Monday, July 21, 2014


I read my Papa's views on Stonewalling, and it made me think about ignoring. Both are similar concepts. Both are communication blockers. Both create the feeling in one person that his or her view or feelings are not important.

Stonewalling means: "not answering any question when asked directly or refusing to participate in a discussion."

Ignore, as the dictionary defines it, is: "refuse to take notice of or acknowledge; disregard intentionally."

Disregard intentionally?? The reasons anyone would do that to me is if they:
  • don't care for me
  • have no respect for me
  • don't care what I think
  • don't care for my feelings
  • are really mad at me
- It is a very typical behavior that if you are mad at me you will ignore me (because just looking at me will make you even more mad). But I think if you are mad at me about something - then come on and lets fight it out. Just finish the cold war. Hash out the differences; one way or another, figure out what is going on. Not every fight will have a happy ending but at least we would have tried.

- If you are ignoring me just because you don't want to reply to my concern or question - then it means you don't care about me or my feelings. Or that maybe you are hiding something from me, which breeds distrust in relationships.

 - If you are ignoring just because you don't like me - then really!!??? Just grow up and be mature. Learn to handle your feelings such that you can be civil without being superficial. We are all adults and we all don't have to like each other - but we can be civil.

The one thing I have never been able to stand in my life is being ignored. If I know someone is ignoring me, I take it very personally and I make it a point to avoid that person so that I don't have to behave the same way (although in some ways they do make me behave like them....I may have to ignore them too).

In my view - no one should be ignored; no one is that trivial (not even kids!) that their sentiments be ignored; their feelings be ignored or their views be ignored. Everyone should get a chance to be acknowledged and be heard. Because in reality - everyone wants to be acknowledged. (I have written about this before) Everyone wants to feel they are valued and that their existence matters.  I don't have to agree with everything they say, but at least I can give them my attention.  Ignoring someone's emotions/feelings/views makes the other person feel all sorts of complicated emotions and then I don't know what the short/long term consequences might be. Don't forget - every action has consequences.

When I am ignored, I feel -
  • worthless - like I have no value in the other person's life,
  • they don't give a damn about what I feel, which means they don't care about me
  • they don't respect me
  • non existent - that I don't even exist for them
  • hurt.....
  • uncomfortable in their company
  • and most importantly - I cannot trust them anymore. Because I don't know when I am being taken seriously and when I am being ignored.

Of course it also depends who is ignoring me: 
  • A student or distant coworker: it does not matter. They are too busy in their lives. If I am important to them, they will not ignore me.
  • An acquaintance: don't worry - they are not that important anyway, let it go.
  • A colleague: jealousy is a big factor here. This is really hard to deal with.  It has to be taken care of diplomatically.  I have dealt with this one too many times and each time it has exhausted me.
  • A good friend or family: this is the hardest one. Where I have deep emotions, time invested in a relationship, then I also have more expectations, and if I am ignored by them, then it is really hurtful.  It definitely needs to be taken care of. Talking is the best way; but of course that is a two way street - the other person must be willing to participate. Once the misconceptions have been cleared up then the trust has to be rebuilt. And then time and emotions are again invested in that relationship.

I know how I feel when people ignore me, so I have changed myself.  I try my best to not ignore people. I let them know that I am not available, or I am busy - because they deserve a response - however untrue it might be.  And if someone is important to me then I will always be honest about what is going on. Honesty is the best policy.

Ignoring anyone is very hurtful and I will just say - ITS NOT NICE - so don't do it.

One last point to mention here is when after saying something serious, someone says to me, "Ignore what I said." How does one do that? Just like an arrow, once shot from a bow can never be taken back, spoken words can also not be called back. The thoughts that come to my mind when I hear those words are, "What else should I ignore?" "Why did you say something if you did not mean it?" "What about in future? Should I know already what to ignore or will you tell me again?" I cannot ignore what my friends and family say to me.

One absolutely last point.....sometimes I just don't know what to say or how to talk to someone anymore. This dilemma causes a time lapse in communication.  Unless the other person takes the initiative to communicate, the time lapse becomes longer and it feels like I am ignoring the other person; when really I just don't know how or want to talk to them anymore.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Human Behaviour

Lately I have been thinking about human behaviour. Of course its complex, but I still want to try to understand why people behave the way they do. Does it have to do with education? Or family background? Or environment? Or is it something beyond that? Maybe.......our "karm"? Is it destiny? Is it something we are born with? Even in a one family no two people are the same; we may have similar interests or may look alike, but our behaviours can be alien from each other.

I am also trying to figure out why "I" behave the way I do.  When everything goes well, it goes well, and I feel satisfied and confident in my decision. But when it goes wrong, then all this thinking comes into play.

In some cases, I really had no idea what I was getting into.

In another case, it might be that I did not do my research properly and there was a chance that my decision would not be the best one.

But sometimes knowing fully well that there is no good outcome from my decision or the path I am choosing for myself; I still walk on it; and I invariably get hurt or duped and then I wonder why did I do it? I knew this was not going to be good for me yet........there was some unknown force that still made me go that route. Why?

And then all the self-doubts start arising;
  • Am I good decision maker?  
  • Am I really capable of recognizing good/bad character in people?
  • Did I have enough experience to deal with this situation?
  • Did I do the "right" thing?
In my case I would say “yes”, for most part for all the questions.

Then why do I get into something that I fully well know is not good for me? WHY? And so then finally I have only myself to blame - obviously - because I have no control over other people's behaviour.

