Saturday, 23 March 2019


The two halves of our human race have sorrowfully a different experience of respect in society. In fact a majority of women only wear a smile to hide their grief and anger. The recent Pollachi sexual harassment and blackmail incidents have once again caused an uproar in our nation after the convicts have confessed the enticing trap of dinners and long drives they laid to catch the young prey, molest them, video graph them and then threaten them.

As a people of India, each of us today has a role to play in violence against women. These are cautionary stories warning us as a community to understand what happens when power corrupts and silences the vulnerable. Ours is a double standard society where it is difficult to bring up enterprising young girls who are largely expected to stay docile. Where do we look out for answers to solve this critical issue of women withholding their truth because there are no ready ears to listen to it? Sexual offences against women, are not a 21st century problem, it’s one that civilization has faced since yore.

Incidents of distasteful behaviour towards women in the real world as well as in the world of mythologies are a common trend; but where do we search for a solution?
In the Bible we have the story of David and Bethsheda and the murder of her husband Uriah. In Psalm 51, we hear David’s repentance for the sin  of his lust. However, the legacy continues in his daughter Tamar’s story. In 2 Samuel 13, we have Ammon leading his cousin sister into his bedroom pretending to be unwell. When he rapes her, she cries and protests with a loud and clear voice. But just like the Bethshedas and Tamars of today are told to keep quiet, Tamar’s brother Absolem also advises her to remain silent. “Be quiet for now, my sister; he is your brother; do not take this to heart.”

In our society, women have degrees in their pockets but shawls of shame covering their faces. Sexual assault today is not a women’s issue alone; it is a human issue. It’s a war against half the population which has been gifted with a womb to procreate. What if all the Tamars decide to stop the world? Proverbs 31:25 says, “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.”

The Pollachi happenings tell us that the girls were trapped with invitations to dinners and long drives. Could we blame a Tamar today if she desired to go for a long drive? If Tamar had to speak, she would perhaps have a different story. Pollachi like situations of terror work to silence the voice of simple joys in a woman’s life where power is used over her but her consent is not taken into consideration. Even the balms of protest fail to heal her wounds.

Then how and where can we find healing for women? We have a role model though who came as a man on earth and taught us how to behave with women giving fulfilment to their hopes.

Mark 5:21-43 speaks of the bleeding woman who has hope only in Jesus. “If I only touch his clothes, I will be made well.”  Society today is very quick to pick up stones, but John 8:7 speaks of this ritual of stoning and calls for grace to uplift those hurt and bleeding. “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” In Luke 13:11, we have a woman bent over for years. “Was bowed together, and could in no way lift up herself.” For centuries women have been bent under torturous weapons of lust. These are uniquely female troubles but Jesus initiates their healing with a touch.

Pollachi is a moment of lamentation today. The cries of the women there have caused another national pain. Their voice must not be silenced; instead men all over the world must be taught that respecting women is the true sign of manliness. Today the world is often heard saying that ‘men will be men’, but it misses what the word says in 1 Corinthians 16:13, “act like men”.
Image credit: Google

Tuesday, 12 March 2019


Reading Manjula Padmanabhan's play, 'Harvest', made me wonder at the level man can stoop, to sell himself, or drop enough to buy another. Michal Jackson is believed to have stacked up donors for his organs, just in case he ever needed any. He had a team of doctors working round the clock on him due to his desire to live beyond the years allotted to him; which however saw failure due to areas of abuse.

Our Creator wants to produce a great harvest in all areas of our life, but this can only happen when we work towards prospering our soul and not be a slave to the new world order. This prosperity of the soul can overturn all areas of famine into a plentiful harvest.

However, Padmanabhan in her 'Harvest', shows concern about organ selling in India, where a jobless Indian succumbs to selling any organ of his precious body to the rich of the first world, for a pittance of perishable comforts of life. Obviously, consumerism seems to be ruling. The dark humour regarding mouldable relations changing shape and colour with the clay of wealth, provokes deep pain in the mind of the reader when he learns about the futility of such flexible associations.
'Harvest' appears to alert us to a very dark, dry and bitter future as against the one we would expect - hope of a bright, fruitful and luscious life ahead.

After all, harvesting of organs can only produce a soulless world; a world where the rich would eat up even the organs of the poor; a world where for peripheral opportunities and needs, man would not flinch from selling his internals, till he became empty of his original worth. In 'Harvest', we see a world where characters like Jeetu go virtually blind in their aspirations of liberty and lose all their rational faculties.

The play evokes a thought in my mind: The rich desire long life and therefore abuse the poor by robbing them of their lives. The poor desire riches and abuse themselves by going blind in greed for the needs of life. Ironically though, both lose their souls.

Image courtesy: Google

Tuesday, 5 March 2019


“He who loves money shall never have enough. The foolishness of thinking that wealth brings happiness! The more you have, the more you spend, right up to the limits of your income, so what is the advantage of wealth – except perhaps to watch it as it runs through your fingers! The man who works hard sleeps well whether he eats little or much, but the rich must worry and suffer insomnia.” Ecclesiastes 5:10-12

These are the words of King Solomon, the richest man of his time, where he spotlights the tragedy of the rich fool. Students of economics are often of the view that this subject of finance is all one needs in life to know about consumption, distribution, production and investments.

The economists often begin by studying the difference between desires and utility, but one owes more than that to this subject. This subject cannot be just about understanding the value of a product; because strangely enough, in reality no product in itself has any value. It is the desire of man that gives worth to it. First he assigns an importance to it and then goes on to pay for it.

