JOURNEYS THROUGH TWO STATES

The title I gave for this article might make you wonder about the content of this article under the topic – ‘Mother Tongue’. You might think I gave this title to attract the readers. But actually, I will be describing a few events during my journeys from one state to the other in this article.

A journey always becomes smooth when we have best of passengers traveling with us. I usually don’t find it very difficult to start a conversation with anyone even if I don’t understand my co-passengers’ languages or vice versa but knowing the language does give an extra advantage to us to mingle with others and relate with strangers.

As you all know, I am basically from Cuttack, but for work, I live in Kolkata. So, whenever I travel from Kolkata to Cuttack or vice versa, the languages that I know have always come to my benefit. Let me explain how…

Once I was coming back from Cuttack without a confirmed ticket. That train had compartments with sitting class, not sleeper class. All I had to do was to stand and travel for 7 hours till Kolkata. But I was asked to sit down by my fellow Odia passengers as I was speaking my mother tongue. And when the train crossed Bengal border after Balasore and Bengali passengers boarded the train, I had to leave their seats after being scolded by few Bengalis. I would have anyway left their seats without being taunted but because I was a stranger with a different mother tongue, I was unable to relate with them. That time I was very new to Bengal and didn’t know Bengali at all. These issues are very common but I am not going to project the issue here… What I want to highlight is – a language gives us a face, an identity to be accepted or rejected by people around us.

Afterwards, once I picked up Bangla and started speaking it fluently I never had such problems. I become a Bengali when the train travels through the state of West Bengal and I become an Odia when the train travels through Odisha. I was able to speak with Bengalis and laugh with them. I could do the same with my fellow Odias as well.

Last time, what happened, I had my seat in the middle of a three-seater with two males sitting on both sides. On my left there was a Bengali gentleman and on my right, there was an Odia boy. All three of us became very friendly towards each other. The Bengali gentleman was a medicine stockist and the Odia boy was a Medical Representative. And I knew a few of the medicines which I usually have, so we had a discussion on medicines. During our discussion, I said jokingly, “See, one of you is Bengali, the other one is an Odia and I am a mixture of both Bengali and Odia…we all are somewhat related to the subject medicine…” And all three of us laughed heartily.

And my journey through the two states was never boring…

Now, you must be thinking that I have deviated from the topic. I started speaking about learning languages instead of my mother tongue. I haven’t.

If we closely observe ourselves then we will realise that when we keep conversing in different languages, we don’t forget them but if we literally stop conversing a particular language then we slowly forget it.

When something becomes our day to day affair, we get accustomed to it forgetting all other things surrounding it. It happens with languages too. When we stop the journeys of speaking different Indian languages and become stagnant around our so-called official language, ‘English’ or ‘Hindi’ then we tend to forget our regional as well as the mother tongue.

I will end this article with an example…

These days, I find it difficult to write Odia. Can you believe it? I got highest marks in Odia in class 10th. But I am unable now because I write and type only – English… English… and in English.

We should not stop the journey of travelling from this state to the other in speaking languages or else we will fail to relate with our fellow Indians, our neighbours.

Stay Blessed!

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STEPPING STONES TO AN EFFECTIVE APOLOGY

Whenever a delicious dish is served to me, I finish it within no time. I usually take 5 – 15 minutes to finish my meal. After each good and satisfying meal, I tell my wife, “It takes so much time to prepare a meal, but we finish it within 5 or 10 minutes.”

Let’s calculate the time of preparation of a delicious meal… She goes to the market to buy vegetables, meat, spices, rice etc., which takes around 30 minutes. Then she chops them into the right pieces and washes them clean, which takes around say, 25 minutes. Then she marinates the meat for another 30 minutes… Then she starts cooking the meal which takes another 15-30 minutes… garnishing and serving take another 5 minutes… Total time taken to prepare a good and delicious meal is 2 hours. And I finish that same meal within 15 minutes, maximum.  

An apology is that kind of meal that is offered by the person who has done wrong, who prepares it to make it presentable, acceptable and satisfiable for the receiver who has been wronged.

