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The best utilization of time ― Dalai Lama

24 May

“Sometimes when I meet old friends, it reminds me how quickly time passes. And it makes me wonder if we’ve utilized our time properly or not. Proper utilization of time is so important. While we have this body, and especially this amazing human brain, I think every minute is something precious. Our day-to-day existence is very much alive with hope, although there is no guarantee of our future. There is no guarantee that tomorrow at this time we will be here. But we are working for that purely on the basis of hope. So, we need to make the best use of our time. I believe that the proper utilization of time is this: if you can, serve other people, other sentient beings. If not, at least refrain from harming them. I think that is the whole basis of my philosophy.
So, let us reflect what is truly of value in life, what gives meaning to our lives, and set our priorities on the basis of that. The purpose of our life needs to be positive. We weren’t born with the purpose of causing trouble, harming others. For our life to be of value, I think we must develop basic good human qualities—warmth, kindness, compassion. Then our life becomes meaningful and more peaceful—happier.”
―  Dalai Lama XIV, The Art of Happiness

Good morning dear friends! Apologies for being away, as the great master say’s am trying to make best use of time and like most of us my energies are directed towards work and family. I do miss blogging and will come back soon on weekends to share this little slice of existence..

Till then stay happy and be good dear friends!

Love, Suresh

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Learning to fly

26 Feb

” Well I started out down a dirty road
Started out all alone
And the sun went down as I crossed the hill
And the town lit up, the world got still

I’m learning to fly, but I ain’t got wings
Coming down is the hardest thing”
―Tom Petty  & The Heartbreakers

I have been listening this song for some days and in a riveting solo the great artiste sings ” One day I”ll learn to fly, fly over my troubles, fly over my worries….”.

Some pictures from the school workshops & life. I am done with this academic year volunteering more or less. Children have exams. Hopefully will get to interact with at least one school going forward and do my bit for changing the world. Some pictures..

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I will miss this school. I hope they read books, do assignments and believe in themselves little more..

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I am not a teacher. I am a volunteer. I wish to be a magician and change lives…

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I am just one of them, while they have some Indian sacks ( Samosa) which volunteers get for them..

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I wish these children ” Learn to fly” …

Teacher’s do a great job. I am only a volunteer, connector to dreams….

Like Sadhguru, modern mystic from these parts says ” stomach empty – only one problem, stomach full – one hundred problems”. We human being’s have million problems. These kids have one big problem – poverty and challenging circumstances. Education is their passport to world. We should all volunteer to help make children’s lives better, especially ones from vulnerable strata of society…

As for  my life when am not working, cycling, volunteering, am lazy at home ( clueless)

085 I guess hundred problems..

I have little goals for home every month…( next a dining table)

I like the inspired life..

One day I’ll learn to fly, fly over my troubles, fly over my worries..

Yes, it is

I dedicate this post to my friends and the great artiste Tom Petty!

Goodnight dear friends! Fly over troubles….

Love, Suresh

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can..

21 Feb

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

– Nelson Mandela

I am seeking a triad of professional work, staying with family and changing the world. So far have divided five days for professional work, one day for volunteering and a day with family.  I want to succeed in all three areas of life. I am work in progress. I feel you never truly arrive. One is questioned all the time and one must question all the time.  Other people are doing greater things and driving multiple initiatives. This is just my thing. I need help. I need sponsors. I need constant intervention and advise of doctors for family health. I need a partner to see my vision of the world. Many things. We never do it alone. Some pictures from my life..

Volunteering:

My committed goal is to work with 14 and 15 year old girls and boys and help them pursue education. Am committed to girl child as girls face biggest challenges in poorer sections of societies. The best response have heard so far is from a girl child Prateeksha ” You teach with love. We also love to learn that way.” I volunteer for Ullas trust. I am interested in working long term and on other projects in government schools. I have some ideas.  Few pictures..

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I love spending time with children. Teaching is very rewarding and not easy when it comes to 100 children in a session. I love smaller class rooms of forty to fifty. My Lesson ” I need time to prepare and should prepare well other wise children can get distracted quickly. I am work in progress”. The goal is to be a better teacher. I am good at motivation. My friend had told me long ago. I am sure of that, only thing is my style is one of fervour , so can both inspire and offend in equal measure. Inspire young minds and offend older people 🙂

I have young colleagues who do this work with commitment and love. I want to work with one school consistently over longer term that’s my goal.

