A stitch in time saves nine

by | Jun 1, 2020

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Balancing is acclaimed as an art, a virtue and a great state in any changing phenomenon. When an aircraft flies, it keeps itself balanced through the complex machinery of control and guidance. So does a ship. And whoever has ridden a bicycle knows that the moment you stop pedaling, you fall down. Your health depends on the balance of enzymes in your body – a little more of something or a little less, and you have a problem. A good thali has all the six tastes – Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter, Pungent, and Astringent – finely balancing your food. 

All problems take birth out of some imbalance. A storm is born when a center of low pressure develops with high pressure surrounding it. The stock market crashes when too many investors dump their holdings of stock. Fever comes in response to an infection and inflammation of the cells. The hypothalamus then resets the body to a higher temperature. Diarrhea occurs when the lining of the intestine is unable to absorb fluid, or it actively secretes fluid, mostly due to infection.  

It is important to look for little disturbances, while they are occurring. These disturbances are indeed signals of catastrophes that are going to come up later. Minor inconveniences like frequent urination is a harbinger of Diabetes. Constipation is almost always a warning of lack of exercise. Lack of sleep is all about unresolved emotional issues. Morning headaches are the first signs of high blood pressure. The wise notice them as they occur, fix them with determination, and live in good health. Unwise people go for removing the symptoms by taking painkillers, laxatives, sleeping pills and landing themselves into chronic and almost untreatable diseases later.

What are the five symptoms we see around us in the present time? I am including one each from individual to immediate surroundings, and to community, national and global levels. They are manifesting as – depression at the individual level, estrangement in families, insensitivity at the community level, abandoned migrants at the national level and a massive trust deficit with China at the global level.

The intensity of these symptoms varies from place to place, but they are there almost everywhere. Let us not sweep them under the carpet, silence them by distractions, or live in the idiotic denial proclaiming that all is well, when actually there is something terribly wrong. 

India has never taken mental health seriously. We, as people, have an astonishingly high capacity to tolerate stupidity, nonsense and socially inappropriate behaviour. This makes the more sensitive, sensible and civic individuals amongst us, defensive and depressed. Persistent sad, anxious, or ‘empty’ feelings are the tell-tale signs of depression. You wake up very early in the morning, face a loss of appetite, and suffer frequent aches, pains, headaches, or cramps that do not go away. Spend some quiet time alone, talk to yourself internally and identify the source of these symptoms. After that, what you can do to get rid of that source is important. This awareness in itself will take away your depression. 

We take families for granted. Women have to do household chores even if they are working at a job. Children are given smartphones right in their cradles so that they do not bother their parents. People drink alcohol, enroll for memberships of prestigious clubs, holiday abroad, and send their children to ‘international schools’, but at home, still discriminate against people based on their castes. Your children know exactly what wrongs you are doing. They will take you to task when their time comes, mostly by ignoring and abandoning you. 

Gated communities have been created to confine the rich and the affluent from the ‘dirt and filth outside’. Cameras, fences, walls and gates in combination with hired guards, have replaced the natural filters earlier offered by the people who worked for you and lived around you – your barber, your shopkeeper, the teacher of your child, and so on. There was a social cohesion within every community. But the hard closure of gated communities, has led to soft closure. You are the ‘client’ and ‘they’ are ‘service providers’. The rich and the affluent are now hated, despised and mistrusted by ordinary people. On a small provocation, or a traffic incidence, you can be mob thrashed and even lynched.  

At the national level, the migration of people took the sheen away from an otherwise valiant effort of fighting a pandemic. Many local governments were seen wanting in intent. Many cities emerged as heartless. Gimmicks and drama ruled the roost. Like our Independence that uprooted an estimated twenty million people from their moorings and converted them into penniless refugees, failed to give us peace even after seven long decades, this massive migration of even more than twenty million people, will have far-reaching consequences. 

At the national level, we face the historic moment of how to position ourselves in the post-pandemic world. As the coronavirus plays out its deadly narrative, one can summarize it thus: China was the originator, the United States was feckless, and the Europeans were reckless. India was clueless but our earthy wisdom saved us. No one country apparently has a solution to this problem and working together is the only way forward. What if India and China sit together and settle their trust deficit? What if China gives our territory back, does not support enemies of India and One Belt One Road becomes Continental Belt and Road? 

The danger of the United States and China turning adversaries can only be averted by a balancing role undertaken by India. The future of the world will not come from the blue; it is being made now, by the people of the world, the way the leaders are crafting the world order. The destiny of India is to make a possible triad with the United States and China for a stable world order in which humanity flourishes. Nothing more than this should we seek and nothing less than this should satisfy us.

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63 Comments

  1. Dear Professor Tiwari, your sentiments throughout your post wholeheartedly resonate with me, especially so considering my home is in Minneapolis, USA, which is currently the epicenter of another dimension that challenges the world order – systematic discrimination and oppression that has roots in colonialism that now consciously and subconsciously permeates nearly every aspect of how we live. These domestic challenges will undoubtedly make it difficult to take a step back and understand how we operate in a newly emerging world order – traditional global leadership roles have ceded to populist and nationalistic sentiment, now exacerbated by an international pandemic criss manifesting itself differently across countries and thereby stoking age-old flames into raging fires. I pray we can come together and suppress our immediate instinct to fight and turn inwards, and instead listen to the broader needs of humanity and together fight the real challenges that will collectively face us in the forms of the pandemic (current and future), climate change, food security, and growing socioeconomic inequalities.

  2. Your take on phenomenology of good thali, digestion, gender issue, gated communities, vulnerable migrant workers and the five symptoms (especially depression), which we see around in our contemporary society, are extremely relevant and need rigorous public debate. The suicide of India’s prolific actor Sushant Singh Rajput rocked our nation that reveals the crucial issue of mental health, which requires immediate attention by everybody (although the critics argued that the young actor took his own life due to nepotism in Bollywood industry). Your concluding remarks on India, USA and China in post COVID-19 is interesting. We may be still using Make in China iphones, Macbooks and ipads but it is high time to give it away to emerge victorious through economy and not by nuclear war.

  3. Each blog of you offers immense knowledge and the simple way you elucidate is spellbinding. Thank you for being the beacon in our life sir. The issues at five levels which need a stitch on time are thoughtful.

