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Showing posts from January, 2013

SIR, HOW IS IAS?

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Bosco had studied under me some twenty-three years ago. He called me, all out of the blue, last morning. He wanted to meet me and we fixed it for today morning at 10.
Bosco wanted to meet me just to say “Thank you for everything”. He did that, this morning, by presenting to me one of his favorite books – ‘The Icarus Deception’.
Frankly, I hadn’t heard about this book or its author, Seth Godin. “To the person who sowed the seeds of self-improvement in me…” Bosco had written inside this book.
We spoke for close to an hour. Bosco told me, of many things, how this book had influenced him… I was left excited… and, I can’t wait!
So, I haven’t read the book yet, though, a line has already caught my attention: “Your work is an art… and, you are an artist.”
Well, it is no revelation at all. You and I know it… The world knows about it for ages. So, why do we need a Seth Godin and his book to reveal this old truth to us?
Surprisingly, we need him and his book. Because, we forget the simple truth he …

SUCCESS TRAP

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“Dear God, if Success is a trap, then, please give me the wisdom not to walk into it!”
Thenight before last, my wife and I were watching the TLC (Travel and Living Channel) on TV. They were showing the living style of Shah Rukh Khan. When we were watching the kind of lifestyle – the mansions in Mumbai and Dubai – with all the swanky opulence in them… I knew the reason why the world calls him ‘King Khan’ – the ‘Badshah’!
It was surreal, to say the least… Well, every pin and plane of that opulence, this self-made actor deserves. They are his sweat and toil… They are his achievements – the fruits of his Success. Hence, he has every right to relish them with his dear ones.
I am not challenging this fact.
But, as I was watching the glitter and glamor that went along King Khan’s luxury, I was wondering:
“Is so much really needed to be happy in life?”
“Can you retain this life-style lifelong?”
“Is it possible for you to deal with it without suffering, deep within, a sense of fear of losing it all, …

WHEN SOMEONE SLOWS YOU DOWN

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A good friend of mine is a very popular lecturer in her college. Her students adore her as she does walk, always, beyond the call of her duty. When a student is weak, she calls them extra and teaches. When the students are good in studies, she talks to them about what they should do to become focused on their goals. And whenever there is a deserving student, she refers them to me for fine-tuning.
Last morning, two young-ones came to me through my friend’s reference. Incidentally, I was free when they came to me with their respective mothers. These two students hailed from economically weak families… They were sincere; but, because they had studied through a vernacular medium, they had difficulty not only in understanding and writing, but also in self-confidence. Yes, they had low self-confidence…
My friend wanted me to do my bit in this respect. As I was free - and I am, always, excited when it comes to helping someone struggle with self-confidence - we spent close to an hour talking. I…

THE POWER OF A LITTLE STONE

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Our minds get a lot pampered whenever people praise us. In fact, minds become so addicted to it, that we hungrily look forward to hear others praise us!
I am no angel… and, hence, my mind, too, craves to hear praises… something nice said about me by others. When that happens – just a lovely compliment, perhaps - it is enough to make my day… yes, as the old expression goes.
And, if that’s how my mind works, imagine what would be its state whenever people criticize us, talk ill about us! Our minds resist and detest the negative opinions about us by others, and, we fiercely guard ourselves against them… It makes us defend ourselves, and, then, go on an offensive!
“I have heard a lot about you,” a stranger tells me.
“Hope, something nice,” I tell, knowing very well, it is.
Then, someone, who I know, comes and tells me, “So and so was saying such and such things about you.”
Obviously, ‘such and such things’, here, are something mean and negative.
Now, you yourself have not heard either the plea…

IMPATIENCE HURTS

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Impatience hurts. It hurts badly.

When others react and behave impatiently, we do not like it… We brood, cry and sulk. Mostly, when it comes from people who are our superiors – like parents, teachers, principals, bosses or any people in authority. We are unable to express our displeasure and disapproval so easily with them… So, we tend to suppress our feelings, bottle up and brood… keep the anger to boil inside, and then, blast it out somewhere else, on some of our own soft targets!

