Real Advice

27-year-old Australian Holly Butcher wrote a moving Facebook note that her family posted after she died of cancer last week

A bit of life advice from Hol:
It’s a strange thing to realise and accept your mortality at 26 years young. It’s just one of those things you ignore. The days tick by and you just expect they will keep on coming; Until the unexpected happens. I always imagined myself growing old, wrinkled and grey- most likely caused by the beautiful family (lots of kiddies) I planned on building with the love of my life. I want that so bad it hurts. That’s the thing about life; It is fragile, precious and unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right.

I’m 27 now. I don’t want to go. I love my life. I am happy.. I owe that to my loved ones. But the control is out of my hands. I haven’t started this ‘note before I die’ so that death is feared – I like the fact that we are mostly ignorant to it’s inevitability.. Except when I want to talk about it and it is treated like a ‘taboo’ topic that will never happen to any of us.. That’s been a bit tough. I just want people to stop worrying so much about the small, meaningless stresses in life and try to remember that we all have the same fate after it all so do what you can to make your time feel worthy and great, minus the bullshit. I have dropped lots of my thoughts below as I have had a lot of time to ponder life these last few months. Of course it’s the middle of the night when these random things pop in my head most!

Those times you are whinging about ridiculous things (something I have noticed so much these past few months), just think about someone who is really facing a problem. Be grateful for your minor issue and get over it. It’s okay to acknowledge that something is annoying but try not to carry on about it and negatively effect other people’s days. Once you do that, get out there and take a freaking big breath of that fresh Aussie air deep in your lungs, look at how blue the sky is and how green the trees are; It is so beautiful. Think how lucky you are to be able to do just that – breathe.

You might have got caught in bad traffic today, or had a bad sleep because your beautiful babies kept you awake, or your hairdresser cut your hair too short. Your new fake nails might have got a chip, your boobs are too small, or you have cellulite on your arse and your belly is wobbling. Let all that shit go.. I swear you will not be thinking of those things when it is your turn to go. It is all SO insignificant when you look at life as a whole. I’m watching my body waste away right before my eyes with nothing I can do about it and all I wish for now is that I could have just one more Birthday or Christmas with my family, or just one more day with my partner and dog. Just one more. I hear people complaining about how terrible work is or about how hard it is to exercise – Be grateful you are physically able to. Work and exercise may seem like such trivial things … until your body doesn’t allow you to do either of them.
I tried to live a healthy life, in fact, that was probably my major passion. Appreciate your good health and functioning body- even if it isn’t your ideal size. Look after it and embrace how amazing it is. Move it and nourish it with fresh food. Don’t obsess over it. Remember there are more aspects to good health than the physical body.. work just as hard on finding your mental, emotional and spiritual happiness too. That way you might realise just how insignificant and unimportant having this stupidly portrayed perfect social media body really is.. While on this topic, delete any account that pops up on your news feeds that gives you any sense of feeling shit about yourself. Friend or not.. Be ruthless for your own well-being.

Be grateful for each day you don’t have pain and even the days where you are unwell with man flu, a sore back or a sprained ankle, accept it is shit but be thankful it isn’t life threatening and will go away.
Whinge less, people! .. And help each other more. Give, give, give. It is true that you gain more happiness doing things for others than doing them for yourself. I wish I did this more. Since I have been sick, I have met the most incredibly giving and kind people and been the receiver of the most thoughtful and loving words and support from my family, friends and strangers; More than I could I ever give in return. I will never forget this and will be forever grateful to all of these people. It is a weird thing having money to spend at the end.. when you’re dying. It’s not a time you go out and buy material things that you usually would, like a new dress. It makes you think how silly it is that we think it is worth spending so much money on new clothes and ‘things’ in our lives. Buy your friend something kind instead of another dress, beauty product or jewellery for that next wedding. 1. No-one cares if you wear the same thing twice 2. It feels good. Take them out for a meal, or better yet, cook them a meal. Shout their coffee. Give/ buy them a plant, a massage or a candle and tell them you love them when you give it to them.

