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Monday, December 27, 2010

Men and Women – What connects or disconnects them.








Men and Women have not much in common between them. They fall in love, get into a relationship and live together as part of single soul in two physical bodies is the most amazing emotional thing that no one can explain.
But relationships are complicated and it is not easy for them always to be in love and be there for each other. Every relationship passes through different phases as time moves on. Basically there are two phases in a relationship between a man and a woman.
1) Falling in love
2) Falling out of love
Falling in love is where the other person is looked upon as a perfect partner. There is lot of illusions and fantasies involved. You cannot have a clear image of things. But this does not last. The feeling is exactly like that of a person doing bungee jumping. When S/he is falling, they have no idea what is happening, things are not clear but they sure know they are not going to die. Excitement, exhilaration, passion and many more emotional syrups rule the mind then. But then you don’t keep falling for ever. A time comes when the fall stops and things become clear. People learn that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.
I myself would say that falling in love is ignoring person’s imperfections and falling out of love means evaluating the partner rationally. When you fall out of love the illusions and fantasies disappear. You see the positive and negative points in the person. If expectations were very high then it is going to be difficult to come terms with reality. The sooner you fall out of love the better it is.
Contributing to other persons happiness is what makes a relationship last. It is like two people pour water into a vessel when they can so that when they need water they can take it from the vessel. If both the partners are enthusiastically filling the pot then it remains full and they both can enjoy the water. But if both are expecting the other to contribute more or as much as he or she does then the vessel will go empty.
The love between man and woman can be best described when you think of a mother loving her child. Mothers love is exactly opposite to that of a man-woman love. Mothers love is all giving and all sacrificing, whereas the same cannot be said in a man-woman relationship. The man-woman relationship if well understood can be the most intimate and enjoyable one. In a mother child relationship one individual become two different individuals. A mother feels that a child is a part of her own self. In a man woman relationship two different individuals (who have lived separately till then) are striving to become one, towards permanence and a longing for a love that does not end. Here importance should be given to enriching and expanding the physical relationship shared between two people. Strive to effectively open up the inner-self with all its vulnerabilities and weaknesses. Keep ability to laugh at blunders. When either partner thinks there is nothing more to be learnt, then the commitment to growth in a relationship is in trouble.
When a person feels frightened, lonely, worthless or afraid he/she shouldn’t hesitate to reach for the other partner. Such occasions of vulnerability are critically important precisely because they are times when a partner has immense power over his or her mate which they feel a lot affectionate and loving towards their partners. It helps both the partners in a great way.
In a relationship physical demarcation is easily accepted where as emotional demarcation is not that easily accepted.
As often understood the opposite of love is not hate…………..it is indifference.
When couples are arguing and fighting there is still hope of them getting reconciled. It is when they become indifferent to each other that the relationship reaches the worst point.
Two different individuals very rarely emote in a same way. Often we tend to confuse love. When a person says I can’t live without you; it rather shows dependency, but we conclude it is love. Possessiveness is also often confused for love. Jealousy is also taken to be love in initial phases of a relationship. These feelings which look rosy in the beginning starts to irritate a person in later stages.
Marriage is often taken for granted until it starts hurting. And then it becomes more of a competition in accusations rather than an exercise of improvement.
It is important to understand that there are many dimensions unique to the relationship called matrimony. Assess yourself as to how strong you are in each of the dimensions, build up where you are weak, be aware and take pride in those where you are strong.
DIMENSIONS OF INTIMACY IN MARRIAGE.
1) Sex………………….… actual sex and non-actual intimacy.
2) Emotional………….…..being tuned to each other’s wave length.
3) Intellectual…………….closeness in the world of ideas
4) Aesthetic……………….sharing experiences of beauty
5) Creative…………….….sharing in acts of creating together
6) Recreational……….…..relating in experiences of fun/play
7) Work……………….….closeness of sharing common tasks (home/off)
8) Crisis………………/....closeness in coping with problems and pain
9) Conflict………………..facing and struggling with differences
10) Commitment ………...dedication to common goals
11) Spiritual……………...sharing ultimate concern in ethics
12) Maturity……………...taking responsibility, toleration
13) Communication……...the vital source of true intimacy. Many shortcomings in the above can be overcome if communication is good. Any form of communication ( including arguments, fights). The weakest marriage is one where there is no communication.
SOME TIPS THAT CAN IMPROVE A MARRIAGE :-
Try out the following action plans…………………..
1) Look into each other’s eyes for at least a full minute and, without words, try to read what the other is feeling
2) Let one person say the other’s name repeatedly, changing the tone and intensity, until that person senses that it “feels good”.
3) Practice listening and understanding by explaining the other person’s problem (switch roles).
4) Attempt to get messages through to each other with the use of touch, facial expressions, body movements, eye contact and gestures.
5) Try arguing at a distance with your backs to each other, and then do the same face to face holding hands.
6) Do not meddle in each other’s affair’s
7) Learn to love rather than to just wanting to be loved.
Never trust a relationship that demands the best part of you should remain untouched and untapped. Love should allow you to grow and reach your full potential.
Is it love when a person
Does not tolerate you enjoying a good book?
Does not sit and watch a movie you love?
Does not appreciate other people praising you?
Is very jealous when you seem to achieve more than he or she does?
Doesn’t appreciate the fact that you are a good mom/dad but views it as a competition to his/her love?
Doesn’t like it when you spend some good time with your friends?
Doesn’t clap with the world when you achieve something?
The list would go on growing. People usually easily explain possession as a part of love though they both are totally different entities and also many times the people accept these confusions as true love.
In possession a person will always want to be in control of the relationship and demands that his/her emotional needs be satisfied by the partner at times by sacrificing they own well being for the sake of it. On the other hand love is a state where giving satisfies both the partners and there is no feeling of guilt, sacrifice etc involved.
How often have we confused possession, obsession, passion, lust, jealousy, dependency etc for love?
I feel the relationship between two people should be based more on companionship rather than love because it is so difficult to even understand love.
[This blog has been highly inspired by a class conducted by Dr.Ali Khwaja during my DCS (diploma in counseling skills) course].

