The Unsung Hero Of India #1

imageAnand Kumar was born in Patna, Bihar and attended a Hindi Medium School where he developed an enormous passion for Mathematics

Mr Kumar lost his father at a young age & his family suffered financial troubles henceforth. The family was solely dependent on his mother’s earnings.

He delivered home made papads (Crispy Indian snack) to shops and homes on his bicycle. Meanwhile, in 1992, he founded Ramanujam School of Mathematics where anyone could join without paying a penny & attend math camps

In 1994, his dreams came true and he was offered an education in Cambridge and Sheffield universities. Regrettably, lack of financial resources did not permit him to pursue his further education.

But the unflinching Anand did not loose hope and converted his club and camp into a coaching institute for competitive exams.
He also created the Super 30 programme to provide free education to the 30 talented students from financially poor backgrounds, for he knew that financial problems should not deter talent from achieving great heights.

The initiative provides free coaching, boarding and accommodation to the 30 talented children, chosen by Mr Anand and exclusively trained for the IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) JEE (Joint Entrance Exam) exam.

The initiative gets funds from the money earned by Anand from his coaching institute where he teaches about 500 students per batch, three times a week for 2.5 hours each.

The money earned is directed towards the Super 30 programme. The results of his 30 students have indeed been extremely impressive.

Founded in 2003, 18 students made it to IIT, whereas in 2004, the number rose to 22. 26 students were selected in 2006 and 28 got into IIT in 2007. In 2008 and 2009, 30 out of 30 students made it to IIT! (The difficulty level of JEE Exams are very high!)

Mr Anand Kumar has been a speaker at Atlanta, where he delivered a fantastic lecture in the annual conference organized by the American Mathematics Society and the Mathematics Association of America.

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He also contributed to the widely popular journals from the U.K., The Mathematical Gazette and the Mathematics Spectrum, and Parabola published in Australia.

Mr Kumar now aspires to establish schools for the poor and financially backward students so that their talent does not dwindle with time.
In fact, Discovery Channel had once featured a programme on Super 30. The New York Times has also written about Anand Kumar.

A Truly Humble & a Great Man, Indeed!

A Workaholic’s Ultimate Guide To Travel Benefits!

imageA Workaholic’s Ultimate Guide To Travel Benefits

 

It’s the holiday season and you’re ultimately bestowed with the much required time-off. This means that before you, lay the following two phenomenal options: either you opt for a holiday abroad to unwind yourself and spend quality time with your unattended and overlooked family members and kinfolk OR you prefer to work diligently. Now, if you find yourself favourably disposed towards the latter, either you are a hard-worker who yearns for more spadework just because you relish your job OR you are a workaholic who has an inner-compulsion to labour persistently, in order to make yourself feel more worthy and productive.
Unfortunately, absolute adherence to work may offer hindrance to one’s professional and personal obligations. Workaholism is synonymous to ‘need-perfectionism-at-work’ which at times, can make you immensely restless and even stagnate your well-being. Research has uncovered that workaholics habitually skip their meals, are often stressed out and more irritable than their ‘non-workaholic’ counterparts, subsequently resulting in counter productivity, depression, burnouts and negative impact on relationships.
Remember, workaholics- overworking does not has its pluses. Besides, it kills your efficiency at work and affects you health. Calm your adrenaline-rushes by settling on a time-off. During the brief ‘time of rest’, prevent yourself from immersing in thoughts related to work. Keep your smartphones, pagers, emails and laptops at bay and travel!
Albeit there are several other alternatives to Travel during recreation time, here are a handful of points attesting the advantages of travel over other activities (let’s reattain our work-life balance!) :
1. Travelling abroad, that is, not only breaks the monotony of self-same experiences of the life we dwell in, but also brings about drastic changes in our lifestyle choices.

2. Travelling make us more sensitive and open to unalike yet enchanting cultures and traditions of the various colours of humanity. If you become culturally more sensitive, you’re more likely to develop better business relations with clients belonging to different countries (so profitable!). Besides, travelling to fascinating places boosts ones creative energy and reduces stress, a much needed tonic to calm a workaholic’s knackered soul!

3. Travelling brings you more close to your kins and farther away from your hectic professional life. Result: It bolsters your personal relationships. You get the glorious opportunity to savour the real beauty of the world around you, rather than indulging in ten cups of black coffee to mollify your trembling soul for another important presentation.

