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Showing posts from October, 2011

THE WASHING MACHINE

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“Tough times never last; but, tough people do.”
I first read Dr. Robert Schuller’s famous book, with the above title, about twenty-five years ago. I have read it, over and over again, since then. When I last checked, about three months ago, Dr. Schuller had been passing through one of his deepest personal crisis – tough time.
He will surely survive. Because, tough people, really, do.
When the storm hits us hard, we wonder: “Is it the end?”
Mostly, it is not.
No one wants tough times in life. But, they come without seeking our permission. Some of us find strength to face them… and, some of us lose strength under the weight of our problems. Some of us get crushed and some of us come out stronger, wiser and finer after the grind.
Tough times do come… but, they do not last. Tough people really do.
My dear friend, and one of my oldest students, Girish, normally does not forward me any e-mails or sms’s. He regularly comments on my blog, however. Last night, almost at 12, I was surprised to read …

THE BLISS OF IGNORANCE

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Mr. Harwadekar lives in my building. What I admire about this ‘young man’ – yes, only of 85 years! – is: he loves to be with all of us – the young, the middle-aged, the aged and also the little children. He loves to dress smartly, always wears a smart hat… and loves to tell us interesting stories – mostly his adventures – from his good-old-days. He loves to read, and that’s where I bond with him in a special manner. He has read all my books and given me enough compliments. “Gerry, you have a distinct style of writing, and I love it,” he always tells me, “It is so simple and, at the same time, so relevant for all of us.”
Some days ago, I told uncle Harwadekar about my daily Blog posts. I thought, being an avid reader, that would be the best way he could access my writings. “But, Gerry, I am scared of the ‘little mouse’,” he reacted, “Somebody must help me… I do not even go near the computer; you know we belong to another world!”
Yes, like uncle Harwadekar, I too hail from ‘another world’…

BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED

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Some things in my life just happened… and, I just accepted them. My birth, my parents, my brothers, my relations, my home, my faith and even my complexion.
I was planted by God in a garden of His own choice… and I had no choice but to accept it. That was some fifty-three years ago. But, unlike the rose that blooms, all alone, in a pot, and unlike the daffodils that blossom along the wild wayside – all without any choice – my life had ample choices, all through. Though I could not choose the humble home in which I was born, I could choose the quality of living in that home; and though I could not choose my parents, I could choose the way I looked at them; Ditto for my brothers and relations… Ditto for my faith and even complexion. Yes, I had enough choices, at every step, all my life.
I had the choice to remain in the pot where I was planted and allow the Sun, the wind and the Gardner to decide my fate… or to step out and walk in the Sun, singing along the wind and plant my own gardens.…

HEY, OTHERS TOO EXIST...

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Many a times, we are obsessed with our own lives - our own work, our own achievements, our own success. We forget that others exist... even though the 'others' may mean our own good friends.
Ajay was my student more than twenty years ago. He, later, became a dear friend and we became each other's well-wishers. Presently, Ajay is settled with his family in Pune, where he runs his business. Along with it, he also runs his NGO, which he keeps telling me was inspired our DAWN CLUB.
The reason why I remember Ajay, today, is that he had mailed me some of his college-days poems just, I am sure, expecting that I would read them... that I may tell him, "Ajay, they are beautiful." But, then, as I told you at the outset, I was in my own world... I failed to notice Ajay's mail with this attachment!
A month had gone by!
And, just a while ago, my eyes fell on them... and, I became a little angry with myself. For, being so selfish... by basking under my own glory.
So, I inst…

OUR WALLET OR THE BULLET...

Our impatience comes from our arrogance. Most of us are incredibly impatient.
I don’t have to say, we are incredibly arrogant.
But, we are also incredibly patient when it comes to our superiors: those before whom we realize we cannot spit our impatience. We act extra polite when we go to see our children’s school principals; we are very careful and respectful while dealing with the cops or the Tax officials; we don’t argue with our Priests… We, generally, obey them, simply; we are extra sweet to our co-passengers, the strangers, when we travel long distances… The boatman, who rows us to the other side of the river, is our angel… The mugger, who holds a gun and yells, “Your wallet or this bullet”, is also a good soul, for that moment. We do not show our impatience with them!
It is only with the ones who are close to our hearts, who are sweet to us… Yes, it is before them that we act funny… spit our acid, our impatience!
I am aware of this trait in my behavior… I, also, know how it feels wh…

LONG BEHIND...

Even the scary dream that I dream - I do no not like to let go… I want it!
Last night, I had a bad dream, Which I couldn’t recollect this morning. Well, I knew it was not a pleasant dream… It was frightening! Still, I was feeling annoyed while I was rising up this morning… “What was that I was dreaming?” I found myself asking in frustration, “Why am I not able to recall this dream?”
The nightmares scare me, As do my fears… The fact that they have left me - Often, I fail to notice… I fail to notice the night gone long  behind!

