[5-Bullet Tuesday] Here’s Why You Don’t Write.

Hi All,

I’m back. Have been down sick. Almost all of September. Back with a resolve to be consistent. So, here’s your weekly dose of “5-Bullet Tuesday”, list of things I’m enjoying or pondering.

What am I enjoying reading –

Just when I thought it was time for me to get down to my writing, Sohana, my seven year old daughter shouts, “Papa, 6’o clock is your story telling time. You’re ready, right?”

Oops, I had forgotten that completely. “Yes, I’m ready, but only if you’re busy with your gadgets, it’s fine, we can skip today.” I tried to escape.

“No papa, we’re interested in listening to the story”. Arghh.

Now, my mind diverted to, “which story am I going to tell the children?”, “ I don’t have one handy..” It’s almost 6pm.

I go to Amazon and buy an e-book instantly. This is the one which I’d been contemplating for a while – “Move mountains – One Story at a time, by Mukesh Kulothia and Deepak Sharma”.

It’s a book for all ages, and especially if you’re a parent looking for a book with short, interesting stories for your child, you must buy/ gift it to them.

I read one story and then another one and couple more. I love it. Every story has a caricatures too, which help recall the story long after the story is read. Then, I think I’m decided which story am I going to tell children today.

I head to the place from where I’m going to tell my story, or should I say show my story (I want to bring the whole of me into the story, with the props, the visuals and the body language).

Story starts and goes very well. Kids love it. It’s almost 6:15pm. I can now go back to my writing. Well, or so I think.

Online LitFest I loved attending –

Then, I sit down to writing.. again. But mind, I tell you is such a monkey that it will keep jumping from here to there.

I suddenly remember that there was a LitFest that I had so badly wanted to attend. At this time.

I can’t afford to miss it. No way. I quickly searched my email and opened the Zoom link.

An hour goes by. I loved every word I heard. It’s so fulfilling. I feel complete. First online LitFest organized by Phoenix Toastmasters Club.

There is so much going on online these days, depending on what you’re interested in. Just check out the options and make the most of this time. I decide that now I will resume my writing..

Writing tool I simply loved–

I look at the monitor and wonder – “..but where do I write?”. My mind goes back in time when I had had the pleasure of writing on an online service called 750words.com. I so loved the feel of it. 6:30pm by now as I’m still trying in vain to settle my mind to use may be Outlook and send an email, or how about my WordPress site, or even MS Word. But, its become harder and harder to convince my mind. It comes back with “There’s nothing like 750words, my friend.” I go ahead and open 750words.com. Of course, I no longer have the subscription. (It’s $5 a month and worth every cent). I have to get it and have to get it right now. 7:15 PM now..

Quote I’m pondering –

I have often wondered where the heck does my scheduled writing time go. And this time around, I actually wrote about exactly that. Now, I know, that my monkey mind will be distracted to every possible place. I probably need to be chained to my chair, which unlocks only after I write 750 words on the blank screen. So, in order to tame your monkey, here is the quote I am pondering:

whole brain child — Blog — Whole Hearted Kids OT

What I figured out –

This is what happens to me. Every time. This time I’ve decided to nail it down. Where on earth is my writing time going. And, after all this, I decided to leave what I had originally planned to write about and instead, write about why I couldn’t write. It’s 7:48 pm now, and this information is useful. Perhaps. I don’t know. But, I had to find out who was stealing my writing time away. And voila, I’ve written over 750 words already. It brings me on track for my mission to write at least 750 words every day.


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Here’s What You Do!

P

apa, if all our family members get COVID, then what would happen?”, asks my seven year old daughter, Sohana.

She’s such clear with her questions and so expressive that I miss a beat when a question like that comes.

However, Dinky and I have made one rule, and that is that we have to stay calm no matter what. Calm is infectious (..more than the virus!) and that’s all we need at the moment.

Otherwise, we’ll lose it all even without giving it a fight.

The delay in my response has already given the little mind enough ideas, and I can see the BIG tears rolling down her face turned smaller than usual because of the anxieties.

So, I tell her very matter of factly, “Nohana, we have to keep our immune system intact.”

Now, she’s listening. She wants to know more, the sudden stopping of her tears tell me.”

It’s strange I can tell that, even while she’s mostly covered in her face with the mask, which too appears too big for her small face.

“Doctor Mamu was telling me earlier today that even if a virus attacks our body, our body soon starts fighting with it. If our immune system is good, not only would it kill the germs, but it would also make our body stronger next time. That’s how nature works.”

