The Handshakes and Speeches!!

We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children – Native American Proverb

We are all living together on a single planet which is threatened by our own actions. – Yuval Noah Harari.

Hello friends, when I was a small kid, used to wonder, where all the trash generated by us would go! Where the dense fumes spewing out of thermal power plants would assimilate ( one of my uncle worked in it)? As I spent my childhood in a coalliery(my father worked as survey officer in Central Coal Fields), seen so much fine coal dust flying all around, even the water of the ponds and open quarries were black in colour. It made me sad.

But then, my tiny mind, used to assure me that earth being so big, would annihilate all the bad things into its large bosom, keeping us safe from its harmful effects. The lessons taught in environment books, were felt to us like mere rhetorics, just to terrorise people into rectifying action. They were only the points to be memorized and written down in examination papers.

Decades have passed after that, the environment book is now scrapped out of the curriculum and the lessons are clubbed into other subjects like geography or physical sciences as a foot note. Does it serve its purpose?

I am afraid the answer is a big no. We have become more and more embroiled in natural catastrophes in the form of wild fires, sudden and unprecedented deluge, higher and unbearable summer temperatures, fiercer and more frequent storms. The onslaught of a devastating pandemic could be one of it’s off shoot repercussions.

Now I realise that if the point suggested to tame the global warming, had been implemented at the earliest in letter and spirit, the world would not have reached such a sorry state. A sense of guilt overwhelmed me being one of our generation who had kept their eyes willfully shut and thought that the problem would go away on their own.

I must tell you about my father, who was a non smoker, tea totaller and an active person had to be installed with a pacemaker in his early sixties. I think the blame must lie to the door of his strenuous job of going inside a long surpentine coal mines. I had the experience of going inside upto allowed extent to the visitors, can certainly vouch that the atmosphere inside was absolutely unhealthy and hazardous.

The coal mines are still extracting coal and being fed to the industries like steel, power, cement and fertilizer. I fear, how many more people are directly getting sick due to the harmful environment. I agree coal industries give jobs to a large number of people but they must diversify to the greener and safer option of earning their livelihoods. The dependence on fossil fuel must be curtailed to save our environment.

Passing the buck by the member countries won’t do. The developed countries must share the greener technologies and fund the developing countries to switch to renewable and sustainable fuel to feed their development agenda.

A great lot of determination and resolution is required by the countries of the world to work united towards saving the earth from imminent disaster. Only giving speeches , shaking hands and then forgetting all about it is detrimental to the cause. The positive changes must show in the grounds to make it worthwhile.

If we unite and work with great intent towards a common agenda than nothing is impossible. Now or never, will it remain a mere rhetorics in lofty speeches of the world leaders assembled for COP26 in Glasgow, England or it would be turned into positve action? We have to wait and see!!

The Seeds of Peace

People are tired of games played for power and profit; they are tired of hatred and conflict. They want to live with more wisdom, confidence and in peace. I am convinced that the 21st century must see a movement to sow the seeds of peace, happiness and trust in every person’s heart.  Daisaku Ikeda.

Hello friends, in present ccontext the veracity of the above quote is so apt and relevant. For the previous two years the world was waging an unprecedented war with an invisible enemy. All were praying for the deliverance from it’s onslaught. When,  there was a silver lining on the horizon and relief was quite at sight.

The tired, hearts, minds and bodies hadn’t even got a decent respite before another obnoxious war was mercilessly thrust into the common people’s throat, forcing them to swallow the bitter pill without any other option.

The war might be waging in one part of the world but the reverberation can be felt all around the world. Still, there is lack of cohesive determination to try to solve the crisis at the earliest and rescue the common citizens and soldiers from the further hardships.

People dearly want to live freely, peacefully and happily along with their loved ones. These most basic human rights have been denied to so many for such an arduous long time. Now powers that be are talking about using the Intercontinental Balistic Missiles, IBMs to bomb each other out.

