The Conclave Saga: Part I

Do you know that Kochi Biennale is going on and I didn’t attend it, but I am there for the Delhi Conclave? It is strange indeed, because it was so easy for me to go for that art exhibition which I admire and is close enough to my place. But life do provides one with enough twists, and I was there at Taj Palace Hotel at Delhi, and not at Cochin or its surroundings islands – not looking at art, but listening to some of the best of our nation. Thank you BlogAdda! – http://www.blogadda.com.

Lets get to the first day then. The highest point of day one was surely with the Master Blaster, and undoubtedly the biggest Hero of Our Times from our land, Sachin Tendulkar. There are only three cricketers whom I ever wanted to see, and with this programme, it is one down and two to go. You can make a guess who all the other two are, and with the first one, it is easy. He was indeed the reason why many people told me that they will shoot me if I don’t go to the Conclave.

When you see such clouds on the sky, good things can happen to you :P

When you see such clouds on the sky, good things can happen to you 😛

It was amazing to hear from the legend, as he continued to thrive in his humble nature throughout the talk, and there was that moment when he gave tribute to Roger Federer as his favourite player and someone who has no replacement – as God’s gift. It is always a special feeling to listen to one legend giving credits to another. We already know that they are good friends with each other with a photo that we usually see on Facebook, but this is even more special.

With his hopes to see a better world supported by the philanthropy, the first big talk of “The World Remade” had finished. It was followed two talks related more to Politics about which I shall not talk about without being better informed about it. My relation to National Politics has been like a void; the knowledge about Kerala Politics should be a little more though. I am surely working on it with my PSC studies, and may be I can discuss about this topic in a good way later.

And there is the legend - notice the divine light that burns bright ;)

And then there is the legend – notice the divine light that burns bright 😉

One interesting topic in between the two political talks was about being educated with a degree, but not having a job. There is a dialogue from a Malayalam movie, CID Moosa which I wish to share here – in the flick, a character keeps saying, “It is about me, about me and me only” (translated from Malayalam). Yes, it was the feeling that I first got while listening to that talk. Rajiv Pratap Rudy made some valid points there, and the rest including Chetan Bhagat provided the audience with something to think about.

The question was asked about the need for dignity of labour. Why is one job superior to other, is a question that becomes extremely relevant considering the current scenario. Well, how can we expect that to happen in a world when the parents want their children to be engineers or doctors? I have been listening to this for eternity. An engineer is an engineer and a doctor is a doctor. Then who am I? Did I drop out of the ninth circle of hell with my MA English according to the society? Do I need to add something before my name to improve my quality instead of being a good person?

It is good to have an identity - we don't always get to have one.

It is good to have an identity – we don’t always get to have one.

I pondered about it for a lot of time over tea, and I had to have a lot of it because it was extremely cold inside the room, and I have already written about my reaction to cold. I was born in March, which is one of the hottest months of Kerala, and I am more inclined towards heat than cold. We grew up playing cricket and football at mid-noon and not bothering about any globe of fire over our heads. This is also one of my reasons to be addicted to tea rather than any of those colder drinks.

I remember seeing “chawal” somewhere on the list of food, and I only recalled my lack of Hindi vocabulary despite studying Hindi in school and scoring well in the subject. The word actually meant “death” in Malayalam, just like “chor” meant rice in Malayalam. I just looked at a few other names, which I won’t be sharing here, but what I surely want to share is something about Lisa Haydon.

One of those interesting things which I found about tea :D

One of those interesting things which I found about tea 😀

My admiration for this lady increased a lot after this talk. Yes, her name reminds me of my second favourite Australian cricketer of all time, but that is not the point here. She was there to share the idea that we are more than what wear, and a person is not his or her dress. Even as she might have surely meant it more about women, it is something that has a bigger scope – the judgment made based on one’s clothing is rather too much to handle.

The talk about the future followed, which included a few things about the future of science and technology, and the one about 3D printing was more interesting than the others. The temperature inside the hall was getting lower, and the well-known soul guru Deepak Chopra did come with some interesting points, but the talk was too long and not always there making the point, I would say. There were a few things taken from his talk for sure.

You can avoid and forget many things, but not the lovely tea!

