He holds an MBA degree. But I don’t think all the skilfulness comes from education.
All through my years ,I read countless self help books and the only thing that happened was I helped authors get richer .Never in all my life I understood what was wrong with the way I dealt things. Well that is until you watch someone daily. No amount of inspiration is effective- not to me – till you see principles in action.
Dear mr.Prabhu, if you are reading this, I should tell you I am very grateful for having you.I have been thoroughly impressed many a time but still am waiting for that “Head over heels -in-love” moment. It may or may not come in an arranged marriage but thanks for helping me share some of your No-bull-shit life lessons with readers.
Now presenting “The Top life lessons” from my husband.
1)Take risks rarely:
That about saves unnecessary waste of energy so you can use it when and where you really need it. Other times- play it safe.
2)Be nice to the boss, the colleague and the janitor- with equal emphasis:
Everyone matters. Someday, any one can be your saviour or friend. But it’s not for popularity that you be nice because people will figure it out anyway.
Shying away from a basic good morning is a no-no. Buy people coffee. Remember people. Attend calls ( unless it is an annoying customer on Sunday morning) and leave good memories associated with you. Never think its too much to show politeness. Which also means you treat people on HIGHER GROUND confidently with niceness. People are ultimately people. Right?
3)Never complicate things
I thought I was improvising until I realised how much I complicated things.You buy milk and eggs. Not milk, eggs and more milk and more eggs and frozen food for fear of “Day After Tomorrow” class storms on a dry day.
4)Do not see obstacles as emotional setbacks
You break your nail- trim it. Don’t break your nail and ponder over the internet for sheer lack of luck and vitamin deficiency. Forget about nails for another few weeks. Move on. It’s just a Goddamn nail.Prioritise problems.
5)Speak less , listen and ask the right questions- everywhere
It surprised me at the number of friends he made and how less he actually talked.
Speak only when needed – listen- about them- an act which strengthens relationships both professional and personal by avoiding unnecessary argument and out of bound subjects. It projects you as less of a critic and more of an analyst and listener. Build Trust. Get business ✅ done Which is all the better.
6) Value your money:
There was a time when we had ordered a mobile phone holder for a relatively small price. He Wasnt satisfied with it and we could have kept after a few adjustments . He chose return-and-refund.
“My money must reap satisfaction if I choose to spend it ” he wasn’t afraid to look like a miser though he spends for things he likes. When you have an offer online? Why pick the showroom with value added tax?
7)Everyone need not know everything
I never got updates about the day. Neither did his mom or friends unless they asked. I, finding it fishy asked why he wouldn’t share anything. He replied that it was a very regular day . If something bad happened he didn’t want to ruin the evening reliving the memory. If something good or funny happened he would tell me. I never found it appreciable for a year. But when I implemented the same, I understood that it put me at an unbelievable decision making freedom and mental clarity .
It is a trait of highly decisive and independent people. It doesn’t mean you don’t love someone it means you needn’t let them in on everything and scramble thinking unless it concerns them. It tests and builds trust around silence. What is a relationship when there isn’t an obligation to explain everything ? Works for me. Thanks! !
8)When angry -be quiet. For hours.
When you say things in anger, you get back ugly responses that would take weeks to forget and more weeks to undo the damage done and trust severed- Not a good time investment or energy policy.
9) If you really like something- buy it or go do it.
Or find ways to. Build enough trust that someone will not hesitate to offer you a loan. And definitely repay. Want to ride far- do it without announcing it- (and come back one ☝️ piece) Never blame another for being a dream-shatterer. It’s up to you.
10) Think business- but with ethics
Loan out. Lend. Settle. Recover your money. Buy people lunch. Make deals that makes the person feel- “It’s pleasure doing business with you Mr/Ms”. What goes must come and what comes must go.
11) Set limits with everyone
He will probably regret letting me learn this. Not giving another the power to affect you completely empowers you, makes you temporarily immortal.
12)when late- find the shortest way to get things done
Don’t let work and deadline kill you.
13) Be yourself. Live like today is the last.
that also implies you stay humble by not taking anything too seriously- not even yourself .
14) Sleep is meditation. Sleep like a baby.
Love sleep more than your spouse.
