Monday, November 28, 2011

Lesson : Rising Sun

This morning I was up just before dawn began to slip its soft orange glow over the eastern horizon. And even though the weather has grown colder and the days a bit cloudier, I still enjoy being up early and sitting with my first cup of coffee, watching the world around me come to life. There's just something solid as well as invigorating in being up early when the day actually begins.

I see those moments watching the sun come up a great start to my day, and it's a ritual I rarely depart from. Today, there is a lesson that I learnt – Your willingness to give up a bit of shut-eye for the personal satisfaction of doing something you truly enjoy can pay off in better physical and emotional health.  If you're a night owl – there are reasons for making the switch.

Nature prescribes change – to grow from within. People often change for two reasons. It can be either that you have learned enough that you want to change or you have been hurt enough that you see the need to. I hope you'll take a few minutes to value yourself and follow the prescription – to be a better you!

 Abhijith Jayanthi

Date: 14 February 2010
Place : Boston

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Relationships: Victims of Trust Deficit

It is important to understand how present day relationships enjoy greater degree of trust deficit – result being they are often short lived filled with selfish needs. A wise man once said, "First we try, and then we trust....” which aptly sums up the present day reality of relationships. Today, relations are initiated through a series of lies – which frame the foundation and that shall never last long.

Why did a relation not last beyond a certain point – what went wrong? Fights are common in any relation, but if both are honest with one another in a relation, they will live through it and see the brighter side. It is important that we seek true reflections of our intentions in our actions. If almost everything in one’s quaint little town of relations beguiles, from its architecture to its art to its warmth – relations do not last, and in the longer run one will lose respect for self. Relations are about trust, not about deceit or secrecy – intentions to be sincere in a relation matters the most.

Relations are meant to strengthen us emotionally and help us grow as a person – and not puncture our hopes and turn us into weak beings that simply exist. One should improve oneself to contribute and be true to every relation he is engaged with.

-          -  Abhijith
        Nov 11, 2011 – KL   

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Life – A lonely Walk

Well, we human beings tend to notice the differences much easily than the similarities. Probably this is one of the reason why most of us are reluctant  to see changes. Before I proceed further, I wish to state why I intend to call life a lonely walk, perhaps its even more interesting to notice the fact that I wish to address it as  “A” rather than “The” .What most of us don’t notice or are blissfully ignorant is the thin line of difference between   understanding  what domains are to be treated as a group activity and what domains are to be treated as one’s own efforts. The existence of society, community is valid to the extent that we tend to be one among others who has got similar thought process and motivation which I wish to address by calling it  “A” lonely walk rather than “The” lonely walk. It would be appreciable if one understands that the definition of society or community ceases to exist beyond that point wherein every individual tends to create an impression about himself and his actions alone would be responsible for the image that he portrays which is the reason why I wish to call it a lonely walk.

This piece of writing was pursued during the time when I was fortunate enough to attend a talk by Steve Jobs - his life presents itself as an apt example for others to learn from. What I wish to talk about  is not about the cultural, social or political differences that exist for as a matter of fact they exist and are clear enough to be noticed. What I wish to point out  is the fact that how loneliness helps you at times in understanding what you truly are as a person and what you truly need out of life in terms of the emotional support that you need,  the freedom that you wish to enjoy and the extent of commitment that you can promise on personal and professional front.

I salute Steve Jobs for his relentless efforts to innovate and make our lives simple and better! May his soul rest in peace! (Added  Oct 8 2011) 

Date: July 23rd 2006
Posted: Simply Me!
Location: LA - CA           

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Diabolic Act: Mephistophelian Glint in Her Eyes

Every relation goes through a phase when one is suppose to rediscover the reason for being in a relation...or if one cannot do so, may be move on. Not everyone is well equipped or receive formal training to handle relationships. Relationship is not something which one can restrict using a time domain. It is important to realize that the equation changes but relationship continues to exist, although with different set of rules defining the dynamic. 

We all have our own ways of mourning. For Albert, it is to literally do what his heart desires at that moment – being alone and shutting himself off from the rest of the world. Today being no different: Albert was lying on the sitting room sofa – with his legs on the window sill, his dark brown eyes staring straight up at the roof. Occasionally, he makes sounds that make no sense to the untrained ear and screams in a deafening, high-pitched tone when he cannot get to control his emotions. Every so often, he flaps his hands uncontrollably in the air. Sometimes, his body starts to violently jerk – been his daily routine since past few weeks.

