JOINT FAMILY

In time of test,’ family is the best.’ All the hurdles of the day are eased at the end of the day when you are back with your family.
‘Joint’ means tied together. A joint family with number of members definitely sounds more secure. We can find many solutions or many helping hands. One would definitely be in less danger if one’s own kith and kin are fun to be with.
But many times members of a joint family never really speak their minds to one another. They maintain an atmosphere of unreality. Each one lives in an atmosphere of suppressed ill-feeling. ‘Unity in diversity’ if maintained then a joint family may succeed. Having individual independence in one’s own private decision making, finances, entertainment etc and by maintaining all round unity, can help survive a joint family.
Just like India is a country with different languages, caste & religion, so also a joint family has people with different ideas & behavioral habits. If one respects & recognizes each other’s views as well as tolerate or each other’s behavior & thinking, then the fruits of a joint family can surely be enjoyed.
The strength of a man is portrayed by his capacity to adjust to the different minds and situations in a joint family. If he can adjust to the ifs & buts at home, then he can surely adjust with his outside world. Truly speaking our public affections begin in our families. No cold relation can be zealous citizen. Blood relations may be thicker but they can be nastier too. If members of a family do not open up, then a joint family may become a home of all social evils and a hell for the children in particular. A selfless member who volunteers to shoulder the joint pack selflessly may at the end find himself reading a story to a sleepy child.

Housewife are Nation builders

On this international woman’s day I would request all men and women to pledge that the housewife be given the status of Nation builders. Please let not the census group housewives in “economically non-productive” category with prostitutes, beggars and prisoners. It is an insult to the community by referring them as non-productive community. If a mother is able to give just one conscientiously sensible son or daughter to the nation a major part of the problems are resolved. I am sure there will be innumerable numbers of great sensible sons and daughters who would agree with me and help housewife the required sensible respect and status in the society.

I have an accomplished background with great respectable achievements but just for the sake of my children I have given up my profession. Rather than giving excuses everyday in office for the sake of my family and children I would prefer to stay home to imbibe the culture and tradition I have acquired from my mother. I would dedicate my life to all those high achieving women who preferred to be an housewife and work only during their leisure by exploiting their inherent talents. I have no other way to reach the community for support rather than to sit at home and start his blog.

Simpy

Why do children need to drink milk?

Calcium constitutes a very important part of our health, especially for the growing children and youth who require it to the optimum. The fact that it is not produced by our body makes it all the more important. It has to be supplemented from outside sources, both natural and chemical.

Why do we need calcium?

provides bones with rigidity and strength.

confers rapid growth of bones in children

plays vital tole in message transmission to the brain

helps in the regulation of enzymes and hormones

aids in bl0od clotting, heart functioning

plays vital role in the pregnancy

helps in the production of lymphatic fluids

helps in transport of nutrients and other substances

helps in the transformation of light to electrical impulses in the retina

What are the dietary sources of calcium?

Our body cannot produce calcium on its own. So it has to be supplemented either through natural food resources or lactates, gluconates and carbonates.

Dairy products contain huge amount of calcium. So it is important that we include dairy products in the diet of the children on daily basis. This could be anything from milk, milk shakes, chocolates, ice-creams to butter, cheese and chhana, kheer. Other natural food rich in calcium includes meat, seafood, green leafy vegetables, peanuts, seeds and all varieties of seeds, legumes and nuts.

What does deficiency of calcium cause?

Deficiency of calcium can lead to innumerable problems in grownups. This happens due to improper diet during childhood. It’s important that the basic diet of children contains enough of calcium products. The conditions that may arise due to deficiency of calcium includes:

rickets

bowlegs, knock knees

poorly developed bones

poor growth

cramp in legs

irregular heartbeat

poor sleep disorder

Why do children need to drink milk?

Milk and milk products are loaded with calcium and other nutrients. So, it is the easiest way to include dairy products and get the sufficient amount of calcium in diet. If milk is removed from diet, it can lead to insufficient ingestion of calcium – something that’s going to stay with the kids forever.

The Empty Nest

Shimmering moonlight peeps through the living room window. Beside, a glass bowl is dearly kept, which contains some rose petals and water, and the bowl holds the reflecting moonbeam so lovingly…as if a mother would hold a child in her arms. The peach colored satin curtains are draped affectionately emitting a sense of warmth.

On the edge of the side table sits a smiling picture frame of the entire family— hand in hand, having fun and frolic on their holiday to Darjeeling which was toured some nine years back. How young everybody appeared then, especially the two of them, sans wrinkles and the lines on their foreheads. The children too appear equally tidy; the younger one just out of college, and the elder one having bagged his first job in an ad agency. In fact the Darjeeling trip itself was accomplished to celebrate his first stint.

