Category Archives for Pushing the boundaries

Amir Khan, We Must Be More Intolerant!

Dear Amir,

I am hurt. Not just by what you said but many more things. And don’t get alarmed by that shoe there. It’s for a meaningful purpose.

Before you make any perceptions about me, let me assure you I am not a bhakt. Not an Aaptard, not a congi. I am an Indian. A funny Indian, as crazy as collectively we all are.

 I attended RSS shakha in my childhood, when I didn’t even know it was a shakha. I used to go to a playground and an old man facilitated the games for us. He told us many stories, most of them moralistic and patriotic. I was not brainwashed. On the other hand some of my best friends are Muslims. I went to their homes, attended weddings in their families, even ate from the same khoun along with them. I refused to drink from the same glass of water because I didn’t find it hygienic. And they didn’t mind. Even today we are friends. Except one who turned out to be a bigot.

So, that’s who I am. If you noticed I addressed you only by your first name. That last name is not important to me. So in that spirit, take what I am saying seriously.

You are an inspiration to many. In this country where people demand the top post just on basis of their last names and family lineage, you mean much more to us. You are a symbol of rigorous preparation, hard work, commitment to the job that you do. You can get away with less, but you demand more from yourself. We appreciate this. We watch your movies to discover that brilliance.

Amir, that’s why such a huge outcry on your comments. It’s something that people never expected from you. You too Amir! That’s what everyone is saying. Don’t brush aside the criticism as ‘Bhakt’ outrage. It’s coming from every nook and corner.

I understand Kiran’s fear. In fact I am also afraid of morning newspapers. When you read about thousands dying every day due to terrorist attacks, a mother killing her own daughter, illegal buildings eating the greenland, little kids being abused in school buses, one must be concerned. My wife is concerned about page 3 with all those semi nude pictures of your colleagues getting in the hands of children. I feel concerned with the news of political leaders and the celebrities getting away with crimes while many innocents are suffering in the prisons. It bothers me when the news channels discusses silly comments of news mongering people for hours and nobody bothers to talk about the handful of inventors and innovators in this country.

Did it all happen only in last 2 years are so? Has things suddenly deteriorated so exponentially that someone has to leave the country? I don’t think so. And if there is an increase it is not just in India, the intolerance is increasing everywhere in the world. May be due to social media things are talked about much more. Earlier only you could talk your point of view on the TV and common men didn’t have a way to respond. But now they are coming back. These are same people who go gaga over your movies and help spread the word. Did you give it a thought, how movies suddenly started making 100 Cr mark in a few days, in last few years. It’s the same phenomena. Appreciation and retaliation are more pronounced now. While appreciation feels good, we are not used to criticism. It sure is something new. May be some people don’t understand the etiquette, they abuse and it feels bad. I understand some people have hidden agendas and misusing these new mediums. And that’s where that shoe comes in the picture.

That shoe looks new, but it’s not. It is a worn out shoe. It is polished to look like new. That’s the shoe we are wearing as a country. We are one of the oldest civilizations in the world, but with a new passion, new aspirations and looking to match the pace of the world.

The shoe is not meant to run. It is not a sports shoe. But we are in a hurry brother. We are running with the same shoe. That’s the fundamental reality. People who wore it for long, used and misused it. It started hurting so much that people pulled out the old wearers. Now, for past 2 years the shoe has a new foot in it. The shoe will take time to adjust to this new shape. This new guy wants to run fast. He is as good or bad as any other politician in this country. But I feel he is more in your league. He prepares for his role. He seems to be committed to the script.

If you ran in a leather shoe, you would know it is not comfortable. And this new guy wants to run faster than anyone else. You personally may or may not like him but as a country we chose him.

And there is one more thing. The pebbles. Even you can beat Usain Bolt if he has pebbles in his shoe! In our shoes there are so many. These pebbles have suffixes like swamis, sadhvi’s and maulana’s. They hurt. And hurt even more when you run fast. 

Amir, when you made that statement, you added one more pebble in the shoe.

If you think the intolerance is increasing, you have a right to that. But when you say you want to leave the country that hurts. Things haven’t changed that drastically. Even when everyone is crying out for boycotting your movies, they won’t. May be they won’t go to the theaters but watch it on torrent downloads. But they will watch the movie and appreciate you. This country is not that intolerant in that respect.

But we must be intolerant. Much more intolerant in many areas of life.  I suggest you should lead that intolerance! Like intolerance to -under performance, sab chalta hai attitude, and rewarding the lazy imitators (Like our copy-cat brothers in Bollywood who imitates shamelessly and call it inspiration). The known pebbles can be thrown out anytime but these are the serious ones. No one talks about them.

Let us get these pebbles out. You will see the shoe changing its form. One that is meant to run and will hurt less.

Let’s keep the faith.

With best wishes to everyone in the family,
Another crazy Indian!

 

If Time Is Money, Why Are You Not A Billionaire?

We have all heard the saying, 'Time is money?' Let me say in the beginning, It is not true.

But Japanese take this saying very seriously. In the 'Toyota Way' many kinds of wastes are recognized and waste of time is a waste taken seriously. The industrial processes are minutely inspected, understood and even a saving of 1 sec is celebrated.

While 1 sec might look small, a reduction of 1 sec. from a 10 sec. process is significant. In an industrial setting same process is repeated thousands of time and small saving of 1 sec.
accumulates to many more hours. A lot more production can happen in those hours
making more money for the organization.

Now let us apply the same sensitivity towards time in our individual life.

