include_once("common_lab_header.php");
Excerpt for Giving, Wings To My Dreams by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Giving, Wings to my Dreams

Nila

Giving, Wings to my Dreams
Written by
Nila

Smashwords Edition
Copyright 2018 Nila

Edited by Nithya, Ramji and Kalyanam

Title page and pictures drawn by Kala Natarajan

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without prior written permission of the author / publisher; except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews.

All characters appearing in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.

By the Divine Grace of Lord God Lahari Krishna

Contents

Preface

Chapter 1 –The prisoner of biscuits

Chapter 2 – The dazzling dance of the gold fishes

Chapter 3 - It takes guts to say “No"

Chapter 4 - Fruit Giving Life

Chapter 5 - From cute caterpillars into beautiful butterflies

Preface

Young and active minds, when in action, are beautiful to behold. We are enriched with imaginative possibilities, creative solutions and limitless energy to positively transform every problem into interesting opportunities. We dream to achieve big and inspire the entire world, but only until the shadows of reality shroud our dawning dreams. Gradually we let our own dreams vanish into thin air. Fearing contrived scarcity and desiring shortcuts to success, we are caught in the universal trap of fears and desires. For the past ten years, I was controlled by such fears and desires. I let my Wings to get clipped and allowed my dreams to be snatched away. Yet, silently, the other side of me was sadly yearning for those unfulfilled dreams of mine and countless others like me. I took a decision, stepped back and introspected. Now, I have a fair idea of how I allowed myself to get enslaved. Like a lighthouse that guide ships to get through the perils in rough seas, I hope this book guides you to steer through your challenges to Give Wings to your dawning Dreams. I also hope that this book reminds those who forgot their Wings, to reignite their lingering dreams and fly high.

Writing has always been my passion. Unaware of professor's lectures, seated in the first row in the class, my mind always yearned for those dark clouds and wild greenery outside the college windows, which used to transform into rhyming lines in the back of my notebooks. I begin my journey to Give Wings to My Dreams, through sharing positive ideas, which gives me immense peace. Thanks to all those who helped me make this book a reality. Thanks for reading.

Chapter 1

The prisoner of biscuits


The purple case of my newly bought smart phone was lit dimly. My daily alarm's faint rings slowly started singing, turning into a blare that filled my entire bedroom. Like a conditioned circus mammal, my hand automatically unlocked the phone and I read “Prayer hour". With the usual hesitation, I retired back into the comfort of the early morning slumber evading the gentle light that progressively peeped in through the crevices of the purple window curtains.

In another hour, the same uncomfortable peal steadily filled my bedroom again along with radiant yellow rays that lit the room with its aura of ambience. Only this time it was "Exercise hour". The warm and cozy comforter magnetically pulled me inside and said, "Just five more minutes...". Finally, an hour later, the same peal eventually pushed the panic button and triggered a series of daily chores. It prepared me for the day ahead with a half-awake brain, accustomed to be in the comfort zone of panicking. Choosing commute over the breakfast that deprived my brain of the juice to wake from its deep slumber, I reached the office just in time for imminent calls and multiple high priority emails. Fighting my way through the seemingly endless array of equally important, highly critical issues, I worked until late midnight, looking back to the solace of the same comforter without even the faintest idea of my purpose and destination in this frantic journey.

Digging wells on tsunami beach!!!

“There is no substitute for hard work” Thomas A. Edison. I breathed these words day in and day out. Working hard I cleared as many issues and completed as many tasks out of that never-ending array of critical issues. I aimed to produce the best results and succeed in my profession. I wanted to reach the top of the corporate ladder. However, in those fleeting moments of haste, I failed to notice what I was actually doing. I was blind to realize whether my profession was actually aggrading me as a human being every day or whether I was improving the lives of those around me or even if I was working in congruence to my values, beliefs and principles.

I felt like, I was digging wells on a beach for a long time now without any purpose. I worked hard to dig as many wells as I can. After a while a huge shadow enveloped me. Some of my colleagues got promoted. Some others were transferred to a beach in client location in foreign country to dig wells there for a huge remuneration. What did I do wrong? Why did I not move up the corporate ladder? Of course, “Only the squeaky wheel gets the grease”. I didn’t squeak. I didn’t get anything. I joined the crowd, squeaked loud and felt my movement up the corporate ladder. I was successful. However my potential was never tapped. I was frantically fighting with an ocean of people through a single corporate ladder. You can imagine the picture in your mind. I looked around. I saw many people with great talents given up to, anxiety, stress, dejection, frustration, anger, bitterness, envy, greed and many more such darker feelings. We were all prisoner of biscuits. These biscuits were laid as breadcrumbs all along the ladder up to the top. The huge shadow, which enveloped me earlier, now eclipsed the whole beach. I turned and saw this huge wall of water that hit me unawares and displaced me completely. That is when I realized that the shadow was cast by a huge tsunami called, recession.

The cute little girl and Mr.Rotoprace

An elderly gentleman, Mr.Rotoprace boarded a passenger train with a cute little girl Kerrow. Kerrow was active and bustling with energy. To keep Kerrow quiet and ensure a peaceful journey for himself, Mr.Rotoprace thought of an idea. He promised Kerrow that he would buy her an ice cream when the journey ends. But there was a condition. Kerrow must behave well throughout the journey. The child, though restless, forcefully controlled her instincts, remained calm and kept repeatedly asking Mr.Rotoprace “When will we reach”? Finally, the destination arrived. The child was excited. She was eagerly expecting the ice cream. As promised, Mr.Rotoprace took her into a shop, but to her dismay bought a small candy instead of the promised ice cream. Kerrow was bewildered. She yelled, wailed and her joy dissolved into sad tears out of dejection.

