Archive for the ‘The Art of Living’ Category

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A few days before, I went to Pushkar with my family in my car. There we stayed in a beautiful cottage type hotel where there were lots of greenery and natural beauty. While returning, my wife asked the gardener for some branches of a few trees. She wanted to plant those at our house. We brought those branches all the way from Pushkar to Gurgaon, then kept them in salted water in enough sunlight for 2-3days. In the meantime bought some pots with fertilized soil and one fine morning put those branches one by one in the pot. Actually there were three saplings. One was Indian Rose, and rest two were of two different colored China rose, one light saffron colored and another cherry red. Unfortunately the pot where we planted the rose sapling was broken and it didn’t show any sign to live in our place. Slowly it lost its green and died. Somehow, I believe it didn’t like our place. Then we were left with two very sensitive, tender saplings of China rose. Both of them were losing their hope to stay alive.

It became my routine, everyday morning, I wake up, then spend some good time with those dying plants, water them, touch their yellowish leaves and get ready for my office. It continued for more than one week. Slowly they were dying and I could not do anything. They were losing their leaves very fast.

It was a Sunday morning, I still remember, I woke up, went to the balcony where I have kept them, sat beside them with a mug of fresh water, surprisingly saw the leaves were looking a bit firm, not like dying till yesterday. I was very happy then. It was really a great news to see them finally they got back their strength to live. The very next day found the leave, which was trying to grow, turned yellow, pale and fell down. I spent some more time with that plant that day. Another plant was ok. It was also not in very good health but somehow retained its strength. This continued another week and to my surprise and valuing my hope both the plants became strong enough to hold the soil, stay firm and started growing, showed all good signs to come out of coma. I was very happy to see those two brothers grow, live their life in two small pots.

Now compare this with our own life. We see our kids (though I don’t have any till date). It is like seeing your own self growing infront of you. The seed you planted is slowly, systematically taking a shape, sometime fighting with wounds, illness etc but never giving up the hope to stay alive and you are also not letting him to think like that.

Having a kid is not an easy job. It’s the woman who carries baby in her womb for long nine months withstanding lots of pain, trauma and then the Labor Day pain. After giving birth, direct pain for another one month and then another struggle, nourishing, caring a lump of alive flesh to live, understanding its needs in time and provide that accordingly. It is never an easy job but after seeing that china rose grow, get back its life, seeing its tenacity to live in this earth, somehow I have started feeling the urge of seeing my own self growing infront of me.

It is strange and a bit weird too seeing myself spending time in writing a blog on this rather than discussing the same at my home, with my better half but one thing is clear, blogging is not sending a message to someone, it is kind of expressing yourself and in that way I am not wrong. Life is not a MS Excel sheet where you write the formula and get a desired result. It is actually a refined battle, where a single bullet can cause more harm than a missile.

 

Debraj

30.09.2016

Gurgaon

WP 1Look, different people have different views on anything. A person, who loved wine more than his wife and whiskey more than his mother has stopped drinking. He even stopped smoking too after burning his lungs for almost 12 years. Consider a 10 piece packet a day, he has atleast smoked 12 x 365 x 10 = 43800 nos cigarette. Yes, that person is me. I stopped consuming alcohol, stopped smoking, what is more, I have stopped eating non-vegetarian foods also, and honestly I am feeling happiness around me.

Was I unhappy? Nope. For long years, alcohol gave me company like anything, after breaking up with girlfriends, in social get together, after scoring bad in college, offices, in chilling winter, on top of a mountain after continuous two days of trekking, alcohol and cigarette have taught me how to enjoy life, how to coup yourself with surroundings full of shit. I was happy then and I am happy now also. Actually feeling good.

All my readers are aware that, I was practising Yoga and then some breathing exercises. It demanded me to quit smoking and alcohol. Just to have fun for few days, I stopped everything, just concentrated on the workshop and its curriculums. After completion of the workshop, I myself continued the regime.

Happiness is nothing, it’s just a state of mind. Sometime getting a letter from an old lost friend reminds you how happy you are and sometime a one line statement from a very close friend of yours forces you to rethink calling him a friend anymore. It happens. If one has a physical existence, then surely there will be some tampering, polishing etc. and that also on a regular basis.