Around evening – after 7 hours of staring into thin air…he rolls up his sleeves, gets up and walks towards his desk. Settling down to write his diary, he is lost in thought. It was a long entry—almost two thousand words—for his day, too, had been eventful recollecting moments of the past.

Entry in Albert’s Diary – March 11th

I have stayed up late too many nights pondering this question. I think back of my relation. I never really understood if any bit of her emotion was true. Does that mean I’m just that naive or did I just pick the wrong woman? Almost everyone I know has been cheated on; I couldn’t be the lucky ONE that has never been through such an experience, could I? After all, most of the present day women are unfortunate reflections of destiny – a bad joke by nature which went horribly wrong.

The reason this question has been consuming my thoughts for the past six weeks is because I think we had a warm relationship – worthy enough for a decent and respectful exit. All the signs were there. She was distant and angry with me for no reason. She denied any wrong doing but her behavior - more so, her reasons, were still suspicious.

One day – truth was out. It made me feel sick to my stomach. She lived a life of thousand lies….

To be continued…

P.S.: This blog post presents a first view/glimpse of the chapter titled 'Diabolic Act: Mephistophelian Glint in Her Eyes' of my book (not yet published) titled Precocious Truth: Unrequited Love. You may read the prologue for the same here

Thursday, September 15, 2011

India: A Glimpse

Ladies and Gentlemen! Namaste to all of you from India! Today, as we are sharing the perceptions here at the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Summer School, and as I am asked to give a glimpse of my country, I apologize in advance because for a civilization with a history that, according to some sources, dates back to 6500 BC, which currently has more than 150 languages, each spoken by atleast 10,000 people and 22 official languages, a civilization that has 28 states, all of them having their own different culture, festivals, dance forms, language, art, belief system, sports, film industry, political parties, and food delicacies, a civilization that saw so many people from all over the world invade it and leave their own footprints behind with many more languages, arts and culture, it's practically impossible to give even a glimpse about a country in such a short period of time.

So, I would not like to speak about any of the above mentioned topics, nor would I like to speak about the things that are already being spoken about India - about it's booming economy, it's expertise in Science & Technology, it's recently launched world's cheapest spacecraft to moon, the Yoga, Spirituality, 1.2 billion population that's increasing every second, Ayurveda, Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan or Amitabh Bacchan. What I would like to speak about is much more wider, and fits the context of this conference. It is something that is never spoken about specifically, but holds significance in every Indians life. It is something that influences the whole Indian mentality right from the Childhood. And it is not something that is taught formally in schools, but it is something that comes from within the Indian culture, that gets imparted from generation to generation through multiple means like Grandma's stories or spiritual gurus or children's books and comics. No one knows where this comes from exactly, but as we grow, no matter what education system Britishers would have thrust upon Indians, these teachings have been embedded so deep inside the Indian DNA that even Alexander the Great agreed he couldn't remove from the Indian gene. And this is, in my opinion, answer to one of the biggest questions that not only the whole world, but India too has for itself - that inspite of so much diversity, so many languages, so many religions with many of them having their own set of extremist thinkers and actors, sometimes exploding the bombs, sometimes killing others in the riots, inspite of all this, how does India actually work?

I would like to go back to childhood days and talk about some things that come to my mind have had an influence in my life, and I believe they have had similar influence in all the other Indians' minds as well.
1. Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – which means that the whole world is one single family, I was taught. The concept, written in Hitopadesha - a collection of sanskrit prose and verse written in 12 C.E. - meaning ‘This is my own relative and that is a stranger’ – is the calculation of the narrow-minded. For the magnanimous-hearts, however, the entire earth is but one family'. It is also seen to be similar to the ancient African concepts like Ubuntu. This concept always comes in the path of our hatred or a feeling of difference towards any other human being.

This gigantic idea (Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam) is an exclusively Indian contribution to world peace. This ancient nation evolved a world-view based on the motto "Loka samasta sukhina bhavantu" (Let the entire world be happy) thousands of years before any League of Nations or United Nations was thought of to avoid global strife. The Indian nation evolved this grand vision not by marching its armies and conquering the rest and offering peace; but by the inner-directed pursuit of universal values by the saints living in the forests and mountains of India.

2. Jiyo aur Jeene Do - which means Live and Let Live - the concept followed and propagated by Lord Mahavir. The concept says that one should let others live their lives as they see fit. The concept Live and let live was also used as a system of conflict avoidance used in trench warfare in World War I. And this concept is embedded so deeply in the hearts of the Indians that it's no surprise that many ancient Indian belief systems find it odd to kill even a mosquito biting them, forget about initiating an attack on another country.

