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Showing posts from March, 2014

THE TRICK FROM THE OLD MONK

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Pic.: Chetna Shetty
The question, “Is your glass half-empty or half-full?” has been so overused, that it doesn't look useful, anymore!
Along my path, if I come across one person who is a chronic cribber or a nasty manipulator, I, also, come across another who is empathetic and supportive.  In fact, if I patiently look along my path, I will find more friends than foes, more cheer-leaders than fear-leaders... But, like most others, I, too, tend to hear the deafening cries of those who boo... and think that’s how it is...
That’s not how it is!
For every half-empty glass, there is half which is full... And, that’s how it is!  I need to see that reality, immediately... Else, I should be prepared to spend my life-time worrying, cribbing, blaming... yes, like a loser in life!
Once, there lived a woman, who had two daughters. The elder daughter was married to an umbrella vendor, while the younger one to a noodle vendor. This woman worried all the time!
On a sunny day, she cried, “Oh, it is so…

THE 'WAY' OF THE CROSS

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Pic.: Ivan Mathias
A friend of mine came to meet me, late last evening. She looked very disturbed. After working for eighteen years in a reputed multinational-company, among the ninety employees laid off by her company, she happened to be one. Her immediate lady-boss, who had, apparently, made my friend’s life miserable, was one more! Before joining this company, my friend had worked for many years in two other companies... But, now, at 46, she wasn't so confident about her future.
My friend is a divorcee and lives alone with her ailing mother. Father had passed away about fifteen years ago, and, ever since then, life has been a very rough ride for her. Mother has major health complications, and needs constant attention. Money for mother’s treatment is a huge worry for my friend.
“Sir, I have been taking all the ‘crap’ from my sadist boss for last five years only because my company took care of my mother’s health-care,” my friend told me yesterday, “Else, I would have walked off lo…

KNOWING THE PRICE OF EVERYTHING AND VALUE OF NOTHING

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Pic.: Sherry Haridas


“A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything,  and the value of nothing.”
Oscar Wilde
I first learnt it in our Economics text-books: that, the ‘Price’ of a commodity is different from its ‘Value’. But, as I have gone about my life, it has become more and more evident to me, that, the price and the value of each and everything in my life are different!
A glass of water when I am dying of thirst...
A piece of cloth when my honor is at stake...
A bottle of blood when I am struggling for life in a hospital...
A little oxygen... A kidney... Some sperm...
To know the value of water, someone has to put me in a desert...
Similarly, to know the value of my breath, I need to be put on the ventilator in an ICU...
My money will be, always, ‘MY MONEY’... till someone or something takes it all away from me... Or, it looks utterly pale before the imminent death or destruction!
While a reasonable amount of concern about my future and my financial security is justified, too much of it…

THE DUMB BOX

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Pic.: Bhushan Thakkar
There are many people around us, who help the needy in small ways. They have been doing it for many, many years... and quietly!

Some young boys and girls become exam-writers for their less-fortunate counterparts. Some teachers teach poor children, without any fees, either going to their places or calling them home. I know a friend of mine, who takes care of the tuition-fees of a couple of deserving students, every year. He has been doing it quietly... and for years.

An elderly lady-doctor, who lives in our complex, treats, free of cost, the house-keeping ladies, whose job makes them prone to various diseases. Another elderly gentleman in our complex takes care of weekly groceries and school-fees plus uniform of a little girl of a family that lives in a roadside shanty. He has been, also, helping our watchmen in kind, for years... and quietly.

Many people give time to their community services... church, temple, gurudwara etc... and have been doing it quietly for year…

THE DEAD BUFFALO, ALWAYS, GAVE MORE MILK

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Pic.: Sherry Haridas
“My mother always told me not to handle a buffalo by its tail, but always catch it by its horns... And I have used that lesson in everything in my life,  including the Railways.” Lalu Prasad Yadav

With your mother’s advice, Laluji, you really did a good job as our Railway minister. And, you know what, sir: my mother, while raising her five sons in our village, would, always, tell: “Sons, remember the old saying: “The dead buffalo, always, gave more milk.”

Sir, you want to know why she told us this?

Because, when the buffalo was alive, we would only complain how useless the she-buffalo was...  Her milk was not only less, it was bad, too!

So, whenever a buffalo died in our village, and we saw her master beating his chest screaming his lungs out: “What a great buffalo she was... How good the milk was... How much she gave,” yes, when we saw that sight, our mother would point to the heart-broken master and tell us this: “Sons, you better recognize how great your buffalo is when…

BOSS, GO AND SLEEP, QUIETLY

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Pic.: Errol D'Souza
All of us have our ‘pets’ and ‘pests’. But, if two of my pests are fighting, I have this tendency in me to root for that pest, who I detest less.

Like last night, when I was watching the ‘News Hour’. Well, my wife has asked me hundred times, “What do you gain watching such mindless arguments before you go to sleep?” Both of us detest Arnab’s screaming, shouting, intimidating, preaching, and dishing out judgments. Initially, like the rest of the world, we would admire him. But, now, we find him too much.

But, then, when I switch on the TV at night, I tend to be a little curious about Arnab... Maybe, just to check, what is tonight’s ‘Never, ever Mrs. Lekhi’ episode... So, last night, there were Pramod Muthalik and one of his henchmen. Now, normally, I can’t stand Arnab for more than five minutes... But, last night, I watched his ‘noise hour’ till the last ball!

Why? Because, I detested Muthalik more!

