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Showing posts from June, 2017

SOMETIMES, IT IS BETTER TO BEG FOR FORGIVENESS THAN ASK FOR PERMISSION

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There is a short Disney film – about 50-minutes in length - by the title‘Young Black Stallion’. I am sure many must have missed it. I first watched it when it was shown in IMAX big screen (Wadala). It was an endearing children film. But, I fell in love with it at first sight. Since then, I have shown this to our little ones in our P.D. sessions scores of times… And, watching these little kids jumping in their seats has made me not only happy but a kid, too!
The movie is about the friendship between a little girl, Neera and a young, wild black-stallion (who Neera names ‘Shetan’). Both Neera and Shetan are separated from their families… and lost in the desert. How they meet… become friends… How Neera learns to calm down wild Shetan, ride on him so bravely and gracefully… How Shetan helps Neera reunite with her family (grandfather and cousin brother) and how Neera helps Shetan to reunite with his own mother and the owner (her own grandfather)… yes, it is an enchanting fable from the Disne…

ENMITY COMES FROM A DARK SPACE

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“The beauty of enmity is insecurity;  the beauty of friendship is in security.” - Robert Frost
In life, our disagreements – even if they seem extremely strong – should not be the reason for our enmity. Enmity comes from a different space… a dark space. If I hold strong grudges against some people in my life for a prolonged period of time, it is clear that I have a serious problem about my self-esteem… that, I have not loved and cared for me enough, right since my childhood. And, it may sound strange… Not loved and cared for me enough? How is it possible? The fact that I am hating and conspiring against someone – doesn’t it indicate, that I have put myself first… I show enough love and care for myself?
Not at all. The reality is this: we cannot hold grudges against others for long and remain compassionate towards ourselves at the same time. The more we focus on harming and destroying others, the more we end up harming and destroying ourselves. Yes, it may not appear so from outside… but, t…

GOD DOESN'T NEED OUR PROTECTION

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That, I should be born in a Catholic household and in a coastal village of Mangalore – Well, was it in my plan or in my hands? So, with that single co-incidence – or call it accident – came in me my religious faith, the deity I worshiped, the Holy Book I read, the rituals and customs I followed and, above all, the food I ate… fish, meat, pulses and leaves. I had no choice when, as a little infant, I was fed with fish or meat,  rice, dal or veggies… Beef was the cheapest of the meats and that was one reason why it was cooked in so many non-Hindu houses… Our immediate neighbors, on the right, were the most orthodox Brahmins… the elderly lady of that family loved all  her neighbors,. She would come to the fence and call us, the kids, on every special occasion to offer food, fruits or sweets… But, what delights me still is this: she would drop them on our palms from at least one foot above… She would not allow us to touch her… But, we kids – even my parents and grandparents – never took o…

LEARNING TO FADE GRACEFULLY IN LIFE

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From a Nobody we strive hard and long to be a Somebody… and, we call that process ‘Success’. We crave for more recognition and more visibility… more wealth, fame and power… may be more respect and honour. And then we experience in our hearts that deep need to stay there for long, if not go further up. But, then, it is not going to be so… never. In Life, what goes up has to come down… On top, there is hardly any space… Someone is going to dislodge us… We are going to slide down, and fast…
For all of us, this is a scary thought, extremely painful one! All this time, we spent so much of our time and energy – invested so much of our emotions – on reaching the top, becoming rich and famous  and achieving more and more visibility. So, the thought of losing it all… going out of visibility… yes, it is one of our most nightmarish thoughts… How can we survive without being recognized, respected and glorified?
It is as tough as coming out of any other major addiction in Life!
The desire to be in l…

LIFE WOULD HAVE BEEN A LONG MOONLESS NIGHT

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“And if you’re ever feeling lonely, just look at the moon… Someone, somewhere is looking at it, too.” - Anonymous
The Moon shall, always, remain a mystery to me! It’s just a lifeless rock. But, thanks the kindness of the Sun, it is able to glow so beautifully. And, thanks to the Moon, we, here on Earth, are able to live through our nights… We are able to dream, romance and hope… We are able to find a friend to talk to when we feel lonely…
The Moon is never the same to us all the days… Sometimes full, sometimes crescent and sometimes it is not there at all… But, deep in our hearts, we know, that the Moon is there somewhere up there, hiding behind the darkness… and, it is going to show up, little by little, until it is gloriously full.
Just as the Moon, who gets life from the Sun, we all get Life from our own ‘Source’ – God. What are we without the mercy of God? Can we shine on our own? Can we remain happy all the days, or, like the Moon does, do we have to go behind the darkness on some d…

