Thursday, October 12, 2017

Who are you?

          A few days back I received a call from my friend. I realized the call was not a casual talk like the other days. She was fuming in frustration and agony. After the cajoling and listening to all her confused talk, she felt like opening up and talking. It seems they had a wedding ceremony in the family for one of the close cousins. It was the time of excitement and joy for the whole family and my friend was also looking forward to the same. As like any other family, the relatives gathered well in advance to celebrate the occasion. Since everyone cannot stay in one house all of them spread evenly in many houses and one of them was my friend’s house. 
      
           The joy, excitement and the celebration were in peak as the D-day arrived. The wedding ceremony went well. Everyone enjoyed the festivities and the spirit of the occasion. All the proceedings related to the event were coming close in the next day. Each and every family member was heading towards their hometown. People were coming back to the routine life. My friend was working in a corporate sector and she had to head back to the office.  However, there was this particular gentleman who did not move out from her house.

            He said to my friend that he has a pending activity in the town. Once it is over he will be going back to his home. My friend agreed to the same. So every day she has to make some extra effort to make a little special breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the guest. This was going for another few days. She thought he will head back after the work. All of his work was done and he was not in a mood to go back. He did not plan his journey to his home.

            He was staying in the house as like his own house. He occupied the best room in the house, ate good food and he didn’t even think getting something for the children. This really frustrated and annoyed her to the core as she was working and managing the entire house. Hence the reason she called me to vent out her frustration. 

Sometimes in life, we don’t even realize our deadlines. It is amazing to have great relationships. But that should not go overboard in any place. The more we intrude in others privacy we end up in others mode of mental agony and hatred. Wherever we go and stay however close the relationship is the best time period is for few days. We should not leave from any place having a cluster of ice in the host’s mind and heart. A relationship is a continuous process, never make it short by our negligence to adhere to the norms of life. We need to have adorable relationships with everyone, however, there is a boundary for everything. Make sure that we stay within the circle of good terms. Never be the subject of talking behind your back. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Blue Whale

For quite some time, this phrase is common in the social media. Can you guess the famous phrase?. It is "Blue Whale" online game. No matter the age of children, everyone is aware of this term. Thanks to the social media for playing their part so well. Even though I have been reading the news regarding the same, one recent incident shocked me to the core.  It was a boy from a very rural background who attempted suicide and ended his life. I had an impression that the children from the urban city are only aware of this game. That incident destroyed my perception. It is clear that the excessive use of gadgets can bring you down and take your life too. Even though we are all proud that the internet has conquered the world, incidents like these make us realize when to use and not to use the internet. 

So, do we need to be bothered about the Blue whale game? Yes, if your child is using your mobile or laptop without your permission or supervision. One more Yes, if you don't know about your child's routine every day. As a parent, I believe you should have an understanding of the mental health of the child. When I say understanding the child, it doesn't mean that we should do micromanagement for each activity. For example, when the word "blue whale" is discussed so much at school, it is natural for anyone to attempt and see what is it all about by browsing in the google. It happened with my son too. He was browsing through the same, discussed the various steps and so on. Now, at this point, I can't be a rude mother and say, "Please stop talking about blue whale and there is a zillion thing to do for us". If I say this, I am suppressing his free voice and that lead to the desire of finding or digging the game a little further. 

Instead, if I involve in the healthy discussion of all about it, they understand the whole thing and drift away to normalcy.  Children who don't have a good reputation with the family members will indulge in this game. The children who are always subject to complaints from parents and teachers will have a low self-esteem and to have that attention craving, they divert and immerse into this kind of activities without knowing the impact.  As educators, parents and teachers if we can work together towards the holistic being of the child right from morning hugs before they leave to school, listening to them after they are back from school,  nourish them with healthy food, clearing or speaking about any taboo topics which they feel to discuss, a family dinner together and a warm goodnight hug before going to bed are all necessary for a holistic well-being. In addition to all this, please make sure that you activated the parental controls ON in your mobile or laptop. However, If the children are confident and outspoken, not only blue whale or red whale but any whale will not harm them from falling prey to anything in the world. 



