Sunday, 20 November 2016

The Inside Person

Disclaimer - The below is a brief evocative description of a fictional concept. The goal of the below writing is to communicate what a confident, united self is not.

You and I seem to be the same person and yet we are different at so many levels. 

You are someone who freely thinks and feels. You openly agree or freely disagree to whatever it is that comes first to your mind. You need not worry of what others might think as you never voice your thoughts. You take comfort in the chaos of my mind and the fact that whatever comes from my mouth is my accountability and not yours. You stay hidden deep inside my mind scratching the walls of my patience and fiddling with all the gossip I gather everyday to feed that enormous yearning of yours for generating that bullshit. Bullshit that you whisper back into my conscious and make me debate with you, debate with MYSELF.

Whoever on earth gave birth to such a diabolic self. A self within me that drives me to madness over the various views of life; of what is and what is not, of who is right and who is wrong, of what should be and what should not be, of what is the way forward and what is not the way forward.

I say stop it. I say simplify the whole process. I say stop self conflicting and lets take a stand on what our principles are. Lets learn the art to stay calm and focused and not assume. For a united you and me is the way forward to a stronger us - to a stronger me.

-Anant Agnihotri 

Monday, 11 April 2016

The Art of Being Lazy

Let me put it out there at the very beginning of this post - Being lazy is OKAY!

You do not want to do something because its too tedious? Some work that is so robotic doing it makes you feel your brain is shrinking? Something that needs to be done but it's just so boring that your hands just refuse to move? It's okay - do not do it! However, the obvious questions that then arises - how do we differentiate the people who will succeed in life with this attitude and the people who will not. Keep reading for my point of view.

Being lazy is showing a disinterest in doing some task. If we were motivated to complete the task the question of being lazy would not come up at all. Laziness could be caused by the lack of will or the limitation of your skill. Either ways, both should be treated as a scope for your opportunity.

Being lazy is okay, till the time you ensure smartness compensates for it. Do not want to do a particular task in a given way? Perhaps you feel the current way of doing it is not the best - simply put its the most ridiculous thing you have ever heard! Smartness, would be finding another, more efficient way, of getting the same job done. This does not only compensate your laziness but makes you an innovator. Now that's a pin you want on you.

You should be aware of the reason for your laziness. A lot of time it's just pure laziness! That is, not wanting to do something because you are not willing to do it. It's not a question of skill but the feeling that to just sit and stare at the wall is more captivating than the idea of getting the job done. Over here you need to ask your self if this task is really important to you. If it is important then it should be reason enough to get you up and moving. If you beg to differ on the importance of the task, you got some serious self assessment to do on where your life is heading. This assessment should conclude with an action plan. An action plan to have you do things that are more important to you. Things that truly drive you and that you believe in.

Sometimes laziness is a direct result of a persons inability to do the job itself. Now this can be a daunting situation to deal with. The primary objective here is not to get the job done, but, how to acquire the skills required. This becomes a firefighting scene if the time line for the completion is right around the corner. Determination & focus, these are the two words that are tested to your limits. I cannot sugar quote this in anyway, but you really got to put your head down and firefight your way out. Look for resources and people who can help you!

Laziness is a limitation if you lack the perspective. Otherwise, it can be the opportunity you are so eager to take advantage of.

-Anant Agnihotri

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Social Stigma - Cut The Crap

See me for who I am and not
what you want me to be.
Culture is probably the thing that differentiates us, humans, from animals. The expectation we all have from one another that as individuals we must follow - what society dictates. Essentially, what a larger group of people once believed to be the way of life are the guidelines and principles we look to. This larger group of people may even be nothing more than thin air - a few obnoxious loud men. If we do not follow these values and morals then we are not part of this society.

You could be a Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jewish or for that matter you may even be an Atheist. You will still find yourself living in one of these penitentiary guilds.

Your self evaluation tells you what to do and what not to do basis your understanding of these principles and guidelines. In comparison to the natural you, this can be a devastating realization of being an outcast.

This counters the natural you and may leave you in an eternal state of lost. You would be neither here nor there. Stuck in the void between the two thought processes you may start to loose the bare essence of your own identity.

Destroy The Old - Learn From It First
A rock, is what I would relate to an individual stuck in this tear. The person would come across as still, quiet and calm. But they will be in a constant state of discomfort unable to decide, to be or not to be.

