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Friday, March 26, 2010

Winners do things differently

This is about a real life happening which I happened to read in a popular magazine. It really touched my heart. Although I do not remember the names of the persons or the exact happenings, I would like to give you the gist of what happened.

The narration is about a mother who lost her son in an accidental shooting. On that fateful morning just a few minutes after her son saw her off, he was shot by a person who was neither an acquaintance of her son nor had anything against him, in fact, he was not even known to him.
But then, all had happened. For the mother whose only solace was her son, it was very painful and a gruelling experience. She could not digest the fact that her son was killed for no reason.
She then tried to collect evidences. Finally the police nabbed the murderer and a life sentence was pronounced against him. For a long time, she could not convince herself. She had been thinking for a while to meet the murderer and ask him why he had killed her son. She contacted the prison authorities and expressed her wish. Finally her wish was granted.
On that day, she waited for the person in the prison. He arrived. He was a young chap may be one or two years older than her son. The moment she saw him, she had a mixed feeling. For quite sometime, they were sitting face to face staring at each other. Then she asked him, how it all happened. He replied with a non-chalant attitude that he just saw her son and shot at him without any impulse or provocation. She could not tolerate it. She burst out. She felt that he did not have any remorse for his act. She showed him the albums of herself and her son and all those things which reminded her of her son. At the end, she asked him, how could he do this to her innocent son, and her. For sometime the prisoner stared at her. She just could not bear it anymore. She held his hand and asked him why? At that moment, two drops of tears rolled and fell on her hand. He spoke about his horrible childhood and background that had drove him to this situation. After hearing him, she felt that the firmness in her hand loosened. She experienced a change in her. Her heart told her that she should forgive him. At that moment she forgave him and entered into a conversation with him. She then decided to do a different thing. She felt that his bad childhood is the cause of all misery. So she decided to videograph his remorseful statement and a message to all, that an impulse can cause such a bad experience and prison term. She was successful in convincing him to do it. It was a welcome move. She organises gatherings and shows this presentation to all so that it will be an eye-opener to all. In this process, she has also forgotten her sorrow and forgiven him.

We have come across many success stories of persons who wanted to become someone. They have achieved something and ultimately they benefited out of it. In my opinion, I consider this mother to be a winner . She not only dared to do what other mothers would not have done, but also has brought about a change in the mind of a cold blooded murderer and made him realize what he has done. She also wanted to protect the society from what had happened to her. She had made the presentation with a view to cleanse the society. In this aspect, she stands out and hence she is a winner. Hats off to her.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Friendship is a nice feeling which cannot be expressed in words. Good friends are great assets to us. They cannot be sacrificed for any material pursuits. They give us warmth, pleasure, advice and what not. Knowing that you have a best friend with whom you can share your joys and worries is a great feeling. There are many occasions when your friend has made you feel very elated, very emotional, and very lively.

There are also occasions when you have some disagreements with your friends. When there is a disagreement, it may also result in not talking with your friend or maintaining silence which is not comfortable to you as well as your friend. You may like to break the silence but your ego may not allow you to do so.

If you find nothing wrong with your friendship and you feel that your friend can be the best person you can have, but for the disagreement, remain silent till your friend realises or if you are at fault, apologise to your friend, but dont expect a kind reaction from your friend immediately. It will take time for your friend to compose himself or herself and think about your apology. Even if you are not in talking terms for sometime, but feel very bad and long to talk to your friend, wish for the same. Never think or talk about a break in your friendship. Never even wish for the same. Friendship is like a small seed which you have planted in your garden . Everyday you provide water and nourishment
and watch it grow . You enjoy everytime it grows an inch and feel very happy to reap its fruits.

Will you ever think of cutting this tree which has grown and has provided so much for you just because the tree has hurt you or its branches have poked you sometimes? Just the same way, even if you have a small disagreement, do not allow it to grow oversize and take your friendship away. Keep in touch with your friend. Do not forget to do what you have been doing all along to your friend. When you are in high spirits due to some good thing happening to you or very low due to something happening to upset you, count on your friend who, eventhough may not be talking to you, may always be thinking of you. Your friendship will be refreshed by such occasions

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Giving Back to society

I Came across an article about Ms.Lakshmi venkataraman, in a Newspaper. My views.
Accolades to Ms. Lakshmi Venkataraman, daughter of R. Venkataraman, former President of India, for establishing a trust named Bharatiya Yuva Shakthi trust. (BYST). She gave up her lucrative job in the AT and T- Bell Laboratories in the US and return to India way back in 1990 and established BYST.

