[ To Express, To Reflect, To Give Back ]

A road well taken

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

On a bright, humid summer morning, she is walking along a trail deep in the park. Tranquil surroundings, smell of fresh air, and the lullaby of running water from the stream – she felt thankful for everything. A few other morning joggers pass over exchanging courteous nods. From moment to moment, her thoughts wander away into the inglorious past. But she quickly recovers to stay in the moment and relish the liveliness. Yet again, next moment comes, she is lost thinking something about a promising future. Thankfully, her third eye is keeping her in a steady pace through the trail.

Until she runs into a three-way intersection.

Regaining total awareness, she slows down heading towards the groomed island at the center of the intersection. The other two trails leading away from the intersection seem alien. She isn’t quite sure if each will lead to the same kind of experience she has just had in the last 20 minutes. One appears too dark for the morning. The other seem to become narrow within a few yards so she couldn’t make anything out of it.

She takes a moment to turn around and appreciate the trail she came in from.

“May be I should just go back the same way, It sure is worth another trip.”

She is reluctant and quickly gives up that notion. She squeezes her eyes to see as far deep as she can into the trail on the left. It sure feels more inviting. But that’s just a feeling though, they both look more or less the same from where she is. She grinds her teeth for wasting too much time on this trivial thing, but she just can’t make up her mind which one to move on. Yet, she is sure she wants to go the trail as good or better than the one she just came in.

She takes a sip from the bottled water. The digital watch reads 7.44 AM. She wants to be home by 8 AM or at least by 8.15.

She can hear someone breathing hard, rushing to cross over from the trail she came in. A black Labrador swirls around her followed by a tall guy who slows down to look right into her eyes.

“Do you need help?”

“I am all right. I am wondering which way to go”

“Well! Take the one on the right, you will be in good company plus you will love the view of the downtown a mile or so down”

She thanks him as he jogs down the trail to the right. He doesn’t look back and she is still double-minded.

“Do I care for the view?”

Just as she swipes the dripping sweat off her chin, an old couple walk into the intersection from the trail on the left. They look happy, chatty and wanting to talk. She wants to ask their opinion of that trail but decides to just wish them a good morning even as the couple pass staring at her. They fade away into the trail behind her.

“I have always followed my intuition, let’s just move on the trail to the left”

“Wait! Why wouldn’t I enjoy the view of downtown? I haven’t been here before…”

“What the heck am I doing here? This is stupid. What’s the big deal? Just go with whatever!!!”

She begins to walk towards the trail on the left.

“Why should today be any different?”

“You know what? Let it be different. For once, I am going to give a break to my intuition and instead take someone’s advise!”

She turns away heading towards the trail on the right. A few yards down, it becomes narrow, rough, and rather smelly too.

“Is this the company he was talking about?”

She can’t find any signs of other joggers. The morning breeze seem to have vanished and the air feels awfully dry.

“Where did all the chirps and lullabies go?”

Finally, she runs past a mom jogging with twin infants in a stroller. She finds it strange that both the babies are crying louder than all other noise around while mom is busy on the phone. Mom was too busy to bother a smile, so she picks up some pace wanting to get home sooner.

A few minutes later her cell phone vibrates with a text message. She checks the phone slowing down a bit but wobbles and steps on a beer can. The left over beer slurps across her shoes and a bit on her left leg.

“Crap!”, she yells.

She wants to clean it up right away, except all she has is one last sip of water. She wants to get home right now.

“How far is this damn thing going to go? I should have stuck to my intuition!”

A few more minutes of jogging between the trees and unexpectedly, the full morning sun from the east catches her attention. And there it is. Leaning over the edge of the trail, She gets a glimpse of the river and past it, the spectacular downtown. Everything seems refreshing all of a sudden. The skyline is shining like a glorious Kohinoor diamond. The ferries and ships line up the waters as the peak hour traffic is buzzing across the riverside parkway.

“This is gorgeous”, she wishes every morning was as spiritual as this one. She takes the last sip of water, throws the bottle out in the garbage bin and looks up.

Her heart misses a beat. A massive airplane is ferociously descending down into the downtown’s tallest skyscraper.

