Worlds Apart

Late into the night with the fifth cup of freshly brewed coffee, disarranged sheets lying all around, haphazardly searching for the right page to finish your assignment, and bam! There’s a power cut! Fear & Frustration cross your troubled mind. You curse, feeling the world to be shut out, and finally there’s a wave of resignation. You realize then that there are others like you too, facing the same situation, at the same stage. A Stage of Purposelessness.

This becomes the occasion for you to visit your front porch and sit down, staring ahead, simply because you have nothing else to do. The soft breeze caresses your face, and you realize how comforting that is, inwardly thanking your sensory nerves. The leaves rustle in the wind, and you realize the music created is soothing, you realize running your hand through your hair creates music too, in a weird way.

This brief period of time, where purposelessness becomes the only driving force to realize the tree in front of your house is huge and beautiful and its branches display intricate designs. You begin to realize the coffee smells simply amazing and has more value than you thought. It isn’t just your usual doze of caffeine to keep you awake through the night. It has a lot more to it than you imagined.

You begin to realize the sound generated when soles come in contact with the gravel differs from person to person, and you could probably identify people just by listening to the sound they create while walking if you tried hard enough, long enough.

You begin to appreciate the moon, the stars, the clouds, the dark blue shade of the sky, and the darkness which is tantalizing, brining your senses alive, making you alive. You wonder how you missed all of this, when it was always there, right under your nose. Ah! You were too busy trying to get hold of things beyond your reach. You realize you want to be there for long, with no thoughts, no worries, no qualms, no grudges…but just to enjoy the moment, to live in the real sense for that moment. You experience divinely bliss, secretly wishing it would last forever.

And then, there’s a blinding light, the whirring of everything coming back to motion. You spring up, back in action, hurriedly reaching for you papers and shut the door hard. Just too hard. The world shuts out again, just this time, it’s different. Unknowingly you promise never to revisit this world until the next power cut.

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My Why.

After writing essays and articles on a zillion topics, and reading a hundred biographies and autobiographies, I never imagined that writing about myself would be the most difficult and challenging things to write on. I am the person, who believes that I know myself the best, in and out. Yet, when it came to writing, I found myself pondering over it again and again. Writing and scratching repetitively, never seeming to be fully satisfied with my start. After half an hour, of writing, scratching, and re-writing I faced a white sheet with blue ink all over, yet there was nothing. Painstakingly, after a 10 more minutes of thinking harder than ever, I finally came up with the probably most clichéd sentence ever in the history of mankind – I am Me.

I chucked it then, cursing my teacher under my breath for this assignment but inwardly, I wondered. Wondered why I couldn’t write on that day, wondered why I faced a wall with everything but nothing, wondered why I couldn’t when I knew so much about myself, when I could give full 5 minute speeches non-stop about myself to my friends. A fresh blank sheet, a full-ink pen, perfect silence, yet, I couldn’t get myself to write. WHY?

Needless to say, after a whole year of wondering, thinking and pondering the question still remains unanswered but my quest to find the answer doesn’t end here. Hopefully, I will find the right answer to this seemingly simple question one day.

However, my initial problem to write about myself, I would say has been partially solved.  Partially, because I ain’t satisfied and probably will never be but anyway, atleast I came up with something! After all, something is better than nothing.

But yeah, from this exercise I learnt something we all know but so many fail to realize its full meaning and impact it has in our lives. Identification. We all possess ID cards, we all know a lot about ourselves, but hey, how many of us have an identification in the real sense. Think, my dear reader, Think hard. What is your identification? Who are you really? And, more importantly, remember to Identify You with Yourself.

And me? Well, am going to get on with life, in other words, tread on the path of self-discovery, and hopefully, someday I will conquer my quest to find the answer to my Why.

Love after Love

The time will come

When, with elation,

You will greet yourself arriving

At your own door, in your own mirror,

And each will smile at the other’s welcome,

And say, sit here. Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was your self.

Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart

To itself, to the stranger who has loved you

All your life, whom you ignored

For another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

The photographs, the desperate notes,

Peel your own image from the mirror.

Sit. Feast on your life.

 

– Derek Walcott

Blue…

Life offers various hues and shades. Blue being one of my favourite colours, I have tried to capture the various moods that it offers. Have a look…

Into the blues: The Reef - Calmness

Blue Illumination - Tranquility

Texture of Denim depicting depth in its intricate weave

Universal Illusion - Eternal

Blu-Print - Sadness

Expressions

Letters strung together make words.
Words strung together make phrases.
And so it goes on…

They say a pen is mightier than the sword. No doubt, it is.

Words can make you laugh. They can make you cry.
They can excite you. They can instill fear in you.
They can make you dream. They can shatter your dreams as if they were nothing.
They can change your life, change forever.

Words can do wonders – beyond our imagination.

So friends, let’s make a lesson heard, a lesson learnt.
Express yourself.

Making the Cut

Hi friends! This is a story that I recently came across and would like to share. Its the story of Sam Arena, a story beyond the call of daily life, a story to learn from…

When I asked the client in my barber’s chair, “What’s it going to be today? Short-back and sides or a song?” he looks vaguely alarmed. I calm him by informing him that I only sing to people I don’t like. He laughs and settles back, but little does he know: singing truly is my passion!

