Author Archives: VijVen

Why?

Why did it take so long?
To drop the burden. To let go.
To realize. To accept.
And, to be free.

Why was so much time wasted?
In fighting the wrong battles.
In figuring out allies and amoral opportunists.
And, in identifying the most resourceful weapons in the armoury.

Why did it get so complex?
To see through the fog.
To recognize intentions.
And, to pick the right from the wrong.

Why was the understanding lacking?
That growing needs effort.
That leadership needs courage and sacrifice.
And, that reality reveals itself at some point.

The setback is distressing, but the resolve is renewed.
The task is tough, but there is help.
The outcome is scary, but there is hope.
The day has ended, but there is a tomorrow.

Categories: Life, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How To Bounce Back After A Mistake?

Mistakes happen.

Sometimes out of ignorance.
Sometimes out of incompetence, underpreparedness.
Sometimes out of negligence, carelessness, or lethargy.

Sometimes due to circumstances beyond your control – you can blame someone or something.
Sometimes solely out of your own actions or inactions – you have no excuse.

And sometimes, you do end up committing mistakes knowing fully well that you are committing a mistake.

Mistakes happen.

How do you bounce back if you have committed a mistake, and it is weighing you down?

It’s not always easy. It’s never impossible, too.

Here are a few things you can consider doing to get back on track:

1. Write down the what you think was the mistake you did, and who all are affected by your mistake.

2. Accept your mistake and seek forgiveness – from yourself and everyone else affected by the mistake.

3. List the lessons you have learnt from the mistake. Share them with the people affected by the mistake.

4. Promise yourself and others that you’ve learnt the lesson, you’ll never forget the lesson, or repeat the mistake. And, act on the promise.

5. Identify your actions, inactions, that lead to the mistake.

6. List what steps, precautions you would take to make sure the above actions, inactions are not repeated. Share them with the people affected, with a promise to them (and to yourself) to not repeat the mistake. And, act on the promise.

7. Write down the worst outcome of the mistake – the ultimate price you pay for the mistake. Prepare yourself to accept it.

8. Write down what’s the best outcome you desire in your situation. Prepare a plan to achieve it. If you are clueless, seek support from people who can help.

9. Act on the plan to salvage the situation with all earnestness. Give it your best shot.

10. Accept the outcome, even if it’s the worst that you feared.

Don’t beat yourself up.
More intelligent people have made more stupid mistakes.
And, more ordinary people have bounced back from graver blunders.

It will all get better with time. Have faith.

If you think sharing your feelings with someone would be of help, please feel free to drop a comment below. There are many kind souls in the virtual space. You never know how or when you may chance upon one.

Categories: Life | 4 Comments

Bhagavad Gita: Divine Qualities vs. Demonic Qualities

The Bhagavad Gita classifies people into two groups – those with divine qualities and those with demonic qualities.

Divine qualities lead one towards liberation. Demonic qualities lead one to bondage.

Liberation is happiness. Bondage is suffering.

Chapter 16 of the Bhagavad Gita lists divine qualities and demonic qualities. I thought I share here some of qualities listed as divine or demonic that left an impression on me, along with a few questions to ponder.

Divine Qualities:

  • Equanimity, Composure, Level-headednessCan you treat success and failure alike? Can you handle gifts and disappointments alike?
  • FearlessnessAre you convinced that as long as you do your duty, no harm can come your way? And does that belief empower you to discharge your duty fearlessly?
  • Absence Of AngerEven when provoked. Yes, even when provoked. No more, “I wouldn’t generally get angry, but this is too much” excuse.
  • Abstaining From Frivolous PursuitsNothing further needs to be said on this!
  • Fortitude, Grit, DeterminationDo you stick to the path? Deviations always appear easy and fruitful, right?
  • CharityTo be performed without an eye on any reward. Neither material, nor emotional or spiritual. Not even for ‘self-satisfaction’. And certainly not the “Tube Light Sponsored By Vijven” type of charity that we see in temples today. Instead, donating only because someone else needs it.
  • CompassionTowards all living things. That includes animals. That’s easy, you say. And that includes your enemies and those who harmed you – whether unknowingly, or even purposefully. Now, how about that?
  • TruthfulnessForget about truthfulness in relationship with others, are you being true to yourself?
  • NonviolenceWe no longer indulge in physical violence. Good. What about emotional violence?
  • ForgivenessLet go. Please.
  • Worship GodI do, you say. Ok.
  • Worship EldersWhat? I am sure I am not even respecting them properly most of the time!

Let’s now look at the other side, see a few demonic qualities:

  • Desire, Anger, GreedBhagavad Gita describes these 3 as gates of hell, capable of destroying the soul, and advises us to forgo them.
  • IgnoranceInability to distinguish between right activity and right abstinence.
  • Vanity, Pride, ArroganceLead your life. Let others lead their lives.
  • HarshnessInsensitivity is inhuman, right?
  • HypocrisyIt is more common than we all think. And we are more hypocritical than we like to accept.
  • Insatiable DesiresDuty is divine. Desires may not be so.

The above 2 lists are not exhaustive. If you are interested, please check Chapter 16 of the Bhagavad Gita. You will be fascinated!

