Babble Without a Pause

April 29, 2016

A love letter

Filed under: Love and Happiness,Random musings,Uncategorized — rajivmathew @ 4:50 am
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If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

 

A little under 2 years ago,  here I sat, hunched over my laptop the night before your first day in Business School, trying to put words to paper. That day, back in May 2014, you were at a crossroad, and you were about to embark on a journey you had seen and touched in your dreams, but never experienced. As I sat in the living room and heard you sound asleep, many thoughts crossed my mind. Worry, elation, stress. But the overriding emotion that night was pride.

2 years on, and that feeling hasn’t changed. You will graduate today. It is a dream I feel I have dreamed almost as often as you have. And I am proud to have been taken along for the ride. As I sat back these 2 years, the silent observer in the corner witnessing you take on everything the world could throw at you, that feeling of pride has only grown, and grown, and grown. Today, its almost the end of April 2016. Pride in you continues to override all else.

What you have done my dear, I have seen no one else do. And that isn’t just husband-speak for “Congrats”. It is my sincerest yet failed attempt at capturing the enormity of what I have witnessed you do. Full-time job 40 hours/week. Bi-weekly flights cross-country and back. Late nights scrambling to complete assignments. Leaving the relative stability of an amazing job, risking it boldly to go searching for your big break. Through it all, your pursuit of perfection never ceased to amaze.

Lately, (and by lately I mean for the past 2 years) I tell my colleagues and our friends every chance I get: “I have no clue how she does it”. And they agree.

Years, decades from now, we’ll both be sitting down to tell our children the importance of chasing their dreams. I’ll point to them, then to that degree certificate you’ll be receiving today, sitting up on the wall all those years down the line, and say “Your ma knows”.

For a guy who  is pretty seldom found short of words, today you’ve done just that to me. I love you. I am immensely proud of you, more than I can explain right now. And because something deep inside tells me this is the start of something amazing for you, I want to tell you babe, that I can’t wait for the rest of this ride.

❤ ❤

 

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February 4, 2011

Abbreviated

Life’s too short, we are told. With a world gone digital, and everyone online, it appears our vocabulary has shrunk to a handful of ridiculous acronyms to meet the need of the times. It seems like, almost overnight, we’ve been transported into an alternate universe when kids rattle off the exact specifications on a Wii or PS3 before they’ve even learned the ABC. Elementary school kids, barely out of diapers, are busy circulating the latest forwarded SMS, while their more illustrious seniors are busy doing the naughty on MMS (LOL!) A 6-year old who’s just graduated from potty training could put you to shame with his ability to rattle off the names of every character in every video game, from CoD to WoWAoE to GTA, GP4 to GT4. Every teen, tween, and pre-pubescent is going OMG at the latest Justin Bieber video. We’re obsessed with celebrities and their lives, who they did LSD with, or how many partners they’ve had SEX with (TMI!). In an always online world, everyone’s status line is habitually set to DND, and even if they do find the time to talk, they’ll always BRB because they’ve GTG. We all have varying degrees of ADD, switching between Facebook, Hulu, Youtube and ESPN while attempting to finish work due the next day, from within the confines of the same four mind-numbing walls of the same office cubicle. Every yuppie BSC and MBA aspirant is awake late at night, trying to ace one or all of the CETSATACTGRE, CAT, just so he can secure his ticket into the IIT or IIM of choice, ensuring his place as the newest FOB to fly BLR -> LHR -> JFK to take over as the CEO or CFO of a massive corporate empire like UPS or UBS, in a swank office overlooking NYC.

With IPL season 4 due to begin soon, it can only mean one thing; more ADD at the office, and even more OCD at home, characterized by family feuds for control of the TV remote, between equally passionate fans of the rival EPL and NBA leagues. When cricket isn’t on the tube, RAW is WAR. When neither of these is on, CSI rules primetime TV, I don’t know WTF for (SMH). If all else fails, it’s time to switch between CNNIBNABCBBCNBC and the slew of trusty 24-hour news channels that recycle and repackage the same combination of non-news ad naueseumIDK about you, but IMO the standard of television programming has plummeted depths heretofore unknown to the human civilization.

