Tag Archive | love

Feel the freedom of life!

Why would you worry about being shattered, if you can rebuild yourself

Why would you worry about people’s judgment, if you can be kind to yourself

Why would you worry about recognition, if you realize how good you are

Why would you worry about losing someone, if you know to trust yourself

Why would you worry about something going wrong, if you believe you can make it right

Why would you worry about failing, if you are willing to learn from your failures

Why would you worry about future, if you are confident of your present

Why would you worry about falling, if you have the courage to rise every time

Why would you worry about growing old, if you are content with yourself

Why would you worry about dying, if you are living every moment

Why should fear hold you down, if you can touch the skies with faith!

Keep the faith! Trust yourself! Reach for the skies!

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My ‘GRAND’father

A very charismatic and learned man – always dressed in impeccable white – just like his character! His aura was such that anyone who saw him stood up in respect automatically. The man I am talking about – Ramaswamy – My adorable, admirable grandfather.

I can talk about the various roles he played from society’s perspective – like he retired as a Deputy Collector and was the most learned man in his entire district, etc. However, I’d rather talk about the man that he was above and beyond all the roles he played and the unforgettable impact he had in my life.I wonder if my life would have been as rich as it is without his invaluable presence!

He used to come visit us 5 times a year for sure (if not more) – those were my sister’s birthday, mother’s birthday, father’s birthday, my birthday and my parents’ wedding anniversary. He never missed coming. And every time he came, he’d give these crisp currency notes as a gift – we’d look forward to that – not because it is money but more because we never get to see such new notes without a single fold. I used to save my money inside a book and keep it away for a rainy day (something that I don’t do very well now 🙂 ). Even after he retired, he continued giving us money – I never found any difference in him post retirement – he still used to shave, dress up in those freshly pressed, crisp white clothes, hair neatly combed, the same zest for life, the same schedule, the same helping nature, moderate on food – nothing changed. I never knew retirement meant something because he made it feel like a man is just as useful and wonderful and fantastic regardless of whether he is in service or retires – it depends on how he continues to lead his life – with dignity and respect. He continued to be the head of the family – guiding people on important decisions like marriage, kids, education and work life.

I, for one, was the luckiest of them all – every time he came home, his evenings were exclusively meant for great conversations with me as a 7 year old. I used to ask him for stories from his younger days – pre-independence era – how was life back then – and boy o boy! What great stories I heard. I grew up listening to his stories – and I was so inspired that I told him I’d write his autobiography! My grandfather laughed and corrected me explaining – it would be a biography since I’d be writing it. It would be an autobiography only if the person himself/herself wrote it 🙂 . He was brilliant in English Literature too. Shakespeare and Milton used to come alive – I learnt Shakespearean lines much before kids of my age could. He quoted verbatim from Macbeth, Hamlet, Paradise Lost etc. He helped my mother with studies when she was preparing for her Masters in English Literature with 2 little brats in the house.

Though I was quite an introvert as a kid – there were 2 people, who I recall having great conversations with – one was my mother’s father who I have just described, and the other was my father!

A lot of values, respect for language, respect for people, helping people in need are things that I have learnt watching my grandfather.

Wait! Before I end – I just have to talk about a recent fantastic interaction with another elderly gentleman Mr. Chidambaram who came for my training program with his grandson. He came to me and said, “My grandson, who is in 10th grade wanted to attend this training and we stay very far – so I came along with him.” I thought, how sweet of him to take all the trouble, start early in the morning, change two city buses and reach the venue even before I did! What a commitment! What amazed me even more was – although he came to accompany his grandson, he participated in the training program with the same amount of curiosity and enthusiasm as a child would – like a clean slate. It was a humbling experience for me to say the least, to watch him learn and contribute in such brilliant ways. I salute the spirit! It’s inspiring to see such models of excellence. Following their footsteps, I am looking forward to growing up graciously and aging wisely. What else could I have, but respect for yester year’s youngsters and today’s shining stars!

We are who we are because of the inspiring generations before us, who live for us. It is now our turn to take care of them just as much as they take care of us with their unconditional and undying love.

A love that’s deep within spreads all around!

The relationship that I have with myself seems to be the mother of all relationships. It not only determines my happiness factor, but  also determines the quality of relationships that I have with those around me.

