Showing posts from October, 2015


Pic.: Akshay Puri
If I have to choose two simple things – the wayside things as I call them – I had come across, today, which made me smile and feel a little better, they would be these: 1.An old anecdote shared by Chaitra Rao from Manipal in one of the Reader's Digest issues (LIFE’S LIKE THAT), and, today, shared on FB by one of my friends, Nisha Nair. 2. A random click by another friend of mine, Akshay Puri.

 First, the anecdote… “When my mothers’ breakfast upma repeatedly failed to meet dad’s expecting standards, he sat her down and explained the fundamentals: the importance of right amount of water, the timing, and how his mother used to dish out great upma in 15 minutes flat… It worked for us anyway. Since then, we have been having good, steaming-hot upma every Saturday morning. Only the cook has changed… Dad has to make it!”
I was at the dining table, having my Saturday-morning breakfast… In the place of Chaitra’s Upma, I had omelet and roties. They tasted unusually great, after sa…


Pic.: Chandrasekhar Varier

Two days ago, a doctor-friend of mine had invited me for a dinner in a nice restaurant. We were three of us, the third one being a lawyer-friend.  We spent more than two hours… and, during this time, I sent only one message, but didn’t pick up a single call … My doctor-friend picked up one call but did not read or  send any message… and, my lawyer-friend seemed as though he was not carrying a mobile with him. Yes, it was so peaceful and so free from the endless encroachment which we all are so used to…
The lawyer-friend was not on Whatsapp. The doctor-friend told us that he had got fed-up with the ‘groups’ and found such kind of communication to be an unwanted source of stress and anxiety. “I have informed all concerned that I prefer sms’s and I may not read the Whatsapp messages,” he said.
Technology has come light-years ahead. It was supposed to make our life easy and comfortable. It has. But, it has, also, brought along loads and loads of stress and anxiety……


Pic.: Sana Shetty

If we look back and reflect on what Hitler did – including the Holocaust and the Second World-War – it simply boils down to that old Sanskrit wisdom, ‘Vinaash Kaale, Vipreet Buddhi’…It means: when one’s end is nearing, he acts without his intelligence. In the same Second World-War, look at what Japan did. It did not surrender even after Germany and others did. It continued to unleash havoc even though it knew what was in store for it. And, the wickedest – and the dumbest - act it did was to attack Pearl Harbor. Till then, America was not dragged into the War. Now, this one act of madness on part of Japan was enough to awaken the sleeping giant… and, you know what happened after that!
Every dark act in human history is carried out by man in his dark hour – at a time when he had acted against his intelligence… The most negative and the wickedest acts are the result of this… Man going against his intelligence…
Saddam Hussein did that before he was wiped out… Look at what …


Pic.: Natrajan Ramsubramani
If we want to achieve anything in life, accomplish any task, we need to be determined to achieve it. We need to pursue it with a single-minded focus and a passionate heart.
Ever since I stepped out of my college, I have been very alive to this inner chemistry of achievement. I know, that the starting point of any achievement in life is our burning desire to achieve it, coupled with our total commitment to do it… with passion and persistence. When we are young, the success slogans such as “A winner never quits and a quitter never wins,” get into our system like a war-cry. “Thou shall never, ever quit” – yes, we take it like a commandment from God… the God of Success.
My belief in the above success philosophy hasn’t changed at all. I know, for sure, that, to achieve anything in life, we need to be determined and passionate to achieve it. We need to commit ourselves fully and passionately go about it with loads and loads of perseverance. Yes, if we give up, when…


Pic.: Udit Bharaddwaj
There was an interesting story from Kannan today in our Tai Chi class.
In a certain village, there lived this Master and his disciple. The disciple’s devotion and love for his Master was unconditional and total… When faced with any challenge in life, he would sincerely evoke the name of his Master and succeed.
One day, this disciple found himself stranded near a river. He closed his eyes and, with all his devotion, evoked the name of his Master… Then, he stepped on the water and simply walked across the river.
The Master, who was on the other side of the river, couldn’t believe his eyes… None of his disciples had ever exhibited such a power ever before. His heart swelled with pride and he asked his disciple: “How did you do it?”
“Master, I just had to evoke your name,” replied the disciple with humility.
“Is that so?” the Master couldn’t contain his pride, “now, let me show you what your Master can do.”
The moment he stepped on the water, the Master went down!
Kannan a…


