Sunday, May 24, 2009

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.....Steve Jobs

Stanford Report, June 14, 2005
'You've got to find what you love,' Jobs says

This is the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005.I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.
I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, its likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.
I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me.. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.

My third story is about death.
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope its the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch.. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.
Thank you all very much.

Exceptional Teamwork

My daughter received this puzzle as their birthday gift from her dear Acchan, my hubby..( My son liked it too...but he had his share of gifts..mickey mouse and cars.....)They are too young for this, though…But still, my daughter wanted it as her birthday present ..I tried frantically to hide and keep out of their reach knowing the fact that by the time they are old enough to solve this arranging the picture puzzle, most of the pieces will be lost. After 2 days, I saved the remaining pieces of this fine art and hide it inside my shelf, assuming that they will not raid my shelf searching for their things......and I forgot about this altogether for so long as.... Somehow my detective daughter fished it out from the hidden place.

And we, as a family decided to shape out the final picture as we don’t have the box or the booklet that came along with it.

Here is the output….with some pieces missing at the corners. Luckily….

I’m planning to paste it permanently on a cardboard and make it as wall hanger or something…I’ve once again hidden it somewhere…hopefully I’ll get sometime later….

Monday, May 18, 2009

A visit to Marundeeswarar Temple at Thiruvanmiyur

I dread weekends these days, primary reason being hot blistering summer at Chennai. I wish to have working days just to save myself from the oppressive heat under the blanket of AC. Given an opportunity, I wish to huddle myself inside my bedroom with AC blasting to its peak. Never I like to get out of the front gate, not even to buy fruits/vegetables from the street vendors. My children, on the other hand, love to go around to the nearest store to get a pack of bread/ sweets or simply for a scooter ride with my dear hubby. Saturday, my family excused me from my weird crazy behavior. By Sunday evening, my children got crazy and angry with me. I’ve to give in. OK, but only after 6pm. Still under sweltering sun, we, 4 went for a scooter ride in all possible directions, wherever the road goes. We were not sure where to go. I was indulgently suggesting my hubby to go some temple reminding him that we have not visited any religious place this week. Now my hubby focused his ride on particular direction towards the beach road. I mistook him that he has ignored my proposition. I was about to sulk when my hubby stopped right in front of Marundeeswarar Temple, Thiruvanmiyur. The entrance is on the main road and I missed it almost completely. We removed our footwear’s and deposited in the counter.

As soon as we entered the entrance, I was amazed to see the whole big open space to the left with a pavement to walk almost ½ km. We first entered the sanctum Santorum of Goddess Thirupurasundari, who is actually Godddess Parvati . There were heavy decorations around with lots of flower strings dangling all over the outer pavilion. The Goddess was almost hidden under a silk sari and flowers and the priest with his aarathi tray of oil lamp, kumkum and flowers to be distributed to the devotees. As we were praying, in the middle of huge crowd, I heard the “Abirami Andhathi” being recited in a loud manner. I thought it is coming from the speaker. But to my amazement, there was this person who was singing to the top of his voice, seeing and singing the verses inscribed in the wall. I was watching him and was thrilled to hear and suddenly I could feel a sense of fulfillment, an unexplainable feeling...a positive aura...frankly speaking, not that I understood what the verses meant..but the way he has recited with full involvement and submission to Goddess Abirami. Coincidently, my hubby also felt the same.

(Photo courtesy : Internet)

We were off to visit Lord Marundeeswarar. Had a close up darshan and my children were vying with each other putting some paise in the thallam that the priest offered the aarathi to us. I dragged the children out and did pradhakshanam of remaining Gods and Goddess around. There were some cows tethered inside and outside the sheds and my children were amazed to see them. Infact, my hubby persuaded them to touch couple of cows in spite of their shivering and scared looks which later turned out to be like fun game scaring the cows off.

(Photo courtesy : Internet)

We checked out the bookstall which had good collection of sostharam and slokas books and ended up buying quite a few books. My daughter’s focus was on the next door shop, the place where one can get nice thatta’s/laddoos/puliyogare rice etc etc. She got her share of thatta packet and my son got his favourite laddoos. I had to fight with them to get a little piece to taste, my share.

We rushed back to the exit and off on the scooter to reach home.

