Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Art of Living - DSN course

I still remember the uneasiness when I reached the Art of Living Part 2 course venue. It was not the fear of going into silence for 3 days – I had the inhibitions but at that moment it was something else. It was just one day before the course that I found out that my project ended and if I was not able to find new project, I had to leave US – that means further away from Navin (if 8 hours flight travel was bad, imagine a 20 hrs flight travel).  I was not even sure if I should go for the course or stay back home and look out for opportunities by talking to my managers. My AOL teachers suggested I go for the course. I complained that they don’t understand, in fact no one understands the seriousness of my situation; but still I listened to them and went for the spiritual transformation.
Read my old blogs (Before Part 2) and (After Part 2).

It is time for yet another meditation course J – this time I have enrolled myself for the DSN course. And is this a coincidence or what? Navin is in the US and I am in India. Last time when I was doing Part 2, distance between Chicago and California was too much. What should I say now? J Whether or not a situation is grave depends on how you perceive it. Anyways, the distance is not a bother this time.

The DSN course begins tomorrow (Thursday through Sunday). My visa stamping is scheduled for Monday and I need to take the flight from Mangalore to the consulate on Sunday evening. When I enquired with a teacher I know about the DSN course, she asked me to postpone my stamping appointment. You cannot attend half way through, she said.  
What? Are these people crazy? Do they give importance to anything other than Art of Living? Re-Schedule stamping appointment? How is that possible. Well, I tried my best to get the date moved but it meant I had to go through the entire application process again. So I tried asking the teacher if she could move the course dates :P. That was little too much to ask with so many people already registered. But what is the harm asking isn’t it? ;)

Nervously, I called the DSN teacher. I explained to him the problem and asked if I could leave half day on Sunday. He asked my flight timings and said that he will make sure I catch the flight on time. He said, “We will finish the course earlier that day. You just come.”

You just come! So here I am all set to attend the course tomorrow. I thought I will pen down my thoughts about the course before I go into it, so that I can share my experiences (good or bad).

DSN – from what I have heard from people, it is a fun course and helps one to attract positive energy. There will be lot of meditation of course! There will be some group activities too. I just read some information about DSN course – It says DSN helps to let go personal barriers and inhibitions and experience inner strength. I don’t know how successful I will be taking what the course has to offer but I am looking forward to some good teaching. The course will be in Kannada and English. I don’t understand Kannada; I hope the teacher gives equal attention to the non-Kannada speaking folks like me which I am sure will be in minority.

My time on Bench (yes, I have been on bench for last 1 month) will be over this week. My managers say they have given me enough time to decide whether I want to take up project in Mangalore or not. If nothing works out in next couple of days, I will be joining the Mangalore Team ( L ). I don’t know where I will head next week; but that will definitely decide whether or not Navin and I would meet sooner or after some time gap. Whatever it is I cannot wait to find out what DSN is all about and what it has in store for me.  

Monday, November 23, 2009

It happens only in India

I came across one video on YouTube which shows how people in India are different from the rest, especially in behavior, habits, religious beliefs. The video was hilarious but nostalgic and very true at the same time. It showed how people fight to pay party bills, women store anything that is made of plastic including plastic bags, take movies and cricket very seriously etc. etc.

After I returned from US in Oct this year I just could not deny the fact that I was indeed missing India a lot. More than friends and relatives, the very being in this place. I still cry and complaint about many things here; and I think many things will still never change like the huge crowd, pollution, low salary, corruption, nosy relatives J, love for gold, showing off one’s achievements. Everything comes in a package isn’t it?

In last couple of months I remember many instances where I feel – ah! India is different, I don’t ‘don’t like’ the people here, there is so much to experience here.

One day I was travelling from Goa to Mangalore by a late night train. I reached Mangalore station at 4:30 am; the bus services start only at 7:00 am; the only mode of transport at that hour are Autos (like cabs, just smaller in size and uncomfortable) and they charge double than usual at this time.
It was too dark to go on my own, so I decided to wait in the waiting room at the station. There was one family (mother, father and a 10 yr old kid). The kid had a fractured hand. I started talking to them and learnt that they were visiting a hospital for the kid and they were from Karwar. Karwar!? I asked; my in-laws are from that place. But they did not know whom I was talking about – for all I know Karwar is a big city where people mind their own business. Unlike Mapusa (from where I come) where everyone and anyone know each other; And why wouldn’t they? When their favorite time pass is gossiping!
Anyways. They were new to the station just like me and were not knowing the bus timings or the distance of the station from closest city. At about 6:30 am they were tired waiting for the bus and decided to take an auto. As they were leaving, the lady offered me a ride from the station to the city. I was amazed. I said, no – there is no space in the auto. With 3 people already, there was no place to fit another 150 pounds in there. To that she said, we will make husband or kid sit alongside the driver. What!? C’mon. I don’t even know them, just mentioned that I know their hometown. She offered me a ride, even more, risked her kid with a broken hand to sit in an open auto with no doors! And for those who may not know, the roads in Mangalore are real BAD.

