A while ago, a friend of mine called me up. He said, “A thought has been crossing my mind for over a year now. I have this strong urge to give away five percent of my income to empower a girl child through education. How shall I go about it?”
For a moment, I felt a bit surprised on hearing what my friend was saying. He is a creative guy and has been freelancing for over three decades. But, for last some years, the work has come to him erratically, here one, there one. It has been a constant source of tension in the house, and, it had caused a strain on his relationship with wife. Apparently, despite his best attempts to get more work, the work has not been coming his way the way one would expect.
So, against the backdrop of this situation, when I heard my friend sharing with me what he was thinking, the natural and the most sincere reaction would be to tell him “Hello, it’s an impractical idea… You are just daydreaming … First, go out and get some work, make some money before thinking …


Iwasn’t aware of the phrase, ‘How’s the josh?” and its response, “High Sir” till I read about it on the newspapers. Apparently, our Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, had used this while addressing a Bollywood event in Mumbai.
Last evening, my wife and I decided to watch ‘Uri – The Surgical Strike’, finally. I said ‘Finally’, because, we were a bit apprehensive about any political overtures… The movie was released on the same day as ‘The Accidental Prime Minister’ was released and there was so much noise about the latter. But, when we heard from every source that ‘Uri’ was a brilliant movie, we wanted to watch it. In the end, PM’s josh did it… He, literally, pushed us to the cinema hall!
‘Uri’ is an action movie, a war movie. As movie buffs, most of us grew on the bollywood or regional flicks, which had the revenge story in them… Yes, ‘Badla’“Tera ghar me ghus ke marunga tuje’‘Khoon ka badla khoon se’… and all that. There is a child in all of us, and, no matter how old we have grow…


“Those blessings are sweetest that are won with prayer and worn with thanks.” 
― Thomas Goodwin

When we ask our near and dear ones to bless our children – when we say ‘Need your blessings’ – do we really believe, that the blessings help our children?

Last evening, my friend Tabassum, who, like my wife and me, has only one son, messaged me… “Sir, Mustafa will be leaving for New Zealand tomorrow for higher studies… He needs your prayers and blessings.”

Of course, young Mustafa will have my prayers and blessings. I promised my friend, Tabassum, that I would personally meet Mustafa and convey my love, wishes, prayers and blessings.

So, this morning, I dropped by for a few minutes at Tabassum’s place. The atmosphere at home was charged with emotions… I could relate to it… Only one son… For over 21 years or so, he was the centre of your galaxy… and, now, the time has come to leave him out of your nest… Yes, the world, today, is not like the old world… You don’t miss your loved ones really becau…


“Within the human hearts, loyalty and consideration are esteemed greater than success.” – Bryant H. McGill

My last visit to Goa was some twenty-three years ago. I went there on a three-day trip with my wife and three-year-old son. We had booked a moderate room somewhere in North Goa. It was summer time… the beaches, streets, eating places were too crowded. The bus, by which we had returned, had an eccentric driver… and, to say the least, it was the worst ending to our already disappointing Goan-experience. Ever since then, I have said this a million times: “Goa is overrated… Too much hyped up.”
Obviously, I never visited Goa, even though people around me literally swore by the Goan experience.
Last July I turned 60. It’s considered to be a great milestone in many of the Southern states and called ‘Shashti Poorti’ in Sanskrit. My dear friend, Pratap, who is a Malayalee, one day, said to me, “Sir, you should celebrate it in Goa… There is this amazing resort by the name ‘Dona Sylvia’ in Sou…


Advertisements and commercials are created with only one objective: to influence us, to sell, to promote and, enhance the brand value. Why else, do you think, such amazing ads and commercials are created?
Several years ago, when Raymond started bringing out their commercials, ‘The Complete Man’, it had touched millions. Yes, I wasn’t the unsentimental odd-ball not to have been touched by it. After all, I was (I still am!) a ‘man’… and, Raymond was aiming to influence men directly, and men’s loved ones indirectly. It was a very effective campaign. Men, like me, wanted to be reassured that we were ‘Complete Men’… Ideals lovers, ideal husbands, ideal fathers, ideals grandpas, ideal uncles, ideal bosses etc… Perfect… Absolutely flawless. Yes, ‘The Complete Men’… Very happy, content and blessed souls in life!
But, were we?
I remember settling for Raymond when the time had come to select the wedding-suit material! Maybe, I wanted to present myself before my would-be wife as a ‘Complete Man’…


“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” —  Maya Angelou
Iwas talking to a friend of mine, last morning. She is very qualified and articulate. Before she got married, she had worked for many years in a reputed company. But, once her two sons were born, she chose to quit her well-paying job and focus fully on her family. Her husband holds a top position in one of the blue chip companies in India, while her two sons have finished their studies… One is well-placed in a company and other is about to join.
A significant part of my friend’s life, in the last three decades or so, has been devoted towards her parents’ care. The aged and ailing parents live on their own in the same city as my friend lives. So, like the lives of several others from the  so-called ‘Sandwiched generation’, my friend’s life, too, is stuffed between the families of parents and her own…
“I am in my mid fifties now, and I have missed on many ‘…


When I look back at 2018, the year that has just gone by, I have a good reason to smile… and, a very good reason why I should learn to live less anxiously about my future. I did not want some things to happen in my life; they did happen. I did not want some people to come in my life; they did come. On the other hand, I desperately wanted some things to happen; they did not happen… and, I anxiously waited for some people to come in my life; they did not come!

So, what is the take away… the moral of the story?

The less protective I become, the safer I feel… The less I worry about what may happen tomorrow and who will do what to me… yes, the more peaceful I will be.

Worrying, doubting and trying to be protective – I mean the excessive amount of all these – are more of a habit. Mind tends to slip into this habit… keeping us always on the tenterhooks, the edge.

It, certainly, is not a healthy way of living. Yes, when I look back at the year that has just folded, I can easily see that. If thing…
There is, always, something extra-ordinary in the wild, wayside flowers...