Minimo – A Card Game

Love playing cards?  It’s such an easing and fun pastime with friends and family. Not to say, if you are into Poker, you already know the value of learning and earning cards can give you to. Not to exaggerate, if you are “really” into Poker, you can know about yourself just as much as when you are punched by life when something goes wrong and all your thunderous thoughts and evil emotions comes soaring about and you fall in wonder and curiosity to know – what had gone wrong? why had it gone wrong? Had it really gone wrong? Who am I? Haven’t you felt poker is an emotional game because when the game gets bigger and players get better, skill, strategy, maths, psychology doesn’t remain a rocket science, and then it’s all about how much connected you are with your inner wisdom, how less powerless you feel towards your wandering emotions and circumstances, how objectively you can take decisions, and how much can you love what luck brings to you. I really respect and love poker!

Anyways, I’ll talk poker some other time, but Minimo is a different story and yet another beautiful card game. It so happened in a vacation in Kerla, India, last year that I was with my two friends in a lake boat for a whole day to spend. The nature was calm, green and timeless around, with a very conducive environment for the creativity to creep in. We started playing a card game which my little niece had taught me once. It was very simple at that time. But on the course, we started to have ideas to improve the game and add more to it and in the end it evolved as a really awesome card game, which now we call as Minimo. Thereon, we couldn’t save ourselves to get addicted to it and have been playing and enjoying it since then. What I most like about it is that it is simple yet profoundly encompassing different aspects of a card game that will gratify your soul.

I introduce you to Minimo below. Try playing it and share your experiences and suggestions about it!

Minimo is a very interesting card game with the simplicity of Rummy, information crunching of 28 and strategical and psychological challenges of Poker. I bet if you play it once, you won’t play anything else!

How to play Minimo?

Two or more players can play Minimo. A deck of card, a notebook and a pen is needed to maintain the scores.

Game

A game has several rounds and individual scores from each round are added to the player’s total score. A knockout score is set at the start of game (e.g. 200) and a player is knocked out as soon as her total score is equal or exceeds the knockout score. The player who knocks out everyone wins the game.

Round

Points

Each card in the deck has a point. Ace is one, two is two, three is three and so on, up to nine. Ten and other face cards (J, Q, K) have ten points. At any instance the sum of points from individual cards in a player’s hand is the total points in her hand.

Deal

Dealer shuffles the deck and distributes total seven cards to each player one by one in clockwise direction. Dealer’s position keeps shifting after each round.

Also, topmost card from remaining deck is kept aside for a face up card stack, while further remaining deck is kept as face down card stack.

Play

Starting from the player on the dealer’s left, players discard one or more cards, as per the discarding rules, in their respective turns in order to minimize the total points in their hands.

Every time a player discards one or more cards she must pick the topmost card either from face down or face up card stack and add it to the cards in her hand. She must pick a card even when she is left with no choice to discard any cards. Every time one must first discard card(s) and then only pick a card from either stack.

Discarding Rules

One can discard a single card of the same suit or same points as the topmost card from the face up card stack, and place that card above it.

One can also discard a pair, a triplet, a quadruplet or a suited sequence of minimum three cards with the condition that at least one card from the discarded cards must be of the same suit or the same points as the topmost card from the face up card stack. The card meeting this criterion should be placed first above the face up card stack and rest of the discarded cards can be placed in any order above it.

Declaring Minimo

As the round progresses, a player can declare Minimo when she evaluates that total points in her hand are less than total points in the hands of any other player. In the turn, she chooses to declare Minimo she can not discard or pick card(s).

If total points in her hand are actually found less than anyone else, she wins that round, and if not, she is busted.

One can not declare Minimo in her first two turns in a round.

Scoring

On winning a round, zero points are added to the winner’s total score while other players are added with the points they hold in their hands at the time of declaring Minimo.

On getting busted i.e. when total points in the declarer’s hand are found equal or more than total points in the hand of any other player(s), two times of the points in her hand are added to her total score as a penalty, buster is awarded by adding zero points to her total score and for rest of the players buster’s points are added to their total scores.

In a situation when more than one players hold points lesser than declarer of Minimo, only the player holding least points among them would be considered as buster. If there are two busters holding same points, zero points should be added to the total scores of both of them.

More

If the player next to the dealer decides to pick the face up card at the start of a round without discarding any other card(s), topmost card from face down card stack is taken and placed face up.

When no cards are left in the face down card stack, top two cards from face up card stack are kept aside and rest of the cards are re-shuffled and placed as a new stack of face down cards.

Two decks can also be mixed if there are more than four players in the game. Discarding of a pair should not be allowed in this case.

Minimo on facebook,

www.facebook.com/cardgameminimo

What is your favourite card game and why you love it?

Seeing Through Patriotism

How a cell absorbs all the needed nutrients from the body for its sustenance and growth, and how by being healthy and performing its function well it also contributes to the total health of body is a remarkable example of balancing selfishness and selflessness.

I still wonder how much truth is there in dying for country and its problems. It doesn’t align with nature’s lesson. But we put this act on pedestal because we are taught and conditioned to do so, without realising the suffering and helplessness that the person goes through.

Such thoughtless selflessness can not lead us to a balanced and better reality, but we have this habit to ignore nature’s intelligence and succumb to whatever our mind dictates.

Loving your country is one thing and sacrificing yourself out of this uncontrollable force of your deluded belief, which brings you to hate people cross border, develops in you an apathy and meaninglessness towards life, causes you to act as a robot towards senseless means without any inner freedom to see its truth for yourself and make a conscious choice, and ending up to throw away this precious present of life, is quite another.

