Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Interesting meet - Sports and Science

I had no idea that this evening would turn out to be interesting beyond my imagination. Initially when my cousin invited me for an evening at the London Chess classic meet (obviously in London), I had accepted mainly so because it would be an opportunity to meet and catch up with him.

Being a weekday, I had to plan my day so that I finish work and head to London city (40 min by train). On the morning of the "day" , I was not feeling well , so decided to take it easy. Being inside the cozy confines on my room, I took care of "important and urgent" official emails and then started to contemplate if I should go for the evening meet. At one point, sleep got the better of me. I woke up feeling better and made up my mind to go for the evening meet.

I reached the venue (Olympia center) after an hour's journey, hopping trains 3 times. Made my way upto the conference area. The place was filled with Chess board of all sizes.

People from different parts of the world, 10 yr old to 70 yr old could be seen in groups discussing Chess, strategy, games etc. Needless to say there was a coffee shop at one end of the hall with rows of chairs and tables, most of which were occupied. Not to forget, a shop selling Chess related materials (chess books, puzzles, chess boards, DVD's etc), some of them at a reduced price. I did pick a couple of books :-)

Chess games at different levels were on and the seriousness and concentration on everyone's face was evident from the silent room filled with people.

The most interesting part that held my interest was a talk about Astronomy which was presented by 3 senior chess players. It was interesting to see the connection between astromomy and Chess. For the first time I had come across a seminar on astronomy in a Chess meet. I am still wondering as to what is the common link. The room was 70% filled with audience and online audience listening in/watching , thanks to the technology. The 1 hour session went on for an hour and 20 minutes with folks making it an interactive one.

Finally, definitely the cream of the evening was a meeting with one of the prominent/famous/well-known name in the world of international chess arena who shared his interest in astronomy during the session. The pic should be good enough.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pobody's Nerfect

If you are thinking that I have misspelt the word, you are in for a surprise. This is known as 'Spoonerism' named after the person who made it famous , William Archbald Spooner.The first time I heard the spooner'd version , I was sure that it was a mistake until I learnt about it in detail. More details on it over here

Most of us have grown up hearing this phrase (I mean the un-spoonered version), which is "Nobody's Perfect".  And there has been numerous quotes/1-liners based on this. Over a period of time , we gather evidences of 'imperfectness' against people/circumstances and make a perception/view of everything. The majority of time we look at ourselves and see whats "NOT" perfect about us and focus on perfecting that. Also , we receive feedback on how "imperfect" we are in different aspects from different people at different point in time. Our limitless storage device, the brain, stores all these information and off we go "trying" to perfect all or most of the imperfectness. If we pause and take a look at the various things we do, it would be evident that most of the time , its about fixing/changing ourselves or the circumstances or the people around us. Anything wrong or bad about it? No. That's how we have programmed ourselves.

Last week, when I had a meeting with a long time friend of mine, I realised that both (my friend and me) related to one other friend in a fixed way, more so because of the experience that we had with that other person. Very soon we were talking about the imperfection in that person. Later when I went through the entire conversation in my mind, I realised that we had imperfections as well, but we had comfortably forgotten that. Here's where the thinking and the attitude change would make a difference. Before going there , lets look at the dictionary meaning of the word "Perfect". There may be numerous meanings, but the topmost is

Lacking nothing essential to the whole; complete of its nature or kind.

In simple words, however each one or each circumstance is , they are perfect and need no changing or fixing. I know this might not fit into the logical reasoning , but for a minute , imagine if we applied this. 

When I realised that I was relating to my friend in the fixed way, I told myself and the other friend that however people are, they are fine. They are the way they are. When we said that the other friend is perfect the way he/she is, we started to see whole new perspective and our attitude towards that person changed.

This is a simple but effective mechanism, but for this , you should keep away all the past perspectives/views/judgement/evaluation about the other person away and say to yourself that however he/she is , he/she is perfect the way he/she is. I did see a difference and I hope you also see a difference.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Back to School

The long wait (for parents) for the school to re-open has come (for some). Today was the first day of a new class for my son. It was good to see the excitement in him. Getting up early, and getting ready , wearing the new uniform, new bag, new shoes and the new list goes on...

Being the first day of the school , I dropped him off at school. The school campus was abuzz with activity (read confusion) . It was interesting to look at the different reactions/emotions. More than the students, some parents were tensed/nervous . And ofcourse there were some students who were new to the school and some (like my son), graduated from the small campus next door to the bigger one and were in awe of the magnanimity as compared to their smaller campus next door. I could very well understand the emotions that the little ones were going through.. I myself had studied in 7 schools in my 14 yrs (12 + KGs) of schooling and almost every 2 years went through these emotions (maturing each time though)

After running from counter to counter , looking for the right counter to get my son "registered" (basically to mark his presence on the first day of the school) .By the time I could locate the right counter and my turn came, it was time for the Prayer. So, all activities were suspended for the timing of the prayer. Standing there listening to the prayer, I was reminded of my school days, the assembly, prayer, school song, national anthem. Very nostalgic!! and nice :-)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dealing with upset

Upset is something that all of us have had or having at some point or the other. When we are upset, all we can see is that our point of view is right.