The questions that come to mind then are:
  • Was there some weakness in me that I am trying to fulfill?
  • Did I feel that I am strong enough to handle all kinds of problems? Or that I don't have enough issues in my life and I can handle this one more?
  • Did I do the “right” thing – ethically and morally? And if I am doing the right thing, then why am I having doubts? And if I did not, then I have to bear the consequences of my actions (which does happen in some cases)
OR - most importantly...
  • Do I see the best in people and feel that they will do the right thing (ethically and morally) and never cheat me or lie to me? (Which means that either I am an optimist or naive).
My decisions are always based on happiness - mine and the other persons. My decision should make me happy and should not cause harm to anyone else. I will deliberately and consciously not harm anyone.  Sometimes people do get hurt - but was it because of me or themselves? That is for them to decide based on their own background and maturity. Although I know most times I will be blamed for their unhappiness also, but if I know I did the "right" thing - then I can sleep peacefully.

With all this going through my head, I happened to visit a faculty here in DSVV with hope to find a good book to read on meditation, to calm my mind.  Just my luck that I saw a book, "Chanakya on Management" by Ashok R. Garde. As with many others, I have always admired Chanakya neetee.  I think he is the most practical teacher in the world and is valid for all times. He was relevant then (330 BC), and he is relevant now. His teachings are as relevant to an individual as to an organization or a nation.

So far I have read the first chapter and it really has made an impact on me. I will try to write the gist of it for myself in my blog so I can read it whenever I feel I am having doubts about decision making or ethics.

Hopefully I will also find answers to why people make excuses for their behaviour; why they don't mean what they say; why they don't do what they say; why they always blame others for anything that did not work according to them etc......

Why do I come to DSVV?

This is my third visit to DSVV (Dev Sanskriti Vishv Vidyalay).  Everyone asks me why I go to DSVV? Very honestly I don’t have a good answer except that I find some comfort here.  The first time I came to volunteer here, I had no idea what I was going to do in the university; so my mind was open to anything and everything (see my blog here).  Luckily I was given 3-4 projects to work on. And I also read a lot on Pt. Sharma ji's literature. The second time I had an ulterior motive and because of which I did not really enjoy my stay that much (shows to go that one should not have expectations).  But this much I know that every time I have come to DSVV I found peace and quiet in a safe and spiritual environment.

Any place has good and bad aspects. As a single female going from USA I can see several good aspects in DSVV.

First and foremost I find it very peaceful here. The campus is quiet, there is no noise or disturbance. I also feel at peace when there is peacefulness outside. Water and electricity are always available. And I have a comfortable room. This is all mental peacefulness.

(Mahakal Temple)
The atmosphere is spiritual. In the middle of the campus is the Mahaakaal temple (Shiva temple). I have found a lot of peace in that temple. It is the best place on campus for me. I love sitting there and breathing in the ambience. There is such calmness in the air there. Although in the months of June and July that I have been there, it is really hot and I have sweat trickling down my back, but I still sit there and keep looking at the Mahaakaal, as if at any moment Shiv will listen to my prayers and appear.  6:00 pm is Naad Yog time, such nice meditation melody plays that for 15 mins you forget everything else.

I also learn a lot from reading Pandit Shriram Sharma’s books. Although my Hindi is poor and there are not that many English books there but I still try to read as much as possible while I am there. The books are so educational and informative about religion, culture and how to live your life. Reading these has changed my views and ways of thinking – I have become a more peaceful person. (Read my blog here on Pragyopnishad)

I can be in India and still maintain a level of independence. I am by nature a very independent person. I have always gone alone to the campus, and I like the freedom to be able to do anything anytime (not that there is much to do!) – although I will say that many times I have made good friends during my stay at the guest house and I have enjoyed activities with them also.

Another good thing is that I can involve myself in any therapeutic activity I want – yagya, yoga, naturopathy, Ayurveda etc. I always take advantage of these and try to learn something new.  Because of DSVV I have developed healthier eating habits. Good environment brings about the influence of good habits.

The campus is really very pretty. There are flowers everywhere – all kinds, and so fragrant. I miss that fragrance when I go back home. Especially during the night when the queen of the night blooms – it’s something else! There is a lot of greenery of trees. There is a mango orchard – obviously my favorite place to buy mangoes. There is the herb garden, where fresh herbs are used to make medicine and oils. Very nice area. The buildings are not bad at all – the architecture and color is very soothing to the eyes. And above all the campus, being residential, is all enclosed and gated, so very safe.

And finally: cooking and cleaning! That is one thing I do not miss at all. When I am in DSVV, I stay at the guest house. There the “bhaiyas” bring the breakfast, lunch and dinner from the cafeteria. I don’t have to think about what to cook, how much to cook or cleaning up.  All I have to do is show up and eat. I am not a picky eater, so eating moong daal every day is not a problem for me. I do get bored of it, but it’s not a problem because maybe this way I will lose some weight (hehehe).  Tea/coffee machine is available there. I can get that anytime I want. So generally the mind is free of performing all these mundane tasks of cooking and cleaning. Same goes for washing clothes. I can either use the machine or I can give my clothes to the dhobhi. Ah……nice break from home duties.

So finally you ask – but Sapna, “What do you do there?” Well…..I work on the projects given to me by the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Dr. Chinmay Pandya). He has been generous in giving me nice projects which I have enjoyed working on (making brochures, proofreading documents, collecting data etc.). I have made some friends of faculty here, with whom I can sit and chit chat on a variety of topics and attend some Science and Spirituality classes (with the permission of the professor); I will always get some Naturopathy treatment – which generally involves some massage (aahh – bliss). And then there is the reading – going to the library to read Pandit Sharmaji’s literature. I just wish I knew more Hindi. And yes, I have taken my computer so I can work on my own teaching material while I am on campus.

All in all a winning situation for me!!