In our foolish worldly attractions, we allocate great value to shining stones and then put in hours of hard labour to earn enough to pay the price we have applied. Parents can often be heard telling their children that money does not grow on trees and that they need to learn how to spend wisely. Ironically though these parents can be seen exerting themselves for the same paper and then using it to buy perishables.

Economics not only opens a window to finance but also to a cultural change. The management of finance empowers an individual with a choice.  The only hitch is that he has to make a good and a sensible choice. An economically progressed nation is not always one which has made the correct choices for the well-being of the spirit of humanity. Affluence often misleads people into raw joys – joys which are only momentary and can be often seen as obnoxious flaunting of wealth.

Therefore, economics without the spirit of understanding the utility and instead lost in a sea of specious wishes can lead to a state of utter ignorance of the richness of the soul.

Unless man’s spirit is refined, the choices he will make in his life will continue to be very base. An economically developed country will have good food on everybody’s plate but a full stomach does not guarantee emotional satisfaction.

In this changing world, it is therefore the responsibility of the economists to help change the vision of finance; because it is only when the vision of man will change, that his world will change too.

A new age student of economics today must therefore not only focus on the ability to bring in and pay out, but also on the ability to earn respectfully and spend wisely.

Image courtesy: Google

Monday, 4 March 2019


Got a moment to speak to a colleague; just a few words they were, but they allowed me a deep look into her heart. She didn’t have a tone of victimhood; she didn’t have an attitude of submission. There was power in her words. Her life was a piece of art which she had created with colours of situations and circumstances thrown at her.

It made me wonder if a majority of women faced a similar crunch of choice. Did they build their identities of self-respect in the midst of disrespect? To achieve peace one didn’t always have to climb a mountain or walk into wilderness. The work field of peace was life: a crowded public bus, an overflowing train compartment, a greedy mall stop-over, or the early morning news of warring countries.

As I saw her smile, I knew she was victorious. She had achieved triumph over unpleasantness. She had learnt to be devoted to people who didn’t have the capacity to love her enough.

This was nowhere near self pity; it was self empowerment.

Image courtesy: Google

Sunday, 3 March 2019


Today I happened to see a young girl with beautiful waist long black hair. It definitely couldn’t have been a short term growth. Years of loves labour I thought, would have gone into its length and beauty. The oil massages, the hundred stroke brushings and the hair packs et al. I could imagine her mother taking pains plaiting her mane in the early morning hour rush to get to school. She seemed to have appreciated the efforts taken on her, since she appeared to have continued her beauty regime.

But who knows someday, in the stress of work and hurry it would become cumbersome for her and she would go for a short crop. Probably the changing fashions of time would term her crown of beauty as outdated. So there! She would be seated in a parlour and the scissor would begin its hungry job. Returning home, she would have the confidence of modernity and a bit of regret of breaking loose from the conformity of the beautiful past.

Would you consider her ungrateful to the love and labour of the years gone by? It was just hair yesterday and gone today. Changing times have changing needs; so what’s the use of grief over transitional matters?

The girl I was looking at made me wonder at many other hair stories in life; relations of love and then a shift due to discomforts, or just changing times causing pain. In fact they sometimes appear to cut veins and cause an overflow of emotional bleeding. It makes no sense to have grief over transitional matters! Loves labour may appear to be lost but love remains forever.

The crop of love often faces storms in the field of life. Nothing seems to make any sense. Insecurity, uncertainty and fear grow like thistles all around. Raging storms rise to destroy the calm of life. Everything gets out of control in a split of a second. At such a moment the only option is to be still. “Peace, be still.” Mark 4:39. When everything outside goes wrong and there is nowhere to hide, the only place to go is inside; in submission and prayer, of course!

As I write this piece, the memory of a beautiful hymn ‘Master The Tempest is Raging’ by Mary Ann Baker, comes to my mind and here are its words:
“Master, with anguish of spirit/ I bow in my grief today./ The depths of my sad heart are troubled. Oh, waken and save, I pray!/ torrents of sin and of anguish/ Sweep o’er my sinking soul,/ And I perish! Dear Master./ Oh, hasten and take control!”

Perhaps we could all use this hymn when we want answers but don’t know whom to ask.
Image credits: Google


We certainly need to change the way we think about women. Our preconceived notions about what is right and what is wrong for a woman need renovation. This can only happen if we (largely men and those women under the thumb rule of such men) would stop troubling our narrow minds which have no space to understand the broad spectrum of feminity.

Should love be everything in a woman’s life? How much of her inner life can she expose to the ears of the inquisitives without any fear or shame?  Sublime conversations about a woman being the epitome of benevolence actually put her under tremendous pressure. Imagine all your life being told to overrate love, so much so that you put loving yourself on the hold and continue to crave and long for being loved.
This making of a woman into a symbol of sacrifice, destroys many women on their insides. Their hunger, their anger, their bitterness and their laughter, they are expected to cover up. Their pleasures, if not in sync with the moral police are demeaned. The death of their emotions is often romanticized.

It’s sad that a woman’s worth is decided by a blind society. In fear then, many women hide their wild emotions under sad smiles and continue to live by the rule book written largely by men. In course of time some of them actually get completely disconnected from their originality and become as stupid as the rule makers.

Women need a breakthrough into a world of possibilities to create a world of self-love. None of those obstinate and self-opinionated words of some thick heads should be allowed weight for their assumptions, suggestions and recommendations of what a woman should be like.

All kinds of women, short ones and tall ones, thin ones and fat ones, fair skinned and the dark skinned ones must glorify their minds, their flesh and their colour irrespective of the stinking, obsessive, compulsive, degenerated minds which think it’s their birth right to pass unwanted comments and unsolicited advice. In fact, such commentators must be told to stick their big fists in their large open cruel jaws and shut up.

