Archive | August, 2015

Because You Can!

31 Aug

Here are a few choices in Life worth exploring, experimenting and enjoying, not just alone but along with fellow humans as well.

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Thinking2Brainy over bravura…

Eclectic over esoteric…

Concise over convoluted…

Authentic over artful…

Unassuming over uber…

Sensible over sentimental…

Empathy over eminence…

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Gandhi3Yearn over yarn…

Overt over ostentatious…

Useful over unique…

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Monkay1Care over can-do…

Amuse over amaze…

No-bull over nonsense…

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…Not because it’s possible, but Because You Can!

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@PrakashSwamy

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Inspiration, Inside-out!

18 Aug
A number of people known to us talk about how someone has inspired them to do something great or wonderful or both. Frequently. Often, the oft-quoted (and hence, very clichéd)
“Success is 99% Perspiration & 1% inspiration” 

is used as the full stop to conclude such conversation, leaving an amused expression on either face.

3Monkeys3Upon hearing such soul stirring sharing of personal success, you too get inspired (doesn’t matter by what or why) and promptly share it with someone else. Over a hot cuppa or lunch or dinner or during a walk or in a social do. In no time, the same inspirational story is shared with you by someone else, again. And again. And again. Until one of you hear the next inspirational story (or get irrevocably bored with the current one). Then the cycle starts all over again.

Now you wonder (it can easily be figured out from the angle of the raised brow and relative position of the pupil in your eye w.r.t the periphery) if inspiration was never really meant to, umm… inspire people, which all those wildly popular (and very wealthy) bestselling authors of motivational books that are supposed to inspire all and sundry? Stop right there, as such serious thought could inspire perspiration, because thinking isn’t something you do seriously, often. Please allow Swamy to bead together his simple explanation for this apparently complex conundrum
“To be (inspired) or Not to be!”
20120625_143222In order to comprehend why inspiration can’t come from outside, i.e., someone else, one may start with the famous 5-Why way of finding the root cause (without digging mother earth, of course, for there’s hardly any part of her left to dig). If that sounds even more complex, which it indeed is and will continue to be, then one may simply look at what else can make things happen inside one’s head from outside. Other than your spouse and boss, naturally. Hmmm… how about Motivation?
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You may have been motivated by a teacher at your primary or high school (after that point of no return in the obnoxiously long, needlessly winding and utterly pointless studious path, nobody cares anyway). Swamy still recalls his Tamizh (his mother tongue, in which too he writes both prose & poetry), English and History & Geography teachers from various stages of his school Life. Not because of their wizardry of the subject (which they obviously possessed and demonstrated) but because of the way they motivated those interested in their subjects (& even those who weren’t) by hooking eager students (ahem, including Swamy, inevitably) with enchanting tales and activities, instead of just sticking to the book and black (or white or green) board, which inarguably kept their students from getting bored. Of course there ware also teachers in whose dictionary the meaning of motivation was published (erroneously, of course, but not for them) as beating the kids black and blue, with a cane, no less (needless to say, Swamy never had any interest in weaving, ever, after his high school days)!
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Swamily11You must have been motivated by your dear(est) friend (at any point in time) to do what you love to do (including loving your dear friend). And you may’ve tried to do just that, for the sake of that friend, for a while, before finding your next true love or friend (both terms are always relative and never objective). Some of Swamy‘s college friends motivated him to pick ECE (Electronics & Communication Engineering) during his graduation, instead of CSE (Computer Science Engineering – don’t get him started on how something can be both Science and Engineering, puhleeezzzzz), which was apparently the hottest new stream at that time (and was offered on a platter by the college management because of his academic standing in the 1st year). Their reasoning was probably simple – electronics is about what is tangible inside the computer, so the smarter ones (read Day-scholars – see how that title itself is so self-explanatory, with a scholarly ring to it) should learn about that, instead of the intangible software thingy. Talk about missing the plane (to the US of A, way too obviously) and be the Sundar Pichai of some tech company in the silicon valley (the original, not the pseudo one in Swamy’s neighbouring state). It’s truly an indescribable miracle that Swamy still managed to secure an University rank in ECE! Talk about motivation, heh… heh…
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20131102_140219You could have been motivated by an elder in the family (sometimes they not so pleasantly surprise themselves doing so) to become someone respectable in the society. Which happened to be (at their time, not yours) an accountant (or banker), engineer (really working in a real industry, mind you) or doctor (friendly neighbourhood type with miraculous ability to detect the illness accurately from any kind of symptom, by virtue of knowing you from the time you weren’t wearing pants – under or over, not the uber specialist who will look at just a single nerve in your vast nervous system or part of a single part in your entire body machinery, not from your history but from the fresh blood+urine+stool+x-ray+mri++++++ report). Let’s catch our breath here, otherwise we may end up with all those aforesaid reports in front of the Pulmonologist in the nearby Super speciality hospital, spread over 150 acres (invariably with a meteor size hole in the wallet)! 
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You may have been motivated by a scrawny man with scraggly beard, feeding the mongrels on your street with biscuits or rice or some edible thing, daily at 7pm sharp. It may be hard for you to recall, but he did smile at you as well. Every single day!
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Or the traffic policeman who appeared totally selfless in ensuring some semblance of sanity among the obviously insane humans pretending to ride 2/4/6 or more wheels (who obviously have no idea about how to ride any of those contraptions on wheels, without making a fellow human being or the more polite dogs and buffalos, scream and run for the non-existent cover), while inhaling the entire lifetime quota of cancerous smoke billowing from a thousand exhaust pipes, every day.
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3Monkeys27In some action of yours, even today, the effect of such motivation can be seen. At least a shadow of it. For such is the effect of right dose of motivation, administered at the right time, even in a wrong place (c’mon reader, that doesn’t mean your home or office, really, even though you strongly believe that way, about both places).
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If at all you stop promptly before a signal turns red (for which you’ll be honked at, if you happen to ride or drive in Swamy’s once-great motherland, where he chose to reside, neither because of his mother nor because of any land), that probably could be attributed to your sympathy for that smoke inhaling sane traffic policeman (until one of them flags you down one fine day, for not wearing that damn helmet, which you never bothered to remove from its box).
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If and when you buy a few 3 rupees Tiger or Parle Glucose biscuit packets and fed a few strays in the neighbourhood (watch out for their wagging tail, without fail, even if you’ve fed them only once in your entire lifetime), that most probably could be attributed to that scrawny unknown man, who unfailingly smiled at your younger version (when you might have been a better person too).
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Pills1bIf at all you step out of a clinic or hospital with a smile on your face (though 80-20 rule strictly states that’s not possible – in Bold, Underline, Capital letter, and in blood red colour – not just in your case, but in every case, because in any hospital, everyone including you is just that, a case), that must be attributed to that friendly neighbourhood doctor who took good care of your entire family – grandparents included – at a negligible cost (even that was sometimes waived – especially for grandmas, who promptly remembered to pack the home-made sweet delicacy for the doc, while going for the Diabetes check up).
 
