Us – Human being

A human being has never managed to stay too far from the darkness. What we really have to fight for is the light. The day brings you light, the night brings you darkness. 

Having your hands cover your eyes drags you into darkness in a second. But reaching light with your eyes closed demands the greatest discipline. The kind of discipline only found in a monk. The ever so enlightened monks – who fear nothing, who have mastered not to show any reactions to the behavior and acts of those who surround them. Letting go the urge of reacting to something can lead us all closer to that inner and ever so shining light. 

Unfortunately we are not monks. Pity how we do not bother to practice any such discipline. We are sadly mistaken simple people, who is rightfully referred as “human being”, who has never managed to stay too far from the darkness.

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Spreading the lightness has truly proved to be the hardest task. But there is a sign of hope I find in Andy Williams “Impossible Dream”

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star.

There was a time when I would write a blog here after skipping a few days, and feel like “Yes, I am back”. But now, after having to update 4 different blogs publishing writings of different genres, trying to find what genre of writing I can swim into without having a fear of sinking some day, it is tough to keep track of it all.

Good thing among all of this is the battle to keep writing continues. It only tells me that I haven’t given up yet. I haven’t given up after the disappointments from many of my friends who said are waiting to read “Get Inspired Get Thinking” book but have never bothered even downloading it for a dollar. On the other hand, there was a hope given from all the strangers who continue to send me positive feedback through blogs or e-mails.

For the same I must continue trying. This one is for all those, who are forever hopeful to reach the light or die trying.

Get Inspired Get thinking – the ebook

 

My first e-book is coming out soon. For more updates subscribe by entering your e-mail, or simply click on FOLLOW button.

“Get Inspired Get Thinking” promises you to keep you inspired n keep you thinking for good. This is volume 1 of Get Inspired, Get thinking that will be published n available to buy soon. I am already working on volume 2 to bring you something even better.

My dream of writing something inspirational has come to reality only because of all your support and it was always you the readers, who kept guiding me to strive for better and bigger. You – the readers always kept me inspired to keep writing. I am very thankful for that.

We will keep the journey continued. Soon will be publishing the final contents, and a sample of the book here. so keep an eye. 🙂

Thank you.

God is Now here

Some believe, “God is nowhere”.

If you shift that W in no where adding a space then it reads, “God is now here”.

Feel the presence of God, and everything will feel smooth and under control.

This blog is inspired from couple of signs I read in this week. I am usually a person, who observes what is going on and try to relate one thing to another and try to read the sign.

It was last week, I took my wife to a “new immigrant evaluation” program. She was to give some English language test there. After the test was over, I had a chance to talk to the examiner. The chat was interesting and I told the examiner how I enjoy writing and catch simple mistakes in English I use, as I keep writing more everyday.

When talking about writing she said, “If you are writing for a good purpose, what you must do before you sit down to write is try talking to God folding your hands, and ask to give you the most pure and inspiring thoughts that will help you and the readers in a positive way.”

I was touched by what she said. To some of you it may sound a bit stupid, but I thought over what she said over and over. It made a lot of sense when I lately tried it a few times. I am not too sure of what I wrote and what I am writing is any good and if my words have the impact I wish I can put into it, but lately every time I sit down to write, I feel more and more confident after I have prayed to God to help me unleash the most inspiring thoughts to generate more good and more positive out there.

Something similar came to my way when I put my mp3 on 2 days back.

I mix different genre of music in my play list. While listening to 2pac n Elton John’s “Ghetto Gospel” soundtrack, I found a line something similar.

“I feel his hand on my brains, when I write rhymes; I go blind and let the Lord do his thang.”

That was part of 2pac’s rap in that track.

Like I mentioned earlier, I read signs. I have a habit of observing and relating one thing to another, trying to get the bigger picture.

Well, that is just me. But if you ever feel down and feel God is nowhere, try convincing yourself to believe, “God is now here” and God will show up. He won’t show up in his direct form, but he will show up in your actions and in your thoughts indirectly making you feel his presence.

Good luck trying that.

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My ebook is coming out soon. I know I bragged about it long and was away for too long. Too bad of an image to create, when you have followers. But now my cooking exams are clear, and back to writing. the ebook is ready to be edited and to go to amazon.

