Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bring it on 2014

It is that time of the year when everyone is eager to welcome the New Year. I am also eagerly waiting for the New Year with renewed hope. 2013 was an average year. However, I am very sure that the hard lessons I learned in the year 2013 will help me grow both personally as well as professionally in the year 2014. One positive thing I did in the year 2013 was taking to meditation in a strong way. Though I am still an amateur, the good thing is that I haven’t given up. I am still at it and hoping to master it in the year 2014.

There is a voice within that tells me that 2014 will be a game changer year for me. My sixth sense has given subtle indication about this through a dream. I am curiously waiting for each day to unravel the mystery and magic that year 2014 has wrapped for me. I have resolved to achieve some personal and professional goals in the New Year. I am sure I will be able to achieve them. 

2013 was not good for the blogger in me as well. 2012 was worse but I could have definitely done better in the year 2013. This is one big change that I am aiming for. In fact, one of my goals is to write at least one blog every month. This does not look like a big thing but for someone who writes only when there is a strong urge to write, it definitely is a challenge. Something that gives me confidence is that to write one has to be a very good observer. Meditation is all about getting into a witnessing mode. If I ensure that I meditate daily, I am sure that I will empower the observer in me and thus help me develop the writer in me.

To Almighty God, I have just one request and that is to guide my intellect to the right path in everything I do. I would like to end this post with an affirmation from Swami Yogananda Paramhansa:

“I will reason, I will will, and I will act, but guide my reason, will and activity to the right path in everything.”

Monday, December 9, 2013


The Aam Admi Party (AAP) has done to Congress what David did to Goliath. To emerge as the second largest party in the very first election that it fought is something really great. Congress which was the ruling party in Delhi, suffered the worst ever defeat when results were declared on 8th December, 2013. I appreciate Arvind Kejriwal as he took up the challenge of getting into the system to clean the system. When he along with Anna Hazare was fighting for the Jan Lokpal bill, the politicians had challenged them to get into politics. He took the challenge and proved that his party will be a force to reckon with. I am mighty impressed with the results achieved by the Aam Admi Party. I know winning one election is not the end, there is a long way to go. AAP now has to prove that they are true to their claim about fighting corruption and bringing transparency in the system. I know they may not end up ruling Delhi and there could be re-election also. However, if there is no re-election and they end up being in the opposition, I would like to see how they play the role of a constructive opposition.

Both the Congress and the BJP were guilty of undermining the potential of this newly formed party. Many of their top leaders had ridiculed AAP. However, these politicians seem to have forgotten the definition of democracy. In democracy, government is of the people, for the people and by the people. It means people of the country who step out to vote decide your fate. Yesterday when the votes were getting counted, there was no clear indication as to who really is leading until the very end, especially in Delhi. This is what I like about Indian democracy. It can get as exciting as a One day International Cricket match that gets decided in the last ball of the final over.

AAP now has the onus on them to continue the good work. Will they be able to keep the momentum going for them? To be able to keep your feet grounded and head high is not an easy task to do after such a great achievement. Will they themselves end up getting arrogant after getting the arrogant Congress and the BJP leaders to acknowledge how they erred in judging the mood of the voters in Delhi and also considering AAP to be a minnow? 

I have become a big fan of Arvind Kejriwal and his leadership quality. I guess every one of us loves to see the underdog win. Isn't it what we love to see in any sport? How excited we get when we see a under rated player or a team win against a champion player or a team? In the movie Rang de Basanti, one of my favorites, there is a dialogue about the corrupt system. I will quote it here:

"Doore se commentary dena bahut aasaan hota hai. Doosron ko gaali dena aur bhi aasaan. Agar tumhein itni problem hai to tum badlo na deshko. Yeh tumhara bhi desh hai. Politics join karo, police ya IAS mein bharti hojao, badlo cheezon ko. Lekin tum nahin karoge. Main bataaon kyon? Kyon ki gharki safai mein haath gande kyun karein? Agar itni himmat hai, toh aage badho. Badlo is desh ka future."