This situation reminds me of a story of Bhashmasura, a demon of Indian mythology. He had said to have acquired invincible powers by praying to Lord Brahma,  as a boon. He also wished that he must get the special power of touching anybody’s head, the person instantly may reduce to ashes. When he got the special powers, he was itching to test it and moved forward to put his hand on Lord Brahma  himself.

It was a precarious situation, the Lord Brahma tried to escape by pacifying him but Bhashmasura was adamant. Now Lord Vishnu came to his rescue, by appearing as a beautiful lady and charmed the demon. She went on artfully, to lead him to put his hand over his own head, as a way of a dance move. The next instant, he was reduced to ashes.

Friends the same thing is happening yet again, man have acquired the power to destroy continents, now they are restless to use them to showcase their powers. The consequences might not be any different from the Bhasmasura.

A few mindless humans could reduce the entire humanity into ashes. Yet they are adamant to persue the same course to destruction, no matter what, as moths are drawn towards the fire.

Let there be a movement to sow the seeds of peace, happiness and trust in every person’s heart.
We must pray and wish unitedly for world peace, and restoration of human rights and prosperity in  every corner of the world.

The Tender Affection

Hello friends it’s quite sometimes since I have published anything as you may know that I’m trying to adjust myself to my new role as a teacher. But if you are thinking that I’m teaching these little children, then I must tell you that it’s not my cup of tea! I’m teaching middle school. These tender flowers are pre nursery kids of my school. As you see, one little girl is dearly missing her parents in school and the other two , who happen to be class monitors are consoling her in their own tender and caring way.

It’s true that pictures can tell a thousand story. The beautiful and guileless interaction of these tiny tots can warm up even the frozen hearts too. The genuine bonding between the innocent kids is so reassuring that humanity, love and affection is well and thriving among the young ones.

For the  past two years some unfortunate kids have started their education from the confines of their homes, probably in the lap of their parents. They have missed this natural way of assimilating themselves to the school system. It’s indeed a problem of adjustment as they suddenly find themselves in upper classes without having any prior knowledge of school habbits.

One curious thing, I have noticed that the children in class 3 are behaving as if they are still in class one, the class they were at the start of the pandemic, as if they all are stuck in time warp. It’s really bewildering for them and teachers too to adapt to the changed status. But children are fast to mould themselves to the changed circumstances. All it requires is a lot of patience and perseverance on the part of teachers to deal with them in caring way.

What’s really encouraging is their intention to learn new things. They are asking questions like, what is  extinction, who are endangered species, overuse of plastics and its impact on environment and so on. It’s really heartening to see them so aware to save the environment from further degradation, which we adults, although well awared of the deteriorating situation,  still dithering to take concrete action to stem the tide.

Friends,  I wish you all health, happiness and peace in your lives. Shall try to be consistent in connecting with you all, because you all are,  in fact, an important part of my life. I value your comments and likes a lot. Do stay connected.
Adieu for now.

Machine and the Operator

The one who has realised God feels: I’m the machine,  and Thou, O Lord the Operator. I am the house and Thou art the dweller. I am the chariot and Thou art the Driver. I move as Thou movest me; I speak as Thou makest me speak.  –  Sri Ramakrishna.


Hello friends, a very warm greetings from me to you all. I must express my regret for becoming incommunicado for some time. As you may know that I have become a fresher teacher from the beginning of this month, April. In this very short time, I have amassed a whale of an experience to narrate to you. I shall tell you as soon as I get a window of time from juggling school and home duties.

The above quote by the revered saint, made me squeeze out some time to present it to you. The eternal truth of the statement impreesed me a lot. We always tend to take credit for the job well done by us but we seem to forget that there is a Supreme Power who is handling all of us like a puppet.

He has fixed all of our respective roles and oversees whether we abide by his dictats or tend to digress from the set path. It’s indeed our Karma or the work done by us which sets the tone of our destiny. The point is , we have to persevere on the path He has set for us, no matter what.

In my case, it wasn’t an easy decision to take up the job of teaching after my children are all grown up. I have to start from scratch and have to toil as hard as young teachers would do.  Believe me I was skeptical myself, about my own ability to discharge my responsibilities. But apart from initial hiccups and trials I’m coming to enjoy what He has destined for me.