Professional work:

It’s in work in you locate yourself. It’s in work you change your world. Am  trying to find my feet back in the corporate world. It’s a never ending struggle to get right opportunities and expression. I want to compete and succeed so can do my projects and take care of family. I am work in progress. As always need sponsors. You never do it alone.  Here’s me in a office townhall in Mumbai.

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I am determined to do my best. I am nowhere where should be and hopefully will get good opportunities.  Iam work in progress.This picture was taken by my colleague and love the sun. Sun is energy. I love being in sun and afternoons.

Family:

Am committed to family. Many in corporate side  make uncharitable or condescending remarks. I have only parent and want to be good to my mother. I am not able to fulfill all her aspirations ( “Why don’t you get married” she asks me all the time) but help her with her fragile health and medical appointments. I really want to succeed on bogey street and be good to family. Iam good here.

Other goals:

– To get a motor cycle.

– To read literature

– To sleep well

My friends have got married and miss them. Here is an enduring message a friend gave me “And yes remember, you will win only if you think “I Can!” no matter what the odds have been against you. ” I wish you the same, whatever your goals, remember ” I can”….

This for today, as always apologies for being away, all of above three, take my time, though love to blog, I promise to be back soon. As always any ideas or feedback , drop a comment or write at: sureshnair71@hotmail.com. I would love to hear..

Have a good day every one!

Love, Suresh

Fixed & no fixed self..

24 Jan

” “The model I finally understood,” he recalled, “suggested that there really is no fixed self. The conventional therapeutic wisdom today encourages the sufferer to get in touch with his inner feelings – as if there were an inner self, a true self, the real self that we have glimmerings of in dreams and insights. . . . There is no real inner self to command your loyalty and the tyranny of your investigation. What happened to me was not that I got any answers, but that the questions dissolved. As one of Balsekar’s students said, ‘I believe in cause and effect, but I don’t know which is which.'”

―  Leonard Cohen: Remembering the life and legacy of the poet of Brokeness, Rolling Stone,  Mikal Gilmore

My own tiny experience of this slice of life is of impermanence. I am more and more inclined towards there is no fixed self. To seek permanence in world of matter is a struggle. May be we are all evolving in our own directions and rightly so. I want to make a distinction though conventional therapeutic wisdom of investigating past also works.  We all need to dissolve past and that needs some investigation.  Thus it has its role. The way I see it is the fixed in past needs resolution. Else we repeat same experiences and trends again and again.  Forgiveness is the tool that have found best for resolution. Forgive everything, forgive everyone, most importantly forgive yourself. It really creates a possibility of peace. I love peace and resolution.  Does it change anything? wouldn’t know but creates a delicious feeling of relaxation.

The other space in this conundrum is there is no Fixed self. We can never be sure of experiences in present & going forward and there are many imponderables & chance elements.  We take a bet on our values, body of work, life situation and goodwill. We can do best and stay committed. That’s about it and  thus absolute free will may be overrated.  This  understanding of no fixed self also creates peace and acceptance. We do our best and take chances with our opportunity and life set.

There is an element of opportunism of seizing chances in this set. I do not know much about this value. This is a neutral value.  It works for some. I have no experience of same.

Thus two contrary beliefs can exist in same space  – Fixed self and no fixed self.  I am straddling this world sometimes in peace and sometimes anxious. Sometimes broken and sometimes assured. Sometimes determined and sometimes accepting god’s will.  I am most interested in two values for the moment – Forgiveness and Grit.

So stay hungry & stay humble..

This for today dear friends. Apologies for being away. I like Leonard Cohen a lot as the world he presents allows me to investigate and locate a self or a no self. That is the role of a master.

Have a good day dear friends !