Friday, September 15, 2017

Mr.X

     A few months back, my husband and I had a serious argument. Before you run into conclusion, I will narrate the story here. He came back home from the office one day night and started talking about the phone call he had with an 'X' person. He said, "Mr.X" is taking a long journey somewhere and I wished him. I think I am going to send him off at the airport. We both had a good conversation for a long time. As soon as he said, that he was talking with Mr.X for a long time, I got annoyed. I said," You can have enough time for someone but not for us."  But the fact is, I don't have a good impression for Mr.X because he fails in one quality(Speaking truth) which I consider the most in my life.  When I was defending and arguing with my husband, he interrupted in the middle of the conversation and said a profound statement which I admire till today. 

     He said, "What you see in that person is lack of one quality.  I do understand your point. But did you notice the other good things Mr.X has been doing till now? ". I took a step back and thought for myself. I stopped my fighting mode at this point. I relaxed and asked myself, did I ever think about that? Slowly, all those scenes in my life were coming to flash where Mr. X was involved. I took a moment to acknowledge my gratitude to that person to my husband. My husband continued, "not everyone is perfect in the world, there may be different attributes lacking in each and everyone. If you look at everything in the minuscule mode we can't develop great relationships". 


     After listening to him, I stopped arguing and went to the listening mode. Even though I did not agree with all his points, at least I understood that I should not speak ill of someone because of their one negative character trait. We all have many things to be changed or molded in a different level. How can I comment on someone when I have many things to improve at my disposal? In the relationships, if we look at the person only from our perspective, everything goes wrong and we may end up ruining that relationship later point in life. Instead, if we remove that one negative aspect of the person and relate to the other good qualities we will have a positive impression of the same person. One small dot acts as a cluster and covers all the goodness. Next time when we relate with a person don't try to oversize the negative aspect in abundance. This quality breaks the relationships at work place, personal life and with neighbors too. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Believe in Yourself

I like writing from a young age. I used to write letters to my friends during the summer vacation starting from grade 8. This writing habit gradually paved way to show an interest towards speaking and then eventually into Storytelling for children and adults. I like to narrate stories in English as it was comfortable for me from the beginning and I love the English language. During the course of my journey, there were several offers came to narrate stories in Tamil in various places. I denied all of them as I was not confident telling in Tamil. I thought it requires certain skills and good years of experience. I believed that to narrate anything in a language which I am not using much in the professional career requires much of confidence which I didn't possess at that moment. 

I was part of a life-changing course before few years. The course was completely in Tamil whereas I spoke and wrote in English. The people in the course thought that I didn't know Tamil. I was extremely fearful to talk in that language thinking that I may not convey the right idea and the message to the audience. It took me long years to come out of the shell. Before a few months back, one of my friends had asked me to host the launch of her Yoga class in Tamil. That was my first step towards anchoring in Tamil. I was relieved a little as the feedback was very positive. After a good break, again I had a hiccup towards starting anything in Tamil. 

It was when Doordarshan Podhigai approached me to do a program in Tamil along with other storytelling friends. Even though the proposal looked very attractive, I was hesitant to perform for a TV show.  I geared my mind with a conviction if not now, when am I going to break the shell. So I accepted the proposal and I started working on the script. It was a dream come a true moment when I went to the studio and did a show for them. Long hours of TV crew giving the instruction, the magnanimity of the studio thrilled me. But I decided to hold on,  become a little fearless and started narrating the story. Finally, the telecast was announced from Podhigai TV and the show was on the air on August 20 11 AM. I asked for the feedback from my friends and well-wishers. They all liked the program and some had written all the nuances of the program. 

So friends, in this world nothing is impossible. A few months back, I was a person who doesn't know how to narrate even few sentences in Tamil and here I am in a TV program. If you are aspiring for something extraordinary to happen, it is all possible. All you need to take that first step towards removing the clutches from your mind and start working towards the brighter picture. Once you visualize the final page, the universe will work along with you to conspire that dream. So, it is you who needs to decide, what you can and what you can't. If you have the magic words "I CAN" strongly carved in your mind, the rest is all possible. 



