Sunday, August 30, 2020

कतरनें: विश्वास

तुमने मुझ पर हमेशा शक किया। कभी विश्वास नहीं किया मुझ पर।

क्या तुम विश्वास के योग्य थे? 

नहीं, पर तुम ये बात नजरंदाज भी तो कर सकती थीं । रिश्ते में, विश्वास का छलावा भी तो हो सकता है।

Thursday, August 27, 2020

How to deal with an abuser without feeling fear or negativity?

How to deal with an abuser without feeling fear or negativity?

This was the question I was dealing with in the morning meditation. Here is the answer:

You deal with an abuser the same way that we deal with Ravana – through a Lakshman Rekha. On either side of the line, the exchange can be quite cordial. It only becomes negative when the abuser tries to cross the line into your domain, or forces you to cross your comfort zone and make yourself vulnerable to his/her abuse.
Image from the internet. Credits not mentioned. 

Suppose someone is emotionally unavailable but makes demands on your time as and when they need it. Now, you draw a Lakshman Rekha that eliminates expectations from them. Their emotional availability is no longer needed. Can you still give them love? The same way that you would pet a tree in your house – with love, but without obligation. The exchange is no longer negative or worrisome to you. They are, of course, free to accept or reject your love when presented this way. The beauty of universal love is that it is completely transferable. 

Now, suppose, there is an instance where they are emotionally available. You have created a data point that has their availability (let’s say, a family function, or a lunch with your colleagues). The next time this situation presents itself, you expect them to be there, because the data point says so. And that is what separates the abuser from the normal human being. The abuser refuses to be there, just because you expect them to be and they have the power to refuse. Their reward is your squirming or pain. That is how abuse functions. How do you protect yourself? By remembering the line. Visualise them, not as intimate partner or family member, but as the tree in the yard that deserves a hug, but cannot expect or enforce it. The important metric in the situation is your positivity. If you feel resentment or feel like an empty bucket pouring to meet someone else’s expectation, stop. You cannot stroke a tree without feeling love for it.  

Now, lets take the case of an abuser who is always guilt-tripping or criticising. You create a Lakshman Rekha where their opinion is outside the line. It no longer matters. Your external validation comes from people who are fair and objective. They praise and criticise in equal measure, but more importantly, based on their understanding and opinion of the world, not based on their power, love, or hate towards you.
Once again, a data point is created where you are praised once for something – it could be a dress, an event, a simple gesture. Next time you do that thing, you would rely on the data point. But the person guilt trips or criticises, not based on any objective idea, but out of sheer habit. How do you protect yourself? By remembering that their happiness comes from your pain and isolating the outlier data points.

Next, an abuser who is, unfortunately, physically or sexually abusive. In this case, the line needs to be drawn thick and clear. There is no excuse, no adequate provocation, for physical or sexual abuse. Draw that line and remember Sita every time you are tempted to cross it.  

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Logic Puzzle based on phonetics

Ben, Gen, and Len,
Had a pretty pen
Which had 3 hen:
Rug, Lug, and Tug.
Pink, White, and Blue,
Can you tell who’s who(se)?

Rug is not white
Tug’s owner is bright.
Lug is Blue
L starts the owner’s name too.
Gen’s pet is pink.
It’s solved, don’t you think?

Note: In this puzzle, 3 kids – Ben, Gen, and Len, have a pet hen each. The hens are also of different colour. Can you figure out the colour and owner of each hen using this rhyme above?

Monday, August 17, 2020

Once a decade, ready to be conned

The year was 1998 or thereabouts. The dot com boom was at its peak. I was among the few nonbelievers.

A few years later, the dot com bust happened. Validation? I am not sure. Because by 2008, the world believed that just because someone in a pinstripe suit was selling it, bad loans were somehow an investible asset.

Validation? I am not sure. Because 10 years later, we truly believe that companies that don't have a profitable business model deserve to open to record IPOs. That is public money, by the way.

Why does this work? Why does it work so often? And so consistently?

Please do share your thoughts.

If we knew the secret recipe of why that public confidence comes to these businesses, and applied that to real businesses that need public confidence, imagine what that would do.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Honi - 2 kshanikayein

दुनिया में
बहुत सारे गलत काम
हो जाते हैं.
इसलिए नहीं
कि वे होने चाहिए
बल्कि इसलिए
कि वे
हो सकते हैं.
किये जा सकते हैं.
होनी होती नहीं.
की जा सकती है.


अटल भले ही हो
पर उसके कार्यकर्ता
नामांकित नहीं
स्वयंसेवक होते हैं

*होनी - Destiny (esp. related to misfortune) is called होनी in some parts of Punjab and Hindi speaking belt. e.g., होनी को कौन टाल सकता है.

*कार्यकर्ता  workers, the ones who bring something to fruition
नामांकित nominated , someone who has been designated to do something.
स्वयंसेवक volunteers, people who want to do something. 

What if we could walk on water

ठुमक ठुमक नहीं, 
छपक-छपाक सी होती तब 
पैरों की चाल

तरल जल पर नृत्य होता 
लहरों पर तब बजती ताल! 

तरण ताल तब कहीं न होता 
और न होती स्विमिंग की क्लास 

डूबने का, तैरने का ,
कोई डर न फटकता पास! 

