Monday, May 16, 2022

Pune in Summer

 Two years ago before the pandemic we spent lose to a month in Pune. Anjali was growing up and was old enough to understand things and people and has set out making her own relationships - with her grandmother, cousins, uncles and aunts. It was a wonderful time and we decided to spend our summers in Pune since. There's a lot to do in Pune - places to see, walk, hike, trek, eating places, people to meet. Even the trees and the weather (then) was very beautiful.

But then came the pandemic and things changed. We could not come for the next couple of summers and then Shobha's mom passed away. Though we stay in the same house when we visit it is not the same anymore. But this time when Shobha's brother from the US, Satish came visiting, it was an opportunity to meet everyone perhaps one last time in this house.

Milind it was who organised the get together - Shashi maushi and Manik maushi, Milind, Neelima, Gauri, Parth, Maria, Raja, Anu, Meera, Mangala tai, Suhita, Miskil, Khayal, Shobhs, me and Anjali, Satish and so on. It was a fun get together and we all caught up over some good food and conversations.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Akela Gets Spayed

 The issue of Akela getting pregnant and the attendant issues of pups and their separation etc was on our mind and since Akela had adopted us, we decided that the best way was to get her spayed. And so we took her to CanFel where the good doctor (Anjali likes him and he likes Anjali too) said she was not pregnant and we could get her spayed on Tuesday.


Anjali has holidays so she could really take care of Akela pre-op, during op and post op. She is so good with the dog that I really envy the care and love the dogs get from her. Feeding them, loving them, giving medicines, taking care in the hospital and out of it - really good.

Akela has now spent a whole week at home recovering and Anjali took care of her. Now Akela is backto spending time outside from last night. Big job done. Well done Anjali.  

End of Another Year - Arts Management at the University of Hyderabad, 2022

 Last day of the course today. Glad that we had offline classes after two years. The classes sarted slowly but picked up energy along the way. Ended on a good note once again. Thanks everyone - University, Faculty, Students, Staff.


 Some of the exercises we did in class - people skills.


I've asked the students to give some feedback which I will post here when I get it.

Saani Kaayidham - Movie

 2022. Tamil. Interesting movie - lots of violence. Caste angles, upper caste fellows want to teach a lower caste fellow a lesson and do the most horrid things to his family, leaving his wife alive but raped. How she gets her revenge along with her step brother is the rest of the story.

The violence kept me going for some reason. Then you realise we are suckers for this kind of revenge stories any day. They've got that figured out. 



Sunday, May 8, 2022

Interesting Point of View - Fully Subscribe to It

I can't seem to get the link to it but the conversation goes 

- I am not going to leave my kids much because I am going to spend 85% of my earnings on me and my wife. Then the other person says, it's not what you give to them that makes them great but what you give in them that makes them do good and great stuff.

I subscribe to the idea. We can only give them education, life wisdom, values, the wisdom to have a sense of discretion, to understand the world and get along in it. And then, the freedom to pursue their path.

All else is just baggage.

A Poem That Anusree Shared

 Anusree, my student, shared this poem. She's on a journey to improve her language skills and as part of it she is listening to English videos and found this one. She said it was a good motivational poem and though she did not understand all the word she liked it.

I am so happy that she is doing what she is doing and also that she thought she should share it with me. Thank you Anusree.


Play it!

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Canteen Fundas - A Good Leader Should Know How to Follow

 When a leader knows how to obey (or follow), you have a good commander!

https://www.edexlive.com/opinion/2022/may/07/e-canteen-fundas-what-has-obeying-got-to-do-with-leading-everything-this-is-why-28707.html


E-Canteen Fundas: What has obeying got to do with leading? Everything! This is why...


As an ex-leader or as an ordinary member, fulfill your role fully and help the team perform to its best by giving your inputs


Remember, always | (Pic: Edexlive)


‘Where have you been Rinku?’ asked Rahul. ‘We’ve been waiting for you!’

‘Two of our sports captains, Reena and Parul, have been replaced as per our rotation policy,’ said Rinku. ‘I went to the farewell party.’

‘They were very senior, weren’t they?’ said Rahul. ‘I wonder how they’ll adjust to being led by a junior. It might create ego issues, don’t you think?’

‘Reena has adjusted to being part of the team very well while Parul’s struggling.’

‘I can understand what Parul might be going through,’ said Rahul. ‘I went through the same thing when I was replaced as captain of the basketball team. I found it difficult to be led by my junior. It was an indignity.’

‘How can we handle it, bhaiyya?’ asked Rinku. ‘When someone has worked at a higher level, how can they obey others?’

‘As Greek philosopher, Aristotle says — he who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander,’ said Rakesh. ‘Reena appears to have been a more secure and better leader than Parul — she knows how to obey, to follow.’

‘What has obeying got to do with leading?’ asked Rahul.

‘Leading is not about throwing your weight around or feeling like you’ve got a higher status than the others,’ said Rakesh. ‘Those are insecure behaviours that do not empower others. Leading is doing what is best for the team. A good leader always keeps the team’s needs ahead of her own and adjusts to her role.’

‘But what about our pride as a leader?’ asked Rahul.

‘It’s not about pride,’ smiled Rakesh. ‘It’s about the team. If the team’s not producing results, or has a rotation policy, the leader must accept and play her role to her best capacity — which includes following the new captain’s vision. Not be a disruptive force. Many cricket captains, including MS Dhoni who’s considered one of the finest captains, have been replaced, and they did a great job as members of the team. The ones who could not follow have had a negative effect on the team and have been removed. There are many cases of prime ministers of countries who chose simple lives and went back to leading productive lives as ordinary citizens. So there’s nothing to feel bad about when dropped as a skipper. It’s about the team, not you.’

‘What should we do with Parul then?’ asked Rinku. ‘What if she continues to sulk and create problems?’


‘It’s an energy issue,’ said Rakesh. ‘Parul’s feeling insecure. It helps if the new captain has a chat with her and makes her feel secure, valued and lets her know that her contribution can be very useful. If she continues to be a negative effect, then do what’s good for the team. All good teams have players who have led before, who focus on their roles and help the team with their experience and perspectives as an ex-leader.’

‘Hmm,’ said Rahul. ‘So, are you saying that a leader who knows how to follow is a better contributor to the team as opposed to someone who has not led previously?’

‘Yes,’ said Rakesh. ‘It benefits the team to have people who have led before and who know how to follow. Simply because they know what a captain wants from his players — 100 per cent involvement and effort. Most leaders’ energies go into motivating team members to give their best. So, when a secure ex-leader becomes part of a team, she gives her 100 per cent, adjusts her role, thinks like the captain, gives inputs without sulking or interfering and does what the captain expects from her without being told. It reduces the captain’s burden and makes it easy for the captain to focus on other issues.’

