Thursday, March 13, 2014

No Unanswered Prayers

“There Are No Unanswered Prayers. 
At Times, The Answer Is  NO"

This thought for the day left an imprint on my mind. If one were to analyze, yes it is the truth but acceptance of it bitter. 

By nature, we tend to look up to God and pray more in our hour of need with the hope that His Divinity will not fail us. When we are not bestowed as we wish, we believe that our prayers were unanswered. But actually, it was answered with a simple no which we realize after an agonizing wait. 

During that painful wait, we are filled alternately with hope, despair, uncertainty, confusion and such like, not to mention the aspersions/praises we cast. What makes it worse is that the time line for that ‘wait’ can never be determined. Moreover, during ‘the wait’ we need to make our own conscientious efforts for our prayers to fructify. Most of the times, we fail to realize it is a ‘No’ but repeatedly we keep pleading.. 

“It was never meant to be” is a tough answer to accept and tougher to let go and reconcile. This requires great mental strength. The reasons for the negative result could be attributed to lack of total faith ,inadequate prayers or the powerful influence of past Karma in spite of us putting in our best efforts on all fronts. 

In my view, there are just two ways of looking at a No from God. 

As the saying goes.. ‘When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” This rumination of closed door has a great opportunity cost which we realize too late 

Secondly, while we would like to be aware of the reasons as to why our prayers and efforts were not rewarded , in the scheme of things designed by God there is no way to know. We are left to accept the outcome with resignation. 

In conclusion, the Divinity manifests in many ways and the onus to realize that God is impartial to all and there is a cause and effect ruling our lives lies on us. 

I faithfully believe He handholds us and walks by our side.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Life is Precious

More often than not, we read in newspaper, “Boy commits suicide for failing in exams”, “Girl hangs herself for treachery by lover”, Mounting debt drives man to consume poison and so on. Taking away a life is an act of cowardice, an easy and foolish option, without exploring the immense potential that life can offer.
Is life really that worthless to sacrifice? To me life is most precious, as precious as we can make it out to be, by the value we attach to it. A mere reprimand or a failure or an adversity does not mean end of life. It is just a pointer that we have been given one more chance to prove our mettle and the value we attach to life.

Life would be without charm and monotonous, if it was even like a straight line without challenges and struggle. It is the ups and downs in life and the joy of overcoming the hurdles or serving others when in comfort that makes life enchanting adding value to it. "Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough” as Emily Dickinson put it. It is the trials that strengthen us to face daunting situations.  Show me one man, who says he has had no worry, I will show you a liar.

In comparison to countless forms of life, to be born as human is the most precious and a blessing. We are gifted with conscience and intelligence. God made us unique in comparison to other forms of life, not that other forms are worthless. Each had its purpose.  We are endowed with more ability, decision making capability, and tremendous intelligence. Ponder over the fact that just one strand of our DNA, contains more information than what man can store on a single computer hard drive.

An absolute moment to realize life’s preciousness is the moment of near death. It is then we begin to pray, think of all our misdeeds, it is then we think of how important it is to live no matter how lowly it may seem.

Our perception determines life’s preciousness and our perceptions are guided by our conscience. So, all that we need is a clear & transparent conscience. There must be an understanding that life is an opportunity and a test.   There is a God given purpose to it be one high or low in position.  Life is a trust and the time spent on enjoyment and pleasure, beyond what is essential to lead a simple life, is a breach of trust.  Living to love and loving to serve God’s children is the purpose of life.   Invest life in service and be grateful to God for the opportunity.

One may perversely argue whether life could be considered precious if one were handicapped and deprived of some faculty? If one cannot   see the beautiful greenery around him or hear the birds chirping or its beautiful songs or be able to talk with others, can we deem then one’s life is not precious?  It would be good to remember the amazing work done by people with serious disabilities. The Paradise lost was written by a blind Milton, Beethoven the great composer was deaf, Stephen Hawking, the renowned theoretical physicist has motor neuron problem, Helen Keller who was a great author, political activist and lecturer was blind and deaf.  There is countless number of such people across the world that may not be   famous but still live with honour, battling, and overcoming their disabilities every single day of their lives. They never give up.

