friends

What is so wrong with “conveniences”?

I didn’t see a better example for something that was running in my mind for many months, what can be so wrong with a cuttable kitchen-ready coconut? 

cuttable kitchen-ready coconutNo, there is nothing wrong with the coconut or the business model that made it ready for the kitchen. You don’t have to worry about breaking it, no hassle with the safety of your fingers, right?

But the problem is its too much of a convenience.  At the cost of what? They cut the coconut in two halves and then drained the actual tasty water that was inside (probably there was another business around bottled coconut water).  Then they sealed the two halves with a hard ‘wax’ after filling the space with distilled water and some air. That water is labelled ‘undrinkable’ and you have to drain it after “cutting your coconut” into two nice pieces with a normal kitchen knife.

So far, so good. If you want a coconut along with its natural refreshing water, then buy a normal coconut and break it yourself.  Or if you want the convenience and pleasure of cutting it with a normal knife, then buy this.

I thought a ‘convenience’ is something that makes my life easy. The ‘cost’ I am paying in return, often goes into fine print and I was made to conveniently miss it.

There are tons of such conveniences in our every day life and we are silently paying a price. Our lives were just good without any of these conveniences but we chose them, we pay a price and we miss something in the process, something natural, something good.

Don’t jump into any conclusions yet, but lemme give you few more examples:

  1. We were walking, cycling or taking a public transport to go to a workplace or a museum etc, but now with the transport ‘conveniences’, we go there by a car. Lets not talk about congestion, pollution and global warming now, NOT YET.
  2. We were buying fresh vegetables, or grow them in backyard, or store them for a short period of time, but with all the storage ‘conveniences’, you hardly eat fresh vegetables but just keep them in refrigerator for a very long time, I have seen people frequently throwing away rotten veggies and spoiled meats, almost every week. Lets not talk about the cost of growing and the cumulative loss now, NOT YET.
  3. Many of the families have even given up cooking as a daily activity, with the advent of all cuisine ‘conveniences’, that they just eat out every day.. almost every day. I can’t even imagine myself in their shoes but lets not talk about MSDs, health hazards, carcinogenic preservatives used in restaurants and their lethal impact now, NOT YET.
  4. We were playing outdoor games on a daily basis or spending lot of time outdoors otherwise, but with all the living room ‘conveniences’, we are stuck to TV, I mean your every day entertainment whatever it is.  Tell me what is used more frequently? Your TV or your treadmill? Be frank.
  5. We used to remember by heart, at least 20 phone numbers, another 20 full postal addresses, at least 200 names of people in every day life, people at the vegetable market, grocery store, bus conductors, autowallahs and who not? And the thousands of interactions it triggered, hudreds of relationships and tens of friends. But with all the electronic ‘conveniences’, we hardly remember 2 phone numbers. We don’t go out for shopping groceries, clothes, books at all. The e-commerce is slowly taking it away and yes, there is a ‘one-click’ ordering convenience too. Lets not talk about how many businesses are shutting down in your local area now and the wonderful personal moments you missed just like that, NOT YET. 
  6. We used to go out with different kinds of people and when a true difference came up, we fought, we patched up and then we moved on. We lived a 100 years together in spite of all our differences. But with the advent of friendship ‘conveniences’, you go out with like-minded people. you cut down your risk of getting into a difference. Lets not talk about how you just screwed your mind into a comfy-zone and forever denied it an opportunity to evolve, and thereby run into relationship issues later, NOT YET.

In fact, this list is endless. I don’t want to sound ridiculous or unwelcoming of the modern day changes or the techy pleasantries we enjoy having accustomed to live with.

But I want you to consciously look out and understand the price you are paying for the convenience you are claiming. I am sure it will change your life and lifestyle. 

Thanks for reading.

