Selfless Love !

Crawford Place, Newbury      23 Dec 2010      10:02 PM     Thursday

It's been a while now since I posted something, or rather i would say I contemplated something. More than the commitments around my professional and personal life, it was something else that stopped me, some unknown inhibitions which further got persuaded by the extraordinary busy schedule here in the British summers.

And here comes the festive time and you see some incredibly beautiful adornments all around the town, cheerful people flocking around the high street spending a shedload of money, some doing this for the Christmas presents and the others just to grab some fantastic deals ! This actually takes me to our Diwali celebrations when we have a very similar environment with absolutely terrific atmosphere all around with some everlasting moments ! Eternal moments !!!

And just as i wrote it, i wonder what else could actually be ETERNAL ! Can relationships be eternal? Can you actually maintain the same zeal and love for someone during the ups and downs throughout your whole life?  And if yes, how would you do that? What could possibly be the key to a successful relationship? Now, this is a hell of a question that has suddenly popped up in my mind out of nowhere and i sincerely am struggling to get an answer for this ! But let me try...

When we talk about eternal, the very first thing that comes to my mind is the mother's love ! And what's not so secret about this perpetual relation is the selfless love of any mother for her child. So often, we take her for granted and do whatever we wish to and she just submissively smiles. And no wonder, we love to repeat this over and over again. You can well conclude this by comparing how many times you express your love and gratitude to your mother to how much you express it to your partner ! She doesn't want any assurance, any commitments or obligation from you. All she wants is the right to love you, to just love you all the time !!! Yeah, and that indeed is purely SELFLESS !!!

So, what's so difficult to actually implement this selfless behaviour in other relations - such as between close friends, spouses, siblings and all others ! And the reason i believe is that most people already have their own predefined set of expectations from any relation. And the moment they overburden this mutual bond with their individual expectations, the relation is doomed ! It's never easy to understand other's expectations, that's why it takes years to develop a solid relation when you observe your mutual bond grappling with deep intricacies of life's abnormal events. But what's really critical in those crucial years is to always keep focused on amplifying the amount of positive synergy, mutual trust and selfless love that the relation generates !

And believe me, practising this is TOUGH. Really really tough. Putting behind your ego in any relationship seems to be the most difficult situation for most of us today. Everyone in their own frame of mind thinks they are right and wishes to be acknowledged correctly by the others, which indeed is right, but what often gets overlooked is that any successful relation doesn't necessarily mean always two correct people, but it definitely means two contented individuals ! And that's where you need to think beyond SELF for the sake of that relationship to handle some of its most delicate moments. To make the others feel happy even if they've been insensitive, to make them feel proud even if they've been failed, to make them feel special even if they've broken your heart, to trust them even if the situations might disagree, and to self apologise even if they've been wrong ! All done just to obviate any further damage at any particular vulnerable moment !  And the relation survives !!!

Like most of us, I also have had the opportunities of witnessing different people managing the different stages of their relationships. The best thing that i've learned from them is that whatever situation you are in, YOU CAN ALWAYS MAKE A NEW START ! and seriously it's never ever too late !!! Never ever hesitate. If you are expecting the others to make the first move, remember, they are also thinking the same ! And the delay would only worsen the things.

In the end, I guess apart from the deep love, care and mutual trust, it's all about handling effectively the key moments in any relationship. By defining your subconscious reaction through a sensible attitude, controlled aggression driven by a tolerant mind and a trustworthy, loving heart. 

I read the following lines somewhere today which inspired me to write this post...

“If you’re feeling frightened about what comes next… Don’t. Embrace the uncertainty. Allow it to lead you places. Be brave as it challenges you to exercise both your heart and your mind as you create your own path towards happiness. Don’t waste time with regret. Spin wildly into your next action. Enjoy the present - each moment as it comes - because you’ll never get another one quite like it. And if you should ever look up and find yourself lost, simply take a breath and start over. Retrace your steps and go back to the purest place in your heart, where your hope lives. You’ll find your way again…” - Julia Brown, Everwood 

Gaurav Gupta

Can we speak our mind safely?

Crawford Place, Newbury      15 June 2010      12:50 AM      Tuesday

Harry, you're going to have to try and find a way of not expressing every feeling that you have, every moment that you have them !

This is such a common problem. And it just so often happens with me as well. Even a witty carefree attitude doesn't help to impress and appease the people you just have had hurt. And that's when true friends like Sally need to come out and explain to you the way to handle some of the most delicate and intricate situations in your life. Situations which can easily break apart rock-solid relationships, eternal bonds and impregnable trust, which took ages to build up. And it all happens because of one small mistake - you spoke your mind and you were pretty adamant about your thoughts and your views. Plus you just didn't anticipate the repercussions of your fit of pique,  you just din't perceive it to be so destructive to shake your whole social world. Until someone comes in at the very right time and arbitrate !

