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It has been almost 12 years, a long time, since he has not visited his home even once. Rather it will be the inconvenient truth to say that in these 12 years, he did not visit the place where he knows lies comfort for him. No matter what time it will be, his favorite food will be cooked and people will always be happy to have him around. Yes, it was his home town. After his college, he does not visit his home as often and every time he was in panic he will call them, be it day or night. On the opposite side of the scale, when he got selected in his dream college  and subsequently landed his dream job, he was so excited that he called them in the night. There is nothing bad about it. Family as an organization plays a vital role to cope up with sudden changes in life, be it intended or unintended.

He even ensured that there were regular family reunions. Reaching there was three hours by flight and by bus, it was a 10 hours journey, which was not so difficult for anyone in the family. Maid was given special instructions to cook what the family used to eat in his childhood days, so as to refresh the memories. Lately since his parents were working and sometimes they didn’t get leave to go to him. Even he was busy, so in last couple of years, there was no such reunion.

In any society, a lot of value and importance is given to family gatherings, as it revives the bond and brings unity. Finally, it is the kinship which takes care of its members in hard times. In Indian society, the vastness of this kinship is vocal identity for one’s influence in society. So it is expected from everyone that they attend crucial events. Living in big cities and chasing dreams has taken a large chunk of our time. But at what cost? Some people might be willing to have the discomfort of giving it a thought and out of those, only few will come to a conclusion. After all who wants to waste time, thinking such things when every thing seems so right!

But in last decade, even these 5 hours journey has become a hectic procedure. A distance of mere few hundreds of kilometers is referred to as a remote place by people living in the metros. People think not only about the distance, but time and also the crowd that they have to bear with for the hours of journey. Mostly people avoid journey, which they feel might push them out of their comfort zone. But if we ask ourselves, nothing is as beautiful and comforting as seeing happiness in the eyes of family members, the people you love.

Yes, it is true that he worked hard in office and in his leisure time, he used to develop avenues of future prospects. But as any human being on earth, he was also full of emotions. There were sinusoidal moments of joy and sadness in his life also. This was probably a break from his linear mechanical life. And the irony is that, these moments of high and low were the ones when he took up his phone and dialed his home.

a-silent-place

Photo by: Avinash Kumar

But sometimes even people who become habitual of living a fast track life, want a place of peace, and what could be better than the home town where clock ticks at its usual pace, without any pressure attached to it. It was surprising that this time he thought he will go to his home with his mind free and not occupied by either the office or complexities of his life. On the other hand, he was excited to visit his home, to see those playground, friends where he lived and with whom he has one of his his memory.

And finally the day came, he felt that he was again a child and with those childlike keen eyes, which are forever interested and curious to ask questions and prepared to grasp things which come in their way, he stepped out of station. But to his surprise, he was total stranger in his own native place. He felt uncomfortable. He rushed to his home and knocked the door. His parents were happy to see him and blessed him. He inquired about how things have changed. With a childish smile, he asked why was he not informed about the changes in the garden and in the city. It was then that he saw those lines on the faces of his parents. They have developed wrinkles on their face and have spectacles on their eyes.

Those faces which were like sky and earth for him, have grown old but still their zeal to make him happy was not even a bit less. He asked to himself, when it happened, how suddenly all things have changed and all these times, he was acting as if he was the center of the whole world for his family, like in his childhood. How his world has changed without him being aware of it. How his perceptions have become stiff.

This time he was so calm that he could listen to the voice within him, which he had not given much attention after joining the race. It was his conscience which reminded all that he has missed, ‘…the period to love, understand his own family, the race of the world, the continuous effort to be happy…’.

He realized how much self-centered he has become. He has left the ever cheerful nature of a child and the importance of family, far behind. His mind started pondering upon the thought that it’s only family where he can always remain a child.

life-is-what-flows

Photo by: Avinash Kumar

With heavy heart and a sense of gratitude, he remembered a silly discussion with his friend, ‘the river which flows is lively, but when it becomes static, the same water give foul smell’. His thoughts broke by the smell of paranthas (fried Indian bread), as he sees his mother approaching him with the tray. He jumped to the dining table, and became a child once again.

Pause, don’t stop

Let’s take a pause for a moment and try to observe few things and think if we really understand them as we rush through them in our busy schedule.

Workplace: In many organizations, workers are classified on the basis of working hours and type of work which they perform. Depending on the gravity of work, whether it demands continuous mental or physical activity, rest hours are given.This ensures that full attention is given on duty. For example, In Railways : a traffic controller/ phone operator should be given rest to ensure that he is ready for next shift. It ensures that both the employee and whole system work smoothly without being at the risk of collapsing due to over work. The organization which ensures that workers get proper rest in between their shifts work efficiently in terms of work productivity and there are lesser chances of human error.

Machines: The rest period is so crucial that even some machines have pause and rest features to ensure that no overheating takes place.This prolongs the operational life of machine. And for users? Think of a treadmill which does not have pause feature. How many of us would feel the need to have provision of pause or reset button. Pause ensures that in case we need time to think or act, we have that.

