रिश्ते, आज कल…

आज कल के रिश्ते भी अजीब होते हैं

दिखावा ज्यादा, भावनाएं कम

Whatsapp ज्यादा, फ़ोन काम

कहाँ है वह लगाव वह घंटो घंटों बातें करना

पुरानी बातें याद कर हसी ठिठोली करना

पहले जन्मदिन पर आधी रात को भाई बहन जागते थे

अब “सुबह ऑफिस है” कह कर निपटा देते हैं

फ़ोन करना तो एक formality सा हो गया है

कैसे हो , क्या हो , सब ठीक है

अच्छा ध्यान रखना में सीमित हो गया है

फ़ोन भी आपको वही करेगा, जिसे आप करोगे

चार बार किया तो वह एक बार करेगा

पहले दूर होकर भी पास होने का एहसास होता था

अब तो त्यौहार पर भी फॉरवर्ड्स आ जाते हैं

वो भी अगर आप खुश करने वालों की सूची में आते हैं तो

मैसेज टाइप करने में भी कष्ट है लोगों को

Okay को K और थैंक यू को tks लिख देते हैं

हाँ सज धज के फोटो जरूर भेजते हैं

भले बड़ों का आशीर्वाद और छोटों को प्यार न कहे

सिमट के रह गए हैं, टेक्नोलॉजी में खो गए हैं

ये मासूम से रिश्ते…

जो पहले मिलकर साथ चलते थे

आज स्वार्थी से दिखते हैं वे रिश्ते

खून के रिश्तों से ऊपर हैं आज यह दिखावे के रिश्ते

शब्दों के तोल मोल में फंसे

आज मोल भाव में धंसे हुए हैं यह रिश्ते

दो बच्चों में आज कुछ माँएं भी भेद-भाव करती हैं

कुछ माँ का प्रेम भी आंशिक सा हो गया है

जहाँ मिले सुख , उधर रहना पसंद करती हैं

बुरे समय में फ़ोन पर बस सांत्वना ही मिलती है

जो भावुक हैं, आज भी अपेक्षाएं रखते हैं

अपनेपन की वही चोट बार-बार मिलती है

ये दिखावों की दुनिया है मालिक

यहाँ रिश्ते प्यार से नहीं दिखावों पे जीते जाते हैं II

—–

अनुप्रिया मिश्रा

Book Review: The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma

Robin Sharma, a renowned author and one of my favorites, who never fail to fascinate with his charming narrative, unique story-line and of course a life-transforming message. He doesn’t hide behind some twisty titles. His book titles are as straightforward as his description. I find it very appealing as that makes me confident, as a reader, whether or not the book entices me. The 5 AM Club was one such book which drew my attention amid hoards of books in a local bookstore.

I bought The 5 AM Club first thing as the lockdown regulations were slightly eased out. The last few months during the lockdown were difficult. Precisely because of the routine that was completely disturbed as stay at home was a new thing and we were all getting accustomed to it; still are. And I must confess this book really helped me to a great extent. I’ll tell you how as we move forward. In the meantime, I would like to say you need to own this book to make a significant difference in your life. Own this book to “Own your morning and elevate your life.” and bring it to practice. Easier said than done! You bet I tried hard and still trying, going through a difficult time in adapting to the things mentioned in this book. It’s not only about waking up at 5AM, it’s much more.

In the process of trying hard, I’ve faced mood swings; felt happy in the first half of the day and agitated and sleep deprived in the second. I have felt bloated with energy and enthusiasm of seeing the morning sun one day, and also felt fatigued the other day. However, despite the crankiness and exasperation, as days pass by, I feel a happier and content person. One must know, The 5 AM Club is not about the morning routine, it’s about a total transformation of how you live your life. The way you live each day comprise the way you live your life. Any good change in your day automatically results in an improved and enhanced life. You are sure to see a better version of you and this is certainly no magic or shortcut. That’s what makes this book all the more practical and logical. Nowhere does it suggest depriving yourself of anything, even a seven and half hours of sleep each night is recommended which is a fair deal. Isn’t it? Do not just go by speculations, feelings or hearsay. Robin Sharma has meticulously backed every single fact with scientific reasoning and thorough research. This is another interesting aspect of the book that will leave you in awe, driving you to be a better version of yourself. In this book, Robin Sharma has methodically put forth the 20/20/20 Formula, the 10 tactics of lifelong genius and the Twin Cycle of elite performance. You would not know the beauty of these, if you do not read through and also start bringing them to practice.

