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Fear of Losing a Relationship

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: https://www.banjaraacademy.org/fear-of-losing-a-relationship-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

Relationships affect our happiness more than anything else. We look for our own needs in close relationships (whether we admit it or not) and our expectations from them are often very high. We get hurt by slightest actions or words of our loved ones. Relationships are dynamic, and they have to be nurtured at all times.

Defined and labeled relationships are slowly giving way to more of the undefined ones, relationships of convenience, etc. All the more reason that we need to invest in relationships that are important to us.

Fear of losing relationships can be due to (1) death or (2) separation. How we need to deal with these two fears is completely different. In both cases, understand yourself first, be aware of your good and bad qualities, strive to make yourself emotionally likeable. Be aware that “What I am” is different from “what image I project.” At all times avoid Dependency, Craving, Obsession. Clinging to a person only worsens the relationship. Do not look in black and white – no relationship can ever be perfect.

Fear of Losing a Relationship

If you have past bitter experience of losing someone, do not bring those memories into your current relationship. Similarly, be aware that relationships deteriorate slowly, and we realize only when things get very bad. Ask yourself if you tend to desperately hang on to dead, dying or even suffocating relationships. Break free.

When facing differences, argue on issues, not on personalities. Be constructive when complaining to the other person instead of pointing fingers. Identify the fears in your mind, and rationalize them. Do the “Worst Case Scenario” introspection, and – hope for the best while you prepare for the worst. In extreme cases, remind yourself that at times losing a relationship opens the doors to other deeper ones, and a better quality of life.

If you feel that you “cannot live without him/her”, then do ask yourself why you are incomplete without another individual. Build your self-esteem. Relationships sustain best in the long run when there is no dependency or force.

Fear of Losing a Relationship

Sometimes you may be scared to allow someone to come too close, for fear of loss of the person later. If so, ask yourself: By trying to protect yourself against hurt, are you missing out on getting happiness?

Accept the fact that there is no such thing as “permanent” relationship. We may lose our loved one to death, distance, change in lifestyle or withering away of the love. Work on your important relationships when things are going fine, and ensure that when you are alone you will not be lonely. If you practice the tips I have given above, you will never go into distress whatever happens.

“Never try to maintain relationships in your life, just try to maintain life in your relations”

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Why numbers are so important to us

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: https://www.banjaraacademy.org/why-numbers-are-so-important-to-us-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

I often wonder why numbers are so important to us: businessmen want more customers, multinationals set higher and higher yearly targets, religious gurus want more and more followers, ordinary people want more friends on Facebook – in fact we patronize those who have large number of people accepting someone. I see people rushing to buy something just because there is a big crowd and the stocks may get over(!) Even with a religious Guru I have heard people say, “You should go to him, thousands come to listen to him.”

Why numbers are so important to us

As far as I am concerned, I feel that lesser the numbers, greater is the personal touch and better the interaction/ understanding. To get gyan I would love to listen to someone who has the time and patience to talk to me alone. I thoroughly enjoy listening to retro music sung by my friend Ganesh, who doesn’t mind singing even if there is a total audience of two.

I will be very happy if five people read this little write-up of mine, and I will be grateful if one genuine friend sends me a greeting. In fact I feel the lesser the number of people greater is the personal touch, the individuality and the warmth. But perhaps I am a small minority who thinks that way (see, I’m going into numbers again!)

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When disparity goes beyond tolerable limits

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: https://www.banjaraacademy.org/when-disparity-goes-beyond-tolerable-limits-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

We hear that back in History there were cruel kings and landlords who used to keep the masses in abject poverty, while they enjoyed unlimited luxuries. We believe that now in a democratic set-up with equal opportunities, the differences have been brought down to a great extent.

When disparity goes beyond tolerable limits

But when I look deeper I find that the rich-poor gap is widening again at an alarming pace. I see some people with mediocre capabilities working in multi-national organizations or having businesses earning unbelievably high incomes. And I still see capable and sincere school teachers and salesmen who earn not even 10% of the former. Is this trend going to continue? As an ardent reader of history I have seen that whenever disparity goes beyond tolerable limits, there is an upheaval, and society undergoes transformation.

