Tuesday, September 19, 2017

School of Learning…

                        Where there are no holds barred!

This morning I was touched by a newspaper article I came across on A School For Grannies.

Warmed by the thought of Professor Bangar, The Founder of this innovative school, and the zeal and the burning desire of his real old 30-odd students(one of whom is 92 years), I felt compelled to applaud it.

Age definitely must not be a restraining factor at all when it comes to Learning. Not alone from our environment and experiences but also the academic learning.

So very often we come across young and old people with regrets for not having understood the worth of or not having had the means or money for receiving education at the right time.

Most touching are the very common cases in our country where children have to give up education and take on working instead to support themselves or lend a hand in earning for the family.

And if we talk about women specifically we all know heart of heart, how despite having the Right to equality in education, young girls desirous of studying are made to quit schools for their brothers when family can support education for just one and how girls are instead forced into household chores and not provided even the elementary education.

Many, if not all, such children, irrespective of their gender, grow up into adults feeling lacking and inferior.

And as they grow further mature or old, they have this constant nagging feeling that life could have been different had they received education at the right time.

Yes, you and I can vouch for that it indeed would have been so! But why should they live on with that regret now and forever? Each individual has a right to education and he or she should exploit the right whenever best he can.

While all children, boys or girls, rich or poor, must receive the formal education they are rightful of, at the same time the eager grown-ups and even the elderlies must be encouraged and assisted to pursue education no matter how old they are!

Let the school of learning be open for one and all and let there be no holds barred!

Kudos to this School for Grannies! Let’s have more of those!

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
                                                                                            - Mahatma Gandhi


Thursday, September 7, 2017

India, Faith and the Babas!

Another Baba down! After a long drama which held the country hostage for more than 72 hours, with more than two states directly affected with the Baba’s followers burning down whatever public property came their way, finally the Baba has been convicted, sentenced and jailed!

An exemplary verdict, which definitely brought justice to the complainants and some sense of relief to the myriad unknown victims, who chose to remain under the cover of anonymity, has also put a big question mark on the belief and faith of the gullible, desperate seekers who are anxious to hold on to anyone who gives them a glimpse of hope, a ray of sunshine in this mad, dark world and a wee bit of mental peace.

Guess, round the world, people have been wired like that. No matter what religion they belong to or which country they are born in, they need something or someone to believe in; someone who instils in them an iota of belief in the existence and accessibility of God!

And it is this incessant subconscious need of the people which various con men take advantage of, appearing under the guise of self-proclaimed Godmen who play with the faith and belief of the people.

Is it really the public that is encouraging these fakes, as claimed by numerous WhatsApp messages doing the rounds, and does the situation really warrant the ban on the Babas or Gurus as demanded by the news channels?

Since times immemorial, India is a land of the Gurus, where the oldest of the theological theories from one and all religions, stress the importance of taking a guru’s ‘sharan’ and reiterate, over and over again, that none gets to enter the heavens unless he has a Master.

It is not Hinduism alone which emphasises on the role of the Gurus. All religions talk about the presence of God’s messengers on earth in some form or the other at any point of time.

Heaven being the destination aimed at after death in all religions, a seeker is not in the wrong if he is looking all around to take the refuge of a Guru. And after all, if there is a God what else better means would he have to use than a man to a man.

The idols are symbolic, the books have the Gurus’ or Masters’ teachings, temples were meant to be a peaceful place to pray, sermons are to remind us of God. But the knowledge of how to reach Him has only been imparted by a few masters to their followers. At the root the original teachings of all the saints from different religions, say the same leaving no doubt in the accessibility of God through the Guru.

It is very sad that there are people who can make a mockery of this pious Guru and shishya bond in a country like India where there have been several revered saints and children grow up listening to the stories of the same.

It is indeed sad that the faith and belief of the people in this beautiful relationship are shaken time and again by such fakes.

May the faith of the people be restored in the Gurus and may this land of the saints be blessed again with wisdom, sense of discrimination and piety.

Monday, July 24, 2017

A Tryst with Shayari

अर्ज़ है उस खुदा से
कि हम नासमझ को समझ दे
हम दूसरों की खता से पहले
खुद की गुस्ताखी देखें

............................................  ..............................................   ..........................................

दिल में जज़्बात जब दबे रह जाते हैं
खुदा गवाह है... खुदा गवाह है... 
कई सैलाबों के रास्ते खुलने को हो जाते हैं
पता नहीं कब आ जायेगा अचानक से यूँ तूफ़ान
कि संभालने पर भी संभल ना पायेगा कारवाँ

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Sometimes Life Just Calls For An Umbrella

At times when there seems to be a downpour of troubles and life seems to go haywire all one heartily seeks is the shelter of an umbrella.

An umbrella that guards him from the impact of plights, an umbrella that guards his little left share of delights, an umbrella which when open feels like a beautiful sky and an umbrella that may become like one’s world at the time.

This umbrella can come in myriad forms and colours. In form of a friend who extends her shoulder, in form of the mentor who stands by you when needed, in form of a parent who is by your side no matter what, in form of a spouse who doesn’t judge you and in form of a small help at just the right time which one cannot ever be thankful enough for!

Yes, we all long for an umbrella when life is harsh on us. Be it the heat of the moment or a deluge of problems, it is the umbrella that guards us, shelters us and keeps us safe and sound.

We all need to keep our umbrellas well and handy. If we nurture our relationships with our friends, family, neighbours and colleagues with love, care, understanding and compassion, our umbrella will welcome us with warmth when needed and shield us against not just the heat and downpour of life but also the lemons life throws at us.

