“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.


THE STARRY HOSTS – MY INSPIRATION FOR DISCIPLINE

As a child, I remember spending many evenings on the terrace trying to count the stars in the sky. (I’m sure many of you would have tested yourselves with this as well!) It was always a challenge to keep a mental note of the stars that I’d already counted so that I didn’t end up counting them twice. The seven bright stars of Ursa Major or the Great Bear (also known as Saptarshi in India) were often the easiest to count. And what an achievement it was to be able to trace all the seven stars of that constellation!

School lessons of Science and Social Studies taught me that all planets in our galaxy revolve around the sun in their respective orbits. It was easy to draw elliptical orbits and mark the planets therein. But as my sense of understanding developed, I realized that orbits are simply imaginary lines and not real tracks as in case of rail or metro tracks. This realization simply amazed me and still continues to.

What if the stars and planets deviated from their paths? What if our own planet earth moved an inch away or nearer to the sun each day? A mega cosmic disaster would result out of it, for sure!

I draw the inspirational message of ‘discipline’ from these starry hosts. It is absolutely amazing each time I think about it all.

The rotation of planet earth on its axis causes day and night while, the revolution of the earth is one of the reasons for seasons. And how meticulously does summer follow spring and winter follows autumn! How amazingly does the dusk set in after every sunset and the crack of dawn announces the approaching day! That’s how the seasonal cycle occurs for most regions on the face of the earth.

The sun, moon, stars, in fact all of nature follows a certain discipline laid down by their Creator. The Bible says, “He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them.” Well, thats something which no finite human can ever do. But yes, you and I could learn the inspirational lesson of discipline from these celestial bodies.

How many times do we give excuses for being late for our appointments! How often do we deliberately laze around! How often do we thrust our responsibilities on others when we ourselves are well-equipped to carry them out! Each time I find myself guilty of all the above, I try to go back to my lesson from the heavenly hosts and tweak my life back to a disciplined routine.

CAPTURED MEMORIES….

Today’s article is going to be my biggest article. You know why? Because it is said, “A picture is worth a thousand words” 🙂 Sometimes I wonder that pictures are such magic. I mean just think about a moment in the fabric of time that happened years ago is captured on film and we can just take a look at it and relive that memory again whenever we lay our eyes on it. I can see people who have left me forever; I can see my grandfather and grandmother smiling at me. I can see a little me in my father’s lap who has left for his heavenly abode. I can see my uncle in one of them, he is so happy and full of enthusiasm, though today he is a going through unfortunate and grave circumstances. I can see my mother in one of them with such calm on her face. When the last time I saw her this peaceful? Can’t remember.

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This is a picture of my father, this is how I remember him. Sitting behind a desk full of files and paperwork. Wearing a crisp shirt in whites with a tie and glasses. Happiest when he was working. I wish to be more like him, that dedicated and that perfect. He was the perfect example of Simple Living and High Thinking. He made me realise that I am better than billions and happiness can be found when I look at people below me not above me. That my task is to help the ones who are below and lift them, never considering what I don’t have and always being grateful for what all I already have.

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This is my grandfather, he is sitting on our balcony, peeling apples. He was a man who had seen wealth beyond means. His parents had carriage in silver. But then he saw destitution as well. Such poverty that his family(my father and his brothers and mother) ate chapati with salted water. But he never gave up, he taught them how to be happy in hard times and how to be satiated in less. Even when we were well-off, he bought things only after driving a hard bargain and cooking them with utmost love and care. He taught me never to waste money and that the value of Rs 100 depends on whether you have earned it or gonna spend it.

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This is my mother. This picture was taken on a trip to Jaipur, in a hotel called Ram Bagh Palace. She used to be a tomboy before marriage. She knew how to drive and did all household work usually done by men. She is now an entirely different person. One who has the very limited stamina and gets tires easily. But she is a rock of courage. The way she handles everything after my father’s passing, I never expected it from her. She showed she was made of solid Iron heart. The way she manages the house, money, health and me is incredible. Sometimes I look into her eyes and look for that tomboyish girl, and I smile cause that gal is still somewhere in there. She is a young at heart person, and that is what kept her going through all tough times. 

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She is my Grandma. I used to call her Amma. She was a woman beyond her years. She used to read newspaper and books. She had such powerful GK that she beat us all to random trivia. And she told beautiful stories. She lost two sons within two months. One was her strength and other her weakness. Her youngest son out of the three was Autistic and used to have fits. But she never gave up on him, she fought for him until his dying day. And when he passed, she shed tears just like she did for my father. She taught me that a mother’s love is for all her children. She loves them all equally, and she is the only one to whom their worldly achievements and name are of no relevance when it comes to caring and loving. I felt her pain in my heart when I used to see her cry for my sick uncle. Her grief was one of the utterly broken and miserable. 

I was asked to write an article on pictures. All the writers have given excellent write ups. But I chose to write about my family. I hope you all understood my reasons. I wanted to convey that a person’s first school of morals and values is her/his home. I shared with you the lessons and ethics given to me by them all. Hope I was able to reach out to you all. 