3. Atithi Devo Bhavah - It's a part of the verse from the Upanishads written thoudands of years ago. The verse reads as - "Matri devo bhavaḥ, Pitri devo bhavaḥ, Acharya devo bhavaḥ, Athiti devo bhavah" which means The Mother is God, the Father is God, the Teacher is God, [and] the guest is God." No wonder that still many families in India have joint families with Grandparents, Parents, Uncles and siblings staying together in one house. And no wonder that India was attacked by so many "guests" in the recent past. I still remember the story that I was told in the childhood about a pigeon couple that jumps into the fire when they see that the hunter has not been able to catch anything for the whole day and is hungry sitting in the cold forest. This concept "Guest is God" is one of the greatest contributions to the Indian thinking and it's tolerance to infinite diversity that we come across in our daily lives.

In 3000 years of our history people from all over the world have come and invaded us, captured our lands, conquered our minds. From Alexander onwards. The Greeks, the Turks, the Moguls, the Portuguese, the British, the French, the Dutch, all of them came and looted us, took over what was ours. Yet we have not done this to any other nation. We have not conquered anyone. We have not grabbed their land, their culture, their history and tried to enforce our way of life on them. Why? Because we respect the freedom of others.

In the end, I would like to read another verse that we're taught right from childhood. It is: "Sarve bhavantu sukhinah, Sarve santu niramayah.. sarve bhadraani pashyantu, ma kaschit dukhbhaak bhavet" which means "may every one be happy, may every one be free from all diseases, may every one see goodness and auspiciousness in every thing, may no one be unhappy or distressed"

And this is the India that I come from!

Vande Mataram!

P.S: This is the text format of the speech delivered by my friend Saurabh Jain at UNAoC Summer School - Portugal on 29th August 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Dialogue in the Dark

"I am in pain, leave me alone", Albert said it tonelessly, almost hopelessly, no anger, not even an eye-lid moved, and then he got up to move away.
Her hand waved in a feeble gesture, her bony face and cheeks contorted with shame, and then with an almost a deathly expression she blurted.
"I am still yours. Nothing has changed. I am sorry I did not mean to cheat on you. Rachel will get naked Albert, she is yours. Have me! "
Her body continued to shudder. And then all at once she was seized by despair. She clenched her teeth so as to not scream...and leaned against the wall. And then tears rolled down her pale face.
Taking a momentary pause in his stride Albert said, “True indeed. You are already naked. There is no reason for you to strip your clothing. I love you Rachel, it was never your impulsive liking for physical pleasure that attracted me. There is more to a relation, which goes beyond what usually attracts your eye. There is no reason for me to believe that you will understand my  soul crushing pain. You broke my trust again…your promise never to lie”
Rachel had been patient and stoic throughout. She continued to stare at the floor beneath her in shame. She knew it was the third time she did not keep her promise with Albert.
To be continued…
P.S.: This blog post presents a first view/glimpse of the chapter titled 'Dialogue in the Dark' of my book (not yet published) titled Precocious Truth: Unrequited Love. You may read the prologue for the same here

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Beggars' Philanthropy

If you think you will be reading about few unfortunate people whom we find in our public life, then please be advised that it is not so. This post is about everyone of us, it is about our attitude towards being organized – a common crisis and thereafter.

Many of us have a complaint about feeling powerless to events influencing our life in these turbulent times we are living. Certainly there are many factors beyond our control that can affect us, such as the economy, our jobs, value of our savings or retirement plans, our mortgages, and even the weather. Rarely, we have a plan or answer to such events. Yet, we consider ill – organized planning, a result of such events.

The first thing you need to do is to work on a vision of how you want your life to be, as well as a clear plan on how to get there. It is surprising to discover that most of us are simply wandering along just letting life happen to us, all the while wishing that our dreams would come true. Why should we sit back, waiting for life to happen as it will, when we have the power to set our own goals and the energy and desire to make our dreams a reality? Setting goals puts you squarely in charge of your own life, and that is a very desirable situation.

Think about it!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Dignity of Doubt

People love surrounding themselves with all kinds of gossips and rumors – enhancing curiosity quotient about them. Looking for a possible explanation for such a trend, I asked people around me, and those whom I have met during my travel to different places around the world – if keeping oneself as a well guarded bubble of false claims helps and what is the expectation behind it? 

