Lock – Unlock

The Sun is about to rise. It is still dark and from my balcony, I can see the highway lit up beautifully. I can see the plant at a distance glowing in the silver light and chimney throwing up the golden flame. The interplay of lights here and there is making the sea water, in front, dance intermittently. I can see the birds flying and chirping happily as if singing in excitement for the Sun to rise. The sky is changing colours so beautifully making chariots of Gods come alive and disappear one after the other in different formations. One innocent redness is now visible just a little above the hill in the middle of the sea. The red ball is now climbing up the hill and the Sun rays have started their play on the sea surface. Here comes a pigeon and another one in the balcony adjacent to mine. The pigeon above says something to the pigeon sitting a little below and they keep communicating in total oblivion to everything around. They fly away a little later to join their other friends flying happily over the sea waters. I chant the Gayatri mantra welcoming the rise of the morning Sun and close my eyes to just listen to the chirping around . Silence has its own beauty and I don’t know how many minutes elapsed in that peaceful blissful silence. In silence, I hear the gentle sound of the church bell nearby announcing the beginning of the new day.

This all has been around every day. How come it just comes alive when everything, everyone is locked up? What is this new life amidst the dance of terrible fear around – the fear of losing it all? What is this emerging when everything else seems to have been denied, taken away?

I sit there quietly reflecting. It’s a lockdown. Lockdown of tea stalls, lockdown of Vada pav shops, lockdown of that small general store having all one needs. So, all this gets locked down. So does the income for these people and many more giving them daily supplies. How are they managing things for themselves and their dear ones? How are the emergencies being handled by them? It’s a lockdown of our office. How does the show go on? What’s the new norm of working, connecting and for how long? What’s happening in other organisations?

A part of me is still in the deep silence of early morning and all of a sudden, I again find myself getting consumed by this silence within and the play of nature outside – both mingling seamlessly.

As I get up to get ready to work from home and be nicely available to the office colleagues for the whole day, I am still wondering why it took a human crisis for the gifts of nature to unfold. I am still wondering while taking shower why it took a lockdown for our inner beauty and peace to open up to ourselves. I am still wondering while slowly eating my breakfast if it is possible for us to slow down; appreciate the beauty around and within; and make the focused difference to the world as well in harmony. The laptop beeps up with the first teams call for the day – Hello Mohit! Good morning. So, today ……😀😀😀


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mr. Mohit Kumar, Joint President – HR (Hindalco Industries Ltd.) is a Human Capital Strategist with 26 years experience in different facets of Human Resource Management in strongly HR oriented organisations like Hindalco Industries Ltd & Idea Cellular Ltd (Aditya Birla Group), Hewlett Packard, ITC INFOTECH INDIA Ltd (ITC group), SRF Ltd, DSS Mobile Communications Ltd and BCH (Eaton corporation).

He is a passionate thought leader, business enabler, employee champion; and is cross culturally adept having worked in different parts of India and with business and HR teams from over 12 countries. He is actively involved in leadership coaching and development, internal development assessment centers, talent & capability pipeline, sensitivity development and various other quality HR interventions towards creating a learning and winning organization.

10 Happiness Mantras for Moms… :)

That important meeting, a birthday party in neighbourhood and your friend’s engagement – all happening at the same time. You have to attend one and make up for another. Yes, it does get messy at times. Enjoy the beautiful mess. Choose to be happy. 

Here are 10 simple tips to be a Happy mom.

1. RELISH 5-MINUTE BREAKS 

When you are having your favourite juice, sipping your coffee or walking to the nearby store, just enjoy it. Disconnect from rest of the world and enjoy your me time.

Imagine sitting on your couch, looking outside the window and appreciating the beauty of nature with a glass of juice in your hand. Enjoy that juice and think neither about past nor future.

2. GO EASY ON YOURSELF 

There will always be some critics who do not approve of your parenting style. Let them be. You know what is best for you, your family and your baby. Ignore the criticism if it pulls you down and is not constructive. 

Every night before you sleep, think of ten great things that happened to you in the day. You will see the significant positives overpowering the insignificant negatives. 

“Our own worst enemy cannot harm us as much as our unwise thoughts. No one can help us as much as our own compassionate thoughts.” ~Buddha 

3. BUILD YOUR INNER STRENGTH 

A 10-minute meditation ritual every morning or evening can work wonders for you. It will keep you centered, mindful and sane the rest of the day. There are many mobile Applications with guided meditation audios, relaxation music and sleep stories. Once you practice this for a few days, you will experience the super power it gives you.

“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment,  live in the breath.”  ~Amit Ray

4. DO WHAT YOU LIKE 

Create time to do things you really love to do – reading, listening to music or dancing. If it requires for you to seek help from others, do not hesitate. It does not make you selfish or less caring, it helps you destress. If you neglect yourself, it will make you irritable. 

If you need half an hour to have a conversation with your best friend, tell your family and slot time to speak to her without any disturbance. At times, we assume too much and do not communicate what we want. Ask and you shall be given. 