“Nohana, what can you do to keep your immunity high?”, I asked.

“By thinking good thoughts, eating good food and staying hydrated”, she said confirming she knows it all.

She smiled. After all. She adjusts her mask, which is flimsy dealing with the cold, the tears, the cough.. too much for it to handle, apparently.

The date today was 27th Sept, and today was the first day, since 7th Sept, when I actually went out to the balcony with her. Of course, still fully geared with my mask, and a bottle of sanitiser which has suddenly become such a constant in my life.

That’s all we can do, guys. Sohana know it and so do we all. We may not be able to protect us from the virus, despite our best efforts. I thought I was cautious, my family was cautious ,,but it did happen. 

The good news still is that we still have a lot in our control – and it starts with what our intake is: mental intake as well as physical. That’s what would keep us strong to fight it, in case it comes. Here’s my daily checklist for your reference. This is, of course, in addition to the medicines which you may be prescribed:

  1. Vitamins:
    1. Vitamins C
    2. Multivitamin
    3. Zencovit (Zinc)
  2. Food:
    1. > 1.5 L Water
    2.  Fruits including banana, apple, anaar, 
    3. Nutritious Food
    4. Coconut Water
    5. Hot ginger water
  3. Reading and Listening list:
    1. John Maxwell’s “Make Today Count”
    2. Easy Translation of Bhagwat Geeta
    3. Humour they say creates positive hormones. I was reading a book called FML (Viewer discretion advised: 18+ 🙂 ) which I find quite funny actually.
    4. The survive and thrive podcast by John Meese. (Yeah, I want to thrive not just survive..) 

Now, is there any of the above that is not “still” in your control? With a little support from your family or caretaker you can manage it all easily. Do it for your kids too. 

Focus on what you can control. Click To Tweet

Post this emotional furore, Sohaan and I did some more usual talk, the more 7 year old types. “Papa, how many days before I can hug you?” .. “OK.., and Mama?”..

It was such a comfort to have her speak out cheerfully like that. 

I can’t explain what it means to me now to have a “normal talk”, “a dinner together”, “standing beside each other”… after having lon..ged for it for so long.  

We had our one:to:one time may be after a month. I don’t know how much comforting was it for her, but I certainly felt blessed. 

Tanav, my 11 year old son, chose to stay inside. In his room. I later figured that he was talking to his mom while I was with Soha. He needed the one:to:one time too. He has his own emotions and so much more to deal with.

It seems like they’ve grown up much faster in the last 3 weeks than they have in years. They’re on their own, and even taking care of each other. They’ve, once again, surprised us with what they can do and achieve.  

Of course, children, like we all, have their emotions, all we need to do is to support each other so we open up to our emotions and find good ways to deal with them. 

Bottled up emotions are harmful. Help your children find ways to deal with them instead. Click To Tweet

How would you answer Sohana or your child if they asked, “Papa, if all our family members get COVID, then what would happen?” 

 

 

So much to be grateful for..

Sohana wrote a beautiful blog today. Well, it’s such an insight , a sort of window to these little  minds, when they write what is deep down. Something we would have never known.

Anyway, Sohana wrote about what she was thinking – there’s some bad things which happen to us, “like Corona” and there are good things also. How to find your gift is Corona time?

Well, her writing is still polishing (just a matter of some more consistent writing 🙂 ) but  her point is well brought home –  There are many blessing that we simply ignore when times are tough.

Today, I’m blessed:

– That things could be worse had I not gotten the fever the day I got it. It was mom dad’s 50th Golden anniversary Puja which we cancelled because I fell ill right at the right time. Can’t thank God enough for that as we had invited some relatives over. Thank you, God.

– I’m blessed to have our relatives who are helping us in this hour if need, giving us food to lessen our burden. Taking care more of the kids and sending their favorite ones like the Chicken we had today and the Vada Sambhar the other day.
– We’re blessed To have a doctor Mamu, who is seven seas away and still looks the closest to us. He shows us that the best form of expression of love is care. He cares and teaches us what it means.
-We’re blessed to have our friends and office leadership who has been extremely supportive at this time when we need it the most. Your words and sometimes even silence is so comforting.

I can go on and on, but the point is that Sohana is right, the question to ask really is “What is your gift in Corona time?”