Value other people’s time. Don’t keep them waiting because you are shit at being on time. Get ready earlier if you are one of those people and appreciate that your friends want to share their time with you, not sit by themselves, waiting on a mate. You will gain respect too! Amen sister.
This year, our family agreed to do no presents and despite the tree looking rather sad and empty (I nearly cracked Christmas Eve!), it was so nice because people didn’t have the pressure of shopping and the effort went into writing a nice card for each other. Plus imagine my family trying to buy me a present knowing they would probably end up with it themselves.. strange! It might seem lame but those cards mean more to me than any impulse purchase could. Mind you, it was also easier to do in our house because we had no little kiddies there. Anyway, moral of the story- presents are not needed for a meaningful Christmas. Moving on.

Use your money on experiences.. Or at least don’t miss out on experiences because you spent all your money on material shit. Put in the effort to do that day trip to the beach you keep putting off. Dip your feet in the water and dig your toes in the sand. Wet your face with salt water. Get amongst nature. Try just enjoying and being in moments rather than capturing them through the screen of your phone. Life isn’t meant to be lived through a screen nor is it about getting the perfect photo.. enjoy the bloody moment, people! Stop trying to capture it for everyone else. Random rhetorical question. Are those several hours you spend doing your hair and make up each day or to go out for one night really worth it? I’ve never understood this about females 🤔. Get up early sometimes and listen to the birds while you watch the beautiful colours the sun makes as it rises. Listen to music.. really listen. Music is therapy. Old is best. Cuddle your dog. Far out, I will miss that. Talk to your friends. Put down your phone. Are they doing okay? Travel if it’s your desire, don’t if it’s not. Work to live, don’t live to work. Seriously, do what makes your heart feel happy. Eat the cake. Zero guilt. Say no to things you really don’t want to do. Don’t feel pressured to do what other people might think is a fulfilling life.. you might want a mediocre life and that is so okay. Tell your loved ones you love them every time you get the chance and love them with everything you have. Also, remember if something is making you miserable, you do have the power to change it – in work or love or whatever it may be. Have the guts to change. You don’t know how much time you’ve got on this earth so don’t waste it being miserable. I know that is said all the time but it couldn’t be more true.

Anyway, that’s just this one young gals life advice. Take it or leave it, I don’t mind! Oh and one last thing, if you can, do a good deed for humanity (and myself) and start regularly donating blood. It will make you feel good with the added bonus of saving lives. I feel like it is something that is so overlooked considering every donation can save 3 lives! That is a massive impact each person can have and the process really is so simple. Blood donation (more bags than I could keep up with counting) helped keep me alive for an extra year – a year I will be forever grateful that I got to spend it here on Earth with my family, friends and dog. A year I had some of the greatest times of my life.
..’Til we meet again.
Hol

Don’t die Young

So, the other day I was talking to a group of friends and someone mentioned about the drab Monday and how we all are eagerly waiting for Friday – the next weekend and that got me thinking. So, I spoke about it to few more and well many people seem to drag themselves through the week, only in the hope of a great weekend. So, if we are actually enjoying the weekend alone and paying dearly for it through the week, isn’t it counter productive. Why do people ask what did you do over the weekend as if it is a sin to do the same on weekdays. Think about it – 2 days gain for 5 days pain :: or a staggering 71% for a mere 29%. If we continue with this thinking, the cycle probably starts by the time we are in school (as early as 2 now a days) and continues to the time we retire (say 60) then we would have spent a massive 42 years studying and working for enjoying less than 18 years worth of life. In other workds we are dying in our teens – dying very young.

As self study books go, probably you have heard of the “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life“. But c’mon how many of us truly love our work that we look forward to a Monday morning – that too driving through insane traffic to get there. ‘What to do’, you say, what other option. Well, if you learn to look forward and enjoy every moment in life, then you won’t be too keen on the last few days of a week. Imagine getting up fresh and looking forward to a nice tea or enjoying a hot shower. Think about the awesome audio book that is waiting for you as you step into your car. How about the curiosity of and reading about the next technological marvel. Listening to Arjith’s melodies on a rainy day. The tea time banter with friends – a good lunch. How about geting lost in work – hmmm possible for some. Gossiping with your soulmate. Having a chat with your child after he/she is back from school. Movie mid-week – why not? A captivating book as you start the day – you know where. Penning your thoughts on a blog and digging up posts from several years back the same day/month. Arranging photos in google, or printing them the old way and arranging them on a bound album like the good old days. Sending your friends one of the pics from college/school time. With my dumb brain if I could rake up these, I am pretty sure you can pull many more. If you are the spiritual kind, then they say that even the act of breathing can be exciting – not there – so no idea about it.