The ice cream was the biscuit (pay rise, promotions, perquisites or hugely remunerative client location opportunities). When I pictured myself as the cute little girl, I perceived how I screamed and yelled when I didn’t get the biscuits from my employer. I realized how easily I got deceived like that small child. Usually, my positive attitude would immediately jump in and say that, "I will work harder and smarter. I will keep giving my best. One day I will end up at the top" and the race will go on. However, this time I felt different. I saw no valuable purpose in this race. The race seemed never ending. There was no winning ribbon. There was no destination.

Panacea - Where art thou?

I needed some time to be alone. I silently made my escape to the vacant office balcony. Down below, streams of lights were moving through dark channels, merging and splitting at various points, between tall towers of lighted skyscrapers. Vehicles madly honking and rushing with little idea about the true purpose of their journey."May be they are rushing towards the solace of their comforters…,” said a sublime voice. Startled by these words, I veered and saw a dark, tall and strong man in his middle ages in a checkered suit looking at the crowd below. Large forehead and majestic shoulders characterized his calm and pleasant looking face. Still fixed on the crowd he continued in his assertive tone "...happy with their life of known variables. They do not have a moment to stand aside and take a deeper look at their own lives. They neither remember what they once dreamed to be, nor realize what they have actually become..." and my eyes sunk again in to the tide of lights in tune to his words, as if like a nocturnal peacock, dancing in tune to the song of showering clouds.

Looking below, I chuckled and thought why they are in a mad hurry. What worries stress and fears might be driving them day in and day out? Is there a deeper hidden purpose buried underneath? For a succinct moment, I felt like I am one of those lights darting down below. I sensed a strange connection with every word that I heard from this stranger. After that abrupt silence, it suddenly occurred to me that the stranger had read my mind. I turned immediately to ask him how, but he was gone. Though the stranger vanished, his sublime voice and inciting words lingered in my mind. A microscopic flame was lit in the darkest depths of my heart, rekindling a lost spark. The feeling of being tantalizingly close to remembering a part of myself, which I lost somewhere down the journey of my assumed busy life, kept me awake throughout that night. Slowly, past memories began to flash before my eyes.

Paradise regained

In the early days of my professional career, I enjoyed attending parties or official treats. Even the word “Glutton” felt insulted before our voracity for newer dishes. During one of those occasions, as usual, we ordered too many dishes. Apparently, we were unable to eat them all. One of my colleagues requested the restaurant to parcel the remaining food to give it away to any poor and needy people. As we walked back to our office after the heavy lunch, our tired and sleepy eyes were scouting the pavements for someone who might be in need of food. Finally, right in front of our office premises, we found two young kids playfully toddling ahead. My colleague passed on the parcel to me.

The elder of the two kids was a girl, may be eight or nine years old. I slowly called her in a mild voice. She did not hear me. My colleague immediately gave a holler. The girl veered and stared at me. I extended the parcel. Before I voiced my request, the child got afraid, stepped back and was about to run away. Immediately, I pacified her with a soothing voice and consoled her that there was nothing to be afraid of. Then, the fear in her eyes gradually receded and a childish inquisitiveness filled those cute eyes, which were currently fixed on the parcel in my hand. In a calm voice, I requested her, “We have some food here. Would you like…” Before I even completed what I was saying, those inquisitive eyes looked straight into mine and were transformed into a fountain of happiness. I couldn’t speak further.

The truth dawned

Though my face smiled when I handed over the parcel to the child, my heart concealed a shrieking pain that I never felt before. At the same time, I felt an invaluable peace filling me, which I realized only now. Those eyes filled with ecstatic joy, the memory of which was lost for a very long time, buried deeply among those invisible biscuits and delusional worries, resurrected. After many years, I recollected that moment and I saw her cheerful face again today. Thanks to my friend at the lonely balcony.

It took me a while to travel back to the present. I realized that as long as I was recollecting those invigorating moments of tranquil in my life, I was never thinking about the lost biscuits. I felt completely insulated from my self-induced race, stress and worries. The biscuits vanished. I did not feel the self-inflicted dejection anymore. On one hand, I felt a panacea, which filled my heart and energized me for a few beautiful moments. On the other hand, I gazed at the invisible biscuits dangling before me, threatening me with fears and commanding me with desires to return to the race. The race was not the solution. My heart knew that, but my mind felt helplessly driven into the race again. I felt comfortable only, within the walls of my self-imposed prison, to be a prisoner of the biscuits. Just then, I remembered the words of my dear stranger. “What did I dream to be? (Astronomer?) What did I actually become? (Astrologer!!!)” How did they end up as absolute opposites? I once allowed desires, fears, doubts, worries and stress to enslave and chain me within the strong walls of my comfort zone. Now it is time for me to break free.

The journey to the lighthouse

Till the last year of my college days, I had beautiful dreams. I believed that our human life was much too worthy to be spent worrying about anything. Worries don’t solve problems, only solutions do. I always wanted to be a solution provider. However, at the all important, critical and pivotal moment in my Life, I transgressed from my purpose, principles and beliefs. I allowed false fears, desire and vanity to entice, encumber and smother my clarity of thought.

