My Power Quote !

A good book on a rainy day is happiness for me - Ruskin Bond

Friday, July 31, 2015

EMPOWER YOUR FRIENDS WITH POWER QUOTES

My Power Quote chits
My morning Power Quote chits
These days my morning hours are very  productive.  When I reach my office, I  hand over a power quote written on a small chit to my select colleagues who accept with cheers and feel empowered with them.  It is one of the best ways I find,  truly rewarding not only to the receiver but the giver as well.

It is one of the sure ways, to   improve your memory and by heart these immortal quotes.

Some years ago, I noted down the following quotes in my note book to ignite myself daily :

Interest is the mother of attention and attention is mother of memory.

The  best way to remember is to repeat ; and the best way to repeat is to teach someone else, a brother or sister failing which to anyone who is prepared to listen.

In my earlier post, I already wrote   ''MY MORNING POWER QUOTES'' (Click here to read)

The ability to inspire others is a tremendous joy.  Ever since I come out of cocoon to  share my knowledge through this blog in March, 2011, I am a happy soul. 

Noted technocrat Sam Pitroda in one of his famous lectures at IIM, Ahmedabad a few years ago said that Nation building is an arduous task.  Everyone must do his/her part. It is not that you do and I see.  Being inspired with those words of Pitroda, I started  doing my bit of work : Inspire others to plunge into action.


My efforts seem to have paid little dividends these days as  two of my friends informed me that they  started sharing their knowledge with their peers and also opened a journal to note down their daily thoughts/ power quotes.  

When I heard their words,  they were music to my ears. I hope in near future the response would swell further and help to form Knowledge Groups where everybody would contribute for the betterment  of other person.  This is the kind of society I wish and I feel that the real networking should not be through internet but through  Inner-net ! - Direct human interaction.

This way we can build an enlightened society where everyone invest a large chunk of his/her time  in personal improvement ! 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

BUILD A LIBRARY OF HEROIC BOOKS



The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read. 


                                                           - Mark Twain

The image you are seeing on the left side is my personal library built over a period of 25 years. Perhaps it is in January, 1990,  I added my first book to my library when I was in my third year of graduation.

Computers were then in nascent stage and they  were being used mainly for bookkeeping and secretarial works. The internet revolution had still not dawn in.

In fact, my idea to have a personal library was in seed form much before it surfaced  in 1990  when my desire to improve my  language abilities shot up to unfathomable levels. My argument  to take recourse in books is that they make me feel like intimate friends.

My visits to district and community libraries during childhood days  further strengthened the need to have my private library so that I can read my interesting  stuff at my own pace and time. In my younger days whenever I see librarians,  I cherish their job as they get ample opportunity/time to read all their interesting books.


Like Rome was not built in a day, my library has taken years in building up. I choose my books  very carefully.  The sources of knowing good books are many viz.  newspapers, magazines, TV news, book reviews, visits to bookstores etc.  But a final decision is only after seeing  the contents and  reading reactions. The chapters also play a role in selecting a book.  Generally, my choice of books are : self-help, psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, personality development. My taste of books is a cocktail of both humanities and sciences.

My collection  grew in the last five years.  Whenever I am in low mood, I open the door of my bookshelf and gaze them to recoup my energy.  During the last 25 years, I completed reading more than half of books and another half of books are on my conveyor belt.  I read simultaneously 8-10 books in daily instalments.  When I don't find time to read, I feel dry.  During the course of reading, I also take notes in  separate notebook, so that the  information would be handy to me when I start writing on a particular subject.  

In fact, books remain as my life long friends.  Whenever I wish I can open a book of my interest and  strike my chord with the author.   Some times, I feel that I need to do something to inject this enthusiasm  into children who are my hope.   There are so many dream plans to channelize my creative energies for public good. I wish to conduct a workshop on nurturing the hobby of reading books to all age groups and thereby build knowledge groups.

Personality development guru Robin Sharma in his book who will cry when you die suggests  to build a library of heroic books. He says that I spend countless hours in large bookstores combing the shelves for the latest treasure that will enlighten and educate me. In that book Sharma suggested 13 heroic books that must adorn your personal library. I am already having the following six books which I feel are must read ones.

- Meditations, Marcus Aurelius

-The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

-Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse

-The Power of Your subconscious Mind, Joseph Murphy

As a Man Thinketh, James, Allen

Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill

I want to add one more book Awaken the Giant within by Anthony Robbins.

Books change your destiny. Personality development guru Anthony Robbins says that music change your state of mind and books change your focus.