B

Categories: analysis, entertainment, friends, fun, health, home, life, my, suggestions, urban, world | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Travel log: Utah’s Mighty Five minus one (Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands, then Antelope)

2700 miles and 8 days can’t really justify a roadtrip circling the Utah’s Mighty Five (minus one, we couldn’t plan anything in the capitol reef due to lack of time). But the stunning memories of rock and ice beauty would forever be your cherished possessions. Touring the Zion, Bryce, Arches and Canyonlands National parks have certainly elevated my spirits, may be because I personally believe, if I ever have to visualize my heart and mind in a comparative form, that would be rocks and ice in monumental sizes ;):P #cold #rock I would say.. hehe.. Jokes apart, it was a wonderful tour covering so many great geological features and nature’s sheer beauty that its extremely hard to compile it all into a single blog post.

  • My first solo hike in -24°C is the most beautiful so far
  • Kolob canyons made me drive backwards in snow for a quarter mile in the exact track I went ahead. Rear view mirror is your only source. No other option.
  • We did our first family hike in sub-zero temperatures at -7°C
  • We hiked the hoodoos in winter #navaho #loop #bryce
  • We were stuck in a passing snow storm and took 1 and a half hour to drive 2 miles in blinding snow fall with no trace of a human or any tire marks on a valley road. And that so happened on one of the most scenic drives between Zion and Bryce. Not scenic at that time ;(
  • Another family hike to the Delicate Arch, the slick rock, the ridge walk and the slope to the Arch are so very tensively beautiful
  • A family self-rescue on a very slippery icy track to Landscape arch, thanks to my crampons, hike unfinished.
  • Walking the slot canyons will take you back in time by a million years for sure, as we did the Lower Antelope Canyon.
  • Getting away from civilization will teach you the importance of a social life ;):P
  • Driving through the Monument Valley is like driving into a movie set

Take a look at the pics. I better be brief in words but I sincerely wish you take the same journey to appreciate and experience the amazing states of Utah and Arizona.

the beginning of it all..No hiking on first day as all trails were closed.

the beginning of it all..No hiking on first day as all trails were closed.

the famous entrance to the zion-carmel-tunnel, once was the largest of its kind, its thru a solid mountain.

the famous entrance to the zion-carmel-tunnel, once was the largest of its kind, its thru a solid mountain.

where is the road? which way to go? come on... try it.

where is the road? which way to go? come on… try it.

count your last minutes in heat.. Now we know why the Sun is a God.

count your last minutes in heat.. Now we know why the Sun is a God.

Lucky deers.. lots of freedom, lots of snow.. exactly what I want.

Lucky deers.. lots of freedom, lots of snow.. exactly what I want.

Get away.. please.

Get away.. please.

you feel like getting down everywhere, but you can't of course :)

you feel like getting down everywhere, but you can’t of course 🙂

please please get away.

please please get away.

And that one pic for my bumble bee :)

And that one pic for my bumble bee 🙂

lesson lesson everywhere. Too much play in snow is a lesson.

lesson lesson everywhere. Too much play in snow is a lesson.

upclose with the Thor's Hammer at -7°C

upclose with the Thor’s Hammer at -7°C

you would love driving those roads.

you would love driving those roads.

zion to bryce via carmel tunnel is my most memorable drive so far.. so memorable that i drove back there again during daytime after the storm and checked the road that pulled my balls into the mouth a night before. What happened was a bollywood movie plot

zion to bryce via carmel tunnel is my most memorable drive so far.. so memorable that i drove back there again during daytime after the storm and checked the road that pulled my balls into the mouth a night before. What happened was a bollywood movie plot

my first hike at -24°C is the most beautiful so far

my first hike at -24°C is the most beautiful so far.

Don't slip. Stay to your right. Use your poles. Tight ridge walking to the Delicate Arch.

Don’t slip. Stay to your right. Use your poles. Tight ridge walking to the Delicate Arch.

Do you see the Ms.World  2017 in this picture?

Do you see the Ms.World 2017 in this picture?

Kids' 10th hike is to the famous Delicate Arch

Kids’ 10th hike is to the famous Delicate Arch

get away, get away.. pl pl pl.

get away, get away.. pl pl pl.

canyon bed from the needles overlook.

canyon bed from the needles overlook.

noone in a 25 mile radius.. why do such places attract me all the time?

noone in a 25 mile radius.. why do such places attract me all the time?

