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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Happiness Matters !

The Vedic New Year which began yesterday is called Nanda. Nanda means Happiness.

We all want to be happy .Whatever we do in our life is for our happiness and that of our near and dear ones. We have also experienced that our happiness impacts the level of happiness of those around us , our surroundings and vice versa. There is a research that has found that if a friend of a friend of a friend is happy , then you are also happy ! The benefits of being happy don't need to be explained to us. It is my personal experience that when I am happy, I am more productive, more loving, more tolerant and more giving ! I have also seen this of people around me. Also, all of us would prefer to be surrounded with happy people , not so much grumpy ones.

So it is smart to conclude that happy people are any nations greatest asset. However do we really know strengths of nations based on the strength of its happiness ?

Robert F Kennedy in 1968 famously said
"...[T]he gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages; the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom nor our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.”

The good news is that there is some positive movement towards going beyond the GDP ( Gross Domestic Product) in measuring nations well being and progress. Enclosed below is an extract of an UNICEF article that talks about this.

What makes me happy, is that finally happiness matters !! So I am going to be happy and spread happiness, so they can measure it ! You too ?

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The limitations of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as an indicator of the well-being and progress of nations have long been known. As a yardstick of progress, it came into being at the Bretton Woods Conference on the heels of the Great Depression. Not surprisingly, it is again the global financial crisis that has reinvigorated calls for a new development paradigm and new metrics of progress. At the UN, the question of human well-being and measurement of progress is certainly expected to be at the core of the Rio+20 and post-2015 agenda debates in the coming months.
From the Royal Government of Bhutan to the European Union to the World Economic Forum, all are calling for new or improved ways to measure well-being and progress. Even the Harvard Business Review devoted a whole issue to The Value of Happiness, concluding that “happiness can have an impact at both the company and the country level.” A number of new indicators have been developed in attempts to measure well-being and development progress in a more holistic manner. UNDP’s Human Development Index is one of the most well-known. In addition to GDP, it incorporates health, education and most recently equity. Yet none of the indices thus far have been able to meaningfully combine economic, environmental and social dimensions and gain universal acceptance. So the debate goes on. Some are calling for building on the GDP and enhancing it, as necessary. Others suggest new composite measures to reflect the multidimensionality of well-being. Below we offer a few interesting readings on the topics that are shaping today’s debate.

In 2008, the French President, Nicholas Sarkozy created the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress. The Commission, led by Joseph Stiglitz, Amartya Sen and Jean Paul Fitoussi, was asked to identify the limits of GDP, to consider more relevant indicators of social progress, and to assess the feasibility of alternative measurement tools. The Report advocates for a shift of emphasis from a “production-oriented” GDP measurement system to one focused on the well-being of current and future generations, i.e. toward broader measures of social progress. Acknowledging its multi-dimensional nature, the report proposes the following elements as key to well-being: material living standards (income, consumption and wealth); health; education; personal activities including work; political voice and governance; social connections and relationships; environment (present and future conditions); and insecurity, of an economic and a physical nature.

A number of organizations and initiatives have picked up and built on the Commission’s report, including the OECD and the High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability. The OECD has developed How is Life? which is a framework for measuring well-being and progress with three conceptual pillars: material living conditions, quality of life and sustainability (see illustration below). The intergenerational sustainability of well-being and resilience to shocks are important features of the framework.

Further, the OECD’s Better Life Index is an interactive composite index of well-being that aims at involving citizens in the debate on societal progress. Similarly to the framework, it focuses on individuals’ and households’ outcomes (rather than drivers and inputs) and on both objective and subjective features of well-being along 11 dimensions.

Yet there are a number of important questions to consider about alternative measurement of nations’ well-being. In her recent book The Pursuit of Happiness: An Economy of Well-being, Brookings’ Carol Graham ponders some of them, including whether policy should be more concerned with increasing day-to-day contentment or with providing greater opportunity to build a fulfilling life, in the Aristotelian sense. Other issues include whether we care more about the happiness of today’s citizens or that of future generations. Policies such as reducing our fiscal deficits or reforming our health care system, for example, typically require sacrificing current consumption and immediate well-being for better long-run outcomes.

