SimplyJITH turns 5!

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Dear Friends,

As we enter into our 5th year, I wish to thank each and everyone who was with us, all through since our inception in 2006. It has been an exciting journey, as we grew from being an entity on blogging space at start, to a collection of ventures now…which includes a blog, a graphic design activity group and a youth partnership grant schematic to support talented entrepreneurs from Africa. 
It gives me pleasure to report that SimplyJITH Blog which remains our flagship project, now enjoys readership in around 158 countries, with over 32,000 subscribers from various countries. In line with our attempts to be a helping hand to the Generation Next, and to lend a friendly support to facilitate the flowering of immense potential that every youth has, in order to successfully navigate through the turbulent and disaster-prone, yet very promising period of youth and beyond, we will soon be launching SimplyJITH Character Institute. Through talks and interactive sessions, we wish to engage youth in a  meaningful dialogue to understand their aspirations and themselves better. 
Further, I am happy to introduce our new logo for SimplyJITH brand which is designed by our branding partner Dhatri Advertising Private Limited, I hope you will like it! I hope SimplyJITH will continue to enjoy your support and best wishes in the future as well. 
With warm regards,
SimplyJITH

My Shadow’s Sweat

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Dear Dad, 
Today, I wish to record my learning, as I stood by the doorway of my memory, and observed all the events from the past year cross by, in a single file. Shadows are not mere coincidences, and I believe they are not just a reflection of our bodily selves, but also our souls. As our lives are unfolding before us, emotions stand to be eternal and so are our shadows. 
As we live through various memories, our actions and emotions; we earn experience, and learn more about others, and ourselves. One’s shadow reflects their learning, with each of their actions filling in a shade to their shadow…and it leaves its trail on our life. 
A mere thought alone, brings glory and utmost bliss to me, and life seems to smile back. When I think of that memory: looking at me in my eyes, saying just that, what I wanted to hear; my life seems to have been rewarded. I stand here to understand the actuality of this emotion.
Destiny creates drama when it wants you to know so, else you may lead an ignorant life until death. I seek to forgive and forget, for when I close my eyes now, those memories relax my soul. I would want to meet again, no matter, whenever that happens. I shall omit all rules in such a possibility…
If I know of love, I know of how you did…I believe; it was no ordinary an emotion. Let the destiny know how strong our connection is. My Shadow carries your scent, and without you, I do not enjoy the sweat of my shadow anymore.
Yours…
Abhijith
  
Written on my flight to Lucknow – 22nd Jan 2011

Failure…

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Failure… for most of us goes beyond being just a word. Sometimes, it is important that we stop giving words more power than they truly deserve. I wish to speak about my observations/ways to transform oneself from being someone who is struggling with a fear of failure into a confident being. 
For an unsuccessful being, everyone around seem to be frustrated with him/her as he/she was always trying, but never saw anything go through, because once he/she started, he/she became paralyzed with fear that he/she would fail. I sympathize with this anxiety about failure. In my experience, it is quite common to be worried about failure and the idea of disappointing others, so it helps to address it. 
There is a necessity, not to give more weight to words than that they truly deserve. To me, it is impossible to fail. You can’t even call it bad decision-making. You make a decision, evaluate it based on what happens, and then make another decision based on the results. If something doesn’t work out, you learn as much as you can from it and either find a better way to do it or do something else. That is all you can do.
There are two possible ways of looking at it. Either allow the negative results of your decisions (your “failures”) to knock you down and keep you from trying anything new, or you begin to count your failures as successes. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense to look at the plans that don’t work as a positive, because they usually direct us off in another direction. And there is always the possibility that the new direction will provide the results we are seeking.

Behind every failure is the potential for success, and if we give up too soon, we may never know what wonderful thing we could have accomplished. There is a story involving Edison, which illustrates this point perfectly. At one point Thomas Edison was supposedly asked by a reporter how it felt to have experienced 1,000 failures in inventing his light bulb, and the inventor allegedly replied, “I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to not make a light bulb.” Can you imagine what life might be like if Edison had given up on the first try?
Plan and try… and believe that failure is just one learning step in life, while Success is only one step away.

‘T-issue’: Trust Issue (Part -1)

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Note: This blog post is a short story, presented in two capsules. The present blog post presents the first half of the short story. 

