Samir’s nuggets – A new video series

After much deliberation I have finally launched a video series called “Samir’s Nuggets”. This is going to be two minute tips to a better life.

I am hoping to see one nugget posted each week. Hoping to be a blessing to many

Do subscribe to the YouTube channel to get these nuggets regularly

Here is the first one called “Can I control my anger?”

I share a tip to help. As I believe we can control our anger, it’s just that we don’t.

 

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Striving for beyond

As we enter the New Year, the focus tends to move to “resolutions” and what we need to strive for in the coming year. The bigger question however is “Are you striving for beyond?”

Have a good look at the sketch and then have a go at what you think it’s trying to communicate and then read my explanation below:

striving for beyondYears ago I had a dream. A very vivid one which has stayed with me over the years. In the dream I found myself struggling to get through a small opening in a wooden fence. I so wanted to get to the other side that I kept pushing and sweating. And then the dream showed me a wonderful open gate just next to the hole. I felt like a fool. How I had struggled, and why did I go though that struggle when there was a clear open way for me.

The sketch captures the essence of that dream.

Through generations (depicted by the changing nature of keeping time) man has sought hard and worked hard to achieve much. Wine, women and wealth have given him momentary pleasure, at the time to reach the beyond, he faces a closed gate. He failed to notice an open stairway that leads him there. Even though it’s narrow and may have  a few thorns along the way. It’s still very beautiful and it gets you there.

You can climb high to get those mangoes or pluck the juicy ones given at your feet. You can strive for the beyond or receive it through the open door.

Grace is available. The choice is yours.

 

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The Deokuliar Journey – 2015

Another year has gone by. And it’s an opportunity for us to thank the Lord and the many people who have played a part in our journey as a family, as well as individually in our respective endeavors. Here’s a peep at what we’ve been upto.

Jackie

Jackie (2)

decor (2)

As always, Jackie continues to be the homemaker par excellence. Whether it’s the Banoffee pie or the décor that makes our home a place to be. This year Jackie took on the role of Manager at The Dwaar Centre, bringing her expertise to handle multiple seminars, concerts, and workshops. With an increasing list of clientele she is relishing using her organising and PR skills.

She did a splendid job in putting together Samir’s fiftieth birthday surprise party too.

Jackie’s commitment to prayer, friendship and hospitality gives her the greatest fulfillment.

And she is still very cheeky!

Akshay

The highlight for Akshay has been his alternative Rock group NORTH. Having launched their first album ‘Pieces of mind’ in February, they have performed at multiple venues in the city, done a tri-city tour and played at the famed Ziro music festival. He continues to enjoy his passion for music through learning piano and singing, composing and teaching. He has taken the lead in starting Dwaar Music Academy.  He now pursues his passion in acting by exploring theatre and film with a new found dedication.

He is our night owl who goes to bed when the rest are ready to rise.

And by the way, he’s now officially a graduate. Yep! BA English.

Rachna

rach (2)For Rachna, this has been a year of fun and bloom. Blossoming in new found areas of creativity and competition. Whether slam poetry, inter-school debates or singing, it’s been a season of awards and acclaim.Academics has been hard work with early hours before exams, although it’s all chilling for the rest of the year. She now gears up for her 12th board exams early next year to prepare for her entry into university. How time flies.

And yes, fashion is her thing too with hours on the Pinterest board.

singing

Samir

He turned fifty this year. A big highlight was the celebration with family and friends wishing him on his golden day, and a real surprise was a creatively put together video by his school classmates recalling moments of another era. Samir has found great joy in serving God and leading Dwaar which just celebrated its fifth anniversary. He continues to host the daily TV show ‘Ek Nayee Zindagi’ on SONY TV each morning.

This year saw him reignite his old passion of
charcoal sketching, with only five sketches so far, hope it does not die again. His jokes no longer bring the house down, in fact the family unanimously considers him no longer funny!

It was also wonderful to spend good times with our families this year. Samir’s parents were down for his 50th Birthday which was celebrated with many of the extended family and Jackie was happy to meet her entire family including her sister from Canada.

fly

This has been a very eventful year. Through the many ups and downs, pains and joys all we can say is that we have been blessed and are grateful to God for his goodness.

Thank you once again for your support and friendship.

May the Lord bless you and may we together enter another year with faith and much expectation for the good things in store for us.

Keep smiling :)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

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Looking For Freedom?

Looking for freedom? Freedom is a much talked about topic today—a desire and a destination. Everyone wants it, everyone seeks it, but do we really know what it is? Our attempts can often be external, superficial or misguided.

Through this sketch I attempt to go deeper.

Please dwell on it, interpret it for yourself, and then read my explanation under. I would greatly appreciate your comments and inputs.

freedom new

You’re looking for freedom, but bondage is what you experience. Whether the challenge of the iron bars, being pierced as a slave or clamped in chains.

You’re trapped.