The aim of BYST is to help nurture underprevilaged youth in thr 18-35 age group to start successful enterprises guided by a mentor. Mentoring is a distinctive feature of this project.

Assistance is provided by BYST by supplementing financing, based on the requirement assessment and lending training support. Monitoring and networking are also offered.

Launched by Prince Charles in New Delhi in 1992, it replicates the Prince's Youth Trust Model successfully outside UK.

Each one of us should, after reaching a stage in life, should think about giving back to our society what we have got from it so that the downtrodden and underprevilaged are also benefitted

Friday, March 19, 2010

the rich and the poor

Every now and then, we find popular magazines coming out with findings on who is the richest person in the world. These findings may give popularity to the richest and their value may go up in the market. It will also be an inspiration for people who aspire to become rich or who are already in the race to come to the top slot. On the other side of it, it will reflect the disparities in distribution of income because we may find poorest in the world and the richest in the world are from the same country.

So many measures and efforts are taken to eradicate poverty and help the poor and the needy. But every individual should think (before eating an extra morsel of food, or buying a new dress when you have many or adding a new room to the house or a vehicle which is not essential but because we can afford to), about the poorest for whom your extra morsel may be a feast, for whom your used dress may be a royal robe, and for whom a thatched roof on top may be a palace.

The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other. It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but of a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich. Consequently, the modern poor are not pitied...but written off as trash. The twentieth-century consumer economy has produced the first culture for which a beggar is a reminder of nothing. ~John Berger

It would be nice if the poor were to get even half of the money that is spent in studying them. ~Bill Vaughan

To a man with an empty stomach food is God. ~Gandhi

Consider the life of people in Haiti.

At the market in the La Saline slum, two cups of rice now sell for 60 cents, up 10 cents from December and 50 percent from a year ago. Beans, condensed milk and fruit have gone up at a similar rate, and even the price of the edible clay has risen over the past year by almost $1.50. Dirt to make 100 cookies now costs $5, the cookie makers say.

Still, at about 5 cents apiece, the cookies are a bargain compared to food staples. About 80 percent of people in Haiti live on less than $2 a day and a tiny elite controls the economy.

Merchants truck the dirt from the central town of Hinche to the La Saline market, a maze of tables of vegetables and meat swarming with flies. Women buy the dirt, then process it into mud cookies in places such as Fort Dimanche, a nearby shanty town.
Carrying buckets of dirt and water up ladders to the roof of the former prison for which the slum is named, they strain out rocks and clumps on a sheet, and stir in shortening and salt. Then they pat the mixture into mud cookies and leave them to dry under the scorching sun.

The finished cookies are carried in buckets to markets or sold on the streets.

A reporter sampling a cookie found that it had a smooth consistency and sucked all the moisture out of the mouth as soon as it touched the tongue. For hours, an unpleasant taste of dirt lingered.

Assessments of the health effects are mixed. Dirt can contain deadly parasites or toxins, but it can also strengthen the immunity of fetuses in the womb to certain diseases, said Gerald N. Callahan, an immunology professor at Colorado State University who has studied geophagy, the scientific name for dirt-eating.
Haitian doctors say depending on the cookies for sustenance risks malnutrition.

"Trust me, if I see someone eating those cookies, I will discourage it," said Dr. Gabriel Thimothee, executive director of Haiti's health ministry.

Marie Noel, 40, sells the cookies in a market to provide for her seven children. Her family also eats them.

"I'm hoping one day I'll have enough food to eat, so I can stop eating these," she said. "I know it's not good for me."

I would like to quote Mother Theresa, who said,
If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one.
Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.

Friday, March 12, 2010

kind attention, students writing board exams and their parents

ten golden rules before writing exams

1. prepare well.

2. Do not skip your meals

3. sleep well.

4. Drink plenty of fluids like juice, water etc

5. arrange the things you have to take for the exams like hall ticket a day before and check once before leaving for the exam

6. start to school well ahead of time in a cheerful mood/ do not get tensed

7. Read the question paper and the instructions to answer thoroughly.

8. Write your roll number in the places meant for it.

9. Answer legibly and neatly, leaving adequate space between the answers.

10. After the exam is over, leave the hall and go afresh to prepare for the next exam, Do not discuss the answers and get perturbed about the marks. have faith in yourself and God.