If you think hard enough, you will find not one but many many gifts in any hard time. Whatsoever. See, Sohana I listed four in Just five minutes 🙂

Until next time, this is Mohit signing off..

Hands down winner of the day.. “kids”

A pretty emotionally draining day today. Test for Deepti came positive too. As human beings, we hope against hope that things go better than we expect.
But we have to face it. They say, “you have to name it, to tame it

Now we have a name to it, we’re at it to tame it.
At home,  surprisingly so, if anyone has put up  the most courageous and calm stand, it is the kids. And, what can be more relaxing for us than that?
There’s so much to learn from the sweethearts – they are almost taking it like an adventure game. That is such a pleasant attitude towards a situation like we find ourselves in today.

It’s much better than sobbing, panicking or blaming the situation. None of that would help.

And all of us, adults in the house are most guilty of just that.
Someone has rightly said, “Adults are nothing more than deteriorated children” .

It’s good to be a child and look for adventure in crisis, and find your way forward while having of course still following the rules of the game. It makes the journey easy and less emotionally draining with some of that fun.

Even my sweetheart nieces, are expressing their love by staying connected and bringing us all smiles through our common website blog http://howiseverything.in.
It helps remaining in touch and keeping us is very positive mood. It’s important to keep our mind in a reward state of mind which all these kids are teaching me.

I love you all to the moon and back.

You are showing us the way.

Who’s a Mentor?

I

was recently diagnosed with the infamous COVID19 virus. Things were pretty rough. A rollercoaster ride (and I hate rollercoasters)

We were seeking all the support we could, doctors, relatives who are doctors, experts and so on.

I’m blessed to have the support system I have. Of course, their advice was very helpful and we were following it to a tee.

But, then what helped me the most was talking to some colleagues, who we’re going through a similar situation at home. They and their families were affected by the virus.

They were a few steps ahead of me in the cycle. Hence, they knew a thing or two more about how their experience was.

I’m talking to them I got solace, comfort and guidance. We could empathize with each other, understand each other’s pain, and suggest.

It was like they were holding each others hands saying, “Hang on, you’ll be through this.”

Sometimes, they were brutally honest too, which was scary. But I knew they have nothing but my best interest in mind. I always paid heed to what they had to say.

While the doctors and experts were doing their job, these people, who had traveled the path before me, we’re able to help me maintain a calm and confident demeanor.

After all, I’m such situations, one has to remain mentally strong. They made me see hope in myself when I couldn’t see it myself.

That’s what a mentor does.

Today, you have a choice – either figure out this entire path yourself – which could be long, dark tiring and full of pits and falls, or seek guidance from someone who has been there before.

No matter what situation you find yourself in, there is someone who has been through something similar. They would be happy to hold your hand not only to help you overcome that situation but also have you emerge stronger so that when next time, someone else needs your hand, you are ready.

People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. -Theodore Roosevelt Click To Tweet

Best wishes. Until, next time, this is Mohit signing off.

When the going gets tough..

J

ust when you think life is coming back on track, there’s a train coming head on.

What do you do?

Well. That’s the situation I find myself in today.

After, an ordeal which lasted for over two weeks, I felt much better today.

I have been down with “symptoms” since 7th September, Isolated ever since (as much a middle class Indian household permits) tested “positive on 17th” and just when I thought I was seeing the finish line, well, someone up above had other plans.

While I’m blessed to have the support system I have, if there is one person who has helped me cross this shaken, broken bridge, it has to be my wife, Dinky.

Yes, Dinky you have another feather up your cap.

I realized that with every day of my getting better, my sweetheart’s cold and cough had been getting worse. And, today when she checked, she was running 100.7 •F.

She’s still in-charge and has called Doc mamu herself to look at the best possible options- Medicines, isolation and on goes the list.

The situation is once again a bit of a crisis. When I’m crisis, either design your way out of it or drift with the flow.

The design may not pan out exactly as we think, but then drifting along has never helped anyone get closer to their desired outcome. So, we have decided to design.

Hence, Dinky and I have made following decisions today:

1. We have to face what we can and seek support where needed.
2. We will put up a calm and confident demeanor. No matter what.
3. We will start writing a gratitude journal and be each other’s accountability partners.

We will get over this storm, perhaps more stronger together. “Whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” as they say.

We don’t have all the answers and uncertainties are looming over large, but does that worry help? No way.

1. Would help us run away from the reality and face it head on. It will also set an example for our children and generations to come.

