Friday, August 24, 2007

Ex - Post - Facto

Meaning; 'From that which is done afterwards,' 'by virtue of a thing done later,' (retrospective).

Perhaps it would be apt to explain the choice of title for this post at the end of the write...........but I must assure you that things are not what they are and appear to be, and therefore, as much as the title appears to convey a very sullen meaning to this post at the onset, it is not so and I regard this as a personal attempt to downplay the 'minor-misfortunes' that have been part of the extensive gap that saw me unavailable to update my blog........ all for the sake of illustrating that 'after the ship has been destroyed, everyone knows the reasonable measure of how it could have been saved.......'

My last post concluded with a wide-bright, blue-eyed illustration of events until mid April this year. Boy, that seems quite a long time bygone now! ☻ And I recall having loudly dreamt picture perfect of what I desired in the coming days, both on this Blog and in verbatim......... costly mistakes it seems people such as me love to repeat!

When one attempts to control life and its ordinary mode of flow, is when one realizes that there is lesser and much lesser control one can actually exercise...... and then I have to state my doing a volte-face on a self-induced belief that only I can control my life desirous of the manner in which I would like it to continue........ did I hear "freaking bull-crap!" ?, well.. if I did, thanks ever so much to whoever that said it....... for now I stand to realize that the exercise of hunky-dory control that I've done in life until so far has been nothing but bullshit....... horse crap or whatever that you might wanna call it....
Albert Camus, the French author and philosopher, once wrote "In the depth of Winter, I finally learned that within me lay an invincible summer...." and with this as I write this post, I keep telling myself "Rakesh, Mr. Vanamali, welcome to the beginning, the very very beginning." Time indeed (read: overdue) to undo what was the past and shape an outlook good enough for the future!

April went on to May and May, six days into being, I gifted myself another woe...... a couple of days into hospital and more than just a couple of days incapacitated. (Thankfully not forever, I'm ship shape now)

My foolish and extremely rash decision to jump off the ledge of my house to fetch the keys of my door which I had inadvertently locked inside with me outside cost me an arm and a leg and one too many dear days on bed, not to mention the sympathies of near and dear which although did a great deal to move my spirits northwards, also tremendously dented my spirits and caused my self-esteem to plummet southwards.

It was the first time ever in life that I ended up with fractured bones, not one, not two but three and those in multiple places. Some experiences are a little too costly on the wallet and the person, I then realized. Among the other things that this ‘accident’ caused was a long lapse in my working schedule which in-absentia was blown beyond proportion. So finally when I returned to work after what seemed a long winter spell, I realized that my role was effectively trimmed and customized to accommodate the ‘weakling’ that I had been perceived on account of my physical condition. Negative and diminutive as this may sound to any person reading, this is the true reflection of how I felt and was treated by folks, colleagues and friends alike. They say freedom and acts of freedom have a price to pay. I had not yet realized the very sinister truth behind these so called assumptive statements. However, what is true here is true everywhere I once read and I slowly began to realize the life of a castaway who was fighting for very dear existence while being trampled over and over again.

Life itself can be very definite in its existence. Some folks quip that it is to be taken in a stride that befits positive spirit and action. True to the last word, I agree. However, it takes more than just courage and daring effort to stave off every single day that strikes into one’s spirit like an arrow tipped in the worst toxin designed solely to exterminate the will of free living.

Life had moved on in a much calmer pace and I sought solace in my true companions – books! While friends and folks rendered unending support, I being the overbearing demander, longed for more and took to books and chanced upon the bestseller – The Road not taken, which lay the founding steps to change my life.

Officially, things were taking a more serious turn. A windfall change was happening in the leadership of the organization that I was part of and I saw my bosses, one after the other quit for greener pastures. Being a reportee down the order in hierarchy is perhaps the most comforting according to many a management guru, however, it does have its own demerits since once is forced to be restricted in a silo role and the scheme of reporting that until now was built along the lines of familiarity and understanding was slowly seeping downward and I felt high and dry in unsheltered waters. New friends, bright ideas and increasing fluid-like situations came and passed by the day, bringing about experiences that were unknown and unseen until the time. Turbulence increased and I sought to ease the pain of loneliness by taking on volumes and volumes of books. Among the titles that I stuck to during those times were Russia’s War by Richard Overy, The Fountainhead & Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, Dracula by Bram Stalker, Jonathan Livingstone Seagull by Richard Bach, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig, 48 laws of power by Robert Greene, My Life by Bill Clinton and my most favorite of all – The Theory of Everything by Stephen Hawking (Whom I regard as the Father of Time).

