Monday, January 25, 2016

Once a Teacher, Always a Teacher !!

Image result for tilgul ghya god god bola
It was a very happy moment for me to receive message on Makar Sankranti, from my teacher and research guide. Although a true Gujarati, he had taken special care to send the message in Marathi language. His words were simple and jumbled up a bit but conveyed the message. The words were 'tilgul dya gud gud bolya', instead of 'til gul ghya god god bola'. [give til gul and speak sweetly, instead of take til gul and speak sweetly].

My habit of correcting, developed over a period of time as part of me being a teacher; took over me. I made a mention of this to my daughter to which she quickly replied, "Once a teacher, always a teacher !". She very nicely conveyed that it is more important to see the broader picture. We both had a hearty laugh over this.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Basking in Glory

Indians are more accustomed to hot sunny weather than the cold winters. Though with the rising temperatures, the number of air conditioners has increased so much that even hill stations boast of providing air conditioners and heaters as may be the weather. No matter what the comforts are, humans have always exhibited a tendency to want for something missing. People in cold climate value the sunny weather where as those living in warmer regions truly wish for cloudy or cool weather.

It was on one such cold winter morning in Pune, that I was on my way to the office wearing clothes for the cold climate. The exceptional weather, though welcome had brought along with it a long list of health and life style problems. To stay healthy, most Puneites were seen in warm clothing with the head properly covered to protect against the wind. With this situation, a lot of people would prefer to stand in the sun or prefer to wait in the sunny area at a traffic signal. 

My own experience has been to soak in the Vitamin D as much as possible while making chappatis. I am really glad and proud that our kitchen window opens is on the east side with lot of gulmohar trees. Doctors may come across a rising Vitamin D deficiency, but nothing beats the natural source, the sun. 

Anyway, while going to the office, I chanced to see a dog sitting on the divider in the middle of the road, soaking up the sun. The vehicles zooming past, had no effect on it, for there it lay stretched from 'paw to paw'. This was the best place for it to sleep soundly right in the middle of hectic traffic activity. The dog was indeed basking not in the sun but in the glory of its own successful life. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

Success : Measurements & Perspectives

                                           Image result for professionals socializing
It is perplexing to define success. The term and its relevance, varies from individual to individual. Hence the difficulty. Most of the time, success is assessed as per present or near future needs. Students perceive success depending on their educational evaluation, professionals do so in terms of performance benefits; senior citizens consider themselves successful depending on the completion of their earthly responsibilities or their health etc. In most cases, the notion of being successful, changes or rather metamorphoses as per situation or age or personality.

For the discussion of this blog, my evaluation for success is on the basis of defining the measurements or parameters and then looking at the perspectives of others or self; depending on the situation. The definition of parameters itself is an individual opinion for what one may consider as important may not exist at all for the other. At the same time, the perspectives are also quite relative for they depend on who is it that one considers important for the frank opinion.

Anyway, to make matters short, I have taken into consideration the role that an individual has in life and family; say self, daughter/son, sister/brother, mother/father etc. as the parameters for measuring success. By perspective, my discussion has been from the other persons eyes which could be taken as opinion / judgement / study.

Childhood / Teenager : As a child, most of us remember doing good in studies, working as per parents wishes, inculcating good habits; these were seen as success. Most will consider themselves to be successful. Our family members also take pride in the individuals that we are today. And the most important part of growing up - Friends; these are the ones who though few in number, are those who take you for what you are. If one gets a chance to meet the teachers and neighbors, then they will always have pride in their eyes for you.

Profession : 'Love your job and not your company'. This saying and various factors has made people look at career and not job; as a way to grow professionally, personally and socially. Financial growth has proved successful with most of the materialistic things realized too quickly. Socializing among colleagues, neighbors, friends, family has taken a new form ie through social networking applications. Compared to our childhood, here the number of groups and friends may be large along with our inclination to live in a virtual world. This aspect of networking has just realized the dangers that most of us face.

Family : This is truly the acid test for being successful. For women, it is more to do with keeping the home and family together. Children view their mother as a confidante, expect her for good cooking, need her to be present before them and so on. Other family members keep the woman on her toes with all their demands and expectations. The woman accordingly has to take on various roles to run the house with an iron hand and warm heart. For men, the stereotypical husband image has changed drastically to be the new age man who has to learn to work in the house and look after the children too. The demand on the man of the house is more towards planning. Men and women are successful depending on the perspective. If you ask your parents - they definitely consider you successful. If you ask your in laws - they may consider you successful, probably a little more critically. If you ask your kids - they simply love or hate you depending on their mood swings.

Self : Each individual has learnt to take some time from the busy routine to call it 'mytime'. This is very important part of the life. We all try to pursue hobby or take up an interesting activity to acknowledge our need for self gratification. A well realized hobby gives rise to a secondary career too. Success in this case is truly measured as it involves only the individual perspective and nobody else's biased opinion or judgement.

Indeed, defining and analyzing success is very complex. The desire to succeed is even greater than the individual but in what is what is needed to be thought about.

God is Observer

It is probably during emotional or weak moments that one truly remembers God. Happy moments are those that give rise to the thank yous', speeches etc.

"Thoughtfulness comes only at the price of thoughtlessness."

Do we not see world summits on environments and global warming as a result of man's avarice ? Do we not question violence as a result of polarization ?  These are the issues to ponder on. At the same time mankind has made conscious remedial efforts in preserving nature and culture. These are the things that we reminisce and feel proud about. Efforts towards global solutions are a small step that give us a notion of being in control thereby making our contribution.

The same situation can be felt on a personal level which touches us the most. When one does not feel completely in control of things (the ability to succeed at our task or role or the responsibility) happening around, only then we ponder about 'who is the actual controller?' We try to remember God and put our faith in The Divine. Our prayers are at times answered and unexpected results are obtained. The delay in His intervention is seen as the need for more patience. He who has created the universe and amongst many marvels, our mother Earth, is truly Great. Even science fails to keep pace with His innovations.

As a student of science and a believer in His supreme power, I have always admired nature and our dependence on it. The law of jungle is always seen as the Will of God. It is this 'Will' that makes me think that God is observer who takes pride in His creations and let them decide or behave as per the situation or their nature, so as to be purposeful in life. Whether it is our thoughtlessness or thoughtfulness, everything happened only because God is observer. He has let his intelligent creation act, repent or respond as per man's intellect.

Hindu mythology mentions that there is God of creation as well as for destruction which interpolates itself  into nature. Life exists between these two states and for them to function, God has best kept His role as observer. Maybe He never reveals Himself for then He would no longer be observer. It is this role that is difficult to don. Young talent of today will be grateful to us for this role. A recent news about the stressful life of young students training for better career, has caught everybody's attention. I hope that we take a leaf out of God's book and try not to take control of our children's lives.