Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wild thoughts of MiM! - Part 4

Another one of my wacky / tacky thoughts / joke

Mom: Children come and taste the dinner that I have made, its a lovely new recipe, I am sure it will take you to heaven.

Children: (Amidst groans and grins) - mom incidentally or coincidentally the last time you said the same thing we landed in the hospice / clinic / doctors place called heaven... :)

Apologies if you didn't laugh. Anyways laugh your way into 2009 Wish you a happy and prosperous new year.

Click on the picture to have a clear view

Wild thoughts of MiM - 1
Wild thoughts of MiM -2
Wild thoughts of MiM -3

Photography -


Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Art Of Being Happy

An article written for the Adarshan Bangalore Magazine...

Read it and be happy...

Wish you all a very merry X Mas and a prosperous and happy new year 2009!


Disclaimer: These are purely personal views and might not be agreeable to all.

While each man is free to choose his own I like the art of being happy the most.

While pondering over topics on which I could write for this magazine,
Amongst the many suggestions that came to my mind were articles on the economic gloom, the horrendous situation in Zimbabwe, the inexplicable terror attacks in Mumbai, then when I asked few people for suggestions they said anything is fine as long as it is happy. Now this set my mind racing - why does our mind seek all the negative energy in the world rather than merely enjoy the beautiful things out everywhere around us.

As my quote goes
99% of the time one needs to be happy and the remaining 1% needs to be spent in preparing to be happy” – MIM

If only we remembered that we are just transient passengers in this huge journey called life why waste our limited time to being unhappy and down? Our life span vs. life of the world is comparable to 1 sec vs. the seconds available in one year (1 vs. 31536000). Similarly our life time is such a small part of the larger picture that we just can’t waste time by being unhappy or depressed.
There is a whole world of difference between being sad and unhappy. The opposite of a happy person is not a sad person but is an unhappy person. It is not so that a happy person cannot ever be sad or depressed but this state is transient and will disappear soon. But an unhappy person will find it terribly difficult to find happiness and will make it conditional: I will be happy ONLY when /if and so the list goes on.

While being sad is not a crime- indeed being sad is also an emotion that every person must experience. The feeling of sadness is in fact a complimentary phase of happiness, the very need of one being happy is because one doesn’t want to be sad. But being unhappy is a crime.

Happiness is a mental objective; it requires the power of imagination. You have to imagine yourself as being happy in order to be happy, and yes, you just can’t wait for happiness to come to you. There is no magic potion to harness happiness within you and for others.

"The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things."
-- Henry Ward Beecher

Some of us are in a happy state while shopping, some while writing, some while taking photographs, some while gardening, some while sleeping, some while eating. We should however remember that there is a very small line between addiction and (responsible) happiness. I can’t claim to be happy only while I snort ten big lines of cocaine.

In times of economic woe such as these we need to be prudent, but real sense prevailed in me when I absent mindedly understood the lyrics of a Tamil song from the movie – Pudupettai – it translates to mean,
….what’s the point in saving up all your money without even enjoying a bit of it, tomorrow suddenly if you leave the world what’s the whole point? ….

When I look at certain countries with so many different kinds of issues and worries, I can never claim the luxury of being sad and ever complain about anything When people in Zimbabwe are eating the cow skin which was part of their 100 year old flooring, how can you and I ever complain this is not right, that is not right, I don’t have a good life etc?

Here are few basic happiness maintaining techniques
1) Decide to be Happy: No one else can take this decision for you.
2) Happiness should be a priority: Like you plan for your ambition, savings, growth etc you must plan for your happiness.
3) Path to happiness: There will be many a times when you are down, disinterested and feeling sad, don’t let this state prevail more than 5 minutes start counterattacking the sad thoughts, start questioning the real reason of those facts, start working around them to find out the way to overcome the sorrow and get happy. When you are positive, good things happen to you, when you are negative; you draw bad things to you.
4) Constructive energy: Rather than lose all energy by being down, raise your bar and focus all the doom and gloom to find unique ways to counter attack the problem.
[For 3 and 4 – in terms of thinking out of the box and other innovation techniques– try to define at least 10 solutions to any problem and then only choose one. This is because the human tendency is to always choose the first easily achievable solution which comes to ones mind]
5) Dream about happiness: The first step to achieve anything is to think more and more about it, dream it and achieve it. The brain apparently moves towards working out happy dreams in a faster manner.
6) Be appreciative: By just appreciating the wonderful small things around you, you can be very happy. Example if you see an spider which has built a huge web in your house don’t start screaming and calling commands for people to clear it, rather watch the intricate design of the web, take photographs appreciate the little ones hard work etc and then decide what you want to. By being appreciative you also tend to spread positive energy around, you appreciate one person he is in a better mood and appreciates some one else and the cycle just goes on.
7) Forgive and Forget: This doesn’t need any explaining and is very important for being happy.
8) Spread happiness: Try spreading the joy of happiness by means of social or financial contribution to the needy. Volunteer to read for the blind, to take classes for the poor children.
9) Believe in yourself and a higher spirit: Having a high self confidence and indulging in prayers usually works as great stimulant for happiness in many people.
10) Happiness is infectious: This has been proved scientifically that happiness grows in leaps and bounds when in the presence of happy people and good locations. Draw up a list of 5-10 things that make you happy, it could be watching you tube clips of tom & jerry or it could be viewing your photograph collection. Whenever you feel down or out run through the list and within minutes you are freed of your sadness.