Let me wrap up the importance of books in the immortal words of Ruskin Bond:

“Book readers are special people, and they will always turn to books as the ultimate pleasure. Those who do not read are the unfortunate ones. There's nothing wrong with them; but they are missing out on one of life's compensations and rewards. A great book is a friend that never lets you down. You can return to it again and again and the joy first derived from it will still be there.”

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

PEOPLE'S PRESIDENT IS NO MORE :'(

An unexpected call from a friend at my dinner  table last night  (27.7.15)  put me in quandary.  I was shocked  and could not be able to digest the sad news.  When I turned  the TV on,  the news channels confirmed the death of  Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the  darling child of Mother India.


He is  a grandfatherly figure to me.  Though not a  public figure but  came to limelight when he was awarded Bharat Ratna.   People know him as Missile Man and a scientist of par-excellence.    

His thrust on students to dream big helped to strike a chord  and his views  were always respected by all  cutting across party affiliations.

I am having his five books but  that one book written by his Secretary Mr. P.M. Nair titled  The Kalam effect in 2008 is a gem.  The book offers an inside look of  Dr Kalam's towering personality.  

Reading of  Dr Kalam from the prism of Mr. Nair's eyes is very  gripping and enticing.   After  reading the book, I became his instant fan and never missed an opportunity of reading his other books/ articles.  In fact, in 2011, I had already written on him.

If you see the life of Dr. Kalam, one fact is apparent.  He was a great dreamer.  His meteoric rise   from a son of a boat man to scientist and then to President of India is toiled with his hard labour and perseverance.    Common folks in India say to one another : Dream like a Kalam.

I was puzzled how to respond when a Facebook friend  posted Dr. Kalam’s photo today morning  showing his  collapsed  condition at IIM  Shillong venue.  The Facebook  has  like ,comments  and share buttons.  But I felt  that all buttons were inappropriate to respond to the occasion.  Even I got a flash of insight to suggest the Facebook Founder  to add buttons like  sad   feel bad.



Kalam’s life depicts  a heroic personality. The teacher in him always finds an opportunity to educate students and masses.   If you ask me what ignited  a lot, it is a chapter on books from  his book My Journey where he mentioned his three favourite books:

            1. Light from Many Lamps – edited by Lillian Eichler Watson (Read my book review here)
            2. Tirukural by Thiruvalluvar (2000 year old 1330 rhyming tamil couplets)
            3. Man, the Unknown by Alexis Carrel 
(Read my book review  here)

Dedicating that book to 16 million youth whom he had met and interacted during the last two decades reflects his patriotic fervour  and selfless service.  

He was a fountain of energy and age never dipped his enthusiasm.   His punishing schedules even at ripe age put the youngsters awestruck.  The single agenda that always  drove  him was  to see his India as a developed nation by 2020.

Though I have not interacted with him directly, but I was terribly inspired by his words both verbal and written. I read his five books and another three are on my desk to read.

If there is one man in the contemporary world who invested so much of his energies on students, no doubt it is Kalam.  Knowing that he is no more,  is hard to digest.  He would have lived for some more years to see India as a developed nation as he dreamed in his book Vision 2020.   But he felt that he has completed his earthly Mission !  

May his soul rest in peace !

A TREE ON MY WALKING TRACK

Monday, July 27, 2015

MY BRIEF HISTORY OF SAND TIMER

 Time is mysterious.  Stephen Hawking says that I have wondered about time all my life.

To understand time, you need not understand the Einstein's ''Theory of Relativity''.  It is simple and within everybody's experience.  Cosmology is an interesting branch of science which dwells at length the origin of Universe and the concept of Time is very important.
If you read science, it is so gripping that you go on clinging one book to other.  The concept of time in layman's language is entirely different.   Time for us means, hours, minutes and seconds.  Beyond that, we can't go. Our watches or clocks  are limited to that extent only.  It is these clocks/watches that are tied to our lives without which we can't imagine our lives.

Before the advent of these clocks and watches, we have sand timers in those good olden days.  Now they are more as antique pieces.   I read about them in my childhood days, but I physically had seen them only during 1999/2000 when my ex-boss got it ordered from Chennai.  That brass frame sand timer caught my eyes and I decided to own it.  But, 14 years lapsed after that and only 6 months back, I managed to get a small sand timer.

Some days, I used to watch the passing sand granules in early morning to feel the significance of time.  When I gaze the passing sand grains from one bulb to other, I wonder what this phenomena called Time.  

The sand timer on my Study constantly reminds me the eternity of time.  Whenever, I spend my time unproductively, to feel its significance, I gaze at it which itself reminds me what I lost.    

If we go back to the history of sand timers, wikipedia says that  according The American Institute of New York: The clepsammia or sand-glass was invented at Alexandria about 150 BC. 

