Opening up in the New Year
Seventy is New Sixty
Rajiva Shanker Shresta
We arrived here some six months back to take part in the Gai Jatra (it is only here outside Nepal) that helps the Newars to move ahead with life leaving behind the sad episode of life losing a close member of the family during the previous year. It is though very hard to part away with our dear and near ones who had been much loved and adored in our life so easily. Yet we try to pay them tribute by performing annual rites praying the departed soul to rest in peace forever to add pace to face the hard realities of life. So, wrapping up sad things of the recent past is not that easy as we remember them even while we welcome the year ahead. Seeking the blessings that we do performing Nandi Mukhi Shraddha in their memory before taking up any new big event in the family - be it Vratbandh, Ihee, wedding or even Jankwa.
So to move ahead with a positive note here is The Five most important rules in Life someone shared on Facebook to remind that you would like to know and pass on as reminding us of
Power of Positivity:
Never forget these things -
1. Overthinking can ruin happiness.
2. Everyone is on a different journey.
3. Positive thoughts create a better life.
4. Kindness does not cost a thing.
5. The Past cannot be changed.
Adding some more to it from a similar post that needs no elaboration:
6. Things get better with time.
7. Opinions don't define your realities.
8. Judgements are a confession of character.
9. Happiness is found within.
10. Positive thoughts create positive things.
11. You only fail if you quit.
12. What goes around comes around.
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Where should I start that gives me a boost of being 70 is New 60 in spite of many a hurdles on the way reaching thus far to step in welcoming the New Year with a galore of hopes and aspirations yet unfulfilled. Never know when is the last day or would you be here at all to see the next sunrise over Majestic Mount Kanchenjungha from my residence 'Jaisri' at Kingston, Rhenock in the Black Hill. We opted deciding reknocking here, where my Buba and Muma welcomed my new bride Ranjana 42 year ago with many dreams together to fulfill and realize. We should be back here to take on life to carry on our responsibility to the house that was, otherwise, going lifeless without a human soul residing here.
Opting for a rural way after all life spent in the capital was something not generally expected. In spite of all the good things brought here, all are unanimous that it would/could never be at par or even near the city life of Gangtok. Many, as such, find it better to move to Siliguri and even some metropolitan cities for their golden age citing medical facilities available there that no one can deny. Otherwise, in last few years a lot has improved here the way people moved ahead with times. Earlier, we used to have potatoes Rhenock was famous for like the paddy and chiura but now eggs and poultry of local breed or even fish local or by hawkers have been rare to fetch a price in Gangtok. Mutton is available from time to time while other meat products too are available locally with poultry units coming up here. We get milk delivered at home with some seasonal vegetables and even seasonal flower saplings, chhurpi/cottage cheese and dahi/yoghurt coming to our doors. Hawkers are seen trying sell mosquito-nets, linens, blankets and carpets as well as plastic wares, but yet to come across aluminium/steel utensils exchanged for household scraps as in the past. During our absence someone took away wheel barrow and antique broken iron safe besides many things finding all of more use to them earn few extra bucks than see them just lying unused here. These are the prices we had to pay and the other day a part-time labourer was taking away a piece of plastic pipe during the lunch break while he was found one fine early dusk collecting stealthily grass from the bamboo given for some mourning family nearby previous day without my knowledge. Khurpa, Bamphok and other sundry tools and implements often fall prey and found missing. That leaves many doubt the people who frequent the place, yet we can not blame them taking it to be a part of life here. So much so that even some bagfuls of sand, delivered the previous day, was found lifted overnight from the frontyard. No wonder when water-tank or steel bars were lifted under the cover of darkness but it was large family that someone heard the sound and go to the culprit get the teenager bring them back the same night. A few slaps to correct the juvenile and save the teacher himself being wise by not taking all the trouble going to the Police Station. Our neighbour knew well to have a lesson perhaps how unfructuous it was doing such folly from the glaring case we experienced not many years ago here. These seem petty but noteworthy things compared to the motor-bike that was left few hundred metres away the previous night as roof-truss makers Subrata-Manik find something gone wrong mechanically that saved them and their two-wheeler. This was at Kingston and previously it was at Chalisey when the scooter was left in Rungdung badly damaged and Police picked up someone who though pleaded not being guilty but the parents had to bear the brunt of footing the heavy bill for repairs with case yet to be settled. When heard of some jackals howling nearby the previous night I asked Shyam how he saves his poultry from them or such rascals, he says that his two dogs and their friend save them and the crops in the field from monkey, porcupine or even deer at night. Yet during the day one has to keep a vigil else you lose all the labour raising the crop over the time.
