A LITTLE EFFORT HAS A BIGGER IMPACT

For me, festivals and birthdays mean a lot of work and preparations. Still, I manage to enjoy it. Like every person, I too look forward to my birthday and I feel extremely happy when the day arrives. When I was a kid, I used to wait desperately for my birthday cake and gifts. I would choose the best dress and would live my “princess moment”. This happened every year until I celebrated it in a different way.

I was in 11th standard. I was heading back home after evening classes. The chilly winter wind was trying its best to penetrate through my jacket. The more it went windy, the faster I walk. I went to confectionery and ordered my favorite Gulab Jamun. I came out of the confectionery and found a girl staring inside the glass door. I could sense hunger and helplessness in those eyes. I asked “Bhookh lagi hai?” (Are you hungry?). She chose to remain silent. I took out a piece of sweet and gestured her to take it. She kept staring at the sweet for 2-3 minutes. And then she hesitatingly took it. I could see bliss in her eyes. I bought her few chocolates. I got immense pleasure and that was incomparable. Since then, I try my best to have a good time with poor kids.

Yesterday was my birthday. And due to some reasons, I couldn’t celebrate it. I and my cousin share the same birth-date. So yesterday he was celebrating his birthday. He bought a cake and went on the street. He called the hard-up kids for celebrating his birthday. Four kids surrounded him and were so happy. My cousin cut the cake and fed one of the kids with his hand. I am sure he must be happy. This made me so glad.

There have been numerous occasions when I have celebrated Diwali and other festivals with such people. The happiness on their face is divine. The crackers and sweets can make you happy for a moment. However, when you do such deeds, you get lifetime happiness. I know you would say one can’t bring contentment to everyone. But when we stretch helping hands to people, gloominess will turn into gladness.

I wish someday I will celebrate an occasion at an orphanage or at an old-age home. By this, I can be a reason for their happiness, at least for an instance. When you put your effort into making someone happy, then you get mental peace and you feel delighted. It is not necessary to spend a huge amount. But a little effort is appreciated all the time. Our society and many organizations are joining their hands for uplifting the underprivileged and malnutrition kids. Therefore, let us be a part of this noble deed. Being a reason for someone’s happiness is a blessing.

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WHAT ARE DIFFERENT WAYS TO CELEBRATE?

Last few years, we have been playing a fun game called “Secret Santa” just before Christmas. It is a lot of fun and basically involves exchanging gifts in secrecy. We always used to fix an amount of money that people should not exceed. However almost every time, there will be one or the other person who would exceed the budget to show off the kind of gifts he/she can buy.

In the year 2017, I played a different kind of “Secret Santa”. There was an organization which was collecting Christmas wishes from kids living in the orphanages. They hardly have the luxury to exchange gifts. This organization then placed a huge ball of wishes in the middle of our campus. Each one of us was supposed to take up a wish and fulfill it for the child. We would never get to meet the child nor would we be able to see the expression on their faces when they receive the gift. But still many of us picked up more than one wish. Some of them really cute and few were emotional.

Those kids were asked to write down their wishes to Santa. Some of them wrote that they wanted a doll or a book or a car. Some of them even wrote that they wanted a family. Most of us tried our level best to fulfill their wishes to the best of our ability. And we so wanted to see how kids react to our gifts.

For me – that was the best “Secret Santa” that I ever played. It was really secret and brought joy to somebody who really needed it.

I ended up wondering why can’t we celebrate every festival in a similar way? Why do we need the decorations, sweets, gifts etc to celebrate a festival?

I realized that it is all about passion. If one is passionate about caring for the poor, they will find ways to work on it. Just like this organization did and they did it beautifully. If one is passionate only for his/her own pleasure, they will work on themselves only. They will show-off, buy big stuff for home, expensive clothes for the family, beautiful gifts for friends etc. There is nothing wrong with enjoyment but in my view, it should have a purpose other than satisfying one’s own desires.

