AN UNEXPECTED ENCOUNTER – II

Radha hurried with the old man by giving him a bowl full of ice cubes and sent him off wishing Good Night. She jumped onto her bed in a flash and clicked on the notification to let the comment of happygolucky, the blogger who had always made her heartbeats skip thousand times per second, appear on the screen.Radha read the comment for the 19th time exactly.

So the man who has made my heart so palpable for the last one month or so, says I can allow myself to fall in love again!!!‘ Radha repeated this statement in her mind again and again as she kept looking at the screen, at the name of the blogger, the user icon and the comment. It had been 13 years since she was heartbroken at the age of 22, when she was just an immature young adult. And now, at the age of 35, her heart felt the same emotions captivating her whole-being…making everything look so beautiful and colorful around her. She could smell only the aroma of rose buds even when there were no thorny rose plants near her.

But!!!

But, there was something that was stopping her to express herself to the person more openly. Her reasoning mind kept pulling her heart backward telling, ‘when things pertaining to love could not work out in person, how could then the same be possible virtually! Of course, there are many such examples of virtual love but for her… Is it possible?

She closed the lid of her laptop and slid her body down on the bed from a sitting position to lying down comfortably closing her eyes as her mind went back 13 years past, when she met Sanjay, her heartthrob then…

Sanjay was a 28-year old man then, who was her immediate boss in her first working place. He had a charming demeanour about himself that had always allured the females working with or under him, including his female superiors. But he gave his heart only to one girl in the whole world and she was Radha. Radha was a mere 22 year old then, who could not resist herself even a bit from falling in love with a person like Sanjay when he proposed her. She was an orphaned child who was brought up by her only family member, her granny. She had craved for love from her very childhood and the seed of love which Sanjay sowed in her soaking heart sprouted within no time. The females at Radha’s work place were envious of her but she… she was flying in the mid air as her wing, her love, Sanjay made her feel so loved within such a short time.

It was not difficult for them to convince Radha’s granny for their relationship and ultimately marriage as she also loved Sanjay as a fitting candidate for her grand daughter, who could look after her and love her after she passed away.

She will never forget that day, 28th September 2006. She was waiting for Sanjay to come and plan the final list of invitees for their wedding reception. Time passed by but there was no sign of him. They were supposed to meet at her place. Her granny was also worried seeing her baby Radhika in tension. She patted her back and asked her to calm down and wait for Sanjay who might be busy in something very important. Radha had dialed his number 10 times by then but there was no response from him.

At around 8 PM in the evening her best friend Sukanya called her up and asked Radha to switch on the TV right away and watch the news on so and so channel.  It was not a news that was broadcasting that day, but a nuclear bomb that blasted and devastated both the granny and her grand daughter leaving them dead emotionally and mentally.

It was unbelievable for those two poor souls to acknowledge that Sanjay was a trafficker who was arrested that day being caught red handed. His secret dynasty was busted by a group of secret police squad formed only to find the culprits of absconding girls and women recently.

Radha’s heart shivered in pain and agony as all those thoughts of her past came so alive in front of her after so many months again. She clasped her head tightly with her both palms as she felt an excruciating pain encompassing her heart and mind both. She felt extremely lonely that moment, which she felt the day when her granny passed away leaving her in tears. And now she was all alone to decide her heart’s matter by herself…

“Radha ji, it has always been a delight to read your heart and mind through your stories and articles. And this piece also made me think for a while but I think, it is very natural to fall in love again and again till we find that true love and settle with it by committing to it.

Love itself is so vast that it can let everyone drown in it. I think you should go ahead and allow your heart and mind to break free to experience love again.”

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(Image Credit – Google Inc.)

She repeated his words in her mind as she shook her head, reconfirming herself once more, ‘No… Never again… I might feel attracted to his intelligence by reading his comments and the wisdom he imparts as a person which reflects through his own blog posts but I can’t feel that same love again, even his feedback on my post seems very convincing about it.

She shook her head and again allowed her mind to take control over her heart as she went into a deep slumber without a second thought.

