Posted in Uncategorized

First featured article

I started writing for Women’s Web two months back. I haven’t written many articles though, just two in two months. I am always looking for topics to write, and quickly discarding every idea as ‘not good’ without even trying. So, a few weeks ago I decided to write on every damn topic that crosses my mind (and of course, it also needs to be fit as per the website’s requirement). When Hima Das was all over news for her historic victory, I decided to write something on her.

Slowly, I found myself discarding this idea too. What will I write about her? Will I be able to do justice to her victory? What can I write that’s not already been written before? Because, her life, her game, and her every walking steps has already been covered in all the major newspapers and other print medias of the country. I was sure, someone on Women’s Web must have written something on her already. It’s a big portal with so many amazing writers, sure a news like Hima Das’ must have caught everyone’s attention.

When I did my research I found out no one has written anything on Hima. I was surprised. Surely I am not searching well enough. But, no. There was not a single article on her. A portal which publishes many articles daily, has nothing on Hima? I found it hard to accept. Why noone has written about her? The rising star from Assam!

It broke my heart, so much, that I decided to write it myself. But, I still wasn’t sure what to write. So, I decided to write about how her victory made me feel. How she would be an inspiration for the young girls of this country.

Every word of this piece came straight from my heart, yet I wasn’t satisfied. So, I let it sit in the draft folder for a week, until I found the courage to submit it. Today morning, 3 days after my submission, I got a mail from the website saying my piece got featured. Featured??!! Really? My writings never get featured, it is always someone else’s. Why have they featured it? Not only that, in the mail, they also wished more power to my pen. My pen? Do I even have one? But when I checked the website and saw my article there, with my name below it, the mail started to feel real.

It’s a big deal for me, because I doubt my writings. It’s a big deal that someone is reading what I have to say, and thinking it’s worthy enough to get featured. It is such an overwhelming feeling that I could cry. This has been the best morning in a very long time. You have no idea, how happy and grateful I am today. I promise, I will work hard on my writing. A big thank you to all the readers.

You can read the article here.

Posted in Books, Uncategorized

A Book of Light- book review

Jerry’s mother was bipolar. It began when he (her second child) was born. When it got worst, she tried killing herself several times, by jumping in front of a bus or cutting her wrist or running off with Jerry, a toddler, on her tow. Jerry created a novel (read the review here) from his experiences of living with a mother who was mentally ill.

Jerry’s book unleashed many such stories from people who have read and loved EM. At one of his book readings, a woman asked him to collect all these stories and create a book called ‘A book of light’. To create awareness about mental illness in our society. This book is a testament to the fact that, it often takes one person’s action to move and mobilise many towards the same goal.

The introduction piece of this book is written by Jerry himself. He has written it delicately, choosing each word carefully lest he hurts his readers. He has pointed out some hard hitting truth a family faces while taking care of a loved one. The entire piece is honest and hits just right. It is powerful enough to keep you wondering for days.

The book contains 13 stories. All revolving around the same theme of ‘when a loved one has a different mind’. Some are written fondly, some in grief, others in guilt, betrayal, remorse, and even regret. One could feel the helplessness, confusion, sadness, and denial a family goes through in such times. Each story is special in its own way, because each gives glimpses of something very personal and intimate.

If I had to pick my favourites of these stories, I would probably pick these five. ‘Papa, Elsewhere‘, ‘Daniella‘, ‘The Man under the staircase‘, ‘Anna‘, and ‘Some questions for a brother‘. First one was about a bipolar father, who when went missing, the family took a sigh of relief. Second was about a mother’s denial about her daughter’s depression. Third was about depression, and how it rears its ugly head. Last one was about regret and guilt for not reaching out when there was still time.

Only thumbs down with this book is that writing is not consistent throughout, which is quite obvious, as all writers are different. Few stories are well written, while some are weak in their narration and flow. If writing style is something you can ignore, then it’s definitely a good read. Because, what matters here is the emotions with which each story was written.