GERALD D'CUNHA














I STILL BLAME...

I blame… I do it regularly. And, sometimes, I do it till the point I get completely exhausted… till it leaves me high and dry, as they say. It only makes the situation worse… Makes me feel bad about my own self… and, then, I blame myself: “Why did I do it?”
Blame is a game. And, this game doesn’t help. Neither me, nor the other person… nor the situation. 
It is an utter waste.
I know it; still I do it. Maybe, I do it not as often as I used to do, once. But, I do… I do blame.
The interesting part of it is this: whenever some people come to me after going through a heavy dose of this blame game – yes, when they come to me to ‘talk it out’ – I feel like telling them what Gandhiji had told that child’s mother, one day. The woman had gone to the noble man for seeking help. Her child ate a lot of jaggery and she wanted the Mahatma to convince her child to put an end to it. After listening to the woman’s problem, Gandhiji had asked her to see him after  fifteen days. “Bapu, why did you take such…

ONE BLEEDS... ONE SHIELDS

Close to three hundred messages – of Diwali wishes – I must have sent for the last two days alone. Still, there are so many people, I must have left out… Not because, I care for them less… It is just that: I know, they wouldn’t care for me less, just because I have failed to wish them!

But, I may be wrong!

Let me confess this. I have, always, been my mom’s favorite son… And, when I say this, I say with all my honesty and humility. My four brothers, who love and respect me so much, know this, too… And, I am proud to say that they would never feel jealous of me – the way Joseph’s brothers did in the Old Testament!

Over thirty years ago, I had left my home town, Mangalore, to find my place in this dream city of Mumbai. My mom sat in the bus, next to me, and came all he way up to Udipi to see me off. All through that journey, she was crying. When she had to leave me and go back at Udipi, I felt like a young bride leaving her parents’ home. I can not forget that moment… My mom loved me so …

REMEMBERING THE GREAT...

They smoked Saddam Hussein out of a rat hole;
And when he was hanged, they also hanged for ever
This despot’s dark dreams of quarter of a century!


They dragged Colonel Gaddafi out of a drain pipe;
And when they  pumped those bullets into him,
They also blew off the false God
That dwelt in this eccentric...
For almost half a century!


Adolf Hitler thought he would rule the world…
The whole world, and forever;
Long, long before him,  Alexander-the-Great did,
Our own Ashoka-the-Great, too,  did.


The Sun did come down upon the British Empire;
The great Egyptian Empire lasted only for ‘three thousand years’…
Yes, only so much!
The dreaded Iron Curtain came down on the USSR…
Osama  Bin Laden was just wiped off, like a fly…


They don’t call Henry Ford
As the ‘Richest man on Earth’, any more;
Nor do they hail Marilyn Monroe
As the most desirable woman ever lived.
Rolls Royce is no longer the most expensive car on earth,
Nor Marlon Brando remains the most expensive actor.


Well, what makes me re…

HAPPINESS

I do not understand
Why, so often, I  search for happiness there - ‘outside’…
In another person,
In another place,
In another job,
In another moment…
And, in another life.


I do not understand
Why don’t I find happiness ‘here – ‘inside’…
In my own heart,
In this very place,
In this very job,
In this very moment…
And, in this very life, itself.

GERALD D'CUNHA

JUST BEING THERE...

My 19-year-old son has come home for a short Diwali vacation. For the last two nights, he has been working on some creative piece with his laptop and pad. I sat beside him for quite some time watching the way he went about creating magic with his talent. I don’t remember saying much as I sat there, except a few things, here and there, showing my genuine curiosity. I made tea for him… and prepared his bed too as he went about his work. Then, I sat there, beside. Then, I fell asleep. Then, I woke up. Then, I fell asleep… But, I wanted to be there. Just beside him. 

Some two days earlier, the day he had arrived from Pune, I sat with him till late into night. He put around me his headphone and guided me through all his favorite music videos. All of them were amazing… and, thoughtfully, he was exciting me with such videos he knew his dad would love. I did. In fact, I was hooked on to them, and he kept showing me more and more, though it was late, and though I had to leave early the next mor…

THEY REVEAL US...

Do circumstances in our life ‘change’ us? 
I remember reading in some book, “They reveal us.”
Yes, as they say, the only thing that is ‘constant’ in our life is ‘change’, our circumstances. Everything - from our financial condition to relationships, from our physical condition to our spiritual inclinations – yes, everything undergoes a constant change. And, with this change, we change, too. 
Yes, circumstances in our life do change us. Sometimes for the better, and sometimes, for the worse. But, we do change.
Yesterday, I met someone after many, many years. He was not able to recognize me at all; nor was I. After a while, both of us succeeded. “You have changed completely… I remember your ‘Sai Baba hair… Your tight jeans… You were so thin,” this man told me. “All gone, sir; now this is me,” I expressed light-heartedly. “And, this is me,” he showed me his pot belly. 
Just a couple of days before that, I happened to meet a lady after, again, several years. “You are the same Gerry… Your have …

THE SPARKLE

“Let your left hand not know, what your right hand gives.”  The teachings of Jesus Christ are so simple. Yet, so tough!

