Tag Archives: artist

Bollywood, Movies – Illusion

As some of you might know I run a small business on the side which is teaching Bollywood Dance. As a part of that I got contacted by Bollywood Musical Company Taj Express asking if I wanted to partner with them.

It was on a Tuesday night at 8:00 pm and Friday before that we had another Bollywood Dance Party (A great one by the way – they are having another one in May too, if you are interested) and that was a late night affair. It started around 9:30 pm and went on until the wee hours in the morning.

We sleep around 9:00 pm ish – as we were leaving the house at 8:00pm my iPhone gave me a reminder “Go to bed at 9:00 pm to get 8 hours of sleep”. If you are thinking why I am telling you all these details – its because I am trying to say that our sleeping cycle was already disturbed and we go to bed pretty early. So I wasn’t sure if really wanted to go to this event or not.

Anyways the partnership they wanted was for me to advertise their show and I said yes. Sow what you reap – I am very selfish that way. So they sent me this packet containing flyers/posters and two complimentary tickets. We decided we were going.

I didn’t have a lot of expectations going in – it was 75 percent full which was a good turnout. And then the show started. Foot Tapping music, lovely costumes and dance moves that made you move in your seat. We had done quite a few of the songs in our dance class as well. And at intermission there was an significant increase in my energy levels and that was reflected in the crowd as well. People were smiling at each other as if we are all a part of a big secret event. It got me enthused for sure. And the joy-ride continued with full steam ahead for the rest of the show and by the end of it I did not want it to end. I secretly wanted to get on the stage and dance with them.

Here’s a link to a latest Bollywood Movie Song – Watch it NOW, its only 2 minutes. I am sure you were also excited – there definitely has been some upward movement in the energy levels.

The reason I love Bollywood is – a) I am an Indian b)it a part of my job requirement c) it’s entertaining d) it takes me out of my daily life and lets me be immersed in something which is so fantastical that for those few moments nothing else exists. This is probably true for any activity that we truly enjoy like reading a book, meditating or doing yoga.

However, it as during the show I thought that there might something else going on here too – it might be deeper than just the energy rush that we get. Life is an illusion and maybe when we go to these movies we get a little more closer to realizing that we are watching a movie within the movie which we call Life.

And if that was too complex – check this out

Cooking Creativity

When I first met Adam one of the my very emphatic statements to him was that I am not going to cook. Coming from India where it is assumed that girls will grow up and cook for their husbands and family, I assumed that Adam had similar notions. I was all set to make it straight. Adam’s cool answer to my “ready to go to war with” statement was “OK”.

And now surprise, surprise I love cooking – well, trying new recipes and if they are vegan/gluten free/healthy and have chia seeds or other superfoods even great. Like this weekend I made Onion Garlic Buttah [Vegan butter from Cashews], I have been on this cooking journey since last year. This weekend as I was making the Buttah I thought about why the sudden change. At first, I thought it was because, now it’s not expected of me – it’s my choice. But then I realized it was because it was creative. That got me thinking and hence the blog.

The picture above says it all and the output of the cooking is a lot different from the input itself. You do create something new and that’s what I like. Even the recipes I have made once I always change something in them. There is something very satisfying in taking different ingredients and making something new out of them.

And maybe this is why I love Software development too – creation of a website/form that did not exist before. As an engineer I assumed that I wasn’t creative but as I got into management the one thing I really missed was the creation of something tangible. And we will not talk about the fact that creativity might end up looking like a skyscraper when the client really wanted a small cabana on the beach – minor details.

And it was when I read Artist way that I started opening up to my creative self. And it is a journey – for years I grew up thinking creativity was something was outside of me – even the dictionary meaning of creative states that is something which is used for artistic work like painting/art. So if you are not a poet or an artist you are not creative.

the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.

However, now I am realizing that creativity is inbuilt in us as humans. Well, to begin with the mind chatter – voice in our head creates these lovely movies about things that don’t even exist or will never exist. For example, you see somebody in a party and your Mind Chatter creates a reality where that person does not like you. Or you have just given an interview and your Mind Chatter creates a reality where you will never get the job or where you get the job. We are creating all the time.

In fact, every day we wake up in the morning we are creating our day – every moment is a one that did not exist before. We are all creative beings in that sense – and now I beginning to understand where creativity and personal mastery come together.