‘Hmm,’ said Rahul. ‘So, we need a team full of secure ex-captains to get great performances as a team?’

‘In principle, yes,’ laughed Rakesh. ‘But since we cannot get a team full of ex-captains, it makes sense to have everyone ‘feel’ like a leader — including insecure ex-captains like Parul. A secure captain transfers ownership of the team to each and every member and makes them feel as responsible as the captain. That way everyone starts thinking like a captain and gives 100 per cent — even without the title.’

‘How to transfer ownership. bhaiyya?’ asked Rinku. ‘I’d like players on my team to take more ownership.’

‘Simple,’ said Rakesh. ‘Treat them like they ‘own’ the team too. That it’s their responsibility too. The more responsibility you give, the more ownership they take. Let them experience freedom to think, contribute, take decisions. Be there to help and guide, but don’t rush in to sort their issues. Don’t always provide answers but give pointers, ask questions. Let them do their bit for the team in ways that benefit the team. That way we help them grow as secure leaders and get better results as a team. But remember, only a secure leader lets others take ownership — and obeys a new leader.’

‘Interesting,’ said Rahul. ‘When everyone in the team thinks like a leader, like an owner, the team works to its potential.’

‘Yes,’ said Rakesh. ‘Works everywhere — as citizens in the society, as team players, as family members. So, are you thinking like a leader in all your teams, taking ownership for what’s happening around you and helping out the leader?’

‘No, bhaiyya,’ said Rinku shaking her head. ‘But I’ll start today.’

Pro Tip: Think like a leader even when you are not the leader. As an ex-leader or as an ordinary member, fulfill your role fully and help the team perform to its best by giving your inputs and adjusting to what the team needs from you.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Lunana -- A Yak in the Classroom - Movie

 2019. Bhutanese. A simple, endearing story about a young government teacher who is posted to a remote school in a village called Lunana - which involves an eight day trek. The young teacher is not enthused and plans to return but stays back after meeting his eager students. He gets involved in teaching them, gets stuff from Thimphu for them and even wants to complete his course but is forced to return before winter. The villagers love him - and he gets a yak for his daily needs - which stays in the classroom. After a rather painful separation form his students who ask him to come back after winter, the teacher is  shown singing in a pub in Australia but one can see that his heart is not in it and that he would return to Lunana to teach and perhaps settle down there. Watch.



  

Badhai Do - Movie

 2022. An interesting though predictable premise backed by good actors like Raj Kumar and Bhumi Pednekar makes it quite an enjoyable watch. A gay cop marries a lesbian sports teacher with an understanding that they an keep their secret safe behind the marriage and carry on quietly. But the families persist and investigate and eventually find out - and its a relief for both and their partners to finally be out of the closet.


 

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

The Stories Behind Old Stuff - It's Time to Go

 I was rummaging through my stuff and found some stuff I saved up over time - an ipod that my brother Ram gifted me, an old telephone book, a pair of dark glasses...I don't use them anymore so they'll go. But they have interesting stories.

The IPod

The first music system I was ever exposed to was the record player at home that my father had. He bought a large collection of records and enjoyed his music. The next system he bought was the small single speaker cassette player sometime in 1982 - we moved to cassettes then. I hooked that up to the huge radio we had, which was not working very well then and it would make a louder sound but soon I graduated to buying my own stereo - a Phillips car stereo which was hooked upto to two small speakers. This contraption served me for 6-7 years through my college years and provided endless hours of pleasure (all repairs wee done by the thin chap fellow at Ameerpet - he'd get it going somehow. There were a couple of walkmans - I don't remember buying them - though Ratna Kumar gifted me a CD man which I rarely used.

My first big investment was the Phillips Deck - an all in one mini deck that Phillips thought of which did not need a separate player, a separate amp, a separate woofer and separate speakers. It came all in one with two speakers and man, was I over the moon when I bought it with money I had saved in Pune in 199192. That deck served me well for years and years and such lovely memories I have of Pune and later at Hyderabad - the many parties we had at my place. When it became old, I got myself a Sony deck in the late 1900s - now this was a huge improvement on the Phillips one ad had a CD player and a twin cassette player so we were in good shape with it for years. More parties and such.

And then Apple came with the iPod and Apple music and digital music killed all the fun in music. However the ease with which to carry 500 songs in your pocket in a sleek 2GB iPod was incredible - the sound quality was brilliant too. But it was way too expensive at 7000 bucks. Ram knew of my madness for music and on his trip to Dubai once, bought me this iPod. Ah, what fun, I loaded it with my fav songs and the iPod accompanied me everywhere - in the pocket, in the car and gave me years and years of great music experience. I think this would be closer to mid 2000  - 2005 or so or later. I remember considering buying a bigger iPod for storing more songs but then the smart phones started hitting the market and I realised that the phones would do the same job.

Of all the music gadgets - the iPod still remains - and as a wonderful reminder of the good old days. Thanks Ram.


  The Telephone Book

It was our only source of storing contacts - this tiny book that someone would gift us or we would buy at the Greeting Card stores. Filled with names, addresses, telephone numbers, birthdays and the like - it was our lifeline. I carried it in my pocket then with the same kind of care that we carry a mobile now. Lose it and you'll lose contacts that you may never find, addresses you'll never get. It's incredible how we got along those days - writing letters, sending greeting cards, making PP calls on STD after 11 pm.

It has some very interesting numbers and I shared pics with a couple of my old pals. This book was from the 1900s and had entries till 2010 almost. Until I got my first mobile phone I guess.


  The Coolers

It was always a style statement and we had no real reason to wear dark glasses in college then but when i started doing long distance drives I found them quite useful. I bought this pair in Somajiguda, made a big exception and spent happily to buy the pair and they served me very well for many trips over the years. Once I got glasses and the power increased enough for me to not be able to use the dark glasses I have stopped using them.

But they're in good shape my coolers and I wonder if I can find a home for them!


  The Watch

My first watch was a Titan - a simple fellow which I wore on my right hand - a gift from my brother-in-law or from my mother I'll never know (he took me to buy it and told me that my mother told him to, which was probably the truth). That served me until it died - I wonder how - but it did serve me many years. And then, the second watch I had was a gift from Shobha and Anjali who did some kind of bidding on a flight and got me this. It was quite nice and I used it for many years - I liked and I will still keep it and perhaps even use it. 

But then the mobiles came and we didn't need watches anymore - just like we don't need cameras anymore (hey, where are my old cameras - my Kodak Croma and others), or iPods or any players and so many other things. I would love to see how many days I'll last without a mobile now - I'll try it out sometime soon though. 