From Bhutan to Britain, from France to Brazil, from China to Canada — a number of governments have begun incorporating measures of well-being and happiness into their benchmarks for national progress. And going beyond national policy, the Kingdom of Bhutan – the birthplace of the Gross Happiness Index – is actively promoting the idea of a new sustainable economic paradigm as a contribution to the Rio+20 debate and beyond. They suggest that a new system for measuring well-being holistically would have to be created, supported by redesigned Bretton Woods institutions. In 2011, introduced by Bhutan, the General Assembly adopted a resolution entitled Happiness: towards a holistic approach to development, calling for additional measures that better capture the importance of the pursuit of happiness and well-being in development. On 2 April 2012, there will be a follow up high-level meeting Happiness and Well-being: Defining a new economic paradigm at the UN, in which UNICEF will participate.

UNICEF has much to add on the child dimension of nations’ well-being measurement. In 2007, Innocenti Report Card 7 eloquently asserted that “The true measure of a nation’s standing is how well it attends to its children – their health and safety, their material security, their education and socialization, and their sense of being loved, valued, and included in the families and societies into which they are born.” UNICEF’s continued engagement in this debate today could prove to be important for tomorrow’s generation – as experience shows, what gets measured, gets managed.

Credit - Ms Sumathi Jayaraman, UN .

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Nanda ( with Sri Sri's messg)


Wish you all a very Happy Gudi Padwa and Happy Ugadi!

Today is the Hindu new year day, so Happy New Year to everyone !

Today ushers in a very beautiful and important year for all ! It is called "Nanda" It will herald happiness and good in the world. We are extremely fortunate to be a part of this great time. Let us play our part in this by being in knowledge and spreading it around the world. May Love move the world !

"According to Vedic Calendar, from March 2012, this year is called ‘Nanda’. ‘Nanda’ means happiness; the year of happiness. First comes happiness and the year that follows is called Victory. You will be happy and victorious, so do not worry. Resolve to do some good work in society and spread knowledge. You will see by end of next year more and more people will turn to spirituality. All those engaged in terrorism will be cornered and people who are in violence, their strength will be reduced. It will happen and you are a part of that happening."
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Bangalore, 23 December 2011

Message from H H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for the Vedic New Year today

Q: Dear Guruji, what is your special message for UGADI (New Year)?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Happy Ugadi! Happy New Year! People eat neem leaves and sweets on Ugadi to remind themselves that life is a mixture of both – the bitter and the sweet.

Antarmukhi, sadasukhi: When one is centered, then there is happiness always. This New Year will be good. It will always be good, always evolutionary for the devotee – whatever the time and the prediction. It is time to move to a higher dimension. Whatever happens is for the good. Chant Om Namah Shivay.

Meditation is important. Even if one percent of you all meditate, it helps the remaining 99 percent of the population. This year everyone has to meditate and do satsang. The rest of the population will thrive on your spirituality. This year keep your spiritual goal. The material goals can be kept aside.
Meditate, do satsang, read knowledge sheets. By doing that, you are helping others who have a hard time.



When Someone Asks You a Question, Respond - Jerry Weissman - Harvard Business Review

When Someone Asks You a Question, Respond - Jerry Weissman - Harvard Business Review

An awesome article , so topical in the current Indian political environment !
Important lesson for all of us in general !

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

E=MC2 Ethics = Money*Conscience 2

We all have studied Einstein's famous theory about how energy equals mass times the velocity of light squared.Given our current economic,political and social environment, I felt it was appropriate to cast another definition for this immortalised formula !

Ethics = Money*Conscience 2

Look at whats happening in the world this last decade. Huge organizations ( some very large names too) came tumbling down overnight,trillions of dollars of wealth was wiped out globally, thousands of people lost their jobs, those who managed to keep theirs ,had to take large pay cuts.
The impact of the big financial meltdown few years ago can still be felt and will continue to cast its ugly shadow for many years to come. Article after article surfaced in newspapers and magazines, business TV channels cried hoarse and the pundits debated long hours on the reasons that led to the meltdown.