All women are more than their bodies and they need to reclaim their rights to live in peace with themselves and step out in confidence. This world belongs to everybody and not only to those some bodies who have locked up their minds in inflexible heads and starved brains. Women need to work on their right to “THINK EQUAL,BUILD SMART and INNOVATE FOR CHANGE.” If this is the theme of Women’s Day 2019, let every woman and man work on it.
Image credits: Google

Friday, 22 February 2019


Many of us are relatively more powerful in one area of life than another. However, instead of being happy about the expertise we possess, we grieve our weak spots. For sure, this sob attitude is not an inborn pattern of behaviour; it is acquired from a system of education.

Years back, George Reavis in his fable, ‘The Animal School’, observed this sad pattern of training students in the Public Schools where he was a Superintendent in the 1940s. In his imaginative writing, he created a duck who though excellent in swimming was given extra coaching in running, till his webbed feet got worn out and he became an average swimmer. But there were no worries because average was acceptable in his school.

The rabbit, in his school suffered a nervous breakdown because his friends teased him every time he was forced to jump into the water for his swimming lessons. ‘You look like a little rat’, they called out till he hated himself and went into depression.
When the fish cried to her parents, telling them that she couldn’t run because she didn’t have legs, her parents who were victims of the New World themselves, took an appointment with the principal to discuss how to improve her running.

Our system of education has got us obsessed with the idea of average being okay instead of pushing us to work hard on our strengths. We have students who have artistic skills but are left to struggle with math. We have students who have the physical strength of Samson in their limbs, but are made to waste time in class rooms rather than be in open fields. We have students who have the power of numbers in their heads but are forced to write creative essays. All these students are made to work towards handicapping their potential and focus on their lesser abilities.

The struggles our students go through today are not because of any inadequacies in themselves; these have been imposed on them by our system of a Herd Mentality Education. This system focuses on the principal of ‘Jack of all and master of none’. If this system considers itself to be based on Socialism, working towards making everybody equal, then it has resulted in a sad culmination of a mediocre society.
Instead, every student in the class needs to be valued for his individual ability and not criticised for his lack of expertise in certain subjects. Every student is rich in different attributes and this must be appreciated if we want a healthy learning environment. Treating everybody in the same manner is not fair; it is in fact an unfair method of treating the future of our world.

The saddest part of this system is that, we incorporate this eye opening story in the language syllabus for our children but turn a blind eye to its message.

Now the question is, how must a student caught in such a senseless system, escape from its killing clutches? If we can’t fight the devil, it does not mean that we become friends with him. It does not also mean that we ignore him; because his presence is certainly a fact. However, what we have in our power is to not allow that evil presence to grow bigger in our lives. If the education monster is scaring us from time to time, in all our smartness, we need to understand that he is playing a prank on us. At this moment, if we were to turn our attention towards nature, we would in all probability read an answer in its beauty. The authenticity of existence can be most obviously seen in nature. There is a super power which takes care of the most simplest things like the grass and flowers in the wild, where there is no one to take care of them; wouldn’t then that same power take care of us? Rather than worrying about competing in a foolish system which attempts to treat everybody in one way we must rest in confidence in our uniqueness; and strive not to be at par with others, nor overpower them in the spirit of competition, but respect the power within us and seek guidance in sustenance. “And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won’t he more surely care for you, O men of little faith?” Matthew 6:30

There are no schools out in the world where they teach peace. That’s a strange class we have to build within the structure of our physical body. Just like when faced with an ugly sight, we turn to look away; we need to work at peace within, in order to look away from this ugly and demanding system of education, hell bent on ruining our moments of satisfaction.

John Knowles, in his novel set against the backdrop of World War II, ‘A Separate Peace’, explores the loss of innocence through its narrator and says, “This was the tree, and it seemed to me standing there to resemble those men, the giants of your childhood, whom you encounter years later and find that they are not merely smaller in relation to your growth but they are absolutely smaller, shrunken by age. In this double demotion the old giants have become pygmies while you were looking the other way.”

So let us declare that we will not let this gigantic system to crush us under its ridiculous expectations, but look away; and then soon one day, we will see its double demotion where it will shrink in face of our individual strengths and appear a dwarf to our calmed minds.
pic courtesy: Google

Monday, 11 February 2019

THIS VALENTINE'S DAY.................

Oscar Wild: “To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.”

It probably takes a life time to realize the effects of not loving yourself enough. The journey may have been of applaudable sacrifices but in the end you could be left with the realization that it could have been made better only if you had loved yourself.

This Valentine’s Day buy a rose for yourself and clip a note to it saying, ‘I love you’. Tell yourself that you are beautiful; whatever shape, size or colour you wear. You have loved others enough; of course don’t stop loving them but add one more member to your circle of the affectionate – yourself. Experience has taught many that loving others can get painful if you have no time to love yourself. Loving others gets easy when you begin to pay attention to yourself.

Some people say that they loved till it hurt. This could be very true because they didn’t pay any attention to themselves. They loved so much that they depleted their self-worth. Even when they were not loved in return, they continued to love. They tolerated nonsense because they didn’t add self worth to themselves. The world taught them that it was anyway not the right thing to do. But someday a dawn broke through the darkness of the night and they then saw in the light of a new perspective that though they had come a long way, the pathway of return did exist.

This Valentine’s Day, please try to understand that the Atlas is just a book and you don’t have to allow the physical geographical landforms around you, to build mountains you can’t overcome. You don’t have to force yourself to carry the load of your world on your emotional shoulders.  You have carried bags full of love and distributed enormous packets of concern and care to your family and friends for quite some time; now save some for yourself. 

