Thursday, July 31, 2014

THE FROG MUSIC





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 about the cars, cruise and airliners, I am left to guess...
Talk about the latest fashion trend, I am just not interested...
Talk about the books, music and movies, my eyes might glow...
I might be close to thrice my son’s age and might know a thousand more things better than he does... But, then, I must be the most arrogant creature on this earth if I do not admit that he knows a thousand other things better than I do...
No matter how big Amitabh Bachchan for all of us, here, is... but, standing next to Tom Cruise or Jack Nicolson, our superstar might look pale...
And, the same thing has to happen to Tom Cruise and Jack Nicolson when they stand next to, probably, President Obama or Pope Francis...
I am just airing my strong feelings...
Who knows how the President of the ‘greatest’ nation and the Pontiff of the largest religion on earth might appear when they stand next to someone like Mother Teresa or Nelson Mandela!
Yes, I am just wondering!
I heard Oprah Winfrey saying once, “Your fame only means many people have heard about you.”
Now, how many is this ‘many’?
Not even a year or two earlier, Justin Bieber was the darling of every one, featured in the world-record books for highest hits and all that... That was his time... Just as Michael Jackson and Mohammed Ali had theirs... Just as Rajesh Khanna and L.K. Advani had here...
But, then, I felt really bad for the way things went for all of them...
And, who am I to claim that  I am ‘famous’?
And, what good is that fame for?
Nobody talks, today, about the once-mighty Roman Empire... Nobody cares for the Egyptian or our own Mughal. Yes, the Sun did set on the British Empire, too...
And, the Sun will set on each and every empire here – of whatever kind, of whatever power and fame... The Sun has to set, the curtain has to fall!
So, today, when it is raining so heavily outside, the relentless and unique frog-music, which used to be  played from our village ponds, came alive in my heart... and brought along these two interesting questions:
“Hey, am I a small frog in a big pond?” or
“Am I a big frog in a small pond?”
A half-a-dozen college kids, who I call my students, are standing next to me!!!!

GEREALD D’CUNHA

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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






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 tightness and the stress is more superior ability endowed to man...

After all, is not the purpose of seeking inspiration to be happy and light?

So, though not as giftedly as my friends, Joe and Bipin, do, I, too, need to learn - at lest to some measure - to let go and laugh Life’s  ICU’s, trial courts and, yes, even, graveyards... Basically, what I mean to say is what Robert Frost had said, long time ago:



If death is where this world is going to end, for all of us, then, why die crying and complaining? Why like a loser?

Charlie Chaplin had summed up this great lesson, this way:

“To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it.”

Robert Frost was an amazing poet, and Charlie Chaplin was an amazing comedian... And, I love both of them...

Just as I love my two buddies, Joe and Bipin, who, God did not intend to be like me!



GERALD D’CUNHA


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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






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 the first reason why I consider my dad’s boss was kind...

The second reason was my own weakness... My love for the Eid Biryani! 

Whether my dad was a pain or a gain to his boss, I am yet to figure out... Whatever it was, on every Eid day, the boss wanted my dad to come over to his place, with his little sons, for a sumptuous fill of biryani... and, till I got into the college, I would excitedly accompany my dad to hog it... Yes, just hog it...

So good it was!

Once, I became a college student, I was too shy to go like that... Also, by then, I had become conscious of my dad’s drinking...

So, for the marvelous privilege of savoring the heavenly biryani on each Eid day, for so many of my innocent years, I consider my dad’s boss as a kind man!

Wherever you are sir – here on earth or up there in heaven – may God reward you for all the kindness you had showered upon my dad and our humble family.

Here, in Mumbai, many people invite me for an Eid biryani. But, the biryani, which my dad’s boss served, would, always, remain special in my heart...

There is something else that appeals to me these days... No, the biryani doesn't turn me on, so much now...

Here is one such thing...

