Thursday, November 30, 2006

Self Singing

I was there just because Abhijeet insisted. That was a nice evening gathering with people of different ages. Some were retired some were students. There were those also who seem to be around my age not a student and not yet retired.

Since many days Abhijeet was pestering me to be involved with this group and be a part of their evening meeting they conduct normally once a month. I was quite hesitant and was hiding away saying “I don’t know anybody there, so how can I get involved suddenly"

"Look! You need to do all the things first in your life. SO take this as the first incident to get involved in a group where I belong and I know you will like them."

So here was I now observing all the others in that room.

"Ok, friends let us start today’s activity", one good looking short haired guy took the lead position and started with these words.

"We have a new friend with us today", he was looking towards me now so others can follow his gaze, and what they eventually did.
"I smiled and lowered my neck so as to make a greeting gesture"
"Dinesh," said the guy showing one hand towards me as if he was presenting me to all.

"Dinesh, I am Radha"
"Dinesh, I am Sudhir"
This went on for all the people present there and all of them uttered my name first and then introduced themselves. It was a weird experience to hear my name again and again from all of them.

"Ok. Now our today’s activity and it is self singing", said Vikas. This was the guy who started the meeting.

"I will explain again for those who have forgotten the things that self singing is singing for self. It should be done by closing your eyes. The song should be anything that comes to your mind as soon as you close your eyes."

"Oh, no I cannot sing", was my immediate reaction and internally I was cursing my self about listening to Abhijeet.

"No, I wont sing in front of all these people", was my strong opinion. I kept it with myself as my number was not the first one.

Radha started singing. She was singing with eyes closed. All listened to her and she was not bad. The strange thing happened when she was in the middle of the song. All people started hooting her, teasing her and laughing at her and talking with each other. This was rude and I felt anger rising in my mind. Radha was still singing as if she was unaware of the surroundings. She finished her song and all clapped for her.

"Dinesh, I know what you may be feeling after seeing what has happened.” said Vikas and continued, "Let me explain the activity in details."

"We have to sing to self, so all of us will start hooting after some time and you have to continue singing as if you have nothing to do with the world. If you can do that the claps are for your self song"

"It doesn’t matter whether you sing good or bad, any way you will be hooted after some time and you have to be honest with yourself to sing a song for self"

That day I sang one song closing my eyes. It was lakadi ki kathi from film masoom. I was real bad in terms of music and tune but when I felt others have started hooting I enjoyed keeping my eyes closed and continue singing.

While returning home I was happy. I don’t know who invented the weird game but it made me happy internally and gave me power to sustain some more days of this hectic world.

Tushar Joshi, Nagpur

(Image courtesy Allan McKenzie)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


"You always recommend different books to us."

This was more like a question than a statement. Or maybe that was more like a complaint. It was necessary now for Rajesh to ask the intentions of the maker of the statement.

"Yes Manish, when you like something there is an internal urge to spread the joy. This is the main motivation for me to recommend the books. Do you have any problem?", asked Rajesh

"No. Not like that. I was thinking whether you really learn something from these books? or have you ever experimented the things written in the books?"

"Yes of-course Manish, I have. In fact I almost try all the things I believe and where I agree with the author"

"No way. Say it again. Really? Do you mean you really follow the things given in the books? Can you give an example?"

"Yes why not. Do you remember the book I recommended some days ago, by Robert Schuller, named Tough Times Never Lasts Tough People Do?", asked Rajesh

"Yes, I do"

"There is a chapter in that book about raising funds to build crystal cathedral and the author has mentioned a way for brainstorming and positive thinking, Ok instead of telling you more about the book contents I will tell you the story how we got motivated and used the theory in one of our objective"

"Interesting, Rajesh I am all ears now, let the story begin.."

"One of our best friend is poet and has written many poems. We loved his poems and we wanted to publish his poem book. It was thought by our friends that printing the poem book and giving him as surprise will be a wonderful thing."

"Wow and then what happened", Manish.

"Yes but we all were studying in college and were not having that much funds to achieve this, but still then we started this effort as a project. We learned that to print a 100 page book of poems will cost us minimum Rs. 2000"

"So how did you solved the problem?", Manish.

