9th Sept 2019

What is it like when you seek something that you know you will never get?

What is it like when you know you are not giving what is desired?

Anger, despair, hatred, destruction… Hong Kong.

Morning visual breaks my heart… let wisdom prevail and peace return.

๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Ode to the People who refuse to be adopted

The people of Hong Kong never fail to surprise me! The more I try to understand the more I am left amazed.

From my 5 years of observations as an outsider, they are mixed bag … a bag worth in gold.

When I arrived here, I saw them engrossed in their mobile screens trying to catch the Pokemon creatures in Victoria park. I thought they were wasted.

I also saw them making streets their homes in the yellow umbrella movement. They stood for each other and stood with each other. I thought they are under influence.

I have seen them faint on a hot summer hike. I thought they are too delicate.

I have seen them in Disneyland holding hands and buying soft toys. I thought they were immature.

I cringed when they take pictures of the food before they eat. I thought they are too digital.

And I have also seen them in Ocean Park on Halloween days, wearing scary makeup. I thought they were too childish.

But I have never the protesting force as shown on 12th June 2019.

And I have never seen greater resilience on 13th June 2019, cleaning the road caused from the riots in spite of the violence shown at them.

Dear people of Hong Kong, you are much more than you are because you have shown the way.

May the force be with you! God Bless.

Tall Buildings and deeper souls. PC SCMP
Crowd making way for an ambulance

These pictures are not mine, but were important to depict the spirit of Hong Kong people.

https://indianexpress.com/article/trending/trending-globally/video-of-hong-kong-protestors-giving-way-for-an-ambulance-garners-praise-online-5784049/

Yosemite

This place surely has some enigmatic aura and it is complex to decipher the pull it has on the mind.

…may be geographically the landscapes have their own identity which is very unique to this terrain.

Or may be it is the experience of the journey that leads to Yosemite… after the seemingly long and never ending curvy roads … you start to get the glimpse of the granite treasures.

Or may be on a more poetic note…the mountains and cliffs stand out as the ancestors of the past wanting to tell their story. A story of the turmoiled, rebelling and unsettled soul.. looking into our eyes and asking for our attention and respect.

Reasons could be infinite but there can be only one motive … to cherish the memories and experiences of this pristine place. I hope it gets more beautiful by the day and more resilient to averse global warning changes.

God Bless You Yosemite… You are precious!

The price of dreams

A very interesting person we met in San Francisco, he happened to be our taxi driver. He is Indian but staying in the US for 22 years now. He was quick to judge and guess that we are Indians too and then he narrated his story…

He is from Jalandar, Punjab. 22 years back, he took 6 odd months (which currently takes 16 hours by flight) to reach US via the Mexican border to fulfil his American dream.

Here is the visual map of the places he was transported before he made it to the U S of A.

I leave it to the reader’s imagination on what must have been the quality of travel and sanity of his mind! But what intrigues me is that people believe and have such dreams and are willing to pay unimaginable price to achieve it.

And when he reached Mexico, the agent showed him the border and asked him to fend for himself. We could sense from his tone that he was not too happy with this deal as he was asked to pay more but was only shown the path unlike his previous travels where he was transported (convenience) from one place to another! ๐Ÿ™‚

But, today he is happy that he is a legal resident. He has 2 sons and feels gratified that he now has the power to call anyone to US via the legal channel!

No dream is too big or small, no endeavour is trivial or magnificent… in their own right, they are all priceless.

map courtesy – geology.com

Disclaimer – This post is not for or against the Wall. This post is only to illustrate the power of dreams.

Ka-chow California!

A very memorable trip! San Francisco, Yosemite, Monterey and beautiful memories enroute.

The state maintains a good mix of contrasting ideas – old and new. It lives up to the expectations and also surprises with more! Kids will be happy and so will the parents enjoy this trip. To keep it crisp, I am sharing some highlights from our travel.

Yes it was the Christmas season, but a happy kid is the not what we had expected after 16 hrs of travel. The vibrancy of the city got us from the hotel rooms to the streets.

And here we were on the streets of San Francisco enjoying the antics and affection.

Playing with bubbles around Union Square

Getting Fire Warden Sticker from the Fire Dept.


San Francisco Zoo – What a wonderful zoo! I have never seen the animals so happy and the staff so loving and caring towards the institution. 

