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Showing posts from July, 2014

THE FROG MUSIC

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Pic.: Arvind Salunke If we can compare this world to a pond and ourselves – all human beings – to frogs living in it, then there are only two ways we can live in this pond... As a small frog living in a big pond, or As a big frog living in a small pond. There is no third way, for sure. During the recent Wimbledon, Russian tennis-star Maria Sharapova’s statement, “Who is Sachin Tendulkar?” had created quite a stir amongst the cricket fans, especially Sachin fans like me. “How arrogant she can be?” some of us had reacted... A media person had drawn her attention to the presence of Devid Beckham and Sachin Tendulkar at the court... But, Sharapova knew who Beckham was, but not Tendulkar! Arrogant? Sachin completely disagreed and came to Sharapova’s defence, by saying, “It is quite possible, because she may not be following cricket.” I have no clue about the best base-ball, rugby or even basket-ball and foot-ball clubs in the world. A young kid may know a lot about them; but, I am clueless... Talk …

"TAKE YOUR PAIN... AND PLAY WITH IT"

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Pic.: Jhuma Mukherjee
Any situation in life can be viewed differently. A grim situation will be grim only as long as we want it to be so... Stress can last only till we want it to last... So are our happy and fun-filled moments in life...
When it comes to our ability to laugh at our Life-situations, I believe, that each one of us, in this world, is ‘differently-abled’...
For example, two of my close friends, Joe and Bipin, can crack jokes even in a graveyard! It comes naturally to them; it is ingrained in their system...  I, always, tell them, “Good for you.”
Take my own case. Finding in, almost, every wayside situation something sublime, something of value and inspiration, comes naturally to me... It is ingrained in my system... And, I can hear Joe and Bipin telling me the same, “Good for you, buddy.”
No matter how great is my ability to weave these inspirational stories out of Life’s routine situations, I still consider, that the ability to laugh at Life’s grim situations and let go the …

MY DAD'S KIND BOSS... AND HIS EID BIRYANI

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Pic.: Chetna Shetty

My dad was a mechanic, and he worked for many years in a workshop owned by a kind Muslim boss. I say kind for two main reasons...
One: In spite of my dad’s huge weakness of drinking, his boss tolerated him for many, many years. My dad was a wonderful soul, very efficient in his job, too. But, because of his Sunday indulgence, almost every Monday used to be a nightmare for his boss... The hangover wouldn't allow my dad to go for work on a Monday; and, if he did, he would spoil the work of his boss’s clients!
And, in spite this nuisance, my dad’s boss, who was a devout Muslim, put up with my dad, and allowed him to continue working till we, his five kids, grew up... Finally, one Tuesday morning - I remember this even now - just before I became a graduate, my dad’s boss sent my dad back, once and for all. The great Monday hangover had finally taken its toll...
Well, that was long in waiting. Any other boss would have shown my dad the door, long earlier...
So, this is …

"CAN'T YOU DO THIS ONE GOOD WORK?"

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Pic.: Arvind Salunke
“The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.” Soren Kierkegaard
Here is another encounter with another autowala.
Yesterday was Sunday. In the afternoon, I left home, in a hurry, on some urgent and important work. It was pouring heavily and had turned so dark, that at 2.30 in the afternoon, it looked like evening seven! Water had logged all around and, I was worried if I would find an auto. Luckily, one appeared just in time, and I got into it. About a couple of minutes later, I suddenly realized that, in my hurry, I had left my cell-phone at home. I was already late; but, as I was expecting some important calls, I gently requested the auto-driver to take me back, so that I could fetch my phone.
“I can not take you back,” the rickshaw-wala reacted, bluntly.
“Brother, I have left home on an important work; I need my phone badly,” I was still explaining to him, with all my gentleness.
“Can’t you see how badly it is r…

AUTOWALA, ELSTINA AND I

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Pic.: Amrita Jeurkar

“A rag-picker’s son will, always, remain a rag-picker, as long as he has in his mind the image of a rag-picker.”
- Source unknown Iwas on my way to workplace, last morning. A little distance later, I saw Elstina, our dear friends’ daughter, trying to get an auto. I immediately asked my auto driver to stop and called out Elstina. She was relieved as she was late, and as her both hands were full with a nicely folded blazer and files.
“Thank-you so much uncle,” Elstina said as she settled next to me, “I was getting really anxious.”
Elstina, who is doing her MCA, had a very important presentation to make yesterday. I wished her well, and also, made her feel great saying that she would be placed in a fantastic company once she completed her studies. I suggested that she should explore avenues overseas too, both for studies as well as job. During our discussion, I did mention to her about my son’s campus placement and she was delighted to hear about it.
“Elstina, today, you g…

CLEAN-UP THE TATTOOS FROM YOUR MIND

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Pic.: Ruma Chatterjee
Ihad a good friend, by the name Paul, when I was in college, in Mangalore. He lived quite far from the college, in an interior village.
Paul loved the typical tailor-made polyester shirts and terry-wool pants and would wear them impeccably ironed. Some of his young cousins, who lived in Bandra, here in Bombay, would come down to the village during summer. They wore their crumpled tees and torn, stone-washed denims... and, yes, for days, they wore the same stuff!
Now, our poor Paul had some tough time at home... His elderly grandma would give him an earful, everyday, as he spent a good deal of time ironing out his clothes: “Look at these Bombay kids... They have plenty of money; but they don’t show-off like you do... So humble and simple they are, that they are able to survive, for days, on those torn and crumpled clothes. Learn from them... You need your expensive clothes, and you need them crisply ironed... Don’t you?”
The next day, in our college canteen, Paul woul…

NOT AT LEAST TODAY BETA... NOT AT LEAST TODAY SIR

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Pic.: Ruma Chatterjee
As per our son’s suggestion, last night, we had my b’day dinner, quietly, on the roof-top restaurant, ‘Koyla’, at Colaba. He knew that I did not like crowded and noisy restaurants... So, ‘Koyla’, with its beach-inspired ambiance, fitted the bill, perfectly. But, there was one condition we had agreed upon: to switch off our cell-phones...
No regrets... even though there were two-dozen missed-calls and another two-dozen messages... The roof-top did not come down, nor did my heart fail to beat!
Late night, after returning home, I picked one of the calls. It was Kushal*, a twelfth-standard student of mine. He had his class, early this morning. So, almost close to midnight, when I got his call to wish me, though I felt very nice, I reminded him about today’s early-morning class... There was a home-work to be done... He had been skipping homework, almost, every class... and, almost, in every class, he had been getting my ‘special sermon’... But, then, he would obediently …

THIS LIFE COULDN'T HAVE BEEN BETTER

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Pic.: Aparna Khanolkar Sheth
Ihave never asked God to give me a long life. But, I have, always, asked Him, and still ask, to give me the ability to live it passionately... with all the ups and downs, highs and lows... with the eyes and heart of a little child – always filled with wonder and awe, always feeling small before His incredible vastness... remaining strikingly aware of my limitations as well as of the power hidden in my soul...
Fifty six years! It is not a short life-span. It is big, it is long. And, yes, I haven’t abused it, haven’t taken it for granted... And, for this, I do feel happy and proud of my own self.
So, today, if I have to go on my knees and thank God for fifty-six reasons, what they would be?
My heart pours out...
1. For giving me those simple, yet amazing, parents.
2. For giving me my four wonderful – yet strikingly different – brothers.
3. For the opportunity to be born in a Christian family... For giving me my most incredible idol – Jesus Christ... Yet, helping …
THE WILD, WAYSIDE FLOWERS
There is, always, something extra-ordinary in the wild, wayside flowers...