Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What 2008 Has Taught Me


As I bid farewell to 2008, I look back to see the gifts this year brought along for me. It has been one year which will remain etched in my heart. A year full of letting-go, acceptance, heart-breaks and unparalleled fulfillment, it has been. A year in which I have seen miracles happen.

2008 has taught me never to lose hope. As I write this post on the last day of this year, there are emotions in me which I am unable to express in words. However, the most wonderful lesson which I re-learnt this year is that nothing is lost. No pain, however insignificant it seems to onlookers, is wasted. No betrayal goes unpunished, and every sincere prayer is answered. It might take many years, perhaps 28, but the deepest desire is always fulfilled, if it is pure and unselfish.

Now that 2008 is going away, will the miracles end? They will never end, for miracles are God’s gifts and He is not a miser. The year 2008, like the microcosm reflecting the working of the whole universe, has reflected for me the truth of timelessness. All experiences are recorded in eternity and all love, beauty and grace are stored in souls willing to take in the wonder.


ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Loving from a distance

Loving from a distance may seem to be a contradiction in terms, but is really not so. Often it is seen that when we try to get close to the object of our love, it creates difficulties: the person may not reciprocate or there might be practical hassles in expressing the love openly. At the same time, it might not be possible or even desirable to stop loving the person. What are we to do in that case?

This can happen in any type of love; parental, filial, friendly or romantic. If this happens, the best thing to do, in my opinion, is to love from a distance. This means to continue loving him but not expecting to be loved in return. Give your best blessings to the object of your love, ask God to look after him and feel happy in his happiness, even if it does not include you. The reward is a heart full of unselfish love and peace of mind as even in separation, you are united with the person you love.


As Bertrand Russell says:

“Love brings ecstasy and relieves loneliness.
In the union of love I have seen
In a mystic miniature the prefiguring vision
Of the heavens that saints and poets have imagined.”


ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The gift of instinct


Instinct is that sense which cannot yet be explained. Often in some situations, all we can fall back on is instinct in order to help us make decisions. In my own case, I have seen that whenever I have ignored my instinct guiding me, I have suffered the consequences.

Instinct is there in consciousness in order to help us. Much of life is incomprehensible and humankind is definitely not all-knowledgeable. Even at the individual level, there are so many things in life which a person is unable to know. He just does not get the time to learn all that the race collectively knows. This is where instinct comes to his rescue.

Instinct teaches us trust. If we can trust our instinct, we can often avoid many dangers. Thus, this gift of nature, if cherished, works wonders for us and helps us travel through life safely.


ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Years


As the sun shines this winter
And despite the cold, I feel warm
Remembering how the year went by
I feel amazed to see the work of time.

So much have I gone through this year
Much joy and some tears too I had
The lessons learnt, the peace gained
Have all calmed me down inside.

The same winter will be there
And the same sun will shine on us
When the new year comes with its share
Of happiness and love and living on.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Friday, December 26, 2008

What Friendship Means To Me



Friendship is that relationship which we choose ourselves. Family ties, being by birth, don’t leave us with scope of selecting. It is friendship and the friends we choose to have that make a statement on the type of people we are.

To me friendship is primarily based on shared values. An honest person will not befriend a thief. A thief, pretending to be friends with an honest man, will only wait for an opportunity to exploit or cheat him. Friends need to be carefully chosen or they will cause much pain in the long run.

Giving space in friendship is integral to the health of the relationship. If your friend starts to dictate terms to you in matters which don’t affect him at all, he is not showing any respect towards you. The same goes for those who always give advice unasked for and pass negative comments. Such people are just pretenders, not true friends.

Friendship is about inner growth. If a person makes you feel empowered to face the challenges of life, he is your friend. If a person is sensitive to your feelings and takes care not to hurt you, she is your friend. In this aspect, friendship gives a sense of fulfillment in life, like few things do. However, that does not mean we become emotionally dependent on our friend and feel shattered if he decides to annul the friendship. Like any other relationship, friendship is a learning experience and should not pose an existential-crisis in a person’s emotional life.

Finally, friendship is about self-respect. Your friend will do his best to boost your self-esteem if needed. Otherwise, in my opinion, you should move on. The universe is full of deserving friends; true friendship needs time to take root and sometimes comes as a welcome surprise. The stranger you are talking to today, may bring with him the chance of a beautiful relationship called true friendship.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The need for Value Education


Seeing the acts of violence committed by young people (often in their teens or early twenties) all around us, we are left to wonder if most parents and teachers have forgotten their responsibility towards the younger generation. Both parents and teachers are expected to teach youngsters the art of dealing with the various situations of life, and going by the behaviour of some young people, it is clear they have not learnt anything worth knowing.

No person having anything close to good values can become a cold-blooded murderer or throw acid on another person’s face, whatever the excuse. But these inhuman things are being done, and that too, by young people. This brings up the topic of the moral responsibility of parents and teachers to impart value education to children.

Parents need to make time for their children and use that time constructively. In ways that children can relate to, parents need to impart ethical values like honesty, compassion, positive courage and consideration for those who are disadvantaged. Moreover, they need to make the young ones understand that these values are non-negotiable and should not change under circumstantial pressure. Parents should also explain to children the universally-applicable law of karma. The best illustration of this would be, of course, the good manners exhibited by the parents and their ethically-correct conduct. This is so because children learn best by examples.

If this value education starts at home and is again imparted in school as moral education (I remember attending Moral Science classes in my Alma Mater), chances are that children and adolescents will happily learn good values. It is even better if the value-education incorporates some spiritual-education as well. This will help them understand that there is a Creator who has given each one of us life and so, only He has the right to give death to a person and we have no right to kill or unfairly hurt anyone. However, care needs to be taken to ensure that such spiritual-education is non-denominational in nature or it can lead to religious bigotry.

Not all are teachers and not every home has children. For the ones who are neither parents nor are in the teaching profession, there is still ample scope of doing your bit. All come across young people sometime or the other. If you can talk to them, maybe you can make a lot of difference to many young minds who are hungering for guidance and love.


ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

More Than I Can Ever Say

composed for http://www.msn.co.in/

Some say they like my work,
Some are fond of me, calling me a friend;
There is much that is there in my life,
But the emptiness remains…
You are not by my side.

No matter what I do and where I go,
The experience stays incomplete;
The flower withers and colours pale…
You are not by my side.