 

4. Moreover, Travelling affects your professional life too, but in a fruitful manner. A detailed study conducted by Ernst & Young accounting firm unveiled that for each extra ten hours an employee utilised in a vacation, his/her performance review became 8 percent higher the next year. Travelling charges your mental battery which was earlier exhausted. A nine year study claimed that annually travelling reduces the risk of death from any cause, specially heart related diseases. Brain health is finely maintained when travelling becomes one of the top priorities in your life.

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Photo courtesy: thestorypedia
Now that you are well apprised of the benefits of travelling, as a workaholic, you need to keep in mind:

Ø To prevent yourself from scanning emails and over-planning your travel journey. Workaholics always want things to be under control but at times, your only job is to just keep swimming against the enormous and troublesome waves. Those waves are not in control of you. Go easy (it can be difficult, but nothing is impossible).
Ø To hire a travel agent who can lend his proficiency and offer cheap yet pleasant deals, packages and flights. This would minimise your stress and unnecessary tension regarding the planning and execution of your time off in an effective manner.
Ø Travelling during time off, especially for workaholics, is a ‘once in a blue moon’ opportunity which should be relished thoroughly. The excessive weight of your baggage should not be an impediment to your incredible travel experiences. To travel light, connect to Uni Baggage, a low-cost delivery network that would collect your heavy luggage and deliver them to you when you arrive at your desired station. Available for both students and non-students, Uni Baggage provides an excellent alternative to the expensive baggage fees on airlines or train journeys.

An incredible travel experience can give a workaholic a new lease on life! So de-stress and rejuvenate yourself and plunge into the heavenly experiences of travelling.

Another Mother Teresa In Making

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Image courtesy: http://en.akshy.org/akshy/our-team/

After a tiring day from the school, I rush back to my home. ‘How can someone like school?’ I ponder on this thought when my mother opens the main door. ‘Another attack on our valiant soldiers in Uri’ she despondently asserts.
For the past one week, our media has been portraying all sorts of news regarding the Uri attack and its aftermath. “Why doesn’t the neighbouring country concede its participation in this gruesome event? Should the Pakistani artists be banned in India? Is another war inevitable!?” And all of these discussions are the talk of the town in the country across the border too.
My heart bleeds for the martyred soldiers and the voice inside me revolts against this brutal episode. Where is this world heading to? Shouldn’t we provide aid to the families of these heavenly soldiers financially as well as emotionally instead of commencing a Twitter War with the citizens of the neighbouring country?

Another thought disturbs my disconsolated mind:

why the news channels only support the negatives of the world while overshadowing the positive ones? As my thoughts horrify me even more, my soul tries to find solace on the internet to know if humanity still exists.

I come across two truly wonderful souls who reclaim my faith in humanity- the gorgeous Mother Teresa who deserves to be a popular figure and Raquel Mason Palomeque, The one who is actually following Mother Teresa’s footsteps.

This Spanish woman has taken massive efforts to change the lives of the Dalit children in Bihar for the past 10 years!

Dalits in India are the members of the lowest caste who’ve been mistreated at every phase in the course of our country’s history. Only few courageous people have tried to alter the norms set by the ruthless society, and Ms Raquel is one of them. The Dalit community in Bihar was suffering and its children were deprived of the basic education and sufficient healthcare. Ms Raquel, who’d already fallen in love with the country’s sublime culture by that time, took the decision to return to Spain to collect funds for these beautiful yet hapless children of God.

Just like Mother Teresa, she decided that she’ll make her life more useful to others. In the year 2008, She quit her job in Spain and sold her house to compensate for her expenses and left for India. She opened up Akshy Educational Centre and Kamal School, where currently about 220 children are being taught. You’ll be surprised to know that half the seats in the school are reserved for girls!
She strongly believes that education will provide them with instruments to stand up for their views, ideas and ask for their rights as Indian Citizens.

We need souls like Mother Teresa and Raquel who aspire to diminish the negativity of this world! Come, let’s become one!
To know more about her mission, you can visit her website: http://en.akshy.org
My gratitude to: ‘The Better India’ newsletter that inspires me by helping me connect with beautiful people like Raquel Mason Palomeque!

ThinkAboveHorizon

Am I Enough?

 

We all are different. Whether it be our physical characteristics or personalities. We all are unique and wonderful in our own ways. Do you accept this very fact?

