One life to love

What can we do about it?

This year has been bad with increasing terror attacks. Today’s Mumbai attack came as a shock because it clearly indicates the increasing power, access to ammunitions and the new strategy being adopted. Earlier we heard about terror attacks with suicide bombs and explosions. Now we are hearing about terrorists that too mostly kids in the age group of 20-22 attacking a place and shooting people point-blank mercilessly.

Are we talking about all this happenings in our country which was proudly declared as a secular nation? What has happened to our youth? We have a long history of peaceful co existence. All the tolerance and non-violence that was part of us has dissolved? The entire basis for these terror attacks of different forms has its beginning from some religion. Were the religions not meant to teach the people to be good human beings? There are some evil forces working behind all these. The forces do not understand the value of life. They just see their own profit in mind under the umbrella of their religion.

The movie “Daivanamathil” shows how easily the youth of today can be influenced and poisoned with revenge. We need to make our new generations stronger and matured, so that they do not easily fall prey to such evil forces, before it is too late.

How will we do that?

Mahatma Gandhi said that all religions teach goodness and non-violence. I am not much studied on various religions; however I am sure that ancient scriptures and holy books will only teach honesty, tolerance, forgiveness and service mindedness.
Things that I feel needs to be done are:-

1)One is the tip of the iceberg which is to fight the violence, eradicate the worms in the society who are fully polluted and save the innocent people who are held hostages.

2)Other is the tougher, strategic and patient task which can only be done with people with immense passion like Mahatma. Teach our youth about non-violence using the power of pen and speech, so that our youth are not polluted by the evil forces. Our so called Secular (separated from religion) government should work towards reaching out to the confused and violent forces and help them to get back to the path of non-violence with or without the help of the various religious groups. They should be supported and settled in to a life and inspired to earn their bread and butter by hard work instead of taking the wrong path of easy money.

Also, religious groups should have the awakening to differentiate between business and religion and not to make religion their business.

Who will do it?

Each of us has a role to play in our own way for this change. Recognise how one can contribute to this change and do not be hesitant to take that step, be it by making a movie to reach out to the masses, by teaching the right things to the new generation or by helping the needy.

I dream of a terror free nation.

November 27, 2008 Posted by | Opinion | Leave a comment

Nature Cure

That is the typical naturopathy lunch as provided at Cardinal Padiyara Nature Cure & Yoga Ashram. The major portion of the lunch is that of salads and vegetables of different type provided along with rice or ragi putt.

Yes, I spent 15 days at Nature Cure in order to shift to a healthier diet and lifestyle. I am putting to practice the new lifestyle to a great extend. Now I do 1 hr of yoga daily. I have stopped the intake of tea or coffee. I have shifted to a mainly vegetarian diet without sugar and minimal fat. I also do not take any junk food or bakery items. I have also increased the intake of fruits. It is overall a good change and feeling good about it. It will take some more months to see if all these positive changes lead to a drastic positive change in my life.

November 14, 2008 Posted by | Visheshangal | Leave a comment

The Stockdale Paradox

Every good-to-great company faced significant adversity along the way to greatness, of one sort of another—Gillette and the takeover battles, Nucor and imports, Wells Fargo and deregulation, Pitney Bowes losing its monopoly, Abbott Labs and a huge product recall, Kroger and the need to replace nearly 100 percent of its stores, and so forth. In every case, the management team responded with a powerful psychological duality. On the one hand, they stoically accepted the brutal facts of reality. On the other hand, they maintained an unwavering faith in the endgame, and a commitment to prevail as a great company despite the brutal facts. We came to call this duality the Stockdale Paradox