2. We’re the leaders of the family. Everyone looks up to us. Being shaky and clueless will only shake the confidence of others. We don’t want to let that happen ever.

3. Writing gratitude helps us stay in a positive mindset to be able to adhere to the previous two. As Robin Sharma says. “Worry can’t live in the same house as Gratitude”.

So, leaving it up to God and repeating our favorite Serenity prayers of all times:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.

—unknown

Well, other than those decisions, we also made some micro changes like I started to fill my own water bottle from the dispenser, and decision to wash our own utensils.

Today, I pray for Dinky, her well being, she’s the strength and pride of my family.
The Bhaag Milkha of the house. First to get the family out of any crisis situation. When an iron wire of a remote car went inside my foot one way in and out from the other end (just thinking about it runs shivers down my spine), she ran to get the help from the nearby chemist shop.

She also ran to get the neighborhood doctor when Mom had a seizure.

We have two broadband connections in the house – one is called Mohit and the other Deepti. I once told Dinky that we mostly all use Mohit connection.

Her reply was instant, but when there is something wrong, Deepti never fails to act as our back up.

That’s so true, just like you, Dinky. Whenever something goes wrong, Deepti never fails to act as back up. She always has my back, our family’s back.

I’m perhaps becoming overly sentimental as I write this. That’s also exact opposite to what I had thought – I had thought that I would start finding humor even in this rather tragic situation. it would have helped lighten the mood and others would learn a thing or two about my experiences.

If you’re wondering if there can be anything humorous in this situation, there’s plenty- the PPE Kit the lab tester was wearing had a long tail. Wonder if that’s because we Indians believe in the Hanumanji like there’s no tomorrow, or if that was the meant to distract or bring a smile to the patients.

And, the way people respond when they know you’re positive. Some of them are so insanely funny. Will hopefully get to that tomorrow.

For now, I’ll leave you with this quote that I loved reading from Deepti’s cousins new blog

“There are more things likely to frighten us than there are to crush us; we suffer more often in imagination than in reality.”

— Seneca

Until next time, this is Mohit signing off..

 

 

 

 

 

 

[5-Bullet Tuesday] When Was the Last Time You Thanked Someone?

Hi All,

Here’s your weekly dose of “5-Bullet Tuesday”, list of things I’m enjoying or pondering.

Web series I watched-

With the current COVID-19 situation already giving us enough reasons to stay anxious, who wants to watch another horror or suspense web series?

At least I don’t.

But a friend had recommended it, so I thought I’d at least see a bit of -Breathe: into the shadows, with a promise to myself to stop it the moment it gives my heart any sign of ache.

But guess what, I didn’t have to stop.

 Well, not to say that it doesn’t have the ingredients of a good suspense story, but more than that, it is the acting, the pace and the direction which keeps the story going. Besides, one can relate with the protagonist after all. As you can guess, I’m trying my best not to divulge the details while still nudging you to go watch it. You may not give it a five on five but you’ll enjoy watching it thoroughly with your family. Here’s the direct Amazon Prime link. It’s rated 16+ and it was mostly my wife and I watching it, with occasional peep-ins from children.

Quote I’m pondering-

If you can name it, you can tame it. - Daniel Siegal Click To Tweet

Whether it is your anxiety or fear, if you put a name tag to it, you will be able to tame it. Same holds true when you’re preparing to give a speech. Once you are able to pinpoint the key message – in the speech title or a foundational phrase, you will be able to build the rest of the content around it.

Movie I watched-

Yes, I’m watching a lot of stuff these days. I think most of the travel time is going into consuming content. Not all of what I’m watching is great, but Gunjan Saxena – The Kargil Girl, is one movie which is must watch. It is a beautifully made, has a powerful message and the acting of Janhavi Kapoor is awe-inspiring. She seems to be one promising star kid in the way she acts from her first movie, Dhadak.

The song I loved-

This Independence Day, 115 children from all over India have come together to give out a message of Hope, Courage & Determination through this music video – O BANDEYA, an initiative by Songfest India. You certainly don’t want to miss it. Watch it here.

The monthly mission we’re running-

It is said that gratitude is the antidote to fear. If we can shift our minds to focus on what we have rather than what we don’t, we will all be in a better place. I along with my nieces, my children and wife are running the month of August as a mission to write a gratitude every single day for 30 days. The finish line is visible now and I for one can certainly feel that I’m a slightly better person already. Our mission is called August-itude.