    Depression claiming many lives which look jovial and happy outward is a pity. The fact that rate of death by depression in rich is more than that in poor is an issue to ponder. Too many bright talented actors going too soon by suicide is miserable.

    Estrangement in families and community level insensitivity can be avoided by teaching morals at schools, but these international schools who are teaching the children how to be successful – can they put morals in prime criteria, I highly doubt that. It falls on the shoulders of parents to set good standards.

    The issue of migration is scaring me and hopefully it is not so bad and we will be able to revive soon.

    The possible triad is an excellent way forward but can the heads of government realise the importance of situation and build the trust. Hopefully India can turn these adversaries into some kind of team to solve the global issues faced presently.

  4. Dear Arun, Thanks for the crisp & hard hitting essay analysing our afflictions at various levels from individual to global and, in the process, yielding possible causes and remedies. It would be interesting to see how things on the world stage develop, and if India’s projected destiny of a balancing role between USA and China envisaged by you comes to fruition. India is home to the Buddha and the Middle Way: there is little reason why it shouldn’t realise such destiny. Regards.

  5. We as a nation or in fact as a race have not yet truly understood the relevance and the importance of “A stich in time saves Nine”. The main reason for this is in fact the imbalance that has been prevalent for a very long time across every issue concerning us. Imbalance generally occurs due to perception problems of values and fundamentals in life which manifests as fear later. This imbalance many a times creates a personality issue of either considering yourself superior to others or the feeling of “not good enough”. Both are not true.

    It no longer is a surprise that psychological well-being is being given much more importance today than ever before. The art of balancing your day to day activities in life and yet find time to spend with yourself, stems up from the priorities that you have been programmed with and that is why it has become very important that we revisit our thought process periodically with the intention to make course correction at the correct time to lead a happy and contended life and not indulge in the process of justifying everything going around us for convenience.
    The irony that exists today is that all of us know that we have deviated from the path of correctness and fairness to the path of convenience and justification. Nature has decided to a give more than a subtle hint to mankind through the corona.

    I am confident that in due course the solution to the virus existing in the current form will disappear, but the “disconnect with oneself” that is embedded in us is the one that we have to really fight with and succeed to lead a balanced and fulfilling life.

  6. In current times, balance is much needed and in fact it has become quite crucial as COVID-19 has created scarcity in many areas of our lives. Talking about India’s role on global platform, I personally feel that and I second with the point made as well that we need to catch the opportunity set an example not just by communicating but also by implementing policies in an apt order.

  7. A beautiful analysis and well written piece, Mr Tiwari.

    I take the liberty of seeing what you have written in a corona-centric way. On the causation aspect of the epidemic, current scientific theory posits that the virus probably originated in bats and then crossed over to humans, probably via another intermediate host. It then spread rapidly across the globe, due to the wanderlust of humans aided and abetted by international travel network. We may not quarrel prematurely with the propounded scientific origins.However, an extreme perspective has been propounded by the Gaia theories, which has gained publicity in the wake of the epidemic.(Gaia is the primordial mother earth of Greek mythology) . It sees mother earth rebelling against human rapacity and indiscrimnate ravage of nature and its resources due to the imbalanced and excessive pursuit of greed for money, power and pelf, unmindful and neglectful of those millions, caught in the throes of hunger and poverty, which you have emphatically pointed out, in the case of India, regarding the migrant labour.

    According to the Gaia theory, planet will outlive after finishing off the human race from the face of the planet. That may be an extremist or unsubstantiable view, although born out of justifiable anger. But we need to take a leaf out of this theory without being fatalistic.There is no doubt that we have gone overboard and overstepped our boundaries, as you rightly pointed out and as evinced by the outrage committed on nature by a recalcitrant race. Time and again it has been shown that our self indulgent, an equivalent of senses – indulgent lifestyle, is unsustainable and is causing irreversible harm to our planet. We ignored all warnings. This is the problematique.

    In this context your analysis identifying the symptoms, which is a tip of the iceberg, is a,reflection of a deeper malaise, pointing to distortions at all levels, from lowest to highest levels ie a complete breakdown of family, social and governance values, for which we are collectively responsible.Hence when the emboldened and strident virus, mutating at will, using guerilla-like tactics, attacks remaining invisible at every step, it is but natural that an already non righteous society finds itself haunted and traumatised by fear of death , fear of the unknown, guilt , panic, all breeding negative emotions resulting in compromised mental and psychological conditions.

    In the restoration of socially appropriate attitudes and values towards and sensitive and sensible behaviours, in harmonising man and nature alike, lies the secret of cosmic balance. Ironically, it is the deadly corona that has driven us to recognise these values deep inside of our selves. Euphemistically called ‘stay home, stay safe’, is a signal to us to embark on inner journey (as against wanderlust) for deep introspection to find our true selves in the divine order of things. Let’s don the spiritual ‘kavacham’ as a sure vaccine. This will determine how successful we will be in driving away all the negative symptoms identified in your narrative to face up to the virus with concommitant efforts of our medical and public health initatives. Its a war of mind over matter. Its not merely a fight against a bodily diseases. It is the dis ‘ease’ of the spirit. This to me is the preventive and curative course of action underlying the title of your article ‘a stitch in time saves nine’

    Once again thank you for that thought provoking article.

  8. There are indeed many symptoms of imbalance in our society Prof. Tiwari. In the US particularly, the polarity of the nation has been wider and stronger than I’ve ever seen. With that polarity, issues that should not be politicized are to a great extent. We should have been brought together closer with COVID-19, as we collectively attack this problem. Rather fodder was provided to the political left desperate to find an avenue to victory in Nov. And the reaction to the horrible murder of a black man by one bad policeman has unleashed riots across all major cities in the US with demands to eliminate police departments altogether!

    The China-US relations will certainly be a key debate issue as the November Presidential election approaches and will highlight our extreme polarity once again. I’m optimistic India, with Modi’s leadership, can play a pivotal role in balancing the global power and ensure a stable world order. And I hope that would lead to some stabilization in our society here in the U.S. which is in dire need of reasons to come closer together rather than the current opposite trend.

  9. Thank you for the nice article. Although most often we overlook most of these facts but all of them are true. The bitter truth is that the unbalanced life style of human and their relentless tendency to make the nature unbalanced as well are the prime and foremost reason for today’s pandemic situation.

