, for I have a job at hand. A job to complete. As I continued, more spaces stood out blank “says aliens to read instructions”, I read out. This time the lady had come to terms with my kind of reading. So, we were back to the content, directly.

Sometimes, in life, when confused, I feel that I live to fill up the blanks in the forms presented at various stages of my life. Except for the space for family, parents, I used to wonder all the humongous amount of information that we had to put into paper to get various benefits from the Government, or even in the case of employment. This continues into online applications, tax filing and almost every place I end up being me. And then this funny incident happened.

In my last visit to the health services I was told there was nothing to do, except the chores. The freedom of the country, I am in, gives the practitioner a complete picture of my previous medical cases. Only, whatever I chose to reveal in the beginning, of course. This is a routine in USA, where you are asked the history of your health, about your parent’s health, so the complete case history is at the fingertips of the doc. This time I only had to verbally fill the form that they had in their system. It is mandatory for them to remind me of all the background I had. Especially allergy and surgery. I have been asked in India, my home country, too, about allergy to medicines. This may be standard across the board. However, surgery was something new. So, I am told ” You had no major surgeries except removal of wisdom tooth”. I ask back, curious to know if it is really that important ” Is it a real surgery?”. Doc replies ” Yes! because they gave you anaesthesia, opened your body and a part of your body is removed “.  I retorted “I am incomplete!”. She in a surprise said “I have never heard someone say like that”.

That realization that I had left something of my body back from where I came from, I had lost it to the modern medicine. A part of my body is removed, therefore I am incomplete. Nevertheless, it helps fill the form, where there is space to fill up with any surgeries I had.  Cynically, I had lost something to gain something. And the insight struck that I do not have to be confused enough to do something to fill up some random blank space in some equally arbitrary event in this life.

 

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Fuel of life : ATP – A Targeted Plan

If you want to achieve something. Plan.

This is THE MOST important and first step to achieve your goals.

It is mentioned in all possible self help books that you can find.

Listing some

Think and grow Rich

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destiny

Jumpstart Your Business: 10 Jolts to Ignite Your Entrepreneurial Spirit
Even “root” once said about PhD advisor’s motto

Decide what you want. Go get it

 

And Les Brown says that too.

Ambition is the most desired character in any field. That is in one way a natural trait of humans. “Ambitions unlimited” seem to be the genetic motto of humans. But by some circumstances people tend to be mediocre. Ambition boosts once self confidence. The end result of ambition, called “Success” is what people envy about. Never once have I heard people say that I envy someone’s ambition. The mediocre guy pretends ignorance to ambitions or act like a jealous Indian, forgetting conveniently that there is no limit to excel.  They overreact when someone says Plans can fail. They do not see that at the end of a failure there is success.  Thus, in a sequence not planning lead to non-failure, planning is often never done due to fear of failure. Even if texts which are centuries old, Bhagavad Gita, and later literature urge one that fear of failure should not be a deterrent to success.

Knowing this the very next best step to do is to decide. Though indecision, is also a decision. (Remembering Narasimha Rao‘s famous ” inaction is also action”). Some spritual schools may definitely believe in indecision as decision. Also, decision can be reached by this sort of elimination method.

Let us think what a decision can do.

We know that ambitious people have a plan, a focus , a decision. This decision leads to A Targeted Plan = ATP . Like the ATP molecules which are the energy units of the human body cells. A Targeted Plan can change the way of life. As the Inventor Charles Kettering said ” A Problem well stated in a problem half solved” . The decision leads to well stated target. This target leads to single-minded focus. Which helps us to stay organized around this central idea or theme. Focus is essential , as in cameras, to get the clear picture. The decision to follow the target plan, with persistence of effort naturally lead to the desired success. Some people are brilliant at multi-tasking, some are brilliant in coming to a decision fast, some are slow, some are great at choosing the right decision, some are excellent in analyzing the available choices to arrive at the decision. All the further activities are determined by the decided mind.

Ambitious people know their weakness. And work towards bettering it. Decision lets you prioritize and rearrange the tasks at hand. Decisions by ambitious keeps them moving.