You could begin by giving yourself a few generous compliments from time to time. You could try walking towards those who love you in return and practice running away from those who care two hoots for you. If someone treats you like a doormat, scream and shout loud so that they lay off their stinking socked mouths from you. Not others, but you are responsible for your happiness. So exercise your responsibility towards yourself.

A gentle reminder – buy YOURSELF a gift of love this Valentine’s Day.

Image courtesy: Google

Sunday, 10 February 2019


In spite of advanced technology in the 21st Century, we do not have complete control over weather conditions. A journey therefore rocked by a storm would do good with an anchor. An anchor would give us an assurance of comfort and protection. It would get us into the mode of ‘stillness’ from that of being shaken up and tossed about.
Recently, I happened to be with a beautiful young lady who was wearing a T-shirt with the words, ‘I will never anchor’ printed on it. All through my conversation with her, I couldn’t draw my eyes away from that print. Finally I asked, ‘Why would you not ever anchor?’ The prompt answer was, ‘Because I’ll never sink.’ A little taken aback, I thought, ‘I refuse to sink’ would have been a humbler approach. It suddenly dawned on me that the world could be strangely over confident and that there would always be two ways in which to look at things.

As human beings, we invest in securities, pension plans, medical insurances and the likes. These are advertised as magnanimous anchors to keep us stable in the storms of life. In the pride of our financial strength, we begin to believe that such investments will help us from sinking. However, many physical storms bring along emotional downpours. The anchors of wealth do not help to still a tossed mind. A bigger anchor is often needed.
Hebrews 6:19 says, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”
As human beings, we often carry either the burden of fear or the load of pride and ignore the lightness of faith.

In the middle of a stormy sea we cannot sit to cry in fear. The captain of the ship has to drop the anchor to stay stable. He cannot in pride allow the ship to sink and not get it anchored to safety.

Image courtesy: Google

Sunday, 3 February 2019



You surely sometime must have seen a child playing in a garden suddenly run after a sparrow nibbling on some grain. If you have ever observed such a beautiful spectacle, and if you are the kind of a person who has some space in your heart for the beauty of innocence, I’m sure you must have found it more interesting than any other captivating sight.

Such harmless and naive scenes of life, sadly stop attracting our attention as the burden of books strapped on our little shoulders gets heavier. The shoulders get compelled to bend due to deadlines putting a stop to all sensitivity of simple joys, allowing cheerful expressions only during holidays or excursions.

The garden continues to wait longingly for that little girl to come back and sit to relax on one of its benches. The little bird too keeps searching for its playmate. It takes years of waiting and then after several stages of development, the girl who is now an old woman can be seen relaxing on a bench which seems to have been waiting long for her company. She can be seen looking intently at the hopping and chirping bird. She is unable to run after it, her legs hurt. Her mind though begins a conversation: “I wish you hadn’t got entangled in the web of artificial existence. I wish you had cut ties from time to time from the race of life and come here to watch the majestic show of plainness. I wish that you had allowed the green tree to keep growing in your heart so that the birds could have come and sat on it, singing soothing songs to heal you regularly. How simple it could have all been! How complicated it turned out!”

I suppose it’s never too late to plant a seed and let a tree grow in our hearts. Life is innocent; it simply waits for us to enjoy every moment of it. Could it be 
possible that we are unable to enjoy it because we are too busy complicating it? That would be seriously funny!
pic. courtesy: Google

Wednesday, 30 January 2019


Some say that life is a circle where the opening and the conclusion finally meet at the same point. Sounds depressing! If the beginning and the end were to come and gather at the same stop, I wouldn’t really bother to begin moving in the first place.

I would prefer to believe that life is not a race where the runner starts to reach the end as fast as he can. Life for me would be better described as a garden where I make no attempt to run and reach my end line fast. I’d prefer my life to be like a beautiful glass of mojito which I taste and exclaim an ‘AH!’ at every sip. I’d prefer to believe that I have the strength to cut the circle of this round observation of life and make it into a ‘C’ with its openness; where I would make use of the ample opportunities to CHOOSE right, where I would make the right decisions to not dismiss the various CHANCES laid out as an exotic spread ahead of me, and where I would have the strength to CHANGE my path and get out of a wrong story if ever it barged into my space of existence.

I would prefer to believe in my strength of individuality and walk with the power of an authority that had made me in His image and gather courage to not count on the strength in the opinion of numbers, for I strongly believe that I have no relatives in the world of apes.

That’s my take. You are free to take yours.

Picture Credits: Google

Sunday, 2 December 2018


I was at a very quiet and peaceful coffee shop sipping the hot beverage and taking in the fragrance of the crushed beans. In the background, soft beautiful songs could be heard and they certainly enhanced the beauty of the environment. The song which got my thoughts rolling was not one of the kind one gets to hear at a coffee shop but strangely here it was being played; and as my ears took in the words my mind began to think. The song was ‘God’s Love,’ the one which is mostly sung as a nursery rhyme for children. As I looked around, I could see people present smiling; perhaps because each of us was transported to a classroom of the past and childhood memories have a carefree breeze around them. The words were as follows, ‘God’s love is so wonderful. So high, you can’t go over it. So deep, you can’t go under it. So wide, you can’t go around it. God’s love is so wonderful.’ With every sip of the hot beverage I took, I couldn’t but help wonder that if this love of God was so very wonderful, why was God’s earth in trouble of perishing. Why was there suffering and pain for some, while others had their cups filled with fun? And then suddenly an answer came hitting me hard in my ears.   
Love demands freedom. Be it any relationship, if it is on the basis of love then it desires freedom. Even a married couple needs their own personal time of freedom to enjoy. Similarly God or the Unknown Power or the Force behind creation allows us to defy, discard or rebel against what is right or correct in the original sense. It’s not the ‘Go to hell’ kind of approach, but one which allows us to ‘Choose our own hell, if we so want it.’
Sounds strange because it makes us wonder how anyone could ever choose a different way from that of goodness, happiness and harmony. However strange it may sound, the thing is that people do love hell and prefer to live in it on a day to day basis. Every time we use words of bitterness, anger and hate, every time we ridicule someone, we know that we are doing the wrong thing but we still continue to do it and live in the vibes of negativity. It’s a personal hell which we make, enjoy it for a little while and then crib about it later. It’s an addiction which seems fun momentarily and then has lasting painful effects.

