Catch the Criminals

The Daily Prompt:  Dear LeaderIf your government (local or national) accomplishes one thing this year, what would you like that to be?

~~~

Reading this for a while I thought , which country – Australia, India or the whole world? The whole gamut of issues exist that need to be fixed.

In Australia, there are certain recurrent issues that need attention and solution. Treatment of asylum seekers is one such problem that has become a Human Rights violation issue. Another issue is related to the Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders. Much as they have been exploited and disadvantaged in the past, they need huge improvement in their lives as crime rate is going high amongst their community

Talking about crime rate, in general Australia has always had low crime rate compared to many other countries. But nowadays, this too is becoming a major issue, albeit one that directly influences our lives.

Recently, one busy early morning as I casually watched TV, some superintendent from Crime Stoppers was warning viewers about how criminals nowadays do not look for empty homes.  He said they now focus on occupied homes when inmates are inside so that they can get car keys and other things easily and walk away.  At this, the TV host asked the superintendent a plethora of questions about how to keep oneself safe. I too paused my work to pay attention to this part.  As I mentally noted his warnings, exactly five minutes later I came out of my front door only to discover that my car had been burgled. I must say it was a very spooky coincidence. My previous post was on this topic.

So yes.  Crime in Sydney should not grow higher than what it is.  Australia should continue to be a safe and peace loving country that is always has been. Police should not take such burglaries lightly.

Other than this, I am lightly familiar with the casual working style of government officials and leaders. From a very early age, for a few years I worked as a casual newsreader at All-India-Radio. Later on I also worked in Australian Public Service for some time. These jobs were my direct stint with the workings of government offices. Wonderful as they are, they have their limitations.

People want quick results from their leaders but after winning the elections (by hook or by crook), by the time political parties settle down and devise their strategies, it is their time to leave. Slow as snail!  Policies get no time to be fully implemented. So much nepotism and red-tapism runs within government offices.

Therefore, for us public, it’s not enough to keep hoping for miracles, and also not enough to identify what we would like our leaders to do. It is necessary to voice out your opinion, in whatever way you want – via radio, print media or some other voluntary organisations. Let your public voice be heard!.

I participate in local government affairs by calling various talk-back radio shows to convey my views on sociopolitical issues. Other than this, it is the Non-Government Organisations – the NGOs – that are now a big force of change and we should work for them. Whenever possible, I try to do voluntary work for Australian and Indian organisations, as well as those in any other part of the world.

Our dear leaders are not enough. They have better things to do than solve our problems.

DIY – Easy Fix

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Easy Fix.”

Leaky Showers – Easy Fix

I always thought
singing
dancing
painting
were my forte
my neglected skills
 must learn them
rather relearn

last sunday
home alone
bath-shower got leaky
shower dripping
hot water bursting
all round flooding

long time back
had learnt the skill
of fixing leaky taps
of changing washers
practiced
off and on

this DIY skill
now came handy
thankfully I survived
but at the same time
 I realised

that fine arts
 please our soul
 quench our heart
help us connect
to nature
to God
to after-life

but it is
the basic skills
like
fixing leaky showers
that help us
live, survive
and easily
fix
our daily life

you see
things went wrong
I applied
my DIY skill
and
all was right in the world

***

Heartful Brainful Me

What percentage of our brain power do we use? There’s this assumption that it is not more than 10%. Is that true? At least we grow up trying to use more.

……

As I was growing up, like most other dads, my dad too was a great advocate of using one’s brain. Looking into my eyes, he used to put his finger at his temple, knock it and suggest, “Use your brain”.  Say, if he had assigned me some challenging maths problem or was helping me with my homework, then the solution was as easy as saying  – ‘Use your brain’.  At this, I would look dreamily and thoughtfully at the distance with narrowed squinting eyes and act as if I was indeed thinking hard and using my brain.

That was childhood. But as we grow older, we women have our hands more on our sighing hearts rather than on the temples of our brain. In school, where irrespective of our gender, we are allowed to be intelligent and so women do very well in academics often better than boys. While still single, most girls begin their career well and establish a ground. But I’ve seen this phenomenon time and again, that soon, as they get married, when it comes to demands laid by their newly-formed family, women end up using their full hearts much more than their full brains.

In pursuit of best possible care for their family, many of these sensitive souls end up putting their brains in their kitchen wardrobe or in their baby’s toy-box, or else wrap their brain in their teenager’s marks-sheet and forget to take it out. Finally when they do take the ‘walnut‘ out of its closet, it is already distorted and crumpled due to its lack of use or less use than required, or sometimes misuse.

And given the current scientific assumption that even high-achievers have used only 10% of their brain, we can deduce that those women (and men) who have neither fully utilized their educational qualifications nor achieved their career to its full potential, well they have not even used 10% of their brain. What they could have achieved in their career or life, they’ll never ever know. It’s a different matter altogether that what they gain by spending maximum time loving and caring for their children, is much more than any full brain achievements.

There is another category of people who use mainly their heart, hence the brain goes ignored. They are ‘people in love‘.  With illogical infatuation, the brain goes into the bin and heart becomes the king. Brain sleeps while heart sighs and cries and sings and laughs.   Most people in love use only 2.83% of their brain, that too neither in academics nor in any creative pursuits. But possibly they are happy with what they get – an experience of being in love. Ask a dumped lover if he/she should not have got carried away too much, they will always justify, “It’s better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all”.  No regret for all the time wasted.