Recently I happened to have an upset with my son. I had to go out for dinner with a few of my friends at work and it required good amount of time considering travelling and the logistics at the restaurant. The minute he knew I was stepping out; he started throwing tantrums and did all possible things to keep me from stepping out. This was normal, so I spent some time with him telling him where I was going and what I needed to do and what time I would be back. But whatever I did, he did not seem to take it well. Time was running out and still I had not started. Finally, I ditched the plan of stepping out, and stayed at home. I was upset at the fact that I could not go out and my plans had been destroyed. I even shouted at my son for not letting me go. He was upset as well, because I was shouting at him and he sat there with a sad look on his face, sometimes crying.

The next day , my son woke up and was back to his normal self, running around , talking to me as if nothing happened. I was still upset with him. Normally I would take my time to get ready . This day , I was up early and got ready early and left home early than usual. When my son came out to see me off, I did not respond to what he was asking, but simply said “Bye” and left. 

This is something we all do when we are upset with someone. Whether it is mom/dad/sibling/special-friend/spouse etc, most of the time we say nothing’s wrong but within ourselves, our world is upside down. We take revenge by not talking or not responding properly, or doing something that we normally don’t do. The actions can vary , but the underlying point is that we tend to prove a point to the other person which amounts to saying “See, I am upset becos of u” and we make sure that the other person feels bad.

Where does this all lead to? Ultimately a strained relationship . I looked back and reflected on what happened , I realized that I was being silly and punishing my son silently for no mistake of his. All he wanted was for me to be with him. I could not understand it at that time.

I went back home and apologised to him and hugged him and gave up my upset.

We always have a choice to hold on to the upset life long or to give it up and create something new in the place of upset. There is nothing right or wrong here, but purely a choice.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Make it Happen

Most of us when we want some work to be done , we analyse if its urgent or important. If it falls in either of the category, then we make sure it gets done at all costs. And there are those tasks which are not of importance, but if that work was done, a sense of satisfaction would be there.  We tend to trade satisfaction because of lack of time or there are lots to be done. The reason may vary and are aplenty.

For me , it was always a desire to be able to wear sunglasses during summer. For those who know me and have seen me, I wear spectacles and a high power one. Removing the specs would make me blind as a bat. I did try out wearing sunglasses, but did not really work out. So, the only way I thought was to get a laser operation done and then wear sunglasses. This process would involve time and money to the extent of INR 35K. This matter became a nice to have and I chose to live with it.

Few weeks back , again these thoughts came. I was driving from Chennai to Bangalore and it was around 2PM, the sun blazing down and reflection all over from the road. That time I felt the real need to have sunglasses and I was determined to make it happen. (BTW, some of my friends have nicknamed me as "MIH" guy aka "Make It happen")

I looked at ways of getting a sunglass which I can use. Finally after less than 2 weeks , I had got a sunglass made which had both power and the sun protection. NowI can drive without having to guess whats in front of me :-D

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Disciplined driving... hill driving

Most of us have either driven on the hills or have been in a car/bus going up or down a hill. The roads are narrow, steep at times, and there are these sharp turns called 'hairpin' curves, which require special attention and certain amount of dexterity.

The rule of the hill driving is

  1. never overtake on curves 
  2. always give way for upward traffic
Most of the time , people drive on hills as they would on the plain terrain. Couple of hours back I was on my way , driving down the hill from Coonoor to Coimbatore. This is 2-lane road and is used by vehicles coming up as well as going down (In some hills, there are separate ways to go up and come down. example Tirupati-tirumala) . 

Its so depressing to know how people drive in the hills. And most of them happened to be educated people. Not toforget are the taxi drivers who know these roads as they have frequently driven , but that does not give them any liberty in breaking the rules of hill driving. 

High time we had different kinds of license/measures to ensure safe journey on the hills. 


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Silence speaks a lot.

Many a times I find myself in a situation where I want to say a lot of things, but then feel its better not to say all those. And I keep thinking whats the best thing to say and finally end up saying nothing. Many a times I do get shouted at for being silent and non-reactive. :-|

Especially when someone loses their close ones , I find it tough to say anything. Most of the things goes on in mind. "What do i say?" , "What do i do?" Whatever I say or do will not necessarily undo anything that has happened. And sometimes , the best way to show you care is to be "Silent".. "Silent" in quotes because, on the external appearance I am quiet, but there is that internal voice which keeps going on and on.

At that moment I feel that I should say something to prove/show that I care. But on the contrary , being silent and jus being with the other person says a lot about the love and care one shows.