Lesson from a lizard

Someone had mailed me this awesome story in Sept 2014!
This is a true story that happened in Japan.
In order to renovate the house, someone in Japan breaks open the wall.
Japanese houses normally have a hollow space between the wooden walls.
When tearing down the walls, he found that there was a lizard stuck there because a nail from outside hammered into one of its feet.
He sees this, feels pity, and at the same time curious, as when he checked the nail,
it was nailed 5 years ago when the house was first built !!!
What happened?
The lizard has survived in such position for 5 years!!!!!!!!!!
In a dark wall partition for 5 years without moving, it is impossible and mind-boggling.
Then he wondered how this lizard survived for 5 years! without moving a single step–since it’s foot was nailed!
So he stopped his work and observed the lizard, what it has been doing, and what and how it has been eating.
Later, not knowing from where it came, appears another lizard, with food in it’s mouth.
Ah! He was stunned and touched deeply.
For the lizard that was stuck by nail, another lizard has been feeding it for the past 5 years…
Imagine? It has been doing that untiringly for 5 long years, without giving up hope on it’s partner.
Imagine what a small creature can do that a creature blessed with a brilliant mind can’t.
Please never abandon your loved ones Never Say you’re Busy When They Really Need You …
You May Have the Entire World at Your Feet…..But You Might Be The Only World To Them….
A Moment of negligence might break the very heart which loved you against all odds..
Before you say something just remember- It takes a moment to Break but an entire lifetime to make…

Peace out…

Being Human – Are we losing it?

Out of the blue, a few months back, one afternoon, I received a couple of pictures on Whatsaap from a friend in Bhopal. Coolly downloading them I felt my legs tremble and a shiver of repulsion run down my spine. There were a series of pictures, many of them close-ups, of a young woman with a large knife (kataar in Hindi) protruding from her chest, lying dead in a pool of blood. The cold blooded murder had taken place in one of the posh locations in Bhopal in broad daylight (12:00 PM), on the side of a busy road in full view of passersby, who were stunned into a stupor by the sudden turn of events, enabling the assailant, later identified as her second husband, to swiftly make his escape from the murder site. In no time the pics and videos of the incident were going viral.

The question here is not exactly the alarmingly escalating crime graph of the city, but the lack or absence of humanity in the honorable citizens who gather around the victim who is probably gasping their last breath, quickly pulling out their ever ready cellphones and shooting the entire event of the tragedy as if it is going to run for the Oscars.      

The Social Media craze is growing by leaps and bounds and everyone is extremely eager to get a mention of being the first to post the situation on various sites. The basic humane feeling of helping the victim, for whom every minute is vital, is forgotten. Regardless of occasion or situation, taking a selfie and video filming the event has become a trend now. In the race of becoming first to post on the social media, we sometimes forget what the situation in front of us is. I recently read an article about an 18 year old youth near Bangalore who was hit and run over by a state transport bus. As he lay in a pool of blood requesting someone to help him, the onlookers kept themselves busy by clicking videos and pic on their cellphone cameras. This went on for over 45 minutes. After that he was rushed to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. This is an example of the apathy in our hearts today.


The above incidents show only one thing that, more people are getting killed by public apathy and indifference rather than accidents. People need to become more sensitive towards others and need to help someone who is in an emergency or pain. Filming them and later on uploading the videos on social media may get more likes to your posts but maybe at the cost of someone’s life. Social media is made for helping each other rather than dwelling on it for personal publicity.

There is another aspect of the people posting these videos and pics on social media.
This could breach the privacy of the victim/s or other people present at the scene.
Sometimes it could also lead to identification of a victim, such as when the vehicle’s registration plate is shown, prior to police being able to carry out family notifications.
It can be highly traumatizing and shocking for someone to find out their loved one has been involved in a crash or any other event via social media.
There is a risk that graphic or inappropriate images could cause distress for people who view them as I saw yesterday. The gory pictures and video haunted me for a long time.
Psychologists term this approach as ‘The Bystander Effect’ or ‘Bystander Apathy’ – It is a social psychological phenomenon in which individuals are less likely to offer help to a victim when other people are present. … Several factors contribute to the bystander effect, including ambiguity, cohesiveness and diffusion of responsibility and now the social media angle- the chance of making it big by spreading the news first.

