Thursday, May 25, 2017

Experimenting with Color!

When I wrote "வண்ணமில்லா வண்ணம்" I sort of anticipated a follow up!! I was smiling while replying sometimes and was not sometimes!! The comments fall into a huge range from are you trying to copy Steve Jobs who wears the same color to save time and energy spent on decision making, to you like black so what is the big deal about it, to how are you handling the heat in the summer, to giving me some nick names :-)

First of all, I am not copying any one and Steve Jobs is definitely not my idol/hero. My heroes wore / wear all colors!! My biggest hero, my dad, does not like black. I know he is accepting my vow only halfheartedly! The day when we went shopping for black outfits, he did not choose not even one though he stood by me the whole hour! Yes, I said hour! It is not saving time at all!! There is not much black collections in the stores! Not many people wear black after all! So searching for fitting, professional looking black outfits takes more time than my usual shopping with all colors! Of course, I would have loved to save time like Steve jobs did; but unfortunately that is not working! I usually buy for the entire year in one go so that I don’t have to spend time shopping often. But because of the limitation induced by the color choice, I will have to go more often than once a year, looks like. So, there is absolutely no gain in terms of time. I have my decision making techniques sort of set and hence there is no change in the amount of energy / time spent from that perspective.

Sure, black is one of my favourite colors. But, I do like other colors too. More importantly, as a person, I never liked to be  constrained in any ways but now I am! I never liked to give power to anyone or anything to stop me from doing anything I like! But now I can't wear something even if I like it! I do not like to be generalised but now I am… the lady in black, blacky, black beauty (depending on how close the other person is and ;-) also how they perceive me)! With yesterday, it is exactly three months  since I started this. I have got several nick names that generalise me already! The heat is increasing by the day and it is getting harder and harder. However, I have decided to continue till I see what I want.

Though the three months had been tough in many ways as mentioned above, there are several good insights, I wanted to share and hence the follow up :-) Some of my theories about life changed, challenged and  and some got confirmed!

Black is one of my favourite colors, so wearing it should ideally give me joy. But it did not! There is no excitement about the color anymore!! Sure, while shopping I surf for blacks but that is a different filter and not an immediate attraction to the outfit as it used to be. Interesting!  The next one is going to be a contradiction of the above statement. I believed that any suppression is dangerous and it will come out nastily. Interestingly, this belief changed almost completely. Since February, I have been suppressing my interests / desire to wear many of my clothes. But nothing happened and I do not seem to have any feelings for other colors anymore!! So, what decides the likes and dislikes? What is meant by suppression? How different it is from self-control? Is it the same as the difference between starving and fasting

Nonchalantly, I was able to gift all my other coloured clothes. Only a few items are retained for sentimental reasons. I guess, I will gain the will to gift even those few "important" ones! What gives the strength to gift the most loved / liked items to others? Donating all-new items is easier than donating items that you loved and used; there is an affinity towards them and there are stories behind most of them… I could withstand that pressure mostly - except for the select few. I am still wondering what gave me the strength to do this?

Another interesting observation is about who all observe. The common belief is women pay more attention to details and observe clothes more than men!! That belief was proven wrong and I do have data points observed over the last 90 days! My male friends and colleagues realised it quicker than my female friends and colleagues; they were able to recognize this in the first week itself - to be precise from the fourth day there were feedbacks, questions and remarks from men and only from the 9th day from women! So far, the number of remarks from men is 1.5 times higher than that  of women, and this is in spite of the fact that more housekeeping women became more friendly with me and they all remarked!! The number of remarks from men being high could be because of the higher number of men in the organization but quicker feedback from them still seems to be a valid observation to disprove the common belief! But there was no sadness in men (except my dad and one of my friends) when I said I will wear only black going forward; but invariably all women felt sad :-) interesting!! Other observation is about the assumptions people make! More women asked if it was a religious reason and assumed that I am praying for getting a child ;-) and more men assumed that I have become an atheist!! What a stark difference!

I may follow up again after a year or so and I hope that by then, this would have come to an end!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

வண்ணமில்லா வண்ணம்!

பாரதியைப்போலவே நானும் வேண்டுகிறேன் மஹாசக்தியை! எங்கும் நிறைந்திருக்கும் இறையை! என் மஹா காளியை

எண்ணிய முடிதல் வேண்டும்
    நல்லவே எண்ணல் வேண்டும்
திண்ணிய நெஞ்சம் வேண்டும்
    தெளிந்த நல்லறிவு வேண்டும்
பண்ணிய பாவ மெல்லாம் 
    பரிதிமுன் பனியே போல
நண்ணிய நின்முன் இங்கு
    நசித்திடல் வேண்டும் அன்னாய்!!

