Home & Body – Cleaner The Better

My entire childhood and teenage (till 18) was spent in a small single room with just partition walls to separate kitchen and bathroom (if presence of a gas stove and a commode makes them respectively what they are called). And the space available in the middle of the house was a convertible one. When plates were arranged it was our dining room and when mats were laid it was our bedroom. If guests arrived third chair would find it difficult to fit in forget about having a couch. And when it rained we had a personal pool right in middle of the house. With regular power cuts we spent innumerable nights under the star lit sky and water supply as good as probability of finding an oasis amidst a dessert.

Memories!!!! Those days were tough. Financial and physical hardships have toughened our mettle indeed. Our navigation through those tough waters was guided by a compass with two blades –

  • You have a roof at least over your head and a full stomach when you go to sleep.
  • Work hard for your betterment, stop complaining.

14 years later, in 2017 I moved into MY (OUR) own house. What a joy it was! The peace of having and living in an abode where you are sure no one will surprise ( read shock) you with an evacuation notice out of nowhere is surreal (conditions apply – regular EMI thy name ). Every hardship, every austerity measure in the past finally paid off.

But since we moved into an old property considering our budget constraints then our house needed lot of renovation. We recently got the heating system changed in the pursuit of having hassle free winters and also to add to the resale value of the house if at all in future we decide to do so.

Allegory came to mind: We all know what renovation means – lot of dust and dump to clean up. While I was at it, one thing stuck my mind – isn’t our body same like our home? While a structure made of bricks and mortar gives us shelter, another structure made up of flesh, bones, water and blood shelters our heart and soul. We take a lot of pain and make lot of efforts to keep our premises clean lest it won’t be presentable and hygienic too. Then why we behave negligently towards our body that is nothing less than a temple created by the greatest architect – The God.

Yes I can hear those voices “what are you talking about? We take utmost care of our hygiene and with Covid around we are not taking any chances whatsoever”. I would say ” you are doing great. But what about those who are maligning this temple with various addictions like smoking, drinking, drugs? What about those who are knowingly or unknowingly giving shelter to dacoits named ego, greed, jealously, lust, anger, pessimism in the compartment called heart that are corroding and robbing them of their sanity & peace and consequently Joy. These termites are blindfolding us and deviating from the path which everyone of us is destined to trend. The path they make us walk are ecstatic to begin with filled with fun and frolic but as the end approaches we

  • Clueless,
  • Corrupted morally and ethically,
  • Consumed by poison once we were consuming,
  • Crippled by illness, close to a painful death.

Get your Insurance done: Just like a house has insurance against any possible loss and damage due to theft, fire, water etc. Insurance for our joyful lives is HIS WORD, EMI being EP – everyday prayer. If you sign for a premium plan of “Please Enlighten Me” you shall surely be delivered from temporary hardships of falling prey to the vices and get a bonanza of eternal joy!

Points to be noted :

  • Respect your abode, be it house or body.
  • Keep them clean for health – physical, mental & spiritual.
  • Rent/EMI/Prayer – being regular is the key.

Just like a structure that we live in needs regular cleaning so does what lives in us needs a regular check.

From rented house to own- I had my fair share of experiences, hardships, memories and delightful moments. Now I have embarked on a journey to cleanse my temple – renovating my approach, dumping out the negativity. It’s hard and I am prone to falter but assurance of Joy of Enlightenment is my driving force.

MY SEARCH FOR A DIFFERENT SUCCESS

Few days back I was gliding through my LinkedIn page. One of my distant relative updated her status “promoted to the position of Director”. I was happy to see her succeed but in another moment started self introspection “what I am doing?” , ” Where I am standing?”, “Will I ever succeed in my life?”. Basically I was anxious about “will I ever be able to EARN?” A question that I am struggling for a longtime now.