Murphy’s law. Most people wouldn’t have come across this particular law of events ( though not scientifically backed) until they watched Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. I belonged to that category. What Murphy’s law actually means has different facets and versions but to sum it all up, it’s Murph Cooper’s line “It means something bad will happen” hinting the universe’s thermodynamic property of always moving into a chaotic state. I agreed with it partially because it’s so easy and less time consuming to actually break something as opposed to making it. But look at it from a non-human, unconscious perspective or simply from the perspective of the universe assuming it’s not conscious hence does not really ‘feel’, you see ‘events’ happen. Be it a nuclear meltdown or birth of ten puppies to a husky mother , an event is an event and not a good event or bad event. From the non human perspective Murphy’s law takes another morph that Cooper restates to his daughter “It does not mean something bad will happen,it means what can happen , will happen”
This version of it hit me hard during my early weeks of motherhood, everything was fine one moment and everything would come crashing on me the other. I had felt very unlucky all my life. So motherhood wasn’t God or universe’s way of teaching me a lesson to keep my head low. It has always been low to the best of my knowledge. So there was no exact stroke of bad luck whilst many around me had happier or more blissful lives . My life’s events were independent of others’ . There was nothing relative about them unless I related them to find a reason to worry. I had been counting the broken eggs for 22 long years. What a waste of time! Instead of using the adversities to quiet my inner turbulence and evolve, evolve and evolve from the challenges I bragged, bragged about how weak I was, how impossible my life was until I quiete did the jump against my fears, face to face with them. The best piece of advice to me came from one of my friends at Canada,
“what you can’t control, do not even think about it. What you can control, control fully”
Those words do not strike you hard unless you realise how much time you have wasted worrying, fearing things and procrastinating and drinking coffee to drown the sorrow. The words do not strike you deep unless you realise how far behind are you and how little time you have. They don’t hit you hard until you realise how people with relatively smaller skill sets made it bigger than you just because they were persistent and somehow spoke like they had the best in them. Sometimes you need to knock a 100 doors before 1 opens. I hadn’t knocked even 20.
It is an odd feeling when you realise how you showcase your talents and beliefs to people who would criticise and destroy ideas rather than people who believe, get up and do.
You don’t achieve a dangerously high level of freedom unless you stop worrying about
what other people think about you. By “others ” I mean colleagues, peers, best friends, girlfriend, boyfriend ,your mom, dad, family, spouse etc. Which is harder than anything because most of our lives are spent satisfying them and vying for their approval. So whose approval do you need to measure each step of your life though it may not be big and may be as small as making a perfect cup of tea or dancing with complete balance in front of the mirror? – Yours- your approval.
unless you are satisfied, no amount of impression will satisfy you. No amount of success will feel good because others may feel ” differently ” about it. I gave my sister a piece of advice once , “Don’t take yourself so seriously at school, what’s the point of impressing people who wouldn’t even remember you when you are gone?”
Suddenly leaving high school was analogous to leaving earth to me. I can’t fill the saucer naturally without filling the cup. I needed to feel good first to make others feel the same. Which does not come from beating yourself up and morphing into something new every time somebody throws at you an opinion- even if it is your mom.
you need to love them but not necessarily their opinion.
Once you realise that, like me probably ( it took me until motherhood) you understand quiete scientifically and with sufficient evidence how you attract what you think and get results similar to your bias like quantum physics says about observing.
And – you would have achieved a dangerously beautiful level of FREEDOM.
“Man is a social animal. He finds happiness in seeing everyone around him secure and happy. Because that means security for himself”
“Problems and politics are as old as Human race is. But the instinct of identifying a problem and solving it is embedded in our genes, re-embossed again and again through evolution, we WILL find a way- some day. Survival is in our genetics”
“He kept shouting. Placards kept hovering over his head. He kept shouting for people who wouldn’t care or wouldn’t risk it. He knew he was risking his life but he kept shouting anyway”.
Decades ago, the Garden of Eden or Noah’s Ark seemed the most distant things to relate to reality. Those entities associated with religion were chased to and stayed in books due to the lashes of scepticism and lack of currently existing proof. Today we have another Noah’s Ark, rather an Ark that is sinking- the ship of DEMOCRACY with FAITH on board. True democracy too has been chased to only text books and people’s debate on TV shows everyday (Even TRP ratings might be falling because everyone is getting bored!… yawn!!!!) . Everybody gives their opinion. Nothing changes. Had Noah seen what humanity and its existence was to become, he would have let the deluge take humans saving only the animals on board.
