Being judgmental!

“You often keep finding negative aspects in things” he said. The remark left me stunned. If someone you shared everything in and out with the minutest detail with, had this remark to pass, all others surely would have even worse.

This made me ponder, do I really do so. On quickly jotting down the instances i could recollect, came to the conclusion that I was certainly genuine – more real than negative.

I realized, people may have such viewpoints if they look at it, from a distance. But if someone can really step into my shoes and have a look at it, they may have an entirely different perspective.

We often do so, don’t we? Think of someone else’s problem as trivial and when the same thing happens to us, only then realize the real gravity. We often tend to become judgmental, without actually spending time analyzing the situation other person is going through.

How intricate it is to replicate the entire situation the person is going through, as is, with the backgrounds and foregrounds and then step into it? Too tough.

So stop being a judge for someone else’s case. Better be a lawyer – if you agree, defend. If you don’t agree, argue. It may lead either of you to a different perspective.

Chinese whispers

I had heaved a sigh of relief recently, when Ganesh Chaturthi loudspeaker noise, in the lane next to my residence, ended. Not too many days have passed and the chaos is back again, this time with Navratri numbers.

It renders you and your eardrums helpless. Neither can you take important calls, nor watch TV or have conversation with family.
Sleep is absolutely out of consideration. Not even, if you plan to shut all the doors and windows, plug in your ear plugs and dunk your head into blanket.
The only thing you are left with, is to surrender to the chaos, keep listening to what keeps on falling on your ears and somehow keep yourself from accidentally mumbling these songs in the office, the next day.

Have you heard of a game named ‘Chinese whispers’? It is a group game in which, one person whispers a sentence in next person’s ear only once. This person then recapitulates it to the next person. This goes on, in an entire circle. The last person then speaks the sentence out loud. Most of the times, because of the inserts, deletes, updates and what not, the final sentence turns out to be totally different from the original one.

Same is the state of Indian festivals now-a-days. As days go by, they are losing the original essence and mere amusement is taking over. Healthy enjoyment is still acceptable, but the one that disturbs others, pollutes – air, water, noise is absolutely not. These things are totally uncalled for.

On one of the social forums, I remember a person asking, what do we do then? Stop celebrating festivals and have no culture left to pass on to future generations?
I think, we should surely ‘NOT stop’ but it is high time we be rational and start figuring out and executing better ways of celebrating festivals.

Innovative trends like silent garba, DIY clay idols with seeds implanted, home immersions etc. are need of the day.

Or we can simply start looking backwards at how our ancestors celebrated these festivals and explore what our culture really is.
I believe there was no loud music then – Bhajans and prayers instead
No gigantic plaster of Paris idols – small clay idols instead and lots of devotion,
Simple ecofriendly decorations – over magnificent lightings
Rangolis and Diyas – instead of loud crackers.
Less number of pandals and lots of unity.
This kind of celebration would definitely turn out to be purer, enjoyable and true to its essence.

So let’s keep our thinking hats on, this festive season and come up with innovative ways that are more enjoyable and at the same time thoughtful of our surroundings.
This will ensure we pass on not only “purer culture” to our future generations but also “less contaminated environment”. Happy festivities!

Spiritually golden!


Some places of worship are immensely powerful. The prevailing impact that is cast, each time one visits, makes the knots of beliefs even tauter. An extraordinary connect is established in no time, that surrounds one with positive aura and liberates of all worries, leaving one feeling immensely tranquil. The actual experience is completely beyond what words can describe; truly and completely divine.

I am sure, each person must have visited at least one such place. The special one – the one someone would really like to keep returning to. May it be a temple or a church or any other place of worship or may be a silent beach or any place one feels deeply connected to.

For me, more typically it is a temple. Sai baba temple, Shirdi has always topped my list. Always end up in tears as I enter the sanctum sanctorum and fold my hands in front of huge idol of Sai Baba. The feeling of devotion is completely soulful. I find my eyes actually welled up even while penning this piece down. When the imagination is so influencing, the actual experience is undoubtedly so much the better.

Siddhivinayak temple and Mount Mary church in Mumbai were the ones I used to solicit the blessings of, each time before engineering exams. Positivity to study harder and strength to make progress were the answers to my prayers.

Every time I sit in the hall way in front of Ganpati bappa at Ganesh mandir, Dombivli and recite ‘Atharvashirsha’, I am left feeling extremely lighter.

At Ambejogai temple, it was as if goddess herself had called close to her, happily accepted all the offerings and in turn gave us sweets like a dearly grandparent.

Sometimes it is simple recitation of some powerful ‘stotra’, sitting at home which fills you up with feel good effect. Recite ‘Ramraksha stotra’ and boom goes the anxiety away and I end up feeling good. Recite ‘Shiva Mahimna stotra’, and gust of positive energy and assertion fills me up.

Most recent experience was at Golden temple, Amritsar. We had our trip planned to north India with flights to and fro Amritsar. Day was reserved for Golden temple on our onward journey.

We went to Golden temple as planned. Long queue to enter the temple, made us resist joining it.

There is a large pond surrounding the golden temple, adding to its golden hues and beautifying it even more. We took a round around it and sat by its sides which felt absolutely soothing. After having spent the evening in the temple premises, we returned to the hotel room.

