Surviving a crisis in life

There are some moments in life which drown you in a sea of grief. Losing a near and dear is irrevocable. It feels as if the sun has set in your life and will never rise again. You also feel as if the moon will not light the night sky. You feel lonely but want to be left alone. No words of comfort can console you. You have no tears to cry in your eyes

I have gone through such moments in my life. I lost my mother at 23 and my father at 25. It was in quick succession and I had just started my career at 22. Fortunately my sisters were married and settled and I had to only take care of my younger brother. But still the question, which haunts you at such moments is – “Why me “?

You have led an honest life. You have been good to everyone around you – family, friends and relatives. You loved your near and dear one the most and God has snatched him/her away from you. You not only wonder why but also wonder why only you. These are normal feelings and anyone facing this situation will go through. No words of consolation soothes you. You get no answers from God or anyone around you. It’s only time, which heals you and not the words, conversations or people around you at this time of grief.

Your world is lonely. The gush of the wind is not heard by you. The song of the birds do not lighten your somber mood. The sound of the waves in the sea reverberate your hurt feelings. You lose faith in yourself and in God. You may stop visiting temples, churches or mosques irrespective of whichever religion you follow.

It is only time, which may heal you. It is at this juncture, you need to believe in yourself. You need to be a supportive partner to your family. Together, you need to weather this storm. You need to take courage from poor people, who live in small hutments near the sea. They face the wrath of the rains every year. The thunderstorms blow away their houses, their belongings and sometimes even their near and dear ones. They may be fisherfolk and fishing is their only source of income. So , they come back to the sea to start their life afresh.

Our life may not be very different. We may face one crisis after another. We may lose faith in ourselves and in others. We may also lose belief in God. But as time heals our wounds, we need to limp back to stand up and live life all over again. We need to look for people around us, who may have lost much more than what we have. We need to seek blessings and express our gratitude to God – to bless us for all that we have and give us the courage to bounce back. During such crisis, we need to be thankful to the people around us, who stood like the boulders on the ocean front, which faces the wrath of the sea waves every year to protect us from damage and destruction.

We need to believe that the sun does rise next morning after every sunset. Even the moon resurfaces after a no moon day. We do get rewarded for our efforts. We have to be thankful that we did our best and sometimes a crisis in life is inevitable – may be not in our hands and it could be nature’s way of helping us keep our feet on the ground.

Our life ahead is an opportunity. We need to learn to bounce back. Let time heal your scars and I am sure you will find ways to bring joy to others. You may get an opportunity to take care of other people like your own. You could think of all the good memories with your near and dear one and all the joy he/she brought into your life. It is sweet memories of our lives, which keeps us going in good and bad times.

The clouds do settle down and the blue beautiful sky returns after some time. We need to wait patiently for the blue sky to return in our lives as in the photo above. There is nothing permanent in life.

Selfless service and gratitude to those who stood by your side during your crisis are useful ways to bounce back in life. Wish you all the best.

 

S Ramesh Shankar

4th Sep 2021

PS : Dedicated to everyone who has lost someone close to their heart in their lives.

 

 

 

  

Tiffin carriers

The tiffin carrier has been a symbol of many things over time. The basic purpose of a tiffin carrier may have been only to carry food for consumption when you are hungry during any time of the day as you prefer.

However, over a period of time the same tiffin carrier has symbolised different things to different people. The oldest known utilisation of the tiffin carrier was the media of communication between two people. It could have been an innocuous message from a mother to her child or a wife to her hubby.

It later transformed as a messenger service in the pre-digital age. Romantic lovers used the tiffin carrier as an innovative medium of communication, which was indirect and at the same time kept the novelty and inquisitiveness alive at all times. They were used to sending slips inserted in tiffin boxes to their beloved partner.This helped many young couples bond relationships while may have also split a few of them due to mis-communication in the process.

Nowadays tiffin carriers have become popular again and used extensively by food carrier apps and also food delivery services in metro cities for dual career couples. The purpose could be ensuring timely delivery of food apart from saving a lot of valuable time for the working couples, students and single men and women.

What amuses me most is the use of the tiffin carrier to carry food for your family members after you attend a marriage or ceremony in a friend or relative’s home. People nowadays tend to carry food for people back home after they have had a sumptuous meal in a ceremony they have been invited to.