Will see you with more very soon.

Keep reading and spreading the germs of positivity and try inspiring someone; you may just make their day or may be their whole life, you never know. 

 

 

The day I stopped drinking milk – an inspiring story.

Following is a story I am copy pasting from my inbox of Yahoo. The fiction I am writing is something similar to this story line and it was brought to my attention. The picture on the right is of Sudha Murty. She has collected stories and put them together in a book, one of the stories is included here as you will read ahead.
Very inspiring true story. Something that I always insist the readers to do. Help the kids. Once again in the story below it is proved that helping a kid into a right direction will help us build a better world for tomorrow. Not only the future will be healthy and in the hands of responsible citizens but will also help continuing the chain of doing good to the next one found in need.
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Sudha Murty, chairperson, Infosys Foundation and author, is known for her ability to glean interesting stories from the lives of ordinary people and weave these narratives into a unique blend of anecdote and fable.
Her latest collection of stories, ‘The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk’, features a fascinating cast of characters, each of whom made an indelible impression on the author. Extracted here is a nugget from ‘Bombay (Now, Mumbai) to Bangalore (Now, Bengaluru)’, one of the most heartwarming stories in this collection:

It was the beginning of summer. I was boarding Udyan Express at Gulbarga railway station. My destination was Bangalore. As I boarded the train, I saw that the second-class reserved compartment was jam-packed with people. I sat down and was pushed to the corner of the berth. Though it was meant for three people, there were already six of us sitting on it…

The ticket collector came in and started checking people’s tickets and reservations.. Suddenly, he looked in my direction and asked, ‘What about your ticket?’ ‘I have already shown my ticket to you,’ I said.

‘Not you, madam, the girl hiding below your berth. Hey, come out, where is your ticket?’ I realized that someone was sitting below my berth. When the collector yelled at her, the girl came out of hiding.

She was thin, dark, scared and looked like she had been crying profusely. She must have been about thirteen or fourteen years old.She had uncombed hair and was dressed in a torn skirt and blouse. She was trembling and folded both her hands.. The collector started forcibly pulling her out from the compartment. Suddenly, I had a strange feeling. I stood up and called out to the collector. ‘Sir, I will pay for her ticket,’ I said.

Then he looked at me and said, ‘Madam, if you give her ten rupees, she will be much happier with that than with the ticket.’

I did not listen to him. I told the collector to give me a ticket to the last destination, Bangalore, so that the girl could get down wherever she wanted.

Slowly, she started talking. She told me that her name was Chitra. She lived in a village near Bidar. Her father was a coolie and she had lost her mother at birth. Her father had remarried and had two sons with her stepmother. But a few months ago, her father had died. Her stepmother started beating her often and did not give her food. She was tired of that life. She did not have anybody to support her so she left home in search of something better.

By this time, the train had reached Bangalore. I said goodbye to Chitra and got down from the train. My driver came and picked up my bags. I felt someone watching me. When I turned back, Chitra was standing there and looking at me with sad eyes. But there was nothing more that I could do. I had paid her ticket out of compassion but I had never thought that she was going to be my responsibility!…

I told her to get into my car. My driver looked at the girl curiously. I told him to take us to my friend Ram’s place. Ram ran separate shelter homes for boys and girls. We at the Infosys Foundation supported him financially. I thought Chitra could stay there for some time and we could talk about her future after I came back from my tours.

I was not sure if Chitra would even be there. But to my surprise, I saw Chitra looking much happier than before. Ram suggested that Chitra could go to a high school nearby. I immediately agreed and said that I would sponsor her expenses as long as she continued to study. I left the shelter knowing that Chitra had found a home and a new direction in her life.

I got busier and my visits to the shelter reduced to once a year. But I always enquired about Chitra’s well-being over the phone. I knew that she was studying well and that her progress was good.. I offered to sponsor her college studies if she wanted to continue studying. But she said, ‘No, Akka. I have talked to my friends and made up my mind. I would like to do my diploma in computer science so that I can immediately get a job after three years.’ She wanted to become economically independent as soon as possible.. Chitra obtained her diploma with flying colours. She also got a job in a software company as an assistant testing engineer. When she got her first salary, she came to my office with a sari and a box of sweets.