Monday, August 28, 2017

Change Maker


I was not at home during the last weekend. Both the days we went out for different sessions as a family. My mother and I talk during the weekday evenings. Since there was a delay in my regular calls, she tried to call me in one of the weekends. That was the weekend we were out all day. She tried calling me multiple times and did not succeed. My mobile was out of charge for long hours. After few attempts of failure, she got panicked. She called my sister to know my whereabouts. Since I had informed her about my sessions, she was able to update my mother on my status. Eventually, my mother was relieved from the thought clutches.You may be thinking on why I am stating this incident now. Is it necessary to make our parents aware of our schedule every day?  Do they need to press the panic button because we are not accessible through the phone? No, not necessary. But how can you avoid this situation? Since my regular calls took a break for two days, my mother couldn't understand the scenario.  If I would have been connecting her regularly in the previous days, she will not be panic for my absence. 

Recently a friend forwarded me a WhatsApp message. I wasn't able to read through the end. It seems a mother was left alone in a house while her children were at abroad earning their living. The hectic schedule of the children kept them away reaching their mother for months, not days. They didn't know the status of the mother for a very long time. Since the neighbors couldn't see the old lady for a very long time, they complained to the police. When the police came and opened the door, there was the real shocker of life. They can see the remains of the old lady in the sofa. She had died a long time ago with no one nearby her. 

I just wondered, are we running behind only the materialistic realms of life? Is human life least important for all? I understand everyone has a busy life these days. There is no question about it. In the busy schedule, how are we sequencing our priorities? We as parents do as much as we can to our children for their best livelihood in future. Are we teaching them the importance of human relationships from a young age? The children who know the value of life will eventually take care of their parents. It is their moral responsibility. We may think we shouldn't burden our children with the sense of responsibility. We should be healthy enough to take care of ourselves. 

Even though I agree for that, relationships and the life values play a great role in the lives of children. If they are sensitive towards their parents they will be sensitive towards other human beings too. Take a minute to realize and understand, how are we grooming our children to know the essentials of future. If you are doing the right steps as a parent, give a pat to yourself and if there is any correction to be done, take charge and be the change maker.


Friday, August 11, 2017

How to encourage children

A few months ago, my younger son drew a piece of art and handed over to me. He said to me to send his drawing to the Young world to publish the same. I sometimes forget to do that. So he reminded me every now and then to complete the work. Finally one fine day, I sent the artwork through email and I almost forgot the same. Every week he used to check every edition of the young world. He was disappointed to see his art work not being published in the young world. A few weeks later, gradually he lost interest in doing art work and he completely quit the process. If I ask him to start anything new, he would give me hundred different excuses to escape from the request. 

Weeks passed, months passed and one fine day his school correspondent pinged me in WhatsApp indicating that his artwork has been published in the Young World. My son was excited to the core. He never thought it will be out in the world. It was like a miracle and a dream coming true for him. He asked me to show the newspaper to him. He was holding the newspaper and staring at his artwork for zillion seconds. He did not want to come out of the scene so soon. After few weeks, we could see another art work from him getting published in the Young World. This time he was really happy. No words to describe his ecstasy and the feeling. 

A couple of days later, I can see my son sitting on his study table and started doing artwork on his own. Nobody insisted him to do the work. The huge encouragement he got by seeing his name in the newspaper did all the trick. Every time he would like to see his name and his work in the magazine. It is quite natural for any human being and it is a good addiction. We often have so many dreams and goals for our children. However, if we can direct them to pursue in the right direction everything is achievable.

 Every goal of the parent is possible by channelizing their thoughts in the right manner. I don't mean to say we should force them to achieve something. They don't know what is good and what is not. For example, in my case, I was asking him to spend a little time in the art which was not happening for a long time until his work got published. I won't say I forced him towards the target. But there is a way to make them get there. Similar way we think that our children should be great readers, thinkers, and develop their creative analysis. These are great goals. Making them achievable is all in our hands. We need to figure out only the right way to get there. 