Dare to go on a war with your Imagination

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

For anyone who is looking for reasons to write, Poems can be a great inspiration.

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies,
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? What the chain?
In what furnace was they brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp.
Dare its deadly terror clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water’d heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the lamb make thee?

Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forest of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

With the sight of a gorgeous tiger in mind’s eye, William Blake derived the inspiration to extract those beautiful words out of his imagination. Here is a good study guide for the Tyger Poem.

Tyger by William Blake

It’s a fantastic poem that reminds me time and time again that writing, in any form, is act of bravery. You wage a war inside your mind against your own imagined inspiration, be it a tiger or a sunset or a baby. When the words finally but slowly draw out and settle down in front of you on the screen, you are winning. You actively engage in the battle for a while until you get a satisfactory feeling that you have rescued your fair share of words out of your imagination.

Then, you engage in a joyous craft of literary peace making. You re-read the whole passage while your inspiration takes a back seat. You clean up words that seem burned-out in the process of extraction and polish sentences that came out awfully raw. You rehash certain ideas lost in collateral damage. At last, you stop. You just birthed with at most care and love a wonderful piece of writing, .

You walk away as a proud creator, knowing all too well that you love to wage this war forever and ever.

Benjamin Zander’s art of possibility

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Last week, I was reading a book by Alan Fine, “You already know How to be great” and in it Alan writes about Benjamin Zander‘s method of “Giving an A” to all his music students right at the beginning of the semester in exchange for just one home work: Write a letter that begins with “Dear Mr. Zander, I got my A because…”.

I have not heard of Benjamin Zander before but I was hooked. The clock had just crossed midnight and it was awfully quiet, yet I couldn’t help but try to learn a bit more about him. Soon, I grabbed my headset to watch on my phone his great TED Presentation.

What got me hooked was not so much the idea of “Giving an A” or Mr. Zander’s flamboyant stage presence at TED, but it was the contents of an actual letter from one of his students, a young Korean flutist,…

Dear Mr. Zander, my teacher,

I got an A because I worked hard and thought deeply about myself as a student in your class-and the result was truly magnificent. I have become a whole different person. I used to be negative about nearly everything, before even trying. Now I’m much happier than I used to be. Around one year ago I couldn’t accept my mistakes. I got mad at myself after every mistake I made. But now I actually enjoy my mistakes and I really learned a lot from those mistakes. There is more depth in my playing than there used to be. At first, I only played the notes, but now I’ve discovered something about the real meaning of all those compositions. Now I play with more fantasy. I’ve also discovered my own worth. I’ve discovered that I’m a special person because I saw that I can do anything if I believe in myself. Thank you for your lectures and classes because they made me understand how important I am and the true reason why I make music.

This kid really made it sound too simple but this exercise in imagination is hard. I need to imagine myself in the future, and then look back at my own life and further imagine what I learned, how I changed, what I achieved etc. While I need to do this exercise lot more thoroughly, I am already imagining the moments when I speak at TED.  When that possibility materializes, Benjamin Zander will be my role model!

If everything is invented, why not do it right? Source: royblumenthal

I recently wrote about Running our own race in life. I said, Every life is a story unfolding – a story you create, whether that story is told, written or read by others doesn’t matter. What matters is we live our life the best we can.

What Zander’s suggests is for all of us to open up to imagining the perfect story of our own life. Not just imagine it, but Write it. See it.

Believe in what you imagined, after that, it’s a matter of living the endless possibilities.

Performance art – Undefined

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Wikipedia defines Performance art as

Performance art refers largely to a performance which is presented to an audience but which does not seek to present a conventional theatrical play or a formal linear narrative, or which alternately does not seek to depict a set of fictitious characters in formal scripted interactions. It therefore will often include some form of action or spoken word which is a form of direct communication between the artist and audience, rather than a script written beforehand.

For many years, my vision of this type performance art was what I saw in a circus. Though they were well rehearsed, the jugglers, acrobats, fire breathers, ring masters and puppeteers were still performing a kind of live artistic maneuvers on stage that is a delight to experience.

I still don’t understand where the line is between performance art and other staged performances – the likes of drama, dance, orchestra etc. Is it the elements of spontaneity and uncertainty above and beyond the usual scripted performances? I doubt it. Modern directors of all forms staged performance deliberately design and introduce some sense of spontaneity in their performances.