All said and done, it all boils down to this – don’t plan and postpone your happiness to weekends – your life is much more than just a weekend blockbuster 🙂

படித்ததில் பிடித்தது

எழுபத்தைந்து வயதில்…..
ஆதரவு இன்றி நிக்குது மனசு…

நாற்பதைந்து வருடம் –
அவளை கொண்டாடி இருக்கலாம்….
என்  கோபத்தை தள்ளுபடி செய்து
அவளை கொண்டாடி இருக்கலாம்….

அவள் சமையலை நிறைய
பாராட்டி இருக்கலாம்..
ஒரு நாள் நான் சமையல் செய்து
அவளுக்கு ஊட்டி இருக்கலாம்..

ஒரு நாள் ஏனும் அவளுக்கு பதில் –
நான் அவள் துணியையும் சேர்த்து
துவைத்து இருக்கலாம்..

ஒரு நாள் ஏனும் TV யையும்,
Mobil லையும் அனைத்து விட்டு,
அவளை கொஞ்சி இருக்கலாம்..

ஒரு நாள் ஏனும் வேலை தளத்தின்
கோபத்தையும் எரிச்சலையும் அங்கேயே
விட்டு விட்டு வந்து இருக்கலாம்…

ஒரு நாள் ஏனும் –
என்  விடுமுறை நாட்களில் –
அவளை சினிமாக்கு அழைத்து சென்று இருக்கலாம்..

ஊர் ஊராய் சுற்றி
உட்சாகம் அடைந்து இருக்கலாம்…
அவள் விரும்பி கேக்காத போதும் –
ஒரு saree வாங்கி கொடுத்து இருக்கலாம்

ஒரு மாசம் ஏனும் –
என் முழு சம்பள பணத்தை
அவளிடமே கொடுத்து இருக்கலாம்….

ஒரு நாள் ஏனும்
காலையில் அலாரத்தை
கொஞ்சம் அனைத்து வைத்து
அவளை தூங்க விட்டு இருக்கலாம்…

நீ சாப்பிட்டியா
என்று கேட்டு இருக்கலாம்…
நீயும் வா
என்னுடன் வந்து சாப்பிடு
என்று சொல்லி இருக்கலாம்…

அவள்  உடல் நலத்தை
விசாரித்து இருக்கலாம்…
அவள் தன்னை கவனிப்பதை விடுத்து
நம் பிள்ளைகளை கவனிப்பதை
நான் கொஞ்சம் –
அவளை கவனித்து இருக்கலாம்..

அவள் நோயில் விழுந்த போது
நான் கடன் பட்டேனும்
காப்பாற்றி இருக்கலாம்…

என்  தாயே
தாரமே –

நீ
என்னுடன் இருந்த போது
நான் கம்பிரமாய் வாழ்ந்தேன்…

நீ
என்னை விட்டு போனதும்
நான் பலமுறை கால் தடுக்கி
விழுகிறேன்…

என்னை
தூக்கி விடவும்
மூத்தவனுக்கு நேரம் இல்லை…
தேனீர் ஏனும்
போட்டுதர இளையவனுக்கும்

சினம் வருது…
என்
மனைவியே உன்னை
நான் கொண்டாடி இருக்க
வேண்டும் …
நான்
தவறு இழைத்ததுக்கு
மன்னித்து விடு…

ஒரு முழ பூ வேனும்
வாங்கி தராதவன்
நான்…

மூச்சு இழந்த – உன்
புகைப்படத்துக்கு தினம் தினம்
மாலை இட்டு மன்னிப்பு
கேட்கிறேன்..