Thursday, August 10, 2017

Stop

My husband asked me to review one of the documents on his desktop. While editing the same, I accidentally opened my husband's Facebook account. I know what you are thinking. I did it without him noticing me. So I was saved. I was browsing through the page. A video with many shares grabbed my attention. I opened the link and saw the video. At the end of the video, I was disturbed. It showed few people going and thrashing a 12 or 13-year-old boy until he collapses. Even though several videos of this kind is going on in the social media, this particularly disturbed me so much. After the video, I asked myself two questions. Where is the humanity? What are we leading to our younger generation?If a child does something wrong, there are zillion ways to correct it with a human touch. There is no way a child can be changed by beating him or her. 

The aggressive nature of the human mind is caused by building layers of painful memories inflicted from a young age. When a child is growing, it is our responsibility to show them the correct way of preventive measures. If we consider spanking the child as the right method of punishing the child, he or she will grow with a negative attitude towards people. That eventually leads to a spoiled child in the society at the later point of life. If we don't create holistic individuals for the society, there is no credit for our existence in the world. The creator of the universe created all of us to lead a peaceful life. 

I understand, there is so much going on in the world. Even in the middle of a crisis, if we can maintain our credibility and integrity, chances are high that our children will follow our footpath. As a society, if we collectively take a stand to not forward such violent or useless videos in Whatsapp or Facebook, we are at least doing a better role than others. However, if there is an incident to be reported to the government, it can be sent to the concerned person rather than promoting in social media. As children are having the access to smartphones, their minds can be easily corrupted with the spoiled videos. They may end up with the perception that the world outside is dangerous. There may be few who are scared to try anything new even in their friend's circle and there may be few who transform into daredevils. 

There is no percentage of benefit in forwarding such videos or information. It will induce hatred for a particular section of the society without a proper analysis. Before forwarding a video or audio to anyone, please check whether it will be of any benefit to the other person or anyone surrounding them. If not, please stop from your end itself. By doing so, you are evolving as a socially responsible person. We need this kind of messiahs in large number as the number of users using the internet is growing every day. 


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Hold On

"Amma, I stood among the top 3 list of the 100-meter race" the voice swelled with pride when my 11-year-old entered the home. I was surprised and excited. I have no words to say. Despite they were made to sit in the hot sun for long hours, many children proved their mettle right during the recent sports heat conducted by the school. Even though he says me often, that he is considered one of the best runners in the class, I acknowledge it slightly and move on. We don't indulge in that discussion for hours. However, this time when he conveyed the news everything felt different. I didn't expect this to happen in our life at all.

I remember vividly what happened when he was young. I used to take him to the play ground often. I invariably tried in all the ages, may be 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 years. He would run back home leaving all the friends behind. He didn't show even a single percent interest towards physical activity. I used to contemplate like a worried mother. How do I make his interest towards the ground? What would be the right attempt? Many questions were moving around in my mind, but nothing was fixed in concrete and I dropped the idea finally. 

In the recent past before a year ago, I joined him in a tennis coaching class. Before playing tennis, they are supposed to do a lot of warm ups including running for some time. He was going to the classes consistently by force and at a point, he was a self-starter by himself. The magic happened there and he was falling in love with the workout. It took years of patience and consistent effort. 

The victory made me think that nothing is impossible. A boy whom I thought will never get to the ground and do running or anything in life gradually developed an interest for the same and excelling in the same become unimaginable. If you have started a business and nothing is working out at the present, hold on, you will see the magic within some time. If you are a mother, who is worried about the future of your child, hold on, you will see the magic after some years. If you are working in an IT sector, but not happy about the achievement for this year, hold on, you will see the magic in the coming year. All this can happen, only when you are consistent and work towards the right path. When your mind peeps out to you and says, "Hey, it's enough, I am done with it,", stop that inner voice and say, "Hold on, there is a magic brewing in God's factory".