Everyone has their own story to narrate, and I have mine. I am a Tissue, and this is my story…I come soaked in rose water with scented fragrance, packaged in a thin plastic wafer…tear along its serrations and I am ready for use.
Today, I want to share my story. A story, that was far different from what my peers were used for. A couple of months ago, I was born in a small factory on the west coast, and I was shipped to mid-west, and was stacked along with others from my fraternity…ready for sale. While waiting to be picked up, I heard from other tissues around me, that most of the time we are used to carry the dirt and grease that our owners greedily wish to get rid of; of course no one really knew their definite use.
One day, I was pushed onto the front row, since others ahead of me were picked up. A lady, probably in her mid 20’s, lean and short with long hair…talking on her phone, pushed me and a couple others into her cart, in a rush and dragged on. As I sat on the upper clip of the cart, I started to notice my owner. A wheat complexioned young woman, dark brown eyes and black curly hair (straight at the roots) falling down on her shoulders. She was on the phone all through with her mushy talk, until she reached the billing desk. She said a sweet bye, and flipped her phone. As the guy on the other side of the counter, started to tag each item in her cart, she had an innocent face with a mischievous smile…and started to flirt with him. I was put into a shopping bag, and I never knew what happened after that, until I was pulled out from it and put in a container on the bathroom rack along with others.
Every night, she carried the container into the living room, and placed it beside herself. She cried, mostly aloud and in silence at times. Day after day, me along with others, waited patiently, listening to her, seeing her cry, until we were picked up. We could do nothing, except for feeling sorry for her…and helping her in our role, in a small way. I always believed that, my job was of a noble doing, since I was of some help to someone to let go their dirt, grease or may be their grief too. As we sat in the container, I wondered what event put my owner through such turmoil, that she needed us, ones with fragrance to comfort her, rather than our peers who came without any fragrance, and as I was told earlier were more suited for her need.
One day, she came running towards the rack, picked up our container and ran into the living room. She emptied our container, and all of us fell to the floor. Today her emotions were out of control, far worse than usual and she was weeping probably from long. She picked up one of us closer to her reach, and pulled out the tissue frantically and wiped her eyes and face clean. As she bundled up our friend into a rag-ball and threw it onto the ground, I heard a faint shout from it, “Her Soul smells worse, more than what I could handle with my fragrance… may be I am the worst used in my community”.
She hurried into picking us one after the other, and yet her grief had no end. After a while, she got up and looked around to find a letter that was crippled. She picked it up, and sat down on the floor closer to me….
… to be continued.
Place: Giza, Egypt 
Date: 7th Jan 2011 

Blue Ocean Strategy : Human Values & Excellence (Part 1)

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Credits & Note: This argument is an attempt to extrapolate the concept presented in Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. In my attempt, I wish to draw a possible explanation and method to seek a better understanding of human emotions and thus excellence in handling relationships. My argument will be presented as a collection of three blog-posts, this being the first of them.
Before I proceed, allow me to present my reasons to justify why such an extrapolation is justified. The reason is based on my belief that the sequence of influence and repercussion of emotions on our actions, if computed by means of suitable indicators, can be effectively studied and analyzed. Nature is an interlinked space with each thread showing us a method to understand itself and beyond. One such analogy, to compare our maturity levels with the help of indicators from study of linguistics was presented here. Here, I attempt to present my approach to draw an analogous similarity between blue ocean strategy for businesses and a possible strategy to understand human values and better handle relationships. 
I begin with stating my hypothesis for the argument, ‘Among individuals, the respect to other people’s emotions is the only solution for inner peace.’ Most of us, who are focused on continuous improvement (Self), instead of on continuous redefinition of our approach towards others, and search for blue ocean run the risk of being the best as we are, yet become irrelevant to the world. And the most interesting observation, is that most of us, no matter how evolved we are in our abilities to understand emotions, are immune to this.

….to be continued.

With a hope: Life around me has breathed easier because I have lived….I live, with my inner peace.
                                                    – Abhijith Jayanthi

Awaaz Do!

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All children 6 to 14 years old have the right to free and quality education under the recently passed Right to Education Act.The RTE Act specifies minimum norms in government schools. It requires all private schools to reserve 25% of seats for children from poor families (to be reimbursed by the state as part of the public-private partnership plan).

The Act also provides that no child shall be held back, expelled, or required to pass a board examination until the completion of elementary education. There is also a provision for special training of school drop-outs to bring them up to par with students of the same age.

