The rain in my canvas

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The rain in my canvas, carrying within an overwhelming monsoon

Standing frozen in front of you, silently, secretively

So still, you can’t see the hovering rain clouds,

So silent you can’t hear the storms inside

The rain in my canvas is so much like my love for you

Silent, secretive and hiding an entire monsoon inside

An unending rain of unspoken words, of stolen glances

Of skipped heart beats, of kisses I wanted to seal your lips with

It keeps raining in my canvas, and if  you see it

Walk in the wet soil, with your naked feet

As what I have painted in my canvass is a season

A season we cannot part with and be without

My love is so much like the rain in my canvas

My rugged cloths, fingers stained with a hundred shades of paint

My rugged heart, this mind painted with a hundred shades of pain

This pain immensely alluring, deafening, blinding

 

Photo Courtesy : Anonymous

True to yourself

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You cannot run an inch away, why try then,

Now that abstract feelings are nestled-

In the pit of your stomach

Clench your fist, look deep into your eyes

Its not a cry for help when you listen,

It’s the questions you haven’t answered

May be the answers you haven’t listened

Not a living soul you need to fear

When you have owned yourself

When you are true to yourself!

Book in hand: Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus by John Gray

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Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus by American author John Gray is a great guide on relationships shaped from the author’s vast expertise in the field of relationship counseling and his own personal experiences. This gives the book the look and feel of real life, this rawness of its content is what makes the book appealing to the masses. The familiarity of the books very creative name, the metaphor so deeply ingrained in our culture makes the prospect of getting a sneak peek into the book an excitement for the reader.

In this age when society strives to break free from the chains of all sorts of stereotyping, especially related to gender, the whole premise of the book somewhat lies in this. But it would be foolish to not acknowledge the differences, some subtle and some loud, between the feminine and the masculine. Some so deeply encoded from time unknown and some injected by the social conditioning. So I would like to correct myself and rephrase that some generalizations of the male and female behavioral patterns condense into the premise of the book.

We have different kinds of comfort zones between same and opposite gender. Many times a woman needs another woman to understand her and a man needs a man. Many times a woman is an enigma for a man and vice versa. Hence a guide like this book becomes important for both men and women. The book tries to identify the inner dilemmas, fears and needs that are different for men and women and advises unique medicines and treatment plans for these different sources. Basically it comes down to effective communication, trust, respect and many other virtues. But that everyone knows, but most of us are clueless about how to imbibe this into our lives and relationships for results. So the book takes our hand and leads us like a child towards the light at the end of the tunnel.

One of my favorite parts of the book is where the author describes the different intimacy cycles of men and women. The author says for men it is like rubber bands, first pulling away thus gaining his autonomy and then getting close with a renewed passion. Women rise and fall in their ability to love themselves and others. Like she is inside a well, in her low, Venusians are extremely low in self-esteem. And in her high she has abundance of love and self-esteem that she radiates. Similarly Martians manage their stress by going to their cave and figuring things out by themselves. In author’s opinion women find their calm by sharing their feelings with their loved ones. It is advised to not hinder these natural cycles and understand and support it.

Another interesting concept described in the book is related to how men and women keep each other’s scores. For women, she keeps one point for big things as well as small things unlike men who assigns big points for big things, even negative points for bad things.  Women won’t be satisfied unless she gets an abundance of little expressions of love as well as the big, but she will say yes even when the score is uneven. I felt that the author’s opinions on a women’s constant need for approval and the tendency to give away too much, the need for the realization that she is worthy of being loved, a man’s need for acceptance, his constant fear of not being good enough, the need for reminding him that all problems are not his fault etc. is so on point. Similarly the need to even out giving and setting boundaries or even Venusians taking poetic license when speaking are so true. Author says that the Venusian motto of ‘love is never having to ask’ literally confuses men. Also I think the love letter technique suggested by the author is a very simple and practical technique that can work as a great self-therapy.

