0

Criticizing is fun!!!


Night 10:30 PM and I was still in office. Most of the colleagues had left office and few were preparing to leave. I went to take a cup of coffee so that I can stay awake for the next one hour to complete the presentation for tomorrow’s meeting. While coming back from the pantry, I saw the lights were on for one of the conference rooms. I went inside to turn off the light.

As soon a I entered the conference room I found that presentation was going on the ‘presentation screen’ and I could hear people talking. I was scared to death.

I felt as if I am being pulled to one of the chairs.

More scary part was I could hear my voice. It was repeat of the team meeting that I had in the afternoon. There is nobody but I can hear all voices. For a long 5 minutes I was criticizing some of my team members for what they were not doing right, criticizing some members from other teams and how I could have done the same thing in a much better and efficient way. When I recall the moment I was in that meeting, I was feeling good about me talking or criticizing but now when I hear as a third party, I am not liking myself. The voice was rude, full of pride and disrespect for others. But the moment I came out of my thoughtfulness I was again scared. I thought that may be I am dead and that’s the reason I can hear all these. May be I am here for my judgment after death. I slowly moved my right hand fingers to pinch my left hand and it did hurt. I was relaxed that I am still alive. I immediately got up to leave the room and office at once.

But a voice came, “Dear Manager, I am ‘Arctic Conference Room’ and I am the one who wanted to talk to you for past several days but never got an opportunity. Please stay here for a moment and listen to me. I will not do any harm to you but rather help you if you list listen to me.”.

I was now so scared that I drank the entire cup of coffee at once and sweating as if working on a field during hot summer. My jaws were shaking and I was trembling. But I sat down as I didn’t dare to fight with this unknown voice. I sat down.

“I have been hearing you from past several months. I used to like you compared to other visitors. But lately I am observing a change in your behavior. You have been criticizing a lot now a days. Hence I thought of giving you a piece of advice. It may sound like preaching because, ‘I am preaching’. Be patient and listen to me. Doors are locked till I am finished so don’t even try to leave.

Criticism is fun. It make you feel nice, big and perfect for the moment. You can say anything and more you criticize, you find more reasons to criticize. You feel a new high after doing so and your ego takes a boost. It is mostly done when the subject of the criticism is not listening or if listens, can not do any harm. This also triggers when we feel empowered. Criticism how small or big it may be always boosts your ego up because your ability to criticize somebody makes you feel better than the person you are criticizing. It is the same feeling that you get when you move up in the see-saw or giant wheel. It makes you feel perfect. It is another way of glorifying your existence. It gives you same feeling as you get while taking drugs or alcohol. It makes you feel better than the rest of the world. But momentarily.

Actually it makes you feel better than yourself in your eyes.

But unfortunately it is short lived, like see-saw, giant wheel, drugs or alcohol. The only other option you have is to either forget the incident convincing yourself that ‘I dare to tell the truth, hence I don’t care’, continue criticizing because it keeps you on your high or feel guilty about it and start criticizing self.

The damage that happens due to criticism, the people who accompanied you during criticism think bad about you and may criticize your for the same, the person whom you criticized feels bad about it and loses the confidence if cares or tries hard to prove you wrong if respects you, criticizes you back if does not respect you but hardly takes it in positive mindset.

When criticism done without any intention to help the situation or person then it is called gossip. That’s more addictive and fun.

But the damege you do for yourself and others by criticizing is mostly not repairable“, Arctic paused.

I was much relaxed by now and somehow accepted the voice as somebody I am talking over phone. I questioned, “It sounds like you are praising criticism and preaching me anything”

Arctic said, “Because I don’t want to criticize. You may leave now’.

I came out of the room wit the empty coffee cup in my hand thoughtfully. Now there were nobody on the floor. I picked my bag and left for the day.

Namaste!!!

– Stray Dog

2

Balance Sheet


“Time never stops and if you are in race with time you can never stop. We are taught to respect time and ensure we accumulate or amass as much wealth possible from every second of life. Getting rich is the aim. Richness is the ultimate goal and time is the only constraint. You don’t know how much time you have for any particular opportunity nor you know know when the next opportunity is going to come. Keep your mind and body healthy enough to ensure you can keep up with time and grab every opportunity to get rich.