Communication: In literal meaning, pause is a temporary stop in speech and action. But those who know the power of pause, for example, a good orator, can use two different placement of pause which can change the whole meaning of the sentence.

One of the classic illustration is :

A woman, without her man, is nothing.

A woman: without her, man is nothing.

Society : From children to adults, everyone is so busy that it seems that the current fashion is to look busy and if some one is not, there might be some problem with that person. Yet very few understand it’s long term implication on health, relationship, productivity and lifestyle .

The need to create a balance between action and inaction is very crucial to create synergy. But the concept of action and inaction may be perceived by different people in different ways.

For  example, a painter might take time to create his imagination in mind. This whole process may look like a period of inaction from outside and only when the painter starts painting, it is seen as period of action. The whole point is to observe that more thoughtful the period of so-called inaction is , more the painting will perfectly portray what was intended.

A different perspective can be that pause in itself, is an opportunity to understand what you have done and what you want. In the moment of ego, it provides a space to come out of it and face the reality of what one has become and for what he started the whole journey. It is true that pause, if left to fill the space in time, will become darkness or procrastination without any fruitful result, but the very definition say it is temporary.

It is a common saying that before speaking, one should take a pause and think if it necessary to speak it, and if it is, then think whether words are in coherence with the intention. That’s why it is said that speech is silver but silence is golden. Similar is the case of action, where it is desired that one should not be impulsive, rather think of what course of action is suitable for larger good. Another example is that of cities, where daily life runs so fast that sometimes we forget to live. Once during sipping tea in a tea stall, the owner said to me with regret that had he not taken an impulsive decision to leave studies and had taken a pause to think over his aim in life, he could have had better prospects in life.

Day-to-day, life has become so busy that we are like ticking bomb which may explode anytime. It is better to pause and introspect, ‘are we moving in right direction?’

For those who want to live in present, what could be better than to move to happy hours of life, where pause can be felt in every cycle of breath, while inhaling and exhaling. To know that this is the whole root of life, a present and in that gap of breath cycle, we can look at things which are truly valuable. The pause, the gap allows us to feel the things that we do and enjoy them to the fullest.

Now, I will take a pause from writing to pursuade my wife to edit it.

The Power of Subconscious Mind through Stories

The power of subconscious mind can be understood only when a person has  faith  in himself and life.This means that one is required to remain calm and focused. As long as the goal is clear, the subconscious mind will motivate one to take step in the right direction . Most of the times people don’t listen to it and complain about the external environment but those who listen and act accordingly, achieve what they intend.

With the clarity of goal, opportunities can be appreciated .As such opportunities must align with goal. In this whole process, one can experience both good and bad events.

But in retrospective, this experience gives us a feeling of being blessed that we grew after such an experience.In a way, we become wiser with experiences and our knowledge base expands. Later on, these experiences prove to be  one of the necessary things  for achieving the goal.

Starting with one of the stories of Mahabharata , where one child who wanted to learn archery approached a guru. Though the guru blessed  him, still he denied the child due to prevalent system of that time. Even after this the child  didn’t lose sight of his goal . On the contrary the child accepted him as guru and practiced the art using the statue of guru to motivate himself.

This story  can be viewed from the point of both the characters. The guru did what was expected from him. The story goes on and at a point of time, the child becomes a good archer, even better than the students of guru. Though the story does not end here. But the goal for both of them is different. For the child, it is to become good archer. On the other hand, for guru it is to ensure that royal prince becomes the best.

This story signifies the importance of will power and mind. In most of the holy books ,the benefits of oneness of  mind, body and soul  is reflected. If it is achieved, one will have a common understanding of goal in all the three states of mind, that is, conscious, deep sleep and sub conscious, which will always create positive energy.

In the present time where it is hard to find guru . The power of subconscious mind can be used for the growth. This is possible only when one has calm mind and clear goal in sight.

 

 

Why Stories and legends are necessary.

In every age, stories and legends are used as a channel to convey messages. They not only inspire people to understand the life but also motivate us. The interpretation may differ from one generation to another depending on how a person can put himself in the context.

Stories  are like basket of knowledge one can choose what he wants given he clearly know   he/she is actually looking for . The tradition of telling stories are still followed but with the entry of TV and internet in our living spaces, there is a lot of scope to have stories from around the world. But the problem arises when we read or understand story from a closed perspective.

The best example can be a tough time which can be seen by one person as challenging time to grow and by other as bad time. Stories must be read as it is ,without excessive thinking.

After doing that one should be open to have interpretations which he has understood while doing so. This may change if one read same story in different stages of life depending on our perception of world and understanding of one’s own nature.

In a way, each one of us create our own world as we grow with our own stories which we make in this world .Some of them end as one want  but some of them might end in an unexpected manner. Now one can always grow from the past to live in the present in a way to make a better future. Many people value sharing but how many of us really share what we had in past to what we could have in future .