Judging each other! 

We are living in a different world today and observing an unprecedented scourge that is threatening us. More than a hundred years back, there was an influenza epidemic in the world. Millions of people died. In those days, the communication in all formats was so primitive that for us, Europe and America were as good as Mars and Venus. We first started seeing these aliens about four hundred years back when Vasco De Gama landed in India. Rest as they say is history.

In the last fifty years, with the help of Airbus and Boeing, every place on the earth is less than a day’s journey, including the airport transfer time. So, merging with “aliens” is complete. All of us have realised that humans are the same everywhere. What makes them different is their culture, the way they are brought up. Culture is the way they lived during the isolation period before the globe-trotting started. Culture is the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society.

When you live in proximity to the same people for a period, you slowly get to know everything about them. Sometimes you see the beautiful, occasionally angry, generous, or petty – everyone’s drama unfolds in front of you. You know how they think and feel. Consequently, you may become hugely opinionated about everyone.

Whatever opinions, ideas, and conclusions you may have about other people and yourself – now is the time to drop them. Whatever thoughts, views, and deductions you may have about other people and yourself – now is the time to lose them. Everyone can flower into a beautiful being. The more opinions, ideas, conclusions, and prejudices you have, the bigger the distance between you and that possibility. Allow yourself and everyone else a fresh start.

I have a home in a harmonious society with all row houses. It is representative of Bharat. People from all over India live there peacefully, most of the times. But in today’s times of Coronavirus, a lot of discussions take place. For such societies, there is an elected committee who handles the affairs of the community. But for some reason, the current committee always seems to be riding a high horse. They forget that others have given them a POI- power of attorney, to handle day to day affairs. But the way some things are handled surprise me and makes me sad. When I got thinking about it, I suddenly was reminded of Ravana with ten heads. What are these ten heads? What does it signify?

Everyone has ten or more heads. One day, your head is full of greed, another day full of jealously, hatred, love, lust, beauty, or ugliness. Or you go through everything in one day. If you see someone in a moment of jealousy, you conclude that he is a jealous person. If you see someone in a moment of greed, you suppose that he is a greedy person. But, at different times, different heads are working in everyone. Everyone has at least one head of love, beauty, generosity, or compassion.

Just follow a fundamental principle – if you see something wrong in someone, condemn that, not the person. If you bring this wisdom into your life, you will be free of baggage. When you do this to others, the same will happen to you.

Someone once said, “Love is a thing that happens between a man and woman who do not know each other.” That is true only if you live a frivolous, judgmental life – a life without wisdom. The more you know someone, warts and all, the more you realise that all of us have the same traits. In the case of some people, poor qualities are more predominant. Why is that so? Consider our life before the stone age. We acquired all the traits as we progressed. Those in the cold region ate whatever was available during winters, but those in warm weather had flowing rivers and could grow crops and vegetables of different types. So the cuisine of these people became varied and more vibrant. Those who have faced abuse during childhood behave differently. A famous line from Wordsworth’s poem, The Rainbow, is “The child is the father of the man!” It means that our childhood shapes our adulthood!


The more you get to know someone, the more love and compassion should arise. When you know all their struggles, you know they are as human as you are. We should not give up on people when they behave unexpectedly, at least in the initial phase. Probably, all through their lives, they have seen such behaviour in the family and their neighbourhood. So, they think it is the only way to behave.


I will tell you a story of a young boy. Brilliant and smart he was. But every day in the evening, he would meet up with friends on a footpath outside his college, and they would have a beer. He was still in his teens. His mother knew about this and met one of his favourite teachers to explain her apprehensions about the child. The next day his teacher called him. She said, “What do you do on the footpath outside the college in the evening.” He said, “Oh! My mother met you.” On further questioning, he said, “Now I have understood what you have explained. Starting just now, I will stop taking beers. But you know madam, from my childhood I have seen that my father comes home from his factory. Takes a bath and starts with his whiskey. Nobody explained to me the wrong side of alcohol. Since he did it, I was just copying him.”

Don’t forget that every soul has a right side to it; try to recognise that good side even in these people who you otherwise consider to be horrible. A rose plant has more thorns than roses, but we still call it a rose plant because we recognise its beauty. A mango tree has more leaves than mangoes, but we still call it a mango tree because we know the sweetness of its fruits.