There’s a lot of pain in bondage. You run and you run for freedom, but land up in the trap of addiction. And retire in tears.

But where can you run to?

There’s bondage everywhere: in the skies, the waters, the fields and the streets. The planets are bound in orbit, the sheep to the shepherd and the ship to the anchor. Even the commitment of marriage is a covenant of bondage. My friend, all bondage isn’t bad.

So whether the good, the bad or the ugly, you are bound in the circumstance of life, and freedom isn’t linked to these. True freedom is within you, a liberated soul.

Now go and fly!

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Urban Confusion

A few days in Shimla were the right inspiration to get back to sketching. After decades I got down to doing this pencil and charcoal work. I am posting this and my future sketches as blogs, hoping to introduce you to my style of art and communicate something through them.

So here goes.

Please dwell on the sketch. Interpret it for yourself and then read my explanation under the sketch. Would appreciate your comments and inputs.

Urban confusion

The urban setting has a seemingly clean table, picturesque with scholarly books. However, beyond the surface is confusion, questions and random partnerships. Toiletries and stationary live together; whisky and milk stand side by side with no qualms. The online world has broken into the clean table and changed the landscape forever.

The urban table is odd shaped, its creative, it has no legs, it hangs; something dark is holding it up and the money under it fuels its existence.

And yet, it’s sought after.

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Mumbai, Delhi and Me

garam vada

Mumbai to Delhi: it’s been a fascinating journey.

I’ve been a pakka Mumbaikar all my life—traveling in the crowded local trains daily from Borivli to Santacruz from the age of ten, munching the mouth watering vada pav at every possible nukkad, to unlimited fun in the monsoons (so what if everything gets really mucky?).

Being from Mumbai had its own ego pampering joys attached to it – like going to our hometown in the holidays only to find a whole gang of people clamoring around you to know more about the Bollywood stars. It made you feel like a star yourself.

I was always proud to be from Mumbai and there couldn’t be another place quite like it.

Then I moved to study in Pune, a neighbouring city with its own charm, lots of two wheelers, and only Marathi in the air. But what impacted me there was not Pune, but Delhi. I encountered a strong breed from another metro: the Dilliwala. A whole gang of fellow hostelites were from Delhi.I got my first taste of a very different bunch of young people whom I felt were from another planet.

But different?—Well, that’s just a diplomatic English way of saying: ‘not good’.

We spent years together with both cities constantly trying to prove their superiority over the other. Mumbai with its far stronger command over English, its carefree attitude, and Delhi with its strong Hindi and aggression. What a strange bunch—and yet in it all, we learnt to love and live together.

Then we parted ways and I came back to my city: my Mumbai

Many years later I felt the Lord give me a heart for the city of Delhi. So responding to that prompting I handed over the responsibilities of the Church I was leading and moved to plant a new Church, a Church that will love and serve the capital.

I was coming to a city I was competing with. A city I did not like. I was coming to make Delhi my city.

chole kulcha

And then I was amazed at how good Delhi turned out to be. A city with lush green gardens, air-conditioned Metro, the joy of driving on the fifth gear on wide roads and the super tasty chole kulche.

The aggression was still around and you would miss the cool casual Mumbai culture. But then there were numerous cultural fests, exhibitions, music and food. Delhi began to grow on me. I guess you begin to love the place you call your home.

I now loved both the cities.

And then one day came the IPL.

As a cricket fan I faced the challenge of supporting a team directly linked to my city. Would it be Mumbai Indians or Delhi Daredevils. I loved both the cities. I owe a lot to Mumbai and I have come to serve Delhi.

I had to decide between my history and my future. I chose my future. I chose Delhi.

And I still prefer vada pav.

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Go for big, get the big!

Tracts

Over the last few weeks I’ve been challenged with these thoughts: Aim higher. Dream bigger. Increase your faith. 

In many a story Jesus commends people who have great faith and often rebukes those who lack faith. The Bible says, without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. 

I’ve always wanted to please God and receive big rewards from him.

I’m reminded of a lesson I learned very early in my walk with God.

Soon after our wedding my wife and I went for a year of training. One day, the trainer split us trainees into two teams.

‘Produce five thousand tracts (small booklets). Raise the funds, create the design, write the content, print the tracts, and submit them in a week.’

Excitement.

Team one designed a simple black and white booklet and had to raise Rs 2000.

Team two designed an attractive coloured booklet and had to raise Rs 6000.

Both teams got into the act and worked equally hard, selling peanut butter to visiting cards.

A week later the trainer accepted the assignment. Both teams achieved what they had aimed for.

We’re called to live by faith. Jesus said, According to your faith it shall be given to you. 

God honoured the faith of both the teams because He is faithful.

But if you go for the big you will receive the big.

I’ve been challenged again. How about you?

A good question to ask yourself: when was the last time I took a step of faith?

