SHOOTS OF SPRING

SHOOTS OF SPRING

It was a cold January morning and the sun had barely risen. Samit had just stopped to fuel up his car at the petrol station.

‘Son should I clean your car?’ an old man knocked on the window of Samit’s car.

‘No, Uncle, not now. I am in a bit of a hurry.’ in an attempt to say an indirect NO, Samit told the old man.

‘It will just take 10 minutes please, I have not had even a morsel of food since morning, give me a few rupees in exchange for my service, that’s it.’

‘Uncle I shall give you some money. You can eat something.’ Seeing the state of the elderly gentleman Samit was touched.

While saying this Samit took out his wallet, but that man refused to accept the money saying, ‘I don’t accept alms.’ His impeccable English and his firm tone forced Samit to pay attention to him.

‘Uncle, please I am not giving you alms, I respect you as an elder. You are probably the age of my father. I did not mean to insult you. As you have not eaten anything since morning, I want you to accept this money.’

‘No, no you may please go. I shall wait here for someone else who would need my services’ saying this the man started walking away from Samit’s car.

The chaste English from a dirty-looking man and an honest attitude overwhelmed Samit.

He sure was not an ordinary man Samit started thinking and he parked his car and started walking towards the old man, ‘Uncle can I please talk to you for two minutes?’

‘Yes please,’ the man said to Samit.

‘Where do you stay?’ Samit asked him.

‘Here.’

‘Here? Where?’

‘This petrol pump is my house. I stay here. Isn’t it an expensive place?’ the old man winked at him. Samit was stumped at the attitude of this man.

‘I am sure must be having a house to stay.’

‘House? Yes, I had one, but now I don’t have it’, the old man replied.

‘Sorry I did not understand,’ Samit said.

‘To raise my children and give them good education I sold off my house and started staying in a rental home. I used to work as an assistant manager at the Palms Hotel near the beach. I have spent every single rupee which I had including my provident fund on their upbringing and education. I feel that good education is what will take you forward in life. Now that they have got good education and have made there place in the society I feel I have done my bit.’ Samit could see the spark in the old man’s eyes as he narrated his story.

‘Uncle! May I ask where are your children now?’ Samit was curious to know.

‘One stays in Russia and the other, here in this city.’

‘Wow, that’s great’, Samit exclaimed, ‘But sorry why don’t you stay with them?’ Samit’s curiosity was climbing northwards.

‘Son. I think their houses do not have a place for me. Probably I am poor and do not fit into their mould’. The old man was sorrowful while narrating this.

‘The one who stays in Russia is a petroleum engineer and the other one is a very successful surgeon’, Samit’s ears and brain were not ready to believe what this man was saying.

‘That is really heartening and I am sure they both must be earning quite well, Isn’t it?’

‘Yes. The Doctor practices in this city itself and by the grace of God he has won many international medals for his revolutionary techniques in pioneering surgeries. He has a very big house and a few cars too’ narrating this the old man’s eyes could not hold the tears.

‘If I may please know the name of the Doctor?’ Samit asked sternly.
‘You must be joking. How can I name my son? Will his reputation not be tarnished?’

‘What about your other son?’.

‘Oh, he’s the chief engineer with a very large petroleum company. He owns a house in this city too and most of the time it is locked because his family stays in Russia with him’.

‘Unbelievable’, Samit muttered to himself. He could not understand that how a father can be so protective towards his unworthy and uncaring children?

‘Uncle, sorry to say, but why don’t you move the court and demand maintenance for yourself from your sons? After all, you have given your everything to give them this kind of life.’ Samit advised the old man.

On hearing this the man smiled sweetly. ‘Son, whatever I have spent on them was out of my free will and my love for them. Even if I move the court and get something, will it be worth it? Taking back what I have given them, will that make me a good parent? Will my lord allow this? These courts and laws are our creations. I trust my Lord and his laws.’ The words of wisdom and utter faith hit Samit like a thunderbolt.

‘Uncle I still insist you should get something from them,’ said Samit.

‘See son, I am still capable of earning bread for myself. My Lord has bestowed me with that much energy. And by moving the court will I get the love and respect from my children? the old man said.

Listening to the wise words of the elderly man, Samit was at a loss of words and his throat lumped.