Posted in Uncategorized

EM and the big HOOM- book review

It is after a long time that I have completed a book in one sitting. The last time I achieved this feat was with Jhumpa Lahiri’s ‘In other words’, in 2016. The two long years were totally worth the wait.

What a shame, I have not discovered Jerry earlier! I have not even heard or seen this book anywhere, despite all the literary awards it had won. If not for Amazon’s sudden recommendation, I would not have come across this book at all. But, better late than never. I am glad to have found it. This was not just a book, it was an experience which will stay with me forever.

Pinto writes this searing autobiographical tale about the havocs his mother’s illness wreaks in his family, and how they struggle to cope with it. He had carried his torch bravely to shed light on the dark areas of his life, in just 235 pages. There are many stories in this story, revolving around EM, the mother.

The story is about ‘mental illness‘, a topic which is still a taboo and looked down upon by our otherwise modern society. It is something we always hear happening to someone else, but never to us or our loved ones. It is something we believe we know about, but we don’t. We only see the superficiality around mental illness. We never tried peeling off the layers and tried to accept it like any other physical ailment. We stigmatized mental illness with guilt, bad omen, black magic, and other superstitious stuff, so much that people feel humiliated to be associated with it.

The story is about a middle class family living in an 1BHK apartment in Mahim, Bombay, who just wishes to function like a normal family. A family who sit down for chats and copious amount of tea anytime of the day. A family who can count on its fingers the number of happy carefree days they had. This story is about a mother, who would seem cool and modern with her puns, open-minded discussion on sex and dating, if she hadn’t frequently wished to die. Whose bipolar condition makes her so unpredictable that one moment she is smoking beedi and chatting with her family, and the next moment she slits her wrists. A mother who was first diagnosed as nervous breakdown, depression, schizophrenic, mania, and finally bipolar.

This is about a sister, who silently gives all her time, effort, and energy to her family. She just keeps doing what is expected of her, without feeling pity or helpless. This is about a father, who is resilient and strong enough to see the love of his life wither away by a mental illness. A father who re-writes all this plans for a secure future, so that he could afford his wife’s medical treatment for years. A father who explains to his young son that mental illness is just like diabetes. This story is about a grandmother who thinks she could find a way to her daughter’s thisthing (mind).

This story is about a guy who likes stories and probe everyone for details. A guy, who listens to his mother’s stories to find out the first sign of nervous breakdown and manic depression. A guy, who is torn between his love for his mother and frustration of dealing with a mental illness patient day in and day out, and often looks for refuge in poetry sessions, movies, and book readings. A guy, who is open about his mother’s illness and yet clenches his fist when someone asks if his mother is mad. A guy who occasionally thinks if his mother is acting and making everything up just to console himself.

Pinto’s debut is a work of love, patience, hope, helplessness, and immense sufferings. You would see it, despite his non-sentimental way of describing such a stomach-clenching subject. His writing is raw, vulnerable, beautiful, evocative, and haunting- all at the same time. The story flows seamlessly throughout the book. You could connect to the characters from the very first page, and you would fall in love with their honestly and vulnerability.

I found myself pausing in between to contemplate how cruel life can be sometimes! I absolutely loved reading it. It is a rare book, and I urge everyone to read it. It is like a story which will make you believe that love is still out there, just getting tested with uncertainties of life. It will make you believe that ‘a normal family’ is a myth; every family has its own struggle, some are just struggling hard.

I appreciate Pinto’s effort in penning down such a difficult phase of his life.

_____________________________________________

Next I will read a book compiled and edited by Jerry Pinto, ‘A book of light‘. It was created to illuminate the darkness about mental illness in the middle class society. It has many stories by different people on how it is like to live with someone with mental illness.

Posted in Books, Uncategorized

How to buy good books?

