SEVA OF A SIKH – A TRUE INCIDENT


“Daddy, once grand mother is operated on the eye, please try to take her to Golden Temple. She will have one more visit to the holy place. Very few are lucky to live 95 years and visit the temple. You and Mom have been taking care of her so well for years so please add this to your list of achievement as well.”
 
 
Dad said, “We will try if its possible.” and disconnected the phone. I turned to my wife and repeated the request made by me over the phone to Dad. She said, “Yes, she is still tough and will be very glad to note that her son has been generous to take all the troubles and take her for the visit to Golden Temple, Amritsar.
 
 
My parents had to rush her to Dr Daljeet Singh’s eye hospital at Amritsar-  from Jamshedpur where they stay now- when my grand mother complained of vision loss in one of her eyes. She was operated for cataract some 20 years back and now had to be re-operated.
 
 
My Dad decided to take grand mother to visit Golden Temple when the doctors discharged her from the hospital stating, “she is fit to go home”. She was accompanied by my mother and cousin, as well in Amritsar.
 
 
After parking the car at the basement parking of the Gurudwara, grand mother was carried on a wheel chair inside the temple. They decided to do parikarma (circle around the sarovar), center of which is the Golden Temple . My cousin recorded my grand mother’s reaction on being circled around the sarovar. Given a long cue outside the main temple premises, my parents instead decided to worship from outside and return.
 
 
Once they were done with the parikarma and were about to leave a 6 feet 2 inches tall young Sikh guy with dark black beard appeared from now where. He said, I want to carry her inside the temple. This is my seva and started requesting my father for the permission. My father plainly refused, “She is too old, just operated and too tired to move around. Thanks but we cannot allow you.” But the guy did not listen he continued requesting with folded hands. He promised that there is a separate entrance for old and will return in 5 minutes but he wanted that grand mother be carried inside the temple.
 
 
Father continued to resist citing some or the other excuse, but the guy was not ready to listen. My father finally asked, “How much will you charge?” He said nothing, I will be grateful if you just allow me once. He was very determined to offer the seva  (service) and carry my grand mother-inside the temple. His persistence was like of a service man ordered by Guru Sahib with no option but to get the job done. His desperation was that of a hungry boy begging for food to survive. He needed the seva as part of some ritual that he had decided to offer himself for.
 
My father finally, agreed. The guy bends down and asks my grand mother to lean on his back. With ease he lifts my grand mother on his back, rose gently back on his feet and started walking in long strides towards the main temple premises. He was supporting my grand mother by locking both his hands behind where grand mother’s full body rested.
 
 
The temple authorities standing on the way to the main temple took note of this and ensured the passage was clear. One of the doors usually closed for regular visitors was opened as  if a VIP was inside the temple. He rested my grand mother on the floor in front of Guru Granth Sahib to let her complete her prayers. All the while my father looked delighted and surprised by the gesture and strength of this stranger for carrying his mother. He matched with the speed of the boy to follow him and ready to extend support just  in case he lost his balance.  
 
 
He let her drink the holy water from behind the temple and then carried her back safely to where he started from. Even before my father could express his gratitude, he was gone folding his hands and thanking my father for the opportunity. He walked fast with his complete feet rarely touching the floor like that of a 100 meter race winner who had just broken a world record.
 
 
He had made a mark for his service in Guru’s heart and proved that he was a true Sikh of the Guru- Booley So Nihaal! Sat Sri Akaal.
 

A TRUE FRIEND- STORY OF DANISH AND PALLI


Palli had shifted his job again and his plans for joining a manufacturing company turned into reality when after juggling between joining and not joining for some 6 months. Previously, he had been associated with service based companies where the work culture was friendly. His colleagues in previous companies were quite receptive to his joining. They looked forward to interact with him as if to decipher what he carried inside his head that made him get selected in their company.
 
