Sunday, June 14, 2015

My GRAND Grandparents

Like many I was blessed with love, affection of my grandparents. There are plethora of memories with them which I cherish and will take with me to the grave. According to me, I had the best grandparents in the world. Just looking at them gave me peace, tranquility, confidence and feel good factor. They showered on us, all cousins, all the love in the world, be it gifting us toys when we were toddlers to buying us all that we would ask for. It was not this that we loved them, but the wisdom, motivation, confidence that they instilled in us whenever required was a greatest gift they gave us. They were always with us. My paternal grandmother was a tough task master when it mattered, but was a softie at heart who would shower her unbridled love on me and my younger brother. She taught us the importance of doing things correctly be it eating habits, good manners or respect to the elderly. These good habits when instilled at young age, mold us to be good human beings when we grow up. We understood why she was strict when it mattered and that has stood in good stead all my life. We used to lovingly call her Akka Ajji.
Epitome of Love, Affection
We all, my cousins were the blue eyed boys of my maternal grandparents. During our vacation with them, we used to have fun abound. Playing carom, cards, antakshari with them will always stay with me more than good memories. We all used to call our granny Emma, after watching an English serial with the same name in those years, and that name stuck all through. She was an epitome of serenity and love. Just looking at her gave me a lot of calmness. She spoilt all of us with her giving nature and was a negotiator when our parents got angry at us. She was a fevi-kwick I would say, who binded all of us together forever. Even my paternal side was enamored by Emma’s loving nature. For all of us she will remain forever the source of love, affection, kindness, someone who was sent to earth to shower love love and only love.
My Grandpa's Mantra
My maternal grandpa, Appa was a simple man and he lead life like one. He was simplicity personified. He like my granny was loving by nature and always had a word of wisdom or two whenever mattered. His mantra of “Khup Khaycha, Khup khelaycha ani khup Abhyas karaycha” (Eat a lot, play a lot and study a lot) has stuck to me and will continue until my last day on earth. This simple mantra of his brings a lot of confidence and a sense of simplicity in life. This very sentence makes life uncomplicated. I would always thank him for giving me the SUTRA to make life easy. He was a staunched supporter of things Indian. Speaking in our mother tongue, Marathi was always high on his list. His words of wisdom, if we don’t take care of our languages, cultures, traditions, then who will? Had a major impact on my life and my thinking. With these teachings, I consider myself a strong proponent of my language, culture and tradition. In no way that undermines other languages or cultures. He was a great influence in my life and I would always consider myself lucky to have him.
A Scholar in my life
My grandpa’s brother Madhu kaka was like my grandfather as well. He was a scholar and taught English and Math’s in reputed Mumbai College. I very prominently remember when he admonished me for being poor at English grammar and math’s as I was preparing for my 10th board exams. He took me under his wings and taught me with great pains. He used to travel to our house to teach me, even though he had perennial ill health. Owing to his persistence and hard work, I excelled in both the subjects which I considered my enemies. He also taught me the importance of exercise and introduced Asanas in my life. I do remember practicing various Asanas with him. He was a savant and had mastered many traits. He had a great understanding on various subjects like relaxation techniques, medicine, Yoga, music etc. Just talking to him helped me learn so many things. He was a guiding light in my initial years of life.

I truly consider myself blessed, lucky to have them and for enriching my life. I definitely believe, it might be my good deeds in my past life or so that I had such lovely grandparents. While I write this I have tears in my eyes in memory of these great souls who were god send in my life.
Thanks sincerely from my bottom of my heart, Akka ajji, Emma, Appa and Madhu kaka. I will remember you all my life…

Monday, June 1, 2015

Gangs of New Delhi

One fine day a congregation was aggressively debating the state of affairs of their motherland. This debate at times would turn vitriolic, vilifying each other without any remorse. In colloquial lingo they were being BESHARAM. Each one of them took turns to take potshots at others accusing them to be callous in handling the issues affecting the motherland. Everyone claimed to have made significant contribution to the country’s growth and attributed to the well-being of every citizen of the country. They brazenly declared how compassionate they have been to the people of the country, be the rich, poor, educated, illiterate, male, female, young, old and everyone. Their chest thumping rhetoric’s were no less than emotional drama, played to the galleries. They even acted skillfully, proclaiming their support to specific communities and how some should be benefitted for being sidelined for ages and tortured by the ones who considered themselves superiors. This exchange of sound bytes gave an impression of how much they loved their country and its people, and that they wanted to bring positivity and turn over a new leaf in their life. Such a noble thought, isn’t it? In fact their entire conduct emanated sympathy, compassion for others. Their heartfelt love, care for their countrymen was something to hold close to the heart, forever. Hold On, there is a twist in the tale though.
Band of Robbers
These caring, loving gentlemen who were thumping their chest and claiming their allegiance to the country, the countrymen were in fact dreaded criminals, robbers who had were looting the country for ages. They carried out scams after scams, instigated violence amongst communities, religions. Murdered and raped women. Held common man hostage to maneuver their demands of reservations in jobs, education for some communities. They even helped escape a dreaded terrorist who was waging a non-stop war against the country. Their justification was, he was in fact a holy warrior who was simply carrying out his duties. One of these great men even accused the others of corruption and robbing the country of millions of rupees. One of them under the garb of development felled forests galore to build lavish homes for himself and his sycophants. One of them roared with pride promulgating how he got rid of a sincere law abiding officer who dared stopped him while he simply tapped the natural resources in an eco-sensitive zone. Accusing other of nepotism and favoring his family members in getting plump money making deals, was one, who for ages ran his real estate business where farm land was given to influential people at throw away prices and then the same land sold to corporates and other entities at exorbitant prices, thus minting money in millions. Do remember they are not “AAM AADMI”. While this shameless debate was happening, one comment took everybody by surprise, when this pathetic criminal said he and his family has been looting, laundering money for years together, but was very critical of the others for their transgression, as they were not doing anything for the well-being of the poor, unfortunate.
Veiled Hoodlums
A common man who saved himself from the prying eyes of these criminals was listening to their bravados and that left him crestfallen. He felt why people like him and others were left at the mercy of these scoundrels who play with people’s life under the name of well-being, progress and what not. He even felt, was rather confident of these hoodlums being very similar to our politicians who squabble, manipulate, and accuse others of wrong doing when they themselves are neck deep into it. They teach others what governance is when they themselves never followed. They hold protests and instigate their followers to indulge in arson, looting against some government bills which they feel are anti-farmers, anti-poor. They never bothered about the poor, the farmers in first place, and now they want to stall the development by promoting false propaganda. The same politicians who disrupt the parliament on the topic of black money, have their millions of dollars stashed abroad in Swiss banks. They all are biggest hypocrites who enjoy passing the buck. I am worried that we are the helm of such callous people who are more worried in holding to the power rather than work towards the betterment of its people. MERA BHARAT MAHAN.

