INKed. And Swayed.

When I first thought about this blog post, I decided I will share my experiences and lessons from INK 2012. But – now all I want to write about is my best take away from the awesomeness called ‘INK Talks’.

There are times when a song just gets stuck into your psyche and sinks much deeper than any other song. And it is magical when you come across that song. For me – this happened during INK. Shankar Tucker came. He spoke. He conquered. And then he just swept everyone away with his fantastic music. He played the following video and I knew I’m going to love this song for ages to come. May be beyond. It is called ‘Kinara’.

The song goes :

Geela geela, dhuaan dhuaan
Geela geela, dhuaan dhuaan…

Geela geela sa, dhuaan dhuaan sa
Khoya hua sa, behka hua sa..
Humsafar se milta yeh kinara.. bheega bheega
Sagar se gehra ye kinara … (2)

Deewano jaisa chahe woh sagar
Sunta hai lehron ki aahatein(2)
Sagar ki leher jaise baje iktara
Sajde mein uske hota hai kinara

Geela geela sa .. Dhuaan dhuaan sa ..

Sagar kinara jaise Kanha aur Radha
Kanha bin Radha kaise jeeye (2)
Kanha se Radha, Radha se Kanha
Dono ki preet chamke banke ek taara ..

Geela geela sa .. Dhuaan dhuaan sa …

Never have I seen the relationship between the sea and the shore being described more beautifully. We read so much about how they love each other but cannot find consummation. But this song was like ‘sitting on the beach on a full moon night and watching the shores welcome the crashing waves with a joyful embrace; as if long lost lovers meet and again drift apart in a matter of a few seconds which for them is perhaps an eternity.’  Give it one more read and you would know.

INK was humbling. Inspiring. Beautiful. Moving. Fun. Frolic. Work. Friendship. It taught me the value of ‘adding value to the world’, giving back more than you have received, following your dreams and passions; INK has taught me that your life is about the impact you create; be it on one person or a million.

INK has given me this song ; which is ‘love’. And that’s what makes the whole world move. Enjoy the song!


My Happiness Jar

I started my happiness jar recently; And every time something really happy happens, I add a word in it. Just to keep a record of how beautiful a few days were that went by. Try it. Colorful little chits that hold memories of colorful days of life.

As I started to add to it daily, I couldn’t help but realize that it really were the small small things in a day that made me the happiest : met a friend after ages, had a good day of work, came up with some brilliant ideas & implemented some, came across some real good inspiration and felt moved, got some really good praise & felt appreciated. Small things. Big smiles 😀

There was love in each little happiness. Even when it was work related, it was the love of doing something I liked doing. We often question the super power called ‘love’ & its abilities to move the world, set things straight, bring smiles, make us feel good. All my questions got answered when I got the chance to attend INK 2012 at Pune in October this year. It is said that when you really seek an answer, it will present itself to you in the most unexpected way possible. I will tell you how:

I went as a volunteer and the whole volunteer pool was allowed to attend the opening day of INK. Brilliant! Glad that I got to listen to maybe the best of the lot of speakers and fellows on the 1st day itself. Have even shared the Awesome Shankar Tucker’s The Awesome song (in my opinion) in my previous post. But there are things that move you differently.  Sometimes, you get caught unawares and things blow you away when you least expect.

One of the speakers at INK was Dr. Nitin Ron, a neonatalogist and a mountaineer. Queer combination isn’t it. But when he started speaking, every word made my being at INK ‘worth it’. Here was a doctor who healed premature babies and helped them live on. And he was telling a full house that science wasn’t enough maybe. Love & compassion played a very very important part in their healing. The stories of miracles which happened at his hospital moved everyone in the audience. It moved them, I’m sure, from a position of doubt (if any) to a position of concrete belief that love heals. Perhaps faster than time. His talk can be viewed here – Nitin Ron at INK

Anyway, coming back to why I started writing this post – I was trying to just figure out what love is for me. And I found out that –

Love is about having that one special person in your life who is ‘the sin qua non(sole purpose) of your existence’. Yet, it is also about  NOT HAVING that one person, because then you find many people who make it worth it – in their own different and beautiful ways! (simply put – it means love can also be there in your life while you enjoy singlehood) 😉

Love is when you can be silent and yet have a beautiful conversation with your own self. Only you know best; who it is that you love most and what you could do for them. I have realized; it is really not important to talk always. Sometimes, you acknowledge someone’s presence more in silence. Because then it means that the person makes you comfortable in your own skin.

Love is when I hold my best friend’s hand and give her a tight hug when I meet her after ages. Love is when I crack the silliest jokes with her and an instant flashback happens. Love is also when I scream with rage at another bestie whom I couldn’t meet. Love is weird really.

