New Literacy: In search of the adult

“Most people die before they are fully born. Creativeness means to be born before one dies.” – Erich Fromm

What is it to be fully born?

Raj was 15 and Herman, 35. They were walking home from the exhibition grounds, a very long walk to the Ashram where they stayed.  Herman was a priest. The boy frequented the Ashram whenever he could.  The boy was tired, falling into sleep and forcing himself to remain awake.  They entered the gates and lied down on the grounds, both of them gazing at the star lit sky.

Raj heard him asking “what is the meaning of all this”?

The boy had no answers. Silence prevailed, something sparked in the boy’s mind. “Someday, I will know”.  He never knew what was in store for the wish to come true. It was much later and getting himself burnt many times over that he knew that there is a price to knowing, the price that Oedipus had to pay for his insistence on knowing the truth at all costs.

Herman did not last long in the Ashram. He broke his vows and walked out. Raj came to know of it much later. His efforts to locate him were not successful.  Meanwhile many gods died very young for him. He had to pass through his personal omega point before he could come to a reasonable resolution of what he had hoped for on that starlit night, a journey of twenty six years.

I had fallen into a reverie of our conversation the previous evening while Raj was preparing the ground for one of his workshops, talking to the group about the ‘The Thomas theorem’- “It is not important whether or not the interpretation is correct. If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences”, a theory of sociology formulated in 1928 by two Thomases. He was going a step further proposing what he termed the Thomas Principle.

The ADULT is the sacrificial goat, when

Master and disciple,

Teacher and student

Coach and the coachee,

Consultant and client,

Counselor and counselee,

Shepherd and the sheep,

Pope and the faithful,

are stuck in their respective positions; cannibalism and slavery are the outcome.

Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. – Mathew 7.19

The disciple has to fail the guru but Thomas never failed, the  other adult in the ring of 13. The other Judas fell to greed and the rest failed to realize their adults much like the unhappy younger brother. When the prodigal son finds the adult, he returns to his father. In recovering the adult he had to let go of a father and the father recovers his very self. The church that Thomas went on to establish was built on the rock of reason unlike the other churches built on the rock of faith. Both work  but whereas one thrives on dialogue, creates adults and community the other relies more on fear, manipulation and aggression, creating a setting that  makes crusades feasible.

Dialogue is possible only among adults, where reason prevails.

Raj was stirring up a hornet’s nest. There was visible uneasiness among the group. I was thrilled to see that the group was approaching its omega point, which I define as the point of maximum sustainable confusion any group can withstand. The group will either break up or come to a reasonable resolution of the issues to form a community of practice for the rest of the programme. A few of them would form new alliances and bonds that would last a lifetime. I was here after two decades of our first meeting in one of my workshops.

Raj appeared to be relishing the confusion. We want to create an environment of community here for the duration of the programme, he continued.  Organizations are not for adults, community is. It is natural/imperative that the disciple fails the Guru – do a Judas- the mentee the mentor, student the coach, counselee the counselor. Peter fails repeatedly.  Thomas, the rationalist, is perhaps the only adult in the dozen and his bible, the only adult version of the story of transformation.  The church that followed him stood its ground   in the cradle of all religions against successive waves of Buddhist, Jain and the Hindu revival.  Disciples go on reinventing the master, do a Procrustus, and cut the cloth to suit their own different sizes.

A stage will come in every learning relationship – including marriages – when the travelers reach the fork on the road. when master and disciple turn adults or one has to let go of the other on grounds of greater love, if that is the only way the other faces the reality of the dynamics. Resolutions might/not happen. When the prodigal daughter returns she finds that there is no father or daughter.  In my father’s abode there are no husbands and wives, fathers or daughters/sons. The cheating wife is a product of this dynamics. She doesn’t want to cheat but has to cheat, destroy herself to rebuild herself. The other has to let her go even at the risk of her own death/suicide. Death is a normal risk to the human, but to die even before one is born is a greater calamity. Life will go on.

Hands were being raised. Raj paused giving in to the questions. He waited for all the questions before getting to continue with the conversation

The fifty year study of myocardial infraction is a recent example of the progressive decline in community among the Roseto. Probably we had better community prior to the beginning of settled agriculture among the hunter gatherer. So in one sense what we call progress was no progress but a decline and decay of community.

Perhaps the universe is perfect, says the digital philosopher, Rudy Rucker.  For the mystic the world is perfect beyond any uncertainty, he lives the connection with the whole and has repeated experiences of this connection which spills into his art, making it immortal.  For him nothing happens by chance, everything is a participative outcome of the grand design. Tolkien believed mythology to be the divine echo of truth. We don’t allow them to die. For them to die, we need to draw the principles they embed and realise them in our daily lives. In those days art deserts the museum walls, the opera and the cinema halls and occupy the Wall Street, virtual walls waiting to be painted.  Art is routine.

If myth is the measure of wealth, India is the wealthiest of nations. Weighed down by the burden of myths they labour more, asking more questions on Quora than others in the world. The wealth of their myths lies hidden like the Temple Treasure of Trivandrum. Unearthing hidden treasures could be opening the Pandora’s Box as the state in Kerala has come to realise the proof of the Matthew effect, (Matthew effect – Robert K. Merton) – the poor in spirit becomes poorer in health and wealth.

So what ?

Ask more questions !

More of fantasy is not the solution to the burden of our myths

To continue

The journey so far


Directioning: Where we should be going ?

Blue Ocean People at the Top of the Pyramid, BOP @ TOP

“If we are facing in the right direction, all we need to do is keep on walking.”—Buddhist proverb

Potentially, anyone of us could aspire to be one of them. Please see the wiki list of lists of centenarians to get a feel of what I have in mind. Most of these people would qualify to be there in the BOP@ TOP list that I am compiling.

Having worked for over three decades at the bottom of the pyramid and branded myself a low impact lifer, aka poor, much before the jargon was in vogue I am more fascinated with people at the top of the pyramid. It is for the TOP to make it lighter for those at the bottom. We have enough of them to show us that it is indeed possible. These people have taken the road less or not travelled. They show us the direction for the journey, milestones that point to further stretches of the road not taken, of the unrealised, unexplored territories, the blue ocean space of strategic directions for self-management or HRM, Human Resources Management, to use a B-School jargon. They give much more than they take. They are Low impact on inputs and very high impact on output. They bridge us with the past and point to us, the future

For me HRM is Hira Ratan Manek. Born in 1937, a graduate in mechanical engineering  who carried on with the family business, of shipping and spice trading till he retired in 1992. After working for 3 years, he re-discovered the secrets of sun gazing.   Since June 18th, 1995, HRM lives only on sun energy and water. Occasionally he drinks tea, coffee and buttermilk.  He had three strict fastings, during which he had just sun energy and only water and was under the control and observation of various science and medical teams. The first of these fasting lasted for 211 days which was followed by a 411 day fast from 2000-2001 in Ahmadabad. Indeed it is written “Man Shall Not Live by Bread Alone “

Another one is, Pandit Sudhakar Krishna Rao Chaturvedi, a vedic scholar, teacher, writer, translator and journalist was born in 1897. At 113 years he says in the Vedas it is said that a person of pure character can live for 300 years. He hopes to live that long. He has planned his work for another ten years.

PC Devassia, whom I knew from very close for over two decades, who is in one  of the wiki lists, lived for 100 years 6 months and 15 days. This by itself is not a feat but how those years were spent is. On the day he retired from  nearly four decades of work,  he talked on how he planned to spend his remaining 40 years. His magnum opus, Kristubhagavatam, a meeting point of two cultures was written in his seventies. All those forty years were exceptionally productive, even more productive than the first forty years of work. The decision to live for a 100 years was a conscious one taken very early in life which he had made known to his son when he was in school. The position was taken very early in life, the direction was set and reflection was a continuous process. His work was his spirituality and he was religious about it. Making work meaningful and fun is the best medicine to live long. Instead we wait for a day when nano-robots will make it possible for us to become immortal.

Dominic Chacko Kizhkemuri, DC,was born in 1914 .He worked as a teacher for over a decade, was involved in the freedom struggle and imprisoned, promoted SPCS, the writers’ cooperative which created history.   He retired   at the age of 60 and started his own publishing firm, the DC Books with a capital of less than $ 200 which became a market leader in the business by the time he died in 1999

I am grateful to my B-School education for introducing to me many in the following lighthouse people. Some of them continue to beacon us and would qualify to be included the list of immortals if there were one.  The immortality quotient, my fascination for the long term, was triggered by them

W Edwards Deming 1900-1993

Ludwig Vn Bertalanffy 1901-1972

William Ross Ashby 1903—1972

Peter F Drucker 1909-2005

Kenneth E Boulding 1910-1993

Russel L Ackoff  1919-2009

Anthony Stafford Beer   1926 – 2002

Ronald Coase, 1910-

Emanuel Revici, M.D, 1898-1998

Obviously living a long life is not the only qualifier to be in the list of BOP @ TOP. Warren Buffet or Bill Gates will not qualify in spite of the combined weight of their charities.

The Blue Ocean Strategy, W. Chan Kim and Rene’e Mauborgne, is about uncontested market space, how market leaders continue to stay far ahead of competition without wasting their energy and effort on market wars. I draw my lessons from people not corporates having lost my faith in B-Schools and business with my four years of education in two Of them. Imagine the vast unexplored space that is available to move on and the spin offs if more of us decide to adopt a blue ocean strategy in our lives. That would set one of the coordinates for strategic HRM, the blue ocean space that each individual discovers around oneself is the major driver for growth and improvement, true of all of history and the drive behind all those in the Guinness book of records. Future is in the making when we see this collective blue ocean space that remains unexplored.

The seniors shall inherit the earth

Can one grow old and young at the same time?

Some people, a small minority, do it. They mature like old whisky and still remain young, challenging common wisdom that old dogs cannot pick up new tricks. New findings suggest the opposite. For some seniors growing old and growing young are parallel processes.  They challenge their brain with continual learning. The result, plasticity of the brain improves. Intelligence too has the same character.  It improves if one keeps challenging it against problems. When the brain remains young and one is driven by work that is motivating on its own merit, the body grows young renewing itself continually like a river which is not blocked from renewal by our ecological footprints. One grows old and young at the same time.

Olive Riley, the world’s oldest blogger, passed away at 108. She must have picked up blogging when quite old by our usual standards. I also know some very smart, much younger people who boast of not using the internet or the computer claiming that they are against too much of technology. I am afraid it is a camouflage to cover up the resistance to embrace the new.  In my search for the old and young I met Joseph Smith. He weathered many a storm on the high seas and on land for 82 years and graduated from the school of hard knocks. He is old and young, more active and concerned than most of us about the way the system works or does not. The ‘old and young’ need closer attention because they are travelling a different road which is likely to be a mega trend, gathering momentum.

Elsewhere there is a conversation going on the future of social enterprise. I am convinced that the future of business is in the enhancement of community, global and local.   I spent four years as a student in two B-schools. Both claimed to be teaching management but proved to be just business schools. Some of them have an identity crisis like many of their clients. I would prefer to  believe that every business, including the business of religion and non- profits, is about creating community within to connect to the community outside and business performance ought to be measured by the enhancement of community or net value addition to the community capital. Many of them very successful by conventional norms could be destroying community. They survive and grow by reinforcing the business of shadows and substitutes. Growth does not differentiate between real goods and services and shadows and substitutes.

