Life at 50…

Reaching at 50 is a feeling very different
Reminding you of the ‘pyaar ka vaada 50-50, aadha aadha 50-50’ song
Reviving memories of the 50 marks question paper
Recalling the 50 gulab jamun challenge at a friends’ wedding
Remembering the 50 week blockbuster Bollywood movie at a cinema theatre

Reaching at 50 is also a revelation probably…
To remind you of what else you need to contribute in life
To make you realise that higher be the score of ‘giving’ hereafter
To make you recall the learnings from the first 50 and put them to use
To let you remember that although first 50 has gone, there is yet another 50 to perform
To rejuvenate the attitude of gratitude

Why is 50 so unique and precious
For it represents ‘midway’ – the one between past and future
For it reflects wisdom as well as grace
For it revives the pulse of momentum
For it lets you ride the power of experience
And renders you the role of a leader
For it reminds you that life is a journey, and not a destination


Deepa Malik

A lady on wheel chair in Limca Book of World Records for all the activities which need one’s feet on the ground…wow, amazing !

I got an opportunity to listen to Deepa Malik, a very unique personality who is a powerhouse of energy, enthusiasm, positivity and happiness. The 90-minute talk that she gave alogwith the audio-visuals, was indeed a treat to my soul. I have not yet met a person so positive in life, who decided to succeed and create her own destiny, inspite of all odds, only out of her sheer “will”. It certainly needs courage and courage and courage, to do so.

Deepa Malik (look up is an institution by herself – she is a person who works with the strength of mind and power of heart. She says that she is infected with the disease of happiness and ailment of positivity. After listening to her adversity and struggle since childhood, it occurs only to be a miracle when one listens to her accomplishments. The only thing which kept her going was “feeling insulted” about what was being told to her and perceived of her. She did not ignore the comments and had the might to take up tasks that she had the passion and liking of….only to attain ‘glory’. She says, the best way to prepare for life, is to begin to live. This is true for her every walk of life (although on wheel chair). Her only pursuit has been a constant endeavor of always making her soul happy.

We often crib on the situations we come across, and feel disgusted about the shortcomings of our life. But, what about Deepa, who hardly had anything in life, favouring her way – adversity and only adversity ! She always saw the half glass full, and continued her journey by paving her own path. Her conviction and determination has been tremendous. If only all of us, can take inspiration from Deepa, I feel we would stop worrying and start living.

Our own fate

Life is all about moments – in fact, how we live the moments. Our emotions are the precursors of all the moments, and hence they influence the result of every moment. The context matters all the time. This is the reason, it is very important that we realize the context and then react. It is very important for all of us to learn an art of not keeping expectations from each and every moment in a way that it would make us generate a bias in our mind towards a favourable result as per our wish. With an assumption of this kind, often the result of the moment gets influenced by our emotion and thereby gives a form of distress, although it sounds inappropriate. Alternatively, if we can practise an attitude where we can refrain ourselves from a habit of assumption before a moment, we could accomplish better results and realise satisfaction and happiness as a result of our innate efforts. After all, the main objective of all of us, is to seek happiness and bliss, out of every moment we live.

It is all in the mind…if we can somehow ensure that we align and maneuver our thoughts, enabling our thoughts to then maneuver our behavior, and hence, the results, why not do so ? Most of the times, complex problems have simple solutions. What we need to do, is only to be mindful about all these facts.

We can decide our own fate.

2 hours = Five decades of inspiration

“I just received this Limca Book of World Record certificate last week”, were the beaming words of Mrs.Malathi Rao, fondly called Ajji, when she met me at her house. You have to only meet her in person to be able to experience the vigour, energy, creativity, innovation, perseverance, skill, dedication, self-confidence, and pursuit, that this lady has, at 80 years of age.  And, she goes on showing me one by one, her accomplishments and rewards over the past five decades ! It was truly splendid and amazing for me to witness all these achievements. I consider myself very fortunate to have got this opportunity of spending two hours in her company.

Most of us would throw away the remains of a strip of (medicine) tablet that we would consume upon any illness – Mrs.Rao made a bird out of it. She has been creative and innovative in making various forms of birds, animals, humans, flowers and structures using various items like bindi’s, match boxes, empty soap wrappers, covers, ice-cream sticks, unused socks, etc. Her love for both art and music was very evident in each of her creations. Having made various creatives, she went an extra mile to connect with the right people to get them photographed and then converted them into a table-top calendar for distribution and sale. Very humble by nature, Mrs.Rao narrated to me, in these two hours, every minute detail of her life, since she lost her husband at her age of 30 years. It was indeed not a simple thing to grow all alone and raise two small children along the span of 50 years. She provided excellent education to them to enable them to shine in their individual lives today. Her love for them reflected in the booklet full of her work and accomplishments, that she created as a memento from her side to them on her own birthday and managed to send a copy each to both her children staying in London.

A powerhouse of energy and sacrifice, she intends to teach children about all that she knows and has learnt, and wants to instill in them the following values :

  • Count your blessings every day
  • Whatever you have to do, do your best
  • Learn to be self-reliant
  • Time is precious – do not waste it
  • Be ready to help a needy person

At a physical stage where she has her hip surgery done a few years back, and has ability to see only with one eye, her enthusiasm made me feel shy of myself. When a person like her, who does not have any of the comforts, luxury and convenience which people like us have, can do all that I saw with my own eyes; we should definitely be doing things beyond it.