‘Now that I have stood here for so long, Can you please clean the dust off my car?’

The man had a wide grin on his face and he pulled out a clean cloth from a bag that he had on his shoulder. He started to clear the film of dust from the surface of the car.

‘Can I in any way clean the dust from the life of this man?’ Samit started to think.

‘A poor and capable father who has showered his entire life and everything on his kids has such an uncrushable spirit and self-respect. Of what material these people are made of? Do these kids deserve such a father? Life is so strange and funny.’ Samit’s mind was not able to push away these thoughts.

Somehow brushing aside these confusions, Samit made an offer to that man, ‘Uncle I own a used car showroom, if you wish you can take care of the cars there.’ On hearing these words the old man’s hands stopped cleaning the dust and he looked up and smiled.

‘Son, you are so kind, but I don’t need a favour.’

‘No Uncle, even in my showroom you will have to earn your bread. Trust me’ Samit grabbed the man’s hands and reassured him.

Getting such warmth from a stranger the old man’s face lit up and his eyes were soaked in tears and he nodded in agreement.

On his way back Samit just could not forgive the children though he had never met or seen them. Samit could see the fresh spring leaves sprouting in the man’s life after a harsh winter.

One more lesson learned and one more aspect of the game called LIFE.

HAPPINESS IS YOU

HAPPINESS IS YOU

There is no one but You…

How many times have you waited for someone to reply to the message you wrote, but never received it?

How many times have you dressed up for someone, waiting to hear from them that you’re beautiful?

How many times have you waited for someone’s call, so that they make you feel happy?

How many times have you waited for someone to appreciate the work you’re doing, so it’s easier for you to continue doing it?

With the reply that never came, the compliment you did not hear, the phone call that did not come, and the appreciation that was held back – you and I, we lost our self-worth.

Since our early days, we are conditioned to associate our self-worth with the golden stars our teachers gave us or our parents alloted to us. 

By middle school, this turned into how popular people thought we were and by college, we were living on the compliments we received, and the number of people who praised us. And till today, we think that our worth is determined by the way others perceive us. 

Thus, we want our friends to give joy to us, we want our partners to constantly praise us, we want to be noticed, and we want to be appreciated.

Slowly, and gradually, this will harm us. Seeking approval and validation from others will change into a permanent, life-long struggle if we don’t start believing in ourselves.

Stand in front of the mirror and look at yourself – carefully. Speak to your reflection.

Tell your reflection you are beautiful, you are strong.
Tell your reflection that you appreciate yourself, that you love yourself, that you want to make yourself happy.
Tell your reflection that you’ll be there for yourself.

Because, sooner or later, you will realize that there is no one who will always be there for you, there is no one but You…..

SHAMBHU TEA STALL….

SHAMBHU TEA STALL….


A typical Sunday morning vegetable market trip. The organized chaos and the loud voices to outsell each other greeted me. Nothing unusual for me, I was used to all this since my childhood. Stacks of vegetables, fruits, and greens send out invites to pick them up. A glance at the stalls speaks volumes about the sellers and their personalities. Some stalls have their wares neatly arranged, some of them look as if a storm has just hit them. Sadly in the present time of online shopping, our children are missing these colors of life. The markets provide you insight into human behavior an opportunity to learn many things.
Phew, I had just managed to finish buying the supplies for the week. Lugging the cloth bags I settle for a cup of tea at the Shambhu Tea Stall. A bright red colored board and a brightly painted cart are like an oasis in the midst of the desert. A burly man is busy preparing tea and dishing it out to the patrons. He has a wheatish complexion and his features are sharp and attractive. The smile on his face can just not be ignored. He is neatly dressed, exuding calm. Humming a popular Kishore Kumar song he is attentive yet oblivious to his surroundings. There is an unexplained charm about him. I order a masala chai and plonk myself on the wooden bench. Glancing around his stall I notice how well organized his surroundings are. Everything sitting in its own slot, the water containers, the vessels, the sugar jar, tea jar, masala pot, and the rest.
A steaming glass of masala chai lands up on the bench, the aroma of the freshly brewed chai is intoxicating and feels like a breath of fresh air on a sunny afternoon. A sip of the golden liquid and I am on a different plane. “This is so good”, I exclaim. He smiles back at me and says, “Thank you Sir” his pronunciation is so very perfect.
“Hey man, What’s your name?” I break the ice with him. “Shambhu” he replies in a firm and polite tone. “Can I ask you something?” I say cautiously to him. “Sure Sahab you can” he replies back courteously.
“I notice you are so calm and composed even with so much chaos around you. How do you manage that?”
“Sahab it’s all inside” he replies as a monk would. “I am attached to my work and revere it. That’s all that matters to me. The activity around me does not distract me from my work. My work is my worship and I value it”. His words, his tone were so good, almost a zen experience.
“I observe so many people in this market, but there’s something different about you Shambhu. You are so very organized and neat. Your stall has so much positive energy and coming to your stall has brought me so much peace, and I must say you are so composed. How come?”.