Reasons, there were many. Lack of adequate regulation, compromise on governance and most of all the greed for more, faster, better. In this mad rush for the gold, values of sustainability, ethics, "good profits" were quickly relegated to the background. As long as short term results soared, the stock market ticker glowed green and the bonus pools kept getting larger, who cared about customer interest, long term impact and the enticement of living beyond ones means

The good news came , made instant billionaires and sent the financial markets soaring. The bad news came faster. Banks, companies, even governments tumbled heavier than humpty dumpty's great fall. Unfortunately the biggest impact was on people like you and me .. coz we were the employees, the customers, the small business owners,who lived the impact.

Fortunately this has also taught us our biggest lesson - that today,ethics and good governance, responsible business and sustainability are not "good to do". They are a "must do".

With this objective of advocating ethical and responsible business , H H Sr Sri Ravi Shankarji envisioned a global platform 7 years ago, bringing together business, politics, academics ,science and civil society . This global community converged in a annual conference hosted in the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium every year. Over these last 7 years, more than 3000 leaders from around the world have discussed & debated how business can be done ethically, how human values can be integrated in the cut throat, competitive business environment. A very tangible outcome of this journey was the constitution of "The World Forum for Ethics in Business" ( WFEB) 2 years ago.

WFEB has forged a strategic partnership with The World Bank Institute, The Earth Charter and many reputed organizations with a two fold objective
- creating a global platform & community for advocating good governance and ethics in business &
- working on strategic actions to influence sustainable change

I have the honor and responsibility of presiding over this forum which has a very illustrious Board of Directors.

In 2012, we have taken a strategic decision to increase the global impact of this important message by hosting regional conferences around the world. The first such conference for the Asia Pacific region is being hosted in Singapore on April 2, 2012 to be followed by Berlin, Amsterdam, Dubai in addition to the annual conference in Brussels in november this year

I spent the last two days in Singapore with our dynamic organizing team , who in less than 8 weeks have put together a stellar panel of speakers & partnered with prestigious organizations like the Singapore India Chamber of Commerce, Nanyang Business School, Singapore Compact, The American and British Chamber of Commerce & The Singapore Business Federation !!!

On April 2nd, Over 200 delegates , along with a strong contingent of young student leaders from Nanyang, S P Jain Business School, SMU, will get an opportunity to reflect on how responsible leadership and ethics can lead to long term profits and sustainable growth. They will have the incredible chance to interact with H H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar himself and learn from his wisdom - of how he inspires humanitarian work in 152 countries of the world , through volunteers !
How his organization, which probably has a hundredth of the resources of some large developmental agencies in the world , has been able to create such a huge global impact

I am so inspired and encouraged by the amazing response we have got in Singapore. It is testimony to the fact that the global community that believes in ethical business s growing

If you care for how your younger brothers,sisters,children,nephews and nieces will survive in the economic world of tomorrow, this is your chance to make a difference.

Lets take the steps now to infuse our conscience into the way business is done .
This way , money & profits being earned ethically will be a forgone conclusion !

If you are in Singapore,don't miss this golden opportunity.

See you on April 2nd

Coz for "Ethics in Business and Leadership -The Time is Right, Now!"

www.wfeb.org

Monday, March 19, 2012

Relationships, Like Airports !

We are at my favorite airport after many months. Changi, Singapore
I love everything about this airport. Pretty much everything. Just as the airplane door opens, the nice,clean smell of this most well maintained airport immediately fills you up. As you walk out, the well planned signages, travellators,the efficient staff, gently glide you into the main airport.Then of course , Alice in Wonderland would have had it easier than us exploring this massive edifice that only dreams can be made of.