Life is as precious as you make it and we could make it more precious by accepting reality, doing away with frustrations and unhappiness and living it with a whole lot of positivity and faith in God.

Life is all about trusting your feelings and taking chances, losing and finding happiness; appreciating the memories and learning from the pain and realizing that people ALWAYS change.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Krish & Sri got promoted.  Sri thought,  ““ I deserve this, actually  it was long over due”, as for Krish, he got it because of his boss pleasing tactics”

At the society’s meeting, Anup and Sharma decided to contest for the post of Secretary.  In Sharma’s thoughts “ I have a passion to  serve our society for the betterment of our colony & Anup is for the importance of the position and may be to get some personal benefits.”

Lata to Reema: “My son is studious and knows his subject well, Payal’s son  he’s a mere book worm and relies on rote”

“I buy only what is needed. My hubby is also strict..Rekhas is a compulsive buyer , her hubby is henpecked”

We live in a world full of double standards! where we accept different yardsticks for different people often based on gender, religion, wealth, color of skin, nationality etc.

Why is that what applies to others does not apply to me and vice versa? We see it everywhere and in everyone, be it schools, offices or public places.

Many of us have a tendency to be judgmental of others. It is like if we are in similar situations, we paint a different picture. A more sympathetic one of ourselves and “ serves them right” picture  for others.

Why do he have double standards ? But our society is ridden with double standards, for e.g. “A man  can order  around and he is treated like someone who is in charge and a leader. But when a woman communicates in the exact same way, she’s immediately labeled assertive, dominating, aggressive.”  I fail to understand why in earlier times,  boys got a better education that girls,  when  girls are better at academics and work?

I also wonder why celebrities are treated on a different standard than a commoner, be it at a place of worship, airports, criminal acts and so on. Even justice is delayed or fast depending on your being a celebrity.

Double standard is widely prevalent in the case of women, be it in wages paid for the same work, glass ceilings in offices, selection of women for certain positions, renting houses and ever so many areas

Having a double standard is a negative trait, These situations of double standards arise when we are devoid of sincerity in words and action and fail to see the right perspective. For this you need empathy, and selflessness.   Double standards  differ from hypocrisy , former  is a rule or principle unfairly applied to different ways to different groups in a similar situation, while the latter is when your actions differ from your words

Double standards cause confusion and are unjust. To me having double standards means we are self centred , have a mean mentality and different yardsticks of measurement.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Integrity Counts!

I work for a MNC and a part of our training curriculum is a program “Integrity Counts” which is an initiative to inculcate ethics and compliance awareness amongst the staff.  This spurred me to reflect on the situation around me.

Integrity is a prized requirement for all  but sadly  we see a down slide of this value in every sphere.  We see it in our daily life and  is disturbing.  Some instances:

         While waiting for the bus,  saw 2 school kids discussing, one said, “I have not written my essay, give  me yours, I will copy it, the teacher will not realize because you are not in my class”.

         We have read about teachers encouraging worse allowing the students to copy during exams

         The peon at the tax office,  who happens to have an access to the files, says, “ Sir, I will get you that letter,  swalpa enaadaru kodi ( please give me something)”

Unlike the earlier times, Integrity does not seem to find a place in the lexicon of today’s generation. I still remember my grandpa saying “ I have given my word,  I have to stand by it” while to day I hear “ Forget it , even if checked , nothing's going  to happen anyway”

Integrity is a quality which encompasses many other qualities like trust, honesty and righteousness. Small routine activities speak volumes of our integrity.   The many acts of integrity can be found and observed when we are with family, friends and colleagues.  I think that when we see an act of dishonesty  or something alike we have  to voice our concern, help sustain integrity and discourage negative values.  But then, many times we don’t,  for the  simple reason we are afraid or troubled by the thought how others would react or prefer to ignore and remain silent.  In the process we become passive abettors.

My boss always emphasises that our thought, word and line of action should be identical, these words coming from a person in the hot seat is most inspiring.  Once you are upright and truthful in your dealings, it generates trust and reputation and a blissful sleep.

