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Education!!


Out of my many show-off habits, one is to show that I am a very fit and energetic person. Friends in my close vicinity would agree with my statement. I had bought a bi-cycle couple of years back to use as my primary mode of transport to office and first hand tool to satisfy my show-off need. I used cycle for few months but then I had many valid reasons to justify why I stopped riding bi-cycle to office. But ‘junked’ cycle under my flats staircase reminds me every day about the commitment I made to it.  Hence, when I get time to ride it, I take it to do my daily chores. Today was such a day hence I took my cycle to get milk wearing a raincoat as it is raining continuously since past 3 days. While I was returning home one car came rushing from the other side. At that very moment I was just next to a big muddy puddle and as I feared the car splashed almost 90% muddy water in the pothole on myself. The immediate reaction was to scold the person riding the car while removing the mud on my lips, “Uneducated Idiot fellow!!!”. Came home cursing the person and all car drivers which included me as well. Took a bath of lifetime to ensure I am clean. But a thought stuck to my mind.

What does educated means? It seemed to be a very difficult question despite several years of education and use of this word. I was surprised to know that after spending 1/3rd of my life time (1/3rd because I feel I will live for 108 years :) ) as an educated person I don’t know what does educated means.

What I studied in my schools are colleges I have forgotten the details of most except the ones I practice daily. Possessing certificates of education mean education? Ability to understand the context and add value to any conversation, is that education? Knowing how to behave with others in society, is that education? Ability to survive any situation, is that education? I was not sure. I spent 1/10th of my life pursuing my basic schooling but I use barely 2% of the knowledge that I gained. I spent barely 2% of my life in gaining the practical understanding but I use it for 98% of times.

I was fortunately stay in a villageish environment where my fiends were from different type of families. I have seen my friends joining in their father’s business prior to as well as post the school timings. Some were working in farms and some in the restaurant where their father was the owner. They used to talk as adults when the topic was about the business their father was in. They had practical understanding of the business. For them their father’s business was priority number 1 as compared to the school. Most of them joined their father’s business post formal education and have taken it to another level. They were trained to become entrepreneurs and their early understanding about business and opportunities to fail early in their life have made them successful.

I understand it is not applicable to all but shouldn’t we learn more the skills that we need throughout our life. The skills we call as life skills or survival skills. I tried to understand what are the major problems current generation faces and the skills that would help avoid such problems.

1. Unable to manage money: I have seen generations struggling to manage money. Majority get trapped into loans and bad investments during their early youth. By the time they learn it, they are already burdened so much that they live rest of their life in difficulty. Lucky are the few who get to learn this early. As a society shouldn’t we teach them how to handle or manage money early in life.

2. Unable to manage relationships: Relationship is often said as a sweetmeat which the person who possess repents and who does not possess also repents. With 7000 years of human experience and knowledge can’t we teach kids how to manage relationships so that we create a win-win situation throughout our life. Man and Woman should be supporting each other so that they can together perform the duties towards the society. Now a days men and women are so busy handling their internal problems that they are not able to help the society as much as they could do.

3. Unable to manage stress: Frequent cases of cardiac arrests, diabetics, nervous failure among young speaks loudly about the huge presence of stress in society. Can’t the kids be taught how to manage stress and stay happy in every situation.

4. Unable to do basic household chores: I see the greatest struggle at the moment is nobody is interested to do household chores. The biggest reason is for past couple of hundred years it was given as responsibility to ladies in families hence men thought its not something they need to worry about. Now with changing society and rightfully both men and women share every responsibility but when it comes to home management men usually take a step back. This puts women in a disadvantageous position. This creates a lot of stress and unhappiness in society. It is necessary we teach boys and girls home science so that when they grow up they know its the duty of all in family to do household chores and manage house. It will bring peace and happiness to the society.

5. Unable to survive in difficult situations: How can one be called grownup if he/she does not know how to swim, able to protect self and others from difficult situation. Hence physical education should be made as a primary subject.

6. Unable to understand and apply right medicine in emergency: Although modern medicine requires detailed study and understanding before applying, the ancient natural medication is easy to understand and apply for basic problems.It is necessary for every kid to know this while growing up so that they don’t abuse modern medicine rather appropriately use ancient medicine.

7. Unable to communicate feelings/emotions: I have seen how much of ones career is lost due to lack of ability to effectively communicate. Despite talent people suffer pain and distress. Hence it is essential for every kid to learn communication skill which include convincing skill, debating skill and most importantly listening skill.

9. Unable to stand out in a group: Arts in any form is not only stress buster but also a to stand out in a group. This fulfils your desire to be loved by others. Hence every kid should at least know one form of art while growing up.

10. Unable to understand why we do what we do: Last but not the least is basic science and mathematics. Basic understanding of why and how the things happen around us is essential to remain smart and useful to the society.

Hope one day I will get educated and till then I do not have any right to call anybody as uneducated or idiot.

Namaste!!!

