If you don’t apply what you learn, this is what happens!

Unexpected Wisdom from a Bird

A man caught a bird. The bird said to him, “Release me, and I will give you three valuable pieces of advice. I will give you the first when you let me go, the second when I fly up to that branch, and the third when I fly up to the top of the tree.”

The man agreed, and let the bird go. 

Now free, the bird said, “Do not torture, torment and burden yourself with excessive regret for past mistakes.”

Image result for bird and a man

The bird then flew up to a branch and said, 

“Do not believe anything that goes against common sense, unless you have firsthand proof.”

Then the bird flew up to the top of the big tree and said, “You fool. I have two huge jewels inside of me. If you had killed me instead of letting me go, you would have been rich.”

“Darn it!” the man exclaimed. “How could I have been so stupid? I am never going to get over this. Bird, can you at least give me the third piece of advice as a consolation?”

The bird replied, “I was merely testing you. You are asking for further advice, yet you already disregarded the first two pieces of advice I gave you. First, I told you not to torment yourself with excessive regret for past mistakes, and second I told you not to believe things that go against common sense unless there is firsthand proof. 

And yet, you just tormented yourself with regret for letting me go, and you also believed that somehow there are two huge jewels inside a tiny bird like me! 

So here now is your third piece of advice: “If you are not applying what you already know, why are you so intent on gaining what you do not know?”


Experience your power in 2020 – The Foundation (Step by Step) – 11th Dec to 31st.

Shall we start?

Who we are is important for what we do!

Thank you for following my blog. Here’s a gist of what we’re going to do in the next 21 days:-

Everyday (beginning from tomorrow) you’ll receive an action program through my blog. For want of a better description, I’ve named it the Success Planner. I know, I know, pretty cliched but what I’m going to take you through is everything but that!

This 2020 Success Planner focuses on success mindset development. It will help you to live with passion and purpose, to define your true goals and focus on achieving them – a process that will lead to overall success.

It will help you to enhance your success mindset and develop behaviours that will empower you to successfully define and achieve what you want in life: it will enable you to set high goals, turn your ideas into action, focus on purposeful actions and exceed them. It will also help you to:

  • discover your talents to achieve success more easily
  • define your passion, mission, vision and purpose to live a more fulfilling life
  • unlock what success means for you
  • connect better with your true self and gain extraordinary confidence
  • focus on your true goals and success, achieving them instantly
  • get hugely energized, inspired and empowered while traveling on your success mindset development journey

You can start setting your goals now and start your sprint to the destination at the beginning of 2020, on your birthday, on the day you make an important decision or at any other time of the year. It really does not matter when you start – the sooner, the better!

All the best!


Do you have a story to tell?

Or do you’ve a story that needs to be told? Let’s make it happen.

Get in touch with me at vbanagiri@gmail.com

I remember reading somewhere that all of us have a book in us. I believe it’s true. Every life is unique. We may be able to relate to situations in other people’s lives but only we can get the theme of our life. Simply because, that’s how we’re wired as human beings. Our path is our own and our story is unparalleled. Even dopplegangers have different tales.

The recurring patterns, the unprecedented challenges, the lessons we learn, the tests we give in the university of Life are entirely our own. That’s why there can be nothing called Absolute Truth. Everybody’s truth is different. Therefore, judging somebody’s actions, giving them labels of good, bad, right, wrong, is unfair.

What I am interested in is to share your story with the world. If you’ve a success story of your business, your kids or partners, I would like to be the one to write it. I believe I qualify because of 2 reasons:-

  1. I’ve written all my adult life in various editorial capacities in the publishing world. From a reporter to the editor, I have traversed an eventful path and the journey has been awesomely enriching for my subject and me. I’ve interviewed almost every personality that would be of interest for the readers. From a child bride to a celebrity, Chef to a political leader, I have had the good fortune of sharing their stories with the world.
  2. I have authored 5 books out of which 3 are stories of others. Butterflies and Barbed Wires, my debut novel, Hyderabad Hazir Hai, an anthology, The Placebo Effect, a psychological thriller, 100 Years of Gunupatis, tracing the history of GVK & TSR’s families, The Eternal Couple, 55 years of Mr & Mrs. GVK’s journey…

If these reasons are not enough, here’s another one for the clincher. I also design, print, publish and publicize them with the help of my magical team who believe in books & films as much as I do.

