Monday, January 02, 2017

Inequilibrium: It's what makes life interesting


I have read and studied about equilibrium in science, biology among other subjects in school. Nature likes it, hence it balances wherever there is imbalance - water flows from a level higher to the level lower, till there is equilibrium. 
Then there are laws of physics, Newton's laws of equilibrium - if the 3 directional forces are all zero, the body will remain at rest (force equilibrium) and if the resultant moment about an axis is zero along all the 3 dimensions, the body continues in its state (spinning/ at rest as the case may be).

So much said about equilibrium...however, what I was fascinated by, was Inequilibrium. I believe, it is the starting point of everything, it is the beginning. In defiance of the laws above, I believe, that Inequilibrium does not transform into equilibrium, for relationships. Somehow, I feel, nature's laws don't work here. 

Let's take relationships, and all of it involves the heart, which means feelings and emotions. What is the metric used to measure emotions? What is the device you can use? 
There is none. Science hasn't crossed that frontier yet where it can measure what I feel for another. It just can't. Till date we are kept guessing each other's feelings, while grappling with our own emotions. We know it qualitatively but can never measure the actual depth. 

So, here is an example, the most common one being love. The boy feels something for the girl. What is this 'something', we don't know. Its an undefined feeling. 'Kuch kuch hota hain, tum nahi samjhoge'. So, how does he explain it?  He can't, but it is something that he cannot ignore. The starting point is Inequilibrium. In one person's heart, and therein begins his journey to seek equilibrium. 

So, he pursues the girl, or object of his desire. The two possible outcomes from the girl are - 'I love you too' or 'Thank you'. In both the cases, it is still inequilibrium. 

In the 1st case of reciprocation, the boy felt more, and for far longer than the girl. He pursued her to put his point across, to show the depth he felt. Something moved in the girl, and she decided to respond back. However, even in her reciprocation, is there equilibrium of emotions in the heart? How can we measure? 
In my view, it's not there. The one who felt first, felt more, and is still growing in the want and desire. He is higher up the 'feeling curve' if I may call it thus. The one who felt later, has just started out. How can the two levels of emotions and feelings be the same, be at equilibrium? Its not. Inequilibrium persists. 

In the 2nd case, where the girl remains unmoved and is thankful for the depth and emotions felt by the boy, it is obviously inequilibrium. What remains to be seen, is whether the boy gets over his feelings and reaches back to equilibrium? In my mind, the answer is no. This is because, for someone, if you have felt 'crush' or 'love', there is some residual feelings for the object he desired, whenever, he comes across the person in future. 

What about the other relationships? A mother loves her daughter much more than the daughter can ever feel, a father feels a lot proud of his son's achievements than the son can ever hope to take pride in. Grandmother and grandchild, brother and sister, among other relationships. In fact, even in a marriage, it is not possible to have the husband and wife feel equal level of love towards each other....one is  always feeling more than the other. We don't know who, as we cannot measure and compare both, but therein resides inqeuilibrium. 

My post is not about the search for a measurement device, as that will make life so uninteresting. Measure and know, takes imagination out of it, kills expression to describe emotions and feelings. 
It is in seeking to show the depth of feelings, have poets written what they have, penned sonnets, lyrics, songs, shayaris - all in an effort to express, to seek equilibrium for the inequilibrium that exists in hearts. But, it is never meant to be. 

I will be happy hear the other view...
Happy New Year!


:)

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Its easy to fight and rebel, its tough to convince


I read that line, or something similar in the blurb of Chetan Bhagat book, called "2 states, 2 marriages". I couldn't agree more. It is like you want something, and you have to make someone else agree to accept it. Convincing, to my mind is not same as asserting yourself.

In asserting yourself, you really don't give a damn about what the other person wants. What is important, is what you want, and putting it across through either fogging, persistence or a broken record. That's where it is easy. One can learn to be assertive and get what they want. It does not require buy-in from the other party. Or rather, you do not care for the buy-in, because you do not care for the other party. Its you and your want that matter. Compliance from other people is really not so important.

In convincing, however, it is important to get into the "Noah's ark " mode. You got to carry along with you, the entire population's consensus. You want all to comply with your desire. The most apt example of this is a marriage. Guy wants to marry girl and vice-versa, but family is not happy. The couple has two choices - rebel and break or comply and make the relationships last. And, the second route is the tougher path. 

What makes compliance so difficult?