As a PPL, we have disturbingly low patience levels today. Every website has an FAQ page; every bank has an ATM, because everyone wants to get things done ASAP. We don’t have enough time to procreate the natural way, so we go in for IVF. We demand instant gratification, without any of the hassle or effort. Unable to cook at home, and unwilling to even try tossing a relatively healthy BLT on the BBQ, we buy dangerously toxic sludge ‘food’ (AKA ‘Happy’ meals, McNuggets, and Whoppers) from KFC and McD, and watch in surprise as we pack on the LBS. Too tired from the weight gain and premature onset of obesity, we barely have enough energy to WFH. Mechanics and garages are no longer open, because every Tom, Dick and Sally has a DIY kit from the ACE hardware store; but if you are unable to get past step 1 on the installation manual, good luck since the only thing you’ll reach if you call customer support is an IVR machine, or if you’re really lucky, an employee in a call center in BLR, who, even if he does an adequate job of helping with what you need, will get no more than a cursory grunt of acknowledgement. Lets face it, we’re in such a hurry, who has time to say things like THX, leave alone PLZ, SRY and ILU?

For a gadget to catch our attention, it has got to be flashy, sleek, fast, or all of the above. Your neighbour down the road just purchased the latest and greatest IBM, with the hottest RAM and superfast CPU, which means it’s definitely time for you to upgrade from your 20 year old computer running DOS so you can download pirated music from the best P2P service online. Your USP might be ESP, but today, nobody will even notice, since they’re busy on their PSP. Technology has empowered the common man beyond what anyone ever imagined. It’s fairly simple today to purchase a full-fledged SLR and all the snazzy equipment that comes with it, and begin snapping away as many JPGs as your gigantic memory card can hold, and JLT you’re a star photographer.In a digital world obsessed with computers, FUD is the order of the day. Y2K came and went at the turn of the millennium, yet none of us died. The CIAFBI and NSA would have you believe everyone who reads a koran is a terrorist, and do a fine job of trying to make you fear for your life everytime you walk down the street. Online, everyday is a never-ending saga of OWN or PWN, with some hacker breaking into and accessing unauthorized data. Any and every achievement, big or small, is trumped online as being FTW. Yes, seriously. WTF is FTW? Technology moves along at breakneck pace, best exemplified by antiques like STDISDFAX and PCO which have died a slow and painful death, leaving clueless phone booth operators in their wake, as every second techno-savvy teen whips out their shiny new HTC which claims to do everything short of actually substituting for toilet paper.

The economy today has been in a steady downward spiral for longer than we can remember. PSUs sink each day, and companies announce very public and very profitable IPOs to make hay while the sun shines. NGOs have mushroomed all over the place, almost like a rodent infestation. Each day the USD, the INR and the GBP wage a largely pointless battle for currency superiority. No matter what you purchase, big or small, whether it be a top-of-the-line DVD or VCD player, or a spanking new ZENKIAGMC, or a DIO, you have to think long and hard ABT your how much you’re willing to shell out on your EMI at the end of the month.

FYI, contrary to what you think, politics is no different in India than it is in the USA. There you have the INC fighting the BJP. Here you have the DEMs fighting the GOP. The same scumbag politicians are in it to win it; benefactors of kickbacks offered by powerful corporate lobby houses, from the NRA to AIG, LIC to ING. In 2001 Saddam was suspected to be hiding WMDs, the US government has long been suspected to be hiding UFOs,  and Chinese restaurants have long been blatantly loading MSG in their food. Sure, it tastes GR8, but apparently it’s bad for you (FML!).  At the EOD, maybe its time to sit down and face the harsh reality. Let’s say a quiet RIP for a world possessed of some sanity, which we lost ages ago. Maybe it’s time to send an SOS to our last hope for a solution, Santa Claus. NVM actually. Maybe some things aren’t meant to be fixed.

