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September 16, 2016, was the day when this lady commented on Candles Online for the first time as a reader of this blog. Her younger sister, Prabhjot asked me to encourage her to join Candles Online and this comment gave me the opportunity to initiate my conversation with her.

FOUR days later on September 20, 2016, I got the opportunity and I would like to leak a few things about the initial conversations that we had the very first time. I hope that won’t upset her.

All she had about herself was negative – “I am not as talented as my younger sister…”, “I am more of the laidback sister…”, “Let’s hope I can put up a decent article”.

But I am a person who never leaves people in negativity. I kept on pushing her and motivating her till she wrote her first article on Candles Online – “LET’S TWEAK OUR CUSTOM A BIT“. That day she actually tweaked her own custom of being a non-writer and became a writer, unknown of that very fact herself.

I would like to confess that her first article of 281 words which I thought of inflating it a bit by adding few more words before publishing made me think about my selection a bit at that moment, though I usually don’t lose hope on someone. But guess what? Kuljeet Saini became the most loved writer on Candles Online who left everyone with a thought to ponder upon starting from her second article on Candles Online – “DRESSED TO KILL“. That was a hilarious yet very powerful article. She got 11 votes on that particular article. Usually, votes are from anonymous readers so 11 is a very good number. That day again I patted myself again with a smile and in my heart, I thanked Prabhjot for bringing her sister in.

The article which stamped Kuljeet as my ace writer (though I don’t rate or rank my co-writers in any manner) was – “MY AFFAIR WITH THE GREEN EYED MONSTER“. She never looked back again. Her articles never lacked feedbacks. She was highly appreciated for her write-ups which were from the first-hand experience, written wholeheartedly and absolutely relatable.

Another special skill of Kiljeet which really makes her my favourite is her ability to give very catchy Titles to her all the articles. It was only on one occasion I had to give a title to her article otherwise she herself does that every time.

As a person, she is an adorable character with a pleasing personality. She is very warm and cheerful. I am sure whenever she speaks she brings a joyful vibe to the other person as she does to me whenever I speak with her over the phone. In our group, she is lovingly called as – Killjeet instead of Kuljeet. As a writer, she reflects her true self in her articles and never shies away to confess her own weaknesses. That’s one quality which I love about her so much. She is always open to healthy discussions about life and God.

Now, I remembered our initial conversation once again as I am concluding this article… She said – “I was not as talented as my younger sister“. I have a smile on my face now as I realized – She was right that day. She isn’t talented like her sister. But her talent was different and very special than everyone else. Her beginning as a writer was delayed and small yet her write-ups provide comfort as cool tree-shade for weary pedestrians. She is an asset for Candles Online.

In closing, I am happy to have her in my team, may God Bless her and let her write more such fabulous articles till the end.



Have you ever wondered why we have two ears? Usually, people say – “so that we can listen more and talk less.” That’s alright but that’s not the reason why we were created with two ears on both sides of our head. We have two ears so that we can understand the direction of the noise, our hearing ability widens, clarity of what we hear increases, the strain of loud noise is reduced or divided between our two ears. And to help our ears to listen more effectively we have got two eyes as well, which help us to see, read, understand and focus on the person and his expressions. But sadly, despite having two ears and two eyes we often fail to listen to others.

I have heard many telling me that I am a good listener, but a few others from my close bunch think, that I am not. So, when the topic of listening came up and I started weighing my art of listening, I found a few startling facts about myself.

Following are the findings:

  1. I am patient enough listening to a stranger.
  2. I am very calm and have listened to someone who’s angry, has control and authority over me.
  3. I am impatient to listen to something which I have heard repeatedly from a person many times.
  4. I am irritated and don’t like to listen when I am exhausted and tired.
  5. I am impatient and don’t like to listen attentively to a person who’s under my control and authority.
  6. I ask my family members and close relatives to wait.
  7. I listen to the person who interests me more over others.

And the findings can go on and on… But this contemplation helped me to understand my status regarding “listening” to others which made me understand that, “Listening” is a character when a person is inherently a good listener and it is an art to be learned over the years when a person can train himself or herself to listen to people and their hearts deliberately but effectively.