The day the picture was taken, it had rained in the hills. The air was crystal clear, and the clarity of this air was visible on the smiling, contented, & refreshing faces of each one in the picture. The younger one had caught hold of a “gorkha” watchman of their bricked cottage in Darjeeling, who had obliged to click for the family what now adorns to be their drawing room family photograph in years to follow.

The silent picture tells the story of the middle class upbringing of the children, and of her and his glittering eyes as they have in them some far reaching dreams they’ve dreamed for their children. The smile of the children too is very genuine. Yet the smile shows that there are some unconquerable frontiers which they still want to attain. Thus both the children had their own set of higher aspirations. The elder one had accepted his advertising assignment as a stop gap arrangement, while the younger one had ambitions to study clinical research. And so they moved up their respective career ladders.  Few years down the line, the elder one earned a scholarship abroad in Media Research; while the younger one got through an acclaimed clinical research college in an international university.

It’s been six years now, since both the children have flown away, leaving both of them with memories. They all meet quite often; they visit the children and the children too visit them. Back home, this spring he decided to build a birdhouse outside in their garden. And once birds flew in, she and he began tending them adoringly. The birds too responded well, and built their nest on the tree where the bird house was placed.

So although their own nests were empty, he and she went ahead and tended another nest.

Every other day, when they remember the children, they closely admire and examine the Darjeeling picture, and some more such pictures which are scattered over the walls leading to their bedroom. Some years back, when they read about the uprising which grappled the valley of Darjeeling, they remembered their children, and missed them more than on any other occasion. Today their nest is empty, but they have no complaints. After all, they themselves had taught the children to dream big, and now that the children were doing so, what was there to complain???

Outside, the moon is still gleaming bright. The water in the glass bowl is ripple free, and still. The radiance of the mystical moon is far reaching. In the course of the day, it will cross the seven seas and enter the slit window of the respective rooms, in the respective houses of both the children, where they’ll be fast asleep. Perhaps it will whisper to them that back home in an empty nest everything is absolutely fine; life is as usual……..

Papa..Papa—Yes Johnny?..Using Plastic? NO Johnny!

Rewind to this cute nursery rhyme that used to go so well with the then toddlers—“Johnny Johnny Yes Papa…eating sugar- no papa….”. This very rhyme related so much to the innocent bunch of frolicking toddlers who used to be usually all over the place, making mischief, playing games, throwing tantrums and teaching you and I some lessons indirectly (on the importance of telling truth and nothing but truth!!!).

And now, fast forward to today, when children are quick, clever, precise, smart, savvy, brainy and enormously witty. Back then, there used to be a need of a nursery rhyme to bring home the importance of telling truth to children. But kids of today outsmart even their elders. They are smart at catching elders off guard, when elders themselves speak a lie or two, and then they thus question them as to why elders spoke lies…Today’s kids are daredevils and they fear none!

One such smart matter of fact witty and shrewd lad happens to be my nephew. Oh!  He’s an inexplicable source of energy, questions and clarity. Just like today’s generation of younger lot who know what they want with immense clarity, my nephew too falls into the similar category. He knows what’s right and what isn’t, of course of trivial day to day things which happen around daily life. I’m obviously not hinting at larger than life, complicated, philosophical aspects which children need not be aware of. I’m mostly referring to the mundane elements of life, and the limited world of children, and the limited things around which their innocent lives revolve.

So one day, my dear nephew’s class teacher gave the class an awe-inspiring lecture on environmental implications of using plastic. The children all listened with immense attention. On matters other than such practical issues, especially studies where their attention spans usually go for a toss, in this case where she spoke to them about the hazardous aspects of plastic, the kids listened and listened.

It wasn’t just the listening that needs a special mention here, but the assimilation and implementation which are truly noteworthy. That afternoon, when he returned home from school he was a changed boy. Not in terms of his mischievous behavior et al, but in specific terms of his attitude towards plastic.

As soon as he entered the house, he saw their maid servant carrying a plastic bag and going out. He quickly grabbed her bag, ran into the kitchen, and threw it away! Later that day when his mom returned from office with a plastic bag in tow, he reacted in similar fashion. He gave standing instructions to his grandparents that none should be seen around the house with plastic bags in their hands! He asked his grand mom where she carefully keeps all the plastic bags at home, and when she meekly answered him, this fellow quietly disposed off all the bags in one go, the following day. No one in the house could make out anything from his strange attitude of hatred towards the plastic bags. They tried to ask him, but in vain. He didn’t reply one bit. He wanted to be silent observer and analyzer of how all elders at home implement his standing orders.

Three days later after his first brush of hatred with plastic, his mom went shopping, and she came home with loads of plastic bags!

No sooner he saw that, he leaped on his mother and entered into a brawl with her as to why she wasn’t obeying his orders. Now it was all piling over, and hence she decided to probe into his behavior. After much probing she came to know about how their teacher had explained to them a thing or two on plastic and its bad effect on Earth.  Everyone at home tried to convince this little fellow as to how it was an impractical thing, not to use plastic and that the whole world uses it nonetheless. But our anti plastic obsessed hero wasn’t the kind who’d give up on these sweet convincing.

