Laugh Out Loud- because you deserve it

Today in the spirit of April fool day thought it would be relevant to talk about importance of humour in our day to day life.

Sometime in the obstacle course of life every little stress and challenge feels like it means a world, for eg we miss our bus, a weird charge shows up on our phone bill, our boss puts in a project on our already overloaded plate, we spill the blotch of hot sauce on our favourite pants, our frustration simmers and our day is ruined.

Often we miss out on opportunity to enjoy LIFE because we take things all so seriously…

Everything becomes matter of life and death, but if we can step back and create a space between Ourselves and what’s happening , its possible to find some humour in it all…

Many years ago I worked in a busy restaurant in UK as part time server to support my masters education, the dinning room manager Melissa remained upbeat even during stressful dinner rushes while we were loosing our steam..Remember Guys as she would say as we servers ran around frantically to take care of not so polite customers in a frenzy…” we are just serving food, this aint the United Nations…”

It reminded me that OK that the place is crowded with cranky customers and I am feeling overwhelmed…BUT…

why take things so seriously…what the point if I can’t find enjoyment in it all…sometimes we need a reminder that life is precious and fleeting..that there are limitless things we should be grateful for and that this too shall pass. That there are people in this world at this very moment who are enduring hardships far worse.

With this perspective shift there is always an opportunity to discover a lightness in our heart, a chance to untie that knot in our forehead and laugh it all…

instead of being bounced around by life WE BOUNCE WITH IT…

Approaching life with a sense of light heartedness is like wearing an ARMOUR..where we don’t allow snags and glitches of life to simply drag us down with them …In the words of Ramdas “Cosmic humour especially about our own predicament is an important part of our own journey”

So next time when you face such issues…see if you can step back and find the lighter side of it and laugh at your self or the situation…

Happy April fool day – its ok to be foolish at times 🙂

Don’t miss the small things…

Sometimes it’s the smaller things that matter. We are always so busy focusing on the big picture that we forget that the small things combine make the picture a big one. A story that teaches so much in so little. 

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The Taj hotel group had invited Mr. Masai Imai from Japan to hold a workshop for its staff.

The staff were very skeptical – the hotel is doing excellent business, this person from Japan has no exposure to hotel industry – what exactly is he going to teach?

But everybody gathered as planned for the workshop in the conference hall sharp at 9 am.

Mr. Masai was introduced to them – a not so impressive personality, nor the English all that good; spoke as if he was first formulating each sentence in Japanese and then translating it into rather clumsy English.

“Good morning! Let’s start work. I am told this is a workshop; but I see neither work nor shop.So let’s proceed where work is happening. Let’s start with the first room on the first floor.”_

Mr. Masai, followed by the senior management, the participants, the video camera crew trouped out of the conference room and proceeded to the destination.

That happened to be the laundry room of the hotel.

Mr. Masai entered the room and stood at the window, “beautiful view!” he said.

The staff knew it; they need not invite a Japanese consultant to tell them this! 

A room with such a beautiful view is being wasted as a laundry room. Shift the laundry to the basement and convert this into a guest room.”

Aa Haa! Now nobody had ever thought about that!

The manager said, “Yes, it can be done.”

“Then let’s do it,” Mr. Masai said.

“Yes sir, I will make a note of this and we will include it in the report on the workshop that will be prepared.”Said the Manager.

“Excuse me, but there is nothing to note down in this. Let’s just do it,

just now.” Mr. Masai.

Just now?” Manager.

“Yes, decide on a room on the ground floor/basement and shift the stuff out of this room right away. It should take a couple of hours, right?” asked Mr. Masai.

“Yes.” Manager.

“Let’s come back here just before lunch. By then all this stuff will have got shifted out and the room must be ready with the carpets, furniture etc. and from today you can start earning the few thousand that you charge your customers for a night.”_

“Ok, Sir.” The manager had no option.

The next destination was the pantry. The group entered. At the entrance were two huge sinks full of plates to be washed.

Mr. Masai removed his jacket and started washing the plates.

“Sir, Please, what are you doing?”_ the manager didn’t know what to say and what to do.