During my college days, my friends and I were a cheerful lot. In the final semester of those carefree college days, the fears slowly set in. What I thought to be the island of paradise was steadily sinking. One by one, my friends were leaving the island with good jobs in reputed organizations for attractive salary packages. Gradually, social pressures mounted up inside my head. I became desperate for a job. I did not think beyond my comfort zone. I was afraid of the majority. I forsook my natural talents. With fears frantically pushing me from behind, I was blinded to the right choices. With dazzling desires attracting me I was pulled towards the wrong choices. I consciously fell for the universal corporate trap. I became part of this mad crowd of zombies. Once inside, I was methodically broken down and eventually I too chose to chase the biscuits. This is how I was a prisoner of biscuits for almost ten years.

This introspecting internal conversation kept me awake the entire night. At dawn I felt as if I woke up from a long dream of captivity after almost ten years of deep slumber. I wished for an option to rewind my life and go back to that moment in my life when I chose my profession. I wished for a lighthouse to steer, clear off my assumed fears and attractive desires that deceived me. Though I cannot change my past, I can provide that lighthouse to all those professionals who are asleep as I was before. I can provide that lighthouse to all those students who are about to stand at the same threshold where I stood almost ten years ago to Give Wings to my Dreams. I Dream to provide that lighthouse through this book.

Chapter 2

The dazzling dance of the gold fishes


Post recession, with my career displaced and a contrived scarcity thrown at my face, I had to consciously choose between one of the two paths laid before me.

Path A: I accept the existence of “Cut-throat competition” and choose the path of “Survival of the fittest”. I ensure that my employer notices only my wells. I ensure that my colleague’s contributions on my wells go unnoticed. I maximize my reward at any cost. I narrow my vision to look out only to provide for my future.

Path B: I broaden my vision to instill a solid character into myself to be a strong citizen who can provide for many others. My every action must add strength to my character. I must leave a lasting positive impact. In my profession, I must realize that I am accountable for my wells. However, I am responsible for my entire team’s wells. If ultimately, my profession erodes my character, I immediately choose a better profession. Holding on to my principles, keeping fears and desires at bay, I must consistently march towards my dream profession.

HappyCows”, but no milk

Arjun, a small-scale entrepreneur, bought a dairy farm and expected it to produce a certain quantity of cow’s milk daily. Unfortunately his dairy farm produced no milk. He hired the services of a famous organization “HappyCows”. “HappyCows” specialized in fixing this kind of issue. HappyCows assigned a manager, Indran for this project. Indran studied all the existing processes, identified deficiencies and established many new efficient processes. The diet system of the entire dairy farm was upgraded scientifically. The living conditions in the dairy farm were made absolutely congenial for milk production. The milk extractors were replaced with new state of the art machinery. Still the dairy farm produced no milk. Frustrated with the results Arjun sought the help of his friend, Krishna. Krishna went down to the dairy farm physically, toured the entire farm and exclaimed to Arjun that there were no cows, but only bulls!!! However efficient Indran’s processes were the bulls obviously never produced any milk. Now it was imperative that, there will never be even a drop of milk in Indran's way, Path A.

I felt like I have been running inside a suspended rotating wheel all these days. I ran faster. I felt more efficient. But the wheel never moved an inch. I did not progress. I was not effective. I was deceiving myself with false progress, tying me down to Path A with fears and desires. I never reached my destination. In fact, there never was any destination in Path A. The winning ribbon was an illusion. The race was never ending. My colleagues were either a suck up to the management or they had their own ways to milk the employer’s immaturity. I felt accountable for my own wells. But I never felt responsible for my team’s wells. Consciously or subconsciously, all of us were choosing Path A day in and day out.

I decided to choose path B. By choosing path B, gradually, I will be able to influence others to choose Path B. A parrot living in the captivity of a cage cannot teach freedom to a squirrel afraid of leaving the tree. Choosing Path B was not only pivotal to build my character, but also to provide a strong foundation, build a wonderful future and positively influence my encircling environment. Engulfed by doubt, fear and desire, choosing path B was very difficult. But path B was the only way to reach my destiny. There was progress only in Path B. There was milk only in Krishna's way. I realized that the competition was contrived, the scarcity was faked and the situation was only a test of my character. I broadened my vision and saw the bigger picture, "the world after my time". In Mr. M.K. Gandhi’s words, we need to "be the change that we wish to see" in others. I chose to change. Nevertheless, change was a patient, continuous journey and every journey begins with a destination in mind. To know this destination I asked myself, "What can be my profession”? Profession is a means to ends. For some people, profession is their daily livelihood. For some others, profession is a symbol of status. For some others, profession is such a stress that they die so young. For a rare few, profession is a consistent fun that adds years to their life and life to those years. They inspire their environment with hope, patience, faith and compassion. I want to get into the beautiful world of those rare few.

The existence of “Sphere of Harmony”

In a world ruled by chaos, fear and greed, it is easy to miss simple truths. For example, the fact that my impatience is being tolerated confirms the existence of a patient soul and the fact that my ego is being satisfied confirms the existence of a loving compassionate soul. Cumulating all such opposites, I began to realize the existence of a “Source” between the “Givers” and the “Takers”. Both are sustained by the Source. This Source expands and contracts when we Give or Take. Therefore, the Source is a living pulsating sphere, like our heart, which has a rhythmic beat. Knowing whether my action is an act of Giving or an act of Taking, I can ascertain whether I am progressing towards the Source (whether every action of mine is helping to sustain the source even after I am long gone) or retrogressing (draining the very Source that sustains me).

Odwims and the gold fishes.

The naturally scenic village of Herat was along the glacier-fed ferocious and roaring river of Esarapid. All through the year, Esarapid danced and gushed through the meandering streams, splashing on mammoth water-cut rocks. On the bank of Esarapid, was the wise well of Odwims. Before winter, Esarapid flooded the well of Odwims with hundreds of gold fishes. When the floods receded, the gold fishes found themselves trapped inside Odwims. All the gold fishes trembled in fear of desolation, suffocation and hunger. However, the wise well of Odwims offered a solution. Odwims declared that, “All of you must dance happily together daily early morning and evening. One day all of you will reach Esarapid.” The gold fishes felt much relieved.