I’m not asking you to be all loving and you can always have your preferences and likes and dislikes because that only is the reason for diversity in our expressions. If you are white, and may be you naturally don’t like black people, it’s okay. But once you have seen through the oneness of everything, you feel open within, not too trodden by your deluded thinking and mind’s projections, and then you will naturally never take an undue and harmful action towards you or towards the society. Though the word ‘dislike’ has a negative connotation in our mind, but it is simply one side of your preference and you can dislike something and still love it. Not that the ‘puppy love’ I am talking about!

Ask a soldier, if he loves what he does or if he likes the place and environment he lives in. May be out of his clingy egoic identity of country lover and an unconscious deeply rooted belief in his cause, he can say yes, but if only I could disembowel his thoughts, feelings and emotions that are rushing inside him and show it to you, you will know how shackled and choice-less he feels. He is not doing it out of joy/love, he is doing it out of force hurled upon him by his societal conditioning, political messiahs, and in a bid to trade his life to rise in the eyes of others.

Also, realistically, it’s not possible that a nation will not require any force or soldiers because a rift or dryness in the relationships of nations, which has been growing up over the time, can not diminish instantly. But if more and more humans start making a choice to choose wisdom/joy/love/peace over unconscious fights/servility/hatred/anger/spite, it has the power to shift the collective reality of earth towards balance gradually.

Serve your country but do not sacrifice yourself. Stop being an emotional pet and act as per wisdom. If you are English and next time you watch England vs Germany football match, support your country but also realise the inner freedom to face any result and enjoy it, a feeling of sadness can also be enjoyed if England loose, because you know it’s just a game!

Oh, and I am an Indian, and it’s a beautiful country with ravishing nature, rich culture and lovely people. Though it also has its vices, but I choose not to dwell on them. Come visit sometime.

The Art of Letting Go and Control

This tendency of trying to be in control of everything, be it our reality, thoughts, feelings or sufferings, or call it the creator mindset is by the design of human mind, as a help to survive in the planet earth and also to realise the human’s potential to create as the life does itself so abundantly.

A man is born with it, but since our mind is a programmable organ, as the time passes by, and in the years of our unconscious living, its societal and environmental conditioning and genetic carry over, turns it into an overdrive, where it loses its connection from its “true nature” and from the natural guidance that comes from the realm beyond mind in the form of inspiration and intuition. This overdrive results into excessive and misaligned momentum of thoughts, accumulation of imbalanced emotional energy of love, fear, hatred, joy, sex and boredom, and the deluded thinking or believes about several aspects of life and about oneself. These become the primary motivating forces in ones robotic living, for ones day to day actions and responses, incongruent dreams and desires, and for misaligned choices or manifestations of career, relationships or wealth in ones life, without any real sense of inner freedom and choice.

It so happens then that any form of control that one tries to impose also comes from this place of overdrive or imbalance, and consequently, it fuels it further rather than helping one to move towards a solution and balance. Our struggle to fit in, to fight or flight in every situation instead of understanding and befriending it, the lack driven and competitive inspiration that we choose and follow from our surrounding sometimes, the unintelligent chase for happiness instead of experiencing life in its totality, posing a negative attitude towards any happening in life that feels bad from mind’s narrow perspective without realising the learning and growth aspects available from it and distrusting life’s intelligence to orchestrate events for our well being, and even the forced meditation and spiritual practices to run away from our sufferings and from the fear of living, are few examples of imbalanced control that we exercise frequently.

Other than some light moments, every now and then we feel that something is not right and many things are not in place, only because we feel disconnected from our true self and overburdened by this overdrive or imbalance. Though this unconscious living is nothing to feel negative about because it’s just a milestone in this journey of growth and a way for life to self-realise, one can not know beauty without knowing ugliness. Hence without pouting about imbalance that lies in us, we are always free to make an inner choice to move towards alignment and balance. Life is also supportive through its fierce grace by giving us occasional wake up calls by orchestrating events that shake us sometimes and take our sufferings to our capacity to bear.

If you go on counting you can count innumerable things that feel off balance to you in your life, and if you follow techniques and practices to cure each one of them, I guess your whole life will be spent in fixing it without you ever living your true potential. Though practices also have a value initially but you can never remain hung on them. For example, you can not be loving and compassionate by practicing and forcing it on you, neither can you find a balanced expression of hatred and anger in you in terms of inculcating a healthy sense of competition and stopping you to be too meek or a doormat for everyone by suppressing these two indispensable elements of life. You can only fall in balance and let the life heal all your imbalances in totality with its touch. Then the love ensues, compassion nurtures, joy happens, and hatred, anger, fear and sexuality also find a balanced expression through you. For this you need to learn the art of letting go for a while, which is a prerequisite before learning the art of conscious control.

To let your imbalance or overdrive to fall in balance you have to surrender to life or let go of everything for sometime. By letting go I don’t mean you to become a recluse but to be more easy, aware and relaxed on you so that life force can do the inner work on you without you acting as a resistance to it. Understand that this is a process, not an instant recipe and it takes time.

In the state of letting go, you need to allow all kind of thoughts of fear, uncertainty, insecurity, hatred, anger, anxiety, worry without getting attached with them, see them in your gradually growing awareness and thusly letting their excessive momentum to slow down because now you have stopped giving your chronic attention or interest to them that actually was the main reason for their constant empowerment.

You also have to let all the suppressed emotional energy vent out through you by fully allowing it. It will not be easy and sometimes very painful when this energy passes through you. If you feel sad you don’t fight sadness, if you feel depressed you allow depression fully and feel it, anger is allowed, hatred is allowed, and over the time the imbalanced surplus of these energies is released and they find their balanced expression. That’s where some inner courage and commitment to find balance is needed.