Every human being has at least one drop of sweetness in them. Why don’t we see this? Please do this with everyone around you – try to recognise that one drop of sweetness in even those people who you otherwise consider to be terrible. Only if you understand it in others, it will reflect in you. On the other hand, if you see terrible things in other people, that is what will reflect in you. It does not mean you should become blind to everything. You see the leaves in the tree; you see the thorns in the rose bush – but you acknowledge the flower and the fruit.

That is all you need to do. Let’s make this happen and let us not judge people on an incident. Let us not be judgemental. Give the long rope to others, and you will find that people are okay after all. Maybe they have some quirks like everybody else, including you!

A happy family is a Smart Work!

You envy your neighbours and blame your destiny when you see Deshpande’s and Sharma’s next door! They are happy families. Whenever you see them, you are happy, and you want to be like them. You envy them not because they are happy, but because you cannot be happy like them. When you do not find any logical reason, it is elementary to blame destiny. Deshpande’s have two kids like you; your financial status appears to be similar. Sharma’s have to support her parents but still, look always cheerful. But it is not as simple as it seems.


What is the secret to achieving this happiness? First and foremost is understanding that happiness is a transient and not a permanent phase in life. Most of our day to day life is drudgery with peaks and troughs, happiness and sadness! Once you accept this fact, you will start understanding that destiny has nothing to do with your joy. Every home, every family has its pluses and minuses! Everybody has tough times and quiet times. We all go through our financial instability to reasonable stability to sometimes high financial comfort. But these phases are also transients; if we assume that these will continue forever, then we would be in trouble.

Our pressures, our sore points are all going to be there. But it is how we manage things that are going to decide our situation. Husband and wife also need to learn to fight sensibly. They need to learn to let go of things and should not bring Egos in between. When does the phase for the difference of opinion start?

You are married, you come back from honeymoon and enter the honeymoon phase of life! Life meanders smoothly and then suddenly you find that your TV has conked and one of your vehicles is creating a problem. You have important customers at the office, and your husband needs to attend a conference over the weekend. You must realise that the honeymoon phase of life is over. Most of us forget to understand this, and everything is in great flux. Please know that it is the beginning of real life.


Life’s real variables, the kids, are not even in the picture. Life has already started becoming complicated. Now, do you understand my statement above that we must learn to fight sensibly? The fights are a difference of opinion. Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus; this adage is a real-life adage. Husband and wife are married and love each other. But as the situation starts becoming complex, discussions need to be done without raising the voice and the temperature. All that these two lovely people are doing is that they are giving a different opinion on the same matter. But I am told that on Mars they speak Chinese and on Venus, they speak Spanish. In the absence of Google Translate during translation, the term “lost in translation” comes into play! Maybe one of them is not good at explaining, or the other is not a good listener. The result is that both feel that the other person is not even listening to what I am saying. Matter does not end there! The wife gets an urgent call, and the husbands boss has asked for a quick update on something! It is the beginning of the first world war!


First and foremost, learn to argue, explain and fight correctly. After all, you folks are the closest to each other. From this incident, learn to cool down, chill during or after the flight! A good hug or a kiss takes care of many things. Sit together in the evening over a cuppa or a glass of wine or whatever is your poison. Decide to start planning on a piece of paper, use an app if you are tech-savvy! Don’t delay it, don’t procrastinate! Humans are born to procrastinate, but it is as bad sugar is for diabetics.

Main variables like children, and in small cases not able to conceive, are equally painful problems of life. Degree of complexity of life changes from simple arithmetic, to algebra, to trigonometry, to Fourier transforms. Degree of difficulty starts going up exponentially. It is like in the business or a profession. Planning, planning, short term planning, long term planning! When things are in front of you on a piece of paper or whatever medium, you visualise better. You can prioritise, you can decide in advance what could be delayed. Planned delay is not a shock. With a lot of planning, there will be a semblance of discipline in life; there can still be a bolt out of the blue! You need to budget for it.

You must be wondering if I have strayed into telling some management related story! But real life is also management, management of our life! But the most critical aspect is that it is going to affect you and your family directly! If you lose a project or an order to someone else in your work, generally no emotions are involved. But if you are not able to attend a sports event where your child has won the first prize, it is going to affect the whole family! Sometimes, it will take a real toll in relationship with your child!

It will be a good idea if Mars and Venus’s folks come on the same page on significant issues. It will be a good idea to split the chores. Whoever is expert in that area should own that part, though the planning and review should be shared. Bouncing ideas with each other is another right way of handling things.