I think it needs a battery - I'll get it fixed.


 My First Mask

This was in early 2020 - COVID 19 had just made its entry and we were seeing it come closer and the need for masks was felt and I remember telling Shobha to buy a few when she had gone to visit Aunty at Pune - and she came back with a couple of these. 3Ms - N95 - which were rather advanced for then - but rather tacky as you can see. The band was pretty bad but hey, the initial days in Ratnadeep, I was the star wearing the only N95!


 There are stories everywhere we look around and I am amazed at how many things have helped, entertained, given me convenience or pleasure and how many people have gifted me these things. Its a fascinating life!

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Two Lovely Gifts from My Students

 Two thoughtful gifts from my students. Thank you so much!

A lovely folder 

A neat flower pot 

Thank you so much. Very touched.

And the CD Collection Goes!

 Unlike the cassette collection of mine which I do not propose to let go of, I am quite OK to let go of my CD collection. This includes all the movies and music CDs we bought over the years (some of them unopened for later use), some gifted. Many memories though - of CDs in cars, of travelling with the CD boxes and listening to songs unendingly (unlike cassettes which would end after 45 minutes). The CD player in the car got spoilt and music went out until I got a new contraption that could play the USB. 

So I got them all out and took pictures of them - difficult to get them going without having some memory. Here they are. 

Anjali's collection

'Lion King', we must have watched many times as we did 'Finding Nemo', 'Pinocchio' and 'Charlie Chaplin'. I bought that 'Pacific' CD in a rush of being educational.
More Anjali's

We watched 'Jungle Book', 'Madagascar', Chicken Little', 'Snow White', 'Sound of Music', 'Shark Tale' and 'Bolt'. But what I watched the most was 'Kung Fu Panda'.
This is a bunch I retained after the last round of CD collection - Angoor I watched so many times as did 'Chariots of Fire' and 'Harischandrachi Factory'. I have no idea why I bought Fashion, Dhoom and Ishquiya. I think I never watched 'Jab we met'
Retained two - Ankahee (Suhita's and Jayant's) and Golconda High School

Mukti - crazy! Watched 'Stuart Little', 'Piku', 'Naram Garam', 'Chupke Chupke', 'Padosan', 'Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na', 'Anand', 'Chak De', 'Jaane bhi do yaaron', 'Rang Birangi', 'Chalti ka naam gaadi'. All funnies!


'Chasme Buddoor', 'Baat Ban Jaye' and 'Dil to Pagal hai' we watched many times. Missed watching 'Anjali' though we bought it with the best of intent.
Music CDs

After geting rid of some 50 odd CDs I still found some more left - the 500 songs collection is a great one Shobhs bought and the Sufi ones are also her buys - definitely the Shahrukh ones too!
And some more - I bought the Buddha Lamp CD in the Tibetan settlement at Dehradun and the Divine Chants is a gift from Choudary or at least a recommendation from him

I kept these because there are many thoughtful gifts among these - Marla gifted me Krishna Das and a couple more, Malay's CDs with some fine collections. 

What wonderful times I have had with these CDs. Most of them made long journeys with me in the car, the movies we watched again and again and perked up our moods. Fantastic. I think at that time I must have thought this collection would come in handy for the next generation but little did we know that they would have access to the whole world at the tip of their fingers and at a fraction of the cost - or no cost!

I'll come back and visit this page again.

Aandhi - Movie

 1975. Hindi. Gulzar. Following my Sanjeev Kumar book I watched 'Andhi' on YouTube. Surprisingly good print. Enjoyed watching it. Suchitra Sen (glamourous as hell) plays Aarti Devi, a politician and daughter of an ambitious businessman, and Sanjeev Kumar plays JK, A hotel manager. The story is told in flashback - of how they meet, marry and split - and the drama that unfolds in the present which reunites them. Superb songs.



Canteen Fundas - A Good Leader Need Not be the Smartest In the Room

 If you're the smartest in the room, you're in trouble!

https://www.edexlive.com/opinion/2022/apr/29/e-canteen-fundas-as-a-leader-surround-yourselves-with-people-smarter-than-you-with-no-qualms-28569.html


E-Canteen Fundas: As a leader, surround yourselves with people smarter than you with no qualms


A secure leader surrounds himself with people smarter than himself and brings the best out of each individual and the team


What he says | (Pic: Edexlive)


‘Sometimes, I wonder how Chandra sir became Head of Science Department,’ said Rahul sipping on his lime juice. ‘All others in the department are much smarter than him.’

‘But he gets the results,’ said Rinku. ‘Our Science Department is one of the best. Thanks to the rest of his team perhaps. He’s lucky. In any other place, he might not have found a spot in the Department itself.’

‘Interesting,’ said Rakesh. ‘So, who according to you should be leading the department?’

‘Clearly Roshan sir,’ said Rahul. ‘He’s the smartest of the lot. He won many awards and people really respect him for that.’

‘Yes, bhaiyya,’ said Rinku. ‘I agree.’

‘Hmm,’ said Rakesh. ‘Would you go with someone who knows the science behind how the bus works but does not know how to drive or with someone who can actually drive the bus?’

‘I guess we’ll go with the person who knows how to drive the bus,’ said Rahul. ‘But clearly, the one who understands how the bus works knows more than the driver, no bhaiyya?’

‘Yes,’ said Rakesh. ‘But what matters here is knowing how to drive the bus. Not the theory behind it. Similarly, some people may know more about a subject, but may not know how to lead.’

‘Are you suggesting that a leader need not know more than the others on the team?’ asked Rinku incredulously.

‘That cannot be, bhaiyya,’ said Rahul. ‘To lead an elite team the leader should know more than the others.’

‘Not necessarily,’ said Rakesh. ‘The leader only needs to know how to get the best out of his team. If he knows the subject that’s good, but it’s not a necessary qualification to lead. The greatest leaders in the world don’t need to be great scholars — they need a great vision and should know how to get things done. This might surprise you, but one of the greatest corporate leaders, Jack Welch, has, on record, said that he was never the smartest guy in the room.’

‘Whoa,’ said Rinku. ‘Then, how did he lead? Others would have had no respect for him, right?’

‘He knew how to get things done,’ said Rakesh. He knew how to ask the right questions, guide discussions correctly and get everyone to work for a common purpose — in short, he knew how to lead. On the other hand, many smart people who are good at their work might not be good leaders — they get stuck in ego hassles, have people issues, a limited vision and so on. So you see, it’s a wrong notion to think that just because someone plays well, we must make them the captain. It could compromise the entire team.’


‘Are you saying we should keep the smartest ones away from leadership positions?’ asked Rahul.

