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Showing posts from August, 2017

WHEN DREAM COMES FEAR GOES

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“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” - Eleanor Roosevelt 

Bhavin has just become a Commerce graduate and is busy preparing for his CAT exam. (The entrance test for IIMs). A while ago, he called up. “Sir, I am a fresh Commerce graduate and I am preparing for CAT,” he said, “But, I have a terrible stage-fear. The thought of standing before an audience cripples me with anxiety and whenever I attempt to speak, I go blank!”
As this was my own problem when I was Bhavin’s age, and, as I knew what it did to my own self-confidence, and, above all, as I knew how I went about overcoming my problem, I spent the next ten minutes trying to calm down a bit of Bhavin’s anxiety about stage fear. I encouraged him to join our upcoming 10-sessions programme, which he was very keen to do. I also asked him to pick some of our motivational books. “Bhavin, You do not have to wait for the course to start,” I explained to him, “You start right away doing whatever you can to ove…

ONE WHO CAN LIVE IN MUMBAI CAN SURVIVE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD

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A friend of mine, who lives in California, wrote this, today, on her Timeline: “Truly, one who can live in Mumbai can survive anywhere in the world!”
I couldn’t agree more with my friend.
We Mumbaikars, would like to believe, that, in India, Mumbai is the only city which is not only cosmopolitan in true sense, it is also a city that embraces all – regardless of one’s class, creed, caste and colour. People from Antilias along the affluent, glittering skylines to shanties alongside the gushing, stinking nalas… High priests to untouchables – yes, all can co-exist here. There are our Muncipal schools with their leaking roofs and broken furniture… and, alongside, there are the luxurious schools with even air-conditioned toilets! The Seven-star food to Street-side food, glamorous movie-stars and models to urchins in rags… yes, Mumbai is everyone’s city… It can erupt, at times, like a volcano. But, it can also forgive, forget and move on with the speed of a Jaguar… Here, strangers on the stree…

THE SOURCE OF OUR UGLINESS

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The fact, that my family has not been watching TV at home for years now, makes no difference at all: we get everything on our cell-phone screens. Yes, we miss nothing!
Yesterday, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh – the extra-colourful guru – was to be sentenced around 2.30 Indian noontime. I was curious to watch the online news. And, like a fool, I spent an hour or two getting all the ‘breaking news’… from every possible TV channel that was. Of course, the loudest and the most colorful of all being Arnab’s Republic TV!
At the end of that one hour or two, I asked the question: “So, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has been sent to jail for 10 (or 20?) years now… What difference does it make to the quality of my life?”
Judging someone like Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh comes easily to all of us. At present, he is a villain, an ugly character. You and I haven’t met him and will never meet him. Whatever sins he has committed, he has committed in his ashram or in his ‘Gufa’. Your life and mine are not affected. Stil…

THE GRIEF HAS TO BE EXPERIENCED FULLY

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Today is one of my dear-old-student’s birthday. Her husband, too, was my student many years ago. Just a couple of days ago, she lost her father-in-law who was critically ill. I hadn’t sent my condolence to either of my students due to oversight and procrastination on my part. So, today, as I learnt about her birthday (through FB), I felt a bit guilty. Still, I managed to send this message in her inbox:
“Hi Sneya*, first of all, my deepest condolences. Do convey my feelings to Virat*. Meanwhile, do accept my b'day wishes too. Life is always this way... joy and sorrow. Let's be grateful and graceful. Tcre.”
Last night, my wife and I had paid a visit to express our condolences to one of our friends who had lost her dad last week. He was 72 and had been suffering from multiple complications – including diabetes, blood pressure and kidney issues. But, till he passed away, her dad was full of zest and a doting dad for his two children and a husband for his wife and father-in-laws for…

BEING A SMALL-TIME GOOD SAMARITAN

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“Be the reason someone smiles today.” - Anonymous
What is the worth of our knowledge if we do not have a heart that is gladly willing to share it?
When I said, “Willing to share it”, I meant willing to help someone who is in need of that knowledge.
And, many a time, when a person seeks some help, we may not be in possession of the knowledge of the particular field… but, are we still willing to help in some way or the other?
The willingness to help someone, who is in need, is one clear indication of our maturity as humans. On the other hand, when we possess ample knowledge but have no willingness at all to help someone by sharing that knowledge – yes, it clearly reveals the bankruptcy of our maturity.  
We can see this in our mundane episodes…
This morning, while I was about to  leave the gate of the school where our Tai Chi classes are held, I saw two of my young fellow-learners trying to help two auto-rickshaw passengers. They were Maharashtrian ladies, one young and the other elderly. “W…