 Be it in Psychology, NLP or scriptures, we’ve often heard that what we see in others is true of ourselves, somehow, somewhere! Similarly, what we see in our relationships with others is often an extension of the relationship that we have with ourselves. At times, it may so happen that one has a very good relationship with someone outside of them even though they may not have that great a relationship with themselves. However, the deal with that is, their happiness may be dependent on the success of that relationship. God forbid, if something goes wrong in that relationship, their happiness bubble might burst instantly. It is like – you owning your television but giving the remote in the hands of your neighbour. Whereas, when you establish a relationship with yourself, you’d find it easier to extend that harmonious relationship with others and also, be able to maintain your internal state. Essentially, this is like owning your television and the remote too. When you go inward to develop a relationship with yourself, you get comfortable in your own skin and approach other relationships with ease and confidence. And it is this confidence in yourself that wins you the confidence of others too!

 The question is “how do we establish this relationship with self?” One of the key ingredients to any relationship is communication. And it is not any different for this one too. Do you talk and listen to yourself? You may find it amusing if you aren’t conscious of these conversations with yourself but I think we all do talk to ourselves in different places, different times and in different ways. The tone, quality and extent of these conversations may differ and these determine the quality of the relationship that you have with yourself. For example, if your body is signalling sleep, thirst, hunger, fullness or any other feeling or emotion – do you acknowledge it? Is the tone in which you speak to yourself, kind, loving and patient? Do you talk to yourself in a way that empowers you and uplifts your spirits? What do you say to yourself often and how do you say it? There could be deep revelations when we explore some of these aspects.

To begin with, what do you do when you come across someone you know? You acknowledge their presence, maintain eye contact and greet them with a smile. Why should it be any different when you wake up each morning and look at yourself in the mirror? You are your most familiar face. Acknowledging and greeting yourself pleasantly each morning is a wonderful way to start the day. Eye contact with yourself is as important as it is with others. It all begins with the eyes and goes within.

 For building any relationship, we need time and communication. And this is surely a worthwhile investment. Continue to talk, continue spending time – to build that single greatest and deepest relationship with yourself as that is going to last you till the very end of your time. An enriched relationship with self , enhances the quality of relationships with others too. So, happy journey! 🙂

Living life fully!

July 26, 2005 – Mumbai, Marol Naka, 3.30 in the evening – it had been raining heavily for a while then. There was a power shut down in our office and some of us thought it’s better to try and get home before the local trains stop plying. It wasn’t an uncommon scene in Mumbai for the local trains’ service to be shut down due to heavy rainfall.

We got out of office thinking it was one of those routine heavy rains. Little did we know the adventure that was awaiting us. When we stepped out, there was water till our knees. I was slightly panicking because that was my first experience of Mumbai’s heavy rain. But my colleague was reassuring. So, we began walking. In about half hour, the water level began steadily rising and it was now till my waist. Another half hour or less and the water level rose till my neck. By now, the slight panic had grown into a massive fear. I had no idea what to do. We wanted to get into any building on the sides but we couldn’t.  The current was strong and we couldn’t distinguish between the gutter and the gate. One wrong step and we could be swept away in the water. Frozen with fear, I was holding on to a lorry. One of the men helped me to get on to a bus for safety.

As we sat in the bus we noticed that water was getting into the bus as well. The fellow passengers decided that we should try our luck and walk to Andheri station while there was still light. They spoke of the danger of getting stuck in deep water through a dark night. Petrified, I approached a tall man and sought his help to walk through the water. He agreed graciously. We walked and walked for hours. If it was not for the people who pulled me by my hand and hair, I would’ve been swept away in the water for sure for the number of times I slipped. Death and I encountered a few times that evening! Miraculously, after many hours of ordeal and thanks to many good Samaritans, I made it to my guardian’s place, at about 10 in the night. My aunt was shocked to see me. She couldn’t believe that I made it in that heavy rain somehow. My parents breathed a sigh of relief when they knew I was some place safe.

I sat down, and I could still feel the water current passing through my body. I cried for about an hour. I couldn’t believe I had survived. It was a miracle! In those moments, when I thought death was just around the corner, I had only one wish – to bid a final goodbye to my parents. I did not have anything left unsaid or undone. I was happy with the way I had lived my life and had no regrets. All I thought was – God! Couldn’t you think of another nicer way for me to die?

Today, when I look back, that is the most profound experience. I realized that we have not come with a guarantee tag like a Prestige pan. Our life might end anytime. What if this was the last time I’d be meeting someone? Would I be any different? The answer to that has always been a yes! And so, I choose to celebrate excellence, of life, others and self. Life is too short to be worrying or angry. If this was my last day, all I want is to be happy. I love living life fully – for who knows when might be the last moment. The last time I shared this experience in my training, one of the delegates went home and broke a 10 year silence with her co-sister. Happiness is a choice! Living this moment happily becomes just as important as planning for the next.

Breathe fully! Live fully! 🙂