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Akshaya Patra. Spreading smiles for miles.








I started blogging because I love to share my views with the people who would be interested. Some may oppose my views and some may agree with me but whatever interaction may take place, it gives me happiness of sharing a part of me with the world.
For once I am happy for not myself but about something which I came across recently on indiblogger and surely when you feel happy for someone else that happiness has a flavour of its own. Today I feel quite pleased to write this blog because they say it is going to feed 50 children. Blogging has never felt more worthwhile ever. Wonder how contented would be the feeling of those who are behind the program called Akshaya Patra.. an organization dedicated to feeding hungry children. Their motto is no child should be deprived of education because of hunger. So wisely said words that touch heart.
According to Education for ALL Global Monitoring Report 2007, UNESCO about 13.5 million children in the age group of 6-13 years are out of school in India? Despite the trillion-dollar economic growth, a large chunk of India’s younger generation, does not have access to schools because of hunger and poverty. Their inability to access even one nutritional meal per day is severely limiting their capacity to concentrate in the classroom and receive a proper education, which could otherwise lift them out of the cycle of poverty. Striving to end hunger of underserved children in the 6 to 16 years age group and facilitate their education, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a not-for-profit, Bangalore-based secular trust evolved a free lunch program in schools in the year 2000. What started as a pilot project in five schools in Bangalore, feeding 1,500 children, has now grown into a mammoth endeavor reaching out to over 12,54,698 children in over 6,900 government, government aided schools and anganwadis (day care centers) in 19 locations, across nine states in India, day after day. Akshaya Patra is now the world’s largest NGO-run school meal program. Long time ago the CCF had introduced mid-day meals in our school. I was very young to understand the motive behind it but the joy of standing in line with friends waiting for hot rice, sambhar, etc to be served was enough for me to get enrolled for the mid-day meals program. It did not last for long for all the children. If those who can afford food can feel so happy about mid day meals in school, I cannot imagine the breadth of smile spread on a hungry child’s face through this program and to say this smile has been reaching 1.2 million children is quite great achievement.
AkshayaPatra is such a well chosen name meaning inexhaustible vessel, an object from Hindu mythology. It was a wonderful vessel given to Yudhishthira by the Lord Surya, which held a never-failing supply of food to the Pandavas every day. But in present day this vessel can become inexhaustible only when people would help it be so. Some wise person had once said that if you cannot be the light that spreads happiness then at least be the mirror which reflects it. I know not many in the world who would be able to feed 1.2 million children who have been deprived of their right even to have one proper meal every day but all can be a part of it by donating over here
Long serve the Akshaya Patra. My well wishes are with you.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Choose YOUR Response


