Tuesday, 31 December 2013

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014!

HAPPY NEW YEAR 

I wish all of you a very happy, awesome and prosperous new year!
May all your wishes, ambitions and dreams come true 
Let this new year bring you tremendous joy, happiness, and success!

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Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

I wish you all a Merry Christmas!

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Sunday, 4 August 2013

Happy friendship day: get good friends

Happy friendship day!

Here in India, the first Sunday of August, every year is marked as "friendship day."

Malls and discotheques have arranged exciting activities to celebrate friendship day.

United Nations Organization has declared July 30, as International friendship day, but in many countries, it is celebrated on the first Sunday of August, every year.

Good friendships are vital for us. Always try to widen our friendship circle by networking and socializing. Networking means our friends are our friends' friends. True friends that support us both in our good and bad days are a gift. At the same time weed out toxic friendships as soon as possible. True friends co-operate, never manipulate. It is a harmonious relationship, not materialistic.

I wish all my friends a wonderful friendship day!  
  • Nurture good friendships. Make it work, carefully develop a good relationship. Adopt a give and take attitude, co-operate, extend help, and above all love each other. 
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Monday, 29 July 2013

Better reading speed and comprehension

'How to read better and faster' by Norman Lewis is a very informative book that helps to improve reading speed and comprehension. As the title says this book helps the reader to read anything very fast and at the same time retain the meaning and improve comprehension.  There are numerous techniques described here in detail for training. Practice all these with enthusiasm to get good results.  
I bought this book in 2002. Read it up to half for the first time. Because of work pressures could not continue it, so discontinued. Then in 2004 read it again. My reading speed after taking the first exercise was 244 words per minute. I completed this book and all the exercises within 2 months. My reading speed became 360 words per minute. Thereafter I began applying the principles I learned from this book. One of the things that I learned is to read faster and adjust reading speed according to the topic.

Whatever be the material just try to get the gist of what is written by quickly by scanning the entire thing in a zig-zag manner. Then try to include more words in a sentence when you fixate the eyes and move fast. It is a common psychological observation that when we speed up something our concentration improves and mind does not oscillate like a pendulum. When we slow down, the mind wanders.

I recommend this book for everyone. A simple book, not at all complicated. Easy to understand, sure you will not get bored like reading some scientific books or journals ๐Ÿ˜Š
  • We have to constantly improve ourselves in all aspects. Learn something good, enrich our life and environment, share your views and experiences, let others also benefit! 
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Thursday, 25 July 2013

Rosalind Elsie Franklin, Google doodle marks her 93rd birthday, today!

Google doodle remembers Rosalind Elsie Franklin (25 July 1920 - 16 April 1958), the pioneer in finding out the structure of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid), today. She was a major contributor to the research that finally revealed the double helical structure of DNA. She was a British biophysicist and X-ray crystallographer.  She passed away due to Ovarian cancer at the age of 37.

Even while undergoing treatment for Cancer she and her team came out with valuable scientific papers, the results of their research activities.

We were taught at school years ago that Watson and Crick discovered the 'double helical structure of DNA' that resembles a twisted ladder. Only now, I came to know that  Rosalind, a brilliant scientist had actually 'cracked the code' before Watson and Crick. Had she been given due credit of her X-ray diffraction picture of DNA, her name also would have been included in the names of people who made this groundbreaking discovery and received the Nobel prize. It was male dominated Society during the 1950s and she was not given any credit to her contribution.

Google's doodle today and the subsequent search I made before posting this deeply disturbed me.  We often hear such stories in scientific circles. Some steal the entire glory taking full credit of success. They never acknowledge the contribution by so many unknown souls. More often, great discoveries were made by the combined efforts and co-operation of many people. Some might have solved the puzzle by delivering the final blow at the head of the nail but fail to acknowledge the contributions made by others.

People often say I am a self-made person. I wonder if there is any meaning in this!

However, posthumously she has been awarded many honors. Please read more about her and then you will know how great she was!

A big thank you to Google for this kind gesture!

More about her :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosalind_Franklin
http://www.dnaftb.org/19/bio-3.html
http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/ps/retrieve/Narrative/KR/p-nid/183
http://www.rosalindfranklin.edu  A University dedicated to the magnificent legacy of this brilliant scientist!
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/databank/entries/bofran.html
http://www.sdsc.edu/ScienceWomen/franklin.html
  • One day the truth will come out. It might take a million years but one beautiful day truth will be revealed to everyone along with concrete evidence. 
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Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Green tea, a poem about this awesome health drink




It is healthy, all green, full of vitality
Invigorating, refreshing, relaxing
Makes us energetic, lively, happy
Thanks to the different varieties!

Easy to prepare, each drop precious
Make it a habit, health is wealth
No need to sweeten, take it plain   
But we like it bitter, a cool drink, it is!

Flavor it, let it be mint or jasmine
Or pure, lemon, orange or apple
Enjoy it, feel it, savor it in whole 
Give it to guests, share the secret!

So many varieties, so many flavors
From many regions, some exotic
Some organic, better ! but all good
Take it, be recharged, be healthy!

* Health is wealth. We have to eat right to maintain optimal health.  Always safeguard health.

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Rembrandt van Rijn, 407th birthday, subject of Google doodle!

I hope you all have heard about Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, the famous Dutch painter, and etcher (July 15, 1606 - October 4, 1669). He is considered as one of the greatest painters of Europe and the Netherlands.

A considerable number of his creations were self-portraits. Night watch, The Jewish bride, The Return of the prodigal son, Danae are some of his very famous paintings according to experts.

