Her: Hi Him: Hey There Her: ASL, please? Him: How are you doing? Her: Is that your ASL? Him: NO, but age is just a number Her: Well, I am 27, I am from Delhi Him: WOW, a Delhi girl, today is my lucky day Her: You a flirt? Him: No, just an average man, 28/US. But I was a Delhite too once Her: Oh, were you? I am a dancer Him: Gawd, Can this day get any better? Her: Yes, if you are a Guitarist Him: You never know, I could be Her: LOL, are you? Seriously ? Him: Nah, I can’t even hold one correctly, though I tried, sincerely Her: You know, I know that feeling, I worked hard to learn Piano, but no luck Him: I have a feeling we can be good friends…. Her: I have that feeling too…..’
Perched on my balcony today and got a call. “Maám, your HDFC card is near to expiry date, and you need a to Renew it” I told him a “Yes, your services have been too good, and I would like to go for the Renewal“, and he was happy to do all the formalities and take care of things for me and then he asked me to fill the KYC form. A KYC form, a Know Your Customer form. They wanted to know me better, my necessities and prerequisites, my limits and my usage. I ended the call with an appointment to see him the following day.
I sat with the form he has left me to fill my eyes fixed on the word Renewal. You know what I was thinking? I was thinking that we have become so empirical and pragmatic in all walks of life that we can relinquish relations and people without any struggle to hold on owning to our false ego and fake pride, but we are not ready to let go a Credit Card Subscription.
Whenever I see, lovers have a tiff and then reconcile it feels like they just renewed their bonding. Like updating their rendezvous from silver credit card to golden and then platinum and then platinum plus. Like they are putting all the love and affection and fondness in a joint recurring account, withdrawing from it at the time of need, when they quarrel. Being a calculative person, it is my habit to see things in numbers and percentages. When my mother is unwell, I keep asking her to tell me the level of severity of the sickness in percentages to understand how much better or worse she got. It sorts many things for me to see this whole world in terms of one big bank and me the account holder. Keeping a log in mind as to what was credited and what was debited. What interest I paid, did I gain anything in the transaction? Maybe a single smile or one moment of feeling loved.
How nice it would be if relations had a Renewal facility as well so that we can just fill the KYC form and dive back into them. I have lost some splendid connections just cause I was not able to race with the world around me. I was never one to fit in nice and proper but struggled to maintain few close people close to me by investing my time and sentiments in them. I felt one day I will reap the benefits of never ending companionship and love. But the bitter truth is they all had an expiry date to themselves. And it doesn’t matter how many applications I put in for renewal, they weren’t responsive.
Come to think of it I was never the customer, I was always the service provider. Always giving, providing my services with no exception. I had only one fee, some understanding in return which was denied to me time and again. I wasn’t ready to let go of them easily, so I did the Know Your Customer thing too. I tried to know them better, and tailor cut myself to suit their needs. Trying to please each one and give them all that they were expecting from me.
After so much contemplation the conclusion I drew was that investing money is more beneficial than investing feelings and banks pay you back more sincerely and long-lasting than your own kith and kin. These are weird times we live in, nothing comes with a guarantee, the only one person we can depend on and be sure that it will be with us is the unparalleled Me, Moi and Myself.
Love is always bestowed as a gift — freely, willingly, and without expectation…. We don’t love to be loved; we love to love. –Leo Buscaglia
A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:13
John and Nathan are two best friends came back from their schools to see their old teacher at his house. He had invited them to reward them with different gifts. They both were looking very happy and cheerful. They spoke well to everybody, they helped every needy on the way to their teacher’s house. The expectation of receiving gifts made them happy and joyous. Finally when they reached, their teacher asked them to sit down and wait. The teacher came with two packets and handed them their respective gifts. They expressed their gratitude and started opening their packs. John found an expensive watch inside his packet and Nathan found a canvas, and all different colours of crayons, water colours etc. Nathan was a great painter but he was unhappy and looked gloomy.
I have seen many faces changing colours from white-happiness to red-anger, yellow-panicky, and black-gloomy. I have even seen faces changing from yellow, red, and black to white. But holding a cheerful or white face is not always easy. We need practice to keep our heart happy, to make our face cheerful.
