Bookish Witch

Footprints: Live . Love . Lead by Santhosh Sivaraj

Book Blurb:

A young man left the shore, leaving his people behind.
An old man reached the shore, leaving his loved ones behind.
The young man was all alone.
The old man was accompanied by sages.
One had fear in his mind, and the other, rage.
One had the strength, and the other, wisdom.
Will the youth be wasted in the young, and the wisdom drained from the old?
They were awaiting their destiny, unaware that it was, in turn, awaiting their union.
The Deep Blue Sea can be the only witness of this spectacle; their interwoven destiny.
Live . Love . Lead

Genre: Fiction/Contemporary Lifestyle

Pages: 153

Format: Kindle eBook/ Paperback

Price:

  • Kindle eBook: 99 INR/$2.99
  • Paperback (available only in India): 192 INR

My Ratings: 4.6/5

Ramji is a restaurateur residing in the USA. He has a son named Karam who he raised as a single father after losing his wife. Currently, he is ticking off things from his bucket list. One of these is visiting his homeland after many years. He visits it with a few saints and reminisces his past while also noticing how the changes in his town aren’t positive. He communicates with his son about all this through a diary. Can Ramji do something to help the people of his once happy town?

A tale of redemption and nostalgia.

What I liked about the book:
-> The bonding between Ramji and his son, Karam.
-> The diary entries Ramji writes for his son are so epiphanic and mesmerizing.
-> Ramji’s interactions with the saints, that make us understand the world a little better.
-> It teaches us how our outlook and perspectives change with age, and life seems to be different with every passing day.
-> It is not only a philosophical and wisdom-filled book, but it manages to be thrilling and suspenseful as well.
-> It sheds light on political and corporate corruption, and also on the plight of gullible, as well as hardworking villagers and poor people of the country, who easily fall prey to the selfish means of such politicians and businessmen.
-> The most important message delivered by the book i.e. of one’s actions, deeds, and memories through which one can live more than their lifetime.

What I did not like about the book:
-> The identity of Ramji was kind of predictable halfway through the book.
-> The philosophical and truthful statements coming out of the wrongdoer’s mouths.

Quotable quotes:
> Humankind has been trying so hard to conform to the perpetually changing societal standards that they forgot that they had become slaves to their civilization.
-> Man is made to believe that adding importance to his work will result in adding importance to his life.
-> It’s become a misunderstood status symbol in our society – if we’re busy, we’re important; if we’re not busy, we’re almost embarrassed to admit it.
-> Although being busy can make us feel alive than anything else for a moment, the sensation does not sustain for the long term.  We will, inevitably – whether tomorrow or on our deathbed – come to wish that we had spent less time in the buzz.
-> Today’s society has evolved to find mistakes more than solutions.
-> The world around you is based on your introspection of the world or maybe yourself. Even you are your interpretation based on ‘others’ interpretation of you. Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is our perspective, not the truth.
-> There are hundreds of beauties out there, living a life away from all the limelight, and eventually dying without being seen.
-> Rather than experiencing something which is already there, is it difficult to imagine an experience from something empty?

Rather than experiencing something which is already there, is it difficult to imagine an experience from something empty?


-> The sea lets you create your art on its empty canvas. Its emptiness pulls you out, and makes you witness yourself in total serenity amidst its waves and noise.
-> “What do you think I should become when I grow up?”
“Whatever you feel like, but not what others make you feel. This society is good at tricking you with its manipulative ideas to make a perfect customer out of you. It would insist you must impress everyone, while others are busy doing the same with you. You must be agile enough to understand what’s important for you, and courageous enough to build a life around it.”
-> Whatever you do in life, there will be a struggle. So you need to find the struggle that’s right for you.
-> The world doesn’t owe you anything just because you’re good at heart.
-> When everyone has their own space to resort to, Vishwa had his deep sea. To him, it was another house where he has the liberty of living the way he wants, in all solitude, with no one to judge him.
-> Age brings in all sorts of complications.
-> At the end of the day, people won’t remember what you said or did Vishwa. They will remember how you made them feel.
-> No matter what the stories are, people always connect it with themselves.
-> If it is something which experience teaches you then it is to take that passionate leap even if you have no idea where you’d land.
-> Your impatience just the way I see that of people in temples. Restless in offering their dakshana rather than wholeheartedly making their prayers.
-> No matter how wise we become, the world keeps creating  idiots to question our wisdom.
-> As individuals, we can’t do everything. We must function in groups, that’s agreed. But most importantly, we should only do what is within our capabilities.
-> Moksha is a subjective term.

No matter what the stories are, people always connect it with themselves.