For reasons known not to me,
I have enthroned you in my soul;
From deep within me, I hear a cry…
You are not by my side.

If only being in heart would mean
Being in the life of one who loves
More than she can ever say…
You would be by my side.


ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The individuality of Christ

written for http://www.msn.co.in/


The name Jesus Christ brings to mind the sacrifice by the Messiah for the redemption of humankind. This is why the Passion or suffering of Christ has such a deep meaning even for those who do not practise Christianity.

Along with the divine role of Christ, we ought to admire him for his deep individuality. As a person, he did what his compassionate heart told him was right. If he believed in God as his father, he preached His message. Even though ostracized and ultimately crucified, Christ never withdrew from his stand. This is an example of how strong positive individualism can be. How many of us, in this age of freedom of choice and belief, would dare die for what we hold precious? That is the lesson of Christ for the common person: respect yourself and have faith in God.

Christ the Messiah is also the Son of Man; so as members of the human race we can all learn the message of this great spiritual leader and develop the courage to stand up for what deep within us we know to be true or right.


ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Mysterious Sound


composed for www.msn.co.in

As the child ran here and there,
Playing among the hills she knew,
She happened to hear a sound so sweet
And decided to try to find who was there.

She moved to her left and walked
And still she could hear it ahead
Till a point came when she looked back
Shuddering, as she did not know the place.

It was dark around her, the sky above her too;
She felt cold as the wind blew hard,
And as terror engulfed her soul
She cried out “Father” and wept alone.

Her father meanwhile missed her;
It was evening and she, not home;
He left all work and ran out
Praying tearfully, for his lost child.

The crying child heard her name called out,
In a voice so dear to her;
And soon father found the sobbing girl
And he lifted his little angel, back home.

The cause of the sweet sound was never found,
But its purpose is fully clear:
The sound was made to make father and child
Appreciate better, each other.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

My Tipu



written for www.msn.co.in

My mother had given me a pet bird on my eighth birthday. A bright green parrot he was and I was overjoyed to get him. After returning from school, my first action was to run towards his cage and look at him. Taking immense pleasure in feeding him, I would watch with awe as he frantically climbed up and down the almost-circular wall of his cage. Never would I be able to climb up the walls in my room, I told my cousin and together, we burst out laughing.

However, as we were laughing, something happened in my mind and I started thinking why my parrot (I had named him Tipu) was so frantic in climbing. That evening, after finishing my homework, I started thinking about Tipu’s behaviour again. Why was my bird so restless?

In the morning, I got the answer to my question as I saw a pigeon come and sit on my window-sill. Birds are supposed to fly in the sky and make nests in trees! My Tipu was locked in his cage just for my amusement. I decided to do something about it although the decision broke my heart.

As my mother was having her afternoon-siesta, I decided to put my plan into action. Surreptitiously, as if I was a criminal, I opened my Tipu’s cage and gently nudged him out of it. Then, as he was fluttering his wings, I took him to the garden and set him free.

With aching joy filling up my heart, I saw Tipu fly, a flash of bright green against the soft blue of the sky and soon he alighted at the nearby guava tree. The green of my parrot merged with the green of the tree and there were tears in my eyes.

“If you love someone, set him free…”


ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Believe in the imminent dawn


written for www.msn.co.in

It is darkest before dawn, we all know. However, when it is dark and we need to see day-break, are we able to wait and hope for light patiently? Or, do we despair, having lost all faith in the approaching dawn?

Most of us would say that it is only common sense to realize that dawn comes after night. But in life, are we always willing to believe that happiness comes after tests and difficulties? Perhaps, many amongst us would lose hope and blame life or circumstances bitterly when things go wrong. In the process, hope is being compromised.

If on the other hand, we can trust the cycles of life and know that just like day comes after night, happiness and fulfillment come after hardship, we will generate a lot of positive energy in our lives. This positive energy will manifest gradually in situations and circumstances in our favour.

True, life is never 100% trouble or sorrow-free; however, our optimistic attitude makes it easier for us to deal with difficulties. Believe in the promise of the beautiful dawn. Not even the darkest night can stop the dawn from coming.


ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

The Call Of The Ocean


- by Ayesha Parveen 19 Dec 2008.
This story has been read 161 times.
The waves all break on the rocks and sand
And then go back to the ocean;
As I sit there and feel the water-spray,
I yearn to join the ocean.

The incessant movement of water
Reminds me of fluidity of time;
Tired was I of struggling each day,
When I heard the call of the ocean.

My day has come and I must go,
Leaving behind all that hurt me once;
I will float away and be gone from here,
Carried gently by the ocean.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Why I believe in God and life beyond death


- by Ayesha Parveen 16 Dec 2008. This story has been read 381 times.

To me the most natural thing is to believe that I will continue to consciously be as I move beyond this life. So many soul-searching questions have made me fully convinced that I can never become annihilated.

This is so because I am an individual identity, and not a bundle of flesh and bones and skin and hormones. I am more that all that. As I was growing up, I had some intense moments of thinking which have made me understand that I am always there, no matter what.

And I am not God, though His presence or touch is felt in me just like it is felt in all creatures. I call it the voice of conscience or God manifested as the Parmaatma, witnessing our actions and guiding us. Never can I become equal to Him. Uniting with Him means going back to His full presence in the hereafter. It does not mean becoming equal to Him because if any creature had the capacity to be so, he or she or it would never have suffered pain in this life. It does not mean we lose our individual identity with death because if there is no identity, there is no consciousness and the whole journey of life undertaken would become meaningless. We suffer because we are imperfect. God is always perfect.

My experiences in life, both happy and painful, have made me understand that nothing is wasted. Love has a meaning: that we can (and do) reach out to others in love and compassion proves that these feelings are so beautiful and eternal. There is someone who is giving us these beautiful experiences. That someone is God. On the other hand, experiences like pain make us realize we are not all-powerful. There is someone in front of whom the whole universe is helpless. That someone is God.

Finally, deep within me is a voice saying that there is justice in the wider scheme of things. There is a pattern in the way things happen, although I may not always immediately understand it. But I have learnt to trust it because over the years, I see that often, I understand the significance of an experience only years after it happens.

Finally, I feel a deep sense of peace and trust because I know that although I am imperfect, He guides and helps me all the time and is by my side. He is that Supreme Person referred to as God and compared to Him, each creature is infinitesimal. So, the final lesson I learn from any experience, is that of joy and hope.

