Meditation, camera and ethics

Meditation, camera and ethics

Imagine yourself to be in the most vulnerable state of your life.. you have no control of yourself, your mind is literally NOT in this universe! Your body movement isn’t normal. You are shaking, crying,farting, laughing out loud and in some cases even vomiting (it happens I know).

And then out of the blue imagine a guy taking pictures or making a video of you at that time. I don’t know about you but I might take that person into trance with a punch.

Creepy_Photographer2

Now, why I am I talking about this?
I don’t know I have seen people doing that it doesn’t seem right. Sometimes you don’t care but sometimes it is hard to keep on thinking about it.

What’s the reason behind it?
Since you have signed up for a course you have given a right to be photographed all the time. And those picture are used for marketing purposes.

What the other side of the coin has to say about it? 
If you don’t have pictures, videos of your students then how will you advertise? This is the inside peek into the course. People like to know how effective are the classes.

Well, Given the need of marketing material taking pictures while doing asanas is totally fine. People love to pictured doing complex asanas. But in the case of meditation pictures and videos it’s like someone is making a video of you while you are sleeping. Doesn’t matter how calmly you sleep if you would know that someone is recording; you would forget all the eight fold path of yoga, the yamas and the niyamas in a sec and then the unconscious martial arts training kicks right in!

There are numerous ways of doing ethical marketing. Inside peek into the lifestyle of the place, recorded lectures, student reviews, factual information etc. I have been here..it takes time but the top spot on Google will be yours if done right. And on a different note hire professional models for pictures… duh!

People might argue about this a lot and trust me you will get a thousand philosophical answers… “You shouldn’t care what the world thinks” , “Dive in your own journey forget the material world”.

But ethics play a more important role than rules. I might have broken numerous rules but ethics I never have and I never will. Being a computer engineer, web developer and an digital marketing friend of yours I know where the picture actually ends and it never goes in for medical research or yoga research for sure.

As part of my job I have taken many pictures and videos but never during meditation. In fact I have put my job in line to stop people from doing it several time in the past to make sure my friends aren’t the ones showing up on youtube or facebook.

Since I am more into software programming now least I can do is to make peace with myself..that is what yoga is all about.
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no pictures during meditation.

Our Prime minister politely denying a selfie during Yoga day.
Source: Indian Express

So next join in a yoga meditation class make sure they have a no camera policy. And if that is not possible use a thin cloth on yourself which would also protect you from guess who? freaking mosquitoes! ( in case you are in tropical regions).

There is a thin line between ethics rules and business needs make you don’t cross it and don’t let anyone else cross it.  It’s personal trespassing and as one of the famous Texas rule on trespassing says –
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On a different note- when was the last time you have seen a video of a meditation instructor recording himself / herself in trance crying out loud?

Mahendra Kumar

PS: I am sorry if it offended anyone but it was and always is a terrible site to see this happening everywhere. I can’t let that happen not on my watch! Feel free to write in your views down below. Thanks

Lost in translation

Lost in translation

Sometimes we hear something which wasn’t actually said and sometimes we say something which we don’t actually mean to.

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Not exactly a big problem just a tiny change of words which is no one’s fault which turn up the world upside down.

Apparently it can just be the choice of words nothing else. Perhaps the translation.

I have a friend whose sense of humor is quite different than normal. Took me a while to get accustomed to it. Now I handle instructions of not dying pretty well.

There is one godmother of mine who literally doesn’t care what I say one look on Skype she knows whether I am doing great or stuck at something.

Not a day goes by when I am not grateful to my parents, sister, brother, friends and other family members but in this case words doesn’t matter everyone knows me well and I know them too. Doesn’t matter what we talk about I know they love me and I love them.  A few words don’t come between us. Its not that I talk to them everyday but when I do they know what I mean before I say.

Apparently that’s the reason  we never say thank you to family and friends. There is no actual need.

Quite a long list of mistakes I have done because of this translation situation. Expecting everyone to know me well is like expecting it to rain everyday in rainy season. Doesn’t matter how many clouds are up there it isn’t going to rain every single day.

I once tried to help a women carrying four bags on her own in delhi wasn’t a good idea. Not her fault I could have been a bag thief. Who knows 🙂

The point is that your intentions doesn’t matter there is always a scope of things going haywire. Make sure the other person knows you well enough to understand the situation and circumstances rather than just words. You can’t take your words back but at least you can laugh about it later.

