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Quotes of the Day

“The greatest enemy of learning is fear. This is true of language, of art, of every subject and area of study. When one is afraid of being laughed at, of being embarrassed, of being looked down upon by others for one’s mistakes, shortcomings, or limitations, progress becomes very difficult. The important thing is to be brave.”

- Daisaku Ikeda

“What will the future be like? No one knows the answer to that question. All we know is that the effects that will appear in the future are all contained in the causes that are made in the present. The important thing, therefore, is that we stand up and take action to achieve great objectives without allowing ourselves to be distracted or discouraged by immediate difficulties.”

- Daisaku Ikeda

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2014 in Home

 

Mumbai Series: The BIGGER Picture

Majority of the time, we chart out our lives in the hope that everything happens as per plan. And when things don’t go as smoothly as planned, we feel as though the universe or someone else is conspiring against us. When we see others achieving their goals and ambitions we begin to wonder where we went wrong and try to investigate the reason behind our flaws and failures. Consequently, our confidence plunges to an all time low causing our self-image to change almost instantly. Now, please don’t tell me I am the only one who feels this way.

The view we have of ourselves is a mere illusion. It is like being in a prison cut off from the vastness of life. We tend to embrace our mistaken identities so deeply that we perceive it to be our only reality. Candidly, my time here in Mumbai has got me to reflect on a lot of things. When I see how hard most individuals work out here it makes me realize that the most of us don’t get everything on a silver platter. There are some who are struggling with finances, others with health problems, relationships – we are all essentially sailing in the same boat, believe it or not.

While in Bandra, I saw a family of six selling embellished vases and colouring books for children on the roadside. Their kids were working in the mornings and attending school in the evenings. Their busy schedule caused them to have to study on the footpath everyday for only 10-15 minutes midst all the commotion. All they were given was a single pen and a flimsy notebook. Imagine that! It is always astounding to watch how people make the most out of bare necessities that to without even a single complaint.

When we begin to appreciate the things that we have and the people whom we have encountered (good, mildly average or utterly despicable encounters) in our lives this very moment unknown doors begin to open that lead us to opportunities we could have never even imagined. In a relationship or even in a trifling interaction, there is absolutely no guarantee to what you receive from others, however, what you do have control over is what you choose to do for yourself this very instant. I say that with experience.

Dealing with issues in the present is definitely not one of the easiest things in the world. The thing about the past is that it has an unruly facet to resurrect when certain events take place. Such situations will keep reoccurring in our lives, over and over again in different forms, until we learn to encounter them with courage and determination rather than fear and anxiety. I learnt a very valuable lesson a few years ago, you all must have heard or read the saying “you can take the horse to the water, but you cannot make it drink.” Even in the direst situation, nothing will change unless and until you choose for it to.  You are your greatest supporter! The moment you realize your life is in your hands you will feel empowered and in control.

To create the outcome that we want we have to take total responsibility and not leave a single smidgen to external forces. That means NO complaining and NO blaming. As hard and extremely ridiculous as that sounds, it is possible. There is absolutely no point in pondering over the success of other individuals unless that is going to inspire us in some way to do better. Sometimes, if things don’t go as planned – its OK cause that is what was right for us at that particular instance. However good or bad, that particular situation is going to help us grow emotionally, mentally and psychologically. It is all part of the grand scheme of things. It is all about understanding and embracing the Bigger Picture.

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2014 in Home

 

Quotes of the Day (Disney Inspired)

“The seaweed is always greener in somebody else’s lake.” - Sebastian, The Little Mermaid

“Oh yes, the past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it, or… learn from it.” – Rafiki, Lion King

“Look inside yourself. You are more than what you have become.” - Mufasa’s Spirit, The Lion King

“You’re mad, bonkers, off your head! But I’ll tell you a secret: all the best people are.” - Alice Kingsley, Alice in Wonder Land

“Do not be fooled by its commonplace appearance. Like so many things, it is not what outside, but what is inside that counts.” - Aladdin

“A single grain of rice can tip the scale. One man may be the difference between victory and defeat.” The – Emperor of China, Mulan

“Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one.” – Grandmother Willow, Pocahontas

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – Christopher, Winnie The Pooh 

“All dreams come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”  – Walt Disney

 

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2014 in Home

 

Mumbai Series: Over a Bottle of Breezer

 

 Note: This post in no way promotes or endorses alcoholism. Now, since I have got that out of the way, I can head on to the real deal.

People’s perception of the way life has to be lived has changed in ways inconceivable to the human mind. In just the last one decade, media exposure along with the boom in technological progression has encouraged the ideological amalgamation of the East and the West. Insanely enough, most Indians, teenagers and young adults especially, don’t believe in religious superstitions anymore, which was a huge thing to rave about in the generations before. Rather, today’s generation wants to embrace the adventurous and mysterious life of the West – or the idea of it anyway. That’s ‘orientalism’ in action.

A night ago, I managed to get myself stuck in quite a predicament – a heated “creative discussion” that I refer to as ‘The Battle of the Generations.’ (Mind you this whole conversation was over a bottle of Breezer – a few actually.) During the whole conversation it hit me hard that the issues faced by both the older as well as the younger generation in India were similarly different. As in the problems faced by each generation were valid and legitimate at that specific time.

The conversation always starts of with, “Aaj kal ke bache kuch bhi value nahi karte…” (The kids of this generation don’t value anything) and the criticism goes on. However, a lot has changed overtime. Like I said, change can be a hard pill to swallow.