I have been reading since the age of eleven- twelve. Reading helps me escape the reality and create my own bubble. Bookshops, book fairs, bookshelves, make me go weak on my knees. Needless to say, I have a good collection of books, which is constantly increasing. But, that doesn’t stop me from buying more. And no, I haven’t read all the books that I own. Nobody does that. It’s an universally accepted fact.

Every year I try to read atleast 50 books. That means I must have more than 50 unread books on my tbr list every year. All the books have to be good and interesting, so buying books involve a lot of research and thinking. Many of my friends ask me how do I buy good books. Well, to be honest, it takes years of practice to judge a book or to spot a good book at a first glance. Identifying a good book can be tricky, but I have few well tested tips and tricks which make things easy for me.

How do I buy good books?

1. I stick to timeless authors. Those who are consistent with their literary work. They seldom disappoint me. When I am totally clueless about which book to buy, I decide to buy books by these authors. Because, I love reading them and they are worth my money. Some of my timeless authors are, Haruki Murakami, Khalid Hosseini, Orhan Pamuk, Jhumpa Lahiri, Robin Sharma, Arundhati Roy, Amitabh Ghosh, Ruskin Bond, etc.

2. I read reviews. I take out some time before my book shopping sprees to read book reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I generally read 5 reviews per book, to finally decide whether to buy or not. I recently ordered Jerry Pinto’s two books just by reading Amazon reviews. Waiting excitedly for them to arrive!

3. I go to bookstores which have a wide range of collection. The probability of coming across a good book is higher in a good book store than in an average one. So, I always choose my bookstore wisely. I spend a good time exploring the books category wise, discount wise, and author wise. I even read a few pages of the book, before deciding whether I should spend my money on it or not. Sometimes, when the owner of the store is well-read, I get some good recommendation too. Bonus tip- if you show loyalty to one Bookstore, you get awesome discounts. Trust me!

4. I ask well read people about their favourites. There are many good authors out there; who may live in a different country than yours, write in a language than yours, but their words appeal the souls nonetheless. It is impossible to know each one of them. So, I ask well read people about their favourite authors. Many a times, they name authors that I haven’t heard before, they suggest me books I haven’t read or seen before. It’s definitely a great way to explore the literary world. Bonus tip- good authors always have great writers as their favourite. No doubt I came across gems like ‘Man’s search for meaning’, after having a conversation with an IIT Madras Prof.

5. I refer to booklists. Every year Bill Gates, Obama and other famous people like them publish an annual reading list. Online book stores publish their annual bestselling book lists. There are best books of the year lists. Then Man Booker selection lists or Pulitzer’s nomination lists, and lists of the other major literally award winners. These lists are easily available on Google. One can create their own list too. For example, list of banned books, weird books, funny books, books to read in one’s lifetime, etc. This is how I came across book like ‘Reluctant Fundamentalist’. I recently bought one of Bill Bryson’s books because, apparently, he is the funniest travel writer ever.

6. I ask for book recommendation. There are many readers in my circle. They are my instant and never failing go-to source for books. I know people who reads more me and they recommend me a lot of good books. I can rely on them, because they know my likes and dislikes. I have few such people on my speed dial, just in case. One of my oldest reader bff have been asking me to pick up ‘A man called Ove’. And, I can blindly trust it to be a great book.

7. I follow Instagram accounts of fellow bookworms. I passively participate on online forums or Facebook pages for bibliophiles. I stalk bookshelves of other people. I go through Amazon wishlist of my friends. I keep my eyes open to see what random people are reading on the metro, on flights, at cafes. Once I followed a girl inappropriately to find out what she was reading, because the cover was too pretty (don’t try this, it never works. Instead, just ask politely). I mentally note down the books I like and read their reviews online, before buying them. I found ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’ through a FB friend.