Shaikhbhai is a garden contractor in our housing society. He has been looking after our gardens for the last four or five years. He is one of the most upright humans I have ever met... Very simple, very cultured, very honest, and very, very, very committed to the task in hand... He puts his heart not only in his work but also in his relationships... Though, a father of married daughters and hailing from a hand-to-mouth family, he is never ever tempted by money. Upright and sincere to the core... A true Musulman, I consider him.

And, for the last four or five years, not failing even once, on every Eid morning, this simple soul would call me to say, “Sir, Eid Mubarak ho!”

The fact that Shaikhbhai, a Musilm, picks up his phone and wishes me, a Christian, on an Eid day, makes my each Eid – yes, here in Mumbai – special... In deed, a hundred times more special than the best of the best biryani in the world!

Today morning, when Shaikhbhai called me up to wish, I did not mince my words... “Shaikhbhai you are gem of a human being,” I told him, “I love your honesty, commitment and simplicity. May Allah bless you and you family.”

Yes, I said this to him in Hindi...

“Bahut, bahut shukriya, sir,” Shaikhbhai replied with all his honesty, “You are being very kind to me!”

Is it what they say, “What goes around, comes around”?

GRALD D’CUNHA

Monday, July 28, 2014

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











Pic.: Arvind Salunke

“The function of prayer is not to influence God,
but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.”

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 raining?” he questioned me, rudely.

By now, my gentleness had dried out. “It is a Ramadan day, brother; you are fasting. I am just requesting you... trying to explain to you my problem,” I put it quite dramatically, “Can’t you do this one good work?”

He was a young, sturdy, traditionally long-bearded man. Obviously, I had used words which would leave him either speechless or angry...

“Good work? “he chose to be angry, “Sir, I do a lot of it... Look at this...”

He was trying to show me something and reason out with me as to why he was not a bad man!

“Brother, let’s be peaceful,” I calmed him down, “It will take just a couple of minutes to go back and fetch my phone.”

Quietly, the young autowala drove towards my Society... Neither he nor I uttered a single word...

I had reminded him that it was Ramadan, his fasting day... and, he had reminded me that it was Sunday, my Sabbath day...

While paying him his fare, some twenty minutes later, I said “Thank-you,” from my peaceful heart... and, he said “Sorry sir.”

I knew, it was from his peaceful heart, too...

Only a day to go for the festival of Eid, here in Mumbai. I may not meet you brother... So, ‘Eid Mubarak’ to you, in advance, May  peace be with we all.


GERALD D’CUNHA

Sunday, July 27, 2014

AUTOWALA, ELSTINA AND I















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
I was 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 guys are living in a different world, unlike we, at your age, did,” I said, “There are great opportunities and they pay you handsome salaries… All that you need to do is: be very good in your subject and be very good in pitching yourself in the job market.” Then, a short pause alter, I added, “Maybe, a little bit of God’s grace, too!”

“True uncle,” Elstina agreed…

Just before alighting, I heard the auto-driver saying, “Sir, is there a way you can help me get a good job?”

Now, both Elstina an I, looked at each other. “Why does he say so?” this was what we were thinking, “What kind of job this young rickshaw driver is hoping to get?”

“Kya kiya hai aapne?” I asked him to know about his qualification.

B.A. kiya hai sir maine,” he told me…

Though, for a moment, I felt bad for him, I wasn’t shocked to know his truth. Thousands of young graduates, particularly from remote places of UP, Bihar etc., end up doing odd jobs like this rickshawala…

There was hardly any time, for Elstina and me, to stay back and try to help him in any practical way. All that I could bring myself to do was, to press his shoulder caringly and say, “ Aap jawan ho; aur koshish  keejiye… Aapka koshish aur Ishwar ka ashirwad, do no chahiye.”

“Ji sir, thank-you,” all of us bid good-bye to each other….

