Teachers’ Day Fortnight Countdown Lessons. D Day: Embrace All Experiences

Teachers’ Day finally & the countdown has ended. After wishing everyone whose contribution I remembered through these posts (and also a few more, while definitely missing many) on this day, (well, after a tiring long Monday) I now sit down to write what my favourite teacher for life taught – Maa.

Embrace All Experiences – They All Teach You Something

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Imagine A New World

Last night I wrote an email with the subject as “Imagine A New World”, and just the moment I sent it, I was thinking – what did it mean for me?

People who know me, also know that I could build castles in the air. I could write of illusions that don’t exist, but could be possible if worked upon. I could make them dream. But this phrase today for me was more of coming back home & acknowledging the reality – something hidden deep within the mirages people are portraying it to be.

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Here’s to 2016!

I seem to be coming here very less, given the WordPress editor is looking really different – in a good way! And of course the last year’s statistics on the blog prove that – 2 blogs in the whole year – sad! :P

Anyhow, definitely improving on the count this year, the reason I have decided to blog more often – maybe twice once a month as a far-fetched target! :D (Now that I’ve publicly declared, I should stick to it! :P )

Edit: As the popular quote goes – January was a trial – the year begins from February! :D No wonder this post is being reviewed for publishing after a month of starting it! :O

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The nation sees a ray of hope, and finally a wave of optimism!

Often times I’ve been stirred by talks of a great future, of a great country that India can be. I would at times feel privileged that I could be an audience to such verbal accounts of hope & optimism. I have been a part of such an initiative for the past one year where such instances were not uncommon. But for the first time (or maybe I just can’t remember when else it was so) that the whole nation – atleast the people whom I have met – young or old – have also been just as privileged to be touched by that optimism. It happened many times in the past few months – and it happened today. If not anyone, I was once again seeing the hopes for a new India become true – and many many more opting in this optimism.

I had the opportunity to visit my paternal & maternal families last weekend. Both days I was in the company of my elders & other family members – the amazing family tree I’m a part of. Among all the talks of the past – the days my grand parents spent, the days my uncles & aunts spent, also came in the talks of the politics of each era, the India of the past century. From my grand parents’ times – who saw the partition, who saw the independence of the country, to the time of my parents & uncles and aunts who saw the various wars of the past, including the riots in the country, elsewhere & in Delhi, they had seen the make & remake of politics. And on an obvious note, I was an audience to this as well. But, I saw a change from the past few years to this weekend.

Earlier on, when we used to meet & politics would be the topic of discussion, they would often times all concur that the country has potential but sadly is going on a low slide to an era back. The tone would often have been pessimistic, with people agreeing ab sab bhagwaan bharonse chal raha hai (now everything depends on God).

But this time, everyone was upbeat! They were suddenly talking of how optimistic they felt for the country. They remembered the time when Indira Gandhi used to address the nation or speak to a gathering, the audience with rapt attention – they could recall it all. And all of this they were reliving again – through Narendra Modi’s speeches & addresses. Not one person that I met was talking of the country they thought was bhagwaan bharonse. They were talking of a country which was geared up to be the next super power.

I wouldn’t have felt any better hearing it all.

People often ask me or question my preference for Narendra Modi. And for all those times I would just say the same thing. I am not inclined towards any political personality, least towards any particular party. I’ve always been with the person who shows optimism, who shows the bright light when it is all gloom. To many it might seem like an eye-wash using emotional words, but to me it felt like motivation to do something, and the opportunity to see another perspective – the one which was lacking for long.

He managed to stir many with his SRCC talk. And he did so again today with his speech in the Central Hall of the Parliament House, the temple of democracy as he calls it, where he entered after bowing down at the stairs, just as we do at any temple or gurudwara or dargah.

Show me a politician (I would rather call him a leader than a politician though) who has been so visual about his dedication to the country? I couldn’t find any, I don’t know about you. I can finally see a parliament mesmerised by the leader talking in that house! And also many who aren’t sneering at some acts but emotionally touched, wiping of their tears while their leader gets emotional when he recalls of the duty towards his country.

I reserve my further words for the future when we do see yet another ray of hope, at a time probably after the action & opening of another perspective which wasn’t clear since the country hadn’t walked the 1.2 billion steps together.

And I take this all after the speech I recommend that you too hear. (The quality isn’t that good, but you can hear him well :) )

Narendra Modi’s Speech In Parliament Central Hall (20th May, 2014):

The penultimate day in the season of internal realisation.