But..

We have to pause. Pause for good. Introspect, look at where we have reached, how we have reached and what corrective actions are needed to ensure we are going to remain on track.”, Gurudev said.

“Hey, have you gone mad. You want people to chase time and amass wealth. I thought you would teach us to get rid of material wealth and not remain attached to it so that we get peace but you look like a material Guru”, Himesh said with a tone to criticize and make fun of Gurudev. And he meant what he said. But surprisingly nobody reacted either way.

This was a celebration going on Ashram where the head of ashram or teacher was giving his morning teaching to the inmates and guests. Himesh visited the ashram just to see what these guys talk about.

Gurudev smiled ad Himesh and said, “Happy New Year. As per many calanders in Bharat, today is the beginning of the day as it is the beginning of the first month of the year called Baishak Month if followed as per solar calendar. You can call Poila Boishak (Bengal), Bishubha Sankranti (Odisha), Bihu (Assom), Bishu (Kerala), Baishakhi (Punjab) and may be many others”

Himesh said, “Happy New year whatever!!! I only follow 1st Jan because it’s easy and rest of the world does it.”

Gurudev continued while constantly wearing his very pleasant smile, “Are you rich? How rich are you?”

Himesh responded, “Why? you want money from me? I can be called upper middle class but mind you, I am not going to shed a single penny here.”

Gurudev laughed while others in the ashram were giving irritated look, Gurudev called Kalia the ashram boy who was serving water to all the guests coming to the ashram and asked, “How rich are you Kalia?”

Kalia proudly replied, “I am super rich. I have got smiles from almost everybody here and I did not lose any wealth because I have only spent my day gathering smiles and blessings since morning and did not think anything bad or sad for myself or others. I am super rich”

Gurudev looked at Himesh. Himesh responded, “Ahh so you guys have a new definition. That’s cheating. You should have told me that earlier.”

Gurudev and others laughed and Gurudev said, “Who taught you wealth means money or modes to access external pleasures? I don’t think that was ever a definition. People buy happiness by spending money or availing fancy equipments like Car or home or jewelries etc. That does not mean these mediums are wealth. The real wealth is the happiness, pleasure, peace of mind, satisfaction and unbound energy within us to live life. If I am a bank and want to know how much money deposited in the bank, I am not going to count how many customers came to the bank. because one customer may get deposit a million and another hundred customers may deposit only few thousands together. Also I will care most if the customer depositing a million is keeping that money with the bank for a longer period of time.

Similarly in life we must count how much pleasure or happiness has been accumulated than money. If money can buy a long lasting happiness then it okay to accumulate money but if there is something else that gets more happiness than money and is long lasting, I would focus on that. Like Kalia thought of serving others because that was giving him most rich experience.”

Himesh was little embarrassed but was lot interested to know more, “Ohh!! I understand. Huh!! sorry I was thinking like you are any other fake guru. By the way, what were you talking about the time and all when I first came in.”

Gurudev continued his smile and said, “Yes, today is new year for many so the main purpose of new year is to introspect and get your balance sheet clean. You start a new accounts book from today. One side of the balance sheet is to record what you got from others and the other side is what you gave in return. This day helps you understand how much wealth you have accumulated.

We are in some constant debt which we have to fulfill.

We are and will remain always indebted to Parents, Nature, country, daughter. Hence we must ensure we are doing enough to reduce the debt.

Parents means not just parents but your entire family tree which took right decisions over the time because of which you are now in a situation to meet your needs. You could go to school, study, learn, spend your childhood enjoying, got all your needs fulfilled and could become capable enough to lead a comfortable life. Just imagine if you would have been born on a footpath, would not have got any education or other pleasures, where you would have been. So it’s because your parents and forefathers took right and wise decisions that’s the reason you are enjoying your life.

Nature has been providing you all the resources you need, water, air, earth, trees, sky, sun, moon and billions of creations of nature reserves everything we need to live. We consume it at our will and we don’t need anybody’s permission to do so. Hence we remain always indebted to nature.

Country you were born as well as where you are living defines what you are. Nobody can prosper if the country you were born or living is not respected and has fair law and order. Hence you must feel lucky to be born or protected by the country. Hence you remain indebted to your country or residence and living.

