Harvest

When the scorching gusts of heat
Fade the tears in your eye,
Recite the songs of the Spring,
Believe that seasons change, ask not why.

When circumstances are bleak,
Your bivouac is left far behind,
Choose what you must—
That let me not remind.

When without the trails
Should You journey barefoot,
Seek sojourns within a companion
In whose heart you could stay put.

When You, and only You,
Represent souls in the strife.
Look within as much as without.
Surely, the only rule of life.

When the days are few
You count each one anew
Amidst the hellish weather that
Destroys your crop that’s but already few.

Remember, always, to stand tall
And present the challenges a full face;
That You are your own harvest:
Be that befitting reply; and the one with grace.
©Suyog Ketkar

Don’t Waste Words

The ancient Indian literature is full of symbolism. But, the documents from the relatively recent history are no less full of insights and wisdom. During one of my regular conversations recently, someone shared something really interesting with me, which made me write this post. Right, so the verses in the post are originally composed (and possibly sung) by Saint Tukaram, a popular Poet-Philosopher-Contributor from the early 17th century. He is known for his devotional poetry, but is known to have educated community in general toward logical devotion toward the almighty. Click here to read this post.

Choose Your Luggage.

If life is a journey, and not a destination, isn’t your life all about how long do you keep walking? The challenges that you face, the people whom you meet, and the experiences that you glean: it all adds up to count as memories in your life. And, unlike the materialistic aspect, your richness is not restricted to the amount of money you earn, but the amount of memories you gather. C’est la vie!

We meet different kinds of people in our life. Each one has their own, small (but important) role to play in our lives. Some get registered as family, some as friends, and some as enemies. But each of them contributes something to our journey. We either succeed with them, or earn experiences because of them. But, we never walk alone. Nobody does!

So, what do we do to make the most out of this life? What do we do to go really long? Or, at least, go longer distances than we initially thought? Let us see.

We travel with a lot of luggage. Although, mostly an unwanted one, the luggage packs our memories. We carry our aspirations, emotions, learning, pleasures, treasures, and experiences. All in all, we carry two sets of luggage: the positive ones and the negative ones.  The negative luggage (of agitation, anger, frustration, hatred, or jealousy) are like bundles of cotton. Each time we have those feelings, the bundles become wet. And, the more we have those feelings the more those continue to get wet. And, if you’ve realized where I am getting at, it becomes heavier, and consequently gets difficult (almost impossible) to walk with a heavier luggage.

But, if we choose to leave aside those presumptions, let go off that negative set of luggage, we will eventually cover great distances in our journeys … I have realized that irrespective of what result do we get, we must choose not to get disappointed. That’s because, we will either succeed or earn a sufficient amount of experience.

I choose to set aside this negative set of luggage, so that I can go longer distances. What about you?

#suyogsutra

It is always good to keep your (in)abilities well bracketed. #suyogsutra

I know what I can do. But, I also know what I cannot – which is equally important. That helps me set achievable goals and workable standards so that I keep myself motivated. Although, it may not always be a great idea to not strive for goals that are beyond your capacity. But, it is seldom that you try to achieve something that you know you can’t!

By keeping the inabilities “well bracketed”, I mean keeping them well in check. Brackets, here, are symbolic to categorized restriction (premise?). So, when you can keep a check on what you cannot do (or find impossible to achieve at a point in time), you can easily calculate what you can do.

At times, knowing what to reject works better than knowing what to accept. And, bracketing your inabilities is an important tactic in the strategy of rejection.

– Suyogsutra

My Non-Work Time Activities

Last month, on one of our regular visits to a temple, my wife and I met one of her cousins. During our interaction, which mostly concerned our families, we got to know something about each of our job profiles. One of the questions during our conversation was, “What do you do when you are not working Suyog?” That was a good question because I did not have a proper list of activities that I do when I am not working.

So, not exactly a non-work time bucket list, but here’s what I enjoy doing:

Reading

This is one of the must-haves. You can see me lying down on a couch with a book, especially on the weekends. It is so much relaxing to not be governed by the clock. But, unlike a lot of us who do not like reading from their mobile devices, I like reading from my iPad mini or Windows Phone. It’s so much easier to carry those, especially when I’m traveling.

I’ve not written much on what I read, except for this list of must-read books for technical communicators. I don’t have a typical list, but I could come up with some names that I liked reading the most. I am sure you too have a list of your own. If you don’t, get inspired and make one!

Cooking

Yes! It is one of those activities that I love to do when I am not working. I help my mother and wife in the kitchen. And the best part is that we don’t have a list of favorites. We cook what we feel like at that moment. So, cheese and garlic bread, Indian Chaat, fruit shake, milk chocolates, snacks, Khao Phat Che (Thai fried rice)… the list is endless.

Food

Photos of some of the delicious dishes. I wish you could taste those!

Playing

I love to play strategy-based games on my iPad mini. When I am not helping my wife in the kitchen, I am accompanying her (at least I think so) by sitting there, playing games on the iPad. It is fun to talk to her, pretend as if I am listening, and still managing to do what I want to do! I bet she’ll laugh when she reads this!

Photography

There are a lot of those “aspiring photographers” who you see are carrying a DSLR, but apparently not knowing how to completely put those to use! Fortunately (or otherwise), I own only a point-and-shoot, compact camera.

I get to use the camera only during monsoon, but I don’t give up on the occasional chances that I get once in a while. I like macro photography and look forward to the day I get to buy a good-quality DSLR. I know the basics of photography and I think everybody in my family likes to see me cultivate a hobby like that. My current bouquet of photographs is available on Flickr.

Some macro-photography experiments.

Some macro-photography experiments.

Writing (mostly, blogging)

But, that’s not all I do when I am not working. I love to write. And, you’ve seen me write quite often on topics that relate to my profession. I currently am working on a book, and I hope to complete (and publish) it someday. <I have my fingers crossed to that!>

I’m sure that even you do something to spend your non-work time. I would love to see you share something.

Keep Work-Attit…

Keep Work-Attitude. Don’t Keep Working on Attitude.

For all of us, the easiest way to prove that we know a lot of things is to keep our mouth shut. The lesser we talk, the more others think we know. But the trick works only if we really “know”. Likewise, a hoarding attitude will only take other’s perception of us a step further, but only we can sustain that image, by contributing work of that (perceived) quality.

Attitude is good only if you are controlling it (and bad if it is controlling you).

Therefore, to control your attitude, you must know and understand the reason behind it. If you think you WANT it just because you can influence your perceived image, you should avoid projecting it. But, if you NEED it to enhance your own perception of issues, you should begin projecting it.

The following Shloka of the Bhagawat Gita, explains the same principle to us:

Karamanya Vadhikarasthe Maa Phaleshu Kadachana

Maa Karma Phala Hetur Bhurma Te Sanagostvakarmani

Chapter 2, Verse 47

Lord Krishna wants us to understand that only by creating the outer shell of results and perception, one cannot create a success story for himself. One must walk the talk, do what he is supposed to do, gain knowledge and wisdom, create positive, the affirmative energy around him, and continue to flow in that energy.

Success, which is the by-product of that positive energy, will come along, without your thinking about it. But, if you showcase attitude (ditch yourself), you will begin to think about the results, and therefore, will gradually stop working towards the objectives, and perish.

Therefore, stop talking about your work. Instead, let your work talk for you. Such an attitude, as I think, is Karma Yoga.