Suddenly music and reading became heightened activities like never before and I locked myself into my own little space of the self plodding through time and books for answers of a mystery that I thought was brewing in every single day of my life.

And then there was Fester, a little baby squirrel which a friend of mine had stumbled upon close to his home, which we raised until it found time right to reclaim independence and move on in life, thankfully. I vividly remembered Neo, my first squirrel pet in Kannur, Kerala in the year 2001. Memories came flashing back and forth to me and I stood transfixed at the sheer number of coincidences that kept occurring in my life. I cannot of course state each and every one of them here for paucity of space and time and of course for the ‘fact of the matter’ that they will seem boorish and stupid to many a reader.

While I expected a bed of roses to come by with each passing day, it was exactly the opposite that I got – a bunch of hardbound and unbreakable thorns that sewed right into the mind and the spirit. I wondered aloud as to why calamities by the dozen occurred only to me and yet I was foolish not to know that these calamities could have been as a result of my actions and none whatsoever! So when I was diagnosed with Dengue fever and admitted to hospital (once again, not surprisingly), my friends shared the burden and insulated me from further damage especially since my folks were blissfully unaware of the ongoing chaos.

This had taken an immense toll on my person but strangely gave me enough gusto and confidence to move on. What more can a man lose? Life? Oh! I had more than once come to the point of no return (PONR as I fondly call it), and it no longer mattered to me to sulk and worry over the loss of life as much as it caused me concern to repair and remake a better life that I truly needed to life, if not for anything but for the sake of ‘folks and friends’ who cared so much for the living!

After what seemed a huge and uphill battle (which I had many a times lost, sitting just on a park bench ☻), on the 29th October 2007, I tendered my resignation to the organization that I was working for and decided to move ahead in life.

It was for the first time that I realized the world outside and what it felt to be jobless, penniless and aimless. Broken in spirit, body and mind, I lost no determination and continued to pursue opportunities with a renewed sense of realism which was neither built on the foundations of optimism or pessimism, but on the reality of pragmatism.

A visit to Bareilly along with a friend to meet his family taught me the values of a well-woven family which I learnt was needed as a supporting pillar at all times. While friends poured good advice and thoughts, there was an unexplained mystery which I began to unravel. It was as if I could traverse a realm that others could not understand or comprehend (or so I at least thought).

It was more to do about mind over matter and I seemed to remember every single day of the past, useless and foolish as it may seem to many. However, the only intention of me traveling this long road was to seek a true measure of peace that I believed I needed.

Life suddenly changed and I know not for what, but I experienced a great deal of bitterness and distrust and aggressive retaliation from forces I had not known.

People had stopped seeing the real me (perhaps because I never presented an opportunity to them to see the real me). And then I questioned reality, which I soon realized was the worst thing any living being could do. It delved me deeper into the self and I assumed the role of an anomaly that was created for a right purpose.

On certain day I remember a trip to Delhi and while returning via Shantipath (path of peace), which houses the diplomatic enclave in Delhi, I chanced upon an unknown sailor who gave me the Bhagavad Gita. Combining this with the Theory of Everything, I attempted to delve deeper into myself and seek answers to an every growing mystery. Folks around me assumed that I had lost my mind and in fact many did comment on this very distinctive and unknown side of me. While my exterior persona disintegrated and I saw all respect and regard lost for the self, I internalized values and beliefs that I had imbibed into myself as a child and sought to move ahead in search of answers that I knew not if existing, permissible to know and so on. My health took a turn for the worse and I sensed a growing threat around me which I know not if I had assumed or in truth existed.

A friend warned me of life not being the way we wanted it to be and told me that things could go gravely wrong. He pointed a very concerted yet cynical view of how things could change. And change life did, in its worst ever form that I had ever chanced to encounter. I assumed a stage of total and absolute lockdown and concentrated on strengthening the mind. Strangely, events around the world seemed out of place and exaggerated in one form or the other. It was as if some ominous truth was being concealed from me every single moment. In parallel, I realized that I was no significant person or being to whom the world would need to conceal the truth from and it did not matter to anyone what I did or not for I stood to benefit or detriment none whosoever. Days and nights faded in thought and people I knew stayed far and far away maintaining very little contact (for reasons they knew better).