In a dark room without electricity, there were four candles burning. A sudden gush of wind upset the first candle. The name of the candle was peace. It said, Oh the wind is going to blow me off, immediately, the candle was put off by the wind. The second candle was also not sure whether it will survive the wind. Its name was love. It was also blown off. The third candle, seeing the plight of the two candles, felt that the wind will not spare it. Its name was Knowledge. It was also blown off. The fourth candle was sure that it can withstand the wind and survive. The wind blew, but the candle stood the test of time and survived. Its name was faith. A small boy entered the room and felt sad for the three candles. The fourth candle named faith said, Hi friend, don't worry even if all the others are gone, I am still there. If you have me, you will be able to get all the other three back. Thus the boy could regain knowledge, love and peace through faith.


For parents:

1. ensure that the child eats, and sleeps well.

2. give them enough fluids and energy drinks.

3. Always reassure them that they will do well.

4. Do not make comparisons with other children

5. Do not pressurise them by fixing unrealistic targets

6. Know their strengths and limitations and encourage them

7. Do not use harsh words against them for any wrong answers/mistakes

8. Give them the feeling that it is an experience, not the end of life

9. When they do not do well in a particular paper, encourage them to do the others
well. Do not cry over spilled milk and prove detrimental to the other exams.

10. Once the exam is over, allow them to relax. Do not set the next target for them.
have faith in them.

ten ways to cope with stress

1. a morning walk in the fresh air

2. a steaming cup of coffee or tea

3. a fun talk with a small child

4. a short nap

5. fresh fragrance of a flower in the garden

6. listening to soothing instrumental music

7. pep talk with friends

8. spending ten minutes in a place of worship

9. remembering some hilarious moments

10. bringing a smile on the face of a needy.

schools to be cool with children

When I was waiting at a school, I happened to witness two incidents which is worth sharing.
The women incharge of cleaning the school started cleaning the premises just when the children started arriving. As the children dressed up neatly in uniforms and who came from a very protected environment i.e the house, still carrying it along like wearing a scarf around, carrying a kerchief and other protective devices arrived, they were immediately exposed to the dust and dirt emanating from sweeping. The women nonchalantly pushed the brooms hither and thither passing the dust all over. The children were sneezing, holding their kerchiefs or rushing to their class rooms to avoid the dust. The dust which emanates will take time to settle and it will affect all the children causing some dust allergies. Had the women started sweeping a little early before the children actually started arriving, the dust would have settled by the time. They can even sprinkle some water so that the dust does not fly and cause the children to sneeze. The school authorities have to take note of this and take remedial action.

Another event which is not intentional but inadvertant. One teacher was incharge of supervising the children till they reach their classes. Any complaint by the children about other children as well as the general discipline is taken care of by this teacher. I felt that this is a very good arrangement as somebody can mind the children till the classes begin. The teacher was also occasionally calling some students, enquiring about them and having a pep talk with them, which is again a good sign to cheer up the children. Just then, a student passed with a heavy school bag and a lunch bag. He was climbing the stairs. The teacher called to him twice and the third time he responded. That shows that because of the burden and some burdening thoughts the child was preoccupied not to have paid attention to the teacher. The third time the teacher called him and he came down apologetically with the heavy bag and lunch bag. He must be a second or third standard student. Just then, the teacher handed over to him some 35 notebooks to be carried to the classroom. The child also immediately obliged. But after taking the books in the hand he found it very difficult to balance but somehow managed to take them. His class may be in the second floor. The child had to carry the entire burden to the class. Here, one thing I would like to tell the teacher. Giving some small chores like this to children is not wrong, and it also gives the children pride that the teacher has chosen them to take the notebooks. But the teacher could have asked the boy to come back after keeping his bag and lunch bag in his classroom to collect the books. Or she could have carried it herself or could have given to the peon to carry. Giving the books to a child who is already overburdened with books and lunch bag only shows the thoughtlessness of the teacher at that time. She should have put herself in the shoes of the child and understood the pressure she gives to him by asking him to carry the notebooks along with his bag and lunch bag. Children are already burdened by the pressure to get up early, gobble down their breakfast, run for their van with their bags and rush to the school gate before the bell. They should be given some time to relax like a ten minutes prayer or mind relaxation exercises before they are given any work to do. schools to take care.

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