Let me translate the above dialogue. It means the following:

"It is easy to comment from a distance. It is easier to swear at others. If you have so much of a problem, you change the nation. This is your nation too. Join politics, police force or IAS (Indian Administrative Services) and change things. But you will not do it. I will tell you why? Because who will spoil their hands cleaning their house? If you have so much courage, then go ahead; change the future of the country"

I think Arvind Kejriwal actually took up this challenge. Now it would be really interesting to see what his and his party's strategy will be for the coming days. AAP's strong showing will force the Congress and the BJP to rethink their strategy. They will also be forced to bring about changes in their functioning to connect with the masses.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar - Humility personified

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, the name is enough to inspire the world. A person who played international cricket for 24 long years.Today he bid goodbye to competitive cricket after finishing his last test match on a winning note. I think it will be the longest duration for any sport that needs physical strength, agility and mental toughness. His name is synonymous to hard work, perseverance, determination, success, integrity and humility. He started pretty young in international cricket. His international cricket career started in the year 1989. He made his test debut against Pakistan in Karachi. He was just 16 years old. I was reflecting as to what my mindset was at that age. I think I was a clueless young teenager then. And here was one boy stepping into international cricket rubbing shoulders with men much older to him. In the real sense, I do not think he was physically tall enough to rub shoulders with them. However, the talent and ability he possessed made it possible to share space with the greats of Indian and international cricket. 

Many equate him to God. However, this is where I beg to differ. I consider him a super human (http://vijitspeaks.blogspot.in/2012/03/sachin-tendulkar-super-human.html). I am not denying that he is one of the greatest ever to play the game of cricket. He was sent to this world to play cricket and inspire the masses. There has been no one like him and there will never be anyone like him ever. He is the pride of India and his humility inspires me the most. I rate him as high as Swami Vivekananda when it comes to being a source of inspiration not just for India but the whole world too.

The way he summed it up in his final speech is something that showed how wonderful a human being he is. He remembered to thank each and everyone who made it possible for him to achieve what he has. Father, Mother, brother, sister, wife, kids, in-laws, friends, fellow cricketers, doctors, managers, physio, photographers and even the media. The same media who though are glorifying him today but were speculating that he should have retired long back. He thanked his wife for sacrificing her career and taking care of family so that he could concentrate on his career. Of all the positives associated with him, his humility is what inspires me the most. I have been guilty of reacting negatively on few occasions when criticized. However, looking at Sachin and how he has carried himself despite being criticized is something that each one of us can learn from and implement in our personal life and career. I have not seen him react harshly ever when posed with questions about his retirement. He always seemed in control both on and off field. Success at an early age typically is not handled well by men and women alike. However, here is a great human being who has not let success affect his mental composure. Not seen ego get the better of him at any point in his career. He deserved to be part of a world cup winning squad and which he managed to do in the year 2011 when Indians became World champions.

Very recently Ricky Ponting was found criticizing Sachin over his role during the monkey gate episode (scandal in the 2008 Sydney Test). I did not see any comment from Sachin as a reaction to it. Ricky had written a book and to sell his book he had to create some controversy. I think Sachin understands this and hence he chose to keep silent. Australians who are notorious for sledging especially when they fear losing have no right to point fingers at a cricketing legend like Sachin Tendulkar. 

He deserves the Bharat Ratna award for being a source of inspiration to thousands of Indians.
I would like to conclude by saying Sachin....Sachin.

Full text of Sachin's speech, courtesy DNA India:


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wish I could be a kid again

 Being an adult what did I gain?
I wish I could be a kid again

As a grownup I am part of a rat race
As a kid, butterflies I could chase

Today life is a nightmare
As a child, I had nothing to care

Now I have so many worries to heed
Then a bar of chocolate could fulfill my need

Monday, October 21, 2013


Today I attended a reunion party with school friends from 1996 batch. It was great fun to meet everyone, most of whom I met after 17 long years. Almost everyone of them has undergone drastic changes. Though the opinion for me was that I haven't changed much.

I do not remember when was the last time that I had laughed my heart out.  Each one of us was recollecting some incident or the other and laughing like anything. One thing I observed was that no matter how negatively we had felt about an event during our school days, from today's perspective it didn't matter at all. Infact, we were considering it as a joke. Time is the best healer. I also recollected how obsessed we were to score good marks in the exams. However, those marks did not have much impact in what most of us has achieved in life. I am not denying the fact that we have acquired knowledge from school which has helped us.