He went a step further in his project- “say- no to plastic”. For the two following Sundays, he actually sat in his room with a pile of newspapers, with all attention, and made paper bags! He took his dad’s help for this joint craft activity and came up with more than three dozen paper bags! The following day was a holiday from school. But he woke up extra early, stood by the door and whosoever he met, he handed them one paper bag—right from the newspaper boy, milkman, maid servant, laundryman, to everyone at home got one bag each. Five paper bags were sanctioned for fruit, vegetable and grocery purchases at home. He didn’t even spare the guests who were expected for dinner at their home that night.

This visionary seven year old boy then stashed some paper bags in his school bag. That afternoon he got down the bus and started walking home from his bus stop. His sight fell upon a fruit vendor selling some guavas and apples round the corner. He immediately walked near him. The fruit vendor thought that he might be interested in buying guavas. But this guy had other plans! He picked up his pile of plastic bags, dumped them all on the ground and handed him the paper bags which he’d carried along in school. He promised to the fruit vendor that he would bring him more such good paper bags tomorrow, if he promises to sell his ware only in paper bags!

Wow! Now this is what I call hard core implementation; and going into the crux of the issue and uprooting the actual problem, even if it means going out of the way. This is a living example of practice what you preach, being exemplified by none other than a child. They say, don’t take people by their literal words. But here’s an example of a seven year old boy who not only took the words of his teacher literally, but went a step further at implementing what was preached to him.

This generation is thus too smart to outwit. They are bold enough to question you and me on our face- Papa..Papa—Yes Johnny?..Using Plastic?….Yes Johnny…And they have an ability to transform our thought process, if only we are ready to let go. This Johnny brigade has the potential to correct the wrong things going on this planet. All that they need is the right avenues to harness their potentials. And our wee bit encouragement is the slice of the pie that they need.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT : SCHOOL GOING CHILDREN

Awareness on health and nutrition, no doubt should start  at any early age. But then which age is the early age and how old is the question for us to answer.

Parents are all the time worried about their children not eating well and at the right time. Often parents are found seeking advice from nutritionists, pediatrician and dietitian and at times unable to reach a conclusion on the ‘ right diet’. Schools can also offer to facilitate the physical growth of their child. Proper nutrition is important to prevent many problems including ‘ overweight ‘ and developing weak bones.

PRE-SCHOOL GOERS: Pre-school aged children are still developing their eating habits and need encouragement to eat healthy meals and snacks. Pre-school goers need an energy and nutrient dense diet, which should include food from all food group like cereals, grains, pulses and legumes, milk and meat products, fruits and vegetables, fats and sugars. Over time, the child will develop a healthy dietary regime, when allowed to choose from a variety of healthy food.

FULL NUTRIENT GAPS: Children carry a lot of junk food in their snack box. Forbidding particular food is often an invitation for undue meal time wars. A better approach is to seek a reasonable balance. Any food can have a place in a healthy diet-when, how much, how often are the areas in which some control can be exercised. Experts recommend that instead of saying that a food is ‘ bad’, tell the child the benefits of food like fruits and vegetables, milk etc. Children do want to be strong and healthy.

NUTRIENTS FOR GROWTH: # Little ones should be offered nutritious choices that provide enough nutrients needed to meet their growing body’s requirements.

# Protein is needed for growth and is supplied by milk, meat, fish, chicken, eggs, cheese, and pulses.

# Calcium is needed for strong bones and teeth. Calcium is primarily found in milk and milk products and to a lesser extent in green leafy vegetables.

# Iron is an important mineral that you get from non-vegetarian foods like meat, eggs, or vegetarian foods like cereals and green leafy vegetables. It is absorbed better when served with a food rich in vitamin C.

# Citrus fruit and their juices are a good source of this vitamin. Dark green vegetables are good source of pre-formed vitamin A , essential for healthy vision and growth.

# Water is also an important part of the diet of  pre-school children. Water should be offered several times during the day as kids are more prone to dehydration than adults. So, water should be given to children at regular intervals.

CHILDREN :: GETTING PAST ‘NO’

Children can seem very Negative , but, believe it or not, this is a good thing! Your child’s frequent use of the word “no” shows that he is developing a sense of self, that he understands that he has control over his own actions. He is becoming independent.

Understand that your child is on the right track, and that you will see this again in a big way as he moves through adolescence. Both then and now, you need to be able to walk the line between respect for his need for power and your need to maintain an environment in which he is safe and learning good social skills.

Here are some strategies: Say”Yes” more often and limit your use of “no”. Your child probably learned this wonderful word “yes” from you and your efforts to place limits on his behaviors. Find new vocabulary for control. For example, instead of saying “No jumping on sofa set”, tell him, “Sofa set is for sitting my dear. If you want to jump, come on, let’s go out side.” Save your “no’s” for when he is putting himself in danger.

