Monday, January 21, 2013

Relationship Advice: Husband Travels, My Career Suffers!

 

Dear Love Guru,
My husband travels frequently and it’s difficult for me to find a job wherever we go. I don’t know if I should stay in one place with a job or move with him. Pl advise.
Sincerely,
Kiara

Dear Kiara
It’s difficult to find a balance between a career and a marriage for every woman but it’s far more difficult if you’re constantly on the move. If it’s the early stages of your marriage and you’ve taken a sabbatical from your job, then do travel with your husband to set a good foundation with him. If you’re in a fabulous job with a great support system at a particular place, stay in your job and figure out how to manage visits frequently. Ask for more flexi timings to work from your husband’s place as well. If you do decide to stay with your husband and give up your job, find an alternate career that doesn’t require regular office hours – writing, painting, cooking, interior design, teaching, architecture, law, etc that you can easily find people willing to pay for your services anywhere in the world. Also the internet has opened up many job opportunities for people anywhere in the world. You can be paid to blog, write reviews about books/ movies or be a personal shopper. Joining classes, getting a degree or forming clubs also helps expand your horizon. A career is not just about bonuses and paychecks. It’s also about expanding your horizons and growing as an individual. If you have the love and support of your husband, the sky is the limit!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Spiritual Review of Ang Lee's film - Life of Pi


I didn’t watch Ang Lee’s film Life of Pi on the opening weekend. I honestly thought that there couldn’t be much of a story from an abstract novel I had read in 2001. So a decade later when I finally saw the film alone, in a darkened hall, Yann Martel’s novel not only came to life but Ang Lee’s film left me with a deep spiritual awakening that no amount of meditation ever did.
Many people asked me later – “what did it mean?” And I replied – “which part?” They looked at me strangely. There were parts, there were dialogues, and then there was the visual imagery, the graphics, the cinematography, and the vision of a director to take parts of a book to make into a film that would change people’s lives forever. At least that’s what it did for me.
25 Symbolisms from Life of Pi:
1.       The movie begins with a story that Pi Patel tells Yann about where he got his name. From a swimming pool. Hence the basis of water forms a backdrop to his life. Many times we are named after something our parents think we can be capable of. If you go back and analyse your name you will see how true it is of your character and personality. And so it was for Piscine Patel.

2.       But the allegory didn’t end there. As soon as you saw his uncle swim in that pool , it felt as if we were looking at the sky. The shot in film language felt as if it was from under the pool. Somehow it reminded me that we’re all floating in space somewhere, swimming with or against a tide, but from our angle we can never see how deep life really is or how high the sky expands to. In the vast cosmos of Life, we are just floating along trying to take it all in.

3.       And then from being called Pissing Patel to Pi Patel, he had to prove who he was. He was ready he said. From an early age he needed to prove something, he worked hard to do so and was successful in the end. By the end of the day everyone was calling him Pi. And at the end of the report given by the Japanese, he was called heroic.

4.       Pi wanted to find meaning in life from a very early age. He looked for it in religion. He asked questions about God and couldn’t find the correct answers. So he imbibed all religions. God was introduced to him in many ways. And yet the only way he actually understood it was when he was lost at sea.

5.       Pi’s father tells him that reason and belief in science can teach us what is out there. He was told to think rationally. And yet Pi who never gave up any faith and wanted to be baptized held on to his faith and took the lesson of his father to survive.

6.       When Pi had lost the “meaning for life” he found love. Which is also a meaning to life. When Pi falls in love, the typical Bollywood way of wooing a girl is to follow by singing a song and harass till she agrees to be with you. Pi went about it by trying to know what she liked, understanding her a little more and asking relevant questions pertaining to what she thought was important.

7.       Pi mentions that he doesn’t remember saying goodbye to Anandhi. And later he remembers that the tiger never said goodbye to him. Closure is so important for human beings. To let go, to end a chapter, to say goodbye. Without it there seems to be hope, confusion, irrationality and fear. One feels hollow and empty. Closure gives peace.