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Handwritten letter

During the last academic year, my son came back from school and was very excited. I didn't know the reason for the excitement. I was thinking the next day may be a holiday. But when I enquired him, that was not the reason. Once he settled down, I asked him the reason. He said he is attempting ASSET exam for the first time and he is very excited to take the online exam. My goodness! that was the first time I saw a kid jumping in joy for an exam. We were discussing several ways to excel in the exam. I thought to give him a mock test at home which he agreed. We worked very hard before the exam. As the exam date was coming near, the preparation became much severe.  However, within few days the school has sent a mail asking us to be present for a program in the morning the same day of ASSET exam.

We were not in a mood to quit the program. So we agreed to attend the same and I also checked with his teacher on the possibility of conducting the exam a little prior to the timeline mentioned as there was a huge interval between the morning program and the online exam timing.  She agreed and asked us to come in the morning. The D-Day arrived. We reached the venue on time, attended the parent's program and I went with my son to the Maths Teacher's room. She was conversing busy with all the children. I intruded her asking an excuse and informed the exam. She immediately went and checked the seats left for doing the online exam. Unfortunately, there was no space left and she asked me to stay for few minutes.
After few minutes, she went and checked. The status was the same. Almost, I waited for an hour. The place wasn't vacant yet. So I informed the teacher that I am leaving for the day. I will not be coming to attend the exam as my home was very far away from school. She did not let me go. She was persuading me so much to stay and complete the exam. After a long discussion, I left the place without attending the exam. Later when I met her in one of the PTM sessions, she was worried about the incident. 

The way she took the time to explain the benefits of attending the exam and the way she was worried by looking at me leaving the place without attending the exam surprised me. I was totally taken aback. I came back home and I wrote an appreciation letter to the teacher.  I send the same addressed to her the next day. She felt really happy. We tend to go to school often either to complain something or to listen a teacher or principal as part of the schedule. Most often we give feedback for improvement. What if we appreciate teachers when they least expect the same from us? Do you think they tend to take care a little more than normal?  Our children spent most of the day with them. It is very necessary to say our token of appreciation once in a while to acknowledge their hard work and support. They are the ones who sow the seeds of wisdom from a young age. So take some time to write a letter to the teachers and see the response.  More than the teachers, you will feel good for writing a letter. Happy Letter writing.

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

Fasting

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.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Breaking the Wall

I still remember the first day of my Yoga Class. I went into the class not knowing what to expect and dilemma. I unrolled my yoga mat and sat.  The trainer asked me to lay down and close my eyes. I followed her instruction subserviently and was waiting for the class to begin. 

The class started with some easy stretches and breathing exercise. I was calm and relaxed. The session progressed towards doing Downward Dog, Upward Dog and Bridge Pose to name a few. After the session, my legs pained and stomach cramped. I thought this is the end of it. I am not going to the Yoga class anymore. 

I came back home. I had a chat with my husband explaining my experience over the same.  He is not a person who leave me just like that. He heard the whole story and enjoyed every bit of my narrative.  I was waiting for the moment that he would say,  "Honey, you don't need to go to the class".  To my dismay, he asked me to go for one more session in the evening to get more practice.  My Goodness, I wondered I shouldn't have told the story to him. I realized I dug a hole for myself. 

From the next day onwards, the Yoga sessions were intense and then it continued that way.  As of now, I have almost 4 years of experience in Yoga practice.  I look back and wonder if my husband would not have pushed me I would not have come a long way. Now I am fairly confident to take yoga classes for others. 

Sometimes in life, we never know what is good.  When you can't think beyond what is in front of you right now, trust the person who believes you. If you take that one step in life, obviously a thousand mile journey will be easy for you.  Similarly, our children may be very adamant to try new things in life, we feel like yielding for them often, but as parents, if we can push them beyond their comfort zone it will help them to nourish their confidence a lot. Give that little discomfort for your children so that they can step ahead from their cocoon and learn abundantly from the world. Your child may not have the exposure to play with a new group of friends every time, give them that experience by taking to a Birthday party where they are in a new environment with a new set of people and friends. When you give a different experience every time,  it can bring a great shift in thought leadership. Let us be the motivating factor for ourselves and children. 


