THE ‘BUT’ IN AN APOLOGY

All of us deal from a common platform Apart from God, No One Is Perfect. The sting of imperfection is deeply rooted in us since we were conceived and its shackle accompanies us till death. Some of these infections were credited in our heredity, some are the adverse effect of our environment and some are the byproducts of our thoughts. Altogether, irrespective of the intensity of our mistakes, we human sin and hurt every now and then, so THE NEED OF APOLOGY IS INEVITABLE in our life. Usually, as our mistakes are unveiled, we apologize but it is always backed by a BUT!

“Yes, I accept, I have done wrong and I apologize for that, BUT……

While chatting with my friend, unintentionally I hurt her through some inappropriate words. As a result, she was upset on me although I never intend to hurt her. Both of us were not in a good state of mind. In the meanwhile another friend phoned me and after hearing my upset tone he enquired about me. I shared him everything in detail and he replied, Bhai (Brother), “first of all, do not defend yourself with ‘But I never intend to hurt her’, accept that you went absolutely wrong. Wear her shoes and see how much hurtful are those words. I think you need to apologize her without using your excuse word –BUT.”

Often this is our story, we apologize but with an excuse. As we have no option left to hide our sin, situationally we were forced to accept our sinful act but intentionally we don’t. We look for a defense to advocate our mistakes and by raising an excuse we just roll the dice of blame on the other person/situation and tend to gain sympathy. Do you think we have apologized?

Sir Benjamin Franklin says,

“Never ruin an apology with an excuse”

Giving excuse along with an apology does not fit to exact nature of an apology, moreover, it is an inner approval to the sin committed and is the symptom of recurrence. An excuse along with apology is the tactful defense of our Self-righteousness and antagonistic nature to correction. It is the sheer reflection of self-aggrandisation. It is such a grievous state of life where transgression is visible yet our inclination deceives us to take it for granted.

An apology is the realization of the transgression in mind, verbal confession of the transgression, a lesson to rectify the trespassing of the holistic boundary in a relationship and a humble attempt towards the restoration of the brokenness.

God says,

“Confess your sins to each other, forgive one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed.

Apology brings healing and strength to the relationship but when the BUT and IF spine it, It Won’t Work.   

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WOMAN – THE MASTERSTROKE OF GOD’S CREATION!

SHE IS WORTH FAR MORE THAN RUBIES. Her children arise and tell, “We are blessed to  be born from her womb”. Her husband says, “many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. I am sure, your beauty will fade away one-day but your godliness will ever praise. You have brought me respect, you are my dignity. The works of your hand are creative and worth to be praised in my community. In the dawn, while I am sleeping you leave your bed, kneel before God seeking grace for my family, prepare food and work hard to feed the entire family. Your kindness towards the poor and needy has always brought favour for our family in God’s sight. Your involvement and understanding my professional life brings profit to my wallet and comfort to my heart. Your counsel is full of wisdom and your lifestyle dispels the humbleness of your heart. When I sleep, the warmth and the beauty of our bed refreshes my body. YOU ARE MY CROWN!

You must be wondering, who is SHE!

She is the compiled picture I would sketch assorting the characters of those virtuous women who revealed to meHow does a woman look like!

The Bible says,

The beauty of a woman comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious to God. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”

On August 2018, I met such a lady adorned with the inner beauty and from her mouth flows the word of wisdom and kindness. It was my first meeting with her. I was quite apprehensive about her response because I knew she is very introvert, talks less, professionally affluent and very intelligent whereas I am full-on opposite to her personality. Somehow after a little bit of mental exercise, I prepared myself and reached at her place. With a smile, she opened the door, introduced me to her mom and almost spent more than 1 hour 30 minutes of discussion. Since then I have never met her but within those few precious minutes with her words and gesture displayed the character of a woman who follows God’s ways, thinks relevant and speaks words of wisdom.

Do you know who she is? She is our dear Candles online writer – Rajnandini Sahu.   

The Bible says,

“A wise woman saves for the time of famine (difficult time) in her family and her household never run out of need.”

I have a cousin. Recently, she asked me about my savings and like most of the guys, I too failed to answer her. She scolded me almost for more than an hour on phone and the way she started sharing with me about different savings policies, I thought for a while am I talking to my cousin sister or an Insurance agent! Jokes apart, I realized she was right in scolding me on that. Most of the men are very bad in saving money for the future but women are not like that. In fact, they think about the future. A father desires for her daughter’s fat wedding but it is the mother who enables the father to save for the daughter’s wedding.