But is it just about money? Answer is an absolute NO. It’s about my craving for Identity. My thoughts at that (on many occasions) point were convoluted. I want to earn, I want name for myself, I want financial independence. I kept applying for jobs. Many applications were rejected outright, few made for interview round but success still eluded me. It was not just the applications that were being rejected but a piece of self was slowly dying inside. One of the reasons that prompted me to start blogging was to put forth my opinions and earn (I am not ashamed of admitting that). Five years now and the kind of success I supposed it would fetch me is still a distant dream. Who and what shall be blamed? No one except me and nothing except my lack of regularity, missing niche (my work doesn’t stick to one genre).

Am I a complete failure? Last week my friend’s husband came to dinner (we are careful enough to follow the social bubble 😁). Out of nowhere he asked me “how’s your blogging going, seems you have a good fan following”. I dismissed him with a smile “No, nothing like that” . To this he told me that one of his friends sent him a link of one my blog (never before he read any of my articles) and praised it too. His friend liked the subtle manner of explanation, relatability of issues/situations mentioned. And as a matter of fact I never met or spoke to the “friend”. There was a certain sense of euphoria for me at that moment. That night I decided to once again go through the comments on my articles. That was the moment of realization for me. My success is not in the additional perks of followers, hits on site and money but how well I can connect to the people. How well I can communicate, how I can impact, how can I be a part of lives of those reading my words in some or the other way, how well I can motivate myself to reflect positivity in my work, Am I making any difference, Am I putting forth a good message relevant to people, Am I honest while voicing my opinions, Am I trending the path I talk about or refer to – My parameters of Success. Falling short of even one criteria renders me unsuccessful in my judgement! And I believe that’s the worse.

What inference my failures have given me? I was looking for “success” in the form of an offer letter, a designation and a certain amount credited every month to my bank account. What if I get them at this moment, would it put an end to my quest and thirst for “success”?. I might have been aiming for a higher pedestal everytime. Nothing wrong in that, absolutely. But what is wrong is getting bogged down if your plans and results aren’t in linear correlation. Wrong is deeming yourself to be worthless. Wrong is inability to draw inspiration from people and incidents showing us a different way and zest to live life as we are too consumed by a bubble we have created in our minds. In short wrong is inability to respect life and the designs almighty have for us ( I may be professionally unemployed because someone else might be more competent, qualified and in need – it’s that simple). And identity of a person is about the perception and ideologies one owns, can never be defined by a designation or job role. And people knowing me by my work irrespective of the level of fame (non existent 😁) I might have acquired is purely my Success!

I Have Decided My Path: I will keep writing, I have stories to tell, I have messages to deliver. In that process if I earn materialistic success I will receive that. In case not I have my own yardstick to measure success – Have I made you think? If yes I am SUCCESSFUL!!

KNOW THE ART OF DETACHMENT

Have you ever left food on stove and forgot to turn off at the right time? I am sure not an alien situation. What happens then? Smoke all around, burnt food, burnt vessels, an uphill task of cleaning the mess and not to forget taunts / reprimands 😁. This is exactly close to what happens to us in life if we don’t know the art of detachment in our lives. Anxiety surrounds us as smoke, the vessel that is our body faces the burnt of such anxiety & related issues. Food that is a result of our anxiety & attachment driven actions are highly marred by negative emotions of greed, lust, anger, deception, lies and everything in that cadre. Food or lives, there’s no need to explain how people remember if it isn’t a right(eous) one. If we can’t turn off the fire in time or detach ourselves from the worldly pleasures and bonds then surely we will be charred.

What are the attachments we as human beings have?

* Materialistic Attachment

* Emotional Attachment

* Attachment with our fears

Let’s take on them one by one:

Materialistic Attachments: I will quote a simple example here. A person has a favourite coffee brand that he has been drinking over years as the first thing in the morning and anything else would leave him irritated throughout the day. Due to this reason he would plan his trips with coffee on his itinerary, even it means to going to someone else’s place. We can call it addiction or obsession but it is his attachment to that product that’s causing him this unnecessary trouble. This is an example where the repercussions might not impact others. But then as we move up the ladder (read more inclined towards accumulation) of materialistic attachments like that of money, land, gold etc. – our better sense is slowly replaced by seeds of greed, lust, deception. Why do you think why scams happen? Food for thought, isn’t it?

