“You are just a student,” I said.

My nephew is a bright student. He stood school first last year. But unlike many, we chose not to showcase his mark sheet as a proof of his excellence. His school has started. Today was his second day when I had to say the above line.

No, he is not a swagger. In fact he is one of the most modest people I know around. But such facts have to be shown sometimes. He has always scored highest in almost every exam. We expect the best from him and hope for his brighter future. He is confident enough, which is a big thing to witness as the boy of such a young age has so much confidence in himself. But this is the time when I advise him another cliché, “Confidence is good, but over confidence is..” You figured out, right?

But in hustle of race of being excellent and staying number one, we forget one thing to do; to make them realize that it is okay if you are weak in one or two subjects, it is alright if you don’t know the answer of any question, it is allowed to stand 4th or 5th, or I would say, 20th. It doesn’t matter beyond an extent. Trust me. It may make you, your teachers and your family happy. But this is not the certificate to ensure your happy life.

Him being excellent or brightest scared me when he got disappointed for not winning “Best Student” trophy. It mattered to him so much! I wondered. Initially I laughed at his innocence. But I saw it as stupidity when he took it seriously. I mean, really? How much does that matter of does that matter at all?

I remember, our Head of The Department said, “It is okay if you are dull in some subjects. Even I am. I am good JAVA. But I am not in PHP or OS.”

We often say ‘Respect your teacher’. I often write on it too. But let’s not forget to make the students understand that they are just students now. They are learning. ‘May be they know nothing’, let’s just keep it that way. They have to learn things first. And it is the only purpose.

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Episode 3: Day one in the new office

Everyone cheered as soon as Yuvika stepped into the office. Her new cabin was waiting for her. She was not much surprised by the applause as she was usually loved at the office. But she always found it overwhelming.

The table in the new cabin was decorated with bouquets and pastries. The boss, Mr Dixit congratulated Yuvika and went to the bigger chair gesturing her that it was her from now.

Yuvika had always shared a friendly equation with everybody at the office including her boss. Though she was a warm-hearted person, but as a professional, she was a tough one to deal with. She had never tolerated any kind of compromise in work. Even in some incidents in past, she had fired a notorious junior trying to corrupt the system and she had also risked her own job in a dispute with an influencing client who tried to bribe the magazine. And now that she was holding the position of a chief, her colleagues cracked a joke that she would be a devil who would wear a Chief’s Prada. But everybody was happy for her and the magazine. There was no smell of envy. The environment of the office was positive and she would do anything to keep it like this. It was her second home.

As soon as Yuvika took the chair, she was called.

“Sir, you called me?” asked Yuvika taking the chair in front of Mr Dixit.

“Yes. It seems like you have already bagged a bigger fish,” said Mr Dixit with sparkling eyes.

“I don’t get it. What is it?” asked Yuvika in a confused manner.

“Mr Sinha is coming in a couple of months. We are planning to start working on a new book which will be about the magazine; right from its history to the employees to the entire journey. And being the consistent part of the magazine, we want you to monitor it. And not just an editor, we want you to contribute as a writer too. It will be your book,” continued Dixit gesturing square brackets with hands, “Written by Yuvika Shroff and Published by @ink Magazine. What do you say?”

Yuvika was stunned. It was sudden and a surprise. She loved writing and it was the biggest opportunity for her to do something on her own and for herself. She was extremely happy. She knew that it would be even more hectic from now, but without giving it a second thought, she nodded and said yes. After a while, she asked, “When did you say we are supposed to start working on it?”

“Most probably within 6 months. Once Mr Sinha comes, everything will be finalized.”

“Sir, I feel privileged that you offered me to write. But I am afraid that I won’t be able to work on it,” said Yuvika in a discouraging tone.

“Why? What’s wrong?” asked Mr Dixit, pretending his concern.

“In upcoming 5 months, we are going to feature Dalal’s story.”

“Oh Yuvika, the story is up to us. We can postpone it. Maybe after another 6 months?” said Mr Dixit, dismissing the worry on Yuvika’s face.

