HEARTBEATS – the role of tomorrow?

Tomorrow plays a very important role in our life. Parents advise children and put so much pressure to make them study well so that they become something in life, financial experts advise that you must save for tomorrow in insurance policies, fixed deposits, properties, and what not? They remind you that when you become older, you have to have certain assured incomes like interest income from your savings, income through rent from your properties, as you will be old and unable to work, and some of them advise you that you must have savings 10 times of your income.

Actually is it necessary to have such investments? All of them are necessary, no doubt, I am not disputing it. But if you do so spoiling your present day, and spend your whole energy in safeguarding your future, we are seeing many around us where by the time the person becomes financially independent, he can’t eat even a pierce of sweet, and life doesn’t allow him to enjoy the comforts he has created, or he would have spent so much of his energy that becomes completely exhausted, and there is a possibility that you may also end up like one of them. A person who is always worried about the future constantly goes through tension and anxiety and acquires blood pressure, diabetes, cardiac and other problems leading to his premature end. Is your life meant for such outcome?

We are all worried about the stale food someone has served us yesterday, the nights we have spent without food, and other kinds of agonies we have gone through in life. We venture to make up all those shortages we had gone through, and want to bring the world under our foot. All those preparations are necessary, but more important than that is completion of the current tasks in hand excellently. The 21 words are very important in life. They are: “Our business is not to see what lies down dimly at a distance, but to do what is available clearly at hand” because tomorrow doesn’t exist actually. Bible also dictates that there is no tomorrow. If you recollect Christ’s prayer is “oh God give us this day our daily bread”. Jesus never asked us to demand the bread for life. The birds in the sky don’t sow, don’t harvest, and they’re not worried at all though they are dependent on the grains for survival. The best thing therefore is to put to use all your intelligence and enthusiasm to superbly complete the tasks in hand today. This is possibly the best way to fix a secured tomorrow. If you do it so well, it will automatically create capabilities in you to face tomorrow. All philosophies of the world dictates that in order to be happy in life you have to live in the present. You know the meaning of the word “present” is a gift. It’s actually a gift from the Almighty.

Let me express my gratitude to Swamy Udid Chaitanya who says that past is actually a dead body, on which you can’t do anything except learn something and make course corrections in your life, and future is uncertain, and not in our hands at all. Therefore is it not foolish to spend much of our life and energy on something which is uncertain and useless, instead of enjoying the present which is a gift from the Almighty.

Bible also dictates that “have no anxiety about tomorrow.” Management experts also advise us that in order to be efficient, do one task at a time.
Instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our Windows, we are all, well almost all, are looking for the rose garden over the horizon, which will never reach your hands, because the horizon will never allow you to reach it, the more you try to go near it will still be so far, all the time. Today is our only precious possession, every hour, every minute of it are important. Make it a wonderful time, enjoy it fully, that is life actually.

I consider it my luck to have the opportunity to read the book by Dale Carnegie “How to stop worrying and start living”. Though the book has come out about 75 years ago, the richness of it is so strong that it’s one of the best seller even today, and reading it you will also feel you are lucky. If you have not read it yet, my recommendation is to read immediately. My Gratitude also goes for Sadhguru who says that the best way, the first lesson towards spirituality is to be thankful, at least on a two hourly basis, about the fact that you are still alive. Every morning when you get up, at least every two hourly, if it’s always you are great, tell yourself “WoW I am still alive”. Then you will not get the temptation to do wrong things, you will get the inspiration to do better things in the available time. You know while going to sleep in the night that millions in the world may not see the light of tomorrow, and you and me can be a part of the gang, who knows? You will become aware and happy that you are lucky. It’s then a reason to celebrate. That awareness is important. Every day morning commit yourself “today is a new life to live”. So every day is a starting point, so where is the time to worry about tomorrow?



HEARTBEATS – Why I am here, really?