In my life I hate to stay gloomy, grumpy, angry… I have always tried to stay happy and cheerful. Only a satisfied heart or a heart of contentment can make our face cheerful/glow. When we are discontent about certain things we feel the poke/ache. Then we feel our spirit crushing with no-enthusiasm, disinterest etc.
Even if Nathan couldn’t have bought the painting materials by himself as he was not financially that well to do, but still he was sad because he was discontented about the gift he got from his teacher. His eyes were greedy for his friend’s gift – an expensive watch.
How many times we do compare our gifts, blessings with others and feel sad?
Let’s learn to stay happy and content… then only we can have a cheerful face, otherwise our discontentment/heartache will keep crushing our spirits everyday, every moment.
Arun looked at everybody’s face and laughed saying, “Hey common guys! I am done with my life story…” “Nothing much to share as I am here with you all and you know the rest of me.” Everybody was filled with emotion and amazed to hear all this, but Arun was still smiling. Today after five years of his stay in this orphanage he poured out his love story to his colleagues. He felt relieved. The very next day his director told him to go to Bangalore for a conference on ‘Community Development.’
The conference started and he was amazed to see somebody on the dais. He looked familiar to him. The announcer called out a name “Rohan Srivastava” the chief speaker of the conference on ‘Community Development.’ He was disturbed. And the eyes were met when Rohan started speaking looking at each one of the participants. During lunch time Rohan came and throw his arms around Arun. They both hugged each other and just discussed few things about themselves as there were much more to talk with Rohan. After the conference before leaving, they fixed a time in the hotel to talk to each other. Rohan scolded Arun for keeping silent for so many years.
He said everybody was hurt for Arun’s behavior. And also said sorry for what has happened to him. Arun was amazed and asked, “How do you know about this…?” He replied, “Nita shared with all of us when we could not find you anymore.” Arun asked, “Did Reena knows about it…that I had heard what she said that day…?” Rohan replied, “Yes…she felt sorry for you… but she was not in love with you at all.” “Where she is now…?” asked Arun. Rohan looked pale and tried to avoid. But Arun asked again. Rohan said, “I don’t know…where she is..?” “What do you mean you don’t know..?” Arun asked looking intensely at Rohan. “You may not tolerate Arun so just leave it…” said Rohan. Arun’s heart was pounding hard. He asked impatiently, “oh just shut up Rohan…now tell me what happened to her…?” Rohan looked down and looked up again and said, “We all departed from each other after you left. I went with Chaya to New Delhi and joined a Community Development NGO. And after two years we got married and still in New Delhi. Binod married Gracy after two months and they moved to Kolkata to work in a Call Centre job. Both are now executives and happily married. And you knew about Nita, she came back to India last year from the US and joined an MNC. She was engaged to a multi-millionaire two months back and will soon marry him. She has totally changed but still the sweetest of all as before.” “And Reena…?” Arun asked again with a sudden fear in his heart. Rohan took a deep breath and replied, “Reena…ah….”He paused again. “Reena fell in love with a rich and handsome guy, Rocky, son of an industrialist after you left. She was very happy. We all went to her engagement ceremony. We all missed you terribly and four of us were somehow blaming Reena for everything. But we were silent. She was looking stunning that day. After dinner, we said goodbye to her and came back. After two days Chaya called me and started weeping. On asking, she told me that Reena was gang raped by Rocky and his friends on the next day of their engagement. He invited her to their farm house for a candlelight dinner but he invited his friends also without her knowledge. And they raped her. I consoled Chaya and came over to her place. Later we informed Binod and Gracy about it in our old meeting place at College canteen.” Rohan paused there and looked at Arun. Arun’s eyes were moistened with tears. Rohan hugged him tightly and both of them started weeping. Arun tried to get back his composure and he looked at Rohan and asked again, “what happened next to Reena…where she is now…?” Rohan replied, “She stayed traumatized for two years and was in the hospital in shock. We went to see her many times in the hospital. She just looked at us blankly. No movements and no expression we could see on her face. Now she is in some rehabilitation center in Dehradun. I don’t think any of us know the address of that center. Her parents are there in Dehradun too. They sold everything including their house and went there. That’s all…”
Rohan looked at his watch, “it’s time boss…I need to go to the airport to catch the flight…” Arun said, “Yes… even I need to pack the things and buy few things for the children of my orphanage and catch my train at night.” They hugged each other and exchanged their addresses and cell numbers and parted.
