Learning to say no

You learn things from most unexpected experiences. I learnt to say No from such a small but repeated encounters.

I usually get down at a point and walk about 2 km while coming back from work. There is a famous bookstore on the way and few eateries around it. At any given time one can see about 20, 25 people in that area.

Almost every other day one can see a young group of 4 or 5 representing various NGOs talking to people. They will be seen trying to convince them that they are not doing anything to this world and donating to the NGO they represent will help them attain salvation. Now, I am all up for charity. But I refuse to give to any random organization.

My first encounter with them was lengthy. Being a self-proclaimed polite person,  I patiently heard for 15 full minutes before saying that I am not interested. I genuinely wanted to hear what they do but I support another NGO that I believe in.

The frequency of my encounters increased and it was getting a bit frustrating to talk to some NGO rep every day. Time was getting wasted for us both. Over the time, my replies became shorter and crisp. This is the evolution of my replies.

“That is so nice of you people to volunteer but I support another organization”

“Sorry, I support another organization”

“UNICEF? I talked to you guys already”

“Greenpeace.org? I talked to you already”

“Children’s relief fund? I talked to you already”

“UNICEF? I talked to you guys already. Didn’t you get enough funds yet? You have been asking people every day”

“UNICEF again? Talked to you last week”

“Already contributed”

“Already contributed?”

“Not interested”



“Lost my job”






There are some questions that keep surfacing in my mind

  • Why do these organizations always need money?
  • Can they eventually help all the people ever?
  • How about the admin costs? Surely not all the people are volunteering?
  • Can there really be an organization that is formed with volunteers only and the money collected is spent completely to the cause?
  • Why do big NGOs like UNICEF ask ordinary people to contribute instead of targeting corporates or wealthy?
  • Does anyone who is contributing even read the financial statement to check where the money is being spent on?
  • How do we choose the organization that we can trust?


Instant Motivation – Falcon 9

Everyone has his/her share of ups and downs. One time you are pumped up with enthusiasm and another time, you are worn out like a deflated tube.  If you may have noticed carefully, when you are down on your motivation there is always something that could give you an instant boost. It could be a song, a memory of a trip you had taken, a phone call from a friend, picture of your family and children or anything else.

I have been an admirer of Elon Musk for all his work. Be it an electric car, solar power or a super-human ambition of migrating people to Mars. This guy is insane in an admirable way. Whenever I read something about him, or a see a video of him or his speech, I am in awe. It is true his personal life may not be so glorious but the mission that he has undertaken is larger than life.  I have started reading his biography now. I have seen many YouTube videos about him. The one that I am going to share is the one that gives instant motivation to me. Whenever I feel a little down, I see this video. I draw inspiration from that video. It is not just about Elon Musk but every single person in the video. It tells me that the greatest happiness is in putting in soul and energy into something that others dismissed as impossible and seeing it succeed. The sheer sense of achievement and pride. This video is by Nat Geo about the launch of Falcon 9 by Space X when the first stage of the rocket landed back successfully after launching the satellite into the orbit. Had this attempt failed, it would have made the company to be shut down. As I said, I am intensely moved whenever I see the video. I hope it gives you that burst of motivation too. Cheers!

Consequences of Laziness

Dear People,

We are nearing the end of 2016. Another year passed by just like that. Good things and bad things happened around the world. Take what is good and leave what is bad. Because what is bad for you may be good for somebody else. Whether something is good or bad is subjective. I have talked about this earlier. So I am not going to dwell too much on it. But, there are some common enemies. In my last post, I briefly touched about Procrastination though I shed some positive light on that. In this one, I am going to talk about its cousin Laziness.

Everybody has been lazy at some point in time. It is only the degree of laziness that decides the success or failure. I am going to lay down few verses from Thirukkural, written over 2000 years ago, which talks about the ill effects of laziness. It shows that laziness is as old and as indestructible as cockroaches. This poet has dedicated one section of 10 verses on the topic.  The topic is named “Not being lazy”.

குடியென்னும் குன்றா விளக்கம் மடியென்னும்
மாசூர மாய்ந்து கெடும்.

Even though one’s family has a good legacy, it quickly dies if he has the darkness of laziness.

மடியை மடியா ஒழுகல் குடியைக்
குடியாக வேண்டு பவர்.

If one wants to maintain or increase the dignity of his family, he has to eradicate laziness from his conduct and put in the right efforts.

மடிமடிக் கொண்டொழுகும் பேதை பிறந்த
குடிமடியும் தன்னினும் முந்து.

The glory of the family of an ignorant man, whose conduct is defined by laziness,  quickly perishes even before him.

குடிமடிந்து குற்றம் பெருகும் மடிமடிந்து
மாண்ட உஞற்றி லவர்க்கு.

The family glory decays and faults increases for the ignorant man who give way to laziness and put forth no dignified efforts.

நெடுநீர் மறவி மடிதுயில் நான்கும்
கெடுநீரார் காமக் கலன்.

Procrastination, forgetfullness, laziness and over indulgence in sleep – these four things form a small boat that is desired by those who are down the path of desctruction.

படியுடையார் பற்றமைந்தக் கண்ணும் மடியுடையார்
மாண்பயன் எய்தல் அரிது.

Even though an idle person may be blessed with the wealth of all the kings ruling the earth, he rarely dervies any benefit out of it.

இடிபுரிந்து எள்ளுஞ்சொல் கேட்பர் மடிபுரிந்து
மாண்ட உஞற்றி லவர்.