The Bible says,

“She is worthy of respect and trust-worthy”

I am very reluctant to talk to anyone about my past life and failures as today it is too hard to trust anyone. After a few hours of our chat when she asked me about my past life primarily, I struggled for a few minutes with the questions – ‘Will it be wise to tell her? Suppose she breaks my trust?’ But I assured myself to trust her and since that evening, our bonding was created, we started sharing our deepest secrets and became the first person for wise counsels in each other’s life. How beautiful it is to get such a trustworthy friend! The fun part is, I call her lovingly – Sweet Barlight (Tubelight).

The Bible says,

“In her life, after the Lord comes her family.”

I came to the world and immediately occupied her place in my Mom’s bosom. Since then our catfight broke out. Until we left home and moved to Delhi and Kolkata respectively for our professional life, there has hardly been a day when we haven’t fight, pulled legs or complained about each other. Even today, when we meet on vacations, fights are mandatory but honestly, her physical absence is always deeply felt and it has taught me many things with regards to dealing and respecting a woman. Often, I offer my seat to a lady on the crowded bus thinking about my Didi (Elder sister). I feel, if I respect this lady, God will surely listen to my silent prayer and bless my Didi.

Whenever it comes to family, I have always found her sacrificing everything and she always advises me “to put family first in everything that I do”.

Think about the world without such women, how devastating it would be! Yes, it is about these women who bring completeness in our life. We tend to think and categorize women as weak, vulnerable and risk factors in our life whereas it is not the truth!

God created everything yet He didn’t find a perfect companion for man. So, He gave deep sleep to man and took one of his ribs and formed a woman. When God brought her to man, the man said, “Now it is done. This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called “WOMAN”, for she is taken out of the man.”

Yes, SHE – the Woman is our need. She is God’s Masterstroke of Creation to bring completeness, beauty and value.

Thank you, God, for HER and thanks to every woman!

“I – ME AND MY LIFE” – IS IT ABUSING FREEDOM!

Uff… How annoying are my Mom and Dad! I don’t like anyone interfering in my personal matter it’s I – Me and My life. Do I need to check with them before making friendship! I wish I could be away from home, somewhere in a big metro city, having my own space, having as much money as I can in my wallet, there will be no one to question on my lifestyle.    

Any middle-class Indian teen can easily relate to my teenage wish. It was 2016, I had recently moved to Kolkata. I came to know one guy from my hometown, who is known to me also lives in Kolkata. Several times, I tried to connect with him but always found him making some excuses for the busy schedule. Later on, one of his friends revealed me, it would be better for me to ignore him and stay away from his mess. His flat was not in the condition that any gentleman can stick there for a few minutes. After a few months, I came to know that he lost his job and had moved to our hometown.

During his college days, he was one of the most handsome looking guys in his group, financially quite sound and had studied from one of most prestigious schools But Now has lost health, unemployed and running out of money. He is a drug addict and lives an absconding life.   

“Freedom is destroyed not only by its retraction; it is also devastated by its abuse” – Dr. Ravi Zacharias

Freedom of will is indispensable and gives worth to every individual but it doesn’t give us the license of absoluteness. Freedom is always within the fence. But as we ignore the fence we misinterpret the definition freedom as “ABSOLUTE”. By doing it we abuse our freedom, considering it as an approval for anything and everything.

The Bible says,

“You say, “I am allowed to do anything” – BUT NOT everything is good for you.

You say, “I am allowed to do anything” – BUT NOT everything is beneficial”.

One of the common slogans of our generation is “Speed thrills but never kills”. Gearing beyond the speed limit is a thrilling experience and a smart work of hitting destination before time. Speed is freedom to enjoy the ride but gearing beyond the speed limit is jeopardizing our own life and our co-riders life. We can never deny the truth that, our life is not only hooked to our individualism. Our family’s life – our friend’s life – our community’s life is keenly weaved to the strands of our lifestyle.

An extramarital affair will not only devastate an individual’s personal life but moreover, it devastates his spouse’s life, it risks his family reputation and corrupts his community’s morality. Abusing freedom by understanding it as absolute is jeopardizing the sacred right of self and others.

The Bible says,

“No one should seek his own good, but the good of others”

By abusing freedom I traverse the moral and ethical boundaries of mine and others as well. As the end product of this violation, the enmity is created and we are tagged with all kinds of disgraceful identities and our life becomes a burden for self and to others.

God has created every individual for a unique purpose and a reflective splendor of him but by abusing freedom we create enmity with God and others.

The Bible says,

“It is because of your debauched life you are alienated from God and become the enemies of God in your mind.”

Let’s not abuse our freedom but fear God and shun evil!

