ARE YOU ADAPTING OR FORCED LIVING?

Modification of an organism or its parts that makes it more fit for existence under the conditions of its environmenta heritable physical or behavioral trait that serves a specific function and improves an organism’s fitness or survival.

merriam-webster

The adaption chapter in school text book used to be my favourite when I was a kid. I used to enjoy studying about the animals and birds who try their best to adapt to the situation or environment they are in. And those who are successful in the process of adaptation survive and live on, but the others face death.

Isn’t it the same way about us who try to fit in a social setup, a family, a college, a workplace? We try to get accustomed or adapted to the rules, the way of living and thinking of the people in that setup. And after a certain period of time, we become one of them. Sometimes it works the other way around. The individual who comes into a group of people influences so much they get adapted to his or her ways. Whichever way it is, adaptation brings peace and harmony.

On the other hand, when we try to force ourselves to fit into a group or family or gathering either we struggle to continue for sometime or simply quit. When we don’t have the desire to adapt we can’t adapt. When we can’t adapt, we force and pretend. At some point of time, we even rebel against our given environment or situation. Life becomes really tough for the person resisting to adapt.

That’s why Jennifer Guttman Psy.D. says rightly, “Adaptation is a natural next step in personal growth.

Most common example that I can give is about a newly wed bride who comes to a new family. The quicker she mingles or adapts in the family, the easier it becomes for her to live amidst them. Though adaptation should happen both ways. Frictions are inevitable when we interact with one another, but there won’t be any conflicts if there’re people adapting to each other quickly.

There are a few quick symptom trackers to analyse a person adapting or force living. A person who finds it easy to take a NO from the other person, he or she is adaptable or adapting. But when he or she makes a fuss out of it is not ready to adapt or accept the situation around him or her. If it continues for over a period, he or she leads her/his life forcibly. Insecurity, grumbling and complaining are major indicators of a person force-living instead of adapting in a family or workplace or any other social group. Force-living always brings unhappiness and frustration but adaption brings togetherness and ownership.

A word of caution before I end this article: Always try to get adapted to things that are positive, good and godly because adapting to evil is quicker and dangerous.

So friends! Are you adapting well or struggling and force-living? Keep pondering…

Stay blessed!

HOW TO MOVE AHEAD WHEN THERE’RE NEGATIVE COMMENTS ALL AROUND?

People, mostly those who are associated with us in some way or the other pull us down in our life. A random stranger will never do that to us without having a valid reason and when someone we know does that, feels all the more pathetic.

There are three major ways how they treat us to pull us down or be an obstacle on our way to proceed ahead. I call them The ‘S’ Treatments.

Silence: Have you ever gone to your boss and asked him something that you have planned and waited for his response for hours? Later you are made to understand that you have been turned down by him. He used Silent Treatment on you to display his disapproval of your proposal. I don’t know these behaviors of the bosses are prevalent in the corporate sector or not but in small organizations, it is very common. I have gone through it a number of times when I was working.

Even I have this experience at my own home. My elders simply avoid or change the topic or stay silent till I lose my patience of waiting for a YES or NO. It literally kills your spirit.

Sarcasm: Comments or remarks like: “Oh, she will definitely top the class this year” for a girl who is an average student; “He earns so much that we need not work anymore” for a man who’s still searching for a job are called sarcastic comments or sarcasm. Sarcasm has never helped or built anyone. It has only hurt, degraded, and made people angry. And mostly our own family members, our friends, and colleagues use sarcasm to pull us down.

I always share this incident of my life with all. My Nanaji (Maternal grandfather) reacted when I wanted to buy a guitar and learn when I was a kid. He said, “Will you be a bandwala?” And today I can compose songs but I don’t know how to play a single musical instrument. He succeeded to stop me that day and I failed to move ahead. He was a very loving grandfather, he just had this prejudice about musicians.

Sentimental: This is the more dreaded weapon our elders use against us, to stop us. “If you step out from this house, you will never see my face again.” Have you ever heard such emotional or sentimental statements made by your parents? Maybe the above statement was too filmy but there are many such examples that we know that stop us from moving ahead or doing things our way.

At times, we face all three treatments applied against us at different points of time. People try their best to be a hindrance.

In my life, in certain instances, I have let them succeed in their mission of stopping me from doing something that I had ever wanted. But in other cases, I just did what I had to do and felt like doing. If I introspect and retrospect all those instances together, I regret thinking “Why did I let them stop me?” Definitely, we can’t predict our life but when we wanted to do something good in life, we should not be suppressed by these ‘S’ treatments.

Remember, we can defuse the effects of this Three ‘S’ Treatment with another ‘S’ Treatment from our side. And that’s called, “STANDING FIRM“. Standing Firm on our decision doesn’t mean that we will have to be rude, rebellious, and arrogant. We can stand firm humbly as well. Our this attitude will definitely let a person speak out if he is silent, stop him to be sarcastic for long and soften his heart to accept our decision at the end.

