Friday, August 12, 2022

Thought for the Day - Choose Your Mountain

 So we choose our mountains to climb in our life.

Pic Satish N

What we choose to climb is our choice.

So choose carefully - because you are climbing some mountain or another always. Make it worth it. Make it grow you.

Don't climb any random mountain. Drop those useless ones - find something worthy.

Thought for the Day - It's Air that Keeps Our Story Alive

 Consider this.

Pic courtesy - Satish Nargundkar

There's air that we breathe that keeps us alive. As long as we are alive, our story is alive. The moment we stop breathing, our story ends.

It's this invisible air that is keeping our story alive.

So what are we doing with our story? With all these breaths that are keeping us going. What exactly have we built, created? What do we plan to create with our remaining breaths? 

Unfold your story. Breathe in fully.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Feedback Series - Arts Management

 Now this is one course I love taking - the Arts Management course in the Department of Dance at the University of Hyderabad. The course is to help the students manage their career as an artiste and involves everything like learning approaches. skill development, self management, performance management, people management, marketing management, financial management and even  energy management. 

Class of 2022

All these years I have not really asked for written feedback but this year I did. I'll post it here and keep adding as and when I get more.


Hello Sir,

I'm wholeheartedly giving my feedback. 

I learned a lot of things from your class, the way you motivated us is the next level. Before the Arts Management course I don't know how to manage my dance career, but after listening to our classes now I got a clarity regarding my dance career that is how to manage an institution, how to earn money, what is the right way to achieve our goals, what is the exact plan to reach our dreams and how to walk in the right path. These things I learned a lot from you. The Vision Statement is the first thing I started to build a career..the 4 steps to rapid skill acquisition i.e. deconstruct the skill etc...habits, the 2 minute rule and learning mindset...these are the building steps for my career sir...My goal is to start an institution, you gave clarity by teaching the 4Ps and the 3 As and finally you gave clarity about the financial management with all these works. I already started implementing these rules which you have taught...Teaching is different but you have los of patience are listening to each and every student's problems and their experiences and guiding them accordingly in the class.Thank you so much sir.

-Gone Bhargavi, MPA, 2022

Hai sir
Sahithi here

I am really very happy with your course sir, because learning dance is regular and it will go with a flow. But knowing our laggings and also making them correct is very important for us to grow, you gave that for is as much as possible. At first we thought it is a basic theory subject, but in entire MPA course, your course is the best one (heartfully).
And moreover you are treating is like your is a very good strength for us, may many students like us waiting for someone like you, we know our wrongs and lags, but we don't know how to correct them, but you are making them in right way.


Hello sir,
The course taken on Arts Management was inspirational. The topics covered under this course helped me to look at my goals logically and helped me figure out the small steps in achieving them. It gave me the right direction to work and help me build a positive attitude towards life.
As the sessions involved a lot of discussions, it helped me to speak up my mind and put my thoughts out there. It would have been better if we could even involve other Professors in one such session as you mentioned and if the course could be introduced from the 3rd semester itself as we would have time to monitor our development accordingly and would be able to have a healthy discussion with you regarding our progress.

Lastly, I would like to thank you regarding the efforts you have made in preparing the course pattern which is very unique and different topics that can be used in the field of dance which gave me the ability to look at my life from varied perspectives.

Thank you once again.
Jeevana Srinivas

Hello sir,

I would like to thank you for the wonderful sessions given by your sir.. Though I have attended few classes but in those only I have understood what is going to be the next life.. especially the 4 P's and 3 A's concept was very interesting for me.. and this subject is like a kind of motivation for us.

I also observed that you have lot of patience sir.. which I really don't have but by seeing your patience even I also want to be like you sir.. In a simple words you are the best teacher, mentor, motivator and a person inside out..

Yamini Reddy

Hello sir,

I am S S R N Lavanya.I fully enjoyed your lectures, you explained everything in detail and it made it easier for me to understand. The topics we learned are very useful for our future. After listening to your lectures we got some clarity about our future gaols, and how to deal with it. We planned everything with our visions we will work for it Thank you so much for showing the best way sir.

S S R N Lavanya

Monday, August 8, 2022

Darlings - Movie

 2022. Hindi. Alia Bhatt's first ventures as producers I thinks and commendable one justs for taking on somethings experimentals and reals. It's known that we hypocrites would not like our protagonists to kills or thinks of anything nasty untils we are forced to - and that some people in our ecosystems like mothers etc cannot be killers. But we sees that every days yet - we will rejects it even if its a storys.

So we have two darlings, Alias and Hamzas, in a lovey dovey love marriages, but only that Hamz is an alcoholics and a fellow with a splits personality. One is sweets and calls his wife 'darlings' and the other beats her ups and throws her down flights of stairs etc. But Alias believes he will change each time despite her widowed mother Shefali telling her that a scorpions cannot change its natures. So they go on until Alias loses her baby and she decides to turn things around a bits. What we do realise is that there are enough scorpions and frogs all around us. Nice ending. Makes you think. Good performances all arounds.

Thought for the Day - Life's Only About Now, Don't Fight the Future

 You realise that all we have is now. That the future and any speculation on it is pointless. To hold people to promises to be redeemed in the future makes no sense because the future is not here yet.

You're better off living and killing off each moment as it comes and goes. Don't project this moment into the future and mess what could be a better future than you can conceive. Don't limit it, don't fight it.

Let it come. Until then, be grateful for the last memory. For the present. The future will unfold magnificently. If you let it.  

Thought for the Day - Replace Judgment With Wonder

 When we replace judgment with wonder, we move from knowing the answers to being in a questioning mode. A wondrous mode.


So, instead of one possibility, we now have many possibilities. Isn't that beautiful?

Thought for the Day - Each Scene is a Story in Itself

 It's true. Every scene is a complete story in itself.

If we go deep into it.

Our life is like that. If we delve deep into our life, we find a story in every moment we live. Live deep.

Thought for the Day - Real Work is Only When you Lose Yourself In It

 Whatever you are doing, real work is only done when you lose yourself in it.

Until then, it's not work.

Thought for the Day - When Things Overwhelm, Slow Down

 When things overwhelm you, slow down to your pace.

Overwhelm means that you are running faster than your pace. Take it easy. Cut your pace. Chill. The world won't end. 

Do it at your pace. The world will adjust.

Smile. You're the boss of the world.

Thought for the Day - The Wisdom of Life is in Removing the Unnecessary

 Simple as that. Deal with only what's necessary, what's before you. Cut out all else form your thought and your energy.

You'll be in great space. Just you and what's necessary, what is before you. All your extra thoughts about others, what they think, what they feel etc, just dump. Nobody is even thinking about you.

Life's simple.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Thought for the Day - Laughter Cuts Attachment

 When there's pain, there's attachment.

Not the best time to laugh but try it - laughter does cut attachment. 

Look at your situation. Find humour in it. You realise that pain and humour are closely connected (see how much we laugh at Tom and Jerry and their pain).

God gave us the perfect antidote for pain. Laughter. Look for it and you're done.

Thought for the Day - Expectation is Self Punishment

 To expect is to set yourself up for self-punishment.

It's better to be grateful to whatever comes your way.  But then we feel, we have a right to expect. When we love a person, a thing, a star, we expect them to be a certain way. That is the measure of our love.

Our love is built on expectations - you give this (and that what I see as love) and then, I will give you love back.

But that might not be love - simply because you love the person for what they are.