Love is when I care like a child for a few people who inspire me and are the reason I am what I am today. Love is when my mom makes the best things in the world for me yet keeps scolding me for some reason or the other. Love is when dad cracks a joke about me getting married and I get angry and then he cracks another joke to make me laugh. Love is when my always silent brother talks so much in front of me that I have to ask him to keep quiet! And mom says, “stay back. At least he talks when you are around.”

Love is when we release sky lanterns with a hope that there is a better tomorrow for all of us. Love is also when we release sky lanterns because we find them beautiful without any reason.

Love is when I realize that there is someone who cares for me so much that I am convinced nothing will ever go wrong with me.

Love is when I unknowingly crack the shittiest jokes and suddenly the whole atmosphere around lights up. Love is when my mom joins me in those silly jokes.

Love is when I realize that I have one person with to whom I do not have to write my inhibitions and emotions. Love is when I know that I’m so comfortable with her that I can say things to her which I will probable share in writing with others 🙂

Love is also when I read a beautiful book and it just makes my day and night and a few more days to come.

Love is happiness. Inside my little jar. In small words and their big meanings. Inside my Happiness Jar.

An excerpt from the book ‘This Is All I Have To Say’ by Swapan Seth; on Love (A serious recommendation that this book be read. If nothing, it will make you smile like an idiot for an hour after you shut it). You may ask why this excerpt. Because – you always need to be open to love & not close your heart. Whatever might have happened ever, never forget to love. Because that is all that matters. Read on :

Suddenly from a crowd of people, it will spot you.
Lurking as it invariably does behind a curtain of hesitation. Wondering whether you will recognize it or reciprocate it.
If it makes you skip a beat, go out and embrace it.
Love is life’s glue. It is what binds people.
Love with desire. Love with dignity. And love deeply.
Love fiercely. And love fairly.
Many are lucky in love. And many are unlucky.
Don’t worry about that. You will fall in and out of love.
Love is unreliable.
It has many disguises that confuse people.
Get confused. Get deceived.
But don’t get cynical about love.
It takes its time to find you.
It searches the universe before it gets to you.
And when its true face stares at you in the eye,
Hug it and make it your friend.
Because love is a life long companion.
Not everyone is lucky to have it.
Most people tuck away their love in their hearts.
Wear yours on your sleeve.
But be unfaithful.
Love many things.
Love your family. Love your friends.
Love your interests. love your work. Love a book.
Love a tune. Love a poem. Love a wine.
Love a flower. Love a work of art. Love a smell.
Love a place. And be generous with your love.
The more you will give, the more you will get.
And love unconditionally. Love is not a contract.
It is merely an obligation to being alive.
And never expect love to come back in volumes in which you give it to others.
There’s always a little that spills as it journeys back to you.

Because, love isn’t about who was, is or will be there in your life. It is about who are YOU.

Shayari Waala Love :)

That awesome moment when you find that you and your friend have that same ‘awesome’ waala love for Shayaris. And then you spend the whole day discussing your favorite ones.

Those who love shayaris (Couplets in Hindi / Urdu) know that they have the power to express your feelings in 4 lines – something you cannot somehow do in may be 4 pages. They have the power to melt you, to make you fall in love all over again with the same person you have always loved, to remind me you of all the sweet bitter memories, to make you appreciate love…

Some say they fall in love only to be able to bathe in the awesomeness of those awesome couplets. I couldn’t agree more. As I remembered my favorite shayaris today, I came upon this one below. It has to be here before it gets lost from my repertoire.

An old song, an all time favorite. You will enjoy it if you love ‘Shayaris’ 🙂

Tumhare shehar ka mausam bada suhana lage
Mai ek sham chura loon agar bura na lage

Tumhare bas mei agar ho to bhool jao hume
Tumhe bhoolne mei shayad mujhe zamana lage

Hamare pyar se jalne lagi hai ye duniya
Dua karo kisi dushman ki bad-dua na lage

Na jaane kya hai uski bebaak aankho mei
Vo mooh chhupa ke jaaye bhi to bewafa na lage

Jo doobna hai to itne sukoon se dubo
Ke aas-paas ki leharon ko bhi pata na lage

Ho jis adaa se mere saath bewafayi kar
Ke tere baad mujhe koi bewafaa na lage

Wo phool jo mere daaman se ho gaye mansoob
Khudaa kare unhe bazaar ki hawa na lage

Tum aankh moond ke pi jao zindagi ‘Qaiser’
Ke ek ghoont mein shayad ye bad-maza na lage