Love & peace, Suresh

2017 Reflections

30 Dec

The work of the art student is no light matter. Few have the courage and stamina to see it through. You have to make up your mind to be alone in many ways. We like sympathy and we like to be in company. It is easier than going it alone. But alone one gets acquainted with himself, grows up and on, not stopping with the crowd. It costs to do this. If you succeed somewhat you may have to pay for it as well as enjoy it all your life.”
― Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

– I walked alone  may be all of adult life.  I wish to meet people and have a conversation and understand their stories. I have started going out to meet people. Honestly prefer one on one conversations or small groups. Going out in bigger groups is not my style.

– I lost a school friend this year. I went to his house last week when another school friend came visiting to meet his family, his mother said ” He always came but could not  meet…” Yes tried meeting Rajesh but could not meet . Now will never meet him again.  I am acutely aware of mortality. I always have been.

– ” I am not so much interested in religious goals, but am interested in relaxation..” said Leonard Cohen in a NRK interview ( have posted 3 part series). I have had few moments of relaxation this year. Whenever have felt relaxation, have felt happy. Those have come from biking, reading, understanding and speaking to my dear friends. Relaxation equals happiness.

– The book have read most often in  2017  is “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryū Suzuki”. I kept revisiting it for peace and understanding.

– We have  a new friend who keeps us happy and that is my almost three year old niece . When ever she visits or we visit. All of us are happy. That is pure joy.

– I have felt more and more that all ideologies are limited by construct even if some of it’s tenets hold  true. It quickly becomes a interest group or some kind of semi cult. You need to have a core philosophy, otherwise one is rudderless but you cannot exclude the other ….am work in progress, this is my current thought.

– Started volunteering in 2017 with Ullas. That’s a positive this year. It fits into my value set and will continue to  do so.

–  Am reading Angela Duckworth’s ” Grit, the power of passion and perseverance”. It’s a good book and quite like psychology as a  academic subject.

– Good relationships and assume positive intent in others. This is my new life  goal. I wish to have good relationships. At least improve on that front and accept the past. Resolution for 2018.

– I  read and saw a  Chamath Palihapitiya interview posted by Stanford GSB. All these investor types talk like James Bond 007, wonder why would a academic institution call a guy who uses so much profanity, it beat’s me and it’s not funny…

These are 2017 reflections, so much time has passed, want to live my best life under given circumstances & challenges, you too do the same dear friends…

I want to dedicate this post to my few friends who make life livable and tolerate questions and struggles. They are  very kind and my only asset in this journey…

So here’s wishing you happy and joyful times ahead… be yourself and never stop learning…

Goodbye 2017 and Happy 2018

Wishing you a very happy and peaceful new year!

Love, Suresh

 

Bike and reflections

25 Dec

“Like a bird on a wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir,
I have tried in my way to be free!!”
― Leonard Cohen

” We have had a good run, we’ve always had a good run..”

A friend ironically said  on a sad occurrence. I like my friend although don’t meet much because our common friend is gone. Besides don’t talk much these days. What can i say?

I am still game for fun. I just don’t have many experiences as another dear friend said ” He was held back by many things…”  That’s true.  I still reflected on same ” Have I had a good run ?”  The answer is yes : besides women and travel, pretty much have done whatever wanted to…

I love wood, biking ( cycling), reading,  music, family, learning, volunteering..” I like going to work.  Yeah, if you negate those two where have had rotten luck, have had a good run…

So some pictures from bike ride from 24 Dec & Dec 25..

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I and bike sit nonchalantly on a pavement middle of a ride. We are at peace and my bike is 10 yrs old. I had bought a bike and a football to keep my brother engaged. I was very happy when bought it and still very happy with my bike. I am loyal. These days one sees new bikes with more functions and quite expensive ones. I like my basic bike. I think should name it, what do i call …

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25 Dec: After an hours ride, carrying little money, keys and phone, waiting for a omelette in a busy Iranian cafe….

This was my destination point today, for some reason was nervous had barely enough money, eat my food, waiter gives me a scare and says “Rs. 170 for a bread & omelette”, never carry that money while biking, look stunned and two student’s sharing my table tell me ” He has got it wrong, don’t worry, can’t be that much”. The girl in front of me has a sympathetic look… I call him again and read from menu” Rs.70 for a bun omelette”  he agrees….I pay and hit the road..

Rs. 70 is still expensive for a omelette, learnt my lesson, need to carry more money, may be Rs 200 while biking..