For a few days, they danced merrily. Whenever they danced, all their bodies shimmered with the lustre of gold. However, there was no sign of improvement. Nothing changed. They were still inside the well. The gold fishes gradually lost their belief on Odwims and became irregular in their dances. Many of the fishes quit dancing. Following others, Diber the indolent, also quit dancing completely. Soon everyone quit dancing. A few weeks passed by and winter set in. Small pieces of ice formed on the surface of the well water. To feed her creative juices, Diber carved a cozy place out of one of those small pieces of ice for herself and her loved ones. Following her lead, others also made cozy homes out of all the remaining pieces of ice for their loved ones. In the next month the winter intensified. The surface of the water completely froze. The severe winter storm filled the well completely with snow and covered the entire well of Odwims. Unaware of this, the gold fishes were still sleeping in their cozy homes. Gradually, the winter caught up with them. They started shivering in the severe freezing winter.

Diber realized her foolishness. Freezing in the biting cold, she slowly made her way to the bottom of the well. With whatever remaining strength she had, she "danced". In those dark depths of the well of Odwims, her countenance slowly started gleaming again. Seeing her, one after the other, the entire colony realized their foolishness. They too made their way through the freezing cold to the bottom of the well and joined Diber in her glittering dance. The collective dance produced a brilliant sparkling lustre and gave warmth to all the gold fishes. From then on, all the gold fishes danced together every day in the early morning and also in the evening shining with brilliant radiance. After a few weeks, the snow above melted and gave way to a warm stream generated by their dazzling dance. The warm stream flowed into the middle of Esarapid, which was the only thawed part of the river. The gold fishes made their way into Esarapid. Reaching the warm under currents of Esarapid, all the gold fishes breathed life.

As long as the gold fishes lived only for their own good and the good of their loved ones, they shut themselves up inside their cozy homes of comfort. They were all spiraling down to their doom. They were selfishly Taking from the Source. The energy reserves were draining. The Source was diminishing. Due to fear, laziness, frustration and finally anger, they remained shortsighted. They failed to see the bigger picture, the downward spiral, leading to desolation and utter destruction. Eventually, they were about to perish. But when Diber trusted Odwims completely and took a bold, determined, immutable and selfless decision to abandon her comfort zone and danced with joy, the entire colony followed her. Each gold fish's dance gave warmth not only to her but also to the entire colony and saved the entire colony with the breath of life. Of such importance is the “act of Giving” that, it is the only way to sustain the Source that sustains us all. The act of Giving, lead the gold fishes in the path of peaceful, contented, principled, loving, caring, compassionate, confident, energetic, helping, fearless and serene life with unbreakable confidence on "abundance for all" from the divine. The entire human life is a journey towards being a better soul, eventually becoming completely selfless and one with the Source. Such a soul has truly lived a “fruit giving life”.

Chapter 3

It takes guts to say “No"


Corporate Trap, The Art of Deception

As a child, I remember visiting the crowded vegetable market place with my dad. Standing on one end of the road, I saw so many shops. I used to wonder whether the road ever ends. On both sides of the road, there were long series of small vegetable shops. There were no exact partitions between these shops. Each small shop had its own vendor. All the shops had dry thatched coconut tree leaves for roof. A small bulb was hanging from the top and glowing in the middle of each shop. The entire street was always crowded with tides of people swarming along the sides of the shops. For my young eyes then, a stride through the market was a swim through an ocean, especially on mildly drizzling evenings.

Now, I am a grown up professional. I work for a huge corporate, which dictates my own life to me. These days, huge organized air-conditioned super markets have replaced the old markets. I don't carry cash, but cards (biscuits) given by my corporate. My corporate decides where I choose to buy, by telling me that the card will work only with certain vendors. It decides what I choose to buy with its partnered vendor discounts and offers. It decides where and when I should spend my next family vacation. From toothpaste to tax payment, I empowered the corporate to own my life.

It has created a virtual world around me. This virtual world is a huge prison built with all my fear and greed put together. Unaware of the reality, I live inside it blindly following my employer’s rules. I have trained myself to feel comfortable only inside this virtual world. Outside is scary. Eventually I am trapped inside this virtual world.

Let go of the biscuit.

In the movie, "Honey, I shrunk the kids", after the four kids get shrunk and end up outside the yard of their home, they ride on the back of an ant to get back to their home. One of the kids riding atop hangs a piece of biscuit in front of the ant. As the ant moves to get the biscuit, the biscuit keeps moving, and the four kids get a good ride. In the end, one of the kids gave a small piece of that biscuit to the ant. In the corporate world, I was the ant. My employer rode on my back hanging the pay raise, promotions, perquisites and client location opportunities in front of my eyes. I kept running after the biscuits. I believed one day I will get all the biscuits. But it was my employer who actually got his free ride on my back.

As long as I chased these biscuits, I "chose" to “Take”. When I chose to show my colleague in a bad light just to get to an advantageous position near the biscuits, I chose to Take. When I chose to omit to give the due credit for someone else's hard work, to cause them to lose their chance to get closer to the biscuits, I chose to Take. When I took advantage of those who deserved my love and my time and used their time to work hard and get closer to the biscuits, I chose to Take. I chose to Take. I chose to Take. I chose to Take. All through this race, I tried harder and harder to get closer and closer to the biscuits, keeping the others in the race, as farther away from those biscuits as possible. One day I was very frustrated. I thought of quitting the race. Immediately, I got a small portion of those hanging biscuits and I continued running again choosing to Take. This went on until one fine day when I got completely exhausted and my employer hired a new ant. I was cast out like a withered flower.