Ask fewer questions that can be answered  with a “no”. Avoid telling ” Yes, we will go now”. Instead of that ask ” Are you ready to go dear?” or try “Time to go!”.

Offer more choices. This may help satisfy his need for power and minimize conflicts in other situations. For example, when crossing the road “Which hand would like to hold, dear?”, instead of “Would you like to hold my right hand?” ( He will surely say “no”! )

It is important that your child be able to say “no” without fear of punishment so that he can continue to assert his independence and become autonomous. It sometimes helps to know that this is normal healthy behavior that is important for the development of an emotionally stable person.

Bruno and Me

We were all very excited about our new luxurious and modern home which we had built in Delhi. Since i got married we had moved from one apartment to another each getting smaller with each move. When we moved to Mumbai, Lokhandwalla estate it was like being smothered with barely any space. Anyway now our own home with all modern gizmos was the stature we had achieved in society and family. This was our pride yet there was a keen sense of  emptines despite all this. Mind you my husband lays down the law with a very heavy hand so i generally avoid poking him. Still I dared to do so and seized the opportunity when he went on his famous official tour to Mumbai for a week. The family  was already  conspiring with me…. or else!

Earlier I had seen the advert. in the classified and had established contact. The day was set when the entry into my home was scheduled. First I had to go and check on him his breed etc. I entered their apartment which was dimly lit but otherwise neat. I met the owner and he was gracious and expressed his inability to take care of his royal majesty so he wanted a loving family for him. i said fine show him to me and there he was frail and thin yet majestic..He scampered near me and i was scared for a second but then i got over it. There was Bruno so naughty and mischievous. Well,  i was in love once again!

Let me introduce you to Bruno he is a handsome chap truly he is full of joi de viveire. Theres no way anyone can say otherwise. Hence he became the latest member of my family. A well bred, blue-blooded, pedigreed German Shepherd from Shajahanpur. Mind you all this was going behind my husband’s back an element of drama excitement and spine chilling thrill (for the children at least).

Enter my husband in his new home all spic and span and shiny. False smiles pasted on everyones face since his royal majesty was hidden in my daughter’s room. Everything was fine… we had dinner and the children were of to bed. We went to the living area enjoying the solitude and catching up. It was 11 pm suddenly a furry creature jumped into his lap and what an introduction it was! he broke all silence and we had a massive battle you can imagine!

Well, it goes without saying that Bruno knew that his days were numbered here so he immediately attached himself to my hubby! Dear God office politics and subsequent promotions are put to shame!  Well that was earlier now they are inseparable and are walk buddies.

Thats how charming Bruno is well here are some antics of Bruno to brighten your day… Bruno chasing a Torchlight

I saw a Human

I eyed on him
His eyes, lips, eyebrows, his face
I saw deceit and dagger looks
I saw an ogre
.
I eyed on him
His eyes, lips, eyebrows, his face
I saw love, compassion, harmony
I saw an angel
.

I eyed on him
His eyes, lips, eyebrows, his face
I saw scorn, vulnerability, disbelief, cynicism
I saw a human.

Children Are the Happiest – A Myth?

(Here I will categorically exclude the children who suffer dishonorably and go through the most mortifying days of their lives. They are in my prayers and will forever be.)
I was watching a few street children playing with mud and smudging each other. I thought, they were the happiest creatures on earth today. Free, uninhibited and spontaneous. But then, that was just an onlooker’s perspective and I had little idea what was going on in their minds! Even kids have their happy and sad times. They too have their share of down moments. They too go through peer pressure, pressures of task load and an incessant torture to do well in exams. And today, they are even a few steps ahead of our times. They have to have the right dress, right gadgets, right food, and sometimes the right hair day! They are losing their childhood so fast! But do they really know what bleak moments of life lead to the do-not-exist-kind of state! They don’t. Then how could they be the happiest?

Do you really think that a kid knows what is it to become happy? Happiness to them is just a paper boat or being able to play in the sun or even sucking the cheapest lollipop. As a kid, how badly I wanted to grow up fast to earn my own money and become a doctor and help others! My friend wanted to become a pilot and fly in the sky!

It would be a matter of mere speculation that children are the happiest. Its only when that they grow up and know what it all takes to live it, that they realize the true meaning of happiness. Its then that they feel that they were better off as kids! Generally speaking and keeping aside all those children who live a degrading life, childhood may be the most secure and safe, but children might not just feel that happiness! We adults are in a position to compare for we have lived it all. A child cannot delineate for he has only seen the brighter side of it. Childhood is bliss and kids are relatively stress free, care free and are uninhibited. True! But how does that make them the happiest? We have to know the both sides of life, both happy and sad times to actually become the happiest. We may be blessed with most blissful childhoods, we may have all happy things on earth but as a child we cannot gauge at the depth of happiness for we have not seen the big bad world.

