We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves

~ Gautam Buddha

Monday, January 31, 2011

Those moments

Dear readers, this post is a part of Close Up's Fire-Freeze contest. You can submit your own stories here or as a comment to this post. :)
The silence prevailed in the classroom as everyone was busy in solving the questions with rapt attention. Walking in between the rows for the while I stopped near the table to put my specs on it.

After a while reverberation of distant cymbal drifted across the classroom. Following the source I gazed the cathedral across the road of a prestigious campus- a convent school.

Just out of university and with fizzy confidence I had cleared my first interview successfully at an Institution.
Moving towards the vehicle with the appointment letter in hand I had suddenly spectacled a splendid cathedral inside the campus of a prestigious school across the road. Perplexed I analyzed my miss to notice the magnificent Institution at the unfamiliar place.

Magnetically I moved towards it. A gothic cathedral was there at the entrance of the Institution with beautiful flower beds in front of it. Beside it there was a fenced pond with flocks of geese floating into it.

Next moment I found myself in carpeted waiting room of the esteemed Institution with testimonials in my hand. Inside the campus walk of missionary people in robes were complimenting the anglicized air of the Institution.

In the Principal’s room positivity and congeniality were rolling. My testimonials received appreciative look with few cordial queries and my application got accepted over there.

The season of spring enchanted inside when I was asked to join the same at the start of the session. Off course after clearing the written and interview that I was confident to clear at comparatively smaller place. And then flung the last query regarding my experience and naively I flashed my appointment letter from another school to him. That was the end of spring over there. A solemn expression reigned the principle’s face- “We don’t appoint teachers of neighboring school.” My one misplaced step had crushed the brilliant opportunity there in a moment.

Battling the mental debate for two years I worked at the previous school situated across the road. From the assembly till dismissal the silent comparisons would rule my mental frame-“the present work place” verses “that-esteemed- my would be Institution.”

Suitably qualified I was being paid nicely over there. In amiable work mores I had been given charge of computer and science lab. I was the class teacher of senior section. Still I had been working or rather preparing over there for the life of “ my would be Institution - the bigger-esteemed one-across the road.”
Every morning alighting out of the vehicle and walking through the cheery echoes and wishes of students I would steal the glances of “my school and flocks of my students’ appreciatively.

Day by day the determination to be at the best had been scaling- I was working on every details- on course materials, the subjects, the soft skills and computer. Although I had visited and worked at the campus of “my esteemed Institution” at several occasions- attending the science seminars and teachers’ workshop as an invitee teacher from other Institution.

And then at a point I felt enough and decided for a discrete talk over there to “my esteemed Institution.”
In next session according to ethic and rules I applied and got call for demo class over there. That was my chance to make an entry and for that I had been waited for long two years.

In the demo class I had to prove my gripping prowess- I had to grasp attention of the class- first to last desk. I had to invoke “whys?” at every possible step and provide apt solutions at best of ease. I had to make the explanation gripping without dropping the spirit of the class even for the moment.

Inside the class room the flashes of curious eyes, resonances of my explanations and shuffling of pages were only vibrations. In pin drop silence the class was jotting down the details explained by me. When the bell rang then I realized presence of the Principal at the back of the class.

During the recess I was asked by the students about my joining date. By the Vice Principal I was assigned work as regular staffs though my date of joining was due next month.

After the recess I was told to invigilate the mock tests of senior section. At the hall I got the sight of him- a person more than a decade older than me. My greeting startled him - he congratulated me and made a fast escape from the place. In the elation the first brush of seize I felt over there.

In the staff room he was the weakest among teachers and frown of every gaze. His departure over there was being viewed as the delights of the students and relief of the Institution.

Next day during the assembly, adoringly watching the flower beds my gaze followed a pair of worn out shoes. Ascending above the shoes I greeted him- again the same sadness engulfed me sapping my contentment. This time he came near me- composing himself he was explaining something about the unruly children, the obnoxious colleagues and many more things.

