Monday, December 31, 2018

Goodbye, 2018!

I see myself as an imperfect human being, who is trying too hard to make things better for herself, for her family and for the world she lives in. As I report to work on the last working day of 2018, I get myself prepared to strike off some of the resolutions made sitting on this desk last year and carrying over a few.

Just a quick look at this chapter of my life story and I feel glad to know that this year has, indeed, made me emerge stronger and way better a human. I thought I had a connection with this number, 18, until God made sure I no longer believe in numerology. Well, this, surely, has been a hell of a year! 

The wheels in my feet were greased for short trips to Vizag (our yearly pilgrimage to the hometown), Vrindavan, Tijara (Alwar) and Chandigarh/Morni Hills. Considering the places that they are, I am glad I made the right choices in choosing the destinations.

The work life sailed smooth, with occasional hiccups of being unable to organize priorities. However, the workplace itself experienced drastic changes in terms of losing business and high attrition. Nevertheless, my work experience has grown if I look back to where I stand today. It’s always wise to not travel downstream and halt to know where we belong. I still need to think if this is it.

Physically, this was clearly not my year. If I do not look at the viral fever which loved me a little more to let go, the gym life was a constant on-off. Honestly, due to the decision of deliberately keeping off from heavy exercises, all I did was no exercise at all and this should be completely unacceptable considering my expectations from my body. Eating habits, too, were haywire and, most of the times, I was hogging like a pig on the food, which I could easily have said no to. Nevertheless, I leave the bad memories here.

Spiritually, I can say my relation with God has become a little stronger. I feel Him everywhere, silently listening to whatever I say, reading my mind and bending the ways exactly how I want them to be. The bad times never stayed and the good times left sweet flavors in my mouth, almost palpable all the time.

The big and the most beautiful segments of my life, which stayed there and grew strong, are now being carried over to the next year. My family! I cannot ever thank God enough for this. They have been there with me through all shades of grey – my husband, my brother, my parents – they are big gems, which add value to my life. Their roles in 2018 have been especially worth mentioning. The rock that my brother is, the strong values my mother and father add to my life and, of course, the way my husband mends me into a better person – they all are an integral part of my presence. I can say I am a sum total of them all.

I say this every year whenever I am changing the calendar, but I am ready to work on myself, more seriously and more relentlessly, this time. I am optimistic that things will fall in place, prayers will be answered and good times will prevail. I wish the same to all my readers, too. 
Cheena's new year's prayer:
O, Dear Lord! Bless me, so I seek you, see you and feel you everywhere. Watch over my loved ones day and night and keep them in the pink of their health. Help me be kind, generous and optimistic at all times and see through the hard times to learn from them. Help me take one day at a time and make the most of it. Hold my hand while I strive to make my dreams come true and add value to my endeavors towards shaping my future right. May I always thrive in your love, indulge in your blessings and grow under your guidance. May my love for you always grow and my belief in you become stronger than ever. I thank you for the year gone by and I look forward to receiving your love in the coming year. Amen!      

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Book Review # 19: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

My rating: ●●●●
Robin Sharma 

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari 

India: Jaico; 1999

208 pp; INR 199

ISBN: 9780062515674

Summary: If self-help is your favourite genre, then this book would be an additional dish of ‘paneer’ for you with almost the same taste as that of all its comrades. However, if this is your first tryst with it, then I must applaud you for your selection. There are a lot of takeaways from the book, especially steps, rituals and strategies, which you could possibly write down, set in a frame and put up on your study wall, or bedroom’s. Robin Sharma has been extremely straightforward in motivating his readers to enhance the overall quality of their lives and he has, undoubtedly, done a great job. The only thing I was miffed at was how the dose of information gets too much for you to bite and chew. A must read, if this is where you start.  

What really clicked? I was rather intrigued by the title, which initially turned me off as I thought I should taste the “Ferrari-like” success first and then read this book in order to relate better. As a matter of fact, this book will inspire you to give up the thought of owning one in the first place.

My take: Though all self-help books start with the same motive – to disseminate good thoughts and ways – only a few are able to make it all sink in smoothly, not making it sound like preaching. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari does this job pretty well. Divided into thirteen chapters, this book breaks a story the protagonist bases this book on down to pieces, further discussing the significance and the message contained in each element of the story.

