Chinese Bamboo Tree in the Google Age


Credits: Google Images

From the Stone Age, we have now come to Google age, information age or so called the digital age. With laptops, mobile phones, gadgets and all technological devices all around, we live with our digital natives, in this fastest changing world.

Instant access to everything is the key feature of this age. Whatever and whenever we want to search, Google has its answer ready for us within fraction of seconds. If we want to purchase any product, Amazon, Flipkart, and all kinds of online stores have our orders ready to be delivered at our door steps within no time. Click the cursor and we get all our answers. Everything has just become so easy for all of us.

In this age, we love speed. Fast results. And quick progress. And interestingly in words of RD Laing, “We live in a moment of history where change is so speeded up that we begin to see the present only when it is already disappearing.”

Now living in this age, with such perception of the present, do we still have existence of words like persistence and patience in our dictionary as the success mantras for our survival, growth and progress?

The answer could be found in a famous story of the Chinese bamboo tree here.

When the bamboo is planted, unlike any other plant, it does not show any sign of its progress in the very first year.

What happens in the second year? Does the seed grow? Does it show any sign of its progress? The answer is still a big No. The second year goes like the first year. No sign of growth and development. The farmer waters and fertilizes the plant with his consistent efforts and wait with persistence.

The third year comes and goes like the early two years showing no sign, no growth and no progress.

The forth years comes and still the farmer does not lose his hope. The result is the same like the first year, the second year and the third year. No sign. No growth. No progress. But the farmer is not discouraged by the result. He waits in hope. The reality is something different for him.

Then comes the fifth year, the farmer waters the plant with the same hope, with patience and perseverance and then the miracle happens. The plant grows within six weeks and shoots up between the height of 80 to 100 feet.

Now, what does the story convey? Was the tree grown in a single day? What would have been the result had the farmer not watered the plant in the fifth year?

Well, the answers of all these, we should all know, shouldn’t we? For all these years, the plant was working on its rooting. It was making its foundation strong. When the right time came. It grew, it bloomed and it reached for the sky.

The same lesson applies to many of our life situations.  And here are few lessons to be learnt from this Chinese bamboo tree in the Google age for all of us.

  • Despite living in this Google age, there are certain things which will take time. We cannot get them at the click of our mouse button. We need to be patient with them and practice perseverance.
  • Parenting, friendship and conjugal relationship will take time to bloom and flourish. We need to water these relationship consistently with love, care, mutual trust, faith and understanding and should not wait for the results instantly.
  • Certain habits, projects and dreams take time in their maturation and fulfillment. They may take one year, two years, three years, four years or may be five years like the Chinese bamboo tree. So, we need to be patient in such pursuits and must not give up just after watering at the beginning of the first season.

Blessed we are to be born in this Google age. But if we just learn to have patience and perseverance  in our lives, our lives would truly be wonderful and great!


Junk Idea

Credits: Google Images

Do you know how high your Junk Quotient is?

Don’t get me wrong. I just want you to turn on your ‘JunkoMeter’ today and measure your junk quotient (JQ).

Just to share with you, I measured my JQ few days back, and I found it to be reasonably high.

Do you know how I did this?

Becoming a JI (Junk Inspector) few days back, I made a survey of all the rooms and collected all the evidences and proof. And I found these after scrutiny.

  • In my home, a gems box is now an eraser box, a shoe box stores Hot Wheels cars, a heavy hot wheels sit as a paper weight.
  • Old cups, mugs, purses and jam bottles are plants pots.
  • Old Duppatas are household covering sheets and old cotton Sarees are customized into Sarees keeping bags, also serving as sheets for shelves and clothes wrapping bags.
  • Book marks and cards made up of posters are kept in book shelves. And used chart papers are converted into inspirational wall quotes and few are blooming as flowers decorations on bed room walls.
  • Big carton boxes are Anvay’s toys resting room and are giving challenge to the best advertised Hope Shop 18 products and one side used A-4 size sheets are canvasses for his Picasso like paintings.