Established religions have stood the test of time, but have a shadow side to their existence. They appear to be more successful than most business organizations in promising the most intangible with the lowest cost of production, manipulating masses on the fear of death and retribution in next life. Priests and politicians play god and peddle dependence. Many of them love to be worshipped and are on a drive to fulfil their own power drive distortions. Did somebody say that the earth will be revealed to us when heaven is destroyed ?

Will insurance companies   have any business if   people have no fear of death or the future? If people are anchored to their true SELVES how would the fashion and cosmetics business respond which often assumes that the cosmetic is more important than the content?

Would there be a fall in demand for big screen heroes if we reframe our notions of the hero to the real meaning of the term, conquering one’s own fear?

If people redefine work as self-expression, will they continue to suffer from boredom and consequently will the market shrink for entertainment products and services? The entertainment industry stretches itself to keep boredom at bay. The demand is a derived one from the inability to find a purpose in life and work that is motivating by itself.

How would lotteries and the stock market fare if more people put an end to the wait for a better day game and start living in the present?

More than economics distorted human drives drive the economy. Which business is not a social enterprise though most of them implicitly admit that they are antisocial.  What would be the role of charity, other than as a measure of guilt associated with wealth when every business redefines its mission as enhancing global community?

These are landscapes   that one might come across on the two roads, one by design and the other by default.

One can go on ad nauseum about the shadow side of every business, profit or non profit. I believe more than the religions, business will take the road to spirituality. I have experienced better community in business than in religious organizations. Business will be more pressed to reinvent itself as enhancing community within to connect better to the external community locally and globally in a   borderless world.

It is neither easy for business or for individuals to walk out of the shadows, because we will have to turn against our own vested interests, the shadow side.

The ‘young and old’ show the way. The most successful of them have no learning plateaus as they take their positions very early in life. They quit only when their mission is fulfilled. The others have successfully negotiated the learning plateaus at different stages of their life. They live a life of their own design and they are their own heroes.  They earn credibility with their life and walk the talk. They are not looking for a secure tenure   or driven by the need to perform in the marketplace where your future is as volatile as the stock market, where in the first 15 years of your career your fate is almost sealed whether you belong to the ‘top of the pyramid’ material or not. Demography favors the seniors. Thanks to the web more of them are finding their voice and we have enough of them in the public domain to listen and learn how to live a life by design.

‘The elephant rock declaration’

In one of our workouts, we, twelve 60 + couples, got together to discuss the trend, climbed the elephant rock and shouted out the elephant rock declaration – “The seniors shall inherit the earth”

Building Our Own  Ark, Living in Real-time

The Burden of Normality

The Burden of Normality

What is the First Discipline?

The first discipline is about map making. Disciplines are but collections of maps of physical or virtual spaces. Art, Science or Religion cannot do without maps. Child or grown up, literate or illiterate, we cannot survive without maps.

What is the process of making maps?

The self mediates in the process. We start with models and when the results meet our expectations we elevate them to the level of maps.

What are Meta Maps?

Meta maps connect disciplines. The FDF is an attempt in this direction.

Is there a hierarchy for Meta Maps?

Yes, at the highest level, they connect meta-disciplines, science, religion and art, unifying them into knowledge. The silos get connected.

Explain. .

On 12 October 1492 Columbus arrived in America. The day is celebrated as Discovery Day in the Bahamas. Vasco da Gama reached Calicut, Kerala, in South India on 20 May 1498. It was a happy coincidence that Columbus reached America. It took six more years of effort for the map to be completed and the mission accomplished.

Ancient Chinese sea farers probably had better maps but history was shaped elsewhere. Galileo was struck by the bolt from the blue but complete acceptance came centuries later.

We need a new set of maps for the next phase of the journey. Most maps waste our time and effort. If we have a unified map, it would point us to the solution space. The ship is ready but the captain is waiting for the map.

Maps are many and they multiply exponentially. Aggregation and synthesis within domains and disciplines do happen but less so between disciplines.

Meta maps reduce the search effort to choose the appropriate map/s for one’s journey as individuals, as members of particular communities and for the collective journey of human progress

Environment, development and sustainability are critical and complex concerns that call for concerted community action across the planet. Simple solutions and quick fixes aggravate the problems.

Every scientist faces the problem of communicating his work within the shortest span of time to the widest audience which points to the complexity of communicating science to the masses in contexts where there is no substitute for reason and collective action.

The GUI, essentially a map and a pointer to possible virtual journeys, took   computers to the living rooms across the planet. The web and the cloud open up vast libraries of information and knowledge. The visual framework discussed here was evolved in the process of addressing the environmental, developmental and sustainability challenges in the state of Kerala while working with livelihood and food security issues in primary production (livestock and fisheries) to evolve institutional systems to address them.

The framework was later put to use in addressing similar issues in one of the largest information technology infrastructure projects to connect local communities for development and governance and   in schools, industry and academia as a tool for facilitation of accelerated organizational / community learning. 

Beyond the Burden of ‘Normality’

December 26, 2004

We were rushing to Cape Comorin, the southern tip of peninsular India, two families on a holiday.

Fishermen on the high seas were casting their nets.

People in other parts of the world were asleep, dreaming good and bad dreams

The Tsunami was wreaking havoc on the Cape Comorin shore, on other shores

We knew when we were blocked on the road by the police.

Most fishermen on the high seas knew when they returned to the shore.

Many never knew

When we ride much bigger waves spanning centuries, we are most likely to take them for granted.  It is Procrustean to catch a giant wave into the bell curve in the time span of a snapshot sans the ripples that the wave creates. So is writing a book about it, the damage is permanent. The trees are already dead.

A blog post is better because I can come back and correct this when I know better and if I am alive. Time is a better judge of our power trips.

Copy CATs do not catch mice

Black or white, intelligent or idiots, they should catch mice. They do, in China, it seems.

This happened here in India, the Biggest Bazaar, apologies to KB

Why do we have to clone cats when we make the best mousetraps?

Let us clone the very best cats, go for a bio-tech solution rather than a manufacturing one. It was decided that we will have the Indian solution and the CAT came to be. The first centre was so successful that beating the CAT became the ultimate dream of the slum dog billions. Every panchayat wanted to have one such center. A task force was constituted to decide the exact number of centers to be set up.

There was this farmer from pre territorial independent days who had four sons and 4 + daughters. The female numbers do not really count. One from the + side had only daughters and Nuthan was the youngest of them.  Of the four idiots, three went to the IITs and one took a short cut to one of the CAT centers. He wanted to prove that he was a better idiot than the rest.

One cool January morning Nuthan calls.

Hi, I cleared the CAT and am called to all the centers

Congratulations, you will soon be the newsmaker 2011

Why ?

You are one among 206,000, almost a Black Swan.  We need to wait before concluding that we are getting mature going by the 15% drop in numbers from the previous year.

You deserve the Miss India talent crown. To the best of my knowledge you never went to school or college but spent most of those years in indoor stadia all over the country, having a ball. You never picked up any quant other than balancing the financial statements in your B. Com finals. Yet you did better than the best in School and College.

What was your percentile?


Nuthan, you are the cutest of all the cats. All the top cats with a perfect 100 belong to the male of the species, went to IITs, went to school every single day, did their coaching circus and most of them took more than one shot to make it. You don’t figure anywhere here and you have a work ex of three years playing for the oil company which you claim to have been working for and getting paid for it.

Thank you.  I am scared whether I will convert the calls or not.  Will you give me some tips to make it to the finals, clearing the GDPI (for the uninitiated this expands to, Group Discussion and Personal Interview)

If you can bell the CAT without going to the circus you can as well do this without me. You should be scared that they will make you conform.

I know you have helped some to beat the CAT

Ok. Let me run a small test for you

What is the scope for more CAT cloning centers in the country?

13 more


We already have 13, and there are only 26 letters in the ‘Inglish’ alphabet. Taking the UID route will kill the unique value proposition of the brand. One should not kill the golden goose.

Good, you are already half way there to half the centers

What is Indian about the Indian Institute of CATs

I don’t know

Very good, that is why you are going there. You are almost there for 75 % of the centers

Next one, if they ask what if you don’t make it this year?

I will show them my GRE score which is even better than my CATS and tell them that you will have to face me next year with a still better CATS

Congratulations Nuthan, you will convert all the calls

Here is the last one. Suggest a few titles to the passage above

  • Normalization and the True Normal
  • Copy cats Do not Catch Mice
  • The Bell Curve in Indian Life
  • The Fourth Idiot
  • Talent Mania and The War For Talent
  • What is Indian about the Indian Institutes of Management?
  • MCPs and the Revenge of the Underdogs.

Great, don’t go back to school. They will make you conform to the other idiots, crucify = normalize you on the Procrustean bed. Gates and Zuckerman and the other natives of the connected world graduated from the market, nothing but a different version of the same. Copy cats do not catch mice.

Nuthan:  What is Indian about the IIMs?

I don’t know dear

Thanks. (Thank God, I didn’t go to school)

Similitude to living and dead CATs is intentional

Thou shall not Judge…but

The procrustean is the bedrock of modernity (mediocrity), the generator of pyramids and the hierarchical.   Procrustes is a monomaniac, a Narcissus who sees that he fits his frame perfectly and uses the same to sit in judgment. I am intelligent and the other is less intelligent. I am normal and the other is fit for the madhouse.  I am civilized and the other is primitive. I am a native and you are an immigrant. Mine is the only faith that guarantees salvation. He is the economist who says the American is 35 times more ‘developed’, since the Indian has an average income of 1000 dollars against 35000 for the American. Has anybody met the average Indian or the average American?    The happiness index is outside his frame of reference.

Our Mr Talent does not take to fools easily. He thinks the mainstream media is trash. To reply to the fools who read his books is not worth his time, the real resource, according to his own frame. He finds his dollar worth pocketing since that is the price he fixes himself for his intellectual accomplishments. He declares himself a flaneur, a Black Swan, Prophet in the making.

Prophets ‘normally’ come from the east.  Lao tsu, Buddha, Christ, Mohammad, Sankara (from Kerala) Our Mr. Talent could be a candidate for the elite corps of Black Swans. The rest of us are white swans. That sums up the HIStory of 2500 years.

Prophets can be understood only against their contexts. Christ and the society which created him are so interdependent, that to strip them and to judge them in isolation is procrustean. So is Lao Tzu, Buddha, Prophet Mohammad and Shankara. Black makes sense only against the white.

Mr Talent the immigrant rides the American wave better than the natives beating the natives in their own game and nearly transforms himself to a bridge figure.   Uprooted by the Procrustean and forced to flee, let us hope that he will not sacrifice himself on the bed of Procrustes. Gladwell starts on a very promising note highlighting how community contributes to the health of the Rosettto but very soon succumbs to the compulsions of conforming to the recipe to make it to the best-seller list and goes after what constitutes the success cocktail.

All of them are male?

This is part of the reason why we have the silent unseen wars between,  the female against the male,  the unconscious against the conscious, the revenge of the underdogs,  and why the Built to Last fall apart no sooner than they are built.