This state of allowing will also cause some external realities that are not match to your true nature but were attracted by the imbalanced vibration inside you to crumble down. Your mind can interpret them as negative and get panicked, but you have to allow this sense of panic and fear.

As you start getting connected with your true nature you also start becoming privy to life’s wisdom, which is unimaginably vaster than your mind’s intelligence. Doesn’t it run the whole universe? This brings to you understanding, sometimes as an inner realisation and sometimes through some external source, that shows the truth of your deluded beliefs which you were holding onto so firmly before, and thus causing psychological suffering to yourself.

So the bottom line is to have some time by your choice to go through this phase of total allowing, grow in your awareness, and let the life take complete care of you. This is not a practice, rather it is an attitude of total openness towards what life brings. With the time rolling by, you will start feeling an inner stability and a sense of fearlessness towards whatever situation life unfurls to you. You become spacious inside.

Through the state of allowing, when you have fallen in balance and seen your natural make up, and when the undue mind momentum and uncontrollable emotional energies are not there, you are in a state to consciously work with any thought that arises in you fearlessly, make a choice that is purely driven by inspiration or that feels right as per the wisdom of moment, and shape your natural desires or reality with a balanced combination of your free will and the life’s guidance (destiny). Since in this state you feel merged with the life in totality you have the flexibility to accommodate both your desires and life’s broader intentions and you don’t feel an egoic stubbornness to work off your feet to make something happen and suffer from it if it does not, because now you inherently know that life’s nature is not lack oriented, in fact it revels in abundance. You understand the importance of loss for the creation of new, and are spacious enough inside not to be too clingy or needy and move on, not in the sense of rejection or indifference but out of love. You stop being an emotional leech towards circumstances and people, and also don’t lose your sensitivity at all and are free to take a stance. But this time there’s a freshness and openness in it. Some of these natures are very difficult for your mind to imagine conceptually, but you can sense and live them from this place of balance for yourself.

Hence it’s very important to not just keep running through the fuel of imbalanced mind, but squeeze some time for yourself, to introspect, to understand life, to do the inner work on you for a while, not for anything else but simply because it will enhance the experience of your journey in this physical plane. It’s all a matter a choice. Living with suffering is also a choice, which was made unconsciously by your being, and choosing to live without suffering is also a choice that you can make consciously.

At the present moment your life situation can be anything, good, bad or extremely bad, it doesn’t matter, you are always free to make an inner choice. As the Viktor E. Frankl writes it from his own experience in Nazi concentration camps,

We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

It’s easy to understand the value of learning the art of letting go before learning and exercising the art of control in all its might. You should know yourself with all your inherent and natural qualities, preferences, proclivities and desires, before you can make aligned choices and have a wholesome experience of life. Haven’t you seen how long a lion walk surreptitiously, let the deer play freely and learn about its natural movement, before hunting it down.

Once you become honest and aware of your own imbalance and embark on this journey of total allowing even if with a small step of giving yourself just fifteen minutes a day to sit silently and allow, it gets the fuel of your choice and your life start unfolding realisations, inspiration, events and synchronicities, over the time. This release or the act of balancing happens in cycles of bliss and pain. This process ensues its own dynamics but rest assured you will end up with minimal suffering and a balanced experience and expression of and through your life. I’ll also try to share my own experience and understanding in future posts.

Also, I have written it as per my present level of awareness, understanding, experience and research, and I will get more clarity with the ongoing growth and maturity. If any of these words resonate in your heart, you can follow it up, otherwise you are free to move in the direction that life inspires you to at this moment. All of us are condensation of same life energy and are one, therefore you will have your own unique journey towards growth and realisation. The pointers in this article are just helpful outside guidance.

Your thoughts and experiences are welcome.

Note 1: Their is no set standard for balance, only you can be utterly honest what feels like a balance in your being.

Note 2: To connect to your true nature, initially, you can sit daily for 15 to 30 minutes in a comfortable position, with eyes closed and totally relaxed, and allow the movement of all kind of thoughts and emotions happen through you without being involved with them. You can call it detached awareness. To explain it easily it is like becoming a zombie, everything is happening, but you can’t do anything.

Also understand, that you are not forcing yourself to allow or to be aware. You just “are”.

Hallelujah

Believe it or not pain can go deeper than love, and it is that beautiful sensation of sadness which we always run away from, when felt in its plain nakedness, without clinging to any idea of it being good or bad, that can crack open our heart. It’s a reviving heart attack!

If for once, you embrace, you welcome it in you, you will know it was love only, in the disguise of sadness, came to see and shove your heart into the hearth of life.

My heart wants to tear into pieces and those pieces want to flung apart when pain comes, when I listen to Hallelujah in Hannah’s voice, but what should I call it, if not love, that holds it, that binds it again and again. Seated in this roller coaster of life that swings me from ‘falling in love’ to ‘failing out of love’ so often, I am speechless to describe it, but somehow it all gets summed up and scattered in front of my eyes everytime you accompany my pain.

Listen to this hauntingly beautiful song! This is based on the poetry written by Leonard Cohen.

I Love Adulthood…

In those moments which fall on my lap, sometimes, and many times, which make me feel alive, also make me feel that adulthood is such an awesome time!

I can still be innocent, I can still love without a reason, I can fall and play, I can fight, I can create, I can destroy, I can laugh insanely, I can smile slyly, I can enjoy sadness, I can get angry, and I can get dirty too.

I have more mature intelligence and a power to make conscious choices. You can’t shove a concept or idea under my throat deliberately, my consciousness acts as a graceful guidance to me. I remember, how helplessly I had crammed that an atom is made of protons, nuetrons and electrons or this thought that to have something you have to work your arse off. Now, I can think logically and feel intuitively if it really the way life is or moves.

