Sunday, 25 August 2013

Monster Under the Bed : Blog # 134

Monster under the Bed

          There would have been at least one night in all of our lives when we dared not to look under our Bed. Most of us would have dreaded the thought of what monster lay beneath our Bed as Children and some of us, as grownups too J.
Under the Bed, Monster, Fear, Beneath the bed, Phobia

            Fear is the most avoided of all the emotions we feel. Somehow all of us prefer to dodge it than address it head on. Take the case of the monster beneath the Bed. All we need to do is gather a bit of courage, get a light and look beneath the Bed. We will find out there is nothing underneath and that the scare is just a figment of our imagination. But we prefer the comfort of inaction and uncertainty.

Take the instance when we watch a horror film in a Cinema hall. The audience who otherwise gives the right responses for all other genre of films act funny while watching horror films. They try and make humor during scary scenes. Ever thought why? Again, we just do not want to address the emotion of fear!

It is a fact that we all feel scared. Just that the intensity varies from person to person. We should accept it rationally and act up on it. The more we dodge it, the larger it becomes.

       There is a certain sense of shame attached to fear. You will see very few people who are brave enough to acknowledge their fears. It is just like tastes and preferences. Some people like black and some others, white. We don’t judge people based on that. Then why judge people on the basis of what scares them? Some might get scared by Wild animals and some by tiny insects. Who are we to judge the magnitude of fear and measure a person by its scale?

I recently read ‘Amygdala’ in our Brain controls our fears. If it fails, we will not feel fear. My first reaction was wow! What a great state of being it will be! - A state of no fear. But then on second thoughts, I realized fear is a form of intelligence too. When a raging bull charges at you, one should get scared. That fear should trigger the action of moving away from its path. A state of total absence of fear might jeopardize one’s life itself!

It is our reaction to the fear which matters. Do we get a light and look beneath the Bed or do we live with the scary thought of the possibility of a monster which threatens our peace of mind for the whole Life?
                                                                                                  Arun Babu.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Fare thee well : Blog # 133

Fare thee well

          Recently, two of my dear friends from work got transferred to offices in Pune and Bangalore. I was surprised at how sad I felt! I told them I was more sad for me than I am happy for them J. This again amused me - the candidness of our friendship. I could actually tell them what I exactly felt without the need for any euphemisms.
Good bye,Farewell.Cya,Seeya

            I was being a bit selfish in not wanting my friends to go. I was sad that I am going to miss the camaraderie that we share, the comfort that we enjoy. But isn't that natural? Goodbyes are never easy. It is like stopping a hearty laughter midway.

Most of us deal with farewells in two ways. One, we think this is not the end of it all. We reason that Life is too long for two people to not meet. We refuse to look at the large possibility that two people might not meet at all. We think that it is impossible for two people to not meet in today’s immensely connected world. But again, in spite of all the connectivity, how many of our school friends have we actually met in the last 5 years? – And pings and virtual chats don’t count!  The other way is to be realistic about it. We might not meet again, but I am glad that we did even if it was for a short while. This is the less popular one due to obvious reasonsJ.

        Of two people, there is always one who is more affected in a farewell. I remember how painful it was to part after spending vacations with cousins for months together. It was always the host who felt bad the most, the ones who stayed back. Those who are going away have things to do or they need to get accustomed to a new environment. In that hustle bustle, head takes over  heart and the ones who stay back, laments more.

            But the good part of bidding adieu is that it can do wonders to a relationship. Distance is great for perspective. At times, we indulge ourselves to a great deal. We take people for granted. Once they leave our side, then we realize how much of a vacuum they have left behind. It can be the other way too. We tend to give too much prominence to some people. We think we will be lost if they are not by our side. They go away and then we find out that we were not that reliant after all.   

        Every time someone bids adieu, the greatest worry is whether we will get to meet such dear people ever again in our Lives. But then , Life never fails to surprise us, does it?

                                       Arun Babu

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Leave Your Home : Blog # 132

Leave Your Home

       I believe it is not until we leave the comfort of our homes, do we discover our true self. We all have notions about ourselves. We think we have understood ourselves completely or at least better than what our family does. One fine day, we leave the walls of our home and the self discovery that happens takes us completely by surprise!

Leave Home,Packed Bags, Growth, Grow      It was after I completed Engineering that I first stayed away from home – in Bombay. I thought I was well equipped to stay away from Home. I was relatively more matured than my friends. I had a fair knowledge of the city I was going to. I thought I will just settle down fine and easy. I couldn’t be more wrong.

 I remember the first feeling of missing home and family was when I was having my dinner at a hotel for the fourth day J. The smallest of things began bothering me. Not having a private bathroom, having to use the public transport, not being able to watch my favourite programs on TV. The list went on and on.

            Once we go out of home, we begin to appreciate the little things that usually tend to go unnoticed. The familiar faces in the home town that passes a smile or makes an enquiry when ever crosses a path, the pet names by which the neighbours call out to us, the familiarity of the streets...

We begin to discover and understand the world in more ways than one. We learn how priceless the family is whom we take for granted. We understand how much of a support system friends can become. We realize how important it is to help out people who stay away from their home and hearth in however small ways possible.

           As much integral is the learning that happens of the world outside, equally enriching is the growth that comes from self realization. We begin to reassess how modern or how liberal we are in our thoughts in pressing situations.Once we leave the door of our homes, we understand what our thresholds are – both emotional and physical. We come to know how seemingly trivial things begin to unsettle us. For instance, a slight fever away from home might make us weaker than a full blown flu when we are with family. 