But then you say angrily, what about all that I am giving that person, my unconditional love etc? If I do not give all that will that person remain? Without all that, that person, thing will vanish because I have nothing to give, to worship, to love.

Ah, I guess one must love the person or thing in whatever capacity they/it appears to you - no more and no less. And just because you made her/it bigger in your eyes does not mean they need to behave a certain way.

Scale down expectations. Scale down transactions. Take what is. Leave what is not. You will find you have enough time for yourself, your own life.  

Zero to One - Peter Thiel

The tag line - 'Notes on Startups or how to build the future' is what it is about. Thiel. promoter of PayPal along with very big names like Elon Musk and others, knows what he is talking about. He says build something that doe snot exist - that was zero - and take it to one. No incremental approaches, radical ones.

Startups, he says operate on the principle that you need to work with other people to get stuff done but you also need to stay smart enough so that you actually can. Which is true for most successful businesses I guess. Also, a startup is the largest group of people you can convince of a plan to build a different future.

One question he asks is - what important truth do very few people agree with you on?

Quickly Thiel proves that the dotcom bust threw up some answers such as - 

- better risk boldness 

- a bad plan is better than no plan   

- competitive markets profits

- sales matters just as products

To protect their market company tell lies about 1) monopoly lies 2) competitor lies 3) ruthless people

In a good start up, present value cash flows should be increasing.

The characteristics of a monopoly are

-Proprietary tech

- network effects

- economies of scale

- branding

To build a monopoly 1) start small and monopolise (start with a very small market and monopolise)

2) scale up 3) don't disrupt

To be a successful startup he says, the last will be the first (as opposed to the coventional first moved advantage)

Thiel takes off on Gladwell and rightly so and says we must believe we can control the future and we must be definitely optimistic. With good design, careful planning, long term planning we can pretty much get what we want to achieve. He says we are not lottery tickets. I agree.

Where it comes to money Thiel says Venture Capitalists aim to identify, fund and profit from promising early stage companies. hey hope to get a cut of 20% of returns. The law they follow is to invest in companies that have the potential to return the value of the entire fund. Every single company in a good Venture portfolio must have the potential to succeed at a vast scale. So they make few investments.

Thiel says instead of picking anything and being good at it, you must focus relentlessly on something you're good at doing if its valuable for the future.

Thiel says there are Conventions, Secrets and Mysteries. Startups are about secrets. Why there are not enough secrets is because of incrementalism, risk aversion, complacency and flatness. He says there are secrets of nature and secrets of people.

When you uncover a secret he says don't tell everyrone. And to find secrets, look where no one else is looking.    

When looking at founders, he says look for good co-founders who complement your skills, there must be a clear delineation of ownership, processes and control, who is off the bus and who is on it, and why equity makes immense sense.

The PayPal mafia was a happy bunch of co-conspirators he says who were happy together.

One way to figure how the startup works is 

- from the outside everyone in the company should be different in the same way

- from the inside every individual should be sharply distinguished by her work (they should be known for one thing)

In the end he says sales is as important as the product.

Thiel leaves you with seven questions

1) Can you create breakthrough technology instead of incremental improvement? - engg question

2) Is now the right time to start? - timing q

3) Are you starting with a big share in a small market? - monopoly

4) Do you have the right team? - people

5) Do you have a way to create and deliver your product? - distribution q

6) Will your market be there 10-20 years from now? - durability

7) Have you identified a unique opportunity that others cannot see? - secret

Thiel says that most founders are eccentric. He lists a bunch of American royalties in the end.

Overall good stuff. I bought this because one potential coachee wanted coaching on startup and left me with the book. I think it makes sense in many ways. Go radical, go for secrets no one has uncovered, start small, get into a monopolistic situation, give importance to sales and think long term. Sound stuff. And glad he went after Gladwell because Gladwell does leave you with questions without any real solution.   


Let Them All Talk - Movie

 2020. Meryl Streep plays a Pulitzer prize winning author who has been awarded an award in Europe - but she cannot fly - so the agency decides to send her by ship. She takes along with her two friends from thirty years ago, and a nephew. The executive from the lit agency also joins her furtively to get a sense of what she is writing about (I don't know why - because she will give it to them when the time comes anyway right?) Anyway turns out that there are more secrets and the author has drawn liberally from her life causing some divorces etc. (The most interesting parts were the escapades of Diane West which she reveals quite matter of factly!) In the end it all seemed rather pointless so despite it being a Meryl Streep movie, I would not recommend it.


Rocketry - Movie

 2022. Directorial debut by Madhavan and a story that was worth telling. I do remember the scandal caused by Mariam Rasheeda's accusations and the ISRO scientist being accused of selling information in return for sexual favours - but as usual no one told later that the case was thrown out, Nambi Narayanan acquitted, that he got compensation and that he got a Padma Vibhushan. Even more interesting is that no one is being held accountable for the charges made and the damage caused not just to Nambi Narayanan and his family but to the space satellite program itself. One wonders how such flimsy charges can hold, how those who make such charges get away without any accountability. I also remember how the authorities has put out lurid details of the Talwar case and never substantiated any of it. So I am glad Meghna Gulzar made Arushi and Madhavan made Rocketry. As a directorial debut, handling such a sensitive and complex case, well done Madhavan. 

I liked it. Worth watching certainly. Having watched Rocket Boys recently I am now up to date with our space program, with Homi Bhabha, Vikram Sarabhai. APJ Abdul Kalam and others. Thanks guys for making these and educating us!


Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Anjali - An Interview with Niveditha Indrajit

 Niveditha and Anjali in a freewheeling interview. Niveditha began as Anjali's art teacher, grew her from merely painting to exploring several aspects of her artist's side, expanded Anjali's mind (and ours) when she proposed an exhibition (we had to scale down from the Marriott to our home but it was fun and not just one, we had two exhibitions), and further on to explore herself as a person and how to look at life with different perspectives, taught her all she knew about dogs and how to care for them and in the process built on Anjali's great love for dogs and animals, and slowly morphed into her mentor, guide, friend and laughter companion. So it was no surprise that they did an interview and here it is.

  Good one Niveditha and Anjali. I enjoyed watching it. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Anjali - True Love!

 Every day at 330 pm, Akela rushes out to the front yard and sits in this position waiting for Anjali who she knows will come sometime between 345 and 350. She sits still and waits until Anjali comes and then dissolves into some funny shapes overcome by joy at seeing her mistress.

Akela waiting!

I can hear her rush at 330, as if some alarm went off. What is it if its not true love?

Monday, August 1, 2022

And the Canteen Fundas Saga Ends!

 What started as a column in the Edex page of the New Indian Express on August 27, 2019, thanks to Vasu, the then Chief Editor and Daniel Thimmayya and Seema Rajpal who handled the education supplement, Canteen Fundas came into existence as a 450 word column. The column was envisaged as a conversation between three students - one senior and wiser and the other two junior - Rakesh being senior and Rinku and Rahul being junior. It was a print version initially so we had to send in our columns by Monday latest and they would appear the next Monday. I would share the column with a few friends and family, some students and like minded people initially, and then to some more.

Then the COVID 19 happened and the column continued as print edition until it shifted to digital version. Then the word count was limitless and we called it eCanteen Fundas. In the early days we had to sending a concept by Saturday so the illustrator could do an illustration and the article could go in on Monday. They would do such lovely illustrations too.

I'd write the article and then run it by Shobhs and Anjali for their editing inputs and they'd patiently help. I even hired Anjali at 250 rupees an article to run through and give me a go ahead. Many articles I would reach out to those who were experts in that area so I would not make an error. Many times i would revise the article and trouble Seema who might have set the page but I felt the revision would convey the message better.

