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Showing posts from September, 2014

WHO IS THE LEOPARD?

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Pic.: Vimal Tulsiani
Yesterday, I had written a very impressive piece on our P.M., Mr. Narendra Modi.
I don’t like the hardcore party-politics, nor do I like the fanatic fervor with which most of us worship our leaders blindly. And, above all, I refuse to dig deep, read between the lines and study the motive behind our leaders’ actions, when I feel they are taken in good faith and with good intentions...
If I do not like Mr. Modi’s party or its ideology, that shouldn't prevent me from admiring Mr. Modi for his great, bold gestures as our Prime Minister...


I said, ‘our’ Prime Minister.
Now, read that again. No matter how much I argue on it or deny it, the fact does remain this way: Mr. Modi is ‘my’ P.M., too, whether I have voted for him or against him. Yes, as Barack Obama famously said in his inaugural speech, “Remember, I am elected to be the President of those who oppose me, too!”
So, what is good is good; what is bold is bold. If Mr. Modi has been clearly demonstrating the character…

WHEN I SHOUTED 'JAI HIND' WITH THE CROWD, LAST NIGHT

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Pic.: Chetna Shetty

Like millions all over the globe, my wife and I, too, watched the live relay of P.M. Modi’s speech at Madison Square, last night.
What I was more interested in was this: How was my own mind filtering in what it was watching and hearing!
When my mind saw Mr. Modi as a BJP or RSS leader, it heard him differently... When the Gujarat riots and Godra images started coming before me, I saw him differently... On the other hand, when I dropped those thoughts, when I chose to see the fact that Mr. Modi had risen above all the petty politics and kept unfolding before us, with all his honesty, ‘the grand plan’ to make our nation great, vibrant and proud... when I felt he igniting in each one of us that self-belief – that, you and I need not be in politics, need not be some leaders, but we all can make difference in our own respective fields, by doing our respective works with the best of the best dedication and passion...
When, I chose to take in ‘hope’ and ‘self-belief’ from M…

WHO IS THE PARTNER IN CRIME?

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Pic. Nishant Joshi Hitesh*, an eleventh-standard student of mine, had missed the last lecture, yet again. Last week, when he had missed three–four lectures in a row, I talked to his mother and explained to her why Hitesh had to be regular... It was eleventh standard. The subject which I taught – Accountancy – needed to be organized well, with a good hold on the basics... Else, it would tell on the following years. Thus, as I do with all other students, I did insist with, first, Hitesh, then, his mother, that, if the foundation was shaky, the edifice would never stand; that Hitesh would never like this subject – the main subject – and, thereby, the quality of his work would not have any beauty; that, he would not have motivation to work hard and long... Yes, generally, I do not involve parents to prevail upon my students. It is only when needed (like, when the family makes frequent programmes to go out, hold functions etc., at the cost of lectures), that I talk to them. In this case, too…

OUR MODERN-DAY MORNING-PRAYERS AND GOODNIGHT-STORIES

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Pic.: Anand Ashokan
Right now, as I write this, something exceptionally happy or something exceptionally sad, shocking or disturbing might have just happened - or might be happening – somewhere, there, in the world... Like our Mangalyaan doing it to the Mars orbit... Or, that white tiger eating the school boy inside the Delhi zoo... Like those Andhra ladies thrashing the two auto-drivers for raping a hapless girl... Or, those terrorists slitting the throat of American journo... Like our brave soldiers doing so much in Kashmir... Or, those young college-kids getting washed away in Beas river... Like that deadly road or air accident... Like that wife cheating on her husband or other way around... Like, that local politician flaunting his crores-worth shirt made of pure gold... Like that dog who does what a man cannot... Like someone, in the dread of the night, sighting a ghost or an alien in his backyard... Like that just-born, who can play with the latest Apps, or who can do some hardcore math...
I…

HOW OUR DREAMS GROW 'BIG'

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Pic.: Aparna Khanolkar Sheth
“When you're surrounded by people, who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible.” Howard Schultz

Big dreams are, seldom, dreamt by ‘big’ individuals... They are dreamt by small – very ordinary – individuals like you and me. It is when they surround themselves with people, and ignite in them the same passion - make them believe that the dream is their dream, too – and inspire them to go all the way out to realize it... Yes, it is then, that the dream and the dreamer, both, become ‘big’!
Take anything in the history of mankind...
Take how a nation is built, how a country is freed...
Take how a billion-dollar company is founded... how missions to Moon or Mars are accomplished...
Take how great movies are made, how mega rock shows, beauty pageants or award shows are staged...
Take how TV or radio progrmmes are put together, how news is brought out every hour, every day...
Take how newspapers and magazines are rolled out with…

TRUE TO OUR WORK AND TRUE TO OUR GOD

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Pic.: Sheela Krishnamony
I believe, the moments when I remember God – whether in times of my great joy or acute distress – are the moments of my devotion...
Whether I kneel down , with my bowed head, or whether I look unto the heavens and cry, “Halleluajh, Halleluajh”... and, yes, whether I count beads or chant bhajans... all that God will be interested in is this: Did I do all this with my clean, humble and grateful heart?

The moment the God I worship becomes ‘my property’ – ‘my God’ - well, to me, that’s the death of my God!
Often, we go about praying so much – making such a ‘show’ of it – I wonder, if our God is so greedy for our veneration? Or, if we are being just hypocrites?
Some days ago, one of my dear old-students, Shripad, reminded me of this mythological story...

Narad was a huge devotee of Lord Vishnu.The whole day, he went around chanting, “Narayana, Narayana, Narayana.” Slowly, it had gone into his head that no one – whether on land or in heaven – worshiped Lord Vishnu the way…

TILL YOU DO NOT HAVE FAITH IN YOUR OWN WINGS

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Pic.: Tandra Chakraborty
Navya and Kunal* have just left my office. Today, I had called them both for a pep. Both had approached me for the same reason: to help them feel confident in life.
Navya is a post graduate in medical studies.  Recently, she was engaged to a young-man, who lives in another city. Her marriage is fixed for mid-December. She is an extremely head-strong girl... very, very articulate... exceptionally clear in her thoughts. If you talk to her for some time, you feel happy... and will never realize that she needs any help – of all the spheres in life – in the sphere of ‘self-confidence’...
But, the fact is: she does need.
Her fiancé is a young-and-ambitious businessman. In recent past, he had met with a big setback in business and, now, has largely put himself back on tracks. He has other responsibilities such as the marriage of his sisters and care of his aged parents. He has to travel extensively; and, by the time he comes home, he is left with his energy drained...
And…

THE POVERTY OF HEART

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Pic.: Chetna Shetty
The other day, a middle-aged lady, who is an office-goer – and who commutes by public transport every day - was telling me about two gentlemen in her housing complex.
The first one was in his sixties and drove an old Maruti Zen. The lady told me that this man, whenever drove by, would stop his car and offer a lift to her. “Not only me,” she added, “he does it to every person in our complex.”
The second one was in his late thirties and drove a beautiful high-end car. The lady told me that this man lived right below her flat, knew her better than the the Maruti-owner did, still would simply drive past as if that’s how it should be! “Every time he does that,” the lady said,”it makes my heart burn in pain.” Then, she added, “What a poverty of heart it is!”
I could easily empathize with the lady. I have amply experienced it around the place where I live and where I work, both. I am sure, the lady and I are not alone in going through this experience!
The poverty of the heart …
THE WILD, WAYSIDE FLOWERS
There is, always, something extra-ordinary in the wild, wayside flowers...