Sunday, January 31, 2010


I had just finished my session on “ Interpersonal Skills “ to students of MBA , when one of the smartest boys whom I had seen anchoring programmes, approached me with a question and asked,” Sir, I want you to help me out to handle arrogance. I feel I am quite arrogant with my friends and others too.” Now handling a question like this when you are surrounded by many more students becomes a bit difficult. I told him that since he was a student who because of his talents appeared to be always in the limelight would naturally develop arrogance which could be the result of feelings of superiority that people around him had given. I told him that it would go with time and he should not bother much. But our friend insisted because he was quite upset with himself and expressed that he had troubled his parents too due to this arrogance.And I found tears in his eyes. Obviously as a person whom students looked at as an experienced person and who has been accepted as a mentor by some, I did not have an alternative but to answer his question. I started thinking. I too was facing similar situation as I had found myself too behaving pretty arrogant on occasions. I was myself not able to get the answer. And then suddenly as I have often experienced while writing poetry or some thoughts I received an answer God knows, from where, perhaps HE only sent, which appeared Ok. I found myself answering,” Look boy, whenever you find yourself getting arrogant with someone; try to look at something in him in which he would be better than you. It could be anything- a quality or a possession- anything… obviously, you find him/her better in that instance and the moment you feel like this you may find your arrogance diluted a bit. I think I too need to experiment this with you,” I found him looking at me with surprise. “ It’s OK, we will try this and share next time,” I said and moved ahead. Trust me I am finding this small exercise useful. I have always found the other person better than me in some respect.. may be his height, his face, his clothes, his demeanour, his polish or some other thing and that has helped me become a little more respectful and kept me humble at times.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Let us Choose Happiness

Every person on this planet possesses one unique power- the power of spoiling another person’s mood, the power of creating unhappiness. I observe it happening every minute. A husband spoiling the mood of the wife or the wife, his. A child, spoiling the mood of parents or vice versa. A subordinate spoiling the mood of the boss or the other way round. This list is unending. Each one of us tends to use this extraordinary power by passing a negative judgement over another’s behaviour, action, passionate possessions, or by simply declining to fulfil the needs of the ego i.e. need for caring, approval or appreciation etc.

Let me ask a very important question. Should we permit someone else to spoil our mood? I am sure that the answer would be an emphatic NO. A person feels powerful only when others recognise his powers. Therefore, if we refuse to accept this very special power of creating unhappiness that people love to flaunt, then none can really spoil our mood or make us unhappy. There can be instances when one is forced into a situation when disagreement is the only outcome; but then one should not let it seep into one’s heart and mind and get upset. One can try to separate oneself from the issue and remain calm and in turn, choose happiness. Easier said than done!

Philosophers, time and again, for countless years, have been telling that happiness is a state of mind. True. If, you wish to continue to be happy and cheerful then, don’t create situations, which will spoil your fun. Suppose you are wearing a new shirt. You have bought it because you liked it. Is it really necessary for you to go to another person and ask ’How do I look in this shirt?’ you are giving that person a chance to exercise his power of spoiling your mood. Just don’t do it. It applies in almost all the areas of our existence. We tend to depend more on others opinions about us. An outward search for happiness is an illusion , a mirage.

One of the greatest truths I appear to have learnt through sheer struggle is that different people have a right to carry different feelings about me based on their own individual perceptions. Some people may like me while some may dislike. Some may even choose to remain indifferent. I learnt that people have a definite right to reject my thoughts and ideas. I have stopped really bothering if someone chooses to carry a negative opinion without even having come in any kind of personal contact with me. I don’t let these things spoil my mood or generate unhappiness. I have begun to look at each of my relationship rationally and if someone carrying any negative feelings is important for me i.e. whom I respect or admire, I would prefer to have a direct talk to remove any misconception on either side. Dr. Wyne Dyer, an eminent American thinker has rightly written in his book ‘You’ll see it when you believe it’ that ‘a person can give you only what he has got’. True it is! A person who has his mind filled with negative thoughts will always give you negative responses and a person filled with positive ones will give positive ones. The choice to keep yourself in a cheerful and happy mood always thus is a choice you have to make. Expecting others to make it for you is absolutely futile.

Instead of asking yourself “Does that person like me?” try this, “Do I like that person?” Trust me, this new reverse perspective will take you forward in becoming a master of your own behaviour.

Be happy at all the moments. Every moment is precious. Take this moment when I am writing this. I have lived 18100 days approx. to reach this moment that I am now living. The accumulated struggle for all these days becomes the cost of this living moment. The effort to arrive at this point of time has been colossal. Believe me, I am enjoying it fully knowing that the cost of each next moment shall keep on increasing. Therefore, when I recognise this true value of each moment then how can I allow anyone else to spoil it? Then with deliberate effort, if I am able to live seventy five per cent of the moments happily, isn’t it worth it ?

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Tall Tree ........

About seven years ago I wrote in my book the following lines:

A tall tree never took pride
In that it was touching skies;
For, it knew the basic truth
Because of the roots, it was alive.

But for about a year have been thinking as if these lines were incomplete …… wasn’t able to get it …. But then looking around and contemplating and wondering and reading and wondering more, I think I was able to get …. which I am putting here…..
knowing that there are always exceptions to any rule....

Not only roots , to God too,
Its indebtedness it should show
For not having any other one around,
obstructing sunshine & stopping it to grow

Must say thanks to the soil too
Which adjusted and fed it well
And tiny bushes that kept woodcutters away
Who would have cut it to burn in hell

But why then such tall tree remembers
only the roots and Sun on top
Forgetting soil, plants and the bushes
Knowing one day everything will stop

Strong winds would shake the strong roots
Years would make it weak and frail
Why should then it not let new saplings sprout
Leaving behind a successful trail