An apology is not a magic word called, ‘Sorry’. I know, my friend Prabhjot in her article talked about three magic words and the word ‘Sorry’ to be one of those three which needs to be taught to the toddlers. Yeah, that’s true…it’s a magic word for the toddlers only. Kids don’t understand the gravity and they needed to be made understand with the words they are acquainted with and magic is quite a catchy word for them. But in the real sense of it, an apology is not at all a magic word but a painstaking expression and action of a person which is offered wholeheartedly to another person.

I will share an experience that my wife went through when she was working in a school as an assistant teacher. There was a teacher who asked my wife to get out of the classroom rudely for some reason. My wife was extremely hurt and approached the higher authorities. The matter was dismissed when that teacher apologised my wife by saying sorry. But my wife still remembers that. She definitely has forgiven her but the hurt was there as a memory. They are not toddlers, they are adults and just an insensitive ‘Sorry’ has no magic in it to restore the relationship or friendship whatever it was.

How then, an apology should look like? What are the stepping stones to present an effective apology?

I was reading an article lately on Psychology Today, my favourite web journal. That article talks about a study that discovered six components of a good apology. They are –

  1. Acceptance of Responsibility.
  2. Offer of Repair.
  3. Expression of Regret.
  4. Explanation of what went wrong.
  5. Declaration of Repentance.
  6. Request for Forgiveness.

I arranged the points or steps exactly how the study explains.

But I have compressed the whole idea into three very easy steps:

Remembering & Regretting about the PAST

Realising & Repenting in the PRESENT

Requesting & Recuperating for the FUTURE

Let’s discuss them one by one…

1. Remembering & Regretting about the PAST:

I usually get irritated when my mistake is reminded. I say, ‘Past is past…forget it’. But it won’t be forgotten unless I have regretted about it and owned my mess to clean up. My apology is not meant to silence the person who’s hurt but a reminder of my past mistake.

Accepting responsibility is the number one and the most important of all in this category. Accepting that I have made a mistake and making it clear that I am at fault opens up the gate to communicate with the person who is hurt by me. We should always be careful about the ‘BUT or Excuses in Apology’ as warned by Avinash in his article.

The article that I had read on PT, gives an example of two statements which I want to state here for all of us to learn – say, “I’m sorry I said hurtful things” rather than saying, “I’m sorry if you were hurt by my words.”

Accepting responsibility is like garnishing and the smell of the meal a host offers to a guest. It is the act to confirm that I remember what I did, regret about what I did in the past and ready to held responsible for it fully.

2. Realising & Repenting in the PRESENT:

Ranjandini, in her article mentioned about the language of apology, I think that aligns with the expression of regret which is as important as realising and repenting which has to be undertaken by the defaulter one after the other, in the present time when he or she is standing in front of the wronged. Preeta made it very clear that one should apologise if he or she really have a realisation of his or her wrong doings. And the language of apology or the expression of remorse is well extended only after a true realisation.

Secondly, we all know that wrong can’t be corrected, a scar can’t be made clean later, damage can’t be undone but they can always be reduced, comforted, made up, bound up by offering a repair. It can be by writing an apology or clarifying things with the people involved in the damage because of my words towards the person who was hurt or paying compensation and so on… Repair can be done only by a true repentant.

3. Requesting & Recuperating for the FUTURE:

A reconciliation or restoration of relationship is possible when our apology is accepted by the person who was hurt by us but unfortunately, this is not falling on our part of actions as it is solely dependent on the other person. But an effective apology always requires the defaulter to ask forgiveness from the person against whom the wrong had been done. When we face denial our ego may challenge us to take a step back and stop thinking of bending down to complete the whole act of apology and reconcile the strained relationship but we should remember to own the mess by taking responsibility of our wrongs.  

In conclusion, I just want to give stress on the subject of apology by quoting what Prerna said in her article – “every human commits sins and mistakes, so every human should seek forgiveness”, but we should always apologise in the right time – as early as possible. Kalpana, lost the opportunity to apologise to her father because she didn’t do that before it’s too late.

So, friends, before its too late let’s move our feet on those slippery and difficult stepping stones to complete the process of true and effective apology and restore our friendship/relationship. The Bible says, “He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion“. If our confession is true then our apology will be effective. 

Stay Blessed!

THESE WOMEN IN MY LIFE – BALANCING FOR BETTER 😌

I am sure, the title itself creates a very negative image of me in the minds of my readers. Trust me, I am not a womanizer. 😛

I am really blessed to have them in my life. I always praise God for all these beautiful women in my life who along with my male comrades wrote a number of articles, poems, quotes etc., to bring hope in the lives of many.

