Towards Building Real Castles!

Start where are you.
Use what you can.
Do what you can.
                – Arthur Ashe
Hello friends, I greet you all with the above motivational quote by Arthur Ashe.To achieve something in life, merely making elaborate plans and not starting to act upon them in right earnest, will not do. Just waiting for the right moment and right opportunity, we may loose the trajectory and some valuable time in persuit of our goals.

We all love to build a hypothetical castle in the air, but what is required is to build a strong base in the grounds in the form of sheer hard work and perseverance, who knows one can go on to build a real one!

When I was a kid, my mother used to tell me a story about a young man. He had always dreamed of making it big in life and always kept on making plans. One day while roaming about, he came to sit along the bank of a river.

As always, he was lost in the world of his thoughts, making schemes to earn a lot money and subsequent power. He wanted the world at his feet. In an absent-minded manner, he was throwing pebbles on the fast flowing waters of the river. His eyes dreaming about the success and prosperity he was eventually going to achieve in life.

Suddenly, his attention was captured by the sparkling of the stone he was holding in his hand, which he was about to consign into the river. He stumbled back into the reality, rubbing his eyes in disbelief. It was nothing but a sparkling diamond he was about to throw!!

The realisation now set in, he had apparently thrown the series of diamonds into the river thinking them as mere pebbles as he was blithely oblivious of the immediate surrounding being lost in the world of virtual reality!

Friends, to get something in life we have to be extra alert and strive hard to get it. We should also have to remember that failures are merely the detour not the dead-end street.

Hope you liked my post. I would like to know your views, so feel free to drop your comments.
Wish you all health, happiness and prosperity. Adieu for now.

Pc – My daughter, Riya.

The Art of Acceptance

I have  no methods; all I do is accept people as they are — Joan Rivers
Hello friends,  greetings to you all. In our day to day interaction with people we come in contact with, we tend to get unhappy on the  pretext of seeing a slightest anomaly in the behavior of others.  We fret and complain and remain hurt for days but does it serve any purpose other than making us depressed.

A few days ago, in school, all the teachers were neck deep in doing paper works after the children were dispersed for the day. Me and another teacher were present at the cubicle. To break the monotony, teachers are used to indulge in small chit-chats. One of my colleague, that day was going more inquisitive, asking personal question she shouldn’t have.

In general she is very polite but apparently she had some issues about my starting the job of teaching so late. She would often quiz me with personal details. I used to be patient with her and replied to her in kind. That time, she had crossed her limit. Without going deep into the conversation, suffice is to tell that she asked whether my husband has retired or not, in a bid  to ascertain how ancient I am, knowing perfectly well that he has not.

Friends,  as I told you earlier that while dispensing my responsibility as a class teacher,  I am no less agile than the likes of her, who is just 26. I was lot more friendly and affable too, towards her and used to consult her while preparing any official document due to her being more experienced than me. She took it as my weakness, and dared to take such liberty. I knew, this time if I let things lying down, it would go on tormenting me for a very long time.

I just replied with calm but stern voice that I accept that she is a lot more intelligent than me but I am wise enough to understand what she meant by her inuendo. Than I added that we all have come here to work not to ask unnecessary personal questions. The import of my words had struck home and she immediately fell silent.

I maintained my gravity filled silence for some more time, but knew that this couldn’t go on. So gradually I started responding to the general conversation. Now, it is more than obvious that the young lady has understood her boundaries and I accepted her as the way she is for the welfare of the peace of my mind.

Hope you liked to read this one. Do tell me about your views regarding the acceptance of people as what they are.

See you again, adieu for now.

Pc – me!

Reconnecting with Friends!

Hello friends,  I wish you all a very happy Friendship Day. Since this is a day to celebrate friendship,  how can I let go of the opportunity to reconnect with you all. Saying the truth,  l missed you all dearly. But sometimes we just get swept over by the circumstances that we couldn’t do the things we cherish to do.

I think I was never this long from posting anything, believe me, it was literally an avalanche of activities and I just went with the flow. As I told you earlier that I joined a school as a middle school teacher, and taking exams, correcting copies, making mark slips, attending the parents teacher meeting had practically drained me.

It was really taxing to adhere to the set deadlines but anyhow, it was over and done with. It was like organizing a ceremony, the culmination of which leave you exhausted. A breather of this weekend is a hugely welcome occurrence to me!

So I am here among you. I would like to read each and every post of yours, time permitting. Being away this long from the blogging world was like keeping a part of your life in a limbo. Even my family was enquiring, whether I left it altogether! Writing this one feels like rediscovering your lost footing.

