Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Ramparts of 2010

Nothing excites me more than the ability to envision the change I want to be in the coming year!

-- In Ooty; on 27/12/2010

At the beginning or rather at the envisioning of the beginning, every year is thought to be similar to the one that passed by. But living through the expanse of that limited time, one comes to understand that only the count of 365 days is similar and that the similarity ends just there! In truth, it is the differences that are a plenty, if anything!

This year too hasn't been any different from the feeling and understanding of that reality! For me, this past year has been very eventful having taken me places and made me feel so much more closer to the purpose of learning that I have always so inherently imposed by belief upon! Nothing, you'd agree, could be more rewarding the ability to learn and learn well, of the realities that exist and how therefore the person would have to comprehend and come to terms with that on an ongoing basis.

For starters, a relocation to Chennai, cloistered well into the Southern face of India, has helped me sort of begin an innings that someday I hope to title as well-rounded in experience. This move has been very exciting and the multitudes of learning thereafter have been a gift that many would never know of, let alone be able to envision and understand! For that purpose, life has been kind, though challenges have been at the door front like ominous signboards screaming apprehensions! But perhaps, if I were to answer the question of what that singularly moving learning lesson was, I would lose little time in being emphatic at the fact that it the test of one's character to be able to remain composed in the face of all adversity while maintaining stoic disposition of what one truly wishes to become as against what one could be forced into exhibiting in temperament, considering circumstances!

Moving to the blog part - It couldn't have been more rewarding this year, particularly for being able to manage it as desired, despite all the hectic schedules. A while ago, someone on Facebook echoed loudly of how much free time I had in possession to which my response has been that "despite however much busy I would be today or in the coming times, I will be sure of never ever being so busy to forgo my passion."

Although, I haven't been able to remain as engaging as I wished to be, on the blog front, I'm very happy to note that Redefining Oblivion has long surpassed the 100 countries readership mark. This year alone, there have been 15,466 page views, 5137 visits and 2787 visitors. I can't thank all of you folks for this priceless support and patronage that makes me feel absolutely wonderful! On the blogger meet front, I have been very fortunate to be able to meet 3 of the finest people in the blog world, an association with whom I will cherish for all time to come.

This coming year, I imagine will be much more structured, in being able to define what it is that we need as against what it is that we are prepared for work for, strictly in the sense of wanting to be a part of a journey of excellence and good that we have always envisioned ourselves to be an integral part of. Let there be no doubt that our journeys are deeply intertwined and purposeful and so also the importance to be true, realistic and always oriented to a culture of excellence, more from within than to be able to see it outside of the self!

I wish you all a very happy and prosperous year ahead, one that will most certainly bring you the very best, yet! It is also my prayer that you be blessed with the rationale of being able to be wise, steady, firm and confident in all that you endeavour to do, supported unconditionally by a great deal of courage and conviction, while also believing always that excellence is an ongoing journey and not a destination to arrive at!

Most importantly, may you be blessed with unending measures of happiness and health!

God Bless you and thank you for bringing the light in my life!


The Ramparts of 2009

Opening Statements - 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

100th post this year

It gives me immense pleasure to be able to pen my 100th this year and more so of a pleasure to be able to do it from home in Ooty, where I am presently vacationing, watching over the coming days that will herald the turn of this year!

Stark contrasts in almost everything, Chennai and Ooty are poles apart. I guess I will never be acclimatized to the weather here in Ooty despite how many ever years that I have been here or will continue to do so! But I must say I love this peace and quiet, something of a luxury of sorts, to be able to unwind in the calm expanse of nothingness really!

This year has been very special, purposeful and quite meaningful too, having spent sometime doing that I was expected to do and then furthered onto something that I have always wanted to do! There is a sense of excitement and goodness, one that I am reasonably sure will prevail for a long time to come.

But this post is different, in the sense of arriving at a count for the year, since, unlike 2009, this is not the last this year! At 101, please standby for 'the Ramparts of 2010.'

Do have a wonderful holiday season!

Friday, December 24, 2010

A sleighing song tonight!

O'er the fields we go, laughing all the way,
Bells on bob tails ring, making spirits bright,
What fun it is to laugh and sing,
A sleighing song tonight!

Redefining Oblivion wishes you and folks a merry Christmas!

Do have a wonderful and safe holiday season!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Socially networked!

Technology, and it's ability to be all pervasive, never ceases to amaze me, despite however many times I've been a direct user!

Time zones, boundaries, cultures, mindsets and a whole lot of other barriers later, there is one thing that makes me feel awed beyond words - about the feeling of togetherness, even in distance!

