2017 Musings


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Doggy Tale……On my way to the gym sat a dog, he was obstructing my way to the gym. Foggy early morning, he just slept there and didn’t budge much,  he wagged his tail and then he looked up and his eyes almost said..what are you doing here? go back to sleep. The wagging of the tail told me that he is a friendly dog and I have passed him on my way to a work out in the past. But today was different, today he was just in the middle of the path and I had cross over him and I was afraid that he might bite me….Another gym enthusiast came to my rescue and we crossed over him….others too had to walk over the dog. Unlike us the dog was least interested to move, he was enjoying the warmth of the ground and the winter chill.

Selfie Narcissist Time —- its always felt that selfie is more a millennial thing, absolutely wrong. Gen Y & Gen X is equally indulging in this craze. I was walking down the road and seen a guy on the bike, he stopped his bike and started taking a selfie, it looked so hilarious J. Frankly I don’t understand the selfie craze. You can see groups of people or singles either pouting, putting on a funny face, or adjusting their phone and clicking a pic. These people forget the company & freinds they have the with and are busy clicking pictures of themselves to upload on social media.

Garam Chai – Sipping a tea in a Udipi joint I look around, the place looks empty. Its not time for business yet. Then a guy in shorts could easily be passed off as a delivery boy sat at the adjoining table, took out a local language newpaper and started reading. One look and I am thinking,,, doing time pass will drink a tea and go off. Then another person entered restaurant and set across at another table, he was a serious kind of a person and into his phone. The waiter went to him with the Menu card – he just looked up at the waiter (Angry Young man)– cold stare, no words from his lips. I thought how rude if he didn’t want to order anything he can just say it. Alas how wrong were my impressions of both these individuals. The waiter placed food at the newspaper guys table- a complete meal. In a few minutes the waiter kept some idli before the angry young man. All this while I was looking at them but had no clue when and how they placed the order. I realized that perception built within minutes can be incorrect.

Joyce Meyer – Story of the prodigal son where the younger son is sulking when there is feasting when the elder son returns home. This hatred was not built in a day, it built up over a number of years and manifested in unhappiness on the feast prepared for his brother.

Life Truth. Forgiveness is not a feeling but an action, so don’t wait for the feeling to forgive, just forgive and let the feeling catch up.

Rickety Ride: A road leading to a very posh locality will finally be made up. Currently in no man lands, thousands of vehicles ply via this road on a daily basis. Yet no one was willing to take responsibility to construct and maintain the road. Finally there are signs and unconfirmed statements that the road will be constructed and commuters can have a peace of mind to reach their destinations without any major injuries.  Roughly over month ago-some mountain stones were offloaded on the path, and still continue to remain in their heap. Iron barriers and the unofficial toll is now taken away. Where there is a will there is a way. So hopefully the upcoming elections prompt the authorities to complete the much needed road in quick time.

There’s a Thunder in the wind


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There is a thunder in the wind…

It’s pouring cats and dogs

But I wonder where are the frogs?

Slashing rains everywhere

It just feels that the rains just don’t care

 

The rains have made everything afresh

There is the smell of the mud

But there is a worry of the flood..

There is Greenery everywhere

And there are potholes here and there

 

Its wonderful to have the rains….

It’s been raining throughout the night

And my my the rains are not light

There’s water everywhere

People are stuck here and there…

 

The roof is leaking tip tip tip….

I don’t know how dry to keep

Thunder tells me it’s not over yet

I wonder what happens to your pet

Its lightning that I am afraid of

And wish I could make it go like puff…

 

Its rainy season so I can’t complain

It will and has to rain…

Yes I do love the rains

But sometimes it adds to peoples pains

 

I have decided to enjoy the weather

watch birds clean their feather.

Sail some paper boats

Enjoy some coffee and toast…

I will look for the rainbow

for now I will watch the rain show…

But for now there is a thunder in the wind…

Leaving on a Jet Plane..


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Laila drove down the drive way. It was a rainy day..as she was driving down the road she noticed an old man sitting at the bus top. It was raining heavily and he had no covering or sheets to protect himself. Just another beggar she said to herself. It was a long day at work. She parked the car in the garage and headed home. There was no one at home as usual and why would there be…she lived alone…she was single and no close family other than a brother so stayed in another city.

