Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Sitting here,
Right now – this very moment –
Many people come to my mind…

Some of them are far, far away…
And, some are not so far;
Some are alive,
And, some are no more.

I am in touch with 
The kind of feelings
My heart experiences
Whenever my mind stops at
Each of these persons.
I feel extremely happy, 
Elated, privileged and secure
When I think of some;
And, when I think of some other,
I feel sad, angry, 
Betrayed and extremely insecure.
My mind swings like a seesaw …
Sometimes, I am on ‘Cloud Nine’ - 
Very up-beat…
And, sometimes, in doldrums - 
Very, very down.

I am not a rock…
I am a human with a heart.
My heart needs care, 
Reassurances of love…
It longs to find an anchor, 
Time and time again.
I need some good souls in my life
To tell me with all their heart –
That I am a fine soul…
That they accept me
With all my mortal flaws.
I need some good souls 
In my life
To whom I can say,
Even in the dread of the night…
“Dear, I feel good about myself
Just when I think of you…
I feel very, very secure!”
And, I do need some souls 
In my life
Who can say the same to me.

Where does my sense of
Happiness and security come from?

“I can do all alone,”…
This sounds like a valiant cry…
But, it is not; it’s certainly not.
I can not do it alone…
I need you – my ‘Soul mate’…
You need me 
To feel and say the same. 

Eden Garden might have been
The most exquisite
And secure place
On this Earth…
But, even God, Jehovah, 
Had realized
That He couldn’t make 
Adam live there,
All alone!


The brilliant images used in this Post are by Ashok Ahuja. He is a professional Photographer and a very dear friend of mine. He is also one of the founder members of The Dawn Club, and, along with his gifted-artist wife, Sudha, has been helping me, and the Club, right from its inception.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


She is just twelve… and she is the only child to her parents. Two years ago, her mother died in a road accident. The father always loved this little girl and treated her more like a friend rather than like a daughter. She would talk to him about anything and everything. But, now, he is a lot worried. He had come to talk to me, this morning.

“Sir, she listens to you,” he said. “I want you to talk to her.”

Talk to the little girl about what?

The girl doesn’t talk to her father the way she did before. Whenever he tries to talk to her, she either doesn’t open up or argues, yells. 

“What is wrong with you?” he screams at her angrily, “Why do you behave like this?”

If only, she knew -  ‘Why?’

I am not a psychologist or a psychotherapist. Nor am I a psychiatrist. I am just a normal teacher… and, I didn’t even have a daughter to raise and, thereby, know why the little girls change, why they sulk, why they rebel… yell back at their parents.

“She is growing up… she is just going to be a teen,” I told him. “I think, it is just a normal behavior.”

“But, sir, it is too much.” He told me. “She doesn’t respect her elders at home; she has forgotten how to ‘talk’… she only ‘screams’; She doesn’t tell me about her school projects except on the morning she has to submit them and, makes me run around… She makes me mad.”

“Is it more like this, now, after the death of her mother?” I asked him.

“I think so,” he seemed to agree. 

“It is normal, then,” I told him. “She needs to be handled with love and firmness both. Her world is fast changing… and, as a father, you need to adjust to this change.”

“Still sir, I would appreciate, if you could talk to her one of these days,” he insisted.

“I would, certainly,” I assured him, “She is such a sweet girl.”

He thanked me with all his heart and went about his work.

My mind went back to that tragic accident, two years ago. It was on the eve of Diwali. He was taking his young wife on his motor bike; they were on the way to one of their relatives’ place. It was mid-noon time and there was heavy traffic on that highway. A small mistake the car in front of them did, and the bike lost its balance… the young lady was thrown off, bang on her head, and she bled profusely. Only a miracle saved them from getting totally crushed under the crazy traffic. He survived with minor injuries; but, she lost her consciousness. By the time she was rushed to the hospital, she had  lost too much blood. The doctors tried their best. But, the lady never returned from the coma; after three days, she gave in!

What we all can not still believe is: In that accident, the Diwali gift - the glass bowls – had tossed itself about twenty-foot distance. But, it had survived without even a scratch!

After two years, this man had survived this trauma… 

“I must be him to feel what it takes to do that,” I realized.