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AVAIL THE OPPORTUNITY, INSTEAD OF REGRETTING

Stories and movies about Time Machines or Time Travel have always amused me. Being a day dreamer, I have always travelled many times to my past or just thought about travelling to different times and doing heroic things before returning back to present time. I think, few of you might relate to it as well.

(Pic Credit: Google Inc.)

But when it is a question of traveling backwards to my past and making something right which I regret now for doing it otherwise in the past, is a difficult one. I know, this is just a thought and I will never be able to go back to my past or any slid forward or backward on the timeline of life. Yet, I want to bring out something to inspire myself as well as others through the very thought of rectifying something that happened in my past if I am given an opportunity.

The saddest event that took place in my life was when a sister-like girl committed suicide. Her family was not suffering from financial difficulties, she was the most beautiful female in her family, she was a studious girl yet, she committed suicide. She was very close to me and I had that opportunity to listen to her deepest pain but I couldn’t. Blame it on my immaturity or age, I was just a 19-year lad then. If I would ever get an opportunity to go back and see her alive then I will make her comfortable and listen to her heart carefully pray with her and help her out of her depression for which she took her own life.   

Apart from that incident I will change something else which I regret a lot these days. If I get an opportunity to go back when I was unmarried, I would try to save a lot of money which I spent unnecessarily. I wasted money on chatting. Sitting in a café, I used to chat with people meaninglessly, blaming on my being lonely at that particular time. If I could have saved little money then it would have helped our initial marital life a bit.

Other than above two issues there are many things I would love to change, but a question came to my mind as I was writing all these.

“Would these changes in my past life produce the man I am now?”  

The answer to this question might be negative. God takes care of our whole being whoever we are, even when we don’t like something in our life, He loves us wholeheartedly. He built that naïve and immature boy of 19 to help and console many people in distress. The same man who wasted so much money in the past, now understood the value of money when God took me through those difficult phases in life, financially. Today, I teach many about how to do a financial budget at home.  

I came across Gayathri Vijayakumar, a user on Quora.com who answered to the question, “If you had a chance to go back in the past and change one thing only about your past, which would you choose and why?”

Her answer was:

If I go back to the past and change one thing, then I will not be where I am today. There are regrets, there are mistakes in the past, but I have learnt something from them. It made me stronger, though the lessons were harsh. But that’s okay. Everything happens for a reason. So, the option of changing past is ruled out for me. Just learn, Accept and Move on!

I could relate with her answer so much and so agreed with wise words she spoke.  

The Bible says,

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”

If we miss the opportunity to the right thing at the right time then we suffer the consequence, that is paying the price. We just can’t make it right again. The time we lose, we lose for eternity. That is why, instead of regretting it is important to do the right thing when it is still day time. Because at night no one can work.

Let’s make the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Stay Blessed!

FB CAPTION CHALLENGE – 6

Again this time the entries that I have received were very less. The picture was very nice but probably didn’t interest the participants much. But those of you, who have participated and deciphered it was excellent. They were commendable which are given below:

Kalpana Kameshwari Vogeti: “No matter how small a splash you make, at the end of the day it’s the ripple effect that gets registered which is always huge.”

Archana Dipu: Overcome your weakness. Turn them into your wings. Go, conquer that story.”

Preeta Bhatnagar: Don’t be afraid to take chances! Go ahead and explore.”

Vishal Bheeroo: Chew more than you can and when it hits the hardest! Get knocked and up to rise and soar!”

Sandhya Parida Majumdar: May my faith always be like a hummingbird…returning to its favorite place, where she can quench her thirst.”

Prabhjot Kaur Saini: It doesn’t matter if I am big or small, I will make a difference to the world around me…”

Mrs. Sandhya’s caption impressed me a lot as it tells how in our gloomy life and unsatisfied life only God can quench our thirst if we come to Him. But after discussing with few of my friends (not on Candles Online) it is my delight to announce the best one from all the above entries is Prabhjot’s as it reflects the message without talking about the objects that are seen to our eyes. So to speak, it is indirect and helps us to look at the picture again to affirm the message conveyed by her. Beautiful reflection!!!

 CONGRATULATIONS, PRABHJOT KAUR SAINI!