Daughters, does not mean only daughters. It means women at large who define and shape you through various means and in various forms. If after nature anything that selflessly gives you things to fulfill your needs it is women. Hence we will remain indebted to women at large for our life time.

Hence paying them back by sacrificing pleasure is not only your duty but also should be the very reason of living. You earn to pay them back. You earn through your good deeds and invest through teaching good to younger ones.

Hence keep earning, investing and paying your debts. Your life will have everything that a super rich should have. If you have not been doing till date then start today.It’s new year.

Happy new year to all of you. Keep earning, keep enjoying.”

Namaste!!!

– Stray Dog

2

A beautiful “More”


“Can’t I get everything what I wish without putting so much of efforts to prove the world that I deserve”, A strange but innocent question popped out of my mind when I was at my leisure. I felt proud looking at this thought because it proves my courage to confront myself.

We all live for happiness and pleasure. We work to ensure there is constant inflow of happiness without any interruption. Most of the times we don’t know how we feel happy or what makes us happy. So we look at others and if we feel they are happier than us then we try to become like them. Looking at the society and people around, we feel success, money, social status and number of followers makes a person happy. So we strive for those. Because we know we have a long (may be never ending) life, so we desire not only to collect money, success etc for today’s consumption but also for many many years that’s going to come. There begins the race. A never ending race.

But does our body and mind ready enough for the race. Is it truly the need of body and mind? If it is not, then it will get tired of chasing to fulfill the wrong need. So when our body and mind are tired it tries to find short cuts to achieve success which is mostly not the most ethical or desired way.

I told my thought, “Why you wish to get those things””?”

It said, “Because those look lucrative, attractive and desirable”

I asked my thought, “Can you take yourself to a memory lane and tell me 15 years back what looked lucrative, attractive, desirable?”

My thought, thought for while and said, “A happy family, ability to meet all basic need, some opportunity to luxury and lots many friends.”

I asked, “Did you get them”

It answered, “Yes, much more than that.”

“Does those things which looked lucrative 15 years back look lucrative now “, I asked.

It replied, “They are my needs now, basic essential needs. They are no longer desires. It’s impossible to live without those. What I need now is for pleasure.”

I answered, “ I would like to tell you a story,

Rohan a 6 year old kid came to play with family to a sea shore. He played different games with his elder sister and had great fun. After they both got tired of playing, they sat down to make sand castles each. Rohan made the most beautiful sand castle he had ever made and it came running to show it’s beautiful creation to it’s parents.

His parents who were sitting in a far away tea stall and enjoying tea, were excited too to watch the sand castle but before he could get his parents watch the beautiful creation his sand castle got washed away by the wave.

Rohan could not stop crying and his parents after all attempts to convince him started going back home. Rohan kept on crying till he went to his bed due to the loss. His sister tried to convince him saying that what if parents could not watch, she saw that and it was beautiful and also tried to remind him all the fun he and his sister had playing before they started to make sand castles, but he was inconvincible.

If you notice we all are like Rohan.

We achieve so much in life but we don’t appreciate that and try to get more. And we give maximum attention or appreciation to the one which we did not or could not get. That’s the reason we remain unhappy, stressed, and ruin our and our closed ones life.”

Not sure but may be my thought felt awkward and bad, It went away without even telling me a bye.

Namaste!!!

– Stray Dog

0

A leaf’s Journey


leaf

“It’s an wonderful feeling when you guys are around. You make me feel important, happy and you know when to leave me alone. I will never leave this group ever in my entire lifetime.”, one leaf said to it’s fellow branch-mates while enjoying the pleasant breeze of spring. At times some of them are dancing with excitement but nobody following a specific pattern of dancing. But together if you see it looks like a great dance form. Some new leafs of the branch are little hesitant to dance in front of the seniors and while seniors are dancing carelessly.

It looked like a perfect concert and wind was in favor of this arrangement.

A sudden blow of wind from south came and took the oldest leaf ‘Jay kaka’ away even before anybody could realize. Wind stopped in few moments and gave the time to the concert group to realize the situation. The youngest of all leaves shouted, “Hey where is Jay Kaka?”.