Friday, March 31, 2017

Failure


 The day started with excitement. I was on a high giving a speech in front of one of the walls in my house. I was preparing for my Area Contest speech in Toastmasters. I was all set. Well prepared. Timed the clock. The speech fell within the right timeframe. Everything was great. 

 I got ready with my family. We popped in the car and drove to the place. I arrived earlier than the usual time. 
Butterflies were flying from top to bottom and realized I had to align myself for a speech delivery. I rehearsed in the stage once and understood that I was thorough with my words and speech. I was all set.

  The Contest began. I picked one from the lot box and found to be the third contestant. I had a gulp of water, soothed my throat and was ready. My name called, I  entered the stage and started speaking to the fullest tone. Afffff! I did it. 

 Rest of the Contestants also spoke well. It was a tough fight. After all the speeches, we were waiting for the results. I had the expectation to win the contest. Finally, the time came to declare the results.   I was waiting for my name to pronounce in the top 3 list.  Obviously, all the other contestants also would have thought the same. I was disappointed when my name was not there in the top 3 winners. Everyone came and congratulated me for the performance. But I couldn't digest the fact that I didn't win. 
 
I stood there thinking myself foolish. I couldn't handle the fact that I lost. Failure haunted me.  I decided I should not be contesting anymore. All the negative thoughts came and occupied me in the first sense. After a lengthy discussion with my friends, I came back home. After coming back home, I sat with myself and analyzed the reasons.
 
There was a video from a friend explaining the rise of KFC founder Harland Sanders at the age of 65 years and the video end with the lines, "It's never too old to dream". I sat for a while thinking about the same. After seeing a great story, my story looked minuscule in size. I was thinking that I was the only loser on the planet. 

What am I going to get if I worry about the lost prize for a long time? But, If I can get up and do my work which is left behind I can at least step forward.  That moment I realized,  failure doesn't mean, the world has come to an end and locked the door permanently. That is a phase in life, and that is not the end of life. In the moment of failure, think about all that you succeeded in life. Then the thought of failure will be gone.

 As parents, our responsibility is not only making our children succeed in life but also help them understand that failure is not that bad as the world perceives every time. If Harland sanders have stopped trying after his first failure, KFC would not have born.  Every failure is a stepping stone for success. When we fail, all we need to do is what is my learning from the failure and move on. Don't sit and stare the same for a long time.  Some things did not work out for the right reason and when you deserve the same, success will knock your door. Until then, keep working hard and dream. 


Friday, March 24, 2017

Priorites

It happened before a week. The week started on a high note. I had to go as a speaker in one of the prominent MNC where I started my career. I was thrilled. I was waiting for the opportunity to unfold in my life. I immediately said Yes and acknowledged the request. There was another prominent MNC which I promised to be there for the Women's day program. Both programs collided on the same date. 

As planned, I completed one in the morning and heading back to home. While on the way, I received a phone call from my sister that my mother was not keeping well and she has to be taken to the hospital immediately. I was stuck for a moment. On the same evening, I had prepared to speak about the importance of women. Halfway, I was confused. What should I speak for Women's day program when my mother is sick and the fact that I was not taking care of her at that moment. I quit my thought process and called the program coordinator. I explained my situation and asked for any alternate arrangement. She stated that since there is one more speaker other than me, they can conduct the meeting with no chaos. I calmed down. 

I never failed in my commitment to programs. It was the first time I said an excuse after committing the same. If I would have gone to the program, do you think I would have done justice to the session? Definitely No! Instead, I took a standpoint and went ahead to home. I got ready, rushed to my sister's home and took my mother to the hospital. I felt relieved. Even though I felt guilty for not presenting myself for the commitment, I was happy doing what was just for the moment. I realized right things at the right moment can bring a lot more value-add to our life and we need to be accountable for who we are at the end of the day. 