When I shared the article I would get all kinds of responses. Krishna, Chitra would read every article and comment on it. Tanuj would have a breezy take on it. Papa Raju would comment on those he liked. Tops would almost always comment. Pratap would send a thus up. Naren would comment. For a brief while Sheelu was very interested and then it got too much for her. Mahesh Bhogawar would share it on his groups. Farrukh Azam and Arif would always comment on the school group while Malli, Sridhar and others would comment on the cricket groups. Abhinay would comment on them here. Vasudha would instantly analyse and take the lesson. Smitha would always give me an instant and positive feedback on how it would help young kids. Dr Anuradha would comment on how it made her Mondays so bright and so would Dr Pushpa. Too many to mention really but one thing that I really liked was that it would somehow establish connection every week.

Now, it has come to an end. Yesterday's was the last piece. I received this lovely mail from editor Seema.

"Dear sir 

Hope you are doing well. 
Times are changing and with that, Edex revamp is underway. In a mission to be more helpful to students, we are rebuilding our content from scratch, in which, news and columns will be a part of something that's much, much bigger. 
Keeping that in mind, we are evolving what we do now. You must have noticed on the current website, we are focussing more on newer aspects like exam alerts and so on. Columns are undergoing a retake as well, as discussed with you in an earlier conversation. 
On that note, it has been decided that E-Canteen Fundas will have to be halted.
On a personal note, there have been so many instances where I've drawn wisdom from your columns. The columns in which you were focussing on leadership especially are pieces that are close to my heart and something that I have been following in my personal life as well. I am sure this is true for our readers too, who look forward to the conversations between Rakesh, Rinku and Rahul that are enriching and offer eager youngsters treasured pearls of wisdom.
One more thing that I have always admired is the amount of work that you put into your columns. Apart from references to books, and philosophers, your attention to detail, so much so that you send revised columns and are always thinking about what will connect the best, is admirable, to say the least. It is inspiring. And urges us to do our best too.   
We've come a long way since our print days and we still have a long way to go. We hope we can count on your wisdom going forward as well. 
Meanwhile, if you have any feedback for us, we are all ears. Please know that it is highly valuable to us. 
Thank you for the opportunity of featuring your words on our platform.
Warm regards and full of gratitude, 
Seema Rajpal
+91 8939-801211
The New Indian Express"

And today I sent out a note to all on my broadcast list to thank them for being with me on this journey.

 "Dear friend, for the past three years, from August 2019, you’ve shared my weekly journey with Canteen Fundas, with Rinku, Rahul and Rakesh, and listened to their conversations, worries and apprehensions. It’s been a journey that has been deeply satisfying for me, and I hope it has in some measure been of use to you. 

As all good things, the time has come for Canteen Fundas to end. The last column of yesterday is indeed the last of this series.

Writing the column has given me a lot of purpose, provoked thoughts and mostly helped me keep my sanity through the pandemic and the rough times of the last few years. 

I’m so glad I could share this journey with you. Your comments and calls, your thoughtful and measured responses, have not only kept me going, encouraged me, but also made me write better, think better. Made me a better person through this process surely.

Thank you so much for indulging me for all this time. Hopefully when there’s another column, we’ll meet again like this. 

Until then, with the deepest gratitude for staying with me all through patiently. Lots of love and affection. (From  Rinku, Rahul, Rakesh and me)"

And I got a flood of messages which I will retain here.

 Oh, oh Hari, Enjoyed reading them. Good life lessons that sometimes we tend to forget – G Krishnan

Thank you for writing beautifully πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘  You are an inspiration to me and many. God bless you always.... Keep following your dreams. Keep writing....πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡ – Namrata

Oh...that is sad. Moving on to someting else?- Anwar

πŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎ. Wow, three years. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and philosophy with us.- Kiri

Oh damn, will definitely miss all the above. It was nice knowing all of them - Don

Rinku, Rahul and Rakesh; 3 guys, 3 years. Next time add more characters...😊 – Sanjay

Hello sir, we had absolute joy and great insights reading your thoughts in Rinku, Rahul and Rakesh's conversations. Thank you for the efforts of sharing them every Monday. It kept reminding us our university classes and the many lessons we discussed. Will cherish them. Hope to read your column soon! – Sravya

Thank you for all sharing to us sir. I started reading from  just a few months ago. Chala manchi concepts ni conversations ga your writings was so simple to  read and very thought provoking. Congratulations on these successful writings sir. Many more to come ✨ - Gangadhar

Will miss your column Hari. Waiting for a new series & wishing you all the best – Sarita

Hari bhai E-canteen fundas can be captured in a book form or pdf for publishing..Sridhar Pulei

Bhidu, whatever you write...comes straight from the heart and is supposed to serve a purpose. I'm sure your piece has helped a lot of deserving teenagers πŸ‘��...looking forward to the next round...!!! – Satish Singh

The canteen fundas are thought provoking,  enlightening..  I used to wait for the post... I shared almost all posts to many people including youngsters, corporate employees etc... I will miss them... Waiting for another column very soonπŸ’πŸ’πŸ’ –Venkataramana

So the mindfulness was a swan song πŸŽ‰ Great fundas bro, the RRR trio kept piling on the pro tips which I will surely miss, until you swing the bat again in the near future. Looking forward bud 🀝 – SV Ramana

Great efforts Hari bhai. you kept the motivation going during unforeseen pandemi times πŸ™πŸ™πŸ’πŸ’πŸ€πŸ€πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘πŸ‘ – Dr S Sridhar

Hari your summation of each article with a pro tip is always thought provoking. I enjoyed sharing the articles with my family, friends and especially my kids. I always thought after every article that the subject is so simple but still all of us tend to ignore it or keep it pending. Thank you for all the subtle insights u have given us all these days. Hope this is  just the beginning of more interesting things to come. Looking forward to many more. Well done Hari.πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ» – Vijay

Great πŸ‘ looking forward for the upcoming column. Keep Up The good Work Hari – Akram

Well done Hari bhai as usual you rock πŸ‘πŸ‘ – Mohib

It really is a very good column mama. Sad it's ending – Yash

Oh no!! Why???. 😭😭😭😭

Good afternoon, They were too good and thought provoking...Will miss them and will wait for another series from you Sir. Thanks – Naveen Chauhan

Oh how sad Harry ! But all good things have to come to an end πŸ€— And fresh good things will start ! – CV

Thanks Hari. I have enjoyed reading your posts and appreciate the wisdom you have shared. Best wishes - Vivek Pande

Congratulations SirπŸ’πŸ’ for successful completion of Canteen Fundas Series.  Canteen Fundas weekly articles helped me in many ways,  personality development, problem solving skills, looking at the things from different point of view. I will be looking forward for your Next Articles Sir.πŸ™ – Sravan HCU

Omg! Your columns have given me hope, supprt and wisdom in times of distress. True, everything must end one day.. Thank you for giving me goodness, and wisdom through your lovely characters, Hari! – Ram Roam Films

Sad. You should put them together and make another book. What say..Vidyuth

Didn't realize it's been three years... Week after week, you've shared with the young, "fundas" of daily life. Liked the way you structured these columns too: presenting a dilemma and articulating a solution in simple conversations. I enjoyed reading these... I wish you start a new column, or even a book again. Perhaps another novel, or something about cricket. Look forward... Best wishes – Jayanth Kodkani