Black Swans to Black Sheep?

Throughout these posts we refer to people, not books. The books take us to the people since work defines the person. In the same spirit we look at the living rather than those long dead and still not buried.  What we see depends on where we stand, our positions. One could take the Wall Street perspective or the Bangalore Perspective. The Black swan from the New York perspective turns out to be a Black Sheep from the Bangalore position.

Some books, people and books yet to be written J

  • The Fifth Discipline, 1990, Peter M. Senge
  • If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him, 1974, Sheldon Kopp
  • The Bell Curve, Intelligence and Class structure in American Life,1994, Richard  Herrnstein, Charles Murray
  • Outliers, 2008, Malcolm Gladwell
  • The Black Swan, 2007, The Bed of Procrustes, 2010, Nicholas Nassim Taleb
  • Can Asians Think?,1999,Kishore Mahubani
  • Three Idiots,2009, Movie from India
  • Tunnel Vision, TV. Yet to be published
  • The WFT and the Future History of the Modern Pyramids, 2111. Yet to be published – it takes a gap of around 100 years to normalize our achievements and  to put them in perspective.

The above passage was circulated to the tribe. The comments:

  • Does normal exist?  Yes, when we are true to the design, we are truly normal. It has nothing to do with the fleeting ‘normality of the time’.  The compulsion  to conform to this stupid normality is the burden of normality
  • Based on the ‘normal’ perspective Nuthan would not have been able to get a CAT call since she did not tread the beaten path. She had meaningful answers for the sort of absurd questions that are asked at GDPI, questions tailored to fit the standard profile of those who clear CAT. Despite not being on the conventional bell curve Nuthan was able to crack everything designed to fit the standard CAT profile.
  • Exceptions point to the truly normal and only the truly normal can aspire to be super normal.

Thou shall judge… but keeping in mind the other 51 posts in the series.

P.S. 19 April 2011. Nuthan calls again. She did make it to the one she wanted.

The Shift

Life Outside the Box

Will the shift happen?

I pray to myself, everyday, that I may be proven wrong. The shift may not happen, even for those far, near and dear ones. I dont know. But in the long run there is no way out of it because the design will prevail.

What is this shift that you keep talking about?

Google it. You will find a whole lot of stuff.

It is about the two roads, the red and green. It is about a choice between the old and the new. It is also about understanding the basic design, that of nature and working with the design, not against it.

It is about the new physics, chemistry and biology and the other derived disciplines like medicine, engineering, psychology and religion, everything, consequent to the shift.

Is there an agenda for action?

If the shift happens, the action will follow and they will be quite different from what would otherwise have been.

Non action is better than ill informed actions. If you see the green road, everything else will fall in place.

Metaphoria of Transformation.

The Cloud Community College

Eagle’s gift

Continual learning is the path to continual renewal.

Nature is in a process of continual renewal but for the ecological footprints left by our interventions. It takes more than a year for nature to renew what we consume in a year and some damages are irreparable.

Learning improves our mental models. The frog in the well forms a model of the world. The eagle on the tree has a different model. When the frog is taken out by the eagle and brought back into the well these two merge together to form a map of the world. The world has not changed but the models of the world have changed. We had a flat earth model in the not too distant past. With better technology and tools these models have given way to maps with increasing precision. Though maps of the physical world have become more precise the mental models that went with them are not easily discarded.

The eagle represents the big picture and frog, the details. Both are connected just as the Hubble telescope sends us pictures from outer space and the femtoscope helps us see the smallest of the small.

The eagle represents the global and frog the local which are but different perspectives of the whole. Thus being GLOCAL – is an imperative.  So is the imperative of continual learning, leading to continual renewal. We are frogs in the well of nature

A brief history of learning/ renewal

Real work is the expression of a mature self

As a Dairy Technologist, I used to watch the huge butter churns in motion, waiting for that magical moment when the cream breaks out into globules of butter. This was my first project at work- to find a solution to mountains of cream that had accumulated over the previous surplus season. In the long hours that i worked towards reducing the bulk, I was forced to fight the boredom, visualising the mythical churning of the sea of milk by the Devas and Asuras to make amrit, the stuff that makes one immortal – knowledge.

Later on I had the privilege of observing a very sedentary ascetic centenarian for the last twenty five years of his pursuit of learning which had started at the age of nine. At 60 he had made it known that he had another 40 years of work left to complete. He completed his 40 years and went on for another six months and 15 days.

In developed nations the fastest growing segment of the population is centenarians.

While most “successful’ people in the ‘modern world’ (read top of the pyramid – sic) contribute in real terms for 15/20 years of their life span of around 75,  what goes into the making of the rare centenarian who remains productive many times  over ? If the product is in the process, what makes this process so rewarding in itself which keeps them relatively less mortal physically and immortal in the world of knowledge. Why are we not able to go beyond them as a community?

A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.  – Max Planck (1858-1947)

Imagine the churning that preceded the above statement!

Nicolaus Copernicus (February 19, 1473 – May 24, 1543)

Proof: Galileo, (1564-1642) Strategy: Patience, non- action, out-wait competition

Ever wondered about the history of churning and the consequences?

We have a secret dread of being thought ignorant. And we end by being ignorant after all, only we have done it in a long and roundabout way. (From the short story – Once there was a King) Rabindranath Tagore, 1839-1941. The Parrots Tale develops this in much greater detail. Viswabharati, the university he set up, was the solution that he came up with for the problem.

There are only two ways to live: Either without thinking of death… or with the thought that you approach death with every hour of your life.  – -Leo Tolstoy, 1828 – 1910

There is a third way, the path of regeneration, living with birth/death, NOW, in real time, the path taken by the high performing centenarians and the path open to the next generation who would go far beyond them. Most of us live in linear time. Living in real time is living in eternity.

Tolstoy  was a prophets’ prophet, a link in the long chain from Buddha, Asoka the great and Christ who greatly influenced two of the heroes of our time and kept alive the idea of non-violence and non – action, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi   (1869 –  1948) and Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 – 1968).

Why did most champions of non-violence, have to  die violent death?

Tolstoy’s thoughts on How to live: (He appears to have founded the human potential movement much ahead of the new age messiahs of the movement)

  • The more upset you are with other people and circumstances, and the more satisfied you are with yourself, the further you are from wisdom.
  • Don’t compare yourself with others. Compare yourself only with perfection.
  • It is not the place we occupy that is important, but the direction in which we move.
  • When you want to escape from rage, do not walk, do not move, and do not speak. Your rage cannot be justified by anything. The reason for your rage is always inside you.
  • Speak only when your words are better than silence. For every time you regret that you did not say something, you will regret a hundred times that you did not keep your silence.
  • There are two ways not to suffer from poverty. The first is to acquire more wealth. The second is to limit your requirements. The first is not always in our power. The second is.
  • You do not have the right to be unhappy with your life. If you are not satisfied, see this as a reason to be unsatisfied with yourself.
  • The more strictly and mercilessly you judge yourself, the more just and kind you will be in the judgment of others.
  • Strive for goodness without any expectations for rapid or noticeable success. For the further you progress, the higher your ideal of perfection will rise. Yet it is the process itself, this striving, that justifies our lives.
  • Nobody knows where the human race is going. The highest wisdom, then, is to know where you are going.
  • The truth is that the State is a conspiracy designed not only to exploit, but above all to corrupt its citizens … Henceforth, I shall never serve any government anywhere.
  • There can be only one permanent revolution – a moral one: the regeneration of the inner man.

He died on his way to become a wandering ascetic. Imagine the churning.

Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky,  1821- 1882 turned out to be more prophetic than Tolstoy –  Raskolnikov, the hero of Crime and Punishment  is the template for our current role models  who have perfected the art of committing the perfect crime and earn  their place in history as saviours of the world.

The product is in the process.

The seats of learning/ churning/clashes and the interplay of history, knowledge, power, religion, politics and culture

Taxila   6th century BCE to the 5th century CE

Nālandā  (427 to 1197 CE)

The Imperial Nanjing Institute, China, founded in 258, has perhaps the longest unbroken tradition

Budha , Christ, Ashoka 304 BCE – 232 BCE ,  all belong to this period.

Taxila was burnt to ashes in 1197. The fire went on for weeks.

Prophet Muhammad, 570   – 632

The University of Al-Karaouine, Morocco was founded in 859 by two well educated wealthy sisters. Played   a leading role in the cultural and academic relations between the Islamic world and Europe in the middle ages,

University of Bologna, Italy, 1150. The term university was coined at the founding of this seat of learning.  The University of Paris was founded even earlier, was split into 13 universities in 1970.

1167    University of Oxford, UK.  Exact date uncertain, teaching existed in some form since 1096

1209 University of Cambridge, UK

1440 the Printing Press

Martin Luther (1483 – 1546)

Harvard University, 1636

Karl Heinrich Marx (1818-1883), John Maynard Keynes, (1883- 1946)

W. Edwards Deming, (1900 – 1993), Peter Ferdinand Drucker, (1909-2005)

Drucker had personal experience of the Nazi regime, probably would have listened to Sigmund Freud as a child, and was a student of Keynes and Schumpeter. He foresaw the possibilities of the modern corporation and continuously reinvented himself. One might conclude that he also foresaw the need for a new paradigm of management with the focus on the self, managing oneself, for which he himself would remain, one of the best models.

Drucker started the study of General Motors in 1945, leading to the publication of the Concept of the Corporation and began his career as a consultant, teacher and writer. He remained at the forefront of the discipline he founded for half a century.

Deming started from where Drucker left off towards the end of his career. Had Deming been accepted in his home country as much as Drucker in his country of adoption, perhaps we wouldn’t have been in our current crisis. The prophet is seldom respected at home. One could argue that Japan had the cultural pre-requisites to accept Deming and the US ultimately had to give in reluctantly to the competition. Drucker could not save the corporation/s whereas Deming left a legacy which forms the foundation to the discipline that Drucker is said to have founded.

The Web. 1992. The parrot leaves the cage, the seats of learning move to the clouds. The internet has dematerialised learning from the seats of learning. Technology has become real time but people have not moved to real time. . We need new paradigms to bridge the gaps and transcend the learning plateaus in our journey of continual renewal and improvement

> a  new discipline and pedagogy > the first discipline>the discipline of sustained high performance

1. Context

The BRIC is broken

The tail wags the head

WMD – Destruction or Dialogue?