Like the great Taxi driver who told about his son’s life.

“A motor without load will burn”

His son, he said, started like him, as a driver. He took bike on loan, paid it off, got a car on loan, paid the loan through his rides; took house on loan and paid it off by hard work. Because of this all banks are happy to lend him money. Because they know he has proven record of repayment on time. He said whatever his son has made is through his own hardwork and persistence, without anybody’s help. The load that he took upon himself , the ambition, made him a successful person that his father is proud of. Without that load of ambition the talents as a human would have burned and become useless.

The ambition of  person can be limitless. In fact, ambition should drive one towards a positive life, made possible by decisions and actions. No wonder truly ambitious people stay focused and achieve what they want.

Ten years back, when I wrote the Kerala Engineering , Agricultural and Medical Entrance Exam, I scored mediocre marks. A family friend asked me why you are not on the top. As was my track record in his perception. I said I was not decided on what I wanted. It reflects directly on the results. This is a fact. This is an experience. At the same time, I have achieved stuff on which I was ambitious, decided what I wanted and stood focused. Come what may, that ends up in success. The good thing about being ambition is same as that of education.

More education paves way for more venues to learn. As ambitions leads to success, that success paves way for more success. It is all a matter of persistence. And all we need is to keep the fuel of life or ATP well stocked in our tanks.

 

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Think and Grow Rich, Review

Think and Grow RichThink and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A good book for people seeking self help. To think, to grow, to be rich. As Napolean says richness in it s broader sense, not necessarily money. This single interpretation opens up things to discuss that could be classified as chapters and numbered to give the count on reasons, opinions and suggestions on life and richness.
Personally, I feel the motivation to read the book was high in the first few pages , about 80 and then declined rapidly as the author goes into thought process, sixth sense and the fabled opinions of the society back home in India. It is as if he just discovered the same back in the days of USA’s depression. In this the patriotic fervour is great, which other nations should probably learn from. Patriotism in a self help book!

Writing is generally old boring style, while the content keeps the reader engaged. There are some quotes from Emerson et al, which are in regular use in USA daily. Also, this book was written, probably with a thought, to have it as a reference, for future books, which invariably referred and quoted from this book as the first book to go into the reasoning of richness and ways to be there. This may also be motivated by the factor of the reduced use, or popularity, of religion and the schemes of spiritualism to attain the same richness in this part of the world. Does this give license to people to use the same principles and get away with a best seller? Of course, the principles are for everyone to use. I could say this much with Hindu cultural background.

Among many things there are 3 notable collections:-

10 Major causes of failure in leadership

30 major causes of failure which holds you back

Self analysis questionnaire for personal inventory

Chapter 11 onward this turns crazy, not for the mild-hearted, that concludes with St.A Lincoln’s miraculous appearance urging the author to write!

View all my reviews

 

  • 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 […]
  • Lessons from Violin: how to choose one - This is from the Book by W.C Honeyman. A very old book (1893)  borrowed through the inter-library loan had to be handled carefully. It is a small but dense book. Things to learn are written by the expert W.C Honeyman. In addition, the way in which the book is written is also very interesting , […]
 
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Posted by on June 14, 2016 in Book Review, Review

 

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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 and it will be. Sometimes, it turns frustrating and sometimes it melancholic; because slow music is mostly applicable to monotonous and sad moments in audio-visual industry. Once you hear the melody and the density of musical oscillations that a really slow and patient player would bring to one’s ear the best of devotional and classical , esp. hindustani classical music, which may make one feel that the music is depressing than soporific, sad rather than boring. While the musician knows in its true essence what the music brings with its slowness, a meditative stance , crystallizing the tranquility of the mind and making everything around you at standstill. This is an art that occurs in a peaceful flow of music, just like Messi plays with the football, a movement that is so painless and untiring, for the player , for the musician but may not be for the unaccustomed ear. But it is true that the baby steps that we took as an emerging human being were much much smaller than what a grown up adult does. It goes in the same way for music and in life.