My husband has come back home after working in Gulf for 25 months and I am having trouble adjusting to the changed lifestyle at the moment.

So trying to inspire myself to do the best in the present situation and God knows I need inspiration and help.

Why not inspire others when I am doing it to myself ;)

Deepak Shinde has written a wonderful article which I am trying to share with you here....

An intelligent person responds: a fool reacts. Deepak Shinde

Three women met. Yeah you can guess??? Lots of discussions, exchange of news and views, loads of information. One particular part of their discussion caught my attention. One of the ladies, with a lot of interest, was sharing some interesting facts about cockroach. With a lot of amazement she was telling how a cockroach can run three miles in an hour and can change directions 25 times in a second. A cockroach could live a long time, perhaps a week, without its head. There was nonstop excitement in her voice as she continued saying, "A cockroach has amazing adaptability. It can survive in any climate, in any house condition, inside any crack, etc. Their antenna, which rivals NASA's Global Positioning System, helps it to locate other cockroaches with state-of-the-art precision. Cockroaches could be used to place surveillance devices in military installations. In fact, a cockroach can survive even an attack of atomic explosion." Suddenly a cockroach flew from nowhere and sat on her. I wondered if this was the cockroach's response to all the glory that was spoken about it! She started screaming out of fear. With panic-stricken face and trembling voice, she started doing stationary jumping, with both her hands desperately trying to get rid of the cockroach. Her reaction was contagious as everyone in her group got cranky to what was happening. The lady finally managed to push the cockroach on to another lady in the group. Now, it was the turn of the other lady to continue the drama. The waiter rushed forward to their rescue. In the relay of throwing, the cockroach next fell upon the waiter. The waiter stood firm, composed himself and observed its movement on his shirt. When he was confident enough, he grabbed it with his fingers and threw it out.

Sipping my coffee and watching the amusement, the antenna of my mind picked up a few thoughts and started wondering, "Was the cockroach responsible for their histrionic behaviour? If so, then, why the waiter was not perturbed? He handled it to near perfection, without any chaos. It is not the cockroach, but the inability of the ladies to handle the disturbance caused by the cockroach that disturbed the ladies:

I realized. "Even in my case then, it is not the shouting of my father ( replace father with a husband) or my boss that disturbs me, but it is my inability to handle the disturbance caused by their shouting that disturbs me. It is not the traffic jams on the road that disturbs me, but it is my inability to handle the disturbance caused by the traffic jam that disturbs me. In all, it is not something that disturbs me, but it is my inability to handle the disturbance caused by that something that disturbs me. More than the problem, it is my reaction to the problem, which hurts me more."

A natural question popped up in my mind, "Then, how do I outgrow this limitation?" I understood, "1 should not react. I should always respond. The women reacted, whereas the waiter responded. Reactions are instinctive, whereas responses are intellectual. Between the stimuli (what happens to me) and the response (what happens through me) if there is no gap, it creates reaction. But, between the stimuli and the response, if I use the gap to think and contemplate, then I can respond thoughtfully. An intelligent person responds; a fool reacts.'

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Can someone really make me angry? Sadly Yes..




"He makes me feel so angry". Everyone has heard this, and everyone has said this one time or other. OK, maybe you have said ‘she’ instead of ‘he’. Do people actually have the power to make us angry? Aren’t we in charge of our emotions? Often, our dark emotions jump out without much provocation from an outside source. I know. I myself overreact to situations and also to abusive language. Even when I cool down I never feel bad about what I have done.
Once in a while I sit down to evaluate my behaviour, and it is then that I realize that I gave the control of my emotional reins to other person who made me angry, sad, happy etc. I am better at holding the reins of my emotions now then I was earlier, but even to this day; I know I am not good enough.
You are welcome to share your views on this topic.
I would also like to share with you here a story I had read, as it has been very inspirational in making me think twice about what others say.





