Michhami Dukkadam in Jainism means, ‘Forgive me if I have knowingly or unknowingly hurt you!’
Radical Forgiveness(RF) as per CollinTippings is different from ‘Traditional Forgiveness’ (TF). In TF we become tired of holding on to the hurt and let go after years of suffering. RF on the other hand is an instant paradigm shift where it requires only a willingness, to bring to the situation, some understanding and, compassion and empathy for the person who caused the hurt and FORGIVE HIM/HER.
EASIER SAID THAN DONE?? Well, to Forgive people is to liberate yourself from the bitterness and anger that makes you horrible, edgy all the time and drains off your life energy. Holding on to hurt and hatred is detrimental to your physical and mental health. Do you realize that you are carrying this person in your head everyday everywhere you go…release him/her.
STOP CARRYING THE BURDEN WHICH ISN’T YOURS.. LET GO
They don’t deserve this attention. Instead channelise your attention to your positive life energy.. to BE, HAVE and DO all that you can in life Lack of forgiveness is nothing more than stuck energy, caused by past judgments, criticisms, blame and resentments. You are always in the accusing and victimized mode. You need to come out of this ‘Victim Consciousness’ and release that stuck energy, raise your vibration and become the loving beings you have the potential to be.
Forgiveness is in the mind, it has got nothing to do with the other person. Forgive not because they deserve to be forgiven but because you need peace of mind.
Life doesn’t happen TO YOU.. it happens FOR YOU. Things happen on the way.. You just need to JOIN THE DOTS and understand the bigger picture of life!
Practice MICHHAMI DUKKADUM Practice RADICAL FORGIVENESS !!!!
Crisp ironed shirt and trousers, pen in the pocket, belt, watch, mobile in place, polished shoes, sleek combed hair, and a booming voice.. that’s my Father… born as Sudhakar Bhavsar in Sinnar near Nasik, the 6th child of 9 siblings. He is 84 today.
Born in a huge joint family, we can only imagine how kids must have grown in those days. Child psychology or Child development stuff hardly existed then. Children were born almost every year and just grew up by themselves.
My father’s schooling was around 1947. He was in RSS and has memories of British soldiers and their tanks parading on roads. His dream was to become an engineer. Financially impossible. But his family had to relent to his persistence and willingness to do hard work. With his sharp brain and good scores, he got into Pune Engineering college. Worked part-time in a garage, lived on just two sets of clothes, and 60 rupees allowance from his elder brothers. Graduated and got into Military Engineering Services and retired at the age of 58 as an Assistant Garrison Engineer.
His marriage to my mom Sunita and we 4 siblings happened in the due course. Marriage and kids are a part of the journey. It happens to most humans. But your progress in life and your contribution to society is what matters.
Known as S F amongst friends and colleagues. Working in a corrupted environment he managed to keep clean. A teetotaler. Always helped the needy workers, morally and financially. Loved organizing and volunteering for social events. His booming voice made him an ideal candidate for hosting functions and giving speeches. He was very much respected and loved wherever he worked. And isn’t he handsome! Can play harmonica, flute, tabla, and harmonium. Not much of a sports person. But always managed to keep fit. Loves to watch cricket. Managed to fulfill our unending demands of, clothes, movies, food, picnics, long family tours. And was he was strict, you bet he was! Thanks to him we are good human beings today! Our house was simple and minimalistic but happy. We never had any grievances. Working in central government constant transfers were mandatory. How he managed the house shifting, our school admissions, health issues, adapting to the new office and environment is commendable. Despite his meager income he managed to build his dream house in Pune. And it needs to be mentioned in bold HE NEVER TOOK ANY LOAN from bank or anyone else to run the household. He could manage it as my mom is far sighted and frugal and believes in ‘little drops of water make a mighty ocean’.. I am awed at how they managed the household of 6 persons on just his salary with no support of any sort from anyone.
He belongs to the ‘self-made Generation’. Today’s generation is independent but can’t walk without the crutches of parental support. Dependency on bank loans, Credit cards, online buying, wfh, takeaway meals, nuclear independent family life.. this is more ‘my life, my rules, my space’ generation. He is a misfit in this. There are no generation gap issues here. He has always lived by the rule ‘cut your coat according to your cloth’ and hence can’t understand the desire of the new-gen to live beyond their means. He is satisfied and happy with the way his life has taken shape.
You may ask me so what’s so great about your Dad? Well, that’s MY DAD, and am immensely proud of him !!
