Thursday, December 5, 2019

Tried my hand at Sketch Noting (DDC - Day 5)

Today is Day 5 of the Daily Doodle Challenge and as part of that I tried my hand at sketch noting. Sketch noting typically is used to write visual notes for capturing important points from a meeting or presentation. It is also used to capture one's experience. It could be a vacation or it could be a learning experience. It is said that sketch noting can actually help one to retain more information that plain notes. The reason being that our brain tends to love images more and remembers it better.

Since I did not have much time to think through an experience or a meeting to come up with sketch notes, I chose to create a timeline of the poems I wrote on this blog instead.
I will try to come up with more sketch notes in the near future. That's it for today. I will be back again tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Tenga Kola Manga Tholi (DDC - Day 4)

Tenga Kola Manga Tholi as a title would be a tricky one for non malayalees, but any malayalee (People born in Kerala or having roots in Kerala, who speak the malayalam language) would definitely had a smile on their face immediately after reading the title of this blog post. For non malayalees I will definitely explain it. Before that I would like to say thank you to everyone who visited my blog yesterday to check out my Day 3 Doodle. Few of you have appreciated it by replying to my Whatsapp status and some of you have liked my tweet with the blog post. I hope it did inspire you to think about trying out something that you have been putting on the back burner due to your false belief that it is difficult or too late to try. 

Now coming back to the blog title. Tenga Kola Manga Tholi literally translates to bunch of coconut and peel of mango. However, actually it is a malayalee way to ridicule someone who is uttering some nonsense. Now why would this make it as a doodle on my blog is what you would be wondering. The reason is that I happened to tell my wife that I do not know what should be the doodle to try for Day 4. She instantly replied stating Tenga Kola Manga Tholi. Now, one cannot ignore wife's suggestion, isn't it? :-) 

Some of you may think that I was being ridiculed here. In reality it was karma, pay back time. It is typical of me to utter Tenga Kola Manga Tholi at home just to make fun of either my wife or my daughter. This time though I was at the receiving end.

It is too late now and I am winding up for the day. I will be back tomorrow with Day 5 doodle. Until then good bye and good night.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

AnyBody Can Draw (DDC - Day 3)

Day 2 of the Daily Doodle Challenge, I had mentioned about changing the way one goes about life and that if you continue to take familiar paths, you will end up at familiar places. 

It is such a great coincidence that day 3's blog post is an apt continuation to that point. I had no clue until evening as to what would be my doodle for the day. I was just going through some youtube videos about doodles and drawing when I ended up watching Graham Shaw's youtube video about "Why people believe they can't draw - and how to prove they can | Graham Shaw | TedxHull". Today's doodle is something I learnt from this youtube video. I recommend watching this video and try for yourself. It is truly inspiring.

This video is not just about making people realize that anybody can draw but also about how we tend to limit ourselves due to false beliefs. In order to do any task which seems unfamiliar or difficult, the willingness to learn and try something different is more important than having some innate ability. Some skills like drawing this doodle are surprisingly easy to learn. It was just a matter of few minutes following the instructor in the youtube video and try out these cartoon figures. Also note that I used my non-writing hand (left hand) to draw them. Something I had mentioned in Day 1 of Daily Doodle Challenge.

There may be some other tasks that you must have dreamed of doing in your life but chose to give up just because you thought it is too late to try or it was hard to do. Here is the evidence to prove that there will be some simple techniques to try and do the seemingly difficult task. So, why not give it a shot?

Courtesy: Why people believe they can’t draw - and how to prove they can | Graham Shaw | TEDxHull

Monday, December 2, 2019

Great things never come from comfort zone (DDC - Day 2)

Today is the second day of the Daily Doodle Challenge. I started my day talking to Lord Shiva, the three eyed one. I offered my prayers and sought guidance. In the course of the day, events that happened helped me realize that great things never come from comfort zone. One has to let go the shore and not get bogged down. 

When life doesn't happen the way you want, you need to change the way you go about life. If you continue to take familiar paths, you will end up at familiar places. 

The waves of uncertainty I will tide, I am not the one to hide. 
To think you are a loser is a sin, when you are actually born to win.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

A month away from taking the leap into the Leap Year (DDC - Day1)

Today I decided to take the Daily Doodle Challenge (DDC) to capture my thoughts through a doodle. I plan to doodle about that thought of the day that sticks out prominently in my mind. I will also aim to ensure that like my attempts to stay positive through my blog post, my doodles will also be about bringing out the positive thoughts of the day. I will also attempt to see the funny side of things through my doodle.