After keeping her stuff on the sofa Laila showered and changed into her home clothes. She wondered what she should have for food, she had been having a lot of junk food in the past few days’ courtesy a lot of client visits. But today she wanted to settle for a little Indian but she was too tired to cook something lavish. Thanks for convenient food, she began heating a paratha and some ready to eat frozen chicken. While she was preparing to eat she looked out the window. She saw the old man sitting there.. the rains had not subsided in fact it had only increased with more ferocity. Laila felt sorry, for the man and on an impulse picked the food in front of her and walked out of the house with an umbrella. Before she knew it she walked across the road to the man and offered him some food. The man looked famished he took the food and just gobbled it..she just looked at him and then she did something very absurd. “ Why don’t you come with me? I just stay across the road, you are all drenched, you can leave once the rain subsides”

She helped the old man to her house.. and he stood in the corner all drenched almost afraid that he may spoil anything in the house. She realized this discomfort and said.. “come this way “and led him to a room…”here are some clothes why don’t you change into something warm and then we see if there is anything more to eat”.. and she walked out of the room closing the door behind her…She went in the kitchen made some noodles. On opening the door she heard the old man snoring…he was sleeping peacefully. Laila closed the door and went to her room and slept off.

The next morning she showered brewed some tea, switched on the TV to watch some headlines. As usual there was the known face of the new anchor who was demanding answers to irrelevant questions from all irritating panelists. It was until she was leaving for the day is when she remembered about the old man. There had been virtually no sound. She peeped into the room.. there he was still asleep. She kept some tea in a flask with some rusks alongside and quickly scribbled something on a note and kept it by his bedside.

On her way to work she was wondering what had come over her, she invited a complete stranger into her home and now have left him in the house with no supervision and she was not worried at all. Laila spent the whole day moving from one client meeting to another by the time she got done it was late night. As usual she drove home and parked her car in the regular spot. She was not sure what to expect now that she had returned home. Was her house robbed, turned upside down…was he still there or had he left.

She opened the door and there was the old man smiling at her.it just warmed her heart and she smiled back. “Hi, I am Laila”.Hello” he said.. she realized that this is the first time he had spoken. He had a deep voice. “My name is Ben. Thank You for last night.. when I got up today it was quite late and I saw your note but couldn’t leave without saying Thank You.”

“So why don’t you join me for dinner, I am just going to fix something for myself and I could do with some company”. He had a twinkle in his and eye and said “sure”. Laila walked into the kitchen and there was sumptuous smell of food and she looked in the dishes there were 2 freshly cooked dishes. She was shocked…Ben said….. “I am sorry that I intruded into your kitchen but I thought this was the best way I could say thank You..this is the only thing I know best”….Laila didn’t know what to say…they took the food to the dining table and sat quietly for a few minutes…”Ben the food is delicious I have not had such tasty food for a long time…So where are you from and where do you stay”…Ben looked up…here and there….Laila was puzzled.” what do you do”…..”this and that”….he replied….then he heaved a deep breath…”I used to be a chef in my restaurant….had a family but lost everything in the Tsunami. Ever since I have been working here and there” they kept talking through the night. By the time they realized the time it was very late. As Ben got ready to leave almost on cue it started raining heavily. “Where are you headed” Laila asked, “Don’t know” Ben replied. Almost instantly Laila replied, “Why don’t you stay here. You can stay in the room ,that used to belong to my brother he doesn’t live here anymore so you can stay until you get a stable job & a place to stay”. Ben was unsure, Laila persuaded him in the end.

Next day Laila got up to a wonderful aroma of coffee..She got up and saw that Ben was up and preparing breakfast. Laila felt foolish, “Good Morn Ben, sorry looks like I overslept again…so lets see what we shall have for breakfast”t. Ben chuckled. “Laila breakfast is almost ready, why don’t you freshen up and we can have breakfast together.” Laila was stunned here is a man a complete stranger 2 days ago almost behaving as though he has been around and has known her for ages. A stranger who she completely trusted and was ok to have him in the house. From that day on the routine had changed, Laila would go to work and Ben took charge of the house. Something else changed, Laila looked forward to come home and relax. Every evening she made sure she was back home while there was still light. She and Ben would go out for a walk in the park, jog, ride a cycle. On the weekends it was either garden plantation, replenishment of home supplies or community services. On one such occasion – Ben told her” You know Laila, when I am helping these families as part of community service I am really helping myself. It alleviates the pain of missing my family. Someone somewhere is probably taking care of them. I tried everything I could to search them but couldn’t find them. If they are alive I will meet them some day. If not, me being alive is not a coincidence the purpose of my life is exactly this that I help others so they can help themselves When I feed, clothe or share a laughter with the destitute I do so for my inner peace.”

