Posted by: janya | January 25, 2009


I am sure most of us have experienced this in life – comparison with others. When you were a child you were compared with other students and you were compelled to compete with them to move ahead. It’s not a surprise if this continued throughout your student life. Sure it doesn’t end there. It continues to your job, your house, your living etc. 

When we are compared with others, whether it is with our studies or our appearances or sports or anything, we have a sense of anxiety and fear. We focus on moving ahead in any way rather than on gaining knowledge. Of course, there is also a sense of anxiety and uncertainty as we don’t know if we will continue to stay ahead of others. 

Don’t you think we can perform better when we are free of this comparison. We can do better if there is more interest and more freedom. When you are happy and healthy you can learn more easily. But when there is fear of comparison you cannot perform to the fullest.

In school teachers are concerned in getting you to the next class and parents are concerned in getting you ahead in the class. None of them are interested in thinking that you should leave the school as an intelligent human being without fear.

Competition and comparison hides the fear of failure. But we all know that failures are stepping stones of success. You learn when you fail and you succeed from these lessons. But how are we treated when we fail? Well, if we do not want our kids to be in the same situation as us, may be we can instill the right sense of knowledge into them to see they “learn” than just “pass” an exam.

At the same time, don’t compare yourself with others and get dejected/jealous or all related negative feelings. Instead, see if you can get motivated by looking up to others.

Posted by: janya | January 13, 2009

In the middle of concrete jungle….

In this modern times, everyone of us want a house that has too many bedrooms (more than what we need), too many living rooms, too many other rooms. We have green lawns and some few plants that grow in a ‘landscaped’ garden. I have seen too many of those. And now I have experienced some relief here in the middle of concrete jungle in Vijayawada.  

Sparrows are something that cannot be seen in the modern cities due to cell phone towers or the hustle and bustle of the city life. I was surprised to see those in my uncle’s house. He started with 3 and took great pains to safe guard and multiply them. Now he has around 26 of them. Not just sparrows. He has pigeons as well. Didn’t feel like I was in the city. It was such a wonderful feeling.

Here are couple of pictures.  My childhood is associated with this place. So they may not excite you as much as they did to me. There are more which I will upload later. Could not capture sparrows though.






Decorating our grandfather’s picture with garlands made from these flowers was our childhood memory. These flowers are called ‘Radha Krishna’. You can make a garland by inserting one flower into the other. It is very rare to find these flowers anywhere. Additional info for farmers: The leaves cooked in water act as powerful pesticide. 


Posted by: janya | December 30, 2008

Can we avoid farmer suicides?

Agriculture seems to be more of hardwork for farmers, than science. And it is for this reason, we see so many farmers committing suicides as they are not able to survive on their primitive methods of farming. Of course, nature plays an important role too. Educating them on drip irrigation and other aspects of agriculture so as to improve their output would be helpful. 

Here is some information we can use.

Another motivational story was from my uncle who started growing organic rice. It took him 4 whole years to achieve this. But it’s worth it. And he is currently educating other farmers on this.

I hope they receive enough education and knowledge to survive.

Posted by: janya | December 28, 2008

I love my India

I came to India few days back to spend time with my family. On day one, we went from Hyderabad to a temple in Basara. On our way, we had to pass through villages with dense trees on the sides, small eat-in places where I had my breakfast without caring much about bottled water or how the food was cooked. I grew up there and touch-wood, until now I could eat anywhere without getting into any trouble.  And of course, I love it. 

I loved the ride. I enjoyed all the trees on my way. Loved the greenery. Was surprised to see monkeys sitting on the road in groups. Sunflower fields were awesome. Saw some creative – environmentally friendly – huts. Then suddenly I felt – am I being crazy? Am I going overboard in enjoying all these simple things in life. What am I missing? Do you enjoy the same way I do?

At the same time, I spent the next 2 days in the hustle and bustle of the city life, shopping, enjoying the food in nice city restaurants. Well, all I can say is life is wonderful no matter where you are – if you have right people with you. It’s been just 3 days and they have been just great. Spending time with family/friends is so precious. I always have a great time when I come here. May be it’s time to think of moving back to India. 🙂

On the same note, I honestly believe no matter which place you choose to live in, your happiness is entirely defined by you and you alone.

I just love it here. I tend not to share personal information in my blog (I do so indirectly I guess). But this is something I had to. 


Posted by: janya | December 17, 2008

Isn’t nature wonderful?

If we all have “time” to enjoy nature, we can see how amazing even little things are. A squirrel wandering in your backyard munching on something, birds chirping, all those fruits dropping from your neighbor’s tree (not sure if they are even edible), all the wild flowers on your walking trail etc etc.

Personally, I find “natural” flowers, plants growing wildly, more endearing than “artificial” ones that grow indoors. Even a dried tree is charming. At the same time, I do enjoy all the pretty flowers in the gardens. But there is something special about naturally grown plant kingdom.

When we go to Tirumala on the bus, I would enjoy all the plants (dried/green) that I see on my way. It’s a wonderful ride. Once we are on Tirumala we have beautiful gardens with wonderful plants/flowers. But somehow, I liked the nature on my way up.