Is this performance an art?

If your tastes permit, check out this video of spooky performances art by a Japanese artist. And then, the guy who paints his body like a silver statue and stands sill for hours in Times Square, only to wink occasionally at an odd bystander. Are these people performance artists? May be? We can debate for hours both ways.

Leaving that debate aside, Museums and art galleries, at least the leading ones, are reinventing performance art. Priya Kulasagaran writes about how Malaysia’s National Art Gallery is breaking out of its mold to embrace new age performance artists and hosting their arguably bizarre acts.

She says, “One of the stand out performances of the night was Jumaadi’s avant-grade wayan kulit performance. Armed with modernist shadow puppets and a backdrop of didgeridoo, electronic sounds and haunting vocals, the Indonesian artist weaved a tale of origins of rice and rats – complete with wrath of god, death and an incestuous love affair.”

I remember the traditional puppet shows (called bommalattam in Tamil) I watched at the temple across the street where I grew up in Gandhipuram, Coimbatore in India. Changes in audience taste plugged with sophisticated technology now enables folks like Jumaadi to produce “avant-grade” performances. And then there are the innovators, who think laterally redefining art. Priya writes about Tan Zi Hao’s performance dealing with “communal memory”. The audience were staged along with a chair, phone and a scrapbook full of notes on directions to a specific destination. Elsewhere in Malaysia, a volunteer student was let loose to figure the route to that destination – except he can call as many times this phone, which will ring only to connect the audience in this at Art Gallery performance who can advise directions to the student. Though I would consider this neither as an art nor performance, it did remind me of something lot more fascinating.

Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present

Early last year, The Museum of Modern Art in New York demonstrated a intriguing work by god-mother of all performance artists, Marina Abramovic. This is one such performance that just catches you off-guard to remind why this art form is referred as “an ephemeral medium”. Marina sat in a chair, quiet, inactive and indifferent, for 7-hours a day, and six days a week, across another chair where audience took turns to sit and “participate” in the performance. Unquestionably, it was titled “Artist is Present”. Not to confuse her work with theater, she says “To be a performance artist, you have to hate the theater. Theater is fake…the knife is not real, the blood is not real and the emotions are not real. Performance is just the opposite”. Want to know her latest quest? Making you eat Eat Flaming Volcano Dessert. Suppose you want to read more about her, here is her interview in UK’s guardian news paper.

While on the topic, check out http://weburbanist.com. They showcase some unbelievable art projects, from murals to 3D street paintings. These are not necessarily performance arts; They still are spectacular works of art requiring extraordinary performance by the artist.

Artist Meg Saligman working with Philadelphia Mural Arts Program

What can you do in a 30 second video?

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

This stunning work of art and digital videography will keep your attention for 25 seconds.

Seaweed from Tell No One on Vimeo.

Next generation of Designers will be everywhere.

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Inspire - Source: Smashing Magazine' Floral Typography

If you like the idea of making your environment a better place to live, then you are person who embraces design thinking. The environment could be just your room or house or could be whatever you do for living, or be it the world. Design thinking is about taking a different perspective, a view of a creator.

Designers come in all flavors. The traditional ones design cars to toothbrushes. The contemporary ones design cities, websites and iPods. The next generations of designers are going to be unlike; they will bring a fresh mix of right and left brain thinking to everyday problems, everywhere.

I like this article on Smashing Magazine titled Five and a Half Habits of Highly Effective Designers. It is intended for web designers – the folks that dream up the look, feel and aesthetics of web pages and the graphic design that goes with it. But I thought the ideas are apt for any designers, the types I defined above. The habits highlighted in the article are valid for individuals too to better design our own lives – especially the last habit described, Habitually Rewrite The Habits

Roger Martin's Knowledge Funnel

On on the same topic, I recommend a book by Roger Martin, “The Design of Business”. It’s a quick read and the model he defines is one I found intriguing. While the model is somewhat same as in six sigma approaches, Roger does a nice job of articulating it in a simpler way.