Yet another USP is that I have an amazing film making team who also capture every life in the most splendid way for posterity. We use augmented reality to make them spring to life in a way that nobody else does.

Have a story to tell? Get in touch with me on vanaja@sumeriaangrowthpartners.com.

Let’s share your story… The world is waiting to discover you…


Life is the best teacher

“Life is 10 percent what you make it, and 90 percent how you take it.” 

Most of our experiences in life are based on our perceptions. There is no absolute truth except occurences of nature. Even there, sunrise in the east is the time for sunset in the west. “Tum dinko agar raat kaho toh woh bhi sach hai.” End of the day, as I hit my middle age I realize that everybody’s truth depends on their perception. So what are we arguing for & about?

Let’s just be and let the others be.

Let’s do what works for us and let the others do whatever suits them.

If we don’t agree with someone, it’s absolutely fine. We can agree to disagree.

If someone close to you is being constantly negative, the best option for us is to move out of their space.

Self preservation is the first human instinct. So it’s absolutely fine to do anything to stay true to yourself.


Everything is the way it should be…


As you look back on your life, you will often realize that many of the times you thought you were being rejected from something good, you were in fact being redirected to something better. You can’t control everything. Sometimes you just need to relax and have faith that things will work out. Let go a little and just let life happen. Because sometimes the truths you can’t change, end up changing you and helping you grow. Everything is as it should be. It’s crazy how you always end up where you’re meant to be – how even the most tragic and stressful situations eventually teach you important lessons that you never dreamed you were going to learn.

Remember, often times when things are falling apart, they are actually falling into place. Not until you are lost in this world can you begin to find your true self. Realizing you are lost is the first step to living the life you want. The second step is leaving the life you don’t want. Making a big life change is pretty scary. But you know what’s even scarier? Regret.

Vision without action is a daydream, and action without vision is a nightmare. Your heart is free, have the courage to follow it. It’s usually the deepest pain which empowers you to grow to your full potential. It’s the scary, stressful choices that end up being the most worthwhile. Without pain, there would be no change. But remember, pain, just like everything in life, is meant to be learned from and then released.

One of the hardest decisions you will ever face in life is choosing whether to walk away or take another step forward. If you catch yourself in a cycle of trying to change someone, or defending yourself against someone who is trying to change you, walk away. But if you are pursuing a dream, take another step. And don’t forget that sometimes this step will involve modifying your dream, or planning a new one – it’s OK to change your mind or have more than one dream.

You have to take care of yourself first. Before befriending others, you have to be your own friend. Before correcting others, you have to correct yourself. Before making others happy, you have to make yourself happy. It’s not called selfishness, it’s called personal development. Once you balance yourself, only then can you balance the world around you.

One of the greatest freedoms is truly not caring what everyone else thinks of you. As long as you are worried about what others think of you, you are owned by them. Only when you require no approval from outside yourself, can you own yourself.

You may need to be single for awhile before you realize that, although the co-owned belongings from your failed relationships might not have been divided equally, the issues that destroyed the relationships likely were. For how can you stand confidently alone, or see the same issues arising in your newest relationship, and not realize which broken pieces belong to you? Owning your issues, and dealing with them, will make you far happier in the long run, than owning anything else in this world.

The only thing you can absolutely control is how you react to things out of your control. The more you can adapt to the situations in life, the more powerful your highs will be, and the more quickly you’ll be able to bounce back from the lows in your life.

Put most simply: being at peace means being in a state of complete acceptance of all that is, right here, right now. Some people will lie to you. Remember, an honest enemy is better than a friend who lies. Pay less attention to what people say, and more attention to what they do. Their actions will show you the truth, which will help you measure the true quality of your relationship in the long-term.

If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never have enough. If you are thankful for what you do have, you will end up having even more. Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold; happiness dwells in the soul. Abundance is not about how much you have, it’s how you feel about what you have.

When you take things for granted, your happiness gets taken away. Yes, you have failed in the past. But don’t judge yourself by your past, you don’t live there anymore.

Just because you’re not where you want to be today doesn’t mean you won’t be there someday. You can turn it all around in the blink of an eye by making a simple choice to stand back up – to try again, to love again, to live again, and to dream again. Everything is going to be alright; maybe not today, but eventually.

