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Showing posts from February, 2018

THE SEED OF CHARITY

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Many years ago, I was teaching a group (five) of T.Y. B.Com students. It was a late-night batch (9:30 to 10:30) and it was held at the bungalow belonging to one of the students. Akhil* was one of the five. He turned up to class, every night, straight from the workshop where he worked during the day; often, with his greasy hands. It was he who would drop me home on his motor bike after the class, every night… We remained good friends, ever since.
I always knew that Akhil would come up in life as a self-made successful young-man. He did. My admiration for Akhil rose a few notches higher, when, one day, he came up to me and said, “Sir, I wish to help a couple of needy students by meeting their education cost. I also wish to sponsor a couple of deserving students, every year, for P.D. Programme of THE DAWN CLUB.” He added, “On the condition that they should not know about me!”
It is more than twenty years now. Akhil has been, religiously, helping. Every year, a couple of deserving students…

THOSE WHO MAKE US LAUGH MAKE THIS WORLD A BETTER PLACE

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“Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.” - Peter Ustinov
When I was a school boy (St. Aloysius), there was no Television in our country. Our school had a small auditorium, where, every now and then, they used to show us a nice English film, mostly a comedy. My favourites were Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Buster Keaton. They were all B & W films. All Charlie Chaplin films used to be without dialogues. There was only one theatre in our hometown, Mangalore, which showed English films. I don’t remember watching a single film over there till I landed in college… There was no money to watch. Thus, we kids made the most of every film shown to us in school.
Now, almost fifty years later, thanks to the internet boom – particularly the Social Media – we get to watch many of those old English comedies (or their best scenes) on our mobile and computer screens. Every night, before going to bed, I make it a point to watch some funny scenes from Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy and Buster …

THOSE EXAM WARRIORS AND THAT FIRE IN THE BELLY

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As a student, both in school and college, I was always scared of my exams. Obviously, I did badly in all my exams. Somewhere in my S.Y. B.Com, I had decided to enjoy studying and leave my exams alone… I wasn’t keen on preparing for exams… I was only keen – in fact, obsessed – to ‘discover’ more and more and more!
Planning for exams, trying to excel in them, needs the right ‘exam-cracking’ mindset. I did not possess one. I just wanted to ‘express’ myself well… and, teaching became the medium… and, the subjects I taught just happened to be  there…
So, for nearly four decades of my teaching, I have never ever asked a single student of mine, “How much did you score in your exams?” I don’t even keep a track of their exam dates… I don’t hold the typical ‘Tests’ and ‘Test series’… I do not like to correct papers and declare marks… All these are assumed to be so essential and typical of all ‘coaching’ system…
May be…
But, I tell my students, and I stick to it: “Enjoy the subjects… Love them… …

"HAMESHA DER KAR DETA HOON MAIN"

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Around 11, last night, an uncle of mine called up. As we go off to sleep early these days, my uncle’s call had woken me up from my sleep. “Hello Gerry, we are in Goa on a short vacation,” my uncle said, “We are staying with a cousin of my wife. Their hospitality reminded me of you… I was telling them about you, and I just felt like saying a ‘Thank you’… Sorry for this late-hour call. But, I couldn’t hold it back!”
Recently, my uncle and his wife had been to our hometown, Mangalore, after fifty-five years. His wife, a Goan, had never been to Mangalore. So, a few weeks ago, when I had to go with my family to attend my nephew’s wedding in Mangalore, my uncle expressed his desire to touch base… meet up with all his relatives and fulfill one of aunt’s wishes, too… Yes, before it was too late to do that (They are in their late seventies, you see.). Thus, I, along with my brothers, went an extra-mile to make this trip of our uncle and aunt a memorable experience for them.
Late last night, uncl…

SOLVE IT, LEAVE IT OR LIVE WITH IT

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“It was my letting go that gave me a better hold.” 
― Chris Matakas,