To tell you the the truth I am going to get busy with completing the syllabus and getting ready for the half yearly examinations,  besides looking after my family.  It’s indeed a bonus that I have joined school when my children are all grown up.

One matter which is keeping me concerned though, is that, my hubby suffering from low back pain due to compressed disc problem. It’s been ardous sessions of physiotherapy, exercises and taking the opinions of several doctors. Being my daughter in this profession is indeed of a great help. He is improving. I pray to God that he gets completely cured.

So friends do tell me how are you all? I would very much like to know about you. This interactions are in a way therapeutic. It is like chatting with friends with whom you lost connection for a time being.

Shall try to find time to write blogs. My greetings and regards for you all. Adieu for now.

P. c. – My daughter.

The Antics of My Grown-up Kids – 2

Hello friends, here I am with another episode of the Antics of My grown-up children. There might be a plenty of them in the memory disc of parents, some of them  are worth mentioning. In my last blog, I told you about my daughter, this time it’s about my son, who has just freshly bid adieu to his teen years.

As for my boy, for the most part of the time, he is at home,(as long as he is awake), there is a headphone always tucked over his years. So most conveniently he prefers not to listen to half of the things I ask him to do. For another half I have to repeat several times to get it done.

Most often than not the rest of the three of us prefer to do it ourselves instead of nagging him and wasting our time. It’s fine with him too! Afterall he is the youngest in the family and likes to enjoy it’s perks.

To tell you a secret, I still have to feed him veggies, otherwise he wouldn’t touche them with his own hands. He calls them fodder, fit for cattles! For the sake of vital vitamins and minerals I am yet to drop the habbit. My daughter adds that after his marriage, he would still look for his mother to consume his veggies!

Once, an object from the dressing table fell to the ground,  me and my son happened to be standing there at the time. We both checked out the thing. Moments passed, no body moved. Owing to  my impatient nature, he was pretty sure that I would be the first to pick it up. But not this time!

When the expected, didn’t happen, he wondered and looked at my face and found me gazing at him sternly. The next moment he relented with an embarrassed smile on his face and bent over to pick the creme tube up and put it back on the dressing table. I couldn’t prevent myself from breaking out in laughter.

Friends, other than being this laid back and exasperating at home, both are real gems. They cared for us so maturely, when we both came down with Covid and got hospitalised, last year. What more one could have asked for as parents

To tell you about their another sweet gesture, they have gifted me a new cellphone and a wrist watch respectively from their internship money when I joined school. It is really very special for me.

Still, I remain persistent in my effort to reform their erring ways, hope one day I will succeed in that too!

Thanks a lot for reading the post. Wish you all a very happy Father’s Day.

The Antics of My Grown up Kids! — 1

Hello friends, seeing the antics of the little children while growing up, thrill the parents immensely. But sometimes the actions of the grown up kids fill us with glee. As you might know that I have two kids, both have reached adulthood, yet their behavior at home most of the time touches the borders of adolescence, leaving me confused whether to laugh or cry.

To the outside world, they  can be termed as well turned out, but at home they are as laid back as they could. I have distributed some household chores among the two. Like laying the table for lunch or dinner time, filling up the drinking water bottles or clearing up the table after the meal, if they happen to be present at the said time.

Often, I bring the food laden plates to the table, only to find the mats are not laid, or the dining table is not cleared of the tea things . During the meal the bottles would be half empty or no water at all. As I was a hard task master during their study time, so I preferred to be a bit lenient towards their other duties towards the household.

They both know that mother would shout and reprimand them and will do the needful herself. They would make such a sorry face afterwards  that I had to let go of the matter with just issuing a warning not to repeat it in the future. Another thing that I greatly dislike about them that, they would carry their mobile phones to the dining table.

My scolding would stop the habbit for hardly a day or two, then again stealthily they are at it again. Once my daughter was very engrossed in her phone watching the antics of BTS, a K Pop band( she is an  ardent Army!), she stretched her hand to reach the bottle of water without removing her eyes from the screen of her phone.

Her hand was searching, waiting for somebody to hand it over to her, as the object was standing at a distance on the table. I was silently watching the proceedings and she was unaware of it. Then her concentration was broken by my voice, ‘ shoo, shoo…’ . She looked at me bewildered and found me gesturing with my hand as if asking the bottle to come to her.