Birthday..… the day you were physically born and acknowledged as a human being on this earth. That’s your official Birth Day! 365 days in a year, which has that one day that is full of excitement, expectations, anxiety, celebrations, greetings, and a feeling of being special! Sadly, the very next day all this is just a memory and we look forward to our next birthday. But what if I told you that we are born every day… don’t believe me ?? Read on… What is birth ?? The event of being born.. an existence, an identity, a breakthrough, a different you, a NEW YOU … We all have only one physical existence but there are innumerable versions of you. A quote rightly says, “A different version of you exists in the minds of all those who know you.” You are not just what you think you are. You are different to different people. So every time you meet a new person a new version of you is born. Can you recollect those moments in your life ..…your first day in school ….you cleared an exam ….you won a medal/certificate in sports ….your first stage performance ….you fell in love ….your first kiss ….your first job ….and many more such firsts ?? A different version of you was born… Every time you make a choice, you make a decision, you take up a challenge .. YOU ARE BORN !! So let’s celebrate .. Birthday……is that one day in our life that is different from the other 364 days. It is not just a day of celebrations but also expectations, reflection, introspection, and realization of a sense of responsibility, towards our role in family and society and gratitude towards our parents and the almighty for giving us a human life……the day we should pledge to make our life worthy. Let’s also celebrate the other 364 days too Life is ephemeral…
Friendships and Friends are an essential part of life… Some happen to us.. we happen to some Some we benefit from.. some benefit from us Some become necessary for our survival… some an unnecessary burden Friendships happen with people, pets, plants and things But let’s make some ‘new Friendships’ in the ‘new normal’.. Friendship with healthy food and not junk food ….with the yoga mat and not the bed ….with good health and not sickness ….with never giving up and not with quitting ….with acceptance and not retaliation ….with positive optimistic people and not with pessimists ….with forgiveness and not revenge fullness ….with having an attitude of gratitude and not an attitude of attitude ….with love and not lust ….with empathizing and not complaining …. with enthusiasm and not lethargy ….with hardwork and not easy money or quick success …. with being industrious and not complacent …. with an attitude of inquiry and not with accepting crap …. with being independent and not dependent ….with peace and not war Make these new friends.. be happy, peaceful, satisfied, grateful.. and spread the vibes!! Stop worrying about the future.. Everything will fall in place with these new friends.. Live, love, laugh and make a difference.. you don’t get a second chance Happy Friendship Day 🌹
Feeling listless..feeling unproductive? You are not alone. The pandemic has made a global case of this. Do you find yourself sitting in one place too dull to get up and do anything concrete? This ‘blah’ feeling has blown up across the globe due to the pandemic anxiety and stress. All this has brought up a feeling of helplessness and uncertainty, a feeling of good for nothing. Dressing up too, seems like an ordeal, forget about hairdos and makeup. But please understand that this is just a phase. This too shall pass! The world is not going to be this way forever. Happy days, burnout days will be back again. We will be back in the monotonous rigmarole.. Till then be patient with yourself.. Don’t expect too much from yourself.. Accept the present.. Make the best of this PAUSE PHASE.. AND… Practice NIKSEN !!
Niksen (Dutch word) means the practice of doing nothing as a means of relieving stress; idle activity, as staring into the trees or listening to music, with no purpose other than relaxation.. No.. you aren’t wasting your time ! Try.. *Doodling while listening to music *Keep busy with some home chores *Go for walks *Cook a new dish *Try your hand at sketching
*Exercise *Jot down your thoughts, maintain a diary.. you will be surprised to read your thoughts 3 years down the line
or JUST BE !
NIKSEN is more about carving out time to JUST BE, even letting your mind wander rather than focusing on the details of an action.
It’s Mindlessness as opposed to Mindfulness! DOING NOTHING is increasingly being framed as a positive, stress-fighting tactic. Surprisingly even though we ‘niks, or do nothing, our brain is still processing information. We can use this info to solve pending problems, which in turn can boost one’s creativity. This could manifest in stumbling upon an out of the box solution to a problem on a walk or a great business idea could be born while daydreaming. So here I am NIXING 😉 (Pl ignore my zero makeup, shabby dress and no mask😷)
Rain, the elixir of life! There is an abundance of water, greenery, and life. The dry and dehydrated trees in summer get revived by quenching their thirst on this elixir.
Oh, what greenery! The atmosphere is colored with all hues and shades of green that is pacifying and cooling to the eyes. Birds flock and frolic on the trees chirping and cooing. Flowering trees blooming with colors of the rainbow adorn streets and housing complexes. While forests may boast of and revel in the eternal, thick foliage and flora, cities have a different story to tell!
