I saw a little boy scanning dustbin in Delhi..

It was a routine day and I was heading back home from my office in Central Delhi. I saw a little boy scanning the municipal body installed dustbins and collecting some trash. I thought he might be hungry and therefore I went to him and asked why he was inspecting the garbage. To my surprise, he said that he was looking for a cardboard piece to play as a car. I was speechless for a few seconds and later after gathering some courage, I asked him if he was hungry. To this, he said he would like to have dal-chawal (pulses and rice). The shop however could not be located by us, and therefore we decided to buy a vegetable kulcha (kulcha is a kind of bread). I got the kulcha packed for him and asked him if he needed anything else. I even offered him an ice cream, but he instead wanted to have a chocolate.

We headed straight to a shop he assumed would be selling chocolate, but to our disappointment, the shopkeeper did not have any chocolates. I observed him walking barefoot and asked about his slippers and why he was not wearing them. To this, he replied he lost them recently. We then headed  to Bata store and got a pair of slippers. Our last resort was a chocolate for him and I found a shop in the metro station luckily. However, all chocolates were bigger and expensive, and therefore I got him a chocolate cake. I thought a cake would be more nutritious and healthier.

It was time to bid goodbye and the young boy thanked me for everything.

I did this to make the young boy believe that good people exist in this world.

If you want to make this world better, it all starts with you.

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SatGuru Main Teri Patang: All Glories to my Spiritual Guru, a God-Realized Saint

It was another Tuesday, and my visit to the nearby temple with some sweet offerings for dear Lord included a musical session with the other devotees singing their respective spiritual songs/bhajans. I have not been a regular attendee for the weekly kirtan, but a request by some of them in the past few weeks prompted me to stay back and sing. Today’s visit was a planned session and I had prepared two Punjabi kirtans for the gathering.

The first kirtan – Satguru Main Teri Patang is quite popular and therefore it was well-appreciated and understood by the fellow female devotees. I am including the lyrics of the bhajan along with English translation for the benefit of my international friends.

सदगुरु मैं तेरी पतंग बाबा मैं तेरी पतंग – २

Satguru main teri patang baba main teri patang – 2

Satguru – refers to real Guru – a God realized saint – a person who has already attained God. The poet says that dear Satguru, I am your kite.

The word Baba is again used for a God realized saint.

हवा विच उड़ती जावांगी-२, बाबा डोर हथों छड़ी न मैं कटी जावांगी

Hawa vich ud di jawangi -2, Baba dor hathon chaddi na main katti jawangi

I will keep flying high in the air, oh Baba please do not leave my string ever, else I will be cut off or lost

सदगुरु मैं तेरी पतंग बाबा मैं तेरी पतंग -२

Satguru main teri patang baba main teri patang – 2
बड़ी मुश्किल दे नल मिलिया मैनू तेरा दवारा है बाबा तेरा दवारा है -२

Badi mushkil de nal mileya mainu tera dwara ae, baba tera dwara ae-2

I have found your door after so many struggles Baba
मैनू इको तेरा आसरा नाल तेरा सहारा है , बाबा तेरा सहारा है

Mainu eko tera asra nal tera sahara ae, Baba tera sahara ae

I only have your shelter and your support Baba
हूँ तेरे ही भरोसे , बाबा तेरे ही भरोसे

Hun tere hi bharose, Baba tere hi bharose

Now, only  keeping my faith in you
हवा विच उड़ती जावांगी-२, बाबा डोर हथों छड़ी न मैं कटी जावांगी

Hawa wich udti jawangi-2, Baba dor hathon chaddi na main katti jawangi

सदगुरु मैं तेरी पतंग बाबा मैं तेरी पतंग -२

Satguru main teri patang baba main teri patang – 2
ऐना चरना कमला नालो मैनू दूर हटायीं न बाबा दूर हटायीं न -२

Aena charna kamla nalo mainu dur hatayi na Baba door hatayi na-2

Oh Baba, please do not keep me away from your lotus feet
इस झूठे जग दे अन्दर मेरा पेचां लाई न , साईँ पेचां लाई न

Aes jhuthe jag de andar mera pecha layi na, Saiya pecha layi na

Please do not entangle me in this false (materialistic) world
जे कट गयीं ता सदगुरु -२

