In Pursuit Of Happiness : 5 Amazing Quotes To Remember

The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters. – Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn became the fifth person to win ...

Audrey Hepburn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We all give our best everyday whether at home or work to get the best we deserve. We put our heart and soul into work,family,friends to reach our goals and finally be happy about it.

If you pay attention to my sentence above you will notice the word ‘Happy‘ came at the end – Why? its more to do with our thoughts and actions and that’s how we all become happy.

Everyone of us has something we are all working towards.

First and foremost :

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. ~ Dalai Lama XIV

English: 14th Dalai Lama, Dharasmala, India

As expressed in quote above – we can make ourselves happy by our actions.We work towards it – it can be something as simple as buying flowers for your wife,gifting a soft toy to a kid you know,taking your sibling for a movie treat or doing something for your parents or friends.Being happy usually is not related to something big but something simple.Pay attention to the daily routine and you might be surprised,the simplest things make you most happy.

Now something related to the “actions” we are taking towards our happiness:

Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy. – Guillaume Apollinaire

You might be familiar with this scenario,in fact we all are.

Let me do x and then i will do y – or if i workout daily and drop 10 kilograms (action) i will celebrate it(outcome= happy). Lot of times we end up just working towards our goals/happiness,getting too engrossed in it ,we forget to celebrate small victories.

Continuing with the same example,dropping 10 kilograms won’t be possible if we don’t drop the 1’st kg.Eventually we will knock that 1’st damn kg off but we do not acknowledge it and we instead focus on the end goal which at times does not make us happy at all when we finally accomplish it.By all means the fixed end goal is needed,but we need to keep checking milestones that would take us to that end point.

Why sometimes reaching the end point does not make us happy? As priorities/preferences/situations they all change(Yes it depends) – so its better that we acknowledge and enjoy every small and bigger victories alike and not get too indulged in goals which may not matter after a certain point of time – Celebrate those baby steps moments.

Thinking of babies,kids in general

Children are happy because they don’t have a file in their minds called “All the Things That Could Go Wrong.  ~ Marianne Williamson

Lot of wise men/women suggest that we be childlike – well i am sure they are all right about this one.If you observe kids in general,they have this magic trick up their sleeves – they can be happy all the time (if they want to 🙂 ). Watch them going through their normal day,they can talk to pets,play for as long as they want,dance at any song without thinking about the crowd.Challenge a kid and you would know they will give it all without worrying too much about it. In real life we cannot always be ‘kid-like’ but yeah most of the times we can just learn to be happy like them – what do you think – i think i can and i am sure you can too.

Talking about all this,honestly this post may help someone(i will be delighted) even if it does not- i won’t be sad about writing this one.

To sum up it up,let me leave you with a simple rule:

Rules for Happiness: something to do,someone to love,something to hope for. ~ Immanuel Kant

Your Turn:

Everyone has their unique way of doing things, and the readers of this blog i am sure will have suggestions,incidents,quotes,books,movies which are close to your heart for the obvious ‘happy’ reasons.

Please feel free to share how you keep yourselves and others around you happy.

Related articles:

Yash Mansion : Hostel Days The Beginning

Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down : Oprah Winfrey

Its true but in my case or rather in our case – there was no Limo and there were no buses either, however there were friends and tempo’s 🙂 ( well you can imagine it as a vehicle which resembles a stretched version of an Auto or fondly called in Indore as BhatSuar(Suar here means Pig or Swine if you like it).

Readers of this blog : This was back in 1997-1998 – when sam and i moved to the education hub of Madhya Pradesh – Indore for Higher Secondary studies – i consider this a golden phase in terms of experiences and meeting the most amazing friends.We knew Indore very well as we would come to Indore for our summer vacations almost every year.

My cousin Sam and i lived at Yash Mansion hostel. It is placed at a prime location right in the heart of Indore – next to the famous Padharinath Temple.

Pandhariniath_Temple

A little introduction for Sam or Samarth Emmanuel Raman – my cousin,elder brother and a friend since we were kids – if we both had some resemblance people would have called us Twins.From kinder-garden to graduation we studied together – basically my default partner in crime since my childhood.He was a brilliant student and geek of our group – be it studies,games,technology he still holds that title.We share a common taste for music,movies and our friend base(close friends) is almost the same.