– Stray Dog

3

I have a Problem


kid-hand-clipart-cg_boy-raising-hand

Friday evening 7:00 PM, most of the colleagues are rushing home. Access system at the door constantly beeping as an acknowledgement to every passer-by that ‘You may go home’. Excitement in every face which was hardly seen at the time of entry. It felt like many mechanical life are just getting liberated.It feels like kids rushing out of school hearing the exit bell. It feels like birds are leaving a cage after many years.

I am watching these while my headphone is constantly supplying with information that everybody feels important, except me. A meeting, I did not know how I landed up attending or first of all getting invited to. I am doing everything except focusing on the meeting.It looks like every second is taking hours to pass. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, PinIt, Various websites as well as WhatsApp in my phone are not able to keep me patient. I want to go home and get out of this place. I don’t have any plans for the weekend but at least I will do something interesting.

As soon as one kind person in the meeting said, “Thank you all for your valuable time…”, I disconnected the phone to get ready to fly off. I got up, took my laptop from its docking station and was about to put it in the bag, I noticed one young boy who joined few months back sitting at his desk and passionately working on something. A strange scene to see on a Friday evening from a young boy. I went up to him and asked, “Hey, what’s up. How are things going?”.

“I have a problem”, He said at once.

“What problem, may I help you?”, I asked assuming it would be a small question for which I must be having a two word answer and then I can fly off.

“Why are we doing what we are doing?”, he asked.

“What do you mean?” I asked, I was clueless about the context and wanted to know more.

“I really don’t understand why we do many things at office and who is getting benefited by all these”, he asked with real concern in his voice.

I was bit uncomfortable as I felt as if he has noticed me browsing social networking sites, personal email and many other activities while in a conference call. I was a senior developer in the company working since past 10 years, I have a reputation and I was the one who trained him when he joined this company six months back. I was not in the state of mind to hear from him what I should not be doing at work. I was feeling as if my ego was awakened from a deep sleep by a kid. My arrogance was getting itself armed to fight this boy out. My mind was trying to cloud its intellect with anger and arrogance. I was not ready to spil my weekend over a kid telling me what I should not do at work.

“Hey just a request. Can we discuss on Monday? I have something urgent to do so I have to leave office now.”, I said to avoid the unpleasant conversation.

He politely acknowledged. I was also thinking that he might think I am avoiding the discussion but let it be. I am not ready now to talk.

But the discomfort that his question created in my mind could not get rest despite my all attempts. I used to think myself as one of the smartest guys in my circle and my every action has a meaning. But it seems I have lost myself somewhere on the way. I also realized that I was getting tired more often lately and have lost the enthusiasm to attack every task with full energy and get them accomplished with pride. I am just dragging myself on this journey for past few years. I am not sure what I am doing and why.

Sat next to my grand father who was reading books sitting on his bed. He is a voracious reader and extremely enthusiastic person. He is very inquisitive and has knowledge to talk on any subject. When I say any subject, I mean it. He can talk about computer programming as well. I explained my problem with him.

“What do you need from me?, He asked.

I was surprised by his question. I explained him my problem and that means I need a solution. I asked him the obvious. “Give me solution to my problem”.

“What do you think your problem is?”, he asked to my surprise.

I assumed, my grand father has become very old and unable to understand what I am saying. He may need a doctor.

“I have lost my enthusiasm. I am not enjoying what I am doing. I am dragging myself throughout the day. In order to pass the time I am getting involved with activities which are just time killers and do not give any productivity.”, I explained again.

“Okay, You said, you lost enthusiasm. Can you elaborate that for me please?”, He asked with inquisitiveness.

“I am not enjoying the work I do at office. I don’t see any value in doing that. I don’t think my job is important enough and anybody can do that. I am just a place holder. I am a principal software engineer as per designation but I do the same work as any junior developer does.”, I explained.

“I see!! Who do you think should fix this problem? Whose job it is to make your presence valuable and important”, He asked.

“My manager should give me some responsibility. I have proven myself again and again in past 10 years, it is time I should get some responsibility. That would make my job valuable and I will be excited”. I said with great enthusiasm.”

“Okay. Good. So I think you know what to do now. I don’t know much about the nature of your job but in circus I always see the ring master always comes up with a new game ideas every season and trains the animals on that. May be your manager has to come up with a new idea to train you further so that you get motivated. “, He said.

I was irritated by this response. Why is he comparing me with an animal. Why should manager be the ring master. I am a senior member and have lot of respect. Every my manaer respects me. But after thinking over I realized what my grand father meant.

“No!! I don’t think that’s the way to go. I think there is something more needs to be done.”, I protested.

“Go ahead and tell me”, He said.

“I think I am not taking my job seriously. I don’t think my manager knows what extra I can do as a principal software engineer beyond the regular work. I think I should come up with the ideas regarding what all additional work I can do. I think I should be leading here and give a fight to the resistance till I am satisfied or other are convinced. Its me who needs to work and think, not others.”, I said slowly as I was thinking while talking but with great enthusiasm.

“Great!! I heard you saying “I” in every actionable statement. That’s the beginning and this is called self-realization but…you will not succeed.”. Grand Father said wearing a suspicious smile.

“Why? I will do all these? I will ensure I take action on each of these? Why do you say I will not succeed?”, I inquired.

