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Embracing Diversity

Diversity is the nature of nature.

Be it plants, be it animals, be it any other species including homo sapiens, we’re all so diversified and yet everything has its place and purpose in nature.

For someone who is born in one of the most populated and culturally diverse countries, with numerous languages and hundreds of tribes diversity comes by birth.

However, because of our inability to coexist and appreciate the differences between each other – we’ve lost a lot as a country from tribes and languages to ancient recipes and traditions in the name of caste, creed, religion, or gender.

There is one test to know whether a civilisation is advanced or not and to check if diversity is appreciated by it or not.

Every single state in our country has its own festivals, has its own food, has its own culture, and it’s on us to choose whether to look at the border in between or to look beyond it and celebrate us.

Mahatma Gandhi once said “Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilisation.”

I think it’s time for us to finally say goodbye to the discrimination that comes with diversity and start celebrating the beauty that lies in it.

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Silence please 🤫

When I’m alone at home I look in the mirror and give my award winning speech, or I pretend to be a boss in board meetings or even my own therapist sometimes.

And when I’m with people, I go completely crazy.

I can have the best time with absolute strangers and not be scared.

If you ask me what I fear the most, then I have to say that it’s losing my ability to communicate in which my voice plays a major role.

Besides I have read that silence is one of the most powerful things.

It can apparently improve your concentration and focus and bring stillness in you – and for a person who changes the layout of her room every two months and wants to try something new every single day, stability sounded surprisingly interesting.

So to challenge myself I decided to go mute for 24 hours.

——————————————

Have you ever played charades for 24 hours straight ? 

Well that’s what it felt like.

And if there was one person who enjoyed this whole day thoroughly, it was my sister – she took complete advantage of the fact that I couldn’t say anything to her.

From teasing me to tickling me, she literally vented out all the resentment she had bottled up for the last 12 years!

Another learning was, the immense amount of energy I used while talking had no place to go.

But I had to do something with all the energy!

So I locked myself up and wrote something that I had been procrastinating for months now.

However, I don’t know if I experienced any of those so called “benefits” of silence, but what I did realise was, normally when I’m in a situation I don’t like, I get angry.

But not being able to do that is what made me understand that being silent and thinking about the situation instead of reacting too fast or lashing out, can actually help and change my point of view in the situation.

And now when I think about it, getting through the day wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.

So I might as well do it again!

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Accidental challenge. Accidental opportunity. Accidental Learning.

Around mid-last year when we were all trapped at home, I ended up watching a documentary about Tony Robbins on Netflix called  “I am not your guru “.

And by the end of the documentary, I wanted to attend his workshop, for what? I don’t know.  But I just wanted to.

The other day while I was lethargically procrastinating everything and watching YouTube, an ad popped up, with Tony.

It said something about a challenge, “own your future challenge.”

And the ad did its job. I clicked on the link and I registered myself.

Little did my disciplined little mind know that my sleep schedule was going to go haywire  then onwards.

The sessions began at 11:30 pm and ended around 2:30- 3ish.

But oh god! It was so worth it!

This time it was for five days and we also ended up having a bonus day in the end. 

My entire childhood , people said knowledge was power.

But Tony denies it. 

Because ‘knowledge’ is  only potential power whereas ‘execution’ is the real power.

When Tony began talking, it seemed as if he was an imposter, just paraphrasing and synthesising a bunch of books that even I had read.

But it’s what he did after, that made me want to attend day 2 of this challenge.

When I saw his documentary I thought it was dumb that he made his students jump and dance.

Man, I was wrong!

And this was probably the first time I was happy about being wrong.

Because with him I jumped and danced and trust me, it was like intoxication; a trance. It set the tone and gave us all the motivation required to learn from the other speakers.

Over the 6 days, there were such amazing speakers that  all of them had made  an impact.

And here are my favourite learnings from the 6 days:

It was all about the self-education industry and how this is one of the most booming industries in the world.