He dishes out a sweet smile, “Sir I am not educated like you people, but one thing I have learned in my life – Staying calm is the only thing which makes your life worthwhile. Whether you are a rich person or poor calmness is the only savior”. I was in awe of him. His words were so prophetic and true.

“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a crooked nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely. Beauty is more than the aesthetics of the face”.
“Wow Shambhu, go on I am listening”, I said in a hushed tone. I wanted to hear more.

”Sir now you are pulling my leg”, he said with a child-like smile on his face.
The crowd had thinned out at his stall and he sat on the bench next to me, wiping the sweat beads from his forehead.

“ Honestly, I would love to hear more”, I urged him.

”You know Sir, what’s better than having a beautiful face? Having a beautiful soul. And you know what’s beautiful about that? You can control the beauty of your soul… It all starts with your thoughts. Think about the most beautiful soul you know in your life. What makes them such beautiful souls? Is it the alignment of their nose? The symmetry of their mouth? The aesthetics of their chin or their perfectly straight teeth? It’s about much more than that. Isn’t it”. I was hypnotized by the life lessons from him.

It seemed he had got into the flow and he continued, “The most beautiful soul in your life is probably a person who is compassionate, giving, warm, and honest. And while they may have plenty of reasons to hate the world and the people in it, they don’t. They, instead are filled with love. And they radiate outwards with love touching all whom they come into contact with. And they always look lovely”. Dumbstruck and still holding the half-full glass of the tea in my hand I looked at him in amazement.

”And if you want to be that person then never let anyone dull your light. Take control of your mind and pay close attention to the thoughts that you’re surrounding yourself with and nurturing in your mind. Starve the negative, hateful, belittling thoughts and feed the positive, loving, empowering ones.

Is it not very easy to compare your outward appearance to everybody else’s? Almost everyone highlights their shortcomings and nurtures negative thoughts. Don’t. Screen everything that’s coming into your mind through your senses, pay close attention to the environments you’re thinking in. It will have a very strong effect on your mind”. Hearing all this my jaw was just short of dropping. I quickly gathered myself up and wanted him to go on.

“Sir, your tea has turned cold. Let me pour you another glass” Shambhu got up from the bench.
“No brother, my glass is already full with your thoughts and the lessons of life which you have given me today. Thank you so much”. I got up to leave.

On my way back I was consumed by the conversation which I had with Shambhu. Quite a few lessons learned and so many points to ponder.
Unfollow anyone who brings you down and follow people who nurture your light. This is as true in the social media world as it is in the real world! Focus on the beauty of your soul, not the aesthetics of your appearance and you too, will always look lovely.

If only our eyes saw souls instead of bodies, how very different our ideas of beauty would be. You’re absolutely gorgeous. And that’s the least interesting thing about you. We get so worried about being ‘pretty’. Let’s be pretty kind; pretty funny; pretty smart; pretty strong.

He was beautiful, but not like those men on the magazine cover. He was beautiful, for the way he thought. He was beautiful, for that sparkle in his eyes when he talked about something he loved. He was beautiful, for his ability to make other people smile even if he was surrounded by chaos. No, he wasn’t beautiful for something as temporary as his looks. He was beautiful, deep down to his soul.

I learned a few more lessons –
People that value and respect you are more beautiful than beautiful people.

The greatest beauty tip: For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.

You are what you believe you are.