There is an ‘Ishq waala love’ and there is a ‘Shayari waala love’. I would rather be in the second one <3

Choti Choti Baatein …

Somehow, the poems that I wrote in maximum 5 minutes are the ones I like the most from all my work. This too is one of them. Inspiration credits at the end 🙂

Logon ki zindagi mein, jaane kya kya ho jaata hai
Hum choti choti baaton pe rote hain

Koi raat raat bhar, bhooke pet so jaata hai
Hum namak kamm hone pe rote hain

Koi taaron ke saaye mein, zindagi bitata hai
Hum dewaaron ke rangon pe rote hain

Kisi ke paas tan dhaapne ko kuch bhi nahi hai
Hum bhari almaari dekh kar ‘Kapde nahi hai’ kehte hain 

Koi padhne ko school jaane ko, zindagi bhar taras jaata hai
Hum padhne ke naam se rote hain

Koi shikshak naa milne par, khud hee padh likh jaata hai
Hum marks, exams aur teachers ko sirf gaaliyaan dete hain

Koi baarish ke paani mein nach kar, dil ki pyaas bujhaata hai
Hum keechad ko dekh rote hain

Kisi ke paas apna kehne ko koi nahi hai
Hum pal bhar ke rishton pe rote hain

Kisi ke paas zindagi ke naam pe kuch nahi, fir bhi woh hansta hai
Hum hazaar khushiyon ke beech, chote se dukh pe rote hain

Logo ki zindagi mein, jaane kya kya ho jaata hai
Hum choti choti baaton pe rote hain …  

Inspiration credits : All those people who keep crying on their FB statuses 😛

The choice of Purity.

Yet another story. Yet another lesson.

Source – FB

An elephant took a bath in a river and was walking on the road. When it neared a bridge, it saw a pig fully soaked in mud coming from the opposite direction. The elephant quietly moved to one side, allowed the dirty pig to pass and then continued its onward journey.

The unclean pig later spoke to its friends in arrogance, “See how big I am; even the elephant was afraid of me and moved to one side to let me pass”.

On hearing this, some elephants questioned their friend, the reason for its action. Was it out of fear?

The elephant smiled and replied, “I could have easily crushed the pig under my leg, but I was clean and the pig was very unclean. By crushing it, my leg will become dirty and I wanted to avoid it. Hence, I moved aside.”

This story reveals that realized souls will avoid contact with vulgarity, not out of fear, but out of desire to keep away from impurity though they are strong enough to destroy the impurity.


Why We Shout In Anger?

I had no intention to update something like this on my blog when I have a 100 other things to do & I had planned to come up with something good as it is long I wrote something. But, this story had to be preserved somewhere.

Came across this on FB & fell in love with it instantly!

Here it goes :

“Why We Shout In Anger”

A Hindu saint who was visiting river Ganges to take bath found a group of family members on the banks, shouting in anger at each other. He turned to his disciples smiled ‘n asked.

‘Why do people shout in anger shout at each other?’

Disciples thought for a while, one of them said, ‘Because we lose our calm, we shout.’

‘But, why should you shout when the other person is just next to you? You can as well tell him what you have to say in a soft manner.’ asked the saint

Disciples gave some other answers but none satisfied the other disciples.
Finally the saint explained, .

‘When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to hear each other to cover that great distance.

What happens when two people fall in love? They don’t shout at each other but talk softly, Because their hearts are very close. The distance between them is either nonexistent or very small…’

The saint continued, ‘When they love each other even more, what happens? They do not speak, only whisper ‘n they get even closer to each other in their love. Finally they even need not whisper, they only look at each other ‘n that’s all. That is how close two people are when they love each other.’

He looked at his disciples and said.

‘So when you argue do not let your hearts get distant, Do not say words that distance each other more, Or else there will come a day when the distance is so great that you will not find the path to return.’

So simply explained! Spirituality is all about logic not gyaan. Only if we have the right eye to see that.

The Creation of the Teacher

Teachers are people who have always inspired me. Not only to be a teacher but also be better.

We curse our teachers (mostly math teachers 🙂 ) But we are here today because they were there back then. Today when I realize how wrong it was to have spoken ill about them, I also realize that behind every success story and smiling picture, there is a teacher. He/she could be anyone. Anyone who inspires with their silent examples and living lessons.

Today is Guru Purnima. A festival where the Gurus are celebrated. Their existence is thanked for! I wrote a blog post on teachers last year. Here it is.

I just want to share this story today. A story of ‘How God created Teachers’. 

