When we were kids, all of us loved the summer vacations. During fifteen years of our schooling, this used to be the best part of the year and was eagerly awaited. Amazing plans were made for a fun-filled holiday and along with the many other activities, the tradition of visiting the maternal family was also fulfilled, where one would have a gala time with cousins of different age groups.

Although the vacations use to start with a lot of vigor and promises but would sadly culminate before we could actually get the feel of it. In our excitement to do various things, we would misjudge the time left for holidays and would thus complete only half of the many things we had planned. We would keep delaying things on the pretext that there are still a lot of days left. Leave aside the fun part of it, even the school homework was piled up for the last; creating a panic situation at the end.

Alike summer vacations, the similar situation manifests in life too. All our life, we keep planning new things for various moments, look for ideal situations to enjoy and keep on postponing important activities to a later stage in life; the stage which we believe would be the ideal time to do the important part and than one fine day, unexpectedly, the life or the vacation comes to an end. Just as in our school days we used to keep the best for the summer vacations, or the end of the session, similarly in life, we keep postponing the best for the later stages of our life. But a universal truth we all must abide by is that each one of us is totally oblivious of our future or the end of our life, which may arrive abruptly and when it happens all the plans that we had made for future are left in a lurch.

Life is too short to fulfill all that is desirous, and waiting for the right time to enjoy & complete the desired is sheer foolishness because no one knows when the life vacation would precipitously end; leaving all the plans and all that we have accumulated in life as it is.

I am about to enter the 50 club and get to hear a lot of stories from friends and acquaintances who are in the same age group and feel all the more despondent after listening to those stories. And after all the contemplation, the only thing that surfaces in my mind is, ‘What is life in reality?’People struggle all their life with various issues like work, building a house and worrying about the children’s future and then comes a phase in life when they have fulfilled the most of it and thus try to take it a little easy, but then the other issues start to surface. They start getting into the trap of physical ailments and because of this everything comes to a standstill. All attention is trapped in the physical conditions & ailments and thinking about anything else becomes a distant idea. Resultantly, all the plans which were kept aside for the last ,remain undone. The financial stability takes a beating and life comes to a standstill.

So, ideally there is no reason why we should wait for the summer vacation to come and should thoroughly enjoy each moment & every second of our life, not stressing on special occasions or days to celebrate. In whatever capacity we can, we should try and enjoy life in its each moment and with every breathe so that there are no regrets of the summer vacation coming to end.

Mamta Sehgal





From past few days I have been contemplating that the journey so far has been truly reassuring.

There has been a lot of commotion and life has surely been thru a pandemonium; solitude somewhere and phases of lonesomeness, laughter on the other side and many moments of lightheartedness.

Life has shown many pictures and has given many relations, which has coached the theory of deception, have shown the art of betrayal, and brought forth many beings, who were totally make-believe.

People who were the real teachers, and dispensed many learning lessons.
But with various dubious characters, life has also acquainted with many angels; Souls, who have enlightened and shown the path of morality, and have led by example and integrity.
Souls who have taught humanity and forgiveness, and shown the power of love and caress.

And along with everything that is left behind, life has been extremely kind; it assisted in experiencing the real phenomenon, and attaining the awareness of the eternal information.

The light within revealed the knowledge of the Supreme, which is unknown to most of the beings. It instructed the real purpose of life, which is to attain the goal of reaching the infinite.

Mamta Sehgal.

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`THE PERENNIAL JOURNEY’ features at No.3 in the Book Review section of `Kitaab’- views/.


Mamta Sehgal’s The Perennial Journey is a collection of short write-ups. These pieces purport to demonstrate that you do not need to be defeated by anything; that you can have peace of mind and a never-ceasing flow of energy if you place your trust in God. Though the blurb on the book claims to take the readers on a spiritual journey, the author does not define or theorize spirituality. Written in a direct and straightforward style, these simple pieces guide the readers on the path of everyday life by invoking Krishna Consciousness. Mamta Sehgal knows that spirituality is not simply the opposite of materialism and also that no single definition of the spiritual way of life could suffice to convey its deep meaning. Spirituality is an active process and its objective is growth and transcendence. We, who are standing at the crossroads of material and spiritual realities, need to make a choice, to focus on our capacities to know, to love, and to trust justice, truth and peace. If we are able to do that, we have chosen a spiritual way of life.

The review is written by Dr.Usha Bande,a retired Principal and former Fellow, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla .


`THE PERENNIAL JOURNEY’ features at No.3 in the Book Review section of `Kitaab’-

Kitaab is owned and managed by Kitaab International Pte. Ltd., Singapore and was founded in 2005 by journalist and writer Zafar Anjum in Singapore as a space to celebrate and critique Asia+n writing in English.

The review is written by Dr.Usha Bande,a retired Principal and former Fellow, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla .

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My office is situated on the fourth floor of a commercial complex. The lift plying in the building is old & worn out. It often gets stuck and ceases to work and hence, climbing four floors becomes a task. Though we all consider ourselves supremely fit but by the time one reaches the top floor there is complete breathlessness and it takes few seconds before one recovers the lost breath.

Last month the occupants of the building decided to install a new lift. As the whole process would take at least a month or two to complete, everyone in office knew that for some time at least, climbing the stairs each morning is going to be a task.

As the work started there was complete chaos with regard to pollution; both air and noise and the constant disturbance was a hindrance in work.

Coping up with all the personal discomfort, one day while climbing the stairs, I came across a construction worker who was climbing the stairs in a slow pace as he was carrying load of bricks on his head. The guy was bare foot, was wearing tattered half pants and a thin cotton shirt, but in spite of this he was climbing the stairs in total composure. Being under-dressed, all covered with dust and the heavy burden brought no signs of anxiety on his face.

Observing that worker, a thought flashed my mind; we think of our discomfort but how about this construction worker who in spite of the harsh winter, inappropriate clothing and footwear is still climbing the stairs at least fifty times a day along with all the bulky construction material on his head. What a pity, I thought?

Our office is one instance but there are many sights like these that one comes across each day. As a result of a volatile infrastructure sector and primitive methods of construction involving a lot of manual work, there are millions of constructions workers all over the country who work in the similar working conditions. No matter what the weather is; whether it is harsh summers, cold winters or rainy season, these construction workers tirelessly work for their employers, not caring about anything; the dust, the weather or the height they have to climb with loads of bulky materials on their head.

The other part that pains me is that this class of people works for months and years on a site; building houses and other stuff and then move on. In some cases, till the time the work on one site is not over it becomes their home but as soon as the work gets finished, they move on to another site and make that their temporary house. These migrant laborers are the natives of far-off places in different parts of the country and come to the city to earn their livelihood. They make hundred of beautiful houses in their lifetime but all their life do not have one of their own; not even a basic one. Only the makeshift houses that they make on each site are their temporary homes.

Though I never doubt and question the destiny theory but still feel sad for these people who struggle all their life but are never able to acquire a roof over their head. Living away from the families all their life, they remain in hand –to –mouth situation and are never able to improve their living conditions, as along with looking after themselves they also have to take care of their families who live in outlying areas which are deprived and still lack the basic necessities. Sad!

Though the country boasts of development, but the fact is that till today a substantial part of the country still reels in poverty and is deprived of the basics. They are completely cut–off from the progressive world and are totally unaware of the surroundings. These people till today live in such impoverished conditions which is beyond imagination. The situations like these are depressive and we should seriously try to find solutions to them  and end the oppression we are also a part of.



THE PERENNIAL JOURNEY at New Delhi World Book Fair 2018.

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