“All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.”
(Quoted from Ralph Waldo Emerson, American author, poet and philosopher)

(The ideas expressed here are based on my personal understanding of my experiences and my intention here is not to criticize or propagate any organized religion.)

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Terrorist Within



- by Ayesha Parveen 12 Dec 2008
This story has been read 668 times.
How many times do we stop to think seriously where terror originates? In the final analysis, terror originates in the mind of a person. Since terrorism is practice of terror, this evil or malaise (whichever way you want to regard it) takes root in the human consciousness and then is gradually manifested in various aspects of his life. The first casualties are the immediate family members. Look into the family background of a terrorist and chances are that you will find he dominated his spouse cruelly or was brutal in disciplining his children.

Socio-financial circumstances or a perverse sense of communal feeling instilled in him by others only add fuel to the fire. The root is still his mind. Being an individual, he has the power to think for himself, which, unfortunately the terrorist discards. This happens because his mind is totally focused on causing pain and destruction, whatever the excuse. Stripped of his camouflage of rebellion, the terrorist comes off as both the product and the propagator of what could be called a wicked ideology of hate.

Since the terrorist is born a human being, logically-speaking, each person has within him the potential to become a terrorist, if he chooses a wrong ideology of society, religion or the individual’s freedom. Similarly, each terrorist-in-the-making can prevent himself from becoming a terrorist finally, if he calms his mind, takes pride in his individuality and thinks for himself.

I believe that ultimately, mind controls matter and so if each individual honestly tries to clean his mind of thoughts of hurting others, a day will come when the terrorist within (in the mind) will die and all can breathe a sigh of relief. It might seem wishful thinking, but logically considered, it is possible. The purpose of writing this article is to covey my ideas on the origin of terror. I will consider myself very fortunate if the readers spread the message that each person can do his bit in conquering terrorism.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Thursday, December 18, 2008

He Is Here, Right Beside Us

- by Ayesha Parveen 04 Dec 2008
Category: Lifestyle. This story has been read 84 times.
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=b22de45a-05b5-40b3-a2ef-56b81ef0c539

A few hours ago, I had to attend a workshop on dyslexia (a learning disability) and how to deal with dyslexic children. Although it was an interesting discussion, at some points during the workshop, I was feeling tired and could not concentrate on all that was being said. Even worse, I was not volunteering to answer questions on the topic even though most of the answers were known to me. Some hours before the workshop started, I had written a poem on Vaasudev Krishna and now, I kept on recalling lines from it.

In due time the workshop ended and each participant had to answer a questionnaire. The first directive on the form said that we had to read the other directives and questions carefully before we started answering any question. The conductor said that the one who finished and submitted the paper first would be declared the winner. Everyone around and in front of me had already started writing answers to the questions and the directives.
I saw the first question: “What is your name? Please answer in full.” I wrote my name, feeling irritated at what I then considered to be a waste of time.

Then, without an understandable reason, I glanced at the last sentence printed on the questionnaire: “Answer only the first question.” Needless to say, I finished first and was declared the winner. Some might call it an ordinary coincidence but I know it was not so because never before in my life, had I read a last question right at the beginning of the work given. To the admiration of some of my colleagues and to the chagrin of many others, I was declared a winner, although I know I had no hand in what had happened.

Vaasudev Krishna Himself guided my eyes. Yes, miracles happen. My life is full of them. I also want to share with my readers the following lines:

“There is no event so commonplace but that God is present in it, always hiddenly, always leaving you room to recognize Him or not to recognize Him…..Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the heavenly and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”
(Quoted from Carl Frederick Buechner, an American author)

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Rejection: A part of life

- by Ayesha Parveen 12 Dec 2008
Category: Lifestyle. This story has been read 131 times.
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=24030dfa-3f37-4a44-a01d-8184a9376d1e
Most people let rejection affect them adversely but the fact remains that rejection is an integral part of various human experiences. None can expect to be accepted by one and all, wherever he goes.

Since rejection at some point or the other in life is inevitable, one should take it in his stride and not let it affect his self-esteem. You are the same person, whether someone accepts you or rejects you. Moreover, being rejected does not mean having something wrong with you. It usually depends upon the opinion and choice of the other person and can also be conditioned by some prejudices or circumstances.

Most people who are considered great have had to deal with serious rejection. However, this did not stop them from continuing there work. Raja Ram Mohan Roy was disowned by his mother when he propagated against ‘sati-daah’. Abraham Lincoln was repeatedly taunted by his wife who found him unattractive. M.K. Gandhi was thrown out of a train and Jesus Christ was crucified.

If you choose to be yourself, if you dare live a life based on your values, if you have the courage to stand up and fight for what is right by your conscience, chances are that you will be rejected by many. But should you let that rejection stop you? The decision is yours.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

A True Friend


- by Ayesha Parveen 11 Dec 2008
Category: Lifestyle.
This story has been read 970 times.
A true friend will be the first one to praise you
When you deserve it, clearly.
He will do his best to empower you
And not hurt your feelings by being unfair.

A true friend has the courage to be honest
And the heart to be loving to you.
He is one who knows your soul,
A true friend, is rare indeed.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Make space for the beautiful

- by Ayesha Parveen 11 Dec 2008
Category: Lifestyle. This story has been read 162 times.
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=271ba38a-f12e-4c71-9593-c262ffc8af8d
Often we are afraid to let go of dysfunctional relationships or painful situations. One of the reasons is that usually, a person is afraid that there would be a big void in his or her life after the relationship is over. This makes a person continue to be in that miserable, unhealthy situation.

If we can be strong and brave enough to let go of false-friends and false-loves, temporarily there might be an emotional vacuum, but in the long run, we are giving ourselves a chance to fill it up with positive energy. Focus on the creativity in you and reach out to those who appreciate you genuinely. This time, if love or friendship comes, you will be better able to evaluate it because you are not dependent on it.

But, first and foremost, when needed, weed out all that chokes the garden of your beautiful feelings. This is necessary in order to preserve your best asset: self-respect.

Make space for the beautiful, be it solitude or true love or a dear friend or a burst of creativity.

As Ralph Waldo Emerson has said, “When the half-gods go, the gods arrive.” (the word ‘gods’ here signify beautiful, positive experiences and does not convey any concept of divinity.)