I have couple of redwood trees next to my bedroom. I took it for granted and was just happy that it blocks the hot sun. But a friend of mine who visited me recently was sooo excited to see this tree. Apparently she loves redwood trees. She was saying she is jealous that I can see a redwood tree from the window of my bedroom. I laughed it off, but started seeing this tree with different perspective. And I started noticing more of them on my way to work.

I lived at a “concrete” place before where I could not see any nature. At my new place, when I wake up in the morning, I can hear birds (sparrows, hummingbirds and others) chirping, can see squirrels running around on the redwood tree (scared me initially as it sounded so human that I was worried someone was at my window), sometimes have the pleasure of watching a mocking bird. This continues during the day and it is so enjoyable to have such an experience in the middle of the bay area.

Well, these little things that bring some joy to your daily routine should be cherished.

When I lived in Australia, in my backyard I had hundreds of these parrots hanging to the trees. I have never seen such a beautiful site in my life again on a daily basis. It was such a pleasure watching and listening to them.

Posted by: janya | December 15, 2008

Eat chocolate and lose weight?

When I read this I was so excited. One more excuse to eat chocolate. I love chocolate – milk chocolate. I am not a great fan of dark chocolate as it’s a little bit bitter for me. Unfortunately for me, it’s the dark chocolate that makes you lose weight as it reduces your appetite. And naturally, if you eat less, you lose weight. Apart from the anti-oxidant benefits, it also helps you lose weight. 

Well, may be I should develop a taste for dark choc. Atleast I can eat “chocolate” and feel good too.

Posted by: janya | December 3, 2008

Too committed in romance?

I read an interesting article today about commitment in relationships. Apparently “Individuals with high levels of RCSE are very committed to their relationships, but they also find themselves… devastated when something goes wrong — even a relatively minor event”.

Now what is RCSE? When one or both partners place too much emotional weight on their relationship, they tend to evaluate their self-worth solely based on the outcomes of their romantic interactions. This is what psychologists call relationship-contingent self-esteem (RCSE).

Now, coming back to the statement above, I noticed it in certain relationships I know of. One person puts in a lot and when things go wrong, he/she gets upset that they didn’t get back enough or they are not appreciated enough. This hurts them more, when there is a breakup. If only they understood that they themselves are priority over others.

In a way, I have seen a similarity in relationship between parents and their children. A mother (or father) puts all her life into her kids expecting nothing back. Just like any mother, she expects everything to go very well with them. But this is life we are talking about and it doesn’t go as we expect. When kids leave her or when they are experiencing hardships, she goes into depression wondering why this happened to her kids. Instead, if she focused on her own happiness to at least certain extent, it wouldn’t depress her a lot. This could give her better understanding that life is not all about hardships, but surely her kids had/will_have fun times too.

Well, I have given this advice to a friend of mine a while back and she started spending some time on herself. She says she feels good when she does that as she is able to have fun on her own without affecting her time for her kids.

Posted by: janya | September 23, 2008

Winners vs Losers

We all want to be associated with a winner. When we see one, we try hard to get his/her attention. We proudly announce to our friends/family about “knowing” this person. But if the same person loses everything, most of us stay away from that person. Suddenly all the “hidden” attributes of this person come into picture. And now we are proud to announce these “attributes” to the world. Why?

Why can’t we understand that winning and losing are just part of the game. They don’t reflect the personality of that person. And why do we associate success with money. If someone is financially successful, no matter how they have achieved it, we treat them with respect.

I had a friend who was successful once upon a time and was also perceived by some as future successful entrepreneur. Now once this person made a mistake, everyone not only abandoned this person, but anyone who be-friended him was considered to be either being naive/stupid or something else. And mind you, these are the same people who applauded this person once upon a time.

And none of his friends/family were there to support him when he actually needed it. Nor did they care to see if he was alive. And I know for sure they will all come back with success later. It could be just a matter of time.

At the same time I know someone who is successful financially, but has fundamental flaws in his personality. But people are proud to be associated with this person.

Why can’t we see a person as a person and not with his success/finances?

I am very sure all of you have seen such cases.

Posted by: janya | August 25, 2008


Why do people like to gossip? And why to an extent that it hurts others? And why don’t they care for other person’s feelings in that process? Is it because something is missing in their lives and they compensate for it by gossiping about others? Is it because they are hurt by someone and they like to do the same to others instead of being nice? I never understood this.

Is there something called ‘harmless gossip’? What is gossip anyway? Making malicious statements about others? Does it matter if it’s true or not? Can you talk about someone even if it’s true? Are we all so perfect that we can comment about someone else’s mistakes? Why do some people enjoy belittling others?

Well, this is the result of a weekend discussion with a friend of mine.

Say for example, no matter how much you want to be an engineer, if your father is against it, can you still study engineering?

Well, if you persist in wanting to be one, even if your father turns you out of the house, you can still find ways. According to J.K, “Life is strange. The moment you are very clear about what you want to do, things happen. Life comes to your aid – a friend, a relation, a teacher, somebody will help you. But if you are afraid to try because your father may turn you out, then you are lost. Life never comes to the aid of those who merely yield to some demand out of fear. ”

If you are saying, “This is what I really want to do and I am going to pursue it,” then you will find that miracles take place. You may have to go hungry, struggle to get through, but you will be a worthwhile human being, not a mere copy and that is the miracle of it.

** Courtesy: “Think on these things” by Jiddu Krishnamurthy

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