Thursday, April 28, 2011

A quiet, significant Celebration

Hey guys and gals,

Below is an article which I wrote to be featured in . Unfortunately the final product came out a little too late to be published there. Many thanks to Mr Philip and Mr Jaiarajoo for editing and giving inputs to my article. It has now found its way here :)

The Indian community celebrate Tamil “Puthandu” or New Year on April 14.

Every Hindu household would be cleaned thoroughly before the big day and on the morning of the Puthandu, families gather to pray to God first, either at home or at temples, before ushering in the New Year celebrations.

However, in Malaysia, as the Tamil Puthandu is not a gazetted holiday unlike Deepavali, which meant that the Hindu observers had to observe customary prayers at home in the morning while only visiting temples in the evening.

It is believed that by putting our thoughts in prayers to God first thing on the morning of New Year and making special offerings of milk, sweets and fruits, the household would be blessed for the coming year.

It is auspicious to wear new clothes while many people believe that buying gold on the first day of the New Year signifies an accumulation of wealth and prosperity for the household throughout the year.

Many Tamil businessmen start operations of new businesses or make deals on this day to mark new beginnings. This is because it is believed that everyone’s almanacs will undergo major changes with every Tamil Puthandu.

The businessmen would not want to waste a single moment of a coming auspicious year.

The celebration of Tamil Puthandu is not something new. Indians in India have been celebrating their new year either on April 14 or April 15 every year since 5,113 years ago.

This same date is observed by many other states in India including people from Assam, Bengal, Punjab, Kerala, Orissa, Manipur as well as the country of Nepal.

The other states in India also celebrate their respective New Years within 1-2 days of the Tamil Puthandu.

Astrologers consult the calendar to determine auspicious days.

There are several festivals based on the Tamil Hindu calendar that begins on the same date in April. Kaliyuga 5113, Vikrama and Shalivahana Saka eras are also used.

There are several references in early Tamil literature to the April new year.

Tamil Months in Calendar 2011:- Margazhi – January, Thai – February, Masi – March, Panguni – April, Kara – May, Vaikasi – June, Ani – July, Adi – August, Avani – September, Puratasi – October, Aippasi – November, Karthikai – December.

Tamil New year is an important festival celebrated by Tamil Hindus. This festival is mainly observed in Tamil Nadu and all nations with huge Tamil Diaspora populations, like Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, United Kingdom and United States.

When Sun transits into zodiac Aries (Mesham), the Tamil New Year ‘Kara‘ commences. The festival is called as Tamil Puthandu or Varushapirapu. Tamil Calendar and Tamil astrology (Nirayana astrology) are considered as one of the most ancient astrology system.

The solar calendar system follows a 60 year cycle and the years are named specifically (not numbers) as such ‘Kara’ is the 25th year while ‘Vikhruti’ was the 24th year.

One of the Hindu sages, Thiruvalluvar in his famous proverbs of “Thirukkural” starts his first proverb with the translation:

As “A” is the beginning of the alphabets; GOD Almighty is the beginning of the World.

The year of “Kara” will definitely be different from the year of “Vikruthi”. In Malaysia, we have seen changes taking place in the political scene less than a few days after the Tamil Puthandu.

Within 6 years, in 2017 the Tamil year, “Hevilambi”, will return, marking the end of a Tamil “century” because our independence (Malaya) was in 1957.

As such there is every possibility to see or hope for significant changes to usher in the birth of a new ‘century’ for Tamils.

My sincere Tamil Puthandu prayer and hope is for the unity, cooperation and hard work from our ancestors, to ensure we enjoy freedom and harmony, will continue for ‘centuries’ to come.

Hope you all had a good read. Thank you.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

It has been a long time

Hi guys and girls,

This seems to be the usual mode of my blog deliveries. They are pretty far apart. No matter how seriously I set it in my mind to sit down and at least write down my observations. I realise that I end up spending too many months before I actually get some other brainwave.