Je kat gayi ta Satguru -2

If I get cut off/lost, my Satguru
फिर मैं लुटी जावांगी , हो फिर मैं लुटी जावांगी

Phir main lutti jawangi, ho phir main lutti jawangi

Then I will be robbed

बाबा डोर हाथों छड़ी न मैं कटी जावांगी

Baba dor hatho chaddi na main katti jawangi
सदगुरु मैं तेरी पतंग बाबा मैं तेरी पतंग -२

Satguru main teri patang baba main teri patang – 2
आज मालिया बुहा आके मैं तेरे दवार डा बाबा तेरे दवार डा -२

Aj maleya bua aake main tere dwar da Baba tere dwar da – 2

Today I have captured a seat at your door step dear Baba
हाथ रखदे एक बारी तू मेरे सर ते प्यार डा , बाबा सर ते प्यार डा

Hath rakh de ek vari tu mere sar te pyar da, Baba sar te pyar da

Oh dear Baba, please keep your gracious hand on my head
फिर जनम मरण दे गेडे -२ तो मैं बच्दी जावांगी -२

Phir janam maran de gedey, 2 to main bachdi jawangi -2

Once you grace me, then I will be freed from the cycle of birth and death, and attain divine bliss
हवा विच उड़ती जावांगी , बाबा डोर हाथों छड़ी न मैं कटी जावांगी

Hawa vich ud di jawangi, Baba dor hathon chaddi na main katti jawangi

सदगुरु मैं तेरी पतंग बाबा मैं तेरी पतंग

Satguru main teri patang baba main teri patang

सदगुरु मैं तेरी पतंग हवा विच उड़ती जावांगी

Satguru main teri patang Hawa vich ud di jawangi

बाबा डोर हाथों छड़ी न मैं कटी जावांगी

Baba dor hathon chaddi na main katti jawangi

सदगुरु मैं तेरी पतंग बाबा मैं तेरी पतंग
Satguru main teri patang baba main teri patang

You can listen to the bhajan on my Youtube channel.

The second Kirtan was Likhan waleya tu ho ke dayal likh de, mere dil wich Guran da pyar likh de- Oh God (the one who determines destiny), please be graceful and write Guru’s love in my destiny. I will translate that in my subsequent posts.

Coming back to importance of a spiritual saint. It is time we read the life history and most importantly, the teachings of God realized saints like Meera Bai, Tulsidas, Kabir, Guru Nanak, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Kripalu Ji Maharaj.

I do not know the experience of others, but my Guru has made me a better human being. There is no point in being religious and then going around hurting others by being mean to them or making fun of them. God resides in each and every creature. Please respect everyone.

 

Hichki Movie Review

It was a pleasure to watch Hichki movie on Amazon Prime Video late night today. Well, the movie definitely is an attempt to bridge the gap between theoretical education prevalent in the Indian education system and the practical applications of the knowledge in real life scenario. Teacher Naina Mathur played by lead actress Rani Mukherji is a Tourette syndrome afflicted person. It is a neurological disorder which makes a person experience minute electrical shocks that result in absurd loud noise from time to time. Since Naina is one of those affected, her appointment as a teacher in school takes a lot of rejections to begin with. I am particularly inspired by the fact that Hichki is a perfect motivator for its audience.

Source: Amazon Prime Video

Here are some of the ways in which Hichki motivates me as an audience:

  1. Hichki supports people with disabilities since Naina in the movie is a person with speech disability – due to Tourette syndrome, and still is supported by her mother to lead a normal life. Her mother takes her stand, and even goes against her husband to support Naina.
  2. Hichki also supports people with poor economic backgrounds who might be struggling with the same issue when they get admissions in the top schools in India due to Right to Education quota system. The movie passes on a strong message that student behavior is the result of circumstances – family situation that students face at home. There is a need for teachers to develop higher sensitivity towards students.
  3. Another motivating factor in the movie is taking a stand for honesty and ethics. The students choose to write their papers honestly, and do not resort to cheating or using unfair means.

Overall, Hichki is a great entertainer, and a motivator with a message to keep working hard with ethics, and the fact that success can be attained with hard work.

