Showing posts from June, 2015


Pic.: Anand Ashokan

“Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of.”
Charles Richards

One of my favorite expressions is this: “God has given all of us the same twenty-four hours in a day. To President Obama, Bill Gates you and me… yes, God has given to all of us the same twenty-four hours in a day.”
‘I have no time,’ is one of lamest excuses in life. “I have no interest,” or “I have no motivation,” or ‘I have no discipline’… probably, we might find some takers for these reasons. But, ‘I have no time”, sorry… No way!
An interesting observation is: In life, we, always, find time to do the things we love and feel excited about. If so, the trick is to discover what we love to do… or learn to love what we do… feel excited about it… Yes, that’s the only way, perhaps, we can make the most of those twenty-four hours we are endowed with.

Some days ago, I heard a speaker asking his audience this question: “How many days do you think are there in a year…


Pic.: Amrita Jeurkar

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because, what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
— Howard Thurman

“A lot of passion goes into it… A lot of focus and commitment, a lot of discipline and people-skill and, above all, you need that fire in your belly to succeed, to excel. Mind you, I haven’t still said, ‘you need ‘talent’…”
Yes, I told this to a young student of mine, this morning. Andrew Rieu’s magical piece (video) – ‘Nightingale Serenade’ was being played on my PC as the young-man walked into my office. . Apparently, he had not heard of the great composer or his music. So, he asked me innocently, “Sir who is he?”
“Andrew Rieu,” I said, “Not heard of him?”
“No sir,” the boy said sincerely, “But, this piece is just amazing.”


Pic.: Chetna Shetty

"If I were to say, 'God, why me?' about the bad things, then I should have said, 'God, why me?' about the good things that happened in my life.”
-Arthur Ashe
Some people can charge you with energy, life. Kannan, who must be older than I am (I am 57), is one of them. You can feel he is coming from yards and yards of distance… You can feel his energy. And, he can regale you with his stories – most of them revolve around his countryside adventures… “When it is pouring, I get into my car… and drive for miles,” he told us this morning in our Tai Chi class, “I love the interiors, the rustic landscape… simple life, simple people and simple pleasures. You shouldn’t plan too much, just get into your car and go… Let the road take you!”

I loved the last line: “Let the road take you!”


Pic.: Manoj Nair Well, as long as there is life, there is struggle. Harivansh Rai Bachchan’s advice – “Jab tak jeevan hai, tab tak sangarsh hai” – is not there just to help his two sons hold the fort – hang on... It is there to see all of us through, too. Believe me, at 5, when I was up, today, the first voice I heard in my heart was this:
“My son, hold the fort; for, I am coming!”
Who is that? Who is that telling me “I am coming”?
The more I observe life from the ringside, the more I get convinced that we cannot separate our problems and challenges from our life. Before one ends, another begins… That’s how life goes, actually. So, it is only sensible to open our eyes and see the reality… that, if we wish to live well, live valiantly, we should be willing – gladly – to embrace all the struggles the life brings forth to us…
There are going to be storms through my voyage…
There are going to be thorns along my path…
There are going to be nasty, heartless people making it difficult for me…
There …


Pic.: Chetna Shetty

Many of us know, that Gandhi would find strength and courage to deal with the most challenging times in his life on immersing in his favorite hymns… ‘Vaishnav Jan to’ and the Christian hymn ‘Abide With Me’ are two most influences in his life.
Martin Luther King Jr. had his favorites… Tagore had his own…
Yes, you and I have our own…
In the midst of the worst of my moments, and in the thick of my confusion, often, I go back to some of my favorite hymns… I do not need to be in a cathedral for it… I do not need an altar or a choir around me… All that I need is my quiet space… all by myself… with the load of all my problems and confusion weighing over my head… and, my favorite hymn sung by one of my favorite singers…
Today, it was ‘Suppertime’… the timeless hymn sung by legendary bass singer, George Younce. This version, particularly, moved me to tears… and made me soar with confidence… because, it was so amazingly performed by him on stage despite his fragile health condit…


Pic.: Pushpa Mistry Kamath
Just a few days ago, in one of THE DAWN CLUB functions, I heard our dear teacher, and my friend, Swami Brahmavidananda (we still call him fondly Ram Mohan sir) saying this. He was imparting a crisp message to all our outgoing students. “My dear young friends, if you remember these three simple mantras in life, you can handle any situation in life:
Think clearly… Feel deeply… Act decisively.
I immediately said in my mind – ‘Amen’!
Now, let’s mull over what sir had said…

The first mantra – THINK CLEARLY:
When the mind is not cluttered, we are able to think clearly. Any situation in life can be handled well only if we are able to think clearly… never magnifying the situations or undermining them… Never driven by our prejudices or by public opinions… What people may say…? What if this happens or that happens…? What if things go wrong…? Will I make a fool of myself…? Will I be hounded…? Will people remain trustworthy…? I shouldn’t have done that… I shouldn’t have helped…


Pic.: Geeta Kulkarni
Last night, there was this message in my FB inbox. It was from Sushil Shankar, a dear old student and friend of mine. He wrote:
“Hi Gerry sir, I read your post on Father’s Day. It inspired me to write on my father, too. Please read and evaluate.”
Today my daughter wished me “HAPPY FATHER’S DAY”.
It made me go back in my past… I lost my father to diabetes 32 years ago. He had just crossed 50 years.
He was a Diabetes-Mellitus patient, with foot ulcers. Later on, he developed kidney failures and died during dialysis procedure. His body couldn’t bear the dialysis, which already was suffering the after-effects of medication and diabetes.
When my dad was alive, I don’t remember celebrating a Father’s Day or any such days which are in vogue now.Only my and my brothers’ birthdays were what we celebrated. We never celebrated our dad’s birthday. I have one sibling left, and he doesn’t even know our father’s date of birth!
My father never visited any temple or place of worship. He…
There is, always, something extra-ordinary in the wild, wayside flowers...