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The Power of Six Syllables

In my recent trip to Nepal, I spend a day at Boudhanath. The 36-meter-high stupa of Boudhanath is one of the largest stupas in South Asia. With countless monasteries surrounding it, Boudhanath is the center of Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal. Built in the shape of a mandala designed to replicate the Gyangtse of Tibet, the stupa was renovated by Licchhavi rulers in the 8th century. The location of the stupa is interesting as it once lay on the ancient trade route to Tibet and it was here that Tibetan merchants rested and offered prayers for centuries. On each side are a pair of the all-seeing-eyes of the Buddha symbolizing awareness. The canopy has 13 stages. At ground level there is a brick wall with 147 niches and 108 images of the meditational Buddha inset behind copper prayer wheels.
I took an early morning to evening stroll around the inspiring white dome buzzing with energy; observed the devout passersby, lit a butter lamp and looked around for souvenirs, observed all from a nearby ro…
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The Laugh Lines

He was once asked how he still manages to stay in love with his spouse even after they were old, wrinkled and grey. They stood around, expecting a reaction more than a response from him. It was fun for them, but it was the story of his life.

He wasn't angry or surprised or moved. He looked up with the same sparkle in his eyes he had 27 years ago, took a sip of tea with his now trembling hands and set the half empty cup aside. He looks at them, gasps in the pause and get on to tell them the story that will be imprinted to their hearts.

When he first met his wife, he thought she was crazy beautiful. However, he wasn't truly in love with her then. He didn't know her, but saw her from afar. To him, she was like beautiful art, truly gorgeous.

Then he got to know her. They became the best of friends first. Not an intimate relationship, just friends! He then learnt that she was truly beautiful inside too. That is when he began to fall in love with her. It was not because of her …

Quotable Quotes #3: Life's Timeless People

Timing is something that none of us can seem to get quite right with relationships. We meet the person of our dreams the month before they leave to study abroad.We form an incredibly close relationship with an attractive person who is already taken. One relationship ends because our partner isn't ready to get serious, and another ends because they are getting serious too soon. 
Here's a simple truth I think we all need to face up to - The people we meet at the wrong time are actually just the wrong people. We never meet the right people at the wrong time, because the right people are timeless

The right people make you want to throw away the plans you originally had and follow them into the hazy unknown future without a glance backwards. You know that any adventure you had originally planned out for your future isn't going to be half as incredible as the adventures you are going to have by their side. That no matter what you thought you wanted before, this is better. Everyt…

It is our choices that define us.

“People are disturbed not by things, but by the views they take of them — Epictetus Life is full of challenges, but problems only exist in our mind. If you disagree with this statement, ask yourself: “What problem exists right now?” You might answer:

I can’t pay my rent. 
I’m afraid that my partner will leave me.
My job is too difficult or distasteful. 
I think I am not good enough. It could be a million things, but I’ll ask again: “What problem exists right now?” Problems only exist in the future, and are projected by your mind: I’m going to get evicted. My relationship is going to end. I’m going to lose my job. I can't match up to those expectations. I can't complete the syllabus in time. You can’t change these situations by thinking about them; that’s called worrying. Challenges are different. Challenges exist in the moment, and this you can act on. You could work extra hours to pay for your rent. You could be more understanding with people around you. And you could work on you…

Empowering the Future : Child Labor Eradication

Yesterday, June 12th was observed as the World Day against Child Labour. On that occasion, with this article, let's reflect where we are and where are we going with respect to Child Rights.

Child Labour has never been a particularly pretty part of society, but during the industrial revolution, the practice became even uglier than its earlier incarnations. Children were often put in dangerous industrial jobs and paid menial wages. Nearing a century after Independence, each year around the festival of Diwali, Indian newspapers erupt with news on firecracker factory blasts, and each year, unmistakable is the number of children that die in these accidents; and again, each year, this brings our focus back to the problem of child labour, which has remained a malignant tumour despite all the attention it has drawn over the years.

But child labour stains many other sectors that feed our growing economy. Our embroidered carpets, silk saris, diamond rings, and festivities all have one thing i…

The Truth About Forever!

Finally got a chance to sync up once again with this wonderful couple (Let’s call them the Mosbys, as they are old school folks who despise an online presence!). I have kind of known them for years now . . but when life happens, distance gets the better of you. . . .So when I met them again, it got me  to reflect and pen down why I revered them so much. They are warmest people you will come across. They are no Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, but they are certainly one of the most idyllic duos I have ever met. The story of how they met is for some other time, but over the years they have been the reason many, including me, have have learned what it takes to be there for the people who matter and instil a sense of hope. Their simplistic and effortless chemistry will make you believe that even when things are not going as you have expected,  the universe has a better plan for you. Making something work takes a lot of time, energy, effort and patience and these two gems will remind you of…

The Single Greatest Advice in History.