8.       At the time of the storm, the ship starts sinking but Pi manages to escape by sheer luck on a boat. And then in a moment, he lets go of the boat to drown in a pool of gushing water, thunderstorm and lightening. When he goes under the water –(again a similar shot/ imagery from the pool days of when he was named after a French pool) he sees the ship sinking, the lights fading out. In that moment he realizes that he can make a choice. He can either drown with that ship or he can swim up and live. And he chooses to live. Racked with guilt that he didn’t chose to die with his family, he sobs out loud, “I’m sorry Amma.” We cannot be apologetic for the gift of life. Only the lucky few are given the gift of choice. And we must choose wisely even if we’re racked with guilt over the loss of a loved one.

9.       And then finally Pi is there on a boat with Richard Parker, a royal Bengal tiger who ate 5 kilos of meat every day, was massively strong and tremendously ferocious. Was he for real? That doesn’t matter. What he signified does. The Royal Bengal Tiger is a symbol of your own deepest darkest fear, your hidden demon, your absolute emptiness, your depressions, loneliness, failures, addictions, hatred and the most sinister parts of you.

10.   Pi took many days to conquer the tiger. Like we take each day to tackle our fears, to get rid of our addictions and hollowness. He said – “Maybe the tiger couldn’t be tamed. But it could be trained.” We don’t know if our fears that are so deep rooted will ever go away. But by beginning to tackle them each day they can become less harmful.

11.   One especially tumultuous day Pi claims to God  - “God show me whatever you choose, I am ready. I give myself to you. I surrender.” There are so many points in our lives when we want to give up. When we believe this is the end. But surrendering never means giving up on life. It means letting go of all doubt. Letting go of all disbeliefs. Knowing that there is a God. That you need to do what you can in this life and you have to surrender the rest to a higher power. That you are ready to choose whatever is given to you. You give yourself to the Universe.

12.   In the hardship of lack of food, water, getting sunburn, illness, and tackling your fears, there was beauty all around. Pi sees the amazing phenomenon of a large whale that passed them in a night full of twinkling stars and neon bright glowing jellyfish in the sea. He saw a wondrous sight of flying fish above the water and moving at rapid speeds. He saw dancing dolphins. In this hard life that we lead, trying to make ends meet, managing a family, career, battling work, stress, fears, and feeling as if the world’s problems are on us, we fail to see the beauty of life. We fail to see God’s wondrous ways all around us.

13.   When Pi finally tackles the tiger and they lie alone on a night, the tiger looks down at the Pacific Ocean. Pi asks him – what do you see? Pi looks down at the ocean and suddenly his mind is sucked deep within the currents where he sees all the animals who died, the fish who move in deep waters, the wreckage of the ship that he was on and a face of his mother. The tiger, showed it to him. Sometimes when we least realize it, it is our deepest anxiety that can show us what we miss the most. What we truly cherish deep within. What we can or should have held on to.

14.   Pi writes his diary on the survival manual. After many days of writing everything about his experiences, the diary flies out of his hand one stormy night. He laments the loss of it. Sometimes the proof of our lives can only remain a memory. Hard facts, evidence, photographs, journals might never exist. Memories don’t have proof. They just lie deep within you. And many times the moment that needs to be captured from our lives, never has concrete evidence. It remains etched in our hearts and our minds forever.

15.   A wild storm hits Pi once again. Just when he thought that he had tackled his life, it feels as if it’s going to spin over and push him over the edge. And that’s when he screams up to the heavens – “I surrender. What more do you want?” It’s only in the storm that fears get shaken. That your strength is tested and maybe even new fears emerge. But a storm or something that you feel is drastically going wrong with your life is just a way of the Universe saying the worst is never over. Hardships don’t end. That’s life. It doesn’t mean you don’t go on. It means that you’ve been given the powers to test your spirit, your intelligence and use all you can to battle it and emerge a better human being. Someone who can fight the wrongs. Someone who can teach through experience now. Only a storm can do that.

16.   The next morning Pi finds his boat docked on a floating island. He jumps off and finds happiness. He eats till his heart’s content and swims in a pool of clear water that was good enough to drink till his dying day. He finds the strangest of small creatures – in a multitude, looking the same and behaving exactly alike. Then Pi makes a hammock on a tree and goes to sleep while the little creatures make themselves comfortable on his body and all around. Pi wakes up to see a luminous neon light emanating from the pool below. The fish dying and floating to the top, one by one. The floating island is the island of complacency. When we’ve faced so many hardships in life we really want to just take a God dam break and relax. But when we start relaxing, we see that our lives can get very comfortable. We can all lie back and do nothing more with our lives because we’re enveloped with security. Complacency can come from anywhere – a fabulous job that pays us well enough for years, a housewife who’s chosen to marry and watch tv the whole day, a rich son who needs to just spend an inheritance the way he likes, a person content to be where he is for the rest of his life. It can be anything.