It has become evident that individuals today spend their entire lives seeking some kind of validation outside themselves, which perhaps was not the case before. In our grandparents, or even parent’s generation, there was always someone or the other (most often mothers) that offered undivided attention to their child/children. They were like a shield that guided and protected their children from the tempestuous realities of the ‘big bad world’. Now, with both parents having secured a position in the public sphere, this generation finds those same temptations to enticing to deny. Hence, the emotional validation is much needed. Exposure to media and technology play their own role in this. For example: most girls wouldn’t consider themselves to be “beautiful” unless they received a compliment from someone else mentioning that they were or that they weren’t intelligent enough because they didn’t receive straight A’s in their report card.

The other day, I went out to nearby park with my baby cousin brother and his mother. To my surprise all the children at that park had come with their nannies and NOT their parents. There were some children that were being cared for and looked after by the nanny just like how a parent would, while other children were left to do whatever they wanted. It made me realise that acquiring the right type of attention from the parents is absolutely necessary. When a growing child’s expectations are not met emotionally they resort to alternate ways to procure that attention. Using social media to fill in the void is just one of the many methods. Interestingly enough, social media sites such as Facebook exploit this need for attention. How many likes do you have on your Facebook display picture? How many friends do you have on Facebook? How many people follow you on Twitter? If you can cross a certain number of likes or followers on Facebook/Twitter, you are automatically deemed “popular”.

A child that is starved of love, attention and nurturing often (not always) encounter someone online/offline who is capable of abusing that desire for positive attention. This causes the child to develop insecurities about himself/herself, leaving them emotionally scared and constantly craving for some kind of attention – be it positive or negative. This often initiates rebellious behaviours within a child that later continue for another reason altogether.

The way the world operates today, financially and socially, has completely whittled the equation between a child and his/her parents. Having both parents entering the public sphere is no longer an option; it is an imperative in order to secure the finances of the family along with the future of the child.  As a result, obedience and disobedience have an altered definition. Hence, its not that the ‘kids of today’s generation’ don’t know how to value, its just that they process and conduct things in a completely different way from their parents and grandparents.

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2014 in Home

 

The Season of Giving

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Christmas Decorations at Damian in Bandra, Mumbai

It’s been a very toasty Christmas out here in Mumbai, quite the contrary to the imagined ideal – opening gifts by the Christmas tree on a cold Christmas morning. I wanted to take this time to reiterate the importance of giving. Living in Mumbai for the last one month has made me understand and value the small pleasures that grace us in life; spending quality time with family, to pamper them with affection and unsurmountable love and care so that they realize that they are esteemed and important members of our lives.

With 2014 now just around the corner, I wanted to ask you all to do me a small favour. This season lets try something new, its not hard, I can assure you that much. Lets donate a smile at someone who might not be having a good day. Or maybe even share a laugh with someone who feels either lost or fray. You could even give someone a helping hand, one or maybe two. And remind them that tomorrow is another day to start of new.

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Celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
Christmas Decorations at Damian in Bandra, Mumbai

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Heathy and Prosperous New Year.

~Messages to Mumbai~

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2013 in Home

 

Mumbai Series: Reminiscing the ‘old’ & Acquainting with the ‘new’

Reminiscing the ‘old’ Mumbai 

First Impressions of the ‘New’ Mumbai 

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The streets of Mumbai – it just so happened to be one of the quieter days.

It’s been a while since I have been home. Being midst all the people, the noise, the craziness – the feeling is so surreal! I have come to realise that in life people crave the things they don’t have, because all throughout my time in Auckland I craved to be in Mumbai.

The moment I landed, I noticed a change in the vibe of the city. It was more dynamic than ever. After all, Mumbai is the city that never sleeps. I especially love the fact that there is something to look forward to every minute, every second of the day – that’s the true Mumbai spirit. This kind of dynamism has brought about a lot of change. Trust me when I say this, change can be a hard pill to swallow.

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Visiting Juhu Beach after a long time. Absolutely love how the buildings are peeping out from the dusky sky.

I remember, as a child visiting places like Joggers Park, Juhu Beach and in particular the roadside stalls within the Bandra-Santacruz vicinity that served the finest vada pavs, unda burji, pani puri and the best of all malai kulfi. Everything has changed. Most of those stalls no longer exist, however, those that have withstood the test of time have grown and prospered from being just a mere roadside stall.

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Family that started a catering business. The lady in the orange/red Salwar (Indian Suit) is the owner.

I am visiting at a time where malls and businesses are sprawling, public attitudes are changing (for the better or worse, only time will tell) and Bollywood movies are passing the 200 crore (approx. USD 40 million) mark! At the moment, entrepreneurship is at its all time rise. Every bend and corner has a man/woman who is trying to recreate his or her family’s life by starting a new business venture. In a city like Mumbai, there is no guarantee that all of them will succeed immediately, or even succeed at all, but without even taking the initial step how would anyone reach his or her final destination.

While strolling around the suburbs of Mumbai, I noticed all the buildings, restaurants and skylines. I have always been infatuated with tall buildings, unfortunately, there aren’t very many that I can admire in Auckland.  With Mumbai’s population booming, buildings can only get taller.  (You see, I’m trying to inject some witty humour where ever possible.)

I must admit, in all its irony, I have found peace in Mumbai. However, it’s needless for me to even mention, everyone has a different connection with this city.

~Messages to Mumbai~

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2013 in Home

 

Hello MUMBAI!

It has been a challenging year this year. But what better way to end the year than by visiting home.

HELLO MUMBAI! 

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2013 in Home

 
 
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