And that’s essentially a grownup’s point of view!

Compassion in children

“Compassion is that which makes the heart of the good move at the pain of others. It crushes and destroys the pain of others.” These are the words of The Buddha. Compassion is the greatest of all virtues. Dynamic compassion or Ahimsa in Hinduism means the God quality of a human being.

Children learn what they see in adults. Actually they imitate adults. So when compassion is practiced by adults children are sure to follow that quality. A child learns everything by watching what the adults do. Feeding when he is hungry, consoling when he is hurt, removing the obstacles on his way are all looked upon by a child as kindness by the mother. The child learns from his experience the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.

Children are very sensitive. We need not teach them to be compassionate. They learn it from what they see around them. First they learn from the family members, then from school & society. We cannot expect the society to be kind and good to all but the basic lessons they got from the family would have left a deep impression.
In Hinduism, compassion is called daya, and, along with charity and self-control, it is one of the three central virtues in Hinduism. When you help a needy or old person, the way you behave to the house maid, is all carefully watched by your child. We can notice that they love those people whom we love. Teach the child the virtue of sharing. Let him develop a selfless attitude.

Kindness and compassion cannot be taught, but experienced. Even then at a certain age some children turn violent and rebellious. We as adults too cannot avoid anger and intolerance at times. But if the children have experienced a compassionate life as a child, they are sure to bring that virtue into their own life as they grow.

When I was in primary school, I remember our class teacher once paid the fees of a poor student who couldn’t afford it. Then she announced in the class that anyone who is willing to spare even a coin from their pocket money shall keep it in the box she kept on the window. Thus every month the girl’s fees was given from the money collected. It was not a big thing but our young hearts felt we were doing a noble deed. At least some of us might have learned compassion from that simple act, that I remember it even after 50 years.

The small acts of kindness we see in childhood have deep impact on us. Only a person with the virtues of Humility and Gratitude has Compassion. Let us live a virtuous life and bring up a younger generation who develops compassion as a way of life.

Happy Mother’s Day

This word didn’t mean much to me. Actually I am in many ways traditional. I think that these various days are adoptions of the west… Mother’s day… Fathers day… Woman’s day and so on. No – No, I am not old fashioned. I do believe in the essence of all these days. But the advertisement and the flamboyant display of affection doesnt appeal to me. I believe in actions… Spending time with your mother and doing all the things that she likes is my idea of a mother’s day… any day in the year it might be!!!

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It was another of those Friday mornings. I overslept and woke up only by 7:00 am. That implies.. I woke up my kids even later… and of course the husband is last to follow:) (I hope men reading this take a clue).

And I was in a hurry to get things done – pack the tiffins for children and husband, get the kids dressed for school, dress up myself so that I can drop the younger one to school while hubby dear drops the older one.

With the haste came waste and came anger. The result is I was messing up loads of things and also getting irritated at everything on this earth – the phone for ringing at the wrong time, the tap for not having hot water, the stove for delaying the cooking and most of all my poor kids for not moving at a pace that I would have liked them to!!!!

The result was that my son was not in a good mood before leaving for school. Today was the day he had his football coaching too. And he immediately snapped at me as to why did I have to start an unwanted coaching for him. This was followed by a lecture by me (an ambitious mom in haste!) to him as to how necessary it is for him to have a holistic development. We didn’t end on good notes. And our good byes were also very hasty and not the usual mushy mushy miss you stuff. I also forgot to put in a spoon in his tiffin!!

I felt miserable whole day later. When I went to pick up my son from school, he rushed into my arms crying. No apparent reason but I guessed that the turbulent morning had left him in a bad mood and his day at school was also not very rosy.

I took him home and in sobs he told me that he missed me at the book fair where all the other moms had come but I hadn’t. He also missed me watching him play football like I sometimes used to sit and do!  And he also told me the he had to eat the lunch with hand (which had a cut). It made me feel bad! While unpacking his bag… I noticed a small pink paper card with drawings and a Mother’s day message to me. I asked my son about it. And he said.. “When we were playing in the ground after lunch, our teacher asked whether anyone wants to come and make a mother’s day card. I said i wanted to”… I just rushed out of the room because I couldn’t stop the tears flowing…..

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I keep pondering… how often I use my children like a getaway. If I am angry, in some ways I vent out my anger at them… if I am sad… I again am morose with them. Hmm…. the only way out – I need to attain nirvana before I handle my kids:).