You shoved so much physics, maths, history, religion, morality, ethics, under my throat, in my childhood, and thereon too when I was in sleep, and now when I grow everyday, I can see the truth and beauty of all these from my own eyes, experience and awareness.

This present time, this being an adult now, has so much in it. I don’t need to remain hung on the memories of childhood (not that you stop revisiting the photos from the yore :D), and the dreams of its return.

A beautiful childhood has already gone and a beautiful adulthood is hitting the shore of life’s sea-some vastness, every single moment.

Undoubtedly, there is no comparison of two stages, it will be similar to compare a seed with a tree. Every seed wants to turn into a tree, irrespective of the challenges that wild wind will bring. 🙂

Rape – The Heinous Hunt

(This post is an attempt to look into the rape a bit deeply and objectively.)

I was aghast to listen the news of a young girl being gang raped in a bus in New Delhi. What worse and daring inhumane incident can be expected in the capital of India. I watched over news and all the channels were spilling the crime case over and over again, conducting inconsequential debates with feminists and activists, and collecting strong emotional reactions of people e.g. victims should be castrated or even lynched. Among all this, I was brooding on the lackadaisical attitude of police and politicians, preventive measures that should be exercised by society and individuals, but along with this some questions unsettled me even more.

The Animal in Hunt

Why someone rapes and what are the deep and dark reasons that hide in his psyche? 

As fact says, 50% of rapists do not ejaculate or reach orgasm during rape, it is easy to understand that roots of a rape also lie beyond sexual gratification. Scientifically, it is the intense pent-up of emotional energies in the dimension of hatred, anger and sexuality, and the unconscious and misguided thinking or believes that can lead one to rape. In different cases reasons can be different, but they are always some of the below.

Deformed Sexuality

Realistically, sexuality is a natural aspect of life but we misperceive it when we look at it through the prism of religion and society. Thus, over the time we have created many rules and customs which are rooted in misbelieves and restrict a balanced expression of this dimension in us. Many of us live in conditions where sex and talking about sex is a taboo, we are brought up in a way which cripples us to connect with women in a frank, respectful and loving manner. This ever increasing chasm among men and women and the continuous suppression of sexual desires stores a huge lot of hang-up in us which seeks to vent out when it becomes unbearable and met with conducive circumstances.

Hatred for Women and Gender Inequality

Men are sterner sex and are entitled to use, domineer or harm the weaker sex. Many of us inherit this misbelief in our lifetime, sometimes from our ancestors, sometimes we learn it from the environment that belittles women, and sometimes when we fall in emotional love with a woman and are betrayed. In countries like South Africa where a woman is raped every 13 seconds, the whole social fabric festers from such an abhorrence. It shouldn’t surprise us for this insidious hatred to become an invidious deed at the flip of a thought when someone is seething with such a scorn.

Anger and Frustration from Life and People

Life is not easy when you distrust it, feel orphaned by it and continue to live unconsciously and fight to make things your way. In that struggle, many people close themselves to the extent that they start using misbehavior and violence as a social skill. They are frustrated and feel a meaninglessness in their lives and keep themselves engaged with ego-lifting conversations, squabbles and wrongdoings to cover it up and can be instantly hurt if their emotional and sexual advances are denied by a woman. Rape can as easily become a mean to drain their anger and frustration as any other crime for them.

Spite and Revenge

When a man is cheated by a women or when he is not reciprocated equally, many times, all his love turns into retribution. While everyone else moves ahead with his or her business he keeps stewing a feeling of spite. You must have listened people passing a flip comment or a cuss word among friends about their intention of doing something harmful with the girl who cheated him. Also, for the people with low self-esteem and imbalanced ego, even a small spat with a woman can inflict and fill them with a feeling to avenge.

Demoralizing Social and Life Conditions

The world is full of wretched conditions but people live in them. Poverty, unemployment, health and relationship issues, glint of happiness are scarcely seen in their lives. A sense of helplessness and hopelessness constantly looms in. In such a situation, stealing a moment of instant gratification by raping someone when the urge becomes uncontrollable doesn’t seem to be a big deal. Many women and young girls who live in such conditions are also raped because of low chances of reprisal from their families. On the other side, in metro cities, corruption, fearlessness, irresponsible authority, permissiveness etc. become the reason for a high social status brat to rape a girl and escape.

Shutting Down of Sensitivity and Empathy

When striving to survive, being a puppet in the hands of society and religion, seeing the shallowness of behavior even in the so called normal people, seeing woman being disrespected and disparaged every once and while, we become cold and start to forget to understand other’s feelings. We disregard that having intercourse with someone without her consent is not a pleasurable experience to her. Co-existing and co-creating with women becomes almost an impossibility for us when we close ourselves to them. A woman crying, being wounded, tolerating pain, and undergoing immense humiliation, even all of this fails to touch such people beyond their skins. As dead as a stone in those moments, they become heartless human.

The Healing

How to hinder such heinous acts? 

You can clearly see that the drive to commit a rape starts from the inside of a person. Only outside influences are not responsible for it. Leave a man and a woman alone in a room and it is highly unlikely that he would rape her. Outside actions like punishing the victim severely, increasing women’s security, police getting more active in arresting any eve teaser or offender has a value, but improving the over all social fabric, filling that vacuum of love, compassion and joy, and taking people to a conscious and better living is immensely needed. I believe that it starts from you, you taking the responsibility of your way of living completely, aligning to the dimension of love and joy, and then when you will touch the lives of others in any way possible, as simple as talking to someone, that has an alchemy in it.