5. TREAT YOURSELF THE WAY YOU WANT OTHERS TO TREAT YOU 

You want your employer, your family and your friends to understand you, appreciate you and trust you. Do you empathize with yourself enough? Believe in yourself, respect yourself and go easy on yourself. 

Our personality is a reflection of what we feel about ourselves and how we treat ourselves. When we take ourselves seriously, the world is bound to. Believe you are a Queen, treat yourself like a Queen and you will be treated like a Queen. 

6. LIVE YOUR LIFE TO THE FULLEST

“Many people are alive but don’t touch the miracle of being alive.”  – Thích Nhất Hạnh 

Sometimes when we are too busy, we just keep thinking about completing the work. Do not look at your life as just series of jobs to be done. Enjoy everything that you do. Life is not the big achievements; it is the million little things. The time with mother nature, great interactions with good people, sharing and caring is all happening while we are chasing our big goals. Acknowledge and enjoy all of it. 

7. DO NOT GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS 

Most of us stop dreaming or give up on our dreams after becoming a mom. Once you start believing in your dreams again, you will find ways to give time, efforts and attention to this while still managing the other things well. You just have to believe in your dreams. 

“Everything is created twice, first in the mind and then in reality.”  ~Robin S. Sharma 

8. STAY HEALTHY AND LOVE YOURSELF 

Eat healthy, stay healthy and stay fit. However, do not chase size zero. As long as you are healthy and are able to take care of yourself, your family and your work, you are beautiful. Love yourself for who you are and love your body. 

9. BE THE GIRL YOU ONCE WERE 

There are no rewards for being sane all the time. Sing out loud, dance in your living room and play crazy games. In fact, motherhood is all the more an opportunity to be a child again. 

The best thing about kids is that they are not inhibited. It takes immense energy to be self- conscious all the time. It is ok to let loose at times and just be yourself without the fear of judgement.

“In today’s rush, we all think too much — seek too much — want too much — and forget about the joy of just being.” ~Eckhart Tolle 

10. HAVE FAITH- IN PEOPLE AND UNIVERSE 

Amidst all chaos and uncertainty, it is faith that keeps us going. Your faith can move mountains and your doubt can create them. It is faith in visible and invisible, known and unknown that keeps us strong. Have faith. Stay true to yourself, keep your loved ones by your side and stay strong. 

In pursuit of happiness, we need to just pause and be happy. Happiness will not come to us that one day; it’s experienced every day in little things like these. So, be happy and pass on the happiness to your child. After all, kids don’t need a perfect mom, they need a happy one. Wish you a calm, meaningful and cheerful life ahead. 

Heroes in our Homes

(1)

He is sitting silently on the hospital bench. 

“Congratulations! You have been blessed with a baby girl,” the nurse announces excitingly.

He stands up.

“Would you like to see her? I will bring her to you,” says the nurse.

She comes back after ten minutes, with the little miracle in her hand. He looks at the little life as she moves from nurse’s arms to grandmother’s arms.

“Have you recorded the time of birth? You guys are always in your own little world,” he yells at his mother.

Her face turns pale. Everyone around her goes silent for a while.


(2)

He is standing in the hall waiting for his wife and daughter. 

His daughter is going to college and is moving out of their home.

“Darling, hope you have kept your medicines,” says his wife, as they enter the hall.

Yes mom, don’t worry.”

“Also, make sure you take out all the snacks as soon as you reach there and arrange them properly.”

“No, I won’t,” the daughter laughs, “I will manage, Mom.”

“It’s high time you learn to take things seriously,” he yells at his daughter.

She breaks down. So does her mother.


(3)

He is moving out of the hospital with his extremely sick father. As he makes his father sit in the car, his father suddenly holds him tightly and starts breathing heavily.

He looks at his father and looks around to see if there is someone who can help. In seconds, his father stops breathing. He looks back at him to realize his father is no more.

He calls his wife, “Inform everyone he is no more.”

“What!??” she exclaims.

He hangs up.

Her heart sinks as she senses the coldness in her husband. She sits down and cries her heart out.


This is just half the story. Here’s the full story…

(1)

He looks at the little life as she moves from nurse’s arms to the grandmother’s arms.

He is overwhelmed and is feeling a range of emotions. He brought into this world a life; he has a big responsibility now and he suddenly has this unconditional feeling of love.”

He doesn’t cry with happiness.

“Have you recorded the time of birth? You guys are always in your own little world,” he yells at his mother.


(2)

“No, I won’t,” the daughter laughs “I will manage, Mom.

His daughter is moving into the big bad world. He always protected her and now he is concerned for her. He doesn’t cry and say, “I love you. Please take care of yourself.”

“It’s high time you learn to take things seriously,” He yells at his daughter.


(3)

He looks back at him to realize his father is no more. 

His world is shaken. He feels like there is no roof over him anymore. He feels this unbearable pain in his heart.

He doesn’t cry.

He calls his wife, “Inform everyone he is no more.”

“What!??” she exclaims.

He hangs up.