So Laila and Ben continued to enjoy and cherish their new found friendship. At work Laila was a changed woman she was more forthcoming and warm but very clear of her work life balance and protected her self-time. She looked forward to her time with Ben and the activities especially gardening and house repairing. Laila’s life had a new meaning…

It was close to a year and life continued its beautiful hew. One weekend Laila woke up late and she felt emptiness. The coffee aroma was strong, she jumped out of bed got onto her feet and walked hastily to Ben’s room and her worst fears came true. The bed was made, the blinds were drawn and there was no sign of life. She moved to the other rooms to the shower…and finally ran out into the garden but he was gone. Laila felt lost, she devastated and didn’t know what to do. He dint have a mobile contact or any other address. She quickly started calling places where she though Ben could be, starting with the community service center, Laundry, garden tools, supermarket. She then rushed in her car to check all over the neighborhood. Had something happened to Ben, was he hurt, did he just leave, why did he leave. She was trying to remember the conversation from the previous night, but everything was a blur, she couldn’t focus. She then turned the car towards home.

Laila opened the door and was hoping that Ben was back. But it was not to be, she knew in her heart that he was gone. She had a sinking feeling and dull ache in her heart. She just couldn’t understand the wave of emotions that she was going through.

They were just 2 strangers she had extended her hand and helped a homeless stay in her house. Their relationship had deepened, there were not lover’s coz both of them had never felt like that for each other. It was just a relationship based on humanity and care. That’s it, so why did Laila feel the pain, she knew this was bound to happen at some point.

The next day Laila accepted the fact that Ben had left and he was not coming back. She went about doing her chores. That’s when she realized that even though he missed Ben he had taught her a new way of life. Everything around her had a new meaning she was more aware of the surroundings. She had a vacuum in life which only she could fill. She remembered Ben’s words of helping other and having a new meaning to life. Help others and move on.

Ben came into her life for a reason. In the one year they spent together….Laila had learnt that you cannot give what you do not have. She had to heal her life, forgive and let go of her past life. She had to love & appreciate herself in order to love and appreciate others. She had to have the courage of letting others in her life even if it meant that she would get hurt. Even if she did get hurt she should forgive herself and the other person and go on in life. Ben had taught her a beautiful lesson in life without preaching or talking about it, he simply showed her by example. Yes she missed him but now she was a happier person and continued all the activities that they did together. She expanded her friends circle, community service was her prime focus. She also was always on the lookout to help someone. She had to empty herself before she let anyone in…She had finally let her guards down, all walls were broken. She was willing to give life a second chance. Ben taught her that one can live life alone with nothing to live for but she could enjoy life by sharing it with others. It’s easier to go through lives ups and downs when you have people to share them with….You have to be independent enough but not isolate yourself with the word and everything around it. Laila now lives life to the fullest enjoying everything that it has to offer.

Don’t Quit – Be Resilient!


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You are resilient” someone told me. I looked at the person and thought what does that mean. … While I understood what it meant, I still felt an inner need to look up the meaning. So I looked up the meaning of Resilience. This is what I found,

  1. (of a substance or object) able to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed.
  2. (of a person or animal) able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.

strong, tough, hardy; quick to recover, quick to bounce back, buoyant, difficult to keep down, irrepressible; adaptable, flexible

Adjective: resilient

All of us grow in life, we have our share of ups and downs, some traumatic situations, some difficult moments including depression. But how we respond to the situation is the key to being resilient.

You are resilient” the words echoed in my head….am I really resilient; I asked myself or am I just accepting life as it comes and procrastinating everything else.