"Wait, wait, I am also eager to reveal that. I was having the crystal cathedral in mind and the positive thinking concept always in my mind. I thought of one idea, as said in the book if you cannot find funds from one place think of different sources. If you want 1000 then either ask one person for 1000 or ask 1000 people for 1 and you can achieve even things which you feel are impossible"

"The idea was great and all my friends were also motivated with the idea. We created a list of all the well wishers who can lend some money to us and we were ready with 5 families who were either in relation with the poet friend or were knowing and fond of his poems. We explained them our project and told them that we will refund the amount after the book is printed. They happily lent us Rs.300 each to make a sum of Rs.1500."

"Wow, so you were more than half done", said Manish, excitement in his eyes.

"Yes but the remaining Rs. 500 were also very important and now we had exhausted our list of well wishers. Suddenly one of our friends came with an idea. He said why not sell this book before printing to all our friends. We will keep the pre-printing cost as Rs.10 and we will have to find 50 friends who will buy the book before it is printed."

"That was not fully impossible and we all started convincing our friends, friends of friends and we gathered the remaining Rs. 500 in 10 days. The book got printed and the day when we had all our copies in hands was a great day of celebration and was a reinforcing day for positive thinking."

"wow and then, was the poet friend knowing this?", asked Manish.

"We surprised him by presenting him copies of his poem book", we couldn't forget that day and that joy we went through. And see you now cannot say that books don't teach us. They do teach us lots of things. We can experiment with life and life is beautiful if we want it to be"

"Great! Now I am more than convinced Rajesh"

"And you know what Manish? We repaid all the Rs.1500 by selling 150 more copies of the books. We got total 500 copies from which we distributed the already sold 50 and we gave 100 copies to the poet friend and we sold many more copies and thus our complete project was a success. It was a big lesson for us about how to believe in your self and think positively"

Tushar Joshi, Nagpur

(Image courtesy Mak Patel)

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Pravin was working for a software company as a consultant.

"So how is your work? You said you are with a company working as a software consultant Praveen", his friend Amar asked.
"Good, the people are good. There is one project manager Sagar", said Praveen "who closely coordinates with me in the project"
"And you know this Sagar is a very difficult guy, very demanding", added Pravin.

"Demanding? What type of demanding is he?” was the next question by Amar.

"You know Sagar is always pressing timelines and even he asks people to stay late for work."

"Sometimes they also feel that the urgency is a false urgency created by Sagar only to get the things done", told Praveen with wrinkles on his forehead.

"Even he is ridiculed on his back about his demanding nature.", Praveen started again as if remembering something, "that day I overheard the developers cracking joke on him"

"He was being ridiculed as a Captain of the project, software developer regiment, who is very strict and rude."

"Interesting", said Amar "then what happened next?" asked Amar again.
"Nothing, project is nearing completion and may be over this month then my contract with that company ends."

Some months later when Amar and Praveen were chatting on messenger

Praveen: Hi Amar

Amar: Hi Praveen whatsup hows life

Praveen: fine yaar, I joined a big MNC couple of months back.

Amar: great and what is the current project

Praveen: our company has outsourced one sub part of the project to one company, that company you know I was working as a consultant? And I am coordinating it.

Amar: oh yes, so it seems you suggested that company to them

Praveen: yes because I felt they could do things

Amar: and who is the project manager this time? I remember your Captain Sagar from the last experience.

Praveen: same Sagar. I demanded to work only with him.

Amar: oh god! You said he was difficult and pressing and demanding and what not last time, so how could you choose him for the work again.

Praveen: You know he is the guy who delivered the project in-spite of much turbulence. I observed him very closely. He often gets bad remarks, but you know what? he gets the things delivered.

Amar: hum so you say he is a good project manager for a client but not for the developers; see as soon as you have switched the roles you are praising him so deeply.

Praveen: you may be right, but I have seen many project managers and amongst them this guy really knows what he is doing and will always be preferred over others.

Amar: ok, time to go see you again Praveen

Now Praveen and Sagar are again working together, only the roles are different and this can be a start of great friendship.

Tushar Joshi, Nagpur

(Image courtesy Jonathan Machen )

Saturday, November 11, 2006


We were chatting with friends. Sunil was also with us. Sunil is one of my good friends.

