Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile…!

Today is not a day of ‘Remembrance Day’ or ‘Veteran’s Day’ or even ‘Poppy Day’, yet we all agree that for soldiers who are day and night on the borders protecting us and letting us live peacefully is something we forget to thank everyday!

Being raised in National Defense Academy (NDA), Khadakwasla Pune, I feel extremely proud for the people who willingly decide to join the forces because of patriotism and in this they lose their life too. Yet, the craziness of patriotism takes them beyond death or any such fear. I have huge respect for them and when I say this my heart and eyes fills with tears out of love for them and their families.

“Born to fight, Trained to kill, Prepared to die, but never will!”

I too have family members who are in army such as my late uncle Narayanan Nair and now his son my cousin Abhilash Nair who has been posted at difficult areas and when I say difficult it is at the borders of Siachen where it’s piled with snow and due to the huge mountains even getting any help such as food and other grocery materials is difficult and takes months to reach. Sometimes it’s the weather and at times the firing is taking place and it’s not safe for the army to deliver food and water to these forces who are at the border keeping us safe.

Siachen Glaciers

“Soldiers sacrifice their life for their nation. It doesn’t mean that they don’t want to live”

I know my cousin had to go through difficult times in life at this young age, when his dad was not well. One can only imagine how tough one has to be to focus at the border and not think of your ailing dad. He used to apply for leave and it used to get rejected because of the duty that he was in.
I am sure my cousin had gone through times when he must have felt like to leave the job and be at his father’s service but then there’s always that bigger service we end up with when it comes to your country and its people.

Kargil Area

It was tough for him when he used to get notified by his family that dad is at his last stage and then some miracle would happen and he would get discharged from hospital. He did take leave and come and spent time with his ailing dad. But in going through all this pain he didn’t lose his focus and dedication towards his work and he did a great job. He was returning back to work from his leave and only to hear that his Dad has left this world. It pained me as he was my uncle and I can only imagine what he must have been going through. That’s the life of a soldier no matter what happens at home your duty is to serve and he did a good job on that.

My Cousin Receiving ‘Best Soldier’ award

It was such a proud moment to hear that he was awarded “Best Soldier in Kargil Brigade“.
It’s not easy when one hears that they son or relatives or anyone to that matter is posted in Kargil specially after the 1999 Kargil War where lot of people died from both sides. It’s a sad feeling. Yet my cousin went there and did his job fearlessly with all dedication. I salute him !!!!

“Appreciation goes a long way as a motivator”

I am sure his dad is not here in this world but he is watching him from far and blessing him.

May my uncle rest in peace and my cousin keep rocking !!!

“Life is about creating your own happiness and before you know it, blessings of love will find their way into your heart” ~ Brigitte Nicole

Jai Hind!!!

~ Dawn

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Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.

Have you ever felt this way every? Where you have a lot to write and share about but when you sit to write, you are thinking which one to write first. Because there’s so much going around and mind is running at a speed to all those topics while the visuals are seen on the screen of your mind which stay for seconds and they pass on to the other.

“Absurdity is the ecstasy of intellectualism” ~ Criss Jami 

The fact is that everything is so fast and changing by seconds. We don’t even enjoy or reflect on something that has just happened to us or even experienced by us. What’s the fun in that if we don’t enjoy? If we don’t slow down to taste that feeling then what’s the worth of all our effort?


The other day I was thinking about how much I used to write letters, the handwritten Inland Letter. Yes, I remember writing letters to my aunt, my grandma, my cousins, authors, poets and my penpals. My inland letters to them used to fill in all sides meaning it has 3 pages and I remember almost every time I had more stuff to write and it used to go outside of my letter too and I used to use the space outside of sender’s address area :).
Yes, that’s how much I used to write and probably because I like to write and share my letters used to be such that everyone has expressed that they felt as if they are talking to me in person. The way I look at it today is that those days we used to reflect and think and then used to write which made lot of sense and when we think and reflect we have better ways of expressions.

“We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience” ~ John Dewey

I remember because of my letter writing habit and skill, my Mom used to ask me to write a letter to her best friend who was our neighbor for quite sometime and then later they moved to another state in India as part of job posting. All my Mom had to tell me was you need to write a letter to my friend, and then she might share one or two points that she might have received from her friend’s letter. Based on those 2-3 points entire story was created by me and then when I read out the letter loud to her she would beam with smile and happiness. She would say this is how exactly I wanted to write to my friend and you have very well expressed that closeness in this letter and she used to be so happy.
My Mom had a weakness, when it comes to letter writing she was very lazy. I remember she was lazy in writing letters to her Mom and Sisters, hence when I started writing letters everyone connected through my letter and got the updates from our side of everyone’s well being.

