Category Archives: LIFE

Tennis is more than just sports, it’s a religion

Tennis, lawn tennis is one of the top grossing global sports with Grand Slams, WTA tours, ATP tours, Challenger tours and friendly matches. Tennis is played between two players in singles match and four players in doubles match. It could be men’s single, women’s single, men’s doubles, women’s doubles or mixed doubles. But that’s just not all. There is more to it than meets the eye.

Tennis is a saga. There are million dollars prize money, world tours, tournaments in many countries, schedules, sponsors, umpires, ball boys, referees and fans across the world. But is tennis just about the game, sports, winning and losing, finals, tickets, tours, locations or money. I believe tennis is much more than just a game, it is a religion, like no other.

Tennis teaches you discipline. Sports often is not about the games, rounds or matches. It is about the number of hours you have put in practice and the various strategies and tactics that you have learnt. Tennis is an individual sports. It is about standing tall all through the game from the start till the end. At any moment if you slip, rest, loose focus or get carried away, then the tables can turn for you.

Tennis teaches you dedication. It is about getting up in the morning and training for hours. It is about perfecting your serve, your return, backhand, slice or your volley. It is about practicing to approaching the net or your movement across the court. You must strengthen your muscles, your legs, your biceps, your mind and your body. You cannot be lazy or late.

Image : Pexels

You must train, train and train only to become so good at it, that when you get into the court, you are most of the time feeling a natural flow. Otherwise you may win a match but you will not win a tournament. You may be a good player but you might not become a champion. As they say a champion is who has trained hard when it felt it cannot be done any more.

Tennis teaches you resilience.

Tennis teaches you simplicity.

Tennis teaches you about respect, honor and dignity.

Tennis is timeless. People from all walks of life and other sports come to witness sporting events greatest moments in the finals of Grand Slams. It is about witness history in the making. It is as if you are looking at the finest qualities of human when put through the toughest challenge. It takes the seniors to their era and make them relieve those moments. It ignites the spirit of other sportsmen. It inspires the next generation to become not just a great glorified champion but a true honorable sportsman who will live in the memories of people in the times to come. It is about becoming Immortal.

Tennis messes with your mind, it haunts you and it makes you want to scream out loud but at the same time it takes you through the silence of a river in plains, deep forests and dark nights to awaken your inner spirits about life, passion, fighting spirit, grit, compassion and humanity. It takes you to the heights of a mountain and then throws you down to the depths of oceans, teaching you to be strong and humble at the same time.

Tennis is life and life is tennis. All the noise, hate, love, pressure, challenges, race towards tournaments, matches, rivals, competitors, events and controversies create heaviness in your heart and mind. Your family comes to your rescue. Tennis families are one of the best families in the world. Your coach, your physician, your friends are your strength in good times and bad times.

Image credit : Pexels

Tennis is one man show, individual sport. You are alone in the court and it teaches about sustainability, independence and self-work. It makes you go through the tough rides in some of the greatest moments in tennis history and as you are making them, you have to hold your nerves and put on a show.

Tennis turns young boys into men. Tennis teaches you to drink through the pain of lose and rising up from failures. It teaches you to gulp through your lose in face and stand up on the podium to speak about it. It teaches you to treat both the lose and victory alike. It is like the verse from Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If”.

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;   

Rudyard Kipling

Tennis is about sportsmanship and more. Tennis teaches you to be good sports person, a good partner, a good parent, a good friend, a good child and overall a good human being. It teaches you to be good friends. Tennis is about becoming the better version of yourself. Tennis teaches you about life, whether you a player, commentator or spectator. It takes you on a journey of life. It turns young boys into young men, who inspire generations of human current and past likewise. Tennis is about sportsmanship.

If good life is about living to be a good human and spreading love, care, positivity around the world. Then Tennis is one such part of life that teaches you to live it completely.


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Musings : You can choose to be like them or not to be like them

You are surrounded by people of various types in their emotional, mental and ethical mindsets. You are exposed to such varied ideologies, experiences and encounters everyday in your life. You can either become like them or choose to be different.

