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The truth about setbacks

So you had a setback? Congratulations. I am not crazy, I really mean it. Though they tend to have depressing effects, setbacks are a necess...

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Quote of the month

“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”—Maya Angelou#diversity
Posted by Shankhnaad-The sound of change on Thursday, 29 October 2015

Saturday, 15 August 2015

The Value of Independence

There has been a recent trend in the country to belittle the leaders of Indian independence struggle, or compare them against each other to decide which was the better one. Indian freedom movement was not a competition. It was the struggle of a nation to assert its right to self-respect, and dignity.

It doesn’t matter who contributed how much. Every freedom fighter, whether it was the common man, or a great leader deserves equal respect. Indian Independence is a great milestone in the history of mankind. It demonstrated to the world the Indian maxim – truth always wins. Don’t ruin the value of the mighty struggle by glorifying one leader, and vilifying the other. Whatever their differences may be, they fought for the same goal – freedom against oppression.

It isn't right to judge the actions of freedom fighters when you yourself haven't fought for India's independence. Let me borrow a quote from the former Prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajapayee, tum kya jano azadi kya hoti hai, tumhe muft me mili na kimat gayi chukai”. 

It's the duty of every Indian to maintain the independence instead of debating on who is responsible for getting independence. Independence is a responsibility to be nurtured. Thousands of Indians sacrificed their family, career, and life for freedom.

Indian Independence day is the day of pride of every Indian, and everyone else who is against oppression. Let our independence serve as a hope to every nation who dreams to win against tyranny.

Happy Independence Day India!

Image Courtesy: Charuhas Acharya @ A glimpse of Paradise

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Ten Motivating quotes by Dr. Abdul Kalam

APJ Abdul Kalam will be etched in our hearts forever.  Dr. Abdul Kalam Sir, was our inspiration...our beloved inventor. His life served to prove a Sanskrit doctrine my parents taught me as a child, "विद्या विनयेन शोभते" (Vidya Vinayen Shobhate) which means that that the more knowledgeable are always humble. As a tribute to him, I'm sharing some of my favourite Dr. Abdul Kalam quotes.

Ten Motivating Quotes by APJ Abdul Kalam

  •  Excellence is a continuous process and not an accident.
  • We must think and act like a nation of a billion people and not like that of a million people. Dream, dream, dream.
  •  Unless India stands up to the world, no one will respect us. In this world, fear has no place. Only strength respects strength.
  •  Let us sacrifice our today so that our children can have a better tomorrow.
  • Science is a beautiful gift to humanity; we should not distort it.
  • Be more dedicated to making solid achievements than in running after swift but synthetic happiness.
  •  It is very easy to defeat someone, but it is very hard to win someone
  •  Those who cannot work with their hearts achieve but a hollow, half-hearted success that breeds bitterness all around.
  •  You see, God helps only people who work hard. That principle is very clear.
  •  If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher.

The real hero of the nation, Dr. Abdul Kalam even after passing away remains in our thoughts, continues to motivate us.

Which of Dr. Kalam's quote is your favourite? Do let me know.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Friday Quote #25

Believe in yourself, then no one can stop you from winning.
Posted by Shankhnaad-The sound of change on Monday, 20 October 2014

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Day Three - Quotes Challenge

"The purpose of life is undoubtedly to know oneself. We cannot do it unless we learn to identify ourselves with all that lives. The sum-total of that life is God."
- Mahatma Gandhi
Faith is not found outside, but within us. And compassion teaches us to love others, and identify ourselves. In compassion, we find God.

My dear Blogger friend Bhavikk Shah who wries at Bhavikk Shah's blog tagged me with 3 day quote challenge. Thanks a ton, Bhavikk for the tag.