Autowala, Elstina and I…

* Name changed

GERALD D’CUNHA

Saturday, July 26, 2014

CLEAN-UP THE TATTOOS FROM YOUR MIND






Pic.: Ruma Chatterjee
I had 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 would recount to us, his village friends, his grandma’s logic... and taunt us as to why we all had to learn something simple and important from the Bombay boys!

 “How innocent my grandma is!” Paul would laugh it out, “Our village is her world!”

When you are innocent, you are beautiful. Paul’s grandma was innocent... So, we all considered her as a beautiful person...

But, when you are ‘ignorant’, you are ugly!

During our PD sessions, for group discussions and debates, we, often, give our young-guns topics such as – smoking and drinking, particularly by girls, doing drugs and hookah, homosexuality and live-in relationship... We give them topics such as abortion and rapes... What they have in their mind on revealing clothes and flaunting their tattoos... Yes, we encourage them to open the widows of their mind and let some fresh air come in... That’s the time, we, also, realize how ‘informed’ our young-kids really are... Most of them know a lot about those things, and they, also, have strong views about them...

Is smoking a health issue or is it a moral issue?

If your daughter likes to go around in skimpy shorts, or your son in his tattoos, will you brand them as punks?

If you wake up, one day, to discover that your son has homosexual traits or daughter is into a live-in relationship, will you bring your house-roof down or go into a hiding?

If at all the mind’s window has to be opened, it is that of parents, teachers and preachers, who in the name of values, cultures, morals, education and religion, do not allow our little and young kids to express their minds out... Most of us are so particular about what they should wear and what they should not, that we, completely, forget to teach them – yes, by our own example – what kind of mind they should wear or they shouldn’t...

Yesterday, Maclean, my 24-year-old nephew, who sails all around the world, had shared this FB post:


“Sometimes, some of the nicest people you meet
are covered in tattoos;
And, sometimes, the most judgmental people you meet
go to church on Sundays.”

Earldibbles Jr

Though, to wear an open mind, we do not have to sail around the world, there is a world of truth in what my young nephew wears in his mind...

Tomorrow will be Sunday. I have a job to decide: Whether I should clean-up the tattoos from my body or to clean-up the tattoos from my mind!


GERALD D’CUNHA

Friday, July 25, 2014

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






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 look at me, listen to me, promise me... and, come to my class, the next class, once again, without the homework... I would scream and shout, he wouldn't feel bad about it, I would... “Sorry sir, I will not repeat my mistake,” I would feel relieved... But, the very next class, lo! There was one more lame excuse!

Kushal wants to do Law. Fair enough. My subject, Accountancy is not very important to his plans... But, the fact that he makes his promises and breaks it worries me. “It is not about Accountancy dear,” I remind him, “It is about the promise you make and fail to keep... It is about the damage it does to your own self-esteem... It is about the habit pattern your silently allow in you to form... It is about managing time, keeping yourself motivated to do things you do not like, but still have to do...”

Well, all this, my student – who, I know loves and worships me – listens without any resistance... But, then, something happens between the promise he makes and breaks!

Last night, I did remind Kushal to come to class, today morning, with the home-work.

“Yes sir, I will,” he promised “Have a beautiful night sir.”

”You too, beta,” I felt nice.

And, this early this morning, when I looked at my dear Kushal’s face, I knew what it was telling me..

“Oh, no beta, not today... not today!” I said with all the sweetness and honesty of my heart, “You know what, yesterday I had made my own b’day promise to myself... that, at least for one day – that is today – I would not scream and shout at my students, whatever be their mistakes... Beta, you had wished me good health and happiness, last night... Hadn't you? No beta, at least today, you should have turned up with your home work... at least for your sir’s sake...”

My dear Kushal’s face was telling me that he really felt for me. “Look my dear students,” I told the whole class, this is 8 in the morning, my fist batch... My last batch will end at 8.30 tonight... If I feel disappointed, irritated and angry, like this - right now and through all my day - imagine my ‘health and happiness’ when my day ends... I have to maintain my freshness and energy at their peak till I wind up, today.. How will I? How will I have good health and happiness when I go back home? How will I keep alive my own motivation to come back for work, tomorrow morning?”