Most of the times, I fail to control myself under these sort of situations. I love to speak my mind as freely and as frankly as i possibly can. I believe in self defined principles based on my experience with life and on experiences of tens of people who have impacted my life in one way or another. Quite a few years back, I read somewhere to listen to your own instincts and to follow your heartstrings, always and ever ! If you truly believe in yourself and your principles, you've always got to back them up. No matter what situation you are in, or what audience you are in ! Today, your audience may not believe in you, but don't lose hope. Today, few of your friends may not support you, but don't ever lose courage. Well defined principles and right focus will always have to win one day ! They always have had !!! And I presume that's the prime reason why i struggle to use my mind when my inner beliefs don't allow me to accept any objectionable conformance. Irving Wallace has rightly said: 

To be one's self, and unafraid whether right or wrong, is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity.

I agree there may be many questions raised on the way how you express your opinions about something. No one wants to fight straightway, and it all starts with a light banter, which eventually establishes into a heated argument and finally into a war of unpleasant and annoying words because each is equally obsessive about their own principles or arguments! What's so important here to understand is that people fail to realize that "what goes around, always comes around" ! If you support fallacious arguments today, you are bound to be entrapped one day in the very same arguments. And probably you won't feel too great about it then !  

So, i wonder why diplomacy is just so popular these days ! Why people have to be so submissive and so sycophantic to just be inline with the majority or the powerful, even if that means to compromise hard with their only truly earned asset of their lives - Self Respect !!! Why can't they just be true to themselves. Why can't they figure out the courage to speak their mind in front of everyone so as to establish the reign of morality and kill the seeds of dishonest authority. Why do they not understand that the person they are trying to flatter unscrupulously today will eventually be kicking their as* sooner or later some day ! Why can't one just be one's own SELF !

Gaurav Gupta

Solitude vs Companionship !

Crawford Place  Newbury, United Kingdom    25 May 2010     11:36 PM     Tuesday

So, back to UK. And back to the comfort zone after a month outside in a world of seclusion. A month full of supreme challenges,  much anticipated solitude and some remarkable learning experience, all of which i savored quite a lot !

Sometimes, living alone can teach you a lot because you get the opportunity to know the best of yourself - in and out ! You have all the time in the world to think and assess the circumstances around yourself. You get to know those aspects about yourself which we fail to perceive otherwise in this busy social world! Aspects about your personality, your demeanor, your insight, and your repute. And may be even more !!! You not only get that opportunity to monitor those, but also to appropriately fix those. 

You think about your family, friends, office mates and your prevailing relations with them. You think about the present situations, compare them with your past, and fancy the best possible dreams for your future. You also think about the direction of your life against your priorities and ambitions. But the best thing that i love about being alone is - you are just yourself ! Free from the directives of the outside world, you live on the self defined rules and principles. You do what you want to do in the way you want to do !!! What you've been longing for years to do.  No more fake lifestyle, nasty pretenses and nebulous arguments living with others ! You just live your life the way you've always wished to. Though doesn't necessarily means that you'll become happy or content, but atleast you lose the right to blame others for the disruptions in your life, and in your life style !

But solitude can make you lose even more... 

You lose the platform to redesign your personality and temperament with the great learning experiences living together with others. To learn to compromise, share, and NOT to share ! You miss out in making enduring companionship with someone who can eventually impact the rest of your life by redefining your priorities, sentiments and ambitions, who can well be your only best friend. You also miss all the fun and excitement of warmhearted banter and friendly quips when you are having your meals in your secluded room. Those incessantly engrossing heart-to-heart with them which make you realize that there are people who are with you no matter what happens, or when it happens...there are people who love your lifestyle, no matter how repelling or monotonous it may look like, there are people who wish to counsel you whenever you are down, ... and there are people who want to see you - just being yourself !!!

We go through each of these two phases, but not everyone gets the best of them... We might be alone for some time, yet unable to improvise. We might be living with the best of our mates, yet unable to unify. But now that i am back to my social web, i wish to relive the best moments of the camaraderie of my alien life !

Gaurav Gupta

Dare to dream different !


Place de la Renaissance  Bois Colombes, Paris    15 May 2010     01:06 AM     Saturday

It happens. And that too automatically. Quite a lot of times, you get that drive running with your adrenaline rush when you are stuck deep in an ineluctable shit. A stimulation to prove that you can get over it surely if not shortly, and that it is not the end of the world ! Somehow or other, you get to see that feeble light of hope at the end of the tunnel. You just need to wait, watch and then act. Smartly, cautiously and confidently !!!