Monument Valley scenic drive is like a movie set

Monument Valley scenic drive is like a movie set

veiled Woman. More than the rock, its the eye of that artist which first caught it that I admire most. :)

veiled Woman. More than the rock, its the eye of that artist which first caught it that I admire most. 🙂

Sunset at the Rocky Mountains

Sunset at the Rocky Mountains.. another classic from the slots.

the fish

the fish.. this is my best in handling the light shades.. of course the guide will help you with all this ;):P

Laughing Dolphin

Laughing Dolphin

getaway.. getaway.. u.

getaway.. getaway.. u.

Balanced Rock is real and yes unbelievable.

Balanced Rock is real and yes unbelievable.

At 7am in -7°C in 7

At 7am in -7°C in 7″ snow, what the heck do some people do?

We hiked the Hoodoos.. Kids' 9th hike is the famous navaho loop in bryce. Our first sub-zero family hike. Thats lot of, really lot of preparation.

We hiked the Hoodoos.. Kids’ 9th hike is the famous navaho loop in bryce. Our first sub-zero family hike. Thats a lot of, really a lot of preparation.

Categories: friends, fun, hike, my, national parks, outdoors, roadtrips, travel, utah | Leave a comment

To the bottom of the great Grand Canyon — South Kaibab and Bright Angels trails

Awesome! is only a word and no camera, no photo, no blog nor any article can ever justify the true beauty of this geological marvel that is actually visible from space. You should see it with your own eyes..um if only you love rocks ;):P  Yet another bucket-list item coupled with months of preparation, a solid plan, plenty of water, salts n food in your backpack, a very steep trail that takes you all the way down to the greenish white waters of the Colorado and then another UNENDING trail that winds all the way up again to the edge of the rim.. all these make another dream coming true for me.

DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS AS A DAY HIKE or you must be very well prepared with thorough training, proper exposure to altitude changes, clear understanding of the odds and a super strong will to push yourself to the limits without risking your own safety.  Do your research before you take your first step.  YOU are WARNED.

Every year, scores of unprepared hikers, lured by initially easy downhill hiking, experience severe illness, injury, or death from hiking in the canyon.

We took the South Kaibab Trail  (SK) which almost ‘slides’ you into the colorful canyon with its red white yellow brown black crimson walls of sliced rock but trust me, not a piece of shade from the scorching sun right from the morning. And there is NO WATER available anywhere on the SK.  Reaching the ‘Black Bridge’ is exhilerating for sure with the all the stunning views you have already captured.  Feel the the cool and flowing Colorado waters and brave your heart for the actual journey you need to take back up.  Don’t forget to gift yourself a quick nap, it would give you good mileage when you are coming up.

The Bright Angels Trail (BA) is probably the most under-estimated trail in all of the discussions I read so far. Don’t get fooled to read that its not as steep as SK. Thats a language trap. BA is easy most of its stretch and there is lots of shade but when its tough, its really tough. It has two sections that are EXTREMELY difficult for a novice hiker that can stun/surprise even experienced folks. Reaching the Indian Campground would take all your juices away… And then starts your actual tussle with the Canyon. After hiking almost 14+ miles , you will stand before the last piece that challenges you and breaks you down properly.  I bet you will forever remember the last 2-3 miles as one of the valuable stretches of walking you have ever done on the Earth.. seriously.

I did it all so you can too. But don’t kill yourself. please.  
Route 66 — Are you too obsessed with the road numbers?
Route 66 -- Are you too obsessed with the road numbers?

Switchbacks — is probably the sweetest word in Dictionary 😉
Switchbacks -- is probably the sweetest word in Dictionary ;)

It takes to understand why the Grand Canyon is Grand.
It takes to understand why the Grand Canyon is Grand.

i love ridges with slopes on both sides..
i love ridges with slopes on both sides..

Finally! The Black Bridge… yey!
Finally! The Black Bridge.. yey!

I did it.
I did it.