That is our Mission Augustitude, Whatsapp group display picture to prompt us every day. Isn’t that cool                        


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[5-Bullet Tuesday] Have You Been Writing Love Letters to Whomsoever It May Concern?

Hi All,

Here’s your weekly dose of “5-Bullet Tuesday”, list of things I’m enjoying or pondering.

What I’m reading –

A day without laughter is a day wasted - Charlie Chaplin Click To Tweet

If you’re looking to add humor in your speaking and making it part of your life, get hold of this book: The Levity Effect, by Adrian Gostick and Scott Christopher. It’s available in audio format from Audible as well as in hard copy from Amazon.in. I have grabbed my audio copy just today and can’t wait to listen. .

Great Leadership: Is Having Fun at Work a Myth?

Podcast I loved—

I think I was an early mover as far as listening to podcasts is concerned. It’s only recently though that it’s become more popular in India. Having heard so many international podcasts over the years, I have developed a sense of separating the wheat from the chaff. This one comes from a friend, a fellow Toastmaster from the same club, but it’s superior quality and I’m saying so while swallowing my own ego given the competitive rivalry that exists with people you’re close with. Hustle with Harmit, has a long way to go. Listen to this episode and decide yourself.

What 500 rupee or less purchase I’m proud of –

I bet you know by now what written form of gratitude can do to positively change your life forever.

But then, is it easy?

Maybe not. Life comes in the way. That’s why, we need a gratitude buddy – A buddy who is an accountability partner. One you trust and who nudges you to do it daily. My wife and I decided to be gratitude buddies for each other. We finished the 30 day gratitude challenge today. And guess what, we’re feeling lighter, may be not so much in our body but certainly so in our heads.

Quote I’m pondering —

Top 20 Simon Sinek Quotes That Reveal the Hard Truths About ...

Tip of the week –

One Public speaking tip that stuck with me was from TEDx speaker Chendil Kumar. Chendil says that audience analysis is sacrosanct while public speaking. In his own words: If you’re giving a speech without doing an audience analysis, it’s like you’re writing a love letter to whomsoever it may concern.

PS: If you like this broadcast, you may enjoy exploring more from me. You can connect with me at www.mohitsawhney.com.                                            


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[5-Bullet Tuesday] Hey, When Is Your Golden Birthday?

Hi All,

Here’s your weekly dose of “5-Bullet Tuesday”, list of things I’m enjoying or pondering.

Game I’m loving playing –

There are no birthday parties without games, right? Last week was a birthday week in the family. Saesha, my niece’s birthday on 16th and Mom’s on 18th. And, if you’re like us, you have, by now, played most online games with friends. Here’s a new one I tried and loved -an old wine in the new online bottle: Hangman. Follow the link and you can have two main contestants and winner continues to play with the next contestant. You can keep the entire audience engaged by having them guess the letters, while the contestants are allowed to only solve the full word.

To add to the fun, we announced prize money for winners immediately, which would be paid through PayTM.

Now, for Mom’s birthday, we tried the evergreen Passing the Parcel, well again on a video call. The virtual circle was arranged such that the last person in one house would pass on the parcel to the first person in the second house, and so on, until it comes back to the first person in the first house. The usual music which would stop randomly to decide the victim who would then have to take out a chit and perform the act.

What games are you enjoying for such occasions?

Quote I’m pondering —

Quotes on Twitter: "You Block your #dream when you allow your ...

What I’ve learnt –

Did you know when is a Golden Birthday? Well, Your golden birthday is the year you turn the same age as your birthday. Saesha, my niece’s golden birthday would be when she’d turn sixteen because like I said, her birthday was on the 16th. If you still have the opportunity to celebrate your golden birthday, make sure the party is as good as gold.

Term I’m finding helpful –

In post lock down times, this one word could be the difference between life and death: WASH. It is one acronym that is applicable to you no matter whether you’re an individual, a corporation or even a government. It stands for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. It may sound very basic but no matter whether you’re rich or poor, today’s times have thrown us all down to the bottom of the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Here’s a quick refresher. Remember, we all have to start climbing again.

Any yes, this term, WASH, was coined in 2000 by Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) which is part of the United Nations.

Tip of the week –

If you’re into content creation, your job is to provide answers. But answers without a clear question are just noise. What question are you answering with each piece of content? Answer The Public is an online tool that takes a topic, like career, and displays all the different ways people already ask questions about that topic. Check out this really cool resource and once you know the question, only then is it time to create. All the best.


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