The book spends a large chunk of time explaining how much important it is to not give unsolicited advice to Martians because it makes them feel incompetent. He says for Martians it’s difficult to differentiate empathy and sympathy. Also he stresses how important it is to listen to Venusians without offering advice. Though the book has great content, I wish there were fewer repetitions of concepts. This makes the book less gripping. If someone leaves the book half way for some reason, it’s a loss because there is a bulk of ideas as it progresses. Also many of the references fits men and women equally like: in a negative state, both Martians and Venusians should stay low till the tornado passes. It’s not just applicable for one of them. This book made me think how much similar men and women are and how much different we are in our similarities. We have our rhythms, unique and different.

Book in hand:The Power of Habit, Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

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The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg is a carefully and artfully crafted book that will be included in my list of recommendations to a wide range of readers. This book dives into the depths of habits, exploring it in different dimensions. This is not one  dry, preachy book that you will need to push yourself through. The way the book is structured is very catchy just as its contents. No wonder it has been a best seller for a long time. This is one useful book that gives you so much to take with you after an entertaining read. I am sure this book has influenced or may be changed the life of many of its readers in various forms including the book itself and the you-tube videos and other stuff using the ideas prescribed in the book with and without giving credits to the book or its sources.

The book provides you with an algorithm for habits. Knowing the science behind habits gives you power. The power to play with this formula manipulating the variables of this equation formalizing the results you desire. Charles Duhigg in his book explains how each habit comprises of a cue – routine – reward loop. When we think about it we realize how these steps fit like a puzzle in most of our habits. And when we have a model, an understanding of this algorithm it gives us power to control it. Power to create/ replace habits. He explains some more factors that play an important role in this process too. Theorizing something and actually making something work is two entirely different schemes and the book acknowledges that too. As always will power and belief stays the inevitable constant in this book too. The author has extended these findings to larger arenas like organizations and societies. Personally I found the individualistic and organizational approaches more intriguing.

 

The book is woven together with anecdotes, yup, it is a better word than case studies I guess, because most of these stories creates a feeling of empathy towards these characters and events while others inspire.  Stories looped inside stories with facts and descriptions and experimental data gives a clarity and flow to what is being explained. From the story of Eugene Pauly, and the research related to him in habitual behaviors and functioning of basal ganglia to numerous other stories including Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps and Starbucks, and Target super stores and Alcoholics anonymous, how a product Febreze or an album heyaa changed from a flopped product to a super hit. How a key stone habit transformed the firm Alcoa. Events after events the application of the different dimensions of the science of habit is explained. A key stone habit is a single habit that can start off a chain of events that result in major changes. From dealing with addictions to starting off a new exercise plan this book has numerous applications for every part of life.

When once in a while we suddenly realize we were on autopilot not remembering what we did during daily chores, wait before you regret because your autopilot is an evolutionary blessing that helps to make your life easy, so chill. Also remember to redirect your cravings when it becomes the roaring monster of destruction. We don’t want those autopilots who fly our planes to our own apocalypse.   Enjoy a good read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lost Under Starry Skies

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Is each bird in this flock nothing but a lost stranger,

Like each of us in this evening crowd

Does each bird in this flock fly back to a lonely nest at dusk

Cause each turn of this crowded street-

Leads to a lonely house under the starry skies.

And in starry nights, just as us

Do you dream of beautiful days and dusks and dawns

Thorns of fragrant flowers

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Impatiently, I waited to forget

Some laughs, some faces, some truths, some lies

Each day I asked someone inside me

If I could do that! If I could forget!

And I waited for it to get-

As blank as it could get

As plain as it could feel

As empty as it should have been always

And when the day came when faces and words were blurred

Panicked, I took a boat and rowed to the island where

Broken hearts were thrown away on misty winter nights

And held it closer than ever

And when the intoxicating smell of memories spread around

I asked that someone inside me why I feel this need

To come back to all that is left behind, he whispered

He enjoyed when thorns of fragrant flowers cut him deep

 

picture credit:http://carolaust.blogspot.com/2011/03/two-boats.html

 

Flightless Beings

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Some nights, lonely birds sit watching us flightless beings

Birds sitting and singing on branches of autumn trees

Singing to the ghosts of withered flowers

Songs of forgotten dreams of old springs

And when they sing the flightless beings

Sit by their rusty tables and do their endless math

Marching fast, past their seasons of spring

Not knowing, the wind under their wings.