#933 fooling Yourself

“To stop fooling yourself, start fooling yourself”.This looks like a Zen Koan. But if we get what it means it makes our life work better.  

The Trap: “Someday” we want to do everything we really want to do in life.

  • To read a long pending book
  • To start exercising
  • To learn a musical instrument
  • To start swimming
  • To write article
  • To meet friends
  • To go on that world class diet plan …etc.

These and many such plans we plan to start from “Tomorrow” or from “someday” and that day never comes. Does that mean we are not really committed to these things?…NO. Does that mean we lack Willpower?…NO. Then what’s the root cause?

Life happens in an impulse. In present (this very moment) we take stands and decisions in an impulse. For eg. To start reading books (may be one per week), We buy a new table lamp,a new book stand, and a few new books or join a library. Tomorrow when it’s time to read the book as planned, we end up watching a TV show or spend time on FaceBook which again happens in an impulse. When it’s time to delay gratification we usually succumb to temptation compromising on our inspired future. This is exactly why we have jogging shoes, we have a musical instrument, we have new journals, swimming suits which we never or hardly use. The impulse with which we brought it is not the same at the time it was supposed to be used. Then we go back to become the same person(who had that positive impluse) but only to repent and feel low about our self for not keeping our promise with our self.

 What’s the way out?

Let’s do a small exercise. Sit relaxed closing your eyes and just imagine a BIG BLACK MONKEY dancing with headphones on ears. (Do it NOW). Open your eyes , hope you could imagine a monkey and its dance. Now close your eyes again. This time don’t imagine a BIG BLACK MONKEY dancing with headphones. Close your eyes and remeber not to imagine “MONKEY”…done?… What??? You could still see the Monkey? But you were not to see it. The only way to get rid of this monkey is to FOOL your mind. You have to trick yourself to get the results you want to get. Try closing your eyes again and imagine “ A WHITE ELEPHANT “ running towards you. When you open your eyes you will be amazed to realize that there was no dancing monkey this time. How can we use this self tricking to get what we want? Continuing the same example of reading books, the best way to carry that impulse of reading is to disconnect your TV for certain duration thus not allowing the ‘impulse to watch TV’ sabotage your intentions. The choice of STOPPING one impulse to carry-on with the one you want comes from “Thinking about the Thinking”. Its your “CHOICE POINT”. Creating an environment that favors what you really want. Some ways of tricking your mind is by disabling your internet for certain duration using various new applications, making close friendships with daily joggers who will pull you from your bed, catch a fruit seller who just dumps good fruits at your home every day, disconnecting TV, locking yourself in some programs/trainings which will give no scope for temptations. People who get things done, who get what they want, do not have more willpower or more commitment. They just trick themselves; they think about their thinking at every “choice point”. The cola companies and the fast food giants have always been brainwashing us , we just need to counter brainwash our self with what we really want. So next time when you think about going to a shop to get a fast-food packet fool yourself by first empting the fruit try in your refrigerator. Spend your efforts in over-smarting yourself instead of making empty promises. Fool yourself to stop fooling yourself. …alittleBIGthing 🙂

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#934 Saying Sorry…Seeking forgiveness

“Forgive and forget”, “Forgive but never forget”, “You are not punished for your anger, you are punished by your anger”, these and many such lines, quotes, proverbs, stories, articles we come across in our reading or while listening to other people. On reading them or listening to these things we usually appreciate and also agree how true these quotes are. Then what happens when the rubber meets the road, why that friction, blame-game, anger and hatred in our relationships cannot be dealt with using the same thinking which we already know (and have advised others many a times). “I” comes in the way and blocks our thinking. Most of the disputes in our relationships are because of some gap in communication and understanding. If there was no real love at all in a relationship there won’t have been that relationship in the first place. Then what is it I get by sticking to MY VIEW POINT?

I get: To be RIGHT, to teach a lesson to the other person, to make the other person realize how bad, cruel, inhuman or unbearable they are, to dominate…etc.