‘No,’ said Rakesh. ‘I’m saying, pick the best leader. A good leader will automatically get the best people on the bus and manage them well. Jack Welch says that from the first person he hired, he was never the smartest guy in the room. Which means that he picked people smarter than himself, people who knew more than he did.’

‘Whoa,’ said Rinku. ‘He must have felt pretty insecure and stupid.’

‘Not at all,’ laughed Rakesh. ‘Only a very secure leader can do that — hire people smarter than him. That way he can get them to do the best work and get brilliant results. When he gets the results, he’ll not feel insecure or stupid, I can assure you. Like your Chandra sir, I’m sure.’

‘I’m getting a hang of this, bhaiyya,’ said Rinku. ‘We’re used to seeing leaders who surround themselves with mediocre people simply because they’re insecure and cannot handle not being the smartest in the room. Whereas it's actually way smarter if you can get the best brains to work for you to get great results. With a mediocre team, it’s a no-brainer — you’ll only get mediocre results.’

‘Absolutely,’ said Rakesh. ‘Which is why we need more secure leaders in this world who have smart people around and listen to their ideas. Jack Welch goes as far as to say that if you’re a leader and you’re the smartest guy in the room, you’ve got real problems.’

‘That’s so counter-intuitive but so true,’ said Rahul. ‘It could be a measure of a good leader then — how many smart people he has around him and how he’s getting the best from them. On the other hand, the leaders who surround themselves with yes-men are not going to get the best results surely, since it’s only one man’s wisdom, and that too, an insecure man’s wisdom. It’s bound to end up poorly.’

‘That’s right,’ said Rinku. ‘I like the vision of having world leaders like Chandra sir — listening to everyone, letting everyone speak, asking the right questions, nudging them in the right direction and managing egos to facilitate great work. All they do is hold the space and create a good environment quietly. People hardly know they exist, but everything gets done. How brilliant is that.’

‘True,’ said Rakesh. ‘And while at that, they’re quietly developing leaders by pushing their team members’ boundaries, allowing them to take risks and giving them more responsibility.’

‘Wonderful, bhaiyya,’ said Rinku, raising her cold coffee. ‘To more secure leaders and to a better world.’

Pro Tip: A secure leader surrounds himself with people smarter than himself and brings the best out of each individual and the team. On the other hand, an insecure leader is the smartest person in the room, which may lead to poor results.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Koshish - Movie

 Having read the biography of Sanjeev Kumar recently, I was inspired to watch 'Koshish' (1972)  - a Gulzar movie. It's a movie about two deaf mutes Hari (Sanjeev Kumar) and Aarti (Jaya Bhaduri) and how they marry and make a life together.


Sanjeev Kumar is brilliant with his eyes and elevates it to another level. I liked the way Gulzar brings in Om Shivpuri, a blind man, into their lives. These two cannot hear what he is saying and he cannot see what they are saying - and yet - as the son says, they communicate perfectly with one another. Asrani was rather loose and I wished they did more with him - suck out like a sore thumb. The first child's death was rather unnecessary but those were the times. I liked the end though when the son refuses to marry a deaf mute himself - and Sanjeev Kumar gets mad at him. How could he, he says, when you were born to deaf mutes?

Glad to have knocked it off my list. And yes, if you haven't, watch it.  

Down Under - Bill Bryson

 Bill Bryson headed off Down under to Australia and wrote a book 395 pages long. He began (and ended) with saying how nobody knows anything about Australia (but we don't know anything about anyone much) and how nobody would miss it, and how one Prime Minister went for a swim and drowned (never to be found) and such stuff. We realise he is not too awed by the place and carries a healthy amount of disrespect to this place and he sustains it right through.

I burst out in laughter quite a few times which is a must with his books but the general feel I got was this - its huge, there are scattered cities out there quite far from one another. if you get stuck in the outback you'll die a painful death drinking your own urine, there are a million dangerous animals and insects and reptiles out there which can kill you in the most painful of ways, there are cities which are very boring like Canberra, there are places with no pubs, the people are sporty and also not very interesting (except for his friend and another chap he meets, he makes most others sound quite stupid. The one conversation I liked was the one he did not have - with the waitress in a place where he orders a burger and wants chips and she says - we don't serve chips and he thinks - then how did you become like that?


Once he gets chased by some dogs and lands up in somebody's backyard which was very funny. There are millions of scientific data, information he has researched with great interest, and he frequently comes up with the horrible deaths many people have had in the place (he did the same with 'Walk in the Woods'). If you want someone to write about your place in an inviting manner don't think of Bryson because he will see the many ways people can die and also dig up information of how many people have died etc.

There is stuff about the Aborigines and how they have been treated and killed and how the law sided with the killers, the forgotten generations or something like that, the guy who let 24 rabbits loose and how they ate up so much bush until they had to kill the rabbits, a couple who got stranded on the Great Barrier Reef and was never found...stuff like that. Of course he took most of a chapter to make fun of cricket as a game.

Overall, a tad too long for me but since its Bill Bryson, I'll let it pass. Its worth the laughs and the information and I am not going to Australia in a hurry anymore.       

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

What is Privilege? - Check this Out

 What a powerful video and exercise!

Check this out

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hD5f8GuNuGQ


Race and privilege!


TED Talk - The power of Privilege, Tiffany Jana

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0acvkHIiZs



Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Antakshari - Movie

 2022. Malayalam. Cop who likes to play 'Antakshari' gets a threat that his daughter is in danger. The story unravels slowly and we figure who is the person behind a series of rather distant yet distinct murders. Enough gaps but quite entertaining as a thriller.

Works.



Friday, April 22, 2022

Death on the Nile - Movie

 2022. Agatha Christie's novel of the same name - with Hercule Poirot presiding. The end was pretty clear from the beginning, maybe because we had read the book or had read too much Agatha Christie or had become cynical and old and nothing surprises us because we can think of the worst scenarios anyway and it does not matter anyway even if you don't get it right because you anyway don't get it right most times and it does not matter even if you do get it right.

Anyway Hercule Poirot is hired by someone to investigate something (we don't know) but lands up on a cruise on the Nile with a newly married couple and the ex of the new husband following them. Soon we have murders - there are some ten people on board and about six of them get murdered and Poirot has no clue and everyone is just piling up the bodies quietly in the freezer where they keep the ham and moving on. Bride dies, doctor dies and so on and on until Poirot reveals what we always suspected - they did it for the money - and for love.