Lord Buddha was sitting under a banyan tree. One day, a man who was upset with his preaching against violence, drinking, anger etc came over and started abusing him using foulest of language. The man expected Buddha to reciprocate in the same manner, but to his utter surprise, there was not the slightest change in the expression on his face. this fuelled the man’s fury more. He hurled more and more abuses at Buddha. However, Buddha was completely unmoved. Surprisingly there was a look of compassion on his
face. Ultimately the man was tired of abusing him. He asked, "Don’t you have any shame? I have been abusing you and you have taken it all like a coward. Don’t you have enough guts even to be angry with me?"
Lord Buddha calmly replied, "My dear brother why should I be angry with you? You have not done me any harm. You just offered me some abuses which I do not need so I have not accepted a single abuse from you."
"But you heard all of them, didn't you?" The man argued half-half-heartedly.
Buddha said, "I do not need the abuses, so even if I hear them they do not affect me. They are nothing more than mere sounds that we hear all the while but never give attention to it"
Now the man was even more puzzled. He could not understand the calm reply from Buddha.
Looking at his disturbed face, Buddha further explained, "All those abuses remain with you."
"It cannot be possible. I have hurled all of them at you," the man persisted.
Buddha calmly repeated his reply, "But I have not accepted even a single abuse from you ! Dear brother, suppose you give some coins to somebody, and if he does not accept them, with whom will those coins remain?"
The man replied, "If I have given the coins and the person does not accept it, then naturally they would remain with me."
With a meaningful smile on his face, Buddha said, "Now you are right. The same has happened with your abuses. You came here and hurled abuses at me, but I have not accepted a single abuse from you. Hence, all those abuses remain with you. So there is no reason to be angry with you."
The man became speechless. He was ashamed of his behaviour and begged for Buddha's forgiveness.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Celebrating memories........

Those were the days when we did not know which community we belonged to. Not that I know much of it now either ;). Especially we lost our identities at the end of every year…….. during Ramzan we were muslims, hindus on deewali and Christians on Christmas. Festivals meant fun to us and we never ceased to enjoy the occasion. My dad and mom were liberal enough to allow us all to have fun. October/November were months of happiness for us. It meant that we were done with our mid-term exams and holidays were beckoning us with smile. The summer vacations were boring as it would be too hot to play out and the holidays were long enough to make me miss my school. Unlike them, Mid-term holidays were cool, appropriate in their length and had lots of celebrations with not a dull moment.



The main celebration being my own birthday which never made anyone happy (the upset would be about my persisting club foot which would stare at my family year after year which they expected to correct itself by a miracle) other than me, Dassera and Deepavali. We lived in a Hindu dominated neighborhood, hence more than Ramzan and Bakrid we enjoyed the Hindu festivals, especially my sister who would go on a spending frenzy for the festivals. She would deck herself in new dresses, flowers and bangles and would visit her friends tagging me along with her. She loved to watch the Keelu Kudure dance. So every time I was pulled out of my cozy corner to the crowded square to watch the same old keelu kudure and Palakki along with the Theru (Rath). It did not matter whether she had fever, cold, cough or bad marks on her report card. Deepavali was a time to enjoy crackers.