Simple things can help take a big step towards this

  1. Why not share home-made Diwali sweets with underprivileged kids?
  2. Why not decorate an old age home just like you would do to your own on Diwali or Christmas?
  3. Least that can be done is to invite the family of your house help on festivals to celebrate together. Maybe visit their homes as well.
  4. Every republic day and independence, take up a project of planting trees or filling potholes or spot-fixing a garbage area.
  5. Make decorations using recycled material
  6. Make sure the all our idols that are immersed in water are environment-friendly.

I only listed down a few examples. There can be a million ways to give back to society during our own festival celebrations. Only if we make it our mission to do so, it is possible otherwise like most of us, we will always end up prioritizing our own desires over anything and everything else.

One of the biggest problem in our “Big Fat Indian Weddings” is the wastage of food. Of course, a lot of other things are wasted too and to top the list is the clothing and jewelry. But food wastage saddens me the most because usually close by the wedding halls are the slums who has kids and adults sleeping with an empty stomach. It could be so easy if we could just give away tons of food that turned out to be extra to these beggars and slums sleeping hungry. The only problem here is to arrange for logistics. There is some organization who have started this work, but in my view, the families of the bride and groom and the wedding point owners should take it up as their duty to ensure that every bite of the food cooked goes to a hungry person.

Do not waste. Every time you know that something is getting wasted, raise your voice and find out ways to get it to the person who can use it. It is so simple, only if this becomes a way of living life.

I am struggling to get there and I believe many more are. A lot of us want to do good but just don’t know how. Here is a simple solution – make it a mission of your life and you will find a way.

Celebrate because you love the festival and spirit behind not because it is supposed to be done in a certain way.

KEEP LEARNING

Another year coming to an end. 365 days, 8760 hours, 525600 minutes or 31536000 seconds coming to an end. I am not the kind of person who will look back and try to introspect on the year gone by. I usually look ahead with excitement towards the coming year.

But this year has been different. There has been a lot which was different this year and it has taught me a lot of things. So today I feel qualified to write this article. There are two major lessons I learnt this year. Actually, it’s not some new age gyan I stumbled upon. We all know these things, we just tend to conveniently neglect it or forget it.  

Be Grateful: One lesson I learnt in the year gone by is not to take things for granted. Be happy and thankful for what you have. However boring or straightforward your life may seem, there are many blessings in your life. Value them and be grateful for them. You never know when they will go away and then we will realise their importance in our life.

Be ready to Evolve: Or in other words don’t be complacent. I made that mistake. After marriage, kids and family life happened I got myself so involved in these things that I didn’t work on myself.  Keep evolving. Keep learning. Try to improve your qualifications or maybe just learn a new skill or hone an old hobby. Basically, keep adding to your personality. You never know when these skills come in handy.

Life will always throw a googly at you at the most unexpected time it helps to be grateful for what you have and be prepared for what is going to come.

LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL

2018 is about to finish and now when I look back, I feel nostalgic. If anyone asks me how was 2018 to you, I would say, “It was the best in my life”. Reading this line, many of you might think, I just have got good marks or might have topped university exams or have got a good job with handsome salary. Trust me there’s no such thing. 2018 was best because of many other reasons. All the reasons when combined together, have given me so much. When 2018 started I was having a lot of stress. The reason for stress was some family issues. Though 2018 was not a fairy tale year but it made my year.

I graduated in this year and this really makes me happy. While I was leaving my college, I came to know what I earned so far. I earned love and affection from my teachers, classmates and also from my juniors. While returning back to home I had lots of memories which are going to stay in my heart forever. 2018 taught me the true essence of love. True love motivates us to look forward and work hard for our dreams. It is kind and never brags.

Every day brought some lessons for me. The best lesson that I learnt was “not everyone we meet or have in our lives are intended to stay forever”. The only thing that will stay forever is bittersweet memories. The year is ending day by day and so it is taking away toxic people from my life; for which I am very thankful. The last six month of 2018 proved to be of great teachings. I learnt so much. I saw myself as a grown up, matured enough to make life decisions. I found when we are determined; no one can change our decisions. Once we are determined, we get the courage to walk alone in the city full of crowd. Even though we are alone, we are always surrounded by our determination and willpower.