When our doctors, teachers, advocates, parish priests, and parents, constantly, react to us with impatience, we think hundred times before we open our mouths before them… In fact, we avoid them… We anticipate their reaction at slightest provocation, a small slip from our end… and we block ourselves from them!

All of us have, at least, some people in our lives who are chronically impatient. Most of these people are unavoidable… and, therefore, we have no option but to learn some survival skills to deal with t…

PERHAPS, THE WORLD JUDGED THEM, TOO SOON

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Mostof us know that Amitabh Bachchan was rejected when he had tried to join All-India Radio. The reason given was: He did not possess the ‘right’ voice! We, also, know that till his movie Zanjeer happened, this actor – who has stayed there on top as a Super Star as no other actor in Bollywood history has – was not taken seriously by anyone… They declared him as a ‘misfit’ in every respect… Super-stardom was the remotest of all his dreams!

Yes, like the legend of Amitabh Bachchan, his stories of rejection and rising from their ashes, have already become India’s folklore.

There are many like him in the film Industry - actors, singers, directors, lyricists, music composers, dance directors, costume designers, cinematographers, sound designers… you name them, they are there. Yes, the ones who were branded and discarded as ‘misfits’!

Anil Kapoor could not even clear the entrance exam for the Film Institute at Pune. He not only made it as a fine actor in Bollywood as well as Hollywood, his mov…

SWEATING IT OUT FOR OUR OWN DREAMS

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Every generation tries to provide the very best for the next!

I remember my grandfather… His world was revolved around our village paddy-fields, plows and oxen in the shed. Still, when it came to his eight children, he worked hard to provide them a better condition in life. So, my father was placed in a better position compared to my grandfather… Then, came the turn of my father to provide even better things to his own five sons, which, to the best of his capacities – and wisdom – he did. So, I was placed at a much better station in life compared to my own father. The baton was handed over to me to do the same for my only son. I am proud that I have placed him at even more privileged position compared to his own dad!

That’s how Life has been, all through the ages… Every generation trying to provide the very best to the next!

But, one thing would never change, no matter how many generations have come and gone, and how many more will come and go... And, that’s what God had commanded when H…

ALL FOR A SINGLE PIECE OF LOINCLOTH

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One story that always makes my heart smile is told by my favorite story-teller, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. I need not tell you what a great soul he was… and, yet, how simple and rustic he and his teachings were…

His philosophy was soaked in the day-to-day reality of life… He, unfailingly, weaved his stories around what was happening around him, in his immediate world… not what was happening ‘out there’ in the ‘faraway heavens'… He was least concerned about the world his simple followers would not understand.

So, here is that story… You and I will, definitely, understand it.

There was, once, a rich householder in a town. He was fed-up of running after wealth and managing all that it brought to his life… He was tired, tensed and frustrated. Finally, he went to a Guru to seek help. The Holy man advised him to abandon his household - his wealth and family - and lead the life of an ascetic, a Sadhu. As per his Guru's advise, the man chucked everything that he had possessed, went to…

MAYFLOWER

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“But, I preferred my life to be this way," she said,  "to be like a Mayflower… and bloom in my own time, and in my own way.”

“And, in your own garden,” I added.

She was a mother of two married-daughters… Both the daughters were highly educated, married to wonderful husbands and were, now, settled in America.

The mother told me that she wanted to study more and settle in America… but, due to her circumstances, she had to come to terms it. She couldn't complete her graduation and she couldn't seek an employment… nor could she settle aboard.

So, this mother did the next best thing: she created circumstances for her own two daughters… kept reminding them of the dream she had to come to terms with and motivated them to pursue it, if they wished. Fortunately, both did. Both, now, are Doctorates and have amazing families to live with, abroad.

“I had this wonderful opportunity to go abroad and settle with my daughters,” the mother said to me, “both my daughters have been asking…
THE WILD, WAYSIDE FLOWERS
There is, always, something extra-ordinary in the wild, wayside flowers...