My eyes were unintentionally gripping the details- of his unspoken words - his forty plus age, a vivid picture of jobless house hold, the engulfing poverty that was raising ugly head from every possible corner of his persona, out of his worn out shoes and cuffs, his shaken self confidence, illogical explanation and incoherent choked voice, more intensely his painful, hopeless look.

Everything sent a shiver through me-“how long will I survive this heaviness?” I felt I had never wished for these sights. I wanted to move immediately as the entire cheer inside me had evaporated. There was complete loss of liveliness- the sweetness of long wait and my success all seemed so heavy to carry. To escape that heaviness I wanted to run away from there…

Friday, January 28, 2011

The key to success

“Nothing succeeds than success.” Success is the sweetest of all tastes. And off course a much needed and aspired recipe of good life? A much coveted thing for all of us. All of us are behind the success, perseveringly honing and working on our skills. Still few of us achieve it the while others get lost somewhere in the path.

More often curiously we analyze the success and failure graphs of different lives, to find out. Let’s analyze.

Taking a journey I bought the concise Bhagvad Gita while I was going through it one chapter caught my attention:

-Gyana or knowledge

-Karma or action

-And bhakti (a word which in today’s world hardly catches the fancy)

All words were heard and seen before there was not anything new in them. But the little perception unfolded a deep insight out of it. Amazingly I closed my eyes for the moment imbibing the depth of explanation and checked all pages as if I was going to get many more out of them. In that particular chapter, how different people accomplish their jobs were explained.

Gyani( a knowledgeable person)- when he performs his duty he reaches near the goal anchoring on his knowledge, still a gap remains in between him and the goal.

Karmi (the man of action) always believes in action, but amazingly he too fails to reach the goal. A little gap remains to reach the goal despite his believe in action.

But bhakta( a person of devotion) achieves his goal.

Gyani spent most of the time in discussion on the knowledge. Being aware of his knowledge the gyani (knowledgeable or intellectual) lived in vanity “ the ego”. Ego always limited a person.

Karmis thought I accomplished according to my potential and accepted the result. Karmis felt pride in his accomplishments. He too was not fully devoted as he worked to show his accomplishments.

But bhakta(the person of devotion) performed the job in blissful state(a mind full of love). He was neither elated nor regretted on success and failure even if he encountered it initially. He was thoroughly enjoying the job- in blissful state.

So the recipe of sure shot success in work is the blissful state of mind while under taking it. The success and failure are the part of journey not destination. An unwavering devotion always leads to success.

The goal of our works or lives should be bliss not the success and failure. It is important to feel the bliss while doing it. And when we learn to acquire the everlasting bliss in whatever we do the success follows automatically.

So the success is the permanent companion of calm and blissful mind.

That is why it is advised by sages that choose the job which you enjoy. So later in life you enjoy thorough out the life without having the work to be done.

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

62yrs of Indian Republic-Achievements and Expectations

The Indian democracy matured 62 years. For more than six decades being a democratic republic, we have been guided by the principles of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity.

Now a retrospection on the six decades of the 62-turned republic as it is time to ponder how truly the denizens realized the promises of constitution.

The formation of republic on 26 Jan 1950 was the first landmark to realize the dreams of citizens in the aftermath of independence. Certainly at several fronts we progressed and new dimensions were added in the life of common people.

Like Right to Education act came into being which facilitated access to education of all children of the country belonging to age group five to fourteen.

NREGA is another facility which penetrated at the grass root level and at the remotest of the country. Besides providing the employment it helps to some extent in mitigating the migration of rural folks.

The 2005 Right to Information act has given to the citizens to seek accountability in governance.
Constitution guaranteed individual freedom and dignity under the fundamental right. It gives character to the country and the rights to the people.

The power to franchise has given to the citizens the right to determine their political choices. Following the constitutional amendments in 1992, India has introduced democracy at grass root level. Today 3.2 million representatives who have been elected are from villages, town and cities. About 1.2 million of these representatives are women.
As per constitution of India, the Panchayat-the local self government at the village level mandated one third participation of women.