There is nothing to do except to be just what you are. You have the right to feel beautiful and enjoy it. You can honor your body and accept it as it is. You don’t need anyone to love you. Love comes from the inside. It lives inside us and is always there, but with our skewed thoughts, we don’t feel it. You can only perceive the beauty that lives outside you when you feel the beauty that lives inside you.

You have more to do than being weighed down by pretty or beautiful. You are a fiery heart and a wicked brain. Do not let your soul be defined by its shell.

The most important – We say don’t judge a book by its cover, but quickly make opinions about someone on the basis of their appearance. Our society is obsessed with looks. But we shouldn’t forget that, if the heart or soul is hollow, no amount of good looks are going to make someone beautiful. Rather than judging people on their physical appearance, it’s important to understand their inner beauty.

Shambhu – the name stuck to me and I searched the exact meaning of it and was shocked. SHAMBHU meaning source of Bliss/Happiness (‘sham’ – meaning happiness; ‘bhu’ – meaning source). Also, it is a synonym for Lord Shiva. The name also means benevolent or kind and belonging to Lord Shiva.
Could I have asked for more on that day? I think I had my encounter with the Lord. Life continues to amaze me.

The Good Morning Message

THE GOOD MORNING MESSAGE

“OUR HAPPINESS DEPENDS ON OURSELVES”….Good Morning…Have a good day.

A message flashed on my mobile phone. Just a routine good morning message on a group. I scrolled to other messages mechanically and got busy with my routine. During the day, out of the blue this message stood out in my head and I recalled a story which I had heard it in my childhood. A series of thoughts triggered and I was revising a lot of lessons which I had learnt from these stories.

Once a story narrated by Grandma. Here it goes…. There was a king who had built a huge palace for himself. He had made a portion for public viewing. The walls of that portion  were adorned with glass like no one had seen before – clear and spotless.

One day a Man who was very angry and upset went to see the palace and the moment he stepped inside he could see hundreds of other angry men staring back at him. All of them were in a foul mood, irritated and sad. Seeing the expressions on their faces this man became upset and agitated. He started shouting and abusing at them. In return he received same repercussion, the same angry looks and the angry words. This made him more indignant. Seeing so many angry faces he was terrified and came out of the palace. On his way back he started feeling that there cannot be a worse place than this palace. The king is a nut that he has created such a place. In disgust he started walking away and vowing that he will never return to this silly place.

A few days later a group of tourists came to that town. A man from that group decided to go and see that palace. He was very happy and contented. His face glowing and sporting a smile. The moment he entered the palace the whole atmosphere was charged up with positivity and hundreds of bright faces welcomed him. This made him more happy and the grin on his face widened, the others too responded to him in the same manner. Seeing this he was overjoyed and felt more happy and contended.
He left the palace with so much energy and praising the king that he had created such an awesome wonder and repeatedly thanked him for such an experience.

We all hold such a glass palace inside us which reflects our thoughts and actions and we get what we manifest. We and only we are responsible for our Happiness and Sadness.

The Forgotten Wallet

The Forgotten Wallet

I am a confused man…an odd one out sometimes…Forgetful, messy at times. Almost every other day while going to office I forget something or the else….No comments.

Just like any other day preparing to go to the office…keys, hanky, laptop, tiffin, papers…..subconsciously ticking the check boxes in my mind.

Leaving the house a flying kiss to my wife without forgetting was on the topmost of my checklist. A super beginning to the day.

Tried to kick my bike to life, bhuk bhuk it coughed like an old man. Wondering what was wrong my eyes glanced to the instrument panel. The Indicator just showed my bike needs some saline. Oh I had forgotten to refuel my plane yesterday. The petrol station was quiet near to my house I started dragging it. I never knew a five minute drag would be like a trek onto a hill. Phew I had finally made it to the pit stop.

“Fill it up with 300 Rs…..” I told the attendant.

The petrol station attendant plucked the pipe from the stand, like a trained sniper aimed it in the tank, the golden fluid started dropping into the empty tank and making a noise just like a tummy makes when it is hungry. It felt as if I have had a glass of water on a hot sunny day. “Here’s your bill Sir”. Reaching out to my pocket…oops “Where’s the wallet?” Oh shit I had forgotten my wallet. Startled I reached my shirt pocket in hope…it was empty too. Another bombshell I had forgotten my phone too. My face turned pale in embarrassment.