After the meeting we visited our school too. Everyone of us was surprised to see that nothing much has changed. It was like flipping through the pages of a book that one has finished reading. The ground, the whole school building and premises was the same like when we were in school.
How did this reunion work out? It was all thanks to internet and efforts taken by school friends Alok, Atul and Heemali. Though the event was successful because of whole hearted participation of each and everyone who made it. It all started after forming a group on Facebook and Whatsapp. Everyone was chatting enthusiastically on Whatsapp. Since few of us are in different countries atleast some one or the other is always active in the group.

I hope we continue to be active and not let the enthusiasm fizzle out. We can share our ups and downs with everyone. I am sure no one could be down for too long after being active in the group. Our spirits get uplifted by just scrolling through the chat interaction on Whatsapp.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Conversation with God

Where do You want me to head?
Show me the path to tread

Do I sit idle and do nothing?
I am sure there is some purpose for my being

What is that will make my heart dance?
I promise You will not regret giving me a chance

I am not this body but the soul
Being one with You is the ultimate goal

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A funny interaction with a stranger

In my journey from home to my work place I take the local train. On Raksha Bhandan day, the train was unusually crowded. I had to stand in between the two seats facing each other in the train for most part of the journey. Since I did not get a place to sit I had placed my back pack on the top rack provided in the local train for luggage. When it was just 4 stations remaining for me to get down I happened to get a place to sit. There was a married couple seated face to face with each other. Both mother and dad carrying one of their kids on their lap. They had to get down at a station which was two stations prior to mine. I sat down next to the father of the kids.

Due to the unusual rush, the father felt that it will be difficult for the couple to reach near the exit on time. Hence, he told his wife that they would need to make their move quickly so that they do not get stuck especially since they have their two kids to be carried as well. However, this conversation was overheard by a middle aged man who was standing in between the two seats and he advised them that they need not hurry and be seated as they will get ample time. With this interaction a conversation started between these strangers. I was seated next to the father of the kids and hence could listen to this conversation.

This stranger continued interacting with the father of the kids. He asked them whether both their kids were girls. When the father confirmed that they were girls, the middle aged man smiled and said that good they are girls. He mentioned that what good are boys who will grow up and send their parents to old age homes. Not sure why he was so sure that all boys grow up to be irresponsible adults who won't take care of their parents. Anyways, it could be an opinion formed because of his observations that he has made after looking at things happening in his surroundings or in his close relations.

The couple by then had started to move towards the exit with their kids. This middle aged man (going forward I will refer to him as "Stranger") got to sit next to me as the couple had moved out.  When they moved out, a young man made his way in the space between the two seats. This guy had a back pack and  due to which he had to struggle a lot to reach a place where he could stand comfortably. Looking at this the Stranger (middle aged man) seated next to me started a conversation with me. He said that we should come up with a new bag that can be carried on top of the heads so that other passengers in the train do not get inconvenienced. I just smiled and nodded. He felt that no matter how the back pack is placed (on the front or on the back), it will cause inconvenience to people who are standing around, be it in an bus or in a train. He said that he had a bitter experience when traveling in a bus. A person carrying a back pack was trying to manoeuvre, happened to hit the specs he was wearing and it got thrown out of the window. I just smiled and did not utter a word.

I was about to reach my destination and considering the rush in the train I decided to get up and move quickly. I stood up and picked up my back pack from the rack where I had placed it after boarding the train. This stranger then asked me, "So, you were also carrying a back pack?". I felt like laughing out loud but toned it down to just a smile and moved on.

Friday, August 9, 2013

If my life story was a book, what would it be titled?

After reflecting on events that happened in my life, as far as my mind can recollect, I think my life story would be titled "I Strive, Destiny Drives" . Yes, I do believe in destiny. I also believe in goals. However, my life so far has been destiny driven more than goal driven. I would love to ensure that I control my life rather than situations and circumstances. More often than not destiny has triumphed over free will. It is not that I never achieved any goals set by me. The scale is tilted more towards destiny.

