Cooperate unconditionally with the inevitable present

The present moment is inevitable. What happens in it is inevitable. So, why are we resisting the present moment?
The beauty of Life resides in the moment. In the present. Whatever you may do, you cannot prevent the present. You can grieve your past. You can worry about your future. But you can do nothing__other than live through it__about the present moment! Before you know it, it is here. In front of you. And you are in it! And then it is gone. And a new present is born. So, how can you ever avoid the present? It is impossible. As people who have gone through a basic education, who like to live Life by understanding it better, this one powerful unputdownable thought should lead you to a lifetime of peace and bliss.
Spiritualist and writer Anthony D’Mello (1931~1987) shares a parable that goes like this: 
“What is the secret of your serenity?” asked the disciple. 


“To cooperate unconditionally with the inevitable,” answered the Master.

So beautiful. And so simple. As you finish another week reflect on this thought. Resolve to accept, collaborate, partner, and be in the inevitable present. Cooperate unconditionally with it. See how it transforms your Life __ helping you stay happy and peaceful__ despite all your circumstances.

Sunny Leone is more spiritual than most people around us

Important Note: This Blog will continue to feature my daily blogposts. In addition, on Sundays, public holidays and long weekends, I will feature The Happiness Road Series and my #HelpYourselfToHappiness Vlog Series!
Here’s today’s blogpost!
Spirituality does not impose any conditions on your being. It is the flowering of inner awareness that brings you to be present in whatever is.
Sunny Leone
Picture Courtesy: Internet
There’s this whole song and dance, well we can call it drama too, over Bollywood actor Sunny Leone’s interview with CNN-IBN’s Bhupendra Chaubey. I have not seen any of Sunny Leone’s movies nor have I dug up her footprint, as an erstwhile porn star, online. I have also had no interest in any interview she has given up until now. That’s when my friend BG’s story on the actor and her interview appeared in The Hindu this morning. Now, BG’s someone I respect a lot. And his concluding line, “…Until now, she was a small-time actor, the interview made her a heroine.”…caught my attention. So I googled and pulled up Chaubey’s interview with Leone and watched it. I not only concur with BG’s perspective but I go a step further: I don’t just think Leone is gorgeous-looking, sexy if you will, I believe she’s very, very, spiritual too.
I have no comments to offer on Chaubey’s interviewing style or the quality and tone of his questions. That’s his way of Life. So, my perspective here is not because I disagree with what Chaubey asked or did, but is here because I agree with, and can relate to, everything that Leone said. It takes an evolved person to say that I have no regrets about the past. And Leone does not just say it, she says it with a deep conviction. She says, “ …Everything that I have done in my Life, has led me (in)to this seat…it’s a chain reaction that happens…everything is a stepping stone…when you are young you make decisions that lead you to who you are as an adult…” To me, Leone’s interview offers an unputdownable lesson in spirituality. It left me admiring this young lady for her ability to hold herself up with dignity, when so many people are hell bent on judging her. Watch the full interview here:

I make no comparisons here. But interestingly, at the recently concluded Hindu Lit for Life event, ace photographer Raghu Rai, who was in conversation with renowned art editor Sadanand Menon, said something very similar: “I am just a sum of all the experiences I have been through in Life. Everything that I have done in my Life has made me the person that I am today.” Everyone who heard Rai share with Menon came back feeling reflective and spiritual.

And truly, that’s all there is to Life. We all are a product of the time and the experiences we go through. There’s nothing right or wrong about the choices we make. Each choice leads us to another one and that one leads to yet another. And through choosing, falling, crawling, getting up, flying and falling again, we learn to choose better and cruise along in Life. Leone’s choice of opting to be in the porn industry was not very different from my choice of having been a salesman early on in my career or Rai’s choice of being a news photographer for several years. In the end, really, no experience is a waste and no experience is bad. Each one teaches you something, provided you are willing to learn.

As I see it, there’s a lot I can learn from Leone. She displays humility, acceptance and a keenness to just let things be. For instance, she says that she has neither been “haunted” or “held back” by her past. She tells Chaubey that she does not want to think of a future – of acting with a big star like Aamir Khan – that is not yet born: “At this moment I don’t know (about the future) any better.” I wish, instead of bringing a hypocritical sense of morality into play, that people pause and reflect on Leone’s interview for the honesty she inspires through it. That and her ability to be who she is, celebrating herself, without any regrets of a past that is dead and gone, and without any anxieties over an unborn future, are very spiritual qualities.  To me, those qualities make her more spiritual – and not just sexy – than most people around us are. 

On why do ‘bad’ things happen to ‘good’ folks?