If you take an inventory of any business problem today, they will likely fall in one of the spaces within the funnel. Innovative companies, such as Samsung (let’s give a break to Apple) manage their product lines rigorously – ideas mature through the funnel and gets mass produced at the bottom of funnel, while newer ideas are brewed and hashed out at the top. Future of all modern business will be based on principles discussed in this book. You can read Roger Martin’s blog here.

XPlane is one of those companies that you should know about. They spearheaded design thinking early on, though many firms now exist in this up and coming space of Design and Innovation consulting. I encourage you to watch this video made by XPlane (their blog here) in honor next generation of designers out there – like you and me.

A love letter to Designers from XPLANE on Vimeo.

Stunning Popup Dinasours, Slick Ganesha and Malgudi Days

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Today, my in-laws joined us for an extended stay through the summer. Rishi was instantly elated seeing them though he last saw them over a year ago. Being somewhat of a sticky kid he is, I was expecting he would hesitate to respond to them. Wrong! He was on his way and within a few minutes it was as if we have all been together forever.

Robert Sabuda's Stunning Dinasour Pop-Up Book

With every visitor from India comes loads of books for me and Rishi. My FIL has a fantastic collection of old books mostly published in 70s-90s of last century. I suppose he hasn’t still read many of them, for he religiously travels only with books from his own collection to read. This time I have quite a few “gold pieces” (as he would call them) including a couple of RK Narayan’s books to spice up my summer.

But what seized my attention was not the usual suspects but two books intended for our 2.5 years old, who exhibits symptoms of a ravenous reader.

The first is a pop-up book titled Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs: The Definitive Pop-Up.  I have seen pop-up books before and Rishi has a few that are fantastic, but this one is unbelievable. Not without reasons has it scored solid 5 stars in Amazon review from 167 reviews. I was flabbergasted with the production quality of this book, specifically the pop-ups of various sizes, shapes and intricacies.  Today, I become a unofficial disciple of pop-up book design guru Robert Sabuda. Dude, you are one heck of a creative person who will inspire me from now onwards.

Cool Ganesh's Mousescapes

The other book is YAG (yet-another-ganesh!) book. I got to believe there must be millions of Ganesha & Krishna cartoon/illustrated books published just in the last few years in India. But this one is unlike any that I have seen. That it is commissioned by Chinmaya Mission and written by one of it’s swamini’s seemed little odd. Nevertheless, we must appreciate their courage to take a more innovative route in how the book turned out. Cleverly titled, “Ganesha’s Mousecapade” is work of beauty in the hands perhaps the best, contemporary designers and illustrators in India . Where the quality jumps out is the work done by Brahma Design and owlandbat.com in creating fantastic “2D animation and motifs from  India Madhubani art“.  The illustartor has done a masterful job of juxtaposing the epic characters and mythical timescape with today’s sensibilities and slickness – reminded me of KungFu Panda.  The Ganesh illustrated in this book is as cool as a movie star you have never heard of, but can read about in this brilliantly-written Slate article. You don’t have to believe me, but find a way to check out “Ganesh’s Mousescape” yourself.

Oh, flipping through one of FIL’s RK Narayan book reminded me of Malgudi Days. This website, aptly named, Malgudidays.net, carries the full set of 39 episodes of Malgudi Days which arguably is the most beloved TV series of last century – or may be even this century.

Yearning for the times...Malgudi Days

How I used the Secrets of a Mind Gamer

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

This article in NY Times is fascinating. Written by Joshua Foer, titled “Secrets of a Mind-Gamer”, It is about how an average person can build supposedly “extraordinary” memory. Calling it extraordinary is validated by the brain-crunching exercises he does such as how many binary numbers he can memorize in a span of few minutes and later recall every one of them, precisely.

The article (and the book titled ‘Moonwalking with Einstein’ by the same author) is more about the biographical journey of how Joshua Foer gets to build mnemonic skills to remember virtually anything and in that process earned the obscure title – United States Memory Champion. The secret is surprisingly simple and practical – use our in-built capacity for spatial memory, use a tad bit of wild imagination, which is also something we are all born with. You may question if everyone is born with ability to imagine wild stuff and be creative but I believe every single one of us is. Whether we exercise it or not is questionable. (Side bar: Creativity vs. Imagination – same or different?)