Thank you so much for sharing the whole series😊 - Sruthy, UoH

πŸ™πŸ‘thanks for making us look forward every are a rockstar..let's catch up.soon..Jaideep Pal

Loved reading them...Will wait for your next column – Lekha Nair

Dear Hari I read most of the articles thoroughly.twice I referred to the book you quoted from.i found it useful to apply some in my lday to day life. I highly recommend students to go through them . because I felt I would have benefited a lot if there was a column like this in newspapers.i remember The Hindu on Wednesday had a column. We are students althrough our lives.always needing some practical guidance something which is applicable in my life.being in the teaching line I strongly believe in a systematic approach to any problem and for that I feel any counseling based on a scientific approach is necessary.that way I really liked and read and sometimes re-read your columns.i feel Students need this rather than random advices.i shared some with a big Thank you.A job very well done.A column I always looked forward to.done with real passion and best wishes in all such future endeavours from you.Hari.All the best and I will miss Rinku Raul and Rakesh bhaiya.- Nalini

No wonder yesterday's column was much more elaborate and loaded... πŸ˜€ was a nice idea which must have resonated we with the intended TG .. πŸ‘- Salil Datar

πŸ™πŸ»"Lots of Learning" from your experiences shared through the column bhai..enjoyed every topic and discussion points throughout. I look forward to many more moving forward. Thanks RRR and off course Hari bhai – Naren

End of one innings and beginning of the next , looking forward to your next column !  πŸŽ‰- Pratap

Not done.. can't stop suddenly.. your messages were really so cool and satisfying.. I have been sharing your fundas with my near and dear.. Many thanks dear Hari for the lovely messages..Lots of love, Good Wishes and Regards, - Mahesh Bhogawar

You did a fantastic job in creating these characters and the central message to be conveyed - Suresh

Farewell, friends. Enjoyed Canteen Fundas, whenever I read it. Well done, Hari - Bro Jospeh

Thankyou sir! The stories resonated with me for sure :) - Kartik Kak

Surely it is a commendable effort from your side- presenting the management fundas in quite an interesting manner to the present generation through RRR (Rinku, Rahul & Rakesh). Await your future series- which I hope will be more interesting & participative Best wishes - Dilip

Hello Sir! Enjoyed reading your columns with nice and easy way of teaching great life skills and lessons. Though little irregular in reading them these days, I have saved all links to read them soon. Best wishes for all your future endeavours. Thank you.πŸ™ – Parijatha

It was good reading all your columns they have really helped Mohit a lot.looking forword for columns

Best wishes – Arvind

Thank you so much Hari for sharing the article all the time and help us to periodically introspect and progress.- Chandra

Thanks for sharing some great tips. πŸ™πŸ½- Srikanth

Hey Hari. It was truly wonderful reading Canteen fundas. I've even managed to share it among some other friends and groups. Looking forward to seeing you come back with something new soon.πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘πŸ™ – Sunil Jyothi

Hi Hari. Congratulations on writing this series so diligently and such diverse topics on management, self improvement, leadership, optimal performance, group dynamics etc. This should definitely become a book and I’m sure it’ll be hugely successful and perhaps mandatory reading from High School through graduation. Congrats once again! πŸ‘πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘ – Anil FT

 hey..Are u considering making the CF a book? Lot of insights-for not just Rinku, Rakesh and Rahul..Achyuth

Enjoyed every piece of this column should make it a ready reckoner and possibly a Book. I am no expert here, but the idea is that a large section of people benefit from these invaluable pieces.

 Best wishes and looking forward to your next column !! πŸ‘πŸ™ –Diwakar

We, your readers, too have been thoroughly entertained and enlightened by Canteen Fundas all along. Forget SS Rajamouli's film, your 'RRR' has been a bigger hitπŸ™‚. A sad moment but it's certain we'll all treasure and re-read the saved copies.Thank you, Hari.Tanuj

All the best in your new avatar πŸ™ŒπŸ‘ Subaraman

Good luck boss, For future endeavors Vasudha

Congrats Hari for keeping the column alive and relevant for 3 years.πŸ’πŸ’ Looking forward to new beginnings nowπŸ‘πŸ‘Puppy

Awww...this is so sweet Reena

hi Hari, thank you, these articles have always added value to us. Hope there is some other avenue where you will be able to write such articles and keep sharing with us πŸ™πŸ»Girish Belur

I will miss your articles sir. I have not missed a single article till now. Hope we will receive the articles soon️Kavitha Kulkarni's the last one?? πŸ˜” Sagarika

Thank you Hari for your thoughts sharing journey, many a times I was one of the trio (RRR : Rinku, Rahul or Rakesh) and I used to do course corrections with my approach/thought process. Suggestion: Am not sure,if all this put in a book preferably an e-book the reach will be beyond boundaries. Thanks again, will be looking forward for another spell from your end. It has so much of commonality with our life, relating is very easy. It did help me many times to correct my approach. Thanks again. Looking forward for the compiled book. Keep inspiring -Sreenu Lambu

Congratulations for completing 3 years and keeping us entertained...looking forward to more writing from you Vanathi

I'm yet to respond to your last piece, and you send me this :) The universe is telling you to do something else. Something bigger and better is waiting for you. Really enjoyed your insights, Hareeeeeee. - Krishna D

Oh. Another column ends!  Was a good one. - Sathya Saran

Sad to see your column end. You made me think. Ponder and react. Will miss that. - Vivek

Well done Bhai - Koni

All good things …… ….…. lead to the next better ones 😊 ! All the best πŸ‘πŸ» ! Kanchan

Oh, that's sad. Enjoyed your column and learnt from it, Hari. Now bigger and better things await you for sure! It can take new shape in a different place. - Chitra

Hearty congratulations the successful completion of your very interesting and engaging column Sir. Looking forward for many more - Aruna Bhikhsu

Enjoyed reading your column. The concept of Canteen fundas and your lucid style of writing on complex issues faced by youth has had a great impact. Eagerly waiting for more from you. - Mohan

Oh why have they stopped? Ahh too bad. I liked these ones - Sunil

Sir kind request if all these articles could be published as a Book. This wisdom should not be lost in time. - Lt Cdr Hemanth Kumar

Hi Hari, I shared your journey from Feb 2022,.Thank you for making me a part of the journey even if it was for a few months. Really appreciate and enjoyed the columns. Best wishes.Adithi

Awwww. Will miss the canteen fundas. Why is it ending - Shobhana

Hi sir...i hope you're healthy and fine.. thank you for the columns sir, they were helpful and the content was easy to understand. It was a pleasure reading them. Thank you for sharing the columns and hopefully more will follow in future. - Abdulla

RRR - we will miss you. Our week end readings will not be the same. Come back soon.πŸ™️Dr Krishnan

Yes Sir,  I'm very grateful for those Weekly Canteen Fundas that you've shared with me.  I loved them all. Hope to get your future articles. Kindest Regards! Nayak

Good one mate Hopefully you will start a new column mate  good luck in your future endeavours it sure was a pretty good journey am sure - Ved

You have written so many beautiful articles that made me think. Rather i am  grateful to you. -  Mangalatai

Marla and I attended a lecture by Thich Nhat Hahn in Los Angeles back in 1990!  Was nice to listen to him. He was soft spoken and spoke of this. I remember his "mindful dishwashing" example from then, and still practice it. Makes it (and other activities) enjoyable instead of a chore. Great way to end the series. - Satish