“Well, Sir, I don’t think that is a good idea. We have been working on it since a long and now the date we have decided should not be disturbed. Before the elections, it is supposed to get published. That’s what we had decided,” said Yuvika.

Adjusting himself in the chair, Mr Dixit said, “Don’t think too much. Mr Sinha will never postpone his visit. We have hardly managed to get his time, you see. And once he meets us, we would also not be able to delay in start working on the book. The whole procedure would have to be in a particular time frame. After all, it is for the magazine.”

Yuvika leant back and folded her hands, “Let me see sir. We will figure it out.”

“Sure. I am expecting the same.”

She rose from her chair and nodded. She left the office.

She was going to her cabin with a long chain of thoughts when a man suddenly appeared in front of her, breaking her way from the left, “Hello Chief.”

She got so petrified that she almost screamed, “Dev. You scared the hell out of me.”

She hit his right shoulder and started walking toward her cabin. Dev also started walking on her left.

“Hey, congratulations Chief,” said Dev, stopping Yuvika, coming in front of her. He shook her hand. She replied, “Thanks, Dev. And will you please stop calling me Chief?” She started walking making her way.

“Why? A chief should be called a Chief.”

They were about to reach to the cabin when Dev was greeted by a group of young interns. He blushed and nodded.

Dev Dixit was a handsome man who was in his 20s soon reaching to 30. A toned body and gelled hair with brown shining eyes always made other people turn head to see him twice. His body structure was extremely suitable for suits. Whenever he would dress up formally, like a cotton shirt and a pair of jeans, any woman could trip over to see him. Though people in his office were used to his charm, every day, he would get tons of compliments. He was also used to this routine, but this would make him extremely shy. Yuvika often got irritated with his pink cheeks which often turned red, ‘Why do you feel shy like a bride? Isn’t it a ritual for you now?’

To this, Dev replied, ‘You are just jealous because it’s me who gets such complements and not you.’

‘Hahaa. Enjoy your toffees.’

She pushed open the door of the cabin and both of them entered. “Have you eaten anything?” asked Dev. He knew her so well that he could easily say that Yuvika had been so anxious since morning as it was a completely new day for her. And whenever she went through such anxiety, she could not have even a bite of bread.

“No. I thought of having breakfast here,” said Yuvika.

Dev took the chair and Yuvika reached to her chair opposite Dev’s.

He suggested, “So let’s go to canteen first and have breakfast. We can’t have our new Chief fainted due to starvation.” Again being called Chief, Yuvika got annoyed narrowing her eyebrows.

“Yes. Let’s go. But just a minute. I have some papers to file.” She took the papers and started arranging and stapling them.

“So how’s it different?” asked Dev.

“What?” she asked while pulling the file out of the drawer.

“This cabin and your new day as, sorry to say, but Chief?” He chuckled.

“Of course it is different.” Putting the file on the stack on her left, she said, “I am recently offered to work on the book for the magazine.”

“Oh wow. That’s great. So are you going for it?” asked Dev showing much enthusiasm.

“Don’t act as if you know nothing.” Dev smiled on that. She continued, “And of course I am working on it. How could I say no to such an opportunity? But,” She left the sentence sinking in thoughts.

“But? Is anything wrong?” Dev leant forward to the table and asked.

“I am just worried for the schedules. I don’t know how I am going to manage it. But anyway, I will find some way.”

“What schedules? I don’t get it,” asked Dev with a comforting smile on his face.

“The Dalal’s story is also scheduled for upcoming months. You forgot?” asked Yuvika widening her eyes.

“Oh,” said Dev, leaning back, the smile faded away. “Of course not. But I don’t think that you need to worry that much. Everything will be sorted out. You will do okay.”

“I hope I can make everything fine,” said Yuvika looking at Dev. She found him lost. “Dev. Are you even hearing me?”

“Huh? Oh yes. Of course.”