To imagine the ability to connect to a loved one and share the workings of life thus far, and listen to the amazingly wonderful bygones of the not so very distant past seems blissful, and what makes it more appealing, is that there is no challenge of time and other supposed significants involved!

I'm not professing that technology replace the good old warm hearted togetherness of face to face, but certainly where that cannot happen, this can be a quick-fix facilitator?

Perhaps, it was wrong, after all, for me to have titled this post the way I left it to be, as opposed to actually naming it more aptly to be the exercise of living together in the world of the handheld! ;-)

This blog, for instance, only one among the many! :-)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Messages from the masters

I am not afraid of death, I just don't want to be there when it happens. 

-- Woody Allen

A wonderful message that landed into my inbox! Thought it worth sharing as we head into the weekend and spend some quality time with ourselves.

"In deep sleep you have no world for you. But you are there in that world. You also feel very comfortable. Only after awakening from sleep do you feel lost for comfort. During waking hours, this sense of identification with body and mind prevails.

This is something new to you. In your sleep there is no ego.

The birth of your individuality with your ego is considered as your birth.

When that individuality of the mind is eliminated what remains is only that of true self.

And, that is the eternal bliss!"

Do have a wonderful and safe weekend!

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Beautiful Boy

13 December 2010
Chennai, India

Dear David

I never will possibly understand what you could have been through over the years, often battling overwhelming odds to ardently shelter your loved one from a destructive force that is almost always all permeating in the mind and the body!

I began reading your account 'Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction' this past weekend and I must tell you how touched I am. One cannot readily imagine the situation of a parent, or a child, who is faced with a situation such as yours, except wonder how telling it would be on the strength of the family to pull through another day, as if that were perhaps the most arduous of tasks ever.

Besides, dealing with a feeling of guilt while maintaining stoic disposition of wanting to control the situation, and yet being unable to successfully chance upon a measure of cure, someone in such a situation must, I believe, be terribly caught in a quandary over being so utterly powerless in the very first place.

Perhaps, the biggest and most commendably courageous step forward, apart from of course, being the person that you were during those telling times, was your remarkable ability in speaking to the world what it was to be who you were, the family included.

Surely, today, all of you are much stronger with the realization that there have been many lessons learnt with the passage of time and I take this opportunity to greatly appreciate the person you are for the unimaginable commitment and courage that you have so characteristically displayed, without a moment of doubt, specifically at a time when all of that would have been so easily impossible!

I'm touched, beyond words and cannot possibly describe how it feels!

Very sincerely,

V. Rakesh


Beautiful Boy is about a very moving account of a boy and his addiction to Methamphetamine, narrated in first person by his father.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Operation Rolodex

Life is almost always motivated, for many, by achievements, both in the realm of professional and personal domains! Therefore, also, a great deal of focus and efforts are directed towards achieving that very objective in what can become a terribly ongoing process that never really comes to an end!

But then, to think apart, and to take a few steps backward really, one must pause and every so often subject the self to a meaningful exercise of introspection.

Coming to do just that, I find it is about time that I kicked in 'Operation Rolodex' to my life. Derived from the words 'rolling index' this term is an indicative of a 'rotating file device used to store business contact information.' Now, if that makes you wonder why I chose to use such a quintessentially ubiquitous accessory of work to title my post and the exercise I choose to detail, please be assured that the words, or rather meaning of 'rolling index' is what appealed to me while I thought about the process itself.

Anyhow, summary descriptions apart, the Rolodex of my world is very simple; it is a mission to build a credible and lasting happiness index, or quotient, that ensures, more aptly, that the feeling itself comes from within and lasts for much longer than anything supplemented by an external object or entity! I hope to therefore build a huge positive emotional bank balance as part of my asset capital to last me for a lifetime, which in turn will help me, among other things, also, to build very equitable and positive relationships!

Some inclusions, surely are, including but not limited to, Blogging, Blogger Meets, Calvin & Hobbes, Easy Sunday Mornings, Music, Reading, all of which are aimed to generate the high-fix! :-)

And, what's more? Rolodex is open forum! No Anti-Trust engineering really!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Chennai today

Very rarely do I miss my Monday morning post! So one can imagine the sequence of events that unfolded yesterday, here in Chennai, owing to the rains that were nothing short of being inundating. The sheer spell and the unrelenting barrage took me by surprise! And for someone who is affected by the slightest change of weather, literally, one can imagine how that feels!

Anyhow, that has come to pass and there is a certain state of tranquility that prevails presently. But surely, the episode itself echoes very deep realizations of how minuscule a force we are in the face of an adverse natural circumstance that comes to be!