If at all you’ve sustained your linguistic, historic or geographic pursuits (your official trips all over the world at your employer’s expense don’t count), that absolutely must be attributed to that teacher who had the knack of making students fall in love (strictly plutonic – of the planet kind, not platonic) with the subject (ahem, subject doesn’t mean person, even if you interpret it that way, with your imagination running wild), unfailingly, year after year.
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Screaming2But it won’t be accurate to say, even such wonderful people have inspired you. “WHY?”, you may scream, aloud, within (everyone knows it’s been eons since you’ve actually dared to scream, aloud, audibly, despite the ample opportunities provided by bosses and family members, every single day of your monochromatic 9-x bau existence)!
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Let’s dissect the word Inspire to see why (earnestly hoping you haven’t studied biology, or at least neither fainted nor vomited while dissecting those poor live[ly] frogs).
 
Thinking_ChimpThough a long word like Inspiration can be dissected in many different (doesn’t many clearly indicate different… umm… never mind) ways, because of our limited ability to comprehend (finely honed over a long period of ‘no questions asked’ timidity at both schools and workplaces) anything, we’ll limit it to only 3 parts (yep, it’s the number that comes after 2 and before 4, indicating it’s only slightly greater than 2 and incredibly lesser than 4).
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Banner3The very first part of the word is “In” and Swamy somehow believes that you know the meaning of that part of the word. Anyway, It, i.e., In, means inside, within or something similar (be advised – don’t check Thesaurus.com, or you’ll be very confused – In more ways than one). That negates the possibility of it, err.. In, coming from outside (thanks for not further increasing the arc angle of at least one of your raised brows – much appreciated). For simplicity (thank you… thank you…), let’s take this as the ‘In’put (pun very much intended ;).
 
