now browsing by category
Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? Yes, many times life is not easy. And yet it is precisely because of the difficulties that you’re able to make life great. We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. I have been e-mailing a lot lately with a dear friend that I have met on Facebook. Both he and I lost someone that was close to us a few years ago. And though the causes of the loss were different, we both have to deal with the pain it inflicts on us.
I wanted to quote a part of an e-mail I have recently sent to my friend. And I guess my friend won’t mind me using these phrases here as well, seeing they can have meaning to all who read this post. Or maybe just stumble upon this post by “mistake”.
Quotation of a part of my e-mail:
Yes it is strange that someone you have recently seen, someone who had all the intention of living a good as possible life, can so easily slip away. Either by own choice or by illness. When you close your eyes it’s so easy to recall the last time you saw him/her, you chatted together about things that seemed so normal and now they are suddenly more important. I have thought about this all quite often, every time someone I cared for slipped away, and I always end up both sad and grateful. Sad for the loss and grateful that I had the opportunity of knowing this wonderful person. Even though I would want to have had that pleasure for many more years, that option sadly wasn’t mine to choose.
I really have thought about this a lot. I have lost several people that were close to me. Last night, I ended up counting them, because my aunt told me that the cremation of our family friend this Thursday would be the second one she’s ever been to. She is fortunate enough to never have been to a funeral, only to the two cremations she mentioned. I have been to many of them, when I was done counting I ended on the count of 9. So tomorrow will be my tenth. And it never gets easier, you never get used to losing someone so definitely.
When you have a row with someone, it can be about just a simple, minor thing. If the person you had that row with means a whole lot to you, I would advise you to try and make it up. I have lost someone who meant the world to me at age 23 (I was 23 at the time) and the last spoken words had not been to kind. I still regret that those were my final words I had exchanged with that person. I never thought I would not get the chance to make it right. It only shows how fragile human life really is.
It also shows how often we take people for granted. You never really believe that they will leave you unexpectedly. Because you somehow have a connection to them. You feel secure around them. When the person you know is neither ill nor old, you just assume that you will have plenty of time to spend together with him/her. You don’t think about the consequences, about that you would do if that person slips away totally unexpectedly. It would be very horrid as well if the only thing that would keep your mind working would be the thoughts of losing someone you care about.
But maybe, a little maybe, those thoughts would help you to appreciate them more. If, at times, you would stand still and think about a dear friend. You remember meeting him/her. You remember stuff you have been through together, the good times and the bad times, and how you dealt with it. Not alone, but together. If you then think the morbid thoughts on what would happen if that friendship would cease to exist. What would you lose? What would you miss most? The things that pop up first are the ones that, in my opinion, define your friendship best. And to focus on those things might make you appreciate it all more than you have ever done before. And maybe, if you are feeling down, you could grab your journal and just write all that comes to mind about your friend and the friendship the both of you share. All these positive things might come in handy when you feel bad about yourself. Just re-read all you wrote about your dear friends and keep in mind, that they also value you as their friend. Maybe on different points from their point of view, but still, your friendship means a lot to both of you. Otherwise you wouldn’t be friends. Otherwise the friendship wouldn’t feel so right.
So I know what I will do soon. I will burn some incense, inhale it deep and find myself more relaxed, grab my journal and sit down and write. Write all I can come up with about my friends. About the friendships I have and what they mean to me. And maybe try to see in me what they see in me as well. And just keep on writing as long as my fountain pen is willing to support me and as long as my hand is not cramping up. I have my new journal lying ready as it is, so I don’t need to worry about running out of paper.
I need to get ready for the doctor’s appointment, the business meeting and well, all other things that will happen today.
A feeling of great pleasure, contentment or Joy. There is a reason why you were drawn to this. Perhaps your soul is extending an invitation to you, an invitation to get in touch with the deepest part of yourself.
One day a doctor was sitting with a patient who had a heart disease, and he asked him, why do you want to get better?