The book talks about the life experience of Julian, an established lawyer, who is the protagonist, and is narrated by the author, who was once his assistant. Julian seems to have achieved it all when he collapses in the middle of an ongoing session in a crowded courtroom. This blow to his physical health also affects him mentally and he, in search of the larger meaning of life, comes to India and learns about the Sages of Sivana.

The rest of the book covers Julian’s journey in India and how he learns the secrets to radiant and enlightened living. These secrets are really no big secrets and merely reiterate the lessons we have been learning since childhood. However, books like these make sure that while we continue participating in the mad rat race, we also take out time to stop and look around, calm ourselves down and appreciate small things. 

The author’s attempt to reach out to his readers, helping them lead a better life, is indeed laudable. In this conversation between two people (Julian and Robin), it is the reader who benefits the most. There are pearls of wisdom spread all over the chapters and are worth holding close all life. These snippets of knowledge not only reinstate your faith in your abilities, but also help you in building a strong character. Apart from sharing the ways in which how an ideal life should be led, the author has also shared the techniques which make practicing them easier. For instance, ‘the magic rule of 21’is a technique which could help a person in adopting a habit, provided he repeats doing the same thing for 21 days straight.

This book helps in ironing out a crumpled up life and also paves a way for an enhanced living. A must read for a fresh air of positivity and inspiration.

Final Word: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari shall bring in a whole lot of positive inspiration into your life. This self-help book not just adopts an indirect method of preaching, but also makes it simpler for the readers to practice in real life. Go for the read, as I am sure you wouldn't return empty-handed. 

Sunday, September 2, 2018

To Hell and Back!

Ah! Last three weeks and my birthday; I am ever going to remember this time and the lessons I have learned thus far. Ironically, life gifted me a hospital stay on my birthday and I braved not just the agony that came along, but also the misery of not being able to be happy and accept the blessings and good wishes that came from all over.

So, it is of paramount importance for me to share with you all my takeaways from this episode. First thing first, I would suggest you to rather stay away from allopathic treatments and the concerned doctors, for they are in the ‘market’ to squeeze every penny out of your insurance cover and thereon your pocket. I am not even talking about any massive disease for you to possess to experience this pain; like me, you could just have a viral fever and lo! all that they would see in you would be a potential business client.

Their ‘symptomatic’ treatment would not just suck a lot of blood out of you in the name of the necessary tests that they would have to do, but also give you plenty of strong medicines which would surely make you weaker than your original ‘sick self’. Honestly, I have no more faith left in doctors working with private firms, for I see cretins in them, who are there to do everything but drag you out of the situation. Their treatments and the after-effects would make you sigh with several new problems which weren’t even there when you approached them for help.

When you are sick, you turn the lives of everyone around you upside down. The trauma of your physical condition affects them mentally and they become sad, too. That’s really a sorry thing, for you don’t want to see the people who love you the most as miserable. The ugly part is that you would seldom be able to do a thing except for getting alright faster and staying cheerful mentally. I have seen that the physical pain quivers at the thought of mental happiness. Just try to think about everything that makes you happy and don’t let the pain come to your face. This way, everyone around you would also exude positivity for they would see you improving.  

I seriously urge you all to be healthy and forever thankful for not having to visit a hospital. Trust me, it would always cost you lesser to take care of your health than to pay hospital bills. The pain that comes as a bonus in the latter case would make you want to become a fitness freak. Three things – mind, body and soul – God has never really complicated things for us; it is us who have devised tons of new languages to make business while eluding our own brethren.       

There would always be situations like what happened to me, even when I was regular at gym, calculative about my diet and cautious of my lifestyle and for all these times, just be ready with a reliable health insurance policy. That’s all there’s to say.

I sincerely wish that good times always prevail and bad times never show their ugly face. This birthday, I have pledged to lead an even healthier life and I wish for a hospital-free life for all of you, too.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

A Blessing Like You!

This day will always be special to me and to everyone I hold close, for it is your birthday today!

I don’t know where and how time flies, but here we are, all grown up, mature and all the bullcrap they would love to call us. On the flipside, we are still the li'l cubs who love to curl up in our mother’s lap, telling her all our problems and feeling light.