Yeah, this nostalgic wave struck me today this evening while i was having some informal and cosy chat with one of my mates in his apartment. We both went too far in our discussions realising a few bitter aspects of our lives which we both had wished to govern, but just couldn't decently control in time. And we concluded the following:

A teacher teaches the lesson first and then takes the exam. Life takes the exam first and then teaches a lesson.... So, always keep learning !
Thinking about these troubles remind me of my early fresher college days, ten years back. Our college had been pretty consistent and active in all the possible ragging activities. Back then, going back to the hostel rooms from the college in the evenings wasn't an easy task for us. It used to be the longest and most dreadful walk in front of the "Laxmi Bhawan" (abode of all those reckless seniors) when we always preferred to stay in the bunch, each trying to hide behind the other, everyone consciously trying to dodge those big and brutish eagle-eyes eagerly waiting to feed their latest puckish desires to wreak havoc on us. But not all of us were getting used to this, and neither all of us were going to accept this.

A few dared to break this bunch and walked in to their eyes dauntlessly. They did what they were asked to do but with pride and joy, enjoying their orders and dictates rather than swearing them, leaving all their fear and anger behind. This is what i like about those people who dare not only to dream differently, but also to Act differently. Nobody could have changed the situation. But they did manage to change their environment.

An environment free from any fear, disgust and contempt. While rest of the guys chose to avoid or avert the inevitable, they decided to chase it themselves. And they were rewarded. They got the biggest contacts within the alumnus, got extraordinary exposure to the college's political and administrative environment in the very beginning, had their first hands over the most crucial and confidential leaks, and not to mention getting a permanent godfather for sponsoring their suttas, daru, parties and even boastful power. And most importantly, they had that coveted confidence and authority in abundance. And few leaders were straightway born !!!

Such is the power of responding proactively to the situations and opportunities around your life ! But such is amount of positive attitude, vitality and audacity in turn that you would require !!! Ha !!! Past, Memories, lessons, so much to think of !

Coming back to present, coming back to our evening discussions,  and coming back to him, I shall only say the following:

The moment has come, of killing the past and coming back to life...
Gaurav Gupta

Appraisal Time


Place de la Renaissance  Bois Colombes, Paris    04 May 2010     09:20 PM     Tuesday
It's performance appraisal time. It's the time when we apprehensively wait for a communication from our managers, who we normally desire to ignore rest of the whole year. But now, we all wait for that special moment to see that special e-mail in our inbox for which we toil all year long. All kinds of rumours and gossips spread like wild fire but burn out quickly. Lunch, tea and snack breaks are used to their utmost potential by chatting incessantly about all sorts of things - promotions, salary hikes, ratings, politics, managers, work culture, etc. Some querulous individuals don't miss out this opportunity to start whining over their luck :

" Yaar meri to kismat hi kharab hai, is baar to promotion pakki thi, aur saala isi baar recession aa gaya ! "
" Nai yaar, meri to recommendation 6 maheene pehle hi chali gai thi (as if he himself forwarded his recommendation), but last moment mein project change ki wajah se kat gaya mera ! "

Some guys who are desperately expecting the role enhancement, but are low in confidence, would intentionally embark this conversation to get the desired assurance and confidence from the listeners in this way:

" Jo bhi ho yaar lekin, kisi aur ki ho na ho (yeah he's pointing to himself, poor him), is baar Nayar ki pakki hogi ! " , hoping in his heart that the others would counter argue by saying :

" Are nahi yaar, tere bhi poore chances hain. Agar Nayar ki hui, to teri to usse pehle hogi " - and he's relaxed big time, as if he's already got the promotion letter. Yeah, it really feels good if people around you keep assuring that you are the one, a definite one this year... And you need to get this assurance again and again and that too quite often.

The ones who are least active in this conversation have been either recently promoted, recently joined or recently resigned. But nevertheless, they love it. Everyone loves it. After all, this can either stimulate or sedate your complacency towards your career growth. You look at your peers, your supervisors and even your subordinates. And you rightly so, because you get the opportunity to paint this career graph on a canvas called life against age, experience and money. Everyone gets distinct graphs with different shapes, and everyone takes it differently. It's a matter of pride and joy for many, whereas sorrow and disgust for the rest. But then, you can always paint it better the next year. You always have that power. That luck !

And so may you get the best of that luck this year. And so do I :)

Gaurav Gupta

I am back !

Place de la Renaissance  Bois Colombes, Paris    27 Apr 2010     10:40 PM     Tuesday

I am back. Rather, I hope I am back. Back after being completely lost in the silly and perplexed intricacies of life. Lost in the delusions of being supremely busy and socially active, whereas the matter of fact is lately i've been just a slothful slug. 

A slug, who's just happy working 9 hours in the office, come back home, either watch IPL or play cricket / squash, stuff the food, listen to musik and sleep ! Or just is too busy speaking to friends over the phone and internet, go out places to relish the warm weather or partying at different places with never ending chats and banter! Day 2, Day 3, etc. goes similarly on and on and on... 