War on terror/ talent – WFT, Dream merchants and the revenge of the underdogs

Recession, Booms and Busts, the long cycles and the bubbles in between,

Is there a future?  The rise or fall of India, Indian = Global

The climate /energy crisis, water /food security and sustainability

Finance capital > Human Capital > Community Capital > Eco-system Management > Developmental Management > Rethinking Development

Reinventing the discipline of Management

2. Management Overview

Missing the wood for the trees – What we failed to see, Marketing Myopia, Theodor Levitt

Peter Drucker. The Bystander> End of economic man > to Managing Oneself

Beyond Competitive advantage

3 . First Discipline, SHPC :  A Map to the Future and the Road ahead

  • 1. Continual Renewal >  Regeneration Therapy
  • 2. Personal mastery and LLL, Life Long learning, learning plateaus
  • 3. System/s Thinking
  • 4. Accelerated Learning and Mental Maps, KM
  • 5. Positioning yourself, your business for SHP
  • 6. Community Intelligence
  • 7. The Singularity Perspective- the map of all maps

4 The Practice of First Discipline.

The tool kit – a backpack for the road

Dialogue and Storytelling

Analytics and Gap Analysis

Aligning with the Deep Structure

Conscious Dreaming,

Participative Action Learning, Research and Real Time Management Development

Sustained High Performance – Growth by Design

5.  Custodians of the Future

The Blue ocean people

Milk is white

God’s own country, Devils too – Between the devil and the deep-sea

The Eco-system people, fishermen/ tribal communities

The Fusion fuel and the Energy Challenge

6.Creating the future by design

Rethinking CSR, Wealth and Charity

7.  Strategy.

Animating the Learning Engine, Maintaining the LE for SHP


Context: First Discipline?

The global failure of management as a discipline- Enron to Lehman brothers, recession, failure of IT , bubbles, poverty and conflicts. Thought leaders –  Peter Drucker over the years –  In spite of all the hype management in the west also has failed to deliver against the global context

Local failures: Failure to connect to the developmental management issues of India

Failure to define what is Indian (global) about management

Failure to attract management to governance and development

Academic work in India has failed to make a global impact

A dialogue between an academic and a development  practitioner

The  collapse of governance

The disillusionment with managers and academics, failure of leadership/intellectualism

The majority are left to fend for themselves –


One man can make a difference

IT was entrepreneurial /technological/ learning breakthrough and not a product of management thought

Competencies of the new manager- Development practitioner?

The blogs explore these issues through dialogue


. Birth of the professional manager: the ethical /competency /community imperatives

Peter Drucker vs Amartya Sen

Stafford Beer vs. Peter M Senge

Prahlad vs  Porter

Chris Argyris vs. Maslow – End of Organisation man ?

Deming  vs. Drucker

Aurobindo  vs. Ken Wilbur

Management Development , Nurturing the new managers

Action learning – Reginald Revans

Schumacher vs Schumpeter


Reflections – The dream catcher

Dreacm catcher, male 34 years, shares some of his dreams and experiences with synchronicity

Shadows Play

There should have been 3 or 4 pillars, and strings connecting consecutive pillars towards the pillar bottoms. Over this string, shadows move as if on a rail. It’s like a shadow play using three windows. I am just able to make out the shadow of a horse, a camel and an elephant while it slides from first pillar to the next.

And while it slides in the next window, between the next two pillars, the three shadows are out of focus and zoomed in so big that I cannot make out the figures. But while they slide slowly in the last window the figures are very clear and sharp.


I am inside a maximum security prison in a small house but I come out of that house. I have mastered how to unlock all the locks and doors. No prison can hold me anymore. Now happy and enlightened, I am out and I provoke my mother: “Mummy, tell me to go back in and I will be out in a jiffy”. Afraid that she will not see me again, she persuades me to stop playing games.
But now I love to play it. So I jump back into the prison in the house through an opening on the roof and quickly pick the first prison door with some splinter. The next door lock is trickier, this requires some lateral thinking and so I tilt my head (:-)) to solve and break open the door. The third lock is purely at some higher level.  I focus and recite something and I am out again!

Free and Happy!


Something has attacked the city and was killing off the inhabitants…like an epidemic or genocide. I was busy escaping off when ‘movie’ of the dream is re-wound to the point where I am in a multiplex just before the cataclysm. I see a sweet looking toddler at the ticket counter and my train of thoughts goes this way:

Why don’t I save the kid from the impending horrible death?

But if it is impending, what can I do about it? You can’t save everyone in this world?

You are wasting precious time…SAVE the kid!

Why should I change anybody’s destiny even if this was possible?

Jupiter in Action

A huge Anantha Shesha (serpent) statue is being completed. And under its shade a commanding looking Vishnu is being made. Here Vishnu is not in the reclining posture but takes the upright one.  Vishnu’s normally pleasant and peaceful face is demonic as an Asura’s (Rahu?) can be. He has a tough commanding posture as if he is about to put a whole army into action.

A lot of veneration, funding and decoration go into the  making of the statue. Gold coins are stuck all across the flooring. Photographers light up the place with their flashes.

Lost search

I am cruising on a short black tri-wheeler mo-bike through the alleys. Instead of the ordinary dials on it there is a GPS panel which indicates the path I should navigate in order to ‘locate’ a lost item. Having found something, I reach home as the vehicle brought me near.

The house has only a square hall; walls are all reddish-purple in colour. There is my mother and also others in the family and some guests whom I don’t know them. There is a mother and her daughters. Too many females in the room, I think and I feel uncomfortable. I go out and continue my search.

The vehicle moves but the panel displays that the moon is quickly covered by thick clouds and so the search cannot continue. Moreover the display goes off as the battery charge is out. So I push the bike around the house hoping that its dynamo 🙂 will trigger it on. Some of the ladies in the house asks me what am I doing while they walk around the house in the opposite direction.  I ignore them and carry on. What am I searching for??

I go back into the house. Mom asks me something about passport and identity verification. I question her back angrily  ‘WHAT??! She then clearly says that the ‘authorities’ need to see facial hair on me to prove my identity! Embarrassed.


I am at my uncle’s well kept house.  I am surprised that it is not in Kerala but in Kuwait and that too right next to the awesome Kuwait (trio) towers. The house is not very large but is well kept and furnished as a typical central governmental employee home is. I notice that the house plan is like a narrow rectangle in alignment with the neighbouring towers. The long house opposite lies over a very small rock mount.

I stand in their garden which is being well stocked with potted plants by the numerous helpers they have. While this is being done I have a look at smallest of the towers in front. I notice that this tower doesn’t look original and is smaller than I thought. I shift my head and find there is another bigger trio of towers being constructed. I shift my head again and see the original and awesomely high towers.

Both of my cousins are inside the house. The eldest tells me that he has some dental work to be done and asks me to show him my tooth fillings. I am hesitant and grind my teeth in preparation to show him, feel like I am going to blow off my teeth. While I do this he undresses and stands in front of me shamelessly and innocently as we were when we were kids. His naked body is as ugly as mine, now that he has a huge pot belly just like my grandfather.

He asks me to open my mouth and he sees the fillings, the silvery-metallic and the tooth-coloured caps.


The hotel lobby was posh and well lit. Good light brown woodwork and stainless steel. A short metro carriage runs through this place carrying executives.I am well dressed in a charcoal colour suit with matching ties and black shoes. I am fitted out to charm any crowd. But I forget where I leave my brief case and laptop. I stop the metro and tell them that I need to check for my bag in their glass bag carriage. I find all sorts of bags except mine. I doubt whether I have brought it with me to this country  at all. Mr nice guy that I am, I don’t like to keep others waiting. I let the metro move which moves quickly and almost out of site when I realize that one of my expensive shoes is missing! I must have left it in the cabin while looking for the bag and the metro has left.

Oh! God! What am I going to do now? How will I face them? I will look like a fool. I have to be ready before the meet. I don’t have spares too. I am imperfect.


I am with an Iranian friend, whom I met during the Landmark advanced course in some interesting building. While I try to climb the wall, he runs under me carrying something (treasure?)

Then we are scuba diving. Both of us hold some semi-precious studded silver pots and we are supposed to pour the blood-like liquid in the pots into a hole in the sea floor. I wonder how this can be done. I see a hole belching out some blood like liquid too. To my surprise, when I pour into the hole it sucks the contents from the pot and some  water around into it neatly like a vacuum cleaner.


I browse through Wikipedia to learn the worst commercial flight accidents ever specifically the ones that went down under the ocean and if anything went hidden or missing underwater. I see that India has the credits for the longest list of flight accidents in general. The Emperor Kanishka, the Air India flight ended s up in the Atlantic, most horrible, I note and see pieces in the dark.

A flight going down under water is just one of my nightmares. Ever since my mom composed her own bedtime story of a ‘plane going down into the deep sea’, ever since I watched a cinema trailer of such an ill-fated flight and the plight of the passengers in it.

Bored of browsing, I walk into the office lobby and notice the breaking news on TV ‘Air France flight goes missing’!

Wet and dirty

Friday, 24th Oct 2008: After some cardio-exercise, while I alight from the car for some grocery shopping my wallet drops into a muddy puddle. It was raining cats and dogs and I take some time to fish it out of the puddle. My driver’s license, visiting cards, cash, cards etc. all soaked and speckled with mud.

I get the feeling this is a ‘to be continued ‘ situation.

Saturday, 25th Oct 2008: I am in the habit of reading while in the toilet. I place the newly-purchased novel ‘The Abyssinian Proof’ very carelessly on top the geyser outlet tube.  While I stand there and think of what to do next, the book falls straight into the blue-coloured, Harpic stained waters in the commode below. My wife then ‘washes’ it with the spray, ‘disinfects’ it with Savlon 🙂 and blow dries it with the hair dryer.

I wonder, what next, probably me?

Monday, 27th October 2008: We get in on a coracle  at the fishing camp. A stinky wave from the rapids splashes on to me and I get wet thoroughly wets me to my underwear.

Miserable  Marius?

I watched parts of two movies last night. First one the ‘Da Vinci Code’ and the second the vampire chronicles ‘Queen of the Damned’. Something caught my attention while watching the first. During a chase the car moves off and the scene pauses at a poster of the play ‘Les Miserables’ on a brick wall. The second movie made me focus on two things, ‘Marius’ the original vampire and a short violin jugalbandhi. The music was awesome, it sounded Carnatic. I told myself that I will have to browse the net tomorrow on all these focus points.

My convenient amnesia refreshed my RAM on these matters but I did go to Wikipedia and coincidently I found ‘Les Miserable’ on the home page as a featured link! It seems today was the day in 1985 that the play opened in London. I went through the link to find that there is a character in this play called Marius.

Reflections – The feather girl



People, waiting for something, somebody
A super highway, separating the land and sea
Extra large vehicles zooming by, trees without leaves, sprouting bombs. Finally, the greenest of trees and a bright blue sky,

In our community stretch workshops, the day starts with reflections on the insights of the previous day and dreams of the previous night.

The dreams tell us that the day’s process continues during sleep and almost everybody is able to recollect their dreams. The dreams best reflect the process.

At times we meet our partners in dialogue over the internet, chat, mails and blogs. The following dreams are drawn from the dream journal of one of our partners. The dreams related to teh period of her study of FD over two years from  21 – 23.

The Flood

The roads, markets and buildings were all flooding with people suffering from cancer, leprosy and other illnesses

No food, medicines, ambulances, no hospitals, nothing.

She was crying, was afraid that she also will fall ill. She wanted to help people but she had no idea what to do.

She looks out for help but everybody was busy. The healthy were busy escaping and the sick were busy mourning, squatting, waiting, helpless and dying.

A flood of potatoes

Potatoes, potatoes and more potatoes.  She is astonished at the huge quantity of potatoes lying everywhere.

She keeps walking to her destination with a few scraps to feed the pigeons waiting for her. It strikes her, it is some emergency and curfew will soon be declared. It was important that she delivers the feed to her pigeons in time. She walks fast, faster and then she runs. At the same time she sees two women talking garrulously and denigrating her severely. She listens but does not respond but keeps on walking and running.