More info:
http://www.artcyclopedia.com/artists/rembrandt_van_rijn.html
http://www.rembrandtpainting.net
http://www.rembrandthuis.nl

If you open Google you will find his painting as the subject of Google's doodle. Rembrandt's 407th birthday is the subject of Google's doodle on Monday, July 15th, that we see when we open our dear Google :) 

Thank you all at Google doodle for remembering a great painter like Rembrandt.
RIP, Rembrandt.

We all doodle sometimes. Likewise, Google founders Larry and Sergey in 1998 doodled their Company logo to indicate that they were 'out of the Office', and thus the concept was born. Later Google began making changes on their logo to celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of famous artists, pioneers, and scientists. Great idea! Now, as we all have experienced, this activity makes us all remember great people and take note of the many important occasions and events.

We, the users can email Google doodle our suggestions -proposals@google.com

More info; 
http://www.google.com/doodles/about

Stay tuned for Doodle 4 Google 2014 competition for K12 students: http://www.google.com/doodle4google
  • Creative ideas like this make positive vibrations everywhere in the world! This innovative idea from Google prompted many to spend their valuable time to find out more about the great creative works of a genius; surely it might have sparked interest in art in at least a few
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Sunday, 14 July 2013

A visual treat - Dubai underwater aquarium, beautiful!

Dubai underwater aquarium is a very popular attraction in Dubai! It is located on the ground floor of the Dubai Mall. This awesome mall is in downtown Dubai close to Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.


Dubai Aquarium is the largest suspended aquarium in the world. This tank houses about 140 species of aquatic animals.

The acrylic panel of this aquarium is the largest in the world. It holds a Guinness record for this. There is an Ocean school where kids can learn many things about aquatic life. Educators will explain the beauty and science of marine life. The entry to the acrylic panel view area is free. The view is excellent from all the floor levels of the mall.

There is also an underwater tunnel where we can walk through watching magnificent fishes and see divers feed sharks and rays.

Glass bottom boat ride, cage snorkeling dive, shark dive etc. are some of the other attractions here. Also, there are facilities for hosting birthday parties.

Check their website for full details   http://www.thedubaiaquarium.com

Marine life is always cool to the mind, body, and soul. It refreshes everyone. Life underwater is always exciting. Not everyone can swim or watch underwater life but we have facilities nowadays to experience it. It is a different spectacle but totally awesome!
  • It is a pleasure to watch aquatic organisms to calm the mind. Watching beautiful creatures glide through water helps in relaxation; it refreshes the tired mind.  
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Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Remembering Jim Kelly, a great martial artist!

Jim Milton Kelly (Jim, the dragon Kelly), (5th May 1946 - 29th June 2013) became famous all over the world after of his awesome performance in the epic movie, Enter the dragon, along with Bruce Lee, the Karate legend in 1973.

He passed away on June 29th, 2013 and has joined his co-star and friend Bruce Lee, the great in heaven.

Enter the dragon, the famous Bruce Lee film was released in 1973. I watched this movie about 7 or 8 years later during my College days. Going to the movies in theatres was a big thing at that time. English movies reached our small town years later after their release elsewhere in the world. We were allowed only 3 or 4 movies only the whole year, only during vacation and festival season. No weekend movies :)  at all! It was 40 years ago, no TV, no Internet, no mobile phones and no blogging, lol!

Enter the dragon became a huge hit in Kerala like elsewhere in India and the rest of Asia. Bruce Lee hairstyles became quite common. Karate academies started mushrooming all over the State. The youngsters started signing up for karate classes. Those who could not attend an academy started doing self-learning like hitting the bricks, doing free exercises, kicks etc at home. I was in this group:) Hours together, we friends used to chat about this movie. I think this was the only movie we were able to watch twice in cinemas; we were allowed by our parents to go for it one more time: some extra pocket money :) was given.

We were crazy at that time! The craze still goes on, Bruce Lee is still very much alive in the minds of the people here.

Countless times I have watched this movie when VCD, DVD etc. came into existence. I knew each and every scene in that beautiful thriller by heart. It was my lifelong ambition to sign up for professional Karate classes. Finally, I was able to attend some about 4 years ago. Boy, how thrilled I felt when I put on that white robe with a white starter belt!

Without any doubts, I can state that no other movie star has influenced people in our place like Bruce Lee.

We all liked Jim Kelly very much. It was an everlasting impression he has made in the minds of people in this Asian country as the character 'Williams' in the Enter the dragon movie. When he was murdered by the villain in the movie we simply could not tolerate it; we wanted Bruce Lee to crush that monster then and there. We admired Jim's cool attitude, body language, fighting style and of course the beautiful hairstyle!

More about this legend  http://www.jimkellykarate.com

We miss you, Jim!
May his soul rest in peace!

Productive, happy and cool people are awesome. Some live their life happily, enriching theirs' as well as others' mind, body and the soul. It is an art, living life like that peacefully. We can learn a lot from them. Listen, observe and learn from them. Be inspired; be motivated!
  • No need for some great people to prove anything to anybody. They live naturally and will find lots of followers with them forever. We call such people legends.  
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Monday, 10 June 2013

101 Simple secrets to keep your hope alive - a book review

Hello...

Today I decided to rearrange my bookshelf. How we have changed in the modern times, always reading ebooks in iPad, Kindle, laptop or desktops or smartphones and almost stopped reading books in the old fashioned way. I was surprised finding so many books in my shelf both in English and in the Malayalam language, our mother tongue.

So today's post is a book review.
The title of the book is 101 Simple secrets to keep your hope alive. 

A simple book, nothing complicated. I forgot when I bought it, I think it was when I made a trip to Bangalore in 2002. I do not remember reading this book in detail anytime. What a lapse it was from my side! This book is a must read. It has many beautiful and inspiring quotes by great people like Aristotle, William Shakespeare, Mother Theresa and the like. Awesome...!