There will be times when it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong. And you might feel like you will be stuck in this rut forever, but you won’t. Sure the sun stops shining sometimes, and you may get a huge thunderstorm or two, but eventually the sun will come out to shine. Sometimes it’s just a matter of us staying as positive as possible in order to make it to see the sunshine break through the clouds again.

Lessons from ancient history…

No two people respond to the same situation in a similar way.

Here are examples of two legendary personalities who were faced with a very similar situation, but thier responses were diagonally apart.

This is a comparitive study between Bhisma and Jatayu.

Both, of them were confronted with character defining asssault on womanhood.

One chose to die protecting the victim while the other chose to be a mute spectator of the crime.

Bhisma was a powerful warrior and if he wanted, he could have stopped the disrobing of Draupadi – the Queen but he chose to be a silent witness of this act

whereas Jatayu was old and invalid and knew that in all probability, Ravana would kill him but still, he chose to try his best to protect Sita – the Queen.

Bhisma was powerful yet acted powerless whereas Jatayu was powerless yet acted powerful. _

“Real power is not about physical strength but about the deep desire to help.”_


Bhisma lived on but died everyday to his conscience whereas Jatayu died once but lived eternally true to his conscience. _

” Our only constant companion is our concience – better to be true to it.”_


Bhisma’s name and fame went down in history because of this one act of not stopping the disrobing of Draupadi but Jatayu’s name and fame went high in history because of his act of trying to save Sita. _

” We are all going to be mere names in history, sooner or later. Will we be equated with the bad or the good – is our choice.”_


Bhisma was supposed to be a highly cultured human but acted highly insensitive & stooped low in values like a vulture


Jatayu was supposed to be a lowly uncultured vulture but acted highly sensitive and soared the skies in values like an evolved human. Who would you call as a human – Bhisma or Jatayu? _

“One doesn’t become a human being by being born as a human – one becomes a human being by being a human.”_


Draupadi begged and pleaded protection from Bhisma because she knew if someone could protect her it was only him but still Bhisma didn’t protect her


Sita didn’t even ask Jatayu for protection – she just wanted him to inform Rama about her kidnapping by Ravana because she knew Jatayu was not powerful but still Jatayu tried to protect Sita.

Bhisma being a human couldn’t even understand the spoken words of Draupadi what to speak of understanding her unspoken words whereas Jatayu even though was a mere bird, understood not only the spoken words of Sita but also her unspoken words.

“The language of heart is more powerful than the language of words.”_


Bhisma was confused regarding his Royal duty that he forgot that he had a higher duty – a moral duty


Jatayu was so clear about his moral duty that no other duty was a consideration for him. _

“When caught up in dilemmas, best is to follow the higher principles – to follow our heart because it always knows the truth.”_


Bhisma set a very bad precedent for generations to come


Jatayu set the most ideal precedent for generations to come. _

“If we can’t be a great example atleast let us not be a bad one.”_


Another interesting point is that Bhisma was an elderly relative of Draupadi but acted as a total stranger in this episode


Jatayu was not at all related to Sita, he was a stranger but acted more than a dearest relative. _

“True relationships is based on heartly connections not just bodily connections.”_


Both, Bhisma and Jatayu had a few moments to decide what to do. Life,

sometimes puts in situations where in a few moments we need to take crucial decisions.

What we decide very much depends on the kind of inner integrity we have cultivated by the association we keep.

Bhisma’s intelligence was clouded and it failed the test of life because he associated with the wicked minded, selfish Kauravas whereas Jatayu’s intelligence was crystal clear and it passed the test of life because he associated with the saintly, selfless Lakshman and the All-pure Lord Rama.

“After all, who we are solely depends on whom we associate with.”


The Supreme Lord as Sri Krishna was not at all happy with this attitude of Bhisma so much so that when He came as a peace messenger to Hastinapur, He didn’t even bother to look at Bhisma, what to speak of respecting him


The Supreme Lord as Ramachandra was so happy with the attitude of Jatayu that he embraced him and personally did his final rites – a honour that even Dasharath – His father didn’t receive. _

The scriptures explain that the ultimate test of any activity is, if the Supreme Lord is pleased with us._ It is very clear, Bhisma displeased God whereas Jatayu pleased Him.