Chacha Vidhayak Hain Humare Season 1 2018 Critical Review

Source and Credit: Amazon Prime Video

For a change, I decided to watch Zakir Khan on Amazon Prime Video. The first episode for “Chacha Vidhayak Hain Humare Season 1 2018” was quite okay. But, what provoked me to write this post is responsible media creation. I found several lacunae in the short movie script which should have been addressed well in time considering the ethical downfall in India. I have summarized the observations below:

  1. The movie starts with the main character Ronny Bhaiya making a train trip without a valid travel ticket. The guy tells the ticket collector that his uncle is a politician and hence he should be allowed entry. Even if he had a valid ticket, and just wanted to avoid going to the platform to make the transit, I do not see the need to challenge local rules and misuse power for individual benefits. Later, when Ronny’s friends are unable to find his name in the train passenger list, it becomes pertinent that he was hoaxing his train travel. This is definitely not something that Indian youth should be watching.
  2. The second mind-opening instance where I found irresponsible content was when Ronny and his friends decided to drive without helmets on. Only one of the three friends wears a helmet. This is again not something we want to promote in India where there are several deaths due to road accidents everyday. On the top of it, in the second scene involving scooter/bike, traffic police is given as an excuse. Passenger safety is surprisingly ignored in the entire movie. Not a decent education piece.
  3. Thirdly, the movie fails to display “smoking is injurious to health” warning in the scenes where the police officer Singham smokes a cigarette. I don’t understand how and why do movie makers need to promote smoking as a habit of tough people or heroes. I do not see this happening in real life.
  4. Fourth, the movie also encourages the so called “Satta” or “Gamble” which itself is an illegal practice in India.

I would request Zakir Khan and his team to kindly consider the social implications of his movies on the Indian youth before writing and acting on such scripts that encourage unethical acts, and unhealthy habits.

Be a Good Memory for Others

It is yet another Monday morning, and I have not slept an entire night again. Well, I am not an insomniac, but excess of sleep since Friday has precipitated in another night full of thoughts, dreams and memories.  Memories, yes of my loved ones, and of my late mother. I jotted the below quote few minutes back on Facebook and this blog post seems quite connected with this one:memory

Your mother is the next important person other than your soul, and yes I say it after 8 years of harsh separation (the final one) from my mother. Today, when I visit my home kitchen early morning, and look at pieces of cut tomato leftover on the shelf (the remains of my cooking last night for dinner) and the fact that they are still there, I think of my mother. She was a dynamic cleaning agent who would not leave any piece of dirt lying on the same shelf until 2010. Mothers are naturally trained to teach kids to stay clean and healthy. I say that because I have closely observed a cat family, and the way a cat teaches its kids to clean their body, and other basic life skills. I owe a lot of what I am today to my late mother, and my dear father. My parents and my sibling (brother) have always supported me in everything I did, and continue to do so today. So, coming back to the quote again, learning from the demise of my mother and the fact that human body is transient, I do not see any intelligence in picking up petty fights with others, and then spending an entire life in taking a revenge thereon (typical of many bollywood movies where they show khandaani dushmani (rivalry that exists between various generations of enemies)). Life is too short to be spoiled with the menace of jealousy, enmity, hatred or anything else. Spread peace, and love with your entire heart!

Many of you may refute my point saying that we can’t love everyone, and there will be always competition. Yes, compete, but not at the cost of humanity, please! Be a fair player! Do ethical business. At the end of the long tunnel of life, death awaits all of us, and we will never be present to attend our funeral meeting! So, be a pleasant memory in the minds of fellow humans.

A Matter of 2 Chapatis

In a casual discussion with my friends at work, I concluded the ongoing discussion on greed for money by saying that it is a matter of two chapatis in the end. What I mean here is that anything we do here in this world – any job, any business or any act is to satisfy our basic physiological needs – food and thirst. While Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Model does outline the increasing orders of human needs, I plan to justify basic needs of food here at the crux of everything we do.

It makes me wonder sometimes, how people who make good money, end up being obese due to their sedentary lifestyle and then join a fitness center or gym and a strict diet regime to shed those extra calories and get back in shape. The joy of enjoying extravagant food is lost when one is asked to have those 2 plain chapatis. May I ask, if having 2 chapatis can make you healthy, what is the point of getting obese, and then getting back in shape. Why not be wise enough to enjoy your 2 chapatis and stay healthy?

The same 2 chapatis motivate all of us to work so that we get access to at least 2 chapatis a day. Yet, our greed does not end there, and we often go beyond those 2 chapatis to accumulate what is undesirable. Look at diseases associated with obesity – diabetes, cardiovascular diseases – all of these could have been avoided, and when you are being treated for them – the physician again asks you to have those 2 chapatis.

