Thursday, October 20, 2011


Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tommorrow,
which you cannot visit,not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

-Kahlil Gibran

Today is Ahoi Ashtami, hence this post.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Some days are remembered always

Unchahaar Express (4217) is a convinient and direct train for travelling from Kanpur to Chandigarh. Scheduled to leave Kanpur at 8:30* PM, it reaches Chandigarh at 10:15* in the morning; so a night of travelling and the entire distance is covered (*conditions apply).

On 25 November 2005, I was visiting my parents at Chandigarh with my family (wife and two children aged 4 yrs and 1 yr). Reassured by the information dished by the computerised railway inquiry, we headed for the railway station. Bhaaji and Major NT were dropping us at the railway station. I have already introduced Bhaaji in my earlier post. Major NT is my colleague at the Bank, elder to me by ten years (by army seniority).
By the time we reached the railway station, the train was declared to be late by one hour. Having full faith in the system, we went to the waiting room; as there was no point in going back home and coming again.My friends who had come to 'see us off ' preferred to spend some more time with us. Exactly after one hour, it was announced that the train is late by another one hour.We cursed the railways for a minute and straight headed for the nearest tea stall.
(Years later, I think it was naive to have faith in the system. It would have been worthwhile checking the train status from the originating station to avoid spending the entire night on the railway station)
Coming back to where I left at the railway station on a cold night in 2005; we were discussing one thing or the other, there were so many things which kept our attention alive. I thanked my friends for coming with us to the station and requested that they should return and that I would catch the train when it comes to the station but my friends refused to go stating that I may have problem getting on the train with small kids.
To cut the long story short, the railways lived upto its image by faithfully announcing the delay hour after hour and we kept waiting at the station till 5 in the morning when the train actually reached Kanpur. Bhaaji and Maj NT helped us to board the train and we were onboard the hospitality of the Indian railways.It was some time later when we were comfortable in the train, we realised that we had missed an important thing.
We immediately called up Bhaaji and wished him a very happy birthday (26 November). At the same time, I also felt guilty of causing discomfort to him by keeping him awake the entire night. In circumstances like these; friends, colleagues or even relatives may take a different recourse, one has to be extremely lucky to have such steadfast friends. This incident may be of little consequence to any other person but it has a very special place in our heart. Kind deeds of dear one's always leave a lasting impression in our lives.

A picture with bhaaji when he visited us for a day at Trivandrum last year

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Skippers Inning

' The speed of the boss is the speed of the team.' I couldn't have agreed more with this Lee Iacocca quote till I met Sh S Ramaswamy. Proactive, beating the stereotype,overtaking the convention, here was a boss who is a sport both on and off the field. I still remember my first meeting with him when I joined the Thiruvananthapuram office on transfer. Alive to my 'alien-culture,alien language' apprehensions on being posted to extreme South, he was the first person to welcome me to the new place. Arrangements were already in place even before I could collate and project my requirements. To help overcome the language handicap, classes were organised for all the new transferee officers. I found the work place engulfed with vibrancy, the best part of which were the numerous sports competetions, outside excursions, even the mundane office activities had a buzz of live involvement of everyone. The office excelled in its functioning as per the statistics of the higher headquarters. At the end of the day, as Charles Erwin Wilson puts it; "A good boss makes his men realise they have more ability than they think they have so that they consistently do better work than they thought they could."
Sh Ramaswamy relinquished the office of the Regional Director of RBI for the State of Kerala & Lakshadweep in April 2010 on his transfer to Mumbai. We wish him all the best in his new assignment.

