Friday, September 30, 2016

Stories at sunset.

Attended a story telling session at Lahe Lahe. This was my first experience at story telling sessions. And the experience inspired me to write this piece.

Listening to Vikram Sridhar, the story teller, I was refreshed by the stories, thoughts, and his soothing humming in midst of stories.

There's lot to share! Will write about my experience in my next post.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Writing prompt. Chinmayi Sripada

Though the boots clasped on the mud screeching, they only reminisce the soft touch of little feet on the land. Though the jacket insulated from the cold, the gentle breeze craved to caress her.

In the same woods, she walked aimlessly talking to trees, trailing along the paths. Nothing has changed while she just came in another form. Covering her from the nature, distancing her from the nature.

Trees craved for her touch. Trees longed for her lullabies. She hums while she walks. Every step  thudded on the mud meared the trees of her arrival. Boots couldn't stop the trees to know their little friend steps.

Trees towered her when she was 6. Still towered when she arrived aging 26.

Clutter was cleared by the entry into the woods. Serenity was spreaded over the sky. She looked up at the towered trees and closed her eyes to not llet the other moment sweep her away from the bliss.

With happiness in heart, she hummed, "Saara saara kaathu..."

Listening to her singing, trees hushed the air to not rustle their leaves, creating noise. Silence creeped into the woods like happiness into her heart. And there she started sharing her song with the woods which brought her accolades, awards and what not!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A good interview. Barack Obama and Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Doris is the author of "Team of rivals." A profound on Abraham Lincoln

Monday, September 26, 2016

Jaw dropping talk.

Your words may predict your future mental health | Mariano Sigman

Reading the title, I didn't know what to expect from this talk. Semantics is what I'm interested in as I love to play with words and their meanings.

Watching this talk, I was introduced to new terms (to me) 'Schizophrenia' and also a interesting personality, "St. Augustine."

Mariano Sigman combined neuro science, math, social science to reveal the information flowing through our brain. Woah! Too many disciplines to work on!

Coming to the talk, he cited how words revealed the culture of ancient greeks. He showed how the world of introspection started. They computed the whole work to know the advent of  Introspection period. They not only analyzed the recorded ancient greek texts but, also Bible.

They were successful in tracing out the rise of introspection.

Regarding their project, they worked with 34 people who were at high risk of developing schizophrenia.

They analyzed the words they speak, they mail, they tweet. They analyzed the recorded speech  and failed utterly in predicting their future organization of their mind. Interesting right. It was good enough to an extent. And then they emphasised on the tone of the word spoken. The context!

They brought in the context of the 'text.' They wanted to analyze the way the words were jumped in the speech.  They were trying to read in between the lines.They named it 'Semantic Coherence.'

And it worked. With 100% accuracy, they could segregate within the group of who developed Psychosis and who will not.

He also gave an anecdote of sensing the situation through his student words.

This is something which leaves everything to ourselves and judge. This can pave a way to introspect about our state of mind. And this is exactly what we need in this hour.

Lesson learnt.

Thought provoking question by Anjali.
"Would you buy your own book?"

Trust me. This precocious child never fails to surprise me. Read to know more about her question.

Tiger by Kate Brittlebank. The life of Tipu Sultan

If you're not a history buff, you may not like this book.  But, If you are! then you'll definitely have a good time reading this book.

                                                TIGER by KATE BRITTLE BANK.

This book will take you back to Pre-Raj India.
 India, where few rulers fought with British against their rivals and few of them against British. It's about the Tiger of Mysore' Tipu Sultan.

Things you'll get a glance about.

Tipu Sultan was the bravest and a feared one to British. So cherishable was his death to Britain, that the looting of his kingdom was an opening scene of Wilkie Collins novel, 'Moon stone.'

Painters, writers, and artists celebrated the siege and looting.

The author takes  you into the time when Haider Ali, father of Tipu Sultan was struggling to keep up with British. He fought and lost the war. Tipu Sultan was prisoned at young age.

Before he enjoyed the privileges of prince, he also experienced the imprisonment.Those childhood memories would have definitely etched on Tipu's mind which the author didn't describe it in detail.

Cool fact about Tipu Sultan. He is a Tech freak. His father made sure that he  was educated under good teachers. He was well educated. His knowledge on varied subjects was cited in the book.

He used to import gadgets of his time(Microscope, barometer, thermometer.) And not to forget, he was the pioneer in the field of rocketry warfare in India.

Looking Tipu Sultan as a ruler, a baseless perception  prevailed among the Indians, that he is a bigot.  This was shattered when I read few anecdotes.

He knew about religious harmony and also the vulnerability that religion could bring in common people. He didn't demolish other sacred sites without a purpose.( He only demolished the sites that stood as symbol depicting rivals in different forms.)

Like all the rulers, he was renown to accept diversity.

When he had tought fight with the British he inculcated Jihad slogans bringing back the old rival tales- Crusades. Funny thing is, he  also had a knowledge on futility of fights over religions. I infer this from his lines (to his people in Peshwa kingdom).