“To write is human, to receive a letter : Divine” ~ Susan Lendorth

I always felt letter writing is a gift in true sense. I used to spend hours and hours for the people whom I am writing and it shows my affection and closeness for them. When the other end receives my letter they get the exact feeling and warmth that I had packed for them in that letter through my words of affection, care and companionship. I walk with them through that letter sharing my journey and making sure they are also enjoying their journey which I used to get back in their replies.


These days it’s all about emails and hence the thoughtfulness and warmth is lost. It looks very formal and business like, where instead of bringing people close the distance is getting wider. I miss those days and hence, I have decided to take this letter writing seriously and believe me whoever leaves an address to me I will write a letter to them.

My gift to you – a hand written letter where you will find a human sharing stories.

“Very often a change of self is needed more than a change of scene” ~ Arthur Christopher Benson

~ Dawn

Romancing my Moon!

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Picture Courtesy: Archana Singh

My craze for my moon, yes I can call him as ‘my moon’ because it’s been long time since I have been loving him. The journey started from the small window of the jeep, bus, truck, you name it and it was through eyes that we both used to glance at each other. In the beginning it felt as if we are trying to know each other and at times he made me feel that it’s only me who is there for him. Yes, it was him who made me feel that way otherwise, shouldn’t I shut the door and go to sleep at night like everyone else does?

 
After saying goodnight to him through my eyes when I used to go to my bed, through the window he would make sure I am tucked well and sleeping sound and he didn’t stop there. He slowly started walking into my dreams and look he has captured my heart fully. The days and nights that I used to think about him whether I was going to college in the bus or walking to the grocery store, a thought used to sneak in, ‘what if he just one day comes in front of me’?

“Love is when you look into someone’s eyes and see everything you need” 

The days have gone and years have passed but the passion and love has deep rooted inside that now I don’t feel that he is separate from me. He is mine and hence the closeness and my right on him. I think we have established that understanding between us because it’s our eye language through which we chat and express feelings to each other.
The night before eclipse, he was right in front of me as if just came up behind the mountain to see me. I was also fully excited to receive him with my eyes and started taking his picture. I told him I may not be getting up to watch you when you will be trying to please me in various ways. I didn’t even set an alarm. But whole night he kept me awake.

“If you have never lost your mind, then you have never followed your heart”

Like a zombie I was getting up each hour to see him and each time I saw him I took his picture. The whole night went by and early morning when I saw him filled with love in red I hugged him and slept in my bed. All that time I was whispering to him, about how he kept me follow him all night even though I didn’t plan to.
He was smiling and caressing me while saying that, this was all for you so how can you not be there when I am romancing you!

I believe he is there for me and one day I will see him 🙂

“Crazy love passes fast but the love of two crazies stays forever”

My love My Moon

~ Dawn

Life should not only be lived, it should be celebrated…!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Born and raised in a country where more than 22 languages are spoken and at least 9 recognized religions are practiced, I was a privileged citizen of India.
I enjoyed every festival luckily only because I was raised in National Defence Academy Pune, where people from all around India live and share their culture, festivities, food and clothes. This is where I learned about humanity.

“The past makes us who we are, celebrate it”.

Twenty years ago when I decided to take off to an unknown journey to Toronto Canada, I had no idea where I would land up but here too I was lucky. I landed in the month of April and by the time Christmas came I had a family here in Canada. I call it luck because knowing people in a country where you have no idea about the people, culture, weather which you have never felt before and then the loneliness all surrounded with early darkness by shortening the day – this was all new to me specially when I have never stepped out of India to experience this.

“Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know” ~ Pema Chodron

Meeting Carol on the phone while selling her a Visa card turned out to be a friendly gesture. I somehow felt the closeness or was I looking one for? No idea, but while talking to her she recognized me that I was not from here yet she loved that I speak British English and not the Canadian or American English. I spoke about India and she spoke about husband’s love for Saree. I decided to get her a saree as a christmas gift and she too took that seriously.

Before it was Christmas she came home with her husband to get Saree as her gift. More than the gift, it was her visit to make sure if there are such people who talk on the phone and make friends for real.
I helped her wearing the saree and gave some of the jewelry that will go with the outfit and makeup. She was so thrilled and to her husband Stuart I gave some roti (Indian bread) and potato sabzi along with Indian mango pickle as for early dinner.
Both of them were mesmerized by the Indian hospitality and the next question comes to me is enjoy your Christmas with family. When I heard family, it gave me the chills as my family is far away and how am I going to enjoy anything with them? Stuart, immediately guessed and invited me to his home in Milton, Ontario.