I concluded after a thorough introspection that, I have an inherent character of empathising with people, so I listen to them yet, I still have a lot of training required for myself to help me listen to the people carefully, skilfully and effectively.

Now, the next question popped up in my mind is – ‘how to rate my listening skills?

I feel there are exactly three ways how I can rate my own listening skills…

  • Feedback from the one I am listening to (the vulnerable one, the one in need, the counselled, etc.)
  • Feedback from the one who stays along with me almost all the time (my spouse, friends, colleagues, etc.)
  • Feedback from my inner being as I am the best person to know whether I have listened carefully or not

If you ask me regarding the basis of those feedbacks, then my answer would be they are based on my responses or the way I respond to the persons need an ear. Yeah, my each and every response to the one who shares his/her heart with me validates my listening skills.

Let me explain it little elaborately as under –

  1. Listening attentively: This is a very basic stage of this subject of listening. I think we all understand this very well. Our postures, our eye contact, and our interest in the matter or the person are important when we try to listen to someone in need or sharing. Paying attention needs time, patience and lots of compassion. Sreepriya and Kalpana came up with a lot of beautiful scenarios to validate what I want to say here. They gave instances explaining how our not being attentive to someone can jeopardize things around. My response of being an attentive listener validates my skill and lets me pass stage one.
  1. Listening to the emotions: This is not a situation where we will just get two chairs, one will speak and another will listen. We have to listen through noises, through fits of anger, shouts and even sobs. When people are upset, angry, frustrated, disappointed or hurt, their tendency is to discuss their feelings with others so that they can get a release from their anguish which has been clouding their hearts and minds for a long time. The scenario can be anywhere, within the family or professionally. However, if we simply look at them and shrug or respond by giving advice or by telling them what they did wrong, they won’t feel any better and will probably feel worse after sharing their hearts with us. Because all they want us to validate their feelings by conveying that understanding to them, showing our sympathy or empathy; by letting them know that we are with them listening to them lovingly, without being judgemental to their feelings or behaviours. Here, my response of decoding those shouts and noises and venting explain my skills. Am I bouncing back or absorbing everything to give the hurting comfort? Am I annoyed with the hyperactive person I am talking to or considerate enough to allow myself to be a punching bag for him or her to punch till he or she feels better? Joseph, wrote a touchy article to support my point. (NOTE: Emotional validation is the process of learning about, understanding and expressing acceptance of another person’s emotional)
  1. Listening to silence: Trust me, this is the most difficult one. Many times, I have heard the loud noise of silence which I tried to understand without listening to it. Sometimes, I don’t get to hear the person weeping or talking hyperactively or even shouting or venting at me but all he or she does is to remain absolutely quiet or silent… I become clueless yet, I try to invade into that silence and listen to it. All I can do is just notice as Aastha did about her sister. She noticed carefully to find the reasons behind her sister being dull and depressed. Though, I agree that this is possible when the bonding is strong. It is not easily done when two people are strangers to each other and doesn’t have much scope to see each other for a longer period. This is possible within a home scenario or between best friends etc. mostly. So, the more I listen to the silence of other people by noticing well, the more skilful I am. Noticing well is my response to someone’s silence.

Nevertheless, at times, I find myself very helpless when I am unable to listen and understand clearly about the person I care and do everything possible to listen to him or her. When someone doesn’t allow us to listen to him or her, it becomes difficult to listen. But I remind myself – God starts working from where I stop. Both Rajnandini and Avinash spoke about listening to God carefully as it is very necessary when we are weary and tired.

So, how do you respond when you have someone in front of you to listen carefully?

Keep thinking and keep reading…

Stay Blessed!


I have always loved watching man and the wife spending quality time together. It gives me joy when a couple displays their affection for each other in public. No, I am not talking about public indecency. I am talking about holding hands in a gathering as they walk, entwining their fingers as they sit side by side, looking into each other’s eyes as they sit across the table at a coffee shop. When I see a couple happy together, it feels like their world is filled with love. The number of these true love birds are very less or negligible I can say, in today’s world. There are more broken families that I find than witnessing some awesome companionship when I look around. And I feel really very sorry and sad about it.