Then understanding dawned on her and she looked at me sheepishly and the next moment I couldn’t help myself from breaking out into laughter at the hilarity of the situation. She exerted herself to stand up, blushingly, as if she was caught red handed, and leant on the table to grab the bottle.

Friends I must tell you about the antics of my boy in the next post, so stay tuned.
Thanks for reading the post , wising you all health and happiness.
Adieu for now.

Discovering The Lake of Tranquility

Control the fickle mind by restraint of breath. Then it would like a tethered animal, cease to stray.  –  Ramana Maharshi

Hello friends, I have heard somewhere that there are three monkeys whom are needed to be tamed in order to find lasting peace in life. They are mobile, money and mind. All the three can play as mischievous  and truant with us as a naughty monkey, robbing the peace of mind entirely.

I shall talk about mobile and money some other time. The more pressing subject to seek happiness in life is, training the most fickle of them all, that is mind.

In fact, our minds can act as our closest friends as well as the worst enemy. It  depends entirely on how we negotiate the various dark alley of the mind and reache towards light and positivity.

In today’s world, very few people can say that their minds are not bogged down by the burden of stress, anxiety and unhappiness. They are like the toxic pollutants which makes the atmosphere of our mind unhealthy, disturbing the peace of mind.

There is a pristine tranquil lake of profound relaxation and bliss, hidden within all of us. Unfortunately, we are unable to experience it as our mind remains covered with above mentioned toxins and pollutants, thus obscuring the view.

It is quite an arduous journey to discover that blissful and tranquil lake. The endeavor for it, precisely has three stages – concentration,  meditation and mindfulness.

If we can concentrate or discipline our mind on  something, as simple as exhaling and inhaling our breathe, dropping the other pressing thoughts from it’s vicinity, it can become an act of meditation.

It’s indeed another universal truth that our mind is a wanderer, can travel to far off places in a moment and can loose itself in myriad thoughts without ourselves being aware of it. In fact, it’s as difficult to contain it as the passing wind.

Regular focusing on the meditation, leaving the turmoils of daily lives behind, can generate the awareness  of the presence of that elusive lake of peace and calmness within us, and it’s the mindfulness.

The mindfulness while doing our daily chores can also provide us the pure awareness. We don’t need to sit idle to be mindful. If our minds can concentrate on anything, it’s awake. All we need is a strict resolve to practise it and unfold the obscure.

Friends a little exhertion on our part, we can discover that lake of tranquility within us,  diving into which can give us respite from turbulent storms of distressing thoughts and circumstances.

Afterall regular practise, patience and perseverance is the key to all success we seek in life  including winning over our minds.


Let the quest begin in the right earnest!

The Volcano and the Flower

If your heart is a volcano, how shall you expect flowers to bloom?  –  Khalil Gibran.

Hello friends it’s more than 100 days of the war and it’s still raging, killing, maiming and displacing innocent people as well as scores of brave soldiers from both sides. When and how it’s going to end, no body is sure. But one thing is certain that humanity is getting trampled in this mindless violence. I am reblogging my earlier post, on this, the relevance of which is still not lost. So here it is –

If something which has captured the worldwide attention, at present, is the unethical and barbaric invasion of one country by another. We used to surmise that however hard may be the posturing, actually attacking another country in such a savage way, was the possibility of the past expansionist era. Who would have imagined that someone could take the unholy plunge of reducing a peaceful and prospering neighbouring country into a devastating wreck with a hell bent intention to capture its land. In this context I must tell you a story.

It’s about an estranged couple, who had decided in the past, to part ways with more or less mutual consent. Despite living apart, the man used to feel possessive towards his erstwhile wife. On the other hand, the wife had moved on, charted her own course in  building her own life happy and independent.

The problem began, when the wife decided to become a member of the group of neighbors, with whom the husband nurtured a particular malice and dislike. He started threatening his former wife not to align with them. Yet the wife was determined to join them with an aim of furthering her own carreer prospects.

The man cajoled and coarsed her alike to make her fall in line with his dictat of not to have any liason with the club. But the woman was not ready to surrender her free will and independence, the club also assured her that in case of adverse eventuality, they will support her in every possible way.

The situation between the sparring couple became so volatile and explosive that the husband, in a spate of volcanic fury and perceived humiliation, decided to attack her physically. The wife, who had previously relied on the given assurance of the club to protect her, mounted the defence in her own way.