Thats the cute little bridge you will remember forever.
Thats the cute little bridge you will remember forever.

Plan your timing to avoid mid day heat.
Plan your times to avoid mid day heat.

the suspension bridge with the black bridge in the background
the suspension bridge

Indian campground
Indian Campground

I couldn’t take any pictures beyond this point. I waited like hell to reach this place and then the actual hell broke loose and then the darkness of the night surrounded and then the temperatures started dropping (like from 93F mid afternoon to 38F midnight)..

We took 5 hours to go down with many breaks and photoshoots.. and then another 10+ hours to come back up. Please note there is water available at Indian Campground and one emergency resthouse at 3 miles from the BA trailhead and another one at 1.5 miles from the same trailhead. You will thank NPS for keeping a 911 landline there just in case you bump into any emergency when you are about to finish a hike of your life time.

Lemme conclude: Be careful and be prepared for the last 4 of the 17 miles.

Thanks for reading and happy hiking. Go figure out why the Grand Canyon is Grand.
-balu

Categories: 2016, friends, hike, my, national parks, outdoors, sun, trails challenge, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Travel Log: Sequoia, Redwoods and Lassen

7 days, 5 national parks, 3 different worlds and 1 spirit.

It may seem crazy to drive across California for a week but the sheer fun of a roadtrip connecting 3 unique worlds into one is something I couldn’t have resisted. Please scroll down to check my brief travelogue 🙂

For a patio gardener like me, the Giants Forest is something unfathomable n supremely attracting 🙂

Untitled

 

Giving my kids a chance to explore and then to breach their own limits is more than anything to me 🙂

Untitled

 

Thats the WORLD’s LARGEST TREE folks! If only you wonder the size of seed it came from 🙂

Untitled

 

It matters what you do holding your kids hands 🙂

Untitled

Photo Courtesy: UXER

 

And then to leave them free to walk on their own 🙂

Untitled

 

Travel in groups 🙂

Untitled

Photo Courtesy: UXER

 

Hike, ski or whatever.. But get lost and get exhausted 🙂

Untitled

Photo Courtesy: UXER

 

Wanna get charged for the next day? simple… do firepit and barbeque, the crude way 🙂

Untitled

Photo Courtesy: UXER

 

Look straight for love :p

Untitled

Photo Courtesy: UXER

 

Check out the roads where only a few cars would love to go… Thanks to my sweet Subie.. bumblebee 🙂

Untitled

Photo Courtesy: Pavan

 

Get a large backyard wherever you stay 🙂

IMG_3483

 

Gen-NEXT-Men 😉

IMG_3500

 

Sign-in wherever you go 🙂

IMG_4781

 

Prepare well 🙂

IMG_4830

 

And the four little mountaineers posing with a live Volcano in the background..  They took pain and braved all odds to come along with me 😮  … More than enough for their age.

IMG_4858

 

Selfie with the Sulphur.. End of adventure for now 🙂  #stay #tuned

IMG_4865

Categories: california, family, friends, fun, my, outdoors, roadtrips, state parks, suggestions, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

do you?

Untitled

Categories: california, friends, outdoors, state parks, suggestions, traits | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

how great are you?

wasted

wasted

Categories: analysis, family, friends, life, philosophy, suggestions, teachers | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

విసుర్లు

Rough transcript of the audio above:

[telugu-transcript] మన ఊర్లో మనలాంటి విద్యార్ధి ఒకడు వృధా చేసే రెండు దశాబ్దాల్లో, మనం చదువుకునే గాడికొట్టు చదువుల్లో, మనకి తెలిసిన మూస మనుషుల్లో, మనం చూసిన మామూలు జీవితాల్లో, ఎవ్వరికీ తెలియని ఎవ్వరూ నేర్పించని సూత్రం ఒకటి నిశ్శబ్ధంగా చెయ్యి జారిపోతోందండీ!