Since the time I opened my eyes to today, you have been a critical part of my existence and I hold this very close to my heart. While fighting and bickering back in childhood, I never knew I would start revering you when I would be grown up! There has been a phase in life when I hated your intrusion in my matters, but I am surprised to look back today and find it all pragmatic. I thank you for silently supervising what I ever did (haha)!

All this time, one thing that I didn’t realize was how you have grown as a person. This boy, a rebel, I know has actually become a man of honor. I see a caring and loving person in you and this really fills me up with immense joy. I thank God that He chose me to be your sister. I would pray, with all my might, to get this privilege in every birth.

If ever there was a match of your brotherhood versus my sisterhood, you would have won by the biggest margin ever. I failed to have done anything impressive for you till date and yet you love me so much. I actually fail to find the reasons why   

I am amazed how you have become my papa after papa. Bhai, here’s your first baby! 

You hold this space in my heart and our dadda will have to shift a bit in his chair to accommodate you there.    

Despite the distance, you have been there for me, always standing like a wall. I cannot thank you enough for this. Deep down my heart, I am always sending you good vibes and truly wish that you be happy in all your endeavors and lead a life truly worthy.

Sending you one tight hug and a lot of puchheees!

I love you!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Too Often to Notice

There’s some effort it demands – self-love is never easy. There she goes, loving herself to perfection. There’s so much to look after, after all. The hair, the skin, the teeth, the nails… the list never ends. If done continually, self-love seeps into one’s lifestyle to become a habit and there you go, practicing this as a mundane task to the extent that you hate any aberrations from what you termed as ‘perfect’.

She was a goddess to an onlooker, a masterpiece, someone who was just flawless the way she was. It was hard to take eyes off her, her looks and her style was too ideal to be true. For herself, she had forgotten how amazing she looked. She seldom realized what impact she had on the people she worked with. The goddess that she was not just made hundreds turn heads for a second glance, but also made several skip their heartbeats when she giggled. The fragrance she wore added magnetism to her aura, almost like giving her mysterious powers. THIS man who she lived with had to be the luckiest for getting her for life. He couldn’t have complimented her enough, for his appreciation would have been the real fuel to her smile.

Snap out of this to another land of male charmers. This boy here could well be touted as the dream man for any girl. It seemed as if God had taken a few days off work to sculpt his physique. He, honoring the blessing he had received, took special care in building his body, presenting it the way it was meant to be. He redefined masculinity, giving a fresh benchmark to millions of women to look up to in a male. He didn’t know how women around her sighed imagining him around them, all alone. He, indeed, put in great efforts to keep his best traits up. He was someone, who would be a pleasure to look at, let alone the thought of having him over you. THIS woman who has his to keep should have been forever grateful to him for have chosen her over others. She would have sung praises, cherished him forever and pampered him to happiness.

Alas, we see these diamonds we live with every day, but we see them too often to notice their charm, their sparkle. What if we get to know that our souls are like those tiny plants, vying for love and appreciation? What if we saw that the auras shone brighter when they were caressed and treasured? What if every day was not treated as ‘ordinary’? Woah!

Hold that special person close, praise them for what more or little they do, pamper them with what they love the most, notice their quirks and manners and give an ear to what they say. You never know, this might just change your equation with love forever!  

Sunday, June 17, 2018

I will pass through this, O Lord

I will pass through this, O Lord, 
I will play along all through.
I will stay strong and smile,
Never surrender, repent or rue.

I will pass through this, O Lord,
For I look forward to what this will lead to.
I will stand through the storm,
For I know there’s a lot still left to do.

I will pass through this, O Lord,
For I trust in your game plan.
I will stay determined and focused,
As I know I will and I can.

I will pass through this, O Lord,
I know I am your favorite child.
Seldom would you let your fans down,
let alone testing a Godchild.

I will pass through this, O Lord,
for while you look at the bigger picture,
I get anxious, jittery and what not,
Narrowing my vision to pixels.

I will pass through this, O Lord,
For patience and perseverance are my virtues to possess,
And I know I am in safe hands,
while you carry me through stress,

I will pass through this, O Lord,
For I’ve heard your best warriors last the longest,
Diamonds are a result of tough times,
Turmoil, pressure and pain at their best.