Until I was 15 lived I Italy, where everyone breaks into song at the slightest provocation, so I became addicted to music from a young age. What would life be like, I wondered, without a beautiful song? As I grew into adulthood in Australia, I became nostalgic about the songs of my youth, and by the 1990s, as my wife Mary and I entered our second decade of marriage, I was sitting down with my guitar between haircuts and composing a few songs of my own; love ballads, especially.

When our 13th wedding anniversary rolled around in 1991, I dedicated two songs ”No One like You” and “You’re Mine” to my darling wife and watched tears run down her face as I sang, “Sam”, she said earnestly, “your songs give me goose bumps. They are too good to be heard by more people than me.”

Oh boy. Mary got my ballads in her bonnet and started pestering various media people about me, her singing barber husband. Two radio stations took an interest and played the songs, and then in 1993, a TV station called. After the programme was aired, I became renowned in our community as the Singing Barber and everyone insisted on hearing my songs in the salon while they got their haircuts. Business Boomed- and the cassettes I’d made of my songs sold out too.

The biggest surprise, however, was still to come. Within days of my television appearance, I received a call from a wealthy Melbourne entrepreneur who offered me a long-term recording contract. It was what any entertainer dreamt of. All I had to was sign. But, what does it involve if I sign? I found myself asking.

The music promoter explained that he would be investing a lot of money to promote and market my songs and me, so my heart had to be in it 100%. I needed to be wholly dedicated and focused on selling my records everywhere. I had to be prepared to travel and perform wherever I was asked and for as long as needed. In order to succeed, I would also be expected to follow their professional instructions.

I had a lot to think about.

My friends and customers all told me to go for it. And then I asked Mary what she thought I should do.

“All your life you have been dreaming of this,” she said, and then hesitated slightly. “Go, Sam, I’ll manage with the family…it will be OK”.

I watched my daughter Giselle and son Benjamin, then 11 and 9 respectively, playing in the backyard. Soon they would both be in high school…and where would I be? I was so accustomed to my family turning to me for love and support, and I loved helping them solve their little hassles in life. I honestly couldn’t visualize myself away from them for more than a week, let alone months on end. If I were to embark on a singing career, I’d only miss them terribly, I’d also certainly miss out on watching them grow up and turning to Dad to “make everything OK”.

I came to the conclusion that signing this contract would put a huge gap between me and my family and me…and I couldn’t bear the thought. My family was my life and it was a pretty happy life at that. I had great health, a loyal and loving wife and two beautiful, kind children. What more can a man ask for?

So I declined the music promoter’s offer and didn’t go on the road to fame. I’m still making music, I am rich in love and 15 years later, I have absolutely no regrets.

Is Attitude that important?

Is attitude all that important? This question may have occurred to many people around the globe. And most, infact all, elders and people around must have said – Yes, attitude is the key to success and one cannot reach anywhere without a positive attitude and good conduct.

So, this time in my blog post, I would like to present you with a story (which is said to be true). This story will serve as an example that attitude and perception matters the most.

 This is a story that happened between the customer of General Motors and its Customer-Care Executive. Please read on…

A complaint was received by the Pontiac Division of General Motors:

‘This is the second time I have written to you, and I don’t blame you for not answering me, because I sounded crazy, but it is a fact that we have a tradition in our family of Ice-Cream for dessert after dinner each night, but the kind of ice cream varies so, every night, after we’ve eaten, the whole family votes on which kind of ice cream we should have and I drive down to the store to get it. It’s also a fact that I recently purchased a new Pontiac and since then my trips to the store have created a problem…

You see, every time I buy a vanilla ice-cream, when I start back from the store my car won’t start. If I get any other kind of ice cream, the car starts just fine. I want you to know I’m serious about this question, no matter how silly it sounds “What is there about a Pontiac that makes it not start when I get vanilla ice cream, and easy to start whenever I get any other kind?” The Pontiac President was understandably skeptical about the letter, but sent an Engineer to check it out anyway.

The latter was surprised to be greeted by a successful, obviously well educated man in a fine neighborhood. He had arranged to meet the man just after dinner time, so the two hopped into the car and drove to the ice cream store. It was vanilla ice cream that night and, sure enough, after they came back to the car, it wouldn’t start.

The Engineer returned for three more nights. The first night, they got chocolate. The car started. The second night, he got strawberry. The car started. The third night he ordered vanilla. The car failed to start.

Now the engineer, being a logical man, refused to believe that this man’s car was allergic to vanilla ice cream. He arranged, therefore, to continue his visits for as long as it took to solve the problem. And toward this end he began to take notes: He jotted down all sorts of data: time of day, type of gas uses, time to drive back and forth etc.

In a short time, he had a clue: the man took less time to buy vanilla than any other flavor. Why? The answer was in the layout of the store. Vanilla, being the most popular flavor, was in a separate case at the front of the store for quick pickup. All the other flavors were kept in the back of the store at a different counter where it took considerably longer to check out the flavor.

Now, the question for the Engineer was why the car wouldn’t start when it took less time. Eureka – Time was now the problem – not the vanilla ice cream!!!! The engineer quickly came up with the answer: “vapor lock”.

It was happening every night; but the extra time taken to get the other flavors allowed the engine to cool down sufficiently to start. When the man got vanilla, the engine was still too hot for the vapor lock to dissipate.

Moral of the story or Inference drawn:

Even crazy looking problems are sometimes real and all problems seem to be simple only when we find the solution, with cool thinking. What really matters is your attitude and your perception.

So, now friends, if you ever had a doubt about the fact ‘Attitude is the key to success’, I hope it has been cleared now.