Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Make a Difference (MAD)

  Around 4 PM, I received a call from my husband. He conveyed that I should be ready for the annual health check-up the next day. I wasn't in a great mood to go as going to the hospital is not a pleasant experience for me. The staunch odor of medicines and the lotions make you feel nauseating sometimes. Since it's the annual health check up there is no way of escape mechanism from my husband. 

The next day morning I got readied myself and was on time to get inside the car. My husband was surprised. He recalled and said, "I hope you know the destination". I smiled and said yes. We arrived the Fortis hospital on time and were waiting for our turn to be called. The first was the blood check up and the one I hate the most always. How much ever I tell the lab assistant to prick slowly he takes great care to use the needle in the hardest way. Somehow I completed the process. The whole day until the afternoon we were there in the hospital. 

We were back home after all the procedures. They called and asked us to come back in another two days to get the results. During the previous health checkups, I used to be worried about the results. This time I had no qualms. 

As suggested, we went back to the hospital after 2 days and the doctor with gobbled eyes said that my hemoglobin level is very low and I had to intake a lot of iron-rich content. I usually hear this a lot from the doctor during every visit. So, I didn't bother much to listen to her words. 
After coming back home, I showed the report to my husband. He saw the level was really low from the normal level. We discussed certain ways of improving the same by in taking iron-rich natural sources like dried black grapes, spinach, dates and so on. During the course of our discussion, I was telling him that my co-sister suggested drinking boiled water of hibiscus every day. I told him that getting a hibiscus flower is a challenging task. I don't think I can find one every day. 

We finished the discussion and we moved to each other's work spaces. The next day morning, I could see a hibiscus flower on the dining table. I wondered where is this coming from. Then I realized my husband has plucked it fresh from the plant outside the apartment. I had goosebumps seeing the red flower. From that day onwards, I am seeing a hibiscus flower every day in the table. I boil the same and drink the water. I am truly mesmerized by the thoughtful reminder of my husband. Every day is a busy day. We can say hundred different excuses to say that we forget to take care of the small little things of our loved ones. A small initiative at the right time can bring a lot more benefits in relationships. It is the way we care each other make a lot of difference in the way we see the world and our life. Are we ready to say an excuse and escape from the situation or let loose ourselves in a relationship? The choice is ours. Make a difference in your life by creating extraordinary relationships.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Spinach Leaves

I never really annoyed by the weather this much like before in Chennai. Summer is extending its presence for a longer period than usual months. Chennai loves summer that it never allows the clouds to pour on it whole heartedly. It was one of those hot summer evenings I was engaged with preparing the essentials for cooking spinach. Being the weather so hot, I switched on the AC and decided to work. Within few minutes, I had a phone call and I was supposed to complete few tasks intended for the day. Now the question is, who will spend the time to remove the spinach leaves from the stem.(Is there one word for related to the task, just curious). I was little frustrated as I had to finish everything for the cooking in the morning. It was getting late. Suddenly there came an idea.

My elder son finished all his HW and he was sitting in sofa relaxing in the cool AC. I thought he can be the right choice. After a lot of coaxing, he was ready to work. Soon, he was working with a bundle of drumstick leaves. He was slowly removing the leaves from the stem and put in the box. I was happy seeing the work and I headed back to my priorities. After a good amount of time, I completed all the work and came to the hall once again. I was a little irritated to see the removed stems and yet to be removed stems being together creating confusion. It was difficult for me to put my hands on and help him to complete. In few other bunches, he didn't completely remove the leaves thereby leaving them for the trash. 

I called him and started talking with him. "Honey,  I understand I gave you this work and I know that you are doing this for the first time. But what you should remember and take care is that you should remove all the leaves from all the little stems and also you should know how to segregate the completed and the non-completed ones. The way you handle the spinach leaves explains the kind of person who you are and the kind of attitude you have and I continued, by keeping them separately you also emerge as a good leader to keep the priority and the non-priority items in your control and also removing all the leaves from the stem teaches you that you should have a great attitude to finish the goal. He was listening patiently and nodded his head as a gesture of agreeing on the point. 

So, when you do work, if you do for the sake of doing, it will evolve as into a different person, say a person with a lethargic attitude, but when you do work with wholeheartedly that's when the person of great commitment evolves in his zone and he or she can definitely inspire and transform others. I believe even a small household work can transform your child work on their attitude. Teach them as easy as possible. 

Friday, June 30, 2017


Can you imagine yourselves without food and water for few hours? The mere thought itself is daunting right. During the end of the summer vacation in the hot summer month, we knew that the month of Ramadan was coming. When we think about Ramadan, the only one thing to remember is fasting. We need to get up in the early morning around 3.15 AM for a light breakfast. The deadline time to eat and drink will end by 4 to 4.15 AM. The whole day we need to fast till 6.40 PM with no intake of food and water. The fasting period is challenging even for adults. But the essence of the fasting teaches everyone patience and endurance. When millions of people go hungry every day because of their economy, war and other reasons, this is a period to fast by purpose and expressing our solidarity with the people around the world. 