When disparity goes beyond tolerable limits

Where are we heading? But this is just armchair thinking on my part, maybe soon we will be able to say ….

“Aaall izz well.”

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Feeding With Our Loving Words

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: https://www.banjaraacademy.org/feeding-with-our-loving-words-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

It is said that one billion people go to bed hungry for food every day, but two billion people go to bed hungry at the end of the day for a kind word! Some of these two billion are around us, close to us. They may not talk about their emotional vacuum or their loneliness. They may accept it as part of life. But what does it cost us to give them a little Tender Loving Care, maybe just a few warm words? We cannot feed many people, but we can certainly feed with our loving words. I’m trying to do that as a regular daily routine. Do you?

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Festivals - The Never-Ending Stream

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: https://www.banjaraacademy.org/festivals-the-never-ending-stream-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

The New Year has begun and has erased whatever has happened in 2017. Sankranthi and Pongal marked the first major festival, and many more will follow in a never-ending stream. Different people celebrate their own festivals with fervor. Some do participate in others’ rejoicing too. There are the old timers who spend days preparing for festivals and religiously follow all rituals. There are many more who are quite secular – they use every festival to break out, get out and enjoy partying!

While we should respect all faiths and their festivals, is it not high time that we kept our celebrations and rituals private, after office hours, and get down to work? Let us declare holidays on Independence, Rajyotsava, Gandhi Jayanthi and such national occasions and come together to celebrate our great country and our unity.

Republic Day is nearing. Shall we all raise a toast to the greatest republic of the world and do something good to bring every Indian closer to each other?

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The Real Start-Up

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: https://www.banjaraacademy.org/the-real-start-up-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

In the morning when I am walking down to office, I encounter a person who would not be less than 60 years old, frail, thin, tattered clothes. Pushing a cycle that looks older than him, he is on the rounds selling "kotha-miru". His hoarse call rarely brings a housewife out to buy a few rupees of this product, but he plods on with shaky steps.

To me he is the real "start-up", the Make-in-India, who is an entrepreneur even at his age, braving the sun and rain. He holds his head high and survives on whatever he earns. He does not have any angel-investors or venture capitalists. But he makes our food healthy and tasty

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Waiting Eagerly For Different Seasons

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: https://www.banjaraacademy.org/waiting-eagerly-for-different-seasons-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

Winter is still making its presence felt, but it is going to give way, sooner or later to the summer. Sweaters will be stored away, fans will come on the whole day – regulator moving steadily from 1 to 5. Cool drinks will be in demand, food habits will change. Days will get longer, we will sweat more, and the sun will become unpopular.

There was a time when we used to wait eagerly for different seasons. Summers meant ice cream, particular months brought mangoes and other fruits, children would sleep out in the humid nights. One had to look forward and wait patiently for favorite seasons. But slowly it is becoming a thing of the past – everything is available in all seasons. The joys of delayed gratification are gone. Young people will not understand what I am saying.

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How easy it is to criticize someone

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: https://www.banjaraacademy.org/how-easy-it-is-to-criticize-someone-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

I have been thinking how easy it is to criticize someone, or just make flippant remarks. When two people are talking about a third one, it effortlessly slips into something not very charitable about the absent person. The more conscious I have become about this trait, the more I realize I am practicing it. I am making serious efforts to either talk something nice, or not talk about the person at all.I don't know how much I am succeeding, but I will keep on trying. If any of you find me saying something bad about someone (even if it is true), just gently remind me, please

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Every language has a beauty of its own

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: https://www.banjaraacademy.org/every-language-has-a-beauty-of-its-own-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

Every language has a beauty of its own. The other day a friend told me that he is missing me because I was not around. I spontaneously asked him how he would say the same thing in his mother tongue – and he was stumped! We often say that we are “remembering you” in our language, but it is not the same as “missing you.” Similarly, I find people struggling to say “I love you” in their mother tongue.

