Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011...!?!

It is 31st Dec 2011... The last day of the YEAR 2011 and everybody is excited to bid a farewell to 2011 and Welcome the 2012, however dreadful it's been painted in rumors and movies...! Today I have to share with you a simple, small yet spirited parting message from 2011…




Stay tuned and R-E-S-O-L-U-T-E…!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans… John Lennon said once. It is not that I have realized this for the first and not even the last time, I believe, but the most recent if I can say so. I had, why, still have, other plans for the Xmas vacations, but I didn’t see this exciting, enchanting and somewhat exhausting weekend getaway coming at all. This must be what they refer to as joy of small things…!


The idea germinated on Saturday night around 10:30 PM and within 12 HRS, we were on our excursion to this little known and rarely visited place called 'Nilkantheshwar' in the midst of Panshet and Varasgaon dams. The reason for it being little crowded and therefore more clean and unsoiled than other Pilgrimage places, is not only the altitude (900’ from sea level, almost 90 storeys building without a lift or even stairs but a steep earthen ramp if you can call it, for your kind information urbanites) but absence of any charismatic stories and Chamtkars related to it.

No doubt you have to take frequent stops to catch the breath but once you have made justice to your passion and spirit of exploration, the spot where you reach is just short of Kailas with Lord Shiva himself greeting you accompanied by hundreds of Deities and Saints, including a Sleeping Hanuman, an extremely rare site.

The moment you glance at the place you have reached, you forget the cramps and strains in the legs and also in stomach for some…! The view from the tableland at top is astonishing as one can see backwaters of Panshet, Varasgaon and Khadakvasla dam with a backdrop of Sinhgad from here.

The hundreds of sculptures associated with Hindu mythology and made of cement by Sarjemama, a forest ranger who found the Shiva Linga on this hill and built the temple around it. The newspaper cuttings in the temples say that Sarjemama is also associated with 'Vyasan Mukti Abhiyaan' and he has successfully rehabilitated 4 to 5 lacs of alcoholic people.

Now this is social work, I salute. The no. of sculptures and the span of their subjects from Dashavtar to Shivaji Maharaj are mind-blowing and all you can do is bow before the creativity and zeal of this personality.

There is no sophisticated or star facility around to eat-drink-and-merry and that is one of the best features contributing to forestalling of fashionable tourists and hypocrite pilgrims from invading this spot and making a commercial tourist center out of it. The villagers also seem determined to practice what the place preaches, being content and detachment from material prosperity.

In general I fancy all the places of Shiva for some unknown or unexplainable inner connect I feel with this Destroyer GOD, owing to, may be, my obsession for transformation. Or, as the name ‘Nilkantheshwar’ suggests, I would prefer to drink all the poison to make the surroundings an unadulterated and better place…! Only HE knows better…!

All in all, it was a great and insightful expedition and a place one must visit to discover that divine connect…!

Stay tuned and D-E-V-O-U-T…!

PS - For more pictures click on the title 'Pilgrimage'

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Eight Lies…!?!

The Christmas and New Year time is just round the corner and the fervor of festive season can be sensed in the air all around. For various personal, professional or pragmatic reasons, few of us are not fortunate enough to be with their family, especially Mother, this season. Here is a story for all of us to remember, respect and love Mother for now and forever…!

This story begins when I was a child: I was born poor. Often we hadn't enough to eat. Whenever we had some food, Mother often gave me her portion of rice. While she was transferring her rice into my bowl, she would say "Eat this rice, son! I'm not hungry."

This was Mother's First Lie...

As I grew, Mother gave up her spare time to fish in a river near our house; she hoped that from the fish she caught, she could give me a little bit more nutritious food for my growth. Once she had caught just two fish, she would make fish soup. While I was eating the soup, mother would sit beside me and eat what was still left on the bone of the fish I had eaten; my heart was touched when I saw it. Once I gave the other fish to her on my chopstick but she immediately refused it and said, "Eat this fish, son! I don't really like fish."

This was Mother's Second Lie...