 

And as long as you have a smiling face up nothing really matters.

Mahendra

 

 

 

 

Of course I am

Of course I am

Of course I am an idiot, stupid, jealous, liar, angry, fool,egoistic,  lazy and late sometimes..
I too have prejudice about people I meet and I also suffer from over confidence and loose control of my tongue.

And I am sorry for that. It’s not me it’s the programming.. ( from the movie Tomorrowland), I am built that way. That’s the excuse most often used and I also know it never actually works.

Now why I am saying this? Not so funny story… I was writing a software program a few days ago and I had to make a small change in the workflow but as it turns out it got messed up and then a software glitch cost me two days of work which almost ruined my day and weekend. Took me a while but I did fix it quicker than the last time as I knew every problem I faced last time.

What got me thinking is the fact that a simple virtual mistake had such an impact on my mood, thoughts and sleep for few days I cannot imagine what would have been your condition when I did something wrong to you in real life. Didn’t seemed bigger to me but it could have meant a whole lot to you!

So here I am not just saying sorry but completely owning up my mistakes and if I can do anything to fix it. It will be my honor and privilege.

Expecting a long list of things to do now..:-)

On a positive note I was watching a Harvard graduate speaking about intrinsic value…something which cannot be lost nor gained. It’s something which is always there. I believe I do have some intrinsic values which no matter what would never fade away 🙂 Trust me!

In the mean time monsoon is here and I am on my bike most of the time chasing clouds…. literally!
Had a minor accident which could have been terrible if my bike wouldn’t have saved my bones. I am slowly getting back into programming mode. Something I did way back in 2007 and then lost it completely in between. Took me a while and a whole lot of wisdom from my guardian angels but I think I can say I am pretty much back in the game now. I guess I shouldn’t have left it in the first place but similar to other mistakes I am glad I had a chance to correct it. As the famous Silicon Valley line goes ” Code hard and play harder” I may be able to spend my time pretty well when I am on vacations.  And talking about that; one is just down the line. Lots of thoughts about which place to head next… Maybe Nepal.

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Until next time..

Mahendra, Alejandro, Mahi, Mahendy and the Dragon kid 🙂

Night Sky

Night Sky

night sky

If the day is about the all mighty sun and beating the heat;
then the night sky is nothing but an all star retreat

If the day is about getting lost in the crowd;
Then the night sky is about finding place among stars

If the day is about getting all stressed about past, present and future;
then the night sky is about meditating on the stars and bliss for sure

Now before you start imagining yourself sleeping out on the roof make sure there aren’t any loud wedding parties going on nearby .. If yes then my friend even god can’t save you…doomed you are!

Logic says that the moon remains the same but the sunlight on it determines how it looks like but no one cares about logic anymore..right?. Keeping that in mind I let go of my normal life and jumped into a startup roller coaster. Not a day went pass when I didn’t thought of quitting but angels from north made sure I stand tall no matter what. And now I am the lead software programmers who also happens to play cricket.

Phases of moon changed so did everyone’s life. Mine too but I truly hope you are still the night sky which no matter how cloudy, clear or windy…. always makes sure everyone sleeps well at the end of the day.

Mahendra Kumar

pic credits: google plus

Heaven and hell on a Sunday!

Heaven and hell on a Sunday!

Enjoy the little things

 

The first thing which happened this morning was the crash of my 1 TB hard disk and with it all my life worth of data.. all gone!  Imagine all the pictures from vacations, friends and computer programs, files all gone in a second. worse than hell.
As usual I try to sleep through my pain. The best mental remedy for situations like this. However the day got even worse when there was no whereabouts of my friend Brigida, who was somewhere in the Nepal where a massive earthquake had struck.  It is so emotional to see people going length and breadths of internet to find their friends and family and it did worked for many. In my case Google people finder confirmed a report of her being safe.  A big relief!  Heaven …

I also found out that a lot of companies are providing free calling services to Nepal to make sure everyone gets hold of their loved ones. The world united and sent their troops and medical teams for support. Such a huge gesture and a hell of a lot better than Yemen crisis.

I am still worried to look at my hard drive but there are a few ways to recover data (a very bleak and vague possibility) but if people can find missing persons on this wide and  vast internet then anything is possible.