I started looking here and there. Could not locate anyone whom I knew. At times Bombay makes you feel so alone in crisis. Everybody is around you, yet you are so deserted. I was in such a shame.

The petrol station was known to me, hardly some distance from my home. It had been always quenching the thirst of my vehicles here since many years. Maybe 15 – 17 years it was more like a one sided love, I loved it but will it love me back?

Straightened up myself and decided that I will park my bike here and give the keys to that gun toting soldier and race back home and get the money.
I decided to walk it up to my home. The situation seemed to be under control.
But there was one problem, in 30 minutes I was expecting a client in my office. If I did not make it in time then my boss would put me on fire and that too without petrol. The tension was visible on my face.

The petrol station attendant grinned widely at me. “It happens Sir, sometimes it does. Give me the money tomorrow. I see you regularly here. Don’t worry just relax”. It just felt as if someone had poured water over a raging fire and definitely it was not a one sided love, Bombay loved me back. I breathed a sigh of relief. Saying thank you I started from there like a race driver. I had conquered the whole world.

The king’s buggy had reached the office compound. Racing towards my floor I entered my office and got into the routine. In a while I was sitting with my client engrossed in the figures and fighting for business. One and a half hours just flew by. Happy was I when I exited the conference room the deal was cracked and secured in Company’s pocket. My boss was grinning just like Mona Lisa. Serious yet happy. This deal had come at a time when my appraisal was due. I felt like a high jumper in the Olympics. Had shattered my record.

“Chalo chai ho jaaye (let’s have some tea)”, I said to myself patting on my back in my thoughts. Alighting the steps of my office and bang at the chaiwala’s tapri (tea owner’s kiosk). The aroma of freshly brewed tea was like the naughty smile of a seductive woman – Intoxicating an inviting. Whenever something nice happens I have tea here.

“Boss ek adrakwali dena (give me one ginger tea)”. Sip by sip the cup was over. “Oh ghosh”, I exclaimed touching the pockets of my trouser. I remembered the forgotten wallet. The call of the tea was so intense I had completely forgotten that I had no money. Again I had forgotten. What a clumsy man I am.

Raju had read my expressions. Feeling embarrassed as to what should I tell him. At that very instant he took out a few notes of 100 Rupees from his drawer and shoved them into my pocket. “Sir please don’t say anything. It happens in this crazy life. If you need more please don’t hesitate.  Sir please go to your office, your work is calling you and please do not feel bad. You can return the money to me whenever you are ok”. I was spell bound. Not even the best face reader could have read my expressions better. Bombay had once again loved me back.

As if back from a first date I walked towards my office. The lottery of those  notes delighted me and made me feel richer than Ambani (India’s multi billionare). It was almost 1.30 pm and time for the yummy lunch. As soon as I reached for my lunch box the air was filled with a familiar voice, “You are so careless, it’s me who has to be so vigilant about you, your wallet, keys, handkerchief. Sir is their anything else you need?”. I lifted my eyes like a criminal in a court and looked up through the corner of my eyes. Hey it was her, my beautiful wife was standing in front of me with an expression of anger, pity and love all at the same time. I would spend my entire wealth on this expression. “Thanks dear”, I held her hand lovingly.

With a smile to die for she handed me my treasures. “Take this Avinash – there were so many calls on your phone, I just could not help but come and hand it over to you. Just for your information there were multiple calls from your sweetheart that mischievous Shlok, a couple of them from your bank and your head office. Bye for now”. Faster than P. T . Usha she sprinted out of the office. I stuffed the wallet into my pocket, and was really rich now.

As soon as the lunch was over I went over to my boss’s cabin to hand him some papers. I was near the door of the cabin his words hit my ears, “Dear trust me I would have definitely got you that dress today only if I had not forgotten my wallet. You very well know that I have forgotten it. It’s lying on the side table Isn’t it? Tomorrow for sure will get it for you. Please don’t get upset”. These words were actually music to my ears, reassuring that it’s not only me who forgets the wallet. Feeling elated I knocked at the door and entered. Reaching out for my wallet I took out the notes and handed them over to the him. “Sir please don’t say anything it happens in this crazy life”. Raju’s words sprang out from my mouth. I turned back to leave and the expression on the boss’s face was priceless. I could sense the satisfaction of his in the air. Only if I had eyes behind my head I could have seen that look.

