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.

Advertisements

A LIFE OF DISCIPLINE

Someone asked me, ‘Are we born disciplined and some people become indisciplined in the course of life? Or, is it that we are born erratic and indisciplined and we need to be trained to be disciplined?’

Interesting query, isn’t it?

Well, we are not born erratic. However, we need to imbibe disciplinary traits that are largely shaped by our environment. Chaotic environments have in many cases resulted in disciplined people and highly disciplined environments have produced indisciplined people as well. So, there is no hard and fast pathway that would result in a disciplined person with a disciplined lifestyle.

However, nothing beats a disciplined lifestyle! A disciplined lifestyle emerges a winner at all times.

Irrespective of one’s birth or an environment, one needs to be disciplined.

In the previous articles of this week, we have dealt with discipline in assuming and managing various roles of life.

In this concluding article, I’ll talk about a life of overall discipline.

Physical Discipline

Do you wake up on time every day? Or do you need to hit the snooze button a couple of times before grumpily pulling yourself out of bed? Most of us – young or old, would have had such an experience!

Let me share one such day in my life. I needed to start for my coaching class at 7:30 A.M. When I opened my eyes in the morning, my table clock showed 7:10 A.M.! I generally wake up an hour and a half before the time I am to set out in order to leisurely space out my activities with time to spare. And now before me were just twenty minutes!

The first thing I did was tell myself not to frantic. Next, I thought for a few seconds which activities of my daily schedule I needed to do and which to skip out so as not to be late. Once I was clear about that, I proceeded to carry out the plan thought of. As a result, I was able to step out at 7:30 A.M. which was my time for all other days as well and the day went off smoothly.

Though I happened to manage my day without any chaos, if I think of a possible reason for the above mentioned morning drama, it points to a late night sleep. I had been studying till about 2 o’ clock resulting in an incomplete sleep cycle.

“Early to bed early to rise
Makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”

This is an age-old wise saying with proven results!

Eating healthy, sleeping adequately and on time, exercising regularly are few among the many physical disciplines that help to keep one’s personal and social life in place.

Emotional Discipline

Emotional discipline doesn’t necessarily refer to bottling up one’s emotions. Rather, it refers to regulating and managing one’s emotions for the benefit of one’s own self and that of others. Again, it doesn’t refer to manipulation of one’s own or others’ emotions. It refers to awareness and control of one’s emotions – be it an angry outburst or crying or laughing.

Spiritual Discipline

Another less thought of area. Knowing our Creator, building a personal relationship with Him and building on that relationship is vital to human beings. Yet, it is one area that is most neglected.

On the day that I have mentioned above, that I woke up late, of the twenty minutes with me, I chose to spend ten minutes in speaking to God and hearing from Him, i.e., to pray and read my Bible and the remaining ten minutes to brush, have a bath and get ready to step out. For me, it was and still is important to have an audience with God before having an audience with the world.

Discipline doesn’t seem easy or interesting to imbibe. However, once mastered, its value is realised. Some people are self-aware and learn to be disciplined, while some have to be made to realize the importance of discipline.

It is easier to bend a plant towards the sun while it is still tender. Disciplinary attributes are best taught and learned in childhood for their effects to be seen in adult life. However, it is never too late to inculcate discipline. One can make use of reminders, help-mates and self-checks to ensure that one’s chaotic life is smoothened.

Be disciplined, be calm and at peace!

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.

 

NOBODY DOES, WHY SHOULD I DO?

Nobody does, why should I do?

If a survey is done then I think this dialogue would be the most spoken dialogue in India when it comes to the carrying out of duties and responsibilities.

Is there not a traffic rule to over take a vehicle from the right side? Is it unknown for some? No, it is not. Everybody is aware of this rule yet there are drivers do the opposite or whatever seems convenient to them.

Throwing rubbish, a used cup, a plastic plate, waste food materials on the roads are not allowed. Is it not known to all? Yes, it is very well known to all of us yet, some of us do it at ease.

Urinating on the street is not allowed. Is it unknown to all? No, yet people do it disobeying the rules.