மனைவியே
மன்னித்து விடு..
மீண்டும்
ஒரு பிறப்பு இருக்குமே என்றால்
நீயே மனைவியாய் வந்து விடு

நான் உன்னைக் கொண்டாட வேண்டும்..

எழுபத்தைந்து வயதில்…..
இந்த நிலை வராமலிருக்க….
மனைவியை
நேசியுங்கள்…

வாழ்க்கை வசந்தமாகும்….

படித்ததில் பிடித்தது

1. உங்கள் வாழ்க்கையில் நீங்கள் சந்திக்கும் ஒவ்வொரு நபரும் உங்களுக்கு ஏதோ ஒன்றை சொல்லி தருகின்றார். எனவே நீங்கள் சந்திக்கும் எல்லோரிடமும் கருணையுடன் இருங்கள்.

2. உங்களுக்கு எந்த விஷயத்தில் திறமை உள்ளதோ அதிலேயே கவனத்தையும், நேரத்தையும் அதிகம் செலுத்துங்கள். மற்ற விஷயங்களுக்காக அதிக நேரம் செலவழிக்காதீர்கள்.

3. அடிக்கடி கவலை படாதீர்கள். தேவை எனில் கவலை படுவதற்கென ஒவ்வொரு நாளும் மாலை நேரம் முப்பது நிமிடம் ஒதுக்குங்கள். அந்த நேரம் அனைத்து கவலையும் குறித்து சிந்தியுங்கள்.

4. அதிகாலையில் எழ பழகுங்கள். வாழ்வில் வென்ற பலரும் அதிகாலையில் எழுபவர்களே.

5. தினமும் நிறைய சிரிக்க பழகுங்கள். அது நல்ல ஆரோக்கியத்தையும் நண்பர்களையும் பெற்று தரும்.

6. நிறைய நல்ல புத்தகம் படியுங்கள். எங்கு சென்றாலும், பிரயாணத்தின் போதும் ஒரு புத்தகத்துடன் செல்லுங்கள். காத்திருக்கும் நேரத்தில் வாசியுங்கள்.

7. உங்கள் பிரச்சனைகளை ஒரு தாளில் பட்டியலிடுங்கள். இவ்வாறு பட்டியலிடும்போதே உங்கள் மன பாரம் கணிசமாக குறையும். அதற்கான தீர்வு இதன் மூலம் கிடைக்கவும் வாய்ப்பு உண்டு.

8. உங்கள் குழந்தைகளை உங்களுக்கு கிடைத்த மிக சிறந்த பரிசாக ( Gift ) நினையுங்கள். அவர்களுக்கு நீங்கள் தர கூடிய சிறந்த பரிசு அவர்களுடன் நீங்கள் செலவிடும் நேரமே.

9. தனக்கு வேண்டியதை கேட்பவன் சில நிமிடங்கள் முட்டாளாய் தெரிவான். தனக்கு வேண்டியதை கேட்காதவன் வாழ் நாள் முழுவதும் முட்டாளாய் இருக்க நேரிடும்.

10. எந்த ஒரு புது பழக்கமும் உங்களுக்குள் முழுதும் உள் வாங்கி, அது உங்கள் வாடிக்கையாக மாற 21 நாட்களாவது ஆகும். ஆகவே தேவையான விஷயங்களை திரும்ப திரும்ப செய்யுங்கள்.

11. தினமும் நல்ல இசையை கேளுங்கள். துள்ளலான நம்பிக்கை தரும் இசை, புன்னகையையும் உற்சாகத்தையும் தரும்.

12. புது மனிதர்களிடமும் தயங்காது பேசுங்கள். அவர்களிடமிருந்து கூட உங்களை ஒத்த சிந்தனையும், நல்ல நட்பும் கிடைக்கலாம்.

13. பணம் உள்ளவர்கள் பணக்காரர்கள் அல்ல. மூன்று சிறந்த நண்பர்களாவது கொண்டவனே பணக்காரன்.

14. எதிலும் தனித்துவமாக இருங்கள். பிறர் செய்வதையே வித்தியாசமாக, நேர்த்தியாக செய்யுங்கள்.