Everybody looked around and could not find him anywhere. Then one leaf from the top branch said, “He flew away with the wind. I saw him hitting the ground several times, then the mountain, stuck in the mango tree for a while before he went out of my sight”.

All wore a very sad face thinking about the fate of oldest leaf of their branch, Jay kaka. But continued slow breeze of spring inspired them to restart their concert forgetting the loss except Jitu.

Jitu is now the oldest in the group. He is not as old as Jay kaka was but he is not too far away as well. He continued to think about the fate of his beloved Jay kaka. He could only think of horrible incidents that might have happened with him. Gradually others in the group pulled him back to the concert and he continued. But the worry remained alive.

Time passed by and the spring was almost in the middle of its age. Leaves were growing old with time. Their wrinkled skin and losing fairness was making them think about Jay kaka more often and were scared of their fate.

Once again a sudden wind came and all leaves started shouting together, “Shhoooooonnnnnnnnn, hold on to your connection guys, this time will pass soon, do not panic and move, we all love each other and our togetherness will help us. Hold on to your roots guys. Hold on to your roots. Shhooooooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnn”. This is something they learnt from their seniors. They say this when there is a heavy wind.

Suddenly Jitu felt a strange lightness in his body, something different and pleasurable, He had closed his eye to avoid the dust get into the eyes as instructed by its elders but he felt like opening his eyes and experiencing the lightness better. The moment he opened his eyes he could not believe what he was witnessing, he immediately closed it again out of fear. After few moments he dared to open his eyes and saw a big open ground underneath and he was about to touch the ground. His heart beat almost stopped but after touching the ground he got another wonderful feeling, Wind started dragging him on the ground and could see beautiful dust waves accompanying him. In few seconds, he was again in air for a while and fell on ground. He started enjoying this bouncing act. He started singing his favorite song while dancing to the tunes of the wind. he looked up to see his friends in the tree.

He said, “Friends, don’t worry this is a great fun out here. Enjoy the moment now and I guaranty you will enjoy the moment later as well. I am saying because I am experiencing.”,

Another big blow came and took him to the river nearby. He was scared to touch the river because rain waters were painful for him so he always hated water. But the moment he touched the river his all fear went away. He started enjoying the waves and he joined the fishes and other floating friends. A wonderful experience beyond explanation. he decided to keep quiet, float and enjoy the feeling. He closed his eyes and started feeling it better.

After a while a known voice came from the river bank, “Jitu, enjoy your trip. One life is not even enough to have all fun that you can have. Every moment it is more interesting becaiuse of the challenges. Do not waste time worrying. Feel the moment, join the laughter and fear none. Good luck.”, Jitu opened his eyes to see it’s Jay kaka resting on the banks of the river with some of his similar aged friends. And he was happy.

Inspired By: Oriya Proverb “Tala Barada Khasuchhi, UparaBarada Hasuchhi, Majhi Barada kahuchhi mo dinakala asuchhi”

Meaning: The old leaves (lower section) of a palm tree are falling, The youngest leaves (Upper section) are laughing, the middle ones are telling that my days are coming.

Featured Image Courtesy: http://www.nuaodisha.com/Odia-Dhaga-Dhamali-1.aspx

Namaste!!!

– Stray Dog

3

Do Aur Do Paanch (2 and 2 is 5)


A retro song of hindi film industry was playing in the car radio while I was bringing kids home from school during my ultra luxurious lunch break. My kids picked up a portion of the song and asked, “How can 2 and 2 become 5?”. Their recent expertise in summation has questioned the validity of the song. (If you do not know the song here is the Youtube video)

I did not know the answer and I did not want to tell them that it is not possible. I rather gave them the task to find the answer themselves. I have not heard any good to accept explanation from them till date neither I could find any myself. But I did not want to give up here.

The whole point here is not that when you add two 2s whether it becomes 5 or not. It is about can you get more than the actual when you add two numbers. Now that extra can be 5, 6 or 10.