My wallet was empty, but I was the richest person in the world at that time.

To a Father from a Father – Happy Father’s Day

To a Father from a Father – Happy Father’s Day

Strong shoulders carried me to see the zoo, gentle yet firm hand lock did not allow me to wander, the firm grip on my cycle seat did not allow me to fall, his presence is all prevailing and reassuring. My childhood memories of my super hero are vivid and so very clear that I can still touch them. The initial years of my life was a guided tour, teenage was a rebellious phase and it was only me who was right all the time. But growing up, I thought I needed more from him – more hugs, more tenderness, more lets-sit-down-and-talk-about-our-feelings. I was angry, compared him to others, blamed some of my life choices on my perception that he wasn’t “there” enough. The life after that was on my own terms, in my 30s was when I really learnt to love my dad for who he is; not for who I thought he should be. That was the time when fatherhood came to me and my myopic vision was corrected with the spectacles of realization. He has always been a good man – a hard worker, volunteer, encourager and the family’s pillar.

Actually God knew long before we showed up on this earth that we would be a family. He knew that my dad’s strengths and struggles would come together with my own to create a relationship, and it would be a journey, and if we allowed it – fortunately which we have. He would use those things to grow us more and more into the people He created us to be.

Through the years, I have come to realize that my Dad did the best he could with what he had at the time as a father. I discovered how deeply he cares for me even if he shows it in different ways than I do. In fact, today I can truly say that he is one of my very best friends.

There are all kinds of fathers, but I am sure there is one thing they all share: No matter what their personalities, attributes, struggles, circumstances… every one of them is called to live God’s way. And when they do, their families are blessed and a ripple effect of goodness happens in our world.

The actions of a father speak volumes to his children. Even if they can’t decipher them when they are young, they are definitely watching and learning. And even if they won’t admit it when they are older, there is a strong pull to follow in his footsteps.

The father’s display of compassion gives us a glimpse into the heart of God. Strong — yet tender, deeply understanding, fiercely loyal, and always ready to help us through the toughest of times.

Bringing up a child with healthy boundaries and godly discipline is no easy task. But even in the most frustrating moments, a loving father is GOD – standing firm in the truth, yet grace-filled; never critical and demanding.

A father’s deep affection offers a sense of security and assurance that nothing else can give. The heart of a child is beautifully designed to respond to that love; it’s a connection strong enough to last a lifetime.

The man in our lives needs to be lifted up, to be reminded that we are strengthened by his presence, that we see the love of our Almighty reflected in him and that we honour who he is.

A Happy Father’s Day from A Father………….

LIFE – The infinite canvas

We leave parts of ourselves in places we have been to, hearts, rooms or bus seats, just about anywhere where we have been. People find them later in themselves. This is life. Losing and finding. Again and again. Making this strange massive vastness of the world, our home. Making it familiar. We make it through to wherever we need to, intact, evolved but just with a few soft unseen bits missing.Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same. The hardest battle you are ever going to fight is the battle to be just you.
The only good luck great men ever had was being born with the ability and determination to overcome bad luck. Never be uncaring, but don’t allow anyone to project their bad feelings onto you either. Just giving people who are having a bad time some space of their own may be exactly what they need. The sad part is that they do not know when to give that much needed space.As is the unwritten rule – Everything comes in life at its own time and it is always the right time. It is only we who do not recognize it as the right time.

SACHET

SACHET

I was walking down the aisle of the supermarket with a list of things to buy. These were not mere items, they were the desires of the members of the family. The kids wanted their brand of ketchup, pastas, spreads. The wife wanted her brand of shampoo, some soaps and a few more things. The parents had their specific brands.
Belonging to the middle class and the old school of thoughts I stared at the prices of the products and wondered about my budget. The war of Desires vs Budget was tough.
Suddenly the cute looking sachets caught my attention. They seemed so affordable when I started comparing the prices of the sachets vs the big packs. “Sir why don’t you try the sachets of different brands first and then decide. You need not buy the big pack first”. The floor assistant said. Spending 5-10 rupees on the “Sachet” did not seem a tall order. I picked up the sachets of different brands and products and started my march further as a king who had just won a war.

