Category Archives: Motivation

Creativity Galore

I think I was in college when I last tried my hand at fabric painting, and gave up. The ‘masterpiece’ I wanted to paint then didn’t turn out to be one. I got a chance to try my hand at fabric painting once more at the interactive sessions held at our office. Our workplace had arranged some fun activities over the last 2 weeks, and one among them was a T-shirt painting session. I LOVED these sessions, fabric painting et al. 🙂

The creative sessions made me realise a lot of things. I realised that I love the process of creating. I love the feeling of creating something from scratch. I love filling up a blank canvas or paper or a T-shirt with multiple hues and make it something different from the one I started with. I love the process of learning – I love it when someone guides me and helps me add finishing touches, perfecting my raw finished product. I love a mix of work and play. I love the feeling of living life, doing something creative, bonding with people in the midst of a busy day.

I always knew that there’s more to people than meets the eye. These sessions reminded me of that. We were amazed to see the talent in people shining through tough exteriors and normally subdued characters. I realised, once again, that seeing passion and creativity writ large on the faces of people touches me, impresses me, inspires me.

I realised that there’s a lot to learn -if you want to and are interested enough. I learned that learning something new can work wonders for you. I realised that once in a while, you should throw a little challenge to that part of the brain which does not get enough work in a monotonous lifestyle.

Enough said. Before I bore you people to death, take a look at some of the T-shirts that our team painted. 🙂

**Drumrolls**

This is the one I painted, doing full justice to my fascination of sea horses. 🙂 Yeah, I know it’s not a masterpiece again, but I liked it. 🙂

This one is an angel-cum-devil by a colleague. 

The inimitable Calvin & Hobbes by another colleague.

The lady who painted this felt she ruined it, but I think otherwise. I loved the colours and the Indian feel of it. 🙂

The Mysore Palace came alive on another colleague’s T-shirt. I loved this one – it looks so professional.

I loved the creativity in this one – it was done with just one pot of paint and a few brush strokes. No pencil, no marker.

You like?

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Image courtesy: All pics are by a colleague.

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Filed under Motivation, Musings, Work

To Sir, With Love

To Sir, With Love by E.R. Braithwaite is another book that I picked up while I was in Ahmedabad. I began reading it last week, and couldn’t put it down till I finished it today.

It is a book that can best be described as inspiring. It is a semi-autobiographical account of E.R. Braithwaite, a Negro who becomes a teacher not out of choice, but out of compulsion, because no one is ready to offer him a decent job on account of his colouring. He gets a job as a teacher in a London school that is renowned for all the wrong reasons – the students there are ill-mannered, stinking and with absolutely no sense of discipline.

The book tells the story of how Braithwaite entered the school with a sense of bitterness and faced with such an impossible class, and later learnt to love the children as his own and how he transformed them with love and dedication, sometimes putting them in their place and making them feel ashamed. With his constant efforts, he trains them to be disciplined children, taking a keen interest in studies and in the fine arts. In the course of his teaching career, he also meets and falls in love with a colleague of his, Gillian, the relationship facing a lot of problems just because of the colour of his skin.

I loved Braithwaite’s level of involvement in teaching the class, and his commitment to transforming them into decent human beings. I felt inspired by him, going ahead in spite of his problems. I loved his kindheartedness with the children, not to mention his tender love for Gillian. I could relate a lot to Braithwaite’s thought process.  Braithwaite is another character added to my list of would-like-to-meet-literary-characters.

If and when I become a teacher, I would like to be one like Braithwaite. With the same level of commitment and involvement. This is the second book about a teacher to have impressed me greatly, the first one being Tuesdays With Morrie.

It is a wonderfully written book and has a profound impact, in spite of its small size. It joins the rank of my most favourite books, and I would say it is worth a read for everyone for the lessons it carries.

This beautiful book has been made into a movie, and I really can’t wait to get hold of it.

My rating: 4.5 stars

OT 2009 update: 8 down, 2 more to go! The stopover this time was Guyana. I am so excited at having read a book from a completely new country!

Have you read this book or seen the movie? Do share your thoughts about them.

