There is something beautiful about a blank canvas, the nothingness of the beginning that is so simple and breathtakingly pure. It’s the paint that changes its meaning and the hand that creates the story. Every piece begins the same, but in the end they are all uniquely different.”
Have you wondered the reason behind us visiting temples , Gurudwaras , churches or any religious place ? Why do we seek blessings ?
Yes We all will agree that we seek blessings because we want to have a blessed life . Sometimes we seek materialistic desires , many times we want our unfulfilled wishes to be granted by almighty.
As Bhagwad Gita says , “All of them–As they surrender unto Me–I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Partha [Arjuna].”
We are all tiny parts of that infinite energy , when we pray we pay our allegiance to the Divine. With a thankful heart we pray for his blessings . Seeking happiness and love is not only inward but an outward process too. The sentiments which flow from us has the power to attract all the positive energy from the Universe.
A heart free of vices and brimming with love has the power to accomplish the impossible. Praying with a heart which is devoid of any malice has the power to mend the most complicated relations.
I always go to this beautiful place for Praying . If you would have stayed in Bangalore , you can probably recognize this. Make a guess and share your views. I am a very patient listener.
Dear Dad ,
The first thing which I remember while writing this is how You used to make us write letters to Baba/Nanaji ( Grandfathers) asking us to describe our school result or some place we had visited recently . I and Neha ( my younger sister) always used to resent that thinking ( Oh , not again ) but somehow you never used to excuse us.
Now I realize that because of that habit I am able to express myself , write poetry , conduct book reviews and do so many more things which I could not have done without you reinforcing that .
You were always an epitome of hard work , sincerity and humanity for us . And though many times I never express myself , today I will make an exception and let you know how you have always inspired us to be a little better every day.
From you I have learnt to love unconditionally and give freely . When you are not bounded by your narrow beliefs , you start living a life which is full of warmth and kindness. Your life is a true example of that. Not every life is extraordinary but there are always extraordinary moments in every life. You have always stood for your family and your friends.
From you I have learnt to give selflessly to others and not expect anything in return . Your zeal for learning new things still inspire me and I am awed by the fact how you still tell us extraordinary happenings in our society with a childlike enthusiasm. I can never match up your zeal for learning new things in my life.
I still remember how we used to take our books and start studying when we used to hear the sound of your scooter entering the apartment building. And you used to always smile after seeing how we three were absorbed in studying . Now you know the truth , please don’t scold us.
I still make an effort to impress you because somehow you had taught us to do better than what we are.
Because of you I have learnt that it is ok to be ordinary but not okay if we don’t give our best. I still cannot match your steps while walking . I still huff and pant while walking behind you.
You are the pillar of strength , hard work and love for us all ( Me and my cousins). I always feel so proud that You are my Dad . And hopefully one day I will make you proud ..
You have always been my biggest hero, Daddy
Lots of love ( Always )
This post I am writing after a long time, almost after two months. Its crazy how we loose count of time when you are between your loved ones. The kiddo’s summer vacation gave me an opportunity to travel to my native , to the cities of Dhanbad and Patna . This time we had decided to travel by train. A journey especially a train journey helps you to experience the social fabric of our country , the changing economic scenario which influence the habits of the people.
I was a keen observer this time , soaking the experience . Both to and fro tickets between Kolkata to Bangalore was booked in Dorontho train . We don’t have a direct train to Dhanbad so I need to change the train in Kolkata , but the connectivity between Kolkata and Dhanbad is really good with plenty of options throughout the day.
My son is a very inquisitive child and loves to talk . While going to kolkata , our co passengers were two elderly couples , well educated . My son mingled with them in no time. The whole journey was pleasant . We exchanged food , stories and even email ids. My son was sitting with them most of the time and I think they had also developed an instant liking for him. He also indulged in playing games with them . And somehow the liveliness in my compartment made the journey smooth and unforgettable. There was lot of humility in both the couples ,who were in late 50’s or maybe 60’s .
Any society reflects the struggle of its country and gives a good picture of how the country has evolved since last few decades. This holds true for India too. I see a behavioural pattern between our generation , our parents and the next generation. During our parent’s time when our country was very new ,just consolidating herself , the life of that generation also reflects the same struggle. I hear stories from my parents how resources were limited and they had to share everything with their siblings . Sometimes they had to really work hard for even their school uniform . Every need was earned , things were shared and a lot of value was attached with any material object . It was passed on to many generations until it was unusable .