Here is the solution in one paragraph, cut the crap and be who you truly are. Demand the society sees you for your difference and not cave in to social stigma. Demand the acceptance of your different perspective. That is what brings progress to the table. The attitude that is required to challenge the old and innovate the new.

Create The New - Development
The highest gods of Hinduism; Brhama - the creator, Vishnu - the preserver and Shiva - the destroyer signify a process that starts with creation and ends with destruction. Only to start the process of creation again. This cycle of creating something new and destroying the old enables development. This is so crucial to the sustainability and advancement of civilization that there is no scope for social stigma. As without challenge there will be no destruction of the old and the cycle would stop at preservation itself.

- Anant Agnihotri

Sunday, 13 March 2016

The Sweet Corn

Every day, on my way back home from office, I see this old Muslim man sitting under the lamp post just opposite Manyata back gate 5, making corn!

Around 9 months back I stopped at his franchise and asked for one of those partially charred corns, and boy was it good! He was selling sweet corn. Something you find only in malls here. Closest one being Elements, in case you were interested. The next day, I stopped there again, with high expectations...

Pausing on the story here, many a times life has taught me a lesson but I just have a habit of making this one mistake again and again and again. My expectations are high, very high. Usually they cannot be matched and hence I can never be truly satisfied. Unless you catch me off guard! I see this as a problem, because I really do like being impressed. Gives me a kick-off adrenalin and a sort of high. Something more of a fresh breath that symbolises progress.

This time however the corn was not that great. This made me think, was it the high expectation or was the corn really bad. To get to the bottom of this, I did what anyone looking for an answer would do. I started a conversation with the peddler!

I enquired on the difference between the corn he sold me yesterday and the one he sold me today. Now, if I had known the reaction I was going to get from him, my approach may have been different. This one question acted as the last brick on his skyscraper of issues and his deep desire to burst out the pressure of his monetary position to another, already, stressed out individual, me.

Having a corn shop in that locality is not a viable business. His potential customers are the ones coming out of partially established restaurants, after a heavy meal. They are not looking for another appetiser. The people who do buy from him are not the sort who could afford sweet corn. They are the people who are substituting the heavy meal with some corn. They are conscious of their pockets and rather settle for the more localised breed of corn.

This explained why I did not get another sweet corn. He just got a few dozen to test the market. The new high quality product, with a higher margin, for obvious reasons, failed the market test. It took him over 2-3 weeks to clear the stock. Which tells me, the corn I so liked a lot, was old. Since it was the last one. Yes, makes me wonder, what happen to my high expectations? Maybe, I was just really hungry that day.

Anyhow, since then I noticed the man sitting under his lamp post, 5 days a week. But I never bought from him again. Today, as I was heading back home I noticed the corns were gone! He was now selling cut pineapples! 

This is when I get that breeze of fresh air, that symbolises progress. The man was smart! He knew the basics of a business. Identify who your customers are and get them what ever it is that they want, at a price. I have never seen more people at his shop than what I saw today. Most importantly, I could not find that shadow of the skyscraper of issues on his face. He seemed to be more at peace with himself.

It takes a smart person to figure out when something is not working. It takes a wise person to foresee that something will not work. The difference, the latter thinks just a few steps ahead.

-Anant Agnihotri

Saturday, 27 February 2016

The Tale of A Mind - Chapter 1

There is a deep interest this observer has in the silence of this old town. He gazes down from the sky late at night in the hope of passing an edict for the lost perception of right and wrong.

He cherishes the sight of a droplet gently sliding down the traffic signal lamppost. The condensed water reflecting the warm light from a lamppost on the other side of the tarred road, looks almost as the reflection of the rising sun on a lake. The observer freezes time in his mind to cynosure the moment. A moment where he takes a deep breath to gather courage for what he might discover today.
The town has one main road that runs north to south. The road is as dark as a black hole. Light does fall on this cursed path but it never reflects back for the naked eye to see - ventablack. Looking at the road makes him feel astray from his goal: as if lost in nothingness. His experience is made even more uncanny by the murk that surrounds the town.

It does not rain here while the people are awake. They are extremely arrogant, self-centered and thoughtless creatures. People who care about their pride and image more than they care about the rainbow that a drizzle can create. The clouds retreats to the near by mountains in search of a safer haven to empty their bellies. They remove their protection over the town from the scorching heat of the sun.