To realize the credence of time, you need not have sand timer.  But a sand timer reminds us constantly the mystery shrouded in our lives.

LIFE IS DANGEROUS ON WHEEL


When it comes from the mouth of Prime Minister of a nation, it must be news.  

In his monthly interaction programme called Mann Ki Baat, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi told that an accident was occurred in Delhi  sometime ago in which scooter driver was laid on the road as no one came to help him.

He also added that "One is shocked to see the statistics of road accidents in the country - every four minutes a person dies in road accident"

Much before the PM's remarks, I tightened my belt.  I sold out my old scooter of 15 years.  I deeply felt that for a person of my age (45 years),  Delhi roads are no longer safe to ride a two-wheeler.  In fact, it is not a hasty decision not to  use my scooter for commute to office.  It is a well thought out decision, after seeing the plight of two of my colleagues who had broken their bones and the accidents that caused them were not due to their fault.

When you see Delhi roads or any other Indian roads, the scene is familiar.  Mindless honking of horns break your ear-drums.  Scooter/bike riders are more vulnerable for accidents as heavy vehicles compete with them.  Another  mess is drunk driving which seems to be a fashion in metropolitan cities nowadays.   Recently,  a 42 year old woman from suburban Bandra in Mumbai was caught red-handed for drunk driving .

When accidents occur, public response is very poor.  General public  don't want to invite trouble by helping the accident victims.  The awareness levels need to be improved by educating the masses. Speed driving which is the main  cause need to be curbed by effective enforcement of traffic rules. Regular refresher courses on road safety need to be conducted to all licence holders.

Young people should be convinced not to imitate the filmy-kind of adventures with their vehicles and  adhere to safety rules while using public roads, especially highways.  Further, technology should be brought in where the speed driving is detected on the roads, and culprits are  dealt with severely.

Heavy vehicle population lead to congested roads leading serious environmental problems.  Pollution of these vehicles make the normal life a big mess.  The solution lies in effective use of Public Transport System by general public.  Vehicles should not be used as status symbols.  Use of cycles for short distances not only put  our bodies fit but de-congest the roads and thereby  reduce the accident rate.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

DELHI's DELIGHTFUL BOOKSHOP

Address: G-8, Basement, South Extension I, New Delhi, Delhi 110049
Phone:011 2465 3880, Monday Closed, Other days timings : 1030 am - 8.30 pm

 A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.
                                                            - Franz Kafka

In this ad-driven world, customer-benefit products rarely come to limelight.

I am a bad customer. Neither I have patience, nor energy and time to make best deals in all my purchases. That's why I bank on experts, other family members and even colleagues who extend their help to get the best deals.

But when it comes to my area of interest i.e. books, my perception is different. Here, I am an embodiment of patience. I search bookshops not only for best collection but for best price. No doubt that online ordering of books is fairly an easy task once you know the particular book you want. But it is always not the same case when you want to explore the book-world.

You come to know the availability of some great books only when you physically visit bookstores. That's why, regular visits to bookshops must be a ritual to every bibliophile.

My 5 years of stay in Delhi helped to visit almost all the best bookshops which hugely credited for my personal library.

I visit bookshops more frequently than temples. Because, they are my gods. This hobby to read books is self-driven. My dad injected the flame to improve my language abilities that made me to turn to books which expand my knowledge horizon.

My search for new temples of books is relentlessly going on. To fructify this effort, some days back, I read an interesting article "Struggle for Survival'' in a prominent newspaper's literary edition ( The Hindu, Sunday, July, 19, 2015) where ground reports said the fate of independent bookstores in the era of online bookstores.

While writing the scenario on Delhi, Swati Daftuar mentioned about one bookshop - Midland - The Book Shop which is located in South Extension, Part1- I, hardly 3 kms ride from my South Delhi home. She says that it is one of the oldest book stores in Delhi founded in 1970 and being run successfully by three generations of Hyderabad Baig family.

Being excited with the news of an oldest bookstore, I took the time and visited the book stores. When I reached there, I was baffled by the sea of books. Even to browse the books of your desired genre, you need to have sturdy legs to stand long hours to move through the aisle of book-shelves. Though the books are little organized compare to another chain of bookstores - Full Circle Bookstores, Delhi - a flat 20 % discount for every purchase is a great news. My impulse drove me to take two books of Vinod Mehta : Lucknow Boy, a Memoir and his other book, Editor Unplugged, both published by Penguin, India and would be long remembered as envious collection.

