The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Chit Dubey

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The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Chit Dubey

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Summary: Sue was quietly impressed when she read 21 Doors to Happiness: Life Through Travel Experiences and Meditation by Chit Dubey as it chimed with her personal view of life. She was delighted when Chit Dubey popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us.
Date: 8 November 2017
Interviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee

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Sue was quietly impressed when she read 21 Doors to Happiness: Life Through Travel Experiences and Meditation by Chit Dubey as it chimed with her personal view of life. She was delighted when Chit Dubey popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us.

  • Bookbag: When you close your eyes and imagine your readers, who do you see?

Chit Dubey: I see many seekers from all different age groups and countries holding my book and smiling. The words written in my books add value to their lives and help them to accept and see positive sides of life. Many enlightened souls who are full of peace and wisdom and spreading it everywhere.

  • BB: What inspired you to publish your 21 Doors to Happiness? You obviously have a busy life. How did you find the time to write?

CD: With time I have realised that happiness and peace are the most important part of life. No matter where you live or what you do, you are always looking for happiness and peace.

You look for happiness through relationships, career, wealth, fame, power and many other conduits. But still, this craving for happiness never ends. The moment we achieve money and fame, we realise that happiness is not about these… I firmly believe that happiness is inside us and we need to look inside. Instead of looking outside, we have to find this hidden treasure which we all have. Also, small things in life are more important than climbing the ladder and getting noticed in society.

I had my ups and downs in life while exploring different spheres of society and observed many things. And with travels around the world and lessons learned, thought to share my experiences with this hope that it may add some value to readers.

We see a lot going on in today’s world. No matter it is politics or climate change. We are not on a positive path. Political and climatic landscapes are not encouraging. In this period, after having so much awareness and flow of information, still, we are missing out something. And this missing link is that we are not connected to our inner world (soul). It’s time to look inside and ask ourselves ‘Who am I and what I need from life?’

It is an attempt through this book to cover diverse subjects and give few tools to my readers to find a balance between inner and outer world. I hope I succeed. It is true that I have a busy schedule and my job in a technology sector has nothing to do with literature. But it is all about what you love and want to do. And when you love something so much it becomes your priority. In life, you always find time for things which become your priority. For me, writing and teaching meditation is the priority and I still find some time to pursue these. Writing and Mediation is my life.

  • BB: Many people, young and old, will be envious of the number of places to which you've travelled. Which do you think contributed most to your spiritual development, and why?

CD: No doubt, some people will envy my travel diary. Travel has changed me forever. It is the best process to unlearn and learn. While travelling, I explored many different cultures and countries and their value system. It made me accept different opinions and social customs.

There are different ways to look at life. And we can’t say one is better than other; it’s just that there are different ways to reach the end. Travelling has helped me to understand human behaviour in much better ways. Human behaviour is mostly conditioned by society, race and religion. But when we travel and experience different cultures it helps us to understand others and respect each other.

For example, when I visited N'Djamena, Chad in Central Africa, I was shocked at first instance. It is the most underdeveloped country I have ever visited. I also had an unforgettable experience at the Airport. The abject poverty and dilapidated infrastructure were appalling. A baguette during lunch was a luxury, and it seemed people were cut-off from the rest of the world. They had seen 30 years of civil war so you could imagine.

We often criticise our country, but when I compare with Chad, I realised how blessed we are. European countries have highest standards of living and many opportunities here we have taken for granted. We have too many complaints than gratitude. We should appreciate what we have.

My travel to N'Djamena changed me forever, something spiritually happened inside me in those days, and that memory is still fresh.

Also, there was another profound experience in Copenhagen when one Afghan refugee rented me his bike for free for five days. He didn't charge anything. I shared this incident on one blog, and so far more than 900 thousand people have read it, and thousands of people messaged me from different parts of the world. It was overwhelming. I have written about this incident in detail in my book and I will highly recommend to read it.

  • BB: I much admired your ability to think positive thoughts and dismiss the negative from your mind. What's your first reaction when something goes wrong in your life?

CD: I always practice one mantra: everything is transitory in this world. There is nothing which is permanent in this world. Everything is in transition. Being happy or sad is a state of mind. Today if something goes wrong, tomorrow it won’t be anymore. This sad phase of life sooner or later will disappear. At the same time when there are too many good things in life, I keep in my mind that this will also disappear one day. It makes me be calm and enjoy each phase of life.

