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Showing posts from May, 2018

THE MOON AND THE ELEPHANT LEAVE THE BARKING DOGS ALONE

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One afternoon, I heard one of our college lecturers blasting at some students in our class: “Let the dogs bark at the Moon; but, the Moon will keep shining.”
A group of students had complained to the Principal against this upright lecturer… The students wanted him to be like other lecturers; they wanted to have their way. But, the Principal, who was extremely proud of this lecturer, would not interfere… He gave a dressing-down to these boys and asked them to mend their ways. So, that afternoon, when this lecturer had come to our class, he looked at the boys point-blank, and blasted, “Let the dogs bark at the Moon; but, the Moon will keep shining.”
As the legend goes, the dogs have some weird affinity with the Moon… On a Full-Moon night, they all come out, look up at the Moon… and they keep barking…
Only the dogs know why they do it and what they want to say!
Maybe, they see the reflection of another dog – the spirit of their ancestors – in the Full Moon… Maybe, they are jealous, scared, c…

THE POWER OF STORY-TELLING

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Every great epic is a simple story, told very, very well. So, from this yardstick, Mahabharata, Ramayana, Iliad, Old and New Testament – are, first and foremost, are well-told stories, And, imagine the kind of shelf-life these stories have had and continue to have!
One reason why I loved the latest Hindi movie ‘Raazi’ is for its brilliant story-telling. It’s a traditional – time-tested – way of story-telling. As I was coming out of the theatre, after watching ’Raazi’, my mind went back to some of my favourite movies, both Hindi and English… ‘Sholay’, ‘Deewar (Yash Chopra), ‘Shakti’, ‘’Munna Bhai’ (Both), ‘3 Idiots’, ‘Lagaan’, ‘Black’, ‘Jurassic Park’, ‘Ten Commandments’, ‘Ben Hur’, ‘’Enter the Dragoon’, ‘The Sound of Music’ and many more. I had loved these movies for the way their stories were told. In fact, years later, the stories have lived in my mind…
With ‘Raazi’, young director, Meghna Gulzar, has carved a permanent place for herself in the league of master story-tellers. Yes, ac…

EVEN THE STRONGEST MEN NEED HELP

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“Depression is the inability to construct a future.”
- Rollo May
Many of us were left rattled by the news of Himanshu Roy’s death!
For the uninitiated, Himanshu Roy, 54, was a supercop. He studied in Mumbai St. Xavier's College, completed his Chartered Accountancy (CA), passed IPS exam in 1989… went on to hold many top-cop positions across Maharashtra including that of Additional Commissioner of Police, South Mumbai. He presided over several high-voltage cases… and, as fate would have it, he was sidelined into less significant operations…
Then, Cancer took over Himanshu Roy’s life… There was no way of bouncing back, after that!
Many of us would look at the magnificent personality of Himanshu Roy with envy and admiration, both. His was a rare sight to behold in the police department… He was a fitness freak – strong, tall, bold and handsome… very articulate, too… He loved the limelight. I, always, thought, that he had in him what it took to become the chief of the cops…
But, destiny had …

THE GANGTOK BOY

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I find it very amusing… Some boys and girls, while on stage, find it difficult to go beyond two or three lines… sometimes, even one! It’s a huge challenge for me to help them open up… say more, feel free and at ease. Slowly and steadily, many of them do learn to speak more and speak with ease. Well, some of them simply give up!
On the other end of the spectrum, there are those boys and girls, who find it difficult to end… They can go on and on and on… Hop from one idea to another and then to another and then to another. I have to constantly remind them to keep it short… Filter out their ideas, crystallize them into few main points and convey them well. “What is the point in saying so much when your audience is not able to recall anything from what you have said?” I remind them, “Cut it short… Say a few things, but say it well.”
Yes, slowly and steadily, many from this category, too, learn to edit their long story into a razor-sharp script. Well, some of them simply give up, too!