8. I judge a book by its publisher. Always. A good publisher, in 90% of the cases, publish good books. Most of the time it is safe to pick up new titles or new authors, published by a well known publisher. Some of my favourite publishers are, Knopf, Faber and Faber, Graywolf, Mc Millian, HarperCollins, (and of course) Bloomsbury, etc. I never hesitate to buy their books, even if the author is unfamiliar to me. Promising and upcoming Indian publishers are, Juggernaut, Zubaan, Aleph, Vintage, etc.

9. The most clichéd one. I read blurbs. If it interests me, I read the first page of the book to see the writing style. If both seems satisfying I end up buying the book.

I bought these books at JLF’ 18 after following this cliché tip.

10. I follow my instinct. After years of practice, I am getting better at this. There are titles which catch my attention at a first glance (I called them love at first glance), and most of the time I buy them. Bonus tip- if the cover of the book is standard and not colourful, chances are that it’s a good book. (Most of Murakami’s books). However, if the cover is too dramatic, I refrain from buying them. They seem too loud for my taste.

I end up buying ‘The Art of Discarding’ because its cover was too classy. And, definitely no regrets. And, Manu Joseph’s ‘Illicit Happiness of Other People’ was definitely a love at first sight.

These are the only tips I could think of right now. If you have any more input or tips, do share. Would love to try them out.

Thank you for reading. Now, go buy those damn books!!

A crisp and short version of it appeared in the Assam Tribune’s Horizon. Here is the link.

Posted in Uncategorized

Coffee and thoughts

I have recently realized that I think and write better with a cup of steaming coffee at my side. The stronger the aroma, the faster my thought processes. There are three reasons for this realization. First is, I have always imagined a writer writing something frantically while sipping coffee. To me, a work desk without a coffee mug on it is almost a sacrilege. Second, whenever I decide to write something, I procastinate – let me have my coffee first. Because, what gives a better kick than coffee? The third and the lamest reason, another excuse for more guilt-free caffeine intake.

This makes me wonder what if, this becomes my writing quirk? Like, successful novelist Mark Twain and George Orwell used to write in bed. They claimed to be able to write better in a sleeping position. Virginia Woolf was known to pen down her thoughts whilst in a standing position. The famous bestselling author, Dan Brown, believes that hanging upside down helps him in curing writer’s block. Hemingway used to write only after having a large amount of alcohol. His famous adage is, “write drunk, edit sober”. I was so inspired by Hemingway that I had even told a friend that I want to try it to see if my drunk mind thinks better. Sadly, I haven’t, yet. There was this weird quirk of Victor Hugo, who used to write naked.

No, I am not comparing myself with these above mentioned Gods of literature. I dare not, ever. I am just citing examples of peculiar quirks they have/had. I would be happy if drinking a large amount of coffee becomes my quirk and helps me in writing better and more often. But, my mamma won’t be happy about it. She just doesn’t like the fact that I run on coffee. According to her, the root of every problem in my life is coffee. My occasional grey hair, absentmindedness (did I spell it right?), abnormal sleeping patterns, mood swings, all because of coffee. I fail to understand her logic, and she fails to understand my need.

I should also mention here that it is impossible to write with my mom being in the same room. She would constantly interrupt my deep thoughts with random questions or neighborhood gossip. My ‘I am thinking, mom’ announcements is of no use to her. She just doesn’t understand my writing process. When I stop typing in mid-sentence and stare into the oblivion for ideas or thoughts, she thinks I am depressed and would constantly ask me what happened. People say, when two person love each other deeply even the silence between them is beautiful. Not for mom and me, atleast.

Luckily, I have been successful in finding a common ground now. I write only when mom is not at home or asleep. Mostly when she is asleep. Because, I love writing at night. This can be another quirk! The eerie silence of the night helps me in clearing my mind. I feel I am in my most creative form when everyone else is asleep. It gives me the peace I want, and helps me concentrate. I love writing when it rains. I love writing while travelling too. But, writing at night is the most favorite. I believe one needs a perfect environment for any kind of creative work. It may differ from person to person. I almost have an elaborate imagination of how mine should look like.

