Life Sprouts- A Poem

Deep there somewhere one day

Someone plants a seed in fertile land

Hiding there sometime waiting to sprout

Underground darkness and heart beat rhythms

One day the call came and pushed us out

Saw the sun and shine in our eyes

Felt the wind first time on our skin

Don’t know where we are and what we are

Saw many weird beings around us making weird noises

Around us upside down moving in two and four feets

Few months passed by trying to mimic them

Colors and taste changed around us

Weird beings became normal for us

Giggles and laughter started to make sense

Relationships starts to make sense

We call it life and what a blessing to experience.

“Life is a journey, One cannot plan or reserve tickets – Ajay Nair”

Real life lessons

Today, I was part of a leadership conference. Many of us get excited when we have this opportunities to hear and learn something new. Or same things we know, but with a new twist to it. I got energized by this small glimpse of history. Those who know me, I am not at all a fan of history. I do not really pay attention to what happened long time ago. This particular incident actually paves a good lesson to aspiring managers. So I decide to share on a quick blog here.

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Many of you may know about Terra Nova Expedition. I have to admit here, I am not so sure whether I have learned about this in school days or not. The host today talked about this. Interesting story. Two expedition to south pole. Both did not know they were doing this (I am not sure about this). But they wanted to be first one to reach the south pole. Robert Falcon Scott from Britain and Roald Amundsen from Norway were the two teams leaders. Robert Falcon had only one ambition. Conquer it. He pushed his team members as much as he can. They worked so hard daily. Every single day, he pushed his team to better their efforts.

Roald Amundsen on the other hand asked his team to do 20 miles a day. Regardless of what it is. He did not push the staff, but encouraged them daily to do what they do their BEST. He also did not had any schedule. As long as the 20 miles are done in a day he was happy. You can now see two different strategies as leaders. This is definitely thought provoking for me. I myself is a leader. Which path I should be taking? Many leadership conferences we will get something like this thought provoking isn’t it.

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At the end Norwegian team gets to south pole 34 days before the British team lead by Scott. None of the Scott team including him did not make it back. They all perished in this journey. The lesson is simple. As a leader, lead the team, not push them. See the goal and circumstances. Team will support and deliver if they are treated well. If you respect them you will get the results. As a leader Roald knew the health of his team is more important. They are in the rough seas. They need to take it steady but with same pace. What does this remind you guys?

Story of rabbit and turtle isn’t it? Slow and steady wins the race. All the leaders out there, you don’t need to micro manage your employees. They will deliver if you give them the trust. You hired them once by seeing their ability. They will deliver, Keep them on track and motivate them. I am delighted to hear this story. Don’t you?

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Disclaimer- I did not read any facts about the above said story. I heard it from the host and felt it was great to share. If you are a historian and have lots of insight, I do not offend anyone here. Just a small story to reflect a little on leadership styles. That is all this blog intend to do so. Thank you.

An attempt to write a Poem.

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Sounds came from heaven always

It was pleasant always

Ignored all the time

We were more important always

Today sounds came from heaven

It was not pleasant as always

We cannot ignore anymore

Time to take care of planet

Nature is supreme

Neglect nature to pay price

Learn to live without abusing

Sounds came from heaven again

It is pleasant again

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When you leave your country!!

Two decades ago, I left my country. I am now settled and well established both career wise and personally. Beautiful family. I am proud of it. Deep inside every immigrant who are now on my stage will have the same thoughts. I like to share this, so next generation who are planning to follow my footsteps, will have tools. I want everyone to pause and think. We all did to better our lives. Yes, we should. No doubt on that thought. The pandemic situation right now have opened my eyes a little more than before.

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Parents- Two people we called as family. The love you get from them makes your character. They also will support you to move and establish yourself. I have to say, they will be the most happiest of all, when you go abroad leaving them behind. Friends, this pandemic have pushed me back a little. Not easy now for me and for many others for sure. We are more like, in a locked down stage. If we are not, we may enter to that stage. What will happen to your loved ones? Who will take care of them? These thoughts will emerge. Regardless, whether we are going through this pandemic or not. Once we achieve our so called “Better life” this reality will sink in. By that time it is very late for many. What I am trying to say here is, before you leave your country plan it well. Foresee what you can do to avoid that. Act with in five years of your life abroad and make sure parents are with you. They will need you for sure. Parents are the best actors in the world. They will smile and laugh to make you feel at ease. Trust me they are crying inside and most probably thinking “Why did I let my kid go abroad? Why did society pushed us to push my kid? Is that truly a good decision? Friends, Ask yourself. Those who are already in my boat, no point. It is very late. For those who just started, they have time. Please do.