Day 1 of my blog it was about the thought that we are just a month away from taking the leap into the leap year. I also plan to doodle using my left hand (though I am left handed, I have been trained to write using my right hand). So, the whole idea is to try something different. When nothing goes right, go left. :-)

It is also an attempt to hit two targets with one arrow. I have been struggling for quite some time to  come up with blog topics to write about. Doodling will help me achieve two things. One, help me to improve my drawing skills. Two, trigger me to write about the doodle and thus help me get content for my blog post.  

I hope to stick to this ritual on a daily basis. Let me see how far I can take it. I also aspire to improve the doodles with each passing day.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Politics cannot get funnier than this

Today was one of the most dramatic day in Indian politics. Uncertainty of who will be Chief Minister of Maharashtra came to an end with Devendra Fadnavis taking oath. However, looking at the headlines of all newspapers, it is but natural to think that I might have told a lie here. 

Events until yesterday night gave an impression that Shivsena, Congress and Ncp will form the government. The twist seems to be  a game plan of Amit Shah wherein Devendra Fadnavis along with support of some faction of Ncp Mlas led by Ajit Pawar ended up staking claim for government formation. There maybe more twists in store on the floor of the house. No matter what happens next, the biggest loser has been Shivsena. They did not behave maturely and the over confidence shown by them led to their downfall. They ditched a pre-poll Alliance for which they will suffer at the hands of voters in next election. 
I as a voter am not happy with the turn of events. Shivsena's attitude and what has turned out finally by BJP allying with Ncp mlas is something I am not pleased to witness. At the same time I see the fun angle. 

I think India should shift to a two party democracy so that mandate is not divided like this making way to uncertainty. This though cannot happen in the near future. Regional parties getting dominant is never going to help get a stable and strong government at the Centre or in state.  Something more practical is to treat a pre-poll alliance as one single unit till they break free before the next election. This can prevent parties in an alliance to change stand after elections like the way Shivsena did. 
We as voters feel cheated when things like this happen. Some of my friends were getting frustrated and emotional. I feel we should instead see the fun part. The memes being shared on whatsapp is the right thing to do. The politicians are giving us entertainment without us needing to pay entertainment tax. Let us only hope that we do not have to pay the price of the unholy alliances and dirty politics. 

Monday, August 5, 2019

Modi creates history by changing the geography of Jammu and Kashmir

My last blog post was about Modi and this one too. I had mentioned in that blog post that he continues to surprise like always and he has proven that statement right once again. Union Home Minister Amit Shah moved a bill in the Rajya Sabha to bifurcate Jammu & Kashmir into two Union Territories Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. He announced that the UT in Ladakh will have no legislature like Chandigarh while the other UT of Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislature like Delhi and Puducherry. 

Change is possible if there is a will to change. All governments of the past stated that Jammu & Kashmir was, is and will remain the integral part of India. However, it is only Modi who made that possible in a practical way by making Jammu and Kashmir a Union Territory of India. Jammu & Kashmir is now truly an integral part of India.

I do not understand why Congress is opposing this move. My question is that if this was so easy, why did it take so many years to get done? I am sure that Modi government has legally scrutinized the move and only then proceeded with this decision.

Following are some of the implications of the decision:

1.       All laws that applies to India will now apply to Jammu and Kashmir. You will not see a statement like this in any of the act going forward:

“This Act is applicable to the whole of India except Jammu & Kashmir”

2.       No one can now burn the Indian National flag and go scot free just because he is from Jammu and Kashmir.

3.       Any Indian can now settle in Jammu and Kashmir and buy or own land in Kashmir.

Just look at point no.2 above. If Kashmir was the integral part of India, then how come Indian flag could be disrespected or burnt without any legal implication.

I welcome this decision of Modi government whole-heartedly. To take such decisions, we need a brave, bold and powerful leader. Modi has proved once again that he is one such leader.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Modi Returns

I never thought I would be writing a blog like this today as I had my own doubts about Modi making a comeback. Even though I felt he had a slight edge; I was inclined to believe that the negativity being spread would sink his ship. However, he continues to surprise like always.  History repeats itself and I am writing a blog similar to the one I wrote five year back. More than Modi’s victory, it was defeat of people like Kanhaiya Kumar and Prakash Raj that made me happy. Also, the country rejecting communist ideology was heartening to see. An ideology that does not have any takers in the world due to its failure to uplift people still have takers in a state like Kerala. Here too, this time around people reduced their number to just one. The funny part though is that communist supporters in Kerala are rejoicing about the fact that BJP could not open its account in Kerala. I always refer to the communists of Kerala as frog in the well for this very reason. Even when the entire country has voted for Modi and BJP, the communists think they have reason to celebrate because Kerala did not vote for them.