One day, when I was in Delhi, I got a call from Chitra. She was very happy. ‘Akka, my company is sending me to USA! I wanted to meet you and take your blessings but you are not here in Bangalore.’.

Years passed. Occasionally, I received an e-mail from Chitra. She was doing very well in her career. She was posted across several cities in USA and was enjoying life. I silently prayed that she should always be happy wherever she was.

Years later, I was invited to deliver a lecture in San Francisco for Kannada Koota, an organization where families who speak Kannada meet and organize events. The lecture was in a convention hall of a hotel and I decided to stay at the same hotel. After the lecture, I was planning to leave for the airport. When I checked out of the hotel room and went to the reception counter to pay the bill, the receptionist said, ‘Ma’am, you don’t need to pay us anything. The lady over there has already settled your bill. She must know you pretty well.’ I turned around and found Chitra there.

She was standing with a young white man and wore a beautiful sari. She was looking very pretty with short hair. Her dark eyes were beaming with happiness and pride. As soon as she saw me, she gave me a brilliant smile, hugged me and touched my feet. I was overwhelmed with joy and did not know what to say. I was very happy to see the way things had turned out for Chitra. But I came back to my original question. ‘Chitra, why did you pay my hotel bill? That is not right.’ Suddenly sobbing, she hugged me and said, ‘Because you paid for my ticket from Bombay to Bangalore!’

(Excerpted with permission from Penguin Books India from Sudha Murty’s ‘The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk: Life Stories From Here and There’)

Lessons in Movies – Runaway Bride

Runaway BrideJulia Roberts; Richard Gere, you remember that movie right? Good entertainment. There was a part in that movie (many of you have already discussed this over and over with people; in that case I am sorry to bring it up again) that really impressed me. I mean, I was actually flattered how thoughtful of that person who came up with the idea of that “egg theory” or that is what I like to call.

Egg theory - working out a bit too much with Speedy.

Maggie Carpenter (played by Julia Roberts) does not know how she likes her eggs (in above cartoon Speedy knows what he wants but apparently the server is a movie watcher like me who gets a bit too much influenced by the movie). But more important thing to notice, she orders her eggs just the way the guy she is with likes it. If you were the guy Maggie was dating and if you like “sunny side up” that is what she would order. (Spoiler Alert ahead)

Interesting part is at the end when she tries all kind of eggs and comes back to Ike (played by Richard Gere) and says, “I like, Eggs Benedict, I hate all other kinds of eggs”. The moment of realization.

Now, the lesson I see here through my eyes and the way my brains function is that a lot of us; perhaps all of us go through that same phase some time in our life.

We do not know ourselves. We may not spend any time in discovering ourselves at all. May be it is because we get highly influenced or sort of dominated by the other person around. It is all about self discovery. Whether you are at work or in a relationship or hanging out too much with certain someone; it is very obvious that you end up having some influence of that person. That is where we need to hold on to being ourselves. Try that today. Notice people around you and try thinking of the ways they move or talk or do other things and try to remember what really impresses you so much that makes you want to adopt it. There are chances you will realize that you already have adopted those things. Try to figure out is it worth keeping or not. Try more of discovering yourself. Try finding the real you instead of being dragged along with someone.

I have noticed people getting out of a relationship of a few years and feeling little lost to understand what they want and end up with someone who is totally not worth again. That happens because when you were with someone for so long you have changed. Everybody changes. There is nothing wrong in that. Just take your time to figure out again who you are, define yourself again. Do some self discovery about those changes and then move on. Always remember, 2 words “self discovery”- very important alright?

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Earlier I wrote a blog asking to notice people around you and adopt one good thing from them, to be super awesome all together carrying everybody’s 1 good thing in you. That is so not related here. It sounds confusing and mixed up but whole other story, okay.

Have a lovely day, thank you for reading 🙂

 

Put family first

About 1500 school kids in America were asked in 2011, “what is it that makes a happy family?” Out of 1500 kids there was not a single one who said, “Money”. Instead most of them said “Warm Love”.