Whenever, I make book purchases, I don't think twice because, I fear that the best books may disappear after some years when they don't have demand. To strengthen my conviction, some years ago, I find the following interesting words of Robin Sharma in his much acclaimed book : Who will cry when you die :

One of the legacies I will leave to my two children will be a library of books that have inspired and touched me.

Like Robin, I have two children who one day would realise the value of my priceless collection and hope that they also add some more books and pass on this legacy to their posterity.

CLOUDY SKY IN FRONT OF MY HOME - COURTESY : MY DAUGHTER SINDHUJA

 Like their father, the duo takes same fascination.  This is the tale of my two daughters.   

The elder (Sindhuja)  takes innumerable snaps with my mobile  whenever she finds a pleasant scene. The younger one takes countless selfies to put  as wallpaper in her mobile phone or  whatsapp profile picture. 

Sindhuja who is now in class 11,  is very interested in photography and painting.  My 13 MP Samsung mobile (E7) seems to be her training ground to learn the nuances of fine photography.   I do encourage her to improve the art of photography.  Being lifted with  my words, she took following snaps catching a glimpse of  these moving clouds that passed through this evening in front of my home.  

Whenever, I see clouds, I remember Ruskin Bond, the living legend who loves Nature more than any  writer I read.   He suggests to see the sky whenever you get bored of mundane affairs. His living room is made in such a way that he gets a full view of sky to churn out his stories.   

One lesson we must learn from him is this : Embrace Nature !

Friday, July 24, 2015

MORNING SUN : COURTESY - MY DAUGHTER SINDHUJA

A WORD OF ADVICE ON ''WRITING''

One day, I believe we will be able to send full rich thoughts to each other directly using technology.

                         - Mark Zuckerberg

One thing I can certainly say is to share our thoughts, the existing technology itself is more than enough and what you need is  time and heart to share.

Blog is a platform where, every person can liberally share what he/ she wants to share, may be a photo, video or an opinion on a certain issue etc.

Writing on a daily basis will strengthen your expression and it  has  a therapeutic effect.  When you write, not only others understand your emotional cues but also  you yourself feel lightened when your heart is ached by some problem.  

When you write on consistent basis,  your soft skills  would also improve  with time.  But the problem with the majority of folks is that we stop writing after leaving colleges.  Most of the Multi-national companies when they make campus selections, they are wary of these abilities in fresher’s.  Because, they know that there is no institutional mechanism to  inculcate  their writing abilities beyond + 2 when the language subjects end.

So daily reading of newspapers, magazines is a must so as to excel in written word.  Apart from that, everyone must inculcate reading habits by choosing a dream book to read so that it would motivate them in their personal life.   The Point is that the mind should not be kept blank after work hours.

Think creatively and harness your potential. When one  strives to enrich  his/her written expression, it not only  commands  respect in the society but  has a positive psychological bearing  on the personality.  

SILENCE AS A YOGA


When you utter the word yoga, people generally interpret it with religious connotations.   In fact  yoga means ''to unite''.   What to unite is a serious question we must pose to ourselves.

If you closely observe yourself, there are different layers of ego.  You feel different from your body and mind.   The real Self always wants to excel in every activity but the inspiration to pace up body and mind  to that level is always a daunting task.

It is almost a daily struggle  both to  layman and knowledgeable man. One must cultivate to find union within his/her Self on daily basis.  I personally feel this effort as yoga.

 Some others interpret yoga with bend and stretch poses.  Though it is partly true, but not a holistic definition.  When you do yoga, it means integration of body and mind with your own  inner Self which always wants perpetual joy.

A glib talker can't find balance in his/her daily activities.   He/ she is always a nuisance to others.  They distract attention of others in work premises.  It is more a sort of compulsive behavior which they accustomed over a period of time and never take an inward look of what's problem.

There is a saying to interpret this phenomena :  The heart of fool is in his mouth and the mouth of wise man is in his heart.   It means one should not talk whatever he/she wants.  The talking stuff should filter through the eye of discrimination.   One sure route to achieve balance is Daily vow of  silence.  I have been doing Moun Vrat  daily for certain time for the last several years to bounce back with creativity. 

 In fact, observing silence is not a new concept.  Your system desperately needs on daily basis to come out from trifle thoughts/impulses.   If you read the autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi ( My Experiments with Truth), you could find how Gandhi strictly adhered to this practice of silence.  He says that     Experience has taught me that silence is part of the spiritual discipline of a votary of truth. 

 This attribute of  silence is one of the 13 Virtues of  Benjamin Franklin, one the Founding Fathers of United States.  While elaborating this virtue in his autobiography of Benjamin states: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself.  Avoid trifling conversation.  