Today, on this special day, I have listed out, a few praiseworthy attributes they possess as a woman that I observed in them with my limited knowledge. I have also included the first article or poem that they had contributed to Candles Online as a sweet memory and for the readers to know about their beginnings – small or big.

The numbering before the names are not RANKS but just the way I listed them while writing this piece.

Now, without delay, meet the world’s 34 greatest women as under:

  1. Rajnandini: (First Article) I never found her. She found a piece of Candles (Printed copy) from somewhere and sent me an email, years back. And then, she never stopped sending till now… Her love for doing something good has never let her take a step backward. The best attitude as a woman which she has which I tried to learn, is her disciplined life. Whenever I share a new idea with her to start something new, she would discourage me` saying, “Bhai, check if you can manage to do it first… I personally don’t want to get involved in it… I have already so many on my plates.” And you know what, I don’t feel like going ahead with my idea anymore afterward when she says. But that was for my good and it does help me many times. I know, I am very enthusiastic when I start something fresh but after some time because of time constraints, I lose interest. If I ever try to introspect and retrospect, I look back to her though she is much younger to me. She derives that respect from me because of who she is. She has extended her hand a bit and created a blog of her own recently. Do have a look at it.
  2. Aastha: (First Article) She made me her Dada. She included me in her life. It has significance. Why so? Because I always search for people and bring them in my life. In her case, it was another way around. Once, my wife said, “Aastha says everything on your face and I really like her for that“. I agreed to her. She never shies away to utter what is right. I am very straight forward like her and really proud to have her as my sister – siblings do have similar attributes… Isn’t it? 😉 Another sparkling attribute she has, that’s she is not a woman of many words but a doer of what she professes. When it comes to work, she is completely into it. Read her heart more at her own blog
  3. Saakshi: (First Article) If you want to know how to shower goodness then learn from this woman. I have never seen such a lovable girl like her. Despite her daily portion of pains, when she laughs aloud, my heart fills with love for her. She is a child in her and the fun part is, I call her ‘Daughsis‘ (daughter- sister). Her age makes her my sister but her heart makes her my daughter. A girl or woman like her teaches all of us to be very simple-hearted in life, not to be so complicated. She is an excellent writer and has a blog for you to read her more as well.
  4. Kalpana: (First Article) An easy woman to talk to and convey the message. But her smiling face shines her beautiful character and personality. I think probably everyone on my team has got at least a comment or two from her. She never ignores a single message in the group. She is the only teammate who once beat me in regards to the number of comments left on the site recently. Being attentive to all, being an amicable person, are some of the great qualities of a woman that I always learn from her and everyone should learn as well. The best part about her is… she stopped writing for her blog after joining Candles Online.
  5. Sreepriya: (First Article) Does she ever get angry? I have never seen her so. She never says, ‘NO’ to me. Why? She is very good when she writes her heart out on her blog. Tolerance will be the word if I have to give a name to her person. I know, I have quite a number of women like her in my team… But she somehow stands out alone in regards to doing everything with a smile on her face.
  6. Prabhjot: (First Article) Commitment and loyalty are two beautiful attributes of a human (not of a woman only). And she has always been a very committed writer even when she lacked motivation. Once, I told her to take a break if she wants. But she said, “This is the only place where I write… I don’t want to lose that opportunity.” I am really grateful to her friendship and her loyalty to Candles Online which actually made me move ahead with my many plans. She was the sole receiver of all my ideas initially. And she also shared a lot of her own ideas in the beginning.
  7. Pradita: (First Article) Apart from Aastha, she is another one who calls me Dada and because of them, I feel like in a family more than just a writing community. If I have to learn from this woman then I won’t be able to finish praising her. She is an ace writer. No one will deny it that – she is the Sachin Tendulkar of Candles Online. A powerful thinker – her poems are simply out of the box. She is the only one I am jealous of… Why?? Because previously, I used to think I have a better sense of analogy but NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO… She has beaten me there… 😦 . I am happy, that she has been beating me in everything. She has a library of her own, displaying her talents so visit her blog to read them yourself.
  8. Preeta: (First Article) I will never forget one thing that she told me once when I asked her, “Will you forget Candles Online as you started working?” Her response was, “How can I forget my roots“. She made me proud that day. She is a souvenir preserver. She stores memories and I relate that very well, as I keep storing memories in some form with me as well. I was amazed when she posted a poster that I made for her on her status after a year or so. I like to store She is a quiet observer and always shows concern if she feels something is wrong with the person close to her. Great attitude!  
  9. Vipra: (First Article) Obedience is the word that I can use for my beloved daughter. An adorable kid, who’s soon be the best woman in the world. Yeah, that’s my wishes for her. She researched me and found me. Nobody has ever done that. She simply listens to the instructions and obeys, no arguments and rude responsesI am not saying that all the women should be like that. I am just picking up a few of her beautiful attributes which makes her a fabulous woman.
  10. Aditi: (First Article) She demands. Who can demand? The one who thinks she has authority over a friend. Love that attitude in her. She complains a lot as a friend and I love them. She is a writer who enjoys doing so and doesn’t write when she is not motivated. She is a happy going person which always sends a positive vibe to people around her. Read her articles on her own blog.