The 5 AM Club is not a preachy book with life-transforming messages. The entire book is intricately weaved around the four main characters. It’s interesting to read how the lives of these four strangers are intertwined together from the beginning till the end. You would find similarities in their lives and struggles. After a couple of chapters, you would feel deeply engrossed in the setup and characters. Robin Sharma has made a perfect concoction of emotions, drama, inspirational journey and practical theories and examples.

“Often a bad example teaches us more about who we wish to become than a good one can ever provide”—The book has many such relatable lines that would leave you to think and relate to any bad experience that disappointed you initially, but later turned to be in your favour. “Your excuses are seducers, your fears are liars and your doubts are thieves.”—So do not let any of these deter you. It’s not going to be an easy road as earlier mentioned. You would want to ditch the idea of The 5AM Club every single morning, but only a consistent effort will lead to a beautiful change and a better you, a better us and a better society in large. Encourage as many people around as possible to be the change. This book is not to be shelved, but passed onto younger generations who are gullible enough to adapt to things easily. Let The 5AM Club be the new generations’ bible while we learn to adapt to it now, because it is never too late. Otherwise, as the book says, “Too many among us die at thirty and our buried at eighty.”—a powerful line to awaken your soul and rouse you. It continues to say, “If you sense your life’s a mess right now, this is simply because your fears are just a little stronger than your faith. With practice, you can turn down the volume of the voice of your scared self. And increase the tone of your most triumphant side.” Thus, practice and consistency is the key!

Leave your comments below, letting me know what you think about of the book review. Was it helpful? Also, if you have read the book or willing to read, do share your thoughts.

Pages: 314

Publisher: Jaico

Buy: https://amzn.to/2E0aPQJ

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Book Review: The Spy by Paulo Coelho

In The Spy, Paulo Coelho shares an intriguing set of incidents related to Margaretha Geertruida “Margreet” MacLeod, popularly known by the stage name Mata Hari. She was a Dutch exotic dancer and courtesan. She was convicted of being a spy for Germany during World War I.

The beauty of this book by Coelho is that it revolves around a real character with real incidents with a touch of fiction. Little did I know about Mata Hari before I got my hands onto this book. Perhaps that was one reason to stay glued to the book other than the captivating style of writing the author possess. The story begins drawing an imagery of a strong and independent woman and of course not on a very positive connotation, “Her only crime was to be an independent woman.”  This gives a subtle underlying message of a woman who has lived on her own terms and has not been treated well by the society. The first few paragraphs in it unfold the challenges Mata Hari had faced from being penniless when she arrived in Paris to being an affluent dancer within a few months. A couple of pages in the book only talk about the luxury items she used to carry in her suitcases while she used to travel from one part of the country to another for her dance shows.  She was as bewitching a courtesan as she was a dancer and ‘the era’s richest and most powerful men’ dreamed about her and some of them also made up to her.

Various events in her life unfold and have been presented in an exceptionally dramatic and fascinating manner, so much so that I could not stop myself from going over and beyond the book to know more about Mata Hari. And, to also probably relate how much of what Paulo Coelho has written is her real life and how much of it is a fiction. Paulo Coelho in his usual style has managed to generate curiosity around the protagonist and score brownie points for revealing a character not many know in today’s world. The lady dancer was having the best days of her life, breaking the conventions, setting her own rules, raging popularity, getting attention from all influential men until she had to pay a hefty price.

The scene moves to World War I, when the country was only suspicious about each other’s activities, Mata Hari’s lifestyle came to question. She was arrested on accusation charges of espionage. The story moves in the form of letter exchanges between the protagonist and her lawyer. She was alleged to be a spy agent for France and Germany. Part of the story also traverses through her thoughts between writing letters and waiting for the final verdict. She discloses various events of her life from being sexually abused by her school principle to receiving materialist favors against sex to her other encounters with men and eventually self-realization of how wasteful her life had been.