Our generation was little more fortunate where we hardly had to struggle for anything . But we used to share our toys , books and even some party wear. The families were still joint and toys/cloths were happily rotated among the growing children. But the current generation has everything on platter. whatever they want , everything come with a click of mouse. This trend is good or bad will take another blog post. But somehow a degree of arrogance has crept in this generation.
This was well reflected while on my return journey . Our seating arrangement was not in the same coupe . I requested a young person who was travelling single but he very arrogantly refused . There was another couple travelling with a small child. And they were uncouth to say the least. Flashing their gadgets , they behaved as if they have descended from another world . We were shuttling between our seats and as soon as they got the opportunity , they shoved our luggage at another place without even taking a permission from us . There was another middle aged couple in the other compartment where our seats were located and they kept behaving as if they are newly weds. They always closed the curtain which made it difficult to move around. They were having their own businesses and you can easily classify them as they-feel-they-are-uber-rich.
There is a saying “Empty barrels make the most noise ” It holds true for people also , despite the age or material possessions, people who don’t have any substance are like those empty vessels . On the contrary some of the most simple people I have met who are highly successful are calm and unpretentious. Humbleness and humanity are rare qualities nowadays and Journeys help me to unravel that they are becoming dearer in this materialistic world. If you are reading this , its my request that be a little more considerate with your fellow human beings , a kind act always has a noble effect . What you give back to others, comes back to you in some or the other form.
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One of my school junior had shared this video and I could not help noticing that the video talks about life and happiness . Ted videos are very motivating as they have speakers from all walks of life who have battled all kind of circumstances in their lives to be a person of substance.
The speaker, Robert Waldinger who happens to be an American Psychiatrist talks about one of the longest study done in Harvard University on adult happiness. The study was done for 75 years on 724 people from different walks of life . Some of the people on whom the studies were done are nonagenarian , some have passed . Some people lead a very normal life and some rose to very high echelons of society . But the finding was really surprising . Everybody at the young age craved to be rich and famous . But the people who remained healthy are the people who had more stronger ties with families , friends and their social network. People who led a socially fulfilling life were more healthier , more alert in the old age.
What does it imply ? Life is all about sharing and caring . And our happiness is not dependent on swanky cars , palatial homes but the warmth and love which we have in our homes. Sometimes people are so bogged down by their ego that they forget that everything is transient .
If you are in abusive relationship , the earlier you come out of it the better it is for your wellbeing . Don’t just keep hanging there for petty gains . Walk out once and for all .
We don’t realize that Life is not about winning/losing but living it up fully despite the odds/setbacks which life throw at us. Work is just a very small part of our existence. People who have ego and eyes brightened by success actually lead a very hollow life. If your work or I should say your existence cannot bring a smile to a needy child or if you do not have empathy for people around you , your health also deteriorates slowly and you are on the path of annihilation.
The mantra of good living is inner joy and happiness and that comes only with human touch. Be thoughtful , laugh often ,be sympathetic towards your family and friends . Forgive and move on . The happiness in your life is multiplied manifold when you lend a helping hand to people around you , a kind ear to a friend in need. Spend quality time with your family and friends , give back to society by participating in community events , have empathy and compassion for people around you
I go often to conduct skill building workshops for children and youth for people who come from the lower sections of society , children of labourers and daily wage earners , who cannot afford good education. And believe me the amount of satisfaction which I experience when I see their smiling, contented faces is indescribable. Life is not about how many moments you live but moments which made someone’s life worth while.
Today is International Women’s day , celebrating the essence of being woman. My whatsapp , Facebook was jammed with messages congratulating the celebration of being woman. Yes it does feel nice when you read good things about your tribe.
But then I wonder what about the other 364 days in the calendar .Does one day celebration of Womanhood gives you the right to subjugate her for the rest of year?
Why as a wife you are always expected to cook , clean and take care of the house ? As a daughter you are asked to obey the rules what your father / brother would lay for you ? As a sister you are always escorted to your activity classes or even to the tuition centre ?
Why we don’t have the freedom to choose the career we want to take ? Why always the beaten line of doctor/ engineer ? Why you are coerced to marry at a certain age ?Why we cannot be singers, actors or dancers ?
