Monthly Archives: September 2010

The view over the harbour…

Mornings are the worst part of the day for me. I literally need an ECT to kick-start my day. As a child, my mom had to literally drag out of bed. This was so, until I changed apartments. My new room overlooked the harbour. Every morning, at the crack of dawn, the place used to come alive. With all the hawkers, trawlers and the clanging of the boats, pressing the snooze button was hopeless. Thus, began my morning  episode of “harbour watching” a cool kick off for the day.

First, as the dawn comes up the horizon, the boats are into the water. The nets are then dumped onto the decks, and the trawlers are ready. Very soon, hawkers line up the walk and the conscious health watchers go for their promenade. Within, ten minutes the hustle-bustle begin, with the motor boats whirring to life and the late night trawlers and nets coming back loaded. Traders come in and the bigger boats set sail. Photographers line the walk and artists linger around for a bit of inspiration. The activity continues for the whole day, till dusk sets in and it slowly quietens down.

What attracted me was the enormous amount of happenings going on. Each morning, as I sat beside my window, I wondered what was the adventure that each boat was embarked on or was coming from . The unpredictable mishaps or fortunes that may happen. Lucky or not, each one had a story to tell. Seeing all the activity, spurred me out of my lazy cocoon and get moving.

Life, kind of seems akin to the harbour front. Each one of us has an experience to go through, a mark to set and a story to tell. Staying put in a place, and rusting out will only result in disappointment and boredom. Life is too short to take it like a snail ( don’t make it ultra-short by being the hare either !!!). Kick-start your day with something to inspire you, and embark on the journey of your life.

Now, I no longer stay there, but each time I need a spark; I see the harbour in my eye and remember that my voyage has just begun…


Find your own silver lining…

Thunderstorms aren’t quite so boring as it looks. At least, Benjamin Franklin wasted no time in figuring out it’s electricity using the kite and the key.  If I were him, I would have chosen to sit back and just watch the storm!!! Life comes with its own up’s and down’s. It’s up to you to look at it through the different angles possible.

Michael Faraday used his part time job as a book assistant to read the books and educate himself. When Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, he tried over 2000 experiments before he got it to work. A young reporter asked him how it felt to fail so many times. He said, “I never failed once. I invented the light bulb. It just happened to be a 2000-step process and I learnt how not to make a bulb!”

Looking back on my high school years, I was constantly on the move. I used to juggle through a number of activities, which was of course at the expense of my grades. Unfortunately, I had flunked once to learn the most important lesson of my life. Time management. I am thankful today for that lesson. During these years of med school, juggling through time has helped me pass from one semester to the next.

The whole point is, we have to stop to blaming the situation, and instead look for another alternative. Every problem has an answer. The solution disappears when we sow the slightest seed of doubt in our minds. So the best thing to do is to follow your dreams, wherever it takes you !!! Every tempest, every thunderstorm is followed by a cloud burst, and if you look for it, you can see that little silver lining !!!

Is it another masquerade….

Reading through the history of various civilizations, some themes have not really changed. Most of society try to carve themselves behind a facade, so that the real scenario is kept hidden. For instance, in one of my college newsletter reports, I was told to ‘ temper down’ my article because it might offend the governing board of directors. Whatever, happened to the internationally given human right of freedom of expression ? The real facts have to be thrown out to the public.

Likewise, I guess in most situations, we are told to go for the most ideal approach. Realistically, to be ideal is more or less an Utopian concept !!! Come to think of it, look at today’s society- the ideal standard of living, the ideal work environment, the ideal diet to follow….all these “ideal” concepts curb what we really want to do.

Last night, I was feeling bored. the TV was the only alternative ( net was royally dysfunctional !!!!). The Phantom of the Opera was on. It had reached the ballroom scene, where Andre and Firmin are toasting to the Phantom..It was these lyrics that caught my ear.

” Masquerade!
Paper faces on parade.
Hide your face, so the world will never find you!
Every face a different shade.
Look around –
there’s another
mask behind you!