Now, he was here with,what looked like a minor problem compared to what he had gone through. 

“But, was it ‘minor’?” I wondered, again.

“I must be him to feel that,” I reasoned.

The lady who died in the accident
was someone else’s wife; 
the little girl who is rebelling 
is someone else’s daughter. 
The world that is filled with painful memories 
and crushing anxieties,
too, is someone else’s.

“Whose plan was it – that, the Glass Bowls had to survive?” … I still wonder, this mid-noon.

The little girl will come tomorrow. I have faith in simple miracles our daily rides offer… I have a little story to tell her, a loving poem to recite… I have asked a Star to stay there in the sky till she comes... and I have saved some raindrops to make her dance like a little princess. 

Well, this man has faith in me. 

I have faith in simple dreams… 

I believe in miracles that safe guard our Glass Bowls!


            The brilliant images used in this Post are by Ashok Ahuja. He is a professional Photographer and a very dear friend of mine. He is also one of the founder members

Monday, December 19, 2011


When I first came to Mumbai, my cousin’s wife helped me get a job in an Insurance Company. It was just a temporary job; but, for a struggler like me, it meant a lot.

I was not interested in any office work, as I was dreaming about a teaching world. But, the hard reality was that I was alone in Mumbai and I had to earn… I had to accept any job that came my way… Yes, I had to be ‘practical’.
So, there I was… in that office doing a job not of my interest. Naturally, my heart was not in it.

What I still remember about that short stint in that office is: there were two very senior colleagues around me; they have stayed in my mind for two different reasons.
The first one was a very rude person. He was unapproachable… extremely critical and for my every mistake - like little children in school do - he would run to the Manager’s cabin to complain. It was a daily scene… and, I would dread to think about this man… So, negative he was!

And, the second one was a kind soul. He was very caring for all the new-comers. He empathized with them… and went out of his way to guide them, teach the, share his experience with them. In the process, he empowered them. I still remember how patiently he would help me see and overcome my mistakes. He would do it in a very gentle and positive manner. For him, mistakes of a junior like me were an opportunity to share, teach… Make a difference in someone’s life… And, in the process, feel good about himself. That was his way of self-growth… His way of living life.

The other man was a sadist, to say the least. He found tremendous amount of thrill when we juniors sulked, cried. When we were frightened, he felt good about himself… Every time he ran to his Boss to complaint about us, he got a pleasure out of it… He felt secure. He derived his sense of security by keeping others suppressed, uninspired, and dumb.

The good soul sought
his security by enlightening, inspiring and empowering others. When others around him grew,
he too did.
He found a great joy
for being a part of success
of those around him…
particularly, we juniors.

This episode took place about thirty-two years ago. I have no idea where those two men now are. But, if today, at this moment, if I am remembering them, they certainly must have taught me something. And, because I learnt what they taught me, I am now able to pass on the same to you… my readers.

THE LESSON: Be kind to those around you, who are new and inexperienced. Empathize with them… Share your knowledge and experience with them… Empower them. Find your own security and happiness in the security and happiness of these novices. Find your own growth in theirs.

Empowering someone around you – particularly the less-fortunate ones, less experienced ones – is a quality stemming straight from our healthy self-esteem. It is also the best way to enhance our self-esteem. You cannot empower and help some one and feel low about yourself at the same time.

There is sea in this world by the name – ‘The Dead Sea’. They call it so, because, it doesn’t’ share… Whatever it receives, it keeps to itself. They say, no one travels by its sides… No merchant stops to take its water…and no bird flies over it… No one goes near it with a hope… The legend has it that even the Sun – the perpetual giver – is angry about it…!

I do not know where those two men are, today. But, I want to cry out to both of them “Thank you”.

I have never gone near ‘The Dead Sea’…

I do not wish to!


The brilliant images used in this Post are by Ashok Ahuja. He is a professional Photographer and a very dear friend of mine. He is also one of the founder members of The Dawn Club, and, along with his gifted-artist wife, Sudha, has been helping me, and the Club, right from its inception.


How are you?”

Let me tell you very honestly. I had asked this man, casually, as I generally do.

“I am blessed,” was this man’s response.

And, it hit me like a bolt, suddenly!

