Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Why bad things happen to good people!

Life has a way unknown to any of us!
Situations unfold in a manner we have never really predicted or expected, both good and bad, largely the bad though!
Well then, why do bad things always seem to happen to good people. Good question isn't it. Unlike many of those 'good question' that usually do not elicit good answers, this one has a very good rationale! Something that I believe will convince you and more so help me come to terms with my own course of life and its more than occassional wayward happenings!

Foremost of all things, one needs to understand that life is a concoction, one that is an uneven mixture of many instances, both good and bad! And for all that happens, there is no pattern, sometimes no comprehensible reason and most certainly no definitive timestamp as to when they happen. While most things happen as a result of our own actions, many incidents happen at random without actually having to be a consequence of what we do. Therefore, we must understand that while we can actually influence the resulting impact of some of our actions, we cannot at all control certain incidents and their occurrences despite however miniscule or prominent they are. In short, some things happen because they just happen and there is nothing that you and I can do about it! What best we can indeed do is control our reactions in dealing with the aftermath of such incidents if they have a negative fallout. For, if we are not able to master the art of controlling our reactions, a bad incident can actually have a worse impact.
And it is extremely important for us to mask our emotions in the face of a bad incident since any public display of fear, anger or disconcertment would very lucidly convey a strong sense of weakness which can at any and all times be misused to manipulate you in the most unpleasant circumstances. So, if you do not know how to actually exercise control over your emotions during such testing times, then faking calm would also help you sail through!
I do not ask you to fake every and any emotion, but merely ask to mask your definitively 'perceivable' overtures which may (will) send signals to others so that 'they' do not construe any ill will or mistake your expression to be result of hatred or covetousness.

Now, the central theme of this premise is Why bad things happen to good people.
Why in the wildest world would life throw some of the worst surprises to you despite being a candidate of good gesture and will?
To answer my friend, I shall quote an old adage "Some of the worst things are intended to make you better not bitter." And such proverbial truths are not limited, I could quote another dozen for you in the very same breath. What else do you think is the answer?
While life is best described in the most practical terms as time spent on Earth (as in the case of us human beings), on a broader scale it is a mission, a purpose, a journey with constant learning and endless opportunity to be enriched by experiences of multitudinal proportions, forms and types.
Start thinking in retrospect, when you were a helpless child less than a few months of age, you did not know how to walk, you knew not how to read, write, speak, illustrate, comprehend, feel, express, think and most certainly knew not much more than what many toddlers already knew!
And then time assisted you to take steps, one by one, with the help of guides who were relevant to situations in the form of parents, teachers, friends, associates, colleagues, people, society........
You began walking yet clumsily, many a times falling, to hurt hard physically and mentally.
Such experiences are nothing but conditioning elements that help shape ones personality to ensue a more refined human being, one that is truly balanced from within and outside.
And as a rule, good experiences are not really meant to be good in the real sense of learning potential that they present. They are in truth supposed to be atleast moderately harsh largely depending upon the circusmstances and as a cause of why they happened in the very first place.
How else would one learn from them? Their very purpose being that of a wonderful teacher that is unmatched.
An experience is primarily an incident which is usually after the primary incident has come to pass. It is more so often a fall out of the primary incident itself through which one learns what to do and what not to do in the event of a similar primary incident repeating itself.
Quite often, a single resultant incident cannot be very helpful unless otherwise the person on the receiving end is sensitive enough to learn from the same, conversely an experience cannot also be a very good teacher unless it is slightly profound. I am not advocating that an experience needs to be always harsh in order to serve the purpose of being a good teacher, however, I am also not stating that experiences need to be always mild. My thought is that incidental-fallouts (in the literal sense) need to be appropriate to the situation that has come to pass. But then, we mortals cannot make make conform experiences in a manner or style of our choice. Therefore, the magnitude of fallouts can better best be left for time to decide.
I agree that in many a circumstance, an experience can indeed be painfully bitter and totally unjustified. What one can best do is to, (after having exhausted all options to contest if one can), come to believe that there is a purpose associated to what happened and try to sink it into the system without putting up a fight with one's own thought and circumstances in general.
This helps one balance onself and also come to terms with the incident at a faster pace in a more characteristically mature manner.
In the event of not having any further options to ponder upon (while having come to know that nothing can indeed be done), one must display a sense of grace and calm which can condition a level of maturity and magnanimity. This is the good sense of prevailing over time. One needs to treat both victory and defeat alike as if they mattered no more than each other. By all means, allow time to teach you what it needs to, for then you may not regret that you had little or no opportunity to learn what should have before it is too late in the day to do so.
All this 'straight-out-of-the-book-scripted-theory' may well sound impossible. (I must confess, that although I speak with a an air of authority, I fail to do any of the said. But then, I do try atleast.) However much impossible it may sound, one's own determination to acclimatize would ease the task by mammoth proportions.

And most imperative is to believe that the bad and the good go hand in hand. It is not always one or the other. While there are tough times in life, there are also impending times of good. A very meaningfully well defined circle of events is what time presents.
If you expect that a certain instance should happen and that does not, it probably means that you never were deserving for that in the very place. Contrarily, what you deserve may be much much more than what you actually expect (often without even knowing what you deserve)

Forgetting for a moment, logic and life and shifting focus to a more tangible approach of scientific nature; One has always witnessed progress after recession, growth after decline, birth after death. This universal truth holds good not merely in the theoritical and logical sense but also historically, scientifically and futuristically.

So, when things do not go the way they are expected to, when unfortunate incidents rule the roost and when days are clouded with untoward happenings, standby, take a deep breath and then reaffirm belief in yourself and understand that it is only life's way of preparing you for some of the best things that are yet to come.

