Total 47 Stories

  • 02 Mar
    Oyindrila Basu

    Matthieu Ricard-Happiness is worrying less about yourself

    matthieu ricard

    69 years-old Tibetan monk has become the happiest man in the world by following the path of altruism, which is selflessness.

    It is interesting to note that in a world where common human beings are bothered with small and big problems of daily life, but yet fails to find the way to be happy.

    This old Buddhist, Matthieu Ricard, almost has nothing of what we, common men have.

    However, seem to be capable of happiness, which makes him the most powerful personality.

    He meditates with dedication, with the intension to infuse compassion within him.

    Neuroscientist from the University of Wisconsin, Richard Davidson, has found in his research with Matthieu that:

    “when meditating on compassion, Ricard's brain produces a level of gamma waves - those linked to consciousness, attention, learning and memory ………….excessive activity in his brain's left prefrontal cortex compared to its right counterpart, allowing him an abnormally large capacity for happiness and a reduced propensity towards negativity.”

    As Mr. Ricard says,

    we often confuse happiness with pleasure and well-being, too much of which leaves us tired at a point of time, we seek for happiness, but we tend to flee away from it not being able to recognize.

    His mantra for happiness is

    ‘care less for yourself and more for others.’

    If we are always bothering about the little interests within us, it causes a lot of stress, anxiety and disappointment leads to depression. Instead, if a person is benevolent and sensitive to the needs of others.

    He will be much appreciated by the world, which will automatically make him feel better.

    Constant self-centeredness is exhausting, "It's not the moral ground," Ricard explained.

    "It's simply that me, me, me all day long is very stuffy. And it's quite miserable, because you instrumentalize the whole world as a threat, or as a potential sort of interest [to yourself]."

    He believes that each one of us has a potential towards positivity.

    However, we need to nurture the goodness in us. Being happy, thinking good, is a practice.

    One should work towards training his mind for positivity. It is like a runner training himself for a marathon.

     

    “Our control of the outer world is limited, temporary and often illusory,"

     

    So as much as we try to fix the wrongs from outside, we do not attain an expected result, but from within; we can persevere for a better change.

     

    According to him, as per Buddhist definition:

    Happiness or well-being is not just a pleasurable sensation. It is a deep sense of serenity and fulfillment and state that actually pervades.

     

    Hence we can have this well-being while being sad.

     

    Well-being or permanent happiness is a state of being not a ‘fleeting sensation'.

     

    It is like the depth of an ocean. Our mind is stronger, which can give us the sensation and the feeling of an external well-being.

     

    Environmental perceptions of freedom, achievement, affluence and everything associated with happiness are “just auxiliary, help conditions,"

     

    It is all about how the mind interprets them, hence it is all in the mind to feel happy or sad, though external factors do matter.

     

    He advices everybody to spend at least 10-15 minutes each day thinking purposively on good things.

     

    His book, Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill teaches us how to concentrate on positive emotions to keep your mental health balanced and flourishing with happiness because the secret lies in contentment.

    Image source

     

     

     

    References: 1 3 4 

     

  • 02 Mar
    Oyindrila Basu

    Tears can be wiped off with laughter- Lilly Singh’s inspirational story.

    depression Lilly singh

     

    Struggling with depression; 'It's Nothing to Be Ashamed About', says Lilly Singh. Could you have ever imagined that Lilly Singh, the hippy star, the girl with cool dude attitude, can speak on depression!

     

    But its true. As I say, we all have our share of joy and sorrow. Today we find her rocking the social media as the #Superwoman, but she was a subject of depression once and today when she gives her motivational speeches she recalls those days.

     

    Lilly Singh was born in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada to a Punjabi family by origin. She is a bachelor’s degree holder in Psychology from York university. Since she was struggling with depression, she sorted out a way, to vent her feelings and that was through You Tube.

    When you decide to fight against your weaknesses instead of being torn down by them, that is the spirit which calls for a celebration.

     

    "I didn't have goals. I didn't feel like eating. I was upset for absolutely no reason," Singh says in the current issue of PEOPLE. "I told myself, 'You have a choice: Either continue feeling this way or do something to change your life," says Lilly.