17.   And the creatures are the sea of humanity, multiplying like crazy, accommodating each other and at ease in each other’s space. After a point if we do the same thing, we mirror each other, we follow the same patterns, we live and die on that island of complacency. We are the same. Humanity. One word. One island. One people.

18.   Pi sees that pool of clear water turning putrid and he says “the island was carnivorous.” A living creature that eats other creatures. The pool of our desires, our ambitions, our hopes, dreams, intelligence, dies when we live on an island of daily comfort. Our grey cells die everyday in that island (a comfortable space). The pool eats up all that we wanted to be when we were young. It is the pool that is acid and at night when we sleep, our dreams show us what we could have been, the little fires that were deep within us once upon a time. Pi wakes up and sees that desire in him still alive. While he may have wanted comfort for a bit. He didn’t want it forever. He took a whole day to prove that he was Pi Patel. He would take a lifetime to prove his ambition would not rot.

19.   Pi find a fruit with a tooth in it. He says to Yann, “Some person must have come and stayed and died on the island.” People do stay. There are so many of us who pass from this earth unnoticed, unremarkable, and unremembered. If we choose to stay in a space of comfort for the rest of our life, there will remain no representation of us except for the bones that are interred with our body.

20.   Pi has more ambition. He decides that no matter what happens out on a stormy ocean that he knows is dangerous, he would rather persevere in his life than languish on that island. “All along God was watching,” Pi says to Yann. God gives us a choice. God gives us whatever we need. And with it, He also gives us a choice. And that choice is something that only you know how to make. And no one will judge you for it.

21.   After 227 days Pi and Richard Parker’s boat hit land. A journey of self discovery probably takes that long. it could actually be years or lifetimes but actual days of growth could be that long. It was for Pi. If we sit and wonder, it could be for us.

22.   The Royal Bengal Tiger that was once majestic, powerful, superior, is now reduced to a shadow of his old self. Skin and bones sagging as he jumps off the boat to dry land. Pi hoped that he would look back and acknowledge him one last time to say “Thank you” but Richard Parker simply left him. Our fears don’t take a moment of realization to know they’re over. It takes a lifetime. And when you realize they’re gone, they had already left. The tiger didn’t look back because as one’s deepest terrors are tackled, they remain a skeleton that simply walks away. And even though we want desperately to hold on to them because that’s who we know we were, a past that we could see clearly, we have to let go and find closure. “The whole of life is an act of letting go” Pi says. And that he did not just with his inner demons, but with doubts, dogma and delusions about life.

23.   The story ends and Pi sits with Yann in his drawing room. Yann asks about the report about the Japanese people who came to question him. When Pi tells them the truth, they refuse to believe him. In life there will always be people who will not understand your depth of belief, your spiritual nature and your wisdom from experience. It hardly matters if you preach to them and try to change their opinion. They will not change. Each person needs their own path of self discovery. It is pointless in hoping they will get you. It doesn’t mean you stop who you are and your path to your goal. It just means you don’t need to talk about it with your boss, colleagues, family or others who are spiritually different from you. And so Pi tells a story that had no surprises, nothing unusual, something everyone could believe in. A story that was not magical. Life as it is.

24.   Pi ends his session by asking Yann – “Which story did you believe?” Yann takes a moment to reply, “The one with the tiger. That’s the more amazing story.” And Pi smiles and says, “And so it goes with God.” We cannot see God, we cannot hear him, feel him, touch him or know him. But if we have faith, we will always believe in Him.

25.   Pi’s meaning for life ends in a full circle. He is happily married with two children. His attempt at a rushed Yann who asked early on “..and make me believe in God” comes to a conclusion when Pi delivers his promise, “We’ll get to that.”

That's what I got from the movie :)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Change Begins With Us: Safety, Respect, Love - A discussion

Thoughts and ideas, anger and frustration, problems and solutions had been stewing in all our minds ever since the gang rape of Jyoti Singh Pandey on December 16th in Delhi.
Mukesh of www.storizen.com invited 6 authors to discuss and vent out all their feelings, ideas and solutions.