I miss all my close friends, I miss my family around me, I miss some good moments in my old organizations, I feel bad when some painful incident reminds me how alone I felt then, I feel bad when I desperately need something but couldn’t get.

Being Happy doesn’t mean one need to be happy, but it is a state of mind, a mental condition and a bold declaration, I am strong enough to handle unhappiness as I know happiness is more important to me, so obviously I will remove ‘un’ from happy and let ‘Happy’ remains with me forever.

Love you all

Sougata

02.09.2015

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One famous person named Ramakrishna once said, many thoughts, and many ways (যত মত, ততো পথ). For everything there is some time of craze. As an example, when I was child, people suddenly started saying that don’t use Dalda, use vegetable oil, like sunflower oil, almond oil etc., and then the craze of Rice bran oil came. And we all started using that thing. After a few years, everyone got feared and started singing the song of Olive oil and just yesterday my wife read somewhere that Olive oil is not good for Indian Type of cooking. My mom always used to say, drink milk, you will gain good health, and now we all know that milk is not that good though. These are things, concepts, theories…comes like waves and then vanishes in no time at all.

In life, these waves can be termed as phases. In childhood, we all play in the ground or at least inside room. Then those heavy bags full of books are forcefully put on our shoulders and we carry those until we get a job or start a business or decide some other professions. I have never been in to a business, so I can’t say what happens to a business man but yes, being an employee for about ten years, now I can say what happened with me or what the phases were. Initially I was a junior, always willing to learn, then slowly I got increments, promotions, in between all these, switched to some other company frequent times. Now too much loaded with higher designations and simultaneously work pressure.

In my last blog, I have written about how did I took part in a Yoga Program and how I myself motivated with help of Yoga to quit cigarettes and alcohol. Now will come to a few more discussions. There are ‘n’ numbers of Yoga Styles and thousands multiplied number of Yoga Gurus. All gurus have invented some kind of techniques or at least modified the traditional things according to the need of people and sometime to make their presentation more followers friendly.

Now let’s analyze what I have learnt in my course. I learnt to be happy all the time knowing that Happiness and Sorrow are complimentary to each other. If one is happy at present doesn’t mean he will not get pain in his life. It is just a matter of fact that after happiness, there must be some kind of setbacks. I learnt a powerful breathing exercise known as Sudarshan Kriya which is a process to control your breathing as breathing is the most important source of energy. I learnt some other kinds of breathing exercises too like Ujjayi Pranayama and then Bhastrika. I was instructed to continue doing that process for the next forty days without any break. The best time for practicing the same is in the morning or anytime in a day preferably in an empty stomach.

After doing five days’ workshop, I really felt good but a bit disappointed too. I got so many questions in my mind which are still unanswered. Ok let me write down those points

  1. Per session I have paid Rs. 400, total Rs. 2000 for a five days’ workshop, which seems a bit expensive. I know we don’t mind buying unhealthy fast food for 500 bucks but before buying rice, we compare between 20kinds of rice and then finally buy the cheapest one, though a 500 buck cost 5kg pack of rice lasts for atleast a month, still considering it a economy program, the subjects were very little. There were more emphasize on how Ravishankar ji talks about things, how holy person he is and what does he suggests in different situations. Yes, I am not saying those are not good, they are really good, inspiring and motivating too but I expected more Yoga and techniques than mere knowledge. We all are full of knowledge and it’s really tough to make space for new things. In that way I was a bit disappointed.
  2. The Home Kriya, means the simplified version of Sudarshan Kriya was taught to us which I find not that good except making it a habit of doing same things repeatedly. Actually it brings discipline in life. May be through regular practice it will be able to channelize my energy through breathing in some day. They say Long Kriya is not to be done on regular basis and must not be at home being alone. They say it must be practiced infront of some teacher and in group. My sincere question is I don’t want to have a guru standing in front of me all the time. I need to be mature and be that teacher who can mentor their disciple to make them mature in minimum time require. Where everything is specific, where you always emphasize on being in present, then why do you keep things to be taught in future. Why not at this present moment.
  3. Why there are so many Gurus and so many Paths. WP 2They are actually too much confusing. They say, Gu means Darkness and Ru means light. Guru is who removes the darkness and bring the light in life. Having a good guru means half job done. But where is Guru? He is not with me directly. He says to be with me through his series of disciples. It seems like there are many many steps to reach near to him. Means one should kept on hoping and spending money on learning things without having any answers to his own questions. He can’t even ask his Guru that, “how do you know all these things?” yes, it’s an important question. How Guru does know everything and then if he knows everything, then what the hell other gurus are doing? Do they also claim to know everything? If yes, then why don’t they appear for a common examination and release their rankings. We will have a choice then. Now it is like being sub-standard people, we are forced believe their holiness. What they claim to be good, we have full rights to know why it is better among all other things claimed to be Good.