She was expecting to be propped up by the mighty group of neighbors,  but to her utter disappointment and dismay, they never came forward to defend her directly, only providing her moral and covert support. They had turned themselves into mere spectators to the savage act of violence. They feared that they might themselves get harmed by the ruthless man, if they come forward to fight on her behalf. The man started inflicting injuries one after the another on her body to make her own, once again.

The neighbors attempted to make the man to see reason, but the man was adamant. He wanted his wife back, whether she is willing or not. There was a general perception that the woman would capitulate in no time, as the man was  far more mightier than her, but surprise!

The woman decided to fight for her own  honour and dignity. She was mercilessly harmed. Her once beautiful body was scarred and dented yet she courageously put up a resistance to all the brutal use of force to subjugate her. She even striked back with all the vengeance she could muster. Her daunting courage at the face of adversity has made a heroine out of her, drawing all round admiration and praise. The once formidable man is now reduced into an uncouth villain.

Friends, the saga is yet to reache its conclusion. The man might eventually capture her body or some part of it, but can he ever succeed to enslave her soul? Will it satisfy his inflated ego, or the man might atlast come to realise that a woman can’t be won over by brutal force and let her go to live her own life according to her own free will?

We can only hope that the man comes to his senses, that there is no greatness in imposing yourself forcefully on others,  the real magnanimity lies in letting one go who doesn’t want to live with you anymore. The sooner, the better.

Let the lava guzzling volcanoes to cool again and allow flowers to bloom in full glory.

Featured photo courtesy: Riya.

Saving the Crane Eggs!

Hello friends, recently a wonderful piece of news published in The Times of India, Kolkata edition, about the sincere efforts of the viilagers of Gujarat state of India to save the two crane eggs, laid in their farmland. It has made me so happy that I decided to share it with you. The love and affection shown to a Saras crane couple in the family way is truely amazing, as they have turned a one acre agricultural farmland into a makeshift artificial wetlands for the safe keeping of the eggs!

I must tell you that Saras cranes are the endangered species,  whose numbers is feared to have declined to around 600 in Gujarat.

Actually, few days back, a Saras crane couple has taken refuge in the agricultural farm owned by Bachubhai Thakore, of Ganasar village near Sanand, Gujarat. The villagers were brimming with excitement when they discovered two eggs of the birds in the farm. For the past one month, the villagers have done everything possible, in their collective zeal to ensure that the eggs are not harmed.

The eggs need wetlands to survive  and the farm was drying up due to summer heat. So to provide conducive environment to the vulnerable eggs, the villagers first brought waters in pots and buckets, later created  channels to divert water from the nearby canal to create a makeshift, artificial wetland!

They also kept 24×7 vigil to ensure that the eggs are not attacked by the wild animals or dogs. Even they did the harvesting in the plot by hands instead of machines to avoid disturbing the birds. 

The Bachubhai’s farm has become a most frequented spot by the villagers. The entire village is thrilled as the eggs are likely to be hatched anytime next week.

Friends, isn’t wonderful and commendable that people have become so caring towards animals and birds. I have also mentioned to you in my blog post, A Glimmer of Hope, how the villagers of West Bengal have avoided killing a leopard with a cub despite the loss of their cattles in the hands of the wild animal.

The peaceful and healthy coinhabitation of humans, animals and  trees on this earth is the way forward for the sustainable environment. Let’s all make our one and only earth a beautiful place to live!

Resolution……implemented.

Hello friends, this morning through Devang’s blog, I become aware that today is World Environment Day. As you know that the matter of preserving our environment is very close to my heart. I have written about it from time to time. The below mentioned post was written in January ‘ 20.

It’s about one and half years since then and tell you the truth I am diligently sticking to my resolution of segregating the trash at the source that in my home. Just tthinkof it, if we all voluntarily separate the degradables from the non degradables, the former can be send for underground composting ( preventing the emission of global warming gas, methane and latter can be directly sent to be recycled without any hassle. So here it is –

It’s  a third Monday of the first month of the year, January, known as ‘the blue Monday’. It’s the day when the festive fatigue set in and one tends to suffer from guilt pangs of  transgressing from the devout path of sticking to those new year resolutions, meticulously made, seldom implemented. We mostly try to assuage our guilt pangs by the consoling words, ‘resolutions are made to be broken ‘.

Not this time for me though, I can proudly inform you that my resolution is already implemented and going steady at that. I have started segregating the non biodegradable waste from the biodegradables generated at my home. It may seem trivial but just imagine if each and every household of the world began doing the same, the man made hills of dumpyards would become the source of organic manure and the microplastics and other toxic substances leaching to our food chain could be solved to large extent.

