Tuesday, January 31, 2017


One of the hardest lessons – and a valuable one – I had to learn in life was not to wrestle with people who think too much of themselves, those who suffer from too much of self-importance. There were days, actions of these people – their comments, behavior and provocations – would bring about acidic reactions from me; but, I see reacting less to such people these days… I find myself remain composed… and let them be.

Self-importance comes from low self-esteem. Almost all of us have some areas in our lives where we behave from this space. This means, all of us are human beings and have some insecurities and fears, envy and greed – yes, from this deep-rooted space, we tend to behave the way we do, trying to show to people around us how important we are…

Frankly, I find no need to do that now… And, when others do it, I am able to see them with more compassion…

In last couple of days, I had plenty of occasions to get caught up in this vicious whirlpool of ego-hassle. Some people had been throwing the bait before me… but, thanks to grace and wisdom I have been able to acquire over these years, I was able to leave these people alone… not getting into needless ego-wrestling…

The focus, therefore, was on becoming a more peaceful and loving person… To choose whether to be right or to be peaceful… Whether to crave for more love or to be a more loving person. I am able to find more peace by yearning to be more peaceful rather than being right. Likewise, I am able to find more love in my heart by being a more loving person rather than wanting to be loved more by others.

Let me confess: I have made more blunders in my life by reacting – that is, when I have acted under provocations. But, over the years, I have learnt not to act, not to comment, not to go on giving explanation when provoked. Because, it doesn’t come from a ‘healthy space’… It comes from ‘hurt’. So, it leaves me more wounded… and causes more damage.

“It is not your problem,” a friend of mine counseled me yesterday when I was sharing with him a situation of provocation through self-importance of someone, “it is his problem… You care for yourself; that’s it.”

“A man wrapped up in himself,” said John Ruskin, “makes a very small parcel.” 

I do not want to end up being a ‘very small parcel’.


Pic.: Namratha Lobo

Monday, January 30, 2017


Meanwhile, the Sun came up from the East, as usual, this morning… The birds woke up, sang for some time and left in search of their breakfast, as usual… The sky wore a fresh attire for the day… bright, warm and thriving… Clouds passed by as if they had the best Sun to guide… Far away, the Moon went about doing its usual business of glowing, and the Stars just did what they were best at… being still and shining…

Meanwhile, here on Earth, someone is busy asking for my ‘explanation’… I have an option: to go in rounds, and rounds and rounds, explaining… or just ‘be’…

Meanwhile, someone here is busy conspiring to defame me, destroy me… I have an option: to fortify myself against his attacks… or just ‘be’…

Meanwhile, someone, here, wants to be ‘counted’, given credit to… wants me to think he is ‘important’… I have an option: to heed to his demands to be in his good books… or just to show him the forests raised by little squirrels through their legendary absentmindedness!

Meanwhile, someone is busy keeping scorecards of my sins, my follies and reminding me desperately about my ‘sins’… I have an option: to get provoked, guilty, gloomy and furious… or, just to show him the graveyard that lies a few heartbeats away…

Meanwhile, kids, here outside, have just returned from their school… Before going home, they want to mess up a little more in the play ground here… they want to do their ‘little things’ before thinking of ‘big things’… like their hot lunch, their homework, their tuitions and their prayers, even…

Meanwhile, the mothers want to take a short siesta… they are tired… and, fathers need a desperate break from thinking endlessly of paying bills…

Meanwhile, Donald Trump is busy preparing his next ‘Order’… I have an option: to be like him or to be not like him…

Meanwhile, God, up there, watches all these stupid, small things – and laughs: ‘My poor children!”

Who says ‘Life is too short’?


Pic.: Anil Bedi

Sunday, January 29, 2017


Deepak Chopra was waiting in the lounge of Denver airport when, on the morning of September 11, 2001, the terror struck from the skies and brought down the iconic twin towers in New York City. Just as the horrendous images numbed all of us, it left the famous spiritual teacher numb, too. Right there, yes right in the midst of frightening devastation, he got down to pen the core message for his book of healing – ‘THE DEEPER WOUND’.