It was one of the most wonderful Saturday mornings to be part of a discussion that could be intellectual and yet identifiable. We thrashed many things and came out with further resolve to do something more with our lives.

Hope you enjoy the session.
For more info you can get in touch with mukesh@storizen.com,
 

The 6 Authors:

Yashodhara lal 
Madhuribanerjee

Ismita Tandon 
Manreetsomeshwar
Radh Thomas
Christina Daniels

http://youtu.be/h8c-jiCxzQc

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Lead & Be Inspired: An Amalgamation of My Tweets

So I've been wanting to inspire and be inspired, teach and learn, give and take and set the new year to believe and release hope. I've amalgamated all my tweets in the hope that they make a difference to someone. These are original (unless indicated in quotes) and have come straight from my heart and the ones that have got a response and started a dailogue.

My Favourite Tweets: 
Sometimes an ignorance to alternatives might be the most blissful state to be in.
It might take us years to understand what we really wanted was wrong all along. But that revelation finally leads us on our right journey.
Sometimes the hope lies in something ending and being done with. There is a tremendous peace in a conclusion and closure.
Sometimes, doing nothing is the best action you can take.
You cannot change someone. You're not God. Live by your standards. Nobody else needs to.
We r mistaken to believe our consciousness awakened at our birth. It is born only when we become aware of something larger than ourselves
Sometimes ppl yearn for things bcos society tells us those r things worth having. Achievement need not come from ambition. Just from self
A wife is a woman who knows ur weaknesses & failures better than you, ur dead spaces, has the map of ur soul drawn into her palm & loves u.
Be at the centre of ur world. And everything will fall into place.
Ppl want to control the world,change or comprehend it. We don't see the outside world is a reflection of our inner mind.We do all 3 everyday
Memory cripples us more than circumstances. If we can't let go of the past, we can't tackle the present.
You can't suppress pain no matter how hard you try. The only way to get over it is to accept it, embrace it and then release the pain.
No one's definition of love is ever going to match with another. The idea is to accept it, respect it & give back the best way u can.
If you don't have emotions to invest you should not be in a relationship. Beating an empty reservoir tank will only make noise.
When you're in love you want to be the one who completes the other person. Even if they are complete.
Most times it's the things that are unsaid that have greatest meaning. You just need to read the silence.
No matter how much you tell men what you want they are only going to give you what they think you need.
Be gentle with ur own soul. Let go of the pain that comes with guilt and sadness. Others live their lives their way. You hv to live ur own.
Holding on to negativity will only wear you down. Stop hoping, expecting, wishing and wanting from someone. Be true to yourself.
Transitions are by necessity full of sadness, esp if the past is made up of some happy memories. Be kind & true to yourself first n foremost
We absorb energies of ppl in our life even if they're on a social platform. Always surround yourself with ppl who wish u well n vice versa.
When u have a strong connection to ur internal power the quality of ur life is very different from when u let the outside world decide for u
Circumstances play an important role in success. Intention is not the only thing that matters. Doesn't mean we give up.Only means be patient
Your attitude is the first impression you make. It's not the clothes or your face. Being positive
"The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better." Stephen King
A vital part of a relationship is growth and belief. That requires more than happiness of togetherness, it requires thought and work.
A relationship cannot exist in a status quo. It can change its nature, structure and meaning. But it can't be about what it was when it started.
Be ruthless with your time. If it's not helping ur soul, ur career or ur heart, don't be with ppl for their sake.
Many of life's failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up.
For a great relationship one has to be accepting of who that person is in totality. Not what u think the other person is or can be for u.
Always have a vision for yourself. Success doesn't come from a haphazard shot in the dark.
You can't judge your self worth in comparison to others. It can only be judged in accordance with ur values n dreams.
Understanding what ppl need & giving exactly that is the key to success. Trying to give what u think is correct is just a waste of time.
Detachment isn't letting go. It's knowing you can live without the thing even when it's in your life
If you want to be seen, stand up. If you want to be heard, speak up. If you want to be appreciated, shut up!
Friendships are like mutual funds. Not all your investments are going to give fabulous returns. Some will be duds.
Going back to square one only helps you make a new blueprint. Experience can never set you back. It only takes you forward.
The reason we suffer is because we think our identity & worth as human beings is inextricably tied to our careers or relationships. It's not
You can't expect someone to give up their priorities just because you think you should be one of them.
WHAT you need to do shd be crystal clear. WHEN you need to do it needs to be well thought through. HOW you execute is a matter of detail.
Follow your heart except when it's breaking into two. Then let your head take over and tell you what to do.
"Sometimes we pay for the sins committed in this lifetime without the luxury of being able to defer them to the next."
If you're going to speak the language of love you must learn to speak the language of apology as well.
We should really stop judging men by the amount of money they make and women by how thin they are. We are all far more than just that.
Not everything is gonna pay off. Some things will be there just so you experience life a little more.
End is not the end, it is "Effort Never Dies" & if you get NO in answer, then remember it is "Next Opportunity" Always be positive!
There are many routes to the final destination of your dreams. Taking the easy one wastes the most time. Push yourself to do better.
Only when you give your actions serious consideration will you be able to face the serious consequences without fear.
There is no relationship that has not been taken for granted at some point. The good ones rectify it immediately. The bad ones let it slip.
Respect for ur work is far more important than admiration for ur looks. One day beauty shall fade away, but ur legacy will live on.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 Leo Horoscope