“Why, I am washing the plates”,_ Mr. Masai.

“But sir, there is staff here to do that.”_ Manager. Mr. Masai continued washing. I think sink is for washing plates, there are stands here to keep the plates and the plates should go into the stands.”_

All the officials wondered – did they require a consultant to tell them this?

After finishing the job, Mr. Masai asked, €”How many plates do you have?’_

“Plenty, so that there should never be any shortage.” answered the Manager.

Mr. Masai said, “We have a word in Japanese ‘Muda’.    Muda means delay, Muda means unnecessary spending. One lesson to be learned in this workshop is to avoid both. If you have plenty of plates, there will be delay in cleaning them up. The first step to correct this situation is to remove all the excess plates.”_

Yes, we will say this in the report.”_ Manager.

“No, wasting our time in writing the report is again an instance of ‘Muda’. We must pack the extra plates in a box right away and send these to whichever other section of Taj requires these. Throughout the workshop now we will find out where all we find this ‘Muda’ hidden.”_

And then at every spot and session, the staff eagerly awaited to find out Muda and learn how to avoid it.

On the last day, Mr. Masai told a story.

“A Japanese and an American, both fond of hunting, met in a jungle. They entered deep jungle and suddenly realized that they had run out of bullets. Just then they heard a lion roaring. Both started running. But the Japanese took a short break to put on his sports shoes._ 

The American said, “What are you doing? We must first get to the car.”_

The Japanese responded, No. I only have to ensure that I remain ahead of you.”_

All the participants engrossed in listening to the story, realised suddenly that the lion would stop after getting his victim!

The lesson is: competition in today’s world is so fierce, that it is important to stay ahead of others, even by just a couple of steps. And you have such a huge and naturally well endowed country. If you remember to curtail your production expenditure and give the best quality always, you will be miles ahead as compared to so many other countries in the world.”,_ concluded Mr. Masai.

It is never late to learn…let us take out all the MUDA OUT OF OUR LIVES… 


Lets’s be Thankful!

It’s easy to be ungrateful in a society dominated by the haves versus the have-nots, where the money is all-powerful and helps to epitomize the alluring aspects of life like independence, security, and strength. When you’re working hard for no gain, unable to get ahead in life, particularly after you’ve suffered the heartache of disappointment or financial chaos, it’s easy to get disillusioned and it’s easy not to be thankful. You start a gratitude practice by following any of the below ways:

  1. Dedication

Gratitude does not come easily. It is a spiritual practice that comes over time. You will feel every resistance come in your mind. When you dedicate yourself to summon up the energy to shift into gratitude that magnetic power helps you in every way.

  1. Write & Record

Make a list of your gratitude. Take a pen and paper or on your laptop/PC, start writing for what you’re grateful for. There are a lot of people/situations for whom you have gratitude. Record it.  It may happen that you won’t get anything in your mind. Surrender to that moment and just wait.

  1. Feel it from your heart

You may have noticed that there are a few days when you feel joy and dance your heart out.  It is the moment when you feel that joy to the fullness of heart. The same implies when you call up the sentiment of gratitude in your heart and from every cell of your body. You feel the utmost joy.

  1. Share your Gratitude.

When you start practicing anything with your partner, you get a push to achieve your goal. Partner with somebody.  You will keep each other going. Sharing and reading each other’s gratitude list will bring positive energy to keep this practice.

  1. Try not to stop once you begin to get results!

At the point when you initially started to get results, you thought of taking a break and positive energy that surrounded you started lagging behind. Dragging yourself back to training won’t be an easy task.

  1. Let yourself be human.

Protest in the event that you should.  Its human tendency to underestimate your efforts. If by any chance you miss writing your gratitude list or failing to express what you really want to write, it is perfectly ok. Do not blame yourself. The moment you started listening to a little voice “You have missed a day. You’ve bombed hopelessly at being thankful!” So be kind to yourself. Tie your laces and keep running!