WHERE OUR GIVING COMES FROM

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“There are those who give with joy and that joy is their reward. And there are those who give with pain and that pain is their baptism.”
-Kahlil Gibran ( in ‘The Prophet’)
Two days ago, I wanted to gift the copies of our 2 new books to my friend and neighbour, Tabassum. As their house was locked, I left the copies at my place and asked my wife to hand over the same to Tabassum. Meanwhile, I had called Tabassum to inform about it, which she missed. Late last night, she reverted to check why I had called. When she learnt about the reason, she exclaimed, “How sweet of you sir, I will collect the books from Anima (my wife) when I come to your place tomorrow with Sheer Khurma.”
Tabassum’s family, being from the Bohra community, celebrates Eid festival a day in advance. So, today is their Eid… the day we get to relish the traditional delicacy, Sheer Khurma!
I was to leave home early today. So, when I told my wife about my late night conversation with Tabassum, her instinctive response was, “What…

HEY, LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL

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What is happening outside happens for all of us… Yes, so many things happen outside there – good ones and bad ones, happy ones and sad ones… some gruesome, some glorious… some tear our hearts some make us soar high with hope and peace… Outside is volatile place… all people are not trustworthy, and, at the same time, all people are not mean either… Everybody is selfish, thankless and greedy? No, never, ever. All events are tragic and hopeless? No, never, ever. There is nothing to cheer about, smile about, laugh about hope about, rejoice over… deeply thankful for… celebrate over?
At least, we do not live here in Nazi Concentration Camps, you see. When I watched the 1997 movie, ‘Life is Beautiful’, which is a story about a Jewish family – a young husband and wife along with their little son – caught in Hitler’s Concentration Camp, it had a profound effect on me. Those were extreme situations in life… And, ours? Now?
Right when we wake up in the morning, our cell-phone screens tell us how…

"LIFE BEGINS AT THE EDGE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE"

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“The best things in life are often waiting for you at the exit ramp of your comfort zone.” - -Karen Salmansohn 
Some days ago, while teaching my twelfth-standard students, I said, “The best way you can find your self-motivation to study well and score well is by discovering what you want to do in life… In your case, what to do after twelfth.” I continued, “When your vision is clear, you will find the path… No one needs to show you that and no one needs to keep coaxing you to work hard and work long.”
My frustration with my students has always come from this: Most of them are not clear about their vision and goals…
In such situation, how can outsiders like me – teachers and coaches – motivate them to succeed?
So, the other day, when I asked my students, one by one, if they knew what they wanted to do after twelfth, Vijalaxmi said confidently, “Sir, I want to do Law.”
“Very nice beta,” I sincerely complimented. I continued, “Normally, such a desire comes in us by admiring someone in our fami…

ARE WE SHRINKING IN OUR THIRTIES AND FORTIES

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A friend of mine gave me a lift just a while ago. I was meeting him after a long time. So, I asked him, “Is everything fine? I am seeing you after a very long time.”
The gentleman, who is in his mid-thirties, is well-placed in a multinational company. His work involves extensive travel and use of technology.
“Parents’ health issues and my work pressure,” the gentleman explained, “It has been tough to cope with.”
I had seen his father and mother both shrinking gradually. Barely a few months ago, when I saw his dad, I felt very sorry… each step looked like a massive milestone! After that, I had not been seeing the gentleman’s parents… “They are not able to move out,” the gentleman told me, today.
Our conversation took a turn from there. “That generation did not have the kind of life style we are having,” the gentleman told me, “We all will start shrinking right in our thirties and forties!”
I nodded my head!
None of us – I said ‘none’…. Neither a kid nor a youngster, neither a parent nor a …

DID YOU EVER KNOW THAT YOU'RE MY HERO

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“Did you ever know that you're my hero,
And everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
For you are the wind beneath my wings.”

- from the song ‘Wind Beneath my Wings’ by  BETTE MIDLER
Iwas talking to my mom over the telephone, this morning. She lives in my home town, Mangalore. “Son, Esthel teacher (Stella Concessao) expired,” she told me, “We will be attending her funeral, today evening.”
Stella teacher, who passed away in her eighties, had taught little Primary-school children for forty years. I was fortunate to be in the same local school (St. Peter’s) where she had taught. Not only have her students done well for themselves, her own children, too. She was living with her prosperous son. My mom told me, that ma’am’s children had announced on the local dailies about her sad demise, wherein they had proudly mentioned the fact, that she had been a teacher for over forty years!
I could not attend the funeral. But, I fondly remembered our teacher!

Pic. courtesy: Conce…
THE WILD, WAYSIDE FLOWERS
There is, always, something extra-ordinary in the wild, wayside flowers...