Our time use could be divided into 2 categories. Productive and non productive.

Productive Activities: Any activity which helps us get to our life purpose and goals will be a productive activity. The time used on these activities will be fruitful.

Unproductive Activities: A long list of activities which do not add to the output in the
direction of our life goals.

Even without getting into detailed analysis we can recognize some of the time waste in our life. Here is just a glimpse:

    • Elaborate newspaper reading in the morning. Apart from the main news and articles, we get distracted by page 3 party news and other stuff which is mostly PR and propaganda for political parties, film stars and corporate giants.
    • Gossiping in the train to work about celebrity affairs and bitching about others. Reading What's app jokes, forwarding them to friends. Playing video games.
    • Once we reach office it takes us a lot of time to warm up for the work, to get into the mood to start working.
    • Unnecessary meetings. Indecision about things also consumes a lot of unproductive time. We keep on delaying the action, get into discussions which doesn't add much to the output but a day is gone even before we realize.

How To Convert Unproductive Time Into Useful Time?

There are 2 distinctions here.

First, if we see successful people closely, their day is chockablock with productive
activities. Because they know what they want to achieve. They know what activities will help them achieve the results. So, they know what to engage in with priority, what to delegate and what should be altogether avoided.

But most people in general don't know what they want in life. Their day is like an empty box with 24 slots. They fill it with whatever comes their way.

The first step towards getting a command over our life is to know what we want to achieve. Write it down. When planning your day ask yourself, will this activity help me in achieving what I want? Fill your day with productive activities. Plan your days in advance.

Many times we do things because we can't say no to people. When they see our empty time box they try to put their plans in it. But if our box is filled with well planned out activities we can follow it with confidence.

Second distinction is being ready for unexpected. Their are situations on which we don't have any control. Like a delayed flight. Achievers don't while away time whining over it. They use it for reading important books, industry reports, or reflecting on life matters which need attention.

Here are some suggestions on increasing our productive time.

  • Mark out the unproductive time. Make it  a play. Catch yourself in unproductive activities and smile, "Hey there! Again you are drifting away!" The awareness itself will cut most of these activities from your life.
  • Write a list of things which are important for you to do. Want to learn a foreign language? Read some books? Watch thought leader videos? Get a degree? Begin to make time for these activities in your schedule.
  • Don't get overwhelmed with the enormity of your goals. Chunk down the activities and begin to do them one at a time. Like a single second matters in industrial processes, achieving these micro-goals will boost up your sense of achievement. The results will accumulate in bigger capabilities and help you achieve ambitious goals.

Like I said in the beginning, time is not money. If we put some money in a bag and open it after 2 years, it will remain the same. In fact it will get devalued in the real world.

But yes, what we do with money makes the difference. After reading this post some people will take action. They will write down a list of important things to achieve, or at least pause for a few seconds and reflect on what's important to them in life but not getting attention. They will make a mental resolve to convert that thought into reality. 

Some people will go back to Facebook timeline once again. Watch photographs of people. Comment on a wardrobe malfunction during a fashion show.

What you do next, will make a difference to your life.

The True Freedom!

Sometimes an image can express much more than what we can say. This picture has evoked many questions in my mind.

I am asking, "What's the true freedom'?

While we can take decisions independently, are there invisible shackles still there? If not, then why do we settle for the ordinary? When we have great ideas in our hearts why do we comprise and go for the mediocre approaches?

What truly govern our actions? The drive to rise, to make the most of our potential, or the survival instinct? Why do we tell the truth in close circles but not in open forums? Why do we criticize the powerful in hush hush voices but keep mum when the occasion arise?

When we know the path, why don't we walk on it and wait for others to lead us?

If we know the shackles are there why not break them? Today and now!

Together We Can Push The Boundaries!

China's Ma Li and Zhai Xiaowei are an amazing team. Their story is a story of pushing the boundaries. Breaking mental barriers and perseverance.

After I saw this video I wanted to know more about them. Here is what I found from various sources on the web:

Ma Li was a promising ballerina at the age of 19 when she lost her hand in a car accident.
Her world broke down. Boyfriend walked away. Dreams shattered.

She took life back in her own hands. The single hand. Started selling garments, fruits and those kinds of things. Then she tried calligraphy with her left hands. The provincial governemnt invited her to dance again. She went to the disabled artists' show and did well. During this journey she found a good soul named Tao who fell in love with her and helped her in her dreams of dancing again.

Zhai Xiaowei lost his leg at the age of 4. He became a cyclist and participated in special Olympics. 

Their is oft quoted story about his father telling little Zhai that his leg will be amputated.

Father: The doctor will have to amputate your leg. Are you afraid?

Zhai couldn’t comprehend what would be so different so he said: N0!.

Father: You are going to face many challenges and difficulties in life, are you afraid?

Zhai: What are challenges and difficulties? Do they taste good?

His dad: ( laughed with tears): Yes, they’re like your favorite candies. You just need to eat them one piece at a time!

Together They Pushed Boundaries::

When Ma LI proposed Zhai to dance with her, he was reluctant. He never danced in his life. but then he saw Ma Li dancing on the stage and the mesmeric experience convinced him.

Both of them with support of Tao practiced more than 12 Hrs every day. She was an experienced dancer. He was a novice. He dropped her many times. Disappointments and frustrations were many. But the determination won.

In 2 years time they were ready. Not for the disabled competitions but to compete with everyone. They were  the finalists among 7000 competitors in the 4th CCTV national dance competition. 

They won everyone's heart and a silver medal too.

Isn't that inspiring!