 

Canteen Fundas - To Empower Your Team, Cut the Cords That Tie You to the Outcome

 Detach from the outcome and watch the team perform to potential!

https://www.edexlive.com/opinion/2022/apr/20/e-canteen-fundas-detaching-yourselves-from-outcomes-can-be-so-liberating-for-you-and-your-team-28400.html


E-Canteen Fundas: Detaching yourselves from outcomes can be so liberating for you and your team


To get the best from your team, cut your attachment to the outcome and stop controlling the process. This interference puts unnecessary pressure on the team and hampers performance



‘Rinku, your basketball team pulled off a sensational win yesterday,’ said Rahul. ‘And that too without your charismatic captain, Tanya.’

‘Thanks, Rahul,’ said Rinku. ‘We all gave our best. Even our weakest players gave their best yesterday.’

‘Wow,’ said Rakesh. ‘Looks like a case of a secure leader in charge. Who was the captain yesterday?’

‘Really?’ said Rinku. ‘But you’re right, we played better under Swati yesterday and won a match we would have lost otherwise. On the other hand, under our regular captain, Tanya, we’ve been losing games we should have won easily.’

‘Maybe Swati is a better motivator than Tanya,’ said Rahul. ‘A better strategist. Maybe more intense, involved and charismatic. Right?’

‘Not really,’ said Rinku. ‘Tanya is very active, intense and energetic. No one can question her commitment to win. She has a tough work ethic and drives us all to be as good as her. She’s fully involved, ticks all the leadership boxes — set a common purpose, roles, goals, communication…everything’s done and double-checked. But when it comes to the matches, we perform way below our potential. I feel bad for her.’


‘When the result’s not what we want, then something’s wrong with the process,’ said Rakesh. ‘And if the process has been followed and all boxes ticked, then some qualitative aspect of leadership is missing. But first, let’s see what Swati did as a leader to get your best performances and pull off a sensational win.’

‘That’s the weird part, bhaiyya,’ said Rinku, drinking her cold coffee. ‘Swati almost did nothing. No big speeches, no intense activity and no emotional outbursts. She gave some basic pointers like we should all give our best and look to win and left us alone. I almost felt like she wasn’t there.’

‘And you gave your best performance for her?’ asked Rahul.

‘Yes,’ said Rinku. ‘I felt I had to do something. Like it’s my job too and not just hers. I think I did it for myself, for the team. Swati wasn’t giving instructions for every ball. She allowed us to do things our way. We intuitively did what we had trained to, as individuals and as a team. Even when it looked like we were losing, she was not agitated; like we were doing our best and let’s see. And then, the most unexpected person would do something brilliant and we’d be back in the game. How, bhaiyya?’

‘Rinku,’ said Rakesh. ‘It looks like under Tanya’s leadership, there’s too much pressure on the team. She’s everywhere, doing everything, including your jobs — micromanaging and getting into your space. Your entire team is always looking for her approval, to hold her scattered, insecure energy when, in fact, it should be the other way round — she should be holding your energy. People cannot perform to potential under so much pressure.’

‘But Tanya has the best of intentions,’ said Rinku. ‘She wants the team to win badly.’


‘But that’s not getting results,’ said Rakesh. ‘In fact, her extreme attachment to the outcome is harming the team — putting pressure on everyone which is why you’re losing games. You know she’ll be upset if you don’t do things the way she wants it and are not able to perform as you’re trained to do.’

‘And Swati’s getting their best performances by doing nothing?’ asked Rahul. ‘What kind of leadership is that?’

‘The best kind,’ laughed Rakesh. ‘By not being attached to the result she took the pressure off the team. She wants to win, mind you, and also knows that to win, she needs to get the best out of the team, to keep them in a state of ‘relaxed concentration'. Stress comes from being attached to the outcome. It seeps from the leader to the team. So, Swati focused on the process — created space for team members to figure out how to give their best and to own their process. They found ways to perform to their potential. You get better performances that way than by keeping the team under constant and intense pressure.’

‘But the team has to win, right bhaiyya?’ said Rahul. ‘How can she not be attached to wanting to win?’

‘Rahul, when our process or attachment is not getting the results we want, it’s time to understand that it’s not working,’ said Rakesh. ‘The best way is when everyone in the team feels they’re doing it for themselves and give their best willingly, freely and enthusiastically. Like Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said — ‘A leader is best when people barely know he exists; when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves.’ A true leader empowers her people and gets them to give their best — by making them feel like they own it.’

‘Hmm,’ said Rinku. ‘Any lessons that Tanya can learn from this, bhaiyya?’

‘Not just Tanya, but all of us can learn from this,’ said Rakesh. ‘Our attachment to the outcome makes us want to control the process — which comes from our insecurity. We must learn to let go of control and trust the team to do what it has trained to do in its own way. We need to facilitate the best environment to empower each member. Tanya needs to cut the invisible cord she has tied to each one of you, pulling at you like puppets, to control you. She must allow you to perform in your way without her interference. A secure leader does not try to control the process and is fine with all outcomes resulting in empowered people, less work for the leader, less stress all around and much better results.’

‘Wow,’ said Rinku. ‘Cut our cords to empower our team.’

Pro Tip: To get the best from your team, cut your attachment to the outcome and stop controlling the process. This interference puts unnecessary pressure on the team and hampers performance.

Conversations about Dhoni

 We were watching the CSK vs Mumbai Indians match yesterday. Both teams are at the bottom of the table - CSK won one game and MI has not won a single game yet which is getting to be very embarrassing. The match seemed to go CSKs' way initially (Ishant Kishen is on ULP after that bid) and then MI's way as MI's bowlers, specially the young kid Hritik and tightened the middle overs and Sams kept getting wickets. When Jadeja got out it looked like the match was over. Singles here and there, MSD knocking them around, taking singles as calmly as always.

'CKS is gone,' said I, unable to hold my judgment. 'No way they're going to climb out of this hole. MSD is simply knocking around and they have a lot of runs (I think their asking rate was 12 runs an over then)'.

Then Pretorius came and there were some short conversations with MSD and then Pretorius hit a six here and a four there and got 22 runs in 14 balls and kept them in the place. Last over was approaching and Dhoni just about hit a boundary to third man.Some 17 runs were required or something like that. Two balls with Dhoni off strike. Then a ball in the slot and it went straight back over for six. Suddenly it came to 10 in 3 and then a boundary again (don't remember where) and then a two and then a boundary placed perfectly behind four.

Big lesson. Just hold yourself and stay deep. That's all Dhoni does - stay till the end. The longer he stays without overthinking it, the more the bowlers overthink, and provide opportunities for him to score. Its something we could do in our lives. Just show up and stay till the end without overthinking. Take it as it comes until then. Don't say anything, don't do anything funny. 

Wait. Wait. Wait.