What brings happiness in life ?

What brings happiness in life? Is happiness a choice? What are the ways to bring happiness in life? I am no sage, a motivational speaker or for that matter a spiritual guru to preach and educate you on the ways to be happy. Just that I have realized few things over of a period of time which I want to share with you. Without any doubt we all want to be happy, want our near and dear ones to be happy. We do everything possible to achieve the state of happiness but most of times it remains a wishful thinking. Why is it so, have you thought about it? Many a times we are the ones who quell the opportunities to be happy. We ourselves are to be blamed for being a spoilsport when happiness wishes to embrace us. So, without any procrastination let me share with you some simple ways to decipher the path to happiness.
Cry Babies No More
Let’s admit we all crib, complain all the time. We are the compulsive crybabies. We love to showcase ourselves as an epitome of tragedy and try hard to show how unlucky or under-privilege we are. Be it money, career or other worldly pleasures. We continue to compare ourselves with others and sulk and surround ourselves perennially with consternation. In doing so we only hurt ourselves and negate our thoughts. What do you expect to get in return with such unrest in the mind? Be sure to get only unhappiness, sadness and dismay. Someone has truly said “You can’t live a positive life with negative mind Remember while you crib, you are letting go the beautiful moments, experiences that come your way every day. Can’t we say, think, what a wonderful day it is today, god has been very kind to me? I am in good health, have a wonderful family. I am in the pink of my health, my career is going good, etc. believe me these thoughts, acknowledgements can do wonders to your mental wellbeing and make you happy. N C Phadke, one of the renowned Marathi literary figure says, allow the child in you to blossom and not crush it under the load of ego and social status. This child like streak in you has a great potential to make you happy. It’s easier said than done, but let’s give it a try and enjoy the moments by getting rid of the art to crib out of our life. 
Crib at your own perils
Crib at your own perils
Art of Sharing
Little bit of sharing with the underprivileged and less fortunate is not going to empty your possessions. Sharing is a great way to allow happiness in one’s life. Let’s agree we commit gluttony on a regular basis, while there is a class who is devoid of even a single meal a day. Can’t we share a meal or few tidbits with them to suppress their hunger? This gesture of empathy towards them will not only bring a smile on their face, but will bring a lot of happiness in your life. Try it to experience. We splurge voraciously like there is no tomorrow, on clothes and other worldly pleasures, we have designer clothes, footwear while some don’t even have a small piece of cloth that can protect them from harsh realities. Can’t we help cover their naked bodies that burn from the simmering heat, or drench in heavy downpour or for that matter shiver in ruthless cold? Let’s share and allow happiness to reside in our life.
Art of Sharing & Happiness
Art of sharing
Hobbies Interests and Joy
Involving ourselves to things we love to do is liberating. Many of us like to sing, write, paint, dance or have an acumen to pursue hobbies, but unfortunately we refrain from pursuing them. The reasons can be many, but the popular one’s are, we don’t have time, our job responsibilities never alleviate etc. While not indulging in things we like, we are only committing grave injustice to ourselves. Decide, plan to pursue the hobbies, no matter what it takes, it will surely bring joy, happiness in life, a welcome change, which would act as a catalyst for achieving other things. So liberate yourself, paint, draw, sing, act, read, and write, no matter if it doesn’t appeal others, as long as it pleases you. This indulgence for sure is going to bring happiness in your life, happiness, which, for long was playing hide and seek with you, happiness which you deserve.
Hobbies, Interests & Happiness
Hobbies and Interests brings happiness
Family Time, Good Time

As much as technology is a boon to the humankind, it’s proving to be a bane as well. Take for instance the gizmos and gadgets, they have taken over our life, we are so engrossed that we see them more than are dear ones. We are glued to them day n night, so much that we don’t have time for our own well-being leave aside our family. Study says, this overuse of gadgets have created a void between people, families. More n more people are getting addicted to them to the extent of being depressed. Conversation between family have dried down. No wonder the feeling of aloofness, emptiness has taken over leading to dismay, distress and unhappiness. No doubt means and size of the communication gadgets have increased manifold, but unfortunately communication between family members have decreased. This is experienced and seen in almost all households where family members especially the gen Y have no time to communicate with gen X. They are too busy with their gadgets, their life line. This communication gap can be reduced or eliminated easily if only you wish to. Spending quality time with the loved ones and interacting with the family is definitely a SUTRA for happiness. This rendezvous between members of family would improve the happiness quotient and feel good factor. These small gestures, practices would usher happiness in your life.

Happiness is a state of mind, and to achieve this state, individuals would have to practice some of the above ways or other to make it a reality or else happiness would always remain elusive, a mirage in your life.