Few of my near and dear ones have asked me why I am writing blogs and posting them on WordPress and sharing on Facebook, Twitter and Google, “what are you gaining” they continue to ask. In fact I have been asking such questions to myself and have come to the conclusion as an answer that my practice of writing is for pleasure and passion, and posting them on WordPress, Facebook etc. seeking reactions, guidance and advice from international readers, as I have to learn a lot from then. This is the reason why I write blogs on SpeakingTree, and have published few of them in magazines and other publications, but WordPress is an international site, giving me unlimited opportunities.

The second question is why I write only and how I say I am passionate? Let me answer you that question. I realized about my passion for writing from my school days when I used to enjoy writing essays and other similar stuff. My friends used to surround me seeking my support in completing their assignments, that includes my friends from schools in the neighborhood too. English used to be my favorite subject which used to fetch maximum marks than other subjects, though my mother tongue is Malayalam. On holding a fountain pen words will flow from me, filling pages in a magical way. I used to write stories and send to famous writers for evaluation and suggestions. But none responded, contrary to the common perception about writers and their oceanic hearts and that the teeth of elephants are different for showing to public and for eating. My passion yet continued and I used to send articles to newspapers, and magazines, and experienced a rain of rejection slips which used to be a practice those days causing tremendous amount of disappointment and frustration. Then one day the self addressed and stamped envelope received back from a magazine called CARAVAN was thinner than usual; it had accepted my article on Food problem of India and sent me a cheque of Rs.600/- by post, in October 1977. Like Charles Dickens who came out of his stingy room and started dancing in the street, on receipt of confirmation from one publication accepting his article to be published free of cost, I too had no limit to my happiness and pleasure.

The writings continued. Few articles were published in another magazine, and there was a lull period mainly due to compulsive pressure of life and, of course, the most dangerous disease of man, called procrastination, though there are plenty of articles saved in my computer. It’s a true fact of life that you will come back to your passion later in life, however long the lullness and the period may be, as it belongs to your heart. The same thing is happening with me now.

There are other reasons why I want to become a writer, one is my habit of reading, the more you read you wish to share with others your insights and ideas. Secondly when you spend years in a profession called marketing, visiting different places and different people, you get a kick to share the experiences with people, especially in an ever changing world. When my father used to tell me anecdotes of his childhood, I used to wonder in disbelief, and the same is the situation now. There are tremendous amount of changes in the surroundings, infrastructural facilities, and the behavior of people around us, which I want to share especially with the younger generation. The impact of changes are so strong that you can’t resist the drive for writing. Letters being the only means of communication those days which used to take days to reach, the dressing habits, methods of interaction by people, all have changed magically.

I am lucky to have born in India where the culture, food habits, dressing habits, the language and the environment are different from state to state, and there is a wonderful blend of spirituality and devineness in people, giving rise to a lot of eye opening anecdotes, interesting and gripping incidents, which will be of immense value to the youngsters of date reeling under the influence of modernity, and the gadgets. Keep reading my blogs. My intention is only to add value to your life. I am sure you will feel the difference.

HEARTBEATS-Do you believe in miracles?

If you are a rationalist you may say that there is nothing called miracle in this universe, rightly so because science dictates that nothing can be created without a cause. In other words all sensible persons among us will agree that nothing can come into existence without a cause. Fair enough, this is fully logical. However, there are certain things which are beyond science, beyond all explanations, like the egg or chicken, which came first, human life forms, how has it come into existence, and so on, the list will go on. We may call it vegetation, evolution or whatever, but the fact remains that there are things which have come into existence, without a cause or we are not aware of the first cause, and we keep on wondering about their creations. We have actually so many unanswered questions about nature. In the ultimate analysis, however, the cause giving rise to to the creation of such a complex nature with so much of variety, will always remain a miracle.

