Thursday, 31 March 2016

Which one are you? : Blog # 267

Which one are you?

Every morning in offices across the world, there are two kinds of people going to work. One, who are walking towards their dreams and the other, who are walking away from their dreams. Which one are you?

When it comes to relationships, there are people who are guarded, who approach them cautiously. Then there are people who gives it all that one has got. They love with as much compassion that they let go of their ego, don’t mind getting hurt and are ready to be broken if that is what it takes. Which one are you? 

Some of us live our lives constrained by boundaries of what others think are the rights and wrongs of the world. Some of us live our lives by what our heart tells us and walk those paths where our thoughts take us on. Which one are you?

When given a responsibility, there a people who own it. They want to do it so perfectly that people say that no one could have done it better. Then there are others who just want to crib away to glory. Which one are you?

Many are comfortable in a crowd. They feel at home right in the middle - holding fort, looking people in the eye, spreading a smile, shouting a cheer. Then there are those who find their own corners- watching from a distance, indulging in the comfort of one’s own silence, content and still. Which one are you?

For some, people are more important than everything else. The relationships, their complexities, the boundless happiness they gifts them with, the sadness which visits once in a while, the sacrifices needed to sustain it makes them happy. Then there are others who thrive on success, on what they do, on how respected they are. Which one are you?

Experiences enrich one’s life, believes some people. They move, travel, take chances, meet people. They look for new journeys for oneself to go through. Then there are others who find happiness in possessions. They yearn for new things, buys them and finds happiness in them. Which one are you?

All that is needed for some people to be happy is a book, a cup of tea and a hammock. And for some, all they can see is a larger house, a bigger car and a better phone. Which one are you?

When some people smile, their smile reaches their eyes. When they appreciate, it elates you. When they speak, it goes straight in to our heart. Then there are those whose silences could hurt too.  Which one are you?

                                                                                    Arun babu

Thursday, 24 March 2016

What Game of Thrones taught me? : Blog # 266

What Game of Thrones taught me?

Having been nudged by my friends for long, I decided to start watching the series, ‘Game of Thrones (GoT)’. To say that it is gripping is a 2 floors below-basement statement (not just an understatement). If someone tells you that they started watching GoT, more often than not, they will be sleep deprived for the next couple of days. The story line is a refreshing departure from the tried and tired American city based youngsters and their woes. It is set in an entirely different era and the filmography really transports you to a time long gone by.

Game of Thrones
But what really upset my expectations was 'death' in GoT. It is so blunt and frequent. The first time it happens, you wonder if the writer of the story has committed a grave mistake. You are shocked to see that a character whom you thought was pivotal to the story is done away with such abruptness. There is not even as much as a fifteen minutes of shock or remorse from the other characters. Then you forgive the writer for the sin for the story goes on with all its layers and nuanced intrigue in place.

You continue watching the series and BANG! the next death. You are reminded of the deceit you felt the first time. You feel the series cannot go on! It is about 1:30 AM. You wonder if it is worth watching the series any more. But the love for story and the way in which the end of each episode is designed keeps you going. The next time it happens, you aren’t shocked as much. Slowly you realize that you are getting used to the deaths.

May be it is this closeness to life that the series has in this regard which makes it so intriguing. Isn’t death as shocking and as untimely in life too? How often have we heard that a death was completely unexpected and that it couldn’t have happened at a worse time? We also think a death brings our lives to a grinding halt. But life goes on. As much pain a death causes to our churned minds and as much remorse it engulfs our souls with, we move on. The world moves on; quite often reminding us of our acute in-consequence in the larger scheme of things of the universe.

Apart from the reality of death, there is much more that Game of Thrones manage to portray perfectly about life. Be it the complexities of human relationships, the addiction to power and money, the lack of trust, the intense love and the equally intense betrayal, of friendships, of families, of traditions, of clans and much more. But what stays with me is the unpretentious portrayal of death without any paraphernalia whatsoever.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Last days of College : Blog # 265

Last days of College

It is that time of the year when one gets to hear a lot of thoughts on the college life coming to an end. Thanks to my very young Facebook friends circle, I get to hear it a lot louder. Oh what a bitter sweet time it is! I still remember the last days of both my college stints – Bachelor’s and Master’s. 