EMOTIONS AND IMAGINATIONS HAVE NO LANGUAGE

I grew up in a very cosy and loving atmosphere at home or wherever I stayed during my childhood till I became an adult. I had a very little scope to go out and play or travel. And that made me more observant about people’s behaviour and their perceptions towards different things in life. Gradually, I became a daydreamer and quite imaginative.

But I remember clearly that I was not good at writing till I passed 6th standard. I was very bad in literature. Explanation Writing of a sentence, a stanza of a poem or a passage was the most difficult part for me. I remember, we used to buy guide books for our help in those days. And I started to read these pre-formatted Explanation Writing passages. It piqued my interest one fine day. And I started to imagine, tried to get into what the writer is saying. Lo and behold, I became a master of Explanation Writing. I scored high in Oriya (Sahitya) in my Seventh Board exam. And I never looked back.

I faced another problem when I grew up to be an adult. I was miserable in English. But imaginations and thinking don’t need and see language. I have already stepped into ‘a writer zone’ as I used to write poems and articles in Oriya. I have been published here and there as well. But I had a desire that I learn English and write in English as well.

I remember, I wrote a letter to my best friend, Binod in English for the first time. As he could not have read Oriya, I had to write it in English. Guess what? It was after my graduation. And I was still struggling to write something in English.

My passion to write, express what I feel and imagine made me a writer today. And my favourite genres are “life reflections” and “autobiographical” mostly. I don’t know whether they can be called as genres but I do write or I can say, I enjoy writing articles or poems when I reflect on a certain life conditions or situations or when it is about events and incidents of my life. I can say, emotions are the ingredients mainly when I cook a delicacy using my words. I am good at it.

I so wish if we could have written more articles on this topic so that we could have found a varied discussion on different genres. Because I and Kalpana have almost very similar interest when it comes to writing something.

One thing I would say as I close this article that… emotions, imaginations and dreams have no language boundaries. And language should not limit our emotions, imaginations and dreams. We should always be ready to express or weave something out of our imaginations in whichever language we can without hesitation.

Stay Blessed!

SHAVING OFF MY DARK-UGLY-LOOKING HAIR

All that I have done in my life were mostly need-based rather than for fun and pleasure. And on the 29th of the last month, I sat down to trim my hair and I went on to shave them till I was almost bald. As I looked at my dark and ugly-looking hair falling on the newspaper, a thought came to my mind. 

How often do we tend to tread the path of sickness, suffering, and sinfulness in a particular time period of our life? The preconceived, the preoccupied, the presumed thoughts, ideas, and prejudices we tend to gather as we walk. These thoughts or ideas either turn us into persons having a closed mindset or judgmental. Neither it helps us on a personal note nor solves the purpose of our creation, that is being an instrument for God towards the fellow human.

So what should we do? How should we help ourselves to be more useful for the sole purpose of our creation? My answer to this question is – GO THROUGH A PROCESS OF UNLEARNING.

Unlearning every thought that tells me I am better than others, unlearning the prejudice I have that people should revolve around me, unlearning the very idea of I should stay self-sufficient without bothering about what is happening in my neighborhood. The days have changed after the onset of the Pandemic. And it is high time that we get rid of this mindset of revolving around our own set rules for life.

When I look at my completely shaven head today, I see a blank slate of my life and feel happy that I am ready to learn afresh without having any preoccupied ideas or prejudices about people and their life. As new hair starts growing on my head, I will learn things that are new and something very different than what I have never experienced before in life. And I know, I need to unlearn from all that I have previously before being active on what I want to do afresh this year onward.

How about you? Are you ready to shave off and unlearn along with me? Then don’t have second thoughts to it, just do it.

Stay Blessed!!!

The beautiful picture that we see today is the one we started drawing it a few days ago.

(Nandini, Kalpana Vogeti’s daughter sketched this beautiful flower)

SETTLING DOWN WITH P4

Transitions are inevitable in life. And I actually love to go through them, experiencing new flavours in life. I am not a person who enjoys routine. I always have enjoyed something new in life. But when these transitions are difficult and painful, I definitely look for quick restoration from them.

Deciding to leave Kolkata this year was as historical and important in my life as deciding to live there in the year 2001. Everyone was as shocked as me when they or even I realized I am back in my native place.

Cuttack, my native place is way different now than how it was 20 years back. I was not unaware of it as every year I used to visit home but I was unaware of the feeling to be here for a lifetime, living after a long gap. It took almost 3 months to adjust to the conditions of my native place, my home. But while settling down I got sick with a disease that was very painful. I had never endured so much physical pain even for my cardiac issues. Recovering from it was what I wanted so desperately almost 30 days before.

Exactly 30 days before I was invited by my former boss (who is my uncle as well) to teach Accounts and Accountability in one of the training programs of the organization where I was working a few months ago. The training was in Bhubaneswar. I had to travel 30 odd kilometres from Cuttack to Bhubaneswar for the same. I made necessary arrangements for the day and sat down to prepare my presentation as well as the materials that I wanted to hand over to the participants. During that time, I still had the pain but you won’t believe as I started preparing for the training, I felt better.

