DOWN YET NOT OUT

Struck by the Storm and a log in my eye,

I am blinded and oblivious to the world around.

My eyes are shut closely with darkness surrounding by leaps and bounds.

I am confined to a corner petrified by fear,

I fear movement lest I would stumble down.

But the Storm did die leaving behind a dreadful silence.

Screaming at me a voice from within “Till how long?”,

“Till how long you will hide from life when you don’t know when the death would arrive?”

I was stubborn enough to not to answer,

But soon sun rays did knock my eyelids urging me to listen and care enough to answer and I had to.

I was struggling to open my eyes to let the light drive away the darkness of ignorance.

Log was gone but pain still reckoning, tears still rolling down leaving behind a burning trail.

But the struggle wasn’t futile for my eyes, they are seeking comfort in the light of enlightenment.

Storm did knock me down only to let the wind of new beginning blow.

Storm did break my branches only to let me sense the strength of my roots.

Storm did turn the dullness on with its grey hue only to let me understand the beauty of colours.

Storm did struck me down only to let me stand a new chance.

Storm

MULTITASKING: FEW INTERESTING CASE STUDIES

It was a winter time when my beloved cousin sister hurried to the bathroom for taking bath and poured warm water on her body before mixing cold water in it… And guess what… She burnt her skin. Her mind was elsewhere…probably on a multitasking mode. As we know that there are tasks which don’t need our sole engrossment and our concentration can be divided. My sister knew that taking bath doesn’t need her soul engrossment though she forgot that her soul concentration was much needed before pouring down warm water on herself.  She had a tough time managing her wounds though we had so much fun discussing her absentmindedness.

Guess what? I just called her up right now and we had a laugh talking about the same incident all over again.

Let’s move on to the next cases…

It was a morning time and my wife was screaming at me, asking me to store water in the buckets before the water runs out. And I was about to get inside the bathroom when my aunt called me. I received the phone and kept talking to her while filling the water in the first bucket. I was fine till the water came to the brink of the bucket. I bent down to lift the bucket keeping my phone between my left shoulder and head. The handle of that bucket was broken and I had to lift it by using both my hands. As soon as I lifted the heavy bucket full of water, my second wife, my beloved Nokia E63 slipped out of my embrace and ‘plop’ drowned in the deep sea water… Oops, I mean in the bucket full of water.

I quickly rescued her, took off her clothes, applied resuscitation but to no avail. She went into a lifetime comma. I had to divorce her and claimed an alimony of Rs.500 from the bakra (scapegoat) that I handed her to.

I had loved her so much and regretted multitasking at her cost…. 😛

Many times I have climbed to the 4th floor leaving my office flat which was on the 3rd floor while chatting on WhatsApp or talking to someone on the phone. Many times I have thrown the tablets into the dustbin instead of the torn wrappers while my mind is occupied with my work on the computer.

Found them funny? Did you have a good laugh? Good! I wanted it too… 😉

So to speak I am not at all good at multi-tasking. I usually give up on one while doing the other. And when I am asked to multitask, I shout back literally or show my displeasure. When my wife requires my attention while the TV is on, I ask her either to switch off the TV to talk or let me watch…do just one thing at a time.

Rajnandini, offered some good advice this week as she usually does every time and most importantly she talked about how multitasking adds heavy loads on our shoulders like – Reduced effectiveness, Lowered productivity and performance levels, Increased stress, Disorganised and cluttered mind, In many cases, more time spent than saved. Don’t you think we should get rid of those loads before getting into troubles, either with the funny ones or the serious ones? Keep thinking about it.

In the end, I am happy to close this week by bringing smiles to your faces.

Stay blessed!

MULTI TASKING – IT’S NOT SUPER HEROISM!

She: Hi!

He: Hello Dear! What’s up?

She: Nothing…just feeling bored and alone. What are you up to?

He: Working on my presentation for tomorrow’s meeting.

She: Oops…Sorry, I am disturbing you!

He: No…no, it’s okay! I can manage it! I’m good at Multi-tasking!

She: Thank you for giving your time… you’re a superhero!

He: Mention not! You too are important to me!

Isn’t this our everyday story? Then what’s exceptional and notable!

The daily demands of our professional and personal life are so much that hardly we have time for anyone. In school we were taught about 10 to 5 is work hours and the evening is meant for socializing…but alas today socializing only exists on social media. Whereas, in reality, the human is a social animal. Everyone needs at least a little amount of time for someone to refresh life.

The Bible says,

“Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed”.

But the big question is HOW?

Often we treat people multitasking like him (‘He’ in the above chat) as, Superhero! And there is no doubt we all have at least one such person in our life whether we have discovered it or not! But what is extraordinary in their superheroism? Are they from some other planet? Are they gifted and we aren’t? If they can do multi-tasking then why can’t we?