It was that easy to figure out for an innocent kid. Then why does it take us so long to figure it out?

I have seen people working really hard. They spend day and night after work. Almost like they are not working to live, they are living to work. But when you ask them why so much work you do? Mostly the answer is, “so that I can keep my family happy; I can buy stuff for my wife and kids; send my kids to better University.” or in some cases you hear that, “I want to buy a house or a store or a factory. Then I can keep my family happier. If I do not work hard where I will get the money from?”

Both examples above are real surveys that has been done in 2011.

Now, compare the answers that kids gave and what adults gave. Are kids asking for things or money? All they are asking for is “Warm Love”. Why adults/parents are working hard? So, that they can get more money and give their kids better future.

Now, ask yourself what is more important to you? Building a character of your son or daughter OR Having enough money to be able to send them to Yale; buy them expensive gifts on Christmas. Sure, they would love it. Even at the age of 27 I would also love to have someone giving me a hot-wheels car on Christmas.

The real question is, “what is more important ?” Gathering enough money or being there with the kids to have them feel that you are there. It is very important to spend time with your family.

I had stressed on the example of kids; because once again I have no hesitation repeating that “Kids are the future responsible citizens of this country”. As responsible citizens they will be holding the key to the future. I have mentioned this in 2 or 3 of my blogs before. I will not stop stressing on this same issue that the world is challenged with.

Besides the example of kids the above theory applies to anyone and every one in the family. You have to be sure that every one feels loved the way they deserve to, for whatever role they are playing in your family. Each member is important.

  • If it was not for your father or mother “YOU” will not be here. That “YOU-ness” that you are always so cocky about wouldn’t even exist today, if it was not for your parents. When you were scared as a kid it was them who hold you in their arms and said, “You are safe here with me”.
  • It was the woman you are married to who once said “YES” to you while you were on your knees feeling helpless because if this is not it you are doomed.
  • It was the man of your house that once comforted you in his arms saying, “I am here, I will make sure everything is going to be okay”.

Please value your family. I planned to publish this article especially on Friday so that all of you reading this can realize if you had been lacking in your efforts to put in your family and have the weekend to improvise. Get the family united.

Some monks especially insist on “family time” once or twice a week. Get everyone together; play a board game; do a movie night; have a talk to address everyone facing the problem in the house and find answers together that works for every one’s best.

Put Family First. Starting from now – this very moment!!! Have a lovely weekend.

 

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).

Speedy Sparks is here. Now!

VICTOR :

Hi, I am Victor. You may remember me from the article about “glass theory”, about the glass being half full and half empty. Well, agreed I kinda dressed up a bit nerdy in that one. You gotta do weird things for money these days man, we all agree to that don’t we? Ha ha….. so, guess what happened few days back. It was around 2 in the morning I heard someone knocking on my door. As I approached the door to open, I heard someone running away. Finally, when I opened the door I found this guy – Speedy. Well, it’s a snail but a pretty strong one.

I kinda stepped on him as I walked out of the door, didn’t crush him to my surprise. Uhh, let’s not talk about that. When I found speedy he was having a little red bow tied around with a note sticking on it (it was actually sticking on him somewhere else that I do not want to talk about). The note said, “This is Speedy Sparks. He is the only hope. Take good care of him.” I thought it was funny for a snail being named “Speedy”. Ironic right?

Pretty shy guy he was when I saw him first. Didn’t want to come out of its shell, but we ended up getting friendly after all. He is pretty cool actually. Although he is so slow made me late to work on Monday. That is because I took him to the park playing “Fetch” on Sunday. Poor thing didn’t make it back till next morning, hahaha. Anyways, I am going to bed. Nightey night.

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SPEEDY SPARKS :

They call me Speedy Sparks…….Why?

I am the fastest snail on this planet.

I worked hard because I wanted to prove the world wrong, that believes Snails cannot be speedy.

I was born with those racing stripes on my back.

My name “Speedy Sparks” is the proof that with enough inspiration and believing in yourself you can do anything and you can be anyone you wish to be. I must tell you it is a challenge being Speedy when you are a snail. But hey, little challenge never hurts.

