RETURNS OR NO RETURNS – BE CONTENT

If you want to learn ‘how to bribe God?’ then better visit our country India. We are specialists in bribing God. In India people bargain with God when they try to get things done for their own self or for their family. The bribes can be of many kinds. An hour of prayer, offering one coconut or 3KG’s of rice or 1 gram gold or Rs.101/- or feeding the poor and so on… Behind all these the motive is to get a return; a job, an increment in the salary, getting good marks in exams, bearing a child and so on…

Human wants are unlimited which are just out of our imaginations.

Sometimes I feel the way we ask God or pray as if we are in a shop and reading the list out to the shop owners what all we want.

I remember a prayer of a saint who prayed like this to God which he had penned down in his book:

Two things I have asked of You;
Do not deny them to me before I die:

Keep deception and lies far from me;
Give me neither poverty nor riches;
Feed me with the food that is my portion,

So that I will not be full and deny You and say, “Who is the Lord?”
Or that I will not be poor and steal,
And so profane the name of my God.

What an honest request to God!

If we can pray in such a manner I am sure God would definitely honour our requests.

There is one remedy that I see which can heal our disease of expectations for returns. 

That is contentment.  

The dictionary describes contentment as, “a state of happiness and satisfaction.”

The scripture suggests,

“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

Mahatma Gandhi says,

“Man falls from the pursuit of the ideal of plain living and high thinking the moment he wants to multiply his daily wants. Man’s happiness really lies in contentment.”

All the great people those who had the insights about various aspects of life knew how important contentment is. They knew discontentment gives a rise to wants and then greed and then the means we adopt to get to the things we desired for.

I have seen in my life too. When I am discontent with something I don’t have, I have searched for that and have been tempted to get that by all means. But when I am content with what I have and don’t expect returns where I haven’t invested I stay in peace and happy.

Friends, concluding my Final Note on this week’s topic: “Return on Investment,” I want to urge you all and encourage you to build a nation, free from corruption, greed, and self-seeking attitudes as we are about to celebrate our 70th Independence day just after two days. Let’s not seek how much return I get but let’s try to evaluate how much I give to my fellow human being.

Wish you all a Happy Independence day in advance!

Stay Blessed!  

PURSUIT OF PRODUCTIVITY

beachy-flower-header

In the hours of repose 

pick a paintbrush and lay some strokes,

or delve into culinary affairs with your folks.

Practice music hardcore or do some room décor

or refuge to purple proses to soothe your heart sore.

Continue reading “PURSUIT OF PRODUCTIVITY”

YOUR HOBBY IS LOOKING FOR YOU!

“Is there something in the world that you do not like to do?” asked one my colleagues after I had listed down my hobbies in front of him.

“Sports, I don’t like sports!” I proudly answered back.

This conversation happened like 8 years ago when I was a young adult with little responsibilities in life. When I could spend 3 hours in gym because I liked it and then go for dance class for a couple of hours – again because I liked it. Later I would come back home only to write something in my diary – also because I liked it. Once in a while I would take out my painting brush and start creating something on the sketch book and would end up spending the whole weekend on it.

Now, life is different. I have a baby and old in-laws to take care of. There are tons of household chores that never ever end. By the time I reach home from work – I just want to be with my son and do nothing else. I literally have to drag myself to gym because it is quite a necessity after pregnancy. I write for Candles but that is all I write now. I haven’t touched my painting brush in almost 5 years. And sometimes, it is extremely disappointing to live a life like this. Many a times, I do feel that I wish I had a few hours extra in a day just for myself. It is monotonous, boring and lethargic as hell.

Then the other day my son who is just 1.5 years old was invited to a neighbor’s kid’s birthday party. We came back with a return gift and since my son isn’t old enough to be excited with gifts – it was just kept in one corner of the house for a day. While cleaning up the room I remembered that I never bothered to even open and see the return gift. And when I opened it – I kept staring at it for a while with a different kind of enthusiasm in me.

