Sunday, 24 May 2020

A Prayer


A Prayer

May we learn to love, and live as one
May we include everyone and be together
May all our prayers be beyond "I"

May we never lose our faith
May hope never leave us
May we find peace within to enjoy the open skies

May there be resistance towards what is wrong
May all of us know the eternal truth
May we stop with our own lies

May we learn to feel and think
May this phase of gloom tell us what truly matters
May we see without judgemental fog covering our mental eyes

May our actions speak louder than our words
May we inspire and be source of pride
May we learn to give back before the well dries

May we become accepting, and control desire
May we have given more than taken when our time comes
May we try to give some more, if there is a tie


Sunday, 10 May 2020

Mother's Day 2020


Poem For You, Ma

Mom...Mum...Mummy...Ma
I could call you by any name
You are always there for me

You have spoilt me, no doubt
But you have made me, me
How could I be this lucky

Love abundant, a patient ear
With you small talk turns to deep discussions
We just need a cup of tea

There is never a weak moment
You are my pillar of strength
For every lock I present, you present a key

You see good in everyone
You do more than you ask or take
Doing everything selflessly

Happy Mother's Day, Ma
You are the glue that holds us all
You are this family's banyan tree





Thursday, 7 May 2020

Mudit's Wager: Remain Positive



How is being positive better than not being positive? 

What benefits does being positive bring when the future remains uncertain and uncontrollable?

With such and similar questions been thrown at me, because I not only remain positive but also profess my faith in positivity, I was unable to find a way to explain the benefits of being positive - other than anything that definitely sounded like a cliché.

When I came across Pascal's Wager (briefly explained at the end of this article), I realised I needed to make something similar of my own, and show it to non-believers of positivity that it pays-off to remain positive.

I present Mudit's wager: Remain Positive. This I represent as:


Our worry is related to future, it is hardly ever about the present and almost never about the past. We fear whether our future will be desirable or not. It is for the future that I ask you to wager for remaining positive. Let's understand this:

Either I will remain positive or I will not. This is plotted on the x-axis (horizontally). Either my future will turn out desirable or it will not. This has been plotted on the y-axis (vertically).

Quadrant D denotes the scenario where I decided that I will not remain positive, and my future will not turn out desirable. I call this "Doom and Gloom".

If we were not positive and the future doesn't turn out desirable, our worst fears have come true. This scenario adds doom to gloom. There is nothing good that could come out of this...we cannot turn around this scenario remaining not-positive. Helplessly, we start buying lottery tickets and hope luck supports us for once at-least!

Quadrant A denotes the scenario where I decided that I will not remain positive, but my future will turn out desirable. I call this "Winning a Lottery".

When we are not positive in our thoughts and actions, yet the future turning out desirable is like winning a lottery. The ticket we had bought in Quadrant D comes handy here. But...not only is this very difficult to repeat by our own efforts, but also the winnings are not sustainable. Thus - if we win this lottery of getting a desirable future while remaining not positive, it is likely that we will neither continue to enjoy desirable future being not positive, nor manage to change our life for the better in the long-term. Just as quickly as this desirable future appears, we will start worrying about the next uncertain future-date / future-year / future-period. Leaving very little for us to enjoy the lottery-winnings.

Quadrant C denotes the scenario where I decided that I will remain positive, but my future will not turn out desirable. I call this "Will Strive Harder".

If despite remaining positive, our future turns out not desirable it is still painful and difficult...no doubt. However, we have our positivity to lean back on to tell ourself that we will strive harder to turn things around. We start looking for previously unexplored or even unorthodox solutions, but we will not give up...we will not submit to the gloom that has temporarily engulfed us.

Quadrant B denotes the scenario where I decided that I will remain positive, and my future turns out desirable. I call this "Win-win, Pay Day".

When we are positive and our future turns out desirable, we find the sweet-spot where we can finally pat ourselves on the back - be proud, be happy and be satisfied. We take a moment for ourselves, enjoy our hard earned pay-day and get back to work for the next uncertain future-date / future-year / future-period.

The discussion is not about how to remain positive, but the benefits of remaining positive. Since future largely continues to be outside our direct control (we can influence the future outcomes, but we definitely don't control them), the only thing we can control is how our outlook and attitude remain: positive or not-positive.

By not remaining positive either we hope to win lottery or worse face doom and gloom. However, by remaining positive we either continue to have the will to strive hard, find our way out of the gloom or we find a win-win situation and enjoy our well earned pay-day. At the very least, we can try to move from Quadrant A to Quadrant B and from Quadrant D to Quadrant C.





I, therefore, urge you to wager for remaining positive in the game of future life!


=============================================================================

Pascal's Wager

Pascal (1623-1662), wore many hats ranging from being a mathematician & physicist to a writer & Catholic theologian. He believed there was no reasonable manner to prove existence of God, but we should still believe in Him.

Broadly, he suggested that if we don't believe in God, but we eventually find out that God exists - we go to Hell (some version of it). If we don't believe in God and it turns out that there is no God, well - no misery befalls us.

On the other hand, if we believe in God and God exists then we go to Heaven (some version of it). If we believe in God and God doesn't exist, once again there is no loss for us.

Essentially, as per Pascal, believing in God could either lead to some version of Heaven or bring no loss. Whereas, not believing in God could either bring no loss or worse, lead to some version of Hell. Basis this, Pascal is said to have suggested it is better to wager for God to exist and to believe in Him. This was his way of saying, better to play it safe than be sorry later.


Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Happiness Quotient: An Emotional Equation


How do you know you are feeling happiness in any given moment? Do you understand the emotional process that goes on internally, leading to happiness or sadness?