He tried to make his face as calm as possible. But he felt an urge and a burning sensation inside. He felt like something was hammering his mind. He didn’t want Yuvika to see him like that. He got up and started walking to the door saying, “I will see you in the canteen.”

Read the consecutive story here: https://faceoffiction.wordpress.com/consecutive-story/

The story is a complete fiction. Any resemblance to the real world is a pure coincidence. 

Time, an avid Traveller!

Time is an avid Traveller. It doesn’t stay. It comes and goes. But in between, it does something that may change you or your life; it teaches. It expects you to do the same as well; welcome it, learn from it and if it goes, let it go, because you can never hold it; you can never grip it. It is never in your hands. It slips; doesn’t matter how much you try to put a hold on it.

You may celebrate it or regret over its passing. You may accept it with all your heart or curse it for being yours. You may want to have it again or never want to welcome it ever again. You may derive only positive elements from it or be prepared for the toughness of the negative aspects as well. You may bless others with the best of it or envy them for having it better. You may recall it with tearful eyes or miss it with heavy heart.

And above all, you can love it or hate it. But you cannot ignore it. And that is what a Time is. It is precious, priceless, agile, tough, and most of all, a Guru. So learn from it and do value it

Lesson from the people who triumph

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Each of us has idols or role models in life to look up to. We admire them in life. We tend to learn things from them; how to be successful or how to be a good leader or how to be a good human. The last line makes more sense than other, doesn’t it?

For my work, I have to interact with people, mostly online. And the best part of such work is this; the people. You get chance to learn real lessons from people which are out of books and theories.

If we talk about the success lessons, we always look up to our parents and grand-parents for their glorious lives. But such real time lessons are worth experiencing.

While working with completely strangers whom you know only for their work and designation is quite unconventional from the regular 9 to 5 jobs. And this has let me learn a few but really strong things. It has also broken the clichés about the definition of triumph.

I come across people with variety of work and designation. Some work domestically or some work internationally. Some are starting, just like me, or some have gained expertise with years of experience in their professions. I have hardly asked the secret behind their success. I have hardly tried to figure out the formulae to reach the pinnacle of the career. But one thing which I have been able to derive on my own is the simplicity and discipline.

Yes, these are the most common things you may hear while talking about a decent life style. But we have often come across the idea that the more you become successful or the more you reach higher designations in life, the busier you get and it tends to result into lesser attentive or lesser alert towards people’s views and queries depending on your professions. Sometimes you and I have also gone through it which is quite normal.

But what I see unique in people with triumphantly busier schedules and life styles, they are more attentive, alert and particular in dealing with other people. No complications, no procedures and no over the top decorum. They are very simple while working. You get replied and reverted in a specific time period. And this is not once in a while experience. In each individual, whom I thought was working at extremely important designations in their professions with great responsibilities; I could see the same behaviour and pattern.

This is one of the best and strongest qualities of a true responsible working woman or man irrespective of their profession. I could understand that a truly dedicated and successful person is more alert, particular, time-caring and attentive. And this is the ultimate lesson I would like to learn from them.  

   

Who does write his own destiny?

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Have you ever heard about writing your own destiny? Wait. If you are going to say that you have heard it in some movie, them stop there right now. Because it is something which is more than script or fiction. I am talking about deciding your own happiness and scribble that moments of happiness into your destiny. That is something which I call writing my own destiny.

For some, God decides everything. For some Mother Nature does it. But according to me, time is the decision maker. Or at least, it is the one who makes you realise of good and bad of your present time. Fair enough as you cannot change it. So, all you can do is, find the ways to adapt to the situation and be cheerful at the same time.

If your day hasn’t gone well and you spend you all day with a down curved lips, it is the one thing you can do. But if you are well aware of yourself and the surrounding, you will find glimpse of positive energy which is enough to repair your day. It can lie in a kid’s laughter, birds’ chirping, your pet’s running here and there. Some good book and some time with your own self also play major roles.

So next time, if you are asked if you can write your destiny, do proudly say, EVERYDAY!

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“Papa, mummy, are you lucky parents?” I asked.