I dream of this amazing coast side bungalow, with an open deck hugging it from every side. There is this eerie silence at night except for the occasional tides crashing in. My work station is right in the center of the balcony, facing the sea. I imagine myself walking to the edge of the deck looking for new ideas and thoughts, until I couldn’t get any closer. The place also has its own step down touching the rocky coast, where I would sit for hours in search of inspiration. With a cup of coffee in my hand, of course.

If you are reading this, do tell me about your quirks and dream work (writing) environment.

Posted in 100 Days Running Resolution, Uncategorized

100DOR

Just like that my 100 Days of running came to an end. Two and a half months of daily workout was unimaginable for me. But, with dedication, self-discipline, and strong determination I did it. I would not say, I became a better runner. To be frank, I am still far behind to call myself a runner yet. But, I definitely gained a lot of strength and stamina. On the first day of this journey, I could barely walk for an hour, I can now continuously workout for almost two hours. That feels like a pretty good achievement in itself.

What motivated me to keep going?

There were many things that kept me motivated. The most effective of all was the weight that I had lost. It was a wonderful feeling when I would stand in front of a mirror, and I would see a leaner and fitter woman. I still remember that day when I easily wore the jeans which was too tight to button up before. One of my friend had truly said that the best way to check if you have become leaner is to rely on your clothes. They never lie, she had said. So, when my clothes started to feel loose, I knew I was losing weight. It gave me the push I needed to put on more effort in my workout.

What do I do when I don’t feel like going out for a run?

No matter how much motivated you are, there would be days when you would just want to sit back at home and relax. I felt so too, and often. I knew I had to do something about these pangs of demotivation. I did a few things. First thing that is known as social-media-obligation. I started uploading post-workout pictures as my daily WhatsApp status. It kept me in check, and helped me in continuing my exercise routine without missing a day. There were of course days when I couldn’t go out either because of the weather or due to time/place constraint, on days like that, I either exercised indoor or ran on the treadmill. I missed working out for four days during Eid holidays. I was 8 hours away from my hometown, at a friend’s place, and there wasn’t any ground where I could run in. I felt so guilty that as a punishment, I added 8 more days to my 100DOR target.

Second thing that I used to do was to call my closet friends on days when I don’t feel like working out, and they would give me an encouraging pep talk. My mother helped me a lot in this journey. She pushed me harder than anybody else.

Third trick was to put on my workout clothes and shoes, and walk around until I would feel motivated to eventually leave the house. This is something a lot of workout motivation videos on YouTube say, and it is super effective.

The last thing was to watch running videos or fitness channels on YouTube or Instagram just before going to bed. They helped me become a fitness-enthusiast.

One could also try making a workout buddy, who is as determined as you are. One could get bored of the same exercise routine, so I would suggest to mix it up a bit, and try different activities to make it more fun. One could also document their journey in the form of videos or blogs, to keep track of the work in progress.

Is this the end of my fitness journey?

A lot of friends have been asking me about my plans after completing this 100DOR. They want to know if this is the end. They want to know what is going to be my next challenge. And my answer to everyone is- NO. End of this challenge is not the end of my fitness journey. This was just the warm-up. There is a lot more to follow.

Did I control my diet too?

The answer to this one is ‘yes and no’ both. Because, no, I did not deliberately controlled my diet. Yes, because, I worked so hard on the ground that it was almost heart breaking to ruin it with the over-eating or junk food. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. So, I did not try to eat healthy. It just came naturally.

What did I learn from this challenge?

Nothing is impossible. All you need to do is to control your mind, and be consistent in your work.

Posted in Uncategorized

Right or wrong?

There are two reasons why I am writing this:

1. I am still not sure that the term I used in this context was correct or not. I want you to read this and give me your valuable opinion on it. I want you to correct me if I am wrong.

