Saturday, October 22, 2016

Random Notes from Anita's Attic - Session 10

A busy day at Attic.

Session no 10. Almost at the end of the journey. And I am just warming up!

 The ‘back-road’ from KR Puram to Kodanur has few schools, closer to Kodanur. That stretch was unusually crowded today. Then I saw a trend! It was not a school day, but a PTA day. Parents were coming out with kids, mostly with unhappy expressions. At the gate of one school, I saw a serious-looking father and his son, father looking very upset and the son clueless!

        All the cars were parked along the road, taking a part of the narrow road. I wonder why school authorities do not take responsibility for car parking so that it is better for both parents as well as others?

Reached Attik before time. BESSCOM seemed to be in a playful mood, thanks to fluctuating power supply, which the UPS was struggling to handle.

        Got to facilitate a member, who was not well, to connect virtually. My healing suggestion did not cut much ice, I guess. Many of us were occasionally sneezing or coughing. I see this trend at the office and in our apartment complex, everywhere. Bangaloreans, pls take some vitamin C?

        Progress Report: PTA & report card was the flavor of the day. We were also told we would get our report card. That was an interesting twist. Report card used to be ‘Progress Report Card’ earlier? If I were to be evaluated for my progress….. I felt safe. I was so bad in the art when I started off at Attik, improvement had to happen. All credit to the mentor & the group! 

     I still manage to be the worst student in every class, in spite of my efforts not to be a backbencher, literally & otherwise! 

        Dialogue-baazi: A quick assignment was given to us. To write a piece on the Sangam experience, with only dialogues. Now dialogue-baazi has never been my strength, in oral or written communication. As such very little ‘conversations’ in my writing. That was a good space to get into, outside my comfort zone.

Enjoyed the experience. More the journey than the destination J

Session #10 was a 'perfect 10'!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

'Surgical Strikes'.... on Honey Bees

As I went for my morning walk, I felt suddenly threatened by a swarm of honey bees. There were so many around me, hundreds of them!

I looked around and realized I was not under threat. They were a victim of a 'surgical strike' on their beehive and they were fleeing for their lives. I lost interest in my morning walk and decided to get back. 

The apartment owner may have felt threatened by a beehive on the balcony and decided to get rid of it. His/her apartment, balcony, choice. 

This morning, after 24 hours, I found honey bees suffering, resisting the inevitable death, in the same area. I felt sad :( 

Almost four years ago, when we had just moved to Namma Bengaluru, I had experienced similar emotions. I was going through my coaching & healing certifications. I brought up this topic for my role-plays! I was traumatized to see so many honey bees being killed in our locality. The other participants in the programs responded in different ways. I realized everyone looks at it differently. And I respected it.

I felt we have come into their space and drive them away, along with monkeys, and birds. Then we put up beautiful flowering plants, which attracts them. That is their dharma. When they set up a colony, we kill them. These bees must be finding us, human beings, very peculiar!

1. How Honeybees — and Humans — Are Being Stung by Environmental Problems 
Honey bees are facing #ColonyCollapseDisorder killing them. Bad news for the environment, food security.
Nature is designed with the highest level of interdependence . Let's go natural, organic. Let's enjoy 'ToxicSoup' till then :(
Of course, 'organic stuff exported to US from India is by Indian standards, not USFDA'
2. Details of book - bees on the roof (pls let us buy these for our kids)

Monday, October 17, 2016


Last week we went for a move... after a very long gap! This is almost like breaking news on the idiot box?!

We love to go for movies. There is a multiplex nearby. They play all languages, we can speak. #Bookmyshow makes it convenient to book & go across. 

- God has given everything..... Time is a constraint. God would expect me to manage my time, after all. 
- Also, At the cost of sounding snobbish, quality of films..... (are not to our liking)! 

We went for 915PM show of "MS Dhoni". 

We reached the 3rd floor of Park Square (nothing  green about this 'park', but concrete IT Park:(( )

There was a huge crowd in the common area, with a lot of lights and sound! (Stating the obvious? We always make a lot of noise, don't we!) 

People were sitting on the stationary elevator, lying on the floor, a few holding guns, with lights & cameras. A shooting was going on. Going by the scale of settings, it was a film. Perhaps serials can manage without the details and depth?

