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Showing posts from November, 2016

WHEN WE SMILE WITHOUT A REASON

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There are many people in my life – some of them live thousands of miles away – I genuinely wish them to be happy and joyful. Right now, that’s happening… some of these people come before my mind… and my heart simply wants them to be happy and joyful… I may not convey this feeling to these people… I may not meet them for years and years… But, I genuinely wish them to be happy and joyful…
For, I know I do.
If that’s true, it is also true that there are so many people out there who must be genuinely wishing me to be happy and joyful, always. Aren’t there such people?
My college-days friend, Joe, who lives in Mangalore, sends me amazing Good-morning messages. Some of them, as the phrase goes, make my day… Some of them tickle me, some of them make me smile or laugh, some of them make me soar high and touch the stars… and some make me cry in joy. Whatever the effect, I see it this way: If my friend sends me a message every day, he must be thinking about me every morning… This morning, Joe sen…

ONE STEP IS ENOUGH FOR ME

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I was watching, today, a very inspiring video showing Amir Khan’s incredible transformation from Fat to Fit for his upcoming movie, ‘Dangal’.  Amir Khan plays the role of an ex-wrestler, Mahavir Singh, who was forced to give up his dream of winning gold for India in international wrestling due to lack of financial support. But, he desires to make champion out of his future son, one day…
Well, my blog is not about the story of the film. Let me not spoil the suspense!
About eighty percent of Amir Khan’s role in the movie revolves around Mahavir in his post wresting days… weighing around 97 kilos. And, the remaining twenty percent revolves around his young wresting days. The video is about how Amir Khan gained those 97 kilos for his role and how he shed them by more than one-third to play the young wrester!
Amir Khan is 51, mind you. He makes a few movies and he is very choosy about them. But, once he decides to do it, he commits in an extra-ordinary manner… His passion, dedication and in…

IN THE LONG RUN WE ARE ALL DEAD

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Coming back to the demonetization issue (I have already blogged a couple of times on this issue), I, too, have no doubt about the good intentions with which our PM, Modiji, had resorted to it. When it was first announced around 8 that night, my wife and I were in Wayanad, Kerala, on a holiday. When I heard about it, I went into a sudden panic mode… We had carried some cash and card would not be accepted, everywhere. When I told this to my wife, she gave me a good sermon, “You always panic,” she declared, “Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.”  When she learnt about the argument in favour of banning of old notes – to weed out black money – she was very happy. “It is a right move… a bold one… There will be inconvenience for all of us in the short run… But, in the long run, all of us will be benefited.”
I kept quiet during my wife’s sermon. I only prayed in silence, “God, may my wife not have to stand on a long, long queue.”
But, then, God did not hear my prayer. The day before we had …

LAUNCH OUT INTO THE DEEP AND LET DOWN YOUR NETS...

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Our comfort zones, often, become our prisons… We remain confined to the boundaries of our prisons. Like that proverbial ship, which is safe in the harbor, we all feel extremely safe in our comfort zones… where the water is shallow and the risk is almost zero. But then, just as how ships look glorious only when they leave the shores and sail into the deep and restless seas, we all look glorious only when we muster our courage and make our voyages of faith… Yes, there is risk and uncertainty out there… but unless we trust, unless we plunge, the voyage can never take place… The New World will remain undiscovered!
I am very much alive to this familiar fear that holds us all back at the shores… I experience this fear and hesitate to take the plunge… The deep and restless sea, often, frightens me. My past experience is incapable of inspiring in me the faith… Something beyond the past experience can alone fire my soul with faith and courage!
There is this episode in the New Testament. One earl…

MAY EVERYDAY BE A THANKSGIVING DAY

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In America, ‘Thanksgiving Day’ is a big day… What about here, in India? For Americans, it is the fourth Thursday of November… and, for us?
When we feel deeply thankful to anyone or anything in our daily life, that profound feeling is a very spiritual experience. In fact, if we pause for a moment and reflect, everything and everyone around us deserve  to be thanked by our hearts… From the smallest to the mightiest of people and events make our life what it is… an experience worth living.
I personally think, that it is in small things – in the very mundane things – that we should pause and reflect to say ‘thank-you’…
Yes, when eyes open in the morning… when we become aware that we are able to see one more day… when we see our body, feel the heartbeats… when we realize that our  eyes are able to see, the ears are able to hear… the hands and legs are able to do what they are supposed to… when we see our loved-ones around us… see their faces… feel their presence… when that first cup of tea a…

THE CLASS A WILLING STUDENT DOESN'T LIKE TO SIT THROUGH

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My dad’s dad lived with us. So, I knew quite a lot about him. But, I hadn’t met my grandfather’s dad. As a son, I was close to my dad. Then, I became a dad… My son is a young man now…
Why I am saying all this is, because, one thing has remained constant through five generations: when young, each one of us had our own set of issues to deal with. Education and the financial condition progressively kept improving… each generation tried to give a better life for the next… “My son should not go through the problems I had to go through,” yes, this has been the silent aspiration of each generation…
But, through all this, one more thing has remained constant: each generation’s restless urge to ‘lecture’ the next one! If my dad wanted to lecture me, “Look son, when I was small, our condition was like this and like that”, I want to lecture my son the same way, “Look son, when I was small, our condition was like this and like that.” Only, each generation’s ‘like this and like that’ has been diffe…

WHY ARE WE SO AGGRESSIVE WITH OUR OPINIONS?