 It was sixteen years ago. And, it seems, Donald Trump has leant nothing from this tragedy. Nothing from the images of the mammoth towers melting down and taking away thousands of lives in a few moments… later, the retaliation of the US… later the retaliation from the terror outfits… later… later… later. Yes, later!

Donald Trump has not only invited unimaginable trouble for himself, he has done it to innocent people – lakhs and lakhs of them – all over the globe. I see no difference between Donald Trump and a hardcore terrorist… The mind is the same: evil and ignorant… The heart is the same: dead… and consequences will be the same: more retaliation, more devastation… more and more wounds!

So, here he goes, Donald Trump as the Commander of the greatest nation on earth, a robust democracy and a free nation… yes he goes doing what America would never have done: blatant discrimination of people based on their religion and nationality… branding all people from seven nations - Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia - terrorists and unworthy is something brutal and inhuman. Donald Trump has lost it all in a few days in office… More madness and more aftermaths, sadly, are bound to follow…

I only pray, “Lord, have mercy!”

A few hundred years ago, that land of dream called America belonged to the natives… and when the White invaded and made the natives homeless… what was it? Was it not terrorism? Was it not a country totally built to what it is today by immigrants? Donald Trump has lost it all… He has done more damage to America and the world than those who caused havoc on 11 September…

I am only praying: “Lord, have mercy!”

“We can become living memorials to tragedy by restoring the power of life,” wrote Deepak Chopra in the book born through 11 Sept tragedy, “You are that life, you are that power. Let us see if we can find the spark that will make the spiritual flame spring up.”

Today morning, when I read the newspaper headlines, I felt exactly how Deepak Chopra had felt watching those horrendous  11 September TV images  from the Denver airport lounge… I felt numb… yet, strong in that numbness… I am not an American or a citizen of any of those banned Muslim countries… but, I felt the pain, as if it was inflicted upon me directly…
But, then, it reminded me of the deeper wound…
From where all human suffering came…
I saw the flame of hope…

Donald Trump cannot extinguish that flame. No, never!


Friday, January 27, 2017


The world won't get more or less terrible
if we're indoors somewhere with a mug of hot chocolate.”
― Kamila ShamsieBurnt Shadows

I have not blogged for ten days now. “That’s okay,” I keep reminding myself… After all, do I owe anyone any explanation? Why should I be apologetic about it?

Well, I am not trying to reason out. I really do not have to explain anyone anything for the simple reason that nobody’s life depends on reading my blog.

In life, we assume so many things. One of them is: the world needs us… our work, our service, our help and so on. But, the bare truth is: the world can very well function without our active role in it. Simple.

So, time to time, I consciously abstain from doing what I am passionate about, including my daily blog. It is a spiritual exercise… just like fasting.

Meanwhile, I was occupied with putting together my next book to be published on 4th February, 2017. It will be a book on health and well-being. I have chosen around 40 of my blog posts for this book. Just this morning, I added a small piece to it. Here it is:

A large part of stress in my life has come from my inability to say ‘No’, when I needed to. Saying ‘Yes’ when we want to say ‘No’ does not come from a healthy self-esteem… To me, it has been a never-ending lesson… That is, to understand the difference between ‘selfishness’ and ‘self-care’…

Unless, I stand for myself, I can never stand for anyone else in my life. And, if I do, I end up doing only harm to my own self!

Another source of my stress has always come - as Byron Katie tells in her book, ‘Loving What Is’ – when I have focused on someone else’s or God’s business. Stephen Covey imparted the same lesson as: focusing on the Circle of our Influence (which is within our power) and the Circle of our Concern (which is outside our power). The lesson to me, therefore, has been… to constantly learn to focus on my own business… the circle of influence over which I truly have control.

It has not been easy to bring about the shift… as I predominantly operate from my heart and emotions. But, then, that’s what it is… and, that’s where I will be… if I do not grow up in the area of emotional maturity…

Self-care. My health and well-being stand on this robust pillar.