The ultra-modern cities face severe waterlogging due to clogging of the drains caused by the falling leaves and branches in rain and storm. Trees are the lungs of the city. But these trees and their foliage pose a danger to houses and people. The branches like a naughty child dare to enter through the windows, bang on the roof and walls, and crawling species tend to be an unwelcome guest. Hacking them is the only option!
Everyone has their own cozy corner in the house. I too have mine in the balcony. Yesterday, I sat there with my cup of coffee admiring the opulence of the Gulmohar tree. Its branches falling all over my roof, a vivid floral canopy, and caressing the smoothness of the petals of its bright red flowers which had dared to enter my window. Felt like paradise!
Today, it’s paradise lost! Within a day all is lost. There was absolute mayhem in the afternoon. The opulence of the trees was looted. All the trees surrounding my building are bereft of its branches and foliage. I sadly looked at the freshly axed tree standing helplessly and appallingly amputated, devoid of its treasure. I felt lost. I couldn’t find the branches and flowers with which I had developed a friendly bond. The birds too seemed lost looking for their nests and their familiar branches to sit and coo. Their chirping too sounds melancholic.
Today I sit here at my usual place with my usual cup of coffee but watch an unusual sight of the amputated tree with a sigh and wonder at the uncertainty of life and how ephemeral certain experiences in life are!
Was this, mindful or mindless hacking? The tree stands amputated, bereft of its abundance, while I stand burdened with an abundance of grief and regret.
Aren’t we too amputees to some extent? Haven’t we too lost something or someone in life that defines us, supports us, completes us? We have been amputated of people due to death, relations due to misunderstandings, good health due to wrong lifestyles, joy and peace due to stressful life, feelings and emotions due to selfish tendencies and an unsatiable hunger for materialism.
The tree will grow back its branches but will we get back what we have lost? I stifle a sob, sigh, and wipe a tear…
We all have written the essay My Mother umpteen times in school which probably was copy pasted from some essay book. This is my first genuine and sincere attempt.
The 2nd Sunday of May is celebrated as Mother’s day and my mom’s birthday is on 3 May. Every year these two days just happen by default. But this year, thanks to the pandemic, it made me introspective about my life, my mom and her impact on my life.
I am because she is! Her womb carried me for 9 months and brought me forth on this planet. I could experience life only because she birthed me. Who is this woman who by virtue of birthing me becomes my Aai.. my mom!
I call her AAI. AAtma + Ishwar = AAI Mother is a merge of A Soul and God
My Aai.. Born in 1943 belonged to a very simple, not very well to do but hardworking family. Her father was a tailor and also a freedom fighter. Her mother worked in a spinning mill. Simple living, simple thinking.
Aai narrates lots of memories of her childhood.There was poverty but dignity.There was lack of everything yet satisfaction. Grandparents were illiterate yet educated their 5 kids.
The most poignant memory is of people in her town dying of cholera in 1951. She heard of her friend’s death and was pretty scared she would die too. She, just 8 then, folded her hands and prayed to God ‘Pl God let me live till 60, I will give you all my toys and sweets’. Today she is 78 and on her every bday thanks God for the ‘bonus years’. (I too, thank God for listening to her prayers)
Once she even fought with dacoits to save me, when their house was looted on Diwali day and the dacoits took away all gold and cash and would have killed me as I was just an infant crying my lungs out hearing the commotion.
My Aai.. married in 1962 into a huge joint family of 20 members had to face the usual hardships and restrictions. She wanted to be a teacher or a nurse. But she could do neither and had to remain content cooking, cleaning and bearing with the insults, taunts and brickbats as she was the younger bahu, very meek, naive, vulnerable, soft spoken and came from a poorer family as compared to the others. She wasn’t and isn’t that street smart, rude, outspoken, scheming, selfish sort of a person. She couldn’t and still can’t fight for her rights. She always puts others before herself. She takes joy in making others feel cared and comfortable. She is very prudent, always has strategies ready to tackle problems due to her intuitive and clairvoyant nature. She is a pro in handling finance and kitchen too. Will settle for peace, avoids arguments at all costs. She loves nature, gardening, music, comedy shows, sarees.
All these qualities have been existing in my Aai throughout my life but I had never really given it much thought.
I guess we all are so engrossed in our lives that we tend to take our mom for granted and go about doing our stuff mindless about the woman who is our coach, counselor, trainer, financer, cook, helper, our ‘girl Friday’, cheerleader and our fan too.
Yet, some ungrateful children don’t accept this fact and think ‘what does mom do for me ?..it’s her duty, no big deal! Even a maid can do it.’ Well, dear child the maid may have all the skills of your mom but not the ‘motherhood’.