There are many such junk products and ideas and I can write breathlessly about all of them but that would be too long, time consuming and would not serve the purpose of this blog post. So, just imagine these as few specimens out of my junk workshop and to know more about them and see more, you are most welcome to visit my home.

But why my JQ is too high?

On its diagnosis and analysis, I found its history rooted in my childhood days and adolescent years. I immediately boarded my memory train and found these traces:

  • I used to watch The Good Home Show and many other TV shows like this on DD 1 with my mother and after the end of the show used to experiment with making of many things. I tried my hands at making wall hangings from broken bangles and ship made from ice cream sticks, toy train made form used match boxes and sweaters of my doll made from left out wool. Patch worked bags and note book for my teacher- teacher games. I also used to act as an anchor of my imaginary show, describing and sharing details of the products made with my imaginary audiences.
  • Next and the most powerful influence on me , as I can remember now,  was of my biology teacher, Mr SX Saxena, under whose guidance I did a project entitled, ‘Improvised Dustbins to Prevent Solid Waste Disposals’ in class XII. And this project was selected at regional level and I visited KV, IIT Kharagpur as part of Jawaharlal Nehru Science Exhibition for Children in 1999. Returning home after this project, I was emotionally drained, because the project was not selected but, since I was in love with this project and high about its objectives and benefits, I felt as if I could make a big difference to the whole world and to my city. Everything will be green and healthy and the world will look so beautiful and perfect. The dream and power to change the world, the way we want!This is how we think when we are too young and adolescent, don’t we? So this was one of the most significant influences.
  • My many friends and colleagues were also of great influence on me. And after marriage, my mother-in-law, I could say, acted as a true Waste Management Professor for me. Like me, her JQ is again too high. She gave me the best of home management tips with practical demonstrations and how to make best use of them. Reuse, redesign, rethink, explore and be creative and experimental are her best home making tips. Her influence indeed is very deep and profound on me.

So, based on learning from the above, I concluded that Junk too has life and at times like doctors, we too can give them a new shape and life. And what it requires is nothing but little time, efforts and creativity on our part  and the results are always worth.

What do I suggest you now?

Try to work out on honing your JQ. Who knows but this JQ could be a new sought after ‘Q’ after IQ and EQ required in the 21st Century?

  • So, decide to take out some leisure time from your busy schedule. Rest. Relax and then get ready with your team. You and your kids!
  • Saturday and Sunday can work best for you. Take a carton or any container and turn on your Junk GPS on and make a survey of all rooms and pick up all the items that you consider are junk or waste. You can categorize them as stationery items (old books, magazines, note books, diaries, news papers ), plastic products, metal things and clothes etc. There can be perishable things also but these go straight into you dustbins and would require little more effort which I am not talking here.
  • Make sure that you start picking up junk from one room first and then move on to another room next. Do it step by step and don’t exhaust yourself in one go. You can find emotional connect with many things but just pick it up if it does not serve any purpose. later on you can decide about this. Too much clutter or junk can serve as energy trapper also, as one of my friends says, so be alert and vigilant in the process.
  • Segregate the collected junk into separate categories. Now take them into your store room or attic room. Check what is of use and what could be reused and given a new shape and a new look. Now keep them separate. Pack the remaining junk into a box and seal them to be sold off to junk dealer.
  • Whatever left unused and reused for two to three months, let it go to the junk dealer.
  • Clothes and stationery items could easily be donated. You can visit any nearby orphanage or give them to poor children. These gifts from your end become source of abundance joy for those who could not afford these things at such ease.
  • Now enjoy more positivity and free space in your mind and rooms and celebrate your victory with your entire team of kids.

So, don’t wait for too long.  Work on increasing your JQ with your Intelligent Quotient( IQ) and Emotional Quotient (EQ) . And don’t be surprised to see, how with a little touch here and a creative fold there you too, could convert a junk into a piece of innovative look.Unleash your creative zeal and sharpen your JQ with your little kinds and feel like Picasso and Rock garden creator Nek Chand.

