We need not donate $100 to a charity everyday. But small acts of kindness and good deeds can make our day – Be it helping a blind person to cross the road, giving a bus seat for an old woman, holding the door for a pregnant woman to enter, giving way for a car trying to merge in the packed road, giving the ‘unused’ or ‘never to be used’ book to library etc.,
While we converse daily about very serious issues and concerns of the society, country and the world, we tend to forget or fail to appreciate the small inspirations that we see in our daily life. The small inspiration could come from a neighbor, a friend, a colleague, a family member, a classmate.
“We can do good from where we are, with what we have”. And here’s a life inspiration that truly depicts the above line. [The below narration is from one of the email forwards that I received recently from a friend (Thanks S for sending this)]
Narration of a unique auto-rickshaw ride by Suvendu Roy of Titan Industries, who shares his inspirational encounter with a rickshaw driver in Mumbai.
Last Sunday, my wife, kid, and I had to travel to Andheri from Bandra. When I waved at a passing auto rickshaw, little did I expect that this ride would be any different. As we set off, my eyes fell on a few magazines (kept in an aircraft style pouch) behind the driver’s back rest.
I looked in front and there was a small TV. The driver had put on the Doordarshan channel.
My wife and I looked at each other with disbelief and amusement. In front of me was a small first-aid box with cotton, Dettol and some medicines. This was enough for me to realize that I was in a special vehicle. Then I looked round again, and discovered more – there was a radio, fire extinguisher, wall clock, calendar, and pictures and symbols of all faiths – from Islam and Christianity to Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism. There were also pictures of the heroes of 26/11- Kamte, Salaskar, Karkare and Unnikrishnan. I realized that not only my vehicle, but also my driver was special.
I started chatting with him and the initial sense of ridicule and disbelief gradually diminished.
I gathered that he had been driving an auto rickshaw for the past 8-9 years; he had lost his job when his employer’s plastic company was shut down. He had two school-going children, and he drove from 8 in the morning till 10 at night. No break unless he was unwell. ”Sahab, ghar mein baith ke T.V dekh kar kya faida? Do paisa income karega toh future mein kaam aayega.”
We realized that we had come across a man who represents Mumbai – the spirit of work, the spirit of travel and the spirit of excelling in life. I asked him whether he does anything else as I figured that he did not have too much spare time. He said that he goes to an old age home for women in Andheri once a week or whenever he has some extra income, where he donates tooth brushes, toothpastes, soap, hair oil, and other items of daily use. He pointed out to a painted message below the meter that read: “25 per cent discount on metered fare for the handicapped. Free rides for blind passengers up to Rs. 50.
My wife and I were struck with awe. The man was a HERO! A hero who deserves all our respect!!!
Our journey came to an end; 45 minutes of a lesson in humility, selflessness, and of a hero-worshiping Mumbai, my temporary home.
We disembarked, and all I could do was to pay him a tip that would hardly cover a free ride for a blind man.
I hope, one day, you too have a chance to meet Mr. Sandeep Bachhe in his auto rickshaw: MH-02-Z-8508.
Who is your inspiration today? Spend few minutes to draw it from your memory. Have a great inspiring day!
Many things to be said here are not the ones that I put forth. It has been said by many, lived as ‘principles’, ‘values’ by many, preached by many and want to embrace by many. ‘Sundays with Raji’ is my reflections, experiences and here’s one after its been laid back for a while.
1. Be aware of the bad and the negativity around you, but always focus on positivity and good. This way, your energy is spent on some great values than those that draws you down
2. Early mornings are the best time to do and strike off the most important tasks of your day. This will leave you with a level of satisfaction when you lie down on bed that night
3. Do one new thing everyday. Don’t let go off your potential wasted, buried in the dark. Spend some time every week on an activity, interest that you are most likely to want to pursue. When you look back after days, you would feel like ‘Life is beautiful!’