15. நீங்கள் படிக்க துவங்கும் எல்லா புத்தகமும் முழுவதுமாய் படித்து முடிக்க வேண்டியவை அல்ல. முதல் அரை மணியில் உங்களை கவரா விட்டால் அதனை மேலும் படித்து நேரத்தை வீணாக்காதீர்கள்.

16. உங்கள் தொலை/கை பேசி உங்கள் வசதிக்காக தான். அது அடிக்கும் ஒவ்வொரு முறையும் நீங்கள் எடுத்து பேச வேண்டும் என்பதில்லை. முக்கியமான வேளைகளில் நடுவே இருக்கும் போது தொலை பேசி மணி அடித்தாலும் எடுத்து பேசாதீர்கள்.

17. உங்கள் குடும்பத்தின் முக்கிய நிகழ்வுகளை அவசியம் புகைப்படம் எடுங்கள். பிற்காலத்தில் அந்த இனிய நாட்களுக்கு நீங்கள் சென்று வர அவை உதவும்.

18. அலுவலகம் முடிந்து கிளம்பும் போது சில நிமிடங்கள் வீட்டிற்கு சென்றதும் மனைவி/ குழந்தைக்கு என்ன செய்ய வேண்டுமென யோசியுங்கள்.

19. நீங்கள் எவ்வளவு வெற்றி அடைந்தாலும் எளிமையான (humble) மனிதராயிருங்கள். வெற்றிகரமான பல மனிதர்கள் எளிமையானவர்களே!

The Journey called Life

What is the most entertaining and enthralling part of a roller coaster ride. Well it is the ride itself. Not the destination (which is anyway the same place you started). Ask Columbus why he undertook four risky voyages where he could have died or what is somebody gave him an option of revealing the result of those voyages before he started. He would have laughed at you and said that what mattered were the voyages themselves, not anything before or after that. Same with mountaineers. After they reach a summit they start looking for the next peak to scale. They never feel satisfied with the current achievement.

See a tense cricket match, chasing with a required run rate of more than 10 (like CSKs). Once the match is won what you get is only relief and not the excitement or tense happiness when you journeyed to reach the target.Life is life that. People who have achieved their targets are boring people bragging about what they have done. Instead look at people who are always on a journey. They are intense, active and full of vigor. Arise, Awake and Stop not till your goal is reached and WHEN your goal is reached make a new goal and again Arise and Awake and Stop not till that is also reached and you continue so on and so forth.I have seen numerous people who are fed up with their fight, fight to achieve success in life, fight to finish their studies, fight to settle in life (whatever that means). But they need to realize that it is the fight that keeps them going, that gives a purpose in life and a goal. Once the fight is over, there is nothing else to do. They say I will be happy after I do this. After I settle down in life, I will be happy. But it is the journey that you take to achieve that matters. Once you settle down, don’t settle, become unsettled and start again.

When I hit the highways to go to Pondicherry from Bangalore I get super excited. Even after so many years of driving up and down, I still feel like a child when I start the engine of the car. But once I reach the destination, there is only a relief of having reached safely, no huge burst of happiness. We need to learn to keep our life’s journey like that. Always on, doing something new, learning something different, fighting for a cause,keeping ourselves updated, providing a surprise help to someone in need, whatever it takes but the journey should be on because as some great person has once said “Satisfaction is only in efforts and not in attainment. Hence efforts are success and efforts are victory”

So on and on, let us make new journeys and new destinations till our final destination beckons…

The Society

You must have heard people say this at least a hundred times. What will society say? People are talking very bad about you. People are questioning your behavior. How will I ever show my face now?

In bible there is a story. There was a prostitute and the people (society) felt that she should be stoned to death. So they gathered with stones in hand. The girl ran to Jesus for help. The only thing Jesus said was “Anyone who had not committed any sin can throw the first stone on her”. No one dared. The so called society is filled with hypocrites, barbarians, thieves and perverts who don’t have any rights to point fingers at you. In fact they speak about you to pull you down to their levels. It helps their ego to see a good soul being tarnished so that they can say – “Ha, (s)he too is like us”. Simple proof of things – People freely talk shit about others without realizing that they themselves are a pile load of shit.