2013 would be an exception year once again. Close on heals of a very hectic and expansion oriented 2012, this year will see a rise in your status as well as income.
The pace of work all activity could be maddening at times.
This is a great year for growth, making new powerful friends as well as spiritual pursuits.
Family, spouse and related areas of life could take a back seat. Bonding with close ones could be a casualty while progress all career graph will keep on looking skywards.

Leo 2013 Career Horoscope - Hard work all networking will bring you the maximum amount of gains. After 15th January 2013, you will see a very strong period when your stature would rise. You should make the most of this period. Goodwill all confidence generated now will bring you exceptional growth all gains.
The year would open with a maddening pace at work. Career will expand rapidly. Your responsibilities and area of operation will increase. Work all returns might not be in consonance, since the efforts you make now will give you returns after June 2013 commences. You will be in touch with people in position of authority all find substantial gains through such associations. Clarity would emerge at work after the 30th of January 2013.

June 2013 will see a slowdown in the work pressures you had been facing. It will also see a slight rationalization of the tempo of work all the speed of work. At times you might feel that you are not as active as before all feel lagging a bit. But in reality, it will be a much more enjoyable period with higher growth and gains due to efforts made in the past. The period post June 2013 will see a rise in your socializing and even the friends around you will increase. You need to cross this period with caution as there would be a few fair weather friends too, who will be around to have a nice time at your expense.

Leo 2013 Money Horoscope Activity all financial gains would rise in the second half of the month. Gains from equity, speculation and certain old investments will give you great returns during this period. Income will be significantly higher this year. Some spikes in gains and monetary flows would come after 7th November which will last till the end of the year.

Relations with siblings would not be nice this year. You might get into conflict. Some chances of litigation over ancestral property or joint assets possible too. You need to ensure you don't speak in a harsh manner with anyone.
Travels would give you a great amount of gains all progress. There would be growth due to your ability to meet all gain confidence of many people. The ability to convince others will get you very good results this year, throughout.
Name all fame would come easily. As long as you remain fair in your dealings, you will continue to make progress.
After 15th January you will feel, your interest in spirituality all religion will be rekindled. Any sort of meditation, yoga, transcending meditation will be very successful for you. There would be good donations all charitable work this year too. At times, despite the meditation etc, you could be rude to people around you. This would happen due to your aggressive mindset and exceptional level of activity, which might lower your level of patience. Try your best not to upset people close to you.

Leo 2013 Love & Marriage Horoscope - Relationships & spouse could be the loser in this hectic phase. You will be quite engrossed at work leading to very poor bonding with spouse. The period between February 2013 & June 2013 could see spouse seeking friendship elsewhere. Be careful & ensure your socialize enough along with spouse as well as find common interests to pursue.

Leo 2013 health Horoscope - Minor ailments of throat & some injury to arms possible. You need to take care most of this year.
In all a very active all progressive year. As long as you find time for family all children, complete all round happiness would be possible.