The world divorce rates reveal, Luxembourg is number one with 87% whereas India is 1%. India’s stat looks better but 1 in 100 is so much. In one lakh marriages, the number grows to 1000 divorces. 1% divorce rate in India doesn’t validate that the marriages are without any hassles. There are many in India who forced stay in their marriages either for the sake of their family, society, children or survival. The brokenness still remains if not divorces. Horrible it is!

Trust me, this intensity is growing daily. The Divorce rate was 12% in 1960 whereas it is 44% worldwide now.


The divorce not only breaks down the couple it affects their families especially their own children. A child’s trust and dependability get shaken up when his or her parents split ways. 

I have a few friends who go through such brokenness even if they are still in their marriages. And both of them are silent and managing because of their children. They don’t want to part ways even if they struggle in their lives because they are more concerned about their child’s future than their own. I have a few more who struggle even after they got out of the wedlock. For all of them, brokenness has never come to an end until today. 

Image Credit: Google Inc.

In the beginning, God created family in so much care and love. But it hurts me and I feel pain in my heart when I see families broken, whether divorced or forcing themselves in a bond along with their children suffering with them.

Since many years, I have been bearing that burden for all those broken families and I keep praying for all of them who go through that brokenness. And when I got married, God let me encounter a few challenges for myself too to deal with; probably, to train me and to equip me more, so that I can be a help to others.

It is true, “marriages are made in heaven“, but if I have to add further looking at the world around me, then I would say, “yet they are maintained on earth“. If they would have been managed and maintained in heaven as well then there would not have been any brokenness at all. 

I feel really sorry, worried for those broken people out of a marriage – a spouse or a child. I literally cry for them and also pray for them so that they reunite or reconcile with their loved ones. 

Stay Blessed! 


When God created mankind, He gave them all the authority to rule over the whole creation for their own benefit. And He left us ample instances to make us understand the way He wants His creation to be maintained and managed. 

The human body is one such instance which teaches us some fabulous life principles which are very important for us to lead our lives on a day to day basis. And that was the reason why I thought of talking about our body.

I want to quote a passage from the Bible which is actually written in the context of the Church, its members and their relationship with Christ. But from another angle, I see there’re a few more principles in that passage which can be applied to our daily living as a member of a family or a society or a community at large.

Let’s read the passage,

Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part.

If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body.

And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body?

If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?

But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it.

How strange a body would be if it had only one part!

Yes, there are many parts, but only one body.

The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”

In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.

And the parts we regard as less honourable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So, we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, while the more honourable parts do not require this special care. So, God has put the body together such that extra honour and care are given to those parts that have less dignity.

This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other.

If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honoured, all the parts are glad.

Whoa! The principles derived from this passage are as follows:

1. All the body parts are different – We are created uniquely. We have different names, we have different looks, we have different skills, we are differently built altogether. We have a different and unique identity to be recognised by all. The living creatures other than human being don’t have names to identify them. They are always identified by their species, in a group. But we humans are identified individually by our separate and different names like all our body parts.

Do I give that recognition to my fellow humans?

2. God has put each part in its place – Like each and every part of our body, we humans are created by God having unique qualities, placed at a specific position to execute a specific purpose. We take pride in doing this or that so successfully but unless we are created in a certain way, we can’t even think of doing all that which seems easier for us.

Do I reckon my God-given talents and position that I flaunt around among all?

3. Part of the body – We as members of the same family, society or community can’t isolate ourselves by saying “we are not part of this” and stay away from our responsibilities that are bestowed upon us. I have seen many who like to live a secluded life and separately from all in a given community. I have also seen some relatives as well who like to be with their immediate family members, away from all of us who gather together on vacations. I have also seen some who deny taking any responsibilities of the family or community by giving excuses of lack of finance and time.

Do I feel part of the whole group or keep myself isolated from others in the community?