What I really want to convey through this post is that while as a human, you are blessed to accumulate wealth and even enjoy it; please exercise caution in your actions. Whatever you do today has a profound impact on your tomorrow. Hence, if you stick to your 2 chapatis aka simple, healthy and balanced diet; you can enjoy a longer life in comparison to a rich life poisoned with excess of healthy or unhealthy food.

P.S. Chapati is equivalent to one piece of bread (for those with non-Indian origin)

You are your best friend

Life is certainly not a bed of roses. There are upheavals, no matter what you do. Whether you are down from depression due to a tragic event or illness; or you just had a heartbreak; the only person who can pull you out of your adverse situation is “you.” Yes, trust me on that.

Let me take few examples. Now, let us assume you just failed your exam, and it is the cause of your concern. When you go to others for help, the best advice you will hear from anyone, and almost everyone -“work hard, and you will make it.” Well, you may feel motivated to work hard, but the actual person or act that will change your situation will be “you” through “your efforts.” Unless “you” actually put in the hard work, nothing will change.

The next example which I would like to share is that of losing weight. A person who is obese is often bullied and given unwanted advice on losing weight. It can be annoying for the person, and depressing too; especially when things are not working out well. Here again, the only person who can really make a difference is “you.” Yes, only “you” can focus on your diet plans, and it is “you” whose conviction makes all the difference.

Lastly, the only difference between success and failure is your attitude towards a problem. One way of thinking about an issue is that it is complex and you must quit. Another point of view is to think through the problem, analyze the root cause, and then try to find a solution. Holding on to a positive attitude can make a lot of difference in your life. It is “you” who has to be brave enough to accept a challenge, and then work on ways to resolve it. Just running away from an issue never helps anyone.

Nature Loves Consistency

nature-loves-consistency

“Consistency is the key.” A statement, one often reverberates in the form of quotes and unquotes – all over social media, and cross-domain platforms. Consistency has great power to create results, and “certain results.” Our mother nature poses multiple examples of consistency which set high standards for consistency, and have been instrumental in creating exemplary results from an infinite time. Let me justify my statement citing few examples.

Observe the time patterns in nature. Our own planet earth has a repetitive pattern to rotate on its axis for 24 hours. Earth has been consistently rotating on its axis for 24 hours, since ages. That is consistency! We also have a fixed pattern of day and night. Day follows the night, and night follows the day. Has it ever happened that nature took a rest, and the sun did not show up for days, I mean the night never ended? Leave aside solar eclipse that hides the sun for a while. These events also do not break the consistent pattern. Once an eclipse is over, the sunlight is proportionate to time. Has it ever happened that a solar eclipse taking place at 8 am ended with an evening? No!

My next example for consistency comes from the human body. Our growth pattern – 9 months gestation period. It is by and large same for all human babies. You may argue with premature deliveries, but those kids then need special care. We have 206 bones in our body. All humans have 206 bones. Barring exceptions where they have 1 or 2 extra bones, all humans have 206 bones consistently. Look at human heart beat rate, it is an average of 72 beats per second. The heart is consistently beating to push blood flow in our body. When this consistency fails, we die. Life means moving on consistently, embracing and adapting to change. You are born without any teeth. Then your milk teeth start appearing. That is a change. You start crawling, and walking. You grow up, your body changes. However still, consistency continues. Humans have a set life cycle -birth–> baby –> toddler –> teenager –>adult —>middle age –>old age —> death. Has anyone been able to survive beyond 200 years? No. Birth and death are consistent rules of nature. What is born, has to die one day.

If I pick up law of science, energy can neither be created nor be destroyed. Human bodies can be considered as energy driven machines that are created for a limited period of time. The energy of a sperm and an ovum unite to create an embryo, and later a creature. All parts of human body are energy driven. Electric signals are used to transfer information from parts of brain to other human body parts such as heart. From where do we get energy to survive? From external environment – what we call food. We inhale multiple gases at the time of breathing, and exhale them after use. Oxygen being inhaled in majority, and carbon dioxide exhaled mainly. We also need to consume plants and animal foods for energy. Without a balance of gases in the environment, our own survival is threatened. Here too, consistency matters. We are consistently inhaling oxygen, and exhaling carbon dioxide. When this pattern breaks, we die.

