Posted in Daily, Personal Musings, Quotes, Random Thoughts

DETOUR

While trying to get to work, in order to avoid the regular route in lieu of the heavy downpour wherein the roads were mostly water-logged; the plan was to stick to the by-lanes. Whether providence or thanks to an early start, the early morning hours saw less of muck and rush. Though the journey took at least a half-hour extra from the regular allotted drive time; the end result saw a lot less stress within.

“The really happy person is the one who can enjoy the scenery, even when they have to take a detour.” Sir James Jeans

Throughout the drive, the running thought was how bleak and unpredictable the morning plans can be. Life in a way, behaves more or less that. Each of us may encounter varied manner of hurdles or waterlogged roads. Some may offer a way out, others fore us to stop and ask for help; while there may be those routes wherein we turn back the way we came and go a different way thereon.

Facing all these blocks, one must never lose sight of three basic things. Among the many basic tenets, few stand out distinct. To always stay strong and aim to survive. To make the best out of any given situation or scenario. Smile, no matter how bad things may get to be, face the hurdle with a smile. For that simple smile within may give us the needed courage and strength to go on.

“Dead-end roads don’t mean you’ve come to your end, just means you need to take a different detour.” Anthony Liccione

Dead ends, detours, deflections or digressions, no matter how small or big they may be; they do crop up every now and then. Whether one likes them or not is irrelevant, for all these are a part and parcel of life. The trick is to never let them to us. Not just knowing that, but believing in it and acting on it; helps one to take the next step forward. All it takes is a keen pair of eyes and clear thoughts.

Ironically some of the detours that life takes us through help to redirect us back to the right track, or onto the true path which may be way off from what was perceived previously. It is only in hindsight, that these realizations may come to light. To experience this, requires one no to be completely bogged down, but to get up and run along with the flow. Eventually it will all workout. Till then the main purpose is to survive the fight, move on and get to the better days ahead.

“If you are faced with a mountain, you have several options.
You can climb it and cross to the other side.
You can go around it.
You can dig under it.
You can fly over it.
You can blow it up.
You can ignore it and pretend it’s not there.
You can turn around and go back the way you came.
Or you can stay on the mountain and make it your home.”
― Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

Posted in Personal Musings, poetry, Quotes, Reflections

Challenge of the Dare

Surprises are always a part of life; whether they be good or bad. While the former variety is well received and brings about beaming smiles on the faces of many; the latter surprise does have it’s own benefits, though they may be hidden. With the local henchman unable to make the usual rounds or repair work, the sudden spurts of gales saw the old chicken coop falling down as well as the barn floor being home to mini ponds. The problem is repairs aren’t the same when there are less number of people at hand to help.

Nevertheless with the hammer and saw, we had managed to make an odd fashioned set of repairs, not pretty but viable. Then came the good old cans of leftover but fresh paints. The final end-result was five vibrant homo-sapiens bearing the colours of the rainbow. While it would have been easy to treat this unfortunate incident as another hurdle; throwing aside such an attitude and embracing things as they came, made way for another set of beautiful moments to be captured.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Nelson Mandela

One of the instinct traits of man, is to deal with the downside in an air of worry, wariness and despondency. While for some of us, most of the apprehension and fear is washed away slowly as we approach the task at hand; for some of us it colours the way we approach the task. The strength lies in not calculating all the downsides and upside alone, but to keep the practical eye and will at hand. True that one needs to have a fair share of caution and apprehension; to let them colour the day would mean another day not worth the memory.

“Strength shows not only in the ability to persist, but the ability to start over.” F. Scott Fitzgerald

The dare lies in keeping an open mind and approaching any given situation, blessed or an upheaval with the attitude to persist and prevail. For things do eventually work out, as long as we rise to the challenge and hope for a better try at every given attempt over time. Thus will then one appreciate the real treasures that life has in store for each one of us.

