LOVE YOURSELF?

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Do you think you love yourself properly? You may assert but am definite you do not do so. You may contradict, OK no problem, let me clarify why you are not totally careful about your personal pros and cons. First of all look back, or go back to your past days when you were totally governed by you mother. You were a mere child then, could not reciprocate. The only way to draw the attention of all was to cry in a loud manner. Immediately those who were near about hurried to watch what happened to you. Actually you were so helpless at that very period that there was no other alternative.

Gradually you grow up, acquire knowledge both academic and mundane and plunge into the pool of survival in the best possible way. But if you are not properly nurtured, properly guided by your parents how to walk smoothly along the path of life you are sure to stumble. As it is your habit to depend on others at every moment you seek a helping hand to lead you. It is never your quality, it is your fault. You have not learnt to love yourself; you have no intention to hone you.

I don’t want to make you responsible alone. Your parents are responsible too not to nurture you quite perfectly. Do you like to eat that thing that attracts you? If the answer is yes you are on the wrong foot. It means that you do not love yourself, hence want to take casual approach while taking food. If you had love for yourself you must be a chooser, never be an omnivorous.

Do you take exercise regularly? If yes it is good, if not it is very bad. Again it proves your worthlessness. Everyone knows lacking in exercise causes so many physical ailments. Lazing is nothing but beckoning woes. As from the very beginning you are not made aware of the fact you are careless in this regard and damage your body and soul. If you loved yourself you must be careful of your mind and body. It had been your aim to be rejuvenated all the time.

IN QUEST OF GOD

Last night I had a hot debate on the exact existence of God with my friend. Actually the question rose quite unexpectedly while discussing on the sudden change of climate I just told that it was nothing but the expression of the wrath of God. My friend who is a professor of physics reiterated, how could a man who teaches English might opine so. Actually I am by heart a believer in God since my childhood. Hence there was storm in the tea cup and the debat

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e turned into a melee till my wife intervened and declared that it was only 12:30.

Those who have gone through different sciptures know it quite well that there is the exisence of a Supreme Being who guides the human beings and leads them light. But if someone questions ‘Have you seen God’? I have no other way than to quip that I haven’t. But how can you disbelieve the remarks of a number of great men ranging from Jesus Christ to Ramakrishna Paramahansa who deliberately spoke that God exists and encouraged in the quest of the Supreme Being.

Have you gone through the Purana ? If not just have a glimse of the sayings there. If you watch the vast universe can’t you be bewildered ? Watch,everything is there in a synchronic manner. If you go through the theory of Creations you are sure to wonder as the story of Creation is depicted vividly keeping parity with the scientific theories. Even scientist like Einstein elaborated that he was amazed to watch the mystic creations of some unknown creator. Is it God then what he meant to highlight?

In every Scripture of the world there is the story of Creation. How the Earth was created after the will of the Omnipotent. In all those Holy Scriptures there is the reference that the Earth created by God contains living beings. There may be so many galaxies and planets but there is no existence of life. Is it just a scientific fact ? Can’t you visualize the planning of a Great Architect behind it? Explain why in other planets there is no existence of those materials that are needed for perfect sustenance? Why is earth so beautiful still today in her green attire?

A Journal

journalLife isn’t about emotions but about action, you said once, at a time when you were still allowed to make speeches in the streets. But you didn’t justify what you said by how you lived your life. And now when you are no longer around to argue your point, there is this dispute on why you behaved as you did!

Sure, I have your words in proof, but all these people who doubt your words don’t know what thoughts you had; and I, a helpless, young school teacher, am in no position to rescue you from the onslaught of criticism and hatred, by revealing what you told me.  Are you trying to make me believe that I can stand in and voice your feelings?

Who is going to believe that me, a mere wordsmith, has solid proof of what you really believed in? That you did what you did, with an agenda that none of them could foresee? If I throw open your words to the world then I am sure the discussions will turn to my part in the issue… why was I given the honour of listening to your intimate thoughts? And that too at a time when the whole world hung around your mouth in readiness for a morsel that fell? You never spoke, to any one at all; neither did you write a word of denial or acceptance of your accused crime…

Your oppressors tried to break you all these decades, they held you in the open prison of your house, with luxuries for chains, with honours for your thorn-crown…and you kept your feelings hidden to all but me…

And I, who received these crisp yellow sheets every week, breathed in the slight fragrance of your manhood (or was that your own brand of cigars). Your words crawled all over the slightly crumpled sheets with the ink spreading, as if you folded the paper in a hurry. I didn’t know this was your heart, and that you wrote this with your life blood. You never ever wanted a response… I, who cannot even wear mourning for you now, have held all those words in my heart…,

No one mourns you here, but everyone is curious to know what you thought, even as you lie cold in your grave… why did you make this gift a burden?