The patient was quite obviously perplexed. The patient said, “Doesn’t everybody want to get better when they’re sick?” Yes, the doctor said, but why do you want to get better?
He replied “If I get better, I can go back to work and make more money”
For some unknown reason, the doctor persisted in asking him why, why do you want to make more money?
Apparently amused, he agreed to play the game and said “It is because I want to send my son to a good university”
The doctor asked him why he wanted to send his son to a good university.
The doctor kept repeating his question. In the end he finally said “I want to be HAPPY.”
You can try this yourself. Ask anyone what they want, and when they tell you what they want, keep asking why, until you hear the ultimate answer “I want to be happy”.
Happiness seems to be the goal of all other goals, and yet most people seek happiness in a roundabout way. As I talked to the people, I got the idea “why not make happiness our primary goal? Why seek happiness through all these second hand means?” I discovered something even more interesting. If we make happiness our primary goal instead of our secondary goal, then everything else we desire is easily accomplished.
In many spiritual traditions it has been said that if you seek the highest first, everything else comes to you. Most people say “I’m happy because, because I have family and friends, because I have a great job, because I have money and security.” All these reasons for happiness are tenuous; they come and go like the passing breeze.
When happiness eludes us, we seek pleasure through addictive behaviours in the unconscious hope that we will find joy. External causes of happiness never create real joy. Joy is an internal state of consciousness that determines how we perceive and experience the world. The internal source of joy, our connection to our creator, our source, and our inner self is the cause, while happiness is its effect.
Happiness is a state of consciousness that already exists within us, but it’s often covered up by all kinds of distractions. Upon discovering this joy, wonderful and miraculously things begin to happen. We find ourselves becoming beacons of light and love, and our very presence nurtures the environment around us. People are drawn to support our desires, and even nature responds to our intentions.
Let us motivate ourselves and others, so that no one can ever think of ending his or her life. One must learn to be patient, calm and optimistic in the most difficult situations and with this belief happiness will always be there in you.
Action embodied in ones effort is the real key to success as well as happiness. Action or effort may not sometimes produce the desired results but happiness and success never come without effort what is more important is having done your best even though the results did not turn out to be as expected or desired. That is why it is said in the Gita, “Do your duty unmindful of the results.”
No man can expect a very easy life and also at the same time a very successful one. The reward one gets in life and also at the same time the happiness achieved are usually commensurate with the efforts one puts in. It is astonishing what intelligent efforts can accomplish when channelized in the right direction. Success is not easy; if it was everyone would be successful. However, the success ladder is not as difficult to climb as it might seem. Each time we overcome an obstacle or solve a problem, the task we are attempting becomes easier, till finally what once looked impossible becomes routine. Countless efforts by themselves despite countries falls imply the power to rise.
When we are at the bottom of the ladder, the top seems inaccessible and the obstacles or stones to the top insuperable. But they are not. The early conquests are the toughest. The more you succeed follows another success at its easiest level. Nothing is impossible for a man with a purpose and the determination to persist with it.
The world stands aside to let pass the man who knows where he is going and steps out with confidence, courage and firm determination.
One of the ingredients of success is hard work. But if you like and love your work, you will never find it hard or time consuming or boring, no matter how long you happen to be at it. There is no substitute for hard work. Any knowledge you may acquire or any skill you may develop will be the results of consistent effort. No point in deducing yourself that success can be had cheaply and easily. Of course, hard work is not the sole or the only ingredient in the recipe for success. There should be a purpose to do all the work and a worthy goal at which to aim and advance for this firmly. We must take the first chance because we may never get another one. Never forget, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
This planet is beautiful…more importantly, its eventful…in fact being eventful is what makes it beautiful. Every ticking of the clock witnesses events innumerable, some desirable, some not. To know about such events, to be informed, and to learn is the instinct and natural curiosity of the intellectual part of man. It is the media’s responsibility to bring all this information to society.