When I got selected, I knew He is showing me the path to proceed and took it up. Interacting with so many children and their encouraging response is such a heart warming experience,  I can’t describe it in words. It has infused a fresh vigour in me to work hard and build up their charecters as well as transfer of learning to them.

The children are so amenable to learn new things is really satisfying for me. I’m also learning a lot from them, like operating an electronic board. Hope, He will continue to drive me and all of us towards right path towards success and fulfillment. 

Wish you all health, happiness and prosperiti. Adieu for now.

The Numero Uno

The oppressive heat about to snare,

yet humans slanging the dare.

Chasing the blind race for the supremacy,

bypassing the term called diplomacy.

Innocent souls perished or compelled,

to live a life of untold misery.

Mere pawns in the game of contenders,

each want to become numero uno.

Forgetting, there is only One

Creator of one and all.

Seething with fury, the willful destruction

Of His love’s labour, the beautiful creations.

Manifested in rise in mercury, enough to scare.

The oppressive heat about to snare,

yet humans are slanging the dare.

With impunity snuffing out the light,

were blithely glowing bright.

Throttling the life, incapable to create.

It’s time to give Peace a real chance.

Get up and break the trance.

It’s time to work in unison.

To rectify the committed degradation.

Work together for the survival and emancipation.

I have tried to express my thoughts in the form of poetry. Hope you would like it. Praying for peace and happiness for all.

Adieu for now.

Open the mind

If you really wish to develop your life, you must first develop your mind. When you listen to any teaching, you first have to relax totally and open up so that you will receive something. Any sort of container has to be open in order to get something inside. – Gyalwang Drukpa

Hello friends, we are in the tail end of March, let’s ruminate about our respective, set goalpost and assess its progress, however miniscule it may be and ponder on the ways to achieve them eventually. Right from our childhood we tend to make plans for our future and what we want to be. Till reaching adulthood the address of the prospective goalpost changes many times, then gradually it takes a concrete shape and we start putting in extra efforts to reach there. So, we see that to develop our lives, a mind has to develop first, to comprehend what is the best way forward for us.

Spread the wings of your mind, let it fly. Sky is the limit!

In the journey from cradle to the grave, we come in contact with so many people and get enriched by their teachings and thinkings which ultimately help us to chart our own course in life. The main criteria should be that we must keep our minds open for newer and fresher idea to come in. If keep the doors of our minds wilfully closed and think that whatever our perception of life, is right and unchangeable the stagnation may set in and we may find ourselves unable to move forward.

But, keeping our mind open doesn’t mean, we must be amenable to indoctrination in any which way, absolutely not. The ideas and teachings entering our minds must be thoroughly processed before building a solid foundation, then strive to implement them. The ability to decipher good from bad is very much essential to make our lives a resounding success.

Sometimes we go with the flow and allow ourselves to be manipulated by others and compel ourselves to do the bidding of other people just to please them and regret the actions and decisions for the rest of our lives. We must learn to say a resolute ‘no’ if our mind and heart advises against it. Afterall its our life on the line!!

So friends, we must keep our minds open and learn newer aspects of life. It may be from reading books, interacting with teachers, family and friends. Sometimes a casual exchange with a stranger or people employed under you can be instrumental in opening new vistas for you. We must accumulate knowledge in whatever medium it may come and build our repertoire of experience. It can prove a very worthy tool to negotiate the ups, downs and unseen bends in life, quite commendably.

Our life is a long series of classes and we’re the students. Now its up to us wether we pass it with flying colors or remain stuck in any of them. Open the door of the mind and go ahead confidently and relentlessly towards what you are out to achieve. Afterall we all get to live a single life then why squander it by just doing nothing and then regretting that I could have done this or that.

Let the frog jump out of the well and see the world outside and leap forward to it’s destiny.

I wish you all, health and happiness.

Adieu for now.

