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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Louis Braille

Sometimes, an accident or an unfortunate situation gives rise to various inventions
and discoveries. If that is going to benefit millions of people, then it is worth its effort.

A blind child or adult 200 years ago had no effective way to read and write independently. Today, thanks to the ingenious invention of Louis Braille, children and adults throughout the world can read and write as well as their sighted counterparts. Braille's invention was a system of raised dots that can be read with the fingertips.

The American Foundation for the Blind celebrates the 200th anniversary of Louis Braille's birthday on January 4, 1809, this year. We also celebrate the braille code, named after its young inventor, and the expanded possibilities for literacy, independence, and self-expression Louis Braille opened up to blind people everywhere.

The Reserve Bank of India, Chennai region has brought out a Rs.2 coin with the photograph and name of Braille written in braille to mark the birth bi-centenary of Louis Braille.

Louis Braille became blind at the age of 3, when he accidentally poked himself in the eye with a stitching awl, one of his father's workshop tools. The injury wasn't thought to be serious until it got infected. Braille's other eye went blind because of sympathetic ophthalmia.

Louis Braille began inventing his raised-dot system with his father's stitching awl, the same implement with which he had blinded himself, finishing at age 15, in 1824. Inspired by the wooden dice his father gave to him, his system used only six dots and corresponded to letters,

The six-dot system allowed the recognition of letters with a single fingertip apprehending all the dots at once, requiring no movement or repositioning which slowed recognition in systems requiring more dots. These dots consisted of patterns in order to keep the system easy to learn. The Braille system also offered numerous benefits over HaĆ¼y's raised letter method, the most notable being the ability to both read and write an alphabet. Another very notable benefit is that because they were dots just slightly raised, there was a significant difference in make up.

A man who has made it possible for those unfortunate people who have lost their eyesight to read and write!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A smile, the extra mile

One of the words in English which is a noun and a verb at the same time.
It is said that a smile requires 17 muscles while a frown requires 43 to
50 muscles. Whether it is scientifically proved or not, the intention
behind the saying is that it is easier to smile than to frown. A smile
is different from a grin where your teeth are shown, and a laughter
or giggle which produces a sound. A smile is as sweet and soft as
the cream on the cone.

When you smile, you spread warmth, when you smile, you repose
confidence when you smile, you achieve, when you smile you win the
hearts of others, when you smile, you look beautiful. All these
attributes of smile make it the most precious gift one possesses.

A smile costs nothing, but it gives a lot. A smile has got that extra
mile in it which other reactions may not have. A smile when given
makes the smiling person happy. A smile received makes the receiver
happy. Hence a smile creates a win win situation for both the giver
and receiver.

Here, I would like to share a small incident in the life of a writer
which is very relevant. The writer was going to the bank. It is her
usual practice to go to bank every alternate week. On that day, just
two feet from the bank, she found a young person in battered clothes,
unshaved face and writhing pain written large on his face. He held
his battered hat to her. She could immediately recognise that he was
a beggar. He was asking for alms. She felt so pathetic that at this
young age he has to beg. As she had to leave early, she could not wait
and interact with him which otherwise she would have done. She just
dropped some change into the hat and went ahead to enter the bank. Just
then the beggar called her. She felt embarrassed. What else he is
going to ask? She turned to him, He said, Thank you!. She was surprised.
He continued, Thank you, for the smile. I never get it from anyone!.
Just then she realised that she had smiled at him while offering alms.

A smile had so much value for the beggar as he would not have got it from
anyone. So why not we make a value addition to our lives. Let's smile
and go that extra mile. Some photos to bring smiles on your faces

your comments are welcome

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Celebrating with children

Recently I happened to read an article in a magazine. The article is about a neighbour’s X’s thoughtfulness by another neighbour Y. X was going to attend a function at his friend’s place. It was a family function and they had invited all their colleagues to attend it. X brought his two sons to Y’s house and said, Please take care of the children, myself and my wife are going to attend a function. On return, we will take the boys. When Y asked why X is not taking his children, X replied that these days, people organize catering services depending upon the number of persons attending, If the number of persons is more, then the food will not be sufficient to all the invitees to the function. That is the reason I am not taking my sons. Y has been impressed by X’s act, and has written that everyone should follow X’s principle.