When you are finishing your Bachelor’s degree, there is a huge sigh of relief that FINALLY, studying (not learning) is coming to an end. One gets to bid adieu to a decade and half long academic endurance. Even then, there is a bit of heart ache – of losing relationships – of some friendships and of some even more dear ones. One cannot say that one is a student anymore. One cannot walk in to those college gates throwing caution to the wind. One cannot get in to those little fights only to become closer than before. But the enticement of the real world is equally appealing. There is this exuberant impatience to tell the world that I have arrived. I think the possibility of a higher education is what makes the farewell of a bachelors’ course less painful. Also, they are blissfully unaware of the real world that is awaiting them – of responsibilities, of work and most sadly, of routine.

A post graduate course is an entirely different ballgame. It is truer if you have a bit of work experience. For those who have worked, they know for certain that college and academics is any day better than working. It is like one has to go through a harsh winter to appreciate a warm sun. Ashan (my beloved friend from MBA) told me that the ones among us with work experience doing MBA are here on a paid holiday of 2 years. I couldn’t agree more. The deadlines are flexible, responsibilities less harsh and office politics replaced by the warmth of friendship. The intensity of manager's authority is replaced by the warmth and affection of professors which in my university was truly different. Our bunch of professors are really a cool lot. What more can one ask for? May be that is why PG farewells are more painful.

There is a sense of acute awareness that one is walking out of the college gates forever. I still remember looking back at my beautiful campus and letting out a deep sigh when I walked out of those gates. I knew I will never be the same again to that place; nor will my alma mater be the same to me. It is like one of those moments in a relationship where you realize something has changed irrevocably. We will both look at each other differently. It is not that the fondness has become any lesser. It is just that time and distance will come in between however much we try.

For all those friends of mine who are spending your last few days in college, pause and look around. Walk in to a loud group, Join a hearty conversation, Go on a long walk, Hug your loved ones, Get a cup of tea and talk to a friend for long, Take time to say your good byes, Say your thank you-s, Tell them how much they mean to you, Just walk around. Warmly embrace the spirit of college life for you know the winter of real world is coming ;) 

p.s. Pic (of the mighty elephant hills in the shadows of which we learned MBA) lifted from my friend, Gobi Jagan's album. I am sure he won't mind :)

More blogs on My Alma mater ~ 

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Desire Path : Blog # 264

Desire Path

             Have you seen those small mud paths amidst the grass right next to elaborately laid out walk ways? Those are called desire paths. Those little walkways which emerge by virtue of people choosing to walk through often. It might be either because it is a shorter path or it has a bit of an adventurous appeal about it or just for the little pleasure of stepping away from mainstream, as my friend Abhishek often says. Whenever I ask him as to why he made a rather different choice about something, he tells me “Oh, the other choice was too mainstream for me!” How I love that word, ‘Mainstream!’ :)

            All of us have desire paths in life. A path we will be happy to walk through often but we are unable to, due to various circumstances or constraints. If you look at it, both the desire path and the concrete laid walkway are taking you to the same destination. Yes, the desire path is much humble in its appearance. There are no elaborate staircases or handrails approaching that path or going away from it. It is like one of those old acquaintances of yours who doesn’t speak with great eloquence but you know that whatever is being spoken is right from the heart. You need not guess as to what exactly did the words mean in the context. Nor does one compel you to read between the lines.

            What the humble path also tells you is that the walk is not going to be easy. It cannot provide you handrails to ensure your safety while navigating the quagmires of life nor does it promise you shade in times when intense rays of hardships beam down on you. But isn’t it these little desire paths that we take in life which helps us beat the monotony and routine of life? Isn’t it those detours which infuse life in to our living? Don’t you think such small trips will help us derive a sense of contentment?

            An interesting thing about the desire path is that it is compassionate. You might wonder how? By design, it is small. It cannot have too many people walking through it without being concerned about the others. Those who choose to walk should be accommodative of each other. You will need to slow down for others or to step aside at times too. It is more collaborative than competitive.

          In a laid out path, there is space for two lanes – one for those who walk in and one for those who walk out.  There is hardly any collaboration here. Whoever walks fast, gets ahead without bothering about people who are walking along or behind. Isn’t that what is at the core of our world’s problems today? We are concerned for only our class of people – those who are as educated as us, those who earn as much as us, those who speak like us, those who look like us, those who worship like us. What about those who are unlike us? Isn’t being human reason enough to spare a thought for them?

            As busy as we are in our lives, let us take the desire path once in a while - for us, for them and for the world to be a better place.
                                                                                                                        Arun babu