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smartData Enterprises has dedicated the next two months to show gratitude to people who are tirelessly helping the community, workplace, and country in this pandemic. We also thank all the frontline smarTians and non-smarTians who have worked tirelessly in these tough times. This gratitude drive will evoke a sense of thankfulness and satisfaction with life. In the next two months kindly express how thankful you are to all these individuals (smarTians – developers, operations team, colleagues, seniors etc. and even non-smarTians like your family, parents, milkman, grocery store, newspaper vendor, security guard, policemen, health workers, house help and anyone who has made even a slightest contribution in your life) through a thank you gesture in person through messages or social media handles. Remember what goes out comes back…

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The Opportunistic Opportunity

Where are we heading is a BIG question everyone wants to hear the answer to – but no-one wants to answer!

Human race has seen many such upheavals since its existence and to me, this is just one of them and not “the” one. Question of cure becoming painful than the disease is the imagination of our tired anxiety-filled mind – with total cut off from social mixing – this was bound to happen – “one thing” syndrome – thinking about one thing and then creating our own web around it – only to be entangled in it finally – like the spider.

The industries and not just IT is in severe doldrums with developed nations GDP taking a predictive negative dip in 2020 in double digits while India and China just managing to stay afloat at 2% and 1% as per the renowned financial times’ commentator Martin Wolf & similar doomsday predictions are available for plenty. The mind usually will tend towards negative based on the facts. Facts are clear – no consumers.. other than feared online consumers – who themselves are buying only the essentials out of anxiety or panic. The cyclic effect from top to bottom has started to appear all over with companies resorting to job cuts, pay cuts and furloughs irrespective of the diktats from the power to be – “I live then you live” principle have started to surface from the various stories I hear and read ! & that’s a very dangerous trend for our society.

Where are we heading is a BIG question everyone wants to hear the answer 1

History is full of umpteen stories showing that humans give their best when they are up against the wall – the only way left then is to push back one more time. This is the time for “Opportunity” and being “Opportunistic”- in a +ve way off-course. A lot of notions management had, to not do certain things due to the fear of failure has been thrown out of the window today – courtesy Covid 19 who thought that 96% of the Indian IT workforce will be operating for one month and claim that productivity has improved… Garment manufactures are making masks while automobile companies are making ventilators & police is cooking food for the have’s not – plasma therapy for therapeutic treatment in absence of vaccines etc …goes on to prove that when we drop the self-created boundaries on our “imagination” something good comes out & it will. Will industry really need degree holders or would prefer people who can think and do the right things at the right time irrespective of formal education! Companies have started executing internal projects asking for people to contribute via their additional or secondary skills which were lying untapped. Strategies made by boards in Q1 are receiving obituaries one is sure about the next one with conviction- unless they overload it with many constants on which there are no controls – this happens only if that happens…

I feel the best approach is to be “open-minded” – take it as it comes – learn from this experience – the opportunity it is giving to the human brain to think differently – by learning to live constantly in a mode of uncertainty hereafter even if the chips are not down – we all did during our start-up phase – did we not? Fending for survival at all times should be the new norm for growth and we humans fend ourselves best when we are in survival mode! The decision-makers should adapt to this new normal even after things become normal – become opportunistic at all times looking for opportunities in every act, deed or minutes – is the lesson I will take from these challenging times & change one more time!

Connecting “You to You” – Writing!

I picked up my beautiful ? handwriting from my father, whose written application no one understood but I always got a ‘leave of absence.’ My rule was to make it look good, but one should not understand a word of it. I tried angles to see if words look better at zero degrees or at 10, 20, 30, 45, even sixty degrees ?

The damage was being done year on year… till I bumped into one of my best teachers Mrs. Maneckji- my English teacher. However, hard she tried but she could not make me change my fantastic habit of words and letters in a word flying in pair of 2… over the years even I tried but could not. As I moved on, the angles worked to perfection and people’s ability to decipher my secret code continued to diminish from bad to worst… I remember one fantastic anecdote with one of my Navy academy law teacher- one day he pulled out my 4th-semester law paper in front of the class and announced that I got maximum marks. He waved my paper and he said “Looks are always deceptive.”