Like Kevin Costner tells Andy Garcia in The Untouchables. The moment will appear.

Then SMG said - MSD makes them bowl to his strengths.

I wondered how anyone can do that. One can do that when one has a thinking pattern that is not thinking the worst options - but perhaps the best. It's almost as if he's thinking in his head - this ball will be here (and not this ball will be unplayable) and he's getting into that position. 

More on this later. But big lesson - wait, wait till the end.  

  

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Bridge of Spies - Movie

 2015. Real life story of how an insurance lawyer negotiates the exchange of a US air force pilot who was caught in Russian territory for a KGB spy. Tom Hanks as always is brilliant.

Watch.


 

Monday, April 18, 2022

Shot New Videos With Sagar for the Canteen Fundas YouTube Channel

 So last Friday Sagar and I went ahead and shot six (seven actually) videos which he not only shot, but also asked questions and also uploaded on the YouTube channel Canten Fundas. This effort is entirely due to Sagar and whoever benefits from it should directly thank Sagar for it.

Here are the links!



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdmp4sg7OK8
(Recreate Your Story workshop details)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCaPvx6EOgs (Connection between Performance and Preparation)



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knDr9phuxsI
(How to Reduce Mental Interference to Improve Performance)



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49ZfL35wy_g
(How Values Help)



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgxrOqnL0yo
(How to use Feedback Management to Improve)



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4p8spsEw5K8
(How to achieve 10x Results with the same resources)

We shot another one on habits and routines, based on Atomic Habits but it was a bit too long and we decided to shoot it again. This time we were pretty happy that we could shoot it all in 2 hours which is a huge improvement from the last time. Aim to do 30 or so in a couple of months which should be a good number.

Sarcopenia - Interesting Stuff that Will Get You Off Your Butt

Don aka Dr Vardha forwarded this on our group the other day. I found it quite interesting - at the very least it will get people off their backsides! 

What is SARCOPENIA

Sarcopenia. is the loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength as a result of ageing.  It is a terrible condition.

Let’s explore sarcopenia !

Title: "Slowly Use Your Functional Muscles"

1. To develop a habit of being able to stand ... just don’t sit!  ... and don’t lie down if you can sit!

2. After the age of 50~60, it is not possible to lose weight, especially if you do not exercise and rely on eating less to lose weight!  

Because if all the muscles are lost, it can be  very dangerous!

3. Does running, cycling or climbing hurt the knee?

If you have never exercised before you can only go running, biking, or climbing in your mind as it will hurt your knees a lot!  

But if you have enough muscle strength and slowly develop the habit of running, cycling, and climbing, it can be a good exercise and not hurt your knees!  Whether you hurt your knees or not depends on your muscle strength!

4. If an elderly person is sick and hospitalized, don't ask him to rest more ... or lie down and relax and not get out of bed!

Lying down for a week loses at least 5% of muscle mass !  

And the old man can't get his muscles back !

5. Don't think that you are filial by not letting the elders do any housework, and scold the maid if they do it ! 

Usually, many elderly people who hire helpers lose muscle faster !

6. Don't just do a single activity every day when you go to the park. 

Dont just shake your hands when you can also shake your legs. You must also pull the horizontal bar or move every sports equipment! 

Because as long as a person moves, then all the muscles of whole body will be involved!  

Many elderly people even have difficulty swallowing because of insufficient exercise!  

In the end, they could not even cough up a mouthful of sputum and die because of this!

7. Sarcopenia is more terrifying than osteoporosis ! 

With osteoporosis you just need to be careful not to fall, whereas sarcopenia not only affects the quality of life but also causes high blood sugar due to insufficient muscle mass!

8. The fastest loss of sarcopenia is in the muscle of the legs!

Because when a person sits or lie down, the legs are not moving and the muscle strength of the legs are affected ... this is particularly important !  

Don't become black feet !  

So squat at least 20 to 30 times a day. 

Squat is not squatting down but like sitting on the toilet seat ... you can use a chair and stand up when your butt touches the seat!

You MUST pay attention to sarcopenia!

Go up & down stairs ... running, cycling and climbing are all great exercises and can increase muscle mass!

For a better quality of life for everyone in old age ... 

Move... don't waste your muscle!!

Aging   starts   from  the  feet  upwards !

      

KEEP  YOUR   LEGS  ACTIVE  &  STRONG  !!

▪️As  we   put   on  years  &  keep   getting   old   on  a  daily  basis ,   our  feet  must   always   remain active & strong.

As  we  are constantly   ageing / get aged,  we  should not  be  afraid  of  our  hair  turning   grey (or) skin  sagging ( or) wrinkles on face.

▪️Among  the  signs  of longevity, long fit life as summarized  by the  popular US Magazine  " Prevention ", strong  leg   muscles  are listed  on  the   top,  as  the  most  important & essential  one. 

Please walk daily.

▪️If   you  don’t move your  legs for just two  weeks,  your real leg  strength  will  decrease  by 10  years. 

Just walk

▪️A  study  from  the University of Copenhagen in  Denmark  found  that both old & young, during  the  two   weeks  of  inactivity,  the  legs  muscle  strength can weaken by a  third which is equivalent  to   20-30  years  of  ageing !! 

So just walk

▪️As  our  leg  muscles weaken, it  will  take a long  time  to  recover, even if  we  do rehabilitation  & exercises,  later. 

WALK. 

▪️Therefore, regular exercise like walking, is very important.

▪️The  whole   body weight/ load  remains  and  rest  on  the  legs.

▪️The feet  are a  kind  of pillars, bearing  the entire weight  of  the  human  body. 

Walk everyday.

▪️Interestingly,  50%  of a  person's  bones & 50%  of  the   muscles, are  in  the  two  legs. 

Do walk

▪️The  largest &  strongest  joints & bones  of  the   human body   are  also  in  the  legs. 

10K steps / day

▪️Strong   bones, strong  muscles  and flexible   joints   form  the Iron  Triangle   that  carries  the  most important   load   i.e.  the  human  body."

▪️70%  of  human activity and burning  of energy in  one's  life  is done  by  the  two  feet.

▪️Do  you  know  this ? When a  person  is  young,   his/ her  thighs have  enough  strength , to lift  a  small car of  800 kg !

▪️The foot  is  the center of  body locomotion.

▪️Both  the   legs together  have  50%   of the   nerves    of   the  human  body,  50%   of  the   blood  vessels  and  50%  of   the   blood   is flowing  through   them.

▪️ It  is  the  largest  circulatory  network  that connects  the   body. 

So walk daily.

▪️Only when  the feet are  healthy then  the convention current  of blood  flows ,  smoothly,   so  people who  have  strong  leg muscles  will  definitely have  a strong  heart. Walk. 