What is motherhood? Motherhood is another name for devotion.. to love, care, protect, nurture, support..unconditionally, without expecting any returns. Whether a woman gives birth or not, she becomes a mother at some stage. She enhances every relationship with the flavor of motherhood with family, relatives, friends, guests and acquaintances too. Her love, her giving, her sharing is laced with the sweetness of her motherhood. Motherhood is not gender specific. Your dad too ‘mothers’ you at times. I have been ‘mothered’ by my mother in law, sisters, friends, relatives, my husband, my kids and neighbors too.
Due to too much commercialisation of Mother’s day, the true essence of the relationship is lost. It’s not just a celebration with cake, gifts and flowers of the woman but honoring her motherhood, maternal bonds and the influence of mothers in society.
Society prospers because of people. Behind every successful artist, scientist, engineer, doctor and other professionals in society there is a ‘mean mom’. Mean moms ?? yeah.. mean moms !
Well these mean moms.. oh they are those strict one’s who lay down some rules for their kids, eat, sleep, study on time, no chips but only lunchbox meals, don’t believe in child labor laws and make you cook, clean, mop, wash dishes and do other mundane chores, insist on meeting your friends and give details about with whom you are going out, reason, time, no night outs or late nights due to strict curfew time, keep them informed about your whereabouts, can smell a lie from a mile and always insist on telling only the truth, also insist on giving them the account of expenses and savings .. oh these mean moms! All of us missed out on so many wonderful experiences that some of our friends had.. they didn’t have a ‘mean mom’!
I have grown up as an educated, honest, disciplined, righteous, responsible, conscientious, God fearing individual. Thanks to my ‘mean mom’. She groomed me too, to become a ‘mean mom’. Am proud of my mom who is such a humble, simple and selfless woman. She isn’t perfect but neither are we.
Do you know whats wrong with the world today.. it just doesn’t have enough ‘mean moms’ anymore!
This Mother’s Day a big shout out to all the ‘mean moms’ out there..
Déjà vu, pronounced day-zhaa voo, is French for “already seen.” It describes the fascinating and strange experience where you feel that something is very familiar but you also know that this feeling of familiarity should not be as strong as it is. It is a very fleeting sensation. It may be triggered by a place, person, smell, taste…
Have you ever.. oh..I bet you have experienced Déjà vu. Isn’t it a wonderful experience? You visit a new place and you get goosebumps as you feel hey.. I have been here before but I don’t know when.
It’s not an everyday phenomenon. It can’t be called upon. It can’t be planned. It has its own way of revealing itself.
Sadly like it or not many nations are Déjà vuing.. Another wave of Covid.. Another lockdown.. Streets deserted.. Gardens closed.. Hotels, spa, saloons, swimming pools shut.. Festivals and celebrations subdued.. Educational institutions closed.. Entire academic year students surviving on online classes.. Movement of people restricted to essentials.. Deaths piling up… Human race is under a siege once again..
God forbid.. didn’t we go through this rigmarole in April 2020.. the cursed year! Yeah.. history repeats itself.. but not this way please
As 2020 crawled ahead the affect of the pandemic was subsiding. Did we became complacent.. loosened our guard? Were we in a hurry to forget the struggles, the loss, the pain, the grief brought about by the virus and start getting used to the ‘new normal’? Were we rejoicing too early the victory over the virus whereas it was still lurking in the air?
And as if by some accurate cosmic calculation we are back to square one..
A Déjà Vu of sorts..?? April 2020 to April 2021.. 365 days with 730 painful memories.. for an individual.. for a nation.. for the world.. the wounds are just healing.. the scars are yet fresh
Who failed.. me, you, the scientist, the predictions, the government ?? Human life is much more precious than political conspiracies and leadership egos.
Every life matters.. every death destroys.. is devastating to a family. It’s just become a number game. Which country.. how many deaths. How many recoveries.. which country is good at handling.. which government failed. The numbers and percentages rolling on the screens make no sense to a son who can’t find a bed, a ventilator for his mom or for a father who can’t find space to cremate his son. Hope the politicians would stop the blame game and function as the head of the family and care for its children.
What’s in store for us in 2022?
Another variant of the virus or normalcy ? Only time will tell..
Is it in our hands ..
Let’s not embark on a vicious circle of Déjà Vu..
Mask up..sanitize.. maintain physical distancing.. get vaccinated.. do pranayam, yoga.. its not difficult to control the virus of we learn to control our lifestyle.
YOLO / YODO
I had come across these acronyms longtime ago but hadn’t paid much attention to it ignoring it as a new generation FAD.
But the havoc caused by the pandemic and the death of my near and dear ones made me delve into these acronyms which happen to be two lifestyle philosophies.