கருமை என்பது வண்ணமில்லை... வண்ணமில்லா நிலை... எண்ணங்கள் வண்ணமயமாயிருப்பின், எண்ணியவை எண்ணியவண்ணம் உருப்பெறச்செய்ய உயிர்கொண்டிருக்கும் காலத்தில் ஆடை வண்ணமில்லாவண்ணத்திலிருப்பதில் பிழையென்ன? எண்ணிய முடியும்வரை திண்ணியதாய் நெஞ்சம் இருக்கவேண்டுமாயின் ஒரு நினைவூட்டல் வேண்டியிருக்கிறது! வண்ணமறுநிலை நினைவூட்டுகிறது நான் செல்லவேண்டிய தூரத்தை! இது கடவுள் மறுப்புக்கொள்கையன்று!! சமூக மறுப்பன்று!! வலியென்றால் வலி!!! கோபமென்றால் கோபம்!!!! சீருடையென்றால் சீருடை! சங்கல்பமென்றால் சங்கல்பம்!! விரதமென்றால் விரதம்!!! 

செய்யவேண்டியவற்றைச் செய்யமறந்தமைக்காகவும், இனிமேல் மறக்காமலிருக்கவேண்டியும்!

Monday, May 1, 2017

One more critique… A movie this time…

Oh yeah, I went for a movie amidst all my unfulfilled commitments! I was in two minds about going for a movie! As many of you know, I don’t watch movies that much. It used to be one handful of movies a year earlier but in the recent past it dipped further! The last movies I watched were "Kaakka Muttai" in 2015 or earlier and then a "Monsoon Wedding" in a flight last year!! Given that track record :-), when I was invited to go for this movie, all my unfinished tasks and May 2nd deadlines came to my mind stopping me from an immediate yes. But, I was reminded of the team I coached in 2015 who wanted me to see the part 1. They even threatened me not to let me in if I do not watch the movie :-) In addition, I could not say no to those invited for the movie. Finally, I went for the movie. This is again "I am glad I did" kinds :-)

There were many points that resonated with my thinking and there were quite a number of lessons too! How important it is to keep the commitments given is conveyed beautifully. The queen was the most respected person in the country! She deserves the respect every bit! A courageous, honest and kind Queen; she was not shown as an omnipotent Queen; she committed mistakes too! Very human!! I liked it! I also liked the princess who rejected the marriage proposal from a great dynasty just because they tried to impress her with gifts and ordered her into marriage!  I liked the way the Prince and the Princess fight the enemy together, the way the Prince teaches her the new technique to use her bow and arrow! The way they both use the weapons together was like dance! I don’t know if the director envisaged it and wanted to convey it as a dance, but it felt like that to me! I liked the way the Princess refused to be a prisoner even to the Prince who has won her heart already! Though there were a couple of other points I disagree with the director, it was beautiful!

Another key point that struck me hard is, those who stand by dharma and those who don’t suffer pretty much the same; there is death, pain, distress, disappointments on both sides. Though it appears as if dharma takes too much effort, being at the side of adharma is equally taxing! In that case, why be at the side of adharma! After all, those who are at the right side are peaceful!! The message to be in the right side was so powerful! The conflict between being law abiding and being just is beautifully portrayed! Wow!! Careful narration!! I was reminded of Mahabharata at many points!

Not only that, the "war hating me" could be at peace with war! My opinion about war changed today! I hated violence! I hated those who are violent! My mentors too hated violence like me! Rather, I was like my mentors in hating violence! One of them even said, violence is a sign of incompetence! I echoed it in my mind; Etched it strongly in my heart! Of course, I was not against Indian army or navy or air force or DRDO or the like. Though I felt they are all needed to protect the nation, the very thought of war brought a sigh and anger towards those trigger war! Today, I was absolutely at peace with war!! I knew that I would have fought too if I were in the situation! Hmm… interesting revelation about myself!!

The movie went in right speed all through. It is a very good attempt in Indian cinema. It must have taken quite a lot of study about the warfare of ancient India. The hard work was clearly visible all through the movie. Not even a single scene felt unwanted / insignificant / added for the sake of it!! Tempo was maintained till the end! Yes, I am talking about the movie Bahubali part 2!! The movie feels a lot more like a book to me! (I know the movie buffs will hate me for saying so, but, for a book lover like me, books are the greatest!!) I would like to have a personal copy of it to go back to the lessons many times!! I sat upright all through the movie as if I am listening to an important lesson or lecture, with my brain actively referring to all the previous notes and re-indexing them!!

A movie worth watching… possibly multiple times… like a book…