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Thou Must be Focused

Thou Must be Focused

Sometimes things in life are just chaos, an anarchy where there is an utter absence of order, discipline, and control. Things haven’t been different for me either. And I believe I have figured out the reason behind this chaos, this disorder, this indiscipline. The reason is Focus, or rather lack of it. I have been wanting to do certain things for some time now. Any thought of these things generates wonderful feelings in my heart. Clearly, it’s something that I want to do. But, what prevents me from doing it? I. Me. Myself. My lack of focus. The photograph above reminded me of my lack of focus. The girl doing yoga is perfect. Perfectly beautiful. Perfectly built. Perfect figure. Yet, what attracted my attention was not her physical appearance (alright, I admit for a few moments it actually did! But only for few fleeting moments…) , but her posture. Her involvement in yoga. Her focus. The world around us is also distracting like this beautiful girl. Its alright to indulge once in a while; but we must stay focused. I must stay focused.

That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.
                                                                                                      – Steve Jobs

Gone Are the Days…

Road to Heaven

Born and grown up in the city of Ahmedabad, the closest I had ever get to a forest was a park near our home.Only birds I had seen and could identify were Sparrows, Myenas, Pigeons, Doves, Eagles and Vultures. The only animals that could harm me, if provoked, were dogs. Years passed, green was transforming into uninspiring steel grey, skies were being kissed by tall rectangular blocks, sparrows became rarer, vultures and eagles almost extinct (I don’t remember when I last saw them in Ahmedabad).

It was a winter morning of year 2009. My first term in Post Graduate studies. I was travelling on my motorbike from Ahmedabad to Gandhinagar through roads devoid of any buildings, surrounded by refreshing green, chilly breeze passing through clothes, freezing my bones. I was not enjoying.

Reaching the parking area of my college, I halted my bike to a place from where I could quickly reach (my college campus spans across a vast area and requires considerable walking to reach from one building to another) cafeteria to have my breakfast. Through the corner of eyes, I detected a glitter. I turned, and for the first time in my life, (although I had been studying there for a few months now) I saw beautiful, golden sun rays filtered through a dense tree. Something inside me forced me to stop, and I, standing there, awestruck, admired the beauty of this phenomenon. I captured the moment in my mobile phone camera (and in my heart). This was the beginning of my love affair with nature.

As I started looking for “more” nature, I realized my college campus was treasure trove where I could “dig” as much as I desire. A few days passed and I heard birds chirping loudly and a few moments later a snake graced me with a visit. My first reptilian in its natural habitat! Soon, passion became obsession and I counted 40 different bird species within my college campus. Soon I lost count of it.

A year later, to top it all, just outside my college campus, I spotted a couple of deer drinking water near a little pond and just a few paces away a Neelgai was peacefully grazing. I just kept looking, they saw me and left, and I just kept looking at them…

It’s my fourth year at college now and, though an engineering student, I have carried out my reasearches in the field rather than in the labs. Peacocks and monkeys are daily sights now… I now know there hideouts. Snakes often come to “meet” me… Fear has gradually been replaced by curiosity. Now, there is no more passion, no obsession. Just Appreciation…

Gar bar-roo-e-zameen Firdaus ast, ami-asto… ami-asto… ami-asto….

– Old Farsi Saying

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Dear Steve,

A few years ago, I was a teenager with no goal in life. With no commitement towards anything in life. Like most of the people around me I just wanted a good job. I just wanted some money to live a comfortable life with no worries, no struggle. I wanted to stay in my comfort zone. It was a demonstration of a little device called ‘MacBook’ at our college that actully made me feel that using computers can be fascinating, almost a spiritual experience. It was the first time I came to know about your existence in my small, restricted world. I still hasn’t used a Mac in my life because I just can’t afford it yet. However, I feel there can’t be any other machine that will fill my heart with happinness every time I see it. Today, every single day I try to bring quality to whatever I do. I am committed to nothing but excellence. I make no compromises in what I believe. And I try very hard to understand what I believe has a substance of truth in it. Steve, I thank you for helping me discover my self. I am more than what I believed I was. Steve, because of you, I Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

The Giant Amongst the Giants

Dear Jeh (1904-Forever)

It rarely happens that someone’s life and deeds leave a lasting impression on your life, although that person may be long dead.  That is what makes such men great. They leave their imprints in the sands of time. Jehangir Ratan Dadabhoy Tata, famously known as JRD Tata and lovingly called Jeh, was one such great.

It’s not a cakewalk to transform a company that had annual turn-over of Rs. 10 crores to an empire that raked in Rs. 10,ooo crores per year, in times when taxes on industries were unbelievable in post-freedom India.  It’s not easy to do 30 push-ups when you are over 75. Once statement can convey what this man was made of :  ” I don’t want India to be a super power. I want India to be a happy country.”