“We agree with votes. We would also like to vote for EVERY BILL passed as we vote for EVERY candidate…. sounds uncomfortable enough for some?.. sounds distant to me.”
Democracy is participatory politics- How participatory is your democracy?….Mmm not much. Your participation starts and ends with the pressing of that Ballot button. Even if it was a rigged one ( Disclaimer: So they say!!!)
We had wars, we had revolutions. We had Sati and female feticide abolished and celebrated it too long in our text books while the world kept changing in its own Pace- A very fast one bringing wrong practices with it. Today there is not an intellectual quarrel or a debate on ideologies. But the debate on the denial of the basic.
- Freedom of speech- curbed- (call you anti-national and that would suffice)
- Lack of personal safety
- Food insecurity
One might say, excuse me.. Water? you are being denied water?. Yes. Water in a country that has 3200 major, minor dams and barrages?. Well….. Yes. A country that boasts of its space program whilst desalination plants seem light years away?. Yes. Aadhaar cards became mandatory, so did ration cards, nobody told you not to depend on supplied water but stock and recycle water through rain water harvest?. No. Why?? Because if they did, the next election manifesto cannot be “Clean drinking water to every household.”
You possess meat and get killed for it while you rape a woman and get away with it. India is a country of many standards. Many, many. You have a problem with connectivity on your newly released free SIM card while where is the guarantee of my safety whilst I walk on road? Media encourages people to be bold enough to sexually abuse and traffic humans and yet you keep denying it. Oh why? Because primary and secondary industries would be ruined?
Okay, forget that.
Pro- Hindu, pro-minority, communist, socialist, globalist, privatised, demonetised, Gandhian, Pro-Dalit, anti-reservation, feminist, pro-transgender, anti-gender bias, whatever the ideology, finally they could not secure the basic to the people- Where the heck is my WATER?
The list of flaws is so big it would seem the biggest of flaws to list them in the first place. So, we see very obviously that the availability of VOTING efficacy is not the right measure of DEMOCRACY. You have a problem with basic right denial and nobody is around to secure that? That isn’t what democracy defines itself as, “By the people, FOR the people?” For which people? For anybody who finds the “O” in democracy is hollow and escapes through it with anything?
When the voted and chosen people’s representative himself just kills the NATIONALIST ideology by turning two different LINGUISTIC (not even ETHNIC) groups against one another. Do you really think peace loving Bangaloreans burnt Tamil Nadu registered buses?… If you still think so. You are buying it.
The Thai Puratchi ( pro-Jallikattu protest) is a win for the people but a silent alarm for those in power and those who would want to be in power. If the people do not stay as awake as they were or are distressed and distracted by water, safety and food issues, it may be made sure nothing of that scale ever threatens the system of governance today.
What can be done?
“Comrade….. do you think we do not know something is not right?….Ignore it!!! Save yourself the trouble!”
Nothing of politics or crime is my problem until something pricks me and my everyday life. After that we automatically become cynical citizens to whom GRAVE INJUSTICE has been done. So if you live in a country , are given a national TAG, an ethnic TAG, an identity and all you have to do is live everyday with the fear that something may happen to you or your family and property someday anytime, it isn’t worth the vote nor the shout.
Exercising our given rights fully and being sustainable is the first duty you do to yourself rather than rise in rebellion. For rebellion need not always be loud and big. Question everything before you buy or use something. Try growing a small amount of your own food. Save water, harvest rain , break a sweat for it, for you can’t drink bank cash. Fit yourself a UPS system. Try home remedies.Use environment friendly natural cleaners like ash. Do not always depend on processed and semi-processed food, buy local produce rather than from posh super-markets. Teach your kids to find everything except phones and electronic screens interesting. Buy them a pet. Defend your ideologies where you have to.Be connected with your locals, discuss, make friends, expand your circle, keep demanding things from your local administrative board. Discuss, discuss, discuss with family. Keep asking questions, until the major public debate one day becomes- Is the colour yellow or red that boosts happiness and peace. Even if that would be a century away. Demonetisation must have taught us that money isn’t the most safest thing you can leave your kids, anything can change during their time.