I was reading Proverbs. A passage drew my attention. I was amazed. The initial verses of that passage say that Four things are small but extremely wise, and then in the following verses, it talks about those four small things and their behaviors which rate them as extremely wise. Let’s talk about those small things as follows:
The passage says that the ants are of little strength, but they store up food in summer. We always keep our work pending. I am not talking about official work. I am even talking about the family responsibilities & duties. That we fail to fulfill in time.
Lesson: Do we really think about our soul the way we think about our body and mind?
2. Conies or Marmots:
The marmots or Conies are of little power but they make homes in crags. They believe in strong foundations. They love to stay safe and well protected. Do we build our relationships on strong foundations? What about our relationship with our spouses? Is it rock solid?
Lesson: How good is our foundation of life?
Locusts have no king but they advance together in ranks. Wow! What discipline & unity. Do all our works properly coordinated and disciplined? Do we have unity in our family members? Do Americans have unity? Do Indians have unity?
Lesson: Do we really have unity or we fight like dogs?
4. Lizards (or spiders):
Lizards are caught by hand yet they are found in king’s palace. Whether it is lizard or spider but both are susceptible yet can be found almost everywhere on this earth. I think it talks about our presence. Two thoughts came to my mind. Firstly, do we make our presence felt? And secondly, how do we make our presence felt? Are we well-known for our tolerance or violence?
Lesson: Does our presence bring joy or trouble people?
This passage is an eye opener for me. And hopefully, it will be for you all also. We really need to learn from these four small creatures. They taught me great lessons. I hope it will help you all to learn those lessons.
was written and published by me previously HERE . ButI thought this message is very important and needs to be conveyed again and again to all of us. Thus I republished here.
There are few questions which we should always need to ask ourselves. The questions are as follows to which I have answered what I felt right… Your answer might be different. Read on…
Do people have the right to offend others?
NO, they don’t have the right to offend anybody including a child…
Should we censor people to prevent causing offense to others?
We should but we can’t do it always…
Should these “offensive” people exercise more control?
It depends on the position and power they are in. They exercise more control if they have power and position or else they keep quiet.
Does free intellectual discussion trump peoples’ sensitivity?
Yes! It does.
There are FIVE ways I feel offended. They are as follows and should be rectified or abandoned:
I feel offended when people shout in public or try to correct me in a group. Sometimes I do the same mistake by correcting people or younger ones in front of others. So we all need to learn that we need to correct a person only in private not in group.
I also feel offended when people talk high of me to others unnecessarily. Sometimes I do the same to others. Sarcasm and flattery are offending to me and to others too.
I feel offended when nobody asks me anything or I am not noticed in a group. It is really offending when we ignore people in a group.
Sometimes when my weaknesses or secrets are openly revealed I feel offended though it’s just for fun not for correction. So we need to remember we should not embarrass or make fun of people.
The last but the worst one is when I get criticized or judged unreasonably by people. Criticism and being judgmental are humiliating and should be censored. It is highly offending.
We need to learn, I need to learn how to be subtle and gentle like a dove. It is important and needed to be followed at once.
Panic is an absorbing aspect of our day-to-day life. It feels like you are worried for no reason at all and you are trapped inside a small room with no windows and doors, when it creeps on you unawares it will make you stop in your tracks, the heart starts to beat faster, the skin turns cold, sweat beads break on your forehead, breathing gets shallow, and you feel suffocated, hands and feet start to feel numb, you feel your words aren’t coming from your mouth, your own voice seems alien to you, what you see feels like a third dimension, like some movie, like you aren’t there, the things said to you are not registered by your mind and then you get big bold sign hanging in front of your eyes that says “Heart Attack”, and this fear that you might be actually dying acts as a catalyst and turns the Panic to own you completely and take over.
Panic has some triggers usually thought it can come totally out of the blue, a song, a person, an incident even a feeling of Deja Vu, often these triggers are the connection between the conscious mind and a buried painful memory. Its acceleration speed is awesome, it can go from 0 to 100 within a split second. It is our imagination at it’s best to be true when we take a small thing and make a big scare out of it, but you are not alone in it, it happens to most of us, in fact, it happens to every 1 in 3.
When under Panic attack know that it’s just temporary and this too shall pass.
Keep moving, don’t do any work, that would worsen it, but pace or stroll. It helps your mind and body stay empowered and focussed.