“When a new day begins, dare to smile gratefully.
When there is darkness, dare to be the first to shine a light.
When there is injustice, dare to be the first to condemn it.
When something seems difficult, dare to do it anyway.
When life seems to beat you down, dare to fight back.
When there seems to be no hope, dare to find some.
When you’re feeling tired, dare to keep going.
When times are tough, dare to be tougher.
When love hurts you, dare to love again.
When someone is hurting, dare to help them heal.
When another is lost, dare to help them find the way.
When a friend falls, dare to be the first to extend a hand.
When you cross paths with another, dare to make them smile.
When you feel great, dare to help someone else feel great too.
When the day has ended, dare to feel as you’ve done your best.
Dare to be the best you can.
At all times, Dare to be!”
― Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)

Posted in Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Quotes

Priceless in Time

Attending an official meeting as a replacement for my colleague lead me to board the local train for getting back to the office. For once, there wasn’t a hitch in the schedule. So here I was, waiting for the train and scanning through all the pending mails, messages and the like. With no one breathing down my neck and no crisis looming, there was time to reply back to messages, update with friends and to return that missed call from a distant cousin. All that happened in a matter of minutes. In the aftermath, it felt good; catching up to those around us, being in contact with the old group of friends and reminiscences of the good old days. All it may take could be five minutes.

“The best times we’ve had on earth are usually with those we love.” Van Harden

When one views a fresh day, it may seem that one has plenty of time. As a big bunch of hours, it’s towards the middle of the day when they get rapidly deleted that then time becomes a small amount. From that set then, five minutes may seem a lot. But in those five minutes, much can be achieved; for five minutes isn’t huge.

Five minutes to talk to siblings. Five minutes to play with the dog, just to throw the ball. Five minutes to hug your better half and wish him or her a good day. Five minutes to play blocks with the toddler. Five minutes to catch up with a colleague who was recently transferred from your section to another. These little five minutes, though may be spent of doing more important things like work, domestic chores, cooking and the like are those very five minutes that help to make precious memories, which are hidden in the recesses of spent minutes but serve to be priceless in due course.

“Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.” Harvey MacKay

Though time may be precious and valuable; in itself it has no value. Cut off from the social and personal ties that keep us going, time may cause us to drag each day. Time needs to shared with all. For such time spent is more fruitful, than solely devoting it to one segment of our lives alone. At the end of our time, it is those cumulative five minutes of love and care that create treasured memories to help us face the trying times. True that one must hurry when one should, but to be too busy to note that one is being cut off from the best parts of life would be akin to cutting off own feet. To share time is an art that we all must indulge in, for all it takes is a simple matter of five minutes.

Time Is
by Henry van Dyke

Time is
Too Slow for those who Wait,
Too Swift for those who Fear,
Too Long for those who Grieve,
Too Short for those who Rejoice;
But for those who Love,
Time is not.

Posted in Life, Quotes, Random Thoughts, Stories Around the World

Move or Sink

One of the benchmarks of stepping into the “plus eighteen age” is the onslaught of decisions that have to be made. While some are quite straightforward and simple, others involve plenty of harrowing thoughts of “what-ifs”, attempts to envision the future probabilities and possibilities. Finally the choice is made and we move ahead. What happens if one just stays standstill, especially when caught in the quicksand ? Before one could completely comprehend and work out the situation, one may just sink.

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.” Theodore Roosevelt

One undergoes numerous points wherein decisions have to be made, whether they be big or small. While the small ones won’t take any time, the big ones are usually put off till an appropriate time. Though “the appropriate time” may be too late in certain scenarios. Decisions made at the right time or moment will only cause the right change or required effect. When one gets being too early or real late then the scales of balance may tip. At times the decisions made may be for worse than better, realized usually in hindsight; but other times it may be the reverse. The point is to make a decision, as and when required. Sitting on own hands doesn’t achieve any purpose, except for lost options.

“It’s better to be boldly decisive and risk being wrong than to agonise at length and be right too late.” Marilyn Moats Kennedy

If those decisive changes may turn for the wrong side, face the problem head on and try to correct it. Unless one springs into action, nothing changes. Whether there be be plenty of words or thoughts, without the appropriate actions or behaviour; everything becomes null or void. Being caught in the situation and stubborn about making a move to get out, will result in irreversible damage as time runs real short. Knowing the art to adjust, adapt and improvise a lost situation with quick insight and decisiveness makes the murky situations of life, just a passing phase. As life teaches, getting caught in those tough moments requires one to spring in action, make the decisions and face the situation head on; for then the outcome will be a learning curve and tomorrow will exist.