Religions offer us a capsule remedy for getting to heaven or hell; the capsule being rituals. But rituals can't efface hatred and war; it's only kindness, love and peace which could help and make a heaven right where we are. 

According to the song, God's love is infinite, but it gives man ultimate freedom to make his own heaven or choose his own hell. He is a loving father who always gives his children all they wish for. He warns and informs about the negatives but if the child so insists, then the father perhaps cries at the wrong preference; but never takes away the power to choose. There is no might or manipulation in love. It always has room for decision making. We always get what we want.
Picture Credits: Google

Saturday, 24 November 2018


In his random thoughts of a one page short story 'The Question', Rabindranath Tagore dwells on a simple and yet the most thought provoking question a child can ask about his mother.
When the father comes back from the crematorium, his seven-year-old son asks him, "Where is Mother?" The father pointing to the sky says, "In heaven." The father then cries himself to sleep but the world goes on as usual. "The lantern glowed dimly at the door. A pair of lizards walked the walls." The child however remains completely bewildered and longs to ask someone about the way to heaven. But whoever knows the whereabouts of death? "The sky failed to respond; only the tears of the silent night twinkled in the stars."

Today, even after ten long years, assistant sub-inspector Tukaram Omble's family continues to not celebrate any festival. This brave man had succumbed to the bullets of Kasab when he had daringly pounced on the terrorist to overpower him. His daughter even today feels very lonely and misses him every day.

Death of parents due to illness or accidents or terrorism is a crime against their little children. These deaths offer no explanation to the children and many a times they go into denial of facing the truth. It simply becomes indigestible.

If we as a family of humanity wish our world to be a blissful and harmless place, we need to take care of our children. We need to keep the parents because without parents children grow up in an insecure world. Their emotions get blown to pieces when they lose a parent. Their grief gets an overcoat of anxiety and soon anxiety gets buttoned up in depression.

Whenever there is a terrorist attack anywhere on the planet, the world of a child gets shaken. No amount of security then feels safe; no amount of protection gives the feeling of a sanctuary. As Tagore says, "The houses all around, with every light switched off, looked like shadowy sentries in a demon-land, sleeping even as they stood guard."
Pic Credits: Google

Thursday, 22 November 2018


Whenever we would sit facing the waves, she would have a standard dialogue; “I feel like walking into the sea.” Initially I had felt curious on hearing such words. ‘Was she so troubled to kill herself?’, was a primary thought that flashed through my mind; but when those same words would get echoed with smiles and giggles, I realized that she was not suicidal. Thank God for that! Perhaps it was a desire to get soaked in the rush of waves, to be drenched in salt or to be hugged in a smooth embrace. Honestly I never got to the core of the reason and the best part is that she is alive and thriving today.

For me however, it was never a walk into the sea. What fascinated me was standing on the sand and allowing the waves to come and massage my feet. It was an intimate moment with nature. As I stood there, the universe spoke to me secrets of the transient nature of life. Like the waves of the ocean, life too came with great force and then suddenly receded. There was nothing left and then again there was new birth; the cry of living could be heard again. It was so very distinct from the sounds of parting. There was always a sorrowful departure and then a joyful arrival.

As a child on a beach holiday, standing on the wet sand was always exciting. I had to keep moving my feet to prevent them from sinking deeper and deeper into the soft and wet mud underneath. The clapping of hands and the screams of joy came so naturally and energetically. Some waves came big and strong to knock me off my balance and taught me to stand strong, solid and firm.  And when I learnt that, even though the water engulfed me right up to my waist, I continued to stand unmoved.

Troubles too like these waves come to entice us with fear. We scream and shout and often clap our hands to draw attention of everyone around us at our plight. If though, in that performance we forget to stand firm, we get knocked off real hard. But then the waves do recede and we get another opportunity. Isn’t that wonderful?
Pic credits: Google

Saturday, 22 September 2018


On 20th September 2018, the Supreme Court told the media to tread cautiously in reporting rape. However it admitted that though there cannot be a blanket ban on reporting sexual abuse, molestation cases and rape cases, there has to be a line drawn somewhere to prevent sensationalising such incidents.

About a month back the world heard the screams of little girls from the Muzaffarpur shelter home in Bihar. Overnight this place of asylum became a place of alarm to be investigated into. A place intended to give refuge to the abandoned and the neglected, had sexual predators roaming free in it. The stories which began to leak out of the walls of lust shocked the world momentarily and then like always the world turned to look at other sensational stories. Media today bombards our breakfast, lunch and dinner tables with stories which give us indigestion and gradually build our immunity to horrible feeds.

