“Unfinished” – no more ‘just’ a word…

There’s something about the prefix ‘Un‘ when attached to a word.

It takes a simple word and reverses it – making it sound so much cooler. ‘Unfinished’ – there couldn’t have been a better word to describe her, she is indeed far from finished. She – Priyanka Chopra Jonas (as it says on the cover of the book) but to us Indians, she’ll always be PeeCee.

I cannot express how happy I was to be holding a copy of ‘Unfinished’A Memoir by Priyanka Chopra Jonas in my hands. I’ve always admired PeeCee as an Individual, as an Indian and most importantly as a role model to so many youth in our country to start with, if not people around the world too. And the best part – She’s INDIAN, she’s one of US.

"I am a product of traditional India and its ancient wisdom, and modern India and its urban bustle. My upbringing was always an amalgamation of the two Indias, and, just as much, of East and West," the 38-year-old actor said in a statement.(Amazon)
Look at her people – Look at those eyes!

I’ve always believed, when you read someone’s story, it needs to talk to you in a way, that makes you feel connected to the book, the story, and most importantly, the person BEHIND the book. This book had it all.

Priyanka prefers to call it a memoir, which is more a select few stories from her life thus far, to be fair, I wouldn’t want all the gory details – a memoir sounded just enough of information I needed to know, besides Priyanka’s journey is far from over, like I mentioned at the beginning – as the title of the book suggests – “Unfinished”

After having purchased the book, I downloaded the e-Book version – which made it feel (listening to it) as if she was reading her story out especially for me, only to have waited a few more weeks and have Oprah interview Priyanka Chopra. That was, in more ways than one – the icing with the cherry on top, if not the already plenty of interviews available online on Youtube wasn’t enough that I have watched, re-watched and shown to my students as well, have had me almost mouthing what Priyanka would say next.

Can I have enough of Priyanka? That would be a simple NO.

The grace, confidence, language and to top it all: A killer attitude – what’s to have enough of her?

If you’re wondering, why I keep typing out ‘Priyanka’ instead of her full name Priyanka Chopra Jonas? – well, we’re on First-Name-Basis. Can you imagine Priyanka calling me ‘Mr Paes’ when we meet, instead of Savio? I’ve decided we’d keep it totally casual.

If you’ve been a fan or even remotely interested in following Priyanka Chopra’s journey through life, you’d know there are plenty of lessons that you would take along the way – Plenty! I need not pen them down, it might make this post very preachy, but that said – one of the BIGGEST lessons one could take from her book, “Unfinished” – are the words of advice her dad constantly gave her, the constant support of her parents that she mentions all along her book, her admiration towards them and her full family in general, every step of the way – whether it was during her years of schooling, winning the Miss India crown or marrying the love of her life.

She always had that spark – and look where its got her.

Priyanka and Me – only 6 months and 9 days separate our date births #JustSaying. We’re the same age 🙂

I want to leave you all with profound words found in “Unfinished”

“It’s OK to pick up, walk away, leave thing unfinished, and move on to what’s next”

“We all have a different story”

“There’s only one you. Understand who you are , your uniqueness.”

and the best of all:

“I am very much #Unfinished”

something that we all need to say everyday when we wake up first thing in the morning.


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!!

WORK FROM HOME – A LUXURY OR AN AUSTERITY?

Ever since the lockdown began, things seemed a little upsetting. For me, it was just a complete stop to the new beginning of my office going. as I was just getting used to the environment at work almost after 10years of being at home. But again work was normal to me as I have been freelancing for a while but going to the office and being with my colleagues was a fun time. Thanks to the lord that i am always surrounded by happy people who keep me at joy.

But again, Everything is a blessing in disguise.

Lockdown and back to work from home did have lots of pros for me as a mom, and a woman as such. There were those times when I hardly took care of myself and every day was a marathon for me. And indeed the new job thing was also taking up my time with my kids, family and my besties. Now with my travel time saved, I kind of profited extra time which I surely get to use in plenty.

I also started working out much more and also took time to be with my kids. Things never seemed to be complex amidst work and life balance for me. Even though at times I do feel exhausted and lost (obvious mood swings), I still feel this is PERFECT!!.

I started to focus on my writing and even reading too. I helped my children to get to read more and also enjoyed my “Me-time” as well as my “buddy-time” which was almost negligible then.

There are also things which are not in our control like work-wise the expectations lay more specific as we have no excuses to make or run away from work. But again, here I feel blessed as my work is my passion, hence it never took my mind off.

Everything seemed to change, but some things never changed, like;

  • everyone around me asking for one more dosa, when I am in a hurry to finish my kitchen work and get to work,
  • asking for attention, when I am lost in work…
  • asking for specials to cook, when I am exhausted…
  • asking for an extra walk, when my legs are aching to take a break…
  • asking for the long story at bedtime, when I am in love with the bed, who is cozily rolling me into sleep.
  • the alarm that goes beeping, when these winter nights are for sleeping.
  • the morning rush, even when I am on a holiday, as others are not…

I know these things will never change, even if its work from home or not. All I need to change is my attitude towards it.

And all will look PERFECT as I wished for.

FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS TO REACH YOUR AIM

There is a hairline difference between dreaming and aiming. To achieve success you should have an aim and to have an aim you should have dreams.

bowler-656919_1280To dream is to think about a target and to aim is to keep the target in track and try to achieve it.