I do. But I usually fall into this mighty trap which I’m certain you have fallen into too. (Like a dozen times)
‘She is prettier that I am’, ‘he got better grades than me’, ‘she owns more than what my son does’ or even worse than all of these- ‘he has a better life than mine!’
Quit comparing yourself with others. Quit your trivial competition with others who you think are far better than you. That’s the very first step of paramount importance for leading a truly gleeful life. Remember this: They aren’t the perfectionists, they do lack the talent in areas where you shine and sparkle like a gem.

By competing with others, comparing your own essence with theirs and coveting what they have that you don’t simply leads to a destructible and melancholic life. By doing so you’re simply degrading your own esteem. You’re indirectly declaring to yourself that- ‘I’m not enough!’

The best and the most deserving person to be competed with is none other that you! Compete with yourself, so that the tomorrow’s ‘you’ is more wise, intelligent and beautiful than the yesterday’s ‘you’.
Someone has rightly said, ‘A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it, it just blooms’
Be that flower and spread your tantalising aroma to the world!

What Is Happening To Me?

“Why does it always happen to me?”
“What have I done to deserve this?”
“I’m worthless!”
“I’m not a deserving candidate.”

Doesn’t this remind you of something?

The statements you just read above are quite common to hear, aren’t they? But, where have you heard them?
Well, then just ask yourself. You might either end up scratching your head in a confused state as to where these words last hit your ears or you might have guessed it right. Who said this to you?
Well then, Surprise!
It was me, your mind! You might not know this but I love criticising you. The way you sit, stand and stroll..Ugh! You’re just so disgusting I tell you. Remember, yesterday’s fashion show on the television? The models were so gorgeous! The way they walked on the ramp, that’s what you call attitude! You really need to work on this otherwise you might end up looking slouchy and uncharismatic.

Now, Did you find that extremely irritating?
Were you totally flabbergasted with the way the mind conversed?
No, it’s not the first time you’re hearing (or should I rather say- READING) this conversation. OUR MINDS CAN EITHER BE OUR SERVANTS OR OUR MASTERS. If servant, they can be the most loyal and soothing ones, but when they play the role of a master, they will never feel shy to show you their villainy. Never.

Then how will I get to acknowledge whether my mind is a loyal servant or the cruel master?
It’s very simple. Are your thoughts in control of you or are you (unknowingly) being controlled by your own thoughts?
If the former is what you choose then there’s no need to worry my friend, you are in a perfect state of health. Keep rocking and don’t let the mind overrule you!
If the latter is what fits to your situation- then there’s a possibility that you’re dealing with a cruel master-a turbulent mind. In that case, you might even suffer from daily mood swings and unhappiness.
But, as you know-there’s a solution to every problem!
I would highly recommend you to start your mornings with meditation. To be more exact- Gibberish Meditation will work wonders specially for people who have a tendency to overthink.
It’s an extremely easy (and FUN!) way to calm your mind and rule over it again! You can get to know about this meditation on the Internet (Believe me, I myself am an avid practicer of this meditation and it has helped me a great deal in my battle with low self esteem and depression).
Good Luck!
Not to forget to mention, if you begin with this meditation, you need to then continue it for solid 21 days. You’ll soon see as well as feel the amazing results. Your happiness, vibrancy and optimism will lead your way!
P.S- want it to be more effective? Do it with an empty stomach!

May Happiness shine your way!
ThinkAboveHorizon

An Act Of Gratitude Can Change Your Life!

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“You have no cause for anything but gratitude and joy”- Buddha

Even the great Buddha was aware of the miracles that the power of gratitude can create in one’s life. Gratitude can create miracles in your life. In this blog, I would love to share the benefits and the way in which you can bring the power of gratitude into use. Behold yourself for an amazing new start to your life through the mighty potency of Gratitude!

There’s so much in this world to be grateful for! So, the first thing you can do in the morning is- Create a list and jot down 7 things that you are blessed with (you have to do this exercise daily). It can either be your good health or even a glass of fresh water. It can be anything. For instance, you are thankful to life for your good health. Write it down, then sit in front of the mirror and read it out aloud to yourself. At the end of each blessing, say ‘thank you!’ Remember, that you need to feel the gratitude from the inside, you just can’t read those blessings for the sake of finishing the session as quickly as possible and then expect to receive the results in the blink of an eye. The outcome of your gratitude sessions will take a little time so you need to be patient. But the results which you’ll soon see will be magical. Beginning your day with a thankful outlook on life is perfect as it generates positive feelings in you and brings about a fruitful change in your life.