ROBOT – I WANT THEM MORE

Satisfaction in the Magnificence of Human Mind

It was a winter evening, I was in Shibuya, Tokyo and I went to Henna Café. I was wondering as I waited for the Manager to come so that I can order for a cup of coffee but I find no one around. Suddenly, Barista turned to me and said, “Good evening Sir, Welcome to Henna Café”

Me: (Yelling…) Manager… Manager…
An unknown man from behind: Yes Sir, I am the owner of this Café. Don’t worry.
Owner: Sir, this is Robot Barista to help you.
Owner: Barista, Sir is our foreign guest, please take good care of him.
Barista: Sir, What do you like to have?
Me: One Café Latte.
Barista: Okay Sir, can you please wait for a minute.
Me: Okay. Here is 320 yen.
(In a few minutes, Barista came with a cup of Café Latte and a Forbes magazine)
Barista: Excuse me, Sir, here is your Café Latte. Have a good time!
Me: (in a fearful tone) Okay… okay.
While having Coffee the Owner from the corner table walked to my table and asked, Excuse me, Sir, How is Coffee?
Me: (in a very comfortable tone) Oh, it’s quite rich and tastes awesome!
Owner: Thank you, Sir. Are you new in the town?
Me: Yes, I’m an Indian and have come here for some work.
Owner: Oh…Indian! Very nice people. I love India.
Me: Thank you. If you don’t mind can I ask you a question?
Owner: Yes Sir, Please feel free.
Me: Why you do not have any human staff? Why Robot?
Owner: Sir, One robot is equal to four human staffs… Moreover, I have Robots to do all our works because I believe this way we can be more productive and can serve better coffee at a reasonable price.
Me: Wow… that’s a great idea! By the way, can I touch your Robot? Oops, I mean Barista…
Owner: (laughingly…) sure, Sir, you can.
Barista: (with a thank you card), Thank you, Sir, Please visit us again.
Me: (grinning), Thank you, Barista.
I touched Barista’s head and found it doesn’t give electric shock like my steam iron. Again I touched his hand…wow, it doesn’t give electric shock at all. Let me shake hand with him and see. 

Blue lights blinked on Barista’s eyes and he said, happy to meet you, Sir.

Wow…what a sophisticated imagination!

It was just my imagination but that is what happens in many Elite Cafés, Hospitals, Homes, Restaurants, Institutions, and majorly the I.T. Offices. Probably, in another couple of decades, we all will have our personal robots in our homes and offices just like we have smartphones today. The world with Robotic technology is wonderful and can lead us to INTELLIGENCE and PRODUCTIVITY.

Isn’t so amazing to see the magnificence of the human mind! A few days back I came to know our scientists have already invented robots which can be used by humans for copulation. That’s so bizarre. Yet, the human doesn’t want to leave any stone unturned in making our lifestyle More Sophisticated – More Enjoyable – More Affluent.

We human are hooked by the ultimatum – “THE MORE”. Satisfaction has become the ultimate pursuit of our life. The finitude of our human strength smells us like rotten eggs.

WHEREAS, The Bible says,

“As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.”

God created humanity in His own image but He has also bounded him with finite wisdom and strength. Let’s enjoy life in its finitude instead of trying to fill the bottomless pit – SATISFACTION OF HUMAN HEART.

WHY DO I FAIL TO ACHIEVE MY DREAM?

Since my childhood, I had the dream to become an Architecture. Whenever I find any huge and modern infrastructure, I stare at it, even today I do that. Almost every other day my dad scolded me for stealing pins, paper clips and staple pins from his work desk and using them for the designing of my cardboard houses. After school and at free hours I used to spend time working on it. Modern infrastructures have always marveled me. Then, whenever any elderly person questioned me what do you want to become, my answer was “I want to be an Architecture”.

My three childhood dreams were – Will build huge modern buildings, will go for a cruise journey and my first international destination will be Thailand to see white elephants and then to The States. Though in the course of time I didn’t become an architecture but my first International flight was to Bangkok and Chiang Mai; hope the cruise one will fulfill someday.  

In our life, every day we dream colourful dreams and make fancy wishes. When a black shiny Lamborghini overtakes, we peep-out from our SUV and silently whisper within, “I wish I had”. At times we find attractive couples on road and silently urge “Aww…they are ‘Made for Each Other’, wish I have”. We visit our Elite friend house, we see his luxurious four-bed apartment and starts dreaming for such a posh apartment. Though we don’t need such an apartment still we either think about it or do everything on earth to get it. Alas… often much of our dreams never fulfill and we start cursing our life on earth.

We dream colourful dreams and always strive to bring it to reality. And, it is good! Even before a child takes birth his parents start dreaming about his future. They say (especially the fathers) my son will be an engineer, my son will be a doctor, so on and so forth. Yet sometimes we find our dreams won’t go our way and we start regretting.

Here the biggest question arises – WHY DO I FAIL TO ACHIEVE MY DREAM?