“Just do it” must be the single most brilliant piece of marketing work of all time. It’s motivation. Inspiration. Action. Energy. And truth.  People don’t realize how deep this slogan is. They get hung up on its immediacy. “If it were that easy, don’t you think everybody would ‘just do it?’” No, no, no. You’ve got that all wrong. That’s not what it’s about. It’s about something Marcus Aurelius said to himself 2,000 years ago: “You must build up your life action by action, and be content if each one achieves its goal as far as possible—and no one can keep you from this.” If all we did was to focus on the task right in front of us, we’d accomplish 99% of our goals and then some. Sure, we’d still have to reflect on occasion and not all goals would turn out to be worth chasing, but we’d just…get there. Pro athletes only ever focus on the next play. How do we convert this move? How do we recover these inches? How can I get the ball out of the bunker? All year you worry about minutes, inches…

The Coffee was too Hot.

A few weeks ago, my coffee cup broke. After some research and deliberation, I bought a new one. It’s great. Stainless steel, matte finish, and a sippy cup lid that keeps the coffee from spilling. And yet, every now and then, I grab it, take a sip and…OW! That hurts! The coffee was too hot! Okay. Stop. Let’s hit pause. Right there. This, as we say, is “the moment when the frog runs into the water.” In the split second the coffee burns my lips, right before I react, I get to decide: will I take this with equanimity or will I go on a rant? Sure, I could curse the coffee, cup, and its maker into oblivion. But what good does that do? My lips are still burnt. My tongue still hurts. And my mindset is ruined. Or, I can recount what happened. A little more calmly this time. Ow. That hurts. The coffee was too hot. Staying in my head instead of turning outside allows me to sit with the event. To learn from it.  Here, the obvious lesson is: I should have been slower. It’s my fault. But that’s ea…

The World of Polymaths and Multi-disciplinarians

Ever since we are old enough to write essays, we are asked, what do you want to do in life? . .  and that continues over and over again until you pick a card.  When I graduated high school, I was supposed to choose between commerce, maths, biology or economics. It was assumed that this is where straight line of your career begins, and everyone lets you believe it is like picking between the pills in the matrix.

Years down the line, I find myself exploring multiple paths, streams, talents and arts. And I am sure I am not the only one to bypass the question of 'What am I doing in life?'

When Picasso got bored with painting things as they appeared, he began to experiment with colors and shapes—an endeavor he would pursue for the rest of his life.

A friend I met in Cambodia, the painter, loved Picasso. In his house were abstract oil paintings, attempts at mimicking the master. Because of these paintings, I always assumed Picasso just painted things a little weirdly. But that wasn…

People Perspectives #Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius was emperor of Rome during the 2nd century AD, the last in a line of five emperors known to have ruled Rome with authority, humanity, and competence. He is renowned for being a wise and noble leader whom Plato referred to as “The Philosopher King”. His own reflections on leadership and what it means to lead a good an virtuous life were captured in a series of books known as "The Meditations", seminal texts in the school of Stoicism which are to this day often quoted.
“The things you think about determine the quality of your mind.” Marcus Aurelius The field of leadership is supported by thousands of books, videos and training courses, but of all of the texts I’ve read and the courses I’ve studied, I’ve yet to find a more pragmatic guide to being an authentic leader. The last of the Five Good Emperors, Marcus Aurelius is a reminder that despite the saying that “absolute power corrupts absolutely,” that is not always the case. At the time of his death, he was one…

Quotable Quotes #2: Date a girl who writes!

Continued from here . . . . or better yet, date a girl who writes!"
Date a girl who understands both the simplicity and the depth of the written word. Date a girl who lists one of her heroes as a philosopher or poet. Date a girl who writes because she is a born storyteller.
You’ll learn that the only way she knows what she’s thinking or feeling is through writing. She’ll be articulate and poetic, without the slightest ego.
The girl who writes will have a collection of lists at any given time, not only to-do lists, but life lists; a bucket list, a list of her favorite things, a list of quotes that inspire her.
As a writer she will be a natural listener. So tell her stories. You will begin to recognize what’s important to her or what she wonders about through her writing. She finds writing the only way to explore some of life’s greatest mysteries. So talk to her about your thoughts and ideas. She will revel in them.
With this, she will love to read. She is inspired, enlightened and…