Where is that day, that hour, that moment you need to give yourself, to your thoughts and most importantly to your life ! where is that? Where are those books that i started with exuberant enthusiasm, and can now hardly find myself turning over even a single page... Where are those plans and resolutions that i vowed a few months back to accomplish and can now only see those in a distant memory or stored in a text file lost somewhere in my PC... Why do i lose track so easily, why I am so susceptible to fall in to this delusion, so easily and so quickly and that too over and over again... With so many questions and puzzles wobbling in my head only to conclude this one thing - this is life and that's the way it is! And it's not perfect and neither am I. And more importantly, there is nothing wrong in it...Does this happen to everyone? I reckon not. But shall this bother me in future. Probably not.

We all say "Time just flies.." Does it really fly? Or does it mean we din't have enough significant moments to capture in our lives, or may be we dont' even have enough good memory to hold them on. I dont' know. I know i think rubbish sometimes, if not most of the times, and write even more rubbish. But great people don't speak rubbish and that's why I would like to mention two lovely quotes that i've had read recently:

1) Life is half spent before we know what it is. - George Herbert

2) You can have it all. You just can't have it all once - Oprah Winfrey.

So true, and so rich. And so impressive. I wonder what positive influence great people can actually have on society. If at all, they try to ! They are the people to whom God has given some extraordinary powers and luck. I believe that they shall not only recognize that, but shall respect that. How often do you get a chance to change the world by uttering a few words out of your mouth? How often do you see people worshipping you more than the eternal God? How often do you realize that you are the most powerful man on the earth or for that matter any part of it? But as the irony has it all, not every great man realizes that. And not every great man who realizes that, respects that.

That's why it's often said "With great power comes great responsibility"

And we see people being misguided and misled to result into damage to all humanity. And we all suffer. I am sure you won't find it difficult to think about sort of the people i am pointing to. There are everywhere - every country, every city, every town and every house ! Everyone has got a command in themselves. A power to influence the others. Only the intensity and the circle of influence varies with person to person. So, why not start with making a positive mark on the immediate ones who admire us, who respect us and love us? Why not sorting somebody's life out of the shit just by lending a helping hand? Isn't this power of changing  someone's life worth exercising? Isn't even this whole idea of positivity too exciting?

Or probably, I am just thinking too much sitting in my new room in a new city in a new country !

Gaurav Gupta

A Perfect Day !


Crawford Place, Newbury    27 Feb 2010     8:40 PM     Saturday  
I get up and start my day in the best possible way, speaking to the best possible person, with the best possible wishes,  on the best possible occasion. It's my mum's birthday. Little sister is with her doing the best what she can do to make her feel happy and light-hearted and feels proud in flaunting her own birthday presents that she got a few days back from her beloved brother on her 25th birthday. And the mother is mightily pleased. And delighted. Such a moment is just a sheer bliss ! An ecstasy, which I just can only conceive being here... 

The day progresses and the british weather continues to wobble conforming to its reputation. One moment sunny, the next one rainy and then again sunny. Mr. Nayar and I decide to go down to the kitchen to make some "pakoras" for ourselves and for our dear friends. Shalar and his wife, Swaliha join us in this feast and put up their own contributions. Shitiz, as always only messes around and does nothing ! I go out next door to Mitesh's house to borrow the tea sieve and coriander leaves needed for pakoras to complement the missing delight in our Saturday afternoon's exuberance.

The fun wasn't over. We switched on our television to see "Meet the Parents", a nice comedy flick, which seemed to have entertained Mr. Nayar much more than anyone else. He's no different than Mr. Sidhu who can laugh at virtually anything, and you eventually start laughing not necessarily over the stated joke, but over the boisterous and wild laughter erupting out of their throats... Just kidding! So, the day has been pretty fantastic - nice food, light movie and a great fellowship !

If you ask me the best moment of today, that connects to one of my best mates - Varun. He got officially engaged today, to a very sweet, pretty and lovely girl - Shaveta. I've known him for years now, and can literally read his mind, his thoughts and his emotions. I still remember the day when he first broke this news to me and i was just absolutely thrilled. It's such a great feeling which you struggle to communicate either in words or in expressions, and which you struggle even to contain either in your heart or in your mind. You just love the way it is !

Varun and I have talked about this subject and our aspirations so many times in the past - in school, in college, after college, sometimes online, many a times in person.  We have been in different situations over these past few years and all i can say to him now is - Bro, I am proud of you... and literally dying to meet you ! You've got all my best wishes and love and i really hope you have a great time ahead !

Between, A very Happy Holi to all of you ! Let's see what colors this Holi brings into our lives...

Gaurav Gupta