So, what have I been up to? This is surely a question that people might be asking. Am I married? This is what relatives are asking. Am I happy with my job? This is what my friends are asking. Am I happy? This is what I am asking myself. The answer is No, No and Hell NO!!!
Interesting point to note here is that, the best way to get someone to follow in your line of thought is to get them to say "yes" 3 times, and THEN ask them the question that you want them to say yes to. Works like a charm all the time. :)

So I realize that asking myself these questions is pretty straightforward leading me into a position where I am not interested to change. I am not even trying to get myself to say yes. After all, admitting there is a mistake or problem is the first step to solve it. This is a mistake that a lot of us do. Something triggers a change in our lives. We feel down and we neglect the other parts of our lives. We never take the initiative to look at the strengths in those parts of our lives to fix this one problem which came up.

It's called focusing on the problem instead of a solution. You just need to spend 25% of your time Identifying the problem and Defining the problem. Then you spend 50% of your time to come up with a list of solutions as long as your leg... ;). The last 25% of the time is spent evaluating all the alternatives and choosing the best solution from your list. Instead of 25% on the problem, people usually spend almost 90% of their time replaying the problem in their head over and over again. Only 10% of their time is spent looking for a solution and a lot of times realising that if they moved faster they could have mitigated the situation better. I was in that spiral as well.

Having said all that, I am proud of myself now. I have admitted the problem and started looking at alternatives. Before this, when I was in a downward spiral I'd want to forget the world by focusing on fictional books and games to keep me occupied. At one point I was focusing on the alternative of meditational and philosophical books to keep me occupied. Once I realised that listening to my Guru's speech and actually analysing that monthly is a much more spiritual experience, I basically stopped confusing myself with all the meditation theories out there.
My Guru says Love is the way. Love is the solution. I understood deeper that we have to start by loving ourselves. Once you love yourself, you will focus on your positive points. You won't be bothered by your negative points. You will work on those points. You will break them down and build yourself again. Now, that is what I am doing. Breaking down the negative emotions and assumptions that I have about myself. Rebuilding it with all the positive points that I have in myself. Then the love will naturally flow me to other people in my family and circle of friends.

The past is no longer going to keep me down. There was so much which I could not do when I was younger. I didn't have the internet. I have it now and I am maximising it with the time I have at my disposal. I am catching up with all the things which I said that I had missed out on, which would have made my life better. I am downloading NLP videos. I am downloading guitar lesson videos. I am learning about other languages. I know that I am going to be a better person regardless of my situation in life.

The NLP videos are particularly interesting as suggested by one of my superiors. I always wanted to join a course. I didn't have the money but now I do have the video courses to refer to. It's showing how to change the way we perceive the world and how to make changes to our behaviour which most people will take for granted as impossible. I am totally happy with the learning.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The 1st of July, 2009

Hey there guys and girls,

I have to say that I am a little bit cranky with the stupid keyboard of my laptop. If this post suddenly stops illogically then it would surely be that the keyboard went bonkers again and I just clicked on submit, instead of attempting to recover the posting again.

The last time I spent 30 minutes trying to recover and retype the post. My thoughts will remain a mystery if it repeats...

Anyway, I have to say that I have been doing cheap publicity stunt for this blog the last few days. I have been telling people about it as well as broadcasting the link on Facebook, Yahoo, MSN and Google. Yup, I am on 4 networks if you don't count LinkedIn, haha. The funny part is that the main people that I connect with are on all the 4 networks. It's a huge overlap. Those that are added in but not really in contact, hmnnn I know I am trying my best to get cracking at the communication part. Still, it's a 2-way process and you can't get far if the other party has mastered the art of "excuse tai-chi" and is always deflecting your communiques. My personal guideline is to try twice then to scrap it, until that person decides to come back into my life.

Still, as we can see nothing good has come out of my publicity stunt. No one seems to be coming in, more so leaving comments. I wonder if there are people coming in but just that they're not commenting on my posts. Sigh, it IS bad feeling unappreciated and trying to wonder what people REALLY think about you. India thought me that it IS important to know what people are thinking about you because, there could always be a rat running around stinking up your reputation among people you know. So yeah, it is good to have a feeler out from time to time just to make sure you're not on the "Top 10 jerks list..."