One of the jokes I remember from my school days is
Why study? You study to learn more, the more you learn, the more you know, the more you know, the less you can store, the less you can store is the less you know then why study…

Why to worry? The more you worry the more tension you get the more tension you get, the more unhappy you are, the more unhappy you are, the less of happy you are…so beware…

Let me wrap up with some interesting quotes
Happiness is not the absence of problems but the ability to deal with them.
-- H. Jackson (Jack) Brown Jr.

The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be
-- Marcel Pagnol

Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in perfect harmony. -- Mahatma Ghandi

Don't live `for' happiness. Live `with' happiness". -- Indian Philosophers

Be happy and spread the joy of happiness, treat yourself for this wonderful year 2008 and enjoy the run up to a lovely Christmas and let’s hope and pray we have a even better and prosperous new year 2009. Wish you all good luck.

Monish M


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Photograph Guide.

Feels great to have one of my photographs asked and published for a UK based Bath Spa guide - sixth edition of Schmap Bath Guide.

The Circus

If you use an iPhone or iPod touch, then this link will take you directly to the photo in the iPhone version of the guide.
The Circus

Finally, if you have a blog, you might also like to check out the customizable widgetized version of the Schmap Bath Guide, complete with the published photo:

Thanks Emma Williams, Managing Editor, Schmap Guides for getting in touch with me and getting my photograph published.

Circus Bath Spa Information

Complete Photography

Bath Spa Photography


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Wild thoughts of MiM! - Part 3

I was waiting in the Florence (Firenze) railway station for my train to Venezia which was delayed by 2 whole hours, I was sitting in the floor of the station counting seconds off my life and seconds for the train to arrive. To beat boredom my mind started thinking of rather unusual (some nonsensical) sayings and here we go...

BoReD is NOT the Word but other Words are TOO boring as well - MiM

As I walk MILES I get the true meaning of freedom - MiM

A true traveller isn't bothered upon arriving - well at some point he must look at the departure boards - MiM

Lets light lamps, wear white clothes, have candle light vigils and get ready for the next vicious attack - MiM

HUMAN MEMORY IS A VOLATILE PIECE, with limited space, never remembers too much good, too much bad and for too long! - Mim


what I really need is CHANGE


[change is the only word which is not constant!]

Yes I am part of my country, Yes I have a sense of belonging, Yes I will be the change I expect in others! - MiM

Of course we can change things a lot, but how and when remains a concern...I was on a holiday and was so bothered, hurt and pained that I kept reading the websites again and again...many emotions flooded my senses...a sense of fear that next it could be me...and instead of writing a travelogue I was writing few snippets of what I felt...

As a average citizen whom do I fight against
1) Petty thieves / murderers etc
2) Against corrupt government officials
3) Against incompetent politicians who want us to get a VISA to travel between states
4) Or against the new age terror - not knowing what is going to explode and when - who is going to shoot and where

After all this aftermath of a huge unfortunate event it shouldn't be like before - Light candles - have candle light vigils - wear white shirts and black bands and get ready for the next attack. Like the sacrificial goat all dressed up! Lets do all the above, thats the only way we can pay our respects to the departed souls but lets not lose focus let us keep reminding ourselves and our government that we have to be on our toes and our lives and security can't be taken for granted.

All the four points can be averted if we the entire people / public join together.
1) If a guy steals a chain or picks a pocket and I scream for help, if the entire public help in catching him - I will feel secure...
2) We should ensure we don't pay bribes anymore and get the corrupt people caught - you might lose a few days of work and a few thousand rupees in expenses but you have served your nation / society by cleaning / clearing one dirty weed.
3) Don't listen to /elect such politicians and periodically remind them that they are our servants and not vice versa.
4) Demand / formulate rules, be aware of your surroundings and things that go around you.