The judicial system of India as courts at all levels , special and fast track courts hear petitioners and dispense judgments.

Human rights are protected by the National Human Right Commission.

The first electronic ID cards were rolled out by the Unique Identification Authority. Its smart application can offer a number of social services and it is expected to be a game changer in India.

India is the largest and one of the most stable democracies in the world. India is the world’s fourth largest economy and the second fastest growing among the major economies and now a rightful contender for getting a permanent seat in UN Security Council.

62nd milestone of Indian republic marked with many successes that have been achieved in different fields. But there are many issues still awaiting urgent attention and better handling. As some of the issues are throwing up challenges and yet need a better monitoring and response mechanisms to address the inadequacies.

Especially transparency (in dealing with public funds and rules), accountability (in duties) and implementation (of desired actions) are the fields that need improvement.

But the active participation and awareness of citizens and media in government agenda are bringing effective, sustainable and humane results in work culture.

India has always had a vision and message for the world and it will continue to create a better world free of terror, poverty diseases, ignorance and inequality.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Now and then

On the desk I felt a pull to ring her. “Hello- what are you doing? In the traffic! What a snarl all along you!”
“Hello- yes I am in traffic, going to have some outdoor snapshots.”
“Hello-Drive safely and be back in time.”

At 5-00 p.m. the setting dusk that day was rather warmer than previous day. Stacking the files in the studies I felt again the same hold. She didn’t ring me back till now.
I dialed her again. “Hello- Where are you?”
“ Hello- Mom do you want some bags or souvenirs. I am here in a fair.”
“No- don't really need anything but how long it will take, be back soon. Your work is really arduous.”

At 6-30 bustling between the kitchen and in the studies I mumbled-" she must return now. She is workaholic like her father. " Now the thoughts kept wandering at intermittent interval. At every five minutes my gaze would glue on clock. The cellphone flashed and I picked up before it rang .

“Mom I am heading back. Don’t get hyper, it is weekend, I will manage my studies. I will be back in half an hour.” She hanged up.

In fifteen minutes the dinner will be ready I thought. Regaining the self I felt now I will be able to deliver some job getting back on the work. A guilt surged inside me, on my stupid behavior. Am I not getting paranoid like helicopter parent, keeping tab on every move of the child?

On the screen her childhood snap flashed that slid me decades down in the memory lane. Under the spell of northern chill for winter sun I would stay with her on the terrace. The babbling hollers of hers in the cradle had soon attracted attention of neighboring terrace belonged to a family friend. The advancing chill added more charm to it sapping the last trace of melancholy out of the air.

After her growing allure even her gleaming emergence from bath tub would bring more applauds and cheers from folks of neighboring terrace than me. Her one distressed bawl would get prompter attention reminding me of her meal time. The fleeting glances and chuckles were exchanged with such regularities between two patios that I had to dress her on the demand of her neighboring aficionados.

Then a time came when I had to bow on her growing fame. Her reveled circle of buffs now placed demand that they would keep her at their home for some hours. And the floated bid came into quick action as the entire horde was near me with a grown up carter (maid) to take her.

Within minutes the entire gang vanished from the place with their celebrity leaving me all alone. I glanced on the empty cradle, her stuffs, and then a void I felt. I tried to sniff back her sweet smell but--.
Minutes had passed I glanced on neighboring patio to get her glimpse. No one was there. I stepped down the stair to catch her glimpse hearing the revelry of her group. She was not visible there either. The void took the form of desperation.

Down stairs in the room I peeped out through the window parallel to neighbor's house but in vain. Now my desperation in full galore invited comments from the family members. “Look she is the only make in that particular model and a coveted possession which got on the fancy of others. Now it is difficult to get back the original model. But wait patiently the neighbor would certainly arrange a suitable replacement.” Under the seizing desperation the joke failed to trickle me.

