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Showing posts from March, 2016

KUCH DOOR SAATH CHALNA BAAKI HAI

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Pic.: Shankar Ramchandran
Two days ago, I watched the latest Hindi movie, ‘Kapoor & Sons’ with my wife. We both loved the movie… The story was simple and relate-able. Yes, as most of the viewers had done, we, too, laughed and cried as we watched the movie…
The scene that moved me the most was the car accident. As many of my readers are yet to watch the movie, I wouldn’t tell, here, what happens in this car accident. To me, that scene was one of the brilliantly captured scenes of Hindi or any movies. There was no warning before the accident or any melodrama after it… Only this song in the background:
“Saathi re thoda thehar jaa
Abhi raastein kuch badal se jayenge
O saathi re thoda thehar jaa
Yeh paanv bhi ab sambhal se jayenge”


I went numb while I was listening to this song … “Why do we make such a big deal about the other persons’ behavior – be it our spouses, sons, daughters, sons-in-law or daughters-in-law, uncles and aunts, nieces and nephews, even friends and neighbors, colleague…

IF WISHES WERE HORSES, EVEN BEGGARS WOULD RIDE THEM

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Pic.; Azriel D'Souza

Today, I had been to one of the colleges in Mumbai suburbs to conduct a half-day session for BMS students. The management was genuinely keen to provide these students with an edge… by exposing the students to series of soft-skill programmes. A large numbers of these students came from very ordinary homes, many even from vernacular mediums like Hindi, Marathi or Gujarati. So, the brief given to me was simple: help these young boys and girls overcome their anxiety about speaking in English and in Public… and, help them develop their overall self-confidence.
I have been helping young boys and girls to overcome their fear and anxiety about speaking in English or speaking in public and develop their overall self-confidence – yes, I have been doing it for over twenty-five years. And, I have been finding it easy to do it.
These college kids – seventeen to nineteen year old – breathe a sigh of relief the moment I tell them my own story. “At your age, my condition was fa…

WHEN "GOD BLESS YOU" MAKES ME SMILE

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Pic.: Chetna Shetty

Today, one of my eleventh-standard students – 16 or 17 year old – came to meet me with a thank-you card. She had written a couple of lines expressing her gratitude; I was touched. And, in the end, she had written – what I see everywhere these days – “God Bless You”!
I smiled!
In fact, I smile every day, when I see this expression – “God Bless You” – used repeatedly by everyone and everywhere… In cards, books and messages
“God Bless You”… yes, this has become as common – rather as casual – as a ‘Thank-you’, a “Sorry” and an “Excuse me”!
I smile because…
When we were small, our parents and teachers taught us to ‘seek’ blessings from our elders - parents and grandparents, uncles and aunts, teachers, priests, nuns or any elders… We were taught to do it respectfully with our folded hands (just as my Hindu or Sikh brothers and sisters were taught to bend down to touch feet respectfully). We were taught to say ‘Bless me" (followed by uncle/aunty/mom/dad/grandma/grandpa/te…

IN THE SOUNDS OF OUR SILENCE

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Pic.: Azriel D'Souza



“The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenements halls and whispered in the sounds of silence.”
- Paul Simon

During Jesus’ trial after his arrest, He was taken to both Jewish religious authorities as well as Roman authorities.  He was first taken to Annas, the former High Priest… Next, He was taken to Caiaphas, the current High Priest… then, to Sanhedrin, the assembly of Jewish religious leaders… From there, Jesus was taken to Pilate, the Roman Governor…. who, on learning that Jesus belonged to King Herod’s jurisdiction, sent Him to be trialed before the merciless Herod… Finally, Herod packed Jesus back to Pilate, and, there, the trial ended: Pilate sentenced Jesus to die on the cross!

THE HOLI BETWEEN THE LAST OVER AND THE LAST SUPPER

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Pic.: Vinod Vazirani

As I have told many times before, the TV at our home is long disconnected. So, when there is an important match which I love to watch, either I sit with my cricket-crazy friend, Tapas, my neighbor… or, I watch it on my laptop. I watched the India-Pakistan match at Tapas’ place, while last night’s India-Bangladesh match on my laptop via  Hotstar live.
Bangladesh lost last night. But, except for those last two overs we bowled to them, the last one in particular, Bangladesh outplayed us in every department. They really deserved to win yesterday’s match, because, they really played well…
But then, I am able to say this now, at hindsight. While watching the match, last night, I was so involved with our side, that I couldn’t gather enough grace to watch the match any further when the second ball of that last over from Pandya was sent to the fence by Mushfiqur… Now, six runs were required from four balls…
I shut off my computer…  I couldn’t bear the sight of we losing, of a…

"NATURE DOES NOT HURRY, YET EVERYTHING IS ACCOMPLISHED"

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Pic.: Alwyn Mathias


“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
-  Lao Tzu
Sometimes, when I meet some of my ex-students, after many years, I get amused by two of their familiar questions: “Sir, do you still teach?” And, this one: “Are you still ‘there’?”
I am so used to these questions from my ‘very successful’ ex-students, that I have my answers, too, kept ready for them…
To the first question, I ask them with a grin: “What else do you want me to do?”
To the second one, this: “Where else do you want me to go?”

IF SLAUGHTERHOUSES HAD GLASS WALLS...

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Pic.: Azriel D'Souza


“If slaughterhouses had glass walls, we would all be vegetarian.”
Paul McCartney
Because I was born and brought up in a typical coastal region and in a typical Christians household, right since I was a baby, I got accustomed to certain non-vegetarian food habits… mutton, chicken, pork, beef, fish – and, shall I say, “anything that crawled except two-legged human species”?  Yes, I grew up eating whatever people around me ate – and, many times, what they could afford. Just like dogs and cats around us loved to eat mutton, chicken and fish, some humans like us, too, loved to eat the same. A few of my friends and neigbours, particularly brahmins, ate only vegetarian food. All others, including non-brahmin Hindus and GSB’s, ate non-vegetarian food. Yes, they did not touch pork and beef… but, their lifestyle did include the rest of  non-vegetarian food.
Every house had dogs and cats. The sophisticated pets came much later when good amount of money came home. For most …

'YOU CAN BE THE MOON AND STILL BE JEALOUS OF THE STARS"

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Pic.: Varsha Chitnis Junnarkar



“You can be the moon and still be jealous of the stars.” - Gary Allan
This is the truth… No matter who I am, I do feel jealous of someone – someone better than me – in life. Rejoicing in other people’s success is a wonderful remedy for my sickness called Jealousy. Yes, I know it is. But, to me, rejoicing in other peoples’ success doesn’t come first… That, the other person is ‘my own’ – yes, this thought doesn’t come first… That, his success is my own, his happiness is my own… yes, all these amazing thoughts don’t come first, to me.
To me, what comes first is: that, the other person is different, his success and happiness are not my own… that, when he succeeds, I lose… that, when he is praised, I feel sad, isolated!
My jealousy comes from my insecurity, my fear and lack. It comes from my low self-esteem. When seen from a spiritual perspective, jealousy comes from my ignorance… poor self-knowledge…
So, today, I would like to see how jealousy can help me, rather…
THE WILD, WAYSIDE FLOWERS
There is, always, something extra-ordinary in the wild, wayside flowers...