Then, in order to fund my education, Mother went to a Match Factory to bring home some used matchboxes, which she filled with fresh matchsticks. This helped her get some money to cover our needs. One wintry night I awoke to find Mother filling the matchboxes by candlelight. So I said, "Mother, go to sleep; it's late: you can continue working tomorrow morning." Mother smiled and said "Go to sleep, son! I'm not tired."

This was Mother's Third Lie...

When I had to sit my Final Examination, Mother accompanied me. After dawn, Mother waited for me for hours in the heat of the sun. When the bell rang, I ran to meet her. Mother embraced me and poured me a glass of tea that she had prepared in a thermos. The tea was not as strong as my Mother's love, Seeing Mother covered with perspiration; I at once gave her my glass and asked her to drink too. Mother said "Drink, son! I'm not thirsty!”

This was Mother's Fourth Lie...

After Father's death, Mother had to play the role of a single parent. She held on to her former job; she had to fund our needs alone. Our family's life was more complicated. We suffered from starvation. Seeing our family's condition worsening, my kind Uncle who lived near my house came to help us solve our problems big and small. Our other neighbors saw that we were poverty stricken so they often advised my mother to marry again. But Mother refused to remarry saying "I don't need love."

This was Mother's Fifth Lie...

After I had finished my studies and gotten a job, it was time for my old Mother to retire but she carried on going to the market every morning just to sell a few vegetables. I kept sending her money but she was steadfast and even sent the money back to me. She said, "I have enough money."

That was Mother's Sixth Lie...

I continued my part-time studies for my Master's Degree. Funded by the American Corporation for which I worked, I succeeded in my studies. With a big jump in my salary, I decided to bring Mother to enjoy life in America but Mother didn't want to bother her son; she said to me "I'm not used to high living."

That was Mother's Seventh Lie...

In her dotage, Mother was attacked by cancer and had to be hospitalized. Now living far across the ocean, I went home to visit Mother who was bedridden after an operation. Mother tried to smile but I was heartbroken because she was so thin and feeble but Mother said, "Don't cry, son! I'm not in pain."

That was Mother's Eighth Lie...

Telling me this, her eighth lie, she died. YES, MOTHER WAS AN ANGEL...!

"M" is for the Million things she gave me,

"O" means Only that she's growing old,

"T" is for the Tears she shed to save me,

"H" is for her Heart of gold,

"E" is for her Eyes with love-light shining in them,

"R" means Right, and right she'll always be,

Put them all together, they spell "MOTHER" a word that means the world to me. For those of you who are lucky to be still blessed with your Mom's presence on Earth, this story is beautiful. For those who aren't so blessed, this is even more beautiful.

Stay tuned and C-L-O-S-E…!

PS - Written for someone special on request

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


A king who did not believe in the goodness of God, had a slave who, in all circumstances, said: My king, do not be discouraged, because everything God does is perfect, no mistakes!

One day they went hunting and along the way a wild animal attacked the king. His slave managed to kill the animal, but could not prevent his majesty losing a finger.

Furious and without showing his gratitude for being saved, the nobleman said "Is God good? If He was good, I would not have been attacked and lost my finger."

The slave replied: "My king, despite all these things, I can only tell you that God is good, and he knows "why" of all these things. What God does is perfect. He is never wrong!"

Outraged by the response, the king ordered the arrest of his slave.

Later, he left for another hunt and was captured by savages who made human sacrifices. In the altar, ready to sacrifice the nobleman, the savages found that the victim had not one of his fingers, so he was released. According to them, it was not so complete to be offered to the gods.

Upon his return to the palace, he authorized the release of his slave that he received very affectionately.

"My dear, God was really good to me! I was almost killed by the wild men, but for lack of a single finger, I was let go! But I have a question: if God is so good, why did he allow me to put you in jail?"

"My King, if I had gone with you in this hunt, I would have been sacrificed for you, because I have no missing finger, therefore, remember everything God does is perfect. He is never wrong."

Often we complain about life, and negative things that happen to us, forgetting that nothing is random and that everything has a purpose.

Every morning, offer your day to God, don't be in a rush.