“You need to act and have you decided that you need to act. If so, what would be your action and when you will take the action, that is important to identify. Unless you prepare a good plan and strictly stick to it you will not succeed.”, My grand father said.

I realized that in past I promised big things to him but never took any action despite great intentions. Intentions don’t make you but actions. I quickly thought and wrote down the plans for future and started following on it. Every evening I made it a practice to sit next to my grand father and update him on my actions.

I realized that we have good thoughts but we are either scared or lazy to take actions. A mediocre person is a person with great thoughts but self limiting beliefs.These limiting beliefs stop the person to take actions and let him/her spend the time with some or other mode of lesser quality entertainment. I was doing the same. I was expecting others to give me importance and trigger greatness in me with a great over confidence that I am better than everybody around me. As all actions were expected to be taken by others I had hardly anything to do other than entertaining myself through various toys that current age provides. If I would not have been triggered by the young boy sitting at the corner, I would never have realized that. But today with my grandfathers simple yet powerful questions I have come up with time-bound goals and I have more work that I can think I could do in a day but I enjoy my every moment like a baby.

The very next monday I went to office and asked the young boy, “He I am sorry for lraving that day without completing discussing your problem. May we discuss now?”

He said. “Thats okay, It was not urgent. I am being asked to fix defects which were missed by senior members during the release and I have been doing this since past 3 months. I want to understand why I am fixing the defects when they can fix their own defects quickly and know what mistakes they made while developing it.”, He explained.

I got a sense of relief after listening to his question and understanding the context. I had an answer for his question, I explained him up to his satisfaction. I thanked him for triggering the most valuable thought in my mind and I was happy that I did not discuss the problem that day. Otherwise I would not have got the direction in my life.

Namaste!!!

– Stray Dog

Note: This post is following the coaching techniques a life coach would use to help a client come out of any problem they have. This is just very minimal usage of the technique. If you have any problem you may contact me.

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Order! Order!


A big hall with high ceiling, four ceiling fans hanging, room filled with two dozen people and an empty high chair at one end of the hall.Everybody is eagerly waiting for somebody. A loud announcement made everybody silent. The announcement was to inform that the Judge is entering the hall. Now I realized that this is a court room and felt silly about myself for not recognizing it earlier, despite seeing this scene several time in hundreds of movies I have watched till date.

Although I was able to see everything to understand what’s going on here but all the faces of people were blurred. I kept on observing the activities in the courtroom.

Judge came and sat on the chair while all stood up to give him respect. Once settled, the judge called one member to the cubicle next to him. The name was familiar to me, it was my colleague. As soon as he went and sat in the cubicle, judge started giving his judgement and convicted him as an arrogant and selfish person. Rest in the hall were murmuring about how unfair the judgement was without giving an opportunity to the suspect. Then judge announced the punishment that he will remain excluded from all support and assistance. He said, “We will find ways to make him fail at any opportunity that comes next”. I was shocked to see how bad the judgement was. The judgement continued for many more people and to my surprise all were very well known to me. It went on for half a day. Then the time was for the next suspect. After hearing the name, I was dumbfounded. It was my spouse. The charges were of being ‘selfish’, ‘not understanding the feelings’ and ‘nick picking things to create disturbances’. By this time the hall was extremely frustrated with the judge and judgement. I was annoyed to the extreme. I wanted to run to the judge and throw him out of the chair. I attempted but something stopped me. I could not wait and watch my spouse getting convicted for silly and untrue charges in front of public. I put my all force to barge inside the courtroom and after some attempt I could. I ran to the judge and wanted to hold his collar and throw him from is chair. I extended my hand to hold his collar to find the judge was nobody else but me.

The courtroom was filled with all people I know. Recalling the judgements I was hearing for half a day I realized, these were the feelings and thought I carry about them.

I saw myself who was sitting in the judges chair was a weak, tired and powerless person. The sadness of losing I saw in his eyes in more than the combined sadness of all the people he convicted till now.

Now I wanted to run away from this courtroom. I escaped the room as soon as I can and reached the hallway. Then I found thousands of similar rooms on the hallway. I peeped in some of them to realize in every room judgement is going on. A convict in one room is also a judge in another.

Familiar??

Yes, We all judge each other just from our point of view and punish them for their act. We don’t even care to listen to their point of view. The most interesting part is, they even don’t know that you have convicted them and what punishment you have awarded to them. But the end result is our behaviour towards them and increased anxiety within ourselves. The person ultimately getting punished is ourselves. We make our life miserable by developing different behaviour and attitude towards others. It is not only tiring but also kills our spirit of a good human being. Assume how easy it would be if we treat everybody equally with one behaviour, the behaviour that is true reflection of our good self’s true character. It would be less tiring as we don’t have to act differently but also we will be known as a good human being. In order to achieve this happy situation we must stop being judgemental. I know it is easy to say than to implement but as soon as we meet someone or think about someone if we can practice to utter a few words, “I respect you as you are and I will continue to do so may whatever the situation becomes” and see the magic it will bring in your day and life.

Namaste!!!

– Stray Dog

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

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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