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Too Late, Sometimes


- by Ayesha Parveen 10 Dec 2008
Category: Lifestyle. This story has been read 1439 times.
It is too late to undo a damage done in a relationship, sometimes. Most people, after perpetrating unfairness or hurt, actually expect the other party to forgive. They expect that they will sweet-talk their way back into the relationship. The person who has been hurt is often emotionally blackmailed into accepting the perpetrator back. She is lectured about forgiveness being divine and so she should forgive and forget the pain caused to her. The pain-causer and his back-up support system are excellent in this act. However, very conveniently, there are quiet about the fact that unfairly hurting someone (their part) is anything but divine. They seriously expect the other party to be emotionally weak and accept all sorts of abuse or indifference because he makes her believe she is dependent on her ‘love’ for him.

What should the hurt person do in such a case? In my opinion, she should move on. The individual is too precious to live a life of pain and hurt. If she can afford to, she ought to let go and now make herself her number one priority.

Never be good to an abuse and never love someone who does not respect you as a person.

(Both the “he” and the “she” pronouns have been used in this article in order to avoid confusion like, ‘He said to him’. No gender-issue has been intended.)

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

His Name Remains

- by Ayesha Parveen 10 Dec 2008
Category: Others.
This story has been read 153 times.
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=658e4b7f-61fd-4779-a158-16a199a40de8

As I walk on the beach and feel the sand,
I stoop to write his name on it;
The name is there but very soon,
A wave comes and washes it away.

Can a wave, who never knew him,
Never loved him, wash his name away?
It seems so, but I know better than that
For wherever I go, I feel him there
His name is in me, none can wash it away now.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Breaking the cycle of abuse

- by Ayesha Parveen 09 Dec 2008
Category: Lifestyle. This story has been read 97 times.
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=d311e2f0-bf49-408d-8f49-ce7dc6c9ef74

There are people who have been treated unfairly in life. In fact, at some point or the other, each one of us might have felt we were not given a fair deal. In some cases of serious abuse or injustice we often see the abused person becoming an abuser when he gets the power. This is certainly not the right way to react to pain as in the process, these abused people hurt innocent ones and thus continue the cycle of abuse.

Some others learn a positive lesson from their painful experiences. When they get power they are careful in executing it. Such people understand that abuse hurts and often scars for life. Thus they refuse to cause unfair pain to others or treat anyone with injustice deliberately. Each person has the emotional potential to be compassionate and break the cycle of abuse.

How we react to an experience and what we learn from it are far more important than the experience itself.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

The Lonely Warrior


- by Ayesha Parveen 09 Dec 2008
Category: Lifestyle.
This story has been read 135 times.
The lonely warrior fights the battle,
Even as he sees his comrades all retreat;
He had promised his wife that come what may
Her man would not taste, in battle, defeat.

He struggles on with all his wounds
Aching and bleeding on all sides;
The warrior sings to himself a love-song
As he fights, his faith abides.

The man now is all alone
When suddenly he sees the enemy near
With all his might he attacks
A life, which like his, is very dear.

The lonely warrior fought the battle,
And he is long dead and gone;
The only time his name his heard,
Is when his widow sings his song.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Calculations

- by Ayesha Parveen 08 Dec 2008
Category: Lifestyle.
This story has been read 60 times.
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=ed362bd8-fcc4-4af8-b4f2-71edb4d29fcc

Add up the joys of life and carry over love
Subtract from your mind the pains, if possible.
The answer deduced will be peace of mind;
For a happy report-card, at the end of the day,
Such simple calculations are perhaps enough.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

The Long Voyage

- by Ayesha Parveen 08 Dec 2008
Category: Lifestyle.
This story has been read 74 times.
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=25578be1-7a03-4d73-ad9b-bb65637d3c17

As I sit at my table, all alone,
An octogenarian am I;
My children, busy with their children,
Cannot afford to talk or come by.

My best friends are some memories left
And some companions far away,
Happy am I in my own way
With no illusion left about life.

The peace in heart is my best asset
And I find it easier to forgive
Now that there is not any battle to lose
Nor any victory left to achieve.

This long voyage has made me learn
That nothing is lost forever;
If there has been anything good in my deeds,
It will be given to me, once voyage is over.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

The Hermit’s Mind


- by Ayesha Parveen 08 Dec 2008
Category: Lifestyle. This story has been read 118 times.

As understood from the hermit’s diary:

“There are times when I have an overpowering desire to leave behind all and become a hermit. Nothing but solitude appeals to me then; my ‘friends’ say that I am turning away from the challenges of life but I know that is not so. The core of the matter is that I find not much of what I understand by life, in my day-to-day interactions with people. Most of the people I come across love to hurt others deliberately. If I protest, I am called ultra-sensitive. When I speak my mind out, I am called a rebel; as I choose to stay chaste, I am labeled ‘unnatural’. To be honest, there is nothing having any semblance to freedom and respect in the world dominated by the human race.

‘Friends’ put up acts; spouses cheat: since this is the bottom-line of relationships, I am happier alone. Moreover, there is no guarantee that a friendship or a marriage will be happy for life, and almost no one believes in love surviving death. The talents I express give me no satisfaction for often the less-talented are more applauded. The funnier part is, having understood the ephemeral nature of human-praise, I don’t hunger for it any more. My happiest moments are when I am with myself for then I feel God as I understand Him. There is His presence as I watch the sunset; He is there when I walk in the woods. I feel torn away from Him when I am under some lustful gaze in ‘civilized’ society.

The people I leave behind will perhaps call me an escapist. Let them do so. The ones who envied me secretly will wonder how I could break all the bonds, give up all the privileges. They may react the way they want to. I have made my choice; so I am happy: at last I am free. This, the last page of my diary, is my last communication, albeit indirect, with the ‘civilized’, ‘social’ world. May God’s mercy be upon anyone who reads it by chance.”

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

The Rose and her Thorns


- by Ayesha Parveen 08 Dec 2008
Category: Lifestyle.
This story has been read 57 times.
Blame not the rose for her thorns;
She has them to protect herself:
Had it not been for the hurtful thorns,
All would have torn her to pieces.

Blame not the rose for her thorns;
She with her thorns teach us all
A lesson from which we comfort gain:
Like rose, life gives both beauty and pain.