He observes the absence of the hateful noise from the talkative people in the town. People who talk first, think later. People he would secretly like to bury alive. Which is when, he notices a periodic whistle from the lone police officer, policing the traffic of thoughts. The officer wears the medals given to him by his parents, teachers and friends. That is his empowerment of moral policing.
This is the perfect stage the observer wanted to glide through the sky of the quiet main street of this town. A town, lost in a maze of self awareness.

A man comes walking down the ventablack road. The observer stares him in the eyes with curiosity. Who is he? What is he doing here? What is he thinking? The man shies away in conscious of politeness and quickly turns away. The observer looks closely and the man now tries to hide. Pretending to have lost a vital possession he starts looking aggressively under the vintage pink car, parked under a pole, scratching his head and panting heavily. He looks at the observer, partially smiles, and walks back wards. He is very busy; or so he wants to show. He walks away from the observers set - he does not turn back. The observer thinks to himself: "This man has secrets".

There comes another man down the ventablack road. This one is aggressive: ready for a war. The observer zooms out a little to keep safe distance. A manhole - hidden from the darkeness of the road; the man walks into it and falls half body inside. He pushes himself out of the fall. His faces lights up red. He declares war! He starts to stamp the flowing water: left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot, both feet! He gives it a stare and kicks it hard. Just to slip and fall back on his buttocks. The observer senses a strange feeling of distress within the man. Well he ought to, he just made a fool of himself. The man was not fighting the open man hole or the flowing water. He was fighting his emotions. And with that fall, he was thrown into defeat. Defeat, that came with a penalty. A penalty on his pride.
The man stands up, shuns away the dirt and accepts his prize of defeat and starts to walk south of the road. A few steps down the road and he now bumps into a pole. The observer zooms out further to keep safe distance from his expected reaction to the bump - eruption of anger. But this time, the man just nodes and continues to walk. Perhaps he realized something? The observer thinks to himself. Perhaps with this self realization, the man just won something. But he does not get his pride back. He can see that in the way the man now owns his body language. Perhaps he gained something a lot more precious. Perhaps, he just grew his first strand of white hair. He gained some wisdom. The man continues to walk away. The observer continues to watch until he disappears into the murk - without an incident.

To be continued...

-Anant Agnihotri

Thursday, 25 February 2016

A Message, Father to Son

Son, life is not just a simple act of waking up everyday in the morning and deciding what to eat for breakfast. Life is definitely not thinking about the past or the future. It is also not about the many people who have or will come and go. There is a lot more to this simple word, life.
Life is a miracle, a miracle of your existence. A miracle of your conscience of this moment you are living in.

Your ability to differentiate your self from others. For you to think that you are unique, that there is no one else like you. Even though you will so eagerly look for the likes of you.

Life is an adventure where the roads are made to be bumpy, especially around the sharp turns. Turns that are mandate to make for your survival. Turns that will make you fall. Only to test if you still have it in you to stand right back up on your own two feet.

Life is a voyage in the volatile ocean of time. You have no option but to ride it out. But what you do have is control of your attitude during that long voyage. Be wise about it.

- Anant Agnihotri

Thursday, 18 February 2016

The Ball and A Goal Post

I am not much of a football player. However I do know that a player has an understanding of where the goal post is, but his eyes, always, are focused on where the ball is.

Once he gets the ball, his focus is narrowed to his feat. Once he reaches the mid field, his learning of oncoming players forces him to choose to pass the ball. If he does not pass the ball, he risks loosing it. 

He then moves his attention to a larger area. He strategies and repositions himself to enable a strong team presence. He knows, this is not a one man show.

As the team gets closer to the goal post the tension rises inside him. He tries to keep up with the rest. Yet his focus stays on the ball and not the goal. However, he, always, has an understanding of what the objective is.

His team is closing in, using experience and skill they maneuver the ball through the wave of opponent players. Passing the ball among one another they artfully put on a great show for the audience to lure on.

He learned well, when the coach was briefing the team. He positions himself just where the team wants him to be at that moment. Without the loss of even a second, a team player passes the ball to him for the final goal kick.

Does he goal?

In that moment, when his focus moves from the ball to the goal post, his years of learned skill and acquired experience comes crashing down to that one kick. If he learned and acquired enough, he will goal.