A twelve…

OUR POLARIZED THINKING MAKES US DUMB AND DANGEROUS

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Am I concerned about the political or social situation in our country? Am I concerned about what happens in Kashmir or on our borders? Am I concerned about what happens to our farmers, women and children?
I do not live in an island… I am a social animal… Of course, I am concerned about everything that happens around me, near and far…
But, as an individual, what can I do about the situation in Syria , North Korea or America? What can I do about the situation in my own country – Delhi, Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka or here in Maharashtra?

Late Dr. Stephen Covey, in his famous book ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’, had introduced the first habit - ‘Be Proactive’. In this chapter, he had drawn our attention to two Circles in our lives: the Circle of our Concern and the Circle of our Influence. For most of us, what happens in America, North Korea, Syria, Kashmir, Karnataka, or Uttar Pradesh – yes, all these issues fall in the Circle of our Concern. We are concerned about these i…

LETTING KARMA DO THE DIRTY WORK

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“There are two types of seeds in the mind: those that create anger, fear, frustration, jealousy, hatred and those that create love, compassion, equanimity and joy. Spirituality is germination and sprouting of the second group and transforming the first group.”
― Amit Ray


All angry people do not hate or seek revenge. Hatred and revenge come from extreme insecurity and fear. On this planet, I think, almost all of us experience and express anger in some degree or the other. But, hatred and revenge – yes, only a small segment of mankind has them.
That is a good news!
I look to my immediately surroundings… Look at the messages we receive on social media or the news reports… The stories of hate and revenge are there, but not many compared to stories of love, compassion and goodness.
Why look outside… a look inside me reveals that I have ample of anger… But, traces of hatred and revenge are almost not there. My anger hasn’t made me a cruel human being… Yes, at times, it has made me feel lonely and r…

THE GENERATION GAP

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“We didn’t have generation gap; we had a generation Grand Canyon!”
- Mary Brave Bird :

Icalled up a friend of mine, yesterday, to wish him on his 49th birthday. This friend loves to enjoy life to the fullest – good food, good drinks, good friends and all that keeps him young.
“So, 49 Not Out?” I teased him, “my wife and I will be watching ‘102 Not Out’, today.”
“That must be a good movie,” my friend exclaimed, “Do tell me how you liked it.”
“Did you watch any movie, lately?” I asked my friend.
“Don’t ask me that!” my friend quickly said.
“Why, what happened?” I was curious.
“My kids ‘forced’ me to take them to watch ‘Avengers: Infinity War’,” my friend said, “I slept through the entire movie!”
I laughed loudly!
“For once I was convinced, that the generation gap actually exists,” my friend concluded.




Exactly two years ago, one late night, my wife and I wanted to watch the Marathi blockbuster ‘Sairat’ at a multiplex in Raghuleela Mall, Vashi. The movie was running houseful even after several weeks…

REMEMBERING THE MONKEYS' FAST AND THE MARSHMALLOW EXPERIMENT

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“It's through delayed gratification that patience comes.”
― Sunday Adelaja
One of the stories on ‘Patience’ had come to me when I was a little boy, and it came in the form of a funny lesson in our early school-text. The story was titled – “Mangagala Upavasa’. Translated from Kannada, it meant ‘Monkeys’ Fast’.
Near a village temple, lived a family of monkeys. The devotees gave these monkeys lots of eatables. Monkeys were growing fatter and fatter every day. The male head of the family was concerned about this problem. One day, he heard the priest of the temple explaining to the devotees the advantage of fasting on the Ekadasi (the eleventh day of the waxing moon). Impressed, the chief called an urgent meeting of his family members. “Look, we need to do something to shed our weight,” he said, “So, we all shall be observing a day-long fast tomorrow, the Ekadasi day. We will not eat anything, particularly our most favourite food, the bananas.”
All agreed.
The following day, all monkeys sa…
THE WILD, WAYSIDE FLOWERS
There is, always, something extra-ordinary in the wild, wayside flowers...