For solace, I took to watching the sky and talking to birds and animals (strange it may seem) and no sooner had I begun to do so, I was labeled psychotic and deranged (neither of which was true in even its least measure.) I took a fervent liking for deciphering numbers and the way they interacted with our day to day lives and found it was easier to communicate to the unknown than the known. Sometimes I stood wondering what I had stumbled upon but gained composure immediately and understood that the ‘self’ was a source of great inspiration and despair alike.

I caught up with old friends and acquaintances with the same good gesture that I always did and still saw no reciprocity of good gesture. It was as if people were scared of an element in me. And then it suddenly dawned on me the burden of having been an open book.

I longed to break convention and become free. But freedom, it seems, has a heavy price to pay even for the one who has earned it reasonably hard enough.

I decided that the best course of action was to stand still and involve myself in my passion of music and meditation even though I was considered a lunatic for all the actions that I had not done.

Toward the end of the year, when the world was rejoicing the advent of a New Year and a season of joy and happiness, I found myself surrounded in doubt and seventh heaven at the same time. Suddenly I felt that everything was a possibility. I dreamt of the moon, stars and the wide open sky and was time and again grounded to the reality of being on Earth!

It slowly dawned on me that I had no right to even dream and that dreams are just about a manifestation of assumed reality or whatever that may seem to mean.

Days before the New Year struck, the murky and ongoing mystery deepened and I was hurriedly shipped homeward to my Parents.

I had expected a light of joy on meeting them, but found none whatsoever. It was homecoming two long years later. I was regarded panicky, selfish, depressive, antagonizing and highly negative and was dispatched to consult a physician who recommended that I be administered anti-depressants and relaxants, so for the first time ever, I found myself being controlled by forces apart from within myself and my will to be free.

I realized that I had a great burden upon myself to prove that I was normal, but I had in no true sense or measure become abnormal in the first place.

What then had changed? What was it that I was in pursuit of? What had I longed to do best in my life? What had I centralized life upon?

All of these questions had only one answer and that answer is Peace & Happiness! A true and lastingly absolute measure of it! Simplicity in life was what I had desired for along with a measure of comfort, security and peace couple with a grand measure of responsible freedom, to do what is right, to feel strong, confident and more importantly myself.

I know not how and when this supposed mystery (if any) would end………… but I knew one thing for sure; This New Year E did not equal to MC^2, gravity was not reversed and trust is something I lost for a lifetime!

Strange it may seem, isn’t it? Welcome to life!

PS: Through this post, I seek no vendetta or ill-will, but desire that people be united in their cause to do good and be themselves for times to come! Furthermore, it is requested that this not be viewed as a measure of settling scores

Friday, April 27, 2007

Dark side of the Moon

I know not the cause and effect of a well 'bred' life and perhaps will never know. In a place which matters not an inch more than the realm of contained atmosphere that acts in kind conduciveness to hold the element of life, where our relevance does not transcend more than the boundaries of a place that we call Earth, I still hunt for the very purpose behind the existence of us beings!

Life has not been kind in the recent past and I have nothing to associate the sway to.........

Looks like its gonna be one long wet, dreary, uneasy night to pass.......... survive well if I will, I should be back to blogging soon.........

(posted presently; 25th Aug 2007 10:59 pm, in retrospect)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Ramparts of 2007!

2007.......the year of the transition as I put it, one that I'm extremely hopeful of inciting a much needed change in the psyche and spirit.
Sitting here on my desk and penning random thoughts with Hans Zimmer's score for the movie the Broken Arrow playing deeply into my ears, obilivious of all the rummaging that is spewing out a constant mechanical human humm around, I am envisioning what it is to like being a few more years older, a lot more successful, a number of years under the belly and so on.
My obsession for achievement seems to be scaling at an all time high and I feel I need to realize that potential at the right moment, with the right kind of people bearing with them the right framework of mind. And yet, as Robert Frost famously put it "Theres miles to go before I sleep."

Summing up from the very beginning of 2007 until now, life has been a ride in the roller coaster!
The year started on a very good note, notes of progress professionally and personally with a number of promising opportunities in the offing (or atleast seemingly).

