My Magical Rock

(The following does not have to hit you as hard it hit me because I believed. If you believe you would love what you are going to read. If you do not believe I hope something would happen to you soon that will make you believe.)

The title is pretty clear to explain that I have a magical rock. I mean I really do. It was not a metaphor to some philosophy or life lesson. Here is a story for you.

Long ago – almost a year ago; I watched that video (documentary) they made from the book “the secret”. It was impressive at some points. In that there was a story of a man who had this little rock that he called “a gratitude rock”. What he used to do is now and then he would hold that stone in his hands and say things he is very thankful for. Nothing to do with the stone here, it’s just some idea he came up with. He would even carry the stone to make sure at least once or twice a day he does this “thank you for this and that” routine. 

Once when his friend’s son was sick, he sent this rock to him. They put the rock under this kids pillow or something (as I vaguely remember) and in few days the kid was cured; while good medicines did not seem to work for him. The point is this positive energy of being thankful was transformed into that rock over a period.

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Now, that story impressed me. I have no friend with a sick kid or no such mission to carry out, but the idea sounded perfect. The idea of having something that reminds you to be thankful to things and people you have around now and then. And so I started looking for my rock. My only purpose to have a rock that time was to start being thankful and appreciate more in my life.

When I started looking for this rock, I was determined to find something outstanding; something with a style and attitude of its own. It was almost like picking a star cast for a movie that has a potential to win Oscar. Then I started looking for that rock every where I go. On the streets when I am walking; in the park literally searching for it; hiking near the lake, I tried all I could. It was over a week to 10 days I seemed to find no rock that caught my eye or spoke to me.

One morning when I was at work – in the kitchen I had to put away a huge food-order delivery for a busy week. Doing my job like a normal day. Emptying boxes of produce one after another. Potatoes; tomatoes; eggplant, it actually was getting tiring. Then came the box of green beans. As soon as I turned over the box of green beans into a plastic crate there it appeared. The rock that I was looking for past 2 weeks. I wanted a little rock that was impressive with its style; that had an attitude; the one that will speak to me and make me pick it up. I was looking for it out in the streets and in the park but none of those million rocks spoke to me. And here, this one little rock came travelling to me all the way from “I don’t know where”.

 The one here and above is the picture of that rock I found. I found it had style and attitude. Why? Because it came looking for me all the way inside my work place kitchen, where even a fly cannot get in. Barely there is a bunch of cilantro with a little sand in it once in a while. Having this huge rock was just the most surprising thing I ever imagined in a produce order. And so I believed that very instant. I believed that’s gotta be it and so I kept it.

It was one of those happy days in my life. It felt great within to experience something amazing like this. They always said, “Look harder; try harder and you shall get it.” Well, I did look and try hard to find that rock and I think I tried a bit too hard and made this rock travel to me.

Later I kept it with me along with my other “holy” stuff (I’m a bit of religious guy). Reason keeping it with my chanting beads and other little talismans is because I do sit down to pray almost everyday. I tried carrying it with me but was scared it may scratch of the screen on my phone etc. was not a good idea to carry it everywhere. Ever since that day, when I sit down to pray; I hold this rock in my fist and think of all the people and things I am thankful for that includes, “My job (like it or not I am thankful for having one); my family (each with a different gift); my friends (each having little secret of mine to keep); my laptop; my phone…pretty much everything I love or use a lot and can think of at that time.

It really helps. Not by feeding positive energy and life into that rock, but by reminding myself of what surround me and how incomplete or unhappy I may have been if it was not for those things and people in my life. It really helps to realize everyday or now and then, that how good it feels to be thankful.

Hope you all have a good start to your week. In case you missed yesterday’s cartoon “blogs this week”. Check it out. It will give you an idea of what else is coming up this week.

Thank you for reading. Have a great Monday (who am I kidding? We all know Mondays are bad and lazy).

Lessons in Movies – 1 (running after your passion – spoiler alert)

So this is only the first article under the topic of “Lessons in Movies” and there are going to be a few more.