I tried to experiment myself with this idea and come to believe it actually works and can be useful too! Though the scale and scope of what I tried is fairly small, it is very beneficial for my day to day life. Here is how it goes. My wife and I are having our morning coffee, talking about some mundane things. In the middle of the conversation, she asks “When you come back down after your shower, can you bring the laundry basket down?”. I say yes and we continue talking about many other things. Fifteen minutes later I depart to perform my usual weekday morning rituals. Three hours later, I am in the middle of a serious discussion at work, I get a text message, “You never got the laundry basket down!!!”. I grind my teeth silently cringing, “Damn! I forgot again!”.

Could the mnemonic principles that brought Joshua Foer to limelight come to my rescue? principles he used to win the national memory championship? and a million dollar book contract to go with it?

I had to try.

The first and perhaps the most important thing to do is to pause as soon as my wife asked that question. If I just nod and we just keep talking then I don’t get to “register” this fact into my “spatial memory”. No mnemonic magic would ever save me. So what I do is take a few seconds pause, right at that moment when I say yes to my wife’s request. I construct a vivid imaginary visual clue. Here is what I say to myself in my mind -“As soon as I open the bathroom door, my father jumps over my head, wearing a spiderman suite. He was yelling that he doesn’t have any clothes to wear and could only find Rishi’s Halloween costume! I bend over my back to thank him for not jumping naked and ask him where all his clothes went. He zooms his arm out like a spiderman, and shoots a spider web pointing at the laundry basket…It’s overflowing and smells vomit…”

Angry dad in spiderman costume scene - Courtesy www.knowyourmeme.com via Google Images

I know! How silly and yucky right? While I am glad I didn’t tell my wife what I was thinking, it really is the point. The imagination & association must be bizarre and far outrageous from anything ordinary and usual.

It really only takes about 20 seconds to build and hear that story in my own mind. As soon as I register this story, my wife and I move on with our chit chat. Twenty minutes later, I walk into the bedroom and as soon as I get the first sight of the bathroom door, I recall the crazy story for just a second, but I don’t really replay the story at all. I just immediately realize that I need to take the laundry basket down. I move it out to obvious place in the room when it will be in my line of sight to take it down after I return from show. That’s it. Bingo! I remembered something I would normally forget. Neat.

An important factor is to associate the angry-dad-in-spiderman-costume scene to a trigger event or object that I will encounter in the future moment when I need to recall the thing I memorize. In this case, the trigger is opening the bathroom door. Of course, there is a chance that right at the moment of walking into the bedroom, I could have been seriously pre-occupied with some other thoughts – such as when I should get my next hair cut or how I sucked with my backhand in last night’s match or how long since I have had a beer or some such important thing. Nevertheless, the mnemonic exercise simply increased the chances of me recalling that funky story and thus helped remember what I needed to do. So it’s worth that 20 second investment to exercise my imagination and creativity!

What I tried is rudimentary in comparison to memory games they play in World Memory Championships. I honestly don’t understand how this basic technique can help remember the exact sequence of a decks of cards within a minute.

If you read the article, you will notice they refer to “memory palace” as the familiar spatial object (your house or street or favorite museum or any familiar physical structure) around which they build the crazy imaginary stories embedded with whatever they want to remember – playing cards or stranger’s names or random binary numbers etc. Do they use the same structure every time? If so, doesn’t it confuse the imaginary stories, mixing up the things you want to remember? How to “clean” the loaded memory of stupid stories? (They say they can!). How do they associate a “Queen of Clubs” to a particular incident and location in the made-up story? I would have created an association with a donkey queen and a soccer club within the story. They seem to simply recall the card as they pass through certain object or event. I just don’t get it. I really have to read more on this fascinating subject.

Meanwhile, why don’t you give it a try? It doesn’t hurt to try and fail since we will be just where we are – as forgetful as we always been.

PS: True to his curious spirit that drove him to the memory championship, Joshua Foer is a co-founder of the Atlas Obscura, an online compendium of “The World’s Wonders, Curiosities, and Esoterica.”

