Time to Shun the Sham

I’ve, for the longest time, cribbed, lied, and made excuses for the silliest of reasons. I know I don’t exactly give a good picture of myself, but that’s okay, ’cause I don’t intend to. But there’s one thing I haven’t done, and will never do – be fake; to myself, to anyone else. I’ve observed a lot of people throwing around words like ‘sweetheart’, ‘honey’, ‘darling’ and the latest among them, erm,  ‘dear’ – left, right and center. Hmmmphhhh.
Sugar-coated stupid adjectives.
Also, the plastic smiles – I don’t mean the cordial, courtesy ones which we put up for the acquaintances, the seniors or the bosses at work. I mean the giggly, overtly friendly smiles which don’t necessarily convey anything, but look a tad too meaningful- ’cause anyway, afterward, there’s a lot of bitching that’s going to happen behind our backs, so where’s the need to fake it? Why the pretence when nothing good’s going to come out of it for either?
Yeah, you got it, I’m not the friendly type. But over the years, I’ve learnt to be honest. And sincere, to those who mean the world to me. And to those who don’t, I don’t go around pretending they are. I don’t necessarily snarl at people either – that’s totally uncalled for, I try and be my courteous best where it’s necessary. And where it’s not, I casually avoid. Because I know the namesake Facebook friends’ count isn’t going to be of any help to me when I’m in need. And I definitely don’t want to show off to the world how big my WhatsApp chat list is, or how hugely popular I am, when I am actually not. I’m happily contented with the handful of people whom I can call my own, who wouldn’t compromise on me, who wouldn’t judge me, and who’ll stand by me through thick and thin – shunning all the sham and fake smiles and honey-glazed adjectives.

Let’s face it people. We can’t be Mogambo and Raj at the same time, to the same person, can we? That would be too much to ask for. If it’s necessary for us to be a Mogambo for some, then let’s be. If that would invite too much trouble or if we can’t really help but pretend, then let’s learn to be an Amol Palekar instead. But let’s not fake a Raj when we don’t want to be one.

P.S. I can’t please everyone, every time. I end up hurting myself a lot when I do that. Plus, in the process, I’ve hurt people a lot more too, intentionally and otherwise. So I’ve decided that if I’ve to choose; which is the case all the time, I’d keep myself on top of the heap and please myself first, by doing what would give me real happiness in the long run – happiness sans even a tiny bit of regret.

The BIG Charisma

Read this, because you should. Read this, because I penned it. Read this, to make a difference to yourself and to the world 🙂

When the world outside,
remains dark, 
just for you;
when the people outside,
remain furious,
just with you;
when the place 
around you,
tells you,
you are a “nobody”
think “BIG”!

when you lose,
when your luck fails,
when you are miserable
and you are misunderstood;
when people forget you,
or tend to ignore you,
or intend to hurt,
just think “BIG”!

when you are not listened to,
your presence is not felt,
and you feel lost——
when you break down 
and lose your self confidence
or feel bitter,
dream “BIG”!

when people step over you,
or make you cry hard,
and you think you are—
“A LOSER”, “A GONER”
and you forget to smile,
just dream “BIG”!

when nobody you like,believes in you,
and they lose their faith in what you can do,
or throw away hopes of what you are capable of,
become “BIG”!

BE YOURSELF,   BELIEVE IN YOURSELF,
ACHIEVE “BIG”:FOR YOU ARE BORN TO WIN!

(YOU ARE THE BEST ALWAYS!!!)

BECAUSE “BIG” ALWAYS STANDS FOR

B   – ‘B’ecause

I     – ‘I’m    (THIS ‘I’ IN “BIG” REFERS TO EVERY INDIVIDUAL READING THIS POEM)

G   – ‘G’reat!   

(P.S. I have also published this in my old blog at
http://annapurani-thinkbig.blogspot.in/2013/11/the-big-charisma.html?m=1 )

Of Flowers, Of Gifts, Of Women And ‘Women’s day’

I’m a rebel (brought up in a male chauvinistic society). I don’t accept without questioning. And I’m far too outspoken for my own good. This is on behalf of every woman, who’s made/making a difference to the world in her own special way 🙂

First things first. A very happy ‘Women’s Day’ to all the wonderful women out there. It’s really splendid to have a whole day totally dedicated to our glory, ain’t it? To salute our sacrifice, to realise our importance and to marvel at our greatness – we are supposedly ‘made’ to feel special this one date, every year, ear-marked in a calendar year of 365/366 days. Enchanteè!

