Just a little quote for you…if you have been procrastinating like me…
Image courtesy Google
Just a little quote for you…if you have been procrastinating like me…
Image courtesy Google
Consider this – You are in a bus. And you see a lecherous man eyeing a lady. He is sort of checking her out. He even tries to get cosy with her. The lady is ignoring him. She obviously doesn’t want a scene. It has nothing to do with you. But will you stand up and do something?
Second situation – There is a serious tussle going on between your loved one and a neighbor. You feel your loved one is not right. But objecting will mess up with your own relationship. Will you stand up and take the side of the outsider and hurt your own?
Third situation – You know your teacher is being mean to your friend. But revolting would end up in an ugly situation. Will you stand up with your friend against the teacher and possibly earn the wrath of the school authorities?
Honestly, in such situations, I would personally not like to invite trouble. What will you do? Will you stand up or remain seated like me. I guess, we the common people like to be seated. We have a hundred chores to do, mundane jobs to take care of…we are already burdened and do not want to bring on more problems.
We witness everything but turn our faces away. This is the reason why ‘saints’ like Ram Rahim continue to rape women for decades or little kids like Pradyman Thakur get murdered in school premises. We forget that a witness to crime also partakes in the crime and shares the ‘paap’ with the perpetrator.
But just in case, if you belong to that rare species of human beings, who just cannot stand injustice, then good luck to you. You will be perceived as a dimwit. Your standing up will come at a great cost. But then, we the seated lot might look up to you and may join you against injustice.
I earnestly hope, you the reader, belong to this rare species. Just be at it my friend! Only a few have your courage, only a few have your integrity and only a few know what is right and what is objectionable. The world needs more people like you.
A girl who was brutally raped and murdered, went to heaven. Near the entry she checked herself in the golden mirror. All signs of cruelity that had been done to her body was gone. Now, she had a glorious, translucent form. The four guards of Heaven greeted her at the gates. But suddenly, she stopped and stepped aside.
Every soul was always eager to enter heaven and meet God. Since eternity, nobody had ever done that. So, the four agitated guards asked her, “Why are you refusing heaven? My dear, come back to the queue and enter the great gates.”
The girl smiled and recounted, “You know I was gang raped by a group of filthy men, who were jeering and spitting on me…”
“Yes, we know that…,” the guards cut her short in chorus. “Please don’t tell us the details. We know you have suffered immensely but once you enter the gates, all pain and sadness will vanish. Your troubled soul will find peace. All thoughts will leave you and you will bask in eternal glory.”
The girl still hesitated. The wind played with her hair as she she looked around with delight but still showed no inclination to enter.
“Dear, what is going on your mind? Do you feel any sort of guilt? Do you think you can’t face God after what happened to your modesty?,” the guards asked in chorus.
The girl laughed for a long, long time while perplexed guards looked at each other.
“It is not that! The reason why I don’t want to see God is not because I am ashamed. I have done no wrong. Wrong has been done to my body.” she answered.
“Then?,” the guards asked.
“It is because God will be shamefaced on seeing me. I know, He will never be able to meet my eyes. I want to spare Him the shame as I love Him too much,” the girl wandered away after saying this leaving a trail of shimmering light behind her. The guards stood unmoved, red faced.
God heard her, clutched his heart and cried…
( Written after viewing a terrible image of a dead, rape victim in West Bengal, India. She moved me beyond words. A tribute to such victims.)
The mountains arrogantly stood between his village, Gehlaur and the nearest town blocking medical and other facilities. And not long back, the love of his life had slipped from one of these rocky terrains, leaving him alone.
He wanted revenge now! It was his will against the daunting mountains. Angrily, he took out his hammer and chisel and began to hurt the mountains.
The villagers called him mad. But he just stopped listening. For twenty two years, he single handedly struggled against the mountains.
Finally, he succeeded in carving a path 9.1 metres (30 ft) wide and 110 metres (360 ft) long through a hill 7.6 metres (25 ft). The distance between his village and the town got reduced from 55km to 15km.
Today, the world knows him as the noble Mountain Man!
(The picture reminded me of the poor labourer Dashrath Manjhi from India, who spent his entire life doing a noble task. His life has inspired many documentaries and films as well as stories. In August 2015, a Hindi movie Manjhi – The Mountain Man, based on his life got released and was well received.)
(This is my entry to the flash fiction challenge, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by the lovely Priceless Joy. We are given a photo prompt and approximately 75-175 words with which to create our stories. This challenge is open to all who would like to participate. Please CLICK HERE for more. Thank you Grant for the image!)
But this particular quote by the great Richard Bach got me thinking.
You are always free to change your mind and choose a different future, or a different past.
Choose a different past, really? What made Richard Bach write that? I thought.
