Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Those were d Days!!

Imagine a cricket match going on in a gali (street), and all kind of players are making their statements either by displaying their cricketing talents or just by the verbal shots. If you ever played cricket in gali you would be having a very familiar picture in your mind by now. Remember what used to the ambience there, everyone shouting at each and every decision of umpire, who most of the times used to be biased this way or the other. I was a regular in these sessions of gali cricket and was considered to a good sincere player. I still feel that I was good in sports and there used to be just one guy in our group who had this hobby of getting better of me in each and every sport. I don’t know how this tag of ‘sincere’ caught with me and who actually committed that sin.

Anyway, so this was one of those sessions of gali cricket and as I remember the match turned took an important stride with both the teams trying every trick to win the match. And there came the moment when everyone was as vocal as never before, an appeal for run out. Can you imagine what would have been the scene, everyone shouting at each other as if they outshout the opponent they would win the match, forget about the mere run out. It was not like there was no elder person involved, we used to have at least two of our so called uncles. They really had a big role in these games simply because we all used to listen to them and obey them, and the reason for obeying them was more of an acknowledgement of the fact that they used to allow us play even though our parents did not feel very happy about this gali cricket.

Ok so back to that moment of appeal for run out. No one was ready to listen to the umpire as he belonged to the batting side. Finally one of the uncles made a proposal that let an unbiased person judge this run out. And to everybody’s surprise he pointed at me to do the tough job. I did not have the hawk eyes but I judged that run out in the favor of the opponent team. Ohh boy, you would not believe it but I got the all evil glances of my team mates for that not so noble deed of mine. And from that day onwards I used to perform this additional task of unbiased umpiring apart from playing the game. I used to enjoy this additional role and feel that being unbiased and true in sports came very naturally to me. And as you can expect, being unbiased spread to different aspects of my life. People including my classmates started considering me as a very sincere and no nonsense guy, a guy who had this very formidable and predictable pattern of behavior, who seldom deviated from the well defined path.

Even today I feel amazed by the fact that all my teachers used to look at me with some kind of respect for what I was. And it was not an imposed impression, rather each and every person had either interacted with me or had watched me go places from nowhere. Definitely golden days of my life which happen only once, and the rest of life goes trying to recreate the same.

Friday, July 20, 2007

My Perspective on Our Perspective

Ever wondered what has been one of the most complicated concepts in our lives. I think we all, no matter whether uneducated or intellectual, ask one question to ourselves every now and then. The format and the tone of the question might vary in different instances of occurrence. The question basically is why I am supposed to live the very next day. What for should I gather my energy in this long night, do I explicitly choose to live each new day as it comes? Some of the instances when these questions arise might come as the results of negative vibes while the others as the results of positive-thinking and future-planning. Nevertheless, many of us do not even bother answering these questions. I always feel that living this life is very tough (though the other choice is even tougher) and most of the time we keep adding some more of the tough elements in this.

Attitude towards life, towards ourselves, towards people we interact on daily basis or occasionally and actually responding to other’s attitude build our very perspective in life. We keep talking about the concept behind the half filled glass. It is our own perspective which distinguishes people who see the glass as half filled from the people who find it half empty. On top of that, it is nothing else but our own perspective which distinguishes certain people who say “calling the glass half filled or half empty depends on whether the glass is getting filled or getting emptied”. Though there can be many more variants of the way people see the glass, the idea is that if you can imagine the world as a single entity and yourself as another then it is your perspective which draws the separating line.

Now look at the following picture and try to make something out of it. Take your time to do so and you will come closer to know more about your true perspective which is mostly not the one you show in some debate, argument or in any conversation for that matter (please note that exception are always there, if you disagree with the last line then u might be one exception in this aspect). So here is the picture

Now you must have got some idea about the specialty of the picture. Ever wondered if a shadow can be more distinguishable than the real object! This picture is a good example here I guess. Now to understand that the small white objects are the camels and the big black objects are their shadows. This picture underlies a very important concept that the whole world and everything in this world is relative. Shadows which seems more like the camels here is because of the relative positioning of the cameraperson and the angle of the sun-rays.