Wearing a helmet for the bikers is a mandatory rule. And this rule is made to save lives… for the benefit of the rider yet people don’t obey it.

Be it objecting to open urination, be it opposing eve teasing/ molestation, be it pointing out violation of traffic rules, be it reminding the importance of clean surroundings and sanitation – we choose to turn a blind eye by proclaiming the same slogan, “Nobody does, why should I do?”

Civic Sense is nothing but the sense of responsibility which refrains us from misusing and misbehaving in public places. But why don’t I follow it? Because I don’t want to be the first one but I wait for everybody to do it then I can imitate them like an uncivilized monkey.

I remember once I approached one of our neighbors to turn off electric lights for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 pm on a specific day (I can’t remember the date) as a symbol of commitment to the planet celebrating “World Earth Hour“. His response didn’t astound me but made me feel sad about it.

Because he said, “Nobody does, why should I do?”

My former boss has a very good habit. Whenever he travels in the trains he collects all the rubbish around him thrown by his co-passengers and put it in a plastic carry bag to keep it under the seat so that whenever the rubbish collector comes he would hand over the same to him. Last week when I was travelling to Cuttack I remembered him and followed the same.  That definitely astounded my co- passenger because they have that attitude of repeating the same slogan – “Nobody does, why should I do?”

A good citizen makes every utmost effort to do what he/she can do at his/her level. There are well explained designated responsibilities defined by the Indian constitution. Simply following them would ensure that we are good citizens of our beautiful country. If I have to repeat then I would love to repeat that, if we want our government officials to be more responsible and hard-working, then we too need to strive hard. We need to follow guidelines and have to respect plans and reforms in order to maintain harmony and peace. 

Concluding this article as well as the current week, I would like to encourage all of you to  take an oath today to do at least what is required of us instead of singing our old song all the time.

I try my best to do what is required by the law of my land. Are you doing the same?

Stay Blessed!

CHANGE IS POSSIBLE – MUMKIN HAI !!

I stopped reading the newspaper long time back. With the news full of scams, murders, rapes and corruption, it makes all of us feel helpless and resigned. “Nothing can change this country” – we say and get on with our daily routines. This feeling of resignation makes us blind. It makes us somebody who is only ready to blame and not take any responsibility. It makes us blame the authorities, government, neighbors, schools, colleges and youngsters – basically everybody other than the people living under our own houses.

As a kid, I saw my father make a difference to a small community when he first started a waste management program. I saw him work hard, toil his days only in educating people about segregating waste. That step of his was a huge inspiration for me. Waste segregation not only made our colony cleaner but it helped those poor rag-pickers who got clean dry waste to be recycled. He changed a few lives and inspired many.

I grew up and came to Bangalore. I joined a couple of NGO’s and Landmark Education. I soon found that here work was being done even at a bigger scale. Providing learning skills to underprivileged kids, teaching English and Computers to underprivileged kids, working on waste segregation at a much larger scale, basic sex education to kids and working against child sexual abuse – I have largely touched these areas while working with many people. I realized that world is full of passionate and enthusiastic people who are not resigned but all ready to make a difference at their own scale.

It is very easy to sit at home, watch news the whole day and read newspaper which is anyways full of negativity and blame the government. It is not very easy to take up an issue that our society is struggling with today and make it a mission of your life. Fight it with all your might – like a soldier protecting his nation.

Few years back, when Aamir Khan (renowned Bollywood actor) premiered the show named – Satyamev Jayate, I was touched to the depths of my heart. The first episode was about female infanticide and feticide – a major problem in this country. I cried my heart out imagining how many girls are killed every day, either as an infant or in the womb.
Satyamev Jayate is not about the problems in our society, it is not about finger-pointing and blaming the authorities. It is about looking for a solution at the ground level. The way this team has got the heroes of this country in limelight, it gives a huge inspiration to each one of the viewers.