  10. Such a wonderful analysis of different systems. Being an Aerospace Engineer, often I find the system of an aeroplane is quite similar to the system of human. The author has penned it so amazingly with the “balance concept”. I am reminded a quote of Dr Kalam that happy families lead to order in the nation and ultimately to world peace.

    The author has shown so nicely the inherent bond between our prejudice at home and global imbalances. We need to start from very basics and from the root. Hope such amazing analysis motivate us to follow the staright and clear balanced path in every aspect at individual and institutional level.

  11. Arun ji, your piece rightly identifies the fissures within ourselves, our societies and nations, that seem as rifts while COVID-19 takes its toll. Responsibility lies with us to bring more kindness to our lives, with loved ones and neighbours first, then society as a whole. If this is extended, so nations become responsible neighbours in a world community, peace is assured. It brings to mind lyrics of the John Lennon song, Imagine: You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one …

  12. The new normal will be anything but normal. We need to turn the problems created by the novel coronavirus pandemic into opportunities. In the United States it means addressing the massive income inequality and racism that plagues us to this day. In India it means addressing discrimination due to religious, ethnic, and caste issues that exist to this day.

    Despite the problems in India, there have been many acts of kindness, such as funders paying for airline flights so workers can go home. In the United States there have also been many acts of kindness through food banks and volunteer efforts. If we can come out of this pandemic with a greater sense of community and the realization that we are our brothers’ keepers that would be a positive legacy.

  13. In your blog you have artistically stitched in time the scientific model with social phenomena to save society from prevailing pandemic, Prof Tiwariji!

    Experimenting with unexplored possibilities often lead to path breaking solutions and your thought process is a beacon that offers hope in current dark situation.

  14. Respected Arun Tiwari Sir, First of all thank you very much For such a wonderful, enlightening, encouraging, simple, ever hopeful and balanced blog.

    First word of blog ie Balancing that also concludes from last line ie “Nothing more than this should we seek and nothing less than this should satisfy us.” It means “balance” we should seek which aptly satisfy us.

    This blog of yours reminds me one wisdom from Gita ie “स्थित प्रज्ञ”. Now a days after completing ‘Think And Grow Rich’ by Napolian Hill’s book you are also making Facebook post on Gita.

    The first sentence of second paragraph ” All problems take birth out of some imbalance” reminds me Our Ayurveda’s wisdom “स्वस्थ शरीर के लिए वात पित्त कफ सम में होना चाहिए”.

    Dear sir, explanation of five symptom of disturbance ,You talked which arises due to imbalances from individual to global level, is very lucid, simple; and articulate, which help ones to recognise and realise the problem at the very beginning and gives strength to “avoid the idiotic denial proclaiming that all is well, when actually there is something terribly wrong”.

    Sir, mental health problem is really serious issue and It is true we usually don’t give importance to it. India have never taken it seriously. Prescription given by you – Spending quiet time alone, talking to oneself internally identifying source of symptom is practicable which makes one aware to the cause of problem.

    Dear sir, we as humanity are paying very high cost to all symptom of disturbance that are due to imbalance to my mind Imbalance is also due to misunderstanding of very nature of Oneself and surrounding.

  15. Sir, Having read the blog many times and in many ways, I get new and deeper perspectives, not adequate for an accurate reflection. The language is simple, the meaning is profound.

    We have an astonishingly high capacity to tolerate stupidity, nonsense and socially inappropriate behaviour. The insolence of those in power today reminds of Jagirdari system, they are all-powerful and so arrogant that they show empathy only when it is politically exigent. Serious conversations on dismantling Minneapolis police department with the transformative new system of public safety is going on., what about our own archaic system? Sufferings and deaths of migrant labour are the results of similar systemic apathy.

    Unless they reinvent, the feckless US seems to be on the path of self-destruction. Scientific excellence and knowledge power have been brushed under the carpet by their master. Bible and jingoism win elections and not the scientific truth. The COVID pandamonium requires human collaboration and cooperation at an unparalleled level, just the opposite of what the rulers of the most powerful countries are demonstrating.

    The pandamonium has exposed the shallowness of human progress, or maybe we would learn quick lessons and be ready to take on the real big challenge.

    Your blog’s narrative has a poetic beauty and earthly reality. As one with lesser understanding, I feel that jingoism and tribalism are the real danger to humanity. We need to grow and come out from ignorance as our next test is to fight climate change.

  16. Dear Professor Tiwari, Your ideas have captured the single most important issue facing our world and societies. Balance. All of us need to understand that our planet has evolved over billions of years through a combination of balancing acts that spanned the way physics defined matter though the evolution of organic life within a competitive landscape of resources.

    Unfortunately, and this may be one of the rather unfortunate byproducts of natural selection, as man moved to the head of the pack in the animal kingdom it defined a series of “systems” to control its world that have moved our existence out of balance. Your discussion on wealth accumulation is one example. The failure of public health is another.

    In the end our ability to survive as an animal and as homo sapiens depends on our ability to understand that this balance within the world we inhabit is not only the right thing to do – it is critical for our long-term survival. Our political community and each of us need to rethink our relationships, whether we are talking about how we connect with one another or the resources we consume in our lives. Charity and empathy are not bad things, they may be the key to our ability to live in this world for another century.

  17. A very appropriate name for your blog Sir- A stitch in time saves nine , chosen to describe the current situation in the country. Balancing is an important aspect in our life. By giving examples from day to day life, you have tried to narrate a complex issue with simple examples.Similarly, the problem areas have been explained through examples from daily life. You have very nicely explained how little disturbances can lead to major failure in all walks of life and are indicative of what problems can arise. You have emphasized that one should go for the root cause of the problem rather than trying to solve the symptoms only.

    You have described 5 symptoms mainly causing all the ills of society. And you have described them from individual to family to community to national and finally to international issue. You are very clear on these issues when you say that we need to face them head on, rather than put them under the carpet. Mental health needs yo be given priority. You have brought out the serious issue of Depression and one being defensive. You are not only identifying the problems but also giving solutions to resolve them.

    You have also hit upon the issue of what ails the middle class of today. You have warned the society that either they change or face the consequences when their children grow up. The issue of divide between the HAVES and HAVE NOTS has been brought out beautifully. The social cohesiveness which existed in earlier times has turned to hatred, mistrust and this has led to violence and lynching. The migrants issue is at the core of your heart and you have brought it out here also.