And if you want to call me a junk maniac, junk lover, junkophile, junk artist, junk picker, junk architect, junk designer, junk juggler or a junk manager for that matter, I won’t mind. Since you too have become a part of my group now.

Why Listening to Inspiring Talks is so Important

Her talk is moving, so is her art,

Poetic, serene and yet so dynamic,

To me, her sculptures are nothing, but wonders of soul transcending magic!

ArtCredits: Google images

Hanging brightly in limitless sky, as you can see in the images above, her artistic creations remind me of Shelly’s Skylark which is “blithe Spirit” and “full heart in profuse strains of unpremeditated art” and Wordsworth Daffodils which, “Beside the lake, beneath the trees,” seem to be “Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.”

But this was not her story eighteen years ago. Janet Echelman, who is a world famous American Artist and Sculptor now, shares in her TED talk that she became a self made artist because she couldn’t get admission to any of the 7 art schools where she applied and then decided to pursue her art, painting, all by herself.

After 10 years of painting, it was in 1997 she reached to India for her Fulbright Scholarship where discovered her magical material in fishernet at Mahabalipuram beaches. This was the time, when she was eagerly waiting for her paints to come by ship, so that she could put up her art exhibition and meet her deadlines, but it was then, she got to know about her missing paints which she could never retrieve again. In her decision to move on and look for her new art material around, she found this inspiration in the net material of Indian Fishermen. This become her paints and focal point of creativity and imagination. And using this Fishermen’s material, she transformed her imagination and creativity into sculptures of extraordinary marvel and  exquisite beauty of inspiration.

And today, she is known to amalgamate traditional craft with cutting edge technology and use materials for building permanent sculptures with soul touching beauty. In her pursuit, she is sharing the “rediscovery of wonder” through her artistic creations, her creations which breath, live and inspire the denizens of all over the world’s nations.

Moved by her talk, I decided to share three things that I learnt from her, which I am sure will make you happy as well.

1. A man can be destroyed but can’t be defeated said Earnest Hemingway. It was Janet’s spirit like the Old Man in the Hemingway’s  creation , The Old Man and The Sea, which forced her to prove her mettle to the rest of the world. Starting her journey as a self artist, without getting admission to any of the seven art colleges, losing her house in Bali, did not make her feel defeated, even at the loss of her art paints. She reflected, looked around and found her new paints, this time in the form of fishermen’s net. Rest is all history as well all know and can see now.

2. Imagination is more important than knowledge said Einstein. Creativity is within all of us. We need to listen to it and we need to pay heed to it. And this is what Janet’s Ted talk all about. She did take her imagination quite seriously and her architectural feats: Bellbottom Series, Red Peak,  Eye of the Storm, She Changes, Line Drawing, Water Sky garden to name a few, reveal nothing, but speak her creative zeal.

She looked around herself, mastered her craft and found herself blanketed in imagination Shawl. Listening to all her internal voices, she kept moving the steering for her art wheel with great patience.

3. Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all, said Stephan King. Certain things are destined to move out of your life like Janet’s paints. So let them go. The things can go but the learning and memory of them always remain. She gave command to the lost things and used their knowledge at her disposal, making her imagination alive. Missing nothing. Had Janet’s colours not gone missing forever, do you think she would have explored the new magic material for her art and sculpture? I am sure you know the answer.

So, let go of the old things and accept and the new things in life.

Like Janet story, we all have many inspiring stories around us. The need is to listen, learn and be inspired from them. I have shared one such with you, now it’s your turn to keep the ball rolling.

Life: a crushed paper – try to beautify it!

It was one of my composition classes and as always, I was busy in some literary explanation. Suddenly my eyes fell on this boy who was lost in his own world. Quiet and composed he looked, but I pointed him out, asked explanation of the line taught, he explained and I moved on to the next line. While I caught him red-handed, he managed to escape easily.