Rules of the challenge:

  • Post a favourite quote each day( obviously different quote each day) for three consecutive days. The quote could be from any author, book or your own.
  • Nominate three bloggers with each post.
  • Thank the blogger who tagged you.
On my third day I tag my blogger friends:
Indrani - i Share
Poonam - Stir your souls
Ganga- GB Land

Friday, 19 June 2015

Day Two- Quotes challenge

"The majority of us lead quiet, unheralded lives as we pass through this world. There will most likely be no ticker-tape parades for us, no monuments created in our honor. But that does not lessen our possible impact, for there are scores of people waiting for someone just like us to come along; people who will appreciate our compassion, our unique talents. Someone who will live a happier life merely because we took the time to share what we had to give.” 
-Leo Buscaglia

Here’s a story I read which portrays the same message:

One evening, a little boy was walking along the shore. The bursting tide had thrown some fish along the shore. The boy started picking the fish and throwing them back in the sea.

An older man watched this. He said to the boy, “It’s not like you can save all the fish. Why waste time trying?

The boy paused, and said, “Ask that to the fish I just threw back. It mattered to him.”

Nobody can change the world single-handedly, but if everyone does their little bit, the world will be a better place.

Does anyone know the author of the story? Please, let me know if you do.

My dear blogger friend, Bhavikk, tagged me for three day quote challenge. Bhavikk blogs at Bhavikk Shah's blog, which provides information on stock markets, investments, and economics.

Thanks a lot, Bhavikk for the tag.

Rules for the challenge:

  • Post one of your favourite quotes each day for three consecutive days. The quote can be your own quote, or from any book or author.
  • Nominate three bloggers to challenge them
  • Thank the blogger who tagged you.

For my second day, I tag my dear blogger friends:

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Day One- Quotes challenge

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
- Steve Jobs
I am all for change, so it wouldn't come as a surprise to any one that the above quote is one of my favourites.
Every one is different. When you try to blend in, you move away from your ideal perfection, not closer to it. Be a rebel than a follower, because rebels dare to be true to what they want. It's much better to make this world unique than strive for belonging to an average world.

So, here's to the thought, that we can change the world. Because unless you believe you can, you never will.

My dear blogger friend, Bhavikk has tagged me with this amazing challenge- 3 days quote challenge.

Thanks a lot, Bhavikk for the tag.

Bhavikk writes at BhavikkShah’s Blog. If you want to improve your knowledge about stock market, or need any tips for investment you have to read his blog.

Rules for the challenge:

  • Post one of your favourite quotes each day for three consecutive days. The quote could be from any book, author or your own quote.
  • Tag three other bloggers with each post to challenge them.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you.

For my first day, I tag my dear blogger friends:

Sulaiman -Sulaiman's work- my dream mausoleum

Shetall- Shetall says

Hope you all love the challenge!

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Quote of the week

"Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy."
-Norman Vincent Peale

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Friday Quote #24

When men can no longer be theists, they must, if they are civilized, become humanists.
--Walter Lippmann

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

10 Timeless Quotes on Time

Truth is relative to time. Perspective changes with time. Many embarrassing episodes seem funny after passage of time. Time is the only eternal thing. So, it’s natural that philosophers, thinkers, and writers talk about the importance of time. These are some of my favourite quotes on time.

Enjoy my collection of classic quotes on time:

Timeless Quotes on time

1. We must use time as a tool, not as a couch.
 - John F. Kennedy

Quote on time- 1

2. Tough times never last, but tough people do. 
- Robert H. Schuller

Quote on time-2

3.  Lost time is never found again. - Benjamin Franklin

Quotes on time- 3

4. There are no secrets that time does not reveal. 
- Jean Racine

Quotes on time- 4

5. I must govern the clock, not be governed by it. 
- Golda Meir

Quotes on time- 5

6. If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done. - Bruce Lee

Quotes on time- 6

7. The time is always right to do what is right. 
- Martin Luther King Jr.

Quotes on time- 7

8. Whether it's the best of times or the worst of times, it's the only time we've got. - Art Buchwald

Quotes on time- 8

9. Don't waste time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. - Mary Schmich

Quotes on time- 9

10. Don't wait. The time will never be just right. 
- Napoleon Hill

Quotes on time- 10

What is your favourite quote on time? Do share in the comments. :)

Friday, 10 April 2015

Friday Quote #23

Friday, 3 April 2015

Friday Quote #22

Friday, 27 March 2015

Friday Quote #21

"You cannot believe in God, until you believe in yourself."- Swami Vivekananda. #WednesdayWisdom
Posted by Shankhnaad-The sound of change on Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

The essence of India

When I hear people talking about Indian culture, I get depressed, because with every sentence most of them drift away from culture or India. In the name of Indian culture, people want to preserve superstitious dogmas, half of which were never associated with India or even originated in the country. Some of them are middle eastern or western beliefs so much integrated in the system that now, they are attributed to the Indians. For e.g. the concept of ghunghat.

