SMIRK WHEN THE LIFE GIVES A JERK

I recently watched an amazing video by Dr Vivek Bindra,  a motivational speaker,  on the Battle of Chamkaur. It was a battle between the Khalsa, headed by the 10th Sikh Guru,  Guru Gobind Singh Ji and the Mughal forces. The Sikh army was just 42 in number,  whereas the Mughal army was around 1 million.

Unbelievable?  Yes,  it is. And the result of the battle was the victory of the Sikhs. Dr. Bindra states that during our tough times,  we easily give up and don’t try. But,  Guru Gobind Singh Ji was such a powerful leader that not only did he think about fighting against such an enormous number,  but also won the battle.

It is very easy to quit at the difficult situations we come across,  but to be patient and keep trying is the key. Life is full of struggles,  we get so many setbacks every now and then- be it at work,  at the career front or in relations. But there’s no point in complaining now and regretting later because you didn’t try.

I have a couple of heroes around me whom I simply adore. One of them was my colleague. I always saw her smiling,  laughing and making others laugh. Out of curiosity,  I once asked her how does she manage to be so chirpy. She told me that its God who has made her so strong. At the tender age of 14, some dacoits barged into her house and shot at her mom,  dad and sister. Her sister died on the spot,  while mom passed away 7 days later. Her dad recovered and remarried without even letting her know. Torn and devastated from inside,  my friend didn’t lose hope and courage. She managed to stand on her feet and became financially independent.

There’s another heroic example of my friend who was going to shift abroad,  but just a day before, her husband met with an accident and his leg had to be treated.  The operation went wrong and he is still recovering,  but he had to part away with his job. Not only the dream of settling abroad was crushed to pieces by the destiny,  the financial burden also came up to the family.  My friend mustered all her courage and took up a job.  She is now financially taking care of her family. And after all this,  she remains happy and makes us laugh with her one-liners. She says there is no point in crying and cribbing about the adversities in life because one can’t control it. What you can control is how you face the situation and how you fight against the odds.

So,  smirk when the life gives a jerk,
Rise up and don’t give up,
For this life is a game,
And it will never be the same.

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PARENTING – LOVING SANS DISCIPLINING, NOT DONE!

I think it was in the month of October,  and one of the Saturdays, after dropping our son at swimming pool we took our daughter to park as we had to anyways wait for an hour for him to return. We went to the park and my daughter was having a good time there and it was time to go. So she hardly spent half an hour there and was very reluctant to go for obvious reasons. She was adamant, holding her feet back and we literally had to force her out of the park. She was screaming loudly which was embarrassing. And this situation led to heated arguments between parents (inevitable), I can laugh it off now but that moment was something different. I doubted my parenting, where am I going wrong in bringing up my children”, “why she behaved that way”, “Am I a bad mother that my kids don’t pay attention to my words and many questions followed making me introspect myself and my ways. I felt broken, down and out. I must tell you that she normally abides by what I say but that day it was a different ball game, every parent experiences such incidents I guess.

As they say, sharing helps to mellow down the pain and burden, I confided to my dear friend about the situation and one thing she said really stuck me making a deep impact and that’s what I wanted to share with you all when the topic of “Discipline ” was tossed up for this week. She said “I don’t understand when parents say kids don’t listen to us. It’s really important to make them understand that WE are the parents and they cannot boss around with us, period!”

It made sense, not just “a lot of but wholly“. We all love our kids but loving them without disciplining them, without infusing any sense of responsibility, without morals is as good as a blind leading a bunch of ignorant minds. That would only lead them to fall deep down.

Though parenting is not a definite science with set rules as every kid and every parent is different but I would like to put forth my observation, rather this is what I practice (I do falter sometimes 😔):

A No Is A No:  Well this holds good for kids too. When my kids put forth unreasonable demands, I say NO straightaway. But sticking to it is a rather difficult feat to do. They may cry, bring in recommendations 😁, cling on to you and much more. And if you succumb then they know the trick to get you every time. For instance, my son for whom it is difficult to comprehend a “No” because of his Autism would just throw an agitated tantrum every time I say No. But I try to remain unfazed by anything he does and at the end he would return to normalcy. Actually, this was what proposed by his teachers too, I am following it as religiously as I could.

A timetable is important: Following timelines, having a schedule is of paramount importance when it comes to disciplining kids. And I believe in adhering to it strictly. Be it for how long they are going to watch television when they will have dinner, time to go to bed – everything is fixed. It sets an order and decorum. They should know “Early to bed, early to rise” isn’t just a rhyme 😁.

