The Boiling Frog Syndrome

5 06 2013

Out of those many and many thoughts in forwarded wisdom, this story stuck. And may be it did echo to some thought that I read last month. How do you tell a difference between a sacrifice and a compromise? At the cost of sounding trite, let me quote their definitions: Sacrifice is an act of offering something up for a higher purpose, whilst compromise is something that we give up as an act of appeasement for a lower purpose. I just wonder about the many times when we confuse both of them and let a compromise masquerade in the cloak of sacrifice.

Life is all about going with the flow. There are times that demand us to be flexible, responsive and adaptable to change. Be it a new relationship in life where you make those little concessions or be it at work where you get attuned to the change of winds or mandates. How to tell whether to give in or to give up? Read on..

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Human Beings and frogs are the two creatures in nature who have tremendous power to adjust. Put a frog in a vessel of water and start heating the water. As the temperature of the water rises, the frog is able to adjust its body temperature accordingly. The frog keeps on adjusting with increase in temperature. Just when the water is about to reach boiling point, the frog is not able to adjust anymore. At that point the frog decides to jump out. The frog tries to jump but is unable to do so, because it lost all its strength in adjusting with the water temperature. Very soon the frog dies.

What killed the frog? Many of us would say the boiling water.

But the truth is what killed the frog was its own inability to decide when it had to jump out.

We all need to adjust with people and situations, but we need to be sure when we need to adjust and when we need to face. There are times when we need to face the situation and take the appropriate action. If we allow people to exploit us physically, emotionally or financially, they will continue to do so. We have to decide when to jump. Let us jump while we still have the strength.

In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.





The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe..

23 05 2008

The TIME’s list has offered me a perfect excuse to read this fantasy novel, which I have been stalling since an year. I think this is the first time when I have read a book after watching its digital recreation.

And that indeed makes a huge difference. Every book unfolds a mystical world for me, and as I live through the magical fantasy it creates, my mind acts on flashes of inspiration to shape the actors based on the characterization and the flow. The movie already supplied the mental images of persona in vivid detail and my experience is that of an explorer venturing on a well-heeled ground. It did put me on an evaluative mode than on an experiential mode. I couldn’t help wishing for a first person narrative ( I have a huge complaint with the narration style), and a detailed characterization of Aslan though I think it would be answered by the rest of the books in the series. Overall, an entertaining book, and in retrospection, I admit that I enjoyed the movie better.

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My favorite piece of conversation from the book:

“That is more than I know,” said the Professor, “and a charge of lying against someone whom you have always found truthful is a very serious thing; a very serious thing indeed.”
“We were afraid it mightn’t even be lying,” said Susan; “we thought there might be something wrong with Lucy.”
“Madness, you mean?” said the Professor quite coolly. “Oh, you can make your minds easy about that. One has only to look at her and talk to her to see that she is not mad.”
“Logic!” said the Professor half to himself. “Why don’t they teach logic at these schools? There are only three possibilities. Either your sister is telling lies, or she is mad, or she is telling the truth. You know she doesn’t tell lies and it is obvious that she is not mad For the moment then and unless any further evidence turns up, we must assume that she is telling the truth.”

“Well, sir, if things are real, they’re there all the time.”
“Are they?” said the Professor; and Peter did’nt know quite what to say.

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Some Story Telling Session…

25 03 2008

This moment is filled with sheer nostalgia. A chip off the memories at the IMDR personality development classes.. I do wonder at times about the things that haven’t changed, looking back at those days when we did that four princes story telling session and impersonated one of the prince’s exile story with utter glee. What I loved was the beginning of the story, the entire group gathering and the joy of offering the non-material gifts.

That was some day when that sane wise man started his session like this: “Once upon a time, long long ago, just about yesterday, far far away from here, just around the corner was a kingdom a kingdom not too large, not too small and like all kingdoms its boundaries extended to East, West, North and South to the extent of the known world…” And then we went through a racy ride over a kingdom blessed with four princes, each with his own unique skills and two unique gifts from his fairy grand mother, all set to reign the world.