4. Can’t say, ‘I don’t need you’ – It would be very strange when someone else says, ‘I don’t need others’. As humans, we are all co-dependent on each other to survive on this earth. I find it very strange when I see some excluding themselves from taking help from others. I was brought up in a joint family where sharing and caring was the most important and unwritten principle to be followed by all of us. But if we see the world around today, things are way different, sadly.

Do I ever feel I don’t require anyone to depend on?

5. Least or more important – This is the most fabulous principle of all. We always have a habit of ranking everything, everyone as the best or the worst, fabulous or bad, important or worthless and so on. But we all have different abilities and self-worth; we can’t be ranked as less or more important. We all have a certain importance in a family or a society or a community that we are part of.

Do I have a superior or inferior complex about myself in the community at large?

6. All suffer when one part suffers – Whoa! Isn’t it amazing? But I know, Love has grown so cold that we don’t feel that pain of others who are part of the same system. Selfishness and self-centeredness have replaced that love and concern in our hearts. We don’t suffer when we see our brother suffering. We are so used to the daily news we read and see that we don’t feel it at all.

Does my heart prick when I see my neighbour in trouble?

I will conclude my article by giving an illustration from my own life.

When I was a young school going boy, I hurt my palm while playing with a dot pen. I was throwing it high and catching it by diving on the bed. And while doing so I hurt myself when the nib of the pen pierced the flesh of my palm. It didn’t bleed even though the perforation was clearly visible but the pain was excruciating when something was hit the wound by any chance. I remember, at school, I could not resist but catch the ball coming towards me and I can’t explain the way I felt when the ball hit the wound. I felt a pain in my whole body even though I knew the pain had only surrounded the wound.

When I recalled the above event, I could relate to the principles of my own body which teaches me such an important yet very practical lesson for my life.

Friends! Stay tuned to all the articles of this week while we discuss different body parts in the following days.

Keep reading, keep giving your valuable feedback!

Stay Blessed!


I really apologise for taking such a long time to hold another FB Caption Challenge after the fourth one. I know you all love to participate in this challenge. I really appreciate all of your enthusiasm. This time I posted the challenge both in FB and Insta. And all the entries were fabulous.

  1. Kalpana Kameshwari Vogeti – “One ray of hope is enough to dispel the darkness of despair.”
  2. Preeta Bhatnagar“My future is in my hands.”
  3. Deeksha Yajurvedi – “Keep sparkling and celebrate the light within!!”
  4. Inakhi Patra – “Be the Light.”
  5. Deepa Karthik – “Light in the dark.”
  6. Kuljeet Saini – “Let your light shine so brightly that others can see their way out of the dark…”
  7. Kuljeet Saini – “Be like a star… shine most brightly from the darkest origin…”
  8. Shwetha Rishi – “Focus on the glow, gleam and vanquish your woe.”
  9. Sreepriya Menon – “I contain the light within me..between my fingers that show me my path…”
  10. Sasmita Subudhi – “Lives of great men all remind us
    We can make our lives sublime,
    And, departing, leave behind us
    Light to guide us in our time…”
  11. Charul Batra Mehandiratta – “I am totally concentrated on my aim of a bright future.”
  12. Avijeet Dey – “This little light of mine, I am gonna let it shine!
    Let it shine, let it shine & let it shine.” 😁
  13. Avinash Das – “Well, Shining in the darkness is reflecting the glory of light that bask within.”

I was really happy to have a few entries outside my friend list. That tells me people are a game for this challenge and I should be doing it frequently in short spans. It was a great challenge with such beautiful quotes and one-liners but as you all know that I will have to choose only one winner out of all the entries.

Four quotes really touched me deep within – they were crafted beautifully by Kalpana, Deeksha, Kuljeet, and Shwetha. But the winner is – SHWETHA RISHI. It talks about hope, trust in the glow (God) and self-confidence. Thus, it inspired me a lot.


