Posted in Life, Quotes, Random Thoughts, Reflections

From Fettered, to being Free

Getting a few hours to self, becomes more of a luxury, especially in the past few weeks. Contemplating on the changes brought about in the past few months, makes one wonder even if a sufficient warning was give, would one have ever been prepared for the present scenario.

Schools closed. Offices shifted to “work from home” mode. Sales down. Projects cancelled. Unemployment. Marked pay-cuts. Expenditure going way up above the limit, even though they may be only for essentials. EMIs piling up. Caught in this quagmire, the feeling of being stifled runs high. The tune of the day changes to basic survival.

“It’s not always necessary to be strong, but to feel strong.” Jon Krakauer

As time always proves, one never knows unless we walk in those same shoes. Though survival is what we need to do to overcome the entangled mess, doing it becomes a near impossibility. While there may be few or many to provide words of support and encouragement; unraveling the mess and getting down to basic logistics or “ways and means” is something that one has to do on their own.

Trapped.

Knowing what is important to self helps one to regain the mental and emotional self. To be free one, needs to remember sometimes the things that trap us are our own thoughts, doubts and insecurities. Being human, one tends to over-think, draw irrelevant and unnecessary conclusions, adding more fuel to the fire. Things mayn’t be as complicated, once we try to do something genuine about the situation. Realizing this and learning to overcome them, helps one to see the rays of light through the jumble of twines.

“Trust the wait. Embrace the uncertainty. Enjoy the beauty of becoming. When nothing is certain, anything is possible.” Mandy Hale

Whether one moves in tandem or no, the wheel of life and time goes on and on. With all their hidden or evident “trials and traps”, surviving them simply involves one to believe that they can. Forget the improbability of logistics or reality of possibilities; prioritize, decide, refuel, use own resources at hand and just go ahead. Somewhere along the way, the mental strength will come back and one learns to escape from the trap. As taught by life every now and then, value is best appreciated when one escapes from the snares.

Posted in Life, Quotes, Random Thoughts, Reflections, Stories Around the World

The Silent Restraints

Free afternoons are a rarity, especially when taking into account the present scenario of being the single parent (for now), children at home and the occasional ping of the messenger, the latter doing it’s best to create a chaos of it’s own in the guise of “work from home”. Not to highlight further on the tales of the past few weeks (ten, to be precise), the yo-yo phase has been going on. Which is why, the “rare sane hours” resulted in the bringing up a whole mass of photos (desktop, scanned ones, forwarded, social media downloads) to be sorted.

.. And they sing roads and bridges,
Colors of the forest and wind of events,
Stars, birds, rivers and flowers:
“Treasure your happiness, cherish!”
Eduard Asadov

Going through them, did trigger plenty of memories and the first round resulted in few sorted. As the sorting opened even previous files, the sudden downpour of photos lead to the journey into yesteryear. Though the travel was present, the return to the present brought out the sharp contrast of then and now.

Fact is we all change, some of us in a significant manner opposite to the original, others a more refined way of “then” and the very few who may remain more or less the same. Despite all these highlights, the unvarnished reality is that situations change and so do each one of us. Be it for better or worse, one needs to live in the present, especially to feel life through time. Harboring memories is fine, but storing up all the “regretful ones” just turns the mood sour.

Carrying, sorting, reviewing or entertaining all these hurtful or even the too happy memories, may turn out to be an encumbrance for the present. While “those days” were important, in the sense of “now”, they don’t really matter. At times, memories may become a millstone around the neck. If so, then it’s time to let them go. Carrying all that baggage won’t help us get our flying feet off the ground. Delete them, file them away in a remote corner and let time take care of it. For now, just take a deep breathe, lift off and fly. The view from above is worth the try.

Once there was a free bird. She floated in the sky, catching midges for lunch, swam in the summer rain trickles, and was like many other birds. But she had a habit: every time some event occurred in her life, whether good or bad, the bird picked up a stone from the ground. Every day she sorted out her stones, laughed remembering joyful events, and cried remembering the sad ones.