“My greatest teacher”

A great teacher teaches you more than just the basics in Math or English or Science. A great teacher inspires you to reach beyond your grasp and aspire to be a better person.
A great teacher will go out of their way to make sure that you feel able and valued, no matter how many students they have in their class or how many years they’ve been teaching. You can tell a great teacher by the number of students gathered around their desk throughout the day; they’re the ones still there an hour after school has let out, simply because so many students are waiting.
My greatest teacher was my 4th year science teacher who also happened to be my adviser, Mr. Donato way back s.y. 1998-1999. It’s hard to explain what it was about Mr. Donato that made him the best teacher in a school of dozens. He certainly wasn’t the easiest, in fact, I got the lowest grade ever in my whole life from him in our science subject, he challenged each and every student to attempt what they thought was impossible, and he never let the ‘smart’ kids’ coast by on their good reputations. Maybe it was his easy way with every kid, regardless of whom they were or where they came from. Maybe it was the way he made everything seem a little more interesting than it probably was. I think it was the whole package: he was the type of teacher who made you care about him and what you were learning.
Mr. Donato made difference in my life because he went out of his way to understand someone who was different. My school wasn’t exceptionally large (Notre Dame of Pigcawayan, Philippines), but there were certainly enough students to get lost in the crowd. My problem was, it was impossible for me to get lost in that crowd because, early in my life, my teachers found out that I was one of those ‘smart’ kids. Things naturally came easy to me, and I was often called upon to help my classmates when they were having trouble. I was visibly different from all the other kids, and it made a real impact on the way I felt about myself, all the way through school.
I know that Mr. Donato touched the lives of hundreds of students. There will, of course, be some who remember him a little more than others because of the special things he did for those who needed it. I know that, for me, my time in Mr. Donato’s class changed my life and he’s a big part of the reason with whom and what I am now. He taught me to embrace the way my mind works, and showed me that “being different isn’t really a bad thing but rather an asset”.

Serpents of Corruption

Worthy of love, unbreakable togetherness, and lasting compassion would have been instilled strongly in the vessel of thirsting heart and unstable mind of a child.

But, why soup of hatred, a platter of pale love and a bowl of spoiled unloving thoughts are laid in the niche of the child’s sprouting character?

Family ties were untied by a father who neglected his pure actions and encouraging words and translated into unspoken greediness and unnoticed carelessness of expressed thoughts that form the growing character of his son.

The family bonding is disbanded by a mother who works in the scope of her comfort where eyes and mouth are only the weapons of her love and care for her curious daughter and for her wandering son.

A father who offers a well of gold and silver, a mother who clothes sparkling dress of worldly wealth to her offspring!

Their children have worn ever the brightest smile but not for a while,

The pleasures of their tongue were satisfied but not their hearts.

Corruption begins at home.

It creeps to the nerves of the heart of your son.

It envelops the innocent soul of your daughter.

For every dishonest  word that is pronounced by the indifferent father,

For every unchecked actions that mother has imposed,

Are a sure lifetime shaper to the values and character of the children.

Family brings serpents of corruption in every corner of the home.

It blows very hard like a destructive wind of the storm.

It is like a starving lion that preys on the flesh of good virtues and leaves nothing but dead soul!

Father, Mother, May I appeal to your deepest conscience and understanding!

May you be vigilant and be watchful of your actions and your ways of life!

Your most beloved children are at stake in the breaking and making of their character!

I will keep the light of My guiding star from shining

I could still remember the movie “Rumors of an angel”. A movie of two different parties. Who are thirsty and hungry for LOVE.

The movie depicts the love of a mother to his long lost son due to an illness and on the other hand the love of a child to his mother who was lost due to a car accident.

Sometimes, they wanna cry out their long-kept-tears but they are scared that no one will bother to show some care. So, they decided to keep it for themselves and didn’t care even if it is too hard to bear.

When the two cross their roads, they both exchanged feelings of  emptiness and learnt to patch up the loneliness they felt into whom they have lost.

What is consoling for them is when they think of the one that gives them the strength to move on. That thing was the star that twinkles every night. Whom their strength came from.

“There is no horror in death”. This is the line in the story that I pondered upon.

Yes, those whom you have lost will still be within your reach for as long as they are in your heart.

The movie was indeed great that I came to realize the importance of my mom. It made me think deeper and evaluate my relationship with my mom. Yeah, my mom was my guiding star since I was born.

She is my armor when I am in a fight,

She is my strength when I am weak,

She is my way when I am lost,

She is my bed when I need to rest,

She is my home when I need shelter.

With these, Her efforts is a magnificent job that needs recognition and commendation.

I will always keep in my heart the LIGHT of my guiding star.

Are you saying it too ???

” If you have to kill a lion, you will have to face it. Face the fear you fear and the fear will go away.”

What are we telling the children who are a part of our lives ???   This is what we tell the little ones,  ” There is a monster right there and it’s going to catch you if you don’t…” and children obviously succumb”.   The fear thus built within each of these children will take takes more than donkey’s years to get over and in certain cases it’s a liability for life…

It’s difficult to gauge their exposure in later years,  but in their growing years, the exposure a child gets is completely within our control….

Are we aware of what our child is exposed to ???   Are we aware of whether our child needs help ???