Emotional Attachment: A small story I would like to narrate from our epic Mahabharata – Guru Dronacharya, the teacher of Kuru Princes loved his son Ashwathama very much. His entire life he toiled to give a better life to his son and see him happy. His constant worry and misconception about Loving one’s kin even made him fight the righteous Pandavas. But the question is was his emotion truly can be defined as Love? No!! Love enables endurance, showing the right path by trending it even if it hurts for a while, love acts like a medicine that might taste horrendous but heals eventually. Let’s take a leaf from the present scenario. A mother punishing a young child for misbehaviour is surely love but the same mother trying to whitewash the same child’s image after few years if he / she picks up a wrong path is not love but emotional attachment.

Fear & Us: Our attachments feed our fear to say the least. If we don’t earn “enough”, if our kids don’t lead a certain patterned life, if we don’t fill in the already set norms of the society we will be ostracized. If we speak up the truth we will be mocked and we will end up sounding not relatable. We have to fit ourselves somehow in the places carved , even if it means denying our conscience. We don’t want to be robbed of our deemed valuables, we fear losing, we fear old age, we fear death, we fear estrangement from loved ones. This is our fear only that results in complications in our relationships feeding our egos. And in this run to the mill the only thing we don’t fear is “losing ourselves” and “sense”. Strange, isn’t it?

Where’s the liberty? Attachments impact us beyond a speck of doubt. But does this mean we take up asceticism right from the word go? Not possible as when born with this human abode we have a set of responsibilities towards our family and society. They need to be discharged with utmost care. But every once in a while we must care to answer “Who Am I?”, “What’s my purpose on this earth?”, “Is making merry the sole purpose of life?”. These questions to yourself will shed light on a new perspective of and towards life. That’s the illuminated path of righteousness where the almighty wants to see us shining in his light. Once that truth dawns upon us we will slowly try to distance ourselves from these attachments that shackled our souls. Our attachment shall be like a pearl of water on the lotus flower, it seems to be attached but never really stick together.

Practice Tip: All of us must practice silence, absolute silence!! No phone, no book but time with you. Start with 10 minutes a day. You will soon find the clutter that clogged our minds is getting decluttered. This silence is a teacher that teaches us we can be alone and don’t have to entertain “unnecessary” bonds. That will fill us with the ability to speak the truth and what is right the without fear of being judged. When fear leaves our hearts it is filled with joy.

Go ahead first simmer down and then switch off that stove, let your lives be filled with flavour of Joy. I am your company in this process 😊.

A GRATEFUL HEART SOWS SEED OF JOY

It was in 1996-97, a group of kids in the age group of 10-12 years were having fun at the marriage banquet hall. It was all colorful and merry. And the food stalls, the important attraction of every marriage other than the groom and bride were just set up.

Hot piping coffee, tangy street food, scrumptious Indian desserts, colourful indo-chinese noodles, Indian cuisine ranging from north to south, enticing ice cream and everything that spells “delicious” was being served.

Kids rushed to the food counters to make the most of it (what else marriages could have meant to kids in that age and that period of time). As they were filling their tiny tummies with one delicacy the other one was winking at them as if saying “mind space in your stomach, won’t you try me“. Amidst all the fun and frolic they saw two pairs of eyes watching them in utter silence standing at the front of the gate outside the marriage venue. Faces worn out, clothes torn out, eyes filled with hunger coming directly from the burgling stomachs. Their faces moved these kids standing on the other side of the fence. They huddled together, had a brief chatting and soon were hopping from counter to counter to fill their plates. Anyone who had a look at their plates could tell something was wrong, the proportions on plate were nowhere proportional to their appetite.

