Wednesday, July 31, 2013

WHAT COMES TO US NATURALLY... IS OUR CALLING IN LIFE
















What comes to us naturally is our calling in life!

Let me recount a mundane episode to explain this logic.


Last evening, I received a phone call, all out of the blue. It was Cynthia. She was in twelfth-standard, when I had taught her Accountancy, some thirty-five years ago!  I was in my final year B’Com, then. Inspired by my idol, Prof. B.S. Raman, I had started teaching dozens of students, all for free… I was obsessed to become a teacher… and, a teacher like my idol, in that. Yes, nothing else, nothing less!

So, Cynthia was one of those, with whom my early teaching experience had begun. I left Mangalore soon after some time…and, my contact with all my students in Mangalore, including Cynthia, was lost immediately.

Those were not the days of cell-phones, e-mails and Face book. We had to write letters to keep in touch. It was not easy as it is today.

I was very happy to talk to Cynthia, last evening. I learnt that she did not have a FB account. But, she said that she would ask her young daughter, Michelle, who studied in twelfth-standard, to send me a friend request. This morning, I found the request and I quickly accepted it.

Michelle doesn’t know me; perhaps, she has never heard about me… We haven’t seen each other, met each other… spoken to each other… Yet, I did write a short message to her in her message box. Incidentally, her mother was in twelfth when I had taught her, about thirty-five years ago. I told Michelle that. Her grandpa was a well-known personality… very active socially and a very creative writer. He wrote many books on cookery. Even after so many years of his death, they sell like hot cakes at many places. As a young kid, I used to be very nervous whenever I went to meet him. I remember, particularly, the visit to their house on the eve of my departure from Mangalore. As usual, the gentleman was immersed, single-mindedly, in his writing, editing and re-editing work, as the rest of us went about talking. Finally, as I was about to say ‘Goodbye’, the towering figure stood up, came close to me, gave me a firm handshake and said, “My best wishes… You will shine!”

I still don’t know as to why, even till today, those words have stayed like a solid rock in my heart… Perhaps, no one else might have said that to me, before – at least, not as sincerely and as gently as Michelle’s grandpa did.

This morning, in my message, I did tell this to young Michelle… I told her that I wished to end my note with her famous grandpa’s words – for me, his lasting legacy: “Michelle, my best wishes to you… You will shine!”

Saying such things came naturally to Mr. Lobo… Cynthia’s dad… Young Michelle’s grandpa…




It comes naturally to me, too…

 

He wrote daily like a possessed man… passionately, single-mindedly…

I do the same thing, today…



So, what comes naturally to us is our calling in life, our vocation…

Doesn’t this logic make sense?



“Dear Michelle, it does…

In life, as your grandpa did, do what you love… and, love what you do… I tell you: that’s the only key – the master key – to the door called ‘Happiness’.

With loads of love…May God bless.”


GERALD D’CUNHA

Pic.: Cynthia Rodrigues

P.S. Michelle, this Post is dedicated to your adorable (late) grandpa... and yes, you!


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

THE NEED TO PROVE MYSELF RIGHT

















The need to prove oneself right comes from one’s low self-esteem. 


I am excluding, here, the politicians, who debate on the lines of their respective party-ideologies and alliances. 


I am talking, here, about you and me… who, often, tend to prove how and why we are right …


Well, I will still narrow it down to myself: How and why, often, I tend to prove I am right…


If my urge is to prove myself right making the other person feel wrong or stupid, it will not leave in my heart a pleasant experience… 


Arguments come from such inner need… 


So, before I embark upon any such trip, I have a choice to make: Will the experience make me feel good or bad about myself…


Any assertive behavior of mine, which comes from my healthy self-esteem, has to make me feel good about myself… after I have behaved in that manner…


On the other hand, any submissive or aggressive behavior of mine, which comes from my low self-esteem, has to make me feel bad about myself… yes, after I have behaved in that manner.


When others try, desperately, to prove they are right, all that is needed from my end is not to walk into the trap laid by them…


All that is needed is the simple wisdom to recognize the trap… and, accordingly, leave the person alone with his trap…




If he is hell-bent in providing he is right, 


he will go all the way to do that… 




And, my experience has been this: If he is truly right, he will not have in him the need to prove it… So, he does it out of his fear, distrust and insecurities, which are the off-shoots of his low self-esteem…


Righteousness is, always, lived… It is the glow of my being… The moment I try to show it to others, prove it… my miseries will follow me…


Therefore, suffice it to be right within… That would, also, help me deal with those who try to force upon me their righteousness…


And, stay off the ‘trap’.