Flash of mauve.
Splash of puce.
Fool and king.
Ghoul and goose.
Green and black.
Queen and priest.
Trace of rouge.
Face of beast.

Take your turn.
Take a ride.
On a merry – go – round
In an inhuman race…….” and the later lines of  Raoul/Chistine ” Who can name a face ? ”

Which is what brought me to the fact that ” Am I also the part of another masquerade scene ?!! ” Like all the hidden faces on parade, is that what the world is really all about?!!! I rather remain in utero then. What ever happened to the concept of ” being open”? True, there is a limit between ‘being open’ and ‘being reserved’ ; but that doesn’t grant you the fact to hide who you really are ?

Life seems like a masquerade party sometimes. Full of excitement and grandeur.Of enigma and all the gliterrati !! It spells out fun when in a party, but in real life..believe me, it’s not. Where people adorn their masks as a shield to their true self ? Who to trust ? Who to believe ? Who is who ? Who are you ? Another facade, another mask to hide behind !!! What role do you play – yourself or another mask ? All the show, all the splendor- purely artificial! Why appreciate somebody, when you don’t mean it ? Why put on an act of comfort and sympathy when deep down, you know that you don’t give a damn !!!

” Masquerading in..” some thing that you are not really yourself, should be kept to bare minimum, or rather in dire circumstances. Who can name a face ? No one. I rather be me, because I have only one life, and I want to end it by being the ‘real me’!!!

No one is immune to the fact that we tend to cover up the real ‘ourselves’. Echoing the words of  The Carpenters’ ‘ This Masquerade Lyrics’…

“Are we really happy with

This lonely game we play..”

It is indeed a lonely tune, to loose your relationships; because you were too busy hiding behind the mask !!! I don’t want to end up like the “Phantom”. I really want people to know the real me. and I am sure,  you do want the world to know ‘the real you’ and so does everybody else !!!

Take a minute….

Running around the clock ? Short of time ? Did you notice the doorman who held the elevator for you in the morning haste ? Did you note the fact that your wife made you coffee in the morning before going for work ? Or that your colleague covered up the fact that you were late ? Or that your supervisor had ordered the materials that you had forgotten to get, before your big boss came to know about it ? Or that your employee prepared that pretty impressive presentation which you used to clinch you that big project !!!

Sometimes all it takes is to appreciate someone for the little things that they do. It may not seem like a quite important thing then, but later on looking back; these small little acts made your day to be a better one.

Let me tell you of a real incident that when I was at school. In my class, there was this guy, who was literally a nerd. But he had a hidden ability, to play the piano with the hand of a genius. Unnaturally reserved and surly, he mostly kept to himself. When my music teacher heard it, she told him, ” You can achieve great heights if you want to. ” He blossomed, and to day he is finishing off in the London Academy of Music. Funny, if you look at it, how these little words affected him greatly…

So the next time, no matter how busy you are, take a minute…just one minute, and tell somebody ” thank you”or “well done!” . How you appreciate them for doing something for you; especially if it is out of the way. Don’t take them for granted. Remember, you may end up making a significant difference in somebody else’s life !!

Tying the knot, but don’t know where…

Getting married ? Weddings signify some of the best times of life, not only for the bride and the groom, but also for all those who attend. The young girls who make secrect pacts with each other ( sounds familiar..Bride Wars!!), the elder siblings who acknowledge that it is time to get married, the other mamas who start ‘match-making’…..and so on. But come what may, it is a very special day. Over the years, after watching countless of weddings, I have decided that these are some of the best places to get married.

1. The Traditional Church Wedding:

There is something special about getting married in the church of your hometown. Brings back memories of your grandparents and parents, tying the knot a similar day in the past…

2. Castle wedding: Something’s special in the air, when a wedding takes place on ancient castle grounds. Sounds similar to the historic wedding held somewhere in the 1600’s. Seeing the couple approach to the sound of the traditional music , memorable indeed !!!