Visual Communication & Teaching Techniques

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Within the last couple of days, I have come across different sets of people and websites that are turning the dial on the visual communication techniques. One of them is using it to teach the world – from basic mathematics to biology to evolution theory. Another is using it to visually communicate powerful ideas from the concept of time to capitalism.

Met Sal Khan from Khan Academy. He has created thousands of video lessons, each around 10 minutes. You really have to visit his website to get a sense for breadth of the content he has created, pretty much all by himself, with just a computer and of course, lots of passion and dedication. His story was recently profiled in CNN Money and it appears he is slowly gaining the global media attention he needs to take this to mainstream. I found his interview in WorldChanging.com even more insightful than the CNN article. I always admire folks with such tenacity, and each one of them virtually knock my head reminding me one more time everyone can make a difference in the world if they we our mind to action. Although he has made tremendous progress with content and format innovation, distribution remains a challenge. It would be great for e.g. for an NGOs such as Pratham to partner with Khan in taking these lessons to schools across India (where there is at least a computer). Another idea is to forge a distribution partnership with forward-thinking publishers such as New Horizon Media. Of course, this needs to be done across many countries to get the best outcome for this laudable effort.

And then I stumbled upon a few videos made by some of creative folks at Cognitive Media based in UK. Based on notes taken during speeches, these guys created some great graphics and videos that’s more effective to synthesize, understand and absorb, cognitively, than if you hear the speeches (or read) without any visual component. You have to checkout a couple to see if these are as effective as I think they are. Perhaps, I am one of those people who is easily inspired, but nevertheless, their work of art, creativity and innovation has touched me.

I particular liked the two videos. The first one is an insightful one related to how money is really not a motivator when it comes to jobs that required cognitive skills (mostly knowledge work).

This other video talks about the geography of time and how younger generation are digitally wired, losing the social skills needed to interact as humans in the real world. At one point in the video, he says most kids don’t wear a watch these days – is it?

I saw a lot of similarities in the way Khan teaches and the Cognitive Media guys communicate. Both augment their audio with visuals – though Khan’s visuals are more down to earth and more-like-mine than UK boys who are professional artists.

No Creativity Crisis in YOU!

Monday, September 20th, 2010

A couple of months ago, Newsweek declared that America is a deep creativity crisis. The hell broke loose. Or may be not. If anything, the article gained more readership than it possibly deserves.

The article points out that creativity is “production of something original and useful”, and I agree with original part but not so much the useful part. I accept the simple definition that creativity is just a unique expression – of oneself or of something – that’s out of ordinary. Useful or not is irrelevant. Every human being is creative in some way or other at one point of time or another, yet, most of the creation is useful only as a gratification for the creator, none beyond. That doesn’t preclude any individual from not being creative. In fact, it is in our inherent nature to be creative. We can creatively argue to death if it’s true or not.

Source:http://www.ad-i.co.uk

The newsweek article highlights an experiment in which children who came up with “more good ideas grew up to be entrepreneurs, inventors, college presidents, authors, doctors, diplomats, and software developers.”. I hope that’s an incomplete list and dare not call it as a list of what creative people become.

Creativity does not start, and certainly does not end, with art. I also see an unwritten assumption that creatives grow up to be entrepreneurs. Most artists and entrepreneurs are certainly creative, but the world will not be as we have it today, if not for the creativity of average citizen.

Last month, Fast Company’s 2010 list of most creative people in business. I dug deep into it because I see the key word in that article’s title is most and not creative. I wanted to know about and possibly meet every one of the most creatives – because these guys are likely doing what the newsweek article posited – “original and useful” creativity – useful insofar as they make money for their business.

Source: thedesigninspiration.com

To make a list of most creative people in the whole world across all disciplines would be a daunting task and it will invariably be filled with artists and entrepreneurs. You know, let’s leave that job to the magazines and newspapers – that will sure get more readership and provoke debates. For anyone who cares to look closer but a bit deeper, the most originally expressive and inspiring person might be your two year old or your ninety two year old grandma or perhaps, YOU, just the way you are.

Do what you love, express yourself exactly as you feel – in any form, shape, medium or language. Don’t just go with the flow, make your own path, follow your dreams and if required, break all the rules.

Celebrate being yourself.