Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Glass Ball…

Positive blog again! This weekend had the potential to go negative! One whole day got wasted without any productive work and that drained my energy! Instead of focussing on some serious stuff, I thought I will spend the rest of my day watching TV and reading Tamil magazines! I read Ananda Vikatan (wow, it is after a couple of years or so)! I am glad I did!!  Though TV did not entertain me much, a short story made me smile… the story named "கண்ணாடிப் பந்து - Glass Ball" by Narsim… I am still smiling it is more than a few hours since finished reading the story

A strong professional falling in love with another equally strong professional and the time from their meeting till the proposal is the gist of the story. It is not that this storyline has never been dealt in the past by anyone. But the way the story is narrated is awesome. I don’t know if people working outside corporate setup will be able to appreciate the story or not but I am sure all those in the corporate world would have smiled the way I did! I liked the way the org & self management concepts are sprinkled thru the story! I liked the way the author expressed that love can flourish only when there is mutual respect and awe… the story represents what our Tamil poet Avvai expressed beautifully "நற்றாமரைக் கயத்தில் நல்லன்னஞ் சேர்ந்தாற்போல் கற்றாரைக் கற்றாரே காமுறுவர்"… also the mental oscillation between an yes and no, the hesitation to open up the topic, fear of rejection, inability to let go of ego (misinterpreted as dignity :-) )and finally conveying the feeling in style, indirectly but without any room for misinterpretation… beautiful… Sure, the number of English words used is higher; maybe there was a way to reduce it to make it more readable for a wider audience… but it felt natural to me - a typical being from the corporate world who loves Tamil and English!

More than all these reasons, I felt relieved that finally there are stories that recognize the intelligence in women more than just the beauty and emotions! I am glad that this story did not portray women as the all forgiving epitomes of self-sacrifice! Though the heroine's looks are mentioned and her filled eyes are referred to casually, they are not the reasons for her to be loved! Same goes with the hero too! Our mythology to most recent movies highlight other aspects of women as more likeable! For example, Sathaybama who could take over from Krishna and fought Narakasura in spite of knowing that he is her own son is regarded as arrogant and much less than Rukmini and Radha who are in blind hero worship or love; movies showing women as either just beauty queens on one end or struggling alone to fight the world on the other end! I used to wonder whether there are any "normal" women - women with intelligence, their own self-respect, ego, inner beauty and strength to express her love for a man and "normal" men with all the above and strength to accept love expressed by a woman! From that context, this story represents a desired culture!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Finally a positive note…

For the past two and a half months, I have been quiet… not only because I was neck deep with work but also because I promised someone that I will try to be positive with my blogs and it was quite hard to keep up the positive spirit with all that was happening in the State… I am breaking my silence with a positive note! Okay, not a completely positive note, but a potentially positive note :-)

Out of the 2000+ junk WhatsApp messages that fill the inbox in a day, finding one that is useful / meaningful / inspirational is a tough task. Oh, most of the groups are muted but still they pour in a lot of messages only to be just marked as read. Only messages from a few groups and a few individuals are really read. I bumped into this message and was inspired thoroughly, though I don’t know the authenticity of the message. The Israeli-American violinist  Itzhak Perlman was the hero of the message. Though he was polio-attacked at the age of four, he became a great violinist; once during his stage performance, one of the strings in his violin broke; he continued to play, refusing to recognize the broken string and went on to produce music that was unheard of before is the crux of the story. I could not validate the authenticity of the story. But it does not matter… the story was truly inspirational… someone cursed by ill health for no mistake of himself, someone whose instrument failed at a critical moment like Karna's astras, could reject all the potential blockers and went on to produce the best for himself and for the world was good enough to lift me up.

Another inspirational story I listened to today was Malu Sheikha's. In spite of all the hardships in life like separation of her parents, being left alone to handle her own needs, the twenty year old has swum against the currents of backwaters in Kerala. She is aiming - even greater heights - to become an IAS officer. Usain Bolt is another person who inspired me the same way. In spite of all his other issues, he is one of the people I like - for his great come back after the serious injuries and for winning the race in 2016 Olympics in spite of a stumbling start! The commentator said, if it was anyone else other than Bolt, the game was over at that moment! I wanted to write an exclusive blog on Bolt since 2016 Olympics. But life moved on from one thing to the other and the last few months were really very depressing.

Usually anger triggers blogs. But, this time, it resulted in stunning silence! I thought the State that was limping for decades has fallen down irrecoverably and I moaned furiously (oxymoron!). Strings were breaking one by one! The State was still! Plans ran through my mind, actions initiated but the wound was still open, bleeding and not to be shown to anyone! But the two messages I listened to today made me come to my senses again and reminded me of Bolt! If someone can run the race to victory after fatal injuries and a stumbling start, if someone with such odds in life can swim thru one of the hardest backwater streams, if someone can make the best music with a broken string, I can run too, I can swim too, I can make the best of me too!

I am reaffirming to myself and to my fellow men! I am choosing love for hate and insults! I am choosing honesty and integrity for the corruption that is lurking around! I am choosing to be Malu for all the odds! I am choosing to be Bolt for all the injuries and stumbles! I am choosing to be Itzhak Perlman for all the broken strings! Sure, more strings may break and there could be more hatred and insults! But I am choosing to refuse them! I am choosing not to recognize them!

Let there be Bolt! Let there be Perlman! Let there be Malu! Why only light! It can dawn anyway!