“Life is what you celebrate. All of it. Even its end.” ~ Joanne Harris

I am coming to pick you on Christmas Eve morning and I will drop you back home on boxing day :), you are now part of our family. That day and then until Carol lived I celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas as part of Carol and Stuart’s family. It was good to be part of Canadian family as it taught me about the culture, food and festivities and the way of celebrations which is different. I consider myself to be lucky and today I have my own family in Niles, California and feels blessed.

A tradition, celebration and loads of memories that I am reflecting upon today and want to say live life with happiness and joy as at the end it’s these memories which will give you much happiness and peace in life.

“I have a handful of close friends, and I have my family, and I haven’t known life to be any happier” ~ Brad Pitt

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

~ Dawn

Dear I Love You!

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Dear, I love You
Where are You
Why I miss You
When I know
I am far from You
These were the words
For You!
The voice came across

Dear, I love You
I am here for You
Always and forever
You!
They were far away
Not even reachable by highway
They were in different country
Yet,
They never stopped dreaming
For their togetherness
And kept accompanied with love
And hopeful words and expressions
The only thing kept them alive was and is
Love!

~ Dawn

I have him to rely…

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There’s a warmth in him,
A soothing care,
An inspiration to rise and shine,
A perspective to look forward,
A view that makes you fall for,
The aura that gives colors to your dream,
The hope that I can depend on him,
The dream that as long as I live,
I have him to rely…
I love him for being my strength,
For bringing my Moon to me
And soothing my nights with love ❤️
~Dawn

 

“Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.”

“A desire to help others and give to the world before saying adios to this place, it was that desire as a seed, seeded inside me and Good Gigs let that seed sprout out.

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What is born needs to be nourished well for it to grow and spread the good health across and hence Children were always special to my heart.

By helping and supporting the education for children will layout the foundation that will let these children to grow and flourish and spread the goodness across and this will multiply, so at Delta Utah my focus was children throughout and hence the planning to make sure the training we give to the teacher initiators and teachers are easy enough to adapt and in return the teacher’s roll this out to kids in an easier manner.

“Every child you encounter is a divine appointment” ~ Wess Stafford

In doing this, the preparation brought the best of the minds together to brainstorm and the outcome was incredible.

It was not easy to be frank. When we prepared our training deck, it was easy to believe that we captured every detail to show how the tool works. The challenge was how to deliver this simple deck to the teacher initiators who are actually well educated with full of awareness. Teaching a teacher is a challenge and believe me or not it needs lot of preparation, guts and confidence to hold their hands and walk along with them.

Good thing to be part of technology industry where it allows you to play with the tool and learn the hard way. To get to the level of each teacher initiator based on their understanding of the technology and then take that ride to a standard level was a worth learning experience for me personally, as it helped me to learn from the teachers and the details of the tools as well.

How to teach without intimidating and be part of the learner group to discover and explore the findings.

The teacher initiators and teachers loved each and every small thing that they learned about technology be it a copy/paste or right click and select. It taught me how simple things can bring happiness to you it doesn’t have to be expensive that costs money.

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated”~ Confucius 

Though VMware and Dell and other institutions took that expense to support this cause and the result was happiness, full of confidence, achievement and looking forward with technology in mind as a goal. It was an emotional ride for everyone be it the Millard School District High-School members, teacher initiators and teachers, people of Delta Utah or even the students of Millard School District schools – it is an emotional bonding that lead us to win everyone’s heart, it’s the people!

The personal touch with each training helped me to connect with each individual of Delta Utah that we associated with. Be it CoSN, SEDC, Millard District Office members, teacher initiators… the parting was painful yet the emails and connections through messages is keeping this bondage going with the hope to support each other going forward.

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The motivation, giving confidence to make that first mistake and letting them to correct themselves with support, perseverance, and letting others to grow is the key to be a leader.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you’re a leader.” ~ John Quincy Adams

While doing all this, there was not a single thought of what I am getting out of this because all my actions and thoughts were triggered towards to give the best to them to make a success for their day to day life. In doing so I learnt a lot from others about the approach, individual thought process, perceptions, emotions and vulnerability, those hugs and caring moments all adds up to climb the tallest mountain in the world. To let others to flourish with your support is the key I learnt in my leadership role.

There is no race, there is no game, because we all are in this game and have to make the team be comfortable. It doesn’t matter who made the goal in the goal-post as long as we have made efforts to make that goal to win the game. ☺

 

This Good Gig has given me an opening to the world which I was thinking to enter after my retirement but I guess I don’t have to wait that long if I have to do a good gig I can do it anytime. The journey continues for me… and I am happy if you want to hop along with me ☺

“Never get tired of doing little things for others sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts”

~ Dawn