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Love of Fiji and meditation

Matilda Simmons
Thursday, April 20, 2017

WORKING in a high pressured environment can have its share of challenges. Pushpa Raniga attests to that. The former Fiji resident works for Qantas Airways in Sydney, Australia where she holds a supervisory role in the customer service area.

"Every day is so different from the other," she says of her working routine.

"Things can just change within a second; say there's a security breach — the whole airport comes to a close and everything has to be stopped, security screening has to be stopped. All of a sudden the whole place is in chaos. Another example if there's a weather adversity, there's a storm coming through; once again the whole airport comes to a stop.

"So you have to manage all these different types of situations. Plus you're working with people of different backgrounds like our staff so you have to understand each person and bring out the best from each person," she said with a smile.

One thing the couple have attested to since moving across to Australia is the art of meditation which they say has kept them sane with life in the fast lane. The couple has been following this art since they were in Fiji in the early '80s and have sworn of its benefits.

"I suppose if you're not meditating you can have anxienties," says Pushpa. "

"Meditation helps a lot on how to deal with different people without getting affected by things. It enabled us to adapt to life in Australia."

Pushpa was recently in Fiji with her husband Jagdish Raniga. The couple said they had been coming to Fiji for the past 30 years after migrating in 1987.

"We still call Fiji home. We've taken a lot of sustenance from this nation, a lot of our childhood was here and we got married here so basically half our lives was in Fiji," the couple said. While Mrs Raniga works the customer service field, Mr Raniga is a school teacher at International Grammer School in Sydney, a profession he took across from Fiji after teaching in various schools.

"I am a high school mathematics teacher," said Jagdish. "I've taught at Labasa College, Queen Victoria School (QVS), Natabua High School and finally International school before I migrated to Sydney in 1987."

So now the couple wants to give back to the community. They want people to enjoy the benefits of meditation which has helped them cope both mentally and physically in a world that can sometimes be filled with chaos.

"When we hear reports of the high suicide rates in Fiji which was not the case back then, we feel like as though you want to help people to understand what life is about," says Puspa. "There is a seven-day course that our sisters from the Brahma Kumaris that conduct classes at centres in Suva, Lautoka, and Nausori.

"They can help you in doing this seven-day meditation which gives you a lifetime sort of foundation on how to deal with situations. The problem should be targeted as early as possible.

"Both for your physical and mental health. It is something that can go a long way for young people who struggle a lot with issues in their life. Suicide is never the answer."

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