Showing posts from January, 2014


Pic. Madan Manik
Last evening, I met two lady-teachers. They were returning home after watching the Salman Khan movie – ‘Jai Ho’. I was a bit amused and asked them, “Did you like it?”
“Completely,” they both said in a chorus, “Paisa vasool!”
I was a stupid fellow to assume, that teachers like me alone carried ‘brains’ in their heads. I had forgotten, that a vast majority, out there, were very, very simple souls… They didn’t like to see life in complicated terms… They didn’t like to be too serious even when they went to watch a movie… That, they liked to sing along, laugh, whistle and come home a little happier and lighter… For them, it was a Rajnikantor a Salman Khan movie that brought cheer in their hearts… For them, what mattered was: some pure entertainment, no matter how silly it sounded!
Ironically, in ‘Jai Ho’, the famous dialogue revolves around the same man – ‘the common man’ – who the typical Salman Khan movies cater to: “Aam aadmi sota hua sher hai…”
Perhaps, Arvind Kejriwal clic…


Pic.: Madan Manik Oprah Winfrey turned 60, yesterday (29th Jan). And, what a remarkable life it has been!
I have been a great admirer of Oprah ever since I first watched one of her talk shows, some twenty-odd years ago. My admiration for this woman has shot up thirty notches higher since I first had her glimpse on TV!
Some people have come on this planet to touch and make a difference in others’ lives. Oprah, I believe, is one of those people. Imagine, the kind of impact she has left with her simple talk shows… We watch them because of their genuine warmth and transforming power. Honestly, every time I watch one of her talk shows, I come out a little more transformed, a little more touched, healed!
When I look at Oprah’s phenomenal success, and her legend as a woman of substance, I can only conclude this: She discovered her heart’s calling, and just followed it with all that she possessed. If we read her famous quotes, it becomes abundantly clear to us that she went by her heart’s calling…


Pic.: Madan Manik Whenever the thoughts of scarcity creep up in my mind and leave me anxious, I allow myself to experience the feeling of discomfort and fear fully. Pumping myself with bravado is a momentary relief… as it only serves as a band-aid treatment for my anxiety… So, the ideal treatment, which, I have found is: allow myself to experience the anxiety fully… It goes!
When my health is bad, when I run out of cash, when there is strain in my relationships… yes, whenever lack of any kind stares at me, scares me… I think, that’s the best time to slowdown in life… introspect… realign myself… make necessary amends and keep moving on! Just as a body ailment is a blessing in disguise - if I can see it as Nature’s plan to make me aware of our body’s well-being and act responsible towards it, take good care of it - Yes, just as a heartache, too, is a blessing in disguise - if I can see it as Nature’s plan to make me aware of my heart’s well-being and act responsible towards it, take good…


Pic.: Madan Manik
On many mornings, I meet an elderly lady, near my classes, with her 11-year-old granddaughter. She waits till the little-one’s autowalah comes and picks her up. “Bye beta,” the grandma is now on her way back home…

I am inspired by this elderly woman. I am told, that when she was still young and married, with her two daughters and a son, her husband had died in a road accident. So, the struggle for this woman began quite early in life. As years rolled by, one daughter completed her studies and got married to a man in London, and, soon, settled there. The other daughter, after her studies, got married to a businessman in India. But, marriage failed, and, eventfully, she came to live with her mother here. The only son of the woman, when he was young, got heavily into drugs and ruined his life. Under such a condition, he was married to an innocent village girl, and, understandably, the marriage ended up in a tragedy: the girl killed herself, soon, leaving behind a little b…


Pic.: Neerja Panchal
I think, one of the surest roadblocks on our way to peace is our incessant habit of justifying our actions. We know, very well, that our justifications do not change our realities. Still, we keep on justifying our actions… till the point our hearts are completely depleted of peace…

Our arguments stem from this… When consumed by the obsession to win an argument, at any cost, there is no way we can see the reality, that such winning, invariably, comes at the expense of our peace…

How can we win without defeating – or suppressing - the other person? Most of the time, we allow ourselves to falsely believe that we have won - scored a point - over another person… But, actually, we have only used our powers of position, our authority, just to shut the other person up… If shouting, screaming, bullying, threatening and blackmailing have brought in us the feeling of winning, then, it is time we did a quick reality check!

For, the reality hasn’t changed… The fact that I am stil…


Pic.: Bhusahn Thakkar Sometime back, my friend, Dr. Deepak, in his Blog Post, shared with us a wonderful story. It was about the fishermen in Japan, who went into deep seas to catch fish. It took for them days to return to the shore. So, in order to bring home fish alive and fresh, these fishermen would erect huge water-tanks on board. And, to doubly ensure that fish remained alive till they hit the shore, they would put a couple of big sharks into the water-tanks!

When I first read this story on Dr. Deepak’s Post, I remember how my heart had smiled!
“Hey, I know who the fishes here are,” I remember my heart saying, “I know who the fisherman is… and who the sharks are!”

Yesterday, my younger brother told me this: “If my daily challenges and problems were not present in my life, I don’t think, I would have got up early today, come to work and perform it the way I am doing now.” Then he added, “I don’t think I would even believe in God!”

I fully agree with my younger brother on this. When I …


Pic.: Anima D'Cunha

I am very fond of learning idioms and phrases in English. They really add spice and color to our language. Used at the right place, idioms can make one sit-up and listen as we speak!