Friends, if you’re not willing to risk the unusual, you’ll have to settle for the ordinary. So step out in faith. Go for the big.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/guillaumebrialon/3288150201/”>Guillaume Brialon</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>

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From what you have.

bread

Two weeks into the New Year and some may have done pretty well with their resolutions; others may have given up already.

Friends, we all want to do well in our lives, we’re all looking for a significant breakthrough or blessing from God this year.

Let me share a simple secret: Play your part. Give from what you have and you will see a breakthrough. The following three stories counter three attitudes that could open up or hinder your blessing.

First, the attitude that says

I do not have, so I cannot give.

The Bible tells us a story of a lame beggar. He looked at Peter and John expecting money.

Peter said, ‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.’ Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk.

The beggar wanted money. Peter and John didn’t have money.

Maybe you don’t have something—does that mean you cannot offer anything?

We’re so concerned with what we don’t have that we miss out on being a blessing with what we have.

Second, the attitude that says

I have very little, so no point giving.

One day thousands were stranded with no food. Jesus asked the disciples to organize something and all they could find was a boy with his lunch.

Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, ‘Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?’Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.

And they all had enough to eat. 

God provided miraculously

Don’t underestimate the power of making the little you have available to God.

And finally, the attitude that says

I have too much, I cannot give.

Some people possess multiple talents, some are intelligent, some are from noble families, some are rich, and some seem to have it all.

A very rich man came to Jesus asking how he could inherit eternal life.

Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

The rich young ruler had much. He loved what he had and was unable to give.

But Jesus promised his disciples that if they were willing to let go of what they had, God would bless them a hundred fold.

Friends, let’s check our attitudes. Let’s learn from these stories and decide to give from what we have. Then, we will experience a breakthrough.

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The year gone by – Our Family News 2013

Another year has gone by. We’ve experienced the goodness of God in many ways and would love to share our family news with you.

Our annual family holiday was a highlight for us – we went to the very picturesque hill station Manali, in Uttarakhand. Good times: board games, river rafting, paragliding, reading, painting, strolling, and eating!

Manali

We continue to enjoy our stay in Delhi.

Jackie loves the place and has even gotten used to the very cold winters!  She continues to excel in hospitality as we have enjoyed having people from more than ten nationalities and various Indian states over for Indian and Continental meals. She finds fulfillment in relating closely with people, conducting ladies prayer meetings, and serving the underprivileged.

Akshay has crossed his teens and has grown to be a fine young man. This year he joined the Global Institute of Music, Delhi for a two-year Diploma in music. He received a scholarship for the course and has enjoyed every bit of it so far. Akshay has had wonderful openings to play with different bands in the Delhi circuit and has faithfully served the Dwaar worship band, too.

Rachna is a beautiful young lady who can gel with the six-year-old and the sixty-year-old with equal enthusiasm. She is now in the tenth grade and has participated in multiple committees of the Model United Nations. She has represented US, China and Netherlands on varied issues such as border infiltration, freedom of religion,  and LGTB issues that have been bombarding world news. She has found ‘her thing’ and seems to know more about International relations than Indian politics.

We have all enjoyed the progress at Dwaar, the big highlight being the start of the new styles of meeting: Dwaar Fusion, Dwaar Global, and Dwaar Satsang. Oh! the wonder of diversity.

I completed two years of sharing spiritual nuggets on television, hosting the show Ek Nayee Zindagi (SONY TV). It has been a very satisfying experience

Another big highlight for me this year has been the understanding and expansion of our online world. We launched the new Dwaar website and the website for resources called everythingchristian.in. And I began to blog and tweet. There is world out there that wants to connect, wants to reason, wants to be loved.

As listed above, there have been many small starts this year and I believe the Lord wants us to know this:

Do not despise the small things, or small beginnings, for he is at work. And he will cause great things to happen in his time. Do not be discouraged if you have not seen tangible results. For whether you have seen it or not. He is working. Be patient and keep trusting him.

Here’s wishing all of you a very Happy Christmas and a faith-filled New Year.

From all of us at the Deokuliar household!

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The Pattern of Love

A couple of weeks ago a few professionals gathered to look at the theme of love and had some wonderful insights . The Pattern of Love, we called the meeting.

This is what we broadly agreed upon:

Everyone needs love; it gives value to a human being.

One who is at peace within himself and has received love is in a better position to give love.

Love is not a philosophical truth but something that is seen and felt when put into action.

It is sometimes hard to love, but to give true love is a conscious decision, whether we receive anything in return or not.

Expressing love does not require big things; simple steps can have a huge influence on people.

Do have a look at the following video. It shows how simple acts of kindness can be extremely contagious and bring about a change in society.

(It is an advertisement, you can skip that bit and see the message the video communicates)

We read this beautiful description of love in the Bible which summed up much of what we spoke.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

And finally, we decided that as individuals we would take simple steps that would play a small role in channeling love in the city. I trust you will do the same.

Our helping hands can be contagious.

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