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Next to consider. Do you really need to leave your country? Million dollar question. We really need to sit down and think. Talk to many others who left the country. Believe them if they say, no need to go. When I was growing up, Internet was not flourished. We did not have much means to ponder around. Facts we get are from the promoters who try to sell student visas or work visas. We never get the real picture. One of my friend got an answer from the agent ” Toronto and Vancouver, you can easily go in a bus to and fro. Only few hours. You can visit your friend every weekend” Glad that he checked with me. Otherwise he would have gone to Toronto believing that he could visit me weekly. This is two decades ago. My advise is simple, If you have enough to live happily, stay in your country. Your mother land will give you more and your mental health will be always better. There is nothing really out there to achieve. We will realize once you reach a life stage. People are just running for money and fame. They are not enjoying their life. They are just puppets. They worry about their past. They have concerns about their future. But no one really live. They never see what is happening around them. I was not told by any one these points to consider. Now I am telling you, younger generation to consider. Weigh in, before you leap. Always we believe other side of the planet is greener. Fact is. NOT.

Dream on guys. At the end, I want to say this much only. Do not just leap, think twice, thrice. Parents are the most important people, the ones who took care of you. When in need, you should be there for you. I am not writing this because of this pandemic situation. In general this is something everyone should consider.If you can work hard and are dedicated to your career, you will make it regardless where you are. If you want to make quick buck with out hard work, Any country you chose, regardless, you will fail. Simple message friends. Simple. Nothing can replace you being there for your parents when in need. They will not ask. You need to realize that. You should do it.

Nature is Warning us !!

Last few weeks we are all wound up and worried. We are distancing ourselves. Has anyone here thought about what is actually happening here. May be not. We all are so self centered for a long period of time. Nature is shaking us. We looted nature for a long period of time. We became so obnoxious. Unknowingly we became so careless. Time to change that my friends. Time to take that action. For many years scientists were saying about Global Warming. No one really pay attention to it.Many decades now people are taking about Vegan or become Vegetarian to help the mother Earth. We did not pay attention to it.

Now we are in the midst of self isolation due to COVID 19. Again, we know what is better to do now. We are listening because of its nature of spreading. We do know the danger. Friends, We need to pause and think a little more further here. I am sure this pandemic will pass us and we will survive. But the real lesson nature is giving us is what we need to practice from now on. I feel this as a reset from nature or supreme power. I felt that this is a true shaking of our pride. We need to change. We need to be a better human being. Respect Earth and its resources. Very important lesson.

I read in news that people from Jalandhar woke up and they could see Himalayas. People were shocked to see Himalayas from their rooftops. Some lived their for entire life time and many generations, were never able to see this. What does this speak to us. Pollution. This lock down due to COVID is showing us how much we are abusing mother nature.

We started to eat any thing and everything living. Why? Supreme power has given us enough food. Why we want to eat everything out there. Respect the life. They all are here for a reason. We are disrupting it. I am starting to feel, Nature is giving us a warning. Listen to it and be responsible. COVID 19 is just a warning. There could be bigger ones if we don’t become sensible. We are not above all. Just remember that.

Every news channel now reports that carbon-dioxide emissions are record low here. Also, one other thing we realized now is that, Not everyone needs to go to office daily. They could achieve from their homes. Admin staff can work from home if they are managed well. I am doing that for a while now and I think, if we all can do our part in a smaller way, this world will be better. We can make it better for our kids. Many sickness will fade when the world altogether become polluted free. If you see this eye to eye with me. Share this post. Hope a few families can change, I am blessed.

Diverting thoughts…

I cannot stress this enough guys,

During this hard times and not been able to go to work. Every one reacts and cope differently. Mental health is very important for us. To keep us healthy we need to channel our thoughts to a positive nature. Lot of people who are extroverts will find it extremely hard to stay at home. All these free time, they do not know how to utilize it.

This could be the time one can actually try something out, which you may have been wanting to do for a long time. Don’t get me wrong here. I am not talking about something you need to go out and be in public. You want to do that project at home. But no time. Now is the time isn’t it. You may have been thinking to re arrange that garage. This is the time guys. This is it. Do it. Do not sit in your room and kill your time or watch shows after show. Down the road you will get depressed.

Mental health or issues can be a silent killer. No one should go through that because of this pandemic situation. I said, find that project. I did. The pictures I am going to post in this blog are taken by me. Well, I did not travel any where. These are from my own yard. I always wanted to take cool pictures. Let me tell you guys. The time I spend taking these picture and the outcome, has taken over my thoughts to a positive nature. I did not worry at that time. So if you all can find that something which can take your mind off. I promise we will have a healthy pandemic time period. I pray, those who are struggling can divert their thoughts and be healthy. I am sharing my thoughts here to help other. And my pictures.