It’s simple to realize that society is just an idea, we can not hold and change it for better. Only when the people change and their living change, our perception of society becomes better. Lets try to touch and heal lives in our daily business and lets those who feel inspired go the whole hog into the business of changing lives. Lets see through any misconceptions we have about women and lets women also give men some space for a connection instead of considering men as disloyal or immoral beings, if they do.

I feel more than happiness we need awareness and in this world of internet and communication spreading awareness is easier than ever before. I understand that betterment can not happen in a day, it will take time, but the message of love and compassion needs to reach out to people because that is the only thing that can tell them a sweet story even in the mid of a chaos!

And remember, rape is a horrible failure to remain human, we must do everything to stop it.

Mercy or Malice

How a rapist should be deemed? 

The first reaction comes as he should be hanged to death! But I pondered, and felt that it is not just him who is responsible, so many things like his social conditions, upbringing, unconscious living have come together to make him do this. When I look at it from a very personal perspective it feels like he is the culprit and deserves no mercy, but when I look at it from bigger environmental context that also includes the person, I feel we should give him a chance for rehabilitation. With an open heart you can see that if there is a reason to feel compassionate towards victim, there is also a reason to feel compassionate towards culprit.

I can empathize that it would never be easy for those who are close to victim and who have suffered, to give even a shred of softheartedness, specially in the spur of those moments, still we are all human and one, and I can hope only for the righteous thing to happen when the time comes.

The Prey

What lies ahead for the victim? 

I have no idea but I can feel that that time must be extremely agonizing for a woman and the time thereafter that bears a mark of disgrace on her. I do not know what can soothe her at such times, but I feel if just one of us without any pretense can make his or her presence feel her closely, if just one of us is able to hear her story of pain and grief without reacting and let her pour her heart out with the tears if they drop, with the wailing if it happens, she will be lightened, she will be able to touch that emotional abyss whereon path to revival passes through.

In the end, honestly, it is her journey, and she must be able to come back to life instead of closing herself to life if we will pray and be with her.

The Inevitability

Why the nature or existence allows such seemingly intolerable happenings and will never let us eradicate them completely even with our continuous struggle?

All that we do we do for a dream of a world where there would be no rapes, wars, murders or any other wrongdoing, and we have seen this dream as long as we have existed, but it never happened, it has always been a chimera! History that is rife with such barbarous incidents is a proof of it. As soon as we feel we have removed something bad from the world, God or nature or consciousness add some more of it and we again become busy in removing it and this goes on as if it is a play and consciousness is enjoying it. What is good or bad is good or bad only to us, through our perception, but it is the way it is to the consciousness, an element of the game. Life does not asses anything.

If it is a play, it has to happen between opposite energies, the light and the dark, the yin and the yang, and thus both are innate and undetachable fractals of expression of consciousness, and thus result into the existence of so called good and bad things in the world. But should we stop after this realization and sit slack, do nothing? No, you are here to enjoy the journey of life, there can not be any other purpose. Even with all you serious intentions and aspirations, sorrow and struggle, pain and love, cruelty and compassion, it has to be lived the humanly way, remaining connected with that space of silence at the same time from where wisdom and inspiration comes in.

Hence we must do whatever is in our control to reduce rapes, and in that experience may be we can experience aliveness, the true togetherness of humans, our uniqueness, and that infinite peace and silence and then may be, realistically, even if our hopes are not met, we have served our purpose.

Visualize, Create, Deliver.

(Through this post I have shared some thoughts on the key principle “Visualize, Create, Deliver” which my friend’s organization Auriga IT (http://www.aurigait.com/) follows avidly. With a crackerjack young team, they design and develop beautiful web and mobile products.)

Visualize 

“Imagination is the highest form of research.”  — Albert Einstein

Visualization is imagining and using your existing knowledge cohesively to give shape to an idea or a product in your thoughts. It is creating a mental blueprint of something, with the vision you hold, with the inspiration that flows through you, and with the information you have, even before the actual creation happens. The value of visualization is immense in the whole creation process and it can be productively used when working on a full-fledged product with a large scope or on just a tiny component of it. It gives you something concrete to start on to with some clarity on your action and direction, it saves your time that you spend on physical iterations or reworks, and most of all it opens door to newness and innovation that can come about only through imagination.

Believe me, use it once, taste it once, and you will find that this is where real power of creation emerges. Visualization should be the precursor of every action you take, be it creating a strategy, developing and writing code for a module tactically, designing a website or application that has originality, or any other idea that you work on for the organization or on personal level. It will give you wings and will add a beautiful dimension to your creativity!

Visualizing something is not only a brain’s feat. The true power of visualization is realized when you sometimes do not struggle for it and let the inspiration seep in through the gaps among your thoughts, and if then combined with your mind’s intelligence, exquisite things can happen! Hence it is important to relax and give some space to your mind from the continuous shooting of thoughts sometimes, that helps connect you to the nature’s intelligence and hones your imagination.

Create

“Everything must be made as simple as possible. But not simpler.”  — Albert Einstein

So it is time to fold the sleeves up and get your hands dirty! Creation involves thinking, executing, communicating, collaborating, and giving your idea a physical form that can be seen, experienced, assessed and used. Creation comes with a purpose and it is utterly important to understand it. After all what we are creating here is not an “art” that gives us only a self-fulfilling experience, our piece of creation is to be used by the people, it is meant to facilitate and make a task easier and richer in experience for the users, it has to fit in the financial budget and time drawn upon for it, and it has also to meet the hopes and interests of business owners. Certainly, it is a challenge to bring a balance among all these but that is what motivates you when you place the pieces of jigsaw together and that is what brings about a meticulously crafted product or strategy which is delight to use for people or to showcase for the organization.