Firstly, British thought that earlier India was not a nation. They were wrong. India was a nation, and will always be. The political and geographical boundaries don't make a nation just as staying in the same house doesn't define a family. Family members may be dispersed throughout the world, but they remain family. Love binds the family, not the walls of a house. A nation is a group of people who are bound together by a deeper thread of underlying spirit of belonging, and culture.

The hue and cry of the custodians of the culture is dress. It seems that Indian culture is irrecoverably attached to Indian dressing style. Are you talking about the same culture of which Swami Vivekananda was also a part? Then, listen what he has to say:
The essence of India.

In 1893, when Swami Vivekananda visited U.S., he walked along the street, clad in his traditional saffron clothes. On seeing this unfamiliar attire, a woman whispered to her husband, “I don't think that man is a gentleman.”

Overhearing this remark, Swami Vivekananda said to her politely,“excuse me, Madam, in your country it is the tailor who makes a man a gentleman, but in the country from which I come, it is character which makes a man a gentleman.”

I don't think anyone has better right to comment on Indian culture than Swami Vivekananda. If he feels that dress don't define Indian culture, then the self appointed custodians of culture need to study Indian culture rather than worrying about trends in female clothes. Culture has nothing to do with clothes, religion or any of the outer trappings of human invention.

So, what is the culture which represents the essence of India? There are many qualities which define a country, but there is always one quality which supersedes every other quality, and decides the path of the nation's destiny. For India, that quality is its explicit trust in the goodness of human beings.

India was and will always be trustful of people. One of the causes for the high superstition rate in India, faith, isn't related to the amount of education. A highly educated Indian trusts people as much as an illiterate person next to him. India is ready to forgive, and give second chances to people who aren't worth it. Psychopaths, criminals, and politicians take advantage of this nature to influence the people with fake ideals, and false promises.

That is the reason in medieval times, a country like India has fallen in most of the wars. People of India in general, are never wary of foreigners. Even if one of them has given a cause of doubt, we are ready to give them a second chance. We still trust the Brits, don't we?

Is this attitude wrong or right? Frankly, attitude is always neutral so is trust. It depends on how the other person reacts. As far as I'm considered, it's always better to be a believer than a sceptic. Even a sceptic trusts people though he doesn't accept it. But, the problem with sceptics is, once they trust the wrong man they forever doubt the genuine ones, and miss the joy of unbiased interaction with people.

India is not a land of injustice like everyone believes, but a land where people fight against injustice. Indian people (not just leaders) fought for independence, they fought to get justice for Jessica Lal, and they continue to fight against rapes. 

Gandhi once said, “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” This is exactly what Indian culture is about. Having faith that few bad people don't represent any country. That's why we don't believe General Dyer, or his supporters, represent the British or that Hitler represents German mentality.

This post is inspired by Indispire Edition 57

Indiblogger- inspires

Which quality do you think is the essence of India? Do share your views.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

The art of staying happy

Never make friends with an unhappy person. They tend to make your life miserable. You know how it is said, that misery loves company. It's true.

So, what do you do in when most of your friends are unhappy, and consequently negative? According to a camp I attended, let go of those friends. If your friends are negative, and are passing their sadness on to you, it's time to make new friends. I call such advice crap. Never ever listen to such foolish advice.

This isn't a way to stay happy and positive. It's a sure shot method of staying selfish. Selfishness can never bring long lasting happiness. Joy wanes in isolation; it multiplies with sharing.

Tell me, haven't you ever been unhappy in your life? We all have. So, should our friends leave us because, we rub our negativity on them? Friends stay, and help us cope at such times. That's why they are called friends.

Remember, passing on your moods work both ways. Don't let go of people because, they inflict their sadness on you. Instead, cheer them up. Let your joy rub on them. Spread positivity around you. Infect them with your happiness. This way you'll not only help your friends, but make many true friends.