Certain points I would like to make on this incident:

1. A function is something which is organized to have a get together, to familiarize people and also to have a day out. I cannot understand what pleasure X and his wife will derive by attending the function without their children who by Y’s version appears to be small boys who cannot be left alone in the house.

2. By passing the responsibility of taking care of their children to Y for a less important reason, X has failed in his duty as a parent.

3. By stating that friends will arrange food for only a limited number of people, he has belittled his friend. If that was the fact, then there is no necessity to arrange for any function and food service. Everyone can have food in their respective homes. Get togethers and functions are arranged for families to get together and spend time together, not for a part of the family only.

4.When you are too selfish to attend the function and have food yourself and leave your children at other’s mercy, you can very well expect them to ditch you in
your old age.

Children are a bundle of joy. Had I been given the occasion and if the food service at the wedding is limited, my husband and I would prefer to make the children have food and we would have managed without. Instead we would have enjoyed having them around .

For those who organize functions, kindly ensure that nobody goes without having
food because people today are busy and have little time for friendly gatherings. If some one has honoured your invitation, ensure that their heart and stomach are full.

In these days of both parents working, such get togethers will come as a relief to the children that they are with their parents and are outing. Do not snatch the pleasure from them unless they prefer otherwise.

Your comments on this are invited. You can share your views with me

Monday, February 8, 2010

On parenting

hi all moms of kids and teens,

Todays blog is for you.

You need to be recognised for all that you are doing for your child.
Sacrificing your morning sleep, preparing tea, breakfast, lunch,
getting them ready for school or college, preparing their dinner,
waiting for them, studying with them, playing with them and doing
projects with them. Has anybody told you to do all these things or
do you require any magazine to tell you that you have to do all these
to be a good mom? No, not at all. It is your inborn nature, your
instinct which guides you. Your love for your children makes you run
around. Sometimes you feel high when your child performs or gets
accolades for the efforts. You feel even better when the child hugs
you and says Mom! i love you. or just when they say its nice to have
you around mom. But it hurts you when they say something you have never
expected. All that you require is the love of your child. You are also
low when they fall ill or they have some health problems.

When God has given us something good, it is our natural tendency to expect
something better. But when we face testing times, we pray to God to restore
whatever he has given us, nothing more.

Many blogger moms i have come across have discussed about the health problems
of their child. They even show great courage and faith in bringing them up
with all the problems. They all have stood the test of times and have
come out of it successfully.

One mom particularly had a son who had cerebral palsy. The child could not
speak. The mom took him to a special school which gave speech therapy to the
children. The mom wanted only one thing, that the child should recognise that
she is his mother. The child used to learn many sounds used to speak to the
mom using the sounds. He was able to recognise the volunteers there and
used to go and talk to them. But, he could not sometimes identify his mom
and used to go to other ladies. It used to be heart-breaking for the mom.
She persevered. The child learnt the word mom. He used to ask the volunteers
"you mom?, you mom?. They said, "No". Then one day he asked his mom, You mom?
She was surprised by the question, she said, "Yes, Iam mom". Twice or thrice
a week the child used to ask the question to the volunteers and the mother.
They used to give the same answer.

One day, when mom and child were alone at bedtime, the mother read out a
bedtime story narrating the love of a mother to the child. She was doubtful
if he understood what she was reading out, nevertheless, she felt that iam
a mother and iam reading a bedtime story to my child to be with him. She
finished reading the story. An awkward silence prevailed. The child had not
slept. He gave her a look which was uncomprehendable. Then suddenly, as if to
break the silence, he asked the same question, "you mom?". She said for the
umpteenth time, "Yes, Iam mom". The child looked at her eyes and said in a deep
voice, "Mom, I love you". The mom looked at him unbelievably and he repeated
it the second time and then the third. A gush of tears rushed from her eyes
and she hugged and kissed the child. She felt as if she is in cloud nine.
She was so glad to know that her son had recognised her at last.

What more will a mother expect from her child?

