पेड़

पेड़ पर लगे हुए एक फ़ूल की कामना है,

“अगर हवाओं के साथ बहने के लिए थोड़ा ऊँचा हो जाऊँ”

ख़्याल रहना चाहिए उसको इतना ,

पेड़ से टूटकर उड़ तो सकता है पर जी नहीं सकता ।

तो क्या ऊँचा उड़ने की ख़्वाहिश की कीमत ज़िन्दगी ही है ?

ग़ुरूर को दरकिनार कर अगर वो सोच सके इतना ,

“क्यों न पेड़ को ऊँचा कर फिर लहरा उठूँ मैं”

ज़िन्दगी बच जाएगी, उसकी भी और पेड़ की भी ,

क्योंकि उस पेड़ को मुरझाते देर नहीं लगती ,

जिसका इकलौता फ़ूल उससे जुदा हो चले ।

पर फ़ूल को इतने ख़्याल आते कहाँ हैं ,

सोचना तो स्थिर पेड़ को आता है ,

फ़ूल तो बस पेड़ से पोषित होकर ख़ुद महकना जानता है ।

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?”

Defensive Pessimism vs Mindful Optimism?

In stressful times like these, many people adopt an inclination towards defensive pessimism: prepare for the worse and hope for the best. To my mind this is a losing strategy. Events are neither good nor bad. It is our thoughts that make them so.

Defensive pessimism keeps us on the lookout for the negative, and over interpreting events through a very dark lens. The problem is seek and ye shall find. Being inundated with negative thoughts keeps us stressed and feeling helpless— neither of which is good for our health and well being. To hope for the best may sound fine but actually on closer inspection it has a pessimistic outlook built into it that is absent from expecting the best. Hoping for something acknowledges that defeat is a real possibility. Expecting defeat through a series of social psychological processes too often creates defeat.

Mindful Optimism, on the other hand, is not burying one’s head in the sand with a certainty that all will be fine, but still helps us live fully moment by moment without stress. Uncertainty is not newly upon us. Everything has always been uncertain. It feels new because people tend to confuse the stability of their mindsets with the stability of the underlying phenomena. That is, all is and was always changing and not fully knowable but we may have felt we knew because we were oblivious to the inherent uncertainty.

We can worry or relax and things can turn out to be good or bad. If we worry and everything turns out fine, we’ve stressed ourselves unnecessarily and wasted precious time. If we worry and if turns out to be bad we’re no more prepared for it than if we didn’t worry. If we relax and it turns out bad we’ll be stronger to deal with it and if it all turns out to be fine we can continue behaving adaptively.

So what should we do if we want to adopt this more successful life strategy of Mindful Optimism, in the time of a pandemic?

Make a plan for yourself, such as frequent hand washing (which is always good) and engage in social distancing and then go back to living fully moment by moment with the implicit expectation that all will be fine.

About the Author

Ellen Langer


Dr. Ellen Langer, Ph.D., is a social psychologist and the first female professor to gain tenure in the Psychology Department at Harvard University. She is the author of eleven books and more than two hundred research articles written for general and academic readers on mindfulness for over 35 years. Her best selling books include Mindfulness; The Power of Mindful Learning; On Becoming an Artist: Reinventing Yourself Through Mindful Creativity; and Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility.

Dr. Langer has been described as the “mother of mindfulness” and is also the founder of The Langer Mindfulness Institute. Among other honors, she is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and three Distinguished Scientist Awards, the World Congress Award, the NYU Alumni Achievement Award, and the Staats award for Unifying Psychology. Most recently she received the Liberty Science Genius Award.

Beauty and the beast

Can a beast be with a beauty? 👹 ⚡ 👱🏻‍♀️ 
Can a hammer stay with a flower? 🔨 ⚡ 🌷 
Can roughness survive with tenderness without destroying it?