I hope 2019 will also bring so many lessons for me. It will be a year that will witness my growth as a matured and persevere human. I wish 2019 to award me with success and good health of my near and dear ones.  In 2019, I won’t waste my time in anger, grudges and being disappointed. I would rather invest it in being a happy and cheerful soul. After all, life is all about finding happiness despite the odds. Therefore, welcome your new year with open arms and hopes.

HOW DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO TREAT YOU?

The year 2018. It started briskly without any drama or charm or newness in it. When I returned back to Kolkata leaving my native place – Cuttack, there was a glimpse of sorrow in my eyes. Somehow, I was not feeling very great going back to my workplace. In fact, I just wanted to rest, rest and rest in every way at home in Cuttack.

But… those were just wishes which always remain as wishes only. I had to come back and start getting busier with my routine work again.

When someone suggested this topic and I thought it would be nice to write on this by retrospecting and introspecting about my own life in 2018 and what I hope for the year to come in 2019.

If I look back to the year 2017, I would say it was a very bad year for me in all respect – mentally, emotionally and physically. And compared to that previous year, I would say, 2018 was a better one though there was a new heartwrenching feeling deep in my heart, asking me to be more disciplined in my life in aspects of my life. Let me reflect a bit about it…

The lesson in 2018: I am extremely into social networks. Bad habit. I would say, a very bad habit for a person like me. That definitely made me neglect a few of my surroundings and my relationships that are much more important than online friends, articles and quotes etc. But when my wife started to get addicted to Whatsapp and I felt neglected I understood it. I was like – “What are you doing? All the time Whatsapp? Why?

But then God’s spirit poked my heart and whispered to me in His most convincing way of communicating  – “Don’t you know what the Bible says about your problem – ‘Treat others the same way you want them to treat you’. Don’t you think it is unreasonable to expect something from others that you yourself have never done for them before? How can you be so selfish and self-centred and think that you have all the rights to do whatever you want and others will always do what is right and good for you?

Those stirring awakening words from God were enough for me. I was enlightened right away about my fault and understood what I had been doing till that time of enlightenment and what I should be doing henceforth. Instead of telling and advising my wife about what to do and what not to do, I started to curb my ways of dealing with my life – I stopped extensive use of social network. I mean drastically I changed my style of using the social networking sites.

You may ask whether I see any benefit coming my way after I dealt with my bad habit… Yes, I saw a glimpse of benefit coming my way though not considerably. And how can everything be alright in a short span when I have been committing the same act for a longer period of time? Fair enough, isn’t it?

How about you, friends? Do you relate to my life lesson? Does this help you enough to aware you of your mistake or you need some more time and more stirring events to happen in your life for you to awake and act upon it?

I have learnt my lessons, you learn it too soon.

In 2019, I will be more disciplined and will be treating others the same way as I want them to treat me.

Stay Blessed!

ORGANIZED STUDENT LIFE: STRIVING FOR GOOD MARKS AMIDST FUN

People say student life is the best. Being a student was never a hard time for me. I have had enjoyed my academic life always. During school life, I managed to have a good student image but that doesn’t mean I never had fun. People say a student’s life should be organized and student should make the best of it. This is because student life is the phase where we grasp things quickly. Parents always ask their children to focus on their studies and to befriend the intelligent ones in their classes. At times it may happen that we get envious of intelligent children and would try to compete them. In that case we might end up getting our routine upside down. So how can we achieve an organized student life?

If I talk about myself, for me my academic life was always organized. I knew my caliber and strengths. Instead of being envious of toppers I used to work on my interest areas and tried to improve my grey areas. When I was in school my routine was fixed. It was my habit to wake up early, get fresh and start my day. I would go to school and there I would engage myself in whatever was being taught. However, I was never a studious girl. I just studied to learn new things and not more than that. Apart from studies, I used to participate in some of the extra-curricular activities but that was limited. When exams approached I would turn into a book worm and fortunately I got good marks. During college life too I was never so studious. I would attend classes and would study to learn what was being taught.