The book starts with a proverb 'a cheerful heart is good medicine'. :)

Laugh more - especially at yourself. Laughter is the cheapest, safest, and most reliable medication there is. 

Another one - Appreciating what you have is one way to keep your hopes up.

Fall in love with God.

Pleasure in moderation relaxes and tempers the spirit. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! :)

Give hope to others - it will do wonders for you too.

This book has inspiring quotes, practical insights and powerful reminders that will help us find hope when nothing is there to be hopeful. It helps in finding out God's presence in our life especially during a crisis. I would recommend this book to everyone, just keep it in your library, one day you or someone would benefit from it.

Originally published by the Honor Books, Colorado. Compiled by Betsy Williams.

If anyone of you has read this wonderful book, please share your opinion here.
  • Finding hope in the midst of crises is not easy. Such books really shine a beacon of hope when dark clouds of hopelessness cover life. Never lose hope. Always believe, there are plenty of solutions for each and every problem in life, be hopeful!
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Monday, 15 April 2013

Real life example of success - Lulu Mall, Kochi, Kerala, India!

Lulu mall is one of Asia's largest!

They are now open at Kochi, Kerala in India. This is the first one on a very large scale in the state of Kerala with world-class facilities. Many multinational brands now have their presence in this Mall in Kerala in South India.  


There is also a huge hypermarket in this mall. I think here you will find almost everything that you may see elsewhere in the world. Truly world class!










Hats off to Mr. M. A. Yussuf Ali, owner of this wonderful mall, who dedicated such an expensive gift to his native place. He is a prominent businessman who has outlets in many countries in the world. Lulu hypermarkets are a common sight in almost all middle eastern countries.



Kerala has the highest literacy rate in India and there are Keralites everywhere in the world. Rapid developments are taking place here recently.

Lulu mall - world of happiness!


Or is it the happiness of our small world here? Or both?
  • Here is a real-life example of successful fulfillment of a dream of a distinguished person. The hard work, dedication and strong willpower for a noble cause resulted in huge success!
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Relax, refresh, recharge - some cool mantras!


I like this video very much! 
Uploaded it today on YouTube! 
Watch it, you surely will like it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYDfpv7lGjo

I still remember the time spent during a weekend at the Dubai Creek. A cool breeze was blowing, I enjoyed chirping of the birds, it was very much refreshing!
  • Replenishing depleted energy stores, finding the time and ideal place to relax and unwind; look into all such things, they are very much important to balance life!
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Reduce stress...Abu Dhabi, Corniche, a gorgeous spot!

Abu Dhabi Corniche is a beautiful place. These snaps were taken at the far end where the Emirates Palace, Marina mall and the Centrepoint are located. 

A cool place to chill out and spend the evenings!

 The entrance to the Marina Mall.

Beautiful flowers!

A beautiful city has been built in the desert within a short period. Rapid developments are taking place in this region. Numerous projects with world-class facilities are already there and many more are in the pipeline. All of these are the result of effective leadership, professional coordination, and hard work.
  • Converting dreams into realities is possible by proper planning, efficient coordination, hard work and a determination to succeed with a flexible attitude.
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Saturday, 13 April 2013

Adversities - face them with courage and confidence

There is not a drop of water anywhere! Still, these plants survive in the desert! Look at those tiny flowers! How beautiful!

These photos were taken during a desert safari in Dubai. 
  • We have to face adverse conditions boldly. Try to thrive in difficult situations with courage, optimism, and confidence.
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A shelter, a simple and a cool place


A shelter...! lucky...! 
  • A peaceful place to rest, a hand to hold, someone to hug, a shoulder to cry on... precious things in life!
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Friday, 12 April 2013

Motivation - some tips to improve it

  • What motivates us in life?
  • Who motivates us? 
  • How we get motivated? 
  • Why we need motivation?
We all need the motivation to be successful in life.

We have to fill ourselves with lots of energy to attain our goals. Something in life will motivate us. Someone might motivate us at some point in life. Somewhere on the planet, we become motivated. Somehow we get motivated.

Let us examine this in detail.
  • GOAL ORIENTED LIFE 
Goal oriented strategies work well to get motivated in life. Be hopeful in life.
  • DREAM ABOUT SOMETHING THAT STIMULATES YOUR BRAIN
Try to avoid drifting like a plank of wood in a river aimlessly in life. Tide may take you somewhere building up a lot of pressures inside you. Negative influences will shatter you. If you don't take control of your life somebody else will step in as Captain and steer you in some direction they think suitable. Try to change the course of life purposely in a positive direction. A small positive change in the course of life might bring surprising success. There will be so many negative strings that will try to pull you down during this process. Identify those distractions, be aware of it but remain focused with goal-oriented behavior;  but be true to yourself. Formulate goals. Try to include something in your goal that will be of help to others as well.

If you are not sure what actually you want in life to make yourself happy, meditate to find it out. Ask your conscience. Be honest with yourself! Listen to what our mind is trying to say to us! There is no need to wander here and there or all over the world “seeking” truth. You very well know the answer. Your subconscious mind is repeatedly telling you about it. If you turn a deaf ear to it nothing can be done. After searching for 'answers' years and years traveling to strange places finally,  even great people have found out that the 'answer' was already there within them. Only problem was they did not have the eye to see or ears to hear about it or the mind to know when they were seeking for it. Great Gurus 'help' you find it, see it, feel it and hear about it! They cannot simply give you your answer, but they can help you find it! Once you find it you will be the luckiest person on the planet! You have attained enlightenment! Then you radiate warmth, you shine like a beacon! No more boredom, no more stress, you are at peace with yourself! You are happy and contented! No more problems for you!