Recently a situation came when due to various strategic decisions a relatively old and a very high performing team had to split into two logical parts based on the product they are serving. Disappointment took over the team’s morale till the point when a usually shy and occasionally courageous individual got up to say that we will not let our team divide but multiply. All confused but upset eyes looked at him to understand his mathematical googly. He continued saying, “We all are in a mission. We love this group not because we worked together for many years together. We love this group because we have built a great group which performs at it’s best whatever may be the situation. We have a great work culture and we are here because of that. We are here because we perform and get desired results. We know the tricks. We are extraordinary as a group. This is a great opportunity for us to spread the greatness of our team’s culture and understanding of utilizing human capabilities by connecting with more people outside our team and ensure in coming days we get more people to believe and act the way we do. Today we are a group of 50 people and let’s ensure next year by this time we have at least 70 people following this philosophy. Let’s stop mourning friends over the separation and get excited about the mission. We are the best, we will remain the best”. This somehow made me understand that division can help in multiplication by defying the principles of mathematics. Which means if I think more I can really find a way to get more than the actual after summation.

Then came recent Delhi assembly election. There were two major political parties in Delhi for a long time. They together used to get 70 to 80% of assembly seats of Delhi. But this time a new political party came into picture which could convince the people that it is against both these traditional parties and it is more democratic and socialist party than any other. Interestingly it took over 95% of the seat share. So this means it got more than what the opponent parties would have got together. So it was little closer to the philosophy 2+2 is 5. But this would be extremely difficult for me to explain my 6 and 7 year old kids.

Now, if you had patience to read till this point I am sure you will not try to convince me to leave it and help me explaining how 2+2 can be 5 to my kids. Kindly post your replying by commenting on this post.

Namaste!!!

– Stray Dog

1

A lift journey


A hurried manager rushed into a lift to reach 11th floor of the building so that he can get to the meeting for which he is already 2 minutes late. This was a meeting between him and the Vice President of his Business Unit who recently joined the organization. This is their first meting. He could think of many excuses he can give to his VP for the delay or innocently ignore the fault of self for the delay to make it a non-issue. He started evaluating all the options he has so that his new VP does not judge him and paint him with any kind of unpleasant perception which would make him less of a leader and employee. He was happy to see that there is nobody else inside the lift so the time to reach his desired floor is going to be minimal. He was very close to finalize his plan of action to justify his delay to the meeting which will convince his VP without leaving any room to become judgmental. The automatic door of the lift started sliding to close and anxiety level of him started going down. He stopped worrying and started looking at his smart phone to check if there is any new email of interest or concern, which proves human mind always wants to get distracted or get into disturbance. But the network inside the lift was not good enough so he could not find any new email. The very moment the lift door was about to reach the finish line an unwanted palm was seen to be interrupting the free flow of the door and the automatic door made up it’s mind to go back to its starting point, so that the currently perceived as intruder can become a rightful entrant and easily come inside the lift. The anxious manager’s anxiety level once again started rising and was almost near the boiling point. The person who entered the lift smiled at this manager and greeted saying “Good Afternoon”. It seemed as if every sound wave was coming as an arrow from an enemy’s front and straightway hitting the bull’s eye of frustration and irritation. The anxious manager kept his phone in his pocket and started staring at the floor number displayed in the digital display inside the lift. Everything happening around him was irritating him like never before. Lift door in the mean time was waiting and watching for the entrants and after 30 seconds of wait, it decided to again start it’s sprint towards the finish line. The anxious manager this time decided not to watch the movement of the closing door because it was making him more nervous. Finally lift door made it’s way to the finish line and lift started taking off towards  it’s destination.The other entrant did not press any button to specify which floor he wants to go that made this anxious manager bit relaxed but it was short lived. The moment lift crossed 3rd floor and was about to reach 4th, the new entrant made a sound which indicates that he forgot something and pressed the 10th floor button. This was now beyond the control for the anxious manager to handle but he could not show his frustration in any appropriate way. He decided to once again turn his attention towards his smart phone to divert his frustration. In the mean time 10th floor came and it was time for the new entrant to leave the lift. New entrant looked at the anxious manager and wanted to say “Have a great day. See you” with a smile but as the anxious manager was busy surfing his smart phone he decided to silently leave the lift. Anxious manager was aware that he was rude to his co-passenger but wanted to make an statement by doing so that, ‘He is angry’. He could not state that openly because his anger was not backed by any logic that is commonly known to human race. The new entrant left the lift, the door closed quickly enough this time and lift started moving towards 11th floor. The moment it reached 11th floor and the anxious manager was about to rush out of the lift, he received an email from his VP, “I am sorry. I can not make it in time due to some other engagement. Can we meet after 15 minutes?”.