But tell me did you really write to me because you cared for me? Or was it an illusion that I made up to please myself? Perhaps you have been very clever, you wrote all this as a record? A journal you didn’t want the world to see just then?

Now what do I do, dear heart? Whom do I transfer my burden to? You once told me everyone should keep a journal! Here is mine…my first ever entry…just next to your yellow sheets that smell of tobacco…

The notebook found in the thick coat that covered her bullet-ridden body had just this entry.

You are Blessed if you can’t afford something today!!!

As i sipped on to my cup of coffee, I shared a small story of my life with the friend of mine sitting with me and it took me back to my student days.

I was doing my MBA then and the city had a single Cafe Coffee Day joint.  I never missed glancing inside the outlet,  looking at the young croud hanging out there whenever i passed  by that way. Being a student then, I ran on a minimum monthly budget which permitted me the lavishness of visiting the CCD  joint once in months but my heart pined to go there very often.

Today, as I was sipping my coffee with this friend of mine in a  Cafe Coffee day outlet,  I remembered how ever since I started earning,  I made it a point to visit a Cafe Coffee Day almost everyday. The pleasure of achieving something you really desired, at a time when you couldn’t afford,  is simply inexplicable.

As we shared this feeling of mine our discussion went to a point which left me touched and pondering for days.

We discussed that If we cant afford something then we are really blessed because that gives us a reason to work hard, a dream to look up to and a sublime pleasure if we are able to achieve it one day.

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I know of  friends and acquaintances who are so stinkingly rich that you name it and they can buy it for themselves.  Diamonds are gifted on the smallest of occasions, exported cars  come as birthday gifts, holidays are always in exotic locales abroad and there is never a word” no” for them. Its whatever whenever to them, yet I find this lot of people the most dissatisfied, frustrated and wild in their lifestyles.

They have nothing in life to look forward to,  nothing to own by working or saving diligently everyday. They have no pleasure of owning something they secretly desired for years and thereby they miss on the small and beautiful things in life.  They never realise the fun that is there in the journey than reaching the destination hastily. They are frustrated leading a wild lifestyle because in their run up the ladder, they have never enjoyed saving everyday to buy their loved one the ring that she always yearned for.  They may be worthy to provide their family with everything they want but do not have the time for them.  They cannot make it on their birthdays,  anniversaries…. months pass by and the only thing they speak to their immediate family is “Hi!”, “How are you”, “Take care” and that too over the phone because they are too  preoccupied climbing up the stairs in life fast. Ask them when did they last sit with their dear ones discussing something that touched them during the day and they would go blank. No wonder they finally grow frustrated and lead a wild lifestyle.

On the other side, I know many friends of mine, who would rather take an auto to a place when they can well afford a cab because that money saved will let them buy something for their dear ones, the idea of which they were secretly toying for a long time. I know of people, who smile everynight when they switch on the air conditioner in their one bedroom flat imagining of a childhood where 6 people slept in the same room on a night in May with only hand fan to keep them cool. They slog their butts off just to provide basic comforts of life but though they cannot gift  their wives diamonds on birthdays, they can gift her enough time thereby trying to do small things which make her happy and touch her heart.  There is a fun in living a life like that because you work towards achieving and isn’t  success  sweetest when it bears the fruit of sweat?  Relationships strengthen in these cases and are bonded by  threads of heart and not price tag of gifts.  There is a fun in living their life, where you may not afford a cruise in Venice for your anniversary but would plan your savings to achieve it one day by now settling for a cruise in Goa.  That’s the spirit of Living I believe.

This discussion kept me pondering and I concluded and believed,  that you are Blessed if you cant afford something in life today,  because its a curse to have everything you want.

My kids taught me so many things……

||Tasmay Shri GuruveNmaha||

Receiving you in my arms for the first time…

I realized how wonderful motherhood is going be.

Your giggles showed me,

how contagious laughter can be.

Listening to your babbles …

I realized how to pronounce words in a better way

When you are happy,

it is so natural that you sway.

Chocolate spread all over your mouth and fingers,

demonstrated a different style to have it.

When you refused to eat…

I learnt how to prepare the dish and attractive way to present it.

When you tell me you are scared of dark,

I know how genuine and honest you are.

