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!

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ADDING COLOUR TO LIFE IS IN OUR HANDS

Yesterday was a family day. The day when families of all our team members get together to celebrate. In my career so far, there have been quite a few family days but I never attended one.

A month ago when our Engineering Director called for a meeting, I had very little clue about what was ahead of me. People who were called for that meeting were chosen as organisers for family day. What? I cannot attend family day, let alone organising it. I stayed calm for the entire meeting and told my Director, “I am on leave for a couple of weeks, but I can help with the planning as much as possible”. A date was not finalised for when the family day is going to be and I secretly wished it falls during my vacation.

A team of 5 were to chosen to handle a massive team and extended family of 300 people. This job was not going to be easy. As much as I wanted to stay away from it, I couldn’t do so.  When it was time to finalise the date, there were two options, one during my vacation and the other one right after my vacation. I requested the organising team to not choose the date based on my vacation, but eventually, it happened so that the date was after I return from my vacation. 

Before I went on vacation, I thought of finalising most of the stuff, because when I am on vacation, I may not be able to respond to messages or take calls. As most of the things were sorted out, I went for my vacation rather relieved. By the time I was back in office, the organising team had done a wonderful job in procuring props, gifts and also the logistics. Last Wednesday, we went through the list once again, cross-checked the schedule and distributed our respective responsibilities. 

Wednesday I came home and still wondered if there was any way I could escape from attending the family day. I have a reason that I cannot disclose here, but the gist of it is that I don’t like to lie. I can give some reason to not attend family day, but being an organiser I did not want to disappoint anyone. I had a rough day on Thursday personally. I was quite disturbed and sleepless. Friday wasn’t great either. I was literally exhausted by Friday evening, almost cursing my life for the way it is in some respects. 

I had very disturbed sleep on Friday night as well and eventually, I woke up at 3.30. Today is a family day and I still not have made up my mind on attending it. Believe me, I sat on my bed wondering on the same till 7 in the morning. Various thoughts were doing rounds in my head – I have to drive for 50 km one way on a two-wheeler, I don’t know the route, haven’t had proper sleep, not in a good mood – how can I go out there and be normal ?? 

Something strange happened then at that moment, a thought that is extremely opposite to what I have been thinking. What if, just what if I set aside all these things for a few hours to entertain my extended family? Can’t I do so much? All I have to do is to switch off these thoughts for a few hours and just go out there. It is almost 7.45 am now if I quickly get ready and start, I might reach the venue by 9.45. Though I am supposed to be there by 8.30 as per schedule, I might be there by 10 am for sure. I messaged in the organising group that I would be reaching at around 10 so that they are informed. With no time to waste, I tried to stay on schedule. I reached the venue at 9.50 am, bang on!! 

My other organising counterparts were already on their jobs and they seemed relieved seeing me there.  It was 10.15 am when the families finished breakfast and gathered by the poolside venue for the fun events to start. Once I took the mike, and started off, trust me I forgot everything that was bothering me till then. The next 3 hours, I really did not think of anything else. Unfortunately, some of the props that we had ordered for some games have not arrived. Had to plan some spontaneous games but everything went well. Music, dance, games, laughter and lots of fun. 

After 3 hours, I felt dizzy and completely out of energy. I had a chocolate that was lying on the table. I looked around to notice empty space as families left to have lunch. The lonesomeness – the naked truth of my life was back with me. I had lunch alone, and took a seat under the shade wondering what would I do for the second half? The second half was time for families to enjoy the pool and resort activities. As I walked back to our venue, I noticed some kids painting and sketching. We have set up few desks for arts and crafts so that kids can unwind their creativity. I happily sat there and spent the rest of my time with kids, no,  budding artists and painters… 🙂

(Image Credit: Google Inc.)

By the end of the day, it felt good when people appreciated the effort we put in. They enjoyed well and quite a few people applauded how everything was well organised. Some called me multi-faceted, some said I am a good orator and so on… It felt good. I would have really missed all this, if I would have succumbed to how sad I was or the thought that I might feel lonely when all others are enjoying with their families. If I would not have been the organiser, maybe I would not have been there and spent most of my day feeling sad. When I feel sad next time, I am just going to go out and spend some quality time somewhere instead of my home and try to forget everything else that is bothering me. A lesson learnt in practicals 🙂

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!

RECONCILIATION – THE NEED OF THE HOUR: MAKE AMENDS AND CONTINUE IN LOVE

Looking around me, all I can see brokenness everywhere. When I see my friends, my family members and how all of them are going through difficult times my heart sinks down. And in that background writing an article on reconcilliation seems very articfial. But being called to be peaceloving person and a peacemaker, I am always up for reconciliation even when I don’t see a glimpse of hope in a strained relationship.