Later, in the trip, got to hear miraculous tales of golden temple from the cab driver of the virtues of golden temple, how the water of the pond is powerful and of its healing powers which cured many people with disabilities.

We regretted skipping the entry into the temple, in spite of being in its premises for so long.

Later, things shaped up in such a way that we could return to Amritsar one night before our flight. We visited golden temple again, this time joining even longer queue to seek the blessings of “Harmandir Sahib”. Our desire to visit the temple was fulfilled in the same trip.

And do I need to mention how the experience was? It was surely “Spiritually Golden” 🙂

Mother is always a mother!

She gave birth to a litter of four kittens last week, in a property next to our house. We were super excited to see the cute little fur balls, but to our distress, could neither catch a glimpse of the cat, nor the kittens for the next few days.

One day, the new mommy came in. Her eyes reflected the zeal she had, to shoulder the new responsibilities nature had bestowed upon her. In no way could she resemble her older self, who would spend entire day sleeping.

Akin to a CID inspector, she began keenly inspecting every corner of the house to find a place apposite for her babies. Eventually she came across a box in one of the corners. To ensure everything is apt, she went in, made few amendments by pushing things here and there and then headed straight to her kittens.

After sunset, when the risk of attackers was at the bare minimum, we spotted her running to our house with one of the kittens in mouth. Dotingly placing it in the box, she fed it, stayed with it till it got accustomed to the new setting and then hurtled to bring the next one. Before leaving she meowed at me, as if instructing me to take care of the baby in her absence. This entire out of the box process continued until all 4 were in the box.

She was dead tired by now, but had no choice of skipping her meal. Hunting, inorder to fill her stomach up and in turn feed the kittens, was her prime chore.

This caring mother would turn into an aggressive fighter on finding a harmful male cat hovering near our house. The little tigress would manifest all the power to keep him at bay and protect her children.

She was the whole and sole for her babies and managed everything so perfectly well. Only a mother can be so multifaceted.

Mother would always be there for her kids through cliffs and troughs..stand strong like a wall to protect them from all odds…cross mountains to fulfill their necessities and yet be warm, caring and full of unconditional love.

The fact that even animals demonstrate motherly traits to this extent, left me spellbound. Salute to all such mothers and to the nature’s instinct of motherhood!!

Mr Waghdoh ! 2/22/2016

fb_img_1483013154813Sometimes all you need is a short break, close to nature, away from hustle and bustle into a peaceful setting. The place chosen was Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve. With no network coverage and only plants and animals to surround, there couldn’t be a place better chosen.

Plan was made, tickets and hotels booked and we were off for a short vacation. Royal tiger resort was going to be our home for the next four days. Right from waking us up at 5 am to making safari arrangements, Mr Ravi the hotel manager took our charge.

Day 1, we headed to jungle full of hopes to spot the royal king, but ended up seeking satisfaction in the flora instead of fauna. And yes of course we had delicious food served to cheer us up.

Day 2 was a lucky one, with a close sighting of leopard and short sighting of tigress Sonam and her four cubs, we were delighted enough in the 1st half. Second half was cherry on the cake. With the mighty king of Tadoba Mr Wagdoh, walking towards us and posing for more than 30 minutes, what more could we expect? We returned to the hotel, full of smiles. Hotel owner Mr. Bapat’s comment – “today you would not mind even if I don’t add salt to your food” was apt enough. We were still in Mr. Wagdoh’s aura, browsing through his pictures, discussing his style and thanking our luck.

Good time flies away soon and so did our 4 days. Now it was time to head back to Nagpur. Seeking quick blessings of Tekadi Ganpati and shopping delicious orange barfis at Haldiram, we boarded our Indigo.

Today in office, I couldn’t stop myself from telling the tiger stories. Hoping to see Mr Wagdoh and many others once again soon!!

Turning 90! 2/26/2016

She turned 90 this month, but the enthusiasm she has, I bet, could beat that of a 25 year old.

Plan a trip and ask her, she would always be in. Be it a faraway place, a movie or a restaurant, there is never a “No” in her dictionary. She would not mind if she has to sit in a car for several hours, when she cannot accompany us to an elevated place, nor would she be irritated; she would surely greet us with a smile on our return.

She likes people. Having been born, brought up and grown in a joint family, she is used to it and loves when surrounded by her sons, daughters, nephews, nieces and grandchildren. I remember, until recently, she would arrange for and make our favorite delicacies when we visited her. Needless to say, she is an excellent cook.

She is blessed with an excellent memory. Recently, when we all were scratching our heads to remember surname of a distant relative, it was her who popped it out in fraction of a second.

She simply loves chitchats, watching CID and mimicking people 🙂 she is an excellent actor and at this age too, doesn’t shy away from it. Call her to play cards and she will be super excited, but tell her we are going to play rummy, and you are not included, she would warn us to go to sleep on time.

Like everyone does, she also had tough times in life, but she always had a knack of adjusting to any situation. She was flexible, happy and satisfied in what she had; had no complaints for the hard work she did. These are few things everyone can quite learn from her.

Such is my grandmother, my dear aaji !!