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Showing posts from February, 2015

IS THE NEED FOR SECURITY THE GREATEST DRIVE IN LIFE?

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Pic.: Nirmala Sundar
Is the need for security our greatest drive in life?
I have reasons to believe it is.
When I closely scrutinize almost all my activities – my work and relationships being the most important of them – I am able to trace the source of my drive rooted in this innate need to be secure!
A couple of nights ago, I was travelling in a friend’s car around the CST area. The illuminated buildings of CST – The British had baptized them as ‘Victoria Terminus’ - and BMC HQ made me comment, “What an enduring beauty!”
My friend looked at me and said with his wicked smile, “Did the British ever think, that they would have to leave behind this ‘beauty’ and go back, one day?”
The rest of the discussion centered around the subject: Why are we so obsessed to build our empires?
Well, like every other empire, the British, too, had thought, that the Sun would never set on their empire; that they were sent by God to rule the world for ever… But, in India, it took hardly two centuries for the Sun…

I DID NOT KNOW I WAS A CHRISTIAN, TILL...

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Pic.: Nirmala Sundar
Early this morning, I called up my younger brother, Vivek, and expressed my concern. Rather, I cautioned him!
Vivek is a very affectionate, generous and soft-spoken soul and surrounded by loads of friends, mostly non-Christians. He is married to Gauri, a Maharashtrian Hindu, and they had both Church and Temple marriage ceremonies. Ditto was the case of Melvin, my wife’s brother, and his wife Amrita, a Maharashrtian Hindu. They celebrate at home both Hindu and Christian festivals… and the beauty is: for them, their parents and children, the religion doesn't matter at all… It has never been an issue for so many years!
Honestly, I find my two sisters-in-law, both Gauri (Vivek’s wife) and Amrita (Melivn’s wife) to be the most wonderful, the most loving women in this world. All our relatives love them… and, Vivek and Melvin, both, have been accepted and loved immensely by all relatives of Gauri and Amrita… Their respective children are growing up, now. Soon, a time w…

THE CURRENCY CALLED 'RESPECT'

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Pic.: Rajiv Sharma



““Business may be all about money, but the currency that's traded inside every organization isrespect.”
- Geoffrey James
In life, we all have these options:
Earn money but no respect; Earn respect but no money; Earn both… And, this last one… earn none!
“It is a fast-life, sir,” last evening an ex-student of mine, who now is into construction business, told me, “make money as fast as you can, and forget about those old-fashioned ideals of ‘respect’.” He had more to say, “Did you see the reaction of people while I was getting off my car?”
Yes, I did see. “Wow! What a sexy car!”
I did not have to tell it to this young-man, who wanted to be ‘there’ fast. He hadn’t come to me to 'take' one more lesson from his one-time teacher; he had come to ‘give’ his old-fashioned teacher what he thought to be a very valuable lesson…“Look sir, first earn money and power… then, think about respect.”
Well, his teacher did not need this lesson, either.
What my ex-student – young, fas…

THE GLOOMY AND SCARY MONEY-STORIES WE BELIEVE IN

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Pic.: Nirmala Sundar

There are a hundred gloomy-and-scary stories about money, buried deep inside our mind – the sub-conscious mind. These stories have come from a hundred different sources… Yes, once we had believed in them… But, do we still? Here are some of these stories… Say beliefs, if you wish:

Money is the root of all evils…
You can’t make money in honest ways…
Rich are crooks…
Money spoils relationship…
You don’t need money to be happy…
Only some can make money…
Making money is against our religion…
Rich exploit poor…
There is only so much we can earn…
Money is not meant to be spent…
Money doesn’t grow on trees…
Only hard work brings money…
Don’t befriend wealthy…
I do not have what it takes to be rich…
I was born in a hand-to-mouth family… So, who am I to dream big?
What if I lose my money… become bankrupt?
What if people cheat me… trap me?
What if I die leaving behind huge debt?
Look at so-and-so’s life… Look what happened to him?


Sounds familiar? No, not until you have desired to be wealthy and…

THE BEAUTY OF OUR IMPERFECTION

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Pic.: Rajiv Sharma
“If you look closely at a tree you'll notice its knots and dead branches, just like our bodies. What we learn is that beauty and imperfection go together wonderfully.”
Matthew Fox

Today morning, the first thing I found myself saying in my mind was this:
“I m not perfect… The people around me are not perfect… The world is not perfect… The Life is not perfect…”
I found myself saying this, over and over again… today.
And then, I could feel a great deal of peace settling down in my heart!
I can trace the roots of, almost, all my inner unrest to the same source: expecting me to be perfect… people around me to be perfect… this world and life to be perfect. And, because they are not – and they can’t be, won’t be – and, because I am unable to see or accept this reality, I keep fighting my inner phantoms… Yes, almost, all my mental unrest comes from my inability to let go this need in me to see everything run perfectly…
Peace eludes us as long as we believe in this myth called ‘p…