Blame not the rose for her thorns;
She is like the eternal soul called ‘you’;
The thorns of troubles and tests surround
The soul’s journey here; life’s grandeur anew.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Father and Child


- by Ayesha Parveen 06 Dec 2008
Category: Others.
This story has been read 148 times.
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=ddc5215e-6f66-480a-893d-fdc06384f0c9


The child walks with his father
And they both see the same sights:
The child wants to touch the flower,
But his father wants to hurry by.

The child is happy and smiles at passers-by;
His father tells him people are not good
And so the child should be glum.
The child says he cannot; father tells, “Please try.”

The child thinks his father is wrong,
And father knows his child is right;
But he dare not be innocent again
For sadly, now he cannot be like his child.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Connected Are We


- by Ayesha Parveen 06 Dec 2008
Category: Others.
This story has been read 114 times.
As I walk in the garden alone
The birds sing songs for me;
The red, yellow and pink flowers
Are all smiling and happy to see me.

As I sit in my room alone
A great book talks to me;
The characters show what I have felt
The writer, it seems is friend to me.

As I travel by train alone
A person starts chatting with me;
We find out we have much in common,
Before leaving, she exchanges numbers with me.

As I stand alone near the Bay of Bengal,
And he is near the Arabian Sea,
I feel him near me, by my side.
This proves, all are connected, yes, you and me.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Time


- by Ayesha Parveen 06 Dec 2008
Category: Others.
This story has been read 91 times.

Time brings with it many changes
And we are left to think how fast it moves;
Time takes away much, But returns even more.

With time we learn to move on;
It heals many wounds, they say;
The best give of time to me
Is that it taught me timelessness.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

The Clouds Teach


- by Ayesha Parveen 05 Dec 2008
Category: Others.
This story has been read 76 times.
The clouds above melt into rain
As my pain melts into tears
The clouds dissolve and the sky smiles again
It is time, they say, to try once more.

Trying to love and trying to let go
Seem different but come together
For if we love and are not loved back
We need to decide: pack up and go?

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Shelter in Heart

- by Ayesha Parveen 06 Dec 2008
Category: Others. This story has been read 150 times.
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=cac6c991-6553-42b8-be68-47f9d21f43b9


Sushila was brought up in a conservative atmosphere. Coming from a rural Brahmin family in India, she was taught all the rituals a woman is expected to perform traditionally. Married at an early age, she was unfortunately, widowed soon.

Being childless, her days were occupied with performing ‘pujas’ at home and chanting the Lord’s name. All her sorrows seemed to cease when she worshipped her Balagopal. Now a woman in her late-thirties and not having any earthly desire left in her, she had found contentment within her heart.

Being the eldest in her joint-family of brothers-in-law with their wives and children, she had a revered position in the house; none questioned her decisions or perhaps even when they disliked her views, they did not argue.

One day, a voice was heard outside the main gate and the gatekeeper came running in telling that a boy had come asking for shelter at night. All looked at Sushila who asked the gatekeeper if the boy was from a Brahmin family. The gatekeeper went and asked the boy who said his name was Mukund and when asked about his caste, the boy kept quiet. The gatekeeper, however, said the boy was beautiful with very attractive eyes.

Sushila decided to give shelter to the child but he was not allowed to enter the main building. Mukund had to sleep under the covered portico.

The next day, as usual, Sushila rose from sleep before sunrise, had her bath and started the morning ‘aarti’ for her Balagopal. Then, for the first time in her life, the most inauspicious thing that can take place during ‘puja’, happened: the plate offering ‘aarti’ fell from her hand!

What had gone wrong? Sushila agonized. Why was Balagopal angry with her? Her attending maid entered then and informed her that the boy Mukund was missing. Sushila, forgetting caste-consciousness for once, rushed into the garden and looked for him.

Where, the previous night, Mukund had slept, was a peacock-feather: Sushila’s Balagopal had come; she had not asked him in. As the tears streamed down her face and wet her white ‘saree’, Sushila cried out, “Balagopal, forgive me.”

“As God takes it. Our feet may have reached the holy places, but our hearts may not have done so.” (Quoted from Leo Tolstoy’s short work, “Father Sergius”.)

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

My Cat

- by Ayesha Parveen 05 Dec 2008
Category: Others. This story has been read 67 times.
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=183b9b2f-623b-4af7-b601-5d6c0d0a0388

My cat is with me most of the day
Sleeping and purring and having milk
At times playful with my grandchild,
But mostly, my dear cat is with me.

My cat looks up when I call her name
And comes running when she sees me;
My cat and I together sit in the sun
She loves me best and is faithful to me.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

The Love of My Life

- by Ayesha Parveen 05 Dec 2008
Category: Lifestyle.
This story has been read 82 times.
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=e4bedffa-13ab-4b0a-8c98-89d1c75a7453

When all around me I see a void
And pain in every relationship,
I ask at times if all is wrong:
Is there no love left, and no friendship?

It seems to all that all is waste,
But deep within me I hear a call
The love of my life is there with me
Though far away, not lost is all.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

When Hurt

- by Ayesha Parveen 05 Dec 2008
Category: Lifestyle.
This story has been read 86 times.
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=92373975-45e0-4358-b255-a9e33c1e48de

When hurt by people who you love,
And they come up with excuses,
Explanations offered which
You know are hollow,
It is better to move away to avoid undue pain.

When hurt by people who you love,
Such hurt as does not heal;
It can become tough to trust again
Because your heart cannot bear more tears,
It is better to move on than cause return-pain.

When hurt by people who you love,
And they love others more than you,
Let go my friend, if you can;
There is no point in waiting for them to change.
Next time, if love, love those who’re true.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

The Sunset

- by Ayesha Parveen 04 Dec 2008
Category: Lifestyle.
This story has been read 201 times.
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=34d16ead-87a6-4b84-a19c-c5dbe0940a12

As you and I sit in the sunset,
Side by side like everyday,
We see the moments flow by
Like our children grown and gone away.

Soon the sunset will end for sure
With darkness encompassing all we see;
But you and I will be side by side
When there is sunrise; sure it will be.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Colours of Life

- by Ayesha Parveen 04 Dec 2008
Category: Lifestyle.
This story has been read 74 times.
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=7343f595-5961-42ab-911a-67d1cbcda417


The wondrous beauty of a golden sunset
Leads to the diamond-studded deep dark blue;
Some like the bright yellow more,
Yet others wait to see the night-hue.