I looked at him… into his eyes, particularly. Why did he say that? Was he saying that mechanically, the way I did?
“I am blessed!” Wow, what a way of telling the world, “I am fine”!

I knew this man. Last year, he went through a hell lot of problems… He lost his young wife to cancer, and then, he lost a huge amount of money in business. After that, we lost contact.

Last afternoon, when I met him, I never expected him to respond the way he did. There was loss, there was pain… and it wasn’t so easy to recover… It wasn’t easy to put oneself back on track, so fast… So, if someone had asked me in such a state “How are you?” would I have responded the way this man did? I wondered.
It wouldn’t have been that easy for me!

“I liked the way you said, ‘I am blessed!’ ” I told him feeling very happy on what I had heard.
“I am blessed; I am,” he said quickly, “Without His grace, without His Blessings, nothing is possible sir; nothing.”
“Oh! Yes, sir, I fully agree,” I told him. This time, I wasn’t telling him that mechanically.

Some say, “Halleluiah”
and some say “Praise the Lord”.
Some say, “Vayu Guru Ki Kripa,”
and some say, “Insha Allah”
or “Ishwar ki Kripa”.
I myself say , very often:
“By the grace of God,”…
Yes, I have heard... I have said.

But, last afternoon, I felt it, like a fresh breath of life…

“How are you?”

“I am Blessed”!


The brilliant images used in this Post are by Ashok Ahuja. He is a professional Photographer and a very dear friend of mine. He is also one of the founder members of The Dawn Club, and, along with his gifted-artist wife, Sudha, has been helping me, and the Club, right from its inception.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


“I will wish you on Christmas,”

He said.

“Wish me now,

Today is Christmas,” I told him.

“Don’t be a fool, my friend;”

He said irritated,

“Every day is not Christmas.”

I did not want to see

My friend irritated

With what I said…

So, I said,

“Yes, friend,

Every day is not Christmas.”

When Christmas comes,

Bells will chime…

Snow will fall…

And, Stars will be bright…

There will be music,

There will be dance…

And, there will be

A never-ending night!

Yes, that is the time,

Someone wants to wish me:

“Merry Christmas!”

Not, NOW!

There is music in my heart…

There is dance in my soul…

The bells are chiming…

The snow is falling…

And, yes, the Stars are bright.

My heart longs to wish,

“Merry Christmas, my friend…

Please, don’t wait.”



The brilliant images used in this Post are by Ashok Ahuja. He is a professional Photographer and a very dear friend of mine. He is also one of the founder members of The Dawn Club, and, along with his gifted-artist wife, Sudha, has been helping me, and the Club, right from its inception.


Fear is not true… it is a lie.”

Well, I have heard the Wise-men say…

And, often, playing a Wise-man’s role,

I have said so, myself!

Now, is Fear really a lie?

This morning, I left home,

Feeling that lack, all over again…

Maybe, it had something to do

With those two scary dreams

I dreamt last night…

Maybe, someone somewhere

Had stopped praying for my well-being…

I do not know…

But, I did leave my home

Feeling a bit scared…

Like a little child leaving for school…

Yes, on ‘some days’!

Does Night exist?

The night which brought me scary dreams

Is a lie - the Wise-men say…

They say – it is only the absence of light!

“Oh! Yes, yes, you are perfectly right…”

I say without even blinking.

The same feeling I get

Whenever these Wise-men say,

“Boy, the Fear is not there…

It is only the absence of Faith…

Absence of Trust!”

But then, this morning,

I began to doubt this wisdom … for a while…

“Fear is there… It exists,” I began to argue.

Then, I came here and wrote…

“Fear is not true… It is a lie,

Last night…”

The last night is gone…

The morning is just about to go…

There will be a young Sun to guide me through the day…

The young hopes…

The young souls...

The young dreams…

The young resolves.

I am a human…

I think, I need this wisdom above all other;

Yes, the Wise-men who said what they did

Couldn’t have said that

Without their clay feet and cotton souls…

I am a bit scared today…

It doesn’t change the truth:

The truth that Light exists and the Night comes only when the light goes…

And, Fear comes only when my Trust shakes!

I have just come an hour far

From that early-morning cloud of darkness…

I am already through…

Into this new land of sunshine…

I am, once again, basking

Under the young Sun… of Truth!