Once the frog fell in a vessel of the hot water. The water was still on a gas stove. The frog still did not try to jump out of the vessel, instead just stayed in it. As the temperature of the water started to rise, the frog managed to adjust its body temperature accordingly. As the water started to reach the boiling point, the frog was no longer able to keep up and manage its body temperature according to the water temperature. The frog tried to jump out of the vessel but with water temperature reaching its boiling point, the frog was not able to bear it and couldn’t make it. What was the reason that a frog couldn’t make it? Will you blame the hot water for it? (Source: The Internet)

Posted in Life, Personal Musings, poetry, Quotes, Work

Through the Tenor

The morning work drive doesn’t fail to impress one each day. Yet there are those days when nothing fails to incite a response. Guess it is one of those times when the inner tenor is unbalanced and everything seems murky.

“The emotion that can break your heart is sometimes the very one that heals it…” Nicholas Sparks

Some days the music lives up to its beats. Some days it doesn’t. Some days one feels like dancing in the rain; other days we crib about the mud and the splatter on the shoes. Some days we live for the thrill of our work, though at times we long for a change of job. The truth is, we all have our own moody days and that’s okay. For working mothers, it is okay to miss a nutritious breakfast and make do with sugary cereal or just milk. Some days it is okay to get the laundry done at the dry-cleaners or just splurge on that expensive massage. Some days it is okay for dads to just hang out at the pub or just go for game night at a friend’s place. Some days it is alright for kids to enjoy a weekday movie and get up early for their homework.

As nature shows through the tenors of the sea or the whine of the tempestuous wind, each element of life can be affected by the sway of the inner mind, circumstances of that moment and the feel within. One may feel happy a minute and melancholy the next couple of hours; but that is okay. Each of us need to experience our moods, listen to them and feel their cry. For only then, one can learn to get back on the balanced footing. It is okay to cry and laugh; scream and sing or stamp and dance.

Being human, emotions are always a part of us. Not letting it control us completely is what is important. Just like how fast they come, they will be gone too. Yet it is through these turn of moods, one discovers the passion of life. Life on an even tone is bland. We need all the stuff that goes to give the special essence of life’s potpourri. And that, my dear readers, is what brings the momentum into our lives and the spring in our steps.

“The sea has its moods. Sometimes it is melancholic and morose, other times fierce and feisty. But always passionate. Even when calm, one can sense the depth of the sea’s passion.” Jocelyn Murray

Moods
by Jack London
Who has not laughed with the skylark,
And bid his heart rejoice?
Laughed till the mirth-loving heavens
Echoed his laughter back?
Joyed in the sheer joy of living,
And sung with gladsome voice,
Lays that were cheerful and merry,
And bid his heart rejoice?
Who has not frowned in the gloaming,
And felt the skies grow black;
While o’er him spread the dark mantle
Of sullen, solemn Gloom,
Whose mutterings broke the silence
Like echoes from the tomb –
Like echoes of lost endeavors –
Reproaches from the tomb?
Who has not cursed in his passion,
As Anger’s stinging lash,
Biting and smarting and racking,
Fell on his naked back?
Felt in his veins feverish tumult,
The strife, the savage clash,
As when hot steel, leaped from the scabbard,
Meets steel with crash on crash?
Who has not wept in his sorrow,
And looked in vain for morn;
Waiting with hopeless yearning,
The sun from out the bourn?
Heard from the world the sad sobbing
Of Faith and Hope forlorn?
Known that the sun had forever
Gone down into the bourn?

Posted in Family and Society, Personal Musings, Quotes, Stories Around the World

Rein in the Fist

Though the holiday mode has started, with travel to tourist places restricted; it is the woods and the farm fields that have occupied most of the spare childhood hours, thus making the work at home option feasible for a few days. Which is why while making my entries in the excel spreadsheet, a sudden clatter of metal and cries of pain forced to make a rush to the pantry where I caught the young one with his hand stuck in the jar of crisps and in the mute howling phase. Like the monkey who trapped his hand in the jar, a couple of minutes he lit off before I could settle the scene and deal with the fiasco.