So as expected the fasting period arrived with a great beginning. Since we have to eat the pre-dawn meal before we begin the fasting I asked my elder son who is around 11 yrs to join us. He woke up with great difficulty and on top of that asking him to eat anything in the morning was really challenging. The very first day, he did the fasting for us and with a little frustration. Few days passed and he was continuing the same but with less interest. Because, when he sees any yummy food in the day time he will think to himself, "Why did I, do the fast man"?. He carried on for the next few days. 

His school reopened for the next academic year. As he is entering the 6th grade, his school timings have got changed and he had to get up early in the morning. It was a difficult phase for him and the whole family. We were slowly transitioning to the new schedule. I told him, "Honey since the schedule is so early if you like to leave the fasting, you can quit and focus on the studies". He said, "Maybe, let's see".  So the first day of school he was on fasting. In the evening I was expecting a frustrated son. To my surprise, he came with a broad smile and said, "I did it successfully". He came to the home with no fuss. Next day, again I reiterated on the decision to fast. He stood strong and said that he wanted to continue the same. I was a little surprised. He continued relentlessly with no further frustration or funny faces. When I counted the number of days he fasted, it stood for 29 days out of 30 which is a huge leap from the last year. 

It was a great moment to cherish as I could see a great difference from last year to this year. His sheer determination and a little encouragement from us helped him to accomplish the goal. What I initially thought was not possible was made possible by him. As parents, we may think too much from the children's perspective on anything related to their goals and their ability to attempt certain attributes of life. I realized a little motivation and patience can bring our children up to the speed of our expectation without harming their innate freedom. It may be fasting for my son, but it may be a different scenario for your son or daughter. All we need to do is holding on their energy levels in their peak performance which is possible in all aspects of life. It is all in our hands to make anything from impossible to possible. All excuses from our end can be wrapped up and put in a corner and let that sleep forever. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Truck Driver

The lush green fields, tall brown hills, and clouds trespassing them are a delight to witness. These are not mere words but the true picture of my village in Kanyakumari district. Whenever there is a need to visit my village, I feel double delighted as I love to be in the warmth of Mother Nature and also enjoy the peaceful weather. Nature never fails to amaze me. This summer too, there was a necessity to visit as I had to conduct multiple workshops in the schools in and around the city. So it was an extended vacation.

Gradually I finished my workshops and was looking forward accomplishing the next task awaiting me. We have a large farmland which was completely ignored due to the failure of monsoons. We had to nourish the field with a good amount of fertile soil.  Since it was summer and dry, even officials were showing the green flag to take sand from the drought-stricken ponds in the mood of cleaning them before the monsoon arrives. We identified the right contractors and discussed with them on executing the job within a short period. Everything was decided and the work proceeded.

Every day the trucks start loading from a nearby pond around 6.30 AM and finish the work by 7.00 PM. There were many trucks assigned for this job. Every day I go there with my son to keep a note on their arrival time and also the number of loads dumped on the farmland. We also made sure to get their signatures at the end of each day. This continued for few days and soon we became thorough of their schedule.

We used to relax during their lunch break and on one such occasion, my son was turning the pages of the note and was quite surprised to see that a particular truck driver has been dumping more loads compared to all the other trucks. After the lunch break, he kept a watch on the specific truck. This truck driver was the first one to operate after the lunch break and he finished it in style and went. I keenly started noticing the driver. He did not bother to look anywhere. All I could see was a strong passion in his eyes. He focussed only on his job and nothing else. Rest of them took so much time in getting down from the driver seat to finishing their work. Rain or shine he was working with unstoppable spirit. My son got inspired by the particular truck driver. Also, he worked happily without any stress. I could see a smile on his face during the entire period. There was no frustration or whining as others normally do.

I was surprised by his work ethic which I have usually witnessed in a corporate environment.  He made me realize it does not matter whether you are a CEO of a multinational company or a normal truck driver all you need to show is commitment and passion towards your work and execute it in style. It is the passion that makes us a powerful person.  If we have a goal in place we need to work till it is reached, or else it will never become a reality. We always come with excuses to escape from anything we could not achieve.  We blame the bad weather, heavy traffic or the bus which we missed for our late coming. Any small issue can make us frustrated. But if we keep all those silly issues aside and follow our passion, definitely we can become the most powerful person at the end of the day and inspire anyone around us.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tamed Thoughts

It was one of those early summer vacation days, During the school days, I was too lazy to try any new recipe for the children. I felt like cooking something different as I promised them earlier. I never recommend or prepare any fried food for breakfastBut that day was different and I woke up early. Also, I was in a mood to prepare and taste a fried item. The initial preparation was all done. The cooking vessel was kept on the stove; the batter was checked for the right consistency; the oil was bubbling at the right temperature and everything was all set. I poured a ladleful of batter in the oil. The rice balls were swelling with pride. 

