I still don’t get the concept behind it though, but love it when the clocks go back. So, yesterday was our daylight savings day and from now, if it is 10:30 am in the morning here, it will be aprox 10.00pm at night in India. Cool, isn’t it! It will stay like this until Spring and then the clocks will move one hour ahead. Baffling, yes and fun too!
I was on a cleaning spree, ruthlessly discarding whatever stuff had not been used since the past six months. I had a huge pile of things around me which others would have found useful. But a useless little plastic bag made me stop.
Printed on it was the name of my beloved home town and my country (India)….thousands and thousands of miles from here! I tried to put it away but just couldn’t. Finally, I folded it neatly and put it safely in a drawer.
Why, I still ask myself? Have you felt like this…lately?
“You are too slow to work in my office, Jagdish. I will have to find a replacement soon,” the boss barked. “I am t…t..trying my best, Sir,” he stammered. “But the accident at the factory has left me crippled, please take that into consideration too,” he begged. “Get out!” said the rich man.
Jagdish knew he could be released any day. His heart felt heavy as he thought about his dependents.
He needed to take a break at his favourite place – the park of Faith!
It felt good to be there. The evening breeze calmed him down. And then there was his favourite statue!
She was his faith. He had named her so… she calmed him whenever he was in despair. She had no arms but her eyes looked skywards! The inscription near her said – He will take care of You!
Jagdish knew he would be taken care of… no matter what! He smiled at the statue.
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 Phylor for the image!
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.
The chirpy Ritu of But I smile anyway has challenged me…
The challenge is about posting your favorite quotes or your own quotes for 3 days in a row.
The rules of the challenge include:
Thank the person who nominated you
Post a quote a day for 3 day
Each day nominate 3 new bloggers to take part.
I have created the above poster. I completely believe in the thought that…if you can laugh at it, you will bear it. Hope you like the quote.
All my blogger friends are highly creative people with individual expertise. Today, I nominate three gifted bloggers to take up the challenge:
There are times when we are sad, depressed, dejected and morose for real or imaginary reasons. Sometimes life is so hard, so unjust, so evil…it is easy to fall prey to the sin of despair. But I have learnt with experience that at such trying times, it is our own thoughts that can either make or break us…they can make most lethal of enemies… Or they can be better than the best of friends. The choice is ours only.
So, here are my 5 favourite borrowed thoughts that I chant like mantra whenever faced with trying times or any grim reality. Hope it strikes a chord with you too:
- Be aware of me always, adore me, make every act an offering to me, and you shall come to me; this I (Krishna) promise, for you are dear to me – Krishna in Bhagwat Gita ( He is in happiness as well as in unhappiness. All is His doing, even the pain is sent to us with a good intent. So, why should we despair when He is taking care of us.)
- All power is within you. You can do anything and everything. Believe in that. Do not believe that you are weak; do not believe that you are half-crazy lunatics, as most of us do nowadays. Stand up and express the divinity within you – Swami Vivekananda (the most positive person ever!)
- Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Say you’re running and you think. ‘Man, this hurts, I can’t take it anymore. The ‘hurt’ part is an unavoidable reality, but whether or not you can stand anymore is up to the runner himself. ― Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. ( The quote is anonymous but Murakami has beautifully elaborated it.)
- It is great if you get what you want but in case, you don’t get what you want, then it is even better….because of the simple reason that what you are getting is God’s will. And there can be nothing greater than God’s will! – (The legendary poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan’s advice to his actor son Amitabh Bachchan holds so much truth and wisdom.)
- If you can dream—and not make dreams your master; If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken, Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
(If by Rudyard Kipling is my favourite poem. I love the last line here, ‘to stoop and build’ whatever we have lost one more time and rise like a Phoenix from our ashes.)
Hope these 5 wonderful thoughts keep you and me positive under all circumstances and enable us to fight with problems. Amen!
image courtesy Google