Note:  The Winning Poster Certificate was set as the featured image of this post and will be displayed on the site’s sidebar. 

ARE WE HUMANS OR RATING MACHINES?

Why this thought?

God created us, the humans as social beings. We are codependent as we coexist in this big large world. Whatever we do in this world whether in our personal life or as a family, it affects the society at large. Sometimes these effects are noticed and identified. Sometimes they are negligible and ignored by others. And some effects, people notice, yet they show a ‘don’t care’ attitude of indifference. Whatever it maybe, we were created to enjoy the gift of life, subdue the earth as we enjoy everything in it and fulfill the purpose for which we were created, that is to worship the Creator in whatever we do.

But sadly, we failed it big time.

We are more sensitive to the wrongs that others are doing rather being sensitive about our own mistakes or wrongs that we do in the darkness. We have seen in the past, that the more we have looked into the mistakes of others we have failed to do the right thing. But the moment we have tried to rectify our own mistakes we have been successful to create a beautiful atmosphere around us. And this hypocritical behavior or attitude of us, humans have instilled this fear in all of us as, “What would people say?”

We fear being judged to the same extent that we are judgmental towards others.

Fear
(Image Credit: Google Inc.)

Let me explain what I mean to say…

If we closely observe people or our own self, we will understand that we always feel safe about doing something that we ourselves don’t judge when people do it. For example, if I don’t judge others for coming home late in the night, then I won’t have the fear of being judged when I, myself come late in the night, keeping family members out of it. In the same way, if I always shun people for being too active on Social Networking sites then I will always have that fear of being judged or ‘think what would people think of me’ when I get online even for an hour on Facebook. So, I keep myself in Invisible Mode. 😛

So, in my opinion, the psychology behind the thought, “what would people say” pops out because of our judgmental attitude.

So, instead of thinking how or what people would think about us, it would be better if we think, what God would feel about what I am doing.  I always worry about this Bible verse which says,

Whatsoever you do, work heartily, as unto the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that from the Lord you shall receive the recompense of the inheritance.”

How does this thought affect us?

Let me take you into a few role-play exercises to understand this segment of my article.

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(Image Credit: Wikihow.com)

A husband and a wife are walking on the street. The husband lovingly holds his wife’s hand while walking. She pushes his hand away saying, “What a disgusting man you are… what would people think of us?”

The husband feels bad but smiles and replies jokingly, “They will think that we are husband and wife…Isn’t it, my love?”

He was right here in this scenario though we definitely can’t be inconsiderate to the wife’s conservative mindset as we all have actually been brought up that way (especially true in conservative cultures). Yet, if they don’t talk it out about this matter openly between themselves then this thought of “what would people say” might create a serious problem between them later.

Moving on to my next scenario, I want to bring all of our attentions to a family where the parents are in a heated debate worrying about “what would people say” if their daughter doesn’t score well in her exams in a very posh school.

Let’s not put too much pressure on our daughter and let her give her exam without worrying about how much she scores.” The mother placed her argument.

But the father says, “Can you even imagine how humiliating it will be for all of us if she doesn’t do well in her exams? What would the other parents think of us?

How pathetic is the mindset of that father who thinks about his prestige but not about his daughter’s psyche!

I remember, in the movie ‘3 Idiots’, in one of the scenes where Farhan (Actor, R Madhavan) tries to convince his father (Actor, Parikshit Sahani) about his passion for being a wild life photographer than being an engineer. When his father says, “What would people think or say”, Farhan replies, “Why should I bother about Mr. X or Y or Z who never did anything for me… Rather it would matter to me what you think about me and my career choice as my father, who has sacrificed so much during my student life.” Finally, his father agrees with him and allows him to pursue his passion.

You’d have to actually meet people to know how many dreams have been crushed and ambitions squashed just with the mentality of What Will People Think!?

The above statement was made by Savio, who pointed out so correctly in his article on the same subject, published yesterday.