Service over self ! Truly inspiring ……

An Innovator’s Dream

1.2 million euros….hearing at the price of his Yacht, I was stunned ..more so, because this was the first time in my life, I was sitting in a yacht relaxing on a sofa with a cup of lemon tea in my hand. This was all because of Arik, who had paid this amount to buy this yacht a few years back – it is favourite hobby. The first one that he bought was about 43 years back at the age of 22, which was a small boat that was just big enough to house two people. It was a very inspiring story, when I listened to each of his elements of life unfolding before me – a story of a life that he lead for 40 years with vigour, hard work, commitment and passion ! Working for himself was always his mission and he accomplished it at an early age. Having grown his company from scratch to about 400 people, he sold it a few years back and then got onto a journey of another one. Now, he has invented a new ‘single-use’ surgery technique/ instrument for use in cataract surgery, applied a few patents for it, and located somebody in USA to buy his technology and put it to manufacturing. Needless to say, he owns 15 % stake in this company. His dream is to sell a few million of these products once they are productionised two years from now. He dreams BIG. As he is on the verge of getting free from this venture, he has already started thinking about his next venture – a product that will reduce the time of a specific surgery from 30 minutes to 5 minutes.

When asked as to what is his Dream, Arik said that he has no dream – in fact, he lives his dream ! He does what he likes, what he wants – just for instance, if he plans the next moment to sail on his yacht to a distant location, he is all set – he has enough food, fuel, and all the other necessities to set his journey. Incredible !

The only moment when he was touched was the incidence, he recalled, outside Taj Mahal at Agra a few years back. It was a craftsman who was making small marble items. He was persuading Arik to buy a piece of art, although Arik was not keen. He followed Arik for a distance and was continuously pleading him to buy, after which Arik asked him the price and gave him two times the money indicating that he does not want to carry this item, and the artisan could keep the money. But, to Arik’s surprise, the person denied to take the money without selling the product. Arik was touched by his sense of dignity. He said that this incidence was about four years old, but even today when he narrates it, he feels a flow of emotion in his heart. ‘India is great’, were his next lines, that made me proud.

I was wholly impressed with this personality and could not resist hugging him for the time he spent with me and the inspiration that he rendered into me. At 65, he is a gem of a person – after all an Israeli innovator…..!

Creators and Consumers

There are only two kinds of people in this world – Creators and Consumers. All of us oscillate between these two roles every single day and every single moment, with choice always with us, to select the role. It is very important for us in life, to expose ourselves to opportunities where we take the role of ‘creating’ than mere ‘consuming’. The role of a consumer is akin to the act of receiving (easy) whereas the role of creator is congruent to the role of giving (difficult). The more you continue to formulate yourselves into the role of receiving, the more you lose the opportunity of ‘doing’ or ‘creating’. Try recalling every other incident in your past life, when you performed an act of creating, i.e. giving, and I am sure you would treasure this in your memory, howsoever old it may be. Not many such memories of consuming, i.e. receiving would be an easy memory.

Every act of creating (giving) involves sacrifice and hard work – hence has an innate passion associated with it. It is like allowing a part of your body (or soul) to be shared as an element of commitment with a clear purpose. This in turn, gives the giver a sense of happiness and fulfillment and eventually self- actualization. Effort always leads to results. If we try to look around ourselves in our society (or at our country, at large), we would notice that every act that produced noticeable results or success, would have an act of deep effort (creating) associated with it. Every Champion was once a contender that refused to Give Up. Inspiration breeds such results. Identifying an Idol to follow, would be an easiest way to enable such aspiration. As is said, in an old adage…Where there is a will, there is way !

He who created us, also relished the joy of giving. Hence, God is called the Creator.

Toll Booth Attendant

I was at the steering of my car, in the queue at the Toll Tax, very clearly able to see the Toll booth a few metres ahead of my car. The queue was not moving fast and this prompted me to try to view the Toll Booth to see if the person sitting there, and collecting Toll was fast enough. What I noticed was, that he was very slow and cautious in doing his duties. I could clearly see him count cash multiple times before he returned the change to his customers. This was the main reason of the delay. A thought passed by my mind, as to what could be the reason that he was doing this activity multiple times – in my opinion it was more to do with the “fear of failure”. 

Now, this prompted me to look at the culture across the country and think over it to see if this was a bigger problem and something that could be addressed to the whole community. I started realizing that this was true – most of us in India, influenced by the nature of our upbringing, are timid and low on self-confidence. This reflects in our behaviour as we grow older. The country has predominantly been poor and hence had always seen the influence and superiority of other people (foreigners) and this has led to peril in his mind. The environment across the community has always evolved around this real fact and philosophy, owing to which there has been seldom a possibility of courage getting groomed, unless some action or person like Modi has demonstrated success amidst difficulty and diversity. 

Today, when I look at the place India commands in the global arena, and see the economy grow under the ambit of start-ups like Flipkart, Snapdeal and others, I feel confident of an imminent Change. There is an old adage : A man is known by a company he keeps. This can be true and would be the main reason that the younger generation who read about such success stories and witness similar ones around them, will develop a feeling of courage and confidence. This may lead to the “fear of failure” quotient disappearing from us, thereby helping us “believe self” and thereby refrain from such activities like “counting the currency multiple times” as did the Toll booth attendant.

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