  11. Kuljeet: (First Article) I have a privilege of talking to 99.99% of my teammates. But I get the best reception from her whenever I call her up. My heart fills with joy listening to her exuberant voice. She makes people comfortable. That’s a quality which makes a woman stand out as the best. And now I know, why she is called the “agony aunt” by her cousins and family members. 😛 That sounds funny but a beautiful title to earn.
  12. Nilla: (First Article) She is the Big Mama of all… Caring, Warm, Loving, Concerned and what not. I rarely message her but whenever I message her she replies with the same warmth as she always does. She is an excellent caregiver. She is the only American among all of us and we are really proud to have her as our teammate.
  13. Sony: (First Article) A cousin who came to write with me after a lot of persistent attempts by me… but she is one who accommodates herself easily. Sometimes she amazed me with her thinking that she had reflected on her writings. She bends down instead of staying stiff and break under pressure.
  14. Prerna: (First Article) If I want my teammates to be enthusiastic and passionate about writing on Candles Online then I will wish them to be like this young girl. She is quick to submit her article, an ardent reader of all the articles published and passionate about writing. She grabbed the opportunity when offered as if she was eagerly waiting for it. This attribute of a woman of this age can really bring them to the top.
  15. Geetmalini: (First Article) She is a soft-spoken, warm and an adorable woman though she is unbeatable in regards to acquiring knowledge. An excellent storyteller and a great human being.
  16. Shwetha: (First Article) She is a wonderful woman with beauty, brain and strength. She has also a very good sense of analogy when she uses the words for her sweet and small poems. I believe those who can think well can have that talent reflecting on their lives. She thinks deep and when she wrote a motivational and inspirational write up she created ripple effects among the readers. She has that innocence on which her whole being is built amidst the chaos around her.  Trust me, she has the capability of boosting someone’s morale big time. Perseverance, that’s another attribute which she has that makes her very different than others.
  17. Shivangi: (First Article) She is Rajnandini’s fan… So, I don’t think I should say anything good about her… 😦 . Jokes apart, she is a very sweet girl and always knows how to express without hurting the person in front of her. Most women do that… Isn’t it? Read her articles on her own blog as well.
  18. Vidhi: (First Article) A very talented girl. I love her writing and always wish if she writes more Candles Online. But I know she is a student and needs to concentrate on her studies. She has a thinking brain and always tries to do what is right.
  19. Sanskriti: (First Article) Yeah, the Spooky Girl is very focussed on her studies. A woman focussed in her life can change the world. If you ever get an opportunity to visit her blog you will find, how focussed she is about what she writes.
  20. Ashrita: (First Article) She is one Bold and Beautiful woman. She speaks her mind when she writes. Her words are powerful and she deals the issues from the front. Read one of her bold and very poignant article on her own blog.
  21. Payal: (First Article) An adorable girl who is very sweet. She is an ardent reader and very observant. A very powerful attribute of a woman to be learned by all.
  22. Aparna: (First Article) A jolly and jovial girl with lots of dreams to achieve. She is passionate about her life and the purpose of life. Her clear knowledge about God and life at such a young age motivates me. She has a bigger part in my life like a daughter.
  23. Hina: (First Article) I haven’t interacted with her much but I appreciate her for showing interest to be part of the team and contribute few articles before getting occupied with her home, work and family.
  24. Smruti: (First Article) A multilinguistic and very power packed writer. Her life has trained her so. She is a fantastic woman despite her struggles. She can write fabulously in Hindi, Urdu, English and Odiya. She represents those women in the world who shine when tested in the heat of a fire.
  25. Avishikta: (First Article) She is my cousin. She fetches visitors. Her words are catchy and strong. She is a very adorable and intelligent female. She never writes very big and long yet never fails to get the attention.
  26. Kriti: (First Article) I haven’t interacted with her much but she explains one such attribute of a woman which is always regarded by all. That quality is – Cooking. Her blog is dedicated to all her experiments in the laboratory called, Kitchen.
  27. Khristina: (First Article) One of my favourite cousin whom I adore so much. She is a brilliant singer, a brilliant writer and a very passionate and focussed about her aim in life. Apart from being a very skilful writer, she is also very compassionate and caring woman.
  28. Megha: (First Article) I haven’t interacted with her much but I know, she is a multifaceted writer. In regards to writing, she has all the knowledge and wisdom. Her blog is the witness of her capabilities.
  29. Ruth: (First Article) Brilliant dancer and a gorgeous woman to behold. A great leader and passionate teacher.
  30. Samarpita: (First Article) A very simple lady with a mind and heart to give away her life doing things for people. She has always made herself available for serving the people around her with much humility. A great attribute to learn from her.
  31. Sulagna: (First Article) Till now no one has amazed me like her with her flares of words when she writes a post or article. She is an extremely talented woman and very vocal (sharing out) when she wants to put a point across everyone.
  32. Deepa: (First Article) A lovable and very emotional lady but she is very adorable. When she writes (in her blog), she pours her heart out. That’s something very remarkable about her.
  33. Pratibha: (First Article) She is a retro girl with a style. She sprinkles gold flakes when she writes her sweetest poems – small and impactful. Her blog is the witness to what I said about her.
  34. Asha: (First Article) She is a great friend, a very intelligent female to have on the team. Her inputs are always great as she is a thinker and a vivid reader. I enjoy seeing her passion for books and learn that attribute of her – being passionate. Despite reading she writes very well as well in her blog.