An age old Sanskrit saying goes like this

||जलबिन्दुनिपातेन क्रमश: पूर्यते घट:

रीतिरेषा हि विद्यानां धनस्य च धर्मस्य च ||

Translation:

“As the pot fills with tiny droplets of water

So does education (vidya) , money and virtues(dharma)”

The slow rate with which these accumulate sometime tests one’s patience. That is yet another learning curve. This acts as a self test and helps to ratify one’s decisions and path of growth. As in music , esp. and instrument like violin, the beginner would be playing the same song again and again, till it becomes a good stepping stone for further playing. And a true newbie would be playing just the open strings till the world’s end for weeks. And this basis is so important that my violin teacher would tell me to practice just open string everyday, even though I am aiming for the Grade 5 of Trinity.  Also for the tone to be perfect the singing practice just focused on sustaining the few notes esp. the open string notes, at the correct note. This was tough. But with practice it grows patience. With patience and longer bowing time, very very slow playing, enable playing two bars of slurred notes at a stretch that together would constitute  a fast folk song’s critical portion. This helps in quick grasping of the key notes. Since the mind is free from the more time consuming – fingering of notes and bowing the right way.

In the end, the slow practice pays off whereby the focus is on maintaining the rhythm or momentum and reducing the fidgeting with fingers on the bow and forget about the trialing notes.Life becomes easy so fast. But it takes time. I have seen this happen when you practice driving bike slowly in city traffic. The traffic around you is on any day capable of making you crazy and angry. The technique of being slow, helps one take swift turns and right decisions at right moments that you see , in fact you are in fact going ahead of the vehicles which were parking their money behind speed than tactics on city roads.

I have also experience this in my academics where the professor would go very slowly over the basic of math, physics even analog IC layout at the very start and later put  a sharp climb on the learning path, whose slope is just enough so that the momentum generated by the slow learning is able to grasp what is coming on and adjust and push us through the end goal of the posed steep learning.

This is one important lesson that I found applicable in widely different areas of study be it music, math, engineering or internet. Therefore this post.

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 […]

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2016 in Lesson, Series

 

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The race of life

Trained to forget, what to regret ?

Things that come bye-pass the core.

Think you can take down ?

Maybe just swallow and frown ,

Let that be the named by-heart.

When there is no heart,

There is no breaking – heart,

Let that be all for all for some time.

When digits let you down all call you “a clown”,

You ponder over the phrase by heart all alone,

Memory that is volatile subtle and supreme,

Why do you ruin the all baked up frame ?

Is that the call sent ! The one you wanted,

Where’s the war which was lost all years ?

Come on, let’s do it just once,

Again all over into the cycle of race; full bloated.

 

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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The megamind of the madman

Quoting Megamind the movie.

Megamind talked to the plastic dipping bird that dips the beak to take water from a beaker straightens up and then swings back again to dip.

He said:
“I know, I know,
Always thirsty, never satisfied.
Purposeless, emptiness, it’s a vacuum isn’t it.
What’s your vacuum like?”

Naranath Bhranthan, the madman of Naranath, demonstrated the same. The mythological  character who by his stories of existence unveiled the “vacuum” to fellow beings.There are three famous stories of Naranath Bhranthan that I oft remember and quote whenever I get a chance.
1. The origin of his name

2. On Greediness of wealth

3. The unwanted wish

What question of existence can be talked to a toy bird? What about the emptiness of this particular action itself, exemplifying and being self-explanatory at the same time.

Is there a limit on the thoughts that can be conjured up on the same set of ‘vacuum’? Why is the mind so simple as to cry on emotional pain yet revolutionize the world through words?

The vacuum of the mind and the deeds are not explicable in some senses. Some experience situations of continuous communication to be the way to escape the vacuum of thought. Given no time to think by this incessant chatter there is no way to feel the vacuum unless you look out for it. It simply vanishes with banal vagaries of the daily needs and deeds. The resurrection of which happens at a slightly silent, calm and meditated state. A state of such confusion, though confusion is good, acts like a domino effect on the thought of vacuum. The emptiness of the vacuum and the vacuum of the emptiness create the more of more or less the both. The purposeless feeling weighs on the lightness at the heart. All these odd and bold feelings questioning the existence without words, arguments or languages, prod the brain to coercing itself for an answer of the inexplicable. Clearly this is a recursion and a way out is only for the blind.