IS IT WRONG TO DREAM BIG?

No, not at all! In fact, it is our dream that generates the passion in our heart to achieve it. It is that passion which excites us even to go through many trials to achieve our dream. But often this passion and eagerness for the achievement of our dreams become uncontrollable. We start compromising with our ethics and morals. Finally, we had to pay a HIGH PRICE!

The Bible says,

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked.

A man reaps what he SOWS…”

THE REFLECTION OF LOVE

My faded wrist watch – the letter from my friend – a particular Ten rupee note – Nokia 1200 basic phone – hand-made woolen Doll – my broken Acer laptop – a torn English Bible and my collection of books. Yes, these are some of the things on earth, I love the most and would never like to share with anyone. I would never hesitate to tag them #myproperty! Especially, the wristwatch, the letter and the ten rupee note.

It’s been 6yrs, I love to wear the same old faded watch every day, though I have two other brand – new more expensive watches. It is the first gift I received at my first workplace. At times, I won’t hesitate to take 5/- loan from someone rather than spending that particular 10/- note in my wallet because it is a gift from someone!

One of the principles I adopted in my life is – NEVER COMPROMISE WITH YOUR GIFTS. Because the gift is always the expression of our love for someone and LOVE is the greatest of all godly characters.

God loves us & has engraved His love on our hearts to reflect it through our life on earth. In one line, “WE ARE THE LOVE LETTERS OF GOD”.   

On 2nd January evening, my friend’s grandmother gifted me a small hand-made woolen doll which she made for me and said, ‘Son, I don’t know whether I will be alive to see your kids, this is a small gift for your first child. Please accept it and remember me’. The doll she gifted may not look that fancy like the toys from Hamleys store but the LOVE, the EMOTIONS and her THOUGHTS for me wrapped in the doll is heavenly. I will never forget that emotional moment, the smile of her face, the love sparkling through her eyes and her words for me, they are honest and beautiful.       

One of my secret hobbies is the collection and storing of memories. Often, when I feel lonely I browse those lifeless pieces of stuff, I see the pictures of my family and my two best friends and read our old chat histories. Lifeless things are often the reflection of love and relationship we have with someone. It not only reflects their love but also reminds us to LOVE them despite all hurts.

We express our love once but the memory reflects it eternally!

REFLECTION ON CELEBRATION

My favourite month of the year is ‘December & January’ because it’s Christmas and my Birthday! The December advent smells me Carols, Christmas lights, Cakes and Sweets, Shopping, Family get-together, a series of marriage parties, Christmas Night ride, Fun and Hang-out with friends. Moreover, ‘It’s time to get a lot of gifts’. Sadly, What-to-do now! It’s all over, yet to wait another 309 days.

Uff… wish these 309 days would pass away overnight!

Through-out the year, we work hard and saves for our Festivals and Celebrations. In my research I found, the minimum expenditure of a family for a small religious festival is at least Rs. 10,000/-  and for an average Urban marriage function, it is 15–20 lakh. According to the Reliance money research, the Indian wedding industry accounts for over Rs. 1,00,000 crores and it is growing at a rapid rate of 25-30% each year. But at the end of every event, someone’s punch line would be – ‘Oh, it’s nothing worth comparing to my colleague Mr. Dixit’s ring ceremony!

With the advent of 2019, the New Year night road accident statistic increased to 71%. In every Indian city, at least 5-6 young people below the age of 35 die in the road accident. On 2nd January 2019, India Today reported, UP guzzles down 50 lakh liters of alcohol on New Year’s Eve! To be more specific, 18 lakh bottles of IMFL were sold and 23 lakh bottles of Beer were sold, in JUST AN EVENING!

These staggering statistics triggers us to one question,

WHAT IS THIS CELEBRATION ALL ABOUT?
WHERE DO OUR CELEBRATIONS LEAD US?

The celebration is a gathering of people which DEFINES a Definite Reason. It is an opportune time to Include people in our happiness, Interact with them more significantly and Convey our Love for them. The joy we share with others precipitates good wishes, blessings, and gifts.

I have received many expensive gifts from my family and friends in my life yet, for me the most priceless birthday gift I have ever received was in a piece of paper – A beautiful poem was written by my most beloved friend. I still treasure it in my wallet and carry it everywhere I go. It is just a piece of paper but the emotions, the love and the feelings it reflects are true and sacred.

Celebration and Gifts strengthen the bonding of our relationships. It reaffirms the JOY – SACREDNESS – SACRIFICIAL LOVE we have for them. The greatest evidence of it is – “God loved mankind and gave His only begotten Son, whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life”.

What do our Celebrations and Gifts reflect today?

Keep thinking…