There was never a doubt in my mind that Modi deserved a second chance because just 5 years was not good enough to judge him. I think a 10 year term is a real time frame for any major transformation to be achieved in a country like India. Also, a true comparison between UPA and NDA can be done when we compare their performances for the same duration.

Now that India has made a wise choice by bringing him back to power, this is my wish list for Modi:

1. Promote Agriculture

                I am of the strong belief that agriculture will be an upcoming sector that will lead to youth empowerment. Everyone is looking forward to eating quality organic food. There is lot of scope for improvement in this area. Technology in agriculture can lead to a food revolution that will help farmers to earn well. A government level push similar to Swachh Bharat Abhiyan should do the trick here. Agriculture should be promoted not just in rural areas but in urban areas too. Terrace gardens and society gardens should be promoted. Schools should encourage and teach agriculture related skills so that kids know how vegetables come into existence. It is very necessary for kids in cities as they hardly get to see the entire process involved in getting the food they eat, on their table. It need not be a grand initiative. Even small baby steps to start with should be good enough.

2. Entrepreneurs to be supported

                I do not believe that more government jobs are the way forward. Instead right from school there should be a strong effort from government to encourage skill development that leads to creation of entrepreneurs. Specialized skills should be focused on rather than creating book worms who know all the theory by heart but cannot apply the knowledge in practical sense.

3. Empowerment over freebies

                NYAY of Rahul Gandhi would have been a real ANYAY on the people. Doling out freebies like the communist ideology would have converted this nation into a disaster like Venezula. I hope true empowerment of poor is achieved through education.

4. Infrastructure development

                Infrastructure should continue to be focused on. This typically is always the case with a BJP government. I am hoping this will continue.

5. Strong anti-terrorism policy

                Here too Modi has definitely done better than previous governments.  However, there must be renewed focus on ensuring that Pakistan is pressurized further to shut terrorist breeding grounds. Also, expose Pakistan further in front of the world so that it gets isolated more and more.

I wish to end this blog by thanking fellow countrymen to have voted for Modi. At the same time, I do hope and pray that he does not become arrogant like Indira Gandhi. Yes, a strong opposition is needed. In that sense, it hurts to see that Congress does not fit the bill here nor does any other party. A strong opposition is necessary to keep a check on Modi. I truly hope that Congress does some course correction and becomes a truly democratic organization that helps leaders to evolve and take charge instead of relying on dynastic politics.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019


It was a special 26 February indeed. The first news I came to know on my birthday is that Terrorist State Pakistan has been given a befitting reply by Indian Air Force for the 14th February suicide attack on CRPF soldiers by Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist.

On 14th February itself I was having a strong sense of anger and frustration and wanted to write a blog to express all of it. However, I always prefer that my blog posts do not show helplessness or frustration as far as possible. Thanks to Indian Air Force, the frustration did not last long. On my birthday, I got the opportunity to wake up to see the good news that the cruel act of terror was avenged and that too without any casualty to our soldiers. It was even better to learn about this news from my elder brother who has served the Indian Air Force for 20 years. I can understand how elated he must be, as just recently when we met we had a discussion regarding the Pulwama attacks. Check out our Whatsapp chat below:

No words can express my gratitude to the Indian Air Force. A special thanks to our honorable PM Narendra Modi too. There was never a question mark on the ability of our armed forces. They were always capable to beat Pakistan and it has been proved in the past too in a conventional war. However, off late Pakistan has been focusing more on unconventional war through use of terrorists. It deserved an unconventional response too. For that a strong and decisive leadership was needed. Full credit to Narendra Modi for that. I know opposition leaders cannot give any credit to him and hence have chosen only to appreciate the Indian Air Force. No one can deny that without a clear cut mandate from the Prime Minister this attack on Pakistan soil could not have been executed. Especially since Indian military does not bypass or overrule the political leadership. 

I would end my blog post with a request to all those who are strong critics of PM Narendra Modi that give credit where it is due. Hypocrisy won't take anyone far. Criticize him till you gasp for breath. Once you are done, do take a deep breath, think calmly without any prejudice and see whether he deserves to be appreciated or not for showing decisive leadership by allowing our armed forces the freedom to decide when and how to execute the counter strike on Pakistan.

There could not have been a better icing on my birthday cake than this :-)