I will pass through this, O Lord,
Because I know I am made for big things,
And while ordinary living is easy,
Your love for me will be the wind beneath my wings!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Where are All the Good Women at?

They say everything goes redundant with time, but the flavor of the past remains as classic as that of a vintage wine. The generation which usually bears the brunt of the passing time is most often the one which has seen the old and the new enough to be able to compare.

Back in time, unlike the twenty first century, a woman would grow manifolds having passed any age milestone. The wisdom in a young, a teenage, a married, a mother or the eldest woman in the family would eventually ripen with time. You could always bank on any advice you would receive from a woman who read good books, including mythology. They commanded respect, never having to demand it. Seldom they would have been fit for the corporate world, but running a house was no less an art that they excelled in.

In my late twenties now, I miss meeting that breed of women. The gravity they acquired in their persona with time, the influence they had on anybody they met and the unique life manuals they designed around their existence was akin to bible for anybody looking for an inspiration. Having learnt from life first-hand and developed a judgment powerful enough to be challenged, these ‘ammas’ or ‘akkas’ belong to a genus close to extinction.

There was a lesson with every experience, a reason behind every custom, a practice for every ritual and a discipline set by that woman in the house – this discipline was what kept the family running like an institution, a clear role for each member.

Two viruses, in my opinion, contaminated the DNA of the new generation, low thinking and shallow living. This is where we lost the battle – blame it on the reasons like social media, a mockery called equality or a habit of changing skin with the modern time – the character is now open for sale. Modern women need to catch up with what the benchmark foremothers have set, for the damage has already been done by the estrogen-fueled, post-feminist mess and the result is out for everyone to witness – frigging women are laughing over serious issues and crying over petty matters. Where have all the good women gone? 
Read more here: That One Lady in the House

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Somewhere in the Progress, Evenings were Lost

Also published on Women's Web at: When The Evenings Are Lost On Our Road to Success!

Talk about the era of empowerment, women standing shoulder-to-shoulder with men in every sphere possible and the increasing competition in the corporate environment. The will to succeed, earn more and lead a comfortable life ‘in the future’ has left little in hand for the time called ‘now’ and the phase called ‘youth’.

Back in the 90’s, per a 90’s kid, there was a clear definition and purpose attached to each portion of the day, be it morning, afternoon or, my favorite, evening. One was supposed to get up, perform daily rituals, including praying, and report to work in the morning, work till evening and head to home by the later part of it. The latter leg of the evening was a time for pure pleasure, to be spent doing things which brought delight of the ‘company’ back home. It also marked having five-o-clock tea along with light supper and talking all sort of things, which happened by the day.

Evenings have been such an understated part of the day that the role they play in toning a day down to the ground level has always been overlooked. Thanks to the shift timings most of us have to work in today, in order to stay aligned with our Western counterparts, reaching home by evening seems like an unrealistic dream, which is leaving us with dreamless slumber to be had in the night. The night, which is meant to take the ground level of the energies to the top-most notch in order to carry the progression of the next day, is now overburdened to encompass the supper time, the talking time and the leisure time. Therefore, this poor chap does nothing and even eats up the sleep time, which is often spent idealizing the day in retrospect or just playing with the technology.

If you’d ask an ambitious male or a female if they would be willing to work till late in order to get more in terms of professional fulfillment, I bet you’d seldom hear a ‘no’. Thus begins the clichéd saga of the modern day professionals and their idea of ‘success.’ So, today, we don’t talk unless necessary, eat unless required and, of course, sleep until we are compelled to by our bodies. In all this daily grind and hunger for more, we have lost an asset, a blessing, the evenings.

Welcome to the new age of ambiguity, we do whatever whenever whatsoever.     

Thursday, March 22, 2018

You would never say.

They say that your happiness knows no bounds when your home is not a place, but a person. How true; one could almost feel her adrenaline gushing at a mere sight of him. Their love story was no ordinary, for he defined love for her and he hardly was friends with words.