Kailash8The middle part of the word is “Spire”, which means peak, apex, pinnacle or summit (among other – more spine tingling – meanings). Again, for simplicity (thank you… thank you… once again), let’s take this as the (desired or expected, but not both, because it can’t be and will never be both, since they are intended to be very different, by design) Output. Or Outcome, which sounds more snobbish and could fetch a sliver of approving smile (millennial equivalent of a pat in the back – considered Jurassic in these Digital days) from your uber successful boss (no gender bias there), who understandably is your chosen God(dess), when it comes to carreligion (which, in case you must know, is career+religion – much more such enchanting terms, which are obviously love children of dictionary and thesaurus, and thereby not present in either, can be cherished in Swamyctionary and Swamysaurus – not to be confused with that whitish dinosaur from the new Jurassic World movie, which is neither as engaging nor as entertaining as the old Jurassic Park movie, despite having the cool-as-a-cucumber Chris ‘StarLord’ Pratt onboard and in control of the even more cool and smart Velociraptor quadruples – if and when it’s published).
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Child-creativeThe last part of the word (which to our amazement makes it the 3rd part of the 3 parts too), according to the venerable Oxford, Cambridge and other such famed dictionaries as Sura, doesn’t mean anything. But, of course, it does. “ation” is nothing but the abridged version of elation, after a haircut (oops, tress styling) at Javed Habib or Tony & Guy outlet in the neighbourhood mall (the world knows you go week on the knees when it comes to western brands, which includes Peter England, Van Heusen and Allen Solly, all of which are actually manufactured in towns like Madurai, which when last checked was very much part of Southern India, which itself is on the Eastern part of the world). When convenient (which is anytime), it can also be used as the abridged version of nation. But for now we’ll stick to the former and leave the latter to the ultra noisy Newshour (haven’t you seen the advertisement before 9pm “Listening is injurious to health. Listening could cause irreparable loss to hearing. Listening could kill. Wearing noise-cancelling headphones is strongly recommended by the respective health authority!”) and its self-proclaimed emperor His Newsness (you may be reading it as Nuisance, on purpose, you wicked reader, but Swamy‘s ear canal is already ruptured and so he didn’t hear that) Arnab Goswami. 
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Puppy_PotpourriSo, there it is. The meaning (and sole – if not soul – purpose) of the word Inspiration. By virtue of its meaning (induced, not deduced – maintaining unwavering focus on the “In” part is the in thing, especially when it comes to success, which is obviously the only thing sheeps, err.. humans chase, these days – blame it on Global Warming)…
“Inspiration is something that ceaselessly springs from deep within you,
making you do something worthy that you truly love to,
letting you achieve the desired outcome of reaching the pinnacle in whatever you choose to do,
resulting in an exultant expression of joy that lasts.”
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Whatever makes you joyful, is worth pursuing. And persisting. And perspiring. Inspiration falls under that category, naturally. So, go on. Throw that dictionary away. And learn to ignite that elusive thingamajig called Inspiration. Inside-out!
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@PrakashSwamy
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Prominent or Significant!

11 Aug Google

There are many prominent humans out there. We keep knowing about them all the time, through multiple media that continue to bombard our senses with news, insights, visuals and comments about them.

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Sometimes we wonder how in the world are they considered prominent – at least many of them, who also happen to be notorious, one way or another! Unfortunately, the sheep that we are, we keep getting attracted to their prominence, helplessly and hopelessly. We s/elect them to power or adore, worship and make them even more popular – and sometimes far more powerful – than they deserve to be.

Mask2Most celebrities fall under this category. They are prominent, irrespective of whether they have made any meaningful contributions to fellow humans – on wellbeing or wisdom or whatever. We adore them and feel gratified when they are feted and given a vast amount of publicity, as if all that is meant for ourselves. And repeat it, over and over again. The silent philanthropists – including but not limited to movie stars – who take time out to make a difference in people’s lives are an exception.

There were and are many humans out there who have made significant contributions to humankind. On science, medicine, technology, spirituality, education, wealth, politics and so on. We get to know about them either when their contribution is celebrated or debated. Or when they leave the mortal coil. And during their anniversaries.

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Fortunately, because they are significant, their contributions continue to live on, long after they are gone. Despite the fact that we don’t adore or worship them for their significant contribution to making humankind better, which they certainly deserve but hardly receive, at least when they are alive. 

charles-darwinMany scientists (whose discovery or invention translated into something that functions), thinkers (those who also happen to be articulate), authors (not the pulp-fiction type) and even politicians (certainly not the ones who rush to the well of the parliament and shout slogans, shaming not just themselves but the thousands who voted them to power and the nation itself) belong to this category. Most may not be celebrities, which doesn’t diminish their contributions in any way. Popular scientists like Stephen Hawking and Richard Dawkins are an exception.