Hope my friend reaches home well and my data gets restored.

Mahendra Kumar

Digital meditation- radio silence

Digital meditation- radio silence

You all know what meditation really is… in the most non Sanskrit words it is just calming your mind down but strangely enough calming your mind is like trying to bend the spoon as in the movie “Matrix” no matter how hard you try… that’s not happening.  Least you can do is to be happy about the fact that while trying to bend the spoon you cleaned up your kitchen (mind).

Now why am I talking about spoons here? well nothing in particular I just have two of them and would like to use them for long.

Back to the real Matrix…. Last week was kind of a turmoil. That happens all the time in tech world. Out of no where you are stuck with a few lines of code for days. I was practically staring at 15 lines of code for the entire week to find bugs in them.  The only relief was lunch at Divya Sir’s place. Trust me when I say I ate like a pig.. I really did.

programming

Bhagavad Gita says you need leave your body and think from a different perspective when you handle any difficult situation and to do that you need peace of mind therefore I turned off my computers, Wifi and cell phone for most part of the days and also deactivated my Facebook account briefly in order to stay as relaxed as ever and I did slept for long.

And luckily enough I finally got the algorithm sorted out and a job contract with awesome perks. However in the mean time my phone must have got a ton of curse words for being silent and not responding to any calls. Apart from a few calls from loved ones I don’t regret leaving my phone behind in the room. It’s one of those things which makes me believe that no matter what I am still a human who likes normal face to face conversation. That reminds me of a 70 years old security guard I met 2 days back after almost 3 years. A genuine smile and a few words were all we needed to catch up. We don’t even know each others name but he knows more about me than most of my Facebook friends plus we rarely chat.

Everyone is bound to get in trouble at some point or other but in those times it’s best to turn off your internet and move out in sun, rain and in cold the world would be more real and small. It’s definitely not running away but focusing on the real issue rather than what’s happening in Yemen.

From the beginning of the development sprint there were a whole lot of problems personal, professional but I believe that happiness is worth sharing and problems are worth fighting for. You would never hear any problems from me unless you are the one I need help from.

Coming back to meditation this is what meditation and radio silence actually means and it’s effects.
meditation

( credits: Marcia Dominguez)

 

chapati by Mahendra

PS: Just got this picture from my lovely friend Jiaranai. I managed to make chapatis not in India but in Thai.

Mahendra Kumar

Sometimes!

Sometimes!

something

Sometimes you want the whole world to be with you
but there are times you want to leave the world alone.

Sometimes you want to talk to everyone
and for a few days, you wish no one called( messaged or whatsapp).

Sometimes you don’t say anything
but someone understands everything.

Sometimes you wish you had no friends
however even strangers become best friends.

Sometimes you wish to be home
but then after a few days you want to leave desperately.

Sometimes you wish you could have spoken
but maybe you shouldn’t have said anything.

sometimes

Sometimes you wish were a traveler
but in dreams you wish to have one perfect place.

Sometimes you wish to be in a city
and then drive to be in a far far away country.

Sometimes you wish to be famous
and then want to be anonymous to people.

Sometimes you wish to be working alone
but then you need your team for something.

Sometimes you wish to be in a picture
but at times it becomes too embarrassing..

And for nerds and geeks
sometimes you wish you had an apple
but in your heart you know for free softwares and apps you need android and windows.

Perhaps there are too many “sometimes” in everyone’s life…well that’s what makes your life insane and god definitely knew this before hand that’s why you dream new things every night, the moment you dream the same all the time.. you are in trouble!

By-
Mahendra Kumar
pic credits: Dave Booth and Shilpa Sharma

war of the words

war of the words

 

war of the words

In the times of Facebook, twitter, blogs, Instagram, Google plus etc. wars are not fought in the battlefield but on cyberspace. Countries fight each others policies on social media. Twitter and Facebook are the places where world war happens everyday but I am not here to talk about that.

War of the words is a different one.

It’s the war which starts when instead of the gesture people care more about the words.

It continues when people value the words more than the person itself.

It becomes fatal when people take a few negative words more seriously then the entirely positive story.

It is devastating when emotions, love and care takes the back seat while pride and personal image flies the plane.

It is even more hurting when promises are offered similar to Facebook likes. To almost everyone, almost everyday and of no real meaning.