Gone are those days when children just grew.  Today, with the kind of access they have to information and the kind of exposure they are subjected t ; it’s important that someone in the family acts as a guide, instead of just shunning away or condemning the child.

So the bottom line is, Are we breeding Courage or Cowardice ???

Studying Abroad

Studying abroad has become a new fashion in the area of education. Particularly from India, the number of students going abroad for studies has increased notably. What could be the reason behind it?Are they traveling to acquire any special studies which are not available in Indian Universities? Do they have any merit scholarship to study there at meager amount? The questions will be endless. The fact behind that move could be inane but it has its reasons, comparing the same course in India can be studied at lower cost but the later salary will also be the same. But there are some universities abroad which are ready to help for the permanent residencies if they are placed in their nation. Similarly the typical western life style is enchanting and pulling out a new experience so the remaining factors like course and the universities get thrown at the back and let them to move towards their colourful dreams. This might be bitter fact but it is the reality. India’s external Affairs Minister has expressed his feelings that he was shocked to hear about the courses the students are studying abroad which can be at availed at cities in India..He added that the parents needed to guide in selecting the courses and if possible can avoid the fancy courses which requires the immigration. His comment is totally based on the recent attacks and murder of Indian Students in Australia. There are many things lies behind education abroad like heavy bank balance, Safety and security, International Job Opportunities, etc. If these things are met then the studies in abroad would not be an issue.

Holinza

Merry Christmas Ashwini!
Merry Christmas Mona!!
But Ashwini, why are you so sad? We may not be Christians, but it is Christmas time. Moreover it must be holinza for you. You should be doubly happy.
It is Christmas time. All right. But what is this holinza?
Ashwini, my dear, for you Central Government servants it is holiday bonanza, Straight four days holidays. Holiday bonanza means holinza.
Oh. But why are you jealous about our holinza Mona darling? You are also having holidays.
Yes, but these are the only vacations that we get in a year. Round the year we have to slog out like a donkey. As a reward we get these few holidays in a year. I match it with holidays of my family. O.K. but, forget about me. Tell me why are you so sad at the time of this festive holinza?
Mona, I might be having holinza, but so are others and this means people are out on the streets enjoying to their hearts content and the poor police force is trying to cope up with this pressure forgetting all about their holidays or their family’s holinza.
Oh ! Oh! That means Ranvir is again away doing his duty. And you and kids are all alone home waiting for him for hours and hours together.
Yes. This is not the only time it has been happening. It is always the same. His promise to stay at home with us on holidays, his cancellation of leave, children’s tear stained faces and the perennial guilt in Ranvir’s eyes. He is torn between his work and family.
But then why does he not quit the job? He can get a big paying job anytime. What is the big deal about being a civil servant?
You won’t understand it Mona. Neither did I initially. But over the years I have come to understand about Ranvir’s commitment. You know it is because of these cops and the armed forces that we are able to live so peacefully.
I know. And after 26/11 people have also started realizing it better. Ashwini, your cell phone is ringing. You answer it, I will push off. I have some shopping to do.
Hello, Hello, Ashwini, this is Ranvir.
Tell me dear, how are you? You are sounding tired. Did you not have had any lunch?
I will have my lunch later. Don’t worry. But how are you and kids? I miss you all. Today is holiday and I can not spend time with you. I feel so guilty.
We too miss you Ranvir, but don’t worry. We will manage. You concentrate on your work. We are proud of you.
Ashwini, I know I expect too much from you, but I want you to do something. Will you do it?
Tell me Ranvir, I will surely do it. You also know it well.
Ashwini, you remember Martha, the lady constable in our team who died in the 26/11 attack? Her husband Robert is also in my team.
Of course I remember. How can I forget the valour of that lady? I can not forget her two small kids trying to shake up her dead body trying to wake her up.
It is about these children that I want to talk to you.
What happened?
Actually we had given Robert leave so that he could spend the Christmas with his kids. But then as you know comes an emergency and all our leave, holidays, etc. vanish in a thin air.
Don’t I know it well? But tell me what the problem is now?
Well, we had to ask Robert to come and do his duty today also. But what about his kids? Where will they stay? There is no one to look after them. He has brought them to the police station. But I want that these kids should be able to spend a proper Christmas. Will you do it, please?
Come on Ranvir, please don’t say please. I will be, rather we will be very happy. Kids are also listening to our conversation and frantically gesturing me to tell you that we will arrange for a proper Christmas celebration for them. Just send them home immediately. Now it is going to be real holinza.
Holinza? What is that?
You won’t understand. But now the holidays have brought in real bonanza. And we are going to enjoy our holinza.