As a footnote, today has been one among the many of those that has brought about failure and strangely success together! Contradictory as it may sound, I cannot myself comprehend the dichotomoy. What I did do is thank my creator for the twin significant milestones that I have come to pass although they have been extremely opposite to each other.
I have lived another day!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Endurance, Fidelity and Intelligence

Three words that describe history's best husky ever - Balto. And the story goes thus;

Born in 1923 in the small town of Nome, in Alaska, Balto spent the first two years of his existence to carry food for the minors. He was considered as a dog rather slow and very little suited for this work.
At the beginning of 1925, diphtheria, a fatal disease which attacks largely children, developed in the village edging Nome. A large quantity of Serum was required in urgency in all the hospitals in the neighbourhood. By telegram, the authorities learned that there was some remaining in the town of Anchorage, at more than 1000 miles from Nome.

But they were faced with a problem of transporting the cargo until Nome, the affected area.

The blizzard which blew in violent gusts prevented the use of any mode of air transport.

It was then decided that a train be used to transport the serum to Nenana which was the nearest known inhabitation.

However, Nenana being more than a thousand kilometers from Nome devoid of any means of transport link, it made only one solution look viable to the inhabitants: to make the way in sledge thanks to an attachment drawn by dogs.
Thus crews take the departure and face the excruciating cold, wind and snow.
Many gave up on route: not easy indeed to find roads in the middle of white, treacherous landscapes!

The group which arrived at Nenana was led by Gunnar Kassen, whose team of huskys was directed by... Balto.

However, on the way back, the man, paralysed by the extremely low temperatures and severe windchill, was unable to continue to guide the crew.
Whereas Gunnar Kassen lost any hope to save the children of Nome, Balto, who remembered the way, started to lead the sledge, and brought back at full speed its team, as well as the invaluable loading, to come safe into port.

Dazzled by such a miracle, the press seizes the story and makes Balto the new hero of the nation. The story appeared on the covers of newspapers all around the world, and at the end of the year, a statue, carved by F.G. Roth, was set up in Central Park, with these words:
"Endurance - Fidelity - Intelligence"
The route crossed by the husky gives place to an annual race of sledge which continued until 1973. A newer version of the race was started during the next season and continues to this day commemorating the spirit of the Husky and his magnificiently unparalleled contribution in helping save human lives.
The race is known as the Ideterod and is aimed to test the limits of human and husky endurance.
And today the name of Balto, and its incredible history, remain still quite present, in the memory of young and old..........
Director Simon Wells made the animated movie Balto which came to being in the year 1995.
A wonderful work of animation that it is, it boasts an amazing voice cast that includes those of Kevin Bacon (Balto), Bridget Fonda (Jenna), Phil Collins (Muk & Luk) among others.
Brendan Fraser was initially hired to provide the voice of Steele (the bad dog). Although he did his part his voice-over was subsequently discarded paving way for Jim Cummings to speak for Steele.
The 74 min flick has some amazing work of animated art combined with excellent scores straight from the stables of John Williams and an impressive tagline which reads "His story became a legend. His adventure is one you'll never forget"

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Ahoy! I see Oktober

For all the officio-business related superflous terminology so to describe, we have come to begin the last quarter of this year which comes to a close less that 90 days from now.
In many ways, this is a very promising and very welcomed time of the year for it heralds a great deal of festive spirit and most of all brings about a much needed change in the weather in many parts of the world which until now have been bearing the excruciating brunt of the hot shining Sun.
In astrology, this month begins with the sun in the sign of Libra and ends in the sign of scorpio. Meaning eight (octo) in Latin, October was originally the eighth month in the Roman calendar.

This month of the year has a very special significance across cultures and borders. While the Czech call it říjen meaning belling of deer owing to the fact that deer in that part of the world begin to emit a deep cry during this time, the Irish call it Deireadh Fómhair, meaning end of harvest time. The Truks call it Ekim signifying the time wheat is sown and the Welsh call it Hydref meaning autumn.

By far, for folks like me (who hail from the colder part of the nation), October is the good Lord's blessing to New Delhi. Temperatures drop to nearly three-forths to that of the summer months and the atmospheric composition itself changes preparing the region for winter.
It is also the beginning of many festivities showcasing the strong Indian custom associated with ancient culture and tradition.
Most importantly, this month in particular has brought about a shift, rather a paradigm shift in my way of life. The much anticipated sense of well being seems to have come into place along with peace and joy which I cannot atttribue to any particular reason. But, isn't peace and happiness much better when they cannot be reasoned out to any particular cause!
It seems that I am stepping into the beginning of such times that will now yield nothing but good, if not always the best!
I can tell you with experience that 27 years is a long time to wait....... a very long time to wait indeed. More so often people crash under pressure while being subjected to constant instances of melancholy and testing. If one looks at the positive aspect of such actions to be directly responsible to result a toughened mind, one also needs to understand that unvarying pain can also numb the body and mind, the latter most, and command thought to no longer anticipate the goodness that might lie somewhere ahead.
Anyhow, with good times come a sense of unflinching courage and more importantly a state of mind that allows one to make and execute decisons with confidence and courage.
With such good times in the offing, one finds the time and will to appreciate good things in life.
Almost suddenly, I am overwhelmed with the amount of positive energy I can exude and I now begin to notice those things that I ignored as a matter of routine until only a few days or weeks ago!

Remember the story of the underdog who fights hard to make a footing and all the world does is give a damn? Well, the good part is that the underdog never certainly continues to be so and evolves with time and experience. The clouds make way for the Sun and the rain stops taking away the painfully heavy haze. Time, folks, it seems is a very powerful 'commodity' which can and will affect us more positively despite its hard strokes of unhelpfulness!

Welcome to the beginning..................the very very beginning!