They were confused initially by my sudden question but answered, “Yes.”

“Why?” I asked again.

My father laughed as I usually crack statements every now and then, and then answered, “We have got such wonderful children.” But I could still sniff the humour. My mother showed enough sincerity and answered, “I have got so caring children and family. I have got more than I have ever expected.”

I already got ‘aww..’ at her emotional answer. It was not something which I was hearing for the first time. And she has always thanked God for whatever she has got and shared this with us even without asking.

But this time, it was a task given to me; to ask my parents if they think that they are lucky.

How can be it a task? You must be wondering. I was also surprised when I heard it for the first time. Let me elaborate the situation:

My nephew instead to go on a photo walk. So we went near the outskirts of the place where I live. It is near the water body and you may spot some variety of birds. It is peaceful and green; so many people come there for morning and evening walk. Many of them just pass by. Some stop and ask what we are doing. You have to park your vehicle and walk for a while to get to see birds. Today, we spotted some Pelicans, Cormorants, Mallards, Stilts, Black Drongos, and a kingfisher. And of course, evening photography always ends with sunset clicks.

On our way back, I saw a man. He was an old family friend. He saw us clicking. He asked, “What have you observed in the sky?”

I said, “The sunset. And there are some birds too if you want to see.”

He talked about the camera and our hobby of photography. By then, I knew that he had neither recognized me nor my nephew who had come with me as he was seeing us after so many years.

He said, “You know, your father and mother must be lucky.”

All we could do was smile.

He continued, “You know why, because they have got children who have smile on their faces. Today, go and ask your parents if they feel that they are lucky.”

He still did’t know that he knew us!

This logic struck me. Happiness is so important. A smile is extremely important. Not for you, but for your loved ones. Have you ever given it a thought? If you are laughing freely, what your mother or father or your loved one must be feeling? How happy they are seeing you happy? Just one sentence from that old man has taught me a lesson of mindfulness. Nobody’s life is perfect. You may have many ups and downs. Sometimes more downs than ups. But that could not snatch your smile from you. You just can’t let anything take away your smile from you. Who said that you can’t laugh in difficulties? You can. You definitely can. Yes, people may possibly you mad for that! But does it really matter 🙂 ? Your smile is so precious; if not for you, but definitely for your own people. From now onwards, whenever you feel disheartened or empty, instead of moulding yourself into the negative cracks and potholes, try to be more cheerful. You may find a glimpse of happiness in the vibes created by the positivity which you have just spread around you.

Let’s try to be as happier as we can and ask our parents or loved ones if they feel that they are lucky and happy. Each yes will give you more and more moral support.

Image courtesy: Google Search

Real Heros – by Meha Dave

‘A HERO’, 

what is the first thought that comes in your mind as soon as you hear this word?

A HERO need not be the person who acts in front of camera or who dances well or who is handsome and dashing.

Our REAL HEROES are the soldiers of THE INDIAN ARMY.

‘Surprised’ with my reply, the reason I consider them as the real heroes is that we are able to live a peaceful life because they protect us keeping their life constantly in danger.

Every soldier is also a son, a husband and a father. They live away from their families.

Unknown persons join the army and become like a family with the passage of time.

They have sacrificed their lives for the nation whenever required.

The recent example of this is THE SURGICAL STRIKE against Pakistan.

We cannot even imagine about the hardships they face on the border.

So, I think now you can understand why I call them THE REAL HEROES.

I think we should salute and thank our soldiers, THE REAL HEROES as I call them.

THANK YOU TO THE INDIAN ARMY FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART

Cover Photo: Google Search

Holy Savengers

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Holy Scavengers

What is this extremely weird sounding thing now? The two contradictory words, ‘Holy’ and ‘Scavengers’ are enough to hurt anyone’s spiritual emotions. But it hurts me more when I see these cattle being called to eat leftovers and kicked away when they are done. All you are doing is fooling yourself by believing that you have worshiped them. When in reality, you are making these cattle ‘Scavengers’.