Pic.: Chetna Shetty

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Bruce Barton’s poem – ‘TWO SEAS IN PALESTINE’ – once again, appeared before my mind, today. “There are two kinds of people in this world… There are two seas in Palestine.” Yes, this is how the poem ends…

Every time I read or listen to this poem, I am challenged to ask this: “To which kind do I belong?”

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who build walls… and those who break walls!

At 7:30, this morning, as I opened our house door to leave for work, TOI newspaper was placed outside the door. In a hurry, I just glanced through some headlines… “Donald Trump, who hasn’t even taken his oath, was bragging about building wall – “Nobody builds a wall like I do… I will do it inexpensively… and I will make Mexico pay for it, mark my words!”…. And, there were his provocative statements about Germany, NATO, Russia and the whole world for that matter…. “What a kind of leader he is?” I regretted pausing for those few seconds to read the headlines… That was not the news I wanted to read, early as I was about to start my day… and, that’s not the way I wanted to live life…. Building walls… through constant confrontations… by shamelessly bragging about myself…

I remembered whatever had happened to Hitler and his so-called ‘Superior Aryan race’… the mighty wall that divided Germany… I remembered Mussolini and Sadam Husain… I remembered Lenin and Stalin… I remembered Idi Amin and every despot on this planet…and, I asked: “Do we ever learn from the history?”

Donald Trump will never listen to anyone, mark my words. He will do only what he wants to do… Including ‘the Wall’. Because, he belongs not to the Sea of Galilee. He belongs to the ‘other sea’… ‘the Dead Sea’!

When I reached my office, I chanced upon a video shared by my friend, Sandeep. It was ‘The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. The host made  some young men and women speak their heart s out at the portrait of Michelle Obama hung on the wall… They had to tell her (portrait of Michelle) what difference she, as the First Lady of America for eight years, had done to their lives… “I will wait for the day we speak for a leader or a leader’s wife like this,” Sandeep had written while sharing the video… Those were moving testimonies from all types of individuals about their country’s First Lady, who was now stepping out of the White House…

Did Obama and Michelle build walls? To which sea did they belong?

Bruce’s poem is timeless. There shall always be these two seas in Palestine… and there shall always be these two kinds of people in the world…

And, yes, yes… there shall always be a choice to make for all of us: TO WHICH SEA TO BELONG!

God ‘bless’ America… God ‘bless’ Donald Trump!

Did I mean ‘SAVE’?

Pic.: Anil Bedi

Monday, January 16, 2017


My son was watching the last night’s India vs. England ODI. He called me to watch the presentation ceremony. That’s when I learnt what had actually happened!

My son is a massive fan of Virart Kohli. I am particularly happy for that… Call me selfish or call me over-optimistic about one’s children, it’s okay…

Let me reason out as to why young-ones – leave alone my own 24-year-old – yes, let me reason out as to why young-ones, today, need an icon like Virat Kohli, the present Indian Captain in all three formats of cricket…

1.      FOR BEING FAITHFUL TO HIS CHILDHOOD PASSION FOR CRICKET. I find a few young -ones remaining steadfast to their passions. Be it studies, sports, music, acting,  business, politics, writing, teaching, social work, even relationship,  whatever… young ones get distracted very fast, these days… they get carried away by changing fads… the commitment, integrity, dedication, a long-term vision… and, above all, the basic guiding philosophy about life… yes, I find it wanting in a large section of youth. They need badly icons like Tendulkar, Dhoni and Kohli. Yes, for this reason, I am happy; my son treats all of them as his icons.

2.      FOR BEING HUNGRY FOR STELLAR PERFORMANCES ALL THROUGH. Yes, nothing is ‘certain’ in cricket. But, the way Kohli has gone about – and still goes about – his game, and now with additional responsibility as an all-3-format captain – yes, it is something I want all young-ones to emulate… and be hungry for. Hunger for consistency… is the name of the game!