The brilliant images used in this Post are by Ashok Ahuja. He is a professional Photographer and a very dear friend of mine. He is also one of the founder members of The Dawn Club, and, along with his gifted-artist wife, Sudha, has been helping me, and the Club, right from its inception.

Friday, December 16, 2011


It is one of the brilliantly shot chase scenes of Indian cinema.

The honest and tough Super Cop is chasing the most wanted Don. Someone has tipped the Super Cop that the Don will be at the airport … and the Don has been tipped by someone that his nemesis, (his rival Don) would be at the airport trying to flee the country. So, the Don is after his nemesis… and the Super Cop is after the Don. In those last some minutes, the Don manages to hoodwink the Cop… shoots down his nemesis in one of the most inspiring scenes…

And, now, it is Don's turn to be on the run… He runs into the runway… towards the aircraft which is all set to take off… and, there, we hear the Cop shouting… warning the Don, “Stop… Else, I will shoot you down,”… “I will shoot you down.”

Then, he does.

The Don falls… and, the Cop has him….

But, strangely, the Cop has him in his arms!

“No, Vijay…No…,” “Kuch nahin hogo tuje… Nahin. Nahin..,Vijay.”

“Dad, magar… Nahin dad…” the Don is dying…

“Nahin, Vijay...” The dad does not want his son to die… “I have always loved you, my son,” the dad cries his heart out!

“But, dad, why didn’t you tell me that, before?” the son asks.

And, then, the son dies. In his father’s arms.

The plane takes off!

If you have not seen the Hindi movie – ‘Shakti’, please do it, now. The dad, the brutally honest and steel-tough Cop, is Dilip Kumar. The intense and angry son, the Don on the run, is Amitabh Bachchan. I do not wish to tell you the full story… Why the father was so adamant to shoot is son down, and now, why is he so desperate to see his son live… and why did the son ask his dad that last question: “But, dad, why didn’t you tell me that, before?”

Yes, that you always loved me!

I have seen this movie many, many times. It simply leaves me speechless. Inspired!

I have also recounted this scene graphically many times over in our training sessions, and seen that silence descending on the hearts of all our young ones. I have already posted a blog on this subject, almost two years ago… and, now, I am doing it, here, once again.

This time around, I want to make this point:

Never, ever go on an ego-trip. It may take you to a point of no return!

Ego-trip, always, reminds me

of a ride sitting on a Tiger’s back.

You can manage to sit on him…

Yes, often, you can.

But, once you are on his back: you have had it!

You won’t be able to climb down.

You want to… But, you can’t.

If you do, he will have you.

If you don’t, your misery will have you.

Either way, you are doomed!

An ego-trip is a free ticket to a hell called ‘misery’!

And, yes, this hell is, always – yes, yes, yes, always – self-created!

I was very small. Too small to understand this word called ‘Ego’. My dad was illiterate and simple. We had our humble house on a small piece of land. Our immediate neighbor was a very literate man and his family was very elite, wealthy and wielded a great deal of clout. Their house was huge and they had land almost four times the size of our land. This man filed a suit in the court claiming that almost half the chunk of our land belonged to him. My dad knew it was simply harassment. So, he tried to involve many respected people in the village to mediate and convince this man to be fair. But, the man was adamant. He wanted his land, come what may. Now, there was no option left for my dad but to defend his position. We were very small to understand all these things. But, I remember this very, very clearly:

The man and his wife lived alone in their mansion. They had two sons, who had long migrated to Mumbai (then, Bombay) and they were least interested in their father’s property… They were also heavy drunkards. The court case kept getting dragged… for years on… In the mean time, this man had a massive paralytic attack… and spent close to five years on his wheelchair… unable to even lift his finger… leave alone speak a word… and leave alone attending the court. He would still try to scream at the little children who threw stones at their mango tree… Then, one day, he died. I remember, my dad and mom were the first ones to reach. Then, his wife, a highly qualified lady, kept the legacy of her husband on: she wanted the land…. She wanted the case. Another couple of years; this lady turned senile…almost hysterical. So often, she would call my mom from her window and ask her to check why the Dosas were not coming off the pan. And, my mom would go to her kitchen and find why: How could the Dosas come, if you try them with Vim?!