The Good Lord was creating teachers. It was His sixth day of ‘overtime’ and He knew that this was a tremendous responsibility for teachers would touch the lives of so many impressionable young children. An angel appeared to Him and said, “You are taking a long time to figure this one out.”

“Yes,” said the Lord, ” but have you read the specifications on this order?”


…must stand above all students, yet be on their level
… must be able to do 180 things not connected with the subject being taught
… must run on coffee and leftovers,
… must communicate vital knowledge to all students daily and be right most of the time
… must have more time for others than for herself/himself
… must have a smile that can endure through pay cuts, problematic children, and worried parents
… must go on teaching when parents question every move and others are not supportive
… must have 6 pair of hands.

“Six pair of hands, ” said the angel, “that’s impossible”
“Well, ” said the Lord, ” it is not the hands that are the problem.  It is the three pairs of eyes that are presenting the most difficulty!”

The angel looked incredulous, ” Three pairs of eyes…on a standard model?”

The Lord nodded His head, ” One pair can see a student for what he is and not what others have labeled him as. Another pair of eyes is in the back of the teacher’s head to see what should not be seen, but what must be known. The eyes in the front are only to look at the child as he/she ‘acts out’ in order to reflect, ” I understand and I still believe in you”, without so much as saying a word to the child.”

“Lord, ” said the angel, ” this is a very large project and I think you should work on it tomorrow”.

“I can’t,” said the Lord, ” for I have come very close to creating something much like Myself. I have one that comes to work when he/she is sick…..teaches a class of children that do not want to learn….has a special place in his/her heart for children who are not his/her own…..understands the struggles of those who have difficulty….never takes the students for granted…”

The angel looked closely at the model the Lord was creating.
“It is too soft-hearted, ” said the angel.

“Yes,” said the Lord, ” but also tough, You can not imagine what this teacher can endure or do, if necessary”.

“Can this teacher think?” asked the angel.

“Not only think,” said the Lord,. “but reason and compromise.”

The angel came closer to have a better look at the model and ran his finger  over the teacher’s cheek.

“Well, Lord, ” said the angel, your job looks fine but there is a leak. I told you that you were putting too much into this model.  You can not imagine the stress that will be placed upon the teacher.”

The Lord moved in closer and lifted the drop of moisture from the teacher’s cheek.  It shone and glistened in the light.

“It is not a leak,” He said, “It is a tear.”

“A tear? What is that?” asked the angel, “What is a tear for?”

The Lord replied with great thought, ” It is for the joy and pride of seeing a child accomplish even the smallest task. It is for the loneliness of children who have a hard time to fit in and it is for compassion for the feelings of their parents. It comes from the pain of not being able to reach some children and the disappointment those children feel in themselves. It comes often when a teacher has been with a class for a year and must say good-bye to those students and get ready to welcome a new class.”

“My, ” said the angel, ” The tear thing is a great idea…You are a genius!!”
The Lord looked somber, “I didn’t put it there.”

Source :

Beautiful story isn’t it?

P. S. Never Give Up!

I realized one thing today. The things that I write down get reinforced as lessons. Had almost slept (laptop was shut). But then, I jettisoned my so precious ‘after exam’ sleep because I had to burn the post exam realization into my memory disk permanently.

I have always hated the post exam discussion with anyone else, let alone myself. But today, I ended up discussing my ‘Econometrics’ paper with myself for a whopping 5-6 hours. It was a silent regret spree perhaps. Reason – the exam went bad! Ok. A little bit of detailing. I did the Research Methodology paper quite well because I like the subject. And yes I hated Econometrics. And, didn’t pay much attention to it.

But, after leaving the exam hall today I felt like literally smacking my head. The paper was ‘easy’. That extra effort, that 30 minutes of extra effort could have done it all for me. Not that I didn’t have time. I had kind of ‘given up’ because most of the topic seemed too abstruse.

It is not about a bad paper. Not at all. Have had worse papers and exams in my life and I am sure many difficult ones lie ahead. The thing is ‘I gave up’. Shouldn’t have! It is a cliched line but yes – ‘Never give up because you never know how close you were to your destination’. True it is that practicals and not theories teach us the true lessons. Have had mine today.

P.S. Never Give Up… I did. You don’t! 

Image source –

The Attention Equilibrium

Jose Ortegay Gasset: “Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are.”

The teacher said, ‘Pay attention to the class’
Mom said, ‘Pay attention to the food’
Dad said, ‘Pay attention to studies’
Friend said, ‘Pay attention to me when I come out of the trial room’
Boyfriend / Girlfriend said, ‘Pay attention to me/ my nuances/ my small and stupid talk & remember everything’

No one really ever said ‘Pay attention to yourself’ / ‘Pay attention to being good’ … Sigh!