Filling up the canvas of our life with colours is majorly our life’s goal – and I seem to have added a few bright & cheerful colours on my life’s canvas in these past few months, especially the last one month.

And today, being the closing day for the grand celebration of a cause we were working on since months, it becomes an even more emotional day to pen down my thoughts. To pen down my journey through & with India, as much as I’ve covered in this past one month.

We started working on the National Volunteering Week way back in mid-2013, looking at a grand vision of how it would touch the lives of millions of people & how they would celebrate the ethos of volunteering. At times losing faith & at times regaining that faith well. Meetings in Mumbai, Bangalore & Delhi, numerous calls to the task force members we work with all across the country, even more numerous discussions that I had with the brilliant team working on the cause of Volunteering in India@75 – we had been everywhere to make it happen in the best possible way we could. Yes many sleepless nights, many late mornings (something that I’ve received a lot of feedback on :P ) and many many highly motivated days! Days that I could see the positivity in the country, the passion of people who wanted to bring about change in the country. And days when you came to terms with the reality of India. The common man and his issues.

I extended this experience by also choosing to go on the Jagriti Yatra. A journey all through India with 450 bright people. Young motivated souls who wanted to bring about change in the country in whatever capacity they could. Entrepreneurs who were already doing some amazing work in each of their ecosystems.

The experience was enriching. Yes, I did identify a bit with the real India – Bharat as they say.

As rightly said by Dr. S. Arvind from Arvind Eye Care in Madurai, the Yatra will sink in slowly. The whys will be answered with time. And truly as and how I get back to my regular work schedule, I do feel there’s a difference in the way I see things. I’m more conscious of the fact that there are people around who are yet to have basic amenities in life, yet surviving. People who aren’t as blessed but still living life without grudges. People who are doing such great work, yet not too vocal about it since they believe in the cause than their publicity. People who are doing such excellent work even without branded degrees or formal education. And all of this combined with those numerous youngsters around who have that crazy passion to do something grand – that energy is infectious!

The Yatra has at times made me question myself. The pompous me has actually not done enough to be so satisfied and boastful. My resume – if that is how I measure myself – is insignificant in the view of the many I’ve met of my age. I’ve still a long way to go compared to the numerous many who are doing brilliant work.

The journey made me realise the power of collaboration. It made me realise that we don’t question much. It made me realise that there ACTUALLY are two faces to this country. A Bharat & An India.

But above all it made me realise the huge potential the current generation has. The capability it has to spearhead the nation into becoming the next super power. To make it into a country our forefathers always had been dreaming for us.

And I gained faith that this dream isn’t far from becoming a reality. Though a lot is still to be done.

Coming back from this country wide exposure to a National Campaign that I left mid-way to the rest of my team, yes it took time to adjust back to the craziness. But the Week has been fun!

Though my family does keep on reminding me that I’m as vella as I was before inspite of a national campaign going on, I would give this credit to my Committee’s Chairperson, Bhairavi Jani, who so meticulously planned everything that we weren’t stressed about anything through the Week. A smooth way through.

The Week again was a realisation & with all the drama happening all over the country, this was more of an internal realisation.

The joy of seeing so many people doing volunteering activities, serving whoever they could. The joy of seeing the kids who were given mid-day meals in schools by volunteers. Volunteers clearing up places in remote villages. Camps/volunteering activities being organised in Srinagar – despite the bitter cold. Organ donation camps with even the organisers wanting to do it more often. Brilliant thoughtful activities like medical camps for birds during Makar Sakranti as they get injured due to kite flying. The enthusiasm of people is heartening, the many millions who went out & took part in the volunteering activities in their cities – from North to the South to the East & the West – everywhere!

And the best moment each day for me has been while plotting all of those activities for the day on the map of India! The satisfaction of seeing it & telling myself – yes some good must have happened & we have touched almost each state of the country. And given the fact that people from even outside the country want to volunteer for India – makes me even more glad.

The journey of 8000 kms across the country, the joy of making some great new friends, the experience of working for months on a national campaign, the privilege of working with an excellent Chairperson – who motivates you great loads, the blessing of a great platform & a brilliant team, the opportunity to interact with leaders who want to bring change in the country, the God’s gift of having a best friend who actually became the first volunteer (Ananya Narain) and came to work each day of this winter for the campaign (especially while I was away on the Yatra), and the 115 million people we reached out to during the National Volunteering Week. A start to my year I could never have imagined.