CONGRATULATIONS! YOU WILL BE IN A MOOD OF CELEBRATION ALL THE TIME WHEN YOU REACH THIS STAGE! Let it be a personal, material, spiritual or social goal.
  • FOCUS 
If you are one hundred percent convinced about your goal(s) then nothing can distract you. If you are not sure of what you actually wanted or if your goals were very vague and if you yourself were not very much convinced about it, then you lose your focus. Distractions and negative influences drain your energy. You become weak. You lose your passion in what you were doing. So always bear in mind that you need to focus to attain what you want. Expect distractions, it is quite natural. Every now and then reinforce your goals in your mind. Fantasize about your goals. Modify goals if needed. If you feel some vague, irrational, unexplained resistance either within you or from the environment in spite of doing everything you can positively, to attain your goal(s) then its time to have a thorough introspection. Unknowingly something might have rubbed mother nature on the wrong side. There could be some type of disharmony. Something was not in sync with nature. Correct the flaws.

YOU WILL FEEL WHAT IS WRONG, WHAT WENT WRONG, YOU WILL FEEL THE PROBLEMATIC VIBES, TRAIN YOURSELF TO IDENTIFY IT. YOU SURELY WILL FIND IT IF YOU LISTEN TO YOURSELF UNBIASED. LISTEN TO YOUR MIND AND BODY! When you find it and correct it and CELEBRATE! CONGRATULATE YOURSELF!

YOU ARE A WINNER IN LIFE!
  • PLAN... ALWAYS MAKE PLANS
Write it down. Discuss it with your team. You can include anyone, anything that helps you in getting motivated and inspired to attain your goals, in your team.

Look for creative plans. Look for innovative ideas to attain success. Our brain has infinite capacity. Utilize it fully. Think out of the box. BETTER TO TAKE ONLY CALCULATED RISKS. Make constant evaluations. Ask professionals, if needed, to evaluate your plans. Correct flaws if any.
  • LIVE A LIFE FOCUSED ON YOUR GOALS
If you want to be a world class athlete you just cannot lead an irresponsible life partying whole night every day, smoking and drinking. Remaining focused, undeterred by distractions you need to propel yourself in the direction of success by cultivating goal-oriented attitudes and behaviors. Aim for over-all improvement in every aspect of life including physical health.

Try to have a healthy mind in a healthy body and be in a healthy society.

AGAIN DON'T FORGET TO CELEBRATE WHEN YOU TAKE EACH POSITIVE STEP FORWARD! YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL!

CONGRATS! ENJOY! THOROUGHLY ENJOY THE STATE OF SUCCESS!

NOW IT IS TIME TO THINK ABOUT ANOTHER SET OF GOALS! GO FOR IT! OR HELP OTHERS TO ATTAIN THEIR GOALS! MAKE THAT YOUR NEXT GOAL; TO HELP OTHERS!

YOU HAVE BECOME A WINNER, TEACH OR TRAIN OTHERS TOO! YOU ARE HELPING TO CREATE A HEALTHY SOCIETY! A BETTER WORLD! CONGRATS AGAIN!
  • CELEBRATE! 
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Monday, 8 April 2013

Teak museum, Nilambur, Kerala, India - a success story!

The world famous Teak Museum is situated in Nilambur, Malappuram district of Kerala state in India. This was established in 1995 at the Campus of the sub-center of the Kerala Forest Research Institute in Nilambur. Here you will find comprehensive information about the teak tree (Tectona Grandis). Botanists and nature lovers will find here everything they need to know about this wonderful tree. 

This is a very attractive statue depicting artistically the mighty tree! 

An exhibit of the root system of a huge tree at the entrance!

Inside you will find portraits of the famous persons who pioneered teak plantation in Kerala like Mr. H. V. Conolly, Mr. Chathu Menon, and Mr. Thomas Falton Bourdillon. Mr. H V Conolly, who was the District Collector of Malabar during the British rule in India, initiated teak plantation in this region to ensure regular supply of high-quality timber to them for shipbuilding and architecture. He entrusted Mr. Chathu Menon, a Keralite Sub-conservator of Forests to experiment growing teak trees on a large scale. Mr. Chathu Menon almost single-handedly developed techniques to germinate teak seeds and looked after the teak plantation in Nilambur which eventually became the first teak plantation in the world paving initial steps to proper forest management in the Country way back in 1844. This famous teak plantation is about 4 km from this museum. I have already blogged about this plantation, see the previous post.

The research details carried out by the Institute on teak cultivation are also depicted here. Numerous displays picture interesting facts about the habitat and the botanical and ecological details of this rock solid tree. There is a good library too. The tallest teak tree in the world was discovered recently in the Malayattoor forest range in Kerala, which grew naturally and a life-sized replica of this giant is kept here. Beautiful boxes and furniture carved artistically with teak wood are also on display. 


Adjacent to this museum is a Bioresources Nature Park. It is a beautiful place where you will find plenty of butterflies, flowers, bamboo and a variety of plants and trees. A beautiful orchid garden is also there.

Such nature conservation projects will make people aware of the importance of preserving natural habitat. Good effort! 

Hats off to everyone right from the pioneers to all the members of the team who proudly carry the baton now and also to the people who are waiting to carry it forward!

For more details:
  • A dedicated effort by people with integrity and earnestness yielded valuable results. A simple idea got germinated and has grown leaps and bounds that helped mother nature to provide us with more and more resources! 
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Sunday, 7 April 2013

Conolly's plot - the story of hard work, optimism and success!