Balance for Better is the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day, which we all observe every year on March 8. The 2019 initiative is aimed at gender equality, a greater awareness of discrimination and a celebration of women’s achievements, according to the International Women’s Day website. And as the leader of Candles Online, I would proudly dedicate this article to all the women associated with me as my teammates working together for a cause, a greater calling – balancing well for the better.

Wish you all 34 great women, a very HAPPY WOMEN’S DAY!

(Featured Image: Google Inc.)

A MODEST HUMAN BUT A GUTSY WOMAN

I have never seen someone that jolly and cheerful as her. It was very easy to know whether she was present or absent in the class. The reason was crystal clear, her loud voice and laughter. I had never seen her sitting sad or tired. She never used to keep people waiting. She used to speak what she thought to be correct according to her. When she used to scold someone, it was more like a loving and authoritative reprimand than insulting. But she never used to leave a person go easily 😛 . She believed in clarifying the matter more than keeping it in a hanging state. In our class, she was known as a ‘Clean Hearted Girl’, having no ambiguity within her. That was something commendable about her!

I am happy that I could relate to her so much because of our similar body structures. Is it necessary to announce that we were thin? 😊

She used to ride a bike much before the ad came up with the tagline – “Why should boys have all the fun”. She was having the fun even before the bike company even realized to make a jingle to sell its product. She was not tomboyish, but a beautiful and flamboyant girl.

She had kept friendship with as many people as possible in the class, unlike other girls. She was quite limitless in knowing and making friends. She was never a shy girl – not to flaunt around though but to keep decent friendship with all. That’s a pretty unusual attitude of hers which I admire a lot. In today’s world, when every feminist is fighting and shouting for issues like gender equality, my friend declared it with ease that she is equal to a man by her attitude and action in various aspects of life. She didn’t have to fight for it or shout for it or even try to prove it, but she lived it with her utter modesty.

No, I am not contradicting with what I said about her previously as not being a shy girl and what I said now about her being modest. Actually, I can put it this way – She was modest as a human, she was gutsy as a girl. And I believe, she possesses the same quality even today, though she had to go through many traumatic life situations in her life later.