I feel it is a mix of our inherent desires, beliefs, acceptance boundaries and a lot more. Its always difficult in love and war. Even in those two cases, war is easier to understand. In war, you know that death is imminent. You know, this is a lost cause. You know like Arjun standing in Kurukshetra that this war with lofty goals for the society and mankind, will wipe out mankind, your near and dear ones in the process. War is acceptance, the last resort. It was the lack of compliance, dialogue that led on to war. Whoever started it, lost patience in the process of  compliance.

On the other hand, love is complicated. It is not easily understood by the person in love, let alone by others. Love is complicated as it gets mixed up with lust and infatuation. The heady feelings, the addiction to see each other, the songs, the emotions can also be true for  lust and infatuation.
Nonetheless, if it is established in your head that it is love, and you want to bring it to fulfillment, you need to adopt the 'fight or flight' strategy.

Flight is  when you give a damn to the world and run away/ elope with your loved one. My view, this is escapist, easy because you will realize it is indeed a very small world, where you can run, but cannot hide.

The fight mode is not necessarily a war mode. It is a mode where you take it up on yourself to walk the difficult path of gaining compliance. Raj in DDLJ espoused it, while Simran was ready for flight. It is not an easy mode for lovers who  are impatient for fulfillment. It takes time to convert the naysayers in your family and friends into alibis. It is not easy and not necessarily that all will be converted. However, those who went this way,  at least did not need to run away from familiarity. To their credit,  they tried and  learnt something in the process. Compliance through persuasion, argument, logic (when love itself is illogical) is a learning process as indeed it is painful for the lovers and their parents/family.

It is you in love, who want it, and not the others. Yet, you are trying to convince them to understand your want, where your want or love itself is inexplicable. No one can truly define why they fell in love with someone.

Happy convincing!

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

"People don't know what they want until you show them"- Steve Jobs

I had read this saying by Steve Jobs quite sometime back, when the iPhone had first been introduced to the world. I revisited it once more recently while working for a presentation for my boss. The context was customer value, but this saying got me thinking along a different line - about life.

While doing MBA, Mr Kotler's views on marketing was of utmost essence, if one wanted to excel in marketing. He believed, that the customer's need led to product development and innovation. All the Ps and the Cs pointed to the fact - that the customer knows what he wants and is missing. Steve Jobs, through his saying, turned Kotler's views on its head. The customer does not know what he wants. And surprisingly, it rang a chord in my heart - I believe Steve Jobs (no offence to Mr Kotler).

When I am looking to buy a good dress - I only know that it must look good on me. Its when I see the clothes, the colors, the patterns, the prints and the way it fits me - can I finally choose. I did not know, before I saw, what was the exact dress that I wanted. This is a small example.

A bigger one is choosing one's life partner. I may have a laundry list of adjectives of the kind of person I want to spend the rest of my life with. And all those adjectives combined, cannot give me a picture of the person I want. When I meet someone, its only then that I am able to judge. Sometimes you feel attracted to someone with no bearing to the adjectives you had in mind.And you realize this is what you want. Essentially, it is only after setting eyes on a person, can you decide whether you want them. Its true about love, infatuation where you suddenly wake up today dreaming about someone you have met and whom you never knew existed till yesterday.

"People don't know what they want until you show them"

It also tells me that there has to be someone thinking differently, boldly, disruptively and inventively enough to shake people into realizing this is what they had been missing. Vision and dreams powerful enough to change the future, to bend the paradigm, to excite a need in people for a product or service. iPhone, Skype, tablets and so on.

Actually, if I come to think of it, someone knows what he wants. And it is the visionary. And then, his vision becomes the need of the masses. Perhaps, Mr Kotler was right after all.

Well, I'll be happy to hear your views.

Take care
:)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Manthara" lives on

In the Indian mythology, the epic Ramayana had a character called Manthara. She was an old woman, hunched on a staff and somehow had access to the Royal queens in the palace. What she did in the palace, where she came from, is not mentioned.
On the day, when there was much rejoicing in the kingdom, and the king was planning to crown Ram the heir, Manthra triggered a chain of events that lasted beyond Ramayana.

All four queens were happy. Bharat's mother was no exception either. Ram was just like a son to her. Manthara, came and whispered to her, that Ram was like a son, while Bharat was the son. How could she be happy when her own son was being denied the kingdom? Should she not raise her voice, use her authority to seek the gift that was promised to her by the king? Should she not get the kingdom for Bharat, when all that was needed, was her asking for it?

The rest as they say, is history. Rather, mythology in this case. The queen asked, the king granted, Ram accepted, Bharat refused. However, Manthara became immortal. She was a nobody, a commoner, who's advice triggered a chain of events impacting so many lives, so many years and so many events...No one knows what happened to Manthara after that.

