Saturday, June 28, 2014

wishing my phone a little more smartness, some zen and some 'gingerly' sense

As I was coming to terms with a huge mistake I did and blamed my phone for the same, I got a mailer from Indiblogger announcing a contest that asks to Give your phone a super power and tell us how it would help you see what others can't see and do what others can't do!

I wish my phone could alert me if I missed an urgent sms just as easily it lets me know when to take my supplements by set alarm. I wish it could be a real Zenphone. Well, now I can get my wish fulfilled it seems. Just like wishing for pocket phones in my teenage made me see this wonderful device later that can be carried in the pocket and that enables talking anywhere in the world. Who had imagined it 30 years ago. Yes I am old.

I am one of those old people who don't check their phones every now and then. Well, to clarify better I must add that I do it only when I am out of home and feeling bored in the company I am ;-)

But at home the phone is an abandoned device that is to be found sometimes with the home land line phone put to the only purpose it serves. Finding the lost cellphone..errr.... the 'smart'phone who can't even tell where it is lying.

The most irritating it becomes when I miss some important call or sms sent to me. Some of them really need instant attention and I just miss seeing them on time. The smart phone is not smart enough to let me know what I missed.

The most horrifying thing happened last week when a friend sent sms around dinner time that was not seen on time as usual. Later, well after midnight when I was winding up work I just checked my phone and saw the message that sounded like a minor health issue and I replied instantly. What else I could think eating garlic could do? My phone should have known what distress garlic caused when it received the sms about garlic sickness.

Next day I kept planning to call her as she had not replied to my message but it slipped out of my mind as usual. My phone should have reminded me to call, telling me how urgent it was.

And then I get a notification in my mail box that a post on her blog is trending on Twitter. The universe decided to tell me what the 'stupid' phone couldn't.

I click and check, crash landing here, the same night had been horrendous for her. I kicked myself for not having called her as soon as I saw the message in the midnight and also not to have seen the message on time. I blame my phone to not have warned me how urgent it was. I blame the smart technology to not differentiate between messages on a personal phone and suggest appropriate actions while the digital technology keeps suggesting options when you Google search. My phone should have had a filter to screen all the messages and tell me which one to address immediately.

Imagine, if a search engine can spy your mail and facebook interactions and suggest you adverts accordingly, how can cloud computing not suggest and alarm phone owners about urgent messages like this? I was really angry with myself but was equally blaming my 'smart'phone as well. Almost like we blame others for our mistakes sometimes.

So if you insist, I would equip my 'stupid' phone with a superpower so it can come to me like a tail wagging puppy whenever I call it and whenever an urgent message comes. I will give it a cute name I promise. 

Okay, I will name it Ginger as Garlic caused such a havoc. Garlic is bad however tasty it makes the food.

I would also give Ginger the superpower to sense the urgency and let me see the picture. Not the 3G type, real picture you see.

Ginger would know my schedule and set the alarm by itself, will come to me 'gingerly', wagging its tail to tell me what is the next thing on calender.

No I am not planning to become a vegetable human anytime soon, I am planning to get smarter with a phone that has a tail and walks 'gingerly' behind me ;-)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

my tryst with trust and my learning journey with it...

TRUST, is a healing balm to my heart. TRUST people around you my friend, it helps find you happiness and peace even if you don't need healing.

I am saying this after having trust issues for a few years. Trust people around you so your soul guides you towards light. Trust people around you so you develop better instincts, better gut feelings and better insights into inspiring lives so abundant around us. ALL the time. Distrust is negative and counterproductive. Distrust and doubt guides you negatively and corrupts your gut feelings, your instincts. Life made me learn my own lessons, some of course we learn seeing others too.

I have had my share of trauma, my share of grief and the way SOME people behave when one is undergoing a traumatic phase in life, makes one a little afraid of ALL people in general. That made me angry in my own heart, I always found it more traumatic when I lost respect for people around me. Even the basic respect you have for all human beings around yourself, loosing that is painful for me, although the concerned person stays unaffected and keeps on doing the same to others, unaware that their acts of hurting people are gnawing at their own souls as well, sometimes they don't even know it.

Being the incorrigible optimist, I could bring myself to a place where I can see if a person repeatedly cheats on you, hurts you or stabs in the back, is a person who him/herself is not at peace. So I learnt to not get affected by other people's misgivings, their acts of cheating, hurting purposefully and belittling others around them. They were not actually cheating on me or hurting me, they were following their instinct, corrupted instinct, that had become their behavioral pattern.

It has been tough to accept it sometimes when I have trusted someone, have held them closer to my heart and have given them access to my life and those people have cheated, been hurtful and insulting. Some of them were my family members too. Being the believer that I am, and also because I could not believe one was cheating on me, I gave them second chances, gave them benefit of doubt and just let them be. I secretly hoped they would learn their lessons and realise what they were doing and to my delight SOME of them actually realised and rehabilitated themselves on a larger level. THOSE were the people who are capable to grow in life, evolve and become better human beings, learn their lessons before it gets too late.

But SOME OTHERS were not so lucky. They kept on doing what they knew best as a coping up mechanism of stress; the coping up mechanism in this case being hurting others, cheating everyone around and so on. And it was THIS KIND OF PEOPLE that made me believe that they actually don't break my trust but they are deeply insecure people in their own lives, and don't know how to deal with it. And they become violent in their acts and thought process. They stab you in your back, they badmouth you or they just try and belittle you in some way or the other.