Either I need to find a new employer and a new race for my survival or I must choose to wake up. I chose to wake up. There is an undying dream in me that the biscuits never quenched. Still, it was not easy to say “No” to the biscuits. Holding on to my dreams, it took an enormous courage, strength, boldness, heart and will power to say “No” to the biscuits and get out of the gravity of my comfort zone. I chose to let go of the biscuits. Only after letting the biscuits go, I saw how skewed my profession was in relation to my principles, values and beliefs. The dark clouds of fear cleared away. The imaginary worries about the biscuits disappeared. The constant agitation of mind due to the competition for the imaginary biscuits completely faded away. I felt a new vigor, courage, peace, clarity and calm that gave me a clear vision of my true value and the original purpose, which I once held on to. I saw exceedingly many wonderful opportunities bickering to be chosen from. My eyes were blinded to these wonderful opportunities until then. Now they were open. With the newly revived strength, I marched towards the inner extreme of the Sphere of Harmony, the pulsating Source.

Satyavan and Savithri

Satyavan was a computer game addict right from his young ages. He played many different computer games, hours together, daily. As he grew older, his passion for computer games also grew along with him. He was very addicted to computer games that he started playing those games in his mobile phones during office hours deceiving his employer. He even installed one of those games in his employer’s client computer and played the game. He also spent a lot of money on those games. Soon Satyavan lost his edge in his profession. He lost his hard-earned money just for the pleasure of playing those games. His life was falling apart in the personal, professional and financial fronts. He trained his mind to accept the world of the games as his real world. He felt comfortable only inside that imaginary world. In the real world, he felt completely uncomfortable, even with his wife, Savithri. This was his self-imposed prison. He created a fictitious “need” inside his mind for the games. He could not even breathe without the games.

One evening his wife, Savithri, out of love, begged him to spend a few minutes with her to stroll in the moonlight. He acquiesced. He left his mobile phone at home at Savithri’s request and took to stroll with her. On the way, they saw a blind old man sitting on the pavement asking for alms. Savithri had no work to earn money. However, she had some savings left with her. Savithri placed whatever was left of her meager savings into Satyavan's hands and asked him to give it to that old man. After Satyavan placed the money into the cup in front of that old man, the old man searched for the cup and felt the money. The old man was overwhelmed with tears of joy and blessed Satyavan. Savithri and Satyavan strolled around a park in silence. There were no words, not even a sound. Until they reached home, Savithri held on to Satyavan's arm. Then Savithri hugged him for a few minutes and silently went back into the house.

Satyavan stood there in silence for a few minutes. He felt that Savithri had given all that she had, only to bring him back out of the hellhole. Now she had nothing left. Two forces were pulling him simultaneously. On one side, the fictitious need to Take was pulling him, even though Savithri had nothing left to Give. On the other side, the unconditional love of Savithri, earnestly urged him to say “No” to the games and choose to Give to Savithri. Satyavan was swinging like a pendulum between the choice of Giving and Taking. He was unable decide. He just closed his eyes, opened the door, walked straight into the bedroom and hugged his wife. Savithri burst into tears. Satyavan's need to Take, dissolved in those tears.

The next week, Savithri was busy with some work. Satyavan had nothing to do. He slowly recollected how he used to enjoy those games. Though the need dissolved, the want to Take still remained. Nevertheless, he made up his mind not to go back to that game again. Just to while away the time he was browsing the new games that came into the market. One of those games looked appealing. He just wanted to check out the game play. He installed the game and explored the game play. Slowly unaware, he immersed himself into the game and had already spent more than two percent of his monthly salary by that evening.

Satyavan felt despicably weak and depressed. He was angry with himself. He closed the game, left his mobile and went out to meet the old man. With the old man’s permission, Satyavan took him to a nearby restaurant and bought him dinner. They both had a nice time together. Satyavan returned home peacefully. From that moment, he felt that the uncontrollable urge inside him to play games had dried up completely. He easily overcame the urge or the need to Take from Savithri. That was the last time Satyavan ever saw that old man. A few months later, Satyavan and Savithri celebrated their wedding day. It was the happiest wedding day of their life. The surprise gift they received on that day was the cup they saw in front of the old man at the pavement. The cup had the following words engraved on it. “To Satyavan and Savithri, Selfless love never fails – Signed Mr. G”.

The Burning Coal

Even though the biscuit disappears, the taste remains. The biscuit is deceptively powerful that it can snatch back my Wings deftly. Until the red-hot coal abates, the fire is not out. Even a mild wind can bring the devouring fire back to life. In the same way, even after letting go of that biscuit, only my fictitious need to Take, stopped. The desire or the want to Take still remained. All it took was a bigger piece of that biscuit to get me back into that race, running madly behind the new bigger piece. This reinstated the fictitious need to Take. If there is one thing that these corporate giants are good at, then it is in producing bigger and better biscuits to keep me permanently in their frantic race. Bhagavad Gita says, “Desire is an insatiable fire". These biscuits make sure that, this fire keeps burning and ensures that the coal remains red hot. Therefore, even after letting go of that biscuit, I was not out of the trap. Only the fictitious need to Take disappeared, but the underlying desire or the want to Take remained. The taste of the biscuit still persisted.