I have nothing against having a grand meal. But it may be unfair to carry a tiffin carrier and carry food back home. This will unnecessarily add costs and inconvenience to the host. While it may still be fine to carry food for the elderly or differently abled back home, it may be better to do the same from a restaurant rather than from a party you are invited to.

Tiffin carriers are also used to send messages of errands. Parents request their children to buy some food, groceries or medicines for them. It could a be reminder to pay phone or utility bills. Thus the tiffin carrier may have been used for multiple purposes over time.

The most interesting story of tiffin carriers is that related to the “Dabbawallahs” ( tiffin carrying men) of Mumbai. This may have started many decades ago when hygienic food was not available in or near offices and factories. So, employees got tiffin from their homes and thus Dabbawallahs evolved this service.

In this service, Dabbawallahs carry tiffin from each home in a bag and code them using a color and keep them in trolleys. They are then hailed in bicycles to the nearest suburban station. It travels by trains to the nearest station of the office. Then gets re-distributed and again hailed in bicycles to the workplace of the employee. The return journey of the tiffin is similar.

These Dabbawallahs have provided a six sigma quality of service to their customers over decades. Their process is simple and there are practically no wrong deliveries. They could provide a living example to organisations of today and beat the artificial intelligence and robotics of tomorrow.

Long live the Tiffin Carrier.

S Ramesh Shankar

12th September 2018

Life in a digital world

Our life has transformed as we transition from an analog to a digital world. We are connected 24 x 7 through technology. Apart from connected devices, cloud computing and artificial intelligence, our world seems digitised in more ways than one.

We get up with an alarm from an AI digital assistant and end the day listening to music on an app. The time in between getting up and sleep is digitally controlled. We look at the news app more than the newspaper for our news update. We book a cab using a hailing app rather than the traditional black and yellow cab at the taxi stand.

Our breakfast may be pre-cooked in the microwave using a pre-programmed instruction through AI. Then as we proceed to work in a cab, we clear our pending emails on the mobile. Our connected watch may remind us of the appointments in the calendar.

As we enter office, the digital board at the entrance reminds us of the key happenings at work. Then the laptop or tablet is the enabler at work for emails, conferences and scheduling the day.

We use our mobile again to book a quick lunch through a food hailing app as we have no time to have a sumptuous lunch at the canteen chatting with colleagues at work. The day zips past as if it is less than 9 hours at work. We are busy interacting only with our mobile phone and laptop and do not have the time even to wish our colleagues at work.

Our workplace has transformed due to the impact of digitalisation. The business planning cycles have shrunk from years to months and now weeks. The workplace has transformed into spending more time with laptops and machines rather than people around us.

The business models are getting disrupted. Technology like artificial intelligence, data analytics, cloud computing etc are changing the way we think and respond to our customers. The response times have dramatically changed and the so has our definition of competition.

Which is our market ? Who are our customers ? Who are our competitors ? Every thing is changing. The speed of change is faster than the change itself. What we think as impossible today becomes a reality tomorrow. Our customers and competitors are getting redefined in every way.

Then as we return home in the evening, we are busy on social media to wish friends and relatives for their birthdays, anniversaries and promotions. We neither have the information in our memory nor the time to wish anyone in person. Sometimes we end up wishing our own family members only on social media although we may stay together at home.

We then reach home and are busy on our mobile or tablet to look at movies, sitcoms or games to relieve ourselves of all the stress and strain of the day. We are oblivious of all our family members around us at home and do not have time or the energy to even talk to them or listen to their stories.

Life seems hectic in every way possible. We seem to be racing against time always. Technology seems to make us lonely and less emotional in all our relationships. We do not seem to know our neighbours at home nor our colleagues at work except by email ids and social media identities.

How can organisations help individuals cope with such a stressful life ? Helping employees balance life and work is possible in many ways . Some of initiatives at organisational level in this direction have been :

– 24 x 7 free counselling services for employees and their family members

– Healthy break ( exercise for 3 minutes) twice a day at work

– Programmes like “Fit for life” & Enrich your life” for different employee segments

– Health and wellness interventions at the workplace

– Flexibility of working hours and work from home policy

– Sabbatical & Volunteering leave

I sometimes wonder whether such a life is worth it. I am not sure. If I look back at my own life, I had all the time in the world in the past. I was never in a hurry at home or at work. I always remembered the telephone numbers of all my family members and friends in my brain memory. I never forgot to wish friends, family or colleagues at work on their birthdays or anniversaries.