"Let the fire of discord, therefore, be kindled amongst them, to the end that they may, in this manner, waste(their strength upon) each other.

He had an interesting habit of writing down his dreams(even I do that :p). I write in my journal and his journal was named as "Khwab-nama."

The best part of the book is when author describes Tipu Sultan not as king or fighter but as a father and a son.

She  describes Tipu Sultan as good muslim and support her statements by these beautiful lines,

"Personal faith is not something that one can't measure with any accuracy. The only test for genuine piety is to judge a person by their actions."

Of all, I love this part. His obsession with the Tiger Imagery. He never revealed to which audience the tiger Imagery was an answer but British took it as their counter part because, lion was Britisher's symbol.

The beautiful ferocious Babri. At present, many museums in london hold the priceless, precious looted pieces of Tipu Sultan.

Besides all the wars, I find this one funny, Anglo Indian war-4. The time when media kindled the war.

When Tipu was in huge debt to British and when his two of his sons were taken as prisoners, he held a secret mission. Trusting a dubious origin french adventurer, he sent that adventurer to Maurtius to seek for an army. The Mauritius king put up a public notice recruiting army for Tipu. Bengal paper published it. And the rest is history. British invaded and Tipu Sultan was killed on May 4 1799.

This book gives you an over view of the grand life, Tipu Sultan had lead. Unfortunately, it's a very short one, after reading this, you'll be in search of more books about Tipu Sultan.

I should acknowledge the strenuous work author put in to this project.Author of this book has done a commendable work. Hail historian!

Take a bow Kate Brittlebank. It's an easy read and impulses you to know more about Tipu Sultan.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

TED tales. Meet my fellow traveller. Meghana

Memories flooded in my mind while I sat to write the summary of this poem.
Every line treasures the conversations taking me back into the Affable ambience.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Don't litter.

The writer subtly described how we are spoiling the nature.
We blame tourists who come for a tour. And we forget that we are also tourists when we go on a tour.
Inclusive consciousness is needed.

This article reminds my Kerala tour.

While I was on my way to Allepy from Vandiperiyar, I watched a beautiful waterfall. I stopped by and got down from the vehicle. It was not nearby the road, I had to trudge between rocks to reach the fall. It was a small waterfall though. 

I wanted to spend some time there. I could listen to the crackling of water. I wanted to see where the water was channelised to. And I walked along the water through rocks. Beer bottles, soaps, all the plastic covers were there stuck in between rocks. It was a bad sight. I picked few covers and threw out on the land. We need to be little conscious about littering.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Happy birthday Chinmayi.

I know that I'm one in million who love Chinmayi for what she is. The above poem is an acrostic wishing her a good life. It was  written  reminiscing the beautiful conversation I had with her.

It was unlike meeting any celebrity. It was unlike one in the crowd, or it was unlike a special entry influence. I'd call it as serendipitous meeting.

When my friend Swathi told me about Chinmayi's performance with Anil Srinivasan at CCRT, I was so much excited.  I was excited for a reason that I could see my favorite singer. I never dreamt about meeting her and having a beautiful conversation.

I rushed to CCRT soon after my basketball practice. I could see the crowd scattered. I noticed Chinmayi's mother being busy who was sitting ahead of me.  I took a chance and went near her to talk. With all the broken tamil I learnt watching  movies, listening to songs, I introduced myself and told her how much I adulate Chinmayi and also gave her copy of my first novel, "In between the bridge." I'm glad she took it and wished me for my work. When I enquired about Chinmayi, I was  told she is at back stage.

"Wow, I'd love to meet her once."

"Go. Meet her. She's there only," she said casually.

I couldn't believe it. While I was thinking about what I heard, she removed a power bank of iphone and handed it to me. Go now and give her!

Who on the earth would imagine meeting your favorite by giving her power bank. I got an excuse and somehow crossed all the security guards. They were kind to hear me.

A ride with a stranger

Bangalore traffic is insane at nights. To say, I don't know when traffic will be bearable as I am new to Bangalore.

It was 1900 hours and I was waiting for my cab which I booked in share. After tiring calls to the driver,  after standing among the darting crowd and polluted space at church street, I finally got into the car sighing!

4km to reach the destination and we were struck in dead traffic. When my co-passenger and myself started complaining, we also started talking about how  the situation is at our cities. And then started the conversation. 

After knowing that she was from management, I wanted to ask few questions I had about Marketing.

"What do you do really? Sales?"

"There's misconception that marketing is sales,"she said with a grit.

After patiently listening to all my queris with all poise, she told me about the marketing.

"The well known stream is sales. Marketing Strategies, (Advertising, Promotion, Distribution and then Sales)"

Listened to many insights of a marketing person. I enjoyed the conversation. Bangalore traffic would be hectic, frustrating without that stranger.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Nice link- Can visiting temple(Sabarimala) affect menstruating women?