2. People turn a blind eye to such activity. There could be two highly probable reason for this- no one wants to interfere or lack of awareness about the topic. I am going with the later here, and putting forward the argument that crime happens when you do not pinpoint it for lack of knowledge. That makes the second reason why I am writing, to create awareness.

I have feared that writing about this incident would bring me criticism of reading too much into the incident and over reacting. But, I had to write about this. I let all of you, who reads it, to be the judge and tell me if I am right or wrong in writing about it.

We were a group of 10-12 people at a friend’s birthday party yesterday. There, I called someone a child molester. (That someone was an old school friend, but after yesterday’s episode I am not sure if I can still consider him one.) There were two kids- one boy and a girl, their age not more than 5 years, present in the room. You know how kids are, they come and flock around wherever the adults are. And, it is a common thing for any adult to lovingly strike up a conversation with kids in such scenarios.

Most of us were happily chatting away with each other, when this person (Let’s call him PW) was trying to have a conversation with the little boy. His voice wasn’t stern or anything, he was laughing and holding the boy lovingly by his wrist. The boy was smiling too, but trying to free himself and flee, which is quite normal for kids to do. Although PW was sitting in front of me, it took me some time to realize what he was whispering to the kid. PW was asking him if he has a penis, and to show him if he has one. Before I could interrupt, the kid was successful in freeing himself and ran out of the room. PW started chatting with someone else. But, my mind kept processing what just happened.

After a while, a friend of mine from school came and took the vacant seat in front of me. That’s when I noticed that PW wasn’t in the room. I knew the kids were playing outside, because one could hear thier voices coming from the balcony. My friend’s sitting position was perfect for a clear view of the balcony. So, I asked him if PW was outside? His affirmative response bothered me. I excused myself and went out to check what was going on. PW was still busy convincing the little boy for sneak peek of his penis. When the kid refused, PW teased the boy saying, “you are a girl, you don’t have one”. It is important to clarify here that kid wasn’t refusing verbally. He was refusing through his body language. A classic scenario of being uncomfortable and yet helpless. I should’ve asked PW there and then, but I couldn’t. There were few other people too, and I didn’t want to create a scene of any kind. I came inside- angry and disturbed.

Soon after, someone came in laughing and said out loud that the kid was trying to touch or had touched PW’s genitals. A few people thought it was hilarious. I sat there quietly, observing things and reactions. But, all I could think of was how kids copy us. How they observe adults and imitate their behaviour. I was thinking how easily PW taught that kid that trying to see/touch someone’s genitals is normal and funny. All in good humour, you see.

After that ‘tit-for-tat’ episode, when half of the people had left the room, PW came in and I accused him of being a child molester. A few others were present. I don’t know if they heard anything, because no body said a word. PW brushed aside my remark, with a ‘stop-bullshitting’ look on his face. But, I went on to tell him how his tiny gross behaviour could affect the child. How it could damage a child’s psychology forever. PW didn’t buy any of my reasoning. He didn’t even feel he was wrong. No one else came to my rescue and told him he was not right in his conduct.

By definition child molester is a strong term. It means one who sexually abuses a child, also called child molestation. And, child abuse is an activity which an adult or older adolescent uses a child for sexual stimulation. There is no exhaustive definition for child sexual abuse. It includes a wide range of activities, all of which can be divided into touching and non touching activities. Touching activities include touching a child’s private parts, asking a child to touch an adult’s private parts, forced intercourse or oral intercourse with a child, encouraging a child to play sexual games. Non-touching activities include showing pornography to a child, intentionally exposing adult’s genitals in front of a child, inappropriately asking a child to undress or expose his/her genitals etc. Sexual abuse/molestation whether intentional or unintentional could cause irreparable damage to a child. It can cause them depression, anxiety, long term psychological trauma, stress, physical injury, mental disturbance, urge to withdraw from school and society, inability to lead a healthy adult life and many more. Abuse can leave imprints in a child’s brain for ever, and shatter them permanently.