“Sachet” I think is the biggest innovation by the companies. You need not buy the big packs for the products you want. It seems a win win situation for both – the Customer as well as the Company. The end result you don’t spend a fortune to savour the product.

But the wise “Sachet” theory of the companies and the intelligence – Do we ever implement in our lives?

We often tend to run after Big packs of happiness – A big house, A big car, A big bank balance, A big name for ourselves and everything else has to be big too. In the pursuit of big packets we burn the candle at both ends and sometimes run beyond our capacity. If we are rewarded with a big packet we tend to be happy else regrets become our companion.

But honestly happiness doesn’t only come in big packets, it comes in small “Sachets” too. Sadly we do not pay enough attention to them.

Meaning,
A big house whenever it happens will happen, but imagine being contended and peacefully sleeping in the present “Sachet” house….

A big car whenever it comes will come, but imagine riding in the “Sachet” car now and feeling the wind in your hair and going to places which you ever want to visit.

The fame, the name and everything else they have big packets, but they come in “Sachets” too. If we recognize this and experience them we get the same happiness. The happiness experienced for your selfless act for someone who cannot repay you is bigger than you being elected as a chairperson of your organization.

Sitting and spending time with your children, a long drive with your loved one, an evening with your parents or a dinner with your friends. These “Sachets” are priceless.

When you connect the dots between all these little joys, life seems fuller and more satisfying…

Enjoy the little “Sachets”, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big packets.

CHHOTU

Chhotu……

Chhotu a 9 year old boy lives in Vijay nagar slums. His clothes are dirty; pockets are torn & full of dust. Inspite of his condition he has an ever smiling face like the moon shining out of the clouds. Curly hair and and sparkle in his eyes are his trademark.

Chhotu is happily prancing on the streets, suddenly he stops in his tracks. The smell of food titillates his nostrils, he sees the fat shopkeeper frying some tasty fritters. He has not eaten a morsel since last evening.
His stomach starts making noises and gates of the dam opens right in his mouth. He can hardly resist the sight and smell of the fresh food in front of him.

“Uncle” Chhotu calls the shop keeper in his innocent tone.
“What is it?” the fat man asks in a rough tone.
“I want to eat some fritters, but I don’t have any money”, he shows his helplessness.
“Go away you brute”, says the fat man without any mercy.
“Uncle I am very hungry, have not eaten anything since yesterday. Touch my tummy, it’s growling” Chhotu’s dry lips try to re-convince the man.

“Go away you scoundrel else I will break your bones. Bloody beggar”.
Chhotu gets scared and takes 2 steps back. The shop keeper gets busy with his work.

In the fight between hunger and helplessness, hunger takes over and he fearlessly lunges forward. Chhotu’s small feet now move further and he quietly picks up a few fritters from the large plate.

“You thief, how dare you?”, the man shouts and grabs Chhotu’s arm. The man starts twisting his delicate arm as if a cane crushing machine is working on the cane.

“Uncle, please leave my hand, spare me. I was just touching those fritters.” Chhotu tries to justify his act. “Ohh Mom…. My hand”, the little boy cries in pain.

But the fat man does not listen and violently strikes on Chhotu’s back with his elbow twice. This almost kills the little boy.

Chhotu sits right there, covers his head with his little soft hands as if saying beat me but please don’t hit on my head.
He is now finding it difficult to breath and everything looks darker to him for a few moments.

A shot of pain pierces Chhotu’s arm and blood oozes out of his nostril as he falls down on the stony street due to the surgical strikes on his back. Perhaps his arm has also been dislodged.

Crying in pain Chhotu starts running towards where he lives in the slums. The place is dark, stinky and dusty. Running through the narrow streets, Chhotu enters a ramshackle dwelling, which he calls it his home. He pulls out an old bed sheet and spreads himself on it. He rests his head on a brick which is his pillow. On the wall right across him is a picture of a woman smiling out of an old worn out frame. Yes she is his mother.

“Momma…” tears rolling out of his innocent eyes “Where are you? Do you even know how hungry I am?”
“That bulldozer has beaten me so hard, he even abused me. Twisted my arm and see my nose is bleeding too”. Chhotu complains to her.