In conclusion, I would like to recollect the instance Aastha mentioned about in her Mega Article. It was quite a tricky scenario. But it tells us that it is always better to consider the present status of a person, instead of checking in, to his/her past or judge about their future, if we really care about their benefits. Moreover, we all need a heart to be empathetic about people rather being judgmental. We all need to be human, as created by God, that is in His own image with beautiful attributes instilled in them rather than just silly judgmental freaking beings or silly rating machines.

Keep reading, keep giving your valuable feedback.

Stay Blessed!

DISTRACTIONS ENTHUSE LACK OF COMMITMENT IN A RELATIONSHIP

Making friends is an art, which I know very well. I had been craving for people around me since I was a kid. The very reason was my restrictions to go out and be with my friends. I suffered from being alone (I won’t call it loneliness) since I was 8 years old till I went to college at the age of 17. But you can say, it was God gifted quality that I had in me, that I can make friends, build connections very easily. And at the age of 43 now, when I look back and assess all the relationships or friendships that I had established in my life I find one major cause of Lack of Commitment in a given relationship or friendship is DISTRACTIONS surrounding it.

DISTRACTIONS
Image Credit: Google Inc.

There was one close friend of mine, who was sharing about the problems in their marriage. She wrote it down about all that was happening in their life and I took the time to read her long detailed messages and answers, again and again, to come to a conclusion. My conclusion was, they had every other thing around them to distract each other from ‘THEIR TIME‘.

Let’s do a postmortem of what and how these distractions creep into the relationships

1. Work Pressure: Previously, I have seen my grandfather coming back home at around 6 PM and rest for an hour and then used to spend time with family, with us. He was an engineer and was a very sincere man in his work. He used to go on official tours as well. But he never had forgotten the time that he had committed to his wife, his children,  grandchildren, even to the extended family members as we were in a joint family.

But today, the work stress is so much that it had taken away the time which was supposed to be committed to the relationships we are in. Work Pressure has been working as an agent of distraction towards our lack of commitment.

2. Social media: Social networking sites have taken our primary leisure time today. We think we stay very updated because of social media but these sites eat us up from within as the days pass by. The Bible says, “For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief“.

How true it is…! Previously, when we were uninformed, we were at peace but today, when we have everything under our fingertips we get distracted from the main issues of life getting distracted by unnecessary information.

3. Easy and many friends: It is though a subpart of the above point – social media, yet I kept it separately knowingly to explain the gravity of this issue.

Previously, we were rarely going out of our box to make friends. We used to have friends from our schools, colleges, workplaces and to the maximum, from our localities. If we extend a bit more, then we used to have something called, Pen Friend which is treated as a tiny dino in today’s world. 😛

But now, we have friends from different continents, from the whole world. We know everything about them, even the dates of their birthdays and anniversaries but don’t remember our own special days.

Sometimes, I feel very guilty of having such a huge list of online friends in my life. Trust me, they do distract individuals from their personal commitments to their parents, spouses, children or to the relationships that matter the most.

Let’s not get entangled with such distractions much today and suffer in our relationships for lack of commitment towards the person entwined with us.

Stay Blessed!

LAUGHING AWAY IN SICKNESS…

The week’s topic made me think a lot about my own expertise which I can share with the whole world. But I could not think of anything until I asked my wife about my own skills. And she gave me her inputs which I will stamp it as my strengths and share with you.

She said, “You can encourage and motivate people. The mental support you give someone who is vulnerable is very appreciable. You are very calm during a stressful and difficult time. You can take things very lightly when life is tough or when people says hurtful things.”

She was right partially. But when she said, “You are very calm during a stressful and difficult time”, I just pondered about it, trying to validate it. People usually give tips on things they are expert in or have been doing it almost all their lives… I wondered, what is that one thing that I am doing all this time in my life!

Bingo!!!

I have been tackling my health issues since my birth. I am definitely an expert handling my health condition on which I can give my expert ideas or tips to those who have family members suffering from prolonged sicknesses or to the persons concerned.