The day came and I taught what I was supposed to teach. I came back in the evening and thanked God for the opportunity and grace that He provided for the whole day. I was kind of feeling bored of my new life after suffering for two months here. But after that training program, I started to feel better and better each passing day. As I look back now, I feel so relieved that I don’t endure that pain anymore.

But, in the following days, I sat down and started listing out, what I have to do and what I have to leave permanently. We do get easily carried away with things around us and forget to prioritize between the most important with the lesser important ones. Eventually, I had to cut off a lot of things that I love to do against achieving the most important ones in life.

I arrived at FOUR goals. Lovingly, I call them P4, after a lot of Planning and Praying during the last one month’s time. And I am going to share them with you as under:

  • PEOPLE: I have always said, that I am a people person. I love crowds; being with them as well as interacting with them. But I have to have certain DO’s and DON’T’s while being with people. I made it a point that I won’t be in a place where I am not contributing to the core needs of people around me. For example, if I have to be on Facebook or Instagram for people and connect to them, then I have to make sure I am contributing to their lives, their needs. If I am not seeing the opportunity to add value to their lives then I must take a step back. So, I will be focussing on teaching, counseling, and listening to people instead of doing anything else catering to my own needs.    
  • PUBLISH: I have a lot of things to publish for the same reason – People. Motivating and inspiring them through my articles and poems, which I have been doing it past many years. But I need to grow from just writing as a blogger to becoming a published author. Not that I want to have a name but I want to inspire and motivate people in a better way by publishing my books. I have been procrastinating on this matter for such a long time, but not anymore. I will have to do it very soon.
  • PROCLAMATION: What I proclaim through my words and deeds is my identity and who I am today. I proclaim God’s eternal love through my saviour Jesus Christ. If I can’t love people as they are and in the way God loves them, then my life is futile. This is an integral part of who the person Chiradeep is. And without this proclamation, I am null and void. So, I will be striving all the more to proclaim God’s love to the people I connect with, whether in person or on virtual platforms.
  • PROFESSION: It is really not very important for me unlike how the world is so crazy about their profession. But. ‘What do you do?’ If I ever need to answer this question instead of looking at the questioner blank, I should be sure of what my profession is. So now, I made up my mind to fix this and can say my profession is writing and translating (of course with my terms).   

Trust me, I am truly very happy for the past 30 days of my life, trying to be more focused on what I should be doing as I settle down with my P4.  

Friends, I would suggest, don’t be biased and totter here to there. Focus on your strengths and talents and know, how God wants to use you. Plan it out, prayerfully and settle down as I did.

Stay Blessed!

I AM NOSTALGIC ABOUT THOSE BOXES

I was born in the ’70s and a decade before the nostalgic ’80s and ‘s90 that we are discussing this week. So I had a fair bit of memory and knowledge of how the time of the ’80s and ’90s were, a little better than most of my co-writers.

Being a music lover, my ears usually get stretched towards it whenever I hear it even faintly. And in connection with music two or three such things that I really miss as I recall them today.

We had a big black box in my maternal grandparent’s house where I spent most of my childhood days. I have seen the elder brother of my maternal grandfather tuning or rotating a big knob of that black box to let it produce loud music or songs or news for our exciting and eager ears. Let me tell you, he was the tech guy of that time who was an expert in operating that machine.

You guessed it right. I am talking about a Radio. I truly miss that one gadget, today though I rarely had the opportunity to handle it on my own. Because when I had the capacity of owning one, the era of Radio moved back or I moved ahead of it, leaving it behind me as a memory. That black Radio was even bigger than my 14 inches laptop screen and thicker than two toasters. It was heavy and we kids were not allowed to touch it. We were screamed at whenever we were found in the vicinity of that machine, the same way we scream at the kids today when they approach our office laptops. Oh, I am sure they were possessive, I mean, my grandfather and co were so very possessive about that machine of theirs.

Nostalgic Gadget called – Radio

Then came one more gadget, which was a bit advanced than the Radio. The tech guy tag was shifted from my grandfather’s generation to the generation of my uncles. We kids were amazed to see a tongue-like plate opens up with the press of a button and a strange bread-like thing was put inside that opening before it was pushed back to close. And when the play button is pressed music was heard.

The gadget’s name was fondly known as Two-in-one or Cassette Player along with Radio. My Aunt had one Cassette-Player only and I had the opportunity to use it. I was so delighted to play it in my lonely time those days. It was my friend in need.

National Panasonic Cassette Player with a bread-like cassette inside it which I got to use.

Sooner when we were grown up, we found something called a Walkman but were so unaffordable. How I longed to possess one and when I really had one you won’t believe how excited and delighted I was. I used to put on the headphones and listen to my songs and so many times I was scolded for using it more than a fixed time as set by my aunt.

The Walkman, which never walked.

Now, the bread-like cassettes are extincted. The big black box, the twin one, and the small box called, Walkman are all gone. They were only in my, our memory. Thanks to the Internet that we can still see by searching the previously uploaded images of them. But I truly miss them at times when I recall how beautiful friends they were during my growing-up times.

Friends! How about you? Would you mind sharing with us in the comment box?

Stay Blessed!