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Song on my mind:

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Filed under Motivation, Music, Reading Ramana

Ponderism

Something caught my attention in an M&B some time ago (yes, even M&Bs can be enlightening AT TIMES!!!) and has been with me ever since. I finally dug it out, and here it is:

Climbing, hiking, camping–those have been an important part of my life ever since I was a boy. They’re at the heart of my work, because whatever I’ve learned by my ventures into the mountains affected my professional vision, too.

I tell myself I should be grateful for having had all those years of physical freedom. That adjusting to the damned wheelchair is just a matter of learning to explore the world in a different way.

~ From ‘A dance on the edge’

Something I am feeling very strongly about of late…

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Filed under Life, Motivation, Reading Ramana, Sourced, Uncategorized

Marriage – a life partnership

I just could not resist posting this one. The above picture is the internationally accepted symbol for marriage. The symbol was approved by the Commission of Human Rights of the United Nations in the year 2005. It shows a man kneeling at the feet of a woman, holding a credit card in one of his hands. That speaks a lot about who’s the boss in a marriage, eh? 😛

The symbol did bring a smile to my face, and I thought it would to your face too. My posting it does not necessarily mean that I agree with what it conveys. Please don’t burn down my comment box with comments like ‘You feminist!!!’ 🙂

I came across something quite accidentally on the net today, which is more like my picture of what a marriage should be like. Here it is:

Too idealistic? Maybe. But in my eyes, that’s what life partnership is supposed to be. Together – for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness or in health.

Image Source: Here

Thanks, Megha, for the info on the symbol! Initially, I didn’t believe this, but when I googled for it, I had to. 🙂 The video made my day for sure!! 🙂

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Filed under Kaamedi Kimedi, Life, Love, Motivation, Musings, Sourced

Feel-good factor

“Everyone should be a slacker now and then. He who does nothing is the one who does nothing.”

~ Nicholas Sparks in ‘The Choice’

🙂 🙂 🙂

Image source: Go here

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Filed under Everyday polambals, Kaamedi Kimedi, Motivation, Reading Ramana, Sourced

A boost of motivation

First things first, Priya’s kitchen updated after ages. 

Secondly, I am here with some motivational quotes I collected from here and there, and loved. I hope they brighten your day, just as they did mine.

~ It doesn’t matter for how long the room has been dark; for a day, or a week, or a year, or for ten thousand years. The moment you bring in a candle, darkness vanishes like it was never there. Similarly, it does not matter for how long we are stuck in a sense of our limitations. The moment you decide to break free, nothing will stop you. Create the light of your life. 

~ As we sail through life, don’t avoid storms and rough waters. Just let it pass. Just sail. Always remember, calm seas never made skilful sailors.

~ Go ahead with life as it is, with the bumps and pitfalls. However it is, give your best to every moment. Don’t spend your time waiting for the perfect situation, something which is not very likely to come. Life is not perfect; the way you live can make it perfectly wonderful.

~ Never despise life’s fiery trials. They are God’s ways of bringing out the best in you. Always remember, you are a diamond; and the more a diamond is cut, the more it sparkles.

~ When the great Italian artist Michelangelo was painting frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican, a friend asked him why he was taking such pains with an obscure figure in the corner.

“Who will ever know whether or not it’s perfect?,” asked the friend.

“I will,” replied Michelangelo.

~ Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that was given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Mother Teresa, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein.

~ I thank God for my handicaps, for through them, I have found my work, my God and myself. A person who has not gone through misfortune is really unfortunate, because he has not discovered how much he can fight, and achieve.

~ If we did all the things we were capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.

~ A diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure.

~ Do not be afraid to shine. This world needs what you have to give. Open up the areas of your being; expose them to yourself – to others. You are valuable, you are unique. You have much to give. Do not be afraid to give.

~ If there is a way, I will find one….

    If there is none, I will make one….

~ People spend a lifetime searching for happiness, looking for peace. They chase idle dreams, addictions, religions, even other people, hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them. The irony is that the only place they ever needed to search was within themselves.

~ The moment you decide to stop in life is the beginning of your end. Keep moving ahead.

~ I find the greatest thing in this world not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving. To reach the port, we must sometimes sail with the wind, sometimes against it. But we sail, and not drift, nor live at anchor.

~ There will be good days, and there will be bad days. There will be times when you want to turn around, pack it up and call it quits. Don’t give up at that time, don’t quit. It is an opportunity to prove your worth.