Having a long term goal is a luxury only a few have the vision for, but mastering the short term goals is a necessity for all. Master the necessity, and even a blind man, with the vision of a mentor, will goal.

- Anant Agnihotri

An Individual, Is Plural

The many who are in one.
You, an individual person, is more than just one.

You are a combination of all those people who have left a mark on your personality. Battles you have lost, battles you have won and most important, but rare, battles you decided to withdraw from. You have expectations and aspirations. You have people you look up to. And you have people you look down upon
All of these events and people just add to the mammoth of ingredients that put together a cocktail of ideas and thoughts in your conscious. Stirred by the complex emotions that eventually decide on your action. An action, that the world perceives as your true intention. As your true character.

But wait, is there a gap here? A gap in who you perceive your self to be vs who the world perceives you are?

There is no one person who can tell you who you are. You, an individual, is more than one.

The people who can help you understand yourself are within you. Talk to your self. Ask your self questions. Answer those questions your self. Trust your instincts and you will be found. Not by anyone from the outside world, but you, your self, from within. Who is an individual but not just one.

Learn the art of self introspection.

- Anant Agnihotri

Monday, 15 February 2016

Conversations and Expectations

People, in general, are a cocktail of thoughts. There are exceptions to this but most people I know are definitely, a cocktail of thoughts. This is not a problem. But it becomes a big one when these people need to talk to one another, and their individual expectation, naturally, come into play.

- Anant Agnihotri

The Lost Perception Of Good And Bad

There are always two sides to a coin, at least that's what I was told. But from what I observe, there are as many sides to a coin as many there are observers of the coin. It is this simple idea that can make anyones confidence to separate the right from the wrong rather foggy. Makes me wonder, what is truly morally correct.

Rahul looses his mind, picks up a knife and stabs Kirat. Is Rahul wrong? Is it with him that the fault truly lies? Or is he a victim of poor upbringing? Could his actions be the symptoms of the defects in his parents skill to parent? Or is his friend circle to blame? But then if we do find out it was his friends who influenced Rahul to pick up the knife and stab Kirat, then the obvious question that would arise is in what way and in what degree was this influence? On the other hand, should parents have to clear a 'Good Parenting' exams before been allowed to become parents? 

What was this 'influence'? Did they directly say "Go, Rahul, and kill Kirat. What he did deserves nothing less than death". Or did they do an inception of a simple idea. An idea that resulted him to conclude that killing Kirat is the only way out? Was this inception deliberate or simply incidental? 

Let's say it is his friends who influenced Rahul to Kill Kirat. So now, are his friends the true criminals? After all, it's because of them that Rahul did what he did. Or were his friends the victims of yet another defect in the society they live in?

Any horrid event in history has more than just one ingredient in its recipe. It is puzzling at what level of questioning should one stop to settle with the final judgement. Is there even a thing called a 'Final Judgement'? And if there is nothing such then why the hell are we sentencing people to jail! They are not the only people to be blamed. There are others, who had a role to play. May be not directly but they did influence the crime. That is to some extent a punishable guilt. They were unaware of the impact their actions would have? Similar lines to 'Ignorantia juris non excusa'.

Some people would say, "Rahul is the one who killed Kirat, put him in jail". Some would argue, "Rahul did kill Kirat, but he is not to blame. It's his friends who influenced him with a deliberate intention to have him kill Kirat. Put his friends in jail". 

Some might further argue "We discussed Rahuls upbringing and friend circle to identify the source of his criminal act, let's do the same for his friends. After all we do need to be fair in our judgement, right?".

And finally, someone might come up and argue "You know what, may be Kirat just deserved to die. So why punish Rahul and his friends for something Kirat deserved?". Someone else would question, "How do you fairly judge who deserves what?".

There are varied perceptions to where the guilt lies. If society is interested in solving the problem at the root, there are so many ways to look at a situation that it becomes impossible to pin point just one root cause.

Differentiation between wrong and correct, bad and good is only a matter of perception. The angel of ones view to a situation.

May be the perception of good and bad is lost here, but this thought might signify the finding of a concept. A concept that can revolutionize how a person chooses to finalize his/her judgements.

Never blame the person for his/her doing, blame the society, blame the situation, blame the process.

-Anant Agnihotri