Next time again, I found him doodling in the composition class. But this time he was busy with a mermaid. He looked like an enigmatic fictitious character to me , just like a puzzle to be solved out. Lost in his own world, enjoying his solitude, he never seemed to be interested in this world of we mortals. He enjoyed his world of dreams and imaginations, talking to his own self and never allowing anyone else to enter in his world.

Anyhow, now I think, I have given you enough of his introduction. The name of this boy is Divay Khatri and I taught him Composition.

And today, I am happy to share with you one of his compositions, giving a glimpse of his world . I am sure you too would enjoy it and appreciate his perspective on life and things that trouble him and matter him the most. He loves photography and writing poetry, to read more and know more about him, you can follow him on his blogging site:

Now enjoy his poem….Life: a crushed paper-try to beautify it 

Crused_LifeCredits: Google Images

You are in this world and don’t know what to do
A devil and an angel on your shoulder confusing you…
You are such a grown up now and might have suffered a lot too
In this journey of yours, have you not got anything, yet to do?

Then take out a paper and a pen
Lock yourself in an empty cell
No music, no distractions
Just you and your mind should be in.

You will see then, a vision in front
Too blur and too light, for you to confront

Pushing you, towards you aim, it will force you to move

 But what is your aim? Have you ever thought of it, ever before?

Till date, you know what all you have sacrificed
And no one can tell better, then you, yourself
You got something -was it a gain or a loss?
Whatever it may be, your present shows it all

Why don’t you think, think for yourself at least
Try and have some options, in your life as a lavish treat
Make it possible to change them
Never choose an easy way to trace them
The tough choices will make you play
Play, which is the basic of all learning
Remember, it was a part in your childhood grooming as well
Consider yourself as a child again
Learn something presentable every now and then

I can understand you, you are my friend
But who else will take pains for doing, other than you, yourself
I just ask you to focus on one thought at a point
And then allow your other thoughts to come and join

Your case might just be like ‘two roads diverging in a yellow wood’
And sorry you could not travel both
I am just asking you to figure it out
The ways you can deal with and find your way out

Share your thought with yourself first
Give an hour or two
Make chemistry your girlfriend/boyfriend
And ask physics to help you out
You have so many abstract things to be yours in every way
Just change the way you see, the way you perceive the world

Why to be dependent
When you can be everything for yourself
Oh go… go about, do something precious
Make the world know you more
Allow them to feel your unique vibrant odor

You are in this world… you know for what you are for
No one else can make you realize
Sit and ask for yourself
Are you happy with your life so far?

You are in this world and only you know what to do
A devil and an angel, whom to choose and with whom to move…
Don’t let you regret your choice in life

Your life is like a crushed paper
You can’t remove the wrinkles
But you must try to beautify it’s life!

Divay Khatri

If You Don’t Get Time to Read, Let’s Together Sort This Out

71HfM4WD0cL._SL1500_Photo Credits: Google Images

I know we all are busy throughout the day. We don’t have one task at hand, but multiple tasks to complete within a day. Whether we are working in an office, or we are at home, our tasks seem to be never ending.

That sounds truly great! You know why? Because, all of us are sailing in the same boat and we all love singing this song, ‘no time in life, tasks to handle too many more’ ‘we are busy people, so go and knock at someone else’s door’. But, you know what, singing this song neither gets us nomination in the lyrics category nor in the category of best singer in our LIFE’S AWARDS.

So, what do we do? I think, it’s better if we change the lyrics and together sing this song, ‘We have all the time in the world and we do what matters to most to us’. Because we get what we ask and together we should ask for the best, I hope you remember, the lesson from the Secret, our wish is his command (the Universe). And even if we don’t get any trophy in this, I think, we will still be happy by singing this song together! What say?