Sh S Ramaswamy

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Luck by Chance

Style Plus is a lifestyle store near our house. A few days back my wife had purchased some items for children from this store. All this was when I was away to Chennai for work; much against my wish, as it was my daughter's B'day on the 13th March. I got a call a few days back from a lady informing me that I am the winner of a prize for making that purchase from the store. The prize was a week long stay at any of the Resorts owned by Royal Resorts at Goa/Jaipur/Kovalam/Bali(Indonesia). I was clueless about the purchase or the scheme and took it to be some promotional call and told her to call in the evening. We were invited at the Sagara Beach Resort, Kovalam for a presentation on the company.i.e.Royal Resorts. The purpose of the presentation was to introduce us to the membership option of the Royal Resorts which I declined politely. We were handed over the prize which is valid for one year.
Not bad,isn't it,even if it is promotional offer!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Of endings and new beginnings..

Every year we welcome the new year with hope that it will bring all good things to us. Some of us also take indulgence in new year resolutions for all the things we intend including in our lives for our betterment (or percieved betterment).Concurrently it is also the time to look back on the time gone by, a time for retrospection of the highlights of the past year/decade.The past decade can be credited with bringing the world much closer;wide accessibility of mobile phones,greater communication through networking sites, bridging the demand supply gap by proper sample matching through computers. Technology has truly penetrated our lives. Important decisions like marriages are also arranged through matrimonial sites not to mention the everyday decisions which also get a nod of approval after the 'internet research'.
Everything seems to be progressing. Mobile towers are the new symbols of progress of an area/district. The signals emitted by these towers help millions to streamline their everyday affairs. At the same time these towers also interrupt the navigation capability of the 'honey-bees' who innocently start their day to gather nector from flowers, little realising that the powerful signals from these towers will deprive them homecoming in the evening. Unable to navigate and wandering, the end to their tiring day of collecting nector results in their death.The population of honey-bees has dwindled in the last decade. It is only a matter of time when our coming generations will ask us the meaning of 'honey'.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Woman Power

Bhavleen Sodhi (nee Bindra) successfully completed the Basic Combat Training (BCT) at Fort Jackson, Columbia, South Carolina recently. She had joined the US army as a specialist (SPC) in linguistics sometime back. She is presently undergoing Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at a US military academy in Texas. Having undergone such rigorous training bears a testimony to the grit and determination of this Chandigarh girl who studied at Sacred Heart Convent and Shivalik Public School. Married to Sukhjinder Singh Sodhi in 1995, they have two daughters, Vargun and Sargun.
Bhavleen with her husband Sukhjinder Singh Sodhi at the Graduation
Sharing a proud moment with daughters Vargun and Sargun
She will be in active service for four years before becoming a US army reservist. It is a proud moment for her family and friends (we studied together at Shivalik Public School). Now that's what you call 'Woman Power'.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mohali 55

This post is inspired by a poem of Surjit Pattar. The poem is about the affinity felt for the place of our formative years. A major part of my life was spent in Mohali. As a four year old in 1977, I could hardly understand the change we were heading for when we shifted from a rented accomodation in Sector 15, Chandigarh to our own house in Phase I, Mohali (Pin 160055). Mohali is the name of the village on the old Chandigarh-Ropar highway. Giani Zail Singh re-christened the suburb as Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar, a name which is seldom used by anyone. In the initial years, our neighbourhood consisted of less than fifty independent houses and just a few HL and HM series Housing Board houses in Phase I. The area beyond Phase IV remained under cultivation at that time. Till as late as 1984, the population of the township was less than 50K.
There were few schools which itself were in their infantile stage. My elder siblings were admitted to one such school owing to the good marketing skills of its owner cum Principal. I also joined the same school some time later. Mohali was our Malgudi, well insulated from the rest of the world; the place had its own living space, own character and its own unique story; a story which will continue to remain dear to me. The feeling can be rather summed like this - "You can take a Mohali-ite out of Mohali, But you cannot take Mohali out of him."
The feeling of being a fish out of water gripped me when we relocated to Panchkula in 1993. My stay at Panchkula remained transistional as I left for the pre-commission training at Madras 16 (now called Chennai) shortly thereafter.
It was my earnest desire to return to Mohali, a wish which was granted to me recently.