3.      FOR BEING A FAITHFUL LEARNER. I watched one of the latest interviews of Kohli where he talks about the role Dhoni has played in his journey. He says, for him, Dhoni will be still his captain…. Because, he has been groomed and moulded and treated as trustworthy by MS. I don’t find many young men today treating their teachers and mentors the way Kohli does. I am not complaining… I just want our young-ones not to forget their coaches, teachers and mentors… that’s all.

4.      FOR THE SELF-BELIEF AND FOR BEING LEADING FROM THE FRONT. Last night’s match was a proof for that. Asked about his state of mind when India were in a deep hole (chasing 350 runs!), Kohli replied after the gut-wrenching victory: “At 63 for 4, yes, I was still thinking of a win. The only way we could have come out of this was to counterattack. We needed to tell the opposition that we believe we can win.”

“Who is the opposition for our young-ones, today?”… I want them to emulate this mindset from their icon.

‘The Killer instinct’… they used to call it. I want our young-ones to seriously find out what it is…

5.      FOR BEING FAITHFUL TO HIS LADY LOVE. Well, anything can happen there, as well. I love both Virat and Anushka. So, I want them to go all the way. All that I know about their relationship has come from news, social media and grapevine… So, what is the real story, I do not know. But, I am happy for them because they have handled their ‘roller-coaster’ well so far.

I find young ones around me – lots and lots of them – so casual when it comes to their relationships. Maybe, I am yet to get in sync with the attitude and approach to love life which is rampant around me… Maybe, I should simply shut my eyes and mouth… and sentimental heart to this. Let the young- ones be…

Still, I pray our young-ones show more depth, more commitment to their relationships.

So, that was the reason why I felt so nice and elated last night when Kohli, like a gladiator, clinched a ‘victory’ for us…

I said, ‘victory’… And, it is not about ‘Cricket’, you see.

Pic.: Deccan Chronicle/Internet

Sunday, January 15, 2017


Often, Jiddu Krishnamurti used to say, “Fear exists only in relationships.” I had heard that before from other teachers, too… when they said, that fear stemmed from our attachments. As a young man, I would appreciate the deep meaning of this wisdom. However, like the vast majority around me, I would find it extremely difficult to go about my life by detaching myself from the world around me…

The world around me included my nearest and dearest ones… my friends and relatives… my associates and neighbors… my community people - religious, political, social - etc. Well, my world was not made up of only people… It included all my possessions… my dreams, beliefs, ideas, opinions, even feelings… Yes, as a young man – why as a young man, I want to say as a human being on this planet – I would wonder whether it was possible for anyone to live life without creating around him this web called ‘relationships’.

The very post that I am now writing is a clear proof for what I am saying… It is coming from my desires and dreams, my ideas and beliefs… It is coming from my yearning to be recognized, appreciated, admired, respected and validated. Am I not confessing to a truth? So, the battle inside has, always, been this: “Can life be lived without attachments… without relationships?”     

Well, I don’t think we need an enlightened soul to give an answer to this…

What I have gathered is: Everything I aspire to have in my life makes my life worth living. But, when I see my life getting too complicated on possessing those things – people, properties, ideas, beliefs and all – yes, that is when I should examine the nature of my attachments…

Any attachment!


In response to my last Blog – ‘THE LIFE THAT IS WAITING FOR US’ – a dear friend of mine, who lives abroad, wrote to me this:

Hi Gerry, I let out a big sigh as I read this… I had just connected with a very dear friend of mine who shared with me that her marriage of 24-plus years had ended… I was heartbroken at the news as I had known the couple since they were dating in their early teens. It seemed like a match made in heaven...  one of those couples who had so much love for each other to last more than a lifetime. I got no details of why it had ended… I did not need any details. My friend, however, seemed to have sadness, but the attitude that "Lessons have been learned, we both have to move on". I was amazed at her maturity and grace. A few hours later, I saw this post and I feel encouraged… I shared your post with my friend. Great timing for the message in your post! Thank you.

Henley who said, “I am the master of my fate… I am the captain of my soul’… yes, he had to let go of his ‘infected’ leg so that he could live a more productive and purposeful life. For you and me, it could be anything that is ‘infected’…

Letting go is the most potent spiritual exercise…

I know, like you, I, too, am limping!