As we make ourselves comfortable in the lounge, the tiredness of the long flight is setting in and sleep is gently taking over.I can rest easy, as I am traveling with Ajay. I have been so used to traveling alone since my working days, that traveling with someone especially him, is a real treat. He takes care of everything, I don't need to worry about anything, Even now he is smilingly bringing me a cup of my favorite Earl Grey tea before settling in the chair in front of me with his newspaper. As I glance at my hot cup of tea, this most amazing thought crosses me - that relationships , are like airports ! Or if they are not , they should be !

Let me tell you why I feel so !

1) At airports , we follow rules. No liquid gels in handbag means no liquid gels. Excess baggage means excess payment. Questions asked by immigration officer to be politely and truthfully answered - attitude won't do ! Report 45 minutes before take off else miss your plane !
May be its a good idea to have some of this strictness in a relationship also, where you conform to your own norms. If you made some rules between yourselves as a husband-wife or parent-children or colleagues or friends, its a good idea to just stick to them. I remember , as children we had a rule in our family that everyone chipped in to do some household chores.
Mom made them and we followed. Good thing we did, coz i learnt being responsible from a very young age and mom got some free time for rest !

2) Airports have space. Most of them . Every time I am at a airport, I somehow feel a sense of expansion ! The vast spaces make me feel vast. Also in a relationship, space is good ! It can help us appreciate and value each other more.

3) You have a variety of choices of what you can do at the airport. You can shop, relax, walk, have some snacks and drinks etc. At airports where there is enough to do, even long transit times seem to pass by in a jiffy ! We can do our own thing and meet back when its time to fly. Similarly, I feel that in a relationship , if each person has the passion to pursue his or her interests and dreams and converge together ,it will make the association so much more rich, interesting and long lasting.

4) You may be doing your thing, but everything in a airport is being directed. At airports, everything is preplanned and navigated. Someone has planned and organized the movements scientifically and neatly . You just have to follow the signs . Isn't this so in life also ? We are all playing a part in one big divine grand design ! Being aware of this can help us recognise that each of us are playing a unique and distinct role in this universe and are being guided along our path !

5) Even if flights are delayed , sometimes by hours, they definitely do land and take off. So also in life, its important to have the conviction that though there may be delays, good will come our way.Have you seen the sights at arrival counters, where dear ones arrive ,especially after long delays ? There are smiles and hugs and tears of joy ! The longer the wait, the sweeter the fruit of our action !

6) At an airport.everyone has a destination. There is movement. People are coming from somewhere, going somewhere. Everyone is on the move.That is where the amazing energy , the buzz is derived from ! Likewise in life, in a relationship if we have a destination, it gives us higher goal for living. A sense of purpose to life.

I believe, it is only spirituality that can give us this higher goal, the faith and conviction that we are being taken care of and a sense of appreciation for the humanity around us. When each person in a relationship come from a space of contribution and caring, it can only blossom and be an asset to society. I feel grateful that spirituality has given my life and relationships ,smooth take offs and landings ! For now , our flight is announced , so see you in a bit.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Life, a Miracle !

I have received such an overwhelming response from all of you around the world in these last 4 days since I started my blog. It is humbling to me that you have found time from your lives to read a few of my thoughts.Thank you very much.
I have been feeling a deep sense of wonder and gratitude today.
Wonder, on how effortless anything becomes once you make a firm resolve to do it &
Gratitude to my Master who has opened the floodgates to infinity for me. Infinite love, infinite joy, infinite peace, infinite knowledge ,infinite grace, infinite possibilities ….
He has made my life a miracle !

Few lines offered at His lotus feet


My life, a Miracle!

Even before You found me
I was in Your warm cocoon
You guided me step by step
You made my life a Miracle !

The very first day I saw You
I remember every detail
You saw me like You knew me
You made my life a Miracle!

Everything became so beautiful
I started loving myself
I knew my world had changed
You made my life a Miracle!

I did things I never could
I said things I never knew
You transformed me beyond words
You made my life a Miracle!

You granted my smallest wish
You blessed my every prayer
You answered every call of my heart
You made my life a Miracle!