(NOTE: The Winning Certificate is posted as the featured picture of this article and displayed on the sidebar of the site  along with previous ones)


Understanding Lust:

I have seen people using lust and love as similar meaning words on many occasions. But the meanings of these two words are completely different.

Unlike love, lust is extremely self-centered, it never allows a person to see anyone else but himself or herself, it lets a person focus someone’s physical body than their inner beauty and it lets a person to have physical intimacy than establishing a deep emotional bonding with another.

Let me explain how lust can affect a person…

Have you ever seen a drunkard blabbering on a road tottering from this side to that side of it? Yes, we all must have witnessed it many times on the streets.

Do people take him seriously whatever he says in that fully drunk state? No, because we all know it very well that the drunkard is not in his own control.

Lust is a state something of that kind. It is an experience of intense carnal urges and unbridled sexual craving. Lust is not an emotion, but it involves the experience of fleshly enjoyment with anticipation of sexual pleasure.

Mary C. Lamia, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, and psychoanalyst says, “Lust provides a rare window through which you can view your vulnerabilities as you are swept away by your imagination.”

But the condition is, only if we can realise about our vulnerabilities then we can learn from it for a future reference otherwise we move towards destruction gradually.

Depth of Lust:

We all know, how different companies produce different products for their customers according to what they wished in their minds. In the same way, the media produces different films and series basing on the mindsets and desires of people of this world today.

Would you believe that the psychological disorders which I had studied while doing a counselling degree are now slowly being accepted as sexual preferences or choices?

Let me explain…

BDSM which has been unknown to most of the people previously has become popular among many today. I feel very scared to even think about it even.

I watched a series recently on the same subject and was amazed how it ended. A married woman who loves her husband a lot. The husband is a very good man and loves his wife as well. They didn’t have any problems whatsoever. But the woman always feels very lonely staying all the time at home when her husband is at work. She eventually meets a man on a chatting site who insists her to meet him at his place. She doesn’t agree initially but thought of giving a try as she is attracted to what the man used to write about sexual submission and dominance. And finally, she visits him and submits to his dominance. She suffers from a psychological issue later on and to help her out, her husband comes to know about her secret life. The story ends with the husband releasing his wife to that man. Message of the story was – Lust won over the chastity of marriage.

Examples like the above, are many, I can’t list them out all here.

Famous psychiatrist and author Judith Orloff, M.D. rightly says, “As a psychiatrist, I’ve seen how intense sexual attraction is notorious for obliterating common sense and intuition in the most sensible people.”

Crimes Led By Lust:

Lust is an intense mental state which leads a person to commit heinous and soul stirring crimes.

The Bible mentions a good king who fell for a beautiful woman, slept with her and to marry her, he murdered her husband craftily.

We are aware of the crimes against women and children in the forms of sexual abuses, molestations, rapes caused by lust.

Have you ever heard about ‘Lust Murder’? Wikipedia explains, “A lust murder is a homicide in which the offender searches for erotic satisfaction by killing someone”. I was shaken literally when I read this sentence.

Apart from strong sexual urges, lust can also depict intense cravings for food, money and power as well which ultimately leads to various small and big crimes happening daily around us. Lust of money leads people to rob things from others. Lust of food makes people sick and obese. Lust of power creates disparity in the country and war situations around the world.

Chastity against lust:

In this context of lust, talking about Chastity seems meaningless and impossible. Isn’t it? It looks like Chastity has been swallowed up by the lust of human beings in this world. But we all are aware of the consequences; lust can only lead us to destruction.

The Bible stirs our minds with few thought-provoking questions –

“Can a man take fire in his bosom
And his clothes not be burned?
Or can a man walk on hot coals
And his feet not be scorched?”

We know the answer very well. Lust is like fire, like burning hot coals that can burn our chest, our body if we embrace onto it. It can burn our feet if we walk on its path.

Chastity is also a state or practice of refraining from extramarital, or especially from all, sexual intercourse. Basically, chastity means sexual purity.