I have the spark within, and it is my job to spread the light ahead and further. Anyone lacking that spark gets a good one from me.

Are you comfortable in your own shell. Because I am. And If you tell my master about my secret, I am going to cut your head off.

I am Speedy Sparks, and this is my secret identity that my master is not aware of.

He himself is being pretty demotivated often and that is why I am here to inspire him.

To remind him that hope is alive, and with enough of inspiration that is going to go further.

so back to same question, “Are you comfortable in your own shell?”

My friend you can never convince the world totally no matter how much you change yourself from outside. In fact it will only lead you changing yourself from within before you even know it, and soon you will not be “YOU” anymore.

The best way to go with it is, being comfortable in your own shell….uhh, I mean in your own skin. So, keep it that way. I must go for now.

Peace out!

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Ladies and gentlemen I hope you enjoyed reading today’s article and most of all I hope “Speedy Sparks” is entertaining enough as a blog mascot. Please leave your feedback or suggesstion. That would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for bearing me around here, and still following me faithfully. Love you all. Thank you for all your likes that inspires me to come up with interesting inspiring stories you will be reading ahead.

Thank you thank you thank you. 

High Spirits – Where is all the excitement?

Hope everyone had a good Easter. Mine was great, especially the lunch at work.

Some of you know I am a cook and so I was working my Easter Sunday Lunch at the retirement home carving “honey and mustard roasted ham”. Now, the best part of working on a carving station is feeling the fun and energy in the room full of guests. It’s always been the best part of it, at least for me. While working for a hotel in Arizona I enjoyed Mariachi bands playing, mostly when I worked on a carving station. Yesterday I enjoyed live music. Music that was old school but great.

Now, in the middle of all this I took a pause just to look at every table in the room smiling and cheering. Everyone was happy enjoying the lunch. The best part was noticing most of the residents who are of course around 80 years old dancing to the beats on their way to grab the plate. Only group of people in the room not enjoying as much was the staff that was busy making this happen. Even they joined in the fun once they got in a smooth flow. There were so many thoughts rushing through my head in that single hour or two.

One way to look at this was, the “employees” who were not enjoying while making this happen. It reminded me of something similar to what trees do, they just give. They burn in the sun giving us the shadow; fruits and even rain eventually. It was these employees who were there working on Easter Sunday, so that these families can sit together and enjoy the lunch (thank you if one of those employees happen to read this). Honestly, for people who cook or serve; the holidays are toughest on them. It is the time when everyone else is on a vacation and they are working even more.

Another view was when I look at old folks dancing I was feeling the life and excitement still on the top at that age, while there are so many of us – the young ones who are just busy looking tensed; forgetting to smile; rushing in and out of apple store in the mall like machines. Our bodies are more energized than a body that has aged 80 years, yet we want to waste the energy running after money or  buses instead. If you look around it is hard to find someone just lost in a moment. May be no one does it anymore?

The thinking continued again arguing my own thoughts that there is a possibility these retired folks are enjoying now, because they passed the phase we are in today. Possibly they were just as tensed and busy running around at our age? But now may be it is because they are close to “pack the bags and go home” they are realizing the fun part of life in every little moment passing by. If this is the truth then shall we learn from them and start finding life in every second or a minute? Or shall we wait till we get retired and old, to realize this ourselves; to make best out of the time that is left? How are we going to work this out? Where is all the excitement that we should be feeling while we are young? Is excitement only left, reserved for the clubs when we get drunk to the beats full of abusing lyrics? (You would agree to this if you think why “Raindrops keep falling on my head” is not as much fun anymore.)

Why can’t we be little more excited for things? Why are we excited when things are new to us and the excitement melts away with the time? One thing I always notice with people is when they have a job they are too excited and thankful. I guarantee something strange must be happening that makes them curse that same job 5 months down the line. We do not carry the same excitement thoroughly to what we do or what we have and we really need to figure this out now before it feels like too late.

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My blog mascot “Speedy Sparks” is ready to appear in a day or two. Please keep an eye. Hope I manage to get you inspired and get you thinking with bit of fun with the help of Speedy. Thank you for reading and following.

Have a lovely Monday (who am I kidding, right?)