Ask God to inspire your thoughts, guide your actions, and ease your feelings. And do not be afraid. God is never wrong!

The path of God and his word is perfect, without impurities. He is the way of all those who trust in Him.

Stay tuned and P-U-R-E...!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Today let us deal with a root cause of almost all the psychological problems and their material manifestation. A single feeling that has the potential to ruin everything. It is F-E-A-R...! Let us try to understand the nature of fear.

When we have to start a new venture, we often feel fear of failure. Before exams, we feel fear of low marks or may be failure! At times when we have to decide between two or more choices, we feel afraid. Fear of failure is natural and overcoming this fear is natural too...! People feel the fear of failure at different stages in life.

So the question is 'Can we overcome this fear of failure and HOW?

We can learn from those people who successfully overcame the fear of failure and have shared their experiences with us. One of the person who has shared the technique of overcoming failure is an Olympic athlete Guy Drut.

This is a story of a French Olympic player Guy Drut from Mark Mc Cormack international best seller: 'What they don't teach you at Harvard Business School' which guides us on one of the most important tools to overcome the fear of failure.

In summer of 1976, he was the only hope of France for win in Olympic track-and-field medal. Naturally, he was afraid. He had the burden of carrying nation's pride on his shoulders. One of his friends Jean Claude Killy advised him how to overcome the fear of failure.

Killy's advice was very simple. He asked Drut to repeat a few words in his mind over and over again. Killy told Drut that he was the only one who can use his body and mind for peak performance. He should keep on saying to himself -

"I have done every thing to get ready for this race and if I win, every thing will be great. But even if I don't win, my friends will still be my friends, my enemies will still be my enemies and the world will still be the same"

Drut says that he took Killy's advice to his heart. He repeated this sentence in all his practice exercises, during breaks and in between the semi-finals and finals. He kept saying the sentences to himself over and over and it blocked out every thing else. Drut says... "I kept on repeating it to such an extent that I was still repeating it when I went up to receive the gold medal...!"

We all can get benefit of this advice. Our self-talk reflects our expectancy from our lives. Positive self talk is more than a positive mental attitude. It is an evidence of determination in our future.

Stay tuned and continue your self talk without hesitation...!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


In 1992, exactly 20 years ago, Severn Cullis-Suzuki, a Canadian girl who spoke to the United Nations at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and left them completely silent and speechless for five minutes when she was twelve years old. She had raised all the money to travel to the delegation, five thousand miles from her home, herself.

“If we adults have no idea how to fix hole in the ozone layer, pollution, the devastation of the forests and extinction of so many species, in fact can’t fix them, and that we must change our ways. If you don’t know how to fix it, stop breaking it.

I am here to speak for all generations to come. I am here to speak on behalf of starving children around the world whose cries go unheard. I’m only a child and I don’t have the solutions…but neither do you. I am only a child, but I know we are all part of a family five billion strong; in fact, 30 million species strong, and borders and governments will never change that.

Even when we have more than enough, we are afraid to share. We are afraid to let go of some of our wealth. Two days ago here in Brazil, we were shocked when we spent some time with children living in the streets. This is what one child told us:

‘I wish I was rich. And if I were, I would give all the street children food, clothes, medicine, shelter, love and affection.’

If child on the streets who has nothing is willing to share – why are we, who have everything, still so greedy? I am only a child, but I know if all the money spent on war was spent on finding environmental answers, ending poverty, and finding treaties – what a wonderful place this world would be.”

How much has been changed, accomplished, since Severn spoke that day?

Years later, Severn wrote a piece for Time magazine in which she said: “I spoke for six minutes and received a standing ovation. Some of the delegates even cried. I thought that maybe I had reached some of them, that my speech might actually spur action. Now, a decade from Rio, after I’ve sat through many more conferences, I’m not sure what has been accomplished. My confidence in the people in power and in the power of an individual’s voice to reach them has been deeply shaken…In the 10 years since Rio, I have learned that addressing our leaders is not enough. As Gandhi said many years ago, ‘We must become the change we want to see.’ I know change is possible.”