     

    When she started her You Tube channel, she never knew it would be such a big hit. One of her earliest videos was a parody on Justin Bieber, called #NeverSayNever which hit 1000 subscribers, and hence Lilly realized that she had the potential to instigate the young crowd, the audience who was so hungry for a spark of motivation, and she used her comic skills to discuss serious issues in the form of jokes, parodies and sarcasms.

     

    The humour of her contents helped her overcome her grief, as we all know, laughter is the best medicine for physical and mental health, and she was promoting laughter; she was promoting mental wellness among common men since then.

     

    Recently, we found the “Superwoman” feature in one of the latest AIB Videos, Real Indians vs NRIs, and it was hilarious how she conducted her way through the program, to evoke relentless laughter.

     

    "One of the best pieces of advice I can give is, not to overthink things because when I started I didn't think about a brand, a schedule or how to say or do things," she explained. "I just did it and figured it out. I would tell myself, 'Don't overthink it. Do it because you love to do it and just have fun with it," Singh suggests.

     

    The reason why she decided to make videos for You Tube was because she felt that she was trying to recover from depression, and probably there were many others in the world, who also wanted to recover from this nasty phase, but required a lead.

     

    She felt her videos could motivate people to deal with their hardships with a stronger mind and body, and she thought it right. We are really inspired to find a person joking all the way with her Fans and colleagues, and today it is hard to believe that she ever was in depression. She actually exemplifies diligence, the wish to overcome is important and you can overcome it.

     

    Recently, she has featured in an upcoming documentary that outlines her life, “A Trip To Unicorn Island”.

     

    Today, she is a successful vj, comedian and motivational speaker. She has won the ‘social superstar of the year’ at MTV Fandom Awards and ‘first person’ in the Streamy awards.

    She appears as cameo and rapper in many films, but when asked about her recovery, when she is asked how she came out of depression, she says, “Something in my brain just switched, now I hope my videos can be a switch for someone." 

     

    We hope so too. We know the journey of establishing yourself as a “Superwoman” has been super-difficult, Lilly, but we wish you all the best so that you can continue to entertain us and motivate us in this way, for you never know, how many lives you are changing each day with your videos.

    Just check one of her famous videos.

    References: 1 2 3

    Image source

     

      

  • 02 Mar
    Oyindrila Basu

    Great minds think beyond the normal

    indian painting

     

    “I walked to my desk and was about to resume work, with my cup of coffee, when my desk bell rang. I was called by Sridhar, ideally he is my boss, and this was the second day at my workplace, and I was yet to understand the entire business set up, so I thought maybe I had made some mistake in the submitted files.

    I went in; he locked the door behind me, didn’t waste a moment pulling me near him, and whispered in my ears, ‘would you like some piping COFFEE tonight at my place? .......If you do, all your files will get cleared, and within a week, you will be promoted to the next level, where you can actually have double the salary’,

    I was taken aback, for a moment, I went numb, he was one of the most influential persons in the company, and this was a hard-earned job………….

    With my two strong arms (which now felt stronger) I pushed him hard and he fell on his chair.

    I ran and opened the door with a bang (to draw attention of all my colleagues), went forward to Sridhar again, picked up the glass from the desk, and threw the water on his face……

    on hearing my experience; each one in office did congratulate me, but exclaimed (to my surprise) that ‘this was so NORMAL with every female employee in this office, yeh to badi companys may hota hi rehta hai’, but as on my part, I was clear, I could not accept this bullying and sexual harassment in a workplace as something ‘NORMAL’…”(Anonymous)

     

    It is true that most of us subserve to various situations, which have been happening for a long period of time in society, at a stretch, and term them ‘NORMAL’ as because they do not get changed at the right time. Racism, dowry, bullying, female objectification, communalism, female-infanticide, child marriage, late parenthood stigma, sexual harassment and there are many more issues on which society has its own opinion, and that is ‘NORMAL’.

    If a girl is eve teased, her mother restrains her from reporting the matter, saying, “its normal, don’t worry, the same man won’t follow you the next day”, but what if another rascal just matters to comment on your girl the next day!

    Huge dowry is termed NORMAL in Indian marriages, infact, it is tagged as ‘RIWAAZ’, i.e. custom of gifts to the bridegroom in most parts of India. It is shocking that though the law and constitution is against this motion, but people themselves so lovingly believe in this extortion as ‘NORMAL’.

    “Normal is something I can never take for granted again,” well said by Andaleeb Wajid, the beautiful woman author who inspired the world with her books, which redefined romance, and love for food.

