Happy 37th Birthday Aparna

Yes! 37th Birthday since we met and 31st as my better half and partner-in-crime. To say that it got better and better each year, would be stating the obvious or maybe an understatement. Looking back I can say that I don’t mind getting stranded on an uninhabited island after a ship wreck if she is around (so that she keeps reminding me that it was my fault 🤪)

If I were to list, Aparna has so many qualities that make her a very special person. But right on top that I have seen since 1993 every second of the day is what a wonderful mum she is. Not just to biological children but also to our manasik kids – “DaMaKis” gang. The ownership, the care, the rebukes and concern makes it so evident.

As some wise man said, I was lucky enough to have been blessed to be married to someone, not whom I can live with but whom I cannot live without. For no particular reason we have hit off. If someone asks me how, I always say, It just does. God has been Kind. Nothing else explains it. To be honest, it’s just perfect. It is a dream that is being lived every moment, thanks to her. An epitome who live the adage “Love like no other and you feel happy beyond your wildest dreams.”

The Chinese Virus screwed up and adversely affected all kinds of celebrations, some developments in some kids’ personal lives, celebrating as whole gang is now over Video calls. Nevertheless celebrating her existence in our lives never stopped.

Prayers to the Divine! And Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji to bless her with long, healthy, happy and joyful life ahead. May every moment of the year ahead be as special or better than today.

Today’s Birthday Gang
Your Birthday is a special moment for me. Let’s celebrate to treasure these memories forever.

Grace & its ways

I had written this down in response to a query (it was more a challenge) on twitter. Thought it is a good piece that is worth having it on this site with some additional experiences and learning gained ever since I tweeted them 4 years ago. By no means I claim this to be the ideal learning nor even as a prescription, it is just a scrawl of an avid Jigyaasu. I am blessed to be guided on this path, not just by way of various courses and discourses but learning from the Enlightened Master, Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of The Art of Living, whose unmatchable persona embodies all these virtues that is worthy of emulation.

PC: Peter Hershey (Unsplash)

Grace as explained by Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar :
When you receive a lot without making efforts for it, then it is said that you are blessed with anugraha. Usually you work hard at your job and then receive your salary. So you say, ‘I have earned my money’. But if someone gives you a gift, you do not say, ‘I have earned these gifts’. Can something that is earned be called a gift? No. You receive gifts without any efforts. So when you receive a great gift or an award that you feel you did not deserve, then that is called anugraha. When we receive something that we are not deserving of, or which exceeds our capabilities, then that is what is called Grace. When we see that in our life, we have received far more than what we deserve or are capable of, then gratitude dawns in us. We become thankful, complaints disappear and abundance grows.

My two pennies based on experience, generally reproduction of my tweets that were as explanation to a query. The tweet thread is here (at this time.)

Guru’s Grace & Blessings on His/Her Shishya(s) is infinite & is like a blank cheque that we can encash, provided we write our name on it in right (worthy) manner

Shishyas should satisfy two conditions:
1) Our Attitude and Mindset should be like an empty cup (if we think we are already full, then nothing can be poured in the cup)
2) Cup should be in right orientation. Empty cup face down cannot receive anything

Tumbler in Right Direction can accept Water Poured
Tumbler upside down can only mess the place

Grace can/will work only when used in Right Direction. So we as Shishya should have that viveka to ensure it is right. (If door opens inwards and you apply force in the wrong direction you shut it). Even the best of Guru’s Grace cannot work when your work is for wrong purpose

Applying efforts the wrong way
PC: Adobe Stock Photo

Guru’s grace though Free, it is not a Gift. Shishyas should have Arhata (deserving), Viveka (to use it for right reasons), know the Sannivesha (Context) and most importantly Sharanagati (state of surrender). The moment we think we are the Doers, we are DOOMED (Click on the link what “We are not the Doers mean)

As I experienced in various Paramparas, one important aspect they propagate is to refrain from Daiva/Guru Ninda (Defaming God/Guru) or anyone for that matter failing which the Good Karmic balance drastically reduces.