The two gifts for each prince were intriguing too. While one gift fetched success in public, the other gift acted as a mirror in the closed quarters. First Prince got the Book of Knowledge and an Ever Smiling Doll, the Second Prince was gifted the Magic Sword and the Roaring Mouse, while the third prince is left with the Magic Box of Potions and the tear bag and the Fourth Prince had the Magic Cap and the Magic Wand. Faced with a challenge to live a two year exile period out of the comfort zone of his kingdom, each prince marches in the designated direction at a certain age to make his life. There the story was left open and the participants made their own journey impersonating the prince of their choice.

Little did I know at that time that my instinctive choices haven’t changed even after three long years. I am still that rolling stone, the prince of laughter, gifted with magic cap and magic wand.. What felt like fun sounded frivolous at times, yet I guess the beauty of that experience lies in its inherent contradictions. It engaged our creativity while making us introspect and reflect on our choices. It held our interest and spread a lot of cheer while making us ponder over the deeper implications. We all need mirrors at times, to see how we have evolved and how we have changed over the sands of time.





Ragi Gudda Temple..

3 03 2008

This temple is one of my favorites in Bangalore. Its truly a no brainer to guess why though. A little temple on hill surrounded by loads of Gods, Ample space, limited crowd, well planned design and peaceful environment. What more can I ask for? I loved the beauty of those bougainvillea arcades that envelop the devotees on their way to God. For those fashioning a little trek, a small route is paved on the rocky terrain to climb atop. But that wouldn’t allow you a direct entry to the temple, unless the door is open or the Pujari takes mercy on your knocking, of course. 🙂

Ragi Gudda Temple

There is this little anecdote thats oft told in my household. For an innocuous inquiry about – “Grandma why are all these temples located on hills? Why do Gods make us climb so much? – earned me an answer – “Earlier all the temples were located on same plane little one. But as mankind grew, they sinned a lot and the land in which they lived has fallen down due to the burden of their sins. Hence we feel Gods are located on hills.” That sounded a reason good enough at those carefree times.

Sometimes, the little effort that we put into and the huge bang that we make about visiting temples can make me dazed. For those who care to follow, I can recount at least 20 instructions on the top of my head. Take Tirupati for instance. Many families that I know have this temple in their travel agenda, even when its not easy to climb up the seven hills on foot route. Guess pain is gain at those times. Guess the effort that we expend nurtures peace in a way. Guess these are those little practices in our religion that teaches restraint in a way.





Blind Men And The Elephant..

9 02 2008

This is a story from my Granny’s collections. One of those fond memories of childhood and yet such a lifetime lesson to practice. A little googling helped me locate this story and saved me from recreating its fondness from memory. For the trading with memories involves dealing with interpretations and perceptions which may not let you remain true to the original. 🙂

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Once upon a time there were six blind men. They lived in a town in India. They thought they were very clever. One day an elephant came into the town. The blind men did not know what an elephant looked like but they could smell it and they could hear it. ‘What is this animal like?’ they said. Each man touched a different part of the elephant.

The first man touched the elephant’s body. It felt hard, big and wide. ‘An elephant is like a wall’ he said. The second man touched one of the elephant’s tusks. It felt smooth and hard and sharp. ‘An elephant is like a spear’ he said.

The third man touched the elephant’s trunk. It felt long and thin and wiggly. ‘An elephant is like a snake’ he said. The fourth man touched on of the legs. It felt thick and rough and hard and round. ‘An elephant is like a tree’ he said.

The fifth man touched one of the elephant’s ears. It felt thin and it moved. ‘An elephant is like a fan’ he said.

The sixth man touched the elephant’s tail. It felt long and thin and strong. ‘An elephant is like a rope’ he said.

The men argued. It’s like a wall! No, it isn’t! It’s like a spear! No it isn’t! It’s like a snake! They did not agree. The king had been watching and listening to the men. ‘You are not very clever. You only touched part of the elephant. You did not feel the whole animal. An elephant is not like a wall or a spear or a snake, or a tree or a fan of a rope’.