The only thing I can think of right now is-

People please help accident victims instead of taking their photos/videos on road. Every second counts and who knows, our acting timely and saving somebody’s life could give us more likes and recognition as compared to clicking pictures and taking videos of the proceedings rather than helping.

Peace out for now!

How Narcissist are we?


narcissus-caravaggio

The term ‘narcissist’ draws up bombastic images in one’s mind of loud, arrogant and conceited individuals who are eternally admiring their reflection and posting a minute by minute update of their escapades on social network.
Narcissism got its name from the Greek hero Narcissus who fell head over heels with the reflection of his face in a pool of water that he drowned in it. (Males are more prone to Narcissism) –

http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2015/03/009.html
Psychology considers narcissism, a personality disorder.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is defined as extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type. self-centeredness arising from failure to distinguish the self from external objects, either in very young babies or as a feature of mental disorder and excessive interest in or admiration of oneself and one’s physical appearance. (Heavy stuff)
I feel Narcissism is self-esteem gone horribly wrong!
I remember a candidate I interviewed and ultimately selected. He had a charming personality and an aura of confidence about him that I feel most people found irresistible. A few months down the line Narcissus revealed himself in full glory! I feel excessive self-esteem did the job. Sometimes good leaders bite the dust because of these traits.
It is not necessarily that narcissists are proud and loud. Often we see that they can be reserved and shy by nature. I have noticed that narcissists may not be more attractive than others but they generally are very particular about their personal appearance usually visiting the best of hairdressers and beauty parlors as well as having a good collection of apparel in their wardrobe.
Narcies usually don’t realize and generally never accept the fact that they are narcissists. They don’t accept criticism in a healthy way.  Another aspect of narcies are they have a large number of friends on social network platforms like Facebook and Instagram, and also a larger number of attractive photographs in their albums. Narcissists are also known to have more number of broken friendships and relationships.
If you feel you are slipping into situations where Narcissism is rearing its ugly head please take time to analyze your nature and approach to certain everyday situations.

Indications

If you are talking more about yourself or leading conversations that usually end up revolving about you, you need to introspect.

If you feel it is never your fault when things go wrong and you end up pointing fingers or blaming others, you need to analyze.

For example, you are having dinner with a group of people and you feel compelled to order the most expensive wine, even if it is not a special occasion, chances are materialism is taking front stage and you may want to live a standard higher than your means, flash new and expensive items and brag about them, then there are chances you are a narcissist.

You can’t take criticism in a healthy way and feel you are special, unique and superior to others.

All this points to narcissism. I feel all of us have a tiny Narcissist hiding in the shadows inside us and it depends solely on how we nurture this characteristic, either manifesting it in all its glory or rise above it all, keeping our amour-propre intact.

Peace out for now ✊

Are our pets our doppelgangers?

I have been hounded (pun intended) by a question for a long time now and the question usually pops up when on my morning run and I see avid dog lovers walking their canine besties (or vice versa). As I am a close observer of situations I see that 90 percent of times there is a strong resemblance between the two. I have also noted the similarities between cat owners and the feline pets. Though not much of a cat lover, there is a close family friend of mine who has an array of cats who camp out at her place and the feline qualities are very manifest in her.
I am a Dog person and the proud owner of a pedigreed female lab for the past 12 plus years. My wife often strongly claims that the habits, both good and bad are very similar, especially the constant complaining – I shout and she barks. However my wife also says that our smiles are also very alike.

Facts
Many psychologists have claimed that pets and their owners are just like married couples and they get more and more alike over time. It is human tendency to be connected to similar minded individuals and share the same likes and dislikes, the same ideologies and tastes. It happens in the same way when we choose our pets because somewhere in our mind we look for similarities. Experts claim that women with long hair prefer dogs with long, floppy ears and heavier people tend to have fatter dogs. There are similarities in the eye expressions as well as the pitch of the voices. I have come across an acquaintance from my morning walks who has a deep baritone and his German shepherd has a deep resounding bark. The swagger is also identical.

