Religion, Faith and I

January 12, 2018

I did like to clear the air around the Facebook status I posted on Sunday.  Some of you might think that I am a hypocrite going to church; No. I go to church when I feel like going to church. I remember an atheist saying this to an audience. If you think going to church makes you happy and it brings you peace, go for it and if you don’t,  use that time for something better. It should be your choice and not something to be compelled upon.

Why do I go to church?

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The first time I was asked the question was way back in 2010 by a reporter, she was covering an article on religion among youngsters. I had a very peculiar answer to it. That was the time when I would attend church almost 48 out 52 Sunday’s a year. Here’s my answer.

“The church is where I make most of my decisions. The atmosphere gives me enough time and space to plan ahead”.

Once I finished my sentence, she questioned me whether I concentrate on prayers and hymns? I replied, “I like to sing songs, there’s no one to hear me or tell me, it’s out of tune as most of the time the speakers would be at max volume. They do it purposely I think”.

So what do I do now when I go to church, I hardly concentrate, I just visualize my upcoming week, especially work, things I want to do, rides, photos and sometimes my thoughts go wild.  These days I tend to skip church as much as possible since I started riding.

Are you religious?

Now that’s an interesting question, no one’s asked me this till now so I will ask this myself. I am Christian, and I go to an orthodox church. I don’t remember going to any Holy mass outside my denomination. I have never felt the need too. I like the songs in my church especially the way it is sung. They are pretty good. You can check some of them here. I am pretty sure who likes music would like it. (Watch from 7 minutes).

I hope you have listened to Kandisa from the Indian Ocean. That’s an orthodox prayer song.

Oh, the answer is no. I like to keep peace with everyone. If I am to say my denomination is better than yours. Jesus is surely going to question me, He didn’t create denominations nor any religions, men did, women hardly had any part. There’s so much discrimination in religion.

Faith  

I was introduced to faith by my cousin Sebin who gave me the book, the Secret by Rhonda Byrne. I finished reading the book in about 4 hours. One of the tasks from the book was to visualize attracting small things in order to cultivate a habit of visualization. It was 2008, I was in my third year of college, the Olympics was yet to start. I saw people gathering at the college portico for a quiz programme. I said to myself. It’s time to test the secrets, the law of attraction. I closed my eyes; I visualized myself being asked the question, “What’s the motto of 2008 Olympics”? I saw clearly answering it, “One world, one dream”. I opened my eyes, two minutes into the quiz. They asked the question. I immediately raised my hands and answered it. I even got a prize.

I didn’t stop it there. I started using visualization techniques for attracting jobs, a bike, a car and guess what a skip level promotion. I had written about my promotion on a piece of paper and kept it in my wallet and it materialized. Some say the secret is nothing but prayers. I like to call it visualization.

It works for everyone. Listen to Jim Carrey and how he used visualization to his advantage.

P.S: If you want this post to be grammatically corrected, you are welcome.  Please don’t ask me to censor it.

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My year in Review 2017

January 1, 2018

Facebook deceives, so here’s an honest review.

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That’s me being me,  I have got to reduce my tummy.  Pic courtesy: Arjun Balachandran

Let’s talk about me.

This has been a year where I have made the most number of friends ever in my life.  Facebook might give you a wrong number. I know the ones who I can count for. I know the ones who will count me. A friend in need is a friend indeed.  Invest in friendship and it will reap benefits beyond your imagination.  I thought of creating a collage. That will probably take a day to fit everyone in. I will rest the case. You can always look at my album.

Career

Getting promoted was the best highlight of the year. I was able to rediscover myself and bring in the AIESEC elements in me to work. An ambassador program with over 35 volunteers was the next big thing at work. Leading them was such a pleasure. We achieved our objective in a very short time. I also got the opportunity to deliver leadership connect session to a large audience. The learning experience in these two activities easily outweighs the rest of the year.

Ambassadors

The Ambassadors

Interests

I have already posted a blog on it so I will keep it short and crisp. I found a new love of cycling. It’s a new addiction in my life.  Guess what, Strava has made an amazing video. Strava doesn’t deceive. It’s all the calories I have burned pedaling my bike in and around Kochi.

Relationship

I guess this is something I need work on.  Many of my friends have got married or are in a relationship. Some of their stories are scary. I guess it’s better to stay single. That’s me being a bit defensive.

2018

Things look promising stepping into 2018. I was with my friends in MG road sipping hot chocolate aka boost when the crackers announced the new year.  Today morning I was with my friend driving my happiness who turns 2 tomorrow.

That was 2017 in a nutshell. I hope to write more in 2018.  This perhaps is a perfect start.

Happiness

My Happiness

 

 

 

 

Lessons from riding a bike.

December 23, 2017

I always wanted to ride a bike. It was for me the easiest form of exercise which I can be consistent with. I decided to buy a bike, that was last December.

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Here’s my bike with my partner in fitness @Ann Rose; she is an inspiration. She runs daily. I got the motivation to bike every day from her.

Almost a year had passed by where I would take my bike out on weekly rides. I knew deep down I was missing something. I knew I could ride every day. A month ago, I was added to a WhatsApp group created by Gokul. The group has primarily members from Decathalon Fun Riders club. We started slowly, the real change was visible when Arun and Anand joined us. For them riding 50 km was easy, for me 20 km was difficult. Today I completed 42 km. It felt effortless.  I can do more. Here are some of my experiences during everyday rides.