One of the brightest minds in human history, Sir Albert Einstein said,

Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.

Problems and Responsibilities in life are obvious and its journey only finishes in our grave! But that does not mean we will compass our life in I, Me & Mine. We all have problems and God often teaches and answers while we live for others. But DO WE LIVE FOR OTHERS?

The Bible says,

For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Being multi-tasking is spending time, energy, and concentration. Every second is eternal after a second comes another second but not the same one! Hence, when we share our time diverting our attention towards a person and do our work alongside, it is an Eternal Gift that we gift to someone. The biggest gift we can give to someone is time! But DO WE DO SO?

“Everything that is good demands some amount of Sacrifice”.

Undoubtedly, multi-tasking demands an awful lot of sacrifices and often we may not get rewarded with our expectations rather we get cat-calls. But do we need to compromise with our goodness just because someone goes wrong! THEN WHAT’S THE RETURN?   

The Bible says,

And do not forget to do good and to share with others,

for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

However, will we still configure “MULTI-TASKING as the Super Heroic work” and inbox the term by categorizing it to a certain amount of people? How long will we be confined to our I, Me & Mine World? A life lived with giving the value of time – love and care to others alongside accomplishing our tasks and responsibilities is a life worth living…

Keep thinking!

ARE YOU A MULTI-TASKER?

Are you a multitasker?

Let’s check it out!

Right now as you are reading this article, what else are you doing?

I guess some of you may be driving, some may be cradling your baby in your arms, some may be making your child do their homework, some may be in the kitchen standing by the gas stove – waiting for the milk to boil or the curry to cook and some may be alternating between typing an official report on another tab and reading this article. Well, if you find yourself in any of the above places, you are multitasking at the moment!

Doing two or more things at the same time makes one a multitasker.

Most of us wish we had an hour or two extra over and above the 24 hours at our disposal daily. Especially as people and events around us seem to move at such a fast pace in today’s advanced world, we are expected to match up to them all. In cities and towns, multitasking is the norm of the day – for the young and the old alike. In the rural countryside, things are better-paced with easy breathing space.

Multitasking helps one to accomplish many targets at the same time. Seems to be a great skill to acquire! Afterall, who doesn’t wish to complete maximum tasks in minimum time with still some time to spare!

WHAT REALLY HAPPENS WHEN WE MULTITASK?

Multitasking, in simple words, means switching tasks. When we switch to and from one task to the other, we exert pressure on our brain cells forcing them to function as per our requirement. Our brains are designed for organised human activity.

Have you ever faced a situation in which someone rang the doorbell and your land connected phone rang at the same time? Were you able to take the call and speak to the person on the other end and open the door thus attending to the person standing out there, at the same time? Probably not! You are likely to have responded to one thing, keeping the other waiting for a while.

There have been times in which you felt annoyed while speaking to your husband who said he was listening to what you are saying, but his eyes were on the television screen or the newspaper or his laptop/mobile. Similarly, men must have felt their bit of annoyance while their wives keep nodding at what they say but all the while shuttling between different tasks.

They key word here is attention. You feel the other person isn’t paying enough attention, even though s/he claims to be all ears to what you had been saying.

I think you can now very well understand why the traffic cops penalize people from driving and speaking on their cellphones at the same time! Our brain needs to focus on the road while driving. At the same time, when we force ourselves to think and formulate our responses to the person at the other end of the line while attending to a call, our attention gets fragmented. And so, a major chunk of accidents are reported to be caused while drivers were on their phones while driving their vehicles. Hence, make it a point to pull up by the roadside if you need to attend to a call or make a call and then resume driving. Be focussed. Be safe.

We can focus and primarily attend to only one thing at a time. And that helps us to accomplish tasks better, with increased effectiveness and high level of productivity. Neuroscience and psychological research studies have proved this over and over again.

The cognitive faculties meant for one task are split into two or more areas when one multitasks, thus rendering injustice to all the tasks involved. Multitasking ensures that all the tasks are completed, but not as well as they ought to have been.

Here are some baggages that come along with multitasking –

  • Reduced effectiveness
  • Lowered productivity and performance levels
  • Increased stress
  • Disorganised and cluttered mind
  • In many cases, more time spent than saved

Having talked about how we are mechanised to handle one work at a time, we cannot avoid the fact that many-a-times one really needs to multitask. Time management is the phrase to bear in mind.