Charity begins at home. So does an Utopian future.
He who gave a helping hand
North, South, West and East;
Made a blunder
To imagine that
It would be remembered, even if rewarded never
To those with Values Old School
The New world often throws
A deafening slap
Maiming not only faith yet Innocence along too
He who swore;
He would rather die than betray
Often dies than survives by mere chance
Even if alive
What dies in him is
Innocence and faith that ever good deeds at the least
Reach those who need what we call
‘A helping Hand’
With a family so dearly He holds
As His kingdom
And a kingdom He so dearly holds
As His family
Killing both dreams, zeal, love and freedom
With the same weapon of determination and wit
Once thought to hopefully help
Find new ways to conquer the world
Only to en-slave Himself
In the Act of Protecting
The innocent ones He has wanted to serve but
Never dreamt to serve so soon
He seals his heart in a trove
Sets it on a voyage
Across waters where the shore it finds
May never be His own
Knowing living a life without a Core
Is like living like the Inferi themselves
Does it matter?
When Good is protected? And the ones you love find asylum?
Sacrifice they call it awakens the true King
The true ruler in
All of us.
Counting he does over the days
He has to step and slip on
For one day may be right
To Weigh the balance right
To equate scores
The meek are powerful
For lust and lustre and barbaric disposition
May Seem the only protective armours
In a world teeming with
Thousands who live like the Inferi
Throwing waste, Using both Friend and Foe alike
Seeking pleasure through heartless hunt
Call it the New World Way
Where they sculpt themselves not to Please
But rather sell themselves
Like slaves mistakenly seeing themselves as king
Where you have to be wrong to be right
And cruel to be ‘cool’
And Perverse to be ‘dominant’
Unfortunately for them
There are some who agree
And beg to differ
For the purpose of life
Lies mated for ever with kindness and self respect
Not many know it early enough
Until the same Deafening slap, awakens the unprotected
Child in them.
Refer: inferi : http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Inferius
Vipin smilingly asked his colleague in the staff room,”He is younger and weaker than you. You are more powerful than him, then why do you have to assert it on him again, like everyday?Give it a break man, you are acting like you are back in college!”
21 year old Raj enrolled at an Engineering course, came home looking flushed, thoughtful and worried for a few weeks. His course was due to be over. Though his mother thought it was usual for him to be occupied with something, it seemed intense and worrying this time. Raj’s father had been diagnosed with diabetes and the family was frequenting the hospital and the supermarket for supplies of a change of diet. Raj’s mother close to 50 years old had to shuttle the younger brother to school and back home. Clearly the family was too busy for a sit down discussion. Raj had nobody to talk to.
“You be my slave, I like you. You think you are like me, you are my slave”
Pressure of family had been crushing him. He wished to be useful. Raj had to prepare for his exams and finish his course. He had to think of his future and get set for the Masters. He could not concentrate. Why?
Problems at college.
He had accidentally picked up enmity with a Professor known for friendliness but notorious for revenge if angered. Worse, all his classmates with whom he was always friendly, were convinced he was a problem and had stopped talking to him. He had to face scornful eyes and an eerie loneliness in class everyday. He had to face embarrassments when getting bills and books signed. He tried getting help from a friendly professor, but he had thrown up hands saying nothing can be done. Friends asked him to ignore it. Obviously he was in depression. He lost appetite and shed eight kilograms of weight in a month. His stomach flushed with fear and loneliness everyday in class. Even people who knew he was innocent didn’t speak to him for they feared they would be targeted too, some even openly admitted it.
“He repeated in class through real-life examples in his lessons, he warned me indirectly and embarrassed me silently, still, only I could understand the “double-entendre” in his sentences. To everyone I was the villain. He emotionally drained me everyday, walked past me often to make me feel nervous. He said ugly things about me to professors of other departments. Everyone thought he was a nice person. Only I knew that I was the VICTIM and I was alone.”
Clearly, the victim he had become.
Another similar incident befell a girl student at a private university down south. This time, the particular “Professor” was pervert enough to give her an immodest reputation among other male professor friends of his, who stared at her with scornful looks every time she entered the canteen or passed the corridor. It was a little contradictory, given the “fatherly” image the professor had painted for himself among other students. But who could prove what? Nothing. The obvious seemed the truth. Forever.