So here are 4 tips, which I think, if you follow, you can get more time to read the best books in the world. Or you can find more time for your own self to develop a new habit, which you have been procrastinating since very long . Although, I would want you to start with reading habit first, because I want you to be the best, the best in whatever you do, big or small, in whatever field may be you in. So here are my tips:

1. Become Your Own James Bond 007. This is truly interesting. One day my son was watching James Bond movie (by the way his movie tastes are much better than mine) and I sat with him, and soon I was drawn into the 007 world of action, suspense, thrill, romance and intense drama. Gosh, I was just into it. Sitting glued to my TV Screen. And soon my mom joined in without making head and tail out of the story which was going on the TV screen. All three of us there, two hushed and the third one shouting at our heads. Ok, I must stop this description right away and come to the main point. What surprised me was this- how he does what he does. I mean finding out the secrets and getting the right clues and then connecting them one by one, ultimately finding the culprit. And then, suddenly this idea popped up in my head what if I too become my own 007, The James Bond.

And you know what? When I become my own 007, I detected the culprit within me. I detected the procrastinator, the purposeless finder and the unfocused offender inside me who was escaping from the penetrating detector. I was constantly delaying the things that I wanted to do, I was doing mindless surfing on the internet and was jumping from one page to another everyday, was one such detection. More are given at the end.

2. Become Your own Mathematician. Although, I am brilliantly poor at Mathematics, but my book mentors like Earl Nightingale, Brain Tracy, Antony Robbins , Robin Sharma and bloggers like Leo Babuta and Michal Hyatt forced me to do this simple calculation. Now, it’s you turn.

Monitor yourself and count the seconds, minutes and hours spent on each activity done in a day. Out of 168 hours in a week how much time do you spend on watching serials, sensational news, checking your mobile phone every now and then, engaging in social media and checking Facebook notifications, whatsapp messages and purposeless internet surfing. I calculated, I was spending 30 to 40 hours in a week. And I think, I could have used these hours in doing something more meaningful like reading a book for 30 minutes in a day, exercising for 20 minutes, meditating for even 5 minutes in a day, which is indeed difficult, going for a walk, say for 30 minutes or writing on my blog! Being my own Mathematics teacher has helped me, I think that would be of great help to you as well.

3. Find the Empty Spaces in Your Life. We all have empty spaces in our lives and we just need to use these spaces to be more creative and productive. Whether we are travelling in a metro or waiting for our next flight at airport, we have some empty spaces and we can use them more judiciously. Download the books or audio tapes by your favorite authors and you can greatly enjoy them in your travelling rides or empty spaces. And yes, when you are stuck up in traffic snarl-up, or standing in queue at a general store, waiting for your turn to come, you can always enjoy to read or to listen the audio book. And you know what; there are the added benefits as well. You feel more engaged, relaxed, more productive and less stressed. What else do we all expect?

4. Schedule Your Reading Hours. If you are quite serious about reading books, then make it a regular habit and schedule it in your calendar. One of my favorite blogger these days, Michael Hyatt, suggests that whatever gets schedules gets done. He is a big believer in that. And I think, I am also becoming of that sort. Early morning hours are the best, but you may schedule it according to your weeks’s and day’s plan. We follow schedules and complete most of those  scheduled tasks like we have schedule for meetings, for lectures, for Parent Teacher Meetings and what not, so why not schedule for Reading hours. While thinkers, philosophers, researchers, writers and teachers have such schedule for reading hours, so I think, we as students, engineers, managers and parents should also fix our reading hours. And again, I would re-iterate, if Bill Gates and Warren Buffet too can schedule their reading hours, why can’t we? I think, we too need to sharpen our saw which is habit number 7 by Stephen Covey and must set this as one of the priorities in our lives. It is all about setting priorities in life, reminds me, one of my dear students and I think he always makes his priority well defined in his life. He knows his priorities, what about you?

