Not Gandhi, Not Tata, Not Tendulkar, Not Gates—My Role Model Is This Common Man

role-model

­­­­­­­­We all, usually, have a role model—a person looked to by others as an example to be imitated. And, usually, that person is some popular figure in past or present history; someone prosperous or termed as successful. My role model is someone different and my definition of success is also different.

I have many role models. Not that they’re not from the usual list but most of them are friends or acquaintances around me; from daily life. One of them is Vinay Jain who was my school mate in 1995.

He was a naughty young boy in school and a naughty young man as of now. He’s always been a child inside; full of energy and fun. But he was not my role model in school days. He became one now as I got to know him better. He lives a balanced life that is an almost perfect combination of wealth, family, health, emotions, moments, experiences, time, adventures, hard-work, food, fun, friends, dreams, desires, spirituality, compassion, kindness, and all of that.

Very few have these all now-a-days and he’s one of the blessed ones.

He’s been there done that type of character that always excites me with his experience and thoughts. He has a good job in an esteemed multinational, a loving wife, a bright child, a comfortable home, a speedy car, a lovely vision, a loving-kind heart, an optimal brain and mad friends; like me.

I really like to follow virtues of these people around me because they’re the ones whom I connect a lot. Their life resonated with mine and I find solace while peeping into their struggles, challenges, victories, as I understand of all it. I have seen them growing, crying and laughing in from to f my eyes since years. Hence, I always feel connected to these people who I call daily heroes.

There are so many of them, who inspire me, as I write this blog post. My wife, my parents, my neighbors, the auto-rickshaw driver, my friends, the vegetable seller, the cleaner, the ones who forgave me for my bad behavior, my teachers, my students, my readers, my ex-lovers, the security guard of our housing society, the local police and not to forget the people who get-up early morning and travel long distances daily in the crowded local trains of Mumbai.

I don’t really connect with people who have a chapter of their name in history books or have their biography in Wikipedia but rather I connect to regular people like Vinay—and many more like him—who are my role model.

 

Change Your Settings, Change Your Life

settings

My internet was not working since few days and I was working with my service provider to solve the issue. Both of us were confused about the solution. And hence, we were struggling. Finally, I could speak to one of their expert who told to check in one setting in the control panel. To my surprise, that setting was wrong and I had to change it. My internet began to work as soon as I changed that setting.

This story can be used a as a metaphor for life. Many a times, we get stuck in a problem and look out for solution. Somehow, we meet a friend/guru/relative/co-worker who provides a simple trick and that trick or setting becomes a solution to our problem. That little setting can our perspective, our thinking process or our lifestyle, but it helps.

These little settings are essential in our life. A little change can change the flow of our life. 

The ‘First Step’ Is The First Step Towards A Successful And Prosperous Life

first-step

Taking the first step is the most difficult part; for most of the people. But, as it’s said that a thousand-mile journey starts with one step, the first step can take you far. I want to share some personal experiences to emphasis on the first step.

  • My father was a victim of the Partition of India in 1947. After the partition, there family came to Delhi—from Lahore—with nothing on them. They stayed in a refugee camp for almost a year. There was no way to re-start a life but there was hope. He decided to come to Mumbai and start a new life. He brought his entire family to this new city and slow-slowly built a small empire of dreams.
  • My father-in-law resided in a small hamlet that isn’t on the map of India till date. but he had dreams to make it big in the city of dreams—Mumbai. He came to the city, worked in the day and studies in the night. He gave an examination to join Indian Navy and got selected. He retired few years back as a celebrated officer.
  • My dear school friend got a marriage proposal after college. This proposal came from a prosperous family in a small country; far from India. The proposal was exciting but the thought of starting a new life in a small country was dreadful. But she took up the proposal and is now well settled and leading a much better life than most of us here.

In all of the examples, the people took a certain risk, what we can call the first step to make their life better. What’s in future was not known but there was a direction, faith and perseverance. They had faith in themselves and maybe in their God.

I suggest to all those who are still waiting and thinking for the right time, take the first step. This is the time—right now.

 

Security Comes With Compassion

security-guard

Last evening, I visited a store in a shopping mall. The security guard was wishing everyone with his heart. I wished him with full energy and also thought to observe him for a while.