తినేయటం తప్పితే తిరిగి ఇవ్వటం మనం ఎలాగూ నేర్చుకోలేదు . దోచుకుని దాచేసుకోవటం తప్పితే దాతృత్వం మనకెవ్వరూ నేర్పించలేదు. సరే ఏదోకటి నీ కలుగులో నీకు కలిగినదాంతో నీవాళ్ళతో నిబ్బరంగా బతికేస్తున్నావనుకుంటున్నావేమో? అక్కడే ఉంది తిరకాసు. నీ చుట్టూ ఓ గిరిగీసుకుని నీ చిన్న ప్రపంచాన్ని నువ్వు నిర్వచించుకోవటంలో తప్పులేదు కానీ ఆ గీతకి అవతల ఉన్న విశాల విశ్వాన్ని విస్మరించటం చాలా పెద్ద తప్పు. ప్రతి మనిషిలోనూ ఏదో ఒక శక్తి నిద్రాణంగా ఉంటుందీ అని నువ్వు నమ్మితే ఆ శక్తిని సరైన మార్గంలో పెట్టుకుని, నిన్ను సృష్టించిన ఈ ప్రపంచానికి నువ్వు ఏదో ఒకటి చెయ్యాల్సిన బాధ్యత కూడా నీదే! ఈ విషయంలో నిన్న మనం చెప్పుకున్న ‘ఇద్దరు స్నేహితులూ’ నీకు కాస్త సాయం చేస్తారేమో కాని నిజంగా మార్పు రావలసింది మాత్రం నీలోనే! అందుకే నువ్వు ఎలాంటి మనుషులతో మసలుతున్నావు, ఎలా ఆలోచిస్తున్నావు, ఏం మాట్లాడుతున్నావు అన్నవి చాలా ముఖ్యం.

ఎదవలు, ఏ గమ్యం లేనివాళ్ళు, ఎవడెలా సస్తే నాకెందుకులే అనుకునేవాళ్లు, ఏదో పది మంది మాత్రమే నా ప్రపంచం అని బతికేవాళ్ళు, ఏరు దాటాక తెప్ప తగలేసేవాళ్ళు, ఎంత వేగంగా వెళ్తే అంత గొప్ప అనుకునేవాళ్లు, ప్రపంచంలో దేన్నైనా సరే అందంతోనే కొలిచే వాళ్ళు …. కేవలం ఇలాంటివాళ్ళతోనే నీ ప్రపంచం నిండిపోయి ఉంటే, నువ్వేం కోల్పోతున్నావో నీకర్ధమయ్యేసరికి నిజంగానే చాలా సమయం పడుతుంది. మార్చెయ్ అందరినీ మార్చెయ్ .. తప్పదంటే దూరంగా పారిపో. ఇది నీ చుట్టూ ఉన్న మనుషులగురించి.

ఇక నీ ఆలోచనా విధానం .. ఏం ఆలోచించాలో ఎలా ఆలోచించాలో అన్నది నీ ఆధీనంలోనే ఉంటుందని నీకు తెలుసా? నీ ఆలోచనలని నువ్వు శాసించగలవని నువ్వెప్పుడైనా గమనించావా? ఒకసారి ప్రయత్నించి చూడు. ఇది కరెక్ట్ కాదు అనుకుంటే వెంటనే ఆ ఆలోచనని తుడిచెయ్. చెరిగిపోతుంది..

ఇక నువ్వు మాట్లాడే మాటలు.. రోజుకి ఎన్ని పనికిరాని మాటలు మాట్లాడుతున్నావో ఓసారి లెక్కపెట్టుకుని చూడు . పొల్లు మాట్లాడ్డం తగ్గించు. తప్పు మాట్లాడిన వాణ్ని వెంటనే సరిచెయ్. దేనికీ భయపడకు. ఎందుకురా ఈ పనికిరాని చర్చలు. ఎవడికి కూడు పెడతాయి? ఏ శరీరాన్ని అలంకరించేద్దామని అంత ఆతృత పడిపోతున్నావు ప్రతి మాటలోనూ? ఇవ్వాళ నీ ఎదురుగా ఉన్న గోడ మీద రాసుకో:

ఏం చేసినా అనారోగ్యం, ఎన్నిపూసినా వృద్ధాప్యం, ఎంత దాచినా పాపం, ఎక్కడ దాగినా ఉసురు … సద్దుగా ఉండవు గాక ఉండవురా!