    Minds which think beyond normalcy make a mark for the world.

    Normality is actually a delusion. It is largely defined by what society thinks and practices, and the notion of normality keep changing from time to time. What a large group thinks in common becomes normal.

    Even an intellectual person, posing his great ideas incoherently, is termed as abnormal, because he is just different from the mass.

    What is Normal?

    • Some action or incidence that keeps happening in society, as it is recreated by people again and again.
    • If the practice serves a purpose for our living, (like brushing teeth in the morning keeps cavity away, or paying money for goods balances the economy)
    • Or if some idea is receiving acceptance from the mass, since time immemorial.

    When we can break this cocoon of submissive acceptance, we can do something for a better change.

    Always file a complaint for eve-teasing, do speak up against workplace bullying, always say a ‘no’ to dowry, because it is illegal, and most importantly, logically unjustified.

    Acceptance can only encourage the inflated ego of the cowardly bullies in society.

    #SensitiveIndia shouts against being called ‘intolerant’, when honour killing and communal persecutions are still very much alive, because in those regions, they are ‘NORMAL’.

    A girl should choose her family responsibilities above her career, because that is ‘NORMAL’, someone has to look after the family, so ‘normally’ that is the woman’s role.

    It is high time that education and economic equality be brought to terms with high hand, so that women themselves identify their worth, and oppose to the sense of normality.

    Though not great movies, but characters like Ananya Swaminathan (from Two States-the story of my marriage), and P.K. (from P.K.) does inspire us to revive our thoughts on what society terms as normal.

    When Ananya takes a foot forward to oppose dowry, stating clearly, that she, being a girl earns more than a boy does, and only because Duke is a boy, it is not obvious that he will be more valuable to the society, to receive big cars, we really clap to her courage and candidness.

    Equally, when P.K. dismantles the concept of what we call religion, by dressing up a Hindu in burkha, and a Muslim in church clothing, we realize, that it is the acceptance of ideas, which goes on to distinguish between religions. We accept that it is normal that a Muslim will wear a net cap, a Christian will wear clothes more of English origin and worship Jesus, and Hindu will be in saree; that is the base of religions, and when that changes, our vision towards religion changes. We come to realize that all of us are of the same blood.

    Similarly, it is normal to get average grades; it is normal to be punished in class; it is normal to be ragged by your senior; are not facts, but notions that become functional when we accept them.

    Some great person has said- “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know, how amazing YOU can be”.

    Facing failure is good, but accepting that you have limited capabilities is not good.

    Strive towards improving yourself never ends, if you do not take your previous low performance as normal.

    So today, we have courageous people like Sapna Bhawani, who refused to accept her juvenile rape as normal, and strived and struggled towards making her place in society, we have Tasleema Nasrin, who has been a victim of political communalism time and again, but refused to give up, and continues to write candidly on social and political stigmas.

    And currently, we have Amir Khan. Our so called ‘tolerant’ India hurled anger, hatred and vengeance on a citizen for using his fundamental rights (that is ‘freedom of speech and expression’), but Khan continues to maintain resilience on the face of adversity, he stands upright to the political communalism that is going on against him, and states what he feels is right. Such stories motivate us to cultivate ourselves and our abilities, fight against fate and achieve something great, which may not be ‘NORMAL’.

    Image source

     

  • 25 Feb
    Oyindrila Basu

    Deepika Padukone - Faith, self-belief, hard work and determination are the ultimate recipe for success.

    deepika padukone aur prakash padukone

     

    A little amount of faith and self-belief mixed with hard work and determination and a dash of support from your loved ones, is the ultimate recipe for success.

    Hard work, perseverance, commitment, determination all are important factors for success, but what requires most is faith, belief in yourself that you can do it, and nothing like it, if you can get the same belief and support from your parents.

    Recently, a heart-warming video from the Filmfare 2016, reconfirmed this, when actress Deepika Padukone read out a letter from her father, where ex-badminton player Prakash Padukone encouraging her daughters to believe in what they are doing, for that is the core step to success.

    Today Deepika is an epitome of success, when she stands proudly with a black lady in her hand this year. However, it is noteworthy to recall her journey, which is mostly influenced by her father.