Tomorrow is Diwali. Both at my residential and commercial complex, there are several security men, there is house-keeping staff, there are gardeners, Club-House staff, postmen, milkmen, paperwalas, housemaids and even the courier boys. Every one expects a ‘small something’ – a little Diwali bonus – from all of us. Yes, once in a year… It is Diwali.

I give all of them a ‘small something’, every year. And, I see the sparkle in their eyes, every time I do that, before they ask for it, before they knock on my door. “You think, they will be more hard-working and loyal to you, if you give like that?” a man, who never gives, asked me, once. “I just want to give,” I told him. “They are thankless; they will throw your bonus in the country joints,” he added. “I do not know; I only know it is Diwali,” I said.

Another man gives like me, always, every year. But, he makes a big noise…

I WILL CHANGE, BECAUSE...

People don’t change just because I want them to. I haven’t changed just because some one wanted me to…. Even if that ‘some one’ is a significant person in my life.
We all change, because - we want to. If we don’t want to, we won’t. 
The significant people in our life are funny people… Their ways of changing us are funny: Crib about us, till we hate them… Yell at us, till we throw things… Criticize us, till we lose all our confidence and stand before them with our heads down, like donkeys… and, even blackmail us emotionally, till the drama ends with some unpredictable tragedy…
But, we will not change!
Some years ago, in one of our Workshops, the facilitator gave an interesting example. It was taken from the slums… very common place, it appeared to all of us. The man comes home, rather to the living hell. The woman is waiting for him to come, and starts her cribbing… yelling… throwing things… and blackmailing drama…. For hours on… till the point: the man holds her hair and start hammering t…

THE TIME OF MY LIFE

Just the last night, I told someone who cares for me: “I am having the time of my life!” And, the person said, so spontaneously: “Dear, I am so happy for you!”

Then, I began to wonder: Why is it so difficult for me to feel so… for all my ‘life time’?

I am on the top of the mountain, right now… That’s my ‘life time'… Yes, ‘Now’…

I am so happy for me, That, I am having the time of my life… I am happy, That, this IS my ‘life time’!

GERALD D'CUNHA


THE DISTANCE

It is only from such distance, The Sun looks so glorious… I need this distance to admire the Sun!

It is only from such distance, I realize what a supreme gift Life is… I need this distance to appreciate this endowment.

It is only from such distance, My dear ones seem so sweet… I need this distance to experience this sweetness.

GERALD D'CUNHA

EXPRESSWAY

I am on this Expressway…
Now.


My life has been, always, this way…
First, slow, very slow…
Then, fast, very fast…
Once again, very, very slow.


Though I love the expanse of these lush meadows,
I am awed by the might of the distant mountains…
And the silence of their valleys.
Though I fear the darkness of these tunnels,
I am moved by the light promised at their end.


And though I do not like the twists and turns these passes offer…
I respect the truth: Even the great passes have to pass…
To take me to the ‘other side’… my ‘Promised Land’.
I look down, deep below, and feel how small I am,
And I look out, far away, and feel how near I am!
I am inspired by this aloneness, this silence…
This passage of my life…
This amazing Life!


Even the gentle breeze that comes from the ravine…
Comes to remind me this:
Someone, miles and miles afar, is thinking about me,
Yes, now, as I take this breath!


I look outside and wipe away my smiling tears…


Wow, this Life!
What a Gift… What a Journey… What a Blessing!


“Thank you,” m…

TELL ME SOMETHING NEW...

I am invited to conduct a two-hour Workshop on ‘Time Management’ to a group of youngsters tomorrow. My good friend, Mr. Uday, has organized this Workshop (For MINDFLEX/ MUSIC GURUKUL) and also sent me some material on the subject.
I haven’t seen the material, yet.
These are just youngsters, of 15 to 20 age group. Their world orbits around their Schools and Colleges… their tuition classes, some special classes like Computer, Dance or Drawing, some Entrance-exam classes like CET/CPT/CAT, or even these Self-Growth Workshops. Not to forget their Blackberry and Face book friends… For some, it is TV or sports… or just hanging around, yes, just for the bliss of it. Oh yes, for those who are lucky (or, doomed?), it is their boy friends or girl friends! But, that IS their world… the world around which the lives of these young adults orbit.
I have passed through that world. My 19-year-old son passes through, now. 
So, what will I tell these kids, tomorrow? Should I prepare notes from the material s…

THE WIND BENEATH MY WINGS...

