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Showing posts from 2018

THE SUN HAS SET... BUT, BY THE SHADOW OF THE STARS, THEY WILL FIND THEIR WAY

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If you do not know where Mangalapuram is, let me help you: it’s Mangalore, now called Mangaluru… Magala Uru, which, in Kannada means ‘Daughter’s place’. Anyway, friends from Kerala, always, called it - and they continue to call it - as ‘Mangalapuram’. We are immediate neighbours… a lot of spill-over! Mangalore is so full of Keralites… They run so many businesses - from hotels to recruitment agencies… They work in every sphere – in hospitals as doctors, nurses and technicians… in offices as mangers and clerks… in schools and colleges as students and teachers. St. Aloysius College, where I studied, had hundreds of Malayalee students and scores of teachers, both in school and college. They belonged to all communities – Hindu, Muslim and Christian. But, the amazing thing about them was: they spoke only one language – Malayalam. The language bound them so much, that their religious affiliation dissolved when it came to observing festivals like Onam, Eid and Christmas. It’s a lovely culture…

AS WE STAND ON OUR OWN FEET AND WALK WITH OUR HEADS HELD HIGH

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Some of my dear friends share their birthdays with our nation’s. They, always, feel proud and privileged about it… and it is understandable. So, whenever I wish them, I have to wish on two counts: on their birthday and on our nation’s as well.
But, what if one was born on the midnight of 15th August, 1947… Yes, what a special feeling that must be!
I have one such person – my aunt, Cecelia. She is one of the sweetest souls in our family, now settled in Chennai.
Aunt Cecelia studied Nursing from Kasturba Medical and Nursing College at Manipal. She used to spend many of her week-ends at our place in Mangalore. My dad, who had a raw talent for singing, was crazy about Konkani traditional-songs, which were known as ‘Mando’. As he hadn’t studied, he would make Aunt Cecelia write down those lyrics… He would sing and she would write!
Today, when I reflect on it, I smile… He wanted those amazing songs to be documented!
Dad is long gone… and the songs, which aunt Cecelia documented for him, are …

IS NOT EVERY INCH OF LAND WE OWN, AND EVERY BREATH WE TAKE, GOD'S OWN?

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“Times will change for the better when you change.” 
― Maxwell Maltz

A friend of mine and his family had planned to visit Kerala on a short trip. They were to leave today evening. I asked him, “Is it safe to travel at this point of time? The images and the reports are scary.”
“We are evaluating whether to go or not,” my friend replied.
At the time I was communicating with my friends, a certain anxiety of mine was weighing me down.
“What may happen?” is the constant question that weighs us down when we are anxious about our future. Despite all my positive thinking, I know, that my immunity level against anxiety is quite low… I become anxious, quickly… I get into depressing thoughts... I worry. But, fortunately, this cycle passes. And, once this entire cycle is over, I shed off my anxiety and march on…
“Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future,” Kahlil Gibran says, “but from wanting to control it.”
The friend of mine, who I spoke about at the outset in this Post, is one of t…

THE FRUITS OF THE SEEDS WE SOW TODAY

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Many of us have heard this story… An elderly man is sowing seeds of a fruit tree… His little grandchild asks him, “Grandpa, how many years will it take for these seeds to become trees and give us fruits?”
“At least ten,” the grandfather tells.
“But, grandpa, you are too old, already… You will not be there when the fruits come,” says the innocent child.
“Yes my sweetheart, I won’t be there when the fruits come,” says the grandfather pulling his little grandchild close to him, “I am sowing these seeds for you!”
Many a time, this image of the man and his little grandchild does appear before me… Every time when I think of my elderly mom or in-laws, the same image does appear… Every time I watch grandparents and parents doing so much for their little ones, the same image does appear before me…
We are humans, and we I are ‘selfish’ by our very nature… We earn and we shine essentially for ourselves. But, then, somewhere along our pursuit, we all realize, that there is this extension to all of u…