Even this desire or want to Take vanished, only when I tasted the true "Act of Giving". The moment I Gave unconditionally to those toddling kids out of my freewill, without expecting anything in return, a part of me, which was dormant until then, woke up, danced in joy and filled me with an inexplicable ecstasy. The Act of Giving rediscovered my lost self and reconnected myself to my younger innocent self. By returning to my innocence, I blended with the Source, by realizing that the true purpose of my existence was to choose to Give. I felt my Wings and I started flapping them again.

Flapping my Wings

"Irrespective of the results obtained", if writing this book fills me with peace and recharges me with positive energy to continue writing, then I am Giving Wings to my Dreams. On the other hand, if writing this book, drains the life Source off me, then it is not my dream. Nevertheless, I am a step closer to my dream. I tried out my dreams. I consistently listened to my heart. I kept “Flapping my Wings”.

A mind that is inclined towards art would thrive in professions in music, art, literature, photography, theatre and similar areas. A mind that loves reasoning would thrive in professions in analytical reasoning and logical deduction like computers, programming, engineering, law and similar areas. Those who are more people oriented and patient souls with high sensitivity towards others would thrive in professions in nursing, caring, medicine and similar areas. The list goes on.

Due to false fears, desires and vanity, if I choose a profession, which is incongruent to my nature, I stress myself. However positive my attitude be, I will not reach my destination, as I am traveling down the wrong path. I will not feel peaceful in my profession. I become highly susceptible to choosing the wrong paths of actions to keep thriving in my wrongly chosen profession. Eventually I join the group of Takers, who drain the Source and drive this world into its downward spiral towards its ultimate destruction.

Even if circumstances force me to choose a profession, which is incongruent to my nature, I must always remember that it is only a short-term solution to my immediate problems. I must keep flapping my wings in parallel. This way I keep my wings strong and never forget my wings. I do not get stuck to the ground or sucked into my assumed profession. I keep reminding me of my true purpose and Give Wings to my Dreams when the moment is opportune.

I am gifted with a mind that flourishes and rejoices in a particular profession. That is the profession, which is completely congruent to my nature, my principles and my “deepest true belief”. In this, I will not feel that “I” am doing something. I will feel positively driven to action. Whatever actions I do, I will feel as if it just happened through me, by the grace of the Divine. Finding the true profession that energizes me, drives me to action and fills me with peace is an individual search. I underwent that self-introspection or soul search on my own. That search began only after I let go of the biscuits. Only then, I felt my wings, flapped them and flew away.

Sir M. Visvesvaraya saved many people from floods and famines. He built monumental dams, which are architecturally renowned engineering marvels, even today. He loved to envision those structures saving many lives and dreamed many development projects. Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam took Indian space research and defense to a completely new level. He envisioned a new India inside the young generation. The first woman officer in the Indian Police Service (IPS), Mrs. KiranBedi, transformed Tihar jail, from a breeding ground of criminals into a reformation center. She envisioned prison reformation as the way to make human life better. All these people were the ‘best’ at what they did. All these people consistently aimed at improving the quality of human life. They strived to build a better tomorrow, to leave a healthy legacy, not for their immediate kith and kin, but for all the future generations to come. If there is a single common thread that binds the actions of these people, then it is the act of Giving, which Gave Wings to their Dreams.

I imagine a completely new world where each one of us Give Wings to our Dreams. Our world will be a productive, growing, abundant, active, healthy, selfless, beautiful, harmonious, orderly and peaceful world. I want to live in such a world. I want to give such a world to my loved ones and all the future generations that are yet to come. With the biscuits gone, realizing my Wings, I keep flapping my Wings and flying towards my dream profession.

Chapter 4

Fruit Giving Life


After a cataclysmic event on earth, Thomas, Rajesh and I were left in complete darkness with abundant food to sustain our life. Of the three of us, Thomas was an obtuse minded, frivolous stupor, given up to sloth, sleep and error, who loved to be lost in daydreams. With a huge stockpile of food and pleasant breeze, Thomas was happy to be idle. He was content with eating, sleeping and spending the rest of his life in the pitch darkness under the safety of the FREE food stock. On the other hand, I was a sagacious person who was calm, composed and prudent. I was ready for action. I was always in search of light, but was never worried about the results. In fact, I regularly ventured out to neighboring territories in search of light. Finally, Rajesh was a passionate, zealous person, who was very much worried about the fruits of his actions even before moving a muscle. Rajesh was energetically excited at the thought of light that, each time, he listed out all possible pay-offs. Rajesh was very anxious to join me in my search for light. However, the thought of venturing into the darkness and the prospect of getting lost and losing the abundant food stock always kept him in restraint.

One day, I was in my routine search for light in the vast darkness. I was trekking the last place in my list of neighboring territories. By then I had already made a mental map of all the nearby terrains based on my local explorations. I could visualize the windy fields of the northern valley, the sweet waters of the southern river and the scented sandalwood forests of the west. Every day, I hoped, prayed and searched for light. These marvelous wonders of nature must be revealed to our eyes some day. The eastern explorations revealed only tougher terrains. However, on that day, I was lucky to hit a promising pathway. Therefore, I continued my search slightly longer than usual. Still there was no sign of light. Just when I was preparing to return, I was startled by a monstrously horrifying howl in the distance.

A strange sense of fear clutched my heart, which was already pounding heavily. Was that a predator sensing the vicinity of its prey? My legs were frozen. My throat was parched. My tongue was dry. I was not able to hear my own call for help. I was not even able to whisper. To further my horror, I did not know if the beast was aware of my presence. May be I was hidden from this monstrous predator. By moving, I might announce my presence to the beast. I could neither stay there in that horrific darkness, nor move an inch out of terror. I was confused in chaos.

