Taking Offence

The telling or being discreet.

The love, the hate, or both being excessive.

The beauty or the lack of it.

The freedom or the imprisonment or the love.

The dirt around or the exquisite cleanliness of it all.

The growth of the mind, the body, the conscience or the absence of it all.

The humor or the seriousness of it all.

The over flow of energy or the vacuum

The exemplary art or the artlessness

The praise or the critique or the criticism

The hunger, the pain or the pleasure

The company or the absence of it

What is it that offends

What is that piques

Those that rejoice in taking offence?

I wouldn’t know.

Would you?

 

 

 

To Sing

How beautiful is it to sing

to be able to lend music to your voice

to touch a heart or two

in verses that may not yet be yours

how divine is it be blessed so

with a voice that plays on a string or two

of hearts one or more

how gifted are these

that know to pitch a song

in tunes that are perfect to ears

how soothing is it to hear

the melody of the soul

blessed are those that sing

pouring heavenly manna

into parched lives.

And the sky walked in….

And the sky just walked in 

a picture in azurest blue

dangling silver

swaying grace and dignity

we watched wonder-struck

wide her hips

open her heart

a killing smile played on her lips

she stopped a moment

as if to acknowledge an offering

and walked on

we craned our necks to see

her speechless dignity

beauty we had seen before

but what we saw in her today

defied every explanation

coz in her sat every hue

dressed in its glory.

PS: Inspired by my beautiful colleague dressed in blue.

 

Between resources and resourcefulness, choose the latter

Mr. Dikshit the Director at Agarwal Public School, Indore walked into my class one day. He then said, ‘Would you mind if I take some time of your class?’. Though I didn’t quite like the interruption, I conceded to his request. ‘Colour chalks, mam?’ He turned to me again. I excused myself and went to get the same from the office. However I returned empty handed and he remarked,’ Be resourceful!’. I  resented the uninvited comment on my of teaching for a long time.

It is only when I read about Karoly Takacs that I realized what indeed is resourcefulness.

Born in Budapest, Hungary in the year 1910,Karoly Takacs grew up to become one of the finest pistol shooters in the world. In the year 1936, he was hopeful of representing his nation in the biggest sporting extravaganza, the Olympic games. This, however, was not to be because he was not permitted by the army which he had joined to participate. Takacs life took a grim turn when in the same year a hand grenade exploded in his right hand, taking away his precious tool,equipment and his only life boat to get to an Olympic medal.

The sporting world had written off Takacs, when in 1948, he made an appearance in the sporting arena. Takacs won the Olympic gold for pistol shooting that year, shooting with his left hand.

What an incredible story!

Something that makes us think twice before we complain.

My mother lost her favourite child, my brother to a prolonged illness. The years of agony and the loss of her beloved child left her devastated. She stopped visiting temples and offering pujas to deities. She, however, continued to help the elderly in the locality, visiting them, accompanying someone to the hospital or a visit to the temple etc. Spiritually inclined, she had picked up quite a few Sanskrit shlokas as a kid and with a group of like-minded ladies she initiated an Akshara Shloka class in Chalapuram, Calicut.

She then went on to become the President of the Ladies Wing of the Mythri division of the Chalapuram taluk. Last year while distributing books and school bags to students of a government school, she delivered her first public address. She tells me of how her speech was welcomed with a thunderous applause. Simple as she is, all she advised the youngsters is to grow big, grow great and eat right.

I am yet to see another woman, who is so resourceful and ready to help any one. Whenever life tests me, all I do is remember this woman who admits of not having studied beyond tenth standard but is blessed with infinite wisdom,practicality and commonsense.

Being resourceful is then a mindset. Some among us will waste a life time complaining of what we don’t have, others will find ways to reach where they want no matter what.

Every morning, choose life, choose the blessings in your life and know that if losing his right hand did not stop Karoly Takacs from reaching where he wanted to reach, nothing should stop you too!

 

 

 

Actualize your dream

“While I as a south Indian will have my dinner, I will also keep the barter ready for the dosa for the next day’s breakfast”, quipped a friend. And that is what is called planning.

If you have have wishes unfulfilled, dreams not yet realized and if that frustrates you, then you should keep your barter ready for the tomorrow that comes your way.

So, let me ask you. What dreams have you? Become stinking rich, be powerful, enjoy fame and attention, possess a great physique, set a world record or get up early for that morning walk?

What ever your dreams be, whatever your wishes are, you need to start some where, some time soon, to work on getting them become real.

Say for instance, your dream is to found a great institution of learning. Then you should ask your self what have you done to actualize it?

Have you contacted a few school owners to understand how they went about setting up their schools?

Have you discussed with your friends to find out what is there expectation from a great place of learning?

Do you follow the latest regulations and reforms happening in the field?

Or at least have you thought about the best players in the market?

Do not waste your precious time to act by sitting on the fence.

Do not be afraid of failures.

Remember no body can take away your learning in the event of your failure.

Here’s what I learnt.

# Start somewhere, anywhere, but start.

Make your to do list, meet up with like-minded people, dream, write your idea down, talk about it with passion and enthusiasm and the universe helps you begin your journey towards your goal.