The first thing I have been doing these days, the moment I step into my office, is to visit my own blog… Read, edit, write or comment. 
There are days – in fact, months – I may not touch my blog. And, there are days, like now, I just can’t live and breathe without it. 
But, then, why do I do it? I get no money by all this. I get no mileage through any publicity. Though I have lots of my well-wishers, who keep reading what I write, they  (Like I my self do for others) don’t send any comments… And, I do not have any cheerleaders at home to pump me to go on. Still, every morning, and sometimes for long hours, I keep being by myself… by my blog.
Long before this blog thing came about, I would keep doing the same on my diaries… on old envelopes, on torn sheets… I would write the same way… But, I don’t remember writing them for any one or for any thing. I would just keep writing… and for years on. I have dozens of those diaries and hundreds of such sheets and envelopes. 
Yes, sometimes, when I …

THE SAME HUNGER

The need is the same… The same hunger, The same thirst, And, the same longings.

“MAN, ” they call me… “The one, who we can go to.”

“Come,” I tell them. “I have the same needs… 
The same hunger, The same thirst… And, the same longings.”

They come… to me And, I go… to them!

GERALD D'CUNHA

OUR HAIR, OUR HEELS AND OUR GROINS...

Samson, the strongest man in the Old Testament, was not supposed to lose his hair. For, with the loss of hair, he would lose his strength… He would fall. Samson lynched the fieriest of the lions in a wink, he destroyed army of mighty men… he could bring down the gigantic temple by pulling down its pillars, killing with it not only himself but hundreds of his enemies. No one knew the secret of his strength… not even the beautiful Delilah with whom he had fallen madly in love. Finally, when he told her that his strength lay in his long hair, uncut since birth, he didn’t know he was nearing his end. Delilah had betrayed him… The enemies came and cut his hair in his sleep. Then, they blinded him… and dragged him away as their captive.  Yes, even the mighty man Samson had a weak spot!
The Greek hero – the invincible warrior of the Trojan War – Achilles had a weak spot, too. No one knew it till his end came. When he was born, as told by the Mystics, Achilles’ mother had dipped her new-born in…

ONLY LIMITED SEATS...

For the last one week, I have been receiving on my cell phone this message: 
“Want to TRANSFORM your life? Want to be Healthy, Wealthy and Happy? Join our LIFE-TRANSFORMING two-day Workshop on…… at an unbelievable price Rs…….! Call, right now, Miss…..  on …….. to avoid disappointment. Only limited seats!”
Believe me, for one full week, at least three times a day, this message has been reminding me ‘Only limited seats’!
The best part is that: the person who is going to ‘transform our lives’ knows me, personally. But, he finds nothing wrong in selling his Workshop like that!
Am I jealous of a competitor?
I have nothing to do with such competition. I feel pity for such things!
Yes, Life can ‘transform’ even in two seconds… And, all free of cost. One doesn’t need a ‘Miracle Man’ like me – or this man who sends me the message – to carry out this mission. 
When we have our intentions clear, the Universe conspires with us. I use the word ‘conspires’ to convey that the Universe becomes my partner in…

ACTUALLY...

Actually, just two chapatis and a spoon of vegetables, Or a cup of rice and some daal on it… Yes, that’s all that is required to satisfy my hunger. A few glasses of water will take care of my thirst. A mat or a simple bed, a pillow, a sheet - That’s enough for my night’s sleep. A decent home, some decent clothes, some decent income, A decent family, some decent friends and a decent behavior … That’s all needed to be a fine social human being. And, oh, yes… I need that decent self-esteem To remind me that I am fine with a few decent things… I don’t need too much… Not at all…
GERALD D'CUNHA




THE BEAUTY OF BEING DIFFERENT...

Several years ago, I used do rounds to Sanjay’s house. He and his five friends were learning from me when they were in T.Y. B’Com. What I still remember about this house is: they would never ever keep their two hall-room doors (Ground floor flat) closed. It was the classic ‘Open House’… Anybody could come, and any body could go… and, at any time. All were welcome... and, all the time.  Needless to say, there was a real buzz, round the clock.
My challenge was: “How can I teach these big fellows in this ‘market place’?” So, we had to settle in one of their rooms inside. Even there, it was difficult for me to concentrate!
Sanjay and his two brothers, now, live in different localities with their own respective families. Whenever I happen to meet Sanjay, I ask him: “Do you still keep your doors open like that?”
“Yes, sir, we still do,” Sanjay tells me with pride, “All my brothers, too.”
Then, I ask him, “No thief has ever entered your house?”
“Never,” Sanjay tells me with emphasis, “They only e…
THE WILD, WAYSIDE FLOWERS
There is, always, something extra-ordinary in the wild, wayside flowers...