Where do you start and how…?

Stay tuned and Be Aware…!

Watch the video here -

Friday, December 9, 2011


This is neither a story, nor a soup for soul or something like that. Not a cliché or even an inspirational story of any sort. This definitely doesn’t give a moral but poses questions instead. Go for it with a relaxed, calm and unprejudiced mind to see if you can find answer to any questions at the end. This is an exercise without any marks; all you get is enlightenment if you succeed…!

There was this school for – psychology calls it mentally challenged, developed society calls it ‘special’ – children. And there was this 100 meter race for 10 children as part of their physical education and development. This boy ‘A’ was ‘bright’ otherwise but had this phobia for physical activities in general and running in particular. While ‘A’ was on the verge of breaking into tears and quitting the race, he overheard the whistle and, almost bedazzled, started to run down the track.

To his surprise ‘A’ found himself leading the race and was about to finish it in the FIRST place when he got stumbled just 10 meters before the finish line and fall flat on his face over the track. ‘A’ was baffled and completely confused about what to do next. His brain seemed to stop functioning and the mind was overwhelmed with inseparable mixture of emotions, making no sense at all. Time stood still and a moment seemed as long as an era. ‘A’ couldn’t make what was happening and as he started regaining his conscious what he saw was…

All his ‘competitors’ were around him helping him to get up and make him finish the race. With the support of 9 ‘contestants’ ‘A’ managed to reach the finish line that seemed miles away. All the 10 participants finished the race at the same moment, making a row holding hands. All were the winners and there was neither a ‘foul’ nor a ‘tie’ except the bond that they tied…!

Now if these ‘special’ children have already learned to…

Enjoy the pace without the race…
Play a game without fame…
Feel compassion without competition…
Choose winning without sinning…
And to ‘BE’ over the ‘ME’

How would we like them to ‘grow’ and mature into ‘developed adults’ who…

Get graduation but lacks education…
Has the opinion but defer the contribution…
Make a fortune but miss the loony-tune…
Know the self-worth but neglect the real worth…
Can get the license to drive but can’t drive the CHANGE…?

Well, if you are waiting for a moral or message or insight here and eager to know what celebrity that ‘A’ became in his adulthood… as told earlier, you would be disappointed. This is a real story of a real ‘A’ who is still at that school and I am glad he is still ‘Special’ and I don’t want him to be 'normal'… ever!

For the message, if you must have any, try to find your ‘normal’cy against the ‘special’ty…!

Stay tuned and S-P-E-C-I-A-L…!

Friday, December 2, 2011


While planning the X’mas holidays,when our discussion seemed to get stuck at the ‘destination’ part, I suddenly realized that nobody should spoil the fun and excitement of the Journey for obligation and constraints of destination. Although it remains my life-time philosophy to enjoy the journey and never mind the destination, I was little perplexed how to put my point across…!

Two brothers decided to dig a deep hole behind their house. As they were working, a couple of older boys stopped by to watch.

"What are you doing?" asked one of the visitors.

"We plan to dig a hole all the way through the earth!" one of the brothers volunteered excitedly.

The older boys began to laugh, telling the younger ones that digging a hole all the way through the earth was impossible.

After a long silence, one of the diggers picked up a jar full of spiders, worms and a wide assortment of insects. He removed the lid and showed the wonderful contents to the scoffing visitors.

Then he said quietly and confidently, "Even if we don't dig all the way through the earth, look what we found along the way!"

Their goal was far too ambitious, but it did cause them to dig. And that is what a goal is for - to cause us to move in the direction we have chosen; in other words, to set us to digging!

But not every goal will be fully achieved. Not every job will end successfully. Not every relationship will endure. Not every hope will come to pass. Not every love will last. Not every endeavor will be completed. Not every dream will be realized.

But when you fall short of your aim, perhaps you can say, "Yes, but look at what I found along the way! Look at the wonderful things which have come into my life because I tried to do something!"

It is in the digging that life is lived.

And I believe it is joy in the journey, in the end, that truly matters.

Stay tuned and G-Y-P-S-Y…!