Friday, March 17, 2017

Believe in Yourself

Watch this video to load yourself with a great energy of  "Never give up" attitude


Leopard and Bear
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0Gb2fvjKYo

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Mindful Hours



One of the days, while I was writing my musings, a phone call came. I took the call curiously as it was from an unknown number.  It was my friend calling from an alternate number.  She immediately asked me, "I saw your blog. You are writing consistently every week. How is this possible. You have a family, home and children to take care. I am wondering how do you find time to do all these"?  I told her, "Yes dear, I understand, everything requires a lot of thinking and consumes time. But for the past few years, I am following a routine consistently. That is I don't have a TV connection at home".  She panicked and asked, " What? You don't have a TV at home?'. I said, "I have a TV, but with no connection".  Nobody watches TV at my home. This saves my time a little from distraction. She couldn't believe the fact that I am not using TV. 


She disconnected the phone after talking for few hours.  I was introspecting the amount of free time we get when we don't spend hours in front of an idiot box. Not only TV but even using any social media sites as well. I could see children sitting in front of the magic charm for hours and hours and lose their thinking ability.  When your TV is OFF, you talk with the real person in the living room. It is sick to see people glued to the screen and talking to people. This attitude will not help to build relationships but will destroy the human emotions. I understand we can't stop disconnecting TV immediately, however, we can reduce the non-mindful hours. If you are spending 2 hours a day watching TV, probably that can be reduced to 1 hour and henceforth. Keep a chart and track use of your limits a day. Eventually, you will reach the goal of non-mindful hours. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

What makes you stand and stare?

Life sometimes flows very fast. I just feel like catching up time every time. However, there are certain occasions in life where you don't need to rush but just observe, enjoy the moment, breathe and go on. One such moment happened in "Tame the stage" session(A public speaking course for Children) last week.  

We had a session on "Gratitude" in the last week. I believe this attitude can be practiced to develop a holistic life.  We were discussing on all the various ways to express "Gratitude" to different people in our life.  We have a student who does not speak voluntarily in the class.  Her mother said the same when she came to the class first. Whenever I ask something, she speaks not otherwise. When this particular session was going on, she kept on narrating many instances from her life. I have blown away. 

For each value, she had various examples from her life. The session kindled her spirit and she spoke about her core family members.  She was enthusiastic about the whole session. 

I realized that each child is unique. We never know what kind of inputs make them express their feelings outside.  Once they realize their inner potential, the world is just an oyster for them to explore. 


Friday, February 17, 2017

Overused Goodness


I respect my housemaid who comes regularly home.  She was working well for a while.  She took off for a couple of days after informing me. I didn't say anything. I granted her the leave. After few days she was coming on and off. I didn't say anything hoping that she will be regular with her work. It was one of the days I was waiting for her to come. I had so much of incomplete work. I was waiting for her arrival. It was 9 AM, then 10 AM, 11 AM and finally, it was 12 AM. I was curious and frustrated. I called one of my neighbor in the flat. My maid goes for her too. She replied me saying, "Oh, didn't she give you a call.  She called me in the morning around 6 AM and told me about her unavailability today".  I was shocked and irritated. I immediately called my maid's number and asked,  "Why you didn't inform me whereas you had the intention to call the other. At least you should have conveyed my neighbor to share the information with me".  My maid replied answers with a lot of excuses which made my tone raise a little higher than the usual and she understood the issue. Eventually, I lost few hours of my day. However, I realized if I don't convey the same to her, she would be repeating the same with me even though I gave her everything she asked for earlier.

  I understand most of us comes across these situations in everyday life. I am not talking about only maids, but in life, you may be helping someone for a long time. They may consider your goodness for granted and just move off in life. I would say anytime in life our goodness should not be overused. If you are a person who is so good with everyone without analyzing about the others, the first thing is to be aware of yourself. The second is that if you are expecting something from someone make sure that you communicate long enough so that the other person will understand what you need and will not take it for granted.  When we don't follow what is required to make us fit, we may end up in a worse situation and regret later.