Ice 🧊 breaks its bonds to melt and become water 🌊 when exposed to the warmth of light☀️. The rigidity it possesses is subject to change. It is water… frozen by atmosphere. It can, too, flow freely, quench thirst and liquefy itself. Is it scared of the transformation?💭 Maybe. Undoubtedly, there is risk of losing parts of itself and falling apart, if not held tight. “Would it lose itself” is a fear that makes it hold itself solid🧊. Water, on the other hand, is flexible, free flowing and “more” liquid. It does not possess good counters for hard blows and punches, it lets them pass through; does not attack the attacker but tears itself apart🌊.

Is water jealous of ice for its endurance?
Is ice jealous of water for its freedom?
Ice and water are two forms of existence of the same material; interchangeable yet different properties.

What if they are put together in a closed box? It is no less than amazement to see them not fighting but trying to unite🤝. They tend to lose themselves to become the other. There comes a point of equilibrium where there isn’t a need for them to lose themselves anymore to relieve the other of its discomfort with the coexistence. They start coexisting⚗️. What if we heat the box🔥? The discomfort rises again inside both. A lot is happening inside💔. The tendency to lose themselves pushes them in one direction; survival instincts and identity greed in the other. After all confusions and haphazard ups and downs, what happens in the end😞?

Equilibrium. ⚗️ 
Peaceful coexistence. 🤝

How? 😯😯

However.

Woman Shrugging on WhatsApp

Why? 🤔

Because they want it. 🙂

Isn’t love also a verb?!!! 🙂

Woman and Man Holding Hands on Facebook 4.0

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” 🤟🏻

Romeo

My name is Romeo. I also live roadside. Contrary to what you might be imagining, the two words put together don’t describe me. But there is no doubt about my qualities as a lover. I do love. That’s one thing I am pretty good at. I say hello to everyone I see on the road. I try to. This… is a story of a chilling night in my city.

The month is January and the date is 1. It is around 8.30 in the evening. My dinner routines aren’t very organised and depend on a lot of factors. I don’t remember when I ate last. I can feel the chills taking my breath away with every blow of freezing cold wind passing by. I am by the roadside outside an ATM. It is my area and so I know there are people nearby who are setting up fire to warm themselves, preparing for the night as all of us know it’s going to get colder.

It’s not very cold inside the ATM room but I am too scared to step in. It’s getting colder outside and I am still outside, shivering.. lying on the road.. entangled in myself.. to cover myself up as much as I can with my own body.

I have furs but they don’t seem to be too protective today. My tail is stuck between my body and the doormat lying outside; I am trying to wrap myself up as much as I can with my body, trying to feel a little cozy. Perhaps I didn’t have dinner today and so I am feeling a little weak.

What happens next?
Do I survive the night?
This, and many other such stories, me and my friends talk about a lot.

This is not my story.
This is your story.
You get to decide the end the next time it happens in front of you.

I eat.. sleep.. reproduce.. repeat.
I wag my tail when I see you.
I lick. I jump.
I try to share my love in my language.

I can’t tell my story and so somebody is saying it on my behalf…

Next time you see me, don’t forget to say hello. 🙂

The 3 sisters

Diya, Riya and Tiya were playing. Their mom was busy in the kitchen, preparing dinner for the family.

Suddenly, she heard someone crying. It was Tiya, the youngest one.
Mom screamed, “Riya, don’t bully your little sister.
Mom, but I didn’t do anything. You always scold me for no reason.” Riya replied annoyingly.

Mom entered their room and observed how upset they all were.
Fight as much as you want to. There will come a time when you will look back and miss these days badly.

Mom please! Not these dialogues again. It gets too melodramatic. I think you should stop watching those daily soaps.” Diya, the eldest one, said sternly.

Present Day:

Riya is spraying perfume on Tiya.
Tiya says authoritatively, “Not on my face.. it may damage my skin.
They all start laughing.

Tiya is getting married. Riya has come to India after 2 years to attend her wedding. Diya is just too happy for these 5 days when they are all getting to meet again. Though, there’s not much time to sit and talk. Their kids are too young and demand attention. Tiya is busy with customs and parlour appointments.

All they need is a little more time for their silly fights.

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 inside story

I can ruin your day, your week, your month or even your year.

I can destroy your personality, kill your happiness and break you from inside.