Further research made me smile. I got my answer! Bach was right! Our past can really be changed. I learnt that our past is energy and made up of our experiences…of what we have gone through in our private world. If we change the way we look at our past, our past will take a different shape… thereby liberating us in our present and changing our future for better.
Even if two people were a part of the same incident, their perspective about it would differ from each other. Past is a variable…If it was invariable, every person in a particular time and place would have undergone exactly the same kind of emotions, same sort of feelings and level of trauma. But everyone has a different past. You and your sibling’s past could be similar but not same!
I learnt that our past can be changed by changing our perspective towards it, through creativity, positivity and visualization of the event. It can be changed through different ways, which you can read in this inspiring post here. (http://simonarich.com/change-your-past)
Dear confidantes, if something about your past is troubling you, take this journey – Go back in time, look at the incident as an observer and try to help your ‘stuck’ self there by being positive and strong. Tell yourself – you will emerge stronger after this! Be creative and strong as you live through it!
We derive strength from our past when we have a grim present…why not the other way round? Everything is possible!
Images courtesy Google
When Squadron Leader turned author Manish Kumar got introduced in one of our favourite Whats App groups by the enthusiastic admin, the group members were more than happy to welcome him. His book ‘Be Your Own Pilot’ has been climbing charts and we wanted to know more about him.
BYOP has sold a number of copies till now. In Amazon.in, it had been in top 50 Bestsellers list. It has sold out thrice in the US and is selling in almost 15 countries including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Japan and Netherlands.
In a chit chat on his personal wall, he talked about his journey from being a pilot to a writer. His noble profession enabled him to undergo various enriching spiritual experiences that led him onto the path of writing. Here is an excerpt:
Q: What is ‘Be Your Own Pilot’ all about?
Manish: In this inspirational fiction, I talk about the unlimited power and potential lying dormant in every soul, waiting to be awakened. The moment we become aware of the power within, we stop being a victim of circumstances, get off the autopilot called fate and take control of our life.
‘Be Your Own Pilot’ is about the journey of a boy from a small town who realizes his dream of becoming a pilot, learns the lessons of life on the way and goes on to inspire others to follow their dreams. His Flying Instructor implants wisdom into the flying lessons and teaches him to take the flight of faith. The book shows the way – how, by aligning personal desires to the benefit for mankind, it is possible to lead a deeply rich and satisfying life.
Q: What was the inspiration behind BYOP?
Manish: During my tenure in the Indian Air Force I survived many near-fatal accidents. I and my crew were lucky to come alive out of these situations. These incidents made me delve deep into the meaning and purpose of life. I realized that my Life’s purpose was to show people way to live a meaningful and purposeful life. Hence, I wrote the book.
Q: Please tell us about your career as a pilot? The challenges and the highlights.
Manish: Initially, I was posted to a VIP Squadron and was a part of the formation carrying VVIPs like The President, Vice President, Prime Minister and the Service Chiefs. Flying with them requires precision and there is no room for error.
Later, I was posted to an operational Squadron. I flew extensively during Gujarat Cyclone and Earthquake in 1999/2000 doing rescue and relief work. In one of the sorties I rescued 05 fishermen, who were afloat on wooden planks after their fishing trawler was destroyed in the Cyclone. I was awarded the Chief of Air Staff Commendation Medal for saving their lives.
Q: Have you had any formal training as a writer? Your message to upcoming writers?
Manish:I had no formal training as a writer but I consider John Harricaharan, the Creative Writing Guru and the best-selling author, my mentor. I have read all his books on creative writing. He has also been kind enough to write the foreword for Be Your Own Pilot.
My first suggestion to all budding writers is to read or watch John’s story of Professor Peterson (click here).
Next is to fall in love with words. Once you are in love with them, you can feel intuitively whether you have used them correctly or not.
Lastly, write with your heart. Express your true feelings. Do not bother about what the Publishers or Readers will think. And don’t worry about grammar or other mistakes. There are people to correct them. The world just wants your original story. Write it.
Q: Who is better Manish, the pilot or Manish, the author?
Manish:I had become a Pilot with the sole aim of saving a life someday. After that was achieved, I moved over to shaping lives. Today, I have better and immense opportunities to touch lives through my book and lectures. You know, I had a reader who was about to commit suicide after being rejected from a job-interview. Luckily, he had the book. He read it and it gave him hope. So, I find being an Author is better than being a Pilot but I do miss flying at times.
Q: What would be your next venture?
Manish: We are trying to make a movie based on “Be Your Own Pilot.” I am also in between two books. “Souls : United at Last” is a true love story of Soulmates who meet after a few births. “The Fall Guy” is a science fiction in which I have borrowed the characters from Ramayana and Mahabharata and fit them in the modern context.
If you are looking for a nice self help book, this summer, do try this one! I tried and loved it.
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