I also writes once a while. This does help me as well. People say it is easy to say, but it is hard to understand actual mental health problem. I admit. It is not easy for an outsider to understand the pain they go through. But we can definitely help them by suggesting solutions. May work for some. If I can be a help for one person I will consider myself blessed. So please if you like this share to someone you love. May be they could share this to someone they know. May be, not photography or writing. They may surprise us with a video or some form or art they love. They may find that energy, that spark who knows what. But at the end of the day, they are not de motivated or depressed. Doesn’t that sound healthy. Lets work together. Share this and help others. I am doing my part and encouraging those who read to share this to support a healthy society.

I called her….

Life is a journey. We are all busy on our own ways, forgetting or neglecting to see others pains. We do this for personal gains. That is the saddest reality. I am writing here about an individual, I have known her for only less than 14 years. The most thought provoking personality I have ever known or will ever know. She was a warrior. Her life was so tough and she did not have a smooth path. All important occasions in her life had obstacles. Yet, She fought with her head high.

Came here as an immigrant more than four decades ago. Life was not easy back then. Working and taking care of family with minimum means was for sure a task. Failed marriage and not been able to take care of her youngest daughter must have broken anyone. She didn’t give up, the quality I got attracted towards her. Myself an immigrant we could connect so easily and she never treated me bad. We could talk all the rubbish in the world. We could connect with old movies and sometimes she did not have any interest in them, She listened and laughed at my silly jokes. I shared a lot from my childhood times. She enjoyed all the stories I had to say. I can see her eyes glow when I say my memories from India, She relates it back to me from Fiji. Our life style was similar and we did have a lot of common grounds. She always said “Here no life man. No life” She sighs always saying “Oh. Brother”. I felt that many times too. Here there is no life. We all live like robots here. Waste of life in a lot of ways. We both related easily because we both had experienced real essence of life back home in our own ways. Real struggles. That is why she survived here with all her hardships.

What broke my heart is when she told me “I went to a church where there was a wedding on the day my younger daughter got married”. So she felt she was a part of it. She coped and fought against her obstacles. She bought a baby doll, when her younger daughter had her baby. Took care of that baby doll as if she was taking care of her grand child. I salute this lady’s will power. I will never ever forget her. In my culture we call mother in law “auntie”. I never did. I called her… MOM. I realized she is a true form of a mom. A person with lot of patience.

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This is my fare well to her. I love you so much. When we see again. We will talk more about Hindi movies and your favorite actors as we usually do, when we were alone.Thank you for coming in to my life and most importantly you liked my cooking. Peace.

Uncharted times- A (+VE) Lesson to Learn.

Every body in the world now say a word constantly – Social Distancing. For a lot of people, it is very difficult. But if you think about it, in this day and age most of us are already distant. We may be friends on line. We may talk over messenger. But we are so busy with our careers and our own world. We did not pay attention to it. We felt that we are socializing a lot when we are at work. We neglect our own family members and our priorities are bigger and better. We never had time for any thing. We are constantly busy.

Now, many countries are lock down and we are on self isolation ourselves etc. Time to think guys, Are we doing right here before this social distancing became reality check here? Now lot of us are still putting the work out there from home, still on track with our responsibilities at work. But we started to see people around you, Family. Those who matter most.

I see social postings now with family more than with friends. I see father cooking food for their family and posting those pictures. I see many playing card games with their family and posting them. This should be the case everyday my friends. We should be doing this every day. Not because of this social distancing and quarantine we have time. We always had time, But we neglected them. We will browse hours and hours on social media, Yet, we will push away our kids saying, “We are busy”

Guys, take this as a positive turn for everyone. We now have time. We spend time with our family more now, Yet again our career and priorities stays the same. This difficult times we pass through now, may be some supreme power above us is showing to us, how to live. Pay attention to our loved ones. Everything else can wait and realize that everything will wait for us. That is the truth. There is no rush to conquer or capture here. LOVE that is the what we need.

I heard lot of us are re adjusting ourselves how to behave around family. This unexpected stay at home situation is a test for them. Everyone out there says, we work for our family. But they don’t spent quality time with them. Why? This is sad. They toil themselves, and at the end of the day, their own children don’t know their parents well enough. I have worked in long term care facilities. I have see many parents there crying. They all have one thing to say “My kids don’t come and visit me”. This is true and sad fact. I have asked them, “What they did for living?” Most of them will say a lot about their career and how hard they worked. Reality check here everyone “How much time they spend with their kids?” They did not and that is where we are doing mistakes. The bond and the attachment is not there.