But I feel this can be made even better. How? Lemme help figure that out.

How about treating us as equals, in right and respect, rather than making us feel ‘special’?

How about realising our existence in the society when we are about and alive rather than fake-immortalising us by marking a day in our glory?
Or even better.
How about letting us live the way we’d like to, every day, rather than allocating one day each year to let us know how privileged you are, to even co-exist with us?

How about ‘not compartmentalising’ work at home and outside – as in, I do understand men and women have different physical builds and I’m not challenging that. But how about ‘not differentiating’ between kids – by teaching and asking the sons too, to cook, wash, sew and clean – just like the daughters are taught and asked to. It wouldn’t harm them you see, rather, it’ll help sow seeds of respect for a woman right when they are kids, and encourage them to treat women as equals when they grow up.

How about us not having to wait for someone to fight for and ‘give’ us the rights we are entitled to, but getting to casually exercise them as easily as the men do?

It’s ironical I’m writing all this today; On ‘Women’s Day’. Ironical, that people look at Priyanka Chopra on Quantico and think women have it all (I’m inducing a bit of the mentality of the men of the society I’m living in). Ironical, that the larger section of the society still has women who are ‘forced’ to quit their jobs to take care of their children and in-laws. Ironical, that in spite of women being more educated, are still thought of as servile and assumed good enough just for the menial household chores. Ironical, that we celebrate Women’s Day in a society, where the husbands still call their wives in a gesture identical to shooing off a buffalo on the road. Ironical, we have Ki and Ka releasing in less than a month, yet I’m having to write this 😉

Ironical, but all the more apt.

Well, all I’m trying to say is –
‘Ye world, don’t immortalise us. We’d like to live, and live with respect.’ That’s the kind of harmony we have been looking for; not a day in our glory filled with flowers, false praises and plastic gifts. Agree?

Of Sunrises and Sunflowers

Each day is a new beginning, a new life from God – A sign that there’s still hope, and all is not lost. Yet. So do what you can, when you can – make up for all that you might have missed.
Oh, BTW, I’m definitely not being preachy 🙂

image

It’s midnight.
It’s pitch black.
The silence is deafening.
There’s none beside,
Yet a millions voices scream inside –
Of errors and of sins I am guilty of,
Of my blunders and my lies,
Of my last and my past,
Of times I had bitched, deserted,
Of times I had cried out of regret and remorse,
Of my actions that had put dear ones to shame,
Of people whom I had let down,
Of people on whom I had trodden,
Of memories I cringe thinking of;
I now listen,
It’s time I did,
Not because I have no choice,
Only because I don’t want one.
I listen, not in a rush,
With a patience I didn’t know existed,
I hear what I should,
What I know is the truth,
Albeit weak, in demeanour;
Until –
The voices begin to mellow down,
For, they know, I know what they want me to know,
And I know I have to let go,
For that, is the only way onward,
I know I cannot stay on,
I know, I have to make peace;
Peace with myself and with the world,
It’s time I start afresh –
Leaving behind the traces of the past,
To make the ‘black’, beautiful,
And the ‘silence’, my solace;
With hopes of a new life, a new beginning,
With dreams of Infinite Sunrises and Blooming Sunflowers!

Book Review : “Life Mantras”

‘Life Mantras’ is a Non-Fiction, ‘motivation’ book by ‘Saharasri’ Subrata Roy Sahara. It is a collection of those very basic factors, emotions, and values of life, that you have been taught right from kindergarten by your teachers, parents, well-wishers etc., at every stage of your life; which will help you climb the ladder called ‘Life’, step by step.

The book comprises of 15 chapters spread into 233 pages, with each chapter dedicated to one important factor/facet of life that each of us would have undergone, at some point in life. The Q & A section at the end, is certainly a value-add to the book.

The author takes examples from his personal life experiences, and other simple stories from near and far. It does not contain anything that we do not know already. It might already exist in some part of our sub-conscious mind, which we tend to revive when we read the author’s account of the same. Though not an impelling read, this book gives a light, encouraging pat, and gently tries to convey to the reader that he can.