There are a lot of new initiatives like i lead the way; a billion hands - lets really hope we can all take a active part and change / save our lives / future. A lot of things like PIL by the public and other actions by the government looks right now, let pray and hope we and the government don't slacken.

The future is in our hands lets redefine it!

A Billion Hands
India Leadership Network

Wild thoughts of MiM - 1
Wild thoughts of MiM -2


St Nicolas Church - Guildford, UK

After becoming a regular member of this quiet & beautiful church in the well known town Guildford, Surrey, UK, I was invited to write a article for the church of my experience here and this was what I had given them.

Thanks Father Andrew for this nice little opportunity.

Dear Friends,

I am Monish Matthias, if you can’t recollect who I am; it’s not your fault. I am the person who hijacks the church warden’s chair at the back of the church and runs out headlong once church gets over only to find Father Andrew’s smiling face, warm handshake and nice words of comfort.

Let me give you some background information, An Indian, came here initially for 6 months (Feb 2008) on work which is now extended by 6 months and I expect to be on my way back soon. I was born in the southern land of spices in a state called TamilNadu. The chance to come to the UK was a dream come true as Europe and in particular, the UK always had a special place in my dreams and in my country’s history

The first few days sped by predictably in acclimatizing to the cold. I spent many hours in trying many different ways to keep myself warm ,Suddenly, hibernation in the animal kingdom made perfect sense!. As I started exploring Guildford, the beauty of Guildford started unraveling itself in the most poetic and subdued manner, the cobbled high street of Guildford was a marvelous piece of work and especially seeing St Nicolas Church and the mount behind it was worth many photographs to be taken.

In Chennai, we are members of St Georges Cathedral, a beautiful English-built church built in the 18th century. Like many children I have also feigned sickness, tiredness and tried other tricks in the book to evade my dad and mom waking me up for attending the early morning church service at 7:30 AM. Matters improved somewhat once I started attending Sunday school ( with all the chocolates and gifts from my Sunday school teachers), However, year end exams there as well seemed to put a temporary end to my affection for Sunday school classes. However over the years, with Gods presence and blessings I have now morphed into a regular church attendee. Despite 100% Sunday church attendance remaining a far dream, I console myself with the thought of aspiring to 100% commitment in DESIRING to go to church and pray.

Despite being a resident at recreation road with many churches close by, I used to walk down to St Nicolas church. I recall being filled with nervousness on my first visit as I was fresh in the UK and hadn’t got a hang of local cultural habits, .I walked in, occupied a seat in the last row like a school student imagining he has maximum security and fun when farthest from the teacher! The church looked beautiful and I reminded myself that I was fortunate to be in such a beautiful old church in a country where Christianity roots are so well spread. Then service started and I was instantly calmed. The service is similar to the service back home, the biggest change being the peace offering that we give each other here. Back home, the members of the choir carry the peace to each row and pass it to the first member and they in turn pass it on to the next person in the same row. Here when I saw people greet each other with no particular order, my heart missed a few beats again as I was under the impression that only familiarity bespoke greetings and I knew none then but some people were kind enough to offer their peace handshakes and I instantly was put to ease. Thank you, all once again for your warm and welcoming ways!

At end of service, I started to walk out and was instantly spotted by Father Andrew. Recognizing me to be a newcomer, he warmly asked about me and made me feel instantly welcome and wanted in the new church. Such small gestures really make a person feel good. This is also essentially different from the Indian churches as we have more than 500 – 1000 visitors on an average crowded Sunday church service. It would take the church father a couple of hours to speak to each one of us individually. A highlight of my church worship in the UK has been Father Andrew’s visit to my house on two occasions. I felt both humbled and happy to have the church father visit me at home especially when he knew that I would be around for a short time. Other cherished memories will be that of the young kids playing and creating the much desired fun atmosphere, the senior members who have asked me for my name and made me feel welcome. This church made me feel so at home that I had invited a friend Shashank from India to experience a church service (Easter vigil service) here. Though he practices a different religion he loved the experience. Some of the best churches I have seen are our St Nicolas Church Guildford, Notre Dame Paris, St Georges Chapel Windsor, St Georges Cathedral India and Christ Church Oxford. I am sure this church will rise to great glory under the Lords blessings, Father Andrew’s leadership and the great commitment of each church member. I will remember you all in my prayers and do give me a call / mail when you visit India. I am sure all of you would love India and the different culture there; I extend my warmest welcome to all of you to visit India. Looking forward to spend a happy Christmas with all of you and advance wishes for a lovely run up to Christmas and a happy Christmas.

St Nicolas Church, Guildford