Who inspired the greatest western classical musicians?

George Handel, the greatest composer to have ever lived (according to Beethoven), said “My lord, I should be sorry if I only entertained them. I wish to make them better.” He said this when he was lauded for his fine performance by Lord Kinnoul.

George Handel’s famous ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ was inspired by his love for God. “Messiah… has fed the hungry, clothed the naked, fostered the orphan… more than any other single musical production in this or any country.”

Anyone in the classical music community has heard about Bach, Beethoven and Mozart. I’m not a classical music fan of any sort but enjoy listening to music. Ones that glorify God or at least is sourced from Godly inspiration.

“Music’s only purpose should be for the glory of God and the recreation of the human spirit.” – Bach

“God is ever before my eyes. I realize His omnipotence and I fear His anger; but I also recognize His love, His compassion, and His tenderness towards His creatures.” – Mozart

“I will place all my confidence in your eternal goodness, O God! My soul shall rejoice in Thee, immutable Being. Be my rock, my light, forever my trust.” – Beethoven

Source: Article by Paul James-Griffiths

Photography: Squirrel

It got curious as I stood still, came closer, enough for me to capture it within seconds of it speeding off.

Squirrels aren’t a common sight around the house even though there is so much vegetation all around. They are fast and run away when people are around. This took a bit of patience. I have so much respect for those in the wild. Photographers, not squirrels!

What is mental health?

WHO stresses that mental health is not simply an absence of a mental ill health but is “… a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”

To be able to do this, self-management is an important process.

According to Medilexicon’s medical dictionary, mental health is: “Emotional, behavioral, and social maturity or normality; the absence of a mental or behavioral disorder; a state of psychological well-being in which one has achieved a satisfactory integration of one’s instinctual drives acceptable to both oneself and one’s social milieu; an appropriate balance of love, work, and leisure pursuits.”

There is no one stop shop this world can provide to solving all your mental health issues. Each individual is unique. What’s a “normal stress of life”? One persons normal is another persons challenge. That’s why comparisons don’t make sense. In fact, comparisons kill the will to do anything at all. We were created different, as parts that eventually become one.

Identifying your role in this world is critical. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is necessary. It’s not always easy figuring it out. Taking the step of faith to pursue your interests is the way to find out.

I believe the mental health issue is a spiritual one. It cannot be solved by anti-depressants or medicine. Physical exercises or mindless meditation brings a feeling of relief, only temporary. They may seem to prove helpful, but it can never solve the problem.

A spiritual problem requires a spiritual approach, not a doctored one.

A life without purpose will lead to mental health issues. A life that has expectations set on gaining earthly satisfaction is founded on temporary and short term goals. Can man decide the time of his life on earth? No.

We were created with purpose. The knowledge of that purpose lies with the Creator.

Created beings need to get in touch with their Creator. God is love.

For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul? – Jesus Christ

Travel: Photos from my trip to Kerala

This took a while to capture. Hunted it down when I heard it call it’s mate. Elusive bird.
View from a hill in Pattazhy, Kerala
Flowers that bloom everyday at 10am. Yes, only at 10am.
Therapeutic colours – the iPhone 8 Plus captured it perfectly,
Perfect timing – I stood there like a rock to capture this one
Teary flower – I went for the wet look and found a bee feeding on the nectar
A spider at work casting his web wide

10 Candid Confessions on Why Teams Fail.

“Credit hungry team-mates are boring”

“I’d rather work from home than hang around toxic team-mates”

“I prefer transparency between team-mates. Otherwise, it’s no fun”

“Leaders or managers must be involved in building team dynamics”

“When leaders have favourites in teams, everyone loses”

“When leaders aren’t fully invested, teams disintegrate gradually. Good employees walk away”

“Flat organisations are a myth. They sound fancy and encouraging at first. But, when work grows, egos inflate 100x”

“Unless everyone does not believe in each other’s growth, teams will fail. Employee attrition will be high.”

“Core values that aren’t practiced will lead to corrosion in company culture.”

“Leaders that fear candid confessions, have already failed as leaders.”

Review: Are you looking for good food in North Kolkata?

Diet Pepsi and Fruit Punch
Diet Cola meets Fruit punch | Photo: iPhone 8 Plus

I recently had to go to Salt Lake, and post work, decided to eat at a quiet place. A quiet place is always hard to find. I usually avoid bars or pubs, but hunger got the better of me. I stepped into one called 10 Downing Street at Salt Lake. It was almost empty, there was a guy sitting alone in one corner and three loud chatty friends or colleagues in another area. I was so happy to have found a quiet place.

Order away!

It was 4pm, and I wanted to catch a quick bite. I ordered the Chicken Tikka and Cheddar Cheese Sandwich. The bread was stuffed with generous pieces of chicken, along with fries and a smatter of veggies. I’m not a foodie, and always go for safe orders. What can go wrong with bread and chicken? Lol!