Wishing you loads of Divine, Guru and Elders’ Grace

Happy Birthday Di – Love you >>Infinite number of selfies you click

To my princess and verily a part of my soul – Birthday Greetings to you as you enter the final year of 20s and begin the countdown for 30s. It would be a cliche if I say, it looks like yesterday that Sister Almeida came and placed the little bundle of infinite joy in my grateful arms – that is an oft felt thoughts of any father who is fortunate to have someone like you in their life. But then IT IS TRUE! We never realise the time flying away and this little bundle of joy has grown into a beautiful damsel. Happy Birthday Di.

With Sister Almeida when she was born and then 25 years later – Wasn’t I right in 1st paragraph of this piece?

A popular joke around the world is about 29th Birthday. They say this is one birthday that is celebrated so many times for many years by everyone. That feeling and urge to continue staying in 20s is irrestible. I am sure this will be your only 29th Year. Finding words that can truly express what I feel for you is tough first time and if you chose to celebrate 29th Birthday for the next 21 years, I would be language bankrupt.

While there – here is one of the most popular Humorous wish

Most birthdays come around just once, except for your 29th! You’ll notice in the years to come that every now and then you’ll be recelebrating your 29th birthday again and again!

A few days back – when my Nephew, Adharsh clicked this as she sat on my lap – IT WAS JUST LIKE IT WAS 29 YEARS AGO

These are not just words of an emotional parent – with every year you seem to be getting more beautiful, cleverer, more mature and most importantly – MORE CARING and LOVING! Every time I feel that it has saturated and it is humanly impossible to be loved or cared more, you pleasantly surprise me. Be just the way you are – Happy, Joyful and Cheerful because it is INFECTIOUS. You ensured that everyone around also become just like you, Chirpy, Bubbly and Blissed!

Statutory Warning during Pandemic – Her Cheerfulness, Joy and Smile is Contagious (It always was)

As I get to this stage of this piece, I suddenly am afflicted on what I have described in the past as Blog-Fear (like Stage-Fear). There is so much, so much to write but lost for words. You are in that phase of life when there is so much for all of us to cheer for. Resisting the urge to yell from the rooftop. Let it be for now! This moment is yours and yours alone and don’t want to preempt it and leaving it to you to TELL OR YELL! The law of nature is keep everything continual and cyclical and it is your turn now. Congratulations and Greetings on that!

On that day, which was Important Milestone of your life – Before you set on to build another Home with Arun

What I personally love the most about you is the fact that you touched 1000s of lives positively, just like you touched ours. Needless to mention, my only wish is that nothing takes your quality of loving, caring, dignifying and cheering up the world SELFLESSLY! This is a blessing from me to you and a prayer to the Divine from me – continue being the priceless GIFT to us and continue being one to the world. We learnt the joy of giving selflessly, the random act of kindness from you and we truly consider it an ornament not many apart from you can wear it naturally.

The Precious one from my Precious One
Happy Birthday Divya/Akhila (our Everything) – With loads of love from us

We love you far more than the number of selfies or photographs you get clicked. May Divine shower you His choicest blessings and more on this wonderful day and every moment of the year ahead. Your presence in our lives only proves that the Divine loves us really, else why would HE deliver this precious gift 29 years ago to us.

No tribute or gratefulness piece of mine ends without dedication of a song. This time a Tamil Number which is a favourite of my Princess and mine too. She hooked me on to this song and it is a regular one during our drives out of town. My pick of the stanza in that song (it is not just Velli, which means silver, it is something priceless)

Oru velli kolusu pola
Indha boomi sinungum keela.
Aniyaadha vairam pola
Andha vaanam minungum Mela.

Sung by one of favourite singers – Mahathi who also was/is closely associated with us (for many years now)