So if I get so much I should be happy and am I happy? (I may show superficially). At a deeper level I am just being “RIGHT”. And what does it cost me to be RIGHT?

It costs me: my peace of mind, contentment, satisfaction and happiness.

Now here is a choice point. At this point on realizing both what one gets and what it costs to get that what can be done? We can choose. (1)We can choose to be right and pay the cost; this may show you as someone who is strong and powerful. Or (2)we can choose to be vulnerable, authentic and expressive. Normally it’s not now that you know the person with whom you are in relationship, you know that person and qualities from before. You just want to change that person as you want (because you are always right). So choosing to accept the person as is and still not compromising on your self-expression you can opt choice (2) to bring life in any relationship. In simple words without digging into the details of arguments which is already happened, without checking who was right/wrong in that discussion/fight, just value the person and the relationship and seek forgiveness…say “I AM SORRY”…alittleBIGthing.

It takes a lot of Courage and lot of generosity to do so. And I know You can do it because I know “You are courageous, you are Generous”.

Thanks for reading.

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#935 The moment you wake-up 1 min before alarm & disable it

There have been numerous instances when your alarm clock shouts in your ears to wake you up. And many a times you do wake up but only to snooze it. We always have the feeling of getting 5 more minutes of sleep. But sometimes on some days it’s completely different. You wakeup naturally having a feeling of a plain and complete sleep.  It’s a moment you woke up 1 min before alarm rings and you actually disable it. The feeling of having that complete sleep is awesome but disabling alarm just one minute before its set time…alittleBIGthing 🙂


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#936 Missing that imli stall near school

Those were the days of 50 paise pocket money. No KFC, no CCD, no MacDs. The best retreat during lunch breaks or after the school was the roadside imli stall just near the school gate. Mouth watering …a littleBIGthing 🙂

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#937 Following on Twitter

We all have a circle of friends and of course we follow their life. What they are up to, what are their interests, what they like/dislike, what are they reading, which movies they watch etc. We don’t choose our friends, we are friends first and then we engage in their lives accepting them the way they are and the way they are not. Now in addition to our friends consider having a choice to actually choose people from any part of the Globe. Yes Twitter makes it happen for us. We can follow our Hero (both of life and movies), great thinkers, creators, authors, industrialists, journalists, politicians etc. Interact with them, know them, know what they are up to and enjoy great discussion being at home.  Isn’t that amazing ?. I can know how @ShashiTharoor is the most intelligent and committed leader  we have in India, when @SrBachchan is going to dub for his new movie Department, how close was @AzmiShabana with late Mona Kapoor, @GulPanag ‘s obsession to stay fit, what books @Flipkart recommends, @sardesairajdeep’s love for Old Monk, when is @anandmahindra flying to London and for what, @PritishNandy ‘s views on various topics, and the awesome way in which @AnupamPkher says “Jai Ho” 🙂

Being in the company of great by following them on Twitter…alittleBIGthing 🙂

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#938 a Sudden realization:

Sitting in a movie hall chair for almost one fourth of a movie you suddenly realize that you can remove your wallet from back pocket to front pocket of your jeans. What a relief it is to then sit comfortably for the rest of the movie. Sudden realizations are just like that, little actions giving a big sigh of relief. Some more sudden realizations we experience are:

  • In middle of a day remembering a friend’s Birthday
  • To put mobile on mute just before entering a silence zone
  • Taking extra set of clothes on a Picnic
  •  To give back things borrowed from a friends

 These are just few; you may have many such sudden realizations. Do share yours in the below comments. By the way suddenly realizing to read this blog is also a littleBIGthing 🙂

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#939 Wearing that old blue jEANS

In your cupboard somewhere (or mostly lying in some dump of clothes) is that old, faded blue jeans. You have many new clothes which you have shopped lately. Those are upbeat , trendy, ‘in” and also new. Yet somehow while choosing a pant to wear you somehow end up wearing that old blue jeans.  