Pedal Kochi

Arun , Anand and I at Pedal Kochi

Learning to greet complete strangers. 

This happened a week into the rides. We were taking a break from a ride and a few youngsters belonging to bike club whizzed past us. All of them said, “Good morning”. I was so happy the entire day. I said to myself. I have to learn from the kids.

Sharing knowledge and motivating others

I never knew Kochi had such a group of enthusiastic riders, every day I would meet someone new on the road. We would talk for a few minutes and exchange experiences. I started learning a lot about cycling from them. I met a couple, they are perhaps older than my parents. They have already done BRMs, I was thinking when will I do one. Today I met Manoj, owner of Bike Tales and his colleague Akhil; Akhil had already done BRM 400 and I guess BRM 600 too. They are participating in BRM 200 in Kochi early next year. They asked me to enroll too.  Fingers crossed.

Couple I met

Long rides are a norm for them

INR 20000 bikes

My friends would always say, I spent a lot on a bike. I bought a Montra blues 1.1,  which cost me roughly about INR 20,000.  Today I would say, it’s probably a good decision as a starter. My next ride could easily cost beyond INR 50,000. Bikes aren’t expensive once you start riding and understanding more about bikes. During one of our rides,  I met an elderly person who was selling lottery tickets. He was very keen seeing our rides, we started talking and we came to know from him that he bought a Raleigh in 1956 for INR 50 at a time when his annual income wasn’t probably that much.

I will stop now, there’s more to learn. Every day is a new lesson for me. If you are in Kochi and you want to join us for rides. Ping me on Facebook. We can ride together.  Or you could also join through WhatsApp. 

 

 

 

 

Nationalism ?

August 19, 2017

The talk of nationalism baffles me to a great extent; we now live in a world which is open. We work for firms spread across the globe, yet for some, the love for their country should come first. You didn’t decide in which country to be born.  It just happened. There was a time when I would think to fight for my country in times of war. Now I realize, wars are a result of propaganda decided by governments.

You are reading my post on a blog created by an American. You saw my post on Facebook, again created by an American.

You should be proud of them too. They have opened the world. I am sure you are thinking that we Indians also have made things to be proud of, yes I am proud of them too, even Patanjali. They have provided jobs to many, provided people with the opportunity to do business with advertising nationalism.

Nationalism is defined as an extreme form of patriotism marked by a feeling of superiority over other countries.  Do we really require that? Don’t we watch football matches played by clubs where players from different countries are part of? We even have an IPL that has the same concept. The Internet has helped us understand people of different countries. We are not so different; everyone needs food, shelter, and jobs. The basic needs are same all over the world.

When farmers are dying, we enforce flag hoisting ceremonies in schools, when children die, government orders celebrations. Kerala is one of the places in the world that has welcomed cultures around the globe. For some atrocities of a few men, a whole state is targeted. A surgical strike on a state? have we stooped so low that a state which considers everyone as equal gets targeted for petty political gains?

Let’s start considering humanity first. We are all global citizens of the world. When we start understanding the people instead of our governments, there will be peace on earth.

 

Calcutta Diary

June 20, 2016

It was my dream to visit the famous city of West Bengal. The dream came true when I heard the news of my second cousin’s marriage in Calcutta.

I booked my tickets four months before the date of travel. It was also my first travel by air. The acceleration of the plane on the tarmac gave me an instant adrenaline rush. I thought I would be nervous, but I wasn’t.

The city looked beautiful and clean than I had imagined. I was always amazed by the city’s different modes of transportation; Tram excited me the most.

I took the AC low floor bus from the airport to the city, where I got the chance to hop on the tram. The trams were too slow to my liking. I climbed down immediately.

Tram

My cousins picked me up and I reached our guest house, were I got the chance to spend time with them. They were totally fun

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Next day, I set out to visit the Victorian Memorial, a tribute to Queen Victoria. The building looked majestic. Built purely with marble, it is definitely a must visit site in Calcutta

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I also got the chance to walk the famous Howrah Bridge. The sheer size of the bridge baffled me.

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It was time to get back to my new home in Calcutta. I had promised my relatives to get back in time. I spoke to the guest house caretaker, Rajesh.

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His story amazed me. He hails from the north of India and started working at the age of 6, he was first working in Mumbai and his masters kept him in secret. He learned the art of cooking different cuisines and to do the odd jobs for anyone. He has been working here for the past 8 -10 years. He is very content with his life and always has a smile on his face.

It was time to offer prayers. People spoke about the importance of God in one’s life and how God protected them in circumstances which could have led to death.  I was happy to see the love and affection between everyone.

The marriage ceremony lasted an hour and a half and we reached the reception hall on time.  A few of us took the time in between to explore more of Calcutta.  I never knew Calcutta had dance bars.

It was time to pack and four days went in a jiffy. We thought of doing some shopping and headed to New Market. I bought a leather bag, belts and a shoe. I couldn’t get anything for my sister or Starlet (my pet).

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The rickshaw pullers still existed in the city. I was very curious to find the James Bond number in many other cycle rickshaws.

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Back again in flight, I was able to capture this video.

I knew I had made good memories.


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