Showing posts with label The Crossroads. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Crossroads. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Chilly Winds of India's Wintertime: A Reflection


"India could be a land of contrast, but I have witnessed and learned how they persevere and raise the bar towards excellence making them achieve economic progress and rising power. There may be some serious challenges confronting them, but with faith, unity, and goodwill, then India could gain something it deserves."





The wintertime in India is about to end, yet early morning is still misty and foggy while late-night gets chilly. In the daytime, the weather is a bit warm especially in the afternoon, but it is fine and favorable weather. A few days ago when I arrived on the evening of the 16th, the temperature is quite tolerable, and that I did not wear a thermal jacket compared to last year when I arrived for the first time in November when the weather is cold and chilly.

I left India in the summer of mid-April last year. It was about ten months ago and now I am back for the second time. I had a pleasant experience on my first visit since the people were nice and friendly. The warm acceptance and welcoming smile is their way of showing hospitality to visitors, and this is what I felt like when I arrived a few days ago; in return, greeting people in an Indian way 'Namaste' is a good start of embracing their culture and beliefs.

Misty and chilly morning in Dwarka, Southwestern Delhi

I never imagined that I would go to India and become exposed to its cultural and social norms. Back in the Philippines, I learned the Indian salutation 'Namaste' but later I learned its spiritual significance. It is not just a normal greeting but it means that when two or more persons meet 'the presence of God in me, meets the presence of God in you' is the real significance of this sacred word. In a philosophical context, it is right since God is present in everyone and it only needs recognition of this fact. 

People of all ages greet 'Namaste' whether at home, in the street,  in a social gathering, and even on the phone conversation. Bowing of head while putting hands together in the center of the chest shows courtesy, friendliness, love, and humility. This simple yet graceful gesture is significant even in today's time, however, I have observed that the use of this salutation is declining due to the influence of western culture. Saying 'hi and hello' is what I have been receiving. Last year, when I was in Mumbai, I have seldom greeted 'Namaste' and what I have been hearing most of the time is 'hi and hello'.

I remember when I was in elementary, we used to greet our teachers and visitors in a Filipino way 'Mabuhay' but before the 20th century ended, it was changed to 'hi and hello' which is both a formal and casual way of greetings in the west. 

In India, 'Namaste' as a form of salutation feels like being at peace with someone even without using the bowing and the hand gestures. Just uttering the word is already a humble experience like no other in the world. 

for someone who is not used to cold weather especially the winter season, it is not easy to wake up early in the morning. The good thing is that I had my winter clothing kept here when I went back home to Manila last year. Morning walk is possible but could not do jogging or any vigorous exercises on the street or else I get chilled.

Foggy streets of Dwarka in Southwest Delhi

On a foggy and misty morning, people start their day bearing the cold. They wear 
thick clothing usually made of wool while riding on a bicycle. I have seen some students chatting while patiently waiting for their school bus. It is obvious that they are tolerant of the winter season and they have nothing to complain about but to bear with it.

In Mumbai and the rest of southern Indian states, they don't get this kind of weather that northern India including Delhi is experiencing. The Himalayan region of India is very cold at this time and could even have some snow in the mountain range. The place called Dharamsala is one of the most visited places in India and most popular among foreign travelers.

In the cold weather, it is nice to have a cup of hot tea with milk or they call it Indian chai. I have learned to make this kind of beverage and it has a warming and soothing effect. Tea is a staple drink in India and the country is among the top producers of tea in the world. I like the Indian chai rather than drinking a regular tea, however, I could not miss drinking a cup of coffee since I drink it regularly any time of the day. I am in India, so I can enjoy both beverages that they can offer.

I am also grateful to been taught how to make their staple food called 'chapati and paratha'. Both are plain bread that is made from whole-grain flour, but cooking differs in thickness. I also learned to cook the 'dum aloo' which is a dish made of potatoes and some spices and it complements with the 'paratha' or 'chapati'. I eat rice as my staple food, but since I am in India, I have to learn to eat the Indian way.

It is always good to learn something new. To learn the culture and the tradition of another place is not just a wonderful experience but wisdom. In a land that is multi-cultural and diverse, there is nothing to be ignorant about, but to understand and accept its norms, beliefs, and social standing.

India may be a land of contrast, but I have witnessed and learned how they persevere and raise the bar towards excellence making them achieve economic progress and rising power. There may be some serious challenges confronting them, but with faith, unity, and goodwill, then India could gain something it deserves.

Wintertime in India is about to end while spring/summer is fast approaching, and it is like the rebirth--the restorative phase. It is the most wonderful season when the sky is clear and the weather is warm with the blossoming flowers around. I hope I could witness their celebration of the 'Holi festivalwhich marks the beginning of the spring. For now what is important is to be grateful for the learning that the winter could bring, until such time that it will come to an end--then comes the season of rebirth.


© 2013 Del Cusay






Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Perseverance in Times of Despair




"In moments of despair, you must never lose hope. When feeling down, there is a reason to rise up. When feeling lost, there is always a chance to win. Dare to persevere and accept everything as it happens. Dare to survive and live a better and fulfilling life."