    You have finally ended the blog by bringing out the India’s position in Post pandemic world and the new likely world order emerging from there. Your wish that India’s role in this new world order where USA and China are likely to be at conflict will be that of a balancing act, is your intuitive vision.

  18. Dear Sir, The Coronavirus pandemic is having a strong impact on the global economy, on trading levels, has caused businesses in all sectors in the economy to reduce operating costs in an environment where it is still unclear when business will resume on a normal footing.

    Questions are rife about the possible economic and financial fallout of asking a third of the world’s population to stay home and shutting down factories. Countries around the world now face a fine balancing act of slowing an economy down to deal with a health crisis, while not holding it too far back that a rebound would become difficult.

    Given the need to balance risk with economic necessity, there have been different approaches to lockdowns and how it should be eased. For India, balancing the risk of a spreading pandemic with getting the economy started, is a different equation from the developed world.

    It is not going to be an easy decision to take as the virus has put us virtually in catch-22 situation. वक़्त रहता नहीं कहीं टिक कर, आदत इस की भी आदमी सी है.

  19. I loved the way how you taught the consequence of balance in our local lifestyle and then associated it with global importance. I agree that we undermine our mental fitness and do hardly anything about it. Lines which I fancied are – “We, as people, have an astonishingly high capacity to tolerate stupidity, nonsense and socially inappropriate behaviour.” “China was the originator, the United States was feckless, and the Europeans were reckless.”

  20. Hello Tiwariji, I really liked the way you looked at the issue from the individual to the global level. Firstly talking about mental health, as you rightly pointed out, the support systems in India are such that mental health issues are not as big a problem as in the Western world. When I started my job here in UK, I was shocked to see that mental health issues were so rampant among the general population. As long as these are not addressed, the bigger problem will not be.

    The plight of the migrant laborers is something that has affected me so badly in the recent times. This problem is also fairly unique to the Indian subcontinent. While we were busy making lockdown regulations, somewhere we have forgotten these people and eventually failed them. These people being the heart-string of the country, I would suppose that there will be a major change after the lockdown, like you mentioned. How do we address this ? Where did we fail and how can we rectify what went wrong ? Thanks again for the nice article Tiwariji.

  21. Dear Arun sir, Thank you once again for a great article!

    Your blog reminds us of the great quote from APJ Abdul Kalam sir – “Where there is righteousness in the heart, there is harmony in the house; when there is harmony in the house, there is order in the nation; when there is order in the nation, there is peace in the world.”

    If we wish to contribute to the right balance in the world, it begins with the right balance of righteousness in individuals heart! It is just the beginning, however the efforts can further flourished only with what is mentioned in the blog – “working together is the only way forward.” My key takeaway from the blog.

    Thank you so much sir for sharing thoughts with us and helping us to think in this direction, and inspiring us to play our role (act) as individuals to make the world a better place.

  22. Dear sir, you have brought out really salient points about balance which is quintessential to the existence of life. Currently as the world is grappling through severe imbalance, I hope we as individuals and as community have learnt lessons during this period and will work towards pulling each other up and helping each other which is the only way to restore balance and bring about peace.

  23. A stitch in Time: I am a journalist myself, but I have yet to see anyone putting things across so simply. And that includes myself. In just one straightforward piece you have so simply spelled out the issue confronting us individually, us as a family, us as a society and us as a nation. If I practice dishonesty, how can my children be honest. If I produce dishonest citizens, how can I have a harmonious society.If you sow hatred you cannot harvest love. You cannot unite by dividing same as you cannot add by subtracting. The rich -poor divide has proved contagious and it has now gripped even the middle class which chose to ape the rich rather than empathise with the deprived. They closed their doors on those who provide them support services. They call them migrants, forgetting that the roots of each one of us is in yonder village.

    India may have to pay a very heavy price for forsaking millions of its children and making them undertake this ordeal by fire. I can see it but those sitting in ivory towers and seeking to build empires of gold are oblivious of the storm clouds gathering over the horizon. It may not happen today, it may take a decade even more but these very despised poor millions will pull down the towering edifices with the power of their bare hands. Mark my words, the train headed to the right will end up going left! Thank you for a very enlightening piece.

  24. Sirji…this article in itself is a classic example of Balance…all the aspects of Reality have been touched upon…right from the individual to commmunities to nations to the entire panorama of existence.

    Disease…like so rightly mentioned has its roots in some kind of imbalance. Once the imbalance is addressed, Healing begins to occur. The Balancing act is done by CONNECTING.

    In terms of disease, connecting to the right aspect where the roots of imbalance lie within an individual’s system..

    In terms of communities, connecting people one to one, thus enabling mutual Trust and Empathy.

    In terms of Nations, connecting at commonalities and progressing towards a future with shared intent and shared resources.

    In terms of the planet, connecting deeply with Nature to understand how everything is interconnected….Of course, a single act like of a butterfly flapping its wings cannot cause a typhoon, but Small events can, however, serve as catalysts that can have far reaching effects.

    Finally Connecting deep will help people understand, what Buckminster Fuller meant when he said “We are all in this together.”

    And to start working towards this connect, My Guru Param Pujya Pramukh Swami Maharaj always advises…”In the Joy of Others lies our own.”

    Thank you Sirji once again for another Brilliant article…such a revelation in times like these… Jay Swaminarayan

  25. I believe that mental health will continue to be poor if we continue to embark on self-pity and self-destructive behaviours that include blaming, judging, discrimination, comparison etc. Persistently tolerating these negative things within others, as well as ourselves will only lead to depression and distraction from our chosen purpose and goals in life. Tolerance, imbibed with the true essence of Indian spirituality and coupled with the burning desire to improve ourselves as human beings, is a powerful tool for positive change. This applies to individuals, as well as a collective nation.

  26. Dear Arun, I enjoy the literary and social content of your blogs. I think your observation that individual has to develop “awareness” to reduce imbalance within himself is perhaps the central essence of this blog. Globe comprise nations; a nation comprise communities, which are comprised of individuals. If individual is in harmony with himself and develops peace and exististiensal bliss through a state of deep awareness, world peace is assured. A dream, or a long way to go?