This lady died a lonely death… Before that, she kept harassing not only my parents, but all her tenants, as well. Again, when she died, the first ones to reach there were my parents!

After fourteen years, the court case was thrown out by the judges from their windows. Yes, the case too died.

The property has gone to dogs, now!

A friend of mine had invited me to his place for a dinner, sometime back. He has a lovely wife and a son who is just going to be a teen. That night, he recounted his story: his wife came from a North Indian Brahmin family and my friend was not a Brahmin. But, both hailed from the same town, spoke the same language, did qualify themselves with fantastic degrees … belonged to the same religion. But, my friend was not a Brahmin. So, my friend’s wife was disowned by her father, who was also a highly educated ‘gentleman’! Not only my friend’s wife and her family, her father had also disowned her elder sister, a doctor. Her sin? She had married a smart doctor-friend who hailed from a Rajastani community! It was against this upright man’s will and wishes. He disowned two of his beautiful, highly-educated daughters and their fantastic families. T

This self-righteous man lives in his hometown… and hasn’t still melted. Every effort, by every possible soul around, to mellow him down, to soften his stand, has failed… No, this man cannot forgive his two daughters… nor their families… No, not even the innocent, little grandchildren!

The Great Tiger Safari is still on…!

And, I know of another man. He has crossed 75. He is a Doctorate. In his Society, he lives like an island… for the last fifteen years. He always had, and is still having, issues with every Managing Committee of his Society. He knows every Provision of the Society law, by heart... He can draft letters and put any top lawyer to shame... He has taken his Society to Court on petty matters and won, too. Presently he is hell-bent to get some of his Society’s Committee members jailed... He has filed criminal complaints, defamation cases… and, he is unwilling to listen to anyone, heed to any mediation. He wants to fight it out… He wants to win… He wants to prove he is right…

And, he is past 75!

I pray for this man. Daily!

In the Hindi film, ‘Munnabai MBBS’, there is this scene. Every time I see it, it takes my breath away. Munna is hell-bent in trying to teach ‘Maamu’, Dr. Dastana, a lesson of his life. “Vaat lagayega teri,” Munna throws the gauntlet at Maamu. ‘Vaat’ is his Life-mission! And our ‘Maamu’ is hell-bent in flushing out this ‘criminal dirt’ – this tapori - from his Medical College. “Vaat lagahunga main, teri,” , Maamu picks the gauntlet. And, a dozen people – rather the whole College – wants Munna in the College; they want him to win – defeat Maamu.. Prove Maamu wrong. So, there is this question-and-answer scene - the interview - in front of the whole College… A panel is shooting questions at Munna; he has ‘swallowed’ some readymade answers and come to field the questions… Munna is pretty successful, so far… and, it is just a matter of time, another two questions, probably, he is all set to make Maamu bite the dust. All are thrilled that their adorable Munna is going to pass, win the test… and walk away victorious, crushing Maamu down. And, there, the images of the futility of all this mind game – come before Munna… just in a flash and begin to haunt him… And, there, he rises, all of a sudden, from his chair and yells, “To hell with all this,” “The truth is: I am a ‘goonda’ from the local streets!”

There is a stony silence! I am choked!

What happened to this ‘tapori’? Why did he get up and shout – “Enough”?

Well, strange it may sound. But, it is true… and I will tell you this really strange coincidence. With this, I wish to end this Great Tiger Safari.

Over two months ago, I had asked my student Dhiksha*, “What has happened to you?” She looked down and depressed. After some coaxing, Dhiksha opened up. She had a ‘big fight’ with her fast, fast friend, Ranjeeta*… and, now they were not in talking terms. When I met Dhiksha, she was so upset at the incident that it had affected her health. She couldn’t believe that with Ranjeeta she could have a fall out – and a ‘war’ – like this. She did not know what to do!

Well, I smiled in my mind. It was ‘silly’ for me… not for Dhiksha. I allowed her to voice her feelings and in the end told, “Don’t worry; you both will come together… Just don’t to be too stubborn; okay?”

“Okay, sir,” Dhiksha promised me.

Today, just while I was half-way through this post, there appeared Dhiksha!

“Sir, we have started talking again! Yey!!!” She jumped in the air!