  1. Do what you should do: I was very particular in taking my medicines and what I should do to keep my health on track. It is evident that having such serious health issues people like us can’t afford to be indisciplined. So leading fairly a disciplined life is always better to stay risk-free.
  2. Stay happy and jovial: Staying happy always good for health and I never failed to smile and make others smile even when I am seriously sick. I remember, once I posted a funny video of myself in our Candles Online – WhatsApp group while I was lying on the hospital bed. That brought joy to everyone and it pleased me a lot, making me lighter to carry my burden. Make fun of yourself when you go through difficult times. Trust me, that will bring joy and strength in the minds of people around you whether they are known or unknown to you.
  3. Engage & Entertain yourself: This is something very essential. So many times after I do everything that I can do, I feel bored and extremely depressed. A sick person with no one around to talk and to play with is a dreadful curse. I had gone through it. But once I found means to entertain myself, I engage myself with all of them to keep away my boredom far.
  4. Keep other’s problems above yours: Being an empath, I always tend to get lost in others. I keep getting closer and closer to people, trying to figure out how they struggle in their respective lives and how they can get little comfort. I try to make them feel as comfortable as possible sharing their hearts with me. Trust me, this takes away a lot of my own heartache and pain giving me peace at my heart, letting me know that I could also be of some use. 
  5. Take everything to the Lord in prayer: And lastly, I would suggest all of you, to take every pain to the Father in heaven by praying to Him.  The song, “What a friend we have in Jesus” comes to my mind where one of its stanzas goes like this –

“Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged
Take it to the Lord in prayer.”

I never forget to pray to my Saviour, my God ever. I might not be very disciplined in praying to God, but I never stop praying to Him at any cost, in any manner. And as He had promised, He never left me alone to suffer but have given me strength at every stage of my life. 

Friends! Never be dismayed! Accept the situation you are in and enjoy it by creatively adopting a specific survival strategy to keep yourself going. And never forget to look to God in prayer.

Stay Blessed!

GLASS – HANDLE WITH CARE

I had always felt very sad and incomplete on seeing other children going to school while, I was at home all day, dreaming. I was a 10 year old boy, sitting at home with an imaginary tagline on my forehead – “Glass – Hamdle with Care“. I could only dream at that time, to be a big man one day, sitting on a table and working on a computer. But how would I reach that state of my life was nothing more than just a mirage for me at that point of time.

Finally, when the time came for me to step out of the house and enter into a school campus, my joys were leaps and bounds. I couldn’t contain them. I was admitted to the school directly into the fourth standard. It all happened because of my aunt (my mom’s elder sister). She convinced my all-possessive maternal grandfather to allow me to go to the school where she was working as a teacher. I was a thin timid boy with no courage at all, bearing the same imaginary tagline – “Glass-Handle with Care”. 

Years later, when I passed out of my school and it was time for me to get admitted into a college the tension arose in the minds of my local guardians. But I joined. The day I went for the admission I saw a senior student carrying a sword along with all his friends, protesting against the government during the Mondal Commission issue in 1992. This time, carrying the imaginary tagline “Glass-Handle with Care” by myself, I was trembling in fear looking at the rowdy students out there. This is how my first time at college started with a serious jolt down my spines.

In 1997 after my graduation, I wanted to taste freedom and fortunately, my aunt stood by my side trying to convince my grandfather to allow me to study away from them at Bhubaneswar in Utkal University for my post-graduation. My father’s elder brother was the Secretary to the Vice-Chancellor of Utkal University. I stayed at my cousin’s to complete my PG in Utkal University. But I was strictly instructed to carry my tagline, “Glass-Handle with Care” without fail.

That imaginary tagline was the chain which put me under its bondage at every ‘First Step’ I took at different stages of my life. But I could breathe free with my lungs inhaling the fresh air of freedom for the first time when I came to Kolkata, my first out of state stay. I sensed, the tagline “Glass-Handle with Care” disappearing for the first time after many years in my life. I felt God’s promise of “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go“, real and evident.

Have I become very strong? Am I free from all the sufferings? Don’t I have any weaknesses anymore? No, not at all… I have become more weak and slower. But I definitely am free from that all-encompassing negative tagline, “Glass-Handle with Care”. 

Never enjoy stagnancy but always be ready for the first time adventures relying on His divine strength.

Stay Blessed!