“Every time SHE had a problem with a student SHE boldly told him, “Let me see how you finish your degree!”
The duty of a teacher was to help a student get a degree. Not work against it.
Friendly to some, terrible to others, does not paint a very civilized picture of today’s Indian teaching community. Too bad that the Masters’ Degree could not put some maturity into educated decision making of these educated people.
“They Police us. Who Polices them?. They watch us. Who watches them?”
TWO DIFFERENT TAKES
1.Ms.K, an academician says, “I teach math. I tell them what they need to know to get through the semester, where performing well is up to them.I don’t try to be friendly in class.I don’t try to be strict either. I teach, I clear doubts, I give assessments. I leave. I never let it get personal, whether favoritism or hatred. I don’t see the need. I just do my job.”
2. Another Ms D says, “We need to be strict, we need to remind them that it is us who is running the show here, or they ‘sit on our heads’, they disrespect us.We listened that way to our professors. We had fear, this generation doesn’t, not over us, not over their degree.
Yes! we have our favorites. Only if we applaud a student, the others will learn to behave and perform like them. What is the harm?”
In a student- teacher scenario the rules of respect and fear may apply, but do those rules hold well when a human rights scene sets in? Not so much.
Many may forget about a Chennai based Naval education academy incident where a particular student’s job call letter was confiscated and the student set to mental torture and blackmail by college authorities ending in his suicide. Rohit Vemula will remain a modern myth of an out-spoken student community.
THE PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTOR
Some teachers cause indignation to students because they are themselves afraid of indignation.It is the same way politics, military and governments work. Something needs to be imposed on someone to keep them weaker or keep you in power. The same pattern that “Ragging” by senior students follows.People need to keep power, hence imposing fear.
THE TIGHT-KNIT COMMUNITY
A friend of mine at a renowned university has a different take at this, ” We do most of our learning by ourselves and take it to the professors only when we really cannot understand something or for assessment, so there is hardly room for too much personal interaction or scrutiny or threatening.”
“Students should stick together” He says, “When the student community is tight-knit, one single student cannot suffer in silence. We never let that happen in our college.”
“IF YOU LISTEN TO ME, YOU WILL PASS”
“Power corrupts” is too blunt an explanation for this widespread behavior among the teaching community. India is mushrooming with newer and newer institutions. Statistics point out that too many of our institutions still fall short of basic level facility and standards to churn out knowledge-rich graduates. Learning therefore becomes too much Professor-dependent like it is in many Anna university affiliated institutions in Tamilnadu. We do a cat and mouse chase behind level-1 knowledge and take so many shortcuts to achieve only what is preliminary. We sit dependent on classrooms rather than libraries hence paving way for the fear and dependence factor, “GETTING NO FURTHER THAN WHERE SOME PROFESSORS WANT US TO BE”.
If “bench-mark” was transparent enough to understand, the student can himself work the standard out. But again we wait for Professors to tell us, what knowledge is “enough” and what “isn’t”. Colleges admit too many students, most with no aptitude for the particular course giving way for Professors only to set standards and rules in the classroom where the course, student and his knowledge should actually be doing the job of standard setting. Many people in the teaching profession take away two points of independence as a bribe for every point of favor run to a student for his “passing”, for his “well-being”.
Everyone keeps reporting things. Professor politics and favoritism keeps churning story after story somewhat on the likes of Police Brutality. Question is. Who is acting on them? What change of rules may help? Let us think. And more importantly,
A recent issue of Esquire magazine featured actor Tom Hanks being interviewed by actor and UN Goodwill ambassador for gender equality, Emma Watson. The discussion involved family, feminism and films. She put forth a question on the relatively poor screen space occupied by women in films (as of 2013 30% of all speaking characters) and the mere requirement of women to be either hot or nurturing/supportive in their on-screen roles.
Tom Hanks replied “Because the art form of cinema becomes less of an art, and no longer holds the mirror up to nature when women are reduced to being only hot or nurturing.” .
“When rules of gender and character dictate what stories are told and by whom……..