Anyway, the Transformers 2 is a must watch. If you wanna watch it mindlessly then you would definitely enjoy it to the max. If you're a fan and you want some of the originality of the series to be here on the big screen, then you might be thrilled at some of the action sequences that satisfies our apetite for huge transforming robots. Ok, I'll stop here since mentioning more would make this a spoiler post. My blog isn't about that...

Other than that, I also realised that I have to really gear myself to move up in life. If not the corporate ladder then I'll go climb some mountain, LoL... Yeah, with that I will end this post that is not really too much about any topic. Adios people!~

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The End of the World

Hey there guys and gals,

I just finished watching the trailer to the movie "2012". It is going to be released in November this year. This is going to be a planet annihilation type of movie, which is no surprise, considering the producer of the movie also came out with Independence Day as well as The Day After Tomorrow. This is a dude who likes to make money, talking about the tragedy of millions of people losing their lives in the blink of an eye.

This makes me wonder. What is it that drives all men to believe that the world is going to blow up? It starts right from the beginning with that whole talk about someone coming and marking the end of the world. Of course by the time we realise the "HE" is here, in whatever cultural form that HE finally decides to reveal Himself in, it would be too late for us to atone for our sins. We would be doomed. We would be judged and basically all of us except those that happened to chose the correct religion, whatever that is, would be found wanting. It's a great "Wheel of Fortune" game that's going to be played at the end, according to religious views.

Thinking about this the scientific way, assuming that there is no religious day of Reckoning upon us, we have to realise that we've strayed on to the very path of planetary destruction by our damn selves; without the help of a "DEVIL" or any such manifestations of evil. Yup ladies and gentlemen, I believe there is a planetary level self-fulfilling prophecy that is unfolding.

I feel the greatest difference is now felt post World War 2, when U.S. dropped the 2 atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Suddenly it is now possible to annihilate a huge population. All this while, you could make big bombs but nothing that could take out an entire city and render the surrounding area sterile for generations (not to mention the oddities and freak of natures that you create) with the nuclear dust fallout.

It was possible to render nations, even continents uninhabitable with the firepower that existed then. This is where the strange turn of events take place. Instead of decommissioning those lethal pieces of metals, the Americans made more. This was followed by the countries who now have nuclear capabilities as well. The British, the French, the Soviet, the Chinese etc. People usually mention, "boys with big toys are just compensating for a lack in size". Boy, those Generals must have been jealous of the Asians if they needed to compensate with nuclear devices.

Now the world can be annihilated many times over. At its height the US had 65, 000 warheads according to wikipedia and they still might have between 15,000 - 20,000 warheads, left in various stages of completion. The other members of the so-called "Nuclear Club" also have thousands of warheads each. Still, this is a military weapon and the diplomats would try their very best to reason and deal with any situations that arise before the boys start throwing their toys around the globe. So we have some people at least opposing this planetary destruction "efforts".

Somehow though, the human race seems unable to say "stop" when it senses dangers in other forms as well. Fossil fuel usage throughout the world. I agree that there are a LOT of people who are going to be inconvinienced if the oil and gas companies across the world suddenly go out of business. People unfortunately give more importance to that as compared to the consequences of global warming. This is what should be the current focus of scientists worldwide. Fossil fuel is destroying the planet, layer by layer. In raw, Oil spills cause environmental danage; in processed form, unrecyclable hydrocarbon products like plastics are produced daily and USED by housewives; in the form of by-products, greenhouse gases are being emitted everyday by every single oil combustion engine made by man.

We know that the greenhouse effect is making the planet and our co-inhabitants suffer. In fact fellow humans who are lesser educated than us too are not able to grasp the wierd swings in the monsoons and other weather patterns; the increased frequency of "el Nino" and "la Nina" effects etc. But we do not reward anyone who is willing to find an alternative way. We are not drumming into students in the classrooms that the planet NEEDS another way to survive. We are telling them that everything is going to be ok. It is not. Eventually someone's mistakes are going to cost lives of people around the globe, LONG after he/she is dead.