     

    “Looking back, I realize that the most important thing about my childhood and adolescent years was my refusal to complain about a lot in life ……. I was thankful for the few hours a week that I could hit the shuttle back and forth, infact the foundation on which I based my life was the refusal to whine on little things, and that is what I want to tell you my children, that there is no substitute for hard work, perseverance, determination and passion for what you do…..if you love what you do, nothing else matters… neither any compensation, nor the gratification of seeing yourself in newspapers and television”,

    Prakash Padukone in the letter to her daughters, Deepika and Anisha.

    We do believe that Deepika draws inspiration from her father’s words, so do we. Her career graph shows a consistent growth, as well as skill in a variety of fields.

    Deepika had been a good badminton player like her father and had played national-level games as a teenager, she could do it because she was fine in that.

    But fashion and media world was her passion, so she quit her badminton career to pursue fashion modelling. We still remember the girl singing #PaasAao in CloseUp gel ad, with low-waist jeans.

    She always made a mark in what she did. Her early days in film industry were not so successful; she had her ups and downs. Initially, she did some Kannada films which did not signify her as an actress, but she did not lose hope; her perseverance and determination knew no bounds.

    “when you told us that you wanted to shift to Mumbai for a career in modelling, we thought you were too young and inexperienced for an industry which we knew nothing about……… but we felt it would be cruel not to let you pursue a dream that you lived and breathed for. If you would succeed, we would be proud, but even if you did not, we would not regret that we didn’t let you try….”, Prakash Padukone.

    These words clearly express how much faith her father had in her, and his belief in what her daughter wanted to do formed the backbone for Deepika, to keep trying with her hard work, instead of fearing failure.

    After her Bollywood debut with ‘Om Shanti Om’, there was no looking back for her. Bollywood had found her new diva, and so did Deepika; she found the podium that she has been looking for.

    Her acting career kept soaring because more work, and money and popularity could not change her ideologies. Blockbuster movies one after the other, with big banners and creative directors made her love her work more.

    2014 had been Deepika’s year when she received the award for ‘hero’ of the year, in IIFA which was a path-breaking instance, because the first time, a heroine has received this award.

    But unfortunately, that year was also the time, when she was going through severe depression.

    However, with her passion, courage and positive energy, she managed to overcome her weird sentiments, and resume working with force.

    The setback was gruesome, but could not stop her, and now we know the reason.

    The lesson of faith and belief was already infused in her, by her father.

    Failure was just an experience. Instead of calling it an end, she uses it as the next step towards success.

    “You can’t always win in life, everything you want cannot always come your way,” Prakash Padukone.

    But it is very significant, that till date Deepika never refrains from meeting her friends in a regular café, she never behaves like a star with her family or relatives, she still sleeps on the floor, if there are guests in the house.

    Money and glamour have not changed her visions, and she keeps her behaviour normal and down to earth in spite of being a celebrity.

    And there is a secret to her humility-

    “When you visit home occasionally, you clean the table, have the meal yourself and sleep on floor if guests are at home…… if you sometimes wonder why we do not treat you like a star; it is because, you are our daughter first and film star later.” Prakash Padukone.

    Her father believed that it is imperative that children themselves, work hard towards their growth, and not wait for their parents to get everything ready for them on a ‘platter’, and this belief got transferred to Deepika.

    Today, she is a self-made woman, with no film family background, and after overcoming all the ups and downs in life, this year, she stands with a black lady for a film which is based on father-daughter relationship, so she shares this inspiring note on the occasion of her success.

    She also believes in her father’s vision that the effort you give as a debutant should be the same at the time of your retirement, thus we find her constantly succeeding in every field, be it social videos, modelling, acting or anything that she does with hard work.

    It is a positive lesson for parents as well as for children, that how a strong support from any one of your family can move you upwards the ladder of success, and how important it is to learn the art to accepting your failures and not complaining about them.

    We should learn to appreciate what we have, and what we are getting, and make the best use of opportunities. Generating positivity is important, respecting family is important, because after every career what remains with you is family. But a firm belief in yourself is the best support for you.

    When you can balance up all the qualities together, you get the perfect recipe for success. Prakash Padukone never told his daughters to behave like a star. He not once told them to forget their roots, their old friends, their old days. Their self-belief and confidence are developed by their parents from early childhood. There is a lot for each parent to learn from them.