These articles may contain “Spoiler Alert“, although I will do my best to keep the secret the way it should be – interesting and for you to find out.

Today’s movie pick (as I mentioned in yesterday’s blog is “The Big Year“).

Currently I am writing an e-book and there is a chapter in that book about “getting in touch with nature”. I must admit I found the most amazing way in this movie – The big year, to get in touch with nature. It is about birding.

Speedy Sparks birding on a day off

The story is about few passionate birders (people who like spotting different species of birds). These birders don’t describe birding as a hobby but they define it as a passion. That will remind you that every one of us has different passion. I am sure you are passionate about something in particular.

Now, there are three main characters played in this movie by “Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson“. There is a birder with a world record and he is trying to break his own record this year (in the story). There are other 2 main characters who are his competition. All three of them carries same passion for birding.

But they all are making different sacrifices and they all are prioritizing different things in their lives. That reminds me of some of us, who may put Passion first in life while others will make sure their passion do not cause any damage in other part of life. That is the lesson in this movie.

You will see a journey of these 3 competitors across america and other parts of the world just for spotting a bird. But these characters have different situations in their life and different challenges. This movie will teach you exactly by the end that how your passion can effect positively or negatively to your life.

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You see we all grow up doing different things; making different choices; loving something more than the other in our lives. But, at the end what matters is “your inner happiness and satisfaction” with the choices you made. 

This realization was the best moment in the movie. I must say you gotta watch it. Sometimes, not only the journey counts but it is also the ending or what some of us call the destination. Same quote I put down in the beginning of a chapter in my fictional book (as much as I love bragging about it, I confess I have hit a huge block in that fictional story which I haven’t managed to overcome in past month now. So, for now only moving on with my e-book. Thank God at least something is going on).

So, watch this movie and see if you find it interesting. I watched it just because the cast and crew sounded very interesting to me and at the end of the movie I felt I got away with more than just the entertainment.

A story of Two Brothers – Resolve conflicts.

An old widower died a few years ago leaving his 2 sons behind, a beautifully built house in the suburbs and a shoe factory. Both the sons knew how much hard work their parents had to do to have built a house like that. After losing both the parents, this house was the only sign left of the love there was in that family for one other.

As the time passed those 2 brothers got older. Every brick of the wall in that house was once full of love, had started feeling the coming of the unknown and unexpected. There was one day when the brothers got into a conflict. There was an argument about taking a decision over selling the old shoe factory. It was that night when for the first time the center wall of that house was shaken with a threat and so it started appearing with a little crack.

It was a month later when that crack in the wall got bigger, after taking all the vibrations from the growing differences between the two brothers and their own families. Sadly, both the brothers only noticed the crack but did not make an effort to fix it.

Now, finally the shoe factory is sold today. Both the brothers are living in the same house their parents built with love but it only looks a bit different now. Where there was a little crack once, there is a whole new wall which divides the center wall and so separating the house into two equal shares. Those brothers have changed the way that house looks; because now it has separate gates each facing east and the west, so they do not have to see each other’s face anymore. The very beautiful welcoming gate on the north side is rusty and on that gate hangs a giant chain with a five lbs heavy lock.

There were efforts; time; money; dreams and feelings put in making of that house. But now, only separation; division; envy; jealousy and silence practiced there.

What would you have done when you saw that crack first appeared? Would you have let it grow if you were one of those two brothers? We all seldom have, knowingly or unknowingly helped such cracks to grow into a whole new wall. Maybe we still are doing it every day.

Time takes actions quietly. Take control now. Say no to conflicts. Grow no conflicts – at work; at home and most of all in any relationships.

Take a moment and look over your shoulder. Look for any such conflicts in which you contributed to start with. Go back, try to correct it. Apologize if need to.

United we rule. United we grow. Together can we spread more love.

Say no to conflicts

Building the future (help kids grow better)

Have you ever referred a few quotes from “Swami Vivekananda”? An Indian monk, who was one of the most influential leader of spirituality. When you read few of his words you would notice he is trying to inspire the “youth” of today. It is specially the young generation he inspires with his words to bring revolution. He did not do that for Indians only but for the people all over the world. 