There is another situation when we cannot use our brain to its fullest and cannot further add any constructive knowledge to it. Well folks, if something is already full up to the brim, can there be any space left for putting anything else in it? Gibberish like stray unhealthy thoughts, redundant ideas, unproductive day-dreaming, constant worrying about others – all these  occupy so much space in our brain that at any particular moment of time or hour or day, our unintelligent thoughts are running hay-wire.

And since our actions are the products of our thoughts, with faulty thoughts we often end up walking in the wrong direction. Even in this wrong direction taken, we are unable to do our very best if we are bothered about office politics or neighborly disputes, or if we look here and there and let others run our life. Unfortunately, most people do have vulnerable brains like that and hence most people use their brains very less, or else guided by others they use it in the wrong direction.

Besides all the above criteria, of course there are many other reasons why we do not use our brain to its fullest potential. Lethargy, lack of direction, lack of motivation, lack of right resources, ill-health – there can be any number of valid reasons.

So where do I stand in all this?  Did I or did I not used my brain to its fullest?

If I had not encountered at least some of the above negating factors, if I could get back my lost years, could regain my lost opportunities and if I could turn back time and spend my life in one city focusing on one career, then I would like to set many things right. I would use my brain to establish an excellent career in any one of my favorite fields, but from an early age. Due to changing circumstances, I got to experience many different work areas, thus becoming a Jill of many trades. The result was people consider me heavily multi-skilled, well versed in most. But am I a super veteran in one? Something that is possible even for mediocre brains to achieve if, year after year, they stay solely dedicated in their singular field of work. Therefore, those who judge others on the basis of positions and awards a person had, would not understand me. But there are others who will tell me I’ve been rather lucky. After all, it’s one life and it’s great to have experienced life in its myriad forms. In fact, gaining myriad skills and jobs is like using all parts of one’s brain a lot, rather than only left brain or right brain. Not bad.

If I could use my brain to its fullest, I would also like to write such wonderful books that even in this brain-dead era of social media addiction, after reading my books, all these netizens would willingly desert their non-smart smartphones, will forget about enlightening others with their copy-paste FB quotes and jokes, even temporarily forget to take selfies but would eagerly que up outside the bookshops to purchase my next book, only to discover at the counter that they just got sold-out.

But right now, even with whatever writing ability I have, there is lack of focus, motivation or will to logically organize the pages upon pages of poems and essays that I have written in my computer folders. One needs the use of full brain so as to practically and diligently put one’s written documents in a meaningful order so that the chaos can be called a ‘book’.  But the brain-using-ability I have right now is only 7.69% or less.

There is another creative side of my brain which again I have used only 5.12%.   I would like to compose my music and sing it too, such music that leaves Beethoven and Mozart open-mouthed in awe and will make Hollywood or Bollywood all sign me up for their next song.

Of course, the list is endless. Would like to do portraits and landscapes in oils and acrylics, something learnt long ago but not pursued, even after winning awards. Knitting and sewing are also the tasks that had rather become a cause of shame for the younger me, as I always opined that these are not meant for the academic me. Not applying myself fully into it, meant anytime I began knitting a cardigan I had to leave it unfinished, for I could simply not grasp the intricacies of shaping a neck using multiple knitting needles and threads. In cooking I would like to learn some versatile international cuisines. Creating a visually appealing as well as nutritious food also demands the use of more than 10% brain, actually 16.87% to be more precise. That’s if we could measure our brain usage in percentages.

Having said all this, I personally feel we do not use our brain merely 10%. We use our brain as well as our heart much more than the assumed 10%.  It varies from person to person and from time to time.

In good humour, I categorised the above few kinds of people who do not use their brain 100%.  There is a possibility that they do not want to use their brain to its fullest. That’s because it is too much an effort to keep trying to use our brain to its fullest. Is it better to live life as it comes along?

Really. People should be allowed to do what they want. Full brain is necessary to discover a vital cure for deadly cancer, or to discover and research the whole physical universe.   But a good heart is as vital as a good brain. It makes this world a better loving place, if all the down-trodden are looked after by some self-less kind hearts.

And see what my poetic heart says:

Using my brain 100%
makes me
heartless

Using my heart 100%
makes me
brain dead

heart vs brain
brain vs heart

Not one wins
As I use both
but none 100%

And that’s the
Heartful Brainful Me

 ~~Alka ~~

The Daily Post’s writing prompt brain power prompts us to try using our brain more than our current 10%.

DIY – Leaky Showers

  Leaky Showers – Easy Fix

I always thought
singing
dancing
painting
were my forte
my neglected skills
I must learn them
rather relearn

last Sunday
home alone
bath-shower got leaky
shower dripping
hot water bursting
all round flooding

long time back
had learnt the skill
of fixing leaky taps
of changing washers
practiced
off and on

this DIY skill
now came handy
thankfully I survived
but at the same time
I realised

that fine arts
please our soul
quench our heart
help us connect
to nature
to God
to after-life

but it is
the basic skills
like
fixing leaky showers
that help us
live, survive
and easily fix
our daily life

you see
things went wrong
I applied
my DIY skill
and
all was right in the world

***

The above poem “Leaky Showers” is based on my recent experience, when shower tap burst open. My basic skills in plumbing and carpentry were handy, but one can do better. With our habit of closing the water taps too tightly, and with men of the family on perpetual tours, woman these days have to be know-all

If I Had a Hammer

Easy Fix

Journeying towards a deadline

The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “In Due Time.” has asked us:
“What’s your next, most pressing deadline? Are you excited, stressed, or ambivalent about it? What’s the first thing you’d like to do once you’re done with it?