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Like everyone around me, I, too, have an opinion on almost everything that happens around me… from crisis in Kashmir to the ongoing cash-crisis… from crisis in Syria to Donald Trump’s surprise – rather shocking – Presidential victory. Yes, from the most mundane to the most vital issues, everything seems to have the stamp of my opinion…
Our newspaper vendor is one of the most enthusiastic and positive persons I have come across. I don’t think he reads the newspapers he supplies to hundreds of homes everyday… But, then, he is informed about the events around the world… if not world, at least our own country. This morning, I asked him about how he was coping-up with the current cash-crisis. I did not find even an iota of decline in his enthusiasm about life. When he learnt that I had difficulty using 2,000-rupee note, he was more than willing to offer me hundreds in exchange. “Any further help, please let me know sir,” he assured.
These kinds of guys leave home, every morning, with their…

IF BODY IS UNFIT, MIND CAN'T BE FIT

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Only a healthy body can house a healthy mind. If body is unfit, mind cant’ be fit.
It took me almost 58 years to come to this realization.
I have been a very positive person all through my 58 years. Moreover, I did not smoke or consume alcohol in my life. My vices – I think they should be called so – included late-dinner and going to bed almost immediately… Worst, after eating heavy non-veg food.
People like me – who read and preach a lot of motivational stuff – too have our ‘ignored’ areas. In my case, it was lack proper physical exercise and healthy eating habits. My doctors had regularly advised me to do at least half-an-hour walking every day. I did not take it seriously. Then, some three years ago, I joined Tai Chi. But, it was limited to an hour or so only on Sundays. Our Tai Chi teacher would always urge us to practice at home. But, then, I did not take that seriously, either. It is only when my doctors kept adding one tablet after another, yes, when the scene became quite scary -…

IN LIFE, HARDSHIP AND PAIN ARE A GREAT LEVELER

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Today, it was my turn – rather ‘good fortune’ – to stand in the queue outside my bank. Yes, it was chaotic and it was quite frustrating, too. It took about ninety minutes for me there. But, let me tell you honestly, this:  I did not blame my government or my bank or the ATM or, for that matter, my own fate… On the contrary, a good thing happened to me when I was patiently waiting in line… I remembered Dr. Victor Frankl after a very long time. His book ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ used to be my constant companion in early nineties… Yes, the message from this book sprang up, making it more and more relevant in my life…
For those, who have not heard about Dr. Frankl or his book, here is a brief: Viktor Emil Frankl was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor. His entire family was wiped out in Hitler’s gas chambers… but, he, somehow, survived… yes, as a skeleton! Post Holocaust, Dr. Frankl spent his years evolving his famous healing theory called ‘Logotherap…

AN ATM AND AN X-RAY MACHINE AT HOME

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“We are rich,” beamed Kannan this morning in our Tai Chi class. Obviously, the topic of discussion, today, was the cash crunch.
“You know what,” Kannan explained, “I had this old Jewish habit of putting a small amount – rupees 5, 10, 20, 50 whatever – into a box and forget about it. Last week, when everyone around me was crying for cash and cursing Government, banks and ATMs, I quietly opened my box… and behold, it had over nine thousand rupees… It was like a treasure… We are rich!”
I smiled when I heard this new story from Kannan. Just a few days before the demonetization was announced, I had taken out the drawer of my wardrobe for cleaning up. I had not taken it out for years… As I cleared the piles of unwanted stuff, I was pleasantly surprised to find inside hundreds of rupees 5 and 10 coins. Unlike Kannan, I had not placed those coins there consciously… Instead, I had left them there casually without realizing that, one day, they might come handy when all the big notes turned dud!
Ye…

LET YOUR DREAM BE BIGGER THAN YOUR FEAR

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I told this to young Suman, all over again, today:
If you have a story and you are dying to tell it…  If you have a cause and you are willing to fight for it, nobody needs to teach you how to speak in public…
You will sit down for hours and prepare it well, You will stand up for hours and practice it well And you will go up there and deliver it well…
That’s all there to it – to the art and science of Public Speaking…
Prepare it… Practice it… and Deliver it.
Suman was my student some years ago. Her initial dream was to get into Chartered Accountancy. But, it did not take her long to realize that she wasn’t cut for the CA profession. So, after her graduation, she deiced to pursue a course in Fashion Designing, which, Suman tells me is her present calling in life…
“Is it?” I prodded Suman, “Is Fashion Designing a real calling in your life?”
Sunman said “Yes”. But, it wasn’t a resounding “YESSSS”.
A couple of days ago, Suman had called me up. “Sir, I want to meet you regarding my fear of Public Speaki…
THE WILD, WAYSIDE FLOWERS
There is, always, something extra-ordinary in the wild, wayside flowers...