With four overflowing plates they made a move towards their counterparts and slightly gestured to come and have food. But to their surprise those kids ran to their parents who were sitting on the pavement there. It was a reflection of values despite their economic status. Values aren’t reserved parking areas, affluent involved in scams and poor people returning bags full of money proves it. These kids followed them with food. They offered the food to their parents, at first instance they also refused “free food” (unlike people fighting for free food and abusing delivery men 😜). But the group of kids insisted them on accepting food as it was clear that they were hungry for days now. At the end parents gave in for they can’t see their kids go hungry for one more day. This group made turns to the venue to get more food till all of them were full. They blessed these kids with folded hands.

That was enough for the kids to come back with hearts filled with joy. Joy of being blessed, joy of satiating hunger, joy of giving when you clearly have more than enough. I am fortunate enough to be in that gang of carefree kids. We at that time may have acted out of impulse but thinking about that incident over a period of time have shaped two of my principles in life – Respect Hunger and Be grateful. I have already spoken about my viewpoint about hunger in one my article on the same platform:

Coming back to the second one – being grateful, I strongly believe that unless a heart is filled with gratitude it is devoid of LOVE. It is incapable of giving back, hence it is incapable of maintaining an equilibrium in the society. Just like other values and hunger, gratitude ain’t a prerogative of a specific class or section of society. I know people from both ends of the spectrum. There are people who despite of accumulated riches always have a frown on their face. Whenever asked how they are doing, their standard reply “don’t ask, what an hard time we are having, just surviving”. They are in one tone frame of mind that the world around them, from their house maid to the prime minister of the country is conspiring to rob them. They really find it difficult to part away with things.

Well, let’s make a 180° turn as the ungrateful souls are not our point of focus as of now. Our inspiration should come from the likes of Shri Ratan Tata, Shri Narayanan Krishnan, Shri Sundarlal Bahuguna etc and many unsung heroes from our own families and surroundings. Gratefulness must not be only restricted to having the purchasing power (read economically sound). If you are capable of bridging the gap between the mouth and hands, be grateful. If you are healthy, be grateful. If you have a square meal, a roof and clothes to keep you safe be grateful for there are wars being waged for the same.

While this all sounds preachy that too at a higher octane the simplest way to say “Thank you” to the almighty is “give what you can”. If you are rich and powerful create avenues for many to earn their livelihood. If you are moderately well off then make charity a part of your budget, no one needs to know it. We have national and international organizations like UNICIEF, WHO, RED CROSS SOCIETY working towards a better tomorrow, be a part of it (this is my personal practice, you can choose what suits you). The best thing about such association is that you will never get to know whom you are aiding, secrecy is joyful too. Involve your kids in such noble activities (read @preetacreations article, she has done a wonderful job). If budget system doesn’t suit you, give away whenever you can – be it food, educating the underprivileged, even a glass of water matters. If materialistic things are something that you yourself are struggling to attain then the least is a kind words of encouragement, a simple prayer that everyone should be happy and peaceful or just a smile ( @Chiradeep a man of great qualities, a lot to learn from him, go check his article), there’s simply no dearth of ways to show our gratitude.

Next time when you sulk about not having the latest version of I-Phone remember there’s someone who needs aid to convey his or her emotions as they are devoid of voice!!!! And yes if having something makes you fortunate then being able to give away makes you fortunate and joyous too – double bonanza, isn’t it?

DEATH NOT THE END

Zindagi toh bewafa hai ek din thukraayegi,

Maut mehbooba hai, saathi leke jaayega”

These are the lyrics of an old hindi song that I have heard decades ago. It translates to “life is a betrayer, will leave us midway but death is a darling that will surely take us with it”. Profound, isn’t it? Death is the ultimate reality of life. That reminds me of a particular scene from a regional movie – a mother whose son died pleads her husband to do something and revive her son’s life. He agrees but asks her to do one thing “go and get some black sesame seeds from a house / family that haven’t witnessed any death“. She runs from door to door but receives only one answer “SORRY, We just mourned loss of someone”. She collapsed of fatigue but realized one thing Death Is Inevitable! Hence that realization granted her strength to send off the departed soul – detachment from the attachments.