THE STRONG MAN WITH AN ARMY-MOUSTACHE

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Pic.: Uaha Prasadh

Some years ago, one morning, I was in the office of a  Co-operative-bank manager. As I was talking, a very fierce-looking man - with a huge built and army-mustache – came in. “Sir, the fellow is sweating; scared to come up,” reported the man to the manager.
“Tell him, manager is a nice man… doesn't have an army-mustache like you,” manager teased the man, “Give him a soft-drink or coffee… and cajole him to come up. Don’t scare him more.”
By now, I knew who the strong-man was, and why the other man was frightened to come up to the bank manager…
A few minutes later, the strong-man came back, accompanied by a taxi-owner, who seemed to be in his late fifties. The man stood there with his folded hands, and began to give reasons for the default, narrating all his problems and, finally, the assurance.
The manager made him sit on one of the chairs, heard him gently… and, finally, explained to him about his own limitations and duties. “I can understand your problems; but, my …

'THE ONLY THING WE HAVE TO FEAR IS FEAR ITSELF"

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Pic.: Rajiv Sharma
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” American President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, had made this famous statement in 1933 in his first inaugural-address. I have, often, wondered: What has made these words live so long!
I, seriously, believe that it was the timing. The gloom of depression had crippled, almost, every one… Hope was dim, dreams had died… anxiety had made leaders and citizens, all, fear… yes, fear about their future… “What will happen, tomorrow?”
Against such a gloomy backdrop, FDR, who had just been elected to head the greatest democracy in the world, was, now, expected to do away the gloom… inspire the masses with hope, reignite their dreams, fire their imagination… and, that’s what he did in his maiden address after being voted to lead… He reminds his people: “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”

To me, the timing – ‘depression’ – is symbolic. Gloom comes with depression in our lives… Our financial worries, our relationship conflicts, our mo…

SHY PEOPLE WILL, ALWAYS, REMAIN SHY

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Pic.: Aparna Khanolkar Sheth



“I never felt comfortable with myself, because I was never part of the majority. I always felt awkward and shy and on the outside of the momentum of my friends' lives.
~Steven Spielberg

“It was very natural for me to want to disappear into dark theater, I am really very shy. That is something that people never seem to fully grasp because,  when you are an actor, you are meant to be an exhibitionist.”
~Nicole Kidman
Iam very convinced that, some of our core personality-traits – shyness for one – do not change, either with age or with our achievements, fame and success. Shy people will, always, remain shy!
There are only two approaches to deal with our shyness. One, trying to get rid of it from us. Two, transmute it into something beautiful… channelize it through some productive, positive outlets.
From my own experience, I can convincingly say, that trying to get rid of our shyness is like trying to catch our own shadows! Yes, like a dog trying desperately to …

THE HALF-STOMACH EXPERIENCE

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Pic.: Sheela Krishnamony


“Detachment does not mean that you don’t own anything; It means that nothing owns you.”
-Anonymous Aweek ago, one night, I had just returned home after a wedding reception. The food was kingly - varieties galore… starters, mock-tails and cocktails, main course of different regions, deserts of different kinds… even a dozen different mouth-fresheners… Liquor flew down like a waterfall… and, when we left the venue, a lovely memento was placed in our hands, too!
Yes, like other guests over there, I, too, came back, making the most of what was laid before me…
But, by the time I walked into my house, I was hungry again!
Now, it was really strange! I had helped myself with so much of variety, that I should have not touched food for another week! But, here was my condition: I was feeling hungry even before I was home!

Yesterday was Maha Shiv Ratri. So many people had observed fast. Some of my friends and neighbors had sent me thandai and different varieties of ‘Prasad’... wh…

WHAT GOES UP, HAS TO COME DOWN

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Pic.: Indu Varier

1977. I was still not out of college, then. Mrs. Indira Gandhi was a Durga then, and her Congress was the Nazi, all powerful. The USSR was something the US and her allies’ feared about… They called it the ‘Iron Curtain’, the ‘Evil Empire'… There was NATO to deal with SATO.
'Made in USA' meant pride, a huge thing… Japan was still standing outside the door… and, 'Made in China', no one thought, would, one day, mean ‘sell-all-over-the-world’, and ‘even-a-beggar-can-afford’! IBM was a Polestar; Mohammad Ali was the ‘Greatest’… West Indies and Clive Lloyd still ruled Cricket, Brazil and Pele, football!
There was a despot called Idi Amin, who ruled a country called Uganda…They say, he was so mean, so heartless, that he ate human flesh for his breakfast!...
All that I heard of Reliance, then, was an ad which said, ‘Only VIMAL’… I don’t hear about VIMAL anymore. Reliance is everywhere, but!
Was Kejriwal born, then? I don’t know… But, I know, BJP wasn’t… The…
THE WILD, WAYSIDE FLOWERS
There is, always, something extra-ordinary in the wild, wayside flowers...