Its All About Winning

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A farmer once grew an award-winning corn in his farm. Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it won a blue ribbon.

One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him on his successive victory and learned something interesting about how he did it. The reporter discovered that the farmer used to share his seed corn with his country men every year. “How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering the same corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked.

“That is the secret” said the farmer. He explained, the wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbor grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbor grow good corn… simple!!

The above incident is so true with our lives also. Those who want to live meaningfully and well must help enrich the lives of others, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all.

Call it power of collectivism – Call it a principle of success – Call it a law of life. The fact is, none of us truly wins, until we all win !!!

Joy of Simple Pleasures

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Walking in a park near my home last Saturday evening I saw some children going berserk with joy. I along with the few in the park were annoyed with the commotion. When we had a closer look, it seemed they were carrying something like a prized possessions in a small bag. I thought what is it so priceless that they were celebrating. My curiosity led me near to them and I understood the color of their joy was violet. Now you will think from when did joy have colors. Ending the guesses, I am talking about Jamun fuit (I don’t remember the english name). Yes the children were collecting Jamuns. They were throwing stones on a Jamun tree and collecting the fruits. I waited there with them and left for my way home enjoying few Jamuns offered to me by the kids.

This incident reminded me of my childhood days where I used to do those tiresome activity of throwing stones at the Tamarind tree near my home. I have to really admit at the outset that I was really bad at aiming the tamarinds. I could even hear the stones laugh as to how I could have missed such a bunch of imli (tamarind). Being deprived of the essential skills I had to depend on the hardwork of my friends who were good at aiming well. And my job was to steel from their bounty and fill pockets of my shorts even more stuffed in the shirt pocket.

Some of my friends were the expert throwers and I was the leader of the “imli collectors” and in my greed to collect I forgot that stones cannot dodge. One day it so happened in my bliss of seeing the rain of imli, I was too busy collecting imli and my overwhelmed joy was rudely interrupted by that stupid stone that hit with vengeance right above my right eye. O boy it really pains. But what hurt worse was when I was bellowing in pain, my dear friends saw to it that they first emptied my pocket of my hard earned fruit of labor, before nursing to my wound. But during the attack I made sure that the ones in my fist, remains with me. Now my right eye had a very heavy black patch and it was way before Jack Sparrow made the pirate look cool.

The above incidents made me think…do we eat them all of the fruits that we collected…. And the answer is No. But the fun is in accumulating and having more than your friends. And these stupid stuffs are the memories which brings smile on our beautiful faces even today.

“Sometimes, the simple things are more fun and meaningful than all the banquets in the world …” E.A. Bucchianeri.

Life in Chennai : My Survival

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Life in Chennai was a relay race, you run from one point to the other, a constant and never ending search for a permanent comfort zone. But the reality of the city lies in its temporariness. A stranger becomes closest to you heart today and the next day he walks out as a stranger again. People come walking in and we celebrate their entries and plan a lifelong package of hopes, fulfillment and commitments. It is later that you realize the truth that what makes the city a strange place is its temporariness and the immense opportunities it gives us to move on the next day no matter how bad things turned up. It trains you to tolerate the intolerable, hate the lovable and most importantly it teaches us to survive this strangely funny thing called life.

Suddenly thrown into a pool of unknown things and people, stuck in the daily hustle bustle, I was confident enough to create a space of my own. First it was the language and then the people. A very normal and ordinary wish which sounds simple but later you discover how disappointing and disheartening that wish is. Even now I am not able to understand many people, may be I didn’t try to or they didn’t allow me to. I soon knew that we live in a temporary shell that we are going to lose the next day.I have no intention to name the characters in my life, because there are so many. I fiercely loved some, I ignored some, I hated some and there was this big crowd behind me that did not exist for me. I can cut my phases in Chennai in to various cross sections, and all of them have the same story to narrate. So the names of my characters are not important.

The city though had changed my perceptions, the way I saw this world. It really made me humbled. People here are not the show off kind. Language was a problem and many times your action song skills rescue you. But again the people were very helpful some times.Sun, Sand, and a Sunday Morning Market all will make to think am I at the right place. There are no guilt, no regrets, no heart aches. No one weeps here alone in a room. You hit a party, get drunk and dance and yes that is the pain relief.

Where is my story here, where are my characters? Trust me by the time I finish this story, the characters in my life would be again the next set of new people. So what is the point in telling about them, they are long gone by the time I write this.When Mom calls me and asks whether I am okay, I don’t know what to say. I had stopped thinking about it long back. Am I okay??? I have equal reasons to be and not to be okay. But does that even matter? What is wrong in not being okay? This city the Detroit of India has made it a free option for me, the freedom to decide whether I am happy or not. Because once you claim here that you are happy, no one can say that your happiness is a lie. All you need to get is some really good pictures and upload on social networking sites. No I am not saying how silly things are, but how simple and easy the survival is. There is a shortcut to everything.

Fun is a very subjective concept here. It is the typical fun when in the beginning of the month, with a pocket newly refilled, we hangout in a luxurious place. But it is also an ecstatic feeling when in the end of the month you collect coins along with your room mates to buy a packet of maggi noodles. This can happen only in a city where it offers you extremes and yet have no shame or guilt about it.

When I talk to more and more people, I know how my experiences are not unique and not my own. I see people who had gone through the same things. So there is nothing that I own here, not even my individual experiences which are the results of my choices and preferences. Chennai makes everyone to make the same choices, nothing is unique here, everything is a phenomenon. It conditions you to make the same mistakes like anyone else.

As I have left the city now, I have no anxieties about the things and people I left behind. I have given them memories, they have given me memories of a lifetime. They have attended to my smallest fears and insecurities. I have had my strongest and weakest moments, biggest leap and deepest fall, happiest moments and worst. And somewhere along some lane they might pause for a milli second to suspend their happening present just to remember how fiercely and unconditionally I admired them and my futile attempt to make it permanent.

Thank You Chennai!!!