Confession: My Parents’ Death Was My Best Teacher

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My parents died, expired or as I say left their physical bodies in 2015. The last two months that I spent in the hospital were the best lessons for me. I had a sense that they’re dying but little I knew that their last days would teach me some of the best lessons in life.

I had more than 1,500 so-called friends on Facebook but to my shock, there was not one in the hospital to hold my hand or lend a shoulder or even to listen what I had to say. I don’t blame anyone. Maybe, their priority was different, maybe they’re busy, maybe this or maybe that. No idea, but on a deep introspection, later, I realized that even I never went to support anyone in such situation.

As you sow, so shall you reap.

Two neighbors, from my housing society, who I had known for just a little while offered monetary and emotional support, one comparatively new friend called me every alternate day from USA to check on me, while old friends never called up. I used to sit in the waiting area day and night and post my thoughts on social media. Some would send positive wishes for betterment, some would send warm thoughts, some would just like the post but I was still and prayed that the best should happen to them—I read in ancient scriptures that death is not bad, it’s just a transformation tool.

All the relatives except my wife and brother had disappeared, and the best part is that they appeared immediately as both died. Really, I mean like it was a button that you ON or OFF—you press ON, they disappear, you press OFF, they appear. Doctor were doing their duty of being a stone and the hospital was doing it’s duty of being a money collection unit. No one really cared.

Every day, I would meet patients and their families who were in distress; mainly due to financial weakness. Sadness and grief was in every nook and corner of the hospital, so I used to anonymously keep smile cards on the seats of the family members. A moment of smile on their face would do the magic and I would feel at peace.

After all our endeavors, they died but luckily, they didn’t suffer a long period of illness. They must have done some good deeds that they received a good death; almost. The best, and funny part, was that as soon as they died, they lost their names; they were coined as bodies—a minute ago they had names.

I knew that they had some broken relation with other relatives and I made it a point to visit them and ask for forgiveness for any of their wrong action—this brought me immense maturity and compassion. Luckily, everyone accepted my forgiveness and forgave them.

As a human being puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones. Bhagavad Gita 2:23

As the soul changes body, the thoughts also change time-to-time and as they dissolved into darkness, I evolved to light. They tuned to dust and grew into a flower. But the last lesson was the eye-opener. As I was putting the ashes of my mother into the river, I realized that we’re nothing; with all our ego, desire, hatred, love, wealth, anger and millions of other emotions, we’re nothing more than one handful of dust.

3 Types Of Happiness As Per Bhagavad Gita

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This is a whole new thing, a very unique perspective on happiness that the Bhagavad Gita speaks about and it’s in the very last chapter. Speaking to Arjuna, Lord Krishna says:

O best of the warriors, now please hear from me about the three kinds of happiness by which the conditioned soul enjoys, and by which he sometimes comes to the end of all distress. Bhagavad Gita 18:36

We’re talking about three different types of happiness, three different categories of so-called joy or joyful experience. And sometimes by experiencing one of these particular types of joy, it may help a person come to the end of all distress. These types are decsribed as modes of material nature:

  1. Mode of goodness: In this condition, you’ll see people being more attracted to simple lifestyle, natural kind of lifestyle, not being overly agitated and driven crazy by so many desires and things. People that live in a more peaceful existence.
  2. Mode of passion:  This is usually epitomized by intense desire and longing; so, this is intense agitation. The creative impulse is because of this mode of passion and so people are driven to build massive cities and to engage in passionate undertaking. But the result, the end result of this mode of passion is distress; it’s inescapable.
  3. Mode of ignorance: It’s epitomized by laziness, sloth in general, a very depressed mental and physical state or a state of intoxication when you cannot think clearly and you’re unaware of how you’re behaving and what you’re doing and it always ends in darkness; in darkness and great distress, in different forms of craziness or insanity.

So, it’s not that a person—even within a day, a person may be feeling in different times the influence of these three different forms of energy in different times and responding differently to different types of stimulation. The quest for happiness or pleasure is also very shaped by which one of these types of energy or a combination of them that we’re being influenced by.

Remembering School Days—22 Years Later

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A good school is the best gift that parents can give to their children.

My parents also gave me this gift and I was admitted in Holy Cross High School in early 1980s. I don’t remember the exact year but I remember all the fun. I attended KG to grade 10th in this school and it really laid down the foundation of my life—to a great extent. I was a nondescript student almost all the school life, until I reached grade 8th where I attempted all the mischief I could. Last three years were full of mischief and become a pest to teachers and co-students. Once, I even was instrumental in bursting fire-crackers in the ladies’ toilet.

Recently, thanks to technology, I had a deep urge to connect with all co-students and I created a small WhatsApp group with 3-4 common friends. We had been connected before but not much but this gave a boost to our relation and ignited our hunger to reconnect to more friends of the same batch. Just then magic happened, an old school acquaintance was visiting India and I had an opportunity to meet her along with an old friend. She was the person whom I had irritated a lot. This was the time to reconcile and ask for forgiveness. We met and a new relation was born—friendship, that was never there but this 22 years had done the magic. What happened next took my breath away!

I added another common friend and he was another magician. He knew so many of the old friends and added many-many batch-mates. And then, they added more and the group is now a huge group connecting after two decades. The excitement is high and people are exchanging thousands of messages per day.

I am so happy that my humble effort metamorphosed into a huge family love of old memories and compassion. No one has forgotten the school days and the messages take me into trance. Long lost friends are now a click away—many are in foreign countries but technology plus love has conquered distance, won hearts and healed all wounds.

10 Little Things Good Parents Do

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Raising children demands a vast set of complex skills that can’t be distilled into a top 10 list. Check it out:

  1. Really listen to your child
  2. Do something familiar
  3. Kiss your partner in front of your child
  4. Read together
  5. Touch your child
  6. Laugh during a tense moment
  7. Find one important thing about your child
  8. Do random acts of kindness together
  9. Be compassionate
  10. Teach importance of happiness in life

Remember, good parents are good friends. All the best and happy parenting.

Cop With A Twist

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He’s one of the most radical police officer I’ve met in my life. He climbed the Stok Kangri range of the Himalayas in the Ladakh region of northwest India.

Raju Patil is the Assistant Director of Maharashtra Police Academy in Nashik. I met him during a training session at the academy. He’s a trainer, athlete, biker, mountaineer, father, learner, orator, and upon all a good human being. I was quite impressed by his achievement in his Police career. He was our single point of contact in the campus. He has been honest all his life and is loved by his senior officials. He was also nominated for training in the USA to upgrade his skills and has been awarded two prestigious awards by the force.

Why did you do this expedition?

I am 50 now and I want to check my stamina and perseverance.

OMG, that is great!

Yes indeed, I not only climbed the mountain but I did it in half the scheduled time. I also spread the message of a clean environment and saying NO to intoxication of any kind.

Such Police officers make us feel proud of our disciplinary forces. India needs more and more officers like him. I salute to the spirit to this man and wish him all the success in life.

Young Dynamic Politician

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This dynamic socio-political activist is making a paradigm shift. Neil Somaiya is a young face of emerging and transforming India. He’s socio-political activist from Mumbai. He’s one of that rare breed of educated change-makers that are making a change. He has done his Bachelors in Mass Media and MBA in Human Resources. He’s the youngest member of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) youth wing of the city. Both his parents chose to serve the country in a young age and he is following their footsteps.

As a socio-political activist, he has taken up several projects to encourage the youth on various subjects like education, saving electricity, cleanliness, sanitation, health and national pride. He’s a staunch believer in the power of social media and encourages open communication among youth in positive discussion of various developmental as well as social issues on social media platforms.