Finally she reaches her destination.

Playing in the mud

She is seven; her hair is long enough for pony tails. Her mother always does it for her. She looked pretty in her white cotton frock with cute yellow polka dots all across. She stepped out of her shoes to get inside her play house….and came out with one of her prettiest dolls.

She had plenty of them; most of them remained packed, untouched. She was not fond of playing with dolls even at that little age.  She enjoyed talking and travelling …more than anything.

As far as her eyes could chase she could find only green or brown all around her.
All her toys play house, earthenware’s everything brown….and nature all around her green.

Her friend, the only one she ever made friends with Rahul was beside her….He too looked pale and brown that day. Shaili asked him. Why Rahul, you don’t want to play with me? I will leave if I am bothering you.

He made no comments. She knew that he was no more comfortable with her. She felt tense and decided to get the intimacy back. She told cheerfully, Rahul! Come,  let me hug you. He did not respond but Shaili hugged him,

She was stunned to feel the crudeness in him. She had felt it earlier also

She was thrilled but also felt bad and foolish. She was wondering do I want anything from him.

No, nothing…the answer came from within instantaneously.

She asked herself, is Rahul capable of giving her anything. No, she answered.

“Then why am I bothered”

She did not want to lose her one and only friend.

He was being selfish. He was suspecting that she wanted something that he had and she was not worthy enough to get it.

He said, Shaili, you don’t deserve my words; I will not speak to you anymore.
For the first time, Shaili felt someone had came close enough to shake her. She was quick to decide not to stoop lower than herself respect.

She stared Rahul in wonder…..  Surprise.

She kissed him, the brown Rahul for the last time, the very last….  clutched him in her small arms….which barely could hold him, kissed him on his chubby cheeks and whispered

“Bye bye forever”………She felt the mud on her lips. She wiped it off with her white sleeves. She wiped his cheeks as well. She was surprised to see the mud on the sleeves..

She felt left out, tense and bad, all at the same time. She didn’t know what to do next. She could feel the warm tears on her cheek. She held him tight and wept her heart and eyes out.

Jo was passing by. He was surprised seeing her in the mud and scolded her
“What are u doing here, you little impossible monster”?

She was distracted. She felt that the brown Rahul was nothing but the mud she was wallowing in.

She looked at Jo and said  “I am sorry, I didn’t know… by mistake, I was confused if it was someone or a loam of soil.”

“That is ok. Let us go home, and get cleaned up”… Jo said.

“Fine'” Shaili replied…with a smile.

Just another Dream

I am window shopping looking at grocery.   I do not know whether I have to buy them or not. I am just enjoying the hustle and bustle of the market, families with young kids, parents buying ice cream for children.  Some who could not afford to spend were telling the children stories of their childhood how in their time life was easier. Now inflation has made life so difficult and so on. I move on.

I am passing bya row of garment shops all decorated and showcased with beautiful and fancy clothes. I don’t like any. Seems I am not interested in this stuff as well.  Customers are haggling and I   keep on observing as I move past them.  Suddenly I see some wild animal. It’s a sort of a horse but much larger than a horse with brown and white spots on its back and two extremely big horns.

The crowd panics. There is mayhem. I am about to run but then suddenly I realize that running won’t help. I feel I am far enough from harm and I stop running. I notice that I am neither panting nor afraid of the creature.  I watch the animal without even blinking my eyes.

The animal is moving towards the crowd with a graceful and easy walk. To me it seems like an old model’s catwalk. It appears that the creature is harmless.  It too is watching the whole scene very carefully and asks the people  “What happened?

And suddenly the whole scene disappears.   There is a dust storm and everything is invisible. I don’t know how I managed to reach home, but I did.

My mom is worried and is closing the windows and asks me to close the windows in my room. My siblings and parents were talking about the creature, and the storm. I wasn’t listening. I am still mesmerised with that graceful walk of the strange creature.

It’s another sunny day. We are out with Dad on a picnic and I see a carnival. I don’t have any clear idea as to what this carnival is all about.

I ask my dad that I will call him after two or three hours but for now let us part. I am alone, wandering here and there, looking at the old people . There are no children around.   What sort of carnival is this! Some are playing games, I could feel the lack of enthusiasm, I decide to go with them, start playing with them and do a running commentary  which brings fun and frolic in the game. The organizer comes to me and asks me to anchor the whole event. I accept. As my Dad sees me on stage, he calls on my cell, monster you have not eaten your food yet, you will go sick again and then I won’t take you to the doc. I smile and tell him that I did and  will have my food on time. I will remain here the whole day and I will reach home myself.  He says, all right, do well, and call me if you have any problems.  At the end of the day, the carnival was very successful. All the old people were taking my phone number and I was saving theirs in my phonebook.  We played a lot of amazing games, very involved which in real life I never do

A good dream!! I was still smiling when I woke up.

A perfect match

She is at her friend’s place. She tells her that she has divorced her husband for a long list of reasons but has now found her perfect match and married him.

She is back home and looking at a huge pile of washed but dry clothes. She is expected to press, fold and keep them in a stack. She starts doing it when she finds a glove. She puts it on and searches for the other.   She is apprehensive but keeps on searching but does not find it. What she finds do not match   She consoles herself. Let me press and fold these clothes, ‘ naturally’ I should be getting the right match by then.

She is an optician’s shop. She needs an eye check up and change the frame of her glasses. She selects a lens with – 0.25 less power than what she needs. She thinks, I have to go back to the shop and get the correct glasses.

At work

She is leading a group of people who keeps following her.  She stopped at some well furnished workplace and tells everybody to take their places. She is overseeing their work.

When they ask for suggestions, she gives them happily. Everyone is enthused and everything is going fine. A few problems come up in between; she could not remember what kind of problems. She sees that people are worried. They come to her, discuss and go away.

She is alone, thinking.  She saw herself again out with people. As if in a drama, people turn their selves to her.

And in a while everyone was ‘her’

She could see a lot of faces of herself. She was not scared. But she was surprised at seeing all the various expressions on the faces.

Some were satisfied and some were frustrated and a few were trying to improve.. Her role was the same.

At times she criticizes herself and at other times appreciates

Some of her faces are confident, other faces are diffident.

She at times cajoles herself and at other times denigrate

She sees herself struggling, also celebrating success with all her selves.

A lot many of her selves, everybody was her and then there is the miracle

She is turning into some kind of a large bird.

Old man and woman

The happy old man is sitting on a park bench remembering his good old days. He sees the kite flying in the sky, starts running after it as the line is cut. He wants to catch the kite, starts walking faster, then running. The line is near, he stretches his arms more and more and slowly he starts flying. He is dead but happy.

The old lady is sitting in the garden in front of her house. She sees her grand children playing. She remembers her life over the years from her childhood, how she learnt to cook, about her lover and then her ageing. Joy fills her soul. She does not know whether she slept first or dreamt first. She too was dead and happy.

She meets a boy on the beach, not very handsome, wearing a blue jacket, he is quite frustrated. He wants to befriend her for some reason. She says Ok and then he tells her everything about him. She figures out that he has been rejected all throughout his life. She gives him something in a white kerchief. He is happy but does not appreciate or value what she gave. He gives it away to the junk dealer. She feels pity on him and takes back her present from the junk dealer.

The trains

The train is quite luxurious and the fare high. Yet she manages to get a ticket.
Beautiful very lively girls and boys board the train, a difficult one. It runs on a track at the height of a fifty story building, something similar to a roller coaster mixed up with   a giant wheel. Those who do not manage to hold on to their SELF fall. No harm done but they are no more in the train. She could hold herself only till the third round and then she falls. She feels bad but finds herself in the station.

Trains again, many of them of all sorts, old, new, bare, ugly, rusted.
The tickets are cheaper this time, she takes one and waits for the train. It’s a quiet  night, the moon is shining and people around here are dull and mysterious. She sees her train coming to the platform. The colour of the train is black-blue this time. Earlier it was bright yellow. She could see the rust on the hand rails to the compartment. She could not board that contraption. Standing dumb, she watched the train leaving the station and her. She was at peace with herself.  She tried to figure out what to do. Before she could figure out anything someone told her that in 15 minutes another train will come and she can take that train. When it comes she feels hesitant boarding it but she does. The train is open and looks like a freight car. There are some others sitting near her. She has  some small colourful balls, black marbles, a match box and  three  blades and some paper with her. She does not play with them. Others are curious about her possessions. Finally she reaches her destination in the early morning. The sky is cloudy with a dull sun. She feels herself lost.

Another beautiful train, a unique one but a bit similar, long, neat, clean and sky-blue in colour. At the station there is a lot of hubbub. People are not as enthusiastic as in the first dream. All of them looked well settled, well dressed and ‘self-managed’. The train comes is on time and on the right platform. She tries once again, but misses the train.

The situation repeats itself. She is trying to figure out, what I do now. She does not feel helpless and in no time she figures out what to do. As soon as she takes the decision someone comes near and says, hello. She is on her way to do what she had planned. She tells her plans to her friend and together they discuss how to execute it. They gather the material, and start designing a cart, which slowly turns into a high speed car, not a very elegant one but small and beautiful. Both of them board the train. The cart moves on the same track and consumes very little fuel, as it is running on smooth rails. She mutters to herself “the technology is efficient and effective”.

They take some detours. A man tells them that the train stops at a certain station. They head to the station and finally board the train. She hugs her ‘friend of hard times’, and get in the train. People are yelling and shouting. There is no space for the others to sit.  People are hanging down on handles but her chair is empty. She sat on the chair like a queen and the train moves, gathers speed. People keep on complaining, about the lack of space, facilities and the flies and mosquitoes. She seems to be in a cubicle and everything is fine around her and everything is in plenty. The view outside is pleasing, her surroundings seemed air-conditioned, the breeze was soothing, She could see the river and the mountains through the window by her side. The train keeps running and running, first through the plains and then hills.

She kills her father and grand father

She takes her father to the place where she was born. One shot and he is done.  She laid him down and before covering him with white sheets she kisses is hands as she used to. She didn’t bother to wipe out the signs like professional killers.   She feels no remorse or guilt and leaves the place.

The next night had more of it waiting for her.

She had gone back to her place of birth and killed her mom’s grandpa. She asks,  her grandpa to name his will to her. At first he did not agree. She persists, argues and finally convinces him that she was the one, the only one worthy of it, smart enough to hold and take care of his property, so that it would not be left to ruins.

As soon as he signs the papers, she shoots and he is no more.

Parrot or Dove ?

She found it hard to decide whether to buy a parrot or a dove.
Her basic instinct was to have doves. Keeping,  caring for and loving the doves was natural to her. Nobody knew why but Jo did.

Jo was with her when the bird seller showed all the beautiful birds.
Shaili liked the pigeon too and decided to buy a pigeon, but it was getting difficult to make a choice between the parrot and the dove. Jo kept insisting that she buy a parrot this time, she was not convinced. Parrot is not something, she could associate herself with, so she would not buy it, Shaili explained and argued with Jo.  Sweetie then what is that you associate yourself with, Jo fired back.  “Horse, Dove and you”, she replied with a lady-like politeness and maturity.  Jo smiled saying “Ok”, and bought a parrot for himself said bye and left. Shaili thought for a moment as to why Jo had wanted her to buy the parrot. She came out of it as the seller asked her what she wanted. Finally she bought two doves and a pigeon.