"..and she is very cute, and when she utters my name then wow it feels like somebody has sprinkled ice cold water on your face...", Rajesh was citing his experience with his girl friend.
"When I asked how much you love me, she said.."

"Wait.., Can I ask you one question?” interrupted Sunil in between.

"Yes?” Rajesh stopped looking towards Sunil with a question mark in his eyes.

"Have you told her that you will be describing your moments spent together in friends?"

"No. But that doesn’t makes difference.", said Rajesh indifferently

"So you are taking her for granted that she will not say anything when she comes to know this"

"Common yaar, you are making mountain of a mole. How come she will come to know? Who will tell her? You?"

"Rajesh, my friend, now you are becoming more difficult, now you are talking about lying to her and this breaks your integrity man, think about this."

Later I asked Sunil why he was stressing the topic, and whether he feels that after this will Rajesh really think on the topic?

"Look, I want to be honest with my opinion and values. I try to present them to all. This shows and is my character. Even if Rajesh doesn’t pay attention it is just like I reinforcing my values by re-stating them"

I liked the answer given by Sunil.

Tushar Joshi

(Image courtesy Chris Lim)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Rush Hour

Shridhar was waiting for his turn to come. It was a stationary and gift article shop. There was a little boy around 12 years also waiting for his turn to come. There was rush at this hour in the shop and the sales-boys were awfully busy serving all the people.

Suddenly the owner of the shop approached them.

"My apologies sir, it will take 10 minutes more to get some room for you. If this is not very urgent you can come after 10 minutes or if it is ok with you; you can wait here for 10 minutes. This doesn’t happen often but today lots of people have come at the same time."

"No, No, it’s ok", said Shridhar, "I will wait."
The little boy also stayed there as if he wants to wait and get the things today only.

The shop owner stayed with them and kept talking.

"So why don't you help getting some items for me, if you really care for me", Shridhar said internally feeling that he might be becoming rude now.

"You are right sir", said he "I can also start serving you and help all my boys working behind the counter. I feel talking to the customers waiting outside is my job in this shop as you people are very valuable to us. If I also start working like my sales boys then there will be nobody to take care of the customers waiting outside. We cannot lose you sir just because there is rush in our shop. So I have made it a point to talk with all the customers when they are waiting for their turn to come."

"Apologies again for the delay you are facing, yes sir now you can approach the counter, my boys will be happy to serve you", he said and turned to the little boy to ask what he has came for.

Shridhar got his items and also got an insight about the views of the shop owner. He also decided to visit the same shop again whenever in need of stationary and gift articles."

Tushar Joshi, Nagpur

(Image courtesy Dave Gingrich)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Just for You

Swapnil came to my place in the evening.
"Let take a walk", said he.
We usually take a walk along the railway line passing by my house.

We started walking along the railway line chatting about random topics.
"So, what was it that brought you to my place today?” I asked.
"Nothing. I just came to meet you and be with you."

"You mean just to meet me without any task? Just to meet me? Come on tell me what is it that you want?"
"See, I have many things that I want from you and also have many things I need you to do for me, but yes now I have come here just to meet you and enjoy time chatting and yes to listen if you have something to tell me."

"Ok. As you say", I exclaimed and we continued walking along the rail route.

"Hey I remembered, you were asking about the chemistry journal the other day, I will give it to you as soon as we reach home"
"No", said he "will it be better if I take that journal one hour before we leave for school tomorrow morning? See this way today I can invest some time being with you without any reason."

He insisted on his ways and went that day without the journal. I felt happy for one thing that he was such a friend who wants to spend time with me without reason; or with the sole reason of spending time with me. Even if I don’t confessed this thing in public still I felt good inside and was fresh and smiling for many hours after he left.

Tushar Joshi, Nagpur

(Image courtsey Sturla Pengilsson)

Sunday, November 05, 2006


That was my first day at college. I entered the class room. It was already full with around 15 more students. I gazed them in my usual style and searched for a vacant seat where I can settled down and start my year as student in this class.

Eventually I found one cushy place to seat and headed towards it. I passed by many other students chatting, laughing and getting introduced with each other.