The film was a 3 hour long one! We stepped out after 12 AM. When we reached the common area, the 'situation' and settings were almost the same. The "shooting" was still on. Not just with camera & lights, but also with filmi-guns. The artists were at the scene of a terrorist attack - on the elevator (still stationary) and on the floor. The artists were busy, behind lights, camera, and all other paraphernelia. It appeared as though no much progress made over the three hours, when we were enjoying MSD & popcorn!

How much effort goes into the making of a film. Suddenly I felt a sense of respect for all those technicians who work so hard, behind the scenes. They looked very simple & ordinary. I wondered if they were there chasing their dream or the next meal?!

So much noise about the ban on upcoming Karan Johan Film, #AeDilHaiMushkil. There is a lot of demand to ban the movie, when it is ready for Diwali release. Is it practical to go back to drawing board after completion of the movie? Do we think of consequences...? They might have received their wages. 

But for an artist, the real joy is to see their artistic effort out there. In the case of movies, when the movie hits theaters. For one actor, there are hundreds of such poor artists & technicians. They have a dream too... And this dream is Diwali-special!

Most importantly, do we think of all those poor junior artists, technicians who work on the films? Do we care? Don't they deserve a happy Diwali too? 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Drive to the Attic for Session #9 – Dogs & Cabs

Eight weeks have passed since the sessions started at the Attic. No 9 is an auspicious number. I seem to be bent upon making it not so auspicious, by being late. I had “planned” to leave 30 minutes earlier. Just “planned”, not decided?! 

My body clock seemed to have got used to the session starting at 1030 AM. Even Fussy, my beloved dog, was in no hurry to get back from her morning walk! I left at usual 930 AM. I sent out the intent to the Universe to reach Attic by 1015 AM.

The FM started off with a prank on a girl, who was getting married to a guy in Bahrain. Prank-calls seem to be the flavor, with virtually all FM channels having their own versions. After the prank, I switched from radio to the CD. The bhajans helped me to be a little more mindful, as my Yeti enjoyed sprinting along the now familiar route.

As I made exit from Old Madras road to the road parallel to it, it was easy driving, at high speed.

Even at the high speed, I managed to avoid hitting dogs, which have little respect for traffic rules, just like us, the so-called masters. Nevertheless saw two dead dogs on the route. I sent out silent prayers to the departed souls. I wondered what it is to meet a fatal road accident! How would Manjunath have felt when he was hit on Hassan-highway and passed on? A quick, vertical takeoff, with less pain and suffering? What happens to the soul when the cause of death is not natural? 

Traffic was light, by Bangalore standards. The roadside vegetable vendor was there as usual, with fresh papayas, for a change. Will try my luck next time to stop & pick up few. So many Facebook friends want us to support these roadside vendors.

Love the trees with red and yellow flowers, all over namma Bengaluru.

As I passed Jessica’s dog stay, there was a traffic jam. People were just using the road as though it belonged to their grandfathers.

State govt seem to have started dispensing (plastic) water cans. They should be providing clean water through taps. Not through tankers and cans. One more “mafia” in the making?

After 8 weeks, Muniswamappa Layout is still not easily located. The taxi in front was slowing me down, as he was in no hurry. Over the last few weeks, the roads have been repaired in the layout. 

Vedan’t car was not there at its usual place. Has he usurped my parking space? I see another blue car under the tree, with a youngster sitting at the wheel, looking at his phone. As I took the turn to the Attic, a cab came in opposite direction, in a hurry to exit layout.

As I parked the car, the brown slim, dog, Vani, was there, as always to greet me, not only wagging her tail but also “smiling”. I wish I had got her some biscuits. For every safe & happy dog at home, so many are vulnerable along the road.

My watch showed 1015 AM, the Universe did conspire, yet again.

Becoming a Writer

A few months ago I came across an article (in The Hindu?) about an author’s visit to Anita’s Attic. She explained about the difficulty to locate the venue and the chance to interact with the writers! 

Bangalore has multiple things to boast of. It is not only IT capital, but also has HAL, IISC, IIM, AoL and Saibaba Ashram. I was not aware a successful & popular author, Anita Nair, was conducting writer’s workshops too. It is one thing to write. But totally different to coach and mentor aspiring writers. 