The name refers to Admiral Jim Stockdale, who was the highest ranking United States military officer in the “Hanoi Hilton” prisoner-of-war camp during the height of the Vietnam War. Tortured over 20 times during his eight-year imprisonment from 1965 to 1973, Stockdale lived out the war without any prisoner’s rights, no set release date, and no certainty as to whether he would even survive to see his family again. He shouldered the burden of command, doing everything he could to create conditions that would increase the number of prisoners who would survive unbroken, while fighting an internal war against his captors and their attempts to use the prisoners for propaganda. At one point, he beat himself with a stool and cut himself with a razor, deliberately disfiguring himself, so that he could not be put on videotape as an example of a “well-treated prisoner.” He exchanged secret intelligence information with his wife through their letters, knowing that discovery would mean more torture and perhaps death. He instituted rules that would help people to deal with torture (no one can resist torture indefinitely, so he created a step-wise system—after x minutes, you can say certain things—that gave the men milestones to survive toward). He instituted an elaborate internal communications system to reduce the sense of isolation that their captors tried to create, which used a five-by-five matrix of tap codes for alpha characters. (Tap-tap equals the letter a, tap-pause-tap-tap equals the letter b, tap-tap-pause-tap equals the letter f, and so forth, for 25 letters, c doubling for k.) At one point, during an imposed silence, the prisoners mopped and swept the central yard using the code, swish-swashing out “We love you” to Stockdale, on the third anniversary of his being shot down. After his release, Stockdale became the first three-star officer in the history of the navy to wear both aviator wings and the Congressional Medal of Honor.

You can understand, then, my anticipation at the prospect of spending part of an afternoon with Stockdale. One of my students had written his paper on Stockdale, who happened to be a senior research fellow studying the Stoic philosophers at the Hoover Institution right across the street from my office, and Stockdale invited the two of us for lunch. In preparation, I read In Love and War, the book Stockdale and his wife had written in alternating chapters, chronicling their experiences during those eight years.

As I moved through the book, I found myself getting depressed. It just seemed so bleak—the uncertainty of his fate, the brutality of his captors, and so forth. And then, it dawned on me: “Here I am sitting in my warm and comfortable office, looking out over the beautiful Stanford campus on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. I’m getting depressed reading this, and I know the end of the story! I know that he gets out, reunites with his family, becomes a national hero, and gets to spend the later years of his life studying philosophy on this same beautiful campus. If it feels depressing for me, how on earth did he deal with it when he was actually there and did not know the end of the story?”
“I never lost faith in the end of the story,” he said, when I asked him. “I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.”

***

I didn’t say anything for many minutes, and we continued the slow walk toward the faculty club, Stockdale limping and arc-swinging his stiff leg that had never fully recovered from repeated torture. Finally, after about a hundred meters of silence, I asked, “Who didn’t make it out?”
“Oh, that’s easy,” he said. “The optimists.”
“The optimists? I don’t understand,” I said, now completely confused, given what he’d said a hundred meters earlier.
“The optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say,‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart.”
Another long pause, and more walking. Then he turned to me and said, “This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”
To this day, I carry a mental image of Stockdale admonishing the optimists: “We’re not getting out by Christmas; deal with it!”

From Jim Collins’ book, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… And Others Don’t’’
http://www.jimcollins.com/lib/goodToGreat/ch4_p83.html

October 23, 2008 Posted by | Good Read | Leave a comment

The lost hopper

A tiny winy grasshopper ended up on the Anthurium flower and leaves in the vase. He was hopping around and happened to catch my attention one evening and then I decided to shoot him before returning him back to the garden.

I have used an ordinary Kodak camera which has an option for shooting items closer than 28 inches, after some trials I could get a good shoot of this light green hopper which was worried and not interested in posing for me.

October 12, 2008 Posted by | Art work | 1 Comment

Reality shows – A perspective!

Reality shows is the recent fad in television. My parents are hooked to such shows during the evenings. Many of these are music competition based. I have taken a hatred for these because I always have to bear with these programs running in the background during the evenings. None of the audience has a least bit of interest or knowledge of music and watches this program with interest and makes counter comments on what the judges say. They show is capturing interest of people, not for the talent being showcased but for the emotions of the participants and the judges being put on display.

Most of the formats came from the shows in US and UK, which was gradually adapted by the national network channels and then slowly the regional channels follow suit. There are various kind of shows – music, dance, family music, comedy, are you smarter than 5th grader, big brother or its Indian version of Big Boss… the list goes on.

In a way I feel that these are much better than soaps that were popular till recent past. The soaps used to show weird stories of sibling rivalry, infidelity and other domestic issues, affairs and so on which I feel is a bad influence to the public. There is also one more reason I feel , that makes these shows successful. The older generations are mostly on their own, with kids married and settled in far off places, without any serious activities to keep them engaged… and these TV programs come to their rescue keeping them hooked day after day.