Why we have different rules for the boys and girls in the house ? Why we are raised with such thought process that as girls we cannot do certain things?
I am not a feminist and neither I glorify womanhood . But I wonder if we cannot change our attitude toward the women in our lives what does one day of celebration will do to make their lives better.
There are countless stories of horror which happened just few days before in the world around us , Women being pulled and raped in Haryana . In Syria and other countries the plight of women is beyond horrible . The women are traded as you trade other commodities . They are sold , bought not fed for days and are forced to do all kind of manual jobs . If that’s not enough they are raped repeatedly , even kept in jails naked . This situation is not only prevalent in Syria , any country where there is unrest , the crime against women increases manifold. This was a finding done by one of the top agency of UNO.
I was reading a cover story featured in one of the very reputed magazine. It was a heart-breaking story from one of the little known town from United kingdom where almost from each house there was a woman who has been facing mental and physical abuse from the caretaker and the man of the house . These English girls are hired from small towns and poor families who cannot fed for themselves. They are underfed , asked to do all kind of manual work , physically and sexually abused . The story was gory and each of these young girls was suffering silently in pain. If this is the plight of an entire town , what will be its future ?
There can never be a perfect world , perhaps it is too far fetched, too Utopian to even think about it but one change in thought can bring a change in Someone’s life .Don’t make decisions for your wife ,lover , sister or daughter. Ask her what she wants , how she would like to shape her life. Just because she is not physically superior than the man counterpart , you cannot make a decision for her that she cannot travel alone or go for a movie alone. Men and Women are not born to be equal but that does not imply that women cannot take their decisions on their own . A society is always known by the fact how beautifully/tenderly they treat their women , that fact heralds the real progress of the country.
Before you wish your wife , daughter , sister and your friend a “Happy Women’s day ” do ask a question to yourself did you judge her or underestimated her just because she is women ?This question might be piercing ,but it will change someone’s life for good and that will be the true celebration of Womanhood…
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Valentine’s day just passed by . With such mammoth marketing , even an orang-utan now knows that is the day where you go on your knees down and proclaim love for your dream boy/girl .The newspapers , media everywhere is flooded with heart shaped balloons and advertisement asking you to take for helicopter ride , candle-light dinner and what not.
Is it really Love ? A boy meets a girl and their hearts melt and slowly they are wedded in bliss . My dear that’s nothing but our raging hormones and nature’s own way to proliferate. The intrinsic character of Nature is to grow. And hence the biology of animals and homosapiens is shaped like a way that they desire to copulate and we confuse it with eternal love.
In my journey till now I have discovered my own definition of love . That definition may not be perfect but surely I have deciphered my own nuances of love.Love is not object dependent .It is only about you , about your own existence , being comfortable in your skin and accepting yourself .In the tribulations of life we are sometimes so engaged that we forget about ourselves and self loathing starts creeping in .When you accept your flaws then only you can love yourself . And when you love yourself , you can love others. If you cannot love yourself you can never love others. But sometimes people love themselves so much that they forget about others . That is nothing but pride , ego and arrogance. Where there is love , there is never any ego.True love asks for sacrifice of ego.
Love is a state of bliss , a state where you are so ensconced that anybody who comes near you get the whiff of that fragrance. . I an a big follower of Sadhguru , his philosophy and his teachings. In one of his discourse he explains that you can be in love with a tree or a stone too. When you want something in return that is not love but transaction. If you are in love with yourself a feeling of compassion comes in . That itself is s beautiful . Love and compassion are two ingredients that make our life worth living for , devoid of this we will turn into animals. Love is our intrinsic nature , we need to cultivate that , this can only help us to transcend and enter the realm of Godliness. I truly believe that in such tumultuous times , the world needs more lovers and healers . Lovers who transcend the boundaries of religion , country and caste . What are your thoughts on love ? Have you discovered its eternal side ? I would love to hear your side of story too….
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Yes these are the words which comes to your mind when you look at her . So did your mind went all bonkers about which actress/Celebrity I am talking about . Nah…Actually not.. But they are even more beautiful … And their charm never fades… Once you make them part of their lives , they will stay forever with you.. These are the beautiful hand made wooden vases , toys , candle stands and other useful artefacts from Chennapatna.