The doves were gentle, peaceful, and beautiful. She loved them and for a long time kept looking at her three beautiful possessions, mesmerized and fascinated. Shaili always fancied that if she could learn the language of birds she could learn flying also.

She thought that it’s not because of the weight of their body that men cannot f ly but because birds had some secret knowledge of flying that they only knew.  Two hours went by. She was still sitting in her garden.

Jo came back with the parrot in his hands, seated himself under the same guava tree beside her.  Shaili looked up at him and at her doves and welcomed him with a satisfied smile. Shaili! I would like to give you a gift since you are the youngest and the most intelligent friend of mine.

Shaili smiled and winked her curious eyes, and Jo handed his parrot to her. As she said thanks to Jo, the parrot also repeated the words. They laughed and hugged. Now Jo looked serious and said “Look Shaili! This parrot can repeat what you teach it and you have to utilize this skill properly.

““Properly, properly” The parrot repeated.

‘Ok I will see what best I can do with it.  Jo……..!!! Actually I am afraid. Seriously I don’t have any idea,  what to do with it.”

“Don’t worry honey, you will find out soon”,

“I trust you” Jo answered, The last words put shaili’s mind into some kind of a quest. It was not that Shaili did not understand Jo’s messages or what he talked, but it was his specific way of encoding that Shaili liked to decipher  Obviously she argued about stuff she found confusing to her and Jo cleared all of them with nature like dexterity and but with care.

“Hmm….. Ok thank you”

“Jo you are a dear friend” and with these words she offered one dove to him. Jo accepted it silently he could not find any words. She looked at him with motherly affection and he responded with a childlike innocence.  He   was silent and but thoughtful for a long time.

Finally He said “Thank you My Angel Girl”.

Sleepless nights

Bare feet, pink frock with pretty frills and white lace all around her sleeves….

She looked at the mirror. Beautiful curls were swinging all around making her small brown face more beautiful. …curious eyes, a proud nose, the face shone with audacity and hope, naïve, yet confident

She was in her study.  She closed the book and kept them away and took out a tube of glue from the drawer. She crafted two beautiful wings that balanced each other out of those feathers and cheerfully she tried them on.

She felt light without the drag of gravity but felt the resistance. She could also feel the lift coming out of her, her mind, heart and soul.

She landed near the girl, the older Shaili on the balcony, looking pale and haggard.

She placed those wings on her very gently and whispered to her the secret of flying, kissed her on both cheeks, less brown and less chubby. The curls were longer. The older Shaili responded by hugging and pampering the younger one. The little one felt the tears on the cheeks of the elder one. She wiped those tears away with the sleeve of her favourite pink frock, ignoring the thought that it will become wet with the tears. She embraced her and finally dissolved in to her.

No two Shailis,  anymore!

Shaili took out those wings from her back and held them softly but firmly in her hands, went back to her study, placed them inside the books and started studying the chapters 1, 2,3,4,5……

When she woke up she realized that she has been revising the lessons of her last classes in her dreams. She felt quite confident about those chapters and happy about those wings
She was again on the same balcony and observing the twinkle, beauty and the calmness of the stars. She was not transformed into the child yet. Jo also was not there. She was wondering “what would have made these stars what they are!!”
She wished if she could fly and reach the star just to find out what was preserved underneath.

All of a sudden the winds started blowing heavily and all the feathers she collected started flying here and there from where they were preserved safely under the cover of her study table. She was panicky and ran after them. The wind was so strong that she could not collect even a single feather and was feeling lost at the loss of her world.

She was standing dumb, just watching carefully where the wind was carrying all her feathers. She focused more and more and to her surprise the wind changed in to a whirlpool and all her feathers automatically came all around her flying with joy. She was not horrified, not pale, calm or patient but as she knew all. She sat there till all the winds came to a stop and the feathers came together all around her. She picked them all up one by one and noticed that the winds had made the feathers more alive.

The same sparkling star stole her attention and the same desire swept all over her mind and soul. She left the thought at the balcony and went inside.  She sat at her study table, placed the feathers back in their place and started doing her craft work. She could not give it the shape she wanted. She returned to the balcony, sat down on her favourite chair. Frames from her past flashed through her eyes.  She was 19 ,,,, then 18 ,,,, 17 ,,,,,16 ,,,,, 15 ,,,,,,14 ,,,, and now she was 13 years. Once again she felt the same joy of being young and naive. This was the time when she was beyond the thoughts of success or failure when nothing could steal her childlike joy that used to spread all over her face, a  period of life when she did not know there was such a world as melancholy.

The 13 year old or 13 year young Shaili was playing happily like a fawn in the same room where on the other side of the balcony sat the 21 year old Shaili without the will or desire of to live anymore.

Mr Freud, the two doors and the key

There was a huge traffic jam on the main road and Shaili needed to reach another street, adjacent to where she was. She could see a number of houses and a beautiful park all aligned in a row.

Some children were playing happily.  She had no clues as to what she was searching and why she was this way.

She was in a hurry to reach her destination. She didn’t want to wait for years. The desperation made her face blank. No one could read her mind. Freud who lived at the same street saw her and called her from the balcony. She looked upward to  face him and told what she was up to. Freud thought for a moment and said he might help her. He signalled her to come inside. She went in as the main gate was already open. It was the first time that she was at Freud’s home. In the living room she saw an old lady. She wouldn’t have been  very beautiful when young, she thought who looked pale, alone and yet happy.   She gave her a welcome smile and said that she knew her as Freud had already told her about Shaili. The lady offered her some sweet dish made of mangoes and coconut, which Shaili carefully preserved in her pocket.

Freud called her again from his room on the second floor. She kept escalating till she saw Freud waving his hand to her. Freud said come…on Shaili, let me show you something. Shaili kept following him. She was tired of walking and wondered if the house was a maze. Finally they reached a place where she saw two huge Doors. Both of them were equally huge, but one of them was unreachable as there were no bridging stairs but the other had.

Shaili was looking wishfully and fascinated at the door which had no connecting stairs. Freud looked at her and said “hey, Shaili! I am sorry I too don’t know how to reach and open that door but I have the key to another door.” Shaili looked depressed but then he said “look! I will suggest that you go through this door and explore the world, may be that will help you find the key and way to this door.” He offered her the key which she received with gratitude. She kissed him and hesitantly opened the door.

She was stunned.   She was in a beautiful garden; nature was this magnificent to her. She was mesmerized by what she saw. She looked back, thought to thank Freud again but there was none.  The disappearance of Freud seemed natural to her.  There was plenty of water in a pond. She looked down into the eater. She was a five year old, neat clean and beautiful who had her curls swinging carelessly pampering her face.

Shaili wondered what she should be doing there. As if in reply someone answered “you are here to learn from nature, the source of all learning. There is  no better teacher “.

She looked at the source with the joy and fearlessness of the baby lighting up her face

He lifted her up in his hands and said  “baby you are so light”.
Shaili took out the feathers from her pocket and with all the innocence of the baby said “bcos of feathers, Jo”.

Right then she named her angel “Jo”. They turned in another direction and started towards deep nature.

Wings of gold

wings of gold

Ouch. She was flying with the wings little Shaili offered her in the dream. She was flying above her garden, home and city. She looked at the sky; passionately. The same bright shining star caught her attention again and most probably for the last time. Without thinking anything else she headed towards the clear sky with the half moon and all the stars. Somehow she knew that it was something that was waiting to happen. She felt joy, satisfaction and hunger to see more all at the same time.

She was flying staring up, no slopes, or curves, straight up. Resistance only made the wings stronger.  The thrust was coming out of her. All the happiness and joy shone on her face. She wanted to kiss, hug the star which took her attention for the longest time than anything else in the world.

She reached the star. There was no comparison to whatever she had felt in the past. Yet she could not feel anything.  In between she noticed that she had mastered flight. Her beloved was in front of her. She stepped forward to embrace him and she moved ahead.

Oh no!! No!!! She screamed. She never expected this. All this fire…inside the star………….Oh!!

Her skin was burning, her dress caught fire. Her heart was pounding heavily. She thought she will die of a heart attack than burning. She had never expected that a calm star would be a ball of fire.

Hopelessly but with all the love for feathers she thought of looking at her wings for the last time.  She was stunned at the sight. All the soft feathers were gone. The bare structure of the wings came out of it. She was not feeling any heat. Her skin was all right or maybe, she got adapted to the fire. She looked confused but happy.

She didn’t know what to do. But   without knowing she took out that bare structure of wings from her back, and like an adept she restructured it as she thought about the faults in her wing structure while flying to the star

She put the wing structure on her back and enjoyed the warmth of the place. She noticed that her wings were woven with thick  gold wires drawn out of the fire. She felt happy but not excited. She focused on something that was waiting seeking her attention. She looked beautiful and confident. She flew into another ring of fire, without any fear, felt the zone was warmer. She adapted herself in no time to the new atmosphere. The process went on….one warmer ring, one more

Then finally she gets out of those rings of fire.

A handsome man is waiting for her who placed seven beautiful diamonds on those wings. And then he gives her a bigger diamond of the same kind as Jo had given her once. She holds it close in her fist.

The man said…”Shaili take out your wings; your time is waiting. Use these wings only when you need them and the same goes for the diamonds. Take care!!  Bon voyage!!”. She nodded gracefully said thank you and left. She did not bother to look back.

A beautiful white horse was waiting for her. She took a ride and landed safe on her bed … rejoined with herself. She is no more an ordinary girl.  I have come a long way, she says, smiling softly at herself and her thoughts.

The lighthouse

She was wandering near her first school. She had not been to the place for so long. Her friends had told her that the school was transformed to a grand, beautiful building, modern as well. She saw herself the same way as she used to be when she was in the fifth standard in the same favourite olive green frock, white socks, and the very same white shoes which the two artificial butterflies on it. In a flash she remembered the see-saw and the small and green playground of her school. The see saw was like a boat where the two children sat face to face and enjoyed. Shaili had sat on it only once. She could not do it a second time as she was afraid that it will topple and fall over, no one will know and she will die in oblivion. She dismissed the thought and cheered herself up and moved farther on the road that she had never taken. Normally she would have returned home from the swing.

She sees a chemical factory, beakers and jars, chemicals and fumes. She ignores it and moves ahead on her path. She comes across another school.
As she walks ahead she is mesmerised with the sight of the beautiful building. She is curious. The steps take her to a fort. The architecture is both modern and ancient, sort of a fusion, made of wine red and white marbles.  The child like wild curiosity leads her to the grand dark entrance. She steps inside though her heart skipped a few beats as she did so. A huge space was spread out to walk through which she did. Some unknown fear washed over her. She trembled suddenly as she heard someone coming to her. She collected all her courage and kept standing there with temerity.  A healthy young lady, clad in shining silk emerged. Shaili brightened at once, she wished her good evening. Further she said I want to know what all this is. Where am I? Who are you and in between she said “I am Shaili, I live nearby”. The lady smiled and told her everything about the fort and about its purpose.