Integrity is a value which has to come from within, we have to honest with ourselves before we expect it from somebody.

Many times, when I talk to the  younger generation, I am asked what will these values give you? In retort , I say “ It gives me trust, reputation and helps nurture relationships. The result of which may not be seen immediately, but will be there in the years to come. Above all it gives total satisfaction."

"If each one of us endeavor to value integrity in all our dealings, there would be a great and welcome change in the affairs of the nation as a whole"  

As Oprah Winfrey said “Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.”

Monday, June 4, 2012

Who is your Role Model?

While I was at  the park the other day , I happened to hear the conversation of 3 girls all of 8 years. One said “ I want to become like my Mom” ,the other said, “ No, I don’t want to cook and clean the house, I will become like “Dad” ,the other one said “ no, Kareena Kapoor because  my photo  will come in paper every day and I will have lots of money”. This set me thinking...

In my view , a role model is someone whom I would look up to and emulate, someone who would make a difference, motivate me to achieve my potential.   As Paul D Shafer says “The most important single influence in the life of a person is another person ... who is worthy of emulation.”

To put it differently I can quote  Rachel Carson when she says that  If a child is too keep alive his inborn sense of wonder ... he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.”

As kids, we all took fancy to our teachers or maybe our class leaders as role models, they were infallible! As we grew, it changed to sportsperson, heroes/heroines carried away by the likes of our peers.  As we step into are careers, we perhaps looked up to those who excelled our field, our management gurus, enterprising entrepreneurs, doctors.  But the question is what does it take to be a role model? Should it be a celebrity or someone who has the best job title? Actually, no. Even ordinary people whom we encounter in daily life but  who inspire us, motivate and lead the way can  become role models.

I know of a person who has a great passion ,ability and dedication to write, encourage others to write and guide them, such are  role models.  Role models are selfless,  have great value system, fore sight and the ability to overcome hindrances. To me,  someone who overcomes all obstacles  along their way to their goal, who perseveres , a never-say-die attitude is a role model.

Do we need a role model? Yes, we need a role model, she/he helps us to get where we want go,  they help us recognize the opportunities we have within ourselves, they help us become more responsible and  face challenges.

As we move on in life, we meet many people who tend to influence us but a role model is someone who has extraordinary  influence on us, who has altered you as a person  .But one man's role model need not be another’s.  The role model for a spiritual aspirant is different from one who wishes to excel in cricket or one who wants to be a successful politician. A role model is one after whom we shape our efforts to attain our goal. Even for persons with same or similar aims, the role models can differ depending on what they look for.

 All said a role model is essential for every individual who wishes to make  a mark to stay focused on the goal. He is like a lighthouse for ships in the high seas to reach safely the harbour-the harbour for individuals is their goal in life

“Lives of great men all remind us we can make our lives sublime; and, departing, leave behind us, footprints on the sands of time” – HW Longfellow.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Wages of Wrong Doing

