by any other name would smell as sweet. Who said that ? One Mr. Shakeappaiyyer in Romeo and Juliet. Will Iyyer still smell as sweet as Shakespeare ? Hello, Mr William Shakespeare, I am asking you, can you hear me ? Everybody is touchy about their name, why not. The other night I sent a mail expressing my gratefulness. I woke up in the middle of my sleep, hey, did I spell the names right ? Checked up and found them misspelt. They must have thought I am calling them names. I sent my apologies.
I want to share a statement by Arthur Ashe and the difference it made in my life. Before that let me introduce you to Arthur Ashe, just in case, you have not heard about him
It was the year 1975, first week (5th day ?) in the month of July I was with my friends in a restaurant in Rourkela. We carried a transistor radio with us, ‘no TV’ days, to listen to a commentary of a tennis match, Wimbledon finals between the odds on favourite Jimmy Connors (betting is as old as the Mahabharath, and is still on, IPL6) and Arthur Ashe. We were not involved in any betting , I don’t want anybody to come knocking on my door. Jimmy Connors plundered his way to the finals with out losing a single set. He lost only 3 sets in the tournament and that was in the finals to Arthur Ashe. He did not allow Connors to play any of his famous strokes like double handed backhand and powerful service returns. Arthur Ashe, was the first coloured American to win Wimbledon and we were an ear witness to a great event.
In addition to being a great athlete, Arthur Ashe also excelled in academics. Throughout his life he received honorary doctorates from numerous highly respected colleges including Princeton University, Trinity University, Hartford College and Virginia Union University. Arthur Ashe obtained high academic standards for people to follow. His hard work in school made him a role model for others and many schools of high academic achievement have been named in his honor.
The US Open and Wimbledon were two of the most acknowledged tennis accomplishments. In addition to those, he also won singles and doubles in Australian Open in 1970 and Winner, French Open in 1971.
Arthur Ashe, was dying of AIDS infected from an infected blood transfusion for a heart surgery in 1983. From world over, he received letters from his fans, one of which conveyed:
“Why does GOD have to select you for such a bad disease?”
50,000,000 children start to play tennis,
5,000,000 learn to play tennis,
500,000 learn professional tennis,
50,000 come to the circuit,
5000 reach the grand slam,
50 reach Wimbledon,
4 to semi final,
2 to the finals.
When I was holding a cup, I never asked GOD ”Why me?”
And today in pain I should not be asking GOD ”Why me?”
Arthur Ashe public awareness to the subject of AIDS after he had been diagnosed with the disease. Arthur Ashe died at the young age of 49, because of this disease.
For me his ‘Why me” has been a life changing question which I will never ask. Life is full of situations to be dealt with, to be responded, no reason to ask why me. Since I do not ask why the blessings, I do not blame anybody for anything. Life has been easy for me after that.
What could or should have been has no meaning, the reality is “what is”. Accept the situation. Now you have an option, ignore it or respond. Everything happens for good. Everything in life is temporary. So when things are going good, enjoy it and if things aren’t good enough don’t worry, even that will pass.
A story of great customer service , a case study by Rohit Deshpande
On the 26th of November 2008, a group of terrorists struck a dozen targets in Mumbai, India including the iconic, 103-year old Taj Palace Hotel. The siege at the hotel lasted two days and three nights and was covered extensively by international media. But there is an amazing, inspirational back story about the heroic actions of the Taj staff couched in the culture of the Taj Hotels company. What can the staff, who saved lives while endangering their own, teach the rest of the world about ethical behavior?
Thanks to my friend and batch mate from NIT Rourkela, Rajendra Prasad Gulyam for sending me this link
At the NY airport, saw a book by Obama (Audacity of hope) before he became the president. Should I? Another one, Last lecture by someone I have not heard of. The cover looked interesting though not very colorful and I picked it up. I go by the cover, though have been told, don’t judge a book by the cover.
Once settled in the flight, looked at the book. Last lecture by Randy Paush. Professor Carnegie Melllon with Jeffrey Zaslow.
“We cannot change the cards we are dealt with, just how we play the hand “.
When Randy Paush, professor in computer science, had to give a lecture titled last lecture he did not have to imagine it as his last lecture since he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. And the lecture he gave was not about dying. The lecture he gave was “Really achieving your childhood dreams “, it was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, enabling dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because time is all you have and you may find one day that you have less than you think). He was dying and he was talking of living.
He says he has an engineering problem. While for most part he is in terrific physical shape, he has ten tumors in his liver and only a few months to live.
He has three young children, aged 18 months, 3 and 5 years then. He starts working for the future of the family of which he will not be a part. He speaks to the young students about his experience, what worked and what did not. He prepares lot of lessons for his children which he will not be able to teach in person. They will be learning to live in their father’s absence. He will be leaving without experiencing the thrill of their growing years. He will be exiting with that knowledge. He says he is not the hero in the scenario but his brave wife Jai who is preparing for his death and the aftermath.