Leo 2013 January Horoscope:

Ego & general level of conflict possible during this time till the 14th January 2013. You will make some good gains in older investments now too. Caution about the relationship with father & children should be continued too till the 14th January 2013. A rise in support from your seniors as well as people in government positions possible too. Issues could come up with friends after the 14th January 2013.

Leo 2013 February Horoscope:

Work would do well and you will find growth in most of the areas that you work on till the 12th February 2013. You should avoid animosity with people close to you. Aggression with superiors in work environment could back fire. 12th February 2013 onwards you could see a rise in opposition to your ideas. Partnerships could feel some amount of ego & issues. Ego hassles with spouse could rise too, after the 12th February 2013.

Leo 2013 March Horoscope:

Pressures in joint areas of work would remain high till the 14th March 2013. There would be issues in marriages too. You need to cross this period cautiously. Further energy levels and stamina could fall after the 14th March 2013. There could be lower immunity, which could create some challenges in health matters. Avoid very heavy commitments for the second of half of this month & the first fortnight of the coming month.

Leo 2013 April Horoscope:

Low energy will continue this month, till the 14th April 2013. Some unnecessary ego in speech as well as issues with the extended family possible till the 14th April 2013 too. 14th April 2013 onwards you will find very good growth as well as rise in your luck. There would be higher income and better health. The dip in energy will give way to a robust period in the second half of the month.

Leo 2013 May Horoscope:

Luck will be high while progress will be good this month. You will be religiously inclined this month till the 14th May 2013. Travel will bring in gains too, till the 14th May 2013. Career progress would take off significantly after the 14th May 2013. You will do well at work. Governmental sources as well as people in authority would favor you well. You will be in control of all you do and exert authority after the 14th May 2013.

Leo 2013 June Horoscope:

Career progress will be high & you will make your point & position in life very clear till the 15th June 2013. This would be a very good month. You will make all round progress. Gains & income will jump up after the 15th June 2013. Socially it would be a rewarding period as you will have a great time socially as well as with friends. You will make gains from government or high placed officials after the 15th June 2013.

Leo 2013 July Horoscope:

A progressive & gainful period would run till the 16th July 2013. You will enjoy life and get gains from various aspects at this time. Friends would be high on your agenda till the 16th July 2013. Beyond the 16th July 2013, a dip in activity and stamina could be felt. You might feel tired or sleepy often. Expenses will rise. You should avoid too many commitments or expenses after the 16th July 2013. Avoid the tendency to get into arguments with influential people.

Leo 2013 August Horoscope:

The period of low activity, low immunity and energy would continue till the 16th August 2013. You should continue keeping away from controversy connected with high placed people. A revival of activity and position would come after the 16th August 2013. Ego would remain high, while there could be issues about competition with people close to you. Anger & diet should be controlled after the 16th August 2013.

Leo 2013 September Horoscope:

High activity phase will run till the 16th September 2013. You should deal with people judicially throughout this period as ego or short tempered behavior could spoil matters for you. A gainful period would commence after the 16th September 2013. You should guard against facial illnesses during this time. You should also weigh your words well now, as some people close to you could take offence.

Leo 2013 October Horoscope:

Ego in speech would be a tendency & you should guard against the same till the 17th October 2013. There would be some dental illnesses possible too. Financial gains would be good till the 17th October 2013 too. You will get into a vibrant period after the 17th October 2013. Growth in new areas would become possible too. It would be a positive time after the 17th October 2013, where you will be able to meet many new people.

Leo 2013 November Horoscope:

The month would open with a positive outlook as you will be in an outgoing mood and have an easy ability to promote work. Networking skills would be well honed and positive. There would be change after the 16th November 2013 as you will find strength in what you do and be able to take a stand. There could be issues with the extended family while there would be gains in real estate. Happiness about home, cars etc possible.

Leo 2013 December Horoscope:

Issue could continue with family while you will make good progress at work. Your status would rise despite pressures till the 16th December 2013. Worry about children and marked rise in ego possible after the 16th December 2013. You will find some very smart gains from investments during this time. Be cautious about the relationship with your father now.

Letter from a Hogwarts Teacher to Hermione

My daughter Ariaana is a big Harry Potter fan. For her summer holidays she's gone to spend time with her grandparents. So I thought I...