I have seen that the pet also takes on the traits of the master like, friendliness, openness, aggressiveness, irritability, shyness etc. and most of the time (8 out of 10) there is a startling likeness in the owner and the pet.

Usually pets are not just pets but family members, soul mates and companions who become part of our lives and move on leaving fond memories of time and experiences spent together.

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened!

Bow wow!

If music be the food of love, play on!

If music be the food of love, play on, 
Give me excess of it; that surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.

                                              Twelfth Night Act 1, scene 1, 1–3


Have you ever experienced waking up fresh, early in the morning and feel the pure strands of music – maybe some number you have never heard in years, but there it is pure and melodious in the early morning making you fresh and alert and enjoying every moment!

If Music be the food of life play on.

Being an avid music buff, I can say even before I was born (my father used to play music for my mom on an old grand gramophone that is still encased in my ancestral home) so I had a foot tapping birth you can say.The passion for music continued all through my younger days and still does,although I never learned to play any instrument, I was blessed with a fair enough voice and an even fairer feel for melody. I have had a habit right from childhood, to listen to music every morning, in fact my day doesn’t start without music. I have experienced that you should start your day with music.Listening to music coordinates more divergent parts of our brain than any act—except actually playing music.
Music has a powerful impact on emotional state, memory, creativity, and workflow. You need all of these to be in tip-top shape if you want to crush the work day and meet it head-on. I usually have a pre-made playlist of songs ready to go. It helps me breeze through my jogging sessions and driving to and fro from work is usually a complete rejuvenator.


Music Therapy

Many times we unknowingly experience music as a healing, relaxing and rejuvenating elixir, without realizing that music is in fact the magic potion that is a very effective therapy.
Music has been around since the beginning of civilization. It only became popular as a therapy in the 20th century with America initiating research and implementing it during W.W.I and W.W. II, when music was used in Veterans Administration Hospitals as an intervention to address traumatic war injuries. The outcome was positive and many countries followed suit.
The roots of musical therapy in India, can be traced back to ancient Hindu mythology.
Music therapy is found to be helpful in a host of disorders like cancer, heart disease, Psychiatric disorders, Neurological disorders, Dementia, Amnesia and for generally for improving concentration. Maximum students swear that listening to music while studying helps them to concentrate and the output is positive (can be debated).

Pan generations music in all languages has constantly evolved and changed. Members of various generations may not go for the music genres related to the different generations. Music is system where any sound can be music to ones ears or it can be a mayhem of cacophonies to another’s.

Aesthetically, research shows that fast-paced instrumental music is best for getting you pumped, but it’s less effective for calming you down. Lyrics can distract you from allowing your mind process what’s stressing you out.
Using music as a stress reliever for the best results, pick songs that are slower, laid-back, and instrumental. They’ll give you a nice blank canvass to project your thoughts onto so that you can deal with the moment and move on.Songs that have strong emotional ties to happy memories can be are best.
It’s really hard to imagine a world without music! So STOP complaining that other people aren’t singing your song. It’s your job to sing it.

Peace out for now ✊

Alcoholism – A social Evil

Have you ever experienced opening the refrigerator door and staring, hoping something chocolate will suddenly appear? or maybe your favorite ice cream or better still a really really chilled bottle of your favorite beer which is chilled to the extent that in the next few minutes it will turn to ice, and then you hear the pop of the bottle opening… you don’t even wait to slowly pour it into a tall beer glass… you put the bottle directly to your mouth and take a large swig and the flow of the iced, fizzy liquid slowly courses down your parched throat just like life giving water soaking into the arid and bone dry earth on a hot summer day ……

The ultimate situation!

I was in the middle of a similar fantasy, when suddenly the taste in my mouth was anything but the bitter sweet taste of beer……… I was rudely jolted out of my reverie by the loud decibels of my wife’s vocals booming in my ears and vibrating my eardrums.

I was sipping from an orange squash bottle which was a carry forward from a few years prior (normally a refrigerator in India is a store house of any such commodities that can be stored and remains there for years together)

“Snap out of it!” she yelled, “That’s the second time this week you have done this! You should see a psychiatrist!”

“Maybe the heat is getting to you” –
 “That’s why I need the beer” – I thought to myself.