(Photo courtesy : Internet)
About the temple: (Courtesy Internet)

Marundeeswarar Temple is a legendary temple located in the breezy area of Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai adjacent to the beach of Bay of Bengal. This is a magnificent temple built for Lord Shiva, in his incarnation of Lord Marundeeswarar. Lord Marundeeswarar is said to have the power to heal. Lord Marundeeswarar is known so because he taught sage Agastya about some magical medicine. Since then The Marundeeswarar temple has been a place of worship for people with diseases and various problems with their health. It is said that even The Sage Valmiki, who wrote The Ramayana, came here to The Marundeeswarar temple to worship The Lord. Sage Valmiki was said to be blessed here. After this incident, this place was to be known as Thiruvalmikiyur, after a long period of time, the name gradually changed to Thiruvanmiyur. The lingam for which Lord Hanuman performed pooja, The lingam(meenakshisundareswarar) that cured the curse of Lord Indra, the Lingam for which Saint Bharadwaja performed pooja are present here. Markandeyar performed a penance and prayed to lord Shiva here, Lord Brahma is believed to have conducted a festival here for lord Shiva.Located in the southern part of chennai city this famous temple is a Paadal Petra Sthalam with Thirugnanasambandhar and Thirunavukkarasar having delivered Paasurams here.The temple has smaller Shrines for Lord Ganesha, Lord Murugan, Lord Shiva, which has the idols of Lord Shiva in his three forms, Lord Theyagaraja, Lord Marundeeswarar, and Lord Nataraja. Lord Nataraja is supposed to be Lord Shiva in his dancing form. Lord Theyagaraja and Lord Nataraja are the only forms of Lord Shiva in which he is not in the Lingam form. The last shrine is for Lord Marundeeswarar's consort, Goddess Thirupurasundari, who is actually Godddess Parvati.( The order of shrines given is the order which is supposed to be followed while worshipping the idols). The sculpture of the temple is accurate, and has a lot of detail in it.The Primary deity, The Marundeeswarar Lingam is said to be formed naturally and has not been sculpted by anyone. This formation is known as Idumbu in Tamil. In the Mahamandapam where The deity resides, there are 108 lingams, and the replicas of the five lingams of the five elements. The divine cow Kamadhenu is believed to be delivering milk to the lingam daily and the lingam is hence white. For this reason, the lingam here is also called 'Paalvannanathar' (in Tamil, 'Paal' means milk, 'Vanna' means colour). And hence, Paalvannanathar means 'one whose colour is that of milk'. Other names of the Lord here are Oushadheeswarar, Marundheesar, Vedapureeswarar. The Goddess is also known as Thirupurasundari, Chokkanayagi and Sundaranayagi.The eastern and western entrances are marked by elegant raja gopurams (cascading towers). The central part is occupied by two large chambers housing the Thyagaraja and Marundeeswarar mandapams. A total of 36 beautifully carved pillars stand here. Inside the temple complex are provided a number of sculptures, including the dancing Ganapati, Lord Narasimha killing the demon Hirankayasibu, Sarbeswara and Mahavishnu. The temple also contains five main Sivalingams and 108 others.The Vanni tree at the site is considered as sacred. There are five tanks holding sacred water near the temple complex. These tanks have been named as Janmanasini, Kamanasini, Papanasini, Gnanadhayini and Mokshadhayini.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Kapaleeswarar Temple at Mylapore

It is Saturday..and my dear hubby was not feeling well and hence took off from work..He locked himself in a room to sleep off to glory shutting off the children’s prangs and shouting’s, yellings and quarrellings by me… ….Anyways, as usual as I was busy behind them not to do this ...that….locked the front grill and off to kitchen to cook something for lunch….Intrigued by silence in the front room, I thought of checking it out and to my disillusionment, both of my kids have opened the front grill gate and was playing with a water hose pipe bathing each other……both of them dripping wet right from head to toes….I shouted at them….running behind them to remove and change their cloths….sweeping and mopping the whole portico….My hubby gushed out of the room screaming “will you not allow me to sleep?”…..
On seeing my plight, he decided to cut short his nap and gave a helping hand in disciplining my kids…Thank God……………

After lunch, we all slept for a while….and my hubby started going over options to spend the evening ….My hubby always visits temple on Saturdays right from his school days…He wants to revive this habit….and hence was asking which temple should we go…..I suggested that we should go to Kapaleeswarar Temple in Mylapore. Soon after marriage, me and my hubby had been to this temple….and one more time some 7 years back after buying our Honda Activa……My hubby was scratching his head how to commute all the way from our home….We 4 hurled ourselves in the scooter to the nearest MRTS (Mass Rapid Transportation Service) loading my backpag with biscuits, water bottles…and of course, my camera…..It is 5.30pm but still the sun is sweltering hot…making us sweaty and sticky…