Those who do not make dignified efforts due to laziness will subject themselves to condemnation and reproach.

மடிமை குடிமைக்கண் தங்கின்தன் ஒன்னார்க்கு
அடிமை புகுத்தி விடும்.

If laziness becomes the characteristic of a person from a good family, it will make him a slave of his enemies.

குடியாண்மை யுள்வந்த குற்றம் ஒருவன்
மடியாண்மை மாற்றக் கெடும்.

When a person overcomes and gets away from laziness, the disgrace brought upon his family will disappear.

மடியிலா மன்னவன் எய்தும் அடியளந்தான்
தாஅய தெல்லாம் ஒருங்கு.

The king who does not give way to laziness will obtain all the wealth passed over by Him who measured the worlds with His foot (God)

I wish you, and your nears and dears, a very active, prosperous, and a very happy new year. May this new year destory the laziness in your life and bless you with abundant health, wealth and knowledge.



Find, then Forward


Social media has great benefits. It has greater disadvantages. It has become a battleground. People take sides and strive hard to one-up the others to show that their belief, their idea, their religion, their favorite actor, even their dog is the best one. The Internet is a great equalizer in that it gives the same amount of freedom to both intelligent and the dumb. When the dumbs mob the social media with useless posts, unverified information and their speculations which are light years away from the truth, the quality of the content quickly degrades. Anybody and everybody with an access to internet has become a warrior, moral police, critic or a judge.

I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig, you get dirty; and besides, the pig likes it. – George Bernard Shaw

Many intellectuals stay away from the battleground thus leading to an explosion in the volume of misinformed content. Many a times, we don’t even know if the information that we are getting on internet is a valid information or it is just a hoax. What is appalling is that people forward and reshare any content without even applying common sense, forget about verifying the information. A recent example could be the tracking chip in the newly introduced ₹2000 note during currency demonitisation in India. The forward was rich with technical details that people easily bought into that as a fact. Or another forward “Parenting tips from 2000 years old Thirukkural”. Thirukkural is a great book but the information that was being forwarded was not from that book. It is but an irony that the same Thirukkural insists that one should investigate and find the real truth about whatever he or she might hear from whomever.

Everyone of us should take a moment to verify the information that we might receive from various sources. Only if we find it legit, we should forward to others. If not, we should not forward it further. Simply refraining from forwarding that message goes a long way in the preventing the rumours from spreading. So, forward responsibily people! Remember Uncle Ben’s words – With great power, comes great responsibilty.

Note: This quote is from Thirukkural. Thirukkural is a great book on Ethics written by the poet Thiruvalluvar more than 2000 years ago in Tamil. This book is one of the most translated books. You can read about the book in this Wikipedia Page.

Note 2: Today’s post was written for Day-5 exercise of Writing: Finding Everyday Inspiration. The task was to begin the post with a quote as a hook. An epigraph.

Pic courtesy: muthunagarajan.wordpress.com


The Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami 2004

12 years ago on the same day, the coastal areas of Indonesia, India and Srilanka were worst hit by Tsunami where thousands of precious lives were lost. We had not heard the word Tsunami before. I was right there at the Marina Beach, Chennai playing a game of Cricket with friends when we witnessed Tsunami. Reblogging the post where I had written about the experience here. Thanks to Almighty, me and my friends are all safe and still spoiling the world. Cheers!

Pointless & Prosaic

The incident happened almost a decade back while we were still in college and didn’t sign up yet for the corporate rat race. It’s probably too late to post now but nevertheless it will be a record. Remember, the word tsunami was introduced to Indians only after this calamity.

26 Dec 2004 – Sunday

Unlike the present time Sundays in anyway, we used to get up early and play cricket in the Marina Beach – the second longest beach in the world. People were allowed to play cricket in those times in the beach. It was just like any other Sunday and our team Triplicane Tigers Criket Team (TTCT) was playing against one of the three usual rival teams. Our team batted first and had scored low. Its time for fielding.

As I am a good fielder and I could throw well, I was standing in the sweeper cover area…

View original post 863 more words


The exercise 3 in “Writing: Finding Everyday Inspiration” series is a one-word prompt. I must choose one from – Hope, Regret, Home, Choice, Secret, Abundance. The very act of choosing is required for this and thus I decided to write about Choice.

Choice – the only omnipresent thing other than God. You may not have chosen your birth but everything that you do/say after that is a choice. Even though one’s birth may not have been their choice, it is someone else’s choice. You choose every single day and every single minute. To wake up or to snooze, coffee or tea, drive to work or take public transport, to punch someone in the face or in the gut, to be attentive in a meeting or be transported into a different imaginary world, Oreo or Krackjack, Table tennis or carom board, work or YouTube. Every day, we are thrown with options and we constantly choose something.

Choices determine character – Brandon Mull

The most difficult choices are between two good or two bad options. Life is badass. Sometimes, it gives you all the things that you want or none as options. You must choose. When life throws lemons at you can choose to make a lemonade but when life throws bricks at you, you better duck. The right choice is the key.

Vodka is just potatoes that made the right career choices – Anonymous

The very act of choosing is difficult and once you somehow make up your mind and choose one, the next deadly step comes in. Consequence.

Every choice that you make has an end result – Zig Ziglar

Every choice that you make have a consequence and you must live with it. Although, how you react to that consequence is yet another choice.  Everything happens for a reason. But sometimes the reason is that we’re stupid and make bad decisions. So, choose wisely people. Choose wisely! Cheers!

May your choices reflect your Hopes. Not your Fears – Nelson Mandela