Winning in life is not all about the achievement of your highest hope and aspiration. It is about the challenges that you have to go through before you reach the peak of success. Sometimes, you are on the crossroads of finding the right path and choices. However, when things go differently than what you expect, you may lose hope and feel uninspired to move forward.

Failure is part of winning if you view it with optimism. To persevere and learn from mistakes is a challenge to make you become a better person. Nevertheless, absence of inspiration could lead to hopelessness; but enthusiasm drives you with energy to keep on fighting.

Despair could happen in the absence of inspiration. In hopeless situations, you are not giving a chance for the right opportunity to come, resulting to desperate actions, that may turn into regrets and suffering.

TAKING THE CHALLENGE

Life may present challenges to be accepted and not to take something for granted. What you have gone through in life have a great impact on your self-esteem. All experiences teach you a certain lesson: to overcome weakness and to develop strength.

Unfortunately, despair is something that is surprising. You must have faith that everything has a purpose and meaning. If you persist, you will reap a fulfilling reward thereafter.

Being desperate towards uncertainties will only lead to pessimism. It will result to another problem or failure if not acted upon in a right way. Thus, there may be no other way to control of what may happen in life, but there is a way to wholeheartedly accept it.

BECOMING A BETTER YOU

Overcoming the challenges is a lifelong undertaking. It never stops and gives us the chance to become stronger and better. There is no reason to quit, but a chance to revive; because challenges may continue to strike until lessons are learned.

You must never lose hope in moments of despair. When feeling down, there is a reason to rise up; and when feeling lost, there is always a chance to win. Dare to persevere and accept everything as it happens. Dare to survive and live a better and fulfilling life.

© 2012 Del Cusay



Thursday, January 26, 2012

How Failure Turned Into Success



"In whatever way we have failed from the past or the present time, we need to redefine our past failures and realize what we did right and disregard what we did wrong and then turn that into wisdom for a winning future."


There are times when I felt like a failure when things turned out as opposed to my expectations. I have set a goal and planned about it, but in the end, it failed. It makes me feel bad and it is just a natural feeling. Nevertheless, prolonged sadness is not that good as it may invite negative and harmful thoughts.

In our lives, we have been experiencing almost everything that it may bring—good or bad. Sometimes we end up feeling lost resulting from the failure. We fail to achieve... we fail to succeed.

I heard stories from people that they failed; failed in major exams, failed in their career, failed in reaching their goals and dreams, etc. Then I realized that failure is not that bad for the reason that we can learn from these failures and use them as experience for our next success. Hence, I call 'failure'  'success in disguise'.

FAILURE IS A GREAT WAY TO LEARN

We can learn from our failure and able to recall what have we missed or what went wrong. It is an opportunity to reflect on our actions that led to failure. Likewise, we need to fail to realize that there is a mistake in the process of what we are aiming for. Thus, there is a need to correct it and be as successful as we can in our next try.

I remember way back in college that our teacher would return our essays if she can spot grammatical errors or even wrong spelling. I tried to correct it as much as possible but I had to edit my work again and again as advised. Somehow, with that experience, I have learned something useful to my way of writing, although there are times when someone has to send me a message to correct some mistakes. I am still thankful for the enthusiasm to learn from mistakes—can be considered a failure.

TRYING TO FAIL

I have tried this approach and indeed it works. It teaches me a lesson that I should never fear of failure and never chase for perfection but rather excellence.

What is good about trying to fail is that we do not have to worry about being perfect. The good thing is we just might succeed by accident. Think of great inventions by accident, they may have thought of failure, but it turned out to be another great invention.

There are times I fail, but now I do not worry about it, I just divert my attention towards more optimistic thoughts and thinking that today I fail, but next time I will have it!—gives me more courage to pursue my goals despite the odds.

TRYING AGAIN

There is no reason for us to give up, but to keep on trying. If we failed once, twice, or thrice... it is all right. It only means we are persistent with our goal to achieve. The next time we try, we succeed! We did it! Moreover, we are grateful for it.

REDEFINING THE CONCEPT OF FAILURE AND SUCCESS

We have our own definition of success and failure based on our personal experiences. For me, instead of saying 'I tried, but it failed' better to say, 'I tried and I failed, but I have learned and tried again and I succeed!'

We can be negative at times, but we need to be more balanced and weigh in the circumstances. Some of the good things in life can be attained through re-framing our state of mind.

FROM FAILURE TO SUCCESS

Persistence can have a great impact to achieve tremendous success. Just like some famous people who have persevered so many times until they achieved the status of greatness and success.

Take the case of Steve Jobs, the late CEO of Apple company. He was fired from the company he co-founded and then failed from another company he founded. However, in the end, he succeeded and gained the admiration of many people.

We may fail so many times, but if we have the persistence and the courage to face our failure, then surely we will attain success.

In whatever way, we have failed from the past or the present time, we need to redefine our past failures and realize what we did right and disregard what we did wrong and then turn that into wisdom for a winning future.

© 2012 Del Cusay