On the flip side I can reel out so many words and phrases that are so touching and are commonly used in Indian languages, which do not have an equivalent in English. Can we not assimilate all the good things from each language and use them in our day to day conversation?

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Good Old Bengaluru !"

Author: E.R. Ramachandran

Perma-link for article: https://www.banjaraacademy.org/good-old-bengaluru-by-author-er-ramachandran

Bangalore in the 1950s and '60s was still a Pensioners' Paradise and very much a sleepy town. It was mostly divided into “City” and “Cantonment” with Basavanagudi and Malleshwaram the best known among its residential areas. Jayanagar and its famous mosquitoes had not made their debut yet.

The City Market was really a conglomeration of various petes—Chikkapete, Balepete, Tharugupete, Akkipete, Cottonpete—holding the business community. Dandu, or Cantonment ('Contrumentru' as the villagers would call it) was still a very far off place for most Bangaloreans. Almost as far as London itself.

One got a fair idea of the City when one used BTS, or Bangalore Transport Service to give its full name (“Bittre Tiruga Sigodilla”, was the other full form). 50 years ago, the only other modes of transport for a common man were the Jataka Gaadi (horse driven covered cart) or nataraja service— local lingo for footing it out. The word 'autorickshaw' had yet to enter the lexicon, the contraption was yet to invade our roads.

Bangalore looked almost empty during the day as most of the eligible science and engineering graduates or diploma holders were herded into buses at the unearthly hour of 6.30 in the morning and ferried to HAL, HMT, BEL, LRDE, ITI, NGEF, Kirloskar, BEML, etc. The city suddenly perked up after the factory hands returned to their favorite haunts like Yagnappana Hotlu opposite National High School grounds or Bhattra Hotlu in Gandhi bazaar for the mandatory 'Three-by-Four Masale' or 'Two-by-three coffee' in the evenings.

The Sajjan Rao temple and choultry by the same name was much sought after for society weddings. The Satyanarayana Temple came much later as politicians became more and more crooked. Kota Kamakshayya choultry was opposite to the best bakery in Bangalore and may be the whole of south India, the V.B. Bakery.

After passing Modern Hotel and New Modern hotel where the whiff of SKC —sweetu, khara, coffee hit your nostrils, was the stop opposite Minerva talkies, which in those days mostly showed Tamil pictures for three shows and wore a culturally superior hat with Bengali movies and that too only Satyajit Ray for the morning shows! A 200 meters dash from Minerva took you to Mavalli Tifn Rooms (MTR) in a dingy lane, which morphed into MTR as one of the best eateries in town.

Kannada lms were nonexistent or a rarity those days. Except for an occasional 'Bedara Kannappa', 'Sadarame', 'Rathagiri Rahasya' (the song 'Amara Madhura Prema' was a craze) or 'School Master', it was all Sivaji Ganesan and M.G. Ramachandran (MGR) who ruled the silver screen.

Kengal Hanumanthaiah was seen often here before he started planning the construction of Vidhana Soudha. Much later, those who helped God to do his work went to Vidhana Soudha; they are still partners in His unnished business.

Behind Central College was the Central College cricket grounds which hosted all the international matches as well as the Ranji matches. It was here that a ball from the fearsome Roy Gilchrist hit A . S . Krishnaswamy on his chest and ew off to the boundary. Col C.K. Nayudu played here when he was past 70 along with his brother C.S. Nayudu and so did Lala Amarnath. Central Colleges grounds was the place all the Test cricketers from Mysore/ Karnataka cut their teeth playing State 'B' Ramachandra Rao shield, Rohington Baria Cup for Universities, and nally the Ranji Trophy.


 

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The New Year – time for celebration

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: https://www.banjaraacademy.org/the-new-year-time-for-celebration-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

The New Year – time for celebration and to welcome fresh joys and hope for better life. People celebrate enthusiastically, greet each other, dance, eat and go on shopping sprees.

I lie down and quietly think. I don’t make resolutions for the New Year. I introspect on the old year. I have always been concerned about how we discard anything old, particularly in today’s world of Use and Throw. I rarely throw away old stuff. Similarly I don’t throw away the old year. I introspect what I have achieved, the mistakes I have made, the time I have frittered away, and the time when I have ignored or hurt someone. It automatically helps me to prepare and change for the next year.