I stood in a corner and observed around 100 people in an hour or so. I was surprised that almost no one wished him back. There was just this one couple who wished him.

Although, there is no compulsion to wish anyone back, I feel a little compassion can do a lot of magic in ourselves and others. When wished back, his face was glowing and he felt so good.

We all want to be included, acknowledged and noticed.

It just takes a second to wish someone back but the ripples are far reaching. Let us try to be more compassionate to people who wish us; especially these security personnel in shopping mall.

They give us security and can use our compassion. And compassion provides us security in life and loving relationships. Let’s us wish them and thank all of them while leaving.

Behind Every Successful Women There Is A ‘She’ Factor

woman.jpg

Woman is a ray of God. She is not that earthly beloved; she is creative, not created.

I am lucky to be surrounded by great women of our times. One is wife, some are school and college friends, some are colleagues, some are mentors; all are quite successful today. There are leading an inspiring life. Most of them are multi-tasking and almost omnipresent.

We’re connected throughout the day and I learn a new thing everyday from each of them. I don’t know what it’s to be a woman but I know how does it feel to be around a one. It’s always said that behind every successful man there’s a woman and vice-versa but I feel that behind a successful woman, there is only one person behind—her.

Being Judgmental Brought Out The Worst In Me And The Best In Another

judgemental.jpg

Sharing a story from real life experience. It’s about how soon we become judgmental; about people, without knowing about them.

In 2014, I was on a no-money walking pilgrimage with my mentor from Ahmedabad to Udaipur. It was a 20-day trip through villages and forests. Somewhere in north Gujarat, there is a long stretch that is completely lonely and occupied by tribes. We’re told that they tribal men loot lonely travelers. We’re advised to take care but we were cool because we didn’t have anything to be looted but there was a little fear still left.

While crossing that stretch, a tribal man was screaming from far up the hill and running towards us. We got terrified. He seemed to be holding a big weapon while coming to us. Our heart beats were high as he as nearing us. We thought that today is our last day on Earth.

As he came forward we realized that we noticed that the weapon is actually a huge cucumber. We were feeling better as we understood that he wants to sell his cucumber. We’re cool as we didn’t had money to buy and so we thought, we’ll shoot him away.

We immediately said NO-NO when he came near us. He spoke little Gujarati and asked us what NO-NO? We said that we are pilgrimages and don’t want to buy his cucumber as we don’t have any money. He laughed, like we’re fools, and said that he had seen us and knew we’re pilgrims so he gave down to gift us this big cucumber. We were absolutely stunned and mum.

We thought him as a criminal who is coming to loot us and there he is gifting us a big cucumber that he could have sold in market for good price. He was an angel and we thought he was a devil. We doubted his love because we didn’t have enough.

So many times, in our life, we are so judgmental about people without knowing them or waiting for time to deice the truth. That day, I learnt that people don’t always say right things and I saw the best in worst behavior in me and others. From that day, I never judge, rather I just observe and wonder.

Eureka! We Met Where We Left, 22 Years Ago

school-reunion

Every parting is a form of death and every reunion is a form of birth. That’s the fun of going to a high school reunion: it’s seeing the people who you were close to all those years ago, and re-exploring the relationships of the past.

The sweetness of reunion is the joy of heaven.

The tale sounds like grand tale, rather a saga, of separation and reunion but it goes much beyond. It’s a tale of never ending love, perseverance and the magic of technology—inner and outer.

Some old school mates from class of 1995, with use of technology, decided to meet in the school premise, at the same location where they all left 22 years back. No distance of place of lapse of time could lessen their friendship. They were determined, and they made it.

We decided to meet up on the footsteps of their school. It was evening time and all the memories of childhood struck like lightning. There was thunder in heart, a loud one as all hearts came together to beat as one.

The reunion was a trip to nostalgia. Time got suspended for a while as memories were climbing trees, shouting, laughing, jumping and doing mischief in the class. We met with the same energy as we used to meet in school.

Looks like the past is just one day behind. It seems that school life has just ended or maybe not—it’s still on. Everything comes in front of my eyes like a feature film. 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.