Valentine’s Day Gift

I have told the boys that I don’t need any gifts for birthday or Christmas or Valentines Day.

So, they usually take me out to lunch or dinner or cook a meal…..to spend time together.

This Valentine’s Day, Adi surprised me by giving a Jawbone….it is some wearable gadget to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Its lean and mean….kind of like me.

Maybe, just maybe…. I’ll change the Kumar’s household policy on gifts.

Nah.

I much rather have the present (as in moment) rather than any present.

That said, I am going to let Adi see how much I am enjoying this by putting it to power use.

Miles to go before I sleep

It is one of those evenings that I really want to end. I am sleepy and tired. I just want to get in bed and not wake up until my body has had enough rest.

Alas, I can’t do that… yet.

So, I put on my plastic smile and trudge along with the boys.

I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Be BRAVE. Go SEEK.

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield. – Ulysses by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

A wise man once told me:

It is not what you know that will kill you.
It is not what you don’t know that will kill you.
It is what you don’t know that you don’t know….that is what will kill you.

He told me to seek the unseen.

Seeking the unseen is nothing fancy.
It is kind of like looking in the blind spot when you are driving.

Let us talk some neuroscience.

Use it or lose it…is very true for our brain and beliefs it holds.

Over adolescence there is a pruning back of the brain connections. The brain decides which connections are important to keep, and which can be let go. Scientists call this process synaptic pruning, and speculate that the brain decides which neural links to keep based on how frequently they are used.

Not just that. We start losing neurons (brain cells) almost immediately after birth with very few neurons ever forming during our post-birth lives. It’s an important part of healthy brain function.

Got that context?

Now, let us assume that we don’t use the reasoning side of our brain.
Let us assume we accept what the main stream media is feeding us or we accept what is popular belief amongst our friends and family.
Then, eventually we lose it.

We lose the ability to see the unseen.
What is worser than losing the ability to see the unseen is that, eventually, we even lose the ability to recognize the need to seek the unseen.

It is so much easier to believe the popular belief.
Because, it is very hard to be the ONE voice of dissonance in a group.
It is very hard to be brave enough to rise up and call out the unseen.

Remember, for as long as humanity as lived, the one who called out the unseen has been persecuted.
So, even if you have a semblance of doubt about the unseen, we are wired to be a sheep, say blah and follow the crowd.

Like I always say, don’t take my word for this.
After all, I am not a neuro scientist.
I am only an aspiring neuro scientist who has been pouring over brain research for the last decade.
I am only a fan of the brain and all it sheer beauty.

So, read articles like these: WHY FACTS DON’T CHANGE OUR MINDS

Put to use the most precious think that nature bestowed you – BRAIN.

Don’t succumb to status quo beliefs or fear based on politics or who is ruling or who has the power or who can control over your future.

You have made it so far over the hills and valleys?
Haven’t you?
Like me, you have survived and lived to tell the story.

It is a beautiful world.
It TRULY is.

You make YOUR world.
You.
Not somebody else who has the power.
Not somebody else who is ruling the country.

Do you hear me?
It is YOU.

So.

Think.
Think for yourself.
Be open to hearing views that are completely different from yours. Trust me. You’ll be surprised with what you learn and your life experience will be so much richer.

Be BRAVE. Go SEEK.

Quota on seeing the Evening Sky

“That’s the nature of being a parent, Sabine has discovered. You’ll love your children far more than you ever loved your parents, and – in the recognition that your own children cannot fathom the depth of your love – you come to understand the tragic, unrequited love of your own parents.” – Ursula Hegi, Stones from the River

As I was driving Adi back from school, he was trying to get a head start on his quiz prep with heads down (pun?!) pouring over a folder.

We drove over a high bridge.
From that vantage point, the colorful sky and the sun setting was a sight to behold.

I urged him to look up and enjoy the beautiful sight.
He glanced up for a bit and said “Oh…nice”.
Then, he looked down again at the folder.

That signalled the mark of my math based lecture.

Here is what I told him – “We all have a quota. Let us asssume that I live another 4 decades.. then I have approx 15,000 sunsets to behold. Let us asssume you live another 7 decades, then you have approx 25,000 sunsets to behold. Of those, there are going to be many cloudy, dark days of fall and winter. So, the actual days that you are out and about on a beautiful evening and have the chance to see the gorgeous evening sky….will be far less than the 25,000 sunsets number. So, please, enjoy it…while you can.”

I am sure he won’t get it now.

Sooner than later, an evening will arrive, when he is on a lake, mountain or ocean …sunggling beside the person who captured his heart. The sun will be setting. He will behold that evening sky. And, think it the most beautiful thing ever. He won’t want the evening to end.

Do you think he will remember my math based lecture?

No way.

This whole parenting thing is so tragic.

I need to exercise self control and stop my stupid long winded lectures. What is it worth? Nothing?


My friend Priya Bala had this witty response to my post:

What is it worth? Nothing.”

Hah! That boy, if he takes after you my dear, will be a player. A more likely scenario will be when both of them are snuggling and he notices the beautiful sky, he’ll remember your math lecture. He’ll assume a far-away look. Then he’ll chuckle gently. She’ll probably ask him what he’s thinking. And he’ll look deep into her eyes and he’ll respond:

“We all have a quota. Let us assume that we live another 6 decades. Then we have approximately 22,000 sunsets to behold. Of those, there are going to be many cloudy, dark days of fall and winter. So, the actual days when we’re out and about on a beautiful evening and have the chance to see the gorgeous evening sky….. will be far less than the 22,000 number. I’m just so glad I get to spend this precious one with you.”

And she’ll sigh and swoon. Mission accomplished!

Every Day Life is very Interesting

Many of you ask me – “Ambal – How do you have so many things to say about every day boring things and occurrences?”

I don’t know quite know how to answer that question. So, let me do a show-and-tell.

life-is-very-interesting-ambal-balakrishnan

Top: #dominantalleles (or something of that sort)
Gets the fix-things-and-help-Amma genes from both sides of the family.

Bottom: #toomanyboys
How many boys (and how many hours) does it take to put a tiny writing table together?

See? There is so many things to say about everyday boring things and occurrences.