All these things will lead to a life which is under control. Result of the same will be happiness. If Sharma’s and Deshpande’s are your good friends, why not take the advice from them on streamlining day to day matters and long term matters too! Our life does not have to run in military precision, but it is better if it is organised. Ultimately, whatever needs to be done is to be done by us and no one else! What better way than being organised, being mature (take time out during fights). Minimise procrastination. Benefits are plenty which may not be called happiness. You will have more me time; you will have time with friends and of course, family! Once in a while, you might be able to do a few things like rafting, kayaking, or whatever!


Change your thinking! Let Kulkarnis and Guptas be envious that your family is happy!

“Life”, a new take!


I saw this Marathi song today on you tube. The title of the song is  दमलेल्या बाबाची कहाणी “Damaleya Babachi Kahani”, a story of a tired father! So many thoughts came to my mind while listening to this song. The song was presented by the famous duo, Poet Sandip Khare and Singer Dr. Salil Kulkarni, presenter was Sunil Barve. At the end of the song, there were tears in my eyes and I had very heavy feelings in my heart. I thought that I am a person who can hide his emotions, men folk generally attempt that! That reminded me of the time, when I had gone to see off my daughter, after her marriage, I had the same feelings. Probably all fathers have the same feelings for their daughters, at least I hope so. By the way, this not something against the Sons! But the feelings for sons and daughters have the similar difference like the behavior of “Men who are from Mars, and Women who are from Venus”! They must be giving some different potion to drink on Venus, to make daughters think and act the way they do! 

When your daughter is born, you know that at some stage she is going to get married and go to her husband’s home. Though this is known, the fathers keep on hoping or maybe pretending that this is never going to happen. Slowly the marriage age is reached and “Daddy’s Love” is ready to get married. In the mind, father wants to delay this if it is possible. But at the threshold point, which is the day of marriage, the day of reckoning arises. The father’s mind is in great turmoil, though he is busy in marriage activities. But at the back of his mind, there is a big turmoil going on.  

 The father in the song, is in a somber mood and he remembers that when his daughter needed him to be available to play with her, he has been away in the office. The father says, that he wants the daughter to become young again and fight with him, playfully. He remembers the day when the child was blessed with her first tooth, he remembers how she crawled all over their home and took control of everything, including their minds. He then asks her a question, “Will you please remember me, when you get married and go? Will you shed a few tears while going away? ” The song simply overwhelms your mind! It is also beautifully rendered in a modern way!  

Such situations do arise in many facets of our lives. The situation can be with mixed feelings, when we move to another city after a long stay, or we complete our studies and move out of hostels after 5/6 years of stay with friends. It can be when you retire after a long innings. In all these scenarios, some very close relationships relationships are formed. Sometimes, them become extended families. I feel that a daughter is father’s “Life”; similarly your work, you career, is also your “Life” if you have worked at only one place in your life time. Cutting off from both “Lives” is equally painful!  

In my life, I have seen only seen one person retire, that too twice! I watched it from close as I am talking about Jaya, my wife. Years back she retired from a Government research institute. She had taken voluntary retirement, and after a small break, she had plans ready for her future. For her it was kind of transit retirement. I could see that she was both happy and sad with the retirement. Sad that so many years of association with many people was going to break, a few had become life time friends. As she had future plans, she was able manage the transition quite well. Second time when she retired, she “really retired” from work in the industry. But our granddaughter’s arrival and my health issue did not give her time to get the feel of the new phase. We kept her so busy for first 8/9 months, that she did not have time to enjoy the change or feel the vacuum, retrospect or get the feel of real retirement. When she retired, our life pattern had changed so much, that she had to really juggle & struggle her time to manage life.  

I felt that there are quite a few similarities in one’s daughter getting married and the retirement from work life. In both cases, you have spent quality time with your daughter and as well as at your work. Some people get involved a lot in their work, sometimes forgetting everything else in life. Such people, I am sure will find it tough to adjust to retired life. Maybe those are the people on whom the song is based!  

Friends, it is quite tricky to decide which is more difficult from the two inevitable things that are going to happen! Giving away your first “Life”, your daughter or the second “Life” when you retire from your career! I have already, done the tough one so probably when time comes for me to retire, I hope to handle it more deftly! How you about you folks? 