Even though I didn’t have any intentions of getting into this industry , I did learn a lot and these learnings could be applied to anything in general.

So I thought why not share my learnings with you.

The basic economic problem today is that there are insufficient resources. But when it comes to the self-education industry each one of us has an unlimited supply of what people need and want.

And that unlimited supply is our journey. Our experiences. Our failures and how we overcome them.

But what matters at the end of the day is what you choose to do with these experiences. 

It matters how you turn your mess into your message.

Because somewhere somebody is starting in a place you have already been in.

The self-education industry is the bridge builder – 

You went through a slump, you were in a pit and you got out of it. Now if you are in the self-education industry then you are building a bridge for other people to go through it smoothly.

Without falling into the pit that you fell into.

The messy middle – Jenna Kutcher 

We had Jenna come up, who is a mom and a marketing entrepreneur.

She taught me the importance of mess.

I know it sounds dumb and a little cinematic, but hear me out okay… when we put up transformations online, be it any transformation we show the before and the after but we never show the middle. 

Because it’s messy.

But it’s no magic right, we don’t have clear skin, perfect bodies, and six-packs overnight.

It took time, it tested our patience, we wanted to give up.

But we didn’t and it is so important to show that messy middle, it might not inspire a thousand people, but even if it impacts one, your job is done.

The Dot – Dean Graziosi 

The dot is your market, your niche.

Say you want to write a book about the Stanislavsky method of acting.

There are seven billion people in the world, you are not writing to all of them. You are writing to the people who want to learn to act.

You are not writing to everyone who wants to learn acting, you are writing to the people who want to know the methods of acting.

You are not writing to everyone who wants to learn the methods of acting, you are writing to people who want to learn the Stanislavsky method of acting.

And that is your dot.

When you have your dot clear then, confidence comes by itself.

Selling or giving? – Dean Graziosi 

Dean says when you love something so much that you want others to experience it, you will never look at it as selling ever again.

You are solving/preventing a problem for them no matter how big or small it is. 

Let’s say you are selling a moisturizer – you are preventing people from dry skin.

Let’s say you are selling a lint roller – you are solving the problem of having lint on their clothes.

So selling is a service and not something to be ashamed of.

The quickest way to sell – 3 steps.

Dean says and now I think I’m starting to believe , that these three steps can sell about anything.

  1. Hook – This is used to instantly grab your target’s attention. The quickest way to do this is by living inside your prospective client’s head. Answer these questions before you approach them :
  •     What is their biggest fear ?
  •     What is their biggest goal ?
  •     Your ideal client is you a few years ago . So what would you have said to your younger self that would have instantly grabbed their attention.

2. Your story – This I think is the easiest part. But instead of giving your whole life away simply narrate a scene of your life.

GIVE YOUR CUSTOMER AN ANECDOTE. ( I promise anecdotes never go wrong )

The simplest way to do it is – I was this , this was my problem , and this is how I overcame it.

3. Irresistible offer – This is the most important part!

Give them your hook, then your story, and give them an offer they can’t deny. This can ideally be your call to action.

Ex : I was this , this was my problem , this is how I overcame it, and here is my contact info in case you want to learn from me.

Think about it now , if you are the customer would you buy it if they sold it to you this way ?

Flex pastedGraphic.png – social media strategy – Glo Atanmo 

Glo is a Travel blogger with over 250K people in her community.

And here’s how she built that insanely amazing community.

F – Find your voice and find a platform for it , it could be anything , a YouTube , podcast, or a blog.

L – Learn a new skill. Having more skills than what you are required to have will help in differentiating you from your competition. It will make you an irreplaceable asset. 

E – Enter a community. There is always so much to take away from a community , it will give you content and credibility.\

X – Experiment. Experiment for a hundred days , anything that can be done for a hundred days , can create a huge impact.

Ex : #hundreddaysofhappiness , #hundreddaysofsweat 

In fact, a few days ago , I started my own experiment.