After I have passed out from college I feel I should have been more studious. It’s not that I slept late, woke up late and didn’t study appropriately. I mean to say the way I was organized during my school life was way better than my college life. Though I was a fun loving girl in college, I knew study is what I have to do on regular basis. During my entire student life, one formula that helped me a lot is- setting up goals. I remember when I was in my 10th standard, the short term goal was to work hard for final exams. I used to study for long hours. I did this, not because of the fear of exam but because I knew this is the only way that will help me to study for my exams. Despite of studying for hours I never forgot to enjoy my days and take rest. I had made a schedule and I followed it. In college, few more things got added up to the study schedule, they were: study buddies, watching short movies and taking up the notes. Every morning I would wake up and would start my day. No matter what happened I ensured I read atleast a page, not just for the sake of reading. This helped me in learning so many things. However I was never a topper. Honestly speaking, I never studied for getting good marks.

I enjoyed every single day. I went for partying with my friends but I ensured that study and party never gets mixed up. I feel proud that I never had an issue of low attendance. A good student is the one who knows what they have to do and plans accordingly. Whether you are in school or college, your focus should be on grasping things, utilizing the resources provided to you. Setting short term goals and striding towards the long term goals can really help us in making the best of our student life. When we study in groups then we learn things quickly. Apart from this, one must focus on keeping student life away from other things. I am not saying we should not get indulged in some other activities but having a balance between everything can really be helpful in making the best of our student life.

ORGANIZING HOME – WITH AN EVOLVING ME

Image result for balancing home quotes

Balancing life is a meagre excuse, for living and dedicating your full time to your family. My all perspective is bound to keep myself happier and fuller till I lay on my deathbed -with no regrets no missing bits and pieces that will leave me hanging between life and death.

Growing up watching a mom, who has an excellent pace in managing work and a home was a quite a motivational stir to me ever since I became a mom.  I always admired to be more like my mom, though it gave me heart-attacks when I have to deal with a mountain of patience and I just a small hump of it, which was indeed not helping.

An organized home is somewhere you find things right in every place it deserves to be. But yea, my home is never like that other than a few requisite items, everything else is misplaced ever since I am the homemaker and worst ever since I am a mom of two.

But over the front of making everything read on time from managing home, cooking, and getting kids on time for school – I have a not so bad scorecard.

As a daughter who follows her mother’s I have few valid points, which I feel one should adapt to get things organized.  Ever since I became a second-time mom, things changed, and literally, I had to juggle with responsibilities. Managing kids school, a baby and work as well as taking care of husband and home – it was never easy.

Accepting that nothing is easy -is the first realisation that helps me cope well with my everchanging world. The very easy way to adapt to changes is by accepting that it is like this nothing can be magical. (pinch me- its real)

Secondly – Never expect your work to be done by anyone else. ( a better piece of advice to carry on in life) .  Expectations, keep your level of procrastination a little higher. The best way is to evade all those false thoughts and just keep doing until you are banged with surprises. ( don’t you like those) .

Third  – Planning – Yes it helps in running away from stress. With kids, it is better you have a minimal planning done. Like keep the milk boiled and ready to be fed when your baby is asleep as meanwhile, you can spend a great deal of time with your elder one. Even planning your weekly groceries and menu for the days would be perfect when you have to pack your kid’s lunch (warning: Else spend your time wasting in front of your fridge, who gives you no positive reply other than the cold waves )

Fourth: Take occasional breaks, it gives you a recovery time and helps you relieve a lot of stress and helps you wake up fresh. The more you stress, the less organized you are. You need not just sleep – a book, a favourite movie or even a chit-chat with your best friend is good.

The happier you – the best-organized home you will be having – That is the key finding I did all along. These always helped me, as I moved from a homemaker to a freelance professional too.

(by Chiradeep Patra)

Mom’s Gyan: Always ensure you do everything on time “

This is the first thing that helped me to keep my home organised. Make sure you wake up, cook and keep your self-organized – as we are the pillars of the homes.

The better we – the better homes we bring in.