# Spend time visualizing you achieving your goal.

Sit back and dream. Yes live your dream in your dream. Live it out. Relish being where you want the way you want with who ever you want in your head. As Vivekananda said, ” Take up idea, make that idea your life- think of it, dream of it. Live on it” and the idea or the dream is a reality.

# Chunk your grand wish into small palatable pieces.

Break up your goal into tiny little tasks to be done on a daily basis. Let me tell you here, that it is my ambition to become a writer that got me to blogging. As I put up my blogs, I know I am getting there sooner or later. And it helps to know that I am getting better at writing by the day:-)

# Commit on a daily basis

Be committed to your goal by checking whether you are on track. The chunking of your larger goal is what you should help you to stay committed. Don’t forget to compliment yourself on doing it. May be you can go out with yourself to a movie or coffee date.

# Respect the fact that time is a limited commodity

When we realize that life and time itself is a limited commodity, our priorities become clearer and we do sort of start working towards them. For instance, if you are aiming to get on to that favorite television show of yours, your time is certainly running out. If you are planning to get fit and then look around for your partner, well, seriously, fitness is not something that deserves to be kept for another day.

# Stay focused but be relaxed

No journey to greatness can be made possible without the right mindset. Stay on track but enjoy your journey. Don’t get stressed out because your time in the sun is not right now. And don’t worry that some body else is basking in glory.

Believe me, your great time is on its way!

Here is to actualizing your dream, three cheers!

What are you waiting for?

Go, get going!!!

 

 

 

It Must Be Difficult

I know it must be difficult to trust yourself every time.

It must be difficult to go just by what you know.

It must be difficult to not have a say in what happens around

It must be difficult to not have a penny in your pocket.

It must be difficult to be accused, taunted and teased.

It must be difficult to know that your value has plunged to the lowest of the low.

It must be difficult to be your own company.

It must be difficult not to know what is right any more.

It must be difficult to find your smile again and your strength and your hope.

It must be difficult to find yourself not counted again and again.

Yet, it is not more difficult than not standing up for yourself

And beginning to listen to yourself, to remember your strengths and loving your company.

It is not more difficult than not being able to respect who you are and what you stand for.

It is not more difficult than not trying to change or a lifting a finger to alter your destiny.

Because, friend, destiny is the script you write for yourself.

Get up, get going, the forest will clear, a new path will appear.

Trust me, been there,done that too:-) Cheers!

A Sample 2 Minute Speech

Here are three simple things to remember while giving a speech.

  • Tell the audience what you are going to tell them.
  • Tell them.
  • Tell them what you told them.

Simple! right! that’s just the way to present a speech that lasts for 2 minutes. Does it look difficult? It definitely is not.

To make an impact in all of 2 minutes or more all you need to do is to think of 3 valid points related to your topic.

Again any topic you are given to speak on you will have three sides. What are those?

The first is taking a stand for the topic. ‘For’ meaning arguing  for or presenting the positive aspects of the topic given.

The second is to take a stand against the topic and highlight all the negative aspects of the given topic.

The third would be to go neutral and present a balanced view of the topic given to you.

In general most speakers would try to present the positive aspects  of the given topic and then touch upon a few negatives before winding in a neutral tone. How you go about presenting your views depends entirely on your outlook or the context in which you present your speech.

Your ability to add meaningful quotes, anecdotes, examples, data will further add to the quality and convincing ability of your speech. A call to action will ensure that your listeners will have a definite take away from your speech and will most probably recall it and follow it up with some action later.

For example let’s take the topic “Rain”.

As you can see, I have kept it very simple. 3 main points with a little elaboration. 1 call to action and conclusion and this speech is mostly positive in tone.

Introduction: One of my most favorite memories is walking back home with my friends, holding an umbrella all wet and having fun while trying to splash muddy water at each other. Piping hot pakodas and a hot cup of tea always made rains a fun time for me.

Point 1:Rain is beautiful. Watching the rain fall on to ground and fill the land is a refreshing sight. Have you ever smelt the fragrance of the first drops of rain? Heavenly…that is. Great sleep, excellent food and the comfort of home is all the more special during heavy rains.

Point 2:Rain is nourishing. Yes, it is. It is the rain that fills our streams, ponds and rivers. For the farmers, the rain is nothing less than a boon. In our country even to this day, farmers depend on natural sources of water and rain is there fore much awaited. You would have read in the news papers of how farmers pray for rains and celebrate its arrival with gusto.

Point 3: Rain is essential for our survival on the planet. The survival of life on the planet depends on the availability of drinking water and its the rain that brings this much valuable resource. Across the countries and the continents there is an increasing awareness about the need to preserve water. This is because of a dangerous life threatening phenomena called ‘drought’ resulting in water scarcity across the planet. Are you doing your bit to conserve water?

Call to action:There are a few things that each one of us can do  to make our little contributions to conserving water. Like stopping wastage of tap water, using rain water harvesting, taking care not to pollute water resources like lakes, ponds and rivers can help us ward off the dangers of water scarcity.

Conclusion: Water then is the very essence of life. It is nothing but the heavenly ‘manna’, a gift to be preserved and used judiciously. Thank you.

* Pakodas- Indian snacks