Create with heart, let the intuition trickle in, take help of your mind and existing knowledge, work smoothly and openly with people and understand your work in totality, not just as a piece in vacuum acting independently. Put yourself in the user’s shoes and then know the impact of what you are going to create, and believe me, that will motivate you a lot. As they say, beauty lies in details, consider small things, consider their role in the big picture, enquire how can they be made better, in fact enquire how can they be made “wow”!

Naturally, you can not work with the same energy and motivation all the time. It’s a humanly limitation. At such times, I feel, instead of forcing yourself to work and thus creating a lot of resistance inside, you should relax and give yourself some time and after a period of rest you can work in full swing and efficiently. It is not a matter of working hard, it is about working naturally, be it too much or too less. Though it is my understanding, you are free to disprove!

Deliver

“Nothing happens until something moves.” — Albert Einstein

It is time for the trial. It is time for your creation to land in the real world and be tested. In this world of hurry and changing technology and needs, it is important to be able to deliver quickly, involve important people in gaining feedback, and then iterate and adapt. It’s a simple realization that you can not create “perfection” based on “assumptions”. Yes, you have done your work till now only based on logical assumptions! Only when the users use your creation in real world you come to validate your assumptions and improvise accordingly. So some quickness in delivering work has a value. Don’t dawdle too much, work smartly and push your work in waters briskly.

Oh, I love quoting Einstein words, they are human, humorous and honest! And no one dares to contradict them. 😉

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” — Albert Einstein

A letter to a loved one…

(This is a random letter to express a heartfelt thank to a loved one for her unfading touch, unmoving time and the undying trust, even amidst the difficult time she was living on with…)

It seems to be the appropriate time to thank you when today I feel our ways breaking away, a sadness shadowing inside me, tears approaching to eyelids and I feeling to let them fall, brain persistently questioning the happenings around, and yet heart snuggled beside me and saying the secret that love is not slender, it is substantial.

Both of us know the story of past that how it started with an infatuation, grew into an obsession and then turned into a deeper realization that what loving someone truly means. It’s the last part that brought me to bow to you for your grace and fired a light of love in me that will not douse even in the wildest winds. It’s the wake up call that you stirred up in me to come out of the story I was living in and see things as they were beyond the veils on my eyes. Speaking scientifically, I had vented out all the unnecessary cache of emotional imbalances by allowing them instead of suppressing during this course. Now the love for you was not an aching madness, it was an utter joy!

It’s also not so that I was free of all the humanly pain, but now I could welcome it as it is without letting it affect my peace and sanity. I felt a sense of oneness and sensed that loving you is no different than loving myself or loving anyone in the universe because it is all the same, and in parallel this feeling that loving someone uniquely and selfishly is also a beautiful human experience also entered in. Paradox, as it may sound, words can not suffice to make you believe unless you experience it yourself. I could also see through the lack oriented ideas projected by my mind that if I will lose you I will be doomed or I will not get any better relationship in future, and that’s why all the clinginess that I was imposing on you earlier. But by nature life is not lacking, it is abundant of experiences, experiences that aligns to your natural make up and desires! It’s only our imbalanced believes that make us feel stuck and resist the unfolding of life’s natural expression through us. Thus, all this gave me the power to love and let go at the same time and look at things from broader or cosmic context rather than limited and personal. This was also the reversal of the “place” where my desires were coming from e.g. before I wanted to be with you to quell my lonliness and now out of simple joy of it, before I was enforcing love on you out of desperation and now I simply loved you without conditions, before I felt that it will be the end of my sufferings if we happen to be together and now I feel it will be the start of a creative journey where both of us can participate in actualizing our dreams, and, before I wished my happiness with you and now I wish your happiness with anyone. I can talk on and on on this, but you will be bored, I know! So stopping here with a fondly smile for you!

Reminding of smiles, they have been the unfailing companion in our encounters, but I could also feel the pain that was behind your smiles. Unsaid and unexpressed, you have been hiding it, bearing it all all alone. Time has been troublesome for you since you left this place, and I also felt a pinch of it and a flutter that when it will end for you. You know , since the time we have met half of my all heartbeats timings have been assigned only for wishing for you! Wondering that there are so many things in this world to wish for and yet I am choosing you, yes, love is a selfish deal!

The connection we share with each other is beautiful. You happen to grace me with a dream and a loving sensation that allays all my woes whenever we talk or meet and I know you also love the smell of our togetherness. The friendship, the frankness and the flirtatiousness, I feel lucky for every flair of it. I least care for our connection’s culmination, but I deeply desire to cherish it in any form and endlessly. Still, girl, I couldn’t understand your heart quite. I couldn’t see its intentions clearly. May be it is not needed, may be all the confusion is to be embraced as it is, or maybe it holds something for us in the coming time. I’m smiling you know, and cunningly too!

When I imagine you today, I see you tied in shackles, while I want to see you as a free bird. Honestly, I will also not flatter you by saying that outside circumstances or people are responsible for all this because now I know that outside is just the reflection of your inside, so in essence, only you are responsible for the way you feel. Instead of taking the stories of your mind too seriously and personal, try to find who “you” are beyond stories, ever in peace, ever in love, and caressing everything be it your fear, pain, joy or love. It’s very obvious that unless you know your heart, you can’t make choices and you will keep dawdling. I used to be very weak in making choices and that’s why I left so many jobs out of boredom and confusion creeping in. But now I can take decisions consciously e.g. I recently visited my books wishlist in Amazon and scrapped off eighty percent books that I had saved for reading because I instantly knew that I didn’t want to read them. All I’m saying is that stop struggling, relax, face and know yourself, and come out of your bubble to enjoy the present which is a present given to you by life. There is no better or worse way of living, it just is and you withhold its blatant expression within you. Even the lives of a crippled beggar and a crowned emperor are not to be compared, both are beautiful in their own accord.