I am a parasite. I can live inside you, be born inside you and survive.

I am fueled and nurtured by you, inside you.

I can hamper your relationships, hinder your actions and strangulate your confidence.

You can try to fight me with all your will and might but you would fail, definitely.

I am impossible to fight, or kill, or eradicate. I don’t exist, I am.

You are human, and I… am DOUBT.

————————————————————————————————-

I am not found anywhere and can be found everywhere.

In the smallest quantity possible if I am adapted, I have an immense power to help you fight the most disastrous of existing and non-existing monsters.

I am the easiest and the most difficult to find.

I am the world you create and I am invisible.

I am the flip side of doubt, it’s divine twin.

I am as powerful as my evil twin in intensity but anti-oriented.

I can make your dreams come true, strengthen your inner self and fill you with joy every day, every minute, every second.

I am the secret ingredient of beautiful relationships, satisfactorily rewarding actions
and the thing called confidence.

I am a very close friend of Love. Together, we create the beauty in the eyes of the beholder.

You don’t have to fight doubt, if I am embraced by you. By the nature of creation, doubt can’t survive near me. It has to be either one of us. Can you get both head and tail on top on flipping a coin? Choose yours.

You are human, and I… am FAITH.
Hi there
! 🙂

I want to be…

Reserved, ever-so-calm and meticulous Manoj is in accounts. Manoj is 38, his wife is a school teacher and his only son who is in 6th standard wins almost every olympiad.

On Monday, Manoj was attending a training session, with his team, where the trainer asked all the participants to introduce themselves and share something unique about them. Manoj introduced himself rather shyly. The trainer probed him to share something unique too.

Manoj smiled. With a twinkle in his eye, said “I want to be a professional music composer.”

Suddenly, the room burst into laughter.
A voice in the room said, “Manoj, you are going to be our next Finance head.”
Another one said, “Building castles in the air.”
Yet another one said, “It’s nothing but weekend hangover.”

Manoj turned red with embarrassment. He felt as if he had stripped off in front of so many people. He hardly spoke that day, everyone had fun at his expense the whole day.

The night was getting even more difficult to get through.
“Why did I even speak up?”
“Really stupid of me to have frivolous aspirations.”
“How am I going to face people tomorrow!”
His own thoughts were the demons in the room, not letting him sleep.

The next day wasn’t a usual one. There were some critical audits scheduled, so everyone was on their toes. Manoj got into high gear and before he knew it, the day was over. There was something unavoidable in the evening, a planned team celebration with the Head of Finance. Manoj got an award this year, and that was one of the reasons for this celebration. Everyone got into their cars and moved to the party venue.

As Manoj entered the venue, one of his colleagues said,
“Look who is here. The next big musician.”
Others started laughing.

Manoj, by now, knew that this wasn’t going to be easy. He just smiled. The party began, and all those who got awarded were asked to say something.
Manoj got to the stage when it was his turn.

“A very good evening everyone.” He began.
“This recognition means a lot to me.
I always wanted to qualify CA and be a great accountant.
This recognition marks the accomplishment of my dreams.
The dreams that I had when I was 15, the dreams that were never mocked at and never suppressed.

When we were younger, we were always asked what do you want to be when you grow up. Whether we said doctor, engineer or CA, we were always encouraged.
I didn’t know much about accounting when I decided to be a CA.
That didn’t matter.
Everyone knew I will learn with time.

Why don’t we ask each other the same question now?
What do you want be after 10 years!
We are more self-aware and worldly wise now.
We can make amazing choices that inspire us, and can motivate us everyday.
We have stopped dreaming and we don’t let people around us dream too.
Isn’t that just sad?
In 10 years’ frame, we can be anything we want to be.
We can try, fail, learn and grow.
My humble plea to everyone here is to never stop dreaming.
It’s the best thing in the world.
A dream is the best gift that you can give to yourself.
So, yes… I want to be a professional Music Composer in 10 years.
I will start working on it today, with what I am doing.
And however far it may seem, I will take a step a day and I am sure I will reach there.”

The room burst into claps.