It was a packet of crayons and water colors. As soon as I saw that I realized that there is going to be time in near future when my son would start holding the crayons and I would have to teach him how to color that apple or that balloon. I would also do those experiments with colors that we did when we were young – blow painting, block painting, T shirt painting, nib painting, pot painting etc. I was rejuvenated at the thought of reliving my hobby again right from scratch. It would be all the more fun because I would be teaching somebody (my son) all this from scratch. I love colors and I hope my son does too.

Later same evening, I saw an advertisement from one of the dance schools that invited admissions to teach Hip Hop to 5 year old kids. Then I imagined my little one teaching me those difficult moves of hip hop that I still haven’t been able to catch up.

Of course, I have a whole new world of opportunities and hobbies to discover through my son. What he would grow up to like – I would learn with him too. Maybe he would like to play football or cricket like my husband does – I would learn that too and play with him. Maybe he would be interested in playing a musical instrument – that would be a “WOW” for me because I will get to learn with him.

So what is your reason for not looking back at your hobbies?

You will always find your hobbies in your way if you really want to be happy and creative. Your hobbies might come to you as an opportunity, discovery or something else. Be open, be aware – your hobbies are always searching for you but if you choose to shut the door to them…. well you shut the door to happiness.

REDISCOVERING A NEW SELF THROUGH HOBBIES

Turning the memory pages of my life when I peep into the pages of my childhood, I find myself and my cousin Anupam sitting on the floor, doing something very meticulously.

I tried to zoom in and see what were we both doing.

Hmmmm… We were listing the names of the countries and their capitals by writing on a piece of paper from the world atlas. That way we had remembered almost all the countries of the world and their capitals.

I tried to find some more memories by turning some other pages to find both us working together at a place sitting separately. Anupam was good in drawing or doing a sketch and I was good in coloring.

If something in life that engrosses us positively is our hobbies.  And I know how passionate and enthusiastic we both were working on our hobbies which we both probably lost in our busy schedules.

Whenever somebody asks about my hobbies I feel great to share about them with her/him. The simple reason behind it is, I love what I do and I know that they give me immense pleasure. The general tendency is, we love to share our joys and pleasures with all.

I remember the time when I was on rest for 5 months after coming out of the hospital in 2005, I had nothing to do and was terribly bored. An idea struck me , I bought plain t-shirts to paint on them. I wore one or two myself, gifted one or two on birthdays and rest I had sold them. In 2006 I discovered my writing skill and then soon started Candles, printed version.

In 2006, my wife was given the responsibility to sing in the wedding of my cousin sister. I showed interest to write the song and composed the music for the first time, rediscovering myself. From that day on wards I have been composing and writing songs as and when required.    

Being a super extrovert in nature one of the most satisfying hobbies of mine is to interact with different people and share views. Somehow I love crowd. I get attracted to the crowds. I don’t run away from them at all. I love mixing with people and talking to them.

My hobbies give me so much pleasure, and my mind always stay cool and calm and diverted from all my worries, pains, and sufferings when I am busy with my hobbies. They are my biggest stress busters. They have never been made me feel lonely.  

If I have to list out the benefits of the hobbies then I would do it as under:

  • Hobbies keep us cheerful and happy.
  • Hobbies refreshes us and helps us to refocus on our major assignments.
  • Hobbies have a positive effect on our mind and we stay composed mentally.
  • Hobbies are the greatest stress busters.
  • Hobbies in physical nature build our muscles and keep us healthy.
  • Hobbies help us to rediscover ourselves and help us to understand ourselves better.
  • Hobbies help us to define our strengths and weaknesses by letting us know our talents.
  • Hobbies help us to be confident and bring about self belief. 

One scripture portion always helped me and inspired me to be on my toes:

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.”

And I know if I don’t do it here when I am living I can’t do after I die…

So friends! Work on your hobbies, rediscover yourself, rediscover your talents and stay happy always. 

Stay blessed!