“It’s hurting me so much. My breathe was just stuck in my throat…do you know? You always used to say you shall leave me if I don’t eat my food. Mom please come back I promise I will ever obey you… Please please please”. Tears start rolling from those innocent eyes. But she keeps smiling from the wooden frame.

“Son please call your Dad and Mom, I need to talk with them.” Suddenly a woman’s soft voice interrupts his dialogue with his mother. Startled he looks at the door. It’s Mrs. D’souza a social worker of that area. A fair skinned Mrs. D’souza has been working in that area and Chhotu has seen her many a times helping people. Adorned in a light blue saree she appears like an angel and her glow has brightened up the dimly lit house.

He says nothing and keeps crying looking at his arm. “What happened to your arm son?” He says nothing and keeps weeping. Like a doting mother she cajoles him and takes him to the doctor. A plaster cast is wrapped to support his arm.

Mrs. D’souza gets to know more about Chhotu’s life and her motherly instinct arises. She questions, “Son would you want to study?”

He nods his head with a yes, but pauses and asks, “And will I get food?” He asks in a worried tone. Mrs. D’souza is further touched by his innocent question.

“You no longer have to worry about the food. Just study well.”
“And son please call me Mom”. Mrs. D’souza smiles & places her palm on his head.

“Ok Mom”, Chhotu sports a wide grin and thinking to himself that his daily struggles will now end. He is no longer a slum boy. A convent school and higher education from London, Chhotu’s life takes a 360 degree turn. With his education Chhotu has now graduated to Bhaskar.

Now a well educated man back from London and the founder of an eye wear brand Zebrina, his new mother’s name whom he worships as God.

Bhaskar sitting on a high back chair in his glass cabin and looking at her mother’s picture and breaks out in tears. He picks up the phone and asks, “Julie are the Food containers ready?”.

“Almost ready, Sir. Just the last 4 are to be packed” the assistant tells him.
“Alright”, says Bhaskar.

The food containers neatly arranged in a carton and placed in his car Bhaskar is going towards Vijay nagar – his roots. The food is meant for the poor children. Lost in thoughts he is already in the narrow lanes and finds himself in front of an old tin shed. He enters inside. The atmosphere hasn’t changed a bit the sunlight still sneaks in through the holes in the roof and the wind lets itself in through the broken windows. The only upgrade in all these years are the rats which are parading in the room. On seeing the suited gentleman they too vanish.

In the corner lies the old bedsheet and the brick. Bhaskar or should I say Chhotu spreads himself out on the bedsheet and rests his head on the brick staring at the wall where his smiling mother used to be. He closes his eyes and dozes off.

Back at the office the next day he continues to check the annual revenues of his company Zebrina. The photographs of his mothers placed on the wall just behind his chair. Their smiles say that their pride is immeasurable.

Perhaps he will always be a little Chhotu for them. Always.

LIFE IS FULL OF CONTRASTS and continues to Amaze us…..Isn’t it?

SOMETIMES…….

SOMETIMES….

Sometimes I want to write what my heart desires but the thoughts just seem to vanish and I get lost in the oblivion.
Sometimes I get so tense, I just fight with my pen and go to sleep.
Sometimes I wonder where I am, and then, sometimes I am not even sure I am here!
Sometimes I like dreams that are distant, then I feel they are useless.
Sometimes even the flowers don’t please me and life becomes obscure.
Sometimes smiling becomes a task but even the tears don’t drop.
Sometimes I feel angry about my existence and I tell everyone to leave me as I am.
Sometimes life walks to me, but it feels like a slap on my cheeks.
Sometimes my condition is so complicated, in the fire of responsibilities my desires burn.
Sometimes I distance myself from myself to such an extent that the paper and pen yearns to meet me.
Sometimes I feel that I cannot do anything and it seems I cannot even breathe on my own!
Sometimes I start calling my end, but even if it is standing in front of me, I cannot die.
Sometimes desires seem to be a weight on my shoulders- as if it’s hoisting itself on a dead body.
Sometimes even my own laughter seems to be like salt on my wounds. My eyes can’t see anything but only my destruction that appears lovely!
Sometimes I am in a never-ending fight with this world and just sometimes, defeated so much, I surrender.

Sometimes………

tonysbologna : Honest. Satirical. Observations

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