A child fears nothing while trying something new…and enjoys the whole process and the outcome. An adult thinks ten times before attempting something new….and lives with constant fear throughout the process. Have a child’s attitude always!
Life is like that; when you thought all is set and nothing can go wrong now…you get hit the hardest! Similarly, when you thought all is finished and nothing can be done now…blessings happen and you hit a fortune!
Two things that make you RICH are good health and peace of mind. No matter what all you accumulate throughout your life, if you are not healthy enough to enjoy it or if it does not provide you any peace, you remain POOR.
When things are going on well, we all perform well. It’s only in crisis that our real potential is tested… as to how well we can perform in the adversity. Be the real performer!
We get engaged in our daily fire fighting mode, busy making stop gap arrangements, putting stuff under the carpet… and life goes on. Take a break! Think about the person you want to be and put your efforts in that direction.
Excerpts from my upcoming book Fireflies of Gulab Bagh and other Short Stories:-
Udaipur, the city of lakes is situated in the state of Rajasthan, India. It is a beautiful city with a rich heritage of the legendary warrior- Maharana Pratap, the erstwhile king of Mewar. It is also the city where many iconic movies were shot like the Bollywood movie Guide and the Hollywood James bond movie Octopussy.
The city is really beautiful or was beautiful during the seventies and earlier periods. It has beautiful lakes; all filled with water and could touch the brim during the rainy season. The city also has lots of mesmerising forts and palaces which speak about the royal grandeur that this city once enjoyed. And then there are the beautiful green parks all across the city. There is the ‘Sahalion ki Baadi’, the Nehru garden, the Town Hall Park and many more. But the biggest of them is the Gulab Bagh – the Rose Garden. It is situated at the north corner of the city. It is a huge public park and had a special garden only for Rose plants. This rose garden had a variety of roses in terms of colour and breed. Legend has it that at one point in time it even had Rose plants producing black roses!
The entrance has a huge green coloured iron gates. There are two lion statues carved out of stone atop both the pillars supporting the huge gates. The lions are painted yellow and their tongue painted red. This magnificent rose garden was built by Maharaja Sajjan Singh and is situated near the royal palace and on the east side of the lake known as Lake Pichhola. Within this garden, there is also a zoo which at one time had lions, tigers, leopards, bears, and many other wild animals including various kinds of bird species. The most spectacular part of Gulab Bagh was a public library in the middle of it with collections of ancient manuscripts and other books. This library was situated in the high ceiling building which was of Mewar style architecture and was painted in lemon yellow colour. It also had a reading room where newspapers, journals, and various magazines were kept.
The year was 1977. Just outside of the Gulab Bagh, there was the Garden Hotel. This place or the building belonged to the royal family who was known among the locals as ‘Durbar’. They now run this place as a tourist hotel. There was a small paan shop attached to the outer walls of the ‘Garden Hotel’ just adjacent to the main entrance of the hotel. A straight road ran in front of the GulabBagh gate with either side of the road having a housing colony. One was known as ‘Radha Niwas’ and the other one as ‘Kamla Badi’. These were middle-class localities where most of the households were engaged in services, either government or private, and some managing their small business or shops.
The Kamla Badi was bigger in terms of having more houses. Most of them were single-story, small to medium size bungalows except for a few which were of two stories. In terms of the overall area, Kamla Badi was more or less similar to Radha Niwas except that Radha Niwas was differently laid out. The entire area (land) of Radha Niwas belonged to four brothers, the Agarwals. The land was divided among the four brothers and each one got one portion also known locally as ‘Khet’(in local language land for ploughing or agriculture). They had built independent bungalows on the periphery of these four khets. They had a palatial three-story bungalow in one corner of these khets and rest of the houses, eight in all with two bungalows to each brother were all rented out. The khets were given on contract to a farmer annually. Among these eight bungalows of the Agarwals, two adjacent bungalows were rented out to the Mukherjee family and the Hopkins family respectively.
Every day in the evening I would go for the walk, all dressed up in track pants and sports shoes. I would look around to the people and the shops that were there on the side of the road. The road had a variety of shops…from hair saloons to wine shops, from small tea stalls to medium size restaurants, from grocery shop to furniture shop and many more. It had almost any and everything that one can think of. Slowly, I began to recognize the people and the faces looked familiar.