And for the blind the megamind of the madman has already made it vivid without the intricacies of the incomprehensible.

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Synchronising the universe of technology, The Univercell Sync experience

Work and life has minimised, to having storage in cloud and processing power in hand, that is, a smart phone.  When such powers are bestowed upon oneself ain’t one inclined to muse more deeply into what kind of prowess to behold. Thence began the sojourn to Univercell Sync store. Univercell Sync  logo from Phoenix site It was a pleasant day to start with a cool climate which was gradually moving to hot, typical Chennai. I had these thoughts of what my role is as I go to the Univercell Sync shop. I could be a regular blogger, a curious window shopper, a mobile critic, a customer. I had my options open as I was also considering making a purchase.

One month back I was in search of a mobile. My criterion were very simple. I needed a good music player, since I’m a student of music, also a decent web handler for the occasional ticket booking, social networking and a camera not less than 5 MP with a flash. I was on three-five online stores almost all days. And every week I was seeing a new release of mobile. Most confusing were the decisions in the budget of 5000 INR. For Karbonn, Celkon, Intex, Nokia all had good suggestions for me online . I was in search. Google could not help since there were so many parameters to be checked and compared across various sites. The gsmarena site was good for end comparison between two phones and the reviews. Flipkart was most confusing with mixed reviews and thousands of buyers in each phone category. Life was not simpler thanks to Amazon, snapdeal, ebay, homeshop18, cromaretail and exclusive launches that I had to check on. Some sites like Junglee and smartprice gave some bearing though very vague.

I could not depend on my friends as all had different company mobiles and each liking their own. They could cite the good and bad of their own phones but could not zero in on what is best for me. Some great engineering friends could tell me how the dual core and quad core handles a multitasking scenario, switching and interrupts. The greatness of Qualcomm Snapdragon vs the omnipresence of Mediatek. The need for a higher Ah( Ampere-hour) rated battery for a 4.7 inch screen if I wanted to go without charger for one and a half day. It was too confusing. The fun of dilemma was increased more when I played the game on MI site to create my own phone. They give a set of components , each having its own price tag. The total budget set at 8000 INR. The best design will be scored on the basis of entertainment, multitasking, battery life and so on. The exercise gave me an idea on how much a phone costs as per its prime components, viz. RAM, processor, camera, number of SIM slots etc. But some companies like Sony put more into your phone . There were things/jargon/terms like ClearAudio+ technology. Sony smartphones go into schematic details of how their phones reproduce best quality music. In search of mobile phones my knowledge may have increased but I still use the Nokia 100 for I am not able to pick a smartphone for myself. And the knowledge gained from words of letter do not let me suggest a phone to someone with confidence. What is the solution? I needed to have some hands on experience. I had experienced laptops and tabs at Croma store but not phones. One that was in Mobilestore where dummy pieces and dead weights. How can I see what is there for me. For instance I saw many go behind the hp slate 7 a low priced tab for its function, some say that the price was reduced due to glitches and quality issues. On one day, one reviewer gives all thumbs up to it , on another day , some just smash that image to pieces by scribbling how their piece of technology is so useless and crappy!

As I searched for phones I also had to search for service centers nearby. I remember taking a Nokia “supernova” phone 150 km away to service centre and then go back home and come another day when the phone was ready. And the service was not great since the phone started on its symptoms again after a few months. The access to service centre and the quality of the service also mattered. I had all this in mind as I entered Univercell Sync showroom at Sterling road, Nungambakkam.