More or less we all agree that perspective makes or breaks our destiny. Nevertheless, it should not be shocking to know that it is us who make our own perspective. This implies we all make our own destiny. I am not trying to prove anything logically here, but the idea is to reiterate what great thought leaders said decades and centuries ago that “Manushya apne bhagya ka vidhata swayam hota hai” (Man makes his own destiny).

But I do agree to the fact that there are lots of factors which affect your perspective of life apart from your own thought process. One’s perspective is built over the time while one lives his life interacting with different types of people, performing different kinds of tasks and observing different outcomes of the former two. There are basically two ways to interact with this world. First is by Reacting to the things happening around us. The second is by Responding to the happenings in the world around us. There are other ways too apart from these two, like not reacting to things around you or being too indulged in your own world to see these happenings. I will skip these types of philosophy to life and will concentrate on the former two: Reacting and Responding.

There is a very important distinction between these two and it is this very distinction which makes the distinguishable perspectives of ours. Some people are more inclined to react to the happenings around them, while the others like to respond to these happenings. When you respond to a situation, it most of the times becomes a multi step process. In order to respond to a situation you need to understand the situation first of all. Then you need to don someone else’s shoes to see how much of your understanding is specific and how much is generic. Being in someone else’s shoes either validates or invalidates your understanding of the situation, which in turn broadens your understanding and shapes up your perspective.

The other thing is that when we react to a situation we feel forced (either internally or externally) to react, and a forced action hardly underlines the stability and equilibrium of a system. That way by reacting to situations in one’s life, one builds up a not so stable framework of understanding and perspective in one’s life. While on the other hand, responding to a situation carries more depth in the sense that the situation is understood first and then it is put to validating process of one’s perspective before taking on the situation in response.

Even though there are still some ends which need to be tied up in this blog, but to conclude “It requires conscious efforts towards building one’s perspective and consistently refining it”

Friday, July 13, 2007


It sometimes amazes me how we people live each day to see the next day and then again jump to the next day in the sequence. Everyone has something to do everyday to get to the next day. And this is how everyone almost every one of us lives his live. Some people may argue that they see life in a bigger picture than the mere days. I agree, but my point here is that even then how sure are we about what basically motivates us to live this life.

Desires are aplenty and they occur in different ways at different stages leading to different outcomes. If I go and ask this question to ten people I might get ten different answers. But with the same essence may be. I want to become a software engineer, a doctor, a politician, a film-star, a sports-star, a religious leader and so on. These I-want-to-be's seem to be the motivation behind people living their lives. This underlines the desire to live a better life, depending on one's perspective on what one defines as living better life. Most of the desires are vertical in the sense that a good student wants to become a techie, a techie wants to become a product manager and a product manager wants to start his own company. Though the last example might be annotated with all the branching factors leading to various choices at various stages, it more or less signifies the vertical nature of desires.

Moving from this very vertical nature of some desires, there are people who experience a horizontal shift in desire, or let's rather call it desire for a horizontal shift. A techie gets fed up with his daily encounter with unaligned bytes and decides to leave his (not so) high paying job in order to move to an NGO to teach basic mathematics to under privileged children. A full time neurosurgeon quits playing with the nervous system of ailing people and takes up the role of a motivator by conducting workshops and interacting with the people outside his erstwhile surgery room. In these incidents people are not moving vertically but there is a horizontal shift in their career and the desires of life.

People can exercise many permutations of these horizontal and vertical shifts to keep them motivated enough to lead the complete life in a better way. I do not know if I can fit the desires (which has kind of replaced the motivation in this write up) of a person in a three dimensional paradigm, but to most of us the 2D approach will suffice. Generally speaking, people in most of the cases do judge themselves against their peers, neighbors and their own family members. And this kind of attitude leads them towards the vertical shift in desire. On the other hand, some people have their role models to look up to and try to imitate or follow their journey depending on their understanding of the term ‘role model’. This can lead to both vertical and horizontal shift in desires.