……. they are no longer fully dimensional humans”- Tom Hanks as told to Emma Watson
The LA times had reported that 76% of Academy voters were male. As far as we are concerned, even on the silver screen, Gender Equality has a long way to go. Cinema always seems to think that it mirrors the society and offers what the audiences “prefer” or “want”. Even in the “sexualization” battle it is always women who seem to be running in circles. We as women need not compete with men in essentially every square. But the squares of need and right to happy living?. Yes. Apart from the battle of Gender equality, we have battles to fight within ourselves, with the same sex group- The battle of confidence, of looks, of desirability so that we do not want to feel “Left out”. Most of our apparel lines and salon chains run this dogma, “Do not be left behind”.
In a documentary titled ‘INSIDE OUT’ on gender issues by TISS alumni and National award winning documentary makers Dhivya Cowasji and Shilpi Gulati, Shagufta Waqar Khan, one of the women featured in the film states -“For all the talk about women progressing, they seem to be going that much backwards”.
IS IT ALWAYS TRADITION PINNING US DOWN?
Human rights being denied on gender and traditional grounds have always been the point of concern and debate, the world over. We often blame old traditions and practices. But in the developed and developing worlds, where women are nurtured and encouraged, where education and access is equal for both sexes, when parents are equally welcoming of a daughter just like that of a son, who has made a woman feel vulnerable? who makes her feel she has to be white-skinned,skinny, and flawless? who makes the “barely-there” dress wearing girl the boldest of all?- Getting all the appreciation probably a talented woman director must equally get?.How have we become a good look obsessed society, just like animals discriminate members of their species?
Hollywood? Bollywood and the fashion industry?- What about us-The receiving end? How have we interpreted what is popularized?. We have made ourselves Anorexic with loads of hypocrisy.Period.
There are times when a job vacancy was filled by an attractive woman with moderate knowledge as opposed to a not-so-attractive woman with a lot of skill and knowledge- A Software and OS tutoring veteran.
“Ugly” is now an equally offensive world as calling a woman “a slut”. We women have accepted the transformation into an “Object of Beauty” first “A person” next.The object fights a mental battle every day and night inside of herself, in front of the mirror, in the untimely hours of Facebook, staring at other girls, hotter, more “followed” than her, waiting to be “Liked” by a 200 people to convince herself that she “Looks Great”.
” ‘Not-so- good looking’ girls are more likely to be publicly insulted or embarrassed as other girls in my college. Wherever they go,whatever they do, it is like you have to be beautiful to be respected or at least heard” – A second year B.com Student, Coimbatore who does not wish to disclose her name
THE “SANSKARI” FAMILY TO BLAME?
The thing that we so often lose perspective of is that perhaps it is not just age-old traditions and customs and what we call “the family pressure” that seems to be taking away a girl’s freedom, her free breath. Besides, it is family that raises the girl, gives her education, protects her interests, mentors, cares and presents to her what she would call community, aunt, uncle,cousin and celebration. She can demand “Freedom” from family. Not from the society. To get it from the society, she must either protest or plead. Should we waste time demanding from the society or begin change within ourselves first?.
The vulnerable image, the over-sexualization, the requirement to be “hot” so as to be accepted, the desire to be more “wanted” than to be loved, the need to be protected when beautiful, when being followed, when being stalked, when traveling, when alone, when one wants to be independent and free-all constitute the psycho-social issues that plague “The freedom of the modern woman”, which is more of safety, self confidence, discovering herself than just a permit to nightclubs and the freedom to smoke. (Forget morality here, when you pit up WANT against NEED).
FREEDOM OF THE SELF
Accepting oneself the way she is, is the primary step of all- if one feels one must.
Love yourself and do not let others define your preferences. Shop for yourself, not for your friend or popularity nemesis. Love your imperfections, they define you as much as your gifts.
“It would feel great if one day, I let my looks introduce me, Not define me entirely, for I am more complex to be merely scanned at.”-ANON
THE ABSOLUTE DEFINITION OF BEAUTY
The Dove Campaign for real beauty for our daughters who suffer from self-esteem issues. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dove_Campaign_for_Real_Beauty
Shades of India Line of clothing launches the Baiyu collection, featuring real life women achievers as diverse as Praveen Nair, Divya Cowasji and Anjum Singh from all age groups and backgrounds as opposed to super models setting novel role-model standards.
P.S . Love yourself.