Your grace, Your love
Shapes every event and word
For the very breath I take
You make my life a Miracle!


( www.srisri.org)

p.s- am traveling for the next week, so please bear with fewer posts !

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

When love talks,hate drops !

Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji in Pakistan , " I am ready to hold talks with Taliban.I want to talk to them, understand them and give them my opinion. So we can definitely make a difference. We should try it again and again even if we have to try it 100 times."

For some, these may be newspaper headlines for the day.For H. H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji, who is on a 3 day peace visit to Pakistan, this is His life's mission.For the past three decades ,He has tirelessly and patiently traveled the world, to spread this message of love and peace.He has always said that no person is bad. It is the stress in him, some unwanted tendencies, that make him do bad things.

Only someone who is a true embodiment of love can say this , and only when someone like Him says this,can real transformation happen.

In my past 15 fortunate years of association with Sri Sri's humanitarian work, I have personally seen such amazing transformations happen.

From prison inmates in South Africa, to the Maoists in India , from drug traffickers in Europe to notorious criminals of Kenya- it is almost unbelievable to hear the stories of transformation.
Six and a half feet tall ,hurly burly,heavily tattooed ,dressed in black leather overalls, hard core gangsters melt like soft wax in the love and presence of this petite, five foot four man ,in white robes, laying down their arms almost effortlessly !

Sri Sri's love and simple ,yet profoundly effective ,breathing techniques have helped these men and women (yes!) find their true selves and turn a new leaf in life.What's even more inspiring is the mind-blowing courage and grit of the Art of Living teachers who have dedicated their lives to reach this knowledge to the most dangerous prisons , inaccessible hideouts, remote tribal areas, even conflict ridden zones.

Every story they tell is uniquely memorable. Their acts of courage leading to hair raising excitement and the heart wrenching recounting of their "subjects" almost bringing a tear to one's eye.

"Behind every culprit there is a victim crying for help," says Sri Sri. He and his team of teachers have committed their lives to healing 'this' victim in every culprit .

What else can explain some of these acts of extraordinary heroism ,
- a young lady Art of Living teacher from India, teaching stress relieving breathing techniques to the killers of her husband !
- a dynamic H.R professional giving up his jet setting career, to trudge the most dense forests of eastern India for weeks on end, to teach the Art of Living course to dreaded extremists
- a happy go lucky young AOL teacher from Canada, going into the dangerous prisons of Kenya to reach Sri Sri's knowledge
-a mother of two, setting up a small scale handicraft unit to give employment to reformed prison inmates ,so they can get easily integrated into society

These stories of selfless service are countless, and so are the stories of transformation.So when Sri Sri says He is willing to hold talks with the Taliban, I know that this is a harbinger of a new ray of optimism for the world. A new hope of peace and non violence.

Me ? I will be my own hero, if I can replace hate with love in my world around me.And You?

(www.artofliving.org)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Guruhood

Two weeks ago, we completed Level 2 of the TLEX ( Transformational Leadership for Excellence ) workshop for a group of 24 senior leaders of a leading company in India. The workshop itself was a big success. Leaders who work day and night with numbers and strategies, got a unique experience to work on their own mind ! By being silent and reflective , they found a new voice of leadership. In just 3 days , they felt healthier in the body, calmer in the mind,
restful yet ready for dynamic action. Creativity flowed as "belongingness" in the team increased. Everyone came from different directions when the workshop started.When it ended, all were headed in one direction- towards a renewed promise of success.

The Managing Director of the company was sharing with me today, that all of them thanked him profusely for this workshop . He in turn was thanking me for bringing this amazing and precious knowledge of Gurudev H H Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji to his team. He said, "I don't know how to express my gratitude to you. You and Cristoph ( my friend and co trainer for this workshop) are such a inspiration. You care so much for us, that we could experience the love and caring amongst us!"

Its always nice to hear someone appreciating you and your work, so I felt great, but it also set me thinking.