You probably have heard of this donkey story. A man and his son had to travel with their donkey from one town to another. The donkey being old and tired, they all walked. On their way were four people gossiping about something. The moment they saw this travelling party, they commented “Why on earth would someone have a donkey and not ride on it. How foolish can that be”. So the man and his son decided that it makes sense to ride on the donkey but since it was old and tired only one of them will ride it and the other walk beside. Since the man was himself old he rode the donkey and the son walked by his side. However they came across another set of 4 people in a tea stall, again discussing some unrelated stuff. They saw the man riding the donkey and said with a stern face. “What a cruel man; He rides happily while his poor son has to walk”. So the man decided to put his son on the donkey and walk beside. In the next stop, a further four people hissed among themselves but loud enough for the travelers to hear. They said “The poor old man had to walk in this age, while his young and arrogant son is riding”. The man thought for a while and decided that they both ride. However they had gone only a few hundred meters when they met the fourth set of four people who said, “How can human beings be so cruel to animals. The poor donkey is both old and tired and these two goons are sitting on top of it” and they were right too. So the man decided to heed to their words too. He tied the donkey front and hind legs with a rope and between him and his son they carried it. They felt happy that they finally managed to shut up everybody. However when they came to flooding river and had to cross it on a bridge, the donkey too afraid, started shaking, stumbled out of their hands, fell into the river and died.

Moral of the Story (English) – When you start paying attention to what people gossip about you, you will end up with your ass in trouble

Moral of the Story (Hindi) – कुछ तो लोग कहेंगे, लोगों का काम हैं कहना छोडो, बेकार की बातो में , कही बीत ना जाए रैना

Moral of the Story (Tamil) – நாலு பேர் நாலு விதமாதான் பேசுவாங்க. அதபத்தி யோசிச்சா நம்ம நாள் தான் வீனா போகும்.

The Age of Internet Jealousy

Facebook (verb) is a nice fun activity. It helps to in one place get updates about our friends and family, what they are up to. It also allows us to provide a window for the world to see how we are doing, where we have been and what we have done of late. Whatever technology brings to the table, people will always remain the same. So if earlier we had to brag about the latest saree or gadjet in a family social meet, we do that now much faster and more often using facebook. We want the world to see and fume inside the great life that we are living. So it is not uncommon to find photos of us on a family trip to Dubai or flaunting the latest costly gift that our spouse gave us. Nothing wrong with that, basically we are updating that we have been on a trip. What could be wrong with that? The intention. That is what is wrong with it. The best category of photos and updates goes to personal relationships. A personal close photograph becomes a public object to kindle jealousy among the not-so-close people or worse still people who are yet to find a meaningful relationship. Worse yet are the updates like – see my husband cooks food for me. I see the updates frequency is the most and the content exotic among people living outside India. Funny still people who comment on them are also those who fall in the same category. Let us make some straightforward interpretations of these updates. They would be something like
“See what you are missing”
“I am so happy with my husband/wife”
“See where I am now. We were once so similar and in the same position”
“What a pathetic life you have got”
“Make your life meaningful. Go out and enjoy like me”
“See how beautiful my wife is”

One thing is, weak minded people do fall for this trap and begin feeling bad, exactly as what the (im)poster wanted to happen. So brace up. Our life is not a junk pile and we have much better things to do than make a feature film of our life. Still facebook is a nice entertainment for about 5-10 minutes a day.

Context

Context – What is it. It is everything. It is life. It is what makes you you and me me.
For computer science graduates context generally refers to all the details that are part of a running process. It is not very different in life too. A context is one that is build on our experience, perspective and outlook of life. A simple example. What is luxury? For a person who is in battlefield, a few moments of sleep is luxury.Getting alive home and meeting his wife and kids is a luxury. For a person who has been riding a bicycle all his life, a two wheeler is a luxury and the two wheeler guy a car. For the car guy it is truck – no you silly – a bigger better car. It goes on but you get the point. Right? When we complain about life, we miss the point. All it takes is to alter our context and look at the world from someone’s else’s context.