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The Lost Advertisements

Creating a Television Commercial (TVC) is always challenging. No, I don’t have any experience in that, but I can imagine the effort that goes into creation of a commercial. Too many parameters that you have to get right. And you can claim to be successful only if it engraves the desired impression in the minds of the target audience.

Over the years, I have seen many commercials come and go. From the time when Doordarshan was the only channel, to now when there are more than, maybe a hundred channels. Some died quietly, some just did their job. Yet some were brilliant. They left a lasting impression. More than just communicating, they interacted. Made you feel like you knew the product even though you have hardly used it. Or even if you hardly have a need for it. It was like they had a soul. And that it reached out to you.

Advertising is a big business today and you see new commercials hitting the television every day. Some of them are very attractive and brilliant. Vodafone’s zoozoo, aged couple vacationing in Goa, and Hutch’s pug campaigns were hugely popular and it is highly unlikely that anyone would have not found themselves attracted to them. However, I feel like stepping back a little, and looking at a few old commercials that may no longer be shown on television, but which have left a lasting impression on me for one reason or the other. And, I am sure that you would be able to connect to some of them too – if you are old enough to have watched them in the first place!

  • Lalithaji – It’s hard to ignore Lalithaji who fondly shared her wisdom with us, advising us that ‘Surf ki kharidhari may hi samaj dhari hai’. And in the detergents arena, that was followed by ‘Bala iski kameez meri kameez say safed kaise?’
  • And if any detergent advertisement was to be compared with Lalithaji, it could only be Nirma. ‘Washing Powder Nirma …..’ to be clear.
  • The Chawanprash ads – ‘Saat saal ke boode, yaa saat saal ke jawan?!’ and ‘Dadaji, badminton!’ Remember them? And it was not like health-related products were always targeted only against the aged dadajis. The marketers didn’t miss out the stressed out office goers. Remember Mohan Gokhale? ‘Yeh bechara, kaam ke bhoj ka maara, isay chaahihe ……..’
  • There were a few celebrity endorsements in those days too. None bigger than Lux – ‘filmi sitaron ka soundarya sabun’. It still is, but back then, no SRK. Only leading ladies. And Gavaskar came for Dinesh Suiting ads. But my personal favourite – ‘Palmolive da jawab nahi!’
  • And Palmolive’s celebrity punch was countered by a common man in the lift in Godrej shaving cream ads – ‘Sir, which shaving cream do you use? Who? Me?’
  • Years ago, in the very early 90s, when he was still a chocolate-faced heartthrob, Aamir Khan came on television for Hero Puch ads. Anyone remembers them? Recently however, probably in a symbolic reflection of how priorities change with time, he came for a series of Mahindra two-wheelers, recommending ‘safe-driving’.
  • FMCGs have always been dependent on catchy ads for promotion. Every soap had it’s personality. Long before Santoor, it was ‘Sona, sona, aha Rexona’. But the king of soap ads would undoubtedly be ‘Tandurusti ki raksha kartha hai Lifebuoy, Lifebuoy hai jahan tandurusti hai wahan!’. It was so catchy, that even doctors overlooked the message that they could be out of business if everyone used Lifebuoy!
  • One of the first subtle ads to come on television was the Sony Ericsson ‘One black coffee, please’ ad. And that came during the days when LIC kept pounding us that unless insured, families will be in grave difficult when the head of the family dies.
  • Garden Vareli too, had its brand of sophisticated ads during those days. And who can forget ‘Only Vimal’!
  • A few ads, for some strange reason, stay in memory even though you have nothing to do with the product. The Allwyn fridge advertisement is an example (Remember Allwyn?!). Long after even the brand has gone, I still distinctly remember the adv where a technician comes home to check a complaint on a new Allwyn fridge. The housewife is perplexed. It is cooling well, she says. So, what’s the problem? It doesn’t make any sound! ‘Yeh Allwyn ki tachniki kamaal hai madam’, the technician explains. Back then, I was in Chennai, and found it difficult to understand what ‘tachniki’ meant, only to realize later that it was ‘technical’ in hindi!
  • And finally, the classic of them all. My personal favourite:

‘Yeh zameen yeh asmaan, Yeh zameen yeh asmaan,

Hamara Kal, Hamara Aaj, Hamara Kal, Hamara Aaj,

Buland Bharat ki, Buland Tasveer,

Hamara …….’

Sadly, if you don’t belong to my generation, you might not have seen these commercials. Not to worry, you have equally good ones turning up these days. But arguably, whenever the history of Indian TVCs is discussed anywhere, you would find many of the ones above featuring in the discussion.

Categories: Leisure | 2 Comments

Work vs Perform

Some work. Some perform.

My maid works. Virat Kohli performs.

Workers do their tasks daily. They don’t train or practise daily. They just work.

Performers practise their craft daily. They train daily – away from the public glare. And then perform before you and me.

Workers aim to give you results. Performers aim to wow you with the outcome.

Workers do the routine – they avoid, and usually escalate, challenges. Performers revel in solving challenges.

Notice. Performs are always better respected and better paid than workers.

So, are you working, or are you performing?