Few of them laughed, saying that this imagery had become the "control room" of their lives. That answer told me everything I needed to know about the probable cause of their irregular contentment patterns. A lot of people don't realize it, but all of our intellectual appliances come with a prescribed method of use. There is a limit beyond which it will have a negative impact. Playing on a subtle yet crucial factor of trust you enjoy with others will invariably raise doubts about your dignity quotient – nevertheless it adds value to their argument. Such a trend needs a new way to understand oneself – Dignity of Doubt.

I believe nature has answers to all our questions; all we need to do is connect the dots. To explain my position, let me draw an analogy from nature. The Earth, Sun, and atmospheric phenomenon, such as thunderstorms and the northern lights, all have their own course of action and we are made sensitive to these natural energy forces, if we continue to ignore and respect them for long – not otherwise. There is never an attempt by nature to ‘up the curiosity quotient’, yet we understand her might and the aftermath loss of her fury.

There are certain things, which require a mention in our daily lives, for anything else we rarely need a platform to announce – there is a grand plan which we need to adhere to. Give it a thought, ask yourself – if what you wish to showcase about yourself to others is true and most importantly is it necessary? There is dignity in such a doubt – and it goes a long way.  

I was convinced that this simple method – dignity of doubt had made a big difference in my life. 

You might want to evaluate what you are and if this makes a positive difference for you.

- Abhijith

Sunday, August 14, 2011

What is Appropriate?

Who defines what is appropriate? In the present day world, the rich array of attributes portrayed by an individual, as it is the case with everyone, come with the backdrop of a certain temperament bias. We call this bias our psychological "type". The world of human relationships carries a different value proposition to each of us, and the feelings of others may or may not be on the scale of our priorities. Yet all of us are often caught in a conflict between our need for warmth and closeness with others, and our need for privacy, individual space and the freedom to pursue our own interests - which unfortunately often involve abstract concepts quite divorced from human reality.

The interplay between the conscious and unconscious sides of our personality is a constantly shifting dance, changing at different stages of our life and altering according to the pressures and challenges which one encounters. The tension between the primary characters in our inner drama is the source of energy which provides our life with movement, purpose, conflict and growth.

It is important to learn, nothing that occurs within a relationship is chance. Our “type” describes what one is like inside, and therefore what kind of patterns, needs and compulsions one is likely to bring into his/her relationships with others. When we try to project the primitive side of our nature onto the other person in any relation - which means that we unconsciously push him/her into acting out on the aggression and provocativeness, the relationship suffers a strain. There is a necessity to understand what is appropriate? But the larger question is who defines what is appropriate?

An honest and realistic understanding of our fundamental strengths can help us in answering this question. With little effort in this direction, we can nurture, cherish our relationships and spread joy and happiness in all spheres of human interchange. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Final Dream

Dear Rachel,
I had a dream…a dream about myself few years from now. It was about me writing a letter and delivering it at your grave…


Little, may be insignificant something originated from the brief intersection of our lives some time ago. I remember the day when we met after a long time. You asked me if I was honest in what I said. I answered affirmatively, and you revealed yourself as the same, in a soft voice barely audible over the noise in the surrounding. I remarked on the karmic connection of our present premises…being connected after a long time. You returned with, "Yes, and despite the technology too." 

On the other hand, your affirmation was evidently not genuine, which I could gather little later. I was honest to counsel you from my amateur's seat of clarity. I asked if you truly are where your heart is, because that is where you must be, and stop living on others’ emotions. With your canny demeanor, you replied that you were true about your emotions. My respect for honesty did not seem to impress you with a prospect for your immediate success. Discoveries about your relentless efforts to deceive everyone in your life surprised me. My inevitable choice to let go followed.

You were like a river singing the same song with the gushing waters, no matter who stops by to enjoy your melody. Alas, you could not realize that a song of love is worthy enough to be true and a continuous one. My thoughts and feelings were never understood, for we had no language in common. 

Now that you are no more, and that I write to you after a long time, I feel awkward, for writing to a person like you, who not only suffered while being alive, but also not regretful enough that you bless your soul to suffer more, for sinful deeds of your existence. 

May your soul rest in peace, or in pieces? 

With dignity,

To be continued…

P.S.: This blog post presents a first view/glimpse of the chapter titled ‘Final Dream’ of my book (not yet published) titled Precocious Truth: Unrequited Love. You may read the prologue for the same here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Paradox : Present Day Reality

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. 

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. 

We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just let go...

Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side. Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say, 'I love you' to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. An embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

-          George Carlin
P.S: This blog post is not a work of mine. I hope this post will be an inspiration.