Okay, I have so many questions because still I am a person with confused mind, but never mind, like all other things I have done in life, here also, I will try my best to reach the root, even if that involves to read a lot, practice my ass out, I will not mind. Yoga as a whole and to be specific the type of Yoga I have learnt has opened a door in my mind, now it’s my job to explore the rooms inside.

Sougata

Gurgaon

24.08.2015

TSG

I am a person who needs highest level of motivation for anything. Like if I believe alcohol has nothing to do with our human body, even god can’t stop me from drinking. If I think my boss isn’t right, bribing me Kohinoor will also not change the view. I was knowing alcohol and smoking is actually killing me but was not able to quit those. I was not even convinced to go for medication also. I needed a strong motivation. I checked almost every sites telling how to quit smoking but finally failing to do so. I started drinking milk at night just to avoid alcohol but again after two days threw the glass of milk and filled it with alcohol. All negative things around me was engulfing me and slowly all my positive things were converting in to negative things. I used to write poems, paint, read books but slowly I one fine morning I found myself doing none of the above except thinking of beer in the afternoon before lunch and then whiskey in the evening and throughout all these bad thought process burning one by one cigarette to hell.

I was getting a clear picture of my health. I was getting tired after walking half a mile of running quarter a mile. I was not getting any interest in anything. Most of time busy with how to manage time for a cigarette break or finding out reason for celebration with whiskey. Though I was eating a lot, still I was not gaining any weight. Every night I use to stay towards the ceiling hoping after sometime sleep will come. In the morning, with drowsy eyes fighting with another tensed day.

I am a person, who can do anything in the world with help of a bit inspiration and motivation but like I said earlier, I need to go in details of the thing I am doing. One fine morning, I just stopped smoking and took an oath of not drinking any more. I just stopped.

Earlier also I have done this many time. I used to make fun of myself by telling people that quitting smoking is the easiest thing in the world, for example, I have done it a thousand times. Even once for a stretch of almost a week but everytime I made a mistake. I will share this mistake here.

We get motivated by many things, like scolding from teachers/wife, siblings for not smoking. Sometime wife refuses to kiss a cigarette smelling lip, sometime it feels bad to go closer to a non-smoking person too. So we plan to quit smoking and then immediately we declare it our friends, colleagues. The moment we share the good news, they get jealous of you or just to appreciate you, they make fun of you. I have faced this many a times. Sometime appreciation doesn’t help. So just quit it and you are done. Like I said before, I used to smoke atleast 15 cigarettes a day and then suddenly stopped. Before I used to quit smoking for a day and then immediately started Googling the pros and cons of quitting smoking. With all those motivating incidents and words, I used to get enthusiasm and to celebrate that, started smoking again. I was a big frustration for myself, after trying my best also, I was not able to forget it properly.

I told myself. You need to do something that doesn’t support smoking. You need to give a break to your mind. You need to do something that keeps you busy than leaving you a second for smoking. And one more promise I made to myself, no looking back from now.