That is when my ears where filled with the most mollifying nectar of a sound, I have ever heard in my whole life. The frightening growl that terrorized me suddenly changed into a metallic clang!!!! The picture of the dreadful beast vanished in my mind and in its place appeared a hand with a hammer hitting a metal. The beast that was terrifying me was not out there, but was inside my mind. It was the fear of the unknown. Nevertheless, this experience tamed that beast. It was because, instead of avoiding the metallic clang for what it might be, I chose to explore and find out what it really was. Was that another person in search of light like me? With a controlled excitement and tamed fear, I crept stealthily ahead in the promising pathway. As I moved closer, the faint noise grew into heavy pounding and eventually amplified into deafening hammering. I sensed that I reached the source of the sound. Suddenly abruptly the hammering stopped. Then, a slow humming started and steadily increased into a whirring as if a wheel was rotating. The place where I stood suddenly illuminated with bright white light.

The white light glared fiercely at my eyes. I felt like looking at thousand suns at the same time. My eyes closed automatically out of immense discomfort. The soul drenching brightness, which evaded me all these days of my painstaking explorations, that incandescent light was staring straight at my face. I somehow felt that bright light touch my soul deeply and fill me instantly. It took me quite some time to accustom to that sudden brightness. After all, it was so many years of stumbling, tripping, falling down and getting up in the sea of darkness, trusting that someday the lovely light will be back to help us. After a short while, I saw clearly and I was in for a second surprise. I was inside a room. Gold colored curls of wooden shavings were strewn all over the floor. In addition to this, there were carpentry tools, a huge machine and a stationary bicycle in the centre. Surely, somebody was working hard on something for a while and that “somebody” was sitting on that stationary bicycle pedaling it.

The circular wheel of the bicycle was connected to the huge machine in the centre of the room using belts. The man on the bicycle greeted me with a sublime voice and introduced himself as Mr.G. He was a dark, tall and strong man in his middle ages. Large forehead and majestic shoulders characterized his calm and pleasant looking face. He told me that he fixed a generator that produced electricity and light. However, to operate it, someone has to pedal the bicycle daily. I was ecstatic. I was so overjoyed to see, touch and feel the color, shape and size of every object in the room. I was unable to believe my eyes. My dream became true. With charged light sources, I will go beyond the fields of the windy northern valley and climb up on the mountains to explore distant terrains. I will build rafts to cross the sweet southern rivers and also see my reflection in the water. My newfound joy knew no bounds. It was paltry to thank Mr.G even thousand times a minute, forever. I was exceedingly excited that whole evening chatting with Mr.G.

I told Mr.G about us, Thomas, Rajesh and Myself. I told him about my journeys to the windy fields, sweet lake and scented forests in search of the eluding light, which he has bestowed upon us. I told Mr.G how excited we were to have him with us. I urged him to come with me to meet Rajesh and Thomas. Mr.G acceded. When we reached home, the place was already illuminated brightly. I introduced Mr.G to Thomas and Rajesh. I narrated all about what happened that day, from the beast in the darkness to the man on the bicycle,Mr.G. Thomas and Rajesh were jubilantly thrilled. We offered Mr.G to stay with us. Mr.G accepted gracefully. That night the four of us decided to pedal the bicycle in turns every day. Every day one of us took our turn to the “Light Hall”, that is what we called it, pedaling the bicycle, while others enjoyed the fruits of the labor.

Rajesh already commenced working on his ideas. He installed a food processing plant. Initially Rajesh shared free processed food samples. Thomas and I accepted it immediately, while Mr.G acquiesced. After tasting them, Thomas became a regular customer. I bought them rarely whenever I felt bored with the usual food. The free samples had no effect on Mr.G. He never felt the need for processed food. Thomas was disinterested in working for the sake of any benefits from the Light or the electricity. He was edgy about his shifts. Still he agreed to run with the pack, might be due to initial excitement. The result was we always had light. We cleaned our place. I created some charged light sources and used them for my distant explorations. I also built a raft and made small trips into the sweet southern lake waters. I shared my experiences and findings mostly with Mr.G. Rajesh showed interest only in those findings that benefitted his business. Thomas was nonchalantly indifferent to any of my findings. Unlike us, Mr.G never did anything for himself. Whenever Mr.G was around, we saw him working on improving our living conditions. If Rajesh or I needed any help on our activities, Mr.G helped without the slightest hesitation. Otherwise, he disappeared into the darkness for his prayer in solitude. Mr.G was always active.

For a few months, the routine went on fine. Life was much better than before, until Thomas began rocking the boat. He became irregular in his shifts to the “Light Hall". This resulted in intermittent power outages. I did not go out on my long expeditions anymore. My light sources were needed during the power outages. Rajesh's business profits dwindled. During these times, I spent my time mostly with Mr.G. I joined Mr.G in his daily chores and accompanied him in his prayer. Mr.G taught me how to pray. Rajesh on the other hand, was very much worried about his business. He was furious with Thomas. Thomas was absolutely unmoved. In fact, Thomas broke the “Light Hall” pact. He stopped making it to any of his shifts. Rajesh hated Thomas. I tried to talk some sense into Thomas. Thomas was completely heedless. Just then, it happened.