What kind of a life are you creating right now, at this moment?

We are all in Prison

Raymond Fiest, one of my favorite fantasy authors writes in his book, “The Magician”

we are the architect of our own prison

What does he mean by that? Let me tell you a story.

A rich couple are blessed with a baby boy after several years of marriage. They bring the boy up and groom him to be a business man so that he can take over his dad’s business. Twenty five years of father’s life have gone in building the dream that his son will carry on his legacy. You can imagine the dismay when his son announces that he wants to be a farmer and not a business man like his father. The father tells his son, “You have made me very unhappy.”

QUESTION: How many of you think he is right? That the son is responsible for his father’s unhappiness.

Here’s a tip: All that the son did was tell his father that he was going to be a farmer. The father had the choice to be happy or unhappy. And he made the choice to be unhappy. That was the prison he created for himself. He not only made himself unhappy but refused to take ownership for that as well.

Imagine how many times in our life we refuse to take the ownership of our own choices. In fact some of us live under the delusion that the external circumstances have made our life miserable and not us. We are not even aware of our own choice.

For example, I remember telling my dad that I was probably going to hate Columbus after London. And my dad in his practical fashion, responded, “You can hate Columbus all you want, Columbus doesn’t care.”

You don’t get the promotion you want, your spouse divorces you or your kids take to marijuana or somebody you don’t like became the head of your office/country – you make a choice to be happy or unhappy.

It’s ok to make either choice – even if you decide to be unhappy about it – do it knowing that it’s your choice nobody’s making you unhappy. Own the decision. That’s the first step – it’s harder to accept the decision as the best thing that can ever happen to you though. Difficult but not impossible – practice does make everything perfect.

Let’s take the prison theory to next level. This gets a little into the spiritual realm more so than usual. Even when we own our choice or decide to be happy about it all that we are doing is getting better food – in the prison. In the human predicament we are all already in the prison we are just moving to a better one. It is very hard to explain such things in words because words are not enough.

My favorite quote comes to mind,

“In this plane there is no answer and outside the plane there is nobody to ask the question.”

However, in his book UnTethered Soul, Michael singer provides a great description of what I am trying to say. Imagine space/vaccuum in which things are floating like Cars/your ideal job/ your partner/ your savings account etc. The minute your mind focuses on the car , it becomes a block and many such blocks build the prison. It’s all an illusion but we have forgotten that we are actors and are convinced that this is the reality.

How do we get out of the prison? All paths lead to Rome. If this article has planted a seed in you then nurture it, watch for it – if you are drawn towards painting/writing/aerobics or something that you always wanted to do as a kid. Go for it, it might open the door that may be your path out of the prison. For those of us who meditate or do yoga – when we breathe or we are focused on sensations at that moment there is no thought – in that moment we are free
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Bollywood Dance Masti – the journey.

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When we moved from London to Columbus I decided to take a conscious break to do nothing. I found it quite hard to do ‘nothing’ that is and not to mention that I was driving Adam crazy with all my ideas on what I can do.

As a part of doing nothing I decided to take up the twelve week course as designed in Artist Way. To my surprise it did inspire a creative spark in me. As one morning I woke up and decided that starting a Bollywood Dance Class is the way to go. I met Adam for lunch and told him about my great idea and being a project manager at heart I had a mini plan ready.

Me: So what do you think? [After I showed my detailed plan to him]
Adam: When did you have this idea? [As I had never mentioned this to him before]
Me: This morning [looking very sheepish]

And that was that – I didn’t think about it more, assumed it was going to be a passing idea. And then a month later we went to a retreat as a part of the Creativity and Personal Mastery course we took in London Business School. And as the name indicates it helps you discover your creative self by knowing more about yourself. And I am forever grateful to my fellow CPMers who encouraged me to go ahead with my idea of starting a dance class. The positive energy that I got from the retreat created a momentum which even I couldn’t stop. I got back from the retreat created my Bollywood Company. Advertised through Living Social and Facebook and I was an entrepreneur.

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When you are in flow things do fall into place and that’s exactly what happened. People showed up – We all helped each other enjoy dance and soon a community was formed which keeps giving.

Here’s to all the Bollywood Dance Masti Dancers. Love you all.