‘Good’, ‘Bad’, ‘Right’, ‘Wrong’ … all these are societal labels. In reality, Life simply boils down to events and choices.
Something happens to you. It is an event. How you react or respond to that event is your choice. Period. When events meet or exceed your expectations, you label them good. If they don’t, you label them bad. If a choice you made delivers the outcome you expect, you call it good. And if it does not, you call it a bad choice! Simple.
Last evening, over some exotic Moroccan Mint tea, someone who had heard of our story and my Book asked me how could a ‘talented’ couple like Vaani and me be put through such a ‘trial’ by Life? This is a question that we are often asked. And I don’t have a very elaborate answer. The one I have is this…

Talent. Trial. Time. These are three things that we always obsess about. We think we are talented so we must be successful. We believe because we are good folks, Life should not try us! And we always want to be having the time of our lives – the way we want it! To be sure, talent and trial have no correlation. Often, we wonder why should we be tried in Life when we are talented, intelligent and ethical? Why should ‘bad’ things happen to ‘good’ folks? We must remember that talent is what we are endowed with; that includes the ability to deal with all kinds of trials and tribulations in Life! Trials are what we are and will be faced with. Both talent and trials are Life’s ways of making us who we must eventually be. And time is the eternal healer. Time is the catalyst. Time eventually makes us complete. When it is time to be tried, we will be. And when it is time to be toasted, we will be! So, if we give up the expectation that talented folks must not be tried, and learn to flow with time, we will never agonize in Life! We will be blissful!






Last night, as I caught Yash Chopra’s 1965-classic Waqt (Time) on TV, this iconic song played on aptly. The lead lyrics are aage bhi jaane na tu, pichhe bhi jaane na tu, jo bhi hai, bas yahi ek pal hai…meaning that you don’t know the future, you can’t do anything about the past, all you have is this moment, the now, to live in! So, peel off those labels. Don’t obsess over whether your choices are right or wrong. Just be happy you made one! Just be – live – in the moment. For there is no right or wrong, good or bad. Your Life, at the end the day, is all about choices you make in response to the events that happen to you!

Get drunk on Life: it gives you an unputdownable high!

Learn to postpone worry! Be in the moment!
Yesterday, I got some quiet time to myself at a café. I find it absolutely necessary to remain silent for some spells – at least one – daily. I use this time to pause, reflect – and importantly to postpone worry!
To be sure, I make a list of all the stuff that worries me – and I have enough and more to worry about, just like you have – and bucket them into two lists. Stuff that I can act on and resolve over time. And stuff that I can’t resolve. Those that I can work on and solve, I convince myself that I need not worry about them. And those that I can’t solve myself, I convince myself again, that I must not worry about them either. This is how, methodically, practically, logically, I postpone worrying on a daily basis.
The biggest benefit of postponing worry is that you are available to the now – and are present in the moment. No past. No future. Which means no grief, anger or guilt over what has happened – the past. And no fear, anxiety or worry over what may happen – the future. No past. No future. You are just present in the moment.
In the present moment there is just beauty. There is complete magic.
Last evening, while at the café, it rained like crazy for about 40 minutes. It was a very heavy downpour. It was also the day after Diwali here in the south of India. Most services were still not available as most people were on an extended festive vacation. I wanted to get back home. But no Uber cars were available. And it was impossible to step out because the rain came down pelting. I stepped out onto the balcony at the café to gauge the intensity of the rain.



A cat meowed incessantly in a corner of the balcony – perhaps feeling wet and cold in the rain. The café had festive, decorative lights running around the trees on their premises. In the rain, these lights came alive differently – they felt surreal. And the rain created a music which was at the same time intense and sublime.

I was reminded of the opening lines of a Kumar Sanu number from Sir (1993, Mahesh Bhatt, Naseeruddin Shah, Pooja Bhatt, Atul Agnihotri) which goes: “Sun, Sun, Sun Barsaat Ki Dhun Sun…”. It means, “Listen, listen to music of the rain…!”

I spent several minutes staying immersed in the music that the rain made. At another time in my Life, in such weather, I would have preferred to drink my favorite whiskey while watching Amar Akbar Anthony(1977, Manmohan Desai) – perhaps for the millionth time! But, over time, I have learned that you don’t need an induced, artificial intoxicant, to get a high. You can get an inexplicable, unputdownable high if you know how to get drunk on Life by being present in the moment. Perhaps that’s why Jalauddin Rumi, the 13thCentury Persian poet has said this of Life: “Be aware of the pure wine being poured. Don’t complain that you have been handed a dirty cup!”