Another time, I was again travelling by train. I was not sure if my station had already passed. I hurried from my place, gathered my bags and stood near the train exit door. One elderly guy decided to give me company. We talked about Infosys, how he thought Infosys was paying huge salary (and I corrected him of course), about world economy, Kerala (yes, he was from God’s own country). Then the conversation moved towards family. How many siblings, what parents do, what business blah blah. This happens in India. If you have a 20 minutes conversation with anyone, be sure you will be asked about your whole family. There is nothing more interesting to them than learning that you are the eldest or the youngest in family! These kind of questions are just obvious to ask.

The other day, some friends at work decided to go out for a movie after work. It was a late night show and more importantly a Day Night cricket match was going. The score that India needed to score was a huge ask and all knew it was an easy win for Australia; we don’t like to see India lose a match; so decided the movie would be a good alternative to watch. I bought the tickets and everything was set for a fun evening. Indian team was chasing a score of 350 runs and with batsman getting out early on, it looked like a sure loss. But then Sachin Tendulkar (who is he? Don’t even ask this question in India. He is God – star player in Indian cricket team) was in good form and was playing innings on a lifetime. With just 10 minutes for the show to start we gathered at the theater hall. No one wanted to enter the hall. There was a TV in the corridors which was playing some hindi songs channel. One of my friends (a local resident from Mangalore) spoke to the gate watcher in Kannada and requested him to turn on the match. After a lot of persuation, he got him to play the match. And then that was it!!! The entire crowd gathered in the corridors to watch the match. Every ball bowled was cheered aloud. The match was at its critical point, Sachin was playing well, but wickets were falling, the runs to chase was not too high either. No one was ready to enter the hall.
The theater manager came in and looked at the crowd.  Some people were sitting in the movie hall waiting for the show to start. But outside was complete chaos. Lot of shouts, cheering, praying, fighting (girlfriends pulling boyfriends into the theater and boyfriends asking them to go ahead NOT knowing what was in store for later from angry gals :P but did not care until Sachin played well). The manager asked the guard to turn off the TV. But the crowd roared. He did not do what to do. For people in the hall, he played 2, 3 rounds of movie promotions to delay start of the movie and kept them busy. Later he ran out of movie trailers, and Sachin lost his wicket. India lost the match and everybody went in to watch the movie.

It was a busy afternoon in Bangalore with lot of traffic. Trucks and buses were blocking a crossroad and there was lot of chaos. One of the Auto walas walked out of his auto and was helping the Traffic police to clear the traffic. I should say, he was doing much better job than the traffic police J

This morning I was sitting in our office canteen for breakfast. I saw one of our top officials walk towards the canteen counter to order. The person selling the coupons stood up and issued the coupons to them. He was all smiles and stood with hands joined for Namaskara (Respectful Hello).
I have been at many US client locations. And none of the places I saw such gesture by anyone towards the Vice President, or CEO of the company.

This happens only in India!

Friday, November 20, 2009


Do you believe in any superstitions. Lot of Indian Hindu superstitions are famous and many Hindu families do follow them till date. We do at our place, so I know many of you do as well J
Like for instance, don’t cut nails at night. Nowadays we get time to cut nails only at night, so what the hell. Another example is hiccups indicate someone is thinking of you.
Oh yeah! There is this other one. Itchy right eye is good luck… or was it left eye. Something of that sort.  

I have a strange superstition. Anyone may laugh if I tell what it is. But it has always been at the back of every situation, or a conversation, or an event or sometimes action I take. I know at the back of my mind that it is wrong to have such silly beliefs. But aadat se majboor.

So what it is? Well… I have this belief that if I say something (good or bad) it is not going to happen!!! :P Yeh… So I can might as well say something bad like world is going to end in 2012. Right? But it usually never happens the way I think it should. Any event takes its own coarse. But in my mind I feel what I said will just not be true. And it is not just what I say; it applies to what I think as well! Weird right? Yes, I know.