After I was on my chosen place I was now ready to observe the other students and the variety of styles we had got there. One student entered. As soon as he entered he approached the first guy sitting next to the door and spread his hand just as about to shake his hands.

"This is Amit, Hi"
The students next to the door automatically stood up and shook hands. Amit then continued this shake hand process with most of the students presents that day in the class and then somebody gave him a seat.

I usually don’t give much importance to these types of stunts. I neglected him that day, but yes I was also one of them who shook hands with him that day.

Next day and coming many days, I learned that the hand shake ritual was not a stunt but was a regular feature of Amit. He made everybody feel that their presence is noted and observed. Obviously Amit was the most popular guy in our class and also most helpful to all.

I wished I could get some of his energy and make people around me feel that they are involved and their existence noted well.

Tushar Joshi, Nagpur

(Image courtesy mushin_schilling)

Saturday, November 04, 2006


Sachin got promoted. He deserved it and was happy to receive it. He called all his friends to tell the news.

"Hi, Sachin", was the voice saying when Sachin picked up his cell phone.
"Yes, Sachin here”, said he and added, "Is this Vikram?"
"Yes Sachin, you got it right. I got the news from Prakash and was happy to learn it. Congratulations for the achievement."
"Thanks Yaar, I was about to call you also."
"Oh, Thanks Sachin, and hey will you be at home in the evening? I am planning to visit you today."
"Yes I will be at home, no plans to go out today."
"Fine let us meet in the evening then, See you Sachin"

Sachin opened the door and welcomed Vikram. Vikram looked fresh and was holding a big pack in his hand.

What is this Vikram? Sachin asked surprised.
“These are pastries for all Sachin. I am very happy to learn you got promotion today and this is the way I always congratulate people.”

"Hey hey, Vikram, it is I man who should throw party for friends, why have you spent so much for this?"
"Sachin, if you feel like throwing a party, well that will be your decision and you should do that as and when possible. This is my happiness, that I wanted to share with you and for that if I demanded party then it wont make sense. If I am happy then this is the way I have found to share my happiness with you.”

"Do you always do like this?” was Sachin's next question.
"Yes always Sachin! I believe this is the way I can show my true feelings to people. You will never find me asking a Party for somebody's success. If I hear somebody has got success and I am happy for it then I celebrate the event with that person."

"Great! But don’t ask me to do something like this haa.n, I am used to demand party to my friends when something great happens in their life. This is our way to celebrate"

"Yes Sachin I agree that there are many ways to celebrate, I have found mine."

Tushar Joshi, Nagpur

(Image courtesy Katy Watts)

Friday, November 03, 2006


Snehal received a book on her birthday from Ashish. She was not fond of books. She didn't have the tendency to read books. She called Ashish on his cell.
"Hello, Ashish"
"Who is this?” Ashish asked.
"Snehal here, and let me ask you a question before I forget that while talking."
"What is it Snehal?"
"Thank you for the birthday present, Ashish, but do you know I don’t have habit of reading books?"
"Umm, somewhat yes, Snehal, I do know that you don’t have a habit of reading books, please don’t get offended and let me explain my motive for this present."
Snehal was silent.
"Can I explain it now?"
"Yes, go ahead" Snehal replied.

"Snehal, I have gifted you the book named Tough Times Never Last Tough People Do by Robert Schuler."
"Yes I know that, I have read the cover page", Snehal interrupted.
"Snehal, even if you don’t read books keep this as a gift from a friend named Ashish with you, and when ever you feel depressed or dejected or just curious just open any page on this book and read the content on that random page. Believe me you will get some hint about what to do next in your situation"
"Really, do you really feel something like this can happen from a book?"
"Yes Snehal and you must try it once, I understand you don’t have a habit of reading books so I don’t ask you to read it cover to cover but do remember what I have told you and try reading any random page from that book, and you will get some great idea from it"

"Hello, Ashish"
"Hello Snehal, how do you do?"
"Thank you Ashish, I just called to thank you for the book you have gifted me, and you know what? I opened a random page on that book and started reading it and that day my family was amazed to see Snehal reading book for many hours. This book is addictive; I could not resist reading more pages."

Ashish hanged the phone after the conversation is over and was happy that he has planted the seed of reading books in one more person.