After few seconds, the color turned golden brown and the balls were ready to be taken out from the oil and find a place in the hot pack. I used a spatula for flipping the balls to ensure they cook well on both sides. Unfortunately, the oil splashed on my hands and I was making a big hoot to let my family know that I am up to something. After a few minutes for the second ladleful of batter also I tried to flip with the spatula. It was then, I sensed something was not working out.  and wondered what could be the reason. Then I figured out that the spatula was creating the problem. I replaced the spatula with a silver fork and tried flipping the rice balls. It perfectly worked out and I was able to finish preparing the breakfast in no time. 

A small shift in the use of right spatula made all the difference. Sometimes we try doing the routine and expect a different result. To tame an elephant the trainers chain them for an initial couple of years. Once the elephant is tamed, the chains are usually released. The elephant thinks that it is still chained and does not run or move away from its place. Similarly, we are often bound by our thoughts and we don’t aspire to try anything new in our life. We continue to assume that we can achieve anything by following the same routine every time. Some cannot handle a shift or change in schedule. In our work environment too, if we think about bringing in a difference in our everyday work, it will make our work interesting and challenging. 

Instead, if we keep doing the mundane work, chances are that we may get bored too easily. Avoiding the usual route to the office, if we try going by a different less traffic route, we may reach office early. But we never attempt to try an option as we feel very comfortable with our regular route. I just want to say that if we do the same routine we will get the same result. So why expect a different output when the input is always the same. Try to do anything differently but do not expect an immediate change. At least you are trying to challenge yourself and think in a different manner which will help you tap millions of opportunities. Invent yourself to be different. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Messy Art

Summer holidays started. I hope all the mothers are going crazy just like me. How well can I engage my child is the question for every mother. No wonder it is the same with me too. Every year I enroll my child for a summer camp. They may either learn a new language or learn something in theater or public speaking. 

This year I decided not to enroll them in any of the classes. I thought to take a risk by keeping them at home. First few days went well.  Yesterday the younger one was getting bored. I told him to read few books, gave him few assignments in Maths and a 20 minute kindle time. Everything was over. "Amma, I am bored. Can I have some more time watching kindle"? I said, "No".  

He was getting bored. I suggested him to do art with crayons and pencils. It took a long time to convince him. After that, he was ready to do the art. I supplied with everything he asked. There was starting trouble in his face.  He said, "I am blank. I don't know what to do draw"?  Then he suddenly remembered something about Neil Armstrong. He drew few rockets and started coloring them with a black sketch. Soon he realized the coloring was not perfect. So he started whining once again.

He said, " I am not going to draw anything anymore.  It is not looking good".  Soon I soothed him saying, "When you mess up your art you will learn to do it right the next time. So doing a messy art is not wrong". He stopped crying immediately and was looking at me. 

That moment I wondered, if we fail to exhibit perfection, it is okay. That is the best way to excel in the next attempt, which doesn't mean the next one is going to be perfect, but a little better than last time. Sometimes when we try doing a new recipe, it may fall flat, but from that moment we can learn it better. When we learn a new technology or a new skill for a project, high chances are that we don't always get it right. But it is always better than not learning anything. From there, we can always move to the better way.  After learning to drive a car, the first drive is not going to be a gentle one. We may end up with little scratches. But it is okay.  From there, we can always move to the better way. 

It is okay to fall for the first time to learn anything better. So friends when you hit a bumpy road, tell yourself it is okay, from there, we can always move to the better way. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Who is your stepping stone?

Last week I was out on Friday and Saturday to retreat my brain. It is essential to feed the little machine in our system at the right time. Otherwise, they let loose themselves. Whenever I go outside for my knowledge hunt, usually I won't be able to take my younger one along for any of the sessions.  During those times I had to depend on my younger sister. She lives few km away from my place.

He stays there with no fuss and I move on peacefully to my work. At this juncture, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to my sister who always renders help whenever I need it. She doesn't expect anything in return. You are lucky if you are in a relationship like that. You are the luxurious human being ever if you have that one good relationship in life. 

When I look back, there are so many tasks I would not have achieved if she is not around.  When you are in a right state and growing in the right ladder, we should know that it is not only because of us we achieve that position in life, but there are so many people around us who act as a stepping stone to help us reach that height. Those who realize the same leave gentle and humble footprints on earth. Those who never realize will always leave egoistic footprints which can never be erased. 

Take a part of your time in your life to thank that someone who is always helping you but stays behind the shadow and expect nothing. Your appreciation means a lot to them.