We have a wonderful caterer for lunch @ our company and he has excelled in not letting us get bored of his food. However on some off days the food is not inspiring and we do complain, atleast among ourselves. Who would eat this junk? Many in this wide world would. Have a look at the picture of somalian kids and you would swear to not waste food after that. Imagine in the shoes of people who were left hungry and with the only choice of eating each other. The only thing that differs is the context.

We do complain that life has not been fair to us. If you are reading this, then you have been fortunate enough to be educated, understand computers, wealthy enought to have access to one and still you complain. Research says that people who have had life threatening experiences behave life yogis after that. Because they have understood and experienced a context which no one else has. They know that the momemnt we realize we are a temporary variable in this universal code and will be purged out of the stack when the time comes, we take life much more positively. Take war for example. The society that has seen war sees our normal everyday boring life as a gift. Same with people diagonized with say Cancer. They would feel that we are wasting a precious gift called life.

Context exists in personal relationships too. My wife believes that there could be no one else taking care of his wife as I do. Her sample data consists of pigs dressed as men and of men who behave as feudal lords of yester-years. Men who would prove their manliness by controlling their wives and treating them as bought slaves. So even a normal male human being seems like an impossible existense to her. Similarly when couples fight they often have totally different context bases. Same with a parents and their kid. More than half the problems can be solved the moment one switches context and looks at it from the other side.

Choices – boon or bane

In the good old days, people that I knew and grew up with did not have many choices in life. They just took what life gave them. When it came to buying a TV, my father had just one choice and later when he upgraded that TV after 15 years, he still did not have to fret about it. His first 2 wheeler was a choice between TVS 50 and Bajaj Chetak. I know he loved Chetak, his heart was on it but his mind vary of budget said TVS and he went with it. Not just things, when it came to schools, my home town in Pondicherry had one best school for boys and one for girls (private schools), no confusion whatsoever. For my father Music meant Ilayaraja and movies meant Visu. There is a saying “If you don’t choose then you have to be content with what life chooses for you” – and content they all were. I never heard anyone complain about their life since they often imagined it to be a water flowing in a pipe – only one path to take.

Fast forward 30 years and here we are filled, and in most cases overloaded with choices. The pipe has become a river with so many paths to take which could end up in a gutter or the amazing sea, the field or a chemical factory. Even as simple as choosing a cellphone, email client or social networking site definitely gives you more than one option. Don’t even get me started on electronics. You have to dig deep to find out exactly what you want and even when you get there you will have to sort out between 5 to 10 lookalike products.

Forget things, how has life opened up with choices. Women who earlier used to be born for the post of house-wives have evolved remarkably. They have the choice of going to work, the profession they wanted, the passion they are bound by. Girls tend to choose who their life partner is which though not unheard of, was something rare. Isn’t choice an wonderful thing. For me it definitely is. I was always ready to choose and stood by my choices.

But sometimes choice does become a bane from boon. One of my neighbors says that choices make his decision making tedious and cumbersome. May be there is a point. I see youngsters who have multiple choices fearing to take a decision, with their career or with their life. It puts them in dilemma, but why. The risk of choosing the wrong option and having to live with that knowledge cripples them. Let us assume boy X has to choose his life partner between Girl A and Girl B. He seems to like them equally well and they seem to equally reciprocate it. He is sure of going ahead with any of them and making it for lifetime. Now that is some confusion to deal with and that puts him in a soup. The thought that if he lets go of one of them only to realize that it was a blunder puts him in a no-action state which eventually robs him of both the girls.

So what is the solution you ask. It is simple. Life is not a balance sheet and treating anything and everything as a means and end to increase your net worth will not take you anywhere. When it comes to personal life and relationships, Go with your heart … it rarely fails you. And more importantly stick with your choice and put your might behind the person you choose. Don’t ever make personal relationship decisions based on materialistic choices. You will realize sooner than latter that a truly loving heart can never be bought.

When it comes to materialistic things, heed to your mind as well and explore things. You will be surprised to see how many people have gone through the same dilemma and have a story to tell you.