From Sapling to a Tree

Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.   –  Albert Einstein

Hello friends, after a prolonged lull the children are all set to start the normal schooling again. It’s really unbelievable that the children have more or less had been confined to the four walls of their homes for two long years. Whatever education they received was through online classes and excluding a small section of interested children, most of them had largely ignored the proceedings. As there were no face to face interaction with the teachers, the students have become quite accustomed to a laid back attitude towards their studies.

It’s now matter of great importance to initiate them once again to the classroom way of transfer of learning. It’s yet to be ascertained that in what extent their learning ability have been adversely affected by the forced disruption. But it will certainly take a while to aclimatise them to the habbit of attending school and grasping the matter taught in classes. Their attention deficit would pose a great challenge to the teachers to deal with it comprehensively.

The toddlers, who have begun their education during the pandemic might have to face bigger problem in adjusting themselves to the school environment. But the positive side is that the children have greater capability of adaptation and resilience than the elders. Hopefully they would soon take to it as the fishes learn to swim in water.

As a new appointee teacher, I feel it my upmost responsibility towards nurturing them back to healthy environment of learning. As the saplings need greater attention and care to grow into a robust tree, similarly the children require optimum condition of empathy,  understanding, encouragement and discipline to turn  them into a balanced,well educated and sensible human beings. In this endeavor, a greater co-ordination and interaction between the teachers and the parents is required.

The children are the future of all the nations of the world. If they get a good upbringing, can become responsible citizens, taking active and progressive part in changing the destiny of their country. The need is to give them right education, grooming and teaching them life skills to make them worthy of taking on any challenges in life without depending on others to rescue them.

As a responsible adults, we must show them the right way to navigate along the vast ocean called life. We have to make them battle hardy, so that they don’t flinch in front of any storm and surge ahead with confidence and grit.

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

The intrigue of a lost cigarette case.

Hello friends, when we were younger, always game for the stories told by our visiting elders. As they were the days sans cable TV and bombardment of social media, kids always were eager to listen to the interesting events, as happened to their elders. They might be sometimes real, sometimes imaginary, nevertheless, the attention quotient of the children were always high.This particular story I’m going to tell you was told by the eldest maternal uncle of my husband, to his younger self. When I heard it from him, although not so young for a story time, decided instantly to tell you. Hope you find it engaging too!!

Our main protagonist is a confirmed bachelor Mr. Ganguly, well into his midd age. The events unfolding in the coming lines, took place about 30 – 35 years ago. In a small town of Bihar called Bhagalpur, where my husband grew up. Mr Ganguly lived in another town, Purnea. The twin towns were separated by the holy river, Ganges. At that time there was no bridge over the wide river. People had to travel in a zonga, a hardy vehicle on the sandy road upto the river banks then boarded motorised boat to cross the mighty river.

Whenever Mr Ganguli had some leisure, he liked to visit his sister and spend quality time with his nephews and nieces, which are total six in numbers, four boys and two girls. He used to dot on all of them. In between endless cups of tea prepared by one or the other kid (each tea was designated by the name of the person who prepared it), he would open the treasure trove of his stories.

Once, when he got down the boat at Barari Ghat, in Bhagalpur it was already 9 of the night and there was a power cut. At that time, it was felt more like a midnight. Very few passengers and rickshaws were seen to take them to their destination, autos had retired altogether for the night and cabs were literally non existent. On reaching the rickshaw stand, Mr Ganguly found that all the rickshaw were already taken up. It was a good 45 minutes to 1 hours ride on foot, yet he had no other option than take it up.

It was a dark night with no street lights due to power outage and very few vehicles were plying on the road. Suddenly he saw a vaccant rickshaw coming towards him. When Mr Ganguly called out, the rickshaw stopped near him, he hurriedly climbed it, but before he could give the address, the rickshaw started to move. He surmised that as he was quite regular on the route, the rickshaw puller might have recognized him and already knew, where he had to go.

Along the route, there was a small forest like enclosure called Sundarban, containing a graveyard beside the main road. His perplexity was heightened, when he found the rickshaw turning towards it, off the normal path. He enquired, “Why brother, you are taking this route?”

The person all covered in a large shawl and head gear to offset the wintry night his face imperceptible in the layers of drapes, replied something vaguely which implied, he had opted for the shortcut to reache quicker.