We studied together at Utkal University, Bhubaneswar for our post-graduation during the year 1997-1999. We were very good friends when we were in University, but we became close friends only after our studies. Usually, after a certain time in life people tend to lose their college and university friends. Even I did so. Presently, I am rarely in touch with any of my college and university friends. But the best part of our friendship is, we are still friends and in touch with each other. She never forgets to call me to wish on my birthday and Christmas every year. It was she who never let our friendship go, not even after she got married. Yeah, we had lost track in the middle for some time, while we went ahead in different career searches but we found our friendship back on track, after few months of her marriage.

There were quite a few hurdles that she had to cross over in her life – she biggest being, she lost her husband last year. She was utterly broken, she is broken even now, I know it very well. But I also know that she will get over it soon with the grace of God.

We grew in maturity with regards to our friendship, thanks to her. She knew how to own a relationship, a friendship. A few days ago, while talking with her on the phone, she addressed me as ‘Bhai‘ (Brother). And I knew she meant it wholeheartedly.

Dharashree! Yeah, that’s her name. I treasure her and our friendship for a lifetime. I believe a woman like her can bring a lot of change in this world.

Today, when the world around us has so many broken relationships, lost promises and loose-ended friendships, a woman like Dharashree can play a very important role to bring things together and on track. Only a woman like her, can win people, own them and live with all in peace.

A woman like my friend ‘Dharashree’, justifies why we all should celebrate the International Women’s Day again this year in 2019.

ABUSING THE POWER OF FREEDOM

I was wondering, what are in the world that gives us the power of freedom which we ultimately abuse or manipulate or misuse. And I found quite a number of things that allow us this Power of Freedom. And tonight, I would love to talk about them one after the other.

LEFT ALL ALONE

Have you ever stayed all alone at home? What do you do when you are all alone? Do you do things which are not allowable or permissible when your family members are around? Do you just freak out? Do you roam around naked (nothing to care about) in the house? Do you wait for that time when you can be left alone in the house so that you can accomplish your mischievous acts?

But why do we do like that?

I have stayed many times, all alone in my house. And that is the time I feel I have all the powers of this earth. That is the time when I feel, I can do everything that I want to as there’s no one to watch me or instruct me or interfere in my matter or obstruct me. I feel I have all the freedom I can ever have at that particular moment of aloneness. But that is the time I was put to test – The Test of Utilizing my Freedom.

No elders or parents would leave a kid alone in the house because they know that they are not matured enough to utilize their freedom. They can even put themselves to great danger. So, they were not given that liberty or freedom to stay alone at home.

My uncle who is also the founder of the organization I work in, always says one thing: “I don’t like tying you up with rules and regulations or police around you, but allow you the freedom to grow and explore yourself within this organization with diligence and sincerity.”

But somewhere we lack to handle that power of freedom bestowed on or entrusted to us. I have failed in it many times, I won’t lie. And I know we all fail at this or that point of time in our life when we were left all alone.

The Bible says – “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.

DARKNESS

By darkness, I mean the opportunity of not being caught or seen. This is actually quite similar to being left all alone but there’s a difference here which I will explain.

Suppose, in a hall where many are celebrating an occasion and the parents of a boy barred him not to tease the small girl of another couple. But unfortunately, there is a power cut and the hall became pitched dark for two minutes. And that darkness gave the boy the power of freedom and he went and pinched the cheeks of that little girl, to which she started squealing aloud. The boy would not have been punished severely by his parents if he would have obeyed his parents and would not have misused that momentary freedom he got because of darkness.

Thieves get that power of freedom when it is night or dark. Trust me, things that are done in darkness or undercover are never a righteous or pious one. Bribes are always given under the table.

Are we waiting for the lights to switch off so that we can misuse the power of freedom we get because of that darkness? Keep pondering.

The Bible says – “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.

MONEY/WEALTH

Money gives the purchasing power as well as the power of freedom to its owner. And mostly, they misuse it.

I remember, when I used to get a small salary, my monthly budget was small obviously and above that my desire to acquire things were lesser. But when I got a good amount of money at the beginning of the month, I felt that power of freedom to buy this, that and many other things which I never used to think of. Don’t think that I am talking about necessary items needed at home. I am talking about useless things which I buy sometimes and regret later on.