Today I wonder if technology has enabled me or disabled me to be a good human being. May be it is unfair for me to blame technology for my current state. I may be more to blame than the digital technology around me. Instead of managing technology to my benefit, I have allowed technology to rule my life.

It is time to challenge ourselves. Digital technology has been invented to make our life better and more comfortable. It is up to us to use technology effectively. Let us learn to attach and detach from technology as we think it is appropriate. Let us not end up in a health centre for digital detoxification.

Th GPS in the car is very useful to guide you to your destination as in the photo above. It can take you to any place on earth without any knowledge of the route.

Time to digitally attach or detach is now.

S Ramesh Shankar

24th October 2018

Suspense !

Life is a suspense. It is like a mystery story that unfolds itself in the least expected way. We may be expecting a bad news and it turns out as the best day in our life. On the other hand, when we have worked very hard and expect good results in our examinations, we are disappointed with a poor result.

There are many ways to deal with this suspense in life. While most of us accept it as destiny or fate, some of us find it difficult to deal with the uncertainties of life. Some of us take it in our stride and move on. While others get bogged down and find it difficult to handle.

It may be useful to view life like we see a suspense movie. We are not sure of the next scene and hence we prepare ourselves for whatever may come in the next few hours we are in a cinema. It may be worthwhile to face life in a similar way. We can be sure of the past but not of the future. It may be useful to put in our best efforts and be ready for whatever comes our way.

Some may say it is easier to write about it than to deal with it in reality. Yes, it is true that writing about life is simpler than facing it in reality. However, there could be a way of preparing for the realities of life. In my view, life is full of choices. When something good happens we are happy and spread joy. When something untoward happens we are sad and share our grief with our near and dear.

It is all about our attitude to life. If we believe that life is a mix of the good and the bad, we may be better prepared to deal with it. If we believe that we are the only one to face all crises in life, we may be mistaken. It may be worthwhile to compare ourselves with people who are less privileged than us. Life is similar to all of us. Some have a longer period of joy as compared to others. However, when grief strikes, it also does not seem to end for some in their lives.

Life is a suspense like the difference between someone who is sad and someone else who is depressed. We can easily recognise someone who is sad because they express their grief on their face. On the other hand, a depressed friend may be laughing at the surface and hiding the sadness within herself. Such is life too.

I am a born optimist and hence would like to look at life only as glass half full. I have gone through the good and bad times in my life. The bad times are difficult to deal with and also seem never ending. It is here self belief and patience plays a role. We need to believe that something good is round the corner and it is only a matter of time before we benefit from it.

We sometimes cannot believe what life has in store for us. It unfolds itself in the least expected way. It is also not predictable for many of us. Even the astrologers and fortune tellers can predict the past but struggle in forecasting the future. Hence, I would say the best way to deal with the suspense of life is to treat it like a mystery. Let us be ready to deal with it as it comes and prepare ourselves for the best and the worst.

As in the photo above, Life is a suspense like walking in a green forest.  You do not know which moment you will see a beautiful waterfall and which moment you may be confronted by a wild animal.

Life is a suspense. Let it unfold its own way.

S Ramesh Shankar

29th July 2018

Abundance…

We live in a world where nature has bestowed us with abundance. Why do we live with an attitude of scarcity ? We tend to live life miserly. We want to conserve everything around us. We tend to have a hoarding mentality and never want to let go on anything in life.

I am not sure if this is evolved in the family environment or influenced by the society around us. I am not professing lavishness or waste of anything in life. I do agree that we need to preserve everything in life for our future generations. However, an attitude of miserliness in our thinking could lead to actions which reflect that behaviour in our everyday life.

As parents, we may not allow our children to enjoy some privileges in life because we did not have them when we were kids. Is this fair ? I am not sure. As teachers, we may be reluctant to share all our knowledge with the students because we may believe that they may outsmart us. As managers, we may not be willing to let go of our skills or knowledge because we believe that may degrade our corporate value.

This attitude percolates to every aspect in society as well. Everyone wants to guard their key skills or knowledge with the worry that it will get replicated. Imagine a world of open sharing. Imagine a world of sharing and caring. Imagine a world of spreading knowledge skills and attitude. We need to believe that the more we give to others, the more we learn.

I was lucky to grow up in an open environment. My family members shared everything they could and enabled me to pursue my passion in life. We ( my spouse and me) have also tried our best to create the same environment in our family. Our children ( daughter and son) have pursued their passions in life . We have not imposed our interests on them in any way ( at least consciously).

