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Showing posts from October, 2014

"A CIGARETTE IN MY HAND, I FELT LIKE A MAN"

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Pic.: Chetna Shetty


“Hey, she is smoking!” This is your topic, “Your time starts now.”
It was a group of three boys and three girls, all junior-college kids. I had given them this topic for Group Discussion, this morning, during our P.D. session.

None of them smoked, leave alone the girls. They came from conservative homes and went to conservative schools and colleges. So, it didn't surprise me when all of them spoke strongly against smoking.
But, then, the topic was – “Hey, ‘she’ is smoking!”
17-year-old Debasmita had objection to the gender discrimination. “To me, smoking IS injurious to health; it sucks your lungs... It kills you,” she said with loads of conviction, “But, it doesn't’ discriminate between men and women, boys and girls – it sucks all, kills all.”
Debasmita pointed that she wasn't surprised seeing girls smoke as much as she wasn't seeing boys do. If boys think that it is their freedom and they can get away with it, so do girls,” she added, “So, I will tell…

OUR VANVAS BY CHOICE

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Pic.: Devki Joshi


To me, Baba Amte had, always, been a great motivator. Many years ago, The Dawn Club had run a cover story on this hero of ‘Anandvan’ in its motivational magazine – ‘The BLOOM’. But, honestly, I hadn’t followed much about his son, Dr. Prakash Amte...
It took just a 2-hr-15-min Marathi-movie to tell me who Dr. Prakash was and why he was a hero in his own right... as tall and as tough as his legendary father...Both, my wife and I, came back a lot moved by his life, remarkably portrayed by Nana Patekar and Sonali Kulkarni (as his wife)...
Both, Dr. Prakash and his wife, Manda, had studied together in Government Medical College, Nagpur, where they fell in love with each other...
Falling in love with each other is a ‘conscious choice’ a young man and woman make...
It is the same conscious choice that they make when they promise each other in marriage,  before God – “I shall live with you in good times and bad times, in joys and sorrows.”
Before he married Manda, Prakash had mad…

WHEN I CHOOSE GOD TO BE MY CHARIOTEER

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Pic.Anjana Srivastava
Arjuna was Kshatriya, a fighter. And, he was the best fighter of his time. Still, when it came to the epic battle at Kurukshetra, he was a mentally-tortured soul... He did not want to fight his own cousins and uncles... even though he knew he was the best fighter and even though he was on the side of the ‘righteousness’...
That’s why, when Krishna, the Lord who ruled Dwaraka in human form, offered a choice to Arjuna to accept his (Krishna’s) mighty army to fight for him (Arjuna) or to take Krishna himself as his guide and counselor, the great fighter, Arjuna, chose the latter. He urged Krishna to guide him as his charioteer, which Krishna did...
Arjuna’s plight is our plight, too. In life, who wants war, leave alone a war with one’s own near-and-dear ones? Like him, most of us try to avoid war... we go through our mental conflict: Should we? How can we? We plead God to do away the war from us... our ‘cup’, our ‘test’...
In Mahabharata, we see even Krishna trying his…

"WHEN YOU KISS YOUR BABY, YOU'VE KISSED THE FACE OF GOD"

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Pic.: Amrita Jeurkar


I had no plan to write this till a few minutes ago. I heard a knock on my office glass-door. When I turned back, I saw Vishaka and Prakruti, two l1-year-old girls, were standing outside the door. They wanted to show me a one-year-old baby, who they were holding in their hands, with loads of excitement...
“Choooo, choooo, choooo sweet!” I got up from my seat and opened the door, “Bring in the joy.”
I was enchanted to watch the glow on the faces of the two 11-year-olds. They weren't related to the baby. Still, they poured so much love and affection on the baby... so much faith...
I said, “So much faith.”
As I bent down to kiss the baby, gently, two lines from one of my favorite songs – ‘Mary Did You Know?’ – began to play in my heart:

“And when you kiss your little baby
You've kissed the face of God.”

The song was about Mary, the mother of baby Jesus...


“Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will save …

CAN YOU GOOGLE AND FIND HOW TO GET GOOSE-BUMPS?