Colours of all kinds we see in human race:
Some light, some dark and some yellow;
As each colour contributes to life,
None is greater; with time all mellow.

Colours of pain and ecstasy
Opposites, clashing apparently;
Are there in each one, in every place,
As life unfolds transparently.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

My Vaasudev


- by Ayesha Parveen 03 Dec 2008
Category: Others.
This story has been read 116 times.
and also at:
Going through all the joys of life
As well as feeling all the heart-break;
When I sit quietly and look for peace,
I find it in you, my Vaasudev.

Many names have you and many ways
Are there for all to love you;
When friends fail and my foes laugh,
All I have is you, my Vaasudev.

In success and in failure,
When there is no desire left,
A flame of passion still burns in me;
That light is you, my Vaasudev.

(Vaasudev is Lord Krishna)

ayeshacgs@hotmail

The Rain Fell


- by Ayesha Parveen 03 Dec 2008
Category: Others.
This story has been read 63 times.
The rain fell on the roof-top
And her world became dark;
A mere girl, her heart cried alone;
The universe seemed sad, when it rained.

The rain fell on the roof-top
And she woke up to life:
A young woman, full of dreams and hopes;
Everything sang her song, as it rained.

The rain fell on the roof-top
And she was worried for her child
Playing and splashing in the water;
She thought he might catch a cold, while it rained.

The rain fell on the roof-top
And she was quiet;
Tired and old now, she was
Fast asleep, under a blanket, and it rained.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Tell them …


- by Ayesha Parveen 03 Dec 2008
Category: Lifestyle.
This story has been read 51 times.

How many times do we regret not expressing love or gratitude? Perhaps, a number of times. This is rather unfortunate but true. Most people are very quick when it comes to criticizing others but keep quiet when a few positive words from them can help people.

Death is one reality no one can deny and sooner or later, in a person’s life the day comes when his earthly existence ends. It would be a shame if he dies without expressing positive feelings for people who are important to him. Worse is, if the people he loves die before him without knowing how much they mattered to him.

I have been personally very fortunate in this regard. Decades ago, a person had done me a life-defining favour and then we lost touch. Then a child, I took nourishment from his kind, inspiring words and whenever I have faced difficulties, injustice or have run out of motivation, remembering his straight-from-the-soul encouragement for me, helped me deal with life. All along, I have been trying to trace him to say “Thank you”, and last week, God gave me the chance. Now, after I have been able to express my gratitude to him I feel a sense of fulfillment unknown to me before.

Let us express love and gratitude to people who deserve it and tell them how much they mean to us. Let us motivate those who need encouragement. Our feelings in terms of affection add up as blessings for both us and the ones we harbour such feelings for.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

The Final Release

- by Ayesha Parveen 02 Dec 2008
Category: Others.
This story has been read 100 times.
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=7b4b9b61-4b1b-479e-af4e-a949a2c1db05

One last look back at the dress I wore
For years that now seem moments;
Some sad, teary faces silent and tired
Know that I am gone away.

This was what I had tried to deny
That I would one day come away
From those I loved and those not-loved,
Not seen by them here again.

But I am free of pain and hurt,
Of hunger, need and despair.
This is the final release, free from all
I linger a moment and move on.

They say, “She passed away.”

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

How to Master Moods

- by Ayesha Parveen 02 Dec 2008
Category: Lifestyle.
This story has been read 71 times.
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=c310a9bd-f476-4856-843a-483934a3de1d

Mood swings are normal but they should not be allowed to dominate us. The following points might help in mastering mood swings:

1. PINPOINT THE PROBLEM: When we are fuming or fearful, the first step is to discover why. It is only after pinpointing the problem that we can try to solve it.

2. GET ENOUGH SLEEP: Sub-optimal amounts of sleep can play havoc with our emotions. If something frustrating happens, both children and adults have more trouble controlling their anger if they are tired.

3. GET IN TOUCH WITH NATURE: Contact with nature is thought by many experts to contribute to optimal moods. If getting outside is not possible, simply spending time near a window, from where you can see some grass, trees or the blue sky with cotton-white clouds, can help. If even that is not within reach, close your eyes for some time and in your mind visualize yourself in a place of natural beauty.

4. BRIGHTEN UP THE INTERIORS: Bring some colour into your home, be it in the form of paintings, show-pieces, decorations or carpets. Red, yellow and orange inspire passion and energy; blue and green calm you down.

5. GET MOVING: Physical activity, in moderation can help lift up your moods. A brisk 10-minute walk can boost energy and reduce tension immediately.

6. EAT WISELY: Mood swings are often fuelled by the food we eat or don’t eat. We must eat regularly, starting with a balanced breakfast. Limiting your intake of caffeine (the immediate lift you get may be followed by irritability) and drinking at least 12-16 glasses of water a day help a lot. I personally believe that a strictly vegetarian diet works wonders in the overall physical and mental well-being of a person.

7. CULTIVATE A POSITIVE ATTITUDE: Often the quickest fix is to smile bad moods away. If we focus on the positive in life and are grateful for the blessings we get, minor irritations do not bother us for long.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Your Words

- by Ayesha Parveen 01 Dec 2008
Category: Others.
This story has been read 120 times.
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=8a3e0a87-ae1f-480a-9944-276fe515dd43

Your words have helped me reach so far;
Your words made me go all the way.
As I look back to see my life, till now
Your words shine, by far the brightest.

If in pain, I do survive,
And in joy, not lose my way,
I know the source of inspiration:
Your words, etched in my soul forever.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

My Child


- by Ayesha Parveen 01 Dec 2008
Category: Others.
This story has been read 146 times.
My child, you inspire me to live;
Amidst all the pain and distrust
All around us, everyday.
Your look of unfailing love sustains me.

My child, my first concern today,
Is to protect you from what I went through;
May you live to see your dreams come true
And your life is full of love.

My child, I’m weary of pain, and tired of hurt;
But I dare to fight the world if need be,
Just to see life treats you fair
And none can ever harm you.

My child, if I still fail you,
May you be strong to help yourself;
In your success, my tears wiped away;
As you smile, know I smile with you.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Saturday, November 29, 2008

God’s Will

- by Ayesha Parveen 29 Nov 2008
Category: Others. This story has been read 31 times.
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=b5c1bb83-fd79-43c4-814a-88350e86a3a7

Love comes, but accompanied by pain;
Who can tell us why?
Time moves on, but scars remain,
As friends all go by.