  27. Shri Arun Tiwari ji, You have written a blog full of deep thoughts focussing on imbalances. I fully endorse your views imbalances in life, business and politics are root cause of all emerging issues we are witnessing today. Environment and Health Nature and Man should maintain a sustainable balance. Failing in doing so would lead to unrest and natural calamities like cyclones Earth Quake storms floods etc.

    Recently Corona Pandemic is a challenging issue which caused IMBALANCE in Human Health, Politics and Market Economy Global conflicts and trust deficit is increasingly felt. Issue of migrants is a consequence of sudden lockdown without states being taken into confidence for appropriate measures to arrange food shelter to lacs of migrant workers. So after two lockdowns restlessness was inevitable result was neither centre arranged transportation to native places nor states were ready to take their responsibilities this led to chaotic situations unprecedented in Independent India.

    Similarly our Foreign policy got tilted to US prematurely. Trump visited Ahemdabad where a big show was organised with a Slogan Vote for Trump this again led to imbalance in our stated policy of not interfering in internal matters of any other country Now as a consequence to this NaMo led India is part of Trump led US today facing Racial discrimination movement I CANT BREATHE widespread fire loot arson and curfew in over 40 Cities unprecedented in recent US History.

    Back home our relations with Nepal China and Pakistan becoming bad to worse we are dependent on Trump to checkmate China which could have been avoided. Trump cleverly moved India out of NAM and slowly involving India in South China sea and Face off in Ladakh Gilgit. Its a dangerous tilt India could have avoided so. To sum up FAILING TO PUT ONE STITCH Now SPLIT IS WIDE OPEN…. How events will unfold in future is just anybody’s Guess By COME NOVEMBER U.S. Presidential Election.

  28. Respected, Arun bhaiyaji. Thank you for sharing a great article with us. You have thrown a light on such issues that deeply affect us directly. I agree with your views.

    It is very important to take care of ourselves and people around us in this dreadful situation. Today a big number of population is facing the enemy that cannot be seen whose affecting us physically and mentally. To overcome from the current situation one has to be fit not only physically but mentally too.

  29. Again very informative article sir. I will start with some points we are the generation of “depressing personalities with happy faces”. Many people are sad, depressed and worst part is still in our society “talking about mental health is as bad as talking about menstrual cycle and sanitary pad” as know one wants to talk or I can say no one wants to help those depressed person. And no wonder we saw many people are taking out their life.

    The second problem regarding family personally I feel that this is basically the outcome of “nuclear family concept” and frankly now people especially we young generation we cannot connect with our older generation. Many times we become rigid with our thoughts and many time ma they We call them “taking for granted but I feel that we become more insensitive towards our family “. The migrant crisis has shown our insensitive behaviour both as an individual and as a nation and frankly it was one of the worst scene post independence (the partition).

    I personally feel that it’s the high time for all of us to sit with our elders and discuss our priorities, problems with them. We can take their wisdom and add our realistic goals. Also as people say “life is like a race” but for me “life is all about walking sometimes alone sometimes with other people” for a definite goal. I do hope that we will sort this out. Lastly I just want to add that we can take something good from every country i.e. discipline from Japan, innovations skills from USA and happiness from Bhutan etc.

  30. “A Stitch in Time…” is a skillfully written piece, as it stitches together important issues Indians face currently (which ultimately boil down to relationships, with oneself or one another) — each requiring introspection, and then “balancing”, to restore health and order.

    Balance was lost in the first place, because of the selfish pursuit of money and power — at the cost of conscience, familial and social duties; as also utter disdain of tradition and age-old values. At the individual level, as you point out, it could be because of tolerating others’ nonsense.

    One finds, often, people don’t even realize their thinking is wrong. That being the case, they wouldn’t be seeking help, and even resent it when suggestions are given. Often, they are lacking in willpower. Some times, they procrastinate. And some times, something inside them is outright fearful of “goodness and a higher way of thinking”.

    How to bring everyone into the fold of a `healthy way of living’?

    Should there be something on the lines of a `Mass Counselling Program’ that includes Yogic way of life, Yogic counselling, and other alternative therapies for both mind and body? Through RWAs (Resident Welfare Associations), this could reach a large number of urban citizens at least. This could also be used to sow the seeds of active citizenry in younger minds.

    Perhaps the HRD Ministry should think on the lines of how to do this, and in a manner that people genuinely get interested. Perhaps, retired Army officers and the NSS can be involved too… Just some thoughts of a dreamer, Sir!

    I would be keen on knowing how India can play a role in balancing relations between US and China. Is China known to be predisposed to dialogue and persuasion, and if so, what exactly would help their leaders to get interested in all-round benefits for humanity as a whole?

  31. Tiwari Sir, this is an apt article about maintaining homeostasis or balance right from the beginning without which one may suffer the consequence. One of such impacts is depression. The article beautifully describes the internal world of a depressed person in depth. The article points the need for increase in National awareness in mental health to identify and support these people right from early stages so their internal balance can be restored by simple interventions. Least unrecognized and unaddressed will result in huge penalty at individual, community and national level.

  32. Arunji, Once again very good observation of the current situation. The world needs to wake up to the realities of all the matters hi-lighted by you.

    Balancing in all walks of life and setting the right priorities is of prime importance. These are blatant realities for one to see and act upon.

    When there was an earth quack in Bhuj in the year 2000, I am told that, in the aid that was sent by the Western World, there were medicines for depression. These were largely unused! The Indian public is resilient amid problems and are spiritual minded so that they can handle tough situations!!

    The way now depression problem in India, is increasing, I personally feel that we are going away from Spirituality, and from the social support system slowly but surely. I assume the lock down reality has rekindled the family values again . H. H. Pramukh swami Maharaj always recommended “Ghar sabha” among family members to increase the closeness and understanding among family members. This will surely work to bring about harmony in families.

    Corona has proved that no matter if you are rich or poor, you are not immune to such unexpected dangers posed; and the society needs each other to survive and prosper. We must not forget that the majority of India comprises of these poor people and we all need to co-exist, which can’t be done in isolation.

    The effects of post corona world are yet to unfold and it may take a while for it to be fully known. The scenario looks bleak. The world may develop into a New Cold War like scenario and we pray and hope that India aligns itself well to take advantage of it.

    In the ultimate analysis God is the controller of everything and is a Greatest balancing force and will take care of the World and more so of India as evidenced from the past. Aur purusharth karne ke liye hamare Modi sahab koi kasar nahi chhodenge!!

