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Showing posts from September, 2013

WHEN YOUR CHILD BECOMES INSECURE

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Pic.: Fr. Reginald Pinto
The other day, I was discussing something with a gentleman, and, suddenly the discussion turned quite heated. I was in my usual form - as gentle and passionate I could be… but, not aggressive. The other person went quite ballistic, with unpalatable language. Yes, the matter pertained to someone else; nothing was aimed at me… Yet, I was trying to help him see the necessity of being less brash and aggressive. Obviously, he had not appreciated my view; and, he was justifying his method by being more vocal, more aggressive, now.
Just then, his 7-year-old son stormed into the room. Perhaps, he had heard the familiar voice of his dad while playing with his friends outside. The gentleman quickly asked his little-one to go outside and play. But, the little-one refused to go. “No, I want to be here,” he said.
“Raja, I told you to go out and play,” the father reminded the son, “here, our meeting is going on.”
“No, I want to be here,” the little fellow declared, looking at m…

BEING MAGNANIMOUS IN OUR VICTORIES

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Pic.: Neetu Sharma Sachdeva
Today, our housing society had its AGM. I was chairing it for the fifth time in a row. This is our last year in office. The faith placed in us by our members, their co-operation and the support, all along these years – have been overwhelming and humbling to say the least.
Like in all Co-operative Societies, we, too, had been struggling to deal with some real challenges posed by a small group of members. It had been relentlessly going on for years, despite the large section of our members appealing to the concerned group in every possible meeting, and, also, outside the meetings… But, in vain. Every effort to appeal to the conscience of the group has failed, so far; the group has remained adamant and the personal vendetta continues with no hope of reconciliation in sight.
In Life, our ego-trips are like our Tiger safari. Before we get on Tiger’s back, we assume we are up to some great joy-ride… But, fools we are to do that… Stupid, dumb idiots! Once we are on…

WE LOVE, LEARN AND GROW ONLY THROUGH OUR VULNERABILITIES

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Pic.: Neerja Panchal

In the class today, a young-one asked me, “Sir, what do mean by being vulnerable?”
Spontaneously, there was a loud laughter in the class, and our young-one did not know what was happening… why others were laughing… It made him feel stupid and a lot embarrassed.
When the laughter subsided, I said this to the young-man: “When you had asked me that question, with all your honesty and openness, what you had done was you had trusted me and your friends around… and, in that trust, you had allowed your heart to open… But, you had never thought that your question would be greeted by ridicule or rudeness… You just trusted, remained sincere to your heart and opened up… In the process, you made yourself very vulnerable.” I continued, “Probably, you must be thinking in your mind, “What a stupid thing I did? Why did I ask that question at all? How come everybody else knows the meaning and I don’t? There must be something wrong with my intelligence… and, so on.”
“Only when you trus…

WE LOVE, LEARN AND GROW ONLY THROUGH OUR VULNERABILITY

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Pic.: Neerja Panchal

In the class today, a young-one asked me, “Sir, what do mean by being vulnerable?”
Spontaneously, there was a loud laughter in the class, and our young-one did not know what was happening… why others were laughing… It made him feel stupid and a lot embarrassed.
When the laughter subsided, I said this to the young-man: “When you had asked me that question, with all your honesty and openness, what you had done was you had trusted me and your friends around… and, in that trust, you had allowed your heart to open… But, you had never thought that your question would be greeted by ridicule or rudeness… You just trusted, remained sincere to your heart and opened up… In the process, you made yourself very vulnerable.” I continued, “Probably, you must be thinking in your mind, “What a stupid thing I did? Why did I ask that question at all? How come everybody else knows the meaning and I don’t? There must be something wrong with my intelligence… and, so on.”
“Only when you trus…

YES, IF GOD IS WITH US, WHO CAN BE AGAINST US?

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Pic.: Anima D'Cunha


The main reason why the story of the ‘Mahabharat’ is still popular today is that it is such a true story!
What happened thousands of years ago, in the lives of Pandavas and Kauravas, happens today, too… and it will continue to happen…
Love and hatred… Courage and fear… Large-heartedness and jealousy…Righteousness and wickedness… War and peace…
And, what is so endearing about this story is Lord himself comes among humans, the mortals, to teach them how to deal with their difficult times… how not to get panicked, cynical and cowardly in life. Yes, how to stay strong and stay long in the battlefields…
Krishna came on the Earth just as Christ did… It is something very reassuring… and, I think, that’s the main reason why we still go back to the stories of the Mahabharat and the Gospel.
We brothers fight, just the way the sons of Pandu and Dhritarashra did. And, like them, we are either the ones who start the fight or the ones who do not want the fight. The sons of Dhritar…

GOOD FOR YOU...

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Pic.: Neerja Panchal

Agood friend of mine regularly attends self-development workshops. I like that. But, what I don’t like is this: He keeps reminding his friends, including me, to attend some of them. “It is fantastic… You shouldn’t miss it,” he reminds his friends.
So much is so good. But, my friend keeps calling you, and reminding you, about the same… and, you really are not interested, not just excited about it. But, he is… “It is great… awesome… just mind-blowing!”
No, it doesn’t blow your mind at all…
He persists…
You resist…
My friend really means well for me. So, he wants me to attend the workshop and benefit from it. He doesn’t have any other intention like earning some commission or other gains.
Today, when my friend had called me, I told him, “My friend, I am really happy that you found the workshop fantastic… It is really good for you. But, I am not keen to attend it now… Let’s see sometime later.”
If my friend still insists, he is into hard-selling. If he respects my decision…

LOOK, NO ONE SAID ANYTHIING ABOUT ME...