 I think there is no greater yoga than silence.  Just close your eyes and sit still for certain amount of time daily and it empowers you and take to new levels of awareness.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

MY MORNING POWER QUOTES


If you can think that infinite power, infinite knowledge and indomitable energy lie within you, and if you can  bring out that power, you also can become like me.

                        - Swami Vivekananda

When I wake up in the morning,  my first task is to flip through my table-top quote calendar to get a daily dose of inspiration.  This bangs my day productive.

The credit to this  largely goes to Swami Vivekananda who  is my guru and I was terribly influenced by his literature. 

One blessing I enjoyed in my formative years was, my parents never  pressed me to study for exams and giving this liberty helped me to handle my affairs better. 

In fact, it was not the trend in those times to plan the children for dream careers as we do in today. Father was busy in his trade union activities and mother being housewife had limited interference in my activities which didn't mean that I was a rudderless ship.   I used to observe the world around me and  tried to harness my potential. It helped to blossom  my ''Free Will''.   

We generally believe that outside agency is more to guide us than our inner instinct.  This is squarely wrong.  You have an amazing technology within you.  Noted Indian spiritual guru Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev once said that you have an amazing technology which could convert  ''bread'' into ''blood''.

If you observe your body processes, you  find that almost all critical life processes are on auto-pilot mode and your subconscious mind is the presiding deity of all such systems and sub-systems.  But your conscious mind is left with a highly combustible material called 'Free Will'   This 'Free Will'' do wonders if it is rightly harnessed for personal growth. One  should not be too sensuous and   need to take decisions on moment to moment  basis cautiously to enrich in life.

There is a great saying : Wisdom is knowing what to do next; skill is knowing how to do it; and virtue to doing it. 

When you wake up in the morning the day should start with bang.  The best way to do is choose your set of  ''Power Quotes''  so that  the power of those words  starts flowing into your system.  By cultivating it daily, it almost becomes your muscle memory and  strengthens your habit muscle.  My morning's fiery quote since 2004 is as under :

Deep within man dwell those slumbering powers; 
powers that would astonish him, that he never dreamed of possessing;
 forces that would revolutionize his life if aroused and put into action.

                                                                - Orison Swett Marden

No doubt that inspiring personalities radically influence your actions.  But the secret lies  in realizing your self-worth.  If you start taking everything as a learning experience, you would be on the growth path.  Ralph Waldo Emerson says that every man I meet is my superior in some way and in that I learn of him.

Knowledge is not pumping information into your head to show off before others.  It is to be wise enough every moment and contemplative in actions.  This happens when you have confidence on you. The moment one comes out from comparison mania , and don't ride for petty name and fame,   life stills and thereby he or she could savour every moment with a worthy action !

Monday, July 20, 2015

THE LESSER KNOWN FACTS OF FILM BAHUBALI



The famous Indian technocrat assumed up  the Indian Television : Bollywood, Cricket and Political Gossip.

Any successful TV channel can't  ignore these  three ingredients  and cinema is the most dominant media compare to other two.

Cinema is the vocabulary of our entertainment.    And it is so interwoven in our lives that we wake up with film songs and sleep with that stuff.  Cinema is a way of  life here. Irrespective of our professional pressures, we put an eye on the cinema world to know the latest developments. Compare to Hindi hinterland, Cinema is a religion in Southern parts like Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.  Both States have a world-class technicians in all the departments of film making.

Ever since  Baahubali movie project came to limelight,  Bollywood, Tollywod and even Hollywood is anxiously waiting  with a bated breath for  its release.

With his multi-lingual film "Baahubali,  Director Rajamouli redefined the power of his imagination.  He knows with precision,  how to make a blockbuster movie.  When it comes to the movie, the film has taken more than three years in the making.   From concept stage  to making sets to shooting, it is a  saga of  gigantic proportions.

Baahubali is a perfect marriage of story with technology.  The director's brilliance in  knitting the story's characters of mythological times  with home-spun talent  to  make a   world class movie is highly commendable.  With this movie, one could say that Indian Cinema is not lagging behind on the international scene.  Now the history of Indian cinema could be easily demarcated before and after the movie Baahubali.

In fact, the real hero of Baahubali is its maker Rajamouli himself.  He is the proud of Andhra. His life reaffirms the fact that formal education is  not a binding factor to rise to glory.  In fact,  his childhood years were  not as glittering as his screenplay.  He discontinued after the first year of intermediate (11th) and did not go to college for 2 years and completed  later on only on sheer  parental pressure.

His father (noted telugu film story writer Vijayendra Prasad ) and brother (music director Keeravani)  being in film world, the entry for Rajamouli into the tinsel town was not  surprising.   Initially, he was assistant to his father in story-making for six years.