The bird always took the stones with her, whether she was flying in the sky or walking on the earth, she never forgot about them. The years have passed, and free bird got a lot of stones, but she still kept on sorting them, remembering the past. It was becoming more and more difficult to fly, and one day a bird was unable to do this.
The bird that was free some time ago, could not walk on the earth, she was unable to make a move by her own. She could not catch midges anymore; only rare rain gave her the necessary moisture. But a bird bravely endured all the hardships, guarding her precious memories.
After some time a bird died of the starvation and thirst. And only a pitiful bunch of worthless stones reminded of her for a long time.

Posted in Daily, Life, poetry, Reflections

DEPTHS

Guarding the pile of newspapers kept safe in the wall unit requires a certain amount of skill, specially in camouflaging the surroundings. With kids and pets running amok in the house, the set of the current week’s newspapers are kept up high, but one has to be wary of their wily ways and means. When the reader wonders the purpose of this, for the daily paper is meant for reading each day and with plenty of “visual media”-nization, why do so. The reason is simple, for the editorials as well as the obituary section. Even though one is well informed of the local news (specially those of the bad type), those pages are scanned through each day, only to read the bare details. When one reads those smaller words, is when figures out the person behind those lives. Noticing such things gives a daily to weekly reminder of not just how precious life and time is, but also how we lived through them.

“It is not length of life, but depth of life.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Making a difference never lies in the strength of how much time or resources one has at hand. Instead it lies in the way one prefers to wield them in the best possible manner. Whether it was an unfortunate end or the passage of years slowly over time, the mark one leaves behind is what matters.

When the hue and cry dies down on the weekend mornings, these sections are given a thorough read, for they do deserve it. As the sun rays filter through, the morning sky makes realize the strength of what we hold in our hands and thoughts within. No one knows how long one has. On the other hand when the talents gifted, blessed or acquired put to use in their deserving manner, then whether the days be short or long, one has their due and left their mark in the world and lives around them. Depths do matter as lengths, more or less, doesn’t make a difference. As shown daily through the contrast of day and night, as long as one breathes, live the hours not simply to one’s heart’s content but also to appreciate the chances given or taken, and their due difference made in their right and true manner.

Part Two: Nature

XXXIX

BRING me the sunset in a cup,
Reckon the morning’s flagons up,
And say how many dew;
Tell me how far the morning leaps,
Tell me what time the weaver sleeps 5
Who spun the breadths of blue!

Write me how many notes there be
In the new robin’s ecstasy
Among astonished boughs;
How many trips the tortoise makes, 10
How many cups the bee partakes,—
The debauchee of dews!

Also, who laid the rainbow’s piers,
Also, who leads the docile spheres
By withes of supple blue? 15
Whose fingers string the stalactite,
Who counts the wampum of the night,
To see that none is due?

Who built this little Alban house
And shut the windows down so close 20
My spirit cannot see?
Who ’ll let me out some gala day,
With implements to fly away,
Passing pomposity?

Emily Dickinson (1830–86). Complete Poems. 1924.

Posted in Life, Personal Musings, Stories Around the World, Work

Simple, but Vital

While listening to the car radio the other day, the various anecdotes told and the different conversations provided plenty of food for thought. Interestingly the point that struck out sorely, is just to be silent enough to listen. For many of us, our entire work may be all about listening. From complaints to hearsay, to grievances to information, interaction always involves all these things. Yet what makes those simple interactions stay embedded in mind is the way one chooses to listen.

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” Ernest Hemingway

They are always different ways to lend a ear, but when lent with the entire mind and wholeheartedly gives a lease of fresh air to the speaker. Too many babble just results in an unfruitful rucks. when one learns to truly listen, the entity of empathy, genuine feeling of humaneness and a thread of trust or even hope, is brought out into the interaction. Those simple things do matter, for they are needed to make our life meaningful. As always, being silent to listen and help out if feasible, is indeed golden.

 

Vanilla Ice Cream that puzzled General motors’!!!!

An Interesting Story : Never underestimate your Clients’ Complaint, no matter how funny it might seem! This is a real story that happened between the customer of General Motors and its Customer-Care Executive. Please read on.