Hold on JAM. I gotta take this call.

“Hello …”

“Yes, speaking. Who’s this.”

“Jimmy who? Sorry? Jimmy Wales? ”

“Sincere thanks from the folks at Wikipedia for all the link-backs to your home page? Why, you’re most welcome. What’s that you say, 1000 unique hits in an hour? ”

GTG for now. BRB.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

This post is an obviously amateur, slightly comical take on the pervasiveness of acronyms and shorthand in the lexicon of present-day English usage all over the world. It is a humble tribute to the late legend, George Carlin, (inspired largely by THIS performance entitled ‘Modern Man’). Watching it, you can’t help but simultaneously be left in awe at the genius of this man, as well as be let down by the intellectually inferior fare you just read.

October 3, 2010

Protected: Love

Filed under: Love and Happiness,Random musings — rajivmathew @ 8:14 am
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January 14, 2009

AM I WITH THE RIGHT PARTNER ?

During one of our seminars, a woman asked a common question. She said, ‘How do I know if I married the right person?’ I noticed that there was a large man sitting next to her so I said, ‘It depends. Is that your husband?’ In all seriousness, she answered ‘How do you know?’

Let me answer this question because the chances are good that it’s weighing on your mind.

Here’s the answer.


EVERY relationship has a cycle. In the beginning, you fell in love with your spouse / partner . You anticipated their call, wanted their touch, and liked their idiosyncrasies (unconventional behavior/habit). Falling in love with your spouse wasn’t hard. In fact, it was a completely natural and spontaneous experience. You didn’t have to DO anything. That’s why it’s called ‘falling’ in love… Because it’s happening TO YOU .

People in love sometimes say, ‘I was swept of my feet.’ Think about the imagery of that __expression. It implies that you were just standing there; doing nothing, and then something came along and happened TO YOU. Falling in love is easy . It’s a passive and spontaneous experience. But after a few years of marriage, the euphoria (excitement) of love fades. It’s the natural cycle of EVERY relationship . Slowly but surely, phone calls become a bother (if they come at all), touch is not always welcome (when it happens), and your spouse’s idiosyncrasies , instead of being cute, drive you nuts.

The symptoms of this stage vary with every relationship, but if you think about your marriage, you will notice a dramatic difference between the initial stage when you were in love and a much duller or even angry subsequent stage.

At this point, you and/or your spouse might start asking, ‘Did I marry the right person?’ And as you and your spouse reflect on the euphoria of the love you once had, you may begin to desire that experience with someone else. This is when marriages breakdown . People blame their spouse for their unhappiness and look outside their marriage for fulfillment.

Extramarital fulfillment comes in all shapes and sizes. Infidelity is the most obvious. But sometimes people turn to work, a hobby, a friendship, excessive TV, or abusive substances. But the answer to this dilemma does NOT lie outside your marriage. It lies within it. I’m not saying that you couldn’t fall in love with someone else. You could. And TEMPORARILY you’d feel better. But you’d be in the same situation a few years later. Because (listen carefully to this):

THE KEY TO SUCCEEDING IN MARRIAGE IS NOT FINDING THE RIGHT PERSON; IT’S LEARNING TO LOVE THE PERSON YOU FOUND.

SUSTAINING love is not a passive or spontaneous experience. It’ll NEVER just happen to you. You can’t ‘find’ LASTING love. You have to ‘make’ it day in and day out. That’s why we have the __expression ‘the labor of love.’ Because it takes time, effort, and energy . And most importantly, it takes WISDOM . You have to know WHAT TO DO to make your marriage work.

Make no mistake about it. Love is NOT a mystery. There are specific things you can do (with or without your spouse) to succeed with your marriage. Just as there are physical laws of the universe (such as gravity), there are also laws for relationships. Just as the right diet and exercise program makes you physically stronger, certain habits in your relationship WILL make your marriage stronger. It’s a direct cause and effect. If you know and apply the laws, the results are predictable… you can ‘make’ love .