Now Shaili looked confident and said, “I want to explore this fort please”

The lady offered her hand which she takes it and they move ahead. The lady tells her, this is a nine storey building.

Suddenly a white wing comes down and lands at her feet. She picks it with love and keep it inside her pocket gently as the lady giver her permission with her eyes.
They start exploring the building from the very ground floor. As she took the steps with the lady, she saw a dim light coming out of that big place; many people were working hard, fast and silent. They were engrossed in their work and did not notice the lamps at their workstations. Rather everyone had their own candles.

At first she thought maybe they needed to know about switches but then the lady told her that they were not interested in more light. They wanted to live in oblivion and did not know if there were any switches. She felt pity   and tried to tell a person all about switches but he did not take notice of her.

Shaili was now on the fourth floor, a real pleasure seeing that world. She felt herself bathed in energy and enthusiasm.  She looked at Jo and said– Hurray, wow what a place….. Amazing to be true!!! Come on, Jo. Show me everything and introduce me to everyone. The place was beautifully furnished. People were   calm and appeared to be washed in joy. She saw no lamps but there was light more than anywhere else and she realized it was coming out of a big source of light.

Now it was Jo’s turn to speak. Shaili did not like what he said.

He said “Shaili you have to go back and climb these stairs all by yourself “.

Shaili looked puzzled. Jo said that only then you will be permitted to explore this place.”Hmm,” said Shaili. She sang a few beautiful lines of a song she had learnt from her mother. She got down those stairs and in joy covered them in seconds the same steps she was terrified of before meeting Jo

“All right, can we explore this floor now” Shaili asked cheerfully.

A gentle nod and a divine smile was all that came from Jo.

“Oh Jesus! What a heavenly place, Jo what do you do here?” Shaili asked

Jo said I am on the sixth floor, where my workstation is.

Jo talked a lot about the place and the source of light. An unknown joy filled her up to the depth of her soul.

The place looked in perfect order. People were vivacious, yet so silent.
Shaili could feed the flow of a different energy. She kept talking to Jo all the way. She talked to almost every person, and this Shaili did herself as Jo kept standing aside and aloof. She felt that at this floor there was actually no need of lamps as people were aglow

She wanted to ask Jo but dismissed the idea finding it weird.
Shaili looked at Jo and thanked him. She wanted to move on to the 5th floor.
But Jo showed her the plethora of pages he was carrying and said. He was going down to the third floor, as he thought his work might help the people working there. So you have to explore these floors by yourself. He said there is no need to worry or fear as you will receive help automatically when you need it.
He beamed a ‘ Bon Voyage’ to her and smoothly flowed down the stairs. She too wished him good day and turned towards the stairs to the fifth floor.
Without thinking she started escalating without much of effort and she was on the fifth floor.

The same lady greeted her with a difficult question this time. She was puzzled, took a long time to come up with an answer but the lady was all smiles when she answered. She smiled that familiar smile and moved herself out of her way.
Her eyes forgot to wink for a while. When she finally winked, she saw people swinging. All of them were swinging without support, in the air. She stood frozen watching all the swings in fascination. The place was very brightly lit and people looked like lighthouses. She rubbed her eyes and wished that Jo was there to confirm what she saw real or just another dream.
A young lad came to her in a flowing motion. Shaili kept looking mesmerized first at the rope then at the boy. She was sure that she was seeing him for the first time, but still she could not dismiss the thought of familiarity. She tried hard to remember but all she could find was the joy and the smile on her face as the boy said hello offering his hand.
She gave her hand, felt safe and protected. The satisfaction of being pampered filled her with a new kind of enthusiasm. The lad smiled back as he handed strings to Shaili and asked her to make her own swing.  The known fear of swinging swept all over her and she stood dumb not knowing what to do till the lad came closer and showed her how to do it. She recollected all her courage and did the same.
And Yes!! She was swinging ……swinging high……swinging higher. She turned to the boy looked curiously in to his eyes and asked, how did this happen and kept on asking herself  trying to see and find  out for herself.

Three pebbles

Hey ….Shaili dear, what are you doing here, said Jo as he saw Shaili.

Shaili flung herself at him. She shed all her fears and years of loneliness, they sat on the stairs

The lady was amazed at their chemistry as Shaili opened her heart out and Jo listened to her soul speak. She told him that she was showing the building to his child, and asked if he would help him and show other floors to her by himself.

Jo said beaming with pride that Shaili is a hero and would explore other floors by herself now.  The lady was amazed and argued that she is new to the place, but all Jo did was smile.  The lady walks away. He seated her on his lap, pampered and offered her two small pebbles; Shaili placed them neatly on her head to realize that the pebbles were turned into diamonds. She hugged Jo, kissed him on his cheek. Jo pointed to the other. She smiled and kissed him on the other cheek. He took out another pebble from his pocket; it was light orange in colour. This time Jo asked her to put it safely in her pocket. She understood what he said.

Jo stood up and gave his hand to Shaili. But she wanted to sit with him….
Shaili said that Please Jo sit with me…. and let us play cheesier. Jo was equally determined. He finally cajoled her but the deal was he should to carry her on his back. There was no way she could remain there. Jo was a dear. She would never refuse him


The lady smiled and said let them do their work. You come with me; there is a lot to see.

The stairs were not easy, had a large gap in between, Shaili was afraid that she  will  slip in between, but  with the help and encouragement of that lady she managed cheerfully.

Here there was some light.  Some had their own lamps some had had lanterns and to her surprise some people were cooking their food on  it.

They were clad in better clothes, she felt a different energy in the environment but she could not smell the camaraderie and joy, people were indulged in their work seriously, but definitely it was better than ground floor.

Then… the lady asked another question and getting satisfied she put a kiss on Shaili’s forehead and lead her to second floor.

Second floor had all the lamps on, and people seemed relaxed although they were working continuously. They gave a smile to Shaili; Shaili returned a broader one so that it filled the atmosphere with the lightness of joy.

Shaili talked to them and became friends with them. She promised to see them again.
The lady repeated the ritual of asking questions and happily moved to the third floor with Shaili.

It was s better place; the genuine joy was in the air and on people’s faces. She liked them better, made friends and liked one person, Fred, someone very special.
Now she was on her way to fourth floor. The lady was wondering about Shaili. She was very happy for her and thought the question this time would be difficult for her.

The Snake Dreams

There was a big snake, green in colour with brown spots on its skin. She could not make out whether it was her friend or whether it wanted to kill her. She was in a temple and there were snakes all around.

There was a pond. She is in the pond and the snake is all around her body. She was crying badly and a friend of her who was a better player who used to win every game they played together in those days rushes in to kill the snake. He was elder to her by three years. He shoots to kill the snake but because of the snake she escapes or the snake saves her and let her go.  The temple she saw is exists in reality. She came to know of it much later.  The dream continued till she visited the temple.

She is on the bank of a river and there are snakes and snakes everywhere. The same snake was trying to draw her attention, but she is afraid. ‘He’ wanted to shake hands but she refuses. ‘He’ does not like this. It seemed as if he was angry with her and will kill Shaili, he was after her but she does not allow herself to be ‘caught.’ The dreams continued but she did not befriend the snake. But every time the snake does its best to get rid of her fear. She is afraid of its touch, the venom and death. The day comes when ‘he’ finally succeeds in getting rid of the fear.

She is no more afraid.

Over the course of these dreams the snake transforms from it to him even changing his shape. In one of the dreams it has   rather beautiful   lips that one might like to kiss. Other features she could not remember. In another he develops a height of   5 feet and 9 inches in place of length. The snake had the power to fly which he teaches to Shaili, a very different way of flying. They used to step upwards and earth did not offer any gravity. They used to talk in French or Sanskrit and travelled to exotic places hand in hand, from an old temple to the cafe of Paris.

She saw them taking drinks together, and the snake / gentleman’s hand was on her waist. They kissed passionately and she awoke sweating. She was afraid that she had drunk snake venom.  The last time she saw him he proposed to her and they were engaged in a long passionate kiss, Shaili had accepted his proposal and she did not want to come out of the dream but eventually she did. She felt like vomiting with the very idea that she was in love with the snake. And then those dreams never came back.

The bath

It was a spacious bathroom in white marble. The white lights were giving it a miraculously mysterious effect. The mystery was in the satisfaction she felt as she was trying to figure out the reason this time.

She shifted her attention to what was going on. She was clad in a white robe, and the bathtub was also white. She noticed that the taps were golden. She opened the tap, and adroitly she placed a soap bar (she was not so sure if it was a bar of soap. Whatever it was, it was transparent white almost in aqua colour. When the tub was half filled she closed the tap, took out that bar and stepped out of her robe to get in the tub. She opened another tap … which started making bubbles in the tub. The foam smelled of lime. She felt that the water was thick like whey and the foam was smooth like butter. She felt a bit uneasy in her conscious mind but in her subconscious she was enjoying it thoroughly. It took some effort to come out of the tub and she stood under the full lukewarm shower. The joy and pleasure seemed everlasting. She dried herself, now clad in a maroon robe; she saw her face in the mirror. She realized it was not exactly how she was now; she was older, beautiful and healthy as well. Her face had a radiant effect…and her hair was long but still curly. She examined herself again with love and dexterity. Then she went out from that bathroom, and where she landed, realized it was a bedroom, done in special hues. She noticed a painting hanging on the front wall “The white horses and dove.”  She smiled as she saw a man and the baby playing in safety and love, in his lap.

Baby was clad in green. She saw herself looking at him mesmerized at the sight of him and the baby together. His warm husky voice welcomed her- “Beautiful”.

He smiled…and stood up all of 5 feet 10 inches, not very dark, dressed in a professional manner. She noticed his tie was her favourite colour and pattern. She saw herself smiling, flirting as he approached her with the baby in his arms. As soon as he was about to come closer, kiss her or who knows what else he had in his mind, the baby places a hand on his face and plants her face all over with those little soft kisses. She has a hearty laugh as the   baby was quite playful and the man quite helpless. She finally opens her eyes with stretched lips, the joy a part of her knowing now.

A tech dream

Part 1.

Sonali and Monali are twins from my neighbourhood. They are two and we are quite attached. I see some autos decorated with the tattoos of Mozilla Firefox , Internet explorer, Safari, and Chrome and then there are a few tattoos which I don’t recognize.

They clamour to take the twins with them. The girls are wandering here and there, quite curious to know that who ultimately will take them.
Finally the girls make a decision and say that they will go with all of them one by one,

But there are just a few drivers who understand their language. The girls don’t speak clearly and they have their own notations.  The drivers are unable to take them on the ride.

Now the others try…… few of them claim that they understand what the babies say, but then they interpret them wrong and make serious mistakes…

At times they come across few scaring accidents as well… but not much of harm happens.

Then some drivers ultimately understand them very well, and take the girls to where they wanted to go.

Destination. Where they appear as, arrival.shonali and arrival.monali

Remember the extension patterns.  🙂

Part 2

I see a plant, consisting of tender leaves and beautiful flowers. The flowers are as yellow as gold, leaves as green as algae. And the plant did not lag moisture, promising a beauty as it will grow.

Besides it I see a mirror and aspects.