The showroom had a neat and fresh look, as if it was not a regular mobile shop. Greeting smiles welcomed me inside. I had a walk around. There was a space which captured my attention, the music section. The showroom assistant gladly helped with his explanation of different sections. He explained the music section very nicely, and allowed me to check the difference between beats audio headsets in-the-ear and over-the-ear (which costs 15k). I was surprised!, who will let you check such an expensive item before purchase ? Thrilled by just the sound of it I went on to explore more. The music section had phones and headsets which you could test with any permutations and combinations and then decide which is best. The phones were all live and you could see all the functionalities of it. The showroom assistants are helpful and would guide to choose the desired aspects. Mr. Abhimanyu explained the  concept of Univercell Sync, why it is relevant now and why it is a requirement of mobile industry.With a little bit of background history on market for mobiles and current scenario, the plethora of designs, and functionality makes one’s mind wobble. The number of phones, the number of apps and accessories all are intended to make your life simple. The idea is to get the best out of technology for one’s life and hence the Univercell Sync shop. The specialty of the shop is that the phones and tablets are all live. The phones are all categorized into following sections.

  • Imaging section
    1. With a studio setup and photo printer to check the camera quality
  • Music section
    1. With headsets that one can check for quality before purchase
    2. With other accessories such as Bluetooth speakers and sound shooters
  • Work and play
    1. Where the phones full performance and capabilities could be checked. In fact, there was TV on the wall which displayed content from a smartphone.
  • Top selling desk
    1. Updated once a month with top-selling products
  • Bazaar section
    1. The section is for phones which are jack of all trades but master of none. This is best budget smart-phones section, displayed very neatly and in accessible manner.
  • Children’s section
    1. There were tabs on display which the kids could spend time with. This relieved a customer to focus on the job at hand viz. looking for a phone. This is a very thoughtful of Univercell, nobody could check the full features of phones with a more delicate issue at hand viz. children.

Each section had a questionnaire relevant to that section that the user can cross check. The showroom assistant could guide with the parameters of the phone and give options as to which phone is the best for the customer.

The WOW (Walk out Working) factor The value addition comes when someone can tell how to choose your phone apps and install it before you leave the shop with the bill. My sister had a phone from ebay which costed 12k INR. I had a basic phone with Bluetooth and I wanted to transfer a song and see the sound quality of the supposedly smart-phone. But the android did not have  a Bluetooth transfer option. Being new to android at that time I was shocked that somebody sold a phone at that price without Bluetooth. That was cheating ! I searched on net and later concluded that the phone was android phone and a Bluetooth app had to be installed. Relieved and reassured I went on to check the same. If someone could provide all this basic features and apps in the phone with the bill then it is really nice. The Univercell Sync provides WOW ( Walk out Working ). All the apps that are required will be installed before we leave the shop. This greatly reduces the time and effort required to search and install. Also, lets us save time for what we do the best.

Univercell provides the best phone that meets our desires. There are almost as many brands and phones as people’s wish. It is for the buyer to choose the best among the lot. We are in  a world where our dream phone is really in the market, though obscured by choices and numbers.  We may be constrained by budget, also willing to take whatever discount available on the internet. The Univercell makes this simple by EMI options and help the customer buy the best phone that suits them in an easy way.

The Univercell shop becomes a single point of reference for all your mobile issues if it comes up. There is no need to send your mobile purchased online to unknown places and wait. Univercell provides a warranty service in which there is door pick-up and delivery. I personally am very afraid to handle the phone a friend recently bought. What happens if it slips, falls and breaks, everyone will be disappointed. But, Univercell provides total care package where within the period of care there is replacement guaranteed for screen and parts. Now, with that I need not be afraid to let my friend check my new phone. Univercell Sync was a pleasant experience, it brings the human touch to digital world of purchase. The personal touch with which customer and purchase is valued is evident from the schemes of total care and pick-me service. When there is an expert to guide, we can reach our maximum potential. Here, the Univercell really shrinks, simplifies and synchronises all the needs of customer through Univercell Sync experience.

PS: This entry was written for indiblogger Univercell Sync Contest.  This was published on 1/9/2014. Received the prize for valid entry : Philips soundshooter SBA3010BLU/00 on 30/10/2014.

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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