 
However, here in the manufacturing company the circumstances were quite different. No one was aware about his joining except a couple of them including the recruitment head and the MD of the company. The management of the company was busy engrossed in taking corrective action for some decisions taken in the past but were now un-sustainable financially. Financial urgency was prompting for severe cut-back on expenses. Sales team size was being trimmed as if the doomsday had arrived unexpectedly. Palli joining at a hefty salary- compared to the average pay scales already existing in the company- was something not everyone in the management could accept easily.
 
 
Ashima had been heading the recruitment of the company for sometime now and was a committed lady. She believed – without any inhibitions- the MD of the company and followed her instructions without qualifications. She very well knew the requirements as outlined by MD for any possible position. In fact she had mastered, over the years, the art of digging out from an ocean of resumes on Naukri, the profile that MD had in her mind. Palli on first day was welcomed by Ashima who accompanied him to his workstation. A new laptop with stationary was on desk ready, for him to get on with the work without wasting time.
 
 
Over the next few days Palli sensed the alienation in the work culture across different departments in the company. The operational team functioned in silos with multiple sub-units with the same function. Sensing the challenge, he started impacting the culture of the company in a positive way. He never showed his authority while interacting with his juniors and build a personal repo with most of them. He never hesitated to get up from his desk and walk to anyone in office to interact. Palli talked work but still got connected personally to his colleagues. His first impression on others was, “This man knows what to do and we have a lot of learn from him.”
 
 
Ashima, one day when Palli was about to leave introduced him to Danish who reported to Ashima. “Danish stays where you stay and if you do not mind can he accompany you in your car today.” Palli promptly replied to Ashima, “He can accompany me everyday since I come alone.” Danish, a young short-heighted guy was quite shy and but someone with a head above his shoulder. The only bottleneck he had was lack of confidence on his capabilities. Over the next few months, Danish started to open-up with Palli and started sharing his utopian thinking about the world. Palli had known that Danish will have to scale-up a lot to grow in his career. Danish had no one to guide and Palli by nature turned out to be someone who was open to help and guide. His teaching background usually brought out a preacher in him that influenced the thinking of Danish. “What will he take away from me?”, Palli usually reasoned to himself within, every time he realized that he gone overboard in narrating his personal life and experience to drive home a point.
 
 
Palli started to relate to Danish’s thoughts very well. Danish wanted to do social work and he often asked Palli about what he should do. One day when Danish shared his idea about doing MBA, Palli said, “No point in doing it from a B-grade college and that too part time. MBA has to be a full time course. Its a waste of money and other than owning a paper certificate, MBA will do him no good.” Later, he qualified saying, “It can do good if you study and learn more than what the MBA colleges taught.” Danish knew his constraints and finally had decided to pursue MBA as a part time course. In last two years, Danish had come to know Palli, his wife, kids and parents. He had started mentioning Palli while interacting with friends. Similarly, Danish never missed a mention in Palli’s life. Palli’s wife called up when he was late in office, “Is Danish with you? Why do you keep him waiting so long in office? Atleast take care of him. He is such a good boy.”
 
 
Palli’s dependence on Danish increased day-by-day. Whether it was home loan, buying or selling a DSLR, getting back to cycling as a sport or for that matter children’s occasional illness, Palli never missed to either share or seek Danish’s confirmation. He had got used to having Danish around as a silent trustworthy friend who was not demanding and always there to give his true feedback. Infact over the years, Palli did not want to move ahead with a decision without having Danish’s feedback.
 
 
Palli was scheduled to travel for work while his ageing grandmother- 95 years old- was visiting him for first time since he moved out of his home town. She was scheduled to leave to home town when Palli was on tour and she was too old to walk and had to be helped to reach the railway station, literally carrying her down the stairs before she could be seated on a wheel chair. Palli arranged for the cab and informed his parents even without checking with Danish, “Danish is there. He will be there, if required to help you reach railway station.” When Palli requested in person to Danish, he promptly confirmed that he will reach his place at 4:30 am in the morning and take care of everything.
 