Mr Ganguly found it highly unusual and the lines of consternation started appearing on his forehead. Just to allay the uneasiness, he casually lighted a cigarette deep in his thoughts trying to comprehend the matter. He barely might have taken a few puffs in, the hand of the man pulling the rickshaw was raised towards him, asking in a feeble voice, “Give me a cigarette too, Sir.”

Mr Ganguly saw only the shawl raised towards him, but no hands, a void!! He couldn’t tell how much time had passed when some person approached the rickshaw from the other side. They had a hand held lantern along with them. On coming near, one of the person raised the lantern to enquire, “Why are you sitting like that, all alone in this desolate place?”

The voice of the man acted like a trigger to break the deep trance like condition of Mr Ganguly. He realised that the burning cigarette, held in his hand, had gone so short that it was about to burn his fingers. He hurriedly threw it away and then realised that he was sitting in a graveyard and the seat of the rickshaw puller was lying vacant. The cigarette case and the lighter held in his other hand was gone too!!

One of the strangers spoke with sympathy,” It seems that you too have been dragged by the ghost of the rickshaw puller who died a few years ago. His spirit has the propensity of grabbing any rickshaw whose attendant is not in sight at night time and carry unsuspecting passengers to this place. See, there is his grave!”

In the raised lantern light, Mr Ganguly could clearly see that his cigarette case and the lighter was lying beside the directed grave. One of the person offered, “We were returning after the burial of our relative. Come down, don’t worry we will take you safely to your home.”

Following the Passions

Countless as the sands of the sea are human passions. – Nikolai Gogol.

Hello friends, for the past whole week I had been particularly busy with a special assignment which I had taken up as a challenge. That is to accept a job of a school teacher after all these years, when my both children are all grown up. I attended school as part of the orientation programme for the newly appointed teachers. Believe me, being a fresher teacher, when I’m knocking at the door of the age fifty is quite a stupendous feat indeed as far as my physical capabilities and stamina are concerned!

As a recap I must tell you that in between the noble job of child rearing, with the positive support and encouragement of my hubby, I had succeeded to secure the degrees of Masters in History, A B.Ed. and an M. Ed.. I accepted the courses thrown in my lot as a challenge and completed them with flying colours. Managing all the while a household of a school going and a college going children .

When I was interviewed for the job of a teacher last September, I was not sure whether I should take it up or let it go. Then they informed that they they would recruit once the schools were open that was tentatively from the new session which starts in India from the month of April. Consequently I got the ample time to ponder over the pros and cons of my prospective dicision, which required a massive alteration in my daily life.

I must tell you that I’m staunchly a house bound person, looking after my home and hearth had always been my primary aim. Now when both of my children have started to carve out an independent life for themselves, I am more or less have been divested of my responsibilities towards their career building. What next?

Though I was teaching two brothers studying in class seven and eight respectively, the sudden opportunity to teache in a school was just like a bolt out of the blue. A chanced meeting with the President of the managing committee of a reputed school, with my husband, was kind of acted like a catalyst. When he learnt that I have so many degrees in education then he exhorted my hubby, not to waste my expertise by limiting myself to the boundary of my home.

Suddenly in the middle of this month, the call came from the school of my appointment. As I had no prior experience I have to start from teaching in class 3, 4 and 5 then they will upgrade me to higher classes. Imagine my bewilderment and the exhilaration at the same time! They also informed that I have to start to attend school as part of orientation programme from the day after itself! So you see, got no time to wriggle out and moreover, I was contemplating and preparing myself for this after a long consultation and subsequent strong backing from my family.

So friends, here I am , after completing my one week initiation to school. Though the real test will begin from April 4, when students would start attending the new session and I have to handle so many of them face to face! It is incidentally their first day at school after a pandemic induced long gap of two years. Needless to say I have a lot to relate to you about my experiences at school. I must save it for my upcoming blogs.

Let’s see how I’m going to juggle all my passions that are my home, family, school and ofcourse my blog and your friendship in the days to come.