Non Biodegradable Wastes
Biodegradable

You may think, my dreams to be too far fetched to be practical. But if we all put our mind to it, resolutely,  nothing is impossible. Friends if we deduct the ubiquitous polythene carrybags, which is banned in some countries, still the non biodegradable packs of cornflakes , biscuits,  teas, edible oils, toothpastes, detergents,  shampoos and other consumer durables can have the potential of making a hill of their own. A large percentage of them travelling as far down to ocean floor.

If we  try to negate the existence of a large number of child labours involved in rag picking then we might be living in a fools world. They are as real as any sore of poverty infesting our social  stucture. It just breaks my heart seeing those children who should be at school, scouring and rummaging through the piles of garbage in the open dumpyards.

The toxic environment they trudge in, prove fatal for them sometimes, beside the host of disease bearing  germs they get infected with unknowingly. If the plastics and other non bio degradables are already separated from the waste, then collecting them for recycling would become far more easier and less hazardous and it would definitely work wonders for our environment.

We humans are far more amenable to dictats then request. If governments make strict laws towards it then it can become a successful endeavor. But they are so engrossed in tackling the political and economically pressing needs that the matter of environment is evidently last in their minds. Meanwhile if we individually try, a positive change can be brought forth. If we’re sincerely willing. We must create as much awareness as we can. Make people around us see reason and mend their ways.
Don’t you think it’s time to do something about it? I would love to read the inputs from you.

Showing the Way

Give light and people will find their way – Ella  Baker


Hello friends, in one lifetime if you can give proper direction to at least one diverted soul and help him or her to find the right way to their destination, then you can rest assured that you have done your job well as a living being. Sometimes our words or action can have profound impact on the person we are dealing with. If we handle the matter delicately and tactfully, the positive changes are bound to occur. I must tell you my experience with an unruly child, belonging to 5th grade.

You see, when a boy is marked out as a bad or naughty kid after one or two indiscretion on his part, he himself starts believing that he is indeed an unruly boy and go on behaving like one. The teachers are also quite exasperated  by the long list  of the complaints against him, and would deal with him sternly issuing him repeated warnings not to misbehave. But such warnings are hardly ever any deterrent for the kid.

When I joined the school the other teachers cautioned me to be careful with this child. When I got to deal with him, I found that they were absolutely right, he was quite a nuisance. Always on the look out for creating disturbances , harassing and annoying other children. There was a continuous flow of complaint against him. Teaching in this atmosphere was really hard.

With an acquired grave look, for once I stopped teaching and asked the boy to come over to me, at the front. A hush was prevailed on the entire class, all were curious about how the new teacher will punish him. There was a nonchalance and a look of indifference in the boy’s face, as if he is getting ready for the another installment of punishment to be handed out to him.

As he came near, I commanded him in ice cold voice, to stand for  five minutes confronting the students. The boy was taken aback by such a milder pronouncement, no rebuke, no chiding!  I went on teaching as if nothing unusual had happened. After lapsing of the said time, I went near him. The boy was bracing himself for further harsh words from me.

I simply put a hand on his back and and brought my face to his level and asked him to look into my eyes. The boy raised his eyes to meet mine, a look of uncertainty and apprehension in his eyes. With a soft and warm voice I said, ” I hope this is the last punishment given to you ever. I know you are a good boy, from now on you will behave like one and prove every body wrong. Whenever I come to your class, want to hear good reviews from your peers and teachers alike. Will you promise me that?”

I raised my palm and waited for him to respond. For a moment he looked tentatively at me and then towards the rest of the children, then as if he had made up his mind, raised his hand to meet mine with determination writ large on his face and  said, ‘I promise’.

He was so accustomed to getting serially scolded and rebuked by others that he had begun believing himself that he was a bad boy. My gentle assuring words caught him absolutely unawares and it made him putting up the effort to reform his ways.

Friends,  it surprised me  no end that a few soothing words could have such a lasting effect on an adolescent. He has now stopped teasing and hurting other children  and started taking active interest in the proceedings of the class, specially in mine he is more than attentive and will ask questions regarding the subject matter and would actively take part in the discussions. The other children also stopped complaining about him and become more friendly to him.

If he continued to behave as he was doing, maybe after a few years time he might have gone beyond redemption. As the softer clay is easier to mould, the children at a young age are more amenable to reformation, only they require careful and deft handling.

Thanks for reading the post. I wish you all health and happiness.
Adieu for now.

P. c. : My daughter Riya.

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