Ah! It was a fun and educational journey with you, Hari! I'm truly sorry that it ends. I'm also truly excited to see what begins in its wake! Tune me in, please. - Chaitu

Harimama, I have read almost all of the articles. They are great. You should publish this as it is great guidance for kids. Eager to see what your next series will be - Ajay

  πŸ˜€-AThe 3R's will be missed terribly but  not Hari! Indeed they were peptalks disguised as small talk which are very essential for the teenagers of this generation who are devoid of basic social skills! Thanks, Congratulations & All the best Dear Hari! - Stay Blessed!🀝🌹 Benny

Thank you so much for all the  lessons you gave us through these stories Hari sir πŸ™πŸΎ Truly inspiring! - Aditya Jella

Hi Hari, 

Thank you for making me part of the journey. The conversations and the deep messages have been extremely useful and reaffirmed that by being positive and mindful it is possible to live better. I shall be sharing these posts with the kids in the future too and hope that they find answers to problems they may be facing or simply move in a better direction. Thanks once again😊 Looking forward to the next series πŸ‘πŸΌ - Anita Kiran

It’s pure discipline to writeπŸ‘ It’s so much kindness and empathy to share your writings with others so that they benefit and get motivatedπŸ‘Œ Salute you for your dedication πŸ™ - Lalitha Anand

It's our pleasure to go through all your articles sir, thanks for sending us. Looking forward for your upcoming ones - Kumar Datta

Hello sir It has been pleasure receiving canteen Fundas column every week I enjoyed it.It was interesting, funny and very informative at the end. Infact u have put the conversations between the characters at a different dimension. Thank you sir for making me part of this journey looking forward for many more. Best wishes for ur future writings sir. Specially i liked the titles of the column - Radhika DoD

It was satisfying and helpful reading canteen fundas sir....Will eagerly wait for the next one sir.. πŸ˜‡ - Anuradha Nayak

wow Hari. Was it 3 years. You did fantastic. 150 columns.. 150 topics. All were great and thought provoking. Thank You for taking time to guide the readers. Will be missing your articles. Hopefully you will start something else. - Priyanka Gontla

Enjoyed your articles. Forwarded to my daughter to help her. Learnt many a thing from your articles. Thanks and eagerly waiting for the new ones. - Mukundan bring out a compilation/compendium of all these articles. They need to preserved for posterity. - Bharadwaj

Dear Sir, I have learnt thru your writings a lot. It was very simple n superb. We pray n wish for your good health wealth and abundant of energy n happiness. Looking forward to see your writings again. Thx n regards. - ECS

I'm very grateful for those Weekly Canteen Fundas that you've shared with me. I loved them all. Hope to get your future articles. Kindest Regards! - Nayak

What! Why? I thought they would graduate and the series would morph into work related topics :( - Sheelu

Hey Hari. Will miss Rinku and the gang. Wish them well. - Madhav

While reading all your canteen fundas, I got some insights for doing my daily things a bit better. Also it helped to empathise in a better way with people around me to see things from their perspective. - Malay

πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌanother successful completion of teaching and learningπŸ˜ƒ Thank you Hari, for sharing this series and journey with me too! Totally enjoyed exploring and learning, as much as Rinku, Rahul and Rakesh with your skillful nudging directing one to explore ones internal ability to discern and deal with concerns thoughtfully! πŸ˜ƒSo onward to the next my Friend…πŸ‘πŸΌBest of luck and looking forward to whatever it is you’re gifting this time around to us fortunates! - Anu Naresh

Oh no uncle, this is so sad to hear!! The articles were amazing, the content was very informative and the conversation like format between the four made it very interesting!❤  If there is any similar project you're going to be working on, please do share it as well. I'd love to continue reading such contentπŸ˜„ -  Akshar

Dear Sir, It was hard for me to recollect that it has been almost 3 years since you began the Canteen Fundas column. I recollect our long conversations on few things that triggered me to reflect a lot. Your articles always bring an insight, idea or a thought to ponder on.  A lot of my Mondays I always began with your article. Thanks for always sharing the article with me. At times, I forgot to acknowledge, but I always read them. Looking forward to catching up with more characters like Subbu, Rahuul, Rinku and Rakesh. - Abhinay Renny

Dear Hari, thank you for sharing all the fundas!!! I enjoyed reading each one of them and honed/unlearned/relearned  some of the life skills. Look forward to your new columns. All the best for your future endeavours. - KN Chandrasekhar

Great job Hari .. I enjoyed reading all of them thanks for sharing 😊 - Prashanth Manjrekar

Dear Harimohan garu,

Thanks for making us a part of this wonderful journey.  I have learnt several things regarding attitude, time Management, organizational behavior etc through this journey. I strongly feel that you have to publish them as a book. Thanks again and best wishes to you. - Dr Anuradha Jonnalagadda

Canteen Fundas - Being Mindful Can Make Boring Work Come Alive

How to make the most boring work come alive?

E-Canteen Fundas: Here's the recipe to make the dullest work supremely interesting

To enjoy your work and to do quality work, practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is bringing full attention to the present moment

Make it interesting | (Pic: EdexLive)

‘I don’t enjoy studying,’ said Rahul. ‘I cannot understand how people do things they do not enjoy.’

‘Yes,’ said Rinku. ‘It would be great if we could only do things we enjoy right, bhaiyya?’


‘What you enjoy can also become boring if it becomes ‘work’,’ said Rakesh. ‘For example, you may enjoy playing basketball but if you have to practice hard every morning and evening it might not be enjoyable anymore. Or you like gaming and it becomes a job, you may not enjoy it as much. So it’s not only about what you’re doing, but knowing the secret to enjoying ‘work’, that leads to real enjoyment and success.’

‘Are you saying we can also enjoy boring things like studying?’ asked Rahul.

‘Yes,’ smiled Rakesh. ‘In fact, many things that bring you success are what you might call ‘boring’. To become an expert at your ‘work’ you have to put in conscious and regular hard work that is always beyond your comfort zone. Doing mindless work does not bring improvement.’

‘So, what’s the secret that makes ‘boring’ things interesting?’ asked Rinku.

‘Mindfulness,’ said Rakesh. ‘Mindfulness is nothing but bringing your full attention to the present moment. When you bring complete attention to whatever you are doing you become fully aware of what’s happening. You see things with fresh eyes, without bringing in the past or the future. Thoughts like, ‘I didn’t do well last time’ or ‘I will fare badly in tomorrow’s exam’ do not drain your time and energy. When you are fully mindful of the present, there is no need to worry about the future. Success comes from doing every task mindfully, with all your attention.’

‘Hmm,’ said Rahul. ‘But can we be mindful about boring work also?’

‘ According to Thich Nhat Hanh, the well-known Zen Buddhist teacher, work is an expression of our being,’ said Rakesh. ‘It is not separate from your life. Your work and your home are connected. So you must find your home at your work.’

‘Whoa,’ said Rahul. ‘I don’t think I can find my home in my work. For me work and play are separate.’

‘If you do not enjoy your work, you may not reach your full potential at it,’ said Rakesh. ‘Instead of going into work or study with an attitude that says you do not enjoy it, why don’t you try mindfulness? You could start enjoying your work and even end up being good at it.’

‘Worth a try,’ said Rinku. ‘How can I bring my attention to the present moment, bhaiyya? My mind keeps wandering off.’

‘Focus on your breathing as you do your work,’ said Rakesh. ‘By breathing mindfully you unite the body and mind. The moment you bring body awareness, you become present.’