But ironically death can only put an end to the life cycle but not to the LIFE itself. People depart but their presence lingers on, Memories is thy name.

My share of memories: My father left us in 2014. He battled cancer for almost two years. I was with him when he was diagnosed with throat cancer. I witnessed his pain, the pain inflicted by hunger, by numerous surgeries, by harsh chemotherapies. He lost his voice and was reduced to a bag of bones towards the end of his life. With energy drained out all he did was to watch us in silence and helplessness. I left him in care of my mother and brother as I had to leave for Brussels. Within few months I got a call that he wants to see me as he almost had a premonition about his departure. I couldn’t get tickets before the third day from that call. But it was too late, he breathed his last the very next day. For all the suffering he has undergone he passed off peacefully in his sleep. He longed to see me but unfortunately that didn’t happen, I couldn’t pay him the last visit. And that remorse still haunts. But he still visit me in my subconscious state of mind, my dreams and it seems nothing has happened, nothing has changed.

I know that I have shared this episode quite a lot of times on this platform. We as a family were prepared for this truth check of life. Though it was painful for us yet we found solace in the fact that he was liberated from his agony.

Shocking News: When someone in the family suffers with any kind of terminal illness, rest of the family is mentally prepared for the outcome though not leaving their optimistic approach. All they want is relief from the pain either ways. Even when people reach old age, their demise leave people mourning with grief, grappling with memories but as time moves, life moves on with the acceptance of the fact – it was supposed to be this way, the only unchanged truth of life!! But sometimes death knocking out life when it is not even expected to be anywhere round the corner. Two such instances I would like to share here:

  • A 35 years old daughter of one of my relative died last year due to covid. She had just delivered a baby girl and weakened immunity in after delivery phase made her contact covid. She was kept on ventilator as her lungs were too weak. And despite of every effort she couldn’t sustain. That was a shocker for us. A baby lost her mother and a mother lost her daughter. If this wasn’t heart wrenching enough that mother also lost her husband to cancer just an year ago.
  • In another incident few years ago, another relative lost her 25 years old son in a gruesome accident. He left home saying “I will be back soon mom” but few hours later what she received is a butchered body. The plight of that mother is something beyond my words could ever explain.

These were really very painful for those who were left behind. Prepared or caught off guard, we all get hit by this certainty. If emotional attachment is something that grips us as trauma then there are cases where the kith and kin are physically, economically dependent too. For instance in the above mentioned incident the lady who died due to corona had a new born baby and a ten years old boy. Such situations mark the loss with lot of vulnerabilities rocking the lives of survivors.

What can motivate to live, continue living? Shouldn’t we be paying the minimum respect to the creator and the ultimate truth of the cosmos “everything that is born will have an end”. Ok this is quite preachy and may sound really harsh. We can’t teach this to a grieving family. But then the responsibilities of a family or a position that might have dropped our shoulders before with fear act as catalyst to face, carry and continue. A mother has to fill in shoes of the departed husband for kids; son has to shoulder the responsibilities his father was discharging; successor in line has to take oath to serve just as his/her preceding person did; grandparents need to once again don the hats of parents. There’s a plethora of such examples. Because this is a token of respect and love to the one who just made an exit from this stage.

What about the vacuum created? As I mentioned it’s only we have to fill those materialistic spaces of responsibilities. And their memories in turn fill in the space in our hearts, can there be any denial to this?

A fact check: Forgetfulness is a bliss!! As we cope up with the loss of our loved ones and gear up ourselves to face the life and it’s struggles again the mill of the time keeps ticking. And passing through that we undeniably forget our trauma (not the person). Remembering the good times spent with the desceased in our good times, walking the path they showed us- isn’t this a perfect ode to them? Think over.