The media has in the past brought the dishonest to its knees, exposed the corrupt and nudged governments out of power. It has worked as a guardian of civilization and democracy.But why do I find a vacuum when I expect such noble duties from the media of our times? I switch on my TV in search of some raw news, neutral, anonymous and non-appeasing. I am utterly disappointed to find myself stranded amidst the gossip of Bollywood affairs, food recipes, quarrels among a few kurta-clad politicos, criminal investigation simulations by some cop-turned reporter, fast-track astrological predictions by some eminent gurus mending the lives of millions in a second, one channel regularly claims to make out-of the world discoveries. I waited for some news item for four hours, because every time in the break they said it would be the next and then they started some another one. Such is the degree of distrust for news channels that the very spirit of media as a fourth pillar of our democracy seems to be defeated. So one is disgusted. In fact the news is not disgusting, it is the ‘un-news’ disguised as news that makes us feel helpless.
Commercialization is in the air, and it would be injustice if we expect media (print or electronic) to turn a blind eye towards rich prospects. But an outright compromise with the interests of the public, in the name of commercialization, is in fact, a form of corruption.
TV news is the biggest market of these. The generosity of these channels is visible all the time. For all they could manage to dedicate to news was a pathetically narrow strip of the entire space of the screen. This strip gives legitimacy to their so called’short’ breaks for commercials, which rarely give way for the news to flash. And why do every third of such commercials claims to make you unbelievably fair in just a week or two? If these sort of commercials were sold to African Americans in the United States, there would be a justifiable uproar. Their children are taught to be proud to be black. Why are our children being taught that “fair” is the only way you can be beautiful?
Nowadays, every particular news channel has its own history, geography and economics. And these factors decide the ‘spice’ to be added to the news. The history, or the lineage of the ownership of the media decides upon whom to confer patronage. The geography decides the bias to be applied to news on regional lines. Of course, the economics decides the complete dynamics of news presentation. Even the national news channel is often termed as another spokesperson of incumbent party in power. In that case ‘good governance’ and ‘all is well’ are the only few spices used by them.
The jargon of ‘paid news’ and corporate lobbying effect on news is no longer a new term. News channels are more often commercial arms of politicians and big business houses, one of them known for the unique way of wishing the audience with a prefix specifying group’s name before the wishes. Now that should not be a problem, that’s just something like ‘branded-news’.More often, the discussions-cum-ethically eroded arguments between some politicians, suck the remnants of energy the viewer has to offer to the news. They are provided for some value addition to the news. Anyways, they end up leaving more questions than answers. All our youth can learn from them is how to keep speaking for hours, with literally nothing worth speaking.
Speaking about progressiveness, rationalism and pragmatism, these are the main culprits for fostering superstitions among the people. Dormant concepts of ghosts, spirits, witches etc. are often activated by them as a ‘contingency story’ in case they don’t land up in a good news on any fine day.
On any given day, you will be informed that the world is going to end and are we surprised that it doesn’t?
Like all this was not enough, what makes the matters worse is the metamorphosis of the news channels into daily sops wrapped in the envelope of news, serving dual purposes of being news providers as well as instruments of appeasement of low brows, with ‘news’ as pathetic as Bollywood love stories, crushes, breakups and even pregnancy predictions of celebs. Even dish recipes are also in the wide ambit of the term ‘news’.
One day I was shocked to see some people communicating to a big bellied person giving Gyan to people on telephone about their future. It was a matter of seconds for him to predict with full conviction that the person was going to get a first class in exams and a government job for sure, given he gets a costly stone for a ring to wear on his finger, studies obviously do not matter. The detrimental effect of such ‘news’ on the people is not too difficult to imagine.
There is much to say, but it’s high time for the media to shed the dust gathered due to the rapid commercialization and corruption, under its auspices and again work as yet another bulwark of our democracy, revitalizing our society with raw and unbiased news that gives them space to form their opinion in an independent and rather balanced manner. This would propel the ‘demographic dividend’ of India into an ‘intellectual demographic dividend’… ushering into India the ideals with which the Idea of India was created.
Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer’s loneliness, but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day. – Ernest Hemingway