My new car, now 3 odd months of age, has been a source of immense pleasure and great tool for mobility, barring the oddly aching fact that I might be among those geeks who jumped on buying a car before knowing how to drive the machine! Evidently, practise leads to perfection they say, which in my case is at the threshold!
Marking completion of a 2 year period with my organization has been a very gratifying and landmark experience to start with. A change of name, change of reporting managers, tonnes of improvements, two scaled promotions and loads to add to a small profile has made life more meaningful and much more satisfactory. it is with a lot of careful pondering and consideration that I chose to reject a lucrative offer close to home, which I now believe, was better best rejected considering the huge learning that I need to do before embarking upon a journey leading to a different paradigm altogether.
Delhi's rather famous winter played kind by stretching over and beyond its call of duty by lasting well until the end of March which made staying in Delhi a pleasant experience during this season.
I dare not speculate on what might be in the offing a few days from now.

Deepu, my dear brother did good by visiting and spending a sizeable amount of time trying to understand my lifestyle and how to make the better of it. His departure after conclusion of what was an extended vacation was indeed tough on both of us especially considering that we hadn't seen each other over a year and my prospects of travelling to Ooty in the immediate future looks as bleak and hazy, much beyond any measure of comprehension. It was during these times that we introspected together, me calling to life a large part of my childhood memories and those bygone years when life was all about donning and remaining the child who knew nothing more than the taste of freedom and the pleasantries of being thrusted away from the madly rut and routine the world followed much akin to a religion!

The sad and tragic loss of Manish Jacob, Manu's brother, put us into a pall of gloom. Unimaginable as it seemed, the shock brought immense grief and created an irreplacable void. Our prayers for the well-being of the family during this time of tribulation will continue above all else and we will fondly revive the memories and times of Manish Jacob.

Vishal Bhargav a.k.a Capt. Val Ross & Shikha have moved to Bombay after several years in Gurgaon and Delhi. Over the time, I have had wonderful friends who have many a times helped me understand and enjoy the brighter side of life and appreciate its intricacies that we quite often disregard as worthless of any recognition.
Meeting Bodhi's mother was also a privilege especially having oft-heard of the wonderful person she is. A person with a strong will to excel while yet giving back to the society the best of her efforts partnered with good intent and a strong mental faculty, I must credit her for her zeal and will that would readily put a person half her age to shame!
Anuj Jetley is back from the UK with a Management degree added to his coat of arms. I have not the least bit of doubt of his measure of success although it is sometimes quite a loss to understand that the person himself disregards this to a very large extent. Anyhow, time should be a wonderful testimonial to how people realize what they need to.

My friend Abraham Kuruvilla ( I address him) has successfully moved shop into a new business aligned with Genpact with a significant amount of progress. During his last days with GE he had a very deluged sense of achievement and came inches close to concluding that all was at a standstill. Further proof of how time can impact one's life in a more positive and enriched manner.
Arif & Pratiksha were married sometime early this year and I continue to avoid bumping into them for having failed in my courtesy to wish either and pay a visit too!

Ahead of me is the Industrial Leadership Program (ILP) which acts as a tollgate between me and one of the first leadership positions in my career at Genpact. I hope to concentrate all my energy and focus to pass through this testing time immediately after which I would travel home to Ooty which I now eternally miss!

In all, this year has surely made a landmark change in my life even before it is far from being the past. I sense a feeling of relaxation, far less anxiety and certainly a lot more positive energy. Wishful thinking or whatever that can be labelled to this, I know that with time, a lot of things change, and change for the better. I guess all we need to do is believe that we can and continue to exert this belief to the back of our beyond, deep into our psyche and spirit and never let go of the ability to look into the eyes of fear and setbacks and conquer them! Life will always continue to spring some of the most uncommon experiences and times in our lives, however, it certainly does not take a whole lof of effort to quell these and master the art of good living.