 My wife the antagonist of any liquid that contains even the lowest amount of alcohol has gone to extreme extents to get me out of sipping my favorite brew, not that I am a sworn alcoholic or addicted to the demon drink. I proudly proclaim myself an ‘Occasional drinker’.

This situation got me thinking why are Women so much against alcohol and boozing, even if consumed in negligible quantity.

Alcoholism is a predominant evil in society and has destroyed many a household and caused unlimited deaths by drunken driving etc.We do read periodically about various agitations of women against alcoholism.Women sitting on a dharna for removal of liquor outlets (wine shops) from residential areas, near educational institutions etc.

But the desired outcome is always disputable and soon people forget their initial objectives.

The government offers irrelevant solutions which the czars of the liquor business bend in their favor very easily. The latest being the distance of the liquor shop from national highway should be 500 meters (later reduced to 220 meters).

The shops and pubs in the city have their usual crowds of drunken elements moving around the roads in zombie states disrupting the traffic and making a mockery of themselves.

Overuse or excessive consumption of anything is bad.Addiction is the usual outcome making Alcoholism one of the top five social evils in the world.

Prohibition of liquor in various states has also not proved very effective with the sale of spurious liquor and bootlegging escalating.

(Liquid for thought, oops… Food for thought.)

Mugga (a mug of Coffee) v/s Cuppa (a cup of Tea)

I am not exactly a coffee connoisseur, however over the years the magic of the drink never ceases to titillate my palate.

adult beverage breakfast celebration
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

CCD is not only an ideal setting for a clandestine rendezvous but also the enchanting aroma of coffee wafting gently through the air, tickles your senses, giving you an instant craving for a mugga (coffee version of cuppa).

Today, for coffee drinkers the perception of coffee is more of an experience like wine. Coffee drinkers these days are concerned with every little aspect of their mugga, starting with where the beans come from, how they’re grown, the subtle flavor notes, roasting and brewing techniques, right down to drinking etiquette. In Bangalore I came across an old timer in a typical Indian Coffee House, swirl his coffee around in his mug, without spilling a drop, take a sniff and slowly sip the steaming brew with an ecstatic expression on his time- worn countenance.

On the other hand many thanks to the British who hooked us on to the magic elixir they called tea. (we call it Chai in our lingo) and literally Tea is so widely consumed in India that on every nook and corner, be it urban or rural, you will find tea shops with the desi brewers exhibiting their USP by twirling their long handle spoons, skimming the surface of the liquid boiling in large utensils, throwing it up in the air and dropping it with accuracy back in the utensil, while throughout the time the loud decibels of the gas stove adding to the din of the periodic clanging of the spoon against the steel or aluminum utensil, sometimes accompanied by the musical ability of the master chef while he croons his favorite singer’s popular songs, most of the time surrounded by a patient crowd of onlookers(usually with a gaping mouth and wide eyes of awe) careful not to distract or break the sanctity of the moment lest the flavor of the concoction not come out as desired.

The uniqueness of the entire process is that each ‘Chai Walla’ (any reference to anyone is purely unintentional) has his own one of its kind flavor and his customers can travel vast distances for a cuppa.

However much the Coffee pub chain (consisting of Cafe Coffee Day, Barista, Starbucks etc) have tried, they have found it impossible to break the monopoly of Tea in India. Not that coffee drinkers are less privileged in any way. Coffee drinking is considered an elite practice in India and is indulged in predominantly by the upper middle class and above. Entering a pub for a cappuccino or cold coffee can empty your coffers by at least 300/- bucks and you have to elegantly sip your coffee without a sound.

Relocate to a roadside chai shop and you can slurp your cuppa anyway you want @ Rs10/- and always have a repeat without thinking too much!

white ceramic cup
Photo by Saif Selim on Pexels.com

Our very own Indian Coffee House chain runs extensively in central and northern India, run by Keralites from south India, has its own traditional south Indian coffee. Commonly heard is one filter kaapi Anna!
The aroma in these settings is a combo of filter coffee, sambar, fermented rice and Chicken Do Piyaza! Not at all appealing for sensitive smelling senses.

Both a Mugga and a Cuppa have their own position and status in our history of evolution and should be cherished.

Happy slurping!!!