Similarly, I have been privileged to work with managers and leaders, who have shared everything they could. They have enabled me to succeed and learn from failures in all that I wanted to do. There has never been a deliberate attempt to hoard knowledge or skills. I have been coached to give more than what I have got in my career. I have tried my best to share whatever I can with everyone I can in my life.

I firmly believe that the more you share, the more you learn. I have never declined an invitation to interact with students unless my work prevented me to do so. I have been willing to share my knowledge and skills with everyone in my team and with colleagues in other organisations, whenever I could. I have benefited from cross industry forums, which has given me great opportunities to share and learn.

Nature gives us everything in abundance. It is we, as selfish humans, are not willing to conserve it for our future generations (as in the photo above).

Let us learn to give more than we get. I have realised that the more I am able to give back to society, the more I feel blessed. I am grateful to my family, friends, colleagues and the Almighty to inculcate the mentality of abundance in me.

Let us give back more than we get always.

S Ramesh Shankar

5th August 2018

Everyone has a place…

Everyone has a place in life. Life is a series of possibilities if we are willing to look at it that way. I was in a business school today. There are were almost 500 brilliant young students in the auditorium during a conference. The sparkling eyes of everyone confirmed to me that everyone has a place and there is a place for everything in life.

Let us examine this from a student’s perspective. We may have brilliant students who top the class in academics. We may have scientists whose quest for inquiry is par excellence. We may have sports enthusiasts and we may have debaters, singers and artists in the class. We may have creative and innovative wizards. If we think that all students have to end up in a corporate world, we may be mistaken.

Today I met a young student in the business school I visited. He is working on development of an engine which can work on gas and is 75% more efficient than conventional engines used in automobiles. This student wants to invent this engine and change the world of engines. He does need funding and support but he does not need a job in a corporate.

There are similarly many people I have met in my life who have excelled in various fields. Some have come together and worked on a start up idea. If you are willing to live your passion in real life, then sky is the limit. You can set up your own business. You can join a corporate. You can excel in sports and become a professional. You can excel in culture and arts and make a living out of that.

In the past, many of us believed that getting a job in a corporate was the ultimate measure of success in life. Today it may not be true. Rather I would emphasise that it is not true. Success lies in living your passion in life. We may not have had the guts or the opportunity to live our passion. But today, we have the opportunities to realise our passion in life. Hence, I believe everyone has a place in society.

Another important positive change from the past is that every profession or vocation is viewed with equal respect and that is how it should be. In the past, if you became a professional artist, it may be thought that you took it up because you did not get a job of your choice. Today that’s not true. Everyone is at liberty to choose what she or he wants to pursue. Fortunately parents, teachers and society at large are open to all ideas and are willing to support the youngsters to pursue their dreams.

It is also true that one can live a dream if we are not willing to give up. Some could succeed in their first attempt while others may not. The most successful entrepreneurs in the world will tell us that there is no guaranteed road to success. One has to pursue one’s dreams and work hard to make it a reality. It may be easy for some but difficult for others. One has to learn from the sportspersons the art of never giving up on anything in life.

Just as in the photo above, every doll has a place, so in life each one of us has a place for ourselves.

Let us learn to live our passion.

S Ramesh Shankar

5th August 2018

Diversity in friendship

One of the most fascinating things in India is its rich culture, heritage and diversity. I was blessed to be born in a family where my father was in central government service. We got transferred almost every 3 to 4 years and thereby transgressed the length and breadth of our beautiful motherland.

I was born in Trichy. I grew up in Kolkota, Jabalpur and Chennai. Then I have worked in Bhilai, Indore, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and now Mumbai. Every part of the country has taught me something. The place, the culture, the people and the traditions have fascinated me.

What has fascinated me most is the diversity in the friends I have in life today ? I have friends from the north, east, west, centre and south of the country. I have friends from various religions – Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhist and et all. The beauty of India is its imbedded diversity.

After having worked in a corporate for many years, I find it interesting when many multinational organisations take diversity as a priority. India is blessed with diversity as an integral part of the nation. I have seen this physically and in spirit when I started my career in a public sector undertaking in central India.

We had people from almost all states of India and representing all religions, castes and communities. We all worked as employees living and working together. There was never a sense of discrimination or divisiveness. This may be equally true for all central government offices.