Every dream is possible no matter how hard it may seem to achieve. If you really hold on to your dream and convince yourself that you can do it, you will. You will have to make sacrifices to achieve it but once done, you will find a great feeling of satisfaction and you will realize that the hours and years of hard work finally paid off. So, hold on to your dreams!

golf-554516_1280You should have the courage to pursue your dreams. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Always remember you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.

So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable and then when we summon the will they soon become inevitable.

The reason that most people give up is that they look at how far they still have to go instead of how far they have come.

Therefore friends learn to select SMART dreams and follow them.

Remember when we cease to dream…we cease to live.

So…

Dream on….

Indira Patra

A DREAM TO EDUCATE THE DEPRIVED

When the topic Dreams and Aspirations came up to me I thought about the obvious approaches to this subject which was fulfilling our own dreams and achieving the career paths once we had dreamt of. But I knew this would be the general view of other writers and thinkers as well.

As I was pondering over the topic, during my journey in a bus while returning home from college, my attention was drawn towards a homeless duo who looked like siblings. I noticed their destitute situation and inferred that they were among the many children begging around the streets of Kolkata. I began to relate my previous thought of having a dream to the next sequence of events where these two must be having a different one.

We always think of achieving our dreams and aspire to have successful careers but have we ever given a thought about the achievements of these people!

michelangelo-71282_1280Not only the street children but there are innumerable individuals who have been a victim of social evils surrounding our society. The point that I want to make is that even people like them might be having a dream. A dream may not be like yours or mine but a dream to be set free. A dream to hold a book for the first time. A dream to go to bed after having a full meal. A dream to be one amongst us and many as such. A dream to lead a secure life.

I know we all help people with a coin or two when we see them begging in the streets which is indeed commendable but we do forget about them as soon as we reach home

When my B.Ed course began two months ago I wasn’t sure about what I was about to go through. As I am through it midway, I was shocked to learn about the percentage of population that didn’t go to school and the state of education in the country. There are goals that have been set but it is yet to be achieved.

I have decided to make a small contribution to my society by getting trained to educate. Or can I say a tiny initiative to help fulfill at least some child’s dream. That was my calling. I’m sure you have yours as we all get opportunities.

Let us learn to take them. Let us offer a prayer to God to give us the insight and opportunity to recognize and fulfill the need of our nearest deprived person who has a dream to be set free.

Ruth Samarpita Sarkar

DARE TO DREAM

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“I have a dream…” said American Civil Rights activist, Martin Luther King Jr. in a speech he delivered on August 28, 1963. His dream was to end racism in the United States.

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As a young man, Albert Einstein dreamed he was sledding down a steep mountainside, going so fast that eventually he approached the speed of light. At this moment, the stars in his dream changed their appearance in relation to him. He meditated on this idea, and soon formulated what would become one of the most famous scientific theories in the history of mankind – the principle of relativity.

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Thomas Alva Edison dreamed to discover a source of light that would last for quite some time and would neither require a constant supply of oil to keep it burning nor melt away like a candle. Despite continuous failures he pursued his dream. As a result the electric bulb which we have in our homes was invented!

The freedom fighters of colonized India had a dream – a dream to see India free from British rule. A dream to see India ruled by the Indians. It took decades of struggle before their dream saw the light of the day. And so here we are, living and breathing in free India.

If these and other great men and women in history did not dream, how would the world be today? Perhaps we would still be in the Stone Age!

Do you have a dream? Dare to pursue it!

Do not be bogged down by the red lights and speed breakers of ridicule and criticism. Believe in your dream and believe in your potential to achieve the dream. Act and Persevere. Be prepared to fail and yet be determined to rise up again. Above all, believe in the God who believes in you. Who knows, your dream might change the world around you!

Rajnandini Sahu

DREAMS: PANDORA’S BOX

 

Dreams… The word always ends on a soft sigh. Such a small word but the definition of it is endless. It opens our world to infinite possibilities. It springs hope eternal.

What an amazing feeling is that to know you can do anything you want to do. Be anything you want to be…

The world is your oyster, to live, love and conquer. But people have twisted it around, confused it with reality, put it on a pedestal and think it to be something that is out of reach.

We have confused aspiring for dreams with pursuing happiness. Because we have been told time and again to compromise, to adjust with our circumstances and though there is nothing wrong with that.

But that is a way to exist not live. And it’s because of all these voices around us or even within our head that we have stopped believing in ourselves. We have accepted the fact that we can only dream in a fitful state of sleep. But as it has been said, ‘A dream is something that keeps you awake.’ It is something that takes shape when you are conscious.

“I have a dream …” The most powerful lines ever spoken in the history of mankind. These lines they inspire me, because of the passion they were spoken with…spoken during a time of such distress.

wpid-wp-1443499695373.gifDo we not live in a better and evolved world today???  What is our worse circumstance? Reality?? Is that it? Think about it…

Who is stopping us to reach for our dreams?  Is it the world around or is it that feeble voice in the recesses of our mind that says “what if I fail?”

So I ask you today “Do you have a dream? ” If yes, then go get it because you can, don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. If no, then take a peek inside that Pandora’s Box, You will be pleasantly surprised!!

Avishikta