Love Your Family!

FINDING A PERFECT SUNSET

It had been an uncertain time for Ryan. Life was in a state of flux. As he was in a new job, a new place, and a new set of people he was anxious. The tension of the situation got to him and he had a tiff with his dad.

He stormed out of his room and just followed the path not bothering about the directions. The sultry day had started to grow mild.  A light breeze greeted him, blowing through his unkempt hair. It was late evening and sunset approached. His thoughts kept oscillating between the past and present. May be he was over thinking, after all change was natural.

He passed by a few ducks and swans enjoying their swim in a pond as the light faded away carrying away the heat.  He saw another pond as he walked further.  His breathing grew slower and he felt calmer as he saw the reddish- orange hues of the sky. The floating leaves and the chirping birds talked to him.

Ryan was much more relaxed now and the moment he had stormed out of his room felt like a distant memory. His mind out from the worries was completely in the present now.  He saw groups of people walking south and followed them.  The mighty Brahmaputra welcomed him to a soul-uplifting sunset. The breeze felt stronger here. He stretched to see the sun as it disappeared behind the hillocks.

The frustration within him had subsided and a smile broke on his face. He sat by the river, letting the breeze soothe him, letting the scenery sink in and do its magic.  Perhaps he had found his perfect sunset. He was ready and rejuvenated to face a new day.

A QUEEN IN THE HILLS

Last August when I visited Cherrapunji, locally know as Sohra I knew I was in for a visual treat. But what I beheld was   beyond my imagination. I simply marveled at the creation of The Creator. The “Noh-Ka-Likai” (This Khasi name translates to “The fall of Ka-Likai”) falls held me captive to its surreal beauty and the entire scenery in an around the place made me feel as I have been transported into a mystical land.

                                                                        

The waterfall, the clouds, the gentle breeze, and that vast landscape of rolling hills seemed to have an aura around them and I came up with this small poem to better express the sight I was blessed enough to experience.

Amidst the mist, under the skies,

Lays her abode in the hills so high.

When I get a glimpse through the window

Oh! I wonder, I sigh! I sigh!

 

The clouds play above her,

The trees grow around her,

Miles she must have travelled,

Pushing through   the mighty rocks,

And then comes her moment of leap.

 

She falls in joy, draped in pristine white,

With nature’s blessings she turns green,

When I look at her from the cliff

My eyes behold what a sight!

 

Her beauty so serene,

A queen! A queen!

I can keep looking at her for ever

With a beauty so great, the danger that high

I can admire her only from a distant side.

 

LOVERS TALKING… 💞

I thank Rajnandini for this wonderful idea of reflecting on our own captured pictures. Actually being an artist  I love to interpret the pictures that I capture. She asked me yesterday, “Bhai, you asked all to write in a short time… this topic needs little time…” I replied to her if nobody writes this week I will write everyday interpreting my pictures and I would seriously love doing that. Now let me stop talking too much and start reflecting on something I love.

A fruitful tree…

This particular coconut tree was visible where we used to stay 2 years ago. This could be easily seen from our window and I kept exploring my camera as well as my photography skills by capturing literally everything that I happened to see. There is a joy that bubbles inside me when I capture something which my heart says to capture. As you see this tree was so fruitful, leaves are there and the eagles have made their nest in there… But soon it simply withered… We were wondering what happened to that tree…

Withering away slowly…

Completely withered except the trunk standing tall…

The dried out tree trunk in the evening…

When I started reflecting on these transition of the tree I felt it happens in our lives as well. We grow rapidly sometimes and stay successful and flaunt around at times and then the next moment we fall down, loosing everything that we have. The tree had lost its glory but I still used to find the beauty in it… yes, in that dried coconut trunk.

At around 5 PM in the evening…

Then one day when I was looking outside of my window and watching this beautiful moon rising up in the sky I found it wonderful to look at. I quickly took out my camera and started capturing pictures after pictures aiming at the same dried trunk.

Can you tell me what made the dried tree so intriguing?

It is that MOON on its background that made it so intriguing and beautiful to look. God started to speak to me. He prompted in my heart that, “You will look always intriguing if you keep me at your background though you feel dry and dead at times.” I nodded in love and agreement to what He told me. 

Its getting darker slowly…

I sat down with my camera for next 2 hours capturing pictures of the same objects at different times of the evening and I presented the best ones here for all of you to see. 

Lovers Talking… ❤

Finally, I came up with the BEST CAPTURE of that evening. I uploaded it on one of the popular photography site: “500px“. The response was great for my shot titled as “Lovers Talking

When people those who connect with me praise me for my mindset and will power. Fine, I appreciate it. But the truth about me is very clear. I know I am weak in every way whether it is physically or emotionally or spiritually. What makes me beautiful and praise worthy is my background, who is constantly at work within me and through me to make me beautiful and worthy of Him and His created human beings.

If you want to fine tune your life then keep God at your background…

Stay Blessed!!!