▪️Aging  starts  from  the  feet  upwards

▪️As  a   person  gets older, the  accuracy & speed  of  transmission  of instructions   between the  brain and   the  legs decreases, unlike  when a  person  is  young. Please walk

▪️In   addition,   the   so-called   Bone  Fertilizer Calcium will  sooner  or later  be  lost  with  the passage  of  time,  making  the   elderly  more  prone  to   bone fractures. WALK.

▪️Bone  fractures  in  the  elderly   can  easily  trigger  a  series   of complications, especially  fatal  diseases   such  as   brain   thrombosis.

▪️Do  you   know   that 15% of elderly  patients   generally, will  die  max. within  a  year  of   a  thigh-bone   fracture !! Walk daily without fail

▪️ Exercising  the legs,   is   never  too  late, even  after   the  age  of 60  years.

▪️Although   our   feet/legs  will   gradually   age with    time,  exercising  our  feet/ legs  is  a  life-long  task.  

Walk 10,000 steps

▪️Only  by regular strengthening   the  legs, one   can   prevent   or reduce  further  aging. Walk 365 days

▪️ Please  walk  for at  least 30-40  minutes   daily   to  ensure   that   your   legs  receive   sufficient   exercise and  to  ensure  that  your  leg  muscles remain healthy.

*You  should   share  this  important  information  with  all  your  40+years"  friends & family  members, as everyone  is  aging  on  a  daily basis

Bliss!

 In the midst of a world that's going nuts, here I find bliss. On a hot summer afternoon, dressed in his own native clothes, unmindful of the heat, his own illness, he sat completely focused on his cup of chai...drank it with great mindfulness and then walked off with great dignity. 

Ah!



More Interesting Behaviors

 I notice this everywhere (luckily not in our colony yet) but mostly in Banjara Hills and Jibilee Hills area where house owners put stones and rocks and cones to cordon off people from parking near their house. They feel they own some part of the road along their wall and get super angry when people park their cars. They have this very devious method of placing stones etc so people cannot park - they'll be in the middle of the road. One house near Sarvi actually hired security guards to stop people from parking on the road - beyond their stones. Most of these houses have security guards whose only job is to shoo people off the road and protect their personal road for their masters. Some pictures of these stones for illustration.

Another interesting thing is our ex-corporator who lives in our colony. Her house has a ramp that crosses the pavement and lands on the road. Obviously the rules are different for her and for us. Come to think of it there was this cop who lived in our colony - a corer house, so he decided that the space given for the pavement was not required and that he could take it over. So he just built a wall around and made it his own personal pavement - inside his wall. 



Such sense of social well being from our role models!  

Canteen Fundas - Leaders Evolve In Time

 Leaders evolve in time - if they're willing to learn!

https://www.edexlive.com/opinion/2022/apr/15/e-canteen-fundas-before-you-step-leadership-arena-ask-yourself-are-you-willing-to-learn-28317.html


E-Canteen Fundas: Before you step into the leadership arena, ask yourself, are you willing to learn?


Leadership is a skill that can be learned by practicing the principles of leadership. Leaders evolve from being insecure leaders, to being personal leaders, to being secure leaders and so on


Learn and then some more | (Pic: Edexlive)


‘I don’t know how Saurabh became the Sports Club President,’ said Rahul. ‘He’s such a bad leader. I don’t think he can ever improve.’

‘Really? Saurabh is a good guy otherwise, right?’ asked Rahul. ‘Is it true bhaiyya, that some people just cannot be good leaders?’

‘Not really Rinku,’ said Rakesh. ‘Like anything else, leadership can be learned. But the key, as always, is this — a learning mindset. It may take time, but if the leader is willing to learn, the worst of leaders evolve into great leaders.’

‘You mean that even Saurabh, with his bad leadership skills, can, by learning the right principles and practices, evolve into a good leader?’ asked Rahul. ‘That would be a miracle.’

‘That’s interesting,’ said Rinku. ‘How does this evolution happen?’


Let’s take you as an example, Rinku,’ said Rakesh. ‘As we know, all leaders come from within the group. Let’s say you’ve been made class monitor by your lecturer. You have no training as a leader and have been made a leader simply because you are a better performer than the rest, you are older, you put up your hand, the boss likes you and so on. But that does not make you a good leader. With no training inputs and a lack of basic leadership skills, you’re likely to feel insecure while leading your peers. To assert yourself as the leader, you display your insecurity through behaviours such as — going hard on the team, taking a my-way-or-highway approach, not being open to discussion or dissent, seeing feedback as criticism and using threats and penalties as a way to get work done. A team under such a leader works resentfully and naturally, team performance will be way below potential. Such teams stagnate or regress. Ironically, the leader blames the team for its failure. This is the kind of a leader who you feel will not improve, right?’

‘Yes, bhaiyya,’ said Rahul. ‘That’s exactly how Saurabh behaves. But now I can see he may be doing it from his insecurity. How can such a person evolve?’

‘Now, let’s say Rinku, as a class monitor, has realised that her leadership style is not working,’ said Rakesh. ‘She can see that the team is unhappy, some have left, most are underperforming and the results are bad. At some point, if Rinku is smart, she will realise something needs to change and that the change has to begin with herself. Like American author John C Maxwell said — ‘As a leader, the first person I need to lead is me. The first person I should try to change is me.’ This change leads to personal leadership or change at a personal level. Here, you take ownership and do all the things you can to produce results, and by doing so, lead by example. It’s like a star player trying to do all the work for the team! Since you are not yet confident in delegating, you do the work yourself and end up trying to do everybody’s work which is not very efficient. But you do inspire a few others with your intent and work ethic. The limitations, however, are that you’re still not open to others’ ideas, follow only your ways, do not know how to delegate and therefore, cannot get the best out of the team. Delegation has to do with trust and you are not secure enough to trust yourself or your team members. Personal leadership can work in a small setup to some extent because you can pull off other people's work when it’s small. But it’s still not the best in terms of helping the team grow to its full potential. Small businesses stay small because the leaders try to do everything themselves! No team can grow on the efforts of one person. Under a personal leader, teams perform better, but not to their full potential.’

‘Okay, so I have moved from not letting anyone do the work, to doing everything myself because I don’t trust others fully enough to delegate, right?’ said Rinku. ‘It’s progress certainly. What next?’