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Pic.: Rajiv Sharma





“Remember, this meeting never took place.”…
“Remember, this conversation never took place.”


Whenever I have come across this movie dialogue, I have immensely liked it. The person saying this wants to convey: Look, it is private… only between you and me. No one else should come to know about it.
When I think of this dialogue, I feel very inspired, too. The reason for that is: It is the fear of what people will think… and what might be its consequences… yes, that makes us tensed, all the time.
For example, if someone says something nasty about me, in public, I might feel offended or angry. I might even react to it, immediately. If the same thing is said in private, when there is nobody around, I might take it a lot differently…
So, it is clear from this, that the value we have attached to other people’s opinion… yes, it makes all the difference.
Is it possible for us to separate what someone says about us from our interpretation about it?
It is interesting… 



If my mood is…

IF OUR GIFTS ARE NOT WRAPPED WITH HUMILITY...

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Pic.: Neerja Panchal

Knowing our talents and strengths is the cornerstone of our self-confidence. And, being pride-swollen by them is its tombstone!
I am a very strong advocate of the former: know your talents and strengths… “Your confidence in life stands on this knowledge,” I keep reminding the young-ones. But, I, also, remind them that the knowledge about our God-given gifts and our unique strengths should be balanced by equal amount of humility. “Humility is a great strength, a great virtue… Let every other virtue of yours, and every other gift, be covered with this wrapper called – ‘Humility,” I try to convince them.
In fact, when God gives us our gifts, He, also, holds back from us something else, often, something very important. Perhaps, that’s to teach us humility in life… Keep us grounded.
The early we recognize this truth, the better for us.
Last evening, a mother had brought her 8-year-old to me. She wanted me to help the little one with a story-telling competition. And, the st…

WILL I TAKE THE BUS WHEN MY FRIEND'S LIMO BREAKS DOWN?

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Pic.: Neetu Sharma Sachdeva


A few days ago, I was watching on TV a documentary film on late Michael Jackson. It was titled – ‘MICHAEL JACKSON – The Life of an Icon’. It was produced by one of Jackson’s most loyal friends, David Gest (2011). Last years of this legend were traumatic and mercilessly humiliating for him. In spite of his mind-swirling fame, barely a few stood by the icon till his end. The rest of them deserted him.
One of the few souls who stood around Michael Jackson during his harrowing years was his mother. She knew he was innocent and was unfairly hounded… With her unflinching faith in her son, she would attend the volatile court sessions every day... She prayed and hoped that he would be vindicated. And, when that finally happened, she was the happiest soul on earth.

David Gest was one more friend of Michael Jackson, who remained loyal to the legend through all his good times and bad times… David’s view about his friend didn't change. His faith in the icon lasted ro…

PAR BANDE ACHHE HAIN

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Pic.: Neerja Panchal


We express our love, concern and care for our loved ones in thousand different ways. Most of them are done quietly, without any ceremony around them… And, so, they hardly get noticed by our loved ones.
Yes, our parents, spouses, children and other dear-ones do thousand small-acts of love, concern and care for us… while we are totally ‘blind’ to those acts!
Obviously, we find them unloving, uncaring and irresponsible… and, we do scream at the top of our voices to let them know how we feel about it…
Our loved-ones do the same to us…
This means, we will eternally remain for each other – unloving, uncaring and irresponsible… Won’t we?


Allacts of love are – and should be - soundless… quiet ones. The noise and ceremony around them, make them ugly, vulgar!
Whether we like it or not, and whether we are happy about it or not… unless we are able to open our eyes and hearts to all those soundless acts of love by our dear and near ones in life, we shall always keep cribbing about w…

KANAKA'S WINDOW

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Pic.: Anima D'Cunha

Last night, while watching the children’s programme in our Society’s Ganesh pandal, two of my dear friends (brother and sister) just joined us. They had come directly after visiting the famous MountMary shrine in Bandra. They were non-Christians and shared with me their experience with a great amount of delight. Looking at their happy faces, I, too, felt very happy.

I have been to Mother Mary’s shrine several times, before. But, in all my 34-year living in this city, I haven’t been there, even once, during the popular Fair-season! Honestly, the shrine has something magnetic about it… I have been alone there sometimes, and sometimes with my family… I have spent quite moments in solitude… and seen tears just rolling down my cheeks… But, then, during the most-awaited time of the year, I haven’t, at all, felt the calling in my heart… When others share their moving experiences at the Fair time, I feel glad… and, when they express their surprise on learning my status, …

ANGER IS OKAY... REVENGE IS NOT

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Pic.: Neerja Panchal 

“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
-Buddha
Anger is okay. If we bottle it up as victims, it kills us. If we hold on to it with hatred, it turns into revenge… And, hatred consumes us before it consumes the one who we hate… Revenge kills us first, then the other fellow!
Yes, anger is poison.. I have in my heart quite a lot of it… as everyone else has. And like most of my fellow-beings, I, too, express it by shouting and screaming sometimes - and, sometimes, too loudly; and, with that, there it goes – out of my window. I can, happily say that the other person is not hurt badly at all… In fact, after I have expressed my anger, strangely, he comes closer to me… Most of the times, it is so.
It’s a nice feeling. Very healing, too!
Having said such nice things about anger, I still advocate this: Our anger should not be allowed to become hatred and revenge. We have to let the other person know that we are angry and why… That’s …
THE WILD, WAYSIDE FLOWERS
There is, always, something extra-ordinary in the wild, wayside flowers...