Rainbow Days – On Seeking Safe Haven

A few days ago, in Austin, the wild winds started howling.
Then, thundering and lightning continued.
Then, it started pouring.

The boys were wondering why Rainbow always seeks out a spot under my desk when it thunders.

They are surprised that she doesn’t go to them when she is seeking a safe haven during the thundering.

I am surprised too.

The boys are the ones that play with her, cuddle with her and give her a belly rub.
I do the bare minimum – nag them to give her water, food, treats.

Why does she seek safe haven under my desk?

Perhaps, she thinks that the thunder outside can be combated only by a loud voice like me.

Can you win over Destiny with your Intellect?

When I was a little girl, Grandpa TVS would tell me “Vithiyai Mathiyal Vellalam”.
It meant “You can win over destiny/fate with your intellect”.

So, I grow up believing it. Every challenge that I faced or option that I was given or curve ball I was thrown, I calculated every move like a chess-player. I calculated not only what the next move should be….but played out in my mind several subsequent steps……..then played it all backwards….until I knew what optimal step to take next.

I practiced that skill relentlessly and got better and better at it.I could see my life playing with fate and winning over it.

Until, one day, finally, I believed “Vithiyai Mathiyal Vellalam”.

Then, I started growing up. I started understanding a nuance with the fate-intellect drama that unfolded in my life. Only when I had a major role in controlling an outcome, I was able to have a higher success rate with winning over fate.

There were several situations I encountered where more than one party controlled the outcome.
Family. Friends. Work. Teams.

I expected rationale behavior. But, I was disappointed to learn there isn’t a thing as rationale behavior when it comes to personal relationships. Humans do what they think is right for them.
While we hate to admit this, we are driven emotionally (subconsciously)….especially with family and friends. Work behavior is more rationale than personal behavior….because, for many people, less is at stake in work situations.

I also understood what my definition of success, outcome, winning over fate might not be another person’s cup of tea. Some folks are completely comfortable with fate ruling their life. I came to understand acceptance is also a strategy to lead a peaceful life. While I initially found that shocking, over the years, I have come to empathize and respect that point of view.

After all, isn’t part of life’s learning about seeing others perspective too?

So, now, I have the following observation based on life experience.
Even with the best of intentions, I might find it difficult to win over fate in group settings.

I simply am unable to win over fate in group settings…..how much ever I try…and, trust me, I can be quite the force to reckon with when I think fate it going to beat me in the game.

That said, I ain’t giving up or accepting failure….not this early in the game.

Because, I trust Grandpa TVS and his wiseness.
If he said “Vithiyai Mathiyal Vellalam”, it means I can do it.

I will continue to wage ware with fate…with all my might and all my intellect.

I hope you do too.

On Genetic Theory for Food Preference

I have a theory..it is called Ambal’s Genetic Theory for Food Preference.

Fear not. I won’t use fancy words like alleles, zygote, epigenesis, gemmules in my theory.

I will use simple words to make it easy for you to understand and appreciate the theory. The theory goes like this.

Ambal’s Genetic Theory for Food Preference – The mom’s food preference genes is passed on to the second child.

That is it.

Don’t pull a smart aleck on me and ask “How do you know?”
I have proof. Ari loves the stuff that I love; drumstick sambar, gobi manchurian, tapioca pudding, coffe, chai etc.

What is your theory on food and/or food preference?

On the Necessity for Two Minds

Two minds is what I need,
I asked of God indeed,
One to pine, wallow and wither,
The other to forget and live on.

If days and nights are an either or,
If joy and sorrow are two,
If togetherness and separation are not one,
One mind cannot be sufficient.

Transliteration in English of Poet’s Kannadasan famous song:

Irandu Manam Vendum
Iraivanidam Ketten
Ninaithu Vaada Ondru
Marandhu Vaazha Ondru

Iravum pagalum irandanaal ,
Inbam thunbam irandaanaal ,
Uravum pirivum irandaanaal,
Ullam ondru podhathe.

On Wiping your Slate Clean

We are born with a clean slate.
No knowledge of ourselves.
No memories.
No worldly things.
No clutter.

Well mostly…nothing.
According to the Hindu believes, we all go through multiple births and carry our karma forward. But, let us not get into that discussion. Let us save that discussion for another day and time.

Today, let us focus on how we are all born with a clean slate and the subsequent happenings.

After we are born, we are given an identity.
Girl. Boy. Name.
We are told “Here is your hand. Here is your legs. Here is Dada. Here is Amma.”
As we call out Ma or Da…everybody around us rejoices.

We start hoarding memories in the biochemicals in our brain.
Our dear ones around us tell us – “These are your clothes. These are your toys.”

We grow up and put more stuff in our brains…without any garbage cleaning ever.
We start hoarding fat around our bodies.
We don’t purge.

Then, worst of all, we start hoarding things.
Car. House. Stuff in our drawers.

I want you to pause here.
Look around yourself.
Look at your house.
Look at your car.
Look at the pantry.
Look at the drawers.
Look at the cabinets.
Look inside yourself.

See the crap?
Do you see it?

We think it is ours.
Stuff..that we can’t take with us anywhere.
Let us assume….an earthquake hit us….a hurricane…can we take this stuff that lies all around us. Or, God forbid, death takes us.

The fancy furniture.
The fancy clothes.
The fancy bags.

Can we take all this stuff?
No. We can’t.

We might not even be able take to our most precious belonging….the people that we love.
We will have to leave everything behind when death overcomes us.

Ma. Dada. Our legs. Our hands.

Fire will take us over. Or the Earth.

We will be consumed.
We will be returned to dust.
Star dust.
Where we all started.

I urge you to think about this.
Declutter the clutter.
Around you and inside you.
Wipe the slate clean.