So next time you say something or hear something.. I would suggest thinking it through. Your mom says a lot of things but it means only love. Your teacher says a lot of things but it only means motivation, your friend says a lot of things but it only means trust, your family says a lot of things but it only means support. Going for plain meaning would ruin each and every single bond you have.

There will be times when the war seems inevitable and words keep falling from the sky. Painful words; soul hurting words.. but to fight against them try to be one of the few warriors of words left in this godforsaken planet who doesn’t even mumble a word but explains everything. Their story is not filled with fancy words but deeds. They pay more attention to the eyes than the words. For them hearing the word “thank you” is not important but helping out is. They don’t speak much when they do every single word is a promise in itself.

And when I put in the above words in this very blog of mine I recall the people who are the warriors of the words in my life. Some fought as parents, some as teachers and some as friends and family. Your words in the form of poems, letters, stories, message, cries, laughter, smile  or simply an expression is all the treasure I have in this world.

Mahendra Kumar

 

Sometimes even a camera can’t see everything!

Sometimes even a camera can’t see everything!
Sometimes even a camera can’t see everything!

Cameras were build to freeze time and to make them intangible memories. However I find it insane that people fill in their massive hard drives with pictures but never even look at them twice.  I promised myself that once I have a house I will make sure that every single picture on my disk finds a place.

However pictures are not everything and they can’t capture everything. In actual sense a picture isn’t the complete picture. It misses the feeling of the wind, the fragrance of the moment, mood and the actual view. Therefore in my endeavor to make my memories from Thailand alive I make sure to take tons of picture but in the mean time; I sit back..close my eyes and paint another picture without seeing anything.

Here are the latest ones from my 35 km bike trip.

Although I have used filters and pretty stupid designs on top but the real sight was a million times better.
Cellphone cameras aren’t the best for me but this is just like a note to recall the actual picture stored deep inside my mind.

Bike trip in Thailand

Here is the bike I have been using along… perfect bike for newbies like me (In the field of geared bikes of course!)

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Everytime I miss home these two angels fly me out.

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God is an architect for sure..not sure which school he went too?

Sam Roi Yot, Thailand

Humans aren’t behind in designing unique things too. I wonder if the house on top is available for rent and why would someone live there?  for the view I guess!

Sam Roi yot, Thailand

If I would have been a poet I could have written numerous poems by just sitting here.

Sam Roi yot, Thailand bike trip

 

Sam Roi yot, Thailand

I wish I had my own boat….someday!

Sam Roi yot, Thailand

I had to take this picture.

Sam Roi yot, Thailand

 

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Hope you liked the pictures. If you ever wanna visit Thailand…better send me a message first!

Mahendra

Thai way of traveling around

Thai way of traveling around

I don’t do this normally… waking up at 6 in the morning and going for a bike ride..are you nuts? That’s the time I go to bed…. I did almost the same thing in August 2011 but it was long time back. A lot of things have changed since I have been out of India. Now I don’t keep computers in my bed room. No work while half-asleep. However I still wake up late but today I made an exception.

We ( myself, Jiaranai and Joy) thought of a bike trip around the place we live in. So we started at 6 in the morning before sunrise.. ( well I couldn’t see the sun at that time..but there was enough light).

In total we covered 50 kms which included ride along the beach, off road mountain biking, watching wild peacocks fly around etc. In total it was hell of a something. Google my tracks app says we burned 463 calories. But  I am sure I am gaining more and more weight these days 😛

Hope you will enjoy the pictures.

Bike trip in Thailand

We started before sunrise.

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Finally the sunrise.

Finally the sunrise.

cycling in Thailand

Specially built bike lanes

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I don't know where to go?   Something is wrong with the board.

I don’t know where to go? Something is wrong with the board.

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Pit stop break. Banana something.

Pit stop break. Banana something.

Off road biking to see the peacocks IMG_20141106_082211397 Nothing seemed perfect than watching this Friend of mine said on a clear day we can see Myanmar from here.

Pineapple farms everywhere.

Pineapple farms everywhere.

IMG_20141106_112718543 IMG_20141106_113232323 Heading back home

And of course if you ever plan to visit Thailand and enjoy a bike trip. You know a person to Contact. Not me but my friends.

Mahendra Kumar