Pic.: Chetna Shetty

Saturday, January 14, 2017


“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.”
– Lao Tzu

I must have been 21 or 22 when I first came across William E. Henley’s famous lines in Napoleon Hill’s books:  
“I am the master of my fate
I am the captain of my soul.”

As a young struggler in Mumbai city, it had immediately filled me with strength. Ever since then, I have always believed in taking responsibility for my own affairs… never to blame my fate, circumstances or people around me… never to allow myself to suffer from self pity, regrets or guilt… I have learnt to take a call and follow it all the way…

Yes, it has helped me, immensely.

Henley himself was 25 when he penned his inspiring poem, ‘Invictus’ (in Latin means Undefeated) which he had ended with those famous lines. It would inspire us even more if we can know its backdrop… At a tender age of 12 – that was in 1863 - Henley was inflicted with tuberculosis of the bone. His one leg was infected so badly that the doctors wanted to do away with it, immediately, from knee-downwards. They also feared that if Henley had to survive, probably, he would have to let go the other leg, too… It was after 13 years of suffering and pain. Henley was a young man of 25, now. So, he took the valiant call: to let go only one of his legs… and leave the rest to his own will to live…

It worked miraculously. Henley went on to live a great life as a poet… More than this, he went on to inspire many, many generations to come…

Nelson Mandela was one of them… I am, even though an ordinary soul, another.

“I demolish my bridges behind me…
then there is no choice but to move forward.”
– Fridtjof Nansen

There is something amazing in waiting for every man who takes a call to let go his ‘infected leg’… The beauty of this phenomenon is that man doesn’t know what is in store… It is left to his deep trust in a power beyond self… Read again Henley’s lines:

 “I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.”

Was young Henley talking about himself when he said, ‘I am’?

I can only recall the chilling answer from the burning bush… “Who are you?” was Moses’ question to the voice coming from the burning bush… “I am… who I AM”… yes, this was the answer.

Every time we pass through the test of fire – fear and anxiety about what may happen – and go down on our knees and hand our affairs to that deep source within us… what we are actually saying is that ultimate prayer of our life: “Abba, my Father, if it be possible, let this cup (test) pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” 

“We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned,
so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
– Joseph Campbell

Let me sign off with Henley’s full poem ‘Invictus’… the undefeated


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud,
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.


Pic.: Anil Bedi

Friday, January 13, 2017


A week ago, we – a group of twelve men – were around Kala Ghoda area in South Mumbai. It was around 4.30 in the evening; so, we decided to walk into a nearby Irani restaurant for a cup of tea. “Something to bite?” our host asked us. “Bun maska,” was the unanimous choice!

“Divine!” This was the unanimous verdict on savoring the Irani tea and bun maska.

Some things in life are simply irreplaceable… Like Irani keema pav, or omelet pav too!

Last two days have been extremely cold here in Mumbai with mercury dropping close to 11 degree Celsius! At 5.30 when I went out for my morning walk, today, I could particularly feel the chill in my bones. We Mumbaikars are not used to a cold weather of this kind unlike people in Delhi and other parts of North. For us, this is too much!

Today, I was walking with three-layers covering my body. My ears were protected with an ear muff and feet with a nice pair of walking shoes. When I saw our night security guards, who had been exposed to the night-long chilly wind, I felt bad for them. “Gharma, gharam chai lelo,” I said casually. “Haan sirji… Lekin aaj chaiwala ke paas doodh nahin hai. Thoda time ke baad hoga chai.”

It was 6.30 by now. I had completed my quota of walk and exercises. I went home… made five cups of hot tea… Kept one cup for me and sent four cups in a flask to our security guards… yes, with nicely sliced bun maskas. Incidentally, while buying eggs from our pavwala last night, I was also tempted to buy some sweet buns so that I could have my favourite bun maska along with my morning tea today… just to soak in one of the small pleasures of life!