4. Faith moves mountains. Miracles do happen with insurmountable faith and indomitable will to pursue something that you believe in, standing for what you believe in, irrespective of any circumstance it is, irrespective of any odds that you may face
4. ‘I sacrificed this; I sacrificed that;’ – Telling people about your sacrificial things is like getting attention and wanting appreciation for the sacrifice. Sacrifice is a judgement that should be made by the world; not by you. Mahatma Gandhi never said that he sacrificed his barrister job to become ‘Mahatma’. Mother Teresa did not say that she sacrificed her life to help the needy [From Masterminds - 08/25/2012]
5. When you do anything in life, make sure it serves these two – ‘Personal Good’; ‘Larger Good’. Unless you strike these two things off after you do what you wanted to, it does not serve its purpose [From Masterminds - 08/25/2012]
6. Meditation brings communion. It helps you to get concentration power. You need not meditate for hours, just few minutes everyday for yourself, bringing peace within you, bring focus to eradicate the shorter attention spans
Habits are those that I follow. Take-aways are those that I am constantly working on for the betterment (personal good and larger good – I am an evolving consciousness as like all others
“Great acts are made up of small deeds.”
- Lao Tzu
The number one reason people give up on anything so fast is because they tend to look at how far they still have to go, instead of how far they have gotten
- Author Unknown
” I had the blues because I had no shoes, Until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet”
~ Harold Abbott
A saint asked his disciples, ‘Why do we shout in anger? Why do people shout at each other when they are upset?’
Disciples thought for a while, one of them said, ‘Because we lose our calm, we shout for that.’
‘But, why to shout when the other person is just next to you?’ asked the saint. ‘Isn’t it possible to speak to him or her with a soft voice? Why do you shout at a person when you’re angry?’
Disciples gave some other answers but none satisfied the saint.
Finally he explained, ‘When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to hear each other through that great distance.’
Then the saint asked, ‘What happens when two people fall in love? They don’t shout at each other but talk softly, why? Because their hearts are very close. The distance between them is very small…’
The saint continued, ‘When they love each other even more, what happens? They do not speak, only whisper and they get even closer to each other in their love. Finally they even need not whisper, they only look at each other and that’s all. That is how close two people are when they love each other.’
MORAL: When you argue do not let your hearts get distant, do not say words that distance each other more, else there will come a day when the distance is so great that you will not find the path to return.
Caution: A very long post! Read at your discretion
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain
2011 – A most satisfying, gratifying year for me! If in my life history, I call 2006 as a golden year, 2011 stands very close to that too, in a number of ways. Struggles and hardships were there initially in the first half of the year. Instead of telling what struggles and hardships that I went through, I like to skim through the lessons that I’ve learnt:
1. Everyone has their own perspective on things. Don’t push it! Neither will they be happy, nor you will
2. People may do bad to you. You only have 2 choices – Either try to change them for good or leave them for good
3. You have to realize that people sometimes do bad things without knowing. Forgive them and move on
4. Happiness is a virtue. You should be a person to give it and not take it
5. Everything happens for a good reason. You will always be given the best but the best comes only after insurmountable hardships. Stand tall through the hardships and you’ll be shown that the result had always been targeted to be beautiful!
6. Things don’t happen as you wish always. Keep away the worries and expectations. You’ll encounter what bliss is, then!
7. Whenever you give something to the Universe, it gives the same back to you – Be it happiness, sorrow, hopes, struggles, joy, worries, respect, positivity, negativity – Law of Attraction!
8. Resolutions stay short. Habits stay longer
9. When you start comparing with others, you start living someone else’s life. Comparison and Jealousy will bring you down wherever and whatever you are, in life
10. Life is short. Do whatever you dream to do, no matter what hurdles come along
Looking back at this year from where I started and how I have ended has been a great ride in a journey called life. I was listening to Actress Trisha’s interview in 2010 and she said that she was a blessed child and she had never been through hardships and struggles as others. 2010 being one of the toughest years in my life, listening to these lines of Trisha, I felt so bad that why I had been subjected to so many struggles when someone else had never been? How does God decide that? That’s how my thought process was in 2010. But in 2011, for every hardship and struggle I went through, I raised back and stood tall and realized that I was the master of my fate and I was the captain of my soul. Some blessings this year came in disguise and some direct and open. Incredible thought process transformation and positive outlook shifts. Life had become beautiful and blissful, ever since then! Mindset, Mental toughness became the biggest strengths to see what it means to be a blessed person!
Introduced “Blounge”, Short story, “Sundays with Raji” this year. “Blounge” gave some great guest posts from friends and my blog followers. Short story brought different ideas and perspectives that one could have. “Sundays with Raji” became a favorite of many – Inspirational, Motivational, Positive vibrations, General perspective, Change in outlook – People tagged it with different names. Very happy that my life experiences in writing can make a positive difference in someone’s life. A blog post being selected for blogadda’s “Spicy Saturday Picks” [a biggest and widest blogging arena] has increased the interest towards blogging. My giving story on “Making a difference” got published in “The Alternative” but was not selected. Completed 4 years of blogging and adopted different styles. Overall, it was a great year of blogging!