In most of the lower-middle-class family, you would find them struggling after 25th of every month. Why? Because they used up their money lavishly using their power of freedom in the beginning and have nothing or very less money to buy the essentials for the last fourth or five days.

Hilarious??? But that’s the truth.

The Bible says very interestingly – Why should fools have money in hand to buy wisdom, when they are not able to understand it?

If I go on like this, I can find many such things that allow us complete freedom, either for some time or forever. Like the gift of FREEWILL, Power of Freedom is also attached with a series of responsibilities to it which are needed to be carried out in a better way and not to misuse it.

Whether it is in our home among all the family members, whether it is within the marital boundary, whether it is at our workplace, we do get that power of freedom in our hand to exercise it. Do we use them wisely or misuse it for our selfish desires and addictions?

Remember: “The abuse of liberty leads to bondage, the bondage of sin.”

Keep reading, keep pondering…

Stay Blessed!

HOW LONG CAN I SUSTAIN INTERACTING WITH MOXI?

A Hospital Scenario – in 2029

I was admitted to the hospital again for the extraction of my thick blood as I was having extreme discomfort for the high viscosity of my blood as usual. My brother arranged everything in his hospital for me as always. And while waiting for a nurse or a medical staff  to make an IV channel on my wrist I fell asleep on the hospital bed.

After some time, as I was still asleep, I heard a conversation between my wife and someone very strange. My subconscious mind was trying to grasp what the conversation all about.

My wife: “Is there no one else to do the procedure?

Robo: “Ma’am, I am assigned to do the procedure.”

My wife: “How can you do that? Who’s there to operate or manage you?”

Robo: “Ma’am, I am automated and there’s no one who can operate me.”

My wife: “Hey, see… wake up… Please call your brother and ask him to come here… I am so worried…

I felt someone trying to wake me up… And I woke up to see my wife with a nur…se… What… I could not believe what I saw. It was quite evident why my wife was so worried. I was scared too. It was a robot, not any female or male human nurse. I searched for my phone and called up my doctor brother and asked him to come to that ward immediately. But he blatantly refused to come as he was busy in a surgery and asked me to stay calm, “Moxi will handle everything“.

Who’s Moxi?” I retorted.

The humanoid robot nurse who’s very efficient and accurate to make IV lines on your wrist and draw the blood out ” He assured before hanging up.

Moxi stared at me and asked, “Are you ready, Sir?” I replied, “I am not, but you can go ahead…” And it started making IV line on my left wrist despite of our worries and anxieties… But to my amazement I didn’t even feel it when it finished making the IV channel. My confidence on Moxi increased and I assured my wife that this Robo is a genius.

Later a female nurse appeared in that ward, patted Moxi as it greeted her and she started speaking to me…

Sir, Dr. Panda sent me to assure you that Moxi is fantastic and very efficient much more than me or any human nurses. Moreover,  as a friendly, sensitive and intuitive robot, Moxi not only alleviates clinical staff of routine tasks but does so in a non-threatening and supportive way that encourages positive relationships between humans and robots.

New Image
Moxi with its colleagues

She spoke again as we both husband and wife curiously listened to her… “Don’t you like how Moxi performed the procedure on you, Sir?” She winked at Moxi and the robo winked back at her.

I nodded to her, gritting my teeth as Moxi finished the procedure of bloodletting with such an ease without even letting me feel a bit of pricking pain of the needle. I agreed to the nurse about Moxi’s efficiency. My fear subsided and I saw my wife had already started interacting with ever friendly Moxi. I was amused seeing how Moxi combated my wife’s arrows of questions by replying all her queries paitiently, intelligently and tactfully.

I was discharged from the hospital that day after the procedure, thanking Moxi for being so caring, friendly and efficient with the procedure I underwent. Guess what? It acknowledged my appreciation politely.

A humanoid companion, Pepper the robot has been first launched and put to work in two hospitals in Belgium, assisting medical staff with daily tasks. It was regarded as the first Robo to recognize human emotions. The basic model of these robots is available for around €1,800 ($2,000) and was launched by Aldebaran Robotics back in 2014 to much fanfare in Japan.