My hubby went to park the scooter while we head the ticket counter …there were 2 long queue…we waited for nearly 10 minutes to get our tickets…We ran hand in hand to get into
the compartment……We settled ourselves in a 4 seater…and children were thoroughly happy and eager to enjoy the trip….which we can read it in their face and eyes bubbling with excitement…..Vava slipped out of her seat the moment the train bellowed out its horn “BooOHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh”…..she gave a hearty loud sound echoing the horn at every station…..inviting the attention of the co-passengers……She became the attraction the whole journey for them…..Monu was excited whenever a train crossed by……he, in fact, kept leaning over my hubby….with a line of shame tickling at the end of the mouth when couple of eyes focused on him…..Finally, we got down at our destination “thirumailai”….I stopped my hubby saying it is not ‘mylapore’….my dear, it is mylapore only….oh, it is thirumailai..that became mylapore…oh I C….Hearing these dialogues, monu…”Accha, is it bangalore?’…”No, it is mylapore”…..”Appo bangalore..”…Thanks to the rhyming ……We walked for 5 minutes or so….to reach our target “ the famous “Mylapore Kapaleeswarar Temple”… The Theppakulam .."water tank"...was a sight in the night....with lots of water.........
We left our footwear’s at the flower vendor where we got archana thattu….. It was well crowded being a Saturday and weekend….We followed the endless queue to reach the sanctum santorum….First
was the Goddess Karpagambal…
.(photo Courtesy : Internet)
blissfully decorated with mallikapuvu maalai’s…and then …………… Lord Kapaleeswarar……
(photo Courtesy : Internet)
It was so crowded that I almost hit the Gurukal with
the back of my elbow…he gave me a big look..I cajoled him saying “Sorry ma…”…..once again he gave me a big look………………..hahahaha……Gurukal ke aaappppa…..!!!....After a long wait, and requesting the special ticket holders to be seated endlessly..not heeding to our pleas…..we standing in the general queue, got exhausted and got our archana thattu back and had to just squeeze out of the swarmed crowd. My one end of the duppatta in one direction and the other end in another direction…Thank god, I joined my family who saved their shape and size by reconciling themselves in one corner intact….My hubby says..”God is omnipresent, omnipotent”..(Thonnillum irukkiraar..Thrumbimillum irrukkiraar)…..We finished our pradarkshnam …..and left the temple…with all the mental strain gone and was in eternal bliss and positive aura.
(photo Courtesy : Internet)
On the way back, I got couple of earrings from the roadside shops…..Then we headed towards the MRTS…and …. Waited for the big horn “BBOOOOOhhhhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmm”……Reached our destination…..We then headed to the nearest restaurant and had our dinner…..Fried rice, Chinese noodles, icecreams and fresh juice……came back home and hit the bed…and slept like log……
About the temple : (Courtesy Internet)
The Kapaleeswarar Temple in Mylapore, Chennai is a very ancient temple. The original temple was submerged under the sea & the current temple structure was a later construction. The Moolavar is Kapaleeswarar & Amman is Karpagambal. There are separate annadhis for several deities such as Vinayagar, Annamalaiyar, Murugar, Saneeswara. There are several other deities such as Durgai, Dakshinamurthy, Chandikeswarar located within the main Sannadhis of Kapaleeswarar & Karpagambal. The temple tank lies opposite the tower.
Karpagambal is said to have worshipped the Lord in the form of a peacock (Mayil in Tamil) & hence the area came to be called Mylapore.
The temple architecture reveals the Dravidian traits, with its carved gopuram measuring about 37 metres in height. The temple is also provided with elaborate mandapams and a storage tank. The inscriptions on the temple structure are some seven and a half centuries old. The structure was renovated by the Vijayanagar kings in the 16th century A.D. The facade of the structure lies towards the east and the entrance is marked with Puranic inscriptions.
The temple flag mast has the shrine of Saint Gnanasambandar. Thirugnanasambandar, is said to have brought back to life the maiden Poompavai, daughter of Sivanesa Chettiar ( a Siva devotee) who was desirous of marrrying him, at Mylapore. The saint poet Tiruvalluvar lived here. The bronze idols of the 63 Nayanmars, the saints who were devotees of Lord Siva are placed in the Kapaleeswarar Sannadhi. The Punnai tree in the courtyard reveals the tale that eventually gave the place (Mylapore) its name. This tree is the oldest of its kind in the city of Chennai. Every year the Arupathumoovar festival is conducted & the 63 nayanmars are taken in procession.
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