Our attachments breed fear… the fear of losing what we are attached to.
We are attached to our people… We fear we may lose them.
We are attached to our wealth… We fear we may lose it.  
We are attached to our fame, reputation and position… We fear we may lose them.
We are attached to our physical beauty… We fear we may lose it, one day.
We are attached to our ideas, beliefs and opinions…  We fear we may be proved wrong.
Yes, right from our looks, public opinion, people, wealth and ideologies, we are attached to everything in our lives. There is an inherent fear of losing in attachments.
Fear exists, as Jiddu Krishnamurti says, only in relationships… In every relationship.  The relationships are our attachments. When we ‘see’ this truth… that our attachments bring fear - and, thereby anxiety, worry, sorrow, guilt, anger, jealousy, and hatred – that very ‘seeing’ brings our ‘freeing’. Peace.
That ‘choiceless awareness’ is a…

“SULTAN BANNE KE LIYAI… GARDAN OR IRADAY DONO MAZBOOT HONAY CHAHEYAI”

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A week ago, a working mother called me up from her office. “Sir, this is regarding my son who is pursuing Marine Engineering. His Captain (trainer) has given a report saying that he (son) needs to build his self-confidence, interpersonal and communication skills. Can you help him?”
The next day, the mother and son appeared in my office. Son had come directly from his institute and looked smart in this white sailor’s uniform.  We discussed the issue for over 40 minutes. I could quickly gather this: the mother had been over protective and over anxious all through the years. She had been taking decisions for her son for every little thing. The young man, as I expected, kept a little quiet in the start. But, encouraged by my simple and straight approach, he began to open up. The speech, initially, was just a mumble… I helped him with it… Soon, he was speaking clearly with his jaws widely open, slow and controlled…
The speech wasn’t the problem… English fluency wasn’t the problem… The love …

SELLING MIRRORS IN THE CITY OF THE BLIND

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“I laugh when I hear that the fish in the water is thirsty. I laugh when I hear that people go on pilgrimage to find God.”
- Kabir

There is a universal human weakness – and it dates back to the days of fallen civilizations – and it is: to place people on pedestal and trying to be smothered by them, feel loved and protected in their company… worship them as mentors, heroes,  gurus, Mahagurus and Satgurus… Make these mortals larger-than-life cut-outs, worship them as flawless, pure and give one’s all…
And, then, ‘take’ everything from them blindly as divine… Give everything to them blindly…
Eventually, what happens is:  one more dangerous bondage… What was supposed to free you now becomes a new prison…
It’s sad to see this happen!
This room, where I am writing this Post, has no image of any deity. I have no image of any Guru or Master around me… My question is: “Am I not able to feel close to Almighty God?  How does it matter if I say ‘Thank you Lord’ or “Lord have mercy on me’ from here or…

OUR SOULS AT NIGHT

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Many of you must have already read a touching Post on social media about Ritesh Batra’s (Remember his movie ‘Lunch Box’?) English movie, ‘Our Souls at Night’. In fact, I first heard about this movie, some weeks ago, when this Post began to do rounds on social media. Since then, several people have sent me this Post…
It’s a lovely Post capturing the beautiful old-age romance of Addie (Jane Fonda), a widow, and Louis Waters (Robert Redford), a widower. The story is about how these two, who are in their seventies, and who live alone in their respective houses opposite each other’s, decide to spend their time – particularly nights – together. Addie, one fine day, rings Louis’s doorbell and makes the first move: “Would you mind coming over to my place to sleep with me… Just to do away the loneliness?”







Even in a so-called ‘open society’ like America, such an idea sounds outrageous and scandalous. But, Addie is honest and confident… She isn’t worried about what people would say. But, Louis is…

IF YOU WANT SOLUTIONS...

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“Always think in terms of solutions. Focusing on the problems usually gives us more of them.” 
― Sam Owen
If Life has problems, Life also has solutions. Put
THE WILD, WAYSIDE FLOWERS
There is, always, something extra-ordinary in the wild, wayside flowers...