Why Positive Visualization doesn’t work for me

My friend Vinay Vyasarao, on a hammock somewhere near Gurgaon

The Voice (thereafter referred to as V): Relaaaaaaaxxx!!! Imagine yourself in a hammock, in a forest, bird sounds, you’re relaxed, reading a book. Let it be vivid, detailed, feel it, live it. Your favorite song is playing …
Me (thereafter referred to as … Me): Hey hey, wait a Min! What’s it playing on? Do you have a Sound system?

V: It’s playing on your ipod, you’re listening through the headphones.
Me: It gets sweaty. Can’t we get a portable CD player or something? Would be interesting to hear music in a Jungle ambience.
V: Ok, we have music playing on a portable CD player.
Me: Does it have batteries, or do we have a power extension cable running through the forest?
V: Battery powered, Don’t worry, Relax! Let’s continue, your favorite song is playing…
Me: Hold on, I hope this CD player of your has a remote, getting off this hammock is not easy, you know.
V: Yes, it does, Don’t worry!
Me: Does it have a USB slot?
V: What does THAT have to do with anything?
Me: Well, if it doesn’t, I’ll have to get off this hammock when the CD ends. How much can you cram into that Audio CD? 70-80mins tops?
V: Don’t worry, we’ll have someone change the CD when you ask
Me: Hey, I thought I was alone here, is there someone else too?
V: Yes, imagine there’s someone with you.
Me: Hmmm, can I imagine anyone?
V: Yeah!
Me: Anyone!!??? You’re sure?
V: Yes.
Me: Can it be a different person everytime I do this?
V: This is not about fantasizing, it’s about Positive visualization, Dammit!!!
Me: Well, Take it easy Dude, isn’t this supposed to be my Visualization? So I can visualize anything that motivates or relaxes me, right?
V: Ok, don’t worry, Go on, Imagine anyone you want?
Me: Ok, Done (hmmm…Nice!!!)!
V: Just curious, who did you imagine?
Me: It’s my vivid visual dude, and it has privacy features, so don’t even try to peep!
V: Ok, Let’s continue, your favorite song is playing…
Me: Right!
V: … and you’re totally at ease, Relaxed, no worries, none at all, totally in the present, no desires, none at all…
Me: Hey hey, hold on!!! Talking of desires, how about a chilled beer?
V: What?
Me: I’ll feel more fulfilled if there’s some beer too
V: Ok, you got it!
Me: Which one?
V: Which one do you want??
Me: Can you get me a chilled Kingfisher Ultra?
V: Sure, you got that!
Me: Where do I place the bottle between sips?
V: !!???
Me: I mean the chilled beer bottle is sweating condensed water and making everything wet, the book too, this is a library book BTW, and it’s overdue. Now, it’ll be overdue & Wet!
V: Ok, we’ll get a small bench next to the hammock, you can place the bottle on it
Me: Cool, Thanks! Is there a chance I could get some Chips & fries with that?
V: Hmmm…Sure!
Me: Wait a minute, you said it’s the jungle, How’ll you get me fries?
V: Ok, IMAGINE this is a jungle area next to a resort, and that Resort has a kitchen
Me: Damn, why didn’t you tell me first, we could order some chicken from the kitchen!
V: Ok, sure!
Me: And in that case, it might be better to get an amplifier, this portable CDP just doesn’t cut it for this Jungle feel.
V: !!???
Me: We could place the speakers such that we have a wide sound stage. We’ll stick to 2 speakers though.
V: Yeah.
Me: Let’s play a CD and see how it sounds
V: Let’s play Dire Straits, Yeah let’s Rock it!
Me: Relax, take it easy 😉
V: :)?!
Me: Looks like the soundstage is not right, we need to toe in these speakers. Hey Voice & Deeps, could you give me a hand?
V: Deeps? Who’s that?
Me: Deeps, Deepika, the person I imagined, she’s a Bollywood actress, let’s just say her degree of temperature is much higher than room temperature, and can scald!
V: Oooooh … your visualization is turning out to be more interesting than I expected, I’m feeling it, living it…
Me: Hey hey, hold on, I got an Interrupt, it’s from the Real world!!!
V: From who? What does it say?
Me: It’s from my Boss, and it says “INTERRUPT_DREAM: Friday is a weekday, Why are you staring into space, STOP day dreaming during Meetings!!!