The night before last, Arvind Kejriwal had attacked the media alleging that it was being highly biased and it acted as agents of other political parties… I heard a reporter using the idiom: ‘Shoot the messenger’.

Well, frankly, I did not know, till then, what the idiom meant. But, the moment I heard it, I knew what it did: In olden times, the arrogant kings used to do it… The poor messenger, who went to the King carrying the bad news, rarely returned! So, the reporter was telling us, that, the media - the peoples’ messenger - who persistently asked the AAP spokespersons some uncomfortable questions and cited to them what the ‘aam admi’ on the streets really felt about the high drama on the Delhi streets because of therecklessagitation – itself was being now attacked by AAP chief, Kej…


Pic.: Bhushan Thakkar
How we first hear and how we first see something… normally, that’s how we believe it to be!

For example, as a kid, I grew up in a village in Mangalore, where I studied in a local, vernacular-medium school… And, while playing cricket in our dried-up paddy-fields, I first heard someone shouting – ‘HOUSETHAT’…That’s how I thought one should appeal to the umpire to call a batsman out! So, what I first heard in our paddy fields, remained with me for many, many years – even till I finished my college, in fact!

Yes, ‘How’s that?’, to me, was ‘HOUSETHAT?’!!!

But, what’s interesting is that, as far as I remember, for all those years, no one had to ‘correct’ me… no one had to tell me either kindly, rudely, sarcastically or mockingly, “Hello, it is not ‘HOUSETHAT?’… It is ‘How’s that?’”

The day I realized my mistake myself, I just corrected it. It was all over. I said, “Next”!


Yes sir, you won’t believe, how many are there to be corrected… How many ‘HOUSETHATS?’!!

Let me te…


Pic.: Madan Manik If we think, anything in life comes free to us, then, we are fools of the first order! Idiots!

In life, nothing comes free… Yes, everything comes with a price. If they say, it is ‘free’… Please, don’t believe them. They are fooling you… Or, you are fooling yourself!

When we go to a restaurant to eat, we see the menu… and, you know how carefully we study the price against each dish. Importantly, we check how much money we carry in our pockets or banks. But, at someone’s wedding reception, we hog as if we have been on a fast for months! Just imagine, how carelessly and how insensitively we waste food at such places!

Most of us eat there more than what is needed for our stomachs!

Hello, somebody pays by his nose for what we hog like gluttons and for what we waste like idiots!

They say, now a days, WhatsApp is free. That’s the reason why they want all of us to be on it. Then, they make groups… groups of all kinds. Why? Obviously, to ‘communicate’, to be in touch…

Let me tell …


Pic: Bhusahn Thakkar

They say, “What you take to bed at night, you wake up with in the morning.”

Most of us watch TV programmes before we go to bed: the heated – call it hated if you like – debates on news channels, the melodramatic serials, the Travel shows, Fashion shows, Food shows, Reality shows – songs, dance, Big Boss… The Sports shows, the Laughter shows, and, yes, the Spiritual programmes…

Whenever I watch the heated arguments on the news channels before I sleep, I can make out why that’s not the nice thing to carry to my bed… I am left even more disturbed, biased, restless…

Well, I don’t watch serials or the Reality shows. So, I do not know its after effects…

As my family watches the Travel and Food shows, I, often, join them… Most of the times, they leave me with pleasant feelings when I go to bed…

Laughter channels… They are anytime good. It is best to die laughing in my sleep; rather than like a moron - a loser - grumbling and crying! Yes, I do like them…

Ditto for sports. I agre…


Pic.: Bhushan Thakkar
Some twenty years ago, one morning, this line popped up in my heart, and, I, immediately, scribbled it down in my dairy:

“If God were to judge me by my sins,
I would have been condemned to hell-fire long, long ago.”

Today morning, I found, once again, the same line popping up in my heart… And, I felt very strongly that God didn’t judge His children the way the world did… That, it was nothing short of plain mercy – His mercy – that has saved me from such a punishment!

I know what a sinner I am. Maybe, I have not murdered, looted or raped any one… Maybe, I have not cheated on my marriage, abused my children or caused agony to my parents… Still, if God, today, decides to list down my sins, they are grave enough to mete me out with punishment!

Mercifully, the God I believe in is a very, very kind, loving, and large-hearted God. He doesn’t judge me the way the world does… He provides me with many, many chances… and, even if I don’t live up toHis expectations and let Him d…


Pic.: Bhushan Thakkar One of the most valuable lessons I have learnt in my life – rather, I am still learning – is: the art of managing disagreements.

In fact, a genuine realization that another person around me can have – and, often, does have - another view point, itself, is a very fine lesson. From this very first realization stems the rest of my wisdom: 

That, the other person has the right to voice his view, his disagreement, and, I must be confident and graceful enough to respect his view… discuss it out… and, strive for a consensus;

That, when there is disagreement, it is only a disagreement… and, there is nothing personal about it;

That, it is an opportunity for me to be a strong, sensitive and accommodating person, and, thereby, to enhance my self-confidence and leadership skills;

That, if the other person is weak and takes things personally, I must learn not to get into the ‘trap’ and play the same game;

That, by learning to respect another person’s view, and by accommodating it, …
There is, always, something extra-ordinary in the wild, wayside flowers...