Kerala in South India is known as the "God's own country". Nilambur is situated in the Malappuram district of Kerala. One of the attractions here is the world famous 'Conolly's plot', the oldest teak plantation in the world. Teak (Tectona Grandis) wood, as you all know, is widely used in household architecture and for making a variety of furniture. There was great demand for teak during the time of British administration in India to build ships for the British troops and also for architectural purposes in India as well as abroad. Mr. H. V. Conolly, the then District Collector of Malabar, decided to plant teak plants to meet the ever-growing demand and to discourage felling of immature trees. After crossing many hurdles he and Mr. Chathu Menon, a Keralite Sub-forest conservator, were able to grow trees successfully here. 


The felled trees were transported as rafts through the Chaliyar river to Kallai, which was known as the hub of the timber industry in Kerala. From here the huge ships carried the cut timber to England.




There is a very big teak tree here and its girth is about 420 cm. It was raining profusely when I visited here. The views from the hanging bridge were awesome. This hanging bridge connects the main entrance to the teak plantation across the river. This bridge is said to be the longest of its kind in Kerala.


I wonder how many Keralites are aware that such a beautiful place exists here, let alone foreign tourists. We all can be proud that this pioneering effort by Mr. Chathu Menon and Mr. Conolly paved the initial foundations of proper forest management in Kerala. It was not easy to germinate the teak seeds and grow the trees at that time, but by trial and error, they were able to achieve success. Mr. Chathu Menon perfected the 'Silviculture technique' which involves pre-burning of the seeds. These seedlings were planted in 1844. The entire plantation was looked after by this eminent Officer efficiently and the result was evident to the future generations as well. In 1858 Lord Harvis, the president of the East India Company visited the plantation and honored Mr. Chathu Menon by presenting him a memento. 

Just imagine, they planted the trees in about 1500 acres land! Trees in about 500 acres were cut during the world war to build ships for the troops. Mr. Chathu Menon has buried here itself. Some portion of the original plantation is still kept as such by the Department of Forests, Kerala. There is a teak museum also in Nilambur, about that I will blog later. 
  • A classic example of the saying - "if there is a will, there is a way".      
They attained success solely depending on their own intuition and not by the complex technologies which during the 18th century were simply non-existent! Let us salute them! 

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Badmouthing, destructive criticisms, gossips - how to deal with these things?

A countless number of creative, talented people have been reduced to mediocrity just because of the bad and tricky games their toxic colleagues and their not very 'true friends' have played with them that had involved bad mouthing, destructive criticisms, and venomous gossips. Every day we hear and read stories about people being destroyed either career-wise or personally. Each one of us will surely have something to tell about at least one such bad experience of being victimized. Such stinging incidents that had occurred at a crucial time in a person's career can have long-lasting negative impacts in the future.

It is surprising to note that such negative things exist almost everywhere in the world. I need not elaborate upon but we can see problems like these widely prevalent in varying degrees in families, societies, Companies, Government and private organizations etc. It is a human tendency that common men tend to believe such things because of the saying “No smoke without fire”. Naturally, people form their own opinion about the person being targeted, influenced by the bad mouthing, destructive criticisms and venomous gossips initiated by somebody or by a group of persons/lobby having some vested interest(s) or sometimes they simply do it for fun. People almost always enjoy such shows when they were not the victims but once they see themselves as target the whole thing becomes a nightmare for them as well with devastating consequences sometimes. Their self-esteem gets eroded, confidence level dips, happiness threshold goes up, more stress is induced, productivity drops with depression setting in some cases.

We can see so many instances like this right from childhood onwards as examples of such negative influences that made wonderful people shrink into self-made shells. They were made to believe that they were mediocre, imperfect, not good enough, untrustworthy etc. Envious classmates, bullies, the so-called “true friends”, relatives and later on some colleagues all actively take part in this game of “bringing down others”, a fun-filled exercise, to get intoxicated themselves. Ultimately the “soft” hearted souls suffer. Some victims adopt a “tit for tat” policy and join the mainstream group of fun seekers. Some try to develop thick skins. Some become rebellious.

Very few only get professional training to deal with such situations. Some seek professional help and benefit with positive outcomes. But the majority are simply clueless about what to do. We don't see any type of professional help being offered in schools where young minds are moulded and that is exactly where such problems usually occur for the first time in life. How can parents tackle such a problem when they themselves were victims and doesn't know what to do?

Let us look into the ways to tackle such problems.

Make a list of all such incidents where you have been hurt in the past.

Be honest with yourselves. Write down everything in detail. Note down even the silliest, simplest thing that had occurred in childhood, in detail. Even if it is shameful, disgusting, involves somebody who was or is dear to you, it doesn't matter, just put everything into words. Let your mind speak out openly. Have the courage to express your thoughts!

Let the lava flow freely out of the volcano!

Now analyze those situations one by one. First, take the case that occurred for the very first time in your life.

This may be an incident that occurred when you were just 10 years old, like this imaginary story.