He proclaimed that he did not understand all my words- thanks to my good handwriting ?, so rest he assumed it to be right. And as law works on evidence, he had no concrete evidence that the words he could not understand were right or wrong- and hence he has to give the benefit of the doubt and thus I got full marks. While that’s on the lighter side- my journey from a naval honcho to an IT person, helped me a lot as my beautiful handwriting gave way to electronic typing. But the touch and feel of one’s handwriting has its own charm. I still prefer using handwritten notes over typed notes. Because I feel I can connect with what I write vs what I type. Even the use of stylus over electronic screen

Connecting “You to You” - Writing 2

does not give me that connected feeling.

Writing is an outlet of your expression, your innerself – when you write you empty yourself and become light- what actually you are doing is- that you are imprinting your footprints via your words in the annals of history! As you complete your words you are actually becoming history for your reader(s) to connect and decipher.

However to become a good writer you have to be a good reader and a very keen observer of human behavior and its nuances, which means you should know the art of connecting. Other trait I realize is that you need to be a person close to ‘nature’-meaning being with nature. That’s where ideas of your next writing endeavor crops up… amidst that misty silence… when the sun is trying to shower it’s not so warm…warmth on Mother Earth on a cold misty winter morning.

Connecting “You to You” - Writing 3

Write as much as you can, whenever you can- teach through writing (on paper or board) than speaking. Write about anything… just start writing… you will see ‘yourself’ within you who can and is expressing his/her thought/ wisdom/ emotion/ point of view through you and to you… Happy Writing ?

Reading: It happens to you if you make it happen by design or default…

A book from Ayn Rand was thrown at me as I managed my way into grade 11th. The name was ‘Fountainhead’-the book was 400 plus pages talking about how one would plan his/her success in life. I thought passing Xth with first division will herald my arrival into an automatic career leap!! I finished the book in precisely 2.5 … I mean years. As a child, we picked up the habit of reading from our mother who was addicted to reading novels along with it came Champak, Nandan, Lotpot as a bribe . Those days you could not afford to buy these weekly subscriptions, it was given on rent. Airbnb or rent economy was there even in the 70’s- demand/supply curve was always there- 70’s there was more demand for reading- as every parents aspired to get a good education for their kids. Rent, paced us to improve our speed or pay for more days which we could not have.
Necessity is the ‘mother of invention’ is the lesson I learned along with the added advantage of speed reading which has stood me in good stead as I grew up in my life. Reading from comics to novels obviously helped in my studies or say “quick studies” as , I was always catching up to pass with minimum good grades for parents due to my over indulgence in sports. Speed reading helped in understanding things a lot more in the shortest span of time then and…as the saying goes, when you keep at something continuously you shall start getting it and I started to get it slowly but steadily what I use to read… step by step and that is the beauty of reading…. drop by drop… the knowledge, the interpretation, the crux starts to seep into your intellect making you a different person or shall I say in finding ‘the person’ which is you.
Reading over the last 30 years – all types from fiction to non-fiction to business has made me wiser, balanced and empowered. Its something I start and end my day with. Modes are electronic, audio, video and the best still remains the old hard copy… Reading memoirs/autobiographies are the best..imagine a smart, famous or intellectual person who puts his/her entire life learnings in 300-400 pages. We just need to glean those pages…These learnings are priceless, what it needs from you is only your few hours. Isn’t that a sweet deal… for me indeed it is…. And so should it be for everyone, … go ahead- remove the dust off the book U purchased, flipped through a few pages and then dumped it with an excuse of ‘why you could not complete it”- this time make none… I did not and so should you.


Be You - Ajay Tewari Blog

Think about a time when you were extremely anxious — say, before standing up to publicly speak, raising your hand in a big meeting, or even walking through a room of strangers. The reason you felt small and scared and tense is you were worried about social disapproval – referred to as FOPO – fear of people opinion.

what makes you you

If you start paying less  attention to what makes you you — your talents, beliefs, and values — and start conforming to what others may or may not think, you’ll harm your potential. You’ll start playing it safe because you’re afraid of what will happen on the other side of the critique. You’ll fear being ridiculed or rejected. When challenged, you’ll surrender your viewpoint. You won’t raise your hand when you can’t control the outcome. You won’t go for that promotion because you won’t think you’re qualified.