The art of staying happy doesn't include shying from unhappiness. It incorporates, spreading happiness to such an extent that it bounces back at you. Real optimism lies in erasing negativity around you, not negative people.

Keep smiling!

How do you manage to stay happy? What is your secret to happiness? Do share with us.

Original Image Courtesy: Charuhas Acharya. Original Image modified with permission. Image is copyrighted © Charuhas Acharya. Do not modify or re-use the image without express permission of the copyright owner,  Charuhas Acharya @ A Glimpse of Paradise.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Friday Quote #20

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

New campaigns; the same old habits

Image Courtesy: Charuhas Acharya @ A glimpse of Paradise

It is easy to talk about change, but habits aren’t easy to kill. This picture was taken on 27/2/2015; five months after the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. People still litter; the civic authorities continue to ignore the garbage. 

Maybe this pile will attract someone’s attention, and then a wave of cleanliness will begin. A local celebrity will sweep it, and expect people to follow. People will definitely follow- on Facebook, on Twitter, on every other social media- not in real life. Sadly, these waves are limited to virtual life.

The civic authorities do include the local elected politicians. However, these people are a class in itself. They preach cleanliness, even take up brooms, but don’t do any follow up. Still, there is no penalty strictly imposed on those who litter the streets. The cleanliness truck passes the same littered street every morning, but fails to classify the trash as garbage to be disposed. We are still a long way from Swachh Bharat.

India continues as it always did. Everyone is either in a race or living their life; no time for a sense of duty or a change. The only change most people carry is spare coins for the auto wallah or the bus conductor.

Related article: Swachh Bharat, littered streets, and the missing trash cans.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Friday Quote #19

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Happy women's day!

Saturday, 7 March 2015

The mechanism of change

People expected change, they dreamed it. Then, the Mahatma said, "Be the change, you want to see in the world." Everyone tried to be that change; nothing changed. Hopes were shattered; the world remained like it always was. A shadow of gloom descended on the faces beaming with anticipation. People resumed their routine, the same one they couldn't change.

What they failed to understand was change doesn't occur in a day, not even after all our efforts are combined. A seed doesn't grow into an enormous tree overnight. We need to nurture the plants all through the other seasons before the flowers bloom in the spring. In due course, even a primate ape develops into a human. Don't blame the society for not changing; blame it for not trying to change.

Whenever we talk about change, we talk about rebellion. A revolution is revered, and celebrated. Revolution occurs with a big pomp, and fanfare. Most often, it is unstable. It brings a moment of triumph followed by regret. The next revolution is brought to change the effects of the previous revolution. Then, everyone says, change is the course of nature. This is how the world works.

In contrast evolution takes millions of years to occur. Its gradual progress is boring; no one keeps tabs on it. It considers all sorts of trials and errors before a final change occurs. Evolution lasts forever. The changes do occur, but they tend to go in the forward direction. Though, you may find it hard to believe, humans aren't changing back to monkeys.

Remember, though sometimes it's frightening the way society behaves, it will change. The change will be for the better. Have patience. Keep on contributing your part in the change; every effort matters. Let's bring in the evolution. One small change at a time.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Friday Quote #18

Friday, 20 February 2015

Compassion is easy

Compassion is the most primitive instinct of man, and also of animals. You might have observed, how your pet understands your need for comfort. It is the language of the soul. Compassion is natural. It is the first feeling evoked in our heart, when we hear of any tragedy.

Ironically, compassion has become scarce in the world. Civilisation has managed to bury compassion into the depths of our heart, where it struggles to resurface. People feel, it isn't worth to waste time on compassion, which they fear conflicts with competition, the trend of the modern world.

However, compassion is easy. You don't need loads of time, and money to offer compassion. A kind word, a sympathetic touch, an understanding smile, and an unselfish act are the weapons of compassion. Far from making your life tedious, compassion leads to happiness of both the persons involved.

It is different from pity. Pity emanates from your ego, when you feel sorry for someone's plight. It is easy to satisfy pity with a small donation. Compassion, on the other hand, arises from love, where the adversity affects you as much as the sufferer. Compassion does not let you rest, till you've tried your best to resolve the problem.