మరెందుకీ తాపత్రయం? మంచి మాత్రమే మాట్లాడు, మంచిని మాత్రమే ఆలొచించు. ఆ ఎదవ గురించి ఎవరైనా అడిగినా నీకు తెలియదని చెప్పేయ్.

ఎవడి ఖర్మకి వాడు పోయే పురాణకాలం కాదురా ఇది. ఎవడి ఆలోచనలకి వాడే బలైపోయే ఆధునిక యుగం ఇది. తెలుసుకో .. మెసులుకో .. గెలుచుకో.

Categories: తెలుగు, friends, life, my, philosophy, psychology, suggestions | Tags: , | Leave a comment

ఇద్దరు స్నేహితులు — ఓ చిట్టి సలహా!

[telugu-transcript] ప్రతిమనిషికీ జీవితంలో ఇద్దరు స్నేహితులు ఉండాలి.. ఒకడు ‘అడిగేవాడు’. రెండు ‘చెప్పేవాడు’.. మొదటిరకం ‘అడిగేవాడు’ అంటే నా ఉద్దేశం నిన్ను అన్ని రకాలుగా ప్రశ్నించేవాడు అని.. ఏది ఎందుకు ఎలా చేస్తున్నావో నిన్ను ప్రశ్నిస్తూ నీ ఆలోచనలు పక్కదారి పట్టకుండా సరిచేసే ప్రశ్నలు వేస్తూ, నీ గురించి నువ్వు నిరంతం ఆలోచించుకుని నిన్ను నువ్వు అభివృధి చేస్కునేలా ప్రోత్సహించే ప్రశ్నలు అడిగేవాడు ఒకడుండాలి నీ దగ్గర.. ఇక నీ రెండో స్నేహితుడు ‘చెప్పేవాడు’.. మీకు అంత తొందరగా అర్ధం కాకపోవచ్ఛు కానీ మానవ సహజమైన భయం/స్వార్ధం/ఆత్మాభిమానం అన్నీ కలిసి నువ్వొక తప్పుడు నిర్ణయం తీసేస్కుని వెళ్ళిపోదాం ఆ దారిలోకి అనుకునే ఆఖరి నిమిషంలో, నీకొక ఆనకట్టలా అడ్డంగా నిలబడి, నీ ఆవేశాన్ని నీ బలాన్ని ఒక గాడిలో పెట్టి ఇది ఇలా చేస్తే బాగుంటుందీ అది అలా చేస్తే బాగుంటుందేమో ఒకసారి ఆలోంచించు అంటూ నీకు ఒక చక్కటి సలహా ఇవ్వగలిగే స్నిహితుడు ఉంటే నువ్వు నిజంగా చాల అదృష్తవంతుడివని చెప్పాలి.. జీవితంలో ఈ ఇద్దరు స్నేహితులూ లేకపోతే అంటే అడిగేవాడు చెప్పేవాడొకడు లేకపోతే మనుషులు ఏమైపోతారో వాళ్ళకి అర్ధమవ్వకపోయినా మనం రోజూ చూస్తూనే ఉంటాం.. నిశ్శబ్ధంగా వాళ్ళగురించి ప్రార్ధన చెయ్యటం తప్పితే మనం మాట్లాడటానికి అవకాశం ఉండదు చాలాసార్లు.. కాకపోతే ప్రతిమనిషికీ ఏదోక రోజు సూర్యోదయం అవుతుంది లెండి అది వేరే సంగతి. అయితే ఈ ఇద్దరూ లేకుండా ఇంకెంతమంది ఉన్నా వ్యర్ధం అని నా అభిప్రాయం. కాబట్టి అందరూ ఒకసారి ఆలోచించండి.. ఎందుకు చెప్తున్నానో అర్ధం చేసుకోండి. . వీలైతే దిద్దుకోండి . వెసులుబాటుంటే ఇలా ప్రవర్తించండి. ఇకపోతే ఈ అడిగేవాడు చెప్పేవాడు ఇద్దరూ కూడా నీ భార్యాలోనో నీ భర్తలోనో కనిపిస్తే ఇంక నువ్వు ప్రతిరోజూ పండగ చేసేస్కోవచ్ఛు … ఉంటాను.