 
With Palli occupied in his own work on travel forgot to re-check with Danish for any change of plans. When he realized in the night, he still did not call since somewhere he believed Danish will be there at the scheduled time. Danish not only helped Palli’s parents at station but decided to wait before the train left. Palli kept checking over phone since 5:00 am about his parents. Palli’s father finally called him when the train left, “Danish was waiting for us. He helped me with the luggage and was standing with us all the time. We thank him for being there as your replacement. Do invite him for a treat and also be good to him always.”
 
 
Palli on his routine morning walk at 5:15 am updates his Whats App status, “GM. Grateful to DANISH.”
 
 

Baat Niklegi To Phir Door Talak Jayegi

बात निकलेगी तो फिर दूर तलक जायेगी
लोग बेवजह उदासी का सबब पूछेंगे

ये भी पूछेंगे के तुम इतनी परेशान क्यों हो
उंगलियाँ उठेगी सूखे हुए बालों की तरफ
एक नजर देखेंगे गुजरे हुये सालों की तरफ
चूड़ियों पर भी के तंज किये जायेंगे
कापतें हाथों पर भी फिकरे कसे जायेंगे
लोग जालिम हैं हर इक बात का ताना देंगे
बातों बातों में मेरा जिक्र भी ले आयेंगे
उन की बातों का जरा सा भी असर मत लेना
वरना चेहरे के तासुर से समझ जायेंगे
चाहे कुछ भी हो सवालात ना करना उनसे
मेरे बारे में कोई बात ना करना उनसे

Acquiring Fatherhood



I have not been able to comprehend my peculiar behavior- I want to feel special on my birthday but when the day arrives I am hesitant to accept the wishes and say ‘thanks’ in return.

 
We all have some special days in our life- birthday, marriage anniversary, kids’ birthday- when people may sputter wishes in expectation of a treat in return. Its not that all who wish you will accompany you for a treat. Most of them will back out citing strange reasons but somewhere in their mind they want to dodge the need to carry a gift in return for a treat.
 
Today was Father’s day. Till few years back when my kids were young, I believed that such days carry no meaning and are marketing gimmicks employed by companies to sell their merchandize.
 
For last couple of days, I have been receiving SMS alerts with offers on Father’s day and read about celebrity kids writing notes for their fathers. Somewhere I felt that even I deserved a special treatment since I was also a father who was concerned about the future of my kids and this was a day when they explicitly took note of it.
 
Acquiring fatherhood is not easy for men. Its an enduring process that takes years to find its roots firmly within our hearts.
 
Finally, I received hand made cards from my kids and also Monaco biscuits with cheese toppings prepared by my elder daughter for snacks.
 
Seems to be on track to acquire fatherhood. 

Friendship- Nurturing it by ‘Giving’ and Flourishing it by ‘Forgiving’

“We make a living by what we get. 
We make a life by what we give.”
Winston Churchill


‘Giving’ is a selfless gesture and better explained by a greek proverb- “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know the will never sit in.” 


‘Forgiving’ (FOR + GIVE) on other hand is a ‘mirror image’ of ‘Giving’ where the offender is required to ask ‘For’ an apology to make the wronged person believe the intent of the offender and then ‘give’ back the positive gesture. The only logical difference between ‘Giving’ and ‘forgiving’ is that former is one-way and best done when uncalled for while latter is where an exchange of feelings happen. While ‘Giving’ nurtures a relationship, ‘Forgiving’ flourishes it further. “Forgiving’ is the role sunlight plays in the growth of a plant.


I will try narrating a story on ‘Giving’ . The characters defined here are my imagination and do not relate to any person living or dead. 

Jagdish had carried a sapling of a mango tree to his house where he worked as a servant for 20 years now. He was hired primarily for attending to the cattles owned by his masters who had migrated from a village in Punjab to a small township somewhere in east of India. He belonged to a remote village in Hazaaribagh district of Bihar. In order to facilitate an effective utilization of his time and also help him earn a little more, his master had helped him find a contractual employment with a large company in the town.