It’s called a hundred days of sunsets. Because almost every day we’ve been staring at one screen or another so I thought just for a couple of minutes at least why not go watch the sunset.

The six days that I spent listening and understanding what these speakers are saying have been a few of the most educative days for me , so much to learn , so much to take away.

Now as Dean Graziosi says , the most important part is implementation and I’m going to go do that now.

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Fate vs Free will

You opened the link and started reading this blog – is it because of fate or free will?

You are now thinking about it – is it fate or is it free will?

But what is fate?

Fate as google suggests is – things outside of a person’s control, predetermined by a supernatural power.

And free will is the capacity to choose what to do and what not to.

Freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention.

There are people who believe that another force decides what they do or what they don’t.

So much so that they think the responsibility for things always lies outside of themselves.

They believe that their entire life is dependent on people around them ( parents , friends , family , school , government & God)

And there are other kind of people who truly believe in free will, they believe that everything around them can change if they want it to. And that they can achieve anything and everything by just exercising their will.

They believe that their parents , friends , family , school , government all come under their will.

And when I had this question of what is more powerful, is it fate or is it free will? I couldn’t answer it.

I don’t know if I can answer it even now.

It is chaos and confusion I don’t know if my fate makes me feel that way or my free will- but here’s what I found.

Rationally free will’s principle says that: An action is free only if the agent – that is , the person doing the thing could have done otherwise. – so truly free will requires options.

And determinism by contrast doesn’t allow options. It says that every event is caused by a previous event. A person could have never done anything apart from what he/she already did.

Now even after reading that I couldn’t figure it out.

Because I do believe that every event is caused by a previous event but at the same time I also do believe that I am one person who thinks that everything and anything is under my will.

So what is it that governs our life?

And finally a person from the YouTube channel ‘school of life’ had made this really interesting comparison:

“We are like dogs , a dog who is tied to a leash and this leash is tied to an unpredictable cart.

The leash is long enough to give me a degree of lever but not long enough to let me wander wherever I want.”

So I realised , maybe my life is a combination of both , in fact a perfect combination – I don’t know which one is greater , but do I have to ?

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I needed that.

I needed that.

For the longest time I have been the most confident person I know , in fact over confident. And I take pride in that.

Oh! For that sake I used to compliment myself on a daily basis and sometimes so much that my friends call me “self obsessed” as a joke.

But off-late it’s not been the same.

A few months ago I posted on Instagram about how I’m slowly coming to terms and getting okay with my acne.

And it has been like that until now , but for some reason its not the same anymore, in fact I’m just letting it get into my head every single day , and I don’t know how to deal with it.

I don’t.

I’ve tried it all from home made face masks  to actually consulting a dermatologist , but nothing seems to work.

One day someone asked me why I have pimples and another day a person literally came and said “ Enti moham anta padipoindi ” I laugh and try to leave it there but it stays , maybe not on the top of my head , but it stays.

Today was one of that day, today I hit saturation.

It got to a point where I didn’t take my mask off ,not because I’m scared of covid but because I’m insecure about my acne.

Later , I came back home and the only person I could think of is my cousin Manas. I called her and I asked “ have you ever looked in the mirror and said oh I look like shit! Because I did that today and I don’t know how to deal with it “

She said “ Pari , I’ve been in this body for so long , that I’ve gotten used to it at this point. That you will start to feel normal in it.

But beyond all that It does not matter how you look , and I know it sounds cliche , but what really matters is who you are as a person , and I know that you are a great one.“

Thank you.

I needed that.

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lockdown tales

Lockdown for me has been a very interesting journey , but now that  we are finally moving to normalcy – I thought why not reflect on how transforming the past year has been.

Staying at home gave me so much time to think , think and overthink every decision I’ve made in my life , few of them I was proud of and a few decisions I wanted to slap myself for.

However , the same overthinking made me realise that no matter how much I cringe when I think of those decisions , I wouldn’t have been the same if it wasn’t for those.