~~~~

Well, members within a same family live for each other’s deadlines and that’s what a family is all about.  Currently it is my husband’s approaching deadline for his new job that is giving us mood swings.

Few months back, he had to switch jobs as his previous contract finished rather the company closed its local office. The new job search went on along with plans to start his own business.  This in-between-jobs phase was a really eccentric one.  I knew it all the time that this stagnant phase was a temporary one and I could also sense a big change of events around the corner.  And yet, this phase was very difficult to pass.

After what seemed like endless time, he has got a new job.  Thus moving from one great job to another, he will soon leave Sydney to go to Cairns in Australia.  He is looking forward to it.  He loves travelling, staying in different wonderful cities.   For me and my son who cannot go with him in all his journeys, there is a charm of hearing about new experiences, of him getting pretty little things from the new cities often some mementos and of course lots of photographs.

So right now, this is the deadline.  To see him off and see him settled well in his new job.  There is tension.  The packing goes on while he bids farewell to his own friends or is it the other way around?  Well, doesn’t make much difference to me. There is excitement, there is stress for me and my son, and there is anticipation of a different yet more adventurous future as Cairns is supposed to be fun.   There is charm, there is hope and there is unknown fear.

This tension will slowly build up till the 4th of January, the D-day.  Once this deadline arrives for him and for us, from the very next day I too will begin a different life. I can’t join him so I will have to plan a new lifestyle here in Sydney.  All these months, while he was trying to get his own life back to track, I had lost my own track. Well somewhat.  If one member’s life goes disjoint, it does influence every other family member as well.

So my life will suddenly be too smooth, almost boring.  Quieter too.  Other than my work-related stress, there will be lesser household work. But that’s an illusion as he has been very helpful, esp during the in-between-jobs phase.   So when he goes, all the load falls on me and I would need to reschedule my time-table as well as daily shopping to go with my altered dinner menus.   Unlike India, we have no helpers here .

And yet, I look forward to spending my own hours, maybe some better planned writing and reading, going for window shopping, for long walks, in fact anything that pleases me.  Renew my friendships with female friends.  Will also up skill my Web Development knowledge.  May go for doing more volunteering and social service around town.  And of course I can go back to my native country India and spend longer time this time.

But on my very first day alone,  that is the 5th of January, I will rest and sleep a lot.  I have been through such times before so I know what works.

This will be just a deadline like many others that life is full of.  One should look at any changing phase in a positive way and make the most of it.  After all, we in the family have to support each other in meeting the deadlines like these.

cairns-city

cool blue…Cairns

sydney-to-cairns

In Due Time