Now its an ode to a very affable God…

a replug from a couple of years ago – celebrate well and may the grace of this super fun god shower upon us…

Angulam's Blog

Let’s start with an exercise, close your eyes and imagine (don’t ask me how you can read this sentence if your eyes are closed though!) a plumb largish figure seated on a small mouse (yes, you got that right!). Sweets of numerous kinds are placed at his feet (yes, it’s a he). You are surprised to see he has multiple hands – some holding weapons of destruction (a trident for instance) while one hand is raised in a blessing. You move your gaze upward – and you are astonished to see an elephant’s face looking back to you – with large flapping ears, trunk and tusks (albeit one is broken). There’s a serene smile on his face, a sense of prosperity all around him and his wisdom envelops you. Here’s an image that may help with the visualization.

I dare say it’s a touch tough to imagine this – but…

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Savouring the flowers admidst all the noise!

Another one of those weeks where everybody, everywhere (and their team!) is screaming work – “we want this on priority – meaning yesterday!”. Phone calls are ringing off the hook, computers are overworked and alarm clock utilization has just hit the roof.

As I walk to my car and plug in my phone, the itunes player comes alive with John Denver effortlessly singing my favourite Anthem “It’s about time“. Savour teh opeing lyrics of this amazing song:

“There’s a full moon over India and Gandhi lives again.

Who’s to say you have to lose for someone else to win?

In the eyes of all the people, the look is much the same,

for the first is just the last one when you play a deadly game”.

He’s of course singing about the environment and our need to take care of it. He could be singing though about the “fast life” of today and the words would ring just as true.

And my mind wanders to those little “living games” (as opposed to the deadly ones John sings about) where “you dont have to lose for someone else to win” – everyone wins. And I break out into a smile. Here’s a sample list that came to mind, what are yours?:

– The warm, welcoming toothless smile the old lady sports when a toddler successfully (and naturally with a big proud grin on her face) walks for the first time – a walk she has attempted to share her birthday chocolates with grandma

– When the young, blind musician plays a mesmerising tune on his flute, his eyes and mind on a better, beautiful world far away. The enchanting melody draws a large crowd which spontaneously breaks into a loud applause – and the musician smiles realizing this world is just as good as the “heavens of his dreams” and in celebration of this discovery he instantly presents a fun earthy tune for his wonderful audience

– A young girl from a traditional family gets caught up in the teenage spirit and parties hard – only to be busted by the local police. As she waits for bail (her first time out at the police station) – she trembles in fear of what her very orthodox father would say and the effect this would have on their social circle. At this moment, her father comes in and with a huge smile of relief hugs her and consoles her tears. She knows she is accepted unconditionally – a lesson she willingly trades her partying days for. Her father knows his days of being the stern disciplinarion are over – his daughter has transformed into a friend. A bond has just been built..

And so on….little moments that have profound implications for all those participating. They go unnoticed for the most part on media and the “noise-focussed” channels – but anyone touched by the moment is grateful for his/ her life has been changed forever.

Suddenly the never-ending phone calls, the never-ceasing email flow, the seemingly-unending asks from the family – all seem bearable – even desireable. For who knows, one of these may hold a rare flower that will change your life for ever – and all you need to do is believe that there’s a flower in there somewhere and take the time to stop and experience it.

Krishna – and why everyone just loves him…

Happy gokulashtami and why everyone just loves krishna…

Angulam's Blog

Ok, this is a replug of my post from a few years earlier. However its refreshed – and more importantly its adorned with a wonderful piece of art by young school-going Richi, the daughter of a wonderful friend who wonders why her daughter seems to favour krishna above anything else as the subject of her art. Read through this post and maybe there’s an answer mam!

Relish this drawing from the little girl  – they capture the spirit of krishna and his wonderous ways more than words ever could.

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For those who haven’t come across this God yet in the travels of their life, Krishna is a god for everyone. if you are an intellectual, he can teach you the lofty truths of vedanta. If you are emotional and full of feeling, his endearing stories and his very life history (bhagavatam) will talk to your heart. If you are one who revels in the experience of god…

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Happy Independence Day

The Independence Day is a day of celebration, a precious reminder to offer our gratitude to the generations gone by for teaching us the power of freedom and making this possible; and a day of hope – for what the future will bring.

The right time in short for being enchanted by Tagore’s magical, visionary and inspirational poetry (and a special thanks to my kolkata friends for introducing me to this genius’ works). Come, lets hear what he has to say:

Where The Mind Is Without Fear

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high

Where knowledge is free

Where the world has not been broken up into fragments

By narrow domestic walls

Where words come out from the depth of truth

Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection

Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way

Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit

Where the mind is led forward by thee

Into ever-widening thought and action

Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Multi-tasking to multi-focus

A decade or so ago, multi-tasking was a much revered skill. People would flash it in their resumes, coffee corners would resound with whispers of the star who could do many things at the same time and supervisors would put that up as a skill to acquire proficiency in as you made your way up the corporate ladder.

Over the recent years, the experts have started leaning the other way – multi-tasking is driving you to distraction and driving your productivity down claim recent reports. If you are one of the people who have a chat conversation going on on your laptop, 50 emails screaming for your attention, your mobiles beckoning you for a calender meet or a whatsapp message and a colleague stopping by to drop off a memo for a priority task – you can but agree with the experts. Everywhere, everyone is busy but work doesn’t get done!

An alternate approach seems to be multi-focus – the ability to do many things but one thing at a time. Interestingly, this is exactly what the buddhist meditators have recommended for our wellbeing for thousands of years. There is a story where a disciple asks a monk what meditation is and the monk answers something to the tune of “be mindful. when drinking tea, drink tea. when walking, walk. when eating eat. when working, work”.

This principle seems to be at the heart of all successful work today. Jack Dorsey seems to be able to balance time between “twitter” and “square” – one company at a time. As does Elon Musk. As does AR Rahman with his “school for music”, his various concerts and of course his pilgrimages. Bill Gates brought in legendary focus into Microsoft and now into the Melinda Foundation – one thing (only) at a time. Dr.Abdul Kalam played rocket scientist, president and continues to be a role model – each role is perfect in itself.

There seems to be a lesson here for many of us. If dinner, TV shows and conversations with loved ones compete for attention – at the same time – time to evolve from a multi-tasking individual (where focus stretches thin) to a multi-focus individual (lesser time on each activity but with absolute focus).

You agree?