            Leaving home doesn’t attain its full meaning until one stays in a different city all by oneself. Travelling to a city for a couple of days away from home and residing in a city are two entirely different things. One need to go through the process of getting adjusted to and getting accustomed to the ways and means of a new town. The more one goes through such instances, the more one grows, the more acceptable one becomes and more accepting one becomes.
Arun Babu

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Lessons from Professor Tom & Crew : Blog # 131

Lessons from Professor Tom & Crew

        We all used to love watching cartoons, didn't we? At times, in the right frame of mind, we still like doing it. These days, if and when I watch a cartoon, the thing that draws me is how unblemished a world it is. There are no dark shades even in the villain of the story. There is a constant undercurrent of Love. Most of the time, it depicts the triumph of goodness.

Remember Tom & Jerry? If that cartoon hasn't taught you to not take hatred seriously, I don’t think anything ever will!
Blog on lessons from cartoons

         One concern was that in those days, cartoons were on paper (2D) and hence there was a disconnect from the real world - both in the depiction & the story lines. Today’s cartoons are much more evolved - again both in the medium of portrayal and the messages they give.

A child these days is much more aware of epic novels and the religious texts, thanks again to the toons and animation movies. The stories are beautifully portrayed and the best part, the characters talk and conduct in today’s language and context. At the same time, it doesn't lose out on the ethos and the core values.

           Look at the animation movie, 'Finding Nemo'. The theme is a child – parent conflict. It is about how a paranoid parent doesn't want to let go of an over enthusiastic youngster who is dying to follow his own destiny. The beauty of it is that not for a moment during the movie it puts the theme upfront and thus it makes sure the entertainment quotient is not lost.

            These movies are taking on complex themes too. Look at Despicable Me 2. A villain wants to turn in to a do-gooder owing to societal and familial situations. He is lured by his past and compelled by his present. How more real can it get than this?

            I would say the best such movie that came out in recent times was ‘Kungfu Panda’. I do not know how many sermons I would have had to listen, how many volumes of self help books I would have had to read through to get that message – that the secret ingredient in life is nothing but Inner Peace! How beautifully that message was conveyed through the movie. Again, not even for a second did it sound preachy. There are many more movies – Rio, Madagascar; the list is quite long.

           At times, we tend to take our lives way too seriously. We make it more complex than is needed. Certain situations make us doubt the power of goodness. It might do wonders if we take time out and catch a cartoon or a movie to get the right perspective.
            Arun Babu

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Oh Poor me! : Blog # 130

Oh Poor me!

              Self pity is easily the most sincere of the emotions one can feel. The simple reason being it is easiest to sympathize and empathize with one self.  And the best part, the complete absence of objectivity as it concerns one self.

Self Pity, Oh Poor me, blog on self pity, I love myself            The earliest form of self pity might be when we would have hurt ourselves as a child. For instance, when a child falls down, he/she is showered with attention and love like never before. If you would have noticed, the child will show the wound to anyone who cares to pay attention. When the child shows that he/she is feeling bad about oneself, people around also does the same. The child picks this up fast.

Later on, we feel bad for ourselves for having to complete the school home work. The feeling that why am I made to go through all this and how tiresome it is for me! Not many parents might encourage self pity at this point but by then, we ourselves would have mastered the art of feeling sad for oneself.

         This emotion follows us like a shadow. It comes back whenever we are dealing with a crisis.This eventually becomes a habit and we try and reason all the pitfalls we committed earlier on in Life.

It is good to have some sense of self pity for one need to console oneself to gain some strength. One needs to empathize with oneself to derive some strength from within. It helps in understanding that we have the strength to sail through such a situation.

But what happens when self pity goes beyond the limits? I would like to think it is at this instant when Laziness manifests itself. The sympathy for oneself reaches such a point that we decide the task at hand cannot be handled by us. It is then when we decide “I have studied enough for today. I am tired. I can’t learn anymore!” This becomes a way of Life. We find umpteen reasons for giving up various things in Life and console ourselves that it is ok to bypass the situation rather than taking it head on.

May be, among the best things that we can aspire to attain with our lives is the ability to show an ounce of the self pity we indulge in for ourselves towards others for it would make the  world  a much better place to live in.
Arun Babu

Monday, 5 August 2013

People We Meet : Blog # 129

People We Meet

                The other day, one of my friends was saying how happy he was that his child was growing up with his Grandparents. There is a lot of goodness the little kid is imbibing from them. He went on to add that there was no greater blessing that could have occurred to the little one. I couldn't agree more.

               I think it wouldn't be wrong to say that our character is an assimilation of the personas of all those people whom we meet along the journey of life. Some become turning points, some milestones and yet others, an indication to take a detour. And how much of their character we imbibe, is left to us.

   We meet people by design and by choice. All we can do is to hope that those who come by design are good at heart. If life fails that hope, we can try and cope with the ones we seek out by choice. Blessed are those who find both in Life.

             Many who have come by have amused and some have amazed. The best part is one never knows who all will visit us in this voyage from birth. I for one never thought that I will find people from places a night and a day away from my home, whom I will begin to count among my circle of trust.

   People who happen to us over the lifetime form pieces of the complex jigsaw that is Life. Some stay, some leave and some are left for good. Whoever we meet, we strive to find the similarities. If none were to be found, we try and appreciate the differences and when the appreciation begins to vane, we let the differences take over.

   At times, one gets greedy and try to reach out to all those who walk in to our lives. Then the choice is left to the ultimate decisive force – the time. Some visit for a day and some others, for a season. A very few last a lifetime. Happiness will find its abode in those who can tell the migratory birds from the homing pigeons who turn guides to show the way in this intrinsic maze of Life.
                                                                                                  Arun Babu