No trust was broken in this case. It was my perception that someone broke my trust, cheated on me or such but they were just following their instinct* as a coping up mechanism (stress physiology has been part of my subject, stress psychology we learn as we grow).

Years and decades passed as I watched these people I am talking about and my belief got stronger. The ones who learnt their lessons evolved, those who didn't, are still in the deep pit.

*Our instinct guides us rightly only is we let it do it's work by accepting all the truths that come our way. Distrusting is like blocking a certain spectrum of nature's truths and depriving our own instinct to flow uninhibited. How can half truths guide our soul?

If you are afraid of being hurt you must know the small hurts are our lessons towards evolving, towards awakening and totally worth it. That's how I see it and I never distrust people even if I get hurt a few times. But I wont say that I don't stay away from people who feel negative to me. Bad vibes affect me and I try and stay away from those people or dissociate with them quickly, without a feeling of loss. And believe me, this capability of dissociating with people without a feeling of loss or staying away from all negative people, recognizing those people most of the times, comes from the TRUST that I have in people around me. I never doubt them in normal circumstances.

I am not saying it makes one perfect and I am not a perfect believer either, but it does help me improve myself, it does bring peace to my mind, it does make me believe in the patterns of nature while I learn more about life in general. Lesson are never absolute, never complete. I am a work in progress.

I have a few very very close people whom I trust, confide my innrrmost feelings and those are the ones I can't dissociate whatever happens on the trust scene. Nothing is an absolute truth you see.

For now I learnt that I need not stop trusting people. Trusting people around me makes my soul enriched, happy and contented. Distrusting people makes me deeply unhappy, grumpy and stops me from evolving into a better person. Distrust gnaws into the soul, the mind and eventually the body of the beholder as well.

Distrust stops me from finding good souls and connecting with them. What a looser I would be if I distrust a good soul? Trust me.

Friday, February 14, 2014

a memoir writing workshop by Cheryl Strayed, conducted by Literature Studio | is that a beginning for me?

The past always lights up our path I feel. Whatever way we decide the light to take us, but it's always the past experiences that mould our resilience, analytical capability as well as emotional quotient. The most powerful moments from the past always keep coming back and drowning you with an overwhelming intensity. I have not been talking about the past for some time now, even the mandatory new year post was given a miss this year. I just could not bring myself to write about how the new year makes me feel or how I try to cope with it. It was the last day of the year 2009 when Mithi, our daughter left us and each new year has been a challenge since then. No I don't get depressed, but it does make me go back to those times more than ever. I started writing this blog when she was with us, writing about the present situation, however sad or painful, is easier I now realise. Back then, I thought this is the bravest thing I am doing by sharing my struggle with the world. I even thought it would make the readers sad but then many people wrote to me saying they find strength by reading the posts here. Although they cried sometimes reading those everyday struggles of a child, and a mother as well. I understood what they meant.

And then life changed, I forced myself to get busy with so many other things that the past just stayed with me like a secret, to be shared with only few, if needed. Although I wanted to write about the experiences and my own journey through that, I couldn't deal with how forcefully it comes to me when I try to pen it down. I never understood why, because I have been writing about the wretched struggles in the past.

I got my answers, at least a few of them, when I attended a memoir writing workshop by Cheryl Strayed. My friends Vijay and Vibha (from Literature Studio) invited me for the same. I had little idea what I am headed for. But let me tell you about Cheryl Strayed first. I had come across this column by Dear Sugar in the past and had found her insightful advises really genuine. Now that I always felt these agony aunts always come up with superficial advice to funny people in our news paper and magazine columns, this one seemed like she had seen life in true sense. I could not point a finger how and why she sounded right but she was someone who had lived all shades of life, has related well to others, has connected with human soul and has observed those inevitable patterns of pain, suffering and healing in her life. I had no idea what sugar had experienced or where her perspective came from. Later I forgot about this column as there was too much to handle on my own plate. I never knew who this sugar was.

This workshop was a pleasant surprise when it started. An author whose work I had not read came across like a warm personality and started the workshop quite casually. It was when she mentioned she was the anonymous writer of sugar columns, I started getting a few glimpses of what all she wrote. And then she told she had written this book Wild which was about a solo trek she took after her mother had died. I could relate to what all she spoke and could very well understand why she took 20 years to write this book after the real experience. A memoir of a solo trek that she took after her mother's death. A powerful story of grieving, healing and bringing life in perspective.

And then she gave us all a few exercises. It was a class of 15 and everyone wrote a few lines, some of them shared what they wrote, some kept quite and I was quieter than the quite ones. She had told us to write about overwhelming moments, about talismans and about the people who touched us. It was only one thing that kept coming in my mind and that was so overwhelming to be shared with a straight face.

But I felt a clarity in my thoughts after hearing Cheryl sharing her experience. She also felt that the same trauma kept coming back into her writing for the initial years. And that it's okay if it happens like that.

Thanks to Literature Studio and Cheryl Strayed, I will be a bit more liberated from my cobwebs probably. Sharing will be easier and the craft of writing, weaving a story, creating a meaningful memoir will be better. Amen.