Tushar Joshi, Nagpur

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I was sitting in a Tea Stall which in slang is called a tapri. Sipping tea in the small glass cup I was thinking about my failure. I had miserable failed in the last project I started. It had shifted me into a state of depresses ion.

Rains have started and the climate was wet. This was adding to the intensity of my pain and frustration. I saw a poor man digging beside the tea stall. He was sort of erecting some wooden columns so as to add a roof on top of them.

I strolled there near him and asked with curiosity
"What are you doing?"
"I am building my hut back, saab", said he not even looking towards me.
"Will you like to have some tea?" I asked but didn’t waited for his answer, and ordered "laalaa! One cut chaai here please."
Now he looked toward me with appreciation, as if he was thanking me with his eyes.

"What happened to your hut?" my question
"Yesterdays, rains washed away my hut and I need to re-build this before night"

I felt a connection between his situation and mine. Strange enough but he was also broke so as I. His hut was brought down not because of his fault just like my project failed not because of me. When you have to face failure from the situation where you are not responsible you always have a question "Why me?"

"Don't you feel pain bhaiyya? This is such a sad thing that you have lost your hut yesterday. I can feel the pain you may have inside", I tried to console him by showing my sympathy.

"Pain saab!, I cannot afford to be painful, I cannot afford to even think about the sorrow and why me stuff. I must work again and build this hut from the start as fast as possible so my wife and child can have some roof to-night to sleep"

Internally I felt to touch his feet for teaching me this lesson. Wow! Can I afford to be frustrated? What am I doing? Just sorrowing and doing nothing to proceed further.

Yes even I cannot afford to be painful and do nothing. I must proceed. I got my lesson that day from an un-conventional teacher.

Tushar Joshi, Nagpur

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Phone Call

"And remember Megha I love you so much."
"What how much I love you?"
"Oh, you want a measurement",
"Ok keep walking for thousand years and count the foot steps to know how much I love you."
"Yes Dear! very true as true as the heat of sun, as true as the feeling of pouring rain water."

"I am just waiting for the bus to come."
"I have bought a soft velvety teddy for you. You will like to hug him and pat him on the head. And you know mother has given cake for you. It smells like heaven, sweet and spongee as you always like."

"Its hot here, I can feel sweat running behind my ears. Hey I have also purchased a set of bangles for you. You know they sound like ringing bells, and their touch is scintillating and hard like glass, but they are of metal."

I was listening to this conversation for around 15 minutes. Definitely newly married or lovers on phone. He was sitting just besides me with no care for who is sitting beside. He was engrossed in love talk with his heart.

It was evening. We were waiting for the Pune luxury bus with our bags in our hands. A journey overnight. The unusual thing, in the conversation I found, was the words were different. He was using unusual examples and describing things in a different way.

After he finished his call and we had a chat I got to learn how circumstances changes people. Even your vocabulary and your expression patterns change with a change in your surroundings. His wife was blind and after knowing this, suddenly all the words he has uttered started making sense to me.

This was a thrilling experience for me. I admired him to get so involved in her life that his vocabulary has adopted her life images and thinking patterns smoothly.

Tushar Joshi, Nagpur

(image source:,

Monday, October 30, 2006

Cute Girl

She was a sweet little girl. It was a friendly gathering with some old and new friends. Many children were there playing and shouting to their will.

She was little small, to play with other children. She was playing on her own.

Many people came and tried to pick her up to show love and appreciation. She forcefully rejected all. I was watching people desperate to pick her up and play with her. She was stubborn and not willing to be even touched.

One of our friends picked her up in-spite of her resistance and that resulted in a loud cry followed by intense shouting sequence. He hurriedly kept her down and took his way towards other friends.

After some time I saw in her eyes. She was making some signs with her eyes, closing them and again opening them in a direction. I followed the direction of her mischief. There stood one of our friends Devdatta, leaning on a wall. He was playing with her from a distance. They were making faces to each other. He was showing her many items from her pocket, like keys, handkerchief etc. Suddenly she ran towards him "have you seen my new doll?"
"No I haven’t seen your doll, will you show it to me?" he asked
"Yes, come" said she enthusiastically and took his finger in her little hands and they were out of the room.