Namaste!!!

– Stray Dog

7

Red Stars – How many you earned today?


While coming home for lunch after picking up my kids from school Navneel was in full excitement. He did a quick mathematics and told me that another 3 red stars will get him a gold cheque. He also quickly listed his friends name who are almost at the same level. He was very optimistic about accumulating the remaining stars in coming days. I looked at his ‘treasure bank’ to understand the matter better. Class teacher gives red stars to the children for good behavior or doing some task well and black dots are for bad behavior or indisciplinary activities. A back dot also erases 3 red stars. Once you accumulate 10 red stars you are eligible to get awarded with a gold cheque during assembly. A very proud moment indeed.

After my analysis and understanding Navneel asked me, “Baba, where is your treasure bank”.

I smiled and said, “I don’t have any.”, I found it as a silly and childish question and thought of explaining him that these things only matter to kids. Adults do not care for such things.

So I asked, , “Why do you get the red star?”.

He immediately replied, “Because we behave well or do our task properly. Like one day teacher instructed to keep quiet and I kept quiet until teacher asked to speak. So I got red star for that day.”

He did not stop there and asked, “Why don’t you behave well in office so that you will get red stars. They will give you gold cheque. It’s so much fun”

I laughed and agreed, “Yes I will next time onwards.”.

Although I could avoid him and his simple questions by agreeing but it raised hundred questions in my mind. Are we giving importance to small but very essential things in our life? We get pleasure out of small things, small achievements, small accomplishments but we do not give importance to them because we feel we have grown much above these achievements. A simple act of doing our work diligently, behaving respectfully with our colleagues/friends, listening to every conversation before making an opinion, greeting people whom we meet, following all etiquettes, listening to parents, children, thinking about others in every situation and many other things like this make us good human being. We become more worthy to the society than burden. But these acts are never appreciated so adults gradually ignore these and run behind big things which they think might get appreciation.

We all have a never quenchable thirst for appreciation or attention, when we don’t get attention for small things we try to do big but if we don’t achieve big or don’t get appreciated for the big we try doing attention seeking things which might be harmful to the society, organization or self. But appreciating or getting attention for small things will let us do more of such things and remain good for the society, organization or family.

Appreciations now a days are done in various innovative ways. emails, public verbal/written accolade, monetary awards etc. But this is the area which needs constant innovation and creative thinking because like kids we don’t like to get the same things again and again. We want things to become big, beautiful and better as we do more of them. Most of the times money is the least factor in an award but the way it was presented matters a lot.

But when we look outward for appreciation we mostly get disappointed as there is absolutely nobody who can appreciate you the way you can do yourself. There is no better judge who can always give verdict in your favor other than you. While we are kids and still learning basic maths of life we need others to tell us what we did right and wrong, I feel as adults we have enough knowledge and capability to appreciate self. If we do so, we can remain content and motivated. We can capture small acts of good work or even good thought in a small book called, ‘Treasure Bank’ and keep on adding stars with reason why we gave star to ourselves. We can give black dot to self and deduct 3 red stars when we did something wrong. Once we accumulate 10 red stars then we can treat ourselves with something that we wished to buy or have.

Life is full of small achievements and happy moments. There is abundance of these moments. But unfortunately we only look for big moments which is mostly not in our hands or sometimes bigger than our our stature at that moment. While aiming for big is good and worth but must find happiness from the journey not only at the destination.

Namaste!!!

– Stray Dog

1

Religiously


“Ramesh followed every processes and procedures religiously and encouraged his fellow team members to follow the defined processes religiously as well.”, I wrote my feedback as manager for Ramesh as part of the appraisal process. I stopped for a while thinking the choice of words and the truth behind this statement. It is not new for me to say or write something and then find the truth behind it but this time it took longer. It’s not because of Ramesh did not do it but because of the word ‘religiously’. I got this word from first manager of my professional career. Some 13 to 14 years back I found this word in my appraisal and liked it. It gave such power that you don’t tend to question it. If somebody says I do a particular thing religiously that means I do so. No other questions asked.The other similar word I learnt through this appraisal process is ‘judiciously’. I use ‘religiously’ to show 100% and ‘judiciously’ as 80 to 85%. It’s all in my mind and I do not think anybody else cares much about my choice of words. But as I care a lot about what I say I give a deep thought every time.