You can avoid and forget many things, but not the lovely tea!

Then came the afternoon session that we were waiting for, and it was “The Kat with Nine Lives” – Katrina Kaif. Yes, she is among my favourites of Bollywood. I was impressed by the way in which she answered almost every question, especially those related to her personal life. But what makes me wonder is why are people so interested in the personal lives of the celebrities, and what the relevance of these questions are, especially on a stage like this.

May be it was meant to add the comic relief, but we were never going through a tragedy like in the case of a Porter scene in Macbeth or like the situation which demanded something like a grave-digger scene in Hamlet. Well, my best guess is that a lot of fans who will watch this programme on the television or internet might want such questions. It was indeed funny and enjoyable, and I would like to applaud Katrina for the way in which she dealt with those questions.

The talk about the India-Pakistan friendship which followed had some good thoughts to take home too. The first thing that came to my mind when listening to the same was about the Malayalam movie, Picket 43 starring Prithviraj Sukumaran (My take on the movie: https://moviesofthesoul.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/picket-43). I recommend that movie too. Yes, we need our neighbours to be our friends, but we are still left with that question if it is possible.

The crossfire stuff related to elections which are won on the internet gave some interesting points too, even though I have been completely unaware of such things behind the that election about which I only read on the newspapers. The talk about Afghanistan was an interesting addition which ended the day’s programs with a hope for peace in the nation which has been suffering. #Conclave15

***And thanks to my blogger friends there: Shoma Abhyankar, Arvind Passey, Yogita Aggarwal and Shreya Das – yes, there is the Part 2 with the final day; this has gone too long already 🙂

TeNy

Advertisement

No More Lies Needed

How can you justify a lie? Yes, there can be many reasons for that. Some people say that it was not really a lie, but somewhat the truth. But lets think about it. Lord Alfred Tennyson has given some idea about the same in his poem, The Grandmother – “That a lie which is half a truth is ever the blackest of lies”. You can add enough ornaments to the lies and make it sound sweet or like truth, but no, that doesn’t justify anything. A lie is a lie, no matter if it comes dressed in gold, silver, pearls or diamonds. There are no sweet lies, and there are no true lies. When you add something to it and make it more believable or lovable, it is another step towards cheating.

This takes me years back, when I was striving to get my driving license, something which I wished to achieve immediately after I turned eighteen. I have had good balance for the two-wheeler and I was driving the car just okay enough. So, I thought that may be I will struggle with the four-wheeler license, but for the two-wheeler, I am surely getting that with ease. For some reason, what happened there was the other way around. I went through the “H” hurdle easily in the Maruti 800, but touched my left leg’s fingers on the ground when taking “8” on that Bajaj M80 which looked like the first two-wheeler on Earth.

I came back from the spot to see that nobody was looking. There was something going on outside the ground and people were busy staring towards that direction. So, nobody knows that my legs touched the ground. But those who studied driving with me had seen.

My first two-wheeler - TVS Centra. Didn't help much in the 8 chase though :D

My first two-wheeler – the TVS Centra. Didn’t help much in the 8 chase though 😀

“It is okay. Nobody knows that your feet touched the ground. Just tell him that you completed it perfectly” one of them said.

“Yes, just don’t tell him that there was any contact with the ground” another one said.

“It can happen to anyone. There is nothing special in saying so” the next one said.

“But the fact remains that I did touch the ground” I said.

My instructor joined the conversation with a man from another driving school, as they came back from whatever was going on outside the ground.

“Listen to the other students. You were always supposed to get the license. I have seen you drive. There is nothing wrong with that. If this happened with the car, that would have been more of a concern. But I have never seen you make one wrong move with the two-wheeler. You can do this with so much ease even in your sleep. Didn’t you see that girl who had to hit the tree to stop the vehicle? That is the kind of driving that deserves no license. This is your first and it is because of the anxiety. It happens. Just tell that you completed the 8 without the feet touching the ground” he said.

“But what is the point of getting the driving license if I haven’t actually qualified?” I asked.

“It is all about being good enough to drive. Nobody is going to ask you to take an 8 on the centre of the road. Actually it is something that you should never do. If you say you touched the ground, you will have to come here on another day after giving the application again. Do you want to do that?” he asked.