Gauhati the rhino from Assam, shares his moment of success after breaking apart his toy! 

Didn’t know that Rafiki was a real monkey, till we met this family!

The little toy train is worthy of a ride! 


Exploratorium – Must see and enjoy place for kids and also adults

Personally for me, I have never sensed such closeness to design ever not even in the art galleries – demystified science is design and nature’s art.


California Academy of Sciences is an interesting place with a variety of indoor exhibits.


Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area – Enjoy snow sports at the Badger Pass


Monterey Aquarium is one of its kind. It replicates the sea ecosystem in the aquarium just as shown in the movie ‘Finding Dory’


Whale watching in Monterey

We were lucky to have witnessed migration of grey whale family.


Submit yourself and travel local across the roads and water.


10 days and so much action but truly a child’s delight and a parent’s paradise.

I will probably have to write different blog for our experiences at Yosemite, Red woods and some travel tips! but till that time I hope this is useful for you.

In the marriage of Apathy and Empathy…

Pain! what else can you expect? And that’s what we will get if we don’t have a mindful view of the purpose and process.

Let me provide clarity on this article, it is not about humans per se, but about our choices and our approaches.

Although Apathy and Empathy are human emotions but you will find their conflict of interests in all spheres of life and non life. it could be

  • 2 puzzle pieces that don’t fit
  • 2 individuals that cannot get along
  • 2 ideologies that are not compatible

When expectations are not met, relationships turn sour and sometimes break. It can be emotionally toiling but why to lose heart and boil blood? Can we have an objective view of our heart breaks?

Yes of course, it has taken me a long time at the cost of my heart breaks to see a pattern that can help prepare for future scenarios. So lets start from the basics, why do Apathy and Empathy come together in the first place? Because,

  1. Opposites attract,
  2. There is a gap that is to be filled between them

(There might be other reasons but for brevity lets retain the focus on these 2 aspects)

And here are the learnings or pointers for study,

Learning 1 – When Apathy and Empathy come together, they should realise the powers of attraction. It is the oppositeness that has got them together. Their fascination is limited to knowing the unknown and discovering.

Tip – Focus to discover the unknowns and check mark the common areas.

Learning 2 – Understand and define the threshold for opposite behaviours. Be unbiased and objective. This comes easy for Apathisers, but can be difficult for Empathisers. So if you are leaning too much then detach yourself for awhile. Check your biases.

Here is a good article to be on the top of the game. https://www.businessinsider.com/cognitive-biases-that-affect-decisions-2015-8

Tip – Define how much is too much

Learning 3 – Set goals for the commitment. Goals can be individual and also combined. What is to be achieved and why? Define the success parameters.

Tip – Test the equation.

Learning 4 – Review hypotheses, Move on, with or without. Do a SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats) of the situation even if you have succeeded.

Tip – Keep talking about it. The more you express the more perspectives you get.

This is what the process looks like, inspired from 4D.

Screenshot 2018-11-12 at 6.17.23 PM

Commitments fail, be it human to human or human to non human, but an objective view can help to define ‘ourselves’ in the situation. So before losing your heart and taking a drastic step, pause to reflect and then move ahead.

Also understand that,

Apathisers are not always brutal heart breakers, but they have different views and rationale.

Empathisers on the other hand are over flowing with emotions.

Screen Shot 2018-11-11 at 12.18.16 PM

And we are not perpetually apathetic or empathetic, but it is our choice of role that we want to play in a given situation.

So, if expectations are not met, it is only because the views and intentions are not aligned.

So it is a divorce? happily ever after?

Depends on YOU!

Thanks for reading!

My work-life philosophy

Everyday majority of time is spent at workplaces.

It is our second home our inseparable part. And it is very natural to have a love – hate relationship at our workplaces. But it is a challenging one, since we are dealing with projects, personalities, practices, power structures, perspectives all at the same time.

It can be rewarding and enriching but it is also be discomforting and frustrating. As a result we are spending a lot time thinking about our work outside of the places and time limits.

Time and again we have to remind our selves that there is life beyond; here Gita helps me realise the alignment of variables and MMW helps to manage expectations.

Following is my visualisation to find a balance of personal well being and being competent.

Inspired by My Gita and Make Meaningful Work

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