This recount is not meant to criticize Bhisma – he is undoubtedly a great warrior and an amazing personality who sacrificed his personal desires for Hastinapur,


we do vehemently criticize his inaction. The end here is to learn from the choices made so that we are conscious history follows us. _

When we see some injustice, some problem, we have only two options – either close your eyes to it or do something about it – follow “the Bhisma way” or “the Jatayu way”

and whichever way we choose remember there will be consequences of our choices

~”the Bhisma result” or “the Jatayu result”._



A youngster was attending a video conference with his Manager who was upset over the background noises. The Youngster turned around and told his grandmother to keep quiet.

She walked towards the youngster, to take a look into what he was doing and saw a person on the Monitor and asked, “Who is he?”

The youngster muted his audio and video and said, “He is my Manager”.

She said, “I want to talk to your Manager”. But the youngster denied. By the time the Manager started pinging the youngster and the youngster unmuted to talk and his grandmother shouted, “Manager I want to talk to you”.

The Manager agreed and the youngster unmuted the video. The grandmother, with a smile said, “Namaskara” and introduced herself and the Manager also greeted her.

She said, “You look upset”.

The Manager said, “Yeah, some kind of work tension, a lot of noise around your house and we are not able complete the meeting in time”.

The Grand Mother asked, “May I help solve your problem?”

Her grandson was stopping her and telling her to keep quiet.

The Manager said, “It’s ok, let her speak”.

The Grandmother narrated, “Once there was a Young man, who sat under a tree for taking rest. He was continuously hearing a bird’s sound. He lifted his head and seeing a bird, started chasing it, so that he could peacefully take some rest. The bird came closer to him and said, “You are taking rest under my nest. I will not ask you to leave this place but you should learn to co-exist with us”.

The Grandmother looked at both of them and said, “Your Home is your nest” where you are supposed to take rest and bond with your dear and near ones. I do understand the Covid-19 situation, but you should also understand that our home is not your office.

*When we come to visit our family members at your office place, we are expected to behave professionally or maintain a certain decorum.*

Similarly, when you are using our home for your office work, you should understand the situation at our home.

There is nothing wrong with working from home, but remember, it is the family members benevolent nature, that is keeping the corporate world functioning today and the economy running.

She looked at the manager and asked, “Am I correct ?”

*The Manager’s mother peeped and said “You are absolutely right”.*

Unsolved Mystery…

*Mysteries are to be lived, not understood.*

We all came into this world gifted with innocence, but gradually, as we became more intelligent, we lost our innocence. We were born with silence, but as we grew up, we lost the silence and were filled with words. We lived in our hearts, but as time passed, we moved into our heads. The reversal of this journey is enlightenment.

It is the journey from the head back to the heart – from words, back to silence; it is getting back to our innocence in spite of our intelligence. Knowledge should lead you to that beautiful point of “I don’t know!” The purpose of knowledge is wonder. The completion of knowledge leads you to amazement and wonder. It makes you aware of this existence. Mysteries are to be lived, not understood. They move you from an ugly “I don’t know” to a beautiful “I don’t know!”

As our intelligence grows, we tend to lose our innocence. The crookedness of the intelligent, or the innocence of the ignorant, has no value, but the innocence of one, who is in knowledge, has value. If one can maintain a gap between “doing,” the “happening,” and one’s self, then this is very precious…and it is also very simple.

It is not that one has to strive hard to do something to maintain innocence. An ignorant person won’t say, “I don’t know!” One passes through knowledge, and then one comes to another “I don’t know!” which is the beautiful “I don’t know!” Knowledge increases your idea of not knowing. As you know more, the unknown seems to increase. It can be in any field – music, science or the arts. With this, comes the beautiful “I don’t know!” and that is what innocence is.

Ignorance, which has passed through knowledge, gets into another state, which is the beautiful “I don’t know!” Astonishment is the basis of a spiritual opening. Creation is filled with so many amazing things, but we take things for granted, and when we take things for granted, inertia dawns, tamas arises, inactivity and ignorance come. A sense of astonishment brings wakefulness.

A miracle shocks you; shock is wakefulness, and when we awaken, we see that the whole creation is full of miracles. The entire creation is to be astounded with, astonished about, and wondered upon, because it is all the display of one consciousness.

The same consciousness burns as oxygen in a lamp…and there is light. What is the similarity between light and life? A lamp (light) needs oxygen to burn – so does a life. If you are put in a glass cage, the life in you will be put out. In the same way, if you put a glass cage over a lamp, the lamp will only burn as long as there is oxygen, otherwise it will be put out.