The story of the 34 of the 42 girls, who had sought shelter in this horror home, was one of being drugged, violated physically, tormented and raped. Even a disabled four year old wasn’t spared the lust of some disgraceful men. Such savagery couldn’t have been possible without the loud screams of the victims breaking through the walls and today we are told that the residents living in the vicinity were probably conscious of the crime committed and yet preferred to let their conscience hide under a cloud of fear of the powerful few who often rule the many nincompoops.
The Muzaffarpur case is a sharp directive to the position of women and young girls and sadly even little baby girls in India. Being a developing country it has focussed on a lot of external developments. The present government has in fact invited the world to ‘Make in India’; but what our government needs to pay attention to is what is already ‘Made in India’ – HER MEN! A mass surgery needs to be done on the pervert eyes of many men of this land. I assume that I would be right in saying that there will not be even a single girl or woman in my country who has not been winked at, touched inappropriately, rubbed against in crowded public transport or stripped naked with dissolute eyes. Every woman has sometime or the other experienced any one or all of the above nauseating moments.

It is here, not the ‘Fault in our Stars’ kind of a story but ‘Fault in our Upbringing’ that has brought us to the level of transforming refuge homes into repulsion homes where a  place set up for protecting the unprotected becomes a ghost house as every inmate has a haunting story to share from there.
The world is evolving and her women are surfacing to be loud and bold. Women are today encouraged to be confident and ready to fight for their rights. And so we see them at various junctures demanding their freedom to wear short skirts or give up on the Dark Secrets, or to put it mildly, the traditions which are painful like FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) and the like. Since years now, Indian families have learnt to be proud of their daughters. The number of baby girls aborted or thrown into public waste bins has definitely lessened; but this progress has been one-sided. While the girls have had an upward journey, the boys have been neglected and a large number of them are yet struck up in their past dominance. The ‘He for the God and She for the God in Him’ sketch in the heads of a majority of the male members today desperately needs a face lift.
Generation after generation now, a majority of our boys are stuck in the era of the Sati Age. In those days young widows would be forced to jump into fires which consumed the body of their old-men- husbands and today also, worse still, little boys, young men and old men continue to burn the emotions of many a women.

However, not all men are left in the age old backyards, for instance an ex-student of mine urged me to write this post. He was horrified enough by the Muzaffarpur case to push me to write this piece. Probably he was taught right by his parents to respect women. Probably his mother taught him to cook like his sister, to take care of his younger siblings at home, to appreciate working women in his surroundings, to wash dishes and to take care of an ailing grand-parent. He was probably taught that all responsibilities had to be shared by both men and women. Probably he was taught to set his way of living right, to prioritize the other, even if she wore a skirt, tight jeans, a burkha or a bikini.
Today, I think that the Supreme Court needs to warn all parents to bring up their sons like Gayaz Khan, my ex-student. We have a few such Gayaz Khans, but the need is for many more in order to eradicate horror homes like Muzaffarpur.

Thank-you Gayaz.

Image Credit: Google

Thursday, 20 September 2018


As a child I had heard a story about a tiger who wanted to be the king of the jungle. This tiger was miserable and clothed in jealousy. He wanted all the love, respect and glory the Lion King got from all the other animals in the forest. His desire made him mad with envy and he tried to convince all the other animals in the forest about his greatness. But he realized that he could do that only if he demeaned the lion and so he tried hard to do just that. He like threw acid on the character of the lion and some foolish animals heard him out and believed his lies; but the wise ones kept a safe distance from the tiger’s burning jealous desires. As usual in stories evil cannot supersede good and so was the case with this tiger and lion story. Depressed about his inability to be one over the king of the jungle, he decided to leave the place and search for some other destination where he could rule like a king and get the same amount of respect he so much envied. He went to the sea and pondered about swimming across to reach an island where he could be the alone king, like the lion. He soon realized his incompetency but just then a whale swan towards him and asked him where he had wanted to go. The creature then obliged him by giving him a splashy ride through the waters to the island. On reaching the island, the tiger felt his stomach hungry for food; but there was nothing over there for him to eat. He had to endlessly wait there, a captive of  his own thoughts, till a ship anchored there and a few men came and put him in a cage and took him away to be shown to the world as their priced collection. He was now fed well but he had become a prisoner behind bars never to be set free to live a life of freedom.

This story probably holds an answer to the envious and jealous people in our world. They are like the tigers who want to be treated like the lions but have neither the royal capacity nor the self worth. They then go about being a menace to civilization and finally get caught in the prison of contempt.

Amazingly, the story revolves round the tiger who is the villain of the tale and not the lion who in fact is the king of the jungle. The question here therefore is not all about the tiger. The story teller doesn’t speak about the lion because it is well understood that the lion is the crux of the tale. I suppose the writer has not spoken about the lion because the lion in himself is great and needs no push or pull to hold ground. He is the modern day ‘I Am’. He stands unshakable and knows too well that the tiger is neurotically insecure.  He is like the eagle that remains unperturbed by the small storms and holds the ability to fly above them when the tiger is busy creating drama of pure lack of self-confidence.

The sad part of the story is that the tiger is a tiger by birth and no matter what, he can never bring about a transformation in his being, but the good news for man is that: “Being male is a matter of birth. Being a man is a matter of age. But being gentleman is matter of choice.” – Vin Diesel
Photo credits:Google

Sunday, 16 September 2018


It was in the year 1993, March 12th when a few college girls had planned a movie at the Satyam Theatre at Century Bazaar, Mumbai. This was a secret plan of theirs without the knowledge of their parents. To their bad luck, when after the movie they were waiting at the bus stop opposite Century Bazaar to go back home, the world of their parents got shaken up as the place where they were standing got blown up with RDX explosives. This was the worst ever terror attack faced by this city.

A friend of theirs had however not agreed to their plan and stayed back because she had felt it not right to go without informing her parents like they had decided to do. Till to date she thanks herself for the decision she had taken 25 years back because today unlike her friends she is alive to talk about it.

