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Showing posts from September, 2017

THAT FOOTBRIDGE... AND THIS PATIENCE

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Two days ago, I had called up my bank (one of the leading private-sector banks in India) regarding certain issues relating to my existing loans with it. I was advised to visit the local branch (Loans division) to sort out those issues. So, yesterday, I landed up at our local branch at 12 noon and came out at 2:45!
Two hours and forty-five minutes was a huge time for such a small issue. But, I was not alone in this… There were so many waiting patiently just the way I did. Yes, I, too, was getting restless… But, I knew, that, by losing my patience, I would not gain anything… On the contrary, I would lose my poise, temper and health!
So, I chose to wait for my turn, very, very patiently! When my turn came, it only took about ten minutes to sort out my issues. “Thank you so much, madam,” I expressed my gratitude, and left that place gracefully…
On my way back, the autowala asked me if I was aware of the stampede at Elphinstone-road railway station… As I wasn’t, he went on to narrate the tr…

THE BEAUTY OF MITHI RIVER

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“Beauty is truth's smile when she beholds her own face in a perfect mirror.”
- Rabindranath Tagore

In life, just as we tend to hear what we want to hear, we tend to see, too, what we want to see. This happens all the time, everywhere, for all of us. That’s the main reason why I get inspired to blog every day… on very mundane things, which mostly escape our attention. I call them the wayside flowers. Frankly, there is extraordinary beauty in these wild ordinary flowers…
If only we pause to ‘see’ their extraordinary beauty!
The innocence of little babies and pets, for example, needs our tender eyes to rejoice over. Similarly, the untimely death of a beloved one and the horrific devastation due to an earthquake or hurricane – yes, no matter how harrowing the experience may be - they need an equally awe-struck eyes to behold them. Likewise, cruelly and heartlessness around us can crush us… but, they do contain a sublime strength to free us from suffering…
The rain and the rainbow, the brig…

STAY STRONG INSIDE... KNOW WHO YOU ARE

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One of the most difficult tasks in life is to stop someone from talking ill about you. In fact, it is impossible to shut someone’s mad-mouth. No matter how good and selfless you are, there will, always, be some around you who think you are the worst creature on this planet… the most dangerous and you deserve to be banished from this land!
Now, if I mention here Jesus Christ, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa and Dalai Lama, I would be surely able to drive home the point: “Look, if they did not even spare these Godly souls, who are you and me to be spared?” But, why look at the Godly souls… Life around us is, always, such: If nine out of ten around you trust you, believe in you… the one out there will think you are not trustworthy and try to brainwash others saying you are so… They will be hell-bent in maligning and defaming you… They will, always, cry for your blood!
Who are these guys? Where do they come from? Bullies and criminals… the most selfish and the least sensitive, these guys com…

WHOSE TRUE FRIEND I AM?

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Ihave had many, many friends all along these years. My school friends, church friends, college friends, work-place friends, students-turned-friends, neighbours-turned-friends, friends’-friends-turned-friends, foes-turned-friends, relatives-turned-friends, social-media friends… yes, all sorts.
Who are my true friends?
I think, that’s a stupid question. I will never, ever find an answer to that question. For, I really do not know whose true friend I really am! Can I be brutally honest and declare, that, for so and so friend of mine, I am ready to do anything, anytime, anywhere… all the way through… in his most difficult times and in his most glorious times… Yes, can I say this without expecting from him anything? Can I do it for him despite getting hurt from him often? Despite his occasional indifference and insensitivity?
I am afraid, I do not have any friend in my life, for whom I will lay my own life. Yes, I have many, many friends, though… and, yes, I have had hundreds of friends to…

IT'S NOT JUST THE LEAST I CAN DO; IT'S PROBABLY ALL I CAN DO

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“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.”
― William Ernest HenleyEchoes of Life and Death;



Is man really the master of his fate and captain of his soul?
When I first came across this famous poem of Henley, I was in my early twenties… Hot blood ran through my veins and I would assume that I possessed within me the power to stop the sunset… Yes, just like Lord Krishna did in Kurukshetra! This was also the time, when I came across another motivational war-cry from Vince Lombardi: “Winners never quit and quitters never win...”
Today, after almost four decades and many, many heart-burns, I have come to the conclusion, that Man, being human, can do only so much to alter his fate… Yes, only so much. There are so many problems in my life, I have simply not been able to solve with the best of my intentions and efforts. Those problems, now, I have learnt to gracefully accept… by letting go of my contr…

THERE IS A TIME TO DO NOTHING TO SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS

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“Sometimes, doing nothing about the problem can be the best solution to the problem,” explained a friend of mine to me, this morning. We were discussing about a certain problem in hand that had affected some of us, including we two.  For years, the said problem was troubling us… We had done every possible thing to solve it… But, people on the other side of the problem seemed blinded by their ego and were unwilling to drop the hard stance they had taken… Despite our best efforts and intentions, the problem seemed to persist…
It was frustrating!
So, this morning, my friend tried to calm me down by saying, that there was nothing that we hadn’t done to solve the problem… So, the best thing in such situations is to ‘let go’… and ‘let God in’…
“God, I am just a human… I have done all that a human could do to solve this problem… I surrender all… I lay the problem at Thy feet and Thy will be done.”
Many do not like to take this kind of approach. “It is being weak,” they argue, “It’s a defeatist m…