The ‘Chicken Tikka and Cheddar Cheese’ Sandwich

My wife ordered the Vegetable TDS Basket. I’m a hardcore non-vegetarian, but I loved the veggies they served here. I ended up eating quite a bit from her plate as well. Good quantity for a single person – even those who hate sharing will be forced to share. The paneer was delicious, well prepared. Soft and tasty, unlike the bland, rubbery types with no flavour. Since the veggies were fried, the oil was a bit much, yet it tasted quite good.

Veg TDS Basket

Is it pricey? Its not an everyday kind of place. For special occasions this place is affordable. I’d definitely recommend it for corporate get-togethers and lunch parties.

The staff were polite and responsive. Not much to comment about their service because there were hardly any customers during that time. Also, it makes a lot of difference if we approach them as humans and treat them with tenderness. I believe a majority will respond with goodness too.

I loved the decor, and how it’s well spaced between tables. They have a lounge setting too in a corner. A dance floor befitting office parties and live concerts. They had an old multicoloured scooter placed as display.

Facilities

The washroom was clean and well maintained when I was there. What I did not like were the messages on the washroom wall. I missed taking photos of it. Maybe next time.

Based on my experience, I’d give it a 4.5/5. Sharing a few more photos taken on my iPhone.

Love the decor at 10 Downing Street
Old school

Is engagement fact or fiction?

“HR has spent too long focusing on the wrong thing, explains Cooper: “That’s why mental ill health has flourished, because HR has relied too heavily on just that one metric and it’s not the magic bullet that will increase productivity per capita or reduce stress-related illnesses. We haven’t seen the bottom line affected by just dealing with employee engagement so we need to go further.”

Rita Trehan, former CHRO at Honeywell and founder of Dare Worldwide, agrees that engagement has detracted focus away from arguably more important HR disciplines. “Employee engagement was coined as a way to motivate people to come to work and do their best. But the reality is that this is only one layer of what is important to people. Companies need to get deeper and look at the culture as it’s culture that’s important,” she says. “Engagement is just part of the culture, it’s not the full culture.”

Sony Music Entertainment has gone further, dispensing with any type of engagement survey altogether. If an organisation has genuinely engaged its workforce it shouldn’t need a survey or score to tell them this, says Jeffrey. “My team are never at their desks as we’re all just out having conversations with the business,” she says. “You get far richer feedback from having a conversation with people than I think a survey ever delivers”.

“Sometimes there’s an overemphasis on the word engagement and that’s when people start to get a bit exhausted by it,” feels Mitchell. “We don’t want [employees] to get fatigued by constant messages and questions so there should be a timetable for engagement activity,” adds Steel. Language is important. While HR’s understanding and use of the concept may well be sound, the term ‘employee engagement’ might not be the most user-friendly externally with the rest of the business, points out Steel. When HR speaks of engagement to the business, “a lot of managers think ‘oh god, another HR fad’,” she says. “So when I speak to managers about employee engagement I cut out the word ‘engagement’ and change it to communication and involvement.”

Link: https://hrmagazine.co.uk/article-details/is-engagement-fact-or-fiction?platform=hootsuite

Poem: God is in control

The beauty of creation

I wish I was a poet
I would write a cloud
The beauty of creation
How they live out loud

The picturesque skies
Paint stories untold
How they all fit together
Colours, bright and bold

The vastness of it all
Stirs my heart and soul
There is hope in the heavens
God has everything in control

Travel: The Yellow Cab, Kolkata’s Pride.

The beast awaits it’s turn as the master has his lunch. The best taxi in the world. If you are in Kolkata, you can’t miss this monster of a vehicle. It fears no one. Literally – The “No refusal” is just a design. It will refuse, if it feels like. 😀

The ride is affordable, cheaper than the app based cars (some yellow taxis are on the TYGR app). Not as comfortable or necessarily cordial. Unless, the driver is in a good mood. It’ll get you places, in one piece. Not sure about those on the road. Comfy seats, ample space for four average-sized humans. Speed is not an issue. It’s fast, and furious. Ride at your own risk!

I learnt how to drive on this one. It was scary, but you feel powerful because it is a bulky vehicle. I totally get the arrogance drivers have when they drive this one. Unfortunately, that arrogance is costing them greatly as app based cars are raking in most of the moolah.

No matter what, this car will always be a favourite for Kolkata riders, and I’m sure anyone who visits too.

Three reasons why I still use the yellow taxi cab in Kolkata;

  • Sheer nostalgia
  • Cheaper than app based cars
  • Spacious
Yellow Taxi
Kolkata’s pride

Photo: Shankumugham Beach, Kerala

keralaphotography

I love this photo, the colours are so refreshing. It was a random shot using my iPhone 8 Plus, while in a fast moving car. Never in my life thought this would come out so clear. Slight editing using Instagram helped me sharpen it.

Kerala is beautiful, a photographers delight. I love how they manage to keep the lakes and rivers so clean.

Nature must be respected, after all God created it and said it was good.