“Yes, I would like to get the license when I qualify. If I can’t do this right, I don’t deserve to have a license. I shall come again” I said.

“Okay, go ahead then. It is your choice if you want to try again” he said.

So, I went to the officer and told him that my legs touched the ground once, and I didn’t do it as good as I had expected. He seemed to have a sense of disbelief in his eyes, and told me that it happens to everybody, asking me to make a try on the next date possible with confidence, as it was not a big deal. I came back two week later to claim my two-wheeler license, and it was a quick and steady process.

Part of my license - the two-wheeler authorization added later.

Part of my driving license – the two-wheeler authorization, as you see, was added later.

These days, when I drive, I have had a great amount of confidence with the two-wheelers, something which I never had with the four-wheelers. It is because I got it fair, while with the car, I just did what I was taught to do, as any surprise could have completely taken me off the plans. If I had got the driving license the very first time by lying, I wouldn’t have been this confident. When you choose to tell the truth instead of the lie, even as lying can make things easier and better, there is a satisfaction, and this is something that you can carry on with confidence.

I know that this world will find it difficult to follow the path of truth. I have my own relatives who keep telling the stories of their own or of their sons or daughters who had told lies to overcome a situation and made people fools. They say it as if it is some kind of achievement and these were signs of smartness. They were better than others because they could lie better. They deserved applause because they could handle other people in the wrong manner. Is this the kind of example that we set for the new generation? Isn’t this the main reason for the new generation losing their values?

There is a movie called Philips and the Monkeypen from last year in which there is a conversation between the father and the son – about truth not being bitter, and there is such a feeling of bitterness because lies are just too sweet. Yes, we do get the feeling that lies can get us achieve more. But I wonder what they can gain by achieving all the things in the world if they lose their soul? It will be a permanent mark on their conscience and one day, it can come back to haunt them. Every religion speaks against the lies, from the Ten Commandments to the Noble Eightfold Path.

This blog post was written in association with the Happy Hours campaign “Kitna chain hota hai na sachchai mein” from Kinley in association with Indiblogger. Do spare some time watch the video below, as this campaign from the company shows the significance of being honest and tells us to be dauntless and confident in speaking the truth, no matter how much we are afraid about the same. Remember the old saying “Honesty is the best policy”. Here is one girl showing the right example in Kinley 2014 TVC:

Let there be “Boond Boond Mein Sacchai” in our society, and not the dark lies of selfish motive 🙂 *The images used in this blog post are mine (photos taken by me on my camera), of course.

TeNy

The Shaving Question

Some people might wonder why, but I remember that my first shave was when I was studying for plus one, and it was in the month of August or September, which I remember because it was just around the festival of Onam, during which the holidays had me going to the ancestral lands and the houses of relatives. One would wonder if it was another holiday, but no, I remember the pookkalam and those celebrities wishing Happy Onam on television during those days.

Why did I start shaving? I would say that it was mainly because I felt that I would look better that way. I haven’t been that much without confidence about most things, but it surely looked like a good idea at that time. It was also to be a confidence booster at that time, especially when there were things that I needed to overcome, and this was to make it better. This was something that I should do, and I made sure about it.

shave (1)

Until then, it was more like “let it grow” until I had chosen to say “let it go”, and there was the day on which I shaved, and then had the confidence to say no. I was forced to choosen the Commerce group for plus two, but that was not really working for me. I changed from Commerce-Mathematics to Commerce-Computer, and that didn’t do the trick. I had realized that the problem was with the school.

I had to get out of that place, but as usual my uncles didn’t want that and they were keeping on telling my father not to allow anything like that. On that day on which I had shaved, and that time I had the courage to say that I was not going to that place any more, not because it was a bad choice to make, but as it was a terrible choice for someone like me who never fit in there. I could tell him that I have another school in mind, even as classes had started there too.

shave (2)

Such mistakes kept happening in my life, but this decision that I made on that day on which I shaved was a big twist in my life. I could make more of such decisions, even as my timing has not always been correct and I have been prone to mistakes for a long time. There are many days that people remember, and I choose to bring this one day back to my mind – the day on which I shaved.