And for a person who barely stays at home I made some crazy decisions and did some very unexpected things during the lockdown. 

Around May, June our house help also left for a while , so my dad and I ended up doing all the work in the house – my dad mopped the house and cleaned  the bathrooms while I cleaned the dishes & put the clothes for wash , the rest of the stuff that needed to be taken care of basically was forgotten about.

Appudu anipinchindi , Naveen Pollisetty was 100% right when he said “ maa panimanishi yadama ki oka gudi katali anipistundi “ annapudu.

I even tried cooking – when I say go big or go home I mean it.

 I was at home ; but I definitely went big. 

Normally when people start cooking they start with making rice or an omelet , but I go big so I started with paneer kebab ( which I found in the trash the next day morning , so you know how that went )

And while all my friends started learning the guitar and the ukulele I sat home watching Netflix.

However thanks to Haripadma Atha and my back pain I started doing yoga!

And trust me I cannot emphasise enough on how much my life has changed ever since , waking up and taking a bath immediately felt weird after 5 months into lockdown but it did incorporate discipline into my life.

I can’t sleep in the afternoon so waking up early gave me so much time throughout the day – that I started doing online courses , I even did a masterclass by tan France on styling and I realised how much I enjoy doing that ; and now when I’m bored I just pick out clothes from my closet and style them.

Furthermore , towards the end of the year I had finished reading two amazing books:

The power of nunchi & The secret 

These books introduced me to such new and beautiful concepts like manifestation. Which I slowly started to believe in.

And finally on new years day I read this one write up which sums up everything about last year , the ups , the downs , the mistakes and the realisations.

Now read the next few lines ; let it sink in your heart and live in your head.

“It has been one of the greatest and difficult years of my life. I learnt that everything is temporary. Moments. Feelings. People. Flowers. I learnt love is about giving. Everything. And letting it hurt. I learnt vulnerability is always the right choice because it is easy to be cold in a world that makes it so difficult to remain soft. I learnt all things come in twos. Life and death. Pain and joy. Salt and sugar. Me and you.it is the balance of the universe. It has been the year of hurting so bad but living so good.  Making friends out of strangers. Making strangers out of friends. Learning mint chocolate chip ice cream will fix about everything. And for pains it can’t there will always be my mothers arms. We must learn to focus on warm energy. Always. Soak our limbs into it and become better lovers to the world. If we can’t learn to be kinder to each other how will we ever learn to be kinder to the most desperate part of ourselves?” -Rupi kaur

Now I know we are already two months in to this new year but it’s never too late to wish for the best right?

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YOGA…PULSAR…HOMEO

Towards the end of 2019 my dad shared a video of Rajiv Bajaj with me, 

Normally I wouldn’t have watched it but for some reason that day I did.

And it’s safe to say Rajiv Bajaj is now one of my biggest inspirations.

With every talk of his he took me closer to the business world.

No actually he showed me that business is not a separate world.

In a way he pushed me to learn about the nuances of business.

His speeches answered a lot of my questions while giving me new ones to work on.

He might not have taught me everything I know , but he is the reason I even tried to learn everything I know about business.

One thing that I have learnt from Rajiv Bajaj is discipline , in the way he conducts himself.

He says yoga and homeopathy are his passion. And that coming from a person who is the managing director of a motorcycle company is what fascinated me to learn more about him.

So I wrote a paper about him.

About the way Bajaj thinks.

In one of the conferences Rajiv Bajaj attended , he compared Bajaj with soda.

Sounds bizarre?

Let me explain.

The market leader in two-wheelers in India is Hero Honda.

  • So coke – in motorcycle business is Hero Honda.
  • Bajaj was once Pepsi when they launched Discover.

 It had very few differences from the model hero Honda    launched.

  • And next in line is sprite – and their strategy is to make everything except what the market leader makes. Absolute opposite.
  • And finally Bajaj became Red bull ,when it created it’s own category with the Pulsar.

The reason I think he compared motorcycles and soda is because we have all tasted it.

