Monday, 18 September 2017

Oh for some breath of fresh air....

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I am Kannan. I live with my parents, my sister Alamelu and grandparents in our big house with a wonderful courtyard. Elders tell us that we had two more brothers and a sister who died due to an epidemic, even before we were born .We love our Town Vellore; we have lovely lakes and a calm serene atmosphere. We are proud that our father is serving as an official in the administration of our king, Nawab of Carnatic. 


My sister and I go to the best school in town in the present times (1685). I study in 7th and my sister in 5th class. Our best friend is Kumaran who has come to our town only six months back. His father was working in the big city of Chennai under British administration and Kumaran is always telling us of the exciting life in the city. His father is interested in making new things. Kumaran told us that he wants to make a machine that will make small objects look bigger! He is also trying to make flying machines. All this sounds so exciting! That is why we spend a lot of our free time with Kumaran.

Our house may not be as big as that of Kumaran’s.But we are very proud and happy to live in it. With tall ceilings and huge windows in every room, we get plenty of air and sunlight. We have lot of trees and plants around the house. Every day, we wake up to the happy twittering of birds. Our servants clean and wet mop all the rooms daily and keep them free of dust.


In Kumaran’s house, his father has a big separate room for his experiments. Whenever we visit, we secretly enter this room when his father is not there. The kind of things that lie around there is fascinating. One Sunday when we visited Kumaran, he said that his father was working on a secret machine called “Time machine” by which we can travel from one time zone to another. We did not know fully what this was all about but when we saw the machine, we, Alamelu, Kumaran and I could not help sitting inside it and fiddling with the knobs.

Suddenly there was a hissing sound and the machine started shaking violently. Now, we were very scared and started calling out to each other “Alamelu! Kumaran!”, “ Kanna…”  “Anna!”  Before we knew it, we were in a strange place, so different from our lovely town Vellore. There was so much of smoke everywhere with motor cars swishing past. We have never seen so many cars together in our lives! We ran and ran, away from the streets and entered a house, which was in a very tall building, so different from the houses in our town. Two boys stared at us as we came in. They were wearing some sort of masks.

                                     Courtesy: Free Google Images


“What is this?” we asked in English, as they did not seem to know Tamil. Fortunately, they understood English and replied that it was worn to protect from all sorts of air and dust pollution. One of them ran inside and brought masks for us as well. I looked at a calendar on the wall, which showed the year as 2030. We asked the boys where we were and they answered “Bengaluru”. The boys said their parents have gone out and will return only in the evening.

Akhil and Aditya were very kind and gave us a lot of food to eat, so different from our usual meal. Yet we felt stifled in the place that had a suffocating atmosphere. When we asked Aditya and Akhil about it, they said that all kinds of gases are in the house such as fine particles and Carbon monoxide – an odourless, colourless gas produced by appliances or heaters. Earlier their father used to be a chain smoker and that was a big cause for the problem.

 The atmosphere affected their mother who was an asthma patient, the most. “Now father has completely given up smoking,” they said.
The boys said that the family has taken steps to improve the ventilation in the house, particularly in the kitchen. They are using dehumidifiers to reduce moisture and encasing their pillows, mattresses, and box springs in dust-mite-proof covers.

All of a sudden, the knobs of our time machine became visible and three of us started hitting and turning them frantically - Lo and behold, we began to shake violently and  we set off once again. We hardly had time to  bid adieu to our new friends. The three of us were praying hard to be back in our good old town with its pleasing and healthy environment.

But sadly our prayers seem to have fallen on deaf ears. We did not know the place that looked completely different from our own town. We could hear people speaking but could not understand a word. Once again, we ran into the nearest house. There was an aunty inside who asked us questions that we did not understand. She also could not understand fully what we were speaking.

Finally, she called out to her daughters who came and spoke to us in English. “Today is a holiday. We are celebrating the 70th Independence day of our country.” they said. “Normally we go to our school, Maharishi Vidya Mandir, Bhopal for the function; but today we are not going since my sister Arthi is not well said the elder one Mithali. “Instead today we will watch the PM speak from the red fort on TV.”

We liked interacting with the sweet girls who were more or less of our age. Just then, I noticed an ashtray on the teapoy. I thought it right to forewarn the family of what is going to happen in the future. The three of us, Alamelu, Kumaran and I excitedly shared the tips given by our friends of the 2030 era to combat indoor pollutants. After all, if they take preventive steps in 2017, many problems can be avoided in the future.  