     

    References:1 2

    Image source

     

  • 20 Feb
    Oyindrila Basu

    Preeti Shenoy-A Moment of Depression cannot be the end of a long life.

    preeti shenoy

     

    “What I am today is only because of my dad. I shared an amazing relationship with my dad…….. On 7th of September 2006, I got a phone call, that my dad had passed away. I went into severe depression after this incident. It was a complete shock. I hardly smiled; I could hardly speak to people, and I was in zombie-like state ……………….. I suddenly felt that I was all alone," Preeti Shenot on TED x.

     

    Depression is a state of denial. A person in depression finds life meaningless and lacks any significant objective for survival.

     

    This can be fatal, and Preeti Shenoy, Indian writer and artist, has been through this gruesome phase after the death of her beloved father.

     

    When a person who means so much for us has suddenly gone, it can leave us in a state of shock. It is not that the person is hurt, so he/she is trying to dramatize the situation, but it actually affects the mind in a deep and dangerous way. Depression can come following such misfortune incidents in life.

     

    If the deceased person had been the source of inspiration and motivation for you, then the loss is often unacceptable, and a part of you actually dies, because a part of him was there in you (his ideas and ideologies were infused in you), and with the death of that person, that part also dies and so you feel there is no need for you to live anymore, so intricate, can be the psychic connection between two people.

     

    But as the showman Raj Kapoor ji had said, yeh duniya ek circus hai, aur hum sab usme joker hain, jiski dor upal wale ke haath mein hoti hai……………..The show must go on”, almost reiterating the lines of Shakespeare that all the world’s a stage, and we are mere actors.

    Preeti Shenoy

    Preeti Shenoy strongly followed this ideology, and found motivation in literature and art when she was going through her worst days.

     

    When she needed someone to talk, she had no friends, her husband and children were supportive, but crying all the time in front of them, could agitate them, and perhaps they would soon go into depression, as these emotions are quite contagious, so she decided to vent out her grievances in her writings. She started blogging.

    Image source

     

    Hence, the few of her early works are pieces of narration, which are related to her own life incidents and these were assembled and combined into her first book. When she started engaging in work, her passion for art and literature became the motivation for leading a good life.

     

    Her second book is now considered a must-read i.e. “Life is What You Make It," where she speaks about an ambitious lively girl Ankita, who has everything but is struck by the hard claws of life.

    This book is a fictional encyclopaedia on bipolar disorder and the ways you can cope with it.

    Her latest book is "Why we love the way we do" is the simplest book on relationships, and ways to make it better. 

    This is the speciality of Shenoy. She uses her life experiences to delve deep into the psyche of her central characters, but finally comes out with a reviving solution at the end of the book, to inspire and rejuvenate the youngsters of the nation, who may be suffering from similar problems.

     

    Her life story is an inspiration for all of us. How a mediocre girl realizes her abilities and strives harder and harder towards an exceptional achievement needs to be learnt from her. Besides writing and painting she is an ex-basketball player too, and in the video for TEDx she describes her days of hardship in school and college, when she struggled to practice more and more to pursue her passion that is basketball.

     

    Today, she paints surreal art, photographs and writes great books, which are an asset to the society, for she believes “Save a life--it costs you nothing.”

    When she comes to know about people in the world suffering from depression and mental illness, she feels she has a duty, and by sharing her motivational ideas through her blogs and books, she believes she can be a helping hand to many, who are looking for one word of condolence, of support, so that they do not feel that they are alone in the situation, and Preeti truly succeeds in her purpose.

    Today, her speeches get some of the highest views on You Tube.

    It is great to see, how an ordinary girl puts herself into the process of growing using hardships and depression as an experience, to make her stronger as a human being, and the popular face she is in the field of Indian Literature and in media, is completely different from what she has been in 2006.

    Her lucid style of narration not only explains the anxieties of Ankita very well, but also all other characters which have or had a problem, as herself, and with fluidity of language, she very conveniently discusses upon a solution which may be actually a complex thing.

     

    So do not ever be limited by your set-backs in life. Life is not a bed of roses, and misfortunes will come and go, but the revival for survival is important. Grow your strength from your experience and emerge as a stronger human being. Never stop appreciating life, which is the most important thing.

    Always think with positivity, that you can achieve something big, and this goal will help you move forward with an objective.

    References 1 2 3 4 5

    Image source