We all have the choice to seek either prominence or significance in Life. In whatever we do. Or plan to. Or seek to be.

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The celebrities (and wannabes) choose the former, i.e. prominence, invariably. It’s a choice and they do have the liberty to make that choice in a democratic nation or culture. Many get entrenched in the popularity trap, until it takes a huge toll on their Life. That doesn’t prevent the rest to tag along, despite their notoriety and at times blatantly stupid acts.

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Celebrity1A million followers on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, etc, shows that prominent humans are wildly popular, notoriety and stupidity notwithstanding. This inevitably misleads millions of young followers to mimic their lives, thereby destroying their own. Sad, but true.

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The knowledge seekers and value makers choose the latter, aka significance, always. They don’t give a hoot about publicity popularity – during their lifetime or after. Their focus is on translating an idea or thought into reality, for making something better, faster or easier. Or creating something new out of the blue. Many of them end up spending a lifetime pursuing just one thing. That doesn’t mean the rest has to ignore them, despite their abject disregard for any kind of acknowledgement or high praise.

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APJ18And then there are a few who managed to remain prominent, while making significant contributions. The late APJ Abdul Kalam became the most prominent citizen – the 11th President of India, and became popular as the beloved People’s President – but has also managed to make significant contributions on a variety of fields such as rocket science (that made India a prominent player on satellite launch space), nation building (a magnificent vision for this once-great nation’s bright & better future), healthcare (lightweight prosthetic leg and a cheaper coronary stent) and education (teaching & guiding University students and inspiring children & youth nationwide). Unarguably an exception, he is certainly not alone in the march of humankind through the long pages of evolutionary history.

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Thinking2Prominence doesn’t last. Significance does. Time and time again. Even the prominent People’s President was denied a well-deserved second term of presidency by the wily politicians (intriguingly, another powerful nation – also democratic – offered a second term to a not-so popular President, pretty much on a platter, not so long ago in history). But his significant contributions in many spaces shall outlast several generations (not so intriguingly, the other 2-term President of that other powerful nation, remains insignificant now, ignored by his own ilk, despite being very much alive).

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Whatever you’ve been trying to accomplish in Life (hazarding an assumption that you indeed are trying, still!), take a long hard look at what do you seek to be – Prominent or Significant? Your choice is as important to you as it is to the rest of human species, as you never know what significant impact your work can have on others.

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Spider1None of us may know (and probably the entire human species never will) who the inventor of the wheel (yep, that simple circular thingamajig that moves all kinds of – not just -vehicles) was. Despite the lack of his/her prominence, the shape of the wheel is so significant that it not only hasn’t been tinkered with by any, even after many a century, but also gave us an oft-repeated phrase “Don’t reinvent the Wheel!”

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Irrespective of whether you end up becoming prominent in your chosen space or not, make sure whatever you do is significant. Prominence tempts, but significance triumphs. Life is full of choices. When it comes to doing and being (and needless to say, living), the most prominent choice of yours could very well turn out to be the most significant!

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GoogleP.S. When Swamy published the blog post “Prominent or Significant!” on 11-Aug-2015, he didn’t expect it to be validated swiftly, by the rise of a humble person from #NammaChennai, with a conscious low profile persona, to a very prominent position, way high up in the#technology space 🌏- propelled primarily by his significant contributions to not just the growth of the tech behemoth 📈 (which is obvious) but also due to the widespread adoption of his implemented ideas 💭🔮 by the vast masses of users, worldwide. 👌 Swamy, for instance, useas an Android Phone (LG G3), Tablet (Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1) & Chrome browser – not just on his PCs running Microsoft Windows 10, but even on his Apple Macbook Pro. All of them, have been under this gentleman’s leadership for a while now!
Kudos #SundarPichai for your elevation as #CEO 👑of the big G, aka#Google. 👏May Grace 🙌 be with you for a purposeful #Lifeoverflowing with novel ideas that make #Life better & joyful for everyone, everywhere. 😌
And one more thing👆… Thanks for being the proof-of-concept for @PrakashSwamy‘s ‘Prominent or Significant’ #idea, which most certainly will propel his own thoughts & ideas for “Human Potential DISCovery + NURTURE©“, further & farther. 👍

@PrakashSwamy

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