The girls were happy to receive the tips and thanked us.” We are lucky though that recently the Asian Paints company has come out with a product that arrest indoor pollution. Our father has already decided to but it!” said Arthi. . Mithali  further explained, “Royale Atmos is a paint that reduces harmful air pollutants and makes the air cleaner. It also absorbs various foul smells & makes the air fresher. We were happy for these kids who had access to a product that helps to purify the air and improve the air quality inside the house. They are so lucky compared to Akhil and Aditya!


At that time the knobs of our time machine were once again visible. The three of us made a grab for it and in seconds, we started shaking violently and in a few more seconds we were back in the study of Kumaran’s father. Notwithstanding our adventure, we were relieved to be back home. We vowed to never again play or fiddle with the gadgets in uncle’s lab. We are grateful to be back in our peaceful, healthy and serene town; thankful to be living in our era….

Friday, 15 September 2017

Captivating Lines from Here and There-19

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  • If you are going to do anything. you must expect criticism.But it is better to be a doer than a critic.The doer moves,the critic stands still and is passed by- Bruce Barton, Author, Advertising executive and US politician
  • The mind is it's own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell,a hell of heaven- John Milton, Poet in " Paradise Lost"
  • Without question, the most abundant, least expensive, most underutilised and constantly abused resource in the world is human ingenuity (inventiveness).
  • Negative self scripts are ideas and beliefs about ourselves that are self damaging.These are ideas about our own personality that we have passed on to our subconscious through bad or undesirable life experiences- John peace. Law of attraction Guru
  • We are obsessed with learning from our mistakes.But why not allow our successes to multiply enough to crowd out the unsuccessful.Why not follow up with our happy customers and ask why we made them happy?- From "The thin book of Appreciative inquiry" by Sue Hannis Hammond
  • Applying Appreciative inquiry- At the end of a meeting, ask "What did we as a group do well in this meeting?"- Sue Hannis Hammond
  • I am only one;but still I am one. I cannot do everything but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do- Helen Keller, Author, speaker,political activist
  • As you grow older, you need people not dollars and cents.
  • Dream lofty dreams;dreams are the seedlings of realities- From the book " As a man thinketh
  • Things are not brought into being by thinking about their opposites.Health is never to be attained by studying disease and thinking about disease- Wallace.D.Wattles, Author
  • The soul of business is confidence- J.C. Penny in " Lines of a layman  

Sunday, 10 September 2017

It is all Darkness

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She knew it was coming. After all she had made quite a few enemies and also earned reputation of a fearless journalist. Now who are the four people at the front gate? Should she go and investigate? No, not necessary, they are coming in. she half opened her mouth to speak.Bang, Bang, Bang! what's happening? Hey,can't see a thing; its all darkness.....

Foot Note:  Is this darkness happening only to one person or is it an indication of darkness to come for an entire nation?

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Do you Know your History?

Viral video of an Oxford university debate
featuring eloquent Indian MP, Shashi Tharoor
is causing shock and surprise
amongst the young British
at a time when they are set
to celebrate the glory,the 150th aniversary,
of the British colonialisation,
come November 2017....

" We never knew, were never told
this side of the story either in school
or in daily casual conversation"

Perhaps the details of history and statistics
would be equally surprising to the Indian youth
some of whom believe that the railways,
the infrastructure and the modern civilization
all emanated from the contribution
the kindnes of the white man!

Pride in what and where we were
visavis other nations and civilizations,
prior to the loot and plunder
is the starting point for rekindling spirits,
for regaining past glory

The first step then is to know the truth
and pass on the truth
to the present & future generations
let our history texts focus
less on might of invaders
and more on Indian culture
and her innnate strenghts

Placing mother India back
in her rightful place
among the comity of nations
is a challenge that beckons

Knowing true, correct history
is the need of the hour!





Edit: Found another piece of information "Lord Mccauley's address to the British parliament about the Indian citizens of that time which also gives hints about our history-

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Some thoughts on the Movie " Bareilly Ki Barfi"

I recently wrote a poetic review of the Hindi movie " Mubarakan" with the title " Never a dull moment". I had enjoyed a Hindi movie after a long time and felt compelled to share the good news. Most Hindi movies have fist fighting macho heroes with the heroine not having much to do except gyrating to loud music/ noise wearing skimpy clothes. Hence, there was no way I expected to see another good Hindi movie in a short span from one another.