Early on some of the strongest influencers in your life are your parents and family. You almost become like a replica of them in your behaviour and mannerism. You have your personal identity as you become a combination of various influences and some influence more than the others.

Negativity has some kind of charm that it induces smoothly than anything else.

But as you grow in your life and become adept with language, reading, interactions, communication and commute, you develop certain sense of reasoning and thinking. During this time you are faced with a contradiction of thoughts based on what you face in your everyday life. You go into a state of dilemma with very little things and sometimes very important stuff. Let’s see some encounters that happen frequently and various responses to them based on someones attitude towards it.

Use of foul language. Many families avoid use of foul language in normal circumstances but in grim situations they loose their control and calm. They end up using bad language with abusive words and bad phrases. Often cursing each other in act and notion. Also if such situations are avoided or absent completely, the next challenge that comes up is when a kid is exposed to neighborhood and schools. By coming in face with the people in the surroundings and the kids in the vicinity often some kids mimic them and get influenced strongly. It is often seen that a kid comes home by learning some new word often very foul and demeaning. Negativity has some kind of charm that it induces smoothly than anything else.

You can either be like them or be like yourself.

A choice to make. As the kid is put into certain condition and goes through various moral stories and lessons in life, books and bed stories, he/she is confronted by life with a dilemma of expression. By constant exposure to a certain lifestyle, some may not even realise what is the difference compared to other forms of life. But someday as the kid grows, there comes a point to feel, think and contemplate. Based on previous encounters, personal learnings and exposures there comes a time to formulate a consistent belief system about self and how one would behave in life and circumstances. The kid can make a choice to either incorporate foul language in his everyday use or based on certain groups or try not to use it as much as it is not needed or completely oppose the use of it.

There are many situations in life that are similar to the above mentioned one. We as humans are faced with social, emotional, economical, ethical and moral situations in life. Our default opinion can lean towards what everyone is doing around us or we can contemplate and arrive at a conclusion based on our own thoughts and idealogies which may be similar to the existing situation or completely opposite of it. This can happen in following many traditions and rituals at home, neighborhood, events, occasions and festivals. This can happen at work while working with a group of people on some project. This can happen in neighborhood when deciding certain norms for the colony or when coming together for certain cause, occasion or event. This can happen during travel around the country and world. This can happen when you visit someone’s house. You can either be like them or be like yourself.

Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.

Rabindranath Tagore

The nexus of superstitions. In every culture there are some stories, rituals, situations and encounters which are with no logical explanation. There might have been some in the past but in the present no one seems to be having any idea about why something is done in a particular fashion and what for exactly. There may be a reasoning about the benefits it brings but there certainly isn’t any relevance on how it will add up. But people face situations, they face difficulties, the go through tough circumstances in life and they see no way out only to be trying whatever options they have. Superstitions are part of our life in one way or the other. Sometimes very grim sometimes very subtle. There are self developed theories by individuals, families, localities, villages and communities. Those which do no harm to anyone are not of a concern as much as those who harm someone and most often a large group of people. The harm is subtle it is not involving any kind of direct pain, but it is a slow poison that becomes a part of their life without them realising the ill-effects of it. When presented with certain superstition, it often comes as a dilemma to either follow it, reason it or oppose it. In such situations you can often choose to be like them or not to be like them.

Everyday is an encounter in the beginning. Other situations like cultural influences, rituals, traditions, economical moves, fashion and lifestyle, choices about education, stay, investment, food choices and many other things are where you can make a choice. You may not be in absolute power to often influence others or bring about a change but you certainly can form your own opinion and focus on transforming your own life.


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Passion

Passion in India is something your parents decide for you even before you know the meaning of that word.

Passion in India is something that your relatives force it upon you because tour cousin and neighbors have done great in that field and hence you must do the same to have a secure life.

Passion is something your trainer decides how and what you do it, even if you are good at some sports, you wouldn’t even think of it because there is no future in that sports.

Well alas I wonder why we struggle to get a Gold Medal ?

Passion is something you should have so you earn a lot of money in the future and have a secured life.

Passion is something with which you should be able buy a house, car and other livelihood.

Passion is something you should have to be able to get married and weigh yourself in matrimonial procedurings.