There is also the problem of dumping industrial waste into the planet's water flows. How long do you think the planet is going to be blue from space? There will come a time when the water is going to be brown throughout the oceans. A time when we need protective gear to save us from the outside moisture, which could be poisonous by trapping and reacting with complicated strains of airborne particles from industrial areas, not to mention rain. Could we imagine a world where we run to save our lives from a light April shower?

With all these in motion, we need to ask ourselves. What did the Mayans see that caused them to stop their Long Calender at the date: 21/12/2012 ? Did they see the tipping point that is caused by the barrage of wrong environmental management decisions, starting right from when the cavemen used artificial colours to paint in their cave walls? Could that be the point where so profound a change happens in the way the world has worked all these millenia, that we even stop using calenders as we knew them?

Why do we have to WAIT? Waiting in itself shows that we don't really understand the forces that are at work, causing us uncertainties in our decisions. Let's use our technology the best way possible. Let's come up with a recovery plan. Let's have the political will supporting us to NOT inconvinience our grandchildren. Let's deal with it here and now, not in 2012; or when the oceans have turned brown.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The ebb and flow of creativity

Hi there guys and gals,

I have been thinking about this blogging thing for a bit. I am even now sitting and trying to wonder what do I want to type? I know that I had made a resolution to myself to blog consistently and a little more frequently than what I had been doing in the last few years.

Strangely, I only have the bug to write when I think of something. Something new. Or a new way of looking at something old. Yet after that, it just vanishes. The urge to write that is. It is like I want to show only the best of me to the world. There doesn't seem to be any leeway in the quality and standards that I set for myself.

I had thought that these limiting beliefs were taken away. I had thought that I am now able to do anything my heart desires without thinking too much about it. It is strange how the old habits seem to get reinforced whenever I am back home. The place is safe and so I grow complacent and allow all the old values creep in. Values that are useful I have no complaints, values without use however like this self-censoring is annoying.

I wish I would be able to just type anything and everything that comes to my mind. Other bloggers are doing this always, at least I think so. They also don't seem to run out of good ideas. It's almost as if by the continuity and practice, their writing upgrades to a level where all of their writing seems to be of a higher quality. This could only be my imagination after all since I haven't been religiously following any blogs other than the ones that belong to my friends.

Or maybe again it's my nature of being overly self-critical while not being critical enough of what people around me do. I saw this clearly when the pilot episode of the latest Knight Rider was released before the series started in proper. I had watched it about 4 times repeatedly feeling all hyped up about the coming series, not able to wait for the other episodes to be released. My cousin takes one look at it and bursts my bubble by mentioning how stiff the actors are; how wierd their scripts are, etc. Haha!~ It was all true. I just looked at the plus point of the show. KITT. I never even noticed anything else with a critical eye.

Well, time to get a bit more serious about the world around me. I realise the problems that are happening. I just have to be the guy who takes it further and criticises and confronts. Otherwise, there wouldn't be any resolution to some of the problems that are happening.

Monday, May 04, 2009

A letter to Dato AK Nathan

Good day Dato AK Nathan,

My name is Mathanaseelan Thavasimuthu. I was one of the first few in the Q&A session. I asked your opinion about taking bank loans to expand businesses.

Your session was a definite eye opener. You covered a lot of fundamental values which we are very familiar with in our personal lives. Just that we never figured how, as a successful person, we would use each of those values to build ourselves continuously and drive ourselves to succeed. The crowd definitely felt your energy and passion during your delivery.

I just would like to give you a personal opinion of mine, regarding the influence of Tamil cinema on our Malaysian Indian community here. This you may find interesting or you might not agree with. I spent 1 year studying in Hyderabad (2007-2008) and then worked in New Delhi from (2008 - 2009). I just recently returned to Malaysia in April. This opinion is based on my observation of Media in India in the last 2 years.

I feel that Media in India is being controlled by their politicians to make their huge population "malleable". The life there is very different from Malaysia. Here we can still find empty roads. There every street would have people walking around in groups at all times of the day. It is just mind-boggling thinking how many people actually live there, let alone thinking about leading and governing them. So the way the movies are portrayed, those people in the streets are always waiting for someone "special"; a "hero"; to arrive, to save them and to give them ALL the answers. They do not do anything by themselves. It is the hero's job to face and to overcome everything. I was extremely surprised to see this message portrayed across India in movies of ALL languages. It's not only in Tamil.

