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Showing posts from July, 2017

NEED I GROW LIKE A GIANT OAK TO 'FEEL' SUCCESSFUL?

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One of the truths that keeps me firmly planted on this earth is: Whatever I long to do in my life in order to feel successful, so many out there – millions and millions of them – have already done it  in past, or are doing it presently, or will be doing it in future.
If the truth is such, what is that so ‘great’ about me? What is that so ‘special’?
When I started with this ‘pursuit of success, many years ago, the idea of success, to me, meant achieving something, reaching somewhere… goals, targets, income, fame and social position. But, then, as I went about pursuing this kind of success, I realized that at no point of time was I actually’ feeling successful’… I was endlessly and frantically ‘running’ as if I was chasing a mirage in the desert… In the end of that chase, invariably, I would feel disillusioned, still parching. I would also observe that majority out there were doing exactly what I was doing… all running frantically with the hope of getting ‘it’ – success – and live happily…

WHEN WE ARE HAPPY, THINGS WILL CHANGE

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Last night, some of us were discussing on one of the close-knit WhatsApp groups. The discussion centered around a certain person, who we all disliked and detested for his relentless negative activities over many years. Those activities had badly affected many of us, and, having suffered because of them, we, quite obviously, had the genuine reason to vent out our pain and frustration among us. We had tried every possible way to make this person realize what he was doing… but, he had remained remorseless and seemed to go on with his negative pursuit with even more cold blood. So, last night, the discussion was focused on, once again, how to change this person… how to make him understand... by any method still left at our disposal… Sama, Dana, Bheda, Danda… whatever. Yes, we all had only one desire when it came to this person: Let him change his ways so that we can live happily!
One of our friends had sent a late-night message, which I happened to read early this morning. Here is the mess…

A HEART SURGEON WITH A HEART

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“Hands that serve are holier than lips that pray” - An old proverb
Iam a great admirer of Dr. Devi Shetty, the renowned heart surgeon of our country. He is different… he is extremely sensitive and human… and, above all, he is spiritual. People call him, ‘A heart surgeon with a heart’!
Now, I do not intend to write this Post talking about Dr. Devi Shetty… Yes, he has carried out more than 15,000 heart surgeries so far (he is 64), some of which have been most complicated ones… He believes in affordable heart-care and, hence, he has been aggressively propagating this cause by setting up finest health-care facilities across the country… Here alone are carried out more than ten percent of our country’s heart surgeries! He had carried out heart surgery on Mother Teresa and served as her personal physician, in the process, getting hugely inspired by her work… Rightly, the nation has bestowed upon him a Padma Shree and Padma Bhushan…
What I intend to convey in this Post is this: Like Dr. Devi, w…

THE BEAUTY IN OUR BACKYARDS

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Some ten years ago, I had published for THE DAWN CLUB one of our popular books, ‘Vaachas Chame’ – Grant me the Power of Expression. I had started the book with this passage:
He had heard that from Kanyakumari, one could catch the majestic sight of the rising sun. So, this man travelled all the way from Kashmir to Kanyakumari to watch the surnrise. The day came and he reached the Point quite in time. However, as there were a few minutes still left for the glorious sight, he decided to catch a wink.
When he opened his eyes, it was all over!
And, I had ended the book with this passage
Then, one day, back home in Kashmir, he arose early in the morning. It was still dark and everyone was still asleep. When he saw from the window, he felt in his heart a newness he had never felt before… And the stillness and the awe of outside darkness filled him with a gratitude he was never familiar with before.
And, behold! He could see the rising sun… in all its glory! All that I wanted to tell my readers was this: “Read wit…

AND GRACE WILL LEAD US HOME

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By now, many of us have watched the video which captures the tragic incident that happened in Chembur, Mumbai, wherein,  Mrs. Kanchan Rajat Nath, a morning walker was crushed to death by a falling tree!  I have watched this video a couple of times and it has not only left me disturbed with many questions, it has also left me a lot mellowed…




This woman, who looked very graceful, had started her day on a positive note – morning walk and Yoga. When you see that coconut tree falling on her head, you wonder if the tree was waiting all along aiming at her head… It looks as precise, as ruthless and as swift as that!
The questions that disturb me are: Why, of all the passersby’s, it had to be this woman? Why, of all the times, it had to be this time – early morning - when her heart was so peaceful? What must be the thought of people who crossed the same path seconds before or after that incident? Who saved these people and why?
Blaming BMC for not doing away with that tree will not bring back th…

YOU LIVE ONLY ONCE... BUT, IF YOU LIVE WELL, ONCE IS ENOUGH

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Many years ago, I used to display in my classroom a new inspirational-poster every Monday morning. Some of these posters, I would keep repeating at regular intervals. One of them had these words:
“You live only once… But, if you live well, once is enough.”