You justify your choice to yourself saying its comfortable, fits you well , goes with all tops/shirts and whatnot. But it’s not just that, this old jeans also takes you in a mind state of the old days. It somehow gives you the feeling of being with those old friends and old moments. Shopping new clothes (spending money :)) is definitely exciting, but wearing that old blue jeans is …alittleBIGthing 🙂

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#940 Moment of opening a surprise gift

You got a gift from your loved one and you a really excited to know what the gift is.

This is the moment …excitement ,curiosity ,happiness…alittleBIGthing 🙂

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#941 Nightout with PaanSinghTomar

I became fann of PST right from the entry of Irrfan. Jab saitalis mien angrez hindustan se bhage Nehruji ke nava Bharat nirman ke sange sange hamar bhi nirman hui bhava. PST ka khumar utra an tha I saw Anurag Kashyap’s tweet of having a screening and Q&A with director Tigmanshu. As something like this was already done and had worked well for ROCKSTAR with Imtiaz Ali I wanted to be there. Watching the movie second time was more effective than first time, PVR Juhu’s sound system definitely added to this experience. As expected, when the movie ended Anurag came upfront and introduced Tigmanshu. And a wonderful session about the movie and it’s making started. How the real story of PST was researched with interview of dacoits, police, family of PST and locals of chambal was shared by writer Sanjay Chauhan and Tigmanshu. Taking this opportunity I asked Tigmanshu the relevance of showing a mad woman during an encounter sequence in the movie. Tig really liked and appreciated the question first and then said he wanted to so the confusion of the mad woman about things happening around her. He mentioned Shekhar kapoor in Bandit queen had this idea and attempted but somehow didn’t clicked. But yes in PST it worked. After a few more questions Anurag came up saying there is a good news that next show i.e of 11pm has been booked houseful but then for the show to start we have to vacant the hall. Tigmanshu was about to say thanks to all but Anurag interrupted him and said we will not leave u so soon let’s continue the session behind the theater building on a katta. Although those with families had to leave there was a group of 30-35 of us who continued the discussion and it went till almost 1pm. Anurag was busy most of the time making his cigs first in paper slips and then smoking those. Tigmanshu and Sanjay answered all questions very openly including the problems they had with producers. But most interesting part was to know more about PST. How everyone including the dacoits in chambal to the police who killed him had to say how good at heart PST was. How his soon Hanmanta had attempted to kill the khabri of his father but missed it. Hanmanta then died in a road accident. The khabri is now a mukhiya of a village. Wife of PST was most of the time crying when they visited his house. She is now very old and helpless. But then thats true with all the sports heros and their families of this nation. Most have died penniless or have sold their gold medals for their living. Unsung heros are not just a past even today except cricket what treatment our sportsperson get here we all are very much aware. In the words of Paan Singh “Do anda, do kela dete ho aur bolte ho medal leke aao”. But at least let us support movies like PST which brings some awareness and keep the hope alive…Kaho Haan.

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#942 Visiting an Irani restaurant

Maska pav, khima pav, omlet pav, cake, pudding and a Pani kam chai. No prizes for guessing where this menu belongs. Yes its either Kohinoor restaurant or Jimmy Boy or cafe Paradise or any other Irani restaurants with their wodden chairs.

In the late 19th and early 20th century many Iranians migrated to Mumbai. As they had no money they worked in Parsi homes and later met in evenings to discuss the country they left behind. One day one of the men made tea for them all and also charged them for it. This can be called the first Irani café. This idea grew and many corner plots of Mumbai which were not used by Hindus as it was inauspicious according to I don’t know which shastra were leased to the Iranis. With many migrants coming to Mumbai esp to work in mills and who wanted such food joints , Irani restaurants boomed. Irani cafes became sites for cosmopolitan experience. They were pioneering eating houses. The cafes broke down social barriers and religious taboos to become an important part of the city’s public life. Even today, in some Irani cafes you can see a corporate executive, a sex worker and probably even a beggar at the same time.

The three stars and five stars may have their own place, but visiting an Irani Restaurant is …alittleBIGthing 🙂


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