  • Cut out on all the non-essential seemingly-important-but-not-so-important tasks from your schedule and fix them for another less occupied day.
  • Wake up earlier than you usually do (after ensuring your adequate amount of sleep time)
  • Delegate tasks to people around you
  • Don’t hesitate to seek help
  • Put your hands only in as many baskets as you can balance

Above all, seek strength from God to manage your daily affairs even as you do your bit to handle your chores to the best possible extent. Challenges beyond your means are inevitable. If you are a working adult with an ailing family member to care for while having to prepare breakfast and a three-four-item lunch and send your child to school – all within two to three hours in the morning, you know it all! Such circumstances require immense physical and psychological strength, despite all the pre-preparation and planning that you do. And so, the Great Designer promises to hold your hand and aid you in the multiple chores of your everyday life as you entrust your day into His hands.

WISEST OF ALL!!!

Let me tell you a story. It is about a boy called Peter, who happened to come across the wisest of all. One day, Peter thought of going down to the jungle near his village to look for berries and some wild fruits to make a pie. He told his mother that he might also spend the night there. The jungle was not inhabited by any wild animals, and so his mother allowed him to go and packed him some food and essentials for the journey. He set out for the jungle and in some hours reached a place full of berries and tasty fruit trees and bushes. He found an area suitable for camping and put his tent there. As it was getting a bit dark, he decided to pluck some berries for the dessert. Before he could start, he felt as if something was walking on him. Small, tiny and could be any harmful insects. He bent down to see. Lo and behold!! He found “ants” everywhere, struggling to climb on to him. He saw them climbing in one straight line and then dividing into more lines. Then he got rid of them all, cleaned himself and started towards the bush. In the bush, all the branches, leaves and fruits had these tiny ants on them. They were literally everywhere. They were collecting leaves and portions of berries and taking them somewhere. He then followed them. To his amusement, he found out that the ants took them inside a soil building, which was very hard to break. Through a small portion and some light he could see colonies and compartments. He was very impressed to see such amazing architecture. When he went back to his tent, he saw there were ants all over his food and bed. He had no other option than to return. And so he did! He narrated everything to his mother after reaching his place. He was so motivated by these small creatures that, he himself started keeping his room clean and organised and acted wisely then after.

This story might be a bit boring or repetitive. But the focus of it is on the wisdom of the ants. In the Bible it is written, “Go to the ants…… consider its ways and be wise.” Further on, “Four things on earth are small yet they are extremely wise: Ants are the creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer.” There are a lot of important things, these small creatures teach us. Ants are the most hard working and determined class of insects. They never give up on their determination. It might be a zip-lock bag or an airtight jar, if determined they will get what they want from it. Even, we should be determined in life. Without letting go of things soon, we must always find ways to succeed.

Ants care for each other. In this time of lost humanity, when we see ants running to save their fellows when stuck with a small stick, it is quite inspiring. They are all heroic and they try to fool you, doing the “not her/him, but me” stunt and sacrificing themselves for others. They do not forget anyone and might also leave a trail mark of identification for the lost ones. They are good in investing for their future by storing food. They are good managers also as they not only arrange but also count their eggs according to their age. They are good team players, they play together and safe. They are good builders and engineers as well. When you break an ant hill, you will find cities kind of structures, with farming, storing, sleeping and every facilities. They live in unity and are very good neighbors. They also are excellent navigators, as after a day’s search for food they return to their hill in the same way, as if they had left trails. They will give their lives in order to protect their queen.

It is really amazing as how great values are installed in such humble creations. Where we tend to spray them away from our houses, they wonder about conquering the house and becoming its owner. We do overlook such qualities because there are more of visible matters available, that are big and are good at catching our attention soon. We do have a lot to learn from each and every thing in this world and if we can instill in ourselves the good values and let go of the toxic ones, we can become better humans. Maybe, at some point in life, we can all ask ourselves, “Are we as wise as the Ants?”

PRESERVE YOUR NECTAR

Horatio G. Spafford was a successful lawyer and businessman in Chicago. Blessed with a lovely family consisting of his wife and five children (four daughters and a son), Spafford had all that one would desire. It was then that tragedy struck. His two-year old son died of pnemonia. As he was grieving over this loss, the same year (1871), the great Chicago fire swallowed up much of his business. Gathering much courage, Spafford started rebuilding his business. But the economic downturn of 1873 further hit his business. He changed his plans to travel to Europe with his family – sending them first, promising to join them soon. As the ship carrying his wife and children was crossing the Atlantic, it collided with another sea vessel. All four of his daughters died in the mishap. Only his wife was rescued and she sent Spafford the telegram – “Saved alone.” Spafford hurried to meet his grieving wife saying, “The Lord gave and he has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” As his ship came to the place where his daughters had died, he penned a wonderful hymn which has been a source of encouragement for many, over the years. The first few lines read as follows –

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know
It is well, it is well, with my soul.