One of your friends lost his / her precious pencil somewhere. She/he immediately suspected it was you who had stolen it. But you were innocent. He/she promptly began telling everyone that you were a thief. Other students began looking at you suspiciously. The class teacher, to your surprise, question you and it hurt when you felt she also suspected you. You cried. Other friends began keeping a distance with you watching their possessions closely when you were around. You were very much hurt when you found your "best friend" trying to distance from you. But to your surprise one student who was not at all close to you before, whom you thought a bore began to smile at you and started talking to you as if nothing had happened. She/he told you to forget about the whole thing telling you that no one has proved that you were a thief by recovering the loot from your school bag. Moreover, there was no reason for you to steal because you had the best pencils in the class. He/she assured you that the 'lost/misplaced/ stolen by some other student pencil' would one day surface out of the blue. You felt happy, go home and discuss the problem with your parents. They both were actually arguing over something, what exactly you don't remember now when you presented your case. You felt they did not give adequate attention to the 'serious' problem you have had. Anyhow hearing your story dad became furious and told you to be bold and ignore the whole thing and be a real tough guy. You didn't know at that age how to "ignore" and be "tough". Of course you had seen a lot of action movies, the bold and tough hero thrashing the villains and coolly shooting them but in this case, you knew you simply can't shoot or thrash anyone. Mum did not say much. She told you that you are a good kid and was innocent. But you had seen her searching your school bag, why she did that you were not sure, while you went for play outside. Finally to end the story, after two days the "lost pencil" was retrieved by the student who “lost” it from one of the innumerable zipper pouches in his / her own bag. The precious thing was immediately shown off to everybody. But no one seemed to bother about the earlier accusations made against you and no apology was offered by anyone. But by that time things were almost back to normal in the class like before the incident and you didn't feel bad because everybody became friendly. Later on, the student who accused you became your best friend and still remains as one even after so many years. You tried twice to bring up this childhood issue to let your best friend know that you were badly hurt at that time but strangely he/she just laughed it away not even allowing you to start the story. To your surprise you also found yourself joining with his / her laughter.

Ok...now start documenting your first such incident.

What was the incident?
How it happened?
Who actually told you about it, if its a gossip?
If you happen to be somebody important or a celebrity where did you read about the gossip?
Why actually it occurred according to your judgment?
Did it affect you negatively and if so how?
Who all were involved?
How the incident affected your future life?
What did you do to get over with it and did you move on?
Anyone offered help?
Who all turned their faces away from you?

Now that you have all the data about the incident start analyzing the whole thing in detail.

Ask yourself questions even if such questions were disturbing to you.
Make a truthful assessment of the issue.
One of the troublesome questions is - Is this a constructive or destructive criticism?
Make a judgment fairly and not allow your negative ego to influence it.
Next thing to assess is - are we in any way responsible for such a badmouthing issue to occur in the first place? 
Did we offend consciously or unconsciously the said accuser(s)?
Find out with a balanced state of mind, without in any way getting carried away
with negative emotions, what actually has resulted in such a problem to occur?
Any hatred? Any envious issues?  Just boredom that made people spread such malicious rumors?
The key thing is that we must be truthful to ourselves in this dissection procedure.
It is important to control your anger.
It is important not to adopt a tit for tat tactic so sooner.

What we aim here is to tackle this problem in a positive way so that you emerge as a winner. If you find it difficult to do this exercise because of the magnitude of the potentially destructive criticism, badmouthing or stinging, venomous gossip seeks the help of your close friends with whom you can confide. If there is no one like that, you find yourself helpless and think you find it difficult to solve the problem by yourself or if it is making you suffer better seek professional help as soon as possible. If the problem is of corporate nature and you or your colleagues are the targets do the exercise together as a team.

By doing this exercise we may come up with some surprising facts that were totally out of your view till that time. You may suddenly recall that you have offended the accuser long before but never did care about it and when the time came he/she returned the same coin to you. You might have noticed many subtle signals of envy at your success that was given off by one of your close “friends” but didn't take those seriously and never thought he/she will become venomous later on. Your parents, relatives or friends could very well warn you about certain people who were your acquaintances but the reasons why they didn't warn you were not clear. There will be endless situations like this.

Like this analyze each and every incident in the list that you have made.

This exercise sometimes might give you the insight that you were attaching undue importance to many such incidents. In some cases, a simple confrontation would have solved the problem that you didn't attempt. In some cases, you never bothered to explain your situation to anyone. You just tried to digest the whole bitter thing. Some of the "friends" were venomous cheats but you still considered them as true friends and never distanced from them giving them chances, again and again, to make fun of you. Even you have taken them into confidence again by telling them about many of your life events and future plans. Instead of adopting a proper assertive attitude towards them you just suffered for no fault of yours. Some of the "mistakes" you thought you had committed were not at all serious or not even mistakes in the true sense but at that age, you considered them seriously and the accusers reinforced that belief in you. In some cases, you attacked the accusers with vengeance promptly inducing more stress in yourself. In certain cases, you also joined the team and adopted a tit for tat attitude later on.

So this exercise has given you a lot of insight into your life experiences.
  • How would you have handled those past situations in the background of your experiences now if given a second chance? 
  • Are you applying the essence of what you have learned from those experiences in the present situation to tackle it? 
  • Or are you still reverting back to the same infantile type of reaction that you adopted when you for the very first time were faced with such a problem?
Now start applying the positive things you have learned from those past experiences to the present situation.

Collect data.
Ask yourself the questions written above. 
Now the picture is getting clearer. You have found out the motive, you have found out who actually 
was responsible for the problem, how the damage was done, what actually was the intention etc.
Now stop being a pain sufferer.
Stop whining.

PUT A FULL STOP TO THE QUESTION - WHY ME?

There is no one who has not ever been unfairly targeted in the history of the world. Even Gods were severely subjected to harsh criticisms. Every day we read so many gossips, most of which are bad, about celebrities even. They also feel bad when they hear or read about it especially if it involves something that is potentially detrimental to their personal or professional life. The general belief that they enjoy these types of gossips isn't true. Many actually suffer the pain.

So it is how to deal with this in a professional way to bring a positive outcome that is important.

Now it is time to take action.