~ I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me; to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart, until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance, to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom, and that which comes to me as blossom goes on as fruit.

~ Do not give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.

~ If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you are always in the same place. If you don’t have a dream, you’ll never succeed. If you don’t stretch, you’ll never catch the ball.

~ Let go of the past, only then you move towards the future. Let go of the regrets, only then you move towards happiness. Let go of the presumptions, only then you move towards the truth. Let go of the problems, only then you move towards the solutions. Let go of yourself, only then you move towards divinity.

~ Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times, without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow, it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before.

~ The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realise that you control your destiny to a large extent.”

~ What you want to see in others, you must first see it inside you. What you expect from others, you must first expect it from yourself. Life is just a mirror.

~ Don’t write your name on the sand, the waves will wash it away. Don’t write your name on the sky, the wind will blow it away. Write your name in the hearts of people you come in touch with. That’s where it will stay.

~ Never explain yourself to anyone. Because the person who likes you does not need it, and the person who dislikes you won’t believe it.

~ I would like to be a flower which blossoms to full glory and dies, than being a tree that never blossoms. I would like to be a spark that burns with a brilliant blaze for a moment, than being a light which cannot show the path to anyone. I would like to be a superb meteor which carries a magnificent glow, than being a sleepy and permanent planet. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use them. I am born to live, not to exist.

~ Failure is not negative. It is a teacher. It molds, refines and polishes you so that one day your light will shine for all to see. It isn’t the failure you experience that will determine your destiny, but the next step and then the next that will tell the story of your life.

~ There may be days when you get up in the morning and things aren’t the way you had hoped they would be. That’s when you have to tell yourself that things will get better.There are times when people disappoint you and let you down. But those are the times when you remind yourself to trust your own judgments and opinions, to keep your life focused on believing in yourself.

There will be challenges to face and changes to make in your life, and it is up to you to accept them.Constantly keep yourself headed in the right direction for you. It may not be easy at times, but in those times of struggle,
you will find a stronger sense of who you are. So when the days come that are filled with frustration and unexpected responsibilities, remember to believe in yourself and all you want your life to be.
Because the challenges and changes will only help you to find the goals that you know are meant to come true for you.Keep believing in yourself.

~ In life, the answer to only one question matters. Have you chosen a course that leads to a destination which matters most to you?

~ Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be.

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On a wonderful woman

Today, I am going to rant about a couple of things I read some time back. And it is about women. I don’t know if all those Women’s Day messages and articles everywhere have got to me, but the feminist in me has demanded a post. And I am obliging her.

Before I shoot off, let me put up a disclaimer. I don’t intend to start any Mars-Venus debates here. I am just putting up something I came across and wanted to express my views on. Secondly, you might have heard of these things already. Being Late Kate as always, I heard of them now. So please bear with me. 🙂

Here goes:

~ An excerpt from Sudha Murty’s book ‘How I taught my grandmother to read’, which has stayed with me in spite of my finishing reading the book a long time ago. Reading part of it again on the Net made me want to post it:

“It was a long time ago. I was young and bright, bold and idealistic. I was in the final year of my master’s course in computer science at the Indian Institute of Science [IISc] in Bangalore, then known as the Tata Institute. Life was full of fun and joy. I did not know what helplessness or injustice meant.

It was probably the April of 1974. Bangalore was getting warm and red gulmohars were blooming at the IISc campus. I was the only girl in my postgraduate department and was staying at the ladies’ hostel. Other girls were pursuing research in different departments of science. I was looking forward to going abroad to complete a doctorate in computer science. I had been offered scholarships from universities in the US. I had not thought of taking up a job in India.

One day, while on the way to my hostel from our lecture-hall complex, I saw an advertisement on the notice board. It was a standard job-requirement notice from the famous automobile company Telco (now Telco Motors). It stated that the company required young, bright engineers, hardworking and with an excellent academic background, etc.

At the bottom was a small line: “Lady candidates need not apply.” I read it and was very upset. For the first time in my life I was up against gender discrimination.

Though I was not keen on taking up the job, I saw it as a challenge. I had done extremely well in academics, better than most of my male peers. Little did I know then that in real life academic excellence is not enough to be successful.