I saw faces of many people envying the event just happened. Devdatta was patient and exactly knew what is required to play with a little girl of her age. I though rest of the people just tried to show that they love children without thinking what the girl will like.

One of them even tried forcibly to pick her up just showing how much he loves children. Some also tried to adore her by touching her on cheeks which she resented.

Tushar Joshi, Nagpur

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Rough Work

I was studying with Manish. As most of the students we were surrounded by books and copies. There were fair copies and rough copies. There were some pages and yes we were having a black board for brainstorming at Manish's house. I loved that black board as it proved to be very handy for solving problems.

Today was the first day when I was studying with Manish. He was calling me again and again since last week and it happened to be today that we are group studying.

I saw him writing problems in his copies and even on the black board. His handwriting was very good with decent curves. When I wrote besides his writing it was just like garbage kept besides flowers :(

I noticed one very strange thing in his writing. He wrote all the things very clear as if this were the final write-ups. I mean literally no rough work.

"Hey why are you wasting so much time in making the things complete, after all this is rough work right?" was my innocent question to him.
"Look, I believe that what you always do is what you will do at the final time. This is my character, yaar to write complete. Why should I change it even for rough work." he uttered.
"But you can always write with good handwriting when it is needed, why do this in rough copy and even on the board." I was insisting on my argument.

"Once I read a statement", said he," and it goes like live as if this is the last day of your life. That statement inspired me to always write as if I am writing for the last time. You know this habit has helped me make my handwriting better, I was not such a good writer before."

I was amazed and was thinking can I do this. No, never. I am always in hurry to do things quickly and I know I will write enough good in the examination to get required marks. But I noted this habit as a good habit to have.

Tushar Joshi, Nagpur

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Seek to Understand

"I will not talk to you, I won't even come to visit your house", these were the words uttered by Sandhya. She was really angry and one can see the anger with pain in her eyes. I always envy women for their transparent faces. I know I am generalizing too much, but this has always proved true with me. I have seen all women around me with transparent faces. You can just read the emotions in their eyes. Somehow I always remained away from acquiring that skill and my emotions are only visible to some of my skilled and dear ones.

Sandhya was angry with Appu. Appu is a common friend to Sandhya and me. He was in trouble now because Sandhya was really angry. The reason she was angry is not important now as Appu dissolved the issue flawlessly.

"Don't take it lightly", continued Sandhya, "you cannot get away just by apologizing to me."
Appu said "Sandhya, you are angry with me. You don't want to come to visit my house now. Fine Sandhya, you know what? I am not angry with you, and I will talk to you and I will visit your house. Will you allow this? I want to be with you and understand."
The way Appu said "will you allow this" was so real and dramatic it was as if getting the answer as yes without the listener actually saying yes.

What I admired from the situation was Appu was not defending his position. He was just trying to be with Sandhya when she was angry. I would have defended my position, would have argued with her about who was right and all that. Appu took a different path to be just with her and understand her.

I feel this approach really helped them to solve the problem. It is very important to understand that when someone is angry at you, there is some pain working behind the scenes. The act of expressing anger may be anything and in any way but the truth lies somewhere in that person getting hurt. If we want to eliminate the anger we need to understand the pain and try to eliminate the pain. The first thing to achieve this will be to be with the person who is angry and understand the view point.

Tushar Joshi, Nagpur

Friday, October 27, 2006

Birthday Present

It was my birthday and as expected I got a call from Ashay saying Happy Birthday to me. I always wonder how he can remember so many birthdays. Everyone receives his phone call for birthday and anniversaries.

I accept that I cannot remember birthdays of people except some near and dear ones. How can somebody remember all the birthdays of all the people you meet? This was a mystery for me for many years, until this year. I decided to ask Ashay the secret of his memory.

"Hello Ashay", I called him "can I ask you one question?"
"Yes why not" said he.
"How can you remember so many dates so perfectly?” I asked, “I have heard many people say that Ashay wished me, and he almost remember all the dates for his friends and family." my curiosity was pouring out of my words.
"Friend, you will have to come down to my place to know the secret" he said.
"Do you mean you have a secret?" I was amazed with the answer and also got relieved that Ashay must have something which I can also acquire. "Are you free now? can I come right away?" I couldn’t stop but to ask him this with impatience.
"Certainly friend, come over, we will have a cup of coffee while I show you my secret" Ashay said and we hung the phone.