I looked at Kushal, with all my love-turned-anguish, and said, once again, “Not at least today, beta... Not today!”

“Sorry sir,” Kushal sincerely apologized for hurting me, “I am really sorry.”

When my students realize their mistakes, and sincerely own up, I become peaceful...

After the class, I came to my office and opened my FB account... and, behold! “Today is Kushal’s birthday... Wish him,” all merciful FB reminded me...

My heart went numb!

“No Gerry, not today,” I hid my face in my palms, “At least for today, you should have kept your promise!”

I did not wait to inbox my dear student, who must have, by now, just entered his home:

“Hey Kushal, I feel bad when I think of the repeated scolding I give u.
 I did not know it was ur b’day...I wouldn't have...
But, u know why I do it!!!

Dear, wish u a very happy b’day... and wish all the good things in life...

Love you.”

Before I could re-read what I had scribbled, there flashed Kushal’s reply:

 “No sir, I completely understand, why you did it...

Thank you.”


Who has to change?

My heart is still smiling... and my head is still swinging...

Trust me, I am happy.

* Name is changed

GERALD D’CUNHA

Thursday, July 24, 2014

THIS LIFE COULDN'T HAVE BEEN BETTER










Pic.: Aparna Khanolkar Sheth

I have 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 me remain absolutely alive to the priceless wisdom of every other faith

4. For making me more spiritual and less religious.... Never ritualistic, leave alone dogmatic or rigid about what I believe in...

5. For the simple, warm and diverse relatives in my life, so many of them, so many...

6. For the warmth and the richness – and the craziness – of all my friends... so simple, so honest, so caring...

7. For every teacher, right from my baby days till now – the one I adored or - in my ignorance – abhorred, the one I feared and the one I worshipped... yes, for every one of them, for making me whatever I am today...

8. For the humble, cash-starved home in which I was born... where, I could learn the value of dreaming, hard-work, hope and faith... Where I could learn what living with constrains means, what ‘the next meal’ really means...

9. For sending me to the local vernacular-medium school... so that I could know how to learn to think, write and speak in English, and above all, why I should not stop learning it once my school and college was over...

10. For sending into my life my idol, Prof. B.S. Raman, to teach me for all three years of my degree college... so that I could sit in his class and constantly dream of becoming like him... a fine, committed and passionate teacher...

11. For the opportunity to come to this great city of ‘Bombay’ – now, Mumbai -  and live with my humble and honest uncle and aunt – for seven-long  years...

12. For those initial  jobless-days in Bombay, when I could wander through the nook and corner of this city, on whose footpath I could pick up ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill... which would give me the tools to translate my own dreams...

13. For the train TC for catching me when I traveled without ticket, making me go through the embarrassment that afternoon... and, because of which, I could get up and decide that night, say enough of wandering and thinking...

14. For giving me my shy-as-a-touch-me-not grandpa, whose shyness and philosophical-streak I could inherit... my vivacious and to-the-boot extrovert grandma, whose graceful and confident nature I could long to own, all my  life...

14. For the love of books, where I could find my true resting place... where I could experience what legend called - the flight of an eagle...

15. For the love of poetry... the kind my heart would feel at ease with... straight from the heart, and straight into the hearts...

16. For instilling in me the fondness for good movies and music... where I could feel centered, inspired, transported and even charged...

17. For teaching me the value and power of writing my simple notes in diaries... and, eventually doing the same in my daily blog-posts... and feel stupendously happy about it...

18. For teaching me early in life the lesson: ‘Nothing is a waste is life’...

19. For giving me my quick temper... through which I could be aware of my mortality, my fallibility...

20. For teaching me the value and power of reconciliation... Never ever to harbor ill-will against anyone, for long... Make peace before it is too late...