-> That’s what the world needs. They speak of all the rationality, and yet succumb to the supposedly sturdy, colourful threads on their wrists.
-> It’s happiness as long as it’s inside you.
-> A leader’s aim must be the goodness and welfare of his people.
-> Language and heritage belong to the individual or his community. If talks get derived from it, then the leader is trying to strike a chord with the people’s emotions to benefit himself or his intentions.
-> By default, people overthink.
-> With an emotional talk people can be driven to irrational thoughts and actions, especially when they are in groups.
-> When pride gets aroused, egos get kindled. With ego comes the differences and with differences begin the cycle of further evil.
-> This is how politics happens – by selfish leaders – not just in India but across the globe. The identity tricks these cowardly leaders try are too hard to escape.
-> Don’t forget The difference between urgent versus important. Family is important, and job deadlines are just urgent. A walk in the park is important, whereas rushing to the meeting is merely urgent. Sleep is important, and high-intensity training is just urgent. Remember this difference, and you will do well in life.
-> Appreciate how extraordinary your life is, both socially and biologically. Your exact experience has never existed before you, and it will not exist again, either. You were born with a unique biological makeup, and are living in a unique social circumstance. This results in a life experience that can never be recreated.
-> As a life form, not just every person, but every living thing holds equal value. And yet, humanity had evolved so much that it now has no natural species to challenge or threaten its existence, making people end up challenging themselves by drawing arbitrary borders around themselves.
-> All are equal. If the individual’s differences come because of their age, then it’s only the body that ages, while holding the ageless soul. If the difference comes from wisdom, then that’s an illusion, as wisdom is merely a perception. If it’s because of money that a person has to their name, then everybody will accept that it’s just a temporary advantage which can also go away in is merely a perception. If it’s because of money that a person has to their name, then everybody will accept that it’s just a temporary advantage which can also go away in a flash. And finally, if that difference comes out of ego, then, believe me, even that is not meant for the self. Simply put, all are equal – no matter what differences they perceive amongst themselves.
->It’s easy to make someone’s day just by being uncommonly pleasant to them, like how I did now. Everyone needs this, including him, you, or even me. This need not be about money always.
-> When you visit your birthplace where you have spent most of your growing years, and that too after such a long time, you will realise that you can never get enough of it.
-> Maybe that’s what life is all about – where we overestimate our present difficulties and underestimate the past ones.
-> This is what happens to people with difficulties, who have no one they could trust and no one to help them. They are so deprived of their essential needs that their ego had died a natural death.
-> It’s better to smile at the past pains and dust them away rather than losing the present by reliving it all.

When pride gets aroused, egos get kindled. With ego comes the differences and with differences begin the cycle of further evil.