Yet the unexpected happened when I got to see today, a heroine oriented movie "Bareilly Ki Barfi" that had no super stars or the typical item numbers. The story is set in a small town Bareilly. However, the heroine, Bitty Mishra is a girl with a mind of her own who likes to live life on her terms. This means she is not getting a suitable match; groom who likes her ways or her being able to meet their expectations as prospective grooms. Finally, she comes across two persons who both seemingly like the 'real Bitty". But who is the one for her?

 I will not reveal more and spoil the fun. I would like the readers to watch this free flowing, entertaining movie in a theatre and find out for themselves.

Suffice it to say that  all the characters are played competently by the cast whether, Kriti Sanon as Bitti Mishra. Ayushman Khurranna as Chirag Dubey, his friends played by Rajkumar Rao and Rohit Chaudhary or the parents of the girl (Pankaj Tripathi and Seema Bhargava), Bitty's friend Rama by Swati Semwal. Time and again, Rajkumar Rao has proved that he is a good performer who is willing to take any role irrespective of whether there is a 'Hero' tag attached to it.He has  proved it  once again in this film. Kriti Sanon in the title role is impressive as she slips into the role effortlessly, while Ayushman Khurranna is also quietly effective.

Movies like "Bareilly Ki Barfi"  come as a breath of  fresh air and I could see the smiles and happiness on the faces of  the audience while leaving the theatre. It is a big thumb- up sign from me for this 'paisa vasool' and more movie! 


Other credits
Produced by: Renu Ravi Chopra, Vineet Jain
Directed by: Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari
Written by: Nitesh Tiwari, Shreyas Jain,Rajat Nonia
Music by:  Tanishk Bagchi, Arko,Samira Koppikar,Vayu,Sameer Uddin
Cinematography: Gavemic U Ary
Edited by: Chandrashekhar Prajapati


Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Captivating Lines from Here and There-18

  • Releasing resentment will dissolve even cancer.We must release the past and forgive everyone.Self approval and self acceptance in the now are the keys to positive changes.When we really love ourselves,everything in our life works- Louise Hay, Author
  • Your life situation is mind stuff; your life is real.Your life situation may be full of problems but find out if you have any problem at this moment- from the book " Power of Now"
  • Are you a habitual waiter?- waiting for the next vacation, for a better job, for the children to grow up, for a truly meaningful relationship, for success,to make money, to be important, to be enlightened. It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living- " Power of Now".
  • When one is not greedy,then one will enjoy the birds,the ocean and the vast sky.Needs are very simple and can be fulfilled but greed is one of the greatest deceptions- From the book " Roar your way to Excellence"
  • One's own worst enemy syndrome- Even if you have have something worth saying, if you express it in a tone or a manner that is a turn off, it guarantees no one will listen- From the book " What they don't teach you at Harward Business School"
  • Effective selling is directly tied to timing, patience and persistence- sensitivity to the situation and the person with whom you are dealing- Mark McCormack, Author
  • Fear is the single biggest problem people have with selling: Fear of rejection, fear of failure- putting your ego on the line- Mark Mc Cormack, Author
  • Economists operate with just two tools- the monetary (interest rates) and the fiscal( Taxes & subsidies). Increasing productivity is the third alternative for which there is not the same enthusiasm- P.V.Inderesan, Former Director, IIT, Madras
  • When listening to another person, don't just listen with your mind, listen with your whole body.Feel the energy field of your inner body as you listen- From "Power of Now"
  • Most people don't know how to listen because the major part of their attention is taken up by thinking- " Power of Now"   

Monday, 7 August 2017

Denial

'Denial' merely evades a poblem
its still there; hardly solved
denial merely defers action,
courts procrastination...

Some fool themselves for years
while others live the lie for a lifetime!

Denial of an alchoholic problem
of being overweight;
of being ignorant/ not knowing something
or of having marital issues
only steals the opportunity
to face, confront, respond to the problem

Denying, getting angry
shooting the messenger
seeing well wishers as enemies etc
takes one no where
Acceptance is the key
the first step, that makes possible
introspection, ,action and possible solutions....