FOPO - Ajay Tewari Blog

Unfortunately, FOPO is part of the human condition since we’re operating with an ancient brain. A craving for social approval made our ancestors cautious and savvy; thousands of years ago, if the responsibility for the failed hunt fell on your shoulders, your place in the tribe could be threatened. The desire to fit in and the paralyzing fear of being disliked undermine our ability to pursue the lives we want to create.

Ajay Tewari Must Read Blog

If you find yourself experiencing FOPO, there are ways to dampen the intensity of your stress responses. Once you’re aware of your thoughts, guide yourself toward confidence-building statements (I am a good public speaker, I’ve put in the work so that I can trust my abilities, I have a lot of great things to say, I’m completely prepared for this promotion). These statements will help you focus on your skills and abilities rather than others’ opinions. Take deep breaths, too. This will signal to your brain that you’re not in immediate danger.

Must Read Blogs

I can’t overstate how important a personal philosophy is. I’ve noticed that, beyond a relentless pursuit of being their best, what makes these high performers great is their clear sense of the principles that guide them. Because of their clarity, they’re more willing to push themselves, learn more, and embrace discomfort. They can shut out the noise and opinions of fans and media and listen to their own well-calibrated, internal compass.

Once you’ve developed your own personal philosophy, commit yourself to live in accordance with its tenets. Start at home. Tell that person you love them. Dance at a wedding. Take risks. Be respectfully weird. (That probably means, be you.) Then try it at work. Give a presentation. Go for that promotion. Do things that will engender the opinions of others. When you feel the power of FOPO holding you back, simply acknowledge it, and re-connect to your philosophy and the larger objective at hand.

Christmas & New Year Best Wishes

Ajay Tewari New Year Wishes

We all look forward to this part of the year when things finally wind up for the year …specially In December there is lot to celebrate, Christmas, new year and so on and there is a great opportunity to celebrate these holidays to allow ourselves to be festive, to indulge a little bit more with the loved ones, and celebrate whatever there is to celebrate. But, there is one important aspect if we can bring in “mindfulness to our celebration” – eating mindfully and slowly, experiencing how much better food tastes, when we saviour it. We can bring “compassion and gentleness to the table if there is any overwhelm with a challenging family member- we can “practice patience and deep listening“. We can also practice forgiveness and gratitude for our loved ones and there generosity, there are lots of opportunities to be mindful BUT we can also let go a little…

2019 wish from CEO Ajay

Through the calendar year, many of our days are devoted to work in accomplishing things and we are incredibly focus on our responsibilities- so these opportunities we have… to let go and enjoy and celebrate life, these are important aspects of maintaining Work Life Balance…we can celebrate and let go in a mindful way…so be rejoice…allow yourself to relax, get more sleep if you need to, or stay up a little later…indulge in a few extra sweets..whatever gives you pleasure…The holidays will soon get over so while they are here enjoy this special osho said Life should not only be lived it should be celebrated….celebrate the next few days with your loved ones.
I appreciate all of your great work this year; it is because of you, and because we know we can do so much more for customers and clients than anyone else, that I have such great confidence in our future. Please enjoy some well deserved rest with family and friends during this holiday season, and let’s get right back to it in 2019.
Merry Christmas  and wishing you a very happy new year to you, your family and your loved ones.


No Left Turn

Life travels it’s own path and the story below depicts this wonderfully with lot of graceful lessons to be learnt – it’s up to us to learn from this wonderful story and follow – enjoy the story.

This is a wonderful piece by Michael Gartner, editor of newspapers large and small and president of NBC News. In 1997, he won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. It is well worth reading, and a few good chuckles are guaranteed. Here goes…

My father never drove a car. Well, that’s not quite right. I should say I never saw him drive a car. He quit driving in 1927, when he was 25 years old, and the last car he drove was a 1926 Whippet.

“In those days,” he told me when he was in his 90s, “to drive a car you had to do things with your hands, and do things with your feet, and look every which way, and I decided you could walk through life and enjoy it or drive through life and miss it.”