Mr.G put himself on double shifts and took up all the shifts of Thomas. Thomas was happy to get back to his older routine of doing nothing. Even taking half of Mr.G's shifts was humanly impossible. Rajesh's business flourished again, but he saw that Mr.G was becoming weaker, thinner and paler day by day. But when I looked at Mr.G, I saw a happier, peaceful, selfless soul. Even after all these strenuous shifts, Mr.G never missed his prayer. Days, weeks, months passed by. Suddenly, one day, we did not see Mr.G anymore. Mr.G disappeared. He just vanished after his shift to the “Light Hall” and his subsequent prayer. Rajesh was upset and blamed the loss of Mr.G on Thomas. Thomas was apathetically impassive. I was upset that I was not able to have those soul enriching conversations with Mr.G. At the same time, I was happy that Mr.G is free from the inhuman shifts that he undertook daily. I searched the neighboring terrains but there was no sign of Mr.G.

Rajesh was furious with Thomas and lost his mind. It seemed more due to the loss of his business, rather than the loss of Mr.G. Rajesh closed down his business and stopped doing any more shifts. He said he would not reopen his business until Thomas comes back to work. Thomas was happy to return to his indolent and inactive life of sloth, sleep and error. Thomas was back into his usual life of darkness, while Rajesh was unable to forgive Thomas and accepted darkness. My shifts alone were highly inadequate. There were huge power outages. This time I did not talk any sense into Thomas or Rajesh. Instead, I took all the shifts every day. Moreover, I prayed daily as Mr.G taught me. I was surprised to find that I was able to drive my body beyond its limits doing everyone's shifts daily. Though Rajesh kept advising me that I must not do this, I still heard Mr.G's sublime voice from inside me, which motivated and helped me to keep going on. Life became much simpler and easier. There were no hard feelings. My heart, felt blissfully light. Finally one day I felt no more external need for anything, food or air or light. Rajesh and Thomas did not see me anymore. Then I saw Mr.G. We were so happy to see each other. With tears rolling down our eyes, we hugged and kissed each other.

Chapter 5

From cute caterpillars into beautiful butterflies


Robert and his caterpillars

Robert had two cute little pets, Lammy and Sammy. Robert loved them a lot. They were like the pupils of his eyes. He loved them, fed them, played with them, and protected them from all the perils. Of the two, Robert cared a little more for Lammy. It is because Lammy was weaker than Sammy. Therefore, he needed more care. Normally Sammy climbed leaves much faster. Lammy gave up half way. Still, Robert never lost heart. Every time, Robert kept whispering into Lammy’s ears. Then, Lammy slowly completed the rest of the climb. One fine day, Lammy and Sammy, wrapped themselves into their cocoons. Robert was excited. He was eager to see what kind of beautiful butterflies Lammy and Sammy were turning themselves into. In the meantime, Lammy and Sammy were slowly developing themselves into beautiful butterflies inside their cocoons.

After a painstaking long wait, Robert saw some movement in the cocoons. Both Lammy and Sammy were slowly breaking out of their cocoons. It was tough for Robert to see his lovely friends struggling fervently hard to break free out of their cocoons. Still he decided to wait. Gradually, one of Sammy’s wings popped out of his cocoon. It was a beautiful royal blue with dazzling black spots outlined in half white. Robert was thrilled. After an intense struggle, Sammy was completely out of his cocoon, cheerfully fluttering his beautiful wings in front of Robert. Robert was awe struck and amazed. But Lammy was still struggling. By now, Lammy brought only one of his wings out. It was an even more beautiful lime green with black spots outlined in light yellow. Tears rolled down from Robert’s eyes in joy.

Slowly Lammy stopped struggling. Robert did not know what happened. Lammy’s other wing did not come out. Robert was deeply worried. He went near Lammy and saw that there was no movement. Is Lammy dead? Robert’s tears of joy turned into sadness. Nevertheless, Robert did not lose hope. He prayed. After some time, Robert decided to help Lammy. He went near Lammy and whispered to Lammy. Lammy gradually started showing some movement, struggled even harder than before and ultimately broke free out of his cocoon. Lammy and Sammy merrily fluttered their wings gracefully as if like a dance in a duet. Robert also danced and jumped in ecstasy.

I am a beautiful butterfly waiting to be born. I am a caterpillar now. I will wrap myself into a cocoon soon. Then I will forcefully break out with all my strength as a matured, tested, trustworthy, self reliant, bold and beautiful butterfly. Helping me to break free out of my cocoon, handicaps me permanently. I must break free out of my cocoon on my own, independently. That is what develops me completely. This fight defines the rest of my life. That is a fight I “choose” to fight on my own.

From an immovable object...

From getting up late, following panicked routines, missing brain refreshing breakfast, getting caught in busy traffic, getting yelled at by hot tempered boss, shuffling through an unorganized heap of ceaseless work, up to getting back to home late in the middle of the night and sneaking tiredly back into the cozy comforter, I was always a caterpillar in the cocoon of my "comfort zone". I built this tree house inside my mind over a sustained period of time. Inside this tree house, I felt completely safe. I believed that I was happy with all that I had inside this tree house. I strongly believed that there was no need to venture out of this tree house. I believed it so strong that, even when my gravest need was staring straight at my face, and the sweetest opportunities that never manifested even in my wildest dreams were banging on my door, I forsook the opportunity and forwent that need altogether, only because taking action meant stepping outside of my tree house.

My comfort zone was extremely powerful that it was stopping me from realizing my true potential every time. It was the gravity that held me to the ground and gradually grew stronger over me and turned me into an Immovable Object. Bhagavad Gita says, "Desisting from action, you cannot even maintain your body”. The fight for Lammy and Sammy inside their cocoons was not easy. Nevertheless, it was that fight until they broke free, which defined them. In the same way, it is my fight to break free out of each of my comfort zones that will define me.


Continue reading this ebook at Smashwords.
Download this book for your ebook reader.
(Pages 1-21 show above.)