Half knowledge is dangerous. It's better to dig deep and know the truth or ignore the truth.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Idea to think. 'Bring on the female super hero'- Christopher Bell

In this beautiful talk, speaker, Christopher Bell mentions the serious problem. The influence of media on our life.

The stats and the information he provided in this talk are jaw dropping. Many of us fight for the equality only when we grow old enough knowing about the prevailing conditions in the society. We should not let the children grow with this inequality thought unconsciously!

Do watch it!

Monday, September 5, 2016

TED Tales. A meet up.

While I was enjoying the walk on the roads of Jayanagar, and waiting for my friend, Sharanya, TEDxer. There she came, wishing me with a smile. After we shared smiles for meeting after very long time, I was given sweets on auspicious occasion. So sweet of her.

Talking about our lives, we went for a walk around looking for good place to sit and talk. We finally found a place and continued our conversation. Her TEDx event, 'TEDxMSRIT,' is on September 17th. Two weeks to go. And she felt all excited, energetic, also hectic. Understandable.

I could see the team effort to engage with the community. One of the commendable things is spreading the ideas which are worth spreading taken from their community members.  When I was asked about my idea which I wanted to spread, I told this idea. An idea which changed  the thought process and further inspired to take action and help in many ways.

"Lay down on street for 30 seconds."

I never shared this idea on digital media but, shared among my friends, acquaintances.

Ever  felt these feelings, heart starting to raise, knees becoming weak, switching in the stomach, hands starting to sweat, feeling anxiety.  Fear of what people will think when you actually  wanted to do something, then try this. Go on to the street, lay down on the street for 30 seconds. I repeat street.  Not road, vehicles may run over you.

It is called as comfort zone challenge, which was researched well. It's kinda exposure therapy.

When you give a thought to try this, you feel inhibited, you give many excuses to postpone it and not to try this. But, once you step out of your comfort zone and do it. It'll help you to gain confidence.

I don't say, only this helps but, I say it helps.

Myself on the street laying for more than 30 seconds (Will share my whole experience in next post)

Here's the talk from where I learnt about it.

So back to our conversation, we shared many ideas which were worth spreading. We reminisced the Mysore days at Infosys. We felt very happy to meet who were enthusiasts about the ideas.

                                         L to R Sai, me, Sahana and Sharanya towering us.

Many of the TEDxers flashed in our conversation, once was Anthony Vipin, TEDxHyderabad Organizer, for his skills at playing Mafia and also for his altruistic quality. Great inspirer and we felt so glad to spend some good time with him.  No conversation ends without mentioning about awesome mafia TEDxers. Recalled those thrilling games which lasted till late nights.

Mafia Nights. Many are missing in the pic as they were out of the room for being killed. The last good bye picture.

Not only we dwelt in the memories, we also talked about the work  which had to be done at the event. I suggested her ideas which I initiated at my  community, 'Letters to the strangers.' And also the idea which Anthony suggested me, 'Pop a balloon,' Fortune cookie kinda stuff.

It was great meeting her after a very long time. Cup of coffee lasted for 10 minutes and the conversation lasted for, 2hours.

A day well spent.

Judge This by Chip Kidd

One of the reasons I love TED books is because of their brevity. They are short and simple, just like their talks.

The recent book I read is, "Judge This by Chipp Kidd."

Chip Kidd is an American graphic designer, famous for his innovative book covers. Based in New York city, Kidd has become one of the most famous book cover designers to date.

 This book is about how we judge things around. Everyone say 'don't judge.' But that is what we do from the time we get out of the bed till we fall on it. Author helps to clarify our doubts by saying, "what really matters is  not that we judge, how we do so."

Being a book cover designer, he truly rule out the quote, "Don't judge the book by it's cover" because he does his work to make people judge and buy the book.

With colourful  '!' and '?', he tells about the mysteriometer by which he scales his designs.

'!' stands for clarity, '?' stands for mystery.  Simple and very understandable.

He describes his experiences to reveal his designs and tell how he judged things which were at his sight.  He also showed how much our world can be a dazzling piece of art work inspiring to learn and grow*

Conditions apply, only if we perceive the world positively.

He writes about his experiences, inspirations in making few covers and scale them on mysteriometer.

Few quotes I loved to write in my journal from his book are,

"Early impressions are hard to eradicate from the mind. When once wool has been dyed purple, who can restore it to its previous whiteness?."
                                                                                                         -Saint Jerome (AD331-420)

"God was always invented to explain mystery."

                                                                                                           -Richard P.Feynman

Lines by Author, Chipp Kidd

"Clarity is sincere, direct, reasonable, basic, honest, perfectly readable. No-nonsense."

"Mystery gives us hope."

"Clarity gets to the point."

Being a designer, he tells how important it is to maintain the mystery at sometimes and yet stay clarified, atleast to himself.

Few of his covers.

It's an easy read and suggestive one for designers.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Interesting question.

Thoughts- Trust

Delving in the question of what it takes to trust others, I discovered that through trust, we evolve in our lives. Sometimes it's easy t...