At which point my mother, a sometimes salty Irishwoman, chimed in:
“Oh, bull shit!” she said. “He hit a horse.”

“Well,” my father said, “there was that, too.”

So my brother and I grew up in a household without a car. The neighbors all had cars – the Kollingses next door had a green 1941 Dodge, the VanLaninghams across the street a gray 1936 Plymouth, the Hopsons two doors down a black 1941 Ford — but we had none.

My father, a newspaperman in Des Moines , would take the streetcar to work and, often as not, walk the 3 miles home. If he took the streetcar home, my mother and brother and I would walk the three blocks to the streetcar stop, meet him and walk home together.

My brother, David, was born in 1935, and I was born in 1938, and sometimes, at dinner, we’d ask how come all the neighbors had cars but we had none. “No one in the family drives,” my mother would explain, and that was that. But, sometimes, my father would say, “But as soon as one of you boys turns 16, we’ll get one.” It was as if he wasn’t sure which one of us would turn 16 first.

But, sure enough, my brother turned 16 before I did, so in 1951 my parents bought a used 1950 Chevrolet from a friend who ran the parts department at a Chevy dealership downtown.

It was a four-door, white model, stick shift, fender skirts, loaded with everything, and, since my parents didn’t drive, it more or less became my brother’s car.

Having a car but not being able to drive didn’t bother my father, but it didn’t make sense to my mother. So in 1952, when she was 43 years old, she asked a friend to teach her to drive. She learned in a nearby cemetery, the place where I learned to drive the following year and where, a generation later, I took my two sons to practice driving. The cemetery probably was my father’s idea. “Who can your mother hurt in the cemetery?” I remember him saying more than once.

For the next 45 years or so, until she was 90, my mother was the driver in the family. Neither she nor my father had any sense of direction, but he loaded up on maps — though they seldom left the city limits — and appointed himself navigator. It seemed to work.

Still, they both continued to walk a lot. My mother was a devout Catholic, and my father an equally devout agnostic, an arrangement that didn’t seem to bother either of them through their 75 years of marriage.

(Yes, 75 years, and they were deeply in love the entire time.)

He retired when he was 70, and nearly every morning for the next 20 years or so, he would walk with her the mile to St. Augustin’s Church. She would walk down and sit in the front pew, and he would wait in the back until he saw which of the parish’s two priests was on duty that morning. If it was the pastor, my father then would go out and take a 2-mile walk, meeting my mother at the end of the service and walking her home.

If it was the assistant pastor, he’d take just a 1-mile walk and then head back to the church. He called the priests “Father Fast” and “Father Slow.”

After he retired, my father almost always accompanied my mother whenever she drove anywhere, even if he had no reason to go along. If she were going to the beauty parlor, he’d sit in the car and read, or go take a stroll or, if it was summer, have her keep the engine running so he could listen to the Cubs game on the radio. In the evening, then, when I’d stop by, he’d explain: “The Cubs lost again. The millionaire on second base made a bad throw to the millionaire on first base, so the multimillionaire on third base scored.”

If she were going to the grocery store, he would go along to carry the bags out — and to make sure she loaded up on ice cream. As I said, he was always the navigator, and once, when he was 95 and she was 88 and still driving, he said to me, “Do you want to know the secret of a long life?”

“I guess so,” I said, knowing it probably would be something bizarre.

“No left turns,” he said.

“What?” I asked

“No left turns,” he repeated. “Several years ago, your mother and I read an article that said most accidents that old people are in happen when they turn left in front of oncoming traffic..

As you get older, your eyesight worsens, and you can lose your depth perception, it said. So your mother and I decided never again to make a left turn.”

“What?” I said again.

“No left turns,” he said. “Think about it.. Three rights are the same as a left, and that’s a lot safer. So we always make three rights.”

“You’re kidding!” I said, and I turned to my mother for support.

“No,” she said, “your father is right. We make three rights. It works.” But then she added: “Except when your father loses count.”

I was driving at the time, and I almost drove off the road as I started laughing.

“Loses count?” I asked.

“Yes,” my father admitted, “that sometimes happens. But it’s not a problem. You just make seven rights, and you’re okay again.”