He planted the tree just in front of the main entrance of the company quarter that was allotted to his master. He said, ” I have got this special sapling and I know we will enjoy its fruits in coming years.” Master’s kids held Jagdish in high regard but called him “Jagdish”. They took over the responsibility to share the maintenance of the sapling in future. His master retired in next two years and decided to settle down in his village in Punjab. Jagdish continued to be a contractual employer at the company. He shifted with his elder brother who was a milkman in the same town. Master vacated the house and the company allotted the house to some other employee of the company. 


Twenty years later,  master was visiting the town to get his routine medical tests done at the company hospital where he was eligible for a free medical service for life. Since he had lost touch with most of his associates and friends, he booked his stay at a hotel in the town that was his hometown for forty years. He visited the hospital in the morning and while waiting for his turn, was greeted by a middle-aged lady confirming his name. Master said “Yes, I am Sardara Singh.” Delighted to see him, she said she was residing in the same house that he had occupied for years. Sardara Singh got up to listen and placed his shaking right hand on the lady’s head blessing her for the gesture she showed towards him. 

Next day, Sardara Singh visited the same house and relived every moment of his house- when he got married, his first child, when his elder son left  his house to live alone, when his first grandson was born, the liquor celebration that started well before the grandson was born and finally the tree that Jagdish had planted. The lady brought Sardara Singh the mangoes cut in a plate that were plucked from the same tree. He was in tears when he took his first bite of the fruit and remembered Jagdish. Jagdish had left for his hometown that Sardara Singh had never visited and hence had lost touch with him. 

The lady said, “Thanks. This tree has been giving us so many mangoes that we are literally forced to share with all our neighbors, friends and relatives.” She said, “Thanks to you and your Jagdish who had planted this tree.” 

On forgiving sometime later…

Why you should not look for a new job?

People end-up searching for a new job for varied reasons. While they have a convincing rationale to explain others, they fail to realize the exact reasons within and evaluate them thoroughly. Money is one of the key factors they often get carried away. Forget evaluating reasons for change, most of them fail to decode the new company’s CTC structure which may be hiring them under pretext of higher increase ultimately paying far less. 


Before identifying the reasons for NOT changing a job, what situation(s) or reasoning prompts to upload their resume on Naukri should be listed:

Boss Related:
  1. Hate his personality and behavior. 
  2. Takes credit for my work.
  3. Preaches transparency but practices conflicting task allocation amongst colleagues.
  4. He knows nothing. I am better not report to a person who knows less than me. I wonder how is he my boss.
  5. He is using me to meet his task and will render me useless in company the day he has a back-up for me.


Job Related:

  1. I have a monotonous job. Sick of coming to work at same place with same frowning faces around.
  2. I have an ugly workstation and no one cares or respects me. Only select seniors in the company are respected. 
  3. I have a new role before I have settled well into the existing one. 
  4. I actually do not like my current job. I landed up doing it accidentally. 
  5. My father earns enough so why should I slog for someone else.
  6. My current profile is name sake. Actually I have no job that could land me a new job easily. So lets move before its too late.
  7. I have mastered my current job and equivalent to a Doctorate. Lets explore out I am sure I will be able to perform.
  8. I will not be paid enough in my current company for this role.
  9. The role may not last in my current company and I will have to change job since I am not ready to accept anything other than the current one.
  10. My colleague wins “Best Employee” reward while I fail to get one.
Money Reasons:
  1. My friends are earning more
  2. I am yet to buy a house.
  3. I need to own a car or a bike. 
  4. Salaries are delayed as if my employer does not feel like paying me. 
  5. I performed very well but then annual appraisal will average 10%
  6. I already have an offer paying me 40% more.

Despite the easy way out, taking up a new job has its own challenges and at times and with some adjustments and thinking style you are better to continue in current job:


  1. Start thinking like a businessman- just like your employer. Keep asking yourself- Why should I continue to be paid? Answer to this is easier to find with existing employer.
  2. In case of Boss related issues, you are better off dealing a ‘Known Devil’ than an ‘Unknown One’
  3. You already know your boss’s strengths and weaknesses; leverage them to your and your employer’s advantage.
  4. Be proactive at work this is possible only if you know what to do and enjoy the support of colleagues. In new company you will not be able to get this comfort with ease. 
  5. Proving and establishing your credentials takes time. Better stick to current job them re-start it somewhere else. Remember- time not only heals old wounds but also create favorable biases.
  6. Stability of a job is letting you plan for other things in life better- more time with kids; comfort of taking leaves; personal favors from colleagues; family connection etc.
  7. Accepting change in a well-known set-up is far easier than in a new environment.
  8. Better-off spending energy getting more efficient in current job than finding a new one.