‘In time, you as the personal leader, realise that the team offers a lot more potential that can be tapped,’ said Rakesh. ‘If you’re learning-oriented, you will realise that it’s your leadership style that limits the growth of your team and that you’re the limiting factor. Once you start thinking in terms of growth, your focus shifts from yourself to the team — how to help the team grow using all available resources. You realise growth is much faster if you involve others, motivate them, listen to more perspectives, be open to ideas, allow them to work in their ways, guide and support them when they need it, give them credit and provide process orientation. You let them take greater responsibility, make mistakes and in the process, help them grow. The secure leader almost appears to be doing nothing. You just create and hold the space, allow the elements to fall in place and evolve. You realise that by stepping out of the way, the plants under your shadow bloom. Under a secure leader, the entire team grows, enjoys working together, feels creatively satisfied and achieves potential. Everyone thinks and acts like a leader. There’s less pressure on everyone and far greater results. Under secure leaders, teams do way better than expected as they use all resources to the maximum.’

‘Wow,’ said Rinku. ‘That’s a neat explanation of the leader’s transition. Thanks, bhaiyya.’

Pro Tip: Leadership is a skill that can be learned by practising the principles of leadership. Leaders evolve from being insecure leaders (where teams stagnate or regress), to being personal leaders (who pull the team forward through single-handed effort) and to being secure leaders, who help everyone grow by giving them more responsibility (and in the process, achieve team potential). To grow, leaders need a learning mindset.


Thought for the Day - Whose Approval Is Stopping You

 There are so many things in our life that we don't do - because someone in our life does not approve of that. And just because of that approval or disapproval, we become completely different people from what we actually are feel bound by their approval/disapproval.



But this approval / disapproval cycle has been built by us. We created this whip and gave the handle to these people. And then we feel bound by it - and wait for them to let us go. We crib all our life that we cannot be free.

Whose approval is stopping you form being yourself? Take back the whip. Break those shackles.

Get out. You're free. Stop making excuses. 

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Thought for the Day - Atomic Habits and their Effects

 We were discussing the benefits of habits in class. We discussed the concept of atomic habits and the aggregation of marginal gains. Now one idea I love most from the book is the 2 minute rule. Though it is categorised in the 'make response easy' part, it has numerous other benefits.


The first is that it makes it easy to start many things, many habits which are good for us but which we do not practice because we feel we need to take out a long period of time for it. But if we only do a 2 minute version of it (instead of walking for 1 hour, walk 2 minutes, instead of practicing for one hour, do 2 minutes). Chances are you'll do it for 5-10-30-or even an hour once you start.

The second is that the 2 minute version actually adds up - a number of 2 minutes over the year is better than no work. Also, the rule is that repetitions are more effective than huge, big sessions. Small, consistent repetitions are way more effective than big, inconsistent efforts.

Here's the third one. Studies have shown that the mind only needs to believe it has done it - whether you did or how much does not matter. So a 2 minute practice could actually end up making you feel much better than not doing anything at all and could give you way more benefit than you can imagine.

Practice, fitness, relationships, money, skill development - anything that we want to feel good about. So I tried it out - my day would be ideal if I had a 1 hour walk/jog, 1 hour meditation, some yoga etc - but I cannot do them all. So today I did 5 minutes of meditation and five minutes of pranayama, one suryanamaskara and off I went to jog. I also decided to engage with people - just a small hi and a  small how are you - rather than sweeping plans about when we should meet etc.

I feel like I have meditated a lot. I feel good. And that's more than I can say for this. If you're feeling good - you're done!

Thought for the Day - The Connection between Grit and Flexibility

 A conversation recently brought up this question - if something is not working out despite our best efforts, should we give up? And when?


It is a very good question. We don't know if we are two feet away from gold or whether there is no gold, so we are stuck with this question. Many hold on, thinking that the gold is two feet away perhaps. Many give up too early thinking there is no gold.

Whatever it is, there is one aspect one must bear in mind. If the outcome is not what we expected, we must be flexible enough to look at different ways and processes, to change things and explore new ways and opportunities, until we get the outcome we want - or at least find a satisfactory outcome. I find that many times we are so obsessed with our outcome that the process is ignored or never revisited. We go hard with the process - and end up with the same outcome.

To temper our effort, to be more open and flexible, to absorb small signs or changes in the process, we need one quality that can make us truly flexible - so we can find new answers or insights. That quality is to do it with mindfulness, with a gentle and loving attitude. It could be about the product, the process, the customer - if you are fully engaged with the process, the why you are doing it - you will find answers sooner than later. 

And the journey will be so much more enjoyable. 

So the formula is Grit + Mindfulness =Adaptability and Openness to see new possibilities

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Vinod and Me at Minerva

 For over a couple of decades now, Vinod and I meet at Minerva Coffee Shop at Punjagutta, talk about stuff, sometimes about our writing, sometimes about books and sometimes about other writers. We eat bajjis and drink coffee and off we go after that. More often or not there will be some cray jokes that make us crack up in laughter.

This time we had told the waiter to get us bajjis and then coffee - a normal order. The bajjis took a long time in coming and soon after they arrived the steward rushed to us. 

Shall I get the coffee?' he asked.

Vinod was irritated.

'After some time,' he said.

The steward looked confused.

'After sometime,' I repeated. 'It will take us a while to finish these bajjis.' 

He nodded and withdrew.

'Maybe,' we thought, looking how to create a situation here. 'We should have asked him like tow helpless morons. 'But if you get coffeee now, it will get cold. Because we will either have to eat bajjis or drink the coffee. If we drink coffee, the bajjis will get cold. Unless we eat bajjis and drink coffee together which may not be a great idea. What do you think we should do?'

All earnestness.

Maybe then, the steward might understand our predicament and help us poor souls out by saying - maybe you can drink your coffee after the bajjis! Which is what we normally do. And which is what he should have suggested to us if he was doing his job well.

We did think we could write about many such happenings in the day when we meet people like our steward  Just lay it all bare and see if he can help us after understanding our problem!   

Akela Teaches me Yoga

 Once in a while I get inspired to do some yoga and I was doing my suryanamaskars when Akela decided to join me. Even as I was about to begin the cycle it occupied the mat and did some stretching stuff - some dog yoga I think.


Then it did some more intricate stuff - which I can never do.



It would not let me do my yoga for quite some time and then finally allowed me to, after having taken care to show me how its done. Thanks Akela, it was super fun.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Thought for the Day - Give Luck a Chance

 I am unlucky. Luck is not by my side.


We have heard this all the time. What we need to examine here is - are we giving luck a fair chance or are we making it difficult for luck to help us? What exactly is our relationship with luck? Do we really want luck? Or are we happy cribbing about not having luck?

Once we look at this we can think of ways of how to get lucky. Can we identify the times we got lucky?Can we do things which makes things work for us? Can we look for good luck instead of bad luck?

Heal your relationship with luck. Make it easy to come to you.

Good luck!