I couldn’t resist. “Do you ever go for 11?” I asked.

“No,” he said ” If we miss it at seven, we just come home and call it a bad day. Besides, nothing in life is so important it can’t be put off another day or another week.”

My mother was never in an accident, but one evening she handed me her car keys and said she had decided to quit driving. That was in 1999, when she was 90. She lived four more years, until 2003.. My father died the next year, at 102.

They both died in the bungalow they had moved into in 1937 and bought a few years later for $3,000. (Sixty years later, my brother and I paid $8,000 to have a shower put in the tiny bathroom — the house had never had one. My father would have died then and there if he knew the shower cost nearly three times what he paid for the house.)

He continued to walk daily — he had me get him a treadmill when he was 101 because he was afraid he’d fall on the icy sidewalks but wanted to keep exercising — and he was of sound mind and sound body until the moment he died.

One September afternoon in 2004, he and my son went with me when I had to give a talk in a neighboring town, and it was clear to all three of us that he was wearing out, though we had the usual wide-ranging conversation about politics and newspapers and things in the news.

A few weeks earlier, he had told my son, “You know, Mike, the first hundred years are a lot easier than the second hundred.”

At one point in our drive that Saturday, he said, “You know, I’m probably not going to live much longer.”

“You’re probably right,” I said.

“Why would you say that?” He countered, somewhat irritated.

“Because you’re 102 years old,” I said.

“Yes,” he said, “you’re right.” He stayed in bed all the next day.

That night, I suggested to my son and daughter that we sit up with him through the night. He appreciated it, he said, though at one point, apparently seeing us look gloomy, he said: “I would like to make an announcement. No one in this room is dead yet.”

An hour or so later, he spoke his last words: “I want you to know,” he said, clearly and lucidly, “that I am in no pain. I am very comfortable. And I have had as happy a life as anyone on this earth could ever have.”

A short time later, he died.

I miss him a lot, and I think about him a lot. I’ve wondered now and then how it was that my family and I were so lucky that he lived so long. I can’t figure out if it was because he walked through life, or because he quit taking left turns.

“Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about the ones who don’t. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it & if it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would most likely be worth it.”


A story to reflect upon – I loved the closing
“Nobody said life is easy, they just promised it would most likely be worth it”.

I am what am because We all are!

The power of humanity has no boundaries – as much as we think that our boundaries are being defined in this modern world.

We often think of ourselves as individuals – seperate from each other or in competitions from each other. When a coworker receives a praise we feel something which was ours was taken away from us – we feel angry or jealous for not having similar accomplishments. This competitiveness filled world view can cloud our perception and stifle some of our most wonderful human qualities – which we realise once the train has left the station called Life.

There was a story – there was once an anthropologist lived with an African tribe and he asked the children to play the game and asked them to line up to run to the tree where he kept the basket of candies and the first one to arrive will win the baskets ! The kids all lined up bobbling on their feet awaiting the signal but when he shouted “Go” – kids instead of racing off in a competitive frenzy, the children held hands and went all together in one line – when they arrived at the tree and claimed the basket, they shared the candies equally !

Amazed by this act, the anthropologist asked how can they do that and WHY? They said how can ONE OF US BE HAPPY IF ALL THE OTHERS ARE SAD !! This is the concept of UBENTU – That loosely translates as Humanity – unbentu is a philosophy – a way of acting that prioritises well being of a group above that of an individual…it relies on human interdependence so that NO-ONE is left behind – I am what am because We all are!

Instead of feeling threatened by others – believe that we all are fundamentally good. Every generous action, kind words or warm thoughts can contribute to everyone’s well being including our own. Lets remind ourselves and let this story be a gentle reminder to all of us to see the world through the prism of UBENTU – allow your humanity to flourish, be generous, kind and welcoming to others – please remember that we are humans because of the humanity of others – As desmond Tutu said – Ubentu tells us that unbentu tells us that we can create a more peaceful world by striving for goodness in each moment wherever we are..Let go the rivalry of being better than others and you will find an intrinsic unsaid feeling of contentment and happiness which you will cherish..