I have witnessed this situation very often. In many areas of the city, in the evenings shepherds leave their cattle on roads letting them wander here and there. They feed on dump. When people see them, their urge to earn virtues occurs from somewhere. They call them at the gate of their home, put the vessel (being also used in cooking) full of leftovers in front of them, cattle feed on that. Once they are finished, the same people hustle them away. This is the condition of the Holy animals. In the morning, the shepherds come and search for their cattle. They take them with them and again come and leave in the evening.

Now where do I see the problem?

First of all, it is not called worshiping from any angle. You are just feeding these cattle the leftovers because you don’t have any place to discard it. And if not so, then why do they feed them the leftovers of mangos and the seeds are left there? So we should better stop fooling our own selves.

Is it safe to feed them such things? Isn’t greenery like grass their natural appetite?

How the milk produced by these cattle who have fed on random dump and unhealthy food is safe for calves and humans?

There are many more issues regarding breaking the rules or not having such rules at all, traffic problems, etc. But for now, let’s think of the one point: Emotion.

Our emotional attachment toward any belief or tradition is so strong that instead of understanding the logic behind any suggestion, we get hurt and continue the practice. May be, we are still misinformed or ill-informed. We better be educated in every possible area of living before putting a question mark on one’s health and hygiene.

‘The name is Bond. James Bond’ Even James specified it!

What’s there in a name? Well, there should be a difference: What’s there in a last name?

We see last name as a category which a person belongs to. And the two most common categories can be religion and caste.

‘The name is Bond. James Bond’. Even James specified it to petrify the villains,

which sounds really good as a dialogue, but as a mindset, it needs to be changed. Really.

Rahul noticed Rhea that she had forgotten her file on the desk. He was next in the queue. After waiting for a while, it was his turn, finally. But he saw her leaving the bank. He ran after her and handed her the file.

Rhea got terrified and felt relief at the same time. She wanted to thank him.

She asked, ‘What’s your name?’

‘Rahul.’

Rahul is waiting for another question; ‘Rahul..?’

‘Thank you.’

She did not ask any further question. Rahul could not hold his curiosity and said, ‘Rahul Kumar.’

She nodded and said, ‘Thank you Rahul.’

That man had helped Rhea and it meant a lot to her, not his last name.

During a conversation, being asked for your last name or you, asking someone else’s is a common scenario. It is a mindset. Let’s accept the fact. But there is also the fact that this mindset needs to be changed if we really need progress. We call our self progressive. Sounds good, doesn’t it? But what do we do at the most basic level?

Let’s stop questioning the government for various reasons, at least for some time. When you meet a stranger, and decide whether he is worth talking to or not, based on his religion or cast. Have you tried to figure out what good things he has done or what intentions is he living with? How much positive is he or how is he trying to make things work for everyone around him? Talking about the Unsung Hero (again, sounds good!), why do we care what cast he belongs to? We celebrate him for his work, a noble deed. Has he thought of his religion before doing something better than you? Has he thought of the cast he has inherited willingly or unwillingly before helping someone? No. Then why do we care about his last name?

I am proud of my last name. Because I am gifted with that. This is one of the most valuable things I have inherited before any materialistic wealth. It has my ancestors’ names attached with it. And will always live with that. I may be known as one of the Mehtas whose grandfather was the finest teacher and a generous human being who had lived his life with discipline and ethics. I may be known as one of the Mehtas whose father is the role model of many of his students. I feel privileged. I am blessed. But at the end of the day, the intentions I am living with would matter.

I respect my last name, but I should work for making them respect me for my intentions and the human being I am.

When you made your first friend as a kid, did the surname matter? When you got your first job, did you consider the last name of the boss who had hired you? When someone helped you getting up again when you fell down on the road, did you really ask for his last name? When you see a child crying and find no one around him, would you go and ask for his last name first before helping him and looking around for his parents?

Hoping for a ‘NO’ in all the answers!

Let’s put classism aside. Let’s think progressive and go beyond common and proper nouns!

Intention and humanity matter after all.