I read this book in one sitting from NY to India. I cannot recall whether I ate anything during that trip.
When I reached home, I called my daughter in NY to tell her my experience of the book. She said you can hear him on you tube and he died two weeks ago. This was in August 2008 .
I asked myself then, what if the doctor told me that I have about four months to live.
I checked within, well I have almost crossed the river, survival is not mandatory. The only effect will be a change in spouse’s status and you will be known as the late…
No harm in asking yourself the hypothetical question, what if the doctor….., just for fun and give it a serious thought.
Or why should we wait for the doctor, why not make it a practice to prepare dependents to live independently. I don’t mean providing money but ways to earn while learning. Don’t give them fish but teach them how to fish. In our country we have an earner and many dependents. Tragedy strikes when the breadwinner makes an abrupt exit leaving behind a chaos. Think about it, you may not need it but you can advise some needy family. Many of us do not like to even mention the word death, but death is the only reality in life. Don’t live in denial mode
Right now I m living a “what can I do for you? “ life until….
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji5_MqicxSo more on Randy Paush. And his lectures
If I was asked which are the 50 places I would like to visit before I die, at my age even 20 is not fair, I would have never included Finland. You can only propose but disposal is by someone else.
It is cold, -X degrees , no sun or when it is there, it is there for 24 hours, some such rubbishes were my impressions of Finland. The name would freeze me.
Well, right now I am writing this from Joensuu, Finland. We get off the flight at Helsinki with our luggage holding their breadth, to weigh within the limits. From there it is a 5 hour train journey to my Pappu’s (soninlaw) place. We reach the central station and I am looking at the board to know the platform number. Somebody near me asks, where do you want to go ? uhh.. I am…going to….! I kept shaking my head and smiling and made a hard search for the place’s name in my head. Some names never come on board straight. Of course , it is different for different people.
I remember in India when I asked the tourist where he intends to go from Bangalore he was in the same predicament that I was in to tell me where he was going. He kept hinting about films studios and then he said sounds motherly, earlier the name had something to do with some blast and the name changed, like working on crossword puzzle. Ah.. mombai. he said finally. The name was Mumbai, which was earlier Bomb ay. I thought what a lousy tourist, cannot remember Mumbai!.
Coming back to me, I had kept a hint in my mind for the name, some joe wanted to piddle. Oh ya, joensuu, though J is pronounced Y. I said Joensuu, after lot of head shakes and smiles. He looked around , may be for a policeman, to check me out. He said platform 11. I was impressed with him for not telling me what he thought of me.
A lovely journey by train to ..to…oh ya..Joe, was on, smoother than the flight from Delhi, which had to encounter air pockets and bumps for a six and half hour trip.
Within half an hour it became dark and the snow desert we were travelling through faded away.
At last, Joe….!
Pappu right in front of the bogey, grabbed two boxes and me the rest, hurried to a waiting taxi, before we could freeze and become a statue. Right near the taxi, I found myself on my butt, slipped on the snow. Next second I found my wife next to me on the ground. While I was landing, my leg hit her and she was along side me. The taxi driver was not bothered, since he has seen many romances like this, before. Pappu gave a hand and pulled me up straight after two pull ups. Getting back on your feet on a slippery ground is tougher than falling.
Lesson one, please wear shoes that has a grippy sole and be aware of your steps. Walking with awareness is a form of meditation.
I am not sure of my foot prints but I have left my butt print at Joensuu, serves me right for forgetting the name of Joe…joensuu.
Another lesson, Joensuu means mouth of the river.
Aurora borealis – A natural light display in the sky caused by collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere. A picture by Balu Chandra in the skies of Joensuu
I do not want to get married, have decided to stay single. I will marry but first I want to put my career in a proper path. I want to enjoy a few years of free life before I get stuck with some one. These girls are stupid, I am ready to get married right now and its not happening.These were a few natural responses I got from four pretty young girls travelling along with me in the train to Cochin, when we were discussing ” Is there a right age for marriage in India”.You are right, I hope all of you stick to your decisions. I know a few, who were always in an argument with their parents about marriage. Parents are under pressure to get the daughters married at the earliest. Once a girl starts working, relatives, friends and the neighbor have one question for the parents,about the marriage of their daughter. You can tell them any reason you want, they will come up with the same question, the next time they meet you. Anything? Why not ? It is the same for their sons, also. But let us stick to the daughters , here. Parents may be taking the sides of their daughters in order go along with her wishes but if the marriage can be conducted at the appropriate time (what is appropriate time) they can fulfill their responsibilities and plan for their retirement.