I know, PW’s behaviour was not deliberate. He wasn’t seeking any pleasure from it. But, I felt his behaviour had the propensity to be harmful to the kid. Children are delicate. We can never understand what goes into their mind fully. It is one thing to show them your love and affection, and another thing to impose yourself on them unintentionally. Interacting with kids maybe a small thing for the adults. We may not remember the interaction as vividly as a kid would. That’s why we should be cautious. We never know how our words and actions would affect them. We should know that there exists a fine line between interacting with a kid and making them uncomfortable. No kid would tell us we are making them uncomfortable, even if we did. Because, they don’t know how to react in such scenarios. They are kids, it takes them a long time to realize that. But that shouldn’t be the defence for our behaviour. Our actions may cause irreparable damage to a kid, we must understand that and act accordingly. After all, a harm, however unintentional is still a harm.

Posted in 100 Days Running Resolution, Uncategorized

Day 90

It is easier to meditate when on a bicycle. It is easier to meditate while running. In fact, it is easier to meditate anywhere, anytime- if you just know how.

I have been juggling between cycling and running from last one week. Running becomes monotonous after few days, if you keep running on the same track again and again. So, when I got the opportunity to bring in a different form of workout in my routine, I embraced it whole-heartedly. It was 8pm when I was heading to the grounds for my run after a meeting, when my friend offered me his bike. I beamed with happiness holding the handles. The prospect of roaming around my hometown aimlessly was delightful.

I cycled for around one hour that night. I went to all those places which I otherwise avoid to explore on foot. The weather was damp, and the probability of a light drizzle was looming in the air. The roads were deserted. There was this silence all around, a comfortable one- like when you are home alone but not scared. As I was roaming around the residential area, something warm memories engulfed me, and took me to those teenaged carefree days, when me and my friends used to cycle around cheering and laughing.

Posted in 100 Days Running Resolution, Uncategorized

Day 70- what running taught me?

More than two months ago, I took this resolution of 100 Days of running.

Last 70 days were amazing. I never thought a resolution as tiny as running could change me and my life in such tremendous way. I didn’t know running could be my savior on bad days. That I would fall in love with it completely.

Of many things that running taught me, the ones written below are my favorites:

1. Beginners: We all were beginner once at things at which we excel now. In fact, each one of us are/were beginner somewhere. And, to excel we must repeatedly keep moving forward. Everything looks challenging at the beginning, but as we go on learning, things start to look easy and enjoyable.

2. No shortcuts: There is no shortcut to success. In fact, there is no shortcut to any goals. To get full result, we should give our full effort. Working on self is a long process. One needs to be patient for that. One cannot expect a great result, with minimum work done. Nothing works that way.

3. Convince the brain: Whoever had first said, “It’s all in the brain”, had summed up life’s greatest lesson. Our brain tricks us in believing that we can’t do challenging things. Every negative, discouraging thoughts are born in the brain. If we keep listening to it, we can never succeed. So, instead of being tricked by our brain, we should trick our brain into believing that we can. Because, when our brain says ‘yes’, our body says ‘yes’.

4. All adds up- good and bad and the worst: No one can be a consistent performer. But, anyone could be a persistent performer. It’s not necessary that we would do the same amount of work everyday. Sometimes, we outdo ourselves. Sometimes, we under do ourselves. We shouldn’t get dishearten by the bad days. Because, good days, bad days, and the worst days together make the journey worth cherishing. It’s all adds up at the end.

5. You respect it, people respect it: This one is as simple as it reads. If we respect what we are doing, others will respect it too. If we respect our goals enough, we would do everything to accomplish it. When we respect our goals or work, others will too. No one would ever tell us that our goal is too insignificant or too big to achieve. People will trust our hard work and resolution, and will have faith in us that we can complete it. No one would ever try to talk us out of it.

And the last one is, there is nothing that we can’t do. It’s just a matter of putting our heart into it.