Yes, sometimes life just calls for an umbrella! Keep yours ready!

Credits: The picture used has been taken from dgreetings.com

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wee Bit Of Madness!

It takes a wee bit of madness to scale mountain heights, it takes a wee bit of madness to go skydiving, it takes a wee bit of madness to go biking around the world and it takes a wee bit of madness to do the things you like!

It takes a wee bit of madness to go head over heels in love! It takes a wee bit of madness to work on your passion and it takes just a wee bit of madness to live life king size! And it’s this madness that makes life actually worth living!

Deep inside us we all have that latent flame which needs to be rekindled to reignite our passion and make us zealous and alive!

Yes alive! In true sense of the word! Which doesn’t mean breathing, eating, slogging and sleeping… and reliving the same rut everyday of life!

It means waking up in the morning with a twinkle in eyes and a smile curving your lips. It means keeping that madness alive!

No great genius has ever existed without a touch of madness.
                       -    Aristotle

Friday, May 12, 2017

Liven Up!

Treading the path of life we all reach a stage when we are so involved in doing the daily chores and fulfilling our responsibilities to the best that we hardly notice the years slipping by and only live from weekend to weekend, completely leaving behind what we had initially set for! 
Looking back at the carefree school college days we often exclaim “O Yes! Those were the days!” The days when we had wild dreams of touching the sky while looking for a new horizon! And then we all achieved our academic scores, married our loving and caring spouses and got busy making homes out of concrete houses and balancing lives between work and home! 
And while doing all that we somewhere left behind our dreams, our hobbies and our passions… which at times give a gentle tug deep within. Somewhere deep down one feels a void which if not filled gives one a persistent feeling that something is amiss! 
But what’s stopping us now? Can’t we work our way around in our favour? Why not? Someone so aptly said, “If you do what you need to do you are surviving, if you do what you want to do you are living”. 
Trust me! Life can really be amazing if we do what we love to do and what we want to do. It can really bring a world of difference to the quality of our lives. And it really does not require us to take some tall decisions or make some big changes. All it requires of us is to do those little-little things we crave for and which give us happiness deep within. 

Life is too short and unpredictable and mostly does not give us a second chance. This reminds me of a short story I would like to share with you. 
About a hundred years ago, a man looked at the morning newspaper and to his surprise and horror, read his name in the Obituary Column. The newspaper had definitely made a mistake but his first reaction was of shock and for a moment he wondered whether he was ‘here’ or ‘up there’! 
His second thought, when he regained his composure, was to find out what people had said about him. The Obituary read, “Dynamite King Dies” and also, “He was the merchant of death”. This man was the inventor of dynamite and when he read the words ‘The merchant of death’, he was horrified and he asked himself if this was how he wanted to be remembered. 
He perused over it and decided against it. That very day, he altered the track of his life and started working towards peace. This man was The Popular Alfred Nobel who is fondly remembered today by the great Nobel Prize. 
Now just as Alfred Nobel got in touch with his feelings and redefined his values, let us pause and do the same for a minute and ask ourselves – How would we like to be remembered? Will we be spoken well of? Will we be remembered with love and affection? What will our kids remember us for, the hours we slogged to earn money and keep home, or the time we spent with them? And will we be even missed? 
Actually we might not even get a second chance like Alfred Nobel because life often throws lemons our way when we least expect. However even then it is for us to make masala lemonade out of those! 
Alright, lighten up! Life is too short to dwell on sadness or be stressed. So, count your blessings, square your shoulders, lift your head high, take a long deep breath and smile and let that smile reach your eyes, put a spring in your step as you walk and live life as if there is no tomorrow! 
Life is too short to live by someone else’s expectations and life is too short to delay the realisation of our own dreams. So live your life whole-heartedly and be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire! 
One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it is worth watching.
--Oscar Wilde

Credits: The picture is taken from pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/pin/549228117026865737/)

Monday, April 10, 2017

Roots and Wings

Each one of us endeavours to provide the best she can for her children. However the definition of best may vary for each individual. For one where it may mean a treasure trove, for another it may be a lifetime effort to provide the best education possible while yet another might believe it to be a set of values.

Not undermining the importance of each considering the important role they all play in our lives, I agree to the saying that the two greatest things one may gift her child are The Roots and The Wings. Roots to remind where he or she belongs and wings to realise what one can become.

Just as I say this, I am reminded of a message doing rounds on Whatsapp with a video clipping of Mrs Sudha Murthy, wife of one of India's richest men, Mr Narayan Murthy, an Indian IT industrialist and co-founder of Infosys, being interviewed on one of the television channels.

Dressed in a simple white saree and adorning silver hair in the video, Mrs Murthy is being asked about her plainness and simplicity and how unlike most others she is not wearing wealth on her sleeves and how despite all the name, fame and money does she remain grounded.

As beautiful, as she looks in that simple look she wears all the time, is her reply to the anchor. She says she is the way she is because she is not a rich man’s daughter and coming from a distinguished academic background family she was never lured or fascinated by money and never felt the need to prove anything to anyone.

Known for living a very simple life and running various NGOs, Mrs Sudha Murthy, is the perfect example of one with strong roots and high-flying wings.

While the wings enable one to reach soaring heights and accomplishing great successes, roots help one to remain grounded, humble and compassionate.

Much as we are attached to our children and many-a-times feel compelled by our own desires to direct them in a certain direction, it is essential that we give them wings and let them explore the highest arenas and even venture into the unknown.

At the same time it is essential that their roots be strong so that they keep in touch with reality and not let the success or wealth get to their head and exposure lose their balance.

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