She has been projected to be guilty of the choices she made and her heart full of remorse and repentance except considering working as a spy when she says, “I am a woman who was born at the wrong time and nothing can be done to fix this. I don’t know if the future will remember me, but if it does, may it never see me as a victim, but as someone who moved forward with courage, fearlessly paying the price she had to pay.”

Somewhere the book lacked the charm of a typical Paulo Coelho book, mainly because unlike his other books, there was no takeaway for the reader. Despite portraying a strong renowned character, the feeling of content and joy to know such a character was somehow missing. Had it not been for the love of author I enjoy reading, I would not have picked up this book. I’m sure it impacts differently to different people as those who would have known about her history and grew in Holland, Paris hearing about her in stories would be able to relate better. While I did my petty research to do a comparative study on the amount of fiction and reality that’s been presented in The Spy, I came across an exciting piece on National Geographic, exclusively on Mata Hari if you may wish to read more about her (https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/magazine/2017/11-12/mata-hari-history-killing/).

Pages: 186

Publisher: Penguin

Buy: https://www.amazon.in/Spy-Paulo-Coelho/dp/0143429167

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Death is Never an Option

Losing someone close to you is painful, however what’s more painful is not being able to comprehend the pain a person must have been going through when he was alive. The entire nation is mourning over Sushant Singh Rajput’s unfortunate and unnatural death. People are also emphasising on mental health and with open arms welcoming people to pour their heart unto them. Then the same majority is busy trolling the Bollywood bigwigs on promoting Nepotism. I fail to understand why people are so judgemental all the time. Not a single being on this earth is a pure soul. People who leave no stone unturned in pinpointing others are full of profanity. They are the real troublemakers.

I am extremely heartbroken with Sushant’s death because it reminds me of losing someone dear under somewhat similar circumstances. Having said that I am absolutely not in favour of blaming anyone and putting them down because then there’s no difference between something that may have worried the passed away actor and our actions. Everyone has their own fate. Life’s full of struggle and you got to face the challenges and be strong enough. Someone has rightly said, “Tough times never last, tough people do.”

Our society is full of hypocrites. They are best at humiliating someone by their own damn statements. Targeting someone in particular can lead a person in the same situation as other. Stop bullying! Which industry doesn’t promote nepotism? I have worked with big media houses all my life and I hated this industry only because of the nepotistic approach, biases and ruthlessness. Although I have always and throughout loved my work, not the double standard people I’ve worked with. Giving up is never a solution, fighting and overcoming every bit of a challenge is.

Not sure what mental state of a person forces him or her to take this extreme step of suicide. I’m sure it’s just in the spur of a moment. I neither promote this act nor do I hold respect for people who take this dire step only because it’s not the person who dies, it’s also the family and friends whom he takes along. Some crucial part of his or her loved ones always go with the person who departs from this world.

Everyone makes way through hardships on his own. Some get the support from “godfathers” and some may not reach to that height because they had none, and it’s absolutely frustrating but fine. Live with it! Either learn to bend or learn to accept and move on. There’s no way one can break you until you do.

Who doesn’t have problems? Who doesn’t face difficulties? Who doesn’t face sarcasm and bully? Who doesn’t have to fight hard with the system and wrong practices to make space for themselves? Everyone has to and so have I. Plenty of times!

I feel proud to have stood strong and faced the problems all alone. I never stood silent, always fought for what was wrong. Yes, the outcome was either I was pushed to extremes or I moved on. In both the situations I was always content that at least I spoke and fought for my rights or for the rights of other people. This is no great act, it’s normal. Why am I sharing this is so that more and more people can speak up against bullies.