After reading the notice I went fuming to my room. I decided to inform the topmost person in Telco’s management about the injustice the company was perpetrating. I got a postcard and started to write, but there was a problem: I did not know who headed Telco. I thought it must be one of the Tatas. I knew JRD Tata was the head of the Tata Group; I had seen his pictures in newspapers (actually, Sumant Moolgaokar was the company’s chairman then).

I took the card, addressed it to JRD and started writing. To this day I remember clearly what I wrote. “The great Tatas have always been pioneers. They are the people who started the basic infrastructure industries in India, such as iron and steel, chemicals, textiles and locomotives. They have cared for higher education in India since 1900 and they were responsible for the establishment of the Indian Institute of Science. Fortunately, I study there. But I am surprised how a company such as Telco is discriminating on the basis of gender.”

I posted the letter and forgot about it. Less than 10 days later, I received a telegram stating that I had to appear for an interview at Telco’s Pune facility at the company’s expense. I was taken aback by the telegram. My hostel mates told me I should use the opportunity to go to Pune free of cost and buy them the famous Pune saris for cheap! I collected Rs 30 each from everyone who wanted a sari. When I look back, I feel like laughing at the reasons for my going, but back then they seemed good enough to make the trip.

It was my first visit to Pune and I immediately fell in love with the city. To this day it remains dear to me. I feel as much at home in Pune as I do in Hubli, my hometown. The place changed my life in so many ways.

As directed, I went to Telco’s Pimpri office for the interview. There were six people on the panel and I realised then that this was serious business. “This is the girl who wrote to JRD,” I heard somebody whisper as soon as I entered the room. By then I knew for sure that I would not get the job. That realisation abolished all fear from my mind, so I was rather cool while the interview was being conducted.

Even before the interview started, I reckoned the panel was biased, so I told them, rather impolitely, “I hope this is only a technical interview.” They were taken aback by my rudeness, and even today I am ashamed about my attitude.

The panel asked me technical questions and I answered all of them. Then an elderly gentleman with an affectionate voice told me, “Do you know why we said lady candidates need not apply? The reason is that we have never employed any ladies on the shop floor. This is not a co-ed college; this is a factory. When it comes to academics, you are a first ranker throughout. We appreciate that, but people like you should work in research laboratories.”

I was a young girl from small-town Hubli. My world had been a limited place. I did not know the ways of large corporate houses and their difficulties, so I answered, “But you must start somewhere, otherwise no woman will ever be able to work in your factories. You are pioneers in many aspects of life. When I look at your industries, you are far ahead of other people. If you think this way, how will any lady ever enter this so-called man’s domain?”

“Training a candidate costs a lot to our company. You are of a marriageable age. After your training, you will leave this company and shift to wherever your husband works. Is it not a waste of money for us?”

I thought for a moment and replied, “I definitely agree with what you say. I am sure when many of you married, your wives came along with you. That has been our tradition. But is it also not true that many men undergo training, and just for a few more hundred rupees, they shift their jobs? You don’t have any rule for them. You can’t stop them.”

Finally, after a long interview, I was told that I had been successful in securing a job at TELCO.

Impressed. With a capital I. This incident, as well as several others in her books show what a wonderful woman Ms. Murty is. I myself have been asked the you-are-of-marriageable-age-what-if-you-leave-the-firm-when-you-get-married? question at several job interviews. Ms. Murty’s answer is so bold, and logical too.

The book contains the entire story, while part of it has been reproduced here.

~ Another thing that I read on the Net is that some feminists wish to make the English language gender-unbiased and propagate the use of words that convey gender equality. It has been proposed that the word ‘women’ be replaced by words like ‘womyn’, ‘wom!n’, ‘wimmin’ or ‘womben’. ‘Woman’ would be spelt ‘womon’ or ‘womun’. The inclusion of the word ‘man’ in the word ‘woman’ conveys the impression that women are dependent on men. The creation of a separate word for the female community empowers it and provides females an independent identity, distinct from men.

Moreover, language used in Law and other subjects is also proposed to be changed. Statements such as “A part owner can sell his part to another part owner.” would be changed to “A part owner can sell his/her part to another part owner.”

Does making a change in the language we have been using for ages make any sense? Why not be a ‘woman’ and prove yourself to be a ‘womyn’?

Check out this link for more details.

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Filed under Motivation, Musings, Reading Ramana, Sourced