Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Understanding Life

The sun hung low in the sky,
With the river tides running high,
Crimson filled the horizon,
Scarlet waters danced in unison.

She sat on a lonely rock,
Her heart full of qualms amok.
She asked questions so many,
But hardly had answers to any.

In vain was her labour,
Futile her endeavour
Inscrutable are life’s ways to mankind,
Mysterious its moves to the average mind.

The roaring river gushed by,
The wind whispered its lullaby,
She let it seep through her soul,
As God’s grace embraced her whole.

And a voice from within her rose –

Do not raise an alarm,
Do not lose your calm.
All things will have meaning,
Let life do its fine-tuning.

You are God’s beloved child,
And that’s not something mild.
He will guide you along,
Take you where you belong.

Everything will fall in place,
You will not lose life’s chase.
Every purpose will fulfill,
At the decided hour it will.

You can’t have it sooner,
Nor will it take any longer.
It will come at the right moment,
This time is not your opponent.

Do what has to be done,
And be at heart a peaceful one.
Every puzzle, every riddle shall be solved,
For you have in your life, your Saviour involved.

#LiveLifeBeautifully #CheersToLife

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Paper Boats: The New Age Marketing Strategy

Remember the first time you came across the brand Paper Boats? I was first introduced to the brand by an endearing and engaging video I received on WhatsApp featuring a bunch of young adults who refused to let the child in them die. A few more of such videos followed, and then a few months down the line, we were neatly introduced to the very economically priced, interestingly designed tetra packs of flavoured soft drinks.

I am no marketing professional of any kind, but being a fairly intelligent, generally observant kind of a person, I understand this to be an excellent marketing strategy. Their marketing is primarily through the social media and they evoke one of the most beautiful emotions in the world – nostalgia, and you can never go wrong with it. The simple joys of our precious childhood are some of the best things we would love to reminisce about – our school, our school friends, the games we played, and, as the company has most beautifully named and captioned its brand, making paper boats and watching them drift away in the rains. Those were the first of videos from Paper Boats that I remember having seen and thoroughly enjoyed.

The company continues its marketing on the same lines showing posters of siblings doing stuff together, of families celebrating Eid, of young children playing Sathodiyu (that’s what we called it), of train journeys and leaking ceilings and every other thing that made our childhood interesting and worth remembering. Each carry short, honest captions and you can easily relate to them most of the time. They are so endearing and you enjoy them so much that you fail to realize that they are, in fact, ads. You see people tagging their siblings and friends in the comments below, and it starts a series of conversations and sharing.

It’s amazing how such a simple thing has worked out so beautifully for this company, which, according to Wikipedia, had a brand value of $100 million in July 2015 and a production capacity of 10 million pouches per day. So much for keeping simple things simple!

Life is a beautiful collection of memories and anything that allows us to relish those beautiful moments is worth cherishing. Cheers to life and to the fond memories of fond childhood.

Friday, August 11, 2017

On a Rainy Afternoon

It was a fine Sunday afternoon with the rain pouring outside. I heard the sounds but was too busy watching Sherlock to pay any heed to it. Thankfully, the show came to an end before the rains did and I then turned my attention to the brimming joy of nature. First, I let the sound of rain sink deep into my ears and into my soul, and then I saw the pouring waters, the swaying leaves and the green grass in my mind’s eye.

As I was basking in the sweetness of my imagination, a thought came to my mind. I asked myselves, “How long has it been since you drenched yourselves in the rains?” An image instantly flashed before me – pouring rains, bunch of children (toddlers and teenagers alike) splashing and jumping, a massive thunder from the heavens above, followed by an old man glowering down on his grandchildren and rushing them inside the house. It was June 2005, Kerala. We, cousins, had ventured out of the house to indulge ourselves in the tantalizing rains while our grandpa watched on from the veranda. All was fine until it started to thunder. Thundering in Kerala is very severe and causes people to die sometimes. This must have triggered our chachan (that’s how we addressed our beloved grandpa) to come for us and drive us inside the house. 

Aah, memories! Beautiful, fond memories. A beloved friend that pays me occasional visits and allows me to live and re-live those splendid moments!

Anyway, coming back to the present, I was grabbed by a sudden desire to do something impulsive and reckless. I slipped out of the house noiselessly (didn’t want to wake napping parents), climbed four flights of stairs (didn’t want to get stuck in the elevator in case the power went off) and stepped out into the rain. It was gorgeous, beautiful, soul-soothing and heart-quenching. The goodness of nature seeped through my soul, truly refreshing and truly magnificent. God has made all things beautiful. If only we would open our eyes and see!  

Life is indeed beautiful, and what make the journey worthwhile are the small things in life – the little things in life. Life is never about big things and great achievements. It’s about doing small things greatly. It’s about doing what you have to and doing it best, and about giving, believing and trusting. It will become great on its own one day at a time.

Live life beautifully! Cheers to life!

PS: Sherlock S04E03 had been very unnerving and endearing at the same time. While you are utterly flabbergasted by the cold-bloodedness of 5 back-to-back murders (Mycroft was up next!), you feel all your shock and disgust dissolve in a matter of seconds, and are moved to compassion instead, as you come to realize that the poor girl, though an era-defining genius, was dreadfully sad and miserable inside, and was, in fact, the little girl stuck on the plane not knowing where or how to land.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Get, Set, Go!

Ideas don’t come out fully formed. They only become clear as you work on them. You just have to get started. If I had to understand everything about connecting people before I began, I never would have started Facebook. But this idea was so clear to us — that all people want to connect. So we just kept moving forward, day by day.
— Mark Zuckerberg in his Commencement Address at Harvard in May 2017

When you start something you never know how it is going to end. But you have to start somewhere and then just keep going forward – one day at a time. You have an idea within you and a vision before you. You just need to keep working towards it, learning new things as you go along and improvising with every new step you take. Fear of falling cannot keep you from walking.

If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever. But that’s not the point of having a ship. Ships are meant for sailing, for venturing out into the open sea and bracing the storms.

Starting something new or taking a new direction in life is never easy. There will always be someone telling you that you can’t do it. There will always be people raising questions and offering skepticism. But it’s your life. Nobody makes decisions for you but you. You own up to yourselves and to your decisions, and make your way through the world.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Little By Little

A poem I find really inspiring..

“Little by little,” an acorn said,
As it slowly sank in its mossy bed,
“I am improving every day,
Hidden deep in the earth away.”

Little by little, each day it grew;
Little by little, it sipped the dew;
Downward it sent out a thread-like root;
Up in the air sprung a tiny shoot.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

3 Quotes to Remember

1.    It is what it is. Not good, not bad. It is what it is. (John Watson, BBC Sherlock)

2.   It is a choice between what is right and what is easy. (Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter)

3.   There is a stubbornness about me that can never bear to be frightened. My courage rises at every attempt to intimidate me. (Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Come, Speak, Leave

In a world where food is fast and coffee is instant, you really don’t have time for long lectures and endless discourses. I personally don’t read the first paragraphs of any article that I read on the internet. (It’s just an introduction, slowly trying to sweep in to the main point. Some of them just beat about the bush.) I just skip to the main points and skim through the text looking for words that sum up the whole point.

There was a time when people used long sentences and big words to sound important (read Pride and Prejudice, Sherlock Holmes; you will know what I mean). But today our attention span is too short and our patience is too little to hold on to lengthy, extensive write ups/ videos/ blogs. So the key mantra these days is: Come, make your point and leave.