The RTE Act is the first legislation in the world that puts the responsibility of ensuring enrolment, attendance and completion on the Government.The Right to Education of persons with disabilities until 18 years of age has also been made a fundamental right. A number of other provisions regarding improvement of school infrastructure, teacher-student ratio and faculty are made in the Act.

To make the Right to Education Act successful, it is important that each one of us knows about it so that every child who is not in school can be sent back for free and quality education.

The time is NOW! Make a difference.

Stand up and make some noise! Join the Awaaz Do movement by signing up now for India’s children. Ask your friends to be a part of getting every single boy and girl into school. Do it now for India’s future.

Come forward and donate to UNICEF to help change 8 million lives.

Spread the word to your family and friends. You can SMS, e-mail, share or just talk to them and ask them to speak up and raise their voice for children. One voice makes a difference but together we can help change the fate of 8 million children. The time to begin is NOW!

Find a school near you and make a visit. Check if the school has:

• Separate toilets for boys and girls.
• Drinking water and places for students to wash their hands with soap.
• Playgrounds for playing sports and having fun.
• A school library for students and their teachers.
• Mid-day meals for children.

You can meet the school head, teachers, community members and even the parents of children enrolled there and talk to them about the RTE Act. Let them know about the highlights and let them know how every child can benefit.

Awaaz Do!

Copyright Note: This Blog Post contains information to create awareness regarding Awaaz Do Campaign of UNICEF. UNICEF reserves all copyrights on the material including the photograph and graphic design.

Answers from Nature

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During the spring few months ago, I was particularly thrilled when I went for a stroll  in the park to see small new shoots popping up from the soft damp earth and new tiny buds opening on the trees. Actually, I love tuning into nature. It fills me with excitement and makes me feel more vibrant and alive. And becoming more aware of the earth and its rhythms is something I strongly recommend, especially given that we live in a world with so many distractions. It can be easy to forget we are part of a larger living thing that is called Mother Earth…my teacher. 
Any time of the year is a perfect time to really get out of doors somewhere in a natural setting for an invigorating walk. And when you do, keep all of your senses open. You’ll probably be surprised at how loud the bird chirping becomes, especially in the absence of loud, distracting noises like roaring motors, screeching sirens and honking horn and blaring radios. You may be especially aware of the warmth of the sun, or if it’s a cloudy day, the depth of the colors all around you. When you breathe in this fresh air, chances are that you will experience a plethora of smells – damp plants, soft earth, tiny wildflowers and more. And be sure to be watchful of life during your walk. If you are lucky, you may spot something really special. These happenstance encounters with life around you will provide answers you always sought. 
As winter is awakening in all of its glory now, I feel the buzz of the life force humming all around me. As I sat in the park, greeted by warm sunshine and cool breeze, surrounded by green and thriving plants and their luscious aromas, I was introduced to a new understanding of self. After years of following nature’s rhythms around me, I can easily visualize how me…myself was transformed and have come to become myself now.
I was at a constant battle with two methods throughout my life. One to seek for myself, and the other to be,  for others in my life. Most of the issues I had to address, and situations I was in, came down to picking either one of the above mentioned methods for a solution. I was always occupied in picking one of the two, which will suit best, rather than attempting to integrate both the methods. Marvelous are the ways of nature, I learnt an important lesson. Love and understanding for self should be a sweet compromise, not a painful surrender for the sake of others.It is possible to integrate these two methods, to find yourself in the joy of others. 
Tuning into mother nature on a regular basis will help you to feel more alive and more connected to the earth and the other living creatures on it. It is definitely my prescription for heading on the right track. I found my answer..and so will you! 
– abhijith 