Parents should be on the same page: It’s a normal tendency that one parent is in charge of disciplining kids at home while the other significant one takes a comparative backseat. It was my mother in past and now I am the captain of the ship 😎.  So whenever a call has to be taken I insist that I and my partner remain on the same page (at least apparently in front of kids). The difference of opinion can be discussed in private. Kids should identify the authority and definitely shouldn’t get a chance to “Divide and Rule“😂.

Carrot And Stick: Ah! This is one of the management/leadership style that I learnt in college is proving to be handy now. I surely don’t believe in the thought process of “spare the stick and spoil the child but it is important to emphasise on Rewards (Carrot) and Consequences (Stick) theory for kids. It would make them responsible in the long run, to say the least. The excitement of a reward and fear of a punishment is very important in moulding up a child’s attitude. That would help them mark the difference between a “Good Behaviour” and a “Bad Behaviour”. A very recent example from Facebook though – a father made his daughter walk to school (5 miles spread over two or three days) in reaction to her inappropriate behaviour of bullying someone. And this is what I exactly meant.

Involve them in chores: Not sure how far this would go in disciplining a child but this would ensure more interaction with them, the autonomy of a greater level in kids infusing confidence. And the goal of parenting definitely includes shaping up a confident independent child. I try to include my kids as much as I can.

NOTE:  These are my observations (to a greater extent practice too) only.  I do fail many times as a parent. But I shall not stop because my kids are my responsibility. I hold responsibility towards them as a parent and towards society too, to give it a socially aware human being and the process is on. And this holds true for every parent. Remember, you are doing great for parenting is not easy and doesn’t come with a manual.  You might have a different approach, do share with me 😊.

HOW DO I START MY DAY?

(Captured by Avinash Das)

I captured this picture on 16th May 2018 morning and this is how my day begins every day.

As I wake up every morning, the first one hour I spend with a Cup of Tea, two pieces of Britannia Marie biscuits, my e-Bible and my daily devotional “Our Daily Journey”.

Like every other normal human being, my day begins with the need for wisdom and knowledge to blot-out my confusions, the answers to my inner questions, the strengths (ability) to overcome my weaknesses and the need of a perfect roadmap for my life’s journey. Without it, going to bed happily will be ‘Twelfth of Never’. But WHERE CAN I GET IT ALL?

The Bible says,

“Lord, let the morning bring me WORD OF YOUR UNFAILING LOVE,

for I have PUT MY TRUST IN YOU.

SHOW ME THE WAY I should go, for TO YOU I ENTRUST MY LIFE

Spending time in meditating words written in the Scripture gives us the confidence to trust God and shape our character to be trust-worthy to all.

 

Cut those treacherous strings,
and see what enormous joy it brings.
Strap on those glittering mythical wings,
and listen to enchanting symphonies your soul will sing.

“The occasional mellow
calmness of the mind
amidst brilliant busy sparks,
spells Hope for the human heart.”

DAILY MOTIVATIONS!

Finally the tiredness seeps in, the body gives away and the mind stops its race. Sleeps takes over and into the world of dreams we enter. Forgetting the worries we had, all the hectic schedules, the numerous work and the never ending demands. Losing the track of time and regaining the energy and peace of mind. The ring of the alarm, wakes up the brain, to schedule the rest of the day. Thoughts of laziness, “Why should I wake up, this early?” and the small little sleeping baby’s smell. The love, the snuggle and the pain of waking up your household, just to start their day off. The push of the heart and mind, forcibly making the body awake, “Up, Up now mommy, the kid needs you for the rest of the day.”

This is how, my night ends and my day begins. It finishes off and begins, with the same motivation, that keeps me on my feet the whole day. The love for my kid and attending to the needs of my family. May be this is how every normal home maker would feel. Maybe it is the same motivation, which makes a home maker be the first to wake up and the last one to go to bed. Maybe this is the same love and worry of a home maker for her household and its members, that makes her do her job, wearing a smile on her face throughout the day. No matter how tired she is, how irritated she feels, how sick she is, or what she wants to do, she always keeps her family first. She finishes her chores and meets the need of her family, daily, without fail, and then if there is some time left to spend on her own, she does what she loves the most.

I, am a very lazy, easy going and not-too-excited-to-do-much-work type of a person. I love to finish my tasks early, so as to do things I like. I sometimes feel, its totally unnecessary to go into household work for a long time. Days as such, I get thinking about how events in life, has led me into such situations. But, at the same time, smile and the satisfied look, on my husband’s and my daughter’s face gives me all the strength that I need to do the days work. This is just an example of one kind of motivation in my life.