All of us are scared of something or the other,

But pretend that we really don’t bother.

When I made a mistake of comparing you

with another good boy or girl,

That was you who brought to my notice –

you can’t really compare a gem with a pearl.

Your continuous creping for a balloon,

taught how to insist things

Merrily patting your hands in water puddle,

you taught me how take pleasure in small – small things.

Engrossed in tearing away news paper into shreds,

you taught me how to be with what you are doing.

There is so much I have learnt from you,

you taught me how to experience life as a human being.

A simple life

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“Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show….”
– From David Copperfield (Charles Dickens)

For the better part of my academic years, I didn’t know what I would become. I have seen kids saying: “I want to become an engineer” or a scientist at very early age. But I really didn’t have a single clue about my future.

Many people thought, I would become a doctor because of my pathetically illegible hand writing. (Some of the skeptics thought – I would become a bus conductor!). I had such bad hand writing; some times I myself could not read it. During exams I used to read notes from my colleagues!

When ever asked about my future I used to say that I will become a priest!! This was a perfect answer, because no God fearing religious person can counter that! This continued till seventh standard.

Forbidden fruit
For 8th standard I joined a co-educated school. Mine was the first batch of boys. Earlier, it was predominantly a girls school. Till then, I had never seen so many girls at one place. We were outnumbered by a large number of girls. There was too much attention from the girls and wild distractions. I was extremely vulnerable!

In this COLOURFUL environment, first time in my whole life I realized, what I am going to miss, if I ever become a priest! Sadly it dawned on me, that I was not the chosen one – for Gods work. God had other plans for me. After that I never thought of becoming a priest!

Future Wife
I met this girl in the local church youth circles; we spoke this and that,
“What do you do?” she asked.
“I study”
“Oh, you are a student. What else do you do?”
“I write sometimes” I said.
“Anything published?”
“Not yet, but I am sure someday, someone will publish my articles”
“Do you know, you have the highly unlikely profile of a candidate – for a women to be interested in”

I knew that. But if you have followed history closely, women have fallen in love for some of the most bizarre reasons. And men have started their courtship with some of the worst possible questions.

Mine was – “Have you seen DDLJ?”

DDLJ
DDLJ was a mile stone movie. It is also a mile stone movie in my life. It is the first movie I watched with a girl (later married her), in the theatre bunking the college. It is also the first movie, where my mom caught me – watching it with a girl bunking the college!

That is when I realized my mom’s network is much more powerful than Mossad.

Suppose you are John Doe; planning to do something mischievous in Israel, the moment you arrive at Tel Aviv airport , the first thing you hear on the microphone will be – “Attention Mr., John Doe your wife and kids are safe with us ; waiting for you at Gate 6”

If you are a normal tourist you will appreciate the hospitality of the airport staff. But if you are a veteran cold-war-fiction-reader like me you will immediately come to know that it is a signal for John Doe to quietly surrender at gate 6 else his family will be murdered brutally.

Mossad can sniff any unwanted activity months ahead because they have the strongest espionage network in the world. My mom had a stronger network! The money I borrowed from her for study books and actual cost of the books, the marks I reported in each subject and the ones I really got, the classes I bunked – all this information she had on her finger tips!

I saw DDLJ in Mangalore 35 KM from my home even though it was running in near by theatres just to avoid mom’s spies. After the movie came straight to home as good student, First thing she asked was –
“How was the movie?”
“It was good” – shocked!
“Who is the girl?”
That started a long interrogation session – just like Mossad!

That was long time back.

Hard talk
“Are you going to marry the same girl?” mom had asked, years later.
“Yes” I had said.
“What if I say – No?”
“Then I will wait till you say – Yes”
“You have already waited for almost a decade!”
“I will wait some more, I am used to it now..”
“OK” finally she had resigned “You are stubborn. The only negative quality I have. Unfortunately the only quality you inherited from me!”

DDLJ is also the first movie I watched after my marriage. But this time at home with two girls! Wife on one side and mom on other side!

Marriage course
Interestingly till the last moment I didn’t know that MARRIAGE COURSE is mandatory for a Christian marriage. Come to think of it, no other religion forces a marriage course! Being superior in animal kingdom, I don’t know why human beings need a marriage course when other animals simply follow their basic instincts!

I joined a marriage course conducted by a Goan priest. I was simply amazed by his comprehensive knowledge on sex. Is it possible for a person who is practicing celibacy to have so much theoretical knowledge without Practicals? Of course it is difficult!