Still, even on these days, the shaved days prove to be better for me. There is nothing like having a groomed face. I have had my days without shaving and keeping my hair long, but those were the worst days of my life, and they are behind me. I would choose not to make the mistake of not shaving and not cutting hair again. That is not the best option, and I learnt it, but well.

shave ()

Moral of the Story: The answer to the shaving question is a big yes. You don’t need to leave your future in the hands of fate or destiny, as one can take it forward with confidence – what you need is a Gillette razor. #WillYouShave? I suggest you choose to do that, because the world moves forward too fast, and you need confidence, and there is also the requirement to make an impression.

This post is a part of #WillYouShave activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette.

The images used in this blog post are from the official Facebook page of Gillette India. I’m tagging some of my blogger friends for the same activity: Shibu, Anoop, Tara and Kiran.
Please don’t forget to mention that you were referred by me in your post.

Here are the themes for your blog post-
Topics for Men:
Opportunities – Stories or instances where you missed out on an opportunity because of a ungroomed look.
Luck or Confidence? Will you leave your fate in the hands of destiny or will you step up and say yes to a well- groomed face to be at your best everyday? #WillYouShave?
Topics for Ladies:
An instance when a stubble came in the way of a man’s chance to make a good impression.
An instance when a well groomed look ensured that they struck gold on an opportunity given to them.
More details at: http://willyoushave.blogadda.com/

TeNy

That Aroma of Tea

There is no denying the fact that our travel is for the sake for visiting tourist destinations and having a peek at those places where we haven’t gone before and taking snaps to remember the journey. But some of those journeys are about smell, the fragrance that rises above what is visible, and makes us feel like never before, and I talk about such a journey here which stayed in my mind due to the fragrance factor.

There are not many things that have interested me more than the fragrance that the tea provides, even as it is a known fact that there will be more talks about the smell of coffee. The fragrance of tea leaves have been something that has inspired me, and that is evident from the name and header of this blog. I have never really left any doubt about the same either, it has been clear to me since an early childhood visit to Munnar in Kerala.

Can't wait to enter and have the much needed tea :D

Can’t wait to enter and have the much needed tea 😀

This is where my journey to Ceylon comes to the picture. The Sri Lankan journey happened in July 2010 which started with a fire on the flight which I boarded. But that was never really the beginning to the wonderful journey, which actually started somewhere higher in altitude – no not Kandy, much higher; and that should be the city of Nuwara Eliya as we travelled from Kandy to that place which was relatively unknown to us.

Our bus was going between the tea plantations until it stopped near a building which had a certain amount of beauty and could boast of having a scenic background that is close enough to a traveller’s paradise. I had decided at that moment that Nuwara Eliya was to be something special for my mind, forever. The guide brought us into the building which had that smell which filled the soul like nothing ever before. It was the fragrance of the tea leaves.

It might not be what most of people would wish to smell, but I found the fragrance like nothing ever before, even as I have been to tea factories before at least twice. It is like heaven to be at such a place, and the description of tea production never really caught my ears as this fragrance captured myself as a whole. There is beauty in the fragrance of tea, something which enchants and inspires us. It had transformed into a beautiful land of awesome tea.

There was the need to taste tea, and this opportunity only came later after minutes of living in that fragrance, hoping for the drink to grace my tongue; it was finally achieved by a cup of Orange Pekoe tea and one of the finest I have ever had, and the ambiance which was there for having that cup was simply mesmerizing. I wished I could stay there forever, but that was one of the shortest time periods spend anywhere during that journey. The only dose of happiness that we brought back was related to the Ceylon Tea packets which we brought home and a few photos which I keep as my wallpaper.

Who would not want to have tea here? Plus the aroma

Who would not want to have tea here? Plus the aroma

This blog entry is in relation to the #InspireAFragrance contest by Godrej aer: http://www.godrejaer.com/ – the contest was to inspire with an evocative travel experience to create the first crowd-inspired fragrances for Godrej aer. It always feels good to have one of such a thing for our cars, doesn’t it? Even if it is a new experience with the same, it never hurts to try. The fragrance is very important, as it is something which has become an unavoidable part of our lives, even related to the food and drinks.

TeNy