I want watermelon

This afternoon, my sister was sitting sad and lost.
When I asked her multiple times, she still didn’t respond.

My 3 yo nephew or her son, who was in her lap, I turned to him.

Told him, “Tell you Mom to smile.”

Do you know what he responded?

“I want watermelon!”

Wow. So cute. That is the level I want to get to in my life.

Here’s something I learnt from him:

  1. My sis told me that he was already nudging her to stop being so sad. He always says, “First, you smile.
  2. He was not attached to his Mom’s emotions. He loves her, wanted her to smile. But didn’t get upset when she did.
  3. He knew what he wanted 🙂
  4. Didn’t get unhappy when he didn’t get the watermelon.
  5. His love is not conditional when his Mom is smiling only. Love IS he.

So, my question to you is: Do you want watermelon?

Disturbing in Simla vacation

Couple of days back, I had an inpromptu plan to visit Delhi, where I live. (PS: I am in the last month of my stay at my hometown these days :D)

When I called up my landlord a day prior to my reach, he and Aunty were in Simla, for a short break.

Yet, here’s what Uncle arranged to do for me:
– Asked his brother in law to come home and take out my room’s keys to the kitchen, which was being used by the servant.
– Told the servant to clean my room
– Told the servant to make sure he opens up the main gate, as I wasn’t having the keys

All this, while vacationing.

They didn’t have to do that, yet they did. As a matter of fact, upon reaching my apartment, I texted Uncle instead of calling him so as to not to disturb them, thanking for everything. He replied with taking the help of the servant, if I needed anything.

Just wow!

But why are we talking about it?

Because in a lot of homes, it is considered taboo to get out of your way to help anyone in family, let alone tenants.
In a sad culture that has been instilled, it is thought that if someone is helping us, it should be with some ulterior motive.

And if that was not enough, kids are taught that they should never talk to strangers, let alone help them.

No wonder why that generation has grown up to become mentally ill generation.

That said, if you are able to read this, you have the power to parent yourself. What our parents and our culture did to us is bad, however, if we replicate that to ourselves, nothing could be worse.

So, help others out. It will not be a disturbance on your Simla vacation. Be the one who is a giver, and EVERYTHING else in life, will be well taken care of.

To those who have failed in CA exams…

19th January 2015.
The day I became a Chartered Accountant.
I still vividly remember the day.

We had just returned to Kota (my hometown) after an overnight train trip from Mumbai, after attending a family function there for three days. So the winter was a harsh reality from the pleasant zero winter of Mumbai to being back to Kota. Because of this train journey, I had taken a shower quite late, around 10-11 am.

The moment I came out, I saw a miss call from a fellow article at the firm I did my articleship from.

Oops, my heart started pounding.

As I called him back, he picked up the call and asked: “Kya hua?”

“Result aa gaya?” was my surprised response, to which he said yes.

My mom had gone to take shower and I was virtually alone at home. So I opened up the laptop, connected it to the slow BSNL router we had and checked the result.

452 out of 800, result: PASS. (*Top 100 scorers in India then)

Wow!

The day I will never forget!

Throughout the day I did not feel cold at all despite returning from Mumbai back to shivering winters of Kota. It was in the evening that I finally realised I should be feeling cold 🙂

My mom came out of shower and started crying a lot. A lot. She basically missed my Nanaji for whom I was a source of pride and who had passed away eleven months back. The day was something me and my parents had been waiting for, for years!

But this is the success story. That I cleared CA Final (both groups together) in the first attempt that too with very good marks.

Here is the back story: I failed in IPCC twice. As on date, given the number of failures we get to face, this doesn’t seem huge.
Back then it was. Especially for a class topper like me since childhood, who ended up with this major jolt for the first time in my life.

You know what, my Mom cried then as well, for how could such a thing happen to me? (Yes now I know that I was responsible, but I just couldn’t convince her to see that part. Maybe I didn’t want to see that either!)

But I did clear the IPCC exam eventually. One group at a time.

That is the word you need to remember my fellow CA students: eventually.

The world isn’t going to be smooth even if you clear all three stages in the first attempt with AIR 1. It’s true that social media is not going to have your pictures when you fail.
It’s true that your neighbours will probably stare at you when you’ll leave home for coaching classes.
It’s perhaps true that a friend who was not expected to clear is a CA today and you aren’t!

All this is real pain.
And it hurts, especially if you worked hard.

But there is one more thing that is real: Your grit. Your persistence. Your belief in your capability that no matter what, you will end up with the prefix CA before your name eventually.

Feel sad as hard as you want to. Clean your nose with your sweater that your friend likes who is a CA now. Look at yourself in the mirror and just be, it’s okay!

But when you are done, don’t waste a minute pondering about what was and what could be. Just focus on what you are going to do next.

Winning in life is less about numbers and more about your attitude.

For example, I’m not a cunning person and because of that I sometimes get walked over (sometimes by my hashtag friends), and that feels very bad. But then I tell myself that my systems and ethics are powerful, so I needn’t be scared. NEVER ever has been a place in my life that because of not being cunning, rather being a simple human being, I hadn’t won eventually. Things always turn out to be in the favour of the person who works hard with the rights systems and the right mindsets.

