What moves me

A silent prayer on wings of Faith,

never too early, never too late.

Beseeching a wish to come true,

keep them always in peace, happy not blue.

Music! It floods my heart with joy,

ever since I was an adolescent boy.

Invigorates, soothes and comforts me,

My Spirit moves and yearns to be.

The warm and friendly eyes of a lab,

windows to a species pure, without the gab,

Giving and seeking unconditional love,

Showing a quality that’s much above.

A verdant patch in the midst of concrete, 

soothes my soul, stills my beat.

Syncs my breath in tune with the trees,

the leaves, the flowers and the bumblebees.

A book is the window to my soul,

quenches my thirst, makes me whole.

Revealing plots and stories that enthral,

I crave them , I want them all !

Infectious is her peal of laughter,

the apple of my eye, my lovely daughter.

Questioning and challenging – that’s the typical way

Youth confronting Maturity, night or day.

Yet, above all, what moves my soul,

besides good old fashioned rock n roll,

is when I bow my head at His shrine,

And get a fleeting glimpse of Love Divine.

Count your blessings

It was about 11 am and another hot muggy day in Mumbai. I was on my way home and was searching for a cab. As I crossed the road, scanning the vicinity for a cab, I saw one parked right across the road. After a moment’s hesitation – since I couldn’t see anyone inside – I saw that the driver was sitting on his haunches, next to the cab, clutching his head in his hands.

His face was deeply lined, the result of endless fretting and worry. His eyebrows, imperial moustache and shock of hair were all white. He was sweating, while sitting there, waiting for a rider, and complained to me about the relentless heat, as I got into the cab.

Along the way, the driver started to chat with me. Initially his lament was against the Gods conspiring not to send any rain and the relentless heat. After I murmured my agreement with him, he opened up a little more. He had two children and his wife had died of an accident a few years ago. He was trying to make both ends meet by ferrying passengers while his children went to school and gave themselves an education. He spoke about the loneliness of trying to raise the children on his own and the harsh realities of trying to eke out a living in Mumbai while plying a taxi.

The taxi driver’s plight made me feel sorry and grateful. I was sorry that there are such people in our cities who are fighting for survival on a day to day basis. They have no fixed income but the usual fixed commitments in terms of house, rent, education et al. How they manage to get through each day is a constant source of wonder to me. I felt sorrow that such poor, honest people need to suffer on a daily basis and undergo trials of endurance whereas at the other end of the spectrum, the rich are rolling in their wealth and amassing more and more of it.

As we neared our destination, I also gave up a silent prayer of thanks for the good health and financial security that has been bestowed on me.

We as a people, are prone to comparisons and always tend to compare ourselves and our situation with people who are MORE than us – more powerful, more rich, more educated. The list is as endless as our wants. We are always cribbing about not having enough, being enough, or getting enough. Our wants and desires are a never ending spiral staircase which we keep on climbing in the hope that one day we would reach the summit and achieve whatever MORE it is we are aspiring for.

The message I want to share today, dear reader, is two-fold :

One – Always compare yourselves with people who have LESS than you. This epiphany is not mine, rather I read it somewhere recently. But the message is loud, clear and strong and hence resonates with me. When we compare ourselves with people who are in a more disadvantageous position, we realise the true worth of what we possess. We have a lot more than many other people can ever dream of, especially in a vastly populated but still indigent country like ours.

Feeling bitter that you can’t own that Mercedes Benz ? Well look to the opposite side where the beggar sits with not a pie to his name. Feeling low about not having cracked the IIT/IIM entrance exams ? Look around you to see the nameless swell of population who are not even guaranteed a basic education. Longing for that overdue promotion ? Don’t fret – notice the hordes in the cities who do not have a steady job or an income. The list is endless, but I think you get the picture.

When we hanker after the material, we often lose sight of all the things we actually do possess – a sound mind and a fit body, a loving family, a secure home. The monkey mind is an expert at making you feel inferior and with its constant chatter in your brain, will try to make you feel embittered, angry or insecure. Don’t let it.

Two – Count your Blessings. As you realise that you have more than what many others in your city or country have, say a silent prayer of thanks  to God Almighty. Be grateful that you have been given enough and have the quiet confidence that you will always have enough. You may or may not get that 7 figure salary that you are hankering after or be able to afford your neighbour’s gleaming yellow Porsche – yet be grateful that you have enough to sustain yourself and your family.

The world is filled with the haves and the have nots. Don’t consider yourself in the latter category simply because you are missing some of the materialistic “must haves” that you think may make you happier. Rather, be content, grateful and humble that you have been given enough. Make efforts to always count your blessings and name them one by one.

Your outlook to Life will change at a fundamental level for the better. You will then learn to appreciate yourself and your surroundings with a calm acceptance and a feeling of deep gratitude.

photo credit : e-nest.org

Contentment

A roof over my head, dinner on my plate

Friends at my doorstep, no one to hate

He has given me enough, I shall not Want

Two innocent rosebuds, fresh as the day

Young and impressionable, to show me the Way

He has given me enough, I shall not Want.

Wealth in sufficient measure has been granted

Though, not always giving me what I wanted

He has given me enough, I shall not Want.

A robust shelter for the soul, fit and well

But when my time may come, I cannot tell

He has given me enough, I shall not Want.

A pillar of strength she is to me,

With me during happiness and misery

He has given me enough, I shall not Want.

An honest way to earn my livelihood

Fulfilling my duties as best as I should

He has given me enough, I shall not Want.

A way with words, to lighten the mind

A path I must take care to find

He has given me enough, I shall not Want.

The material and the mundane, I have in plenty

Albeit, with more cares than when I was twenty

He has given me enough, I shall not Want.

To seek , to tame and to subdue

This is my goal, to my own self be true

He has given me enough, I shall not Want.

Whenever in doubt, or envious of the world around

I look within and to the joys I have found

He has given me enough, I shall not Want.

The conundrum of our connected world

The conundrum of our connected world

We live in an age which is forever impressing upon us the happy fact that we are connected to each other in countless ways, joined at the hip so to speak by the mobile phone and the internet.

Technology has brought in a host of new age improvements in the way we communicate with each other, from the now passé email to the ubiquitous WhatsApp and other prodigious chat applications that now exist in the technology and user space.  We are constantly reminded that the whole world is waiting to hear from us – from the good morning messages that inundate our phone via WhatsApp, to the warm and fuzzy messages of love and caring that we exchange with our loved ones. Everyone is just a click away and electronic communications is now running so smoothly, that for anyone to even contemplate writing letters would be akin to regressing to the stone age.

So, here we are, all 7 billion of us, (give or take a couple of billion for the unfortunate few who don’t own a device – gasp ! – with an interconnectivity experience like never before. With a phone glued to our ears – or more frequently now, texting and swiping to ensure we don’t miss a single message or update from any of our crucial relationships on WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and beyond.

There is absolutely no denying that we are hugely benefitted by the impressive computing and mind boggling speeds at which we are now able to transact using our phones / tablets. Book a movie or airline tickets in a jiffy, shopping impulse ? No problem. Go online and shop to your heart and your wallet’s content on Amazon. Bored and wondering what next ? Play Candy Crush on your I Phone 7 till the cows come home. Getting restless wondering how many of your 700 + friends have liked that yellow dress of yours – log onto Facebook and check it out, while sipping your coffee. The list can go on and on… Technology has now ensured that every object of our desire, that we aspire or crave for, can be immediately sourced on the Universal Gigamarket in cyber space – Google. So that takes care of that.

Read More