Our little brain is programmed to one or two languages, and we think that all understanding and all knowledge can be captured in this little brain of ours. From the point of view of animals, your language has no meaning. It is just like howling! If cats or dogs hear you, unless you have trained them for a long time, they will think you are mewing or barking at them – just with a different sound; it makes no sense to them! Our language, our intellect, and our mind are so limited; their perspective is limited.

We think we can reason, find logic in, and understand all that exists, because that feeling of “I know it all!” can keep us in a little shell of dullness. But “I don’t know!” creates wakefulness, and you need to be awakened! What is this “I don’t know!”? This “I don’t know!” is the key to spiritual progress.

Nature provides you with opportunities to be amazed, again and again; so wonder about: “What is life?” “What is consciousness?” “What is the universe?” “Who am I?” You are so fortunate if you come to this point. This is the beginning of spirituality, of yoga – union with the one Divinity.

Let us get astonished at the union. Wonder is the preface of the union…and when you are united, you wonder at everything! You walk around, look at a flower, and wonder, “Wow! This flower is so intelligent!” Recognize the intelligence in every petal, in every leaf, in every human being that walks around you. Look at every human being. Consciousness has its own mind, it looks through the eyes, it speaks through the mouth, it responds to you (or doesn’t respond to you) many times. The prana – the life force – is present in every stone, in every object. There is nothing inanimate on this planet. We are all floating in the ocean of life.

From the microcosm, to the macrocosm, everybody is just a shell in the ocean of life – it is such good fortune, and this is one such phenomenon. The time scale of the present, past and future, is within the purview of the consciousness. Consciousness is beyond time and space; it is all just vibrations. So if you are amazed, astonished, wonder-struck, just close your eyes with a smile, and be in union with the self.

Age is just a number…

“Amma, I am going to the Mall along with my wife and daughter. Please take care of the house.”

“OK son. You go ahead. Already my legs are aching. I am not interested in coming to the mall. You go ahead.”

“Grandma, you should also come” insisted the grand daughter …

“Grandma cannot climb all those steps in the mall. She does not know how to use the escalator. As there are no temples there, Grandma will not be interested. She is interested only in going to temples,” said the daughter in law.

Though Grandma nodded in agreement the grand daughter was adamant. She refused to come to the mall if Grandma was not coming. Though Grandma repeated that she was not interested, she could not stand her ground against her dear ten year old granddaughter. She agreed to accompany them.

The granddaughter was very happy. Father asked everyone to get dressed up. Before her parents could get ready, the oldest and the youngest were ready. The youngster took her grandma to the front room. She drew two parallel lines, a foot apart. She told her grandmother that it was a game and the old lady had to pretend that she was a crane (the bird).

She had to keep one leg within the lines and raise the other leg by three inches.

” What is this my dear?” asked Grandma…

” This is the Crane game Grandma. I will show you how to play.” Both of them played a few times before the father could bring the car….Grandma became adept in the game.

They reached the mall and when they reached the escalator, the father and mother were wondering how the elderly lady would master that. The granddaughter took Grandma near the escalator and asked her to play the Crane game. Grandma raised her right foot and kept it on one of the moving steps and raised her left leg by three inches and could easily reach the next moving step. This way, she effortlessly used the escalator to reach the higher level, to the wonder of her son and daughter in law. With her successful debut, Grandma and the grand daughter moved up and down several times on the escalator and were enjoying the fun.

They then went to the theatre to see a movie. As it was cold inside, granddaughter took out a shawl from her bag and covered the old lady, with a mischievous smile. She had come prepared for this! After the movie, they went to a restaurant. When the son asked his mother what to order, his daughter took away the menu and thrust it in the hands of Grandma.

“You know how to read; better go through the menu and order whatever you want.” Grandma decided the items to be eaten.

Before leaving for home, Grandma went to use the toilet. Using that occasion, the father asked his daughter how she knew so much about his mother which as a son, he was not aware of.

Prompt came the response: “Dad, when a young child is brought out of the home, you make so many preparations – milk bottles, diapers, wipes etc. Your mother would have done all these things for you. Why not show the same consideration for your mother? Why did you presume that the elderly would be interested only in temples. They also have normal desires like going out and enjoying all the fun. Since they do not openly express it, we have to coax them to speak up.”

The father was speechless. However he was happy to learn a new lesson from his ten year old.

Aged parents need to be treated like kids. Respect them and love them unconditionally coz there is no replacement for them.