This temptation of lying had a sad ending. But don’t we as human beings often fall prey to temptations of lying and deceiving others, little knowing that the real battle is inside of us? We very well know what’s right and wrong and yet get pulled into the erroneous because of luring enticements.

 I recently came across a story about a little girl who gives us a very unique and invaluable perspective of living life beautifully. She expresses her everyday struggles and happenings in prayer to God. Though at the surface, all her struggles appear very naive and charming, they mimic the struggles every adult faces on a day to day basis. Like arresting nets, attractions imprison us in them forever. To keep ourselves safe then, we too like the little girl need to be more prayerful and have more conversations with God and wait on Him to cover us with His peace.

At one point, she talks to God telling Him how angry she is at her sister. She puts all the blame on her sister as she complains about her and expresses her desire for revenge. As the conversation grows, she realizes that she has been very petty to fight over silly things and begins to understand that she needs to be tougher, kinder and more uncomplaining to become a better person.

In the adult world too, people suffer from similar troubles. Holding on to bitterness and being revengeful or nursing a grudge against someone who has hurt us comes easily to adults. Hitting back or being bitter comes as largely natural to most people. Such small feelings become a big struggle for many. Petite unpleasant situations outside don’t take time to become big internal struggles. But the story tells us to take a correct approach to problem solving.  The little girl gradually decides to take no quick and rash decision as a backlash. Instead, she talks to God and waits to hear Him talk back to her. She patiently stays peaceful till His peace cleanses her negative emotions.

This story encourages us to have a realistic dialogue with God and not get weighed down in misery in various captivating nets of the world. As humans, we face conflicts and do things which we later feel sorry about; these could vary from person to person. For a college student it could be to attend class or bunk; for a young woman who has made the decision to lose weight, it would be whether to eat an extra piece of cake or leave it untouched; or it could be the keeping up with fashion; and deliberately wearing something in trend but unsuitable and uncomfortable. It could also be a longing to belong to a group for the desire to be accepted by people who appear to be bold, attractive and forceful. That’s obviously a clearly wrong choice of companionship and a very dangerous up gradation indeed!

These are then the times, where like the little girl in the story, we need to be more prayerful and have conversations with God.

“Watch with me and pray lest the Tempter overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak.” Mark 14:38

picture credits: Google

Saturday, 1 September 2018


Many believe that Krishna lived a full life of a 125 years and was 89 years old when the battle of Kurukshetra was fought. The Mausala Parva, one of the shortest books in the Mahabharata, describes the demise of Lord Krishna in the 36th year after the Great War had ended. It also mentions how the city of Dwarka got submerged when the sea broke its boundaries and rushed into it covering everything in it. It was only in a matter of a few moments before it all got over. There are many debates regarding Krishna’s existence as a reality or a myth. Some scholars believe that it was the Europeans who in the 19th century began questioning the beliefs the Hindus had held for millennia, because they wanted to spread Christianity. However, without getting into the intricacies of history and without bothering to get involved in the jargon of the historians, we could allow ourselves to profit from the life or story of Krishna as an analogy of living.

The story of Krishna tells us that he was born in a dark cell where his parents had been imprisoned and yet when he was born, the guards waiting at the cell fell asleep and the locked doors miraculously opened. Despite the turmoil regarding the actuality or the nonexistence of krishna, if we were to take his image as a symbol of Awareness, we could be benefited tremendously. In spite of all the darkness of man’s heart and the darkness of the world created by man’s selfish and destructive nature, if he were to allow Krishna- AWARENESS, to be born in his heart, he would be able to destroy the darkness of negative thought processes in which he has confined himself like in a prison cell. It would definitely not be an easy task because he would have to break open the door of Ego which had successfully imprisoned him for long; always thinking about himself and about the people or things which concerned him. The Chains which had kept him locked up were never gentle. They had the locks of pride of his belonging to particular Caste, Religion or even his Profession. These were old and unused locks which had collected rust from generations of ignorance and could only be opened with the Key of Knowledge which would need the oil of Understanding to wash off the rust and also hammer out their stubbornness with the help of Awareness.

Krishna is often depicted dancing with beautiful women; the Gopis who leave all their duties the moment they hear the music of his flute which never fails to invite the melody of love in their hearts. Today our ears have got accustomed to the sounds of war which often are the cause of lust, greed and anger; here we once again need awareness as the need of the hour, which is to shut our ears to sounds of hate and open them to the music of love. And like Krishna, we too don’t need to be young or strong in body to fight a battle with the wrong because it is not our age that determines whether we must fight or not, or can fight or not; it is our principles which give us the strength to face the conflicts of life bravely. If we could help ourselves to develop this Krishna consciousness and build the Krishna strength, we too would continue to live in the minds and hearts of people long after many Dwarkas were drowned in time.
Picture Credits: Google

Thursday, 30 August 2018


I came across a strange concept of ex-cravings today. Always having associated the word ‘craving’ with food, it was puzzling to understand the prefix ‘ex’ with it.

I learnt later that just as when on a diet or a fast, one could experience cravings for food; one could similarly also experience cravings when one had closed a relationship chapter. The desire or the need to once again indulge in talks, or the need for proximity would be natural but they would only open a probable can of worms shut tight otherwise and kept away for good.

It would however depend upon the reasons for which the relationship was severed. If it had been too painful and bitter in the past and had crossed limitations of forgiveness or forgetfulness, then it wouldn’t make much sense in reliving it in hope, since it would in all probability lead to despair once again and this time the misery could come twice over. Yes, distance does make the heart grow fonder but some distances are equally important for the health of the heart.

The question however is, what if the ex-cravings began to get too loud and demanding? Well, just as one needs a detox diet for the cleansing of an abused system, a detox in relations is equally needed and if this is not done and the abuse continues, it could be detrimental for the system’s functioning.