21. For helping me express all my emotions fully and openly, even though quite often they would make me seem very, very vulnerable...

22. For helping me to remain, always, simple, down-to-earth and approachable...

23. For helping me the secret of making money, yet hiding away from me the secret of hoarding it...

24. For helping me recognize, quite early in life, my hidden talents which I could discover and encash fully... Place them on a high-stand and allow them to shine, give light to the world...

25. For enabling me to impact lives – plenty and plenty of them, each day... just by doing the work I am blessed to do best...

26.For the wonderful gift of seeing the beauty of wayside flowers and capture it in my daily writings...

27. For the amazing ability to weave stories out of ordinary events in my life...

28. For keeping me an eternal idealist...

29. For keeping me a kid-like dreamer...

30. For keeping me a never-say-die romantic at heart...

31. For storing loads of sensitivity in my heart...

32. For making me a peace-maker...

33. For making me an excellent organizer...

34. For teaching me, early, the value and power of initiative, the quality of going the extra-mile, working more than what I am paid for...

35. For helping me become aware of my fears, insecurities, envy, and anger, through which I could learn to be compassionate and tolerant...

36. For showing me, time and again, the ugliness of my ego, so that I could quickly get off the tiger’s back before it is too late...

37. For the ability to survive with little...

38. For teaching me, to a great extent, the truth: no matter how good you are, some people will, always, criticize you... which means, you should never stop being good...

39. For reminding me, again and again and again, that I may be an important person in this world... but, the world can, and will, function – very, very smoothly – without me...

40. For the awareness that what work I do, so many around me do... But, I can still do it in  my own special way...

41. For the awareness that there is always scope for creativity... it is endless, infinite... and, abundantly available...

42. For the great truth that everything man creates comes from the ‘thin air’... and, it is forever available to each and every earnest soul on this planet...

43. For the old truth that time and tide wait for none...

44. For teaching me the priceless lesson in life: You can not be grateful and unhappy at the same time... That, ‘Thank-you’ is the most sincere prayer you can ever say...

45. For another powerful lesson: If you have patience, a lot can be done in life...

46. For giving me a sound mind and able body... I couldn't have asked for better...

47. For teaching me not to judge others too much; and whenever I do, to retreat immediately...

48. For teaching me, again and again, that I can not make anyone in this world happy in spite of whatever I try to do for them. One has to learn to be happy...

49. For teaching me to be more proactive and less reactive in life... Blame less, take charge more...

50. For helping me see the good in others, operate from there... and be blind to their flaws...

51. For reminding me, again and again, that I should seek help from others... Life is inter-dependent... and, if I am earnest, there is, always help, around...

52. For helping me to be a good a team-player and, then, a good team-leader...

Finally, I have kept these four reasons last, consciously... Because, they are so important to me... that I want them to live in my mind, and in your mind, forever...

53. For thousands of my students, who are my constant source of inspiration, who keep me forever young and kicking... who have helped me to found THE DAWN CLUB... who give me the constant hope to live for...

54. For my wonderful son, who has helped me understand what Kahlil Gibran famously said: “Your children are not your children... They are Life longing for itself...” For teaching me what ‘Being your own man’ really means... A mighty blessing...

55. For my amazing wife, my constant companion... for helping me practice what I preach, for reminding me the age-old truth – ‘Charity, always, begins at home’... For keeping me firmly planted on the ground... For sending me back, constantly, to the nursery of Love-school and brush up the very basics.... Very, very honestly so... A great force in my life...

56. For the first and the last reminder in life: Life is, really, really, short... Live it to the fullest, without regrets, without guilt, without animosity, without blame, without carrying excessive baggage... Love now, forgive now, dream now, embrace now, thank now... and celebrate now... be at peace now...

Thank-you Lord, thank-you all...

I am saying ‘YES’...

This Life couldn't have been better... I really mean it.


GERALD D’CUNHA