I was more than happy as I finally asked him how he manages remembering so many dates. Now I was on my way to learn something, or maybe get something by which he does this fabulous thing.

I rang the door bell to find Ashay opening the front door. "So where is the magic lamp you posses which gave you so much magical powers Ashay?" I asked with curiosity.
"This is no magic friend, he said smiling mischievously and took me to the wall where a calendar was hung. He pointed towards that calendar and asked me to observe it.

It was a calendar dated 1998. Old calendar indeed. It was having current month set. I could see all the dates with names on them. There was today’s date with my name on it. Wow Ashay had maintained a calendar since 1998 with names on the birthday dates. What a simple journal to maintain. I was really amazed with the trick he was following since so many years. There were almost most of the dates filled with names. Some dates were having two names joined with equal to symbol.

"What is the equal to symbol Ashay?" I asked.
"Simple", said he "those are the anniversary dates with two names joined with equal to sign.

"One question?", I interrupted him.
"There are too many names on this calendar. Do you really call all of them?"
"No, man" he explained "some are very far now, some have lost the contact. This journal just reminds me of the birthdays and anniversaries of current month. I choose who to call. So the names still in contact and in good faith are chosen to be called."
"And you know what", he continued with enthusiasm, "this journal also reminds me all the names I was in contact with some day or other and also helps me remember and find our past friendships"

What a simple thing to do and yet so powerful I thought after seeing this. The coffee was good. I was imagining the power I will get just by maintaining such a calendar journal with me. All my friends and relatives will be so happy when I will call them on their important dates. The thought itself made me happy and this was a great birthday present for me from Ashay this year.

Tushar Joshi, Nagpur

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Diwali Fire Crackers

I always love visiting Prakash's house. One of the reasons is his book shelves. He has a passion to buy books and one can find many books on different subjects there.

Today again I was just browsing the new comers on the shelf while Prakash was helping his mother in some house hold work. Suddenly I found one book; it was on Mind Mapping, which was labeled "Diwali Crackers 2005".

"Hey Prakash!”, I asked, "what is this Diwali Crackers label doing on this book?"
He was not listening, I assumed as there was no answer to my question. I decided to ask the question when he will be back.

One more book again I found same label "Diwali Crackers 2004". Now I could not stop myself but to search Prakash, and ask him to stop whatever he was doing and answer me first.

I located Prakash in the house and asked again "hey I found two books in your shelf labeled 'Diwali Cracker'".
"There are many" said he" you will find one per year since my childhood."

I just saw towards him as if I am ready, to listen, the whole story. I was assuming there is a story behind this labeling and Prakash took the clue and continued.

"I was fond of book from my childhood", he started "and like others I also used to get funds for buying fire crackers in Diwali festival. Somehow I was not having much interest, in fire crackers unlike all my brother and sisters. I used that money always to buy a good book of my interest and see all my brother and sisters playing with fire crackers for three days while I read that book for many years to come."

"Wow!", said I "but don't you think you missed the pleasure of fire crackers?" was my question after that.

"It never occurred to me that I am being deprived of fire crackers. Since I can buy books of my choice I always felt that playing with fire crackers is burning your money for a very trivial cause. I don’t say everybody should do this, but this is the way it happened all the way and now I have many books with the label Diwali Crackers with the respective year on it".

Today was my day to be amazed and appreciate a hobby worth noticing. I was sure I could not resist playing with crackers. This was a new dimension to the thinking process for me. Just to keep the discussion running I poked him”, so why do you buy sweets and new clothes, you can apply the same logic there also?"

"You are ridiculing me now, I know that, but see", started Prakash again”, you must agree that this is altogether a personal choice. Now when we buy sweets and clothes I feel they are needed. I could not avoid them. Here I try to think about what is absolutely necessary and then I come to conclusion that yes I can keep away with the crackers part of this celebration. This doesn't mean that I have never played with crackers. But spending hundreds of bucks on this luxury item is a no-no for me."

He had a point there and I never argued with him about it again. I started thinking about my hobbies and whether there is any hobby like this which is different than most people do.

Tushar Joshi, Nagpur