To get a better understanding we need to know what it feels like and to make that happen he compared it to something that we consume very often.

And in another one of his videos he spoke about the nine dots that make a product sell.

These are the best marketing tools by themselves.

After watching a lot of his speeches and analysing the nine dots  I can finally say that marketing is not just about how good the advertisements are. It is about how the sales person in the shop connects all these nine dots and informs the customer in one line.

And in my point of view the two most important dots apart from the product itself are credible story and tangible experience.

If these are put to me in an emotional way then I think I would buy the product.

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NUNCHI

Apart from the storybooks I had read during my childhood, I haven’t read much. The last time I tried to read a book it took me 4 months or so to finish it, but this time I finished ‘The power of Nunchi ‘ in 4 days.

And what fascinated me about this book is that it’s about Korean culture and upbringing which seemed quite captivating.

70 years ago after a war, South Korea was one of the poorest countries , and now it has become one of the richest , coolest and the most technologically advanced country.

And K-POP was another thing (though I’m not it’s biggest fan) which roused my curiosity to know why it was such a big thing.

Why did it become so popular in so many different countries? And why do people die over these bands ?

As the book says , the answer to these questions is nunchi.

Nunchi in my words is a subtle art of eye measuring everyone in the room while reading their energies , and how you should conduct yourself in tune with the opposite person. This book is all about how to achieve that.

An anecdote from the author’s life described in the book sort of stuck with me.

The author Euny Hong , accidentally offended  her family friend , and while defending herself to her father Euny said , “ I didn’t mean to upset Jinny’s mother “ to which her father replied “ The fact that the harm wasn’t intentional doesn’t make it better , it makes it worse.”

And she then thinks about it the other way 

“Children who choose to be mean at least know what they hope to achieve by it, whether that’s getting even with a sibling or winding up a parent. But a child who doesn’t even know what consequences their words have on people ?”

Children who are not aware of what they are doing and the consequences of it ? It is likely that they end up hurting themselves or the other person.

And that made me understand that nunchi is also a lot about self awareness .

One more point that appealed to me is what Euny  says in the middle of the book  about  empathy.  We have often heard that empathy is a most valued quality everyone must inculcate categorically. But Euny says empathy is extremely overvalued and “ the road to hell is paved with empathy”. This has given me a new insight and as a person who has suffered on account of my empathetic nature I could relate to it almost instantaneously. 

Putting yourself in somebody else’s shoes all the time is not going to let you be objective towards the situation and I have a handful of experiences where I hurt myself while trying to understand and help other people.

Nunchi and empathy do have a few similarities and Euny says that you need both in order to understand people.

These examples Euny used and the inspiring quotable lines in the book are what kept me reading . I could relate to the book  at several levels.

It also has some fun quizzes towards the end of every chapter  which gives the reader  quite an interactive experience.

If you  read the book then do share your thoughts about the book in the comment section.

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what is independence without you?

Recently I got a school assignment to talk about the army and its determination as a part of our independence week celebration.

So I called up one of my family friend ,who’s dad was army officer now 87 and retired , and as I was talking ,thatagaru said and I quote “ To be very honest , it wasn’t hard being at the border , but the hardest part was the vacation; when I came home and  every time I came home my two little kids didn’t look so little anymore and even though it felt good being at the border throughout the year , it was only hurtful when I had to leave family after vacation” 

He laughed when I asked him if he was ever scared of losing his life. And replied “the only thing I was scared of is what my family and my little children would do if I was gone , but maybe that’s what army is , it never gives you the time to think about yourself “

After the talk with him , I realised that its not as easy as it sounds to be on the border , its not easy to wake up everyday not knowing if you will still breathe as the day evolves.

The Indian Army looks out for us while putting their lives at stake ,From when we got Independence till 2013 about 23,000 soldiers lost their lives while protecting ours. 

And the fact that we are all here today at this very moment , doing what we are doing , despite all the non state actors out there is itself proof that their determination can determine our lives. 