If there is a lesson I have learned from reading many of all his words and if I would ever be asked to put all of that into one line, I would say “make sure your kids learn well and learn right”. Because, the kids; the new generation today is going to hold the key to our future. We have to put efforts into them in order to have our secured future. I don’t mean to sound selfish there. We have to make sure the future world is looking like a better place to live for them. We are not going to have lots of years to live if the hell on earth was created instead of heaven. It would be them left behind to deal with it. We are responsible. 

I like to spend time with my niece mostly in a way that she gets away with some learning. If nothing at least I can be sure if she is not with her parents, she needs to be around people who are good for her character building. 

She is only 5. Last weekend I spent time with her making our own story book because I could not take her to the library. I am still waiting on my fiction to get published but I realized this little story book of 5 pages is something I can call “my first book ever”. I tried to teach her a bit of optimism. Following are the pictures of all those pages from that little story book. 

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That story book was produced last week when I was tired of noticing her complaining and not satisfied with what she has. Believe me or not, “This worked”. 

Another day she was asking about getting a board game. Sure we can afford a few, but why should you spend money on something you can make at home that would help kids being more creative and also learn to do things by them selves. 

This is a picture of the board game we made about a month ago. 

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All she likes is Dora and Disney princess. All we did is get a few stickers from the store, crayons are always handy and so are the markers and we have a new board game. Few of you people may be annoyed thinking “how to keep kids busy”. Well making this game kept us busy for at least an hour or two. Later on she is even more busy playing this because this is designed the way she wants it. Her favorite characters, her favorite scene and her imagination combined with my creative side.

Believe me, no matter how hard it is to keep a kid busy but if you spend time with them I promise they will grow up listening to you or at least hopes are high. 

The building of the world tomorrow is totally up to the kids today. If we want a better world, we need to have thinkers, creators, artists and most of all optimists. 

(The pictures and ideas presented here or in any of my blogs are my personal creations and clicks. I am crossing those limits of copyrighting. I expect you do the same.)

The story book idea I have personally tried myself for few days, it seem to help.

HOPE YOU ENJOYED READING THIS.

 

 

 

Blogging – The real deal

Alright Bloggers, Ready to hate me? Because here I am going to try hard to help you realize the harsh reality. 

This blog is nothing meant to be negative at all. It is just to the point very practical work of mine. 

This is my new-born brain child and if reading this offends you as a blogger, think again. It is not meant for offending you at all, this is just for people who do not notice the other side of the blogging. You know the side that is other than, “you are already famous person, so you don’t have to work hard to be a famous blogger“. 

At some point we all started blogging and that started with one or other reason. For some of us it was just a place to rant; some thought to share what they think the world should know; some want to show off; some want to make money with it; some want to spread awareness – all those reasons are good. If you have a reason to blog, that fact itself is good enough that you have a reason. Image

 

In my upcoming fiction book “HOW TO WRITE A BOOK” there is a story of a young Indian boy who is 18, leaving his home country for first time and meeting people all around the world travelling from one country to another to learn cooking from the best of the teachers he can find. While learning to cook and becoming a good chef he also participates in a child sponsorship program. Just at the beginning of all of that, he looks at the website of the company, which is running this sponsorship/charity program and reads all the rules and restriction the sponsor has to obey while communicating with the kid through letters. Reading that makes him realize how “human being” that is  so smart of their brains, has actually managed to complicate things in the world. We needed banks but just having our money safe and having them dispensing at our need was not enough, so now we juggle with all the loans, and payments and then retirement savings plan and there is so much more. He realizes that inventing fire and wheel was not enough of course, but now things are just too complicated. 

Today, I was busy working on that story ahead and I realized that same sort of feeling sometimes all of us may have had when we started “Blogging” .When all of you at some point in the past were nothing, who may have lots of blogs and fans and followers now (if you are just a reader and not a blogger or a writer, then this line does not apply to you but keep reading this gets interesting or at least I think so). When a person starts blogging, faces an issues like, 

  • where are all the readers?
  • why no views?
 