Talk, I know at that moment you just feel like keeping quiet, but being with people and talking to someone helps you soak their positivity and power. Say your thoughts out loud.
Keep breathing, it’s the most important thing, this is just one trick your mind is playing on you, don’t let it win.
Touch, hold onto something tangible, like your phone or TV remote or water bottle, it keeps things real and doesn’t let you slip into the distorted state.
A simple sentence like “we need to talk”, can give you that panicked feeling because you fear that some mistake you did has come back to haunt you, even though you might not have done any. Have you ever noticed that even as adults if we are separated from our companion, be it son or friend in crowds like supermarket and movie theaters, we immediately Panic, even though we know that we will find them soon. People even panic to see the last few overs in cricket matches, I did, last over, 6 balls and 10 runs to take, I would switch on the TV and calm down my heart.
Panic does not mean that you are weak or have no self-control, it just means that you have gone through some trauma or some pain. Do not feel apologetic for being sensitive and emotional, it is a sign that you have a big heart, but your mind plays clever tricks on the poor heart. Believe that THIS TOO SHALL PASS !!!
The first thing people ask you when you meet someone is How Are You? And more often than not the answer is I Am Fine, How About You? The subject about they are is quickly dismissed with a little rhetorical answer. But I have often wondered is the other person Fine, or are they just Pretending? Pretending to be happy when you’re in pain is just an example of how strong you are as a person. Pretense might keep the other person free from the burden of your trouble and might save you some exasperated looks but it breaks you from inside bit by bit, at the end of the day we always find ourselves encountering the crucial truth that I am broken inside, that no amount of pretending will change the pain inside us.
Pretending is like creating an illusion that suits us, sometimes for us, at times for others, but at some point, we have to accept that we can’t go on pretending forever, Someday that illusion has to break, will break. We Pretend to be heartless, to forget, to forgive, to be deaf to the things we don’t wanna hear, to be blind to the truths we don’t want to see, to be mute to the matters we don’t. Usually, address. Often we Pretend to be someone we are not to please someone saw a pretend that we don’t love, we don’t care, we aren’t hurt on the phone we fake things that will hurt others or will make us seem weaker in others eyes. As we keep pretending and keep playing that game, we realise that slowly it became our habit and gradually it became our character.
Pretending is a very diversified art, it can be used in so many ways andthough weso many situations. A child Pretends of stomach ache to avoid a school day; an intelligent person pretends to be a fool in front of a fool who themselves are pretending to be intelligent. I often pretend I have great interest and insight about medicine in front of my doctor friend so that I don’t have to listen to his banter as he tries to instill his knowledge into my brains, sometimes I pretend to be naive about art in front my painter friend just to hear her tell me about it from her point of view. Some people pretend to be sympathetic and understanding during your suffering just so that they can get a better seat to watch you struggle, which teaches us not believe that ever helping hand isn’t always there to help. My aunt Pretends she isn’t in pain so that she won’t be sent to a physiotherapist because she fears doctors, a distant cousin of mine pretends to have wealth in abundance to save herself some humiliation in front of her rich friends, and another pretends to be hand to mouth so she won’t have to buy her friends expensive gifts though she can very well afford it. I once saw a child Pretending to talk to his dead father on the phone; I smile sadly because I knew what he was doing, he was creating a myth for himself. We Pretend for small and big things; we Pretend to be asleep, to have eaten when hungry, to be not tired when the wife wants to go to the movie, to not miss that special someone even though we miss him dearly. One day I saw a Shani Baba stealing guavas from my tree through my window, and I saw him fall, I ran out to check on him, he was sitting on ground cross-legged like someone in deep meditation, upon asking he pretended that he was just sitting here, I laughed hard at him, because he was hiding his fall in fear of getting scolded for stealing guavas, I gave him some money, some guavas, and some pain ointment to apply on his scraped knee which was clearly bleeding. My mother often Pretends she isn’t my father so that she won’t see my crying with her pain. Our reasons to Pretend are different but trust me, we all do it at one time or another, we all Fake.
Don’t be angry at everyone who is pretending, they might be saving you from their pain, they might be smiling through tears, they might be going to pieces when they stood by your side to support you. Now lets us pretend that you loved this snippet, haha. PLEASE KNOW THAT WE ARE BOUND TO PRETEND.
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