The concept of India is the essence of diversity. It is ingrained in the psyche of all Indians. We live in 29 different states. Each state has its own language and culture. But we all merge into one when it comes to India. Sports is a great reminder of of our diverse culture.

If you take any team sport, you will find people from all states and all religions. Although there is no reservation for team selection but it is evident that the best performers in that sport come from different parts of the country.

The diversity of friends have made me whom I am today. They have honed my skills and made me respect and learn from everyone around me. They have made me realise that meritocracy cuts across states and religions.

We are able to appreciate the food choices and festivals celebrated across the country. This has been possible because of the diversity of friends and colleagues I have lived and worked with throughout my life.

It has made me realise that in a way diversity is an attitude of the mind. The way we treat people around us. The way we respect differences. The willingness to be challenged by anyone or everyone around you. When you have people in your team who come from varied backgrounds including state, language or religion, they bring with them a wealth of diverse experience.

As in the photo above, diversity in unity is embedded in the Indian ethos.

I am grateful to God for blessing me with a set of diverse friends. They have moulded me into who I am today. I would be grateful to them throughout my life. They have shaped my career. They have made me a sensitive human being.

Let diversity shape us always.

S Ramesh Shankar

11th October 2018

Be the change you want to see…

Mahatma Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see..”. The time has come today.

Everyone in my organisation today was waiting for the big announcement by our global CEO. Every employee was wondering what is likely to be announced and how it will impact her or him.

An organisation is a network of people. It is not buildings, factories or fixed or movable assets. It is the people working in them. So, if there is a change, it will impact the people more than any other asset. While we can rebuild a factory, office or any other asset, it is much more difficult to sustain the motivation of our team members during a change process. This is where we as leaders have a role to play.

The market place is changing more rapidly than we can anticipate. We are also transforming as an organisation. However, the speed of change is accelerating faster than the change itself and hence organisations have to anticipate this speed and be prepared for it.

We all should be happy that the board of our organisation has been proactive to anticipate this change and deal with it well ahead of times. We can be sure that the organisation change will benefit all stakeholders and especially our customers. We, as employees have to strengthen this process by being part of the change rather than worrying about it.

What can we do about this change happening around us ? First of all listen, be calm and welcome this change. Secondly, lets be the change agent. We need to lead our teams to a better tomorrow. We need to communicate effectively, listen to their concerns if any and address them empathetically.

The board of our company seems to be burning the midnight oil to prepare for this change. We need to trust their capabilities and their ability to steer this change. We need to prepare ourselves to adapt to this change and be the winning team.

A very detailed communication plan is being put in place and every employee will be touched through this plan. They are anticipating the likely impact on individuals, businesses and the organisation as a whole and are getting prepared to deal with it. As a fair employer, our enterprise will take care to deal with all issues with equanimity and fairness.

Apart from trusting the leaders in the organisation, we need to trust ourselves. We have to believe in our capabilities. For instance, we may have represented our country in the recently concluded world soccer championship. So, we may be among the best 15 football players in our country. But tomorrow, the selection may be for a continent – representing more than one country. We need to be the best among the best to be in that team.

The organisation of tomorrow will mean adapting to the radical changes of the business environment. We need to be ready to radically change. Our roles may change, our business may get redefined but our values and ethics will remain the same. Our customers will not change and hence we need to prepare ourselves to continuously and seamlessly deliver value to our customers.

Last but not the least, we need to be calm. There is no change in life which will not impact us in some way. Every change has to be dealt with calmness. If we are the best in whatever we do, there is nothing for us to worry about. If we are willing to adapt ourselves to the organisation of tomorrow, we have nothing to fear.

Our calmness will determine our success. We all strive for rapid change but when it impacts us , we may not be fully ready to face it. It is time to challenge ourselves. The best way to anticipate this change is to be a catalyst to the change process. A belief in our leaders and ourselves will help us deal with it.

Let us change for the better.

S Ramesh Shankar

30th July 2018

My ten learnings from a US holiday

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I have always admired the United States of America as a country for many things. Apart from being the wealthiest democracy in the world, it has a lot to teach the world as countries and individuals. I had been on a holiday for a fortnight to this wonderful country and learnt the following ten lessons as an individual :

1. Dream big : You need to kindle a dream in a individual and then strive hard to achieve it. Every American who migrated from different parts of the world to settle in this country dreamt of making America the best in the world. They have worked hard to achieve it and within a span of a century.