In a few minutes from now, I will turn 59. I remember the old poster and find myself asking: “Have I lived these years well?”
What are the yardsticks of a well-lived life? Who has to certify it? Are the indicators visible or invisible?
If the yardstick is the wealth I have amassed in my 59 years, then I will certainly fail the test. If the world has to certify me, I may fail that test, too… If one looks for the visible indicators, I may flunk that test, as well…
So, let me go by the invisible signs and let me not depend on the world’s certificate… Let money, position and fame not be the yardsticks to measure how well I have lived my 59 years, here on Earth…
Have I got many regrets?
Not many… But, a few, certainly, “Yes.”
Have I got many comp…

'HRUDAYANTAR'... YES, SOME THINGS IN LIFE WILL MAKE YOU CHANGE YOUR HEART

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Since last evening till this moment, a movie is being played – and replayed repeatedly – in my mind. I have been talking about it to my closest people. “Have you watched the film, “Hrudyantar’?"... I keep asking…
“Which film?”
“’Hrudyantar’… It’s a Marathi film.”
“No, I haven’t heard about it,” many say… “How is it?” ask some… “What is it about?’ ask some others… “What is the meaning of ‘Hrudyantar?” ask me some more…
“I don’t’ know myself,” I confess, “I think the meaning is ‘Change of heart’…
Anyway, how does it matter? The film is just beautiful… Please don’t miss it!






Yesterday, I was to attend some very important work at Fort area. So, I had adjusted my teaching schedule for the day accordingly. At the last hour, my visit to town got cancelled and I decided to watch any good movie which was being shown in cinemas around. On checking on the Net, I chanced upon this Marathi film which was released on 7th July. Having got curious, I read more details about it, and felt a strong urge …

THE ORIGINAL 'ART OF LIVING'

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“I told her once I wasn’t good at anything… She told me survival is a talent.”
― Susanna Kaysen
I think, an important life-skill – let me call it ‘survival skill’ – every individual has to learn at a very young age is: cooking!
Now, by ‘cooking’, I do not mean that one should be a fine Chef and must know how prepare a lavish spread. I only mean to say that one should learn to prepare some decent food for himself and for those who live with him…
Many men – even some women - take some sort of pleasure in saying, “I don’t even know how to switch on the gas (stove).”… or, “I know only to boil water or eggs”… or, “I know only to make an omelet” etc. Someone never thought it was important to inculcate that ‘value’ in these men and women at a very young age… I said, ‘Value’!
For many young boys and girls, circumstances make them learn the basic cooking – tea, coffee, snacks, rice, rotis, dal, vegetable or some non-veg dishes. Yes, when you are driven to the wall, you learn to survive… Thanks to …

THIS IS TO MAKE YOU INDEPENDENT... NOT DEPENDENT

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I do not know how they certify a kid as ‘L.D.’… that is, a kid with learning disability. During my teaching career, spanning over nearly four decades, I have come across many kids, now and then, who I am made conscious of as having the so-called ‘Learning Disability.’ The moment I am made conscious of it, my approach towards the student – in my case college kids – does undergo a change… I become more patient, less demanding… and, I try to remind myself, “Hello, you cannot expect the same calculations and the same efficiency from this kid… Understand his plight… show patience.”  And, invariably, I heed to this voice…
What is interesting to watch is this: some of these young ones are least interested in this ‘label’… this ‘tag’… of ‘learning disability’. I find them almost hating it… They want the world to  treat them on par with the rest… demand the same work and efficiency from them… show the same level of patience to them. I feel extremely satisfied and proud when I come across such …

A TROPHY FOR LEARNING NEVER TO THROW HIS RACQUET AGAIN IN FRUSTRATION

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I don’t watch tennis matches much. But, I get inspired by the great tennis legends a lot. True to what I said, I did not watch yesterday’s Wimbledon Finals between Roger Federer and Marin Cilic… but, I have been hugely inspired by Roger Federer on winning his eighth Wimbledon title, which makes it his nineteenth Grand Slam… Nobody in tennis history has done it so big and at such advanced age… Federer has done it at 36!



I don’t understand a lot about the tennis game. But, that doesn’t prevent me from admiring its legends… I grew up admiring Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe… These legends were two of a kind – extremely opposites in their temperaments… Bjorn Borg looked like a sage, full of poise… while John McEnroe looked like a volcano, full of lava! But, I loved them both… The same way, there were these two women legends… Chris Evert Lloyd and Martina Navratilova… completely with contrast temperaments… Chris was beautiful and serene… Matina was manly and aggressive… and, yes, I admired them…
THE WILD, WAYSIDE FLOWERS
There is, always, something extra-ordinary in the wild, wayside flowers...