Sam

Yash Mansion as a hostel was quiet unique in terms of diversity – sam and i were in 11’th Standard and we had an amazing mix of students preparing for various exams : medical – engineering, Tourism and we had two trainers from Aptech  as well living in our hostel.This was a superb mix and we had loads of fun and it also taught sam and i – an important skill : How to deal with different people with different background,preferences or in short : People Management Skills.

Our first friend at Yash Mansion was Sachin Chaturvedi : the Shahrukh Khan/Gulzaar/Philosopher – a connoisseur of Ghazals,fan of Late Jagjit Singh Sahab and someone who cared about those simple pleasures of life. He belonged to  room number 201 – the best room of our hostel shared with Aptech trainers Vijay(known as Vijju Bhai) and ever smoking and ever lost geek from Tamilnadu – Sundaramurthy(and yes name ends with THY in the end and not TY) – you can think of him as a guy with a Memento or Ghajini problem(Short term memory loss – just in a funny way)

Then there was our usual partner in crime – Moni( i mentioned him in my previous post about Indore too).He is our childhood friend and was not a Yash Mansionite. He was a student of Digambar Jain School and it was a pretty hot-shot school at that time – they had cabs for pick up and drops-proper dress code,sports events and annual functions.( yes it was a big deal when we were in school isn’t it).

Moni

Note : There was no way for me to get the pictures of hostel and temple without Moni clicking it for me – Thanks to him for taking time to click the pictures featured in this post.

A usual day started with Sam trying his best to wake me up and we both frantically trying to get things done so that we can get ready and reach school on time. We studied at Vaishnav Boys school and we had literally nothing to brag about that school ( though it was not as bad as the Model School from Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar) – and we had either our Hero Rangers(Gen-X mind you) or the tempo or the very reliable – our own pair of legs to reach the school on time.

Our Room 207 had these huge windows(everyone loved them) – we kept them open in the morning so that we could see the nearby tea stall clearly. Those windows were our outlet to see whats happening around us.Moni would come down around 7-7:30 AM – screamed his lungs out and it was our signal that we were getting late and might miss out tea at Om Puri‘s tea stall( The guy who owned the tea stall resembled veteran Bollywood actor Om Puri(pictured below).Another great thing about the stall was that it was convertible – Sugarcane juice shop in summer and tea stall for rest of the year.

English: Om Puri at the 2010 Toronto Internati...

Om Puri (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Below is the view(Current View in 2013) of the windows of my room where i use to stay (Room no 207).

Hostel_Windows

I look at these windows now and i feel my hostel life is staring back at me – every-time i am passing by this road i make a point to look back at them and acknowledge their presence.

We then rushed and came down to meet Moni – had a cut tea with him – had discussions,some random plans and off he went leaving us in dust.We would then continue our rushed up journey to destination School.

As i am concluding this post – I must tell you, there are more posts forthcoming in this series and you will have a peek at how we enjoyed,why money was never important between friends, and why i am still good friends with my gang of friends.

Time for you to share:

I would love to hear about your old friends and groups,hostel stories and interesting incidents of past and present if any – it brings up a smile when stories about friends and their amazing friendship are shared – So feel free to comment and discuss.

3 Reasons :Why Reading Is Fun

That’s the thing about books.They let you travel without moving your feet ― Jhumpa Lahiri

For me world was always full of sports and movies.As a kid i watched movies with my parents and with time i developed a taste about what i liked and disliked.

I read a lot of comics – Phantom,and few regular hindi comics – Chacha Chaudhary,Nagraj,Super Commando Dhruv,Doga from Raj Comics,Angaara,Fighter Toads(a sweet ripoff of TNMT) and i enjoyed them a lot – sometimes i miss those comics days a lot.

Nagraj in Promotional art

Nagraj in Promotional art (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But as time passed i literally quit reading books – you might want to ask what happened ? well Internet happened.

Due to this blogging explosion –  i started reading blogs and i read a lot of them – everyday without fail – but never really thought about reading novels.One of my buddies Prashant Sable once asked me over one of our endless discussions on movies,music,stories –

Why don’t you try reading books?