I've often heard people saying, “It's sad. There's nothing anyone can do to help.”

They are wrong. There's always something, you can do. Lend your sympathetic ears, comfort them with your continuous support, be there for them. Often, compassion is all that people need. Time takes care of everything else.

I read a story once.

After a nerve-racking journey, the author's friend smiled, and thanked the reckless taxi driver.

The astounded author asked his friend, “How can you praise him instead of criticising?”

The friend replied, “My smile, and kindness made him happy. Now, he will pass it on to the next customer, who in turn, will pass it to someone else.”

A single act of kindness can lead to a chain of compassion. Start a chain of kindness, every morning.

You can join by using the hashtag #1000Speak. Check other posts at 1000 speak for compassion.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Friday Quote # 17

Friday, 30 January 2015

Friday Quote # 16


Once in many centuries, such a man is born; when he walks the path of his life, even Gods raise their fingers to salute. He is born is to show the humans, that love does conquer all. All the people who told you that power, and strength makes a winner were wrong. The only qualification for victory is the firm belief in yourself, and truth. Mahatma Gandhi was one such man, he was never a national leader. He was the leader of the whole humanity, his actions changed the future of the world, not just India. The birth of Gandhi was the stimulus which made the world a better place.

My only regret is that I was born many decades later, and missed to see the great man in action. Worse, I was brought up in a nation which wasn’t overwhelmed by his birth, but overshadowed by his death. In our country, I’ve heard so many times, how Gandhi’s action were against India. In fact, this is what got me interested in Gandhi. You see, I love to study contradictions. I wondered why Gandhi led a long-drawn struggle for India’s independence, if he was so much against India. It didn’t make sense.

After a research on Gandhi, I was glad he was born. I’m among the few who think pre-independence India wasn’t worth living. I’m thankful to him for the part, he played in our independence. Now, I wasn’t sure why would any Indian hate him? It was then I heard about the term do-gooder derogation. It means that overtly moral behavior can elicit annoyance and ridicule rather than admiration and respect. I can totally understand this attitude. There is no way any of us can measure up to his high standards of morality. The best, we can do to feel equal, is derogate him. If you acutely observe, most of the people who hate Gandhi are those who claim to be champions of morality in our society.

This is not a post, to make you respect or like Gandhi, what you do is your choice. I’m not even going to write and justify his views. All I ask is read everything he wrote, before you decide what you feel about him. It is never good to form an opinion based on hearsay.

Whenever, I’m depressed about the way world works, I think of this:

Remember that all through history, there have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they seem invincible. But in the end, they always fall. Always.”

― Mahatma Gandhi, in The Story of My Experiments With Truth

It helps me to maintain my optimism. Mahatma Gandhi has proved beyond doubt, “you don't need to terrorise others to gain respect and obedience, love is enough".

Read more about do-gooder derogation here.
Read about Jawaharlal Nehru's views on state of India on the eve of Gandhi's entry in the country in emergence of Gandhi.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Friday Quote # 15

Friday, 16 January 2015

Friday Quote #14

Friday, 9 January 2015

Friday quote #13

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Swachh Bharat, littered streets and the missing trash cans

Once upon a time in the golden past, though not so golden when you think of it. Still, if you observed minutely you might have found some streaks of gold, if you were lucky. At that time, Mumbai could boast of little penguins along the streets. No, no, it’s the truth. That was when we weren’t worried about global warming. If you were lucky enough to have seen Mumbai during 1990’s you might have seen them. No kid could resist the lure of feeding those pretty black and white creatures with yellow beaks. We couldn’t just throw the rubbish on the road, and miss the chance of getting close to the penguin. Yes, I’m talking of the striking trash cans of Mumbai which resembled a penguin. It wasn’t like any trash can, but a cute penguin.

As children, we were in awe of the penguins. They were as much an attraction as any picnic site. But, as I grew up the penguins vanished without a trace. Last year, when I went to Gateway with my nephew, I couldn’t show him any penguins or any other trash cans in Mumbai. I was worried. Was there a possibility, the penguins had migrated to the poles, and the poor authorities couldn’t find any substitute?

Friday, 2 January 2015

Friday quote #12

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