Sincerely,
A Dedicated Worker

Categories: Work | Leave a comment

Signposts

Life is beautiful. And we often get so lost in its charms that we fail to take notice of where we are heading.

Here are 5 things that you may want to keep checking about yourself periodically – to see if your journey is on track:

 
1. Being Judgemental

Being critical or judgmental of others rarely helps. A few people judge others all the time, needlessly. Helping others identify and overcome their shortcomings and limitations is one thing, criticizing them and judging them is another.

Check how often you get judgmental. In case you do that often, see if that is really needed.

Looking more at yourself than others may do a lot more good for you than what you may have imagined.

2. Taking Ownership

Do you take the most difficult decisions of your life yourself or do you outsource them?

Consultations are fine and welcome. Especially with those who may be able to guide you with better solutions. But in the end do you display the courage to make decisions as and when needed, and do you own up to the consequences of your decisions?

In case you don’t, then you make it easier for yourself to blame someone else for your problems. That will hardly help you solve your problems.

Decide. Do. Own up.

Otherwise, you may not grow.

3. Repeating Mistakes

Do you repeat your mistakes?

Some people do the same mistake over and over again. They seem to be in love with the mistakes they make.

It’s possible you may have missed learning the lesson properly and may end up repeating a mistake once a while. But are you doing that often? Regularly? Always? If yes, please become conscious and start working to avoid repeating your mistakes.

4. Stagnant or Moving

New Year Resolutions. Many people have the same goal every year – lose weight, get healthier. And we all know how it generally ends.

Pick up some aspect of your life – a goal, a problem, a desire, a situation. Contemplate how it was some time ago, measure where you are today. And keep measuring periodically from now on.

Knowing the pace of your progress, or realizing the harsh reality that you are actually stagnant, will certainly help you make better adjustments and improve the chances of achieving whatever it is that you want.

5. Spreading Joy or Spreading Misery

Do people smile, laugh, appear more happy when you are around, or is it the opposite?

Every man in this planet is fighting his own battle. Empower them whenever possible. If not, at least don’t add to their battles and burdens. They will be grateful for this.

 

I did check where I stood on the above. The results are too painful to share. But at least I now know what I should be doing.

Happy journey.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My Hero

Dear Ram,

You are my hero!

The courage you have shown over the last 3 months is very inspiring.

You fought bravely to overcome many challenges. Pain, suffering, fears, insecurity, anxiety – you beat them all.

You displayed maturity beyond your age. Your cooperation and brave approach made things easier for everyone else.

As you grow, you will continue to face many more challenges. Some of them more serious and grave. Challenges, obstacles, difficult situations. Disappointments, frustration, suffering.

Whenever you come across a difficult situation in your life, whenever you are clouded by self-doubt, uncertainty, whenever you are anxious, or need inspiration and strength, look back and remember these last 3 months. Remember that you fought the battle and won. Realize that you have the necessary strength, ability and skills to win every battle.

And never forget this. You will always be my hero!

Love,
Vijven

Categories: Life | 2 Comments

Daily Bedtime Prayer

 

Dear Lord,

Thank you for all your blessings.

Everything went as per your will and plan today.

You have used me to deliver to people what they deserve.

In the process, you have also given me what I deserve.

You have blessed me in many ways today:

  1. ____________________
  2. ____________________
  3. ____________________

I may have the opportunity to carry out the following on your behalf tomorrow:

  1. ____________________
  2. ____________________
  3. ____________________

I retire to bed a satisfied person.

I look forward to delivering to people, on your behalf, what they deserve tomorrow.

And, I am ready to receive from you tomorrow, what you think is the best for me.

Categories: Life | 1 Comment

Demanding Success

 

Success does not come for free.

  • Are you aware of the costs you have to pay to get what you desire?
  • Are you willing to pay the price?

If your answer is “NO” to either one of the above, maybe you do not deserve it. Not yet.

What you do not deserve, you cannot demand.

You can only hope for it, pray for it.
You can request, plead, beg; but you cannot demand.
you can borrow, steal, put an act; but you cannot own.

Want to demand what you desire?

Begin by getting to know the costs you would be expected to pay.
Ask an expert. Ask someone who has it.

Happy hunting!!!

 

Categories: Life | Leave a comment

Life: A Game of Soccer

.

Life is quite like a game of soccer.

You win by scoring goals. Even as you manage to defend a few things.

At the end, if you have scored more than what you have given away, you win.

Sometimes your best effort may not result in a goal. Sometimes your team mates may let you down. And, sometimes your most genuine effort may be disallowed.

But then, sometimes, other’s mistakes may also allow you to score.

The same is true about your defence.

Your best effort may not always ensure effective defence. Some of your lapses may prove costly. Self-goals happen all the time.

And sometimes, you may just not be skilled enough to protect what you are protecting.

But then, the game is never over till the final whistle is blown. The game will present you with opportunities. Be there. Grab them.

You may yet win by scoring more. You may yet win by defending better.

After all, you win if you have scored more than what you have given away.

So, play well. Score more. Defend better. Win.

And, do enjoy the game.

.

Categories: Life | Leave a comment

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