A complaint was received by the Pontiac Division of General Motors:
‘This is the second time I have written to you, and I don’t blame you for not answering me, because I sounded crazy, but it is a fact that we have a tradition in our family of Ice-Cream for dessert after dinner each night, but the kind of ice cream varies so, every night, after we’ve eaten, the whole family votes on which kind of ice cream we should have and I drive down to the store to get it. It’s also a fact that I recently purchased a new Pontiac and since then my trips to the store have created a problem.

You see, every time I buy a vanilla ice-cream, when I start back from the store my car won’t start. If I get any other kind of ice cream, the car starts just fine. I want you to know I’m serious about this question, no matter how silly it sounds “What is there about a Pontiac that makes it not start when I get vanilla ice cream, and easy to start whenever I get any other kind?” The Pontiac President was understandably skeptical about the letter, but sent an Engineer to check it out anyway.

The latter was surprised to be greeted by a successful, obviously well educated man in a fine neighborhood. He had arranged to meet the man just after dinner time, so the two hopped into the car and drove to the ice cream store. It was vanilla ice cream that night and, sure enough, after they came back to the car, it wouldn’t start. The Engineer returned for three more nights. The first night, they got chocolate. The car started. The second night, he got strawberry. The car started. The third night he ordered vanilla. The car failed to start.

Now the engineer, being a logical man, refused to believe that this man’s car was allergic to vanilla ice cream. He arranged, therefore, to continue his visits for as long as it took to solve the problem. And toward this end he began to take notes: He jotted down all sorts of data: time of day, type of gas uses, time to drive back and forth etc.

In a short time, he had a clue: the man took less time to buy vanilla than any other flavor. Why? The answer was in the layout of the store. Vanilla, being the most popular flavor, was in a separate case at the front of the store for quick pickup. All the other flavors were kept in the back of the store at a different counter where it took considerably longer to check out the flavor.

Now, the question for the Engineer was why the car wouldn’t start when it took less time. Eureka !!! Time was now the problem – not the vanilla ice cream!!!! The engineer quickly came up with the answer: “vapor lock”.

It was happening every night; but the extra time taken to get the other flavors allowed the engine to cool down sufficiently to start. When the man got vanilla, the engine was still too hot for the vapor lock to dissipate.

Even crazy looking problems are sometimes real and all problems seem to be simple only when we find the solution, with cool thinking. Don’t just say it is ” IMPOSSIBLE” without putting a sincere effort. What really matters is your attitude and your perception.
Moral of the Story: “Try to Fix the Bug instead of making it as a known issue.”

Posted in Life, Personal Musings

The Bend

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going. “

Entering into the “adult phase” of life, the above phrase is something that many of us may have come across. Juggling between university, work and life in general, these words may make their first entry. If not then, maybe while family life and professional life get into their respective modes. Through these words and by general advice, the point highlighted is always to brave against the tide, use own resources or talents and charge ahead.

True that all this is important but a certain undeniable point is, how to deal with it. More importantly, how does one learn to live through it.

“A bend in the road is not the end of the road…Unless you fail to make the turn.” Helen Keller

Sitting back and reflecting, each sunrise to the next holds its own events. Some of these may be classified as occurrences, others as routine, few as challenges which may be easy crossed as a test of mettle while others may be classed as “unavoidable and certain hurdles”. Undoubtedly the classification is something that varies from person to person. In due process, when one tends to classify many situations as “tough” it is time to sit back and take a deep look into our lives, as well as to remember that one is never alone.

Getting a heartbeat is a miracle, living it is a blessing.

If and when “the tough events” happen, the difference lies if one is willing to reflect back and decide whether the situation is really tough, or is it a state of own mind. If the factors tend to the latter, it is high time to take a breath and go for a run, joining in with the rest of the world around us.

“Maxim 36: When the going gets tough, the tough call for close air support.
-The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries” Howard Tayler

Eventually things will settle down. All one has to do is to hang in there, and not let those “tough situations” get to us.