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After this self isolation and social distancing is over, practice and spend time with your family. This won’t hurt. My prayers are always there for the COVID 19 patients and healthcare workers. We will come out of this soon. Stay safe every one. Love your family. We can create a loving society and I think we should.

SEASON FOR FESTIVALS

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Every one will have nostalgia. Some memories. Some time in your life, you wish you can experience again. Or in other words, you wish you forget. The picture above is from one of the temple festivals. This particular temple, I have never been. But I have been to many temple festivals while growing up in south India.

The vibe we get there, cannot be translated over here in few words. You need to experience it. You need to live it. Now almost two decades, I never had a chance to participate in one of the temple festivals. Life has taken many turns in the last two decades. Do I miss them. Yes. I do. The culture, the traditions, the life experience, the energy you get from these instances are hard to forget.

When I was growing up, I should say, I am about 14 years old or so. Just like my older son now. I will go and spend all ten days in the temple. I never went home after school. Yes, my parents were not too happy. But I did it. My friends all did it. We had so much fun and life. Today, I felt like writing this, because it is festival season in Kerala. My home town has many temples. They all had festivals. Many artists come and perform. The crowd enjoys them with out any religion barrier. We all are one. Just humanbeings.

Most of the temple festivals end with a procession by elephants and fire works. As you can see in picture above all elephants will be adorned with gold ornaments and many other colorful decorations. Temple society will fight for the best elephants to perform those processions. They go around the town for the entire night. We kids used to follow them. I still remember, the baby elephants playing with the tails of older ones. Also, once they are full and not hungry anymore, they throw coconuts to each other. The experience we cherish, as a writer, I am not capable to describe here.

Rarely one or two times, elephants go mad. Those instances are scary. But, I still went with elephants every year. Families, even if they are separated and away from Kerala, they made sure to meet during this times. Just like Christmas, we see this as family re union times.

Fire works at the end of the festival is the most amazing part. Some temple committee organizes competition. Those competitions are a treat to watch. We never went home all these ten days. We ate temple food. Watched many programs. Some times even walked from temple to temple to see different cultural programs.

Everyone will have nostalgia…. Enjoy them….

Life is always a journey. One cannot plan or reserve tickets….

Giving Birth does not make someone mother

Last few days I am haunted by the news from Kerala. I am not myself. I cannot concentrate a bit. Every time I think about it, I am disappointed. I don’t know why human being these days are acting like animals. Even, I don’t know animals will behave the way some people do these days. I am ashamed to say, I hail from Kerala. I admit, we proudly once called this state “GODS OWN COUNTRY”. Hundred percentage literacy state, but no use.

If you are wondering, what I am talking about, I will say a bit about this. I cannot even write this incident with out tearing up. I am sorry, those who read this may go through what I am going through. REAL agony and anger. But, as a citizen, I should try and give out this message. If I can change one person and if they stop from doing such an act, I am blessed as a person.

I will write incident in a few sentences here, Just to let the readers know. My intention is to not focus on the incident, but to encourage society not to follow the suit. Last week, one lady who is in her mid twenties with some marital problems. She also had extra marital affair. She decides to kill her baby by thrashing him on to the seawall rocks. She threw him twice to make sure he died, because she heard him cry after first attempt. She dis this to blame her husband and go with her lover.

I am sure, when a baby is born, their one and only person he or she trust is their mom. How much pain, that baby must have gone through? While going through that pain, who that baby must have looked for or cried out for? Definitely mom. How can a person especially mother could do that? She even brought her husband who was not living with her for the past many months to her house that very night, so she can portray this on him. Devilish act isn’t it?

That is why, I am saying. Giving birth don’t give the rights for one to become mother. That nourishing touch, that unconditional love should be there. A mother will give her life for her children. Fight for their rights. I have seen mothers fighting against their husbands to protect their kids. I have seen mothers giving food to their kids and stay hungry. I have seen mothers selling themselves, so they can give better life for their kids. But taking life, so she can go with her lover, cannot even think of. I saw her parents crying for this baby. They even saying, “why don’t you leave him for them and leave the house?”

I am devastated now and that boys face is still in my eyes. I want to say here, Please people, show some mercy. If you don’t want your kids, please give them to those who want them. Don’t torture them. Don’t kill them. Look at their innocent face. Before you take that leap, look at their smile.

This is not the world I want my kids to grow up. I will make sure, they know how to treat others, respect others. Children are the future of this world. Love them. They have no hatred in their hearts. Let them live- The most purest form of life. Babies.

I pray for you baby. Hope god is playing with you now up in the heavens. RIP.