While the life forms in the universe, especially human life, is nothing less than a miracle, it is more miraculous to see that the life on the earth exists on the basis of love, sacrifice and mutual support systems formed quite naturally. There are living beings which survive on vegetarianism, there are others which survive on the lives of other living beings, put it differently, there are living beings which sacrifice their lives for the existence of other living beings, and most wonderfully while most living beings are self reliant and can take care of themselves, human beings, much much superior in nature, are totally nonself-reliant, and cannot survive on their own. Human beings have to depend on others for anything and everything in life. Just imagine that from the moment you get up from bed, and go to bed in the night, all the things you consume or make use of, your tooth paste, brush, clothes, and so on, all are made by someone else. There are elephants which are vegetarians but very fat, there are other segments of animals which are nonvegetarians but slim and trim, there are animals which are physically very powerful but mentally weak, and human beings physically weak but mentally very powerful, and imagine if the ferocious animals were bestowed with mental power like humans, how much chaotic our life would have been? Nothing like that ever happened. If this is not miracle, what else is?

Yet another kind of miracle we experience in our life is the mutual support systems available in the society, in which knowingly or unknowingly we add value to each other. Some people make so much of change in the lives of others that they lift the other person from the bottom or clears the road blocks for the other to move on. All of us would have experienced such miracles sometime or the other, though we may tend to overlook or ignore the impact of such helps most often. Wise people among us have opined therefore that we must always be grateful to people who help us, so that such helps keep on coming in our life. Their contributions are actually immeasurable and can never be overestimated. Have you experienced any such miracles? May be you have to scan through your memory.

I have experienced many who have made themselves available to me, gone out of their way and held my hand, in the struggle for survival. The first one is my uncle, my mother’s brother, and looked after all of us three brothers and three sisters, who were almost orphans thrown into the hands of a penniless father and a mother who had nothing to hold on. My uncle was in Mumbai, and made tremendous efforts to build a house and made us move into that. We all grew up with the money order from my uncle which used to come every month without fail. Without that money order we would not have been able to pay even the school fees of Rs.6.25 per month for me and my brother each. The money order of Rs.50/- per month was our only means of survival. Today that won’t fetch even one breakfast. That’s a different matter altogether. My uncle brought me and my brother to Mumbai, got us into jobs, gave us shelter to stay with him, and made us stand on our legs to survive. I am still wondering often what made our uncle to love us so much? Unfortunately we were always over-reacting on the few negative reactions from our uncle, disregarding his positive contributions he has made. Unfortunately that’s human nature, isn’t it?

Life went on in Mumbai, and I was fortunate to have formulated my goal of life to undertake higher studies, educate myself and become a top executive in any organization of repute. Finally I joined night college while attending office during the day. Against all odds, I kept on motivating myself by reading the best motivators of the world like Zig Ziglar, Anthony Robins, and so on. My ambition was taking shape and my life was coming on tracks. One day I received a telegram from my mother conveying that father is seriously ill. Myself and my brother rushed to native place, saw our father, and unfortunately within a few days, our father expired. Just before leaving for his heavenly abode, our father embraced both of us and said “do only those things in life which you feel are right”. Those feeble voice of my father is still echoing in my ears.

The departure of my father was painful, and he was very beloved to all of us, and we decided to overstay for about 20 days in native place. I was aware that my due date for filling up the form for examinations is getting over. Yet I decided to stay over to perform the last rights of our beloved father. Letters by post was the only means of communication in those days and I could not seek help from any of my friends even. Finally I consoled myself that everyone cannot fulfill his ambition and ultimately we have to be under the influence of fate or destiny. After all the activities were over, we landed in Mumbai again and I had the happiest news from my friend Ashok Paranjape that he had taken liberty to fill up my exam form, sign on my behalf and paid the requisite fees. I was so happy to see my name in the list, and I keep on thanking my friend even today, without whose help my ambition would have seen the dust. His initiative, his willingness, and his love towards me are nothing short of a miracle for me. The fact that his gesture was totally unsolicited and unconditional makes it more miraculous.