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Ancient Aviator Anecdote

Republic Day Flypasts

Author: Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Cecil Parker, MVC

Perma-link for article: https://www.banjaraacademy.org/republic-day-flypasts-by-author-cecil-parker

This piece brings to mind the Republic Day ypasts in which I had actively participated in the rst two decades after we became a republic. The spectators, thronging both sides of Rajpath in New Delhi, saw only the impeccable position-keeping of up to 64 aircraft (ac) ying in 16 boxes of 4 ac each. We iers heard no applause nor saw anything other than the ac we were formatting on and remained almost 'frozen' in position till far out of sight past India Gate.

The preparations for the R-Day ypast commences immediately in the new year and involves a great deal of planning / co- ordination / rehearsals. The composition of the ypast grew rapidly into a mix of rotary / xed-wing, piston / jet, single / twin-engined and transport / ghter blocks of ac from a number of squadrons operating from several bases. These blocks were required to join up at the RV point and, orbiting like an airborne snake, uncoil itself into a mile-long straight line by the run-in point marked by smoke candles to align the ypast with the dome of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

My very rst R-Day ypast was in a Vampire in 1954 followed by one in a Toofani. In the early 1960s a certain Group Captain commanding an air force station (who shall remain nameless), decided to lead the block himself in a Hunter 66 Trainer ac with the other seat occupied by a navigator. On the rst rehearsal the visibility west of Delhi was poor and he missed both the smoke candle(s) and Rajpath! The embarrassing debrief that followed was not in any way helped by some humorist who claimed that the station commander concerned had received a message from the station master Sonepat railway station thanking him for the ypast!

The presence of birds was a continuing ight safety hazard. It took its toll the next year when a Mg-21 ac, ying just behind us in the supersonic block, ingested a bird into its engine which amed out. The pilot, a young Flying Ofcer, very smartly pulled clear and ejected safely a bare minute before Rashtrapati Bhavan. The ypast went through as planned and we only learned about the ejection after we landed back at base.

In the mid - 1970s I was instructed to join ve other gallantry awardees from the other two services as the MoD had decided to 'showcase' some of the Indian war heroes as part of the R- Day parade. It was my rst opportunity to actually observe the function, seated 'to attention' in an open jeep. On one rehearsal, just after passing the saluting base, our jeep broke down. Fortunately the media personnel present were slow to spot / report on three middle-aged, senior ofcers pushing the vehicle to one side and then hot-footing it across the lawns to CV Mess in search of (liquid) refreshment! For the next rehearsal we found that a standby jeep was now added to our tiny convoy of two!

The author is a retired air vice marshal of the IAF and a freelance writer who can be contacted at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


 

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The Fork and Spoon

Author: Clifford Martis

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/the-fork-and-spoon-by-counsellor-author-clifford-martis

Most of us eat our food with our hands. But many others use the fork and the spoon. Many animals also eat their food with their hands. For example, the monkeys, squirrel and so on. But a majority of the animals eat directly with their mouths without using fork and spoon or other implements. In spite of being blessed with hands many people use various kinds of instruments like the fork and spoon, chopsticks etc

On one occasion an Indian family invited a British gentleman for lunch. As the food was ready the host said, “Would you like to wash your hands please” “Why should I wash my hands? I think it is only dirty people who need to wash their hands” said the guest. It is then that the host realized that he should provide fork and spoon to the guest.

The way the fork and spoon are held and kept near the plate before the meals and after the meals are interesting. When a person has eaten something and wishes to eat more he keeps the fork and spoon looking downwards. When he has nished his meal or does not wish to eat more then he keeps the fork and spoon looking upwards. This is a bit funny because fork and spoon kept looking upwards may indicate a desire to eat more.

Sometimes a third item joins the fork and the spoon. That is the knife. The knife is required to cut pieces of meat and other food items. One uses the fork to hold the piece of meat in position and cuts it with the help of the knife. On one occasion I tried to cut the piece of meat. It was a tough piece. As I struggled the piece of meat ew into the plate of a lady guest seated opposite.