What can be the reason of me thinking like this? Am I very pessimistic that such thoughts cross my mind? Well, whatever it is. I want to remove this notion from my mind. Any idea how I can?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Old Age

I tried hard not to think about her. But the moments when we met keeps wandering back…

During my last visit to Goa, I visited one of my distant relatives. She is now old, has faded memory and is hard of hearing. I wanted to meet her before I leave Goa in this visit, not knowing when I would be back again and get time for the visit.

‘Kakibai’ I called her. I knew she did not hear me (I knew of her hearing problem) and was concerned how I was going to communicate when we meet. She turned to me with an inquiring look. Her eyes I could make out was fading too. ‘Shreya go?’ (Is it Shreya?). I was seeing her after may be more than 3 years. She had always been old as far as I remember her.
She looked at me and gave a relieved look. She said ‘How long have you been away?’ I said 2 yrs; I told as loudly I could. ‘2 years? It seemed so long. Now that you have come, don’t go.’

For the time I was there, I must have just spoken only these couple of words. All the while I simply looked at her in amazement.

There was Kakibai, one of my favorite Grannies, though she is not closely related to me, I liked to spend time with her whenever she visited us or whenever we met. She was always the caring, loving granny who told interesting stories to grandchildren.
But now, she looked old and weary. She could barely hear or see. I wondered what must be going on in her mind all day. Cooking, looking after herself, sleeping and occasional talking to someone may be who had the patience to talk loud and hear her say the same things over and over again.
Does she worry about the change in weather? Does she long for people to visit her? Does she simply sit back and remember the good old days when she was able to do all things easily?
What do people want in life when you are that age I wondered. Are they satisfied with the time they spent, time spent mostly looking after kids and praying for their well being?
What would we want when we are of Kakibai’s age? Will we be looking forward to anything at all? We may not be able to watch and enjoy television like the way we do now, or read books, or visit places. How would it feel to be dependent on other people? Value of money or gold or diamonds would make no sense whatsoever. Would we still want our favorite political party to win elections? Would we worry if the economy went up or down?

Or would we get fed up of the situation and pray to God that we die now?

I don’t know when I will meet Kakibai again. Before leaving I hugged her and touched her face. She could not control her tears roll down her wrinkled face. Was she sad to say good bye again wondering would it be another 2 yrs until we meet again? I don’t know, but I felt sad to say good bye too.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ray of Hope

It is almost end of 2009. Last year was very painful for Navin and me, especially when we had to stay miles apart because of work. At that time, we made a promise to ourselves that come what may – we will stay together. Work is not so important that we have to sacrifice our time for family (and when work brings no reward, that’s the last thing you decide will come between you and your loved ones).

Around same time last year, we were sailing in the same boat. Though I think we are in much better position right now; by position I refer to mental J, but we cannot deny the fact that the situation is still the same.


Are we complaining? No. – We know there is no point. He are trying hard to change things in our favor. But sometimes things are just not in control.
Are we sad? No. – What is there to be sad about. We miss each other but thankfully we both are occupied with other things that we find very less time to feel sorry for ourselves.
Could this situation be avoided? No. And Yes. – But we made a decision and we need to stick to it. In life we will make N decisions and not all may end up in favorable situations. When you don’t have choice, don’t complain and have hope.
Are we ready to fall in the same pit again? No. – We learn from experiences. Every pit is different – because even though the situation is the same, you have the strength and endurance the second time round.

Some of the positives of being in a shitty situation –
1. You tend to look for good things, you value the good times
2. There are many times you end up being outside your comfort zone; if you never fall in such situations, you will never really know if you are capable to face them
3. You make many friends – gives you the time and the need to depend on others more than you think you though you did – and most often you get help in return for every favor you ask; You learn to trust others;
4. Trust and faith in God shoots up – Every situation, every problem has a solution. If not immediate, somewhere down the line you come out of the mess. More and more mess only makes you realize this.
5. Learning Curve – Yes; you should see a big hike there. If there isn’t, you are only making yourself weak for the next  problem J (You cannot run away from problems)

That’s that for now. Got to run to the FC!

Friday, November 13, 2009

After a long break!



It’s been a long time I posted anything. Lot of things to write and share.


Testing the blog via email feature. More later!