I pass by old college and reflect if only was in grace would have made full use of the opportunity, am much better and may be my time is now. We teach student’s to have a plan and perseverance in our school  programs (Ullas). I released that me need to improve on “Planning”..

I ride on, change  routes, yes have a ” dream apartment” my only material goal, may be three years from now…

I am grateful for achieved goals. I spoke to a friend who said ” Nobody is screwed up, you win some, you lose some..”

Yes have had a good run! I still have family conditions to deal with and takes lot of my energy. It’s my destiny.

So have wood ( furniture), music ( George Michael, Leonard Cohen, Abida Parveen, Eagles) Books to read , Bike ( cycle), job, volunteering (Ullas)..

I want to study and need to plan. As for women and travel……god’s plans guess..

Yes have had a good run! Although have  had setbacks and met  horrible people, but it’s a good run..

This for today dear friends!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

Love, Suresh

 

Ullas Trust – Another school

23 Dec

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
― Nelson Mandela

I have decided to volunteer as much as possible for children’s programs. Robert Frost said ” “I am not a teacher, but an awakener.”  I would love to play that role.  Ullas gives a platform to reach out to children who needs to be awakened most, am humbled at this access, something which was always seeking since my student years. I had studied for civil services examination primarily to change the world. It was not to be. I used to present papers to Industry bodies in the same spirit. Somewhere in the rat race and unexpected happenings (outcomes), me and my self  ( I & I) were not the same. I am back to what always wanted to do for community development. My friends are most encouraging and my precious assets. Some pictures for you dear friends …

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Me sharing Ullas ” Dare to dream ” presentation -Summit Workshop on 16 Dec and girl next to me is a 9th standard child, who loves “English” subject, involving her in reading & deciphering English text to instill confidence and faith in herself, she giggles and reads, reads and giggles, then reads with faith…

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I love this audience, try to engage each one, our job is to awaken and instill a sense of belief that ” Yes,I can. Yes, We can” . We do it  in a series through a structure, imagery, examples and a formula. It’s huge for children from deprived sections to” believe.” This is no Pollyanna but a real shot at life.

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We basically steer children to think ” If you plan & work hard anything is possible” . I repeatedly infuse my pet messages ” There is no difference between a girl and a boy” , ” You should always complete and finish what ever you started” and ” Work hard”. I keep injecting these at the regular intervals. Especially for the poor girl children, then my great satisfaction is ” when see a bright spark in their eyes, awe and smile”. I just  hope some one is ignited…and yes one more ” We have to be good human beings.”

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c’est moi trying to emphasize messages of presentation, children are good learners, they also help me to learn local language, being interactive is real fun, it takes a while for children to open up, of course most of the energy is spent in making them concentrate for two hours, but it’s worth it…

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When you don’t have basic needs met and your aspirations are stunted by inhuman circumstances. In a desperately poor and adversarial set up it’s only ignited hearts and minds that can overcome such debilitating circumstances. Education is the only hope for poor children. I am very committed to children’s education and causes. I am doing my bit supporting CRY & Save the children foundation. Now am volunteering for ULLAS….

The other day while going for  morning walk near my home, a beautiful young woman maybe  of twenty with a child in tow asks me ” Bhaaiya thoda madad karo uttane mein ( Brother help me to pick up this thing) . I help her pick up a big sack and place it on her head. The child smiles and gives me a high five.  I walk on heartbroken…

I know the reality. I don’t want to waste time. The only hope is education and healthcare.

“She calls out to the man on the street
‘Sir, can you help me?
It’s cold and I’ve nowhere to sleep,
Is there somewhere you can tell me?’
He walks on, doesn’t look back
He pretends he can’t hear her
Starts to whistle as he crosses the street
Seems embarrassed to be there
Oh think twice, it’s another day for you and me in paradise
Oh think twice, ’cause it’s just another day for you,
You and me in paradise, think about it”
(Phil Collins, Another day in  Paradise)
Think about it…
All pictures are taken by my young  generous colleague and who cordinates the sessions with great enthusiasm.
I would reiterate the most important thing for children is  that they  grow up to be good human beings…
Have a good day dear friends!
Love, Suresh