समुद्र पर हम टहलने जाते 
नदियों पर करते विहार 

मछलियों से जी भर मिलते 
उनको भी खिलाते घास 

पानी पर जो हम चल पाते 
सदा ही रहते ह्वैल के साथ! 

The idea is from a friend. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Original Quote of the Day , and where it came from

Stories, like trees, have deep roots. All our stories begin long, long before the point from which we start telling them.

The story of Gluten allergy did not start with gluten allergy. It started with hybrid and GM wheat. 

The story of Indo-Nepal conflict did not start with Indo-Nepal conflict. It started with the Communist government being voted to power in Nepal - in 2008. 

The story of the loneliness epidemic did not start with the loneliness epidemic. It started with the Fountainhead - in 1943. 

The story of a country of clerks did not begin with the civil service. It started with the British educational system. 

All our stories today, are like rivers. They don't always come from a single source. They come from many tributaries. Many things have come together to create the story that flows from our lips today. 

Sunday, August 09, 2020

Men are like Mars, Women are Like Venus -NOT

This is the second conversation in the 2 conversations i mentioned in the earlier blog post.

2 things are happening in our society.
Women are being taught that adjustment is bad ipso facto. The word adjustment is a bad word. You should not have to adjust or make an effort to fit into anyone else's world after marriage. They should accept you as you are.

Woman says - I need to pick up my child from day care, the manager says, "OK" (however grudgingly, but no denial).
A man says, "I need to pick up my child from day care."
Manager: Are you crazy? Who will do the work here?

Woman: I need to take 2 days off. A family member is unwell and I need to take care of them.
Manager: OK.

Man: I need to take 2 days off. A family member is unwell and I need to take care of them.
Manager: Why? Don't you have anyone else at home? I hope you will be available on call.

Woman: I was cooking, so could not come to the phone.
Mom: OK.

Man: I was cooking, so could not come to the phone.
Mom: Yes, this is how it is these days. Your father has never entered the kitchen. What's bahu doing?

You get the idea.

So, 2 macro machineries are at work here. 

The first, teaches women that: 

  1. It is ok to not work at home. 
  2. It is ok to not invest in building relationships if you don't want to. 
  3. Adjustment is a bad word. 
  4. The man must share in the housework. 
The second, teaches men that: 
1. She marries you for your money. You need to be a good provider. 
2. A woman's domestic duties are taken for granted, but a man's domestic duties are discouraged by an entire ecosystem - friends, family, office, everyone. 
3. A woman is the epitome of love. She builds loving relationships around her. 

Between them, these 2 machines create a HUGE Expectation - Reality gap among the genders, pulling them in literally opposite directions. 

One of these machines needs to stop rolling, if the genders have to come together. 

If men have to do more at home, their ecosystem needs to be sensitised to this, as much as the individuals are. 

If women have to step out, their ecosystem needs to stop viewing this as an anomaly. AND, their ecosystem needs to tell them that it is ok to love, it is ok to not love. It is ok to work, and ok to not work. All relationships take investment, and most of that investment involves a give and take of love. There are expectations involved. Managing those expectations and rights over each other is a part of the relationship building process. 

And both genders have to really stop counting their sacrifices and start counting their blessings. An entire social narrative of one gender being the victim and the other the perpetrator just has to stop. It is not true, and it only serves to increase the gender distance. A single story of feminism and a single story of the ideal man is like the 2 elephants of Fevicol. 

2 conversations: One

Why doesn't the govt make rules for the middle class? Either they take care of the very poor or the very rich. The middle class is literally hung out to dry. 

This govt assumed that the trading community cannot unite. This Rakhi, by not importing a single Rakhi, the trading community has proved that it can unite. The govt had better take note of that. 

And what about the salaried classes? Us? 

Oh, we are the prostitutes. We sell our whole life for a few bucks. We are the ONLY tax paying community whose tax is deducted at source. We don't even demand our basic right to a life after office. We don't unionise, we don't support each other. One person leaves a job and 10 are ready to take it. We dishonour our commitment to join an organisation if someone throws an extra 10000 at us. We have no moral fibre and no backbone. Why will anyone think of us during policy making? Where is the incentive? We don't even vote! 

Why is that? 

Because we grow up in colleges that do relative grading. Our entire higher education is designed to teach us to compete against each other. To put each other down. To ensure the failure of others because that automatically ensures our rise. When that becomes your ethos for the 4-7 years of character building, how can you develop a moral fibre? We are never taught to work together. Never rewarded for co-operation. In fact, in the RG method of grading, if you help someone, you are automatically putting your own rank down. 

Put both these things together: 
Reward Active Negative Behaviour 
Penalise Co operation. 

What do you get? 
We get the salaried middle classes of India. 

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Logic Puzzle: Playing this week?

Anvesha decides what they will play on Monday and Thursday, Bina on Tuesday and Friday, and Charu on Wednesday and Saturday.
Can you use the clues below to figure out what they play on each day of the week?
  1. Bina and Charu love basketball and want to play it often, but Anvesha will only play it once a week, so they have to comply.
  2. Mondays are for badminton and Fridays are for chess.
  3. Charu’s favourite sport is swimming. She makes her friends play it on one of her days.
  4. Saturdays are Scrabble days!
  5. Anvesha likes tennis.