In a directorial journey spanning 14 years, Rajamouli'  never upset his producers as all his movies were box office hits.

The movie "Baahubali' is a carefully crafted entertainment saga creating benchmark in all departments of film-making in India.  Rajamouli's hard work is amply visible in every shot.  This is the  first movie made on such a grand scale with a whopping budget of Rs.250 crores.  By the time of writing this post, the box office collections  has already crossed Rs.303 crores.

Baahubali  is a classic example of a perfect team work.  In one word, it  pulled out all the stops of imagination.

A must watch movie !

Sunday, July 19, 2015

MY READING AND WRITING JOURNEY



Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.  

- Benjamin Franklin

If you ask me what's my first piece of writing, I would say without hesitation that it is on 'Swami Vivekananda' way back in 1989 when I was studying second year B.Com in a sleepy town called Machilipatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India.

Vivekananda's fiery words  put me on my path.  That way my writer's journey started.   I used to read a lot since then and I find writing as an 'outlet' to express my creative energies.  The problem with my friend circle on those days is that they did not show any interest in my cravings  due to which I could not share my ideas with them.

In spite of so many ups and downs in my life, reading remained my all time passion.   I have books more as friends than humans. The idea to have less friends is to work more on harnessing my own potential.  Since, I learnt the stenography which involves hard labour, I find no load on my mind to spend extra hours for educating myself.

I started my personal library way back in 1990 with a handful of books of Vivekananda's literature published by Ramakrishna Mission.   A cardboard box was cut into book shelf  and books were kept in orderly fashion.

I was groomed in a serene atmosphere where I was gifted with a plenty of solitude to digest that timeless wisdom.  I generally don't mingle much with friends and spend more time in public libraries and that habit still continued till today.

The habit of jotting down the date of purchase of a book/writing an article/ notes came from my father whose book Bhagavad Gita purchased in 1960s was in my possession now.  In fact that book was my first training ground to improve my vocabulary.   Some times, I read loud the stanzas to feel as if I am a news reader.  That way, I somewhat improved my pronunciation.

Now when I look back all those books,  fond-memories of those times with vivid details bath my soul.  When I see that old dusty file where I punched 'The Hindu's ( English Newspaper in India) prominent weekly column 'Know Your English' clippings,  I could remember those hard days when I sit hours together to improve my vocabulary, craft etc.   All this reiterate the fact that I am obsessive about writing much before it was resurfaced in 2011 and till now it is an effortless saga  with  more than 350 articles  in all my three blogs.

Whenever, I am in low steam,  Divine Providence  helps me to  come across a fiery book which kindles my imagination  for some weeks if not  for months  and put my writer's journey vigorous.  The last book that served me so well on this count is : Benjamin Franklin's 'Autobiography' (1706-90).  It is truly a remarkable book.   Benjamin  is known as 'The First American and is  one of the Founding Father's of United States.

I was terribly inspired by his multi-facet personality.  Though he had little by way of formal education, he shined well in his life .  He was an author, printer, scientist, civic activist and diplomat. The methods he adopted to ensure his  personal discipline with 13 Principles is truly mind blowing.  

I used to complain earlier that my father did not send me for higher studies i.e. ICWA at Chennai due to financial crunch. But I must thank him for getting my graduation completed which include teaching of  shorthand  to gain employment  in 1992. 

There seems to be great similarities between some life circumstances of Benjamin and me.  As mentioned in his biography,  Benjamin never knew either his father or mother to have any sickness( till they died at 89 and at 85 years).  My case is similar with very good genes I inherited  from my parents who are still healthy and gale even in their ripe age(father 70+ and mother 65 years). 

When, it comes to games in my childhood, I could say that I played less.   Like Benjamin, reading is my only amusement.  After coming to government service, though I have lot of resources, time, energies and opportunities, I have not pursued any higher education beyond my bachelor of commerce which I did in 1990.  I never believe that you need testimonials to validate your knowledge.  For earning those needy bucks,  I followed society's rules and now survival is comfortably taken care of,  and now I am very much on 'Knowledge Path'.

My philosophy is, have a childlike curiosity to widen my knowledge-base.  There should not be compartmentalization in pursuing your interests.  The humanities and sciences must be devoured in a healthy dose according to your appetite.  I read commerce in my graduation, but science is my charm.  My personal library is dominated by books on neuroscience/psychology, philosophy/ self-help etc.

I have not borrowed somebody's interests. When I raised my personal library, it is my private collection of immortal books  of giant personalities who with their humble backgrounds climbed to the ladder of fame and success. I continue to draw my inspiration by  reading and re-reading their literature and try to digest their wisdom, and pass on to  my posterity for their benefit !