Dorai, as he was called, was known for his innovative ways of marketing.  His company in a short time grew in size and volume acquiring such a name and fame in business world that it was the most sought after by the local brands. He encashed on his talent as opportunities arose and the company became a byword in the engineering colleges and business schools for campus selections.
Dorai came from a humble background, where giving and sharing was ingrained.  With time as his wealth grew, his charitable activities also increased but sadly there was also a disconnect with his attitude.
It was a privilege for many young talented professionals  to be employed at his firm.  Dorai ensured that his office was equipped with the latest technology and that there was no dearth of facilities.  To the outsider, it gave an impression of concern and competence, in reality, Dorai was stern and autocratic in his dealings
He scouted professional institutions to tap young talent, painted a rosy picture, hired the cream by offering them fancy salary packages.  The deal was that freshers will be taken as interns and offered training and opportunities to develop their talent and subsequently absorbed in the rolls of the company.   The freshers were carried away by the internship program.  The only transparent process was deputing interns to overseas institutes because these institutes selected the interns.
Dorai’s true colors were seen when their services had to be confirmed, they were made to sign contracts that were binding them to serve the company, had   violation clauses were severe and  also insisted on  deposit of all their original certificates. The interns had no choice but to work for Dorai.
 Dorai was manipulative too as he always kept the government officials well greased.  He ensured in a subtle manner that his charitable activities got publicity.  So to the commoner, it was picture perfect, Dorai the philanthropist, entrepreneur, an inspiration to the youth and so on. He greased his way to receive the State award for Philanthropy & Youth Encouragement.  The many paid interviews by the media only strengthened his popular personality.. 
It was from one of the many establishments that Kirti’s name came to his notice.  She was a bundle of talents, sensible and intelligent.   But Kirti had other plans of becoming an activist.  Dorai was keen to have her in company’s rolls for he realized her potential and persuaded her to change her mind.  It was during this meeting that Kirti felt something was amiss with this man and his company. Though she was not carried away by Dorai persuasive  tactics, she realized this could be platform to launch herself as an activist.  Much to Dorai’s happiness, she agreed to join as an intern.   It did not take her long to figure out the injustice being meted out to the recruits and the stringent clauses in the agreement.  When confronted, Dorai brushed her off saying it was common business tactics and the system required it.  The more Kirti tried to change, the more she failed and was mocked at by all.  Kirti had no remorse as, she was determined to show the world the true picture of the employer behind the façade of  business ethics and vaulted reputation.
A God sent opportunity for Kirti came in the way by her being selected by the overseas institute, though it eventually meant trouble for Dorai.  During her stint with the overseas institute, Kirti won the praise and support of many due to her affable ways and talent
 Before her departure she made one more attempt with Dorai to change the regressive ways the professionals were treated with a view to retain them. She pleaded with him to do way with signing of contracts, deposition of original certificates and his other mean tactics. She suggested constructive ways of retaining talent but Dorai not only refused but in a bravado justified each one of his unfair tactics and the entire unethical process of confirmation little knowing that   Kirti was video recording  her conversation with Dorai. 
When she shared the recording on a social network site, it shocked the entire business word, bringing his reputation to mud. The academic authorities took note of the wrong practices employed. Dorai‘s world crumbled  to naught when he could not face the world.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Why Pray ?

For most of us the day begins with a prayer.

But many times, doubts assail in my mind why should we begin the day praying or rather thanking God? What if I do not, will I have terrible day? Is it a sin? , while such questions rage in mind, how many have the courage to skip the morning ritual?

We agree that God is omnipresent and all powerful and is in complete control of everything, but still we pray for health, wealth, forgiveness and sustenance . But the question is when God is in control, why at all we need to pray?

For one, I am sure, God does not have to be impressed upon, the sequence of life’s happenings are preordained , as some say based on karma, then why pray? I am told that the effects of the purva karma,good or bad, will have to be passed through and even god does not interfere with that.

In my mind we pray because we want to connect to God, tell what is on our minds, have that intimate dependence , to deepen our relationship with God. This profound relationship nutures us, gives us stability. Prayer makes our mind clean and keeps us away from evil thoughts.We do not add to the bad karma.

I also opine that praying is not asking/begging for favours, There is nothing wrong in asking, but don’t persist. I would ask for a blessing and leave to God’s will, for he knows best. By accepting God’s will, irrespective of the outcome, we would have garnered the spiritual strength and perhaps get more marvelous things! The trust in god gives us the confidence and positive attitude so necessary for success.

It reminds us of our place of humility, and that there is a divine force above, guiding us.In today’s fast paced times, we hardly want to spend time with God but yet expect that all our whims and fancies are granted, which is unfair. It is like any other relationship, you get what you give .

For me, prayers is not only by going to places of worship, chanting religious verses, performing rituals.While these help in focusing the mind and disciplining it, it is not a prerequisite. But thinking of God, sharing your thoughts with him, sincerity in the work we dowithout worrying about the outcome is real prayer.

Prayers done with good intent and honesty will always be answered in His own mysterious ways.But one must remember that god helps those who help themselves.One's sincere effort is a must for god to grant the wishes."Trust in god but keep the gunpowder dry" said Oliver Cromwell to his soldiers.