Every relationship if not built on the cornerstone of love, would sometime or the other prove a failure. It is therefore important to differentiate between love and dependence. A dysfunctional relationship would be shattering and therefore it would be important to recognize one’s self worth. Improving on one’s self-perception would be of great help to elevate the intrinsic value buried under the weight of depression. It is also important to remember that just as we demand respect from others for ourselves, we also need to get the same admiration from our self for ourselves.

We need to let go of those who have hurt us and not cling to them in hate. After all, rolling in the muck is no way in which we can clean ourselves.

So a real detox from an unhealthy relationship would happen when you would gather courage to stand up and take a walk; away from pain.
Picture Credits: Google

Thursday, 9 August 2018


Stop! Don’t let the world move on you and crush you in its speed.
Eckhart Tolle has said that when we lose touch with our self, obviously due to too much of external activities, we lose our self in the world. This overwhelming world outside, in which a large number of us want to be participating, has actually proved to be the cause of anxiety to many. This world is like a racing car which crashes on us when we lose control of it. The result is not only physical damage, but also emotional and sometimes worse still, a mental one.

This result oriented society seems to be driving many on us crazy. It has injected us with the drive to collect everything in large numbers and at a quick pace; even when it has really no value for us and we long to go slow. It’s simply probably the ‘more syndrome’ at work here. Some of us have got onto this bullet train of accumulation of degrees, success or power and strangely to a certain extent have realized that they don’t make sense; but now, we are unable to get off this speeding train. It sure would need courage to jump off this speedy and noisy worldly cacophonous machine and sit still and silent in nature.

Such accelerated lifestyle honestly gets us nowhere. We need to not only understand but also accept that our movement not necessarily gets us somewhere. In fact, our society has confused motion with progress. As Alfred A. Montapert says, “A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.” The question we now need to ponder over is, ‘what does progress mean to us individually?' If all activity is done with the intention of reaching a satisfactory goal, then a cushioned bed should help better in the comforts of rest than a plain mat. However, a stressed mind roughing up its mental peace to gain the rich couch may have troubled sleep, but a simple tranquil mind may have heavenly slumber on a coarse rug instead. It’s the vision and perspective of happiness here that makes all the difference.

A restless mind is often tossed on the rough sea of life while gathering its materials of comforts; but a silenced mind is like an anchor that saves one from self-destruction. The Chinese philosopher, Lao-Tzu put this as, “When there is silence, one finds the anchor of the universe with oneself.”
Picture credit: Google

Sunday, 5 August 2018


This friendship day, let’s be friends with ourselves too. The ways of the world today have made many of us hate ourselves. Let us therefore become our best friend, an intelligent one who can tell us the difference between what we need and what we want and not just make us want what the world wants us to want; a friend who will always be there with us and never leave us with feelings of loneliness. How often have we heard people say, “I hate myself for what I am”? We have always been taught to forgive and forget but have continued to be harsh with ourselves. It’s great to have friends whom we love but it’s equally good and much needed to recognize our self worth and inculcate self respect.

Of course it takes time to build friendship with our self and work on intelligently towards respecting it. Many of us may have been insulted by many camouflaged incompetent people, who out of envy or simply their habit of putting others down caused us an almost irreparable damage. They probably did their job to perfection when planting seeds of lack of confidence in us. Well, we need to recycle that waste generated in us to get the best by unlearning self detestation and replacing it with self respect. We are not worthless, undeserving or not amiable just because we are too dark skinned or too thin or too fat or too tall or too short or just too different in all ways. We need to give time to ourselves and value ourselves.

Our intelligent inside has been neglected enough in the gathering of external friends, and we have almost forgotten that there is someone within who wants to talk to us and guide us. Many friends outside are like dots on an art paper which we keep connecting in the hope of getting a perfect picture. It often crumbles though.

This reminds me of a lovely story of a student who once went up to his Master and asked, “Teacher, tell me how many friends does a man need? Would one be enough or many are needed?” The Master smiled and pointed to an apple tree in the orchard and said, “I’ll give you the answer but before that bring me an apple from the highest branch of that tree there.”  This made the student sad because the fruit was too high for him to reach. So the Master told him to take help from his friends. The student then called a friend who came readily to lend his shoulders. Standing on the shoulders of his willing friend, the student attempted to reach the target but was unsuccessful. The addition of friends began. One after another they made a pyramid to reach up to the highest branch. But the apple was yet too high to reach and the student had by now run out of friends. Also, due to exhaustion, the pyramid too crumbled.

The Master looking at the failed experiment, smiled and asked the student if he had got the answer to his question. The student nodded and said, “Yes sir, I have understood that man needs as many friends as he can to solve all kinds of problems he may face in life” and with a smile he added, “such as in this case, to reach the apple.”
The Master shook his head in disappointment and said, “Oh no! You didn’t need so many friends to reach you to the top by sacrificing their shoulders and go through physical pain. You only needed one good and smart friend who would understand that you needed a ladder!”

May be we need to think about where we are heading with the pyramids of friendships we are building today and ignoring the one inside us who is waiting to help us when we are alone. The pyramid out there looks wonderful, but will it stand the test of time or will it crumble under the weight of trials life often offers? Probably like the Master said, we need an intelligent friend; the one who is within us always and waiting to be acknowledged to help us reach the top. Perhaps we need a friend who can help us by bringing a ladder of understanding to recognize our own worth. This friendship day let us then look forward to meeting a friend who will introduce us to the one waiting in the interior to help us be acquainted with him instead of leading us to drown in a tsunami of acquaintances?