And, when it was all over, I found myself cribbing, all over again…

WITH OUR CLARITY COMES OUR SELF-CONFIDENCE

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 “One ship drives east and other drives west  by the same winds that blow. It's the set of the sails and not the gales  that determines the way they go.”
- Ella Wheeler Wilcox



Pic.: Sherry Haridas

Imagine, when you wake up in the morning, you have no idea about what you have to do through the day... Imagine, this happens every day... You have no plan for the day... for the week... for the month... for the year... for your life!


Last night, another young-man - whose twelfth-standard exams will be over in a few days - was confessing with me that his self-confidence has been very low, lately. He told me that it wasn't so for him, some two years ago, when he had chosen to do science after passing his tenth-standard exams. He wanted to become a doctor. But, as college life started, he found himself getting drifted from his original goal. The boy wasn't prepared for the kind of grueling work-discipline his dream demanded... He wanted to enjoy his college life, the company of his frien…

THE GATES OF A HEAVEN AND A HELL

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Pic.: Bhushan Thakkar
One day, a soldier, by the name Nabushige, came to the Zen master Hakuin Ekaku with a question: “Is there a heaven and a hell?”
“Who are you?” the Zen master asked.
“A Samurai,” answered Nabushige.
“You say you are a Samurai, a warrior,” said the wise-man, “but, from your face, you look like a beggar… Which king would hire you to guard him?”
This sent the Samurai into a rage, and his hands reached to his sword…
“Oh, you carry a sword!” Hakuin remarked calmly, “But, my friend, do you think it is sharp enough to chop off my head?”
By now, the sword was out…
“Behold!” said the wise master, “There open the gates of hell!”
The Samurai quickly got the message, and sent back the sword to where it belonged.
“And, now, you see there the gates of heaven opening!” the Master concluded.
None of us has seen the gates of a heaven and a hell. Who wants to, and why? Yes, the gates of a heaven and a hell, ‘here after’… But, ‘here and now’, in this very existence, are present a heaven and a …

WHY PEANUTS ARE GOOD

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Pic.: Sherry Haridas
“You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job, and not be paid for it.” Oprah Winfrey Prateek*, who has just given his twelfth-standard exams, wants to pursue studies in Law. He has been telling this to me for, almost, two years, now. That’s something nice about him. He has a definite goal before him.


Whenever a young-man tells me, with all his conviction, what he wants to do in life, I feel happy for him. For, with that clarity come the rest of the ingredients required for success: motivation, hard-work, passion, self-discipline and, above all, that dogged determination. Many young-ones are not very sure about what they want to do in life. And, some - even though they are - have a bad work discipline... They get distracted very fast, get carried away by peer-pressure and, with slightest set back, tend to get unsettled, discouraged... and they give up.


So, I keep telling the young-ones, that they need to be incredibly focused. That, focus penetrate…

WHAT HAS TO BE CARRIED BY ME, MUST BE DONE ONLY BY ME

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Pic.: Rajiv Sharma

This is Lent. The last days of Jesus Christ’s life... They are packed with His human experiences... his fear, anxiety, pain, suffering, humiliation... and, then, the passion, prayer, faith, courage and mighty resolve... As a Christ’s follower, this part of His life leaves me shaken, humbled, inspired and, yes, confident.
As a Christian, I am, also, taught, that Christ had come on earth, taking His human form, to save the mankind... save me. So, we call Him the Salvador... the Savior.
However, faith of my religion aside, I seriously feel, Jesus Christ should not have come to save us, the sinners. God, Jesus’ Father, had shown no mercy when Adam and Eve had sinned. He had thrown them out of the EdenGarden, saying, in no uncertain terms: “By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made.”
I ask God, “Why did You send, then, Your own Son to bail us out from our sins?”
But, I know how small I am to ask God this quest…

WHEN THERE IS NO REMEDY FOR THE 'PAIN IN MY NECK'...

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Pic.: Rajiv Sharma
In life, the lesser I resist, the better for me!
And, it applies to, almost, every situation and person in my life... whose presence has become what, in my frustration, I, often, yell out as - ‘a pain in my neck’!
Nobody - or nothing - in my life can become a pain in my neck, unless I allow him or it  to be!
Yes, people can not eat my head... I allow them to!
Situation in life can not destroy my peace... I allow them to!
When someone behaves the way I don’t like, I can tell him about it in a dozen different ways... But, in spite of my telling, if his behavior doesn't change, my reaction to it, should. Else, he will continue to dwell in my head as my perennial tormentor, make my head constantly spin... and, most certainly, he will end up becoming that nasty pain in my neck. Or, wherever it is!
The troubles in our lives, too, may come uninvited. And, who, in his senses, wants them? Yes, when troubles come, our natural instinct is to resist their entry... try all possibl…

"HOPE HAS TWO BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS..."

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Pic.: Sherry Haridas

“Hope has two beautiful daughters... Their names are anger and courage: anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are. -St Augustine

Whenever someone says to me, or I say to someone, “I will pray for you,” what we, actually, try to convey to each other is: “Friend, don’t worry; everything will be alright!”
Last night, when my wife saw me throwing my hands up in frustration at certain present situations in my life, I, instantly, felt her touch: “Don’t’ worry dear; everything will be alright!”
It was at night. In the day earlier, I must’ve said the same thing to at least half-a-dozen people... my students who were anxious about their exams, a couple-friend of mine who had just lost their six-month-old baby, my neighbor, here, whose wife has been undergoing cancer treatment, a dear old-student of mine who has just been laid-off by his company,  a young couple whose marriage has hit the rocks... and, this little kid here, who came to…
THE WILD, WAYSIDE FLOWERS
There is, always, something extra-ordinary in the wild, wayside flowers...