OUR DIFFERENCES CANNOT DIVIDE US... UNLESS

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“Even God doesn't propose to judge a man till his last days, why should you and I?” 
― Dale Carnegie
Of the hundreds of things that we get to watch on social media, particularly FB, I long to watch the most are… the videos of little babies and pets! Wow, how clean, warm and enriching they are! The more I watch them, the more I get connected to the baby within me – my core… my innocence… that clean, affectionate and trusting space within my soul…
And, then, on the same screen, I, also, get to watch hundreds of videos - of debates, news items, propaganda stories – which clearly cut me off from that clean space within… In seconds, I can feel within my soul that heaviness, that discomfort… and, I wonder where it comes from… I see myself disconnected… Mind taking sides… I can sense within me the bias, the prejudice, and, importantly, I can easily trace my words, actions and behaviour which stem from that space…
Am I a prejudiced person?
Yes, I am.

THEY ARE BORN SHY... BUT, NOT DESTINED TO BE

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“Hi Sir,” It was my student, the 17-year-old Namita*. She was a shy girl and rarely texted me, unless it was something important and urgent. So, seeing this crypt ‘Hi Sir’ message, I replied to her, “Hi Namita, want to say something?”
“Yes Sir,” Namita replied, “I read (your) today’s Blog. It’s so deep and amazing… It makes me write again.”
I was curious when I read what the young one was saying, “It makes me write again”.
I wrote, “Namita, why do you say ‘It makes me write again’?”
“Sir, I used to write in a private book,” explained the young girl, “but, my parents confiscated it!”
“HaHa… They must’ve got scared!” I teased the young one, “But, jokes apart, if your heart wants to express through writing, you should listen to your heart, and write.”

Writing our notes, literally, means baring our soul. I have been writing – I still call them my ‘scribblings’ – since I was this young girl’s age, 17. And, I remember why I started doing it: I was extremely shy in public, so full of self-doubts,…

WHERE IS THE THICKET? GONE... WHERE IS THE EAGLE? GONE

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Early in the morning, today, I had a very delightful – rather painful - sight from my kitchen window…  A family of monkeys – small ones and big ones - was busy climbing down (slipping through the drainage pipes) from the terrace of one of the buildings in the next compound. Visibly, they wanted food… So, they stretched their hands inside the kitchens (through the windows) and took whatever they could get… Obviously, till the people inside the houses came with sticks and shooed the monkeys away. But, the monkeys, being monkeys, kept hopping from one building to another… All that they needed was some food to eat!
Some twenty years ago, when our family came to live in this area, it was a virgin place. There was nothing around here…Some locals grew vegetables, and, for miles and miles, one could see only the lush-green trees and hills. Our builder had first invaded this place and built our five buildings… We had difficulty even to reach this place. In a few years, the entire map has change…

INVISIBLE THREADS ARE THE STRONGEST TIES

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“We are all so much together, but, we are all dying of loneliness.”
-  Albert Schweitzer


Two days ago, on the ‘International Friendship Day’, we all exchanged, frantically, hundreds of messages. Frankly, that was all shallow, not even skin-deep. It’s just like the Good-morning and Good-night messages… just like the Christmas, Diwali, Eid and all other festive messages… We just don’t need those ‘cosmetic’ and 'wholesale' messages to wish our near and dear ones - people who matter in our lives - as to how much we remember them… Often, the tone of our voice, the depth of our words, the affection and bond packed in the silent, distant ‘presence’ - yes, these are enough.
Need we call our spouses, ten times a day, to prove how much we remember them? 
Need we go on the mountain-top and express our love and gratitude to our parents? 
And, what about our devotion to God? We have never met Him, and never will… Yes, in no way, we can 'contact' Him personally... Yet, we can feel incred…
THE WILD, WAYSIDE FLOWERS
There is, always, something extra-ordinary in the wild, wayside flowers...