You are so beautiful, and loving you is so easy that even if you try to break my heart thousand times, only more and more light will gush out of it with the crevice getting larger with every strike you pound. So please, unhesitatingly, do it freely and whenever you want! And, I’m not kidding! I just wish that in doing that you could cheer as a flower, you could fall as the rain, you could fly as the singing bird, you could float as free waves and you could waft as far as breeze takes you. Another smile, with some wizardry!

I know you are a strong and mature girl, so you won’t be gullibly and emotionally influenced by my words and poetic appreciation, though you can enjoy it and see the truth in it yourself! I also intend not to influence you by any mean, it is just that today my heart is feeling low and wants you to know your own alchemy that changed me, changed the way I look at you and binds me with an unwavering thankfulness towards you.

“This is not a goodbye, my darling, this is a thank you. Thank you for coming into my life and giving me joy, thank you for loving me and receiving my love in return. Thank you for the memories I will cherish forever. But most of all, thank you for showing me that there will come a time when I can eventually let you go.
I love you.” — Nicholas Sparks (Message in a Bottle)

Hugs, love and thanks, as many as you want! A last smile, with all the streaks on my face passionately collecting and clasping together to create it only for YOU!

Yours, with a grateful heart…

Frailty of Flirting…

That tingling and tenacious, half love and half mischief filled sensation, rising up from a corner in the heart, shaping and spreading, until it hits a neural cell in the brain, and then we flirt or fail! How many times you had a sweet bite of flirting and how many times you blew it off? A smile, slyly.

The desire to flirt is the desire to connect with someone with an adventurous outset that can end up tenderly or tragically both. It spawns when we see a person and he or she gently touches or roughly tickles a sweet spot in us. We suddenly start wanting to invade his or her decorum of personality and presence, and buy a ticket, with the initial conversation or act, to a journey of uncharted and fictional romantic experiences, and in a jiffy our imagination and fear both start to grow wings if she happens to respond with a smile, coyly. Victor Hugo writes it with a blatant charm,

“You are adorable, mademoiselle. I study your feet with the microscope and your soul with the telescope.” ~ Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

I wonder why our steps stagger, eyelashes flicker and body flinches at such a moment and we fail. It’s a matter of courage, such a trite answer! We fail because of the fear of the clash of our egos, the defeat on defending it, the unconscious disposition to be strategic in everything we pursue and the failing of it, the doubt in our ability to make a joyful and innocent connection, the lack of confidence in our sexuality, and the unwieldy rush of thoughts of expectations and rejection both, and many times just because one believes that flirting is against his or her ethics. Essentially, it is the lack of openness and the load of fluffiness that hinders us to form a true connection.

Flirting is bad, a nuisance, and a crummy way of treating people. Definitions and more definitions that have infested our minds! I wonder how a connotation brewed up by people and attached to a word can influence our intentions, howsoever genuine and beautiful they are, only because that word also pops up in our mind as soon as the intention does in heart. Then starts the war of thoughts, an epic battle between Should and Should Not, that our attention is so fond of and is fetched into in a trice. Flirting is not just passing rash remarks on someone or show of ones antics or a mean to quell ones neediness or loneliness. It is approaching and meeting someone as it is, with whatever is flowing in ones heart at that moment, dropping all the armors to defend oneself, enjoy the inception of a connection and let it go if he or she is not resonating with you and feeling coerced.

We are beautiful people and I don’t intend to call any kind of malicious mischief or derogatory doing towards anyone as flirting. In fact, flirting is an act of love out of an innocent desire to experience a human connection with some risk and some fun. It seems that the fabric which we are made of was first deeply marinated in the potion of love before giving it any form and hence what we attract towards is very unique to our fabrics but the desire to immerse in that oneness is immense and inherent in all of us and human body and mind are two consummate facilitators to it.

At the core, as consciousness, we are fearless beings, ready to take up any adventure, hence a desire can sprout in us even without our permission. After this, based on our societal and genetical conditioning of believes, morals, ethics and delusions we start to dampen or empower our desires. We must realize that desires are very powerful fractal of life and they are precursors to any kind of physical manifestation that takes place. Sometime let a desire arise in you defying gravity, feel it flowing through your spine, feel vulnerable at your heart when it reaches there, bear the bombarding of arguments of mind, burn yourself in your desire, and if it is just the spurting of your needy and lacking mind it will turn into ashes, otherwise what remains is a true desire, red and glistening. Feel the desire to flirt when it is there, and flirt, and get flirted too, enjoy both sides of the table. A grin, affectionately.

Can you see the beauty in flirting tearing the veils on your eyes? Lets approach and meet a stranger next time with a brutal honesty of intention and innocence. Lets not get strategic for a while and defend our masks, lets not talk things that we do to avoid talking things that can touch us deeply, that can catch us off the gaurd, in front of our fears, naked. Lets snuggle down in the lap of life, shed our pretensions, heal our imbalances, and our eyes become chalice of truth, face become a caressing invitation, words become mirrors, and the presence become perfume of love. Lets fall into the lightness of flirting without falling apart, lets succumb to that inborn calling for charm. Lets flirt some and fly some. Lets flirt just because we want to, for its simplicity, for the joy of it. Some beautiful lines from Janice,

“He flashed the warmest smile I’d ever seen, and my heart felt comforted. Maybe he saw my insecurities, my fears. Maybe he knew God still had a lot of work to do in my life before I’d be good girlfriend material. Or maybe, just maybe, he saw beyond all that and simply wanted to flirt with me instead of rehearse for the big night.