Categories: తెలుగు, friends, my, suggestions | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

I better thank these people at least now.. publicly :)

Better late than never and I better thank these people at least now.  This day exactly a decade ago marks an important turn in my life and here are the people who helped me wade through the murky waters and the labyrinthine dungeons.

13My sister Subhadra

The one who has been instrumental in pipping my computer dreams. She gave me a way by actually showing me what to do and how to do…  7,9,0 are just some digits for everyone, but they were a mantra for me at one point of time.  For an already extremely self-driven and self-inspired man like me, imagine what you can do if you pump up tons of inspiration from outside. Thats what was proved later circa 2005.  Thank you very much Sister.  I wouldn’t have been here without you.

My friend Dattu

Oh! I can’t explain what kind of a phenomena he is. A superb marketeer with an extreme vision, he is a relentless example of success. He too had a humble beginning but where he is now and where he is headed to be, is something just short of a miracle that is called human achievement.  The day he reached my place and the moment he started staying with me in that small thatch hut in a remote village, he began changing me for good. Thank you so much ra Dattu. I wouldn’t have been here without you.

My cousin Prabha

An epitome of affection, belief, sensuality and success herself, she was nothing short of persuading me to a new door. Sometimes you feel good if people believe in you blindly and that gives you a lot of strength to go on.  That can perhaps land you in actual success, its blind faith you know. Thank you Prabha. I wouldn’t have been here without you.

My brother Sai

Aah! what can I say about this lover boy?  He was far, he was reserved, he asked little, he spoke little.. But his achievements sublimely kept me going. Man of true grit, talent and determination, he is no doubt the subconscious platform on top of which I have built whatever little I am today. Thank you brother. I wouldn’t have been here without you.

My wife Swarna

Um. Let me start with a big Thank you first, my love. Show me a wife in this world who bought her husband’s vision, eyes closed. Show me a girl under the sun, who walked into darkness and uncertainty just holding her husband’s hand tight. Show me a lady on this earth, who believed in her man’s dreams just as much as hers.  I said I would fly in the air without wings. I said I would walk on the water without gills. I promised her nothing short of an ‘Antilia’ without having a penny in my hand.  I embarrassed her and the world by staying jobless at the nadir of our financial graph.. What not? But she stood there all the time with a smile. With her big eyes wide open, she always looked for my success and prayed for my well being. Thank you again chinnu. I wouldn’t have been here without you. Truly.

And there are many others without whose mention I can’t close this post. From the Teachers who taught me to the Managers who believed in me, its an endless list. But you know, this is not the last post.. I have dedicated plans for each of them 😉 Stay tuned ;):P and thank you too for reading this far and trying to understand what I have gone through.

/B

Categories: family, friends, me, philosophy | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Elephant and your friends

[transcript]

hello everyone.. i want to tell you all a small story.. I am sure you know this one but I am just making a funny tricky conclusion in the end that might help us all..
It goes like this: Once upon a time, there were 3 blind men who wanted to go check how an elephant looks like.. They took the permission of the mahout and went ahead to touch it..
The first man who was touching the trunk of the elephant said that the elephant looks like a fat rugged water pipe..
the second man was at the legs and he said the elephant looks like a big pillar with rough surface..
the third man was at the tail and he said the elephant looks like snake with a hairy head…
then they all went home happy and yelling at each other about their new victory of knowing what an elephant is..
So how this story relates to our day-to-day life is that we make all assumptions about the other people around us without fully understanding their complete personalities.. We don’t have time to go through our neighbor’s or a colleague’s entire life, his experiences, his burnouts, his failures, his skill set, and his positives, negatives etc.. we just make opinions and we live happily within our own shell.. On top of it all, we have people who help us make opinions about others.. I will talk about them separately..