It is true indeed that each of us is an inspiration for someone in the world. Gurudev says that like motherhood & fatherhood, we should celebrate Guruhood. We being a Guru, a guide, a person to be looked up to , for at least one person in the world.

In a sense, this is quite simple to be. What is not ,is how many of us are aware of this role of ours in others lives. Whether its our friends, professional colleagues, people we meet in daily interactions ( security guards, grocery store sales staff, laundry man etc) or even family, what is the impact we have on their lives? How does, what we say & do affect them? Consciously or otherwise, we are influencing so many lives around us. Just the mere recognition of this fact even for a spilt second, can propel us to a higher sense of living. Where life ceases to be about what I want and starts being about what I can contribute.From here the virtuous cycle of life begins - you do a tiny little for someone and the universe floods back your life with more good than you can ever imagine.

I request you to go ahead and try this. Be a Guru to one person a day and see what it does to your life ! Congratulations on your new found Guruhood !

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar tells Lahore about his Art of Living

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar tells Lahore about his 'Art of Living'

The Right to Dream

The Right to Dream


"Scientist", "Doctor","Military man", "Magician","Police","Surgeon"……. the excited responses came at a speed faster than I could hear. Little hands went up enthusiastically and small squeaky voices kept shouting their choices ,uninhibited and bold. As I heard these class 1 to class 8
children answer my question ,"What do you want to do when your become big ?", my smile kept becoming broader and bigger. Not because these were any unusual choices of professions , but because they were dreams of the children of a our school in Dharavi, Mumbai - Asia's largest and most notorious slum

Today I spent over 2 hours with the children and teachers of this Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Vidya Mandir's( SSRVM) flagship urban slum school. Inspired by Gurudev H H Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji , 3 committed and courageous young men started this school in what used to be a garbage yard 9 years ago. Today 342 children get high quality ,holistic & value based education, in neat tidy classrooms with science and computer laboratories, state of the art teaching aids, nutritious food and clean drinking water in a safe, loving ,joyful atmosphere, almost free.

A team of 25 well trained teachers and volunteers have taken upon themselves to ensure that these children lack nothing ( academics, extra curricular activities, field trips etc) in comparison to their more fortunate counterparts. It was humbling to see the resolve in their eyes to make these children strong,capable citizens of the world.

The efforts showed. Though seated neatly in rows and columns because teacher ( Thats me!) would be talking to them, their innocent banter & friendly chatter reflected their
innocence yet fearlessness. They knew the answer to every question I asked them ! How many cows are there in The Art of Living Bangalore ashram, names of our elephants, why we should pray etc ! I must admit that what stumped me was when these little ones wanted to hear a story about Gurudev ! When I started, all the chatter quietened and 750 pairs of eyes and ears were rapt in attention in pin drop silence !

And why not ! He is the one who has given them and 23500 more such children an opportunity to educate themselves ! Under the aegis of Ved Vignan Maha Vidya Peeth( VVMVP) , we run 178 free rural schools across India , where children who are mostly first generation literates, get education, mid day meals, books, uniforms , transportation - all free. ( More on these schools in another posting)

On my way home from the Dharavi school , I couldn't but think how fortunate I was to be a small part of Gurudev's big grand design of making a difference to the world. An afternoon spent like this , is a reality check , for it gives me a perspective on how much to be grateful and how much to grumble !

Gurudev has said, " Know that you are born in this world to do something wonderful & unique. Give yourself the freedom to dream & think big ". Thanks to His vision, thousands of children are getting opportunities ,hardly any others in their previous generations have got. They will find their rightful place in the world for they have found their Right to Dream !


(www.ssrvm.org) (www.vvmvp.org)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

If only I met Thee

If Only I met Thee

Today, My Gurudev, H H Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji embarked on His second peace mission to Pakistan .He is traveling to share His message of peace , love and joy with our brothers and sisters across the border.

I feel a deep connection of some sorts with Pakistan.