With the long practice of meditation, I have learned how to act rather than react. We should act in life during difficult moments instead reacting. The reaction is a negative trait, and we should avoid it. It only makes the situation worse.

  • BB: You make achieving happiness sound, if not simple, then something which can be achieved with effort and practice. What do you think prevents people being as happy as they could be?

CD: I think people are unhappy because they are not looking inside and not appreciating what they already have. Mostly, they are looking outside and trying to find happiness through acquiring objects. Like buying a big house, expensive cars and clothes are not going to give you permanent happiness. These are transitory.

At the same time always comparing ourselves with others also bring dissatisfaction. Every human is different, and we have our journey. We should learn to accept ourselves and appreciate this human life. We should try to see what could be done with what we already have. Contentment and gratitude are important. Chasing wealth and power should not be the ultimate goal.

And in today’s world, it is very important to redefine the definition of success. We compare success with how much fame, power and wealth you have which is not good. Magazines are full of lists like ‘The Richest People’ or ‘The Most Powerful People’ instead rating ‘The Wisest People’ or ‘The Kindest People’. We need a paradigm shift here.

We should consider people successful if they live with peace, kind to others and knowledgeable. Wisdom and random kindness should take importance than fame and power.

If we create this kind of social environment and culture where wisdom, acceptance, and inner joy are celebrated, we will see more people happy on this planet.

  • BB: I was shocked by the greed you encountered in London and the corruption in Dar-es-Salaam and I know that you've worked with India Against Corruption. Is greed and criminality hardwired into some people's brains or are there places where it arises from economic necessity? Do you feel any sympathy in that situation? Is it possible that it will ever be eradicated?

CD: A very good question - but it is subjective. I think in many cases corruptions are due to economic conditions. But in some cases, it is due to greed, social and cultural practices. In poor countries, we see corruption often because people are fighting for bread and butter. They lie about small things. In many developing countries cops take a bribe, gov. officials and politicians don’t do their job unless you bribe them. And it becomes a part of the culture, and if you are born and brought up in that type of society, you won’t mind committing small cheatings and telling lies which look outrageous for someone who is born and bred in a developed country.

At the same time, cheatings happen in London which is one of the wealthiest cities on this earth. Those who have more want more, it’s a number game. Maybe from the two-bedroom flat they want to move to four-bedroom flat and then to a penthouse and a mansion. This greed is incessant and never stops.

I have my doubts that greed and corruption will be permanently eradicated. But I firmly believe it is possible to reduce the amount of corruption and greed we see in today’s society.

There is one chapter in my book ‘wealth and sharing’, and it ends with one exercise. I think that exercise is very powerful and effective if practised diligently. I will highly recommend people to go through it. Christmas is near, so it is the best time to practice this exercise.

While working with India Against Corruption movement, I experienced that unless people change from inside and focus more on Self-Revolution than Social Revolution, we won’t see much positivity around us. I have written at length in one of the chapters that how Self-Revolution is vital and could lead to Social Revolution.

Also, a practice of meditation and kindness could help us to become aware from inside which will eventually lead us to be more compassionate to everyone.

  • BB: I loved the Shantih Sutras. Which do you find helps you most? Which would you recommend to a beginner?

CD: Thanks a lot – I am glad you loved it. I will highly recommend breathing exercises as they are easy to do anywhere and very effective. It has helped me a lot. I do this before going for a long meeting, or if I am in a difficult situation, even a single long breath helps me to calm down. It is magical, costs nothing and could be practised anywhere.

  • BB: Do you have any regrets about how you've lived your life? Is there anything that you'd change?

CD: Luckily, no regrets so far. I have lived so far the way I wanted to live, and it’s a beautiful feeling.

I am fond of eating sweets (chocolates) and spicy food (samosa – Indian snack). I think I need to change this eating habit.

  • BB: You've got one wish. What's it to be?

CD: To contribute towards world peace and bridge the gaps between different societies and cultures.

  • BB: What's next for Chit Dubey?

CD: I am writing my second book, and it is in a different genre than my first book. It is about humour, fun, adventure and has many crazy stories from Asia, Africa and Europe. It is at an advanced stage, and I am working with one editor who has worked with few big names from the US, especially Hollywood. My readers will see two different sides of me. And many more books will come in future. I will be around writing throughout my life.

  • BB: We wish you well with that, Chit and thank you for taking the time to talk to us.

You can read more about Chit Dubey here.

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