 She didn’t know if love ever existed in words; for her, it was a feeling, euphoria, a lot of warmth and him. Yeah, pretty much. No festivals, occasions or conventional times of the year would bring enough happiness to her more than the tip that he was standing outside her office to pick her up. In the distance of close to fifteen minutes back home, their conversations would range from the happenings in the day passed without each other to what they plan to do once they'd be home. A lot of times, a song one would have been vying to make the other listen would fill the silence and thus would commence the sweet nothings.

She knew his existence revolved around her and how she was oxygen for him. Each day was a battle for him and she knew how strong a support system she was. You don’t calculate love, you don’t measure the conditions, you don’t draw the perfect map and you surely don’t write down the T&C's – when you love someone, you BELIEVE – in dreams, aspirations and life together.

She knew how a perfect team they both were and how he would always need her for every big or small decision he would ever take. She knew their love was a melody, a song they both loved humming to and a dawn turned to dusk while talking.

Their love was the wind beneath their wings and she loved how God made them dance at the twilight, in the sheer ecstasy of each other's company. She knew, for a fact, that they were inseparable and, also, that he would never say. 

Their love story might appear a little vague to the world outside, but on the inside, it was clear and complete and that’s what made them stand out – they were not ordinary, but complementary.  

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

An Unplanned Date in Bhubaneswar

This is how it goes: there’s a Plan A and a backup Plan B and, then, God would tear your script apart and instead handover His plan to you, the best that could ever be.
We set out from home to catch an early morning flight to Vizag and, alas, could only manage to bid it adieu from the shore.  This is how our next, one-stop flight landed us in Bhubaneswar, steering our journey to a land I couldn’t have ever imagined visiting otherwise.
We quickly browsed through the Internet for the places we could possibly visit in the next three hours we had at hand and here I am listing what all we did in this brief span.

Lingaraja Temple: This is one of the oldest temples in the city and would look so through every aspect. We could almost feel as if summoned from Lord Shiva, for we had no plans to meet Him here till morning today. Photography is not allowed inside the temple premises and you are not even allowed to wear caps, sunglasses or any footwear. Trust your cab driver enough to hand over your every belonging to him before you rush to the temple. The temples in Bhubaneswar have a unique style of architecture and this would be prominent in almost all the temples that you would visit. The temple is huge – it has 50 shrines and each holds scores of stories within. One unique thing that should stay wary of while in or around the temple is nosy and ‘super obese’ priests!

Dhauli Giri Hills: This place where Kalinga war was fought would surely appear to be the most interesting place in Bhubaneswar. Located on the banks of River Daya, which is said to have turned red with blood after of people deceased in the war, Dhauli Giri is an important centre for Buddhist activities. There’s a huge, white “Shanti Stupa” at Dhauligiri, which would drive you back to the old, Ashoka days. Like any other historical place would have, you would find a lot of local photographers, ready to click you for as low as INR 20.
Brahmeshwara Temple: Most of them temples in Bhubaneswar are either dedicated to Lord Shiva or Lord Sun. This one is for the former. Sporting beautiful architecture, this temple is, undoubtedly, managed really well. There’s a quite, small pond within the premises and we found people taking a dip in the water. The condition of the water and the overall heat discouraged us to follow the suit and, therefore, we moved on from there to our next stop. One more thing, you would find a lot of great inscriptions of Lord Shiva, Goddess Chamunda and other tantiric-related images.

Rajarani Temple: You would see a reflection of Brahmeshwara temple here and you might want to give this a miss, considering the fact that you’ve already had too much of the temple flavor, but here I would ask you to stop and think. This one temple is also called ‘love temple’ and has beautiful, erotic carvings of women and couples on the outside. This would also give you a glimpse of Khujuraho temples and might also fuel your curiosity and interest. So, don’t miss giving this temple a visit and, also, praying here.

Food at Dalma: Our brief visit ended with a delectable meal at this famous restaurant, which serves authentic Oriya food – Dalma. For a person like me, who embraces spicy food like a long-lost cousin, Oriya food might not tantalize the taste buds, but I had to try and I did. I might never again, but who cares?
Authentic Oriya Food
With our tummy full and eyes comfortably satiated, we bade adieu to the land of Patnaik and his scion and moved on to Vizag – the place where my heart lives.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...