MORNING SUN AT MY HOME- COURTESY MY MOBILE CAMERA

HIBISCUS TREE - COURTESY : MY MOBILE CAMERA

Friday, July 17, 2015

WISH EVERYONE HEARTFULLY


Working in a uniformed service in government  has its own pitfalls in personal life.  First vice that embrace you is larger than life ego. That poison seeps deep into the nerves and pollute  your  emotional life.

So, you must constantly separate yourself from that madness and feel humbled with minute observation of people and life surrounding you.  The quality that should be nurtured is wish everyone you meet with a handshake.  Be genuine in your feelings while talking to them.  Once you stick to this habit, your relationship start blossoming to an unexpected level.

When you closely interact with life either in  people or in any  other form would remind you one underlying principle.  That is, the operating principle in everything is same : Mystery beyond material plane. 

Of course, vanity rules everybody.  Irrespective of our position on the social ladder, one must not deviate from core  philosophy i.e. equanimity.   In Bhagavad Gita, it is said that Enlightened one treats every person equally whether that person is knowledgeable one, dog-eater or dog.  By shaking hand, such positive energy is transferred into  other person and it is rewarding to both of them.

I am an ordinary egoistic person until some years ago when I read Dalai Lama's book on Happiness.  It was a transformation overnight.  When I read the personal accounts of the pontiff where it was mentioned that he used to respond equally to  everybody from lift-operator to CEOs to  Country Heads  who share his dais.  This kind of equanimity is nurtured by Dalai Lama over a period of time and we must not miss to adopt  in our lives.

Ever since, I read those inspiring words,  I brought some change in my persona and started wishing everybody  with a shake-hand which helped to bring them  closer than earlier.  It also taught me another important lesson :  when you show genuine concern on anybody, he/she responds marvelously, thereby we can knit all beings into one close-family ! 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

GREASE YOUR SENSITIVITY !

 A well-greased wheel is heaven for a rider.  This is my own saying.

The other day, I was coming to office in my usual auto-rickshaw and its roaring noise reminded me one fact : The vehicle was not given adequate dose of engine oil from time to time, thereby the engine lost its rhythmic sound and started crying for immediate attention.


Such bad-maintained public vehicles are nightmare to the users.  For a person like me who want to search for subjects in my morning rides, it  was a bad start.

It is simply not the fate of single auto-rickshaw, I come across,  but a majority of folks don't bother to ensure maintenance of  their vehicles.  Unless, it struck in the middle of the road, nobody takes too seriously of their vehicles.  This casual attitude goes to the alarming levels that they skip of  even checking air in tyre inviting problems deliberately. 

A well maintained-vehicle is an attitude of the  owner of that vehicle.  It has his or  her signature on it.  I find very rare people who maintain their vehicles more than their offspring.  It reflects their sensitivity.

I was a scooter rider for over 15 years.  Till I disposed it some months back, I maintained it too well and ensured timely change of engine oils and greasing to prevent any unwanted noise from it.  Worth to its maintenance, not even a single occasion it deceived me.

The flavor of  complaint-free vehicle is so enticing and one must embrace the  virtue of periodical maintenance. But  some people's casualness swells to dangerous proportions and a case in point is, not even polishing  their shoes which we see many times in our daily lives.   It reflects their lackadaisical attitude.

One mantra for orderliness in life  is,  be sensitive enough to all  aspects of daily life which include everything from what you wear to what you eat to what you use.

If you don't care enough, you can't live  happily !     

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

SEASONS OF LIFE



Life is not what one lived, but what one remembers and how one remembers it in order to recount it.
                  
            - Gabriel Garcia Marquez


Every season has its own flavor.

Delhi for the past so many days is experiencing scorching heat and rains now have considerably dipped the temperatures and my writer's pen is dancing with delight !

Since April, 2015, my pace of writing is almost dead slow. The huge factor for this dismal performance is 'professional commitments'.   To bring sanity back into my writer's life seems to be  stupendous task and I must maintain a soldier's spirit.

To write means to embrace the best in life on daily basis. To jot down in the journal of life, the only prerequisite is,  to live on it.  The incessant rains that swept Delhi reminded me Khushwant Singh's classic 'Train to Pakistan' where he says that Monsoon is another name for rain.   It's Arabic name ( Mausom)  indicates it is a season.  He further elaborates that there is a summer monsoon as well as a winter monsoon, but it is only the nimbus south-west winds of summer that makes a mansoon the season of the rains.