Reliving those moments over the pre-lunch tea session, the morning incident reminded me of the monkey’s hand which had caught in the jar for the fistful of cookies were too big to come out through the mouth of the jar. Just like the monkey, we adults too grab whatever our fists can hold, resulting in biting more than one can chew and staying stuck in the big jar of “life” getting stuck knee-deep when retreat would have been feasible.

“So the unwanting soul sees what’s hidden,
and the ever-wanting soul sees only what it wants.”
Lao Tzu

Growing up, the stress was often laid on being successful, making something profitable out of life and the ventures that we do. As we mature, one experiences the profits and gains and basks in their glory. Eventually one may lose sight of the more important things in life, realizing that their hold on those things have been lost. Once when one realizes that the really important things in life have been lost, then those material profits and gain become completely worthless.

“He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.” Socrates

Defining when to rein in the profits and close down the run for amassing more, or just to continue on, rests on what one considers important close to their heart. Greed is one of those things that can infiltrate any stage of success silently, grow therein and create complete unrest in a subtle manner, such that one realizes that the profits gained were meaningless in context of the damage wrought.

One should make most out of any venture, trying for it to be a success on all fronts. Yet the highlight is to rein the urge to confine all the glory to one, amass more or just hoard the rewards. By letting go a bit of that fist, one can enjoy a bit of the reward then instead of losing out to a worse predicament later on. Also one could grab less or just a handful and share it out, so that rewards enjoyed around would life a lot more fun, happy and joyful; just enough to fit into each of our fists.

The Greedy Mouse
A greedy mouse saw a basket full of corn. He wanted to eat all of the corn so he made a small hole in the basket. He squeezed in through the hole. He ate a lot of corn until he was full and was very happy. Now he wanted to come out. He tried to come out through the small hole. He could not. His belly was full. He tried again. But it was of no use. The mouse started crying. A rabbit was passing by. It heard the mouse’s cry and asked, “Why are you crying, my friend?” The mouse explained, “I made a small hole and came into the basket to eat the corn. Now I am not able to get out through that hole.”

The rabbit said, “It is because you ate too much. Wait till your belly shrinks.” The rabbit laughed and went away. The mouse fell asleep in the basket. The next morning his belly had shrunk. But he wanted to eat some more corn. He forgot all about getting out of the basket. So he ate the corn and his belly was really big again.After eating, the mouse remembered that he had to escape. But obviously, he could not. So he thought, “Oh! Now I will go out tomorrow.” The cat was the next passerby. He smelt the mouse in the basket. He lifted its lid and ate the mouse.

Posted in Family and Society, Personal Musings, Quotes, Reflections, Work

More than Exist

While working in the first job opportunity after college, my brother had to move out to the new city. Over the next couple of months as the call duration and frequency to home decreased, my parents’ radar went into full frequency mode and it had grabbed yours truly. After all a couple of calls, the instinct sense that something was wrong was pretty strong. Whether it was by His Grace that a work travel opportunity had presented itself to his office or just a matter of chance; making the visit was an eye-opener. The short phone conversations and the decreased frequency of calls wasn’t just due to work stress but the unhappiness in doing something which he never wanted to. Though it took plenty of courage and risks; he did get out of the mess and went on to another office doing the advertisement projects that he had trained and wanted to.

“Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action.” Theodore Roosevelt

We all get stuck in those unexpected ruts. Full of promise and hope of what was once good, mayn’t seem so a couple of months later. That is when it is time to call a temporary halt to reexamine the situation and find a path out. The tussle is between the surety of the present and the uncertainty of the next that causes one to choose the former. Yet in the long run, it isn’t just existence that drives one person forward, but the courage to take the path to do what one loves to do.

“We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us even in our soundest sleep. I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavour. It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.” Henry David Thoreau

The inner spirit has to stay strong. When things may go downhill for a time, take a break and choose to do something about it. Even though it may be a late attempt, but it is way better than to just exist. It is that spark in each of us, that gives the glow and a special meaning to the gift of life, time and love that we all have been fortunate to be blessed with.

Credo
by Jack London

I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark
should burn out in a brilliant blaze
than it should be stifled by dry-rot.

I would rather be a superb meteor
every atom of me in magnificent glow
than a sleepy and permanent planet.

The function of man is to live
not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.