It is well, (it is well),
With my soul, (with my soul)
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

(The hymn can be heard in the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKPvBV4xqVw )

Joseph Scriven was a man born in Ireland in an affluent family and received good education. In course of time, he fell in love with a lady. However, the day before their wedding she fell from her horse, while crossing a bridge in the River Bann and was drowned in the water below. All this, as Scriven stood watching from the other side of the river! In an effort to overcome his deep sorrow, Joseph left Ireland and shifted to Canada as a 25-year old, where he was much loved by the people for his helpful ways. In course of time, he again fell in love. However, tragedy struck again and his lady-love died of pneumonia shortly before they could wed. Scriven devoted the rest of his life to helping the poor and the needy. In order to comfort his ailing mother who lived in Ireland and was broken at her son’s ordeals, he wrote a poem which was later converted into a hymn and has been a source of comfort and strength to many. A few lines of the hymn read thus –

Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Saviour, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.

(The hymn can be heard in the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SCorW9r_Is )

Friends, may be you have been where Spafford and Scriven have been and that has made you bitter – at yourself, at family, friends, society. Maybe your life events have not been of this type – but harsh, nevertheless. How has your response been?

It is easy to be bitter and remain bitter. If we turn around and observe people around us, we will notice that each one has a heavy burden to make him/her bitter – only the nature may be different (some born without fully grown limbs, some widowed within a day of marriage, some stricken with terminal illness, some battling marital separation, failures, poverty, etc.)

Let’s remember –

  • Each of us has ample scope to be bitter.
  • To remain bitter or overcome is a choice that has to be made.
  • A bitter spirit depletes the body and numbs the soul.
  • Forgiveness is a powerful weapon that defeats bitterness.
  • Accepting the Sovereignty of God plays a crucial role in coming to terms with bitterness.
  • Counting the numerous other blessings enables to shift focus from the bitterness-causing losses.

If you have been struck with life events that threaten to make you bitter, don’t allow these events/circumstances to suck the nectar out of you. Look unto God – the radiant source of Strength, Grace, Mercy, Love, Peace and Joy and with His power be an overcomer!

 

 

 

 

 

HOW YOU HANDLE AFTER YOU’RE BROKEN!!!

It was in the July of 2014 that I was fortunate enough to visit Darjeeling, the land of the thunderbolt. Mirik followed suit. A lover of scenic beauty that I am was enthralled at thought of capturing spectacular scenes of nature. When we arrived at this lake in Mirik I was completely bewitched by the surroundings that it had to offer. Amongst many other elements of nature that I came across at that destination I came upon this scene that stood out to in the midst of all the greenery.

Capturing our undivided attention here is the image of an almost fallen tree. A tree that has succumbed to the pressures of the change in the phenomenon and which looks like it has given up its life to fall to its death into the lake. It is this lone component in the entire forest-like backdrop that has fallen to its glory, an unprecedented survivor who seemed to have gone through a lot before submitting itself to the dominance of the stronger powers. The other trees around it are standing straight resembling each other in appearance and posture, showing no signs of uniqueness in them. It is this fallen tree that I assume tried to show its different nature and thus as a result has been stubbed to its end.

If we look closely we may find out that though the tree seems to have fallen, it has not stopped to thrive. Its leaves are as green as its straight colleagues. It still has life left. It still has a long way to go and survive. The very fact of its brokenness has made it stand out amongst others and has charmed viewers to praise its scenic beauty. The tree seems to be showing strength of character.

So relatable to most of us, isn’t it? Often we find ourselves in circumstances similar to that of this tree. We get eroded by numerous storms that are raging outside and try to burn us in the inside but we buckle ourselves up. Even though we feel broken we try to put up a fight like a warrior. We have to encounter numerous forms of discrimination while living in this present society. Racism, stereotyping, gender discrimination, and exclusion regarding disability, impairment, economic injustice, religious discrimination and what not we confront on a regular basis. I am sure you will be able to name quite a few other than this. Issues like this manipulate and manoeuvre us into thinking that we are its slaves. The prevalent systems of patriarchy and matriarchy (in some other places) make our lives all the more strenuous. Privately we wish for a change to sweep up our country and make life different for us. We view ourselves broken while fighting and battling against the torturous society and its filthy mentality. We feel defeated.

They say one who has the strength of character can withstand the fiercest of storms and thrive just like this tree along the Mirik Lake. It’s not about how you can handle before you break but about how you handle after you’re broken. Our brokenness should not be as such that kills us from within. But make sure the ones watching you see the light that is within through the cracks that have been formed. Imagine the life of this tree and how it is still thriving in spite of its brokenness. It is because the seedlings that are going to come from it may find a stronger ground to dwell upon. The seedlings that would thrive from the tree in future would use the moisture from the lake itself to strengthen themselves.

In the similar fashion when your situations make you fall to the ground use the very ground as a leverage to fly and soar high as an eagle. Keeping your head up in the present society is very necessary. The hardest battles are fought by the strongest soldiers.