I reached out reluctantly, sent in my application with no hope of selection. I was on cloud nine when I was shortlisted. Other prior engagements prevented me to join. I sought permission to join next batch.

I was sure they would go for ‘better and more deserving’ candidates for the next batch. I was not sure if I would fit in. Hence, also the reluctance to dedicate time, energy and money. 

When I shared the development with my son, he said I should have joined. “They have selected you. You wanted to do something like this. You love to write. You believe money should be the last reason to avoid it. Go for it pop”, he had said. As always, the better-half was in support.

When they called back to inform about the next batch, I grabbed it. I was ready… I was ready to pursue my dream to become a writer.  Rest is history!

PS: Why this obsession to become a writer... that is a story by itself. Shall narrate later :)

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Honey Bee's Colony Collapse Disorder

Nature is designed with the highest level of interdependence. 'We know so little of the humble honey bee'!

Honey bees are facing #ColonyCollapseDisorder, killing them. Bad news for the environment, food security.
Let's go natural, organic. Let's enjoy 'ToxicSoup' till then :(

Of course, 'organic stuff exported to US from India is by Indian standards, not USFDA'

Author opted for child-fiction, instead of an adult book! Very thoughtful. This is a big entrepreneurial opportunity. '11 year old has tied up with Whole Foods'. They are the hope for a better environment, future.

BEES ON THE ROOF by Robbie Shell via @amazon


Monday, August 29, 2016


In 2014, I went to Dubai to attend ICF meet. Met up with Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, Janet Harvey, Ram & Gautam at Right Selection, ICF leadership team at Dubai, coaches from all over the globe... Among them was NSK. Soft spoken, a keen student. Got to connect and interact briefly on the sidelines.

As we remained in touch, got to know him better. On a subsequent visit, he took me home, was treated to an authentic south Indian lunch. Met his wife, who is an English language expert. 
His academic qualifications were very impressive. IIM-B to European Universities, throughout his career he was a student. He picked up degrees in diverse areas related to human capital, analytical tools (MBTI), coaching, mentoring, et al. He was a keen student of numerology. He was a corporate honcho. And he drove a Merc S-Class! He was a doting father, though his kids were well-settled. He was a foodie. 

Everything I would want to be in my early sixties. 

It was a pleasant surprise when he reached out to me and signed up for our coach-training program. He came all the way from Dubai to attend our sessions at Chennai. The objective was very clear - it was always the journey. The destination was incidental. 

And he was a brilliant student. In that space, that we jointly created, all were all students. We, facilitators, learn more. He was as interested in my journey to Mastery in Coaching and painfully shared all the details of areas of common interests in Coaching, Mentoring and Healing. He had a fine sense of humour. Fitness was not his priority.

As part of the journey, we discussed his future plans - a quiet, retired life in Australia, after all these years of hard work in the corporate world. He wanted to pursue his interest in numerology, coach/mentor young professionals and do simple things in life. Nothing more... 

Yesterday, after a brief illness, he passed on. The saddest part is all his plans for his retired life remain unfulfilled. Our prayers for his recovery did not have the outcome we hoped for. The Universe had different plans. 

As a friend from healing space mentioned, 'he is in a better place now'. 
I have no doubt about it. He is in a better place... at a higher consciousness. The acceptance is the issue :(

It is said, there are five stages of grief: 
  1. Denial
  2. Bargaining (with God/Hi C/Master)
  3. Anger (when prayer does not work)
  4. Depression, sadness
  5. Acceptance. 
I personally did not feel 1, 2 or 3. It was straightaway #4, sadness! Struggling to move to acceptance! As a student of numerology, I am sure he would have been aware of his own future. When it mattered most, his employer, colleagues and friends stepped in to help. His family must be very proud of him. 

And that is a legacy worth working for. 

In that struggle, I just read this in ET:
Most rituals associated with death are designed to enable us to reach a state of acceptance, of coming to terms with death as a natural, inevitable event. Whatever our belief system, it is clear that by focusing on helping the departed soul, our grief vanishes slowly but steadily. In doing so, we would perhaps move closer to understanding the impermanence of life. A medieval book on the craft of dying says, “Learn to die and thou shalt learn how to live.”

RIP NSK - you will be missed. Stay blessed!