The men left the town still arguing. A little girl heard them and said ‘Each of you is right but you are all wrong … but I know what you are talking about.’

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A nice illustration of this story in poem is available here. This story leaves me with a lingering echo that sounds like this.
“O how they cling and wrangle, some who claim
For preacher and monk the honored name!
For, quarreling, each to his view they cling.
Such folk see only one side of a thing”

Well, thats the thought that stayed with me since carefree days.





Devil’s Most Used Instrument…

29 01 2008

This little story is most profound as it sinks in the thought. I couldn’t help sharing it!

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It was advertised that the devil was going to put his tools up for sale. On the date of the sale, the tools were placed for public inspection; each tool being marked with its sale price. They were a treacherous lot of implements… Hatred, Envy, Jealousy, Deceit, Lying, Pride, and so on.

Laid apart from the rest was a harmless looking tool, that appeared to have been heavily used, and was priced very high.

“What is the name of this tool?” asked one of the purchasers, pointing to it.

“That is Discouragement,” replied the devil.

“Why have you priced it so high?”

“Because it is more useful to me than all the others. I can pry open and get inside people’s hearts with that when I cannot get near them with my other tools. Once I get inside, I can make them do what I choose. It is badly worn because I use it on almost everyone, since very few people know that it belongs to me.”

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There are some stories which require a moment to read but a life time to comprehend. And discouragement is like a slow poison. Who says language doesn’t matter? One word can lit someone’s face and one moment can change somebody’s life. We love, live, cry, smile, share and care through it. So be careful while using it. Hope you would remember this little story next time when you are tempted to indulge in destructive feedback.





A Touch Of Madness…

19 12 2007

Whenever I think of Madness, a wickedly grinning cheshire cat flashes in my mind and somehow my mind fondly muses on this conversation from my favorite book..

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Alice went on. ‘Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’
‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.
‘I don’t much care where–‘ said Alice.
‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.
‘–so long as I get somewhere,’ Alice added as an explanation.
‘Oh, you’re sure to do that,’ said the Cat, ‘if you only walk long enough.’

Alice felt that this could not be denied, so she tried another question. ‘What sort of people live about here?’
‘In that direction,’ the Cat said, waving its right paw round, ‘lives a Hatter: and in that direction,’ waving the other paw, ‘lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they’re both mad.’

‘But I don’t want to go among mad people,’ Alice remarked.
‘Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the Cat: ‘we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.’
‘How do you know I’m mad?’ said Alice.
‘You must be,’ said the Cat, ‘or you wouldn’t have come here.’
Alice didn’t think that proved it at all; however, she went on ‘And how do you know that you’re mad?’
‘To begin with,’ said the Cat, ‘a dog’s not mad. You grant that?’
‘I suppose so,’ said Alice.
‘Well, then,’ the Cat went on, ‘you see, a dog growls when it’s angry, and wags its tail when it’s pleased. Now I growl when I’m pleased, and wag my tail when I’m angry. Therefore I’m mad.’

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Every time I go through Alice in Wonderland and the Cheshire Cat’s conversations and its famous grin, I discover a new meaning. Yet, thats not the point here. Let’s stick to madness! 🙂

My little role model in celebrating madness is the Cheshire cat of ‘The Alice In Wonderland’ fame. Living through the chaos in this mad world which seems to operate in no defined sense of logic, I honestly believe that a glint of madness is essential to survive through the day. Everyone has their own little crazy world where we celebrate insanity in a splendid fashion. Our own artificial paradises where we play the little escapist helps us address the everyday madness that we encounter in every form. Guess we all fancy our own private interpretations of madness, don’t we? Yet, we thrive on it, come terms with it and indulge in our share of it! 😉

Next time, when the everyday frenzy gripes your sanity, try this. Do a little jig, be stupid at least once a day, perk up the spirits in your own little odd way, shoo the tension in a little corner and celebrate life in your own private madness just like that wicked cat with a huge grin. As they say, when you have to walk in rain, you might as well dance.