Result – all girls pay attention to (well, most girls) is – their shopping and boyfriends & probably grades (that too is tangential because mostly they dream of getting married to a rich guy and do more shopping. A threshold amount of ‘padhayi’ is important to catch hold of that richie rich).

And all guys dream about is – well! we all  know 😛 (Ok! Most of the guys. Not all)

We have kind of stopped paying attention to things that really need attention. MBA has taught me to be precise. So I’ll take it point wise.

1) When was the last time we paid attention to our goals in life? Like proper undivided attention. And by this I mean also paying attention to ‘how are we going to achieve it’ i.e. honing the skills needed. Dreaming day & night about what we want to become is fine. But we need to sharpen our axes to be able to take down the gigantic forests of ‘doubts & hurdles’ faster.

2) When was the last time we paid attention to someone who couldn’t do much for us but we could do a lot for them? Never quite understood why people go to help the society on their birthdays alone. Rest of the 364 days, the society and the downtrodden remain comfortably forgotten while we burn ourselves out on the dance floor, waste ourselves away in a pub/bar or splurge on things we never really need. Attention deficit disorder?

3) Ah! Relationships. My favorite 🙂 … when was the last time we paid attention, like proper attention to the one we fell in love with? I am not saying one should only think about them 24x7x52 (I would be the last person to say that). Whatever little time we spent with our loved ones, how sincere were we with the amount of ears and concentration we lent?

4) When was the last time we decided, we will not just vegetate? When was the last time we thought of doing something for the first time? I met Mr. Kiruba Shankar  a few days ago and learnt some really awesome things in the very short meeting we had. He started rowing after college. Did not do sports during the entire 4 years. Yet, led his team to victory consecutively for 6 years (Read more). It is never late to start. Important is to start!

5) When was the last time we paid attention to ‘THINGS THAT SHOULD BE PAID ATTENTION’?

A lot of things will try to distort this attention equilibrium. It is up to us, how fast we get back to the equilibrium. Use a catalyst, shut down all external interventions or whatever. But maintaining this balance is very important.

To let the sweet smell of wet sand distract you for a moment is okay. To dance in the rain is great. But if these get too much attention and we dance in the rain every time they happen, all that happens is, we fall ill (After all, we are not the protagonists of Indian Television 😛 – they should be ambassadors of Durable batteries). Enjoy the beauty around, but keep your eyes on the summit. Go out & party. But come back and study/work (more than 100%).

Attention is a weird and stupid thing. But must of all it is stubborn. And needs a lot of attention 🙂  


Ik Onkar Sat Naam : English Translation

I do not really understand Punjabi so google helped me with this. This song has always calmed me down even though I never knew the meaning. Today I finally looked it up. There were 1000 articles and more on the internet which gave the meaning, but I wanted to write it down and never forget. And yes, the prayer is still on repeat play.

(Some info – it is a part of Mool Mantar which is said to be the most important concept in ‘Guru Granth Sahib ji’ and is the basis of Sikh theology.)

Ik Onkara Sat Naam ( Mool Mantar) ik onkaar sat naam kartaa purakh nirbh-a-o nirvair akaal moorat ajoonee saibhn gur parsaad

There is only one God. His Name is the only Truth. His personality is the most Creative. His form is the only Immortal thing. He is without Fear or Enmity. He is unborn and self-illuminated. He can be obtained by Guru’s grace. 

Embrace His meditation.

Aad sach jugaad sach.
True in the prime, True in the beginning of ages,

Hai bhee sach naanak hosee bhee sach.
True He is even now and True He verily, shall be, O Nanak!

Sochai soch naa hov-a-ee jay sochee lakh vaar.
By pondering on God, man cannot have a conception of Him, even though he may ponder over lacs of times.

Chupai chup naa hov-a-ee jay laa-i rahaa liv taar.
Even though one be silent and remains absorbed in Lord’s constant love he obtains not mind’s silence.

Bhukhi-aa bhukh naa utree jay bannaa puree-aa bhaar.
The hunger of the hungry departs not, even though they may pile up loads of the world’s valuables.

Sehas si-aanpaa lakh hoh taa ik naa chalai naal.
Man may possess thousands and lacs of wits, but not even one (goes with him) avails him in the Lord’s court.

Kiv sachi-aaraa ho-ee-ai kiv koorhai tutai paal.
How can we be true and how can the screen of untruth be rent?

Hukam rajaa-ee chalnaa naanak likhi-aa naal.
O Nanak! By obeying, the pre-ordained order of the Lord’s will.

See the video :  Ik Onkar

Source :