Wising you all health and happiness.

Adieu for now.

The Encounter with a Cranky Old Lady.

Hello friends, in the present trying times a dive into the sea of memories of one’s childhood is the safe bet to rewind and relax. In my previous post I told you about my adolescent days, that were before the advent of the era of cable television and internet. Let me tell you another antic of my eleven year old self.

As I told you earlier that we lived in a small colony of a coalliery where people lived like a one big family, always together in happiness and sorrow. All the children mostly my age or younger to me and consequently had no problem in following me, regarding which kind of game to play or planning any mischief. From 4 to 6 pm in weekdays and indefinite hours during holidays (untill our mothers issued the third warning to come home) was our own time to spend. Apart from playing, plucking guavas or collecting raw mangoes or bathing in the river, right beside our quarters, we had a favorite pass time, that was observing a very ancient old lady around 90 years of age.

You may be wondering what is so special about it. The chief attraction was that the old lady lived a reclusive life along with her almost 60 years old son, who looked older than his age. The uncle was a an affable man and joined in the ‘adda’ sessions of the elders and was more than friendly to us. The uncle lived with his old mother while his family stayed at their ancestral home.

But he isn’t the protagonist, the lady in question was his mother,a frail, toothless lady with a wrinkled face. Her tiny body bent further by the stooping with age, yet it didn’t hinder her agility in dispensing off all the chores of a household. She had a short prickly silver hairs and only a white, shortened version of a saree wrapped around her thin body. It’s not only her peculiar appearance which drew us towards her, it was her cranky and cantankerous nature which acted like a magnet for us.

All the doors of her house were always shut, nobody except her son was allowed to enter her den. There was a gap in the wooden door of her courtyard and provided us perfect medium to watch her activities. We used to peep through it waiting for her to come out on the open. Eventually when she did, one of us would call out, “O Thakuma (grandma), what are you doing?” It instantly followed by flurry of rebuke from her. We didn’t understand a word coming out of her toothless mouth but it was quite palpable that if she got hold of us, she would teache us a lesson for teasing her. Her angry reaction was highly entertaining for us.

Once I was peeking through the door with my gang on toe, there was no sign of her in the courtyard. We were discussing to leave, when suddenly the door opened and her small figure appeared. Without allowing any time for us to respond, she quickly got hold of my wrist by her left hand and a worn out coconot stick broom holding in her right one, her eyes shining in the glory and her indecipherable voice gloating over the victory well deserved for her.

Apparently she was waiting behind the closed door for us, as the tiger waits for it’s prey. Realizing my capture, rest of the children ran for their dear lives. Friends you can easily imagine the horror freezing my heart, eyes widened, throat turning bone dry. It felt like that was the end of me!

Belatedly I made a last ditch effort to extricate myself from her grip but it was almost vice like and impenetrable! I then sent a silent SOS to my hiding friends and the next moment I was dragged inside the house and the door was firmly shut.

After the hasty intimation of an impending doom, a rescue effort was promptly launched by my mother and other available aunts. They kept on banging the door, frantically, pleading the old lady to release me. A good quarter of an hour passed, before the old lady deigned to open the door but without me! Continuing the suspense, she just gestured with her hand to the ladies to follow her. The entire entourage comprising of the children too, got inside with great trepidations.

What they discovered? I was sitting blithely in a small stool eating a homemade sweet made with dessicated coconut and sugar syrup(Narkol Naroos) which tasted just heavenly. My terrorized face had evidently melted her heart and eventually won her over.

The ceasefire had been called after that day. It was the start of long lasting friendship between the old lady and us. We had now easy access to her home. And we all helped her in small ways we could, like grinding her betel leaf in pestle for her to consume and other smaller errands. In turn she treated us with delicious homemade sweets. She told us stories about her life as a young bride, we understood half of it due to her toothless state, yet obediently nodded in unison.

Hope you liked this edition of my childhood  pranks. Wishing you all health and happiness.

Adieu for now.

Read another one of my childhood stories here:   https://mousumisays.wordpress.com/2021/05/13/reminiscing-my-childhood/

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