GERALD D’CUNHA

Pic.: Gloria Pinto



Monday, July 29, 2013

MOST OF MY FEARS ARE BASELESS

















Most of my fears are just baseless!

They haunt my mind because of my own assumptions, presumption, interpretations… and my unexamined beliefs.

Often, it takes a hard look at my fears - a look into the eye of my fears, directly – to do away with them…

Often, acceptance of some well-meant advice of a caring soul around…

Often, some patience and poise in my heart not to jump to conclusions… not to declare my own self-fulfilling prophesies…

Often, some trust in the goodness of Life and kindness of our Lord…

Often, some simple humility to lean on someone’s shoulders…

All fears are not real… They are just like ghosts… who rule only in the darkness, and, yes, only inside the unattended houses!

Humans and ghosts very, very rarely live in the same houses… And, we never hear about ghosts moving around in broad daylight!

My mind is my house… When bright thoughts reside there, when light of faith and prayer keep it guarded, the ghost called Fear dares not to sneak into my mind, my house.

So, where should I begin?

Perhaps, right here, right now…Certain fears are trying to walk into my house, right now… I can feel the shiver, the doubt… the darkness…





Perhaps, a hard, direct stare 

right into the eye of the fear…




I can see and feel the smile in my heart…

I am afraid of the tiger…

But, am I afraid of him because he is there right in front of me?

Or, am I afraid of him… even though he is very tightly locked in the cage in front of me?

Or, am I simply sweating and shivering… even when he is not there at all – just thinking about him… just imagining?



Yes sir, most of my fears are just baseless!



GERALD D’CUNHA

Pic.: Vivek D'Cunha








Thursday, July 25, 2013

COLUMBUS DID NOT BELIEVE IN FLUKE






















I like the story of Columbus’ discovery of America. It is packed with inspirational stuff. 

Though I don’t have to tell you as to where Columbus had headed for… and, where he had, finally, landed… 

And, though I don’t have to tell you as to how, almost, Fate saved him from the angry men on that boat – all hardened convicts, who were handed by the King to be of a helping hand to him during his long, risky and uncertain voyage to discover the coveted land called ‘India’… 

Yes, though I don’t have to tell you that these frustrated men had no interest in the vision or ambition of Columbus… that, they were, now, all set to throw him into the raging seas…

Though I don’t have to tell you, that, finally when the ship hit the shores, it was the land of the native red people… whom he called Red Indians…

Though I don’t have to tell you, that, what Columbus had found was not India… It was today’s America. The great USA!

So, it looks as if a great land was discovered by sheer fluke. By default… Yes, not by design!... Yes, it looks so...

And, yes, that’s an old story… Our history text-books still tell it…

I like the man – Columbus. They gutsy hero…
I like Columbus for his clarity of vision… He wanted to discover a prosperous land called ‘India’. He wanted ships, money and people… So, he tried desperately to sell his idea to the King, for his patronage…

Nobody buys your idea unless you sell it with die-hard conviction, burning passion and bulldog determination. Columbus must have done that… Still, such ‘crazy’ ideas are too risky to play with. Sane men were not willing to be on his ship… Finally, King gave him some condemned prisoners; the convicts…

So, Columbus set on his historic voyage – to discover the great land called ‘India – on a ship accompanied by prisoners… and he sailed for endless days in a violent ocean with no hope in sight…

Columbus was a lonely man on board… Like Moses was… Like Gandhi was… Like Christ was… Like Martin Luther King Jr. was…

So, in the middle of the sea, when nothing goes right for you, when death and destruction only seem to be the only reality in front of you… when you find nobody on board believing in you anymore, and worst, they are, now, all set to throw you into the sea, yelling: “There go you and your bloody land of gold…!”



Yes, if you survive this ordeal, this test of fire…

 you are through.


Well, I am telling this story not to prove, that, great lands are discovered only by fluke. I am not a believer in chance…

Look, how chance favored only the brave… A brave-heart called Columbus!

And, I am remembering this brave-heart, today, because, a young-man - who was about to start his Commerce voyage - was telling me, with all his honesty: “Sir, I have taken up Commerce by fluke… I have no clue as to where I am going to land!”

I told the young-man the Columbus story…

Let me tell you, he had read about it in his school texts… But, he was never inspired…

Today, he was…

And, he told me that!

Sorry sir, in a voyage called Life, no land is discovered, just by chance… Just by fluke. No, never, ever!

GERALD D’CUNHA
Pic.: Mehul Bhuva