And then, as Terri Guillemets, wisely stated, 'weather is a great metaphor for life - sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, and there's nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella.' I couldn't agree more!

Friday, December 03, 2010

The all time favourites - Movies

Fellow blogger Destination Infinity tagged me a few days ago, in his post titled "My top three movies of all time." Jumping at the chance, especially for the kind of a complete movie buff I am, I was delighted, primarily for being able to make a post of the many wonderful treats I've richly enjoyed so far! Nothing perhaps is more of a pleasure than to catch up on an epic over a quiet Sunday morning, in perfect solitude! So here goes my list, one that is more than the required three, a liberty I've taken owing to the pleasure accorded! :-)

Gandhi - This 1982 biopic, starring Ben Kingsley, picturing the life of a timeless icon is certainly a must watch for the manner in which the story is portrayed. Three words that can at best describe the after-watch feeling; powerful, lasting and evoking! Certainly a collector's item and a timeless classic!

Shawshank Redemption - It is one thing that Stephen King's novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption forms the basis of this epic, and yet quite another of how well the impressive star-cast brought about more than just life on the celluloid. Quite the description of how Tim Robbins and hope are synonymous now, if anything at all. And there is no doubt about the fact that hope drives a man insane!

Schindler's List - If Thomas Keneally's book Schindler's Ark made waves in the literary world, it's marvelous adaptation on screen by Steven Spielberg created nothing short of history! I'm sure many of us who watched the movie were transported into the somber and grizzly world of the Płaszów concentration camp. One man's marvelous tribute "in memory of the more than six million Jews murdered." Couldn't say more!

The Great Escape - Staying with Nazi Germany but viewing the unfolding of events from a very different vantage point, this 1963 epic starring Steve McQueen, James Garner, and Richard Attenborough, among others, is an on-screen adaptation of a book by Paul Brickhill which details the true account of a mass escape from Stalag Luft III prisoner of war camp, in Żagań, Poland. Vivid, picturesque in setting and thoroughly well coordinated in the effort of portraying the series of events that took place in exact detail, this creation is an absolutely must watch for any history enthusiast!

The Jungle Book - None but Rudyard Kipling could have told us the tale of the Indian jungle in the way it was done. So, if the names of Mowgli and Sher Khan have become household, it is surely because of the legacy of one man who envisioned the wonders of the Indian outbacks and made efforts to portray its wonders in vivid imagination and detail that would never have been possible by another!

Great Expectations - The story of one man and his love for a woman, and the sequence of events that unfold! All of this wants me so much to read the work of Dickens. I see a great deal of childhood in this and for some reason many a thing so vivid in the mind, yet those that I could never come to terms with. Expectations and them being great are just about two very different things I suppose!

Godfather - The iconic reference to an offer that could never be refused and the kick-thrill to envision a strong rebellious parallel, powerful and discrete, all permeating and inimitably marked in mannerism of a thought, this movie is more than just a tale of a few people and their doings. It perhaps is the mindset of a system that longs to establish a lasting presence in the very ecosystem that democracy has come to roost!

An Unfinished Life - Robert Redford and movie super stardom of supreme excellence are synonymous in more than just many ways of semblance. Iconic, impressive and lasting in the manner of portrayal, I could not settle for one or any, in particular, to be descriptive of that excellence I spoke about. Perhaps, the best way to convey my intent is to make a mention of this super drama that prevails like no other!

Legends of the Fall - Adapted from a novel by Jim Harrison, only Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins and Aidan Quinn, among others could have fitted best into this super epic detailing the pre-world war I times set in western United States. There are all the elements of togetherness and otherwise detailed in there, of coming together and separation, life and death and a sense of reckoning that is richly unique in the manner portrayed. I guess there could be nothing more powerful and captivating, for the mind and the heart, than the feeling of glossing over bygones that seem so long long ago!

Braveheart - Little can I do in my efforts of trying to separate the identities of Mel Gibson and Sir William Wallace especially for the manner in which the portrayal was made in quest of a purpose that was insanely difficult at the face of mounting adversity. But energy, passion, persistence and perseverance add a great deal of zeal in winning over even the most toughened enemy as is seen, and 'freedom' comes at a rich price 'purified by pain' and often suffered at the hands of betrayal and treachery!

I could go on for miles on just the names, without any of my illustration or interpretation, especially for the fact that there are so many more of these that are iconic and truly characteristic of creative excellence. But I must conclude here, for now, with the understanding that there exists much more in everything than what can actually be told!