The greatest energy, excitement and happiness came from India winning the world cup. That sense of excitement still stays in me, whenever I think about it. The screams, shouts, hand fists, hugs, uproars, upbeats and what nots? Will be treasured as a lifetime memory. Favoritism comes to Tennis after Cricket. After many years, watched US Open Tennis live on TV. Being a great fan of Nadal, watching him losing to Djokovic was not that easy. But “May the best wins” had to be agreed. The fan base of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic being very high, it’s very hard to determine who you will be a fan of, until you follow their technicalities, strategies and successes. Nadal’s “never give up” attitude and hard work shows why I’m a fan of him
Though gained the popularity of being a great Student at the Knewton’s GMAT classes and featured in their Spotlight series, did not take GMAT this year. Failed to appear for the exams due to unexpected health reasons – But this has never bogged me down. I’m a great dreamer and my dreams are still alive!
I did not believe in miracles until my faith and prayers showed me that Miracles do happen! The tiny twins Y & Y of my best friends A & S showed was a reason to have a different belief on Miracles. Best wishes and lots of happiness to them always…
Joy of Giving:
Water Charity. Mothers trust. CRY. Cancer Association – I wish the joy of giving does not end only with monetary contributions but extend in terms of time and efforts associated with it. Without friends and well wishers, would not have made my “Wish @ 30″ come true. Gratitude and Heartfelt thanks!!!
Joy of creating:
The biggest joy came in forming a team and creating 3 new avenues to do good – “Anushthanam” is what we named it. It’s in great shape with initial challenges. The 3 are – Vidhai (Getting practical education to rural area children); MAD (Making a difference – in bringing the possibility of being educated irrespective of monetary difficulties); MSS (My spare 2 share – Having unused items but can be given to those for whom it will be useful). Going to be a real challenge in the year to come to bring these 3 live in action
The best of the travel times embraced me this year. Been to CLE after 4 years and spending time with friends was enjoyable. Friends visiting me in Feb and in Sep – A different kind of enjoyment of just being at home and having fun. My first hiking and hitting the road (road trip) to Utah was a totally different experience with nature. Missed the Alaska Trip due to health reasons but enjoyed the time and efforts spent in travel plans. Alaskan Glacier, Wildlife, Aurora Borealis – Wait! You’ll meet me in the year to come! Trip to MA and NJ to visit my family – One of the best personal trips with times spent with my best friend M, nephews N1, N2 and R, family – dearest to me And the last trip of the year to CA – Best times unfolded with close friends
Health took a toll this year but made an incredible investment in restoring to a good health – Broke out all odds to bring up a habit of giving up on Coffee, eating at regular intervals, introducing 2 courses of fruits every day, being on top of using Perio, flossing and brushing to improve dental hygiene, spending efforts on skin and hair care – Hard work paid off well! Seeing a totally different me in myself! Very proud
Gifts & Celebrations:
Treasure Trove – Gifts kept coming this year till last week. Got my first gift for New Year 2012 as well Many surprising gifts and happy moments that will be cherished forever, came this year too. Not only I received gifts, made every effort to send gifts that every friend and immediate family of mine felt happy about. Every gift that was given and received was different and instilled an immense amount of happiness in me. Organized few celebrations – Sa’s Baby shower, Diwali Celebration @ workplace. Was a part of large number of celebrations in the later part of the year – Send off parties, B’day Celebrations, Casual Potlucks @ home and friend’s places, Christmas Celebration etc., Most enthusiastic moments of this year!
It was a year of giving, celebration, travel, enjoyment, health etc., Irrespective of initial hardships, struggles and difficulties, made every effort to make life enjoyable and happy as it comes. There were indirect messengers at different instances to show me what life is all about! Heartfelt wishes and thanks for everyone who was a part of making it happen! Blessed to have a great circle of friends and family who cared, shared and are longing to see me successful and happy in everything I take on! Absolutely a great feeling, when I look back and march towards a more challenging, more rewarding and wonderful 2012!!!
