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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, 19 October 2017

Under the Kalpavruksha

The Kalpavruksha is a mythical wish-granting tree. Under that tree all your wishes are fulfilled. Everyone wishes for a Kalpavruksha. It would make them succesful. It would make them rich. It would make them happy. Not necessary to all the three. The Kalpavruksha, you see, comes with a catch. Haven’t you heard about the Man who found the Kalpavruksha?

The wsih-granting tree
Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The Man who found the Kalpavruksha


*An old friend (read eight year old) told me this story when I was four and a half. For years later I was worried that I might accidentally stumble upon a Kalpavruksha. I have no idea who is the original author of the story. I’m going to stick to her original narration in my retelling.

The story


Kalpavruksha is a tree that fulfills wishes. It looks like any other tree, so it’s difficult to spot it. One day, a man was returning home after a visit to the neighbouring town. He had to cross an area of wilderness. The sun was blazing that day. The weary man decided to rest under a tree for a while.
The cool shade made him feel a little better; he started thinking.
This tree has such big branches, I can’t even feel the heat. If only the tree could give me something to eat.
As soon as he thought the words, all sorts of different fruits appeared before him. The man was surprised, but hunger overruled his curiosity. He chose the fruits which he liked, and ate them. After eating his fill, he was thirsty.
He thought, would the tree give him water too? It did.
Now, that his hunger and thirst were satisfied, the man’s thoughts took a different turn. Had he stumbled upon a Kalpavruksha? Wow, that would be great. He would have everything he wanted. He should try asking for something. He was about to just that, when a sinister thought entered his head.
What if it was some ghost playing a trick on him? The ghost might appear right in front of him anytime now.
Lo and behold, the ghost appeared.
The man was terrified. He couldn’t think of anything except that the ghost might eat him.
And that was the end of the poor man.

The catch


Having a Kalpavruksha comes with a great risk. It cannot differentiate between positive and negative. Whatever you wish you get. One negative thought, and you are done.

Life is a lot like Kalpavruksha. It tries to fulfill your wishes to the best of its capacity. Optimism grants you happiness, while pessimism the reverse. Most of our life, we let the negative thoughts cloud our positivity. Result—the wrong wishes are fulfilled. And we go through life dreaming of a Kalpavruksha without realising we already have it.

Think positive. Let life help you realise all your dreams.

Image Source: Dan Fador at Pixabay
Image is CC0 Creative Commons

What do you think about life, and Kalpavruksha? Do share your views.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Ganesha & I

When I learned to write, the first words my mom taught me were श्री गणेशाय नमः (Shri Ganeshay Namah|) in Devnagari, not A B C, nor अ आ इ. When I asked the reason, the below conversation followed.

Mom: Because you want Ganesha to bless your education.
Me: Why?
Mom: Ganesha is the God of Wisdom, that’s why.
Me: Why?
Like every other child, I was a confirmed why girl. At this moment, my dad intervened.
Dad: Ganesha loved studying. He was very intelligent, and learned everything he could. Soon, he had so much knowledge that His name became synonymous with education, and knowledge. Thus, He became God of wisdom.

I was awestruck. Someone actually liked studying as opposed to playing?

My first emotion for Ganesha: Grudging respect; I might not plan on emulating him, but it still filled with me with wonder.

Ganesha & I
The Ganesh idol you see is white, it's the light which is giving the colour. I think it's Wizard of Oz effect

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

The Agony of The Ugly Duckling

I loved The Ugly Duckling story as a child. Today, I admire it on so many levels. Many people criticise it as the ugly duckling has no part to play in its transformation. After all, nature did everything; what did the poor bird do? Wait for the usual course of nature. But that’s the whole point of the story, isn’t it?

The ugly duckling never existed, not in the real sense of the word. It was never a duckling; it was always a swan. The only way a tiny swan would seem odd, clumsy, and ill-favoured was trying to fit it into attributes of a duck. All its variations made it unacceptable as a model duck. If the little bird had been brought up as a swan, no one would’ve termed it ugly. The little swans are supposed to look like that, act like that. The ugly duckling had a horrible time, because everyone perceived it a duck.

Ugly duckling

The irony is that though the ugly duckling doesn’t actually exist, it exists everywhere in the world around us. It exists in our mind, and outlook. In fact, it is so much imbibed in our DNA, that our society is full of ugly ducklings. But, instead of blossoming into magnificent swans, they mature into beautiful ducks.
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