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Then that fresh blogger suddenly starts looking for answers to all those problems, then he discovers “Tagging” so that way the blogger can drive people to read their blog and increase “Traffic” to the blog. Then a blogger finds out “OH ! So, I must have a routine to publish my posts. I see. ” Then a blogger comes up with a set schedule, then after few more days or in some desperate cases “hours”, a blogger learns more techniques of increasing – traffic; daily views and clicks and so on. Then comes a stage where a blogger cannot be at peace without writing a blog, which eventually leads a blogger to keep checking if the traffic to his blog is increasing or not. A blogger wants to check that progress even when he/she wakes up to pee at 2.47am. 

Sometimes from having nothing to do with one thing, our whole world starts rotating around that very same thing. It happens before we even know it. But, its okay. If you keep up a positive perception it is more like a feeling of, “Hey, congratulations! You are a passionate blogger.” But only poor blogger knows how much struggle he/she has made to get those 1247 views till date and having 74 followers from 12 different countries. Not an easy task. 

It is so interesting how one came up with the idea of “blogging” and evolved it to this stage. Now, let me bring you that part from my book again. Sometimes we love complicating things. We have already started long ago. We will never stop. We will keep finding new things and keep making them more complicated everyday. But, do not worry. It is totally normal; it is okay and most of all it will still be under control like everything is now or is it? 

This blog is dedicated to all the bloggers who have worked really hard to get where they are today, feeling happy and satisfied about it. I just have one prayer for everyone reading this. Whether you are a reader; a blogger; a cook; a doctor; a garbage man; a bus driver; a police-man, I pray that almighty gives all of us the sense to realize “what we have, when we have is enough”. I pray that he would help all of us from not going crazy asking for more than we can handle.
 

Good luck !!! Happy reading. Happy writing. 

Talk about Willingness and Survival

Every time we would have a busy night at work, all of us would get out of the kitchen together and meet at the bar next door for a nice chilled pint of beer. And then go to Charlie’s the only amazing place to have the best fish and chips. Charlie only opened his small store after 6pm every night till midnight. Within 6 hours he would make big money. Only reason he could do that, was his consistent smile and quality he would serve his customers. People would line up outside his store from 4.30pm to eat there. Chef Gray told me once, Charlie was the best example I can study over “willingness”. Chef Gray strongly believed that he succeeded because he was willing. He knew Charlie since 1997. When he first opened his store he had a few assortments on the menu that he used to cook. Still he barely had 10 people eating in one evening at his store. For over 7 months he kept on with the same low business. Chef told me he used to observe that Charlie would keep changing his recipes or daily specials to come up with new creations. Only thing that kept Charlie going was his willingness to succeed. Over a period of few months Charlie figured out what his customers like and today Charlie is only serving Fish and Chips and he has at least 150 people eating at his store in a single evening. He never advertises for his business. He only keeps the quality consistent. He delivers the same quality every day. He is willing to greet his customers with that same broad smile; he is willing to cook; he is willing to keep that passion for cooking at the best and knows just how to have his team keep up with it too.

 

That night walking back home was different. I was thinking of Chef Gray and Charlie who are setting good example for people like me who are starting to climb the first few steps in the ladder of their career. I thought of appreciating these people by thinking “may be there could be a book about them and lot of others out there may get inspired by their work”. My writer brain was trying to wake up. I was growing tired of my head trying to figure out what book to write, yet it was keeping me entertained. I started thinking it is not about what you end up doing or where you end up going, it is more about having fun doing it or getting there. You just have to be in the moment and enjoy what you are doing no matter what would be the final result. Living is easy, tough part is not to let it turn into survival. There is a thin line between living and surviving. I often recognize people without passion as survivals in this world. If you have no smile, no fun, no passion that you live for you are not really living. Life comes with breathing; with feeling. Moments pass by you quickly, you have to capture every moment and turn it into something great, something memorable, and something amazing. Then you can feel that you are alive and you are living, and not surviving like some of us are.