Belgium’s Zora Robotics

There’s an advanced and much more expensive next-generation version of Pepper, installed with software by Belgium’s Zora Robotics to help it function within a medical workspace, has now had its first experience carrying out duties within a hospital.

The advent of humanoid robots like Pepper and Moxi can really bring the efficiency level of services provided by the hospitals to the highest level but I was just wondering how I would have felt if I would have been under the care of robots all around me in the years like 2001 or 2005 or 2017 when I stayed in the hospital for more than a week!!! I understand for a one-day procedure the care managed by Moxi is fine but will I be fine if I had to stay with it for more than a week? 

I remember, on the day of surgery in 2001 when Sarah, the nurse woke me up at 4 AM in the morning asking me to take bath and get ready, my heart was racing and pounding heavily, my face was looking utterly pale. And when I was leaving the ward for the OT she clasped my hand and said, “Chiradeep, see you soon after the surgery… we will be praying for you“. That gave me so much strength that day. When I came back to the ward after surgery there were smiles on everyone’s face, welcoming me back absolutely fine.

Probably, Moxi being such an advanced Robo would have done the same thing as Sarah and other nurses did… But would I have felt that connection with it as I felt with Sarah and others?

Some may think that for an introvert Robot is a better option. I being a super extrovert would find it difficult without other humans around me. But as far as my knowledge about the introverts is concerned they crave for interaction even if they are unable to convey it as better as the extroverts.  

I would definitely struggle with a robot if I have to spend more than a days time in the hospital. 

I remember one Bible verse in connection to this subject: The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone”This verse not only implies man’s bonding with a woman in marriage but also talks about the secrets of human survival that is – being with each other. Even we know, social science says, “Human is a social animal”. They really can’t survive without each other. And being with a robot is nothing more than to be alone.

I like what Aastha said in her conclusion, – Robot or Human companionship? then, human companionship. Nothing or Robot? then, Robot. 

If in future I happen to meet Moxi in the hospital and it asks me, “What else I can do for you, Sir?” Then my response would be, “Would you mind bringing a female human nurse to me as soon as possible, Moxi darling?” 😛

WHEN VALENTINE’S DAY WENT WRONG

Teenagers wait for this season with a valuable reason in their hearts. 15 years back it was not even in the picture. 14th February was just a very normal day like all other days. But once the colour of VDay stained this 14th Feb it got a different significance since then.

In the first article, I mentioned Valentine’s Day as a reminder to love but sometimes it so happens that even if we are reminded to love we fail or miss the mark somehow for some unexpected reason and we feel sad or hurt about it.

Two days ago when we reached Howrah station, we both husband and wife started walking on the platform to get out of the railway station. My wife walked ahead leaving me behind and I was walking behind slowly and at ease on the platform. There were a lot of people rushing out as well as walking into the station and we lost each other though I was calm knowing that we have our phones with us. A thought came to my mind as I was walking slowly…

Sometimes in a marriage or any relationship, when one tries to go ahead of the other instead of thinking the growth of both together, then they both lose each other for sometime till they find one another after much difficulty.

Do you remember, I said above that – “I was calm knowing that we have our phones with us”. Yeah, Love works as those phones to bring the partners, lovers, families together again. Kalpana said rightly, “If it’s the love it’s always there, just break the monotony to realise the beautiful feeling of being in love“. The moment we lose our track we should immediately turn back to Love and true love never fails.

After walking ahead little more, I saw my wife standing at a point waiting for me to come so that we both can walk out of the station. My co-passenger would not have waited for me, other passers-by would not have waited for me. But it was only my wife who waited for me because we have a relationship and love holds that relationship together like a knot.

Coming back to what I was saying at the beginning of this article that there can be many possible reasons for failing to observe a proper valentine’s day but a love life doesn’t end there with that one particular day of failure. Love is something much bigger and larger than Valentine’s day.

Dear friends! Are you feeling bad that you missed gifting your beloved on this day? Do you feel hurt because your spouse scolded you on this day? Is it hurting for you to find your lover was cheating on you instead of celebrating V Day with you? Are you angry because your husband slept without little love talks with you on The Day? Are you suffering from many hurts that the present marriage has given you and V Day is nothing but a taunt for you? Remember, Valentine’s day might go wrong but Love will never go wrong.

Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.

Love brings joy because God is love (love is not God), who is the source of our joy and happiness.

Stay Blessed!