The reason I write about Manthara is because, however insignifant the person is, their words of advice could have momentous impact. Especially advice based on the premise of benefit to the listener. Manthara lives on till today, however old or fragile she may be - in us, around us. Waiting for the time to make the small point, that went unnoticed. Waiting to show why rejoicing for another's success is so strange, when that success could be our own, that joy could be doubled.

Have you met Manthara recently?

In the decision making for positions of importance in office, when someone mildly questions your acceptance of a prized position gone to a friend? After all, didn't you work harder, did his tasks too when he wasn't around? Don't you think the boss should know? And if you acted on Manthara's advice, you well know how your and your friend's life changed after that.

In the rebuke of your mother, who asks how you could be so sanguine that your mother-in-law would give the best saree to you, just because she said so? Was her own daughter less important than you?

With the best intentions in her mind, Mathara, is the voice of dissidence in concurrence. Her questions transform her from nothing to noteworthy. Her insignificant helplessness becomes a powerful tool to change relationships, trigger events, affect lives and several lifetimes.

Manthara will never die. We need to be careful when to listen and when to ignore her. Her appearance, her voice, her persistence can never be ignored. Manthara would always find the right moment to say what she will. Her character teaches us that in the quest for what we feel we deserve, we can lose all that we have earned. Be it a son's love for her mother (Bharat lost respect for her mom, the queen), be it a friend's unquestioning faith or a mother-in-law's affections. So, beware of Manthara!

Take care!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How to make a website popular?

Unlike my other posts which are usually long and much thought out before being posted, this one is pretty short. Actually, the shortest so far :)

I've thinking on this question since sometime...The internet today is very cluttered, and few names stand truly out as a website receiving millions of clicks globally. How does one become one of them? I am faced with this question because of a website I wish to popularize - www.thefilmstreetjournal.com. And, it is a daunting task.

So here, to my few blog readers, I wish to ask, when you visit the site,

What is it that you think, if present, will make you come back?

I'll be really happy to receive some comments to this question!

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Friday, August 06, 2010

Very random

I love to think. I love to wonder and be alone with my thoughts. The best moments for me are when I’ve found the time to be lost in myself. Through my thoughts I answer my own questions. My questions concern life, the whys of everything, and the bigger picture. I ponder in order to search for the motive that guides external forces. What was the lesson they wanted to teach? Did I learn the lesson?

I have been greatly influenced in the past few days by Brian Weiss’s books. He wrote about rebirths and deeds. I believe him. I have never ever had any experience with anyone remotely connected to the rebirth story, but I believe Brian Weiss just by reading his book. It makes sense to me and strikes a chord.

You see, he talks about getting what you have done. In a single lifetime, we believe that you get paid back for good and bad deeds. The point is, certain paybacks take time…enough to last a few lifetimes. And it all makes sense. It’s said that God is omniscient, omnipresent and every other ‘omni’ attribute you can think of. To be omniscient, to know it all, you must experience it all first hand. Not through empathy, but first hand. If God made us in imitation of what he looked like, then he also must have decided on a succession plan for himself. While it may sound stupid, as God is immortal, it makes sense that God would want more like him…Brian Weiss mentioned that the soul was constantly evolving, and I think that the destination or the final frontier for the soul is to become God. What happens after the human soul becomes God, I don’t know. I need further meditation to answer that question.

Can you imagine how it feels to experience everything first-hand? Everything could be every feeling, every life situation, almost any combination that can happen to anyone on earth. The possibilities are vast and limitless, almost like the universe. It is somewhat like this – today I say an unkind word to my friend. He feels very hurt – a feeling he experiences first hand, and I don’t. For my soul to evolve, I need to experience that hurt myself. Only then, can I claim to have known. This was a rather mild example. There are examples where a murderer in a lifetime was murdered in a similar fashion in a later lifetime for the soul to grow. The learning is, there is indeed divine retribution and no one goes scot-free even if our laws fail to punish the criminal. When reading Brian Weiss, I found this experience to be very true for all his patients who had wronged others – they had to experience the exact pain they had caused in several lifetimes afterwards. For good deeds done by people, their next lifetimes got better, easier, more fulfilling.