HEY! DON’T CALL ME AUNTY

What hurts a woman the most? The word “hurt” is making this an emotional saga and definitely, I am not in a mood to tell one. So let’s change it to ” Enrage”. Yes, that makes it powerful 😉. So what can enrage a woman and invite her ire almost at the drop of a hat? Call her a bad driver she can still pardon you. Call her a nagger, you still have chances to watch that football match with friends. Illogical, argumentative, gossip lover – you still have bleak chances of making it safe. But one thing that guarantees a woman’s “you are so dead” look is calling her Aunty!!!!!

(Picture Credit – Google Inc.)

**Important Note: Don’t try the above-mentioned stunts at home**

Imagine a 25 year old lady who just delivered a baby and haven’t shed the extra kilos gained during her pregnancy is called Aunty by some random odd 50+ old salesman at the shop counter. This is exactly what happened to someone really close to me, it was me only 😂😁. Standing just 5 feet 3 inches from the ground, weighing around 81kgs I seriously looked like a sack of potatoes. But in my head, I was no less than a Greek Goddess who has draped a beautiful saree. Having an illusionary parallel world is important it seems, at the end of the day a happy mind scores over a svelte figure. Though I was 25, the different changes my body has just experienced I looked older than I was. Kids in their late teens started calling me Aunty, vendors who were double or triple my age replaced the sophisticated “Madam” with “Didi” which means elder sister. Elder sister to a man who crossed six decades !!!! That was heartbreaking, demotivating to say the least 😁. I was not “ageing” but looked aged😱.

Blame it on pregnancy or hormones in play, gaining weight isn’t the only concern. A double date of pimples with wrinkles are so determined to make sure I am grounded well. 35 years of age (can we trend 10 years challenge again? Just asking 😁), my ageing process has been a roller coaster ride. Dresses that look fabulous on catalogues poke me with sarcasm in the trials and the mirror shouts “any flat tyre there, we have a spare here”. Then only the swollen under eye area shouted “we have carry bags too”. Acne scars in late thirties so adamant to leave lecture me freckled face is in. And I am like ” you no freckle but a damn pimple”.

Being Called Aunty is still ok: Since last year for god only knows reason hormonal imbalance has added another feather in my cap – excessive facial hair growth, especially the chin area. Slowly I have come terms with being called Aunty. I explained to myself – it’s ok sabka time aayega (no one is going to stop ageing). I might have aged a bit too early and fast. Let it sink. And I moved on in life until I realized what if people now start calling me Uncle due to the stubble I am growing😂😂. I would like to thank my mask here for masking my imperfections as well. That reminds of an incident that happened 18 years ago – a time when I was not introduced to the magic of Salon yet. A friend of mine made fun of how I am having a moustache, my kids would be confused whom to call papa. Now those ghosts haunt me again 😂. Damn these hormones😡😡.

Dr. Google consulted: The moment I realized my face has too many folds on its linen I consulted Dr. Google. I have been prescribed everything – from dripping egg to sticky honey; from colourful turmeric to plain white rice powder along with tomatoes, cucumber, potato and possibly everything under the sun used in the kitchen. Results were not visible but my face told me “idiot you missed the pan, leave me alone first get your eyes checked”. When you hit panic buttons you are eager to try everything with an anticipation of quick results. Acceptance of the fact that you are ageing is one thing and earnest efforts to make sure it isn’t visible is another ball game that everyone participates in. So did I. So what if I had to wipe the entire kitchen floor after my beauty treatment; so what if my 5 years old called me a monster and tucked in blanket; so what if the application literally impairs me from speaking or laughing to avoid more wrinkles and all I could do is mumble to add to the annoyance of others (read husband). Say no die is the mantra😂.

How to keep oneself motivated: To lose weight, to have that youthful look on face, to let the world guessing what your age could be one needs to have a disciplined regime and diet. Walking, cardio, lifting, protein diet, yoga – in short whatever our celebrities say they do to look flawless and carved. I charge up myself for such meticulous plan, determined to push few pounds and years back. Salads graced my plate until an ice cream enticed me towards it. One scoop, two scoop – and the drama begins.