With all grills, frills, happiness and enjoyment of 2011 aside, wishing you all a happy, prosperous, peaceful, successful, healthy and wonderful 2012!
May life lets you write success stories and learnings from challenges
May you see your dreams come true!
May good times and great memories prevail!
May goodness exist within you!
May you be the reason for other people to smile!
May you flow with the flow and enjoy whatever you do!
May life show you what’s best!
May this year be the greatest as ever!
Had been busy with things but that did not keep me away from staying in touch with friends.
MI4: It’s been months since I saw an English movie in the theater until I went with friends to watch MI4 – Above all action, loved Burj scenes the most – Dubai has been added to my “list of places to visit before I die”
Get together @ SaNa’s: The first thing I did was to hold A in my hands. The tiny toes and fingers, a strange look at others but being chamarthu (good), A stayed calm in my hands for a while. Met Aunty B (not from Bachchan’s family ), Sa’s mom and spoke for about an hour about Vidhai and its proceedings. Aunty B’s story of Mother’s Trust was inspiring and the way she spoke to me was very encouraging. If any of you like to indulge yourselves in the joy of giving, please do check this out: http://www.themotherstrust.org/index.php Had an awesome dinner @ SaNa’s that day
Adieu(s): Is it a moving season? It started with V who took a next step in her profession, moved to another state.
Then, S and D moved to another state. S and D’s send off party was at a restaurant – People kalaichufied S to the core before he was surprised by a B’day cake @ 12. The day before S and D left, went to their apartment to say bye. S said “The next time I see you, you should be a step above”. I asked “Personal or Professional?”. Rendume, he said. I smiled [An easy way to make that moment pass]
The next big move was from M – Leaving to India for good [If Marriage is considered to be one...:P] M is someone who I admire so much in lots of things – The best being “the travel planner” – Her attention to details and the way she research and plan for trips – Par excellence! A habit that I would like to pick up. Send off dinner for M was at a restaurant that I suggested. Got a Cotton candy ice-cream cake to celebrate her to-be transformation from spinster-hood to marriage-hood. Did not realize the cake was meant for Children – We all had blue mouth after we ate it and we looked like ghosts Dropped M at the airport last weekend and wished her the best
N’s B’day party: It was a surprise for N as he entered G and D’s apartment. N felt shy seeing group of people around and left the place. G had to run and bring N back in. D is one of the best cooks whose food I have had a chance to taste. Another best thing about D is her decorations, an artistic talent that’s a god’s gift. As a token of appreciation, N took us all to dinner 2 days after. How many dinners outside in a week? Hmmm…
Xmas Party: My first Xmas Party here. Pleased with T and B’s invitation to their place for the party. Did not know about Mistletoe and its significance until I heard about “Kissing under the Mistletoe” belief from T. Good that I entered alone If any of you are wondering what’s mistletoe all about? Read it here: http://www.theholidayspot.com/christmas/history/mistletoe.htm.
There was an Ornament exchange game during the party. Bought a small rock star guitar that had a knob that plays songs when clicked. What a coincidence – G, who plays Guitar got that during the game and he was very happy to receive it. We played Pictionary and “Best & funny moments”. Couldn’t think of any funny moment but had “India winning the World cup” as the best moment until M said it before it was my turn. Then, switched that best moment to one of my personal experiences
Dinner @ home: Invited K, N and M home for dinner last Saturday. Tried my hands in authentic South Indian Sweet and Kaara paniyarams – came out very well that N asked me for some more after it was over M and N said that my place looks like a Model house. I asked “Model house?” or “Model’s house?” And I remembered the incident that took place few months ago – the passport officer @ NJ asked me if I were a Model [Enna vachu comedy keemedy pannalaye Sir? ] – Not sure what made him ask so, but I took it as a compliment and moved on [Once in a lifetime opportunity to be called like that ] M, N and K were amazed by the # of gifts that were in display – I had to tell them how I love to surprise and be surprised. With my Jhunu (iPad) in the 360 degree rotating iPad stand, we watched few youtube videos – The best was this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StHkThA27-E [His wit, holding the guitar differently, tapping and the music - Created a middle eastern aura - Liked!] N, M and I played some tunes in my Guitar for a while. Anyone can play some tune and that’s the ease of a stringed instrument – anything you touch creates music but sometimes it may not be soothing to ears as those that were played by us
Compensating the series of gluttonic outside dinner experiences with daily intake of Green tea. Makes no sense?