To believe in the fact that “change is possible”! Yes, there are burning issues but the solutions are also available. In a country of 1 billion people, even if 10% of us take up a cause and a mission to bring about a change, corrupt politicians will be weakened.
I don’t read the newspaper at all. I rather subscribe to Facebook pages of the organizations and individuals who have taken up the mission to bring about the change. They give me much more hope and motivation to continue my mission. I am not interested in reading about scams, murders and rapes; I am more interested in reading about heroes of this country who never come into a limelight of media.

For me, a good citizen is the one who is not resigned about the condition of his/her county. A good citizen makes every utmost effort to do what he/she can do at his/her level. Soldiers are not the only one who have the responsibility to protect our land. It is each one of us who needs to do the work at our level to protect our land.

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES ARE A PACKAGE

Last week I met with an accident. A speeding taxi rubbed my two-wheeler from the side, I tried to land my foot, my trouser got stuck on some pointed object on the two-wheeler beside me. The two-wheeler rider was obviously not expecting this; hence he couldn’t control his bike. My trouser got torn, there was a cut on my leg, a severely sprained wrist. I was in an utter shock and all the above happened in few seconds. Another two-wheeler behind me got stuck between my tire and the footstep.

I came home, crashed on the bed, by next morning I have developed fever. Unable to move out of bed, I wondered what was wrong. It was my leg, there were four bruises and one cut ☹ After a visit to hospital, got a bandage for hand, dressing to the wounds, injection and medicine, was limited to home for next few days. I remembered that petrol in my bike was on reserve. On the weekend I had to refill the petrol, if not in case of emergency it would be difficult to even go to nearby hospital. With this thought, I took out my bike and was on road.

I was driving at minimal speed of 5 kms as the road was completely jammed. There was a car behind me, he honked once, I looked in the rearview mirror and ignored it, he honked again this time I noticed that he has an “L” board on his car. One more honk, I parked my two-wheeler right on the road and gave my piece of mind to the driver. “Firstly, you have no emergency, Secondly, as you are aware the lane is single lane, Thirdly, as you are still a learner, learn to drive without honking, Sorry, I am not giving you way because there is none and I cannot harm people walking on the side”. Normally, no matter how much they honk, I do what is right, but I don’t resort to giving lectures on road. This is the first time, and I really felt good doing it.

People in India honk more than required, sometimes so much that they don’t stop it.  We don’t really care, our work has to get done. We make more noise than what the problem’s seriousness really is and do nothing about it.

Attitude is the biggest problem, there are two distinct and interesting attitudes “Chalta hai” (It’s ok) and “It’s not my problem”. Is it never our problem unless it happens in our own family? The same are the reasons why we struggle every day, it is not the government. 

Every role comes with responsibility. Being a citizen is a role and Indian constitution has defined designated responsibilities to us.

  • Indian citizen must respect their National Flag and the National Anthem.
  • They must respect, value and follow all the noble ideals used in the national struggle for freedom.
  • They must to protect the power, unity and integrity of the country.
  • They guard the country and maintain the spirit of common brotherhood.
  • They must protect and preserve the cultural heritage sites.
  • They must protect, preserve and improve the natural environment.
  • They must safeguard the public property.
  • They should develop scientific temper and spirit of inquiry.
  • They must work hard to get excellence in every area of individual and collective activity.

These responsibilities are not just for the best interest of the country but of the people. Abiding to those responsibilities would bring prosperity to us and the nation. Simple changes to our behaviors, follow the rules, vote to choose who is going to give us a good direction, pay taxes on time, participate and encourage others for community work, keep our premises clean, help the government to perform their job better.

As a good citizen it is our duty to be responsible for the welfare of society and in turn our country. We have to change our thinking and act to see the positive effect it can make on the society. Let’s collaborate and work together.

 

“The power of the people is much stronger than the people in power” 
― Wael Ghonim

CITIZENSHIP OATH

When my eyes are bold
to identify
the
good and bad

When my ears are

keen to listen
to stories unheard

When my mouth

dares to
speak the truth I see

When my hands

break open free
to fight for justice

When my legs

never complain
to walk the miles
to support a cause

The day when I
scrub off the
impeding dirt
of my body clean
I pronounce
I am a
good human being
and
When I am able to
fulfill these
I am
a good citizen!