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Jacob Prophecies - Commencement

Many a times, we chance upon people who are special! Special enough to make a mark in our lives in a surely positive manner. They are mere mortals like any of us who have in some strange manner learnt to evolve their senses into strong and decisive forces that aid them to be what they have become!
Meet Jacob!
Another passing day with a number of things slotted out for as contents to pass and complete, Feb 15th 2007 was a routine day in my life, much like many others that have passed by! Or atleast, so I thought, until I met Jacob! Sounds much like 'Meet Joe Black.' Anyhow, the context remains vividly different, thankfully!
People, I have long come to know are different for different reasons & abilities, and one needs no reasoning beyond that of a common ground squirrel to comprehend this plain simple truth!
After a few minutes into conversation with this eminent 'seer' of the past & future alike, I was reminded of my years in college (1996-1999) when I had met another very special person with remarkable abilities - Benny!
It does not take an instant for anyone of us to recognize the power of clairvoyance in any person, the ability to see, envision and comprehend in humanly form of something that is so much beyond the limited human ability of understanding! While some of us choose to dismiss this as fantasies of scientific (or popularly superstitious) embodiment, I must say that one needs to reconcile to the idea that such existences are true and the mysteries of the human mind are much beyond comprehension even to the billions of us who are yet so gifted to be in possession of this creation that is tuly so unique and vast!
And redifiningly reassuring with each passing moment, my faith in the unknown and beyond grows stronger and firmer with each passing day.
Instances such as these might seem too trivial to look at, however, they do have a somewhat significant impact on our lives provided we receive valuable inputs as important cues as to how to lead our lives forward in a more positive manner.
The instances Jacob provided me mirrored my image of the past and will continue to shape my actions in the future no matter how less decisive they become.
After all, not many of us mortals have the power to take a peek into what lies in the future.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

May you find new Horizons

It is the new year and a new beginning, one that is most certainly the beginning of a new phase of development and progress. The season has had a good start for most of us personally and there is an air of amplified optimism and zeal in the year.
Things have started off on a very positive note with promising folds of success as time goes by.

In my case, I have learnt that it is our reactions to incidents that matter most than the incident / happening itself. How we deal with a situation is indeed very crucial to the manner in which we live.
It is a choice that we, and we alone can make for ourselves. Life can throw some of the worst possbile surprises when we least expect it......we sure cannot stave them off, but we can indeed control to a large extent our own reactions to such instances. This will bring about a sense of peace and help maintain a balanced perspective which is critical to sustain a well-balance life itself.

Most importantly, it is imperative to bring about a sense of positive spirit despite teething opposition and this is what I exude despite not being able to practise every single day, honestly as much as I can confess to every single one of you. A renewed belief in oneself aided with a strong and well place uncontional faith in a force is sure ingredient to lasting peace despite whatever string of incidents, their magnitude and consequence. In truth, we have absolutely no control over incidents, their cause, effect and magnitude in total. What we can exercise control over is our reaction to incidents......largely, our reactions contribute a lot more to the magnitude and scope of incidents quite more than what their consequences bring about.

I can tell you from experience that a pinch of positive thinking can go light years in accelerating one's state of mind to becoming positive in every aspect of thought......practising that is an art that requires patience, courage, time, belief and rock-hard faith. And when I say all this, I also mean to emphatically and very loudly declare that say that tough times are with us to stay at all times.

So as we step forward into a new year ushering a new beginning, expecting a lot of good to happen, let us take a moment to stop by and think what good we can do to make our lives and those of others around us more fruitful and positive, let us stop to think the real purpose of our being, let us critically examine the journey that we have undertaken all along and continue in a path that we believe with sound judgement and good instinct to be the one that is best suited for us as individuals, families and societies.

I'll leave you with these seemingly heavy thoughts to dribble on and then ponder over the following lyrics, thanks to Louis Armstrong, courtesy - What a wonderful world, the OST of the film Good Morning Vietnam. The track is one of my personal favorites since it brings to life a meaningful sense of understanding the world and appreciating it, one that is probably not paralleled. A classic it surely is.

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

The colours of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shakin' hands, sayin' "How do you do?"
They're really saying "I love you"

I hear babies cryin', I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll ever know
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world
Yes, I think to myself, what a wonderful world

Oh yeah

Notice the powerful lyrics (the words that I have underlined), they convey a superbly positive meaning of things around us in our normal everyday lives, note that even though the track itself is mellow and soft, it radiates a very powerful & inspiring force, one that bonds us to each other and tells us that this is home and we live in here and life is much much better than what many of us think it is.
Folks, whatever you maybe caught up in doing, stop for a moment, to think, to appreciate and to thank everyone around for the wonder that you and I are and can be to make our lives and those of the others richer. You need no counselling or training to do that, do you?

May you find new Horizons, expanses within your own selves, spaces withing your own minds that help achieve what you have always wanted to own or become.............Compliments of the Season!