Let’s get back to the topic.

When psychologist Ryan Howes was asked in a given situation whether a person can forgive and reconcile, his response was – “You can still forgive. Reconciliation is a separate issue“. And he was absolutely right.

He also quotes famous author Lewis Benedictus Smedes who said in his book ‘Forgive and Forget: Healing the Hurts We Don’t Deserve’ that – “It takes one person to forgive, it takes two people to be reunited.”

All the last SIX factors of reconciliation that we all read till now in this current week can be carried out one sidedly by a person who feels the need of reconciling with his/her loved one but the last factor needs TWO persons to join hands and move ahead to stay reconciled. And history says at this point, many go back to ground zero losing the battle of reconciliation or restoring a broken relationship.

Let’s analyse the phrase ‘making amends‘. The synonym for making amends is Restitution. The legal meaning of restitution isan order given by a judge to a convicted criminal to make amends for the crime where the judges often order people to pay restitution for the damage they cause. But to mend a broken relationship there’s no need of judiciary system but a system of heart and of love which inspire partners, family members, friends to make amends, restitute and cling to each other thereby, reconciling.

The system of love is as the Bible defines it, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

The above concept of love is completely different from what the world teaches us today. Restitution or making amends is not possible unless we have this kind of love. The new law of a reconciled relationship demands me to make amends with my loved one by being patient with him or her which I lacked a lot previously; by being compassionate to my loved one which I failed often in the past; I have to make amends by not being envious, not being boastful or proud or dishonour or be selfish. I have to make amends with my loved one by compensating something which I lacked previously.

Many couples gather strength to reconcile and complete all 6 factors but they step back when they are asked to compensate their wrong, make amends and continue in love. Many times, I myself have lost the battles of making amends with my loved ones, with my wife and continue in love further. I pretend that I am happy and in love yet, I feel empty and deceived. There are many I know that are suffering with pretension and live their lives… They somehow live together but their hearts stay far apart from each other. They try to make amends and reconcile truthfully but they fail.

Friends! Trust me, it is not at all easy. Fogiving and moving ahead seems much easier than making amends and staying in love after reconciling a broken relationship. But the source of love, the creator God always helps us to understand LOVE and its effectiveness in any of our earthly relationships.

At the end, I can just give a simple advice of making a list of the things that can help us to make amends and try one after the other daily, trusting the Almighty and prayerfully staying in love in a reconciled relationship.

Stay blessed!

WHO IS THE WISE ONE?

No soul is happy with what they
have or with what they are served,
greed and ego minaciously make this
bag of bones worthless and undeserved.

No soul is tranquil with the love they have
or with the care they spread,
lust and loathe meticulously craft their
filthy claws in their heads.

No soul is apologetic enough to
accept their faults or to show concerns,
false pride and arrogance tenaciously
covers their eyes with thick curtains.

No soul is bold enough to hold the truth
or to stand up for what they believe in,
society and culture ingloriously tie their
tongue and turn a blind eye for every sin.

What will it take to be happy, tranquil and peacefully in love?
What will it take to accept the unadulterated truth?
What will it take to be brave and not bother about the manipulative minacious lies of the society?

The answers to all these lie hidden deep within those souls,
Yet, only a man of understanding draws them out
Of the thoughts of a person’s heart
Which are like deep waters.

WHO IS BEHIND YOU?

(Captured by Chiradeep Patra)

This is one of my favourite picture which I captured on 11th July 2014 at 6:25 PM.

What fascinates me about this picture is that the half-erected building looks so shabby and ugly but the beautiful background behind it makes the whole imagery so fabulous to look at.

Similarly, when we have someone behind us with aura, riches, prosperity and power we have everything even if we are weak and ugly in our life.

Who can be someone behind us like that?

He is only God who can be behind us. He can be our background for us to look amazing even when our life looks ugly, prosper even when we go through suffering, stay happy even when we are sad and in pain.  

Keep thinking and keep reading…

Stay Blessed!!!

I AM IN THE SPOTLIGHT – Prerna

First of all, I would like to say, this idea of answering the questionnaire was quite unexpected. For me, it came as a surprise. When I came to know about this idea, I was like let’s see whose questionnaire comes into my account. So, I got Kalpana’s questionnaire. However, none of us knew whose questionnaire we will have and who’s going to have ours. But I am really happy with what I got.