YOLO..You Only Live Once
YODO..You Only Die Once
YOLO followers are passionate, adventurous people who love to experiment, want to create their own path rather than walk on the trodden one. They are fun to hang out with.Their mantra is CARPE DIEM.
The YOLO’s take risks, yearn instant gratification, make mistakes, learn from it but keep forging ahead with more gusto for momentary pleasures coz there is the FOMO.. Fear Of Missing Out.
What we do appreciate about them is they have contributed and brought about great novel changes in the fields of food, fashion, travel, music which maybe good but not sustainable.They may buy a new car and spend time and money on its maintainance and boast about it but will completely ignore the wear and tear of their own body.
YODO followers are the cautious, conscious and prudent ones.They are always secure and reliable to be with.They take more calculated and well thought decisions, look for security and stability. They believe that you keep living everyday but death comes only once. Just like we try to live healthy, stress free, joyful and satisfied life, we should also endeavor to believe and accept death without any fear and ‘plan’ it. Yes ! To die peacefully and painlessly, you have to plan how to live consciously. They are health conscious and may even prudently plan their retirement life, funeral, last rites, property matters. They aren’t being old fashioned or pessimistic but they learn to live consciously so that they die consciously.
Friends, just like there is an ‘Art of Living’ there is also an ‘Art of Dying’.
Whether we follow YOLO or YODO, when we die what remains are memories of us. No one is immortal but memories are !
So let’s redefine YOLO & YODO!
YOLO.. let’s celebrate life
Let’s live cautiously, consciously, conscientiously and not casually, carelessly, competitively
Let’s make ourselves competent and not complacent
Let’s make a difference in someone’s life with selflessness and not selfishness
Let’s be empathetic not pathetic, intuitive not impulsive, creative not destructive, helpful not helpless
Let’s leave a legacy behind, not of material wealth but an identity, a memory of a wonderful person that you are.
You Only Live Once is a misconception.. you live everyday
Let’s make our visit to this earth as a human worth it.
YODO.. let’s make our exit dignified and not dramatic. Death is inevitable. You may die this moment or after 10 years.
How we die is many a times the consequence of how we live.
The pandemic experience should be an eye opener to all of us to change our lifestyle from YOLO to YODO!
“When you were born you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice”
Anniversaries are an important part of life. We celebrate the day as a reminder of some milestone in our life. They remind us of important events whether we’re marking a birthday, a wedding, a momentous event, or the death of a loved one, an anniversary puts a pin on the calendar to remind us of something that matters to us. Whatever the anniversary, it gives us a chance to reflect on a moment which has left a mark on our minds, a chance to look back over the years since the event we’re marking, and reflect on how it has shaped us.
25 March 2021 was one such day.. an anniversary !
The Pandemic Lockdown Anniversary!
The day when the whole world went under lockdown in 2020 to stop the spread of the corona virus. An unprecedented happening, a once in a lifetime catastrophe..
How do we face this day ?
Does it count as an Anniversary ?
What do we do..celebrate, commemorate, eulogize ?
And as I write this article “I AM CORONA POSITIVE” !
Last year this day we kept hearing of people falling prey to the virus all around the world and we pitied them and thought, oh, it won’t happen to me !
We have seen scores of people being affected, hspitalized, serious, dead!
The entire year we were glued to our TV sets watching with horror, the havoc caused by the virus.
So..have we learnt some lessons ?
Why the second wave..
Why are so many people still dying of the virus..
Where did we go wrong..
Has the vaccine made us complacent..
How did I contact it..
I always consider myself as a very vigilant, aware, educated human following all norms..
Down the year did I too experience the ‘covid fatigue’ the ‘lockdown fatigue’ and lose my guard..
Did I take the virus lightly..
Wasn’t I following the safety norms..
All our technological advancement, our AI, our nuclear weapons, our arrogant superiority of human intelligence and even faith in God.. nothing, nothing can help humans if the virus proves to be more intelligent than humans.
When will we stop trying to prove ourselves mightier than nature?
After all aren’t we a living organism just like other organisms ?
Inspite of the pandemic catastrophe, we have seen the year marked by political instability, racial discrimination, elections around the world tarnished by hatred and greed for power, too much unrest all over the world due to frustration and helplessness over the deteriorating life conditions.
Instead of fighting against the virus.. are we fighting against each other ??
Why aren’t we accepting the concept of ‘live and let live’?
There’s no PLANET B for us!!
What strategy should we follow for the next 365 days?
Do we want another painful pandemic anniversary next year ?
Are we going to rejoice or repent?
Time to wake up….