Unresolved Emotions

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When we are to live through an unresolved emotion, life becomes rather chaotic.Our regular routines are disrupted by recollection of memories…bringing back images…of living these memories, more often than  during usual times. It becomes important with all of this extra hoopla and frenetic activity,  that we learn to keep the peace within ourselves.
I just want to clarify, that being at peace and being happy aren’t necessarily the same thing. There is a definite difference between our feelings and the state of our inner being. The state of inner being is what helps us maneuver through life in a calmer and more peaceful way, regardless of what may be happening around us and/or how we feel about it.
Experiencing inner peace comes from practicing the art of letting go. When we hold onto feelings and situations, reliving them over and over in our minds and feeling the feelings again and again we keep ourselves in a state of inner turmoil, even when some of the situations and feelings are happy ones. So how do we get to a place where we can achieve inner calm? It is actually through our ability to acknowledge our feelings about the things that happen to us and around us and then we can let them go.
This may sound strange, but in actuality nothing ever stays the same. No matter how happy or sad we may feel in any given moment, no matter what may be going on in our lives, it will always change. So hanging onto resentments, fear, and anger or trying to hold fast to feelings of happiness and joy actually keeps us in a state of inner turmoil. Acknowledging our feelings and then allowing them to flow into our past frees us to live in peace. This is the art of letting go.
I wish to share an exercise with you in the event you would like to try this. The next time you find yourself in the midst of turmoil, find a quiet spot and close your eyes and breathe slow deep breaths, for just a few minutes. Allow any feeling that comes up to wash over you and then flow away. Then take a really deep cleansing breath and return to your day. Do this as often as you need to and you will discover that you can do it faster and more easily each time.
Inner peace is the key to living a better, more fruitful and comfortable life. If you practice the art of letting go, over time you will find yourself doing it quite naturally. You will discover that there are times when you become consistently peaceful from within and don’t even have to pick up and feel feelings before you let them go.
I sit here…with an unresolved emotion…seeking answers to fill my empty heart with hope, to seek inner peace. And so can you!
– Abhijith Jayanthi – Goa – 27th Nov 2010

Our Youth…

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Life is a collection of shades, we progress as we move along. The term ‘Youth’ portrays a confusing shade. It speaks of both the needed energy, and priority in approach at the same time. Nevertheless, it is the shade which each of us wish to remain with. The legend of Ponce de Leon, the Spanish explorer  speaks of  how he was supposedly looking for the fountain of youth and discovered Florida instead. Well, he certainly wasn’t the first person to be lured by a dream of eternal youth.  There are numerous stories about powerful figures in history such as Alexander the Great and Cleopatra who also sought to hold onto their beauty and vitality. And the search for youth continues.  All you have to do is to turn on the television or open a beauty magazine to find advertisements for miracle hair tonics, wrinkle cures, stomach flatteners, etc.  It seems we are still looking for a fountain of youth, but this time it is through creams or supplements or health regimens that make extravagant, unproven claims.  However, I don’t think that is the right way to stay young.
 
It is more about growing from within that is needed, we need to connect with nature. Staying physically fit is important, but so also is keeping mentally and emotionally fit.  We need to handle stress well and need to let go of our worries at the end of each day.  Each of us, have our difficult or challenging experiences, but it is our positive response to these difficulties and challenges that enable us to carry on.

So there may be a fountain of youth after all, but not exactly as we envisioned it.  As the “ageless” Sophia Loren has said, “There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love.  When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”

Now that’s a fountain I think we can all dip into….

                                                                                                          -Abhijith 

Desperation Cottage

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Every day, there are things in our lives that we dismiss as luck or chance or simply take for granted.  Certainly there are times when events throw us completely off balance or make us feel vulnerable or afraid.  But I think that most of the time we are so involved with our daily routine to be successful, whether it be with work, errands, chores and the like, that we forget to notice the things around us that make our lives better.
The truth is that, no matter what is going on in our lives, there are no ordinary moments, no minutes or seconds that are meaningless.  And most of all, we will never get back those moments that pass without recognition.  So, that is why it makes sense to look for and acknowledge the daily gifts that come from the universe.
In our everyday struggle to define happiness.. a happy future for ourselves, we are missing a basic requisite for our struggle.. to be happy. We fail to notice everyday events in our lives. At first glance these things may seem rather unimportant, but when I think about what life might be like without them, I appreciate them all the more, and the bigger and more wonderful they seem to be.  And if you think about it, you may agree that the little things are what either drive us crazy or make us happy.  So, the little things in life really are important, even if they may not seem to be at the time.
    
For me, the best thing about recognizing such moments is that when I pay attention and open myself up to them, I notice them all the more and feel like I may even attract more of them my way.  The end result is that I am happier and more content with my life and consider each day different in its own way. I am happy now… and I seek…to be happy in the future.
    
Little miracles happen every day.  Flowers bloom, babies are born, the sunshine warms our skin and we get to be a living, breathing part of the living, breathing universe.  I hope you will take the time to recognize the warm, special moments that make you feel good about yourself and the world around you. It is time for you to come out of the desperation cottage..to seek happiness, and notice that happiness is around us.. here and now!  Live the moment!
Yours,
Abhijith
Dated: July 2009, written to a friend of mine.