Blog or an Article?

Blog is defined as a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group that is written in an informal or conversational style. And an article is a piece of writing included with others in a newspaper, magazine, or other publication.  I don’t publish anything in any newspaper but I publish all my writings on my BlogSpot panvalkarpramod.wordpress.com, so now I am in two minds when to call, what I write, a blog or an article. I simply publish when I think that I am ready with my stuff. These thoughts came to my mind because after my last blog “Traditionally speaking…” Jaya felt that it did not feel like a blog. Yes I had also felt the same thing when I published it. I did not want to express my deep thoughts or conflicts and concerns in my mind, on the subject of Tradition. But it was something I felt, I must write about. When any subject starts churning in my mind, the churning stops only when I write about it.

We can say that blog is like IT industry where most are on first name basis and things are pretty informal. Article is like Finance or Engineering industry with stiff upper lip! What is easier to write? I feel that article writing is easier for me to write, because it rarely contains deep thoughts, at least for me. It is woven around  major public events or a public figure. Whereas blogs are generally about small events in personal life. It’s really funny that major public events invoke dry, maybe indifferent, thought process in me. Whereas, a very small personal event invokes a major thought process deep in my mind. In both cases it is my own writing but treatment it gets from my mind is different or maybe even indifferent! End result is also different. Why does it happen that way?

I feel that blog and article are siblings from the same mould, who think different, look different. Siblings are born from same parent but their behavior or look is quite different. This made me think of various famous pairs that exist in the world. They are very significant in our lives because of the messages they send you and thoughts they generate in our mind.

First and foremost pair that comes to mind is “Adam & Eve”! This pair has supposedly started our world and have created the society as we know it today. None of the pairs can be as dissimilar but as tightly bound as Adam and Eve. This pair is very much alike in certain aspects but totally dissimilar in many others. They have supposedly come from Venus and Mars! They are very similar about loving their kids but are totally opposite in social behavior, just to give an example. What does this relation tell us about life? Persons having totally different nature, still can work together very closely and raise the most difficult product in the world, the family! Theirs is a relationship which can be ideal relationship in the sense they have their ups and downs but finally they reach their ultimate goal in spite of differences!

 Another pair is that of Rabbit and Tortoise from the childhood stories that we hear. They are obviously very different; look at the Rabbit looking swift and sharp and young. Tortoise looking steady, and mature. What message do they give; obvious message is slow and steady wins the race! But with time, many things have changed and along with that the interpretation has also changed. Now in the fast world that we live in, the saying is be fast and furious but also make sure that you don’t relent in what your goal is! Don’t go to sleep like the rabbit did, on the way to glory!

Sun and the Moon is another pair in the same mold. These two are celestial bodies formed millions of years ago but compliment each other. We say that it is  day when we can see the Sun, but it is not night every time we see the moon. They are a pair where Sun is the boss and the Moon reports to him. Sun always shines and Moon can shine only when Sun is not there. Moon has to always follow subordinates’ role but never minds to stay in background when Sun is around. Sun sometimes totally hides or overwhelms the Moon, during eclipse. But Moon keeps on doing its routine job, always. It never gets flustered with his job or with the Sun. Consistently doing your job without ever getting into limelight is what we learn from this pair!

Santaji and Dhanaji were two warriors from the time of Shivaji. They were brave, brilliant and were not afraid to die for their king! The enemies were so afraid of this pair that enemies could not sleep well. Even when the enemies were at the water holes for a drink, any slight unknown movement would cause panic in them and they would think that Santaji/Dhanaji have come. This would make them run helter-skelter! How did this happen? This pair was the epitome of loyalty, bravado of Shivaji’s sardars and made sure that enemy was under great fear all the time. These are the qualities that can be beneficial for all us. This also indicated the fruits of being excellent and focussed in ones field.

Friends from my confusion in deciding about my piece of writing, if it is a blog or an article, I ended up writing a blog about different pairs that we encounter in real world. I was able to extract the meaning of the existence of such and tried to analyze their relevance and importance. There are many such pairs like, Hitler & Mussolini, Gilchrist and Hall, Ramanathan Krishnan and Jaydeep Mukherjee. These are not necessarily “good” pairs!  These pairs are always complement each other as individuals and manage to change the equation 1 plus 1 is not 2 but 11!

 Oh! I ended up writing blog, that is for sure!