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!

WRITE ON THE GO, LITERALLY

Year 2003, the first-ever mobile phone that came to my hand had no apps apart from a game named, ‘Banana’. Yeah, there will be monkeys on my trees as well as the bot’s. We will have our turns to throw bananas on each other to let the monkeys of the opponent fall off the trees. I won’t look at that game now even though it was my favourite pastime then. There was nothing else in that B & W phone apart from a Contact list, Clock and SMS.

Soon came Samsung Bar phone. ‘Bowling‘ was my favourite game. It was again a no-apps, but coloured phone. Soon came ‘FM Radio‘ in the next-generation phones and that took my heart away.

Later, the desire for better grew. Greed crawled freely wearing a mask of Need in my heart and mind. I aspired for a touch screen big phone named, Microsoft Lumia, the first-ever window phone. And I achieved it by hook or crook. Finally, I got a phone with something called, APPS. And the favourite app of that phone was a daily devotional app called, Our Daily Bread.

Soon everyone in the world went up the Level of Unsmartness and became smart enough to hold at least the cheapest Smart Phone in their hands with all the minimum apps in it. Now, presently, I am holding maybe, the 12th phone of my life and it has almost all the latest apps to get addicted to. So let me come to the main body of the article, “My Favourite Phone App“.

What do you think would be the best app for a writer?

Maybe, an app of a Writers Community but there’s not much or I don’t like them. Maybe, an app for bloggers and most of us are using WordPress.com. But let me tell you what is my favourite app.

It’s a very lightweighted and offline app and doesn’t consume much of your phone space. It’s highly user-friendly app. It is called – “Writer Plus (Write On the Go)” If you want to jot it down something quickly with a title, you can rely on it. Type it out and leave the phone, the text will be there, saved automatically. You want to organise and arrange each note or article in different folders, you can do it easily by creating different folders. Keeping a back-up of all your notes is extremely easy. Simply safeguard the app folder and copy it in your laptop and you will have everything intact when you reinstall the app later.

For more information on the App, you can look into this video, HERE:

Demo on WriterP mobile app

This app taught me one lesson, and that is – “Efficiency can be achieved with simplicity.” The machine, the app or the person him/herself doesn’t have to be very sophisticated or complex to achieve something big. Simplicity does impact and bring about good enough results and changes in life too.

I have been using WriterP for more than 5 years by now, to record my sermon outlines, articles, thoughts, ideas, valuable information. When there’s no internet access or laptop or paper or you don’t have mood, this app in our mobile phones come handy and extremely effective.

There are many other apps which I use more than WriterP app but this one is my favourite.

Friends! Download it, use it and remember me.

Stay Blessed!

I DON’T WANT TO FLY NOW

I remember, when we were small we used get fascinated seeing a feather of a bird flying around. Many used to collect many different feathers as their hobbies. I have seen kids running after it to catch it. I used to raise my hands up to catch them as it hits the ceiling of the room and used to go round and round with the force of the wind that an electric fan produces. A feather is one thing that flies around freely everywhere as the wind blows it away with its force. It never struggles or protest in and against the wind saying, “I don’t want to fly now.” A bird has a choice to fly but its feather doesn’t have that liberty. The reason being the weight of a feather which is no negligible. I was curious so Googled it and found out that, on average, a feather weighs just 0.000289 ounces (0.0082 grams). So even when the little force of the wind hits it surface, it takes a flight above the ground and travel wherever the wind takes it away.

Today, when I look at myself and my life, I see a feather like quality in me, lately. If I look into my past life, I have been a depressive young man, day dreaming of things that were not possible on my part at all. I had grumbled about my health, my position in my family, my family financial conditions and so on. But one time came, when I let God mould me into a feather, slowly but gradually. And I literally accepted and acknowledged whatever came in my ways. I didn’t grumble or shout back at God asking, “Why me, why this and that?”

Am I great? No, not at all. I have follies that no one else has but one thing that I have become or still learning to be is ‘fly like a feather’ without asking the Wind – the Author of our lives – “I don’t want to fly now”.

Is it really difficult to be a feather? Yes, it is. Crushing all my desires, my pride, my ego and going through a uncomfortable life condition is not at all easy. But flying like a feather helped me to be a happy and jovial person which inspired many to accept life, the way God allows it for me and them.

I received a hand written letter from a young girl who calls me uncle. And I wanted to show all, a part of it:

If I could impact her by just having a couple of feather-like characteristics, then I am ready to adopt all the characteristics of it and let myself be blown away by Him all the more.

The Bible also instructs to be like a feather: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Friends! Not leaning on our own understanding, our own desires and wishes and acknowledging God in every walks of our life are all feather like qualities. Are you ready to be blown away by Him wherever He takes you away or you want to compel Him by saying, “I don’t want to fly now, come later to blow me away”. Think about it.

Stay Blessed!

DEMANDS OF WISDOM

Acquiring knowledge is always desirable but more than that it is important for us to attain Wisdom as it gives the insight to use the knowledge in the right manner.

But according to the Bible, the Wisdom has a few demands from those who longs to attain it.

The wisdom demands our EARS to INCLINE to it.

The wisdom demands our EYES to FOCUS on it.

The wisdom demands our HEART (or MIND) to APPLY it in our day to day life.

The wisdom demands our MOUTH to UTTER the right words using it appropriately.

The wisdom demands our FEET (and HANDS) to GO on the PATH of it.

Because, the words of Wisdom, that is God’s word are LIFE to those who find them and HEALTH to one’s whole body.

Friends! Gain wisdom and fulfill its demands to enjoy Life and Health.

Stay Blessed!