2. Unity In diversity : People from all parts of the world have come and settled down here. They are diverse in religion, culture, ethnicity and race. However they have evolved a common nationality. A common dream and a disciplined way of achieving their goals.

3. Discipline : A colleague of mine used to state of “Starting with enthusiasm and ending with discipline”. You can see it in action in this country. Every body is enthusiastic in whatever they do and enjoy doing it mostly. However they do not compromise on discipline. This quality you can see in most developed countries of the world.

4. Pride : While all of us are proud of our respective countries, one can observe a sense of patriotism amongst all categories of citizens. They display it in their behaviour and in discharge of their duties in whatever they do everyday in their lives.

5. Focus on your work: Everyone is focussing in what they are supposed to do. They are neither aware of what is happening around the world nor interested in knowing it. We spend most of our time in worrying about others and the world and lose focus in what we are supposed to do.

6. Every job is respected : We generally look at every job from a social status angle. Some jobs are more prestigious than others. However, what one learns from this place that every job is unique and needs to be respected. Every individual is respected in society irrespective of what she or he does.

7. Create a competitive spirit : Every state in the USA competes with the other to be the best. Every state is unique and wants to be that way. They set standards for other states and are not willing to compromise on their freedom or liberty.

8. Preserving your culture: While everyone is proud to be an American, they steadfastly maintain their state identity. They are proud about their culture and history and want to preserve it. Every state wants to lead the others in preserving and promoting their uniqueness.

9. Respect : The respect for senior citizens and the military is visible in their day to day actions. If you are waiting to board an aircraft, the active military personnel are given first preference after aged and the kids. They are given precedence over first class or business class passengers as well. This signifies the respect for the citizens who sacrifice their lives for their country.

10. Everyone wants to contribute : Everyone in the country wants to contribute in their own ways to make the nation the best in the world. This means that each of us have to strive to excel in whatever we do and not do it as a ritual.

The photo above is my tribute to Martin Luther King, one of the heroes of the American success.

I am not for one saying that there are no negatives in the USA. There are some things which I would not like to learn from here. But the positives far overweigh the negatives.

Let us learn from their positives.

S Ramesh Shankar

16th May 2018

Appearances may be deceptive

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The other day I met a family in the lounge of an airport. It was a man, his spouse and two kids. The man was wearing a religious mark on his forehead and looked very spiritual. But as soon as we entered the lounge, this person started consuming alcohol and other beverages like the other mortals around him.

I have nothing against his consuming alcohol or any other beverage. Ultimately, it is his personal choice and preference and nobody is entitled to comment on it. But, what caught my eye is that the appearance of a person may be deceptive at times.

This man looked very spiritual and one believes that a person of this type may not consume alcohol. This could either be our mindset or underlying my hypothesis that appearances may be deceptive.

I met another family in a restaurant. They looked from the lower economic strata of society but were doling out money to everyone. Sometimes physical appearance can be misleading and you form opinions about people, which may not reflect reality.

I have met people of different hues in life and generally noticed that appearances are indeed sometimes deceptive. A person may look calm and serene in appearance but may be short tempered and hotty in his disposition.

The interesting aspect to understand as to why this happens as we grow up in life. As a kid, all of us are spontaneous and our appearance will be symptomatic of our moods. One can easily make up the emotions of a kid with the appearance on her face. On the other hand, as we grow up we possibly try to camouflage our emotions and try to hide reality from the world.

This could be because we are conditioned to behave in a particular way in a particular situation. Any dissonance is considered deviant. This then gets reinforced in our psyche and then becomes a way of life. We start believing that we have to smile at the world even if we are in distress.

Of course it may be true that some people are more dramatic than others. They are good in their histrionic skills and hence can act different from what they are feeling inside. This may be more natural for some than others. My belief is that is difficult to have an internal state of emotions and express something else on the face. But that is the life which appears around us.

While it may be true that all of us try to hide our emotions sometimes, it may be desirable to express ourselves as we feel. This may be easier than done. However, the more we are able to practise, the lesser dissonance we may have in life.

As in the photo, Niagara Falls may look cool on a cloudy day. But it may not be safe to try and swim under the falls even when it is calm. Appearance can be deceptive.

Personal credibility in life is all about predictability. If our face cannot predict our emotions, then others may consider us less reliable. Hence, it is fair to state that face is an index of the mind. The more we are predictable the better for us and for all the people around us.

Let our appearance reflect the reality within us.

S Ramesh Shankar