While returning, I used to pass by a particular bus stop. This bus stop was the last but one to the place where I stayed. And at this Bus stop, I started noticing one couple every day sitting on the bench. They were in the twilight stage of their lives. Both the man and the woman must be in their late sixties or early seventies. The man wore specs and was tall. He was partially bald and had a very fair complexion. He was lean and athletically built. At least, he appeared to me like that irrespective of his age. I should say, he must have been a handsome man in his younger days. He still looked handsome I thought. On the other hand, the lady was short in height but had sharp features. She too was very fair and had big black eyes beautifully lined with kajal (black eyeliner) and had a glowing complexion. Her hair was long…sometimes loosely tied and sometimes left open. She looked very elegant in both the styles with her tresses. She always had a smile on her face; a very warm and genuine smile. The man also looked very content.
I seldom saw them talking. The man would look straight most of the time but the woman would rotate her head to have a glance in all directions as if not to miss any of the happenings around them. I believe this is how men and women differ in their respective basic nature! Initially, I thought that they must be waiting for the bus but slowly as I noticed them every day at the same time, I concluded that they were not waiting for any bus. I was curious to know why they were at the bus stop rather than to be at the park which was nearby. Maybe, they liked to watch people around and at this time of the day, the park would be empty. Somehow, they reminded me of the lines of the famous Welsh poet W.H Davies, who wrote in his poem Leisure ‘what is this life if, full of care; we have no time to stand and stare’.
Yes, they had all the time in this busy world and they were enjoying all the moments which life was offering to them. This bus stop was not much crowded and was on a wider road. So, in a way, it was better. Sometimes, I saw both of them eating sandwiches which they brought with themselves. Later, the man would pour some hot coffee or tea for both from a Thermos.
This is life, I thought. Life can offer so many beautiful moments. Only we need to have the time and patience and a sense of appreciation for it.
Does this sentence often bother you? Are you the one who spends a lot of time thinking on ‘What if….?’ before starting anything new? Do you often think of the negative aspect of life even if there are no valid reasons to do so? Do you avoid doing most of the things that you would otherwise have loved to do just because you felt “what if….?” What is this ‘What if…’ actually all about??
Let us see some examples of ‘What if…’
-My family may not like it
-I might fail
-People might mock at me
-I might be humiliated
-I may lose money
-My friends may disown me
-I may lose my reputation
-My limited potential might be the hindrance
So on and so forth…!
Did you observe something common in all the above ‘assumptions’? Yes, these all are assumptions only as these did not occur still…only You assumed that they might occur!
Did you notice something else too!
Did you notice the fear factor in all the above assumptions?
This is what is called as the fear of the unknown.
And this is true for most of us. It is a different thing that we all have apprehensions about many of the things in our life and it plays an important role in making decisions towards something that we intend to do or accomplish. But till we limit ourselves to the apprehensions level only, we are good. Apprehensions are a good indicator that will make you weigh all pros and cons before making the right decision. But when that apprehension turns into a fear, you lose the battle. You will not be in a position to take the right decision any more with that fear looming in your head. Rather, you will not be able to make any decision at all! And your status quo remains. You are stuck where you are; no progress made. Life goes on for you!
The important thing to understand here is that you have to come out of that Fear in your head. Unless and until you do that, it will be difficult for you to accomplish anything important in your life- both personal and professional. And believe me, it will not be an easy task for you to achieve that mental state- where the mind is free of Fear!
So, how does one achieve that state of mind? I will share something from my own life. I too had lots of fear as I was growing up. Moving from adolescence state to a young man and then to crossing my midlife, I was continuously faced with so many fears that many times I wondered if at all will I be leading a free and happy life devoid of all my fears? Then as I matured with age and experience, I slowly started taking risks; risks of attempting to give an attempt to all the things that I had some kind of fear attached to them. And I was not only astonished but was also pleasantly surprised to find that most of the fears that were associated with the activities that I attempted were mere fears only!
In practical life, they(the fears) just don’t exist! Yes, this is very true and based out of my own experience. And the things that I attempted ranged from taking on a new course at forty-five to starting a family during the same age, accepting a new job offer in a completely new domain to drawing boundaries in my relationships so that I maintain the sanctity of my own space. My belief in people enhanced to a level that now I give the benefit of the doubt to almost everyone with whom I interact. I don’t doubt people anymore. I have relinquished all fears in my mind and have attempted new initiatives in my professional career having ventured into the territories quite unknown to me in my professional life.
These are very few and some very basic examples though but the list is long…
Here is the Key; to begin with, attempt very small or not very significant fears of yours and keep repeating the action(your attempt) accumulating the small victories. After a point, you will have the confidence and the mental strength to attack your bigger fears. And slowly you will achieve bigger victories. You will be ready to take calculated risks in your life and will make significant progress.
And you know what? The biggest lesson for me in all this was:
People give a damn about you!
So, the biggest worry that we have in our mind ‘what people will say’ is so irrelevant and obnoxious.
And remember: On the other side of your FEAR….lies your SUCCESS!