  33. Coronavirus disrupted business to an extent that revival for many would be extremely difficult if not impossible. Millions of migrant laborers back in their villages must find their livelihood. Equally industry in cities must know how to operate without cheap labour. Housemaid, chauffer, office-assistant, porter … we were living indeed with comforts even unimaginable in middle class people in U.S. and Europe. ‘A stich in time’ is such a great recall !!!

  34. Dear Bhaisab, Wonderful write up. You have very nicely summed up the current situation in very simple words. Balancing is a very important Concept. Life is as they say is Camel’s ride. Without keeping your balance you get bumps. As you rightly said it is an art.

    Every catastrophe is an opportunity and Covid19 May also prove as an opportunity to guide the mankind out of the dark. Instead of sprinkling water on the leaves the root has to be watered to keep the tree green.Migrants or many other epidemic facing particularly India like reservation, poverty, pseudo secularism fuelled by opportunists are creating a divide between the society.

    The five symptoms highlighted by you needs to be looked after and treated at the root level. Hope a better vaccine is found to treat them along with Covid19. Thanks for sharing your highly informative thoughts.

  35. Dr. Tiwari, I would like to add inequality among and within nations to your list of symptoms. Raising inequality is the problem that seems to be very important, but we, even knowing the importance of it, seem to ignore it and prefer the status quo. COVID-19 exposed even more the unequal amount of healthcare that people get, unequal opportunities for working from home and avoiding the virus, and unequal compensation and job security. I strongly believe that all of it has contributed to the growing protests and violence in the United States.

    It is not only about the racism and excessive power of the police, but also about the despair, unemployment, devastating effects of the pandemic, homelessness, and the lack of resources and safety net that minorities and African-American communities experience in disproportionate amounts. I also believe that inequality is causing the estrangement in the community that you are writing so much about. How can we feel closeness within our communities when the differential in compensation is so stark? I think that we need strong leadership capable of installing changes, and let’s be honest, this quality is hard to find. At least the United States does not appear to gain such leadership in the next four years regardless of whether the democrats or republicans win.

    On a side note, I would be curious to learn more about the role that you envision for India as an intermediary between the U.S. and China. Thank you for this blog and stay well!

  36. We take mental health for granted. We often forget that mental health is just as important as physical health. The very definition of health by WHO implies health doesn’t just confine to physical wellbeing but also mental and social well being and is not just the absence of disease. Mental health has been a taboo for so long. There should be programmes for creating awareness about the importance of mental health, and assure people that its okay to talk about their mental health, to talk about the depression and to ask for help when needed.

    Migrant workers, the way they were treated was disgraceful. The fact that they weren’t provided timely transportation to their homes let alone the bare necessities of life shows where we actually stand economically and on humanity. According to the International Labour Organization, the pandemic could push 400 million informal workers in India into deeper poverty.

    The covid-19 situation has given us time to be grateful for what we have, reflect on things that need to be improved, to come up with solutions for glitches in the system.

  37. Very true and comprehensive picture of of the world today portrayed by you sir. We all are feeling the turbulence in the world order today and how it settles will decide our future. Wish that God will bless the top leaders with the much needed wisdom and concern for the mankind.

  38. Dear Arun sir, Very well written article. With a background of great culture that introduced Yoga and meditation to the world centuries ago, it’s sad to note that we have lost “our balance” over time. The focus on preventive and mental health along with “paying attention to the body signals” is gone with the fast paced stressful life.

    If future generations have to survive, the focus should be on “ holistic education” and getting the basics right. Acceptance and inclusiveness will result in a significant change that will cause positive impact right from individual level to international level.

  39. Respected sir, Thanks for sharing nice information. Basically Life is no joy ride. Every one has a fair share of dark days. Instead of crying why me and only me, look around and realise that you are better off. A new dawn always awaits for those who face tactfully challenging phase of struggle. God bless!!

  40. Thank you Sir for sharing this article. As you rightly mentioned, balance is an art. Unfortunately, this pandemic proved that not every country had the skill and ability to maintain the balance between health and economy. In trying to maintain the two, New York lost both it’s battles due to internal conflicts.

    Coronavirus has highlighted how critical the dense city is — it’s the most efficient way ever devised to bring people together for fun and profit. With every theatre, restaurant, bar, club, parks, museums closed due to the lockdown, New York noted the highest number of unemployment claims than any other city in the world accounting to almost 40 million, the highest number seen since the Great Depression.

    Millions of people have applied for state benefits. The other includes those who applied under the new federal emergency program called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. So far, more than 10 million have applied.Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, part of an expanded palette of jobless benefits passed by Congress two months ago, is meant to help freelancers, gig workers, the self-employed and others who would not normally qualify under state rules. There still seems confusion and anger amongst people on the application and benefits procedure as not every individual will have the same rights. And as rightly guessed, the poor and oppressed may never get their claims.

    As far as spread of the virus is concerned, the virus is still spreading inside multigenerational apartments among people who are afraid to get tested because of language barriers or immigration status. The lockdown has helped slow down the progress, but the freedom and the relaxation of the rules imposed  during this lockdown will further help the spread, the brunt of which again the poor and old will suffer. We can only hope that we can find a way to create a balance between the economy and the health and not choose one over the other.

  41. This is a very informative blog and I agree partially that we are taking families for granted. This pandemic has also brought families closer and we realised that we are more dependent on each other. Infact, its heartening tht we have our family members to fall back on whn times get tough n i say this out of my own personal experience. At the national level, I think we witnessed something tht had never happnd ever before. The govt used all its resources to ferry migrants home and people were sympathetic to their plight and helped them along. However, the politics over the migrants was unfortunate and in bad taste. It could have been avoided. I sincerely don’t see China being anything other than aggressive. However, the dragon can be tamed if the world gets together and puts a stop to their expansionist policy. I definitely see all major countries on one side and China on the other side.

  42. There is no denying that a stitch in time saves nine. In this chaotic world, the signals of potential catastrophes are arising from all directions. All cannot be attended to at one time. How to priorities them! Balancing is the key for harmonious existence in this world (at individual level) and of the world (at global level).