Honkless in the city (Learning to drive again)

Last month, I returned home to Delhi having been away for 9 months. One of the things I had been silently worrying about was reviving my “Delhi” driving skills. Arriving at the airport 2 hours late and 1 bag less didn’t lessen the enthusiasm and I chose to take the front passenger seat in the cab; THAT gave me the front seat to the roller coaster ride that driving in Delhi is. The cabbie was my teacher & so that was the first step: Learning by observation. I watched as the driver made the cab twist, turn and squeeze through narrow spaces to get me home.

Next in my agenda was a hands-on session and chose a small car for it, the advantages being that a hatchback is easy to park and of course the maneuverability. The BIG disadvantages of my choice: the car has L (Learners) signs on the front and back [how apt, or so I thought!!!] and the horn wasn’t functioning. I wasn’t sure then what I was getting into. When driving in Delhi, the horn is one of the most important tools in your toolbox, probably even more important than brakes. Being honkless would mean that you’re in a boxing ring with no gloves, or like being on a stock exchange trading floor and not be able to shout, its like being on a fast the day you have a team feast.

Initially, the experience was frustrating, being a mute spectator in the chaos, the hand would reach out & hit the horn with intensity but there would be no sound. Add to that, the Learners sign, and that adds 10X hostility when you’re on the road. People don’t honk when they see a L sign but immediately try to overtake you. But then an interesting thing happened: I started to slow down, give way more and observe a lot (by force rather than choice); it gives you a different perspective and makes you less aggressive. That ring of wisdom didn’t last for long though, and evaporated as soon the horn was repaired. Soon after, I regained my Delhi driving skills and re-graduated to my own car.

And thus returned the sweet sound (ahem!) of the horn, and so I was able to contribute some musical notes to the orchestra on the street.

So here my friends, I give you Top 5 tips for driving in Delhi:

1. Changing Lanes
Active observer: When a car in front signals to change a lane, the driver following in the destination lane shall speed to not let the car change lanes.
Actor: If you need to change lanes, first safely get your car 50% into the destination lane and THEN signal. (Rule of thumb: signal after the remaining space in destination lane &lt width of the car that’s following)

2. The L sign
Active observer: L stands for Loser, not Learner. When you see a car with this sign, speed and get ahead as you need to be the Winner. Be a good citizen: don’t distract the loser by honking, let him drive at his own pace.
Actor: Try and get rid of the L tag ASAP. If you had applied a red plastic tape to draw the L, remove any remanents of it completely. An leftover impression of “L” on your car screams “Fresher”.

3. Overtaking
Active observer: Always drive in the fast lane and never give way to cars behind. If they really want to overtake, its their problem not yours. If you don’t like to be overtaken, speed when cars try to overtake you
Actor: If you’re trying to overtake, do so in a fashion and speed such that the driver you’re overtaking doesn’t notice you. Tip: use blind spots.

4. Traffic Signals
Active observer: If the car in front of you stops at a traffic light, honk repeatedly, the guy has no business stopping like that, the color red is over-rated. Also, research has proven that traffic signals change color in a few minutes if you honk.
Actor: Traffic lights and signs are suggestions really.

5. 2-way streets
Actor: On a 2-way street with no divider, be a leader…start a lane instead of joining one. If the lane you’re creating obstructs traffic coming in the other direction, well…a wider road is needed and should be built.
Active observer: If you’re in the traffic that’s coming from the other direction, relax, there’s nothing much anyone can do. Just utilize the lanes left so that no new lanes get created.

Disclaimer: The above is a work of fiction…..Of course I don’t drive like THAT!