In the end, I think this is all wrong.. we shouldn’t be doing it.. right? So, lets open our eyes to this beautiful world and stop being a blind man who defines the elephant with his hands..
I hope you liked the story and the message at the end.. Lemme know .. bye bye.

[/transcript]

thanks for listening.

/balu

Categories: experiments, friends, life, mind, my, philosophy, suggestions, world | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

my will

Categories: emotions, experiments, friends, me, mind, philosophy, poetry, travel, writing | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Friendship, heartache and happiness — How to know who your friends are?

Friendship just happens.  Like that dew on those petals.

Friendship just happens. Like that dew on those petals.

Many years back, a wise man told me:
“Few of your friends would stay close to your heart for all eternity. Be extremely careful in choosing him if you want to be his real friend, because once you are in, you should be able to share his ideas n life without a second thought to who/what or why he is, what he did or does.. “

Thats a time I usually confused my acquaintances with friends.  I was not knowing what specifically defines friendship or what choice I ever had in it.  When did the last time I exactly choose someone to be my friend? Is he my friend if I had spent half my years with him?  What if he turns out to be an asshole? Can we actually accept someone without those second thoughts? .. so many questions, alas! as usual there is no one to answer.. 

Those all who had just passed the ‘time’ with me, slowly faded into oblivion.  Together with whom I spent some boat loads of ‘money’, are no longer seen.. It didn’t matter whether I was rich or poor, but neither a relation nor a friend has ever stayed back if it was not built on certain something.. a certain something that defied all logic and material flavors. It was NOT time, money, college or lineage for sure, but I didn’t exactly know how I had that bunch of souls so close to my heart and I continued to puzzle over this nagging stream of thought for many years, though was silently taking my own notes to answer the eternal question: “What is friendship?

Then I sat down one day and decided to study my own life to come up with a proof or disproof of what that wise man told me.  To reverse-engineer the answer objectively. I reread my old diaries. I recollected my oldest memories. I rang up the most unusual numbers in my phone for endless discussions.  I relived all my secrets once again and remembered all those who could be knowing them and those who could’ve disclosed (badly)… and what not!  Then, I compiled all the information that can help me answer the question and tried to practically derive a list of people whom I can call ‘friends’.  I tried hard to be neutral to each one of them and to myself.  The big exercise was ON:

I started with my favorite thumb rule first.. ’the rule of elimination’:
he is NOT my friend, who couldn’t respect my choice;
he is NOT my friend, whose decisions are based on my age, color, creed or ethnicity; 
he is NOT my friend, just because his friend is my friend; 
he is NOT my friend, who cannot forgive; 

and a little philosophy too teased me here:
he IS my friend, but  I am not guaranteed to be his friend at the same time; 
he IS my friend, but he can still have some secrets of his own;
he IS my friend, but he can have his own life and choices;

At this point, I had some clarity… I plodded further with determination…  I ruled out all assumptions about character and ego…  I gave out brownie points generously… I scrutinized human behavior with humility… This went on for many weeks. Its still going on. It never ends, I know.

To this day, a million people touched upon me when only a few – yes – stayed put and the rest walked away.  So when I look back now, I was a normal man all the way, nothing really great about me, but I am so proud of those few, who stayed in spite of all that is ‘me’.. all that is normal or abnormal… all that is cynical or positive.. or whatever.   They make me happy even when we don’t see each other in years.. even when we don’t speak to each other for a long time. They push me for better every minute, every day.

And every time I thought I don’t have to be cautious in making friends, unfortunately, some buddy would prove me wrong.  I laugh at myself, I laugh at my occasional pain … and I move on. I won’t lose hope you know and keep building my list. I hesitate but I keep making new friends.  

and I proudly shout it aloud: “Friendship is Divine”.  Because its my friends who made me what I am today.  I was impossible sometime back.

Thanks for reading to the end, my friend!

/balu

Categories: emotions, friends, life, me, mind, suggestions | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.