Within three months of reaching Mumbai I could land in to a temporary job in Khadi Commission, Mumbai, somewhere in December 1966, though I was 17 and technically not eligible for appointment. The officer Mr.Y P Rao liked me so much, I still don’t know why, that he said “people will ask you what is your age, you should say that you are 18 because employing anyone below 18 is illegal” Seeing a teenager without moustache and a Tiffin box in hand, everyone in the train, and in the office complex used to ask me the same question and I kept on answering as told by Mr. Rao. I am always grateful to Mr. Y P Rao for giving me the first break of my life. If you read the service certificate issued to me by Mr. Rao, you’ll feel he is my relative that too very close, whereas I had met him for the first time. For me Mr. Rao is a miraculous gift from Almighty.

My job at Khadi Commission came to an end at the end of three months as it was a temporary vacancy. And I was jobless and fairly new to Mumbai, causing tremendous embarrassment and frustration. Now enters Mr. Radhakrishnan Nair who was in another department but we used to meet in the canteen. He persuaded me to go with him to the Times of India and gave an advertisement in the Situations Wanted column of this newspaper, and within a few days I was back in another job. The help given by him to a village boy in a big city like Mumbai is of immense value and is a miracle according to me. There are so many such people you come across in life, whose unconditional love and timely support are nothing less than a miracle. We must understand and recognize the presence of such love and try not to loose it.


HEARTBEATS – The beauty of new.

One of the best motivators in the world whom I admire the most is Shiv Khera, whose book You can win I have not only read a number of times, but also have gifted to at least five if my friends who have been benefited immensely. The book is full of anecdotes to drive the points the author wants to make, and one of them with great practical value in life goes roughly as under:

A girl was married and sent to her in-laws house. One day her husband wanted her to fry a fish. She was more than happy to take up the job. She took the fish and after cleaning cut one inch from the tail end, and one inch from the head side too and threw away. Seeing this the husband who was anxious asked why she was doing so and wasting the fish pieces. He said seeking some clarity on the issue that he can understand if she cuts the fag ends of the fish from both sides but why one inch? The wife said “I have learnt in from my mother and she doesn’t know if there is any reason behind it. Husband said if that’s so let’s find out why. Both went to the girl’s mother and sought the reason behind it. The mother said she has learnt it from her mother and really don’t know if there is any reason behind it. Fortunately her mother was also there and all of them went to the great grandma and sought the clarification. She said “Oh that I was doing because in those days my fry pan was small in size and in order to accommodate the fish I had to cut it short.” Actually we are all like that just blindly follow everything. Actually before setting out to do anything we have to understand the issue clearly as to why we are taking such action, then you will be able to reduce the degree of uncertainty and the probability of failure. .
Just by following something blindly you are becoming a copy cat , you are not adding any value, you are not adding any thrill, you are not persuading anyone to act or react. We have copy cat marketing or network marketing where you are copying the marketing efforts of someone, we have me too marketing strategy where we place a similar product in the market place, and even copy the the entire product and thrive on the brand power of the original product. It’s just conveying to the customer that mee too are lying by the side and you can pick me up. That doesn’t fit into the law of attraction, nor does it make you fit enough to live, because you’re just surviving on the merits of someone else. Life however will be satisfying by achieving something on your own, or creating something by yourself. The pleasure of such efforts in life is really great.
Recently Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam had visited a school in our neighborhood in Mumbai where while addressing the students he said “all of you are students and want to do something in life to make yourself successful. Various opportunities may come before you, but you must always look for opportunities to do something differently or something new which will have instant acceptability, more excitement, and more thrill, because new things will always be accepted faster. Therefore rather than doing things all your friends, neighbors, and most of the people around you are doing, try to do something new to get better attention, recognition and appreciation. So don’t spend your life in the process of copying.
See the things around you, so much of changes in so many new things, from bullock cart to Volvo busses, bullet trains, and rockets, from match sticks to ignition by remote control, from conventional gadgets to smartphones, tablets, palmtops, and so on, and in the social media Facebook, YouTube, whatsApp, Twitter, etc. without which you can’t dream of your life today, all of them are the new things created by ordinary human beings, and their efforts in exploring new areas, creating new things have made it possible. The world is relying on new ideas, new things, and out of the box thinking. So think differently, act differently, and create new things . The world needs it, and in the process you will be a person in demand.