Life Mantras conveys what it is meant to – in simple,straight words, with a certain amount of motivation. Read it to find out the ‘mantras’ to success, retold with examples here.

The author could have worked on the emotion factor (certain portions are extremely drab)- it will most definitely help the reader connect to the book more, specially when he talks of his personal experiences and the like. The book could have also been written with more force and encouragement alike, so as to give the readers the required push, the required energy they look for, from a motivation book.

 

 

My tryst with the “Harry Potter” world

I dedicate this blog post to all my fellow Harry Potter fans in the world, for I’m sure you share the same emotions as me, if not more ❤

Harry Potter. What would I have done if these 2 words didn’t exist in the world I live in?
All thanks to Mrs.Ramakrishnan, a family friend, on whose insistence I got my hands on my first ever Harry Potter book.(It was hers, actually 😛). It was “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”, Book 3 of the series. ( I was in Class VIII then. I had no clue about the Harry Potter legacy till then – I hadn’t taken the time out or interest to read anything related to it, sparing a few articles that had appeared in The Hindu.)
I started reading the book the moment I reached home, finished it overnight and though I hadn’t known one single character until then, from that moment on, I felt I belonged in their world. Then started my hunt for the rest of the books of the series. I read them all, once, twice, thrice, as many times I wanted to. I still continue to. And every time I read it, I feel I’m there, in person, being part of everything that’s happening in that magical world. That’s exactly what one reads books for. In that world of Harry Potter – that Ms Rowling had created, I always got answers to my questions. I learned what it was like, to be loved, to be cared for, to be understood. It taught me the value of friendship, and friends. I understood what courage really was. It taught me to live. Though it was a work of fiction – to me, it was, is and will continue to be one of my prime sources of happiness. To me, The Harry Potter series is ‘like’ Bhagavad-Gita( Nothing, of course, can ever replace The Bhagavad-Gita☺), My soul-mate. My all time favourite go-to source – whether I’m happy, sad, angry or distraught; any time, every time. I keep referring to contexts from the book or try and quote my favourite lines from them, whenever I can, as often as I can. Reading Harry Potter is like therapy for me – the best I give myself. It keeps me oblivious to the misery out there in the world, providing me the solace I yearn for. Harry Potter, for me, has now grown to be a habit, a treasure, an emotion, that I will gladly cherish for LIFE.

P.S. I am ETERNALLY indebted and grateful to
Ms. J.K. Rowling – Thank you heaps, Ma’am, for bringing Harry Potter into our lives. I simply can’t imagine mine without it.

Also, I’m happily excited that the legacy is going to expand with the release of “Harry Potter and The Cursed Child Parts I & II”. I will get to go through the same phenomenal experience I used to have every time a new book in the series got released. So, I’m more than eagerly looking forward to one more inclusion into my inseparable Harry Potter collection.

P.P.S. Even as I write this, I’m reading Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows for the umpteenth time 💙 – I’m, undoubtedly, a Harry Potter Holic for LIFE!

SRI VISHNU SAHASRANAMAM (SHLOKA 20) – PART 29

“Maheshvaaso Maheebharta Srinivasas Sataam-gatih
Aniruddhas Suraanando Govindo Govidaam Patih”
Brilliantly explained.

Divya Kataksham

In this Part we will explore the meaning of the 20th Shloka of Sri Vishnu Sahasranamam.

  Shloka 20Maheshvaaso Maheebharta Srinivasas Sataam-gatih   |
Aniruddhas Suraanando Govindo Govidaam Patih          ||20||

Purport:
Bhagavan is the wielder of the divine bow and the One who held up the Earth during Pralaya by taking the Varaaha Avataar. He has Goddess Lakshmi eternally on his chest and holds her close to his heart as Srinivasa and bestows the highest destiny attainable by those who seek Him. He manifests in various forms and cannot be obstructed by anyone from bestowing his grace on his devotees. As Govinda, He gives protection to all his devotees and since He is also the master of words, He is the protector of the Vedas.

The above Shloka contains the following Namas:

  1. Maheshvaasah
  2. MaheeBharta
  3. Srinivasah
  4. Sataam-Gatih
  5. Aniruddhah
  6. Suraanandah
  7. Govindah
  8. Govidaam Patih

Now let’s examine the meaning of the above Namas:

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