I requested him to suggest something different- he smiled and handed me – Gang leader for a day by Sudhir Venkatesh and asked me to read it while i was traveling back home. I read it and somehow it just kept me glued – though it was more like a thesis/research than a novel – i read it and thanked him.

As i reached home  i spotted The Alchemist lying on the shelf and asked my sister if it was a good read – she said yeah go for it – in next 2 days i was done reading it too.What i am coming to is that i enjoy reading – all i needed was a push towards the world of words.

Keep reading books, but remember that a book is only a book, and you should learn to think for yourself –Maxim Gorky

My goal is to read – learn – apply and repeat the process. It is about reading more wonderful stories (along with all the movies i watch).

There are various reasons why reading is fun and entertaining for me – i am listing 3 reasons below :

  1. Creating a world of your own : While reading a story you read the descriptions,settings and characters but you imagine it all by yourself –  so for every story you read – you imagine a world of your own –  and since you are the creator of this world – the experience is more fulfilling.
  2.  Experiencing a different point of view : While reading you might find situations you encountered in your life but the author explains it in a totally different manner – forcing you to think and interpret it a way you are not used to.
  3. A Good book keeps me away from internet : Even if it is for few minutes trust me this is a big one – I read at night everyday – it can be a single page or 50 pages and it cuts some time away from internet.

Few advantages of reading also include :

  • Improved concentration as it makes you sit(sometimes you end up lying) at one place and focus on just that page.
  • It also improves vocabulary and it helps in improving writing too.
  • It is a good way to reduce stress and get a good sleep.(I am sure you remember as soon as we were asked read our textbooks the magical sleep took over 🙂 )

I agree to the quote mentioned below  :

A book is a gift you can open again and again ― Garrison Keillor

I now consider reading books ( i read slowly – 1-50 pages a day) a form of entertainment which allows me to take breaks and resume it when i like it (yes one can do that with movies too – but movies remain my first love and once i start – i finish the movie 🙂 ).

However this is not to say that i am always surrounded by books – this is an indicator that i have slowly started appreciating books and the power of written word(Books or eBooks).

Having said that i still enjoy reading blogs but i have kept a list of selected few.

Books i read recently : Immortals of Meluha,The Great Gatsby and How I Braved Anu Aunty & Co-Founded A Million Dollar Company.

Your Thoughts :

I am well aware that there are lots of readers, book experts in my circle and there might be few readers who know a lot more than me about books. I request and encourage you to suggest more books, share your experiences and stories.

Looking Back With A Smile : Those Wonderful Days

If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older.
Tom Stoppard

This Saturday was different,as i woke up early for a breakfast meetup with my dear friends Shama and Rasheekh.

On my way back – i saw few kids playing cricket and few others shouting a screaming as the batsman was about to score a fifty(50 runs). I decided to wait and watch the celebration.As soon as he scored the fifty – everyone cheered for him – just like we see on TV. I enjoyed the celebration and continued to walk back home.

As i sat and browsed – it appeared to me – its been a while i played cricket or celebrated like that.It took me back to the cricket fest i played with my colleagues in my previous company.We played our hearts out and enjoyed every bit of it.

Just like a movie flashback i allowed it to take me back and i realized – as kids we cherished everything – those precious small yet important moments.

We celebrated that we will be allowed to use ballpoint pens and finally we can get rid of those ink pens.We were happy to use big registers instead of tiny notebooks and bringing fewer books to class was more of a “school fashion statement”.

As kids our super hero was always Amitabh Bachchan and whatever he did was a big deal for us. Honestly tell me can anyone pull off the role of Shahenshah and still look convincing.
Fact: Story of this movie was written by Jaya Bachchan,wife of Amitabh Bachchan and directed by his close friend Tinu Anand ( famous for his ‘mera viju beta’ dialogue from Agneepath and in my group fondly known as Nakli Amitabh).

Given below is the dialogue which was all rage at that time.

The days of Mowgli,Bagheera,duck tales and who can forget Rangoli in the morning with tea,Ramayan with breakfast and sadly followed by homework if any.