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Pic.: Sherry Haridas





By some strange choice, I have never owned a car in my life... Owning great cars doesn't fascinate me, doesn't give me any kick. But, when I read about Henry Ford -1 or Lee Iaccoca... or the legend of Rolls Royce, Mercedes Benz, Bentley, Ferrari and Lombardini... yes, I get goose-bumps all over my body!
Likewise, for last thirty-five years or so, I have never worn a wrist-watch, yes, for some strange reasons. But, talk to me about the legend of Rolex or Rado, I will listen to you forgetting my hunger!
i-Phones have come and gone never touching my imagination. But, why does Steve Jobs, who is long gone, still doesn't cease to touch me, move me?
“You must buy a smart phone,” some of my friends keep reminding me. The old Nokia, which I have been using, obviously, is not an Android phone... They want me to be on WhatsApp groups and make the most of it...
Most of what?
My phone does help me be on WhatsApp. But, I cannot view the images and other things as others …

THE SYNERGY THAT CREATES 'BIG'

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Pic.: Elaine Pereira


Siddhartha Basu was 33 when he, along with his wife Anita Kaul Basu, founded their company called ‘Synergy Communications Pvt Ltd.’. While Siddhartha was a multi-talented young-man, particularly in the field of quiz, his wife, with her own unique talents and strengths, was a journalist with India Today Group. I don’t expect anyone to reward me for my guess, that the young-couple was well aware why they were baptizing their new-born baby, their company, with the first name – ‘Synergy’!
“Synergy is the essence of principle-centered leadership,” writes Dr. Stephen Covey while presenting his ‘sixth habit’, in his path-breaking book, ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’. He adds, “When properly understood, synergy is the highest activity in all life – the true test and manifestation of all of the other habits put together.”
In the year 2000, Siddhartha Basu was 46 and his baby, 12, was all set to walk into the teenage. That’s the most harrowing time in the life of on…

THE FRONT-PAGE NEWS

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Pic.: Ashok Ahuja

For many of us, the morning newspaper is as important as the morning cup of tea. Likewise, the prime-time night-news is as badly a need as the supper on our table!

But, honestly, it is no more so for me. The morning newspapers lie there for days sometimes, yes, un-touched… And, the nights are noiseless, for days together, while the supper is on…

Is my curiosity, the urge, the desperation to know what’s happening around me is just induced by my weak, gullible mind? What if I go about my life without knowing who wins elections and who loses, who is sent to jail and who is sent to Mars? Am I just addicted, just as to my cup of tea or to someone to his puff or peg?

I seriously think, life will go on beautifully – in fact, more peacefully, without newspapers and noisy TV news…

So addicted we all are, so desperate that we do not realize how we end-up watching more advertisements than news on the newspapers as well as TV…

Today’s TOI has prompted me to write what I am now doing…

WHEN YOU DREAM, LEAVE NO OPTION, SEEK NO OPINION

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Pic.: Candice Correa



“Opinions are the cheapest commodities in the world.”  
Iwas a struggling twenty-something-young-man in Mumbai, when I first read it in Napoleon Hill’s ‘Think and Grow Rich’. All that I wanted to do, then, was to teach like my idol, Prof. Raman.

Did I get this dream, this desire, from someone around me – my parents, my friends, my relatives, my neighbors, my teachers or any www.coms?

Did I go around seeking their opinions: “How is the teaching field? Is there scope? Will I make enough money, name, fame? Is there security, Job satisfaction? Will students respect me, colleagues accept me? Will my skills be good enough – my English, my public-speaking, my subject knowledge? What about the social status… Will I find a bride? so on and so forth.”

By the way, did I have options – if not teaching, it is selling, accounting, managing or baby-sitting?


THE TIMES HAVE CHANGED... AND, THE GAMES, TOO

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Pic.: Ashok Ahuja
There was a big smile on my face, a while ago, when I saw what a 14-year-old had shared on FB:
‘MOST OF THE STUDENTS GET LOW MARKS’, it said in big-bold letters at the top. 


At the bottom, it said, in big-bold letters, again, this: 

‘BECAUSE OF THIS MARK’!

Yes, in between stood a smiling, curly-haired boy – Mark Zuckerberg!

Well, Zuckerberg was smiling, perhaps, knowing well how kids, and even little babies, got on board his bullet-train – Facebook – ticket-less!

This little lady – who will be giving her SSC Board-Exams coming March – is very busy: I have lost the count of the requests she has sent me to play, of all the games in the world, this: ‘Find Your Secret Crush’!

Ma’am, I have taught you ‘Personality Development’…  You know I will be 57 next July… You know my son might get married in a few years from now (Hope, he doesn't read this Post!)… And, you want me to find out, who is my secret crush?

Anyway, sweetheart, you make me feel very young. Thank-you so much!

And,…
THE WILD, WAYSIDE FLOWERS
There is, always, something extra-ordinary in the wild, wayside flowers...