Pic.: Mini Milind

“People say that walking on water is a miracle; but to me, walking on earth  peacefully is a real miracle.”
- Thich Nhat Hanh
My wife is associated with a company which promotes one of the finest sets of educational books. As a regular feature, the company holds an annual international-conference for its folk in some of the exciting places on globe…
Well, this time (next week) it will be in Ho Chi Minn City of Vietnam.
“Vietnam?” I asked my wife, this morning, “It was totally destroyed during the Vietnam War.”
It was evident from my question, how much informed I was about the post-war Vietnam… The War had lasted twenty years (1955-1975). Since then, it is forty years now… There is peace… The lush-countryside peace is back there… Ho Chi Minn City, commonly known as Saigon, is a city in southern Vietnam. It is famous for playing a pivotal role in the Vietnam War. My wife told me that one of the top tourist attractions in this city would be the war memorial called ‘Cu Chi Tun…


Pic.: Dilip V. Just as I reached my workplace, this morning, I met a known person. He was humming a cheerful tune… His face was glowing and there was playfulness in his eyes. The moment I shook my hands with him, I could feel, instantly, what a difference one’s cheerful, playful, humming attitude – especially early in the morning – did…
“You cannot sing and be unhappy at the same time,” this person, today, was reminding me of a truth, I had known but forgotten…
Each morning comes to me with the same choice: to begin my day humming or grumbling, hopeful or hopeless… happy or sad… and, to put it bluntly, alive or dead…
Starting our day with a heavy heart is, indeed, like walking out into the world – dead!
A cheerful attitude is contagious. This morning, I was there in the company of this person hardly for a minute. But, it was enough to ignite my own cheerfulness. I could see it passing on to others as I went about my routine work…
The opposite, too, works in the same manner. Gloom and grump…


Pic.:Alwyn Mathias
“Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass… It is about learning to dance in the rain.” - Unknown
The day of Dassehra signifies the victory of good over evil. In other words, it signifies hope… It urges us never to lose our faith in humanity, the goodness of life and people… It urges us to be patient, keep doing the good work… never to get bogged down by evil forces…

Yes, that’s something very reassuring about Dassehra… That, the battle of good over evil has been there since origin of time… That, even Gods were not spared of this battle… That, no matter what havoc and destruction the evil forces unleash in our life, finally, it is the Good which triumphs… On the one side, there is the Legend of Lord Ram destroying the demon king, Ravan. Now, if Lord Ram himself was not spared of the torture and trauma from evil forces, how can you and I expect a life free from evil forces? Life, therefore, cannot be free from evil forces… And, if it cannot be free from evil forces…


Pic.: Sheela Krishnamony
The old story of ‘Two Foxes’, once again, came before me, today…
One day, a grandfather told his little-grandson, “Honey, inside you there are two foxes and they are constantly fighting with each other.”
“Which one will win, grandpa?” the little-fellow was curious to know.
“The one who you will feed the most, honey,” the grandpa said caressing the little-one’s head.

As a little child, and later, as a college-going boy, I was terribly shy and frightened. Self-doubts and anxiety had kept me subdued… Desires and dreams, I would, always, think belonged to some privileged kids… and not to me …
And, as I have told this many, many times before, it all changed when Prof. B.S. Raman came to teach our class in F.Y. B’Com. Sitting there lost in the crowd of our all-boys class, I desired to become like my idol – a fine teacher.
But, an interesting thing happened: As I became conscious of my burning desire to become a fine teacher, I, also, became conscious of my nagging fears …


Pic.: Pradeep Nanda As Catholics, we are encouraged to go through a ‘marriage-preparation’ course when we plan to get married. For my wife and me, it was some twenty-five years ago. I remember the week-end course we had attended at Bandra Retreat Centre. Like us, there were so many other young couples, that particular week-end. What I remember the most is the opening statement of the facilitator. He said: “To love someone is your decision.” After twenty-five years, I can look back and say this, with all my honesty: It was not easy, always, to stand by that decision… There have been moments in our life - as in everyone else’s life – when we have doubted if it was the right decision… We have felt like giving up, running away… We have gone through the whole gambit of relationship… faith and fear, hope and despair, hurt and healing, anger and compassion, conflicts and forgiveness, romance, intimacy and indifference… And, we can look back and say, with great delight and pride, that we had ta…
There is, always, something extra-ordinary in the wild, wayside flowers...