Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My First English Article

This March end ’2011, I am completing 2 years of blogging. I wish to thank one and all for visiting/ commenting on my blog regularly or occasionally. Even though I started writing  in English as late as 2008 on regular basis, I tried my hand in writing  English articles in 1974-76 when I was 24 years old. On this occasion, I present my first satirical English article published in Youth Times (A Times of India publication) May’1974 issue without any changes.

“Trapped- by Pen Friends!”

Yes my friends, I am trapped by my new pen friends! You may think that I must have inserted my address in some newspaper as an advertisement to gain name and fame and thereby I must have got trapped or else some old landlord must have caught hold of my neck to recover old dues. No such a thing happened to me.

All that happened was, once my address appeared in the ‘Pen friends’ column of a magazine. It was my desire to have friends all over the country but what happened afterwards is altogether a different story. I would like to place before you two important letters which are worth preserving. I received a letter from a reputed International concern from Bombay offering me a handsome job without applying for! It reads as under-
‘Dear applicant, Congratulations! The selection board declares you successful in the preliminary selection……...if you are late in complying with the above instructions, your placement will be transferred to the pending file’. I don’t know what kind of a job was that, but I can get it if I send them Rs.10/- worth of postal stamps by ‘ordinary post’ only. If any of you are interested, you can contact this bogus firm at the bogus address by inserting your address in some pen friends column.

The second important letter came from ‘The Metro films’ (Alas, not from MGM-Metro Golden Mayer). All aspirants for films please note. The Metro films is eager to help me in becoming a super star like Rajesh Kahanna for just Rs.10/- only. (Even though I may look like a Chimpanzee). I feel pity for those boys and girls who are trying hard to get into the film world. Poor chaps! Some are running after the Poona film Institute and quite a few are pestering film stars for recommendations. I think they are unaware of the Metro films, who are eagerly waiting to turn these boys and girls into top stars of all time.

Believe me, I would have joined the Meto films had I the physique of Dharmendra, voice of Raj kumar, face of Dev Anand and talent of Rajesh Khanna , but it is really very unfortunate that after publication of my address, I am so trapped that I am not in a position to spend even a paisa. I am praying God for more such friendly letters and looking forward to a letter which sends me a ten rupee note to purchase a handful of ‘Aspro’!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Loft- The Junk Yard

According to Wikipedia, a loft can be an upper storey or attic in a building, directly under the roof. An upper room or story in a building, mainly in a barn, directly under the roof, used either for storage (as in most private houses), for a specific purpose, e.g. an "organ loft" in a church, or to sleep in (sleeping loft).

But in India, we have an altogether different concept and purpose for the loft. It is more or less used to dump unwanted, discarded things rather than for living or sleeping as the definition goes. When ever a family moves to a house or apartment, first thing they look for is number of lofts. There was a time when every house used to have a separate room called store room with several shelves to accommodate all the unwanted things like packing boxes, trunks, broken furniture and beddings. Now the concept of a store room has vanished however big the house may be. Study room, computer room or treadmill space for health freaks has taken over this space. So where do we keep the not so useful items? Naturally lofts comes handy to our rescue.
In majority of the houses junks like broken plastic bucket, wooden logs, rickety iron chair, gardening or repair tools are stored on lofts with intent that they may come handy some other time. With the shortage of space, gardening is ruled out and those garden tools remain antique. Box containing rusted nails, screw, nut bolts, electrical wires, outdated switches and even fused bulbs finds a place on the lofts. I know many senior citizens who have accumulated many trash items like old marriage cards, bills, notices, hand bills etc and never allow any one even to touch them. That ‘some day’ to make use of those items,never comes. Either people forget things kept on the loft or purchase new items without bothering to search the loft. These junks are removed only when the house is under demolition or getting sold to some one!

The other advantage of loft is that they are never cleared or cleaned.  Mosquitoes, rats, cockroaches, spiders and lizards enjoy the ambiance at the loft and make their permanent settlement there. I remember, in olden times all the houses in town (Northern India) used to be white washed during Deepavali festival but with the spiraling cost of labour and materials, this practice has taken a back seat. So, there is no way for the loft to get a face lift! Modern gurus and specialists emphasize that  old unused items in house emit ‘negative energy’ therefore all such items should be reviewed periodically to be cleared and disposed of to enable the positive energy to flow inside the house  and make people feel good. What ever it be, next time when you are dusting your house, just peep inside the loft also.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

10 principles for Peace of Mind

Guest Article by - Paritala Gopi Krishna
1. Do Not Interfere In Others' Business Unless Asked. Most of us create our own problems by interfering too often in others' affairs. We do so because somehow we have convinced ourselves that our way is the best way, our logic is the perfect logic and those who do not conform to our thinking must be criticized and steered to the right direction, our direction. This thinking denies the existence of individuality and consequently the existence of God.. God has created each one of us in a unique way. No two human beings can think or act in exactly the same way. All men or women act the way they do because God within them prompts them that way. Mind your own business and you will keep your peace.