A must read for anyone of anyage is JRD’s biography, “Beyond the Last Blue Mountain : The Authories Biography of JRD Tata”

Pirates in Blue Library

Pirates , Blue and Library

Wow, What an adventurous last week!! On Friday, Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides, on Saturday, Hindi movie Blue and come Sunday, I had The Librarian : The Quest for the Spear. An adventure that lasted three days, spanned 160 years, had my senses feast on ethereal but deadly Mermaids, experience the underwater world a la 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and trudge in the Amazon rain forest. Being an avid reader of treasure hunt stories, I couldn’t ask for anything more in such a short time.

These movies resurfaced my childhood fantasies for treasures hunt stories. Hours I spent with my grandfather who read me these stories, came back flooding towards me while watching the frames of these motion pictures unfolding in front of my eyes. For some time it felt like I had been transported to another world, the world where no matter how gloomy things look everything is going to be all right in the end.

‘Spice’y Popkorn!!

Recently I happen to hit upon this amazing spot from Spice Mobile. The mobile is able to project movies, images, and text on any surface. A handheld projector!!. I wonder what would be the quality of the projections though.

Anyway look at the ad.

Never Say Never!!!

Traces of the Terror

Recent quake and Tsunami in Japan made me think how helpless we all (humans and rest of the creatures) are against Nature. We can only face the wrath, pray the Gods and when circumstances improve, we try to recover.

A lady starts power-lifting at 60 and a current power-lifting record holder.

A man gets trapped in a canyon for five days without enough of water or food. He lost his arm during the accident but has climbed all the highest mountains of USA since the accident in 2003.

At 37, this man is well beyond the age for the sport he has been playing for two decades and he holds every single record one can imagine. A few years ago he was criticised by everybody for overstaying. He looks fitter, faster, more dedicated and committed compared to the other young guys.

This man, passed away at 89 in 1993, is a legend. At 89, he could do 50 push-ups. He started ice-skiing at 41, and held the second highest rank in the same sport one can achieve.

This man has revolutionised the computers, music, mobile phones, movies and many more things. He has been batteling the cancer for the last seven years.

A buffalo fighting the entire pride of lions.

If we look around closely, from a tiny moth to the gigantic whales, all are fighting, surviving, till their last breath. In essence, we are hard-wired to fight the odds. We (at least most of us) are, by default, genetically programmed to never give-up. After WWII, Japan has shown the world what we all are capable of. I am sure this time also human spirit would win.

“I have woven a parachute out of everything broken.” – William Stafford

May all the victims of quake Rest in Peace.

Still I Rise,

I happened to come across a wonderful poem Still I Rise by Maya Angelou.

It’s a very inspirational poem.

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

If anyone of you is interested in knowing more about Maya Angelou and her work, you can visit her official website.

A.R. Rahman: The Yuvvraaj of Music

A.R. Rahman : The Musical Genius

The year 2008 was very significant for A.R. Rahman. Two academy awards for Slumdog Millionaire, Filmfare award for The Best Music in Bollywood movie Jaane Tu… Yaa Jaane Na…, nomination for The  Best Music in Jodhaa Akbar. He also provided music for three more hindi films the same year. Yuvvraaj, Ghajini and Ada.

The music of  Jaane… was peppy and zingy. Really wonderful. Jodhaa Akbar was royal. Amidst all these, the music of Yuvvraaj was, I guess, went unheard. May be  due to the failure of the movie at the Box Office. Yuvvraaj is a validation that there is no match for A.R. Rahman in India and he is one of the best musicians currently in the world (Listen Roza to convince your self). Music of Yuvvraaj is an ethreal experience. And, perhaps, never before done by any Indian musicians with the exception of the legendary R.D. Burman. You have to listen to Yuvvraaj to know it. Yuvvraaj wasn’t even nominated.

The music was at least good enough for the National Awards nomination. And a deserving winner for any music and film awards. But, that’s the way life is.

I am posting the link for the songs, in case you have an urge to listen and do not want to search online.

If you don’t want to got through the whole musical score, just listen Manmohini Morey and Dil ka Rishta.

Yuvvraaj Tracks


P.S. : Jai Ho… of Slumdog Millionaire was originally composed and written for Yuvvraaj and rejected by the director of the movie. A.R. Rahman got an Oscar for the same song.  🙂

Adorable Minions

Despicable Me

Little Beauties

There are characters in movies which make you fall in love with them.  Minions from Despicable Me are one such wonderful, little, nasty and adorable characters.

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