I personally do not recollect events that happened around my birth. I came to know from my mother that I was a premature baby. I came into this world approximately 2 months earlier than expected. You could say I was born impatient. However, life so far has been a lesson in patience.

I specialized in Production engineering and during college days, I managed to clear my second year without keeping terms. This was a big surprise for me because there was a subject in which I was very confident that I would fail. Not the right kind of confidence to have, isn’t it? Destiny had something different in store for me. I cleared my second year without failing in a single subject. It is still a mystery for me as to how I managed to clear that subject in which I was sure of failing. No complaints though. This was one occasion where I was happy to be proved wrong by destiny. Similarly in 3rd year, I was not confident of scoring well. I expected I would score below 60%. To my surprise I managed to score close to 70%. You may think that I was pessimistic. No, I am not a pessimistic person. In fact, my optimism at times can be bordering around insanity. So, the above comments of mine about my college days are expectations I had, based on how my exams went. It was based on some analysis I did after attempting the exams. So, when I surpassed my expectations and I did not have any logical reasoning, I definitely felt that it was destiny playing a role in my life. Again, please do not misinterpret my statements here and feel that destiny is a substitute to hard work and planning. I am not making any such claim. I am only trying to indicate that no matter how hard you work, how hard you try or how meticulously you plan; there are many events in life that will happen not as expected by you.

Even when getting into a job, I ended up doing a job which was not in line with my educational qualification. However, I still enjoyed doing it. Ultimately, that is what matters.

Destiny had to play a role in my marriage as well. We happened to meet online despite being at a common friend’s engagement and wedding prior to our online interaction. As if we were not destined to meet up then. Our friendship started over Orkut, numbers got exchanged, we started to meet and things moved so quickly that within 4 months we got married.

You must have also experienced situations in life wherein things were planned very meticulously yet some unexpected turn of events caused the final outcome to be totally different from what was envisioned at the outset.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Why do I write?


Do I really know why do I write? Let us try to find out whether I know the answer to this question. 

I have been maintaining a blog http://vijitspeaks.blogspot.com  since the year 2007.  My first blogpost was posted on September 8, 2007. I started blogging after I saw an orkut friend’s blog. Before that I was not aware of such an opportunity to show case my writings. My friend’s blog inspired me to start a blog of my own. I used to love writing essays during my school days. However, I never thought that I was good enough. In fact, even now I am not sure whether I write quality stuff. I start writing blogposts whenever I have a heart felt desire to do so. Most of my blogposts are my personal reaction to something I watched in the news, or  some article I read on the internet or things I observed when travelling. When friends started reading my blog they appreciated it and asked me to continue writing. In fact, few of my blogposts happened because my friends wanted me to write my opinion about a topic that they felt strongly about. In my blogs you would hardly find any hard to understand words. The reason being that words for my blog posts come from my heart and not from the intellect. I start writing only when I have a yearning to write and not for the sake of writing. Due to this very reason, I could make a heart to heart connection with my wife. Yes, my wife (a complete stranger until the year 2009) who happened to receive my forwarded emails (emails had a link to my blog in the signature of the email) through one of our common friends, visited my blog and after reading my posts connected with me on orkut. We became good friends, started meeting often and finally got married. So, in a sense, my marriage is a positive result of my blog. 

Writing is something we start doing during our early childhood. We do it because our parents and teachers want us to do. We start writing alphabets, then words, followed by sentences and finally short paragraphs and essays. I always feel that each and every one of us should be able to write our heart felt feelings in our own words. It may not be for public consumption but atleast for self. When you revisit your writings it really helps understand how one has evolved as a person. You can compare it to photographs. If you have a collection of photographs right from your early childhood days till date, you would be able to understand the nostalgic feeling that you get when you see those old photographs again. Similarly, if you start writing your feelings and revisit them later on, you will be able to get into a reflective mode after revisiting your writings. I often revisit my blog posts and after reading them I feel good about myself. If before reading the blog posts, I was in a negative frame of mind, my mood definitely becomes positive after revisiting my blog. 

So, back to the original question. Why do I write? I write to lend words to my heart felt feelings. I write because I feel good immediately after writing and also when I revisit my writings. I am able to maintain a positive outlook towards life because of my blog. I am also able to connect with like minded people because of my writings.