So, there were three things. First, unhappiness in my family and home, second stress in office which was actually hampering my personal life and third, all those bad habits. I made one thing clear, I will have to fight with these three hurdles. I checked internet all through the days and listed down various options. I am listing down those below

  1. Identify the tension and get rid of it. It confused me a lot. My wife is my tension but I can’t get rid of her. She is part of my life. If I break one hand, is it preferable to get it treated through some near painful process or just cut it off for a later painful life?
  2. Live in the present and forget past and don’t think too much about future: it is a good point. One must live in present forgetting whatever he did and without getting much involved in what he will get in future. Just live the moment and enjoy it fullest. Somehow it’s a great thought. My sincere question was, while I am drinking, I am living in the very present. Does that make me happy? One word came from the above realization that is Happiness. My focus is to get happiness and bet is that it must have to be permanent or at least it must stay for some time.
  3. Exercise, exercise and exercise: yeah, I am fond of exercise. If someone wakes me up every day in the morning and take me for a walk, I don’t have any problem but if someone says put an alarm and do it regularly, then it’s not my cup of tea. Another problem with exercise is consistency. People have a tendency to get bored of exercise very often. Though exercise is one of the best option to get physically and mentally fit, still I was wandering for some other options.

At this point of time, one evening one friend of mine came to my place. He was sharing his experiences about how did he quit smoking. Actually he was a very close friend of mine who used to smoke & drink occasionally. His way of talking really amazed me and I got more interested about the way he did that miracle.

He said, he had joined a religious programme which encourages yoga. Yoga was not a new thing to me. Even I had downloaded a few yoga postures which included Surya Namaskar etc. and started practicing at home with a bit difficulties. Then he started explaining about the programme. He said, it has nothing to do with any kind of religions. No need to have faith on god or have to follow some kind of rituals. It is very simple programme which they call ‘Happiness Programme’. Happiness programme is all about bringing happiness which is kept inside our body and soul. I got enthusiastic about that programme and the very next day spent a good time on internet to know every details of that organization. It was formed by a person named Sri Sri Ravi Shanker. His face or whatever was written in the site didn’t attract me much to be very frank. Being a son of a very religious family I am believed to be an autistic, I have never shown any respect to any kind of God or Godmen in my life and it is not something I have done forcefully or for any reason. Actually depending on anyone is just not in my blood. May be there is something called heaven, where people go after their death, maybe there is some people known as god but their story never attract me. I never bowed down infront of any image or Murti. So religious thing didn’t attract me at all but thought of giving it a try. The whole day I kept on checking their sites. I downloaded a few books on Yoga and Yogic culture. In between that process, I even checked Yoga dresses in some online portal also and ended of buying some electrical junks. That night, I had a very bad sleep. Woke up in the morning with swollen eyes and tired face, drank one full bottle of water and quit smoking, drinking alcohol.

Yes it was that simple. One have to just make his mind and throw up everything.

I joined their class on the very next day. Even before they say anything, I knew I stopped smoking and drinking, so already I was high. I was high on enthusiasm. The schedule was, reach the venue by 6am in the morning and be with them till 9am. My office starts at 9:30am, so the first decision I had to make was to inform office that for the next five days, I will be late every day in the morning and the second was to inform wife that I will not have my breakfast at home and will not take my lunch box for the next five days. It was not easy at all but my positive approach towards that thing woke me up in the morning even before the alarm.

I packed a small bag of formal wears which I planned to wear after Yoga session and then rush for office, one bottle of water, a small hand towel. As instructed I wore a light fitted dress and left home at 5:30 in the morning. It was drizzling outside, a cool breeze was playing with my hair. After very long, my ear got to breathe in fresh air, I was feeling the bliss with all my sense organs.

The first thing we did at the Yoga class was, we got hold of each other’s hands and said “I belong to you”, means it all started with a dedication. A lot of things were taught in the whole class. We learnt a few yoga postures also. Ujjayi Pranayama was one of those. It’s all about controlling your breaths. The most important thing we do all through the day is we breathe. We are alive till we breathe. When we get tempted, it increases and remain very normal while we sleep. The moment it stops, our body converts from live thing to a dead substance.

A few strange questions were asked during the course like when are we happy? When will we be happy? What do we need to be happy?