Chennapatna is a small town on the Bangalore Mysore highway . It is known for lacquerware wooden artefacts which include votive , vases , wooden toys , curtain rings , coasters and many other useful artefacts which we use in our day to day life . The artisans has been provided lathe machines and other equipments from the government of Karnataka . It is just amazing to see how a piece of wood is converted into a piece of art with their skilled hands . These artisans work hard in not very comfortable condition just to provide for their family and kids . Their whole body was covered with the dust generated from these lathe machines.
A handmade product is not only beautiful but an array of emotions and sweat goes in making that product . So , when you buy a handmade product you are actually buying a piece of their life , a piece of their emotions. In Artsgali we aim to build a platform which aim to showcase these unique and traditional forms of art which has been part of our legacy from many generations. These products are Indigenous and MADE IN INDIA. These are not produced in assembly lines with a thousand replicas but each one of this is touched and moulded in a piece of art with bare hands.
We spend so much money in malls eating and buying stuff which are overpriced but will bargain for few rupees from an artist who works day and night to make pieces of great artistry and imagination. Seeing it and experiencing the pain and hardship which these craftsmen take to build these artefacts , my heart is filled with pride and compassion . Our country India is not just another country but many countries in one and each traditional art tells an unique story about our heritage. To preserve this , the onus rests entirely on us.
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It was a bloodless revolution today or should I say just the start of revolution . The bellandur constituency which pays 100-crore of taxes every year to the state government has pathetic infrastructure . The roads ridden with potholes , overflowing drains , no pathways for pedestrians. In case if you are trying to cross the junction, you end up inhaling at least a bucket of CO2 and playing Snake and ladders with Yamraj . Yes my dear it is terrifying just to cross and come to the other side of Road.
Do we really deserve such pathetic infrastructure ? As informed citizens what we can do to garner the attention of Government . Social media and a desire to bring a change can help at least to a thundering start. Today was one such day . The procession which was completely coordinated on Facebook and Whatsapp saw people coming from all the adjoining apartments in an exemplary way. People planned their day around this Event with even school children joining directly from Schools. The energy was invigorating and palpable .
There was a group of people from the adjoining villages with Dhol , Nagara . And it was humbling to see people getting united and demanding better infrastructure . With the shout of ” No Road , No Tax” the whole atmosphere was infectious with positivity . The desire to bring a change, coupled with consisted efforts can always help if you are ready to come out of your comfort zone. Either we can keep complaining about the state of affairs or can do our bit by participating as a community. Every little effort makes us more closer to the cause .
By the time I am finishing this post , there has been some positive outcomes. The first ever meeting was held with a State minister and his entire department( BBMP , BDA) which involved many citizens from the community to understand the challenges and prospective solutions . Yes it will take some time and may be stupendous effort but we have started after all . We have a long way to go and may be future involves more protests and struggles , but we all know “A journey of thousand miles start with a single step”
If this post has inspired to do your bit please leave a comment on the post and I will connect you to the group of Sarjapura Volunteers (Whatsapp and FB group) who are working relentlessly for a better neighbourhood . Don’t forget We have a long legacy to leave for our Children. So ACT NOW , in this case we even don’t have the option to REGRET LATER.
It was Sunday Noon , all are in brooding mood at home . The Son busy playing with his new toy , a remote controlled aircraft he got from his aunt. And I am contemplating to finish all the daily Chores so that I can start working on the new project.
And hubby has gone to the market to get some groceries and a hair cut. In the meantime Son rushes to me , ” Maa, Can I have a sizzling desert in the night ?” With twinkling eyes he looks at me affectionately with his puppy look. This look mostly melts the most unyielding hearts.
I try not to relent . And then he sheepishly comes and sashays behind me as the most coyish calf on the town , “Maa I will finish all my work , study for the test and will help you to clean the table also” Trying to hide my smile , I tease him , ” I don’t know how to make a sizzling desert” . And he replies back , “But you have a magical kitchen ”
I cannot help smiling back. I tease him , “Do you know what to put in your sizzling desert ? “And he says nonchalantly , “Put whatever you want but don’t forget to put lot of chocolate sauce on the plate . And You need to heat the plate first.
And Voila the magical kitchen produced the most scrumptious desert . Magically the desert also disappeared in few minutes though I managed to grab few spoons 🙂
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