All things bright and beautiful*: A (true) Christmas tale

It was Christmas Eve. The lopsided little house near the dusty road seemed asleep. None but a careful observer might see the chink of light escaping through the curtained bedroom window. The curtains were old and ragged but spotlessly clean, like everything else about the house. A pleasantly plump figure in a housecoat was sitting on the small table inside. She was busy with her scissors, skillfully cutting and folding paper. The table was littered with old (yet sparkling) gift wrapping papers, crayons and sketch pens belonging to her younger daughter and a paper full of wet rice as a substitute for glue. She was making Christmas cards for her girls. The tradition had been established in the small house ever since the twins were born, although they weren’t a Christian family.

Every year on Christmas Eve, Santa Claus (or Christmas Pappa as her twins liked to call him) arrived at this house by the roadside. He would leave Christmas cards and small presents at the head of Achu and Ammu’s bed. Two days before Christmas, the children would make a list of things they wished for, and Mother would check the lists. Not the tricycle Achu, she would say. Think of how difficult it will be for Christmas Pappa (he is even older than Grandma!) to bring it from North Pole. Can I put in ‘Barbie doll’, Momma? Five-year-old Ammu had asked once, her eyes round and anxious. Uh-oh, too expensive. Mother thought, her mind troubled. So she had told her little one, Don’t you think Barbie is too expensive sweetie? Christmas Pappa has to buy gifts for thousands of children, you know. She watched with a lump in her throat as Ammu explained to Achu why she had removed that wish from her list. Over the years, the twins grew more and more considerate towards Christmas Pappa; they stopped wishing for big and expensive presents and asked only for those things they thought could be brought conveniently from his home somewhere in the snowy north.

Both cards over, thought Mother happily. Mother was always busy. What with two inquisitive little girls and an overworked husband, Mother’s hands were always full. Father worked in the factory nearby; he was gone from morning till late in the night. Being one of the few non-Christians at workplace, he had to work on Christmas Day too. That meant it was always just her and her children on the D day. Nonetheless, Mother always made it memorable for her little girls. Over the year, she would pinch and save from her meager household budget to buy brightly-colored trinkets like tiny earrings, erasers, pencils, balloons, small stars, etc. that matched the wish lists of her Achu and Ammu.

She got up from her cramped position, yawned and stretched. The clock was striking 1 o’clock. She took all the trinkets and the cards and tiptoed to the cupboard-like room that belonged to her children. The small lovingly wrapped gifts were placed gently above the pillows of the bed. Her girls were sleeping soundly. Like angels, she thought fondly.

Mother and Father awoke to joyous shouts of ‘Merry Christmas’ early next morning. “Christmas Pappa came, came, came”, shouted Ammu, jumping up and down in excitement. He brought me everything I wanted, Achu’s eyes shone as she climbed up the bed to snuggle close to her father. Father captured Ammu under his other arm and looked at Mother smilingly over the two tousled heads. Of course he came, Father said. He will definitely come every year to visit my girls.

*All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all. – Cecil F. Alexander (1848, Ireland)

Based on the true story of a great family.

Love Thyself

babyhairfallPractice Love.

Preach Love.

Love yourself.

Love all.

I often get nostalgic when I read those moral stories for kids that were taught when I was Young.  Am I the same person now?  What I have done to myself ?  What I have gained by transforming myself ?

All through my life I’d been fooling myself, just to get into the good books of others. In the process, I lost my own individuality. It’s not just me; many of us consciously chose a wrong path, just for the sake of following the herd. We are afraid to express our real selves, just out of fear of being isolated or neglected by the people whom we love and trust. We actually sell ourselves to gain the goodwill of others. We lose our virtues and dance to the tune of the powerful stakeholders in our lives, just to please them and lead a trouble-free life. We are not bothered about the righteousness of the decision they make, nor do we have the nerve to raise our voice against them even when we feel they are wrong.

Every Human being is born with the same purpose and leads life to attain the same goal (eternal bliss). We often forget the real purpose of our life, just to avoid being left alone. We lose the innate nature of humans and restrict their love and duties to a very closed circle. We do everything for our fellow mates expecting it to be returned in some form or the other. Life itself turns out be a long-term business deal where we seek mutual benefit at some point or other.

What transformed us ? The radius of love keeps decreasing as we get more sophisticated.

When we are young, we are taught to respect everyone equally despite their race, colour, social or economic background. We also preach the same to kids, yet we fail to follow them in our life.  We are far away from our goal. It is the responsibility to stand by our conscience, which leads us to the right path. We can strengthen our soul only when we listen to our inner voice.  Until we have the courage to turn around and make the change, none can help us.  The law of nature, according to Darwinism, is  “Survival of the fittest”.  We will be the fittest only when we gain the power of truth. A healthy civilisation, as it was in our past, should always constructively transform an individual to make him a better person, without degrading the goodness in him. We, in our current social setup keep transforming our self to fit into the crowd, which itself  is lost in materialistic pleasure and finally lose our identity in the crowd.

We cannot win true love and trust by losing our real self. If we try to do so, then the love and trust gained is not meant for us, but to the false image we have projected to others. We will be truly respected and trusted only when we take up the responsibility for our words and deeds.