He  doesn’t cry, he never does. He should not. He is supposed to give strength to the family and be their hero. And heroes don’t cry. Humans do.

Every time he feels the rush of emotions, he doesn’t know what to do. And the outlet is what it is. 


Let’s ask ourselves today…

Do we want to be born to a hero or to a human?
Do we want to live with a hero or a human?
Do we want to raise a hero or a human?”

Perfectly Imperfect

Imagine if this world were a different place.

If life were a garden and we could just pluck or pick whatever we wanted rather than trying every bit to survive life’s impositions… if everything could be controlled by a magical wand and we were the rulers of our world… if nothing in this universe could affect us and we could monitor our psyches… if every family were a happy family, every child a genius, everyone could find true love,  all marriages were successful, there were no failures and fights, every businessman made profits, and everyone always enjoyed good health… ❤ ❤ ❤

It, indeed, would have been very different to be a part of such a hunky-dory world.
🙂 🙂 🙂

However… 🤔

This world would have deprived us of some silly things.

Yes!
I mean stupid things like the anxiety before the declaration of result and elation on an achievement, insignificant things like listening to the complications in our friend’s love stories and lending the worst possible advice, petty things like scratching our heads for solving a problem and cursing the geek in class who does it, the pain of rising item prices in canteen and sadistic pleasure on posting controversial tweets. 💜💜💜
Thrill, excitement, dreams, adventure, challenges, dilemmas, chaos, spontaneity would be nowhere in the picture. Wouldn’t life be pretty monotonous in this world!

Let’s think of it like this…

Life is a game and there is nothing to lose because whether we win or not, we can have our share of fun.  We win: its fine; we don’t: the game is really interesting. 😎
If only we detach ourselves from our life for a while and be a spectator to it, we shall realise how each moment in life adds meaning to it. ✨ Time stands witness to the fact that nobody in this world has been happy and successful throughout their life. There have been people who have lived without regrets and complaints; and there lies the essence of life. 💫

All these random thoughts indicate that this world could not have been better. Whatever situations, circumstances or conditions we are put into, we just need to be ourselves and ready to experience the most out of it. 

“To love life is to live life” 🤟🏻

Staring at the roof

Feeling confident right after something good happened to you and feeling low after a bad incident is not very uncommon, I suppose.

Let’s think about it.

Feeling confident, effectively, is a situation wherein your brain imagines situations of positive/desired outcomes of your actions. Why does it happen so strongly after a victory?

One way I think about it is:
Our brain tries to predict the outcome of our actions. There has to be a basis for the prediction. Else, all the possible outcomes would be equally likely. So it uses our past experiences and observations. The past experiences are stored in our memory. The more recent an incident, the higher is its weightage in the prediction. Right after an incident of undesired outcome, the most recent incident ‘biases’ the prediction towards highly undesirable outputs and thus the ‘low’ feeling.
Thinking about a situation where one ‘succeeded’ brings a sense of confidence and thus ‘positive thoughts’ give us strength.

If we think about it, the universe hasn’t changed the way it functions because of one desirable/undesirable incident that happened to a person. So feeling low is just an outcome of relying on a faulty predictive mechanism and can thus be revoked by changing the input.

Apple falling on the ground? Gravity.
Levitating/floating apple? MAGIC!!??

The brain has always seen the objects being ‘pulled’ by the Earth. If the science behind it can be manipulated in a way to force the object to move in the opposite direction, the brain sees something that contradicts its past observations.

BAM…!!!! You have just been tricked.

The death of existence

Would I still exist if I weren’t born?

The particles that make me up would certainly be here, scattered.

Would these words have been here, on this website?

The love that I have for people, would not be here. The hatred that I share with some of them would not be here.

More importantly, the love they have for me would not be here.

The day I was born, I did not bring these with me. I have them now. I must have created them. I did not come with questions and thoughts. I am not the one who created them. If I did, wouldn’t I only create the thoughts that would make me burst with ecstasy every second? Why would I have questions that trouble me, thoughts that make me want to run away from them?

Well, what about a washing machine? The parts that it is made up of would still be there if nobody assembled them. The collective contribution of those parts to cleanliness of my clothes, leading to a successful date with a hygiene freak girl, can not be ignored. It would have ended at the first sign of stinky clothes.

I am proud of being a human. Why? A washing machine is also doing good and wonders. Does it celebrate my well ended date? Well, it’s contribution is quite small, no doubt. Victory! I am better than a washing machine. Hihaa!!

I have heard of people who don’t have a life. Bring them into this. I am unemployed, don’t have a lot of skills, was not born in a money draining family, don’t know much about the world and no good looks either.

I have been assembled with all the organs intact, as I write. I am a washing machine that has been assembled and has sources of supply for what it needs. I don’t have the will to wash clothes.

A washing machine machine can’t be under social anxiety or employment pressure though. Maybe that is why it never says ‘no’ whenever it is told to do its job. Could it have written all these words, if asked? More importantly, could it gather the courage to say no, at the risk of losing people that it, maybe, loves?