ZEST IS A SMALL WORD, BUT WITH A MASSIVE MEANING

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“Everyone has to take self-care,” the gentleman said, “Others can only encourage you, remind you or try to motivate you… Finally, you have to get up and do it for yourself.”
I was commuting to my workplace in his car. “How is madam (his wife), sir?” I had enquired. She had been a highly-diabetic patient for long and been in and out of the hospital many times. Her fragile health-condition had made him strikingly aware of the need for self-care. So, he had been taking good care of his own health through regular walk and diet-control. But, when it came to his wife’s, he had not been able to get her do the same… “She simply doesn’t want to walk,” he said this morning with anguish.  He added, “When children do not live with you, you are on your own. If you do not take care of yourself, you put strain on your partner… This applies to husband and wife, both. Doctors and children can only remind you over the phone or when you meet them… At the end of the day, you need to do it for yourself.”

LEARNING TO DROP THAT MONKEY ON OUR BACK

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Almost eighty percent of stress in life can be reduced if you and I learn to concentrate on dealing with our own business. But, as typical human beings, we invite unnecessary stress in our lives by poking our noses in others’ business as well… Many of us act as if we are rescuers and saviors… We assume , that, we are sent on this earth to solve others' problems…
Are we sent here on that mission?
Solving others’ problems sounds to be an extremely a noble ideal. To some extent, it is… We are here not only for ourselves but for people around us, too. The problem of unnecessary stress comes in our life when we go overboard to fix others’ problems…
I have quoted Byron Katie many times before. In her book, ‘Loving What Is’, she reminds us, that, in life, we all tend to focus on three things: our own business, others’ business and God’s business. Hurricane, earthquakes, floods, droughts etc are God’s business. My worrying about it will not take me anywhere. If I spend too much of my energ…

BEING GRATEFUL FOR OUR SMALL MERCIES

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There are tests, but there are also small mercies.  Life tossed us up into the air, scattered us, and we all somehow found our way back. And we will do it again.
And again.
And again.
— Alexandra Bracken

The moment I focus on what is missing in my life – what I don’t have – I slip into a complaining mode. On the other hand, the moment I focus on what I still have, I slip into a grateful mode. These are the two poles of my well-being globe… When I complain, I feel unhappy… and when I am grateful, I feel happy…
Surprisingly, often, the awareness of what I still have and should be grateful for comes right in the midst of my unhappy state… My fuming and ranting lead me nowhere… I see myself in more and more turmoil as I keep grumbling more and more. So, I am amazed, often, to see how the awareness of what I still have in my life and need to be thankful for… yes, I am amazed to see how this awareness springs right as I cruise through the troubled sea of my disappointments, frustrations and s…

THE BOOTS OF A TEACHER

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Today, I had been to one of the reputed colleges in the city to conduct a programme. Though the programme was meant for teachers, I agreed with the Principal madam, when she suggested that even the students, who desired to attend it, could get the benefit of it. That was a good suggestion when I reflect on it… After all, there is a teacher in all of us… and, we should be too arrogant and ignorant to claim, that we, as teachers, have nothing to learn…
I loved being with the teachers and students, today. My emphasis was as usual: “Do whatever you do… but, do with your heart. Full heart!”
Hope, the message was taken home by teachers and students alike…
There was this one teacher… An affectionate and unassuming soul. I was told, that she was the senior-most teacher… What I immediately loved about this teacher was her sincerity and attentiveness. You can make out when you teach or talk to any group… there will always be some in the audience, young or old, who see you with kindness, affection …

THE GOOD-OLD ART OF EVENT-MANAGEMENT

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We never heard of the concept called ‘Event Management’, say two decades ago, the way we are hearing it, today. Today, every imaginable function or ceremony in man’s life - from a baby’s naming ceremony to a man’s funeral ceremony… yes, from cradle to grave - is called an ‘event’ in a professional event-manager’s lingo!
If we consider the benefits of outsourcing the ‘headache, stress and tension’ relating to our personal, social and corporate events to professional event-managers, we would never mind spending a few lakhs on it...
The art and science of event management is taught like Physics, Accountancy and Theology. Young boys and girls do MBA in this field… some, here in India, and some, abroad… yes, spending a bomb on it!
While, I find it perfectly fine and necessary, I also see with delight how school and college boys and girls, and their teachers, often, organize events in their schools and colleges… be it a function like Annual Day, Teachers’ Day, Fresher’s Day, Send-off, Seminar…
THE WILD, WAYSIDE FLOWERS
There is, always, something extra-ordinary in the wild, wayside flowers...