Passion is something that defines you are a good egg even if you were supposed to be a plant.

Passion is totally on the wrong track.

Someone who is good at music is forced to become an engineer.

Someone who is good at sports is forced to take up college and work over.

Someone who is good at painting is forced to become someone else.

There are only a few who feel the passion in their heart and then choose to do it and continue to do it till the end of time.

If a guy is passionate to cook and if he is let to do so, he can become one of the best chef of town.

If a girl is passionate to become a naval officer and if she is let to do so, then she can become the best officer of the wing.

If when a kid develops the thoughts of compassion and wants to help people around her, if given enough encouragement and support, we can expect another Mother Teresa.

There are things that shape us when we are young. As humans we are now not at survival war in the jungle, but we have built our own survival laps. We run in the laps without reaching anywhere significantly.

Passion is a word that does not exist from where I come. And when it comes into existence it looses its original form and is merely a word to say but not felt within.


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Marriages in India – Things they don’t tell you

Things they don’t tell about marriages, especially in a country like India, where marriages are a big deal of time, pomp, custom and gathering. They might tell you, but you might be in a different mode of life altogether so it just slips by. Here are few things that particularly happens in a marriage setup like in India. You must read – Mutual Funds are subject to market risk, please read the document carefully before investing.

Thus is the case with marriage, you must think before making a life time commitment. Here are few glimpses :

Life is not same anymore !

Subtle changes. Your food habits and timings, now entirely depend on a new family(if you are a girl) and you ought to arrange yourself to the lifestyle of your in-laws. You have to remember to inform your spouse about your whereabouts and missing the food at home, in case of any(if you are a boy).

The how’s in a marriage making. In a normal arranged marriage, the girl goes to live with the boy’s family (which eventually becomes her own) which sometimes is a joint family with around 20+ members under the same roof. In such marriage, life is eventful if you look at it one way, the cheerful way. However if you are going through one such life, then you would say, at least in the first couple of years, it’s stressful, upaetting, frustrating and tiring. You might cry under a pillow some nights. It’s the fight of the authorities. It’s about being right and choosing not to be quite. It’s about letting someone know they are being unnecessarily strict and dominating.

It’s about living in a world where you cannot hurt someone, you shouldn’t hurt someone and at the same time you choose not to get hurt yourself.

The clash of the Titans. If you are a man, you are grinding in between the world of your Mom and your wife. You have to choose sides. For every event that happens, you need to find a way that makes each party happy. You have to console each one. You have to make sure you don’t hurt any. You are under the classic dilemma of choosing the left eye or right eye. You want both of them and you want both of them together, but given the conditions of life and thought processes, they tend to go against each other in many of the life views and decisions.

Change is evident, accept it. You cannot spend without being considerate. You cannot do something that you have been doing all your life, because that’s not what a married man does. You have a lady who doesn’t like it.

The daily routine. You were having a great time at your home and now that you move to your new home, you have to make sure you lock all the doors at night. You have to check the milk is at the door early morning. You need to check if there are any to be spoiled items in the refrigerator. You were sleeping until late, when your Mom would serve your special coffee on your table beside the bed. Now you have to get up before the world is up and keep the hot coffee ready to be served.

Overwhelming at first but lovely at the same time. It might seem too much to take at first and it might seem a huge task before you even start. But there is always something going on amidst all the hurdles and hustles of life. You know you have someone to look after and that someone will look after you.

It is all in your attitude to get the best of life and so with the marriage. You need to be accepting people the way they are. You must accept your mother in-law as your own mother. You must accept your daughter in-law as your own daughter. You must know life has changed with time and now is the time when women work tirelessly at job, so she might not be able to cook daily at home. You must also understand that you may have learnt to build skyscrapers but your world is your family and that family has a old lady who has worked all her life to give you the man, you consider to be the best in world. Respect her and love her for such a beautiful gift. When times are right laugh loud together and when times are tough, shred your tears together. You have her shoulder and she has yours. You both have his shoulder, who never wants to see you both cry. What is marriage afterall if not about being together.