First and foremost, you must sit and have a detailed discussion about the incident with whom who have told you about the bad mouthing that was going on. Only somebody like a close friend or relative will tell you about such things. Ninety percent of your acquaintances and that includes your colleagues as well, will not tell you openly or discuss with you but they will enjoy the drama that was going on. They think they will hurt you if they tell you directly or you may misunderstand them. But you will notice some extra-verbal signs and sometimes subtle verbal expressions if you are careful enough. You are not a fool not to notice such things that indicate they knew about it and is playing along with it. Some of them don't want to take any part in this drama and will keep away. They don't want to add oil to the fire. They also will not do anything to put the fire out. They will remain passive. Some others will add their own unique colors to the story and keep the fire alive. Less than one percent of people will show integrity, concern, and sincerity and might tell the accuser(s) directly they are not interested in such gossips and bad-mouthing. But such people are hard to be spotted nowadays.

You must explain in detail your version about the incident to your friend. If you have in any way caused embarrassment to the accuser(s) express your intention to apologize. Try to clarify your stand and express clearly what actually happened and how the incident occurred and how was it twisted by the accusers that resulted in bad mouthing. This friend or person, if convinced, will be able to dissipate the information to others resulting in damage control and will help in better image building for you.

This step will instill courage in yourself, improve your self-esteem and build confidence thus preparing you to take the next step. Now you will find someone approaches you and will direct the conversation to the problem at hand and this will give a chance for you to be heard by others. Most often this will take place in an Office during the break-time. Utilize the chance well but never get emotional. Use clear, well-rehearsed expressions leaving no chance to any sort of confusion. Practice self-control and deep breathing techniques. If the other party is also present you have to be cautious. Sense if the other party is looking for an argument scene and don't fall into that trap; the cunning person who opened up the issue may be looking for an open fight between you two to enjoy the bloodshed. Never fall into such traps!

By this time you will have some idea about which way the tide is turning. Modify your next step accordingly. If you are honest, sincere and open,  things will be in your favor. If your reputation is good and you were a team-player definitely you can expect many supporters. The moment the other party sees that you are taking positive action unperturbed he/she will lose the steam of the attack. There won't be too many listeners for him/her next time. You didn't confront directly but in a way, you have won the race without getting wounded.

Sometimes you will have to confront. This is not an easy thing to do at all. If you lose the cool then the other party wins. If both of you lose the control you can imagine what will happen. Many disastrous things have occurred by barbarian acts and physical violence. Always remember that people who initiate such venomous gossips are crooked and shady characters and they are looking for a fight scene. But you can confront not blowing your cool, in an assertive way and not in any way attacking the accuser. This type of confrontation shows that you are not jellyfish-like. Just let him/her know that you knew what sort of a person actually he/she was. Either he/she will keep a distance afterward or you also can do it for your own good as well.

If the Company you are working for is really professional the superiors might interfere in this matter and try to bring an amicable solution. But in reality, this often doesn't happen. If it happens, be open to everything. If they try to mediate to bring an amicable solution let everyone win. Compromise!

Sometimes it may be necessary to bring to the attention of the superiors the problem. But how far personal accusations can be brought to their attention is something very difficult to define. It depends on the Organization you are working for. Here trust your common sense and gut feelings.

Its surprising to note that even in top-rated organizations there is a lot of Office politics going on and partiality. Some organizations give a lot of importance to people who make more profit for them and tend to ignore their venomous behavior. It is sad to note that instead of devoting one's time and energy to be more and more productive people engage in such bad Office politics. No creative thinking takes place. No such activity like brainstorming. No group activities. What actually takes place is only mud throwing at each other. Unfortunately, there is no system in place even in very prestigious organizations to tackle such unprofessional incidents professionally. If a sense of team spirit is instilled, the giant-sized egos downsized, staff and the management think they are one family no doubt world will be a better place to live and work!

Well, this may be an unrealistic dream!

What I feel is there should be some qualified professional in each and every Organization who should identify such incidents at the earliest and take appropriate action. They must be responsible for the mental well-being of everybody in the Company including the CEO and the directors. Those people should not be practicing Counseling sitting in their arm-chair expecting people to come to them with their problems. Instead, they should mingle well with everybody in the Organization.

Such professionals can build bridges between everyone in the Organization thus minimizing or even eliminating venomous Office politics. Petty fights, envy, jealousy, unprofessional relationships, ego clashes etc. if nipped off early from the bud itself will greatly better the psychological health of the human workforce resulting in increased productivity.

It is always better to refrain from engaging in bad-mouthing, spreading venomous gossips and destructive criticisms. Tactfully discourage the accuser(s). Such a good reputation will come to your help when somebody targets you. And you might have noticed that such individuals have a knack of nullifying the negative effects of such dirty attacks. They seem not in any way affected or influenced by them. They just remain cool. It seems they gain more power out of it. It might even energize them more!

Direct your attention to the work at hand and let the creativity flow and energize you. If you are as hard as a rock, totally focused on what is more important and concentrated on the larger picture then nothing, not even the dirtiest personal attack can in any way affect you badly. Nature will defend you in ways we cannot comprehend. Universal forces will somehow protect you and punish the accuser(s). Moreover, don't lose your faith in humanity. There will be many who will be of help during difficult times.

If none of the above is possible and you are losing control don't be ashamed to ask for help. If you truly believe that you can confide in someone do it. Together try to solve the problem. If there is no one seek professional help as soon as possible.

If you believe in God and read religious books you will find how to pray when you feel bad in such situations. Prayer surely will strengthen you. Miracles do happen.

Practice makes you perfect and strong. Always tackle things in a real professional way. Never resort to immature ways to solve a problem. Don't make a mountain out of a molehill. Don't overreact. You may tend to over-react if your mind is disturbed. Always try to be in a well balanced, stable state of mind. A multi-pronged approach is necessary to live well in tackling all the challenges in life in a winning way.