‘But bhaiyya, if we do not think of the past and the present, how can we plan?’ asked Rinku. ‘How can we organise ourselves efficiently?’

‘According to Zen Masters, the secret to success is non-thinking,’ smiled Rakesh. ‘It’s paradoxical but what they mean is that when we eliminate thoughts that are fear-based and rooted in past and future thinking, we give full attention to what’s before us. Mindfulness quietens these unnecessary thoughts which lead to poorly made plans and instead, presents you with a clear direction leading to deliberate, purposeful action.’

‘I’ll give it a shot,’ said Rahul. ‘How do we practice mindfulness, bhaiyya?’

‘First set your intention to live mindfully through the day,’ said Rakesh. ‘Give full attention to every activity — whether you are walking, sitting, brushing teeth, eating, driving, going out of the door, drinking a cup of tea and so on. Every moment is an opportunity to practice mindfulness, to be fully present. When your mind wanders bring it back to what you are doing.’

‘Well, that can be done,’ said Rinku. ‘And if we practice mindfulness, you’re saying it will help us get better at our work?’

‘Yes,’ said Rakesh. ‘Firstly, the quality of your work improves because you are 100% there — not distributed in the past or the future. Secondly, since your results improve, you feel good about yourself. Thirdly, you find your home at work which means that nothing can bore you anymore.’

‘But bhaiyya,’ said Rahul. ‘How about obstacles at work? How can we practice mindfulness amidst all these distractions?’

‘Good question,’ said Rakesh. ‘Whatever work we do, obstacles will be there. So accept them and be prepared to handle them — mindfully. Make conscious, mindful choices to reduce distractions like your smartphone by checking it only at designated times. Increase mindfulness practice by creating a space for mindful breathing, practicing mindfulness while walking, sitting, and sleeping. Be mindful of the words you use while speaking.’

‘Sometimes my emotions take over,’ said Rahul. ‘How can I be mindful when there’s fear, anger, frustration?’

‘When emotions arise, go into them mindfully,’ said Rakesh. ‘Let them go as they arise. If you are not mindful when emotions arise, you will end up fuelling these emotions with your thoughts and build bigger stories that hijack you. To be mindful when emotions arise, breathe abdominally. Follow your breath and bring body awareness. When you bring awareness back to your body, you are back to the present from your hijacked story. When angry, don't say anything until you calm down. Be mindful of the effect of your thoughts, words and actions. As you practice mindfulness in your communication, you will listen and speak with compassion.’

‘But this is all sounding like work,’ said Rahul.

‘Don't confuse joy and happiness with excitement,’ laughed Rakesh. ‘You can get momentary thrills from your mind by checking out something mindless on the phone, but creating something of value, something original, even a moment of real joy and happiness, requires you to be mindful and present.

By being mindful, you can practice being compassionate with yourself, the world, your work. Everything will engage you, and will be enjoyable. There will be no difference between work or play.’

‘Wow, worth practising, bhaiyya,’ said Rinku. ‘It does seem to have many benefits.’

Pro Tip: To enjoy your work and to do quality work, practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is bringing full attention to the present moment. When you’re fully engaged, you do not get bored. You find deep fulfilment and creative insights that enhance the quality of your work and your life, leading to enjoyment and happiness.

Canteen Fundas - We're all intelligent, Theory of Multiple Intelligences

We are all intelligent in our own way - check out the theory of multiple intelligences!

E-Canteen Fundas: Figuring out where your intelligence lies can help you pick an apt career

People are unique and have different abilities and skills. An eagle cannot do what a horse can and vice versa

Read on... | (Pic: EdexLive)

‘Rinku, did you hear that Akshay has chosen to concentrate on music as a career?’ asked Rahul. ‘I am quite amazed at his decision.’

‘That way Zeeshan has opted for a career in tennis too,’ said Rinku. ‘It’s quite interesting to see them make such choices. It makes me wonder what makes them make such choices,’ said Rahul. ‘For us, it’s the conventional choices. Study Science, work hard, and build a career. What makes them decide so early? A special talent?’

‘It is a good question,’ said Rakesh. ‘We normally look at cognitive abilities as being a sign of general intelligence. Being good at languages, Math or Science are somehow more valued than others.’

‘How exactly do they define intelligence, bhaiyya?’ asked Rinku.

‘American psychologist named Howard Gardner’s broad definition of intelligence was the ‘potential to process information that can be used to create products or solve problems of value’,’ said Rakesh. ‘Perhaps it was interpreted as the intelligence that can fetch you a ready job like languages and sciences do generally.’

‘True, bhaiyya,’ said Rinku. ‘It’s a rather narrow way of looking at our talents. I wish there was a way in which we can figure out whether we are good at other things like music and tennis.’

‘There is an interesting study by Gardner that cites,’ said Rakesh. ‘Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences says that students must not be narrowly judged only based on their cognitive abilities or general intelligence. He identified eight types of intelligences that we possess — linguistic, logical or mathematical, spatial, bodily or kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal and naturalist. Now, we all have one or more of these intelligences but if we keep our eyes and ears open, we can spot where a child’s intelligence lies in these eight areas. Then we work on that intelligence instead of working on something they are not great at. Sachin Tendulkar as a cricketer and AR Rahman as a musician are far more useful to society than in conventional careers.’

‘Wow,’ said Rinku. ‘It does make more sense. What exactly are these eight intelligences about?’

‘Linguistic intelligence is the ability to grasp and express oneself in spoken and written language, a capacity to use language to achieve a certain goal,’ said Rakesh. ‘Any careers you can think of for them?’

‘Oh yes…speakers, lawyers, writers, authors, poets, journalists and hosts of TV shows,’ reeled off Rinku. ‘And what can logical and mathematical intelligence be used for, bhaiyya?’

’Logical intelligence is the capacity to analyse problems logically and investigate issues scientifically,’ said Rakesh. ‘This is the domain of mathematicians, scientists, accountants, computer analysts, statisticians and other such.’

‘What’s this spatial intelligence, bhaiyya?’ asked Rahul. ‘Do they go to space?’

‘They have an ability to conceive, design and manipulate spaces effectively,’ smiled Rakesh. ‘Like pilots, surgeons, sculptors, architects, graphic designers and interior designers.’

‘I get it,’ said Rinku. ‘My cousin has a great sense of how to use space. She changes things ever so slightly and voila, everything changes. Thankfully she’s studying architecture.’

‘Nice,’ said Rakesh. ‘And people with kinesthetic or bodily intelligence use their body to solve problems. Dancers, sports people, mechanics, singers, carpenters, and physiotherapists are careers they can be good at. Zeeshan must have figured that his kinesthetic intelligence is high.’

‘And musical intelligence must be the ability to sing, perform, compose or appreciate musical patterns,’ said Rahul. ‘So they can pursue careers in singing, composing, being a DJ or a musician. Like Akshay.’

‘Yes,’ said Rakesh. ‘Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand the intentions, motivations and desires of others so we can work effectively with them. Teachers, psychologists, managers, salespeople, public relations people, administrators — these careers open up to people with good interpersonal skills.’

‘Nice,’ said Rahul. ‘I fancy myself in those jobs. How is Intrapersonal intelligence different from this one, bhaiyya?’

‘Intrapersonal intelligence is the ability to understand oneself,’ said Rakesh. ‘It helps to use oneself effectively by building a good working model based on one’s strengths and weaknesses fears, desires, and capacities. Careers as therapists, counsellors, psychologists, entrepreneurs or spiritual careers beckon.’