The more I think about the word religiously I become more religious. Religious means in my view doing something without even thinking of questioning it.Although India has an increased population of “science” students who question every ritual and custom and make good fun of it but Bharat was always a scientific nation.

To my advantage I was born to a Bharatiya family and in a very much Bharatiya state called Odisha. Before many eyebrows raise and start disconnecting from the skull, let me explain.

Bharat is the state which still respects the traditions and although has not got the logical/scientific proof but has a great belief that the traditions we follow have deep scientific meaning and will undoubtedly help us lead a good life. The first attempt to reach to anybody or anything is with respect not doubt. The questioning part of the story starts when it hurts or looks like it is causing injustice. And if at any point it proves to be illogical or unjustifiable then have the courage to change it. So for me religion is pure belief with great courage be flexible at times.

The ‘India’ I referred to, is that class, which has learnt to reject things at the face of it and ask very hurting questions to humiliate it then if by chance somebody is able to convince it and that to if it comes after western validation then accept it. It is all based on rigidity and rejection.

Just last weekend I visited a temple with my parents. Like any other religious institutions it has helped create job and prosperity for lakhs of people.All the people and business there happening was due to faith or religious beliefs. People give a portion of their hard-earned money thinking god will help them rescue the complex path called life. By believing so, they get the courage to face life. Like many of current generation purchase lot of self-help book to help understand our true potential. If we read the book we will find the only thing it helps improve is confidence in oneself. People solve the problem because they find many right ways and take many right actions due to confidence. By purchasing a book I help the publishing house as well as the author earn money. But by completely devoting myself and offering prayer at the temples I create business in the area surrounding the temple. I buy flowers, candles, incense sticks, sweets, ornamental accessories to please the god and make myself very confident. This helps the local shops and the people earn money by selling these stuffs. By this way I gave business to people who would have otherwise begging or live in poverty. I paid some money to the temple. This helped in giving job to some people who offer prayers on our behalf and other staffs of the temple. This also helps developing the temple further so that more people travel to this place and provides better facility to the people visiting this temple. The temples also give free lunch to poor once a week which is a good social service. So what’s wrong in visiting a temple and spending some money there if it can help create better living for many. Is it not my social responsibility. Many a say this money goes into wrong hands where only some people take the entire money and don’t share with others deserving. Which means there is corruption. Which institute we know of has no possibility of existence of corruption. Why should I stop doing something which has more possibility of giving benefit to society.

Explaining all these to entire mankind would be impossible task hence visiting temples and offering prayers we put as very vital part of the religion and tell people follow it religiously. The more people follow it the more the country and world is going to be prosperous. Hence once again I feel I am a religious person.

Namaste!!!

– Stray Dog

1

Anger Therapy!


“What makes you happy?”, few seconds pause.

“Okay tell me, what makes you sad?”, again another impatient pause.

“Tell me what motivates you?”, too many questions asked in a very short span of time and I was expected to answer immediately. Difficult question because the answers come from heart for these questions and heart is very moody in responding. If you pressurize heart it stops talking. That was the state I was in. My heart had locked itself inside a room leaving me stand outside for last several hours.

Again after few seconds, “You don’t know what makes you happy or sad or what motivates you? How would you make yourself happy.”. “Okay just tell me whether people make you happy, sad and motivated or you make yourself happy, sad or motivated.”

“What a nonsense question! If you know who makes you feel in a particular way, you can always tell what makes you unhappy and you can take care of yourself. I am unhappy and I don’t know why. Does this happen to you ever? It does not look like, that’s why you are not able to understand. I am like this and you don’t have to interfere. May I get few seconds of peace.”, I revolted to help me out from this hostile environment.

Rishi, my friend who was with me in every situation for past several years was trying to help me but I was finding his help has more like a torture.

