Friday, May 23, 2008

Signs

Knowingly or unknowingly, we are always looking out for signs or signals from life ensuring that we get what we are looking for or future looks good. As humans, we seek assurance, more than anything else. Some of these transcend into traditional customs or observance. As true with anything else, an open mind will break these so called rules but then, giving a scientific or spiritual reason, we just form new ones.

As a kid, I used to consider my blue ink pen and a blue belt as my source of luck. I used to be confident taking exams or going to competitions till I had them. Then I lost the pen and the belt broke. In a previous company I worked in, the manager had two names for a project - one internal to the department and one which was used while talking to the customers. He used to choose the internal ones very carefully, naming them after successful mythological figures, hoping that the projects meet the same fate as these characters etched in time. The higher a person goes in profession, the more assurance does (s)he look for because there is really no scope for failure.

Nowadays, we are surrounded by books and talks on realizing our true potential and succeeding in life. Paulo Coelho's Alchemist is one of the best books I have read recently which has inspired and motivated me. Seminars organized by Toastmasters are definitely stimulating and prepares the mind to at least start thinking in that direction. All said and done, these talks, books, seminars convey a simple message -"Listen to yourself". Still attaining it is one of the hardest feats. The reason being many times, our mind and heart are at conflict. In between these conflicts and thoughts lies the “miracle” or “God”, trying to confluence the two and bringing peace to them.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sweet smell of the world

A nice smell can always pep up the mood. Women, obviously have a better olfactory sense than men and that is the reason we see a huge range of women perfumes.

As a kid I used to love the smell of the sauce that was seen in a roadside burger stall. It was not tomato ketchup but some vegetable sauce. It’s smell would always lure me and I would persist my mother to buy me a burger. I had even inquired about buying them but the shopkeeper mentioned they were not for sale. The same is for the bakery. I love the smell of baking cakes and cookies so much that I thought I might as well open one up. The only downside is I would end up eating into my profits.

Having a sharp nose is especially good for chemistry practical. An acetone used to smell like nail polish remover and fructose like vanilla ice cream. If you get one of these in the lab test, you can be assured that you are done as soon as you get the sample. You can just relax the next couple of hours watching others struggling through various tests.

Though I am not much of a drinker, I have always found the aroma of coffee aristocratic. And I have generally loved all the Nescafe ads. They are refreshing, just like what they are advertising. I have tried drinking it earlier but never liked the bitter taste. Finally, I gave in to my olfactory senses and since last week I have been drinking coffee in the morning and boy do I like it!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Amigos

Friends make up the world. There is an entire spectrum of how people perceive friendship. There are people for whom the entire world is their friend. Many a times, I have wondered how they were able to gain her/his friendship. I think it is just the magnanimous of my friend to stand people of all characters. On the other end, I know people who do not have many friends. I am not sure is it because they are not seeking people or just that they have not found the right ones.

Whatever it is, friends do influence one's thoughts and character. Though family plays a big part in shaping up a personality, many a times it is the friends who fine tune and surface up the talents in a person. All my life, I have been seeking friends and have been fortunate enough to find some wonderful ones. And I do agree that they have broadened my thoughts and the way to look at life.

The reason I enjoy Seinfeld and FRIENDS more than Everybody loves Raymond and others is they are centered among friends, where they talk about themselves and pull others legs - in short, live a life.

Time and space do influence a friendship and either harnesses it further or makes it grow apart. But we do value the few hours we are able to spend with them in couple of months or even years. That's the only time when we are able to cherish the past in the present.

Before you wonder why I am writing such a poignant post on a Monday, I have to tell you that I spent yesterday afternoon with some of my close friends, whom I discovered recently and the evening with my very long lasting friends. That’s not the end to it. The coming weekend, I am going to catch up with my long lasting friends again and it’s gonna be like our college days. Few days back and I believe for the next week, I am going to be living my present remembering my past and future.

As Elizabeth Foley says
"The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart."

Amen.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sounds of nature

One thing that truly scares me is the sizzling noise of the wind. Years back, my mom coincidentally planted 4 Ashoka trees the same day I started my school. Since we started a new phase of life together, in my tiny mind, I treated them as friends. Every day I would compare my height with them to ensure we are growing together. For couple of months, our heights were comparable, later they outgrew me by leaps and bounds.

During extremely windy days, when the trees would sway, I used to feel scared that they might get hurt. Then one day, one of them actually broke. I was sad and frightened. The tree grew up again but my fear of trees swaying in the wind did not reduce. The worst is tree swaying like a pendulum - tilting almost to the ground due to the force of the wind and then bouncing back to its original position. Couple of times and you have a fallen tree and most likely an electricity outage. Though Obelix was my favorite character in "Asterix and Obelix", I used to feel for Dogmatix when he howled over fallen trees.

In fact, the sound of wind brings me back various moments of fear I had experienced in the past. Once I bravely sat down alone on a windy night to watch Agatha Christie movie dealing with soul, spirit and mediums. Though I was brave enough to sit through the movie, I was scared to go to bed. I could not catch a wink that night with the curtains in my room swaying to the storm outside.

Few years back, my friends had a sleep over at my place. The local kids played a small prank by calling us middle of the night saying that someone was on the roof top. The rain outside made sure that the memory was well etched in my mind for years to come.

The day had been perfect yesterday till I was almost asleep. Then the storm broke, making the trees sway and windows shatter. I tried to bury myself under couple of pillows to drown the noise but no avail. I woke up in the morning to read about Myanmar being hit by hurricane. With all the technology advancements, there is no way to curb the nature. But then why should nature listen to us when we don’t listen to it?