My dad purchased raw materials for the Joy Ice-creams factory in Whitefield. Deepavali was a time when all the people he purchased goodies from would present him with a box of sweets ( actual sweets people) and sometimes crackers. The factory management also gave out some gifts and a box of crackers. As we were always surprised by not knowing what we would get, we would spend our days in excitement and anxiety.
My sister did not like noisy crackers. Phooljadi, flower pots, Krishna chakra and snakes were her favourites. She could not muster up enough courage to blow up even one rocket ever. I was the brave one who could lit big crackers and throw them off (OK I know it was dangerous but back then I was kind of a stupid kid). Between ourselves we divided the crackers with lots of fighting. My sister would take more of flower pots and sursurbatti (phooljadi) and put in my share more of noisy crackers. It was fair enough because I enjoyed them both but then, as I knew that she would never burst the noisy ones I would demand she divide them equally so that I would have 70% of the crackers to burst. LOL. Even after the big box of crackers which was more than most of our Hindu neighbours would burst anyone would think we would be happy and content. I was. I was never much of a cracker buster and after a few years started giving most of the crackers, even from my share to my siblings. I was content in watching people have fun. My sister though was never content with the crackers. She would try to cajole me into spending some amount of my savings on crackers. I would always refuse. Finally she would spend her own money and buy crackers. I would enjoy them when she lit them which would irk her. But no one can stop spectators from watching pataake on deewali. Lol.
Even to this day I do not spend on buying crackers but enjoy watching others burn their money or my son at times burn my money. He is a lot like my sister and has a great fascination for fire crackers.
I miss my family a lot on deewali because the festival has lost its luster for me now. Gone are the days when people would openly enjoy crackers, no matter what religion they belonged to. My dad was lover of loud crackers. I haven’t seen a homemade obattu, kadubu or kajjaya for years. No more there are different kinds of sweets, visits, songs, programs for Dassera and Deewali.
I can still picture my little brother running behind dogs and cats scaring them with his small Pataki gun. He would feel sorry for them if they jumped up and would feed them something as compensation. I know he would do the same even now though he is a grown up man. I at times recall event like my little sister jumping at the sound of her own doings of pulling the trigger and smile to myself.
I still can see one of the events like a movie being played.
It was drizzling a bit, me and my sister were chatting out feeling the cool air on our faces. I heard loud Bang! Bang! Bangs! And then saw my little sister running behind a scared dog with her pataaki gun. We were not even ready to feel sorry for the dog being the victim of my little sister’s prank when we heard shrilly shrieks followed by my sister who was creating them being followed by the dog who had mustered courage to turn around and chase her. It was very funny contrasting event.
Things have changed now. I have shifted to Byndoor. Here we live in a Muslim neighbourhood. We miss the Sindhi, Punjabi, Malayalees, Maamis bhabis along with our local kannadiga friends. Life is monotonous and dull.With only muslim neighbours, the brightness of deepawali, color of holi etc is lost.
People are more communally oriented over here and I have very tough time adjusting to this lifestyle. Here people are ‘they’ and ‘us’ which did not exist in my life earlier. Sigh! Hope things would change for better sometime soon and I would have the celebrations back in my life.. though it is tough to imagine celebrations like that without my Mom, sister and dad. The memories they have left behind is the best gift for the Deewali for me now….



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Monday, November 1, 2010

If only I had 3G in my life ……….Sigh!

This post had been written for a contest on Indiblogger - What is 3G life to you?


October 18th I celebrated silently all alone my 21st wedding anniversary after wishing my hubby dear over the phone.
All these 21 years, we have always celebrated our wedding anniversaries alone in sadness. Like many Muslim men from my village my husband has been working in UAE for more than 25 years. He comes home to his family during his vacations. The lure is of high paid salary for not very highly educated men. In all these 21 years we may have at most spent 20% of our time together… and throw in Breast cancer, special needs child etc and it is not much of quality time either.
Coming from a poor back ground my husband did not get much of education and had to work at an early age of 11 years. He started off as domestic help in Mumbai before moving on to UAE at the age of 18 yrs.
When I got engaged to him, we started writing letters to each other and he would ask me to describe almost everything. Being young back then I did not realize how much he missed his native place and wanted to be there to share everything with his own people.
I can still remember the excitement of the first phone call we ever had. Back in those days’ people would not have one hand stuck to their ears.