2. Forgive And Forget: This is the most powerful aid to peace of mind. We often develop ill feelings inside our heart for the person who insults us or harms us. We nurture grievances. This in turn results in loss of sleep, development of stomach ulcers, and high blood pressure. This insult or injury was done once, but nourishing of grievance goes on forever by constantly remembering it. Get over this bad habit. Life is too short to waste in such trifles. Forgive, Forget, and march on. 
 Love flourishes in giving and forgiving.

3. Do Not Crave For Recognition: This world is full of selfish people. They seldom praise anybody without selfish motives. They may praise you today because you are in power, but no sooner than you are powerless, they will forget your achievement and will start finding faults in you. Why do you wish to kill yours lf in striving for their recognition? Their recognition is not worth the aggravation. 
 Do your duties ethically and sincerely.

4. Do Not Be Jealous: We all have experienced how jealousy can disturb our peace of mind. You know that you work harder than your colleagues in the office, but sometimes they get promotions; you do not. You started a business several years ago, but you are not as successful as your neighbor whose business is only one year old. There are several examples like these in everyday life. Should you be jealous? No. Remember everybody's life is shaped by his/her destiny which has now become his/her reality. If you are destined to be rich, nothing in the world can stop you. If you are not so destined, no one can help you either. Nothing will be gained by blaming others for your misfortune.
 Jealousy will not get you anywhere; it will only take away your peace of mind.

5. Change Yourself According To The Environment: If you try to change the environment single-handedly, the chances are you will fail. Instead, change yourself to suit your environment. As you do this, even the environment, which has been unfriendly to you, will mysteriously change and seem congenial and harmonious.

 6. Endure What Cannot Be Cured: This is the best way to turn a disadvantage into an advantage. Every day we face numerous inconveniences, ailments, irritations, and accidents that are beyond our control... If we cannot control them or change them, we must learn to put up with these things. We must learn to endure them cheerfully. 
 Believe in yourself and you will gain in terms of patience, inner strength and will power.

7. Do Not Bite Off More Than You Can Chew: This maxim needs to be remembered constantly. We often tend to take more responsibilities than we are capable of carrying out. This is done to satisfy our ego. Know your limitations. . Why take on additional loads that may create more worries? You cannot gain peace of mind by expanding your external activities. Reduce your material engagements and spend time in prayer, introspection and meditation. This will reduce those thoughts in your mind that make you restless. 
 Uncluttered mind will produce greater peace of mind. 

8. Meditate Regularly: Meditation calms the mind and gets rid of disturbing thoughts. This is the highest state of peace of mind. Try and experience it yourself. If you meditate earnestly for half an hour everyday, your mind will tend to become peaceful during the remaining twenty-three and half-hours. Your mind will not be easily disturbed as it was before. You would benefit by gradually increasing the period of daily meditation. You may think that this will interfere with your daily work. On the contrary, this will increase your efficiency and you will be able to produce better results in less time. 

9. Never Leave The Mind Vacant: An empty mind is the devil's workshop. All evil actions start in the vacant mind. Keep your mind occupied in something positive, something worthwhile. Actively follow a hobby. Do something that holds your interest. You must decide what you value more: money or peace of mind. Your hobby, like social work or religious work, may not always earn you more money, but you will have a sense of fulfillment and achievement. Even when you are resting physically, occupy yourself in healthy reading or mental chanting of God's name. 

 10. Do Not Procrastinate and Never Regret: Do not waste time in protracted wondering " Should I or shouldn't I?" Days, weeks, months, and years may be wasted in that futile mental debating. You can never plan enough because you can never anticipate all future happenings. Value your time and do the things that need to be done. It does not matter if you fail the first time. You can learn from your mistakes and succeed the next time. Sitting back and worrying will lead to nothing. Learn from your mistakes, but do not brood over the past. DO NOT REGRET. Whatever happened was destined to happen only that way. 
 Why cry over spilt milk?
(Contact: p_gopi_krishna@yahoo.com)