We also have a news channel which keeps talking about the programs running on various channels and I happen to hear in this news channel that big boss is becoming a showcase of obscenity.. And what more do I have to hear, I made sure I saw that day’s big boss episode. Big boss is a big drama staged with the name of reality show. The scenes shown were that of cuddling and hugging of the participants, scene of participants in pool etc. People are inspired to see this because they are advertised with the label of reality show though we all know that there is an amount of planning and masala build into these shows.

What I realised after penning my thoughts is that these reality shows are in various formats to cover the interest of various range of people and if I browse through the channels I will also come across few shows that I would not mind being hooked to.

Guess currently I am better off now with my habit of watching movies and programs on ‘travel and living’ channel, rather than reality shows!

October 1, 2008 Posted by | Opinion | Leave a comment

Philadephia

A beautiful movie worth watching with a touching Oscar winning performance by Tom Hanks.

I am on a movie watching spree and the way this movie was made and the performance by Tom Hanks impressed me a lot. It is visible that Tom Hanks has lost a lot of weight for the movie which suits the role. The gay relationship is also beautifully portrayed. I also loved the role played by Densel Washington and Antonia Benderas.

September 28, 2008 Posted by | Review | Leave a comment

Passenger

My good friend from college days is commencing his first movie project tomorrow.

Wishing Ranjith the very best in completing this venture successfully and making a grand entry into the malayalam film world. The movie is named – Passenger

All the best Ranjith!

September 14, 2008 Posted by | Visheshangal | 1 Comment

Onam this year..

I know I have been lazy and inactive… I started many posts however never completed any of them… had been busy in the past few months..

Another Independance day came and went, I did not even sit back and think of the significance of independance in the current situation of terror attacks. However there was one significance for the independance day this year. I decided to take a break from work and relax and my break began on this independance day. Surprisingly I did not feel any pinch on my work life coming to a stop( even though it is only for a while), which means I needed this break. Hoping to do some good value add during this break.

This time I spent Onam with folks at my home. This was not a planned vacation, just happened because my husband had to be away on work and I could not be on my own at our house. So right now I am having a good break at my native with folks. I will gradually get into action on the blogging front also.

So Onam was spent with a nice onam sadhya on plantain leaf, with many dishes and a great payasam as dessert. Also my mom bought me new dress.

To understand more about Onam – the nationl festival of Kerala, please visit this link.

September 14, 2008 Posted by | Visheshangal | Leave a comment

Hate list

This is the first time I am being tagged by a friend. These days I had been too busy with other things to take some time off and visit my blog, so it was good to be tagged by Santhosh because it forced me to spent some time thinking… this is going to be tough and would take time to complete this post.

I spent some time putting together things/situations I hate/dislike …some situations that makes me sad…and realised that it was not what I was tagged to do, I was tagged to list the people I hate..so let me start all over.

1)Terrorists and Criminals – Anyone who does physical or emotional harm to the mankind by means of violence or harassment. I do pity people who are having mental problems because cause of which they have behavioral issues, however anyone causing harm to rest of the mankind should be taken care of.

2) Religious Fanatics – People who comment on another persons religion or religious sentiments. No one has rights to claim that theirs is the right approach or impose their believes on others. The people who come in the way and do all the dirty tricks to make the life miserable for the people who marry against/outside family.

3) Unhealthy competitors – People who are not team players and concentrate on unhealthy competition which would lead to a cold war instead of talking and resolving the issues in a win win manner with the final goal in mind.

4)Snobish/moody people – I have come across few kinds of people in whose presence I feel uncomfortable.People who are insane and puposly hurt others with dirty comments or makes me uncomfortable by being silent and indifferent with their own reason, without giving an explaination.

5) …….

Initially I thought I would not hate anyone.. afterall hate is bit strong a word to express the feeling I have for the various kinds of people listed above.. I would rather say I dislike them…..thought for long, however can’t come up with one more point…so that is it.

July 19, 2008 Posted by | Opinion | 2 Comments

Walking to a healthy life

Hey one news I forgot to update….we purchased a treadmill sometime back.

We both try and walk regularly.. and we are hoping to walk much more regularly as the routine sets in.

May 18, 2008 Posted by | Visheshangal | 1 Comment