Develop a strong personality strengthening your weak traits and developing further the already strong ones. Train each moment to energize willpower. Always audit your thoughts and actions and take appropriate corrective measures if needed. Share the knowledge you have acquired with others. Instead of painting gloomy pictures about everything in society try to instill enthusiasm during casual conversations with other fellow human beings. Always be creative. Creative ideas stimulate your brain neutralizing the effects of negative influences. You are a unique person with a wonderful personality! Never portray yourself as someone mediocre.
  • Always keep these in mind - If there is a will, there is a way... There are solutions to each and every problem in life.  
All the best!

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How to pass tests easily? Win over the challenge of examinations easily

Do we really like tests? Honestly answer this question... !

Yes or no, examinations, regular assessments, and appraisals still remain as evaluating tools to determine a student's knowledge and training. The practice of evaluation of a three or four-year course including training with just a final examination lasting some hours is not a very reliable method of assessment of a candidate's abilities. Overall assessment periodically taking into consideration the performance during the whole duration of the course including personal development would be a better evaluation tool than the traditional questionnaire examination method. Most examinations can be passed by going through the questions asked in the previous examinations; it might take repeated attempts for someone who performed poorly before attaining a pass. Repeated attempts make a candidate pass without any real effort or improving knowledge than before; the pass most of the time being granted out of humanitarian considerations. Some good candidates have examination phobia that makes them nervous only to perform poorly in examinations but they actually are the best in business. It is interesting to note that some poor candidates who have failed repeatedly in their examinations have become successful in life quickly and fare better than their topper colleagues. Academic performance alone cannot be taken as a reliable indicator of real-life success. 


However, let us look into ways to win over the challenge of examinations.

  • DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Common knowledge...isn't it?
Well... it is not the routine homework that we all do.

You will have to collect in detail everything about the course, what to study?, the study hours, the pattern of  examinations, the evaluation/grading system, the scope of getting into a job after studies or start a business after years of study, your life in the campus, your instructors' attitudes, the fee etc. etc. before you join the course. Always remember that you will be influenced by the whole process of education and training during the years you spent at the educational institution. Try to talk to the alumni. If possible visit the campus and get a first-hand idea about what is going on. Interact with students at all levels. Shop around; you may get better deals and better places to study according to your liking. Even if an Institution is prestigious it may not be suitable for your temperament. Choose wisely!
 
The more you think of it the clearer the picture will be. If you think the end justifies the effort you are going to put in, well... go for it and this glittering goal will uplift your spirits. If you are optimistic about the wonderful and exciting opportunities that await you the moment you clear your examinations, you have already won the race before you actually have started the race. If you think you will enjoy the studies and campus life you are right on track.      

  • DON'T PROCRASTINATE
Finish your day's work that day itself. Complete the assignments on the same day. Be methodical and systematic. Always reinforce your goals. You have joined for this course at this prestigious University to undergo training and studies to become a professional. Learning is your most important activity and that must be given top priority. All other things are secondary and never give undue importance to such things. Don't be distracted.

  • PERSONAL PROBLEMS
First of all acknowledge the fact that you are also a human being like all others on the campus and you also have weaknesses, shortcomings and your own personal problems. Nothing to be ashamed of. No one is hundred percent perfect. There can be jealousy, hatred, and bitterness in many students but don't get put off by such things. The campus is a cross section of the society you live in and always expect to interact with different types of people. If you think you need help you can find a student counselor; most of the schools will have one. It is always better to go for professional help than suffering from your problem. Win over those things and pursue your goals to win the challenge. Great things await you!

  • MOCK EXAMINATIONS
Attempt mock examinations. If your instructor doesn't conduct one you yourself can do it. Be your own examiner. Honestly do it. The more you practice it the more your chances to win. Collect old question papers if possible. Find out details of examinations from your instructors. Discuss your concerns with them. Be bold enough to do it. They are also human beings like you.  Talk to students in senior grades and get advice. The more data you collect, the more prepared you will be to tackle the challenge.

  • MEMORY TRAINING
You can find countless memory improvement techniques in books and internet like pegging, association techniques, mental visualization, mind maps etc. Our brain has a tremendous capacity to store complicated things for a long long time. It retrieves information fast. Improve your memory.

  • COUNSELLING
Reputed academic institutions give a lot of importance to psychological issues. Make use of the services of a counselor if available. Discuss issues with them openly. Emotional issues if becoming troublesome should be addressed as quickly as possible. Instructors and seniors also may be able to help you in different ways to attain your goals.

Learn meditation.

The best way to win over the challenge of examinations is to be prepared well ahead of it. Approach examination in a confident way. Be optimistic. Cultivate a positive attitude. Make use of the time in the campus to develop your personality in a positive way.

  • CHOOSE YOUR FRIENDS WISELY
Well...this is a very tricky and sensitive topic. You must know who is a true friend. A true friend will inspire you, motivate you, support you, correct your mistakes, advice you, will ask you for advice if needed, co-operate with you to attain your professional and personal goals and share with you their experiences. You also will reciprocate by doing the same things. It is a harmonious relationship where you two win all the time. No losers here. Cultivate such good friendships. Co-operate to attain your goals and help others as well. Build a good reputation in the Campus about yourself.

  • SAY 'NO' AND LEARN TO SAY 'NO' TO ALL TYPES OF HARMFUL DISTRACTIONS
Campuses all over the world have many types of unhealthy negative influences. ALWAYS KEEP AWAY FROM SUCH THINGS. If you don't like to party or drink don't do it for company's sake. No true friend(s) will force you or stop their friendship with you for not joining for something you don't like. You have a great vision and your goals are clear. You are focused on your studies to attain success. You have prioritized activities according to their importance. Strengthen your willpower.

  • HOBBIES AND LEISURE
Learn new hobbies. Make your life colorful. Enjoy each and every moment of your life.

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