This rainy day - 11th July, 2015 though has its ugly patch as it leaked my bedroom but it definitely caught my imagination more than anything as I went to bookstore amidst heavy downpour  to purchase two books one of which is American Classic : Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.  The joy of reading the  favourite portions of those two books in an unconventional venue called a bus stop  is truly rewarding ! 

Monday, July 13, 2015

RAIN HIT DELHI


On 11th July, 2015, Delhi witnessed a record rainfall since 5 years submerging all low-lying areas and normal life almost completely disrupted.  My government provided third-floor house which was on the direct firing line of Rain God was worst hit.  First time in the five years of our stay, the bed room's ceiling developed seepage and further leakage.  

In the morning, the rain delayed our visit to the hospital due to traffic woes.  When we were coming back home in auto, the roads with stagnated water looked like mini-lakes. (Image courtesy : My mobile camera)  

When my logical mind went deep into the issue, I felt that  not  having a proper drainage system is the root cause of such large sheet of water lying on the roads.  Sadly the drainages are choked with huge plastic waste and city dwellers don't act with responsibility when it comes to sanitation.

We adopt to new technologies in computers and mobiles instantly and why not in sanitation and drainage-management ?   Developed countries already ensured this aspect but we are still languishing in  the muck.  If the high-way roads do have adequate underground drainage pipe system, the rain water flows directly into them in minutes keeping the roads neat and clean, but that is not in place.  

I have been seeing the sorry state of Mumbai during heavy rains forcing commuters to reach their homes late night.  Mumbai and Delhi are our iconic cities, but a lot to be desired with regard to civic amenities, especially good underground drainage system  !

HIBISCUS FLOWER IN A PARK

Location : Gulmohar Park, New Delhi. Courtesy : My mobile camera

SUN RISE IN FRONT OF MY HOME

Courtesy : My daughter V S Sindhuja

DREAM HOUSE

A dream house for a reader like me. Location courtesy: Ghitorni, Delhi - My mobile camera

THE PLEASURE OF READING ON A RAINY DAY


I am not so materialistic.  Perhaps, I was made like this over a period of time.  With a spiritual-bent of mind, I don't ask unduly from life.  What I cherish always from the Almighty is to give me wisdom to handle myself.

Upbringing and education fill three-forths of the vessel of wisdom.  The remaining part has to be drawn from life's daily experiences.  Books contribute enormously to draw that wisdom on continuous basis.  That's why, my week-ends are always  filled with  vigorous activity.  I wake up very early on a holiday feeling that every minute of it is  mine.

The other day, I did my morning walk under umbrella as continuous showers almost struck the daily routine.  After taking a round in the park, I toyed the idea of reading in the morning showers. Immediately, I chose a place and comfortably sit under umbrella and started reading.  The pleasure of reading is immeasurable !  The park is a stone's throw from my home and the idea to read under rain literally put me in good stead !

MY LOVE WITH DELHI

My stay in Delhi for the last 5 years not only taught me great lessons in personal life but contributed immensely in my new avatar as a prolific blogger.  

I can't claim to  have a direct guru who could guide me to understand the knack of writing, but my sheer passion that drove me to minutely observe great writers and fine-tune my abilities.    Writing in fact is an evolving process.  Unless certain maturity is dawn into you, you can't write.

After writing more than 250 articles, I  fed up  and  abandoned writing for some months.   But the lucky part is, whenever I am in low spirits, certain thought of a great person come to my door step, elevate and rejuvenate my inner hungriness.

Khushwant Singh's Delhi is so touching.  It's green tree avenue roads that brings life to any drowsy soul.  To inject creativity into my daily life, I take frequent Metro rides to reach unintended places to draw  new ideas for my writing.   

Armed with a high-end mobile phone, I walk with my eyes wide-open to get a glimpse of life in any form !  When I do, I sometimes get a welcome smile from  a stray dog to a flying crow to a  stationary tree, all warmly connect to me igniting new  thoughts.  Thank you Delhi !!!  

LUSH GREEN LEAVES FROM MY EYES

MY READING HUBS


Driving and reading are very mind-intensive jobs.  

You can't give justice with a partial attention.  Perhaps that is the reason why I choose outside locations i.e.   i.e. bus stops as my new  hotspots for  book reading.

One advantage of choosing these places is not being disturbed which helps continuity of reading flow.  The seeds for majority of my articles come from these crowded places.  

Nobel Laureate  V.S. Naipaul  rightly says that when men can't observe, they don't have ideas and to get new ideas, you should not be house-bound.  When you visit a new place,  it not only  adds a new colour to  your eyes but stretches your imagination muscle !!!

RAIN - DRENCHED TREE NEAR MY HOME IN DELHI

EVENING SKY NEAR MOOLCHAND METRO, DELHI

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