‘I can guess what naturalist intelligence is,’ said Rinku. ‘It has something to do with nature, flora and fauna, right?’

‘Yes,’ said Rakesh. ‘You’re right. People with naturalist intelligence find nature fascinating. They take easily to a career as a botanist, biologist, meteorologist, astronomer, geologist and so on. People like Jane Goodall are naturalists.’

‘Wow,’ said Rinku. ‘This makes so much more sense than simply categorising people based on marks in exams. Many times these other intelligences are suppressed to favour cognitive intelligence, bhaiyya. I remember my mother would tell me that singing would never fetch me money and stopped my singing lessons. If people could only look at the various intelligences a child is showing, we would not need to box them into careers they may not fit into or are good at.’

‘Exactly,’ said Rahul. ‘Just knowing about this is freeing. I always felt I was a little dumb compared to the logical and mathematical guys. Now I know that they are a little compromised in the bodily and kinesthetic areas compared to me. Makes me feel much better.’

‘Absolutely,’ said Rakesh. ‘Understand that we are all different and we do not need to fit into the same boxes. You can certainly pursue a career of your choice but we can use this information to help make choices. There are many tests online to test your multiple intelligences. You can find out what you are good at and pursue that. Or you can even develop intelligences that you are not strong at to help in your chosen career once you know what you’re good at and what you’re not.’

‘Thanks, bhaiyya,’ said Rahul. ‘That was very valuable indeed.’

Pro Tip: People are unique and have different abilities and skills. An eagle cannot do what a horse can and vice versa. Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences lists eight different types of intelligences that people have. Don’t try to box yourself into one, if you have a natural intelligence for some other.

Canteen Fundas - Change Your life One Positive Affirmation at a Time

The power of thought - and how to control our thoughts!

E-Canteen Fundas: It's time to change your life, one positive affirmation at a time

Our thoughts and words create the experiences we have. Our thoughts lead to actions and actions lead to results

Think it out | (Pic: EdexLive)

‘What’s up, Rahul?’ asked Rakesh. ‘You look rather low today.’

‘It’s nothing,’ said Rahul. ‘I’m fine.’

‘No, he isn’t,’ said Rinku. ‘He got low grades in a new course he took and then got some negative remarks on his presentation. Ever since he’s been feeling low and anxious. I keep telling him that he’s smart and intelligent and can easily work hard and make a comeback. But he’s stuck there.’

‘It’s just one exam and one presentation, Rahul,’ said Rakesh. ‘You can change things now. The point of power is always in the present moment.’

‘No, bhaiyya,’ said Rahul. ‘I’m not good enough. Everyone in class is much smarter than me. People don’t even like me. I want to give up and quit.’

‘Ah, according to this wonderful book by Louise L Hay called You Can Heal Your Life, most people in the world suffer from this problem of thinking, ‘I am not good enough’. Our self-criticism, guilt, resentment and fear make us feel that way. Nothing to feel ashamed of. The good news is that she also offers some wonderfully simple solutions to this problem. Do you want to try them out, Rahul?’

‘Yes, bhaiyya,’ said Rahul.

‘Okay,’ said Rakesh. ‘So, you said you weren’t good enough, not smart enough, and unpopular. But you have also had past experiences of being brilliant, intelligent and popular too, right? My question to you is, where are these words coming from?’

‘From my experiences, bhaiyya,’ said Rakesh. ‘I’ve been thinking about them a lot.’

‘Exactly,’ said Rakesh. ‘These are merely thoughts triggered by certain incidents. Based on that trigger, you are now creating a bigger story through your thoughts. When your thoughts are negative, you’ll end up painting the worst possible picture, because you are disappointed in yourself and want to hurt yourself. If your thoughts continue like this, you might just give up your course, when you could actually turn things around.’

‘But I cannot control these thoughts, bhaiyya,’ said Rahul. ‘They’re playing non-stop in my head.’

‘Rahul, Louise Hay says our thoughts and words create our experiences,’ said Rakesh. ‘Which means your current thoughts and words are creating your future experiences. As you think in a particular way, you’re creating a pattern, a belief. When your belief is strong enough, it takes over and gives you the experience that matches your belief. Simply put, whatever we’re thinking of, we’re actually wishing for. Creating.’

‘That’s scary,’ said Rahul. ‘How can I change my thoughts?’

‘They are only thoughts, so we can change them. Self-hatred is also a thought; and can be changed. Let’s try it now. What are your current thoughts and what will they create if you continue with them?’

‘That, ‘I am not good enough’, ‘nobody likes me’ and ‘I am a failure’,’ said Rahul. ‘If I continue thinking these thoughts I will become completely useless, nobody will like me and I will give up.’

‘Great,’ said Rakesh. ‘So, what kind of thoughts would create what you want?’

‘That, ‘I am the best’, ‘Everybody likes me’ and ‘I am highly successful in all that I do’,’ said Rahul. ‘Hah, I feel good just saying that.’

‘Fantastic,’ said Rakesh. ‘You’ve just created positive affirmations for yourself to counter your negative thoughts. Now replace your original thought of ‘I am not good enough’, with the new thoughts of, ‘I am the best’. Or ‘no one likes me’ with ‘everyone loves me’ and ‘I am a failure’ to ‘I am successful at whatever I do’. Simply repeat the new thoughts over and over again like a mantra. Do it loudly. Or quietly. Or write. Tell it to yourself.’

‘But bhaiyya,’ asked Rahul. ‘What about the negative thoughts?’

‘That’s the best part, Rahul,’ said Rakesh. ‘Your mind cannot process two thoughts at the same time. As you repeat the empowering new thought continuously in your mind, your other thoughts have no place there. If by chance a negative thought sneaks in, replace it immediately with your new mantra.’

‘But isn’t the new thought a lie I’m telling myself?’ said Rahul. ‘How can I say that? I feel fake.’

‘That way, even your negative thoughts are not true, right?’ said Rakesh. ‘Your new thought is you at your full potential, what you want to create. When we use positive statements in the present tense we are living that reality now. For example, between ‘I’m the best basketball player’ and ‘I’ll be the best basketball player someday’ which one sounds better?’

‘The first one,’ said Rahul.

‘Exactly,’ said Rakesh. ‘That’s how we’ll frame our positive affirmations or mantras or whatever we want to call them. Our positive affirmations help our confused and low minds, improve our self-esteem, change our thoughts and change our reality. By repeatedly thinking negative thoughts and using negative words about ourselves we go down a seemingly never-ending spiral. By using positive affirmations we do two things — Stop the downward spiral of thoughts and build positive energy thanks to the positive thoughts, thus, creating a new reality.’

‘That’s it?’ asked Rahul. ‘Just replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations?’

‘Yes,’ said Rakesh. ‘Try it. You’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain. If you have something that’s undesirable in your life now, be it at work, relationships, health or whatever, you can use your mind, your thoughts and words to change it, at this moment. Once you see how effectively and elegantly this method works, you can work on more limiting beliefs.’

‘Sure, bhaiyya,’ said Rahul. ‘How many times should I repeat these positive affirmations?’

‘As many times as you tend to repeat negative thoughts, plus some more,’ laughed Rakesh. ‘Overcome your negative thoughts by repeating your positive affirmations. Like any mantra, don’t stop after using them once or twice. Keep at it until you feel your energy change. Hundred, two hundred, four hundred times. Whenever you feel down, when you have time, keep at it. The more the better. Try it now.’