I did my best to relax…and let him.”  ~ Janice Thompson, Fools Rush In

Parents, Love, and Life…

Do you love your parents? If yes, that’s beautiful. But if you are faking it out that you love them, just because it buoys up your good personality or keeps your means greased while in your heart, deep inside, you want to blame them for so many things in your life, unconsciously, you are fueling a feeling of “rejection” inside you. I used to love my parents in my childhood, before entering into this complicated life, when I didn’t even know what did the word love mean because it was so natural and was the essence of living then. As the time rolled by, I got deeper and deeper into the abyss of life, struggling, pretending outside that everything is moving awesomely fine while fearing inside to pip out of my conditioning and know my heart and live a life that quenches its desires, a life that is extremely unique in its expression, not comparable even to the most successful or enlightened person in the world. Gradually, somewhere I started to relate some of my problems to my parents. It was very subtle, but it was there and a feeling of apathy towards them kept growing in me. The love and compassion for them was fading out while I was totally busy in my own bubble shaping my future, solving my puzzles and aloof of their pain. It was so difficult to put both I and my parents in my measurements and move ahead. Career, love, life, friends, search of meaning, social contribution, and parents among all of this, what a bitter concoction to taste, as it seemed then!

It might be astounding to know that most of us live very unconsciously, acting as per our programmed mind, struggling to fit in the patterns and deriving our dreams and desires based on the race we feel we are running in. It so happens then that whatever we pursue, be it profession, relationship or entertainment it becomes a mean to find a sense of completeness that we always feel we are missing within instead of pursuing them for the simple joy of their experience. A sense of neediness arises in us and we become slaves to our external experiences or expressions for our happiness without realizing that they are very impermanent in nature. This grips our parents too, and generally, what feels like love from our parents is actually their unconscious attachment and their dependency on us for their happiness. Sometimes their world becomes so constricted to us that they compromise their lives to fulfill our dreams and at the same time oppose everything that seems to be risking their sense of security in their relationship with us. In fact, parents have more share in our risks than our rewards. For an example, suppose you get a good hike in your salary, your parents get very happy while when you go and ask them that you want to go for sky-diving or you want to marry a girl or boy whom you love but they hate, they will stand on their toes to prevent you in doing so. Though their intentions are never bad, they are always as innocent as they are, but without awareness even those prove to be lethal and act as a bottleneck to what aligns to your true desires. At a point this nosiness and clinginess starts to evoke a sense of rejection in us towards them, that’s why we come to know so many cases, specially outside India, where people leave their parents altogether or put their aging parents in outside care facilities. What happens to our capability to love and be compassionate in such cases? I wondered sometime ago.

What should we do with our parents then? I was troubled with this question, and for the fear of being frazzled of not being able to find an answer, I always avoided it. How could I forgive them for all that they did and do unknowingly? As a human, I did not have enough compassionate space in me to accommodate them. I could not love and accept them as they were with all their silliness and infatuation for me. I tried to love them, but love is such a deal that we can not force it, we can not pick things and start loving them one by one because then it becomes a matter of maths and we are always going to leave few things in counting. We can find love only within, love that is all encompassing and then it does not remain a commodity of our entertainment which we keep losing and finding every once and while. If you allow me to digress slightly, I would say that it happened only when I turned inward out of some fierce life situations, which now in hindsight seems like blessings, and realized the completeness and spaciousness that I already was, that my whole perspective towards everything and my parents was shifted. I felt a sense of oneness among all the things, and found them to be very unique at the same time. Realizing the fact that from absolute perspective, everything is a play of consciousness, life became less serious, but at the same time, from relative sense, I knew that we are here to participate fully in life by being open to all the aspects of our humanness, be it happiness, sadness, anger, hatred etc. Everything that is happening in this world is already deeply accepted by life, otherwise it would have not even been happening. But it does not mean that we should become zombies and become unable to respond. In fact, when we are aware of us as consciousness and also know that we are breathing and engaged in life in reality we become fearless to participate in it and are also gracefully endowed with all its innate qualities like love, joy and peace, they do not remain something to chase then. With only this change or rather knowing my true nature for the first time, my feelings for my parents were alchemized drastically, all the rejection was swallowed by the compassion that flowered within, I started to listen them more than reacting, the pinch was changed to pleasure and I started wanting to be with them and spend some beautiful time together. Yet there was an inner freedom to pursue anything even amidst all the expectations and resistance they were trying to impose. May be initially they will feel disappointed if I break their expectations, but with time they will know that I’m more with the truth and I have changed, and I still love them, even more than before. I can be with them or without them, it becomes a conscious choice based on my heart calling, it does not remain a compulsion because now I know that what is good for each of us is also good for the world. We are not existing here independently, it’s all weaved in one, connected, tangled and functioning with an unshakable harmony.

I love my parents and I love everything else too. Life is happening here and now, as it is, beautifully and beatifically. Don’t resist or repress anything, wear an attitude of brash openness to your thoughts, emotions, events, ideas and actions and they will start to fall in balance as they come in close contact with life. We must realize that we are not here to “fix” our lives, we are here to enjoy it with all its shades. Sit with your parents sometime, shedding all your ideas and concepts about them and touch their innocence. Get consumed sometime in their love that is beyond their words and intentions. Can you open your heart beyond your imagination? Did something knock in your heart reading the lines below?

“Love Your Parents. We are so busy growing up, we often forget they are also growing old.”

Grace.