You might be aware that your inner thoughts and feelings create your outer circumstances. After practising this gratitude exercise, you will instantly feel happy and optimistic. The more happy feelings you experience, more will you attract circumstances that will make you feel jolly and gleeful. So here is another benefit- your gratitude practise is in turn providing you with more things to be thankful for!

Gratitude not only means a quality of having thankfulness and expressing it, but also appreciating even the smaller things in life. So appreciate people, appreciate nature, and yes- do appreciate yourself (that’s the first and the most important thing to do!) Also, try not to complain, criticise or speak negative words about anyone or anything since this will lead to the formation of negative energy around you and spoil the whole fun and enjoyment that you were experiencing after the gratitude session! Believe me, practising gratitude really works. (Proof- It worked for me!)

I hope you enjoyed reading!

-Anshika Jhamb

6 Ways To Cure Low Self-Esteem Issues- Blogging My Own Experience

6 Ways To Cure Low Self-Esteem Issues- Blogging My Own Experience


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Teenage years are quite challenging, this is the period when you are neither classified as a child nor an adult. You have to be at your level best. Your parents, teachers, peers expect a lot from you and sometimes, however, there comes a point in your life when you’re not able to stand up to their expectations and experience failure. Consequently, after certain sets of failures you have to deal with criticism. This leads to a severe blow to your self-esteem and eventually you lose it.
This was just an example, there are many more reasons that might have contributed to your low self-esteem. It’s okay if you have a low self-esteem, it’s totally fine! Just remember that there are thousands in this world, who had dealt with this situation and came out of it successfully and soon you’ll be one of one of them! I too experienced a low self-esteem and believe me there’s a cure to this troubling issue of yours. So just hold back and follow these directives-
1) Huggie Time!
Yes! Huggie Time is the perfect solution. Hug yourself tightly and murmur this to yourself- ‘(your name) I love you, you’re the best!’ Do this two times a day (let me be more precise-) the moment after you wake up, and the moment when you are about to go to sleep. Try this technique and follow it strictly until you feel better…(it surely works!)
2) Help someone in need!
Whenever you help someone, you feel wonderful and happy. You feel good about yourself! Donate your pocket-money (I understand, it can be tough!)  or help a friend  in need.
3) Self Affirmation is a must!
You’ve lost your self-esteem because you’ve been too negative and critical towards yourself. Just try to focus on your thoughts (try it right now!) or remember what was your last reaction when your mom told you that you look gorgeous in that outfit. Was the thought or reaction over critical? Did you find yourself overly judgemental and unsympathetic? Stop it right away! Imagine you’ve a friend who’s selfish but dear to you, would you tell her right on her face that she’s an egocentric and a self-absorbed person? If your answer’s a ‘yes’ then definitely you’ll see her teary eyed and soon realize you’ve deeply hurt her feelings.
 If your answer’s a ‘no way!’ then just think what have you been doing to yourself for past few days or months. You’ve deeply hurt yourself, haven’t you? Now is the time to heal those wounds. Here’s the solution- three times a day, sit in front of the mirror and speak good about yourself, appreciate your good heart, how you helped a friend when he was in need, tell yourself that you’re a beautiful soul, you are unique!
4) Choose the right people!
Spend time with those who are positive and kind towards you. Talk to them about your problems, ask them their opinions, ask them what they like about you. You’ll be amazed and thrilled by their answers! ‘Oh my god! Do you really find me lighthearted and fun to be with’ might be your reaction. You can talk to your parents and close friends about this.
5) Find new hobbies!
By doing this you’ll definitely find out that you’re talented! Don’t be disheartened at first if you tried your best but could not accomplish as a good singer, at least you tried and that’s a great thing! Some people don’t even give it a chance but you did!
Remember no one’s perfect! Try out something new everyday!
Last but not the least
6) Stay Positive!
You have to be alert all the time, have you been dwelling on negative thoughts? Take a step further and kick those thoughts out. They don’t deserve your precious time, do they? Now, think positive. That’s it. For instance, you’ve been thinking about your project presentation tomorrow and have been constantly saying this to yourself- ‘What if no one likes my presentation tomorrow?’
Change your thought by saying-‘No, this won’t happen. I’ve given my best and so do I deserve the best!
I hope you enjoyed reading! Do invite your comments
-Anshika Jhamb