So, as human we can live in one or other way – live a life of purity or lead an impure life. We can’t stay in a 50-50 condition because, a tiny bit of impurity soils and spoils everything. Yes, I understand that we as human are not perfect, we have weaknesses but there have to have a constant striving within us for perfection – moving from impurity to purity. When we stay stagnant at a point, we stay impurity of lust.

In short, I want to mention a few helpful points for our striving towards Chastity in the land of lust. They are as under:

Guarding my eyes: The Bible says, ““I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman”. There’s a tendency in us to look at another person of the opposite sex with lust but when we prayerfully practice it not to do so, one day we see the result ourselves. Practice makes a man perfect. But there has to have goal setting and willingness to strive for a life of purity.

Guarding my mind: The Bible says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”The Bible verse doesn’t contradict the natural instinct of human beings getting attracted to the physical bodies of people of the opposite gender. In fact, that is how we are made! But, lust in the mind creates a craving for adultery in action – “a thought of having physical or sexual relationship with the woman I am looking at.”The eyes look at the woman, sends the message back and there’s a thought evolves in the mind instructing the eyes to look at the woman again and again. But when we guard our mind by constant striving, we can help stopping the lustful thought process and ultimately, we can hope for a positive result one day.

Guarding my steps: I always need to know whom I am following, what I am following. Am I feeding myself with filthy stuffs or feeding myself with good things? I can’t expect to be pure if I keep watching pornography. I can’t expect to be compassionate if I rear hatred in my heart. I can’t strive for chastity if I keep looking at this woman or that.

The Bible says,Don’t imitate the behavior and patterns of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” If I want to change the mindset of my community and the people around me then I have to first change myself. That is possible if I do what is right. I can do what is right if I know and understand what is right. If I follow what people are doing then I will surely be faltering sooner or later. I need to know where and how I am walking in my life.

Friends! Preaching is easy, practicing is very hard, and living it, is all the more difficult. It is a challenge for all of us to maintain Chastity in the midst of a lustful world but it is not impossible and also beneficial for us. Let’s keep guarding our eyes, our minds, and our steps.

Stay Blessed!


Recognition is important for a human to get motivated. I understand doing things sincerely and responsibly whether recognized for it or not is a mark of integrity, yet, recognition is very essential at every step of our lives.

I am not going to write anything about receiving or expecting recognition from others. I will talk about the right ways or manners of giving out recognition to someone who deserves it.

One Bible verse always warns me of negligence in giving recognition or acknowledging someone, and that verse is –

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due when it is in your power to do it.

So, what are the right manners of ‘not withholding’ due recognition to a person? I have THREE such factors that explain this. 

Timely: I have seen people postponing the act or the event of recognizing or acknowledging someone. Either they delay in the name of planning or keep the person to be recognized waiting, giving them some vague reason. It is deemed an insult or disrespect to someone when acknowledgment or recognition due to him is not accorded at the right time although we try to patch up or make up everything later. There’s no substitute for recognition accorded in time. The most effective recognition is given at the right time.

Genuinely: Appreciating or recognizing someone with the right tone and spirit even if the words are fewer, works. Sometimes, flattery or more words of praises don’t work well when the tone is not right. One of my previous bosses used to introduce me as, “He is Chiradeep, the backbone of our organization”. And I used to get irritated with that tag, which I never used to like. On finding him alone, I used to tell him not to introduce me that way. Genuineness is very important when we acknowledge or recognize someone.

Impartially: When we recognize someone, we should always ask ourselves whether we have acknowledged the person genuinely and impartially. Genuineness and impartiality seem quite similar to each other yet they are not. The word impartial comes when the number of people to be acknowledged is more than two. Our recognition or appreciation to both the persons might be genuine yet they might be partial when we show little more favor to one over the other unduly. Let me give an example – two employees in an oorganization. They both worked hard to achieve a task together. Both of them were awarded the same amount of money as reward but the boss had many words of praises for one whereas the other went without any words of praise backing him. If I would be in his place, I will really feel very bad and disgusted.

The Bible says, “if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.”

Friends, let’s not be tired of recognising or acknowledging people who deserve it. Let’s be prompt to do that timely, genuinely and impartially.

Stay Blessed!