Friday, August 14, 2015

Passionate Obligation - A Reminder

Looks like the whole of Tamil Nadu is extremely overwhelmed by the news of Sundar Pitchai being appointed as the CEO for “Google”. Being a South Indian myself it is a proud moment but there were other facts that drew my attention rather than basking in the success of the “Pitchais”.

It was rather hilarious to read that the Schools in Chennai were running back in time to search their records to prove that He is their Alumnus indeed.
Nobody even seems to remember that a student of this sort existed amidst them except for a few anecdotes from very few classmates of his. The anecdotes mostly were faint reminisces describing him as a quiet student and one of the usual “Verians”(as I call them) who are obsessed about scoring 100% in their board exams, with Science being his personal favorite.
And the irony lies in the fact that Pitchai’s Nationality is American on Wikipedia and not Indian where he rightly belongs to.

And of course the never ending saga about the 2 room apartment in Chennai in which Pitchai’s family lived and how his father spent all his savings to send his son to the prestigious Stanford, a distant dream of every engineer who graduates.

This sure would have struck chords ringing in almost every engineer graduating in India especially the Southern India where most of the parents are superficially obsessed about high scores. Sending their kids abroad for higher studies even if they have to lose the only savings they have ever managed to save their entire lives is almost like an obligation that every South Indian parent is deemed to do.

As I always believe Success is very subjective, for an average South Indian household success is having their Son/daughter working abroad than saying that he/she works in India and we all live together. But as days pass the only thing that these parents crave secretly is to have their sons/daughters beside them.

It’s a reminiscence of almost every professional graduate in southern Indian of having passed their happy childhood in a two room apartment and both the parents struggling hard to give a Convent education to their children, Saving for their future, marriages costs and the list goes on. They see happiness only in the success of their children no matter how far their kids stray in their venture to reap gains.

Well I have just one question in mind ‘Why is there an increase in old age homes in South India’?
With no one to look after them these elderly sought old age homes as their last resort.
In some cases I wouldn’t blame only the Sons/daughters because it was a matter of prestige for the innocent parent too to have their son working abroad and earning in Dollars.

As Late APJ Abdul Kalam rightly said ‘Children need to take care of their parents. It is sad that sometimes this is not happening’.

I feel that its time we also start treating it as a passionate obligation to take care of our parents for they have thought/worked/ lived for nothing but their children and their dreams for all their lives.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Healthy Urban Living - Made simple

Alarming increase in the serious physical and psychological conditions such as Diabetes, depression, Stress, Cancer and Respiratory disorders that seem to have plagued the well being of humans in the present scenario is rather a disturbing phenomena which has to be addressed as soon as possible to prevent further deterioration of the quality of the life that we are all yearning for.

But how to address these physical and psychological disturbances lays on how far we understand the root causes that have a laid a strong foundation with deep roots that have started to deplete the soil of healthy life of its quality.
And I consider it, my responsibility to enlighten some of those trapped in this maze of physical and psychological disturbances.
Some of the root causes that contribute to many of the illnesses are: 
1) Low levels of physical activity
2) Poor eating habits especially with the palate we have developed for   
    foods laden with extra fat and sugars.
3) Polluted and unsafe environments

No major disease develops overnight; it is an outburst of the accumulation of wrong events that have been practiced by an individual over a longer period of time, which depletes the body of producing the required antibodies to fight the disease and thus succumbing to it.

The farthest of feasible simple solutions for these root causes are: 
  • ·      Making a physical activity a part of our daily lives at least for a minimum of 30 minutes. 
  • ·      Having a food journal and observing the kind of food you consume on a daily Basis. For those having a smart phone there are a lot of applications, which make it easier for you. 
  • ·      Rather than hogging on high carb snacks slouching on a couch and watching endless thoughtless TV soaps over the weekend, maybe its time to revisit your backyard where your bicycle is buried and start planning a weekend of biking trips.      
  • ·      Development of Community gardens where a single piece of land is gardened collectively by a group of people. Though it might not provide us with a wide range of needed vegetables or fruits, it will definitely give us the basic fruits and vegetables that we use in our kitchen daily. The large terraces on the multi storeyed apartments that stand tall cluttering our city is also an ideal place to develop community gardens.

After years of fighting obesity since my college days Life has taught me two valuable lessons that have gifted a ‘Fit Life’

1)    No cosmetic treatments can help you maintain health or weight or beauty.
2)    Simple active changes to your lifestyle are enough to keep yourselves healthy.

“Rome was not built in a day “. Building a healthy environment is not possible overnight but the small changes we do in our lives and environment we live in, will definitely gift a better healthy environment for a visionary India.

As Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu famously said, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”

So lets take our first step!!!

It costs you nothing to take a break - Its absolutely fine

It is quite important to comprehend how overwhelming and freezing is the power of negativity. Once that sets in it makes us almost incapacitated to handle anything thereafter. It makes you completely apprehensive about your strengths that you have once upon a time boasted highly off and makes you completely demeaning about yourselves.

‘I stood there cold and shivering facing a group of people in a small room. I was supposed to deliver a lecture and I just felt I had stood there for ages feeling my body go numb and my words struck in my throat.
What had happened to all my speaking skills that I once possessed and was proud of? What had happened to my vivid narrating style that captivated my audiences with awe?’

This is just one anecdote of a person who is victim to the power of negativity that creeped into his life when he went through stages of depression due to illness, relationship failures and that which further aggravated with people around him pointing out his failures.

Years of hard work we put into to establish the goals we set in our lives goes unspoken of when we just do just one thing wrong. These goals necessarily need not have to related to career but also time, effort, sacrifices we invest in making relationships with friends, family and loved ones to work. It hurts, not when people don’t recognize your efforts but spot on the small mistakes that you make.
Well the reason behind this is the Charles Darwin theory ‘struggle for existence’.

Keep Running and if you limp somewhere your out of the race because we have no time to appreciate the efforts you have put so far in keeping the pace. That’s exactly the kind of world we live in. And its made explicit to the person about his failures, though not permanent in nature, casts him into those dark shadows that loom him for ever about his abilities to return back to the race.

How much ever we try to convince ourselves to ignore the society and stay focused about our goals most of us succumb to the temptations of acquired needs of achievement, affiliation and power and to our failures to acquire it.
So none of these words ‘Stay focused, ignore them and keep going’ will really help.

But it might help if we could do our little in not contributing to this society by not labeling anyone as a failure. Because nobody fails in reality. We have set the goals we have the set the boundaries and we are running trying to achieve them. None of it is mandatory. Everybody can take sometime off and be right back when they want to. And as Humans we should try make it easy for people who need a break because we might all get there at some point in our race too.