Now, it’s time for me to share my full report. By hiring 007, and becoming my own mathematician I found this, I was watching a lot of TV, of course, including some good shows , but most of them I was watching without any rhyme and reason. I was checking the same, old mails, and reading them again and again. And next, after every few minutes, my mobile gave alarm and I was jumping like an Olympic high-jumper to see who has said what to whom and why. And I don’t know why? At times my presence and contribution was not required, I think most of the times it was not needed but ironically I was present in all those moments. all the times. And I think, I was just filling my day and completing a day, without any purpose and without any meaning and without any accomplishment. Most of the things were automatic and I was not even thinking what I was doing. I was doing it because it was automatic and I was on an auto pilot mode I guess, but heading in wrong direction. Now I think, I am happy that I hired 007, I was not embarrassed in public, he only showed me my own mistakes and I am sure you too would not share my these discoveries in public with anyone else. It is between you and me (Promise me, you won’t).

So, I suggest you to hire your James Bond and a Mathematician and let them monitor what you do all day long. What is the first thing that you do in the morning, check you mobile phone, right? Because that is all I have been doing all these days, at times, involuntarily. This just became a ritual before brushing the teeth in the morning. Tell me, if I am wrong. I know I caught you right. I am not against anything; I just want you to monitor this.

Because I don’t want to hear that you don’t have time to read books and to do what matters most to you.

And here is another gift for you by Michael Hyatt, his latest free eBook. Enjoy and schedule your own time to read great Books!

Have happy reading hours and enjoy his free-eBook!

Meet the Adversity Professor!

Adversity_Professor_ImageCredit: Google Images

In the University of Life, Adversity is one of the oldest Professors. This professor loves the experiential mode of teaching for better understanding of the concepts of personal challenge, physical hardships and emotional misfortunes in one’s life. But unfortunately, unlike other professors, the Adversity Professors is known for his strict disciplinarian attitude and honest treatment of his subject under discussion. He loves assignments, timely submission and final desertions. So, we do not like him, nor do we like his ways of teachings and experimentation.

But it is only after understanding the deep lessons learnt from this teacher, we realize that his lessons are the best lessons of life because they leave the lasting impressions on our minds. His lessons reveal the true secrets of happiness and peace in life, his lessons reveal the lessons of compassion and empathy in life and his lessons reveal the true meaning of relationship and love in our lives.

And, should I mention, that this Professor is one of the best professors in the University of Life . And he is one of the most successful professors because he has to his credit, the shaping and making of the greatest people in this world. Whom he considers his favorite students!

If I may take names of few, whom you all know so well because of their great achievements,  Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Gautam Buddha and Abraham Lincoln, Leonardo da vinci and Pablo Picasso, William Shakespeare and Mozart, Alexander the great, Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa. Business personalities like, Henry Ford, Walt Disney, Sam Walton and Akio Morita. Sports starts like Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan and our own Master Blaster Sachin Tendulker, just to name a few. Well, there are millions of many such examples. Some are known in the world and some are unknown in the world. But the Adversity Professors knows that it does not matter whether you are known or unknown in the world but what matters is that the unknown realities , beauties and secrets should be known to these students in the University of Live.

So, if you want to know the hardships and toils and turmoils in the lives of all these students, just turn the pages of their autobiographical desertions and see how many sufferings , roadblocks and challenges they all have faced in pursuit of their passion. It is because, the Adversity Professor wanted them to suffer, to toil, to bleed and not to give up and this is what they all did. They sweated, and they suffered. They fell and they cried but they did not give up. They just kept on going, kept on moving, every day and every day with persistence and with perseverance, with passion and greatest of determination, with compassion and humble submission in pursuit of their soul mission. They just did what he said. They just followed what he commanded. They just remained calm, just like water, in their toughest of times. And they gained the fame for what the world knows  about them today and they become the favorites of this Professor.

If you want to take the course offered by him, then be ready to take one of the most adventurous, grueling, hard and gritting life lessons from the most dynamic teacher on the Campus, in the University of Life and you very know whom I am talking about, it  is by none another than THE ADVERSITY PROFESSOR!

By the way, my father got an A+ in this professor’s course!