This person had no idea of what I have been through in life, other than what they could see or what I had told them. They had no understanding of the experiences that I had and they were not be able to fathom what life meant to me.

I pondered and reflected on different phases in my life. There were high, some lows, there were some successes some losses. It did not mean that I didn’t experience pain, loss, anxiety or stress. It simply meant that I went through the emotions and at some point came to terms with the circumstance and decide to be in control and do something about it.

Resilience is all about attitude and the response to a situation. I have grown by leaps and bounds while in the valley. When we are at the mountain top, the view is beautiful but when you go through the valley it can get painful, but my experiences have taught me how to navigate through the valleys so I can climb another mountain and enjoy the scenic beauty. It’s not about the adverse event but its more about the character you build as you respond to the situation.

Resilience can be developed unlike other traits this is something we can develop and even prepare ourselves like we do in combat.

The below aspects were very helpful as I built my resilience over the years

  1. Connect with the internal – Spiritual
  2. Connect with the external – the world
  3. Close circle of relations – family, friends
  4. Positive thoughts and attitude – Where the mind goes there the man follows.
  5. Meaning of self – Purpose of life
  6. Helping others
  7. Developing a creativity for venting out
  8. Physical Well being

As I read about resilience I was very intrigued by it. I was very surprised to find out the amount of research that has gone into the subject. I always felt, it does not matter to anyone if you are resilient or not. One has to see the big picture, be strategic in order to be successful or just go with the flow of life. But I now realize, how wrong I was…. There is a lot of research on the subject where it’s related to the new buzz word GRIT (Growth, Resilience, Integrity and Tenacity)

As I googled information on Resilience I came across this Resilience shop site and was amazed with the kind of services they had to offer. Starting from an online survey which tells your resilience score to other offerings of coach and other related programs. Some research group has also created a Resilience grid. A simple word but has created so much interest

Organizations, community and society at large do need people to be resilient, if people are not resilient than we are an extinct species.

Life is the best teacher. I may not always be at the mountain top, but I have learnt how to enjoy my journey while in the valley and in the plains. Life is a journey and I have learnt to enjoy each destination. It’s a reminder that if you have gone through that then you can go through anything. You need to understand that you don’t have to live life as a victim because God has created us to be a victor and not a victim. We should not compromise for less when we can inherit the best. Don’t give up when we are so close to victory.

It’s been years when I first seen this quote in a very unlikely office (a government office – where you would least expect this to be hosted on a wall). It’s been one of those quotes which has been inspirational to me Don’t Quit

Believe in yourself and don’t quit….No matter where its barren a dream is born……

No Matter What They Tell Us

It’s your Choice


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So much has been written about My choice video by Deepika Padukone in the past few days..While I held myself from writing or commenting on it.. I cannot hold myself any longer…

There are a few aspects of the video that I don’t agree on (coming from a more traditional background).. but there are some parts that I think makes sense.While Deepika may have agreed to do the video with all good intent to propagate women choices.. I think it has taken a different spin and has received mixed feedback…What will all the spoofs…Dog videos, maid video and the more serious stuff Deepika Bhardwaj video….

Well yes I agree my choice does matter..but does that mean that I shouldn’t care about the implications on others as a result of my choice…Deepika P version was trying to show women in a more bold light,trying to influence women to be more decisive and not be ashamed of their decisions. I think everyone has a choice and everyone should exercise their choice but should also consider their implications.

It shouldn’t  be like, you are angry with someone and you want to hit the daylights out of them so you make a choice to beat them to death.

I would use the analogy of stretch your hands enough but ensure that you are not hitting the other person as a result of the stretching.

Last when I checked the definitions of Choice were;

Choice involves mentally making a decisionjudging the merits of multiple options and selecting one or more of them. One can make a choice between imagined options (“what would I do if …?”) or between real options followed by the corresponding action.

Something that is preferred or preferable to others; the best part of something:

The right, power, or opportunity to choose; option:

With the definition of my choice being only a selfish interest could harm the society and human existence. We have made such a hue and cry on the Nirbhaya case, where the person arrested has no regrets for what he has done.  Imagine if a Guy says it’s my choice to rape someone. We will have similar instances across as everyone will be saying it’s “My Choice”

I wonder what the defense Lawyer in Nirbhaya’s case would have to say about this video. His ridiculous statements about women were appalling in the India’s daughter documentary. It goes to show how women are treated by some strata of society and that there is so much to do if we have to empower women.