And if you are worried about number of attempts, yes I did get a bonus of 1L INR extra back in 2015-16 because of being a first attempt passout. But today, 5-6 years down the line, almost everyone is earning in the same income range. Time is a great leveller and a wonderful thing to forget.

So keep up your spirits high my fellow CA students, it is only a matter of time that you will become a member of the reputed ICAI. Till then, focus on building systems and attitudes that eventually and undoubtedly lead to success, instead of letting things happen.

PS: In case you are wondering if I used some systems while preparing for CA Final exams after failing in IPCC twice, of course I did! I won’t blabber them here because the purpose of this blog is not to show you how, the purpose is to show you what. If you need help with systems and processes while preparing for CA exams, drop me a note at ngehija454@gmail.com and I’d be happy to help you out.

PPS: It will happen, eventually!

Immunity against relatives

My mom informed me this afternoon, that she will be going to visit a relative’s place in the evening.

I was like, sure.

In a moment I added, “You love yourself, right?”

“What’s up with you all of a sudden,” she quipped.

I said then since those relatives squeeze the energy out of you, can you watch one video of BK Shivani on YouTube before going and one after returning? Please?

She agreed to do so, however, I don’t know what would her mindset look like.

I feel sad for her. Just like a Mom would feel sad for her kid going into bad company yet finding it difficult for her to convince him not to go.

Good wisdom is like immunity. We don’t realise its importance unless a pandemic arrives and doesn’t touch us despite hanging around Covid patients, because we had inner immunity. To make it last forever, we need to keep building it daily.

The reality of social media

You must have seen people partying on the beach on Instagram.
Or making teddy bears of snow.
And making you feel like it is your life only that is at loss.

Here’s a silent truth:
Someone I know personally posted a vacay pic of theirs, with a thoughtful caption and how happy they were truly being in this flow state of life. However, I know they are going through a really, really tough time. A super tough time.

It is great that they took a break, no doubts about that.

But here is what I want you to consider:

  1. Social media = away from reality. Almost always. Rather always.
  2. People show that they are enjoying because they have FOMO – they have also seen others showing their “happy” pics and would do anything to show that they are also happy.
  3. Our real nature is happiness. When we are away from it, we would do anything to get closer or appear closer to happiness. If we get close to real happiness, awesome! If we get close to faking happiness, our hole of sadness gets deeper.

Choose the form of happiness you want to live in. And the coolest of the coolest people, who are your (real) role models, they hardly share their vacay pics online with a “success-filled” caption. Because they know that real happiness is the remaining 350 days as well, when we are not on a holiday.

Read the above line again.
For yourself.

Loving the sacrifice

Sometimes people say I sacrifice my Netflix and late night binge watching to rise early.
Or why do you workout and avoid all the junk foods?
Why don’t you work full time, and why is family time more important to you?

All these are sacrifices.

Sacrifices are good.
Because from those we create our destiny.

When we sacrifice Netflix, we create a destiny of peace and a good eyesight and a powerful brain.
When we sacrifice junk food, we create a destiny of a healthy and fit body.
When we “sacrifice” full work and spend some time with family, we create a destiny of joy and happiness.

It’s not sacrifice.
It is a creation of a happy future.

It is not a trade off.
It is creating a trade with yourself.

It is not lacking something.
It is accessing all that you have.

Sacrifices create happiness.

Thanksgiving is all about…

Thanksgiving is all about…

• Being grateful to your farmers, because without them, even pizza wasn’t possible.

• Being grateful for the electricity, otherwise how would geyser operate?

• A thousand more things tbh, but today, let’s stop with the fact that we have almost survived 2020 stronger and better.

What else could thanksgiving be about?

Dealing with mental health issues

With the mental health issues going to peak ten days back, I deliberately started taking extra care of myself.

Here’s what I realised:

  • At the core of every mental health issue, is the need for happiness.
  • When I didn’t get it, I felt a chaos in my mind.
  • I almost (read: always) believed that if I am good to everyone, they should also be good to me. Unmindful of the fact, that everyone is going through the chaos in their minds as well (including our families)
  • Taking care of yourself is something you will have to do. Otherwise we will always be dependent on the mood swings of others – and that is never a balanced place to settle on.
  • Being happy is NOT a sin. Okay? Read it again if it was not clear to you.

Here’s what I have started doing now:

  • Given up the need to impress everyone and make them happy. I have realised that even if I am happy and doing things to make them happy, if someone makes a conscious or unconscious choice to be upset, they will. Don’t take anyone personally.
  • Love yourself like that is your job#1. For most people, this job even doesn’t make it to the list of their jobs.
  • Stop justifying your actions all the time. I do not give a damn to what anyone else says yet don’t know how during this lockdown I started craving for the validation of my family. If you feel truthful and real in your work, you have done your job well. Anything and anyone that takes you away from peace is the one worth going away from.
  • Imagine the best outcome. We all are the creators of our experiences. What we are today, is what we had imagined yesterday.
  • This one is important. Treat people well even if you don’t listen to them or you know they are toxic. They are being them, and for whatever little time they get to hang around you, make sure to be kind to them. They are fighting a tough battle. Just like I needed people with my mental health issues, I realised they will also need kind people so that mental health issues don’t sink into them.

The journey is hard. Only if I label it so. Remember – creators of our experiences? Now I have unabashedly started living for my own happiness – without hurting others, however, not allowing anyone to enter that bubble and burst it.