JAI HIND!

The kitchen

Over the last few years I’ve seen my sister Raaga enjoy cooking and baking, but it never interested me, and when I started to think about why , I realised that there are a couple reasons.

I remember asking one of my friends what her parents do and she said to me “ My dad is a project developer and my mom gave her career up, to cook and take care of us.“

And that didn’t sound new or surprising to me, I’ve heard that more often than not, from a lot of different people.

Maybe that’s exactly why I don’t want to learn cooking.

Because in the outside world I’ve barely seen women make their own decisions, especially women who stay at home mainly to cook and take care of the family.

Cooking makes me feels as if I were giving up the power I have and my ability to do much more than that.

And I don’t like that feeling. 

And there is a poet ‘Vimala’, who didn’t like it either.

And after reading her account of two generations of women within the four walls of the kitchen, I couldn’t stop myself from adding it here:

This kitchen: how wonderful!

Wafting aroma,

how it makes the mouth water,

like an open shop of sweets.

It breathes spices, 

Incense from the pooja room,

Wakes in the morning to the noise of churning butter,

of vessels being scrubbed.

The earthen oven gets a fresh much-wash,

decks herself for the burning.

from the small change in the box of spices and seasoning.

We bought ourselves, sweets,

played house, played being cooks.

With jaggery and lentils.

It was a magic world.

The kitchen snared my childhood,

remained a spell, a passion.

Wisps of childhood shadows lifted,

It’s no longer a playground.

They taught me ‘kitchenness’ here,

my shaping started here.

Mother, grandmother, all the mothers

in the house, they say,

learned their motherhood here.

Our kitchen is now a graveyard

 with corpses of all kinds 

tins, dishes, sacks.

It hangs there in the smoke,

clouds from damp firewood.

Fears, despair, silence, lurking there,

Mother floats like a spirit

She looks like the morning kitchen herself.

Her eyes ran out of tears long ago,

Her hands are worn out with endless scrubbing.

Look she does not have hands anymore.

She looks like a ladle, a bowl,

A piece of kitchen bric-a-brac.

Sometimes she looks like a flaming oven,

Sometimes a trapped tigress

Restless, she paces the kitchen floor,

bangs pots and pans.

How easily, they say, with the flick of ladle!

the cooking gets done

None comes this way, except to eat.

My mother is the empress of the kitchen empire,

But the names on pots and plates are my father’s.

Fortunately, they said, I fell into a good kitchen:

gas stove, grinder, sink, and tiles.

I make cakes and puddings,

Not old fashioned things like mother:

still, the name on everything is my husband’s.

My kitchen wakes

to the whirr and hisses of the grinder,

The hiss of the pressure cooker.

I move like my modern kitchen;

a wind-up toy.

My kitchen is like a workshop,

It’s like a butcher’s shop with its babble.

Washing what has been washed endlessly 

cooking and serving, cooking and serving.

Scrubbing and washing

there’s the kitchen in my dreams:

the smell of spices even in jasmine,

Damm this kitchen.

Inhuman, it sucks our blood, robs us

Of hopes and dreams,

a demon, a vulture 

eating into us bit by bit all our lives.

Kitchen culture, kitchen talk, 

Reduced to kitchen maids and cooks.

Let’s smash these kitchens for making ladle-wielding our duty.

No more names on kitchen things.

Let’s uproot these separate stoves.

Our children are about to enter 

these lonely kitchens.

Come, for their sake,

Let’s demolish 

these kitchens now!

                  – Vimala 

t’s been more than thirty years since this poem was written and the fact that it is still relevant speaks for itself.

Thirty years. Everything changed. Except this.

Except that our kitchen still sucks our blood and robs us of hopes and dreams.

I don’t want to not dream.

I don’t want to smell spices even in the jasmine I wear.

I don’t want to feel content because my kitchen has electric appliances

But I want to see this poem in history textbooks.

Not relevant anymore.

Just a piece of history.