For starters , my husband Ajays family relocated to India from Peshawar in 1947.
Many late night family conversations with his grandmother would be about the havelis ( large family homes) left behind, the grandeur of life , & the warm large hearted nature of the Pathans. Through her stories and memories, I felt like I virtually toured those beautiful mountainous terrains and met the people of a country , who in color and look were not very different from me.

More recently, in a rather unexpected setting, I had a chance to come face to face with some youngsters of the same nation , when Mumbai was attacked by terrorists on the dreadful night of 26/11/2008.We were caught in the Taj Mahal Hotel and were rescued safe only 14 hours later.

This incident made a big impact on the world . Nations erupted in anger and humanity cried hoarse about the most severe punishments to be meted out for this unthinkable act of terrorism

The incident also left a big impact on me. As the anger and shock started to subside, I would spend many sleepless nights wondering why anyone would engage in a inhuman carnage like this ?

What would be the mindset of these people who could almost robotically destroy lives ?
Who were these young boys and what made them turn to this path?
Can this be avoided ?
Can peace and love prevail ?
Even if we belong to diverse ,cultures, religions & nations, can we coexist harmoniously ,because we are after all one human race?

For me , the answer is a resounding Yes!

This Yes is being made possible by spiritual masters like Gurudev, who are traveling the length and breadth of the world spreading the message of love and peace. His knowledge and simple breathing techniques transforming the lives of millions of people , so the people of the world can live a stress free, peaceful and joyful life of meaning. He is in a hurry , so that hearts may blossom in love before hands pick up a fight.

Let us reach love in every corner of the world, before hate reaches there, so our world becomes a more beautiful place to live in

I penned a few of these thoughts in a poem titled "If only I met thee".

"If only I met thee"
You must have
been a cute baby
had a favorite toy
chased little chicken with glee

I was just like that too, Though I never met thee

You must have
had a best friend
made paper boats in the rains loved the fluffed up hot puri *

I was just like that too, Though I never met thee

You must have
loved the warm cuddles of your mother
had joyful rides on the rickety merry go round
cracked fresh winter mungphali **

I was just like that too, Though I never met thee

Then when did our lives change?
How different our paths became
I turned to spirituality to heal minds
You picked up the gun against mankind?
At our cores we were still the same
Though I never met thee

That night we came face to face
I thought it would be nice to meet thee

I ran fast, only away from you
coz you had come to kill me

Later I read that you died instead
While I live on to a greater destiny
My faith was more powerful than your weapon
When you came to kill me

You taught the world that violence never wins
No one should be where you have ever been
I am sure your heart knew you were wrong
Then why did you come to kill me?

Your hatred has made my love stronger
I will work more for peace and harmony
You would have been a different person too
If only I had met thee!

*fried wheat pancake ** groundnuts

# Today is also the 20th year anniversary of the serial Mumbai blasts of 1993 , when as a young MBA who had joined a foreign bank, I missed the Air India building blast by a few minutes. For all the loss of life and property, those culprits are still at large

Make Your Life Matter

After a long time I watched a movie in a theater today. The Iron Lady.
It could have been just a nice evening out with popcorn and cola,but turned out to be a
super charged lesson on leadership , inspiration ,courage and a will to serve your nation.
"I want to live a life that matters" , says the Oscar winning Meryl Streep playing Margaret Thatcher with amazing élan." I don't want to die washing a teacup!".

These two dialogues are ringing in my ears since the past few hours .
They embody a message for all of humanity, most especially the women of the world .
They carry in them the underlying fact that every woman, each one of us , is capable of making a difference -of thinking, being ,doing, so much more than we may credit ourselves.

It only needs us to have a big vision, to rise above the ordinary and to have the conviction that we matter.
It only needs us to believe that life is not to be wasted in whining or being submerged in mediocrity
It only needs us to know that we have it within us to forge ahead, to overcome tough challenges, to JUST DO

I am proud I just DID. I have been postponing writing my blog for so many years now. The first thing I did on returning from the movie is started this blog.

It doesn't matter how much we matter, what matters is that we can & do matter !
 
 
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