As we take each step, so much is lost
That which cannot be retrieved;
Yet, in pain and in joy,
My love for you has thrived.

My hopes for your happiness
Are all fulfilled, my prayers all answered
Now debt repaid, to God I yield.
To His call, I have now answered.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

My Appa

- by Ayesha Parveen 29 Nov 2008
Category: Others.
This story has been read 19 times.
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=566245be-01d5-4544-9f39-471ed1a868b1

In this inexplicable mystery called life, we sometimes get surprise-gifts. One such gift in my life is my Appa. Even though we are not biologically related in this life, he is the one person from whom I keep on receiving fatherly affection. Appa knows when I need words of encouragement and offers them to me. Somehow he senses when I am hurt, and he heals me with his words of kind wisdom and with his inimitable sense of humour.

Having gone through more-than-enough pain in his own life, he chooses to be compassionate to others and has not become bitter in his attitude. True, we argue at times, but I know he tells me what he thinks will help me be a better person as well as lead a happier life. At the same time, he respects my space and accepts the personal choices I make. My Appa says I inspire him. In this often unfairly ultra-critical world, he works wonders in my life by saying I am worthy of appreciation.

Through this post, I wish to express my love and gratitude for Appa. I hope he reads it and understands how important he is to me. God bless my Appa.

( 'Appa' means Father)

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Setting Goals

- by Ayesha Parveen 26 Nov 2008
Category: Lifestyle.
This story has been read 67 times.
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=ed8677c4-5507-4d25-a9a1-0023e4f30525

To achieve something, we need to set a goal and it needs some serious thought and action. The following rules might help:

1. BE PRACTICAL: We need to set a goal in almost every aspect of life: professional, financial, personal and temporal. And, when we do so, we need to be practical. If, for example, a person earns Rs. 20, 000 a month, then his goal should not be to become a millionaire within a year! Perhaps, saving Rs.120, 000 in a year would be a better idea (at Rs. 10,000 per month saving). Similarly, if you are working 8 hours a day, do not suddenly plan to work 16 hours as it will be physically almost impossible to do so.

2. PUT IT IN WRITING: Set your goals in writing; in that way you will remember them. Every night, before going to bed, read the writing so that your subconscious mind registers it. Along with the more common financial and professional goals, remember your personal goals too. Be very specific. What is in the mind, usually, sooner or later, gets manifested in the tangible world too.

3. EVALUATE YOUR PROGRESS:
Every month evaluate how far you have progressed in nearing your goals. Be patient with yourself and learn from your mistakes like unnecessary over-spending.

4. TIME-FRAME: Put a time-frame to your goal, short-term or long. Some goals can have both the short-term and the long-term time-frames. For example, a short-term saving of Rs. 120, 000 per annum would have a long-term time-frame of Rs 600, 000 in 5 years.

5. SET YOUR GOALS SLIGHTLY HIGHER than what at present you practically think is possible. This will motivate you more in making the adjustments in life necessary to reach your goal.

6. REGULARITY: Break down your working for the goal and do each day’s/ month’s/ year’s work regularly.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Waiting


- by Ayesha Parveen 25 Nov 2008
Category: Lifestyle.
This story has been read 68 times.
As I wait for things to change,
I know they will.
As I wait for pain to go,
I feel it will.

My wait is based on trust, on love
Greater than other feelings in me;
In God’s own time my wait will end
And you will be with me.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com


Facing the Interviewer(s)

- by Ayesha Parveen 25 Nov 2008
Category: Lifestyle.
This story has been read 50 times.
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=e6a37de2-e753-419f-a615-692b32550388

How we face the interviewer(s) usually decides whether we get the job or not. The following points might help us:

1. WISH THE INTERVIEWER(S) as soon as you enter and try to sound pleasant. If there are more than one person present, you may say, “Good morning, ladies/ gentlemen/ ladies and gentlemen” (as is appropriate).

2. SIT DOWN WHEN YOU ARE ASKED TO. After sitting down, remember to say “Thank you”. Sit straight and avoid displaying signs of nervousness, like fidgeting with you tie, etc.

3. BE HONEST about your academic/professional background.

4. If you are being asked a PERSONAL QUESTION which you do not want to answer, say, “Sorry, I do not want to answer this personal question.” Be POLITE but FIRM.

5. Make EYE-CONTACT with the person(s) you are talking to. It is a sign of self-confidence.

6.
Answer questions DIRECTLY but POLITELY. If you do not know the answer to a question, say so. Remember, no human being is all-knowing.

7.
Even if an interviewer is trying to make you angry, DO NOT SHOW ANGER in return.

8. At the end of the interview, THANK the interviewer(s) and ask, “May I leave?” Go home and send a FORMAL LETTER OF THANKS.

9. Be RELAXED throughout the interview. BELIEVE in yourself and in God’s plan for you.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Monday, November 24, 2008

At Last


- by Ayesha Parveen 23 Nov 2008
Category: Lifestyle.This story has been read 60 times.
At times pain overwhelms us;
And all around us we see chaos
These are times when it is
Difficult to trust, hard to open up,
Perhaps, impossible to undo damage or forgive.

At times pain overwhelms us;
And suddenly we glimpse the truth:
We know a soul-kin
As well as the pretenders,
Near or far away, for us.

At times pain overwhelms us;
And going through it,
We find peace, at last;
Not around us, but within us,
And there is pain no more.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Career-Boosters

- by Ayesha Parveen 23 Nov 2008
Category: Others.
This story has been read 51 times.
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=9e38d9ac-2880-447d-8a59-1ebf08bb3fef

Having a good career and a job you like is one of the major fulfillments of life. However, like most things good, it needs a lot of effort on your part. If you want a promotion at work, the following points might help:

1. DON’T WAIT FOR THE JOB VACANCY. Pave the way by making sure your boss knows you want more responsibility.

2. EMPLOYEES NEED TO TREAT THEIR OWN COMPANY AS A CLIENT. In order to stay competitive, inform your employer of your competencies and your talents.