The Fork and Spoon

Sometimes people are served special dishes known as masala dosa etc and the restaurant provides fork and spoon along with the dish. But to eat a dish like masala dosa with the help of fork and spoon would be a herculean task. So many people keep the fork and spoon aside and relish the dish with the help of their naked hands.

There is a story of a missionary who was caught by a cannibal in a deep forest. As the cannibal prepared to eat the missionary he asked whether he had any last wish. He asked the question in Queen's English. When the missionary was surprised the cannibal said, “I studied at Oxford” “And you are still a cannibal?” The cannibal replied “Yes. But now I use a fork and spoon”.


 

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Living with Nature and Trees"

Author: C S Vincent

Perma-link for article: https://www.banjaraacademy.org/living-with-nature-and-trees-by-author-c-s-vincent

Hello friends! Shall we resume our discussion on nature and trees? As we concluded in our last session, let us take up some particular trees, in this and future sessions. What shall we take today.... The Mango tree? I am sure it will make a good beginning. This species has a Hindu religious background also. That is why mango leaves are tied above the door during poojas /ceremonies. While all of us have seen and eaten mangoes raw, fruit cooked or pickled) some may not have seen a mango. No matter. Can any one of you tell me how many varieties of mango exist? Very many? Yes, a good guess. If I give the answer it may be a shock. There are almost a thousand varieties, but in different countries as per the recording of Mr. Pippa Mukherjee in his book 'Trees of India.' In our country we see only about a dozen varieties like the alphonso, malgoa neelam, bangalura, apoos, rumani etc.

Coming to the nutrition side we may come across some people saying/ believing that mango is unhealthy or 'heaty'. This is very untrue. Actually mangoes give us vitamins. Raw mangoes contain Vit C and the ripe fruit is rich in caratin. Mango pickles are in no way lagging behind since they help us eat our food with relish. One more thing can be said in favor of the mango i.e. every part of the tree has medicinal value. A popular home remedy for stomach disorders is a stew made with dry mango seeds. The vitamins contained in the product of the tree give us good health. Even the gum that comes out of the bark is used in some medicines. It is said that the mere chewing of the mango leaf will strength the teeth/gums. Even the bark of the root of the tree is used in the processing of some medicines.

The timber of the mango tree has also its own importance. It is used in making furniture. The seed is used in shipbuilding also.

Mango fruit is also an Export item. Phillipines produces mangoes in abundance and exports about 6000 tonnes/annually to countries like Living with Nature and Trees Canada, Japan, Hong-Kong etc. and earns foreign exchange. Even though India produces 62% of the world production our exports are not appreciable. This export avenue should be taken advantage since our production of mango exceeds tea which is only 50% and we export it.

Mango trees are huge and so don't t in homes. To remedy the above drawback our scientists have developed some strains by grafting. Such trees are small and can be grown in the backyards. A research institute in Paiyur in Dharmapuri district is constantly working on this project. It was reported in the media that a farmer in U.P. is harvesting about 30 varieties of mangoes from a single tree by grafting. Perhaps he has entered the Guiness book of records!


 

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Just mail your counsellor now, sharing your problems, your worries, your anxieties, your fears. Your counsellor will reply to you, and be there for you until you need her to help you cope and get going.

Leading Banjara Academy's online email counselling team of volunteer-counsellors, I realize it is not an easy task reaching out to a person one has never met, never seen, without the added advantage of gestures, eye contact, a gentle reassuring touch, tone of voice and yet providing empathy, positive strokes, making the person feel heard and understood.

With the aid of only written words, it is quite a task building trust, making people open up and share and helping them cope and feel better. So when in many instances they write back saying thank you and that they feel so much better, the feeling one gets is priceless and incomparable - knowing one has done something right, something good!

Hats off to all the volunteeer-counsellors of Banjara Academy who have been carrying on this work silently, anonymously for the last couple of years. Truly commendable! - Ali Khwaja

 

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