    Mother earth is encased by stratosphere. In this world, everything is finite. If something goes up, something else has to come down. Harmonious equation is not disturbed if these changes are within the tolerance level of each factor. When this limit is exceeded, chaos starts. If happiness has to increase, the sorrows have to go down/disappear.

    Trust deficit has become all pervasive. It has entered all aspects of life and relationships of individuals, communities and nations. The world would be a different place, if USA, China, Russia and India came together and played a fair game among themselves and vis-a-vis other nations. But, this is going to remain a WISH only.

    You know, how selfish is DNA, whether of an individual or a community or a nation! If only DNA mutates in right direction, something positive may come out. But, again mutations are at random and cannot be directed.

  43. Prof Tiwari, this article is very relevant and timely given the prevailing circumstances in the world today. As hinted out in my comments previously, India serves as a model to all nations in addressing societal challenges. Where India is addressing caste system those grappling with social injustice have a leaf to borrow from.

    As you correctly said ‘All problems take birth out of some imbalance’ what needs to be done by each one of us is doing a careful monitoring of our social, economic and spiritual homeostasis, to survive. When people have all but themselves to compare with in most cases they will fail respecting others and at most of times their efficient solutions to challenges that might have inflicted sores for a long time. We need each other, none is complete in themselves. Little disturbances deserve serious attention if major upheavals are to be avoided.

    When complaints aren’t attended to, those complaining are left with dejection and many a time hopelessness. Any burden in any form when it is shared, its also halved, the path to reconciliation is forged, hope is kindled and mutual understanding of a possibility for a better tomorrow is nurtured, seeds are sown for tranquility, otherwise class struggle ensues with consequences not so well.

    SARS-CoV-2 has struck us all, exposing our common vulnerability, that some have suffered more than others is no reason for throwing out of the window patience and respect which are in themselves a cornerstone for a peaceful coexistence. We are facing a common unseen enemy who attacks us without any discrimination or respect to our geographical location numbers notwithstanding, our togetherness is key in successfully waging the war against this enemy, no rhetoric, nor blame game can tame this enemy. No palliation of symptoms is indicated with this disease, any attempt in the said direction is met with disastrous consequences, which we have and continue to witnesses.

    Mental illness is one other ignored yet a very serious problem of disproportionate dimensions in our society, depression is just the tip of the iceberg, bipolar affective disorders of the mind would top the list in my humble assessment, sadly we live with patients for so long that we customize ourselves to accepting their aberrant behaviour at the cost of both security and social harmony allowing fear to dominate, what you termed as an ‘astonishingly high capacity to tolerate stupidity, nonsense and socially inappropriate behaviour’, more so if its perpetrated by those in high offices, or close to them. This smothers innovation, creativity and efficiencies to say the very least.

    A correct diagnosis paves way to an appropriate treatment, on knowing our situation and those attending shortcomings, the next step is to address them, individually and collectively at society level, only then will have began to walk the talk of leaving no one behind for the sake of understanding, peace, and harmony!

    Religious organization have a very critical role to play in addressing these issues, parishioners should be reminded of their fallibility and the need for humility in leading lives as we are passing this way only once, desiring to do to others what would like done to us is the best way to go…

    Ubuntu: I am, because we are

  44. I really liked your emphasis on moderation and balance in dealing with our health, family life, and national as well as international affairs. Some of the densely populated parts of India have very few industries. Most of the migrant labor force come from those backward and rural areas. The backward areas should be given priority for location of industries and regional disparities should be reduced.

    India’s relationship with USA as well as China should be handled with care and sensitivity. The art of balance is not easy. But in a world full of complexities and conflicting interests, this is the need of the hour. Thank you very much for sharing your valuable ideas.

  45. Dear Arun, I must congratulate you for bringing up right kind of issues at appropriate time. There are many issues in the society but you are highlighting those which are very important for the tranquility in the society at this juncture.

    You are very correct in saying that maintaining balance in the life is of utmost importance be it for individual or for family or for society at large. Few are having things in plenty and many are not having anything. We have a saying that ‘अति सर्वत्र वर्ज्यते’. Excess of anything is not desirable, it has to be abhorred. Even excesses of good thing are not desirable.

    As per ’Ayurveda’, imbalance in vayu, pitta and kaf gives rise to body ailments. In ‘Ramcharitmans’ swami Tulsidasji has preached that mental health is even more important than physical health. Regarding mental ailments he says as imbalance in vat, pitta and kaf causes body ailments ‘Kaam’, Lobh and Krodh creates mental ailments. He says-

    सुनहु तात अब मानस रोगा। जिन्ह ते दुख पावहिं सब लोगा।।
    मोह सकल ब्याधिन्ह कर मूला। तिन्ह ते पुनि उपजहिं बहु सूला।।
    काम बात कफ लोभ अपारा। क्रोध पित्त नित छाती जारा।।
    (Uttarkand-120/14-15)

    Infatuation (मोह) is the root of all ailments and from these again arise many other troubles. Lust is a counterpart of wind and inordinate greed corresponds to an abundance of phlegm; while anger represents bile, which constantly burns the breast. For mental peace one has to maintain balance in these elements. Five symptoms indicated by you may be handled by individuals as well as society by following “Ramcharitmans” preaching.

    Post Covid-19 how our country positions itself has to be seen. Relationship between countries is being affected by the pandemic to a great extent and situation may become hostile in immediate future. We need to keep our cool and remain vigilant. The continuous evolution of businesses and organizations in the country is interminable, more so after a crisis like this. The environment post crisis will need resilience & new kind of human creativity. My best wishes and warm regards.

  46. Last para is near to Idealism!! But it is better to try to search a solution… criticism is not a good policy anyways.

  47. Enjoyed and liked your style Arun. Like the earlier one, this one was, using your own words, “balanced” not in terms of the issues raised but the understanding of the problems. Why go far to China, our neighbor Nepal has distanced itself to the extent of willing to fight it out, of course with neighbourly help. When there was time to ‘balance’ this, we were ‘drunk’ in our pride, ego and superiority complex.

    The migrant issue is unprecedented in global history, but for similar reasons as we lost Nepal, we ignored the problem, just like we ignore headaches till it is diagnosed as acute hypertension or still worse a brain or ocular tumour and then start looking at quick solutions.

    The problem Arun, just like the human body ‘talks’ to us trying to attract our attention to an impending pathological condition, we turn a blind eye to such issues knowing fully well that they are staring at us. May better sense prevail on all of us, particularly those empowered to shape our destiny.