3. PREPARE FOR POSITIONS YOU ARE INTERESTED IN. If you’re targeting a job in a foreign country, begin taking language classes before any opportunity presents itself. Think about portability. Likewise, don’t let a company know you’re interested in a foreign post if you cannot do it. You can tell them you can’t do it; that would help them identify where else they can promote you.

4. FOLLOW THROUGH in every commitment to you boss, colleagues or anyone else. Being able to meet deadlines is extremely important.

5. BE PUNCTUAL. Being late leaves a bad impression and is unprofessional.

6. BRUSH UP YOUR KNOWLEDGE of both your subject and related ones.

7. SAVE MONEY. Have enough money saved, perhaps enough to meet about 6 months’ expenses, on which you can fall back if you need to change your job.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

You Remain


- by Ayesha Parveen 23 Nov 2008
Category: Lifestyle.
This story has been read 60 times.
Even in pain, you remain;
Even in doubt, you remain.
Even when everything
Is torn apart
And the universe
Is broken down to atoms,
You remain;
Love remains.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Holding A Party Successfully

by Ayesha Parveen 14 Nov 2008
Category: Lifestyle.
This story has been read 313 times.
The host often feels nervous about the party he is about to hold and wonders about its potential for success. Holding a party being a social event, the host needs to put in some genuine effort in making it successful. The following tips might be useful:

Be bold with your guest list and invite people from different backgrounds. When guests have to work a bit harder in communicating, rather than just talk-shop, they tend to learn much more about each other.

Send out invitations two to three weeks in advance and make sure you include RSVP details. It is better to give your postal and e-mail addresses along with your phone and fax numbers. If the venue is hard to find, include a map and, if appropriate, also put in a note about the party stating the dress-code etc. Whatever the size of the party, remember to put the start and finish time on the invitation.

Make sure you answer the door and always greet your guests personally. Introduce people individually or to other groups with helpful prompts like: “Sunil, meet Rajan. His children go to the same school as yours.”

Once the party is in full swing, you can expect to be on the go continuously. You may politely request some friends to help you look after the drinks. Many shy people often find parties easier if they have a role to play and keep themselves busy.

Encourage guests to circulate, but if you take someone away from one group, replace him with another guest so that no one feels abandoned. Then move on yourself.

To make the most of your friends, work out a seating plan for your lunch or dinner party; however, be prepared to change it if necessary. If anyone brings a gift, try to UNWRAP IT there and then, unless this is likely to cause offence. Show appreciation for the gift brought.

A relaxed host is an absolute must. Don’t start panicking if things go wrong; think logically and you will come up with solutions. Often, a few phone calls are all you need to fix the problem. Whatever you do, try not to get stuck in the kitchen: the cooking should not distract you from your friends once they are there.

Keep in mind if there is a guest with special needs. Try to be personally there to offer assistance and do it politely.

It is a friendly gesture, when confirming your invitation, to check whether there is something a guest cannot eat. Also, remember to accommodate guests who are on a diet; don’t insist on them having seconds and it is a good idea to make sure there is fresh fruit on the table.

As you guests leave, thank each one for having come to your party.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dealing with Social Anxiety

by Ayesha Parveen 12 Nov 2008
Category: Lifestyle.This story has been read 114 times.
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=7c310edc-4490-473a-9b00-124cc3d86648

Social anxiety is perhaps, the single most common psychological problem. At a party with strangers, for instance, about 75% of adults feel anxiety. Most people wish they could overcome this problem and communicate with people confidently.

The following steps can help:

1. Prepare for it:
Preparation for any communicating situation is very important. Whether you are delivering a speech, going to an important social occasion or asking your boss for a raise, doing your homework will definitely help you. Some of the most polished, wonderfully delivered and spontaneous-sounding talks are the result of hours of hard work.

2. Break the ice:
What if you did not get a chance to prepare? Do not worry. When you meet someone at a social occasion, break the ice with a question or comment that conveys interest in the other person. However, we must be careful and never ask personal questions or give advice without being asked. One should never give negative comments like, “You’ve put on weight,” or “This hairstyle does not suit you.” Similarly, one should never ask for professional advice on such occasions.

3. Do not try to impress:
Instead of wondering, “Does he like me?” ask yourself, “Is he comfortable in this conversation?” Once you get into a ‘real’ conversation with someone, he will feel more friendly, more kindly disposed to you.

4. Positive response:
The way you listen gives messages about you too. Listen with interest, focusing your eyes on the speaker, unless he is deliberately avoiding eye-contact. However, one should not stare. When you are speaking or listening, your face should show some animation. Your facial expression should convey happiness in being with the person as well as show interest in what he is saying. Similarly, if someone is saying something sad, you should look serious. This helps you in adjusting your attitude to the need of the situation.

5. The right attitude:
For overcoming nervousness and shyness, a positive attitude helps a lot. Do not worry about any pronunciation or language mistake you might have made while speaking. Just be confident and polite. Know that in your own way, each one of you is the best in the world. Breathe in deeply and hold on to this belief. Success will be yours.

ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Time Management

by Ayesha Parveen 11 Nov 2008
Category: Lifestyle.
This story has been read 955 times.
“Time is money; money is freedom.” In most cases this saying is true and time-management is one of the most important aspects of modern, hectic living. The following points may be considered when we decide to manage our precious time:

1. Sleep:
Unless unfit, adults should try not to sleep for more than 8 hours per day. On a week-end, however, you may give yourself a sleep-treat of an extra hour, if you want to. Even if we do not have much work in hand, it is a good idea to not unnecessarily spend time sleeping. If you are awake, you can make use of some sudden opportunity life gives you.

2. Target a few items of work:
Each evening, write down about 4 to 6 items of work you plan to do the next day. Then, when the next day becomes ‘today’, give your best in doing the items of work you had chosen for yourself.

3. Review your work:
If, for some reason, you are unable to complete all the items of work, at the end of the day, sit and write down why the work could not be done. This will help you avoid the mistakes you might have made in your attempt to manage time. Moreover, it can also help you come up with a solution to the problem hindering your completion of work.

4. Cut down on time spent on addictive habits:
For time spent on addictive habits like watching the TV or chatting almost non-stop with friends, you might try seriously setting yourself a time-limit like 1 hour and keep elbow- space for about half-an-hour more.

5. Analyse each weekend:
Every weekend, analyse how much you have progressed. Do remember to write down the important work you could complete over the week because of your good time-management. This will act as great self-motivation.

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