No amount of incentives and rewards would make them motivated that would many a head go swirling. When Dr. Hitler Pradhan asked if all the management learnt could be of use here that left me wondered wishing so. Well prepared to face such eventualities and willing to risk whatever comes my way but have to put stay here, if things are to improve my ancestral home. Otherwise, this might be not the right age to take up the cudgels. This makes me say that 70 is New 60 as many undone things have to be done having spen all my life working in the capital. Late to realize but a decade is not a long delay enough for homecoming - 'Subah ka bhula shaam ghar aaye to wah bhula nahin kahalata' ( roughly meaning, If one lost in the morning returns home in the evening would not to be taken as the one lost.) Homecoming gripping the Nation is also needed here seeing the celebrations around this time.
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Read More - Top New Year Resolutions Of 2017
New Year and Resolutions go together this Season to share the Google News excerpts: "There is something about New Year and resolutions. Everyone makes them. And unfortunately, more often than not, everyone breaks them. But come next December and we're back to square one. Perhaps it has something to do with the perpetual need of human beings to hope. Without hope, we have nothing. We may know at the back of our mind that it is impossible to lose all our extra flab and get fit and fabulous in 10 days but we still resolve to do that.
Looking for interesting data worldwide they have "A research done in America (Marist College Institute for Public Opinion) threw up some statistics that could very well have been representative of urban India too.
"Top 6 Resolutions for 2017:
Being a better person
Spending less and saving more money
Improving my health
"Getting fit and losing weight had been top resolutions for the past 2 years but this year, surprisingly, people want to focus more on becoming a better person. This is a heartwarming trend. Further, eating healthy and exercising more also found their way into the Top 6 list. Not surprisingly, the number of people who actually achieve their resolutions are usually only 8% whereas 24% are never able to successfully achieve what they resolved to on 1st January. (Source: University of Scranton. Journal of Clinical Psychology).Everyone seems to want to live a healthier life. Be fitter and stronger. Yet, the toil required for the end result doesn't have many takers. A short term fad diet or a couple of Surya Namaskars are not going to help you achieve your health goals. It takes more than that. It is a mind-set change, a complete overhaul of the way you think and your habits.
"Tips to Stick to Your New Year Resolutions:
"Regardless of what your resolutions are, here are some tips which may help ensure you achieve them, and not give up mid-way:
1. Keep them simple: Of course if you wish for world peace, it is not going to happen overnight. Neither is a resolution to change your entire lifestyle overnight. Keep your resolutions simple. Don't create a bucket list of resolutions, just decide on one or two.
2. Keep them achievable: Losing 10kg in 2 weeks may sound like a great idea but it is impractical, unachievable and just pure unhealthy. Keep your resolutions such that you know how to achieve them. Small steps are required to head off on a life-changing journey.
3. Make them easy to measure: A tangible resolution will be easier to follow. Something vague like "I want to be happy this year" is not a good idea as you may not know what is your achievement percentage and thus will lead to discontentment. Give yourself a target. A target weight, a target clothes size, or something like I want to spend one hour with my child every evening without any distractions. These are tangible goals.
4. Break it down: The resolution may seem daunting by itself but if you break it down, it suddenly will seem easier to achieve. Write down what steps you need to take daily or weekly to achieve this. Tick off the steps as you progress as a form of self-motivation.
"Whatever be your New Year Resolution, if you follow these steps and exercise your will power, there are great chances that you will achieve it. If not, well, there's always next year" New Year Resolutions: How to Stick to Them Successfully (NDTV)
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To add a zest to my own life add a little ego, Manik asked my age and he guessed 55 but being a senior citizen gave me some more - somewhere around 60. When I told him it is ten years since I retired, he was just surprised to find my real age. So was the health-machine at Walmart during the last US sojourn working out my age when fed with various parameters showed me five years younger. Only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches like a diabetic knows where the muscle pinches and yet we have to carry on with life. Being optimistic, good health generally I owe to the pleasant environment the Mother Nature has given us in the hills shared little more in Sikkim that make all the difference in spite of all the ordeals and hardship of a hill-life. Someone, however, recently found me good enough to be his Guru - he might be meaning a Role Model out of me for those in the same boat retired or about to in coming years. Such notes naturally make pleasant music to my ears - good encouragement to cheer up and why not share the joy here. Time would only tell or be telling upon me!
Further, being simply satisfied of coming back reknocking at Rhenock in the Black Hill could have helped a little more. We have, otherwise, a fair share of every thing good and bad here too - where else to escape - Jeena yahan, Marna yahan; Iske siway, Jana Kahan!?
Let the New Year bring us all the Best out of us to a happy, healthy and prosperous life in 2017 - Cheers!
Disclaimer: This is author’s personal account of memories updated to cherish and treasure often on a detour here and there en route to share the joy of the journey called life. Some names (*asterisk for those no more), quotes, places and events mentioned are just to connect with and no malice whatsoever intended. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Newars World~Wide Connecting the Dots Sikkim is available at the Rachna Books.