But my fellow bloggers and browsers can expect more such blogs from
me in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

It has become a daily routine at Nimmu's house at 8'O clock every morning. Nimmu is a small cute girl aged about 6 years. The morning begins to her with her mother calling out to her to get up some ten to 15 times, and slowly the call turns to an angry tone and then followed by one or two slaps after which the child gets up wailing. It continues for quite some time till the next order is placed to the child, to brush her teeth, the child reluctant to open her mouth. the mother giving her another slap and then the girl wailing. It continues till she completes each task and ends when the van picks her up for school. Every evening, the girl does something to irritate her mother and again the same thing continues. Iam writing this with great pain as it hurts to see a child getting slapped by her mother. The family consists of the mother, father and his mother apart from the Nimmu. The father appears to be irresponsible as he doesn't seem to go to any constructive job. He keeps wasting time watching TV or peering at the other's houses, sometimes scolding his mother and other times the girl. Occasionally he plays with Nimmu. His mother is a good lady who asks her daughter in law not to hurt the child, but does not play a major role in entertaining the child. Nimmu's mother I suppose has to work much against her wishes because the father is irresponsible. She has to get the child ready to school before she leaves for her job, Evening she has to take care of the household work and the girl's homework and things like that.

I tried to figure out what should be wrong. Actually the child should be the apple of their eyes. She is a charming girl pretty intelligent and smiling. The mother would still like to love her. But the irresponsible attitude of the father, who just gets out of the house for his morning stroll when
the mother manages to cook and get the girl ready irritates her and she reflects it on the child. If he spends at least ten minutes beside the girl talking to her and waking her up, the mother can feed her and get her ready. If the mother in law helps her by feeding the girl or combing her hair, the mother will get ready herself to go to her office. Further, the father can also understand that the wife who is working may have to face many problems outside the house. Hence he can sit with her for some time and talk to her and comfort her.

Just imagine the world of the girl. Her morning comes with lot of thrashing and scoldings from all quarters. She is not inclined to wake up as she has to face the ordeal once again. Hence she is
reluctant to get up. At school, her mind will wander around what happened at home and she may not concentrate. As a result her grades may come down, which means further scolding and thrashing. If for a change, a soft music is played by her bedside, in the morning, half an hour earlier, (preferably the one she loves to hear) she may like to wake up. The mother can take a day off and wake the child not with the words time is up, get up, but just to cuddle and kiss the child, the child may feel happier to get up. If each and evey act like brushing the teeth, taking a bath is associated with pleasant memories of the mother and the child, the child will long for such moments. Then there will be no reluctance on the part of the child to get up or do her daily chores.

Yesterday, she had just run out of her mother's hands on the road when she saw her friend going to some shop. The mother got wild and shouted at her. Nimmu fearing that the mother will thrash her, came home running and locked the kitchen door from inside. She did not know how to open it
The mother who was full of rage shouted at her to open the door. After a long trial, the girl finally opened the door, just to find her mother ready to give her a good thrashing. The beating and wailing went on for quite some time, much to our horror, as we could not to anything to prevent it.
Had the mother tried to control her anger for a moment, and sat the girl beside her and advised her, the girl would have probably been surprised at the mother's change in attitude, and this could have helped her in changing her attitude as well.

Children are gifts of god, they are our solace, our comfort, our strength and our cheer leaders.

Spend time with them to make it more memorable positively than to force them to forget their miserable childhood. Such children with a miserable childhood, may become alcoholic, drug addicts or fall into wrong hands. They may go into depression, score poorly in the exams
and find it difficult to move in the society. They may even turn to be voilent individuals.

Use positive strokes rather than negative remarks to motivate a child. They teach us a lot more than what we teach them. Learn from them.

My children used to remind me to sing a song or narrate a verse which i used to do when combing their hair or giving them a bath. In the morning they expect me to wake them up as i used to tell them something interesting to make them get up from sleep. Small splashing of water or playing with soap while giving them a bath will encourage them to have bath.

Always wake up a child in a pleasant manner as the whole day for both of you is dependent upon
that moment.

Always put them to sleep with a pleasant gesture as that will give them a good night's sleep and make them look forward to a fresh morning.

Happy growing with the child!

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