-> Religious artefacts, historical structures, and vintage buildings have been central to our lives for millennia. They remind us of an eternal truth: the promise that we, in some way or the other, will live on forever through what we create and enjoy. Well, it doesn’t mean that the structures have to be monuments; even a small teashop holds significance.
-> If you keep thinking that your years have made you feel that you understand more, perceive more, and have better intellect than these people, then you must be making a grave mistake. The feeling of superiority is imminent in people who hope others should understand them while they repeatedly fail miserably in understanding others.
-> It is rightly said that today the demography determines the destiny of a person.
-> The finest teachers have always been invisible in their personality. Their impact is invisible, but also invincible for a long time to come.
-> Sometimes, you have to remove certain people from your life, even if they’re family.
-> When you feel bored or even sick of your own life, then remember it’s a good time to pick up a book. Like I have always said, it’s a chance to live another life, for, everything ever happened finally ends up in a book.
-> Whenever you smile, things get happier for you. You must realise that whatever you seek in life is temporary. And remember that men are not disturbed by the things themselves, but by the views which they take of them.
-> In life, you either become rich, or you become a philosopher.
-> It’s effortless to forgo everything. It’s either this way or that way. The transition is the only pain, which can be overcome by wisdom. It’s not like changing clothes or being naked. You can thrive in the middle of both; continuing to do your duty and still being a sadhu. This transition can happen if you are mentally and emotionally unattached with everything around.
-> The life of a commoner is nothing but to imitate others. Indulging in desires does not represent loving yourself, and what you own is not what you are.
-> Liking without wanting is heaven, but wanting without liking is hell.
-> The knowledge about our death is what separates us from all other life-forms. More than the death, it’s the departure from our loved ones that hurts people. Sadhus by way of renouncement of family bondages, try to attain moksha. And this means we try to never get back into the life cycle.
-> The soul of a dead person, if it had not rested in peace, integrates with its loved ones.
-> Destinations and pathways are the same for everyone; it’s the perceptions that differ. Choose yours wisely.
-> Live by the philosophy that you can’t own everything, and yet experience things beyond what you own.
-> There is no delight in owning anything and not sharing it. You share your resources, and they share theirs.
-> People must be proactive when it comes to deciding the standard of their living. Managing one’s wants is the most powerful skill a person can learn.
-> People resort to luxury or, for that matter, even religion, to hide from an indifferent and meaningless reality.
-> Anything given free makes people lazy. This eventually makes it difficult to get them to work, which is a colossal waste, not just to their family but also the nation.
-> No matter who you are, if your leader is a slave, then you are a slave, too.
-> When emotions like stress and negativity can cause diseases, why can’t other emotions like gratitude and positivity cure those?
-> Don’t discuss the past. It’s over. What’s the point of doing a post-mortem of the past?
-> When someone leads a selfless life, he slowly loses his convictions. He never disagrees with anyone, and his thoughts practically make him a servant to others.
-> Without identity, you can’t even love someone truly, because altruism doesn’t allow you to prioritise yourself.
-> Love isn’t a selfless act.
-> That’s the problem with youngsters today. No patience or forethought.
-> You either worry  or do something to make a difference.
-> Businesses is not about targeting a big market with a maximum resource. It’s about targeting a small market with optimal resources.
-> You gain something only by losing something else.
-> When a boy becomes a man, he will end up either wanting more or giving more.
-> One always misses something which he doesn’t have with him at that time. It might be the silence amidst the noise, or even the noise amidst the silence. So, to put it in perspective, you just can’t have everything every time.
-> The worst part of being lonely is that even a petty issue looks enormous like a life-threatening disease and until you come to terms with it, you might end up doing something absurd for which you suffer still more.
-> Are loneliness and boredom just the same? Maybe the timing matters. Whether it is boredom or serenity, it’s all up to us and the conditions we live in.
-> I had gone into depression, and yet I was smiling. You know depression even produces Oscar-winning performances. I realised there has to be someone – even if it is just one person whom you should allow changing your life. For me, that person was myself. More than anyone, it was vital for me to be kind to me. I had to love myself to achieve all that I had done. I started seeing myself through my eyes rather than through the eyes of those who didn’t value me. I started cutting out the toxic influences and populated my life with good forces. In other words, I added people who provided me with the wings to soar, not anchors that weighed me down.
-> Life comes only in moments, and there is no point worrying about it as a whole.
-> As a man, if one decides to live to prove it to others, then, alas, it’s too big a world to deal with. The proving part must be restricted to oneself.
-> The world is full of opportunists. If you are positive, some people will make use of your positivity. And if you are negative, then there will be people who will make use of your negativity. They extract something from you no matter what your state of mind is. Sad, happy, cautious, or fragile… it doesn’t matter.
-> The future of humanity is sustainable only if this greed gets eliminated. Man lives as if he lives for eternity. He owns things to last forever, and yet hardly uses those. Even if there is utility, there is more of pride to it than delight. Many thanks to death, if not for that, immortality would have made this world come to an end a long time back.
-> One must not trust a lean chef and a fat sadhu. They both are messing up somewhere.
-> The human body and mind work better when they are nearly empty.
-> I’d rather die as a poor man in my soil than live as a rich stranger in a foreign land.
-> The people around him were impoverished, and yet there was some kind of happiness that bonded them together. He always knew that money alone was not everything, but today he felt that money wasn’t worth much.

The world is full of opportunists. If you are positive, some people will make use of your positivity. And if you are negative, then there will be people who will make use of your negativity. They extract something from you no matter what your state of mind is. Sad, happy, cautious, or fragile… it doesn’t matter.


-> Planting trees is not for damage control. It is man’s way of showing gratitude to nature for the free oxygen, water, and the free food he gets through it.
-> The death of nature doesn’t need to arise from global warming or something majorly catastrophic like a volcanic eruption. It can start with things as small as the elimination of some valuable microorganisms from our soil. With today’s short-sighted lifestyle, I don’t think we stand far away from eventual collapse.
-> Man needs a wakeup call before he ends up sleeping all his life on a corporate bed.
-> When the world dies, everyone has to die, irrespective of their wealth, intellect, or wisdom. However, as long as the world thrives, these differences will thrive too, making man’s life complicated. Don’t be harsh on yourself. Sometimes, you have to witness life as a spectator. This could keep you calm, composed, and even help you think better.
-> Life is truly unreliable. Things change, often spontaneously, but life doesn’t stop for anybody. It rushes from calm to chaos and back in a matter of seconds. It’s up to us to be ready for it.
-> You can’t control the events happening to you, but you can always decide not to be cowed down by them. You can strive for something new which life has to offer.
-> Every good thing takes some time.
-> When someone is good with fishing, it doesn’t mean he is good only at that. It means he could also be good at anything he puts his mind on.
-> It is the dirt which ends up getting more dirt. It is the poor people who end up suffering the most.

You can’t control the events happening to you, but you can always decide not to be cowed down by them. You can strive for something new which life has to offer.

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