I stopped eating non-vegetarian foods also. I stopped taking tea and started thinking of yoga whenever possible. It was more of an awakening class than a spiritual class or yoga class. They didn’t show us much yogic poses. They kept ourselves limited with a very few postures only. There was one thing called Sudarshan Kriya where we were taught how to keep control of our breathing. SUdarshan Kriya is a thing, is a kind of breathing exercise where one has to breathe with the sounds of So-ham. So-Ham is said in different ways, first very slowly, means to have control over long breath, then with medium pace and atlast with very fast. One has to keep doing it until it finishes. Once it is over, one must lay on ground and relax their body.

Honestly I never knew how to relax. I used to relax at any comfortable posture, trying hard to forget all other tensions and then fighting with physical uncomfortness and finally giving up being half-rested. They taught me how to control mind, how to channelize one’s thought in to relaxation. How to think of your own body and then slowly relax each body parts.

One another thing I learnt from them is meditation. Every time I heard of meditation, everyone says it’s all about concentration. Throughout years I tried my best to concentrate on sudden things but that never happen. I always ended up being impatient and an utter failure. They told us meditation has nothing to do with concentrations. It’s all about routing things in proper way. At first, one have to expand themselves.

They told us to sit cross legged (Sukhasana), spine erect, eyes closed, palm facing the sky and relaxed shoulders. At first we were said to think of a sphere around us with a radius of 2feet, then the whole room. This way one by one they took us out of the universe and finally told us to think of a place in between our eyebrows, means where the 3rd eye is believed to be. When I was done, I felt myself in heaven. Everything around me was calm, cool. I was not having any anger, sorrw. I was happy. I was happy.

I got a new dimensions through Yoga. Yes, I was in search of it for very long and probably I got it. I got a glow around me, a soulful glow.

Sougata

21.08.2015

Gurgaon

TSG

Yes, we are alive in this beautiful, ugly or whatever it could be termed but in this planet earth.  A few days before, I was going through some very tough situations. Somehow I was killing myself slowly with something or by anything. One fine morning found one of my friend was trying to maintain a distance with me. I noticed it on the very first day but didn’t say anything. The next day I asked him directly and got no answer. I said, I am sorry if I have done something or anything wrong. Trust me it was not intentional. It is not that I could not live without that friend. Actually he is some kind of my colleague cum friend. Who cares about how many friends they come in terms during their job in a specific company? But in this case, as I was disturbed with many things, so I planned to identify things one by one and consider them as issues constraint to my happiness. After some caring try, the problem with my friend got sorted out and he stopped avoiding me.

I was having tough time at home too. My wife returns office late in the afternoon and most of the time much later than I reach. It was never a problem with me but I wanted her to take care of a few things or else alone, I was not able to do everything at home and consider someone to stay always with me like a guest. We have a cook who comes twice a day. She is an elderly lady who comes early in the morning, cooks breakfast and lunch for us and then in the evening for cooking our dinner. Everyday morning, it is me who wakes up early and open the door and then instruct her what to cook. In the evening, if I get a bit late and she leaves, we happily order food from outside. Just to catch our cook, I have to leave office exactly on time which is really troublesome sometime. In India, we are habituated to work on extended hours without any extra pay. There I see my friends are working and I am the one who leaves office exactly on time. Even if I leave on time and find huge traffic at road, still I am late to get hold of my cook. Cleaning of rooms, putting things in proper place, and one by one everything was coming on my head. It happened like if I stop doing things at home, then except watching what my servants are doing at their own choice and wish, I don’t have anything to do at home. Slowly dust, dirt, negative energy was covering my place. For a pair of socks, I would have to check every places, most of the clothes smelly due to frequent rain and elongated time for drying up, cook started putting more oils in food resulting upset stomach most of time and then outburst of such negative energies converted in to anger. I was getting angry for everything at home. I was getting angry with my parents, with my friends and with my wife too. I was being impatient at road while driving and increased my smoking and dragged it to almost double the numbers I used to smoke in last ten years. I started drinking almost every evening. I used to get impatient after reaching home. Without watching TV and watching scattered costly things here and there, I literally had nothing to do except consoling my mind and controlling temper with a glass of whiskey.

In office, I used to get disturbed with anything my boss instructs me to do, I started reading newspapers with more attention but not a single news was getting saved in my mind. After playing cricket for school team, college team and then office team, I was forced to seat in bench in my present company. There was a huge cloud of depression around me and I was not doing anything right.