3. Wedding on a Cruise ship: It is absolutely breathtaking, to see the happily married couple against the ocean line.

4. Wedding Inns: There is something special about being to a wedding ceremony held on the grounds of the old exquisite inns. The bed and breakfast inns are ideal for a private wedding.

5. Grand Hotel Wedding: This is one of the most common wedding venues I have been to. The banquet halls are too good, and as the first dance which claims the floor, I often wish that I was the bride.

6. Underwater Weddings: I haven’t been to one yet, but my friends have. Reading about it in the papers, its feels quite special. Though, it seems kind of impossible for all the guests to go under water as well !!

7. Wedding at the Beach: I have been to my cousin’s wedding. Held at the Marina Beach, it was a breathtaking view to behold, with the waves lapping at the sand in the background.

8. Mountain Top Wedding: I have never been to one of these weddings. But, after seeing snaps of my parent’s colleagues getting married out there, it could be a spectacular wedding spot .

9. Central Park Wedding: How many times have you witnessed a wedding while walking in the central park ? I have seen three weddings till now. Makes quite a picturesque scene. Of course, I was one of the uninvited guests in all the three weddings.

10. Under the tree weddings: My all time favourite wedding venue…under the tree at the back of my garden. My aunt held her wedding at home, a small quiet one. The best thing about this is that, it’s absolutely homely, and each time I see that place; it brings back the best memories of my life.

To tell you the truth, I haven’t got married yet. Still searching for the right person. But  planning my wedding  is one of my fav past-time, especially when I am totally bored. I wish I was the bride in all these weddings above. ( Have a happy married life to all you couples in the above photographs. Thanks for the pics!!)

Ah, well someday it ll be me out there !!! Till then, I ll wait.

It’s okay to say “I don’t know”….

Have you ever experienced the feeling of getting stuck ? And then trying to worm your way out of the situation. When I am in such a situation, it ends up in me telling, one ‘white’ lie after another, and then I eventually contradict myself !!! Aw, what a royal mess!!!!

So today I took it upon to tell myself, that it is completely alright to say, ” I DON’T KNOW…..”
The best thing is that, when I admit to others that I really don’t know something, there are no pressures involved, no false expectations, no reaching up to the mark and definitely, no implication of any false knowledge or making up new stuff !!!
It gives me an opportunity to learn something new, eases the pressure on me and allows me to explore at my own pace. As once said by Confucious, ” If you know, to rcognize that you know. If you don’t know, to realize that you don’t know; that is knowledge.”
So if I am asked something that I am totally clueless about, ‘m gonna say “I don’t know “; how else will I ever learn ?!!

Take it with a pinch of salt….

How many times have you believed something that you have hear by the WOM ( word of mouth) – i.e. rumors ? Those ‘snippets of conversation’ floating around, in the air. I mean whether you want to hear it or not, its out there.  And what do you do about the ‘facts’ that you have heard.

The last thing you want is your relationships to falter, just because ‘someone’ said something that ‘somebody else’ heard and told ‘someone’, who told it to ‘someone else’ and who went to tell ‘that someone else’ who told you. The chain of rumors go on and on. Hey, where the hell is the proof that it really happened!!! What someone in Italy would tell you is to,”avere sale in zucca”, which  “means to have intelligence and reasoning capabilities”. Everything that you hear may not be reliable. You need to have a reserve of skepticism in you. The actual fact may have a reasonable explaination to it. And later on looking back, after the entire episode dissolves, the whole fiasco may seem kinda stupid.

By the time, the real fact comes around to you, the real fact is so embellished that it sometimes may seem too weird to be true. To quote, “Nine-tenths of the world is entertained by scandalous rumors, which are never dissected until they are dead and, when pricked, collapse like an empty bladder.– Horace Greeley

So the next time, somebody educates you with a simply stupendous piece o’ news, follow the good ol’ principle of, “Cum grano salis
…i.e. take it with a pinch of salt…