A HURRICANE AND A HARYANA... AS WE PRAY TO VIGNESHWARA

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Yesterday was Ganesh Chathurthi… a great day in our country, particularly in the state of Maharashtra and in the city of Mumbai. Every nook and corner, every lane and the by-lane, every household, be it wealthy or poor, be it a mansion or a slum, Lord Ganesh is the most beloved God here in this city. I have been fortunate to live in this city for over 37 years. And celebrating Ganeshotsav – the festival which transcends every caste, creed and class – is one of my good fortunes.
Before I take any step – before I start any of my ventures - small or big, I experience a  deep anxiety in my soul… and I pray to almighty God. “Lord, have mercy on me… Please give me strength and wisdom… Please protect me, guard me… fill me with grace.”
Lord Ganesh is believed to be the ‘Vigneshwar’ – the Lord who protects us from calamities,  losses and harm. So, every time I say this prayer, I do evoke Lord Ganesh’s name…
But, on another side of the globe, in Texan coastal city, Corpus Christi (America), Hurri…

EVEN THE RAREST ECLIPSE SOON ENDS

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“Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.
- Mahatma Gandhi
If the same Sun and the same Moon give us light in the day and in the night, if the same stars sparkle over the same sky, if the same oceans, mountains, fields and deserts lay before all of us… if the same breath and the same blood keep us alive on this planet… then, there must be the same Creator behind all these designs…
A hundred divisions in my own religious faith, Christianity… and a hundred divisions in my fellowmen’s – be they Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, or Jews.
How can the God I have chosen to worship be a superior God? I simply can’t understand.
Live and let live.
Let my prayers and the Holy Book not be the basis on which I evaluated people. Who am I, by the way, to evaluate and judge others? Who has given me that right?
We are the quintessential frogs in the pond…
Being born as a Catholic, being born as an Indian, and so on… yes, these are our pri…

THE DESIRE TO SECURE OUR FUTURE

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“We will bankrupt ourselves  in the vain search for absolute security.” -  Dwight D. Eisenhower

One of the greatest drives of a human being is the desire to secure his future! I am not spared from this desire. Like all my fellow-humans, most of my deeds and misdeeds come from this desire…
The reason I studied… The reason I pursued a career – by being employed or self-employed… The reason I started saving and investing… The reason I kept expanding my business… The reason I got married, had children… The reason I made a house, a second and a third house… The reason I insured my life and health… The reason I started believing in Gods and Goddesses, going to a worship place of a particular faith… The reason I joined social groups and, even, joined a gym… yes, everything has its root in my desire to secure my future…
True, it is one of the greatest drives of all human beings. And, there is absolutely nothing wrong in that.
I have already confessed that, like all my fellow-beings, I, too, am dr…

SO, HOW CAN YOU HELP YOUR MOM, TODAY?

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A mother of eleventh-standard student (girl) was here, today, to enroll her daughter in my classes. The young one, a confident and bright girl, has joined a reputed college in the city and, the mother, like a truly involved parent, wants her daughter to do well in the Commerce field. “Sir, my problem is,” she explained to me, “that, I have my second child (son) who is just two-and-a-half-year old, and, I have to do ‘all this’ with him ‘all over again’.”
I looked at the young girl, who was smiling on hearing what her mother was saying.
“So, how can you help you mom, beta?” I asked, “She has done ‘all that’ with you for ‘all these’ years… You are a young adult now. So, tell me what can you do to ease mom’s tension?”
 I repeat these words almost every day in my class: “The greatest gift you can give to your parents, right now, is the trust and confidence in you… You have to make them feel that you are acting responsible for your affairs… that you are able to manage your things well – time, …
THE WILD, WAYSIDE FLOWERS
There is, always, something extra-ordinary in the wild, wayside flowers...