He got angry, “You know what?? You are not worth to be anybody’s friend. You don’t respect friendship, emotions of others and hardly care about anybody. You forget people when you leave that place and that proves you don’t care for people but use them for your benefit or entertainment as long as you are around. You deserve to remain lonely and sad.”, A very violent reaction to my not-so-soft -get-out instruction. But it peaked frustration in me to the core and I shouted at him like crazy.

Next 10 minutes was my time. I vented out my frustration with the situation around me with no logical reasoning and at it’s raw form. A negative reaction, very violent, words hurting people around me, (specifically Rishi ) came out continuously without getting QA checked by my brain. I was so negative and bad in my reaction that, Tears started peeping out of Rishi’s eyes whom I know as one of the strongest person. He started quietly wiping his tears but listening to me carefully. That diverted my attention from venting out poisonous words. I kept quiet for few seconds, feeling much better as I knew what exactly what I am feeling and why. But Rishi’s tears bothered me.

I told him , “Sorry, I did not mean to hurt you but I was out of my control. “.

He stopped me and said, “My dear friend, How are you feeling now?”

I said, “Much better and very relaxed. But I am sorry for what I said to you”, and started giving explanation for the same.

“It was me who wanted you to reach to this stage knowing very well that you will burst and may damage me emotionally. Sometimes our knowledge and power of evaluating good and bad words against us. We don’t even say what is good for us, bad for us, to ourselves, because our calculative mind stops the thoughts reaching us when it finds them illogical. It takes the ‘right to think’ away from you. Your irritations or frustrations remain within you in a very unknown chamber of your heart and your calculative mind hides that from your own self.

That was the stage where you were, when I was trying to instigate and shoo away your calculative mind. The moment you got angry your calculative mind vanished and your thinking ability stopped. This helped you to vent out your emotions irrespective of how illogical it may be. That is the reason you are feeling better now.

It is called anger therapy :)”

While I understood how anger can take me out of control but also realized that a controlled anger management can help us heal many psychological problems. Like they say, “Poison can cure the harm caused by poison” or “Nail can help take out a nail”.

PS: Please do not apply this therapy unless you have control over the situation as it may get physically and emotionally violent.

Namaste!!!

– Stray Dog

 

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City of Chaos/Joy


Trying to avail the best suited shortcut to reach destination sacrificing physical comfort of self as well as others, frustration of not achieving goal, disturbance in the emotional space for undue expectations at home as well as work place, inconveniences caused by government or opposition and unkind nature (sun in specific) has irritated each and every passerby on a busy Kolkata road approaching a local railway station. Every one on the road is expecting other to be sensible and kind whereas nobody in a position to be so.

The first thought that came to my mind looking at the crowd was ‘Chaos’ and could find only one word for people all around i.e. selfish. The next emotion developed in my mind was ‘frustration’, which resulted in ‘hatred’ and finally I became one among the crowd.

I heard this city to as ‘City of Joy’. Huh!! where is joy?

It took me no time to be one like them and flowing in the same pattern. I was walking and struggling like thousands of people all around. What I observed then was surprising and against the law of nature as I once believed. People are rushing towards the train to catch the train without even touching each other, few millimeters of foot rest while hanging of train entrance was something to fight for, without even uttering a single word or hurting the other, finding a way into the compartment and coming out of the compartment while there are dozens of people are blocking your way without hurting another, people are able to maintain the number of the creases in their shirt despite the crowd, business is as usual inside a fully packed compartment, hundreds of people are walking on the street in different directions in a busy road without even touching each other. What I found actually was a strict discipline. Unsaid, unwritten rules followed by every individual despite their financial, social, cultural, religious and physical status.The place which looked utterly chaotic was actually a well planned, thought and disciplined movement.

The moment I realized this, I found the fun, entertainment, intellect, cooperation, friendliness and respect for each other. A beautiful place to be. A place where people discuss their worries and retrospect everyday freely, where the social and political decisions are evaluated everyday, place where literature gets its due credit and a place where human despite several social, economic and spiritual levels respect each other, equality amidst inequality can be only witnessed here.

A first glance which looked like ‘City of Chaos’ looked like ‘City of Joy’.

One thought strengthened in my mind is that truth can only be experienced. There is absolutely no other way to validate what is the truth.

Namaste!!!

– Stray Dog