It was a time when we did not have a telephone at home. Can you imagine that? Computers were non-existent in our lives. There was a shop called Indian textiles near our home which had a telephone connection. My husband would call up the shopkeeper and tell him to inform us that he will be calling in 20 minutes. The first day my mom and sister went and spoke to him. I was shy and also did not feel like going to a shop to talk to him. I was quite hesitant to talk into a phone. How funny that would sound to the generation 3 people?
When my first child was born my husband was in dark as to the happenings. He was worried but did not know how to get in touch. Finally after our son was born, a call was made to him through a STD nearby. My mom was so happy with the new arrangements of phones which allowed us to call gulf without booking and waiting for calls. How grateful we were to the telephone booths though most of the time I did not listen to what my husband was saying because I was busy watching the meter running as though Michael Schumacher was driving it.
Finally we got a telephone connection and what a joy that was.
Even then getting the calls through was not easy and even when we did it was difficult to get each other. At times I was not at home and at times my husband would not be available near the phone. We always had to leave a message that we are calling at certain time and the other had to wait.
With the advent of mobile, life became a lot easier. We could connect with each other more often. With internet we could at least have a glimpse of each other occasionally. The drawback of internet was, my husband had to go to the internet cafĂ© which is quite far off from his factory which was not possible on working days, and Friday’s were rush hours.
I would not choose this kind of married life if given a chance to make choice again. I did not make it in my teens either. We can ignore the fact that I was misled because the post is about the adventure with 3G Tata Docomo phones in our future.
When I saw my son surfing on facebook and having fun with his friends, ignoring his approaching internal exams my Moms mind started wandering off - what if he has to go away to work in Gulf for higher pay like his dad and miss his family life?
Me : Hey son! Better log off the facebook and concentrate on your exams. You need to score good marks to make a mark for yourself in Indian competition. You don’t want to go Dubai and miss out the real life working or precisely slogging there. Do you?
Son: I will in a minute
Now I knew that was not made of 60 seconds like my usual minutes. So I went on to explain him how difficult life has been for me and his dad because we never got to live our married life at all. I told him I don’t want that kind of life for him.
He answered back in his usual cool style
Son: Being away from home is not going to be totally disconnected hereafter Maa. Check out this page I am surfing on facebook. This is about the advent of 3G life.
http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/tatadocomo.
Life is not going to be same any more Maa. You don’t have to worry about missing out important occasions with your friends or family. They will be readily available in your vanity bag. You can watch birthdays, weddings, parties and even fights if someone is willing to hold on the mobile phone for you.
Me : Isn’t that just another type of connection like BSNL, Airtel etc which is there in market already? So what is the use of not being there and just listening to the happenings on phone?
Son: LOL. It is not a new brand of phone or connection Maa. It is actually a revolution in communication technology. It is going to be much faster than the 2G connections. Movies, games, songs etc can be downloaded sooner than we are doing now on our landline broadband connection.
Real time video conferencing is going to make you feel as though you are actually at the place where you are not.
You don’t have to feel bad about missing world cup football or Sachin Tendulkars century anymore. You can watch it live on your smart phone even when there is a massive power cut.
No need to hurry back home to see your emails. Check them out while enjoying the cool breeze on the beach. You can carry the You Tube chefs to your kitchen and try out their recipes.
You can even fax your reports to your doctor through your smart phone so that you will save on the time
Me: Really! That is amazing. I wish I had the 3G connection in my life to share amazing moments with my loved ones. For a family divided by distance this is really going to be a great blessing.
Son: Yes. In less than a week the service is going to be available from the trusted name Tata. I checked out on the site and found that we already have the smart phone which is ready for 3G. So all we have to do is get a sim for the new 3G from Tata Docomo either in postpaid or prepaid. The tariff is also unbelievably cheap.
Me: Don’t tell me you have more to say.
Son : Do you know that it will be difficult for people to get lost hereafter because the GPS will tell you exactly where you are and how you have to get to any place?
Me: Wow. Thank you for the good information you have given me. I am going to write a blog to enter the contest on indiblogger with our little chat now. If I win you will get a new phone with Tata Docomo 3G sim.
But boy, I am sorry to tell you that doesn’t change the fact that you have to study hard and score good marks in your exams. Even with the new revolution your mobile is not going to write your exams for you. You have do it on your own.
Son: OK Maa. In a minute.
Me : Not a minute. NOW!

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