Time to rest this body and mind. Good night for some and good day for some!
Practice maketh a man perfect:
One month ago, Mr X went to a periodontist. The periodontist examined him and showed him the tooth structure and where all it bleeds that may lead to a gum infection. Periodontist then suggested him that he may have to follow a simple procedure once a day – Using the perio aid to clean the gums followed by brushing and then by flossing the teeth. He also advised him that in the initial days, the gums may bleed and give uncomfortness for a while. Mr X listened to what the Periodontist said and went home. He followed the procedure every day as directed. After a month, he went for the re-examination of his gums and teeth to see if the procedure has helped atleast a bit. Periodontist after the re-examination on one side of his mouth told him “If you were in a School, I would have given an A+ and a scholarship. Very Impressive and Perfect!”. Mr X was totally surprised. He waited for the other side to be re-examined. Periodontist told him that his infection had gone from level 5 to level 2′s and 1′s which has eliminated 120mm of bacterial infection. This in turn has eliminated 2 things – A surgical procedure and 3-5 years of regular check-ups. Periodontist then called his staff and told them “I haven’t seen such an impressive persistent effort in the past 4-5 years. How incredible!” and showed the chart to his staff.
Mr.X with full of happiness and “a persistent effort paid off well” feeling went home back. For Mr X, the daily procedure that was hard to do initially and took time, had eventually become a habit, a practice. Mr X could have stopped the procedure since he passed the re-examination. But, he continued. How ‘Persistence’ is important in making a goal become fulfilled, so as is ‘Consistency’. Sometimes, persistence stops once the goal is achieved – When the effect of a cause is realized and fulfilled. But consistency keeps that goal live always. Thats why most of us are hard core fans of Rahul Dravid and not to Virendar Sehwag, as compared to Rahul Dravid. Persistence + Consistency = Robustness. If “The Wall” implies robustness, then we all know why Dravid is called so.
We were taught during our school days “Siru thuli Peru vellam” [Small drops form an Ocean] – Consistent small advancements reaps big things. Dinacharya says “The one thing that you constantly invest time on, grows”; “What you do on a daily basis, even imperfectly done will give you far greater results than what you can do perfectly, but on an irregular basis”.
If Mr.X would not have followed the procedure constantly, the result could have been totally the opposite. If Mr X started the procedure but gave up half way, the result could have been totally the opposite. Like Mr X, we all too have small things in life that we want to practice, build up, bring some improvements but we either start and give up after some time or we don’t even start and give excuses. Who’s benefit or deficit is it going to be? Ours! Go and identify Mr X in you because you very well know now “Practice gives perfection!”
What you think, you become!
Your life is a mere reflection of you. There are 2 stories that I like to bring here for reference:
A farmer has 2 lands. In one land, he sows some plant seeds. In another, he sows some deadly poisonous seeds. Obviously, the one with plant seeds become a fertile produce land after years and the other with deadly poisonous seeds die after years. What made the difference? What we plant, grows – Whether it’s a garden or life. Our brain is the land which can nurture and grow positive thinking (plant seeds) or negative thinking (deadly poisonous seeds). Our thoughts are thinking seeds here. What we think, we become.
A son and his father were walking on the mountains. Suddenly, the son falls, hurts himself and screams: “AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!” To his surprise, he hears the voice repeating, some where in the mountain: “AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!” The boy is surprised, but does not understand. Then the father explains: “People call this ECHO, but really this is LIFE. It gives you back everything you say or do. Our life is simply a reflection of our actions. If you want more love in the world, create more love in your heart. If you want more competence in your team, improve your competence. This relationship applies to everything, in all aspects of your life; life will give you back everything you have given it.
When we think of certain things in life: Why do such things happen to me? Why are people like that? If I let people know about the good things that are about to happen to me, I will be jinxed – Such sentimental feelings – Who gave it to you? You, yourself! Who’s going to get perturbed because of such feelings? You, yourself!
When you want to do big things in life but people tell you “You can’t”. Why are you upset? If you think you can, you can. If you think about every circumstance of life where you had made decisions to start or stop something, it was made possible only by one factor – You!
As how our body needs some kind of food and regular exercise to keep us operate in optimal efficiency, our mind needs some kind of food – good thoughts, ideas to operate in optimal efficiency.
What you think, you become! So, why not think positive?