I just felt that everything that happened in a person’s life has some connection or the other to previous lifetimes. However, it is not humanly possible to map the causes or the innumerable rebirths and millions of deeds. Every life is meant to teach certain crucial lesson. No life is a waste, none at all. Even those the premature deaths of infants, are also a lesson for that soul. Brian Weiss had such an example in his own life. You learn something. By you, it means the soul. It is overwhelming to know that I have the solution to all my problems, the answers to all my worries within myself – more specifically, if hypnotized and regressed to the past, I am capable of solving any of my current problems. This knowledge is empowering. As per Brian Weiss, the future has limitless possibilities. My actions today, change the course of my future tomorrow. In effect, he is disagreeing with the concept, that events are pre-destined.

Everyone cannot be treated by Brian Wiess or helped out by him. What I took away from reading his book is that, if I knew what ails me today, understood that it possibly was linked to my past, and controlled my vices, acted more humanely towards others, I guess I will be better off in my current and future lifetimes.

All of us are a part of the same universal soul. Eventually we are all one. Can you accept that? The rich business tycoon and the abject beggar on the street are a part of the same soul where you belong. Can you imagine that all people are connected to you, they are your reflections? Can you hate yourself? Or not cringe trying to hurt yourself? Will you hit as hard if you were hitting yourself instead of the thief that stole your purse? Would you refuse the beggar the penny, if you knew that he was a part of you? Once this acceptance sinks in, this fact that we are no different, it is hard to harm, be revengeful or hurt others. The sinking in is what takes time. Apparently Jesus Christ only had compassion and love in his eyes, even when he was beaten, bruised and crucified.

What do I take with me when I go to my next birth? It’s not nothing, and that is comforting. I take back lessons learnt from this lifetime - one or several of them. The soul, it seems has unlimited disk space to store all your previous lifetimes and deeds. Not only that, it takes in everything, more than you can see, or know. It seems to have a 10k vision on your life and people connected to you.

I am still thinking even as I sign out of this post, and I realize that just like the universe, our brain too is limitless in its capacity to contain our thoughts.

Take care!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My Dida is no more

Dida is my grandma, my mom's mother. My earliest memories of her consist of yummy bengali recipes out of ordinary vegetables, annual lakshmi puja with traditional homemade prasad, annual get-togethers at her place and inordinate amount of love.

Dida literally brought us up during the first few years of our life. Us is me and my twin sister. A kid is as much a bundle of joy, as a management challenge. For twins, you double that with the additional confounding error. My dida beat that and always managed to differentiate one from the other. Mamabari, where my dida, uncle, aunts stayed had very little space in the room, but ample in the heart. We loved our mamabari, and everything about it. Everytime, we left, dida would stand at the top of the stairway, waving us goodbye, and chanting 'dugga dugga'. Dugga is the name of goddess Durga. A few months before she left us, when we visited her, she stood in the same manner and waved us off, despite her failing health. Today, I realize that, life doesn't trumpet itself, when it is about to leave.

Dida didn't talk much about herself. She would keep asking how everyone else was. She understood less, felt more. Expected little, did lots. Everytime we were away she would keep saying to my mom, 'mayyagulare kotodin dekhi nai' (haven't seen the kids for so long). We remained kids for her as long as she lived.
She was married when she was a teenager. My mom says, dida and dadu(granddad) were known as 'haro gauri' as a couple. Haro gauri stands for shiva and parvati. People felt they were made for each other. Dida was as beautiful, as my grandfather was handsome. Dida's name was Gauri. As a housewife, she managed her 5 kids in the small means that my dadu provided.She was not very qualified, but knew more about managing people than I do with my MBA. She stopped having non-veg food, onion and garlic for more than three decades after dadu passed away. Yet, she cooked all these with great care for everyone else.

Lakshmi puja was a grand affair. Grand in the eyes of a small kid who watches prasads being made, purohit chanting hymns, lots of people, chaos, smoke of diyas - it was an enchanting experience. Dida ensured that the midnight lamp burnt the entire night, welcoming goddess lakshmi no matter how late she came. Having seen tough days in her life, lakshmi puja was a must for her. The pujas stopped when her health refused to cooperate with her heart.

I've loved my dida a lot. Her words, her advice, her hug, her prayers, her wishes, her admonitions, her fears, her joys...I've loved everything. When we went outside kolkata, everytime we returned, we made it a point to visit her. Everytime, no matter how weak she was, she would go to the head of the staircase and wish us goodbye. Wave us from the window, till we saw her no more. Perhaps, she knew the importance of farewell, more than we did.

She passed away after a stroke.I wish I could say 'dugga dugga' as she moved on in her last journey. I wish her well. I hope that someday, I can be as good a grandmom as my dida was.

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