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Opinions | Driving India from being a literate nation to being an educated nation

Communication has been one of the strongest aspect of human qualities. Invention of letters, printing press and media has transformed our lives like never before. However at the acuteness of the ability to text, call and video call some at any minute of the day has been gradually shifting our notion of communication. Literature is changing it’s shape. We have always faced the confusion of knowing the difference between what is being said and what it is.

Education is the key unlock the potential. We as a nation, growing in every aspect of life be it social and economical likewise, we must take a look at how we arrive at a conclusion and what it means to be educated.


LITERATE


Literacy is the ability to read and write. Most often then not, in India the ability to read is consider sufficient enough to be literate, because even though they can read and write, it will be far from impossible for many to able to draft a letter or complaint or express their thoughts onto paper because they don’t do it.

Literacy is not a clear indicator. So even though our literacy index is increasing every year, there are numerous young children who lack the ability to comprehend what they have read. And it is far more difficult for many children to express their thoughts and ideas by writing, not because they lack the imagination, ideas or thoughts but because they have not been habituated with the practice of writing by self. Often in schools and colleges, it is expected to write or re-write whatever is written in the text-books without any change in sentence and at times words. This creates a void in writing by self.

Literacy is not the indicator of development or upliftment in complete sense. It sure is an enabler but it all depends on how we measure and implement it.

Reality is difficult and different. All the kids who drop out of the schools after secondary education and those who cannot clear the board exams come to face the harsh realities of life early on at a very young age. Not to miss the fact that there are other circumstances and situations that force young kids in our country to face dire difficulties of life due to poverty, orphanage, bad parenting especially alcoholic father and many other situations that are not in anyone’s control like being effected by natural disaster or sometimes man-made.

It is in our time that we need to address this issue in it’s raw form and always keep an open eye to uplift such young kids and bring them into equal participation and stature of every day life in India, however mediocre it is. We want humans to live like humans.


INFORMED


Information travels at the speed of light. There is a group of people, very large in number who are well informed or as so they think they are. Often the channel of information flow is via person-to-person in their every day talk. But there are other broadcast methods which send out information to a larger mass at a single instance like radio, newspaper, TV and social media. Information about weather, natural disasters, politics, movies, sports, national and local events reach every nook and corner as well as old and the young equally.

Challenge of reality versus illusion. Often people believe they are updated about things happening around them and they are well informed but being informed is one thing and having a clarify of truth and facts is another thing. There is a reason why it is necessary to develop the ability to read between the lines or find a source of information which is very reliable, especially now that we have a chain of fake news and social media news businesses thriving to send out and reach your inbox and notifications.

You may be well-informed of the facts but completely unaware of the truth.

Carriers are the consumers of information. The people who watch lot of daily soaps, feed on TV news, gather to talk about politics, cricket, bollywood and nation at street corners fall into this category. It is not that they speak something out of the ordinary or something that is wrong, it is just morphed. They do not form opinions based on their own thinking but from what they have been told, heard, read and informed. Mind you, that it is in no way suggesting that they lack some sense or network, infact often they are some of the first hand information holder of news like the auto-rickshaw drivers, shop keepers, early morning movers and so on.

Knowing something is crucial and important but to be able to think critically and logically about it needs an added flavor to our observations and skills.


WELL READ


The readers club. With in us there a group of people who like to read a lot. They go through editorials in newspaper, read through magazines of distinct categories, dive through many books on various subjects of their interest, visit places of importance, observe keenly what is happening in their surrounding, critically think about what is being said and wrote. They absorb the things around them, they feed their minds with information and channelize their thoughts then they come up with new ideas, emotions, opinions and ideologies. They think through many aspects before they happen or after they happened and try to establish a theory or opinion about things surrounding the events and occurrence.

Swords are used to fight wars and pens are used to shape history. Often such people become a part of big club such as historians, mass media and communicate, journalism, bloggers, activists, campaigners, critics and some go on to become prominent members in the societies or industries. They are the circulate of information for the being informed club. They are experts who give our opinions, advice and share reviews about various aspects in our life.