Brain : what are you up to? This isn’t the plan.

Heart: how naïve you are dear brain! Let her eat and enjoy till she can. At the dusk of life this is not possible. Life is so short to curb oneself from little pleasures.

Brain: What about her plan to look like that celebrity?

Heart: Lol, celebrity has to stay in limelight, it’s business, showbiz, completely professional. We shouldn’t mix personal and professional things – I mean her personal with their profession. Does it make sense or not?

Brain: (gave up) ok then don’t complain later 😏.

And I savoured the third scoop!😁.

Moral of the story : I have come up terms with life. Aunty, Behen ji, Didi – no problem, I am sport for everything. Sab Moh Maya hai (everything is illusionary). Ageing is inevitable, for someone way too fast and early and for some a bit restrained, nonetheless it happens. What matters is health – physical and mental. And for everything else : Beauty is internal 😁❤️.

TIDES WILL TEACH TO SWIM

That’s quite cliché and cheesy, as if from a run to mill Bollywood masala movie, isn’t it? But ironically that’s the reality of life. * Note: don’t try underwater stunts if you don’t know how to swim.

Well, that joke bombed. So let’s talk about life now. What marks a transition in an individual? Marriage, heartbreak, love, responsibilities, failures, success….. It’s endless, each person has different factors or trigger points that set the change, marking the arrival of new perceptions towards how one views life. For me, it was the serious financial crunch that hit our family (2003-2006) due to a blindfolded decision was taken by my father based on his trust in a person who is quite close to us. That decision proved to be fatal. If I say we were hand to mouth, it won’t be an exaggeration. Our financial condition was always somewhat strained as far as I remember but when people avoid you lest you would seek any help from them, in a way almost shunned socially that hits really hard.

What was the transition in my case? As a teenager who has started going to college and had a world full of fun and frolic enticing and inviting, I had to take an important decision of life – fill in shoes of an adultfrom carefree loitering to shouldering responsibilitiesI actually come of age; from demanding to contributing. I dropped out of college after second year, took up a job so that I could do my bit to keep my family going. It was not just me, but my brother, as well as my mother, chipped in, we swam along and against as well the tides of difficult situations of life to make sure we were not only afloat but soon find our ground. I am not ashamed of sharing it, in fact, a frail sense of pride visits me regularly whenever I think of that struggle.

So what’s the big deal!!! Every human being has a trail of struggle at some point of time, I am not an exception. But my struggle has given me some important lessons of life. Money commands respect and you always have a choice of either fighting or succumbing to the adversities of life aren’t the ones making to the list. Movies already portrayed them to the T, isn’t it😁? What I learnt from that situation is:

1. Choose your idols carefully. Idols need not be of celebrity status but must have a high moral stature accompanied by qualities like grit, perseverance, patience, honesty and humility. Look carefully around, you will find many unsung heroes whose life experiences may not have made it to Yes Talks or Forbes list but surely can gift us a new thought to ponder and look at our lives. Fortunately, I have many around me that helped me to hold my head not only high but levelled.

2. At the end of the day, it’s your character that speaks on your behalf. If you can’t respect yourself can’t demand the world to do the same. The glitter of fallacious showoff will wear off eventually but the impression that your character makes stays forever. At this juncture of life when I am leading a comfortable life I believe in sticking to the lesson I learnt in the bad phase of my life. That has earned me some real friends and relations in my life to date.

That lean patch of life has given me enough confidence for a lifetime. I can take life head-on. That reminds me of one beautiful thing my friend said to me: I once playfully (teasingly) said to him “why would you talk to someone poor like me?” To this, he said ” are you handicapped? Then why call yourself poor when God has given you every capability?

That struck me hard and rightfully. Till the time we block ourselves mentally we can ride with or against any tide that time throws at us, isn’t it?