Before time
Just one week before my marriage I was invited for my friend’s marriage. I attended it, with my fiancée (Same DDLJ girl). It went up to very late; we took the last bus home. When we reached bust stand, it was empty; there were no autos or taxis to go home.

My home was at 1 Km distance; hers was at 3 km.

“What do we do now?”
“We need to walk” I said. “If we walk to your home, then it would mean a 6 Km walk for me plus 1 km to my home. Instead of that lets both of us go to my home”

“What? Before marriage, what people will think?”
“This is an emergency. There are no rules in war and…”
“Ok, lets go “she said.

Mom opened the door. She was clearly surprised by seeing both of us. She was expecting only me.
“Why the big hurry?” she said “any how you are going to marry her in a week!”

D – Day
My marriage was no different than other marriages, so as usual there was tremendous leg pulling between my side and my wife’s side. Long discussions and arguments on simple things like whether to have mango pickle or mixed vegetables pickle for the menu!

Complete strangers took some major decisions! There was a moron from wife’s side at center stage most of the time. Asking people where to stand, when to click the snaps, where to sit. I was sick of this guy.

“Don’t you think your uncle was acting too much on the stage” told my wife after the marriage.
“My uncle” she was surprised “I thought he was your uncle!”

First Night
One of the prominent people of my town was celebrating his anniversary on my marriage day eve. I had an invitation. He was such an important person, that I could not simply reject his invitation even if it was my first night!

I went to the function with my wife, thinking it was a half hour hi-hello-bye affair. God, how wrong I was! The function dragged till midnight with speakers after speakers giving lengthy speeches on successful marriage! The last thing you want to hear on your first night is speeches on successful marriage life!

Good news
When I reached home that night everybody was sleeping! My wife could not sleep because she had hundreds of hair-pins and flowers on her head; till early morning next day I was removing hair-pins!

In the morning, when I came out of the bedroom first person I met was my grand mother who promptly asked – “When is the good news?” Since I was hearing it first time I could not make sense out of it. But after that over the period thousands of people (some perfectly strangers) have asked me that question without shame, without presence of time and without politically being correct!

Life after marriage
First thing we learned in our marriage is cooking! It is a shame that being very good cooks our parents didn’t teach us anything! Only thing I new was – Maggi.

I came to know that Chapati’s come in many interesting shapes other than the regular circular ones! I was bit tired of my mother’s perfectly circular shaped chapati’s. My wife makes chapati’s in all possible shapes for e.g. square, diamond, parabola and my favorite Amoeba shape! My mother could not do all these shapes; I think she was lacking creativity!

50 – 50
Modern days are not like that of our grand fathers, where ladies used to spend their entire life in the kitchen. Time has changed. Early in our marriage I and my wife have decided that one will cook and the other will clean the dishes. I have taken the onus of cleaning and realized to my horror that cleaning is much more difficult than cooking! The complexity of cleaning increases day by day as you postpone it!

Lessons from Marriage
Found practically that soft drink cans kept in deep freezer explode! This is because – all liquids increase their volume at a low temperature. Even though I had read this during my schooling, never gave a serious thought about it till I practically experienced it.

Before marriage I was a hardcore fan of Baywatch and FTV, now all my favorite serials start with the letter – K. The challenges of modern day husbands have been increased by never-ending Ekta Kapoor serials. All ladies get their state of the art tips from these serials.

I hate Ekta Kapoor more than Hitler, who was directly responsible for killing 6 million Jews during World War II. She can expect physical harm if I ever meet her. I have a feeling that an Amoeba has more IQ than Ekta Kapoor!

In the golden-olden days, my grandfathers didn’t have the challenges of Ekta Kapoor. They were happy men. My maternal grandpa has 6 kids and paternal has 9 kids. Obviously they didn’t believe in contraceptives!

A simple life
If you ignore the near fatal food poisoning incidents in the earlier days of our marriage, I feel my wife has become a super cook! She can now, not only participate in all India Konkani speaking women’s cooking competition, but also can give some valuable tips to Sanjeev Kapoor! Of late I have found that her chapati’s are becoming more circular, I think she is losing creativity like my mom!

Young couples ask me all the time about the interesting moments of my married life. Incidentally they are aware that I knew my wife much before my marriage. They expect something romantic and filmy. I try to escape this question because they will not believe my answer.

Most romantic things of my married life are – cleaning fish, going to the market with wife, drinking tea together etc. Most of the beautiful things in life are simple day to day things. They don’t cost much. You just need to have an eye for them.

(Reproduced from here with permission of the author)