‘Wow,’ said Rinku after ten minutes. ‘It does feel good to say positive, flattering things about myself bhaiyya.’

‘Same here,’ said Rahul. ‘It stopped the negative spiral after a while. I feel much better now.’

‘Super,’ said Rakesh. ‘Our life’s about how good we feel about ourselves. In fact, Louise Hay says that our life works perfectly when we love and approve of ourselves exactly as we are. Her prescription for a good life is to repeat the affirmation ‘I love and approve of myself’ four hundred times every day. Now that you know this powerful and simple technique, use it to change your life.’

Pro Tip: Our thoughts and words create the experiences we have. Our thoughts lead to actions and actions lead to results. By changing our thoughts, we have the power to change our experiences. Replace negative thoughts about yourself and your life with positive affirmations and you will have an empowering experience in life. With practice, you will love and approve of yourself exactly as you are.

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Thought for the Day - Whatever Happens, Never Lose the Connection With Yourself

 When something external upsets us we lose connection with ourselves. In fact, each time we get upset, it is because we lose connection with ourselves for some reason or the other. It could be blame (ourself), self-hatred, guilt or whatever, but we lose our connection with our self.

The other person or situation may not even be aware that you are likely to perceive things in your own way and they behave normally. It is us, who find a reason to lose connection with ourselves because when we lose connection with ourselves, we punish ourselves. The internal world is shaken even if the external world is normal. In normal cases, people get shaken when the external is shaken. But we could very well get shaken even if our external is calm. 

We just hit ourselves by losing our connection.

Hold on to it. This connection of love for yourself. In whatever circumstance. Then, whatever happens on the outside, the internal is calm. You are loved by yourself. You are connected to yourself.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Mix Tape - Vrinda Baliga

 Mix Tape completes my reading of all of Vrinda's three books. I enjoyed reading this as much as I did the others though I noticed a change in texture and structure. 

Mix Tape is the first story about a young kid who makes mix tapes for the engineering college students and how he forges a friendship with one fresher which leads to a happy ending later. 'The Stories We Tell' is about two daughters trying to come to terms with the fact that their father has found another person to live with in his old age. 'Girls and Boys' is about the difference between boys and girls - and a rather unpleasant memory - and how they deal with unpleasantness. 'Heavenly Abode' is about a resort owned by this couple, that specialises in aromatic pillows, and she uses one such to get back at her husband. 'Broken' is about an artist who discovers that his best work comes only when he loses something he cherishes the most - and when he is losing his touch - realises that the one he cherishes is his wife. 'The Beached Whale's is about a whale that is out of water and a man who is out of his depth in the city. 'Kings and Sons' is about a queensmaid who talks about how her son is now the king. 'The City' is about a city that left a harsh impression on the narrator. 'Roots' is about a civilization envisaged on trees. 'Forgotten' is so heavy on science I gave up.

As always, well researched, well structured, characters that are so real you can pinch them, and a variety of emotional width that astounds you. I loved the cover, the title. Well done Vrinda. Looking out for your next collection.  

Dubliners - James Joyce

 It's a bunch of short stories set in Dublin. James Joyce has this way of leaving the story on a slightly different thread from what the original narration was about, pretty subtle, but nice.

I try to judge the book by the stories I remember, the characters I remember and when I look at the contents I find little - maybe I am getting old. The Sisters, An Encounter, Araby, Eveline, After the Race, Two Gallants, The Boarding House. A Little Cloud, Counterparts, Clay, A Painful Case, Ivy Day in the Committee Room, A Mother,Grace and The Dead. 

'The Sisters' was about a priest who dies and its aftermath.An Encounter is about two friends - one who despises the others gumption.  'Two Gallants' is about two friends - one of whom is trying to con a girl into giving him money - or so they believe. 'The Boarding House' is about a young man who impregnates the daughter of the boarding house - but the daughter does not seem to much care whether he marries her or not. 

'A Little Cloud' is the best - I remember it from a collection and it stayed - about this friend who has travelled the world and how he influences this mousy chap into doing things with more flair and adventure - until he realises he cannot do it. In 'The Counterparts' the guy at work has a tough day and takes it out on his kid at home. Or rather, everyone is taking it out on someone else. 

'A Painful Case' is one - an elderly couple meet and when they become close enough to visit each other at home she holds his hand. he withdraws and reproaches her and in a few years she dies, by suicide. He wonders if he did right, if he could have been different, if he could have been more sympathetic. Anyway now he is alone.  'A Mother' is about a mother who wants to get her daughter her due. 'After the Race' was about a bunch of young gentlemen of different classes who go for a race and how they end up after the race - their differences showing.    

Makes his point very subtly. Thanks Abhinay. Glad to have read this book.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Mishan Impossible - Movie

 Three over-smart school kids from Vadamalpeta near Tirupathi named Raghupati (aspiring film director), Raghava (aspiring winner of KBC) and Rajaram (aspiring fast bowler), set off on a mission to capture Dawood Ibrahimand end up busting a child trafficking racket. Good fun!

Thought for the Day - How to Measure Love

 In smiles.

Whether you love another person or you love yourself, the measure is a smile. Need not always be on your lips. In your eyes. In your heart. But smile.

Both ways. 

If you're not feeling smiley, check where you are withholding love, where you are looking to hurt yourself and release love.

And its smiley again.

Thought for the Day - When Upset, Flood Yourself with Love

 When upset, first realise there is a lack of love.

Then, direct a lot of love energy at yourself. Until then we are looking at the world to love us and give us stuff that will make us feel better. But the best way really (and the most foolproof way because we do not know what others will do really) is to give ourselves the job of giving us love. Lots of love. Love that pampers us. Love that makes us feel good irrespective of others.

Then (as always) we realise that others are also being nice to us! Which does not matter anyway. By now, we are full of love, we are smiling and we do not need anyone else to make us feel better.

Some manifestations of loving yourself

A good sleep. A good hot bath. Feet soaked in warm water. Wearing our best clothes, Buying a new perfume. Bringing leisure into my life. Watching a program you always wanted to but never did. Hey, a love letter to yourself!

A gift. A nice meal. A drive. A walk. 

Expressions of love. Can easily be done.

One way of another, give yourself love. Lots of it.

Thought for the Day - Undeservability is Lack of Love

 I feel I don't deserve a good life, a nice piece of cake, a vacation, a good time, good clothes! I have to think so much before I give myself anything good.

We have had issues with undeservability. Clearly what it means is that we do not love ourselves enough to think we deserve anything good. When we love ourselves, we know we deserve the best. Undeservability stems from lack of love towards ourselves.

Love yourself and you will feel you deserve - not in a reaction kind of a way but as a matter of choice. 

Thought for the Day - Living is Giving. Loving is Giving

 It does look pretty simple. The universal law of what you give you get can simply become - give love ad you get love. Give money and get money etc.

Discarded stuff - Must have served their masters well in their time though!

Which translates into - living is giving. I guess it also means loving is giving.

But I do like this living is giving - because the focus shifts from wanting or being needy to wanting to give.

In many ways this has the advantage. Living then, is giving.

Give without thinking, without condition, without limit.

Thought for the Day - We Hurt Ourselves When we Withhold Love

 Next time you feel hurt, upset, some discomfort please check where you are withholding love.

A random gully in Kothrud, Pune

You are withholding love from yourself or from someone else. The only healing for hurt is love and all you have to do is open your heart and lot out love. For you. For the other.

When you withhold love, you are hurting yourself. Don't. Love and love freely and easily. Yourself and others.