Till then tired I had been feeling sleepy I watched the clock. Twenty minutes had passed. I conjured the velvety touch and sheen of her skin trying to capture her whole in my imagination. I sat on the bed. A chill quivered me. Amazed I looked on my suitable woolen outfits. Forty minutes had passed and after that more than an hour, I felt my throat parched. Sitting vainly I had been staring the indoors as a stranger in my own bed room. The moment went on--.

The clank of metallic gate stirred my attention then the bustling footsteps and reveled chuckles became rapid. She was back from her expedition. I glanced to her half closed eyes , in a new fancy attire and brand new hair style like a doll she passed in my arm.

She squirmed in my warmth. My eyes got glued to her dry lips bringing close I covered her in my woolen shawl, feeling her throbbing tiny beat and then it was time for her feed. Slowly slipping on her the inner wears and woolen I put her to sleep. She was contently sleeping in my arm. Placing her on the bed I maneuvered the next move to be accomplished.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Let's have the vedic way

A health article of a leading Daily reported a recent study in which the link between pelvic pain and migraines had been stated.

Studies by the researchers, led by the U S government’s National Institute of Health, concluded that the 67 percent of chronic pelvic pain sufferers had migraines and another eight percent had headaches that were possibly migraines.

Pelvic pain is characterized by the discomfort in region between hips below the belly button for six months or more. The causes for pelvic pain and migraine are yet to be discovered.

The so called revelation of the prestigious daily had enough takers and the facts were easily acceptable. Here I would like to ask, “really that revelation was unknown to Indian soil? or we had blindly been chosen to ignore it.”

It is already stated by our traditional means of treatments like Yoga and Ayurveda but habitually most of us get whiff of superstition in it as it lacks scientific tests.

“Then why do we accept some other facts despite their failure to get proved by science?” Like emotions - we accept it but it cannot be measured and proved in the science lab.

The consequences of emotions are also acceptable to us as in a day we witness the surge and decline of fight and flight hormones. It speeds the heart beats during emergency situation and dilate and constrict the pupils when we come inside a comparatively dark room from sunlight and vice versa.

Now a glance on the facts that are already accepted by us-

-Migraine is psychosomatic ailment. In which person feels throbbing pain in one half of the brain (hemisphere).

-Some sufferers may experience nausea and sensitivity to light.

Facts supported by the western science and the ethnic treatment methods like Yoga and Ayurveda are-

-Our forebrain composed of two parts (hemispheres) left and right. The right hemisphere is meant for processing emotional issues and left hemisphere for processing logical issues.

-In any case when one part of brain over works and comes under stress the coordination between two hemispheres get disrupted causing the headache.

Acute mental stress causes dilation of major artery of brain which causes inflammation of nerve ending causing migraine.

-It usually gets triggered during the emotional stress or excessive work load, some other factors too tend to flare it.

Facts of Yoga and Ayurveda
-According to Yoga and Ayurveda the human body consists of 360 chakras out of which seven are primary chakras. Each chakra represents different attributes of emotional and physical aspects of the body.

-There are different body organs and glands that too share the position of different chakras.

(According to yoga chakras are the hypothetical points on the spinal cord also known as the energy centers of body through which body receive life force energy).

-The Hara chakra is positioned at pelvic region. It is also known as emotional chakra. The organs of Hara chakra are gonads (ovary and testis), kidney, bladder and uterus.

-This chakra controls water elements of the body and emotional issues of the body. The water element of the body as well gets affected with the waxing and waning of the moon so our emotional levels.

It is a well accepted fact that emotional stress causes the fibroid and other ovary related ailment in females. Even in males the secretion of excess hormone testosterones brings anger which is an outcome of emotional crisis

This certainly gives us reason to ponder and get into patient retrospect in the wisdom of yoga and Ayurveda. It has remedy to work on both gross (physical) and subtle (mental) levels and bring out the best.

Therefore some discerning brains must spare some time and energy on it. It is time worth spending to search the ethnic treasures. After all how long to accept the facts we will look to distant shores.