There are many a times when my heart hurts and pains by the words spoken to me. Feelings of me letting down the hopes of others, tears me down and with a heavy heart, I call my mother. I tell her how I feel or I think that I have let down someone very close to me. How rude I was, or how my words pained them. I pour out my heart in front of her. She tries to motivate, inspire me and she points out my mistakes and tells me how to rectify it. She gives instances and examples from our time together, to explain me things. She brings me out of my misery. Not only she, but my father also tries to light the fire of humility and meekness in me, by lovingly pointing out how one should surrender to strong feelings and ultimately do what is right. They have helped me, be the person I am today.

The biggest and the most important motivation that I get in life is from my Lord, my Saviour. Every day in the morning, getting up and surrendering the entire day to Him by studying the Bible, I feel His peace and satisfaction in my heart. Whenever I feel troubled, I simply pray to Him, asking Him to pave my path, to show me ways, to handle everything that comes my way as His word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

He has not only made all things wonderful in my life, but also have given me the perfect amount of motivation, to do many things in life. Willingly or unwillingly, even keeping my own respect at stake, later saving it. He has held me through troubled waters and quick sands, saved me from dangerous situations and people, has lifted me from a level zero, to where I am now. He has always been there for me, whenever I am at my low or I am in an excited state. He has always given me reasons, good enough to do things that matter, that are necessary to me or are important for my family. There were times when I was in desperate need of motivation, guidance and advice and there! He was right there. Holding all the necessary information, relevant conversations, very apt reasons, modified statements and even moral policies, in case I drift to the other end. He has always answered my, “why’s” and “What for’s”. He has pulled me out of pain, reasoning with the situation, in turn motivating me further. He takes the side of the other person always and has always pushed me to become myself after a very bad, or painful situation. He is the main source of my motivation and an unending and unfailing one.

These are my daily potions of motivations…

WHAT I DO TO PICK MYSELF UP

Last year I had a brief spell in my life when everything turned upside down. Despite all the light around me everything seemed dark. A small term paper submission triggered an avalanche of self-doubt in me and for a week I was mentally paralyzed. I began to wonder what the hell I am doing with my life.

I had left my job for pursuing my masters in English literature as I wanted to rebuild my career, start from scratch ,and do something I actually like and care for. The term paper submission got me all tensed and worked up and I started to rethink about the decision I had taken. I even tried to find a way if I could get back my old job. I had almost made up my mind do drop out from the course and look for another job if I could not get back my old job.

I was living alone and did not have anybody to share this with. My parents would get too worried for me and my situation was such that only a few could understand my agony. A friend who had made a similar decision helped me out and calmed me down. His conversations helped me a lot. Another thing which kept me strong during this phase was taking long walks. I would wake up and go for long aimless walks till my legs hurt. And I did that even in the evenings. I would have walked 5 kms on certain days. And those were the only times I did not think of my decision.

Apart from definite health benefits walks can be very helpful to our emotional and mental well being I believe.  Whenever I am at home in Siliguri I take long walks to the nearby “fafri” forests. The sight of the tall Sal trees, the sound of the morning birds, the sight of the mischief-making monkeys, and the company of strangers clears my head and prepares me to face another day. When I was in Tezpur, a quaint town on the banks of Brahmaputra in the state of Assam, I would always take a walk during the evenings to Ganesh-Ghat and sit beside the quiet waters of Brahmaputra and contemplate. It was soothing and relaxing at the end of a taxing day.

Another activity which pumps me up is listening to music. This is especially on holidays when I’m feeling very lazy and also at times when I feel low. I never keep a readymade playlist at hand and usually listen to varying genres across different languages. One common thing across them is that I look for uplifting and relatable lyrics along with good music. The well-written songs carry stories and episodes which can really lift up your mood and elevate your mind.

Deep conversation with select-few friends, either in person or over phone, is a blessing which I relish whenever I get a chance. A very personal thing I try to do, whenever I have to cope up with a situation beyond me, is to pray. At times in my room or go to the church, sit by myself, close my eyes, and just soak in the quietness, the solemn atmosphere, and let myself feel all that comes my way without inhibition and leave it at the hands of the almighty who is my sign of hope, love and life. I just feel light within, as if a burden has been lifted off me, and it gives me the courage and strength to continue to fight my battles.

An extra tip: Indulging in your favorite food can also work a charm when you are down in the dumps. A margarita pizza or an amazing misti-doi (you can google it) with semi-mashed himsagar mangoes does it for me.