Choices are good. They make you independent and enable you to take control of your life. They help you lead your life. your way. Choices are what makes us different from the 32-bit programmed computer on which you are reading this. Go, Choose…

There ain’t a term as ‘Perfect Spouse’

If you are still searching for Mr.Perfect or Miss.Perfect you better stop now, because there is no such thing. We have to accept the fact that each has his/her own imperfections and the fact is that is what makes us unique. I have heard people remarking that a guy is perfect and anyone marrying him is one lucky girl. May not be. Same goes for the girls as well. I remember a conversation we once had among friends in college. Someone was suggesting how great it would be if Aishwarya Rai were to marry one of us. It would be great for a day or two, may be month at max but then how does one get along with his life, with his dreams if Aishwarya were to be by his side with her own dreams of acting, moving to hollywood, etc. It might not work out for everyone. At least I said that ‘What do we have in common that we could make a life out of it’. Though an astronomical improbability it made for an exciting discussion and there was a friend of mine who said he would still marry her even if she were to have both her limbs cut off. Wow…

Moving ahead, the whole point was it would not suffice even for the greatest beauty to be the first automatic choice on anyone’s list in marital engagement. So then who would make a perfect fit. Well, one size does not fit all. To each his own. In short ‘Compatibility’ is the keyword. You might think that a girl is just plain stupid, but to someone else she might be the most brilliant creature that ever walked this planet. Similarly one who you might think is an out-of-this-world beauty might not even make to someone else’s list. So even if the world’s most handsome man marries the world’s glamarous girl it might not be a perfect match unless they are compatible, unless they entertain the same values in their life. Same goes for the inteligent pairings. On the other hand compatible couples have a easy going with their marriage and it takes very little effort from them to keep it entertaining, day in and day out much to everyone else’s surprise.

I hate people who when you give them a marriage album start comparing the pair physically, stating the girl is little short for the boy or so. It is not completely irrelevant as I have a personal opinion that too much of a disparity in anything between couples calls for trouble (be it money, status or beauty) unless they are really bound together. But then it does not matter if the boy is a foot taller or the girl is couple of inches broader. All that matter is they have common values.

But compatibility is not superficious. Just because you like ‘Kamal Hassan’ and she likes ‘Rajni’ you need not call it quits. Your favorite colors might be different and so may be the food you both like. Still the underlying values, dreams and the outlook of life is what determines your compatibility. In fact it is easy to find that someone is just not right for you in minutes but it takes months to know that he/she is the one. That is why I always say a big No-No to the traditional arranged marriages. Of course people have started on a new concept (recently read an article on a book about arranged marriages), where it says that you can have a few meetings just to know each other (not the ones where the boy is from US on a short vacation and in pressure to get maried before he leaves back and so has just a day to speak to the girl and the boy/girl are at their acting best to please each other). You need some quality time to spend lavishly to get to know about someone truly. It is good if both approach it with open mind wanting to know how the other person would fit in their life. No one would have any doubts about their friends. So it might take the same time as it takes to make a good friend (and that depends and varies from person to person).

Remember it is hard to break once you are tied for life. And in the end when you do get married please accept your spouse as is. It is not easy to change someone and is doing so you might erase the individuality of the person. Everyone is different and so stop comparing with others who you meet in life, because you might not know this real ‘other’.

To end I will quote a passage from an email forward that has been already posted in this blog “I had arrived home late…as usual…and decided we would have breakfast food for dinner. I found the ingredients I needed, and quickly began to cook eggs, turkey sausage, and buttered toast. Thinking I had things under control, I glanced through the mail for the day. It was only a few minutes later that I remembered that I had forgotten to take the toast out of the oven! Now, had it been any other day — and had we had more than two pieces of bread in the entire house — I would have started all over. But it had been one of those days and I had just used up the last two pieces of bread. So burnt toast it was! As I set the plate down in front of Jack, I waited for a comment about the toast. But all I got was a “Thank you!” I watched as he ate bite by bite, all the time waiting for some comment about the toast. But instead, all Jack said was, “Babe, this is great. Thanks for cooking tonight. I know you had a hard day.” As I took a bite of my charred toast that night, I quietly thanked God for giving me a marriage where burnt toast wasn’t a deal-breaker!”

Embrace imperfection and live happy.