1. Is there another side to you, whom we can only dream to know?

Well all of us have our private life. This private life is not shared with anybody. To world I am an outspoken, intimidating and bold person. My image is of a straightforward and I get to hear so many times that my attitude is harsh.

But only a few know how empathic and emotional I am. It really disturbs me to see any human or any animal in pain. I feel as if I am going through the pain. Every time I see people or animals in pain, the only question to the Almighty is, “Why can’t you take away their miseries?”

I like keeping this side of mine hidden. Only few can know but now I have answered this question and so it is no longer hidden.

2. The proudest moment of your life?

Actually, I am still waiting for it, I guess. There were some moments when I was proud. Recently, it was when I came to know, a guy started to write after getting inspired by my writings. And this really means a lot to me. 

3. Have you ever regretted helping someone, I mean anyone whom you realized later isn’t worthy of your time?

Yes, I did. Not once but several times. As I said, I am empathic and so I help those who are in need of help in every possible way. But it’s not necessary others will be like us. Initially, I do whatever I can do for the person who needs help. Eventually, I get to know the one whom I helped wasn’t worth it. It makes me sad at first but then I realize, not everyone is intended to stay in our life. 

4. If not present profession you are in, then what you would have been?

This question is really interesting. And I like it the most. During our childhood, all of us thought about being whatever seemed exciting and interesting to us. Well, I genuinely wanted to pursue law as my career but due to some circumstances, I couldn’t. Although I am fine with what I have now but I wanted to be a lawyer. 

Interestingly, when I was in my teenage, I wanted to be a student at Hogwarts- The school of witchcraft and wizardry (according to the famous Harry Potter series). Even now, when I am a grown-up, I still wish for the same. I know it’s fictional but I wish it was true. 

5. Your greatest weapon/trick up your sleeve that never fails you, whatever you do?

I think it’s my confidence and my fearlessness. These two behaviours of mine have always helped me in achieving what I truly wish for. Whenever I feel, I have no choice but to give my best, then my confidence and fearlessness never lets me down. 

6. If you are given a chance to change one thing about yourself, what it would be?

Actually, I love myself the way I am. I always have had pampered myself and loved all my flaws. I believe, my flaws are the most beautiful in me. Through my flaws, I get a feeling that I am strong and determined. So, I am not going to make any changes in my physique or appearance but yes if there really is a chance, I would like to change my impulsive attitude. I would change it into a very calm and serene attitude. 

7. Your Inspiration to write?

The credit for my inspiration to write goes to my urge to express my thoughts. I can never walk to a person and speak my heart. This is because I am a reserved person when it comes to expressing feelings. Only few can know and those few may or may not be always with me. Therefore I thought the best way to express is to write what I feel. Moreover, I loved reading, so it also counts to the inspiration. 

8. Intelligence (smartness) or honesty that could land you in soup- what’s your pick?

I would go for intelligence. An intelligent person is the one who can win over any situation. Intelligence always attracts me and I consider it to be the most prized possession. 

9. What is your biggest regret in life?

I think everybody has some regrets in their life. So do me. The biggest regret that I have is not one but two. The first regret that I have is: I had a pet named Bruno. Bruno was a small and an adorable puppy. To me, he was like a bundle of joy. The first time I saw him, I couldn’t stop myself from holding that little being into my arms. I used to cuddle him and together we would muffle in my blanket. One day, after feeding him I went on to the washroom without knowing that the door was open. Bruno went out and met with an accident. The poor being was slowly and excruciatingly moving towards death. All I could do was cry bitterly and pray for his painless and easy death. Had I been a bit cautious, my pet would have been with me. 

The second one is: It was the time when I was moving to a hostel for the first time. I hugged my parents and my brother before going. My grandmother was also there. She handed me a little bag full of some fruits and the snacks that she made for me. I touched her feet and took her blessing. I wanted to hug her but I don’t know why I didn’t. This was the last time I saw her alive. She died 22 days later due to cancer. This shook me and till today I feel sorry for not hugging her one last time. I could have told her, how much I love her and what does she means to me. But I didn’t. 

10. Which lane of time you want to visit and stay there forever?

Life is all about moving along with the time. It is not wise to hold on to our past no matter how beautiful it was. There were many beautiful phases in my life to which I am really very thankful, as well as there are many more to come. Also, we should look forward to what’s next. Therefore, instead of wishing to visit a lane of time and staying there forever, I would choose to wait for upcoming moments. However, sometimes I imagine how good it would it be to look at my writings and relive these days.

Thanks, Kalpana, your questions were really brain-storming. Though unintentionally but you succeeded in knowing my secrets. During answering these questions, I really felt like being in an interview. This was so nice.