Actually, some would argue that more important question is: do you understand what is happiness?

Walt Disney famously said: “Happiness is a state of mind. It's just according to the way you look at things.” Another definition of happiness, available online says: happiness is the state of being happy.

When I look at these two thoughts together, I realise happiness is a “state”, i.e. it is transient and likely to change due to external pressures exerted on us. Much like liquid is a state for water, which can change from liquid state to solid or gas provided liquid water is subjected to different external pressures.

Following water’s example, using it as a metaphor for our happiness, there is another question that we face: does our happiness totally depend on external sources? Or, is our happiness not under our control at all? It is my attempt to answer some of these questions, basis my own observations and experiences.

It has been my experience that our happiness is not entirely out of our control. We can even measure it, and I call this emotional measure Happiness Quotient (H.Q.). I propose the following emotional equation for H.Q.:

Happiness Quotient* (H.Q.) = What** we have received – what** we expected to receive

*H.Q. is not to be thought of or used as a numerical measure, although it could have numerical components involved. This is purely an emotional measure.
** What or how much.

'What you have received minus what your expectations were', is really the simplest form of understanding how we are feeling in any given situation, whether a moment or a day or our entire lifetime. I am neither referring to finding fulfilment in life (work + home) nor suggesting this is a route for becoming happy. Instead, this is an equation that helps us understand our state of being happy (happiness) in any given moment – whether we are judging something that happened just a moment before, or way back in past … or even if it is on-going.

There are two components that contribute to our happiness: what we have received and what our expectations were to receive.

The former component of the equation: "what we have received", is not in your control...no matter how hard we work, how smart we are, how lucky we were up to that point in time...nothing we can do that can bring this component of the equation entirely under our control. Yes, we can influence by being prepared, by being present, by doing good...but we still cannot control what the outcome would be (i.e. what we receive).

However, the latter component of the equation: "what we expected to receive", is directly under our control. Managing our expectations is definitely that part of the equation of our happiness, which is under our direct control.

To understand this better, let’s look at two different scenarios of the same hypothetical example - taking GMAT:

Scenario 1: You prepare for the test but aren’t able to prepare as well as you would have liked. All your mock test scores have been less than 600. You are not confident going in to take the test, don’t expect to score 600…but, you end up with 650.

Scenario 2: The same GMAT case. This time let’s say you were well prepared and had been scoring upwards of 700 in all mock tests. You go in for the test confident…but, you come back with a 650 score.

In both scenarios – the part of the H.Q. equation, what you have received, is same – GMAT score = 650. However, your happiness levels are likely to vary vastly between the two scenarios. What happens to your H.Q. if the result is that of Scenario 1 – does it not shoot high? You would be super-proud for doing better than expected. But if the result is that of Scenario 2, it would bring you down – you could feel a combination of following emotions sadness, anger, worry, fear and the likes.

Now we see that the real challenge is not managing what we receive (outcome), but really what we expected to receive. The former is not entirely in our control; however, the latter is totally in our control.

The next obvious question is: Does it mean we lower our expectations or, if possible, become expectation-less?

Theoretically, yes, we can live without expecting things from others and from ourselves...which may make our lives simpler (theoretically!). Practically, no! Expecting (and anticipating) the bad has been important for early Human survival, thus today we are wired in a manner to expect (both, good and bad).

In this article, I have attempted to put forth an idea that there are two components that work together towards our happiness - one of these two is not in our control and the other is in our control. By managing our expectations, recalibrating our expectations and learning to deal with our expectations not being met are some steps we can take to maintain a positive H.Q.

Monday, 30 March 2020

Hope, Love and Believe!





Where is this all going
When will our troubles end
Why is it happening to us
Will the sun shine on us again?

How do we fight the unseen
Do we even have a chance
Are we going to fight together
Can we feel each other's pain?

Are we serious about social-distancing
Does this lockdown help at all
Is that light at the end of the tunnel
Or is that a killer-train?

Do we have time to hide and be safe
What if all have been infected already
Are we losing it all
Can we find calm and use our brain?

I can't offer answers, there are none
But there is hope
This is nothing but a test
Something that makes us stronger in long-term.

I offer my love and support
And if you ever need me
I will hold you tightly
When you shiver and squirm.

There is strength in staying apart, yet standing together
There is enough for everyone, don't panic
If we can think beyond ourselves
Selfishness is bigger than this virus, today’s biggest germ.

My friend, we don't need to know the future
Don't need to be able to see in this dark night
We don't even need answers
All that you and I need is to believe, be firm!

🙏🏼 


Sunday, 1 March 2020

Now And Forever



Is there more proof that I need
Is there more that I can see
Is there anything clearer
Will it ever going to be

No my love
I know I need you
Now and forever

Can I find someone else
Can I do better
Can you be replaced
Am I such go-getter

No my love
I know I want you
Now and forever

Are we the perfect-couple
Are we doing everything we can
Are we going where we want
Is there nothing more to do & plan

No my love
I know we will keep getting better
Now and forever

Have we reached the summit
Have we completed the course
Have we run out of steam
Is there no other source

No, my love
I know we will be together
Now and forever




Friday, 14 February 2020

You Are My Universe



Even after twenty-two years
It feels just like yesterday
When I proposed to you, you said yes
We celebrated our first Valentine's Day

Over these years, we experienced many ups and downs
Saw many seasons and all kinds of weather
Today, we are many miles apart
But, darling, I promise we will grow old together

I am far from perfect
Yet, you love and accept me
Not the person to go overboard
You are my universe, I say this whole-heartedly

Have known and loved you all my life
And time flies when having fun
Never have I asked for more
You are the one, and the only one