The people in India are generally unable to access educational opportunities. They learn a lot of new things from what they see in movies. I mean cybercafes in Tamil Nadu became a hit after "Kadhalar Dhinam" movie. As such it is very, very advantageous for India politicians to portray the "common India man" as always being unable to accomplish anything in movies. Only a hero can. He has to have a "special birth", "a rich father", "super intelligence/strength" BEFORE he even thinks of fighting the established rule of the authorities. This way the politicians control the pace of the country development (at a snail pace) and the uneducated people in ALL states don't take any initiatives to improve their own lives.

I feel pretty sad thinking how that implicit message, meant to curb initiatives and self-improvement in India, has creeped into the Malaysian Indian community here through those movies and worse, the drama serials. It was pretty evident during the Q&A feedback yesterday. One guy asked you the silly question if you wore any "charms" to aid you in business (Do you have super powers?); another guy mentioned how you are like Sivaji in Boss (You are their hero, implying you have to CONTINUOUSLY help the whole Malaysian Indian community, while they continue their "tidak apa" attitude and walk out of seminars that can actually help them); the long-winded guy asked you about astrology and fate (Is a "special birth" the only way to be successful?).

While I liked your direct answers to them, I feel it is going to take a lot more because they continuously watch the repeats of those movies on Astro Vaanavil and that stupid message "You and your initiatives are helpless" is reinforced into their sub-conscious. All it takes to undo the Energy and Drive they got from your motivational speech is to watch a few tamil movies.

Realising this mentality of needing a "hero" and then systematically building ourselves to be the Hero we want to see, instead of waiting for someone else would automatically make more Malaysian Indians take responsibility and accountability for their own lives. I would like to know your thoughts on this.

Thank you again, Dato AK Nathan. I changed my perception of successful Malaysian Indians completely yesterday after listening to you. I deeply appreciate your effort for the presentations and your kindness to share your experiences.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

It has ended...

Hey there guys and gals,

Yup, as the title states, something has ended. As I left ISB, I was recruited by a German company. They took me in to be a Project Consultant.

The way the whole experience has panned out has been nothing short of astounding. I got to be in Delhi and work for a year. I got to work at the HQ in Wiesbaden, Germany for 2 weeks.

I would have attended no less than 10 weddings in Delhi. All of them were ISB weddings, by the way. I realised the true worth of my ISB experience. If any of you reads this, please understand that Class of 2008 is my Indian family. As cheesy as this statement I make sounds, I love you all; like brothers, sisters and of course the ISB kids are like a whole bunch of nephews and nieces.

Without you guys I would not have been able to carry off this one year, and to those who supported me more than others, I thank you all for being there for me when I needed it the most. Vishal Dashora deserves a special mention here as he was not only my housemate but also the "cool joe" who helped me a LOT in understanding the complexities of Indian culture and how I can save myself from getting into hot soup. Or getting myself killed for that matter, LoL!~

The stint has come to an end; blame the economy, blame my personal circumstances, or blame the shareholders of my company; but however you look at it, to recover, it will take me awhile in Malaysia.

The best part about this is the mental state I am in right now. I've never believed in myself as much as I do now. In fact, I am not worried at all about going back to Malaysia. It's like I know I can almost definitely land any job I try for with my current resume. It's not just a fantasy; I've had a word with a good friend of mine and he might have some stuff lined up for me. Other than that, I am also looking at providing business consultancy services on a free lance basis. I have no complaints about the current economy nor do I have any bleak thoughts about my future.

I was telling a friend of mine recently in fact, going forward I am no longer worried about how people see me anymore. The feeling that, "I am inadequate", or,"I need to be better...", is all gone. I feel I am there, and anything and everything I do now will only result in success. In a way, India has shown me personally what are my limits and has also shown me where to head next.

So, goodbye India. I will definitely come back in future, once things are better on my end.
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