Now when we evaluate actions of humans under the same lens of consistency principle, we can laugh at our stupidity, and weak potential. When I say we are stupid or weak, I compare our intelligence to mother nature, or the great creator of our universe. We are so inconsistent on multiple facets of our life, that we hardly achieve anything permanent. Let me give you an example. We are inconsistent in our thought pattern. One person may seem nice to us, and may turn out to be our enemy depending on our thought pattern, that may be the result of our perception, politics, or actions of the same person. We are unable to be consistent in our behavior. We do not have the patience of listening abusive words from fellow humans, and still maintaining our calm, to ensure consistent peaceful behavior. We are not consistent in speaking the truth. We may modify our speech to cope with the situation. Some of us are not consistent in following a healthy diet, that invites health related issues. A consistent fitness routine creates the best human bodies, and healthy humans; something which is well researched and documented.

In the end I would like to suggest that humans should observe natural phenomena with great patience and learn from mother nature. We must learn from trees – the art to tolerate, extreme weather conditions, and pain when we pluck flowers and fruits. We must learn from birds such as kingfisher – the key to focus or concentrate on an object. We must also understand that we humans do not have the capacity to unfold the mysteries of nature with our limited intellect. We are here to admire our nature, and undergo a journey for a limited time. This journey in space may have transcended several births, and life spans. The journey still continues in search for the ultimate truth.

A new year 2017 – fresh chapter begins

The new year 2017 has arrived with bands and bells, and it is time to conquer what was left unconquered in 2016. My new year’s eve was a disaster since my dad suffered severe gastritis followed by vomits and stomach ache the entire night. But, I did not curse the new year for this, and waited in anticipation for the sun to show up. The day started well with work coming up under my belt. Yes, work flow is important for a freelancer, and having spent half of 2016 in laziness, 2017 needs a forceful revival.

The year has kick started on a Sunday, and it has left a relaxed touch post hard party for many. I plan to pursue my professional goals as well as personal goals closely this year, and “change” is the new agenda for 2017. Change has been an inherent part of my growth, and I will embrace it even higher this year.

For me, 2017 means:

  1. Time to expand my web properties and enter into online and offline collaborations for revenue and traffic.
  2. Create my own book – novel, stories and poetry and publish it using Amazon.
  3. Pay attention to my physique and stay fit through out 2017
  4. Record my songs and create a youtube channel + promote my dad
  5. Get settled
  6. Read newspaper daily
  7. Read one book every month
  8. Attend at least one business event each month

That’s all for the time being, and I guess it is a lot on my plate.

I wish you a very happy and prosperous new year 2017.

 

This cat is different

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If you have an amazing cat as your pet, you should be the happiest person on earth. Well, you can argue with me saying that all pets are amazing, and since cat is a pet, what is so overwhelming about my cat? My cat is different in many small ways. You will understand the disparities, as you read on.

The cat befriended me!

Firstly, all pet lovers usually befriend animals at their will, and then keep them as their pets. In my case, the cat befriended me instead! Yeah, you got it right. I never had the intention of attracting a cat as my home pet, but this browny creature arrived at my home one fine morning and had a nap at my sofa as if it was her home. I prefer addressing my cat as a female instead of “it.” Our first reaction was to scare the cat away, but it did not work. She did not react at all, and continued to sit on the sofa as if she was the boss! With time, we realised we should feed her, and our affair started with eggs and cheese.

Late night hang-outs!

Next amazing thing about my cat, whom we call “Katty” is that she comes to visit me at night. Yes, while all cats like to roam freely outside during the night, my cat loves to hangout with me in my bedroom at night. Actually, she saw the lights on one night, and since I usually work at night, she turns up late, knowing I will be awake.

We talk

Cats are loving pets. Katty likes to hug me and place her head on my lap. She interacts with me in her own “meow” language with different gestures – asking for food, milk, and an entry into my room.

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Acting skills

And, she is a great actress as well! I remember the time Katty was having an affair with her boyfriend cat (male). She would care for him to an extent that she would make painful meow demanding food, and once the food was served, the male cat would have it. They recently had a break-up as the male cat started abusing her physically. We scared the male away, and Katty appreciated our help.

Serial rat killer

Katty extends her help to us by hunting for the rats in our house. She has murdered and eaten nearly half a dozen rats since the day we allowed her to roam inside the house for few hours. There have been situations when she lost the rat since it slipped out of her mouth, and she would look at me as if I could get her another rat. She even got upset once when I cleared off the rat’s dead body in her absence (she had killed the rat and gone for a walk).

That’s all from my pen (keyboard) tonight. If you enjoyed reading this post, please share it and post comments. Thanks for reading!