My sister trying to imitate me and asking mom for another chapati as soon as i did – because if bhaiyya(Elder brother) can eat it so can i :), or my evil Maggie trick to get bigger portion.

Let me share it – as always it took 2 minutes or so to cook Maggie – then i would serve it in two bowls – now please take notes on : “how to put a fork to use” – i used the fork to press down the noodles in bowl 1 and it would make it look like the bowl with less portion. Then i would dig the fork deeper into noodles in bowl 2 but this time pulling the noodles up – giving it the Fluffy illusion and in-turn making it appear as a bigger portion.Then i called my sister and asked her which one she wanted – as a kid she always chose the bowl with bigger portion(at-least it looked like it 🙂 ) – though she got the trick later and compensated it with the chocolate shares ( i got the smaller one – though she won’t admit it) we are even now and divide & rule policy is out for good. Mom use to enjoy these moments and laugh out as she knew we were learning in our own ways and it was all part of the learning process.

Simple bets with my Dad were a big deal to me – it went like this – If you get me out you get to buy a new ball,or you can go for a movie.I bowled and bowled and he batted like a test batsman(i still miss watching him play those leg glances) – when he saw i was tired or about to give up – he would trick me into believing that i clean bowled him with superb delivery – truth being he would just miss the shot – watch my celebration and hand over the bet money.

The rules were also simple – we liked or we did not – we never pretended.

I realize i am talking to myself as of now 🙂 but it doesn’t hurt to look back and smile – i choose to look at the good memories ,pause to acknowledge them and get back to my present.

The key takeaway out of this flashback for me is to keep things simple and enjoy those small victories,set the counter to zero and start again with the renewed energy.(you can tweet this if you like)

Your Turn:

I am sure all of you also have moments like these and they inspire you,motivate you or just make you smile.

Please feel free to share and discuss it here and i am sure we can extend this conversation even further.

A day in Indore

I wake up with the feeling that i would at-least find two things in place:

1) Nayi Duniya (local hindi news paper) filled with killer hindi headlines.

2) A glass of tea 🙂

A typical morning tea would have all my family members sitting and sipping tea with our favorite time-pass snacks.

We discuss about the plans for the day – Dad discussing his schedule,mom ready to adjust her schedule for all of our plans,my sister and wife busy planning their shopping and discussing and finally i try to convey that a game of snooker with my friends is of prime importance.

We all,proceed with our plans and it still makes a perfect day.

As time passes,my friends start messaging and calling me to confirm about the plans;the plan which is confirmed already is confirmed again to everyone’s satisfaction.

We all gather almost every-time at my childhood friend Moni’s showroom – we call him Moni(pictured below) as we called him since our childhood days.He was always a big Sega games fan,music and a movie fanatic like me.Currently his interest is fitness.

He is pretty much the king of mobile world in Indore and is always busy with customers flocking his showroom or busy attending calls,yet he finds time to knock few games of snooker with friends.

Another regular is my college time friend – Sachin Bhavsar(pictured below) – the entertainer of our group- dancer,opening batsman of our cricket team,full on Neta(interested in politics and hence says yes for everything),currently working for a company ,he finishes his regular 9-6 job and then meets us in the evening.

There are other regulars who were not in town – Samarth (my cousin),Shakya (Babu Moshay),Piyush(Monu),Ajinkya Abhyankar – as everyone works in different cities,and sometimes countries – they were not available but they are always missed when we gather for the snooker and food gatherings.This post features two of my friends and depending on the stories i have rest of the group will be introduced soon :).

We play few games of snooker,sometimes we just roam around and visit old checkpoints ‘Adda‘ as we call in hindi;just to go back in time and discuss our success,failures and sometimes just plain tea routine,followed by some junk food indulgence.

Every time i leave Indore i ask myself ‘what did i do in this trip?’ – i try to find answer,i try to find some logic out of it.

Frankly there is no logic,neither a desired outcome.I think we are just having a good time.We are keeping things simple and making sure that none of our jobs,locations,success,failures changes anything about our group.

We are simply what we were to each other – typical indori friends having fun in usual indori style.

How about you and your group — if you have similar story or group of friends – feel free to leave a comment or rather share it with the world.