“Fantastic!” I congratulated our Dhiksha. “So, feeling great… Aren’t you, Dhiksha?” I asked.

“Yes sir, on the top of the world,” Dhiksha screamed, “We will be fast friends, once again.”

Dhiksha and Ranjeeta are just teens. But, probably, that is when we learn to realize the danger of our Great Tiger Safaries, I thought.

Probably, even much before that!

* Not real names



The brilliant images used in this Post are by Ashok Ahuja. He is a professional Photographer and a very dear friend of mine. He is also one of the founder members of The Dawn Club, and, along with his gifted-artist wife, Sudha, has been helping me, and the Club, right from its inception.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Every material thing,

Around me,

Is relative in value!

Everything looks pale, worn-out and outdated

As Time passes by.

And, many a times,

Even Time is not required to make things

Look pale, worn-out and outdated…

My mind is enough!

The cell-phone that I use

Is just an ordinary Nokia one.

The other day, I asked a student of mine:

“Where can I change its battery?”

“What battery sir,” the young one shouted,

“Change your phone; buy a Blackberry…

You can afford one.”

For a while, I hid my embarrassment.

Then, I murmured in my mind,

“Dear, my son has one…

The one better than yours.”

Then, feeling strongly for it,

I grumbled in my heart,

“But, dude, ‘I’ paid for it…

I pay its monthly bills, too.”

I can afford a Blackberry or an i-Phone.

Yes, I can.

But, do I ‘need’ one?

This Nokia can take care of my needs;

My life goes smoothly

Without a Blackberry or an i-Phone.

The man next to me is fair and handsome;

I know I am not as fair or as handsome as he is.

“Come on! Somebody change me…

Make me as fair and lovely!”

I have long stopped crying like this.

Michael Jackson did…

I won’t;

I am okay with this look – Whatever you call it.

The young man there keeps changing his cars -

With the hope that the new one will not die…

Sad, it does!

Christmas is coming…

I just returned from the Raymond showroom.

Every piece the salesman showed me

Looked pale before the one he showed me next…

The next one was different, better… the latest!

Finally, I had to shut my eyes somewhere.

I did end up buying a trouser and a shirt…

But, let me tell you this:

Even before I have worn it,

It has started looking pale, already!

There are so many outfits - out there,

In that Raymond showroom…

I just did not see them all…

I left them behind...

I could’ve gone for a different one -

A better one, the one that would last…

Maybe, for ever!

My mind knows,

There are a hundred ‘brands’ in this world

Far better than even Raymond.

But, my heart consoles:

Raymond is fine… Be happy; be happy!

Some feel shy

To show their cell-phones,

And some their spouses;

Some feel shy

To drive their Maruti’s,

And some their passions;

Some feel shy

To walk with their parents,

And some,

With their own shadows!

For this Christmas, I need a trouser and shirt,

The blazer, I already have;

The old Nokia will not let me down

When I will wish my dear ones:

"Merry Christmas".

Baby Jesus was born in a manger…

He was a carpenter’s son.

I have a strong feeling:

The Brand of my cell-phone or trouser

Will not make this Christmas any different…

A manger can’t be a mansion

Even if try to I build it with gold!

This morning, I called up my loving mom

Who lives in my hometown.

“Hello Putha (son),” she cried with all her love.

She did not ask me:

“Which phone are you using?”

A Blackberry had nothing to do it…

Our hearts had!

And, last night, when I was about to retire,

I received this loving message:

“Sir, I just read your Blog…

I feel so good, so peaceful.

Thank you…

Sir, you are so amazing!”

This dear, dear student of mine

Has dozens of friends

And she is an all-rounder, in true sense.

But, she has been using

The most ‘basic’ phone

One could ever lay his hands on!

“Thank you dear,” I replied in a flash,

“You made my day… I love you.”

Nor did I ask this little soul:

“Which phone did you use?”

Yes, to ‘mean’ what she said:

“Sir, you are so amazing!”



The brilliant images used in this Post are by Ashok Ahuja. He is a professional Photographer and a very dear friend of mine. He is also one of the founder members of The Dawn Club, and, along with his gifted-artist wife, Sudha, has been helping me, and the Club, right from its inception.