I like the intensity in the Deepika P video, but I think there is still a lot to be done with regards to women empowerment. What the video has done though, is that it has got people talking about women choices by either supporting the video or showing their dislike but atleast the discussions are now more open.

In addition with creating an awareness among women, there is an increasing need for creating an awareness amongst other. A women herself does not treat another women with respect that is due. There is work to be done in our own backyard before we cast the net wide……

I like the version of choice depicted in the movie Dangerous Minds. That’s the kind of choice that everyone should be thinking about…

In the movie, Michelle Pfeiffer challenges her students, and tells them that they have a choice. No matter how dire their situation is, they have a choice and can make a difference. Not choosing to do something or not to act is a choice in itself.

This beautiful song, Firework by Kate Perry sums up everything for me..

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?
Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
Like a house of cards, one blow from caving in?……..

……………………………………………….

…………………………………………………..

Baby, you’re a firework
Come on, let your colours burst
Make ’em go, “Aah, aah, aah”
You’re gonna leave ’em all in awe, awe, awe………………………..

Naariyal Paniwala


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In this city of hustle bustle.. It’s very rare that you get a quaint spot in the city…As I was walking down some unknown path I came across a “Nariyal Paaniwala” (coconut water seller)

Here he was standing with his cart with coconuts…..he was not the old fashioned lungi style, but more of a modern Nariyal Panniwala…his cart was parked in a corner..it was blazing hot, with sharp sun rays hitting the eyes..but his spot was almost untouched by the sun.. A very strategic location..and it was very welcoming….he was surrounded by a few customers..he gradually met each of the customers needs,, giving them the kind of coconut they ordered.. He was a young chap in his early 20’s has to be a Madarasi..it was not about his facial character but really the expertise with how he skinned the coconuts, cleaned the cream inside and was really customer friendly…It was easy to start a conversation with him..his answers were simple..nonpolitical..and he didnt have to choose his words to speak..he was not looking to appease the customers..as normal vendors do..he was just simple in speech… I cant explain in words..but the experience just hit the root and reminded me of humility..

Looking at the way he handled his work, it appeared that his fore fathers may have been in the same business, but then again I could be wrong.. either way..he was proud of what he was doing and he was satisfied..He didnt have a care in the world..I was reminded of the song from the old Agneepath movie..(I am Naariyal paniwala)

Time had stopped as I was sipping on the coconut water..listening to the birds chirping..and a stray rickshaw honking in the background…

 


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Do you have a Barnabas, Silas and a Timothy in your life…..

 

I recently heard this question “Do you have a Barnabas, Silas and Timothy in your life”.. and it got me thinking…Yeah you got that correct..ok let me explain this a little more…we are all surrounded by different people in life,each of them are there for a reason…but who are these people who are surrounding you?. Do they mean anything to you or you to them?….

Barnabas is a mentor….is there a mentor in your life..someone who you look up to…someone who you admire, someone who can direct you in the correct direction when you wander off your path…someone you can learn from and always adds to your life and enriching it in a very positive way!

We often speak about Mentors very loosely…but really these friends, Managers, relatives, professors whoever they are play a very important role in shaping our lives because sometimes things will not get done if they don’t provide the correct guidance to us…and sometimes we need to lean on their experiences and advice…

Silas..is that person in your life who is your trusted friend and is always there by your side come rain, storm or a sunny day, someone with whom you can share a  gentle smile, a hearty laugh..or have a conversation even when you share a silence togather…This person is not a fair weather friend but is someone who stands by your side at all times….Silas will scold you when you are wrong, will wipe your tear when the chips are down, will join you in your craziness (in a good way)…

Lastly do you have a Timothy in your life? more often than no we have Mentors and are even able to have Silas in our life but don’t have a Timothy in our life!!!..Do we give something to someone else..do we care and share our knowledge? Are we in turn a Barnabas in someone else’s life…are willing to give freely what we got from others..

Who do you have in your life???….Think about it!!!!!..if we have a Barnabas, a Silas and a Timothy in our lives this world will be a better place!!!!