So, early this morning, when I shared that pleasure with our security guards – who were awake through the entire chilly night to ensure that we all had a safe and sound sleep at home – yes, when I shared the gharma gharam chai and bun maska with our security guards, it tasted even more divine!

Like so many around me, I, too, often, think about our defense men… the tough conditions in which they guard us through nights and days, for years and years… Yes, we don’t see them and talk to them at all… still, the very thought is enough to tear our hearts!

Today, I was asking myself: “What about these guards at our own gate… who I see and talk to every day… Does it tear my heart?


Pic.: (Hindustan Times... Internet)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


“What was your reaction to the Bangaluru molestation incident?” asked someone, yesterday.
I did not answer.
“You have not answered my question,” he reminded me.
I did not answer.
In a few seconds, I moved away from this person.

My reaction was my reaction. It was not something for public debate… I did not want to say anything for effect, for attention… There was a strong, intense feeling inside… and I knew that if I expressed it before some people, it would lead us nowhere… except a useless debate!

No one seems to remember a Nirbhaya or a Shakti Mill compound, today? In fact, when I was talking to someone this morning, he was blissfully unaware of both these imageries! Not his problem, you see… Public memory is exactly like that: It is short!

So, now on the New-year night, we have this new imagery to fuel our minds… the Bangaluru Molestation in public! Just a few days – perhaps a few weeks or months from now… this too shall be forgotten!

But, the question I was posed with was: “What was your reaction to the Bangaluru Molestation incident?”

I am angry. I am even angrier on listening to some ‘sick minds’ – the perverts – who publicly argue how girls who wear short outfits, who drink, smoke and move around in the night… yes, I feel mad when I hear from these sick minds the justification for the rape…

But, then, how can my anger help? How can my debate help? People like you and me do not need those debates… we know what is sickening about those sick minds.

I am angry. Like me, you and everyone around us.

Society had and society will have these perverts always. Mercifully, their number is insignificant… I know, these perverts won’t be able to destroy the society. No!

Last Sunday, our Tai Chi sir was leading us through a wonderful exercise called ‘The Dragon Tail’. It was the second or third time in my three-year tenure in our Tai Chi class that I was noting our sir leading us through this exercise… It is a very simple and playful exercise. Like the mythological creature, we all are full of poison inside… the negativity… anger, fear, hatred, envy, insecurity, lust, pride, revenge… and, like the dragon, we all have a long, powerful tail. “Imagine you have this dragon tail,” sir told us on last Sunday, “imagine it is your very powerful control device… Allow it to draw positive energy – ‘Chi’ – from the Mother Earth… wag your tail… wag it… wag it… wag it… Let the energy travel through your spine… let it strengthen your spine… move your body around the spine… wag your tail… wag your tail... wag it… Allow the Chi travel through your feet, calf, thighs, navel, kidneys, liver, spleen, pancreas, intestines, lungs, hearts, brain, eyes, nose and ears… and, finally, in one volcanic thrust, breathe the lava of negativity out of your system… BBBRRRRRRR!

When our dragon tails moved our entire body, when our whole body swirled and dropped with that last growl of the dragon… BBBRRRRRRR…  yes, that is when we all would feel happy and childlike… Light and liberated.

The poison of anger, hatred, revenge, fear, envy and insecurity always keep us heavy on this earth… Our spines have weakened and our hearts have been damaged… Our dragon tails are given to us to strengthen our spines with courage… and to heal our hearts. All that we need to do when we are angry with someone or something… when fear and envy make us feel heavy… is to let our tails draw the healing energy from the merciful Mother Earth… and let it travel through our dragon spines… and throw it out in one massive go… BBBRRRRRR…

And, it is gone!

I think, as a nation, we all are presently, doing the same thing… We are angry and we are frightened on seeing the disgust wrought in by the perverts on the streets of Bangaluru… We are trying to draw energy from the Mother Earth through our dragon tails… so that we can strengthen our spines, heal our hearts and, let it go with one mighty thrust… BBBRRRRRR!

“Mother Earth Bless”… This is how our Tai Chi sir greets us every day!


Pic.: Anil Bedi