Love in marriage is indeed a ‘decision’… Not just a feeling.

Remember this always :

‘God determines who walks into your life. It is up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go.’

Dr. John C Maxwell

http://www.johnmaxwell.com

December 17, 2008

Imagine

In the tormented times we live in today, only love can conquer hate. One visionary song composed in 1971, by John Lennon speaks of a world with no possessions, no wars, no hate. ONLY LOVE. Watch his original song and follow along with the lyrics, and you can also dream of a world united by love, not torn by hate. Imagine, 37 years after this song, nothing has changed. Maybe the time is now, Maybe we are the ones who can start the beginning of the new world. “Its easy if you try ….”

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one


August 22, 2008

SHE

What can i say about HER that I haven’t already said and isn’t already known. The SHE i’m talking about isn’t the charming Julia Roberts in my favorite movie of all time, Notting Hill. Elvis Costello sings of SHE, i sing of a different SHE.

SHE is the one who makes life go round and round. SHE is my ethereal beauty, the small child lurking inside the professional woman of substance, the mature and yet so youthful face. SHE is the childish innocence, the adorable voice and deep soulful eyes that look deep into you. SHE is the friend I’ve always wished I’d have and so much more. SHE is the shoulder I’d lean on, and the one I’d lend mine to. SHE is the perfect woman in every sense of the word, at so many different levels. SHE is the one i long to talk to everyday, even though i’m so far away. The one with whom i can be myself, in one word …… COMPANION. SHE‘s the one I’d never wanna lose, SHE knows it too.  I always say SHE was born to be a mother. SHE’ll probably be the best mom ever. SHE‘d pamper our kids so much I’d never stand a chance to be the FAVORITE PARENT 😦  I could settle for being their 2nd favorite …… cause SHE‘d love to be with our kids. HERS is the smiling face that shows itself very very rarely, but that smile, when out in full bloom, can put everything else before her to shame. SHE loves her parents, loves her friends and can do anything for those she loves.

SHE is the one who inspires me each day to be better than I am, who can make me angry by pointing out my weaknesses and shortcomings. SHE is the one I’ve misunderstood more than anyone else in my life at so many different points. But SHE is also the one i UNDERSTAND so much more than anyone else can comprehend. SHE is the best friend and sweetheart i always dreamt my life partner would be. SHE is the beauty in all its fullness that no other girl can have. SHE is my biggest fan, my sternest critic, yet the familiar face in a crowd of strangers. SHE‘s the one I’d love with all my heart until the day i die. SHE is the one for whom i can do things i never thought possible. Maybe one day I’ll get the chance to show her how much I can sacrifice for HER. SHE is the quietest face in the party, yet the most talkative when SHE talks to me over the phone. SHE is the most contemplative being I’ve encountered, always criticizing herself even when the mistake was committed by someone else.

At the heart of all this complexity is a simple being, one untouched by the world, unaffected by the politics, the wrangling, the world out there. The innocence in HER is something i have never been able to comprehend, and there’s something so very endearing and adorable about that quality. SHE has and always will remain the same, the same quiet voice, the tear in her eye that tells you SHE loves you, the quiet moments you share. SHE has carried on when lesser mortals might have faltered, or even given up. SHE has made it through such tough circumstances in her personal struggles, that I am ashamed to call myself a man, cause i know i never could muster that courage. SHE is destined to do great things in her life, do be SO VERY different from the ordinary, and to rise above what she’s faced.

SHE is the complete package. SHE is the one i was meant to spend my life with. I found HER late in my life after having been through hell because of some worthless beings. SHE was always the friend always right in front of me, who I did not recognize until it was almost time to say goodbye. Yet, throught it all, I learnt that there is a time for everything, and I’m glad I got to know HER when I did rather than lose her forever. My past is one big mistake, but SHE is the reason i can and want to forget my past and look forward to OUR future. There is ONLY 1 OF HER IN THIS WORLD, and I’m the luckiest guy alive, to know her, and have her as my soulmate.

SHE.

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