Yoga in My Neighborhood


“The Goal of Yoga (Union) 
is Yoga (Union)”
– Anonymous



Out  of  bed  on  a  Sunday  morning, I  headed  straight  to  balcony  of  my  house  to  breathe  in  some  fresh  cool  air. I  looked  into  the  sky  preparing  myself  for   a  new  day  and  then  turned  to look  towards  the  park (just next to my house)  for  the  usual  sight  of  some  regular  mid-50s  women,  performing  yoga. My  house  is  so  close  to  the  park  that  if  need  be  I  can  easily  repeat  what  they  perform  and  talk. However,  I  never  had  such  intentions, I preferred my morning run or cycling. For  me  it  was  some  kind  of  new  gymnastics  developed  while attempting  to  imitate  what  Baba  Ramdev  demonstrated  on  television.

It  was  not  yoga  that  they  performed  for  sure.  The  ladies  some  10  in  nos.  formed  a  semi-circle  around  their  leader. The  leader  looked  in  her  mid-50s  with  brown  hair  (dyed with henna)  and  a  heavy  bottom  that  seemed  immovable.  Her  upper  body  tried  hard  to  move freely  while  performing  the  aasanas.  Most  them  wore  salwar  suits  or  a  saree,  forget  track  pants  and  performed  resting  their  heavy bottoms  on  the  make-shift  mat  made  out  of  an  old  blanket.  All  others followed  the exercise  being  performed  by  their  leader.  Throughout  their regime,  they  made rigorous  movements of  hands  either attempting  to stretch  them  over  the head  in  a  circular  fashion  or touching  their  feet.  Not,  even one  of  them, as  seen by  me  for  last  3  years,  managed  to  even ‘touch’  their feet  without  bending  their  knees.  A  couple  of  them  in  the group- may  be  in 40s-  performed  with  no  intent,  as evident  from  their  movements. With   their  heads  always  covered  with  a   dupatta,  I  sense  they  were  forced  out  of  house  to  accompany  their  mother-in-laws  to  the  park.  I  rather believe  they  would  have  exercised  themselves  more  in  a  morning  session  of  love  with  their  husbands  while  kids  slept and  in-laws out  attempting  to  regain  their  fast  deteriorating  health. 

The Kapaalbhaati, is an  aasan performed  while  being  seated  in  an  upright  position  with  back  kept  straight  and  legs  folded.  Keeping the  stomach  in  a relaxed  position,  it  is  to  be  slightly  tucked  in  and  then  breathing  from  nose  in  small  jerk  like  movement  of  stomach. Here,  when  I saw  the women  seated,  they had  their  belies  bulging  out  so much that most of  them  could  not  even  fold  their  legs  completely. With   such  large  bellies  the  jerk  seemed  to  be  occurring  on  their  upper  body  with  their  bust  shaken-up  with  the  jerks.  Thank  God!  that  the  bra  committed  to  spend  its  life  for   the  upliftment  of  the downtrodden (breasts)  did  not   tear  around  its  already  stretched  straps  inside  the  kurtaas.  


In one  of  the  last  exercise  for  the  session  they  assumed   a   posture  of  a  lion  and  made  a  loud  roar. The sound  of  10 such  heavy lions  must  be  enough  to  wake  the  neighborhood  from  sleep and  warn  their  counterparts  performing  yoga  in  privacy  of   their  homes.  Finally,  the  session  ended  with  three  loud  laughter  akin  to  a  session  at  a  laughter  club.


What  are  they  upto? OHM!……OHM!