I am playing with the plant, I am nurturing it and slowly I turn into a plant, better than the one I was playing with, there is none other like me. The plant is 5 feet and 5 inches tall. I wonder whether it wears sports shoes.

Then I look into mirror, I see few of my branches heading in the direction which I do not find good, I do not break them, I have the power to absorb my leaves back into my heart. I preserve them safely. Then I put on different- different aspects and see myself and the world through them.

I analyze that which aspects make the world look different and up to what extent. I keep trying, and then I am back to my own aspects and my body as well. I am  human or at least I look like one.

Part 3

I am doing make up to go to some party or so I believe. Some friends are around. The help me and they criticize my sense of dressing, my shoes my hair etc.  I am to choose among three beautiful dresses, a beautiful red-yellow-green and magenta colour dress which looks great but I did not like it at all.

The second is pale yellow and light green dress with some orange shawl.  I try it but people deny considering it smart.  They say it’s heavy and dull. I hated it but I am trying all the dresses just to know the people’s views.

Then there is my favourite one white and gray made of chiffon and cotton. Light and smart one, everyone appreciates it. I feel so happy that everyone liked my choice. I pretend that I am just following what they liked and then there are accessories to choose from.  My options are , heavy metal jewellery and Tattoos

Feathers, some paper jewellery and there were a lot of other things

I opt for feathers which I promptly stick in my hat. I don’t wear them… but, ah, this is a dream. In between some of my friends tell me that if I wear some particular dress or accessories I won’t be compatible with them, i.e. I won’t meet their standards, and they won’t be able to take me with them. I take care of all that and finally when I get ready it is such that I am compatible with everyone. All are happy with me, and all of us go in for the party.

Geeks, I wonder if the Google homepage flashed before your eyes.

Emotional Anatomy : Dreams and the body

Dialogues – Aging out of life

Meenakshi asks, In our time do we age out of life?

Like most questions, the answers are yes, no, and yes and no

“Death is not essential’, said The Mother

Reading this, has been a milestone in my learning.

Life begins when we resolve our issues with death and ageing

We are not designed to die but to live

Death is a habit and we are breaking more and more out of this habit – people are living longer.

What is time? Is it linear, a one way traffic, an arrow that moves from birth to death?

This cannot be natural since nothing in nature is linear. There is an arrow of time that goes in the opposite direction, memory – how we RE-collect our past.  The sun we see  is around 9 minutes old but our  thought does not take nine minutes to reach the sun  we see, the sun that was nine minutes ago.

Yes thought is faster than light.

As we talk our cells die and new cells are born, two more arrows, to put it in a very crude way. In place of the first arrow we have four arrows of time now.

When this is experienced, birth and death become simultaneous, not a journey from point A to B, birth to death. One transcends linear time and steps into eternity, become ageless.

So we age out of linear time, not out of life, and start living in the NOW, – eternity.

When was I born?  MM DD YYYY? That was the birth of my body.

Did I have anything to do with it?

The real me was born much later when I  RE-collected all that scattered stuff and put them all together and I walked out of the shadows of death, linear time, my unconscious and took that first step to the birth of myself , eternity and continual renewal.

How old are you?

I have multiple choices to suit the questioner

I am 61, for the straights

I am 39 when I count from the birth of my SELF

I am 29  if I count from  when I decided to live life on my terms ( It took ten years for the self to become mature enough to make that decison)

15 billion (in arrow terms) years.

The logic is I am as old as the Universe and everything  that went on is mapped in me in many ways

> 15 billion years – something in me will go on living for ever.

< 2 years – age of the oldest cell in my body ?

Take your pick or all of it.

Have some more of your own answers.

It is always better to have as many answers, perspectives, than anyone single answer.


What is NAN?   The Indian bread?   New Age Nonsense?

Well I could have been dead yesterday. I haven’t. What greater miracle do you need to make life wonderful?

So what is the answer, without beating around the bush?

In “our times “, we can age out of time itself.

We can age out of life too.

It is a Choice.

Learning Plateaus

Learning Plateaus

Teachers’ Day Out and Designer Dreams

S: Good morning, happy Teachers’ Day. No classes, hurray!!

T: Thanks, I didn’t know. You seem to be very happy that you don’t have classes. If teaching is about learning you wouldn’t celebrate it this way. Learning itself ought to be the best fun.

S: The teachers threw a party for us and let us off for the day
T:  How can teachers not teach? It is unethical, against nature to strike work.  A farmer cannot strike work, the cow cannot. How can a few take such freedom?
S: Hmm…. Do you think…teaching in class is the only way to teach. I have learnt much more from my dreams than from class.
T Why should there be any teaching? Chris says they have only one word ‘hweil’ for teaching and learning. We should have only learners and no teachers.

S: One thing…quite weird… about the dreams
T: Shoot straight. Do not beat around the bush, in your usual style.
S:  I see dreams… where people only die  or dreams that revolve only around my world
T You never told me about these deaths other than killing your father and grandpa
S:  Yeah. Last night I saw two babies killed, I did not kill them, but they died, one of them as soon as it was born and the other after a few months
T:  What was the dream?
S:  I forgot if I was the mother or not. All I remember is that children died. I was sad though I did not cry. I don’t remember any more
T: You are stuck at 13. That is the reason for the killings, grow up. You are not yet an ADULT to have babies
S: I saw that someone said these children would have survived if you were 26
T: It shows.
S:  Yeah, very right, amazing.
T: Great learning, now take a break, here is a story that came in mail right now, synchronicity?

A Turkey was chatting with a bull.

‘I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree’ sighed the t turkey, ‘but I haven’t got the energy.’

‘Well, why don’t you nibble on some of my droppings?’ replied the bull. They’re packed with nutrients.’
The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree.
The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch.
Finally after a fourth night, the turkey was proudly perched at the top of the tree. He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot him out of the tree.
Moral of the story: Bull poop might get you to the top, but it won’t keep you there

T: So how do you move from 13 to 22 ?
S:  I don’t know
T: You are stuck at a learning plateau, like most of us. We are all stuck at different plateaus when we are on the well travelled road, the red road in the visual. Take the green road if you do not want to get into highway pile ups. According to the model, the other plateaus are around 35-40 and 55-60 years, the midcareer and senior levels.  There may be exceptions who take the green road very early.
S:  As I study, I see my competitors. Earlier I saw myself studying. It is different now. I see killing or trying to murder them. That is evil, isn’t it?
T: 🙂
S: Why the smile?
T:It is easy to see physical aggression. There is a more dangerous version that goes unnoticed.   You are in the process of killing the Hitler in you.

Time for another break. Here is another story.

An eagle was sitting on a tree doing nothing.
A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him, ‘Can I also sit like you and do nothing?’
The eagle answered: ‘Sure, why not.’
So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it
T: You are killing because you are stuck. You are killing yourself, refusing to be an adult. What should be the trajectory under ideal conditions from 13 to 21, teens to the adult? I am not talking about chronological aging.
S: Yeah, mm, physical changes, changes in thoughts and perception.
T: What about the most basic drive, meaning or purpose in life?  Has it been resolved? Why are you here? This is the first plateau.
S: Yeah, I think we discussed it when we discussed Maslow and I am fairly clear about it. I know why I am here.
T: Physical changes will happen even without our consent. Nature is good at that but we are more than our physical selves. The mental and spiritual growth challenges need be resolved if you are not to be confused and remain stuck at perpetual adolescence.
S:  Hmm…You tell me. I am clueless I guess
T: Most of us are confused about the role of sex and sexuality to resolve the emotional challenges at this stage of one’s growth. The distortion stays till the end.   Even before Christ we had the Kama Sutra. After 2200 years we are not ready to discuss it, sex and sexuality, in schools or families or even between ‘adults’
S: Hmm. That is right; I wish I were wiser
T: Sex is the most difficult drive to be managed. First and foremost it is a spiritual thing. If you accept the spirituality of it, it cannot do any damage and it will eliminate the commoditization of sex. It is a natural drive. It is not for just reproduction. Reproduction is not such a big issue. Anyway we have more numbers than we want for survival of the species. Had it been just for reproduction, nature would have designed it the animal way. Earlier we had mentioned trisexual men and women

Si: Yeah, in Homo Novus

T: One cannot be sexual with somebody else if one is asexual with oneself.  This is like Christ said; love your SELF to love your neighbor. So the first step is to accept and appreciate the drive in itself so that one can express the same to the other. The other could be from the same sex or the opposite. Now you know what tri-sexual is, self, the other, male, female
T What about marriage? The young ones of the species take the longest time to grow up. In addition this meets the learning requirement for humans. One can learn only in relationship with another person who will not run away from you.
S: Hmm…..I did not get it exactly, I am confused.
T:  If you are not in such a relationship you will never know your blind spots, like I know how immature or mature I am only when I look at my relationships at home because we cannot take such liberties in our outside relationships. So marriage and family is for learning and adulthood and once this is achieved (?) the institution is redundant. For a long time to come this is quite unlikely. Marriage is for mortals.

T: This is the seeding for future dreaming and for transcending the adolescence plateau so that the bonsai becomes the tree

S: But, you know, I think…I felt it very comfortable to remain a baby.
T: Now the dreams should change. The bonsai is happy, people would admire it but the design is not for that. This is why we don’t have adults in this world, in spite of all the teachers, including Christ and Buddha.

T: So wallow, more bulls poop, remain a baby?
S: Gosh. No….well, I don’t know many…who are adults the way you ask them to be, I guess.
T: Probably there are no adults when we look from the position of the species.  We are very immature as a species and more threatened than the animals. When the species is not mature how can any one of us be an adult?
S: Once I thought, It is disgusting and a pain to remember my dreams.
T: I know and you resisted very strongly. The cows align north south when they graze even when they sleep.
S: Hmm. Why do they do so?
T: They have a built in GPS. They know the direction; they are more comfortable when they are in alignment, in tune.  Animals are always in tune. You are a singer and a guitarist. You should know.
S: Why is it that we don’t know how to tune ourselves, SELVES?

T: This is the problem with free will. Animals have no choice. We have options and we need exercise choice. We have to choose the direction. They are naturally tuned, as far as we guess, and we don’t know how to choose. We too have a compass but just having it does not mean that we use it.

S: I: hmm….then… We are worse than animals, it seems they are more intelligent, or may  be luckier?
T: What makes us different from the animal?
S: Brains. As everyone says or may be sense of humor?
T: This is tragic…  You know everything but not this simple thing. People are very smart, they are quiz masters, know everything under the sun, or we can Google it and get the information. But we are bad about such simple stuff. None has answered us within 10 seconds. So smarty, give me the answer or admit defeat
S: I admit defeat!!   Surrender. Well… one more guess…  we choose to go the way others have not gone…while the animals keep going on
T  : I want the unique difference between animals and the human. We don’t choose is what I am saying. To choose we should know and we don’t know, non ADULTs, how can u choose then? You had so many teachers, hats off to all of them on the Teachers’ Day. They did not teach you this!!
S:  May be they did not choose to teach this.
T  We are the only species that can improve, others cannot, and animals can not improve, we can but we don’t.
S: Yeah, right.
T: Ok. Happy dreaming. Now you will see the dreams evolve and the alignment with the internal and external will follow. Bye. Take care
S: Thank you. Bye.

The dreams