  48. Respected sir, great narration of our present situation in society. The pandemic situation disrupted lives. I like your observation about the gated communities and the divide in society.

  49. Dear Arun, Very well interlinked the little disturbances, symptoms and balancing at all levels. True that we are realising and my thoughts are that this will make us stay on course of well being at individual, family, neighbours, regional, national and International landscape. To achieve larger interests of our future generation. God Bless!

  50. Very nicely summed up Arunbhaithe current situation the world is facing. Your write up gives us a good message to think about. It is time to introspect individually and adjust our lifestyle to bring in the balance. We need to apply the message of what our Hindu Scriptures have said…control your Ego, Anger, Greed, Lust, and Jealousy… it is time to apply virtues in our lives… not just read and appreciate. This will bring the balance in any given adversities as shown by Great Gunatit Satpurushes.

  51. Great work Sir. Balance in individual or as a family or a country, always play important roles.

  52. Honourable sir. Its bliss to read you.

  53. Sir, Thank you for very useful advice in these difficult times. We need not get panic and take hasty decisions. The example of a thali is very valuable. “A good thali has all the six tastes – Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter, Pungent, and Astringent – finely balancing your food.” The MSMEs almost killed by cheaper Chinese products have a new life ahead. New opportunities come from any bad situation. The picture of Yoga is very apt.

  54. Excellent analysis Sir! India was indeed clueless, but our earthy wisdom saved us. The way our villages handled corona virus and the reaction of City people presented a stark contrast. People migrated to cities over last many years because situation in villages was not good and agriculture was not profitable. Now suddenly they are back to villages. It is a very serious and big problem. The only way out is to make our villages amenities wise better and agriculture profitable. I hope you will write about Dr Kalam’s PURA dream (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas) in the new context. I see no other way out but making our villages more livable.

  55. Body tells us every moment and symptoms manifest within the physical body…one needs to address immediately to ensure better physical and mental health. Similarly for the emerging issues with which we need to be engaging both at national and international platforms, we need proactive, balanced and pragmatic approach to succeed to lead the world.

  56. Very nicely portrayed the importance of balance in different arena of our lives. Yes, to pinpoint minute differences early helps a lot in taking care of a situation which can be controlled well instead of ignoring and failing to control it. The lockdown has really taken a toll of our mental health but especially of kids which really don’t understand the problems and are forced to stay at home and not allowed to play with their friends.

    However, along with COVID the other disbalances in our society as rightly highlighted by you, its time to think about it. Any disbalance will result in chaos later. Thanks for the enlighting write up which has really forced me to think about disbalances in our society and world.

  57. Very nicely written and hit the nail of the head. A couple of areas are definitely of top concern

    1. Balance in everything you do (especially life) which will lead to the second point
    2. Mental health (sound mental health if balance is maintained right)

    Practices like Meditation, yoga (or any excersize), family time, me time etc are not given its due importance resulting in anxiety for future and not so cordial home situations. Lack of financial planning is also a major criteria. This is a very underestimated area.. People think they need to compete with peers / friends in their careers, in their livings and put themselves at misery by spending long hours at work, buying houses more than they can afford and failing to save for rainy months (rather than days).

    if financial planning is taken care of, and it can be done if we decide to live within our means (chaddar deekh kar pair faolaao), be conservative etc. we can bring in a lot of mental peace in lives. Problem is that today no one is satisfied. If they seek satisfaction, every thing else falls in place. Its not to say to not worknhard. But work hard for something you love and keep things in balance by supporting causes like: self learning, family time, social service etc. Regards.

  58. Beautifully written in simple sentences!! Like Gandhi wrote. Almost Gandhian philosophy, too.
    But my dear bhai saab all the wisdom and finest and noblest intentions are nothing in front of the relentless march of the law of karma.
    Like a Greek drama which despite our wishes hurtles to its inevitable end.
    I wish India had that that muscle – economic and intellectual. Especially the latter.
    I wish. Oh, I so wish.
    Today we have utter mediocrity dressed up as Solomon.

  59. Arunji, well written… The concept of Balancing is very important in life at all times and the concept of looking for little disturbances for diagnosis and early treatment to prevent it from becoming a disaster or pandemic.

  60. Respected Arun Tiwariji, Namaskram. Thank you sir for the nice article.

    The manifestations of imbalance on the environmental, economical, physiological, psychological have been perfectly articulated teaching the readers the inter-connectivity that is inherent in these apparently diverse and unconnected streams.

    The five symptoms from the individual to immediate surroundings, and to community, national and global levels have been perfectly diagnosed and will have to be treated by only the qualified physicians- the consciously awakened citizens of the world, for only they can throw open the gates of the gated communities, and also the imbalances from the personal to the national and global levels and keep the forces that seek to imbalance, destabilise and destroy at bay.

    India’s waking seems imminent for the flourishing of humanity. Indeed sir, “Nothing more than this should we seek and nothing less than this should satisfy us.”

  61. Sir, The world order of today gives man a stressful journey in life in each sphere. No one has action or patience to face these difficulties with positivity. We must acknowledge the fact that India is a very poor nation in many components, especially in education, health and economy. We have to do lots in these sectors. So our situation is very vulnerable to manage well. Our middle and upper-middle-class people aspire for a good life with good governance but it is not possible and easy as their wish because of the many distractions present in our society.

    COVID 19 pandemic created history with unparalleled specifics such that death toll and economic downturn. Our outlook is different to transform people. Conflict comes first in every development activity like politics or casteism to hinder the progress and if there any possibility to adapt situation well then time lagging is the action for implementation. So the net result is zero output. Our role is only a watchdog. A stitch in time saves nine is telling the real story of today. Thanks. God bless.

  62. Thank you for showing some light at the end of the tunnel. I have been working in Tele-network area, trained by you in initial years. The way lockout has brought a quantum jump in this field is game changing. Suddenly, coaching classed with 30 students cramped in a 12×10 room look ugly and unethical. Similarly money splurged on business travels and tourism in the name of scientific conferences is stopped. Sooner we get adjusted to the new normal of staying at one place and focus on and surviving with less money will be better for everyone.

  63. Dear Sir, thanks for sharing your views, nicely summed up on how we should engage/approach our neighbour in this hour of crisis.

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