Pic from Pexels.com

Carry the power with some responsibility. It is the responsibility of such people to form a neutral opinions and views as often possible. They must seek truth and share facts and formalize complete understanding of certain aspect be it lifestyle, culture, politics, policies, events and likewise. It is the power of pen that this people carry and they must use it for the larger benefit of the society and not merely of self or acquaintance. By forming collective conscious affirmative thoughts and opinions they can drive the larger mass into the state of clear understanding and evidence. Inherent idealogies and beliefs are formed by large because of previous bombardment of misleading concepts. By creating an invoked society large part of the problems we face as a result of such ideologies and beliefs, we can eradicate them or transform a new chain of thoughts that has always been dreamt of or pursued in our country.


WELL TRAINED


Built for the kill. Mother leopard trains it’s cub at the age of 1 or 2 to hunt preys. They are usually 2-3 in numbers and observe from far as their mother hunts. As they grow to be large enough in size but lacking in experience they try to emulate their mothers actions. But initially they end up in failure by choosing the wrong prey or by stepping at the wrong side or going early enough or too late. With time they catch up to form a team and drive a prey into a corner and kill. As the mother sees them hunt their first prey successfully, she decides to walk off from their life. She has been providing for them for over an year by hunting every week tirelessly but now it’s time for them to fend for themselves and live their life on their own. They have been trained.

Trained to behold and perform. Similarly our society structure is formed by having people who are trained to help things function in the way they must. All the production houses, manufacturing plants, power plants, industries, factories and service centres need enormous amount of army to help things funciton. These group of people are the trained souls who have read well, focused on a particular area, practice, performed the tasks numerous times and developed their brain to give out put in a desired fashion. They are the doctors, pilots, engineers, technologists, soldiers, technicians, scientists, designers and some artists like musicians, painters, singers and likewise with deep core competencies and skills.

They are the backbone of our economy and the drivers of the pretty much every aspect of our life. By developing core competencies in their respective field of area they can create, fix, respond and design things in ways that help us to keep functioning in our life as well as every few decades they transform how we live our life. Most often they are finest of individuals who have good control on their nerves, thoughts, emotions and overall stature that makes them who they are. They serve the nation, they serve the ill, they protect lives, the build things that help humans sustain life like electricity, infrastructure and commodities.


EDUCATED



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Create value in your work

VALUE vs PRICE

Imagine you have a diamond necklace which costs around 10 lakh Rs. You bought it with all your hard earnings. Also you have a necklace that has been passed on from your great-grandmother. It was used by her, then her daughter, your mother and now it has been passed on to you. You have been keeping it with lot of care and affection. It is a silver necklace which costs around 1 lakh Rs.

Do something frequently that scares you.

When you run into a crisis situation led by whatever reason like corona, economic slowdown, bankruptcy of a company or other reasons local or global, you are to make a choice of giving up something to carry on with your life. You can either let go of the diamond necklace or your family inheritance. Often in such situations, we are ready to give up the diamond necklace, even if we have bought with all our savings. Even at one time it felt like a dream of life to own it, you are now ready to let go of it.

Why is that, because you value your grandmother’s necklace more than anything. It is because you can earn again and buy another diamond necklace, possibly even expensive one but you will not be able to reproduce the age old tradition of that particular necklace. It is the value that is hidden in the necklace.

So the diamond necklace is expensive and costly, while the great granny necklace is valuable and of innate importance to you.

In life we can create value for ourselves just like the grandmother’s necklace. We can choose to shine like a diamond but with any kind of attachment or value, in long run however expensive or famous it may be, things may get a twist. It is not that we may not perceive to gain more or shine more, but it is equally important to understand the inherent value associated with everything you do, especially your job. You must learn to create some value addition in your job and the things that you do.

If you are doing the same thing in the same way that you have been doing 5 years back then probably you haven’t gained any value. You may have become good at what you are doing, you may get paid well, you may get promoted but without the additional growth, value and importance put into yourself, with time things fade away. Especially when there is a crisis or a situation, certain aspect of life may take a turn. Sometimes the technology or the craftsmanship in which you are an expert might be no longer in use or has lost its popularity or importance in general walks of life. Even in that situation, you are force to relook at your abilities and skills.

So work hard or work smart, but work to create value for yourself and your surroundings.