And though many would be ready to tell me the other side to all of this – I see hope. And as my Chairperson said, “Fortunately or unfortunately you are born in this place which at times looks like a mess. But it is also us who’ll have to clear our mess, no one else will – so why wait ?”. I’ve starting doing my bit, in whatever little I can. Whether anyone else believes or not, I’ve seen atleast a few individuals change, who are now socially more aware.

One of them is me.

Why the hurry to know the future ?

It is amazing how many of us spend hours wondering what the future holds for us. And this wondering doesn’t just encapsulate all those child like dreams that we all have, but also all that stress of what would happen if we don’t achieve what we’ve planned to, what would happen if we are faced with events in life which all of us dread.

Since time immemorial, it is this speculation of the moments to come that has given hope to many, while taken the soul out of the infinite many too ! Does call for a thought on how a guy grieving in his present, going through all the miseries that one could think of, but still optimistic of the future, dreaming of the fine life that he would have – with just a few more dark days to cross. While on the other side a really happy-go-lucky lad crashes down thinking or probably dreading how the world would be since he might just fail on his this new job. Both taking clue from the same future.

And it is not just these extreme versions, it is each of us who keep on worrying ourselves of what tomorrow holds for us. No wonder isn’t it that the astrology sites are doing so great nowadays ! Any day which doesn’t feel promising does end up on the astro site – to check whether the future isn’t this bleak. At the same time, those daily predictions have the whole sole right to make or break your day – depends on the amount you trust them – or your own instinct.

All this reminds me of a talk with one of my brothers, son of a great astrologer himself, he has always been pretty convinced that the future is what we write, none that can be predicted. And while we both regard the astrological science hugely, coming to this conclusion seemed the best – that whatever be foreseen is only faint speculation – nothing that can actually affect our actions or fate much than our own thinking towards that speculation.

So this, and probably a promise to another brother of mine (keep counting ! :P ), to not see predictions, I’ve, a surprise to myself, left this year totally to living each day as it comes. It’s been 2 months now (1.5 ok) that I’ve not seen what Ganesha says, or probably the numerological predictions, and trust me – this year has been one of the most surprising ones in my life ! Each month with it’s own surprise in store – some great, some not so great – but nevertheless each making me realise that life is just breathing in & breathing out – while taking in all those moments. Life is a journey not a destination they said, remember.

But yes, the most space occupying entity in our minds, will always be the same thing over & over again..

And it introduces itself as “Main Samay Hun”. ;)

2 months to doom time ?!

To think of it this way – it is 21st October, 2012 today – exact 2 months to the predicted doomsday – 21st December, 2012 ! So yes, something to ponder upon I guess..

Let us for once believe that the doomsday is nearing, I then think of the unique human nature – which still nevertheless keeps on dreaming of the future – the future it might not even see ! The young man who still keeps on planning for his career, what he’ll do in the next 10 years; the mid-aged-on-top CEO planning about his next career leap, about his family; the father who plans for his daughter’s marriage years away; the mother who waits eagerly for her son to grow up to serve her the same way she’s doing now while knowing it still is a far away sight… So many plans, inspite of the fact that probably tomorrow is just not there. The beauty of being hopeful. Endearing.

Yet, on the other side, many have changed, changed for the better though. Many who have now started living by the philosophy “Live as if it’s your last”. And amongst the many things, the best is savouring the moment & paying the due gratitude to the fellow beings !

It is true that we shouldn’t think twice before saying what we feel, saying that little thank you, saying how much you’re grateful to someone for being there & helping you out in your tough times, telling someone – especially your family at times – how much they mean to you, telling them how much you love them ! But yeah, the sad part is that in the humdrum of this busy life – where we are competing with almost everyone & also with time – we kind of forget saying so as often as we should !

So the best thing to do is – even if you know the Mayan Calendar’s doomsday date predicted has passed due to some calculation mistake (great ! :P ), even if nothing out of 2012 the movie seems to be happening till now (yes, not even the people in New York City, the place where everything happens according to every movie, have experienced anything yet ! ), I still feel today is the best day to say what you feel to those people who matter, and probably the day to sit and thank God on how inspite of everything it is a privilege to get up every morning & live the hopes that we base our mere existence on.

Well, it’s my fast today (Navratras going on ;) ) so probably even more the spiritual inclination, but as always, Thank You God for the Wonderful Life ! :)

God bless all.. :)