I had a boss who misused his power in order to control people. He treated people like bonded labours, shouted at them in a way that even your parents would not have yelled at you that way. You would feel ashamed of working in such an environment, coming from a decent family and professional atmosphere. Some managers make people work with respect and some with fear, he used the latter. He would make everyone work 16 hours and inhumanly call you the 20th hour for more work and then even shout at people, insult them for hardly any fault without appreciating their efforts even for once. I was stunned. Why? Because I had seen people tremble while talking to him, they fumbled because of the fear to be shouted and insulted more. Moreover, in my entire career of almost fifteen years I had never come across a manager like that.

I had worked in professionally sound places and having a sound work culture. Even in my family had I not seen anyone raising their voice on any individual. This was terrible, shocking and inhuman. I flagged some of the issues, knowing nothing would happen because I was trying to raise concerns relating the top guy who can use/ misuse his power. Sure, nothing happened as expected but there’s always a sense of satisfaction to give him back as he would think twice before ill-treating others.

Speak up! Bring to light such bullies and idiots who think high of themselves. If you do not speak up neither would you be at peace nor would this professional manhandling stop. Fight it out and don’t give up. Be it any industry, you’ll always find such people. Bring them to limelight so that their acts are known to the world. Do not leave it on people to speculate. Dying is not a solution! You can save so many lives by guiding them from taking one wrong step. Remember, God is your saviour and He always has a bigger plan for you so don’t be afraid and don’t give up on life. All God wants is to see you fight through.

If you have faced something similar please share in comments and leave your thoughts.

For regular updates you can also follow me on Instagram @appy.tales

शहर छोड़ दिया मैंने

दो वक़्त की रोटी को मैं निकला था गाँव से

अम्मा बिलख-बिलख रोई , बापू भी थे बौराये से  

क्यों जाते हो शहर को, इन खेतों को पीछे छोड़

अपना घर यह गांव है, बाकी सब है माया मोह

न आई बात समझ तब, चल दिए सीना चौड़ा कर

शहरों में पैसा है, गाँव में आखिर रखा क्या है

एक छोटा सा है खेत, खून पसीना बहे अपार  

आंधी तूफ़ान आये और कर दे सब बेकार

गर आंधी से बच जाए धान, कितना मै पाउँगा

कुछ आ भी जावे तो क्या ही बचाऊंगा

अरे घर कैसे चलाऊंगा जब है बड़ा परिवार

इसलिए अनसुनी करके, निकला था लाचार

किया मजूरी, धक्के खाए, सहे हर हालात

भीषण सर्दी गर्मी में न लौटा अपने गाँव

गांव जहा थक जाने पर माँ गर्म दूध पिलाती थी

नीम की ठंडी पुरवाई सारे गम भुलाती थी

कुछ पैसों के लिए बनाया अनजान शहर को अपना

आ पड़ी विपदा जिसका नाम था कोरोना

हालात फिर बदले बोला निकलो अपने घर

ये शहर नहीं था अपना, कोई न था हमदर्द

चल दिए पथिक हम वापिस अपना झोला लेकर

क्या होगा आगे इसकी किसी को न थी खबर

न जेब में पैसा, न ही खाने का कोई ठिकाना था

चल दिए हौसला लेकर, तिनके सा कोई सहारा न था

कितने मीलों दूर चलें, चप्पल ने भी साथ छोड़ दिया

दो सूखी रोटी खा के, गाओं की ओर रुख मोड़ लिया

फटी बिवाई, निकला खून, तार की उन सड़कों पर

जो शहर को जोड़े गाओं की उन कच्ची गलियों पर

वो लम्बा सफर तय कर, अधमरा सा घर पहुंचा हूँ

अब लगा यहाँ अपनापन, शहरों में बस धोखा है

सब भागे कमाने की खातिर, न मनुष्यता, न प्रेम है

जहाँ देखो वही बस इंसानों की होड़ है

नहीं चाहिए ज़्यादा पैसा, करनी नहीं मजूरी  

गाँव मेरा घर है, शहर जाना नहीं ज़रूरी

दो वक़्त की रोटी, यहीं रहकर कमाऊंगा

अब शहर नहीं जाऊंगा, अब शहर नहीं जाऊंगा

Wrote this a month back in the plight of migrants during COVID-19, posting it now. Hope you like it. To follow my daily updates and content follow me on Instagram @appy.tales.